NaNoEdMo wrap-up.

March 31, 2012

Well, I got to the fifty hour mark of editing in March about an hour ago, which is cutting it close. I’m tired of editing, pleased with what I accomplished, and a little disappointed at just how much more there is to do – sigh. I guess that’s the way it always goes.

I got approximately six lessons on the ‘How to Revise your Novel’ course finished – I was in the middle of lesson 8 at the start of the month, and now I’m in progress on fourteen. I learned a lot and did some great work with my book in those lessons, too.

I got some great revision done on ‘The Storm Mirror,’ polishing a charming first draft into what could, I think, be a really great finished story!

I also got some good revision done on ‘The Scroll’, especially the first sample chapter. Unfortunately, I found out yesterday that there was no space for me in the CSSF Novel workshop, as the class is being kept very small this summer. Oh, well. I still think I want to revisit ‘The Scroll’ for Camp Nano in August.

Aside from these three, a lot of my editing hours were spent on old fanfic projects, some of which I’ve already tackled in NaNoEdMo of previous years, but I’ve learned a lot more about what makes good writing since then, and polishing these stories up to post them on fanfiction.net is good practice in editing for other stories, if nothing else. Also, when I just had to get some editing in on a crazy day, (and trying to do 50 hours of editing in a month makes most days crazy,) sometimes I wanted to be able to work on something I wasn’t too emotionally invested in anymore, and just fire up the MS word grammar checker on the bus home and see what it thought about my sentence style. 🙂

Next stop – the Frenzy! It’s always a little crazy to switch from marathon editing to wildly passionate script writing on April the first.

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WordPress 3.4 is a little less than it should be… but they fixed it!

March 30, 2012

I ran into an unexpected hurdle yesterday as I published my blog post, because the Dashboard page that I use to compose a new post had changed. Usually, there’s the Dashboard menu on the left side of the screen, the textbox where I type my words for you in the middle, and a handy column of control ‘modules’ on the right, where I push the big button to post the entry, preview it, schedule it, and where I enter the tags and categories for the post.

Now, when I write a post on my netbook, the text entry area stretches all the way to the right edge of the screen, and so does every other module. It’s really annoying, as the netbook screen isn’t very high, and so I have to scroll up and down to go from the text to the tags, or anything like that. Read the rest of this entry »


My not-too-fantastic Script idea

March 29, 2012

So, it’s been crazy with the NaNoEdMo editing and the car buying and a few other things, but I’ve sorta come up with a notion for Script Frenzy that isn’t science fiction or paranormal fantasy or anything else that’s tough to produce. In fact, it even falls a little bit under the heading of ‘write what you know.’

I don’t have a crazy bulletin board of index cards for it this time, just an idea with a character and a situation, a plot idea about what he wants. I’m not even sure if there’s going to be a clear antagonist, or maybe it’ll be one of those plots where the MC is his own worst enemy. But this will be the story of a passionate Star Wars fan, who vows to find the love of his life by going on blind dates arranged through sci-fi geek groups. 🙂 I’m thinking of calling it ‘Geek at Heart.’

What do you think? Who should the bad guy be? What will the ‘All is Lost’ moment entail?


My ‘Garret’ has been profiled!

March 27, 2012

Callie Leuck has posted a profile of my writing space, for her Garret Tour Tuesday series, so go over and take a look at my armchair o’ writing, as well as finding out what I had to say about when I like to write.


Guess what I bought?

March 26, 2012

The next item in the ‘Spotlight on Chris’ is supposed to be six things I wish I’d never done, but I may just pass on that entirely because of something that I never want to associate with regrets or wishing I hadn’t done…

I bought my car this afternoon! It’s a white 2007 Pontiac hatchback, and even though I still need to pay for it, and wait for the dealership to finish servicing it, and get the insurance all arranged, I’m really excited, and a little bit nervous. This is more money than I’ve ever paid for a single thing in my life. It’s more than a year’s rent!

Erm, I should probably try to calm down just a little. Let’s just say it’s been a big day.

And I’m gonna need to find a name for the car… since it’s white, I’m wondering about ‘Ghost’ 🙂 Whatcha think?


Six Sentence Sunday – The Storm Mirror 6

March 25, 2012

One. Two. Three. Four. Five.

So, Melvin has come up to the house on the clifftop, looking for the old, ugly witch who was sending the storms – and found a pretty girl instead, who told him the witch is gone.

“My name is Sorina.”

If she wasn’t a witch, what could it hurt? “I – well, I’m here because somebody told me that the witch is bringing the storms.” 

“No, those aren’t her fault.”

Melvin looked more deeply into Sorina’s face. “Did you bring them?”

Thanks for reading, and all comments or critiques are very welcome!


Spotlight on Chris: Seven things that often cross my mind

March 24, 2012

You might know the drill by now…

So, seven things that often cross my mind:

‘Hang those who talk of less!’ (Whenever I wonder about if I need more or would like more of something-or-other.)

Did I remember to take my pills?

How’s my calendar doing for the day – what letters have I got? What can I still get?

That’s a good idea – I should remember to write that.

Did I lock the door?

Oooh – she’s really cute!

Did I remember to bring my ______? (Usually about some kind of small digital gizmo.)


