Tag Archive: thoughts


Hello there, You.

I will give a warning that this post isn’t going to be about how Book Two is finished and I have a release date and everything is great and hey actually I’ve got the other books written too and everyone can have copies for free yayyyyy.

This post is not about that. This post will be more about my recent realizations in writing and in life in general. And maybe I’ll throw in some book stuff at the end.

“How’s book two going?”

“When can I get my hands on the next book?”

“I can’t wait to see what happens next to the characters!”

These kinds of questions and many others have been coming in since, well, Mark of the Corripian was published. And every time I hear them I slap on a smile and give my typical answer of “I’m working on it. But I’ve been busy. Y’know. College and stuff.” *Insert soft chuckle*

But the truth is – my first confession – that I haven’t really been working on it. Book two has been minimized at the bottom of my computer screen – fully written, but unedited – for months now. I’ve opened it a few times but haven’t spent much more than twenty minutes on it in one sitting. How? How could I do this? This is the question I’ve been asking myself. If you knew me when I first started writing this series (or even if you’ve read my earlier posts), you will know how much this story meant to me. And whatever you thought it meant to me, it meant so much more because there were things about writing and fleshing out my characters’ lives that helped me in ways I still can’t explain to others. But now – seemingly so suddenly – the meaning of it has fizzled out. I finished Book Two on a high note and then something happened: I stopped writing.

Here’s the thing about writing (and most things, really) – you have to keep doing it in order to keep up your talent, interest, etc. I also like drawing, but I don’t do it often anymore so when I do draw, I end up feeling like I’m wasting time and that I could be doing something far more beneficial. That’s a little like what happened with my book.

And now follows my realization: The world is changing.

When I began writing Mark of the Corripian, I was sixteen. I was a fairly confident sixteen year old, but shy and pretty lonely in the evenings because I had nowhere to go and not a large group of friends. The world was a big place, but I had only seen a small part of it, and I was convinced that what I saw was what everywhere else was like. Sure, I knew that there were starving children and wars and horrible injustices going on all around me, but I was comfortable in my own little bubble of safety. And that bubble was often pretty empty, so I found a way to fill it: writing.

Thus began my initial journey. I developed this story originally to entertain a few of my friends, but also to fill my terribly bland bubble world. And for a long time my plan succeeded. My characters filled a hole in my heart that I hadn’t realized was there. I hid behind the story when struggles came up in my life. I wrote about my own experiences, but I covered myself in the guise of fictional characters. Then, gradually, things started changing.

Firstly, half of those friends I wrote the story for have faded from my life. Sure they’re still there (and a shout out to any of them who might read this!), but most have taken different paths in life, and our paths do not cross as often as before. This has been a big transition for me. Friends have come and gone before in life but there’s a difference when a friend from elementary school goes to a different school and you never see them again…and watching people who you have spent half your life with moving in a completely different direction as you. Since leaving college, I’ve experienced what it’s really like to have “long-distance friends,” and it’s hard. It’s so much different when you’re used to seeing these people every day at school, knowing everything about their life, and then now you see them again or hear from a mutual friend that they cut their hair or transferred schools or changed majors… You send them a text or call them and comment about it and are informed that this happened “ages ago.” What? How could I have missed that? This transformation from knowing these people more than I know myself to not even knowing something so seemingly trivial as when they got a new pet fish has been one of the more difficult transitions in my life. And when this change started happening, I used my book as a shield. I hid behind the story because my characters, though they grew as the story progressed, never really changed. I knew my characters, my characters knew me, and we had a mutual understanding of how things are and how they always will be.
Or so I thought.
Referring back to my realization, I now understand that change is evident, and whether or not we like it, it is necessary. I had created this elaborate world in the pages of a book – printed words that now cannot be altered – when the world around me was leaving me behind, alone and oblivious in my bubble of safety.
I can’t exactly pinpoint what triggered this realization. But I will say that my time in Korea certainly fueled it. Being so far away from home, away from all I had grown up in and the people who have known me since I was a child, I was really able to see things clearly. My parents were thousands of miles away, and so were all the people in my life that I had always tried so hard to please. So I could, for the first time it seemed, make choices without directly influencing them.
And I will say that it was a freeing sensation. I was really happy. And in case you’re wondering, no I didn’t do all those crazy stuff that I never could do with my parents knowing my every plan. Because, when I was on my own, I was able to realize that even though I could do all those things, I had no reason to. I found that my greatest joy comes from helping other people. Even just passing on a smile warms my heart and excites me more than any of those things I could have done, now that I was away from home. And more than anything, I gained a better understanding, through my own study and prayer, of who this God is that I’ve grown up believing in.
So here’s confession number two: I don’t find as much joy in writing as I used to.

