Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Pen and Paper or Computer...

Yesterday the internet went out at work. Since all of our programs are internet based (and will freeze or shut down if the internet dies) I spent the next twenty or so minutes sitting in my cubicle, playing candy crush, reading facebook and waiting for the internet to come back on.

During that time a friend and I had a discussion about writing. She felt that since I had down time I should write. I explained that my stories are saved on google docs, and that I couldn't access them when the internet is down. She told me to get out a pen and paper and write.

One problem; unless I'm taking notes in a meeting, or jotting down an idea, paper and I do not mix. We used to get along famously - in fact I have notebooks upon notebooks of stories and ideas from High School - but not so much anymore. As I've gotten older my handwriting has deteriorated to the point that it's illegible. Also when I'm writing an exciting scene, I have a habit of forgetting words, and the letters begin to blend together (usually because the paper has become so tilted that they all slant together). It's bad. It's really really bad. So bad that I've often had to throw away what I assume are perfectly good scenes and bits because I simply can't read them anymore.

As a result I prefer to use a computer when I write (which is probably why my handwriting is so horrible nowadays... ). It saves my sanity, plus if you write on paper, you're going to have to transcribe things into a computer eventually, so doing it on a computer to begin with also saves time. At least, it does, in my opinion.

But everyone is different. My friend prefers paper because that way she can jot things down in between jobs at work and not get confused. Another friend does it because she shares her computer with her husband and kid. A third doesn't have access to a computer unless she's at home.

What do you prefer?

ROW 80 Update:

I finished up chapter eight of TUO. I also went through and did some edits on the newest rewrite of the Dancer (also known as the Velvet). A friend read what I had and commented that she wanted to kill the male lead because he seemed like a jerk and an abuser. After going through it, I had to agree with her, so changes have been made to make him more personable. In addition to all of that that I updated one of my fanfics yesterday. I'm not really thrilled with the update. It feels like this section of the story is just dragging on and on and on right now, but there's so much to wrap up, and there are things that I need to set up for the next arc, and neither can be done very quickly without appearing forced.

WIPpet Wednesday:

Today is August 28th, so I am going to share 23 words from chapter 8. (2+0+1+3 is 5. 28-5 is 23) This takes place shortly after the scene from last week. Liam has fallen asleep and has a dream about his sister and what happened to her.

“There’s a fire coming, Liam.” Letty warned him as she began to fade from sight. “You better run before it consumes you too.”

WIPpet Wednesday is hosted by K.L. Schwengel. To join in, all you have to do is share a piece of what you are working on that somehow relates to the date like what I did here, and then share it at the blog hop located here.

To read more ROW 80 updates, check out the ROW 80 site here.

Monday, August 26, 2013

Music Monday...

City of Bones was released in Theaters on Friday. Unfortunately it hasn't been getting great reviews from critics, but it did okay it's opening week. I haven't had a chance to see it yet, so I can't comment on if it's good or not, but I have been able to listen to the music on Spotify... and... well... let's just say that Atli Orvarsson is quickly becoming another one of my favorite composers, and if TUO ever gets published and made into a movie, well, I would love for him to take a crack at the soundtrack.

Here's Clary's Theme from City of Bones.


Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Victory!

Since my last update I have taken another shot at chapter eight of TUO. This time it's flowing like milk and honey and I'm almost finished with the chapter. 

I probably shouldn't gloat too much for fear of jinxing myself.

Anywho, in addition to finally being able to write chapter eight, I'm learning a few things about Liam and his family that I did not expect. For example, Liam is dyslexic (though, as this is a fantasy novel, they don't really have a word for it or understand it like we do) so Letty handled the books for the family store. His mother's name is Noya (in previous versions she didn't have a name) but his father doesn't have a name yet. And that's about it so far. It's not as dramatic as when a character revealed that she was bisexual, but it's still fun none the less. 

Have you ever had a character do that to you when you're writing? Where they just suddenly reveal something about themselves that you did not plan in any way shape or form?

Even though work has been chaos lately (some system somewhere messed up pretty badly) I've still been able to write here and there. As I mentioned above, chapter eight of TUO is almost done. I've also written a bit on one of the fanfics, and I'm making some changes to another story based on some suggestions a friend made. Of course, said story was supposed to be shorter than my other projects, but I can see that's not going to happen now. Oi. 

