Thursday, May 27, 2010

Writing and Eating

First off, tomorrow I will have a post over at Flash Fiction Chronicles - go check it out!

And now, for the rest of my updates...



So in lieu of posting about any actual writing progress, I'm going to post about something I've realized about writing and me.

Writing, for me, is like eating. The first draft is like eating a fresh-baked brownie. It's delicious, and wonderful, and makes me happy. Finishing the first draft is like pushing back from the table after Thanksgiving dinner, all full and content, and ready to give up food for a long time.

Editing, though, is like dieting. I know that I need to do it. Those 20 pounds (or 20000 words of crap) aren't going to disappear without some work. However, I'm lazy, and I'm comfortable with the extra pounds, and hey, do I really need to diet (edit)? I don't like editing. It's boring, and it makes me re-read my writing and feel like a failure because I didn't get it right the first time, even though I know that NO ONE gets it right the first time through. Even as I'm writing this, I'm putting off editing HEA, because I know that there's a LOT of work waiting for me. At the same time, I'm putting off exercising - procrastinating on two fronts at once!

If editing is like dieting, then submitting is like making Thanksgiving dinner for my family for the first time. I'm pretty sure that I know what I'm doing, I've practiced making each of the dishes, I'm quite certain that my pumpkin pie is awesome, but I'm just not entirely sure that everyone is going to like what I make. What if Dad wanted apple pie instead of pumpkin? What if my sister hates sweet potatoes? What if Grandma hates Mom's stuffing recipe that I used? I can have everything all ready and on the table, but until they start eating and telling me whether it's good or not, I'll be nervous. When I submit something, whether it's a short story, article, or whatever, I have no idea if what I've done is something that the editors will like. I can be fairly certain that I've written a coherent piece, and I've usually had friends read it to be sure that it's good, but until I get a response, I'm nervous. Very nervous.

And now, after all of these food comparisons, I'm hungry.

Grr. Stupid diet.

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Five-Minute Fiction

Tonight's prompt is from First Line Fiction, Contest #7, "She's a local. - Shiloh Walker".

She's a local. I've seen her around before. She comes in once or twice a month, usually with a group of friends. I rarely see her by herself, but tonight is different. Tonight, she's alone. From across the room, I watch her. She's sitting at a table in the corner, nursing her drink. She looks miserable. I can see that her eyes are red, like she's spent her evening crying. I want to go over and comfort her, but I can't work up the courage.

So she sits there, alone with her drink. And I watch her, and wish that I could be stronger, braver, better.

I write like
Bram Stoker

I Write Like by Mémoires, Mac journal software. Analyze your writing!

Sunday, May 23, 2010

Yay productivity!

Lots of craftiness this week!

First, I made the hamster bean for the winner (and only person who commented!). Check out her blog at Blogging in the Dark.

Next, I started working on a dice bag for my gamer friend (who also happened to be the one who won the hamster bean). I'm close to halfway done, and I've picked out the second skein of crochet cotton for it.

I've also completed four inches on the body of my sweater, and I'm loving it so far. I can't wait to see how it turns out... Probably another two or three weeks until I finish it. Of course, if I decide to start another project, I may take a little longer.

No work on the Hufflepuff scarf this week, but I'm not stressing. I don't really need to get it done for any particular reason, so it'll wait and be worked on at the next theatre session, I'm sure.

Last, but not least, I've finished all 96 squares of Motif 1 of the picnic blanket, 2 full squares of Motif 4, and the insides of the other 8 squares of Motif 4. Yay! That puts me at 47.8% of the squares finished! Again, still much assembly will be required after the squares are done, but it really looks like I'll get the picnic blanket finished in time for Zoe and I to have a couple of picnics before the summer is over. Yay!

So I guess it was a productive crafty week!

Thursday, May 20, 2010

I hear voices...

I've read an awful lot about "voice" lately. It seems that the big thing in writer blogging these days is talking about voice. Everyone seems to have an opinion about voice, and advice on how to find yours.

But not me.

I don't really have any advice on finding a voice, and I don't really know how I managed to find mine. I do know, however, that one of my beta readers just compared my voice to Neil Gaiman!

I was super-excited to hear that - and then I realized that I don't actually know what his voice sounds like. The only novel of his that I've read is "Good Omens" with Terry Pratchett, and I've been told that Pratchett's voice is the more prominent of the two. Luckily, Cavid is awesome and lent me a copy of "Neverwhere."

Now I've got a dilemma... I'm in the middle of re-reading Terry Goodkind's Sword of Truth series, because I still haven't read Confessor, but I want to review the whole series, rather than just jumping into the last book. But now I have "Neverwhere" sitting on the table, and I really want to read it! I'm afraid that it will interrupt the flow of the series in my head, though, and I'll have to start over. Maybe I'll just read really fast...

