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“Hold fast to dreams, for if dreams die, life is a broken winged bird that cannot fly.” – Lanton Hughes, American poet.
All my life, I’ve grown up reading stories. So have you, probably, and many other people.
I accept I was a nerd back in high school, though not your typical nerd from out of a teenage novel! I missed my P.E. classes to read books in the library. Though it was clearly against the rules, the grey-haired librarian didn’t seem to mind. Nor did she ever complain to anyone that I spent a half of the school hours hiding in there.
When she didn’t have a class, she’d choose books and give them to me. She even let me borrow two books when we were allowed to take only one!
On a fine autumn day, she asked me if I write stories.
Being only in sixth grade, her question took me by surprise.
“No,” I replied. “I only read.”
“You should try to write a story someday,” she told me.
“But no one will read it,” I stated.
“I will,” she promised.
I never got a chance to give her my story to read. I left school the same year and I didn’t really have a chance to contact her.
How or when I began writing is a memory that has already left my mind. All that I remember is that I used to write secretly. I was afraid of how my piece of writing would be received by an audience. In between classes, in the lunch breaks, I would sit in a lone corner and scribble a poem or two in the last pages of some copy. I knew no teacher bothered to look at the last pages and so, my little secret was safe.
Until one day. My English teacher interrupted a class and asked me to meet her in the staff room during the lunch break.
When I visited her, I found her reading something intently. As I walked closer, I realized that she was going through the little poems I had written.
“You write so beautifully!” she exclaimed.
I really didn’t know how to react. Was I supposed to be scared because she had found out? Or was I supposed to be happy because she felt it was good?
“Don’t ever give up,” she continued. “You have an extraordinary talent. Keep this dream alive and someday you’ll reach there.
She reminded me of my old librarian.
I found a confidence after hearing her. And since then, I’ve always shared my work with people.
People often ask me if I have ever dreamt of becoming a writer. That very question never fails to take me by surprise.
“Yes,” I tell them. “It is my dream to become a writer.”
It is a dream that has been with me for as long as I can remember. While some dreams come and go, this stays with me.
Someday, I’m going to write something for the old librarian to read. I remember her promise.
Someday, I’m going to thank her for igniting my dream.
Someday, I’m going to wake up and live my only dream.
I still remember a couple of lines from the same poem which i had scribbled at the back of my English copy. it reads like this-
“They told you, dreams are important,
That dreams are hidden somewhere in the sky, beneath the golden hue;
They told you to hold on to your dreams,
For sometimes, they find you.“
I’ve always been a person who believes a lot in numbers and things associated with it. Until, @SamMaze told me that it’s an over glorified number! I think I’ll stick with that explanation, for now!
Excerpts from the interview –
Where I am currently: At the kitchen table, pondering my next plotline.
Tell us a few interesting things about yourself.
I am a young aspiring author that has been writing since elementary school. In a few years I plan to attend college to major in English. I have a wide variety of pets, from beta fish to rabbits. Quick fun fact: Rabbits are not as sweet and cuddly as they appear in Target Easter commercials. Depending on the breed (and personality), they can be as vicious as a rabid wolf or as shy as a fawn. Do your research before buying or adopting one!
My friend actually told me about Wattpad, and it gave me a perfect outlet to share my tales with the world. Before this site my stories merely sat in a drawer after completion, but now they are actively gaining reads by the day! It’s quite fun to observe.
People often find me teaching my rabbits a new trick, hanging out at Starbucks (Peppermint mochas are the best), or reading. I’m a rather simple person, and that is probably why my characters are so complex… because they fulfill my dreams of what I want to do in life.
My life is pretty normal I suppose. School and hobbies take up my days from dawn to dusk. The typical life of an average character in a story is different depending on the book, but my general conclusion is that they usually go through a life changing experience that teaches the reader a life lesson of some sort. I’m not even going to go into details about the ultra-cliché character’s life… because most people are aware that everything must go their way, they get the girl/guy, and it ends in ‘happily ever after.’
The most overused plot on Wattpad is the-nerdy-girl-gets-the-bad-boy-who-lives-next-door haha. I think it is very cliché. Maybe at first it was a hit, but now it has been watered down into the energy drink that powers first-time stories. Yes, I think too often writers these days look to the market to see what is selling before they start their book. I heavily disagree with this method. Write what you want to write, not what others want.
@SamMaze ‘s book can be read by clicking on the cover.
Stay tuned for more!
