Showing posts with label writing. Show all posts
Showing posts with label writing. Show all posts

Friday, February 24, 2012

I Am Sadface

It's kinda funny to be posting here after my month or so long hiatus... I guess it's because I never knew what to say? It's not really that there was nothing to say, because I had tons of opportunities... Every time me and the Hedgehog went to Wal-Mart and we saw a new Kit something, something I'd been planning on doing weekly... My overly ambitious 25 Awesome Legend of Zelda things post, even editing Cathrin's stupid story... I could've talked about how weird it was having the Terror finally treat me normally at Christmas, or how I finally got the courage to talk to the Hedgehog's family...

I could've talked about Ichibancon and how much fun I had, or about how Hunny's been acting selfishly and seems to not take as much interest in her friends anymore and how that's been bothering me. I could've talked about how I first met the Hedgehog, or said something on his birthday. I could've let him know how much I love him on Valentine's Day; I could've let him know I cared for him, and was thinking about him, and how much I hoped his grandfather would get better when he was in the hospital. I could've said something when his grandfather died, about how my heart went out to him, how I've been there, I know how it feels...

I could've mentioned the toxic shock syndrome scare, and how stupid hospitals are, or when my dad went missing and I was scared...

When I started learning to join the Kemetic Orthodoxy I could've posted. I could've joined the Wiccan blog project. I could've talked about how I got interested in Homestuck...

The truth is, the longer I went without posting, the worse I felt about doing it, and about myself. I'm not confident, though I try to be, and I'm not very brave, I guess... Looking at life around me, I put things off for as long as I can, and then I give it up, because I know I won't do it. It's how I've lived here this long and still not gotten a job, I do everything I can to not do what I have to do.

You have to admit, you didn't give me a reason to keep this blog up. No one cared what I wrote about, no one left comments, no one showed interest. I wanted a place to vent my spleen, sure, and this was fine for that, but... only my friends were reading it, and since they appeared in all of my posts basically... I started to get afraid, chicken out. I wanted to say something, and thought of them reading it...

I guess I'm posting this now because I know it'll get read, that the Hedgehog will read it... It's the only way I could ever say this to him. I'm sorry I'm so pathetic and weak, that I can't stand up for myself, and I'm too afraid to go outside; I'm sorry I'm broken and useless... But it hurts so much more because I keep thinking you're ashamed of me. It doesn't help that you don't let me be there for you, that you exclude me from things... Maybe it wouldn't bother me so much if I were stronger, but when you disappear to go spend time with family, I can't help but feel I'm being left  behind because you're ashamed of me. I'm weird and cagey, and I barely speak, and when I do I talk too loud and say things I shouldn't...

But I love you, and I left the house despite trying to talk myself out of it, and I'm saying things I'm saying things I'd never say, even if they are kinda not to your face... The point is, I'm trying, but I need your help; I'm broken, and I won't get fixed on my own. Treating me this way isn't helping. That's... all I have to say...

Friday, December 23, 2011

The Story

Alright, so you’ll notice this Friday there was no edit of Cathrin’s story… that’s cause I’m going to start editing her one from her contest that I reviewed. You should read it, it isn’t terrible... That is, it isn't as terrible as her other book.

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

The Review

So Cathrin decided to enter a contest at a place called Author Stand; well, since it was free, I downloaded her short story and read it… It… it had potential, so I left a review. A few days later on her blog, Cathrin mentions the review I left and talks about how I hate her and go out of my way to try to hurt her; she also mentions out fight in February and talks about how I spread lies and when she told the “truth” about me I got mad. Okay, for one: I stopped when she finally told me to. And for two: her “truth” was that I was insane and my dad kicked me out.

Me? Insane? Ms. Spirit-Babies, you set the bar far too high for me to ever cross it. As for my dad kicking me out, I left because his Girl-Fiend clawed up the entire left side of my face in a fight.

Review Frustration

To be honest, frustration is an understatement. Yesterday, well this morning really, I got an e-mail sayging (saying) that my story on authorstand got a review. Naturally(,) I looked thinking it was one of you who had left the comment.(;) I was wrong. I had a very nasty comment, which I wouldn't have minded to(too) much if I didn't know who had left it. You see(,) the girl who left the comment used to be my friend, and the comment she left made me feel like she was attacking me personally(,) rather then(than) the actual story. She has had an issue with me for a while. I had never done anything to her(;) she started spreading lies about me, and when asked I said the truth about her and (no and, just comma) she got even more angry. I don't know what I did to start it(,) but now I feel like it's gone to far.

You can follow this link and scroll down the(to) the review section to see the review. You can see it with out(without) being a member(;) you only need to be a member to read, rate, and review it.

Thanks for listening
~Cathrin
 And just so you don't have to go looking for it, here's my "nasty" comment; oh, by the way, the mods of authorstand have to approve your review before it goes up. Know what that means? They wouldn't post it up if they didn't think it was a good review.

Obviously Written By A Twelve Year Old (... What? I had no other way to explain that the style was simplistic...)
 
This was... terrible, to be honest. It showed some potential, perhaps, if it had been written by another author. I mean, a kingdom where only women are allowed to rule and the people are apparently telepathic and can, form (from... What? I can edit myself...) what I inferred from something read, teleport anywhere in the world? Yet none of that is explored at all. In all five pages the only thing that happens is that a twelve year old boy worries he might not be able to be king. That's it. Nothing else. There are run on sentences, awkward grammar, and a complete lack of plot... If it wasn't free I'd say it's not worth it all.

Also, I'm completely confused as to what time period this takes place in. There's still a monarchy with absolute power reigning, but there's talk about American presidents?

There was a lot of hidden potential in this story, it just... it needs to have a better writer to bring it out.

Friday, December 16, 2011

Chapter One: Positive (Part 2 of 2)

And now for the exciting conclusion of chapter one of Cathrin Kushman's "novel" In The Presence of Hope!