This has also been very difficult for me to process. It falls along the same category as losing a friend because my writing was always there for me when I didn’t have a physical person to talk to. But lately writing has become a chore for me, and I feel very disconnected from my characters.

I know this must be hard for those readers who loved the story and want to know what happens next. And if you’re reading this and think that this means you won’t be able to find out what happens next, I want to stop you right there because

I WILL FINISH THIS STORY.

I’ve gone too far to stop now. It’s been slow going for a long time, but I’m ready now to get back to writing. I have changed a lot since I initially planned out the story, so I can guarantee that the subsequent books will reflect those changes. I will not stray from the story, granted, but I do want the story to hold more meaning than it originally did. For a while when I wasn’t writing, I would only read nonfiction stories because I found fiction to be simply a waste of time. I wasn’t getting anything out of it. And then my final realization hit me:

Sometimes it’s okay to escape reality. Sometimes you need to take a breath of fresh air when everything around you is uncertain, when everyone is changing, when you have no idea what in the world is going on. Sometimes you need a story to read that transports you away from all of that for even just a moment, so that you can be a kid again. You can enter your little bubble world and be completely oblivious to reality. Because when you turn that last page, you will inevitably return to the “real world,” to your realizations, to changes.

So please, don’t give up on Book Two, or me, or on fiction in general like I did for a while. Because I think there is a time to accept reality, and there is also a time to embrace fantasy. But there must, like everything else, be a balance of the two.

I want the readers of Mark of the Corripian to know that it is through these realizations and many months of questioning my reasons for writing that I have again learned to enjoy writing, and I am getting to know my characters all over again. It’s like seeing an old friend you haven’t seen in ages and catching up right where you left off before.

Xavier and Zenia, though absent for a while, will soon have more adventures to share so please stay tuned. ;)

-B.H. Parker

“There is a time for everything, and a season for every activity under the heavens.” Ecclesiastes 3:1

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Hello, again!

I write to you today during one of my classes (sshhh, don’t tell anyone). Don’t worry, though, I can multitask very efficiently. *nods solemnly*
So, the past couple weeks have been quite interesting for me. Firstly, if you haven’t noticed already….

MARK OF THE CORRIPIAN HAS OFFICIALLY BEEN RELEASED!!!

Yes, well, it is true. The day has come (8 days ago, actually), and Mark of the Corripian is officially available for purchase in paperback and e-book format. If you haven’t gotten your copy yet,  you should get one! I’d be delighted to hear your opinion on it.
Before that happened, I attended the Write-in-the-Middle young writers conference at Montevallo University on 20 February. I enjoyed speaking to the middle schoolers and I’m so excited to see where they go in the future. Who knows, maybe one of them will become a best-selling author one day! And I get to say I knew them. (;
Back to the release date of MotC. You may wonder why I did not blog on that very special day. Well, that is a good question. I probably should have found the time, but I had a couple tests to study for aaaaand… It just didn’t happen. I thought about it, though. It’s the thought that counts, right? (No? Well, okay.) I’ve actually thought about blogging a lot over the past few days. Yet, something always seemed more pressing, such as hanging out with my new friends (shout-out to Bailey, Mary, and Sara), watching random movies or TV shows, or writing on Book 2 (I don’t apologize for this one). Though, speaking of TV shows, I’m currently slightly emotionally involved in the show “Arrow. ” A friend of mine who  lives six hours away watches it at the same time as I do, and we discuss it over text. It’s quite an exciting adventure, though often frustrating since the characters do stupid things REPEATEDLY. (Oliver, you know I’m talking to you.) But that’s okay, because in the end it’s only a TV show. Obviously the only real people are the ones in books…
Speaking of books, I have started reading again. (I have phases when I don’t read for a while, and then I remember that I actually enjoy it, so I return to it.) Currently I’m just reading what is required in my World Lit class, plus a few extra stories in my excessively large world lit book. I’ve decided to read Beowulf since I haven’t had a chance to yet (this is for you, Susanna), and maybe I’ll finish it before I finish this semester of school (fingers crossed–I can be a slow/distracted reader at times).
Oh, and I thought I’d answer a question today that I’ve been getting from a few people.

