Tuesday, December 02, 2008

Friday, November 21, 2008

The gauntlet is thrown

As some of you have no doubt noticed, I am woefully behind. My deficit is such that I'm struggling to keep ahead... no motivation! NaNoing with two small children has proved more challenging than I thought. I haven't written a word in days. In fact, the last increase in my count came from the validator, not writing more words!

So, my friend Lousy Writer 13 has challenged me. If either of us should fail to win this year's NaNoWriMo, we get to publicly mock the loser in the Shoutouts forum. Notwithstanding family emergencies type stuff, naturally. Any such circumstances will officially call off the competition.

We are formally announcing this challenge so that we can't back out for lack of accountability... public humiliation is the best motivator, from time to time.

And should we both fail? Well, that's going to mean it's up to YOU guys to mock us mercilessly, since it would be awfully hypocritical to mock each other for what we failed to do!

He's got the lead... who do YOU think'll get there first?

Sunday, November 09, 2008

Day 9 - behind

Good lord, I suck. I'm behind, for the first time in what, three years? Something like that. As you can see, I'm working in fits and starts. Two or three days i've written nothing. I've got an hour and 15 minutes left in this day, and I haven't written anything.

I think it comes from having beaten the challenge so often, and in record time, that it's just not a big deal. I'm going to win... I know that, and it gives me no reason to rush.

I have nothing to prove.

With that said, I'm starting to enjoy this story. Characters are starting to come alive, and some of them are really taking on a life of their own. I have a mystery going, and I'm not sure where it's going to end up-- this is why I don't like planning. Half of the fun is discovering where the story is going. I am really enjoying myself this year. I'm not as frantic, and I'm sure my husband is glad of that.

One thing I didn't anticipate was how much harder it is to write with two small children. With one, I could just plop her in a playpen, or write during naps. Right now, there's always something going on. Being forums moderator hasn't taken much time away (I spent the same amount of time last year doing it on a volunteer basis without all the cool tools) . Doing write-ins is hard with a baby. Last year, Elisabeth was two, and the year before, one... so she wasn't in the wiggly non-walker phase Rebekah's in now. It's definitely a challenge.

I'll manage. Off to get in my word count before midnight (and I may fudge my time zones a bit to get it on my graph under the wire. Naughty Heather!

Monday, November 03, 2008

Day three, much frustration

As usual, the site is painfully slow. It hasn't crashed, which is, I suppose an improvement, but honestly, I think I'm more easily annoyed by it these days.

My novel is coming out like pulling teeth. Not having a real plot does have its disadvantages. I'm spending so much time being annoyed at the site that I can't really focus on my novel. Unlike most folks, I don't have the option of not going to them. :) Stupid paycheck, demanding I work for it!

Another part of it is that I've been doing this since 2002... I completed it in 10 days, one year. It's not like I have anything to prove! If it weren't for being staff, I'd really only be there for the people. That's what makes it worthwhile.

I think I'll get back in the groove soon. The story is starting to gel. I'm taking my time. Write-ins will probably help. I wasn't able to go to Saturday's because the baby had a stomach bug.

Saturday, November 01, 2008

NaNoWriMo 2008: Day 1

Title: Edge of Sanity

Wow. This is the first time that I’ve really worked with LSB more than a few minutes. It's a powerful program. I'm absolutely loving it! There’s so many neat tools. I really need to spend a little more time working on it, but not too much... I think once I get things settled, I’ll be able to really get a lot of inspiration from it.

I did some image hunting; I found a bunch of great steampunk stuff that’ll help. I also found what I want my cover art to be of.

I’ve established three characters. The truthsayer, the enforcer, and a weaponsmaster... I'm not quite sure who she’ll be, only that she’ll be a little bit crazy. I want her to be my foil for Morgan. His complete opposite. Not love; just a foil. His female negative image.

I’m a few words shy of my word count goal for the day, but I think I’ll have little trouble making it up. I mean, come on... I'm the super writer!

My current count for the day is only 1,491. Definitely under goal. I've got so much to gel in my head! I think once I get the bit in my teeth, I'll be full steam ahead. Lord know if the site continues to be painfully slow, I'll have plenty of writing time. I think my entire region is ahead of me in pure word count! I've spent a lot of time planning and thinking and plotting though... my caution will serve me well, methinks.

