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, July 28, 2010

Inspiration comes in the weirdest places

I was editing Artistic License the other day, but I decided to take a break.  I’ve been playing a few video games on and off lately, one of which is Hotel Dusk: Room 215.  I realized two things after a while.

1: Cameron’s last name, Nile, came from the crime syndicate Nile in the game.

2: In AL, a bucket of white paint is thrown over Cameron’s painting for revenge.  In Hotel Dusk, a bucket of white paint is thrown over an important painting, though it’s by the person who made it in the first place.

These two things are rather small, but it seemed weird when I realized it.  I wasn’t even thinking about it in either case!  I made these two things from one of my favorite video games into my own, and I think that’s what I like about writing. Even when you take elements from another work of fiction, it’s different with each person that’s writing.

But on that note, there’s only about a week until I start submitting this thing I call a book, so I should probably get back to editing it.  Wanna make it hard for them to say no, after all!

Thursday, July 22, 2010

In a little over a week

I’ll be starting submission for Artistic License.  I’ve made a promise with two of my friends that we’d all start querying come August, and it is getting closer and closer with each passing day (funny how that works, huh?).  I’m not sure how I feel about this.  Even though I’ve been posting my writing on the internet for ages, and I’ve been thinking about publishing for at least half as long, I’ve never actually buckled down and sent my novels in for that almost inevitable rejection that is bound to come.

And maybe I’ll cry, maybe I’ll be mad that they didn’t think I was good enough.  But at least I can say I tried.  Right?

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Differences, I guess

It’s homecoming week in my town. Lincoln, Maine does not celebrate the Fourth of July like every other town; when we have fireworks, it’s for homecoming. I guess that’s just one difference between myself and other people when it comes to how we grew up.

I base my stories in Maine and use my experience growing up in a small Maine town to make the characters authentic. If that means people think they talk weird or want to know why they say ‘supper’ instead of dinner, or why they’re not wearing a coat when it’s fifty degrees out (fifty degrees isn’t cold, Florida!) then that’s just how it’ll have to be. Though admittedly, I haven’t gotten as many questions on my actual stories as I have on myself.

But that’s mostly because people are unaware that their way of life isn’t how everyone lives. This isn’t all that good for a writer. Why write, something that requires you to be aware of the world and maybe even do a LOT of research, when you’re so close-minded? Back when I was still active on inkpop, I got plenty of comments on my stories from other writers saying they couldn’t read them because they were about gay kids. What’s the point? If you’re going to at least try to make your life as a writer, you won’t make it very far if you refuse to acknowledge other ways of life exist.

Actually, continue on the way you’re going. I could always use a good laugh.

Monday, July 12, 2010

Where My Life Is Going

I realized something Saturday after my mother told me a very interesting piece of information.  That interesting piece of information was that a former friend of mine and her boyfriend had gone into the town office, where my mother works, to get a marriage license.  Now I don’t really give a crap about this former friend because she’s just that: a former friend.  We stopped talking years ago and she’s never made the attempt to get back in touch with me.  But when it comes down to it, the story behind why Becka and I aren’t friends anymore is a whole different story.

Anyway, what it made me realize is this: I’m growing up.  The people that I went to school with are getting jobs, getting married.  Hell, I’ll even be twenty in a little over a month from now.  The difference between me and Becka?  Whereas she’s apparently ready to settle down with a husband and be content with her life, I’m not.  I haven’t had a boyfriend since my junior year of high school.  In August, I’ll be submitting my query letter to agents all over the US and hope that maybe, just maybe, I’ll be able to make it big and live my life like I want: make my money off writing, and probably live alone in an apartment with high-speed internet and the latest copy of MSWord to keep me company.

What does that mean for me?

Well, when I graduated and they wrote up the “class prophecy” with where they thought everyone would be in ten years, they said I’d be a housewife who had made a name for myself writing children’s picture books.  I guess, at this point, I’m determined to prove them wrong :)

Friday, July 9, 2010

Weekend plans

I thought about seeing The Last Airbender this weekend (if my mother will bring me to the movies; the closest theater to our town is forty minutes away).  But then I read up on it and realized I wouldn’t be able to stand two hours of “Soaka” instead of “Sokka”.  That’s just the kind of person I am.

In other news, I’m still chugging away at I Heard It On The Radio.  I’m at 14k right now, which is a little under where I’m supposed to be by the end of today, but I’ll be working on it more when I get home and don’t have internet to distract me.  Even though I’m behind, it’s actually going pretty well.  I’m allowing myself to jump around to different scenes instead of having to write it in order, so if I find myself stuck at one place, I’ll just move on to another.  Genius, amirite?

Anyway, I’ll be working on editing Artistic License and writing I Heard It On The Radio over the weekend, so I guess that’s what all be doing.  Not all that interesting, but what can you do when you live in a small town?

Thursday, July 8, 2010


I’m participating in JulNoWriMo because I decided I need a good kick in the ass to get to writing again.  I haven’t written anything significant since Artistic License.  Part of that is probably because I got hit hard with depression in late November and December, but another part of that is probably that I was working so hard on AL, to get parts of it rewritten and the entire book edited that I’d just put actual writing to the side.

So, as I said, I decided to do JulNoWriMo.  It’s like NaNoWriMo, but it takes place in July (which is now, in case you weren’t paying attention).  I’m writing another gay romance story called I Heard It On The Radio, about a guy whose mother is a popular radio DJ in their town and likes to talk about her family on air.  Because of this, he has a hard time telling her anything for fear that she’ll talk about it on one of her shows and let the whole tri-city area know about one of his secrets.  Needless to say, she eventually finds out he’s gay and blabs about it, embarrassing him to no end.

That’s all I really feel like saying about it, though :P I’ll definitely be making a cover for it though, when I find the time between writing that and editing Artistic License.  I plan to have AL out in the querying world by August, after all!  Maybe I Heard It On The Radio will be my second novel!  I’d really love to make my living as a realistic fiction author, although I do have Memories, which is sci-fi.  So it’s kind of a problem.  But realistic fiction is my favorite, and good fiction books seem to be really lacking in the YA market these days.

I say that as if I think I can change it.  Hah, I wish.  It’s nice to dream, though.

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Editing Shenanigans

I did something last night that I hadn't done in years, and didn't ever think I'd be doing again.

I turned on the grammar check on Microsoft Word.

Yes, I know, people like to make those jokes about how it's always completely off-base and doesn't know what it's talking about. But despite all the fans I have online, my prose can get weird at times. So I turned it on along with the style checker, and I went through all 64k of Artistic License, letting it check for wordiness and passive voice, among other things. I set up at my kitchen table and sat there for several hours as my mother sat about ten feet away, watching sitcoms.

At one point I went to my bedroom, and she went to get a drink. When I looked out, she was staring at the screen. Lord knows what she was thinking as she read what I had up XD Ah, well. If/when AL gets published, she'll find out about it anyway, right?

I'm shooting to have it edited enough and a decent query letter out by August. Me, Nita and Ashley plan to start querying agents in August, just as kind of a group goal. It would be awesome if we could all debut at the same time. All realistic fiction! Take that, vampire hype.

Ah well. It's a nice dream.