"I'm a nun - I'm a penguin!"

Writer's Block: Conversation starters

Are there any subjects you either embrace or totally avoid talking about when you meet someone new?

Now I'm picturing the most awkward conversation with a new person...

Person: Hi! I'm person!
Ade: Hi, I'm Ade.
Person: Have you accepted Jesus Christ as your personal Lord and savior?
Ade: No, but I love his work.
Person: Did you just quote "Hedwig and the Angry Inch?"
Ade: Yes.
Person: You're going to hell, because God hates GLBTs.
Ade: Wait, how did you know I was quoting Hedwig if... oh, nevermind.
Person: Want to see my cock? It's three inches long! And covered in herpes!
Ade: ...
Person: Did I mention I'm into furries? And buttsex?
Ade: I'm going to walk away now...
Person: You're really really short. Why are you so short? Is it a medical problem? Are you on any medication? When was your last colonoscopy? I had one yesterday. They told me I have severe hemorrhoids. Have you ever had hemorrhoids? What kind of underwear are you wearing?
Ade: Hang on a second, I left my axes in the car. I'll be right back!
Person: Would you like to buy some car insu...
Ade: Ahhh, I feel so much better now...

On the other hand, I've had some very successful conversations with new people.

Person: Hi! I'm Person, but not the same Person lying in a pool of blood over there.
Ade: Hi, I'm Ade, and he was like that when I found him.
Person: Just blame it on the cat.
Ade: I have four cats!
Person: I have cats too!
Ade: Yay cats!
Person: Agreed! Cats are awesome!
[Commence hour-long discussion about cats.]
"I'm a nun - I'm a penguin!"

(no subject)

Time for another "year in retrospect" post. 2010 was actually a pretty good year for me, all things considered.

In the middle of January, I adopted a very sweet, very shy, and very floofy Maine Coon kitten. I named him Hagrid, and the name suits him very well. He gets along well with the other cats, and he's very smart and well-behaved. He's the biggest cat in the house, and he's still growing. He does tend to hide in the closet whenever there are other people at the house.

The summer was pretty good too. Confluence and Pennsic were fun, and I put a trampoline in my back yard. I finally finished the first draft of my novel, after ~6 years of writing. I'm currently about halfway done with the second draft. I was actually somewhat social this year, and I continued to join more local groups. I made a bunch of new friends, got out more than usual, and surprised myself. I'm still a hermit cat lady, but at least I'm not isolating myself any more.

Goals I made last year and whether or not I kept them:

1. Repeat most of 2009's goals.
1a. Work on my damned novel already.

The first draft is done! The second draft will hopefully be finished soon! Yeah! Progress!

1b. Be slightly less vegetable-ish. As in, "get some exercise, you lazy fatty!"
Well, I did get a trampoline, so I got a little more exercise, but I'm still a slug.

1c. Be less of a slob.
Er, about the same. Though I did clear out the basement and put the cat boxes down there.

1d. Go outside once in a while.
Again, about the same.

1e. Cook stuff once in a while, even if it's just for me.
I made spaghetti squash on Halloween, but that was about it.

2. Be more active in the SCA, especially on a local level. I decided I need to decide on a name by Pennsic and make some new garb. I'm going to accomplish this, dammit! (Janet!)
Yes! I have accomplished this! I've been to a bunch of events, I made a tunic and a cloak, and I chose my name at Pennsic (Emma Armitt). And I finally have a yurt now!

3. Bake more often. Baking is awesome. Yes, that sort of goes with #1e, but #1e is about making dinner once in a while, and this is about making more pies and cookies, because pies and cookies are delicious.
I think I may have baked a couple more pies than usual, but that was about it.

I've noticed that I tend to break the same goals over and over. Maybe if I'm more specific about them, I'll accomplish something. So, here are my updated goals for 2011. Come back next year to see if I've actually kept them this time.

1. Finish the second draft, send it to my friends who have volunteered to critique it, and incorporate their comments into the third draft. By the end of the year, I want a solid manuscript that I can present to literary agents in the hopes that one will love it and help me sell it.

2. Walk around the neighborhood at least once a week. It's not much, but it's something. (Walking three houses away for gaming doesn't count.) Jump on the trampoline for at least 10 minutes at least once a week when it isn't wet or snowy out.

