karriezai: ([asoiaf] westeros wench)
I just ordered my NaNo shirt for the year and put in my donation. I had a (very brief) moment of "Why would I do this when I secretly suspect I won't make it this year with everything going on?" but I squashed that feeling. This year will be perfect. Reasoning why? If I can do it this year, I can do it any year. And YES, I CAN do it this year.

I'll give myself this one, tiny bit of leeway: since this year is hard, I'll allow myself to write whatever the heck I want. In other words, it doesn't just have to be on one story. If I get stuck but feel the itch to work on my Zelda fanfic, so be it--as long as I get that day's 1,667 words, that's what's important, right? Right. I give myself this leeway because I feel so uncertain about Homesake at the moment. I'm finding it very difficult to settle on a POV. First-present or third-past are my typical fallbacks, but I'm thinking I might try first-past. Usually it feels so artificial to me because who remembers in so much detail that it feels like it's happening now? But I've loved plenty of books in first person past, so I know it's doable. Once I get into it, it might feel easier than first-present, even.

But anyway, that's my main concern: I don't 100% feel Homesake. But I sure as hell will try my best to steam my way through it. I plan to use my fifth graders ruthlessly to do so. I'm going to post daily/weekly updates (varying based on what days I'm actually at the internship, since a full week falls in the middle of November) and tell my kids to harass me if I don't meet my goals, basically. :) It'll work, right? I think having them asking me questions might help motivate me to keep working on Homesake so that I can tell them what has happened since last time I saw them. That's the goal, anyway.

I'm behind at homework. I'm going to have to super BS my next big LA assignment because I forgot to get all the writing samples I need. I'll have to use what I have plus some I filch off the internet. Blah. And this weekend isn't going to help. I did a bit of homework this morning, but I still have Math Module 6 (I started that by posting a question in the YWP teacher's lounge so I can use teacher experiences with math teaching as my research), the drafts of the first three parts of my Social Studies ATA, the actual response to LA Case 7 (though at least I read the case), and the previously mentioned writing instruction assignment for LA. The first two are due Monday. The second two are due Tuesday. Oh, and mustn't forget Classroom Management, which I think we have Tuesday this week--have assignments there too D: Damn.


9/10/10 01:09
karriezai: (Default)
Sometimes I just want to kick Danny somewhere unpleasant. )

In other news, one of the hostesses at work tonight had a seizure. Apparently she's epileptic, so it's not entirely unusual for her, but it freaked the hell out of everyone else, especially since she fell and hit her head pretty hard. (ETA: She's fine, just embarrassed--not that she should feel embarrassed, but you know how it is. I swear I'm not a callous excuse for a human being, but I already knew she was alright so concern didn't make its way into my entry when I wrote this. It was, after all, one in the morning.) It was a long night, but I made $129, and I needed it. We're looking at houses now because Dennis' brother is raising the rent to $700 plus the $200 we pay in electric for this craphole we live in, which just isn't worth it for a house with no central air or heat and with a leaky ceiling.

Also. Synopsis for Homesake:

"In Somnion, men don't have magic anymore. Legends say that they displeased the gods, and that their magical gifts were taken away as punishment--but the gods left magic in nature as a reminder of what mankind lost. This world is home to Grey, a deserted soldier from the King's Steel in Lumina, and to Kayden, who defies legend with the dragon blood that runs in his veins and gives him the ability to control fire. When these two men come together, Kayden's need for protection on his journey north provides the perfect cover for Grey to hide from any who might try to track him down after his desertion--but what starts mostly as convenience turns into a cause that Grey is deeply entrenched in. Together, these young men will awaken the lost dragons, and along the way discover disturbing truths about the king Grey deserted and the kingdom where his loyalty still lies."

I went to a writing meetup in Columbia yesterday evening, and it was fantastic. It's for writers of YA fiction, which Homesake is even if I don't always write YA. The people are great, and atmosphere really fit for me, and I'm excited to go back. I don't think I'll even bother with trying the Silver Spring group again now that I've found a group with such great chemistry.


5/10/10 21:18
karriezai: ([nano] plot bunnies)
Ooh. Pretty LJ header.

I'm currently watching Ever After and avoiding things I should actually be doing, as per usual. Such as: I should be scanning in my driver's license to complete my egg donor application. ($10,000 for my eggs if I'm accepted and matched to a recipient!) I should also be piecing together materials/plans/crap/etc. for the upcoming assignments in my methods classes that I need to translate into class with my fifth graders. I was going to try using the first chapter of The Hunger Games for my reading DRA, but I think I'll change it to a short story from one of my two collections. Which I'll need to bring with me tomorrow to plan with Alice.

