We’re at the Post

It’s been a busy day.  Blogging; formatting a story; getting the title page set up for submission; getting my last set of note in place for NaNoWriMo

Yes, here outside Chicago, we are down to 2 hours, 30 minutes, and change, before the Novel in a Month Madness begins.  Here I am, getting ready to crank out the wordage.  I have my newest version of Scrivener, the NaNoWriMo 2011 Special Version, all set up and ready to rock on my computer.

And I even know what music I’m going to play tomorrow.

Yeah, I got it all laid out and I’m eager to start writing, probably kicking off a couple of hundred words right after midnight just so I can get my word count on the board.

Am I excited?  Hell, yeah, I’m real excited.

I haven’t tackled a novel in a long time, but I’m on the right track.  I have the characters, I have the plotting . . . I have the world all ready to become real.  I know it’s going to be fast, and it’s going to be dirty, and it might even get ugly.  But when I’m done I’m going to have a novel based upon an idea I developed in a writing class last year.

It’s going to be edited.

It’s going to be submitted.

It’s going to be published.

It’s going to be good.

But, most of all–

It’s gonna be mine.

Good luck to all your NaNos out there!

Lets get to writing, yo.

Dreaming the Dream

NaNoWriMo kick off last night, and it was great.  Ran into a couple of friends who I’ve gamed with–one of  them the former owner of a really nice space ship and Jones, the Space Cat of Death, who always, eventually gets you even when you’re smiling while holding him–and meet another person who I can turn into a writing buddy.  We also made plans for getting together, including an idea I had for a Dusk-to-Dawn session that would involved Chicago pizza and my friend’s girlfriend having to dance barefoot on a table with a snake wrapped around her shoulders.

These are interesting times.  It should be Panicville right now, but it’s not.  It’s feeling like a great time to work, to develop, to create . . . and to work.  I was told last night I’m approaching this with an energy that’s somehow different that what I had earlier, and they’re right.  I feel have something this very moment that is way off the charts from what I had when I wrote my last two stories.  Good or bad?  Who cares?  I’m the guy with the word processor.

Part of it might be what I discovered yesterday after yesterday’s post.  The day before I’m talking about my erotic story to Trusty Editortm and they mention that they’ll be happy when they hear I’ve sold the story, that others are enjoying it.  I’m like, “Sure,” because I always think the worst, but then yesterday . . . there are groups I belong to where writers of erotica hang out.  And one of the, the editor of an erotica press, posts a notice:  hey, we’re looking for flash fiction, submit!  (No, not that sort of submit; not all erotica is BDSM.)  They said they were looking for stories up to 9,999 words, so I do a word count on my story and . . . it’s 9,948 words, which is 9,950 when you round, which means I nail it, yes!!!

Talking writing, talking characters, talking about plots and ideas–it’s a great time for it all.  It seemed like when I’m turning here and there, I’m finding idea.  Yeah, I have another erotic story with a supernatural bend to it, and I’ll probably crank that out, maybe when I’m not working on NaNo.  It’ll be strange, it’ll be kinky–hey, any story that starts out with a naked woman and her sex toy has no where to go but someplace different.  And I’m the guy to take it there.

But it’s all there, all feeling great.

These are the dreams I have that I am trying to make true.  They are coming, slowly, but they are coming.

Yet these is one more dream to come.

And I think it’ll be here soon.

It’s one of a more personal nature–so personal I can’t talk about it, not yet.  I know it’ll be one of those life affirming moments, so that when it happens–as Captain Jack might say–everything changes.  As one friend told me, “I want you to have (this dream), and when it’s over I want you to be happy.”

Happy is something I haven’t had in a while.  I’m starting to feel it, though.  I know it’s just outside my door, and it’s ready to knock, and when it does I’m letting that sucker in.

We should all get our dreams, and they should make us happy.  I know I will have that dream, and I’ll be happy.

It’s about damn time.

Slashin’ the Fic

With NaNoWriMo gearing up a lot of my time is focused on that.  Well, not a lot, but you know what I mean.  However, I know I’m near the end of the prep state and right now I just want to lay down my first hundred or so words.

I seem to have writer’s anxiety, which appears to be the case with a lot of people.  I see it on the boards everywhere: “I want to start writing.”  “I can’t wait to begin writing!”  Yeah, everyone is ready for the birth.

It’s getting through the labor that sucks so much.

Having never done this before I’m looking all over the place to make connections.  I have several friends who are doing it this year as well; I’ve got the Facebook and Twitter sites locked down; and I’m on Skype talking to people when they come on.

Like yesterday . . . (Ever noticed that everything here is “yesterday”?  Are these my yesterdays alone, or All Our Yesterdays?  Have I taken this joke too far?)  I fired up the Skype and spoke with some of the people who are getting ready for this insanity.  One woman had a couple of characters ready and was going to “let the writing take her where it wanted”.  Another said she never plotted out, she just went.  And the one I thought was most interesting–she was going to write for a couple of days, and if the novel wasn’t working for her, “I’m going to do a fanfic”.

