Monday, 27 February 2012

Simon's Room

Sitting at my brother's desk... He has a really nice room... I would not mind having it :P Good view of the overgrown back gardens around here, no traffic noise, and while it's smaller than some rooms I've had there's still actually a fair amount of space. I think I've been pretty spoiled with having massive rooms, but the stuffed toys do demand a lot of space... *now sounds like a creepy collector with like hundreds and hundreds of teddies*... nah, I just kept all the biggest ones. Because they're cute and the most cuddly.

Not sure if I'd be ale to keep all my books in here though... Well, the problem with books is that there is never any room for them all... how do there always end up being more books than you know what to do with? They probably multiply. I suppose you could say that's true if you take your influences as "parents"... So my books would have the most obvious parents of Diana Wynne Jones and Terry Pratchett, with, like, a weird mix of aunts and uncles from various parts of Literature. Or, writing at least. :P I still feel pretty influenced by books written for teenagers which are just about teenagers doing dumb stuff. Although actually the fantasy element was always there: sitting in this room I can see some books I haven't thought about for a long time but I read and enjoyed, like The Snottle by Michael Lawrence. The kids from that series are great characters and I always found his books pretty hilariously written. Maybe I should pretend the shelves and shelves of multi-coloured/pink books that I read aren't my influences and writers like that are instead? :P At least it's fantasy/SF instead.

Heeey. Old gameboy cartridges and the Gameboy, with Pokemon Red still in it... Wonder if it has batteries still..? Awww, the power button flashed once and then went off. Oh well :( Everything is pretty dusty in here... *turns a critical sisterly eye on things* ... to be fair, even if it was spic and span in December he's been at university for almost 2 months :P

I am pretty much just waiting for some ideas to come along for the scene I'm typing up. I know that sounds sort of weird because it's already all there in my notebook, but I always see it more as a first draft, and I always hope that the second draft is when I type it up. I was thinking I wasn't satisfied with a paragraph but then I typed it up and was like, "Eh, it'll do..." but then I felt sort of bad for doing that. I should probably feel a bit more inspired to type things up before I start doing it, so my brain will be jumping around trying to think of new connections and better ways of saying things. It's how I usually end up with a more polished finished draft than some people. I'd be denying my own methods of greatness if I just typed everything up as I wrote it the first time!

Maybe I just need some more coffee... *totally not addicted*

Friday, 24 February 2012

*cough cough cough*

Watched Bright Star, that film about John Keats, this evening (random fact: he died on Feb 23rd... Didn't know that until the end of the film :P). I think I have coughed more in this last hour than he did the whole time he was busy dying of tuberculosis during the film... Rather worrying. :P In films as soon as someone starts coughing you basically know that they're dead in half an hour. To this film's credit though they actually didn't do that: they just skipped straight to blood everywhere. I suppose there's not much suspense when anyone interested enough to watch a film like that in the first place will at least know the basic fact that the poor guy died at 25 from TB.

Anyway, something about Romatic poets dying horrible deaths at a young age put me in mind of that story The Poet and the River I was writing for my last but one (?) NaNoWriMo. Er... Was I still updating my blog at that point? I must have been... *goes to see what I said about it for nostalgia reasons*

Well, seems like I was not really in the mood for blogging for some reason back then. :P Two posts for the whole of November? And not one of them mentioning The Poet and the River? FOR SHAME, MELLY! For shame!

So, The Poet and the River is my attempt at horror: it's set in Victorian-ish times, and in somewhere which is probably London. There's a group of Romantic-style poets, and a zombie prostitute. Some of them die messily with a lot of blood, but it's not tuberculosis finishing them off... :D

I actually got more inspired by the work I was doing in uni at the time about the Victorian city and sexuality and stuff, so I was thinking more about Oscar Wilde (siiigh) when I first started, but I don't know much about his friends. Whereas the Romantics all hung out or at least fell out with each other, so while I'm not using any real poets (I hope: I'm checking character names against the lists of poets and pre-Raphaelites on Wikipedia :P) I have a better idea of how to write about them and their beliefs and stuffs. I've covered Romantic poets several times in my courses, never mind the fact that films and TV series about them spring up all the time.