For my reference, I need to get the following done by the end of this week (my full week at Whetstone): collect two writing samples each from the two students I chose for profiles in Language Arts; complete my DRA for Reading with a small group of kids; pick at least two kids for Math (at least one with a recorded disability of some kind) to assess for understanding in a concept area and plan steps toward addressing any gaps in understanding; conduct Social Studies interview with students; complete midsemester PBA; get photocopy of Language Arts packet from one of the other interns.

ALSO. Print contract for Mirage Games, as if I haven't let that sit long enough. And finish up this egg donor application process. Sooner that's done, the better.

I waver in confidence with the development of Homesake as a young adult novel. I have a name now for all three of Grey's swords (and thus all three of the novels). I'm unsure about this "Grey" thing now because he will start the book as Roan now that I'm starting with his acceptance into the King's Steel. He will still want an alias, but will he be honest with Kayden? Or will he think it's best to just introduce himself as Grey so they aren't overheard in private using his real name?

Also. Stuff going down with roommates making life more interesting/stressful. Dennis' brother and sister-in-law decided to raise the rent. Dennis doesn't have to pay anything (he never has, but at first he made it sound like he did), but Danny, Justin, and I are each expected to pay $350. For Danny and Justin, that's a $100 bump. For me, $200. For Danny and me, it's not worth it. Rent plus electric will be $900 for the two of us. So we're looking very seriously into moving out, even have cousin Justin on board to rent a room with his girlfriend so we can afford a better place. It's the down payment that worries me at the moment. Egg donation could really help, but only if by some miracle I get the fastest process possible. (I really should scan my license in.) There are some nice houses for sale in a really decent area for around $150,000. Alone, we couldn't afford it, but with roomies... definitely.

And if you're wondering why $900/month isn't worth it to live in a house, let me explain: it's a house with no central air or heat, with a roof that leaks, with a driveway that never gets plowed in the winter when it snows, and with various other defects. (They still won't give us a key to the garage. Where do you get off charging that much for this shithole and not letting us use the garage?)

karriezai: ([avatar] halp!)
I am in such a slump. I just have no desire to write. Or at least zero motivation. Or, well, I'm not sure how you describe it--all I mean is that no writing is getting done, and I'm super stuck.

I took my final yesterday in MATH111. I skipped SO MUCH class--honestly, out of 28 days I only went for around seven or eight, including exam days. I took two quizzes (got a 10/10 on each) and got some form of participation points for one day, so I'm optimistically hoping that I have 25 quiz/participation points. I got a 95 on the first exam, and I'm not sure about the second exam but I know I got one question set wrong so I'm estimating an 85. IF that is correct, given that I need 360 points to get a B in the class and the final is worth 150... oh crap. Okay, so I'm pretty much guaranteed a C. Bah. That'll be my first C... ever. D: I mean, it's possible I got higher on the second exam, but even still I'd have to ace the final and I know for a fact that I made a silly little rounding mistake that will probably lose me at least some credit on a couple questions.

Blah. Oh well, I guess.

Back to writing... I'm changing Blood and Heat around, putting more focus on Grey and changing the locale to Duos instead of the west. But that involves, well, a lot of change. And development of Duos that I hadn't gotten around to yet. And my phobia: making a realistic kingdom. It's hard for me to figure out how to make a king evil when he still has enough respect to BE king. -headdesk- Plus, I'm thinking about starting earlier, maybe even back when Grey was accepted into the king's guard, but I'm afraid of putting that much of a gap between the beginning of the book and introducing Kayden. Grey's becoming more of the main character, which is cool, but Kayden is still supposed to share the spotlight.