Hey, now!

We all know what fan fiction is, right?  Where people decide they want to put themselves into a world created by another and build their own adventures–or, better yet, lets take established characters and do things with them.  Maybe they die in a battle where they once lived, and it changes the in-world history.  Or they hook up with someone else, rather than the character the original author chose (this last was a particular bone of contention with Ms. Fanfic, as she was rather incensed with the “End of the Story” hookups found in the Harry Potter world–and if you know me, you know when it comes to geek outrage I’ve moved beyond that).  Or, better yet, lets go the slash fic route and get Ginny in bed with Luna so the later can get her nargles all tingly.  (I would have said “Lets get Harry and Draco in bed”, but that’s been done to hell and gone–with Tom Felton’s approval, apparently.)

Hell, I know fanfic, only when I was growing up in the 1970’s and 80’s it was stuffed away in badly Xeroxed fanzines that were difficult to get your hands on, if you could at all.  If it weren’t for fanfic we wouldn’t know about Mary Sues, since they are a direct offshoot of the fanfic genre.  And lets face it: in earlier times fanfics ended up becoming wholly legitimate parts of an overall mythos.

I never wrote much fanfic.  The closest I got into it was doing a few stories set in the Cyberpunk game universe, which I wrote around the time I was actually running a years-long campaign.  The first one I finished–the one that I presented to my then writing group–end up topping out at about 130,000 words, which was, for anyone, a hell of an effort.

I remember finishing it, sitting back as a nice, warm glow came over me, and suddenly thinking, “What the hell am I gonna do with this?”  ‘Cause this was 1992, and posting stuff to FanFiction.Net wasn’t an option.  These days the Internet is the the place all fanfic goes to live–though I’m really looking forward to 2050 and the expiration of the copyright on the Lord of the Rings trilogy because I’ve got some mad elf sex scenes to write.

My fanfic was really the fetish fiction I did earlier in the century (I love being able to say that).  It was done with the idea that (1) it would give me an outlet to be creative, (2) I could put it somewhere and people could enjoy it, and (3) maybe I’d have a few people coming back to me going, “Hey, great job”.

But I found myself limited by what I was writing and stopped doing it a few years ago.  And I thought I was finished with all that–

Until someone paid me money for a series of stories I did back about 2006.  Paid me so they could illustrate them.

And the funny thing is–now I see that some of what I did write was particularly good.  Good enough to publish.

Which leads to an interesting conundrum–

Recently I’ve finished an erotic story that I’m in the process of editing for submission to . . . well, somewhere.  And that seems to have gotten the imagination going, for while I have a NaNo novel to crank out and a couple of works in progress behind that, I have this idea for a story that is something of an paranormal erotic fantasy that’s sitting on the fence that used to be my fetish fiction.  And while I know I might not be able to publish this work should I ever write it, the ideas I have about it–they draw me in; they want me to make this real.

And trust me: there are a few scenes in my head that really get out there.  There are a couple of imagines I have of the couple in my story, and the one that’s sticking with me today is of the woman in my story who starting out feeling unusual things beginning to happen–like her breasts and clitoris swelling–and it ends with her found passed out on the bedroom floor after masturbating herself into a dozen orgasms, literally sticking to the carpet due to her flowing “essence”, so to speak.

It’s erotic, it’s fantasy . . . it’s pretty much fanfic that I maybe, possibly, might be able to sell.  Or not.

But that doesn’t mean I don’t want to write it.  If not for me, for the few people I do know who will enjoy it.

And, deep down, that’s what we in the writing game all want.

Bounteous Offerings

Oh, yesterday, yesterday.  Such it was that so many things just seemed to come together and make it magical.  It was one of those days that you wish could happen all the time, that you could wake up and hit the ground running (which the Mythbusters proved really did you no good) and just be constructive.

It was the perfect storm of creative goodness.

No secret I’m getting geared up for NaNoWriMo.  I finished up what I think my characters will look like, and when Trusty Editortm showed up I fired off the pictures to her so she could give me her opinion–which is why she’s Trusty Editortm .  So she looks them over and is happy with everything I picked out–save one.  And it’s an important one, because it’s my main character.

Now, at first, I had the impression she didn’t want to say anything, but I insisted.  And she told me, more or less, that if my main character was suppose to be of Greek heritiage with a little Persian blood thrown in, then she should look it . . . and the picture I’d chosen didn’t look the part.  And I had to agree, because that character had been hard to “sync up”, so to speak.

So back to Flickr, back to looking for pictures, back to narrowing my search to “Greek Women”.  Damn, and wouldn’t you know it?  One of the first pictures I see, I shoot over the link, and Trusty Editortm looks it over and says, “That’s what I’m talking about.”  And, again, she was right: the picture was more in line with how my main character should appear.  (Acutaly, Trusty Editortm also said something like, “She’s got a great costume and (the first girl) doesn’t seem like it would work for her.”  This is why I have a Trusty Editortm .)

