Listomania

No, not the Ken Russel movie, but rather “What do I have ahead of me today?”  More like this weekend, but tomorrow I believe I’m going to blow off the near noon hours and see Gravity.  Yes, I know there are issues where the ships seem to have more delta-v than possible, but the chances are the person telling me this not only watched Armageddon but liked it, so they’re in no position to tell me how space works.  Hey, Saturn 3 is on:  go check out Kirk Douglas’ naked ass.

So–novel.  NaNo Novel.  I didn’t do anything last night because I reconnected with some friends I know on Second Life, and that took a bit of time between the viewer crashes.  Today is names and plotting, so I can put this sucker to bed and spend October working on other things, and begin writing when I’m ready to write.  This year it’s about doing it right, not just doing it because there’s some goal at the end of the rainbow–which is probably a unicorn, ’cause who doesn’t want a unicorn?  Or maybe it’s Twilight Sparkle after she becomes an alicorn . . .  Pomf!

So, names and plotting.  Oh, and I need a A Level roster of students and where they come from.  Oi!  How did I put myself in this mess, with all these people and all the stuff I need to track.  Such a crazy level of detail for something so simple as sending a bunch of kids off to school.  I really should do something else, but I’m not sure what.

The one thing I won’t work on is the spell list.  When it comes, it comes.  Spells be spells, mon, and you let that flow into you, right?  Jah loves, ya know, it all be comin’ in time.  Therefore it’s in the back of my mind, and when things pop up I’ll thrown them in.  I’m good there.

I have an article I want to start.  I know what I want to say, and how to say it.  It’s just a matter of reading, research, and writing, then posting the sucker up where it will be seen.  I figure getting one of these off a month is a good deal, and it keeps the mind fresh and limber.  Not that my mind needs to be too limber, ’cause it’s already all over the place.  But I need to keep the ideas coming, and getting yourself rooted in some article goodness is one way to do it.

And lastly:  I have to get some notes from another person for–here it comes–a story.  It appears I’m attempting a collaborator with another writer, and we’re either gonna come up with some crazy shit, or some shit, period.  I think it’ll be crazy shit based upon some notes I passed along, and as soon as I get permission to go crazy in her Google Docs, I’m gonna start doing my thing.

Yeah, writing before NaNo start.  Brilliant!

Eh, probably not, but what the hell else is there to do?

Promises of Lightness and Dark

This is what comes of fooling around on line all night and then getting a good night’s sleep:  you look at things in a different light, and ideas pop into your head.  Maybe they’re not good ideas, but they do come up, and you’re a damn fool not to do anything with them.

I really was intending on working on my NaNo Novel last night, getting the lexicon worked out, because I truly do need that cat in the bag.  But I didn’t.  I waited for a package that didn’t come, and by the time I’d stopped waiting, it was getting on six-thirty.  So in for a shower, getting nice and clean, and I pop back out and it’s already seven-fifteen.  I did go to plug in my external drive–

But I had people wanting to speak with me.

The one part of The Burg that is so much like being back in Indy is having little or not personal contact.  Yes, you can speak with people at work, but there is no one here who you can hang with after the day is over and chat up, and maybe go out for a couple of drinks afterwards.  I have this lovely balcony and sitting out there is nice, but it would be wonderful to have someone over to speak with.

At the same time, during one of the conversations, my mind started working on its own side project.  I was reading what they typed, and I responded one way, but in another part of my brain I saw myself typing something else.  Something that was dark and not a little strange.  I know, you’re saying, “You, honey?  Strange?”  Shocking, right?  Sometimes I surprise myself.

While I have a lot of story ideas, very few of them are dark.  Maybe that’s because I have enough darkness surrounding me and while I might not write the most uplifting prose, I at least have something close to a happy ending by the end of the tail.  What I saw last night, what was being typed on the other side of my mind–it wasn’t happy, it wasn’t light, it wasn’t a good ending.

Or was it?

Every so often I dip into the horror.  Every so often I imagine the dark spaces in life and wonder what exists there.  Oh, sure, cannibal hillbillies and shambling zombies and things going bump in the night are good favorites.  But what if someone was drawn into the darkness, and embraced it willingly?  Not because they’re crazy, but because what was promised . . . touched them in a special way?

