Wednesday, December 29, 2010

2011 Goals

Merry late Christmas everyone!

I was sick this Christmas. It got me the day before Christmas eve and was pretty bad that night and Christmas eve night, I still had to go see family though both on Christmas eve and Christmas day. Luckily it kinda went away during the day before returning during the evening and night. Anyway, I'm pretty much over it now and that's pretty much why I didn't write a blog for a few days.

Christmas also went pretty well this year. The highlights of it was some awesome Bose speakers for my computer, an actual, fully functional (and very very sharp), finger claw thing that is so awesome and looks like this: 

Awesome, yes? I thought so!

And the last particularly awesome gift was a Swarovski ring that was all white sparkly diamond wonder and was really large! Unfortunately it doesn't fit, too small. But I can take it back and exchange it for something else that will be equally awesome! Actually, maybe not. That ring is really pretty. . . Oh well.

So, it's nearly 2011! It's so odd, 2011, it's weird to think that it's here already. This year has gone by so fast I couldn't believe it and it's made me realize just how little time there is and how much of it I waste. Which brings me to my goals for 2011.

This next year, I want to accomplish something. Something big for me. I want to learn a bunch of new things and explore the world. But there just doesn't seem to be enough time for everything I want to do, however I think the first of my goals will give me that needed time.

1. Quite procrastinating. It's really ridiculous how much I do this and I'm sick of it. I'm basically wasting my life away with it and it's going to get kicked.

2. Rewrite, revise and edit The Chronicles. The whole series. With the way it's going though it might end up as a completely different story.

3. Build a very convincing fantasy world for The Chronicles to take place in. This is already in progress but I think this will take a while to accomplish.

4. Revise my '09 NaNo Angels. I think it has a lot of potential, there's a bunch of stuff that can be added and cut to make it awesome!

5. Continue working on The Journalist. That story could be particularly awesome.

6. Take a vacation to another country. One over seas. And I'd like to go to Alaska as well.

7. Learn another language. Japanese is first on the list.

8. Develop a language for my fantasy world.

9. Actually write the 300k for WriYe that I didn't quite make this year.

10. Actually finish reading the twenty some-odd books I'm in the middle of reading, and have been for the last six months.

11. Learn to really play the piano, violin or guitar, all three instruments I own, and only one I can actually play. Kinda.

There are probably some more things that should be added to that list that have slipped my mind at the moment. I may make up a a writing schedule for all those stories I'll be working on next year, but for now, there's the goals for 2011!

What are some of the goals you guys are working towards next year? And how was your Christmas?

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Christmas is almost here!

This is the reason I haven't posted in so long. I had to get gifts for my parents and help my mom figure out what to get everyone. I got my dad a tomahawk. Still don't know what he'll think of it but it's really cool looking. I got my mom a silver necklace shaped like an angel wing, reminiscent of my '09 NaNo about angels and how my love of angel wings came to be. She'll love it, I know. We got my dad one of those electric cigarettes and we're going to slowly get him to quite by lowering the tobacco content over an extended period of time, haha :) But that was a wild goose chase, we originally bought it at the mall, one of those little booth stores in the middle, and went home, got online to see if we could get it cheaper, thinking we could return it if we found it somewhere else. We did find it, way cheaper. So cheap we could buy three (two extra for gifts for others in the family) and a bunch of different flavors. My mom called up the people we bought the cigarette from at the mall and they said that the website sold refurbished ones. So she then called the website when finished with the mall people and they said they weren't refurbished in any way, so she ordered them.

So, today we went to the mall to take back the other one, and find out that they don't do refunds. Only exchanges. My mom was livid but there wasn't really anything she could do, no matter what she said. The people did not tell us that they didn't accept refunds and that's just not right to do to you're customers. So, we exchanged it for a case and refill things and, well, that's it. But we learned our lesson. Don't buy something until you check online first, and don't trust those people at those stores in the middle.

Whew. Anyway.

I really like the atmosphere of the time leading up to Christmas, it's jut a kind of lighthearted feeling that doesn't really come around during any other time of the year. Even in the chaos and stress of making sure you get everyone gifts (and what are you supposed to get everyone anyway!?) and you don't spend every last penny. What do you guys like about Christmas? Other than getting gifts, I mean ;)

I've been slacking off my story a bit this month, I thought I finished my map finally hardly a week ago but I've got to move the continents around some before I'm done and add in the islands. And I have been messing around with things like myths, customs and, cause of all this holiday cheer, potential holidays and where they may originate from for my worlds countries.

