Los Endos

Here we are:  three hundred and sixty-six days since my last post for December 31st.  Strangely enough, that post was my two hundredth for the blog, while today’s will be number six hundred and three.  That’s a lot of words between then and now; if I figure about five hundred words per post–because that’s my normal limit–today’s post will bring the total for the blog to two hundred one thousand, five hundred written words.

If only that were a novel, I might have something there.

It’s sort of a strange trip to be here today.  When I hit my two hundredth post last year, I had no idea where this blog was going.  I knew I wanted to write, but I wasn’t certain if I had anything to say.  Some days I wake up and I’m still certain I have nothing to say, but I find a way to say these non-things.  Whether you take them to heart, or just skip over my rantings as something some strange person is loading out there on a daily basis, I’m still sticking to my goal of writing each day.

I’d stated at one time that 2012 was going to see change.  Well, it did, but not to the extent I thought it would bring.  Yes, I have two novels out for consideration.  Yes, I received a rejection.  Yes, I’ve written three novel during the year–a couple were short, but novels nonetheless–and finished another.

Today I will start another story.  I even know the opening line, because I started nagging me last night before I went to bed. I’ll write it and another thousand words today, then maybe do some more tonight.  Then do some more tomorrow, and the day after that.

Sixteen chapters later I’ll finish my story, then move onto my next project.  This is how I do it; this is what I do.

I know what my major goal for this year is–well, a couple anyway.  One is get a novel published.  I would still love to see some house, large or small, pick up one of my longer stories.  I have all year to do that, I with my chops down in the development of the submission package area, I can give it a few more runs.

The other thing is to have some more self-published work.  Replacements is going to be the first one, because it’s perfect for that sort of thing.  Maybe I’ll do something like sell it for $1.99 and see if that brings people running.  Or put up a tag saying, “The girls do lez stuff,” and hope I don’t have to smother someone with a pillow before they buy the story.  (James Elroy reference, in case you were wondering.)

Onward into the ’13, ’cause it’s the only game in town.  As my Muse told me, “You have to understand you’re an unknown, and building a reputation takes time.”  Yep, I do know that.  I’d use social media to try and, you know, build that reputation, but having to fight with pictures of cats and memes that make no sense really take their toll.

This is but one ending–

There’s still so much more to do.

 

The Game Begins Anew

Okay, call off the Muse, I’m on the road now.  The road that leads to creativity, you know?

I was up early, probably 5:30, which I hate doing on a Sunday morning, because I was flat-out falling asleep at the computer last night about 10:30, and thought that I would at least sleep until seven or so.  But this wasn’t happening, because I had something going about in my mind:  a title.  Or the beginning of a title.  It wasn’t quite there, but it was trying to dig its way out.

I did a lot of thinking on the new story last night, but something came up in the form of an online friend who was having more than her share of issues, and I spent time with them.  But the characters were there, the ideas were there, the plot was there–all waiting for me to shit or get off the pot.

This morning my brain let me know the pot was tired of me sitting there.

I was on the computer before six.  I had Scrivener up not long after.  I put in the title that I’d come up with, set my title page, and got to work laying out my characters.  I created a card for everyone, and though I didn’t have a name for everyone, it didn’t matter, ’cause Scrivener has one of the best name generators built into the software, so I pulled up a few dozen names, exported them to a note card, then pulled out what I wanted and ended up with everyone who was going to grace the pages of the story.

Then I got to plotting, and with me plotting is a matter of putting down a chapter note card, and writing a small comment upon the cover.  It tells me what I need to know about the majority of what’s happening inside that chapter, but it’s up to me to fill in all the dots; it’s not a crutch upon which I hobble trying to lay out everything that should happen within the boundaries of the chapter.

All the while this was happening I was playing The Game, by Queen, at a somewhat elevated volume.  Not loud, but loud enough that it kept me pushing forward.  It’s also a short album, so if you want to get things done quickly, it gives you the impetus to get things in gear.  I also played It’s Late, from News of the World, because why not?  I can do whatever I want, right?

So with all this activity, what is the end result?  Glad you asked:

SA Start

 

There it is:  Suggestive Amusements, in its “To Do” glory.  It is in Scrivener and ready for the writing of words.  I’m a bit surprised by the size:  sixteen chapters is a pretty hefty piece, and I’ve already set the project goal to thirty-five thousand words, because this sucker is likely to hit that mark–if not more . . .

I say that because I feel there will be something missing from this story–said something being a bit more sex than I’m allowing for now.  Looking at those chapters, I know of at least three when the sexy is going to happen, but I feel I could change my mind and add a few more things before this is over.

