Wednesday, June 26, 2013

I'm back. Again. With news. Related to writing.

So I went to a writing workshop.  An awesome writing workshop.  I made friends.  FRIENDS.  Who knew I had it in me.

(That's my favorite gif ever.  Someday after I rewatch the latter half of Supernatural, I'll write a long and nonsensical blogpost about how Cas and I are soulmates.  If I had a penny for every time I used the aforementioned quote, I would be a rather well-off individual.)


Remember... um.  Did I call it by its name?  Better Angels?  The Paul/Ananias idea, anyway.  I can't remember if I've referred to it by its real title.  I just really don't remember a whole lot right now (exhaustion yo).  But anyway, that little pet project?  It's done.  I finished it on the last day of the writing workshop.  It came in a little over 80k, which is the longest standalone I've ever written.  Rather proud of my little semi-Christian attempt.  I'm happy it's done.  It was emotionally exhausting.

I'm also attempting the July Camp NaNo.  Probably going to try to get 50k of Pyxis done.  Pyxis being the first book in the Aster Quartet, the books I wangsted about a month or so back.  So get ready for lots of emoting in that quarter.

Uhm.  I think that's it.  OH.  I do have one more writing bunny.  I'll rant about it the next time I remember I have a blog, hopefully before July starts because I'd like to clock in my WC after the first day.  So.  I'll be back later with elucidation on the Hindu/medieval dystopia about the boy with purple eyes.

(I feel like I should have a catchphrase to say goodbye with.  And I feel like it should have something to do with Supernatural.  How about... 


...No?  Well, I'll keep thinking.

Sunday, June 2, 2013

more writing... words.

It doesn't take much when it happens.

Usually it's something as small as a quote half-read on Pinterest, or a line of music played on a piano by someone who means it.  Sometimes it's the feel of azalea leaves under my fingertips.  The sound the trees make when wind starts rushing through their branches.  The way my carkeys fit into my hand or how my brother's sneakers hit the floor.

It never takes much, but it's a hair trigger.  It just takes a touch.

It's all the stories, all the people, that could potentially come from me, imploding inside my veins.  "It's as if millions of voices suddenly cried out in terror" except there's no terror and there's no sudden silence.  All the future beings that might live inside my head wake up and all together announce their presence.

It's like static, it's like emotions, it's like thousands of years of lives and relationships and voices tangling up just under my skin and if I don't write them or at least write something to drown them out then I'll just go up in flames or explode or turn to dust or at the very least have a heart attack and die because my physical body is too weak for this.  Or maybe I'll just go insane and start talking back to the creatures in my head.

Sometimes I wonder if it's a healthy way to survive.  But I'd rather have the insanity than the silence.  Being crammed with impatient people is better than being on your own.

Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Writing angst!

It's been almost a month.  How have you people survived without me complaining a bit?

Let me tell you a story.

In early June, roughly, of 2004, I finished my very first book (barring the hand-written 'book' about the wolf three years prior).  I was eight years old.  This book was about 100 pages long, written in 19-point Baskerville Semi-Bold.  It told the first part of the epic story of four ordinary girls prophesied to save an entire planet - an alien one, in which Angels watched over and participated in a violent war between the planet's inhabitants.

I called my mom and I emailed my cousin.  I was thrilled.  I was beyond paralyzed with delight.  My first book was done, and the girls' journey - the journey of STAR - was just started.  I had no idea that the journey would keep going.  And going.  And going.

And going.

I had no idea that I'd been Doctor Frankenstein to the Energizer Bunny of youngster-written series.

Today, only a few days from my officially-sanctioned birthday of what is, for now, The Aster Trilogy, I looked over my three notebooks' worth of notes and almost chucked the whole project out.  Because as much as I like to imagine myself as Sherlock Holmes, I'm far too much Jawn and my emotions occasionally get the best of me.

I was thinking of a girl I don't really know but know of.  She's in the writing group I mention a lot.  She's written... I don't know, seven drafts, I think, of her novel, over... five years?  I can't remember.  I've never read her writing but everyone in the writing group is in awe.  Lots of them have read the drafts.   Everyone has beautiful things to say about her and her book.  Life-changing.  Spiritually energizing.  Special.

