Three-Book Day

Rainy days are the best for getting stuff done around home. I managed to finish reading three books, write two books reviews, do some research, and also recycle a stack of magazines that have been sitting around here for ages. And since it was raining outside, I didn’t feel bad about missing a gorgeous day, because it was gloomy and unpleasant so perfect homebody weather. Nothing better than setting up camp with a good book or three and indulging myself in words. Yum!

I’ve been thinking a lot about my sci fi romance shorts, but I haven’t actually written anything in a few days. Hoping to get back to those shortly since I really like inhabiting that world. I’ve been trying to think how I want to publish those stories. On Wattpad? Amazon? Smashwords? I’m not sure yet. But there are at least six stories in that world I want to tell, possibly more when I have more time to delve into that world.

I’ll be posting those book reviews someday soon. One will show up here once I’ve had a chance to edit it, and the other will likely be the first review on a website I hope to launch very soon!

 

WordacCountability Tally March 25:

Fiction: 0
Short Stories: 0
Nonfiction: 0
Blogging: 1,416
Total: 1,416
Grand Total: 23,988

Dating a Supervillain

At work tonight, a coworker kept pestering me to tell him which supervillain I would date. I didn’t have an answer for him because it’s not something I really cared about or wanted to put any thought into. But since he persisted, I said, “Sir Ian McKellen’s Magneto.” He didn’t believe me. “Don’t you mean Fassbender?” “No, I want the awesome, knighted, older gay man.” Another male coworker came over to question me, disbelieving that I meant McKellen, not Fassbender. Seriously, guys, you ask me for my choice and then tell me I’m wrong? You’re asking me to choose a supervillain to date. I’m going to choose someone I think I could hang out with on a regular basis. And seriously, I’d never lose my keys. “Honey, can you do that thing with the metal for me? I’ve lost my keys again. Love you! Muah!”

Sir-Ian-Magneto

Maybe the guys I work with couldn’t believe that I’d pick Sir Ian Magneto because they couldn’t see themselves in that character, or see me, a considerably younger woman, finding the appeal of an older baddie. But considering the supervillain options out there, why wouldn’t I go for one with wisdom and class? One who struggles with his goodness within, even if he gives in to his darker side more often than not? He wears a cape but not ridiculous spandex. And I could be wrong, but I don’t think he laughs maniacally in any of the movies. What’s not to love (besides the egomaniacal, wants mutants to take over the world stuff, but who doesn’t have flaws)? The more I think about it (which I really didn’t want to think about it at all until my hand was forced by an overzealous colleague), Sir Ian Magneto is the best choice for boyfriend material should I ever be forced to date a supervillain. As my supervillain bf says, “Get over it!”

ian-mckellen-gandalf-magneto

 

WordacCountability Tally March 19:

Fiction: 0
Short Stories: 0
Nonfiction: 0
Blogging: 337
Total: 337
Grand Total: 22,580

Space Romping

I find it really interesting that my current series of short stories is Sci Fi romance. I don’t think I’ve ever read a Sci Fi romance story or book, and yet, here I am, writing a series of shorts set on a spaceport. I know it’s a never-say-never thing, but I can honestly say I’d never have expected this to invade my psyche like it has. I think about these characters and the world I’ve been building all the time. It’s a fun set of stories, and I’m enjoying it, but when I take a moment to think about it, I never woulda guessed it. But the fact that I wrote 1,078 words in that world today proves that it’s sticking in my head. This makes me very happy. I’m not writing 10K words a day, but over 1K is nothing to sneeze at!

On a related note: does anyone have any recommendations of humourous Sci Fi romance stories I should read? I feel like I’m out of my depth. Even though a story is a story, I’m not used to so much world-building to establish the setting and I want to compare my story to something else out there, should it even exist (which I’m sure it does, but I’m just not aware of it). If nothing comes to mind, that’s all right. I will continue to play around with this world until it becomes my second home.