Finally, today is my 600th post on this blog! Hooray! In honor of that, I want to do something different. I want to give stuff away! That's right, post a comment for a chance to win a hamster bean, handmade by me. Deadline is 10 pm EST tomorrow! I need more exclamation points!!
EDIT: Here's a link to some hamster beans - the one I'm making is all multi-coloured and cute!

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

A Little Bit of Norman

Today, I didn't get my prompt from the internet - I got it from my office. I'll post a picture later (once I get a good one), but for now, here's Norman! It's just the beginnings of an idea, I think. It could grow into something more.

I watched as Norman slowly made his way up the outside of the lily, then back down on the inside. Upon reaching the center of the flower, he repeated the process in reverse – up the inside, then back down the outside. He had been doing this all afternoon, I assumed. Every time I had glanced up, there was Norman, pacing the petals.

He didn't look bored, but I don't know how a bug looks when it's bored, so I couldn't be sure. Still, he kept moving up and down the flower petals with what I thought was a rather determined look.

I, on the other hand, was bored out of my skull. I had run out of things that I was supposed to do, I had run out of things that I wasn't supposed to do (like check my email and surf the net), and I had run out of bugs to name. Rather than go home, I sat at my desk and watched Norman from across the room.

If only things had stayed that boring.

I write like
Stephen King

I Write Like by Mémoires, Mac journal software. Analyze your writing!

Sunday, May 16, 2010

Short Craft Update

It's been a long, busy day, and I'm ready for bed. But I've accomplished a lot this week!

I've now finished both sleeves on my sweater, and I'm about half an inch into the body. 4 1/2 more inches, then it's waist-shaping time!

I have 64 squares done for the picnic blanket, so yay! That's 29.9% of the squares done! Of course, there's all of the assembly after that...

And a few more rows on the Hufflepuff scarf have been completed, too.

And now, time to sleep.

Saturday, May 15, 2010

New settings

Just letting you all know that I've added the image verification thingy for comments, because I'm tired of having to delete spam comments for Asian porn. Sorry guys.

Thursday, May 13, 2010

Swimming! Er... writing update...

I went swimming tonight! Zoe and I got new swimsuits yesterday, but by the time we got home, the pool was closed for the night. Tonight, though, we headed out at about 8, and swam for an hour. It was the first time that I've been swimming in a pool in years! I went swimming in the ocean last summer, and that was awesome, but this was cool in a different way.

So I didn't really write a lot tonight. But that's okay.

I'm up to page 72 on my re-read of HEA, and I've actually got a lot of ideas about changes that would make it better. What I like more, though, is that there are a lot of things that I want to keep! I've made myself laugh a couple times, and there have been several places where I stopped and said, "Wow. Did I write that?"

While there's not a lot of visible progress, I feel good about what I'm doing so far.


Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Writing Prompt

This week's writing prompt comes from

I woke up that morning to the smell of fried bacon and the sound of chickens clucking in the front yard -- my first hints that something wasn't quite right. Don't get me wrong, there's nothing wrong with bacon. In fact, I love the taste of bacon, especially first thing in the morning.

No, the problem was the sound of chickens clucking. You see, I live in an apartment building. On the third floor. I slowly opened my eyes, half-expecting the sounds to fade as I finally woke up. The sunshine was streaming in through the lacy curtains as I rolled over, squinting.

Wait, what? Lacy curtains?

I sat up, rubbing my eyes. Yes, there were lacy curtains on the window. There was also a pink quilt covering me, and a delicate glass lamp on the bedside table. This was definitely not my bedroom. Unfortunately, I didn't recognize it at all.

"Hey, Sunshine," came a woman's voice. It was followed immediately by a woman's body. A very attractive woman's body, with long blonde hair and wearing nothing but a bathrobe. "I was wondering when you would wake up."

"Uh, yeah... Guess I was tired," I said, trying to place her. She set a cup of coffee and a plate of scrambled eggs (with bacon) on the bedside table, then sat on the edge of the bed, resting a hand on my thigh.

"You seem quiet this morning," she said, trailing her fingers up and down my leg.

"Uh..." I didn't know what to say. I still didn't recognize her, or this room, and I was starting to worry.

I write like
J. K. Rowling

I Write Like by Mémoires, Mac journal software. Analyze your writing!

Sunday, May 9, 2010

Crafty Goodness

Let's see... I feel like I didn't get a lot of crafting done this week, mostly because I had fake nails on, so it was a bit weird to do yarncrafting. But I did get some done:

The first sleeve of my sweater is done, and I've got two of 56 rows of the second sleeve done. At this rate, I may be finished in time for summer... maybe...