This is part of a "Learn By Fail" series I'll be doing once a week in which I attempt to edit and fact check her book in an effort to teach others how to write, it's also because... well, because she's insane and frustrating and I need this!
Dougal nudged me slightly and I realized that I had fallen asleep. (Nice way to timeskip... No, it's not, it just gets rid of time that could've been used on character development.) “Your mother is here”, he said to me, quietly helping me get up (Speaking to you is being quiet?) and carrying my things for me. (;) He truly was an amazing man. I looked at the car that had just pulled up, my mother jumped out as soon as she had the car in park and came over to us. (She's sure in a rush, the next scene just confirms this.)

“Rissa,” (How do you get Rissa out of the word Anarsa? I could understand Anna, or even Narsy, but Rissa?) she said and wrapped me in her arms, “how are you feeling? Better? Worse?” (Okay, just because some authors don't think you should capatilize the he or she after quotations doesn't mean you do the same thing in quotations when continuing the quote...) she asked me as she took my things from Dougal. “Thank you Doug,” she said using her personal nickname for him that both of us hated. (Both of us, who? Her and her mom? Her and Dougal? Also, with a name like Dougal I'm sure the mom isn't the only one who's ever used it. A personal nickname is something only that person calls you, like when Lulu calls me "Kitness". I sometimes joke and say "I'm the Kitness", but no one else does.) “You are such a good guy, I’m glad she’s dating you and not some jerky jock.” Well at least she was trying to give him a complement, (No comma needed.) and trying to show that it made her happy that he was looking after me. (New paragraph!) Trying was the keyword. My mother was still getting used to me being heterosexual, (Okay, if I didn't know her mom was lesbian in this story, this would confuse me. It still doesn't make sense: heterosexuality is the society norm, and just because you're raised with two homosexual or heterosexual parents doesn't mean you turn out the same way. Her mom should've been expecting it; sure her daughter would understand better than most that you don't choose love, but still...) and her discomfort around men always showed around Dougal, and any other boy I had dated. (... Her mom should've been expecting it, apparently she's been dating boys for awhile.) “Your mom is worried about you, she’s home to stay for the day(.) I’ve got to go back to work, I would stay home with you(,) but I have a horrible deadline tonight that I’m not ready for,(;) but mom will take good care of you as always.” (Okay, two uses of the word mom from the mom talking... I understand she has two moms... but this is something that needs to be fixed. Wouldn't they be confused? Why isn't one "mom" and the other "momma"? Can someone help me out here?) She said and gave me another hug and ushered me to the car. “Bye Dougal,” She said to him as she got into the car and I waved at him as my mother drove me home. (Way to rush through sentences without fleshing them out...)

“You’re sure you’re going to be okay?” my (... Should I go through and mark that all of these need to be capitalized?) mother asked after I was tucked under blankets in the living room on the couch, fretting over me,(;) I assumed this was normal as I was her only child. (Another lovely time skip!)

“She is fine, Joy, (; or .) I won’t let anything happen to her and I’ll be right here with her.” My mom said to her, well my other mother (Told you it was confusing.), (; or .) Joy was my biological mother, my other mother is Cassy. The two of them are the only parents that I had ever known, (; or .) I had not realized that people did not have two moms(,) that they had one mom and one dad(,) until I started kindergarten. I was not Cassy’s only child(;), she had a son from before she met my mom, a long while before. When Cassy was sixteen she had been raped and had gotten pregnant(Okay, this makes me wince... it also makes me wonder how well this fact is known in the family. You don't just go around telling your children that you were raped and you never wanted them.), she had given birth to a son who was named Michael. Michael is my only sibling(,) but with him being sixteen years older (Wait... Hold on, math time... If Cassy was sixteen years old when she got pregnant, then sixteen years later they had a kid who is nearly sixteen years old now... Also, notice the repeating number, then Cassy is forty-eight now!) than me(,) I only ever saw him and his boyfriend (Oh, no wonder her one mom was worried she wasn't homosexual as well; she seemed to think it really does run in the family... Thank you for making it harder for the homosexuals to fit into society with your misinformation!) on the holidays, (; or .) well he would come to help me with makeup for homecoming and such (That made me flinch... Seriously, gay men have other talents and not all of them are awesome at make up, or, and a , here) but other than that I never saw him, James, or their three adoptive children. (It's okay when your brother adopts, but not you?)

( When I first read this I screamed "fact check" to myself, as a result, I have two little rants that need to go here... She named her character Anarsa, after a Hindu pastry, but she has her two moms with normal names, and her older brother with a normal name. It would make sense if she had this name because she's part Indian, but she is clearly a white girl... Why the strange name? Honestly: do not make your character have a funny name just so they're a special little snowflake. If they have an odd name, address it, because I guarantee someone made fun of them growing up and it's a sensitive issue.

And while we're on the subject of sensitive issues...: Adoption societies are strict, very very strict, about who they let adopt from them.You have to have a stable household, a steady income, be healthy, mentally and physically, and a lot of states don't let gay people adopt, and even if they do a lot of people are unreasonably biased towards them. I know it's not fair, but it's true. Not to mention it's apparently a known fact that Micheal was the child of a rape, he would've grown up knowing this, he probably would've acted out, needed counseling to get past it... The adoption society would have seen this on record and held it against him; also, they rarely adopt to single parents.)

