Countdown to NaNoWriMo…T-minus 6 days

26 10 2009

Weather: High: 60º & rainy.

Well the weekend proved productive after all.

Spent a good part of Saturday trying on Bridesmaid dresses and remembering why I hate the process with a fiery destructive animosity. Sigh. Nothing makes you feel like a bucket of reprocessed horseshit than having to stand under fluorescent lights wearing a dress 4 sizes too small to figure out what won’t make you look like a moose in a tutu even when you DO get the right size. Needless to say, I came home with a massive self-flagellating attitude. The dress I decided on at least is flattering. Sigh. Need to get back on the workout wagon. These grandma arms are not in the least bit sexy.

I did actually accomplish something more fun in that my outline (or the rather stream of consciousness collection of plot points I’m loosely calling an outline) for NaNoWriMo is DONE. It has a beginning, some credible events that could be called a PLOT in the middle and, as most people would call the stopping point, an END. (This last bit is always the stickler for me. I’m fab at beginnings, moderate on middles and just BOLLOCKS with endings.) But there you go. Norse Mythology Urban Fantasy with a heavy tweak. Have to admit, the research has been fun. Norse Mythology has about 40 bajillion possible versions. Someone could be the son of one god or not, making him either the brother or half brother of his uncle…I just went with the most common permutation. Also lots of loopholes. As a writer, I find loopholes in mythology INCREDIBLY HELPFUL. Loopholes give me nice little footholds for my plot.

Was happy that I got to get inundated by the muses this weekend. (Three Days Grace were on MTV2’s rock show on Saturday night and BBCAmerica had a Being Human marathon on Sunday. GLEE!)

I also made cobbler this weekend. Now, since I’ve mentioned this about a dozen or so times, here’s the recipe:

Set oven to 350°

You’ll need a 9 X 13 pan for this.

For the batter:
1 Cup flour
1 Cup Sugar
1 Tbs. Baking Powder
1 Cup Milk
1 Tsp. Vanilla Extract
1 Tsp. Cinnamon
Whisk these together in a bowl until the lumps are gone and set aside.

You’ll need about 4 cups of fruit.
I reccommend any of the following combos:
Cherries (Preferable tart)
Blueberry/Raspberry
Apple/Plum
Blackberry/Cherry
But you can use pretty much any berry or pitted fruit.
You’ll want to pit the fruit, and if using Apples or Plums, slice them thinly. (I peel the apples, but leave the peel on the plums.)

Mix the fruit in a large bowl with:
1 Tbs flour
3/4 cup of sugar (You can use less if you have less fruit.)
Melt 1/2 cup of butter in the pan. (1 stick) And yes–USE BUTTER.

Pour the batter over the melted butter.

Scoop the fruit on top of the batter. (Make sure it’s evenly distributed)
Bake for 1 hour (or a little longer) until the edges are browning. (The cakey parts will caramelize in the corners-OM NOM)

Best served warm.  The cooking time may vary depending on what fruit and how much you end up using. Also, you can use a little less butter and still get good results.

All right. Have a writing mix to make for NaNo. Castle tonight is vampire themed (WOOT!) so I’m geebling already. And broken toe seems to be on the mend. 🙂

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Now playing: Marilyn Manson – Redeemer
via FoxyTunes

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It’s Friday. And I’m talking about writing stuff again.

23 10 2009

Weather: High: 58º and RAINY. Like SEATTLE RAINY. Seriously.

It’s been rainy this week, but mostly a light drizzle. Today its been RAINING. With some volume and force. I love this weather, just not on a work day. I’d rather be home with the laptop, sitting by the window and letting the sound and visual of the rain falling envelope me while I’m writing. Sigh. But this is not to be, at least not today.

What sucks additionally is that my cube here at work has NO access to a window. I can’t even see the rain. Just the migraine inducing fluorescent lights over head (hisses) and the soul sucking burgundy walls of my cube. Which, thank the gods, are wallpapered in pictures of musicians, family photos and the Muses. 🙂 Oh and several snarky signs. Makes my life much happier. 🙂

Not recent, but you get the idea.

Not recent, but you get the idea.

And no, my desk is not as messy as it seems. TRUST ME.

