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

One Down

First day of NaNo, and I hit my minimum word count. In order to make 50,000 words by Nov 30th without KILLING myself, the daily word minimum is about 1,667. In other words, I need to write about 1,700 words a day. I did it today, but it was tough. I got about 3.5 hours of sleep this morning. I went to bed around 8 a.m., I think. And that was only after I took some melatonin. I set my alarm for noon, then got up and started researching. I stated writing about 2 p.m. I took a break for dinner when I hit 1,000 words, then struggled with the last 700 words till about 11 p.m. But I did it. I’m hoping it will get easier as I get further in. It was just really slow going today because I had to stop every couple paragraphs to research something. Fortunately there is a lot of info about New Orleans in 1929. The Big Easy was a pretty popular place during the Prohibition because it was totally lax and apparently corruption in politics and police was rampant.

I’m such a stickler for details, I’m beginning to wonder if it was a good idea to set this novel in the ’20s. I’m not satisfied if my reader doesn’t believe I’ve been to the place I’m writing about which, in this case, is sort of impossible. I want to use street names, and names of real buildings that existed at the time, and names of real historical figures. Fortunately, so far I’ve been able to find most everything I need, even down to the kind of firearms policemen of the period would have used, and whether they would have worn shoulder or hip holsters!

But I did spend way too much time researching today and not enough time writing. I hit my minimum, but only just. I need to cut loose a little and realize that I can go back and fix the details later. x_x

Saturday, October 30, 2010

I Will Know My Name as It's Called Again

This is just... an amazing song.  It's inspiring and uplifting and hopeful and determined and beautiful.  All the things I need right now. Thanks, Angus, for showing it to me.

Friday, October 29, 2010

Working Title!

Rue des Morts!  I was talking with T. Mirai about titles for our NaNo stories.  We're both writing stories set in New Orleans, though hers is modern.  She has a title for her story already, whereas I do not.  Though she doesn't have a name for her main character, whereas I do, so I don't feel too bad. XD 

Anyway, I was looking at a picture on of a lane in a New Orleans cemetery.  I'm not terribly poetic, but the first words that came to mind when I looked at that picture were "rue des morts," which translates to "street of the dead."  I have no idea how it will relate to my story or even if it will, but it's a decent working title, so I won't have to call my story's file "NaNo."  <_<

Thursday, October 28, 2010

So I'm Going in Another Direction...

The other night, I was lying in bed trying to fall asleep, and since that was failing stupendously I started thinking about my NaNo story.  I decided I might as well make good use of my insomnia.  So I started thinking about Caleb and Jaime and what to do with them.  And I came up with... bupkis.  They refused to talk to me.  I have very little in the way of character development for them beyond a general impression of what kind of people they are, and vague ideas of what they might actually do for the duration of 50,000 words.  Needless to say, I started to feel some doubt that I can actually pull this off.

Then I was suddenly T-boned by another idea.  A character I created years ago and have never really forgotten jumped in my head, and he brought his entire world with him.  I started grudgingly thinking about him and his world, leaving Jaime and Caleb to frolic in their ambivalence.  This new (old) character's name is Jerome Roland Broussard.  He goes by Romy.  He lives in 1929 New Orleans.  The mood of the story is mysterious and mystical.  Romy is half Cajun, half yankee, and was orphaned at a young age.  He was raised by his grandparents in New Orleans, and his upbringing was steeped in voodoo and folk magic and lore.  All of that seems far away to him now that he's grown, however. 

Romy is a private investigator.  He used to be a cop, but he was also involved with the mob.  He and Sylvestro Carolla, aka Silver Dollar Sam, who is the head of the New Orleans mob, were friends as young men or teenagers, and this friendship carried on into adulthood, where it developed into a partnership between the police force and the mob until something significant happened (not sure what) to make Romy quit the force, question his life, and try to leave his friendship with Carolla behind.  Of course Carolla isn't happy with this.  He has tried, numerous times, to talk some sense into Romy, only to fail at bringing him back on board.  You can imagine how much he hates to fail.

