taking it slower

cropped-manhattan_from_weehawken_nj.jpg

Hey, guys. Hope you like my new header! I still have not uploaded my remake of “Human.” Don’t worry, it will be soon! I’ve just been pretty busy lately. I have some news, though. I’ve started a new fan fiction, this time for Doctor Who. No surprise there, I guess. I’m not sure how long it will be and I’m not going to come up with an estimate for how much time it will take me to finish it.

I realize I’ve had a lot of ambitious ideas that I’ve posted about on this blog, but life has taken me in different directions. Sometimes very chaotic and stressful directions that haven’t left much room for creative projects. I’m putting some things on the back burner, like my #NightLight blog, my Hunger Games fan fiction, etc.. I feel a bit like I’ve failed in these things, but really, I’m just waiting to continue working on them until my life’s more settled. I have no idea when that will be, but I still plan on returning to these things.

Those of you who keep up with my blog, thanks for your patience. XD If I can find the time and energy, I’m going to post about my fan fiction. Right now, I’m just trying to write the thing. And my remake of “Human” will be uploaded to YouTube soon. :)

Happy Belated March!

Well, it’s been a long week. I know it’s not over yet, but…it’s still been a long week. And by the way, happy March! I think spring is finally in the air, although that little warm pocket we got a couple days back is long gone. Still, I think the worst of the winter might be gone? And yet I can’t bring myself to get rid of my beautiful Christmas blog photo. :P

So, for those of you who are wondering what’s up with Amori, I still haven’t been able to get back into it. I did, however, get some inspiration to write a couple of scenes for it, but they’re more for the ending. It’s bad in the way that it’ll be a while before I reach that point in the story, but it’s also good because it gives me something to shoot for. And man, am I excited about how it’s gonna end. XD

I’m debating whether to share the story and how, because copyright can be an issue and material can get stolen. It’s just something that I’m thinking about for when the time comes, but since it’s a little ways off yet, I probably don’t need to worry about it. But while I’m on the subject, here’s an edit I put together for Amori:

you_didn't_see_what_i_saw

This is something she says in the story that really embodies the problems in her relationship with one of the other characters. That there’s a certain level of distrust, or resentment, really. Because there are things she’s been through that he can’t understand, but also vice versa, which allows them to have a strong relationship despite their differences.

I feel silly. Today was the first time I’ve played around with exporting a Pages document as an ePub document. In case you’re like me and have no clue what that means, I’ll tell you. If you want to be able to read your story in iBooks, and be able to change the text size, make bookmarks, etc., ePub format works. But it is restrictive – it has to be so flexible that you loose some formatting. But I’m going to be keeping it in mind for the future. :)

Oh, yeah! Forgot to mention…I got the Frozen Fever dolls in the mail the other day! So exciting. I don’t have any pictures to post at the moment, but you can check out my Instagram to see my beautiful new girl. :)

Progress on LOL + BH6 Items in the Disney Store!

Hey, peeps! I’ve been a total lazy bones about writing on Amori lately, but I’ve been cooking up some new ideas for it, and for another story I’m hoping to start after Amori is finished. So never fear! I just did a brainstorming session with my sister, and am going to be traveling back to District 13 again, before taking a trip to Scotland, possibly, for my next novel. And, that’s not literal, by the way. :P

The dolls have been working hard, though! Despite the trials in their little lives, they’ve not failed to keep posting about it on Likeness of Life! Head over there now if you’d like to catch up with the latest goings-on in the doll community! XD

Also, I must admit to stalking the Disney Store for Go Go Tomago dolls. I check the Big Hero 6 page just about every day, waiting for when I’ll be able to snatch my new favorite character. Though they haven’t gotten her in, they do have more of the plush toys, Funko Pops, and action figures than normal. Click here to check it out! Maybe this means they’ll be getting more and more stuff in stock as the release date of the Blu-ray approaches? I believe it’s coming out February 24th, to be exact. YAY!! I’m so excited. ^.^

Anyway, thanks for stopping by, and I hope to be coming back with some more interesting news pretty soon here! :D

one of those days

Hey there, everybody. Due to some stresses with my computer I’ve been taking a break from working on Amori, and it also made me forget to do my 18,500 word update! To tide you over until I get back to work, here’s a sneak peak of some of my latest writing:

Suddenly I’m walking toward the Hub, picking up my pace, because I cannot be tortured with this a second longer. I’m weaving in between people, wondering why I had to do this in a particularly busy time, wondering why I’m doing this at all, and that’s when I see him.

