Thursday, May 28, 2009

Free Fiction - Little Piece of Home

Okay, my first piece of free fiction is being posted! Yippee!

This is a SciFi short story, and I hope you all enjoy it. Read it here. And in the future, links to all my free fiction will reside on the sidebar... somewhere.

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Too Much Fun!

You guys have got to try out the hour long Plants vs. Zombies demo by PopCap Games if you haven't already. Too much fun! There's my Zombatar to the left. Yes, that is a traffic cone on my head - it'll protect me from the peashooter plants and shroom shooters to some extent. Pretty hawt, huh? To get an idea of the game, click the Videos link and watch the gameplay footage. Then watch the music video... LOVED IT!!! Basically, zombies are invading from the street and you plant things in your garden to destroy them before they reach your house and eat your brains. Good times.

The game itself is silly and entertaining. The zombies are freaking hilarious. There's one that my dad is going to come back as - a mild-mannered newspaper-carrying zombie. Nothing to him... until you take out his newspaper. Then he brings the speed and the pain. They've got a pole vaulting zombie in running shorts with little scraps of hair stuck to her head. And the names they give the plants... love 'em!

The full game is available for purchase and immediate download from the website (looks like for $19.95) or from Steam for $9.99. I'm hoping J5.10 will get a kick out of it, once we explain what zombies are and how they eat brains and convince her that they really won't enter our house to get her...

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Just Stuff

Well, just in explaining my frustrations to you guys on Friday, I was able to decide that I definitely want Quint out on his own. Whatever it takes to accomplish that is what I'll have to work into the story. So something good came of my venting on Friday. And I actually did a bit of writing yesterday, on Memorial Day. Yay me.

In other news, why is it that now that I'm laid off and have no job, we suddenly have all this stuff breaking on us? Cable modem, router, parallel port on our printer, digital photo frame, and now... OUR STINKING REFRIGERATOR!!!!! What gives? We can't afford all this stuff right now. Someone needs to explain that to the man upstairs and he does not seem to be paying attention to my whining.

Okay, back to the grind. I hope you all had a great long holiday weekend and best wishes for the rest of the week.

Friday, May 22, 2009

Friday, Friday, Friday

Sorry guys, I just really don't have much to say this week. I've been feeling pretty blah in general (you can verify this with my husband who asked me at least 4 times yesterday if I was doing okay - he even specifically asked if there was anything I "wanted to talk about", which for a guy is like voluntarily going into a combo Barbie/perfume/craft outlet store).

I've been getting some decent stuff written on the scifi story (sorry Quint). The problem with Quint's story is that I'm not really sure what to do with everyone yet - where I want them to go, what problems I want them to tackle, etc. I'm a character driven writer for the most part, which means that my plot tends to derive from my characters - what they happen to do, what situations they'd get themselves in, issues they need to confront to grow, etc. And right now, I know in general what needs to be resolved in this story, and several things that need to happen to the characters, but none of those things are specific enough to dictate where and when they need to happen. So I don't know where to have the characters or which other characters should be with them, or even if they should be alone for these specific events. The only one I know for sure is Chase - he needs to be back at the base, and I've got good reason to have Jason there with him. Everyone else though? Your guess is as good as mine. 

I think I want Quint out on his own, confronting aspects of his past. He needs to decide if he's going to grab for the future he wants but doesn't think he's worthy of. But in today's day and age, there's no reason for him to have to be alone. He'd have good reasons for wanting to get back with the others (Jayna) and it'd be tough to keep others from going after him and tracking him down (again, Jayna). So I have to come up with a plausible reason for him to stay out on his own (either voluntarily or not) or I have to deal with a peanut gallery while he's on this soul-quest of sorts. And really, who wants to go on a soul-quest with The Third and Jason along snarking over everything?

So these are the problems with Quint's story, and I don't want to just start writing and hope it all comes out okay. It's too easy to write yourself into a corner when you do that, and then once it's written, there's this difficulty with mass-deleting parts of your story. Since I do have another story to work on and have a better idea of where that's going, I'm working on that one for now while Quint's story percolates in the old noggin.

Wish me luck, and have a great Memorial Day weekend!

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Hangman - Hardist Game Evur

Ever played Hangman when the person coming up with the phrases to guess is just learning how to spell? Like someone, say, in kindergarten? Like J5.10! Luckily, she kept them easy on us for this first go-round, but I had visions of some obscurely spelled words that we'd never guess. Phonics are only used part of the time. Sometimes she spells words backwards. Periodically she leaves out consonants if it's too much trouble to write them. This little gaming endeavor could have gone sooo wrong.