My mothers looked at each other, having one of their silent conversation moments that they often had. Then my mom leaned down, kissed my forehead, and headed to the door(,) reminding me of all the times she had done that when I was a kid. (So she stares at your other mom, kisses you, and leaves, and says nothing? She does this often enough you remember your mom just kissing your forehead and leaving you without a "good-bye" or "I love you?" Also, you should say which mom... and why use their names? Seriously, pick: mom, momma, or real names.) Cassy sat on the couch where there was space for her(,) smiled at me(,) and brushed my hair out of my face. “Is there anything you want me to get you? A soda to calm your stomach?” she asked quietly. (In my family, Coke was remedy to stomach ailments.)
“Saltines(,)” I said quietly in response “and maybe some of the orange carrot juice (Thank you for letting me know what color carrot juice is; no, seriously, thank you. I would've been wondering if it had been made of yellow or purple carrots. Also, saying "the orange carrot juice" implies she really did want it instead of, perhaps, "the white carrot juice".),(;) I think that will make me feel better.” I rolled over as Cassy stood up and kissed my forehead(,) then headed into the kitchen. (Wait... she rolled over as she was standing and kissing your forehead at the same time...? Were you avoiding the kiss for some reason?) I closed my eyes and began to think again. Seeing Cassy made me wonder how she had done it, how had she decided to not only continue the pregnancy but to actually keep the baby. I could never keep the baby I conceived through rape. I was not (... Conjunctions are your best friend, use them.) even sure I was going to keep the baby that I conceived through love. (You conceived it through love, but abortion is your option ahead of adoption? Abortion is a tough issue, and I understand both sides of the argument, but still...) So how did she do it? (She's a stronger woman than you? You said she was sixteen, right? Apparently she did well enough to raise her son on her own so he grew up to be successful enough that even though he's unmarried he could convince and adoption agency to give him not just one but three kids.) I opened my eyes with a start as Cassy placed her hand on my shoulder (This is how you fall asleep thinking.) . I looked up at her, her brown eyes looking concerned, my drink and saltines in her hand. “Thanks mom,” I said sitting up and taking the stuff (Such a descriptive word...) from her.

“You’re welcome sweetie.” She said with a smile.

“Hey mom?” I said(,) and she tilted her head to the side(,) which was her way of saying ‘yes?’ (Like a puppy? Most people go "hmm?" when they do that.) “How come you didn’t get an abortion when you were pregnant with Michael,(?) I was thinking about it and I was just wondering how you not only didn’t get an abortion but didn’t give him up for adoption either; I don’t think I could have done either.” (Wait, she just said she couldn't have either not gotten an abortion or not adopted... Also, I told you it was common knowledge in this household that Cassy had been raped. Micheal grew up and was raised with the knowledge that his father had forced himself on his mother.)

Cassy looked at me for another few moments(,) then sat down on the couch with me again(,) brushing her very short brown hair behind her ear.(See, this is how you describe people: little bits and pieces at a time, unless they make a dramatic entrance and the character is shocked by their looks.) “What brought this up?” she asked, “It never seemed to interest you before now.” (Of course it didn't; what fourteen year old wants to know something like this?)

“In class we were talking about abortion(,) and I remembered that you got pregnant with Michael because of rape. (Rape makes you think abortion? Well, considering that's a common pro for abortions, I understand, but still... It just reminds me about this one story Cathrin wrote where our Mythology teacher, her English teacher the year before, raped her... It was all made up of course, just a way to get a different conflict in, but still...)” I said quickly(,) beginning to wish I had not started this conversation. (I wish you hadn't either, I feel squicky now. This is a sensitive subject and should only be brought up when the person who was raped wants to talk about it...)

“Well, after it first happened I was very ashamed and would not tell anyone. My parents would have never accepted that their little girl could have been raped,(;) that only happened to other girls who were asking for it, wearing slutty clothes. (This whole part right here makes me very sad... and wish for pauses in descriptive breaks. You know: she said as she frowned, eyes dazed and unfocused as she thought back on what had happened.) And (Get rid of the and.) I knew that they would disown me because no little girl of theirs was going to be a slut. (Are they really that bad? They would disown her over rape?) So for fear of being out on the streets I didn’t say a word, (get rid of the comma) to anyone, not even my girlfriend at the time. My parents also didn’t know that I was gay,(;) they(,) being the (remove this the) upstanding members of (the) community(, also, they are The Upstanding Members of Community!) would not allow me to be gay, (;)they would have sent me somewhere that would have gotten the ‘gay’ out of me. (Personally, I'm just sad places like those exist...) So obviously, I was not very close to my parents. (Obviously.) Anyway, when about two months after I was raped I realized that I had not gotten my period yet. (... It took her two months to notice? I'd be like "eh, it's late" after two weeks, then worried after a month "do I need to see a doctor, am I sick?" then suspicious after a month and a half. She says it like one day she woke up, went to the bathroom, saw the box of tampons and went "Huh, haven't used those in a while...") This was just another thing that would kill my relationship with my parents (You mean it was still alive after having to hide your sexuality from them and having them think rape victims were sluts?) ,(;) teen pregnancy was a very horrible thing to them, (:) any sex before marriage was horrible,(; or .) so naturally I would be disowned if they found out so I went to the nearest abortion clinic and talked to one of the councilors (I think she means counselor, these words sound the same but are very different.) there, (.) it was the first time I had told anyone about the rape, and I told her that if I were to keep the baby that I was sure I was pregnant with(,) then I would have no home and no way to take care of the baby (it could've worked... you never want to overuse adjectives or nouns, imagine if every he and she were the person's name.) . I had always been taught that abortion was wrong, that it was murder(,) but here I was sixteen and pregnant,(;) and what was I going to do? Raise the baby on the street?

“After talking for a while(,) she told me to keep thinking about what I wanted to do. She knew I wasn’t sure that I wanted to get the abortion. (;) I wasn’t sure about it because I knew that I would probably never get pregnant again,(.) I had already known that I was gay(, also... it always seems odd to use gay for lesbians...) and had dated several girls at my school(,) and I knew that one day I would want to be a mother(;) and (but would work instead) I didn’t see a way to do that. Obviously Adoption was not (hadn't would work instead, and sound better) occurring (occured, this happened in the past) to me in any way, shape, or form,(; or .) I wasn’t thinking (I want to replace this with considering) that later in life I could adopt(,) or that maybe I could give the baby up. But again most of all of(pick one, most of or all of) this runs (comes would work better) back to how I had been raised.

