dotsandlines: Applejack is not in her comfort zone. (MLP: Applejack Sewing)
I'm doing a fake-Nanowrimo thing, in which I attempt to write at a Nano pace (1667 words a day) on a pre-existing project. My new goal is to finish this story with which I've been playing for the last few years, so that I can, I dunno, edit it, write something else, move on with my life? Seems like a thing to do.

It's exhausting. Exhausting! I resorted to whiting out all of the text as soon as I finish a scene, so that I don't worry about it till this project is over. I suspect a lot of it sucks. Not going back, except to add paragraphs here and there. Still exhausting.

It's working OK - I'm still on pace, though I've been slowing down - but my brain is just bruised.

Social life is also exhausting, even though there isn't much of it. Sick of being a seat-warmer, someone that people hang around until someone more interesting shows up. Blech. May your seats be ever frosty. I want to tell myself that I deserve better than this.

Should stop reading the book I'm currently reading, because it is guess what?! Yep. It should be savored like a fine, nostalgia-laden, deeply awkward wine instead of feeding into my current anxiety. But it's adorable and sweet and sad and I recommend it anyway. (I'm only ~halfway through, but still.)

...oh, and 21st century farce: my dad joined Facebook, so I can't say much of anything there anymore. Ha.
dotsandlines: (Futurama: Shasta & Rush)
At Half Price Books, I bought a book about 1603 and one about the history of military medicine. In other words, I'm spending money on research for a book I don't intend to publish. Useless hobbies are fun. Woo. (My story isn't set in 1603, but that's about the latest era it could be analogous to right now.)

Also joined Goodreads, because I like rambling about books, and I like recommendations.

Edit: Oh, and I also bought another used copy of Erasure's best-of, since I loaned out my previous copy and never got it back (and pretty much all of my older Erasure CDs have worn out). So now I once again own a copy of "A Little Respect". Awesome. It's one of my favorite songs to sing, but I suck at it. I just can't handle the notes on "soul" and "calling" in the chorus. Oh, I can reach them, but by the time we've slid to the end of the word, I'm in some entirely incorrect key.

I might be the only dork who was squeeful over the copy of "A Little Respect" at the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame.

This has been today's 1 a.m. geek-out. Tomorrow a new episode of Welcome to Night Vale comes out, so that'll be tomorrow's 1 a.m. geekout.
dotsandlines: Lawrence being consoled by his horse. (Spice and Wolf: There there.)
My genre angst screeched to a halt this morning when I realized that my most popular fanwork was a straight-up romance novel. I knew that at the time, but just didn't fully put it into words. Uh...duh.

Also in that genre: one of my three finished NaNoWriMo projects (a comedy, but still) and half of everything I wrote between ages 15-21. I am not heading toward dissolution; I'm already there.

I'm freeeee~!

I guess I worry because I don't read the genre, even though I've been writing it since adolescence. That makes me kind of a punk, and not in the cool musical sense - in the "you think you can stomp in and own everything, newcomer?" sense.

So I'll be careful of that. Otherwise, enough apologizing about genre.
dotsandlines: Lawrence being consoled by his horse. (Spice and Wolf: There there.)
Calling for beta-readers. Post back here, due to its ever so slightly wider reach. But basically, if you're in the mood to read an ~80 page excerpt from an original story out of the goodness of your heart, let me know.
dotsandlines: Applejack is not in her comfort zone. (MLP: Applejack Sewing)
Juuuust realized that if I write one or two more (longish) scenes, Sequel 2 will have about eighty contiguous, theoretically readable pages without any "and stuff goes here" gaps, AND include the beginning of a couple of key conflicts. You know, like the beginning of a story. I've been passing through it to tweak a few things and make it more readable as a stand-alone. I think it can.

Hmmmm. Uggghhh. Hmmm. Thoughts. Decisions. Dangit.

I am not thinking about publishing; I am thinking about begging for feedback from anyone who would agree to read it. Why? I don't even know. Curiosity, mostly.

I'll see how that thought looks in the cold light of day. And then write those two more longish scenes.


I've already rambled/ranted on FB, so I'll just mention it once here: new fandom woo! I've been listening to this all week, and caught up with the first 28 episodes. It's so charmingly cracked.
dotsandlines: (ATLA: OBJECTION!)
Finished the book that I didn't like.

I know what I learned today! I learned that I could write a better romance novel than ONE person on earth, if I tried to!

Ye gods.

