Archive for September, 2011

My thoughts on the new DC.

Posted in Nerd things, writing with tags , , , , , , on September 29, 2011 by generatedanomaly

I’ve been thinking about the DC reboot a lot, partly because it’s hard to avoid the blog posts and all right now. I was talking it over with my boyfriend the other day, just to get some things off my chest. But, I think it warrants a blog post because I have a few things I really want to say.

First, Starfire being vapid and sex crazed… I’ve been thinking about this and have decided that she’s a freshman in college, just away from her parents and wants to try out a few new personas on her way. Sure, it’s dangerous and she’s probably going to get hurt (physically and emotionally), but she’ll pretend she doesn’t care so she can fit in. I’ve lived in college towns my entire adult life. I’ve seen it happen.

My second theory, she’s been infected with some alien venereal disease that requires her to have as much sex as possible to spread amongst the masses. It’s altered her brain chemistry just enough for her to think it’s a good idea.

Catwoman? I don’t know. I need to see what comes next to know if the sex is gratuitous or if it serves the larger story. Not that I’m sure there’s a larger story because the writing is a bit insipid. Which is to say, I didn’t enjoy it and didn’t buy the book, but read part of it while standing next to the new comic wall last week. Yes, I’m that person. I got my fingerprints all over someone else’s comic. I find myself not caring.

All right, got the big pieces out of the way. Right. So far, I’ve enjoyed Green Arrow as I said before. I’ll keep getting that. I’ll keep getting Batwoman too, and Birds of Prey. I loved the shout out to Montoya in Batwoman. (Speaking of, where is Question? I haven’t seen her, or him if they decide to go back. Either way, I enjoy the character.) And, Dinah is one of my favorite characters. To see that she’s been treated well (s0 far) makes me happy.

I don’t ask for much. I want strong characters that I can relate to, male or female. And, by the way, I don’t mean nothing ever gets them down, I mean strength of conviction or ideal. I hope I write characters that come off that way. Shit happens (on a regular basis depending on where you live) and it’s how a character deals with it that shows the type of person they are. A character doesn’t need breasts to be relatable to me. They need to stick to their ideals and, if they’re a hero, it means acting like one. They need to take the shitty stuff life throws their way in stride and continue to be good people, because aliens are people too. Or, at least, they’re being written by people. I suppose that might be a distinction worth making.

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Eyes and Children. What? My Brain goes weird places sometimes.

Posted in writing with tags , , , , on September 27, 2011 by generatedanomaly

I woke up this morning thinking about eyes and children. I blame my boyfriend and the paper he’s been working on for the eyes bit and my hormones for the children part. The fact that our married friends who we play D&D with on Thursday have a baby doesn’t hurt the child desire either. Seeing how infatuated the baby is with my boyfriend only adds to it. So, there we are. I’m getting on in years. I’m almost officially into my late 20’s and will be in about a month and a half. My body and my brain want a baby.

All right, got that bit out of the way. Next on the docket? Eyes. This morning I found myself thinking about my own and wondering if that was why random children seemed to dislike me. I get a lot of glares in the grocery store and have no idea why. I’m sure the fact that I carry myself like an authority figure doesn’t help. And come to think of it, that’s probably why none of my high school students gave my any shit while I was student teaching. I have the perfect posture for being the person in charge. People have commented on how good my posture is, my head up, my shoulders back. No slouching here. My usual reply: it comes from carrying pails of water across the barnyard. There’s a way to do it so you don’t get wet. That becomes increasingly important in January and February when you live in the Southern Tier of New York.

Got a little off topic, but it’s good for exploration so we’ll just leave that there.

When I was a child I used to stare into the mirror and think “Those are my eyes staring back at me. Why do they look so old?” I have a reference now for what I couldn’t quite put into words then. The Doctor and how his eyes are impossibly old for his appearance. That’s sort of how I felt then. Do my eyes look as old now that I’m starting to get laugh lines? Maybe not. I don’t spend near as much time looking at them as I used to.

They say eyes are the window to our soul. I might be inclined to agree with that. I’m still not sure why I get so many looks from children. And, it’s not all children. I spent half an hour Saturday playing with a young girl in the comic shop while her mother and two older brothers shopped. She certainly had no problem with me and wanted to know if I would be there the next time she came in. I told her I didn’t know if I would be. Then felt bad because she was upset, but I think she would have been more upset later if I told her yes and I wasn’t.

