Wednesday, November 24, 2010

The Terry Pratchett Contest

The mighty Sir, Terry Pratchett is hosting a contest, the winner of which will have a book out and about.

Sir Terry Pratchett had this to say:

Anywhere but here, anywhen but now. Which means we are after stories set on Earth, although it may be an Earth that might have been, or might yet be, one that has gone down a different leg of the famous trousers of time (see the illustration in almost every book about quantum theory).

We will be looking for books set at any time, perhaps today, perhaps in the Rome of today but in a world where 2000 years ago the crowd shouted for Jesus Christ to be spared, or where in 1962, John F Kennedy's game of chicken with the Russians went horribly wrong. It might be one day in the life of an ordinary person. It could be a love story, an old story, a war story, a story set in a world where Leonardo da Vinci turned out to be a lot better at Aeronautics. But it won't be a story about being in an alternate Earth because the people in an alternate Earth don't know that they are; after all, you don't.

But this might just be the start. The wonderful Peter Dickinson once wrote a book that could convince you that flying dragons might have existed on Earth. Perhaps in the seething mass of alternate worlds humanity didn't survive, or never evolved -- but other things did, and they would have seen the world in a different way. The possibilities are literally endless, but remember, it's all on Earth. Maybe the continents will be different and the climate unfamiliar, but the physics will be the same as ours. What goes up must come down, ants are ant-sized because if they were any bigger their legs wouldn't carry them. In short, the story must be theoretically possible on some version of the past, present or future of a planet Earth.

Details [HERE]

Monday, November 22, 2010

Something for the Creative Mind

I did say that I was away for the time being and that is essentially so. I have been, however, doing my best to gather materials and you know talk about writing [basically the whole purpose of my wee little blog]. In the mean time, feed your creative energy with some Vintage Japanese Political Posters. Via Pink Tentacle.

Sunday, November 21, 2010

[#NaNoWriMo] My Eyes, My Eyes

Self-Portrait, made this morning, before shaving and coffee. You can tell my eyes are bit not all that great

I’m in a bit of a crunch at the moment. Turns out I need to write several reviews in the very near future [this happens because I manage my schedule so well] and the materials I have to read are not yet read. I also discovered that my lack of productivity as of late is not because of sleep deprivation. No, turns out my eyes are yet again weary of being in front of the screen all the time. That couple with the fact that I need to type my reviews and that my review copies for five or six reviews are PDF files don’t make this any easier. High on the grocery list at the moment is securing eye drops.

Anyway, my calculations indicate that I’ll be able to accomplish my goal of reaching 50,000 words without a mad dash to the finish [like last year, where I had to write around 30,000 words in less than two weeks]. “V is for Voltage” is progressing nicely. I have two villains, who somehow have to be even more villainous than my characters [who plan to establish a super powered evil organization] and it’s fun to write dastardly characters. The world has not yet fully formed on technological level, so I may be taking some liberties with what my guys can do at the moment, but so far sex seems to be maintaining the economy and it makes sense, I swear that it does. The way I have planned for things to go, I need to write between 2K and 3K daily to make it, but it’s totally manageable.

TOTAL: 28, 456 words [which is totally weak]

Friday, November 19, 2010

It will continue to be quiet until this NaNo thing is over

I'm writing this to completion despite feeling like I should abandon ship [though technically I'm past that point]. I thought I could blog through the process, but there is always next year to try and stick to it. In the mean time, I will prep some stuff for next month.

Monday, November 15, 2010

It Gets Better [tongue-in-cheek: Save the GLBT peeps]

This is far from writing related, but then again nothing really is writing related, we relate to writing since writing is all about connecting things. So I hope you connect this idea, somehow. The 'It Gets Better' campaign is a Youtube based meme/collection of videos, all of which aimed at teens with an alternative sexuality [gay, lesbian, bisexual and transsexual] who think of suicide. Being bullied to the point where a person can think that life is not worth it is perhaps the lowest humanity can fall down to and it's only fair that the younger generation receives a message of reassurance that it does get better by people, who have been there.

I'm personally in this position, not entirely outside the closet, but not entirely in. I live in a social environment that is not very open towards different people and I could have used this, while I was growing up and coming to terms that I am homosexual:

I know, the videos, don't promise WHEN things will become better. AND you should know that 'it gets better' does not mean a sparkly happily ever after [I'm still waiting for mine], but it's a slow transition. It's there. It's happening. Just you wait and see.

