songscloset: Me with the sun flare on my face. (Default)
So, I'm working on writing original stuff. I still love fanfiction, both writing and reading it, but I want to write things and get paid for them.

Long post about writing stuff )

Fifth, having a full-time non-writing job is great for things like paying my own bills, but crap for having time to do anything creative. The house is a mess, we're eating poorly, and it's mostly because I'm at work all day, now. Ugh.
songscloset: Me with the sun flare on my face. (Default)
I've been hit by an overwhelming bout of fatigue and I've no idea why. I was fine earlier today, but somehow a couple of hours ago, I could barely stay awake. I have writing to do - writing I've been putting off for weeks in favor of less important but more 'urgent' things. It's time I stopped putting writing on the back burner, so here we go.

Also, I realized I've forgotten to mention something which has been a large stressor in my life recently.

I've had a random, dry, hacking, non-productive cough off and on for years. In the past ... oh, 5 - 8 months, it's gotten much MUCH worse. I finally got to the doctor about it; she directed me to an ENT, who cheerfully looked down my throat (by sticking a camera up my nose - he let me video his videoing, which was great.) and determined that the back of my throat is inflamed and unhappy and swollen. This is causing it to press against itself, which has made my throat feel like there's something caught back there. That feeling has triggered the coughing.

The root cause is actually excess stomach acid, which has been (apparently without any other real symptoms) creeping up my esophagus and irritating my throat. So, I'm on proton pump inhibitors to slow my acid production.

It's been working, slowly. I'm much better now than I was a month ago, although I haven't gone a day without a major coughing attack. The sensation has changed, as well. It used to feel like the back of my throat was dry and unwettable, or like there was something large and spiky in my throat. Now it feels like something small and sharpish poking me in the neck from the inside.

When the pain/sensation goes away, my eyes start watering enough to make it look like I'm weeping copiously.

I'm looking forward to getting over this.
songscloset: Me with the sun flare on my face. (Default)
I'm working on writing professionally. It's harder than I expected, not because the writing is hard, but because I'm very used to thinking of writing as the task which is least important, so should be ignored and skipped. It's frivol. Well, if I'm going to make money at it, it's not frivol, it's work and must be scheduled and finished. For some reason, this is hard for me to get used to.

Actually, I know where this is coming from. My ex-husband used to get very angry at me for 'wasting time', when I could be 'doing something useful'.

Knitting was - just barely - useful, as it both produced a physical object and could be sold for money (the patterns AND the physical object).

Household tasks were useful, as they were My Job (he never did forgive me for not being his mother, house-cleaning-wise).

Schoolwork was useful, but only if I did it without needing to bother him about it or complain about it or have it get in the way of housework or paying work.

Writing, which was Just For Fun, was NOT important and was something I should only do 'if I had time'. He hated that I wrote late at night, which meant that he had to either go to bed on his own or 'punish' me for writing after he wanted to go to bed by angrily lying down to 'wait for me' in the middle of the living room floor. He hated that I wrote fanfiction and used to 'explain' to me that it was theft and indicated that I was unable to think of my own characters - until I snapped at him that he read fucking comic books and Star Trek novels and Star Wars novels, all of which are just the same as fanfic, only "authorized". He did back down after I insisted on that a few times.

What this means is that I have years of conditioned avoidance to writing. It's 'okay' to write fanfic, but not to talk about it much. I have to make it more than 'okay' to do my original writing (and fanfic, I still love writing fanfic!).

So, I'm in a writing group on Facebook which has regular flash fiction contests. I think I'll start entering them as a way of helping me create new neural pathways - Writing Is A Job (and it can be MY Job!).
songscloset: Me with the sun flare on my face. (Default)
Well, it's been a day, hasn't it? I managed to get into a huge argument with a friend on FB about the United chaos - he's a pilot and has always been much further Right Wing than I (given that he IS right wing and I'm profoundly Left), so for some reason, he felt like he HAD to defend the airline.

He tried several directions of attack, but he's not as bright as my friends and I, and in the end, he couldn't stand up to every one of us refuting everything he was trying to say. I did enjoy explaining why the no-fly list is unconstitutional.

Anyway, other than that, the day was nice. Geordie took Merrie and I out to lunch at a really nice Thai-ish buffet place near where he used to work. We ate tons of delicious food for not much money, then stopped at the store on the way back to get milk and odds and ends. We also stopped at Daiso for a new vegetable steamer (ours was old and was beginning to hold odors) and plant markers for the new seeds and stuff I've put out in the garden.

