Thursday, December 23, 2010

You Can't Go Home Again

Have barely touched my story lately since other things have kept me busy.  Namely trying to find a job, and traveling home for Christmas.  Also, I'm totally out of money, so I had to open up sketch commissions to make some cash.  So most of my extra time I spend sketching, not writing.  But I did finally get this book I ordered to help me research called Voodoo In New Orleans.  It was written in the 1940s, even, so the voice and terminology and attitude is much closer to what I need for my story than if I were to use a book written in the last decade or two.  It also goes into great detail about the history of voodoo practices in NO, so that's useful too. 

As a gift to my mother for Christmas, my aunt bought me a plane ticket home for the holiday, and I was very excited.  I've been away from Tulsa for about nine months now (and it felt like even longer).  But when I got here, the excitement sort of died away as I remembered why I left in the first place.  Nothing has changed.  The same situations within my family that drove me to leave are still exactly as they were, and it is horribly depressing.  My sister wants to make this a good Christmas for my mother, and I'm all for that, but it's extremely hard to pretend that everything is okay, because everybody knows it isn't.  But nobody wants to talk about it.  That's what we do in my family. We ignore things until they fix themselves or deteriorate completely.  But these problems aren't going to fix themselves.  I wish they would hurry up and rot away.

So that may be another reason I have not been writing.  Writing takes energy and a will to sit down and work, but I am completely sapped of that.  Drawing is much easier for me.  It is less work, and I can do other things while I draw, such as watch TV or listen to music.  When I write, it takes all my brain power.  I can't have distractions.  It isn't even very fun a lot of the time.  People who are not writers do not understand the effort and aggravation that goes into making one smooth, flawless sentence.  I have a fight with every word that goes on the page.  If when you read my writing it flows effortlessly from one idea to the next, trust that I toiled and revised and edited the shit out of it to make it be that way.  It doesn't come easy to me.  It comes, and it demands that I do it, and I do it because if I didn't I would probably descend into any number of psychological problems.  I am a writer, but don't think I enjoy it. >:[

That said, I'm doing character sketches for $10.00 a piece.  That's super cheap.  Hire me pls. ;3;

Monday, November 29, 2010

With one headlight.

I have equated writing before to "driving at night with your headlights on."  Some of you might ask if there is any other way to drive at night.  If that's you, you're missing the point.

"So what is the point?" you ask. "You can't just say something stupid like that and expect everybody to jump to the conclusion you're trying to make with your inane metaphors."

Jesus, calm down.  I'll tell you what my point is.  My point is that when driving at night, you can only see as far as your headlights let you.  You can only see maybe twenty feet in front of you at any given time, and it's a little unnerving to me to think of things which might be out there that I can't see.  Things in the road that could total my car.  Sharp turns, road blocks, Bigfoot, the greasy smears of roadkill left by previous vehicles, sudden drop offs with no safety rail, "Dead End" signs, "No Outlet" signs, "Avalanche Area Next 400 Feet" signs.  Scary things that I could run into at any moment, and probably would if it weren't for my headlights.

I might be able to see only a little ways ahead of me, but my headlights let me see all this scary shit in enough time to avoid it.  So, even if you can only see twenty feet in front of you, you can make the whole trip that way.

Writing's a lot like that.

When I started my NaNo novel, it was late afternoon and the sun was high enough in the sky that I could see perfectly all around me.  I didn't need my headlights yet.  But now I'm at that point in my novel where the sun has set and it's fully dark.  I've turned my headlights on, but one of them is burnt out and the other one is sort of flickering at irregular intervals, and I'm afraid it's going to go out completely.  I'm so afraid of it, in fact, that I have caught myself riding the brake.  I'm barely moving.  I could walk faster than this. 

But I don't want to stop completely.  I have a destination and I have to get there.  I'll be way late, but I'll get there.  I'm just hoping that by the time I get there, it'll be morning and I'll be able to see again.

For now, I'm making like the Wallflowers.  I can drive it home with one headlight. 

Monday, November 22, 2010

Zero to Fail in 8 Days

Well, I think it is safe to say I will not reach 50K by November 30th.  I just had too big an interruption by moving from Juneau to Ellensburg in the middle of the month.  I had to pack and take the ferry down, and then drive across WA.  Then when I got here, my aunt took me to Tri-Cities for the weekend.  And now on Wednesday, we will be going to Tacoma for Thanksgiving.

I had thought I would get a lot of writing done on the ferry because there was no internet on the boat, so there would be nothing else to do.  But the trip was so... utterly awful that I barely got any done at all.  I think I wrote 3000 words the whole 4 days I was on the boat.  My cabin was about 30 feet from the children's play area, so all day, every day, there were babies and toddlers screaming outside my door.  I couldn't concentrate.  It was rough seas most of the trip, too.  It was very hard to concentrate when the floor was rolling under me hard enough to throw me off balance.  And also, the bed I had to sleep in was the most uncomfortable thing in the history of bed-like things.  I couldn't sleep at all in that bed.  One night I slept a grand total of an hour and a half before I woke up and could not go back to sleep.  It was terrible.  So even during the times at night when it was quiet outside my room, I was so tired and felt horrible, so I didn't do any writing.

