Tuesday, March 23, 2010

The New Project

That’s right. I got stuck on C&C, although when I’m not floating around in dirigibles and making up stories about gigantic serpents, I’ve come up with an idea or two to get me around the part where I’m stuck.
But what I really, really want to talk about is the newest WIP. Eight thousand words. In three days (oh, you knew I had it me, I mean I did win at Nano). Guess what? It’s the steampunk. Yes, the steampunk I’ve been blabbering about for a couple of months.
It has a delightfully fiesty heroine named Romy, Abel an American cowboy and of course, a giant, mythical serpent called Wagyl. She was called this by the aborigines (you guessed it, Australia) in Western Australia. Romy and Abel are in a race against time–though I won’t tell you why–to find the Soul of the Rainbow Serpent. I won’t tell you what it does either. I only want to get 20 out of it because I think I can wrap it up nicely in that amount. I had a really hard time getting it started, but once I did it’s been nothing but fun, fun, fun.
Right now Romy and Abel are soaring over the Australian desert in a dirigible called Ursula Ann piloted by a Dutch captain named Alwin van Buren. Know why I picked that name? Do you? Well, do you? Because the Dutch were the first Eureopeans to discover Australia. Brilliant, eh? I’m just having a lot of fun with this. That was my plan from the beginning. If only all stories could come this easy (hint, hint C&C).
I’m trying to distract myself because here it is end of March. I’ve waited impatiently for the end of winter (and what lovely weather we had today, considering it sleeted and snowed on Friday), but with it looms that terrible fear that I might lose my job. I realized today that one of the big companies we’ve always done a lot of work for hasn’t sent us any work in a long time. When I opened their file, there was only one piece of work in it. The date was from mid-January. (Insert appropriate awestruck swear word here.) Not good. Not good at all. My plans to become wealthy haven’t born any fruit yet. I expect you have to actually do something in order to get wealthy, it doesn’t just fall into your lap. Wouldn’t hurt to have some rich relatives–which I don’t. Mostly I think there should be some sort of opening for a good slacker. I’d be willing to work about 20 hours a week as long as I got paid for 40. If wishes were horses… we’d all be eating steak. You know, if we were into that. Personally I’d rather ride the horse than eat it. Mmm, beef.

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

The Stern Pep Talk (snort)

At last, better weather. They say it hit 70 F yesterday. It felt colder than that, there must have been a north wind blowing. Today I ventured out of the house in a brand-spanking-new pair of powder blue flip flops. They clashed marvelously with shockingly green toe nails to celebrate spring and St. Patrick's. And the four-leaf clover tattoo bared to the world. It was only when I arrived at work that I noticed the harsh fluorescent lamps revealing the pasty glare of my sun deprived legs. Ah, well I don't care. This morning the sun is shining, some bits of grass are green, and all is right in the world. It's supposed to rain this afternoon. I'll worry about it then.

Sunday is the ever popular American tradition of Spring Forward. I wish they'd leave it alone. All this switching the clocks stuff confuses me. Millions of people are going to complain about losing an hour of sleep. Here's how I deal with it--sleep in on Sunday to make up for losing that hour on Monday. Or, go to bed an hour earlier, you twit!

Saturday something frightening and exciting happened. I've surgically removed the end of C&C (I swear, it was like gnawing my own arm off--that painful). Now we're starting a whole new ending at chapter 15. {Insert groan of frustration here} I think I've got it started, but I'm kind of iffy. And I'm kind of down on myself because I'm considering only going to 60,000 words this time around. The more I cut the more I wonder how any book ever reaches a certain goal. Mind, I'm still cutting in the previous chapters as well. Is it ever really going to be at a solid number? I doubt it. I'm falling into that trap again where I don't want to edit. I want to write which would be all good and well, except I don't want to write the end of C&C, I want to write something new and fresh. The end of C&C would be new and fresh, but I'm a tad bored of the characters. Yipe. I know what needs to happen, I just can't get it all straight in my head and looking good on paper. My greatest downfall is trying to edit while writing. It's not that much fun. I'm going to imagine I'm looking in a mirror (in this scenario, my hair looks a lot better and I'm twenty pounds lighter. I like this already) I'm saying to myself with sternness in my voice "Get your head on straight, kid. You've got until the end of June to finish C&C again." There that should do it, right?

