katiefoolery: (Default)
My Week of Organisation has begun! Well, technically it began yesterday, but I'm hoping to continue the trend. Yesterday wasn't too bad, considering I actually remembered to post a prompt word at the ficlet comm for the first time in weeks. So if you have a spare fifteen minutes and you feel like writing a ficlet based on a random word, head over to [community profile] 15_minute_fic and go nuts. :D

And now, to move on to the subject of today's post.

You know what I like? You'll never guess, so I'll take pity on you and tell you. I like watching TV shows from the sixties. This usually happens when I go for my run; generally, I'll have the news on, but if I'm running at a different time, for whatever reason, it'll be old TV shows instead. My favourites?

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Bewitched,

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Get Smart,

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and I Dream of Jeannie.

There's a semi-interesting link between those TV shows, if you think about it: they all feature a female character with all of the power who is obliged to sublimate that power (or the appearance of it) due to societal constraints.

...and that's my pretentious literary posturing out of the way for the day.

There's something about them, though. Something about the way they're written. Something about the characters they created and the way the actors approached the roles... but mostly the way they're written. I don't want to dismiss today's TV shows, because a lot of good writing still goes on.

And a lot doesn't...

But there was a different attitude towards these shows. After all, they didn't have half a century of television and established traditions behind them. They only had new ground to break, instead of deeply ingrained standards to challenge. Also, they remind me of being little and spending evenings at my grandparents' place with cheese and biscuits, which is never a bad thing.

And like any not-bad thing, they lead to stories happening in my head. Take the other night, when I saw the first five minutes of a Bewitched episode in which Samantha comes out of the kitchen to discover that Darren's gone missing and her mother isn't to blame for once. Five minutes of a pretty standard episode, except now I have a story in my head in which husbands are replaced with clocks and there may or may not be a plague of some sort.

(The plague has nothing to do with Bewitched and everything to do with the incredibly addictive book I just finished reading. More on that at some later point.)

We could also take an episode of I Dream of Jeannie from the other night, which featured a music video (for some reason...) that made me want to call for child services. But we won't because it's not quite as interesting, story-wise.

I suppose it's possible to find inspiration anywhere, but it's always a plus if it comes with bonus nostalgia and memories of cheese and biscuits.
katiefoolery: (fivedotnerds)
It's writing week at fivedotnerds! Again! I have no idea how it manages to roll around so quickly. How can three weeks pass by without my noticing them? It doesn't seem right.

It is also:
  1. The last day of term

  2. Practically the first day of my holidays

  3. A dress-up day at work, therefore I am dressed up

  4. Only a week until I'm in Sydney with LOOOOOOOOONS!!


More on that later. For now, please accept this video with numerous, vaguely-entertaining background noises, as well as my thoughts on world-building:



When it comes to world-building, I suffer from a sense of mis-placed achievement. If I were to sit there and map out the world and write pieces about the history and the culture, then my brain would decide that this is it. Hooray! We have done the work and the work is good.

Pity it's not a story, but you can't have everything. Or so they say.

Damn them.

Tell me all about your world-building. Or when you think it goes over-board. Or doesn't go far enough. You can throw in your plans for world-domination, if you wish - provided it's your own world you plan to dominate and not this one.
katiefoolery: (fivedotnerds)
Ever wondered what a beta does? Ever wondered how a beta lives their life? Is it all parts of speech and punctuation, or do we actually have fun?

To the last question, I say: Parts of speech and punctuation are fun. Punctuation especially.

This week, I thought I'd allow you all a glimpse into the world of a beta. And here it is: the very first episode of the Secret Beta Chronicles.

katiefoolery: (fivedotnerds)
Fanfiction: what is it good for?

Well, lots of things, really. It is all things to all people. And to some people, it's nothing at all. It's so odd to think there are people out there who have no idea fanfiction even exists... or that it can be fodder for the most cracktastic events and debates. Oh, fanfic, you're like a microcosm of crazy.

More coherent thoughts on fanfic and its value can be found in this week's video, seen here:

What does everyone else think? Do you read or write fanfic? Do you think it has merit? Would you allow it if you were a published author?

I think I can safely say I'd allow it. I'd encourage it. Voraciously.

Voraciously isn't quite the right word, but that's still how I'd do it.

Blurbing

May. 6th, 2009 11:28 am
katiefoolery: (The power of the beta!)
I read a blurb on the book the other day that caused me to laugh out loud. Which, believe me, doesn't usually go down too well in a library... but I couldn't help it. The worst bit is that the subject matter is intended to be rather serious and heart-wrenching, so I felt bad about laughing at it.

For a second or two.

Then I laughed some more.

The blurb starts thusly: Willow O'Keefe is born with osteogenesis imperfecta...

Which is a huge laugh, right? Small child, constantly in pain. I wasn't laughing at that bit, OK?

It continues:
...[a]s her family struggles to cover medial expenses, her mother Charlotte decides to file a wrongful birth lawsuit against her obstetrician for compensation that might ensure a lifetime of care for Willow.

But it means Charlotte has to say in a court of law that she would have terminated the pregnancy if she'd known about the disability in advance. And the obstetrician she's suing isn't just her physician - she's her best friend.

It shouldn't make me laugh, right?

And yet, I can't help it. It's just one tragedy after another until it reaches ridiculous proportions. There's no way I could take a book like that seriously. I mean, you might as well write a blurb that says:
Adorable, pig-tailed child gets a kitten, which dies. She gets a new kitten which digs up the old kitten AND EATS IT. Then dies.

