Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Writing

I didn't write anything over the long weekend, except for 500 words yesterday and 500 words on the train this morning. I really liked writing in the morning. It kindof sucks while your doing it because I'm half falling asleep and I'm pretty sure it wasn't very good, but I'm happy to have done my work for the day in the morning. This way I have my night free to do errands, other stuff, whatever. It's a good feeling. One that is foreign to me, Ms. Procrastinate. I would like to try to write a bit more tonight, but I don't know if I want to purposely NOT write, to get in the habit of writing in the morning. We'll see how it goes. I finished my purse, so I don't have that to distract me anymore.

Two Quick Reviews

I finished both these books last week so I've had a little distance from them, but I still wanted to write up something quick about each. Oddly, both of the books revolved around death. And I read them over the rapture. Not on purpose.

The Goddess Test by Aimee Carter

This book was very quick and simple, but I still found it enjoyable. It had a unique structure that just screamed "New Writer" to me, but like I said it was still enjoyable. It's about the Greek Gods, specifically the story of Persephone and Hades, and it took a modern twist on the tale.

Like I said, this book suffered from "New Writer Syndrome." Not that it's a bad thing, because let's be serious it's way more than I have yet been able to do, but it is obvious. The characters are emotionless at times and I really could never get into the romance. Kate and Henry's interactions just seemed empty. There was no emotional pull. It was still a good story and I read it in a weekend, and I think it's a good book to pick up for new writers to see how some things work and others just don't. I would recommend it though.


Before I Fall by Lauren Oliver

This book I would definitely recommend. It's about the typical popular, stuck-up high school girl who thinks the world revolves around her. Then she is killed in a car accident, and is forced to relive her last day until she can break the cycle.I don't want to say much about this book because the ending slaps you in the face. All I can say is GO READ IT. It rocked. The main character goes through so much development and I had to force myself not to burst out in tears in the middle of the train when I finished it. Really gives you some perspective on life and the things you take for granted. I purposely waited to review this book because otherwise I would have been a snotty mess. Seriously, read it. Then give it to a friend.

Sunday, May 29, 2011

Bah

It's kindof starting to ache how much I haven't been writing. Maybe tomorrow. (Even that hurts.) Seriously though, I have to just do it. =/ Blah. I'm itching to do the writing but my brain is just out in space!

Thursday, May 26, 2011

My new phone makes smiley faces that look like aliens

And I love it. Anyway, I have some serious catching up to do on my blog. I just finished Before I Fall by Lauren Oliver, and it was really good. Review coming soon. Now I'm reading The Goddess Test by Aimee Carter, and it is also really good.

I'm only thirty pages into it, but already I was struck by something. The girl is starting at a new school, and without a word spoken between them she kindof becomes friends with another kid. I really like how Carter did that, and it made me want to do it in my own story. I don't know how I would fit it in though, unless I do it with characters it wouldn't work as well for. Oh well, bummer.

I started planning out my story by chapter, and it's nice to see everything laid out since I've been writing sections pretty randomly. I also realized that my organizational style of writing is that I will change my organizational style at least four times in a six month span. I was always like that, actually. So I'm just going to go with it. Plus, I don't know if OpenOffice just can't handle extremely large documents, but my down arrow stopped working when I'm in that program. But it still works otherwise, and it works when I open another document in OpenOffice. No sense. But it did give me a near heart attack when I thought something was wrong with my computer already.

Wow, new computer and new phone two weeks apart. Overwhelming. But the new computer is awesome, and the new phone was a necessity. I would have kept my blackberry, but we switched providers and got a freakin GREAT deal. And it is an awesome phone.

Just rambling... but I am suffering from so-much-to-do-so-little-time again and resorting to checklists. I've gone to bed super late every night this week, and it is seriously catching up to me. And I have to go to work AGAIN tomorrow.... =/ Ok, now I'm just complaining. But hey, what are blogs for if not to inundate the internet with whining and crap?

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Finally...

Well, It's been a long time, but I finally got out 500 words. This whole Spring into Summer Challenge really couldn't have done a better job at completely halting my word count. =] Haha, figures. I've still been thinking about my story, and I've still been trying to write, but it really wasn't happening. Then yesterday, I thought about the ending! I know I've said that before, but this ending makes my one and a half act story more like a three act story. Which is a good thing. No story is fun if the heroes solve everything the first time. The whole fun of stories is rooting for the heroes and watching them suffer but succeed, against insurmountable odds. And I like where this ending takes me. That's what I worked on, too. =] No more thinking of a scene but not getting to it ever because it's not at that part of the story. Writing out of order and whatever takes my fancy has really helped me a lot.

