taste_is_sweet: (Aiden's Angel)
Tomorrow evening, my dear Flisties, you'll be able to find me staging a Twitter Takeover with my good buddy and partner in crime [livejournal.com profile] sgamadison. We'll be using the @dreamspinners account between 7 and 9 pm Eastern time (That's 6 and 8 Central). We'll be answering questions and discussing our books, and I'd love to see some of you there. :D

The other animals are were-dinosaurs. Specifically, seven lines of my current WIP novel, which I've lovingly given the working title of 'Gay Were-Dinosaurs of the Pseudo Amish Apocalypse'. I was tagged by [livejournal.com profile] brumeier, to take seven lines from the seventh page of a current WIP. So here ya go, a perfect two paragraphs:

The other end of the chain on the crazy hybrid's ankle was attached to one of the exposed metal supports in the crumbling concrete wall that surrounded the village. The enclosure for the hybrids used the wall as one side. The rest of the rectangle was made of nothing sturdier than thick pieces of wood. The fact that the two unchained hybrids hadn't leapt over the fence or broken it down and slaughtered every single person in the village was only because they were too weak to do it.

Kai sneered in disgust and allowed himself the soft growl that wanted to escape from his throat. He'd be the first to agree that the hybrids were horrifically destructive and the most dangerous land-animal on what was left of the planet, but they didn't deserve to be treated like this. This was torture by neglect.


And I'm tagging seven more:

[livejournal.com profile] sgamadison
[livejournal.com profile] debris_k
[livejournal.com profile] natsuko_writer
[livejournal.com profile] annieb1955
[livejournal.com profile] wildpear
[livejournal.com profile] iadorespike
[livejournal.com profile] tigertale7
taste_is_sweet: (Want to dive into your ocean)
[livejournal.com profile] selenic76 came up with this:



Want to dip your toe in a new fandom? Have a hidden desire to try out a new pairing? Or maybe you're dreaming about writing that first fanfic or original story? Why not take part in the low stress, deadline and wordcount free Writerly Summer Fling, and take that first step in making it happen! Click the pic to learn more on what the Fling is about, and how to join in on the fun ^_^

It's no-pressure and Selenic is a sweetheart, so there is no reason at all not to participate if you've been wanting to get a bit more (or any) writing done. I've got my Gay Were-Dinosaurs of the Pseudo-Amish Apocalypse novel(la) as well as three Stucky fanfics I'd like to finish, and between this and [livejournal.com profile] ushobwri I figure I should get something banged out. And with my DH's broken arm stressing me out like a stressing-out thing, I figure I could use all the stress-free encouragement I can get.

I'm also not likely to get to a beach anytime soon, alas. So at least I can look at the lovely back of the model water in the picture. Because, y'know, it's inspiring. And I'm all about the inspiration, really. :)
taste_is_sweet: (Harlock Skull)
Though Pedro de Valdivia looks like he could have used a tissue.
Pedro

Yes. Hence my lack of brilliance today (I'm always brilliant otherwise, right? RIGHT?). But today, alas, I woke up feeling like I hadn't slept at all. Astonishingly, it hasn't gotten better the longer I've been awake. I blame the weather, because it's windy as hell and likely blowing billions of metric tons of pollen all over the Brazos Valley. "Brazos" is short for "Brazos de Dios", which is Spanish for "Arms of God". Obviously the conquistadors didn't have allergies.

The Brazos Valley is known locally as being particularly bad for allergies, by the way. You can imagine how much I enjoyed learning that.

So, I'm stuffy, sleepy and considering having a nap, which would make three this week. I feel like a toddler.

However, since I have posts to post and main characters to torture novels to write, I'm just guzzling coffee and hoping for the best. This blog post seems reasonably coherent so far, so I'm optimistic.

Coffee, coffee, coffee, coffee.
ID-10089544

I should probably have an 'exhausted' tag, or something more thematically appropriate. But I'm too tired to think of one. ::Lethargic rimshot::

I think the coffee's brewed, thank God. Catch you all later if I'm not qafsjd;lwq;rwetgj;lka



"Businesswoman Sleeping On Desk" by imagerymajestic via FreeDigitalPhotos.Net.

taste_is_sweet: (Hawaii loves Danny too)
I was all set to write a post about how bizarre it is that nearly all the fictional former (or current) military-type Americans served in Afghanistan rather than Iraq during the war post 9/11. And then I did research on both wars and it seems that having them in Afghanistan is not as annoyingly unreasonable as it seemed (especially in the case of my personal favorite American military-type, John Sheppard).