Blurbs are such hit and miss things, though, aren't they? One of my favourite books as a teenager was Obernewtyn and I almost didn't read it because of the blurb, which read like some stock-standard, post-apocalyptic story of the far future.

It also makes me think that I could come up with a pretty amusingly tragic blurb for that doomed first draft of Black Fiddle. Behold:
Jeannie lives a happy, carefree life with her music-loving family until a deadly plague begins to eat away at the land. She and her sister are sent to fend for themselves in the city while the rest of her family falls victim to the plague, leaving them as orphans among strangers. They face prejudice and starvation, forcing Jeannie to sell the precious family heirloom entrusted to her by her grandmother: the Black Fiddle of Barnet.

In a cruel twist of fate, Jeannie's sister is stolen away by Sidhe trapped in the mortal realm seeking a way home... and the only thing that can bring her back is the fiddle Jeannie just sold.
And so on and woe and wailing and woe on woe-tarts with extra woe topping.

Sure, we're all searching for a twist or to submit our characters to the utmost levels of torment in some vain attempt at retribution for ruining our lives and our sleep and our sanity with their insistence on having their stories written. But there's a point where it just goes too far and you break through the walls of tragedy and tension, straight into the realms of ridiculousness.

So has anyone else read any laughably melodramatic blurbs lately? Or, better still: how would you write a blurb of your current WIP (novel, short story, ficlet - whatever it may be) to make it so ridiculously tragic that people are already reaching for the tissues before they even open the cover?
katiefoolery: (Interrobang)
I've been doing something odd lately.  Something I don't often do.

Something that involves quality time on my own.

Something that probably isn't that productive, really.

If you guessed extreme crocheting in a deep-sea submarine, then you're only slightly wrong.  Although, honestly, sometimes I think it's more likely I'd be doing that than actually undertaking this activity.

It's writing.  I've been writing.  Actually writing.  More than this, I've been wanting to write and that is honestly something that hasn't happened much since university SUCKED MY WILL TO WRITE.

Last month, mostly thanks to LorF, I more than doubled my GYWO word count.  In fact, I think I might aim to do the same thing this month: double my word-count to date.  And I might actually be able to achieve it.

There are several things fuelling this sudden, inexplicable desire to write:
  1. LorF
  2. The freezing cold weather of freezing coldness
  3. Google Documents
Yes, Google Documents.  For some reason.  I turned to Google Docs in desperation when my work decided to ban the upload of attachments to Gmail, as it's apparently the equivalent of worshipping the devil or something.  It kind of works, because it means I'm doing everything in Firefox.  So while this makes it easier to be distacted by the net when I'm writing, it conversely makes it easier to be distracted by writing when I'm on the net.

The logic behind this may not be entirely perfect, but I'm not going to question it too closely in case it gets scared and stops working as well as it currently is.

At present, I am writing LorF and I shall hereby furnish you with the first paragraph.  The episode has grown from a tiny seed of three words: Then Rowan sneezed.  Which has since been converted into present tense because... well, just because.
Then Rowan sneezes and I'm torn between saying “Bless you” and “What in the name of bloody hell did you do that for, you bloody idiot?”.  It’s a difficult choice and I hope never to be in a position where I have to make it ever again.

So I'm working on that.  At the moment, I am quietly confident about this episode's ability to confuse the hell out of everyone.  This makes me very happy indeed.

In other news, I have a couple of Dreamwidth invites which need to be distributed.  Please comment with your email if you'd like one and I shall send them your way.
katiefoolery: (fivedotnerds)
To state that I am insanely happy with this week's video would be a slight exaggeration. I am happy with the majority of it, but please, let me list the things that bug me about it.

1. I had to shoot it on one of the cruddiest days we've had so far this year. Actually, now that I think about it, the title of "Cruddiest Day" may actually go to any of those that fell during the heatwave and/or the horrendous bushfires... So let me revise that: I had to shoot it on the coldest, windiest, rainiest, darkest day of the year so far. So the quality's grainier than I'd like it to be (which is "not at all").

2. My camera was so obsessed with the sound of my central heating that it decided it should CONSTANTLY BE IN THE BACKGROUND.

3. So much footage had to be tossed so cruelly away, even when it begged to be included on bended knee and subsequently sent me chocolates and fruit hampers in the hopes of tempting me to give in.

But that aside, there are so many things that worked exactly as I wanted them to and I couldn't be happier. I mean, seriously, exactly as I wanted them to. It's not often that things come together like that and behave. There were points during the editing process where I was actually squeeing because it was working so well.

I had so much fun making it; I really hope you all have just as much fun watching it. Here, for your enjoyment, is Cupcake Wednesday:





And yes, I would like to know which style of cooking best equates to your writing style. I wouldn't recommend making a video to illustrate your answer, although I'd love to see one. The painful truth of the matter is that I had to winnow through thirty-six minutes of footage to bring you the four you see before you today.

Painful.

But ultimately rewarding.

So tell me: is your writing style a lovely pasta, or is it a delicious pie?
katiefoolery: (Sleep now)
A few things occurred to me earlier this morning.

1. LiveJournal is blocked at work.
2. Dreamwidth is not.
3. Dreamwidth allows you to cross-post to LJ.

And thus, a use for my DW account was born! Assuming this works and isn't thwarted in some way by my devious work deviously deviating my devious plan of deviousness.

Other things that likewise occurred to me this morning (listed in random order of importance): IT'S FRIDAY; I don't like it when people just sit there and watch me; semi-colons (when used well) are beautiful things; my hair looks kinda cute; a crumpet with peanut butter truly is the breakfast of champions... or at least, people with good taste and a toaster.