“So for several days I sat at home thinking about what I wanted, (;)did I want to throw away my only chance at having a baby?(get rid of the ? put a comma, and keep on trucking.) Or was I willing to find a way to be a mother to my child? In the end I decided to keep the baby,(; or .) I knew that my parents would kick me out(, also, they are the worst parents in the world.) so I just left one night and left them a note. I found a church and they got me in a home (I flinched, I know I did. I lived in one of these homes, there's basically only one in the area where Cathrin lives, and it's the same one I lived at. They're an orphanage which also helps teen moms and homeless teenagers; they are also zealously religious and I got in severe trouble just for hugging a friend of mine. A girl there wound up pregnant... you don't want to know how they treated her.) with people who helped me though my pregnancy and helped me stay in school after high school. If it wasn’t for them I would never have met you’re (your, otherwise this is: I would never have met you are mother) mother, (and) I never would have gone to college.” She smiled at me. “Abortion is a very controversial thing(,) Rissa, but when it comes down to it, it is that person’s decision.” She kissed my four head. (You wrote forehead twice and slip up now? Also, are both of these moms interchangeable? They seem to have the same habits and "personal nicknames".)

“Thanks mom,” I said to her(.) and (get rid of the and, I) watched her walk over to her laptop(,) which was sitting on the loveseat on the other side of the room. (I want more of this sentence. Is she surfing? Working?) Cassy was always a little bit more down to earth then my (other) mother (, Joy,) was, (;) a little less worrying (worried. Keep tense in mind.) about things then(than. Really, don't mix these two. Than is the difference between things, then is describing time.) mom. “Mom,” I said suddenly thinking about something. (Is this "I said, suddenly thinking about something" or "I said suddenly, thinking about something"? There is a difference.) “Couldn’t you have just done, (No comma) artificial insemination like mom (Hey mom, why aren't you like mom?) did with me? Or Invetro?” I had been convinced through artificial insemination, my moms had read through many different profiles of the ‘great’ attributes of the men (,) and decided on a sperm donor,(; or .) I had never really thought about it other then (than) when people asked me how I existed when I only had mom and my mom had never been with a man before. I knew I got my green eyes from my father and not my mother, (Actually they could have come from grandparents or a combination of genes reacting... You know what, I'm not even going to go into genetics...) my mother had blue eyes and almost platinum blond hair(,) so my hair must have came from my father too. (But your hair is blonde and blonde shades vary even in genetics... Wait, I said I'm not going into genetics... Just... No.)

Cassy looked back over at me as she opened her laptop again to begin working on her column again. (Again.) “When I was pregnant with Michael they didn’t exist, and maybe if they did I didn’t know about them.” (It's math and fact check time! First, the fact check: invetro became sensationalized in the news across the entire globe around 1978-1980 when the first couple was impregnated this way and later when the first official clinic opened, let's see... It's 2011 now, so I'll assume that's when this story takes place, minus sixteen years for Anarsa's age, and sixteen years more for Micheal's age... That is 1979, when it was in the news and everyone everywhere was talking about it. Also, most religious families, like the kind who think being gay is a sin, considered it be a crime against God; basically, it would probably be the most talked about thing in her household. Also, in the 70's the sperm bank industry and artificial insemination was commercialized, so there was no avoiding these two things. I think that about sums it up.) She answered(,) her fingers beginning to type away at her column. “Anything else Riss?”

“No(,) I think I’ve got it all covered now.” I said and (Start a new sentence here and get rid of the and.) munched on my saltines and juice. (;) I really did love this juice(,) it was one of my favorite things in the world, and so far the baby didn’t seem to mind that I was drinking it(,) which was good. (The baby shouldn't be protesting much of anything at this stage, there should be little to no nausea at all, let alone so bad that the only thing you can eat are crackers and carrot juice.) I looked down at my stomach as I munched. What am I going to do about you? (I flinched... This reminds me way too much of the pro-choice post going around from the point of view of the baby: "I love you mommy, you're so warm and happy. You talk to me. I'm sad, mommy, today daddy hit you, and you won't talk to me anymore. What's going on, mommy? I hurt, why is the doctor hurting me?" Oh gods I just made myself feel squicky...)I know Dougal would want you, he’s just that kind of guy. Am I the type of woman who would abort you? It’s not that I don’t want you, I do, it’s just that now is such a bad time,(;) I can’t support you, (get rid of comma, and) I can’t be a good mother to you, not now. I just want you to have everything and I can’t give you anything (And adoption is your second choice after abortion...?). (New paragraph!) I sighed as I finished eating my saltines and curled back up under the blankets(,) closing me(my. Are we Irish, now? Because I'm insulted if we are.) eyes. Pros of abortion: No one would ever need to know, (Oooh, I'll play this game too! Um, let's see: the child won't have to grow up in the system and be passed around from place to place feeling unwanted and unloved and end up as a broken shell of a human being. See, I can play this game, too.) Cons of abortion: guilt, possible self hatred, Dougal hating me. (Fact: most women who get an abortion say they would never do it again.) Pros of adoption: I wouldn’t be killing the baby, the baby would have good parents, I could have an open adoption. (You could see the baby again, if it was adopted by people you knew you could be part of their lives), Cons of adoption: Missing the baby, every one (everyone) would have to know, my grades would probably go down while pregnant (The baby could spend its entire life in the system and end up in an orphanage like the one I was at, also... if you're that concerned with missing the baby and the baby being happy, why even consider an abortion?). Pros of keeping the baby: Dougal wouldn’t hate me, and um Cons of keeping the baby: bad grades, having to get a job, every one (everyone) would have to know about the baby. There has got to be more then (than) those reasons for keeping the baby(,) right? If there wasn’t then there would not be so many teenage girls keeping their babies(,) would there? (Three words for you: Sixteen And Pregnant.)
That is the end of this chapter, this is no more of this chapter. What saddens me is that towards the end of the first half of this chapter it felt like she might be getting the hang of writing; I've read the other two chapters that are up, from this point on she just gave up.