3. Keep the living room, kitchen, and bathrooms looking semi-decent. A little clutter is acceptable, but squalor isn't. Finish ripping out all the carpet. Clean the cat boxes more often. It's ok if I can't see the floor of my room, but the main areas of the house should at least be reasonable in case the doorbell rings.

4. Have one meal a week that doesn't come from the freezer, a restaurant, or a box. Even if it's just spaghetti.

5. Do laundry at least once a week, and actually put the clothes away instead of leaving them in the baskets.
  • Current Mood
"I'm a nun - I'm a penguin!"

(no subject)

Well, NaNoWriMo is over. In one way, I failed to meet my original goal, but I didn't fail epically, and I did make good progress. The original goal was to have a second draft at the end of the month. I don't have one, but I do have a fairly thorough markup of the first draft with a handful of flagged areas that need more work.

11/29: 10 pages

11/30: Last 10 pages!

I do realize that I could have spent a weekend holed up in my room, and I'd have a markup in two days instead of a month. But my weekends were busy in November. It happens. I could probably incorporate all the changes in a weekend too, but that's pretty unlikely... December will be busy too. So the new goal is to have a completed second draft by the end of the year, and then I can send it to my friends who kindly volunteered to rip it to shreds and dance on its inky corpse. Can I do it? Of course! Will I? That's another matter...

I also have a few plans for the second book. I don't have a solid plot yet, but it will involve the following things: a seeeeecret relationship, someone loses a father and gains a niece in the same year, a very awkward wedding (unrelated to the seeeecret relationship), and a new cat. A minor character from the first book will also have a much more significant role. But I'm not allowed to start writing it until I get the second draft sent to friends for critiquery.
  • Current Music
    Miley Cyrus - Driveway
"I'm a nun - I'm a penguin!"

(no subject)

11/20 - 11/27: I was generally too busy to accomplish much on the novel front, but one of those days (I forget which, but it doesn't matter), I came up with a Plan. It would have been brilliant if fate hadn't interfered, but I didn't mind. I decided that I needed to get out of the house in order to do some editing. I went to a pizza buffet place for dinner, intending to have a leisurely dinner while red penning the crap out of my draft, free from the gravitational pull of my computer. But as I drove into the parking lot, I spotted my neighbors' van and knew I'd get distracted. I spent half the time hanging out with the neighbors and chatting with the kids (who are fun), but I did get 9 pages done after they left.

10/28: 24 pages! Woohoo! Of course, these were minor edits because the chapters have been edited a bunch of times already, but it's still significant progress.

There are about 20 pages left to edit before I incorporate the edits into the electronic document. I can do this. I WILL do it, even though the cats say petting them is more important.

I also had a dream the other night involving my characters. It took place on Andhi-Loakua's island (somewhere in the Pacific), but in the dream it was basically a volcano surrounded by a beach, rather than a mid-sized volcanic island with lush jungles and such. I think I was looking into the past, and Andhikryn (Andhi-Loakua's long-dead twin sister) was talking about how she manipulated the shape of the volcano so it would pour a river of lava onto the city below and destroy it (in the book, the city was buried by rocks and ash). Then I knelt on the beach looking for shells, but I couldn't find any. I scooped up handfuls of the wet, black sand and tossed them behind me. I was digging for something in the wet sand at the base of the now-dormant volcano, looking for something, but I wasn't sure if I'd find anything other than a lot of sand.

My sister turned 21 yesterday, so now she's old enough to drink. Hah, like she isn't already a budding alcoholic. At least she'll probably stop trying to bribe me to buy her alcohol, now that she can get it herself.
  • Current Mood
    tired tired
"I'm a nun - I'm a penguin!"

(no subject)

11/17: I hand-wrote a little over 3 pages. The scene could use a lot of work, but it's a start.

11/18: Nope.

11/19: Didn't have time. Really.
"I'm a nun - I'm a penguin!"

(no subject)

11/11: 3 pages.

11/12: Lazy.

11/13: 1 page, which is almost nothing.

11/14: Lazy again.

11/15: LAZY!

11/16: 6 pages, which is ok... but I can do better.