Ok, time to keep working on my purse! I wrote 500 words today, which is going to be my goal for the next little while. 1000 is just too much. I hate to give in and say it, but my homework is done. WRITING IS SO HARRRDDDD!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Anyone who thinks full-time writers have it easy has another thing coming to 'em. The only thing they get easy is they get to work from home every day and can avoid a commute.

Thursday, May 19, 2011

The Wise Man's Fear

The good thing about pretty much no one reading my blog is that I can write a review and I don’t care how many spoilers I shove into it. Review sites are great – I would live off them if my body didn’t require protein and carbohydrates – but there is so much they can’t talk about.

Naturally, these are all the good, meaty discussions.

So Hey Assholes-who-think-it’s-okay-to-complain-because-it’s-in-the-comments-section-though-they-probably-complain-at-everything-in-real-life-too: There are SPOILERS in this post. Well, I guess as spoiler-y as you can get with this book. We already know Kvothe's life is going to spiral into misery, we only don't know the mechanisms behind it. For the second book in a three book series, there is still no hint of what happens to cause this. I have some suspicions, but none I would voice on the blog. I mentioned spoilers above because there are many things about this story that have already been given away, and knowing what is going to happen in a book is different from finally getting to read it and seeing it as it happens. But I would never give away a secret. Some things just aren't the same unless you can read it on your own. And let me tell you, there's a mindfuck like no other at the end of this book. Even I can't bear to give that away, so rest assured you can read this post and still be appropriately blown away by the book.

The book opens up in familiar territory at the University. Watching a character learn magic and hone their skills never gets old. I continued to hate Ambrose to a level I never imagined possible, you know, that one topped by Umbridge in Harry Potter 5, which made the book so unbelievably frustrating and OMGicantstopreading. We get to see some really awesome magic and learn how kickass Kvothe really is. But eventually Kvothe leaves the University, because he had to leave sometime, right?

My favorite section in this book and possibly in my Top Five of all books is when Kvothe is on the King’s Road hunting bandits, and he befriends the silent, seemingly dumb Adem mercenary, Tempi. At first, all we know about Tempi is that he doesn’t speak, twitches a lot, and is supposed to be a legendary fighter. The other members of the mercenary band snub him, but slowly Kvothe starts to see the edges of the fire in him, and he keeps trying. We finally found out that Tempi simply doesn’t share a common language.

I know how frustrating it is to work with people who don’t speak English, who are goddamn intelligent but can’t do anything about it in this country because of the language barrier, and goddamn American schools who think English is so high and mighty and don’t start teaching foreign language until high school. During the summer in college I worked as a janitor, and I’ll tell you, there aren’t many non-ESL janitors out there. Until you’ve really had to communicate with people you absolutely cannot understand I’d imagine this section was full of lots of nonsensical hand waving. But I love languages to begin with, and watching Kvothe struggle with something so foreign was a treat. Ademic isn’t just a spoken language that can be mastered with rote memorization, but practically a magic in itself with meaningful inflections and hand signs. I loved every minute of it, how Tempi changed from a stupid piece of mute cardboard to a person with a meaningful culture and intense morals.

One of the biggest complaints of WMF is all the casual sex that takes place in the second half of the book. First of all, it's sex, not child rape, so all of you yumyums who can't say "penis" without gagging or giggling can just grow the fuck up. And remember, Kvothe is SIXTEEN. OF course he's going to be thinking about sex! BUT I still had a problem with the Felurian section. It was a whole lot of nothing but sex, for about six chapters, and it was just boring. Yes, yes, Felurian is the most beutiful woman of all and she can blow your mind in bed. Great. This has nothing to do with the progression of the book. Actually, I imagine that's what the problem is with this section. These books are trimmed and edited to within an inch of their lives, and as a result there is no word is wasted. But these chapters were FLUFFY. Nothing of import happens until Kvothe finally decides to leave. That's when Felurian makes his Shaed and when we get to see how powerful he is to get out of her grasp. But those five chapters before? Pointless. I was a teenager once, I know what awkward sex was like. It did nothing to move the plot.

Directly following the Felurian section is training with the Adem, who also have no compunctions about being naked or having sex. However, this section has a completely different feel than Felurian's. Sex is natural, it wasn't glorified, it's just a way of life. Sex with the Adem is far more casual than it was with Felurian, but this section is far easiler to handle. I can't exactly pinpoint why, possibly because the plot was still progressing, possibly because the comparisons with the barbarian's views of sex are so satirical of our own society's. I don't know. But I had no problem with people walking around Haert naked amongst the other clothed people as opposed to Kvothe and Felurian existing naked in Fae.