They're often pretty annoying, yes, and to my amusement a Wordsworth-esque character with a penchant for walking in the wild countryside would probably be the first to get eaten by a zombie: the first rule is don't go off on your own after all. And maybe Kubla Khan wasn't so much unfinished because of the guy who came to the door as because a zombie was hiding behind the door...

Well, we'll see. :P To be honest I was padding the story so much for NaNoWriMo I only got two zombie attacks in, and the first to go was my Keats-equivalent because he was already pretty much on death's door anyway, and then the next poet just saw too much, so no, hehe, poetic death for him.

Anyway, perhaps it has been long enough (a year and a bit now) since that NaNoWriMo... I had some serious setbacks when I lost a great deal of the story by my own idiot mistakes: I saved over the file. After that I lost all heart to continue it, and I swore I'd only pick up the story when enough time had passed for me to feel distanced enough to start a whole new draft where I didn't even want to refer to the old one for anything. And by now I do think my old plot was sort of dumb in places, and I can see the romances were just for padding and would be better just hinted at, etc... Still feel like stealing some of the awesome descriptions I know were in there, but actually I had a scan through really quickly and I didn't see any that jumped out at me.

Oh well, I can always try again and hope it's all new and better and if not I do that freaky thing where I subconsciously copy a scene I already wrote almost word for word... I've done it before with Soddinelvs stuff back in the day. :P Truly my memory is only useful for remembering stuff that I wrote.

So I don't know why I'm cluttering it up with such a long blog post. Bye!

Friday, 17 February 2012

I've spent quite some time today re-drawing the first comic of Captain Templeton... I eventually want to make the whole comic a bit more of a standard art style: while I was getting to the end of my third year of uni it was in paper because my laptop started overheating too much to be able to use safely, and rather than wait I was drawing and painting it by hand. Also, the first few computer-drawn comics look so bad and wobbly BlackJack and I have decided the characters seem to have some sort of horrible tropical disease and we named it The Mipples.

Anyways, I was at my dad's this evening and he always ends up asking about how my work is going, and then I have to talk about it... Felt a bit like an interview today because I haven't made much progress towards making anything publishable... I explained it away as, you know, this is my huge block of free time where I can hammer out as much writing as I possibly can, so when I find myself a little drier on time I can work on other things which don't involve producing 5000 words of a draft overnight after drinking too much coffee or whatever. He thinks that I should be producing and cleaning up more short stories and getting them out there. It is a much better way to start off, but really I don't particularly like many of the dumb short stories I wrote on my course, and I have very few that I would actually want to publish as they are. Mix in that I always finish them and since the story is all done and over and the AMAZING IDEA that fuelled them has been gotten out of my system, I generally forget them as well and feel very little drive to do much more to them. So the fact I need to clean anything I wanted to publish up a bit just makes me sort of sad because I really can't be bothered.

Not when I have so much of my ridiculously long series to be writing :P

Among other things...

Aaaargh.

Thursday, 16 February 2012

Medders

Everyone this week was telling me about an archaeological dig just up the road from me, which, in essence, is exactly the plot of Temple Elves minus the grumpy teenage goddess (as far as I'm aware). Sorry, Maladjusted Goddess... I still haven't got around to changing the name of the file on my computer, and I can tell I am just going to keep calling it Temple Elves until I do so.

In any case, I sent off a form to volunteer to be a digger at the site, because I do have more than a passing interest in archaeology, buckets of free time, and seeing the chance to live out one of my stories and also to get some first hand research in is like a super good idea.

Also, strike four or five of life imitating my stories when I could have had zero way of predicting that it was going to happen. :P I've been keeping an eye out for some time since I had some situations a few months back where things imitated what I was currently writing a couple of times, and it had happened before then as well.

I guess it's just good to know that the stuff I write is something that people can relate to.

Anyway, the real test is going to be if I get onto the site and the archaeologist in charge is short, scruffy, with gold eyes and a wicked grin, and seems convinced that he is Indiana Jones.

Seriously, it's right there in my plot file:

Sunday, 12 February 2012

So I started writing Exchange of State yesterday, mostly because I couldn't stop thinking about it once my brain had brought it up again. I forgot completely until yesterday that it had been a dream that I had, and that the original opening was about as close to that as I could possibly make it. It was one of those dreams that made a surprising amount of sense at the time and also came complete with a really good story idea. I guess the fact I was writing an essay about the habits of the medieval upper classes and an essay about women's philosophies about literature, complete with lots of stuff about gender and imagination, pretty much sealed Exchange of State's existence.

