In my defense, I’ve been busy creating! I’m now on YouTube publishing visual audiobooks, which are fun to make. But that’s not the point of this post.
I’ve been revisting my main story, a series I’ve been developing since I was eight (18 years ago! whoo-wee). After some good time away focusing on music-based short stories and random oneshots, I’ve dived headfirst into the world of Grazing the Sky and fallen in love once again with the characters, concepts, and general vibe.
I have a master playlist for GtS. Over 600 songs complied over ten years. A lot of it is stuff I listened to in middle school: 10 Years, early Three Days Grace (Saint Asonia 2, anyone???), Rise Against. This last band is incorporated into the first book of Grazing. The main character, Lance, wears a RA hoodie for a good portion of the book and cites the band as one of his main influences for his own music.
If my fingertips and brain are up for it, I’ll set my playlist on shuffle and produce one post a day for a week, talking about various songs and how they relate to each story.
So cheers, and let’s see how much we can discuss. On shuffle, of course.
Almost three years ago, I pulled out my phone while still in bed, and began writing. I had written many stories over the years; some for school projects, and some for personal fascination. But a novel length fanfic? That was a feat I never thought I’d make.
Fast forward two-and-a-half years later, and I jotted down the last chapter of my Fullmetal Alchemist story, Leave A Scar. I finally finished it, transitioning between life and a meta-reality.
I just gave life to yet another book-child, and I absolutely loved what I created.
In the beginning, the story was simple: take FMA, focusing just on Ed and Al traveling, and add some steamy scenes between Ed and my original female character.
But the more I wrote, the more developed my story became. Add in Ed being hunted down by Homunculi, add in a strange red-lightning power that bypasses Equivlent Exchange, and add in a personal narration by my darkest character yet.
Add in all that, and Leave A Scar had become something more than just an adventure. It’s a story about loss, depression, love, and heartbreak.
Look After You by the Fray was the first song I attached to Leave A Scar, seeing the connection well before the story was fully developed.
There’s one line that truly sinks into my soul, a stake that cures any doubt I’ve had about the fic.
“There now, steady love, so few come and don’t go Will you won’t you, be the one I always know?”
My main character, whose name remains hidden from the reader for like 97% of the story, has a relationship with Ed that teeters between intimate friendship and FWB. When things start breaking down, she takes on the weight. Physically and mentally, she is Ed’s support, and thus their relationship grows.
I’ve recently entered the story in Wattpad’s biggest contest, The Watty’s. I’m not expecting much, but if you have the time, check it out?
If there’s one band that hits the feels every time, it’s Angels & Airwaves.
I’m currently chilling in my room, blankets a mess beneath my legs, my one-inch tall speaker playing a shuffle of AVA songs.
I haven’t listened to this band in so long, but every album (from their debut to LOVE) just brings back separately powerful memories.
I’d like to say
that you’re my only fear
and when I dream
it slowly disappears.
I was reading some of the past journal entries on my Quotev, and it got me thinking. Right now, I’m waiting to hear back from a friend who’s struggling with mental health, and in reading back the earliest entry (Dec 2017), I realized how much I’ve grown.
I realized how very powerful I am. Time is amazing.
If I had a chance for another try, I wouldn’t change a thing This made me all on who I am inside And if I could thank God That I am here, and that I am alive And everyday I wake I tell myself a little harmless lie The whole wide world is mine
Do I regret everything that’s happened since 2016? No. I strongly believe I just wasn’t supposed to go to CSUMB. I trained hard and received my first-degree black belt in TaeKwonDo and Kenpo the day I moved in to my shitty 6-feet by 10-feet dorm room with rude roommates who constantly shunned me. Add a nasty and extremely small bathroom shared by four people, and you have a recipe for a wild story that spells “disaster”.
I need to keep living, just to see how life pans out. I need to keep breathing, keep creating, keep discovering and exploring because, dammit, life is calling me. I wanna go on aimless road trips and scream at summer festivals and feel the speeding breeze take the air from my lungs.
I need to keep living, and as long as my heart is beating I promise you, I will do exactly that.