I started thinking about that and then I looked at my heaping mass of steaming, stinking crap that I've accumulated over nine years of writing and rewriting and losing drafts and changing storylines and ditching and creating new characters.  I must have written ten versions of the first Aster book; as many for the second; five for the third; and at least one for the fourth, fifth, and even sixth book.  I've never actually finished the series, but I've still written about thirty books.  In the same series.  Today, the grand total of usable books is two.  I thought I was done.  Just one more book, and then it'd just be editing and tweaking, maybe a few scenes added or deleted.

Today I realized I'd have to start over.  Again.

And I thought What in heck is the point to this anymore?  There is none.  I'm torturing myself.  This series will never be done.  Nobody except my cousin has read it, and her life, I'm fairly certain, has not been made better or even just changed by the reading.  It's not spiritual.  It has no mention of God in it.  I didn't even put great themes like Harry Potter's in it.  It's not a life-changing story.  It's a story about four witchy teenage girls who fight and complain their way through a really close encounter.

It's basically worthless.


Except, from the time I was nine until after I turned fifteen, when Sacrifice happened (I don't count the 40k Bloods book), Aster books were the only books I finished.

They were the first books I wrote where I really, really liked the characters.

I wrote my own fanfic for these characters.

I drew diagrams, I created maps, I formulated timelines.

In between the long hiatuses and the times I ignored it and the times I sat up almost in tears because it was never going to work, I have to stop writing these damn books (pardon my French), I had fun.

The story still appeals to me; the subplots and backstories still manage to get to me; the characters keep growing and growing; and I continue to understand the world better.

It's probably still a waste of time.  I'll be amazed if I finish these books by the time I'm forty.  And it won't change anyone's lives.  It's an action flick of a series, that's all; shallow, pointless.  The kind of books literature teachers and youth pastors cringe at because there is no possible moral or lesson they could squeeze out of these pointless pages.

But still.

June the first, The Aster Trilogy's ninth birthday, will find me up at all hours, working on the new version.  Maybe it'll be the final version.  I didn't know what I'd started when I was nine years old.  It follows that I won't know what I'll finish before it's through.

Tuesday, April 30, 2013

And then things end.

It's the last day of NaNo.

Say that out loud looking off somewhere to middle stage with enough melancholy in your voice and it sounds nice.  I didn't try that in real life, of course.

The last day of NaNo has been successful.  I reached my 40k goal and then a few hundred or so.  Better Angels, as it has become titled, is about halfway done.  I'm going to try to keep to the 1.3k goal in May and see if I can finish it before then.

But I know I won't, because NaNo is over.  It may be a personal drive but there's no real reason.  Because NaNo ended.  Because things end.

Another thing that's ended: SVVA.

Of course I didn't finish it and then bury my head under a pillow.  Of course I didn't send my little sparkly Viking vampire alien off to an unknown world and then have a nice cry.  Of course I didn't succumb to such ridiculous emotions.

Of course I'm lying.

Nine months.  I'm not even going to notice the convenient number there.  But nine months.  Much of that being procrastination, but still.  Nine months.

Most of the books I've finished lately have been NaNo projects that were over in a month or a little over.  I'm not accustomed to long-time projects now.  I forgot how they worm under your skin and settle down right between the two halves of your heart like they belong there, like they and they alone stitch the parts together and keep you alive.

I think it'll be good for my temperament and well-being if I keep to short-term projects that need to be finished in a month or two.  This is stressful.

When did writing become not-fun and bittersweet and just generally ouch?

Don't answer that.

Friday, April 5, 2013


Not quite a week into Camp NaNo.  It's going pretty well.  I'm about to 7k words with a goal of 40k, so I'm doing fairly well.

I have another ramble, though.  A completely unplanned one that's come about today by a lot of stressful things that makes me want to straighten out what's in my head.  And unfortunately for my few readers, that means a blog post.

