Research

So, my husband and I watched Victor Frankenstein today. The one with Daniel Radcliffe as Igor. It was brilliant. And it gave me some brilliant thoughts about The Hero Project. Recently, I was talking to my wonderful husband about my villains, and how it’s really hard for me to write a truly evil character. And I realized that my second major villain is SUPER evil. She does something that bothers me more than just about any other criminal act. She experiments on, and kills, children. Why does this bother me so much? It’s a long story, so short version; I watched an episode of Criminal Minds that involved the sexual abuse of a young boy, and it scarred me deeply. I don’t watch Criminal Minds anymore, and child abuse is, for me, more evil than cannibalism. It was a rather disturbing realization, and an unpleasant tangent in our conversation.
And then my husband asked me about my other major villains. If this one is such a good hacker, why doesn’t he know this? If she knows so much, why is she still alive? How does he do that? How does this work? Why don’t they just do that? It got me really thinking about the villains in my stories. What are they doing that makes them evil? Why do the heroes care? And that has got me on a research kick. I’ve got three brilliant hackers in The Hero Project, but I’m not exactly good with computers. I know what programs will get rid of viruses and malware, I know where to find a lot of important things in the Control Panel, but I can’t do any kind of coding, and I am certainly no hacker. I don’t know a whole lot about anatomy, either, which is kind of important in the first book. I don’t know how cybernetics work, in reality or in theory. I know all sorts of fantasy stuff, and I know a fair amount about ancient Egypt and Japanese culture, but I don’t know what my villains and heroes make their living with. Which means that I need to start doing research about all sorts of mad science! Yay?
I love watching Sci Show on Youtube, so at least some of the research will be super fun. :) But I’m not excited about researching anatomy. I am easily squicked out. But sacrifices must be made for a believable story.

Anyway, I’m back from the Ghostbusters premier, and back to mostly-normal life. (The prerelease for the new Magic: The Gathering set was last weekend.) The premier was so much fun, and I got autographs from Dan Aykroyd and Annie Potts, and we got to see the new movie almost a full week before the general public! (I think that includes movie critics, actually.) So, I am thinking about writing a review of the movie here on my blog. I really want to watch it again before I do, though. So, yeah. Also, I still need to finish that theory about Suckerpunch.
And I’m finishing a commissioned doll of Sans from Undertale. And I’m editing Just Your Average Fairytale. Like, final edits before I submit the manuscript. And that reminds me, I need to research publishers. There are a few that I know do YA fantasy, but I don’t know enough about them. Besides having read lots of their books. (YA is still my favorite genre, even at 26 almost 27.) So yay, more research!

And, for those super-nerds out there; yes, I am playing Pokemon Go. My work building is a pokestop. So I’ve been getting more exercise. Yay!

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Survive!

I somehow managed to survive this year’s NaNoWriMo, even though I developed RSI in my right arm about halfway through. I even went so far as to pass the 50k finish line(by more than 500 words), and I wrote the last three days of it by hand. Amazingly enough, I didn’t finish the story in November, like I have all of the others. I finished it two or three days later. But the (very) rough draft is now finished! Hooray! Now I can ignore that story for a while and focus more on my homework. I’ve still got stories in me, but I am in much need of a break. I have noticed that I’ve been overly logical lately, which normally happens only when I’m really tired or I’ve been having intellectual discussions with friends(which seems to be happening less frequently with finals looming). So I am going to be not writing fiction so much for a bit. I am seriously wanting to revise an old story that a friend and I started when we were in high school, though. We came up with a lot of brilliant ideas back then, and I still have most of our old notes. There were, of course, things that we didn’t write down, but oh well. What I don’t remember, I can improvise. Anyway, I’ve been using pieces of that story for assignments in my Novel Writing class. Some will call it cheating, but I did revise everything before I sent it off to my writing group, so it’s all in my voice now, rather than the scripted RPG format we wrote it in.

Anyway, it’s been getting really cold lately, which means that it’s cuddle weather. A friend of mine a couple of years ago told me that cuddling is a survival instinct, since sharing heat keeps people warmer. Ever since then, it’s been sort of a running joke to run up to someone, hug them, and yell “survive!” When it gets cold, I always think of Laurie because of that. And when I think of Laurie and surviving, I think of Hot Passionate Kisses(which is the American version of the Tim-Tam Slam). And now I want hot chocolate. XD

I’m a bit scatterbrained lately, as finals are approaching. I actually have my first one in about fifteen minutes, and still not quite sure what I’m supposed to be studying for it. That’s what I get for taking a class on Novel Writing. We’ll be given topics to write essays on, and they don’t even have to be terribly good essays, as long as we get the point across in a clear essay-looking manner. I’m just hoping that I can remember enough to make an essay-looking statement for each question. After that, I get to go home and finish my Stats homework, take a test online, and do homework for my evil computer class.

I seem to have pretty terrible luck with technology lately. Back in October, me and a friend were working on costumes for Anime Banzai, and soda got spilled on my laptop. Hisagomaru survived, but a few days before November ended, several of my keys started getting tetchy on me. Specifically the H G ‘ and backspace keys. Which is why I finished my NaNo novel by hand this year. And then last week, those keys stopped working entirely. So we called up Scott from Webhead, who fixed my computer when my screen wasn’t working, and he fixed the keyboard. He had to replace a few parts, but it still cost less than a hundred. He even fixed the loose hinge! If you ever have a problem with your computer, and live in the Salt Lake Valley, you should seriously look this guy up. He’s affordable and he knows what he’s doing. (When my screen wasn’t working, he found that it was just an unplugged connector, and charged us less than we’d paid GeekSquad to look at it. GS told us that we needed to replace the LED in the screen.) Anyway, I got Hisagomaru back a few days ago, and he was in excellent condition. Then last night, right before I got offline to go to bed, I got attacked by a virus. It caused my computer to do a crash dump, so I went into safe mode, and got rid of the virus that popped up. Then I couldn’t open anything. No programs. No internet. No virus scanning software. So I woke up my dad, and he looked at it. He restored to the point when we got Hisagomaru back, then installed McAffee. I knew that my Avast, Spybot, and Malware Bytes had all expired. I did NOT know that Windows 7 had come with an antivirus. I don’t think that the antivirus ever actually did anything, since I never saw it update and it didn’t prevent any virus attacks. But Hisagomaru is once again fixed and is working beautifully.

And now off to my final. Wish me luck!

Ideas! And Slacking.

So the second chapter of Ash and Oak has gone through editing, and I started on the third chapter. We have new writing groups in class, and my new group is pretty fun. They give great feedback, and have interesting stories.
Anyway, the third chapter was difficult. After getting feedback from my group, I know what I missed when I wrote that chapter, and will probably be fixing it tomorrow. I need to have it revised sometime this weekend for class.

Instead of writing, I spent today watching Ghostbusters fanfilms. The Ghostbusters of New Hampshire: Spilled Milk is very entertaining. Ghostbustin’ 911 isn’t my thing. It’s great if you like cop shows, though. Return of the Ghostbusters, while it looks amazing, is not my favorite. I’ve been told I need to see Freddy vs. Ghostbusters, as well.
I’m really looking forward to the second episode of Ghostbusters SLC. They’re putting up pictures every Saturday night at midnight (MST), and it’s looking really great. Hopefully, it’ll be out by Halloween, but they have yet to announce the release date.

Not much, as far as costume news goes. I’ve finished the Tarvek costume for Anime Banzai, and will soon have materials to start on Maxim and Chichiri. The convention is getting close, so I hope everything comes together soon.

Okay, the ideas that the title mentions. The first is my idea for NaNoWriMo this year. I decided that I want to work with my character Elliot, since he doesn’t have a story yet. Then I learned that this is NaNo’s 13th year, so I thought of my old story idea “Lucky 13.” I’m thinking of using that idea with Elliot, and see what happens. =D

The other idea is caused by watching too many GB fanfilms and dating an actor. I want to do a short film. Thinking something about Egypt, but not sure. I wouldn’t be able to go there, so maybe just a school-type thing. It’s something I’m toying with. I’d need a camera, though.

Writing Again!

I started this story back in high school, which I’m currently calling “Ash and Oak.” I got as far as introducing all of the characters, then realized that I didn’t know where to go from there. So I left it alone for a while, then came back to it and cut a few of the characters. Then I left it alone again, because I still didn’t have the middle of the story figured out.
I’m taking a novel writing class this semester, because it sounded like fun and I’d be motivated to write more. The first assignment was to write five pages and send them to our writing groups. So I took the first five pages of Ash and Oak. The second assignment was to revise those pages using what we wanted from the critiques our group gave to us.
I realized that because I was taking a chapter for each character introduction, I needed to cut out more characters. So I looked at the characters and figured out who was essential, and cut everyone who wasn’t. It was much harder than the first time I cut characters from this story. I’m very attached to a few that I had to cut. I’m thinking of maybe having them show up at some point as minor characters, because they’re too much fun to leave out entirely.
I need to add a bit more to the second chapter, but the first chapter sounds good for now.

