Hello,

I hope you all are well. I’m finally getting back into a good working groove again for my art projects and my novel, which reminded me about how much I miss blogging about my progress/research.

Starting with the progress with my novel series, what really helped was using a cork board and sticky notes to jot out the main plot. My first draft was written with more of a pantser mentality. I kept beating myself up for it before, but now that I’ve accepted that I’m at where I’m at and there’s no changing that, I can lean more into my plotter side.

Using a cork board and sticky notes to track the plot/character arc of one of my protagonists has helped tremendously. I think seeing the story’s progression through one character’s point of view and having more of a visual/tangible mode of seeing my work brought it more to life. Specifically, I was able to pinpoint how many other characters cross the path of this protagonist along with what areas and events they come to interact with whether they expect it or not. It’s an interesting process because initially I was down on myself for not plotting more for my first draft, but it was pointless to think that way. I’m learning to trust my creative process more and I’ve accepted how chaotic it is, but it’s also has a natural order to it. In other words, there’s an order to my chaos and I should never have compared myself to other authors/writers to begin with. It does help to learn about the creative process of others, but at the end of the day, just do your own thing.

As for the Russian/Slavic witchcraft venture, I previously posted of a podcast I listen to where author Natasha Helvin describes her own experiences. I’ve been reading both of her books Russian Black Magic and Slavic Witchcraft. Both are intriguing reads and are very inspiring for a specific character of my novel, which I hope I can capture well with the utmost respect of the craft.

Here’s the Instagram of one fellow writer I follow who reminded me of cork board plotting.

Now, for my art projects. I focused on my poetry collection for most of the winter season. While working, I kept having these visual ideas being paired with my poems. I’ve done photography with poetry before when I was younger (like a teenager), but looking back on my creations in the past, it’s not really up to my standard of quality today, although I love that I tried my best back then. So what’s the next level? Photomanipulation. I’ve been taking lessons with photoshop, photography, and digital art to see if I can bring my dark fantasy vision and poetry to life through a darker medium. The surrealists and dark self-portraiture artists of the photoshop composite world are amazing.

Danny Bittencourt is a Brazilian visual poet whose work I’ve fallen in love with.

Another is Flóra Borsi, whose fine art self-portraits are surreal and captivating.

I hope to enter this world one day, so I’m working hard. Diving into the world of photoshop and photography was very unexpected while working on my poetry. At first it felt like I was distracting myself from the main goal of the project. Quite the opposite; this is exactly what I’ve been wanting to do since I was a teenager. I don’t want the poetry collection to just be in a book. I want each work to be a masterpiece.

Here’s to ambition and the crazy chaos of creativity.

Be well.

  • Leliel

Featured Image: © Danny Bittencourt

Character Design and Conspiracy

I was talking with a friend the other day about needing to watch more or read more crime and mystery pieces and study how the “clues” lead the audience and the characters from one thing to another. I know my novel has a lot of conspiracy innuendo, but conspiracy can be really obvious real quick. We’re used to seeing a government organization, a religious organization, a secret organization, or an academic organization have players scheming in the shadows or plotting in broad daylight. Though obvious, I think the intrigue maintains itself if the end goal of the conspiracy isn’t so obvious and who immediately comes to mind is Lovecraft.

“I’d rather write one good book than ten mediocre ones.” – Donna Tartt

I’m finding that deadlines are bittersweet. They’re motivating, but I strongly feel that anything I create must be made to the best of my ability and I trust in my ability to make high quality work. I’m not striving for perfection as an artist; I’m striving for excellence. I want nothing more than progression and every publication to be a milestone in that progress.

With that being said, I’m eager for the near completion of my short story and the projects to follow. I’m also grateful for the time I’ve had to take care of myself and a very productive week. I hope anyone reading this is staying safe and trusting themselves to strive for excellence too with the time and power they have. Be patient with yourself.

It’s kind of maddening when you flesh out a good structure for a short story and you try to keep it true to its genre by keeping it SHORT and then new ideas pop up that you know will make it LONGER, but you also know that idea would be SO GOOD for the story because it ties into the theme and enhances the continuity and after that, you only HOPE that as you edit the second draft of the story and hope to have the damn thing published SOMEWHERE, all the rehashing will be worth it and no more new ideas interrupt your publishing process!

Just had to get that out.

Be safe out there.

On Instagram, I said I was working on a Kafkaesque short story and it’s going well. I’m enjoying it while editing the second draft…but I’ll admit that, yes, my focus was Kafka and his influence is clear, and yet subconsciously there’s some Poe influence, maybe Shelley. Ultimately, it’s me. Truly.

The goal is to publish in March. More updates soon.

Time to get back to recording my novel progress. The last post I did about my novel was January 13th, so going back to that, I have finally edited about 110 pages of my first draft and am starting to write through the second. The exposition has been really fun to read through again, but now it’s time to hone in the focus on clear settings, intriguing characters, and establishing solid plots and subplots. Though I am writing the second draft, I am still reviewing some old notes and tracking everything from timelines to character arcs…It’s a glorious nightmare and one day, I’d like to show how I organized it all for publishing.

