Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Writing Prompt 4

From Elite Writing Prompts Feb 1st.

Using these three words

write a short story or scene where you use the above mentioned words in one sentence.

I didn't really want to do one today, but since I didn't do anything else (plan to go back home got cancelled) and I didn't do it last week I knew I must today. These two girls have been running around in my head for the past two or three days. Jamie is the character from my 2008 Nanowrimo story and I'm thinking about rewriting because I have a different idea how to present it.

Petra was talking a mile a minute behind the wheel of her big sedan. I wasn’t listening to a thing she was saying but she knew that. That’s why she was talking. Her voice flew out the windows with the wind. The front windows were all the way down and the back two cracked to Petra’s precise specifications. Our hair did not blow in our faces. If we weren’t careful our cigarette butts came back in.

I chain smoked without realizing I did it and chewed my nails, squinting through the smoke. The warm day and bright sunshine and rich spring colors in the countryside around me went unnoticed. It had been six hours since Petra had high jacked me from the stool in my hometown’s favorite Bar & Grill, Avery’s. She had driven out from the city to see me and found me in an agitation that I could not precisely explain or shrug off.

She dropped herself onto the stool beside me and stared at me with her brilliant brown eyes, framed in glittering blue eye shadow. Her black hair fell shaggily around her ears and in her eyes and featured bright stripes of pink. This week. Her clothing was toned down for the day, only a simple pair of jeans and an over-washed vintage shirt, probably one stolen from her father’s stash. She was beautiful that moment she sat down beside me and that was what I had noticed most.

When she asked me what was wrong I just shrugged and said I needed a drive. She understood that fully and smiled her approval. We bought bottles of soda from Tom Avery Sr. and headed out to her car. I dumped my bag in the backseat along with my stash of art supplies from my pickup. I left my keys under the seat, the window rolled down and the door unlocked. I loved my small town.

We went hundreds of miles taking back roads and main roads through bigger towns and littler cities. We crossed county borders and then stat borders. We made our turning decisions based on an origami fortune teller I fashioned quickly from my drawing paper from my bag. When I finally got around to telling her what was going on she said she needed to stop for gas and smokes. She handed me some change and pointed me toward the payphone and told me to call him.

“James, where are you?” Tommy Avery Jr. asked me when he picked up the phone. “I have been waiting at your house for 20 minutes already.”

“I know, I’m sorry,” is all I could start with. I didn’t know for sure where I was, and even if I did, need I tell him?

“Are you on your way here, or what?” he asked with a hint of hopeful excitement that made me sad and angry and confused all at once.

“No, I’m probably not going to be able to make it back before dark,” I answered him vaguely. My last cigarette is broken so I finagle it back together with the phone stuffed into the crook of my shoulder.

His silence is thick as I flick my lighter flame on.

“Where are you?” he asked slowly.

“I don’t know, some gas station some where. I ran into Petra and we decided to take a drive. We just stopped for snacks so I doubt very much that we’re done yet.” I know how I sound.

“We were supposed to have our date tonight. Right now, in fact,” Tommy said to me.

“I know,” I answered. Not sadly, not angrily, not regretful. No emotion.

“And you left with Petra,” he asked. “Why?”

“I had to get out of town Tommy, just for a little while,” I told him as honestly as I could. Why did I have to get out of town? Would he ask me that, and would I answer as truthfully?

“Jamie, what is going on?” he asked me. I could hear Petra’s footsteps crossing the gravel behind me.

“It’s nothing. I’ll be home later, and I’ll stop by and we will talk. Listen I have to go.”

“No, no Jamie please,” he said. “What’s happened? Why did you leave town?”

“Tommy I can’t talk about it right now, not here in this phone booth,” I told him finally. “I will call you later.”

I hung the phone back up before I could hear another word from his end of the line. I put my face in my hands, careful to keep my burning ember out of my hair.

“You okay babe?” Petra asked.

“I feel like squishing his head like an orange, but I don’t know what to say to him,” I told her as I turned away from the booth. We started back toward the car. “Can we get an orange? I’ll tear it to pieces and send it to him and then that will explain everything.”