End of chapter. B)

Could use some prayer – lack of storage on my laptop is causing trouble with my art and I don’t currently have the funds to fix it. My movie and inspirational Photoshop edits are such a big part of my everyday life that it’s kind of hard to be dealing with this. But I’ve got some stuff that I can do to help the problem, so never fear! #Nightlight will be back on its feet soon. ;)

i never thought you did

Hello, folks! You’ll be glad to know I’ve reached over 14,000 words in Amori and have a new sneak peak for you. This time, it’s in the form of a Photoshop edit:

This is one of Gale and Amori’s earliest exchanges. I can’t tell you why they’re having this conversation, but it’s sort of a pivotal point in their friendship. A baby step in the right direction, I guess you could call it. I had the material, so I put this together! Hope you like it. :)

twelve

Hello there, folks! It’s one of those lazy days, but I thought I’d do a skimpy update, partially to let you know I’m still here, partially because I’m still so excited about Amori. So, I’ve got all sorts of stuff in the works. I’m working on a secret promo-type-project-thing for the story that will hopefully not be a secret for much longer, as I plan for it to be up on YouTube soon. That’s all I can say. ^.^

I’m also thinking about setting up a page with photos and the plot of the story, but I’m hesitant to make a big deal out of it (I know, I know, I already have). Seems like it hasn’t gone well when I’ve done that in the past. Although, this story has no deadline, no pressure, and a lot of promise. I’m confident that I’ll finish it around 50,000 words by the end of the year. At least, that’s my goal. I’m about a fifth of the way there (12,000 words to be precise). :D

I’m also trying to scrounge up another sneak peak for Likeness of Life, but I’m moving really slowly with that right now. The dolls have their own problems going on, and it’s one thing to deal with them. Having to post episodes about how they are dealing with them is a whole lot more trouble. ;)

Anyway, so long! Until next time! Best wishes,

Liz, Amori, & the Dolls

P.S. Forgot one thing! I present, a sentence from Amori:

Maybe it’s funny, maybe it’s just relief from the tension of the last twenty-four hours. To me, it’s the chance to sneak off for half an hour and be alone and unnoticed. Okay, mostly alone and maybe not unnoticed. But this gives me the illusion of freedom for a few minutes, which is better than a drug.

The New Amori

Sorry if all these updates about Amori are getting a little old, but…well, maybe I’m not sorry. :P But while I’m on the subject, I’d like to show you something.

For those of you who haven’t been keeping up with my blog (or don’t remember), I had originally chosen Hailee Steinfeld as my character appearance for the main character in my Hunger Games fan fiction, Amori. After doing an edit that I was really proud of, using a photo of Hailee, I delved into the story and started having problems picturing her doing the things my character was doing. I realized that I liked the actress best as a more innocent, positive, smiling type character.

Suffice it to say, that’s not Amori. Yes, she is more innocent in the way that she is not as motivated by anger or revenge, as dystopian characters tend to be. But she is solemn. She has been wounded. She has aged beyond her years. She does not look like an eighteen-year-old. So I started digging. A lot of frustration, loads of pictures of different actresses, way way too much research, and watching a bunch of GIFs later, I settled on Seychelle Gabriel.

She is Amori.

What do you think? Can you see Seychelle growing up in District 12, sitting in the cafeteria in 13, talking to Gale in the bunker during the bombing? Because I can. I must give some credit to my sister, though. She was sure that Seychelle was right for Amori even when I was completely doubting whether I’d made a huge mistake in choosing her. So thanks, sis! XD

Another point of interest. Anybody who’s been poking around my Pinterest might have seen my Journey of an Artist board, and on there is an old, old, terrible, awful, horrid drawing I did of one of my story characters from long ago. When I first decided I loved The Hunger Games a few years ago I made a mistake. The mistake I didn’t want to make with Amori. I wrote a non-fan fiction called Candles, about a girl named Evergreen Walker who is surviving in a dystopian world I knew nothing about except that it was very similar to Panem.

