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Author Archives: Jeyna Grace

About Jeyna Grace

A writer hoping to inspire my generation.

“What if they steal my work?”

One of the biggest fear for someone starting out in their artistic endeavours is the fear of having their work stolen – fear of having their ideas taken without consent, their creations plagiarized and published without credit, their art… no longer theirs. It’s a common emotion – a phase, if I can call it so. And if you’re in this phase right now, know that I’ve been there too.

When I started this blog, I only posted fan fiction. Apart from my love for Harry Potter, I was afraid the blogosphere would rob me of my original ideas. I believed that someone out there would find my work intriguing and make a profit out of them. But after a while, I realised that fan fiction alone wasn’t going to get me anywhere. To improve in my writing and grow as a writer, I needed to take a risk – I needed to share my original works. So, I braved myself. I posted an original story. I awaited feedback, while I hoped no one credited themself for it. And what I thought to be risky behaviour – which was far from risky – changed me as a creator.

If you’re fearful of sharing your original works, you’re boxing yourself from new ideas and fresh perspectives offered freely by your audience. You’re not giving yourself a chance to see your flaws and to improve them. You’re playing it safe. And by ‘safe’ I mean you’re shielding yourself from potential factors that could break you for the better. Because the only risk you’re taking, when you expose yourself to the world, is being forced to see your weaknesses – weaknesses you can overcome. In reality, nobody is going to steal your work. Or at least, the odds of someone actually plagiarizing you is extremely low.

Why do I say so? Allow me to be a little harsh – here are 3 reasons why:

#1 You’re new to your craft. So unless you’re a prodigy, you have a lot to learn. Stealing the work of someone with little experience is the errand of a foolish man. But… what if you have a few years under your belt? More experienced creators care little about internet thieves, knowing that bigger names have been plagiarized before them – it’s the internet.

#2 Ideas are plentiful, creators are few (in comparison). Chances are, you share the same ideas with many others in the world. Originality isn’t that random, seemingly unique idea that popped into your head one night. Originality is how you approach the idea with your pen and paper.

#3 You are one amongst a million others – to be found on the internet isn’t as easy as you think. If appearing on the first page of a Google search result only required one original story, people wouldn’t be investing thousands of dollars in making their businesses stand out on the internet.

Now, I’m not saying it’s wrong to have such a fear. I’ve been there too, remember? But should you keep living in this fear? No.

It’s time you step out of your comfort zone – take a risk! You’ll find yourself becoming a better creator when you stop worrying about what could happen and start focusing on creating itself. Whether you write, paint, design, or compose, choose to express yourself freely rather than live in fear. After all, you didn’t pursue your art to box yourself and limit your abilities.

P.S, if you do find someone stealing your work, take it as a form of flattery. There were a few occasions where I found my work elsewhere without my consent, and when I confronted the parties involved, they were quick to remove my work from their sites. For the most part, I don’t think they had any ill-intentions – they just needed ‘something’ to help their site grow or an ‘example’ to follow.

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Posted by on January 18, 2018 in Writing Journey

 

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Learn | Window | Brussels

One window remained. The only window un-shattered. Our last window to freedom.

“Are you sure we’re going the right way?” I asked, as skepticism settled.

“We’re almost there,” Marie answered – too confidently for someone without a map.

“I think we’re lost,” I stated.

“We’re not.”

Marie tapped on her compass, signalling we were still heading north. North was what we were told to follow – go north and you’ll find the castle. But after three hours of trekking the Hallerbos, my doubts could no longer be silence. What was I thinking? Could we be walking into a German trap? Should we turn back? I hesitated to suggest.

“Marie…”

Marie hissed. “Believe, Camille. We cannot lose hope now.”

Hope – hope started this mad venture. It had us believing the whispers of a butcher, whose family had successfully fled to the United Kingdom. He claimed that they escaped through a magical window of an ancient castle, nestled within the Halle Forest. But as fictitious as it sounded, many believed him. And to add truth to his fairy-tale, those who left for Hallerbos never returned.

The skeptics theorised that the Germans had caught those who attempted escape. But the believers clutched at the promise of freedom. As Marie and I hoped to flee the war, we believed the story too. So, we packed our bags and traveled from Brussels to Hallerbos.

