Blue Apron vs The Manuscript

*looks in fridge at tons of food from this week’s Blue Apron box plus some from last week’s box*

*looks at MS, waiting patiently on computer screen, begging for words*

*tosses all veggies and poultry in crockpot, freezes other meat, goes back to computer*

MS wins.

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I Write Like…

I Write Like: mostly Stephen King, after analyzing six pieces.

When I analyzed my the manuscript for my first book as a whole, I got Stephen King. Considering how popular he is, who am I to complain? I loved the JFK time travel book. Not really in to horror, although I loved the movie of The Shining. I analyzed books two, three, and five as well (two novellas and a novelette), and they got the same thing. I suppose at least I’m consistent? 🙂

When I analyzed a novella I recently submitted to a magazine, I got Neil Gaiman! That one really made me happy. It probably lied, but it made me happy anyway.

The third thing I analyzed was a short story. I got Arthur C. Clarke for that one. I loved his books when I was a kid, but it’s been a long time since I read them, so I don’t know exactly what to think there.

I have a few more things to analyze, but they aren’t in word files yet. They’re all individual scenes in Scrivener, and I want them in one big file before I analyze them. This has been interesting, though!

Here’s the link, if you’ve never used it:

I Write Like

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How to Write Serial Fiction

Reblogged from Justin McLachlan’s site, which is absolutely fantastic. And this post makes me feel that I’m planning it right. 🙂

The opportunities to tell ongoing stories — serial fiction — have never been better. Here are five tips to help you when finally jump in.

Source: How to Write Serial Fiction

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Poetry

I wrote a lot of poetry when I was younger. A LOT of poetry. I slowed down about fifteen years ago, then ten years ago tried my hand at haiku rather than free verse. Most of my poetry is lost, unfortunately  (or fortunately, depending on your point of view 🙂 ), but I still have the haiku. A few old friends have copies of some of my poetry. I no longer speak to any of them. Not going to speculate on what that says about my poetic skillz.

Lately I’ve been thinking that I should try to find some of it and/or write more, but I haven’t been in any way inspired to do so. Tonight, I did. I’m not sure what did it, but it just popped out of me like an alien out of somebody’s chest on the Nostromo.

Maybe that was a bad comparison. It’s late.

But it made me think that I might try it again sometime. Maybe get back to writing poetry like I did twenty-five, thirty years ago. Only without all that teen angst. 🙂

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Bad Joke of the Day

I have the horrible urge to use this joke in the blurb for my book (or on the back cover, although I guess e-books don’t have back covers):

“An atheist and an Irish Catholic walk into a bar… and fall in love with a Greek goddess.”

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New Year, resolutions, etc.

Wow. I can’t believe I haven’t posted for two months! Between school, work, the holidays, book revisions, and moving, I have been a blog bum. But! It is a new year, and I am determined to post on a regular basis from now on. I love writing prompts and have several books of them, so I thought I would use some for blog inspiration. I wish I could use my school posts, since I have found my classes incredibly interesting, but I’m going to guess that would get me in a lot of trouble. 🙂

For now, I’m going to leave links to posts by four of my favorite authors/bloggers. I have editing notes back on my novel and three of my novellas. I plan to start publishing a novella series in June, and each of these posts has great information for the author who is just starting out – even the one for the mid-career writer. It gave me something to look forward to. 🙂

Kristen Lamb: Brain Games post

Chuck Wendig: Some Thoughts For You Mid Career Writers Out There

Bob Mayer: post on Platform, Product, Promotion

Hugh Howey: So You Want to be a Writer

 

 

 

 

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Sympathy for the Devil

blog post about aforementioned song

The above post is fascinating. I heard “American Pie” a while back and intended to look it up and find out what all the references in the song were to – now I know one of them, and that apparently the Rolling Stones wrote “Sympathy for the Devil” in response. I will probably spend hours on the internet now, following link after link about old rock songs… 🙂

I searched for “Sympathy for the Devil” to begin with because it seemed to fit my antagonist, and I wanted to find another song to fit him as well. I’m still having a hard time finding a second song, but I’m glad I read that post!

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The Terror of Lost Data

I almost lost 15 months worth of writing. Over 300k words. October
2013 to December 2014.

Before I got my new computer, I was having trouble with Scrivener. It
would freeze, sit there not responding, and/or close unexpectedly,
usually while I was in the middle of a scene that was trying to pour
out of my fingertips faster than I could type.

