Hella

All the best characters are duos. Think about it. Batman and Robin. Abbot and Costello. Ned Stark and an executioner (spoiler alert!).

So, I’d like for you to meet my other half. (Sorry, Adam, it’s not you.)

She's...seen things. Things you people wouldn't believe. Attack ships on fire off the shoulder of Orion. She watched C-beams glitter in the dark near the Tannhauser gate. All those moments will be lost in time... like tears in rain... Time to die.

My precious

Her name is Hella, after the naked vampire maid lady from The Master and Margarita and she’s a 1962 Smith-Corona Corsair. She’s a bit unbalanced so that every time I type for long periods of time on her, she begins to shimmy backwards and to the left, but I just like the fact that I motivate myself by eating an M&M every time she DINGs.

Apparatus Publishing

Apparatus Publishing is a little ol’ startup established by my good friend and fellow author, Blue-Haired Stevie. (I worked with another Stevie, the infamous Stevie’s Mom Stevie, and the Blue-Haired epithet is to differentiate the two.)

Their goal is to create an app for e-readers and the like that completely changes the way people read stories. Instead of the boring turn an electronic page because we’re humans and we would feel obsolete and somehow backstabby to our caveman ancestors who turned pages for millions of years, the stories organically scroll upwards continuously, displaying content and pictures — yes, pictures — slowly as one progresses through the story.

Back last year they needed a guinea pig story to work their Apparatus-y magic on, and voila! a little ol’ story of mine called The Retriever was entered and won their competition so as to be the flagshipstory.

What they do is add pictures — drawn by their lovely staff — add sounds and music — composed by their also lovely staff — so that the reading experience engages more than one sense.

They tell me that soon, (SOON), they’ll be up and running and publishing stories and changing the e-reading experience and stuff. I’m so *sniff* proud.

To NaNo or Not to NaNo?

…that is the hypothetical question posed to you all. Hey, at least I think of you as more than a skull, m’kay?

I’ve participated in NaNoWriMo for the past three years now and I’ve never once NOT finished. 2010 was a sci-fi novel, 2011 a short story extravaganza, and 2012 a fantasy novel.

2013 might be…a nothing novel.

Listen, kids, I’m getting married on Halloween and then I’m going to be in Cabo (as in Mexico) for a good chunk of that November on my honeymoon. I can’t just, you know, IGNORE MY HUSBAND, and be all, “one sec, hon, I’m writing when we should be honeymooning. Pool time? How’s about plot time? Sitting on the beach? Only if it’s raining, and I’m imagining a car crash.”

Can I?

In years past, I have slacked off for various reasons — Thanksgiving, my birthday is on the 18th — and have gotten it done. What’s one more? I oftentimes leave it until the last two weeks anyway and write in 10,000 words a day spurts until I sprint toward the finish line.

But on the other hand, I should enjoy myself as a new wife and relax this November, my honeymoon/birthday/Thanksgiving month. In years past, I’ve gotten a little, um, touchy when the deadline approaches. I know, my accent through the computer makes cantankerous sound like touchy.

But then again, I already have an idea!

But then there are the detractors of NaNo, and sometimes I’m really influenced by the random commentators in the intertubes.

But it’s time to write! And November makes me ridiculously productive!

What’s a girl to do? Listen to music, apparently. Or, ride my bike.

UPDATE: I write these things a few days in advance and just this morning (October 16th), I asked Adam what I should do about NaNo and he FULLY INTENDS ON PARTICIPATING. “What else are we gonna do?” I paraphrase for him.

Slap my hair in a bun, give me a pair of glasses and call me Giles Wesley

Wesley is just so much cuter. And less inclined to concussions from being head-bonked, though, surprisingly, more susceptible to gunshot wounds, slit throats, and eventual death. Also, he’s a rogue demon hunter.

So, as part of my non-New-Year’s-resolution — the learnin’ bit — I’ve decided to go to my local library, ask for the British librarian to check if I’m the Chosen One and get kicked out and get books on anything vaguely related to my non-vampire novel. This includes, but is not limited to: dreams, memory, death, Jungian archetypes, and motorcycle maintenance.

Much to my surprise, a vague perusal of the library gave me this: On Dreams and Death, a book about Jungian interpretations of death dreams with an Egyptian mythology chaser. Ha! Perfect! Take that, Internet! Good ol’ fashioned research once again proves to be the victor, playing the Germans in this re-enactment of WWII, Risk-style.

Hey. Get your manky paws off of my little plastic battalions, huh? I’m trying to symbolically show the reasons for the brutality of 20th century skirmishes by comparing it to the effects of the Industrial Revolution and the penalties of compartmentalization on the human psyche. Oh, that’s not how we play this game? God, I just thought it was so boring, that modernization and Jungian archetypes must somehow figure in.*

Sometimes I feel as though I’m growing stupid, so I have to learn things in order to combat this. This sentiment, coupled with years of indoctrination at the hands of IB/AP/Honors schooling, means that I’ve started taking notes on this book. Notes. Cornell style for no reason other than the fact that I want to pretend I’m still in school so that my boring life is less pathetic. And because I don’t want that nifty callus on my right middle finger to go away.

So, what have I learned? A little bit about Egyptian death ceremonies, the fact that people dream really weird shit right before they die and that the pun Forever Jung is still just as hilarious as it was to me before this little adventure.

*While playing the game of Life I took the little plastic men and women and made a four-car pile up with many, many victims. Look! Here’s a picture!

The only Russian phrase I understood when I saw a bootleg Day Watch back in 2006 was "Where's my mommy?" "Your mother's dead!"

*No real Life figurines were harmed in the making of this production. But they were scarred mentally.