Now on to the WIPpet snippet!

Since today is August 21st, 2013, I'll be sharing 9 sentences from the revised chapter eight. 

An unusual shadow fell across the desk and the wall in front of him, distracting him from his thoughts. It looked like the shadow of the man, but there was something wrong with it, as if it's spine was bent and broken. 

He twisted around in his chair to stare at the window. For a second he thought he saw a man with a ghoulish face watching them from outside, but when he blinked, the man was gone.

“What is it?” Noya asked, looking from Liam’s worried face with it’s furrowed brow to the empty window.

“I thought I saw...” He shook his head. “It’s nothing.”

WIPpet Wednesday is hosted by K.L. Schwengel. To join in, all you have to do is share a piece of what you are working on that somehow relates to the date like what I did here. It can either be eight sentences from chapter 21, or 21 sentences from chapter eight, or 29 sentences (8+21=29) or some other combination of the numbers in the date (trust me, the math involved can get pretty interesting sometimes.) Then you can share it at the blog hope located here

To see more ROW 80 (the writing challenge that knows you have a life) check out the link here

Monday, August 19, 2013

Music Monday: Annabel

This song was featured last season on Hell on Wheels during a very moving scene that made a few shippers of a certain couple very very happy. Pretty, isn't it?


Wednesday, August 14, 2013

Skipping Ahead...

Normally I'm a very linear writer. There are occasionally times where I get hit with a scene that occurs later on in the novel or series I'm working on, and I'll jot them down when those hit, but for the most part I write things in the sequence that they happen. Chapter one is followed by chapter two and chapter three, and so on and so forth. I've toyed with the idea of skipping ahead when I reach troubling chapters, but as soon as I try it, it just does not work out.

There are many posts lamenting this on my blog. Many many posts.

Until now.

Despite all the helpful advice my fellow WIPpeteers gave me last week, chapter 8 is proving to be problematic. I can see how it's supposed to play out in my head so clearly, but it just refuses to cooperate when it's time to put all that action on paper.

However, in chapter 9, we hop back to Mattie's point of view and a lot of that is already written out. I just have to copy it over from the previous draft and tweak things here and there.

On a whim, I decided to see if I could jump ahead to chapter 9. I knew it probably wouldn't work, because, again, I'm a linear sort of person, so I went in expecting to fail. Gnashing teeth, ripping out hair, moaning about my writers block to my Husband while he nods and pretends he understands what I'm talking about, crying myself to sleep, fail.

To my complete and utter surprise, things are rolling along rather smoothly. I think it's because, even though they're taking place in the same world and at the same time, Liam's and Mattie's stories are separate story lines right now. Some of the events do coincide, but they aren't dependent on each other. Later on they become entwined, so I imagine at that point I won't be able to do this skipping ahead thing any longer.

But for right now, I'm enjoying it.

ROW 80 Goals

I haven't kept up with my 1,000 words a day this past week. A friend we knew from Haunt passed away over the weekend. He was a great guy, a really great guy, and his presence at Knott's will be sorely missed. In addition to that my boss at work is out sick, so my co-worker and I are running around trying to keep the place from burning down while she's gone.

I did get pictures taken of two new products to add to my etsy store. They require a few more measurements than the Belly Dance bodices though, so I need to create a diagram for that before I can post them.

WIPpet Wednesday!

Since today's date is 8/14/13, I'm going to share five lines from chapter 9 of TUO. 1 plus 4 for the date equals 5. I know that's ridiculously simple WIPpet math, but I couldn't share anything more without giving anything away. Though, I have a sneaking suspicion that you, my dear readers and fellow WIPpeteers, may hate me for this bit...

“Mattie, please believe us, we would never put you in any sort of danger – and not just because of the promise…” Talesin’s tone was pleading.
“Who did you make this promise to anyways?” She cut him off.
The brothers shared a look.
“It doesn’t matter,” said one.
“It’s in the past,” said the other.

To check out more ROW 80 updates, click here, to see more WIPpet Wednesday treats, click here!

Wednesday, August 7, 2013

Reading 'adult' books as a kid...