I'm also going to compile my list of goals for next year before the month is out, though I have a strange feeling it will have to do with writing.

Sunday, December 12, 2010

My Map!

The last two days have been fun! I'm almost done with my ginormous map and when I say 'ginormous' I mean ginormous. Take a look:

Click on  it to get the full effect. The cellphone is just to give you an idea of how big it is. I had to move my couch out of the way cause there wasn't enough floor space after awhile. I probably went overboard regarding how big this thing is, but there is no way I would've been able to draw it on a small piece of paper, I just wouldn't be able to wrap my mind around drawing a whole world with continents and stuff on a little piece of printer paper.

Although, I did have a much smaller map that I was using before I drew this big one:

That's all I had before but then I traced it onto the bigger paper and added on and on and. . . Well, you get it.

I actually have to add one or two more continents before I'm done with it but I got too excited and took pictures of it, traced it into the computer using GIMP and made it look like an awesome map! Something I've never gotten to do before because I never had a desktop before with an actual MOUSE! All I had before was a 13'' laptop. But, anyway, here is the awesomeness of my map as it is so far:

Click on iiit!

I've still gotta add mountains and stuff like that and make it look more. . . map-ish and stuff but I'll do that after I figure everything out :D

Haha, okay. This is the first time I've drawn a map of this magnitude and actually got to put it in the computer to do stuff like this to it so I'm a bit excited right now. Drawing this map had been an awesome inspiration and brainstorm too! I've got ideas for different countries and conflicts and ways of transportation AND I think my story may take place somewhere else than I had it set all this time, but we'll see :D

Friday, December 10, 2010

A Somewhat Major Breakthrough

I have belatedly realized that my series needs a lot more work than previously anticipated.

A lot more.

Though, really, this shouldn't be so surprising to me. After all it was a NaNo and everything. But really, I don't think I could ever have expected the sheer amount of work that will need to go into this story. The research and the reworking and everything. Last night, I discovered that every single one of my characters are as flat as the paper they're written on, and will continue to be so unless I work on them. I learned that the world needs a lot more work, and not just the history and legends and that kind of thing,  but the lay of the land. Mountains, forests, things like that. Even the cities themselves are flat. The cities I wrote about have no character, aren't unique in any particular way. I didn't differentiate very much of anything between countries and the like, I actually hardly even mention them.

And then there is the magical system which needs to be much more defined and developed than it is at the moment. It's really quite pathetic right now I think. I've still gotta figure out the rules for the magic and so many things.

So, in short, my book is a pile of slush at the moment and is in desperate need of revisions and research.

But, even though I am a bit put out by this revelation, I am actually excited. Like, really excited. The only problem is that I'm not entirely sure where to start. I mean, I know what I need to research, but I just don't know where to start with it all.

But I did actually do something substantial regarding my story today. I greatly expanded the small map I had previously. I really like it, I want to take a picture of it but am wary of doing so. I had to break out the giant floor pad paper that we got years ago for my baby cousin. This thing is like two and a half foot wide and two foot tall. I traced my previous map onto here and then added to it, bringing more of the world onto the page. It's fabulous but still only a small fraction of the world. I have a very strong urge to tear out a bunch of these large pieces of paper and tape them together and draw until I have all the world finished. I might actually do that tonight, it sounds fun! But I have a feeling it will be ridiculously large. . .

I have decided that it is a near waste of time to read through my book any longer at this point because so much of it needs to be trashed and I already have a pretty good idea of what needs to be done. I'm going to get all this research and stuff out of the way so I can have a more developed world and more developed characters and then I will start over, write everything from scratch again. I have a feeling that by that point the whole story will be different, but I know that it will be a better different, and that it will be so much better than what I have right now.

And also, has anyone read or heard of The Name of the Wind by Patrick Rothfuss?

I remember finding it awhile ago and thinking it might be good but I never bought it or anything, just put it on the wish list. But the other day Ted Cross mentioned Patrick Rothfuss's blog and I checked it out and remembered The Name of the Wind, read the excerpt and have decided that it will probably be one of the best books I will have read.