So one part of my day saved and a character realized more fully.  It’s a great thing to have, for someone to come in and help you where and when you need it, and set you on the right path in your creative process–and you can do nothing more than thank them.  To do anything more might be illegal . . . or could get you in all sorts of trouble.

So the NaNo novel is just waiting for the countdown to get to zero.  What to do in the meantime?

After my encounter with Trusty Editortm my friend who is also Lovely Annie, my role playing sweetheart (really, my character’s, but who cares?), showed up, and we got back into a little of the give and take that is our character’s lives.  It was the first time in a while we did it, and it went on for a few hours . . . and I have to say, it was a lot of fun.  I’ve missed the character interaction, and of late, when we slip into our characters, it feels like the dynamic between them has changed.  I’d have to say that we are more “in tune” with what they are feeling, and as such we are able to take them in different directions than we could have imagined when we first created them.  See, Jill?  Not everyone is a emotionally shallow pool of scum like you; some people actually know how to relate to other people with love and affection.

So now that we’ve started back on that path, I’m certain there will be more to come.  Why do I know that?  Because I know Lovely Annie.  I know what she wants, and what she needs, and, I believe, what she desires.  So more creativity from that side of my life.

And now, for something erotic.  Hey, it’s Saturday: I gotta get the juices flowing somehow.  Oh, and in case you didn’t relalize, dirty talk ahead.

You’ve Been Warned.

This actually happened a few days ago, but, hey, Time is Relative, right?  (Or is it the new meme, “Timey Wimey”?  I can’t remember.)  My erotic writing friend–whom I’ve yet to label, but I will soon–we were talking about, of all things, sex.  And one of the things she mentioned that sorta kinda turned her on would to be either walk in on someone who is, or have them walk in on her during, the act of masturbating.  She even went into some detail about the sort of things she’d like to see and do, and one of those things involved Ms. Sexy Writer (see, she’s labeled), in the bedroom, going at it with a sex toy.  And then someone comes in, finds her, and rather than fix her cable they decide to join in the fun, so to speak . . ..

And it doesn’t take a lot of imagination to see where this might go.

The problem is–I have a lot of imagination, and I can see it going in a lot of different directions.

See, sex needn’t be just sex: that’s why you have erotica, or at least that’s the theory.  As one friend told me, “Sex should always be more, even if fucking is what’s required.”  There should be something there, and I don’t necessarily mean you must have the greatest, unending love the universe has ever seen–but, as a couple, you should always be on the same wavelength and hold deep regard for each other.  Okay, yeah: that is love.  I guess this means I’ve given up playing around . . . oh, wait.  I gave that up decades ago . . ..

Anyway, I’ve held onto this image for a few days–I mean, why wouldn’t I?  I’m alive, aren’t I?  And while I was thinking about this, holding onto it, something else came up–a conversation about one of the various paranormal ghost hunting shows on TV.  And just like that–BAM!!  I got an idea for a story.  One that sort of starts off with Ms. Sexy Writer’s idea of being “caught”–wink wink, nudge, nudge–and then some supernatural entity gets involved, things change, sex happens, hilarity ensues.  Or more erotic love making; I haven’t decided yet which it’s gonna be.

This is how my mind works these days.  I hadn’t set out to do another erotic story–I mean, I got a novel I’m gonna work on, for gawd’s sake–but the idea is there, and it’s one that doesn’t want to go away now.

Could it be I’m possessed?

Or could it be that these days I know how to take a few ideas, put them in that blender that passes for my mind, and come up with things that I think are going to interest people other than me?

I guess we’re going to find out, won’t we?

Bouncing ‘Round the Rubber Room

Advil PM is a fantastic medication for getting rid of a headache, but man, does it leave you with a hangover the next morning.  Nothing completely debilitating as the head spinning I had last week, but this is something I could do without this early in the morning.

I still surprise myself with how I react to my writing, and how I respond to my characters–and, in turn I’m still take back by the passion I have for both.  I can see why, as I continue to develop my talent–and, yes: it is a talent as much as it is a skill–that it’s easy to get lost in that passion.

A couple of days ago I was contacted, out of nowhere, by the person whom I often refer to as the Whingy Latex Wearer.  She started out by first asking me how my writing was going.  Normally I wouldn’t take that badly, but with her you have to dance around, because with her something always seems to tie back to her fetish.

I told her that I was working on the outline for the novel I will write for NaNoWriMo, that I had all my notes in place (really, I’ve got about 90%, but that’s quibbling), and I was ready to rock come 1 November.  She was like, “Oh, great!” and wanted to hear a little more, and I told her that I’d been working on the design of my main character’s costume that day.  She listened (as much as one can on electronic personal posts) then said, “Well, I just stick to latex because it’s easy to order”.  But of course, my dear.  The easiest solution is always to swath yourself in layers of rubber.

If I were a nice person I’d have just let it go . . . but I’m not always a nice person, and of late I’ve felt as if I’ve got my own menstrual cycle going and I’m in the middle of that time.  So I told her, “That’s nice, but I want my character to have an outfit she can wear outside that’s not going to give her fucking heat stroke after 20 minutes”.  Yeah, that’s me:  nice, but I’m still gonna eat your liver if you give me a chance.

