Archive for October, 2011

Sometimes I like to prove that I really do have a plan.

Posted in job search, writing with tags , , , on October 30, 2011 by generatedanomaly

I received a job offer Friday after waiting entirely too long to get through the interview, but hey, job offer. I’ll take it. I did take it, and so long as I pass the drug test and the criminal background check, I’ll be starting by the end of next week.

Until then, this novel won’t write itself. So, I’ll keep pounding away on it. Finishing the fight scene, questioning a band that practices blood magic and may or may not be tied to a coven of vampires (haven’t decided yet), and the hero’s father walking in on my intrepid duo are the plan for today. I’m about 1/3 of the way through the zero draft, so really, it’s the perfect place for the first large fight. It’s a nice break of pace from all the police work and emotional baggage.

My next project is starting to work its way into my mind. It’s one I’m doing as a favor for a friend. The long, convoluted story boils down to he had an awesome idea for a character, but didn’t think he could do her justice because his writing isn’t “dark enough.” He thinks mine is, and I like the character, so I reluctantly agreed to take it on. Though, I’d much rather see him get to a place where he can write her. The next time I talk to him, I’ll see if there’s any way to coerce him into writing the story.

It wouldn’t be the first time a writer wasn’t ready to tell the story. It took me three different attempts and two different media to get to the point where I was ready to tell Megan’s story. I needed to live a bit more. I think we all need to live a bit more, and not just the dull marching of time, but really live. To get out there and do things, even if those things are scary. Especially if the things are scary because we learn more about ourselves when we confront the things that scare us.

But that’s where I am. Job offer pending acceptance based on a system I don’t agree with, a novel to finish, and another that I’m a bit up in the air about at the moment. I’m not doing NaNoWriMo for the obvious reason of being in the middle of a project already, plus, I already proved to myself I could write a zero draft in a month by finishing the zero draft of the second novel in the series I’m working on in that amount of time. So, yeah, nothing left to prove, it’s just plodding onward with the work, and maybe finding an editor while I think about my publishing plans.

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Productive insomnia, there’s something wrong with that phrase.

Posted in education, writing with tags , , , , on October 28, 2011 by generatedanomaly

The interview I had Tuesday night went so well they scheduled me for a second interview yesterday that was then rescheduled for today, in four hours. And, here I am, too tired to be nervous because my brain decided it wanted to work through the problems on a side project I haven’t thought about in months.

Good news is, I figured out all those problems. The bad news, well, I’m going to need to fake some energy when I get in to the interview.

I might have mentioned the project before. It’s an educational card game on par with Munkin or Flux, but different enough to need its own sort of game engine. That engine kept my brain preoccupied for hours last night, but I have it. The next step is more research and designing the cards. Then, play testing. I might actually get to that part before the end of the school year, and I might be able to get into a classroom to do it. Once it’s done, then I’ll figure out the marketing/production aspects.

I’m hoping the combination of side effect cards and ability to sabotage the other players will keep students engaged with the process and help them remember some key concepts and some scientists. Either way, it will be something to keep me busy for a bit now that I seem to have gotten it all figured out.

The other good news, I reached the spot for the fight scene I’ve had in my head for months. Getting that out of my system and the bit that follows will be nice, then it’s all downhill to the end. Or so I tell myself. I’m sure it won’t be as easy as that. It rarely is, but at least the novels don’t have the months of downtime while I figure them out.

I need to work on how much I can get done in half an hour.

Posted in Nerd things with tags , , , on October 25, 2011 by generatedanomaly

Half an hour before I run off into the world again, this time to the bank and to get The Boy from class. A lot can happen in half an hour. Hell, a lot can happen in twelve minutes. Ask The Doctor. Entire lifetimes happen in less time than that, so half an hour should be plenty of time to get  something done. Like a blog post.

