Friday, November 27, 2009

"Odd Dogs & Cats"

Exercise #97: "Odd Dogs & Cats"

Use 2 1/2 minutes to make a list of really odd names for dogs & cats. Then use the remaining 2 1/2 minutes to match each name with a type of dog; a color; and the one adjective that would best describe its personality.
For example:
Mister Trotsky. Chihuahua. Black. Shy.

This one should be fun. Lord knows that, as a dog walker, I'm exposed to a lot of Bellas, Bears, and Abbys, but every once in a while I get a dog whose name is completely out there. Some of them are funny, and some are just down right bizarre.

GO!
  • Tittles - dog, Yorkie-Poo, caramel-colored, prissy
  • The Honorable Lord Fitzwilliam Darcy* - cat, black and brown stripes, master hunter
  • Mr. Fluffybutt (I'm not kidding...) - dog, Newfoundland, white, bashful
  • Nhunhu (pronounced NOO-noo) - dog, Australian Cattle Dog, brown and black with white/grey specks, aloof
  • Diogi (pronounced dee-OH-jee)* - dog, Chinese Chongqing, ruddy brown, tiny but brave
  • Kitty Kitty - cat, black, selfish
  • Cat (Thanks, Audrey Hepburn) - cat, tabby, semi-feral
If you noticed, there are 2 names that I marked with an asterisk (I always have trouble saying that word. I don't know why. It's not difficult, but I have to concentrate when I say it. hah). Here's why: those are names that I, personally, came up with. hehe The Honorable Lord Fitzwilliam Darcy is the name of my ex-boyfriend's cat, but we just call him Fitzy or Fitz. You see, I love Jane Austen, and every day that I wake up, the closeted, hopeless romantic in me prays for my very own Mr. Darcy from Pride & Prejudice. teehee Anyways, Fitzy was orignally living with me, but then Brandon said that he wanted him so voila! He got a new cat and didn't care to change the name.

The second is Diogi. I was being lazy one day and coming up for names for Kitty Kitty (This was before I had decided that Kitty Kitty was just so wonderfully appropriate for my loveable ball of fur.), and one of the names that surfaced was Diogi. Of course, that would have been cruel (dee-OH-jee... D.O.G. hahaha) but also hilarious, so I was torn. But, as you know, her makeshift name stuck.

Anyhow, that's all I really have time for today. The dog walking business is BOOMING over the holidays. I had to go to 13 different houses this morning. UGH. In around an hour or so I have to do it all over again. But I'm lucky, though. I could be stuck in a cubicle all day long. No, thank you.

How was your Thanksgiving? I hope you had a really great time and ate wonderful, wonderful food.

Peace.
Stef.

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

You Are a WINNER!!!

Hallelujah! Hallelujah! Hallelujah, Hallelujah! HALLEEEELUUUUJAAAAHHHHHH!!!

Congrats and many back pattings for me, for I have won NaNoWriMo on this oh-so-important day of November 26th, 2009 topping out at 52,845 words! Wooooooo!!! The moment could only be improved by streamers and confetti, but sadly I was writing to feverishly to buy any... I'll just throw a few crumpled balls of paper in the air instead. That's good enough, right?

While I reached the 50,000 mark I'm still not done with the plot. In fact, I have a little further to go. I don't care about that, though. I wrote 50,000 words in a month!!!!! Wow! I am so proud of myself. I entered this month with trepidation, but I stuck it out and ended up writing more in one sitting than I have in... ever. Yay!!!! Wooooooooo!

Ok, enough celebration (yeah right!)... When all of you cross the finish line, let me know! I want to celebrate with you! :-D

Happy Thanksgiving everyone!

Peace.
Stef.

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

"Trouble Sleeping"

Exercise #96 : "Trouble Sleeping"

Here are the nanes of the characters:
Glenda; Howard; Fecky Hastings; and Asa, the old sheepdog. For each one, in three sentences or less: when and why did each of them begin to have trouble sleeping? How did each one cope (or not cope)?

Tick, tock...

