Thursday, July 30, 2015

Quote #41 - Stephen King

And as a writer, one of the things that I've always been interested in doing is actually invading your comfort space. Because that's what we're supposed to do. Get under your skin, and make you react.
- Stephen King

Wednesday, July 29, 2015

Random #55 - Digital Parent

When I had my first child, I used to write everything down, all her milestones in a red notebook that a friend had given to me.  Not a baby book (though I have of those too), but a book filled with lined paper, writing down all the little details, like a diary or journal entry.  I did it for a long time, until that book was filled.  Then I got a new book, a Dr. Seuss journal, which my Hubby bought me.  I tried to continue to write down all the things that happened, first teeth, steps, funny moments, as my second child was born.

What happened?  Were my hands full with two children now, an infant and a two-year-old?  I was still making notes, but more often they were on my iPad (which my Hubby got me for Christmas the year our son was born).  I think back on it and it's not the same.  Even now, with my children 6 and 4, I don't write things down, tell the story.  I take a multitude of videos and pictures on my phone.  I take pictures and post it to social media with captions for my friends and family to see.

I have all these digital notes, saved and backed up, but I still want those paper to turn through.  I want the book sitting on my shelf, whenever I want to open it.  But I don't have time to write all those notes out. What I am considering is a bit of a copy and paste project.  I print all those notes, maybe edit them for spelling, and glue them into my Dr. Seuss book.  Then I think I might have what I wanted, though not in the way I intended.

I am left now wondering if this happened because of the "digital age" we not live in, where it is easier to take a picture with smartphone, then a camera and we can transmit it to whoever, wherever we want. Or did it happen because I became busier, I had two little ones who demanded my time, I worked full time, I had projects that needed my attention? Did the smartphone and tablet actually save things that would have been lost 30 years ago? I can message a photo or video to family members who haven't seen the children in a while, instead of handing them a stack of photos or an album filled with months of memories, like my parents used to do.

Am I disappointed I didn't keep up with the notebook?  A little, but I had to balance my time (and sanity). Do I think my cut and paste idea is a bit like cheating?  A little, yes, but if I want it done now instead of in five years, this is how it will happen.  I also like to think that when it is done, I might start writing in it again, since it won't feel like I'm behind anymore.  Also, I'm glad for my smartphone and tablet, always being right there, grabbing all the cute pictures that needed to be taken.

Should I have been working at my day job instead of writing this?  Maybe.

Sunday, July 26, 2015

Last Week #36 - The Outline Is Done! (Sort Of)

I finished working on this outline... I've been coming to it and away from it for what seems like months.  I knew I needed it when I was feeling stagnant with my work-in-progress.  I like this guide, I feel that it is still going to change, but that it will also tell me where the story needs to go.  I finished writing it by hand, of course.  I knew it would be the only way I would finish it. Writing by hand definitely taps into a different part of my creativity.  Now, I am typing it up. That way it will be clear (I don't have to interpret my own scribbles) and easy to access.  There is also some kind of editing that seems to happen when something goes from paper to screen.

The other thing that has happened, I've decided to change the name of a character.  He's an important character, especially through the second half of the story.  I changed one male character's name a few months ago, now another.  I'm happy with his first name, but he needs a last name.  I'm thinking of just throwing "Doe" in there until I find something I'm happy with.  I've been searching for a bit, but now I feel like I'm wasting time.  

I don't know why I'm so happy to be done the outline though.  Maybe because I've never used one before.

Friday, July 24, 2015

Links From a Favourite Author and More!

I've got two help posts from some great authors that I came across in my internet wanderings.  I also have two character based writing tips.  I always find good characters, which inner turmoil and motivations, who feel read, are in the best stories.

Look, Do You Want This Or Not - Maggie Stiefvater

Resources on writing a character with mild PTSD - ANC Writing Resources


Character Motivations - It's a Writer Thing

Thursday, July 23, 2015

Quote #40 - Ernest Hemingway

It’s none of their business that you have to learn to write. Let them think you were born that way.

– Ernest Hemingway

Tuesday, July 21, 2015

Random #54 - Is The Toothfairy Cheap?