Sunday, November 14, 2010

[NaNoWriMo] Day 14: Barely Holding the Front

REVISION: Crimson Cacophony
GENRE: Urban Fantasy
STATS: Chapter 4 [1,509 words]
TOTAL: 6,519
PROGRESS: Slow as hell. I had to drop everything and focus on my university life for a moment, because I had a test, an essay and a presentation to complete. The edits were the first of the long list of casualties this week. The chapter today was incredibly easy to edit. It's still one of the highly polished ones and thankfully, one that did not demand a better presentation of worldbuilding elements. I did tweak one or two sentences that better represent Samantha as the truly wicked person that she is [in all senses].

NANO: V is for Voltage
GENRE: Science Fiction / Super Hero
STATS: Finished scene 12 [1, 718 words]
TOTAL: 17,061
PROGRESS: I know my characters. I know why they are monsters... but somehow the whole SF futuristic vibe has left me struggling as to how to portray them. I seem to flourish more, where the dark, old fantasy settings are. Heh. I guess I will struggle with that. Basically I get to the point, where all four narratives are online, but I'm not satisfied with how monstrous my characters are. I've decided to sit down re-plot and start expanding on the beginning. I need some battles. After all this is a super hero [villain] novel with monstrous characters and monsters do monstrous deeds. So far I have been doing a lot of exposition.

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Wild Plants of Japan [time-lapse videos via Pink Tentacle]

While I'm in the NaNo fever and actually fighting off evil University projects, I'll be treating you to some geekishness. Starting with my love-hate relationship with Japan. After I vowed to never watch live action horror movies from that country, Japan decided to make it up for me with these breathtaking videos of wild plants blossoming and growing. I found this via the Pink Tentacle where there are more videos:

Sunday, November 7, 2010

[NaNoWriMo] Day 7: Week Gone-By

REVISION: Crimson Cacophony
GENRE: Urban Fantasy
STATS: Chapter 3 [824words]
TOTAL: 5,010
PROGRESS: I have neglected work on the revisions, because time ran short and I had to slot in the new words. I had a hard time with chapter two. From the present I jump back with three days and my immediate critique partner says that it's puzzling to a point. I'm brainstorming ways to show that change and make it understandable. Now, had this been a TV series, perhaps LOST, the viewers would have get that, but in writing it has to be better cemented. I do use the header where I point at the change of date and setting, but it's not enough. Thankfully, I managed to get the worldbuilding elements fitted in without creating confusion. Chapter three has been bliss to edit. I may need to revise how a Goth would express herself, but so far I can't complain.

NANO: V is for Voltage
GENRE: Science Fiction / Super Hero
STATS: Finished scene 5 + scene 6 [2,674 words]
TOTAL: 10,437
PROGRESS: The ride has been bumpy. I missed two days, because my brain went haywire with a lot of real world things vying for attention. I missed two days, which results into 2K loss. Because I also have no clear idea how to move the novel and establish the characters with individual voices, I have been slacking in writing, because it takes a lot longer to get it done. So far, I have an idea to focus their attention on the thing that the parents seriously messed up in their kids and use that. But that is going slow and still have no general outline, which took 2K more from my goal. Anyway. I'm not entirely lost. It's still early on. Worldbuilding is going fine. The society of the future is my problem. I just know that religion is the biggest no-no and that there are no last names or any gender/age/racial discrimination. The goal is efficiency. BUT how the heck is a modern man/woman to dress, talk and walk... Eh, that is giving me issues.

Monday, November 1, 2010

[NaNoWriMo] Day 1: Setting the Pace

It's been day one of the madness I have planned for the month [writing and editing]. Although I spent the most of the day doing research and writing my paper in Comparable Economic Systems [my topic: The effects of non-economic factors on the US economy], I started on the edits and the actual words. Here is the run-down.

REVISION: Crimson Cacophony
GENRE: Urban Fantasy
STATS: Chapter 1 [1,489 words]
PROGRESS: I have worked on the first nine chapter meticulously, because I wanted a perfect beginning at the time, so the work here was relatively light. I had to fix some small grammar mishaps, change the setting [because interrogation rooms have changed from the 80s]. I'm not sure if I like the dialog, but my protagonist has established her voice [my beta loves her already], so it's good for now.

NANO: V is for Voltage
GENRE: Science Fiction/Super Hero
STATS: Chapter 1 [2,035] < I planned for 3K, but that can be easily caught up with
PROGRESS: I introduce one of the protagonists, Adrian, who will be know as Voltage or Mr. V. He will be the center of this book, so his messed up childhood is important. I'm excited to write him, because he's a married homosexual, drug smuggler, emotional and not beautiful or at least bland, he's physically on the freakish side [a departure for me, since I idelyze the human physique]. I enjoyed writing the death bed scene of his mother and the fight with his father, which results in using super powers for a brief moment. What bothers me is that I started writing in 1st person POV, when this is a multiple character novel. I need to convert...

How did you start NaNo? DO tell.