I did another nine rows on my Hufflepuff scarf, and I'm about halfway done at this point. It's going to be a long scarf, so it's slow going. Also, it was my 'theatre project', so after we finished the last production, I put it away and forgot about it. But it's out now, and it's a good car project, so I'll keep working on it now.

Still going on the picnic blanket, but I fell a bit behind this week. I only made four more squares, so I've got 51 of the 214 I need. I'll do better this week, really! I've also decided that, when it's done, I'm going to line the back of it with a heavy nylon fabric, so that it's slightly waterproof.

I didn't make any earrings this week, but I did get an order for a pair, so yay! I didn't make any more cards, either, but I did put away all of my card-making supplies, which is a pretty big feat. I'll probably pull them out later this week.

So that was my week in crafting!

Thursday, May 6, 2010

This week, in writing...

I have a friend who's involved in Flash Fiction Chronicles, and she's asked me (and several other friends) to contribute articles about writing to upcoming editions. I decided to go for it, and that I would write about how I'm technically a published author, but that I don't refer to myself that way. I wanted to reference my article (Wiegand MD, DLW Young, BM Gajda, DJM Thuen, DAH Rittberg, JD Huebner and NL Loadman, Ultraviolet light-induced impairment of goldfish embryo development and evidence for photorepair mechanisms, J. Fish Biol., 2004, 64, 1242-1256.), but it's been six years and I couldn't remember the exact title, so I Googled my name, my supervisor's name, and 'goldfish.' I did NOT expect to see what came up. I've been cited!

It's one thing to have an article published in a journal. It's kind of a big deal in the science world, and I was really happy when it happened. But it's totally different to see that someone else went out, read my article, and then referenced it in another article that managed to get published! I'm kinda giddy about this. And from the looks of things, it's happened more than once! It makes me want to do more science…

In addition to that, I've been making some progress on my current writing. I've taken the feedback I got from one reader and edited FRI, and I've sent it out to five other readers, so that's good, right?

It's taken longer than I expected to read HEA: I'm on page 42, and I'm trying not to do any sort of editing. I am, however, keeping track of the scenes that I have, because I'm going to try editing scene by scene. I'm up to 20 scenes in 42 pages... Hmm... I think there will be much condensing and/or slashing. But I'm slogging along.

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Tuesday Prompt

This week's prompt comes from read write prompt #71: "Every old lady lives in a shoe."

There were children everywhere. Everywhere. Moira thought she saw one hanging from the chandelier, but when she took a second look, she realized there were two children hanging from the chandelier.

"Get down from there! You'll break your necks!" Moira screeched, running towards the dining room. The children just giggled as they jumped down and ran away. Moira put the back of her hand to her forehead, the classic picture of exasperation. There were just so many children...

There were days that Moira couldn't quite remember how she had ended up the way she had. It seemed like only a few days ago that she was young, single, and unfettered by the chains of motherhood. Of course, it had actually been nearly fifteen years since she had last been without children in her life.

Another shriek pierced Moira's thoughts, and she sat down in a nearby chair, waiting to see if the shriek would be accompanied by crying, whining, or the sound of a body hitting the floor. When none of those materialized, Moira allowed herself a sigh of relief.

"Hey baby," a deep voice rumbled. Moira looked up and met the intense gaze of her husband, Gabe. "Miss me?"

"Yes," she whispered, melting into his embrace and remembering how she had ended up with a houseful of children in the first place.

I write like
James Joyce

I Write Like by Mémoires, Mac journal software. Analyze your writing!

Sunday, May 2, 2010

Weekly crafting fun!

It's been a pretty productive week in crafting:

I made a bunch of cards, including a Mother's Day card (not shown, since Mom will be getting it in the mail sometime this week!)

I finished some more of my sweater, and by the time I go to bed tonight, I'll probably finish the first sleeve! Woot!

I'm still working on the picnic blanket, and I've decided to keep better track of where I am, so here goes:
- Motif A, need 96, have 46
- Motif B, need 97, have 1
- Motif C, need 11, have 0
- Motif D, need 10, have 0
- Total needed: 214, have 47

I've also made a pile of earrings, but I don't really have a good way to photograph them yet. If anyone has any suggestions, I'm open to them!

Baking-wise, I made cake pops with the leftovers from carving the ninja cake, and they were yummy! My sister told me about the idea, from Bakerella, and it turned out really well. Also, Lizzie showed pictures of her cake to some people, and I may end up making another ninja cake for someone else. In other cake-related news, I've been asked to make a wedding cake! Holy crap! I'm kind of excited, and I'm already looking for supplies. Whee!