A final thing that occurred to me recently is that I'd like my journal to be neater or more consistent or cohesive or better co-ordinated with its curtains or something. A quick glance over my most recent entries reveals that they've been about vlogging, LorF, vlogging, a bit more LorF and then some extra vlogging added in at no extra cost. Which, I'll grant you, is consistent, if nothing else.

But I'd like to expand it into other concepts such as, oh, I don't know, writing?

(Speaking of which: I've actually been engaging in said activity of stringing words together into sentences! Amazing, but true. At this rate, I'll have achieved at least ten percent of my GYWO target by the end of the year...)

I'm due to write an essay on breaking the rules of grammar for [community profile] getyourwordsout this month, which will inevitably spill over into this journal. So it's entirely possible my next few entries will actually be about this whole writing process.

And breaking the rules thereof.

Which will inevitably involve running with scissors at some point.

However. I'd like to know what my flist would like to see. Would you like a chance to discuss writing in my journal? Would you like me to write informative pieces about it? Would you like to read more rants wherein I am driven to such insanity by writing/writers block/characters misbehaving/things going spectacularly wrong/etc. that I end up typing my entry by bashing my head repeatedly against the keyboard?

And if you read writers' blogs on a regular basis, what are your favourite elements of them? What keeps you reading? (And are there any you'd recommend to me?)

Ah well, the bell has tolled: back to work for me.
katiefoolery: (Your life or your freedom)
This shall be a week of LorF.  Thus I have decreed and thus it shall be.  This may, in some small degree, be inspired by spending the last two days with LorFers and by reading over the last few episodes I wrote for said project.

Monday, I said last night, you and I are going to sort out some priorities in my life.  Shortly after saying this, I realised I'd be needing focus to join the party at some point, as I'd probably be needing to direct towards some of said priorities in the near future.  And yet, LorF's already a priority, even before I've reached the pivotal point of actually listing some.  Or any.  Why?

Because it's writing.

Because I'm doing this whole GYWO thing and it would be kinda nice if my word count moved to five digits soon.

Because it's awesomely fun.

Because it's a project shared with likewise awesomely fun people.

Because, because, because.

In aid of that, this week's fivedotnerds video will be dedicated to LorF.  But before that, I shall be inflicting upon you some of my favourite recent passages and lines from my own LorF with you here.

For those of you who have ABSOLUTELY NO IDEA WHAT THE HELL THIS LORF THING IS, here's a precis of sorts: it's a collaborative writing project, shared by over twenty writers (although based around a core of seven).  We asked the question: if your country was invaded and taken over by a powerful, foreign force, would you choose to live under their rule or to fight for your freedom?  Essentially, life or freedom?  Or, for the sake of laziness, LorF.  We choose a character and write their story.  Sometimes, they cross over.  There's so much information and history and characters and events and locations that we need a wiki to hold it all together.

We have fun.  We blow things up.  We write cliffhangers.  We create irritating mysteries around our characters.  It's incredibly fun.

Unfortunately, things like study and full-time work like to get in the way of it, so it's fallen off a bit lately.  I intend to pick my bit up again.

In aid of this, I read over some of my recent entries last night and just wanted to share some of my favourite pieces with you all.

First we have what I guess I'll the one-liners:
The air was hot; full of smoke and yet empty at the same time.  Oxygen was busily writing notes to the postman and preparing to be absent for a little while.

I find a friend in darkness, says my mind, which is just great. Darkness, I feel like saying. It’s been so long.  What have you been up to?

But I don’t, because I can see how some people might construe that as the early signs of madness.

I love my brain.  I don't know what I'd do if I found out it was lying to me.

“I just suck at lighting fires,” I mutter.

Rowan says nothing to this.  After all, proof of this is sitting behind us, not burning brightly.


So, you're fleeing from a bushfire and you go to someone's aid... you're going to stall by irritating the guy nominally in charge, right?
Rowan’s coughs died to strangled splutters as we reached the body.  It was a man, his clothing covered in a fine dusting of ash.

“Roll him over,” Rowan said.

“What if his back’s broken?” I asked.  “Or his neck?  Shouldn’t we...”

“Shouldn’t we what?” Rowan demanded.  “Call triple 0?  Get the flying doctors in?  Do you think they’d reach us before the front does?”

“Gods you’re tetchy today.”

“Tetchy?  Who are you calling tetchy?”

“And now you’re just stalling for time.”

I shouldn’t do this, but I just can’t help it.  It’s so funny to prod at him this way.  One day he’s going to explode and I’ll either be laughing ’til my sides ache or regretting it dearly.

“Ryn.”

“Yes?”

“Please...  Let’s just roll him over before he dies of frustration.”

And sometimes, you drop massive, great big, neon-arrow-pointing-here hints that are subsequently overlooked completely:
“Why don’t you go to your parents’ place?  I thought you said AIRO told you it was still legally theirs.”

“They did.”  After several months or so, at least.  Never do anything quickly when you can drag it out as long as possible: that’s the AIRO motto.

“So?  I’m sure your parents would appreciate someone looking after it for them.”

“That’s why I came home in the first place,” I said.  The idea of my parents’ home, that they’d worked so hard on, being left vulnerable and open to those grasping bastards... How could I not go back for that?

Wait, that’s not quite right.  For a minute or so, I feel as though I’m sitting right next to a skittish memory that will startle and vanish if I move too quickly.  If I just turn slowly, like this...