Unsure if it was my dying laptop or the fact that I had so much stuff
in one Scrivener project (which they assured me was unlikely, since
text takes up so little space), I went ahead and tried the cheaper of
my two options – buy a new laptop or split my project in two – and
separated my Story Bible/Daily Writing Journal into a Story Bible and
a separate Daily Writing Journal with folders for this year’s writing
and the last.

It didn’t help. I bought a new computer.

Over a month later – yesterday – for some reason I really looked at the DWJ
and realized that only my 2015 folder was there.

I wrote constantly in school. I had a short story published when I was
in junior high, and another in college. College, however, was not a
good experience for me. I stopped writing fiction and turned to
poetry.* After my husband died, I stopped writing poetry for a long
time, too. The only poetry I’ve written since the 90s has been a few
dozen haiku over the last ten years.

I’ve lost most of my old writing, too, unless I can find hard copies
in storage. I had backup text files on a computer, but then the
computer disappeared.

So you can imagine exactly how much I COMPLETELY FREAKED OUT when I
saw that over 300,000 words I had written when I finally came out of
my twenty-year funk and started writing again had disappeared into the
cloud and gone POOF.

I have Scrivener set to back up to Dropbox. Dropbox updates constantly. Apparently,
one of the many times over the last month when, exhausted from work
but determined to write, I fell asleep with my hand on the mouse, I
deleted that 2013/14 folder – and didn’t notice it for a MONTH. By the time I noticed it yesterday? Dropbox had done as I “asked” and, well… updated it away.

Thankfully, I apparently hoard electronics. I am writing this from my poor old
laptop. It took me five tries to turn it on, but it finally came back to life
(thank you, Hermes), and the DWJ project on here still had the 2013/14
folder. I made sure the WiFi was OFF, and I created a new project just
for that. Then I compiled each month’s folder to a word document, and I
am now emailing them to myself so I have emergency archives in case
this happens again. They aren’t pretty – the individual text files
don’t necessarily go together, they are just random writing – but at
least they EXIST. And they will back up to OneDrive, so I will have
duplicate backup. I’m going to do this with every month from now on.

And maybe try writing some poetry again.
*Actually I learned to love writing poetry in my high school CW class,
but in college I went all freeform, and I’m guessing it was all very
bad…

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7x7x7x7 writing challenge!

Hey all! @saperlmutter of sarahperlmutter.com tagged me in this challenge from PitchWars! I saw something about it earlier today, but I spent the day editing. I know I have more edits to go (never-ending, right?), but I got this pass done, including adding a couple of scenes to help continuity (ie, if the MMC was shot and hit his head on a concrete floor, why did he not have a concussion or any lasting damage? HMMMM. Fixed that). Yay! So, here is the 7x7x7x7 writing challenge!

Here are the rules (given to me by Sarah):

7x7x7x7 Rules:

Step 1: Eat a cookie (if you don’t, the rest of the steps are ruined)

Step 2: Scroll to the 7th page of your work-in-progress (WIP) or the story you entered into the lovely PitchWars

Step 3: Go down to the 7th line

Step 4: Post the next 7 lines

Step 5: Tag 7 writer friends

Here’s my entry!

Title: The First Two Lives of Brandy Grey

Genre: Adult Mythic Fiction

“Well, it better not be adamantine,” Atropos began, “because if you are even thinking of giving her adamantine claws -”
“No, no, no!”
“Steel? Like nerves of steel?”
Clotho sighed and used her free hand to run her fingers through her hair. She pulled out a piece of alpaca wool. She needed a comb.
“You were closest with the silver, but it’s not actual silver. It’s a silver lining, from a cloud.”

Okay, technically it’s eight, but my OCD made me include the end of the sentence on the 8th line. 🙂

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#PitchWars Mentee Bio!

Ten Things I Hate About – er, wait. Wrong list.

Ten things about ME.

1. I travel for work in a way-too-small RV. If I didn’t write so much, I would say that I see the country. Sadly, for the most part I see the inside of my RV. Specifically, the TV I use as a monitor. I have, however, gone to a few state parks in Texas and have a fantastic view at the RV park near Austin where I am currently parked. Also, writing and living in an RV have combined to make me less dependent on ten million different craft supplies.

Ironically…

2. I recently took up weaving and spinning. Athena has always been my favorite goddess, and I have woven for years, but always on very small looms. I now have a loom which is… well… taking up most of the floor space in the RV. But it’s cool.