“While I am willing to debate with you the sense in putting an orange in an envelope, how about we talk about something else right now instead?”

“Something else like what?” I asked as I rubbed the ember out of my cigarette on the bottom of my shoe. I stuck the butt in my hip pocket. I looked around at the unfamiliar bit of country road where we had stopped to refill the gas tank.

“The beautiful gas station attendant who was willing to sell us cigarettes has given me directions to the hottest dance club in the city about 15 miles from here. If we get back on the road we can get there before the stores close. We’ll get a snazzy new outfit and then we’ll go dancing,” Petra peeled the cellophane off of the illegally purchased cigarettes and pulled one out. “How does that sound?” she asked as she lit one cigarette then placed it between my lips.

“I think I could use some dancing,” I agreed easily. Mindless jumping around and sweating seemed just the thing to get two idiot boys out of my mind. Tonight was to be all about Petra and Jamie, two girls with nothing on their minds but dancing.

Monday, February 22, 2010

Revising Sucks

... totally, completely sucks.

it's not writing. it's lame-o correcting.

here i sit at the coffee place with my au lait that tastes kinda like a cafe miel. and i have music and the screaming kids aren't even bothering me. all filled with super bright creative energy and ready to work.

but yesterday, oh yesterday, i started the fourth one. and it was shiny. because starting new stuff is fun.

but now i'm stuck here revising... blech...

My plan originally was for the sequel to take it one chapter at a time in the revisions. I realized that was idiocy when I saw how much more needed to be done to the whole story. So then i delayed my plan to take it a chapter at a time until i had a primary revision to work with and a clearer understanding of everything i wanted to say. Then, i would begin to take it a chapter at a time, and then i would be able to start posting the chapters on authors den which is the whole point in this venture from the very beginning and the reason i got myself gold membership.

but now looking at the first 4-ish chapters i realize i'm going to have to delay again. (a quote comes to me: "I can't afford any more delays and you're one of those fish that causes delays. Sometimes it's a good thing. There's a whole group of fish . They're delay fish.") The whole beginning is in the wrong order because I didnt know before how i wanted to present the start of everything. because the beginning is what leads to the middle, and the end comes after that, and thats where i want people to stop reading...

now i have a Plan for the first 3 chapters, plus the Unknown Chapter i wrote during revisions and have to break down and slip into the right places.

revising sucks, and this here coffee isn't exactly taking care of everything like it should...

...sigh... back to it i go...

Addition 4:17pm

i got no more than 2 pages done. haha. awesome.

then i found more ways to procrastinate, went shopping and got stuff for the dark tower wind chime. came home and wrote a crafty blog about it.!!

and now i'm going to go clean my craft room. screw writing!!

Sunday, February 21, 2010


Today I did write "The End-ish" at the end of the spaceship story. Finally. It is as wonderful as I knew it would be, but also filled with the deep empty sadness of finishing, before the imagination void can be filled with the next project.

I am not complete unless I am making something I believe.

The next thing I have great desire to make is a Dark Tower wind chime. I peed myself with excitement with the very idea of it and it all came together so quickly that it was sort of startling and i could very much make it RIGHT NOW if only i had all the pieces.

but THIS is not my craft blog!

I spent two days of work revising my revisions of the prequel and doing addition writes and rewrites. Next is the process of attacking the first few chapters. I believe one day this week will be a coffee and writing day and that excites me.

as much as the hand spun crocheted wristers for the auntie mommy that i'm dreaming about

but dammit. not the crafty blog!!

And now, for the thing that made me happy today. I watched this silly gymnastic movie ONLY because jeff bridges was in it (I swear, you can't prove anything different) but this was the best part.

wei wei on the balance beam might be my new favorite thing in the world. and i had to then add that song on my lala and the hilarity got me through my day.

Thursday, February 18, 2010

Goin' Back To Work

Still totally bummed about my lamo crappy feeling weekend. And today I feel great, all full of bright and shiny energy. I know that if I were to walk into my craft room I would have the whole thing clean and orderly before Mr. Darcy's utterly charming "i love, i love, i love you."

But I decided today that The Prequel is going back to work with me today. It just feels right, and that's always how I know.

