Archive for May, 2011

Where I came from and Where I’m Going

Posted in Life as it happens, writing on May 31, 2011 by generatedanomaly

The last few days have found me engrossed in the various resources collected by Ancestry.com. I’ve been figuring out who I am, which is funny, because in the past I didn’t think about it much. Lately, I have been. It might have something to do with the leap I’m about to take.

And, it is a leap. I’ve realized that I need more reliable friends, or friends with more time. Probably both. The ones that I’ve felt would give me honest feedback on my work have failed time and again to actually provide any. They give a long list of excuses, and I understand personal things coming up, but for fuck’s sake, how hard is it to just get something done?

Rhetorical question, mind you. I don’t really want to know the answer.

Or, maybe I do. It surprises me the most from people who want to work in a creative field, the ones that want to freelance. They’re called deadlines. When I send you something a month before hand, I kinda thought maybe it would be read. When someone hounds me until I give them a copy of my manuscript, I expect that they want to read it enough to, you know, read it.

I’m sure other people run into these problems and when you’re starting out it’s hard to find that reliable beta reader. I thought I might have had one, but alas, I was wrong once more, and I value my relationship too much to ever ask my boyfriend to be a beta reader. It’s the same reason I haven’t asked certain friends. I don’t want to get mad at them over something small like their criticism of my word choices.

So, I’ve been a bit down about my choice to be a writer and not quite putting the effort in that I should. That needs to turn around, and fast. I think I might be able to afford myself one more night of mucking about on a website to understand who I am and where I came from. I already know that I had ancestors who left Germany right around the beginning of World War II. If they can take a leap of faith, then I can too.

It’s not the same as running for my life, but it is something scary. And, I know the problems with beta readers and all the other shit will straighten themselves out. I just need to stick with it.

I love writing. I love telling stories. Why would I ever want to not do this wonderful thing. I can take people to other places, other times. Who knows, maybe I’ll decide to write some historical fiction, or do more research and figure out exactly what my family went through on their way out of Germany. I’m sure someone out there would be interested.

Until then, I’m going to work on my zombie build up. I reworked the beginning and I like it much better this time around. The characters are going to be… fun. Very fun. I can’t wait to get 20,000 words in and see what happens between them.

It’s Never Perfect the First Time

Posted in writing on May 29, 2011 by generatedanomaly

I started my next novel the other day. Just a little beast, more of an experiment than anything series. Unless it turns out to be awesome, then who knows what will happen with it. Though, if this beginning is any indication, it won’t be that amazing.

I was thinking about it in the shower. The shower is an amazing place where so many jumbled things get sorted. It’s something about the combination of warmth and water and good smells replacing the bad that just makes it an incubator for brilliance. That’s what I need right now, some brilliance, because the beginning of this piece is full of horrible things.

The character doesn’t strike me as the sort of person prepared to handle the situation, and by situation, I mean zombies. Or, some variation thereof.

I’m only a thousand words in. You may be wondering how I can tell. It’s like how you can tell if you’re going to like someone during the first conversation. The first 1000 words tell a lot about who the character is, especially if most of them are internal comments made by the character.

What I’ve learned so far: 1. She hates her job. Most people do, but it’s the nature of her job that prevents her from being prepared to handle something as life changing as a zombie outbreak. 2. Not only does she hate her job, she’s not very good at it. I suppose maybe zombies are as good a reason as any to step up, but I really see her getting eaten rather quickly. Because, 3. She doesn’t have any redeemable survival skills. She doesn’t know how to use a gun. She’s rather oblivious to the world, and, oh yeah, she couldn’t find food outside of a clearly marked grocery store.

It’ll be a short story before she gets eaten. Now, I know what you’re thinking, that sounds a lot like most people I know. Yep. Most people you know wouldn’t last long in a zombie outbreak. The ones who think they’ll survive are most likely to be the first ones to die. Something about thinking you have everything under control in a panicked situation.

So, I need to rework the beginning of the novel. Then move forward. She has to be a cool character, but not too cool. Someone who might actually make it through the shit storm that a real zombie outbreak would cause.

This is going to be interesting.

I Need a Day off Once in a While

Posted in Projects, writing on May 28, 2011 by generatedanomaly

I took yesterday as a day off. Mostly to recover from my work shift on Thursday. I felt like I got hit by a truck. A large truck. With a detached muffler.

I found muscles I forgot about. It’s not the best feeling in the world when everything decides to hurt all at once for the entire day. Not sharp dreadful pain, but the low dull ache of muscles that don’t  see a lot of use. I should see to that. Much like I should see to finishing the painting of my office.

So, yesterday, I played around on Ancestry.com for four hours. I managed to follow part of my Great-grandfather on my dad’s father’s side back to England. I’m thinking an hour today. I want to follow another trail for a while. It’s exciting for me to see just where I came from. I always had some idea, but I didn’t know that side of my family was in Connecticut before moving to the southern tier of New York. I know my Mom’s family came over in the 1900’s.

When I get done with that, I need to do some research for a secret project I’m working on with a friend. Then some more work on the current novel. I’m super excited about the novel. The thought of playing with zombies makes me happy.

Day Job, Go!

Posted in Life as it happens, writing on May 25, 2011 by generatedanomaly

I worked this morning. Money will be coming in, that’s a good thing, because right now I’m down to next to nothing in the checking account. Bills are paid for this month though, so I guess that’s a plus.

