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Yeah I should just retitle this the Writing Links Hour because I have nothing again other than my split personality happy for her, sad for me, jealous thing going on (a writing friend has HER vampires in Vegas coming out with the same publisher that kicked mine back in just a few months). She at least was supportive of my boo-boo feelings. Really wish she didn't live out on the west coast. I'd like to be able to visit with her on a regular basis. Ah, life.

I'm watching the new Star Trek right now. I wish it wasn't going to be streaming only after today.

That trulicity injection made me very tired or the allergies did or the depression over missing my steampunk fun or the fact my apartment was sold and I don't know what happens next.

And now for those links

from various sources: Writing a male pov as a female (honestly this one uses very broad and not always flattering generalizations)

Common errors with psychological disorders


reinvigorate book marketing I need to really study this

Best time to publish your book


And of course the plethora of goodies that Betty sent

Time Blocking This is how I get my house clean but honestly I haven't had it work well for me when it comes to writing.

fast draft writing


blurb writing and some want it so short that it's under 300 characters!

getting on the A list

Writing secrets from a TV great


using hashtags as an author

Learning to wait
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It's been a weird but ultimately productive day. I started the cleaning - make my test - edited my story pilgrimage that's taking the place of me going and having fun.

1. Test got done. Huzzah. I think it's pretty fair.

2. The short story was BLANK. Thank god someone was on the editorial end and resent it. It's done and back to them already.

3. Katimac called to see if I wanted to make good on my whine about wanting to see It with friends as horror is better in groups. I appreciate it but points to the opening sentence. Up to my eyeballs in work.

4. The cleaning was...strange. I got more books in another container. I need to see if I can get the plastic totes into a plastic garbage bag. There are so many mice in my storage that the boxes end up covered in mouse shit. Then I dragged out this storage container that's been in my computer room for 13 years. It's designed to hold file folders etc in an office. It's ugly by handy. But it's also filled with SHIT. I dragged it out to the living room so I could watch the Star Trek marathon and sort it into recyclables, Good Will, keep and organize and trash bin piles.

Kanda was NOT amused by this giant mess. I was unamused to find two bag fulls of notes from year 1 of teaching (i.e. 13 years ago) some for classes I no longer even teach. I THINK I might have been keeping it as scrap paper but it was so dusty and I have SO MUCH scrap paper that it's going to be recycled. I found photos. I found handwritten bits of story that I kept just to see what it is. I found printed out fan fic and story editing for friends, a full copy of a novel printed out.

And then I found a blue velvet journal with a silver unicorn on it. I thought it was empty, something a friend had given to me. It was full. It's the journal from my first year in college. That has been set aside to be read. It's time to be reacquainted with 18 year old me. Hold me, I'm scared.

In spite of me wearing gloves and a mask my face is covered in massive hives from my allergies.

My rainbow snippet is teaching people about foxes. cool.


As I said I've been watching ST most of the day. One summer I need to sit down and watch it all because since BBCAmerica has brought it back, I've noticed something. In the first year, year and a half, Uhura, Sulu and Yeoman Rand, had more to do. The alternative Factor is on and there's an African female science/engineering officer. And I noticed in later episodes, Uhura and Sulu are welded to their bridge chairs and aren't seen as much. I know what happened to Rand (sexual harrassment) but what changed? Is it as benign as the writers deciding to concentrate on the big three or more malignant with the censors and producers demanding minorities and women having less to do? I know that WAS an issue.

I injected trulicity for the first time, a diabetic med that is made of gila monster spit but only injected once a week (and it's a fairly hefty dose). I've had issues with the earlier drug in this class (byetta) wish me luck.
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I can't believe it's fall. It feels like my life is flashing by so fast I can't catch my breath. Of course I can't catch my breath because it's NINETY damn degrees out there. I'm so sad about that because I've been looking forward to the steampunk train ride all year but I've decided to not go. The heat is a huge part of it. But I'm also so slammed with work and cleaning AND I just got the final edits of my steampunk CHristmas story and it's on a super short turn around. I'll go to the ball next week. That'll be more fun anyhow.

I did pick up some Mothman rootbeer at the winery. Sadly the Mothman wine was a dry red. Gross.

I also have edited thru my Cassadaga novella and need to finish changing how they handle the Lianesidhe and probably need to find another beta reader. I really only need THAT scene looked at because it's been edited thru a few times now (even though I did find some mistakes that were pretty bad). (also am reminded I need to go read some of the original fic [profile] kiramaru posted).

I think my plot for that middle grade short story I'm trying to write is too dark. I think I might need to leave it as the kids see the bad guys sneaking 'contraband' into Aurelia's Mom's cargo and one of them gets kidnapped and she has to rescue him. My original idea would work better for older teens than the target so.... Now to keep it short. HOW I don't know?

A real joy for today was the review I got on Candy From Strangers It reminded me why I write. It made me happy. You cane see it here


And Happy 80th anniversary to The Hobbit. This version of the song gives me chills every time.
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Every year I go to the Apple Festival to support the town even though I hate the fest. It's the worst small town fest that I've seen. But I'm getting the idea that it's bigger than I know. Every year I do what I did today, I stroll main street and broadway and all it is are midway games, terrifyingly unanchored rides and the cheap food trucks (funnelcakes 7$? Um...no) But one of my students found a crafter with crystals. I have NO idea where. I know the bands play somewhere else and that the quilt show is in the library. So maybe that means the vendors are elsewhere too. God knows where.

So I wandered, didn't buy a damn thing, went to Arch & Eddies for some boom boom shrimp and a beer. Then I did go to a local place I've always meant to go to, Michael's ice cream and have this famous bubble. I was a bit underwhelmed by the prosiac choices and a bubble is just a sundae really BUT it was pretty tasty as I got a baby cinnabon which came covered in marshmallow sauce. Oh I'm paying for it now, thanks lactose intolerance.

I have my edits back from [personal profile] evil_little_dog on Blood Red. I hope to slap that out of here by the first. That way I can be rejected by Christmas. (yeah thinking positively here).
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Happy Rosh Hashanah to all my friends who celebrate Have a sweet year.


I got my schedule for next semester and it's odd. Usually the spring semester I'm all early morning. this year three days a week I'm not there until afternoon but wednesday sucks at 8-4.

I got my income based repayment reassessment for that big student loan. I'm making SO MUCH less than the year before they dropped my payment 100$. God I have no money so much so that the rapacious loan is like fuck this, we can't get blood from a stone.


Trying to get a handle on my characters, I'm doing ALL the b.s. character development stuff now so I don't waste time during nano. Let me know what you think


Meet Joshua )

Arrr

Sep. 19th, 2017 11:13 pm
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It's not just an Arrr for talk like a pirate day, it's an arrr for my students. Yesterday I gave two tests, one went well, the other went okay but at my office hour one of the wanna be allied health students drops in because she can't get online (I only showed them 5 weeks ago) so I help her Then she asks, 'so what did I miss in class today?' Um the EXAM. She proceeds to argue with me about it. I'm like not only did I say it was monday I sent an EMAIL. I can't text you so you HAVE to look at those emails, send them to your fucking phone. I was nice enough to let her make it up (she failed, she also failed the homework and wrote me an email to tell me none of it was in my notes. Um do you want the page numbers?)

I got my [personal profile] spook_me prompts. they're exciting. I just wish I could focus on writing. It's getting worse and worse. I feel like soon I won't be writing at all. I don't know what's happening to me.

Some people are discovering some of my old fanfic which is nice at least.

Today was the Jackson Apple festival. I didn't go because it's raining (maybe later this week) but I did take a bag of books to the library and came home with two bags. I fail at getting rid of my books. :)

I did get to see the H.S. band marching. They were good and I am jealous. They got to march in shorts and t-shirts because it's summer. I asked mom 'remember what I had to march in in spite of the heat?' Mom: the full wool uniform Dad: with the Q Tip hat. Yeah. I had to do it in a woolen oven
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I guess now would be the time to talk about what I had planned for last week (read: I'm trying to avoid cleaning). I know a few people won't agree with me but given how small the blog is these days, I doubt I'll be unfriended.