“Do not save your loving speeches
For your friends till they are dead;
Do not write them on their tombstones
Speak them rather now instead.” – Anna Cumins
I met her in junior high. We had been those bubbly little girls, always fangirling over some Hollywood character. The memories are hazy. I don’t remember how we looked like, back then. I remember she used to chatter all day long about Brett Lee, often mentioning facts as ridiculous as how many teeth he had lost!
We became quick friends. We used to talk to each other for hours over phone. We used to call dibs on hot anime guys! I was going to be her bridesmaid, she was going to be mine.
Indeed, I have too many happy memories with her.
When and where things went wrong, I don’t remember. I guess, she doesn’t too. Perhaps, it was when I had to leave school due to my Dad’s transfer.
Moving away didn’t seem like a big deal. We had telephones and e-mails and Facebook to remain in contact and I presumed blindly that things wouldn’t change.
Somehow, they did.
Conversations started getting shorter and most of the time, it seemed like we were calling each other just for the sake of old times. Our priorities changed. So did our friends’ circle. We thought that we were still going to remain friends forever, but deep inside our hearts, we knew that the thread was slowly withering away.
Five years of friendship was lost to a year of separation.
Slowly, other people started taking her place and a part of me still holds a profound amount of guilt that I had given up on our friendship so easily.
I used to browse through her pictures on Facebook and see her with her new friends, happier that I’d ever seen her. Though both of us used to be online at the same time, none of us took an effort of dropping a message. Strangely, it didn’t hurt.
At that moment, I knew, I had lost her.
When I returned back, two years later, our friendship remained as messed up as ever. We did talk, but it was no longer the same.
The good, old times remained carved in some forgettable corners of our classrooms.
Perhaps, we grew up. And life moved crazily fast.
Or may be, we never had been friends in the first place.
I went through the darkest phases of my life, alone. There were times when I believed there was no hope. And what hurt me the most was, I had no shoulder to cry on. So I cried, alone.
That period of darkness I went through, convinced me that nothing was permanent in life and that I was going to lose people. It made me numb. And it made me forget about her.
Until a couple of months ago, we started talking again.
Of course, conversations were pretty short and awkward. I used to think a lot before saying her something. I hid certain things from her. She did too.
Nevertheless, we talked.
I waited for her messages. I desperately wished for things to go back to being the same again, just like the olden, golden times. I wanted to meet her and talk and talk and talk about nothing in particular. Yet, I kept all that to myself.
I’m talking to her as I write this. I tell her I’m going to write about her in the next post. She wants to read it. I want her to. But I don’t know where to start.
The happy childhood memories are fading away with each passing second. So are the not-so-good memories. Now, I remember the little arguments we had. I think about the time she threw a water pouch right at my face and burst out laughing, while I stood in the middle of the staircase, absolutely clueless about how I was supposed to react.
I remember the one time something happened between us and I refused to talk to her. She had cried over the phone. Yes, she did. I was the stronger person. But I’m crying as I write this.
The memories are withering away and no matter how frantically I’m trying to hold them close, they are slipping away. The castles I had built are slowly crumbling to pieces and she’s not there to lend a hand.
However, along with the happy memories, the bitter ones are gone too. They are replaced by a set of new memories – of this friendship blooming again. May be we can never go back to being the best friends we had once been, but I’ll try. I don’t know about her.
Looking back, I still can’t figure out where things went downhill. A part of me doesn’t want to.
I had never figured out that writing about her would be so tough. We have our fair share of memories and sorrow. And we’ve been through all that together.
And I owe it to her – she taught me the importance of having friends. She made me realize that some friendships will fall and some will last and some friends will leave and some will keep coming back. They are people who are going to raise a toast at your wedding day and even raise a mop if you want them to. They are people who one writes about. They are people who have the most impact on one’s life.
They are called, friends.
She is mine. She is my friend.
And I believe there will be brighter days.
No, I know there will be even brighter ones.
We’ll see them together.
So, here I am back with an excerpt from an exciting interview with Wattpad author @DarkEmeraldGem.
Recently, I had the wonderful opportunity to have a talk with this very talented author who has been on Wattpad for almost two years now. So, if you need any sort of advice about Wattpad, you know who to look out for.
When I contacted her first for the interview, she had been listening “Perfect” by Hedley and trying to “conquer a deadly disease called writer’s block.”
Excerpts from the interview-
Me – Tell us a few things about yourself? You can also tell us about your hair colour, if you really want to!
