Just another wannabe author…

Archive for the ‘There Will be a Test on This’ Category

Bad Blogger, Bad

So, yeah, I know I’m supposed to be updating this thing regularly.  I just don’t have something to say often enough.  I’m working on that, since I actually do have plenty to say.  It’s just not always relevant.

My work view

This is how revisions look. Seriously.

Does it always need to be relevant?  I don’t know.  I feel as if it does, but I’m not so sure.

Right now, I’m suffering through Revisions Hell.  And let me tell you, it is Hell.  Maybe not Ninth Circle of Hell material, but Hell nonetheless.  I not only have to read my own writing while convincing myself it is far less worthy than it really is, I have to FIX it.  Now removing all my beloved ellipsis and run on sentences is easy.  Flow and plot holes takes more finess.  Keeping at it is the hardest part.  It takes a great deal of focus and focus is hard to find lately.

Far more enjoyable is planning.

Planning what, you ask.  (Yeah, I’m sure you asked, don’t burst my bubble.)

Why, I’m glad you asked!  I am planning a collaboration with a friend and fellow abused writer.  We shall be writing a post apocalyptic dystopia together.  It’s been a great lesson in world building. (He’s much better at world building.  I hope I can teach him as much about character building.)  I haven’t ever done a collaboration before, not willingly anyway.  Sometimes it’s hard when ideas clash, but when it works, it works beautifully.  I can only hope that it will continue being an interesting experience.

I’m also planning a series of short stories that I hope won’t ever see the light of day.  Possibly the dark of night, though.  Very dark night.  Either way, it will be fun for me to write, and that’s what counts sometimes.

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Fun With Paint and the End of an Era… or Not

I say again, I should not be left alone with a paint program.  Ever.

I draw things… and then, worse, I show them to people.  I post them publicly.  Really bad things.

So you, my lucky ducky readers, get to see my horrendous versions of my main characters.  Yeah, you don’t know how good you have it.  Then I shall open myself to your laughter, because I’m laughing my ass off at myself.

First up we have the wonderful Stu.  He is a white knight in dragon form, prone to rescuing little helpless elves and then seducing them with his bipedal form… which I spared you all from having to see.

 

Next, I present to you the ever lovely raven haired beauty, Sue.  She is giving and kind and possesses a fiery temper than Stu finds impossible to resist.  A dragoness in the body of a slender elf maiden.  Perfect and feisty and oh so sweet.  And lovely, dammit!

 

Yeah, yeah, wipe away your tears of mirth.  Paint is an evil program and I can’t resist it.  It’s so…. so… I have no words.

On to more serious matters.

Stop laughing.

Right.

So, I made it ten full days of writing the bare minimum.  Then I ran into a snag.

A really big snag.

He weights around forty pounds, has red hair and is obsessed with watching Pocoyo.

Yes.  Toddler.

You see, I am writing an erotica.  With BDSM themes.  It’s supposed to be sexually charged, erotic, and all around sexy.

I have discovered something I’ve known.  It is really hard to feel sexy when you have a toddler jumping on you and screaming in your ear.  It is nearly impossible to think and write a sexy scene when those things happen.  I can’t do it.  I get about five whole minutes, just get into the right mindset, and then he’s climbing on me, demanding attention.  The whole attention needing thing isn’t the problem.  It’s that I can’t write when he’s doing that.

Today I am trying to write an actual sex scene.  Smut.  Really smutty smut.  And I can’t do it.  I can’t focus long enough to get the whole scene out, let alone the word count.  It is frustrating.  So now I will be waiting for his naptime, if it happens, or bedtime.

That means my streak is probably broken.  And even if it isn’t, when I hit my groove, I’m going to keep going out of sheer desperation to take full advantage of sleeping child time.  So, everyone now gets to stare in jealousy at my lovely graph while I bang my head on my keyboard, then go play with kiddo.  Maybe we will go shopping.  Being out in the heat always tires him out.

On Cheating and a Gratuitous Baby Picture

I gave myself a writing challenge this month.  To write slowly.  Specifically, I am allowed to write the bare minimum to finish 50,000 words by the end of August.  That is 1613 words per day.  I fudge a little bit just to keep from stopping in the middle of a sentence or paragraph.

Today is day Six, both of Camp NaNo and of my own personal challenge.

Today I began contemplating ways to cheat my own system.

Somehow, I am not sure I will make it to the end of the month writing so slowly.

Today, as I reached the end of my arbitrarily designated allowed number of words, I was on my game, in the zone and truly on the ball despite the fact I feel in no way sexy.  The writing was flowing, it was beautiful, complete with the high that lets me churn out huge word counts without breaking a sweat.  I wasn’t aware of the heat, or the bad songs that creep up on Pandora.  I was unbothered by having Toddler sitting on me watching Pocoyo in various languages other than English.  In short, I hit my stride.

Stopping myself was nearly a painful experience.

As I posted that section, complained to my writer’s group and skipped said bad song, I began having a conversation with myself on how to cheat my very own system.  It went something like this:

“You could keep writing today, not post the number, and then take a break tomorrow.”

“No, that would be cheating!”

“But it feels so good!”

“It’s still cheating!  Cheating myself, no less!”

“How about you just adjust your daily goal.  You know, till your brain shorts out each day, like usual.”

“That’s cheating too!  1613 words!”

“But it feels good!”

*whines* “But it will screw up my pretty graph!  Think of the graph!”

It’s still going on in the back of my head, even while I write out this blog post.  One of these days, the shifty eyed part of me is going to win.  I will cheat my own system, or, more likely, throw it out the window while cackling like the Wicked Witch.  Definitely cackling.

Gratuitous picture from a year ago of me and Toddler. Enjoy.

Procrastination, Thy Name is Toddler

I’ve been busy this week.

