The Two Hundred and Twenty-Third Post: The One Where I Say Farewell to the Work of a Fellow Alumna and Get Back to Work…

Breaking Bad is over and that, good gentlemen and kind ladies, is how you end a series. I am definitely going to buy the whole series when it comes out. Also – getting it on iTunes to be able to enjoy it immediately. It is one of the best series out there… a far better way to end it than certain others that have wrapped up in TV Land recently. I also got to celebrate someone’s birthday:


She was so happy to have me take her picture; she didn’t shoot lasers from her eyes at me.

The outline for the NaNoWriMo is coming along now with the changes. I finished the first act (which was only one chapter) and I am getting into the second act today. I might even get into the third act as early as Thursday and will definitely get it done by mid-October. A little polishing and I will be ready to rip into it on November 1st at 12:00:01 and hopefully complete it by November 31st at 11:59:59. Right now, I am getting ready to reveal possessed-Danny and free-range-Danny and get into the meat of the story. I have the premise of why Danny got tossed out of his body. Since only one other writer sort reads this, I’ll bounce the idea around here and see what happens.

One: this particular book takes place on a world where my other big fantasy series exists. There are a race of beings called the Rahsaya which are to put very simply floating clouds of self-organized magical energy (OK, two other series – one of which I am going to put out soon just to get it out there) and they have the ability to possess something, either people or objects. The great things of lore are objects that are possessed by one of the Rahsaya (either by choice, or by being bound), since when they do that, they can confer great abilities and powers to whatever they possess. For all of their spiffy abilities, they have several weaknesses: when they are out and free-floating, they are more vulnerable to the predations of their own kind – think of how an amoeba consumes something, now imagine you can hear the screams. Once absorbed, the predator has all the abilities and memories of the consumed. The second is clay that they call…something that I can’t remember, but it is proof against the Rahsaya. They can’t use raw power against it – but they can channel their power through it. Think of it like lead, but toxic to the touch. Now, if the Rahsaya are inside something, or someone, they can avoid the worst of the clay. They can touch it, use it and even get into it, but their raw power can’t still affect it. It can be mixed into other things – added to iron, ground into wood and whatever – and they can be used against the Rahsaya and wound them if a weapon. It can also trap one of them inside an object if added. This is why the Rahsaya in the story possesses the main character to avoid the main antagonist: a fairly strong and very, very predatory Rahsaya. The protagonist has a store of the clay far away, but it needs someone to hide in and take it to the clay. That’s the crux of the story. Good? Bad? Every sort of criticism is welcome… I’ll even take the snark.

So, I need to get to the other novel which is coming along better now – Nysa is going to mill about with the chickens and everyone is finally discover that there is something not right about these people to close out the chapter. I hope to finish this one by the end of the week and finish October very strong since I will be doing double duty during November.

Have a good day y’all.

 

Sincerely,

Seething Apathy

 

PS: If you look to the left, you will see a link to my first work: Four Bits and a Dollar. Feel free to buy a copy… or two… or ten, I’m not choosy.

The Two Hundred and Twenty-Second Post: The One Where Tiny Tina Sums Up My Attitude About the NaNoWrimo Outline…

… when she says this. I was working on it yesterday in between calls and no matter what I did, I couldn’t feel satisfied with it enough to justifying continuing.


Drastic? Yes, but if you had read it you’d probably volunteer to hold the lighter.

So I am completely re-doing it (if you zoom in enough, you can see the notes and where it went awry) and going to try it again in between plumber visits and the Bacchanalia I have been invited to for tomorrow. Maybe today and tomorrow I can make up enough lost ground.

Here’s the problem: the hero (a very squishy everyman sort of person) is one of those reluctant types. In the outline, he was so reluctant, there was no real reason for him to leave and he had no problems with saying so. While part of the drama would be to have the hero dragged out of his comfort zone and face off against the villain and come back home better for it… but the character was not going to go anywhere – no matter how dire the danger was presented, nor how great the wealth offered, our hero was going to stay in the counting house until he died of old age. So, I went out and bought some lighter fluid and contemplated adding to the local haze. Then – inspiration hit me… one, in the form of an officer cruising by the house as I was going to dump the bottle of fluid in a glass bowl with the book and set it all on fire and the notion about possession.