I’ll stay in touch. Time to write, plot, and write more.

Read about 3 Essential Writing Techniques from Stoker’s Dracula


I keep going quiet unintentionally, but it’s mostly because I’ve been busy. Writing articles has been a lot of fun along with working on my novel and working on a creative project every week. This week, I’m focusing on a short story that I aim to publish on Kindle Direct Publishing.

Making my creative content into more and more of a business has been an exhausting adventure, but I don’t mind it at all. It’s really testing me and the obstacles I’ve run into with each test has been more helpful than defeating (Yes, that was basically “What doesn’t kill you makes you stronger”.)

I was thinking about making my announcements with the novel an actual article, but whatever. I have finally read through the exposition of my novel, which truly was the first 100-110 pages and now I’m actually WRITING the second draft rather than just reading and making notes. It’s been really awesome to catch all the things in my story that made the beginning so plain and a bit predictable. I had to completely revamp my protagonist’s personality and weave the subplots into the main plot with a lot more finesse than before. So yeah, I’m thrilled about that!

For my short stories, I’ve been back and forth about how to present them, but I finally have a solid concept for the first story. My goal is to present short stories first to give you an idea of what my world and its dynamics are and then the novel. Many other authors I like have done that, and it’s been really fun so far. I have to admit, it’s sure making me a stickler about timelines (That’s a good thing though. A stressful, but good thing.)

That’s all I have to say. More research articles to come. I made a post on Instagram about the Kybalion which has been…a doozy, to say the least lol. It’s still going to take me a while to write about it because I need to have a solid foundation on Hermeticism first.

And just to reiterate, although I am pagan, my research/articles are done under a more objective or reflective intent for the sake of my creative projects and has zero intent to spread false information or be disrespectful of other belief systems.

Thanks again for all the support.

I really hate it when I disappear for a week or so at a time and I am sorry for that. It really comes down to the way my energy has been distributed. The part-time job (which really is a measely 4-5 hours 3 times a week) drains me. And it’s not necessarily the job itself, but I’ve come to the conclusion that I have a high sensitivity to how and where I give my energy. I find it’s very similar to how introverts are drained by people and extroverts are drained by loneliness, but for me it’s being drained combined with a lack of fulfillment.

Yesterday, I gave myself a rest day. I decided to read more of The Historian by Elizabeth Kostova and came across a passage that reminded me of the major arcana “The World” in tarot, which then led to an idea about my own novel and that led to a quick study into Christian gnosticism, which then inspired a backstory for my antagonist and protragonist. I could spend an entire day diving into literature, history, religion, philosophy, and any other river of knowledge because it literally quenches the thirst I need for feeling fulfilled.

As I wrote on my tumblr, this is all I am. I consider my “art” basically anything I write, compose, sing, draw, or any creative project I get into. Everything else is self-explanatory. I can’t handle being caged in like it seems at the moment. But I’m not caged. I have plenty of resources that I am and should be using to build the life I want (and really, it’s a life I already have; I’m just building upon it every day). Just need to take my own advice from my article, “The ‘Lack Mentality’ is Killing Us” :

“None of us like being inconsiderate with our resources or insensitive to those who are trying to support us, but it just doesn’t seem to be enough. The lack mentality encourages the emptiness that no one asked for. It’s just there. One thing to remember is that the emptiness you struggle with developed over time. This means, decreasing that emptiness will happen over time…Stop expecting the resources and support given to provide instant gratification,”

Authentikei, 2018

So, each time I go to the part-time job and decide to work more and more hours there instead of trusting myself to provide my own income through my work, that emptiness expands a little more. The mental and emotional fatigue comes from feeling hollow and uninspired. I plan to change that and use every resource to do so. It will take patience, because it won’t be instant, but I’m so damn sure it’ll be worth it. Financial responsibility and dream building is a tough tug-of-war for many of us, but you certainly feel more alive when you let the dreams win. We forget sometimes that our dreams can manifest into a real lifestyle that monetizes itself.

For those who read and check up on me, thank you for the support. You’ll hear more of my work very, very soon.

I had a wonderful burst of musical inspiration today and lined up 11 songs for an upcoming album. There are definitely still cover songs and instrumentals I’d like to release before the album just to get my name out there, but I have to say, I’m pretty pumped for this. I have over 50 songs written and composed. I looked over half of them and realized which ones would make a great debut album showing how my musical ventures helped me through life most authentically.

Man, I am so damn grateful. Some of this energy has been heavy as hell and certainly inspired some creative writing, but goddamn…I spiraled down into some dark depths since the beginning of this month and it just kept getting worse.

In fact, life has been so strange energetically, I’ve steered away from the articles and essays I’ve been wanting to write, which makes me really sad. It’s a shame when none of my ideas feel right or that I feel like I’m spewing out nonsense rather than what I’m truly interested in. Thankfully, singing and playing the piano (like a complete amateur because I haven’t practiced in so long lol) helped me to remember the life I am manifesting and fighting for. Making my dreams into a reality has never been on hold, but sometimes you fall into a slump before you rise out of it again.

Hope you all are well!