Friday, May 31, 2013

The Bodice of Blood and Broken Teeth...

It's been a long time since I've done one of these, but then I haven't had that many finished objects to share until just recently! 


This is the bodice I made for a friend to wear on her first visit to the Renaissance Faire. It's a very lovely piece, made of a soft blue fabric that reminds me of velvet. However, beneath it's 'pet me' exterior, lies a horrible secret; this bodice is secretly a vampire.

A what, you say?

A vampire.

See, this bodice, while very simple and beautiful, claimed so much of blood while I was making it, that I am surprised it isn't stained! I also chipped a tooth while trying to turn it right side out - more proof that it's a vicious beast that cannot be trusted.

I kid. I kid.

However, it did poke me with pins an awful lot when I was making it. So much so that my husband soon grew used to my exclamations of pain whenever another pin found a sensitive part of my fingers. Also, I did chip a tooth while trying to turn it right side out; the fabric was too thick to go through the shoulder straps and got stuck. When I couldn't pry it loose with my fingers, I tried my teeth, and I quickly learned why you don't ever want to do that!

But despite all that, it's a very pretty bodice, and my friend enjoyed it. She also came to absolutely no harm while wearing it. Probably because it took it's frustrations out on me...




Thursday, May 30, 2013

The PCOS Diaries #1

The husband and I have been trying to get pregnant for awhile now to no avail. We tried changing our diet, working out more, charting my fertility using the basal thermometer, and all that other fun stuff. Three months went by, then six, then a year, then a year and a half, without any sign of a baby.

I finally decided to break down and go to a doctor.

Wednesday, May 29, 2013

A.D....Oooh, Shiny!

It's been one of those weeks where I've been able to write a lot more, but I haven't been able to focus on any project for very long. I'll start plugging away at TUO, and then an hour or so later I'll be working on The Dancer, then, eventually, my brain will get an idea for The Descendants, so I'll move on to that. Rinse and repeat.

I am so close to being done with Chapter Five in TUO that I can almost taste it. I still don't understand why this chapter has been such a struggle for me, but it just has not wanted to cooperate at all. I'm hoping that chapter 6 will be kinder.

The Dancer has been moving along quickly, and, if this pace keeps up, I'll probably have it finished before TUO. I'm thinking of changing the profession of the hero though. I originally had him being one thing because it tied into another series I planned to write in the future, but trying to stick with that may make things a little too complicated and far stretched. I'll keep writing it as it is though, and make changes in the edits if necessary.

The Descendants is a different beast entirely. This is a story idea that I've been playing around with since High School which was initially written to amuse me and my friends during boring classes and lunch. It's matured a lot since then (I've overhauled it at least three different times) and I'm very happy with the current incarnation that I see play out in my head sometimes. However, I wasn't going to start working on it until either TUO or The Dancer was finished.

Well, it had other plans. So far I've cleaned up the prologue, and started on chapter one. I also started writing an alternate chapter one based on one friend's suggestions - which can always be used later in the book if I decide to stick with the initial chapter one. TUO and The Dancer still take priority though.

And now for something different;

Last week, while going through some of the other ROW80 blogs, I stumbled across Kymele's check in where she had posted a snippet of her story for WIPpet Wednesday. From what I can gather, this was originally started by K. L. Schwengel, and the rules are that you must share something that you've written that somehow corresponds to the date. So for 5/29 you could share 29 lines or paragraphs from chapter 5, or 5 lines or paragraphs from chapter 29. Or you could share 34 lines or paragraphs because 5 plus 29 equals 34.

I've often thought about sharing parts of what I'm working with the readers of this blog - but I've always chickened out at the last moment. Well, no more! Here are 29 sentences from the oh so troublesome chapter 5 of TUO.

There, just ahead, stood the rest of the castle denizens. They gathered in groups, their faces paler than normal with shock and fear while guards watched from the parapets that surrounded them.
Mattie drifted close to one of the groups in hopes of overhearing what had happened. She caught snatches of conversations as they spoke in hushed voices.
“...tied him up earlier today...”
“...torn apart...”
“... his head just hangs there, chomping at nothing - can’t even speak the poor thing...”
“.... well he never spoke much to begin with anyways... Always babbling about this or that...”
Mattie felt her heart begin to pound against her chest. Had her fears been realized? Had the guards discovered the body and punished her father for it? Or had they learned that she and the others had antagonized the villager and torn her friends apart? “Who was tied up?” She asked them. “Who did the guards get?”
The group of men and women just stared at her, their eyes suspicious and their expressions unwelcome. Stunned by their animosity, Mattie backed up.
“It was her fault... I saw her go down there with those friends of hers...” One of them whispered to another as she turned away.
“Troublemaker, just like her father.”
“Haven’t seen him in awhile though...”
“Good riddance.”
Mattie approached another group and to glean more information from their conversation, but they all fell silent when she drew near. “Has anyone seen Talesin? Or Rordan?”
Just like the others they did not answer.
She left them and half walked half ran towards the front of the keep. In the past, the King had stuck the heads of his enemies on pikes overlooking the castle gates for all to see. If the guards had kept up with that tradition, then the head of whoever they had punished would be hanging there as well.