Needless to say she didn’t reply.  So let that be a lesson, kiddies:  let the people who have watched all 9 seasons of Project Runway design the outfits, and you can sit there quietly in your latex panties and mind your tongue.

Now, on to my character meltdown.

I do game; I game online.  If you follow the daily scree you’ve run across a few posts where I discuss this.  Well . . . something happened in the timeline of the game where I sort of bailed on a thread that the Lovely Annie, apple of my character’s eye, wanted to do, but instead I went off doing something else with the thread, and I did it unilaterally.

And it was wrong.

There was a very important lesson that I forgot: our game is a collaborative effort.  Just like a couple of authors working together on a novel, the game we have is a collaboration between me and Annie’s player.  But a combination of several factors–feeling bored, wanting to do something, thinking I had the story in my head–led me to cut her out of what should have been moments between us.

Even though I didn’t get a ream out over what happened–Annie’s player is far too kind to me to do that–I felt very bad; there was a lot of hair pulling on my part–well, not a lot, I don’t have it left to pull–and crying.  Oh, yeah: there was crying.  Some of what I felt was her frustration at not knowing how to deal with where her character should be, but part of it was, on my behalf, the knowledge that I didn’t allow a fellow writer, who has her own unique view, to express herself.

And as much as I bitch about people who want to do that to me, I should have known better.

Does this mean that Annie and Kerry (our characters) are on the outs?  Ha!!  You people don’t know us very well, do you?  Every relationship has it’s ups and downs, and this was a down for us.  But the ups more than balance out the little bit of trouble that occurred.

And look at it this way: just think of the make up kisses our characters can share later.

All the Women That Are My Life

This is what comes of being busy for a few days: you wake up, you stare at a blank screen–and nothing comes out.  There were all these thoughts rolling about in my head this morning when I awoke, but they suddenly decided to scurry to the shadows the moment the lights come on and the computer comes up, like some kind of mental cockroaches spooked by an electronic dweller.

I suppose there nothing to talk about–

Oh, there’s always sex.

Actually it goes beyond sex.  It has everything to do with my characters.

It has been pointed out to me, on more than a few occasions, that my female characters are generally pretty nicely done.  I take a lot of pride in that, mostly because I feel that creating wonderful female characters is, for some writers, a difficult chore.  You read some stories, and the female characters adhere to Melvin Udall adage that when they create female characters they first create a male then take away reason and accountability.  Ha, ha, I get it: men are the only ones who totally have their shit together, which is why the world is in such great freakin’ shape.

Part of the reason I love a great female character (who, I should point out, isn’t a guy with breasts, as some characters tend to come off) it the time I grew up in, and the sort of things I read.  I geeked out early on science fiction, and most of the stuff I started with was from the “Golden Age” of sci fi.  And if you know anything about the Golden Age, it’s that it was sorta light on believable female characters, or any at all.  There was a lot of what I like to call “Golden Brage” for the Sci Fi Ladies, where most illustrations fell heavily into Fanservice, and the women themselves were usually little more than Ms. Fanservice incarnate.

That started to change in the 1970’s, in particular with the movie Alien and the introduction of Ellen Ripley.  It’s hilarious to know now that originally Alien (oh, I’m sorry, I mean, Starbeast) was going to be something of a homoerotic sausage fest before someone got their shit together and turned into the classic movie we all now know and love. I fell in love with Ripley, and that really drove me to begin looking at women in a far different light as characters.  Not to say I hadn’t before then, but yeah–the movie did something to me.  And I wanted to do that in my own work. When I got around to doing it, that is.

I much prefer working with women, trying to understand them, try to get into their heads to learn their secrets and motivations and desires.  Not only in my writing, but in real life as well.  I’ve never been much for “guy stuff”; it’s always bored me.  Doesn’t make me bad, just makes me a touch different.

When I look at my next novel, the novel after that I wanted to re-edit, and another novel after that which is in need of writing, I realize the majority of characters are dealing with are female–and that the guys who are in those stories are either very smart and competent, or physiological messes, or both.

Am I projecting?

Probably a lot more than you can ever imagine.

Building the Believable Butt Kicker

I had a lot of fun finding characters yesterday.

As I mentioned yesterday about the need to get some pictures in my head so I know my characters, I started looking for those pictures.  And I had a good bit of luck because I did find pictures.  I found a lot of them.  And I was able to narrow do “the looks” for my female characters at least.  I have a few men I need to image, but that will happen today.

Now, was the search perfect?  No, it wasn’t.  But, I got the ideas I need, and I can mix and match nationality and things like hair and skin pretty easy, because I have an image now.  And good ones at that.

But I have one last thing to do, and that’s get my main character’s outfit down.  And I worked on that against yesterday as well, mostly by doing a little Internet research, and pulling upon my inner Tim Gunn.