A few weeks ago I stumbled across a couple of articles on XOJane that I've been wanting to share for awhile. However, as soon as Wednesday rolls around I forget them, only to recall a few days later 'hey, there were those articles and I didn't share them. I really need to do that next time!'. Rinse and repeat.

Well, I finally remembered today, so here they are!



Both struck a chord with me because when I was a kid I was a pretty voracious reader. Also I recognized a lot of the books mentioned in the articles and the comments. I remember reading a lot of books in late elementary school and Jr High that were meant for adults. A lot. Sometimes I understood them. Sometimes I didn't. Sometimes I finished them. Sometimes I got bored and moved on.

For awhile, my Mom didn't really police what I was reading - she was just thrilled that I liked to read and would happily buy me whatever I wanted. I remember reading Jurassic Park as a kid, followed closely by Little House on Rocky Ridge, and I also adored the Dirk Pitt series. I've forgotten some of the names because there were just so many!

This freedom to read whatever I wanted stopped in Jr High though. I had just discovered the Dragonriders of Pern series by Anne McCaffrey and was eating them up. I left Dragonquest out one day, and Mom, who was curious about what I was reading, picked it up, and found a scene where two of the characters sleep with each other. Mom threw a fit that I was reading a book with a sex scene in it - the scene was not graphic at all in the slightest - and promptly confiscated the book from me. From then on out everything I read had to be approved by Mom. 

Dad however, didn't care what I read, and willingly bought me anything I asked for. Any book mom banned soon found a new home over at his place where I could read it whenever I wanted to. Even after he remarried and rededicated his life to Christ, I still remember him allowing me to read books that my Mom would have burned. 

Then there are the books that I would read whenever I volunteered at the library. Ones that I would hide in the stacks so I could read them while I waited for my Grandma to pick them up because I was oh so sure that Mom would not approve of them one bit (most of them were romances, and were far more descriptive than anything Anne McCaffrey wrote) Books like VC Andrew's Flowers in the Attic, Anne Rice's Vampire Chronicles, etc etc etc. 

What books did you read as a kid that you were probably too 'old' for you? 

Now for WIPpet Wednesday. WIPpet Wednesday is run by K. L. Schwengel from My Random Muse. Basically, every Wednesday you share a snippet of what you're working on, but how much you share has to be related to the date. So since today is 8/7/13 you could share eight words/sentences/paragraphs from chapter seven, or seven words/sentences/paragraphs from chapter eight. Or you can add the numbers of the date together to come up with how much you would share, or subtract some numbers and add others. It's up to you!

I'm going to share 6 paragraphs from chapter eight of TUO today (2+0+1+3=6). We're back with Liam again this chapter, and he's anxious to get back out to the castle to investigate some more. I'm not really happy with the second paragraph - it doesn't feel as if it's flowing - so if you have any constructive criticism to offer, please feel free to do so. 


“What’s this?” Liam’s mother asked.


“What’s what?” He returned the question, but did not look up from the work he was doing. Ever since he had returned from his last trip to the old bridge, she had been assigning him chore after chore. When he commented on it, she had claimed that he needed to do twice the work now that Letty was gone and his father was off searching for her. Once he had finished the various jobs she assigned him, Mother would insist on inspecting them and if she found any faults with it, she would make him redo it. However, she always managed to find something to nitpick at, and even if it wasn’t an issue, she would whine until he gave in. By the time he was finally done and his mother was happy with it, it was usually too late for him to go to the castle.

Liam was on to her schemes though, and he refused to let her delay him from going back out there any longer. He was going to finish this most recent task, and he was going to do it so perfectly that she would have no reason to complain. Then he was going to get on his horse and ride out to the old bridge and figure out a way to get across.

He sighed. It’d be easier if he still had the old grappling hook, but whoever had cut his rope had decided to keep the ancient thing.

“This... thing.” She shoved a straw cross inside a braided circle under his nose.

“Oh. That. Old Marley gave it to me.”

Be sure to wander over to ROW 80 to check out more writing updates, and head on over here to see more WIPpet Wednesday posts

Monday, August 5, 2013

Music Monday

I decided to go with something a little more mellow this Monday afternoon: