It’s June

Ah! How did I seriously let so much time pass between updates? You know what it is — it’s a case of persistent procrastination. It’s always saying, “I’ll do that tomorrow,” and then tomorrow never being any closer than it is today. So yeah, I really need to work on my effort levels. You’d think that gets easier with age, but it doesn’t, at least not in my case.

Right. So. That being confessed… I am still working on my second draft of the current WIP. I’m more than half way through however, and in addition to quite a few large changes, I’ve also been working on the query letter for it and have also changed the title.  I am so not waiting until the last minute to get a query put together this time. I still have to do a summary and that will be enough of a pain – which is what I’ll likely do on my next full read-through once this draft is done.

Now I just have to figure out genre and age level it’s for… I think I might go back go MG (I teetered toward YA), and it may possibly fit into ‘dark fantasy’ as a category.

In other news… New job is going well enough. I’m much more comfortable there and I feel like I’m getting the hang of things. I also want to go back to school this year if I can manage it, which will really tie up whatever free time I thought I had. Ugh, the things that we do for our futures, eh?

At any rate, I want to try and pick up adding posts on a weekly basis again (or maybe semi-monthly I could manage better?). I think I’ve given myself more than enough time to slack off. The hardest part of updating is coming up with what to write about, so that’s what I’m going to do for the next week: think about what I want to write about on a weekly basis.

Wish me luck.

It’s been a while…

I haven’t updated in some time, and that was for a variety of reasons. I’ll start from the top and most obvious reason: holidays! Ugh, what a wonderful and stressful time of year. From Thanksgiving to Christmas to New Years Eve to the fact that I left the country for a couple of weeks – this was just a horrible time for me to log in and update. I know, I know; I should have make some posts ahead of time and timed them to publish during that period, but… well I am just not that organized or ahead of the game yet. Maybe next holiday season.

BUT, things are mostly back to normal now. Mostly. My job situation has very recently changed as well, so that too is a shift in my usual normalcy. Hopefully this change won’t be too life altering. One job went away but a new one popped up at just the right time. I’m not really a believer in fate and all that, however it did seem a little ‘meant to be’. I’m looking forward to the opportunity and challenges this new position will bring, so fingers crossed!

Back to more relevant things though: I did manage to finish my WIP rough draft just before my trip to Germany. That was in around the second week of December. Not in time to qualify as a win for NaNoWriMo, though I did still make my own deadline, which was to finish before I left. I didn’t get much done in edits while I was away, but since my return on December 31st, I’ve been making good progress. I’m about 2/3s the way through my initial mark up.

I printed the whole thing out: 290 pages, and around 54k words. Why’d I print it out? Well, I find marking up my work by hand is more helpful. I can see the entire book better, and it’s just easier in my opinion. I do hate wasting the paper, but to combat that I print out 4 sheets per page, so it really cuts down the amount of paper I use.

So yeah, that’s all the stuff that has happened since November. I finished a book; traveled to Germany, saw some movies, and started a new job. What a way to start 2018!

I hope everyone else had a great start to the new year, and hopefully we all see good things coming our way.

Monday it is then; it was a Strange weekend

Right. Well since this seems to be becoming a bit of a bad habit, I guess Monday is the new blog day (officially unofficially). Unlike last weekend though, I do have some slightly good excuses for why I’m late on this post. I’ll list first, and then get into some details. I’m late because:

  1. I spent six hours in a car on Saturday to go get shoes for somebody else.
  2. Somebody I care about was roofied on Saturday evening.
  3. I spent all of Sunday binge watching Stranger Things 2.

And that was my weekend.

So the shoe thing wasn’t a big deal. It took forever, but overall wasn’t that bad. I don’t want to get into details about item number two, but needless to say as scary as the event was, nothing else awful happened after the fact. It just goes to show however that you should NEVER leave your drink unattended, even if you’ve been chatting with the person beside you for hours. DO. NOT. LEAVE. YOUR. DRINK. Not ever.