Ah, trouble sleeping. I am most definitely not a stranger to this problem. Before I got mono, I would lie in bed for hours before I was able to fall asleep. It was absolutely ridiculous! I'm hoping that, with this new-found easy sleep pattern, insomnia will not rear its ugly head each and every night. Well, let's start with the exercise, shall we?

Glenda - Glenda is a young woman who has just started her political career, and her insomnia began to present itself when she was given the opportunity to join a group of elite politicians who will help her gain a severe amount of clout amongst her peers. She dealt with her sleeping troubles by getting a prescription for a pretty hefty sleeping pill.

Howard - Howard is a duck who began having trouble sleeping when he noticed that the feathers on his backside were thinning. To cope, he begins picking molted feathers from all around and applying them to his butt with gooey mud. It looks iffy, but he's happy.

Fecky Hastungs - Fecky Hastungs started losing sleep when he realized that his name was completely ridiculous. He still hasn't found a solution and cannot sleep, because changing his name would hurt his parents.

Asa, the old sheepdog - Asa is too old to do the same amount of activity that she once used to take part in, so some of her duties have begun to slack which is making her lie awake at night. Squirrels are invading the garden, making tons of noise and mischief, and bunnies taunt her from just outside her dog house.

END

Enough about insomnia. I don't want to jinx my recent life without it, because sleep is just so wonderful when it's not a hard thing to obtain.

In other news, I am sitting here attempting to type this up with a splint on my right hand middle finger. What happened, you ask? Well, I lived. That's what happened. :) I'm kind of walking chaos, for those of you who don't know. This is old hat for me. Anyways, I was leaving my house today to make my way back to campus for my piano lesson, and as I was shutting the door I think "Oh, crap! I left my keys on my bed!!!" Well, I had turned the the little nob on the handle of the door so that it would lock automatically behind me, so once the door was closed, there was no way back in. So what do I do? I shove my hand between the door and the door frame. Smart, Stef. You guessed it. BOOM! The door cracks against my hand, and I am plunged into an all-enveloping sea of pain. Luckily, the Doc said that I only dislocated my finger, so it will be better in a few days, but it's not pleasant. :-P

NaNo Update!
Still on track for today at just over 42 thousand words. In fact, I'm ahead of schedule. So close!!!! How are you doing (if y0u're taking part in NaNo, of course)?

Time to head off to work. Yes, I am done with school for the week, but being that the business of pet sitting is booming during the holidays I'm set to be working every day, even Turkey Day. That's ok, though. More monies for me.

Peace.
Stef.

Monday, November 23, 2009

"Little Dog (or Cat) Name Poem"

Exercise #95 : "Little Dog (or Cat) Name Poem"

This is an exercise in using alliteration and rhythm.

The other day on C.M. Mayo's blog she posted this poem:
Little Dog Name Poem (To the Tin Whistle & Gamelan)
Tater, Tot, Louie, Boomer, Bridget, Bijou, Elpis, Roxy, Leader, Lucy, Lola, Coco, Chloe, and of course--- drum-rolllll--- Picadou.
Take a look at the alliteration:
Tater, Tot
Boomer, Bridget, Bijou
Leader, Lucy, Lola
Coco, Chloe (well, close...)
and the rhythms... (an easy way to get the feel for the rhythm of writing is to read it aloud, but with your hand covering your mouth).

The exercise is this: Make a list of some 10-15 dog names (or cat names or horse names, whatever you prefer)--- just slap down whatever names occur to you--- then, rearrange the names into a little poem using alliteration and some kind of rhythm.

GO!

Stream-of-conscious names:
Lily, Kitty, Zola, Maggie, Cocoa, Bushka, Ellie, Abby, Bella, Indigo, Chester, Max, Ally, Minnie, Molly, Charlie, Tootles, Cookie, Bijou, Louie, Sadie, Juju, Beebee, Lulu

Rearranged names:
Abby, Ally, Ellie, Sadie,
Maggie, Minnie, Molly, Max
Lily, Louie, Lulu
Charlie, Chester
Bushka, Bella, Bijou, Beebee
Cocoa, Cookie, Kitty

Ones that don't fit:
Zola, Indigo, Tootles

Hmm... I'm not sure what this one accomplished. Ah, well. At the end of the day, I got some pretty nifty animal names for any future pets I might have... :)

NaNo Update!
I'm on track today with just over 39,000 words. Woo! Like I've said before, it's a bunch of poorly-written hooey, but hey, I'm getting it all out in paragraph form. That's all that matters. :) Come December, I'm going to have quite a bit of editing to do, but that's ok! I'm actually a really big fan of editing. We'll only see!