Oh! Merrie and I have started several seeds! We've got two kinds of tomato, an unknown cucumber (saved seed from last year, but I don't remember what it was from), a small melon, two kinds of corn (glass and yellow), catnip and ... something else, I think. Right, three kinds of peas, a dwarf bean bush (the bush is dwarf, the beans are full length), and we planted out some garlic cloves which had sprouted. Oh, and two kinds of carrot.

I need to put potatoes back in - I might go back to the local organic nursery and pick up some more of their organic potato starters, although I usually have good luck with regular old sprouted 'taters.

I've got a lace shawl pattern nearly ready for test knitting, another one that just needs to have the pattern written out for testing (literally, just the words. The damned thing is charted out already and everything.) and I managed to get some actual fiction writing done today.

Now I need to go to bed.
songscloset: Me with the sun flare on my face. (Default)
This is terrible of me, but sometimes I can't help myself. I'm in a writing group on FB and occasionally it produces gems of nuttiness.

Someone just posted this, with no other information.

Hi all. I've looked up references but I can't seem to find any good ones, what would clothes would you give a character who loves music? She's not the type to wear dress, she's not shy but she's afraid to speak up if she thinks something is wrong. She's friendly and loves to help people. Music and sound is a strong part of her life.

I ... well, she'll wear clothes in which she's comfortable. Liking music doesn't dictate fashion choices, does it? (If it does, boy have I been doing it all wrong.)
songscloset: Me with the sun flare on my face. (Default)
I’m working on writing. I’ve just finished a BIG story - (nearly 300K words of Hobbit fanfic and I’m really proud of it) - but I want to work on paying writing. To this end, I’ve looked at what’s selling; I have no trouble writing to sales rather than Writing For Art.

There’s a thriving erotic romance market and I’m pretty sure I can write that, so I’m trying to plot stories for it. The problem is that apparently I’m not naturally a PWP writer. I’ve read several in a variety of the subgenres, to get a feel for the tropes and standards.

Uh.

Yikes )

I have figured out why all the novels in this genre are so short and read so quickly; they’ve got no subplots. That does save time.
songscloset: Me with the sun flare on my face. (Default)
So, today's the day my weekly fanfic chapter is due. Why am I poking around on tumblr?

(Spoilers: because I'm a procrastinator.)

The thing is, the chapter's in my head the same now as it is when I'm overtired and stressed at 1am, so why do I let myself get so distracted?

Time to go write.

Writing

Nov. 26th, 2016 12:24 am
songscloset: Me with the sun flare on my face. (Default)
I haven't missed a week on my fanfic in 108 weeks. I'm very proud of this - it's been hard, some weeks, to get the chapter finished and posted.

I always intend to write the chapter during the week so I don't have to stay up late on Friday night to write it. I've only managed that two or three times, I think. Time to work harder.

Writing?

Nov. 18th, 2016 07:21 pm
songscloset: Me with the sun flare on my face. (selfie)
Well. What have I done today?

Not much, which is getting old. I'm spinning my wheels and I'm not sure why. I need to get traction on something and get moving.

I dropped off my library books and picked up new ones. I've been trying to read trashy romances and mysteries to get myself back into the mindset of those genres; I should read in the genres I want to write in, but so many of them sound so dreary. I don't know how many Highlanders I can take. (Get a load of those inauthentic outfits. And inaccurate history.

I read the backs of several and I just ... I can't. They're interchangeable and trite and I'm tired of this "alpha male" thing going on. I don't know. I just ... when did everything start to be about Men Being Commanding And In Charge instead of a relationship being balanced?

Anyway, there are some spectacularly bad books out there, in dead-tree and e-book forms. I know I can do better. (Really, I do know this.)

Why haven't I finished any of the non-fanfic things I've got?

Anyone out there want to swap alpha/beta reading for each other's stories?
songscloset: Me with the sun flare on my face. (Default)
I just went to look at one of my old stories on AO3 and discovered that it's never been coded right. ALL the italics... aren't, because when I wrote it, I used actual italics instead of coding for html.

And this makes me wonder how I should be doing this. If I'm posting something online, now I code in the font changes (italics, bold, strike, etc...) but surely this isn't how a publisher would want the document, right?

And I have to finish something and get it up on Amazon. I'm sincerely tired of seeing terrible books out there and of knowing that I can do better. Time to quit wibbling about and get plotting and writing.
songscloset: Me with the sun flare on my face. (Default)
It's Friday and I haven't left the house. I got stuff done, and I'm writing this week's chapter of the ongoing fanfic, but mostly it's been a day of refuge and hiding. Every bit of news is dire.