Another short post. There's a slice of cold pizza in the fridge calling my name.

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Sara Feels Icky

It is not fair that sara has spent the last three days of her weekend feeling like crap and then tomorrow she has to go back to work.

Sara doesn't feel like writing today, so there will be no week 4 writing prompt today. Sara doesnt feel like doing much of anything with this stupid head ache, with this stupid studied disinterest in absolutely everything.

Sara may just go and read a little "Half Asleep in Frog Pajamas" to knock her out of her third person speech... perhaps a little second person will fix her right up...

Update: 5:53pm.

Sara just spent exactly 15 minutes cleaning her craft room. nothing really was accomplished, but it's more than nothing!

Monday, February 15, 2010

A Method

So the Prequel is still on the back burner, still simmering and all of the et cetera. I have returned full force to the Spaceship story. At first I was having some problems getting back into it. I stopped originally when I reached the climax of the story and had NO idea who had done all the bad things to my crew.

My Nano2009 was not only a story that was part of the larger whole, but the characters were in a situation that exactly matched the characters of Spaceship. Well, not exactly but they had a common villian between them and it was the Nano story that I developed and learned about the antagonist (they're sort of like vampire aliens... sucking chemicals out of the bodies of captives. what fun!) from the point of view of someone who actually survived it.

So I go back to the Spaceship story with a full knowledge of how to resolve everything to the ending I already knew. It's easy enough once you get going. The past two days at work I have done 2 chapters and I probably have 2 to go. It's been really fun because I have been also tying up some of the endings that don't directly coincide with the main plot. Every word I write, I know, is bringing me closer to my final 2 words. "The End-ish" But at the same time that I am making these knots of completion I am forming the first threads of the stories to follow.

The thought of finishing it and beginning on the next - the one I refer to as The Sequel (but now chronologically has become the 5th... my goodness I am demented) is the greatest thing. Because after the Sequel comes The Fourth One (again misnumbered... i'm really cracking myself up right now, please excuse me) in which I have only a single little play of words between a brother and sister laid out to develop the story around.

And after the Fourth One?? I can't say for sure. I don't actually think I will run out of ideas before I get that far because each idea I create opens up the doors to 6 more.

Keep at it, (all of it) there is a crazy method to all the madness.

I believe I have, after all these years of writing chaotically and with no direction, found my path through the madness.

Saturday, February 13, 2010

Writing Prompt 3

Here it is!! Writing Prompt 3. A story about a coffee maker!!

Now, as most of us have figured out by now I'm a sci-fi and fantasy nerd. I grew up on Star Trek, sure, but there was also this British comedy about a spaceship and I think I almost liked more than the Treks. Its the dirty space concept that always drew me more than clean sleek Enterprise. Red Dwarf is the epitome of perfect spaceships in my eyes. And the Firefly class ship Serenity too. I like it when my space men are cowboys.

So, when this coffee prompt caught my eye my first thought was to, of course, give the coffee maker an artificial intellegence. Its not enough to simply give it a bit of consiousness to work with for my writing exercise, but my coffee maker had to be super advanced with a brain and everything. Sci-fi just makes everything better.

And that thought led to Talkie Toaster, a favorite character of Red Dwarf fame.

So that's a little rundown of some of my influences in not just writing this coffee prompt, but also my writing in general. and now what we've all been waiting for: the link to writing prompt 3. finally!

now i'm going to watch some tv.

Friday, February 12, 2010

This is NOT writing prompt 3

The writing prompt I chose for this week is thus:

Coffee Maker
Write a scene in which the coffee maker is the protagonist.

From Elite Writing Prompts (the title is a link to the blog, if you couldnt tell :P) I'm not sure how far back.

The day before I chose this prompt I had been in the kitchen making shredded beef and mashed potatoes (real, not from a box) and a cake (because I had time to spare between the potatoes and the gravy) and I was brain writing one of the original thoughts I had for my Nanowrimo 2009 story. Be Long went a far different direction so I veered back around for my own amusement to see what I could do about it.

When I saw this prompt I thought, "Yeah, that would be fun!" thinking of all the coffee related stories I already have in my life. I heart coffee so very much....