I'm a fledgling personality type geek.  MBTI types fascinate me.  Probably because I'm an INTJ and I don't understand people and this gives me a practical, if basic, plan of action when it comes to my fellow man.  And also as the 'machine' of the sixteen types, I get a lot of flack just for how I'm hardwired - less than a percent of females are INTJs and people don't seem to like machines, especially female ones.  Researching other INTJs makes me feel better about myself and thus probably eases the arrogance that typically comes out when I feel like I have to defend myself and my apparent lack of emotion.

Relationships for me are particularly hard because... people are people.  Flawed.  They don't work quite right; their pieces don't make them function as they should.  They don't make sense.  It puts me on edge.  It makes it hard for me to like many people, much less like them a lot.  It takes a lot to earn my trust, and when I say that, it's not a 'I trust you so I'm going to be emotional and spill my guts to you all the time' that you find a lot in romcoms.

Trusting for some INTJs/me is just deciding that you're steady enough for me to rely on to not screw me or yourself over.  That you're mature enough, intelligent enough, or even just intrinsically good enough not to change or do stupid things or - as happens, whether accidentally or purposefully - hurt me.

Basically -
Me: I've determined that you're a more functional human being than most.  You're not going to pull the rug out from under me by being an idiot or being cruel; therefore you are a safe place for me to stow my emotions.

Yes, we're wired for arrogance, how could you tell?

Safety.  It's all about safety because safety is what intelligent people go for and we like to think we're intelligent.

I'm probably more of a middle-spectrum INTJ.  Because while this is true - erasing is, again, the intelligent way to go, so as to save emotional energy - for me, it also really, really hurts before the erasing is complete.

It's confusing, "that dirtiest of all dirty words."  Confusion is only a step above boredom on the ladder of Worst Mental States.  I'm constantly trying to figure out what went wrong - was it me, or was it them? - where the relationship deviated from the plans.  But since the erasure is usually in the works as soon as trust is lost, I just can't get those answers.  So it's a Mobius strip of bewilderment.  A sentence missing a few vital parts of speech, an equation missing a few variables.

If I could verbalize how much stress this puts me under and how much sleep I've lost and how much I've hated myself - well, I probably wouldn't post it in a blog.  Too emotional.  But that's all happened.  Multiple times.  And it's always enough to send me back into the internal world where everything makes sense, sometimes for weeks or months.  Because if one person turned out not to work properly, and the human race has been giving proof of its faultiness for millennia, why trust anyone?

I'm blessed with a small circle of amazing friends that always manage to pull me out of that, even if they don't know it.  I appreciate them.  But I still have nightmares about the relationships that malfunctioned because I've never figured them out.  Faulty information does that.

Monday, March 25, 2013

I think I'm breaking a rule here...

But this isn't the second part to the previous post's first.  I realized that, what with Doctor Who finally starting up again this Saturday, it might be in a bit bad taste to post a list of particulars on why I dislike the current *handwave* attitude/atmosphere for the good Doctor.

Lol not really.  I wish I was that respectful.  Seriously, I just want to plug some of my own writing.  Humility is strong with this one, amirite?

Anyway.  This is a new project whose form has not yet been decided.  More like it hasn't told me what form it should take.  Right now it could be a novel, a novella, a collection of short stories... I'm not sure what incarnation it'll take.

Whatever form it does take, I do have a premise.  Acts 9, just a few scant verses of it, forms the basis of this idea, which is roughly titled To Be Or Not.  The stuff about Paul and Ananias.  This is one of those ideas that causes me to black out during the sermon because characters are being dragged kicking and screaming into my head, determined not to tell their stories, but my magical powers of deduction wiling it out of them.

Ha, ha.  Anyway.

The setting is a '30s Italian-inspired country, Salvare.  Religious uproars everywhere.  Just picture Israel after Jesus died/rose.  That's the state of the place.

We have Aristides Aiolfi - our Saul/Paul figure, the Butcher of Salvare, a young zealot ruthlessly hunting down religious deviants at the encouragement of the Church.  It's what he knows, the family business - almost all of his older male relatives are powerful Churchmen, all suffering at the hands of this dangerous new cult.  Aris is set to follow in the family footsteps, and the holy war against the Following can only help him and give him peace.