All that is back story.  The story will actually start after Romy has been a private investigator for a while.  He's divorced, does not get to see his little girl, and he's quite miserable.  He hasn't been working much, and he owes money he can't repay.  It doesn't seem like he has much to live for.  He comes home one evening with his suicide all planned out.  However, everything is thrown off track when he discovers a woman waiting for him in his home.  She wants to hire him to find out someone's real identity--her own.  She has no idea who she is, and has no memories of her past beyond a couple years ago.

After some deliberation, Romy agrees to put off his own demise to help her out.  He can always kill himself tomorrow.

I realize this is going in a completely different direction than my original idea, but... I've always wanted to write an urban fantasy, and I am absolutely enchanted with this idea.  I have more characters for it, and I have the basis for a plot, even if I don't have the plot points worked out yet.  So... yeah.  <_<  At least I figured it out now.

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Wake me up when November comes.

Plodding along through October, jobless and depressed.  At the end of the month, I'll get my bonus from the driver guide job, and that should be at least five hundred dollars, so that will be a little relief.  I've managed to procure a ferry ticket out of here, though.  I'll be leaving Juneau on November 16th and arriving in Bellingham, WA on the 19th.  From there, I'll be driving to Ellensburg, WA to stay with family.  Alaska was an adventure, but it wasn't what I'd hoped it would be.  In fact, it was nothing I hoped it would be.  I"ll be glad to be somewhere else.

Good news is, three days on a ferry will give me plenty of time to write, since I won't have anything else to do.  I've been developing ideas for my Wrimo story, and the research for it it has taken me in some interesting directions.  For instance, Catholic views on assisted suicide. (They oppose it. Surprised?  Me, neither.) 

I've also downloaded a trial version of the art program PaintTool SAI.  It's amazing in just about every aspect I have discovered so far.  Line art is so fricken easy in this program.  And the software itself is so much lighter than Photoshop.  It downloaded in about four seconds.  When the trial runs out in 31 days, I'll probably try to buy it.  It's only about 55 bucks, U.S.  Compared to Photoshop, for which even an older version costs over a hundred dollars, that's pretty damn good.  For my purposes, which is just digital inking and digital coloring, SAI seems like a great program.

Friday, October 8, 2010

Sticks and Stones

A friend of mine, who is also a writer that I greatly admire, wrote an amazing post on her LiveJournal about the recent news on the kids committed suicide because of bullying.

i get told all the time how over-sensitive i am. a lot of times, when i do get angry, the people i know contribute it to and brush it off as my "being too sensitive." like this is a bad thing. pain is not bad. emotional pain, like physical pain, is HELPFUL. it lets you know when something is WRONG. ignoring physical pain can lead to permanent injury. the same could be said for emotional pain. and yet, people are told not to be so sensitive to pain all the fucking time.

this past summer, i was really depressed. i wrote sparingly about it on my own LJ.  what i didn't mention was that it got worse. i had never felt so low. i felt dismal every day. i had crying spells every day. i cried myself to sleep more often than i like to think about. it got bad enough that i actually contemplated suicide. that was when i really knew something was wrong and i needed help. i knew that wasn't normal, and that by ignoring my pain, or just waiting for it to end, it was only going to get worse.

i went to a non-profit psych clinic here in Juneau and talked to someone, and i got the help i needed. and no one told me i was "being too sensitive." it was the most wonderful feeling to have my emotions validated. for someone to tell me that my pain mattered, and that i didn't have to carry it alone.

there was also a poster in the waiting room of this clinic. it was a poster speaking out against domestic abuse with a help line, and that sort of thing. and what the poster said was this:

"Why does she stay with him?" Except that the word "she" was scratched out and replaced with "he" and "stay with him" was scratched out and replaced with "hit her?" you hear that all the time, "Why does she stay with him? Why doesn't she leave? Why does she put up with it?" the blame is on the victim for staying! but it occurred to me that i have never heard anyone ask that. no one EVER asks, "Why does he hit her? Why does he hurt her? Why doesn't he stop?" no one ever asks the right questions, and the tendency in this society to lay the responsibility on the victim of any form of violence or abuse is sickening.