I'm still not sure why John Diggle of Arrow or Steven McGarrett of Hawaii Five-O couldn't have both been awesome in Iraq instead, but it's plausible so what the hell.

Unfortunately, that left me with nothing terribly interesting to post about, so instead I'm going to link to [livejournal.com profile] ushobwri, where the always-awesome and very thoughtful [livejournal.com profile] brumeier declared that it's Hottie Wednesday. "Hottie Wednesday" means that there are lots of pictures of beautiful people in the comments because, Wednesday. And at least I don't have to be creative or inspired to look at beautiful people. Not to mention that posting links to photobucket is way easier than actually thinking of anything.

Enjoy! And happy hump day. And stay warm, for those of you in the cold places. :)
taste_is_sweet: (Vague)
Hi, guys! The local District School Board's Christmas vacation is almost up, and I've finally wrested my laptop away from my beloved child without feeling too guilty about him not being able to play Minecraft. He loves Minecraft; most of the world loves Minecraft, apparently. I get seasick when I try to play it.

Since I'm more-or-less online again, I thought I'd pull a Shea* riff off [livejournal.com profile] brumeier's idea and publicly display my New Year's Resolutions in the optimistic hope that it'll mean I actually keep them. (I know Brum isn't the only person on LJ who's done this, but I haven't read my FList since some date that I'm scared to find out for certain.)

So, here is what I want to accomplish this year:

Writing:
--Finish a novel, preferably two.
--Get that novel published.
--Write at least 1000 words a day, per the above.
--Get my already finished novel Blood for Magic published. Please, for the love of God.
--Post something in my LJ every week. Preferably something people want to read. Unlike this.

Everything Else:
--Keep up my food and exercise regimen, which seems to be working out okay.
--Do the exercises and stretch my physio therapist gave me, so I don't end up looking like a hunchback when I'm 80. (It'd also be nice not to have my back hurt all the time.)
--Try to worry less (I already know I'm going to fail at this one, but what the hell.)

Not too ambitious, I think. We'll see how it goes. :)

How about you guys? Trying anything new for the new year?





*Actually, since I said I stole it, I didn't really steal it. But I still totally think that 'Pulling a Shea' should be a new term.
taste_is_sweet: (Please be Advised)
Many years ago, while riding the Toronto subway, I was in a car with a young woman and her two friends. This was back in the early 90s, when name-brand, novelty sneakers were very much 'in'. This young woman had on such a pair, and I, with nothing else to do, was watching her wearing them.

I didn't realize it might have been rude until she glared at me and demanded to know why I was staring at her.

"I'm just looking at your shoes," I said, horribly embarrassed.

And she replied: "They don't wanna know you!"

Snobs
 photo Sneakers.jpg

It's the kind of moment that stays with you, and sometimes, like when I'm about to post on LJ or--especially lately--when I send out another novel query after the previous one was rejected again (three for three so far!), I hear those words. They don't wanna know you.

I realize this isn't helpful, and not even true (at least with non-footwear). I've met many people who wanted to know me, though I can't speak for their shoes; and many of these people both still know me and still want to, as far as I can tell. And I know that the people rejecting my novel aren't actually rejecting me. Maybe they'd want to know me if we ever met in person, even if they did describe my novel as 'fairly well written' and 'off-putting' in the same paragraph.

Maybe I wouldn't want to know them, but that's not the point.

Radio Host Jay Smooth, who is a bit of a YouTube celebrity for his commentary on racism, homophobia and gender issues, calls these kind of internal mantras "Little Haters". He has a video about them, which is pretty cool:

And Martin Freeman, lately of The Hobbit but possibly more beloved as Sherlock's Dr. John Watson, told an Entertainment Weekly interviewer that he doesn't read reviews because (to paraphrase, because I can't find it), it wouldn't matter how many awesome reviews he got, he'd only remember the negative ones and they would ruin his life. He has inner haters too.

