Monday, August 29, 2011

I like it.

I've been slowly unpacking all of my things into the new house (despite having lived here for almost two months!), and I'm taking my time because I want to actually put things away, not just get them out of boxes.  Of course, I've also occasionally been distracted by things that I unpack.  One of the things I unpacked this weekend was my NaNoWriMo story from 2007.

It was actually... good.    It was, well, weird.  It didn't feel like I wrote it.  That is, I don't really remember writing it.  I can actually pick out a voice, and, well, wow.

I'm not saying it's perfect, not by a long shot.  There were errors that I picked up right away, like the MC being allergic to nuts, then getting an almond mocha coffee.  Oh, and it's not finished.

But I actually like something that I wrote.  And that's promising.

Saturday, August 27, 2011

Thank you, Bloggling Brains!

Anthropomorphism! Yes! Thank you for your help!

And in case you were wondering why I suddenly had the pressing need to know that word, it's because of a conversation I had with my parents. We were chatting via Skype and I had to go so I could take my dog outside before Morris and Adolph came out. Naturally, my folks asked who Morris and Adolph were. They expected me to say the neighbor's dogs, or maybe the random cats that sleep in my yard. No, Morris and Adolph are spiders. Morris spins his web in the corner of the overhang by the back door, and Adolph spins his huge web between the trees on either side of the path to the backyard.

My parents think I'm weird. Of course, then I had to tell them about Cassandra, the spider who spins a web in the backyard from the branches of the big tree to the ground. And Lewis, who has a permanent web in the holly bush out front (all the others take down their webs in the morning).

I don't know if it's a writer thing, or just me, but I name all sorts of things. My car is Ruby. My KitchenAid mixer is Kitty. My blender is Oscar. My grill is George. My computers are Trinsyn, Chionne, and Arra. My toilet paper doll is Nancy. And that's just a small sample.

Tell me, do you name things?

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Be My Brain!

I need your help, blogglings.

I'm trying to find a word.  I know this word.  I remember doing an entire unit on the concept in high school English.  But the word has fallen out of my head, and it's been driving me crazy!

I want the word that means "to give human characteristics to a non-human being or object."

I know it's not personification. I know it's not transmogrification.  I think it might be a trans- word though.

If you know this word, would you please tell me?


Monday, August 22, 2011


Ah, the sexy new idea.

It gets in the way of the BOI (boring old idea), which was actually an SNI not that long ago.  I'm still writing the story in my green notebook, but I have a sexy new idea that is taunting and teasing me!  It's not a novel idea. It's not a play.  It's not a short story.  It's a web video story.  Yes, in my head, it's a mini-series that will go up on my YouTube channel.  I want to start writing it so badly...

But I'm going to force myself to wait.  I will finish the green notebook story (henceforth called Green).  I will finish it, and then, while it is marinating and getting ready for a second, computerized draft, I will let myself write the web series.  And then I will find actors.  And then I will film it.  And then I will show it to you.

Be excited.

Friday, August 19, 2011

It's Friday!

Hello Blogglings!  Clearly, this blogging on Wednesday thing is not working out for me... I'm trying to decide if I should just skip Wednesdays and go with twice-a-week blogging, or if I should re-schedule it.  Thoughts?

In other news, my house is almost finished!  For those of you who don't know me in real life, I've been living under construction for, well, a long time.  I've been living out of the basement of my house, waiting for the contractor to finish the work that was supposed to be done on June 16.  (Go on, look at your calendar and do the math.  I'll wait.)  Yeah.  Two months later.

But tonight, the painter finished upstairs!  And tomorrow, I'm moving my bed!  I'm very excited about this.  Have I mentioned that I'm not a fan of basements?  I mean, they're fine for hanging out and watching movies in the heat of the day in the summer, but they're also a haven for all the creepy things, and I can't wait to lay down to sleep without wondering if the spiders will stay in their corners.

And in even more news, go visit Colby! There's a new video up!  You should watch it!

Monday, August 15, 2011

Dancing Kid

So I was on my way to the grocery store tonight, at like, 9:30, and as I was driving through my neighbourhood, I saw this blue glowing light bouncing around.  As I got closer, I could see that it was the screen of a cell phone.  I got even closer, and I realized that the phone was in the hand of a kid who was dancing.

I'm not talking about just grooving as he was walking down the street.  This kid was bouncing up and down, dancing his heart out, in the dark, halfway in the street.

I want to know what he was listening to.

And I may include him in a story.  Because really, that's just a really secure person to dance full-out as if no one is watching.  (Although I suppose that, until I drove up, no one actually was watching.)

Sunday, August 14, 2011

A bump in the road

I was doing so well! I was writing almost every day, and getting close to the 5k mark.  And then...

Are any of you superstitious or OCD?  I started writing this story by hand, and I feel the need to finish the same way, at least this draft.  It's just how I need to write.  If I start by hand in a green notebook with my black Sarasa pen, I need to finish it in green notebooks with black Sarasa pens.  

Unfortunately, I dropped my pen in the car last week, and it's hiding under one of the seats.  I don't know which seat.  And it's been flipping hot out, so I didn't really want to sit outside, digging around in my car.  But!  It's a weekend, it's early (and therefore not so blazing hot) AND I finally got my garage clean enough to get my car inside, so after I finish this post, I'm going to go recover my pen and start writing again!

On the bright side, not writing things out has given me a chance to play around with things in my head, and I probably have another 3-4k ready to come out.  Yay!

Do any of you have these sorts of quirks, Blogglings?  I know writers can be a very... quirky kind of people!