After this happened I heard stories from other people in my life having similar experience with equally fortunate outcomes. It just highlights how scary life can be sometimes, whether you are a man or a woman. When somebody wants to take advantage of you, it doesn’t matter how big or strong you are, once you’ve been drugged the odds are not in your favor. I’m just thankful that the person I care about made it home safely with no injuries to body or pocketbook.

At any rate, on Sunday I decided to hammer out season 2 of Stranger Things because I was tired of avoiding all social media in my quest to keep away from all spoilers. I didn’t even watch the trailer cause I’d rather go in blind when it’s something I love and already intend to watch. I won’t go into spoiler territory, but while the second season was pretty different from the first, I still enjoyed it thoroughly nonetheless. Acting was great; some very emotional scenes, and as before, the story itself was very exciting. They closed the season up nicely and left openings for the next season – and this is JUST how I like it.

Nothing sucks more than a season ending on a HUGE cliffhanger. Doubly so if they end it that way and then the fucking show gets cancelled. So thank you Netflix, you did good. Keep it up and for god’s sake keep those writers and directors happy and healthy.

Other than that, I’m looking forward to November. I’m going to try my hardest at participating in NaNoWriMo, so hopefully by the end of next month I’ll have a finished rough draft. This latest Stranger Things season has made me consider a few things for my own WIP, so I’m excited to jump into that.

Next week’s post will fall in November, so I should have an update at that point with regards to my progress.

Happy Halloween!

Please stay safe!

Death

So I ended up skipping my entry last week, but not without reason.

A girl died last Sunday.

Well, thousands did all over the world, I’m sure, but the girl I’m referencing specifically was a daughter to one of my co-workers. I won’t give any details, but this girl was too young for anyone to ever say, “well at least she lived a long life,” and really it just isn’t fair. She didn’t deserve it, and my co-worker certainly didn’t deserve to endure it. So, out of respect, and quite frankly my distraction at the events, I decided to skip the entry altogether.

It’s been a week now, and while life has gone on for the rest of us here in the office, I can’t help but think of how my co-worker must be doing. I imagine that waking up each day must be the hardest part. To sleep and forget about it must be such a relief; then comes that single second of amnesia just after waking, only to have that followed by the most gut-wrenching punch of realization that it wasn’t just a bad dream. I’m not a parent, and I can’t fathom that level of heartbreak, but it does make me think about all the people in my life who I love.

Events like that really make people stop and consider what’s really important in life. It isn’t your job, it isn’t your possessions, your value or your debt. What’s important are those you love and the time you get to spend with them. As obvious as that statement seems, so many of us forget it anyway as we stress over work or bills or broken things. 

It’s easy to put death and loss in the background of your worries (and seriously, that isn’t a bad thing because thinking about it all the time would be unhealthy as hell), but just remember to tell everyone you love how you feel. Ask him/her out. Call the people you care about if you haven’t talked to them in a while. Go out for coffee. Go on a date. Send a text to remind them that you are thinking of them. Write a letter. Start a video chat. Go visit. Whatever you do, just do something.

Time is fleeting, so don’t waste it on shit that doesn’t matter.

Change in adaptations

Change is good.

At least, that’s my opinion . I had a very interesting debate the other night regarding change, specifically that which comes when adapting books or comics to movies or television shows. The crux of the debate circled around whether or not it was ‘okay’ to change the race (or gender) of an iconic character. It revolved specifically around that of Roland Deschain from Stephen King’s The Dark Tower series, and the Doctor from Doctor Who.

On my side of the argument I said yes. Yes, it is okay to change race/gender so long as the character is still intrinsically similar. Do I think that a retelling of the classic Captain America story should have the role filled by a woman? Well, maybe not. It would be a different story simply because of the time and place that Captain America originates from. With a different race/gender, the character would have a much different experience of events, and while the personality might survive, it would still be a different story. But then again, maybe even that’s okay – a new take on an iconic character could be a breath of fresh air and allow the movie to touch on new issues.

But Captain America example aside, when the race/gender of a character has NO bearing on personality? At that point I think it’s a FANTASTIC idea to break the mold. I love re-imagined adaptations/interpretations (when they are well done). In the case of Roland Deschain, and similarly Johnny Storm in the most recent Fantastic Four movie, or with a female version of the Doctor, I don’t feel like gender or race would make much of a difference to who that character is. And hell, even with my initial example I still concede that even then the personality could endure, and to me that’s the most iconic part of the character:

Who they are as a person and the actions that define them.