At the end of the novel Hannibal, Clarice ran off with Doctor Lecter because she’d spent too much time staring into the abyss, and when it stared back, she shrugged and said, “Ah, fuck it:  this isn’t that bad.”  Sure, you can say the drugs and the brain washing played a part, but I’m of a mind that after all those years chasing the darkness, she finally caught it and allowed it to become her own.

I need some dark writers.  The people in my stories better watch out.

Mortal Changes

After a weekend of working on various things, it’s now time to–get back to work?  Seems like only Friday I was looking forward to a relaxing time of doing nothing.  Which doesn’t happen around here, because if I’m doing nothing, then I’m probably sleeping.  Correct that:  trying to sleep.  Here I am, up at four-thirty again this morning, and my head is feeling a tad woozy.

One day I’ll go to bed at ten-thirty and wake up at six.  It will happen.  But today is not that day.

I was reading film reviews on Something Awful–’cause if you’re going to read film reviews, you may as well read something that’s gonna be funny, or at least sarcastic as hell–and they were doing a review of The Mortal Instruments movie.  While they didn’t care for it–they did give it a four out of ten rating “As a Piece of Absurdest Humor,” so it’s got that going for it–they did mention the fact that “Cassandra Clare”, the pen name for one Judith Rumelt, got her start penning Harry Potter and Lord of the Ring fan fiction.  They also mention that there’s more than a passing resemblance between some of the characters in The Mortal Instruments, and some of the characters and passages in the HP fanfic, all of which was pulled from the Internet as soon as her publishing career got started.

As Neil Gaiman has pointed out, fan fiction is writing, and anything that gets people writing is a good thing.  He’s also said he doesn’t care if you do fan fiction of his work, because, hey:  nothing you’re going to do is going to impact anything he’ll do to his characters.  He probably wants to stay away from Coraline slashfic, however . . .

His point about fan fiction is well taken, however.  It’s very likely that Neil never reads it, or if he has he’s sort of skimmed over it and thought, “Hum, yeah,” and moved on to working on his HBO adaptation and Doctor Who scripts.  And he’s correct:  there’s nothing millions of words of fan fiction will do to his characters that will reflect what he’s going to do to them, so why sweat it?

I wonder how he’d feel, however, if someone wrote a million words of Sandman fan fiction, put the character through some interesting changes–like having him get hammered in a strip club while watching his sister Death gyrate to some Millie Cyrus crunk as she’s making out with a demonic Taylor Swift–and then, a year later, finds a book called, Sleepytime Sam, the Dream King.  Book One:  Down and Out in Sister Stripperville.  Oh, sure, it’s just a coincidence the characters bear a little resemblance to his . . .

Not that I’ll have to worry about any of this.  I doubt that anyone will start ripping off my characters and write stories of their strange escapades, ’cause anything you can do, I know I can do better–and I love being strange.  I need to open up the strangeness stuff a little more, ’cause I feel I’m getting rusty.  Maybe it’s time to write my magnum opus about gay cuttlefish shapeshifters–

Oh, wait:  it’s been done.

Penny in the Rain

I don’t even have to think about the day and know it’s going to be rough.  Why is that?  Getting up so many times . . .

It was hard enough getting up at one AM and then trying to fall back asleep, but then the rain started about four.  Not just rain, but a thunder shower.  I haven’t heard thunder in a while, actually:  before I left home we were having something of a mini-drought, and though there’d been tons of rain in the spring, the summer had seen fit to shut it all down.  So a decided lack of thunder, you know?

Not here.  The storm started right about four and kept at it for about a half hour.  There were times when it sounded like it was right outside my window, but that was probably my imagination–or sound echoing off the mountain ridge a couple of miles away.  It was loud, and it wasn’t going to let me sleep.

Which I haven’t.  I may have dozed off for about thirty minutes at some point, but I was wide awake and not dreaming at six-ten, so I decided to get up, have breakfast, and start working on this post.

I would certainly love to have one good night’s sleep, since it seems as if I haven’t had one all summer long.

