Six Sentence Sunday: The Witches of Arion 3

September 30, 2012

It’s Six Sentence Sunday again! (Well, not as I’m posting, because I’m trying to get a spot close to the beginning of the linky list this time around, but by the time you read, it’ll be Sunday morning at the earliest.)

Thanks to all who commented on this piece already. There’ll be lots of more excitement as a young girl who’s suddenly interested in witches visits Fox’s Fair with her family…

First week Second week

“Please, please, can we?”

Mother looked around, and saw where Nashua was pointing. “You are a well-born young lady, and nobody in this family is going to have anything to do with witches if we can help it! For goodness’ sake, my child, why did we let the day-woman read you all those witch stories if you weren’t going to learn from them?”

Mother tried to lead the way off towards some other diversion, but Nashua was not prepared to move away yet. “Being well-born is rotten; nobody else seems scared of the witch.”

Carnival treats or games for everybody who gives feedback this week! πŸ˜€

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Doctor Who, Every Saturday in September

September 29, 2012

“The Angels Take Manhattan” is going to air in a little more than half an hour on the Canadian cable channel ‘Space.’ This is the last Doctor Who episode for the year, except for the 2012 Christmas special.

I’ve loved each and every episode out of the limited 2012 run so far, (though ‘The Power of Three’ was definitely unusual,) but I’m still disappointed that it was so limited. For the past week, I’ve been particularly annoyed that, given there were only 5 new episodes for the year, they were released on a schedule that put them all into the same calendar month. It would FEEL like more if they spanned from August into September, or September and October. But no, what we get is every Saturday in September. For one thing, when you say that, you expect it to be only four episodes, since over 70 percent of the time there won’t be a fifth Saturday (or any other particular day of the week,) in a 30-day month.

But at least we get this much, and apparently the reason Steven Moffat is being so stingy with new episodes right now is to stretch his budget and make it really pay off in the run-up to the 50th anniversary. Hopefully I can focus on that.

So, until Christmas – Geronimo! Bow ties are cool, right? πŸ™‚


Still waiting for Goal, Motivation, and Conflict

September 28, 2012

As I mentioned, I really enjoyed the Dragon*Con panel by Debra Dixon about ‘Goal, Motivation, and Conflict’ and it reinforced a belief that I already had that this was stuff I needed to understand more to take my writing to the next level. I didn’t rush right home and order Debra’s book, but I remembered to place my order over two weeks ago.

And I haven’t heard anything since, which is starting to make me feel jumpy. I sent back an email inquiry today, just wondering if they had any news on shipping or when I could expect delivery.

I want to have a while to read this book and let the big ideas sink in, then start using them to figure out what I’m writing this year for Nanowrimo. And time is starting to draw somewhat short – there are only a couple days left in September, after all.

Is anybody else feeling anxious about Nanowrimo already? I’m not usually jumpy about it, but between the GMC thing, which isn’t an approach that I’ve used before, (though I remember being exciting about snowflaking my Nano too,) and signing up as an ML, I’m both really excited and nervous about chomping more than I can chew this time.


Polishing prose takes time…

September 27, 2012

Well, I’ve been working hard at my remaining goals, including polishing one of my old Roswell fanfics, ‘Husk Funeral’, to get it posted up on the fanfiction.net website. Actually, I published the first chapter this evening, and I’m working on chapter 6 of 9 for the ‘polishing’ draft. But even though I’m fairly pleased with this story overall, my target to shoot for isn’t incredibly high, and I’ve already been a few times over these chapters to proofread and tweak them, I still find that really getting into it takes up so much time. I can work away at editing for an hour in the evening and find out that I’ve managed to finish two scenes perhaps – if I’m lucky.

Maybe my expectations for how quickly I should be able to do this kind of editing are just way out of whack, I dunno. I may not reach this goal, but I’m going to do the best I can, and I’m really pretty pleased with the progress I’m making, and this chance to return to my fanfic roots.