665: Neighbor of the Beast

As November draws closer, I'm starting to get that panicky feeling in my gut.  You know the one.  That feeling of an impending assignment.  A project that you know will be crucial, and you still have no idea what you're even going to do, but it's hanging over your head all the same.  I get that way when I do art commissions.  I actually still have two art commissions that I owe a couple people.  Luckily, they're friends of mine, so they don't hound me.  One of them is also an artist and she knows what it's like to have commissions hanging over you like a shroud.  That's not really an excuse not to do her drawing, of course.

But I digress.  The panicky feeling I'm getting this time is, of course, about NaNoWriMo.  It's been over a year since I sat down and composed anything longer than a few hundred words, and in November I will expect myself to write 50,000 words inside of 30 days.  That's 1,666 words a day.  If I were religious I might be worried, but if I break it down into words per week I get 12,500, and that just sounds like a whole lot more.  I'll try to get cozy with the number of the beast.

 I am working on Caleb's character development, filling out the questionnaire in my last post for him.  After that, I'll do one for Jaime, and then one for Jameson.  Even though he's dead.  It's critical I know as much about him as I know about the other two as he may make an appearance, and he will be a huge part of the driving plot regardless if he's physically around or not. 

(It's 3:33, make a wish!)

I'm unsure whether I want to try to carefully plot my story out, or if I want to just... let it happen.  I get the feeling I'll be sorry if I do that.  Here I have three weeks left to plan, and I could put this time to good use.  I could give some serious thought to the content of the story.  I could do what a lot of writers do, and jot down notes on index cards.  I could write down notes for scenes that I know I want to happen.  I could tack them to my wall and rearrange their order.  I could draw story arc charts.  I could make time lines.  I could do all this inside three weeks, easy.

Or, I could do what a colossal number of writers do who just trust their creativity to get them where they need to go, even if they don't know what their destination actually is.  Going that route, your creativity is like a pair of headlights at night.  You have no map (or GPS, let's get real, who uses a map anymore?).  You can only see a little ways in front of you, but you can make the whole trip that way.

I don't know which approach I'm going to take yet.  I should probably get on that.

As a side note: anyone from upstate New York?  Or know anyone from there?  Caleb grew up in the finger lakes region, and as a result, he doesn't speak with a Brooklyn accent.  Rather, he would have an accent closer to the upstate counties.  I just want to get a handle on how he would talk, and if there are any phrases he might use in lieu of others (like the universal questions of "soda" vs. "pop," "bucket" vs. "pail," and "cupboard" vs. "cabinet").  I don't want someone reading my story and being thrown by what I would consider a small detail.  What I might consider small might mean the difference of authenticity for someone else. 

Monday, October 4, 2010

How well do you REALLY know your character?

The Basics: Answer these questions from your own point of view about your character.

Current residence:

Birth order:
Relationship with siblings:

Skin color:
Face shape:

Speech patterns:
Educational background:
Intelligence level:
Mental Illness:
Learning experiences:
Sees himself as:
Believes others see him as:
Ruled by:
What would embarrass him:
What would shame him:

How he deals with anger:
Deals with sadness:
Deals with stress:
Deals with conflict:
Deals with change:
Deals with loss:
Does he have any goals:
What motivates him:
What does he want to change about himself:
What frightens him:
What angers him:
What makes him happy:
Is he judgmental:
Is he generous:
Is he polite or rude:
Is he religious:

The Nitty Gritty: Answer the rest of these questions from the point of view of your character.

