I will be serving as one of three game heads for MARCON 50. We will be at the Hyatt convention center in Columbus, Ohio. When I’m not running games, I will be participating in panels and working game operations. If you’re into science fiction, fantasy, write either of those things or you want to come game with us, pick up a badge!
Columbus in Darkness will host a Live Action Role Play (LARP). We have an Amptguard team on staff who will be training us how to fight. (And you know I’ll be in the middle of that as long as Branden will have me.) We have tabletop games, we’ll have computer and system gaming and board games available all weekend.
The panels this year are really interesting. There are several writing oriented panels as well as gaming and general science fiction geekery. I had to severely limit myself on how many panels I wanted to participate in. There are panels I want to attend because I know absolutely nothing about the subject and I want to know more. And that’s not even talking about the presentations.
We have been hard at work putting together prize packs for the various tournaments. I don’t want to let too much slip, but there have been rumors of a super awesome giveaway by the Amptguard group and I also heard rumors of super awesome dice bags. Not to mention what I’m making and giving away. You all know I’m a massage therapist, right? I’ll just sit here and nod knowingly at you while you figure that one out.
We have an entire area specifically for children’s gaming and I will be running Faery’s Tale. Parents and children can play together in this tabletop RPG and I’m SUPER STOKED to play with you guys. Seriously stoked. I even made little prizes for the kids who play. And the parents. Because I would TOTALLY want one of these things. It doesn’t make a lot of noise and it’s pretty. And some of them are sparkly.
Plus there will be NASA things there. I can’t tell you what, but it’s super awesome!
The convention runs May 8th, 9th and 10th. I want to meet people!
I want to be regular about blogging. Unfortunately, I’m terrible at it. Without a schedule or some idea what to post, I flounder until I am broadsided by something terrible I have to comment on or I post book reviews and stuff about other authors.
This doesn’t tell anyone anything about me or my writing, however, and I need to be more diligent. Yes, I will still post reviews and author spotlights, but I won’t be doing quite as much. If you are interested in the author interviews and book blurbs, you can check out my website Yeah Books! where there will be a lot more of that information available.
I plan to write an off the cuff web serial about a massage therapist (since that’s what I do in my day job). I’ll post unedited versions just as it comes to me. I might do something about repetitious words or something or I might do some fill in work later.
Each section will be around 500 words and I’d like to post every Monday. I’ll have links to all the serials from my Free Stuff page.
Comments? Suggestions? Lemme have ’em!
As I was cleaning out my bin of crap (I have a catch-all three drawer thing in my kitchen where I write), I realized tonight I have a complete stationary problem. I have an entire pencil pouch full of highlighters. Another holds my sharpie markers. I have a third for colored pens and another for drawing pencils and erasers.
In among this I also found a huge amount of sticky notes. I have seventeen different packs of sticky notes in various sizes and colors.
Over the years I’ve bought a LOT of journals. Some of them have cool sayings. Some of them were made of pressed paper. Others had gilded edges or leather covers. I have kept them and never done anything with them because nothing I can think of to do with them is cool enough and I feel like I would be wasting them. I buy them, I keep them and they sit and collect dust.
That is, until this one:
I picked this up on clearance during a late night run to WalMart. I thought I could fill it with all the story ideas I have running around in different binders. I could put the storyboards I’ve done into it and have everything all in once place. I brought it home, opened it up and then the inevitable happened.
I froze. I couldn’t write anything in it because then it would be ruined and I wouldn’t have it forever AND be able to keep all my notes in it. Once it was full, it was full. There was no way to organize thoughts and once it was on the page, it was there. I couldn’t move it around or change anything.
Permanent. And unacceptable.
Well, until I could convince myself to write in the pages, I would take the stack of sticky notes I’d been storyboarding on and tuck them safely inside on the first page. I could go back for them later.
And that was when it hit me. I didn’t have to write on the pages at all! I could write on STICKY NOTES and TACK THEM TO THE PAGES!
If an idea needed moved, I would move the note. If I got more information about book promotion, I could shift all my ideas down a page. If I screwed something up, I could pull it off the page, throw out the sticky note and write a new one. My journal destroying days were over! No longer would I have to watch a beautiful journal sit on the shelf unused!