This story that’s been running through my head for the last month–I’m trying to clear it out so I can concentrate on other things.  After much consideration, I do not want to begin writing another erotic fantasy story that is going to feel like more of the same.  More of the, “Yeah, I’ve done this already,” feeling that is as bad for your ego and motivation that deliberately setting out to write crap.  I’ve done that last, and ended up with a novella.  I set out to write a novella, and I end up with a fifty-two thousand word novel.

Ideas that eventually aren’t that interesting go in the bin.  Maybe time for them at some point down the road, but not now, not here.

My imagination seems lacking in a way these days.  I suppose it’s the new surroundings and the job and the living out of hotel conditions.  Or maybe there’s something waiting to spring, getting ready to burst out and take over.  Between the last sentence, and the one before that, I actually paused for about a minute because a thought came into my head about an idea I had for a story last year.  There were only two words, but I hadn’t thought of those words in probably a year now.

That’s strange how that works.  Random thoughts popping into your head like that.  Almost as if the idea is trying to tell you something . . .

Tonight, I see an apartment, I get something to eat, and I sit down and brain storm some daddy issues.  The last I may have a handle on–oh, and they’re not my issues, but the issues of a character.

If they don’t make you crazy, it’s probably because they already are.

Scribble Scapple

So another is in the books, for yesterday I finished the Final Draft for Couples Dance.  The short novel now stands at fifty-three thousand and change for the word count, and that’s not bad for a short story of erotic horror.  How erotic and horrifying it is I won’t know until it sells, but then if it sells as well as my other stories, I’ll never know how well it is doing.

This time the editing went with little drama and strain.  If it seems as if I was driving myself crazy editing Her Demonic Majesty, this time the editing went off as orderly and easy.  I’d sit and do a thousand, two thousand words in a sitting with little problem.  There was one time when I put down about six thousand words and didn’t think anything of the matter.  Maybe I’m getting better at this, or maybe I came into the editing with a different set of eyes and a different mind set.  Whatever the reason, Couples Dance was actually a pleasure to fix.  And I do mean fix:  there were parts that were messed up, that didn’t make sense, that were simply wrong.

Now time to find readers and get their feedback.  Find more errors and fix things up.  Get a cover and bang!  I’m ready for big time publishing once more.  Yay me.  If this is the breakthrough, then next up:  gnome porn!  I know there’s an untapped market there . . .

I know the question that’s being asked:  what’s next?  Good question.  I could edit another story, for I don’t intend to start another original story until November–at least that’s the plan at the moment.  But one never knows with me.  I’m thinking Fantasies in Harmonie would be a good one to clean up:  follow up one erotic story with another.  Why not?  I have nothing to lose and everything to gain.  I’ll make up my mind in the next few days, because with nothing to do I’ll begin getting crazy by Wednesday.

Not that I need any help there . . .

Since I’d finished editing my novel by seven-thirty PM, I had plenty of time to play with Scapple.  There’s a story idea that’s been floating about in my head for the better part of a month, and I figured, “Hey, what better to lay out, huh?”  I’m the sort of person who likes to flowchart, because that’s what comes of being a computer programmer for a long time.  I wasn’t putting notes all over the place; I wanted to see if the plot flowed well, and if things made sense.

I managed the first couple of chapters and realized the program is great.  Does it do what I want?  Yes.  Does it do it well, with a short learning curve?  Yes.  Are there problems with the beta?  Yeah, but that’s why it’s a beta:  you have people play with it and then tell the developers what you’ve found that’s wrong or not working.  I’ve found one problem in particular that bugs the hell out of me, so I’ll see about leaving feedback so the issue will get fixed.

Will I buy this program?  You know it.

A girl and her software shall never be parted . . .

Rough Night in Nox

Today I was hoping to end out my first week in the new digs with a quick day at work, a little lunch in a new cafe, and finishing up Chapter Eleven tonight before turning in and figuring out what I’m going to do for the weekend.  That’s what I thought about last night.

However . . . my body and my mind thought otherwise.

The headache is still here, though not as major as it was the other day.  Last night I managed to edit about twenty-five hundred words in Couples Dance, and did a very good job of it, if I may say.  I watched a hilarious version of Pulp Fiction on AMC while I edited, because things were cut out and words were completely edited, and if you were using this movie as a guide to figure out what was going on, you’d probably get lost.  Any movie where The Gimp isn’t present, but you get to hear someone tell a young boy about how they kept a watch stuck up their ass for two years is a strange time indeed.