I'm off to do a bit of writing! Woo!

Peace.
Stef.

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Future Neighborhood

Exercise #94 : "Future Neighborhood"

Describe your neighborhood as you would expect it to appear 10 years from now.

Et allez!!! (And go!!! in French heh)

Well, I live in what would be referred to as the "nice ghetto." It's gradually getting better, but 10 years from now, I don't think very much will have changed. Sure, there will be new inhabitants, and the streets may be repaved, but the houses, while pretty old, are extremely sturdy little houses. Unless there's some unforeseen catastrophic upheaval involving the end of the world or a land buy-out it's all going to remain.

The neighborhood used to be really bad. In fact, it was once as crime infested as West Nashville is now (That place is SCARY.), but it has tamed over the years. I only foresee improvement in that area, and I actually think it will make significant progress in the next 10 years. A lot of families are starting to make their way over here, and that's definitely having an affect on the general feel of the neighborhood.

Many of the residents in my neighborhood are students (Vanderbilt, Belmont, TSU, Fisk, etc...) so the faces are constantly changing, but there are a few families who live on my street. I imagine that some of them will still be here in 10 years. For example, there's a family that lives next door to me. I'll be honest; I don't know how many people live in that house, but there's an old man and his daughter, I believe. She has kids of her own, and I'm pretty sure there's a father involved. The kids are young enough to where they'd be just graduating from college at the end of 10 years, so that family will probably be in the hole and won't be able to move. hah Ah, college, how I loathe your exorbitant prices.

In the end, I'm not sure my neighborhood will change all that much in appearance. Once again, that's not planning for any drastic changes that might come about unexpectedly, but there are way too many options to choose from if we were to add that into the mix of this exercise.

Well, that's that. I didn't go very much into detail. I think NaNo is starting to affect me in that I write stream-of-conscious style now. hah Just write, write, write, and don't worry about poor writing!! Just push on through!!

Speaking of NaNo, I'm doing alright. I fell a little behind yesterday but plan to get back up on that later on today.

Well, it's time for me to do the school thing. German and Introduction to Music Technology today. Ah, glory. :)

I have something exciting (but a little scary) coming up this Saturday. I don't have time to fill you in now, but no worries! I'll write about sometime this week.

Peace.
Stef.

P.S. I have fallen in love with this song. It's Owl City with "Fireflies" from their breakout album, Ocean Eyes.

Monday, November 16, 2009

"George's Movie Plot" and Motorcycle Trauma

Exercise #93 : "George's Movie Plot"

Plot a movie in 5 minutes! I am not kidding. Just answer the questions about George in one sentence or less.
  • How old is George?
  • How does George make a living?
  • What does George want that he is unlikely to get?
  • What does George secretly want that he is unlikely to get?
  • What is George most afraid of?
  • What is George secretly most afraid of?
  • Now, it so happens that one day, much to George's surprise, the very real possibility arises that he could get what he has always wanted. How does this happen? (Again, in one sentence or less.)
  • What might be an obstacle to his getting this?
  • What might be yet another obstacle?
  • And a third obstacle?
  • Then, what happens? Does he finally get what he wants, or something else?
  • In the end, how has George's life changed (or not changed)?
  • How does George feel about this?
  • What is the last image you would leave on the movie screen before the credits roll?
This one is kind of overwhelming! haha

Let me first give a big, hearty "Welcome!" to my new readers! I can't tell you, each time I look at my "Followers" and notice that another person had added themselves to the list, my heart skips a beat. It may sound silly, but the fact that people deem this humble little blog as something worth reading makes me feel like I could fly. So thank you, really and truly. You're all lovely and get many, many kudo points in my book.

Well, now that I've gotten all gushy on you, I guess it's time to get started. :) I'm just going to answer each question in order.

  1. How old is George? George is 29.
  2. How does George make a living? He is an accountant.
  3. What does George want that he is unlikely to get? He wants a promotion.
  4. What does George secretly want that he is unlikely to get? He wants a motorcycle.
  5. What is George most afraid of? Motorcycles. hah
  6. What is George secretly most afraid of? Mini horses.
  7. Long question? He meets a motorcycle salesman who offers him an amazing deal to trade in his car for a hog (and by hog I mean a motorcycle, not the oink oink kind).
  8. What might be an obstacle to his getting this? His fear of motorcycles and change.
  9. What might be yet another obstacle? His car dies on him in the middle of the interstate.
  10. And a third obstacle? He has a panic attack the first time he sits on the hog.
  11. Does he get what he wants? Yes and no. The salesman offers to hold on to it for him while he takes intensive motorcycle lessons.
  12. In the end, how has George's life changed? He's a little more confident, and he most definitely has less fear of motorcycles.
  13. How does George feel about this? Liberated.
  14. Last image? After a long motorcycle lesson, George walks up the stairs to his condo, bowlegged but with a smile on his face.
Oh, George, don't you know that motorcycles are dangerous??? :) I don't know if I told you guys this story yet, but... if I did, forgive me, because you're about to hear it (or read it) again.

A few years ago, my sister, Jennifer, thought it would be a great idea to go out and get a Harley Sportster 883 (Low? I can't remember.). Not 6 months after she bought it, my parents, who did not know that Jenn had bought a bike in the first place, were notified that she was in the hospital with 3rd degree burns on the inside of her left(?) calf. Apparently, she had been riding on the interstate when her leg caught on fire. Well, a year or so and many thousands of dollars later (including a skin transplant with shark skin) Jenn receives a letter from Harley Davidson letting her know that she needs to take her bike in to fix some problems with the design. It turns out that the way the bike was made was faulty and could result in severe burns to the leg. Ummmm... Thanks, Harley Davidson. I think you were a bit late on that one. Yay for lawsuits!! :) Jenn got them to pay for all of her medical bills which was great.

Also, just this morning, I saw a terrible wreck on the interstate, and it involved several cars, an 18-wheeler, and a motorcycle. I didn't see that there was any severe wounding or blood, but the motorcyclist was laying on the ground as several people crowded around him. All I could think was, Oh my goodness, I hope he's ok. Motorcycles freak me out. Case closed.

Unfortunately for me, however, I have a friend who is detirmined to take me for a ride on his motorcycle. We'll see, Micah! We'll see. haha

It's time for me to head off. NaNo is going well. I'm staying on track thus far which I'm proud of. How about you? If you're taking part in NaNo, are you keeping up with the daily wordcount?

Peace.
Stef.

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

"Heaven & Sky"

Exercise #92 : "Heaven and Sky"

John McGahern, the Irish writer, recently died. In yesterday's Washington Post there was an interesting obituary written by Matt Shudel, which ends thus:
"Mr. McGahern composed his final book, the memoir evoking the spirit of his long-dead mother, after receiving his own cancer diagnosis. 'Heaven was in the sky,' he wrote in the book. 'My mother spoke to me of heaven as concretely and with as much love as she named the wild flowers. Above us the sun of heaven shone. Beyond the sun was the gate of heaven.'"
This is so marvelous, I scarcely dare to comment -- but here goes. What gives this passage such power is the drum-beat of repetition. Heaven is repeated four times; sun twice. Also, the structure and length of the last two sentences are almost identical.
Try writing a brief passage -- 4-5 sentences -- using repetition.

Well, folks, I'm REALLY behind on NaNo, so this is it for today's exercise. I'm hoping to be back up to where I need to be at the end of the weekend. Posting should resume as normal on Monday.

Peace.
Stef.

