The Queen of Tangential Thinking

20 05 2010

Weather:  High: 70º &  Sunny– A whiff of summer in the air. Bah.

The title for this post comes from a conversation I was having with a couple of friends, some who are writers. I was commenting on the fact that whenever I start researching something for a story, whether it be history, or mythology or whatever is needed, I find myself wandering off into tangential searches. These tend to be triggered by a small piece of info in the topic I was initially researching.

For example, yesterday, in a fit of pique spawned by my current bout of writers dry well syndrome, I decided to do a little world building to see if it would jumpstart some creativity. So, I thought, let’s see if we can’t create an origin story for the race of vampires in my story. Let’s look for ancient vampire myths.

First I started with Ancient Egypt, seeing that the Archive story arc is heavily immersed in the Library of Alexandria. Since that was one pole stuck in the sand, timeline wise, I figured I’d work BACKWARDS. So into Mesopotamia I went, and started with the varied groups that existed around that time. Picking through the different kingdoms/civilizations, I stumbled across the Hurrians, a Trans-Caucasus race that had some ties to the Hittites & had , much like the Hittites, vanished from the timeline, taking their unique language and mythology with them.  (They didn’t really “Vanish” as in POOF!, but their people were absorbed by the Assyrians, as was their language.)

well, this triggered a memory of Lilitu and her lore related to the area. So I was off to research Lilitu myths, trying to weed out those that were from the Judaeo-Christian lore. This in turn revealed archaeological links, which in turn sprouted some tendrils into the practice of kurgan burial…and you see how I somehow got derailed from my initial search.

This is typical for me, and although it may seem a scatter-shot way to go about researching, it has actually led to some very juicy plot points. I look for the holes in historical records. This is where you can plant your fictional seeds and see what takes root. Holes produce a lot of “what ifs?”. And “what ifs?” lead to “how about this!”  and voila! You have a nice little plot bunny a’nibbling at your brain stem.

So, now armed with about 40 pieces of random info, I shall endeavor to bang and mash together a history of my vampires.  Next, onto the plot of Book#2, which is looking to be gutted from the original and re-written. A challenge indeed, but I want something percolating on the stove while I try and shop around Book #1.


::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.

Now playing:
Three Days Grace – Get Out Alive
via FoxyTunes

It’s get annoyed at your manuscript Thursday!

5 11 2009


Yeah. Even with sunglasses, the sun was a tad FLAMING BALL OF EVIL this morning.

NaNoWrimo Morning Wordcount Total: 10033 words. Aiming for 12K today.

UPDATED: Only managed another 500 words over lunch, so I’ll need to do 1500 between the commute home and this evening. Brain seems to have thrown a coil. May need to to work on something else tonight or just take a breather. The story is there. It’s not writer’s block, just malaise has set in. We’ll see if I get a second wind on the way home.

Supernatural/Vampire Diaries Thursday -WOO!  It’s silly how much I’ve gotten addicted to these two shows.

Brian has an interview today. Not saying any more so I don’t jinx it. Could be a VERY good thing for us if he gets it.

And a picture of the cast of Being Human, snurched from Here:


Lenora, Russel, Sinead and Aidan ❤ !!!


Have a good evening all!

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) : 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.

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

Oh wow! It’s been a while, huh?

28 08 2009

Weather: High: 69º and rainy. Been like this all week. Not complaining one jot!

Wow…I really fell off the blogging wagon there, didn’t I? ::smacks hands and sends self to the bad blogger corner for a time out::

Things have been chaotic in the office and writing has been claiming what little free time I have. Not that the latter is a bad thing. The former is vexing, but I am the bread winner at the moment, so I think this falls under “Necessary Evil.”

Been working hard on  When the Lights Go Down. Got a little bogged down in the climactic fight scene and it still needs some cleaning up. Fight scenes for me tend to get weighted down in description.  I’m trying to get them more lean and keep the action flowing rather than choppy.

Have switched on fangirl mode. New Supernatural season starts up the Thursday after I get back from Dragon*Con. And the Vampire Diaries starts up the same night. Am ADDICTED to True Blood & Being Human, though both are ending their seasons soon before protracted hiatuses. This will be night unto torture for me, needless to say. But with hotties like these, DO you blame me for being a little morose about not getting to see more of them? COME ON!

Mitchell (Aidan Turner) from Being Human

Mitchell (Aidan Turner) from Being Human

Eric (Alexander Skarsgard) from True Blood

Eric (Alexander Skarsgard) from True Blood

Also, my lovely lads from Three Days Grace have a new album out very soon and released some fantastic photos. My faves were predictably the darker B& W ones. :

Three Days Grace

Three Days Grace



And as an added bonus, they posted a short Behind the Scenes vid on YouTube. I’m ridiculously squeeful about this album.

