Heya, people, just thought you’d all like to know that my first updated page is up! Not saying there won’t be revisions of it in the future, but now you all get to meet my three main characters of Guardian! Please enjoy and tell me what you think!
NaNo, people, NaNo! NaNo has begun!!!
Half the writers squealed for joy…
And the other half shrieked in terror.
I am in the latter half. :p
See, none of my stories are in any decent shape. Guardian is in little more than partially glued-together shambles, a story set in Starwater has all of a single vague character in it, and a new contemporary WIP I’ve got is still in development phases.
So what am I doing instead? Have I got some other genius novel idea that’s going to pop out of this?
This NaNo isn’t about any novel in particular. It’s vaguely about all of them, and about none of them at all. I’ll write a little bit about them, maybe do some short stories and whatnot. One way or the other, there’s going to be chaos.
Chaos in the form of blog posts.
Yup. I am writing blog posts for NaNoWriMo.
Those of you that actually like this blog are probably jumping for joy right now, going “Yaay, more blog posts from this obscure aspiring writer almost no one has heard of!!!” Those of you that don’t… Well, you’re probably just gonna ignore this post for the most part anyway. And that’s okay.
Mind you, I’m not expecting to actually succeed with this NaNoWriMo. Sounds pessimistic, but it’s true. I’ve been pretty swamped with college recently, and NaNo comes second to that, so I don’t intend to put myself 100% in the madhouse just because it’s NaNo. I’ve been close enough to that a few times already, so I don’t need to get any closer. Right now NaNo is just the motivation to get some writing done, and to see how well I actually can do with limited time. All I expect of myself is to write as much as I can so you, my peeps, are not as dreadfully neglected as you have been in the past month or so.
That being said, I’m not going to be posting my posts as soon as I finish writing them. I’m going to keep them at their usual times, the Wanderings on Friday, and any stories I do will be posted on Tuesdays. Who knows, there might even be some book reviews in there!
Because I haven’t done a single one of those since I started this blog… And let’s face it, you all are glad I’m going to be doing it like that, because if I didn’t you might be getting post a couple times a day or every couple days (if I’m feeling optimistic). Last I checked, that’s generally along the lines of spamming. And spamming isn’t cool.
So I mentioned a couple things I might be doing in the coming month, but what else? What specifically can you look forward to
or dread? Well, I have a few ideas.
Oh yeah. That’s right. Already agonizing tale of mine, meet the last work Poe completed in his lifetime. Any potential readers, prepare to kiss your pretty hearts goodbye. This is gonna be
Really, though, it will be. I had to read it for Intro to Lit, and it was amazing. I had been struggling so much with figuring things out for Guardian, but when I read “Annabel Lee,” the first traces of ideas started to fall into place. I’m really excited to share with you some of the tidbits I’ve accumulated that will help move Guardian into a place where I can turn it into a workable draft.
In the meanwhile, if you want to read “Annabel Lee,” it’s a short ballad. It doesn’t take up even an entire page, but it’s still hauntingly beautiful. You can easily find it just by googling it, since it’s public domain. If you read it, be sure to tell me what you think, and any theories you have that might connect into what you know of Guardian!
That’s right! Soon I’ll have new pages up and running, talking about my new (tentative) WIPs. So we’ll have Guardian, the Starwater storyworld, and a new WIP I’m calling… House of Gold. (And to all you TOP fans, it is based off that song. It’s where I got the original inspiration for the story. 🙂 )
I’ll be honest, guys, I’ve turned into a little bit of a YouTube addict. I’ll play songs pretty much all day while I work on my various school projects,
occasionally get distracted by them, find a song that makes me go, “Hey, this works for one of my stories!” and add it to one of my playlists. So I’ll end up making a post with the links in them so you can hear my playlists for my precious little WIPs.
And all of you that aren’t familiar with the mythology scratched your heads and went, “Huh??”
But yes, this is exactly what it sounds like. Proteus (the Old Man of the Sea who shepherds seals and knows everything) and the Fates (the three ladies that determine where, when, and how a person will be born, live, and die) sitting down and having tea together.