I think my favourite episode to date is Don't You Know I Hate Him?.  I pretty much love all of it, but I'm just going to share the intro:
I really hate him.  I hate him more than sleeping in a tent.  I hate him more than eating the icky gristly bits of meat.  I hate him more than anything and the worst bit is that I know exactly why.

Because he reminds me of how lazy I am; how cowardly I can be about stupid things like spiders crawling over me at night or having to find the loo in the pitch-dark; how pampered my life really was before, although I never truly appreciated it.

And he has no right to do that, with his pointy black hair and his good aim with a rifle.  Curse him.

So he can drive the ute really quickly along ridiculously dangerous roads without killing anyone.  So what?  So he can keep his head when everything else is falling apart.  Well, what’s so great about that, Rowan bloody Connell?

“Hey.”

So he can sneak up on me and scare the living daylights out of me.  Is that anything to be proud of?  “Argh!”

“What are you doing out here, Ryn?”

“Sulking.”

“Oh good.  For a minute there, I was worried you were doing something un-productive.”

The re-reading was very handy, because it reminded me of three interesting things:
  1. Rowan plays the piano.  Who knew?  Well, apparently I used to.

  2. I have a red herring and I like it.

  3. It's only when Ryn cries "I can't!" that Andy recognises her voice.  I have no idea why this is the case, but I think I'd like to work it out.

Of course, there are one or two other things planned for the week, but provided there is LorF in it, it shall be good.

If you're not a LorF reader and you'd like to be, please talk to us about it.  We need to make sure you're real before we subject you to our horrendous intiation ceremony.  You know the saying: What happens in LorF club...
katiefoolery: (fivedotnerds)
It's writing week!  Yes,you had no idea this was the case, did you?  It's all true, though.  It's writing week and we are discussing firsts.  All of your firsts, from your first first to your last first.  To date.

I must admit, I'm a huge fan of writing week.  It's not surprising, really.  After all, it means I get to ramble on about writing and I may have mentioned once or twice how much I like doing this.  The only problem with rambling on about writing is that I'm excessively capable at it.  This makes it very difficult to fit my thoughts into the space of four minutes, but I managed somehow.  And as a bonus (coming, as they do, at no extra cost), I even included sun-flare and video saved at the wrong resolution!  It's not my fault; it played in perfect widescreen on my computer.  How was I to know YouTube wouldn't approve?  The good news is that I have learnt how to appease said website and my next video will be absolutely perfect, resolution-wise.  As opposed to this week's squishedness and last week's tininess.

So I believe a small, anticipatory yay is in order: YAY.

But to return to the firsts.  This week, we fivedotnerds are discussing our writing firsts.  When did you write your first story?  What was your first publication?  And so on.  I decided to talk about some slightly different firsts in my video, as you will see for yourselves. :D



And as a bonus, LJ-only feature, I'll list another couple of firsts here.

The first character to take over a story without permission was Chaque.  She was meant to be a nothing character with a couple of backstory-advancing lines.  Then she "dropped a reluctant curtsey" and suddenly she had a personality, attitude... and an overwhelming desire to steal the story.  Which she did.  Quite successfully.  She's single-minded, slightly psychotic and has a tendency to burn things... and I love her.

Although, it's a little worrying to have her in my head sometimes.  You never know what may inexplicably go up in smoke when you're not looking.

The first time I ever won a prize in a writing competition was when I was in year eleven.  It was third prize and it was worth thirty dollars and I can't even tell you how excited I was when I opened the envelope with the certificate and prize inside.

The first character to wake me up at unwelcome times of the night with story ideas that MUST BE WRITTEN DOWN NOW was Jane.  That girl had serious issues with letting me sleep at times.  Lucky for her it's impossible to dislike her... even when you're crawling out of bed at 2am to type up notes so she'll shut up and LET ME SLEEP, dammit.

What are your writing firsts?  What are the most significant things that have happened to you as a writer?  Tell me all about it.  :)
katiefoolery: (fivedotnerds)
There are two main problems with the Samsung MX-20.  Firstly, it claims to film in genuine 16:9 widescreen; secondly, it declares itself to be YouTube friendly.  It is neither.  It is so, so neither.  It's so neither that it almost makes me laugh out of slightly-crazed frustration.

It does film in 16:9 widescreen.  Unfortunately, it doesn't export in said aspect ratio.  In fact, this is a common problem with the camera, as I found out much later.

I wasn't even game to introduce it to YouTube.

Actually, there are three problems with the Samsung MX-20 and the third would be the TYPO ON THE BOX.  Hassle is not spelt "hassel".  No, really it's not.

I was going to purchase the Canon mini-DV cam, but the Samsung was sitting there, all red and shiny and designed to record on memory cards, rather than mini-DV tape...  And then I got around $50 off, due to its being on special and being the display stock (and the last one in red).  So even though I had intended to buy the Canon - on my dad's expert advice, no less - I went ahead and followed the shiny.

And tonight, it's going back to the store, to be replaced for the Canon.

So while I thought I was going to shoot this week's vlog on my shiny new camera, I ended up with my webcam again.  And all of the footage I took over the weekend?  In useless, squished-up 4:3 instead of widescreen.  GAH.  I wanted my writing week video to be extra special, dammit.

Anyway, here it is for you all.  Writing week: Why do we write?  Watch the video to find out!



Incidentally, why do you write?

Space

Jan. 14th, 2009 02:29 pm
katiefoolery: (Girl writing in cap)
Please let me introduce you all to my new workspace, viz:

My Workspace


Yes, it is a) outside, b) sharing space with a spade and broom, and c) awesome. And that lovely little EeePC there answers the question of whether I switched my laptop for a netbook quite nicely. I haven't regretted that for a minute - it's even been inadvertently useful for my vlogging, due to its possessing a (completely rubbish) webcam. My intention was to buy an Acer Aspire One... but the ten inch screen of the EeePC kept calling to me, telling me how... big it was.

