cat_rood: (Reaper)
Don't care. I'm putting things here anyway.

So, 2014 is coming. COOOOMIIIIING.

So, I have a few things that I want to learn how to do. Yep. New knowledge. Cannot hurt.

THINGS I WANT TO LEARN HOW TO DO:

- Make French bread for French bread pizzas. FRENCH BREAD.
- Make lamps I wanna learn to make lamps out of found things, and make something that can maybe be sold? Just... something neat.
- Crochet I know how to knit. I will be doing more of this as the year goes on, but I want to actually crochet something.
- Sew clothing Okay, I have poked at this at times, but I want to learn how to make one article of clothing well, and again, maybe sell it? IDK.
- Grow a couple of plants Tomato, basil, aaaand.... maybe strawberries? Yes, strawberries. Daughter wants a white Rose. Okay.
- Finish a story, edit and sell Yeah, yeah, I fail. Like, a lot.
- Color work/knitting in the round I do not know how to do these things. I want to learn.
- Fix the screen on my laptop Just because I need it.


This will get added/subtracted from as the year goes on and I actually finish something.


*I am on kinda a lot of ativan (bad day) and a pain med, because BAD DAY but this makes me happy
cat_rood: (PORN!)
This is more for me than anyone else. Feel free to skip or ignore at will.

Writing Project outlines )

So, those are the writing projects. There might be more waiting in the wings, but... for right now, that's it.

Creative projects )

I want to find another knitting project, and I'll definitely be adding smaller cross stitching projects throughout the year.

That's my outlines. Any questions? Feel free to ask!
cat_rood: (Arissia)
Since my IJ is full of woe and emo and what I haven't done lately, I'm going to write here what I have done.

Because I need the ego boost.

So, things I've done lately:

- Porn I've written quite a bit of fandom porn lately. A few thousand words at least. I'm not going to argue with it. It's writing and that's more than anything.

- Knitting I'm down to the last repetition of the pattern, and then I need to finish it off. So, it is getting done! Yay!

- Decorating I haven't done any, but I do have plans for it! That's more than I've had ever. This is good!

That's about it, but it is things that are getting done. Which is comforting. Need to start working on the editing so that that is getting done, but I'm reading a book that is giving me a better idea of how to edit. Which is nice; however it is slowing it down quite a bit.

Also, I've been taking the "Just make the bed" approach to pretty much everything in my life right now. Winter is a horrible time for me, mentally, which means that I've really got to work on getting things done which normally just come to me easily.

So, how is everyone doing for their goals? It's only midway through January, but! I'm checking in because, honestly, it helps me to know how others are doing.
cat_rood: (Rules)
So, I was looking around, trying to find some sort of inspiration to write today. It's football and normally, I just knit, but maybe I should put words down, or do something? Maybe I should edit or... Well, the brain went into so many things that I should be doing that I'm losing sight of what needs to be done.

And trolling around the internet during a commercial break, I found a blog post, via several other blog posts that makes sense:

Just Make the Bed.

Sarah Ockler makes the point that making resolutions and having huge goals can be a good thing, but it can also be overwhelming and paralyzing. Don't stop making them, but if you do get overwhelmed, step back and just make the damned bed. A single, simple, little thing like sketching out a scene, writing a single sentence, editing a single paragraph can start taking out the overwhelmingness of the task before you.

I usually use this theory in other things in my life, but applying it to writing/creativity? For some reason it never occurred to me.

When I clean, I say "I'm going to fold this basket" and that inspires me to fold the next basket, to do the one side of the sink full of dishes, to sweep one thing. However, when I write or I work any of my hand crafts, I tend to only take the project as a whole rather than one small step at a time.

Meaning, I look at my shawl, I see everything not knitting a single row. I don't look at the Geisha and see stitching a single color, but the whole pattern. Which makes them very overwhelming. I do the same thing with writing. I look at the whole story, not the single plot point, or the single scene or the single character voice.

I need to work on that. I need to just write that single plot point, that single scene. Eventually, the whole will come, but doing the single one is the way to start.

Ideas

Jan. 15th, 2011 12:55 pm
cat_rood: (Rules)
Normally, I don't talk about how I get ideas. See, I don't get ideas gradually. I get them in a full on flash. I'll get a fully formed scene, or words scrolling across my eyes like I'm writing them on a screen.