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

"More-Organic-Than-Thou & Etc"

Exercise #91 : "More-Organic-Than-Thou & etc"
Triple, quadruple and quintuple-decker adjectives can be fun! For example:
  • easy-to-hose-down tile
  • ladies-who-lunch hairdos
  • A run-to-catch-the-school-bus outfit
  • A disguise-the dog-hair-oatmeal-brown sofa
  • more-organic-than-thou shampoo
Make up some to go with the following nouns:
  • Car
  • Bike
  • university
  • petunias
  • pizza
  • book
  • scarf
  • shoes
  • yoghurt
  • watch
  • backpack
  • bathrobe
  • purse
  • kitchen gizmo
  • dog
  • sofa
  • cell phone
  • notebook
  • guinea pig
  • summer vacation
  • hotdog
GO!

Too much to do today. Ugh... Feel free to take part in this exercise. Will meet back up with you later on tomorrow. :)

NaNo fell behind today. Lots to do! Ahhhhhhh!!!

Peace.
Stef.

Monday, November 09, 2009

"Once Upon a Time"

Exercise #90 : "Once Upon a Time"

Write the beginning of a story that begins, "Once upon a time."

If you need some more of a nudge, include the following:
a girl named Florinetta
a dog with three legs
a swing
a porch
boiled celery
the air smelling of autumn

GO!

Once upon a time, Princess Florinetta of the land of Arandell was searching desperately for some boiled celery. It was her favorite afternoon treat, and when she went into the kitchen to find some, she discovered that it had disappeared. She remembered that there had been a plastic bag full of stalks yesterday, so where had they gone?

"Mimi?" she called to her maid, but she received no answer. "Mimi!"

Florinetta rand around the house, searching for her trusty maid and finally found her outside, swaying peacfully on the swing on the porch. The air smelled of autumn with colorful leaves falling gracefully from maginificent oak trees, wind blowing to and fro, and crisp breezes whipping at her face.

Running up to her maid, the Princess said, "Mimi, where is the boiled celery?"

"Oh, I'm afraid it's gone, my dear," she said.

"How can it be gone?"

"I gave it away."

"To whom? You know it's my favorite." Florinetta frowned, pursing her lips together and furrowing her brow.

"George came back earlier this morning," she said, "and I had to give him something."

George was a three-legged dog who frequently visited the palace for leftovers and table scraps. Florinetta had fed him once many years ago, and he kept coming back after that. He was there so often that he actually became a part of the family, and his visits were always pleasant and looked forward to.

5 minutes up.

My brain is moving slow today. haha

In other news, NaNo is going well. I'm a couple hundred words behind as of today, but I'll work it out later on this evening and write around 2500. If you check my progress bar, you'll see that I'm up to over 14,000. Yay! As stated in previous posts, what I've written is complete crap, but it's still exciting to finally get all of it out in word form instead of little phrases and plot points bumping around in my head. :)

Anyways, time to head off.

Peace.
Stef.

Thursday, November 05, 2009

FINALLY!!! Clips from my recital! Woo!

Instead of the normal writing exercise, I am going to post the videos from my recital!!! Yay!! :) Aren't you all excited? haha

I went to my mom's house and transferred the footage over onto my SanDisk 8GB USB drive, and voila! Just a little cutting, and I've got YouTube videos!

Anyways, without further ado...

My recital!

The first clip has the following songs:
Und ob die Wolke - Der Freischütz (Carl Maria von Weber)
Flow My Tears - John Dowland
In the mornin' - Charles Ives



The second clip has the following songs:
Piangete - Giacomo Carissimi
Almen se non poss'io - Vincenzo Bellini



The third clip has the following songs:
Le Secret - Gabriel Fauré
Les Berceaux - Gabriel Fauré
Die Stadt - Franz Schubert



The fourth and final clip has the following songs:
Liebesbotschaft - Franz Schubert
Moments in the Woods - Into the Woods (Stephen Sondheim)



And there we have it! I hope you liked it. I know I had fun doing it.

Peace.
Stef.

Wednesday, November 04, 2009

I Have Added a New Character!!!! Duhn Duhn DAAAAAH!

