Writing

Writing Time: Everlasting #80

by on Aug.05, 2014, under Writing, Writing Updates

Writing Session

Consecutive Daily Writing Count: 205
Magic Spreadsheet Points: 19,945

There was no actual writing session today. Or yesterday. Why is that, do you ask? Because I’m done. I finished the first draft of Everlasting, my very first novel. As of Sunday I wrote something like two hundred and fifty words and realized that there was nothing else left to write. I could have extended the epilogue I was writing to fill in the five hundred and fifty words per day I was up to but it would have been superfluous and forced.

So to celebrate I didn’t write yesterday, save to do a little bit of design work on Video Board Game. I didn’t write today, save to write this blog post. I wish I could say no writing left a great hole in my schedule but it really didn’t. Using The Magic Spreadsheet, I was writing five hundred and fifty or more words a day, usually more, and on a good day I could knock that out in twenty minutes.

So yeah. Yay me! I’ve wanted to feel some serious elation over this but honestly the moment came and hen it was past. I’ve gotten congratulations from friends and family but for the most part it was just another thing. My writing friends understand and my friends who don’t write are still encouraging. Each writer is different and I’ve known those who have finished three or four rough drafts of novels in the time it has taken me to finish this one.  So I didn’t have a party thrown in my honor when I finished.

Which is fine. I have a hard time celebrating it because I’m well aware that it is in no state to be called anything but a first and very rough draft. I even know major changes I would already make. Should I take up Everlasting again, I’d be doing much more search and taking time with my world building knowing where my story is going through the world.

Taking a vacation from writing the last two days also means I’ve lost my chain in The Magic Spreadsheet. But honestly I don’t mind. It was a tool to get my novel finished. I’ll use it again when I start in on a new novel, which probably won’t be till NaNoWriMo this year. The intervening time, after a small vacation, will be dedicated to working on short stories, editing what I have of Free Writings and other short stories, doing more design and prototyping of Video Board Game, and maybe working more on my MTG organizer.

Everlasting Update

Novel Word Count: 263,276 (+54,758) [Days: 119] [Avg. Wpd: 461]

So it has been a long while since I updated. Honestly writing doesn’t lend itself to updates without being forced. I supposed I could use a Magic Spreadsheet style to force myself to update weekly? Maybe yet I will do that. Regardless if you read above you know I finished the first draft of Everlasting. It has been four years, ten months, and two days since I decided to write a novel. Not all that time was focused on Everlasting. In fact I didn’t finish the first NaNoWriMo that started the entire thing and even that NaNoWriMo only produced a partially completed world bible. So it’s really only fair to say it has been two years or so. Maybe two and a half? The last year, or rather the last two hundred and twenty days or so has been the real push, doing the daily writing, a majority of it going towards this novel with only a few days to short stories or just ramblings.

So Everlasting will be trunked. I doubt the world will be. After all there is still Werewolf Zombie Steampunk, the prequel novel that should also never likely see the day, and Monster Hunters, which might be set in the same universe, if not the immediately same time period. I also could see some other stories focus on just Captain and Steampunk Sky Pirates or something similar. And there’s always the chance I’ll want to re-write Everlasting. Actually, I do feel like I want to re-write it. I know I shouldn’t. I should feel elation and being able to put it down, but I do think I want to revisit Everlasting sometime soon. So perhaps we’ll see.

Editing & Critiques

Currently not editing or critiquing anything.

Other (Non-Writing) Projects

Video Board Game

Since I didn’t do any serious writing, I found myself adding to my design document several times over the last few days on this. The design document has gotten rather unwieldly and I might be discarding it here soon. And by that I mean starting a new one and copying over good ideas. I’m still having difficulty figuring out how best to mange my brain storming of this game and get the ideas down. Google Docs is great for access but not very good when I want to convey visual ideas or move things around. I could start a scrivener project for better modularity of organization but that doesn’t help my visual problems much either.

I may resort to pencil and paper. I lose the ability to easily edit and organize but I gain near infinite visual capability, limited mostly by my drawing skills, which aren’t stellar but I play on improving that as well. I seem to remember the creators of Scrivener released a brain storming tool. This might be a time to try it out…

Magic the Gathering Organizer

Nothing has been done on this front.

Other Works

Weird Words – Random.

Free Write - Hiatus. But keep an eye out for some one shots.

Station – Waiting to be edited.

Matrix – Hiatus.

Gerald – Waiting to be continued.

Reconfigure – Waiting to be turned into an actual short story.