The game is afoot–

Look out new year; I’m coming on strong.

Giving a Name to the New Voice

Today starts off the last long weekend of the year 2012, and the beginning of the next in what could be a few more years walking uneasily upon this planet.  2013 is just a few days away, and I’m facing it with a lot more optimism than I did this current year.

But we aren’t about to speak of what is going to happen in the year to come.  There are things remaining for this year, and one of them will be accomplished today.  That event will be the start of a new story.

The last week has seen some commiserating about what I’m doing next.  I have names–most of them–and I think I have a title for my story, though it’s not exactly lighting a fire in my mind.  I’m strange this way, in that I like to have a title ready to go before I start writing–another in a line of bad habits I picked up from Harlan Ellison.  I don’t want it to be cute, but I don’t want it to be something like Father Breeds the Bride, which was one of the titles that popped up on Smashwords just now when I checked what was new on my dashboard.  I don’t know, that sounds like a story that could be fun for the whole family . . .

This is something I seem to struggle with when it comes to stories.  I’m pretty good at finding a title for my blog posts–I mean, I do this every day–but when it comes to stories, I’ll sit for hours trying to get something that feel “right”.  Then I make that my Scrivener project title, put it at the top of my story, and away I go.  This is one of those times, though, when my mind is refusing to cooperate, and it’s leaving me struggling to find something that is going to leave me happy.

Titles can tell you everything about a story, or nothing.  Sometimes they’re only marginally associated to a story, but they still seem to fit whatever the writer is trying to get across.  I mean, when you read Flight of the Phoenix, you’re pretty certain that at some point you’re going to see the Phoenix fly.  When you open Dragonflight, you’re pretty certain you’ll find dragons flying.  When you read Twilight, you’re expecting to see a lot of stuff happening right around the time the sun has set–what?  Okay, so maybe not.

I’m a believer in having the right title for a story.  Better or worst, my titles are mine, and I’ll own them to the very end, even if others don’t like them.  More than a few people told me that Kolor Ijo was a stupid name, or was something that had nothing that I was going to do in the story, but I kept it because when I saw those words, and understood what they meant, I knew it was what I wanted.  Somewhere down the line a publisher may not like the title, but it’s mine, and I stick with it.

By some time today I’ll have that title, and it’ll become the name of my project, and my story.  I’ll sketch out the characters and then chapter out the stories.

All that remains after that is the screaming.

Amusing Progressions

Erin and Talia.  There, I have my muses named.

Wait—muses, you say?  I say, isn’t that what my next story is about?  Not muses per say, but it’s where the story’s going, so hang on.

I actually have a few people named out for the next story.  Keith will be my male protagonist, and that’s a name that came to me as I was driving into work this morning.  I know his manager will be named Debbie, and while I have a certain disdain for that name these days, I have no intention of turning her into a passive-aggressive mess like another person I knew.  No, she’ll actually be nice and engaging—the sort of manager we should all have.

There will be two other people as well:  one of Keith’s friends, and a female protagonist who is likely to make Keith’s life as complicated as Erin will.  The male friend will likely show up in a few scenes, but the female protagonist—ah, this is a different story.  She’s going to be seen far more than just a few times.  Far more times.

I did little last night beside relax and listen to music last night.  I didn’t think about 3D modeling or playing game—it was a give it a rest night.  Well, up to a point.  See, the brain never stops, and even when I’m not doing anything, I am.  So I was thinking.  Thinking about stories, about muses and how they come around and make the lives of us creative types a hell from time to time.

I was thinking about my own muse, who expressed her unhappiness that I wasn’t writing at the moment . . .

She’s a lovely creature, my muse.  She speaks to me, and I know I speak to her because she tells me so.  But she’s also one who, when she speaks, I should listen.  There have been times when I didn’t listen in the past, and she came back and let me know, in her own quiet way, what a mistake that was.  She’s never been nasty to me, nor mean, but I know when she’s not happy.

It’s her words; I feel them.  I connect to them.  Probably because I write, I recognize the sensations she place within her sentences.  There’s no need to ask if she’s bothered:  I know.

I won’t say she was bothered when I spoke with her, but there was an undercurrent of disturbed that was present.  It was a case of me sitting back and doing something else, something that isn’t my main goal, which is getting my writing out there for others to see.  I’ve rested on my laurels—which, frankly, aren’t a hell of a lot—and there isn’t a lot of time to rest.  Not when your laurels are all that much to brag about.