My daughter has recently lost her fifth tooth.  (She's getting so big!)  She comes into our room the morning after, crawls into bed with us, then hold up the coin she found under her pillow.  A twoonie ($2.00).  After a few minutes, she huffs and says, "Why can't the toothfairy leave bills? They're money too."  I look over at my husband and we stifle our laughs.  What is the going rate for teeth these days?  Is the toothfairy cheap?  My daughter then states that she wants to leave the toothfairy a note (under her pillow) asking her this question.  My hubby tells her that the toothfairy might not get it until the next time she loses a tooth.  We left it at that.  It was time to get up anyway.

Sunday, July 19, 2015

Last Week #35 - Summer and Colouring

Summer is always so crazy. I'm trying to work. The kids are done school and it doesn't leave a lot of time for anything else. So, why not do a writing course?! My friend Tanya messaged me this week because she wants us to do a course together. I can't do the big one because of time and money, but I am probably going to do the less expensive online course. It looks interesting, helpful, more affordable, and Tanya and I would be able to do both at the same time.

I did a little work on my outline for my novel. Not as much as I'd like but enough to make me feel like progress was made. I'm also thinking about doing a 10 minute writing prompt every day. Maybe in the morning, maybe not.  I'm already squeezing writing time in whenever I can.  I like the idea of it, but I don't know if it's something that will happen every day.

One more thing, adult coloring books. We were at my in-laws' last weekend and there were coloring books there for the children. The kids coloured for a while, but in the end it was my nephew who is 16, coloring the book. While my husband made fun of him a little (which is his prerogative as his uncle) I commented on how popular adult colouring books seem to be at bookstores right now. Lately, whenever I am browsing online or in person at Chapters and sometimes on Amazon, I see a new colouring book being promoted. There was even a contest to win one on Goodreads. As I read about the benefits of colouring I wonder if I should get one for myself. I did used to draw as a hobby, but haven't in sometime, as I have gotten busier with family and work life. Trying to schedule one more thing into my day and feels overwhelming. However, I'm wondering if a coloring book or a little drawing might lead to greater creativity. I wonder how many people out there are using the adult coloring books, or if it's just something that the bookstores are trying to sell. My nephew seemed really into it though, and I know I've enjoyed helping the children color their superheroes and princesses. My days are crazy, this could be the calm I need.

Thursday, July 16, 2015

Wednesday, July 15, 2015

Random #53 - The Anti-Hero

I've been thinking about the anti-hero lately.  I'm currently reading Promise of the Witch-King, a fantasy novel by R.A. Salvatore.  The novel stars Artemis Entreri and Jarlaxle Baenre, formerly antagonists in The Legend of Drizzt series (they might be villains again, but I'm only about 2/3 of the way through the series).  The characters proved so popular among Salvatore's readers, that he gave them their own series.  Why are anti-heroes so popular? Why do I love Entreri?  Sometimes I find Jarlaxle a bit frustrating, but I do enjoy his character as well. Entreri has evolved so much since Drizzt first met him. Now, he's helping people, sparing lives, following Jarlaxle whereever he wants to go.  But he isn't nice.  He doesn't romance the ladies.  He's rude and dark and brooding.  He watches from afar.  And I can't get enough.  

I've just ordered your death. Next time
you see me, I'll be dating your husband.
Is that what an anti-hero is?  Someone who is just behind the line from being a villain? Is that who the Evil Queen became on Once Upon A Time? (After this last season, she's definitely on the hero side now.) That's Deadpool, right? Severus Snape?  It's a fine line they all have walked.  Anti-heroes are compelling, am I right?  What made them go bad, then take a turn for good?  Will they go bad again?  I've been wondering a lot about this reading Witch-King and I look forward to seeing what happens at the end of Salvatore's anti-hero series.

Thursday, July 9, 2015

Random #52 - Dictation

I recently got a new phone and the phone on the keyboard has a little microphone button that I can use to turn what I'm saying into typed words (like in this post). I've used it a couple times to send text messages while I've been busy. I'm trying to decide if I can use it more often. What I've discovered is that after a certain number of characters, the microphone stops recording and the keyboard pops back up. It's not perfect, I still have to go back and fix little things, but it's pretty good if I want to get a quick note down or multitask. It's a little weird though because I'm talking to myself.

Now that I think about it, I think my old phone had that little mic on the keyboard too, but it did not do as good a job as this one. The phone was getting a little (maybe a lot) old. But now I have a new one and I'm trying to use all the features to make my life easier. If I'm going to own a "smart" phone, I should be smart while using it, right? Let's see if I get into the habit of talking to myself.