Shinigami vs Death God

As I’m editing my work I’m running across more and more instances where I use the romanized Japanese word for something that I could easily translate to English. It’s not something that happens 100% of the time as I am not fluent in Japanese and I have only just started my lessons to learn the language.

As an avid Anime watcher and Manga reader I prefer to watch things in original Japanese with subtitles and I prefer the companies that keep the honourifics and various other words without trying to translate them into English as that can make the word loose it’s meaning. (e.g. kami means god, or goddess or godlike. It doesn’t necessarily refer to God and depending on the translation, it can be misinterpreted).

I’ve kept the romanized form of some words just because I only know them in Japanese and I don’t know how to translate it to English. I don’t think this is necessarily a bad thing as the context surrounding said words makes it very clear what I am referring to. I’ve had friends that are not as big into Japan as I am read my work, or those few sentences, to see if they can glean the meaning. Usually, they can. When they can’t, it’s because I haven’t given them a bigger sample.

For those of you who may write with peppered bits of other languages in your works, do you feel this adds to, or takes away from what you’re writing?

I’m hoping it adds to. When I read Street of a Thousand Blossoms by Gail Tsukiyama she used the romanized form of many Japanese words. And I appreciated that so much more than a 100% English text. I feel as though it gives something a little extra.

Hopefully my work will do the same.

Posted by Sarah Jayne in My Book Stuff, 0 comments

GAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAH!!!

So I’m a terrible, horrible, irredeemable person.

I missed my self-imposed deadline of editing the first run by…..yesterday.

I’ve only edited up to page 105 I think. The page numbers are different on my tablet than they are on the actual lap top.

No! No! NO! *stomps foot on ground*

Sooooo bad.

But! That’s okay. Why? Because I’m still on my way to be published in April. I will just be delayed in putting any samples up.

Sorry!!

But I really am working hard at it. It’s slightly difficult to be able to delegate the time when you have a full time day job, a family, and interests outside of writing.

I’m a bad bad girl 🙁 Please forgive me! 🙂 I’ll try to forgive myself 😛

Posted by Sarah Jayne in My Book Stuff, Rantings, 3 comments

The Battle Rages On

I’ve been talking with some non-American writers to get their feedback between publishing with KDP or Smashwords. Since we aren’t American’s there are a lot of extra things to do in terms of tax information etc in order to make sure we’re doing everything right.

So far, KDP is winning…….

The war isn’t over yet, though, folks!

Posted by Sarah Jayne in My Book Stuff, 0 comments

MOOC's

So I started doing some free online courses through coursera.org.

These are classified as MOOC’s – Massive Open Online Class/Course.

Right now I’m taking a course through the University of Toronto called: Aboriginal Worldviews and Education.

The reason I wanted to take this course, nay, take a course on this topic for a very long time is because I am absolutely ignorant. It’s not something I’m proud of, especially because I am older now and I have gone to University. But I don’t know anything about Aboriginal People and I live in Canada where there is a large population of Aboriginals.

I started getting more and more interested in that particular part of my country’s history with my current job. I came in more contact with Aboriginal people than I ever have and sometimes, when they were trying to make me understand where they were coming from and why they saw things the way they did, I couldn’t really understand. Hell, my goddamn school has a whole ROOM for Aboriginal students. We also have a Prayer Room, but I digress.

I was able to go into the room earlier this month and it’s beautiful. Growing up my mother would sometimes be mistaken for Aboriginal when she is actually from India. With her dark hair and her complexion, she could pass for one and she used that to her full advantage, I am ashamed to say.

When I was in public school, we were not taught about Aboriginal history. Not really. I vaguely remember touching BRIEFLY on the subject in high school, but that is all. In the county where I grew up there was a high school that was on the edge of the local reserve so both Aboriginal student’s and ‘white’ students attended. It was notorious for having fights and stabbings. I don’t know how much of that was true or not as I didn’t attend there and I don’t know anyone who personally went there. This was also in the early to mid nineties in the middle of rural Ontario where tolerance and acceptance was maybe not high on the list of values taught to children.

So when I heard about this course I really wanted to take it so that I could finally learn about the cultures that make up my country. I find it slightly depressing that I know more about other cultures outside my country, like various Asian and Middle-Eastern cultures, but nothing of the wonderful cultures that have been in my country before Europe came.

I’m looking forward to all the things that I will learn!

Posted by Sarah Jayne in Rantings, 0 comments

Interests of days gone by

When I was younger, probably before my mid-twenties, I used to read novels all the time. I always had the most library cards filled up for school and I devoured everything I could find.