To some of the older Belgian folks, Hallerbos was known as a mystical forest. During a specific time of the year, bluebell flowers would carpet the terrain. In such great numbers, the deep blue and purple flora was said to be magical – it could bring forth or shadow what lay on the forest ground. But before the seasonal bluebells could lead us to the castle, it brought us the soldiers.  

“Down,” I whispered, tugging Marie to her knees.

I couldn’t see the armed men in their field-grey uniforms, but I could hear them. Their foreign chatter traveled between the tall, scrawny trees. And as their voices rose in decibels, my heart pounded deafeningly in competition.

“Where are they?” Marie mouthed.

In reply to her question, I snapped my head in all cardinal directions. But in hope of glimpsing the enemy first, I saw no one – not even a silhouette. With the disembodied voices and the trudging of footsteps growing louder every second, I froze in fear. And then, as though they had heard my racing heart, the soldiers halted their conversations.

Instantly, I lay flat on my stomach. I cupped my hands over my mouth and lowered my head. I prayed to be unseen. I wished for peaceful silence. Unfortunately, the crunching of dry leaves and broken twigs persisted. They drew nearer until eventually, I could sense the enemy’s presence. I could feel their movement. And I knew, they would soon find me. But like a child, I believed that if I couldn’t see them, they couldn’t see me too. What a naive notion it was, until the encircling bluebells rustled.

The flowers shifted, as though someone was moving through them. Stiff as a log, the bluebells brushed against my body. At that moment, I expected a painful jab from the end of a rifle. But as I waited, nothing happened. Did they not see me? With courageous curiosity, I turned my head to peek. And to my surprise, there was no soldier hovering above me. Cautiously pushing myself into a seated position, while I scanned the dense timberland, I heard no voice and saw no man.

Still, something odd was occurring. The bluebells continued to rustle with the sound of heavy footsteps. The flora parted, creating multiple trails that slithered away from where I sat. Then, after what felt like an eternity of the strange phenomenon, silence cloaked the Hallerbos.

“Marie,” I whispered.

Marie remained on her stomach, stifling what sounded like sobs.

Marie,” I repeated.

As I moved in to comfort her, a peculiar shadow caught my eye. It had emerged up ahead, veiled by a ghostly fog. It didn’t outline a castle, but was large enough to be what we were looking for.

“Marie,” I said. “I think… we found it.”

Marie peered up – cheeks wet with tears. As I pointed toward the silhouette, she turned her head and gasped.

“We… we found it,” Marie chimed. “Let’s go – the window is on the first floor.”

Without hesitation, Marie rushed ahead. Staying on her tail, I kept the silhouette in sight. As the fog around the structure began to thin, I squinted my eyes in search of the window. How it could take us to safety was no longer a question. All I hoped for, was the sight of the window itself. For if I saw it – the only un-shattered window – I would learn that the story is true… and that my faith had finally saved me.

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Learn, window, and Brussels were words given by iamvickiroberts. I chose to build this story around the location, because I don’t think I’ve done something like this before. I guess… it didn’t turn out so bad. And, I discovered the existence of Hallerbos – yes, it’s real, I didn’t make it up.

Now, it’s your turn. You have until the end of January to write a story of your own with the three words given. Oh, and if you’d like me to write a tale set in your country, leave 3 words (one of which being your country) in the comment section below!

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3 Words, 1 Story © 2018 by Jeyna Grace. All rights reserved.

(Click HERE for a list of stories in this writing challenge.)

 
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Posted by on January 11, 2018 in Original Works

 

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When Does Fiction Begin?

I know, for the last series of posts, there has been little fiction. I also know, that most of you, love fiction. So before I start writing fiction, I just thought I should set the tone for the year – to hold myself accountable to a new year of writing. And in order to do so, I’ve decided to share my blogging plans with you! But if I’m being honest, I simply don’t have anything else to write today – the holidays made me a little lazy – so this is a ‘cheat’ post. Nevertheless…

Based on the polls I ran a few weeks back, I’ll be producing two fictional pieces per month this year. One of which would be 3 Words 1 Story season 3, and the other would be 12 Genre Months. 12 Genre Months is another platform for me to challenge my writing and creative abilities – pushing past familiar settings to hopefully produce decent stories. You are invited to join me on this endeavour, as it’s always less daunting to embark on a new adventure with a friend. With two fictional posts a month, I’ll balance the remaining two weeks with my writing experiences (especially with a new book on the way) and inspirational posts.