Because I’m a mythology nerd, and I read a Wordsworth poem that brought Proteus to my attention, and my Intro to Lit class again spawned plotbunnies for me. (My professor’s probably gonna need a thank-you note for all the plotbunnies she’s helped me find…)
So yeah, you’ll have a Greek-mythology-laden short story coming soon. If you aren’t already familiar with the mythology, again, you can google it and find it easily. I’ll still explain it before the post itself, though.
Woot woot!!! I love Out of Time. I’m gonna finish reading A Time to Rise, and then I’m gonna write a review for the ENTIRE SERIES!!!!!!!!!! Or maybe three consecutive weeks of reviewing and a couple extra weeks of fangirling, because otherwise it’s gonna be a reeeaaally long post. So yes, this blog might turn into an Out of Time shrine at some point in the future.
Aaanyway, there’s five things I just gave you. Now no more spoilers! Let me know in the comments if there’s anything in particular you’re looking forward to, and if you have any ideas/things you would like to hear in a blog post, let me know!
Yeeessss, peoples, today we talk about the traditional writerly companion! Kitty! The sweet, fluffy, cuddleable bundles of joy! Or aloofness. Depends on which kitty we’re talking about. 😜
Believe it or not, though, I wasn’t always a cat person. I had listened to too much of Daddy’s anti-felineness, so of course there wasn’t anything good that could come out of having a cat.
Then I met a certain orange cat. And, ever so subtly, my views began to change.
After all, who ever knew a cat could be so charming? So sarcastic? So witty? So dragon-eaten ridiculous you couldn’t help but love him?
Oh yeah. The other Imps in the room know who I’m talking about.
And for those of you who aren’t Imps (Tales of Goldstone Wood fans), prepare yourselves for a quick education.
The orange cat to whom I am referring is a fey shapeshifter, Sir/Bard/His Eminence Eanrin of Rudiobus. He’s the snarkiest character Anne Elisabeth has, so of course I love him. He’s a kitty after my own heart. But aside from that, he’s… well… Basically everything I described above. He’s fluffy and orange and has just enough sad moments to make my empathy go crazy and enough awkward moments to make him hilarious.
I’ll stop there. Otherwise this post will get longer than all the appearances he made in the Tales. For those of you who don’t know, that would be very long. (Yes, it’s hyperbole, but whatever. 😝)
It started out as just a love of a character. Then I discovered Anne Elisabeth Stengl’s blog, and I looked at all her adorable post about her kitties (six of them last I checked! Isn’t she amazing! The epitome of crazy-writer-cat-lady-ness!), and I started to think, “Awww….. I want one!”
There was just one problem.
Daddy still hated cats.
Clearly there was nothing to do but to change his mind.
So, unbeknownst even to myself, I designed the foolproof plan that would assuredly turn Daddy into a cat person.
Because how else could I go about convincing Daddy?
Let’s face it, this step wasn’t that hard. Mom and I are really, really tight. We’re pretty much two halves of the same brain, so of course I talked to her about the Tales! I was known to gush on her about them for hours on end, so, naturally, she heard a lot about Eanrin.
I eventually started slipping little comments about wanting a kitty into the conversation. She wasn’t fooled. She knew exactly where I was going before I even did. At first she was like, “Tasha, we already have a dog. We can’t have a cat. You know your dad doesn’t like them,” but I got her to soften up. Soon, I had the next step rolling:
This step was ESSENTIAL to my success. By watching funny cat videos, I exposed not only Mom, but Daddy as well, to the wonderful, hilarious world of kitties. This desensitized both of them, opening the doorway for the power of suggestion to work on both of them.
For those of you who don’t know, Blondie is one of my best friends. I mentioned her on my old blog, Memoirs of a Taleweaver. It really isn’t a mean nickname, like some people might think it is. I’m a blonde too, after all. 😉
Honestly, though, I didn’t have that much to do with this step. My whole family was friends with her whole family, so we went to each other’s houses a lot. She just so happened to have two kitties, Nala and Mu (“Mu” being short for Mufasa), and Daddy ended up really liking Mu. He’s this really pretty gray tiger kitty, and my word is he vocal! He’ll just walk around and meow for no apparent reason, though usually that reason is just because he wants treats.