You can check out more ROW 80 updates over here, and more Wednesday WIPpet posts over here!

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

"I felt a great disturbance in the Force, as if millions of voices suddenly cried out in terror..."*

Amazon announced Kindle Worlds today - which will be a 'place for you to publish fan fiction inspired by popular books, shows, movies, comics, music, and games'.

My heart stopped beating there for a couple of seconds when I saw the article regarding it on The Mary Sue, and, after it started working again, my immediate reaction was 'Uh buh?'

I learned to write by writing fanfics (though, at that time, I had no idea what a fanfic was). A lot of my friends who are currently writers started out the same way; they began by writing fanfics before moving on to their own original stuff. A lot of us still write fanfics from time to time, mainly when we need a break from our other stories or from life in general.

Fanfics have a quite a sordid past; some authors think it's okay, some authors don't. There have been several debates and articles written about the legality of fanfic over the years. However, regardless of if you like fanfic or hate it, almost everyone agrees that fanfics should never be published or sold for profit.

By creating Kindle Worlds, Amazon has caused quite a stir. Now not only is it okay to write fanfic, but it's okay to publish it too! The authors will earn a profit, and the rights holders will get royalties.

The world may never be the same again.

But, as much as this is interesting and exciting news - I don't know if it's going to work out. Why will people pay to read fanfics when they can find them for free on sites like Fanfiction.net, An Archive Of Our Own, Tumblr, Wattpad, and Figment? Plus at this time Kindle Worlds is only available for a select amount of series - like Vampire Diaries and Glee. Others will be added over time, but I doubt they'll be able to get everybody to agree with them as I am sure there are still people who are not okay and will never be okay with fanfic (for example, I highly doubt that Anne Rice Disney will give their okay for others to play in their worlds)

What are your thoughts, dear reader?

On other fronts, Patricia C Wrede has several helpful blog posts that she has published regarding Writing Methods, Action, Landscape Vs Setting, and Dialogue. A friend, Jewel E Leonard, shared this link with me earlier this week: it discusses the top 10 Storytelling cliches.

I'm still plugging along at writing when I can. Sewing has taken the priority though; first I was rushing to get several things done for our visits to the local Renaissance Faire, now I'm working on a friend's wedding dress. It's a gorgeous number that she bought off of ebay, but she wants a blue panel between the lace layer and the under skirt. Expect a lot of sewing updates soon. A lot of them!

*This quote from Star Wars felt oddly appropriate as I am sure there are people all over who are both celebrating the announcement of Kindle Worlds and cursing it's creation right now...

Wednesday, May 8, 2013

A Moment to Breathe...

It's been a busy couple of weeks at work. Work had a huge release/update for website that went live on May 1st. It was making some radical changes to some of our programs, which we knew would require a lot of testing. However, no one seemed to be on the same page when the testing began, and communication was failing left, right, and center.

As a result we had to retest everything - not once, not twice, nor three time, but four times! ACK!

But the worst is over and now we're just trying to fix all the little defects we didn't catch.

Writing was put on pause for a little bit as a result of this craziness. Now that I'm free to write again though, I'm finding that I'm still hung up on my TUO progress. Trying to jump ahead in the story didn't help matters either. I think I need to revisit some of the rules I've created for this world. The contemporary story has also hit a bit of a snag - suddenly the heroine has become quite shy. And I refuse to work on the third project anymore until one of those two are done.

I had articles I've been saving up regarding writing and e-publishing that I wanted to share - but Google Reader is being a pain today, and I didn't think to book mark them at Bloglovin (which I really should start using more as Google Reader is going under). However, Maureen Johnson, a favorite author of mine, has been ruffling some feathers lately. She recently wrote an article discussing how female authors rarely show up on school reading lists, and how they are not given as much credit as their male counterparts. Also, she mentioned how some seem to believe that reading a book by a female author is beneath them because it's either romance or chick lit. She pointed out that covers for books by female authors are usually more light and girly, and suggested an experiment where people gender flip the covers of books. If the book has a male writer, give it a girlier cover and vice versa. It's been interesting to see the results.

You can read Maureen's article here, and see the Cover Flips over here.