*sigh*

My fanfic, though, is tremendous. It's 257,000 words or so, and it's still going. I'm hoping to finish before it's 300K, but each time I think I have an end-count, I find that it takes more in-story time to get from one place to the next.

I haven't linked it here in a long time, so here it is: Unexpected Music.

It's Hobbit/LotR fandom, Bilbo Baggins/Thorin Durin is the main pairing, with many background pairings. Explicit, but not excessively so. I thought I was writing a fun romp through what it would be like to date a rock star and then a wild plot appeared in the tall grass and I captured it with my poke-ball.

Or something.

Bilbo, a well-known professor of organic chemistry at a local college, writes fantasy in his spare time. When his nephew Frodo's parents go on a round-the-world cruise on their small boat, he plays host to the teenaged boy and the entertaining pack of friends who follow him around. This means, however, that when Frodo wins tickets to the big end-of-summer concert, Bilbo must chaperone, and Rock has never piqued his interest quite so much.

That's the summary on AO3, but it's not really indicative of where the story's gone. I'll have to update it.

Anyway, enough procrastination. I have to finish the chapter so I can post it around midnight.
songscloset: Me with the sun flare on my face. (Default)
It's been forever since I posted, which is frustrating, as I WANT to post more, but keep getting tired and not wanting to bother. Ugh.

Finals are over, thank goodness. This quarter was hard and it looks like next quarter will be harder. I've signed up for six (6) classes, plus I'll be in a research internship thing (where I help a grad student with his research into bioremediation) with an interesting teacher. I desperately need the "experience", so I've got something to put on a CV other than, 'Hey, I've taken lots of classes, I've got these three-ish degrees, and I have a good work history, so you can be sure I know how to get to work on time every day."

I know I've got a B in programming, and if I had more time and more free brain-space, I'd sort of like to continue. I wasn't practicing enough on it; it needs daily practice with writing and thinking things through and I just didn't have time for that. Maybe if I get a job, I can try to spend some time during the week improving my C++. (Or maybe I should look at Ruby or something?)

I think I've got a B in PChem, which is great. The final exam was hard, but not impossible, and I think I understood most of what's going on there. I'm worried about next quarter, though, as I'm not sure that teacher will give us the equations for tests. Not having to remember all the equations, just how to use them, is really good for me, because I often get the equations upside down, but usually remember how to use them (and modify them) perfectly well.

I've no idea what grade exactly I'm getting in Microbiology. Either an A or a B. Numerically, I appear to have a B, but I don't know how the points are weighted and if he does any curving or anything after that. We'll see. I didn't find the final hard at all, but I like microbiology and it makes simple sense to me, so I didn't expect it to be particulary taxing. I mean, yes, it's a lot of information to know and learn, but it's not hard, the way PChem was.

If I don't get an A in the seminar course, I'll be very surprised. It entailed sitting and listening to people try to do public speaking, whilst not having any experience, training, or guidance in it - and also giving a short presentation on an assigned topic. I'm good at public speaking, I can rattle through information quickly and carefully, making it both interesting and clear, so I'm not at all worried there.

PCR is more of a muddle. I think I did okay, but the teacher doesn't post anything like marks early, so I have absolutely no idea how I've done. I can't have done all that poorly; I got good results in all my experiments, I made a cute little poster about my independent project, I learned a lot ... Eh.

***

Next quarter I'm in the second third of PChem, Instrumental Methods of Analysis (the only lab class next quarter), the final Seminar course, Advanced Criminal Investigation, and Survey of Forensic Science. AND Environmental Microbiology, the new, extra course. And the research lab, of course.

That's ... that's doable, right? I can totally handle it. I think the two Forensic Science courses will be doddles, and I'm hoping to get some knitting done, actually. I can't do work for other classes in those lectures, but I don't expect trouble from them.

***

I'm still steadily working on the fanfic and I think it's time I started moving on original fiction. I've read a bunch of gay romances recently and I know my writing's just as good. I'm just procrastinating and not finishing stories, so, time to start finishing. So to speak.

The frustrating part is that some of the writing is just bad. It's not just that it's not to my taste, but it's ... not good. Ugh.

Anyway, it's super late and even though there's more to say, I'm for bed. G'night.
songscloset: Me with the sun flare on my face. (Default)


So, I'm using NaNo this year to directly re-write one of the stories I'd like to try to get published. It needs a lot of re-writing, honestly, and I'm not sure I'm able to give it the attention it really needs, but i's a way of getting started, getting past the procrastinatory thoughts.

Anyway, there's today's count. Many of those are new words, even!

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