Mandatory Questions

1. What about you is heroic?
2. What about you is social? What do you like about people?
3. Of what benefit could you be to the current group?
4. Why would you choose to join the current group?
5. Invent an adventure/plot that your character would actively undertake (as opposed to just tagging along)?

Personal Questions

1. What is your real, birth name? What name do you use?
2. Do you have a nickname? What is it, and where did you get it?
3. What do you look like? (Include height, weight, hair, eyes, skin, apparent age, and distinguishing features)
4. How do you dress most of the time?
5. How do you "dress up?"
6. How do you "dress down?"
7. What do you wear when you go to sleep?
8. Do you wear any jewelry?
9. In your opinion, what is your best feature?
10. What's your real birth date?
11. Where do you live? Describe it: Is it messy, neat, avant-garde, sparse, etc.?
12. Do you own a car? Describe it.
13. What is your most prized mundane possession? Why do you value it so much?
14. What one word best describes you?

Familial Questions

1. What was your family like?
2. Who was your father, and what was he like?
3. Who was your mother, and what was she like?
4. What was your parents’ marriage like? Were they married? Did they remain married?
5. What were your siblings’ names? What were they like?
6. What's the worst thing one of your siblings ever did to you? What's the worst thing you've done to one of your siblings?
7. When's the last time you saw any member of your family? Where are they now?
8. Did you ever meet any other family members? Who were they? What did you think of them?

Childhood Questions

1. What is your first memory?
2. What was your favorite toy?
3. What was your favorite game?
4. Any non-family member adults stick out in your mind? Who were they, and how did you know them? Why do they stick out?
5. Who was your best friend when you were growing up?
6. What is your fondest, childhood memory?
7. What is your worst childhood memory?

Adolescent Questions

1. How old were you when you went on your first date?
2. It is common for one's view of authority to develop in their adolescent years. What is your view of authority, and what event most affected it?
3. What were you like in high school? What "clique" did you best fit in with?
4. What were your high school goals?
5. Who was your idol when you were growing up? Who did you first fantasize about in your life?
6. What is your favorite memory from adolescence?
7. What is your worst memory from adolescence?

Occupational Questions

1. Do you have a job? What is it? Do you like it? If no job, where does your money come from?
2. What is your boss or employer like? (Or publisher, or agent, or whatever.)
3. What are your co-workers like? Do you get along with them? Any in particular? Which ones don't you get along with?
4. What is something you had to learn that you hated?
5. Do you tend to save or spend your money? Why?

Likes & Dislikes Questions

1. What hobbies do you have?
2. Who is your closest mundane friend? Describe them and how you relate to them.
3. Who is your worst mundane enemy? Describe them and why you don't get along.
4. What bands do you like? Do you even pay attention?
5. What tape or CD hasn't left your player since your purchased it? Why?
6. What song is "your song?" Why?
7. What's been your favorite movie of all time?
8. Read any good books? What were they?
9. What do you watch on the Television?
10. When it comes to mundane politics, do you care? If so, which way do you tend to vote? If not, why don't you care?
11. What type of places do you hang out in with your mundane friends?
12. What type of places do you hang out in with your normal friends?
13. What annoys you more than anything else?
14. What would be the perfect gift for you?
15. What's the most beautiful thing you've ever seen?
16. What time of day is your favorite?
17. What kind of weather is your favorite?
18. What is your favorite food? What is your least favorite food?
19. What is your favorite drink? (Coffee, Coke, Juice, Beer, Wine, etc.)
20. What's your favorite animal? Why?
21. Do you have any pets? Do you want any pets? What kind?
22. What do you find most relaxing? (Not as in stress relief, but as something that actually calms you down.)
23. What habit that others have annoys you most?
24. What kind of things embarrass you? Why?
25. What don't you like about yourself?
26. How would you like to look?