Spotlight on Chris – if I had Five million dollars…

March 23, 2012

The reflection challenge continues…

If I won five million dollars in the lottery – well, for one, it would be a bit surprising that I’d even play the lottery, but let’s not dwell on that now. And figuring out just what I should spend the money on would probably be very stressful if it did happen, but I’ve come up with some ideas that I can share with you, that will hopefully tell you a little about me.

I’d give big gifts of no-strings-attached money to my immediate adult family members, to spread the wealth and the stress around a little.

Arrange somewhat more modest presents for my nieces and nephew, plus college funds.

And smaller gifts for more distant family, ex-work colleagues, (yeah, I’d quit the job,) writing buddies, and casual friends.

Make a special charitable donation in memory of my father.

Look into setting up a scholarship for science fiction and fantasy writers wanting to attend any kind of workshop or course, but not able to afford the tuition or other expenses.

Some other charitable donations – I’m not quite sure who I’d give to, which is something that bears thinking about even in the absence of lottery winnings.

Go on a world tour – I want to see Chicago, New York, Paris, and Rome for sure. Other destinations To Be Determined.

Buy myself a nice (but not flashy) new car, and maybe a condo in Toronto.

Consider investing in a small press – I wouldn’t want to set one up myself, but if I find somebody who I really think could do well in publishing with some seed money, I’d want to be able to provide some.

Put a lot of it into savings for later – so that I could work on writing or other projects full-time without needing to work, travel more, spoil myself a little with impulse buys – and get the max donation level for every Office of Letters and Light event for many, many years.


Lucky Seven – I got memed, again!

March 22, 2012

So, this isn’t exactly in the spirit of the Spotlight on Chris, but I’ve been tagged with the Lucky 7 meme, and I’m going to play. I’ve decided not to tag anyone else, though, just because I don’t feel up to figuring which of my friends have already played.

I’m taking the previous draft of “Won’t somebody think of the Children” as my work in progress, since I’ve been slaving away at it for months now in the Holly Lisle revise-your-novel course. Following the instructions, I have paged to page 77, and scrolled to line 7 for my starting point.

This lands me right in a bad section where Tom is talking at the reader, instead of showing anything, and I’ve decided to share seven paragraphs instead of just seven lines or seven sentences.

Let me know what you think, especially if you think it’s bad. (It improves a little bit towards the end, when Brenda shows up.)

One thing that occurs to me is the idea that the ship’s company might need to be more clearly regimented and hierarchical, just to make sure that the right thing happens at the right time, that more things can be happening at one time without compromising safety, and so on – a slightly more military mindset, as it were, though still not violent or warlike. I haven’t mentioned much about that to anybody but Jeremy, though – not sure how Melanie or the other girls would think about it.

What else can I tell you about? Melanie’s doing well with the baby, though she complains a bit about being dizzy sometime, and I was worried about that until Doctor Joe and Odin both told me that it’s perfectly normal. Julie’s doing well now too, she’s off bed rest – well, I guess you knew that she was, because she was at the meeting last week, but that was really just a ‘get out of the room for a few hours before going back to bed’ kind of thing. Now she’s completely back and only sleeping the usual amount in bed, as far as I know, and her baby boy is doing great. She and Melanie have definitely bonded as sisters, as you might have been able to guess from some of my descriptions, and I guess I even think of Paul as part of the extended family now. Other people have commented on how much time the two young women have been spending together, and how close friends they suddenly seem to be, but as far as I know Melanie only told one new person about the true relationship since giving Julie and Paul the whole story – and that’s Laurie, one of her old and close friends. I think that was because Laurie was feeling jealous about somebody new squeezing her out, so Melanie felt obliged to explain how it wasn’t really just about meeting a new girlfriend.

Read the rest of this entry »


Spotlight: Chris’ Desert Island Discs

March 21, 2012

Skipping ahead a little in Rich’s original challenge, today I’m sharing my top 20 favorite albums, and a little bit about why I like each one. I’m limiting myself to one custom compilation, (more about that later,) though commercial ‘best of’s and anthologies are fair game. In alphabetical order:

And then we wrote, Flanders and Swann and Swann, with friends. I love nearly all of Flanders and Swann’s music, but this one is dear to me for more than just the great numbers from their musical revue days like “Excelsior” and “The Lord Chamberlain’s Regulations.” It’s a classic that’s never been released onto CD as far as I know, but I fondly remember listening to my Dad’s vinyl record. (Now I listen to the digitized version.)

Camelot. Another vinyl classic from my Dad’s collection. Knights singing show tunes – gotta love it.

Dreams, by the Corrs. Thanks very much to the Irish band for releasing this cut, a mix of covers and best-of, so that I don’t need to agonize over which studio album I’d take to the desert island for a Corrs fix.

Dress Rehearsal, by the amazing Canadian singer and songwriter, Carolyn Dawn Johnson. This album comes to mind as a tour de force of the songwriter’s art, from the lyric poignancy of the title track, “I’ll let you go”, and “Just another plane,” to the energy and fun of “He’s Mine.”

The Essential Billy Joel. I discovered Billy Joel’s music late, after noting down a song playing in a coffee shop that I wanted to look up, which was “The Longest Time.” ‘The Essential’ was the first step in my journey of discovery, and well worth it.

Face to the Gale, by Ron Hynes. I remember hearing “Godspeed” on the radio when I was in University, and loving it, but I didn’t get the album until much later, and I really like the music, as it comes crashing in with the power of a Newfoundland storm behind tracks like “The Final Breath” and “Saint John’s Waltz.” Read the rest of this entry »


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