That's reassuring, of course, to know that even famous people have their they don't wanna know you moments. But it's also discouraging. It'd be nice to think that at some point, somehow, maybe, I'd reach a threshold of success that would mean I didn't have to make the little haters shut up all the time.

Instead, most some days, like right now, it's a constant battle to keep writing, and posting to LJ, and sending out my novel when it seems like no one will ever want it. And to remind myself that they--whomever 'they' actually are--probably do want to know me. Just maybe not my writing.

It's a battle I don't think I'll win, but I'm still trying. And I'm still writing. And that's something, right?

But their shoes would love me. Really.

Photo: "Colorful Sport Shoe" by John Kasawa, via Freedigitalphotos.net

taste_is_sweet: (Every Five Pages)
I finished my new novel yesterday. I put in the last edits, made sure the title page had the right info on it, and sent that sucker off. Hopefully to engender a six-figure bidding war between famous publishers before it gets snapped up by Joss Whedon.

My immediate future. Of course.
 photo Money.jpg

So, with the work finished and my wealth and fortune completely assured, you'd think that I'd be happy, wouldn't you? Well, so would I! Except for how I'm not.

Nope. Pretty much everything made me cry this morning. Nothing like trying to sing along to your MP3 player and getting choked up by songs that have nothing to do with your life.

The sad (sadder?) thing is, I know it's because the novel's finished. This has happened to me before. What should be an occasion for enthusiastic relief, or at least relief and alcohol, instead ends up giving me the blues for days. Because obviously, if I'm not working on something then I'm a useless human being, right? Not to mention that once the novel's been sent out into the big, bad world, there's a huge, enormous chance that no one will like it. And if no one likes my writing, then I'm a useless human being.

Wash, rinse, repeat ad nauseam.

So here I am, moping 'cause I've got something accomplished. Go, me. And now I get to add terror to misery by starting something else that maybe no one will like either.

Writing: It's not a job, it's a (completely self-imposed) torment! And yet I keep doing it anyway.

Isn't one of the definitions of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again, and expecting a different result?

 photo Chimp.jpg

taste_is_sweet: (On a Daily Basis)
Yes, it's that time again. I've finished a novel except for the (hopefully; please, God, hopefully) last beta-read and putting the info on the title page, so now I have to write a summary of the damn thing. Fuck, fuckity fuck fuck damn it.

Yes, exactly.
 photo ComputerScreaming.jpg





A summary is the shorter version of what the book's about, an important distinction that I'm sure I'll forget again as soon as I've finished writing one. Normally I've found the synopsis to be worse, because it's longer while still requiring pithiness, and its hard to figure out what bits are important enough to mention when I'm trying to describe the plot in as few pages as possible. My agent (which makes me sound wayyyyy more famous than I am. Like, enormously way more famous) prefers the synopsis to be no more than two. Publishers don't have much time to read stuff, yo.

And I'll just let the irony of that go unmentioned.

I remember gnashing my teeth and lamenting to the very kind [livejournal.com profile] sgamadison about writing the synopsis for Black Hawk Tattoo, though the short summary was pretty easy. But with this novel, so far it's been the other way around.

That's the thing about romance novels: the relationship is the point, so anything that happens that doesn't directly relate to the two protagonists' journey to kissyface can be safely left out. But unlike BHT, my current novel is a fantasy, where the romance is important but far from the only thing that happens. I could, actually, leave the kissyface out and still describe the plot, but these days it seems you can't sell a novel without romance; so mentioning somewhere that yes, the heroine meets a hero for kissyface and mutual lifesaving is probably important.

So, bearing that in mind, how's this?:

This book has magic in it.
There is kissyface.
Lots of bad stuff happens.
No one actually dies.
Then end.

Perfect, right? :P

Okay, break's over. Back to work. Yay. I love writing. No, really.

It was a lot more fun making duck movie posters

taste_is_sweet: (That's me baby)
[Poll #1910872]

(The novel involves magic-users and kingdoms and blood sacrifice. In case it wasn't obvious.)