 

WordacCountability Tally March 17:

Fiction: 0
Short Stories: 1,078
Nonfiction: 0
Blogging: 259
Total: 1,337
Grand Total: 22,243

Out Of My Comfort Zone

Screwed up sleep patterns are wreaking havoc on me at the moment. But I did manage to write 574 words today (nothing yesterday because I fell asleep when I thought I’d be writing), which is exciting! I’m working on the second story in my series of shorts, which I’ve come to realize they fall under the Sci Fi Romance category, way far out of my comfort zone. It’s exciting to explore this world and develop characters out of my usual. For instance, one of my characters is Irish (Happy St. Paddy’s Day! But my character was always Irish, even before today!) and fierce and asexual. I love everything about her and can’t wait to tell her story. Hers will be next, I think, once I finish the two stories I’ve started. I’m not entirely sure what I’m going to do with these stories when I’m done with them. But I’ll cross that bridge when I get to it. Right now, focusing on one project is fantastic and I’m looking forward to spending more time with my characters this weekend!

Happy weekending, everyone!

 

WordacCountability Tally March 17:

Fiction: 0
Short Stories: 574
Nonfiction: 0
Blogging: 203
Total: 777
Grand Total: 20,906

Mortality: The Ultimate Kick in the Pants

Sorry if I got a bit ranty yesterday. I was upset to hear about my online friend’s passing, and even more upset to see a badly written obituary for someone who was always full of words. I will say it reinforced a couple of things in my mind: 1. Life is too damned short, and 2. I need to stick to my writing because I don’t want my own obit to say “She never married and she ate a lot of potato chips. She talked up a good storm about writing but never wrote a word.” Nope. Not acceptable.

In a surprising burst of creativity last night, I wrote a short story inspired by thinking about space pirate erotica. The actual story I wrote wasn’t sexy at all. It was meant to be humourous (although the humour seemed to get buried underneath trying to come up with spacey ways to describe things) and it’s definitely a work in progress that needs revision and/or a complete overhaul, but I’m still happy to have 900 words and potentially a new universe to play in, as this setting has potential for many more short stories. I wish I could tell Alan what he’s inadvertently inspired in me. I think it would have amused him greatly.

 

WordacCountability Tally March 15:

Fiction: 0
Short Stories: 605
Nonfiction: 0
Blogging: 237
Total: 842
Grand Total: 20,129

An Obit Worth Reading

I found out today that a writer friend whom I’d only met online, never in person, passed away recently. I was sad to hear of his passing. He was always sharing knowledge and funny memes and stories about penguins and potatoes with his online community. He wrote poetry that was shared hundreds, if not thousands, of times. He wrote short stories and erotica and likely other things I didn’t know about. He poked fun at political nonsense and generally made the world a better place just by being in it. When I read his obituary, I was expecting to read at least a few of these things. It mentioned he was a writer with one book (he had many) and about his surviving family. Really? That’s all you could write about him? We weren’t close, but even I have more to say about him than his obit. It reminded me of my grandmother’s funeral where the pastor was obviously reading from a script prepared for him, and her major accomplishments after 94 years on this earth included being married to a man who died in an accident decades before and she played softball. Wow. The culmination of 94 years, and the only thing anyone could think to ask the pastor to say about her outside her family life was that she played softball? It was a shame to witness such a lack of depth to her service. And later I realized he got all this from her obit. Wow.

Now, I know that not everyone can write New York Times-style obituaries (which tend to be pieces of art and wonderful tributes to those who have passed on, and generally dedicated to those who have accomplished great things, which not all of us have—or have we, but they just weren’t acknowledged by the greater population? But, I digress, as newspaper space is dwindling, and so, apparently, is the art of a beautiful tribute to a loved one.), and I know that it’s hard to think of good things to say about your dear departed one when you’re so overwrought with grief and being inundated with funeral details that need to be taken care of now. But for a man who spent his life writing and loving words, it seemed pitiful reading his scant obit. It was online, so space shouldn’t have been an issue. Even including a link to his poem that’s been shared umpteen times would have been something to attest to his memory. It’s too bad he didn’t have a chance to write his own obit. I’m sure it would have been beautiful.

