January 1, 2016 · 2:08 pm
Happy New Year everyone!!! 2015 was overall a really good year for me and I’m rather sad to see it go. But hopefully 2016 will be just as good!
Here’s all the things I said I wanted to do in 2015:
- Read 50+ books off of The List -partial success. I read 51 books this year, but only 25 off The List.
- Stay in shape – I’m going to say failure. I did get back to swimming, but really late in the year.
- Get 2+ of my worlds that need building up to the point Imezza is currently at – success! City of the Dead and Faeriia are not done but I can easily write stories set in them. That sounds like the point Imezza is at to me! 🙂
- Finish the screenplay I started – failure because this was going to be a gift for a boyfriend who I broke up with in March (so I stopped caring about it).
- Write the Grief Project – success! A first draft was completed in my NaNoWriMo blob!
- Write a story a month for Apocalypse Madness – success! I actually wrote 13 stories plus wrote something with Chat mapper for Apocalypse Madness last January.
- Build a game – partial success. After Storynexus stopped being supported I switched back to RPG Maker (which meant switching to a different game). Tears of the King is not completed, but I’m still working on it!
- Figure out Chat Mapper – I’m going to list this as a partial success because I did write that Apocalypse Madness thing in January. But that was the last time I even looked at the program, so I don’t want to say it was a full success.
- Take a Lego Picture a month – failure. I stopped taking as many pictures in general this year and miss it, but I just haven’t had time! 😦
- Fix up my Red Bubble profile – I actually did do this early in 2015. So it’s a success, but I haven’t added anything to it since then.
- Edit my NaNoWriMo 2012 book – failure. Lack of time.
No wonder 2015 was a good year for me – out of 11 goals for 2015, I completely succeeded with 4 of them (and 2 of them were quite sizable – writing a story a month for Apocalypse Madness and getting two worlds to the detail level of Imezza!) I also made a valiant effort on a few others, with only 4 as outright failures! What’s more, I actually succeeded on more writing projects than I did last year! (I think my main accomplishment last year was to build Imezza). So 2015 really was a good year! 🙂
So let’s look to 2016. This year I want to:
- Finish Tears of the King. That should obviously go without saying.
- Write four polished short stories. I’m very proud of the work I spent writing for Apocalypse Madness this last year. But Apocalypse Madness is all about writing first or maybe second drafts. So this year I want to put the time into writing more quality pieces, not quantity. I’m planning on perusing Duotrope for markets that I’m interested in and writing a story every quarter for one.
- Take a Lego Picture a month (and actually post it in a timely manner). I can do it!
- Eat healthier. I’ve been so busy over the last several months in particular and I feel unhealthy. So 2016 is the year I’m going to try to be healthier. I’m just listing this here as part of my goals, but don’t worry, I’m breaking this down for myself in better detail!
- Be more active. Going hand in hand with number 4. Also breaking it down for myself into better detail.
- Read the anthologies I own. Looking through my list of books, i have over 25 anthologies of short stories on there! So this year I’m going to focus on getting through most of those (if I make it through 20 I will consider this a success). As a side note, I’m going to mark my Goodreads Challenge as reading 40 books for the year. So that means I hope that half of my challenge will be made up of short story collections.
- Build 1 of my worlds that need building. I don’t really need to do this this year, but I know there are two main worlds that need building (well, one world, one science fiction setting that in reality will be multiple worlds). If I can get through one more right now, that’ll only help me more in the future, right? 🙂
- Edit my NaNoWriMo 2012 book. This is the same as last year – I want to make it into a coherent narrative that I can share with people.
- Take apart my NaNoWriMo 2015 blob. This sounds a bit silly, but I’ve already put it off for a month. The blob is made up of worldbuilding, Grief Project, more worldbuilding, and several other, smaller things (stories, a blog post, etc). I need to take it apart and organize everything (particularly the worldbuilding and Grief Project. The smaller things are pretty much self contained inside of it).
- Work with Chat Mapper. This poor goal has been on my lists for the last few years (since 2013!) It’s time to actually do some work with branching dialogue!