As usual, when I retreat from reality for a vacation, there won’t be posts. Though, I will prioritise fictional content during those months. If life gets a little too hectic – which I hope it does when The Slave Prince launches – I might tap out for a while too. Those who’ve been around for years know I don’t miss a blog post unless I really have to – I don’t go absent without reason. But I’ll try… I’ll always try to give you something.

With that being said, I apologise for my laziness this week. After a slow, year end season, it takes a while to pick up momentum. But by next week, it’ll be full throttle. Thanks for sticking around last year, my dear reader! I’m looking forward to seeing more of you this year.

 
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Posted by on January 4, 2018 in Others

 

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Goodbye 2017, Hello 2018! [+World Map Reveal]

This year has been an odd year for me (no pun intended). I’ve learned new things, understood myself better, and grown from daunting and unfamiliar environments. I’ve found myself in transitions, which made the year rather interesting though not entirely eventful. And though I can’t say it has been the best year of my life, I wouldn’t call it dull. So… if I could sum 2017 in two words, it would be, ‘oddly awesome’.

How has 2017 been for you? I’ve come to realise that how our year has been is determined by how we perceive it. It is how we choose to sum it that excites us for the new year. If I’m being honest, most of my 2017 has been ‘awkward’ and ‘uncomfortable’. But, closing the year with those two words doesn’t thrill me for 2018 – oddly, ‘oddly awesome’ does.

So, with 2017 wrapping up, I challenge you to find something positive about the year. It may have been dark and gloomy, but seek out the light and celebrate it. After all, it’s always better to end the year on a high note – hoping for a better year to come.

Now, as the year comes to a close, I have a few awesome announcements to make regarding The Slave Prince.

First, the book has (almost) completed copy editing! Cover design is next and I cannot wait for it to begin. It’s the best part of book production – seeing a new, fancy cover that would soon sit on bookshelves. I’m excited!

Second, the book has a release date! May 29, 2018. Coincidentally, it’s one day before my mum’s birthday. So it’s going to be a celebratory week!

Third, feast your eyes on the map below. This world map was made by John Robin, my super author friend with undeniable talent. And if you think revealing the map is a #spoiler, it isn’t. Because… it’s not the only map in the book! There’ll be a kingdom map too!

With three awesome announcements to end 2017, I definitely have a lot to be thankful about this year. Even though it took some time – waiting for the book to start production – I’m so thankful that things are falling into place. I’m thankful for all who supported my book last year, and have been patiently waiting for its publication. I’m thankful for the team at Inkshares, who’re helping me better the book in every aspect. And I’m thankful for everyone who has continued to encourage me (including you), with a desire to see my book and my writing become a success. Indeed, it has been an oddly awesome 2017.

Looking forward, I believe 2018 is going to be a good year. No matter what happens – whether I find success or don’t – it’s still going to be better than 2017. And I hope… it will be the same for you too – just clutch that light and don’t let go, as you step into a new adventure.

 
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Posted by on December 28, 2017 in Others

 

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I Resolve To Give Up

Giving up – one of the easiest things to do. It takes an effortless decision. It welcomes the peace of mind. It helps us come to terms with our inabilities. And it puts our anxieties to rest. So to give up is what I resolve to do.

In the past years, I’ve given up quite a fair bit. I’ve given up on increasing my kill-death ratio to 1.0 – I’ve resolved to remain a noob in the FPS arena. I’ve given up on building my fitness blog – I’ve resolved to make fitness a personal project. I’ve given up on certain friendships – I’ve resolved to believe some people aren’t meant to be in my life forever. I’ve given up on activities, things, and people. And as strange as this might sound – something you might not hear if not for this post – giving up isn’t a bad thing.

“So… you’re telling me to give up?” you ask.