Laura Anne Gilman posted on twitter about how a proposal was using every bit of her history degree & added that  she was glad she saved her textbooks.  It’s funny how many writers I’ve spoken with have made similar comments. I’m a book pack rat and I’ll tell you, like Laura Anne, I’ve found more often than not that it’s been a boon. My college degree is something of a bizarre Frankensteinian mish mosh (I started out pre-med, then switched to communication. My electives are…well, ECLECTIC.) Needless to say I have a ton of biology, chemistry and statistic books nestled in among the mythology and esoterica.  I went through a phase where I collected books on epidemics (The 1916 flu, the Black Death, Ebola outbreaks, you name it!). Then I started picking up books on genetics, both 101 and more advanced versions of the topic. Amusing anecdote: These were all for a vampire novel I was working on at the time. It’s still on the back burner and will hopefully see the light of day, so to speak, in the future.
I also have a ton of books on the occult, supernatural and almost a library unto itself on paganism & witchcraft. (Kinda the go to area for me and the husband on the High Holidays. 😉 ) The reason I’m pointing all this out is that sometimes, the inter-webs may be the most convenient way to research things for your novel in progress, but I think we forget that we might have better sources in our home libraries, or the public libraries, or even in our own heads.
Wikipedia can be helpful, but honestly? Use it as a stepping off point. Try some books from the time period you’re writing about. If you’re looking for a neat little known fact about a place your setting your story, contact their chamber of commerce or the tourist center. Sometimes they’ll have brochures or fact booklets to add some color to your story. (Thanks to Terri Osborne for that one!)

Writing is one of those phenomenally unique endeavors where we can get source material from virtually ANYWHERE.  So I guess what I’m  suggesting is step away from the computer once & awhile and pester your local reference Librarian. Believe it or not, they actually wish MORE people would. And you might find out those old college textbooks have more interesting things in them than you remembered.

Some websites that actually have electronic copies of useful texts (Not pre-digested information) :

www.sacred-texts.com Has an AMAZING wealth of electronic texts on almost any area of religion, spirituality and philosophy you could ask for.

Project Gutenberg Another great source of electronic texts. (nearly 30,000 books here for FREE)

Perseus Digital Library More digitized scholarly works

Medieval Sourcebook Lots of full texts from the medieval period

Sometimes reading the actual source text is more revelatory than someone else’s Cliff’s notes analysis of the text. 😉

So. Weekend is splayed out in front of me. In between going to look at bridesmaid dresses (OY!) and the usual housecleaning, I have a bunch of writing goals planned for myself. Also, next Friday is my 4th Wedding Anniversary, so I’ll be incommunicado on Friday and Saturday. Saturday night I’ll be handing out treats to the wee children. And NaNo starts on Sunday. ZOMG! I’ll be updating my wordcount here daily. Even if that’s all I post that day.

If anyone reading this wants to be a fellow masochist writing buddy, my writing handle over at the NaNoWriMo site is Fairygothmother.

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NOW PLAYING: Bleeder (industrial Strength Mix by Seb) — Zombie Girl





Back on the blogging horse again..

22 10 2009

Weather: Has been unseasonably cool, mostly in the upper 40s. Not complaining. For today: High: 57º & rainy. And foggy. Perfect weather for writing.

It’s been a couple weeks of non-writing and other health issues. I broke a toe and am hobbling around, cursing intermittently. Add in a dollop of PMS and financial chaos and yeah. Been a little distracted.

But enough of the whining and flailing.

Writing had hit a bit of a wall for me. The WIP was stalled and I was getting NOWHERE on planning for NaNoWriMo. So, I did the smart thing and set it all aside for a couple of days and went on a research binge. And caught up on some reading. (Got Laura Anne Gilman’s “Flesh and Fire: Book One of The Vineart War” and was hooked in the opening pages. ) Fantastic story and using a unique magic system, wine, which in turn makes it even MORE interesting. Great book and highly recommended. Also been catching up on the Dresden Files. (Reading Small Favor at the moment with Turn Coat, to be ordered and Changes to be PRE-ordered. Oh and a Dresden Graphic novel in the wish list as well. )

Research for NaNo has actually yielded some good little “What if…” thoughts so that I can get a serviceable plot brewing. Thank the gods that Norse Mythology has enough loose ends and loopholes that I can concoct a lovely urban fantasy from the question marks. 🙂 Love that there is no definitive myth on whether Ragnarok has a) already happened, b) is YET to happen, or c) is happening in cycles. Lots of open ground to mine there. That and the fact that some gods & many of the Svartálfar (Dark Elves) & Ljósálfar (Light Elves) escaped to Midgard during the fighting…well. That also leaves some stones unturned. VBEG. I have an abandoned story from a few years back that will need to be completely re-written, but the seeds of a good story are there. It will have new characters and a completely re-worked plot. Nice thing is, once I got a few salient points down on paper, the bits of dialogue started cropping up. And stray scenes. I’m only jotting down notes so I don’t actually cheat and get started early.

Been spending a large chunk of the morning chatting with my lovely writerly friends about topics as diverse as vampire canon (which DOES NOT EXIST, KTHXBYE!), writing software and whether or not committing ourselves to NaNoWriMo when we have books on the burner (and on the back burner and hanging from the ceiling and stuck in little boxes under the bed) makes us masochists.  (I, for one, believe I have lost touch with my pain threshold and am just doing it because I like the taste of insanity in the morning. Burns so good!)

