Irons in the fire update….

22 06 2010

Weather: It’s just damn swampy. High: 92º and possibly rainy.  GAH!

Yeah, I’ve been horrifically deficient in regularly posting here. The good news is I have made progress on my writing. The bad news is I hit a drought for about a month.Until this morning, that is. Yes, the story fairy paid me a visit and clocked me upside the head with her magical epiphany anvil.

So, a particularly vivid dream had me waking up, scrambling half-asleep for my moleskine, and scrabbling for a pen so I could quickly take down what I’d just conjured in my addled brain. I haven’t had a plot point resolved in a dream in AGES so I took it as a sign to get cracking on it.

On my commute in, I also came up with what I hope will be the final scene in book #2. I’m literally BUZZING with ideas right now. Unfortunately, I have to serve the first master that is my day job, before I can focus on the deluge of story bits.

In the interim, here’s the current standings on the writing front.

All of the following take place in the Archive story universe.

The Serpentigena Trilogy:

Book 1 When the Lights Go Down (118K) Finished. With editor. Shopping Novel by end of July.

Book 2 The Lesser Evil (50K) In process of being rewritten.

Book 3 Untitled In outline w/ a couple scenes written.

Short story:  Darius’ tale (4k) 1st draft almost finished.


Carrion Dreams Trilogy

Book 1 (75K)  In revisions

Book 2     Outline written

Book 3     Outline Written

Fenrir Rising Trilogy

Book 1 Shadow of the Ash (60K) 1st Draft. Revisions needed.

Book 2 Kenric’s book In Outline

Book 3 Archivist’s Book In Outline.

The Dark Angel Trilogy

Book 1 All Things Fanged & Furry 1st Draft Finished. In Rewrites.

Book 2 All Demons Dread & Dire Some scenes written on 1st Draft.

Book 3 Untitled In outline.

Non-Archive:
The Librarian stories

Into the Stacks 1st draft almost finished

A Question of Discipline Outline written

Additionally, I’m actually going to attempt to get some freelance articles written, and I have a couple of short stories on deck as well. Lots to keep me occupied for a while. 🙂

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Now playing: Bauhaus – Bela Lugosi’s Dead
via FoxyTunes

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Why I write.

6 04 2010

Weather: High: 80º  (O_0)  and scattered thunderstorms

So warm day and my brain is a-whirl with plot development at the moment.

Why do I write? Well it’s a question that you can ask a thousand writers, and get a thousand subtle variations on a similar answer.

I write because I have no other choice.

I write because the ideas and plots and characters occupying my brain multiply at a rate that is hazardous to my mental health if I don’t spill all the info out onto the page.

I write because if I didn’t, my head would explode. Possibly literally, as in a scene from Scanners. And that wouldn’t be good, especially for anyone in the vicinity.

I write because if I didn’t, I’d start talking back to the verbose muses in my head, and that would land me in a bouncy room with a jacket in which I can hug myself all day. Sanity is not found in this direction.

I write because I love stories. Because I love to read stories & sometimes, I can’t find the stories I want to read, so I write them myself.

I write because I want to share the movie that constantly runs through my head.

I write because the characters that come to  me need a chance to meet other people.

I write because it’s a great excuse to spend money on obscure reference texts and perform research on things that normally would get you strange looks, institutionalized or at least shunned from polite society. (Granted, you’ll still risk the possibility of all three, but if you tell them “It’s for a book.” they at least might switch to curious. )

Conversely, I DON’T write because I want to be rich, or famous, or popular. If any of those things happen, well that’ll be icing on the cake. But nowhere in my lists of motivations are there entries of money or fame. They tend to be bad motivations anyway.

In any case, whatever the reasons we write, the important thing is that we continue to write.  I have a feeling the day I keel over, I’ll have a pen in my hand or be at my keyboard.  It’s kind of a nice thought.

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Now playing: Muse – I Belong To You/Mon Cœur S’ouvre À Ta Voix
via FoxyTunes





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





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





Plotholes & Con Crud & NEW MUSIC, Oh MY!

23 09 2009

Weather: High: 77º and partly sunny. WTF?! WEATHER GODS! It’s BLOODY FALL! How about some cool temps??

Have slipped in my blogging duties. Must get back into the daily habit. Though I do have a viable excuse for my recent lack of inter-webby presence. First, I’ve been fighting con crud, that lovely post convention soupςon of sinus congestion & raspy cough. Second, between bossless week, last week and teaching two a day classes this week, I’ve been a wee bit SWAMPED at work. Sigh.
So-::cracks knuckles::- Lets’ see what’s been going on in my demented world.