Well, ten inches is big when compared with eight point nine...

What innuendo?

I like being outside. I like having my own space. I like being able to sit there in that incredibly ugly yet unbelievably comfortable chair and think.

Oh, and write, maybe.

And I definitely like the bit where I receive an excellent wireless signal from my router. That's important.

I feel as though I can write out there - as though I have enough space to be creative. It's a different story inside, where I'm sharing space with noise and televisions and people. Which I don't really mind, per se, but that environment doesn't seem to be very conducive to creativity. Sometimes, I wish I were able to write anywhere, but it turns out I can be incredibly picky about my surroundings.

So, before I go off to work on my next vlog, I'm going to ask you all a question: Can you write anywhere? Do you have a place where your writing just seems to flow effortlessly? Conversely, are there places where you just can't write, no matter how hard you try?

Yes, one question in three parts.

brb, vlogging

:D
katiefoolery: (Get your words out!)
Well, they are!

And by everyone, I mean [livejournal.com profile] sopdetly and [livejournal.com profile] katilara. Which is pretty much everyone, when you think about it.

And what, exactly, is everyone doing? Well, from what I can gather, everyone is having slight panics about recording themselves, thinking about what to say while recording themselves and then uploading said recordings to the internet.

At which point, we run away screaming and hide in a corner while quivering in abject fear.

Or something.

Because, for some reason unknown even to myself, I agreed to take part in a regular vlog as an addition to this whole GYWO thing. There are five of us: [livejournal.com profile] surferartchick, [livejournal.com profile] sopdetly, [livejournal.com profile] katilara, [livejournal.com profile] theemdash and myself. You'll be able to see us by watching or subscribing to the YouTube channel here: FiveDotNerds. The first one's up already! I'm just off to watch it myself.

But before I go - here's me making my test video. Just in case you've ever wondered what I look like or how I sound or if I look like a complete idiot while staring into a webcam. The answer to the third: why, yes, yes I do.

Oh, and I talk too quietly, so the volume needs to be turned UP right after the intro.

Aaaaand it served its purpose and now it's gone.


P.S. I wrote actual words last night! :D
katiefoolery: (Coconut modem)
There's the strangest feeling in the air these days and I know exactly how to describe it. Which is useful, really, otherwise I'd just be sitting here making strange gestures and saying Oh, you know, it's sort of like this with a bit of that and actually, it's a bit like the smell of freshly-baked scones if I think about it...

But no.

The feeling is exactly as though a coin has been tossed and I'm waiting for it to come down. As though something very spectacular is about to happen but I just don't know what. Meanwhile, I'm just watching... waiting for the coin to fall and for things to be set in place.

What things?

What place?

I have no idea. All I know is that it's a weirdly euphoric feeling.

Something that's not making me weirdly euphoric is this vague plan I have of doing something before Christmas. I can't say much more, since I'm going to be posting it here eventually - suffice to say, I'm both anticipating it and putting it off in one breath. That multi-tasking procrastination thing again.

And it has a lingering air of hypocrisy, due mostly to conversations I've been having with my writer lately.

Firstly, my writer will exclaim that it's impossible to finish this chapter. That they can't write fight scenes. That it's been too long since they last wrote and surely the standard of writing will have dropped due to lack of use.

To which I reply: Nonsense. Rubbish. Of course you can write fight scenes. Of course you can finish this chapter. Now shut up and get on with it.

I'm a very considerate, sensitive beta.

:D

And then my writer will pick up past passages and say they can't write like that any more and how the hell did they write something so incredible in the first place?

To which I reply: Less angsting, more writing.

Very considerate and sensitive.

:D

Yet, now I find myself in my writer's place... except I'm not being quite as positive to myself. When I say I can't write like that any more; when I say I can't find that voice again; when I say I'm doomed to failure... I agree. Cheerfully.

Yes, you are! Why not forget about it and have a nice cup of tea instead?

And that, my friends, is hypocrisy at work. Unfortunately, hypocrisy happens to share top spot with passive-aggressiveness on my list of My Most Hated Things (DIAF Pls). (This list also includes eggplant and people who think their brains are purely for plumping their skulls out.) But I digress.

I'm going to do my best to overcome this bout of hypocrisy and your good wishes would be most appreciated.

They'll be extra-appreciated if said good wishes come with good luck chocolates or snacks of some sort. :D
katiefoolery: (15_minute_fic - creativity in a hurry)
Right.  So, if I'm planning on writing 200,000 words next year, I should really get some practice in now, shouldn't I?  And what better way to do that than by writing a ficlet based on a prompt word from my [livejournal.com profile] 15_minute_fic comm?

It's strange the way some of my ficlets seem to gravitate towards each other, almost as though they're little snippets of the same world.  This one would definitely fit with at least a couple of my earlier ones.  I hope you all enjoy reading it.

Lie if you don't. :D




Title: Untitled
Fandom: Original
Rating: G
Word count: 561 words
Prompt word: (withheld)

Written for prompt word #90 at [livejournal.com profile] 15_minute_fic.


“Go on then.”

Go on then.  Right.  Because it’s that easy.

“Use your influence.”

Nanny Edwards expects me to use my influence.  Nanny Edwards expects me to make scones fly out of their tray.  Nanny Edwards expects me to be a credit to my family.

Nanny Edwards expects the impossible.

