Greetings, all! I am Willow. I also go by the name Siren. Welcome to my blog/writing critique station. I am a writer. I like to think of myself as fairly good and ever improving as I strive to complete and publish my first novel. My purpose in maintaining this blog is to encourage me to write often, even if it’s not novel-related, and to hopefully entertain a few strangers. You’ll have to forgive me if any of my jokes fall flat (I’m not often complimented on my wit), and for the generally melancholy nature of my poetry. Also, be forewarned that my longer stories take a very long time to be finished, but they usually turn out quite well in the end.
I am more than welcoming to any comments and/or criticisms on whatever I write, so please don’t hesitate to speak up. My goal is to post at least two articles per month, so also feel free to yell at me in the comments if I don’t make my quota.
My writing started off as it does for most people, with reading. My mother taught me to read at a rather young age, and I skipped grade 1 as a result. My mother was always encouraging me to do the reading come bedtime, even though I tried to be lazy and get her to do it for me. One author I remember above all the others was, of course, the remarkable and imaginative Dr. Seuss. I still keep my Dr. Seuss collection to this day, he is so beloved by me.
When I was in about grades 4 and 5, I went through a phase of not wanting to read. At all. Thankfully, it was short-lived, ended by an unforgettable foray into the most well known entry in the Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, The Witch and the Wardrobe. It was for a school assignment in which we had to write a summary of the book. Being young and foolish, I had no idea what it meant to summarize something and filled many many pages describing each and every event that happened in the first few chapters of the book before my mother finally realized what I was doing and gave me a final page limit. After finally figuring out how the whole summary thing was supposed to work, I finished my very rough draft, shortened it to a few pages (I think), and successfully handed it in to my teacher.
I was a fortunate child where books were concerned, as my mother (a personal trainer at the time) had a very generous client/friend who liked to give me free books. I still have most of them on my shelf, though at least two of them sadly suffered the consequences of my ill-begotten idea to leave my favourite books in the tent in the yard even after it rained. Through that friend I was introduced to the Series of Unfortunate Events by Lemony Snicket, several great works by E.B. White, and several other extremely well-written children’s novels that are still entertaining to read even today in my Young Adult years.
Now, my love for writing didn’t actually sprout until grade 6. I had just returned home from living abroad for my entire elementary school life and was anxious to find “my thing” that I was good at. I believe it was in second term that we started our poetry unit. Previous to this, the majority of my poetry experience was through the afore mentioned Dr. Seuss, as well as perhaps a few other children’s books and some favourite songs. I instantly fell in love with the subject. I started carrying around a little book with me to write down as many poems as I could come up with in a day, and they would be about anything and everything. From playground swings to yogurt, Haikus to Limericks, I wrote as much as a girl my age could possibly think up. None of it was good, but it was decent enough that I got good grades on the final project.
In middle school my poetry writing took a backseat to my insecurities about how few friends I had and the fact that no one ever had time to hang out with me after school, as well as me trying to deal with French class and figuring out whether or not I was qualified for AP math (it turns out I didn’t have the attention span required at the time and ended up having to do math 9 twice because I was more focused on the logic puzzles the teacher gave us in grade 8 than on what he was trying to teach us). It was in grade 8 that my love of writing surfaced again when we were learning to write essays. I hated essays, but whenever I had the opportunity I would write about my summer camp experience at Camp Firwood in the summer between grade 6 and 7 (I loved it so much I was still obsessing over it a whole year later). That’s probably when I realized that I loved to describe things.
My official writing didn’t start until I was in grade 11. At 16 years old I was freaking out about how I had no idea what I wanted to do with my life when I grew up, even though my younger brother had already more or less decided what he was going to do. At the same time, a TV show I had loved more than any other was recently cancelled. I had loved that show so much that I had invented my own character in my head and was inserting her into the show (my own version of fan fiction, I suppose). Once the show was cancelled, I had to come up with my own stories to put the group into, and it eventually became its own separate entity. I realized this and came up with a brilliant idea, “I should write a book!” I wrote about 52 chapters before deciding that it was going somewhere I wasn’t ready for it to go yet (I had no real outline for it other than a vague idea of events to take place), scrapped it all the way back to the first three chapters, then proceeded to ignore it for about a year or more, with the occasional look to try and add to it or edit what was there. During that time, I wrote my first short story, and dabbled some more into poetry.
Sometime in grade 12 or shortly thereafter, I gave the beginning of my novel a complete overhaul, only to have my precious laptop stolen on a trip around England. After returning home, I bought a new laptop as quickly as I could and diligently rewrote everything I could remember, fixing the things I realized were bad as I went along. It’s been a year since then and I haven’t made much progress with it aside from realizing that my main character, as she was, was a total Mary-Sue and needed some work. I have yet to draft an outline for the story, but once I do I will get back to work on it with a clear goal in sight. I do hope to make it into a series if I can.
I am currently writing two novels, several short stories, and constantly coming up with new poems. I have been published in Converge Magazine; some non-fiction pieces I wrote during my editing internship there. I want to one day become as popular as J.K. Rowling, and my goal for the next five years is to get at least one of my fiction pieces published in a magazine.
Take a look at what I’ve got going on. Check out my new series, “A Tale of Thorns” and it’s accompaniment, “Belladonna’s Journal”. Or have a look at some of my Poetry. Be sure to check out the other items on my blog as well. You can find quick links to all my categories in the side bar.
I hope you all may be blessed.