She – My name is Nikki. I’m 21 years old, and live in Ireland. I’m about 90% Irish and 10% Italian – my great-grandfather came from an Italian family. There’s a possibility I might even have some Scottish ancestry, I’m not too sure. I have dyed brown hair and blue eyes, and I have glasses.
Why did you join Wattpad? Had you always been looking for a site to share your work with a wider audience or you stumbled upon this site for reading free books?
I joined Wattpad about two years ago when I was getting a bit tired of fanfiction.net. I needed an outlet to share my writing with, and a simple google search led me here. It was the most interesting out of all the writing websites I’d looked at before then, and I loved the community aspect of it.
What is your favourite pastime? Let’s put it this way, what is one thing that people will always find you doing, when you’re free?
This is probably going to sound like a cliché answer, but I’ll say it anyway. I love to write. It is my entire life. I can always be found either typing on the computer or my phone, and when I’m not writing, I’m planning future chapters. I also really love to make videos and trailers on my youtube account.
What is the craziest thought that has ever crossed your mind? (Maybe the craziest explanation to some Science phenomenon?)
If I told you, I’d have to kill you. No, but seriously, I have a lot of crazy thoughts. A lot. And that’s all you’re going to get. I’m a mystery, but then again, aren’t we all?
Ever read a scene from a story book and wished you were in the same setting? If yes, kindly share with us what that scene was and from which book?
Honestly? No. I don’t really find myself wishing I could be a part of any book. That’s probably because the books I tend to read are all thrillers and murder mysteries – not the kind of settings I’d like to find myself in.
From where do you get your inspiration from writing your stories?
I take inspiration from a lot of things. My current story is a fan fiction based on Khaled Hosseini’s novel, The Kite Runner. It centres on my Original Character, Saria, who is the younger sister of the novel’s antagonist. With this story, I aim to change the perspective of people regarding mental disorders such as psychopathy. My main character is a mentally unstable young girl who has psychopathic tendencies and lacks remorse for her actions. But at the same time, she’s not a monster. She is able to feel compassion for both her brother and a select few people. Her ultimate goal is to create the perfect life and perfect world for her loved ones. I got inspiration for this story because I think a lot of people need to stop viewing the world in black and white. A lot of the time, we judge psychopaths as being simply evil monsters. However, this is not the case and we need to look at it from the other perspective. My story challenges people to walk a mile in someone else’s shoes, and to try to understand why they are this way.
Twelve years from now, where do you see yourself?
I hope to be a book editor. I really want to help other writers to improve their work and work with them to create something great.
What’s your craziest wish?(Becoming NY’s best seller? Flying?)
I want to travel around the US and Australia. I have never been to either of these places but I really hope I can see them at least once. I want to go to Disney World and Universal Studios Orlando.
Tell us a bit about how your life is? The typical life of an average character in a story? The ultra cliché character’s life?
My life is, for the most part, average. I’m currently on a year-long hiatus from college, so I have a lot of free time on my hands that I usually spend either on Wattpad or browsing the internet. I also spend a lot of time reading, and love to sit down with a good book, whether online or in paper.
What, according to you, is the most overused plot on Wattpad? The-bad-boy-likes-me or I-live-with-fifty-handsome-boys or I-love-my-brother’s-best-friend? Do you think that writers these days are heavily looking at the market status before coming up with a story?
I think One Direction fan fiction are the most common type of story found here. I spend a lot of time on the fan fiction club and there seems to be a new thread regarding One Direction stories popping up every day. A lot of stories seem to be a bit cliché and poorly written. It can be a bit frustrating for those of us who genuinely care about what we write and try to make it better. Now, I don’t mean to say that cliché plots are a bad thing. I think people should write whatever they feel comfortable with. If someone likes writing a bad boy story, that’s fine. I just want to see effort put into it.
Do you believe that thirteen is an unlucky number?
No. I make my own luck.
Her novel Tainted Perfection can be found by clicking on the cover.
“And suddenly you know: It’s time to start something new and trust the magic of beginnings.”- Meister Eckhart
Have you ever felt the urge to start a new venture but there’s always something that holds you back? Have you taken a step forward in excitement, only to retreat and sit back? We’ve all gone through this at some point of time in our lives. Putting it more precisely, most of us go through this experience every time we decide to start something new.