As for E3.1, she decided to experiment with body art this weekend. She stamped circles on both cheeks (facial for those of you with filthy minds), over her mouth, on her arms, and the palms of her hands. She was incredibly proud of herself, but also wanted them washed off quick. So the dh and I started washing and soaping her up. I decided to get her shirt off so we wouldn't soak it down. What did we find? A perfect circle stamp over the belly-button. Yes, we took pictures.

We also had a neighbor stop by yesterday evening to see if he could buy some landscaping rock that we've had on pallets at the side of our house for over a year now. Apparently he thought we should be done with our project by now. Go figure. My father-in-law has two missions in life I think. The first is to get his oldest son, RJr, to cut his hair. His second is to get my husband, his youngest son, to finish this landscaping project. He's failed miserably at both so far. He's done everything in his power to see this project done. He's advised, labored endlessly on it himself, babysat for us so we could work on it - you name it. And yet it remains undone. Home beautifying = Epic Fail. We R pathetic.

That's it from our world. What have you guys been up to?

Thursday, May 14, 2009

Slack Blogger

Yeah, I haven't done much writing of any sort this week. I'm kinda depressed all around I guess and not really feeling up to doing... anything. I have stuck to my guns as far as writing something everyday, even if it's not much and it sucks. But I haven't moved forward much in any of my works. I tried reading to get me in the writing mood, and that helped some - it's the only way I got anything worthwhile written.

How does that work, you ask? I've found reading to be very useful, depending on my mood. 
  • Some days, it helps to read something bad. You toss the book down, get on your "Heck, I can do better than that" horse, and voila! 
  • Other days, you want one that's super. You sit back, content at the end, and think to yourself, "Man, I want to be able to leave people with this same feeling. If I'm ever going to get this good, I'd better get working on my own stuff." And off you go.
  • It's good for getting the pacing in your own work right. Sometimes it's tough to start writing cold and get a fast-paced action scene flowing well. Get yourself in the right frame of mind by reading a portion of another book with similar pacing to what you're trying to achieve. (That's what I did this week)
  • Having problems with dialog? Pick up a favorite book and study how they did a particularly good section. How much description did they put in? Is yours getting bogged down with too much detail on facial expressions, stomping around, or throwing hands up in the air when the dialog itself conveys the emotions adequately to some extent (don't yank out all the description, but some of it could probably go).
So there ya go. Give it a try next time you're stuck. But don't get lost in other writer's great work. You've got to get your own done too.

Friday, May 8, 2009

Minor Miscalculation

So, uh, Amelie is a bit tweaked that I ranted on her blog. Obviously, Quint here again. *tries to shift to a more comfortable position* Shit, this hurts. *breathes through the pain* Amelie wrote the next part of my novel. Wish she hadn't. I really don't think the human body is meant to take this much damage and still function. I told Amelie this somewhere mid-way through the torture session the "baddies," as she calls them, put me through. What kind of sissie name is that? These guys obviously mean business. I'm going to have the scars to prove it, so it really chaps that she insists on calling them "the baddies". It's not even in all CAPS in her head either. Geez. *grunts and reminds himself once again not to move.* 

Anyways, when I complained about the revenge she was taking on my poor abused body, she says, "Oh, don't worry. My sister is a vet. I'll talk to her and make sure it'll all work together. Although, that steel rod through your lung might have to go. Hmmm."

WTF?!?!?!? Besides my issues with being thought of as an animal and the fact that it's an entirely different knowledge base to be a vet as opposed to a people doctor, let's clarify something else. *hisses in a breath and moves arm so it's not resting against the skinned area or one of the bullet wounds* Her sister is not a vet. She's studying to be a vet. Not the same thing. 

So Amelie says, "If you're going to be fussy about it, I suppose I could call my uncle and ask him. He's a surgeon. Although he might do plastic surgery. I can't remember. But he's real smart. I'm sure he could make a fair guess as to whether you could in fact get up and hike thirty-six miles out of the wilderness to civilization in your condition. Don't forget to stay hydrated, btw. I guess I'll have to drop a river or a creek in here somewhere." 

I would bang my head against this rock if I didn't already have a concussion from three different blows to the head. Gah.

Anyways, now we all know my condition. Progress, right? But, uh, I don't think I'll be commandeering Amelie's blog again anytime soon. *freezes as he hears a noise above and looks up see a leopard stalking down the branch above him* Hey, uh, Amelie,  I don't think leopards are supposed to live in this part of the world. Really. And uh, I'm logging off right now. See. We're all good. Delete the nice kitty now. I'll just sit here and figure out how to get away from the... the baddies. Right. The baddies. They should really be our focus right now, don't you think?