20150726_161456

And I’ll have more floor space when…

3. I am saving up to build a cabin on land I own in Terlingua, TX. It’s a cabin shell, and except for help with the wiring, plumbing, and building one interior wall, I intend to do all the rest myself. You have no idea how many homesteading and DIY books I have on my kindle.

4. I wrote quite a bit about my character going to Terlingua before I ever went there myself. The photos I’d seen on real estate sites did not adequately convey the elevation changes (read: there’s mountains in them there hills). It’s gorgeous, but I need to do some editing! LOL.

5. My Twitter background and the pics on my website are from my land in Terlingua. Below is a pic of clouds rolling in when I was driving through Alpine on my way to Terlingua. They were pretty much on the ground. At that elevation, I’m pretty sure they were clouds, not fog. 🙂 I love the mountains. I grew up on the plains. They’re beautiful, too – fantastic sunsets – but mountains are just awesome. Terlingua has a great mix of long stretches of desert AND mountains. The wildflowers when I was there in March were amazing.

clouds on highway in Alpine

6. I am going back to school. Yay me! I don’t know for what, though. Boo me! I have the potential to be a career student, but that would put off the cabin for too long, so I need to figure it out. I want to take ALL the history and philosophy classes, and the military studies AD (not an ROTC track) would be very helpful when my character is an Admiral in the future and starts taking things seriously. However, the English degree and editing courses might be more practical… if nothing else, they would help my writing. 🙂 I just know I have to get out of my current career.

7. Just in case I have to take any dreaded MATH classes, I signed up with the Khan Academy. I always had trouble with algebra. Thirty years with no algebra practice when you weren’t good at it to begin with? ARGH. I should have asked for stoichiometry. Algebra was easier with atoms, somehow.

8. I wrote non-stop when I was in school. I started before I was in school, in fact. I stopped in college, ironically after getting a story published, because someone I had a crush on made fun of my writing. If I could go back and slap myself, I would. I continued to write poetry, but I didn’t write fiction again until two years ago, when I took the plot I’d been daydreaming for twenty years out of my head and started writing it down. It only vaguely resembles that now, but hey. It’s out of my head, and has been read by a few people.

9. I want a farm. I’ve always loved sheep, and I have a thing about birds. I want chickens, ducks, peacocks, geese, goats, a couple of beef cattle each year (yes, I really wouldn’t have any problem with that – I would name them T-Bone and Ribeye, then the next year name the next set the same thing). Can’t have all of that in Terlingua – not the ducks or geese, and probably not the peacocks. I wouldn’t do that to sheep, either. But maybe the rest.

10485754b4c

10. Why yes. I do want to survive the Zombie Apocalypse. 😉 Actually, I just want to be off-grid, (except for internet – I may plan for rainwater harvesting, solar panels, and a composting toilet, but they have fiber optic cable nearby. Gotta have priorities), in an area with peace and quiet, and have a gorgeous view of the stars. It has all that.

bluebonnets on Ranch Road

It may be the middle of nowhere, but it’s gorgeous. Bluebonnets last March.

Bonus bullet point!

11. I grew up on Star Trek, Greek mythology, and Dr. Who.* It only seemed natural to me to create a world where the Greek gods were as real as you or me, time travel had been invented, and the future was a lot like Gene Roddenberry saw it. I have also always gravitated towards books with a theme of fate vs free will – Slaughterhouse 5 is one of my favorite books. I guess it was only natural (fate?) that my brain do a remix dance inside my head and mash-up all of those things into The First Two Lives, with a hefty dose of pop culture.

And that’s it for me! Thanks for stopping by! 🙂

Posted on:

http://christopherkeelty.com/pitchwars-2015-pimpmybio-contestant-blog-hop/

Many thanks for hosting the hop! 🙂

*and Star Wars, but… although it does contribute to the pop culture aspect in the book, it doesn’t really contribute to the theme as much as the others, except in the “myth for our time” way that it mirrors mythology in general.**

**Ignoring the prequels, which one should always do.***

***GOD I don’t know whether to look forward to the new movies or dread them. I think I am currently 75% dreading them, since I have only seen one trailer so far, and that was the first. I don’t even remember when the first one comes out. I’ll probably miss it like I did Walter Mitty. And Age of Ultron.****

****NO, auto correct, I did not mean Aldrin. I really meant Ultron. Sigh.

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