It has been really handy. The inside cover has my Scrivener key, my Vent info for guild chat and the password to the WiFi that I am constantly losing. I have information about recent things I need to keep a hand on, like my doctor’s info and my sales info for DoTerra. Then there’s information about my Flight Rising account, what armor I was working on for my World of Warcraft Warrior (that is probably seriously outdated at this point) and promotion efforts for books. I have useful email addresses like the people I send beta reads to and my crit partners. I have blog entry ideas and submission calls I want to submit for. And then there are the pages shown above.
The image above is what my storyboards look like. I have questions from my editor on a little arrow. I have research about the story on sticky notes. Little plot ideas are tucked in on tiny notes. Big plot points are on the larger notes. Right now they’re all spread out. I get an idea, I jot it down, slap it on the page and worry about the rest later. I can spread it out over other pages or I can keep it all on one.
I have at least one page for each story I’m plotting or writing.
Now I can have my journal and use it, too.
Why is it I am only inspired to write under certain circumstances? (Don’t get me wrong, I write rather or not I am inspired!) Generally those circumstances are under intense emotion such as sadness. I have the urge to write when I’ve had coffee or with a glass of whiskey, particularly a good scotch.
I have a difficult time expounding on the background of my novel. Who cares what color the tablecloth was? Why do they care how the house looked or where the furniture is arranged? I have difficulty putting emotion into my writing unless I am feeling what the character would be feeling at the time. Many times my writing inspires that emotion in me if I really let myself go.
Personally, I have trouble letting myself go because the emotions of my writing, when I really let myself feel it to write, bleed out into my everyday life. If my character is stressed and overwhelmed and angry, that carries through. In a job where we provide peace and tranquility and work to actively de-stress people, it seems like a contraindication.
Drinking lowers inhibitions and gives false courage. When the whiskey dries up in the morning, the emotions dry up with it. We can go on about our day to day lives and live.
Or can we? Does anyone else experience the three day crash after drinking? We drink. We have a good time. We talk to people we otherwise wouldn’t and do things we normally wouldn’t like dance instead of standing at the sidelines or make silly jokes because we no longer fear the social repercussions. We go home that night and sleep like a baby. Work the next day is great. We had fun and we’re refreshed!
Then the crash hits. If my character is intensely sad, I become intensely sad. I start to doubt myself and all the aspects of my life. The world is terrible and everyone hates me! I’m a talentless hack. I can’t write. My day job sucks because people are always whining at me. I’m hyper sensitive to everything. And in the pit of this sensitivity, we look back at our writing.
My MC (main character) loses her best friend into a potential pit to hell. At first she is angry. Then she moves into the fiercely determined phase. And then she devolves into frustration and, finally, hopelessness.
The fiercely determined phase isn’t so bad, but the other two leave me with coworkers scratching their heads and clients sometimes picking up on the energy. But is there a way to write emotionally intense scenes without letting it carry over? Or do we need to let it flow through our pores and let the raw emotional nature pour into the page?
And won’t we just take it out in editing anyway?
Do you write drunk? Or do you have some insight to writing emotion without letting it creep into your life? I’d love to hear it.
A few articles I found poignant while searching for actual medical science to back up my crazy idea:
From the time I was small, I had cats. When I was little, my mom kept a pair of black cats. They followed her wherever she went. Their yellow-green eyes glowed in the dim light of her study. They slept in the shadows of her bedroom and would take turns curled up at the foot of my bed when I was small.
When I would sit at the dining room table after school to practice my letters and numbers, they would tickle their whiskers across the bottoms of my feet. As I got older, their whiskers traced lines higher and higher on my shins.
Once I hit high school, too much homework and too great a social life left me with little time. They rubbed the length of their body across the pointed folds of my blue jeans and curled around my calves, dancing between the rungs of the chair in typical feline grace until I bent down to scritch their heads. When the requisite petting had been met, they would either curl up before the drawer of my desk or in the footwell over my toes.Their scrubbing around my legs went with barely a notice as I worked with facts and figures or scribbled an essay before running off with friends.
Once I got to college, the accustomed feline rub wasn’t anything I missed or even noticed until I felt the familiar shift of my pants leg in my dorm room one afternoon as I typed a paper. The sensation passed over me three times before it registered what I felt. Someone must have smuggled a cat as a pet despite the ‘no pets’ rule.
When I looked down, however, there were no cats. Nothing could have simulated the press of the body or the faint purring I heard. My door was tightly closed. I went back to my word processor with a shrug. I must have missed home a little more than I thought. I became ensconced with my writing once again only to feel the scrape of whiskers against the bottoms of my feet that were planted flat against the floor.