These days, I'm getting so many conflicting ideas, that I'm trying to coalesce some of them into something that will make some sort of sense.

I'm not having much luck with doing that, so this is probably going to be a rambling post.

Ideas currently clogging the brain pan )

So that's my writing ideas right now. Now for a challenge update.

- Cross Stitch: I'm still working on the wolf. It's filled in, even a bit more than what the picture shows. It's a bit slow going because it really is filling in the blanks.
- Knitting: Last night, I managed to drop like three stitches messing around with it. But, I think I fixed that this morning. It's measuring in at 9 3/4in/24.765cm. I usually work on it while the Roomie and I RP, when it becomes too dark to cross stitch. Or, if we're downstairs. Knitting is far more portable.

For now, I think I'm going to go work on some more character descriptions and see what plot really comes out and prods me in the head. For now, it's the best I can do.
cat_rood: (Rules)
This post, actually, started out in my head as a 'Why I do NaNoWriMo' post. However, I was talking with a friend over IMs, and realized I don't, really, need to get into why I do NaNoWriMo. Mostly, because it boiled down to just a few words:

Because I want to.

Perhaps not the most adult answer, but the most honest one.

However, I thought that I'd answer a question that my friend asked me:

"Why do challenges all year long? Isn't NaNo enough?"

Well, I'm going to answer the latter question first: No, NaNo isn't enough. See; although the franticness of November includes NaNo and Thanksgiving, it isn't enough to keep me going all year long.

So, this past year, I experimented with giving myself guidelines and a schedule to keep. Some of that schedule got skewed along the way (this past summer I didn't have nearly as much writing time as I thought) but all in all, I worked a lot better with the schedule, than I did without.

It's also why my personal journal ends up being more of a 'what needs to be done today' list than an actual journal. Although today I tl;dr-ed all over the place.

Yes, I make lists. If I don't, nothing gets done. No, seriously, nothing gets done. I look down and it's 10am. I look up and it's 3.30 and all I've managed to get done is lose horribly at spider solitaire a lot.

Frankly, that's not a skill that I should flaunt.

The lists keep me on track. But, here's the thing: Even lists aren't enough to keep me motivated. So, I look around for things to keep my brain moving and keep me from getting bored with what I have to do to improve my writing.

That is where my competitive streak comes in. See, I cannot let other people 'beat' me. I cannot roll over and let them 'win' at anything, even if it's something so silly as creating something that I neither have the skill nor the patience to create.

I join challenges to keep me going. I join challenges so that I can point to something and say "I beat that!" I'm sure this points to something psychological or something, but I just use it as a motivational tool.

There are some other pretty hefty reasons, but those are personal and this is a writing blog. Back to the writing:

Challenges keep me from stagnating and playing so much spider solitaire that I explode my computer out of sheer frustration. That means that at the end of the week/month/day/whatever, I have something to point to and say... "I did that."

Now, to give updates on my various challenges: Challenges )

So, this entry has become very long and pretty much a big ego stroke for me. However, I believe creators - be it in writing, cooking, fabric crafts or anything else - have the need to stroke their own egos every once in a while.

I know several writers who do it. They do it unashamedly. I'm trying to follow their good examples. Now, if I could just get something published? Then, you'd really see some ego stroking!

Day 1

Jan. 1st, 2011 09:59 pm
cat_rood: (Arissia)
So, today is Day One of a lot of challenges, for me. And day... 25-ish for another one.

So let's get on with the challenges!

1: Creative Every Day: Well today, I worked on some cross stitch as well as a character profile for another original novel. I hope to cook something tomorrow, and maybe do some more cross stitch. That satisfies this little challenge.

2: 750 Words: Yeah, that whole character profile? That was my words for today.

3: Get Your Words Out: The character history and some RP added to this count for today. I'm at 1,395/250,000. That's only .06%, but I've got plenty of time! It's a good start.

4: [community profile] origfic_bingo: We got cards today! I'm looking forward to working on mine for a little while. I might do that tomorrow, in between working on another Character.

I don't know how often I'll update everyone on these, but feel free to poke me about them. I'm horrible about remembering. So, feel free to poke me if you're curious.

I do plan on putting up pictures of the cross stitch as I finish them. And maybe the knitting I plan to do too. Depends on the youtube videos that I can find.

Hmmm.

Dec. 20th, 2010 03:21 pm
cat_rood: (Default)
So, to add to yesterday's post about contrived plots....