Yes. I’ve been a total and unrepentant FANGIRL. And Dragon*Con is only going to exacerbate the situation. I do hope to actually use the Con to make some professional connections as well. I mean, what’s the point of having a 300+ page book under my belt if I have no one to query about it, right?

Hubby and I are making all the prep for D*C this weekend. Hopefully we will have pretty much everything in place by the end of Sunday, so I can do the last minute thing with less to worry about.

Can’t say that I’m gonna be upset about getting out of town for a few days. Plus, getting to see several bands I like? (Abney PArk, Faith & the Muse, The Cruxshadows, Bella Morte, Ayria, Spider Lilies, & Voltaire) BONUS!

Ah well. Time to go. Have a good weekend all!

Wordcount Wednesday… and I’m dead on my feet.

8 07 2009

Weather: High: 74 degrees with intermittent showers through the day. ::checks calendar::  You DO know it’s July, right, Weather Gods? Not that I’m complaining in any context. 😉

Got a little done last night, writing wise, but my brain was just not clicking the way it usually does. 1200 words, but I think I need to go back and re-work it. Tonally, it’s a little light against the darkness that preceded it. And a little precious. Let’s be honest, I don’t do precious. And I think I raised a concept in the Vampire 101 of the story that hadn’t been raised before. Not good when I’m thumbing my nose at my own world building. Sigh. I think I may need to work on the outline stuff and let this scene sit for now. It’s not crucial for getting the next bits written. Besides, I’m itching to write the Vamp Battle Royale scene. Blood, violence and gruesome endings for some major characters. Woo!

The dead on my feet reference in the subject line comes from the fact that I’m trying to function on two hours of sleep. Had insomnia as it was last night, then some digestive issues + a sore ear ( I re-pierced my right ear’s second hole and it’s in the process of healing.) and finally, the coup de grace, two of our resident alley cats decided to have a loud mating session in our front yard. And I mean LOUD! Snoots was rather annoyed…or interested. Hard to tell with him. He was running from window to window, yipping and pawing at the glass. How like a man. Sigh.
Brian did his best to help me get to sleep but I think sheer exhaustion finally claimed me about 2:30- 3 a.m. Then I had a horrific dream about Snoots being sick in a very visceral way and we couldn’t get him to the vet. Not good. SO needless to say, I didn’t exactly spring out of bed, greeting the day with joie de vivre.  Of course, most days I don’t do that either. Just this morning, I was particularly zombielike and petulant.

Okay, just got out of a meeting for a work related project. It’s been delayed and people have been dragging their feet. Here’s the annoyance–its the same thing we do EVERY DAMN YEAR! The only problem is that I have to create all the media attached to the project and the content changes. So while they can make changes to things up to the day of the event, the things I need to produce, print and dry mount as displays CANNOT! Needless to say, I had to kick a little ass to get the info I needed to get my part done. GAH!

Worked on some personal projects over lunch, but didn’t really get much writing done. C’est la vie. Will do some writing tonight, taking a break for The Philanthropist! WOOT!

Ah well, the lack of sleep has caught up with me and the words are not coming. Staring at the screen and straining my eyeballs is not producing any coherent text either. Calling it a day, here at the blogosphere.

Hopefully with more sleep I will be more verbally forthcoming. 🙂

Now playing: Paralysed Age – Bloodsucker
via FoxyTunes

Bossless Tuesday. ::reaches for Migraine Meds::

3 03 2009

Weather: High: 29 Degrees and Partly sunny.

Boss is at the satellite office today to do some training so I’ve been left to my own devices. None of which keep the brokers from bothering me. Sigh.

Oy. Just realized today is my sixth anniversary here at my company. This is the longest I’ve held any job in my long and varied history. Double oy.

Need to get to finishing the plot bunny of DOOM (ie Librarian Clive Owen smut.) I keep coming up with brill lines and ideas. And they are just too damn distracting to keep in my head, especially at work.

Have whittered away my freetime today, and not on what I should have. Sigh. So much for my online hiatus. Can’t help it. Heather and I are just too chatty on the FB. LOL. I think we’ve fangirl’d Clive Owen so hard, he ‘s probably wondering what all the high pitched geebling is about.

Gotta wind this up. Sorry for the brevity, but I’ve actually been distracted a skosh today.

Have a video or two:
My Chem does Cabaret! (Mama Live. Srsly my fave song by them. )

And in keeping with the Rock does Cabaret:
Avenged Sevenfold- A Little Piece of Heaven[live] (Think Sweeney Todd here)

I would have also added Green Day’s “Misery” and Panic At the Disco’s entire first album, and the Dresden Dolls entire CAREER  for other Cabaret type music