Thanks, Flisties! Your help is much appreciated. Sometimes I hate having to name novels even more than writing summaries.
taste_is_sweet: (Chuck was Worried)

I was all set to make my villains torch-and-pitchfork-because-of-fear villagers, because I liked the idea of my novel having antagonists but not any conventional villains. (This would be my next novel; the one I'm working on does have conventional tear-your-entrails-out-because-it's-fun villains. I'm trying to change things up, yo.)

Great idea, right? Of course! Awesome! Bring on the unconventionality! And then I realized that if I do that I have two problems. Two fairly big problems:

1) Unless I have the protagonist kill them all, they have no reason to stop coming after him*, and this isn't the kind of story where the actually-friendly protagonist will have time or opportunity to convince anyone of his good intentions. Which makes the happy ending problematic.

2) If I have the protagonist kill them all, he won't be the protagonist so much as a mass murderer. Which makes a happy ending impossible.

Oops.

Luckily, I have another idea! Sort of! I just wanted to share my useless doubtlessly fascinating insight. Now I need to motivate the bad guys.

*(my plan is to send this one to Dreamspinner Press, and they only take books with male protagonists. The novel I'm currently revising stars a woman. Yes, I felt the need to mention that.)

Posted via LiveJournal app for iPad.

taste_is_sweet: (Chuck was Worried)
Don't get me wrong--I love writing. Mostly. Black Hawk Tattoo (Woot; there it is) is now in it's second month of being available, and hasn't quite fallen off the face of the earth the sort-of reasonable rankings on Amazon.com, but I figure it's going to happen any second pretty soon, so I'm trying to prepare myself for it. One of the ways I'm doing that is by more writing, because the more books you have, the more books people might buy from you, yo. The other way is to try not to worry about it (because I'm so good at not worrying).

What I've come to realize about this writing gig is that even when you succeed, there's anxiety. The difference is that now I'm worried about my next novel. Will anyone want to publish it? Will anyone want to buy it if it's published? Will anyone like it if they buy it? And how long will it stay anywhere reasonable on the Amazon rankings?

Yep. Yet more fun and excitement for me! And to think I actually somehow didn't anticipate this happening. Yeah, I'm awesome.

I do realize that in the grand scheme of things I have absolutely nothing to complain about. I know I've done well and I'm lucky and I'm definitely happy with and grateful for what I've accomplished. I'd just love to be able to relax, you know? Just a little. Slightly. Sometimes.
taste_is_sweet: (But some of us are looking at the stars)
Harper Voyager to Accept Unagented Manuscripts for Two Weeks

I don't think I can take advantage of this--I have an agent, and he couldn't sell the one manuscript I had finished. Not to mention that it's the same novel I realized kind of sucks.

So unfortunately, no. Probably not for me. But I'm happy to pass on the opportunity. :D

Harper Voyager to Accept Unagented Manuscripts for Two Weeks - GalleyCat
taste_is_sweet: (Every Five Pages)
I just had someone die horribly in the novel I'm writing. On page six. Of a fantasy novel. At least it wasn't a main character. And I'm probably going to kill someone else by page ten.

I thought I'd share because I'm a little shocked that my attempt at having something exciting after a history!yay! prologue ended up with death and mayhem about three pages into chapter one.

Yay?

Um, yay?

29/3/12 15:52
taste_is_sweet: (Miserably Ever After)
Took me two days to, essentially, add less than a full paragraph worth of words to a scene in the novel I'm editing.

I'm on page 66. Just thought I'd mention that.

::argh::
taste_is_sweet: (Miserably Ever After)
So. My first-ever finished novel: the one I started back in 1997 or '98; the one I kind of abandoned for five years and then finished in June (July?) of the year my son was born because I didn't want to have to tell him I'd never managed it; the one that got me an agent and then never got a publisher; the one I spent nearly two years waiting for Edge and Tesseract Books to finally reject and the one I recently decided I would edit--again--so I could self-publish it and maybe, actually, possibly, make some money with and hopefully get my name out there. Yeah, Dauntless. That one.

Well, I did indeed start editing it (again) this week, and it turns out it actually sucks.