Critique went well on Saturday. It would have been pretty bad if not for the wonderful ladies who crit before I take it to my monthly critique. At least I'm consistent in the mistakes I make ;)

Friday, March 5, 2010

Quoting Shakespeare

“To thine own self be true.”
Oh, I have a few quotes I prefer a little more than that one, but then I’d be writing a whole different blog.
Hi. You may not know me very well. Even if you read every blog I’ve posted. Mostly you can pick out I tend to be angsty, frustrated, cranky and sometimes just plain mean. Sometimes I’m funny and light-hearted. Other times I’m depressed and possibly boring. I frequently spell words wrong and for some reason the blasted spell checker doesn’t correct it. I’m forever procrastinating. You probably know I’m married, I can’t resist strawberry cheesecake, and I love the Old West. You might even know I’m from southwest Missouri where I’ve lived my whole life except five years. Bonus points if you can tell me where those five years were.
Oh, and I love movies. I make a movie or TV reference in nearly every blog. I’m fixing to do it again. This last week husband and I have been watching Lonesome Dove: The Series. For the record, the only two movies based Larry McMurty’s novels I can stand are Comanche Moon and Dead Man’s Walk. Something about Woodrow Call rubs me the wrong way. Give me a Sackett any day. But we’ve been watching season 1, which is based on Call’s son and we’re both highly amused by Clay Mosby’s southern drawl. Husband does an excellent immitation. He was raised farther south than I and he has a natural twang that probably leaves people with the impression that he’s very undereducated.
Sometimes I use big words. Words that I guess might be a little advanced for a simple conversation and I occassionally end up playing dictionary when he goes “huh?”. Sometimes I’ll say a word and he’ll make fun of me. Or he’ll say something and I make fun of him. For example: he says, “That’s weird.” Only it comes out like “Thet’s wurd.” So I mimick him and then he pretends to get offended by the mimicking. He denies that he said weird wrong. Just to annoy him, one of my favorite words to say is “matel”. As in, the car is made of out sheet matel. In many regions of the US, people would look at me like I’d lost my mind. But my dad called it matel and so do I. Other favorites include: arn (iron), far (fire), sack (bag), warmed (as in de-wormed the dog), thank (think), fangers (fingers), won (one) and aigs (eggs). How about Shivvy (Chevy as in Chevrolet. Just for fun: “Id’n that a Shivvy?” “Isn’t that a Chevy?”)?
Growing up, people often commented on my heavy accent. I usually drop the ‘g’ off of words that end with ‘ing’. And mangle something so it ends up as ‘sumpthin’. When I say “li’bary”, that also seems to annoy husband. He always tells me to look at the way it’s spelled and say it right. Same thing with Feb-awary. We watched a home video not too long ago made when I was about seven or eight. My folks used to cam cord (camera record) everything after they bought that thing. I was supposed to be in my room studying words for a vocabulary test. Instead I was leaning out the door of my room watching mom film. She said something about shouldn’t I be learning the words. Very smartly, I smiled at the camera and said, “Ah know whut wellnuss iz.” For real.
But as I grew up, I started noticing the way other people talked. And it wasn’t the same way my parents did or I did. It was a little thing (my husband would call Yankee-fied) called Standard American English. Other kids made fun of me for my drawl, so I stopped doing it as much. Watching that video made me laugh, because I didn’t remember sounding like that. It was bona fide hill billy.
If you ever get the chance, read Shepherd of the Hills. Until I was in high school I was convinced shepherd was spelled shepard because of the way I pronounce it. Anyway, many of the characters in that book talk with the southern or hill folk accents. And Mr. Wright was more than happy to spell the words the way the folks spoke. I don’t think I could ever write the way I talk. I feel guilty when I write an ‘ing’ word with the ‘g’ off of it. Hill billy’s pract’cly a ferrin (foreign) language. :)
Once I was watching Hamlet on HBO or something. My dad came into the livingroom to put wood in the stove. The actors of TV were going on and on about something. He looked at the TV, he looked at me and he said, “How do you know what they’re saying?” I shrugged. “I don’t know. I read it and mostly I just watch what they’re doing. They’re talking about…” And then I explained whatever it was. He just frowned. “I don’t know why they can’t speak plain English.” Well, back then it probably was plain to them. And considering the setting is Denmark, it could’ve been in Danish.