At the moment, I’m working on one of my costumes for October, but I may get more writing done tonight. I’ll definitely be getting more done this weekend.

Little Updates

I have decided that my life is half entertaining/exciting, and half dull as dirt. I also am very easily entertained. For example, I spent more than an hour playing some pie-popping flash game the other day.

Anyway, that’s not terribly important. I got more revising done on Writing Your Own Legend. I’ve outlined the new prologue and first chapter, and I think I started the second.

In costuming news, I finally started on the pants for my Tarvek costume. … No, that doesn’t mean that I put the buttonholes on the coat. I’m deliberately putting that off. But I got started on the pants, which is very good, and the Morse will help me get them done much quicker than doing them by hand.

If you’ve heard of Esther Friezner, you probably associate her with the Chicks in Chainmail books. I did, until my dad found Sphinx’s Princess in some little book store in the mall. I’m in love with Ancient Egypt, so a fiction novel about Nefertiti was not something I could pass up. While I am not a fan of first-person viewpoints, I fell in love with the story right away. When I finished the book, I was sad that I didn’t have the sequel, Sphinx’s Queen. That was some time ago. I have the book now, and began reading it the day of or the day after I finished Perchance to Dream. So I’m not very far yet. But I fell back into the story right away, and am loving every word.

First Edit

I actually got some writing done yesterday. Well, sort of. Since I was already at a computer, I pulled out my thumb drive and decided to edit at least some of Writing Your Own Legend. I looked at the original story and the beginning of the revision, and realized that I didn’t know where to go from the opening line of the revision. So instead, I went through the entire rough draft and wrote up an outline of the story. Before I had gotten through the first chapter, I realized what was wrong with the story. Several parts of the skeleton of the story are wrong. So I’m going to fix the story before I can revise the writing itself.
When I had finished the outline, I took a break to get some food. The break stretched into the rest of the night, and I ended up reading instead of doing more editing. I know, I’m a slacker. But reading good books helps me get in the mood for working on my own. And I have a large stack of books on my shelf that need to be read.
Speaking of books that need to be read, if you have not read Eyes Like Stars by Lisa Mantchev, you are missing out. I just finished the sequel, Perchance to Dream, and can’t wait for the third book to come out next month. The story is absolutely beautiful! I recommend it to anyone who loves the theater, or adventure, or just enjoys a good story.

As to my own story, I’m still contemplating whether or not to work on it again today. I may also be working on costumes later, so we’ll see.

Quick Update

I have finally finished summer semester, and have a short break before I dive into my fall classes. I’m on the waitlist for a novel-writing class. It’s a class I’ve wanted to take since my first semester, and I’m hoping to learn something new, or at least get more written.

My relationship’s been going well. I don’t really know what more to say about that part of my life. I feel really lucky.

Costumes are going. Sort of. My Tarvek costume is getting closer to finished. I’m almost done with the coat, and then all I need to do is put the pants together. I’m also hoping to get the fabric for Pyro’s Gil costume sometime soon, so I can get started on that. I am still lacking a foot pedal for my old Bernina, so everything’s been done by hand. Which is why my coat is still missing all of the buttonholes. I would rather sew velcro onto pleather than make buttonholes by hand.

In unpleasant news, my laptop has been giving me BSOD’s the last few days. Today, it got bad enough that I couldn’t even load my computer before it would crash and restart. So my dad, who’s been working with computers for as long as I can remember, is trying to fix it. I’m borrowing his desktop while he works on it. xp

Writing has not been happening, as I’ve been spending my time either doing homework, working on costumes, or being lazy. And I haven’t had a lot of ideas for writing. I’m starting to want to again, since I’m reading more, but I can’t think of what to work on. So I’m considering editing one of my past NaNo projects. (Though that’ll have to wait until my laptop is fixed.) I’m thinking of going back to Writing Your Own Legend and working on that one, since that’s the one I want to get out there first. If I don’t have time before classes start up again, I’ll hopefully have time this semester. Especially with that writing class.
For this year’s NaNoWriMo, I had an idea for what I want to write. Sadly, I have completely forgotten what it was that I wanted to do for my project this year. I know it wasn’t the pirate story that I started this summer. And I don’t think it was Tynan Academy. That story is far too complex for November. It might’ve been the thief story I started in high school. Oh well. I should have it figured out by sometime in October.

I keep forgetting that it’s August. I turn 22 at the end of the month. It feels a little weird, honestly.