And then there's how in the hell to introduce Kella. I want Grey to meet Kayden first, and Kella could complicate things. Unless I did something really out there, like making Kella a friend of Grey's to start with--which would introduce its own problems but could be a lot of fun if I worked it out right... It would make Kella even less trustworthy. It would be very difficult to do well though. -headdeskheaddesk-

Danny and I are going to Ocean City tonight. It keeps getting shorter; bad timing all around, and as mad as I am at his work, it would have been easier to work out if I didn't have summer classes to limit my own time. But at least my limitations were solid, they didn't move around or appear out of nowhere. We originally scheduled a vacation for this Tuesday-Thursday and paid for a hotel by the beach, which would have been amazing, until his work decided to announce that his inventory would be on Thursday. So we moved it to this weekend, but then his FIFA tournament was moved to this weekend. It was supposed to be Sunday, so we were going to leave yesterday after my final. Leaving around noon, we would have gotten there with PLENTY of time yesterday and then all day today. But then he realized, no, his FIFA thing was today, so we have to wait for him to get home so we can go to Ocean City, so we'll be lucky if we get there while it's still light out... We can stay tomorrow, but it's still less time, and it pisses me off. D:

Eh. We're watching True Blood, and I'm really enjoying it. I really like Eric now and I'm basically rooting for Bill to disappear or die and for Sookie and Eric to end up together... lol.
karriezai: ([lolcat] o_O)
Okay so.

I submitted Unjoined to Clarkesworld Magazine. The queue moves quickly; when I submitted a few days ago I my submission was listed somewhere above 100, and at the moment it's at 15. But the magazine has limited space. Only two stories a month, and of these only one is from new talent/the submissions system. Sooo, I'm hoping.

I'm rereading Orson Scott Card's How to Write Science Fiction and Fantasy, and it's giving me a lot of food for thought. Right now I'm struggling with the MICE quotient--the idea that your story is either a Milieu, Idea, Character, or Event story. Obviously any one story can have components of more than one of these, but the beginning and end of the story is determined by which one of these ultimately fits your story. If it's a Milieu story, it starts with an outsider arriving in a novel land, and ends with him either leaving or choosing to stay. If it's an Idea story, it starts with a question or problems that needs to be solved, and ends with it being answered. If it's a Character story, it starts with a character beginning to change and grow from the place they are now, and ends when they've completed the change/found an acceptable place for themselves. If it's an Event story, it begins with the main character in a world that's been disturbed/wronged in some way, and ends with this character fixing the disturbance and setting the world to rights.

Soooo, I'm having trouble not just determining which one of these I need for my story, but also which one some other stories fit into. Like I suppose... Mistborn is an Event story. That's easy enough, I think; Vin and the other characters are the crew that will finally "fix" the world from the way the Lord Ruler and Ruin left it. But the one I just read, The Dead-Tossed Waves (which was really good by the way)? I'm not so sure. It starts with Gabry's world changing, being placed into upheaval, when she's finally convinced to leave the safety of her town and it goes all wrong when she and her friends are attacked by a Breaker--a super-fast zombie. But it doesn't end with her righting her world. There are still zombies, and she leaves the safety of home behind, probably permanently. She certainly grows up, though... so perhaps it's a Character story, except she doesn't precisely choose the change she goes through. It's kind of forced on her.

I'm being hopeless and rethinking Blood and Heat again. Kind of... seeing what would change if I focused on making it an Event or Idea or Character story. (It's definitely not Milieu.) Hm. It's in a state of flux right now. We'll see how it settles. Maybe nothing will change. No idea yet.

karriezai: ([hp] [remusxsirius] moony padfoot)
So I begged Danny to help me figure out my Blood and Heat plot, and he actually gave me some really amazing ideas. It resulted in having to turn what was a duet into a trilogy, and I mean that may be a little cliche, but I think it'll be worth it because the overall plot makes more sense now, is more moving, and actually has a natural conclusion that isn't just "Let's get the hell out of this place so we can't be used anymore."

Unfortunately, it probably means I'll be changing the title. For now I'll leave it, but later on... not so sure. Blood and Heat as a whole with the two parts or books (Dragonsbane and Dragonsblood) was great symmetry, but I don't know what to call the third one if I stick to this pattern. I'm thinking about maybe naming them after the swords in Grey's life, though, because there are three... I actually just named the second of them (technically third in his life) accidentally when writing the opening scene again. I realized that he's not the sort to have "my sword." It would have a name. So I named it, and the name came to me immediately and felt perfect, so I went with it. Backstory and everything, though for that I had a bit of help from Danny again.

So. Three books. I have the opening and climax for each, plus 8 other major plot events for book one (going off the ten-event plot outline).

I'm waiting on a validation email from Ally's Creative Muse Society. I totally joined just to respond to a single conversation about protagonist gender. Haha. -headdesk- Still need to email her about the random Chatango email I got from her site.... gah.


