Welcome To Fake Paradise!

This is the personal writing blog for Joana Hill, creative writing major extraordinaire! Here you'll find the random ramblings and occasional writings of a girl obsessed with gay romance and the yaoi manga FAKE. You've been warned.

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Mixed feelings

So I finally got the review from HarperCollins on Artistic License, and I have mixed feelings about it. It was just so... very negative, in a way. Like other reviews have all the things that the editor liked about the project and then, if you squint, you can see a small criticism. But mine had four good-sized paragraphs of what was wrong with my book and one saying they liked how I set up the school.

It's a confidence breaker in one way. But Meagan and Nita both pointed out that maybe it means that they actually care about seeing AL improve, which might be the case. I dunno. Before I got the review I was editing like mad but now it seems like the review made me come to a stop and actually think about being an awful writer.

Sigh.

Thursday, May 20, 2010

Home for the summer

Joana is home for the summer. Wanna know what that means? Well originally it meant I was going to spend more time at home, get my writing done by hand and just relax. But circumstances changed and now I'd rather lurk around the library than stay at home where I could be verbally abused by an ornery old man who really and truly doesn't understand me or anything I do beyond when I don't make sure there's not a single speck of dirt on the floor or a single dirty dish in the sink.

I will proudly grow up to be a husbandless old crone if this is what it means to be a housewife, thank you very much.

On the bright side, I'll be going to PortCon this year. It's an anime convention held in Portland, this year three days starting June 25th. I'll be cosplaying as Lyra, the female protagonist from Pokemon HeartGold/SoulSilver because I wasn't enough of a geek already. I'll be sure to have pictures taken :P

I don't really have any writing to post on here right now. I started a sequel to Artistic License but I'm not sure how well it's going. I've tried to keep stories about Cameron and Michael lighthearted, but the sequel, one of the things it deals with is Michael finally getting treatment for his depression and my first attempt at handling that was, well, depressing. And made Cameron seem like a jerk. So I don't know if I'll keep going with that or just put it aside. I guess we'll see.

Saturday, May 8, 2010

I think my brain is broken

Yes. I have two finals and a paper due next week, and then I am off for summer vacation. And I have not been able to write. People, it's official: college has broken Joana's brain. But when I get back home and can just sit down with a notebook, I will be doing so much writing.

And maybe, just MAYBE, I'll have that review for Artistic License from the editorial board. I was telling Ashlie that if I have it before I leave, I'd sacrifice a fiver to the printing fund gods and print off Artistic License so I can red pen it the old fashioned way. I guess we'll see how that goes. I'm kind of nervous to see what they'll say, though. I've never gotten my work professionally critiqued before so I'm kind of scared D:

Anyway. I guess I'll be heading to bed now, since it's almost 2am. Will be getting my paper at least to the halfway point tomorrow if nothing else.

Friday, May 7, 2010

Preview of Memories, chapter 18

Chapter 18

We lost the girl in an alley even though it led to a dead end. It was such a cliché that it almost made me mad. Tristan still went into the narrow space, and I heard a splash as he stepped into a puddle I hadn’t even seen before.

“Ow!”

The puddle suddenly rose up, and Tristan lost his balance. I managed to catch him before he hit the ground. “What in the world?” he said.

The water formed into a girl before becoming solid and taking on color. It was, of course, the girl with the water powers we had been chasing after. “What do you want?” she said, her eyes narrowed. It wasn’t entirely obvious that we had powers too, so I couldn’t blame her for being suspicious. She tried to run past us, though, and I did the only thing I could think to do.

The girl’s eyes went wide as I lifted her into the air with my telekinesis. I waved a hand to turn her so she was fully facing us and said, “We just want to talk.” She tried to turn into water again, but I managed to keep her off the ground so she turned back to normal.

“If you’re so afraid of being caught, why did you use your power so openly?” Tristan said.

When the girl hit the ground, free of me, she didn’t try to run. She just shrugged and stared down at her shoes. “No one else was doing anything. That woman could’ve died.” She glared up at me, a piece of her brown hair falling over her face and obscuring one eye.

She didn’t even know the reason I had been hesitant to help but she was still making me feel guilty about it.

“What’s your name?” I said. When she looked up, I continued with, “I’m Arthur and this is Tristan. And you are?”

She looked down, and I realized that Tristan had taken hold of my and after I caught him. Whether Tristan realized this or not was debatable. “Tallulah,” she finally said.