Sex & Intimacy Questions

1. Would you consider yourself straight, gay, bi, or something else? Why?
2. Who was the first person you had sex with? When did it happen? What was it like? How well did it go?
3. Have you ever had a same-sex experience? Who with, what was it like, and how did it go?
4. What is your deepest, most well-hidden sexual fantasy? Would you ever try it?
5. What was the wildest thing you've ever done, sexually? Who was it with and when did it happen?
6. Is there any sexual activity that you enjoy and/or practice regularly that can be considered non-standard? (Bondage, Fantasy Play, etc.) Why do you like it?
7. Is there any sexual activity that you will not, under any circumstances, do?
8. Do you currently have a lover? What is their name, and what is your relationship like? What are they like? Why are you attracted to them?
9. What is the perfect romantic date?
10. Describe the perfect romantic partner for you.
11. Do you ever want to get married and have children? When do you see this happening?
12. What is more important - sex or intimacy? Why?
13. What was your most recent relationship like? Who was it with? (Does not need to be sexual, merely romantic.)
14. What's the worst thing you've done to someone you loved?

Drug & Alcohol Questions

1. How old were you when you first got drunk? What was the experience like?
Did anything good come out of it? Did anything bad come out of it?
2. Do you drink on any kind of regular basis?
3. What kind of alcohol do you prefer?
4. Have you ever tried any other kind of "mood altering" substance? Which one(s)? What did you think of each?
5. What do you think of drugs and alcohol? Are there any people should not do? Why or why not?

Morality Questions

1. What one act in your past are you most ashamed of? What one act in your past are you most proud of?
2. Have you ever been in an argument before? Over what, with who, and who won?
3. Have you ever been in a physical fight before? Over what, with who, and who won?
4. What do you feel most strongly about?
5. What do you pretend to feel strongly about, just to impress people?
6. What trait do you find most admirable, and how often do you find it?
7. Is there anything you think should not be incorporated into the media or art (sex, violence, greed, etc.,)? If so, what and why, and if not, why not?
8. Do you have any feelings in general that you are disturbed by? What are they? Why do they disturb you?
9. What is your religious view of things? What religion, if any, do you call your own?
10. Do you think the future is hopeful? Why?
11. Is an ounce of prevention really worth a pound of cure? Which is more valuable? Why do you feel this way?
12. What's the worst thing that can be done to another person? Why?
13. What's the worst thing you could actually do to someone you hated?
14. Are you a better leader or follower? Why do you think that? If you think the whole leader-follower archetype is a crock of shit, say so, and explain why?
15. What is your responsibility to the world, if any? Why do you think that?
16. Do you think redemption is possible? If so, can anyone be redeemed, or are there only certain circumstances that can be? If not, why do you think nothing can redeem itself?
17. Is it okay for you to cry? When was the last time you cried?
18. What do you think is wrong with MOST people, overall?

Post-Supernatural Awareness Questions

1. When did you go through whatever made you supernatural? What was it like (in your opinion)?
2. What do you think now of being supernatural? Is it cool, or have you been screwed?
3. Do you have a mentor? Who are they? How did you become their student?
4. Do you have any magical items? Where did you get them?
5. What do you think of the other denizens of the World of Darkness? Why for each? (If you haven't met something, do you think it exists, and if it does, is that bad or good?)
6. Think of a major event that happened during your training/initiation. What was it?
7. What is something you had to learn during your training that you hated? Why did you hate it?

Miscellaneous Questions

1. What is the thing that has frightened you most? Do you think there is anything out there that's scarier than that? What do you think that would be?
2. Has anyone or anything you've ever cared about died? How did you feel about it? What happened?
3. What was the worst injury you've ever received? How did it happen?
4. How ticklish are you? Where are you ticklish?
5. What is your current long term goal?
6. What is your current short term goal?
7. Do you have any bad habits? If so, what are they, and do you plan to get rid of them?
8. If you were a mundane person, what would you do with your life? What occupation would you want, and how would you spend all your time?
9. What time period do you wish you had lived in? Why? (Looking at this as an attempt to change history doesn't count.) What appeals to you about this era?
10. How private of a person are you? Why?
11. If you were to gain an obscenely large sum of money (via an inheritance, a lawsuit, a lottery, or anything else) what would you do with it?
12. What would you wish for if you found a genie?
13. What do you do when you are bored?
14. What is the most frightening potential handicap or disfigurement you can conceive of? What makes it so frightening?

