Friday, 31 December 2010
Wednesday, 29 December 2010
Tuesday, 28 December 2010
Monday, 27 December 2010
Sunday, 26 December 2010
Thursday, 23 December 2010
Wednesday, 22 December 2010
Monday, 20 December 2010
Saturday, 18 December 2010
Friday, 17 December 2010
Still, with how motivated I'm feeling about my projects in the new year, I'm wondering if I shouldn't tack this one on the end of the list too. :)
That 1998 trip was marked by many frustrating moments in which I disliked my father immensely, and yet the countless exhilarating experiences kept me going from February 2 - May 17 or so, before I finally gave up and fled for home. I skipped the last few stops, which part of me still regrets, and yet I had run out of money, and my emotional breakdown really was the deciding factor in the end. Dad kept going without me.
Anyway, I thought I would share an excerpt, a reflection on some of the characters we met while hitch-hiking down the West Coast of the United States:
Cars’ headlights shone murkily through the falling water, and most of them passed us by without a second glance. I shivered in the cold and wondered if I’d end up dead in a ditch somewhere, just as I’d told mum I might. I had survived this latest encounter with a person who wasn’t scared of hitchhikers, but how long would my luck last? I didn’t really believe that a grisly fate would befall me, so it wasn’t a huge concern for me. I guess you never think it will happen to you, and I didn’t – thankfully I wasn’t disappointed!
After a while a car slowed as it saw us, and swept past gradually slowing further. It came to a halt and Dad and I jogged towards it while trying to balance our packs on our backs. I looked forward to getting out of the rain, but not so forward to sitting next to some stranger for a potentially long ride.
It was a shoddy car, a watery silver-blue colour and probably 15 years old, although it looked like it’d been through the wars. It reminded me a bit of dad’s Suzuki which had transported us through the Australian desert. That had been what felt like a lifetime ago, though it was in actual fact only just over a month. I’d worn shorts and crappy tops during the desert stint. Now I wore torn jeans and Rachelle’s cardigan as I went to meet the first of our saviours for this part of the journey.
I can’t recall his name, but he was relatively young – perhaps thirty or so – and a bit grubby looking. He was skinny with pale hair and a bit of stubble. He told us in his scratchy voice to jump in, and explained the state his car was in – it was choc a block full of assorted items that were being transported down to his new home. We had a bit of a time struggling into the car – we all sat in the front seat, as there was no other option available – but we managed in the end.
I wasn’t as surprised as I might have been that Dad insisted I sit in the middle, next to the guy. My mum had told me how he did that in the past when she was travelling with him – put the young woman beside the guy, to “keep him happy”. I decided I’d insist that Dad took the next turn keeping our saviours happy.
Since I don’t recall the guy’s name, I’ll call him Bob. Bob was a strange man, but quite amusing. At one point during our trip south he asked our opinion of the Bill Clinton-Monica Lewinsky controversy that had gripped the USA at the time we were there. We gave him our input and he said, “Yeah, the way I see it is, I don’t care who he sleeps with, as long as he doesn’t want to sleep with me, ya know?” It was an unforgettable moment.
Bob dropped us off not long after we first met him, and we decided to stop and have ourselves a cup of coffee. Slogging through the wet but no longer rainy landscape, we reached a diner where we took a table for ourselves and ordered coffee and doughnuts. I enjoyed being in the warmth of the diner and didn’t particularly look forward to getting on the road again. But when we finally did, it didn’t take us very long to meet our next chaperone.
Naturally it's completely unedited, and I haven't even finished writing out the whole journey yet. There are large gaps, and sometimes I struggle trying to read my own writing in the original journals. Haha. But I think this would be worth working on, at some point anyway.
Thursday, 16 December 2010
December 8: Beautifully different
I'm beautifully different in a few ways. Peer pressure has always sort of slid off me like water, the duck, you know? I've never had one puff on a cigarette, never taken drugs, etc. I like alcohol, but if I'm not interested in another drink, you can't make me have one. Everyone seems to think this is some inherent strength of will I have, but in fact it's just me doing what I want to do. I've never even been tempted to do drugs or smoke. It's not a struggle for me to stay away from those things, because I don't want to do them!
What do I do that lights people up? I guess I think I'm pretty funny. Mostly sarcasm, though. I know some people don't like sarcasm. But I love it, and I do it. Plus, I love my own company, so it never surprises me that other people do as well. Does that make me arrogant? I don't think I'm arrogant. I just appreciate the good things about myself. Not everyone loves me, this I know from experience. :) But I'm okay with that, most of the time. Sometimes it hurts to realise somebody actually dislikes you. But since I don't think about it most of the time, I don't hurt over it most of the time. OK, I think that's Dec 8 done. LOL.