This is the 6th Character Profile in my NaNoWriMo novel character profile series.

Meet Ruth Harlowe, resident glorified prostitute on board the Spectre, and she has been in love with Captain Eldon Whitlaw since she stepped on board. She was the first woman to take part in the Alternate Transportation Payment Methods Plan (ATPM Plan), offering her body as compensation for transporting her to a nearby system, but when she got there she stayed on board with hopes of maintaining a romantic relationship with Eldon. He, the womanizer that he is, has absolutely no desire to become romantically entangled with this woman, but he does enjoy the benefits he receives from her so he gives her attention while also making sure that she knows he does not want anything serious.

Over the years, her love for him grows stronger even though it is not reciprocated, and, while he does not love her, he does care for her. They have an odd relationship, one that is entirely intimate but skewed. She keeps dreaming that he'll profess his love for her at some point, and he allows her to stay on board because she is his confidante, the one person he feels he can trust beside Pickett Oxford.

Ruth is an incredibly attractive woman with dark auburn hair, tan skin, and an aesthetically pleasing, womanly figure. Her features are stunning: large, dark brown eyes, cheekbones to die for, and full, pouty lips. One might describe her as "sex on a stick." The way she holds herself, the way she moves, everything about her screames sexuality.

I haven't quite figured anything else about her. For example, where was she going before she decided to stay on board and why? What was her family life like? Etc. All will be answered in due time I assume. If you guys have any ideas, they would be greatly appreciated. :)

Anyways, must go pump up the word count.

Peace.
Stef.

"Improbable Rescue" & a NaNo Update

Exercise #89 : "Improbable Rescue"

In his delightfully wacky Pronoia Is the Antitode for Paranoia, Rob Brezsny writes:
"Bach's St Matthew Passion is a highly regarded musical composition. Yet the score disappeared and the work wasn't played for years after Bach's death in 1750. In 1829, composer Felix Mendelssohn rediscovered the long-lost manuscript being used as wrapping paper in the estate sale of a deceased cheese salesman. He arranged for a public performance of the piece, and its revival began."
Please note the marvelous specificity: "being used as wrapping paper in the estate sale of a deceased cheese salesman."

Recount ---or invent--- another improbable cultural rescue in 5 sentences or less.

Wow. St. Matthew's Passion being used as wrapping paper makes my heart weep a little. I mean, I'm not a Bach fan. I recognize that he was incredibly influential, but his music isn't my style. That's partly because, as a singer, me and Bach don't get along. He wrote for really easy-moving, light voices, and my voice is... Well, it's big. I can sing high, but if you want me to sing up there, mark it double forte, because that's what you're going to get. Well, that's actually a lie. I can float up there, too, but my voice is always going to have some depth and weight to it where as a light coloratura soprano is going to sounds smaller than me. Part of me would sell my left eye to be able to do the things that coloraturas can do, but I personally really enjoy busting out a high note. haha

But I digress...

On to the exercise!

... cricket cricket ... The only thing rolling through my head is Bach's cheese-covered manuscript. Ahhh! I hate when this happens. Ok. What's cultural? Music, yes, but other things. Architectural floorplans, paintings, sculptures... (Side note: These sentences are not counting toward my 5. This is just me thinking aloud.) Letters would work.

Mimi Herschmeier was shocked when the paper she had been carting around for years around her house was identified as a draft by architect Henry Hobson Richardson. She had stowed it away in her attic after her father deemed it worthless when it did not provide adequate enough markings for refurbishing their home. He bought it as a brainstormer from a garage sale when he decided that their house needed to be spruced up.

END

I didn't really like that one, but it popped into my head, so I went with it. Ah, well.

NaNo UPDATE!! hehe Last night before turning in to bed, I topped out at 5500 words. Go me! I must say, I am so proud of myself. I had doubts going in to NaNo thinking that I would most assuredly give up after the first day, but I proved myself wrong! Woo! Granted, the majority of what I have written thus far is complete and utter crap, but it doesn't matter. I'm getting the basics of my idea down on paper, learning about my characters, and - most importantly - writing the crap out of it! I'm anxious about next week when the blockages are supposed to start hitting, but I'll cross those bridges when I get there.