Not writing, sadly, though I have gotten some work done.

Nope, I’ve been terribly busy finding new activities to keep Toddler entertained so I CAN work.

This is Toddler. Everyone say “hi.”

Does he look like trouble incarnate yet?  No?  Oh.

Well, he is.  Toddler requires a never ending supply of entertainment and once that is done, bedtime has become a cry fest.  So, not much has gotten done.  Right now he is watching cartoons so I can steal a few moments to wake up, drink my coffee and post this.

Today, I have no witty introspection on how the writer works or how my brain is hard wired.  Nope.  I just have a cup of coffee while I ponder what activity will keep him entertained the longest.

And a list of our favorite activities!

Shaving cream – As an adult, you have no idea how much fun a two year old can have with a can of shaving cream and a big plastic box to play with it in.  Oh, and a convenient sprinkler for clean up.  It keeps him entertained for HOURS.  He has so much fun.

Water beads – These are kind of like squishy jelly beads that are wet.  Water is always a hit with Toddler.  Things I can vacuum up easily are a hit with Mommy.  I think I possibly get more entertainment out of the water beads than Toddler does.

Vinegar and baking soda – This is one we play with indoors.  Once it’s dry, you can vacuum up any messes.  A big bin, some narrow vessels and a LOT of vinegar and baking soda for fun until the vinegar runs out.

Painting – We paint outside.  Painting is a very messy endeavor when you are two and it is very hard to keep the paint on the canvas.  Trust me, it’s harder than it sounds.  I like to find cheapish canvases so that I can hang his glorious artwork on my walls.  I’m awesome like that.  And who needs brushes when hands and feet work so well?

Cars – I have to say, I love HotWheels.  They are $.88 all the time at Wal-Mart.  Who can ask for more and Toddler is a serious car aficionado.

Hello, Mess!

Letters – Toddler is a big fan of letters now, despite the fact he refuses to sing his ABCs with me.  We have wood letters, foam letters, magnetic letters.  And he knows them ALL.  He still wont sing the ABC song.

Ivory soap – Admittedly, I had much more fun with this than he did.  You put a bar of soap in the microwave for two minutes and watch the fun begin.  Then throw it in a nice big box and watch it get thrown all over the play room.  It’s the little things in life.

Coloring – I didn’t know this, but apparently coloring is not for paper.  It is for walls, and carpets, and mommy’s legs, and the letters, and… I could go on and on about what things coloring happens on.  Rarely is it paper.  And whose bright idea was it to use flat paint on the walls?  Flat paint doesn’t scrub well.

Ellie, you will be missed.

Now, I would like to ask for a moment of silence to Ellie.  Ellie was a good phone who died before her time.  She had hours of entertainment inside her, which is now forever silenced.  She will be missed.

 

Things Gone Strange

You know things have gone strange when you devolve into a discussion on the literary themes of TRON: Legacy.

The conversation starts innocently enough about dystopian versus post apocalyptic themes.  The Road, 2012, The Postman.  And then along came TRON.  There is no end of the world, thus it has been decided, there was no apocalypse.  It is, however, a dystopian.  I don’t even know where to go from there.

Writing groups are strange wondrous things.  You never know what strangeness will come out of them.

A word war ensued to quell the mania.  Life goes on.

TRON: Legacy has been given literary themes.

What are your favorite post apocalyptic or dystopian books or movies?

Words Are Ebil

Yesterday I entered Revisions Hell.

Revisions Hell

It is not really a nice place to be, but maybe I can at least get a tan while I’m visiting.

I discovered, just while doing spell check, that I am a word addict.  Not in the general sense of ‘I’m a writer, I’m addicted to words.’  No, I fall into the ‘I just can’t help myself, I must use this word over and over and over again and misspell it EVERY DAMN TIME.’

I also make words up.  Particularly adverbs, which I should be limiting, not making up more of.

I cannot help myself when it comes to complicated sentences that look like comma confetti.  I cannot tell you just how many sentences I’ve had to pick apart, simply because they are impossible to read.

I have, apparently, left sanity behind at some point.  And the rules of grammar.  (Ok, my grammar isn’t too bad, I’m not often finding things that are glaring mistakes or massive mis-usages.  Which is just wonderful.  I am just prone to gross abuse of those rules.)  And there I go making up words again!

So, here is my little list of words I over use with a glorious disregard to conventions of literature:

Embarrass – FMC (female main character) is always embarrassed and I spell it wrong every single time.

Murmur – None of my characters are very up on diction and enunciation.  Go figure.

Scraggly – This is a particular favorite of mine.  Everyone needs to go get themselves cleaned up, since half my characters are described as being scraggly.

Eyes – I have a distinct obsession with my characters’ eyes and I refuse to use words like ‘orbs,’ and ‘optics’ to replace it.

Though – I have no defense, though I’m having a hard time getting rid of them.

Weird – This is another one I habitually misspell.  And yes, everything is weird.

Guilt – Not remorse, retribution, blame, culpability or any other synonym.  Just guilt.

There are more.  So many more.  I should keep a proper list and share the whole thing.   I have made good friends with a thesaurus to help with this horrible affliction.

This is Not a Tomato

My toddler is beginning to talk.

He doesn’t use proper words often, but when he does, it’s worth listening to.

Toddler:  “Stuck!”  He holds out my tool box.

Mommy: “These are my toys.  You have lots and lots of toys, I only have a few that you can’t play with.”

Toddler: “Don’t need toys.”   Then he tries to get me to open the tool box for him.

See?  He doesn’t need toys, he just needs tool.  Or my phone.  Or my camera.  Or my laptop.  Or anything else that is mine that I don’t want him to play with.  Easy.

This is not a tomato.

(more…)

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