Whenever I have read something dealing with possession (and I am guilty of doing this too), it’s usually shown that there is enough room – either head room or soul room – for two (or more in my book) distinct forms: the form of the possessor and the form of the possessed. While they may fight, bitch, complain or cooperate – there is always room enough. So I asked myself: what if when the main character is possessed by the spirit, he’s displaced? Now things started to fall quickly into place. Now the character has a reason to leave – his body is walking away and making a mess of things to begin with and he notes that the farther away his body is from his now bodiless spirit, the worse things feel for him. There could be other problems with this: he can’t be the only one who’s had this happen to him. He could find a particular ability to put himself into someone else’s body and displacing that person. He could run into a group of displaced people who have completely lost their bodies. This makes for a much better story and there are many more conflicts to undertake. I am excited again about this outline and I hope that today is a slow day enough for me to get into it. I am not really changing any of the characters: we’re going to have Village Cutie, Brock, Danny, Auntie and Bruce (not their real names – anyone who’s read my work know that I have a specific scheme for names, these are place names. Who the heck would name their kid Village Cutie? Not me.). I might even start with the names and use the right ones for the outline just so I can have something to refer to in the text.

By Golly – I am looking forward to this.

I need to get hopping on this.

Sincerely,

Seething Apathy

The Two Hundred and Twenty-First Post: The One Where I Am Just Sitting Here…

The only excitement I had yesterday was that I got to see how far I could travel on $3.55 worth of gas (answer: to my driveway) and listening to more Art Bell. Nothing else exciting happened yesterday and I hope for nothing more exciting than getting cut-off in traffic (yes, I set the bar low). Internet was down last night, so I was unable to check my email, so I went to bed. When I was much younger, I wanted a life of non-stop action, thrills and excitement. Now? Quiet. The greatest joy is sitting down in my living room for a quiet hour with a book (or Kindle with a book loaded in it). My younger self would have died from sensory deprivation.

Speaking of sensory deprivation, the Nanowrimo project is going to continue on whether it likes it or not. I didn’t have a lot of time to get to it at work yesterday, but since today is Thursday and usually a slow day at work, I should be able to outline the first act and maybe get into the second act. As far as Screaming Red-Haired Ushabit Orchards go… I should get into the screaming part today. I just have an issue about description – and this is something that I can take care of as far as the first set of revisions. Working with third person limited means I have one character view point to focus on. The question is that what would he focus on? Since the orchard is a common place for him, it would need not as much description as say Nysa, or her reactions to the orchard. Those are new things and would demand most of his attention (particularly the freak out). I just worry about being able to paint a complete picture. Reading things growing up I was always impressed on how some of the writers would be able to paint a complete picture in my head and that I was something I wanted to do. First, however – I have to get them down to the orchards. For the screaming.

There is little else to comment on. Haven’t gotten a chance to watch any good TV yet and someone was kind enough to give me the full final season of Dexter to watch at home, so I am going to invest some time in that. There is a series of books out that I am thinking about getting: The Laundry Files by Charles Stross. Yes, I am an unrepentant series collector. I also need to start on the Gentlemen Bastards and finally get back to Dune (don’t judge me). So many books, so little money and time… and limited space on my Kindle for all of my darling children. I might have to buy a second Kindle just for the non-fiction books.

Well, I need to torment more red-heads. I hope your day is just as productive.

 

Sincerely,

Seething Apathy

The Two Hundred and Twentieth Post: The One Where I Discover an Old Friend is Alive and The Nanowrimo Project Flounders…

It’s amazing what one can do when trying to avoid doing one’s job. On a lark, I wanted to see if a friend of mine from my youth was still alive. Much to my surprise, he is. I am glad he is alive and doing well for himself.

Sadly, I can’t say the same for the NanoWriMo project. I was coasting along outlining the second chapter when I realized that not only was my main character reluctant, he is as stubborn as I am. There was no argument that the other character could offer to sway his position. I tried to think of something, but everything I offered up to the character was shot down. While I like the idea of the reluctant hero, there is being reluctant and there’s being a jerk. So, being bummed – I closed up shop and I am going to let it sit there for a while and go to something else. Something else in this case was the radio. I am getting some ideas (the main character is moral – if worse comes to worse, guilt could be my silver bullet) and my book is on the car, so I’ll let it unfold in my head before putting it to paper (also another break – I haven’t given them any good names yet, which is something I never do. I’ve always had to names of the characters and the settings first). I am under a bit of a self-imposed deadline. I want the outline ready and on the PC before November 1st and the start of NanoWrimo. Yeah, I have a month and a half, but those of you that have worked with me know that I work at the pace of a dawdling glacier. A month and a half to an easily distracted person like me is like an hour to real people. I should get back to it soon… which is like a week for me.