An ambulance, probably the one that had picked up the people from the crash, rushed by. Tristan and I looked over to it out of instinct, and when we looked back to Tallulah, she was gone. There wasn’t even a puddle around. I shook my head and turned around, but Tristan kept standing there.

“Tristan? Is something wrong?” I said.

Thursday, May 6, 2010

Deep, philosophical ramblings. Or not.

So I decided to post Memories on inkpop again and get back in there. Because as much as I would like to strangle that community, I met a lot of good people since I joined in November. So I decided to go back and just hang around, letting my writing get wherever it will.

And I've been amusing myself with the thought of people reading Memories and getting to the point where Tristan and Arthur have sex. It isn't even incredibly risqué, for those that read that scene. Arthur is afraid to touch people and Tristan assures him that he doesn't care if Arthur could kill him. So Arthur gets a bit emotional, and they end up having sex.

But the inkpop community seems so uptight when you bring up that subject. It just makes me laugh, I suppose. They're both eighteen or older, in love, and don't rush into it. I suppose we'll see how it goes :P

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

And then there was this

For those who follow my book Memories (previously posted on inkpop, now only found in its entirety on FictionPress), you know that Arthur and Tristan are together by now. And last night, I lurked inkpop for a bit and found that they seemed to be obsessed with sex in young-adult novels. So, there's this.

Note that this takes place farther into the book. This is after Arthur discovers his power to make other's powers not work extends to other bodily functions, like, as Katherine gives as an example, being able to stop people's hearts.
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“Arthur, just because you have the power doesn’t mean you’d use it.” Tristan put a hand to my face and leaned into kiss me. I flinched away, but he moved in again. “I waited two years to be with you again, Arthur. I’m not afraid you’ll stop my heart.” He kissed me. “Not in the literal sense, anyway.”

“That one was corny even for you,” I said.

“And yet it’s true. I’m not keeping my hands to myself just because you know you could kill me now.” He pushed a piece of hair from my eyes and smiled. “It’s like Aunt Katherine said: you’re not that kind of guy. Right?”

Tristan seemed to know me better than I did. It made me feel better, though, to have someone that had such faith in me. He never doubted I could do something, including the right thing.

“…thanks,” I said. Tristan tried to move his arms around me, but I wasn’t in the mood and he could tell that. “I appreciate the support, Tristan. But you don’t need to feel like you need to always be touching me.”

Tristan took my hand in both of his. “That I can’t agree with.” He kissed me again, still holding my hand. “I kept thinking you weren’t real. I mean, how could you have been? You were amazing, and you actually wanted me. And then you were gone.” He put a hand to my cheek. “I feel like if I let go, you’ll disappear again.”

I frowned, and then I glanced to my bed. Tristan hadn’t even alluded to sex lately, but I thought about it. So I kissed him, pulling him by the collar until I hit my bed and he pushed me down so he could get on top.

Telling Lies, chapter 1

For those that don't know, this is actually a rewrite of an old story that I've never finished. I'm rewriting it to be more appropriate for a YA audience (the old version had a LOT of sex). Feel free to leave your thoughts!


Chapter 1

Things changed for me the summer before my freshman year. Junior high had been a highlight of my life. In fifth grade I met the guy who would become my best friend, Jamie, and later Jamie’s childhood friend Devin. We got through the public education system together, or as together as we could, under the circumstances.

Jamie was gay, and he wasn’t afraid to say it. But not everyone was so enthusiastic about accepting it as he was. He was ridiculed by our classmates and even by the teachers, though the latter were a lot more subtle about it. Devin stood behind him the entire time, because, well, they’d been friends forever. But I didn’t know what to do.

Still, when Jamie told me, that last day of eighth grade when the subject turned to high school, that he and Devin wouldn’t be there with me, it hurt. Jamie and Devin were going off to Clearbell School of Arts and Sciences to be artsy and surrounded by people that wouldn’t shove Jamie in a locker for liking guys.

The least they could’ve done was tell me earlier.

Even after a year and a move to a new town, I didn’t have the guts to contact him. And he never bothered trying to talk to me. It was like those four years of my life had been cut with a pair of safety scissors out of my memory. I tried to forget, but the ragged, imperfect edges still remained, taunting me in the back of my mind as I trudged through my sophomore year at a new school.

