Monday, December 31, 2012

New Year's Eve / Make Up Your Mind Day

Hello, and happy New Year's Eve to those who celebrate it.

Today also happens to be Make Up Your Mind Day where you...make up your mind, obviously. I'm going to observe it by picking one of three short story ideas I started and working towards completion; I think it will be the short about a certain vampire anti-hero that I began freewriting a few months ago and never finished. Silly me tried to type it out first, and that's just not how my brain works.

It's the perfect day to set those resolutions too.

So happy Make-Up-Your-New-Year's-Eve-Mind-Day to you. Hope it's productive and fruitful.

Saturday, December 29, 2012

Are You Ghoul, Revenant, or Zombie (Part II)


Welcome to part two of my rinky-dink series on what I've learned from brief research about ghouls, revenants and zombies. You can click here for the section on ghouls.

The Revenant
Having a revenant sounds cool, but Wikipedia defines it as a ghost or an animated corpse similar to a vampire* so not sold.

In some folklore, it's a person who returns to harass neighbors and family*. Nothing special, like another ghost there.

I do like the other definition it offers: a dead hero brought back by a wizard to go on some quest no one else would brave, under the wizard's control. It also referenced Jason (Friday the 13th) as a revenant, and the protagonist of The Crow. Side fact: I have never actually seen that movie.

My experience with revenants has been through the Final Fantasy series, a stronger version of a zombie (causing life-drain when it attacked. Like a vampire, if I recall). They're mentioned as spreading disease among the living, which I could make use of.

I'm undecided on revenants.

*Taken from www.wikipedia.org

Monday, December 24, 2012

Happy National Chocolate Christmas Eve Day

Yes, I did just mash two observances together, but wouldn't it make the day that much better?

- "Happy Chocolate Christmas Eve Day! Here’s your gift."
"You shouldn't have." *gasp* "My favorite chocolate truffles! Thank you so much!"

This should happen. Everywhere. Because chocolate is awesome. In fact, I think my writing reward today will be some hot chocolate.

Spread the joyful day by enjoying some chocolate, or giving chocolate, in the spirit of the season.

Don't do chocolate? Okay, we'll make an exception. You may substitute with butterscotch candy :)

Friday, December 21, 2012

National Look on the Bright Side day

Today is National Look on the Bright Side Day, where you take a not-so-positive event and give it a positive spin.

Your submission didn’t get accepted? On the bright side, you have more time to look over your work and find that one publication that’ll adore it.

Dogs woke you up early? Look on the bright side: not only did you not sleep in, but now you can get up and get more done than you originally planned (and there’s always power naps. I survive by power naps).

Today, simply try to find positives in all the negatives you encounter. It sounds cheesy, but it’s pretty neat how something so small can affect your mood for the better. I’m a compulsive complainer and epically pessimistic, but today I’m going to try and counter that so I can have one less exhausting day in my week.
Encounter your spin-worthy occurrence. Share with someone or even just in your own journal.

Here’s to the bright side!

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Are You Ghoul, Revenant, or Zombie? (Part I)


I wanted to write a short story, recycling the beginning of a novel idea I once played with, and realized the idea I had for the main character's disposition, I guess you'd call it, would do better with some kind of explanation or at least a reference to other monster types.


Originally, she was to be a zombie. However, my experience with zombies (and urge to do something a bit different) led me to find another species she fit into. My search led me to explore three: ghoul, revenant, and well, zombie.

The Ghoul
I considered using the ghoul based on their folkloric origin of undead creatures that feed on flesh. They actually originated from Arabian folklore as shape-shifting demons, most often appearing as hyenas, that led travelers into the desert or abandoned places to eat them.* It also eats the dead and takes the form of the person most recently eaten. I found the relation to a Jinn interesting, but while interesting, my story wouldn't take place in a desert, and I don’t require the shape-shifting.

Their depiction varies a lot in fiction, from the flesh-eating horrors of The Dresden Files (first encountered in Summer Knight. Little trivia from a fan), the slightly-stronger vampire-like creatures of Final Fantasy games, to even the unseen, ghostlike inhabitant of the Harry Potter world that lived in old homes (its name escapes me, but it lived in the Weasley's attic in book two).

It's an alternative to the mindlessness of a zombie, and possibly a bit more unique and different, however I'm not sure on a being that also shape-shifts. Not my plan.

It's back to the dictionary.

*Taken from www.wikipedia.org

photo credit: Earl - What I Saw 2.0 via photopin cc

Sunday, December 2, 2012

Testing

Just trying out the Blogger app I downloaded. Here is a picture for your trouble.

Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Restless in October

Jerking, twitching.
Too restless.
Racing, spinning.
Too anxious.
Aching, burning.
Too much distraction.
Buzzing, whizzing,
Too many whispers,
And too much white page to fill.

Random, yes, but accurate. Halfway through October my trudging train of progress chugged right into a ditch that silly conductor me has been trying to trudge out of instead of stopping to reassess the cause.

I probably should have used the metaphor of an RC car with a dying battery trying to drive over a speed bump or something. Oh well.

I've still got no clue what caused it, all I know is whenever I sit to do any work on the novels or the short stories I get uncomfortable and anxious, jittery and-–well just see above. Maybe it's time for a new chair, one that actually began with cushion. Maybe I need to rearrange my desk and relocate it again.

(God I hope not. There's limited functional space in here as it is.)

Or perhaps I need to drop two projects and focus on fewer stories.

Possible, but this anxiety feels deeper somehow, and doesn't quite address the jitters (No, I don't drink coffee and haven't had a soda in over a month. Just not my thing.) Maybe I should think about breaking tasks down to amoeba-sized steps.

Step one: Divide writing tasks further to designate one day to one story until you get your head right. Must ponder this one.

So if I accept it's my workspace (it likely is; this chair was never meant to hold anyone for such long periods of time over two years of use), I must hunt out a replacement of ergonomic quality likely requiring self-assembly, not beyond $100 if that chair exists. Meanwhile, I've picked up a lap desk to work away from my flimsy assembly of kindling; it looks like it should suffice for short sessions on the couch or on my bed.

Does anyone have experience with a good ergonomic (or just very cushy) desk chair they're willing to recommend me? I think armrests might be nice, but they aren't the necessity.

Happy Halloween should you be one to celebrate it.
(I totally forgot to get myself candy pumpkins this year.)

Thursday, September 13, 2012

New Project

I woke this morning with uncharacteristic energy and motivation to get things done, my main goal shall be to handle this clutter. A lot of it is the same information, or useless.

A part of me is considering washing down those doors. I have a few other things to do so that probably should wait.

It's too easy to build clutter and not notice as it saps your mood and motivation in miniscule increments. I'm a tidy and organized person (okay, okay, I'm obsessive) but it catches me all the time.

-Some unasked for advice: set at least a day aside every week to really look at your workspace and consider tidying up. Or washing surfaces down. A fresh smelling, allergen-free workspace is wonderful, but simply returning books to their shelves can be just as revitalizing. Setting a schedule keeps you from forgetting, so you deal with it before clutter takes effect.

I should probably go handle my clutter now.

Friday, August 31, 2012

August in Review


August is concluded. Pretty sure I completed most of my goals, or enough of them to be satisfied with myself considering three weeks of crushing frustration about writing and plotting.

I have discovered the timer is my friend. With the help of the yTimer program*, I've managed to get more done this month than in past attempts, and I'm only doing 30 minute intervals.

The reasons (in a bullet list!):
  • Forces me to focus on one thing at a time, and not worry/consider/daydream about anything else because I have a limited amount of time to work before the obnoxious buzzing occurs.
  • Allows me to focus on task at hand because I know that I only have to toil at it for 30 minutes before I can fly from my chair and forget about it for a while instead of staring at a page blankly until I nod off.
  • I don't stare at a blank page until I doze off. Somehow, actually having a timer cut back on the frequency of dozing off at my desk, and proceeding irritation of trying to translate what I wrote down right before sleep struck. It wasn't cool in high school, and it isn't cool now.
  • Hand-in-hand with the previous, the 30 minute timer buzzes before boredom swoops in and I start playing with fonts in the editor or embellishing letters and doodling in page margins.
  • The short breaks between force me to get up and handle other tasks, like preparing for the next day of work, getting more water, or just stretching (which helps with that whole falling asleep issue – who knew?)
Don't ask me why I didn't take to this strategy sooner when I've read and printed so many articles about it already.

I still have the impression of time missing in my week. I've been using methods to track my hours, but still haven't found all those missing minutes. Maybe they never leave bed when I get up in the morning.