Or miracles.  But let’s face it – this is a woman who manages on a daily basis to get my brother to wash his face and scrub his nails.  With that sort of thing happening in her life, she probably has a right to expect miracles.

“I can’t.”

Besides, what’s the point of making scones fly out of their tray?  I’d much rather tip them out gently and then spread them with cream and jam.  And not just because I’m hungry right now.  Flying scones are a waste of the cook’s good time.  Scones on the floor are a waste of the cleaning girl’s time.

I can’t always results in a tsking sound from Nanny Edwards.  Mostly because she thinks I shouldn’t be using horrible, lower-class contractions like that.  Well brought up girls declaim I cannot!  They don’t mutter I can’t like some slattern from the slums.  And while that was irritating enough, it wasn’t as bad as other people who liked to respond with ridiculous statements, my most hated of which was “Can’t means won’t try.”

“You cannot,” Nanny Edwards corrects, “because you are lazy.”

And hungry.

Without even thinking, without even appearing to blink, she makes a scone rise from the tray with a floury, floaty little puff.  And then another.  And another.

Four seems to be her limit though, because they all drop to the floor with sad little pattering sounds the minute she raises a fourth.

“What’s the point of this?”  I can’t help but ask, although my words are distracted.  Four miserable little broken scones on the floor.  They could have been adorned with jam and cream and in my stomach by now…

Nanny Edwards is silent for a second and it’s an educational silence.  It’s the sort of silence that always precedes a lesson.  She’s going to say something now; something of great import.

“What do you think is the point of this?”

To prove we’re rich enough to waste food?

Why, why don’t I dare to say it?  I shrug instead and the silence endures much longer this time – far too long for comfort before it’s broken by the sound of the scone tray banging as it flexes unnaturally.

“Answer me.”

“I don’t know.”  A deliberate, sullen don’t in the place of a do not.  “That’s why I asked.”

There’s a tiny smirk in the corner of her mouth.  I only catch it by chance and it feels like a rare gift.  No-one dares to answer back to Nanny Edwards.  No-one dares give her lip.  No-one speaks unless they’re spoken to and they always, always, give the right answer.

No-one but me.

“Influence is power.”  The smirk’s gone.  Completely gone.  Nothing but cold anger and bland authority.  “Power is strength.  The weak deserve none of those and you are weak, my girl.”

I.  Am.  Not.  Weak.

Nanny Edwards smiles.

One of the fallen scones flutters and drops.  Tiny crumbs move out of its path as it falls again.

The smile becomes a smirk.

And I know I will never be free of Nanny Edwards’ influence.




Tomorrow, I venture forth to finish my Christmas shopping.  Wish me luck.  Or, if not luck, then wish me a very big stick and an air-tight alibi.
katiefoolery: (Get your words out!)
I did something crazy over the weekend.  Insane.  Possibly ill-advised.  Only time will tell...

I pledged to write 200,000 words next year.

Considering I wrote maybe a couple of hundred words this year, this aim seems both hopeless and overly optimistic all at once.  And yet, it comes at almost a perfect time, since I've been thinking a lot about writing lately.  Thinking.  Not doing.  But still.

However, I don't believe I should be the only one engaging in such craziness.  Forget NaNo - a mere month of writing like a possessed thing surviving on caffeine and shared suffering.  This is where it's at.  Don't just write one dodgy novella... write five!  Write a great, long, sprawling saga!  Swim in the stream of consciousness.  Or, uh, actually decide on a project and work on that instead.

Just DO EEEEEEEEEEEET.  Get your words out.

And then blame [livejournal.com profile] theemdash and [livejournal.com profile] sopdetly, because it was all their idea in the first place.

Get your words out!



Also, [livejournal.com profile] crazedturkey did this, so I'm going to do it, too...

Meme instructions:
  1. Reply to this post and I will pick five of your icons.

  2. Make a post (including the meme info) and talk about the icons I chose.

  3. Other people can then comment to you and make their own posts.

  4. This will create a never-ending cycle of icon glee.

On the seventh day of Christmas, Dr Turkey gave to me... )
katiefoolery: (Pratchett on writing)
I just wrote something.  Honest to goodness something for the first time in months.  There’s just one problem: It’s the end of the story and I have no idea how it starts.

Actually, that’s a lie.  I do know how it starts, because it starts with the ending and it goes a little like this:

The gun’s warm in my hands.

I didn’t think it would be.

I didn’t think it would smell like this, didn’t think it would be so loud, didn’t think you’d really just… fall like that.

And I didn’t think it would be so quiet afterwards, and so dark.  I think the world’s just ended.  I think my world was all wrapped up in you – hidden away, tied and tangled in your veins, swimming through your blood.  I think it was all there and it’s gone now.

I killed you.  I’m so sorry.  I killed you and I just can’t see this ending any other way.  If I stood here and re-played it in my head – re-lived every scene, spoke every word again – it would still end up this way.  You’d still be there, dead at my feet, and the gun would still be warm in my hands.

I’m so sorry.

And that’s great and everything.  I really embrace that sense of inevitability and the death and the onset of angst... I just wish I knew what caused it.  Should anyone feel like speculating, please do so here in this handy poll:
[Poll #1220319]
And just because I'm loving the answers to the poll so far, I'm going to post them so I can respond.
[livejournal.com profile] theemdash -- Best friends driven apart by a simple thing as a stolen pair of shoes.
Oooh, and then she strips them from the body and walks off down the alleyway! I like.

[livejournal.com profile] everydayjoy -- okay I don't know, but whoa: that is *powerful*
:D *feels ego expand*

[livejournal.com profile] flippyfrog -- LORF RYN!!!! that is all :D
O.o ...It so could be.