I'm obviously slacking off on my editing. I'm halfway through the month and about halfway through red-penning my draft. That would be ok if all I wanted to do was red-pen the thing in a month, but I also have to incorporate the changes and write a couple more scenes. I can still do that, but in order to have plenty of time to transfer the paper changes to the computer doc, I should finish the markup in the next few days and draft the new scenes so I can give them a deeper edit when I'm typing them. If I do about a dozen pages a day, I'll be in good shape. I can edit 12 pages in a day without disturbing my busy schedule of sitting in bed reading webcomics and playing silly Facebook games after work. There's enough food in my house to last for the rest of the month (of course, it's all frozen stuff, canned soup, popcorn, and juice), so I really have no excuses.

Ok, after I post this, I'm setting down the laptop, turning off the music, and red-penning the everloving crap out of the draft. Last night, I stopped at a point where I wanted to insert a couple new scenes, because I wanted to expand that particular chapter and up the awesomeness quotient. So I'm going to start writing... NOW!
  • Current Music
    Dar Williams - Teenagers, Kick Our Butts
rhino butt

(no subject)

11/9: 6 pages, which is reasonable progress.

11/10: I really wanted to work on it but got tired early and fell asleep instead.

I'm hoping to do some editing tonight, after I eat something and take out the trash/recycle (which I WILL remember to do this week!).

So, I had a dizzy spell today. I hadn't had one in a while, but I was an idiot and triggered one even though I knew better. The thing is, I can't stand medical stuff. Surgery, needles, organs, etc. Blech. I'm perfectly fine with watching someone get disemboweled in a zombie movie, but I feel faint at the mere thought of someone getting a needle jabbed into their arm. It's even to the point where I have to avert my eyes at the vet's office, because I. Can't. Stand. Medical. Stuff. Yeah, people harass me because I haven't gone to a doctor in well over 5 years, but I'm still alive and in reasonable health, and I do at least visit the dentist (if they have to jab me with a needle, I'm lying down and can close my eyes and pretend I'm just accidentally stabbing myself with a fork). Anyway. I was bored on the internet, and that occasionally leads to mistakes ("so what's this '2 girls 1 cup' thing anywaaaaaaaOHGODNOMYEYESSOWRONGGGGGGG!").

I was reading a description of what happens during childbirth. Yes, go ahead and laugh, but I was curious. I knew it was a bad idea, and when my head started buzzing, I immediately stopped and tried to avert the impending attack by distracting myself with some Facebook game, but it was too late. When I get these attacks (which are purely psychosomatic and are only triggered if I see or hear things about certain medical stuff), they start with a buzzing in my head, which eventually turns into a jackhammering sensation. My vision blurs. Everything else sounds far away and muffled, which is really weird if someone happens to be standing in front of me and talking to me at the time, and my ears ring. I think I get hot flashes too, because my body temperature soars, and I break out into a cold sweat. These attacks tend to last for a minute or two, and then they fade away (though today I had some lingering ringing in my ears). I usually try to distract myself to get my mind off whatever triggered it and just sort of wait for it to go away. This one lasted a couple minutes, and then I got up to get a drink. I looked at my face in the mirror, and I looked half-dead. My face was paler than usual and had a sickly yellowish tinge to it. It was really freaky.

But I'm better now. I learned my lesson. And I'm very, very glad I'm not pregnant.
  • Current Mood
"I'm a nun - I'm a penguin!"

(no subject)

11/8: Another 12 pages down, and I edited through the end of Chapter Five. 43 pages down,73 to go, plus incorporating changes, adding a couple new scenes, formatting, etc. It's good to be back in the editing groove.

Posted via LiveJournal app for iPhone.

"I'm a nun - I'm a penguin!"

(no subject)


11/5: Lazy, but I went to a druid ritual, which was pretty neat.

11/6: Lazy... and drunk.

11/7: Broke the lazy spell, but only edited 5 pages.

Let's see what I can accomplish tonight, if anything.
  • Current Mood
    optimistic optimistic
"I'm a nun - I'm a penguin!"

(no subject)

11/3: I edited Chapter 3 and one scene in Chapter 4. Only 8 pages, but it's progress. I decided that I should spend weeknights being a hermit and working on this thing so I can slack off on the weekends. I have plans for most of the weekends in this month... how did THAT happen?
  • Current Mood
    tired tired