So there we have it – my goals for 2016. The first five goals are really my priorities for the year. Wish me luck as I work to accomplish everything!
Filed under goals
Tagged as Apocalypse Madness, blob, Chat Mapper, editing, game, game development, goals, Grief Project, Lego, NaNoWriMo, photography, RPG, short stories, short story, StoryNexus, Tears of the King, Untitled StoryNexus Project, Worldbuilding, writing
December 26, 2015 · 2:52 pm
First of all: Merry Christmas/Happy Holidays everyone!
I think this is pretty obvious, but there have been no #WriteFridays this month. While furiously trying to get caught up with NaNoWriMo last month, I hurt my wrist a bit, so I’ve been taking things easy. On top of that, I’ve been busy getting ready for Christmas and whatnot, so December seemed like a good month for a break.
Of course, that being said, I still had one more Apocalypse Madness story to write to meet my goal of one a month for the year. And today I officially met that goal! Here’s my December story, “Lexy,” which was inspired by the April 2015 quote. For some reason Apocalypse Madness tends to inspire stories with a rather darker tone, so I wanted to write something that was a bit more inspiring and uplifting. I don’t know if I succeeded, but “Lexy” is a story about a girl suddenly gaining confidence in herself to the point where she is already acting like the movie star she knows she will become. If you think about it literally, I guess it has some darker undertones with the idea that her original self will die in favour of this new version (or with the idea that the dream of the movie star has become real, whereas the actual person she was will fade into memory). But for an Apocalypse Madness story, I figure it’s not so bad.
Now that there’s about a week left of December, it’s time for me to start thinking about goals for the next year. On January 1st I’ll be sitting down once again and seeing how I did with my 2015 goals and what I’d like to accomplish for 2016. Most likely I will not be blogging on here before that. So Happy New Year everyone, and see you in 2016!!!
November 28, 2015 · 7:35 pm
I actually did some writing on a Friday!
This week has been so full of writing, it’s kind of ridiculous! I wrote a stupid amount last weekend. I think it was almost 5000 words before midnight, then another almost 5000 after midnight. I started Saturday about 13,000 words behind, and ended Sunday only about 5000 words behind. And as of Thursday, I ended the day with 43,399 words written; the target for the day was 43,333. And yesterday I was about 1000 words ahead of target. Seriously, check out these stats, it’s ridiculous!
So what did I write this last week? As I already mentioned, I finished the Grief Project draft. Then I went on to write a rough draft of a story for a friend. His dog, who was rather old, wasn’t doing so well and my friend thought he’d have to put him down. I don’t know if I’ll be able to give him this story, but it was written for him. Well, I definitely won’t be able to give it to him as it is because it’s a very rough draft. I set it in City of the Dead because that seemed appropriate.
After that, I really had to move away from stories about grief and pets. Another friend told me Starcraft 2: Legacy of the Void was out. He started talking to me awkwardly about it, but didn’t want to spoil anything so I decided I had to go play it. With my head firmly in science fiction mode, I turned away from Faeriia and another untitled world (I’m calling it the Centaur World right now. It’s the world the screenplay I started for Script Frenzy takes place in) and started working on a science fiction setting instead. This was helped by me rewatching Firefly as well. I wrote down a random scene I’ve had in my head, which I have to admit, writing story makes the words go faster than working on world building stuff. From there I decided to write another story for Apocalypse Madness (it’s set on Faeriia and called “Scourge of the Seas“). And then I decided to write this blog post as part of the word count because I was just rambling otherwise.
