Blogging Leave

Just wanted to pop something up saying I’m on brief self-imposed blogging leave while I’m finishing this novel. Almost finished writing the thing, then going into serious high-speed editing-mode, so serious I’m probably not going to be capable of coming up with anything to write here that’s worth reading. Shouldn’t take up internet space with any rubbish not worth it.

I’ll likely be away from checking out everyone else’s work for a while too, sorry about that ūüė¶ Hopefully I’ll be back mid-March or so. I may find I can’t stay away, anyway. Shall see what happens.

This post is more for my own peace of mind than anything else. Just to kind of remind me if I sign in, frantic that I’m not keeping my blogging schedule, that it’s okay, and I can focus on the novel.

Hope everyone’s doing well, and hope to be back soon. Preferably with a novel I’m happy with.

Long Chapter is Long … Longer, At Least

Finished chapter 24 this afternoon. And long chapter is¬†long.¬†Not as long as many of the chapters in my first novel, but the longest by far in Tom. And that was after I decided to move the original end of chapter 24 to the beginning of 25, along with the previously pseudo-chapter. It’ll still be separate from most of 25. It’ll be in¬†italics. ¬†Everyone knows that when you want to make something a memory, flashback, or dream in the middle of the chapter, you type it in¬†italics.

Have not yet started 25, though I have half the notes done already, now ūüôā Spent the afternoon working on the choir newsletter. Sadly, a few lovely submissions have to be put aside until the next issue to make room for reports, including the beautiful haiku Michelle Proulx wrote for me. Almost done. Just waiting on one … more … report …

Wow, got a text that very moment saying the report was just sent. Hooray. Should probably go and finish up the newsletter so I can try to do a little of chapter 25 before snoozing.

And now, for your enjoyment: a butterfly made out of stocking bought at a school fete many years ago

Stocking Butterfly

The Ancient and Most Honourable Ramen Brothers

Okay, starting to feel a little more concerned by my 10 March novel done-read-and-edited deadline. Halfway through chapter 24, though it’ll be one of the longer ones. Then just the pseudo-chapter and 25 to go, and they’re all sorted out, content wise. But this newsletter I’m editing is taking up more time than I thought. It’s nothing compared to the rest of the committee’s jobs, but still.

Not feeling up to making up anything pretty about the stuff on my desk or wall, I dug briefly around my “Future Projects” folder, and pulled this out: the original opening monologue for the epic¬†Ramen Brothers.

Epic-what, I don’t really know. At one point it was a book, then an anime-esque series, then a radio show (that’s a joke … cause there’s so much physical and visual comedy …). I think the current plan is to at one point turn it into a point-and-click game. Originally, it was an idea my friend Brendan and I played with in high school, then cousin Katie came aboard, then a few other people contributed their likeness/auras to various characters, etc. Never really worked out a great deal of the story line, just had fun chatting about the characters and random, unexpected things they could do/have happen to them. The picture below was created by cousin Katie, depicting some of the main characters.

The Ramen Brothers

Here’s the monologue-thing:

In a time of darkness, when evil doers devoured all the hope and nutrients of the universe. In an era of fear, when the noodles of the world were pushed to the edge of the international plate, crushed to dust before boiling, or left slimy and overcooked, limp at the bottom of the saucepan. It was in this time of need, when all dreams of ever having a decent bowl of carbohydrates seemed to have faded, that two mighty warriors stepped into the light, pledging their lives, chopsticks, and assorted semi-legitimate military arms to right wrongs, triumph over evil, and pour just the right amount of piping hot water on the new super-brand of instant noodles. These brave souls, joined in friendship and in the understanding that if everyone used dried fish stock to cook their noodles there would be peace in the world, became known across the many corners of the globe as The Ramen Brothers!

The 101 Challenge: MUSIC

As the new editor of my choir’s newsletter, I came up with a little writing challenge. I’m sure I mentioned several dozen posts ago that 2012 was the¬†centenary year¬†of my choir QUMS (the Queensland University Musical Society). Logically, that would make 2013 our 101 year, which quickly lead to the notion of giving the choir a theme, and asking the members to write 101 words about it. Ideally, I would receive several 101 word entries from a few choir members, and publish them together in a special section of the newsletter.

Today was the deadline for newsletter submissions. And how many did I get for the 101 challenge?

That’s right, nada and zilch.

As such, I’ve extended the deadline until Friday. At least one person approached me tonight, though, and promised to send one in, which is lovely. Hopefully that means I won’t have to publish the little example I wrote and read out in hope of giving everyone a bit of a creative nudge. Got a few laughs, but I think that’s because I leaned towards the over-dramatic in my presentation.

So. If I wind up needing to release my own version of the 101 challenge – this issue, the theme is MUSIC (thought that was nice and basic for a group of choristers) – there’s going to be trouble. At least, as much trouble as a choral newsletter editor can give their fellow choristers. And I can be very annoying.

*

And then, the tune emerges, and a glimmer of starlight alights on our mind

What else raises our living soul to the heavens while hundreds of toes, wriggling with joy, remain at rest with earthly dust?

What else unites our heart so effortlessly, transcending the barriers this world so callously imposes?

What else soars as desert breeze, crashes as thunder, echoes deep and menacing as growls issuing from claustrophobic blackness and deep rock, and falls quiet as healing rain, as weightlessly as snow?

What else brings forth the shattering power of silence?