The novel is lurching on. Nysa is in the Elder Hagan’s house and she is currently fascinated by the fireplace and will be heading down to the orchard to have her delightful little freak-out. I am torn between having Nysa as the POV character just to see how she sees everything in this house. I think it would be wonderful to get into her head and experience the wonder that she has for the most mundane things…but we would lose the chance to finally discover what these demons are and how much she’s (and everyone else) been lied to about the world at large. Right now, we’re looking through the eyes of Hagan’s son Galter (who is just a little sweet on her…awww…) and experiencing Nysa’s joy in a second-hand manner. I think I am going to finish the chapter and give it a harder look later on. Worse comes to worse, I might need to change the POV character from Galter to his mother Elke. We’ll see.

There are few other things happening – I’ve got a friend having a birthday party this Saturday and I’ve been invited. I’ve also got to get that present out the door for her. She’s going to be surprised…especially if it survives the trip.

The Two Hundred and Nineteenth Post: The One Where I Have the Wonderful Sip of Coffee and a Podcast Marathon…

I love podcasts. My favorite – the go-to one if I don’t want to listen to music when I am writing – is Writing Excuses. It’s fast and covers one topic fairly well among published writers and a web cartoonist. I’ve gotten a lot of good advice while travelling or while writing (the sound of screeching tires is applicable in both instances). I can’t recommend it too highly for novice writers like me.

I finally got that tree trunk out of the ground and managed to sneak in some visual humor, so I can move on to Nysa and her inevitable screaming fit. This is one of those scenes that came to me relatively late in the writing (literally three weeks ago) which is why I keep my outlines somewhat vague:

  • Chapter 1: Tyro created
  • Chapter 2: The world as it is = Master flexes power
  • Chapter 3: Stickball game, Osahar gets rewarded, Master picks other Lord to get robbed, spy dies, Tyro becomes part of group for reals.

For the longest time, I would steadfastly refuse to do an outline. Outlines were for the weak. Every work sprang forth from my enlightened brow fully formed like Athena from the mind of Zeus, clad in armor and ready to fight for your attention.

Then I grew up and realized that’s not how a good book is made.

I found that if I had no outline, I was all over the place. Remember – this was before Amazon and when self-publishing was limited to vanity presses that were not really worth the effort, so I ran into the notion of a word count much like I ran into that wall on my bike when I was ten…complete with scraped forehead and chipped tooth. After that, I tried the tried and true outline format to discover what I hated in 4th grade I continued to hate many, many years later. I tried to bully my way through it knowing I needed to have some sort of organization, but not really realizing that I don’t have to do the outline the way Sister Mary Catherine of the +5 Vorpal Ruler told me to do it…until I was so disgusted I just started doing it the way I wanted to do it. Yes, I am that stubborn. After I outline the first novel, I found that this was a huge help if I combined it with a couple of other things like the Five Act Structure. Everything gets covered, I still have enough wiggle room if I get a flash of sudden inspiration, I can incorporate it into the book and not deviate greatly from the main outline. Good example of this is with Nysa – she was supposed to go with the others and buy the figurative farm at the next village rather than stick around and show up again in the third book to show us how much Tyro has changed in between books.

Be utilitarian – if it works, fantastic. Wear it out. If it doesn’t – throw it away without oxidizing another glucose molecule in your frontal lobe.

Well, I need to get Nysa to screaming. Hope your day is just as productive, but not as loud.

 

Sincerely,

Seething Apathy

The Two Hundred and Eighteenth Post: The One Where I Am Stumbling Bleary-Eyed Down Memory Lane…

I was gaming with my group last night and one of them pointed me to the logs from an earlier game. Wow – it’s nice to see a character forming, like watching a flower open. I am going to read some more and just see how much I can use for the novel, but it’s nice to look at a game that was rather enjoyable and reminded me why I like RPGs so much – the ability to take a series of numbers and give it a breath of life… even if it’s a babbling mess.