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Writing Time: Everlasting #79

by on Apr.08, 2014, under Articles, Writing, Writing Group, Writing Updates

Writing Session

Word Count: 365
Consecutive Daily Writing Count: 89
Magic Spreadsheet Points: 3,908

Been a while. Sorry about that. As you can see I’ve added two new metrics. Consecutive Daily Writing Count (CDWC) is how many days consecutively I’ve written at least two hundred and fifty words. It’s related to the Magic Spread Sheet I talked about last post. Which brings me to Magic Spreadsheet Points (MSP), which is how many points I’ve earned from the sheet. Like I Should Be Writing, the game is real but the points don’t matter, but I felt like reporting them anyway.

Today’s writing session has been relatively easy. I’m actually at writing group today for the first time in a few weeks. Sadly being able to write every day has lessened the value of going to a place to write with people but I was still looking forward to it all day. It is also good to connect with people who share a similar hobby at least.

One thing that has fallen to the wayside with the writing every day and not attending writing group is the Weird Words column. I apologize for that. It will likely make a return at some point but not this or next week, quiet likely.

Everlasting Update

Novel Word Count: 208,518 (+10,278) [Days: 28] [Avg. Wpd.: 367.07]

The end is in sight and it is amazing, and sucky at the same time. I’m so close to finishing and I’m still seeing problems and plot holes as I write out my outline. I’m following the outline closely, only deviating a little. At this point I’m only writing down inspiration notes which I think would make really good ideas but this story will require a significant rewrite.

Same old same old, I know.

A few characters have died and I have a better idea of how airship docks work in my world now, at least. Dead people is progress right?

Editing & Critiques

Currently not editing or critiquing anything.

Other (Non-Writing) Projects

Magic the Gathering Organizer

Nothing has been done on this front.

Video Board Game

I’ve been discussing it with some friends and ruminating in my head. I may do some writing on this after this post, actually.

Other Works

Weird Words – Temporary unexpected Hiatus

Free Write - Hiatus. But keep an eye out for some one shots.

Station – Waiting to be edited.

Matrix – Hiatus.

Gerald – Waiting to be continued.

Reconfigure – Waiting to be turned into an actual short story.

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Writing Time: Everlasting #78

by on Mar.11, 2014, under Articles, Writing, Writing Updates

Writing Session

Word Count: 329

I’ve been a little bad at these huh? Well the good news is I can make up for that by reporting some really awesome numbers. Okay that above word count might not look so awesome, but wait till you see below. Okay fine I’ll spoil it now. So in the last sixty-four days, I’ve written a grand total of nineteen thousand, two hundred and forty or so words on Everlasting. Which is an average of about three hundred and ten words per day. Three hundred is a key count because it is basically how much I’ve been writing every single day for the last sixty or so days.

To explain, a while back I heard about “The Magic Spreadsheet” on the writing podcast I Should Be Writing. It’s a spreadsheet that turns writing consecutively into a game by awarding points for writing. You get points for writing at least two hundred and fifty words. You also get points for writing every single day. The longer your streak, the more points you get. So while you can write in two thousand word bursts every few days, the real incentive is to write every single day. If you’d like to follow my count you can click here to go directly to the page I am in on a Google Docs sheet. I’m using the name Nojh.

So that has been working fabulously. Only having to aim for three hundred words a day (up from 250 because I “leveled up”) is significantly easier to pull off. As noted!

Everlasting Update

Novel Word Count: 198,240 (+19,861) [64 {310.32}]

So the outline is done, which is probably how I’ve been managing to keep my word count going. There are days where I find holes in my outline that once again annoy me but I’m still going for the “no editing until finished” method. Because really, I need to trunk this thing. It has some neat ideas but it really is my first work. Right now characters are running around trying to move the plot along and I’ve lost most of the characterization. But we’ve hit the next major action scene that effects everyone, so I’m looking forward to that.

Editing & Critiques

Currently not editing or critiquing anything.

Other (Non-Writing) Projects

Magic the Gathering Organizer

So last time I reported this was on hiatus. It may or may not be. I had some inspiration do to a design document so I wrote up some design ideas. So we’ll see how this goes.

Board Game formerly codenamed Platform now codenamed Video Board Game

Okay so that’s a long title. VBG is going to be its shortened name. I said I wouldn’t reveal details but I might yet still. If someone else can take my ideas and run with it, good on them. I’ve been doing off and on-design of this and I really need to just sit down and make a prototype of the basic idea. The basic idea is a system that can be easily themed to mimic or simulate old-school 2d video games, particularly platforms and “adventure” games. Think games like Megaman, Super Mario Bros., Zelda, Altered Beast, Metroid, and X-Men 2: Clone Wars. Except those are all other people’s intellectual property, so it’ll be art work and story that borrow heavily from these kinds of games, with (hopefully) mechanics that help you feel like you’re playing a twitchy platformer, while actually being a very tactical/strategic board game.

Lofty goals huh?

Other Works

Free Write - Hiatus. But keep an eye out for some one shots.