Grammar lessons to remember:

Whenever you're not sure how something sounds, read it aloud to yourself; if something sounds stiff or just not right, fix it.

Conjunctions are your friend, if you wouldn't talk that way out loud, then don't write that way.

You're and your are different words, you're is you are. Say it out loud if you're not sure.

Then and than, there is a difference, mainly the difference between one meaning "and then this happened" and the other being the difference between two things, such as "I would rather eat chocolate than go to the dentist."

Also, everyone and every one is different. Everyone refers to all of a group of people, every one is saying all of one.

And as always, remember punctuation and spell check, and that only proper nouns are capitalized. See you next week for another lesson!

Friday, December 9, 2011

Chapter One: Positive (Part 1 of 2)

 This is the first chapter of the book, apparently the name of the book is In The Presence of Hope... I really wish I were in the presence of hope right now, but I have to say, after you read this, you'll feel like you're In The Absence of Hope, which is apparently the sequel to this book.


I was standing in my high school theater’s bathroom. I had picked this bathroom because I knew no one would be in here in the middle of my lunch, while the one off the lunchroom would be filled with many, many other girls and that would not be good for today; not for this. (Of course it's empty, technically it's the bathroom that's supposed to be used only by the people in the theater. How did you get in? Did the teacher let you in? Also, if a few more words were added in and this was split up, it would sound a lot better...) I was staring at the clock on my cell phone. Two minutes had passed, one more and I would look(, or;) but I was so scared to look,(. or;) what if it said what I thought it would? (This whole next part should really be another paragraph...) I was a straight A student, and not just straight A but a 4.0 student. (... Hun, a straight A student is a 4.0 GPA student, there isn't a difference. Also, this sentence so doesn't fit...) 11:05, three minutes had passed,(.) Slowly (Technically correct if it were a new sentence.) I looked away from my phone and at the test that I had placed on the bathroom sink,(; or .) I stared, what it was saying was not registering in my head, yet it was so very easy to read. (... Pregnancy tests are easy to read...? Also, she could've used a : here.) Pregnant. Clear as day. But (While according to grammar rules, starting a sentence like this is incorrect, when writing you should always write so it feels natural and easy to read, and when in first person like this is, you write in the character's voice... so I'll let this one slide.) I couldn’t be pregnant, I was not (Remember the writing in the character's voice thing? A conjunction would have done that and made it feel right, instead the 'was not' makes it feel stiff.) even sixteen yet (Fifteen year olds can't get pregnant?), and we had always been so very careful. (I feel like the following should be another paragraph too...) We had always used a condom and I was on birth control (, and) I had not missed a day,(. or ;) I was to (too) paranoid for that; (Second time she uses a semicolon and a period would work better. Also, to make this sound more... true, I guess you could say, an explanation of how she got pregnant while on birth control having never missed a day and with a condom every time would help. Like, "I was worried because it had broken and now I was two weeks late." You know... something. Sperm doesn't just magically wiggle out through the latex.) I’d had to be certain that this wouldn’t happen, (. or;) I was only fifteen and how could I be a straight A student with a baby? (Single mom's in college pull it off, and with supportive parents it's not as hard as you'd think; but at that age when you're that immature and just not ready, it can be almost impossible if you don't step up and shape up.) How could I get into veterinary school? (... Eventually? There's things called GED and online classes.)

I picked up the test and through (threw) it in the trashcan. I was sure it was wrong, that the test had somehow been defective; but then that was why I had gotten this test, the expensive early response digital test pregnancy test, (Test test test, did I mention it was a test? I used the digital test pregnancy test to test my test! Sorry... Also, : or ;) I had not wanted a wrong answer. (Most pregnancy tests have a 3% margin of error, and several things can cause false positives and false negatives. In fact, having an embryo that's already on its way out of your body can trigger a false positive. It's correct because technically there's an embryo, it's false because you won't be pregnant in a day; also, since the thought flow ends here, this could be the end of this paragraph.) I turned away and walked back to the lunchroom(,) grabbing my things (The way this sentence reads now, she grabbed her things while walking, not grabbed her things, then walked away... Also, it could be interpreted as the lunchroom is grabbing her things.), (;) it had to be wrong, it just had to be. (While I know what was wrong, you should always say if it isn't in the sentence already.) I was walking slowly, slower then I normally did(, or ;) but it just seemed so unreal. (The pregnant thing, or the walking slowly thing?) Was I really pregnant? (Thanks for clearing that up.) My hand went to my lower stomach, (;) could there really be a baby in there? And how on earth was I going to tell Dougal? (Okay, this name makes me laugh, but when she gets to descriptions a few more paragraphs down, it makes sense: Dougal in an anglicized version of a Gaelic name meaning black stranger.)

“Anarsa!” (I looked it up: anarsa is a Hindu pastry most commonly made of powdered rice soaked in water for three days.) I looked to my right and saw Dougal looking at me from where he was sitting with a couple of his friends who didn’t mind sitting with the two of us. (So glad he has friends who tolerate you.) I walked over to him realizing that I had walked passed (past, in this case; if she'd said she had passed their table while walking, it would be different.) our table. “Are you okay? You were gone for a long time,” he said quietly to me as I sat back down next to him and looked at what was left on my lunch tray.