Anyhow, I thought about the coffee prompt a little more and then I went "yeah, ok, I can introduce that world and those characters from last night from the coffee pot's point of view." It makes me laugh because the prompt sort of become a self serving thing where I could go over a completely different story. But at the same time the Prompts are self serving in themselves so what the hell am I even talking about!?

So it ended up being quite long and it is, at the moment, all hand written and the worstest part about writing is transcribing. I'm working on it, but it'll take some time because I am already thinking about all the distractions possible to get me away from this stinking laptop! Also, when something is this long (about 13 handwritten pages, which isn't really long at all by my standards. 18-28 handwritten pages is what I use to gauge one chapter length...) ... uh what was I saying before I parenthasized...? oh yeah, when something is this long I like to be able to look over it once or twice before I fling it out upon the world.

And since I just bought a Gold membership at Authors Den I am going to post it there. My first post as a Gold Member. Maybe tomorrow, maybe the next day. Look for the link and be very excited for the coffee pot story. It will be unputdownable! (again typed with my eyes closed)

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Writing Prompt 2

From Elite Writing Prompts from Dec 28th:

What character inspires you?
There are a lot of writers depicted in TV series such as Jenny from The L Word and Hank Moody from Californication. From the TV series or movies you have watched, which character is most like you? Which one do you look forward to watching?

My first thought was undeniable. Lorelei Gilmore. Even though I have seen them all a million times, Gilmore Girls is still the reason I get up at 10 in the morning when I could easily sleep until 11 or 12. On the occasions that I do sleep late and the first time I look at the clock it is 10:30 or 10:40 I’m hoping that the TV was left on channel 49 (the only channel I know for sure, by the way) so that I can use the DVR to rewind. It’s not. It’s always on cartoon network. Stupid cartoons!

But I do not think I am Lorelei, I do not have that kind of wit… or at least not vocal wit. I believe that my dearest Auntie Mommy is more along the lines of dear Lorelei, right down to the uncanny ability to control the snow. My auntie mommy inspires me the same way Gilmore girls does. And I feel that I have always been able to play off her wit and humor until we make other people pee with laughter and jealous of our banter.

Banter is what Miss Gilmore inspires in me. To write the banter between my characters that is both funny and informative and draws the reader in. Mine is not nearly so elaborate, or so long and breathless, but I like to be able to show the reader that the characters know each other better than we do, and it makes us want to have those bantery, inside joke moments with them.

It was David Eddings’ Belgariad and Mallorean that showed me the importance of the banter between characters, though. Science fiction and fantasy can at times be so very dry and mechanical. I loved the sarcasm and wit of all the character’s around Belgarion, the way Belgarath fell asleep in his saddle and how Pol’s uncle would make fun of her fat ass. It makes the characters more humans and less just characters.

Monday, February 8, 2010


Sometimes I believe that I like to create characters more than I really like to write stories about them. Or, rather, write huge novels with like plots and shit where I'm forced to do bad things and kill some of them. I am still bitter about the fact that my creation of Dartia meant that I had to kill Aschet, who I love first and most. Which of course means I'm going to have to go back in time and write something about Aschet's past...

I always love it when I run across a single sentence or quote that entirely describes a character as no other had before. you don't even need to read anything else to understand who the character is and what they're all about.

I've been reading Mansfield Park by Jane Austen the last couple days and this happened twice while I was reading yesterday.

First there was Mrs. Norris, aunt to Fanny, stuck between 2 half page paragraphs:

Mrs. Norris fetched a breath and went on again.

But she's different than Miss Bates from Emma, who said a whole lot of nothing. Mrs. Norris is a horrid bitch, Miss Bates just never shut up about her neice. But that's a single aspect on two characters who are wholly different. It gives me some hope that I CAN go back and do an Aschet story. My one worry has been that once I've written Dartia what will I have to do with poor old Aschet, they are both space rat pilots, so how do I make them different? I must be careful.

The second Austen character description I found was only a few pages later. Henry Crawford is telling his sister that he's come up with the best way to amuse himself in the next two weeks before he goes back to london and he says:

"...No, I am going to make Fanny Price in love with me."