Station – Waiting to be edited.

Matrix – Hiatus.

Gerald – Waiting to be continued.

Reconfigure – Waiting to be turned into an actual short story.

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Weird Word: Glabella

by on Mar.03, 2014, under Articles, Weird Words, Writing

Glabella

Noun

  • (anatomy) The space between the eyebrows and the nose.
  • (zoology) The axial protuberance on the cephalon of certain arthropods (especially trilobites)

Example Usage:

“You have a little something-” “On my mouth? Oh, how embarrassing.” “No, um-” “On my dress? Oh dear!” “Not exactly-” “Well then where?!” “Your glabella.” “I will not be talked to that way!” “No, Ma’am, its your face-” “Are you saying I look like an insect!? !” “What? No I-” “Sir, I think we’re going to have to ask you to leave.”

SourceWiktionary

Commentary:

I don’t actually have a problem with people who have hair in their glabella, or what is more commonly known has a unibrow. I think the look gets a bad rap from old cartoons, where all the bad guys had unibrows. But now you know what that the name of that place is, so you can tell your beautician exactly where you wish the hair removed.

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Weird Word: Satorial

by on Feb.24, 2014, under Weird Words, Writing

Satorial

Adjective

  • Of or relating to the tailoring of clothing.
  • Of or relating to the quality of dress

Example Usage:

“Look all I’m saying is that Florthians place an emphasis on satorial manners, being a race which communications exclusively through the visible spectrum. Which means we’re wearing the jackets, regardless of how much they make us look like an Olympic team competing for the most hideous team uniform.”

SourceWiktionary

Commentary:

Here is a word I’m sure I’ve never heard uttered and never seen until I stumbled across it in search of weird words. You can tell it hasn’t been very popular, since the number of meanings is small. There’s an extra meaning in anatomy I excluded because it seemed somewhat silly. Apparently there is a muscle group named satorial. Anatomy is weird.

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Sexism in SFWA (and the world)

by on Feb.18, 2014, under Articles, Culture, Gaming, Video Games, Writing

You don’t have to look very far these days to see sexism but you do have to know what you are looking for. The problem is that most of us are effectively blind to it, both because it is kept behind close doors and  because it is hiding in plain sight. And when people, particularly women, call attention to it, they’re often labeled misogynist, or simply told to “laugh it off”. Even when sexism is dragged out from behind doors for all to see, it is easy to claim that it is happening to just one person, or a small group of people, hidden away, and not a systemic problem within our society.

Noted and award winning author Mary Robinette Kowal was slandered by some of her peers in the Science Fiction Writer’s Association (SFWA) the other day. Male members of the organization made comments via the organization’s public email listserv. One called her a hypocrite based upon her public views as a feminist and what clothing she chooses to wear to award ceremonies, as well as simply calling her phony and incompetent.

To her credit, Mary has offered a response which, rather than simply attacking back, called attention to this attack and focused instead on making it an example of sexism and to make note that this is not an incident she is facing alone, but that women inside and outside the SFWA suffer all the time from what is effectively verbal abuse.

In her response entitled”Me, as a useful representative example“, she says the following:

Then I replied to the messages saying, “Honestly, I’m fine. Four years in office inured me to this so mostly I’m just laughing.”

And this is the part that I feel I should draw attention to — I was “mostly” laughing. I was also having mild stress reactions. Dry sweats, elevated heart rate. I was ready to shrug them off as, “Meh, doesn’t materially affect me. I’ve seen worse.”

Until someone pointed it out that I was basically saying, “I’m inured to being abused, because I was abused for years.” See… the things those folks are saying in that public forum? When I was in office, they would email that bile directly to me and because I was an officer, I could not choose to ignore it. I had to read every single one. And I had to reply politely to them. Strangely, sometimes I had trouble doing that, but a polite response was the one that was expected. Now? Being out of office for two years, I can say whatever the fuck I want, but most beautifully, I don’t have to read the emails.

So this is why I feel weird about writing about this. My impulse is to tell you all that I’m fine and that this has no material affect on my life. And that is true. But I also know that I am a useful representative sample of the abuse that happens to other women.

Too many places, too many women, get this sort of unwelcome attention and commentary about what they were wearing but no one does anything. It’s always, “Laugh about it” or “Just shrug it off,” or “Ignore it and he’ll go away.”

You see how well that last is working?

So, I really, truly am fine. But watch what happens to me now that I’m posting. Read the comments when they happen. Note the people who say that because I’m talking about the abuse, I must be begging for attention.

Take me as a useful representative example. And know that I am not an isolated case.

