Adjusting For Home

I said I’d have another post, didn’t I?  Sure I did.  Now, the writing’s been a bit slow this morning, ’cause I’ve had shopping, and I’m cooking a big pot of chili in my crockpot, and I’ve washed all my clothes as well.  Between running out and running up and down, and snacking and trying to stay awake, it’s been a busy morning.

Let’s not forget the other blog post, too.

Anyhow, a few things have popped up.  For one, I’ve had a discussion about Annie dreamwalking Kerry, and I brought up something that I’ve thought about for a while:  once Annie figures out how to do that, she can spend all her time with Kerry while they’re awake, and then, once they’re asleep, she can come and visit him in his dreams.  It means that if she’s in the mood, she can spend all her time with Kerry, and he with her.  This could make her a bit like a Magically Overly Attached Girlfriend, and that means she needs a meme:

"You wouldn't want other girls sneaking in here, would you?  That could be . . . bad."

“You wouldn’t want other girls sneaking into your dreams, would you? That might be bad.”

Annie will keep you safe, Kerry.  Don’t worry.  Ever.

Yesterday was also saw the road leading up to Kerry’s house, so why not look at the road leading up to Annie’s.  Well . . .

And it looks this way right now in the novel.  Sort of.

And it looks this way right now in the novel. Sort of.

That area heading off into the woods on the right is the route heading into the mountains and going right to the Kirilovi Home.  It doesn’t look that way, but it is.  And while Annie’s parents have cars–and they even take them out for a drive when they want to maintain appearances–most of their visitors don’t drive, if you know what I mean.  You can be if or when Kerry comes to visit, it won’t be via this road.  Doesn’t mean he may not take the car into town, but a visit to Annie won’t involve ground travel.

But right now Annie’s home, and if Kerry is home thinking about her, that probably means Annie is thinking about him . . .

 

(All excerpts from The Foundation Chronicles, Book Two: B For Bewitching, copyright 2015 by Cassidy Frazee)

Annie’s eyes gradually opened and took in the darkness of her room. There was some ambient light, most of which came from the glow of her digital clock. She locked her gaze upon the readout: 19:15. It’s seventeen-fifteen in Cardiff— She rose up on her right elbow and brushed the hair from her face. He’s probably home and finally getting the opportunity to relax.

She slipped her legs from under the covers and sat on the side of the bed as she wriggled her feet into here slipper. Annie brushed her hair back over her shoulders and brought the lights in her room to their lowest level; only then did she make perpetrations to rise and face the rest of her first day home for Yule Holiday.

Her necklace and charm bracelet were on the jewelry tree sitting upon her dressing table. She’d considered wearing the necklace to bed, since he’d left it on when she’d Adjusted on the flight from Berlin to Boston with nothing happening. Adjustment sleep was so deep and full that a person almost never moved—almost.

Annie let the locket dangle inside her night shirt, where it felt cool against the bare skin over her heart. She slipped the charm bracelet on after that, smiling as she thought back to only a few hours before when they arrived home and she removed her jacket, both parents caught side of Kerry’s gift dangling around her left wrist. Her mother finally made the inquiry, and she nearly laughed when she saw the look they exchanged upon her saying it was as gift Kerry gave her during their first day in Berlin. While her father wasn’t certain what to make of this gift, Annie saw her mother realized the significance immediately—

The robe floated off the back of the chair where Annie set it after unpacking and hung in the air. She stepped up and backed into it, slipping her arms into the outstretched sleeves. She’d begun practicing this move a few months before after watching Helena doing this with one of her leather coats, and seeing her get into her coat that way brought back the memory of her mother sometimes do this same thing with her winter coats. It was necessary, then, for her to try the same thing, and since her skill with the Levitation spell was excellent, she crafted this action in a matter of a couple of days.

Walking towards the door she wrapped her robe around her and tied the sash. I imagine I’ll be able to slip this onto my shoulders with another month of practice. She waited until she was right in front of the door before waiving it open. I wonder if I’ll be able to actually dress myself that way? Mostly likely it would be easy with a dress—

“Ah, you’re finally up.”

Annie instinctively clutched her robe and held it tightly around her neck when she saw the visitor sitting in her sitting room. “Papa. You’re not supposed to come up unannounced.”

 

While Annie doesn’t mind a little tea with her mother in her sitting room, it seems as if having her father pop up without making an announcement first is a big social no-no.  And it probably doesn’t take a genius to figure out why he’s there–

You only have to wait until I write that part so you can see if you’re right.

Return of the Last Week

Does that seem cryptic?  Like, oh, god, what sort of “Last Week” are you describing?  Hummm, maybe a little cryptic, but that because I come from a different time and place, not unlike a certain traveler who was on over the weekend.

A week from today is Labor Day, or as some people think of it, the traditional marking of the end of summer.  After that day women aren’t supposed to wear white shoes, men are suppose to stop wearing shorts, and everyone’s suppose to adapt to the idea that fall is here and winter’s around the corner.  It was also, in some places the start of the school year, and depending on the calendar, school either started today, or it started next Tuesday.

That simply isn’t the case any longer.  Today we start school like the first week of August, people don’t much give a damn about what they wear well into fall (something I’ve noticed as I’ve adapted my change in clothing and watched how other women to the same), and winter is now a meme to tell people to brace themselves for some life-changing shit.

And my head was chopped off a few years or over a decade ago, so totally not a spoiler.

And his head was chopped off a few years or over a decade ago, depending on the medium of your choice, so totally not a spoiler.

So we are in the last week of summer.  It’s here, and soon it’ll be Friday, and summer is going . . . well, it’s not going anywhere.  Fall doesn’t officially come for almost another month, and looking ahead for the weeks to come, I doubt that we’re going to see fall-like weather soon.  Which is good, because I don’t have all my winter clothes together yet.  I can get through fall okay, but winter–it’s gonna be a tough one in The Burg.

The only true season I ever used to pay attention to was summer, and that was because I grew up in a house with no air conditioning until about 1970, and so summer was as time of dread.  It was hot and sweaty and miserable, and I couldn’t wait for cooler weather so I could sleep and enjoy going outside without enduring the sensation that I was melting.

The summer’s been mild this year, and where it was super sweltering I’ve manage to stay out of the direct rays and stay comfortable.  Winter is suppose to be a total pain in the ass this year, and that only bothers me in the sense that it’s necessary to go out and share the road with hundreds of drivers who lose their minds whenever there’s the smallest amount of snow on the ground.

However, it’s not the weather going away that I’ll think about this year.  The summer was one of dramatic change for me, and in this last week I meet with my therapist and talk about all the stuff that’s happened in the month since I last saw her.  I’m sure they’ll be a lot of discussion about what’s going to happen at work this winter, and not a few mentions of my emotional state over the month of August.

And then we can talk about what’s coming in the fall.

All-in-all, it’s not been a bad summer,

Maybe I need to get out and enjoy what their is of my new life in the fall.

message

Changing seasons, changing gender appearance–pretty much the same, don’t you think?  It can still make for a good hike on a nice day.

 

The NaNo 365 Tour

I am one chapter away from completing my NaNoWrimo 2012 Novel, and while I am not possessed by the same feelings I had last year, I’m glad it’s almost over.  Another novel into the slush pile to be edited and submitted.  Which reminds me:  I have to chase after a publisher today, because they’ve had my manuscript for six months and I’ve heard nothing from them.  Whatcha gonna do, buddy?  Let me know, please?

In the mean time, something popped up last night that set my poor brain to thinking.  The original meme wouldn’t allow itself to be copied–why, I don’t know–so I just made a copy, because I can:

Okay, Boromir, considering you’ve been telling us what one does not simply do for years, we have to assume you’re the voice of reason.  But in this case, I’m going to have to fill your body with arrows once more, and cast your dead ass over the falls, where it will be devoured by fish.

‘Cause you’re wrong.

I’m not trying to do a Chuck on you, because I have a ways to go before I rise to his level of excellence.  But if you’ve followed this blog for any period of time, you know I’ve got my opinions, and from time to time I’ll throw them out and see if anything not only sticks, but leaves an odor.

Here’s the thing:  writing is easy.  It is.  Just sit down and do it.  Doesn’t have to be a lot; maybe a hundred words–which qualifies as “flash fiction”; maybe five hundred, or a little more–like this blog post; maybe a thousand if you’re feeling good.  As I’ve said before, if you write five hundred words a day, you’ll write a novel–

In time.

Therein is the kicker.

Writing a novel is a lot like the formula for creating petroleum:  dead animals and plants + huge amounts of pressure + lots of time = Black Gold, Texas Tea.  You have the same ingredients for a novel:  your characters and world are the dead animals and plants you throw into the mix; your plot is the pressure you apply; and time be time, because that’s what you need to not only create a first draft, but polish it into a luster that will blind mere humans.

Wash, rinse  repeat:  there’s your novel.  Pretty simply, huh?

The hard part is doing it every day.  That’s where the whole “writing a novel” thing sort of falls apart.  Hell, lets go it a few steps further:  you have to write it every day, then set time aside to edit it, then edit it again, then give is a nice polish, then find someone to try and publish it.  All of that is part of the novel experience.

Oh, and I would say, take one of those and turn it into an ebook, if only because you’ll have to learn the finer arts of formatting (knowing your em-hyphen from your en-hyphen is a gas!), and setting up chapter links, and creating a book cover that doesn’t look like a fluorescent hot mess that your cat hacked up in the corner after a night of eating chipotle hot wings and catnip.  It takes time to get right–maybe a couple of days of sitting with a copy of your story and playing the formatting game–but it’s worth it, because it will teach you how to format your story for anything.

Submitting your manuscript is a must, however, because you’ll learn how to create a submission package.  While said package can make your bowels churn like you’re preping for a colonoscopy, but you need to push through that angst.  Push on through, realize you can do it, and become stronger for the effort.  It’s scary, but so is jumping off into the deep end that first time.  Then you do it, and hell:  it’s so much fun you do it again and again.

One does simply write a novel.  And edit it.  And polish it.  And send it out for the yay or nay to follow.  It’s a lot of work, but anything is if you give it enough scrutiny.  Many times I’ve said writing is a job, and if you take it all the way to the logical end, then it could become a full-time one that gives you more than a feeling of satisfaction that you’ve created something incredible.

If you believe that there is more to writing a novel than gathering your research and proceeding with the steps above–perhaps you’re spending too much time talking about how it isn’t easy to write a novel, and it’s because you’re busy watching TV, or spending time complaining about elections, or just complaining about how hard this whole writing this is for you.  It’ll probably do no good to tell you you’re wrong, because you’re already made up your mind–such as it is–and trying to convince you otherwise is likely futile.

So forgive me if I don’t stop by your pity party.

I got a novel to finish.

Livin’ on a Meme

This is another of those posts where I might get a little . . . well, I might say things that are going to offend your delicate sensibilities.  So you might not want to read beyond this paragraph.  Instead, you could see what it would be like if a few guys had working Portal guns.

With that said, onward.

I love a good meme.  I really do.  My daughter and I are always trying to find memes to enjoy together.  Most of the time, it’s little more than reverting back to that oldie by goodie, “The Cake is a Lie,” which, after her birthday last week, we know isn’t.

There are two I tend to enjoy, mostly because they are funny and thought provoking at the same time.  One is Philosoraptor, who spends his time unraveling the marvels of self and universe–such as wondering about the Statue of Liberty being a Weeping Angel, or if he is just human, or a dancer.  My other favorite is Condescending Wonka, who always has some smart ass retort that is edged in truth–even to the point of making fun of himself.

Often, though, memes tend to get on my nerves, because it seems like a lot of memes are meant to be dumb and/or annoying without sense or reason.  The one making the rounds of late has been the “Rachael Ray cooks her family and dog,” which is suppose to show one the importance of using commas–which we writers should know about very well.  This one bother’s me for a few reasons.  One, most people seem more upset that Rachael is eating her dog–fuck the family, yo, she chowed down on my Dead Dog Rover, how evil!  The other thing that gets me is that someone actually photoshopped out the commas before passing the sucker around.  Of course, memes are nothing but photoshopping, so it’s par for the course.  It would be funnier if the magazine cover had went out without the commas, and then she could tell us how to serve Fricassee of Daughter, and go on at length about what Boswell the Boxer taste like.  (Hint:  like pot roast.  I know.)

Another that was going around was one that caused me to actually block a few people over the last week was the photoshopping of someone ripping on the president because he went to three fundraisers on 6 June.  Because he wasn’t honoring D-Day, his unpatriotic ass should be kicked out and replaced with, I don’t know, a soulless corporate robot who would probably love to bust out this joint?  Shit like this totally pisses me off, if for no other reason that if one uses their Google Fu–which I do from time to time–and look at the records of others–say, the president before the current one–they can find some interesting facts.  Like, sure, the last president presided over the 60th anniversary of D-Day in 2004, and the dedication of the WWII Memorial in 2001–which, face it: any president is going to do, like it or not–he also gave a speech at the New Mexico/Mexico border on illegal immigrants in 2005, and went to the G8 meetings in 2007 . . . but, bestest of all, on 6 June, 2002, the Department of Homeland Security was created.  And, hey, nothing say, “Support the Troops that Fought Fascism” like bringing into existence the largest crypto-fascist organization in the world.

The one that has me up in the air a lot, however, is one that my fellow writers have been latching onto like a drowning Leo DiCaprio to a floating hunk of furniture.  It’s a list of a number of best selling books, and how many times they were rejected, headed up with the title, “Why Support Indie Writers?”  Besides being etched upon the damnedest green background ever, it’s supports a very false equivalence–

I mean, lets look at it:  Carrie, rejected 30 times (actually 26, but lets not split hairs).  M*A*S*H 17 times.  Harry Potter a dozen times.  And the Chicken Soup for the Soul book–140 times.  Yes, these independent writers need support because . . .

Hold on.  Wait just a minute.  Lets get something straight right now.  All writers are, to be honest, “indie writers”.  Unless you’re working for James Frey, churning out the next crapterpiece like the Chinese slave who made the iPad you’re reading this post upon, you’re an indie writer.  You’re on your own.  You’re writing somewhere, doing it with no assistance but what you bring to the table, and you’re trying to get into the market.  Sure, you might have a multibook contract, but are you actually working for that publisher?  Hell, no.  You’re your own person.

So, okay:  you’ve got your book out there, just like James Joyce did with Dubliners after 22 rejections (Happy Bloomsday, by the way), and damn it all, you’re now the indie writer who’s being supported!  Bully for you!

‘Cept you’re not being supported unless someone buys your work.  I mean, I’m never buying any of the Chicken Soup books, so how I am supporting those writers?

Lets face it:  you don’t support indie writers by being happy they got published.  I’ve got two stories published, and I’m working on two more.  You happy for me?  Really?  Good.  Then buy my shit.  That’s how you support indie writers.  That’s how you support any writer.

None of the writers in that meme would be known today if someone wasn’t buying their work.  The only way the public can support writers is though the purchasing of their work, and the word of mouth.  Hit the bricks and get the word out there about how freakin’ good they are, how they transcend the written word and take you to another space.  How they are writing machines that put goodness into their work, and make you feel yummy in the tummy.

Sending out memes about how many times someone was rejected isn’t going to help them get support.  I’m two-for-two in the sales category, but until my story sales get up there where J.K. has hers, I’m still struggling.  As are a lot of my fellow indie writers who like to pass around memes about getting support from the public by showing how many times they might be rejected before hitting the big time.

Help out a fellow writer, will ya, mate?

For all you know, you might be putting yourself in the position of being able to say, “Oh, him?  I was reading him before he was popular . . .”

Trust me:  I’ll love you for it.