#14

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I think small things do matter. Small things build up to become big things. I try to remember one irregular verb everyday, and it has become a good habit. E was complimenting me about my work on studying languages. I am tired so I want to go to sleep, but I still want to do the 800 words.

There was an earthquake in Tainan, Taiwan. I was surprised when I saw a building fell to one side. It was not built well, and it costed lives. I don’t know what the people who built it at the time were thinking, but they must feel very guilty now when they see the damage they caused. I do feel sorry for people in Taiwan who suffered the earthquake, and it also makes me think that people would know the true condition about something when an unexpected event, such as a natural disaster, takes place.

Although I know I want to buy more socks because the socks seemed so good, I feel it was too much trouble to drive to a store just to buy socks. I changed my mind because I know it was not urgent, and my decision was proven right when I didn’t have any problems at all when I didn’t buy the socks.

I got an invitation postcard from a language school, and I am interested in the explanatory event. I could still try to teach English to kids at the school, even though I turned down the offer last time. I didn’t think it was good for me because the pay was low, and I always have thought that I have trouble communicating with kids. I am moving to another country in one year, and they won’t want me to work for them if I will be moving away anyway.

I don’t know why P was yelling at me when I took a turn driving. I was driving okay. He did not want me to drive or he was just trying to make me feel inferior to him in driving. It felt like some kind of power struggle. It was so lame. He reminded me of the teacher T’s story about her husband. Her husband didn’t even allow her to learn how to drive. Some men are so selfish because they don’t want the women to be in control: they want to be the ones who are in control. And that in turn just proves what cowards they are.

Change in action produces conflicts, and such experience produces understanding. Conflicts exist between us. I repress my own feeling if I put him and peace before myself. Then someday I will explode when I just can’t stand it anymore. The only solution to the problem is to let him know before I explode that I don’t like it when he tells me what to do. There is no the other way but to be honest about my own feeling and to speak up for myself.

I want to work on the rewrite for my story “Decoding”, but I don’t know when I will be able to do it. S is coming, and my parents, too. I am anxious. We went to buy the mattress and blankets for S. P cleaned the room. We are almost done with our preparation for their coming. We threw out 3 bags of trash this evening. I think I have become more organized and focused by writing everyday. It seems like my mind has more clarity, and I know what I need, so I can throw out what I don’t need when the time has come.

#13

I am not sure if my writing is good enough to receive a good grade from my English teacher. I am not sure if I should post my edited writings to my blog. I am not sure if the writings are too private or if they are that interesting at all.

The teacher who edited my writing suggests that I “look quietly into what’s troubling E”. Since I wrote about what I want to be is an open dialogue writer, I thought that what I did contradicted what I said. The contradiction was that I want to have an open dialogue conversation in writing when I am not practicing the approach in reality by talking with whom I need to talk to or listen to. It’s pretty stupid.

I think E is improving because he seems to care about the promises we made. I just need to remind him when he occasionally takes things too far. I realize that I cannot control another person’s thinking, and I can only try to control my own. If a person is controlled by another person as to how to think, the person is not really free. He won’t be himself anymore, but a puppet, or some kind of a robot, or something terrible.

The book “Rewrite” really gets me to think about characters and people in real life. A person is interesting for her quirks. What is a quirk? It’s something interesting. If a person is worth being a character in a story, there is something interesting about her. Anything is okay, but “something”. The book also explains that conflicts are important. Conflict is what makes a story. No conflict, no story. No story, a piece of writing is just events.  

Maybe P hates me, but he tries not to show it. When he forgets to try, he shows how much he hates me. For example, when I make a mistake, he attacks me and becomes very mean. I feel people repress their true feelings most of the time. I’d like to know what and how a person really is like: what they are afraid of and what motivates them.

My journals are the only writings I have with correct grammar, and I only want to post writings with correct grammar. I don’t know if my writing is any good, but I know writing is important for me and I want to get better at it. Someday I want S to write a foreward for my book, because I think that would mean something. I made a beat sheet for my story today.

#12

E has been home these past few days because too many kids contracted Influenza. I began to feel that E is getting a bit tired of his free time with too much TV and game playing, but I also began to feel that I am getting a bit tired of reminding him to quit playing over and over again.

It is very interesting to write a story and to analyze everything in the story. I enjoy understanding every part of a story and the process of making it whole. The book “Rewrite” is easy for me to read. The book made me see how my story has the mysterious sequence structure. The audience doesn’t know what the protagonist will do until in the end; I didn’t know what I wanted until I finished writing it. Writers write about their thoughts and emotions, but is it interesting? This question leads me to think what conflicts in children’s stories look like.

I think relationships are based on exchange of energy. I have been reading “Rewrite”, and it talks about how to write about characters and their relationships. I think there are only 3 kinds of relationships based on energy flow of dependence, control, or neutral. A protagonist is the main character, an antagonist is the character whose goal is the opposite of the protagonist’s, and the rest of the characters are either a helper, or a foil. I need to figure out the relationships for the characters in my story.

My story is personal and private. The protagonist has a conflict within herself, a conflict with the man who she thought she loved, a conflict with her family, a conflict with society. In other words, she has conflicts with the world. But the story was presented in a way that she doesn’t know what kinds of conflicts she has. The protagonist lives as if she goes with the flow, and then suddenly she found herself in deep trouble — the kind of trouble she cannot get out of. I hope in the end, the audience would be able to see that she is also the antagonist.

“Do fathers go to junior high for the measuring of uniform?” P asked. I didn’t understand the question in the beginning. Then, I realized the question simply implied: Since it’s not common for fathers to go to the measuring of uniforms at junior high school, he doesn’t need to go.