Therefore, as soon as I get a title, the story gets laid out.  Because there is no rest for the writer.  Not that I have rested, but . . . well tell that to my muse—

As much as she likes to pretend she’s imaginary, I know better.  Much better.

Animating My Days

Last night was a time to reflect, and think about things to come.  Stories, pictures–animations?  See, it’s like this . . .

First, someone sent me a tutorial on how to create things in DAZ 3D and import them to Blender.  Of course I had to go look, because I wanted to see what it was all about.  It’s easy to see why you’d do this:  you create your model in DAZ, then import it over to Blender to place inside your world.  This is something that interests me, because building a book cover is all about getting the character into a world.

In doing this, I found another tutorial on Blender, so I downloaded it.  I haven’t open it yet, but I will, very soon, and play with it alongside the tutorial I already have for Blender.  Because when it comes to software, you  can never have enough tutorials, nor enough examples of how to do something the right way.

Then, off in another area of the Internets, I ran into a friend.  Said friend is someone I know from Second Life, and they are setting up their own grid away from the Trolls of Linden Labs.  They know about the stuff I do–which is to stay, they know I write–but they’re very interested to hear about my adventures in 3Ding.  I mentioned that it might be possible to make avatars and clothing for their new grid, and then sort of off-handedly said, “Oh, and I might be able to create walk animations, because you need it.”

So my mind began working that last out.  I know DAZ and Blender can do animations, which led me to wondering if they could do the same for a Second Life-life virtual world.  So off to my favorite thing:  research!  Well, almost my favorite thing, but you know what I mean.  And behold . . . I find things.  I find information about how you have to download these avatar skins from the Second Life wiki, and you can import them into DAZ and make them your slave, then you save off the object and import the animation up to SL . . .

Oh, yes.  I was happy.  So happy that I pulled up another program I’ve had for years and started playing with that–

This is the thing one runs into when they have a bit of a creative streak:  they can find themselves off and running in many different directions before they get settled down into one particular thing.  Yesterday I said I was going to do one thing, but I ended up doing all the stuff I’m talking about now.  I know there is the possibility I will when I get home tonight, but I also want to do these other things, and damn it, there just aren’t enough hours in a day to find the time, you know?

I’ve had a bit of a holiday from writing since editing those stories a week or so back.  One needs to change gears now and then to keep from getting stale.  When you aren’t ready to write, then work on something that caters to your creativity, and these modeling programs are doing exactly that.  When I’m ready, I’ll work on my writing, and put this in the background–

But never out of mind.

 

The Creative Return

The brain is shaky today, because having four days off, and then forcing it to shift gears back into work mode, works against everything that nature says is right.  There’s a difference between being home and doing what you want to do that’s work-related, and having to drive into a location and having to sit and do things.

It’s wrong; very wrong.

I’ll get through the day, but I know what I’d rather be doing . . .

As I drove through the darkness my mind turned towards the upcoming story.  (Yes, it’s dark when I drive into work at 6 AM:  it’s also dark when I arrive home about 5 PM.  Gotta love the winter.)  There’s not much else to think over, as it’s all been thunk.  I can say that, right—thunk?  Well, I did, so we go on . . . at this point I need to set up my three main characters, and the four characters who more or less show up to fill in the background while having speaking roles.  This is how I get into my work:  by figuring out what I need, then going for it.

I think I’ll start on that part tonight, getting the names and descriptions down.  My main female character, the muse in questions, needs a definitive look, and I’ll write that up in her notes just so I can keep it straight in my mind when I’m telling her tale.  Because this is about her, and her charge, and the magic they make together.  But it’s a lot about her, and what the creative process does to her.

A real muse would always seem to be giving, so what do they take from the creative process?  The satisfaction of a job well done?  Most of the time the person doing the creating is going to take all the credit—though they might say something like, “Oh, my muse was there to help”—but most of the time the poor muse is left out in the cold with little to wrap about her body to keep her warm against the chilly breeze of creative nothingness.  What does she take from the event she helps ferment?

Even though this will be something of an erotic story—hey, why not?—I do hope I can show the loneliness of the long-suffering muse.  Because they must suffer, knowing that what they are helping bring forth isn’t always going to be a best seller, or a work of greatness . . . it’s what needs to some out at the right time for the person in question.  At least that’s what I’m seeing; you, dear reader, may have a completely different concept in mind.

Strangely enough, the story didn’t start out this way, but it’s how I see it now.  A good part of the focus is on the muse, though her charge will be on the stage as well.  It’s about them, because they have to work together to create something worthwhile.  Something that is going to touch you . . .

Which is what I’m hoping to do with this story as well.

All I can do is try.