For us, only this

And the music goes on

The Mist Lifted

A picture in 100 words:

Taken 7 July 2012 while viewing Kobe Bridge with Mum near Maiko Station, Kobe

Taken 7 July 2012 while viewing Kobe Bridge with Mum near Maiko Station, Kobe

Just then, the mist lifted. When before the twin towers had been lost within obscuring particles of low-hanging moisture, they now stood clear, soaring mightily above the deck that extended kilometres across the treacherous strait. Though the distant dark land mass separated sea from sky on the horizon, every square millimetre of the scene before me was coloured the same, differing only in lustre and hue.

From our position below the splendour of modern engineering, Jude let out a low whistle. I was equally impressed, but agreed that travelling to-and-fro each day would be atrocious. What with the ridiculously-expensive toll.

Setting Deadlines to Streamline the Writing Process

Wrote two chapters over two days this week. Probably the most I’ve written at once since National Novel Writing Month. I brought it up briefly when a friend asked how I was going. Cause that’s how I¬†interpret¬†that question.

How are you going = how’s your writing going

He has a large project coming up, and asked how I managed it. I claimed by setting deadlines, and writing 1000 words a day, whether I feel like it or not.

The second one I don’t really follow. I try to. When I’m really on a roll, I can get out between 3000 and 6000 a day; I think my record is around 9000 (much easier to accomplish when unemployed). But only over short periods do I generally keep this up. Suppose everything averages out in the end. Sort of.

Setting proper deadlines, however, I find works really well. When there’s no deadline, I just kind of potter around, jump between main projects and side projects, plan a bit, read over a few things. But when I have a date to work towards, like the last day of November during NaNoWriMo, everything kind of streamlines. I can focus. I’m inspired. I don’t want anything to distract me, and it doesn’t. I don’t remember feeling stressed out during NaNoWriMo, either. 30 November was approaching, nice and calmly and slowly. And I knew I’d meet it

Maybe that wasn’t stressful in November as I knew if I didn’t meet it all would be well. The deadline I’ve currently got is mostly the same deal. I’d be highly disappointed if I didn’t meet it, but it wouldn’t spell the end for me.

Decided last week that Pulp Runner (the NaNoWriMo novel) wasn’t ready for the young adult novel competition I plan to enter come the end of March. So, decided to work full throttle on Tom, instead. He’s not quite finished, but I’ve been working on him a lot longer, and I’m more satisfied with the story in general. The plan is to pump out the final four chapters (after the two I wrote across Monday and Tuesday) fairly quickly – I have reams of notes filling my pink book for them – then spend until the end of February editing. Hopefully, I can find a few people to read it for me quick-smart, and I mean to send it on 10 March. Could probably wait a few days longer. But it has to be sent conventionally, and reach its destination by 29 March. Would rather have a bit of leeway.

A lot of work to do. Not hugely worried I haven’t been churning out the same word count over the last few days. Was working on a timeline, and getting a few resultant small, but major edits out of the way. And I’ve mostly written one of the most important parts of chapter 22 already – it was one of the earliest things I wrote for Tom.

The Pink Book is almost full, by the way. It won’t have enough room to finish Tom’s notes. But that’s okay. Already got some nice new ones to start as soon as it’s full. And a lot of stuff for Tom’s sequel is in the pink book, anyway. A bit of crossover is fine.

Now almost full, it has served me well

Now almost full, it has served me well

So, deadlines. Might seem obvious to set them. I’d recommend it, if you’re not. Once Tom’s done, I’ll have to set a good deadline for the next Treading Twisted Lines story. Think I’m developing a bit of a block against it. Hopefully setting a publishing date will kick me into churning it out.

It’s All in the Family

Generally, what I do here on this blog falls into three categories:

1) Attempts at written creativity (cinquains, additions to Behind Glass, pictures in 100 words, etc)

2) Chronicles of experiences that I relate in some way to my writing, or to writing in general

3) Journalistic, self-indulgent entries describing how my writing is progressing, my current situation, or attempting to advertising my self-published short stories

A post might fall into all three of these categories, sometimes just the one. Perhaps there’s some strange, quasi-category that a post or two might better be categorised as. However, for the sake of my point, these three will suffice.

My point is, pretty much everything I do or think is related, however obscurely, to writing. My major creative pursuit. And I can’t help but think this has something to do with how I was raised, as my three siblings are all rather creatively inclined as well, in their own ways.

Sister Erin is an awesome photographer, and possesses significant musical talent, to say nothing of the intimidating height of her writing ability.

Sister Frannie comes up with such brilliant, unique ideas and stories, and her concepts for computer games, not to mention how amazing they look when she implements them with her l33t skills, are just incredible.

Brother Liam has sickening musical ability, and on top of playing several instruments (percussion and drum kit being his specialty), has composed several gorgeous pieces of music – at one point, I had one of them playing on repeat.

Mum and Dad are both wonderful writers and music lovers; I doubt we’d have found our paths without them.

And now, to use this blog to show off one of my sibling’s creativity, instead of my own. Frannie’s been working on a fan game based on BBC’s Sherlock, and she just released a few¬†GIFs¬†on her¬†tumblr¬†blog¬†Evil Rabbit¬†showing her preliminary work.

She built everything in that room herself using stills from the TV show as a reference, and I think it looks just amazing. Love Sherlock’s little deduction flashing up as he enters the room. I can’t wait to play it when it’s done.