December 9: Party Prompt
I would say that this year my favourite party night was my 30th birthday night, when all sorts of friends and some family got together, different groups at different parts of the night, and we had some drinks and listened to some great music and danced our little butts off. I wound up sleeping alone from about 6:30 am outside on my mum's backyard deck, and it was cold. But even that couldn't ruin my birthday. Even some really idiotic behaviour by at least a couple of guests couldn't ruin my night. It was a fun night, and the worst part of my hangover was lack of sleep.
December 10: Wisdom
The wisest decision I made this year? I honestly don't know. I didn't make any major decisions this year. Maybe I could cop out and say the wisest thing I did this year was start this blog. LOL. Seems to be panning out quite nicely.
December 11: 11 Things I don't need in 2011 & how to prevent them
1. Heartache/loss - not sure I can prevent this, but I can hope it doesn't come my way
2. Weight gain - will try to give myself treats when I need them but not as often; will continue to not drink during the week unless at someone else's house :P
3. Crime (i.e. house getting broken into, car getting stolen) - be careful to lock my windows and doors :)
4. Being fired - work hard, be proactive, make new projects for myself
5. Excessive procrastination (with my 2011 goals, just won't have the time!!) - stay motivated and inspired! I guess by switching to different projects if I get bored with one; keep up with critiquing group & other writing groups
6. Car troubles (doubt this will happen, what with my shiny NEW car!) - service car when needed
7. Yet another reason to have to travel to Canada (not that I hate going, it's just my bank account hates me) - this is out of my hands, sup to my brother
8. Maxing out my credit card again - be more careful with money! I know I can do this easily
9. Computer troubles - not much I can do to prevent this
10. Another year of being single - eh...not much I want to do to prevent this. That probably doesn't make sense
11. Getting evicted - don't think this will happen, landlady likes me, but will just have to continue taking care of the place; do more gardening! or weeding, rather
December 12: Body Integration This Year
When did I feel most integrated with my body? Um...probably when I was asleep each night. LOL. Or maybe when we were driving across the States and I was listening repeatedly to Lacuna Coil's "Wave of Anguish", or on the way back into L.A. when I was listening to my Purplene playlist.
December 13: Action
My next step for making ideas happen is to keep looking back at my 2011 Goals list and squealing over how excited I am, and to try and ensure I don't ever stop feeling excited. I can't wait to not only write new stuff but to (and probably especially this) hone the writing I do have already. Honing is my new best friend!
December 14: Appreciate
What have I come to appreciate most in the past year? My alone time each night when I get home from work, my alone time on the weekends, but the good times I've had with friends as well. And my family, of course. Still, I truly adore my alone time. I'd go insane without it. There's a reason I live alone, people. ;)
And now, before I go, the current SUNDOWN wordcount: 127,742. It's really creeping down at a snail's pace, but at least it's not creeping back up! I did however glimpse the prologue last night, and impulsively begin to edit, and even to wonder if I can rip out most of the first section. So yeah, I get the feeling my third revision could be the most productive yet.
Over 'n out! And thanks to everyone who's stopped by lately. :)
Wednesday, 15 December 2010
It's hard to truly decide on what my characters are going to say, and when. When it comes to Jared, sometimes he talks too much. He's not like that. He isn't a social creature, deep down inside, though over the years he's learned to fake it incredibly well. So he needs to talk less, at least in the beginning. As Louise draws him out of his shell, naturally he will start talking more. But that's got to take time. He has good reason not to trust (he doesn't trust anyone, not even himself), and no matter how comfortable he may start to feel around her, he is never truly comfortable. Not until book 5. Here I'm talking about books 1 and 3. Book 2 is a prequel, documenting Jared's earlier days. Confusing?
So, yeah...Jared talks too much. And this is because, as I have discovered, I talk too much. Only in my writing. In reality I am rather sparing with what I say. But when it comes to writing, I can bloat out a story with the best of them. This is how I've managed to cut 19k from SUNDOWN so far. And I have no doubt I can cut a lot more, just by saying the same things in less words.
In future, then, Jared will talk less. Louise will probably continue to ramble, because he makes her nervous. He will continue to misunderstand things, no matter how far he's come since the early days. And I love how far he's come. The prequel, documenting his early days when he first met Adelai, was incredibly fun to write. His social ineptitude is one of my favourite things about him. And I don't want to lose that, just because he's meant to be better at faking nowadays. Jared = ineptitude.
So, in a nutshell...
Step 1: Get SUNDOWN dialogue so perfect I love every single line my characters say (slowly but surely getting there at present).
Step 2: Face the daunting task of editing SUNDOWN.
P.S. Gotta do Reverb10 week 2 next!
Tuesday, 14 December 2010
1. Finished off DAPHNE, after 10 years of writing it (I was 19 when I began, and 29 when I finished). Still needs editing!
2. Wrote little bits and pieces of stories, and edited bits and pieces of others, during the year, until November, when...
