December 2006


Yes, it’s the obligatory New Year’s resolutions post! I’m sure you can hardly wash. Yay!

  • Write more. I did poorly with the short story deadlines, but maybe they were too short. One short story a month, excepting March, June, and November, which I’m going to set aside for other writing.
  • NaNoEdMo. It looks like the site is dead, Jim. That doesn’t mean I can’t set aside March for editing my NaNoWriMo novel.
  • Script Frenzy! Rather than try to write a script for the Austin Film Festival, I’ll do NaNoWriMo’s new screenwriting challenge. That’ll give me time to edit properly. I mean, I sent Double Feature off to Austin while it was still lying around the Critters queue. That’s no good.
  • NaNoWriMo. I probably want to do that again next year.
  • I also want to finish Lizardfic and Hurricane Maria.

In other news, I just tossed a story into the Critters queue. A sample:

The Wasicu cities still exist, rising up out of the turf. When the buffalo herds run across the plain, the towers shake and glass falls out of them.

Kicking Horse walks between the towers. He knows that under the soft, tall grass lie the bones of Wasicu. He’s not afraid of ghosts–helpful ancestors teach the children to hunt and fish, gather herbs, speak their own language–but the evil dead are another thing. Some of these Wasicu were women and children, but some of them were bad men. He wouldn’t come at all if he weren’t looking for Snow Deer.

Oh, yeah. And continue to shrink. (35 pounds so far; go me!)

Short stories completed: 1
Scripts completed: 1
Novel first drafts completed: 1
Short stories that somehow morphed into novels-in-progess: 2
Short stories that were pulled from circulation and completely rewritten: 1
Short story submissions: 32
Short story rejections: 28
Short story sales: 1
Short stories in circulation: 3
Lo, I am dissatisfied.

Dear Circe,
I can promise you that you’ll never have to take another pill, will never need any more bloodwork. There will be no more vet visits. No more sucky car rides. Goodbye, little ballerina kitty, who two months ago could jump over my head at the ripe old age of 14. I already miss you.
Circe
P.S. Meow.
Edited 12/28/06 12:43pm to add mp3 and link to Brian’s post.

One year, not too long after my parents had divorced, my mother tearfully announced that there would be no Christmas this year and stormed off to work. No money, you see.
It just so happened that my mother also used to rescue half-dead plants from the office and nurse them back to health. One of these was a Norfolk Island Pine we called “Helicopter.” It had been so underwatered that it had lost all of its branches except for a sad little circle at the top of a bare four-foot trunk, hence the name.
My sister and I got it into our heads to decorate Helicopter for Christmas.
We headed down to the garage and pulled out the boxes of Christmas ornaments. We used only the smallest Christmas tree balls on his delicate branches, and wound tinsel around his poor naked trunk. We wound the tinsel out the branches in a spiral. It was a very giggly afternoon, and you should have heard my mother laugh when she came home.

Thanks to Mark Paschal (the author of OpenID Comments for MT), OpenID is back. I’ll probably never know why Brian’s OpenID stopped working–my guess is that it’s just borked–but the LJ account I was using to test was missing a piece in the database.
If you can’t log in, let me know.
I’ll probably leave things open so people like my sister can comment, unless I decide OMGWTFBBQ!!!! i cant take teh spam any more!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!111! At least MT 3.33 has an “empty entire junk folder” button.

Pandora

The Parable of the Managers. Goest thou, oh managers of IT, and learnest thou the truth of the way of the profit. For I hath toiled in the codebase of Ahimelech, and many times I hath reverse-engineered and finished the undocumented projects of those servants who hath in a huff departed, and the Parable speaketh the truth.
(No more do I serve Ahimelech; verily I hath forsworn the entirety of the private sector to avoid him.)

Because I had geek envy, I upgraded my version of Movable Type. Thus far it looks like it was completely painless. Of course, I did RTFM first. 😉
Hopefully you won’t notice at all.

Brian migrated his site to Drupal. I have geek envy. If I had any content other than my blog, I’d consider migrating myself. Just for fun, you know. Because I want to play with the geek toy!
But no. I’m sticking with Movable Type for now, because I’d rather bake than fry.

I’ve been thinking about this lately because I just finished NaNoWriMo and am now working on a short story and the two of them just make me feel more aware of mechanics lately.
I usually start with a setting or situation, and then have to find characters and a plot to put in that setting. Some of the original ideas are as simple as the word “mermaids” I have jotted down in my idea book, and some leap into my head almost fully formed. Some, which often come from dreams, are so complete that I don’t want to post them here.
If there aren’t any people in these settings yet, I put some there.
Usually, I have to write a partial draft to figure out what the plot is going to be. I think this is slow and inefficient and wish I would stop doing it. I outlined NaNoWriMo, and then blew through my outline in one week/12,000 words. Maybe this is just my natural writing style. Maybe I just suck at outlining. At this point in a story, I’m eagerly waiting to find out what happens next, and am really excited when something does.
Then I analyze what I wrote and say, “Oh! So that’s what I’m getting at!”
Lately I’ve been having to go back and do character arcs. That’s where I am now with the short story; I have two POV characters that I like a lot, and they kind of wander passively through this setting, but at least I know what’s going to happen now. I’m feeling a little overwhelmed by the next rewrite right now, though. Maybe I should concentrate on the easier one first and then go to work on the main, harder character.
I may write mermaids next.

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