The thing that was important most important to me is that that outfit look (1) cool and that it be (2) functional.  Sure, those two aren’t always mutually exclusive, but that’s where your imagination comes into play.  And, fortunately, imagination is something I have–and I’m not afraid to use it.

I’ve got layers here, so stick with me, ’cause I might get lost in this trip . . ..

First and foremost, I should start out by saying I drew inspiration from Ruby Rocket, a professional cosplayer.  In particular, I drew upon this Cracked article about the funkiest aspects of superhero costumes.  Needless to say, your average superhero isn’t sartorically inclined, and that meme is pushed even more to the extreme by Hollywood.  And if you’re a butt kicking sorceress, the chances are if you’re being costumed by Hollywood you’ll find yourself running around the streets of my Chicago in latex and 5 inch heels . . . which means you’ll soon pass out from heat stroke if you aren’t nursing sprained ankles first.

Let’s move on.

First, I need something that’s going to be comfortable, that’s going to move, and is going to breathe.  My world has crappy weather, and the story takes place in August–and if you’ve ever done a summer in Chicago you’ll know just what sort of hell that can be.  My sorceress might get away with a leather dress for a night, but during the day she’ll be sweating her butt off.  And latex?  Sure, you might get away with that if you’re rocking out for 90 minutes in a controlled environment–or hangin’ in your BDSM cave waiting for some serious action–but on the street you’re an ER case waiting to happen.

So we go with a two-piece outfit, top and pants.  Both are form fitted so they lay close to the body.  They’re likely made of something like Supplex®, so they’re both breathable and able to pull sweat away from my character’s body.  The pants will likely stay basic black, while the top will likely be two-toned, say a soft pastel with intricate rune patterns etched in black.

If you’re thinking this sounds a bit like something you’d do your morning yoga in, congratulations!  That’s exactly what I’m going for.  Yes, it’s not Underworld worthy, but then Selene is a vampire, so she doesn’t have to worry about little things like her internal body temperature zooming to 112 degrees.

Over that is going to go a coat.  If you’re thinking “black leather trench coat”, at one time so did I.  It’s such a cultural meme these days that it’s hard to get it the hell out of your head.  But I don’t want to go there, as it’s just too stereotypical.  Now, since my characters exist in something of a Steampunk world, I decided to give my main character a jacket that fits with that imagery, and so she gets a modified corset back jacket, maybe with a bit of lace trim and done up in purple.  Why purple?  Because it looks good on her.

And the jacket is important because it gives my character to put her stuff.  I see it having a few pocket sewn into the inner lining, and at least one of them is likely her Bag of Holding.  It doesn’t do anyone any good to go out into what could become a dangerous situation at any moment and realize the only place they can put their mobile phone is up their ass.  Maybe that works for Christopher Walken, but for the rest of us mortals it’s inconvenient as hell.

Now we come to my character’s most fetishy pieces, her boots and corset.  I can hear you now:  “So this is where you bring the sexy, right?”  Alas, probably not.

The corset is going to be a simple underbust, leather with a steel front busk closure.  It’s not going to be tight: we’re looking at Of Corsets Sexy, not Of Corset Hurts here.  The boots . . . they’re gonna going to be knee high, leather, and I’m thinking brown.  They are not going to be Combat Stilettos, however:  my character is less Rei Hino beating demons while wearing high heels and more Silk Spectre II in the prison break scene, or Zhora running from Deakard.  (And, yes: I did consider her having enchanted boots that would have a very high heel for the hell of it, but would make the heel vanish when she got into a situation where she needed to run or fight.  I considered it, then smacked myself in the head.)

But there is a reason why those two pieces are leather: in the rules of my world enchanting what has once been “natural” (like cotton and leather) is easier than enchanting something like her Supplex® outfit, and those items are enchanted to offer protection.  The boots protect her legs and the corset protects her torso and arms–think of it as Kevlar that protects against projectiles and most magical attacks.

But what about her head?  She is like Batman, where no one thinks to shoot him in the head with a shotgun, because they love aiming at that big bat on his armored chest?  Not a chance.  My character will wear a necklace that has a dual function: one, it’ll serve as a foci, and two, it’ll offer protection to her head.  So she’ll be able to channel more energy when she needs it, and keep from getting her face blown off when she’s not looking.

So there you have it; the outfit my main character wears.  And believe me, it was fun putting it together–

So much so, I can’t wait to see her in it.

Are You There in My Imagination?

The time is now 6 days and change before the NaNo Madness kicks off, and I woke up this morning with strange thoughts bouncing about in my head.  No, they weren’t the thoughts I have about mayonnaise and spider gags–get your mind out of the gutter, people.

The thought I had deals with the characters in my novel.  The last couple of days I’ve been trying to get my mind in the right place with how I think they should talk, act, relate to each other.  I’ve been getting a feel for the world, how the city should look (Steampunk Gothic, if that makes any sense), all that jazz.

And then I woke up thinking about one of the main characters, and realized–I have no idea what she looks like.

Now normally this would be a big deal to me.  I finished up my last story (do you actually want me to whore this story, which can now be found at Barnes & Noble as well?) and did pretty well without doing a character description.  For one of the main characters I did mention that she liked color, represented by her choice of a colorful backpack, but as far as what she looked like–nada.