(Not actually a part of this story...)
“I’m okay, just out of it today,” I responded as I picked up the chocolate pudding that was sitting happily on my plate. ( I liked this sentence so much, I drew a picture!) I smiled at him as I plunged my spoon into my pudding (Cute pudding, nooo!You were my friend! Seriously though, with the way she wrote it was happy, and then "smiled at him"... Was she smiling at the pudding before she murdered him? And plunged... plunged is such a violent verb for pudding eating...), (.) Dougal was the most important person to me, (:) he was my best friend(,) and if that pregnancy test had been right, then he was also the father of my baby. “I was just up late last night studying.” I said as I put the pudding in my mouth. (New paragraph!) Instantly I regretted eating it (I'd regret eating that happy pudding, too...). I jumped up and was at the nearest trashcan barfing my guts out (Don't know what's wrong with this sentence? She didn't jump up and run to the nearest trashcan, she jumped up and the nearest trashcan was already there.). All of my doubts about really being pregnant were squashed in that moment. I never threw up unless I was very, very sick(,) and sick I was not. (It could have been the pudding, most people throw up right away if something tastes bad... or screams in pain as you shove spoons into their brains and eat them...) The nausea that I had been having the past few weeks had finally boiled over. The nausea(,) plus the fact that I was three weeks late(,) was the whole reason I had taken the pregnancy test. (It takes a full week normally before an egg is considered implanted and you're officially pregnant, looking at this she could only be pregnant two weeks at most, and while morning sickness has been reported as early as three weeks, it normally starts around four or six weeks or sometimes not at all.)

I looked away from the trashcan to find that Dougal was standing beside me(,) his face filled with worry. How was I going to tell him that I was pregnant? He was not ready to be a father yet and I certainly was not ready to be a mother. “I’m okay,” I whispered and leaned against him(,) burying my face in his chest and closing my eyes.

“I don’t believe you.” Dougal said quietly to me “come on, let’s get you to the nurse so that you can go home and get better.” He wrapped an arm around me and we started walking to the nurse. I wanted to tell him that I should stay here and go to class, that it was just morning sickness(,) but I just could not. I could not tell him that I was pregnant. My mind ran through my options,(; or .) I could have the baby and Dougal and I could raise it; but what if Dougal left me? What if two years from now he were to meet someone better than me? What would I do then? I would not be able to do this on my own, I would not be able to have a job and go to school and raise a baby. (All of this makes a lot of sense... until you learn that she has two very highly supportive moms... Would they really abandon her to do that all on her own?) So maybe I would be better of (off) giving the baby up or maybe getting an abortion. I had always been pro-choice but I had never thought that it was the right option for me. But maybe abortion would be the right option for me; I had never thought I would ever get pregnant in high school(,) let alone in my sophomore year. How on earth was I going to be a 4.0 student if I had a baby? I would have to completely change the plan that I had for my life, becoming a vet would be completely out of the question, school might not even be in the question. (The wording here is awkward...)

I was pretty sure I was much to (too) selfish to give the baby up for adoption. (You don't want anyone else to have the baby, but you're willing to think about abortion? Because that makes so much sense: if I can't have the baby, no one can.) And then there was Dougal (; or . or , or... I don't know, the wording is too awkward after this, the and throws it off.) and (This and has no place being here.) I knew that he would not be okay with adoption, he would rather raise the baby himself without me then to give the baby to someone else. (Wow, what's wrong with adoption? You're teenagers and you don't think you can do it on your own, but adoption is less of an option than abortion?) If I got an abortion then no one would ever have to know that I was pregnant, (. or ;) no one. I could just say I had caught some stomach flu and no one would second guess me.(;) Dougal would never have to know about the baby. But if I were to get an abortion then I could never tell Dougal, he would leave me in a heartbeat if he knew, (;) he hated abortion, hated everything about abortion. If he could erase abortion from the entire planet, he would. (Many people feel the same way.) He would never forgive me for killing his child, (; also, I fee like a because could be used here) that is how he’d always seen it, (:) as the murder of a helpless child. I had never thought of it that way, even after we had talked about our views on it.(;) But I do not want to keep that kind of a secret from him, I have never been good at keeping secrets from him and keeping something like getting an abortion would just be too much for me to keep from him.(Keep keep keep...)

The knocking on the nurse’s door brought me out of my internal ramblings, and I looked up at Dougal. (Before I start to edit this part, a word to all future writers: if you post your stories on the internet I will find you and relentlessly edit them. Just joking, but seriously now; when you write a story, always put little bits of descriptions throughout, not all at once. It flows better and means you won't have blocks of meaningless prose devoted to descriptions.) He was a few years older than me. (How old? If she'd connected this sentence and the next, it would've felt better.) He was a senior and had just turned eighteen yesterday. (And we aren't celebrating his birthday, why?) His eyes were brown, his hair was a dark brown(,) and he was about six feet and six inches tall; he was(,) to say simply(,) tall(,) dark and handsome.(Pfft, cliche alert! Also, as I said earlier, the name Dougal means black stranger. Way to pick a name!) I (,) on the other hand(,) had dark blond hair and green eyes(,) and was only about five feet and five inches tall (By the way, in the real world she's close to 6' and he's shorter and reminds us (my siblings and I) of a middle-aged policeman). Everyone said we made a cute couple(,) though I always felt like a dwarf in his presence(;) and when we first met he had intimidated me,(.) it had taken a while for me to realize that he was one of, if not the(,) sweetest guy(s) I had met. (New paragraph!) The door opened and I was again ripped from my internal ramblings. (She spends too much time in her head.) “Yes?” she asked looking between the two of us.

“Anarsa just got sick in the lunchroom,” Dougal said before I could move my thoughts from him and the pregnancy to explain why Dougal thought I should be seeing the nurse.

She sighed and looked at me “did you really?” she asked raising an eyebrow and (And not needed, could've just ended that sentence...) I nodded “do I need to get a janitor to clean it up? Or is there already one doing it?

“No, I made it to a trashcan.” I said quietly. I had never gone home sick before, well at least not since I’d started high school (. or;) I would tough it out and be (Stay would sound better) at school so that I wouldn’t miss anything and wouldn’t get behind. But since I wasn’t ready to explain to Dougal or the nurse why it wasn’t something to worry about(,) I was just going to (have to) accept that I was going (coming would sound better) home from school today and getting some rest,(; or .) which honestly sounded really good as I was very tired from my very late study session the night before and the shock of getting the positive pregnancy test seemed to have taken the last of the energy that I had out of me. (Are you tired from the study session and the shock, or were you already tired and then the test shocked the rest of your energy away? Punctuation, hon, even I don't know which one makes more sense here.)

