Friday, May 28, 2004

Busy! Way too busy!

And on top of that... I'm going to be gone for a couple days. Heading to Kansas City and the ConQuesT convention. Yay! Honor Bound will even be on sale there. How odd.

I can't possibly get everything done I should get done before then (Back to School, June challenge, the new alternate challenge, etc.), So I'll be doing that when I get back -- either Sunday night or Monday. I can write some of the material up on my PDA while I'm gone, so that will help. But over all, I don't intend to do more than write a little outside of the convention stuff. Oh, and take pictures.

I've dyed my hair -- it's much darker again. Startles me when I see it.

I think that's it for me. Time for some sleep so I'm less of a zombie when we leave in about four hours. Ack. I think I'll tell Russ to make it closer to noon. I think we both need a bit more time.

I'm sure there's more I meant to say...

Monday, May 24, 2004

I have a new book bouncing around in my head. Yes, another one. This is the one Russ and I have been talking out over dinner for a couple weeks now, and it's finally falling into place. I had the basics for a lot of the story figured out. I'm looking for a couple reference books to take care of a few more little bits of information, but over all, I'm happy with what I'm getting. Since this is going to be a mystery set either in current day or possibly in the 70's (the characters and details would remain basically the same, only the background would change), and I really like the idea.

But I had one character still eluding me. I needed a teen girl with an attitude problem.

And I found her while surfing the web tonight, checking out sites and reading through occasional blogs and journals, checking the news sites and all those other places I surf when I should be writing. She finally came leaping into my head, complete with that look of disdain for anything outside her interest, a need to draw attention and doing so by being rude so that everyone has to pay attention to her, and the attitude that a lot of people have at any age -- it's not my fault. Never mind if the problems these people have can all be traced directly to choices made all on their own, and sometimes made even despite warnings. It's still not their fault. And besides, being a martyr is so much more satisfying (and a lot less work) than admitting any wrong choices or wrong doing on their part and moving on with life.

I suspect a lot of people are raised to believe that they can do nothing wrong, so any problems have to be someone else's fault. Maybe they've also found that being wronged is a good way to get sympathy, whether it's deserved or not. I'm sure a few of them have a healthy sense of paranoia.

A teen girl with a case of 'I can't do wrong and why are you picking on me' is just exactly the character I need. She's in trouble. It's going to be fun to write her.

On the other side, in the sequel to Muse, I will have two teen girls who, while a bit eccentric, are really pretty nice. I'm going to have to do something with them that makes them a little less 'clones of each other' but since I'm not going to be writing that book for a while, they can just set in my brain and grow for a while.

I love writing. I hope I can find the time to really get back to it soon. (grin)

Sunday, May 23, 2004

A good part of today was taken up thinking about the stupid things that people do, and never consider the consequences. My latest stupid thing (at least of the large sort) was to bring four young cats into a house with several older cats, and expect everything to be as calm, quiet, and peaceful as it had been before. This was a very stupid move on my part, and I'm paying for it with a lot of cat disagreements, broken objects, and considerations of booting at least one or two of them back into the yard. Not to mention that some of the cats who have been around for ten or more years being really not happy with me right now.

I know I was stupid to do this. I admit it. And as much as I like the new guys, I can't say that this has been a good choice for them over all. But I think that we'll all learn to live with it.

Looking around, I have noticed a lot of stupid things going on with people, but most of them seem to not realize they have set themselves up for what follows. In some cases, the idea that there should be any fallout takes them entirely by surprise. Did they do something stupid because (1) they are a child and didn't know any better, (2) they were just too stupid to think out the consequences, or (3) they were just too rude to consider that anything they do would be wrong?

I fall into the second spot, especially when it comes to cats. I know cats. I should have seen this entire year of trouble coming, and considered the consequences. But I didn't. On the other hand, except for Russ no one is going to suffer for this except me, and I'll work it out for myself.

