Monday, December 31, 2007

Happy New Year!

Best wishes for you and yours.

Trying to decide now if I should log into EQ or bring in the new year writing. :-)

Sunday, December 30, 2007

New Words!

I started with 20,482 and now I have 21,913.

I'm not certain they are the *right* words, but they are *new* words.


Friday, December 28, 2007

Why my husband and I don't date

We always end up in the same place.


NOT a cheap date.

But this time I was good. I put most books back on the shelf and only ended up buying two hardcovers. They are both book two that I already have book one of in hardcover. (It's just *nice* you know, when books that go together in a group are all the same size.) It's hard, but I'm waiting on paperbacks from several of my favorite authors including Lois Bujold and Wen Spencer.

I got _A Betrayal in Winter_ by Daniel Abraham, and _Sister Time_ by John Ringo and Julie Cochrane.

Books one are _A Shadow in Summer_ and _Cally's War_.

Thursday, December 27, 2007

Not new words...

... different words.

Well, I suppose that's progress after a fashion but editing doesn't really get me any closer to done.

I need new words.

Speaking of new words, I typed that and went to pick up my notebook with the new words in it and couldn't find it. 20 minutes later, I have the notebook and my heart has started beating again. Egad.

Wednesday, December 26, 2007

Looking for advice and suggestions

I was talking to my husband today about setting up a web-page. We've had a domain forever (though it's only got his stuff on it, atm) and I could put up some of what I've written there. Even the shortest story I've got is 4K words and a scene is usually about 2K (thinks... 10 pages is 2500...) or at least not less that 1K words. I don't think that posting to this blog would work.

What do I want to get out of it?

I really would like feedback. I'm a bit worried that I'd get a lot that wasn't worth much (either saying it's stupid or loving it) but I think I've done this enough that I feel confident I could deal with sorting comments. So I'd need a commenting system of some sort. So... free for all commenting or invitation only? Or send comments back to the blog?

And how annoyed would people be to get a part of something and not the whole, or not the end?

Because besides feedback, authors usually hope to use a web-site to build a readership so that they can eventually sell books. Annoying the potential audiences would be bad. Although, it may be that having expectations to meet will be a good thing for me. A very good thing.

There's a potential problem with having a whole novel on a web-site. But probably it would be enough to simply take it down if I manage to sell it. Otherwise it might be a good idea to have a public area with a few short stories and other stuff, and an invitation-only area for works-in-progress.

Now, the invitation-only area could be an automatic thing requiring registration, so long as it's every so very slightly not-public. It's not like hordes of people are going to flock to my web site. (If they do, I could make the invitations less-than-automatic.)

Anyhow... anyone who sees this...

Would registration be too much of a hassle?
What do you think is important to include on a web-site?
What should I avoid at all costs?

I think I want to try this and as much as it's for me, it's for you... whoever *you* are.

Mantids for Christmas

Christmas at our house is sort of low-key, mostly because we don't live anywhere near any family at all so there's no going to Grandma's or anything like that. Plus we haven't managed to go to church so we don't have the church stuff either.

So we're home, sort of hanging out. But it hasn't all been dull.

I should be looking on the internet for mail order fruit fly cultures because we did have something rather exciting happen. One of the mantis egg sacks hatched. It probably happened a few days ago and it looks like most of the babies died, probably just dried out, but some are alive and they are so incredibly tiny that feeding them will be a challenge.

I should try to get pictures but I'm not sure my camera is up to it.

Monday, December 24, 2007

And tonight...

I read though what I have so far on a novel with the working title "Secret Keeper." Only 7k words and pretty rough. Worse, what I have already probably needs to be trashed and I need to simply start over. Better, I actually have an abundance of antagonists for this one. I figured out a couple of plot points that were holding me up and I do think that I could get all of the way through this.

Reading what I've got so far, though, I realize that it's quite different from what I thought I had. A few bits are good and creepy but they're probably going to have to go.

So I'm taking notes in a "note" file of thoughts about the plot or reasoning and I hope that when I look at them later they will still make sense.

Part of what was wrong with what I've got so far is that the character Zhenu simply decides to let the character Raun walk around free and this is after I establish that nothing frightens Zhenu more than someone with Raun's particular ability. It was just wrong to have her decide because she was *tired* that she wasn't going to worry about him killing her anymore. So I've got to go back, she has to tie him up and utterly refuse to let him go, and her treatment of him has got to so anger a third character, a child named Ava, that Ava attacks her with a knife and nearly kills her. Because Zhenu *has* to somehow decide to trust Raun, or at least not care anymore that he might kill her or kill Ava and getting knifed will be enough for her to wash her hands of them both and decide to save her own life. Then she can come back and (insert a fight with bounty hunters) start fresh but uneasy with them both and go from there.

So it's sort of paradoxical. I'm *ahead* on this story compared to the First Contact one, but I have to start over.

I sometimes consider that I really ought to work on one novel or story and not several but then I think of how useless it would be to bang my head on First Contact if I'm stuck on it. It's not switching that's tripping me up, I think, but not actually producing new words on *something* every day.

New words.

We'll see how tomorrow goes.

Sunday, December 23, 2007

Is this progress?

So last night I read though the 20k words I have on a "first contact" novel.