Anyhow in the last month the topic of mpreg has come up in two different professional m/m communities (though with a lot of cross over one would imagine). Both ended up either being locked or deleted and apologies offered by the moderators because members of the community felt unsafe and/or marginalized. To me this is appalling. I don't even understand why this is even necessary to discuss. Mpreg belongs in fanfic. Just leave it there (I suppose if you're writing SF and the males carry the baby that's different but that's not most of M/M romance in the professional setting.

I have never liked Mpreg, that's no secret, not even in fandom. To me, it's a way of fetishizing gay men and not really honoring their reality. And basically the giant arguments were to that end, many gay men saying PLEASE don't do this. They shouldn't have had to say it more than once but naturally they did. I see this as the women writing gay men confirming their worst fears, that we have no respect for them, have no idea what it's like to be a gay man and are just profiting from them. There are enough voices decrying women writing gay men without adding fuel to the fire.

Here's the thing: if people within the community you're trying to write about are telling you it's offensive and insulting, IT IS offensive and insulting, end of story. This is just widening the gap between groups. We're expected now to write diversely. (I just read an article and damn I should have bookmarked it that said if you don't have a gay and minority character your story is inherently homophobic and racist. Obviously that's moronic, swinging too far to one side). But we're hit on both sides, told we're prejudice if we aren't diverse and told we're doing it wrong and our writing it is unwanted because we're not in the community. Trying to force Mpreg into mainstream writing just reconfirms how wrong we are.

And oh, yeah, I stayed out of the arguments in both communities because I knew how it would end. Be respectful. If you want a baby in the story, adopt, find a surrogate, something a gay man could feasibly do.

As always have some writing links

From others besides Betty: Flying without a Net

Writing 3-D characters I used to do this ALL the time. I need to get back to it. I find it helpful because I'll be the one who forgets details (like seriously couldn't remember which arm Aaron lost when it came time to talk to my cover artist).

the importance of reviews and how to handle them

And thanks to Betty we have: 6 problems with long series I don't always agree with Mythcreants (often I feel their writers are very young and miss the point half the time) but this one is pretty good.

marketing cheat sheet

what’s a bisac code?

Novel plan

social media vs author website

creating an eclectic magic system This is very good

surviving a confidence crisis I feel that using friends too often thing.

Yearly Word Count -


25768 / 100000 words. 26% done!

Splinters of Silver - editing nothing

Blood Red - waiting for edits

editing 3 novellas - edited 2/3rds of Cassadaga

Behind Blue Eyes - nothing

Haunted Hocking -


10215 / 60000 words. 17% done!

Steampunk Deadwood - planning stages

Mothman!

Sep. 16th, 2017 10:28 pm
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It was my annual trek to the mothman festival. I met my friend, Rain there, a bit on the late side but I made it. And they finally have a shuttle/parking service. 10$ but it was worth it. On the negative, Point Pleasant is even MORE depressing than the last time I went but on the whole we had a blast.

Rain had bought me a TNT tour bus ticket for my 50th. I know the story (the TNT explosive compound IS government) because this is where the first sighting of the mothman was. It was fun. They told the various legends as we drove out there then set us loose in one of the igloos that were used and took us home with more stories. It was neat but a tiny bit pricey for what it was. But they DID give us Mothman back packs as a souvenier. I had fun and I will say outside of the depressing downtown, there were some really nice residential areas.

I got to hear almost NONE of the talks. I had wanted to listen to Cornstalk's descendant but her talk was when we were on the tour. Rosemary Ellen Guilley was there and I heard the last half of her talk but it was SRO. Usually it's not that packed (and the State Theater is mildewy, ancient and hotter than balls) but one of the guys from TAPS (GHost Hunter) was there. I could have stayed but I was also meeting Kati and frankly I couldn't have stood being crushed into those hot assed seats that long.

So after Rain left, Kati and her friends arrived and we hung out for a little while but I'd been there going on five hours by then and I was tired.