I have to admit, writing 50,000 words of mostly world building is really, really hard to do. Around the point where I started writing more stories (so I’m talking “Scourge of the Seas” and the other scene), I felt like there was no more world building I could do. I know there are lots of holes in the settings that I’ll need to think through. But right now I’m sitting at the end of an 80+ page document that’s basically just a big blob of text. I tried to make notes and comments on the side of things that need doing. But I know the way that I work, and right now I need to print out this document and go through it, organizing all the world building bits into their own documents to actually see exactly what I have and what I’m missing. So here I am now, sitting with less than 3500 words to go to win, and I don’t honestly have anything in particular to write about (which is why I decided to write this blog post there, even though it sort of feels like cheating). The sheer amount of world building stuff I’ve done this NaNoWriMo is awesome – I’ve got one world up to the point where I can easily start writing stories in it, even if it’s missing things, and two more (well, one world and one “setting”) in the works. I’m super glad to be fixing some of the issues I had with my story ideas (namely the problem that almost all of them were stuck in world building). But it’s super hard to remember everything that I’ve done these last few weeks (especially when I’m typing like a maniac to get caught up and jumping from setting to setting as it strikes my fancy). I definitely think, if I ever decide to do NaNoWriMo again, I’m going to write a novel rather than another writing blob.
So apologies to everyone. I keep saying I’m going to get caught up with your blogs, but realistically that’s not going to happen until after NaNoWriMo is over in a few days. So wish me luck as I finish off the remaining 3000 or so words I have to write, and I’ll talk to you after the 1st!
Filed under Worldbuilding, Writing
Tagged as #WritingDay, Apocalypse Madness, blob, City of the Dead, Faeriia, Grief Project, NaNoWriMo, Script Frenzy, short stories, short story, Werewolves etc, Worldbuilding, writing
November 7, 2015 · 12:43 am
What a great start to this #WriteFriday: I was ridiculously behind on my NaNoWriMo blob (I’m not writing a novel, so I’ve been calling it a blob). Behind to the tune of being on Day 4 with only 1323 words. But as of midnight on Day 6 (so 11:59pm on Day 5), I had written 4,346 words, bringing my total up to 5669! I’m still behind a bit (on Day 6 the goal is to write 10,000 words), but at least I’m not nearly as far behind as I was.
So what have I written in my so-called writing blob? The first thing I wrote (which was on Day 3) was a random dream I’d had the night before. I don’t know what, if anything, I’ll do with it yet. But it was neat and I wanted to record it somewhere; the blob seemed as good a place as any to write it. Also on Day 3, I sat down and wrote a story for Apocalypse Madness (this was the story I mentioned on my ridiculously late October 30th #WriteFriday update). Day 4 saw me worldbuilding so I could fit Ayvlin into another world I’d already thought up (which I also mentioned on that last update). This ended up actually much easier than I originally thought it would be back in Grand Marais when I thought it up. The world actually does fit her and her story. It even fits the other characters that were with her in that roleplaying adventure. So I’ve mainly been working on that world, although I had a brief tangent into yet another world (I realized I have never written any of the ideas down for it and decided to remedy that immediately). I ended up working through a couple of things I’ve been struggling with on this world (“Do dragons belong here and what are they like?” being the main question I managed to finally answer). I also managed to tie in another world with this one. As I was worldbuilding, I started to realize that the second world, which I had long thought didn’t belong with this one, actually did fit quite nicely. So that was awesome! It’s looking like this world is going to be my most “stereotypical fantasy world,” even though it’s already got things going on to make it anything but stereotypical!
I did run into an unexpected problem though. Back in the summer of 2010 (which is just after I finished with the class I started this blog for, but way before I started using this blog for writing), I took a screenwriting course from Gotham Writers Workshop, during which I started writing a screenplay. The screenplay was a crazy science fiction adventure which I was having fun writing. Unfortunately after the class ended, life got in the way and I never did finish a first draft. But it had two science fiction races which I really, really liked the idea of. Hilariously, the faerie creatures that live on what I’m currently calling “Ayvlin’s World” have ended up an awful lot like one of the science fiction races. I’m currently not sure what, if anything, I need to do about that, because the similarities that they both have suit them both.