I had totally forgotten about this book until the day before yesterday, but since then, I have been obsessed with it and made the mistake of tacking it on to what I want for Christmas. So now, I can't really buy it until after Christmas because someone may have bought it as a gift. I so wish I had said nothing.

And another awesome thing is that this is a BIG book. Like nearly 700 pages big. And his second book (which will be out in march)? Well, it's just over 900 pages long.

So, if anyone has read this book, please let me know what you thought! (Spoiler free, of course.)

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Time to Revise

Well, I've taken a week off of writing. At this point I believe that I am officially out of the NaNoWriMo mindset.

I decided last night that I was going to start revising. This meant that I would have to print out everything I wrote for NaNo (except Fork, that will probably be forgotten about). I have to print it out, reading it through on the computer just doesn't work for me, printing it and physically being able to hold my story just can't be matched with a computer screen, and it makes it feel a lot more real.

But before I got to the printing I remembered that I have to do spell check. I did that for an hour before I finally went to bed and then it went on for another hour or two today before it was finally done. I had no idea that the spell check would take that long, I don't remember it being that long last year.

So, afterwords I started printing everything and partway through the ink - of course - decided to run out on me and I had to go get some before I could finish. And my uncle was over so I couldn't start reading anything yet cause that would be a bit rude and then my mom and dad guilted me into staying out in the living room for awhile to watch TV with them cause I haven't spent much time outside me room all last month and this month as well. But now, I finally get to sit down and read it. And I can't wait. All three of my stories are twice the size of last years Angels and it was so exciting to watch it all print!

And I honestly can't wait to start changing things up because the last few days I've thought about it on and off coming up with more things and while skimming through it when it was printing and while I was spell checking has brought all the excitement back and I know what needs to be changed and the things I have to figure out. I don't have any answers yet but that's what this is all for!

Pics of my 'manuscripts':

Thursday, December 2, 2010

So Here I Am. . .


Like, wow.

I've had no idea what to do with myself today, other than play those video games I've been dreaming about but it's been very strange, to say the least. I feel like I should be writing, but that guilt that has plagued me for most of the month is absent. It feels sorta empty, to tell the truth. I can't believe I'm already starting to miss NaNo, maybe I really am insane ;)

Tomorrow though I'm going to start writing again, I at least want to finish The Journalist sometime soon, and I'm going to be going over The Chronicles, re-plot everything and see what can be salvaged from it. Ooh, I can't wait to print that sucker out. . . It's the most I've ever written so far on a single story line!

This last month has been crazy, much crazier than last year, I think. I've learned a lot from the experience. Like how to just write things because they sound interesting instead of sticking straight to the outline, and how to use an outline as well and not just pantsing the story. I've written something very different than what I have before, trying to go with a deadly serious tone and still not sure whether it was a fail or a win. I've been working on creating a very diverse character with a personality changing story arc that I've never before attempted, straying from the path of good natured character that I usually write into the dark evil characters, which has really been a joyful journey for me. I also dabbled in writing today's modern world with a touch (or perhaps an explosion) of magic in it with The Journalist and found that I am loving it immensely, it is the first story I've actually begun writing that has anything to do with our world, because I usually detest writing about the world we live in from day to day with the usual technology and everything, but in The Journalist it strangely fits perfectly.

I've also tried really hard to put in more detail of the surrounding scenery in my writing, as my cousin pointed out there wasn't enough of when she read some of last years story and I've begun to notice it really was very severely lacking. Like it really was all in my head :p

This month, I've also learned that I can write a ridiculous amount of words (or to some other people, not so ridiculous) in a very small amount of time, while procrastinating to the max. I mean, come on, I went days without writing a word. I don't remember going a single day without writing last November, yet I only wrote the minimum 50k last year. So. . . Those are some of the things I've learned this month. I've discovered many things I need to work on, many other things that I enjoy, and that no matter how utterly painful it is for me to write sometimes, I still enjoy it in some twisted way, even those really tough bits where I'm writing a word a minute and my brain just feels like it's melting into mush, I even like it then because I'm writing. And today, even though I got to play World of Warcraft, I just don't feel as satisfied with myself as I am after a day of writing.

Cheers to writing, to National Novel Writing Month and to amazing stories winner or not! We've all made it to the other side.