At one point, I heard gothy music and was familiar. Rain said it's right over there and OMG it was someone selling Nox Arcana CDS. I had two have a couple! (Gothic and Blackthorn Asylum)

I got a birthday gift for a friend and a Christmas gift for another. I got one of Rosemary's books for me and two pieces of wall art even after saying NO WALL ART because I have so much of it. I couldn't resist Mothman as a shinigami and planned to put it in my office (until I noticed after the fact) that there was such a large suggestion off peen.... And I bought the one of a dullahan driving a carriage. I loved it.

I got some roasted candied pecans that had been soaked in blackberry moonshine. So now I must try this for myself because damn they're good (and expensive). I also splurged on a set of glass earrings that look like a full moon in a night sky (gorgeous stuff). I covet her wire tree over a glass bauble necklaces but they're very expensive.

Once Rain gets some pictures up (I forgot my camera and my money. I could fix one with an ATM but not the other) I'll share. I have some on my phone but my phone takes shit pictures in the dark.

I also did get to talk a little with Rosemary and with Sheri Brake (another ghost hunter). TOmorrow my university library is sponsoring a ghost hunter talk but I don't think I'll be going back for that.

WHen I'm not exhausted I'll link to some of the artists as well.

As for yesterday, let's just say the work drama continues
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Even more work drama. I think it's all fixed now but seriously there are people I could have gleefully throttled today.

I feel BAD that the new hires are caught up in this nonsense. Also no one listens. I had to explain things like 6 times before it sank in. Between them and people not listening to instructions on the test I could have sworn i was speaking Klingon.

But they did WELL on the test. THen again this is my senior level class and they usually did.

Today was the RU Okay event for mental healthat the university. I went and not a soul was there. Um what? I even wore the stupid ass yellow shirt (I own ONE. A Star Trek T-shirt because everyone looks like shit in yellow. (my chair's words, not mine) and someone else said they were across campus from where they were meant to be and in turquoise. Head desk.)
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I forgot to mention that I fell yesterday too. Over Kanda who got trampled (and we're all lucky everything didn't get pissed on as I was trying to get to the toilet at the moment.

I aspirated stomach acid again today.

The meeting at work was very frustrating and I'm a bit hurt. For some reason L tried to hand off two of my classes to someone else and I was having none of it. I THINK she thought she was doing me a favor but it didn't come across that way.

Came home to a letter from the IRS. Thank god it was just student loan crap but that didn't negate the stopped heart when I saw it.

Still feeling like persona non grata as Jana.

The good? a) I got a color graphic of my DNA breakdown that I'm rather in love with. I have like this one sub-saharan gene and it's on chromosome 6. So I looked it up because back when I took genetics the Human Chromosome Project didn't exist. Turns out that stupid gene is responsible for half my medical issues. Have to say I'm not a fan and b) my 50th birthday gift for my BFF came from the UK and it's wonderful. It's a haypenny from 1967. I'm betting it's from the same person my friend bought MY gift from (which were irish penny earrings also from then). I'm really in love with the pendant.

I'm also annoyed that Midnight Texas has some 'for the blind' thing going on with someone narrating every action (and ahead of them). I have no idea why this is happening. It's not on any other channel so it's nothing I've done. whimpers.
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So Tuesday started out badly at 130 when I took a fall...okay so I had updated my computer and nearly 2 hours later it was STILL updating so I came to check on it sans glasses and missed the couch when I sat down (well I can't see....) Banged up my left arm, pulled the muscles in my right and either that's a bruise or a clot in my left leg. Sigh.

Then today I had to go in and sit in my office because my lab was canceled for a school function but i still had to be there. Then I forgot when my office hours ended and was there an hour over. WTF is wrong my brain.

I did go to the faculty/staff picnic. There were hundreds of dollars of gift giveaways. I won nothing but our two new hires both won so that was very cool.

I've kind of worked out the particulars of my MG story but it still might be too dark. Wonders what I should do.