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Brain Drizzle

brain drizzle is what occurs when you don't have enough ideas to have a brainstorm.  or too many ideas to choose from that no single one of them amounts to much.

 trying to come up with what i want to write about for nanowrimo.  luckily, it's still a month away, because i have NO idea what i want to write about.  i thought about expanding on a short story i wrote about a year ago.  i have enough material in it i think i could expand it into a novel, even without using the material i already wrote for it.  which would be added to the expanded story, but not counted in the 50K word count for the challenge.  i could actually do that with any one of three short stories i wrote while in my senior year at OSU.  they are all short stories i have wanted to revisit and expand on.  i think it's mainly between my stories Underdeveloped and Joshua Tree (which would need a new title, for serious).  i love the character in both.

Underdeveloped stars Caleb and Jamie.  Caleb is a recovering alcoholic and an underachiever, and content that way.  His best friend Jamison died of alcohol poisoning one year before the main story takes place.  Jamison's death was a wake-up call for Caleb, and he struggled for a year to get his own drinking under control.  By the time the short story takes place, he hasn't had a drink in about six months, but still feels the urge almost every day.  Enter Jamie, a girl who injects herself into Caleb's life.  She is erratic, manipulative, and a compulsive liar.  Her presence, her name, and her disregard for the sanctity of dead memories disrupt Caleb's complacent existence, but start a friendship that is a lot like iodine on an open wound: painful at first, but ultimately beneficial in its cleansing properties. 

The original short story takes place over a single day and is about how Caleb and Jamie meet.  The material I want to add to it would explore Caleb and Jamison's friendship before Jamison died, Caleb's ensuing alcoholism, and the longer effects of Caleb and Jamie's friendship and possible romance.  I want to stay away from romance, though, so as not to descend into cliches.  This is not a romantic comedy.

But as I said, I think I have enough material here that I could write a novel with it. 

The second short story I wanted to expand is Joshua Tree, the story of Ben and Hoosh, two guys who have a chance encounter when Ben picks up Hoosh as a hitchhiker along a highway between small reservation towns in Nevada.  The story takes place over a couple hours and mainly deals with their short but impressionistic ride together.  They leave a mark on one another.  I have wanted to go back and revisit this story for months, but I don't know what I would add to it.  Bringing them back together after Ben drops Hoosh off at his destination seems unlikely and more like writing fanfiction for myself than anything.  Just because I want them to get back together and develop a stronger bond doesn't mean it should, would, or even could happen.  I could seriously write a novel about them taking a trip from Nevada to Alaska, inspired heavily by my own drive from Oklahoma to Alaska.  But I have no idea why they would make the trip.  It bears some thinking over, though.  I love the characters, and I would love to revisit them.  They totally would be gay for each other by the end of the trip, btw.  XD  I may not actually include that in the story, but in my head, they would totally be in love.

So, yeah... a couple possibilities to drizzle over. 

Saturday, September 25, 2010


Well, I've done it.  I've gone and signed up for NaNoWriMo.  That's National Novel Writing Month to you not in the loop.

From WriMo's web site:

What: Writing one 50,000-word novel from scratch in a month's time.
Who: You! We can't do this unless we have some other people trying it as well. Let's write laughably awful yet lengthy prose together.
Why: The reasons are endless! To actively participate in one of our era's most enchanting art forms! To write without having to obsess over quality. To be able to make obscure references to passages from our novels at parties. To be able to mock real novelists who dawdle on and on, taking far longer than 30 days to produce their work.
When: You can sign up anytime to add your name to the roster and browse the forums. Writing begins November 1. To be added to the official list of winners, you must reach the 50,000-word mark by November 30 at midnight. Once your novel has been verified by our web-based team of robotic word counters, the partying begins.