On the writing front, I’ve finally started the epilogue for “When the Lights Go Down“. Which is a small victory unto itself. Of course, I’ve also started some rewrites, which unearthed a rather vexing couple of plotholes. I’ve fixed the most egregious of the two, but the remaining one will require some rather fine tune adjustments throughout the manuscript to eliminate the minor mentions related to it. So…I have more work than I realized before I can get into the regular re-write function.

Also, masochist that I am, I’ve decided to participate in NaNoWriMo again this year.  I figure I can use it as a sort of writing sorbet…to cleanse the mental writing palate before heading back into rewrites. If I use it well, I might be able to bang out a novella I can shop around as well. ::checks for jacket I can hug myself all day long in:: Yep, all set. November insanity, here I come.

On the home front, Bri and I have finally started the full court press to get the house in shape for sale. We’re also starting our job hunt in Seattle in earnest. I know it’s gonna be a tough slog in this current market, but I figure, between Bri and I, we have a wealth of work experience in a variety of fields. ( I just wish I’d kept my programming chops up to speed!) .  Our current debacle is trying to finance new carpeting for the basement. (Yes, the same carpeting we yanked up last year after our mini-flood.) We need to still get the outside of the house power washed, do some touch up painting, finish the yard landscaping, and then do a few thousand cosmetic things INSIDE the house. We’re hoping to have the house on the market come March or April, with an eye towards moving in the summer. We’ll see if our best laid plans come to fruition.

Music squee:

So I’ve obtained a crapload of new music and all of it has been just amazing. First off, got the new Muse album, “The Resistance”. There aren’t words. SO FECKING AMAZING. From soup to nuts one of the most brilliant albums I’ve heard in ages.  It has echoes of Queen in it, but Muse has their unique stamp all over it. It’s prog rock, but lacking the usual pretentiousness that gets that genre mocked. It’s intelligent, and social commentary, and just massive in scope. There are straight ahead rock songs (Uprising, Resistance, MK Ultra, Unnatural Selection) , Quirky gems (I Belong To You/Mon Cœur S’ouvre À Ta Voix, Undisclosed Desires) and of course ZOMG EPIC ORCHESTRAL PIECES! (Exogenesis: Symphony parts 1-3) . It’s eminently listenable from beginning to end. And yes, it’s already embedded all over my writing mixes. (“Undisclosed Desires” has become Devon & Sara’s theme song. LOL!)
Here’s the video for “Uprising” , Zombie Teddy Bears & All!

Next I got the new Three Days Grace album, “Life Starts Now”. It BLEW ME AWAY. Seriously. These guys get dismissed out of hand by a lot of hipsters and indie critics and I just do not understand the hate.
Adam Gontier, their lead singer, has an amazing voice, and this time around, he gets to use ALL his range. The last two albums have been heavy on the dark hard rock they’ve made their trademark. This album feels a little more hopeful. And the music has just expanded creatively as well. 3DG are masters of the good stompy rock riff. They EXCEL at it. But Life Starts Now is riddled with experimental sounds, non-standard timings, pianos, strings, and harmonies using more than the standard chord structures.  My favorite songs change day to day. Yesterday I was blasting “The Good Life” with it’s AFI-like choruses and stompy bass & drum rhythms.  Today, I seem to be constantly queuing up “World Gone Cold” with it’s eerie chorusy-guitar intro and amazing vocals by Adam. (ETA: Apparently I’m not alone–the song is in the Top Ten on I-Tunes Rock singles already!)
Honestly there isn’t a bad tune on the whole damn album. The songs are brief, the longest barely nudging 5 minutes, but they’re layered thickly with sound and meaty guitar work.  Barry Stock, the lead guitarist, has put down some amazing riffs all over the album. And the rhythm work from Neil Sanderson (on drums) and Brad Walst (on bass) is sturdy, yet takes creative turns as well. There are echoes of Alice in Chains here as well, but 3DG has definitely put their own unique overlay on them, making it something entirely their own.
For a third album, it’s a fantastic step up from a band that gets less credit than it should.  (Of course, I might be a little biased, considering how much their music has played a hand in getting my book written. 😉 )
Here’s a vid of Adam talking about the recording of “Break“, the first single.

Also got the new : tatsu ep : from Faith & the Muse. Amazing as always. It’s a taster for their new album, : ankoku butoh : that will be released on Halloween this year. SO LOOKING FORWARD TO IT! (It will also come packaged with a DVD & book. Squee!)
Since there are few vids for F&TM, they posted snippets at their website.
Click here to see “Cantus”.
They’re an amazing band!