"Jade orbs", I think. I think he un-ironically used the phrase "jade orbs", or "emerald", or "sapphire", or somesuch. And "alabaster skin", multiple times.

But here's the crux of the problem, and the larger What I Learned Today.

Learning from books that you don't like: Empathy. Have some. )


In other news, I think I hatched a NaNoWriMo-able idea on the way to work this morning. I'm thinking about jumping back in this year. I'm thinking about jumping back in as a way to force myself out of the house, contradictory as that sounds. Local meetups? Writing in a coffeehouse? Something. I love my husband dearly, but I am going stir-crazy not talking to anyone else outside of work.

People terrify me, and yet I feel like hell if I don't get at least some dose of them. Go figure, huh?

(I do go to a weekly crafting meetup, but there's not much "there" there. The other members have made it abundantly clear that I could never understand their complex psychology with my puny mainstream brain, so I'd better not even try to be their friends. OK then! Can I borrow your scissors? I guess that's that.)

In other other news, fun article despite the Buzzfeedy/Crackedy title:

7 Deadly Sins of Worldbuilding

#4 (not everyone agrees on everything) and #7 (think about how your non-realistic factors would affect everything) are my favorites. Fun times.

You know, I should remember that I like that kind of stuff, and try something short and speculative sometime.
dotsandlines: (Princess Tutu: Ha...ha.)
Turns out that putting my notes on my Kindle and using it while I work on the computer doesn't work that well, because the note-taking app that I have on the Kindle is really awkward. I can peck in words with the touch keyboard, barely, but you can't copy/paste/move blocks of text around, nor can you erase blocks of text. You just have to sit there leaning on the "delete" button.

Soooo it was a good idea in theory, and if I had a flashier gadget, it would probably work a treat. (I don't want one at the moment - mine is fine - but that's the circumstance under which this idea would have worked.)

So I'm transferring my notes back to the computer. Next experiment: note cards! - Sometime. Not right now.

Stats next week. I realized this past month that over time, I've deep-sixed the entire first year of writing that I did on this project. It's for the best, but that's still an alarming thing to realize.
dotsandlines: Applejack is not in her comfort zone. (MLP: Applejack Sewing)
During an overnight trip, I spent a couple of hours copy-editing a story that my husband had written, then did a bunch of editing on the Kindle on my story. It's improving, I think.

We also talked a bit about the value of outside opinions / viewpoints, which made me a little sad that my stuff is still unreadable by humans. Yes, you need a strong idea of what you want and shouldn't be guided solely by others' opinions. But a second opinion can be very valuable. I started outlining the plot as it stands, and realized why I'm having issues: I'm accidentally writing the sequel first.

Breakdown, i.e. stats from now on )
dotsandlines: From the Comedy Central Rally to Restore Sanity (Mythbusters: Laugh Like a Mad Scientist)
Apparently my new hobby is overdoing things. Attacking the Aerith and Bob problem with a bazooka today, I renamed three of the five narrators and several of the side characters. I (finally?) made a list of every named character, noted the ones that annoyed me, and then brainstormed and tried things out until I had workable(?) replacements.

I knocked out all of the Bobs, and made an attempt to align characters from each country with reasonably similar-sounding names. It was an alarming hour or two with Search & Replace. Still have to go through to look for unintentional rhyming/awkwardness/alliteration and toss in nicknames when they would flow better.

Also cut off the last ~4,000 [edit] 10,000 words, which had been completely retconned by earlier plot points and would be easier to rewrite from scratch. The next stat check is going to be...interesting.

Gotta admit: it's been a strange, slow reversal. At the start I would pretty much rather die than let anyone read this story, and now I'm having more fun imagining how it would work as a published piece. IMAGINING, mind you. It's just fun to think about. My first loyalty is still to the integrity of the story (loony though it may be) and to having fun.

(As a side note, I make a lot of backups. Still.)
dotsandlines: Applejack is not in her comfort zone. (MLP: Applejack Sewing)
It's early, but I'm about to start trying to make major plot changes, so I wanted to get a before & after (or at least before & later) snapshot.

Early stats )
dotsandlines: (Princess Tutu: Ha...ha.)
I still exist. So what's going on?

What's going on with me, leaving aside some real-life stuff:

Trying to get through a cute commission project, a pair of bears from Sword Art Online and Fairy Tail. And after that I'm freeeeeeee, and will mess around with whatever I want to sew.