[livejournal.com profile] burgotastic -- I don't know why, but I've never really been a fan of 1st Person perspective. Please re-write and resubmit 2/10
Only if you re-submit your comment in third person perspective too.

[livejournal.com profile] crazedturkey -- crazedturkey gratuitously wasting tax payers money. :D
Yes, it all makes sense. "How dare you waste my hard-earned tax dollars that way?" BANG.

[livejournal.com profile] violentstylings -- Hmmmmm... maybe a brooding tale of a person's self doubt and inability to fit in the world, and all the events that push that person right to the edge... right up until the day they eat that off fruit salad, and something clicks.... and then 'bang bang'.
I can see that happening, especially the brooding bit. Too many people have been driven insane by a bit rancid apple and a spot of mould on a piece of banana.

[livejournal.com profile] danceswithelvis -- Truthfully it all reminds me of this song: http://www.azlyrics.com/lyrics/aha/ivebeenlosingyou.html So mayhap, the killer ends up sitting around and talking to the victim a bit more before shuffling off into the sunset.
Those lyrics are an almost uncanny commplement. Wow. And I can definitely see the killer telling their victim the story of their demise, too.

[livejournal.com profile] the_wanlorn -- He told her he preferred Superman to Batman.
The dastard!

[livejournal.com profile] gravityslave -- In relationships, little things get big quickly. They had been highschool sweethearts, she'd known nothing else, but her mother's recipe for fruit salad was better than his and he could never admit it...
Such a common, tragic tale. People think fruit salad's a harmless, healthy dessert but they're so very, very wrong.

[livejournal.com profile] pitkat -- Sworn enemies in a duel of inevitability – a showdown if you will. Now that the duel is over and one is left standing, he/she realizes that it was all in vein to begin with because he/she is left with no purpose. Or, maybe it's me and my thesis. ;)
Oooh, but I like that. Driven to the point of insanity, a writer's thesis takes on human form and she stalks it through the streets - determined to win, determined to bring it to her will...

[livejournal.com profile] alankria -- I'm pretty sure there was an antelope in there somewhere.
I'm pretty sure there is, too. Good call.


Mostly, I just feel like dancing like a loon because I wrote something.  A whole... one hundred and fifty words.  Oooh, that was nicely rounded off. :D

Also, I would like to make a public service announcement to the effect that [livejournal.com profile] crazedturkey committed an egregious abuse of tax-payer money earlier this evening and everyone should be aware of this fact.
katiefoolery: (15_minute_fic - creativity in a hurry)
Hey, look at this shiny, pretteh lovely banner-type thing:

15 Minute Fic - creativity in a hurry

That links directly to the comm I run with [livejournal.com profile] crazedturkey, working tirelessly to provide writers (and sometimes each other) with a prompt word a week.  Oh, how we labour deep into the night, always seeking the perfect word for the upcoming week...

Anyway, moving right along.  Fallen into a writing rut?  Have a spare fifteen minutes?  Then this is the place for you!  We've been running it for over a year now and we have close to three hundred members... but there's plenty of room for more.

And this week, after months of foregoing my writing for beta-ing, I decided to write a ficlet.  I noticed a while back that one of [livejournal.com profile] crazedturkey's words had been incredibly popular, so I made a note to go back and use it for ficletting purposes when I had a chance.  That chance came last night and this ficlet followed shortly after.  Please read and enjoy.

Oh, and feel free to try and guess the prompt word, as always.  (I think it's pretty obvious in this one.)




Title: Untitled
Fandom: Original
Rating: PG (language)
Word count: 397 words
Prompt word: spell

Written for prompt word #37 at [livejournal.com profile] 15_minute_fic.


It wasn’t a spell, it was more of an…

“Irritation.”

No, that word was pointless.  Useless.  As empty and faded as it sounded in the dark air around her.  So she reconsidered.

“A fucking irritation.”

Yeah.  That sounded much better.  Swearing always made things seem more real and less like that cultured, sugar-sweet world in which she’d grown up.  The same one she’d run away from just a month ago.  Just a month, and she was already swearing in the darkness and loving the sound of it.

Give up.

The walls whispered the words to her.  The ground.  The dank roof above her.

Hell, even the air taunted her to give in.

Come to me.

“No,” she whispered back.

You’ll die.

But she knew it already.  That sort of thing was inevitable.  In her old life, people died in giant beds, resting on the softest of mattresses and shrouded by the finest of eiderdowns.  Surrounded by their loving families.  Sometimes they died tragically in the arms of a lover, usually in some kind of faultless sacrifice that lived through the ages.

As though that somehow made up for it.

She knew she was going to die; it just wasn’t going to be here and now.  Any second now, she’d work out how to move again.  She’d remember how to breathe.  How to see.  How to live.  She’d dismiss that feeling of cold creeping over her as though it were nothing.

Give up.

The mantra again.

Come to me.

How many times had she heard it now?

You’ll die.

Give up and live – that was the deal and she knew it.  She wanted to.  Every fibre of her being screamed out to give in.  Surrender.

Live.

Her lungs were burning, and yet the rasping heat only made her feel more alive.  She couldn’t breathe and she was blind in this darkness, yet she was living more and seeing more than she’d ever seen in her entire sheltered life.  If this was death then it bore more meaning than life itself.

The mantra came again – words that had long since lost meaning to her.  Nothing meant more than the burning in her chest and the tingling chill in her fingertips.  So alive.  No orderly dance or choreographed banquet had ever held as much appeal as this moment of hopelessness.