I will say one thing for my day job. It’s never dull. There’s a “resort” off campus that’s more of a deck attached to an old barn and an old ski lodge. The lawn outside is pretty, until the geese cover it in shit and the pond scum builds up. Also, no air movement makes summer weddings more than a little annoying to work at. I love humidity. Or not.

Today, we get out there and unload into our staging area. The floor in the barn is white. It shouldn’t be. It’s a dark wood floor that really needs to be replaced. Someone broke into the downstairs, came up through and decided to release the fire extinguishers all over the floor.

One of the managers sends a girl out to start mopping. An hour later, two of us got through mopping. The floor still looks like shit, so it will probably need to be done again tomorrow before the wedding. It falls under the category of fantastic.

The good news, not that getting money isn’t good news, I finished the rewrite/revisions on my novel last night. Now I just need to do my research and figure out if I want to go the traditional route or try to make in on the indie circuit.

I’ve been leaning toward traditional publishing. I do have a decent twitter following. I have a collection of friends that want to read my stuff, and probably had more faith in my writing earlier in life than I did.

It’s a little nerve racking. It’s like staring down into a deep dark precipice. There’s no seeing the bottom, but you know something fantastic lies on the other side. So, you start the climb down. And there are monsters in the darkness. They want to take your money without giving anything back. They make you believe all sorts of pretty things, and steal your work. But, if you’re brave and don’t stray too far, you get through the dangers and climb out the other side to a book with your name on the cover.

That first book is going to be amazing. I’m going to have the cover framed. It’ll go next to my first rejection letter. It’s the things on the other side of the precipice that I want and I will work to get there.

There’s Always a Plan B

Posted in Office, Video games, writing on May 24, 2011 by generatedanomaly

I’m one step closer to having the office I’ve imagined in my head for the past month. There was a broken, not so pretty desk in the corner where I want the bookshelf to live. We were going to get a dumpster. Turns out you need to get a permit to even be able to get a dumpster in the city of Oswego. On top of that, it’s a $400 deposit. So, no dumpster, we have a backup plan.

This morning was me taking apart the ugly desk. It’s out on the deck at the bottom of the back steps now. I feel a bit like a conquering hero. Tomorrow, I’m working a catering shift (Yay, day jobs!). It’s just a set up, so I might be done at a reasonable time. Then I have another wall to paint, and some baseboard to clean off, but that’s another story.

So, the boyfriend was playing Dead Space 2 last night. Let me just say not wanting to look at the TV is an amazing motivator to get work done. I went through 50 pages last night on my revision/rewrite. I have 38 pages left. Then the scary part: Beta readers and query letters. Next week might be exciting. Or horribly depressing. I’m not sure which yet. I’m hoping for exciting. Exciting is good.

The “Real World” is Scary

Posted in Life as it happens, writing on May 23, 2011 by generatedanomaly

It’s been a productive morning so far. There were waffles and Doctor Who (by the way, good episode. Had a good fright factor.) and getting the rest of the stuff I wanted from the apartment. It’s kind of nice to have the “college student” portion of my life be officially over.

What comes next is by far more frightening. The real world. Though, I don’t like calling it that. It implies that the world hasn’t been real up until this point. Like, somehow, things change when  you’re not a student anymore.

That’s just not true. Sure, there’s no more meal plan to keep you afloat. There’s no more guaranteed roof over your head or electricity no matter what. Bills become more… tangible. You live and die by your ability to make money. That’s the scary part.

It’s even scarier when you decide to put all your hopes and dreams out there for the world to see. Most of my friends intend to make their life through creative means. Together, we form these crazy worlds in our minds. We travel to places that don’t exist yet, but will when we finish creating them.

Magic does exist. It’s in every brush stroke, every word on the page. I am an alchemist, turning experience into words and transmuting them into something the reader can internalize. Transported to another place and time, it’s why I write. It’s why people read. The better the storyteller, the better the illusion is.

I’m going to spin my tales in hopes that the world outside likes them enough to pay me money so I can keep coming up with stories and not have to get a day job. I think that’s what all creative types hope for though. That, and a plentiful supply of caffeine.

At least it’s Done

Posted in Life as it happens, Office on May 22, 2011 by generatedanomaly

The boyfriend and I spent yesterday and today moving stuff from the apartment to my office in the back of the house. We found mold colonies at the apartment. Multiple colonies. A lot of stuff was ruined and about halfway through I said “Fuck this. I don’t care that much.” So, I’m not getting my security deposit back. It’s worth it not to have to clean up another batch of mold.

The stuff that we moved over has been checked. It is mold free. I’m still wiping the furniture that was in the room down with a bleach solution. The books all seem to be okay.

I bought a new desk today. Mostly because I didn’t want to move the other one. The boyfriend thinks the furniture was compromised because of the mold. His evidence being the television stand. It collapsed on itself on his way over from the apartment. Granted, we did have it strapped to a dollie and he was walking down the street with it, but it still shouldn’t have fallen apart the way it did.

S0, new desk. The “business” end of the office is almost done. I’m waiting a couple more days before I start putting things on the walls to make sure the paint is set. But, the desk is in place. The filing cabinet, which I need to organize, found its new home. My lap is in the corner and my reference bookshelf is in place. Some books have even found their way onto it. I need to finish going through the piles to get the books sorted out. And move the rest from the living room.

Tomorrow starts my new workout, work, socialize schedule. I need a schedule if I’m going to make things happen this summer. It won’t be a set schedule. There will be flexibility, but if I want to get my massive list of things accomplished, then I need to be tough on myself.

Speaking of things that need to be done. I have laundry to finish. As much as I want it to, it won’t do itself.