Yes. I’m telling you to give up. But don’t give up for nothing – give up for something.

For the things that matter, give up your time, resources, and creativity. For the people who matter, give up your plans, ideas, and pride. When it matters, resolve to give up and persevere. How odd – opposing thoughts coming together. But in this context, they’re a perfect match. Choose to give up on the insignificant for the significant.

Ever since I started my book writing adventure, I’ve given up on the disbelief around me. I’ve given up on my pride, my fears, and my insecurities. And though they constantly return with a passion, I’ve persevered. When I make a decision to toss them aside, I replace my restlessness with peace. I come to terms with my imperfections – knowing I’m in constant need of improvement. And the worry of being a success becomes unimportant. When I give up for my craft, I grow.

Who knew giving up could result in growth? I didn’t. But clocking in hours to hone my skill, subjecting my heart to harsh critiques, and accepting that I’m not great, has led me to this.

When I wrote The Battle for Oz, I thought it was a good book. But as you can see, the amount of copy editing required proved otherwise. The comments on the book weren’t what I expected, and I was quite stubborn toward the changes suggested. However, it has taught me to give up – not on my passion – but on the things holding me back from becoming a better writer.

Two years later, The Slave Prince undergoes copy editing. But in expectation of the same red mess on the manuscript, I find only minute changes. The contrast between the two manuscripts surprised me. Did I really improve? Am I a better writer now? Is The Slave Prince a better book? I dare not say ‘yes’ to those questions, but I’m certain I’m no longer the same author I used to be in 2015. I’ve grown simply by giving up on the things that didn’t matter for the things that did.

So entering the new year, I resolve to give up on a lot more. I resolve to give up on distractions, on my persistent doubt and pride, and on the things holding me back from my passion, my purpose, and my craft. I will give up and continue to persevere, because I know it’ll make me a better writer… and a better person.

 
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Posted by on December 21, 2017 in Writing Journey

 

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Freezing | Selfish | Shanghai

For the past forty years, I’ve been searching for the light – a radiant, almost blinding otherworldly light, that settled in the starry sky on a freezing Sunday night. I was nine when it appeared. It illuminated the moment I dashed into the cold outdoors – ignoring the hollering nurses on my tail – as I threw my gaze at the sky. With cheeks wet with tears – vision blurred in the concoction of anger and grief – I saw it. In my clouded and shattered world, it shone.

The light wasn’t man-made. It wasn’t the Christmas’ twinkling decorations, reflecting off the hospital’s glass panels. It wasn’t the glowing street lamps, nor the headlights of the passing cars. Those lights brightened the wintry evening, but were of no comfort to my broken heart. Except for the strange glow, reaching past the moon and the stars. It calmed my racing heart. It stopped the shaking of my hands. It cloaked me in overwhelming peace. And the impression it left, set me on a quest.

On the search for the brilliance of the unknown star, I ventured around the world. From the bustling city of Shanghai to the glass-like waters of Christchurch – I followed the trail of those before me. In my years of research, I’d learned I wasn’t alone – many others, from across the continents, have encountered it. So, I journeyed to where they all once stood – hoping to drown in the celestial radiance once more. But unfortunately, it has yet to shine.

The balcony where a man stood in Tokyo gave no view to the star. On camel back, along a Sahara desert trail – where a great gathering of incandescent bodies rested overhead – I didn’t catch its glimmer. Where, when, why, how – what was behind its appearance? I had no idea. I had countless questions, with no star to give me the answers. But the most unsettling of all – to those around me – wasn’t the star’s supposed existence. It was the reason for my obsession – why was I desperate to see it again?

It has come to a point where my pursuit seems selfish. It has consumed my thoughts, filled the pages of my many journals, and covered my bedroom wall. With years spent on this crusade, I’ve been told to stop – to live life like a normal human being. So perhaps it’s time I do so. Perhaps it’s time I live in the shadows of reality, embracing the hollow within. Perhaps, just like everyone else, I can embrace the turmoil of the world all by my self. Perhaps, perhaps, perhaps so. But no. It’s not something I want to do. I won’t give up the light.