Anyway, a few funny cat stories came out of hanging out at their place, and Daddy got to liking Mu more… And more… And more. It got to the point where, when he was working at the heavy diesel garage he worked third shift at, he would be telling stories about this cat to his coworkers at something like three o’clock in the morning.
Yes, yes. My plan was working veeery well at this point. Daddy began to turn cat person.
This leads to Step #4…..
“It’s just for fun,” both Mom and I said. “We aren’t actually planning on it.”
Ha. Haha. Ha. Ha.
No, but seriously. We weren’t lying about it. We genuinely weren’t seriously looking.
That’s right! It was quite out of my hands, and Daddy was doing his own research into the matter! I didn’t need to do anymore convincing! Only one step was left…
That’s all there was left to do. Just wait and see if anything would happen.
So I waited.
And I waited.
Really, I didn’t wait much, since it was already November by the time I finished Step #5.
That’s right. The first kitty came at Christmastime.
Oh, did I say first kitty? Well…
She was actually an impulse buy. We were only walking into a Petco to buy some nail clippers for Sidney, since the other pair is stuck in a box somewhere, when, out of habit, we walked over to the kitties they keep there.
As it just so happened, the lady working with the kitties was a full-on crazy cat lady and an extrovert. The result was that she took Harley and plunked her in Mom’s arms, saying, “Here.”
Mom was immediately in love. She passed her over to me, and I was no better. I was actually a little worse. Then we gave her to Daddy:
After a few minutes of deliberating between the parental units, Daddy left to get our kitty carrier, while Mom and I stayed behind to fill out paperwork, then we got to take her home! After a couple weeks of slow introductions, we got Harley and Sidney to playing. Playing and otherwise ignoring each other. As happy a kitty ending as there ever was. 😊
And now the credits in which you are bombarded with photos of my kitties:
Anyway, I hope you enjoyed my babbling! With any luck, there’s some of you who need the tips on how to secure a kitty, so I hope I helped! See you in the comments!
That’s the question. What do you write when you don’t know what to write?
No, really, I’m asking you. Because I really don’t have any idea.
In truth, I’ve had this graphic made for months now, this post having sat on a shelf in the depths of my unfinished blog post for that long. But then, just as I got partway into the post, I realized I actually had an idea, so I went and wrote that and posted it.
But now I am out of ideas, and that graphic was sitting here, and just as I gave up looking for inspiration on Pinterest, I decided to write this.
Hello. I have absolutely no idea what to write. Let’s just hope this doesn’t become a common occurrence, because I really don’t think you lot would enjoy reading this over… and over… and over again.
Anyway, back to the question at hand. What do you all do when you don’t know what to write? Do you grab a piece of paper and vent about it? Do a random prompt on Pinterest and guess it’ll probably be one of the most horrific things you’ve ever written? Really, what? I’d love to hear about it. Any advice is welcome.
Please someone reply. I’m desperate.
Okay, so I first tried this one year ago on my old blog, Memoirs of a Taleweaver. By “this” I mean writing a monthly “Doings” post. The first one went okay. I’m not sure if there ever was a second one, or if I just slacked off with my posting so much after that that I just didn’t bother. But since it’s the end of the month and I really can’t think of anything else I want to talk about, I figured I’d give it a whirl.
After comparing last July and this July to the other months of the year, I’m starting to get vibes that July is consistently becoming by far one of the craziest months of the year for me. Last year that meant going to events like NYC, teen camp, and family camp. This year that meant things like going back from New Hampshire from my grandfather’s last knee surgery, moving, renovating a house, working in the family camp kitchen, and coming back for my grandfather’s next knee surgery. So between all that, you could say things have been pretty busy.