“Alright,” the nurse said and walked back into her office(,) leaving the door open for Dougal and I to follow her in. Dougal(,) being the gentleman that he was(,) pulled out the chair in front of her for me. “What is your mother’s number?” she asked me(,) picking up the phone and hitting nine and (and not needed, another comma would've worked...) waiting for me to relay the number to her.

“960-480-1458” (Whoa whoa whoa whoa whoa... Never, ever, ever, give out your real number on the internet. While I don't know if this is hers or not, or belongs to someone she knows, I know this is her area code...) I answered(,) and she dialed (Dialed what? Always put this, even if it seems obvious...) then handed the phone to me as it started ringing. This was one time I did wish that the nurse would talk to my mom and not me, I did not want to lie to her(,) but I wasn’t ready to tell Dougal(,) let along my mother(,) and I felt that Dougal really should know about the baby first. (How quickly she goes from "might be pregnant" to calling it "the baby".)

“Hello?” My mother said. (Well, asked... but most writers do things like this...)

“Hey mom, it’s me, (.) I’m in the nurses office because I got sick,”

“Oh Rissa, I’ll be there in half an hour,” she said using her personal nickname for me. (What? No "Oh, sweetie, are you alright?" Where's the dialog and the realistic characters?)

“Okay; thanks mom.” I said quietly.

“I love you Rissa.”

“I love you too mom, bye.”

“Bye.” she said and hung up.

I handed the phone back to the nurse. “She said she’ll be here in about half an hour.” The nurse nodded and said something that I was paying no attention too (to. Also, nice way to skip out having to flesh out your story and characters). I knew my mother would assume that it was just a stomach flu(,) but I wasn’t sure what she would do when it didn’t go away in the next couple days. (I don't know about you, but stomach bugs sometimes have lasting effects for weeks... Bloated belly, food not sitting well...) Dougal gently took my hand and we left headed back to the cafeteria for my things,(.) As we passed the theater my mind went back to the pregnancy test and I suddenly really wanted to have that test with me. (... There are so many things wrong with that... You want to carry around something you peed on? If I didn't know she hadn't done this in the real world, I'd say no one would be this nuts.) “Honey,” I said as I stopped walking. “I’m going to go to the bathroom in here,” I said pointing to the theater door, “Could you get my stuff and meet me back here, I’ll probably be a while.” (?)

“Sure,” Dougal said and gave me a hug before he went to get my things from the lunchroom. I turned and went back into the theater bathroom and looked in the trashcan,(;) the test was there on top of all the other trash, just as I had left it. I picked it back up and looked at it. (Ew... holding something she peed on...) Pregnant. (Fact: sometimes if a pregnancy test sits for a while, it gives false readings, the same goes for if it's checked too early!) Was what the little digital readout said to me (She needed to combine that pregnant with this sentence for it to read better.), but seeing it again now didn’t make it sink in any more or (make it) any more believable then the first time. My hand went slowly to my stomach and I looked in the mirror. What would I look like nine months from now if I decided to keep the baby and not get an abortion? Would I be like some women who never really got big or would I be like the women who look like they were having triplets when they were only having one; or somewhere in-between? 

“Anarsa,” Dougal’s voice said through the door, “You okay in there?” he asked.

“Yeah, I’m fine,” I said(,) putting the test in my pants pocket (Her pee is now in her pocket...) and opening the door,(.) I smiled weakly at him and he just encased me in his arms. “I’m fine Dougal,” I said quietly.

He looked down at me as I looked up at him “I know you better then that, I know you are tired, and sick, and I know that something is not fine (Alright would work better...) with you. You can talk to me An, you know you can.”

“I know, I’ll talk to you about it some other time,(;) are you coming with me to wait for my mom?” (And skip class since they were at lunch when all this happened and she's going to be sitting around for thirty minutes?) I asked(,) changing the subject as I knew that I would just start telling him all about the baby if I didn’t(;) and I didn’t want him to know yet, not when I didn’t know what I was going to do.

“Yes, of course I am.” He said to me, giving me a tight squeeze. We walked back to the lunchroom and then out onto the benches in front of the school. “Just remember to talk to me when you are ready, I hate when there is something that’s bothering you.”

I smiled slightly at him and rested my head on his chest. He was always so very sweet. He really did care about me and that was something that I really did love about him. (Really?) I was glad that he was the father of my baby, (As opposed to...? And seriously, by calling it a baby at this stage, you're making it impossible for adoption or abortion to be options.) I was sure that he would be a great dad, that is, if I kept the baby. And if I was going to get an abortion(,) the sooner I got one the better it would be(,) for me at least,(; also, but) it would still destroy my relationship with Dougal and I really did not want to do that. I wanted us to be together forever(,) as lame as that sounds(, and it does sound lame, and sappy) and if I did keep the baby I knew he would step up, or at least I was pretty sure he would. (You can never be sure of men... And new paragraph!) I closed my eyes as I rested my head against Dougal, (;) abortion was my best option(,) but how would I really be able to do it? (Seriously... Abortion is better than adoption?!) I couldn’t drive, and I couldn’t have my mother take me. (You don't know about buses? You don't have friends you could trick into dropping you off near the building?) She would never go for that.(You might be surprised, most moms would be opposed to their little girls having to raise children, she might just, oh, I don't know: suggest adoption.) Dougal would never take me, not with his views on abortion, so how would I even be able to get the abortion? Maybe Adoption was better(,) but then I would have to tell everyone, and I would let my mother down so much.(Of course you would, having sex at the age of fifteen with an eighteen year old. That's illegal you know.)

The exciting conclusion to chapter one... at some later date!