With all that behind me I headed off to bed . . .

And woke up about two AM with the guitar solo from Firth of Fifth running through my mind in a never-ending loop.  I felt warm, I felt a little disoriented, I felt uncomfortable.  I got up and washed off my face, then rolled back into bed and spent hours tossing and turning.  I didn’t seem tired, but I didn’t want to get out of bed, because I knew that once up, I’d be up the rest of the night.

I know I finally fell back to sleep because I had a dream that I drove up to my house and found people I didn’t know working on it, and who had put some of my things out on the curb for garbage pickup.  This did not please me, I can assure you, and there were words spoken, though being it was a dream I don’t know what was said.  I think at some part I ended up driving away and going for a walk in the woods because why not?

There were other moments, too, where I felt like I may have been awake, may have been asleep, and I didn’t know if I was dreaming, if I was hallucinating, or just had strange thoughts running about my head.  For one I was out shopping at Catherine’s, getting a couple of outfits for work, and Donna Noble–not Catherine Tate, the actress, but the actual character–was waiting on me, giving me the strange eye the whole time.  There was another of these moments where I swear the reason I was having trouble sleeping was because I’d just gotten breasts implants, and having big boobs in bed was bothersome . . .

Lastly, though, I was with someone I know, a special friend shall we say, and I spent a considerable amount of time kissing her from her cheeks to her toes and back.  This was topped off with something special that, while it took some time, the end result was great for us both.  The last part of this moment that I remember was holding her and calling her, “My dark witch,” to which she replied, giggling, “I’m not a witch, I’m your wife.”  Then she spooned into me and drifted off to sleep.

That’s what will likely happen to me tonight.

The drifting off to sleep thing, you know?

The Head and the Hurt

There weather in The New Local is changing, turning cooler, and my head is killing me.

Just a few days ago it was in the eighties and humid, and it felt a lot like what I’d left behind in Red State Indiana.  But yesterday it began to change as a cold front started moving down from Canada.  The temps dropped, the humidity vanished . . . and my head began to hurt.

I know what it is:  sinuses.  Whenever the weather changes a lot I get pressure like mad.  I end up feeling it in the bad of my head, like it’s trying to leave the rest of my body behind and find a place to hide.  And I can’t blame it, because it hurts a lot.

By the time I arrived home my head felt like it had done a couple of hours in a vice.  Hurt and hurt and hurt.  Listening to music hurt.  Looking at word on the screen and trying to concentrate hurt.  I couldn’t edit last night:  just looking at the screen and trying to think about what I wanted to do brought too much pain.  I downloaded the beta version of Scrabble for Windows and started to play with that, but after fifteen minutes I gave up because of the throbbing noggin.

I finally decided to give myself a virtual makeover, and–surprise!  I take horrible pictures when I’m not feeling well.  Everything ended up looking like I’d never learned to smile.  Even when I thought I was smiling, the picture said otherwise.  It really sucked, believe me, because if I had smiled, then maybe my makeover pictures wouldn’t have looked like the worst things evar!

I finally gave up n the computer.  I dressed in something warm–which seems to help at night–and sat down to watch Scarface on AMC.  It’s amusing to see, because they don’t use a sanitized version of the film, yet they can’t say shit and fuck.  So when it comes time to offered up the swear bomb, there’s no sound.  Just emptiness where the word should be.  Which becomes amusing after a while as there was some stretches of the film where it seems as if nothing is being said.  Or there’s something shouted–then silence–then another shout–then silence.  Not as ridiculous as what has happened to other movies, but funny nonetheless.

I went to bed, fell asleep, and went right through the night, my first time in a lot time.  I woke up feeling okay, but then I got out of bed, took a couple of deep breaths, and–ah, yes.  The pain, the paiiiinnnn.  Though it seems to have dissipated a bit, since I’ve popped a couple of ibuprofen and had my tea, and generally relaxed while writing this post.  Before I get back to the homestead I’ll head to Target and pick up some decongestants, and pop a couple of those tonight, see if it helps clean things up.

The day awaits.  I hope I can get through it with a little discomfort as possible.

And work on my novel tonight.