But then, there was Jason.

“I told you to watch out for that ball, Isaac.” Jason had his arms folded, still watching the dodge ball game that was going on.

I had what was probably a healthy bruise on my head from where I had been hit with one of those tough, rubber spheres. At least getting hit meant I could get out of the game. No one ever felt inclined to try to get a ball to me to get me back into the game, and I was okay with that. “You’re not my team captain. I’m not supposed to listen to you.”

“Like Natasha is a better judge of imminent danger than me?” he said.

We both looked over to Natasha, my dodge ball team captain. She was yelling at her team members to pick up the pace, something she had been doing all period. I personally thought that first period wasn’t the time to be ‘picking up the pace,’ but who was I to judge?

I lowered my head, feeling odd about staring at Natasha with Jason right beside me.

I brought my eyes away from Natasha and stared down at my lap. My face grew hot as Jason reached over and ran his hand down my hip, down to my thigh where the gym shorts didn’t cover.

“Um, Jason,” I said.

He turned his head to look at me, and I stared down at his hand. He took it away and stood up, going to stand beside Natasha.

Jason was a senior and three years older than me. He was so much more… cool and collected than I was, and I still had no idea what he saw in me. I was delicate, for a guy. Just last week we had been lifting weights in class, and he had to lift a thirty pound one from me because I couldn’t even move.

He hadn’t laughed at me like the guys in my class. He hadn’t even had that same smile on his face that he always has when he looks at me. He looked…

Terrified.

A ball came sailing towards me, and I caught it before I could think.

“Madison, get in the game,” the gym coach yelled.

I looked over to Jason. He was yelling instructions out to his team, not paying attention to me. Natasha was looking back at me, looking impatient for me to get onto the court.

Well, no one ever said gym had to be easy.

***

Theodora was a weird girl. She had a large amount of wigs that she switched out constantly. Sometimes I’d see her in the morning and she’d switch her wig out by lunch.

I didn’t actually know what she had under there. Jason said she was just eccentric. That might explain why she always sat alone at lunch.

Then again, I did too. Jason and I had the same lunch, but he always sat with his friends from the senior class and it made me nervous. Sitting next to Jason there made me feel like they were comparing us, like they wondered why he was with that quiet, scrawny kid in the first place.

“You sure you have the right table?” Theodora asked as I set my tray down across from her.

I let my gaze go over to Jason and his friends. They were all laughing at something, looking like they were having the greatest time in the world. “I-yeah. You mind?”

There was no one else there, not even at the other end of the table. All Theodora did was adjust her wig, a curly, purple affair today, and look over to Jason’s table. “They annoy you too, huh?” she said.

I was tempted to say yes. Jason’s friends annoyed me. If it weren’t for them, I could sit with my boyfriend at lunch. But there I was, sitting down with some random girl because I was afraid of being compared to him.

“No,” I said. “Intimidate, I guess, is the right word.”

“Well don’t worry about that,” Theodora said. “They’ll be gone in a year anyway.”

“What?” I looked up from my macaroni. A piece of my blond hair fell into my face, and I pushed it back, annoyed.

“Um, they’re seniors,” Theodora said. “They’ll be graduating this year.”

I stared down at my food, lost for words. I guess even though I kept reminding myself that Jason was a senior, the fact that he’d be graduating this year… never really clicked.

I was almost tempted to go over and sit with him. Jason always sat at the end of the table, leaving enough room for one person to sit at the very end of the bench beside him. But he never made the effort to sit with me, so why should I bother?

“I’ve seen you with that guy. Are you friends?”

I turned to Theodora. She was looking at me innocently. I barely knew this girl, besides the fact that she likes wearing outrageous wigs and that she always sat alone at lunch. It was a clean slate, basically. Cleaner than the one I had created since I moved here in August, anyway.

It didn’t, however, make me want to tell her anything.

“Yeah, friends,” I said. I ducked my head before Theodora could look me in the eye. Not even I thought I could be believed.

“Isaac.”

I turned to see Jason leaning over the bench, one arm around my shoulders. My face started turning red.

“You left your clarinet beside your gym locker,” he said.

I finally noticed that the arm he put around my shoulders had my clarinet case. Theodora was staring at Jason like he was an alien, her eyes wide and her entire body stiff.

“Thanks.” I put the case down beside my backpack. Jason lingered there, his hand on my shoulder, and I turned to look at him. “Did you need something else?”

