::blows the dust of the blog::

4 03 2010

Weather: High: 40 º & sunny.  Yes, the giant yellow hurty thing is back. Le Sigh.

So it’s been a while since I blogged, mostly because what spare time I have has been entirely soaked up with rewrite & editing on the WIP.

Received an entry form for a writing contest yesterday, and for the first time in a long time, I’m actually planning on entering. If nothing else, to give me the impetus to write something shorter than a novel. There’s an entry for a 4K short story and I think I’m gonna make the attempt. If nothing else, it will be something to put on my writer’s resume if it does well. 🙂

And yet again the day has gotten away from me. I’m on a roll with the MS so I’ll be doubling down on it again tonight.  Can’t believe I’ve set myself up for 13 more of these. OY. But the Universe is huge and the arc is complex, and I have a lot of characters to torture before it’s done. 🙂

More tomorrow.


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Now playing:
Three Days Grace – Get Out Alive
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





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





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