My girlfriend often sends along writing advice she finds on Tumblr. I have a Tumblr account, but it’s usually to reblog things like cute kittens and wiggling foxes. While I reblog writing advice on my Tumblr, it makes it really hard to find it later. Anyone who reads this blog might just see advice on writing and, to be honest, I think it’s a good thing. Anyone who reads, I believe, will eventually attempt a novel.
What I might do is make another blog simply for writing advice and keep this blog for important updates (pffft hahahaha) and save the other. For now, however, I think this is interesting enough to share.
Obscure Color Words
- albicant: whitish; becoming white
- amaranthine: immortal; undying; deep purple-red colour
- aubergine: eggplant; a dark purple colour
- azure: light or sky blue; the heraldic colour blue
- celadon: pale green; pale green glazed pottery
- cerulean: sky-blue; dark blue; sea-green
- chartreuse: yellow-green colour
- cinnabar: red crystalline mercuric sulfide pigment; deep red or scarlet colour
- citrine: dark greenish-yellow
- eburnean: of or like ivory; ivory-coloured
- erythraean: reddish colour
- flavescent: yellowish or turning yellow
- greige: of a grey-beige colour
- haematic: blood coloured
- heliotrope: purplish hue; purplish-flowered plant; ancient sundial; signalling mirror
- hoary: pale silver-grey colour; grey with age
- isabelline: greyish yellow
- jacinthe: orange colour
- kermes: brilliant red colour; a red dye derived from insects
- lovat: grey-green; blue-green
- madder: red dye made from brazil wood; a reddish or red-orange colour
- mauve: light bluish purple
- mazarine: rich blue or reddish-blue colour
- russet: reddish brown
- sable: black; dark; of a black colour in heraldry
- saffron: orange-yellow
- sarcoline: flesh-coloured
- smaragdine: emerald green
- tilleul: pale yellowish-green
- titian: red-gold, reddish brown
- vermilion: bright red
- virid: green
- viridian: chrome green
- xanthic: yellow
- zinnober: chrome green
I’ve been trying to edit a piece of fiction from a few years ago for a submission call. I’ve made some pretty major changes to the story and rewritten about half of it. And then I come to this line:
“His only response was grabbing her hips, jerking her against him, and jamming his dick inside of her. ”
Because somehow, somewhere, on some distant planet, I thought that would be sexy to somebody. Or something. I don’t even know. Every time I read this line I facepalm so hard I’m no longer able to edit and I wander off to do something else. Then I come back to it and repeat. For three days.
Today I deleted the line. But it was too epic a fail for me to ignore. I am now sharing with all of you. I’d say you’re welcome, but I think that would be a breach of friendship in most countries and states.
From further in that piece, I actually used the line: “He fucked her with the passion of a starving man given a fresh meal.”
OH COME ON NOW.
And this entire infodump has NOTHING to do with the story other than it shows Dimitri likes Winter. So I will give it to all of you.
Enova was Dimitri’s betrothed, the woman his father had chosen for him to marry, and the biggest of the demons Dimitri had to slay. He had only been married to her for a month before her death. He still held himself responsible. She had haunted him since he left home. He had been able to put Enova slightly out of his mind with the white-haired eleven year old girl he had met in California and rescued from the prison of her foster home. This respite was short lived, however, as soon as Dimitri realized his little girl had grown into a beautiful woman. He had noticed she blossomed into a woman when he had caught her dressing after a shower. He shouldn’t have been watching. He should have closed the door and went about his business, but he hadn’t. He stood and watched her until she reached for the doorknob and was gone before the door opened. He had felt guilty about it for several months. It had taken him that long to forget the look of her porcelain skin, droplets of water clinging to her flesh as she shivered. He watched as she rubbed the towel over her body, shivering involuntarily as she reached her breasts. He could very nearly feel the texture of the towel against his fingers as he imagined she was allowing him to rub her dry. Her nipples stood erect against the slight chill and the touch of the terrycloth. His mouth watered as he imagined rolling her pink nubs between his fingers, pinching them gently between his fingers as be barely flicked the points of her nipples with the tips of his tongue. He very nearly moaned out loud when she rubbed her pussy, longing to feel her wetness against his fingers, his mouth, and his tongue. He had finally vowed to keep his hands off of her. Unfortunately his resolve wasn’t as strong as he had hoped. He had allowed her to slip into bed with him one night even though it was against his better judgment.