ETA -That faulty valve between stomach and esophagus just gave me a lung-full of acid and caprese salad.

Adopt one today! Adopt one today! Adopt one today! Adopt one today! Adopt one today!
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First it started with a weird dream. I was at my apartment complex which is shaped like a U and everyone was in their windows (which looked more like a public high school set up). Instead of being the rednecks I live with, they were all Asians. We all had penis water pistols and were shooting each other. Yep, my subconscious is on crack.

I woke up feeling like butt either from my allergies or fibro fog. I got half way to work and realized I forgot my purse which has my office keys and my slide advancer/laser pointer. Turned around to get it. Sleep walked through the entire day. Realized I hadn't put up a homework I needed to, wasn't ready for a test this week so I just moved it. I came home without my folder and my flashdrive so I couldn't work on my lectures.

Whimpers. But I DID get more done on grading and test making from 5-9:30 (taking out time for both cooking dinner and talking to mom for 45 minutes) than I did all weekend.

As for Florida, most of my friends are okay. No word from my family.
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I had one planned but it's a touchy topic and frankly I am too worn out this week to deal with it. I'm trying to decompress a bit (not helped by the fact that my cousin's uber-right husband is on FB pretending to pray for the Floridians in spite of the fact they were 'told to get out.' Obviously he has no idea the realities of evacuation (and I'm glad some people on his FB are calling his ass out. For a nuclear engineer he can be very 'dumb' about things.)

Anyhow instead of that post (which I'll still make it) let me give us something fun. Check out Dreaming Robot's Young Explorer’s anthology! I love the idea of this. I think several of us might enjoy trying to write a middle grade short story. I'm thinking steampunk with another amputee MC (this time a young lady). I wanted to have two male characters but I'm being hesitant. Hear me out:

I can make things more diverse (and far less racist 1890s) by doing a bit of alt history where the Native Americans and European settlers have more of an uneasy if more equal relationship. There would still be some division but not drowning a MG book in racism. It would take place over Deadwood (mostly because I know the place and won't have time for extensive research). I figured the other MC would be a young Lakota boy, maybe orphaned in the Deadwood fire of 76. (as opposed to the ugly slaughter at Wounded Knee).I was thinking of a young Chinese boy as well as there were plenty of Chinese in Deadwood. But in a very subservient role that would be inappropriate for this anthology (I should think). So I might leave him out but more so because this is TRULY a short story only 3-6K.

Now to come up with a plot. I figure in the end, the boy joins the girl's airship (Her mom is the captain) But what that plot could be that's not too dark for younger readers (well Voldemort was fairly dark...) but more importantly short.

Then decide do I want my pen name to be D.M. and my surname or Dana.


I do have a few lings for you. From Chuck Wendig Self Promoting (including having to do it when the news is a total shit show like it is right now)

how to write when the world is burning Another timely one. Granted we ALL have to deal with this and in different ways, this one resonated a bit with me.

silencing your inner critic I need to buy mine a ball gag.

Your book’s engine


Narrative Structure: It’s okay to stray

Let's all write something!!
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I can't seem to motivate on anything. Didn't make an exam. Barely edited anything. Didn't write. Barely cleaned. Basically I got all the loot crate boxes out of here and pictures taken of the crap I don't want. SO MUCH. I seriously need to decide if I keep this subscription at all. I've skipped almost four straight months as is.

I feel too overwhelmed by this mess. I'm breaking it into doable chunks but it doesn't seem to help much. I did remove another chunk of books.

I'm barely able to look at my social media, a mix of depressing and fury-inducing (and god help you if you disagree with any of them about anything). I DID see one person say what I've been saying. WAY too many authors acting like we're back in high school. You want to have authors on your feed, we should help each other but damned if most days it doesn't seem like they're all arrested at age 15.

Almost all my friends and relatives did NOT evacuate Florida. Most of them are hopefully in areas where the hurricane's force will have died out some but not my 97 year old aunt. STILL no one knows where she is. My Dad's side of the family does a shit job of keeping in touch. Sigh.