Jason glanced around before pulling me into a kiss. “You still want a ride home today?”

All I could do was nod.

“Friends,” Theodora said. “I wish I had a friend like that.”

I took one last look at Jason. He was back at his own table, listening to something one of the girls was saying. He ran a hand through his brown hair, then he glanced my way.

No matter how much I complained, those smiles he gave me made it worth it. Of course, the girl who had been talking to him seemed to think he was smiling at her. She flipped her hair and smiled back, but Jason wasn’t paying attention.

“You sure you don’t want to go over?” Theodora asked. “Looks like you have some competition.”

I shook my head, turning back to my food. It was only competition if I knew how to fight for him in the first place.

***

Jason was waiting outside the band room when the last period bell rang. I knew for a fact that he had Calculus then, which made his presence that much more of a surprise.

“Have a good day, Isaac,” the band director said. She was putting away some music sheets, but her eyes were on me and Jason.

“Thank you, Miss Piper.” I waved vaguely before letting the door fall shut.

“She seems nice,” Jason said. “I took band freshman year, but there was a different director.”

“Really? What instrument did you play?” I twitched a little as he took my hand, but I didn’t say anything about it.

“Trombone.”

The band geek in me made me laugh, but the common sense in me cut it down to a snort. I smiled and put my free hand over my mouth, trying to hide it.

“There’s his smile.”

We were at Jason’s car now. He picked me up and sat me down on the trunk before kissing me. He ran his hands down my body and stopped at my hips while I put my arms around his shoulders.

“You really should smile more, babe,” he said into my ear. He licked at the bottom before pulling away.

There was a car driving by at this point. The driver wasn’t someone I really recognized, but he beeped his horn at us and said something. I didn’t hear what he said, but judging from the look on Jason’s face, it seemed he had. And I wasn’t sure I wanted to know.

“Um, do you want to stay at my house for a while?” I asked.

Jason watched as the car drove away before nodding.

I probably wouldn’t have invited Jason if my mother was home, but I knew she was doing errands that afternoon. It was because as… charming, I suppose, as Jason was, he still had the bad habit of not being able to keep his hands off me when he thought we were alone.

Case in point, as soon as we got inside, he had me down on the couch, kissing me hard.

“You’re lucky my mom’s out today,” I said when he finally pulled back.

His hair was hanging down, just long enough to touch my cheeks since he was still close to my face.

“Your parents don’t know about us do they?” Jason said.

I pulled him into another kiss, and he licked at my lips so I would let his tongue in. “Well I… no. They wouldn’t believe me if I just told them. They still see me as their innocent little boy.”

Jason was touching me all over as I said that. He finally settled his hands in the back pockets of my jeans. I wrapped my arms around his back and he moved down, nipping at my neck before moving down to the collar of my shirt.

“Innocent? Maybe compared to me.” He licked at my neck before pushing away.

“What’s that supposed to mean?” I said.

Jason stared at me, seeming to consider something. But then the door opened and he was more than willing to turn and look. “Ah, hello Mrs. Madison.”

I jumped away from Jason as my mother came through with grocery bags.

“Jason, what brings you here?” she said.

He got up and jogged over into the kitchen so he could help Mom put the food away. “Isaac asked me to help him with Geometry, since he has a quiz tomorrow.”

It was Thursday, and I had mentioned it in passing on Monday. Sometimes I wondered how he did half the things he does.

Hello, world, and all who inhabit it

Or at least those parts of the world that are reading this blog. Because I know not a lot of people are. But whatever.

Who am I, you might be asking? Well, right now I'm a nineteen-year-old college student chugging away at a BFA in creative writing up there in that state that a lot of you seem to think is part of Canada. I'm a yaoi fangirl at heart, and my favorite one has to be the series FAKE by Sanami Matoh, as demonstrated by the theme of this blog.

But, and this may just be the late-night rambling in my head (it's 2:10am as I write this), the title can fit with my writing, too. I write about gay romance, light-hearted stories where the guys are gay and in love, but very few people tend to had a problem with that (or at least fewer people than they believe). Some people have called my writing idealistic. And as everyone knows, idealistic isn't "real" :) Hence, my writing takes place in a fake paradise.

Or maybe it really is too early in the morning for me to be thinking coherently. But I'll be posting some writing after this, so feel free to stay tuned.