I'm both terrified and invigorated by the prospect of writing again, and with such wild abandon!  I have no idea what I'm going to write about, but I have a whole month to plan before November 1st, when the writing actually begins.

Omg what did I get myself into... @_@

Friday, September 24, 2010

Quest for the Back Patio

I'm going to try not to focus on the fact that other people may be reading this.  I'm going to try not to worry too much about how much sense it will makes to other people, or how good it is, or how it might sound to someone else.  I'm starting this blog for me, myself, to try and get back something I seem to have lost.

When I was a kid, I used to go with my mom to this old bookstore called The Dusty Bookworm.  It was an aptly named establishment; a cramped, cluttered, dusty place crammed with shelves and boxes of used books.  It was one of those places where you could bring your old books to donate or trade.  My mom used to bring in her old paperbacks by the dozens.  She is an avid reader of mysteries and thrillers of the serial killer sort, and I've always been secretly amused by the fact that she has read so many different books by different authors of the genre that she has trouble remembering which ones she has read before.  She will sometimes come home with a book to start reading it, only to realize two chapters in that she had indeed read it before.  Then it's back to the bookstore.

I loved going with her to the Dusty Bookworm, because I knew that if I did she would buy me a book.  That was one thing she would never deny me.  She encouraged me to love books as much as she did, and she provided me with a steady supply of reading material.  Obviously it is to this that I can attribute my avid love of books, but it is to this that I also attribute my love of writing.

I wrote my first "novel" the summer after fourth grade.  I took a pencil, a stack of loose leaf, wide ruled notebook paper, and my tape player out onto the back patio every day, and it was there that I wrote an eighty-something page plot-less story containing exactly eight characters, composed almost entirely of dialogue.  Double spaced, of course.  At the end of the summer, I went to my dad and asked if he wanted to read my novel.  He chuckled and said, "Sure, sweetie," prepared to indulge his nine-year-old daughter.  So I shocked him by dropping this manuscript of notebook paper into his lap.  He still tells this story to his clients at cocktail parties.  His daughter, the writer.

Since then, I have identified myself as a writer.  I've written hundreds of pages of fiction over the years, but I've rarely finished anything I've started.  The last novel-length story I finished was some time in middle school.  Since then, I have written various pieces of fiction, taken classes on writing, and even earned my Baccalaureate in Creative Writing from an accredited four year university.  

So why don't I feel like a writer?  Because I haven't written anything original in almost two years, probably.  I've written fan-related things.  Many people call it fanfiction.  One word.  My fanfiction is mostly in the form of RP (role playing) with other people, though I have written a few fanworks independently.  My fanfiction orbits around Blizzard's Warcraft universe.  It's a verse that I enjoy immensely for its mythology and lore.  The World of Warcraft is absolutely enormous in it's size and span.  There is literally something in it for everyone.

But as much as I love it, the Warcraft universe is not my own.  It's not mine.  And no matter how at-home I might feel there, it's not my place, and nothing is as liberating or as comfortable as my own house.  When you live in another person's house, you have to abide by their house rules.  It's the same for me in the Warcraft verse.  It is enjoyable to a degree, but ultimately stifling.  And now, it has been so long since I have written anything outside the Warcraft verse that I'm afraid I've lost the ability to create my own stories comprised entirely of my own ideas.  I know on some level that isn't true, but it's a fear that is constantly eating at my brain.

I want to get back to my house, but I don't know where it is.  I can picture it in my head, I just don't know how to get there.  I guess the only thing I can do is start writing, and hope that I will eventually navigate my way back to the back patio.