The second day of storytelling ends on a contrastingly happy ending in the story and a supremely miserable night at the inn. And I have to say, as genious as Kvothe is and as easily as he can pick up anything, the real genious lies in Devon, I think. He is incredibly insightful, and play's on Kote's emotions the way Kvothe did to others in his time. I'm eager to see what part he is going to play in the third book.

For as far as we've come, we still have no idea why the series is called "The Kingkiller Chronicle."

I can't believe I was ever eager to finish this book. I blame this on my hrrifically human desire to know what happens. Now that it is finished (and we are left on such a hanging thread as the first book, with NOTHING resolved) I am ready to read it again. I honestly think this is the most in depth and engaging story I have ever read in my life, and I don't say that lightly. I'm nervous to see how the third book is going to go. We have to finish Kvothe's story, and hopefully introduce some semblance of a normal plot. What if we don't find anything out about the Chandrian? What if Kvothe finishes his story, Chronicler packs up his pens and departs, and things just go on? What if this series ends with absolutely no closure? I understand that Kvothe's glory days are over. But we also know he is still capable of great things, from the scrael attack in the first book. I don't want to assume anything about Pat Rothfuss's writing. I just want to end the series with a sense of satisfaction. It doesn't have to be a happy ending, just satisfying. I just want Kvothe to open his wooden chest. It'll probably be six years before we see the last book, but I'm okay with that. Rothfuss has a lot of work ahead of him.

It was the patient, cut-flower sound of a man who is waiting to die.

Monday, May 16, 2011

A New Week

It's Monday, and already I can tell it is going to be a better week than last week. Last week I had Monday off, and for whatever reason it totally threw me for a loop. I didn't get anything productive done.The train rides were spent mostly staring out the window, sleeping, or reading the same paragraph over and over in my book.

Not to mention the writing. Let's just say it didn't.

But this past weekend was much more relaxing and recharging. I got to relax and read my book, and I got myself out of my funk. I was losing faith there, Pat Rothfuss. I finally got to the section everyone had been complaining about, and yes, it took me a while to get through it. But not for the reasons they were saying. Everyone complained about all the casual sex randomly stuck in there. But the section needed it, it's FELURIAN for crying out loud! The most beautiful woman in the world! Of course he's going to have sex. The problem was that it was BORING. I know you wanted to get in a lot of description of the Fae Realm, to show how weird and different it was. But really, it was just extra. The scene with the Cthulu tree was great, and I think you could have put description there and it would have worked better. But we didn't need six chapters on eating and swimming and sexing. It was boring. And let's be serious, we didn't even get to see the good stuff.

But I finally got through the section. And then, the writing started to fail me. When before I wanted to bathe in the words because they flowed so well but were so crisp, now I thought they were pretentious and annoying. Like the cocky quarterback trying to win the girl by reciting Shakespeare, but he has no idea what he's reading and picks up Othello and it's totally inappropriate and he just butchers the reading anyway. Just too high above his pay grade. I'm finally getting back into it, but slowly. I'm ready to be finished the book, regardless of my enjoyment level.

I didn't bring my computer with me today because I didn't to get caught in the rain with it and I also have to switch to a bigger bag. I'm happy to have a chance to use my college bag again. I loved that bag, but it was just too big for everyday use. I'll use that one on days I bring my computer, and my current bag on days I don't want to bring my computer. This way I won't feel bad about abandoning my current bag. =] I have a soft spot for bags. It's the one fashion thing I spend a decent amount of money on. Everything else is discount store and sales racks all the way. I wish I was more fashionable, but to be honest I just really don't like shopping. No patience for it. Unless it's books. But then I do my shopping online and go into the store knowing exactly what I want to buy.

So this week, I hope to get back on track with my writing. It's good to have breaks every once in a while. And on the train I was wishing I had my computer, so I'm sure I'll be dying for it on the way home. Oh well. Bang out some reading instead.

Sunday, May 15, 2011

Epiphany

I've been fretting over the fact that I haven't been writing nearly the amount for SIS50k. During the week I haven't been reaching a thousand words on the days I do sit down enough to write, and during the weekends I don't sit down to write at all.

But you know what, weekends aren't for work. They're for family, or friends, or for yourself. So if I want to sit down and write, by all means I will do it. But if I want to relax and read my book or watch a movie with Phil, I am going to do that.

I'm not saying I'm giving up on writing, that's ridiculous. I am still going to make myself sit down and get some words out during the week. Especially now that I have my new computer and can work on the train. That was my main reason for replacing my still-working-perfectly computer. My old laptop wasn't portable at all, and I mourned all the hours I wasted sitting on the train staring out the window. And you know what, if I don't feel like writing on the train, that is just fine with me.