So after writing a bit more (about 600 words), I went to bed, thinking I’d have more time for writing today. But then I found myself at 11:39 having not written anything else for the NaNoWriMo blob all day (I had hoped to have another 4000 word marathon to get caught up with where I should be for word count). Between what I’d written earlier and those twenty minutes I managed to crank out a total of 1,380 words, bringing my total for the day up to 7049. I’m still about 3000 words behind where I should be (day 6 should put you at 10,000), but at least I’m not falling too far behind now.
For those twenty minutes (and about twenty minutes past midnight), I also did something extremely difficult: I started writing the Grief Project. For anyone who doesn’t remember, what I’ve been calling the Grief Project is the project I was going to write after Tink passed away last summer. But the grief was too raw and I wasn’t able to do it right away. So I put it aside, much longer than I had planned to. The grief is no longer so raw but it is still present; I’m not going to lie, I started crying a few times while writing it.
I don’t know what I’m going to do with the Grief Project (if anything). But it’s well past time I finally got to it. NaNoWriMo (and this NaNoWriMo in particular) is actually in some ways the perfect place to tackle it because I can let it be whatever it wants to be. Especially since it’s just part of my writing blob (which means I don’t even care if the Grief Project falls short of 50,000 words because it’ll just be part of the bunch of writings I’m doing this year).
Good luck to everyone else who is participating this year!
Filed under Writing
Tagged as #WritingDay, Apocalypse Madness, blob, cat, cats, Faeriia, Gotham Writers Workshop, Grief Project, NaNoWriMo, novel, science fiction, screenplay, Tink, Worldbuilding, writing
November 3, 2015 · 1:45 am
I knew I wasn’t going to have a lot of time to write on Friday (my brother was doing a reading in Grand Marais and I was going with him). So I rewrote “The Death of Ayvlin” Thursday night/Friday morning instead of trying to fit it in during the day. I’m not exactly happy with it, but I think it is a much better reflection of what I want to do with the character than the older versions were. And while we were in Grand Marais, I came up with the idea that Ayvlin could fit on another world I’ve made that needs some work (rather than building a completely different world for her). I’ll need to brainstorm a bit with that and see how it goes (and whether or not she will actually fit there!)
Today my brother and I went to a workshop for writing a 10×10 play. We had a lot of fun coming up with a ridiculous play that was a prequel to a short story we read there (“Voodoo” by Fredric Brown). Alex later convinced me to use some of the ideas we came up with for that in an Apocalypse Madness story for this month. So I present “Voodoo,” a ridiculous story that will make no sense unless you happen to know about Brown’s story.
I also decided to actually write something for NaNoWriMo. Rather than write a novel, as I mentioned earlier in October, I decided to write 50,000 words of whatever; that made me decide to call it “Odds and Ends.” So far all that’s in it is “Voodoo” and a quick note about a dream I had last night that I thought had real story potential (so 801 words). I’m planning on writing a draft of the Grief Project and probably doing a bit of worldbuilding as well. We’ll see how it goes!
October 23, 2015 · 9:21 pm
So I didn’t think I’d be writing at all today. Looks like I was wrong though. 🙂
Earlier this week, something super awesome happened: a friend of mine wrote something for Apocalypse Madness! He’s the first person other than me to write something on there since February!
Of course, when I saw his story and all the comments he made on the site, it reminded me that I need to get going on my story for this month, too. The quote I posted was from the Dr. Who episode Blink: “Their greatest asset is their greatest curse. They can never be seen.” I don’t know what I was thinking of when I chose that quote, but looking at it a few days ago, I was like “what the heck am I going to write for THAT?” Of course, I’ve thought that for the last several quotes and always managed to write something; I wasn’t really worried.
