Disappointing news for would-be campaigners

September 11, 2012

I’ve had a lot of fun in Rachael Harrie’s platform-building campaigns (or crusades, which is what they were called before all the bad press around the crusades got the name changed. 😉 ) I was looking forward to the Fifth Campaign in the second half of 2012, but apparently, like Patrick Stewart’s visit to Toronto, it’s been postponed until 2013.

Now, I can sympathize with whatever else Rachael’s got on her plate at the moment, and nobody else can really run a full Writers Platform-Building event like she can, but if there’s any other blogging crusaders-at-heart out there, maybe we can still get together and have some bloggy, Platform-Building fun this fall. To start with, I’m hereby opening applications for a new Crusader Spotlight series, running from now to October 30th 2012. If anybody wants to start a Crusader Challenge blogfest, count me in! And let me know about any other Crusadey fun you can think of.

Crusaders ho! Who’s with me?

Advertisements

A Hateful blogfest

August 12, 2011

Okay, today is the ‘I hate you blogfest’, thrown by Tessa’s blurb. The rules are to share an excerpt where one of your characters hates somebody or despises something, when feathers are ruffled and people are nasty.

I’m contributing a passage from the climax of “The Way Back Home”, which will probably be totally different once I manage to find my way through this revision. But Naveli gets some nice temper in:

“Yes, I thought that your little weasel might be in here,” Merlik said, chuckling with honest humor as something shifted restlessly inside the pack. “He was a wild card in our plans to be sure – we had no idea that the Brussards had allied with the mustelid councils and were employing weasels as undercover agents. That’s fascinating.”

“She’s a ferret, and she’s a she, you freakin’ idiot!” Naveli screamed, taking a great deal of pleasure in being able to correct him on that score. Merlik just shrugged nonchalantly and didn’t try to speak. “What in tarnation do you want of me?” Naveli continued. “That’s what I can’t understand in the first place. Why did you take me from my home, and once we got out, why did you spend so much effort, cause so much devastation tracking me down again? What could I possibly give to you that’s worth that?”

Merlik smiled a slightly demented smile. “Well, I was wondering if you’d have figured it out now. But part of the point is for you to realize for yourself… after all, it wouldn’t help at all for me to paint the colors in for you. Just follow the numbers, little girl, and you’ll be okay.”

Naveli stared, completely puzzled by this remark, and happened to notice that the soldiers, who weren’t wearing masks this time, were expressing distaste at Merlik’s speechifying as well. Maybe they didn’t see the point in what he was leading them through, either, Naveli thought, and wondered if she could turn that to her advantage. “So what happens now?”

Merlik stared at her for a long moment, considering her question. “Well, we leave, and you go and try to find a medic who isn’t already busy working to save lives back at the train tracks who can save your friends’ life in time.”

Naveli stared at him. “So seriously, that’s it, you chased us down just to tell me some mysterious nonsense and shoot my friend?”

Read the rest of this entry »


Adaptation Blogfest – Novels into Movies/TV shows

August 1, 2011

Okay, so I’ve signed up for the Novel Films blogfest and I cheated slightly by doing the rounds before making my own post. I got some great ideas, and I’ve also decided that I’m not going to include play to film or comic book to film adaptations in my list, but I will include novel series into TV series, just for the heck of it.

So, here are the cases where I’ve read the book and scene it:

The Princess Bride – a true classic by any standard. Of course, it helps that the author of the book, William Goldman, wrote the screenplay as well and had a lot of experience adapting other people’s books into screenplays. On his DVD commentary, he said that if people could only remember him for one thing, he wanted that to be Princess Bride-related.

A Wrinkle in Time – a surprisingly good movie version of a favorite book. I got a chance to see this at the Toronto children’s film festival, Sprockets.

Earthsea. Ugh – not the worst fantasy film I’ve ever seen, but they messed up so much of the greatness of the two source books.

Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy – took a long time to get made into a movie, and I think it was pretty much worth the wait. Just a shame that there won’t be movie sequels.

Starship troopers – joke of a movie, for such a great novel. Sigh.

The vampire diaries – I started watching the TV series first, and then went back to read the first book in the series, which was interesting, but overall I think I like the TV version better.

Also: Read the rest of this entry »


Progress update, June week 1

June 7, 2011

So yeah, I figure it’s time for another post about how I’m doing with my writing goals lately:

  • The rewrite of ‘Harry and Mars’ is going pretty well – I’ve got up to about three thousand words, starting from scratch, and it’s addressing a lot of the issues from the last critiques I got. On the other hand, I’ve only got 1 more week to polish up both stories and send them in to my Kansas peeps.
  • Preparations for going to Kansas are also doing well – I’ve gotten a lot of the logistical arrangements made, including shipping off a box of linens so that I don’t need to pack them into a suitcase to take on the plane, and I’ve started to get to know the other students on the class forum.
  • I’m a little behind on the draft of “Won’t somebody think of the Children?” for the free Createspace proof – I’ve got one chapter done out of six, and I have that annoying feeling that I wasn’t paying 100% attention for the last few pages. Well, I’ll be able to get something sent off I’m sure, and if it’s not perfect then it’s not.
  • I’m back on the Nanopubye forum and getting to know some of the regulars there.
  • Posted a few more entries into my fanfic tracker, and realized that I really need to be working on that from the desktop tower, because that’s where all of my old fanfic chapters are stored, not necessarily on the laptops.
  • About half a chapter written for my Roswell/Pern crossover.
  • And I’ve been doing a LOT of blogosphere work lately, first making the rounds to try to get some votes on my next in-depth review series, (Prisoner of Azkaban still in the lead by two votes!) and visiting everybody who participated in the Fun and Games blogfest. I’m sorry that I couldn’t comment on everybody’s, but if you were on that linky list, I did come and take a look!

So that’s what I’ve been up to. How about you?


It’s all fun & games until somebody starts a Blogfest!

June 6, 2011

It’s Blog-festing time!

Now, I had a fairly hard time picking just three games to feature here, and there’s entire categories that didn’t get represented. I’ll give a brief list of honorable mentions at the end of my post. But I’ve picked three games that have particular meaning to me, and that you might not be familiar with. Counting up to the top spot:

3) Heroes Unlimited.

I had to include a dice and paper RPG, and Heroes Unlimited may not be the best in any practical terms, but it’s the one that I have the fondest memories of playing, usually with my brother and his friends in one of their apartments. There’s something to be said for a game that allows you to become any of:

  • An alien
  • A bionic cyborg
  • A robot
  • A mutant
  • Somebody who got super-human powers from a scientific experiment
  • A wizard
  • The lucky owner of a magic weapon or artifact
  • Somebody who owns or operates a robotic exoskeleton
  • A weapons collector
  • An elite vehicles gearhead
  • A mutated animal.
  • A martial arts specialist
  • A super-detective

And probably a handful of other character classes that I’ve forgotten off the top of my head! The details may be a bit fuzzy now, but I can’t forget those crazy interdimensional adventures we dreamed up, with brave but somewhat morally challenged heroes battling to stop the Master Programmer!

2) Inspector Parker

A fairly simple computer game in scope, but one that I’ve loved for years and keep going back to when I want to while away a few minutes training up my brain. I discovered it while looking through the online yahoo games site, and ended up buying a licence for the desktop version. Read the rest of this entry »


My much-belated snooper description.

March 30, 2011

So, I’m finally written something based on the ‘Super-snooper’ prompt – I can’t even pretend it’s for the blogfest anymore, but hopefully you’ll have fun playing along anyway.

First, here were the instructions:

Describe a setting that tells us something about your character’s personality. Characters can be of any age, living in any time or place. But don’t tell us about the character, tell us about his or her stuff. We’ll get to know the character from what you write.

 

The room is fairly high in the castle tower, with five large windows, three facing to the north and two towards the east. There is a large canopy bed in the corner opposite the windows, with purple blankets and sheets spread across it and blue trim on the canopy. The bed has been made, but still manages to seem somewhat askew.

On the north wall sits a heavy oak desk, expertly crafted. At the front of the desk there’s a small pile consisting of four ballpoint pens, (each with a different color of ink,) two wooden pencils, and a well-used lump of white rubber. In the back left corner, several heavy books are piled – going up from the bottom, we find the following titles: ‘An Apprentice’s Guide to Magikal Spell Notation,’ ‘A history of the seven families from the year 200F.R,’ ‘Advanced topics in geometry,’ ‘Intermediate geography and geology of the North American Continent’, ‘Pirate Peter and the Spanish Secret’, ‘Pirate Peter and the island of the Lost Girls,’ and a small pamphlet, ‘How to take care of your pet ferret.’

Read the rest of this entry »


National Novel Editing Month update, week 3

March 21, 2011

Total time logged so far: 32 hours, 14 minutes

I’ll have to put in quite a bit of time this coming weekend to get to fifty, but I really do think that I can make it. Since I last updated, I have…

finished the critters crit that I started last weekend, sent it in – and got a very nice thank-you note from the author for my feedback!
Finished proof-reading and spell-checking ‘The Angel’s Charlie’ – and grammar-checked it as well.
Participated in the ‘Hone your skills’ blogfest – yes, I counted the time I spent reviewing and sending feedback to other blogfesters as Edmo time, for the same reason as doing any other critiques, and I still didn’t have time to read everybody’s work, because of all the Wizard World craziness.
Began doing basic spell-checking, proof-reading, and grammar checking on a Roswell raggedy edge fanfic I finished last year, “Roswell Calling” – I’ve finished the spell-checking up to part 3 of 18, while the other stages are lagging a bit behind that point.
And I spent a lot more time reviewing notes for “The Long Way Home” and coming up with my own thoughts about what still needs editing in that manuscript.

Grammar checking with Microsoft Word is a process that I have to be careful with, I think, because while the automated tests can sometimes flag truly atrocious sentences that I never seem to notice when I’m reading the manuscript myself, and that sometimes slip by other readers – if I follow all of the suggestions about avoiding fragments and so on, I definitely I lose some of the unique voices of the characters. At some points I actually found myself growling ‘That’s voice!’ to the laptop while clicking on the ‘Ignore this rule violation’ button.