Anyway I am just totally making stuff up about tournaments at the moment. I know a fair amount about them, from TV and books and stuff, but to be honest I'm not sure where the line is drawn between the stuff that actually happened and the cool version that people like to portray. I suspect I'm just making my own cool version, but then, making up a load of new rules is basically what fantasy about. And Exchange of State is probably the least fanciful fantasy I've ever written. I mean, you have a massive dimension-travelling powerful magic, but aside from that witch and her freakish powers basically no one uses any magic and everything tries to be as normal as possible.

It is also pretty odd to be back in third person, but actually I've found before it's easier to write two different things alongside each other if one is in third person and the other is in first. I don't think this will get in the way too much with my Troutespond work because of that. I'm getting into the world a lot at the moment, but that's a lot easier to put to one side. Especially since TP stories are set in this world (technically) it's even less brain power to get back on track with them.

Well, I haven't worked much on Maladjusted Goddess this week mostly because of bloody Sebede and his stupid attention-hogging awesomeness, but once I get this story settled down a bit (I'm not writing 30,000 words of it in a week like last time : P) I should be able to run the two alongside each other.

Just don't mention trying to write the 4 different first person voices for the series itself alongside each other. >_<

Thursday, 9 February 2012

So apparently Captain Templeton is now my main project? It's not even something I'm mostly responsible for writing: BlackJack (in case anyone other than her is reading) is doing a lot of the work with me just egging her on and tweaking the dialogue if I draw it and it looks stupid with the old dialogue and I'm too lazy to change their facial expressions to match what they're meant to be saying.

... I'm a bit of a terrible artist posing as a mediocre one. : D

Well anyway I've not written anything today, but I'm still scribbling down stuff for Maladjusted Goddess or whatever it's called now. Got my usual burst of Wednesday productivity in : ) But this morning I woke up with Exchange of State in my head of all things... A bit of back story on that one maybe. In first year when I blew up my laptop in the last fortnight of term when I had all my essays still to write, I did all my work by hand, and in the mean time of finishing the essays, also to "unwind" wrote, in the most stressful, altered state of mind I've ever been in (I had an MP3 player which held 26 songs. For a fortnight), 36,000 words of a body swap story about a princess in a gritty fantasy world. She swaps places with the alternate universe version of herself if she had been born as a boy. It was political and sexy and awesome, and I totally shelved it years ago and never went back because, well, I was partly insane when I wrote it. I'd only been away from home for 3 months, and it was the end of my first ever semester of university in a crappy cold house with crappy psycho house mates and it would be another 2 months before Concrete Faery popped up and suddenly everything was awesome and sunny. And warmer.

Anyways. I'm pretty tempted to re-plot it, and work out what to do: I need to make exciting events happen in both worlds, and at the moment the prince has all the interesting stuff because he's already at war when it starts and also because of him being a dude there's succession issues. Obviously in the other life, when she's a princess, there's only 1 son, so no matter how rubbish he is there's no fight. I'm guessing because they look weak because of that someone else invades. But that will take a bit longer, so I need some time frame for it all.

But in the interests of not blabbing out my whole plot to the internet at large I should probably take this to a notebook : D

Monday, 6 February 2012

What characters do between chapters

I'm in that sort of place now... It's weird, but I feel like there are clear chapters in my life, and some have ended, and I'm just waiting for others to start.

It's a lot more boring than you might think. I mean, maybe it'd be relaxing if I was an action hero or something, but my life is a bog standard sit com or something. Or at least it was until I graduated. Then it was one of those low budget dramas they put on TV in the gaps between mindless programming and decent shows.

I have a job interview tomorrow, so hopefully that will open up a new chapter of Lizzy the Librarian.

Anyways, since I'm currently sitting around in the gap between things in my life I'm not really writing much. I've drawn  some Cap'n Templeton: https://sites.google.com/site/captaintempleton/home (I totally recommend anyone who isn't BlackJack check it out. She is not allowed to read it because she's stinky). I've also spent a lot of time hunting dragons in various forms. It's way more boring than it might sound.

But I figured since I was actually trying to keep up with having a blog this year, I'd better say something.