I'm not terribly upset by the fact that I probably won't "win" Nano.  Winning was never really my goal.  I really just wanted to use Nano as a jumping off point to start writing my own stuff again, and I did that.  And I will keep on working on this story after November is over. 

Thursday, November 11, 2010

The power of voodoo. Hoodoo? You do!

I had to share this, because it's been in the making for like a year and it's sort of related to my story.  Vaguely.  Okay not really, but srsly.  I just want to post this.  I did the sketch back in Jan/Feb of this year, and I colored the figure in March over he pencils.  When I got him colored, I sort of forgot about it for a while.  Backgrounds don't really interest me all that much.  lol  But then in October, I got a neat program called PaintTool SAI that makes doing digital lineart SO fricken easy.  So I did the lines and laid them over the sketch and the colors I'd already done.  It only required some minor adjustments.  Then I colored the rest of it, and I just finished the background like yesterday.

Obviously it's World of Warcraft fanart.  Well maybe not obviously if you don't play.  But... if you do, obviously that's what it is.  The trolls in WoW are followers of voodoo, and they're a very superstitious but spiritual people.  They worship the Loa, which are not gods, exactly, but powerful spirits, and one of the loa they worship is Baron Samedi, the loa of the dead.  The Baron is usually depicted with a top hat; it is one of his most recognizable trademarks. 

Thursday, November 4, 2010

NaNo's mother wears army boots!

NaNo is stupid and ugly. Also fat and smelly, and its mother dresses it funny.

Reblogging this because my friend Naamah is fucking awesome, and I love her writing, because she always has something worth while to say.

Wednesday, November 3, 2010


Here's Romy.  I realized I still had this oooold sketch from like... years ago.  He's been a character in my head for that long.  I love his hair.  XD  It's so 1920s.

I had a huge bug with the Windows beta of Scrivener last night.  I compiled the text in order to post it into the NaNo word counter, and it made all the text in my file invisible.  It was still there, apparently, just.... I couldn't see it.  SUPER.  Luckily I was able to get it back.  *deep breath* It's a beta, it's a beta, it's a beta....

Still, I made like four backups of my project.

Tuesday, November 2, 2010


“So, Romy,” Sam said. He got that twinkle in his eye that he always did when he was about to rib me for something. “Tell me again why you were worried?”

I glanced at him then returned my eyes to the road. “Don’t start.”

“What?” He didn’t laugh, but the humor was still there in his eyes. I tightened my hands on the steering wheel. Sam had a naturally swarthy, sleepy-eyed look about him that usually made me want to hit him. The urge usually increased in direct perportion to the rise in smart alec comments that came out of his trap.

“It was some bad omen you saw this morning? You remember,” he prompted me.

“Sam,” I said. I sounded tired, even to myself.

“You found a dead bird on your front porch. That was it, right?”

I sighed. “I wasn’t worried because of that. This thing just had the potential to get out of control. It was a risky move.”

“No. What would have been risky would be to allow Capone to waltz into my town like he owned the joint and start making demands. We had to nip this thing in the bud. Cut off the snake’s head before it even had a chance to coil and strike. You want I should have let him do that?”

“Alors pas. I agree with you, but public displays like that one are a good way to attract unwanted attention.” I rubbed my forehead.

“It beats the alternative,” Sam replied. “And quit that Cajun talk. Anyway, you have your hoodoo joujou bag, right?”

I pressed my lips into a frown, but I touched the lump under my shirt where my talisman hung around my neck. “It’s called a gris-gris.”

“Yeah, that thing. It keeps away the bad luck, right?”

“That’s the idea.”

“Well, then.” Sam gestured in an it-goes-without-saying kind of way. Though generally, with Sam, it never went without saying, because he usually said it.

“I thought you didn’t believe in voodoo,” I said, looking sideways at him.

“I don’t. Only backwater rubes and dinges believe in all that bushwa.”

“Hey now!”

“And you, of course.” Sam grinned and scratched his long nose.

I snorted. “Watch it, peekon. I’ll get a voodoo queen to work roots on you.”

That made Sam laugh.


this was a particularly troublesome piece of dialogue i've been working on today.  i'm trying to work in the voodoo/occult/superstitious aspects of the story without coming out and blatantly saying ROMY WAS HALF RAISED BY HIS DAD'S NEIGHBOR'S WIFE WHO PRACTICED VOODOO 8D  show, don't tell. u_u