I’m not quite sure where to go next with “The Long Way Home” at this point… I might try to just pick something from the list that I’ve made that would be a fairly substantial rewrite of a scene or multiple scenes, and just start writing, in the hopes that I can get in touch with my creative side again, because my Inner Editor is all over the place and doesn’t seem to have a regimented plan for whipping the manuscript into shape. (Not that it’s in such terrible shape at the moment, but I know that it can be better, though I’m unsure about how to get there.)

One thing that was oddly fun about writing my Long-way-home list of things to fix, was getting into the possibility of powering-down my heroine’s magik arsenal, since it stands to reason that if things generally go too smoothly for your hero, taking away some of their resources or abilities and seeing them flounder a little and have to be clever about doing more with less sounds like a good tack to take. It works quite well in the Robert Asprin Myth-adventures series, actually, where for most of the books the Great Magician Skeeve has really only a few basic tricks down pat – but they’re also reasonably versatile tricks, and he’s smart about using them in fresh new ways.

Wish me luck for the final ten days of EdMo.


My ‘hone your skills’ Blogfest entry.

March 16, 2011

I’m not quite clear anymore on why I signed up for this blogfest.

The thing is, I don’t really write short-short stories that often, and out of the complete stories that I have that are about the right length, I’ve already shared most of them on this blog since I started doing ‘Sharing Exercise Friday.’ And I didn’t really want to do a repeat for a blogfest.

But I found this little piece in my files, it was from some kind of a prompt at the Chester’s Beers of the world Hamilton Writers group. It’ll be interesting to hear what you think.

On the Halos of a Dilemma.

She hesitated at the post box, not knowing if she should really send the letter.

This was one of those moments where you normally pictured an angel on one shoulder and a devil on the other, Caroline thought. The problem was, at the moment, she had two little critters who both appeared to have white robes and halos arguing with each other, and she couldn’t really tell if one was a devil in disguise, or maybe they were both well-meaning angels who happened to be having a difference of opinion over her tough choice.

“You have to tell her,” the voice from her right shoulder told her. “There are certain things that you have to do if you want to do the right thing, and this is one of them. You’ve stumbled across a secret that’s about your friend’s life, and you can’t keep it from her. You have to let her know somehow, and this is the best way – anonymously, so that she isn’t hurt by finding out how you know, on top of everything else.”

“Oh, yeah, let’s start there, shall we?” came the reply from left shoulder. “So that she isn’t hurt. Isn’t it better to start with sparing Lizzie as much pain as you can, rather than inflexible rules? If you tell her this, then you’re causing her pain, and not sparing her any further down the road. There’s no upside except keeping your own conscience clear of keeping the secret, so just suck it up and do what’s best for Liz.”

“That’s just a load of rationalizing…” Right shoulder started.

Read the rest of this entry »


Blogosphere Monday: Alison Pearce Stevens

February 14, 2011

Prior Blogosphere spotlights.

Well, it’s late and I need to go to bed soon, but I’m sending a shout-out and a spotlight tonight to Alison Pearce Stevens’ blog.

Alison writes science picture books, how cool is that? Her blog has lots of great stuff about marketing writing, and she’s in the A-Z challenge and a fellow crusader! She’s also putting together a great blogfest about snooping on your characters, so surf on over and take a good look!

See you on Wednesday for a new chapter of ‘Wizard of Mars’, I guess.


Blogfest – top ten songs.

January 24, 2011

Blogosphere Index

Well, if I’m looking for somebody to feature on Blogosphere Monday, and I see a fun-sounding Blogfest scheduled for the right day… I’m gonna do the blogfest. That’s just kind of an obvious one by now. Even if it keeps me up until past my bedtime, sigh.

So, from Captain Ninja Alex – the Top Ten Songs Blogfest!

Now, trying to pick my top ten favorite songs at the moment, or of all time, is one of those impossible tasks, so I’m going to instead go for picking ten great songs where I can actually tell a little story about why I like them so much. Be warned, my taste in music does does skew a little to the right – as in the Country music, but I’m trying to not load the list too badly in that direction.

10. I never really knew what music to connect with the name ‘Billy Joel’ (aside from “Uptown Girl,” which seemed catchy but shallow,) until I caught myself humming “The Longest Time” after it had been playing at a Hamilton write-in and made a memo to look it up. From the Billy Joel Essential collection on Itunes, I found “The Downeaster Alexa.”

Again, the celtic melody and harmonies draw me into this number, but it’s the lyrics, and the story that they tell, that really make me love the song – the vivid way in which it portrays a fisherman’s life, and the stoic resolve with which the protagonist clings to what might be a vanishing trade.

“Tell my wife I am trawling Atlantis / And I still have my hands on the wheel.”

“I was a bayman, like my father was before / Can’t make a living as a bayman anymore.”

Read the rest of this entry »


%d bloggers like this: