Monthly Archives: September 2013

The law of the land…


Imagine, for a moment, that the government sets a law in place requiring that people be happy and enjoy life. That’s not a bad thing is it? It would be good if everyone was happy and enjoyed life, wouldn’t it?

This sounds entirely reasonable, until the day comes when you are not happy and are not enjoying life, or perhaps you would prefer to let your experience of life come naturally, without a requirement attached.

This is the key, for me. Laws reduce freedom. Simple. Even the best intentioned laws reduce your freedom to live life as it comes. Some laws are necessary to prevent one being from harming another, sure. Any laws which require X or disallow Y, not on the basis that you harm another by doing them, but that you harm yourself or that those things are not in your best interests are madness that lead to more such laws that will eventually restrict those who originally supported the “good and reasonable laws” made on the same basis.

Holding a gun to someone’s head and insisting that they be healthy in their choices or “be happy” may be good intentioned, but it is not freedom.

“A person is only truly free if they have the freedom to err.”

-Gandhi

 

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Morning…


Cursed mornings.

The accursed sun rises over the landscape like the eye of Sauron, spitefully stabbing me with it’s rays.  The air outside slaps me like a cold, wet blanket, suffocating me with it’s chill.  I turn to the horde gathered nearby, blue-lipped and angry faced, eyes demanding I explain their lot.

“It’s just the way it is,” I say to them, words failing.

Faces drawn into visions of mute agony and regret, they stare at the pathway before us which brings their transport to destiny.

With a guttural growl, the beast arrives, belching black smoke into the biting cold air.  My saddened charges woefully board, resolutely accepting their fate.

I watch the beast trundle it’s way down the path, devouring more small charges as it wanders toward it’s destiny.

*******************************

😛  Yeah, just kids getting on the bus.  Have a good day!

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A story snippet for you, celebrating for me.


I haven’t been able to decide whether or not to post much of what I’m working on, but, since I passed 35000 words tonight (yay me!), I decided to celebrate by offering a tidbit for whoever may be interested.

Working title:  Fairy Dust

Jon listened, no expression betraying his thoughts to her. “So you think you’re a human, then?” he asked when she was done.
Morgan sighed, “I know, I have wings, but I didn’t until I came to this world, I swear.”
Jon nodded. He drew his fingers around the face of the previously forgotten device. A nasal female voice came from it, “Yes, Mr. Busser?”
“Ah, Sylvia, could you have Caulkins set up a room in the dormitory? Have Miriam call me, as well, please,” he said.
“Do you want me to tell her what this is regarding?” came the voice.
He sighed. “Ah, just title the message ‘lost fairy’ and mark it as important, please.”
“Yes, Mr. Busser,” came the voice.
Jon Busser tossed Morgan a friendly smile. “Well, young lady, your speech tells me that you are, if nothing else, not of this area. Caulkins will be up shortly to escort you to a room in the dormitory, can I offer you something to drink or anything?” he said, pulling glasses from an unseen desk door, followed by a pitcher of amber liquid.
Morgan nodded with a smile. He poured the liquid into the glasses carefully, and Morgan stood, taking one and having a sip.
“It’s iced tea!” she exclaimed.
“Erm, yes,” Jon said in a puzzled tone. “Were you expecting something else?”
Morgan took a long drink, draining the glass. She thought for a moment and said, “Well, no, but I expected… I dunno, like nectar or somethin’.”
Jon snorted. “I suppose nectar is good enough for the local hummingbirds, but hardly a drink worth having,” he said.
A clump from behind her made Morgan turn. An odd wooden being stood between the two enclosures. The face seemed to have been carved poorly, just eyes and a line for a mouth, it’s body amounted to a bunch of wooden cylindrical blocks stacked into a humanoid shape. The eyes glowed a dim orange as Jon called out, “Ah, Caulkins! Please escort Morgan to the dormitory and show her to the room you prepared.”
The odd being nodded and began to walk with a bouncing step to the edge of the platform.
“Erm, on foot, please, Caulkins,” Jon called.
The being paused, seemed to shake itself, then rotated it’s head around, reversed the points that formed it’s knees and walked back toward the stairs.
“Have a rest, Miss Johnson. Someone will be by soon, and Caulkins will lead you anywhere you need to go within the limits of the study home,” Jon said.
“Thanks,” Morgan said, turning to follow the bouncing wooden man as it ambled down the stairs.

*********************************

The wooden man trod out of the building, heading toward what Morgan could only think of as a toadstool.
“Where are we going, Mr. Caulkins?” she asked.
The being’s head turned to face her as she followed it, it’s legs continuing to move in the same direction. It seemed to regard her for a moment, and then lifted one arm, ending in a three fingered hand, to point to the building ahead.
Morgan watched it, nothing visible seeming to join the cylinders of wood together. “Are you a robot or something?” she asked.
The being seemed to tremble for a moment, but didn’t respond.
“Can you talk?” Morgan asked, watching for the gash in the ‘head’ where the mouth would be.
The being trembled again, continuing to walk.
Morgan gave up on conversation with it, thinking, I guess not… how weird.
They walked under the edge of the cap of the toadstool shaped building. She could see an opening in the stem, Caulkins headed past it. Morgan looked around as they passed what looked like gauzy fabric separators that seemed to suggest rooms. She couldn’t make out any details of what lay inside.
The being stopped at one of the enclosures, lifting the edge of the gauze.
Inside, eight cushioned hammocks were supported by what appeared to be metal poles, set up in a bunk bed fashion. On the floor, at the end of each set of bunk-hammocks, were two small doors that laid on the floor.
She stepped inside and waited while Caulkins followed her in and stepped past. It ambled to a set of bunk beds and indicated the lower of the two, a pillow and iridescent piece of fabric draped across it. It stood there unmoving until she said, “Okay, that’s mine then.”
The being shook for a moment, then moved to the rectangular door set into the floor on the right at the foot of the bunk, indicating it. It waited like a statue.
“My locker?” she asked.
Caulkins shuddered for a moment, and then ambled out of the gauzy enclosure.
Morgan looked at the small door. Got nothin’ to put in it, she thought.
She moved over to the hammock and moved the piece of fabric. It whispered as it moved across the heavy fabric of the hammock, and she marveled at the feeling of it. Softer than satin, she mused.
She sat on the hammock, scooching herself to the center of it as it swayed. She laid down on her side, drawing the fabric up to her chin, closed her eyes and tried to fall asleep.