I used reading at that time as an escape from my every day life. When I hit my later teens and early twenties I found a few authors that I just couldn’t put down.

I had started reading John Saul when I was in my mid-teens as my mother had a few novels of his. I fell in love with it. I’m not even sure what it was that drew me to Mr. Saul’s work so intensely. I scoured every used bookstore and ordered through Chapters until I had every single novel he had ever published lined up on my bookshelf in chronological order.

Unfortunately, in my late twenties, I lost all of my books. All of my novels, my manga, my textbooks I had kept from University, other educational literature I had enjoyed. I’ve never been able to get back into novels since then.

Two authors I really enjoyed in the Fantasy genre and who have inspired me a lot in my writing, even just the desire to BE a writer, are Guy Gavriel Kay and Neil Gaiman. For Mr. Kay, I first found the Fionavar Tapestry. The fact that it began in a place I was familiar with, CANADA, made it that much more appealing. And he is a Canadian author! YAY! Nothing like supporting my own country’s talent! My ultimate favourite novel by him was Tigana. I LOVED THE HELL OUT OF THAT BOOK. The cover was so beat up and the pages were worn. I never dog-ear them though. But you could tell they had been loved. Unfortunately, those books are gone as well and my mind doesn’t remember all of the story any more. I just know that I loved it. For Mr. Gaiman, my boyfriend at the time read American Gods. I picked it up when he was done with it and was consumed. What an amazing take!

I followed that up with Neverwhere and then Stardust. I have the Coraline movie and I used to own a collection of his short stories.

These two, are also gone into the great black void.

While it pains me to think of these lost pieces of literature I know I can always replace them. It won’t be the same, worn out, over-loved copy that I had read multiple times, but I can just as easily turn them back into that.

I can only hope that I can be considered even 1/16th as great as any of these men. The wonders of twitter have allowed me to follow both Mr Gaiman and Mr Kay so I’m feeling that much more honoured to be in cyberspace contact with them.

Well, back to editing. I can’t even dream of being in the same genre as either of them if I don’t publish my work!

Posted by Sarah Jayne in My Book Stuff, Rantings, 0 comments

Editing HELL

So I took a bit of a break from editing this weekend and spent my time playing video games until I was blue in the face. Video game of choice right now: Tales of Vesperia. The English dub is killing me in certain spots, but that’s alright. Since I can’t get it in the original Japanese with English sub I’ll suffer away until I learn the language properly and THEN I’ll just import the games directly from Japan.

While I was playing my game and I was in the middle of a battle I heard a character yell: “Cover me while I’m casting!” which surprised me. I don’t think I’ve ever paid that much attention before and it made me wonder, if it were real life and magic existed, would people really yell this?

And the answer I came to is: probably.

I mean, why not? How many times do you read in stories or see on television or in movies characters who yell to their comrades in battle to cover them while they do ‘x’ and to cover them while they do ‘y’.

I think I may implement this in my current story. There is a fight scene coming up that I am wholly unhappy with. I wrote it four years ago and didn’t touch it because I just didn’t know what to do to make it better, to make it more realistic.

Depending on what happens, because I can’t remember exactly anymore, I may throw some verbal give and take in there. Might make it more realistic.

But we’ll see. I need to make my way there first!

Posted by Sarah Jayne in My Book Stuff, 0 comments

Smashwords vs KDP

Okay, so as I toil away in editing hell, I’m still torn between these two publishing companies.

Smashwords seems really easy to use, there is a lot of support and guidelines. A few people I have come into contact through this process of whoring myself EVERYTHING (although I’ve met most of them on the twitter) have used or are planning to use Smashwords.

KDP(Kindle Direct Publishing for those who aren’t sure what the hell I’m talking about), once they finally got back to me, also has a lot of support, the FAQs are easy to read and now that I have everything clarified I know exactly what I can and can’t do.

Part of my issue: I’m Canadian. So this means I’m a foreign writer to these two places. Both have made it seem very easy for foreigners like myself to get set up. The tax information is very comprehensive and I SUCK at anything involving numbers so that means a lot.

I’m looking for feedback from other Canadian or non-USA writers that have used these two services to get some idea of what their experiences have been like.

If you could please either comment on this post or e-mail me directly that would be kick-ass! If you want to just read and ignore the question, I suppose that’s cool too. Can’t really stop you.

Just remember, that by doing so, you are making a grown woman cry *sniff*

For shame……….