3. During NaNoWriMo I finished a 116,000 word story (the first in the
1. Completed 3 novels in the
2. Started book 4 (which since the division of book 2 became book 5) in the
3. Completed first revision of SUNDOWN, taking word count from 116,000 to 147,000. Yikes.
4. Cut about 19k from SUNDOWN during 2nd revision (have not finished this revision, but hoping to get there in the next week or so).
5. Participated in NaNoWriMo 2010, and won with a 94k novel.
And now onto the point of this blog entry: things I want to achieve in 2011.
Things I know I can do in 2011
1. Finish current edit of Sundown and order a proof copy of it via CreateSpace (this is free!!)
2. Participate in NaNoEdMo 2011, working either on book 4 of the
3. Participate/run the short story year-long workshop project with my critiquing buddies, possibly will be showcase this on Blogger - the Chrysalis Experiment
4. Keep my writing blog at Blogspot going & hopefully prospering a bit
5. Win NaNo 2011
6. Finish off first draft of STORM from the
7. Maybe look at doing a preliminary read-through/edit of Nausicaa (NaNo '10 novel)
Things I'd like to look at but probably will not get done in 2011
1. Preliminary edits of FIRE and EXCISION from the
2. Figure out how to finish off CARNIVAL from the
3. Finish off 2008's NaNo novel (TURKEY BOURKE)
4. Get through 1st proper edit of SQUEAKY
Things I KNOW I will not get done in 2011
1. Finish off RAGEWATER book 1
2. Finish off SOMANA from the RAGEWATER series (probably has 40k to go)
Monday, 13 December 2010
If you don't want Harry Potter/Angel/Wheel of Time spoilers, don't read on!!
The first character, who was mentioned in the blog entry above, is Neville Longbottom from the Harry Potter series. He starts out as completely clumsy and dorky, and turns into a bit of a warrior by the end. Of course, by the very end he's a teacher at Hogwarts and a little more low key. But I just love how he goes from clumsy dork to bad-ass DA soldier.
The second has a similar progression I suppose (maybe I've got a thing for dorks turned deadly machines? Haha). It's Wesley from the Angel TV series. He starts out as a complete and utter dork, far more so than Neville mentioned above, and turns into a bitter and twisted (not to mention scarred and totally buff) hardened warrior over the years. This is probably my favourite character progression.
The third character I can think of off the top of my head is Rand al'Thor from the Wheel of Time series, and I guess the way he changes isn't so much sexy and kick-arse as...sad, depressing, and a little scary. He goes from a lovely, warm and caring farmboy to a deadened, ice-cold machine who doesn't have time to cry over dead friends. I haven't read the entire WoT series yet, naturally since the last book isn't out yet, and I'm only in the middle of book 11, so I can't say how he turns out in the end. But time will tell, and at present it's looking pretty bleak.
I can't think of any characters of mine that undergo such dramatic changes, but it's something worth thinking about.
Sunday, 12 December 2010
Saturday, 11 December 2010
Friday, 10 December 2010
What's Reverb10, you ask? Check it out here. And now let's get on with it...
December 1: One Word
The word I would use to describe this year is "travel" - I started out the year still in Canada after spending Christmas with my brother, his girlfriend and her awesome family. A more traditional Christmas I don't recall ever having. By the time I got back to Australia, my fondest wish was to never have to eat again. I did, of course, but it felt so good not to be stuffing my face and puffing out even more than I already had. Phew. Later in the year, August/September to be exact, I travelled again to the States to hang out with friends. We did a roadtrip from L.A. to Atlanta and back again. Awesome fun, but it was good to get out of that car at last. And then I had to plan my travels in January '11, when we're going back to Canada for my brother's wedding. It sounds like a chore, doesn't it? But somebody's gotta do it. And truthfully, I look forward to being able to spend money on other stuff at some point in the future. But I still wouldn't change it for the world! This travel bug ain't going away. Sometime I will have to write about other travels I've done - world trips and the like.
December 2: Writing
I guess if I didn't work full time, I'd get a lot more writing done. Theoretically. During November however, I realised that I was averaging 5,000 words a night on weeknights, whereas sometimes the weekend days yielded even less than that, and I often had most of those days free to write. I guess I haven't lost my procrastination skills even now that my studies have been left far behind. Still, I guess things that get in the way of my writing are other things I like to do online, like check out my Last.fm charts, check my email, watch Billy Corgan (Official)'s updates on Facebook, and hang out with my WoT friends at A'vron Ayende. Again though, I'm not sure I want to trade any of that in for JUST focusing on writing/editing. Why? Because I'm sure I'd burn out in 10 seconds flat if I didn't have my methods of procrastinating, and then I'd get nothing done.