There was a comment that Norman Spinrad made on Facebook the other day (and if you don’t know who Norman Spinrad is, you need to start reading), where he said he doesn’t like to describe the characteristics of main characters because he wants the reader to fill in the blanks as to what they are like.  And to a certain extent I agree.  When I’m reading I fit in my mind an image of the main characters.  Even if there is a somewhat detailed description of a character–or, in some cases, a drawing–I still tend to play Fill in the Blanks for characters and develop my own interpretation.

And then I got me a curve ball thrown my way.

I’m helping out with a project involving some fetish fiction I wrote years ago.  Not only was I paid for the right to use my stories (which, believe it or not, makes them the first sales I’ve ever made), but someone is doing artwork, a series of 5 scenes from each story.  Of course when one draws scenes from a story there’s an important component that’s required–

Hence the question, “What do you characters look like?’  For no where in any of the stories did I describe any of the main characters.  Why is that?  Because when I write I usually develop an image of how my characters look.  Yes, it’s something only I see, but it does help when I’m writing.

So cut to this morning.  Why am I feeling like I need to lock down my characters for this NaNo Novel?  Because it bugs the hell out of me that a year after I first put notes together for this story, I have no frackin’ idea what anyone looks like.

And it’s not just in the context of the story of how I could describe them, but when I try to conjure up a mental image of, say, the main character, I got nothing.

And I don’t like that feeling.

It’s not an insurmountable situation, but when I start writing I want to at least have a good idea in that musty attic I call a brain that I know what the hell my characters look like to me before I start putting them down on paper.

And there’s one other things: my primary protagonist, she wears a very particular outfit full of protective enchantments.  Again, while I have a good idea what it should look like, I have no idea what it does look like.  And that’s bugging the hell out of me.

I know, it sounds like I’m being very anal about things that some people would find a minor point in terms of creating a story, but I want to get this right.  I want the feel to be real.

And if I’m not feeling the realness in my mind, then how do I expect the reads to do that same?

So, I have my project: get some looks down and design me an outfit.  Shouldn’t be that big of a deal.

After all, I’ve seen enough Project Runway to understand what it means to make it work.

Supper’s On

It’s a week to go before the insanity that is NaNoWriMo kicks off–and kicks a few of us in the groin.  Right now my Works in Progress are sort of on . . . well, they are done.  I don’t really, at this point, have a WiP in P.  I’m looking at my notes for my soon-to-be novel, more or less doing a Neo-style psych up before I have to jump off the building and write like a mad man.

You know where this is going, right?  I’m driving myself crazy with what I’m going to do, am I gonna be able to keep up, am I gonna create something that’s gonna be worth while?

Naw.

You know, I’m having very few of those thoughts.  Yes, I’m having bad thoughts off and on, but as far as the novel to be goes, very few of them are turned in that direction.  I know I have to do a little tweaking on the notes, but nothing major.  I’ll knock that off this week and be ready to go to down.

But I noticed something over the weekend.  When I wasn’t moping like a sick dog (yes, I was moping, what can I say?), I wondered why I wasn’t writing anything.  Something, anything.  I just had to do it.

But this was a strange weekend for me.  Beyond this little slice of writing paradise I seemed like I was floating about with little to do.  It made me feel just a little lost, because I really felt like I was wasting my time, which I was.

So what to do?

Game writing, what else?

I’ve talked about the online game I’ve done off and on since earlier in the year.  Of late it’s been more “off” than the other, mostly because I’ve been doing a lot more writing (like I did with my story Kuntilanak which, you will see if you just follow that link, is now being sold at Barnes & Noble for your Nook, so what are you waiting for?  Put some money in my pocket), but I still do it.  Why?  Because it’s good writing, because I love the characters, because I love the interaction my character has with my in-world girlfriend (yes, she is my character’s girlfriend; stop snickering), because I love the world I’ve helped create.

So I tried something different this last week.  My character and my girlfriend character were out on a field trip in the deep, dark woods of Maine, and while nothing really exciting happened to us like being attacked by bears–said likelihood of that happening goes way up if you are in the wild with another person and you’re having sex with them, just in case you wanted to know–I came up with the idea: hey, instead of us talking about walking through the forrests and finding all sort of plants and seeing the trees and oohing and ahhing when we find some unicorns (Team Unicorn, if we’re lucky), why not have the people who took us out talk about the trip with other instructors?  Get a little bit of an idea about what it was like from their point of view?

So since last Tuesday I’ve been writing.  And writing.  And I did a little more writing over the weekend–well, probably a lot more writing.  So far I’ve cranked out 4700 words since last week, and it’s probably that I did about 2000 words over the weekend alone.  It’s been a chore at times–you get that little niggling “Why are you doing this?” voice in the back of your head from time to time–but for the most part it’s been fun, and it’s been very engaging.  And it allows me to work on characters, to think like they think, to give their point of view on something that we, as playing characters, wouldn’t normally see.