Imagine the poor little children of these plastic people, the blue-and-pink strewn body parts, the polymer intestines! Oh, the horror! The humanity!

Happy New. . .whatever

I’m not a fan of the New Year resolutions. Why decide to change something NOW when there are gazillions millions okay, fine, 364 other days (save for leap years) to do that?

It just so happens that this year the impetus to finish a novel (not even the one I started ten plus years ago, but just a novel, and it could be one that I haven’t even thought of yet) came around the time of the new year. It’s not a resolution, it’s just something I’ve decided to do. Around now. You know what? SHUT THE FRONT DOOR.

Another new-thing-I-want-to-do-that’s-in-no-way-connected-to-a-resolution-or-a-new-year? Learn things. I learned that learning things makes you have wacktastic dreams. DOUBLE SCORE ALL THE WAY ACROSS THE SKY. I research things for the novel about dreaming and then dream strange things that can also be used in my novel. Are you pondering what I’m pondering? Yes? Then let’s go learn Yiddish for that opera!

And now for something completely different: I will never go see the movie No Strings Attached. I see ads for it everywhere. I try to listen to music on Pandora and there’s ads for it every five minutes. NATALIE PORTMAN, YOU ARE USING UP ALL OF YOUR GOOD ACTRESS POINTS FOR SHIZZ LIKE THIS. Stop it or I’m going to make you watch that horrible dialogue scene between you and Hans Christian Andersen Hayden Christensen over and over and over. And over.

Oh, November, November, the Month of Novel Writing (and explosions, if you’re into that)

*camera zooms into the back of Emkay’s head; she turns around gracefully like she’s in a 60s sitcom opening*

Oh, hey. What’s that? Oh, nothing. I just have this:
All for a measly month of my otherwise thrilling life

If you don’t know what NaNoWriMo is, it’s an acronym for National Novel Writing Month. (Personally, I like to say na-no-ree-mo instead of na-no-rye-mo, but then again, I do pronounce it as ree-ting instead of rye-ting.* I’m from Colorado and just learned that I have a Colorado accent.) That is, you write 50,000 words in the 30 days of November. (Other than the fifth, that is, which is devoted to vivacious violence and Agent Smith Hugo Weaving. And the 18th, which is devoted to MY BIRTHDAY.) You don’t really get anything, other than sweet badges Boy Scout-style, but it really forces you to sit down and write a lot every day (or, in my case, in sporadic bursts of 6000+ words every Tuesday) and doesn’t allow you to overthink or edit as you go. Which is, really, what I needed.

See, my dear readers, I suffer as a SOB. Whoopsie. I mean, SOP: self-oriented perfectionist. It used to be really bad, but now, I’m actually kind of lazy. But this means that everything must be perfect from the moment it flows from my fingertips and is indelibly inked into the very fabric of my computer. Which is MK code for 30 words every 30 minutes. Or, a sentence that takes an hour, if not longer. It’s exhausting and I get a paragraph done and then feel as if I’ve climbed Everest.

So, NaNoWriMo was an exercise in two things for me:
1.) Writing every single fracking day. Or, at least, every few days. Which is more than I’ve been doing lately.
2.) Writing something new. Which is crazy, because I’ve been writing Gwennie’s story for 10 plus years now.

That’s right. A new novel. About vampires something other than vampires.** It’s science fiction, has the tentative title of “Roam” and stars a crazy Russian girl — dubbed the Main Character — and a cute American boy — dubbed the Love Interest — and their adventures*** thereof. “Adventures” being MK code for messed-up Joss Whedon-like doomed romance, a subplot involving Death herself, communism, a man with a mustache, and people in fedoras. Oh, how I love fedoras.

So, I wasn’t boycotting the Internet again. I wasn’t watching Casper Van “I-Have-Something-In-My-Teeth-Oh-It’s-Just-My-Chin” Dien. I was writing. Legitimately. Film at 9.

*Sarcasm is hard on the Interwebz.+

**Dammit.

***Mathematical! This week, for the make-your-facebook-profile-a-cartoon-character-from-your-childhood-week-for-the-fighting-of-the-child-abuse, I chose Lumpy Space Princess. I contend that I still watch cartoons and therefore am still a child, even though I turned 24 also in November.

+Which is maybe, probably sarcastic in its own right.

New Favorite Pastime

After the proliferation of turning website addresses into verbs — like google, netflix, facebook, etc. — I’ve decided to use this same logic and have begun pushing the titles of somewhat obscure short stories as verbs.

For example:

“Oh, noes! Phantom Dennis just got Cask of Amontilladoed!

Or:

“That girl better watch out; my sister was just like her and now she’s all A Good Man is Hard to Find.”

Help spread the word.

Chekhov’s Oeuvre

I’ve always wanted to use that word. Ooh-vrah. (If you go to the dictionary.com definition of that word, the lady pronouncing it sounds like she might be doing something else, if you know what I mean.)

Achnywhoo, Chekhov, a source of constant surprise for me, is known for his short stories — more because he could never finish a novel to save his life* — and plays, but I like the former better. There’s only so many breaking strings that you can hear before you just want to get to the gun part last act. Amirite?

I’ve decided to try my hand at some short stories. Mind you, I haven’t written anything less than 10 pages since I was 10 myself, still waiting for my letter from Hogwarts to come in the mail. Since that never happened, I shut myself into the basement and started writing novels. Not short stories, but novels. I never looked back. *80s power ballad*

Which is what my notes from last post were all about. As it is, I’m not trying to plan anything out or make anything perfect. I don’t even really know what’s going to happen after the line, “No, this is what we get for lying about what we saw.” I DON’T EVEN KNOW WHAT THEY SAW. It’s exciting.

*Too soon?