There’s an ethereal nature to light. The joy it brings when it brightens a tree in red, green, and yellow. The assurance it offers when it shines from the end of a dark tunnel. The warmth it produces in a deadened and cold room. The life it breathes to a broken and soulless place. Light comforts and secures. It gives sight – it gives hope. So, my dear Lector, don’t stop looking.

You’ve seen the light. And though you may not see it again, you know of the magic it holds. So don’t give up. Don’t let go of your belief. Because this world – this place we call home – is dark. It will always be dark – it will only get darker. And the only thing that can beat its darkness is light. So believe – believe and there’ll always be hope. Search and there’ll always be peace. Embrace and there’ll always be love.

Yours truly,
A Fellow Seeker Of Light

 

“He’s right,” I said, handing the delicate, moldy letter to my comrade.

“I don’t know – no one else has seen the light in centuries,” my comrade replied. “We don’t even know if this person ever found it.”

“We can’t give up. We’ve seen it.”

“We’ve seen a lot of lights this past few months.” My comrade gestured out the only window in the rented room.

Night had arrived in the foreign city. As day came to an end, its people rushed to the comforts of their homes. Vehicles streaked neon as they zoomed past. Buildings illuminated in gaudy colours. It was as bright as day, except for the darkness in the unknown below and the emptiness in the blackness above.

“Those are poor imitations of what we’ve seen,” I said.

“Imitations of what – reality?”

“Yes. What we’ve seen is real. We wouldn’t have found the letter if it isn’t.”

My comrade sighed. He retreated from the conversation and headed toward the bunk beds against the metallic wall.

“What time do we leave this godforsaken city?” my comrade asked, climbing onto the upper deck.

“Twelve noon.”

“Great. Wake me at eleven.”

“Eleven? I don’t want us to rush.”

“Rush?” My comrade chuckled. “We have plenty of time. I have a feeling… we’re going to be doing this for a while.”

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Freezing, selfish, and Shanghai were words given by Doreen. And since it’s the season of ‘lights’, I decided to steer the three words in that direction. Though, in all honesty, I didn’t see that ending coming.

Now, it’s your turn. I challenge you to use this same three words to write a piece of your own. And… if you’d like to help plan for a new year of 3 Words 1 Story, head over here to leave 3 random words of your own.

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3 Words, 1 Story © 2017 by Jeyna Grace. All rights reserved.

(Click HERE for a list of stories in this writing challenge.)

 
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Posted by on December 14, 2017 in Original Works

 

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[VOTE] 3 Questions For A Better 2018

I’ve been blogging for over 6 years now and truthfully, planning for the new year is always a challenge. With every blogging year being an experiment – attempting to balance fictional stories with relatable content, while juggling day job writing and personal book projects – I’m constantly hoping each of my blog post is of value. But to be honest, I don’t know.

I don’t know if you enjoy reading my posts. I don’t know if I’m boring you more frequently than I used to. I don’t know if you simply ignore the email notifications – classifying me as one of those people you used to read but not anymore. I don’t know if my words are impacting you positively. And with a diversity of readers, I don’t know how to appeal to all of you.

Back in 2016, 3 Words 1 Story was well received. There were comments, and many of you left 3-word suggestions. But this year, the engagement has dropped. I plan to continue the challenge because it helps me with my writing, but even then… I don’t know if you would continue to read them. It’s safe to say, blogging is tricky. And planning for the new year is even trickier. So here I am, again, asking for your assistance to help device my new year plan. How? With the 3 polls below.

To be able to create better and more relatable content in 2018, I need to know you better. I need to know what kind of reader you are and the type of posts you enjoy. If you’d like to share any further thoughts, please do so by leaving me a comment or dropping me an email. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: I love hearing from you. Your thoughts and comments matter to me, because you matter to me. So cast your votes below!

 

 

 

Thank you for ticking off your choices! They may seem like simple questions, but your answers make a difference. If you’d love to help me further, head over and contribute to 2018’s 3 Words 1 Story challenge prompts – I could use your creativity on this one too.

P.S Don’t you just LOVE how it snows on the blog every December? I sure do!

 
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Posted by on December 7, 2017 in Others

 

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