Doing fairly well at keeping my exercise schedule together - four days a week, mostly alternating between Dance Central 3 and Your Shape: Fitness Evolved 2012. The latter has some really annoying quirks, like an unhelpful and insincere-sounding voiceover "trainer" and a habit of docking points without telling you what you're doing wrong. Apart from that, though, it has some fun minigames and a lot of variety.

Planted a TON of things in the front yard. We are out of space. It doesn't look like it now, with the big spaces between the plants, but they will grow and I'll replace the ones that don't and in three or four years, it will be freaking fantastic. I was able to do that only after accepting that we can't handle the back yard yet. That this will be a multi-year project, year as in YEAR. That I don't have to do everything now.

Haven't been working on AMVs much lately. I will eventually. Just not right now. Actually, I just realized that I haven't seen this year's VCAs yet. I always try to at least catch those so that I'm not entirely out of touch. Eh, eventually.

As noted in many previous posts, I am still plinking away at the original story. I'd like to ramble a bit about writing itself, and why I (have to) keep doing it. )
dotsandlines: Applejack is not in her comfort zone. (MLP: Applejack Sewing)
Every time I roam through the cheap-and/or-free ebook selection on my Kindle, I become more convinced that I should finish writing something. ANYTHING. Ever.

I should download and read some of this stuff, so as to have more things to read AND get a better idea of where the bar is set. However, I am a little paranoid about Amazon's recommendation stats. The next time a relative tries to buy me a birthday gift, I don't need them to be chirpily informed that I would "probably" enjoy schmoopy sword & sorcery or romance novels about goat herders or something.

In particular, romance novels are potentially entertaining (I love characterization and character dynamics, and even bad writing is fun), but the genre is so subdivided that I wouldn't even know where to start. I might now know what non-anime fans feel like upon being exposed to a corner of our fandom. Why is everyone 14 years old? Do the robots go with the girls in miniskirts? Sometimes.* What's with all the cat ears? I don't knooooooooow!

So for now, I am just reading Midnight Blue-Light Special and writing a lot of plot outlines - but I've never written plot outlines before, so that in itself is something. I still feel like this project is unreadable by humans. But if it is, maybe it will be epically, transcendently unreadable by humans. I suspect not, given my personality, but who knows.

* Speaking of which, I binge-watched Escaflowne last weekend for no particular reason. I'd borrowed it from a friend, and it was high time I gave it back. I watched the subtitled version while doing a jigsaw puzzle that I'd gotten as a Christmas gift, so I apparently missed some things. I didn't realize that Millerna and Dryden were married, for one thing. Uh, I did notice some giant robots.
dotsandlines: Lawrence being consoled by his horse. (Spice and Wolf: There there.)
- Intend to spend the evening crafting
- Realize that the bit I wrote on Saturday kind of sucked, return to give it a look
- Start to fix it
[3 or 4 hours and 2,400 words later...]
- Wind up somewhere else entirely, with two characters that didn't even trade two words in the first draft having an adorable Moment on the way to the Scene-That-Sucks, which hasn't even come up yet
- Regret nothing

I will get on track tomorrow. And Scene-That-Sucks isn't nagging the back of my mind anymore. I've got a looong digression of a lead-in, at least.

I do not write like a well-oiled machine. Tangents are fun, and editing is fun, and both of those are why I've only gotten to 2.8 NaNoWriMos worth of material in 2+ years. Regret nothing.
dotsandlines: (ATLA: OBJECTION!)
Unstuck in the story. Kind of. Sometimes I convince myself to just TRY a new scene, even if it starts out sucking - and it does start out sucking, but it improves later. And then I get to edit. I do love editing. Passed the 140,000 word mark, which means I get another bit of money in the "totally gratuitous entertainment" fund.

Mostly unstuck with crafting. I squandered most of the week, and seem to have mislaid the reference photos I've already printed. But I'm mostly unstuck.

Skipped two workouts in a row, however - not good. I will, WILL!! do one tomorrow morning.

Still reading and reading and reading the Vorkosigan books. I will be sad when I run out of them. But there are still several to go.

Real life/family drama happening tomorrow, most likely. Come at me, life.
dotsandlines: Rarity at her sewing machine, from MLP: FIM. Don't think too hard about how she's holding that fabric. (MLP: Rarity Sewing)
Please excuse any crankiness today. I've spent all week worrying about getting stomach flu, which... makes my stomach hurt. Fitting, I suppose. Still, it's astronomically better than actually having the stuff. My last bout with that (circa age 9) was the worst one-time experience of my life, to the point where it represents, to me, a particular feeling of being entirely alone and unloved in the universe.

