Archive for June, 2012

I Am A Writing Machine

Posted in Ebooks, Epublishing, good studio habits, good writing habits, Writing with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on June 25, 2012 by thislegofmine
Two gears in a pump station

It was like I was born to churn stuff.

 

87,000+ words in 30 days, go me.

 

I will now begin to reread my rewrite.

 

Onward to Self Publication.

 

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Musings: DIY and the Twitter Generation

Posted in Uncategorized on June 19, 2012 by thislegofmine

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It’s funny how this recession is re-teaching us all of the things our grandparents and great grandparents already knew.  Grow your own gardens, make your own beer, and cook for yourself.  Do what you can to save money.  I remember my ex-grandmother –in-law used to tell me that her mother used to refer to leftovers as “money in the bank.”  With so many banks going under it’s easy to see why this old wisdom is becoming so prevalent again.

Doing things on your own is rewarding.  Think of when you were a kid and the first time you made yourself breakfast.  It was amazing food even though it was the same bowl of trix you’d had every morning.  I think that raising your own tomatos or canning your own pickles feels good because you once again have that fresh sense of accomplishment.  When so many things are messed up and hard in life, why not fix the fence yourself?  Too bad it took a financial slide south for so many people to realize this.

I think this is part of why I’m so drawn to self publishing the two stories I’m rewriting.  I feel like by doing this I can see the results of what I’ve sewn all the faster.  Mind you that’s another thing that is funny about my generation on down.  We like things to be really instant.  It’s double funny when you think about the fact that gardening, pickling, raising chickens, and making your own food won’t pay off instantly.   Is the twitter generation learning patience?  Maybe this is a good thing.

Good Studio Habits for Writing: Some Mornings I’d Rather Be Playing Minecraft

Posted in good studio habits, good writing habits, Guilty Pleasure, I'd rather be playing minecraft, Writing with tags , , , , , , , , , , , on June 15, 2012 by thislegofmine

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Every day I’m forced with the same temptation:  play Minecraft or work on writing.  It’s hard to sit down at a computer every day and be productive.  I have a list of things I check and read before I ever start writing.  After all I should still have fun right?   More and more of my pre-writing time is spent reading, talking, and thinking about writing, however; so why can’t I occasionally blow my time recreating the houses from Architectural Digest?

The answer is “good studio habits,” or whatever the literary world calls them.  In the visual art world one has a studio so it is studio habits; I suppose “good office habits” is more appropriate for writers.  Wording aside, the basic gist here is that sometimes it’s damn hard to get up every day and make yourself do something.  Even going to a good paying job with amazing co-workers can be a big taxing and  gets repetitive.  The hard part about working for yourself is you don’t have these same amazing co-workers silently judging you into productivity.

So every morning I face this dilemma, hours of slacker video game time, or time spent being productive.  The positive part of having developed good studio habits is that now when I do give in and slack off, I find it extremely dissatisfying.  My brain has trained itself that during these hours I’m supposed to be thinking about writing, so even when I’m shouting my companion off a cliff in Skyrim and laughing, I am thinking “you know I could write a story about an adventuring bastard who finds money hungry fools and kicks them off cliffs.”  This tends to drive me out of the game and back into the writing zone where I at least make notes about my goofy story ideas.

Feel free to share stories about things you’ve done to develop good studio habits, or vent about your daily writing distractions.  I’m blessed not to have children; I understand they trump all things in the ability to distract.

Pseudo Update: Fun Video Series Hunting Thylacine

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on June 14, 2012 by thislegofmine

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A fellow I know is working with a zoologist to hunt for a reportedly extinct mammal.  This animal is called the Thylacine and the last documented creature was captured in the 1930’s.  The Thylacine was unique in that it was a carnivorous Marsupial and looked a little bit like a cross between a Hyena and a Tiger.  While no evidence of living Thylacine’s has been produced in recent times, several people still believe they are alive, and Tasmanian folk artist and animal rehabber Bill Flowers is determined to find one.

Here is a video recently produced by Bill and his zoologist friend Chris about Tasmanian animals that are sometimes mistaken for the Thylacine.  Bill even admits at one point he mistook his own grey stripped moggie (Australian for house cat) as a Thylacine.  In future updates they will be posting footage of their exploits into the Tasmanian wildlife to look for the Thylacine.  So if you’re a fan of nature shows or cryptozoology you might enjoy watching this free Youtube series.  Happy camera hunting guys!