Maybe I'd be less bitchy if I could sleep. Or if I could have gone out to hike today because it's so damn beautiful but I felt weak and I had so much to do. Most of which didn't get done.

And once again I've forgotten those dragon sites. Adopt one today! Adopt one today! Adopt one today! Adopt one today! Adopt one today!
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This week was short and work wise it felt short but at home, the days seemed long, like I was accomplishing nothing. But the only thing I did manage to do was to write my flash fic for Chuck Wendig's challenge that hopefully someone somewhere will read it. It's lesbian, sort of (it's girl meets girl but leaves off with the promise of a relationship). You can find it here When They Called Her Home and even if you don't read it, can you try to open it to see if it WILL open?

Because today I met with a friend and he put me in charge of my own website (as he's now working for wordpress and can't profit from doing web design on their site or something along those lines). He had to migrate everything over to me and after 2 hours of diddling around with all of this, I'm not sure it's entirely right so if you can, let me know if it at least opens. THANKS.

Yesterday I saw my endocrinologist or at least his nurse practitioner who at least listens better than he ever did. She answered my question about those Inovakana 'bad drug' commercials. I couldn't figure out why it would cause increased amputations as the action is strictly kidney based (I mean I KNOW why it's probably damaging the fuck out of my kidneys). It's because it's dehydrating and people don't listen to doctor's orders and DRINK so they pass out, break bones in the fall and diabetics don't heal well, especially the elderly so they end up with amputations.

Anyhow she wants me to try trulicity which is a once a week injectible and to stop the invokana. I've had problems with other drugs in this class. On the other hand, it's been SO successful in lowering sugars that medicaid put it on its formulary which is highly unusual due it's high cost but it's so good at it, that it lowers sugar so well, other meds can be dropped AND other issues don't happen so fast (like retinopathy, nephropathy and neuropathy) that it's considered worth the cost.

So my choices are kidney damage from the invokana or thyroid cancer from trulicity. Whee.

And once again I've forgotten those dragon sites. Adopt one today! Adopt one today! Adopt one today! Adopt one today! Adopt one today!
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Title Candy from Strangers
Author- [personal profile] cornerofmadness
Disclaimerall rights belong to Sensei Minekura
Rating R for descriptions of violent crime
Characters/Pairing Goku, Sanzo, Hakkai, Gojyo with implied Hakkai/Gojyo
Timeline/Spoilers set just a few weeks after Hakkai and Gojyo start working for Sanzo, before the journey to the West (i.e. when Goku still has the long hair and still looks pretty much like a little kid)
Word Count 17,612
Warning implied pedophilia, murder
Summary Someone is killing children around the temple.
Author’s NoteForensics keep blending into my Saiyuki stories for some reason and I’m really fascinated by the time period before the journey begins. This was written for the Saiyuki Big Bang challenge. Thanks to Quiet or Die for the beta reading which really helped to tighten up this tale and thanks to all those moderating/running this big bang. It’s a lot of work and I appreciate what you’ve done. Another big thanks to Thooluu who did a great piece of Sanzo & Goku art that goes with the end of the story (If you want to wait until it appears in the story I’ve also linked it there.) Drop by Thooluu’s tumblr at the link to see it! And you can see all of the works created for the Saiyuki Big Bang here and thanks to all those worked to bring this challenge together.

X X X

Candy from Strangers

(Link goes to AO3)

Rough Night

Sep. 5th, 2017 10:03 pm
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I tried to go to bed early because I was tired from running around all day. Could not fall asleep. By 2 AM I was having the mind racing that precedes the anxiety attacks which ended u p in full body shakes and me getting out of bed. Though this time it was for a good reason, I somehow in the craziness of the start up of school forgot to put in the info for my student loan income based repayment plan. I put the irs info in the bathroom so I wouldn't forget to do it today (I didn't). FInally fell asleep only to be awoken very early (as in 4 AM) by a huge lightning ridden storm. So tired today.

There was some good today, the free butternut squashes at the library (because that's how we roll here).