Well I think that brings us up to date. OH and I FINALLY got our Writers’ Cabal shirts made. Here’s what the logo looks like:

Writers Cabal VD

Yup. Looks wicked awesome!

Hopefully our ranks will swell. 🙂

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





Monday already? THREE DAYS TO D*CON!

31 08 2009

Weather: High: 68º and sunny. YES! 68! IN AUGUST!

I wore a hoodie to work this morning. In August. :shakes head: No, people. There’s no Climate Change occurring. Just keep your fingers in your ears and go LALALALALA until the facts and evidence go away. (Jeebus I’m in a snarky mood this morning.)

Am having a slightly up day, but I don’t want to jinx it. Just found out my Supernatural Season 4 DVDs shipped. Velly excited! And On Twitter, I entered a contest with TOR Books and just found out I won! Yay for more free books!

On the writing front, I’m about 400 words shy of 100K. I have to pause and look at that number. 100,000 words. I’ve never written anything this long. I was gobsmacked when I passed 75K to be bluntly honest. I realize I will probably lose at least a good 20K of that to edits…but it’s the benchmark that matters. I managed to pull 100K words out of the ether and wrestle them into a story.  And its not like that’s all I have. (Considering the number of stories waiting on the back burner once When the Lights Go Down gets done? Yeah. More word transfiguration on the horizon. )

Found it amusing that a line from the new 3DG single was this “At night, I feel like a vampire”. Amusing in a full circle kinda way. They were the primary influence for my epic vampire book, and now they’ve put that element in a song. Oh Universe, please never stop amusing me. 🙂

Have True Blood waiting for me to watch.  Can’t believe how hooked I’ve gotten on this show!

And yes, DragonCon is THREE DAYS AWAY. Of course there’s a 10 hour drive between us and Atlanta, but the end result will be fantastic. 🙂

I’m looking forward to attending a lot of the writing panels. It’s gonna be a surreal experience for me since the bulk of people I’m going to be meeting are friends I’ve known for quite a it of time, but are meeting face to face for the first time. It’s intimidating and exciting at the same time.

Any way. This will be short as work today has been exceptionally time consuming and I’ve got to leave on time to purchase my train pass. Then Home and zee planning & Packing shall ensue. 🙂

TTFN.

BTW-New little sneak peak behind the scenes of 3DG recording here:

http://carolinaspurerock.com/pages/5104202.php





LOSTnesday and the cold is back. Sigh.

18 03 2009

weather: High: 53 degrees with PM showers.and Guess who forgot her umbrella ella ella, eh eh?

Amusing followup to yesterday’s train shenanigans. Gossip Girl was on the train again and I actually sat across the aisle from her. (There were two seats between me and the aisle and one between her and the aisle. So we were in no way adjacent. ) Amusingly enough, she GLARED at me when I sat down. I just smirked and got myself situated. I put my headphones on and she went back to sleep. I listened to my usual mix at usual volume and didn’t get an uppity request to STIFLE THAT NOISE ZOMG! INstead, she reserved her pinched face annoyance for people who had the gall to walk by her seat and wake her up. Bri texted me that I should tell the conductor that her existence was annoying me and he should make her stop. HEE!

The weather is pulling shenanigans itself, dropping us out of the lovely 70s from yesterday and keeping us in the high 40s today.

Wow is Facebook & Twitter eating up my day. Need to minimize Firefox and get some work done. Have a metric tonne of disc burning to do for the new software.

Had a fantastic salad for Lunch.  Go here and scroll down to Hilltop Salad.
Their Chicken Caesar is awesome, but I think I’m gonna try the Famstand Salad next time, because ZOMG GOAT CHEESE!

Re-watched Repo! A Genetic Opera again last night and made Bri watch with me. He’s in no way, shape or form a musical fan, but he said he enjoyed it. Not “hills are alive with the sound of music” enjoyed, but he liked it. Was very impressed with the sets and cinematography.  The link above is to the official site for Repo, which has a WEALTH of behind the scenes vids and downloads. Worth a look.
In fact here: Watch “Zydrate” from the movie version:
(Apologies about the low sound, but it’s the only copy I could find. )

New Lost tonight (FINALLY ZOMG!) so I’ll have that to watch. And new Ghost Hunters as well.

In bad news, it appears actress Natasha Richardson has actually succumbed to her head injury from skiing. Latest report I read is that she’s been declared brain dead and they’ve unhooked her from life support. I really and truly hope those reports are wrong. 😦 She’s only 45 and has two lovely children with Liam Neeson. I don’t care that she’s famous. She’s a person first and this is just horrible across teh board.

On that chipper note ::facepalm:: I’ll be heading out to go home.