I thought I could approach the quote in one of two ways (or three if I felt like writing a Dr. Who fan fic): look for something that is a double-edged sword, or look for something that cannot be seen. Having written about ghosts and stuff for several Apocalypse Madness stories, I decided to look for the double-edged sword. And after scribbling in my notebook for a bit, surfing the net looking for examples of double-edged sword powers, and listening to the Castle Crashers soundtrack (because the music is awesome and I like writing to music with no lyrics) I suddenly remembered I created a character many years ago who HAD a double-edged sword-style power: Ayvlin De Morr. Ayvlin was a character I created for a roleplaying game several years ago who I thought had an amazing story. She’s one of those characters who I would love to write more about; unfortunately I’ve always thought that would mean creating a different world for her than the one we roleplayed in. I did write this one short story about her years ago though, called “The Death of Ayvlin.” That old story has the seeds of her double-edged sword power: in later incarnations, when she dies she loses a piece of her humanity. Eventually she will become fully fae. That sounds amazing, except that it is only her human blood that will allow her to get close to and kill the fae’s greatest foe. And of course she’s an assassin – her mother is the Morrigan, so I used the aspect of death as a basis for Ayvlin’s character.
So all of this is the backstory to go with the story I am planning on writing. I just need to hammer out some more details first over the next few days. Whatever story I end up with will probably be an exploratory piece, rather like “When Sorry Isn’t Good Enough” (which you can read here). But it’ll still be valuable to write. 🙂
October 4, 2015 · 2:12 am
I was working all day on Friday, and then I had plans to hang out with a friend. So I didn’t end up working on any personal projects on that day. But I did get to spend a bunch of time writing during work. I was starting to work on an article that’ll be due at the end of the month. I was also working on organizing some interviews for TBPL Off the Shelf (I’m once again interviewing the authors who are coming to Thunder Bay for the IFOA), plus I have to have a book review written early this week, and I have two more articles due at the end of the month. I’ve also got two articles that were/will be published (something in the Seniors paper, because the library columnist who usually writes the column is going to be away a lot this fall, plus an @ Your Library article which should be published in Sunday’s paper). So the whole month should be quite busy with work writing.
On the projects front, I wrote “Just One More Level” for Apocalypse Madness Tuesday night and published it on the blog Wednesday afternoon. I’m considering NaNoWriMo again this year. I haven’t participated for the last couple of years. I’ve kind of said (not on this blog I don’t think), that I’m not going to participate again because I currently have two messes of novels that I’m not sure what to do with. But while thinking of it, I realized that I don’t have to write a particular body of work that equals 50,000 words. I just need to write 50,000 words. So I was thinking I would do some work on what I’ve been calling the Grief Project, which is one of my goals that I have not done any work on so far. I’m not even sure how big of a story that’s going to end up, so I don’t want to commit to making it a 50,000 word novel. I’ll also have to write something for Apocalypse Madness next month, so I was thinking I’d tack on the word count for that as well. And probably any work I do on Tears of the King if I’m working on it (I may put it aside just for November, but we’ll see).
My friend and I finished Secret of Mana on the Wii Friday night! I played it by myself around September 11th, but he offered to help me play through it after that, which I thought was great. We’ve played it about once a week for the last few weeks. I thought we *might* be able to finish it last week, but there’s quite a lot to the game and we had to hold off because it was 5 in the morning. I think that was my first real video game RPG that I’ve finished, or at least my first old-school one. I was looking at it from a game design perspective, seeing what I can learn to help me make Tears. I need to choose another game to play now; I’m thinking either Chrono Trigger on the Wii or Whisper of a Rose on Steam. I’m swaying towards Whisper of a Rose because I think it was made with RPG Maker. Unfortunately most of the RPGs I’m looking at are single player, so my friend won’t be able to help me through them, too (so we’re going to find something else to play through eventually).
Filed under Writing
Tagged as #WritingDay, @ Your Library, Apocalypse Madness, article, book review, cat, cats, game design, goals, Grief Project, IFOA, NaNoWriMo, RPG, Secret of Mana, TBPL Off the Shelf, Tears of the King, Thunder Bay Seniors, Wii, writing, writing goals
September 27, 2015 · 2:21 am
I wasn’t feeling well this week, which put me behind on a lot of things. I spent the earlier part of the week just trying to get better because I knew I was busy during the later part of the week; this ended up meaning I didn’t do any writing on Friday. I didn’t do any today either, even though I planned on it. Instead I ended up doing some yard work and whatnot (I needed some leaves for my composter and my cat really, really wanted to go outside).