How are all of my lovely NaNo-participating readers doing? Keeping up with the word count? Is your story as craptastically written as mine? haha

Peace.
Stef.

Tuesday, November 03, 2009

"Body Language: Two People Talking"

Exercise #88 : "Body Language: Two People Talking"

Two people talking usually do a lot more than "smile" and "nod" at each other. One might cross his legs, or, scratch an ankle, or smooth her hair, etc. Then there's interaction between the two: one might reach across the table and lay his hand on top of her wrist. She might touch her own lip, to indicate that he has a crumb of muffin hanging on his, etc. Make a list of all the little (and big) gestures you can think of that two people might make while talking to each other.

Ah, gestures. This shall be fun.

And... GO!
  • cocking an eyebrow
  • crossing legs towards or away from the person to which one is speaking
  • tapping the foot
  • avoiding eye contact
  • covering the mouth with a hand
  • holding hands clasped in one's lap
  • pushing glasses up the nose
  • rubbing the end of one's nose
  • leaning on the table, elbows firmly planted
  • rolling eyes
  • fidgeting
  • twiddling of the thumbs
  • raising eyebrows
  • smiling / frowning / pursing lips / etc
  • furrowing brow
END

As I wrote that list, I couldn't help but notice that I focused on facial expressions... hmm... Of course, a good portion of my character interaction is shown through facial expressions. Maybe I should try to alter that. Well, not alter it completely, but try to add in a bit of body language, too, that doesn't deal with just the head. haha

When writing a scene with two or more characters acting, how do you find yourself describing how they interact? Do you focus on a single type of language or do you find a happy medium between all of the forms of interaction? Would love to hear how you all work. :)

Peace.
Stef.

P.S. NaNo Update: Last night I totaled in at just above 4,000 words. Very exciting! Today's goal: 6,000 words. We'll see how that goes. How are all of my fellow NaNoers doing?

Monday, November 02, 2009

Madelyn Hansley - A Poster Child for Wernicke-Korsakoff Syndrome

More research posts!! :) This one is going to focus on the mental illness of Madelyn Hansley as discussed in THIS character profile. Go look at it to catch up! :)

In that post, I didn't talk about alcoholism, but I think it would be extremely applicable to add that to her list of illnesses. She feels alone and desperate so she self medicates, losing herself in alcohol but effectively numbing the depression.

Wernicke-Korsakoff Syndrome

Wernicke-Korsakoff syndrome is caused by a deficiency in thiamine (Vitamin B1) and often occurs in alcoholics, although it can also result from malnutrition, cancer which have spread in the body, abnormally high thyroid hormone levels, long-term dialysis and long-term diuretic therapy (used to treat congestive heart failure). The symptoms of dementia caused by Wernicke-Korsakoff syndrome include confusion, permanent gaps in memory, and impaired short-term memory. Hallucinations may also occur.

Ah, what a little research can get you... Very rewarding, and it shows so much about Madelyn. I can't wait until I get to start writing her in my novel. I haven't quite reached that part in my plot yet, but it's going to be friggin' epic. haha

In other news, I've had a bit of a snag today in the NaNo progress. My computer has decided to poop out on me. It's still functional, thank God, but due to a malfunction in the electrical system it's going a little wonky on me. I spent the last several hours talking to a Dell representative in an attempt to troubleshoot the problem away, but it is apparently a hardware issue and won't be fixable until they ship a part to me which won't happen until around 2-3 business days pass. Blargh. So my writing is going to be a bit slow until the problem is resolved, but after that I'll just have to kick it into high gear in order to catch up.

Anyways, it is now 6:30pm, and I must typety-type-type the rest of the night away in order to accomplish any semblance of anything. Oy gewald (pronounced oi geVALT : Yay, Yiddish!)!

Peace.
Stef.

"Image Patterning, Starting with Jell-O"

Exercise #87 : "Image Patterning, Starting with Jell-O"

This is an exercise in working with imagery to create a sense of connectedness within a narrative. Take this as your opening line:

The Jell-O was not his favorite dessert.