It’ll please some of you to know that I spent two hours trying to figure out the title of my first-ever blog post! And while I was atop my terrace, looking down at the terribly high drop and then looking back up, wondering what should be the title after all, I realized something. I realized that I was scared (no, not about the entire height factor) – of starting a new blog and taking the first few baby steps.
A myriad of questions ran through my mind as I quietly scrolled through the themes. Having read numerous articles about why most bloggers fail and how disastrous some blog posts are, I was afraid because there’s always a possibility for joining the same train. What if my first blog post isn’t that impressive? What if it doesn’t connect with my readers? What if I start receiving hate messages? Even worse, what if someone adds my blog to the worst-ever-blogs list? And sitting on the edge of a terrace was not helping at all. Of course, I wasn’t planning on jumping down from there (and I wouldn’t ever think of it, because I want to look pretty while I’m dying and falling from that height is obviously going to leave me with nothing but grotesque bruises and broken bones. And, I’m guessing that wouldn’t be pretty!). Some part of me convincingly said that I was out of ideas probably because of gravity which was pulling every creative thought away from my brain and sending them to settle at my feet. The other part kept on laughing like a maniac. In short, half of my insides were fighting with the other half. I thought a change of place might help.
So, picking up my laptop, I trudged downstairs to my room.
That, as I had already predicted, didn’t help. Instead of focusing on the birth of my blog baby (I’m trying to be over dramatic), I started drooling over the Chace Crawford posters on my wall and playing my brother’s recently downloaded games. I had this strange thought of writing about video games in my first blog post! And hopefully, I didn’t yield to the urge. Then, I had an even stranger thought of writing about who are my best actors and why.
At this rate, I realized, I was never going to be able to start a blog.
They say that beginnings are probably the best things – beginning a new business venture, starting a new job, starting college, starting a new book – we’ve always been fascinated by the idea of beginnings. It is the end that brings us pain. Nobody wants a beautiful thing to end. That is probably why we all go, “Oh no!” when our favourite romantic movie starts rolling out the credits. The concept of an ending has always scared us. We believe that beginnings are easier. However, they are not.
I’ve no idea about the whole concept of an ending, but speaking from experience, I can say that the beginning steps are probably harder. When it took me two hours to only figure out the title for a blog post, I realized that it is not always easy to start a thing. Be it a businessman or a teacher or a kid in primary grade, they all dread the beginning steps. The businessman spends sleepless nights, thinking about his newest venture. The teacher is nervous on the first day of school and meeting her new students. The kid in primary grade fakes a stomach ache because he is afraid of facing the new kids in school. We all have several apprehensions before starting something new. And, the only nagging question in our minds is – Will this be successful? Will the idea be successful? Will I be able to do this thing right?
One of the major reasons such thoughts strike our minds is because right from the start, we’ve been told that starting anything new is a risk. And we’ve grown up with the same idea. We are afraid to go in the less-trodden way for that is a risk. Students are afraid to choose a vocational stream because that is a risk, so they tend to stick to the traditional courses. Parents are afraid to send their kids out alone because that is a risk, so they keep them inside their homes until they feel that he/she has grown up enough. New writers are afraid to send their works to a publisher because they feel that it is a risk-their works might get rejected. So they keep their works to themselves, only sharing it with their family and a few friends.
It is like you’ve been gifted a pair of wings by God and you are standing at the edge of a cliff. A part of you is excited to try the wings and the other part keeps holding you back, reminding you a numerous times that you can’t fly. It fills your head with a plethora of confusions. You’re suddenly afraid that the wings may not be real – a thought that hadn’t crossed your mind until then. You are suddenly terrified at the idea of jumping down the cliff and spreading the wings that have been gifted to you. What if you fall?
So, you turn back and walk down the safer road, back home.
The only thought that doesn’t cross your mind is: What if you fly?
The beginning to a beginning is to take a risk. Until, you’ve taken a risk, you’ll never know what is next. Let us think of risks as a series of steps. Let us, for once, forget that risk is used in a negative term. And let us embrace the new possibilities that arrive in our mind, once we’ve settled on that thought.
And that is exactly how I managed to write my first blog post-the supposedly scariest post of them all. Though the FIRST blog post sounds terrifying, I’m proud I’ve managed to put up something decent. Now that I think of it, I was also standing at the edge of the cliff, with a pair of wings. At first, I was afraid to take a step forward. So, I took two steps back. But that was only because I wanted to take flight. So, here I’m, flying towards the sun, thinking about the world that exists out there.
And I’m not afraid anymore.
For, I believe in something called beginner’s luck!