Posted by Sarah Jayne in My Book Stuff, 2 comments

Editing Woes

One of the major problems I face as I try to become a more ‘professional’ writer and get ready to put my work out there in the big wide world is editing.

I HATE EDITING.

It’s one of the major reasons I would lose points on papers I wrote in school because once I write something, I’m absolutely exhausted from it and I don’t ever want to look at it again.

That’s why it’s taken me 4 years to look at Black & Red and work on editing it. I wrote it in such a flurry and with such passion that I couldn’t touch it again.

Now that I’m working through it again and attempting to dress it up and trim off the useless parts and expand on the parts I glossed over I’m finding how tiring it is.

This is also because I don’t have REAL TIME to work on it. I get up, I get ready, I take my kid to the day home, I drive to work, I work all day, I pick up my kid, I come home and I am deflated. I barely edit during the week when I get home. Most of my editing is done during lunch time at my day job. Not the most ideal situation, but at least I have the proper tools to do it.

(On a side note, don’t EVER use Polaris Office if you want to keep your formatting….I learned this the hard way. Not cool, bro).

It’s hard to have my personal work available at my day job because at times when it’s slow, all I want to do is bring out my story and just devote myself to it. Which would most likely get me in HUGE trouble.

So I don’t.

But I waaaaaaaaaaaaaaaant to!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Anyway, I actually rolled in to the office way earlier than normal (hey, 10 minutes early is still 10 minutes) so I can justify working away for half an hour.

Another thing about editing: trying not to change a lot of what’s there or adding on things that don’t need to be there. This is why I plan on doing 2 edits before I put my work out there.

Now if only I could decide on who I’m going to publish with………

Posted by Sarah Jayne in My Book Stuff, 0 comments

Inspiration

So a song just came on my iPod that made me think of this topic. It’s called “Spirit Inspiration” by Nothing’s Carved in Stone. The song is the opening theme from the anime Blast of Tempest and I’m not sure if the band that sings it is J-Rock or not as the entire song is in English and I haven’t had time to look them up.

I digress….

When I heard the song it made me think of where I get the inspiration for my stories from. I have touched on this before, but now I want to go more in-depth.

My inspiration definitely comes partially from video games. I learned this as I was playing Tales of Vesperia this weekend. Man, I love RPG’s. I love games where you can swing a sword around and learn special attacks and use magic and you’ve got this quest to go out there in that ‘world’ and find something or someone. These quest-type games were a lot of the drive behind Black and Red. There’s a world, something happens in said world, and now a group of unlucky acquaintances are off to travel this world and discover the reasoning behind what happened. There is magic. There are swords. It’s awesome. Well, to ME it is.

I also get a lot of inspiration from manga, as I’ve said before. I was never that into Western comics when I was younger. That could be because I grew up relatively poor and didn’t have the money to buy comics. It could also be that since I was poor, I didn’t watch a lot of tv so I didn’t watch a lot of the cartoons that were based on the comics like Batman and Superman and the Justice League etc. I discovered these shows and comics when I was much older and my love for manga had already exploded. I read a lot of novels like those by R.L. Stine (for my age group anyway, and some Goosebumps) and I loved the horror aspect of things. That was the driving force behind a lot of my earlier stories, which I no longer have. I have the basics of them locked up in my mind, but that’s it.

Some inspiration comes from music. The beat of it, sometimes the lyrics. An amazing cross between music and anime is the movie Interstella 555 which is a full length anime movie to the music of Daft Punk’s Discovery album. No words. Just the music. It’s frigging epic and I highly recommend it if either one of those things is your cup of tea.

And then, the inspiration for the characters. A lot of that is again built upon the characters of anime and manga, but also built on the people I know. Not so much the physical features, but the attitudes and personalities. Usually the people I dislike get…done away with in my stories 🙂

I’ve always used my writing as a sort of self-therapy and it helped a lot when I was younger. My darkest stories were always written during my darkest times which would be between 13 and 23. Now that things are much better in my life, I have to find a new muse.

Hopefully it’s not hiding somewhere I can’t find 🙂

 

Posted by Sarah Jayne in My Book Stuff, 0 comments

Family Day

Here in Alberta, Canada the coming Monday is a holiday called “Family Day”. Because of this, I won’t be posting much, if anything, until Tuesday the 19th. I am going to be spending all my time with my husband and son 🙂

In the meantime I’m still editing so please look forward to a chapter release! I should be comfortable enough with the finished product to release a chapter in March.

I still need to decide who I’ll publish with….more reading of FAQs for me!

Posted by Sarah Jayne in Rantings, 0 comments
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