That’s when I remembered that S said she understands that her fear still exists, even though she tried to overcome it. I agree that fear might still exist even if we try to overcome it, but I was hoping that she could understand she needs to recognize her fear before she can overcome it. P didn’t have to care what most people say, but the fact is he cared. I realize that P feared to be thought different, whereas S fears disharmony: they both fear to be unloved.

S and I talked about many things. I told her that the fear to fail is what prevents us from trying. I know that because I’ve always asked myself if I should write or not. I fear that if I give myself to the world, I will be laughed at. I am not strong enough to take a criticism. But maybe the simple fact that I overcome my fear by keeping writing is what makes me a writer. Of course there’s so much more to writing than to overcome one’s fear, but the overcoming is the first step.

#11

I went to read my old writings this afternoon. I definitely had a crush on R! Now I don’t have those feelings anymore, so I feel my writings about R seem so innocent and hilarious. I wrote a short story about R in the 3rd person, and it goes like, “N did this and she was …”. The romantic story was stupid, but it was sincere. Do I want to keep my private thoughts private, or do I want to share something interesting about myself with the rest of the world, even if it might be embarrassing? I guess I will never know unless I post it.

But is it interesting at all? Did I really think he was cute? Perhaps it was just an illusion — sometimes people have illusions when they want something. The desire of something makes us overlook the reality. Just like Bridget was attracted to her boss in the movie; an attraction exists, but it may be nothing more than an attraction. I just find my old writings to be so honest that it moves me. I can see how an emotion was real for me at the time, and how it doesn’t matter to the least to me now.

A new understanding about what writing is, writing is not a choice for me. If I can’t write, I can’t think. If I can’t think, I can’t function. It’s not a question of choosing what I want to do; writing is a necessity. However, it is a choice for me to want to be better at it. I get the feeling that I am just afraid of failure, and that’s the challenge of writing for me. I am getting tired of my self-doubt: I feel like writing, but I am not sure if I should share my writing with others.

I checked out the person who gave me a like for my blog post, and gave her a like on her post. I quickly went through her posts about writing. She wrote about her reflections on becoming a writer, and it was similar to my own reflections. I read the comments, too. The people who commented basically the same feelings about writing themselves: everyone is trying to write, but not sure if their writing is any good, and if they will ever have their stories published, and so on.

Emotions are temporary. Human interaction drains me. I can’t help it but to point out what I find to be a logical inconsistency even if my question might annoy people. I cannot take my mind off of a problem when I intuitively sense something is off. I want to know why it’s off. It’s the only way I know how to function — or the only way I can function. Is it a curse? I set out to find my own truth.

My piano teacher was surprised when I played well on the part where I couldn’t play well last week. I was surprised by her being surprised. It was quite embarrassing for me actually, because then I knew she didn’t expect me to get it right. Even though I can’t play the piano well, I always think I’ve learned so much from taking the lesson other than just making sounds out of a keyboard.

#10

F was friendly and patient at our English lesson today as usual. The students looked at him with loving eyes as usual. I went to Tully’s after the lesson, ordered the avocado hotdog and a latte as usual. However, I could not concentrate on reading; maybe the sun coming from the window behind me was too bright and hot. I had to go home soon anyway, because E was coming home early since his class was earlier dismissed because too many kids contracted Influenza.

“Rewrite” is just the book I need to be reading. I saw an article about a young writer who had won an award. He talked about writing and rewriting, so it occurred to me that rewriting is where the real work is. So I thought that it’d be a good idea to read the book “Rewrite”, which I had on my bookshelf for a long time. The more I read, the more I realized that writing is not just about putting my thoughts on paper. Writing is a process, and putting down my thoughts is just the beginning of the process. Writing is fun; rewriting is not, but it is a necessary step to make a piece of writing better.

“Rewrite” talks about acts, goal, Protagonist, beat sheet, and they are just everything that I have been using on the app Story Planner app, but didn’t know exactly what they meant. Now I know what they mean, and the knowledge is very helpful for me to write my next story. I can use my old script as a practice to rewrite, while I collect information for my next story. I am still interested in screenplay writing because of its simplicity, but I also want to practice story writing because it will help me to work on scene-descriptions. Story writing and screenplay writing are different ways of story-telling. The challenge in writing an outline of a screenplay is in revealing thoughts in action.

Finally I started to read the book again around 4pm. The writer uses the metaphor of polishing a diamond for writing better. The diamond polishing idea gave me encouragement that I needed to keep working on my story. Suddenly I got the feeling of making my script happen as I continued to read the book. Nobody believes in me making the story happen; or nobody could care less. However, it is not the reason why it won’t happen. Actually, it is the reason why it needs to happen. My story can be a good story if I put my heart and hands to work, to quote a basketball coach from my high school. I have everything I need: I have the advice from the book, I have the 1st draft, I have enough time; the rest is up to me. If I am willing to work hard, if I want it to happen, I can make it happen. Everyone has a voice; the question is whether one wants to be heard or not.

I need to focus on writing. I always try to do too many things at once, and leave them before I get better: I will practice the piano before or after dinner. I can try to remember 1 German irregular verb a day. I just need to finish reading “Rewrite” first before I continue to read a philosophy book. Maybe prioritizing is the key after all.

Writing 800 words daily is working out well for me. When I push myself to write more after I hit 500 words, an important message comes out as a result of the push. ┬áThe process of writing 800 words a day feels like I try to dig out what’s buried at the bottom of my mind: when I get rid of the random thoughts at the top of my mind, a truth at the bottom is revealed. It takes effort to push myself, but it’s worth it. I decided to do what I feel I need to do with my writings, which is to rewrite it to make it better.

I saw the message S left so I called her, and we talked for about 70 minutes. I told her how my writing is going well for me and the process helps me to clear and focus my mind. She talked about her mom and her kid. We also talked about how the film “Ordinary People” relates to our experiences.