On a slightly off-topic note, I discovered that fanfiction.net now allows book cover images – but they have to be taller than they are wide, by a factor of 3:2, so that all the banners I made for Roswell Fanatics, (which are generally just a bit wider than tall, something like 10:11,) are no good. Sigh.


What process do you write in?

September 26, 2012

There was some great conversation between the four of us who showed up to Chester’s Beers of the World for the Hamilton Writers meeting last night – once they turned down the music enough that we could hear each other speak, that is. πŸ˜‰

One interesting topic that came up was our choice of writing process – specifically between three very different experiences – typing on a keyboard, scribbling with a pen or pencil on paper, and speaking into a voice recorder. It was interesting to see how different people reacted to the different options.

I’m a typer; I have been since I was very young; taught myself how to go beyond two-finger hunt and peck typing, though it took proper typing lessons to cure myself of looking at the screen. I have handwriting so horrible that I can’t read it myself, and I get very nervous about the sound of my voice and my ums and uhs if I try talking into a voice recorder. But I’ve never really needed an alternative to typing – it’s a process that works very well for me.

The new gentleman who brought up this topic for conversation said that he found that a voice recorder and Dragon Naturally Speaking work very well for him – especially after he’s reached the halfway point in a story, which is where the tough part usually begins for him. He can usually cruise through the first half on a keyboard, he said, but then gets blocked if he can’t talk it through. Another writer that I’ve known for many years mentioned that she associates keyboards as a tool for a day job, not a part of her writing process, so she writes her first drafts out in longhand.

Have you found the process that works for you? Is there some special subprocess within those big three that you write best with, (a particular keyboard device, that perfect notebook paper, or whatever?) Do you ever wish that you could find a better process than the one you’re writing with now?


A few quick updates

September 24, 2012

Had a GREAT time at the Doctor Horrible screening on Saturday – got a chance to catch up a little on ‘The Guild’, though I really need to watch some more of it, and sang my heart out. I also won the biggest charity auction lot of the evening, including the Joebot ‘Doctor Horrible’ t-shirt, which I’ve been keeping an eye out for ever since I missed it on teefury. πŸ™‚ And I had a great time at the Pauper’s Pub shindig.

I’ve been making some good progress on my end-of-the-month goals, including making notes on the home-workshop stories to critique, and putting together the Block Revision draft of ‘Children.’ I had one scary moment when I thought I’d completely forgotten to do any revision whatever on scene 18 – there wasn’t a file on the Alphasmart called block18, so at first I figured that I’d edited it entirely on the printouts, but there was no editing markup on any of the right pages. Finally I found the content at the end of the block17 Alphasmart file. πŸ˜‰ There hadn’t been a clear dividing line between the scenes so I just kept on typing.

And I’m just one story shy of my ’52 books in 2012′ goal, since I finished “Star Trek TNG: Behind Enemy Lines’ on the bus this morning.


Six Sentence Sunday: The Witches of Arion 2

September 23, 2012

Well, it’s Six Sentence Sunday again!

Last week, I started sharing from my raw Camp Nanowrimo fantasy manuscript, telling the story of how a little girl becomes a powerful witch…

The kids had been talking about the fair for weeks, ever since Jackalan had brought the first news. Jackalan’s father was the Baron’s Reveller, which apparently meant that he was always looking for fun things that the town of Egya could do.

School was let out for a week-long holiday, and Nashua went to the first day of the fair with Mother and Auntie Lima and Nashua’s cousin Peeyi.Β There were singing bards and jumping acrobats and lots of unfamiliar but delicious food. There were two knights that jousted, though Nashua was a little disappointed after watching them go three rounds that neither had seriously hurt the other.

But a shiver ran through her as Mother led the way past a tent where a little boy her own age was calling out “Come one, come all – have your fortune told by the witch!”

Thank you for your feedback and comments!