Is it worthwhile to engage in something that, for the most part, is never going to see the light of day?  To spend all my time working on something that will never lead to any sort of financial benefit?

Sure.

Stephen King once stated in his book Danse Macabre (of which I have a First Edition printing, yes I do) something along the lines of, “If you write because you have to do it, then you’re a writer.  If you write because you are only trying to make money, then you’re a monkey”, and it’s a quote that I use a lot as well.  (He also said, “If you wrote something for which someone sent you a check, if you cashed the check and it didn’t bounce, and if you then paid the light bill with the money, I consider you talented.”  While I haven’t yet made enough to pay the light bill, I’m close, therefore I be talented.)  So I’m writing and creating not so much because I know what I’m doing will turn into great, impression, wonderful masterpiece–I’m doing it because I want to, because I feel like it.

Because I feel like I need to do this.

If I didn’t, would I come out here every day and share my thoughts?

Welcome Back My Friends–

It’s been an Emerson, Lake, and Palmer weekend for me, if you can believe that.  Yesterday while I was roaming the Internet (which means I wasn’t doing anything), I discovered a live recording from one of my old records that they did of Tarkus, all 28 minutes and change.  It brought back a few memories (like what happened to all my records) . . . and not all of them good.

I grew up in a small town.  My graduating class had something like 170 people in it.  I was smart, but you wouldn’t know it from my grades, because I was always suffering from something: being bi-polar, inability to have a good relationship, afraid of just about everything–it was all there.

I’ve talked about how I used to read a lot, but I was also into a lot of music when I was in high school.  And, if you haven’t guessed, when most people were listing to Top 40 AM, I was getting into FM–

And then I found Pictures at an Exhibition.

I didn’t so much find it as someone gave me an 8-track (yes, those magical things!) and said, “This is probably something you’d like.”  Since most people knew me as “that strange kid”, I knew where they were going with that.  The thing was, I found the recording fascinating.  I loved the arrangement, and I’d always like organ and piano music, so I gravitated there.

(I didn’t like them enough to get good at playing, however.  I was sort of self taught throughout the later part of the 1960’s, and I remember sometime around 1969 going, “The hell with this; who makes a living playing piano?” not realizing that some guy in England named Reginald was going to show us just how that shit was done–)

So that was my first foray into “Progressive Rock”–or, as my friends liked to call it, “freak music”.  You know, because when you’re friends are getting into 3 minute songs and you’re jamming down to 18 minutes of Close to the Edge, you gotta be a freak.

It was around this time I started writing as well.

I would like to tell you that I wasn’t the sort of kid who sat in his room with the curtains drawn and his writing pad in his lap, his fancy pen taking down his every thought . . . but if I did that, I’d be lying.  In 1974 all I needed was a Neo trench coat and I’d have been ready to go on a rampage.  (It was also around this time that someone tried to sell me 5 pounds of C-4, blasting caps, and detonators for $250, but that’s another story.)

I never really got far with the writing thing then.  I did a few things here and there, had a couple of “good” ideas, but never really got far with anything.  One thing or another was always pulling me away, and that “thing” was usually depression brought about by whatever the hell was going on in my life at the time.

Now . . . it really all seems different.  Yes, there is depression–and by the buckets–but I still manage to get through that, and even when it seems the worst I find something to write about.  It seems like my mind is constantly going into “work in progress” mode, and with only a few days left before we writers find ourselves with a muse holding a Glock to our heads while mumbling, “I don’t give a shit how hard it is, gimme the fuckin’ story!” I’ve found my inner nutcase is pretty calm about the whole thing.

And I might have something with another story coming up . . . something very soon.  Just a matter of getting off my butt and doing it.  If you’ve been following this blog you might have an idea what I’m talking about–

In a way, being different, a purveyor of “freak music”, if you will, being someone on the outside didn’t hurt me that much, because when I get right into it I didn’t fit in with a lot of things as it was–I mean, my first story ideas weren’t “out there”, but they weren’t the sort of things my friends would have ever expected.  I could do without being bi-polar, but you take the good with the bad.

My dream the other night said I was going the wrong way.

It’s time to turn it around, and take it where I’ve never been before.

Infinitesimal Jesting

Yesterday was one of those days: it was filled with infinite sadness and not a lot of happiness.  Being bi-polar . . . yeah, it kicks you in the ass and tears you up at times, and when it does you want everything to be over.

I woke up with my head spinning and my mind in a real fog.  I had little, if any, motivation to do a damn thing.  If you read my post yesterday, you could tell there was no energy whatsoever flowing from my words.  They lay there like a dead fish smelling up a room, and the only thing that might make is smell better in comparison would be the scent waffling from the fish monger who delivered the damn thing.

It got to where I thought I might be coming down with a cold.  I’ve had that happen as well: your mood is such that it not only drags your mind down, it takes your body with it.  So I watch a little TV (Sanctuary, if you must know), drank a little Theraflu, because screw the cold, if I had one coming I was going to nail it, and that stuff does if it I get it right away, and then puttered around on the computer for a bit before heading off to bed.