Thursday, October 30, 2008

More brainstorming

I stayed up until 4 AM the other day reading Girl Genius... and the more I think about it, the more I think I'd like to try my hand at steampunk for this novel. The big ship that they use to ship off the poor people could be a steampunk-style airship/zeppelin sort of thing.

I think it would be fun to try, have some automatons, that sort of thing. I'll need to research the whole steampunk think a bit more.

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Sponsor my NaNoWriMo challenge!

Okay, so now marks the first time I've ever done this.

I'm going to ask you for money. :) Okay, okay, it's not for me... it's for the NaNoWriMo Young Writer's program. I'm asking you to sponsor me on NaNoWriMo - my goal is $250. I want to do my part to help meet that 10% of Wrimos who have donated, but I really can't spare it on my own. It's our tenth year, and I've only donated ONCE.

This is a crying shame.

So I'm asking you for help!

Please consider sponsoring me... any amount. I am so passionate about NaNoWriMo and the Young Writer's Program, and one day, I hope to enroll both Elisabeth and Rebekah in the program. I can't do that if it's not here. ;)

Thursday, October 23, 2008

LJ luvs NaNoWriMo

Livejournal will be making donations to the NaNoWRiMo Young Writer's Program on behalf of its winners, $1 per winner, as well as donating 50% of the proceeds of its NNWM-related v-gifts to the cause.

If you have a Livejournal account (or don't) and will be participating in NaNoWriMo this year, please, go sign up!

Monday, October 20, 2008

Plot bunny!

Last night, I had a dream, and it gave me an idea for my NaNo!

I'd talked with a friend about maybe doing a sort of fairy-tale retelling. I want to do a male protagonist this time (I always do females), and I thought the story of the Firebird would be something fun to use as a plot framework. I may still incporate some elements of it.

Last night, I had the COOLEST dream... and I think I'm going to incorporate some of it into my story.

There will be a Truthsayer... someone who is capable of absolute recall (think eidetic memory) and who is considered absolutely trustworthy... you don't call a Truthsayer a liar. The punishment for a Truthsayer lying is immediate execution. So they walk a fine line... they get conditioning that eliminates the ability to lie, but they can't just go around telling absolute truth, so they learn to omit. Talking to one is like talking to the ultimate politician. ;) Only a court of law can force them to answer questions, though.

There will be an enforcer... the law-enforcing counterpart to a truthsayer. Based on a truthsayer's word, an enforcer can enact judgment and sentence in one person for some crimes... again, there's a lot of conditioning going on, etc.

There will be a conspiracy to eliminate a large portion of the poor/"useless" population, and it will involve a large spaceship. The captain of this ship has to get rid of the enforcer and the truthsayer, because if they report back, then his life/fortune is forfeit.

At some point, the enforcer will say or do something illegal... which the truthsayer will have to report.

But through their trials, they become friends/trust each other, that sort of thing. The enforcer will ask the truthsayer to not report. The truthsayer may or may not... but if he does, he will have to actually wipe the action/conversation from his memory. Because if he remembers, and is asked, he will have to report it.

I love dreams. I get all my best ideas from it.

Thursday, October 09, 2008

Political post

As a general rule, I try to keep my writing blog separate from my politics, but this piece was so beautifully written that I just had to share... I'm an Obama supporter, so before you click, be aware. :) This is NOT anti-McCain... simply pro-Obama. It was written by a white, conservative, right-wing Republican. The words are well crafted, which is one of the reason I chose to post it here... I hope I can inspire people like this one day, with the written word.

Obama Will Be One of The Greatest (and Most Loved) American Presidents

"Great presidents are made great by horrible circumstances combined with character, temperament and intelligence. Like firemen, cops, doctors or soldiers, presidents need a crisis to shine.

Obama is one of the most intelligent presidential aspirants to ever step forward in American history. The likes of his intellectual capabilities have not been surpassed in public life since the Founding Fathers put pen to paper. His personal character is also solid gold. Take heart, America: we have the leader for our times.

