why so cold?

I hate this cold weather. Bring back the sunshiney Sunday weather thanks.

Lee pointed me at this article on Cracked.com about brainwashing and I was surprised how very true it is. Usually cracked’s lists are good silly fun, and the author has tried to inject fun into this list but mostly it’s just kind of terrifying. Because it’s true I mean.

Too cute! There’s a sparrow on my balcony eating the leftover crumbs from our sun soaked picnic lunch out there on Sunday. I wonder if there’s any way to set out a bird feeder that would only attract cute sparrows and not gigantic flocks of pigeons. Probably not.

I made some surreal Christmas cards from old ones I had hoarded. I am sooo looking forward to weirding everyone out this holiday season.

Throat is dry and scratchy and glands are up. I don’t much want to get sick again thanks. I kind already did that back in July/August.

PoF: how many licks?
CO: garlic bread

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Ok it’s done

My short story has been submitted to an American magazine for strange stuff. They say to allow 6-8 weeks, so wish me luck!

Sunday was blissfully perfect. Gorgeous sunshine, visitors, visiting others to watch an awesome movie, take out for dinner, delicious snacks, Rock Band to end the evening. Best Sunday ever. If only I could do that all week as well.

I am reading The Langoliers from Stephen King’s novella collection Four After Midnight it’s very good. I am desperate to know what’s going on though, and I’ve got heaps to go. I just looked it up and I see that it was made into a TV movie starring the guy who played Tritter in House. I wonder if it’s possible to track down….

All the panic I had a couple of weeks ago about life changes and achieving dreams is over by the way and nothing much is changing around here. We had a vague offer to sell our current apartment but the purchaser decided to go for a different one instead. C’est La Vie. Possibilities of reducing my work hours vaporised. That’ll teach me to have massive emotional reactions for nothing.

And thanks to the people who assumed I was pregnant. I quite enjoyed people guessing at what my drama could be about, somehow. Prizes to Make Tea Not War and Amphigori for being the closest. Your prizes are…in the mail.

I have tasty icecream in the fridge. I have plans for tasty foods for my birthday party. I have an obsession with foods. My workmates have dubbed me Queen of Junk Food. Ahhhh.

PoF: lots of grey
CO: freaked about submitting my story.

submissions

I am pretty close to submitting my short story to a publisher. I found this handy guide for Standard Manuscript Format. There’s also this one which varies a little and is slightly more specific.

As I said, getting constructive criticism from Longacre was awesome, because now I want to re-draft Kiki but at the same time I’m a little sad not to be writing anything new. It’s an addiction this writing thing, and I feel like right now I’m in an editing-only space. I have a few ideas for novels I could be writing, and I’m sure I could get myself interested in them but I know I should keep my eye on the prize, polish the manuscripts I have and try and get them published before I allow myself to go on a tangent.

I will maybe work on re-writing I know, right? (and renaming it) and a couple of other roleplaying projects to keep my mind occupied. Editing and redrafting are fun and all but they’re not the same as writing new.

In other news I finished reading Meg Cabot’s Airhead, which was incredibly good fiction. It’s a slight departure for her, veering a little more towards the science fiction and a little away from her standard romance stuff. It still has all the Meg-ish character stuff you love but some very interesting messages about gender politics and appearances vs. reality. I need to lend it to someone so that I can talk to them about it. Chelle? Sok? Bueller?

PoF: Wonder Woman Hoodie. I can’t seem to take it off.
CO: writing stuff and going to sleep. I love sleep so much.

Things I Love Thursday

Motorised Toilet racing. I did this today at the company Gladiator Good Times and I kicked ass! I handled the hell out of my motorised toilet and even lapped the ninja I was racing against. heh. That sentence may have been the best one I have ever written.
Hilarious drunken photos, well, this is pretty self explanatory. I will put some up on facebook tomorrow.
New Hoodie I got a bright blue Wonder Woman hoodie on sale at Glassons. It’s snuggly and nice and people have complimented me on it.
Direction. So, today I got a rejection letter from Longacre, which is suck, but it had a reason for why I hadn’t been accepted and some pointers for getting better. Which is freaking amazing for a Publisher rejection letter. Based on this, and my own guilty niggles I have decided to re-write Kiki and make it more awesome. I just feel like I have learned a lot in the last year and I could probably do a better job if I really tried.
Time to myself. I’ve been quite productive on Wednesdays these last couple of weeks by letting myself do exactly the thing I want to do. Letting myself have a nap at 1pm if that’s what I feel like doing, waking up feeling better and then getting stuff done. I am really looking forward to my birthday trip up the coast because although Lee will also be there, I will be able to do exactly what I want.

Honourable mentions: Monteiths radler, competitive but silly sports, fried food, good books to read, fun times writing, positive feedback, constructive criticism, cuddles, my deep and warm carpets, going to sleep.

PoF: Wonder Woman hoodie
CO: unclenching my jaw would be nice

swing class

Tonight we re-learned the jig and did some stuff while jigging…follow turns mostly. Then we learned the Mooch which is a bit like Russian dancing except much more sedate. There was some good pointers on leading and following too, and I feel more confident about how to follow better.