 

My brother called about coming here for Bob Evans Farm fest (which btw was the first wave of anxiety, the idea my parents will also be here for that and I have NO idea how to clean this place up by then). One of the local hotels jumped their prices that day from 95$ to 260$. Jackasses.

I started to edit the Cassadaga novella. I'm hopeful someone will want it.
 

 

Adopt one today! Adopt one today! Adopt one today! Adopt one today!
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I hope you had a good day if you had to be at work. I drove my butt to Columbus with a load of books, literally a trunk full to Half price book store. But first I went to find the international market because I wanted to try the Nepalese restaurant everyone was raving about. I found it. It was closed. As was my next THREE choices for lunch. I ended up in a Korean place that was tasty but way over priced but by then I was too hungry to care. I got some leek dumplings, red bean buns in the shape of fish (there's a name for that but I can't remember it and I can't read Japanese) and some kappa with the seal of approval from the Japanese emperor.

From there I went to HPB. Honestly, unless I have something else I want to do in COlumbus, it's NOT worth taking my books there. Some 30+ books and they gave me 10$, not even the price of gas. I did find a book on ghost hunting for These Haunted HIlls and two manga because this HPB had the close outs on manga series.

I wanted desperately to go to trader joe's as I love them but never get to go so off I went. I was halfway there before I realized I hadn't put on the GPS. I remembered the way as if I had never left. Later Mom was pretty impressed as it's been NINETEEN years since I've left.

I bought out TJs (had to toss a tons of ancient frozen food when I got home, really why is there so much freezer burned chicken in there? I need to just toss everything out of there and start over). I'm SO excited to eat all my new food. The mango/sticky rice spring rolls are tasty BUT the spring roll wrappers are a bit too chewy.

I had a disturbing thing happen there. I was eyeing up the cold food section and a TJ associate came up to me and asked not if I needed help but rather 'are you all right, ma'am?' with a hugely concerned look on her face. As far as I knew I was fine but I want to know what she saw in my face.

I had planned to go to Jeni's ice cream for some blackberry/lavender but since I didn't eat lunch on time, I wasnt hungry (and I had cold storage stuffed with stuff) I decided to skip it. Used my 20% off coupon at Barnes & Nobles before heading to the casino for dinner and gambling.

Well not much gambling because of the cold food. Won 10$ and headed for home.

Nice day. Kanda's annoyed his dinner was late.
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Saggy thick middles are the worst. I wish my books weren't prone to them. Hell I wish a lot of books I'm reading weren't prone to them. I've sent a few back to the library lately because the middle bogged down so much it wasn't worth it to me. I did (or am) finishing a couple that would have been rated much higher by me if the middle hadn't been a bog.

Blackwing was a mostly enjoyable grimdark fantasy that might have gotten five stars from me if not for that overstuffed middle (hell it deserved it for not being exploitative, points to links below). I'm still getting through The Girl Who Drank the Moon which won a Newberry award but man, I don't see how a young reader is slogging through that middle. If I wasn't reading the former because I'd won it and was expected to review it and the latter because I need it for a reading challenge, I might have set it aside thanks to those slow, SLOW, middles.

So how DO you avoid the boggy middle? This is me asking, not me advising (which in theory is what these posts are about). Pony up some answers if you think you have something that works for you.

I'm not sure I know. Action you say. Fair enough. I can't argue that can I? A little, yes. Blackwing had plenty of action but it seemed to be covering the same ground rather than moving us forward. Introduce subplots and character arcs? That's what The Girl Who Drank the Moon and managed to mire itself in too many new arcs.

How about character introspection? Probably the fastest way TO the bog. That didn't stop Nevada Barr's The Rope. Granted this whole thing feels like a boggy middle. Having an abrasive character doing tons of introspection and layering it with a lot of descriptive metaphors where one would do, not your best bet (Honestly if this wasn't book...well over 12 I know that, it probably wouldn't have left the slush pile).

I don't know the answer. What I do know is more and more every book feels the need to be 400+ pages and not every book needs to be. I've read so many lately that feel artificially inflated. Even my own but seeing what to cut is another whole blog post where I say 'I'm pretty sure I don't have a clue.'