Life has consequences, even when we unintentionally do something wrong. A person starts piling up negative points and they reach a critical number and consequences happen. When that person then spends all the time trying to shift blame to everyone else, it doesn't negate that 'bad karma.' At some point people just have to live with the consequences of their actions. It's an unfortunate part of living in the real world.

Saturday, May 22, 2004

There are days when I wonder what people are really thinking when they do things. I know, in most cases, it is not anything intentionally stupid or rude, but still...

If you belong to Forward Motion, do not copy material out of the chat room and post it to your journal/blog/site without the permission of the people you are quoting. Those people, if they find it in your blog, are likely to be pretty well annoyed.

It's not only a breach of the site rules on copyright, it's also rude. That may not be the intention, but any time you start publicly relaying words of others without their permission, they have a right to be annoyed, especially with fellow writers who should respect the use of words.

There are many reasons why a person may not want their words randomly posted somewhere else. Chat is informal. What and how a person says things there may not be up to their standards for public posting. Spelling? Grammar? Punctuation? Jokes and side remarks?

And what if the person thinks the content has been edited in ways that they don't appreciate? What if the post includes references to a story the person is working on that he doesn't want mentioned in public? Snippets?

What if they just don't like having their conversations repeated in public?

Don't copy chat transcripts to your sites. From now on it will likely result in a permanent ban from Forward Motion.

Friday, May 21, 2004

Yes, I am still here. Really. I've just been far busier than I thought I would be. No, I haven't taken that time to do some writing like I mentioned in the last post. I don't think I'm going to get to it any time soon, either. Right now I'm working on the next 2YN class, and it's going slowly, though I think it finally clicked in for me tonight. Actually, I'm working on two short 2YN classes, because I'm going to be gone for a few days next week, and I need to get other things done before then -- like the edit of something I hope will interest a publisher. I don't really have any hope of it, but it would be stupid not to be prepared.

Small problems at FM took a lot of time to sort out, too. Oh, and over the last month I've reworked some of my personal website. I'm happy with the slightly new look and the additions, like articles on writing and some of my photography.

The one really good thing is that Russ and I have talked out parts of a mystery novel at dinner just about every night this week, and I think it's going to be fun to write, when I find the time. (Yeah, right.) I had the basic ideas for a couple weeks now but I just couldn't get it to click in until I suddenly hit on the idea of reversing the two main character's backgrounds. As soon as I did that, it started to fly for me. I see the opening, I see the characters (though they don't have names yet!), and I see some of the story unfolding.

I have other work to get done first. But I also have that nice little outline program to work this all out in. I'm looking forward to it.

Oh, and my recently finished mystery is going out in the mail tomorrow, I think. I have the cover letter and the synopsis done, and the first few chapters printed out. Wish it luck. (grin)

Friday, May 14, 2004

For the last few days I've been thinking about altruistic behavior -- of acting not for your own betterment and gain, but rather for that of others. I never would have put myself into that category, and yet here I am, willingly spending more time helping other people with their writing than I spend on my own. How odd to realize that I have made that change in life. On most days I spend far more time writing the 2YN class and discussing individual's material, working at FM, and doing Vision stuff than I do writing on any material of my own.

I am not complaining. I've found that I really like trying to help others with their novels and writing, both in the 2YN class and in other parts of FM. I'm just surprised. If you had talked to me a couple years ago, I never would have said I would be spending the majority of my time not writing, but helping others to write. The class takes a lot of time, but the site takes just as much if not more.

I am going to have to try to balance this out a little better, though. I have several novel outlines lined up and growing by bits and pieces, and I need to get serious about any one of them and get to work on the writing -- or at least get serious enough to finish out the outline. I can always store them up for NaNo. (grin)

I will probably start taking a day off a week just to write. Most of the site work is going well and though there are a considerable number of things that I need to get done, I can afford one day for my work.

One thing that has been helping lately is my to do list. Things get dropped onto it. Right now there are 9 things listed, and the last is to work on the next short story for the May Challenge. I need to start moving those sorts of things closer to the top.

Of course, I also have to decide what day to take for writing...

Today is NOT it.