R.I.P. Alan W. Jankowski. Without you, the world has lost a bit of its spark. Here is his poem, We Shall Never Forget (9/11 Tribute): https://www.poemhunter.com/poem/we-shall-never-forget-9-11-tribute/.

 

WordacCountability Tally March 14:

Fiction: 0
Short Stories: 903
Nonfiction: 0
Blogging: 483
Total: 1,386
Grand Total: 19,287

The Shovel Question

One of my Facebook friends astutely pointed out today that stores always seem to run out of shovels during snowstorms. Why is that? It’s March, not, say, July, when you wouldn’t expect to find a shovel that has nothing to do with gardening. Do people throw out their shovels after a big storm, optimistically thinking it will be the last of the season, even if it’s January? One person commented that she loses shovels because she leaves them outside and they get buried in the snow. That’s fair. And it’s also fair that some shovels break and/or are stolen from porches. But how big stores completely run out of what I would think is a necessity in a northern climate is a bit baffling. Maybe they don’t keep enough stock around because our weather is so wacky that we’ve had summer in February? Or maybe the supply and demand thing doesn’t work with shovels because the stores don’t know why people surge to buy them all up as a big storm’s approaching. This isn’t something that I would normally think about, but my procrastination is turned up high tonight, so instead of working on my WIP or applying for jobs or even reading a book, I’m worrying about the shovel question. And the snowfall we’re supposed to get overnight. And why I didn’t buy potato chips when I was stocking up on supplies (but no shovels, as none could be found!). You know, the BIG IMPORTANT STUFF that everyone should worry about. Or something.

So, even though it’s early, I’m going to call it a night and admit these are the only words I’m going to write today. But hey, writing even a blog post two days in a row, even if this one is, well, pretty pointless, unless you’re a shovel maker or supplier—in which case, please explain to me the supply and demand chain for shovels in snowstorms! I’ll share my as-yet unbought and therefore as-yet uneaten chips with you if you do!—is an accomplishment in my books. Adding words to my spreadsheet makes me happy. And everyone needs to find that little thing that makes them happy, especially when stuck in the middle of the snowstorm without chips. Or a shovel.

 

WordacCountability Tally March 13:

Fiction: 0
Short Stories: 0
Nonfiction: 0
Blogging: 397
Total: 397
Grand Total: 17,901

“I Give You My Body…” Review

“I Give You My Body…” How I Write Sex Scenes by Diana Gabaldon

Published by Dell, an imprint of Random House, a division of Penguin Random House LLC, New York, 2016

Disclaimer #1: Considering the subject matter of the book, this post may be NSFW and is intended for adult eyes to read (albeit not too graphic).

Disclaimer #2: I will admit that I’ve never read Outlander or anything by Diana Gabaldon other than this book and some Twitter posts she’s written. I know who she is by reputation and picked this book to read because of subject matter, so know this going in to my review.

Diana Gabaldon uses a lot of examples from her books to illustrate the concepts she’s talking about. For the most part it’s all right, but truthfully the clips don’t make me want to rush out and read her work. And really, why should I now that I’ve read all the juicy bits in this short book? There’s one particular example that takes up so much space in the book that I actually stopped at one point, wondering why I was reading this post-rapey story (something I generally avoid), then remembered it was supposed to be a book about writing sexy stuff. Really not sexy or particularly instructional if I forgot why I was reading it. Only one time (and not with that super-long example) did she break down, almost line-by-line, what she was doing with her examples. It was about using the five senses instead of two, which was helpful and specific. I’m all for examples, but more breaking down and explanation would have made this a much better book about writing.

