A few August sketches

September 1, 2014

Well, one thing I managed to do during August was pull out my “Drawing on the Right Side of the Brain” stuff and do a few profile portrait exercises, including a live sketch of my mom. First, though, was another copying exercise. Here’s the profile picture that I was copying out of the workbook, “Madame X” by John Singer Sargent:
Image (168)

This is the freehand copy that I made of the Sargent portrait: Read the rest of this entry »


Weekend Writing Warriors – Magic Milkshakes 2

August 31, 2014

Welcome friends, followers, and Weekend Writing Warriors!

Well, I’m in Toronto this weekend for Fan Expo, and the power of scheduled posts brings you this snippet from last Monday! I’m continuing on with a snippet from a short story draft I wrote back in June, mostly after I got back from the Young Gunns workshop in Kansas. It was based on a story idea I shared back in the A-Z April challenge: Magic Milkshakes.

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Snippet 1

Track season was over, so she didn’t need to worry about sticking to her peak hurdling weight–for a little while.

“Thanks Mom.” She inhaled another hit of chocolate and cream.

“So, any big plans for tonight?”

“Just hitting the books.”

“You didn’t hear from Matt?”

“Actually, not that it’s any of your business, but yes, Matt called. He invited me to come along to some crazy party at one of his friends’ house.”

Visit the other Weekend Writing Warriors at http://www.wewriwa.com/


What’s Up Wednesday? Off to Fan Expo!

August 27, 2014

What’s Up Wednesday is a weekly blogfest to share the answers to a few simple questions… Join us!

TreeWhat I’m reading:

Still enjoying Discworld “Lords and Ladies,” Fred Pohl’s “Annals of the Heechee”, and Escape Pod and PodCastle stories. Hmm, am I reading myself into a rut? ;)

What I’m writing:

Well, I’ve finished going through the feedback on ‘Gotta Have That Look,’ and I’ve got lots of ideas for revisions, but they may have to wait a while. Not sure I’ll get much writing done this weekend. ;)

What inspires me right now:

ALS Ice bucket challenge videos, for some reason. I just dig the idea of it as this giant meme spreading around the world, creating viral videos wherever it goes. And listening to podcast stories.

What else I’ve been up to:

Picked up the refurb laptop, spent some time with it over the weekend, and then returned it because the DVD read/write drive didn’t read and didn’t write. :(

Getting geared up for Fan Expo! I’ll be leaving for Toronto tomorrow afternoon, and a little blue carry-on suitcase is already packed and waiting for me at the office.

What about you? Click here to join the hop or check in with some other great writers.


Ready Set Write… just in time for the end?

August 25, 2014

Okay, it’s time for Ready Set Write again. RSWCoffee75I’ve only done this a few times, but apparently it’s time to wrap up for the summer already!

How I did on Last Week’s Goals

Exceeded them! I said I wanted to work through six critiques, and I finished off the entire stack, which I figure was at least eight. And I figured out a bunch of great stuff that will make my story better, once I actually figure out how much I’m ready to change with the next draft.

Summer Recap

Well, I think I’ve done pretty well. I went to two amazing writing workshops this summer, drafted four new short stories, finished two quick revision rounds for “TimeBubble Blues” and got started on some revision for ‘Gotta Have That Look.’

Favorite Line from my WIP

I’m going to pick another line that one of my critique partners from Young Gunns picked out as liking:

“I dunno, Jimmy,” Stephanie said. “I never thought you’d be one of those kids who chose to look like somebody we’ve all seen on the tabloid shows.”

The Biggest Challenge I Faced This Week

Trying to figure out how much I’m willing to change for this revision. I’ve got lots of great ideas, involving big changes to the plot and some of the characters. Not sure yet how they’ll all fit together, or if they all will.

Something I love about my WIP

The premise, with teenagers getting genetic therapy injections to look like anybody they want. :)

Okay, I guess that’s it for me. Click here if you want to join in, or check out other writers doing Ready Set Write!