****************************

<end snippet>

Yeah, I know.  It doesn’t reveal very much, and that’s deliberate.  It’s a rough draft, unedited yet, and I won’t be editing until the entire book is drafted.  To be honest, I refuse to even read it until then.

 

Your comments are welcome, and if you have any thoughts or suggestions, I’ll note them in my spreadsheet to be considered at edit.  Catch y’all later!  🙂

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Word counts…


I think that everyone who writes a novel thinks to themselves, “How many words/pages do I need to write before I have a good, salable novel?”

I was pondering this, and came upon this article: http://writemindset.com/writing/944/novel-word-count.html

It really is a great article, well-written and informative.  Some interesting highlights:

“The Road”, the pulitzer prize award winning novel by Cormac McCarthy is under sixty thousand words.

“1984” by George Orwell? about one hundred and ten thousand.

“Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows” by J. K. Rowling weighs in at a whopping two hundred two thousand words.

My novel, right now?  I expected around one hundred forty thousand for book one, but as I write, I’m watching that word count shrink.  Total expected is down to one hundred twenty nine thousand, and I’m running under plan by about a thousand words per expected chapter-which means I expect that number to drop by at LEAST twenty thousand while I write the rough draft.  It’ll grow a bit on my first edit, then probably shrink again on the second before I send it out to agents, publishers, that sort of thing.

Which brings me to my “ego-boost” moment….

“The Old Man and the Sea”, the classic book that most of us have read in part or in whole during school weighs in at twenty seven thousand three hundred thirteen (a different number than you’ll see in the comments to the linked article).  source: http://answers.yahoo.com/question/index?qid=20061130081058AAG5RgO

I passed the twenty eight thousand word mark yesterday.  Take THAT Ernest Hemingway!  😉

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Did some site research today…


There are just some things you can’t get from a picture.  I could have stuck with google “street view” and gotten visual descriptions, but how else can you capture things like the smell of an area, the texture of the stone of a building, or the weird sense you get from a certain tree that’s grown in an odd way.

On the one hand, I think this will allow me to get across some things to the reader that I wouldn’t think of otherwise.  On the other hand… I doubt that there will be many descriptions that are as “personal” in the story, except for the places strictly in my mind.  Maybe when I have money to travel I can give a description of Romania or Bulgaria or Fiji or something.   For now…  It’ll have to be either mostly made up, so well known as to be able to be described in really broad strokes, or completely from my mind.

 

🙂

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Research, research, research…


I’m researching.

The more I write on this story, the more research I’m finding myself doing.  On a fiction novel.

In this day and age, where people read something in a novel or see it in a movie or TV show, when I come to something that a person might possibly come across at a needed moment, I really want to get it RIGHT.  Part of it is also the importance of not ‘throwing someone out of the story’ by supplying entirely false examples of ‘how-to’ things.

For example, if my character were changing a tire in a scene, and I had them jack up the car and then pull off the lugnuts, a lot of people who had changed a tire would focus on the fact that it’s REALLY hard to do it that way, that you have to loosen the lugnuts with the wheel on the ground.

Another example, for those of you who don’t change tires, but are somewhat fanatical when it comes to spelling and grammar, would be that you may have just focused on the fact that it’s properly “lug nuts”-two words, not one. When I deal with fantastic ideas, I’ll have a lot more freedom to do as I please, but for now…

Sidenote-thank goodness for things like ‘wikihow’.  If you’re an author and need to know the ‘how’ of things, and don’t have time to examine in detail things like changing a tire, it’s a nice time saver.

As for the blog, well, I’m just really focusing on the book right now.  I have a couple of articles running around in my head, but they’re not done cooking yet anyway.  If there’s something you want to hear, get in touch.

Potential articles in mind:  “On suicide”, and “On Love”-similar to the “On bipolar” article, just logical looks at them, with a bit more microscopic detail than the average.

Spoilers-What is love?  What is not love?  Is love an action or what, exactly?

Why do people commit suicide?  Why do people talk about suicide? Is it normal or should we call the shrinks at the first comment relating to the topic?

 

Anyway, I’ll get to those eventually.  Patience, everybody.  Know that I’m reading you guys as I have time, and thank you to everyone who drops by.  Catch ya later!

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Facial description… GAH!


I have never thought very hard about describing a face.  A face is a face, and the reader is going to see who they see, whether you say they have an angular or round face, a lantern jaw, or whatever.

Suddenly, though, it’s vital.  I have spent an hour agonizing over facial descriptions, after having my helpful in-house editors point out that it’s important.

Here’s a sample: Her soft round face was sprinkled with a light spray of freckles.  Her jade green eyes peeked from behind her hair, tight auburn curls that bounced playfully as she shook her head.

Yes.  That sentence took an hour of looking at pictures, thinking of how they fit the character, and then figuring out words that would convey the image in my head into words.  If you have a picture from that description in your mind, and can match it to a name of someone with a picture online, let me know.  I want to see how close I’m coming to what is in my head with my words.

Thank you in advance.  🙂

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