Write on anything, but be sure to use the following imagery (in addition to Jell-O): overdone steak; a barking dog; too much perfume; a squishy blue velvet couch. Then, tie it up with an ending that somehow -- in some way -- returns to the Jell-O.

Man alive, this one is going to be hard. It's just really involved. I guess I just need to dive in.

GO!!! :)

Jell-O was not his favorite dessert, but it beat the overdone steak that he had just forced down a few minutes ago. The gelatinous, jiggling mass of horse hoof leftovers sat peacefully in the small bowl at his fingertips, but each time he tried to dip his spoon in for a bite he kept hearing the sounds of pained whinnying in the distance.

"It's not just made from horse hooves," he said aloud.

"What, darling?" asked Liza, his girlfriend. She was a wealthy, upperclass woman from a family of wasps, one of those women who constantly smelled of too much expensive perfume and money. But she was beautiful, a trophy girlfriend to be sure.

"Oh, nothing. I'm just distracted is all," he said. "Sorry."

She placed a fragile-looking, white gloved hand over his. "Are you not in the mood for Jell-O tonight?"

"You know, not really," he said. "I know you made it especially for me, but I just can't seem to stomach it."

"Well, that's fine," she said, flashing him a 1000 watt smile capable of warming even the abominable snowman. "Why don't you go into the living room while we clean up in here?" By 'we,' of course, she meant her two maids. She would polish off her glass of Chardonnay and waltz over to the living room shortly after to sit with him on her squishy, blue, velvet couch.

He sat down on the couch, engulfed in its plushness, and closed his eyes. I could fall asleep right here, he thought. It had been a long day at the office, filing page after page, stamping note after note... Just as he began to slip into the subconscious world of sleep, a dog barked next door, jerking him back into reality.

Suddenly and inexplicably, that Jell-O sounded quite appealing. Maybe Liza hadn't disposed of it yet.

"Liza?" he called.

END

Interesting. hehe I think the constant writing of NaNo has really dried out my brain. And to think that I only wrote 2,348 words! Well, not only... I just looked online, and there are people who wrote 10,000 words yesterday! I mean, honestly? How??? If I had really buckled down I could have probably gotten 5,000 words down, but double that? No way, nohow. It's insanity! haha Either way, I feel good about my progress. 4.7% done at the end of Day 1 feels pretty good.

I have decided, however, that I will not be posting excerpts until I have gotten a chance to do some major editing, because honestly... Well, what I've written is pure, unadulturated crap. Not even kidding. haha I'm getting my point across, but there are definitely better ways to say what I'm trying to say. Let's say, for now, that I'll start posting excerpts in January. That will be a good project, eh?

Anyways, it's 11pm, and I have school tomorrow for the first time in a week. I'm kind of stressed out because I was out of the loop for so long and have missed so much, but I'll just have to kick my butt in gear to get everything done that needs doing.

How is everyone's NaNo experience going? Are you meeting your wordcounts? Or are you being a NaNo Rebel and making the 1-month deadline work for you in some other way?

Bedtime for Bonzo. Happy writing!

Peace.
Stef.

Sunday, November 01, 2009

And So It Begins... The NaNo Madness

Well, friends, it's November, and we all know what that means! National Novel Writing Month has officially begun! I can't begin to tell you how excited I am.

I was a little scared at first being that this is my first attempt at the seemingly lofty 50,000 word count goal, but I'm feeling pretty good. I went to my region's kick-off write-in, and from around 12:30 - 2am I wrote approximately 1700 words. Day 1 bare minimum write goal completed! Of course, that doesn't mean that I won't write more today. Oh, no, no, no. I have decided to try and get approximately 3,000 words in per day. That way I have a nice buffer zone for later on in the month when I inevitably hit a dead end / lose the wonderful benefits of this adrenaline rush. haha

If you haven't already, add me on the NaNo website! My username is FarEom. The more writing buddies the merrier, says I!

Good luck to all of you NaNo-ers!!

Peace.
Stef.

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