Writing
1.      Made it to the end of the first scene of the new short I'm working on. Haven't devoted much time to it.
  • Sketched a brief outline for the short.
1.      Still struggling with outline for LBW, but stumbled across a blog, Do-It-Yourself MFA(DIYMFA), with helpful articles, and through playing around with a mind mapping app to make character sketches I surprised myself by finding more ideas for back story, and a few for the plot.
  • I also played around with free form character interviews of two characters, and dug up some more back story.
Revision
1.      The short in revision is, well, still in revision. It's one of three stories I've ever done that began right in the middle of the action, and not before. It feels cheesy for that reason, but maybe it really isn't.
2.      ST is so close to being done its 2nd revision. Goodness, it's been a chore. Call me Madame Treeslayer.

I'm working to take the advice of numerous writers and break writing tasks down to the smallest goals possible. I do it all the time with my daily chores, but never tried with writing. I'm thinking it might help.

Hmm...I should probably decide what my goals for September will be too.

*yTimer by Spacejock software. Free to download and use. I am a fan of his yWriter program, which is how I found the timer.

Friday, August 3, 2012

Otakon 2012


And now I shall detail my four day vacation/journey to Otakon, where creativity runs like sweat from the skin of an armored cosplayer. I got to experience the smelly glamour Friday and Saturday in my own costume, an assortment of items I threw together to get the full Otakon experience. Worked out nice though. I even ended up on Wikimedia, somehow.

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

End of the Month Update


Goodbye July, and hello August. Yet another month has come and gone already.

I tried hard, but my birthday was not to be resisted. It bowled me over, leaving an achy 27 year old me in its wake. I would have let this atrocity go without complaint, except the cheesecake I brought for my birthday was beyond mediocre, and there are some things I just can't let go.
Turns out I did not accomplish my writing goals for the month, because of personal oversight, as is usually the case.

Tuesday, July 3, 2012

Fireworks, Flame-grills, and Fantastic Fabrications

July, here again, hot and heavy. Tomorrow will bring fireworks and smoking grills, and my least-favorite question to be asked, “What are you doing for your birthday?” That question never gets easier to answer.


I do have plans to get a fair amount of writing and revision done during this yucky month.

Monday, July 2, 2012

Techno-Fail

June was a month of epic failure for me. The spontaneous, ironic, computer kind of failure. More than once I imagined smacking a few people over the head with my dead net-book.

Darn thing didn't even live long enough for me to give it a stupid name, reflect on the stupidity, then rename it.

Friday, June 29, 2012

Reflection on Another's Post

"If a flawed novel entertains, it has done its job."

That is my biggest takeaway from the June 27th post over at The Business Rusch (Yes, I'm late, I've had a bad week of techno-failure that's kept me busy). Don't get me wrong, it's a good post, that line was the emotional face-slap for me. The whole post deals with the idea of perfection.

Friday, May 4, 2012

Do You Mind, I’m Trying To Study


Once upon a time, there was a place you could go for peace and quiet, where everyone sat with their head bowed over book or paper, or scanned shelves of books soundlessly. You could even hear the pages flipping in this sanctum of silence. We called it a library.

Monday, April 16, 2012

My Latest News And A Double-Whammy

Mother Nature definitely got the best of me today. Not only was it disgustingly hot and humid, but pollen was rampant. Frankly, I'm surprised I haven't sneezed out chunks of brain or melted into gooey writer-remains. I did not escape drowsiness and the infernal itching caused by pollen. Both make it difficult to get any writing done.

After a three day break from writing (for day long errands away from home) it's back to the plotting and catching up. I'm still working on the unnamed short story I had originally planned to finish by the end of March. I'm only a few pages from completion, at least, while revision of Little Bit Hexed is moving along and giving less hassle than I assumed it would. At the other end of that spectrum is my fantasy novel, where I can't seem to shape rough draft ideas into well rounded forms due to a missing thought in the middle.

Little Bit Witch is crawling forward. Ideas I previously gripped firmly in my mind wriggled free while I was distracted and I still haven't found most of them. Sneaky little jerks.
Tomorrow starts a new day of tasks needing to be done, starting with work on Little Bit Witch.

Here's to productivity.

And no more itchiness.

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Smartphone and Me

Dear Smartphone, can't you see,
Your lies, they're just too much for me.
You boast of your capacity,
But yet, everywhere, I see "No Compatibility."
Perhaps you and Productivity were never meant to be?

-Thoughts from a worn-out worker.

Thursday, February 2, 2012

At Last

Hello again, how have you been? So much has changed since my wholly unintended disappearance, I have a lot of catching up to do, learning Blogger's new features included.


Considering all the sites I use to keep up with, and the habits I'd settled into prior is fairly shocking; I had never noticed everything I was doing while I was doing it all, but I also had daily Internet access and oodles (great word, by the way) of time. That, however, has been altered indefinitely.

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