One of my favourite things in the book is “A Small Sampling of Synonyms for You-Know-What,” where I learned such eloquent terms as baloney pony and ding dong mcdork (people actually say/write that??). Another fun bit comes (heh) right after that illuminating list where she talks about multicultural and historical penises. And Pamela Patchet’s “Ode to a Penis” is worth a read/chuckle, which you can read here: Ode to a Penis. Something else I learned: the correct term to pluralize penis is penes, not peni (pee-neye) as I’d always thought (in those times I wanted to pluralize penis, which is surprisingly often!). It’s Latin, so, well, now you know and you can amaze your friends with your knowledge. Seems the strength in this book comes from the double entendre humour she uses versus real constructive advice she offers.

Conclusion: if you’re a fan of Gabaldon’s work, you’ll love the behind-the-scenes stuff and her sense of humour throughout. For someone who’s never read her books and just wants to read about writing process, I found this book not very helpful. An ample number of examples have a short description of what you should do, followed by long-winded examples, and little to no follow-up afterward. Some parts noted above are amusing, but I wouldn’t recommend this very short book unless you’re really into Outlander spoilers and/or a Gabaldon completist.

Push Zee Button

Hello! I really fell off the wagon there for a while. I might’ve been crunched underneath it considering my last post was in February! I did write a little bit since my last post, but didn’t blog about it or even record the words in my spreadsheet. Woke up this morning (an hour later than I would have liked, #$@! daylight savings!) and decided to reboot my blog postings, which I usually post at night, and recommit myself to writing every day.

One of the (many) things I’ve been wanting to do for a while is start reviewing books. I’m planning on launching a separate site where I review fiction, but in the meantime, I’m going to start posting nonfiction reviews on this blog. The books will be focused on writing/writing process, business/entrepreneurship/marketing, and productivity/creativity. I figure I might as well start blogging about the books I’m already reading to help me digest the information and maybe help others find a book that will help them in one of these areas. The reviews won’t be super long and I’m not very experienced at writing reviews so they might be a bit rough at first, but hey, at least I’m writing words, right? Write!

Next up: my first book review!

 

 

WordacCountability Tally March 12:

Fiction: 0
Short Stories: 0
Nonfiction: 0
Blogging: 230+507
Total: 737
Grand Total: 17,504

WHAT IS THIS?

I wrote a blog post at 4 a.m. but didn’t post it, and now I’m glad since it got a little more personal than I would have preferred. Not about myself but about a good friend of mine, and I’d rather not turn him against me by posting too much about him. So it’s good that, despite my insomniafied brain keeping me awake, at least it stopped me from posting anything potentially damaging to my friendship.

I had a good, but tiring, weekend, and today was my day off. I wasn’t planning on doing anything because I really needed time to decompress after working another crazy trade show (possibly my last for the year, unless I can find work through a different source). Waking up at 3:30 a.m. wasn’t part of the plan of my day off, but at least it meant I didn’t have to go to work today so I could just be awake for a couple of hours, thinking and writing about my day yesterday, then sleep for a couple of hours, without the fear of “I can’t function without getting more sleep!” that plagues my life so often. I was able to nap and let my mind drift, not putting any pressure on myself to accomplish anything other than relaxation and self-care. But then an idea started forming in my mind. It sounded like a story. A decent story. I let my mind wander all over it, from beginning to end, and realized it’s actually a decent story, with a strong female protagonist (my fave!) and magic and potential to become a trilogy. WHAT IS THIS? I said to myself, completely gobsmacked because usually my story ideas only hit me when I’m on the run without the luxury of time to actually think them through let alone take three pages of notes down about the ideas. I considered it a beautiful gift from my muse and wrote down as much as I could. I don’t have character names or even a title yet, but I do have a story arc and plot points and setting already laid out for me. WHAT IS THIS? I’m still not sure, but I’ll definitely be fluffing it out in the coming weeks, trying to see where it takes me. My muse done good this time, giving me something to play with when I have time to play! Now I just need to rebuild the writing habits I was starting to form in January and I’m all set!

 

WordacCountability Tally February 20:

Fiction: 1,736
Short Stories: 0
Nonfiction: 0
Blogging: 1,184
Total: 2,920
Grand Total: 16,767