All things considered, the craziest part of the month was the reno. I got home from New Hampshire, and the first night it was time to dive right in. That was just cleaning a couple fans of the drywall dust, though. The next day it was time to start tackling the basement, and that was.. Intense. There was a lot of ripping out drywall and cabinets and ceilings. There was also a few minutes that felt like a small eternity in which Mom was having trouble with her phone, called in to Apple, hit #1 for “Contemporary” music. It may have been “contemporary,” but it was also mostly in other languages, and not even good songs in other languages! That… Yeah. That was torture. It’s a miracle we’re still alive.
The second craziest part was probably working in the family camp kitchen. Still, this year was much better than last year. (Last year was a kind of ridiculous I won’t even try to describe.) I had a good time with my mom and aunt, who were running the kitchen, and got to spend some down time making friends, hanging out, and taking pretty pictures like the one above. (Yeah, I took that. Kinda proud of it. That and it was just a gorgeous spot, so that helps.)
Still, it hasn’t all been one hundred percent stress and insanity. Getting to finally put my room together has been fun. And it’s blue! Such a pretty, dusky, gray-blue. I have this gorgeous feather picture in one corner over my reading chair, and a little metal leafy thing over one of my bookshelves, and metal cutout birds in branches over one of my other bookshelves… I just love it so much. It’s a little writerly paradise, with all the books (and old books!!), and bird/tree-related art.
The painting that inspired it all was the feather. It was so blue and gold and gray, and it reminded me of my sirens so much I just had to have it! And of course I loved the branches and the birds, since the branches make me think of my body snatchers, and the birds are kind of related to my sirens. The painting just made me happy.
Speaking of sirens and dryads and things, Camp NaNo has also been going well. Okay, so that’s been kinda crazy, too, even though my word count is only 10K. Turns out doing Camp NaNo with worldbuilding plus an explosion of a month and only being able to work predominantly on your phone makes even a word count you used to be able to do in a day a bit harder.
But in spite of all that, I still made it!!! I was cutting it kind of close, but I still managed!
Now, I know our cabin is a little behind, but we’re all doing our best, and it’s been a really crazy month for all of us. Shoutout to all my fellow Mitchtams!
Even though it was such a low word goal for me, this Camp has been quite productive. I’ve gotten to play a lot with my body-snatching dryads, flesh out where the sirens live, describe the handmade mountains of my human-like race, and decide that instead of merpeople, I would have cecaeliae (what I’m deciding is the plural of “cecaelia.”) What are cecaeliae? They’re half human, half octopus hybrids. Kinda like Ursula from The Little Mermaid. I kind of like them better than merpeople. I always have a hard time imagining merpeople in a non-cartoony way anyway. I also got to swap the entire world from being a frozen wasteland to being tropical. I get to thank my newly-exposed mantle for that. It’s quite fun, really. After all, tropics means a lot more trees, and a lot more trees means a lot more body-snatching dryads, which means MORE DEATHS!!!!!
I’m a writer. Not a serial killer. Really. I promise.
*clears throat* Moving on.
Soo, let’s see, what else is there other than Camp NaNo?
Ah yes! I actually got to read a bit this month! I got to finish Douglass Adams’ Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy, and right now I’m in the middle of The Restaurant at the End of the Universe. They’re all rather amusing, though really weird and kind of blasphemous. It’s just so completely different from any other book I can remember reading that I just don’t know how to describe it. I’m considering writing a review when I finish reading the Ultimate Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy, which has all the Hitchhiker’s stories in it. We’ll see though. Like I observed in my last post, I’m not that good at writing book reviews. 😛
In a bit of rather exciting news, I’ve been accepted to Ohio Christian University’s dual enrollment program! I’m going to have lots of fun courses this fall, like Introduction to Literature and English Composition 1. Okay, so the English Composition is probably going to be mostly stuff I learned when I was in like fifth grade, but a refresher never hurt.
The most recent development around here was my grandfather’s knee surgery on Wednesday. This one’s a lot more sore than the last one, so we’re all just hoping and praying it’ll get better soon. We’re all confident though, that when it’s healed, he’ll be 100% better, and able to do a lot more than he was able to before the knee replacement. Prayers are definitely appreciated!