On the home front, Bri and I are getting the house prepped. We’ve crunched the numbers and are slowly getting the few cosmetic things fixed so the house will be ready for the market come March of next year. Seattle or bust, baby! We’re actively looking for places to live out there and, of course, looking for jobs. Along with about a bajillion other people. Sigh. Remember what I said about my masochistic tendencies. Yeah. Right there.  But we’re full bore dedicated to getting the hell out of  here. Sooner rather than later, thank you very much.

Been compiling writing mixes again. And with NaNo coming up, I need to start formulating soundtracks for my characters.  My writing mixes lately have been made up of predominantly the new Three Days Grace, AFI, Muse and Editors albums. All of which are conveniently fitting to the storyline of the WIP. (“Last to Know” off off the new 3DG is so perfect for the epilogue, I swear it was written with pre-knowledge of the storyline. Which would just be weird & creepy.  ::makes note to send those boys a fruit basket or something for the inspiration::)

All righty. Got to get back to work and then head home for a writing session. No telly tonight (Supernatural & Vampire Diaries are both repeats. So vexing.)

More tomorrow, my sparkling ferrets of delight.

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Now Playing: Fly on the Windscreen — Depeche Mode





A grey and mellow Thursday…

8 10 2009

Weather: High: 54º & rainy. Ahhhh FALL.

The Universe has picked a particularly horrible day to kick me and the husband in the proverbial balls.

I won’t bore y’all with the details but let’s just say it’s a lovely melange of financial downturn and family drama all wrapped up in a nice migraine inducing package.  Sigh. Really getting tired of this Sisyphean cycle.

Was happy to see that they finally posted one of the acoustic performances by 3DG from here in Chicago. Feel like I’m a lapsed fangirl. I remember when I would be lining up in the rain for my bands. Old age is not kind to the slavish fan girl. Sigh.


Digestive tract is taking a hit from the stress barrage. Hope I feel better before the weekend.

On the writing front, re-writes are taking up much of my time. I’m kinda liking the new direction of the new opening scenes, but their not popping as well as I’d like. Still, need to get the words down, then the crafting can happen .

Ah well. Blogging continues to take a hit on the daily front. Will try to concoct more interesting content tomorrow.

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Now playing: Three Days Grace – On My Own
via FoxyTunes





Monday rolls around again…

5 10 2009

Weather: High: 63º & sunny.

So. Stuck in Ennui Gear again.

The wake and the funeral tomorrow have kind of absorbed all my focus, so writing and work work have taken a sort of back seat to everything else.

Got a bonus bit of fun today. Local radio station was streaming a live in- station acoustic concert of Three Days Grace, so at least I could listen to my boys while working. 🙂 ETA: Nice little interview with acoustic versions of “Pain” & “Lost in You”. Geebling fangirl is Geebling.

Have decided to go with the Manx/Norse myth mash-up for my NaNo story. Need to get my outline done and the necessary research compiled.  If it works out, I should end up with a 75K novella I can shop around. Cross fingers.

Allright. Been too brain locked and distracted to post a proper blog today. Promise there will be much more pithy and entertaining blogging later.

Probably won’t post tomorrow as I’ll be at the funeral and sundry get togethers most of the day.

See you on Wednesday.

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Now playing: Lacuna Coil – Spellbound
via FoxyTunes





Wow. This week has kinda sucked.

2 10 2009

Weather: High: 58º & rainy.

So I haven’t really posted much this week. Work has been a flurry of catch up and h0me life has been a rollercoaster of bad news and bad health. My whining, let me show you it.

Last night we lost power during the storm that rolled through, starting at 8:00 and finally getting it back at 5:30 this morning.  Candlelight, me sewing and my husband scribbling away in his notebook caused me to comment: “Sigh. I love the 1800s.”

The ultimate bad news was that my husband’s uncle passed away.  So we will spending a lot of time at wakes and the funeral over the next few days.

My writing brain has ground to a halt. I’m having difficulty constructing any semblance of coherent sentences. I’ve printed out the MS and am attacking it with highlighter and post-its. Re-writes were going do well… until I hit the wall.

I think in general between fighting off colds and having all this conflagration of stressful events has finally burnt out a few brain cells. The apathy has sunk it’s claws in me again. Hate when this happens. It tends to take a monumental effort to get back up out of this damn pit. I’m not wallowing, I’m just annoyed with myself.

So. Two weeks after getting the new Muse and Three Days Grace albums I’ve pretty much played them into the ground.  And I’m still not sick of either. THe music on both has proven to be good writing tuneage. Especially the 3DG album, in light of how it’s corresponding to the story re-writes that I’m doing. Coincidence? I think not.

Ah well. Gotta dash. I’m hoping that once this weekend is done and some things are settled, my mind might proffer better blog content. Bear with me folks, I’m not always such a drag. 🙂

Now playing: Three Days Grace – World So Cold
via FoxyTunes