Wednesday, May 12, 2004

Thanks those of you who commented on the note from the last post. The notes of this type don't really upset me as much as annoy me. Sometimes I edit them and send them back -- I am often amazed at the truly bad writing. When I start getting several I've found that one of the best ways to get them to stop is to post a bit on my weblog and let others have at it. I have not gotten another note since then. I think the embarrassment factor kicks in for some of these people, and they disappear for a while.

By the way, I see 'stoopid' often on the boards and chat. I can't decide if these people really think that's a proper spelling, or if it's just one of those silly 'net-isms' that drop into writing.

These are not 'trolls' in the common meaning of the word. Most of the notes I get of this type are people specifically peeved about something I've done. They tend to show up when I'm doing something new at the site, which I think is kind of funny. And rewarding, in an odd way. People are paying attention. People notice. (grin)

I as often delete them as answer/edit/post. The only time I start getting annoyed is when my email starts getting filled up and I have to stop and check them to make certain it isn't a 2YN person asking questions. I have too little time as it is.

Tuesday, May 11, 2004

Whoa! Don't do my journal for a few days and I come back to find something... odd. new look to the page where I write this up. Really, it doesn't look bad, just took me a moment to get used to.

I actually came along to post this little tidbit:

> Sent: Tuesday, May 11, 2004 2:19 PM
> To:
> Subject: Your Class
> I'm a member of another sight. People there say you teach a
> class on novels, but that you aren't qualified and do a stoopid
> job.
> You haven't got anything published with a real publisher. If you did
> you woudl know how to really write and maybe could teach others. Why
> are you telling people how to work when you don't know how to?

> People said you been real stooped to others I know about things nad kicked
> them out when they don't agree with you. I tell everyone they should
> quit your stoopid class not to go near you.

And I am very grateful for the last line. I'd just as soon anyone who listens to children like this not go near me.

As for the class... well, some people find it helpful and others don't -- which is what I said from the beginning. If you don't like the class, if it has become an annoyance to you, then drop out and write the novel without it. Or don't write the novel. There's nothing wrong with that.

If you are enjoying the class, stick around. We're soon going to leap into writing. I wish it could have come sooner, but even at a class a week, there was a lot of stuff to cover. But that's what a class is about, right?

And you know people, when you start donating time to helping others with their writing, then you can come and talk to me about what it takes to do classes like this.

In the mean time, well, I have people asking me questions and a class to write up for this week. I'm sure you can find something else to entertain yourself.

Thursday, May 06, 2004

Yesterday we had wind and heat -- over 90f. I had trouble with my connection a few times, but other than that, it wasn't too bad. I got more done on my ever growing list of MUST DO THIS NOW stuff. The list never gets completed. It grows and gets out of hand, and eventually I give up and start over, and some things just never get done. There are 11 things on today's list, three of them just for me. I think I'm going to get quite a few of the others done, at least.

Russ has a new full time job. This is odd. I'm used to him being around more often, and since the job is in a town about 40 miles south of here, he's not stopping by at lunch or passing through between meetings. It seems quiet here. I'm not sure that's really helping me all that much. I guess I'll just have to get used to it again.

I am on the 4th story for the Story a Day dare at FM. We only need 20 (week days, weekends off, and skip the 31st, or have it as an extra day to finish up). The stories I've done so far have not been great, but it's been good to get back into the knack of such writing.

I've also worked on two major outlines for the 2YN material.

The GALE reading as fallen a little behind, but I will get caught up on that in the next couple days. Last night I was reading along, enthralled by the sex life of nematodes...

Sunday, May 02, 2004

I had trouble with Vision last night. It did not want to post properly, and I kept finding stupid mistakes throughout it. But it's done and up.

And as much as I would like to set back and rest a bit, I now have this week's 2YN class to finish. It's going well, but I could really have used a day or so break between Vision and the class.

On the good side, I have the notes back from my Beta Reader for Muse, and they are very helpful! I am so looking forward to getting this one done and out.

But right now, I just need to get the class done.