Originally inspired by Jennifer Lawrence as Ree Dolly (not Katniss), I ended up changing her to suit my imagination. Originally she wasn’t supposed to look like some actress. I doubt now even if she looked completely human. But anyway, I realized several of her defining features are actually similar to Seychelle Gabriel’s.

Left: Seychelle Gabriel. Right: Drawing. Definitely a drawing. :P

They have the deeper-set eyes in common. The subtle lines beneath the eyes. Narrower chins. Dark brown hair. Etcetera. I seriously doubt whether Candles will ever see the light of day again, so it’s nice to have a piece of Evergreen Walker in this genuine Hunger Games story. :)

exploring the hunger games universe

Writing fan fiction is fun. You have your foundation already. You can stay in the la la land of your latest favorite universe. But it’s also hard. You can’t let your imagination take over too too much, because you don’t want to go against the already perfect and beautiful place of your dreams.

Not that The Hunger Games is perfect. Or that Panem is beautiful. But I’ve been living in that universe…practically. Kind of. Not really, except when I’m on Pinterest a lot or rereading the books a lot or just thinking about Peeta a lot. Which I do sometimes. :P

1. “I’m being so quiet as I walk down the hallway that it should be surprising that he hears me.”

The first line in a dystopian story. No idea what it was about. No idea who the characters really were. Then I thought, Oh, this should be set in District 13. Just a random idea that sounded satisfying. First thing I did with the scene that followed that line, was look for appearances for these characters. Headed to Pinterest.

This is what I found.

actress_hailee_steinfeld-wide

Hailee Steinfeld

Looks serious. Good balance of attractive and natural. Perfect for dystopia. Or Panem. So I went to a baby names site and found the unique but not-too-weird name of “Amori,” which means “industrious.” Cool.

I was feeling pretty good about this story by the end of the day. So I told my sister about it, and she was like, “So she’s going to end up with Gale?” Maybe not, but it gave me an idea. A lot of Mockingjay finds Katniss and Gale separated, and you have to wonder where he’s at all the time. The rest of the puzzle came together when I decided that Amori is from District 12. And she trained for the Hunger Games, like a Career. And she used her knowledge to help save people before the bombing in 12. Alongside Gale. The perfect beginning of a fictional friendship. ^.^

So. New beginning.

2. “I wake up screaming his name. Immediately I’m aware of the darkness of my compartment. The sweat covering my body. My displaced blanket.”

Sounds a bit like Katniss, right? I know. I console myself with the fact that Amori is, indeed, similar to the Mockingjay. And I will never hope to publish this work, because it’s set in someone else’s world. Oh, and by the way, she’s not screaming Gale’s name. It’s someone else. ;)

But anyway, I needed a prologue. Something that tells the story of the evacuation from 12.

3. “The quiet lasted an hour. I don’t even remember what happened exactly, except that everything was suddenly in chaos.”

But it didn’t flow. It was too vague. So I began to study. Rereading scenes of Mockingjay, making notes on how Suzanne Collins created such a masterpiece. How she made it so real, yet didn’t sacrifice the poetry of writing. How she didn’t waste words, but didn’t ignore flow.

And I knew I didn’t want to confuse the events of Mockingjay, which is, of course, when the story takes place. So I made a loose outline of what happens and the relative time span, and started filling in the blanks of Amori’s story, gleaning from both the book and Part 1 of the movie (which makes for an interesting mixture). I’m currently at a grand total of 3,622 words, and (for those of you who know what happens in Mockingjay) Amori is currently witnessing President Coin’s announcement about the victors’ immunity.

In short, it’s often times hard, sometimes confusing, most of the time slow going, and all the time just plain fun. If you ever want a project that’s more a test of quality than storytelling, then fan fiction, I think, is really good experience. Especially without the pressure of making it perfect, because I don’t think fan fiction can be perfect. Really, a lot of times it’s really just one big “what if” scenario set in a world someone else created. But I can now recommend it from my own experience. Wish me luck! XD