So, Tuesday, also known as interview day this week. And, maybe also I did too much at the gym day. Though, I’m okay with feeling the workout in my abs. I’m also okay with the scale going down, which it has, finally. I’m not so okay with my legs hurting as much as they do. It’s not like I won’t have to up things to keep the effectiveness going later.

Game went well enough last night. I do need to come up with an end point, but I also wanted both fighters to be there so I can throw something larger at the players. It’s a thing that needs to be worked on. I have a few ideas and have a couple of weeks to play with them since next week is Halloween and we won’t be running game then. I’m not sure what I’ll be doing yet, but I’m sure it will be adventurous. Well, it might not be. I suppose work wouldn’t be adventurous. It could be. Surely.

All right. My half hour is up. Time to get some stuff done.

It may be Monday, but I have everything under control.

Posted in job search, Nerd things, writing with tags , , , , , on October 24, 2011 by generatedanomaly

I got a phone call last night for a job interview. It’s tomorrow evening. I’m optimistic, mostly because I don’t know any other way to be at this point. Plus, the woman who set up the interview has a pleasant voice which just sort of adds to the optimism.

That optimism is going to carry me through my list of things that need to get done today. First is getting encounters ready for my D&D campaign. They’re in an underground complex right now, battling their way through legions of undead and monsters to be determined in about twenty minutes. There are rumors of what lies in the tunnels. Whether I decide to include those rumors is something else entirely. I need to figure out what comes after they get out of the dungeon. Though, I am starting to get a few ideas about that.

Once the planning and evil machinations are done, then it’s onward to the writing portion of my day. I thought I had written myself into a hole with my current WIP with the missing suspect and the death of a witness and having no idea how to find the suspect or her vampiric keeper. Last night the pompous bastard that is the antagonist handed my heroine the way to find him. It’s going to be ugly and most likely painful, but any plan that involves interrogating an ex-lover is.

I’m feeling energized and excited about my projects again. It’s amazing what good news does for your mental state.

At least I learned something from this giant mess.

Posted in job search, writing on October 23, 2011 by generatedanomaly

What have we learned this week? Now, that’s a good question.

First, there’s no point in putting all my energy into waiting to hear about about a story when I could be putting it into writing. The worry is bad for my health, my soul, and my productivity. With this comes the realization that I’ve only been seriously writing to sell stuff for less than six months. I’m still learning the ropes. It takes time and research to figure out the markets.

Second, I’m starting to look pretty decent from certain angles. I might actually be winning my argument with my weight despite the fact that I still give in to the sugary sweets and don’t always eat the best. I’m glad The Boy and I have been making the effort to go to the gym.

Let’s see, what else? Job application suck. I hate filling out questionnaires. They like a combination of every trick question ever mixed with some of the dumbest questions ever invented. And I know they’re meant to catch you in a contradiction so they can use that as a reason to not hire you. Seriously, it’s harder to get a job in retail than it is to get a job almost anywhere else just because of the application process. And, if you get by the application, then you need a background check and a drug test. I want some goddamn security clearance if I have to go through that much shit to get a paying job.

Enough ranting. What else have I learned this week?

There are a lot of people out there with writing systems they’re trying to sell. I’m sure some of them might work, but I have my own system (and a really short attention span) that works for me and lets me get my stuff done. I don’t need someone coming in and mucking about because odds are it’s too good to be true. I could be wrong. Hard to say.

It’s been a busy week with lots learning about things, some of them even pertinent to what I’m intending to do with life. No, strike that. What I am doing with my life. There is no intention, it is just what I’m doing. Now I just need to get a whole lot of stuff happen.

Obligatory Comic Con Swag post a.k.a. My boyfriend is awesome.

Posted in Nerd things with tags , , , on October 17, 2011 by generatedanomaly

I know, I know, two posts in one day so close to each other, but someone wanted me to write an account of the swag he brought back for me and I felt like it didn’t belong in the other post. So, added to the reasons why I love my boyfriend are that he got numerous pieces of artwork signed to me and brought back new TPBs to read. (Also, he might have picked up a web design job while at the con. Details are pending.)