And then we have Zelindo Foschi, the Ananias, the Angel of Via Retto, a young man who's supposed to die in a year or two of a painful terminal illness.  He was one of the first believers in Arrigo (the Jesus figure), from the time Arrigo first showed up three years prior, when Zel was a young teenager still waiting to get out of the orphanage.  And yet, unlike the thousand other people that got their mild needs healed, Zel is still dying.  He covers up his waning belief by wasting himself on serving - on earning his nickname, the Angel.

And the Lord said unto [Ananias], Arise, and go into the street which is called Straight, and inquire in the house of Judas for one called Saul, of Tarsus: for behold, he prayeth, And hath seen in a vision a man named Ananias coming in, and putting his hand on him, that he might receive his sight.

Ananias's reaction: "Lord, I have heard by many of this man, how much evil he hath done to thy saints at Jerusalem: and here he hath authority from the chief priests to bind all that call on thy name."

In other words, "Oh heck no." But, of course, Ananias goes.  And Saul/Paul goes on to being a big uppity-up in the Christian circles.

After Acts 9, I don't recall Ananias coming up again. (Maybe he does, I'm no Bible scholar, but I can't remember him.)  But what's just occurred - this amazing meeting, these direct interventions by God in the lives of both of these men - it's just delicious.  It makes me happy.  It's simply begging to be turned into a friendship of Holmes/Watson opposite attraction, a violent implosion of two enemies who suddenly find they're on the same ground, a relationship that breaks itself apart before it heals itself again.

Or maybe my brain is just on overdrive and I'm reading too much into a handful of Bible verses.

Either way, the story has made itself known, and Zel and Aris are here to stay.  It's a definite possibility for my Camp NaNo project (which I'll try to keep updated about once April comes [she will]).  Even if it's not, I plan on writing snippets of it off and on starting now.

This is one of those projects I get really excited about.  It's not so much plot or setting as character. And I adore character.  Zel and Aris are some of the most interesting chars who've presented themselves to me in such a short time.  Expect spam.  Expect a lot of spam.

Monday, March 18, 2013

Get over yourself.

This is sort of the first part of a two-part post I'm planning on writing.  It was originally going to be one post with a disclaimer.  But I realized I'd end up ranting for a couple paragraphs because this is a touchy subject with me and I figured why not just make the original rant shorter for the loss of the page-long disclaimer?

So this is the prologue to the oncoming blogpost, which I'm roughly entitling Doctor Who And Why I Call Myself a Whooligan and Not A Whovian Because My Favorite Season Was Season One and Whovians Hate Me For That.

I'm still working on the title.

But anyway.  The disclaimer was going to say this: loads of Whovians who watched the original Doctor Who before the rebooted show have told me that Eleven is more like the original Doctors, and that's why they prefer him to Nine or Ten.  And that's totally fine.  Different opinions - I like them.  The trouble comes when, as has happened to me, people get belligerent and say that Eleven is the best New Who Doctor and that the people who don't like him obviously have something wrong with them - and if they don't know the original Doctors, then they're obviously n00bs and their opinion is moot.

As John Green said, this is one of those few things that turns me into a giant squid of anger.

Especially now with all of the reboots, remakes, and revitalizations, elitism like this is everywhere.  The people who've been in fandoms before it was cool have disdain to spare for the oncoming newbies.  (Not all of them; I just want to make that clear.  There are idiots and smart people in every group.)  And sometimes I see someone who's had experience in a fandom or an area of interest, and they just swarm over a confused newbie like a one-man cloud of vampire bats, with this wad of corrections and clarifications and facepalms.

It's not. cool. guys.

Entertainment like this is not a big deal.  It's fun.  That's what entertainment is FOR - it's for FUN.  It's for relaxing and deepening your mind and maybe making friends that you wouldn't have made otherwise.

You do not use entertainment - movies, novels, mythologies, comic books, TV shows, radio programs - to talk down to people because they got something wrong.  Okay?  You don't.