Secret Societies. Can they still be done well? Or are they played out. Especially if it's more about the love story, and the secret societies are just what the two main characters belong to? What do you guys think? I might have something percolating in my brain.

Maybe. >>;
cat_rood: (Rules)
So, I've got plots bouncing around in my brain. Considering NaNo was "fandom with the serial numbers filed off" I'm not real worried about that aspect of it.

However, I know that the plots are really contrived and cliché. Meaning that I'd have to work with them through some reworkings to get them to something that might be of interest for people to read.

Considering that I've spent the last two days writing Bleach/X-Men fic, I really have no room to talk.

Well, let's talk about contrived plots:

- Long lost noble - FOUND! Seriously, this has been done so many times that it's really a trope. It's how noblemen/heroes in fandom get surprise!kids, and how unsavory nobles are deposed, by the triumphant return of their neglected offspring. (Chris Paolini anyone?)
- Ostracized noble family regains honor Do I have to explain this one? It'll be something about the last heir going undercover/on an epic journey and reclaiming that which was taken from them by an evil rival or something.
- Baby adopted in, but ousted by natural born child Again, do I have to explain? This is such a joke that I'm not sure I could even finish a story with this even as a subplot.

I had a few others, but mostly it's the first one that's caught my attention recently. I'm thinking of maybe doing that one for next year's NaNo. Since I'm pretty sure my schedule won't allow for it. Next year's pretty well mapped out. I really do wanna work on the Moon stuff. That'll get that out of the way.

I need to work out my plot for it, like I did for NaNo. It'll help me keep the story moving along. At the end, it'll be ugly as hell, but... hey, stories almost always are the first time through.

I can maybe work in another thing for April, since that's mostly looking at my NaNo ago - even though I'm doing that in March for NaNoEdMo (National Novel Editing Month) - so that month might have something that I can nudge in, if I can get a decent outline/characters.

Who knows, maybe I'll work on the Jenith/Bear stuff, or the Kenny/Max stuff. Both of those kinda fascinate me, so we'll have to see.

I know the Jenith stuff could be turned into the first trope, especially.

AND MOVING ON!

I really need to do an outline/something of the Moon!Fic. Even though that's scheduled for next month, I'm thinking I need to get to it. I have characters to outline, and a plot to think of. That's probably going to wait until after the kids are back in school, though. Kids around = writing time cut short, unfortunately.

For now, I'm going to go see if I can find my book.
cat_rood: (Ice and Fire)
So, since I finished the rewrite o' d00m, yet again, I've been at a loss.

However, lately, I've been doing some world building and scene notes and outlining for NaNo. I was turned on to a beautiful program called Storybook.

It's been really handy for helping me flesh out characters and thinking of just how many scenes I'm going to need for this particular story.

Which is great and all, but I want to write the damned thing. Why isn't it November yet?

So, I've been distracting myself lately. Mainly with the fleshing out. I know how old people are, and their relationships, I even have a huge subplot idea for the romance between two characters.

It may end up being two characters that I hadn't even thought of.

Anyway, this is what I've been doing. Except, today, I'm going to try to put it down and do something completely different. Why? Because if I keep going too much, I'm going to burn out.

I do have some maps to make yet, but the maps I have made made me realize that the other two maps are actually complex and have multi layers that are not so easy to take care of. (As in they need actual layouts and graphing and... yeah. I might print out graph paper and see what shakes loose that way.)

Anyway, this is my prep for NaNo at the end of September. November really needs to hurry up and get here.

(See, if any of my other projects would sit up and go "HI" at me, I'd work on one of them. But do they? Nope.)

Also, it's really freaking cold in here!
cat_rood: (Rules)
Eventually, I'm going to have something intelligent to put here.

Eventually, there will be more posts here about writing and what I am/am not doing.

Eventually, I will get off my butt and get things done about this blog.

Eventually, I might show everyone a brain process.

Eventually, it will be NaNo and the counters will begin again.

Eventually, I'm going to rewrite KoO (September) and then all my frustration will vomit onto the screen again.

Eventually... I'll actually be the writer I keep claiming to be.
cat_rood: (Orion)
Lately, I've been very bad about editing. Not only have I barley been home - seriously, last weekend was a wash, as was Monday, Tuesday and yesterday - but when I've been home, I've been exhausted and wanting nothing more than sleep and relaxation.