If we didn't know who Henry Crawford was before (and I think we did after the Julia/Maria debacle) we certianly do now.

I hope that I write characters half as good as Jane Austen does. That will be enough.

Friday, February 5, 2010


holy crap!

I was sitting in my cube at work yesterday and it suddenly dawned on me that I didn't do my wednesday writing prompt!! i was all excited to do it, talking about it and looking forward to it and then i totally forgot.

this morning I have a headache and too much to do to get ready for the super surprise day tomorrow.

I guess I'll have to do 2 next week...

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

2 Quick Things

First - the unknown, unmet character who's rattling around my mind has a little more to him. I realized when I was driving around the city Getting Stuff Done that he's Ryan Dole. You, dear reader (all one of you so far) has no idea who Ryan Dole is, but this character, whoever and whatever he turns out to be has his roots planted deeply in my real life rambunctious friend. Knowing this, the character can grow.

Second - The break from The Prequel is looking to be longer than I had anticipated. My Writing Brain is slowly reactivating itself but the story that's being acted out for me is infact The Spaceship Story, which makes sense because it's been over a year since I started that one and the first draft still isn't finished. I got to a point where I didn't know exactly what happened next and it took me writing my 2009 Nanowrimo story (working title is actually the only quasi serious one - Be Long Off World, there is a poem of the same name written in preperation for the story here: ) to actually figure out what happened next. I love that all my stories have been written at the same time and they build off of each other. Makes the whole writing in a serial format so much more worthwhile.

Tuesday, February 2, 2010


The end of a revision, or a first draft, or a second draft is official Writing Brain Off time. I don't have a single thought about the thing I've just been working on so hard, for so long. Between calls, and during lulls in calls at work I'm not plotting and scheming. Instead I'm not having a single thought. Its refreshing and relaxing, but it also leaves me a little aimless and forlorn.

Without those characters who entertain me, and I entertain in return I feel dumb and sloppy and useless. I can't wait for the stewing simmering time to be over, but I certianly can't jump in prematurely.

But there is a character who's been popping up in the corners of the crowd that rustles around in my brain. I see him shaking hands like an old friend with Dartia, with a slap on the shoulder and a loud laugh. The rest of him is hiding the shadows, I don't yet know his name but he'll introduce himself to me eventually. So it's a little thing to consider from time to time in the Marinading phase, but i can't push him either or he'll just wander off and forget me.

I don't write characters. I convince them to come into my brain for a visit and never let them out (Evil Laughter)...

anyhow, i'm gonna go play my video game, cuz that's sort of like writing a story, only easier. Gonna get in Morrigan's pant... uh... er, rags...?

Monday, February 1, 2010

On Being Uneducated

Not uneducated exactly. I graduated high school and did well enough when I felt like it. I graduated college, but I have a degree in, mystifyingly, Business management.

In high school when I would slam out my english papers the week before they were due, creating a first draft, an outline, notes and a final draft all in one fell swoop, turning everything in at once to get partial points for the stuff that had been due in the preceeding weeks. And getting A's and B's. In college those silly outlines and notes that I never actually needed were left behind and I threw words onto my computer screen and turned them in without even much bothering to proofread. Now granted, I went to online college but that is the ONLY reason I gave them so little thought. Because I COULD and still get a good grade. If they would have required more, I would have given them more, but just because I didnt tell you I learned something doesn't mean I didn't learn it.

But the rest of english, back in the high school days - grammar and the rules of writing completely mystified me. I don't know what it means to split an infinitive, I have to think for a moment to come up with what a Pronoun is and once I do I can't explain it to you. I can't define it. The only thing I know about Adjectives is that it is a word that I both like to say and spell. The rules of writing escape me, and I have no patience to learn them. But I can look at a sentence and know it's wrong. And I can fix it.

I have read enough, so much, that I just know the right from the wrong.

I have no training in writing stories, only a vauge memory of a line chart drawn on some chalboard or another. A rise and a fall, the first big climax, and the jagged secondary climax on the way down the ending side. I keep that in mind when I'm frantically filling my 3 Subject notebooks up, but I also know that it is not the only format available.

just like haiku's are not the only kind of poetry.