Question: How do you find time to write while keeping up with other aspects of your life?

My Answer: Life? What life?
Okay, just kidding, I have a sort-of life. One of my main characteristics is that I like to plan. I like to know what is going on at exactly what time, and if something needs to be done next week, well it’s all the better if I finish it this week instead. Procrastination is one of my greatest pet peeves, and I often give procrastinators strange looks because I cannot understand their lifestyle choices. (If I have ever given you one of these looks, I apologize. Please, carry on with your life as you see fit and ignore me.)
So, what does that have to do with writing? Much and little at the same time. When it comes to writing, my planning and non-procrastination mottos are completely abandoned. My books have no plans (except for their beginnings/endings and a few key scenes). If I should be writing on Book 2, and I really don’t feel like it, well, chances are, I will find something else to do, such as doodling or watching a movie or going to bed before any of the other college students even begin to think about sleep.
Now, with that said, I still do manage to find the time to write, BUT, I only do it when I am in my “writing mood,” which, sadly, is not any time of the day. If it were, I would have had the entire series finished in maybe a year. Unfortunately, unless I am mentally prepared for writing, nothing will happen. I will end up staring at the words on this computer screen and getting NOTHING done, which benefits no one. So, how do I solve this grand predicament? I do as much homework, studying, etc., as soon as I can so that when I AM in a writing mood, I will be able to devote a section of my day to writing and not regret it later. I usually limit myself on the time I spend on homework (60-90 minute intervals), but with writing, there is no time limit. I write until I cannot write anymore, even if the time leaks into my bedtime (gasp!). Sometimes that is thirty minutes, sometimes it’s two or three hours. The results also vary–sometimes I write 2-4 chapters, and sometimes I manage to finish a single scene.
Late last year (or maybe it was early this year) I made a goal to write 2,000 words a day. Since I’ve gotten to college, that goal has become rather impractical for me. As said previously, I’m only occasionally in the mood to write, so if I were to force myself to sit down and write, I’d only manage to type out garbage. For some writers, this is what they make themselves to do, and it works for them. (Not the part about the garbage, but about forcing themselves to write daily.) However, I’ve found that if I try to do that, my mind will get boggled, and I will only frustrate myself as I stare at the screen for hours on end (yes, this has happened before). So, while some authors will say that you must write EVERY day, I disagree. I think it’s good to figure out what works for you personally, even if it means spending a little more time to complete your work than other people believe is fit. Who are they to tell you how long you should spend on it? It’s your creation. Do what you know is right!

That’s all I’ve got for today. Here’s a jewel for you before you go. This was me on the release day of Mark of the Corripian:

Team Corripian, right here!

Team Corripian, right here!

Got my book, my t-shirt, and–you can’t really see it, but–my necklace with the mark of the Corripian on it. Represent.

Have a safe week, and say something nice to someone today, tomorrow, and the next day. Because nice people are cool.

Farewell to all,

B.H. Parker

“Be kind, for everyone you meet is fighting a harder battle.” -Plato

Hello, everyone!