Weekend Writing Warriors – Magic Milkshakes 1

August 24, 2014

Welcome friends, followers, and Weekend Writing Warriors!

Okay, I’m going to start sharing snippets from a short story draft I wrote back in June, mostly after I got back from the Young Gunns workshop in Kansas. It was based on a story idea I shared back in the A-Z April challenge: Magic Milkshakes.

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“Drink your milkshake, honey.”

Danielle looked up from her vegetables and caught her mom’s eye. At first she didn’t say anything, just let her eyes track from Mom to the tall glass full of rich chocolate bubbles, topped off with a mound of whipped creamy foam that was dribbling down the sides. At least she didn’t put a maraschino cherry on top this time, she thought as she stirred the straw, letting a bit more of the cream escape.

“Mom, don’t you think you’ve been making me too many milkshakes lately?”

“How can you have too many milkshakes? Besides, you’re too thin honey.”

Danielle sighed and sucked a little of the thick shake up through the straw, letting the bittersweet concoction flood her mouth before swallowing it.

Visit the other Weekend Writing Warriors at http://www.wewriwa.com/


What’s Up Wednesday? Two video chats…

August 20, 2014

What’s Up Wednesday is a weekly blogfest to share the answers to a few simple questions… Join us!

TreeWhat I’m reading:

Well, I finished ‘Luck of the Draw,’ by Piers Anthony, read the last graphic novel in ‘Angel & Faith Season nine’, and started a new Discworld book from the library, “Lords and Ladies.”

I also continued to listen to plenty of Escape Pod and Podcastle stories, started “Annals of the Heechee” on Audible, and I fit some short stories and some of “Command Decision” by Elizabeth Moon in there. Loving the reading this summer!

What I’m writing:

Finished the first draft of the Xeroxxing Xylophone story. Started another round of revisions on ‘Gotta Have That Look’, based on the feedback I got from Young Gunns back in June.

What inspires me right now:

Video chats with other writers! I’ve got two scheduled this evening. First there’s the official Odyssey Salon with Jeanne Cavelos, and then I’m doing a Google Hangouts critique circle with two of my Team Ambitious friends from Odyssey class of 2013. Also – Fan Expo is coming! Really excited about that.

What else I’ve been up to:

Did some portrait sketching stuff on Sunday. I’ll have to get those pages scanned and post them soon. Upgraded my computer at work to Windows 8, and ordered a refurbished Dell laptop from Best Buy.

What about you? Click here to join the hop or check in with some other great writers.


Ready Set Write, my week 2.

August 18, 2014

Okay, it’s time for Ready Set Write again. Let’s go RSWCoffee75‘write’ to the headings…

How I did on Last Week’s Goals

I finished my draft! And – well, I broke ground on revising ‘Gotta Have That Look’ based on the feedback I got at the Young Gunns workshop earlier this summer. That’s not much, but it is ‘measurable progress.’ :)

My Goals for This Week

Work through six more ‘Gotta Have That Look’ completed critiques from Kansas.

Favorite Line from my WIP

From ‘Gotta Have That Look.’ This was a line Jean liked enough that he wants to make it the opening line of the story somehow:

“It’s always hard to recognize people after a long weekend,” Bryan said.

The Biggest Challenge I Faced This Week

Hmm, not sure what to say here. Making time to write? Getting myself excited about revision?

Something I love about my WIP

The secondary characters, who are Jimmy’s best friend and his new girlfriend Stephanie.

Okay, I guess that’s it for me. Click here if you want to join in, or check out other writers doing Ready Set Write!


Weekend Writing Warriors – The Gnomes are Missing 12

August 17, 2014

Welcome friends, followers, and Weekend Writing Warriors!

I think this may be the last snippet I share from “The Gnomes are Missing,” so I’ll skip ahead and introduce a few characters I love, the dwarf champions.