Link-a-palooza. You want writing links? I have way too many this week.

From Betty: (Thanks as always!) We both thought this one was very good Sensible self promotion and this one water writing (which really is what I did all august and trying again this sept with the write every day challenge).

free self publishing course

the type of writing you SHOULDN’T become

steps to building your world

weaving backstory into frontstory

setting the stakes

when dark and gritty is just exploitation This is MY problem with SO MUCH grimdark fantasy dystopia and SF (because it's usually women turned back into rape objects and breeding stock)


And now for links from others writing exercises

Using ARCs for promotion


Getting that book out of you

self publishing advice

how to throw a book launch party that isn’t a waste of time


Yearly Word Count -


25021 / 100000 words. 25% done! This may be the first year I don't make my goal. 5 years ago I kept upping the word count and this year I'm unlikely to make it. That depresses the fuck out of me and it's all my own fault.


Splinters of Silver - editing nothing

Blood Red - waiting for edits

editing 3 novellas - did jack

Behind Blue Eyes - nothing

Haunted Hocking -


10073 / 60000 words. 17% done!

Flash fic for Chuck Wendig's challenge -


999 / 1000 words. 100% done! (and no it's not done so thank god he threw out the word count)
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Mom and Dad have been talking replacing the floors upstairs and down. Originally mom only wanted the downstairs done but then the upstairs living room/hall carpet is old and showing it. from there it went to maybe let's redo all the rooms (and increase the value because sooner rather than later my brother and I will be dealing with this house and I tear up just thinking about it).

Anyhow the people want them to do ALL the rooms upstairs at once. I said 'man that's ridiculous' Mom was all 'oh it won't be so bad.' 24 hours later Mom: 'you were right.' (let me mark that on my calendar). Think about it. They would literally have to pack up two bedrooms, one computer room, four closets and a living room including every knick knack, piece of wall art and remove all the molding and register covers. That would be like packing to move. Apparently doing one or two rooms at a go isn't how the flooring places want to do things. The parents have changed their minds for the time being.

But it also got me thinking about all the useless shit I keep around here. I have FAR too much garbage. Some things I loved but no longer do, some I loved and still do, others I never wanted in the first place. I keep buying collectibles without getting rid of others. I cannot continue to do so. I'm rethinking my Loot crate and Loot anime subscriptions. It was fun but it's like 25$ and you don't know what you're getting just the fandom. So now I have boxes of shit I don't want and that's with me skipping the crates with fandoms and the fandoms I do like sometimes the item is a piece of crap I don't actually want. I need to see if I remember how to work ebay.

I carted out five bags and a box of books to the car to go to Half Price book store (I was going to go today but it was raining and I wasn't up for 100 miles one way trip to COlumbus in that) . You can't tell I removed any books. That's a bad thing. Really.

I think I need to get serious with myself and carve out time every day to get rid of some of this stuff. Yes I did 1 and half years of remove something every day and still there's too much stuff. Way too much stuff. I have to decide what I truly still love and what needs rehomed.

Part of the problem is I have a lot of things I've received as gifts, things I've never wanted. Some of it has actually made me wonder how I come across to people to make them think I WOULD like these things. My family is just as culpable in this as my friends. What's worse it's always the item that they seem to be SO excited to give me. I'm like wow and they light up thrilled that I'm wowed but it's not a good wow....

But I keep these things too. I don't know why. I guess in the back of my mind I think 'what if they visit and ask why I don't have that item out. Chances are they barely remember giving it to me. ANd when's the last time anyone has visited me? My family has been here in a couple years and I can't even remember the last time a friend's been here. It's probably safe to toss these things.

I did find one bag to get rid of. I thought it was books. It was Christmas cards, the ones I had saved to send to St. Jude's charity where they use them to make other cards. Obviously they've been lying in the book box for nine months. Humiliating. I did put them into an envelop. Crying. Don't ask. At this distance, all that is good about Christmas overwhelmed me unmarred by the bad (i.e. politics and my family's desire to talk about them).

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