However, with a small rearrangement of my bedroom - hence giving me an actual computer desk - I managed to sit down and do some editing today. Not a lot, but it did finish off one scene, and that's progress. Which is the important thing.

So, right now, I'm on page 69 of 153. That - for those playing along at home - means 84 pages left. I'm hoping to get a bit more done today as well.

Also, I've begun reading again. I gave up on a book because sometimes you just can't get into it. I'm sure it's a lovely book, but it's just not what I want to read right now.

I'm going back to editing. Maybe, I'll get a few more pages done. I'm hoping anyway.



... I need a new graph where I can substitute "words" for "pages".

Edit: I did end up going back to the editing. Real life, of course, intruded in the middle, but I did get it done. And now I'm going to play Dragon Age: Origins, because I deserve it!

cat_rood: (Rules)
Hello fair flisters! It is May, and the flowers are springing, and school is winding to a close, and life is beginning to reappear in my part of the world.

This is, of course, the perfect time to begin banging out the edits on my one work of d00m, and start working on things to finish a damned WIP.

I need to finish the last 90 pages of editing and finish several works in progress.

But, I also have books to read. Normally, I don't talk - unless I review - about what books I'm reading but having just bought several, I'm going to actually be a bit excited about them.

The one I'm most excited about is The Atlas of Sacred and Spiritual Sites. It's beautifully illustrated, and has a lot of information about sacred sites all over the world. I love it not only for that, but because it sparked ideas about things yet again.

That, however, is not what this post is about.

For the month of May, I have some creative goals, and as this is my creative journal, I'm posting them here.

- Finish editing Changes (the work of d00m) I'm at page 63/153. So, 90 left.
- Read! A lot! Reading is good! I like reading. (I miss reading)
- Maybe work on a WIP. This isn't a definite, because I don't know what's going to happen.

So, those are the goals. Let's see how badly I fail.

[For those on the personal journal f-list, I swear my mood didn't change that fast. Just I like this one to be a bit more upbeat than the other.]

Returns

Aug. 30th, 2009 07:23 pm
cat_rood: (Rules)
I've been thinking lately, about returning to my old routines. I need to write, in ways I cannot explain.

But, I need a routine to do it in.

That may sound strange, but there you have it. I need a set time every day, set aside for nothing but writing.

These last few weeks have had me caught up in so much other stuff that I couldn't write.

There was too much external stuff going on.

There still is a lot of external things going on. Kids are back in school though, and that should give me time to actually work on my writing.

Frankly, I hate to be mean, but my new room mate is going to have to respect the headphones, as well as all the kids. My kids are trained to respect the headphones and know what they mean. They mean Mom Is Working.

I know my new room mate will though. She understands how important the writing is to me. And I won't totally cut myself off. We have the lounge to clean tomorrow, and then we'll see what happens. I plan on putting on my headphones on my head, with my MP3 player and seeing if that helps.

I haven't decided just who I'm going to be writing yet. But it's definitely between Ari and Mira/Hyst. I might look through tonight to see what jumps out at me.

I want to finish up a couple old ideas, before I start worrying about new ones.

See, I have some world building to do. A lot of world building. I'm going to be putting some of it up here, but a lot will be going up on my IJ, under the writing tag/group.

I'll be putting up links here, to whatever it is I use that's an online resource.

I do however want to give a good resource. See, writing doesn't mean that you have lots of money. I've been using AbeBooks to search online used book stores! C'mon used books! That's awesome.

Tomorrow, I'm returning to routine and starting to write again.

Just need to figure out who.

Research

Jun. 25th, 2009 10:31 am
cat_rood: (Rules)
I have to say, for the majority of my stories, I fly by the seat of my pants. Most of them, are on fantasy worlds, and while they require world building, I always just sorta roll with the 'pseudo-European' model.

However, the next story I'm writing requires enough research that I've got a stack of library books about China, Mongols, Egypt, Rome, the Tsars of Russia and so on and so forth.

I've got notes, on my personal diary (linked in the side bar) about the thoughts I've had about where my research needs to go next.

It's best for me to put it online, so that I can find it all with the use of my tags. Of course, the poor f-list gets inundated with those thoughts, especially when I get them multiple times per day.

A lot of the time the research is always a bit extraneous to the writing.

No matter how much you research, there are going to be things in it that you can't fit into the writing. And you're going to want to. There are going to be bits and pieces that you know you can just fit in, if you just tweak here and there...