25/5/10 01:11
karriezai: ([kh] &nobody)
Working on the Summer of Writing at SynTru. We have some great ideas and it's starting to come together... I just hope we can pull it together by Friday-ish so I can open the forum up a few days early. I want our members to have time to plan before the month actually takes off so they don't feel overwhelmed on that first day.

We'll have lots of different challenges to participate in, though personally I think I'll be working on the Completion Challenge to finish Blood and Heat almost exclusively.

Was going to write more, but it's time to watch our shows...

ETA: The other thing I was going to say is that I came up with an idea for the second leg of the Writing Triathlon, so I may not be dropping out despite my hectic work schedule. It's supposed to be a genre I'm not used to writing, and I'm thinking a femmeslash tragedy might do the trick. I've only written one story with lesbians in it--Moonfall--and it was very mild to the point that less observant readers might even miss it. And I'll do mean things to my characters, but never before a real tragedy. I even have an idea for the third part of the triathlon--a stepping stone between this idea and the first one I already wrote. The whole thing deals with the concept of my mirrorkin picking up "tattoos" to represent the loved ones in their lives, so this would have to cement that idea in some way. But I have an inkling of an idea....
karriezai: ([kh] [soriku] stunned kiss)
50187 / 50000

YES. Although NaNo claims that it's 50,088. But that's okay too! And I'm really excited to keep going. And then eventually edit it. And I'm thinking it will really be two separate books, like I thought originally-originally (as in early November 2005). I mean, apparently it's a misconception that fantasy novels should be like 150k. 100k is more normal, or even less. This one could be, I dunno, 70, 75k? I wonder what that compares to? We'll see. And that's after edits. There's a buttload of extra crap in there right now.
karriezai: ([asoiaf] prophesy)
So I fell behind. Or rather, I fell back to the bare minimum; I only wrote a couple hundred words Sunday and Monday, so yesterday I actually had to write a significant amount to meet the daily goal. I just passed it.

28400 / 50000

I'm hoping to write a lot today to get ahead again. I don't work this evening; all I have to worry about is folding some clothes, really. So I have plenty of time, I just have to actually use it. Luckily I think I've just gotten over a minor slump into more interesting stuff again, so hopefully it won't be too hard. I'm changing up the story; previously Kayden and Grey were the core two, and when I brought in a new semi-major character I always killed her off before bringing in another. I always felt the timing was off for that and I needed more major characters than just my boys, so I brought Kella in earlier. She'll still die before the next full integration of new characters, though Grey will meet Lena cursorily before Kella's death. It can't be helped. But instead of meeting Malakai and Aura after Lena's death on the ship, Malakai and Aura will conveniently be other passengers they meet on the ship. Not that that makes sense to anyone but me. But I think it will work much better, and that's the important part.

So yes, interesting stuff coming up. Grey will be meeting Lena and her companions tonight (story and real time, lol) while Kayden and Kella discuss the implications of assassins who aren't trying to actually kill them. Then there will be a couple of short scenes to show the passage of time--them sparring, them attending the bardic festival. And then, two days before the ship's to sail, they'll be attacked by assassins who are aiming to kill with Grey (they've eavesdropped long enough to realize he's not Dragonsblood himself) but aiming to capture Kayden and Kella. Kella will be killed in the fray, due in part to underestimating the strength of her power in proximity to Kayden's vial of dragon blood, but mostly because Lena has poor control when she gets angry.

Umyes. Enough rambling.
karriezai: ([twilight] punched werewolf)
Well I already posted my resolutions, but now I have to try to stick with them. Already slept until 11 today, so the sleeping less one isn't going so awesome. But Danny's not going to let me set an alarm when one isn't needed, anyway, so on days when neither of us work in the morning, I guess it's whenever he wakes me up. :)

Anyway. New Year's was fun. Some of Danny's work people didn't show up but four of them did, plus Tom and his girl (friends of Dennis and Heather), so we had lots of fun. I ordered pizza at 9 and by 11 it hadn't come so Danny had to yell at a pizza guy on the phone and then we had to go pick it up, but it was free, so whatever.

I'm thinking about going to Bally Total Fitness today because I got a free two week trial inside one of my Christmas presents, but the fact that I'm still sore makes me hesitate. The Maryland gym doesn't reopen until Monday though, so if I want to work out before then Bally will have to do.

And now I want to brainstorm how to improve the start of Blood and Heat. Feel free not to read further, this is just for my benefit.