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Snippet 1 Snippet 2 Snippet 3 Snippet 4 Snippet 5 Snippet 6 Snippet 7 Snippet 8 Snippet 9 Snippet 10
Snippet 11

“Bloven, Nalfor, here are your companions for the quest, Kinwer the human child and Trish the pixie.”

Kinwer looked at Trish, but Trish was flying ahead to greet the two dwarfs approaching the alcove.

“So pleased to meet you,” Trish said, dipping respectfully in the air. “Trish of the Ruby Gardens, at your service.”

“Kinwer Barroley, at your service.”

“Thank you very much, for bringing us such an excellent quest to join,” Bloven said. “The clan has been at peace for decades. Some of our friends earned their pips by going high into the mountains and provoking trolls, but the trolls aren’t really so bad if you give them a chance, and Nalfor’s father is trying to make a treaty with them.”

Visit the other Weekend Writing Warriors at http://www.wewriwa.com/


What’s Up Wednesday? Lazy Summer Days?

August 13, 2014

What’s Up Wednesday is a weekly blogfest to share the answers to a few simple questions… Join us!

TreeWhat I’m reading:

I’ve been listening to some great podcast stories from ‘Escape Pod’ and got “Luck of the Draw” (the Xanth book) from the library on the weekend, and I’ve been enjoying it quite a lot. I also got “Warm Bodies” from the library, but I’m not sure if I’m going to read it through. I’ve skimmed through a lot of it comparing with my memories of the movie. The library also has a downloadable audio version of “Warm Bodies”, and I may give that a try.

And I read a few Analog stories on my Nexus, both via the library Zinio archives, and my own Kindle issues. Today I started the last arc of Angel and Faith, season 9.

What I’m writing:

Well, I started a story for the Xeroxxing Xylophone idea, having fun with it so far! I know I need to get started with revision stuff, but–well, see above under lazy. ;)

What inspires me right now:

Actually figuring out a secret identity long before it gets revealed in the book I’m reading, hehe.

What else I’ve been up to:

Hanging out with my mom a little, cooking and catching up to the last levels update in ‘Angry Birds Epic.’ Pimping the Nexus tablet out with VPN setup and Remote Desktop apps, so that if a work emergency comes up while I’m in Toronto for Fan Expo, I can use the Nexus to solve the problem. The hero travels light, whoohoo. :)

What about you? Click here to join the hop or check in with some other great writers.


I’ll give this a try – Ready Set Write!

August 11, 2014

Well, I spotted this blogging thing and decided to join in. Apparently calling it a ‘writing intensive’ is enough for everybody else doing it, though that phrase makes me ask ‘an intensive what?’ ;) But they’ve got good headings of what to share, so here goes.

How I did on Last Week’s Goals

Well, I didn’t post any RSW goals last week, because I didn’t do it, and the goals I sent to Team Ambitious were for that two-week round, all about revision, and I didn’t really get anything done on them yet. But–I started a new story! And I did some work on the ‘How to Think Sideways’ course and worked on two story critiques, so that’s not nothing.

My Goals for This Week

Finish the draft of the xylophone story. Make some kind of measurable revision progress.

Favorite Line from my WIP

This is half a paragraph, but I can’t resist sharing it all:

“Petra was at the near end of the near bench, and at the far end of the other was Angelo, looking like he thought he was in charge–as always. He waved for Nicholas to come and join them, but Nicholas had a better authority to follow. Yes, even a cat was better at being in charge than Angelo.”

The Biggest Challenge I Faced This Week

Getting over the post-workshop crash from TNEO week in New Hampshire, especially since it was such a busy and stressful workshop–in good ways, but still I was tired when I got back home.

Something I love about my WIP

The idea I came up with during the A-Z challenge. This is the Xeroxxing Xylophone idea. I got some great help from Jeanne and others during the TNEO brainstorming session fleshing it out.

Okay, I guess that’s it for me. Click here if you want to join in, or check out other writers doing Ready Set Write!


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