This week has been super exciting for me because I RECEIVED MY FIRST SHIPMENT OF BOOKS!! Of course, these are pre-release copies, meaning that Mark of the Corripian is not yet available from book stores. It is, however, available directly through my publisher or directly through me. Also, if you are interested in reviewing Mark of the Corripian, send me an email at bhparker@ymail.com and I would love to send you a copy!
Before I forget, I would  like to give a shout-out to all the wonderful people who have already purchased books from me! I had an overwhelming amount of support the FIRST day I received books, and it was so encouraging! …Though also a little frightening. I guess I haven’t  thought about it before–really thought about it–that now that people own my book, they will be reading it. That means they’ll know all about Xavier and Zenia–my children, practically. And I’m still not completely sure how I feel about that. You’re probably thinking–‘But that’s what you wanted, right? People to read your book?’ And yes, I suppose that’s what happens when one publishes a book. People read it. *shivers*
But I guess what some people don’t understand is that this book has become very personal to me. I crafted the characters, the scenes, and the story in general, to sort out different things in my own life. Maybe that sounds weird to you–especially since Mark of the Corripian is based on a different planet with characters who possess superpowers–but that’s just how my mind works, I guess. All the characters have bits of me in them–my good qualities, my bad qualities, my fears, my struggles, and those things that I never let anyone else see. So I guess it’s a little frightening for people to read this book because it’s as if they’re reading my story. It’s the story of how I feel on a daily basis, my thoughts on other human beings, and also the person that I want to be. Of course, if you read Mark of the Corripian, you will be very confused, wondering how in the world it is about all that because the story really has nothing to do with those things. But it does. Every chapter, every scene–I could tell you exactly why I wrote it and what it means specifically to me. Even the little parts of the book that might seem pointless or unnecessary–they mean something to me.
I can tell you specifically one part of the story that holds the most meaning for me: Xavier Patrocinor. Yeah, he’s the super awesome male protagonist with a bad attitude and pretty eyes, but he’s so much more for me. I created him–a character with a chillingly brutal past in which he was responsible for bringing harm to multiple people–because I wanted to know–I needed to know–that someone who had made so many mistakes, someone who had strayed so far from the person he wanted to be, could still turn his life around. This was important to me in both a moral manner and a spiritual one. Growing up, I’d always been very critical of people, picking out all their mistakes and imperfections. Looking back, I guess this was my way of feeling better about myself–no matter what I did, at least I wasn’t bad as those people. This viewpoint shaped me into a very judgmental–even bitter–person. I could no longer see the good in people, only the bad. Anything a person did, even if it was an act of kindness, I would try to figure out the meaning behind it. Certainly the person had a hidden agenda. No one is kind just to be kind.
It wasn’t after I began writing this story that I began to change my viewpoint. If you’ve read my earlier posts, you know that the story started off strictly in Zenia’s POV, and Xavier was simply a supporting character. It was after I made him a main character, after I began to formulate his past, after I began to really get to know him as a character–no, as a human being(because that is what he is to me)–that I started to see the world differently. Xavier is a part of me that I am not proud of–untrusting and judgmental. He is also a part of all those people that I would look down on a few years ago–people who have made mistakes they regret (and, of course, this is a part of me, too). And Zenia is in many ways the person I want to be. She is forgiving, trusting, and gentle. She doesn’t see people’s pasts; she sees them for who they have become, and she sees their potential.
I’m certain that when some people read my book, they are going to be disappointed that Zenia is not your typical “strong heroine” who holds her own and never needs anyone else’s help–especially not the help of a male. I did not create that kind of heroine for many reasons, but specifically because I wanted to consider what an innocent, gentle, and loving young woman would do when everything she knew was taken from her and she was thrown into a war. What would happen if she was chosen to lead a cause she didn’t believe in? Could she do it, could she go against her belief in peace and in the thought that all humanity is innately good? Could she hurt another person–could she kill in the name of peace? These are all questions I want to answer in the Corripian Chronicles. These are questions I need to answer.
So, all in all, I guess my reason for writing is figuring out the answers to all the questions in life that I can’t just ask any one person. Xavier and Zenia have given me hope on many days; they’ve shown me that everyone should be given a chance. They’ve encouraged me to strive to be a better friend, a better Christian, a better person. They’ve showed me that I can’t just believe in something–I need to have conviction in my beliefs, and I need to act on them.
Two fictional characters have taught me more than I ever thought was possible. I understand that this book will probably not mean as much to those who read it as it does to me, but I hope that in some small way this book helps you to see people in a new light, or at least gives you a few pages of entertainment. I thank all of those who invest in Mark of the Corripian, and I give you a virtual hug for being awesome. (:

Have a delightful Christmas, and be sure to see the good in someone this week (and forever after)!

Farwell to all,

B.H. Parker

“You, therefore, have no excuse, you who pass judgment on someone else, for at whatever point you judge another, you are condemning yourself, because you who pass judgment do the same things.” -Romans 2:1