Then we learned crazy legs. And everyone in the class got the giggles and I discovered that when I do crazy legs in a swing out my free hand shoots up into the air of its own accord and waves about or points and I can’t stop it!

Heh.

Oh and there’s no Wednesday Writing Wupdate today because I’m revising/redrafting at the moment and there’s nothing to report really. Except that I’m quite close to submitting a short story to an American magazine…fingers crossed for me.

PoF: PJ
CO: Supernatural

Vampire’s dead, job is done.

Random stuff:

I am upset by this report of how they are changing the plot of Y: The Last Man for the movie. Makes me sad. There is so much awesome in the books, I just don’t really get them feeling like they needed to add more tension….there was plenty of it in there.

I am way behind the times but I am slowly embracing the idea of ‘podcasts’. It does bug me that they have to be called podcasts, given that the MP3 format is playable on all sorts of non-pod items but whatever. I started with Gala Darling’s being happy podcast. I am currently listening to a very geeky podcast called Made of Fail which features Cleolinda and has a lot of talk about vampire mythos as well as Twilight.

I am also impressed that Radio New Zealand is making their Darwin Lectures series available online. I have downloaded them, but not yet listened to them. Should be good when I do though! They also have a fantastic collection of writer’s talks which is awesome for someone like me who didn’t make it to the festival and can’t listen to radio during the day.

Lee and I have been enjoying Supernatural season one, I like how it’s not too scary to watch, but it is creepy. I like how the stories are familiar, often based on urban legends, but there are new slants on the details. I like that Dean from Gilmore Girls is in it, because he’s pretty, and Lee is catered for also because there is generally a hot girl who is somehow affected by the Monster of the Week.

I am reading Airhead by Meg Cabot, which is a sort of weird story about…well, I’m actually not too sure what’s going on just yet, so I’ll get back to you on that. I recently finished rereading Squire, the third Kel book, which I enjoyed but also have reservations about.

I want to write more short stories, but I have no ideas for starting places. I managed to write a good one based on a dream but I have no inspiration for the next one. *le sigh*

PoF: grey
CO: whatsit

More thoughts about writing

I’ve been thinking a bit about my whole journey to getting to where I am now (unpublished, but working hard at becoming published) and why I wasn’t here way earlier. I’ve come up with a few reasons for this and I thought they’d be worth sharing.

One reason I have never pursued a career in writing previously is because I have listened to the nay-sayers. I have had people tell me that there’s no way to make a living writing fiction. I have heard it said by industry professionals that it is a hard slog, and even then if you’re based in New Zealand ‘don’t quit your day job.’ I heard this from a huge variety of sources, when I think about it, and one of those sources was my own mind, telling me that if it’s so hard I should just go ahead and do something else.
Working through that negativity has been a huge part of the process of writing for me, as you will know if you’ve read my writing-musing posts before. I had substantial negative thought patterns forming road blocks in my head that would stop me from finishing a story, even finishing a sentence. This is never going to be easy, but if I care about it enough I can make it work. If I have negative voices in my head I have to push them back, put them aside or work around them. If I have people telling me it’s hopeless in real life, that’s a lot harder. Thankfully I have a circle of wonderfully supportive people, so I can listen to them instead. Cheerleaders are important.

Another reason I haven’t really tried before was that I had some advice in my late teens that to be a writer you have to have read widely. This advice was repeated again and again by published authors and it made a lot of sense to me. I knew that there was no point writing something if someone else had already done it better, and I knew that there was no sense in writing if I didn’t have a good vocabulary or if I didn’t know how good writing worked. Steven King says the same thing several times in On Writing.

What this means is that since my late teens I’ve kind of been in research mode. I read all the time for pleasure, so I’m learning a lot there. I re-read the books I love, hopefully gleaning tips on how to make a book so involving, so moving that the reader wants to come back to it again and again. I have tried to read more classics as well as non-fiction to expand my scope of reading knowledge. I read a lot of teen fiction, but I’ve also read adult stuff and the odd contemporary prize winning literary masterpiece.

A couple of years ago when I heard a couple of inspiring women speak at a conference and became motivated I guess I felt I had researched enough.

Then of course there’s the whole time and inclination thing. You’ll never be able to write if you don’t give yourself time to do so. For many years I was consumed by many hobbies. I still have some of them but a fair few have fallen by the wayside. I still want to paint, but I never do and drawing is confined to while I’m roleplaying (multi-tasking) or when I’m on the phone at work and I’m listening to someone ranting or giving me their life story. I don’t hardly scrapbook any more, and when I do it’s only if I feel I’ve already done enough writing for the day and I don’t scrapbook if I’m doing a patchwork quilt at the moment. My patchwork stuff is currently put away. My roleplaying is down to just one fortnightly game and Lee and I don’t go to very many movies except for during the festival. All of this means I have more time for Rock Band writing.

Like I said here, there is always going to be something else you could be doing. You have to make room in your life for writing if that’s what you want to do.

I’m sure there are other mitigating factors but I think those above are the really big ones.

PoF: same as every Saturday morning blog entry
CO: brunch please now. I want waffles with chocolate syrup on them
Extra reading: Learning to Write by Matthew Cheney.