Time out, let’s stop and think this through, We’ve all got better things to do, A talk in circles run in place, Answers inches from our face.”
– Behind Closed Doors, Rise Against
If I had to pick, my favorite thing about writing is this:
I love putting characters in situations they don’t understand. Whether it’s a visit from someone that comes from another dimension (Grazing the Sky) or a strange power that breaks the laws of Alchemy (Leave A Scar), there’s something just so fun about watching characters try and wrap their head around something they don’t quite have full understanding of.
For example, take this scene from my FMA fic, Leave A Scar:
The hotel room was quiet, the hands of a clock filling the silence.
I remained reading, sitting on the couch with both legs tucked underneath myself. Uncomfortable, especially for a long period of time, but the pain building from the position made me focus a little harder. Balancing the selfishness with the weak attempt at help I was offering both of them.
At the opposite side, Ed lounging on the couch, one leg hanging off the seat’s edge, the other stretched out. His socked foot was relatively close to the leg nearest to him, my right one. I felt nervous about this; did he want us to touch? No probably not. Not with Al so close, but why would he be lounging like this if he didn’t want us to be close? Just enough to act casual? Like there was nothing between us? Was there anything between us?
Al suddenly spoke, and I nearly jumped out of my skin. I clenched the book in my hands a little harder, feeling Ed’s stare go to me. Around us, Al’s voice rang out.
“I… I just felt something?”
Ed sat up. “What?! What’re you talking about, you felt something?”
Al stared down at the paper on the table. “I… I don’t know. I just felt… An emotion, I think.”
I searched his face, his paper. “What… What were you doing, when you felt it?”
“I… I was just writing a letter to May,” he responded. He bowed his head a little, becoming embarrassed. The hand holding the pencil tightened a little bit. “I was just telling her how much I love her.”
Ed was already trying to figure this out. He picked his other foot off from the floor, pulling both legs in to a loose sitting position, fanning out slightly. Face concentrated, searching the line in between the cushions like the answers were in between the darkness in the crack.
“You remember that idea I had,” he began quietly, “about your body getting human experiences?”
Al nodded, hesitant. “Y-yeah.”
“Maybe… That one was powerful enough for you to feel it.”
Al looked back down to his paper. “M… Maybe… Why would it only work now, though? We’ve been writing that for months now.”
Ed looked away, down to the floor, away from me. Still concentrated. Still trying to figure this out.
“I’m not sure, Al,” he replied. “Whatever it is, we should keep our eye on it.”
So keep running around circles, my lovelies. You’ll bump into something eventually 😉
For the past few days, I’ve been in a creative slump. My dream has always been to be a bestselling author. I wanted books on the shelves. I wanted a massive line of people, waiting for my autograph. I wanted to be known.
But I really thought about it and did some research and realized all that stems from ego. It won’t make me a better writer.
It wouldn’t even validate the quality of my writing.
I have money coming in, so it’s not like I necessarily need the income. Sure, six or seven figures would be great, but it’s not desperately needed.
To quote a song…
“I am not afraid to keep on living. I am not afraid to walk this world alone.”
So, I’m going to keep on writing because, to quote a famous author, “when I write, I don’t feel like I should be doing anything else.” I just feel the characters and I feel the words that connect them to each other. I feel that symmetry, that flow, and it’s like watching a river trickle over rocks. There’s a chaotic, peaceful pattern to it all.
Few songs hook you on your first listen. My family just got a super cool, super new speaker (courtesy of our cell phone provider) and something about this song just stuck into my brain, at that moment, at the point in time. I didn’t have to pick what song would test out the speaker. It found me.
The first few seconds passed, releasing an ambiance that floated into our kitchen.
“Can’t stop staring At those oceans eyes
Your ocean eyes.”
This song bleeds love. It bleeds beauty. It bleeds harmony.
Just the other day, I was researching exactly how Billie Eilish got popular. She seemed to rise up from out of nowhere, condemning an army of loyal fans. Her start came from one song on Soundcloud; something I know will be on repeat in the coming weeks.
So go on, Billie. Keep on capturing us, because you already have my ears at the first listen.