So fuck it. Why can’t we have a black woman be Captain America? Couldn’t she still fight for justice and the American dream and take down Nazi’s of any era? Sure her backstory would be different, how she came to fight in the army during that time and the trials that she faced, but is it really so wrong to re-imagine those things?

I’ll admit that mistakes have been made recently with other movies trying to reboot a franchise with a gender-flipped cast (coughGhostbusterscough), and while I’m not against the premise of an all woman team replacing a previously all male team, for the love of god why can’t it be done right? If you want to change something, change is all the way! We didn’t need a remake, we needed a new start. Make them the daughters. Pass the fucking torch. Give us women, give us minorities, but give them their own movies too, don’t just steal from the past cause you’re too lazy to make a brand new movie for fear or failure. Create something new for them.

You know what movie did a great job of this in my opinion? Evil Dead. I love me some Bruce Campbell, and nobody will ever be able to replace his amazing Evil Dead movies, and so they didn’t even try. What did they do instead? Made something DIFFERENT. They didn’t try to capture the same feelings and exact same story as the original. Sure there were call backs and some scenes almost shot for shot identical, but it was different enough in tone that it didn’t matter. It was clearly a ‘remake,’ but it was done right.

So either make it different enough to stand apart, or make it a continuation I say.

Change is good though people. But, for all the naysayers who think that a different race/gender is killing an iconic character, please tell me why you think that way. Who the hell could have looked cooler than Idris fucking Elba?

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Pitch Wars

Another Twitter Event is about to begin, and I have no idea whether I want to participate or not. Realistically I should. I could always use mentoring, and my finished draft is certainly not as good as I’m sure it could be with a lot more work. The problem then? I don’t want to do that work!

I am so utterly exhausted of working on that damn book, and if I never have to open it again that would be okay with me.

So I’m torn. Do I try for a mentor and commit to doing another draft of Genesis Lunae, or do I continue my querying efforts and hope that somebody bites while it sits as is? I have until August 6th to decide, and I’m sure I will make my choice on the 5th.

In the mean time, I’ve tried to dedicate myself to 500 words a day on my current WIP. I’ve been on this path for about 4 days now, and for 3 of those 4 I’ve managed 500+ each day. If I can keep up managing this 75% of the time, then I think I’ll be finished before too long. To try and help with the endeavor I’ve started a 500-Club with my writer’s group wherein we basically harass one another every day with the question of, “have you written your 500 words yet today?” I’ll post updates on how efficient this process is.

Here’s hoping…

Current WIP word count: 12,754

Kiki’s Delivery Service

My little sister is leaving town again this week, but at least I got to spend some time with her last night–a rarity since going out on a work night is never a guaranteed great idea. She’s a big anime fan (right now), and so when it was discovered that KiKi’s Delivery Service was playing close by in a theater, that seemed like a fun opportunity since she hadn’t seen it yet.

The movie (as all Ghibli movies are), is fantastic for both children and adults. It follows the story of KiKi, a young witch just turned 13. In this world, after their 13th birthday, witches are to leave home for a year for training (in witchcraft), and are meant to make it on their own during this time as well. So little KiKi leaves home and heads for a seaside town where she settles down and opens a delivery service. There’s no real ‘serious’ plot she has to contend with (unless you count a minor one about 3/4 the way through), but between the beautiful animation, the lovely themes and rich characters, it’s still a great movie that I think any child or adult can enjoy.

Watching any Studio Ghibli movie is always a treat really, but seeing it on the big screen was amazing. AND it was subtitled to boot! I went through a huge anime phase as well when I was her age, so it’s sort of neat being able to introduce somebody to ‘the classics’. Since her trip up here we’ve seen the more popular Miyazaki movies, so that was nice, and I really think she enjoyed them all. I do still enjoy anime, but certainly not in the all-consuming way I did when I was a teenager.