The turning of the seasons

September 22, 2012

I’ve been seeing a lot of blogging lately about the coming of the fall and the Autumnal Equinox yesterday. Here in southern Ontario, I haven’t spotted many colors changing on the trees, but there’s little doubt that summer is over with. It’s been cool enough that I’ve switched my little stand-up air control unit from air conditioning to heating mode, though I haven’t felt the need to turn on the pilot light for the gas heat. (That usually happens around Canadian Thanksgiving, which falls in early October.)

This morning, there have been rain showers outside my windows, but hopefully those will ease off later in the day, which I’ll appreciate when I head into Toronto. The summer wasn’t an uncomfortably warm one overall, but I’m glad that the hot weather seems to be over with. Hopefully there’ll be a fun fall before the really cold weather comes.

And fall seems like a good time to work on some new editing challenges and come up with a plot idea for Nanowrimo this year.

How are the seasons turning wherever you are?


Goals and Resolutions update, September 2012

September 21, 2012

Well, now that I’ve finished my Block Revision, I’ve got a bit more time to look at some of the other goals that I set myself for this month. I don’t think I’m in too bad shape, but I’ve got enough to keep me busy until October. πŸ˜‰

  1. Start lesson 18 of ‘How to Revise your Novel.’ I’ve sortuv done this already, in that I’ve read the lesson. It’s all about fairly low-level editing; voice and style and grace and elegance (that’s actually a bad one!) and how to place commas correctly so your reader doesn’t want to kill himself or you. I’ll need to organize what I had left from Block Revision before I start in earnest, but that’s cool.
  2. Read 3 short stories – I’m already at 2, both courtesy of the F&SF free magazine subscription on my Kindle; one was an issue that I thought I missed when June switched to July, before I figured out the way to access back issues.
  3. Submit two critiques for critters. Done! One was sample chapters for a longer book that you could critique for extra credits, and I liked the opening, so I’ve requested the full manuscript. Hopefully I can critique that before November.
  4. Exercise every day (at least 30 minutes) and stick to my 2500 calorie diet. Doing pretty well so far…
  5. Cleaning and tidying the apartment. I’m on track here too, over 5 hours tracked out of eight. If I stick to 20 minutes cleaning a day, I’ll be great, can even take one day off. And at least a lot of the cluttered receipts are dealt with.
    I just realized as I was writing that that when I was going through backlog mail and flyers this evening, I didn’t remember throwing old receipts out of my wallet, which is something that I want to do before tomorrow, so that I have room to bring extra cash to the Toronto Doctor Horrible screening and auction! I’ll have to remember to do it before I go tomorrow morning
  6. Organizing files on the netbook computer. Also doing very well, an hour and a half spent out of my target two hours.
  7. Posting a new, edited story up on fanfiction.net – well, I’ve gone through my files, found a story that’s already partly edited. Need to get my butt in a higher gear on this one.
  8. Critique homework stories from the other CSSF workshop writers. Sent in one critique, started on another, out of six. Again, I need to work harder here.

Do you have goals that you’re working on this month? How are they coming along?


Hopping on the ‘Be Inspired’ meme

September 20, 2012

Well, I finished Block Revision on ‘Children’ tonight, and to celebrate I’m going to take Ari’s sort-of-open-invite and join in the ‘Be Inspired’ meme to tell you a bit about the book!

1. What is the name of your book?

Won’t somebody think of the children? (Title might be subject to change, but I love it. πŸ™‚ )

2. Where did the idea for your book come from?

I’m not entirely sure. I was trying to come up with an original idea for Nanowrimo in October of 2009, and was noodling with doing something in dramatic science fiction set aboard a generation starship – not high action or adventure, just people living their lives in this very artificial and unusual (to us) setting, which they completely take for granted. The big breakthrough came when I had the notion of the parents-to-be who find out that their child is statistically likely to be alive when the ship gets where it’s going; I saw lots of ideas for how that could change their lives and the entire culture on board the ship. So things kinda got rolling in earnest from there.

3. In what genre would you classify your book?

Dramatic Science Fiction, as I said, and possibly New Adult as well.

Read the rest of this entry »


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