I say this as a white, former life-long Republican. I say this as the proud father of a Marine. I say this as just another American watching his pension evaporate along with the stock market! I speak as someone who knows it's time to forget party loyalty, ideology and pride and put the country first. I say this as someone happy to be called a fool for going out on a limb and declaring that, 1) Obama will win, and 2) he is going to be amongst the greatest of American presidents."

This article articulates, beautifully, why I'm voting for Obama. I think McCain would be an adequate President. I think he would do his best, and I think he wouldn't be nearly as bad as Bush. For all that he has agreed with Bush in the past, I really think he's smart enough to avoid those mistakes. However, we don't need an adequate President... we need a great one. And I think Obama will be that President. I really do.

Sunday, October 05, 2008

Getting some ideas

Well, NaNoWriMo 2008 has begun. The sites are launched, and the official countdown has started.

I have an idea, sorta. More like a scene. It's an old warehouse... abandoned, empty, maybe some old factory-type equipment lying around. In the middle, sits a woman, kneeling, hands on her knees, looking up towards the ceiling, eyes close. Maybe. She's wearing a long, black leather trench coat that's carefully arranged so she's not sitting on it. Her face is tattoed, a geometric squares and triangles pattern that creates a lattice frame from her cheekbones to her widow's peak, and running down to the middle of her nose.

It's cold, and you can see the breath in the air.

Beyond that... I know nothing, not even genre. I'm inclined to think sci-fi, but I dunno yet.

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

On your mark, get ready...

Well, the NaNo site is now in lockdown mode. What does this mean for regular users? Until October 1, no posting. You can look and browse, but no more posting or commenting. On October one, our spiffy new site and forums go live, clean and shiny, ready for 2008!

What does this mean for me?

Bug stomping, working, moving, and backing things up that I might need when the site relaunches. Moving forums, adding moderators, answering questions, and prepping myself for my very first NaNoWriMo as staff!

I'm so excited, and a little scared, about this year. It's my first year since 2003 not being an ML, and my first time doing NaNoWriMo while getting paid for it. ;)

There's lots of fun stuff, and this is NaNoWriMo's tenth anniversary. The poster is gorgeous, the t-shirts are fun, and we've got so many new, fun things ready to go!

Saturday, August 02, 2008

Writer for hire

I've decided to venture into the world of Freelancing.

What shall I be doing, you ask?

Well, writing, I hope. I would love to be paid to write; after all, it is my passion, my art. So I shall. I shall be applying for various positions. Blogging first; I'm online daily, and love to post, and while I haven't been writing much fiction, I've been writing in various journals and blogs. While much of what I've written is private, I have written every day for many moons.

So who knows, dear readers; I might be the next big thing in the blogosphere. ;)

In addition, I will be starting a web design business. No, I can't claim credit for this layout. As much as I love it, is not mine. I'll be making one of my own anyway. But I am a designer by trade and education, so I will be undertaking web design work.

Now, to piece together my scattered portfolio...

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Write Every Day

You hear this advice a lot. And up until now, I didn't think I was following it; after all, I went through a six month drought of zero fiction.

The thing is, I have been writing! I write every single day, sometimes thousands of words, just not on what I would consider fiction in any way. I write journal entries in my livejournal, posts on forums, emails in my duties as NaNoWriMo forums moderator... every day, my hands are on the keyboard, tippy-tapping away. I log many, many hours a week at the keyboard, writing.

So I'm already in the habit. Now I just have to turn a fraction of that energy to actually writing creatively!

Sunday, July 20, 2008

Getting into the habit

I'm trying to make myself write every night; no set amount of words, or even a forced bit of prose... just editing, writing, or maybe just opening the file, adding a few tabs, correcting a few typos, that sort of thing. Anything to get in the habit of opening my work and doing it. The novelty of loading LSB on my thumb drive is interesting, which is keeping me at it.

Wrote a few lines, edited a few things, and finished reading the first 30k or so. ready to move forward... once I remember where I was going with it.

Saturday, July 19, 2008

Feeling like writing

Yesterday I did some editing on DES, so I'm going to continue the trend today... maybe even work a little more on the story itself. I seem to have misplaced a large portion of the novel (it's probably on my other laptop, the untrustworthy dinosaur) so I may continue it without reading beyond what I have so far.