Grammar rules to live by: too many to get into, all I can really say is punctuation, capitalization, an understanding of the English language, and a bonus rule called Fact Check.

Also, past and passed. You use passed when you're moving, but don't have a verb describing how you were moving, such as "I had passed the table" and you use past when you have a verb, "I walked past the table."

Also, a rule for aspiring writers: When writing in first person, always write as the character that things are being seen from; in fact, most of the time when writing from 3rd person you should pick a character in that scene whose views are painting the imagery.

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

And She Does It AGAIN Ladies And Gentlemen! Part One In An Epic Series On How To Write A Book!

Alright, when you sit down to write a book, there are a lot of things you have to have in mind when you begin, a lot of things other than just a basic grasp of the English language; you need to have a feel for your audience, lure them in with a catch hook.. The following is how NOT to write a book.

"Blogging: A school project that blossomed into something more"

(Ah, so I see we're already off to a great start! That is so not a title that leads me to believe that the entire following post will be based off of something you had to do in class; I so didn't get confused when the About Me popped up.)
So this is the first "post" that I wrote for the book I started a couple days ago that is titled "Blogging: A school project that blossomed into something more" (for now at least). I'm not really set on how I'm going to do the date and time thing yet, and I'm not sure if I want to have the title be above or below the date/time, but eventually I'll figure it out. This is basically all I have of the book so far and it is about a page in length. (A fake blog is a book...? You do know most publishers won't take anything that's been published on the internet, right...?)

August 25th 2012 6:15pm (Pffft, silly Kit! You should've known this wasn't her just blogging from the get-go! It's in the future!)

About Me; Part One? Maybe? (I don't know?)

Life is funny thing; you think that one thing will happen(, and for added bonus of flowing better, add an and) then something totally different happens. Like today, (The comma works sort of, but you could easily go with a ; here, or a : As in the following is an example of something that happens you didn't expect.) I was assigned to do this blog all year long for my English class. I’m not sure what all there is to write about,(; because you're beginning a new thought) I am the quiet person who doesn’t really insert herself (Since you're talking about neutral gendered people who don't like to talk in an effort to describe yourself, use themselves. Say it aloud. Herself sounds funny...) in conversations, I (like to) keep things to myself. This is probably one of my down falls as none of my relationships have lasted very long.

Anyway, my teacher wants us to go over our pasts for at least a while in these blogs.(Combine these two sentences, they don't need to be separated.) But first I think that what I need to do is introduce myself. I am Leah, (This could sound a lot better if it was just changed to "My name is", and it would look and flow better.) Leah Myrna O'Reilly-Matthews, (and) I am (conjunctions are your best friends, people) nineteen years old and (Remove that and as it's unneeded, give yourself a ;) I am in my second year of college, (No comma, and) my major is still in the air (End the sentence there.) I have (Get rid of that part and changed it to, There are) so many things that I would like to do its (that) picking what I want to do forever that (Remove the that) is the hard part.

The reason for my ("I have" would be a better way to start the sentence.) two last names is because when I was sixteen I was adopted, (No comma.) by an amazing couple named Laura and Pamela (... Okay, the first chapter of her other book isn't up yet, but I'd like to say... She seems to be on a "I have two mommys" kick. Nothing wrong with it, but I just can't help but see the theme...) ,(;) when they adopted me they wanted to change my last name to their last name, Matthews, but I wanted to keep my last name (because) it was one of the only things I had (left) of my parents. I say one of because I do have a photo album of me and my parents,(;) I used to have more things, that (but instead of that) I lost slowly (reverse these two and put a those) though all of the foster homes that I had (have) been though. The thing I remember most that I lost was a locket that my parents had given me the day of the accident.(;) But the locket wasn’t really lost(,) it was stolen,(;) but that is not something I am going to talk to the world about(,) not today at least.

The accident is how I became an orphan. (Really? With an ominous title like The Accident, I thought it was just the day you wet yourself at school.) My parents(,) Myrna (... Your mom gave you her first name as your middle name...?) and Drummond O’Reilly(,) were Irish (Awesome, thanks, make me regret being Irish...) immigrants, (remove the comma...) who moved over(here instead of over, because over means they moved slowly from Ireland to America over several years...) several years before I was born. So when my parents’ BMW was crushed between one of those Toyota heavy-duty trucks and an eighteen-wheeler (... Yeah...? So when it was crushed, then what happened? Ideally this should be changed to remove the "so when", and then this sentence combined with the next.). The back bumper of the eighteen-wheeler went through the front windshield of their car and they died instantly(,) or at least that is what I was told. I didn’t have any other family, not in the states at least(,) so I was placed into foster care (Wait... what? You always go to your closest family member, no matter where they live, and if something happened and you didn't it's because they didn't want you and gave up the rights. If they wanted you they would've gotten custody.) (End the sentence and make this a new one.) and since I was four and people don’t want to adopt a child that old. (... And since you you were four, what...? Also, are you nuts?! Not adopting a four year old because that's "too old"? Four year olds are ripe for adopting: they're past the terrible twos, fully into their cuteness, and you don't have to wake up all hours of the night changing their diapers.)

(Take the last sentence of that last paragraph and stick it to this one... Though it still doesn't make a lick of sense...) I bounced around from foster home to foster home tell (until) I was fifteen, when Laura and Pamela became my foster parents(,) and then adopted me. I had (have) been though a lot in foster care, (No comma.) and I am very happy with who my parents are now. I’ll talk more about the foster care thing some other day (I can't wait for this! She's going to make me fact check everything!), right now I have homework to do and my roommate hates it when I stay up past midnight with the lights on as(when) she has classes early in the morning. (... So you just don't care if you keep her awake?)

~Leah O’Reilly-Matthews

After you write something you should read it aloud to yourself to find out if you wrote anything awkward; also, be careful of tense changes. Would you tell someone, "Yeah, I had been through a lot." or "Yeah, I've been through a lot." ?

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