There are only a few things that I might want to expand on but for the most part I like it very much. What I've got there is essentially final draft and, dangit, it's *good*.

The only problem is that reading through doesn't get me any new *words*. I do have a couple of scenes for this story written out in a first draft long hand and I could revise and type them up but there is something very important that I don't have... an antagonist. The protagonists are the good guys, the military are the good guys, the aliens are the good guys.

I realize that the antagonist doesn't have to be a character. It could be the situation or some other element of conflict that is working against resolution.

Things need to get worse, much worse, so they can get better.

The theme so far (if that's the right word) is that the concepts of "good aliens" or "bad aliens" or else "peaceful" or "evil war-like conquerors" are naive. So I suppose I want a rather ambiguous ending in that respect. The main POV character's take on it all is that the aliens *must* be assumed to be hostile and also that the aliens *must* be assumed to be peaceful. Both. That one or the other are equally wrong and that only both together are true.

I'm not equipped to start a war, a la Ringo, but maybe I could almost start one then avert it. Still, the people dealing with the aliens *now* are pretty much doing everything right. Someone else, human or alien, needs to do something desperately *wrong*.

I just can't figure out what.

Some possibilities are that other aliens arrive to rescue those who crashed, or that the aliens have more than one nation that are at war and the wrong group shows up. I don't want to rely on cliches such as politicians being stupid or fearful and deciding to bomb something. Perhaps having the crashed ship allows humans to make a secret weapon and so the aliens can't accomplish their take-over and have to either disengage or negotiate and they weren't planning on having to negotiate anything. So I'd need overtly hostile aliens to show up. That might work. I don't want the crashed aliens to give away their secrets, though, on account they learned to love us. Ick!

Maybe I need to start sketching out scenes from various alien point of views and see what happens.

Well, this is blog thing is working like a charm, isn't it...

... NOT.

Or maybe I just haven't found my stride or something.

But really, I write better in response to some other person's statement so it's more like a conversation. I post all the time, just not HERE. *sigh*

Anyhow, I got a new case for my computer for Christmas. Yay! The power supply was going out on my old one. Even with all the same old insides it's like I got a whole brand new computer.

The fans are quiet, too.

And although I haven't been writing, I have been working on plots and stories, thinking about them and taking notes a bit.

Perhaps I should go back to the idea of posting about my writing progress here. Granted, that requires that I *make* progress.

Well, like I said, the new fans are quiet so I think I'll bring up my word processor and leave the computer on and ready to go in the morning.

Wish me luck! (Or wish me perseverance, or something else actually useful. LOL.)

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

You go girls!

I'll admit that it wasn't the "Olsen Twins" that caught my attention it was the part about PETA.

Stand strong, Mary Kate and Ashley, stand strong.

Monday, December 10, 2007

Best explanation of Gun Free Zones *ever*

Comes from a comment from Revenant on Ann Althouse's blog.
Well, setting up parts of a city as areas where certain activities are decriminalized (like several European cities do) lowers the rate for those crimes outside the zone, since would-be perpetrators migrate to the zone to commit the acts in question. I guess you could argue that, by clearly labeling their schools and malls as being full of 100% Legally Guaranteed Helpless Victims, proponents of gun-free zones provide the societally useful function of directing mass murderers towards those zones and away from other areas, such as my house and my office.

So thanks, concerned parents and shoppers, for volunteering to put yourselves and your children between me and whoever might want to kill me.

Saturday, December 08, 2007

Yeah, it's a comment from YouTube but...

... it's such a classic. Thanks for serving, you are so brave but...
but there are people who need to know that we're there for oil and stop advocating all this needless death and destruction if they're not willing to go themselves.

Because, if you're willing to go yourself advocating needless death and destruction is quite all right, don't you know.


Oh, maybe I shouldn't be so mean but sometimes illogic is so funny.

Saturday, December 01, 2007

Book Review: Agnes and the Hitman

Fun book by Jennifer Crusie and Bob Mayer.

The alligator from _Don't Look Down_ made a guest appearance.

I started reading it too late though. Mistake. I think I'd have enjoyed it more if I'd saved it for tomorrow when I didn't have to work.

How to characterize it... funny, violent, and sexy. It's hard to get specific without getting specific, if you know what I mean. Romances often have a Dark Moment when it seems the two parties will never get together. I shouldn't even say "often"... it's nearly a rule. This book doesn't have that. The Dark Moment is if the different characters will live or not. If they live, they'll be with each other. I don't think there is a single well-adjusted person in this book... well, maybe the young couple who are getting married, a fresh start and their parents raising them without the baggage that everyone else is dealing with... but everyone else is pretty much nuts.

But yeah, it's got hit men and the mob and mysterious vendettas and Agnes's own propensity for violence and the very practical attitude of her mob-princess best friend, "Agnes, stop fighting your nature. You're a killer. Accept that and you'll be a lot happier." "I've never killed anybody," Agnes protested, and then stopped, realizing that might have sounded holier than thou, considering the people she was hanging out with. "And with the grace of God you never will," Lisa Livia said. "The important thing is, we know we can if we have to."

Some of the surprises I saw coming a mile off. Some of them I didn't see coming at all. Some of them I only twigged to at 100 yards.

I think I may have missed a boat blowing up at some point, but it was nearly 4am when I finished reading and the various boats blowing up were toward the end.