Thursday, May 7, 2009


This latest in the Sookie Stackhouse series came out earlier this week. This one  focuses on the fairies, against the backdrop of the two-natured (shifters) proclaiming their existence to the world. Remember how the Harry Potter books took a sudden, dark turn in Order of the Phoenix? Yeah, this book does a similar thing. I mean, the last book, with the overthrowing of the Louisianna heirarchy was gloomy enough. This book led off with a shocker of a death (no one we really cared about all that much, but still...) and ended with one, accompanied by plenty of assault, torture and vindictivness in between. But for everyone else out there who's an Eric fan like me... THEY GET BACK TOGETHER!!!! Yay! (And they might even be married. Sookie's not sure, so neither are we.)

Okay. No more spoilers. It was a good book. CH keeps you reading way past when you should be in bed. I have some questions after it's all said and done, and it's frustrating me to have to wait months, possibly a year for the next one. Grrr.

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Intervention Please

Hi. I'm Quint, one of Amelie's characters in her Urban Fantasy series - you know, the book she's supposed to be focusing on. I'm the main character of this 2nd novel, in fact. I don't know what she was working on yesterday, but it sure as hell wasn't my story. 

Mid last week, she sent me off on a mission pretty much tailor-made to my particular abilities. Easy in, easy out and I'd be home with my Jayna in under 48-hours. Then while I was gone, some bad shit went down with our buddy Chase. Poor kid. He's in bad shape. But do I get back there quick to help out and be there for my crew? No. Friggin' Amelie pulls a cliff-hanger on me on Friday - Steele informs Jayna that I've missed my last three check-ins and they're sending a team in to look for me. So what happens? Of course! Jayna insists on going with the team... into danger! Apparently none of those limp dicks back there are wearing their big boy undies because did they talk her out of going? Keep her safe and under wraps in the Taj Mabunker that we call home base? Hell no. Morons.

Those of you in the know might be aware that Jayna and violence are not exactly like macaroni and cheese. More like toothpaste and orange juice. Yeah. She's not good around violence, but hand it to her for doing much better with it lately. Hell, she'd have to to hang with us for any length of time and she's definitely pulling her own.

I know I'm on hold over the weekend, because NO writing gets done then. So, yesterday I'm all pumped. And does Amelie get back to my book so I can find out what the hell went wrong with my mission and just how big of a shit pile I've stepped in? Ah, no. She'd be all proud, telling you that she got 1300 words written, plus some triathalon-like house straightening. Yippee. 1300 words written on a Science Fiction piece that's got zippo to do with our situation. Way to go, Amelie.

Someone please give this chick a kick in the pants and tell her to get back to telling a story that's important. I don't care about the disposesed heir of some far off fictional planet, although she does seem like a nice person - cares about her people, blah blah blah. But my lady is about to deliberately put herself in danger, and there's jack I can do about it right now. Not knowing what's happening is pissing me off. Tell Amelie to get on the stick. Please!

Friday, May 1, 2009

Which One of These is Not Like the Others?

Writing Progress:

Monday: 1100 words
Tuesday: 200 words (sadly, this is not a typo)
Wednesday: 2200 words
Thursday: 1200 words
Friday: TBD - I'll try to end the week strongly

Update: J5.9 is home sick, so writing = nonexistent. On the other hand, we did make 8 chocolate snack bags for the various Teacher Appreciation Weeks happening next week. We're also working on a Father's Day craft for the dh (dear husband) and a dolly craft to help keep the American Girl dolls behaving while they're in "class" by encouraging them with pretend money in little hanging pockets. I feel like Martha Stewart, only ya know, younger and much more poor.

Yeah, so uh, Tuesday wasn't a real good day for writing, but that's because I did landscaping work outside. Funny how cementing a stone wall into place can be compared to fitting a story together. :) Very inspiring, and I had good company.

Overall, this was a very good week on the writing front. I've got a couple of projects going, so when I've gotten stumped on one, I've been able to work on another. The drawback is that none of them are moving forward very quickly because my efforts are spread out. I'm trying to employ some discipline (totally foreign for me) and make sure that I get at least some decent stuff done on my main piece everyday before moving on to a side piece that might be more inspiring or flowing better.

Needless to say, of those 3 books I was so looking forward to releasing this week, I've only read one of them. It was super though, and I have high hopes for the others.