Dreams were a little strange.  It seems of late that when I’m not having a crazy sex dream, I’m having ones where I seem to be back and school and dealing with stuff that I’m not handling well.  And at one point in my dream I was in a F-1 racing, going the wrong way on the track.  Yeah, I know what that means: that as far as my life is concerned, I’m going the wrong way.

Now, if only I can discover which way should I be going?

Today, though, I feel great.  Well, fairly great.  I mean, when you have mental illness you just deal with it.  Sometimes you deal with it well, and other times . . . not so well.  Yesterday was a not-so-well day, with a lot of moping and feeling bad and even a bit of crying here and there.  All part of the gauntlet, I assure you.

The worst part was not being able to write.  I couldn’t do anything.  I couldn’t look at my manuscripts.  I  couldn’t think about stories.  I began thinking about NaNoWriMo and was ready to say, “Fuck it,” and give up without even trying.  That seemed to be the part that hurt the worst, not being able to get into your words and imagination.  But, yesterday, the words meant nothing and the imagination only saw the worst.

Today, I’m looking forward to getting it done.  9 days and 16 hours before Hell Comes to Writing Town, and I’m about as ready as I’m going to be.  I’m looking forward to writing.  I want to write today: well, I’m writing now, to be honest.  But story telling, it’s what I want to do, and I need to be in the right mind in order to get there.

So today I find Trusty Editortm and get them to help me finish editing my little erotic story.  That sucker was never meant to be anything more than a test bed, something I’d put together to show someone else that I could write erotica without having to fall back on all the fetish tricks that I used to use, but now . . . now I feel it’s something with merit.  That it has a voice.  And that, after these edits, I’ll actually be able to sell it.

Is it that good?  I think so.  And someone else thinks so as well.  I mean, they like it enough to ask about bondage positions and the sort of sex toys used in the story, and even going so far as wondering what it all might feel like.

It gets the imagination going.  That’s what I’m going for, to have people feeling what my characters are feelings.  Though the question arrises: do they really want to know what an anal vibrator really feels like?

Yes, I’m back.  I’m feeling better.  And I have a little more hope today.

I want to write.  And I want to charge people with my imagination.

Maybe when this is over I won’t be racing in the wrong direction any longer.

It’s the End of the–Damn, Wrong Again

It’s suppose to be the end of the world today, but I have this feeling that things are going to keep on keeping just like they do every day.  But, see, when you have people follow these idiot religious geeks who go on about how one religious text or another sez today is the day some of us are gonna get out asses Raptured, then you have to pay attention because the news is making fun of said geek.  Which I don’t have a problem with because making fun of religious geeks is good sport for me–it’s right up there with pointing out how Pat Buchanan still loves him some awesome white supremacy and is only one GOP debate away from going full-on Mistah Kurtz and founding his own Sulaco.

Strangely, if memory serves me right (Thank you, Chairman Kaga), the world was suppose to end 4 days ago with the passing of Comet Elenin.  Said comet was, back in the spring, being hailed as everything from the rouge planet Nibiru to aliens coming for our water and wimmin.  (Note to aliens:  if you really want our water, you missed it a light year back in the Oort Cloud.)  Of course if one had bothered to do any reading, they’d have known by now that (1) it was a rather unassuming comet that, believe it or not, broke up as it rounded the Sun, and (2) every other idea put forward by waterheads was pure bullshit.

Yeah, it’s one of those days.  The crazy is out there for all to grab.

Since I’m doing NaNoWriMo in a few days (let me check the countdown . . . 10 days, 16 hours, 56 minutes as of right now), the few friends I have who are also doing it are starting to . . . well, some are beginning to fall into panic mode.  You know, when you think about it, doing a 50,000 words novel in 30 days is a daunting task; it takes a certain mind-set to sit down and crank out 1800 to 2000 words a day, and I can fully understand the panic.  You start thinking, “Can I really do this?”, or “Do I have a good idea?”, or lastly, “Is real life gonna get in the way?”, because this last is usually the thing that burns all aspiring writers.  It would be great if all of us who love to write could get that 2 years of government aid that would allow us the time to spend developing a story about some geeky kid in glasses who hooks up with a bunch of gingers at magical wizarding school and finds himself the object of hatred by Mr. Magical Nazi, but, hey: I live in the U.S., and I’m told that if I ain’t working three jobs I just ain’t American.

And not only am I dealing with the crazy and the end of the world (which, frankly, I think is gonna be late–again) but I got me some strange dreams to get through from last night.  Sure, any more I don’t think they’re that strange: I’ve been getting into a lot of things with my writing over the last few weeks, and since my brain was already twisted from jump, having strange dreams is not big deal any more.

Yeah, it’s one of those days.  I’ll do some writing, I’ll do some editing (just as soon as Trusty Editortm shows up), and I’ll probably find the time to talk about my dreams–

Oh, and I’ll miss the end of the world.  Again.

Damn it, when are these religious geeks gonna get it right?