There’s the Batwoman Issue 0 that he got for me, signed by Amy Reeder. It needs to find a protective home soon. There’s a DVD cover signed by Jewel Staite made out to both of us. He tracked down Eddie McClintock (Pete on Warehouse 13) and got the best message ever and a signature. It says “4 Rachel! I miss you…” Yep, my boyfriend is amazing. I might have emitted a fangirl squee when I saw the picture. And by might have, I mean I did.

For prints, he bought a lot of them. I know there’s a Batwoman one signed to me and a Warlords of Mars cover. There are a few Zantanna prints. I sort of want to swipe one of the Doctor Who ones (there’s one that’s just Tennant, or the illustration version of him, that I wouldn’t mind having in my office forever.) We’re going to get some frames eventually and rotate them every couple of months to preserve the coloration and the ink since I’m of the view that if we have cool things we should show them off.

My adventure from last week.

Posted in writing with tags , , , , , , , , , , on October 17, 2011 by generatedanomaly

It’s been a busy week/weekend type thing. The Boy went to New York Comic Con while I stayed home. Wednesday was great, if not a little disjointed. I missed him sure, but having access to the television to marathon Midsomer Murders and play video games at my own behest was rather fun.

Thursday I went on the long two-hour journey to my parents’  house where we took my car to her mechanic for its inspection and oil change. I like taking it to him because I know he’s not going to screw me over with random little things. If it’s not going to kill me, he won’t tell me it needs to be fixed. So, what we assumed to be horrible problems and expensive, I got away with fixing for less than $50 and the thing that is a problem, Mom and Dad are going to fix for my Christmas present.  (If I haven’t mentioned lately, I love my parents.)

Also on Thursday, I got to help Mom wrangle her beef cows. Really, it involved a lot of me staying out of the way while Mom lead them through the barn with a bale of hay. My Mom is the only person I know who has trained beef. The entire point of wrangling them was to have one pregnancy checked, which the cow is, so the cow gets to stay a cow and not become hamburger.

So, I spent the night down there. I had a couch companion while I slept. The smallest beagle, Honey. She insists on sleeping on the couch with me and she’s lost a lot of weight since the last time I spent the night. Good for me in that she takes up less space. Bad for me in that she no longer makes the raspy, wheezy noise while she sleeps (good for her) and I thought she was dead when I woke up at 2am. (She’s fine, by the way. Other than being the smallest of Mom’s six dogs.)

I spent Friday hanging out waiting to help drive back vehicles from the mechanic’s since as long as I was down, they could get work done on the truck and Dad’s car and be able to bring both home at the same time. I tried writing. The dogs tried helping. For the record, as awesome as Mom’s dogs are, they’re not good writing helpers.

Friday night, it was back home, in the dark and the rain. I forget how quickly we lose daylight after the solstice. Sort of like how I forget just how early my parents get up in the morning and how most the time I’ve only been asleep an hour or two when they’re getting up for the day.

Saturday, or Saturday, you were full of wasted opportunity. My strange listless behavior and not knowing what to do with myself. I existed. That was my big goal for the day, existing. It worked out all right.

Yesterday, I dove into the productivity to distract myself from waiting for The Boy to get home. So many revisions happened and some new work on the novel. I combined the spread sheet with post-it note lists because I was focusing so much on getting writing done that I was forgetting to send it out into the world.

Today, so far, I’ve made a good go at my list. I already sent a story out for submission. I have a novel query I’m sending out today. It’s exciting and nerve-wracking.

Today is special for another reason. It’s Mom’s birthday. My Mom, the first person to put up with my bullshit and the first person to call me on it. I’ve learned a lot from her about being human, some good, some bad, but there’s always a lesson. Happy Birthday Mom. Thank you for supporting me through the bad decisions and being the awesome person that you are.