I'm really liking Liquid Story Binder, and I'm about to go hunting for some pictures of my characters. Maybe Whelan, or my friend Lindsay's stock photo gallery. I'll have to poke around.

Friday, July 18, 2008

GOTD: Liquid Story binder again

There's only about seven hours left on the download, but I wanted to share; retail, this program is about $50, and is filled with powerful features including dossiers, image and music stuff, tons of things.

- Liquid Story Binder
http://www.blackobelisksoftware.com/index.html - developer's website

I downloaded it the last time they gave it away (sometime last year... October, I think?) but then switched computers.

Monday, June 16, 2008

Today's snippet:

It's not fiction, but it's writing. I still feel the fire in my belly from it. It's true, as far as I know. I feel that this message needs to be spread as much as possible.

There is a woman, on babycenter, who is suffering from an abusive marriage. I don't know her; I've only known of her existence for a matter of days, not even weeks. But my heart breaks for her, breaks for her children, and my blood boils at the thought of the slithering snake of a man who has torn this woman down to almost nothing.

She thinks it's her fault. Everything she writes about him is "he says". He controls her every thought, he belittles her, he hurts her, and he has her convinced that she's the one at fault for being a NAG!

Get that. A nag. It makes me want to bite something.

And now, presumably because he has been reading her posts and supportive comments from her friends here, he has presented her with a "separation agreement" that grants him full custody of their children.

No one has heard anything from her since. And it makes me want to find his ass, and rip his spine out of his anus.

Maybe it's the dragon in me.

What sort of person sets that kind of example? What sort of person tears a mother down so that she will endure that kind of abuse out of some misguided attempt to provide better than she had? What has he done with her that she has so little self esteem left as to believe that she actually deserves it for having a "bad temper", a temper that even she admits he deliberately provokes!

I hate people. I've never been so worried for someone I don't know in my life.

Honey, if in some off chance, some wild, crazy moment, you manage to read this, please listen to me. Listen to me as a total stranger, peering in the window of your house, watching this man flog you with his tongue while your children watch and learn that this is normal.

For their sakes, get the hell out. Get a lawyer, don't sign anything, and get the hell OUT. Your children deserve a father who respects their mother. Your children will learn that this is normal, and when they grow up, they will think this is what is right. Do you want your son to hurt someone like this? Do you want your daughter to take that kind of abuse?

You've got the same fire in your belly I do. You're a mother, like me. LET IT OUT. Stop listening to his lies and manipulations, and show him your fangs. Show him he can't control you anymore, and save your children. Because no one else will.

Sunday, June 15, 2008

Long time no see

Well, after an entirely too long hiatus, I've decided to come back. I was inspired by my friend Danielle, whose 63-consecutive day blogging streak continues unbroken. And it makes me feel like poo.

So I'm going to start back writing, and break my dry spell... I haven't written a word of fiction since November 30, 2007. Not good.

So. Now I'm gonna write. And I'm gonna write here.

http://creativewritingprompts.com/ - Here's where I'll start to get back into the groove.


It's dark in here. Why does it always have to be dark? I mean, I've always thought of myself as a good spoon. I do my job. I put up with other people's crap. Would it kill you to brush your teeth before dinner? Just because I don't have a nose doesn't mean I can't smell that halitosis.

I like it when I'm set out. The dining room is gorgeous. Love the drapes, by the way. They really offset the gold in the chandelier. Well. I guess you can call it a chandelier. You must have paid at LEAST twenty bucks for that thing, right?

So now I'm chilling out, here in the dark, wondering when someone's going to bother to flip the damn switch. That lasagna has been on my back for days. There's something crawling around below me, and honey, I KNOW there's no way in but that front door, so please do something. This stinks. I'd rather have three day old cake splashed on my face than have to smell this.

I hear you out there. Laughing. Talking. Ignoring me.

I work hard for you. I sit in that dusty drawer day after day, I deal with your foul breath, and I take food to your disgustingly unclean mouth. Granted, whoever does your cooking really knows their stuff, but that's no excuse.

Just. Turn. On. The. Dishwasher.