I Ended It

I ended my part of our story. When I said it took me 40 pages to get my story done, that was not entirely accurate. It’s 40 pages if I include my friend’s part, but I would say it’s roughly about 20+ pages for me, but currently, it’s 35 pages. I have to apologize to my friend; I thank her for bearing with me. I was overly detailed, and I had a lot of characters. Because I didn’t want to punish my friend with even a cliffhanger of my plot, I just decided to push through and pump out 4500 words tonight. I had been going over the plot in my head, and I had a way to end my part that I just loved, but in consideration for my friend, and the fact that it took her a while to read my last 10-page prose, I shortchanged myself. It was painful. I’d like to think of it in terms of film.

The Real Ending/Editor’s Cut/Totally-Should-Be-Released-on-DVD-but-Not-As-A-Deleted-Scene: The meanie pants antagonist is seen going to jail for his crimes. It’s revealed Aijo swapped out the real computer virus with evidence that would condemn the antagonist. Aijo and Asuka resume their friendship and partnership, and Asuka says she will introduce Aijo to her fiancé. Aijo reconciles with her estranged husband, Shiori, and decides she will take his surname. The two talk about buying a house and picking up where they left off five years ago.

And then, my friend and I pick up a new story arc!

Alternate Ending/Director’s Cut: Aijo falls from a building and is left hanging there. Unable to hold herself any longer, she lets go, wondering if Asuka will be able to live on without her for real this time. She closes her eyes thinking that God will not save her a second time.

Then my next post would have had the real ending at the beginning. I would have been fine with this.

The Ending I Settled For/Final Cut: Aijo opens her eyes again, believing herself to be dead. The image of her “dead” husband further confirms her suspicions, but she slowly begins to realize, that everything still feels like reality, and she’s not dead, neither is her husband. She’s pulled to safety, and after finding out that Shiori’s actually alive, Aijo sheds silent tears. No questions are asked, but Shiori does make a silent apology to his wife. There’s also more tears.

In the end, I settled for the very dramatic K-drama ending–like the scriptwriter I am. I’m sure if I read it again, I might cry some tears. Aijo seemed so distraught, and I just kind of left her crying.

So my next post will still have the real ending…maybe…depending on what my friend writes. Where I go from here is semi-contingent on her next thoughts. We need to get the ball rolling on our next story arc. Am I happy? Umm…no, not really. Mediocrely satisfied maybe, but I’m happy Aijo’s arc is over. I’m glad she’s reunited with her husband again. My writing had my edge all this time. My heart is still pounding, and I can only wonder what will happen next.

Anyone else have multiple endings stories, and pressed for time, you’re forced to pick just one?

Grammar and Editing: An Introspective Perspective

I have to edit my mother’s dissertation. When I edit papers, I rip them apart…I mean red ink is everywhere! My friends often come to me to edit their papers because I love grammar. My friend can testify that she received a good grade on her paper because I corrected her grammar. That’s how I received my fictional grammar badge, but again, I must reiterate, it’s only the Lord who gives me that wisdom. He’s just amazing like that.

Since taking that writing class, I can see a lot more errors than I did before. So after going through my mom’s paper for the seventh time, I’m tearing it apart. I’m relentless when it comes to English grammar and punctuation. You might see some errors here and there on this blog, but that’s because I don’t edit when I write. I edit while I’m writing, so consequently, I may miss some things. When I go back and re-read I wrote maybe a week later, I’m prone to correct it. Sometimes, I have to stop myself, because it seems a bit OCD, don’t you think?

But, for me, grammar and editing is a game of give and take. I edit people’s papers, and in turn, they don’t edit mine. My teachers edit them. I don’t know how my friends feel when I mark up their papers; they’re all smiles. They make the necessary corrections and get good grades. Then there’s me. I get my papers back, and my heart cracks; I can hear it. I see the mistakes; I see the errors. I see the stupid mistakes, and I question, “WHY! HOW DID I NOT SEE THIS?!” I make a mental note in the back of mind and vow to never do such horrific things ever again.

Okay, so on the other side of the pie…Japanese grammar. I joined Lang-8 years ago, but I just recently started using it. I really love the Japanese language–not more than Jesus, though. I enjoy the mental stimulation, though. Needless to say, my grammar mindset follows me even into the realm of Japanese. Yes, I’m strict on Japanese grammar–ha, I say this as if I actually knew something. I’m pretty relentless on the Japanese people’s posts. To use some internet slang: “I be like comma splice and dangling participle, and everyone else be like yeah, I like that correction.”

It’s something like this. As I said, I’m strict on Japanese grammar, but each day, I write a post in Japanese, I’m reminded that I don’t know anything. Let’s forget what I learned in class for just a short moment. It rips my heart to shreds every day, and so, I read my Bible daily for spiritual and emotional healing. I mean it’s horrific when I correct my own work, but God forbid, someone else does it. Again with the Internet slang to highlight my point: “I be like here’s my beautiful Japanese prose. I be all enchanted with my plethora of kanji. Then the Japanese be like ‘sentence splice and misplaced particle,’ and I be like ‘Oh my God.'”

This is my life in Grammar World. But, the important thing is that I’m actually learning something. To sit and be taught is a much more humbling experience. As Mary sat at the feet of Jesus, I find the experience to be similar. Sitting down and just absorbing is what I did when I was a child, and I believe that mindset is the one I should reconsider and renew in every aspect of my life. It’s refreshing. So I’m opening myself to correction, discipline, and the thoughts of others. It’s not to say that I was always unwilling to admit my mistakes; rather, like any other person, it’s difficult to come to terms with those mistakes. The fact they exist is a haunting experience. They weigh heavily on the mind. This is my transition from the mindset of perfectionism (God knows where that mindset came from) to a mindset of dependency. This is not necessarily a bad thing. It means that instead of trying to do stuff on my own like I normally do, I have the option to reach out to the people who I had always deemed off-limits.

Someone who offered me help in correcting my Japanese (to make it sound more natural) made me realized this. That it’s completely okay to ask for help when you need it. And, as I go along my journey of life, I am slowly beginning to realize how much I should depend on the Lord. Instead of slightly leaning on His arm, hoping He’ll hold me up when I start to wobble and stumble; I need to be held in the palms of His protective hands.

See how grammar can take you on an introspective journey?