Speaking of babbling messes – I am going to try to finish the chapter this week and get back on track. I want to get them out of the village (and safety…muahahahaha…) and get them towards their destiny in Daergal. Some would say that I am lingering in the village because I don’t want to subject them to any more ill will. Well, I did change the fate of one character once they hit the village, but it is for the better since that one (Nysa) will appear again in the third book. Sadly, there will be no such changes for the others – but I hope it will make for an interesting story. I’ve gotten a better grip on the third novel, so I will more than likely start working on the outline in a couple of months (after Nanowrimo). I’m also working on the outline for the Nanowrimo project at work and since we are at the slow part of the month, I should get it done by the end of the week. As long as it’s done before 10/31, I’ll be OK. This one is going to be a quick edit on Word and get it out the door. I really need to get stuff together and get going. It’s been a while since I put one thing out, so I am very overdue. I also need to get in contact with the artist for the book cover of another overdue project. Maybe I can get that one out sooner.

Well, there is nothing else to report. I am roughly a month away from my birthday and the four day vacation that ensues. Dexter is over and I still have as of yet to watch the final season. Breaking Bad is coming to a fiery close next week. The only show I am really amped up about is premiering tomorrow (Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D) and I am going to buy the season pass when I get paid. Hockey starts and I am going to get the package for that. I’ve also noticed something. Since I dropped cable I am watching less TV. I usually watch an hour on the weekdays (enough for one show) and on Saturday it’s maybe two hours in the evening. I spend more time in front of a computer of some sort (listening to Sirius in the evening when I can) and trying to work on something.

I need to get some more coffee and get back to the happy village. Y’all have a good day.

 

Sincerely,

Seething Apathy

The Two Hundred and Seventeenth Post: The One Where I Just Sit Here…

Well, I am going to be honest. I am just here. I’m waking up slowly today, but I am going to work on this blog and get in some words so I can put some more into the chapter and hopefully finish it out for Saturday. Boy, I need to get some more Death Wish Coffee. I’d brew it with Pepsi Max if I wasn’t worried about my heart exploding out my chest with the force of a supernova. For now, it’s gonna be this little coffee cup and some music. At least it’s Friday and work has been blessedly light. I got a manga reader on tablet, so I’ve been glutting myself on some of the more obscure titles (that have been translated) until December 31st when the next volume of Empowered is put out. I also need to remember to preorder that when I get paid in November. I recommend it highly – good art work and some not-so-stealthy jabs at the superhero genre.

Tyro. They’re still trying to pull that stump out. Hopefully it will come out today so I can get Nysa’s big breakdown done on Saturday after the writers’ group. That will close the chapter and hopefully get the story back to moving in a regular pace. It just feels like this chapter (one of the few non-ushabit centric ones) has been dragging on. I hope that feeling doesn’t come out in the work itself. As far as the romance goes, I can see that there is very little room to do any major shake-ups in the genre itself. So far, the only thing I have going for it is a squishy male and an Amazonian female. Not really sure what I can tweak majorly – I should get a couple of books about romance novels in general and maybe read a couple (the things I do for my art) and try to figure out what I can do. Obviously, I need to have the HEA ending (Happily Ever After) but what is going to happen in between the first incident and the final sentence. I have an idea of a plot (possession, sex, travelling, sex, gunplay… and something else… maybe sex?) and some nifty scenes, but I am just trying to see where I can put in a unique twist and try to avoid this book being formulaic. I’ll have to figure something out. Maybe the pair never get together in the end? Hmm…just thinkin’ on it. Thankfully, I don’t have to have the outline done until the end of October.

There aren’t many other things coming out in the theatres soon that I am rabidly looking forward to. Just the movie Gravity and We Are What We Are (yes, I have a fascination for cannibals) coming out this month. I might go see one of them in the theatre, but the other I might have better luck in waiting for it to come to DVD, unless the ‘artsy’ movie house comes through. I really miss the Vogue theatre. Saw two of the best romances ever there and got to see Kenneth Branagh’s “Hamlet” on the big screen. Now it’s a shoe store and if I want to find some weird films, it’s either the multiplex near Bardstown Road (the name escapes me) or this place – not to disparage it, it’s my go-to for the Christmas Marathon…which reminds me, I need to start drawing up the list for this year’s event.

Off to lunch, writing, shower and driving as summer makes a last gasp here in Kentucky. Hope y’all have a good day.

 

Sincerely,

Seething Apathy