Yep. There is suckage. It's slow (I knew it was slow; didn't think it was this slow), kind of histrionic in places, has too many characters, too much plot, too many dead ends and internal logic that's only logical if by 'logical' you mean, 'ridiculous'. I feel like I should apologize to everyone I've ever sent it to. ([livejournal.com profile] wpadmirer, you are a better friend than I knew.) Obviously when my agent said a big part of the reason he took me on was my willingness to accept suggestions, he really wasn't kidding. It sure as hell wasn't the book.

Naturally this is kind of disappointing, though sadly not as much of a surprise as I would've hoped. I spent a long time--too long; way, way too long--on this fucking thing and put a lot of effort into it (though not in the right places, apparently), and I like the characters and at least some of the ideas. So to have it come to nothing is pretty sad. I suppose it shows how much I've improved as a writer since my late 20s, but I was hoping the difference wouldn't be quite this dramatic, you know?

I could salvage it by losing at least eight characters and basically rewriting everything else, but maybe it's just time to give it up as a bad job and set it aside once and for all. I have plenty of other ideas, and now I even know how to write an outline.

I haven't erased the novel, though. I'm not quite ready to do that. Maybe one day I'll be known enough as an author that it'll be publishable. Or maybe years from now I'll open the file again and have a good laugh, or cry, or just smile and finally put it in the recycle folder. Or maybe I'll print it out; we could always use more scrap.
taste_is_sweet: (Miserably Ever After)
You know you've had a sucky writing day when...

1) Even before you open the document on your computer, you realize that you're going to have to research something you thought up until that second that you already knew.

2) After spending most of the day on research instead of writing, you find out that in order to make the novel remotely plausible you a) actually need to move the hero to a different location and b) actually need to set the entire novel in a different year.

3) While going back over the novel to correct the place and time, you discover that you've unintentionally stricken the hero with cognitive dissonance of epic and ridiculous proportions. This, of course, is not the problem you want the character to have. And naturally, fixing it requires going back through three chapters, then eight more to make sure you haven't missed anything.

4) And then you can finally get to work, in the last half-hour of the day before you have to stop writing to start dinner and fetch the kid, only to realize that now you can't remember exactly what you planed to add next anymore. Not that you have time.

::sigh::
taste_is_sweet: (On a Daily Basis)
Cut because I talk about a character in a fictional story considering suicide by jumping off a bridge. )
The thing that constantly amazes me (and drives me nuts) about writing is that I can be barreling along at full-tilt, sure I'll finish a chapter in a day or so, only to suddenly need some small yet suddenly completely vital piece of information that brings everything to a screeching halt. I haven't written more than 200 words today, and it's already 3:30. :( But I've done over an hour of research on a bridge.
taste_is_sweet: (Owen is Screaming)
After almost exactly a year of waiting to find out what the publishers at EDGE and Tesseract Books think of the first seven chapters of my novel (yeah, the first seven chapters), I find out that the main editor has sent it to another reader because she had some mixed thoughts about it. She assured me that was a good thing, because she's a nice person and didn't want to break my heart outright. But this isn't my first go-round on the turnip truck.

I know that sending it to another reader is a nice way of saying that she thought it mostly sucked, but wanted to make sure it entirely sucked before telling me thanks, but no thanks. Don't let the door hit your manuscript in the ass on the way out.

I always make the mistake of assuming that if publishers keep my stuff for a long time, it's a good thing. It's never been a good thing. Give me another four months or so and I'm sure I'll have the definitive no.

This is the same novel that my agent gave up on because he couldn't find a publisher worth his time who liked it. I thought I might have a better chance with a small, Canadian press, especially after I went through the whole damn thing again and cut fifteen thousand words. Guess not. Now I'll need to find another publisher to continue this exercise in pointless masochism.

I suppose I could self-publish it. Yeah, because I'm so excellent at marketing myself.

At least I know for sure that people like my fanfiction. There's just a problem with everything else.
taste_is_sweet: (Vague)
I use the word 'almost' almost a million times in three hundred pages. I swear. Everything is 'almost'. 'Almost painfully'; 'almost laughed'; 'almost screamed'. Almost, almost, almost. Except when I use 'nearly'.

Jesus Christ. It's like I can't commit to anything. It's almost enough to make me want to cry. Nearly.

Okay, back to editing. Only 94 pages to go! Almost!

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