I'm a little neurotic. Next!

Writing stats, i.e. better news )
dotsandlines: (ATLA: OBJECTION!)
Minor? writing mishap )

I read an article the other day that had an interesting thesis. And though it's aimed at your stereotypical guys whining about how girls don't like them, I think there's something worth reading for the rest of us, too. The ideas have hung around in my brain since then.

I think this is the longest ramble I've written since moving to DW )

So I guess that's my New Year's aspiration post, even though I hate the timing of New Year's resolutions: right when my willpower is in the tank. But I can feel jazzed about life in general. So that's what it's about.
dotsandlines: (ATLA: Wave Dance)
I was in a mood to buy music at Half Price Books today, during their sale:
Goldfrapp - Black Cherry (fault: DDR; "Strict Machine" is on a later mix) Not done listening to this yet. About what I expected; groovy and kind of dark.

The Ting Tings - We Started Nothing (fault: Pandora; "Shut Up and Let Me Go" has turned up on a couple of my regular stations) Catchier than I expected. Favorite there: "That's Not My Name". Aaaaugh that cheerleading beat thing. It's in my head. Ohhh Mickey you're so fine, you're so fine you blow my mind, Hey Mickey!

The White Stripes - White Blood Cells (in that "What, I don't already own this?!" category. Also fault: Pandora; "We're Going to Be Friends" is so cute) Favorite: Still WGTBF.

Bowling for Soup - Sorry for Partyin' (have a couple of their other albums, all of which sound the same. This one is pretty meh, but the first track is funny)

Since I've been indulging a whim to buy Really Bad Music on iTunes lately, I feel that my music karma has balanced a bit. I've been treating iTunes in that "whee, I don't have to face a real live clerk" fashion that drives people to buy Fifty Shades of Grey on their Kindles. which I have not done. Not my bag. And most of that is fault: AMVs.

Speaking of which: work continues on the Probably Last Utena AMV, not at full tilt, but slowly and steadily. I don't feel like it's one of my personal best, not yet, but it's solid. Who knows; it could become more than the sum of its parts along the way. I'm planning to send the Princess Jellyfish video to Tekkoshocon anyway, so I'll still have that.

Also writing a lot lately. I'm happy with that. Wrote a pair of scenes involving a minor character (previously only mentioned in passing) who turned out to have a lot of personality, and in the meandering that resulted from that, I may have solved a long-standing plot problem elsewhere in the story. Maybe it's too pat, but right now I don't care. I'd rather see how this works first. Also, it's always fun to uncover entertaining side characters.


May. 15th, 2012 08:51 pm
dotsandlines: (Futurama: Shasta & Rush)
I just realized that Word can filter out text boxes / sidebars in its word count. Commence stuffing the "this scene goes here" notes in text boxes, since I'm too tired today to do anything else...

Corrected count:
Words with notes: 119,642 (+449)
Words without notes: 111,037 (includes some overlapping rewrites) - this is the new baseline.
Pages: 234

That was pointless-yet-handy. The whole point of tracking word count is to vaguely estimate forward motion, which is itself a stand-in for "Am I still trying new things with this and having fun with it, or just picking over the stuff I've already done?" It doesn't actually matter how long it is. It's just gratifying to see things change over time, and that's easier to do if you mark the proverbial doorjamb.

I'm now tempted to say "Well, since I've gotten comfortable with the idea of writing as a hobby again, do I have anything that is worth sharing and not just therapy/drawerfic?" That's kind of jumping the gun. I don't know. Might be nice, someday. Keeping my expectations low.
dotsandlines: The constellation Orion (Default)
I felt as though video editing wouldn't work for me at the moment, and that was true. Sewing has been easier; I'm just waiting for a delivery of plush for the next project. I hope the color is OK. Gray can be difficult.

Stats, and it's fun to take evil overlord quizzes )


I came across the term "feral fan" a little while ago, while reading about live-action video editing. On one hand, it kind of feels nice to have a name for what you are. On the other hand, I feel very conflicted about the idea of fandom's apprenticeship/guild system. I understand that that's how it is; I just don't know how I feel about it. (And yes, I understand that it exists no matter how I feel about it.)

Hm. It's interesting to see how it's viewed from the outside (errrr, the inside).


dotsandlines: The constellation Orion (Default)

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