But I am feeling better. Plus it’s the end of the month in a few days, which means I’ve got to get working on a story for Apocalypse Madness. So I found a quote for next month, and now have a couple of days to finish something for this month. Wish me luck!
August 23, 2015 · 12:52 am
I’m not going to lie – I didn’t really do any writing this Friday. I had every intention of writing. I went to my brother’s house with notebook and laptop in hand. He was going to read, I was going to write. At least, that was the plan until I got there and we ended up talking politics for most of the night.
Earlier in the week, I did some work on my RPG, Tears of the King. Back in 2013, I planned out a large forest map that would connect the starting village and the witch’s house map. I started building the forest map, but stopped working on the game before it was finished. Now, it actually almost IS done. Looking at it now, I’d say I’ve got to finish up about 1/3 of it. The stuff I’ve added this last week includes a small lake, a fisherman’s cottage, and a graveyard for the village (for some reason, I always tend to build the graveyards outside of my villages…). I’ve also added in some spots for eventual secret areas (most likely chests and dungeons).
After that, I sort of got distracted by reading. One of my goals for the year is to read 50 books off what I call The List, which is a list of fiction books I currently own a physical copy of. My brother pointed out a month ago that I am rather behind schedule. So I’ve been trying to read a lot more. This week alone, I’ve read three books (one was a graphic novel, one an excellent YA, and one an older fantasy I’ve had for over ten years). I admit, I feel like I’m cheating a bit because I’m trying to read all the short things I’ve got on The List in an effort to catch up. But I’m still 15 books behind schedule, so that currently means I need to read about 2 books a week to make that goal.
Well, this became more of an update than a #WriteFriday post! Let’s take this back to writing – by talking a bit about Apocalypse Madness. It’s once again nearing the end of the month, so I decided to work on something for that today. The quote I posted for this month (“His dreams of flying and breathing fire like his idol will never be realized.”) comes from Hearthstone’s Oasis Snapjaw (you have to go into your card collection and click on the cards to find the quotes). Literally, the quote is talking about a reptile who comes to realize he isn’t a dragon. I thought there was some hilarity in that. But I also thought the quote suggested much more in the way of talking about idols who let us down. So that’s exactly what I wrote for this month, using some of the characters from my 2012 NaNoWriMo novel. I thought this quote would let me do a character sketch of one of my characters, using an event I knew had happened in the recent past before the NaNoWriMo novel began. I ended up switching the names for two of the characters (Ryan and Danny) back in June, so I had a bit of a hard time keeping the characters straight (making this another good exercise for me). Like my City of the Dead Short Story, there’s a good chance some of the details in this story may be inaccurate (and I may have to change the names back because I still think of Danny as Danny).
I really suck at coming up with titles. Hence the terrible title for this story (“She Shot Me!“) This time I didn’t end up even trying to write a microfiction, hence the almost 600 words. I think it was worth it though, as it gave me a chance to think through this rather defining moment in the lives of my characters.
I had another idea for this quote which I may write if I have time during the week (or possibly next Friday since it’s still August then). Otherwise I’ll probably go back to Tears of the King. And reading.
August 1, 2015 · 3:11 am
The last few weeks have been really busy and I haven’t done a lot of writing period lately. Last Friday went down the tubes because I attended a funeral. The rest of the weekend was taken up with summertime plans (like swimming and going to a local festival).
This week wasn’t much better. But I did fit in a bit of writing. Unfortunately I didn’t do any work on my game. But I did get my July Apocalypse Madness story written. I wrote it while hanging out in the backyard with my cat. Then last night (after midnight, so it was technically Friday) I typed the story up and edited it. In case you were wondering, it is based off one of the ideas my brother and I came up with a few weeks ago.
This weekend I’m heading out to camp. I’m not sure how much writing I’m going to get done (mainly because I’m planning more on reading), but I will (of course) have my notebook with me. Whatever happens, I am hoping to get back to working on the game next week. 🙂