Except then, your writing reads like a text book, and that is almost never fun.

Research and writing have to be carefully balanced. If I want a society based off of Ivan IV's (the Terrible) reign in Tsarist Russia, I can't just start dumping in every detail about his attempted social reforms.

Unless they start becoming relevant to the plot, there are things that you need to know, that the reader probably doesn't.

I'm involved in my research and love the way it's going. I hope I can bring it across in my writing, and hope that my research makes my writing better.

Characters

Jun. 6th, 2009 10:01 pm
cat_rood: (Default)
Everyone comes up with characters in different ways. Everyone plucks those little bits of psyche out of the ether in ways that probably only make sense to them.

Sometimes, they get a physical description first. Blonde hair, green eyes, a bit pudgy, with long thin fingers/limp brown hair, dark tan, brown eyes... And on and on and on.

Other times, it's the way they dress. Jimmy Choos, and Vera Wang, or maybe flannel and jeans.

Maybe it's something they say or do. Maybe it's their job, or their accent. Maybe it's something they see. Or something they smell.

Anyway, the point is, there's many ways that authors come up with characters. It doesn't really matter how it comes up. There are a few things, however, that are, really, universal. It doesn't matter how the characters first appear, they all have the same things. Height, weight, appearances, etc etc.

Now, I'm not a chart or sheet kind of person, but they do have their uses. I even collect character sheets. I like looking at them at times to just give me an idea of what to do with the characters when they're being cranky about growing.

I have several, but this latest one is... interesting. I haven't seen one quite as comprehensive. So, I'm posting it here, just for shits and giggles.

Character Sheet )

I haven't filled it out for anyone, yet. But it does look interesting. I might attempt it later, however.
cat_rood: (Orion)
I read a lot of author's blogs. GRRM, Gaiman, KVTaylor, and Jim Hines to name a few.

The one thing I've noticed is that always seemed to have a lot to say about their writing. Me? I don't. If you're looking for some in depth talking about process, or something that acts like a "Guide to Writing" it isn't going to be found here.

I was conditioned at a very early age to not talk about my writing and although I am over thirty, I still retain that. Word counts are safer as are websites, and the little tricks I find out to get me writing/submitting.

So that's a lot of what you will find here, and why my posts will, on average be rather short. I don't want to bore you, or tell you that X is happening in my life unless it pertains to my writing, and that, only if I feel comfortable enough to relate it.

My posts may be short, but never deny that I struggle every day with pouring out what is going on with my writing.

(Though, lately, with the vertigo, I have to admit that the writing is getting curtailed in favour of lying around like a lump. Heh.)

Today, however, my writing did pick up again. Sometimes, lying around and reading random books can be a good thing.

Yesterday, I attempted to rejoin the word wars, and regain my momentum with getting KoO done.

It just wasn't happening. So, instead of forcing it, I backed off. Last night and this morning I pulled out an old book of mine, and began reading. It's a collection of short, erotic, stories.

This morning, while lying down, I was suddenly struck by inspiration. I suddenly knew what had to be done and how to do it.

And in 90 minutes I wrote 3k+ words, finally. They just flowed, and finally appeared on the screen where they were supposed to be. I never would have thought of erotica to be an inspiration for dragon sci-fi/fantasy.

However, I will not argue. The words getting down is the most important part.

Right now, the vertigo's gotten bad again, but I know I did those words and for the most part, they are good.

I'm very happy with them. So, I will give you a small sample:

Grey wetness cloaked him in cold. He stood still, golden scales dulled by the lack of light. Looking off to the southeast, he didn't move. A part of his mind and heart moved down there, exploring a supply depot that they'd found.

Two days ago, men and women stood in his spot, soldiers doing their duty, and prepared to fight if necessary. They'd probably never thought it would be necessary.

The wind swirled through the greyness, and rustled his wings. Sapphire blue eyes remained trained on the southeast. He didn't want to divert his attention, for fear that he'd miss something. Behind him a rock shifted and he turned his head, snake-fast and silent. Nothing stirred the winter chill above the cavern he'd collapsed, after killing the soldiers.

Cold rain and sleet drifted down from the sky, creating an ice-layer over his scales. Still, he didn't move.


This is what inspiration does. I am not going to argue with it.

I need to get lunch and maybe poke it again, see what happens.

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