But she’s leaving on Thursday, and while I’ll miss her, I do think it’ll be nice getting back into my typical routine. I feel like I’ve really been slacking on the reading/writing/querying front, so putting those back into my day will be nice. That said, it also means no real updates to share. I’m still in the first paragraph of chapter 4 for the new WIP, and I managed one new rejection since the last entry. Posting goals is never really a good idea, but maybe if I start small it’ll help me.

So, goals for this next week?

  1. Finish reading at least 2 chapters of FL (writer’s group story)
  2. Begin thinking of another idea for next month’s Short Story Sunday
  3. Get 1k words written in chapter 4 of WIP
  4. Query 2 more agents

Four things… I can do this.

Wish me luck.

Scrivener

So I’ve had Scrivener for well over a year now and haven’t used it once. Why? Mostly because I bought it while I was already in the midst of a 4th draft being handled in Word, while my next project was steeped deeply in Google Docs. I had actually forgotten about the program altogether, and it wasn’t until yesterday (2 chapters into this new project), that I remembered it.

Thus began the great migration! (extremely exaggerated)

I copy/pasted all my stuff into Scrivener, so for the duration of this WIP I’ll use it and see what I think. Hopefully it’s as amazing as it sounded upon purchase, but after I’ve used it for a bit I’ll leave a more in depth review on how I feel about. It’ll be interesting to see if it can knock good old Word off the pedestal. Google Docs might have done so if not for the following:

  1. Holy crap does it lag when you have over 100k words!
  2. Less customization.
  3. And while this is Google Sheets related versus Docs, I still count it, and Sheets has nothing on Excel. What does Excel possibly have to do with writing you ask (or not)? It’s fantastic for outlining is what! Maybe I’ll share a picture of one of my more complex ones sometime…

At any rate, fingers crossed! I’m looking forward to seeing if it’ll be my new favorite tool or not.

Zombie Mode Writing

I see now the true genius in planning posts ahead of time. After all, who knows what the hell might happen the night before–or day of–that could feasibly delay writing. Because seriously, who knew that I would get little to no sleep last night? I certainly didn’t anticipate that. I won’t get into the details, but needless to say I am absolutely dead on my feet today, in total ‘zombie mode’.

And I’m not entirely sure if I should attempt novel writing in this state. Sure it’s only a rough draft, but truth be told, I am having a helluva time just writing this. Brain to finger communication is minimal, and I’m fairly certain I would fail any sort of test that requires basic cognitive function. But who knows, maybe writing in this state will produce something unexpected. Maybe I’ll give it a try and see what happens. At least there’s always delete/backspace if things get too weird.

All of that said, I just started watching American Gods (and am nearly at the end already), and I absolutely adore it! Definitely need to read the book now. Maybe I’ll do a more in depth review later, but either way I’ll need to finish watching before I decide.

Anyway I’ll keep this post short, mostly because I feel brain-fried. Hopefully next Tuesday will be better. Hung-over blogging, anyone?

A Day Late Already #writing #fail

Aaaaaaaaaand it’s already happened. I wanted to try and post a blog entry every Tuesday, and just a few weeks into my endeavor I’ve missed a deadline.

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That said, missing this self-imposed deadline does make me realize how little I adhere to my own rules and regulations. For the most part I live by a very, “I’ll do it when I do it,” sort of mentality, which isn’t at all healthy when it comes to project finish dates. With a new WIP in the works and querying efforts for a previous project on a slow-and-steady course, my inability to force work is really going to catch up with me. I’m not exactly bursting with youthful energy anymore, so putting off these things that are supposedly so important to me isn’t really helping anyone. I can only put them off so long before I check a calendar and suddenly realize that too many years have passed, and then comes the question: What am I doing with my life?

But how do I fix this? I’ve looked up way too many ‘How to Stop Being a Procrastinator’ articles, and never once have they seemed to help. As I’ve been told before though, if it’s important to me (and I can’t seem to remember on my own), put it on a calendar and set up a reminder/alarm. So, that’s exactly what I’m going to do: for everything. From blog posts to chapter deadlines to querying – all of my writing related (and other things, obviously) dates/efforts/goals will be written down. If I can’t nag myself into submission, then maybe my phone can.

Here’s hoping…