And there we have it, my morning thoughts. Also, one of the things I wanted to get done this week. It’s an ambitious week, but I’ve already knocked two things off and it’s only Tuesday. I think I can handle this. I think maybe I’ve finally got it through my thick skull that writing is my job now and if I’m going to make any money at it I need to get finished product out the door. There are magazines out there that take stuff from new writers and plenty of agents that might consider taking a look at my novel if I were to clean up my query and actually figure out something useful to tell them about myself. You know what? It’s a lot of work, but I’m enjoying the shit out of it right now. Even the not so pleasant part of revisions, as draining as it is, it’s still better than a lot of jobs I’ve had. I’ll take it and make something cool happen.

Life amuses me so very much.

Posted in writing with tags , , on September 20, 2011 by generatedanomaly

You know that bit where you have to rip something you like apart so it can be better? That’s where I am right now. I’m ripping the guts out of this novel. Some of it gets to stay. Whole sections don’t exist anymore. The rest are on notice for bad behavior. I might have added a bit here and there. There’s always something that sounds better.

I have a stack of paper next to my computer. It’s over 100 pages now. Since Sunday afternoon and I’m finishing them today. Come hell or high water, both of which are distinct possibilities so I don’t want to hear any contradictions. None.

Something I’ve realized in the last few days, I’m having fun. As difficult as plot and wording can be, as annoying as characters are to figure out, I’m having a lot of fun. I’m oddly content with my life. I’m glad all the horrible, world-ending things happened to me because it made me a stronger person. Plus, they sort of proved that the world doesn’t end when someone leaves. It feels like it. It hurts like hell when you put so much of yourself into something and it fails, but the world doesn’t end. You work through it. You get stronger.

After that, those silly little petty things amuse the shit out of you. Like on Friday when I went in to get my last pay stub and I find out that my ex-husband is still full of bitterness even though he’s “moved on” and I find myself giggling. He left me. I’m pretty sure he was cheating on me almost the whole time we were together, but I’m the one who was wrong. Maybe he’s trying to figure out why I wasn’t happy with him. I don’t know. I do know I’m happy now. My boyfriend is a good man despite his consistent protests and proclamations of his “assholeness.”

So, the world doesn’t end when bad things happen. I’ll keep plugging along. I’ll do what makes me happy because life is too short to be miserable.

What exactly to you mean by “overqualified?”

Posted in job search, writing with tags , , on September 17, 2011 by generatedanomaly

Somewhere between slogging through revisions, generating new content in the form of short stories and housework I’ve found time to toss job applications out in the the ether. I’ve gotten a lot of  this: “We don’t have a job offer for you at this time.” or “You’re overqualified.”

Seriously? You’re hiring. I want to work. And I know the job offer is still posted. I looked. I get that my credit score isn’t the greatest. I’m working on it. Which, by the way, is a hell of a lot harder to do when you don’t have steady income.

And overqualified? That’s not even a thing. That’s you seeing I have a Masters’ degree and freaking out because I won’t start at minimum wage. Shit, you should be paying me for my work experience anyway so what’s a little degree in education going to add to that? Not much. And, in case you haven’t noticed, there are no teaching jobs right now. It’s the middle of September and at this point, I really just want something.

And sure, I’ve got writing, but I’m the new kid on the block here. I have no experience other than stringing words together into sentences. Which, I’m pretty decent at, but still, that doesn’t guarantee anything. It’s  cold world out there and I don’t exactly have a name for myself yet.

I’ve done the research. I’ve looked into magazines and agents. I’ve read extensively on the query letter. I queried a bunch of agents with no luck. I realize now the novel wasn’t ready. I wasn’t ready. But, that’s a few months down I could have been using to make it better. Sure, I used it to write my second novel in the series and I realized a flaw in my writing that I’m working to fix.

Progress is progress. I’ll get there. It’s just a little scary to think about the possibilities awaiting me if nothing works out. Yeah. I’m not going to think about that. I’m going to generate a positive space and make it work for me.

In case you haven’t figured it out yet, I am a geek.

Posted in writing with tags , , , , , on September 13, 2011 by generatedanomaly

This week is the huge “Speak Out With Your Geek Out” event. Thousands of people are posting about their geeky ways. You’ve read my posts about writing and research. You’ve hung in there when I talked about video games. You even put up with a foray into the realm of comics and listened to me say slanderous things like I’m okay with the reset on my favorite character and might even enjoy the new direction.

You all know I’m a geek. You know I like Doctor Who and Torchwood before Starz got their hands on it. You may not know, but will shortly, that I enjoy a good dice romp through my imagination and the imaginations of others. This fall I’m in one campaign and running my own. It’s gleeful.

I enjoy all of that, I really do. But that’s just my baseline happiness of being a pretty little geek. The thing that really gets me excited, that I can go on about for hours and never once feel bad is forensic science. More specifically decomposition.