A person should be able to enjoy the Marvel Cinematic Universe without getting lambasted because he's never read all hundred billion comics that came before.  A girl should be able to say she really enjoyed The Kane Chronicles even if she knows nothing about Egyptian mythology.  I should be able to talk about Doctor Who even if my favorite Doctor is Nine, I hate Amy with every fiber of my being, and I occasionally write Dr. Who instead of Doctor.  A guy should be able to say he enjoyed the book and the movie without getting "THEY CHANGED THE BOOK SO MUCH" shouted in his face as if he didn't notice himself.  And a girl should be able to say she enjoys Twilight without getting venom spit at her.

Elitism like is hurtful and damaging and it just makes you look like an idiot.  Not all fans do it - fandom people are generally awesome - and of course the nasty fans don't affect everybody the same way.  Some people can roll it off.  Other people internalize.  And before anyone says that they should get used to it - which they should, I agree - I can also say that they shouldn't have to.

I mean, come on.  Jesus loved noobs!  He didn't go around talking down to Gentiles because they didn't have the entire Jewish history in their bloodlines.  I think it was the people who thought they knew everything who ended up getting most of His righteous indignation, wasn't it?

So what this all boils down to, in the end, is respect.  Respect that other people have different opinions. Respect that some people just like Greek stories and that they don't know Ancient Greek and that it sure as heck isn't hurting you if they don't know that Hercules is Roman and not Greek.  Respect that someone doesn't have time to read all the original Avengers comic books and that even if they had the time they might not have the money and that where on earth do you get comic books anymore anyway?    Respect that maybe Owl City's latest album is actually their first introduction to electronica and that just because all they know yet is "Good Time" doesn't mean they don't have all the necessary enthusiasm, love, and effort to put into a fandom.

Or that someone doesn't want to be as big a fan as you are!  What an idea, that someone doesn't want to be just as hardcore and awesome as you are.  Kick in the pants, that.

Let. people. alone.  Newbies don't need a teacher.  They need someone who'll sit and scream with them at Weeping Angels and who'll headbang along with them to OneRepublic's new song and someone who'll await the next book or episode with just as much agony as they have.

In other words, get over yourself.

Sunday, March 17, 2013


I think I've had several blogposts with titles similar to this.  Oh well.

Five months.  Things have happened.  Hmm.

-I went to the OYAN Winter Workshop in January.  Great way to spend the beginning of the year.  If you don't (which is unlikely since most of my followers are indeed OYANers, so hi to you guys!) then you should definitely look into OYAN.  I mean, if fiction writing is your thing.

-I'm officially accepted into the college of my choice, I have a giganto scholarship from them, and I'm in the Honors Courses.  Huzzah!

-I've read some stinking amazing books.  Check my Goodreads to look because I need to actually talk about stuff that's not going on and on and on about books.

-My Norse fascination has officially ended.  Apparently I inhaled all I wanted and I'm now moving on.  Not that I inhaled overmuch, but I prefer to be a Jack of all trades and master of none.  (Slipshod, maybe; don't judge me, I have a short attention span.)  My poor Prose Edda is still sitting over there, having been waiting to be read since Christmas.

-New obsession - to wit, Japanese culture/mythology/language/poetry - here I come!

-I like pudding.  No, seriously, I am obsessed with homemade pudding because homemade pudding is God's gift to His chosen few who make it themselves.  Pudding is included in my nightly prayers.

-There's a face on my chair.  Like a :D face, etched into the paint.  It's really cute.  It's smiling at me.

-I have a stuffed lobster named Larry.  Larry the Lobster is the official therapist in my room full of characters.  They all go to him and cry into his fuzzy fire-engine-red fuzz whenever they need a break.  Chance occasionally flirts with the lobster.  It's all good.

-DOWNTON. ABBEY.  S'all I'm gonna say.

-Except that IRON MAN 3 Y'ALL.  And we're supposed to get a Thor 2 trailer sometime in early April.  Marvel makes me all... fuzzy and warm inside.  Like I just ate a nice big bowl of pudding.  I'll probably post the trailer the day it comes out, complete with lots of caps/italics.

-AND SHERLOCK.  They're starting filming... I think this week.  Me, a stalker?  Noooooo.  I merely observe.

I think that's it.  It's a good rundown on my life since November, anyhow.  I'll try to post more often.  Lots of writing and TV and movie and otherwise related to entertainment... stuff.  Yes.  Stuff.  I like stuff.