I'm lucky because I don't HAVE to publish. But I'm unlucky because I HAVE to publish. Get it? I'm going to eat guacamole and read now. And then watch Game of Thrones later tonight. And go to the grocery store. Grocery store before guacamole, but not before reading. All right, peace.

It's so beautiful!

This is my first post from my new computer! And oh my lordy, I love it! It's amazing how things have progressed that I can spend half as much than what I paid for my old computer and get something with three times the computing power in a base model.

It's an HP Pavilion dm1z, and it's beautiful.

Potable like a netbook, but not shitty like a netbook. Mine is eleven inches (and I am not referring to P's penis), and in tests the processor did much better than the fancy processors. (And yes, P added that lovely parenthetical addition. He didn't believe me when I said I would leave it in the post.) Aside from the annoying habit of highlighting everything and deleting it as I am typing, it's awesome. But the touchpad has a cool feature to turn it off with two taps, which removes this problem.

I could talk about the specs of this computer all day, but I figure that would be boring to any of you reading it. Short story: it's portable, and its beautiful. Now I'll be able to work on my writing on the train!

Also, check out this cool article. I am so ahead of the curve!

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

I always forget titles!

I thought I'd go the Bohemian way, and I hoofed it to Barnes and Noble to try and get some writing done. I was never one of those people to drag my laptop to a fancy cafe to do work, but sometimes I feel like purposely immersing myself in that kind of atmosphere can be helpful. Like tonight. I've written 200 words in 20 minutes. And as pathetic as that sounds, that's more than I've written in the past two days combined. And it's ten after eight, I still have at least an hour before bedtime.

Just kidding. (kinda not)

But I had to share with you: I walk into Barnes and Noble and go straight to the cafe. After realizing fuck,notables! I open my eyes and FUCK,DARTHVADER! In my Barnes and Noble! Complete with obnoxious breathing noises! AND Boba Fett!

Now that I've planted myself at a table, I get to watch Darth Vader menace people as they come in the door. BN should hire him as a greeter. He alternates between pictures, high-fives, and making a three year olds cry.

Back to writing. (201...202...209!...shit197...198...)

UGH

That's really all I can say. Ugh. With a capitol U. I had a four day weekend, and I didn't finish (or even make a sizable dent in) The Wise Man's Fear, and I am currently three days behind and only five days into Spring Into Summer. Awesome.

I make sure to sit my ass down every night, but I end up just staring at the screen blankly. Or, like yesterday, I filled in some plot holes in my outline (I figured out the ending!). But neither of those are going to get my book written. And even with this lack of writing, I still have yet to fold my laundry.... OR to return the growing pile of chapters to edit. GAHHHHHHHHHH. A good, throaty, chest-pounding yell would be mighty satisfying right now. But that's usually frowned upon in a cubicle setting. Guess I'll have to wait until lunch then. I'll fit right in with all the crazies.

I had the urge yesterday to write each plot point on a sticky note and spread them all out on my bedroom wall. It sounds like a great idea, but I feel like that's just me procrastinating to the highest degree. I think one thing creating problems for me is to make the jump between writing Beginning scenes and writing Middle scenes. I've never written middle scenes before!

And HOLY COW I wish my new computer would just get here already! I'm so excited for it, but the shipment keeps getting delayed because of the processor shortage. As of now it stands at May 17th. Damn you, tsunami! I just want to be able to write on the train rides! How dare you keep me from my luxuries! Oh yeah, and ruin the lives of half a million people. That too. (I'd scream LUXURY right now but I know that really annoys you, HT.)

Friday, May 6, 2011

First day of Spring into Summer

Man oh man! I hit 1083 words. My goal was 1500 words, because I wanted to create a buffer since I know weekends are going to cause me problems. But oh well. I'm not behind yet! P.S. It's not up yet, but I am going to create a page with all of my stats and links to the pages and everything. I have the space, so why not? I figure having my embarrassment open to the world will keep my ass in the chair.

Thursday, May 5, 2011

Official stuffs

Spring into Summer 50k Writing Challenge 2011

I just happened to catch this today on Deadline Dames.What on EARTH am I thinking? I can do this.

Starts: Friday, May 6 2011
Ends: Friday, June 24 2011
The aim: 50,000 words in 50 days.

This makes it official.

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Oh yeah, I need a title, don't I?