Oh, I know you’re making faces now. The scrunched up nose, the slight turn of your head away from the screen. But the call was put out so I answered.

I’m enchanted with the idea of Bill Bass’ body farm and the research they do there and, if I ever get back into academia, I want to open a similar facility in a more northern climate. I want to know how six feet of snow affects decomposition, or the freezing and thawing cycles of late fall and early spring. I think about these things, especially when I’m writing.

Really, I think about all the little pieces to the forensics puzzle when I’m writing. They’re important pieces. Shoe prints, fingerprints, sweat, hairs, directionality of blood spatter, GSR… All those things you see on crime shows that make you think you can commit the perfect crime. Which, you can’t. There’s always something. Thank you Locard for your principle; Every contact leaves a trace.

My dirty secret love is British crime dramas. They put so much more emphasis on the characters involved and less on flashy camera work and special effects. A plus, 95% of the time their science is sound. I do enjoy that bit.

I’ll skip over insects and bones. Just know that I like those too. At some point I’m going to write a story about a forensic entomologist. I feel like the anthropologist angle has been played out… At least for the time being.

To leave you with something awesome as a reward for putting up with my rants, did you know that scientists are working on a way to distinguish the micro-DNA of different bodily excretions so they can tell what a stain is? Sweat, saliva, vaginal excretions, semen, menstrual blood and blood. Some of those are just for comparison. But being able to tell if blood is from the body or from menstruation would definitely come in handy.

One last thing, I am a geek. I’m proud of that fact. I’m glad I get excited about things, even if they aren’t popular or cool. Because a world without these things wouldn’t be as amazing.

Monday, but with a slightly different perspective.

Posted in writing with tags , , , , , on September 12, 2011 by generatedanomaly

Hello Monday, glorious beginning to a new week. One filled with possibility and insanity. Mostly insanity if we’re being blunt because it leads to more possibilities. Oh, and let’s not forget the optimism. That’s good to have lying around too, in massive quantities.

So, yes. Optimism, insanity and possibility because it’s Monday and I can’t quite bring myself to feel anything negative right now. That will change in about four hours when I’m ripping the heart out of a scene, studying it and putting it back in slightly askew from where it was. Before that, new content on the current short story because if a ten-mile bike ride is good for anything it’s good for figuring out the next bit of a story and where you want it to end up.

The one I’m working on now is part of a collection that ties all the main characters together through interactions. I’ve got two more to write after this, then the dreaded editing phase. Then it goes off to the beta readers. Sort of also a dreaded phase. I’m not good at waiting for people to do things. I’m working on it.

All right, not bad for a Monday. I’m going call today a tentative win.

Back to the Beginning. Again…

Posted in writing with tags , , , on September 9, 2011 by generatedanomaly

Tomorrow the last query I have out on my novel will go silently into the not interested but thanks for playing pile. It’s a large pile. It makes me a little sad, but I have learned a lot in the past month or two about myself  and writing in general so, the next ones will be better. My next synopsis will be better. You know, I’m just going to call it a general betterness to my writing life and style.

I’m still pounding away at the keyboard. Today a little more sluggishly than usual. There’s something about five hours of sleep and weird dreams that puts my brain in a strange place for the rest of the day, one that not even a nap can remedy. I’m pounding the coffee, but it’s not doing a whole lot and my ten mile bike ride this morning didn’t do a whole lot for the waking up bit either. My legs are still unhappy about that by the way.

This is something like take 45 on the whole getting into shape thing. For something like eight glorious months I was down to a size 14 on my way to a size 12 and feeling amazing. Then something happened. Well, I know what it was really, it was moving to a new city and random stress and I like food. Okay. There, I said it. I like food. I’m sure it doesn’t help that I’m an emotional eater and have used food as a means to feel better my whole life. Yep.

Funny thing, it might actually be a genetic predisposition for that sort of behavior. Mom says her mother did the same thing. Of course, that’s a long sorted story of random lies and intrigue (I might have made up the intrigue. It makes for a better story.) that I don’t have the patience to get into nor know all the details about.

Right, so, my brain hates me. Well, not my brain per say. More like some random portion of my subconscious that has linked food to feeling better. Plus my wonderful addictive personality. (I’m not allowed to start playing WoW again for a reason. It’s an important reason, and not just because I overheat computers like a champ.) But I’m really trying this time and I have a workout buddy, someone to keep me honest and motivate me to go even when I’d rather stay in bed where it’s nice and warm. My boyfriend is awesome. I probably don’t tell him that enough.

I’m going to muddle through the day. Toss some words onto the page and hope they don’t suck completely because that would make revisions so much nicer. I do enjoy not having to rewrite entire chunks of text on a regular basis.