December 3: Moment
One moment during which I felt alive? Probably driving through a thunderstorm - and magnificent it was too - in Oklahoma, wishing it would turn into a real live tornado. Yeah, maybe I'm a thrill seeker, to a degree. Hehe. The clouds were truly stunning, and I got some great photographs. There was another amazing storm on the way back to California, when we were in Texas or possibly New Mexico. Got some wonderful photographs of raindrops from that. So yea, I felt alive, and glad to be, then.
December 4: Wonder
How did I cultivate a sense of wonder in my life? I guess I was just inspired right through the year, following on from last year's NaNoWriMo. My life is pretty fun, even if there are areas that are experiencing a severe lack. Some areas. I've got a cool career (librarian), I get to travel quite a bit, I'm loving what I'm writing, I live in a beautiful seaside town with photo opportunities galore, I've got lots of friends and a great family...it's hard not to have a sense of wonder when reflecting on all this.
December 5: Let Go.
I probably didn't let go of anything this year. I think this year was a rather uneventful year in terms of breaking off ties, or getting rid of bad rubbish, or any of that. But wait, I did let go of something: my twenties! Yes, this year I turned 30, and I didn't hate it at all. Not that I precisely loved it, but my party was heaps of fun, and naturally it had a great playlist since I made that playlist myself. Hehe.
December 6: Make
The last thing I made was a painting (I hadn't painted in ages, and it was fun to get back into it, though I haven't returned to it since completing these two paintings). I think that's the last thing I made...
December 7: Community
Well, I've only recently started up this blog, and I am determined to make some good contacts via Blogger, hopefully get some new writing friends and sources of inspiration for me going into the new year. I am inspired already about 2011, but I want to stay that way, and if I can help others be inspired too, then that's even better. I've really enjoyed interacting in the NaNoWriMo community this year, and also the Last.fm community is awesome as ever. And yeah, I guess that goes to show that I get most of my community interaction online, not in person. There is a great community in my place of employment, though, and I get to work with some of the most awesome people ever. So I'm very blessed there.
Tuesday, 7 December 2010
Does it matter that you're my own character in my own novel that I wrote for last year's NaNoWriMo? Does that REALLY matter? I don't think so.
Please don't be insulted, but I took inspiration for you from the Twilight series. NOT because you're like those characters. NOT because you're a vampire or a werewolf (for you are not any of those). But the inspiration I took was from hearing people say what sucked them into that particular series was that they craved the sort of chivalry that the likes of Edward Cullen show.
My inspiration for you was to think about what I really wanted in a man. And poof! There you were in my head. So I wrote about you, already knowing I was in lust/love with you. You are like no man I've ever known, sad to say. You're far from perfect, and you've got your issues. Big time hang-ups. But you're sweet, and kind, and you have the biggest heart. You're unconventionally sexy, too. That helps, I guess. You're not a pin-up boy. Hell no. You're ordinary looking, though nice and tall - but the more I get to know you, the sexier you really are.
So there you go. I love you, because I made you up, and damn my imagination has been kind to me!
Fondest regards, baby. :D
Sunday, 5 December 2010
Friday, 3 December 2010
That stupid girl, he thought, angrily. I've got enough trouble as it is, and she's made me even more confused. That other girl wasn't meant to come so early. I hate it when this happens. They always mess it up! It was like this with Annelease. But I really did have to do it. She knew everything. EVERYTHING!!! Well, no one can find her! She's hidden well. But as for this new girl, well she…she will pay dearly. Just you wait! Just you wait and see.No wonder I got a great mark, eh?
Honestly, when I look back at this story, I have mixed emotions: pride, embarrassment, and the definite urge to howl with laughter. I also feel...relief. At least I know I've improved somewhat since those days. Relief, indeed.
Still, my writing today is not perfect, and I have lots of lessons to learn still. My critiquing group is awesome for that. But I still feel proud of what I can do, what I do do, and I guess that's the feeling I'm going to try and hang on to.
Wednesday, 1 December 2010
What did I write? Surely it was absolute crap. Surely it wasn't worth reading.
Surely I feel sorry for my friends who asked to read it and whose requests were obliged. Ha.
Well, to be honest, I think the writing was around about average. It could be better (and will be, with all the editing it'll undergo), but it could also be a lot worse. I had a great idea, not a new idea to be sure, but a great one, and I managed to finish the story, a story that has been buzzing around annoying me for probably close to a decade. Well, maybe longer than a decade.
There are a lot of criticisms out there about National Novel Writing Month and how it supposedly demeans "real" writers. My question to those offended "real" writers is...why do you care so much if people are making a mockery out of your profession? How is NaNoWriMo damaging you, unless you're just feeling threatened.
It may be true that a lot of NaNoWriMo novels are absolute crap, but so are a lot of other novels that get published. I've read some of the suckiest. Not naming names. Or titles.
Anyway, the original question I asked was: is NaNoWriMo evil? And my answer? I don't think!
I think stifling creativity is evil!