An amazing thing happened yesterday. I met up with a friend and we grabbed dinner and walked around the city a bit (that's not the amazing part) and I didn't get home until after nine. Not too late, but all I wanted to do was crash into bed and I made myself sit down and try to write because I hadn't made my thousand words yet and I actually DID IT. Amazing! And it wasn't easy, it kindof sucked actually and I made it easier by writing a lot of dialogue, but I still got some words out! That made me really happy. Immediately after I crashed into bed, but I still did it! That may be the first time I didn't want to write but said "tough titties" and did it anyway. That means I'm LEARNING! (Who woulda thought?)

During our city adventure, I found a new used bookstore that's actually really close to my building. Not only do they have a cat (awesome) but I found  a 1897 illustrated edition of David Copperfield by Charles Dickens for 10 bucks! It's not in the greatest condition, but I think it's awesome. The shop owner said I was a lucky girl  to have found that, and first I thought "It's your bookshop, shouldn't you know what you have?" Not to mention it was right at the back of the desk. I also thought "You should have marked it up more" but kept quiet, handed over my ten bucks, and went all squee! inside. =]

I want to finish Wise Man's Fear over the weekend, so come Tuesday I don't have to lug that monstrous hardcover back and forth. I haven't been carrying it around that long but the corners are getting beat up and that makes me sad. Plus, how better than to spend a weekend than reading? And I'm looking forward to The Madness of Angels by Kate Griffin, which is next on my list and pleasant little paperback.

And this just needs to be shared. Presenting: The SciFi Geek Zodiac. Except, I'm an Undead. That's so not cool.


This is now my second update to this post. I need to stop doing that, or people may miss something at the bottom of a post they've already read. Oh wait... that's right, one person reads my blog. (Yay Lesa!) My point is, I don't write this blog for other people to read, I write it for ME. I just read this post and I immediately thought "Why does it matter?" Maybe I'm looking at it the wrong way, but trying to finagle readers is not what I think this is about. Sure, everyone WANTS readers, but do you really think you're going to get Huffington Post famous by writing a blog? And frankly, I don't read blogs that are set up like that, like columns in a newspaper jibing for readers. I like the blogs that are about troubles and successes and ohmygodasamaurisquirrel! And books. And writing.

I guess this isn't completely fair. Just because I'm not interested in it doesn't mean other people aren't either. But it's not how I think. Also, I hate really eager people who think their shit is The Shit and think everyone needs to know about it. Everyone has their niche, and if I am looking to expand my niche I'll manage on my own thanks. I don't need other people telling me what I just HAVE to like.

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Everyone can say it better than I can.

Catherynne M. Valente:
I've Got 30 Minutes and A Lot of Unpopular Opinions, So Let's Get Started
-- And did I mention Penn State had a riot? Sorry, celebration. Any reason to drink. And where did they all get full sized American flags? Oh yeah, the neighbor's lawn. In any case, this is near-exact how I feel, except in better language.

Chung Wendig:
Because Holy Fucking Shit, The First Draft, That's Why
-- Writerly reasons for drinking (Unrelated to previous link, and pretty much the opposite spectrum. I'm not against drinking, just the binge-drinking society of Penn State students. Ohwaityes I do love vomiting in my hair, isn't that funny?) I purposely didn't link to the whole article because the rest of it was just funny, not groundbreaking. This subheading was groundbreaking.


Yesterday I came home and followed my plan. I ate dinner, wrote while I waited for my food to settle, went for a run (short, but a good one), then relaxed for the night. It was nice, except I still haven't folded my laundry. Writing before running and after eating is a good combination (high sugar + not starving + not antsy and wired). I wrote 1100 words yesterday, but when I was done I didn't feel very satisfied. The scene wasn't working out very well. Instead of finishing that scene I am going to work on a different one today. I really want to work for my 4000 words this week, even though I will spend my four day weekend recuperating, I'm sure. Oh well, not thinking that far ahead yet. Four days at a time, please...

Also, COCONUT TWIX?!? They're okay. I love coconut, but I didn't know how the cookie/caramel/coconut combo would work... But there's no actual coconut in it anyway, just palm oil (fake coconut). So they're ok. Milky Way Midnights are still the best (especially in the plural).

Monday, May 2, 2011

Laying down the law

Ok people, this is how it's going to go. I work four days this week. (Friday off, suckahs!) That means I am going to write 4000 words. If I write 3900 words tonight, that means I only have to write 100 words tomorrow and I can have the rest of the week off. If Thursday rolls around and I only have 500 words, it looks like my Friday off is going to be fucked.

That's my goal, and now it's in writing.

In related news, The Wise Man's Fear is amazing and I am completely drinking it in. I have a pile of books I can't wait to read after this one and I don't even care because I could read this for the rest of my life and be happy. Elitist Book Reviews posted their review of it about an hour ago, and I REFUSE to read it until I am finished. Absolutely no spoilers.