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Mixed emotions

I almost cried at work today, and it only took a few seconds for me to figure out why.  Here's the deal: back in March or April, I applied to instruct a workshop.  In May, I got an email telling me that I was accepted not only to co-instruct one session, but that I would be able to co-instruct all five workshop sessions at this conference.  Hooray, right?  I was pretty psyched.

Yesterday, the boss-lady gave me the program for the conference so I could decide if there were any sessions I wanted to attend.  I got crazy busy and didn't get a chance to look at it yesterday, but today I started flipping through it just before lunch.  I found a bunch of cool sessions, and then decided to check out the other workshop sessions.  I flipped through to the workshops, and there was my name.  Right there, in the program, I'm listed as one of the instructors.

Of course, it made me giggle with glee!  And then I had to show a couple of my work-friends, most of whom were not quite so excited as I was.  Then I went back to my desk and felt like crying.  Why?  Why would something that I want to do make me want to cry?

Because I realized that it's still what I want to do.  I want to be teaching again.  I have never been so happy or satisfied in a job as when I was teaching.  And I can't do that now.  If I wanted to get back into it, I'd have to go back to school and get at least a Master's, if not a PhD.

Don't get me wrong, I love writing.  (And for anyone interested, I'm past the 4k mark on my latest WIP.)  But I'm not going to fool myself into thinking I can make a living off of writing.  I don't think my novel-length works are quite ready for publication, and even if they were, I don't think I can write fast enough to make a living at it.

I'm feeling a weird mix of emotions right now, but I'm working with it, and trying to figure out what else I can do to keep myself happy.  I know that I should put all of my happy-eggs in one basket - I'm going to make sure that I'm doing lots of stuff with the theatre, and doing lots of knitting and crochet and cross-stitch, and cuddling my puppy, and spending time watching bad movies with friends.  All of these things make me happy.

And I'm not saying that I'm miserable in my job now, because I'm not.  I just don't love it the way I loved teaching.

Hrm.  This post was a bit of a downer.  But it don't let that fool you!  I'm not down, I'm just trying to figure myself out.

Saturday, August 6, 2011

Worried about my puppy

I'm worried. Mia hasn't left my side all day. She has been curled up under the blanket beside me. Any time I get up, she cries and cries until I sit back down. Normally, on a Saturday, she'll wander off into the other room and chew on her toys, but not today.

So tonight's post is short, and I'm going to skip the writing to cuddle with her. Hopefully, she'll feel better tomorrow.

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

First Draft Ick

I'm just over 1100 words into my new WIP, and already I'm looking at it and thinking, "I can't use this!"

But then I started thinking about it, and I realized that's the way I work.  I write a first draft to get to know my characters.  The story isn't going to actually start until probably about 10k, but that's okay.  That first 10k gives me backstory.  It lets me meet my characters.  It lets me figure out their quirks.  It lets me realize which adjectives I'm using way too often for each of them. ;)

And when I'm done this first draft?  I won't just edit what I've got.  I'll do a full re-write.

I can hear the screeches from the plotters out there.

That's just how I work.  My first draft is the equivalent of an outline.  There may be a few scenes here and there that I'll keep, a few phrases that just stick, but the second draft is, for me, where the story becomes a real story and not just back story.  The next edit will look more like what most people probably think an edit should look like.

The important thing, though? Once I sit down and do tonight's session, I'll be around 1500 words, and I'll be on a three-day writing streak.  It feels so good to be writing again!

Monday, August 1, 2011

Natural Magic

I've been on a bit of a Dawson's Creek kick lately.  I'm not entirely sure why.  At first, I thought it was maybe because I've been considering writing a YA novel, but then I realized that a) my YA idea only goes as far as the first page because my voice has never been right for YA and b) while Dawson's Creek is all full of the melodrama of youth, it's not the most accurate portrayal of young people.  Unless you were me, in which case, it actually was frighteningly like my high school years; lots and lots and LOTS of talk and very little actual action.

Why is this important?  Well, a few nights ago, I watched the episode where Joey has a date with AJ, the college guy, and they go to watch the aurora borealis.  That got me to thinking.  It's been close to two years since I've seen the northern lights, and I miss that magical display.

It's funny, because when I lived in Canada, I mostly took them for granted.  On almost any clear winter's night, you could see them from my parents' back yard.  It was really awesome to sit outside in the hot tub, surrounded by snow and ice, the steam rising up around you, and look up to see the lights dancing.  I know, it sounds cheesy to say the lights were dancing, but that's really what it looked like.  If you've never seen the northern lights, you're missing out.  I'd direct you to a YouTube video, but that really doesn't capture the experience.

The northern lights don't make much of an appearance in the southern US.

And then I started thinking some more.  I may have given up the northern lights, but I found some other magic down here.  Up until I moved here, I had never seen real fog.  I'd seen fog from a fog machine, with that special, sickly sweet cotton-candy smell, but never real, honest-to-goodness, made-by-nature fog.  Here, though, there's a lot of fog, especially on these hot summer nights, after a good rainstorm.  The fog just lays on the roads, sometimes only an inch deep, sometimes a couple of feet deep.  It swirls around, chasing the cars as they drive through.  It's a little bit of magic.

Another new experience has been lightning bugs.  I had never seen lightning bugs before.  I remember the first time I walked outside on a summer night and saw a little green light over by the trees.  I blinked a few times, sure that I just had something in my eye.  Then I saw another.  And another.  And then there were a dozen little green lights, flickering on and off, floating around the trees.  I just stood there and stared for a few minutes, mesmerized.  I don't remember where I was supposed to go that night, but I do remember that I was late.  Even now, four years later, I can still lose track of time staring at lightning bugs.

So maybe that's the trade-off.  I gave up the lights and motion of the northern lights, but I got dancing fog and lightning bugs to make up for it.