So how have your months been? Any comments on this month’s Doings? See you in the comments!
It is time to confess my myriad writerly foibles.
Hoping you lot will laugh and confess with me instead of hurling books and pencils and things at my head.
If you do… Well, at least I’m sitting behind a computer screen, probably in another time zone, so I doubt you can reach me.
So here it goes
Confession #1: I have read very little of late.
It’s true. I haven’t. Between keeping up with working in a camp kitchen, living in a construction zone, spending time with friends, doing Camp NaNoWriMo, and writing blog posts, I have done very little reading. I am a shame to the writerly world, I know. But that brings me to my next confession…
Confession #2: I am a chronic squirrel reader.
I think I may have written a post about this on my old blog, Memoirs of a Taleweaver. Uncertain. When I do actually get past my “reader’s block,” as some call it, I’ll pick up a book and devour the first part of it, then another book will catch my eye and I’ll start reading, thinking, “I’ll read both at the same time!” In a few weeks, when I’ve finished neither book, my thought pattern is more to the effect of, “You thought you’d finish both at once?? That’s funny. Now go find another book.”
Confession #3: I have very poor balance.
I’m not talking about walking (though that can definitely apply). I’m talking about balancing writerly endeavors and all that entails, and life and all that entails. More often than not, one or the other suffers. Something I’m working on.
Confession #4: I am not actually supposed to have an “Uncategorized” category on my blog.
“But… You do,” you say. Or do you? I’m not sure at the moment. I have a tendency to forget to categorize my posts, resulting in the existence of an uncategorized category. Every so often I’ll remember to go back and make sure there aren’t any uncategorized posts, but that doesn’t always happen.
In like manner…
Confession #5: I have a tendency to forget to attach tags to my posts.
Confession #6: I’m never really sure how to handle a book review.
I know I managed it on my old blog, but I seem to have lost the knack for it between then and now. I keep vacillating between being a total fangirl and gushing over it if I liked it, doing an in-depth literary dissection, talking about the characters, or just talking about the overall experience and impression of it. I figure there should be a balance of all those things. But again, balance isn’t my strong suit.
Confession #7: I am very bad at sticking to projects.
If you read my last post, you know what I’m talking about. It’s not just novels, though. It’s other things, too. Like blog posts. I have to periodically clear out my “drafts” folder. That and counted cross stitch. It’s fun to do, but it takes me years to finish one, I work on them so sporadically.
Confession #8: All the WIPs I have ever had have been jumbled messes.
Once again, if you read my last blog post, this will come as no shock to you. Lack of developing characters, plots, and worlds beforehand has maimed and murdered many a WIP. All the stages of novel-writing are monsters for me, especially the development phases. (Not that I’ve ever made it much past those. 😑)
Confession #9: I tend to make my characters a little too perfect.
As an idealist and a perfectionist, this is only to be expected. I like to make my characters superhumans that are brilliant at everything from medicine to history to botany to swordsmanship to literature to empathy to… Basically everything. *cough*Frake*cough* Thing is, I know what my characters should do to make the situation come out right for them. “Don’t say that– you’ll hurt her feelings.” “Don’t go there– it’s obviously a trap.” “DON’T DRIVE OFF THAT CLIFF– YOU WILL DIE!!!” For their own good, they should listen to me. For the good of the plot and being actual people, they should do the exact opposite.
Confession #10: I don’t fight writer’s block as hard as I should.
This is another sad truth. When I should be writing until my fingers bleed, I am instead giving into the little voice that says, “Eh, I don’t really feel like it today. I’ll just do it tomorrow.”
Three weeks later: WHAT?!!?! I HAVEN’T WRITTEN IN THREE WEEKS?!??? HOW CAN THIS HAVE HAPPENED??? I AM A TERRIBLE, AWFUL, LOUSY WRITER, AND I WILL NEVER GET ANYTHING FINISHED!!! *goes and weeks when she should be writing*
Ahem. Aaanyway. That’s it for my confessions. There’s probably a lot more stuff I could be confessing that I’m not thinking of, but that’s what you get for now. So please don’t leave me alone with my worst writerly sins bared to you. Do please join in my humiliation. See you soon!