Give up.

No…

Come to me.

Make me…

You’ll die.

katiefoolery: (Girl writing in cap)
I really am.  But I’m also writing this entry.  Huzzah for multi-tasking!

Or prevaricating.

:D

Today, I wish to discuss writing, with reference to a particular story.  Last year, I started a serial called Holly Hughes.  If you follow that link, you’ll find it’s that most rare of serials: the serial with only one instalment.  Some might even say that renders it ineligible for the classification "serial"... and they’d be right.  I had great plans to update the story regularly and they all fell through, no doubt having a great time with all of those other, lost good intentions of mine who are living it up somewhere with plenty of company.

Over a year went by without any noticable updates at all until I received a review for the story last week.  This was beneficial in many ways, firstly because it reminded me the story actually existed.  Secondly because it reminded me that I quite liked the story and it could be fun to continue with it.  The only down side is that I appear to have forgotten a great deal of the plans I had for it.  Oh, I have notes.  Indeed I do.  I have a lovely list of characters, with some suggested scenes for the story in which they appear.  These notes comprise a grand two pages... if I change my page layout from A4 to letter.  I was positive I had more than that, but alas, it’s not the case.  (Or maybe I did and they ran off to party with all of my lost good intentions...)

So instead of the sheafs of helpful notes and future scenes I anticipated uncovering, I have a bare handful of notes written in an imaginative sort of creative short-hand that I foolishly expected myself to understand over a year later.

My favourite of these cryptic and terribly unhelpful notes would have to be this one:
An unholy army marches by, under Holly’s gaze.  (Themesong: Warriors from Lord of the Dance.)

Because, yes, I can definitely see an unholy army marching by to that song... but why the hell is there an unholy army in the story in the first place?  And why would Holly be watching said unholy army, marching by complete with unlikely musical accompaniment?

It was at this point that I began to suspect I'd be making up a lot of this story all over again.

I want to, though - I really want to.  Most of 2007 was spent in editing or in scrawling nonsense stories in a notebook; it'd be lovely to just sit down and write again.  I didn't mind that at all - I love editing and the nonsense stories were fun to write.  Yet it feels as though I've been away from any serious writing for a long time.  And Holly Hughes would be a great way to get back into that.  The main character has a lot of promise and there's a balance of humour and seriousness in the narrative that I quite enjoy.  The fact that the vast majority of my notes consists of a list of characters is encouraging, too.  Usually, my stories are very plot-driven; a story driven by characters would make a lovely change.  And they're such fascinating characters, too!  I can't wait to have a chance to write them.

I probably won't have much of a chance until after the fourth of January, though, because I'll be too busy having the time of my life with my fellow LorFers as of tomorrow morning!  If I were to say I were looking forward to this with a moderate amount of interest, then I'd be lying through my teeth.  I CANNOT WAIT!

*counts down the hours*

Before I go, I'd like to wish everyone a fantastic new year.  I hope 2008 is good to us all.
katiefoolery: (15_minute_fic - creativity in a hurry)
Wow, I haven't done one of these for ages.  Or even written anything at all.  I'm relieved that I still know how to do this whole writing thing.  At least, I think I do.

Read and enjoy!

Oh, and feel free to try and guess the prompt word, as always.




Title: “One Second”
Fandom: Original
Rating: PG (language)
Word count: 438 words
Prompt word: pawn

Written for prompt word #22 at [livejournal.com profile] 15_minute_fic.


Shit, it’s happened again, hasn’t it?  And he’s just looking at me as though there’s nothing wrong here at all.  Nothing strange.  Nothing out of the ordinary.

Which is true enough, but I still don’t like it.

I want to say no.  I should say no, shouldn’t I?

Problem is, I’ve always said yes in the past.  Always agreed.  Always followed along quietly.  Always been good.

So when did I decide I didn’t want to be good any more?

“Um... I’m waiting,” he says.  He’s looking at the clock now.  No, glaring.  As though the clock’s somehow responsible for my lack of response.

The clock’s pretty impassive about this, of course.  And it’s been stuck at quarter to seven for the past week or so, despite repeated requests for someone to clamber up on a chair and change the battery.  It puts in a token effort now and then – a sort of tired sounding tick that gets it nowhere.

“The clock’s stopped,” he says.

I suppose...  I suppose you could say that’s the last straw.  Or maybe the second last.  I feel as though I still have some remnants of endurance left to my name.

“It stopped a week ago,” I say, although it feels as though my words are swallowed up by the plump couch and the ludicrously floral wallpaper of our front room.

He turns the glare onto me now.  “Why didn’t you do anything about it?”

Silly me.  I thought asking him to replace the battery was ‘doing something about it’.

“I asked you to fix it.”  My voice is still sounding muffled, as though I’m in one of those dreams where I need to scream but can barely even manage a whisper.  I’m trapped in the front room of an ordinary house with a miserably broken clock and a completely oblivious man.  I do need to scream.  “I asked you dozens of times.”

“I don’t remember.”

You never do.

“You ignored me.”  Why is my voice even quieter now?

“It’s not important, anyway,” he says, dismissing me and the clock as one.  “You still haven’t answered my question.”

I haven’t, have I?  And he’s standing there, as though it’s a mere formality.  I’m going to say yes.  I’m going to go along with it.  I’m going to be good.

The clock gives one of its pathetic intermittent ticks, doing its best to move the fragile second hand along just one second…

“No,” I whisper.  No I won’t.  No, I’m not going to be good any more.

What did you say?”

“I said no,” I tell him.

And the clock ticks over one final second.


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