Wandering ideas... )
karriezai: ([kh] [soriku] stunned kiss)
It's a frickin miracle that there's just so much usable stuff in my original (unfinished!) draft of Blood and Heat. I did almost zero preplanning for it. What planning I did was quick jotting things -- the five gods from Grey's homeland, the fact that his homeland is two kingdoms that used to be one, a brief geography type deal. 90% of the world, plot, etc. was just born from the writing process itself. It's so exciting to think about, to know that I'm capable of that, because I did it before. So yes, I'm getting super excited about it. I think this could be a very productive nano. Even Danny approved of the plot when I outlined it to him (omitting, of course, the fact that there's a little bit of gay tossed in).

Although he tried to start lecturing me on the necessary structure and archetypes of books and such. I find it hilarious since I read way more than him. He's basing it mostly on movies, which only goes so far in usefulness. He said something about starting the story off with the bad guy so you know what you're rooting against, then pan to the hero doing something... good and heroish. Haha. And he was doing the equivalent of disapproving finger-wagging at the fact that I write limited third person, only in one character's head. He said we need to know what's going on in other corners of the universe. Which I believe is a very useful tactic -- panning to Voldemort to see what he's up to and such -- but not always strictly necessary. In this book, for some reason, Grey came to me as the lead, and he's the only perspective I needed. It's funny since you'd think Kayden is the main character since he's the one with the duty and ability to awaken the extinct dragons, but... no. And I'm glad I did it that way because it brought to life the later plot of the story, with the war in Duos. That was all in Grey's past, but it becomes the future of the story. It's certainly not something I planned at the beginning of the story. It just sprang into being. It's almost like... JK Rowling saying that Harry sprang fully formed into her mind. Grey is something like that. This story almost has a life of its own. Not like Eysuria. That one's a constant struggle, a constant evolution, and I can see my hand in it anywhere. I much prefer the other method. Letting it happen as it does. It's not so much of a fight then.

Sometimes I wonder if I'll ever write Aerlun's story. What's missing that it won't resolve itself properly in my head? Maybe there are just other stories to write first. But no other story is like it. Fanfiction, Blood and Heat... it may not spring to life fully formed, but once the story begins to form, the changes to it as it develops are very minor. It is still always, in essence, the same story.

Blah. Enough dwelling on that. I've got promising writing ahead of me. Almost don't want to wait for November 1st! In fact, really don't! Haha. We'll see how I handle it.
karriezai: ([lolcat] mine plzkthx)
So I hung out with Alicia yesterday, which was nice. I hadn't seen her in a while. She's having a tough time right now -- her whole family's cooped up in a small space together, which is never fun. Families are meant to have space to keep them from gutting each other.

Anyway toward the end when we were metroing toward home, we were talking about writing. She got me to thinking about Blood and Heat, one of the three nano stories I wrote in... I think 2005. There's some really bad writing in it, haha, and some major plot things and such that need work, but I've reread it several times and I always see certain aspects of it that were really very good. I decided a while ago not to rewrite it. I wanted to incorporate it into Eysuria. It got me some really cool elements in Eysuria -- the ashings, mostly. But most of it was very hard to incorporate and keep it whole. I kind of forgot about it.

Thinking about it now, the story is so much better in its original form, though with heavy edits. I reread it again yesterday/today and I like the characters, I like the world setting, I like the plot I had set up, I love the names I chose for people and places... There's some horrible writing in there, particularly toward the beginning, and once in a while I'd find myself reading a sentence way too long and convoluted and just shaking my head to myself. But there are also a few lines, phrases, even paragraphs where I went, "Wow, I wrote that?" I'm going to try to go through and pick a few out to save.

So yes, I'm seriously considering rewriting it. Maybe even for NaNo; it seems appropriate, and it's coming up in just over a week. Until then I could work on fleshing out weak plot details and stuff like that. Maybe find my old planning posts and notebooks. I had a whole religion set up for Duos that I hardly remember.

Also, "For a Soul" is being workshopped today. I read the comments on it. Positive, of course, with the major complaint being that I needed to flesh the whole story out more. I don't really find that surprising. I wrote it very quickly for a challenge with no larger story in mind... just what came to me, really. Of course it could be fleshed out more, maybe even into a decent short story, but I wasn't planning on it. Maybe though...

I'm hungry for dessert =)

ETA: I finally gave up on h_e and westerosorting. I left all related communities, de-friended them, and reorganized my links list on the left. Much tidier. I'm trying to decide if I want to make another friends group or two for the handful of misfit communities I'm watching, but I think if I care enough to check them out I'll just go to the communities themselves.


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