Patterns. I love the things. Usually when people think of patterns, they think on fabric or in designs. Not so for me. When I think of patterns, I think books, life, history — bigger things that take a bit longer to notice the patterns in. They are there, though. Especially fun for me to watch patterns in is my writing.
The biggest pattern I’ve noticed has been in the plot of my books. Nearly all of my ideas have had something to do with rescue, usually a guy going after a missing girl.
One of the oldest versions of that was… Pathetic. I was like nine when I was working on it, and I had recently fallen in love with Anne Elisabeth Stengl’s Heartless, resulting in an awful plagiaristic novel I called the Scale of Fire. Based on how long it took me to remember what I even called that one, I’m guessing I’ve made a largely successful effort in forgetting that WIP even existed. So if you don’t mind, I’m going to skip past any further detail on that project and go back to my blissful forgetfulness.
The next rescue-themed story was… Somewhat better. As it was a few years later and I had done more reading, the writing itself was at least better, though not what it could have been. It went through a lot of name changes, but the one I remember the best was Lifeless. Seriously, I don’t remember all the different titles it had. 😛 Somewhat influenced by the Hunter Brown series and Wayne Thomas Batson’s the Door Within series, and probably a few other things, it wasn’t as heavily plagiaristic. I might even venture a guess it wasn’t at all. The basic plot was that a girl named Emily got sucked into another world by the bad guy, and her brother and parents went into the world to go after her. So… It was a bit of a pseudo-Narnia, and not a very original plot, but it at least wasn’t the same monstrosity as the Scale of Fire.
A while after I had given up on that one, I got the idea for a story I named for the MC, Aelwynne. This one I started right after reading Anne Elisabeth Stengl’s Starflower, so what did I do? I went and made a mishmash of Heartless and Starflower. (They say imitation is the highest form of flattery, right?) After a few chapters, I didn’t know where I was going in the middle, and that story also took its rightful place on the unfinished pile.
After that I had a WIP I titled Rescued from the Mountain. (Hah, rescued theme. Not obvious or anything. 😛 ) This one was the story of a princess who got lured away by the bad guy (who was a goblin), and her father the king had to go after her. I actually made it to the end of that first draft, if I remember correctly. I had forgotten I had ever actually done that. 😛 Interesting the things you’ll remember when you take a moment to remember them. But by then, I wasn’t quite willing to sit down and do the bane of writerly existence — editing. Therefore, it too got pushed to the wayside.
Now we come to my most recent rescue-themed story — Guardian. My wonderful, frustrating, feels-wrenching pet. I still love it. I still think about it every day. It takes it’s well-deserved place as one of the very few projects I actually still feel proud of. I spent over a year working on it, muddling through lots of different versions of it, getting to know my characters, shifting backstories, fiddling with worldbuilding. Eventually it just got so tangled I had to put it on the backburner — but that’s where it’s at. The backburner. Not the “doomed to forever lie unfinished” pile. Just waiting until I have enough perspective and enough experience to pull off that sort of story.
Guardian introduced its own new pattern, I think. I don’t know how many stories the new pattern will carry into, but it’s made its way into both my new storyworld and my blog.
That’s right. Stars.
Like I said in my welcome page, I have a thing for the shiny dots. So old, yet still hopeful. But like I said in my last post, I’m completely redesigning the way stars work in my new storyworld. They’re changeable, predicted by the weather. They won’t be the same symbols of eternity and immortality that they were in Guardian. But you never know! They might become symbolic of something else.
I have to wonder what other patterns will emerge as I keep worldbuilding, then as I start designing characters and plot. I wonder if the rescue pattern will continue, or if I’ll find some new theme for it. I wonder if I’ll keep playing with mortality, immortality, eternity. I’m curious where this story will take me.
Do any of you pay attention to patterns in your stories? If you do, what are they? I love to hear from you!