Recommendation for a good Fan Fiction: Come To Me by Angel of Mystery 145

Posted in Fan Fiction, Fan Fiction Recommendation, Fan Fiction Review, Guilty Pleasure, Phan Fiction, Phan Fiction Recommendation with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on June 10, 2012 by thislegofmine

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One of my big guilty pleasures is Phantom of the Opera based stories.  The Phantom of the Opera was the first ‘grown up’ novel I read as a child and since then I have been obsessed.  I’ll spare you a long diatribe about why the Christine’s/Original Characters/Etc of this world are obnoxious, because I think it is the same reason most Fan Fiction characters are not relatable.  Let’s just say that sometimes I get tired of women who can have the knife knocked out of their hand or the women whose personality is the equivalent of a horror character running through the woods in high heeled shoes.

Once in a great while I come across Phan Fiction (Feel free to roll your eyes) that is worth reading.  So while I haven’t finished it yet, I have to give Kudos to the story Come to Me by Angel of Mystery 145.  At first I shied away from this story as the title but her description of Wuthering Heights meets Phantom of the Opera proved to intriguing to pass up.

The story starts out in the Moore’s of England/Scotland.  Christine’s father shows up at their home with a gypsy boy in tow and this delights Christine while annoying her evil cousin who owns the house.  Of course this Gypsy boy is none other but Erik, the Phantom of the Opera, who has spent his young tragic life in traveling circuses due to his deformed face.  Like Cathy and Heathcliff the two form a bond of love that grows stronger with age.  Then one night Erik over hears Christine demeaning him out of frustration, takes her words too seriously, and leaves.  He steals a horse to hasten his escape and is shot down like a bandit on the road.  This sends Christine into hysterics, blaming herself for the death of her lover.  Of course it turns out Erik’s not dead and the story later shifts to focus on their reunion.

The story reads like a Gothic Novel, which I want to give Angle of Mystery 145 a lot of praise for.  While sometimes she admits her writing suffers a little from not having a copy editor, the errors never get in the way of what is going on.  My biggest complaint is that right now I am in the middle of the scenes where Christine is with “The Phantom” and suspects it’s Erik, but can’t prove it.  These seem to be dragging a little bit, but I can see that she is building up to something amazing and possibly very tragic.  It’s not often I would recommend a story that I haven’t read to the end, but I believe the first part of the story is strong enough to justify the time spent reading it.

 

p.s. I want to thank M.S. Paint for the picture above.

Ebooks, Monsters, and Misinformation

Posted in Ebooks, Epublishing, Uncategorized, Writing with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on June 9, 2012 by thislegofmine

Like anything else that involves making money, searching for information on E-book publishing is a pain in the backside.  I’m mostly getting blogs of people promoting themselves and links to buy E-books about making E-books.   Most of this information hasn’t been very helpful so far.  Right now I’m having one of those moments where I feel like someone should sit me down and say something like, “Listen dumbass, this is how you do it.”  Sadly it is rare to find people who are willing to help you not look stupid.

Apparently a lot of E-book writers think you should offer your first E-book for free to get people hooked on your story.  Part of me screams in terror at this idea.  I work hard so I want some pay off right?  I forget that people aren’t going to magically feel my writing is awesome and that I’m going to have to win over my fans.  Guys, I’ll buy you a beer if you leave me an Amazon review!  (Please don’t hold me to this.)  In all seriousness I’m going to consider leaving my book free for one to several months to see what happens.

Part of my willingness to do this is because the book I’m putting up for sale online is a fan-fiction I am rewriting.  It was always reviewed well.  I don’t think my changes are hard to understand either, but later I might have an editor sit me down and tell me, “Listen dumbass…”  This is why good editors are amazing people who deserve lots of free beer and your money if you can pay them.

My next big hurdle is a cover.  Part of me wants to use some of my college art class skills to make my own, but I should probably accept reality as what it is and pay someone who knows what they are doing.  Looking at the prices for E-Book covers, by competent people, I think I’m going to resort to begging and kissing the foot of a hobbyist friend who can do magical things with a Wacom tablet.  If she says no I’ll bust out some crayons and embarrass myself.