It is sad that we need examples and I applaud Kowal for providing one. And we do need one. I recently was reading an online article about a video game that was in no way related to gender equality. In the middle of this author’s article, he says the following:

…this is, after all, a game where half the punchlines are “ogling women is funny” (and I say that as a staunch anti-feminist)…

It stopped me reading right in my tracks. It took me awhile to comprehend that the initial statement meant that the game wasn’t necessarily to be taken so seriously as it relied upon humor like men staring at women. Yet I couldn’t understand why he felt compelled to add the anti-feminism qualifier, to declare that he was staunchly opposed to a society where men and women are treated equally without discrimination or abuse, be it physical or emotional.

Actually it seems unlikely that the author is an active proponent of sexism. Instead he is likely ignorant of the amount of sexism that exists in our culture and the harm that it does. Instead he is reacting to the backlash that accompanies attempts to educate people regarding this harm, shielding himself from it by claiming that he is not a feminist. This backlash is what Mary Robinette Kowal wants you to look for in the coming days.

That backlash will be just some of the sexism that hides in plain sight.

Links:
Apparently, these guys don’t want women to write science fiction by Aja Romano [DailyDot.com]
Me, as a useful representative example by Mary Robinette Kowal [MaryRobinetteKowal.com]
Cheap Arts by Silvia Moreno-Garcia [Silvia Moreno-Garcia.com]
Mary Robinette Kowal Offers Herself Up as a Useful Representative Example by John Scalzi [whatever.scazli.com]
Does Bravely Default Hate Atheists? by Geoff Thew [HardCoreGamer.com]

 

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Weird Word: Reification

by on Feb.17, 2014, under Articles, Weird Words, Writing

Reification

Noun

  • The consideration of an abstract thing as if it were concrete, or of an inanimate object as if it were living.
  • The consideration of a human being as an impersonal object.

Example Usage:

“Your reficiation of the chairs in this lab are really starting to annoy me,” I said as I sat, a little too quick to stop myself from setting off the whoopee cushion hidden beneath the seat’s cover, which sent giggles through out of the laboratory staff. “So you’re saying that was you and not the chair?” Ry’leu retorted with a knowing snicker.

Alternative Forms

  • reify

SourceWiktionary

Commentary:

What bugged me initially was that I wasn’t sure what the difference was between Reification and Personification. Turns out the two are very similar but not quiet the same. Personification is literary technique writing as well as a way of asserting qualities or roles of one thing onto another thing, such as the Grim Reaper being the personification of death. Reification on the other hand is basically the opposite of objectification, where you would treat death not as a the grim reaper, but as something you could use, carry around, or draw a smiley face on.

Still the word makes me think it just wants to repeat something over and over and over.

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Weird Word: Austere

by on Feb.10, 2014, under Weird Words, Writing

Austere

Adjective

  • Grim or severe in manner or appearance
  • Lacking trivial decoration; not extravagant or gaudy

Example Usage:

The orb was anything but austere, covered in nobs, scratches, markings, and somewhat artistic designs, brightly colored in as obnoxious of a manner that an inanimate could muster on both its surface and inside, as could be seen through several semi-transparent layers.

Alternative Forms

  • austerer
  • austerest
  • austerity
  • austerely

SourceWiktionary

Commentary:

So this word is uncommon but not rare or unheard of. I think it is likely found in a lot of victorian writings, which is silly because the victorians were all about decoration, although perhaps not gaudy. In regards to appearance, I believe I’ve heard this word used to describe the “old woman” or “head mistress of the school” trope. Still it is a nicely descriptive word even if it has a deceptive spelling. The pronunciation actually makes me think of something shining or with a specular highlight instead of severe or lacking in decoration.

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Weird Word: Facinorous

by on Jan.27, 2014, under Weird Words, Writing

Facinorous

Adjective

  • Extremely wicked

Example Usage:

“Bullying Bough Bettle!” “Wicked Wacker!” “Facinorous Fecal Matter!” they crowd shouted, throwing every manner of confusing insult they could.

SourceWiktionary

Commentary:

I like this word. My spellchecker doesn’t but it rarely likes the words I post here. This in another one of those words that sounds evil which means it nicely fits our definition. It also feels like it has some relation to noses but I don’t know why I feel that way.

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Weird Word: Theranostics

by on Jan.20, 2014, under Weird Words, Writing

Theranostics

Noun

  • A form of diagnostic therapy that tests patient’s reaction to medication

Example Usage:

“It is theranostics you see,” Abel said as he pulled the hot poker from the fire. “We’ll poke him with this and see how he reacts. He’ll feel better afterwards, I’m sure.”

SourceWiktionary

Commentary:

I’m betting this is the same stuff that placebos fall under, as well as that neat effect where people get sick because they thing they are sick, when in actuality they are sick but not for the reasons they think they are sick. Anyway Abel definitely is not using the word correctly but then again, maybe hot pokers are a form of medication where it comes from.

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