Friday, December 31, 2010

Website Idea

Via some spam on a forum I am on...

Interested to earn extra passive income?
- Get paid to read email
- Upfront payment is not required
- Featured in The Sunday Times (Singapore Newspaper)
- Receive money by cheque or Paypal
- Little effort is required
It would be funny to set up a website like that, with fun disclaimers about the cost being pride, your eternal soul and whatever self-respect you have left in your life and then offering alternatives such as selling meth, being a prostitute and the like as less morally questionable.

"Interested in getting something for nothing?* This is the American Dream!(tm)
- Get paid to do nothing (Subsections: Alimony as a Lifestyle Choice and Lawsuits are Your Friend.)
- Upfront payment is not required. Really. We just want your soul, assuming you have one left and haven't already bartered it away for a free toaster since you're stupid enough to have clicked this link, you thick moron.
- Receive money by cheque or Paypal or smiling orphan imported from overseas**
- Little effort is required. So little, it's like scamming the system. (And, to make the website Political, include rant on welfare cheats here.)

* No, not chlamydia.
** Payment will occur after the Rapture. We are pretty certain you will not be among those raptured. We are positive we won't be.

Monday, December 20, 2010

Via a writing prompt

In the dark room, wreathed in cigarette smoke, the smell of whiskey and sour dreams, the man looked up from the lines of cocaine on the desk. There was another figure in the room. Some whispered it had antlers, others horns. Still others said it was just an idea given form. The man at the desk saw his father’s casually cruel smile, and eyes as cold as a banker’s soul.

“It is time, then?” he said, distantly pleased his voice didn’t shake; he had little to be proud of any longer, save for small glamours of pride.

The figure inclined its head and handed a piece of parchment — no, paper, a mere trick of light, the same that made a hand seem a claw had befuddled him and the man took it.

“Why this one? Why in person?” he said, unable not to speak. He felt as if others were speaking at the edge of hearing, that he was part of some ancient tradition stretching back across time and space.

The figure said nothing, the silence deafening.

The man quailed back in the seat and took the paper, signing his signature in an untidy scrawl.

And Barney was renewed for another season.

Sunday, December 19, 2010

On Family Structure

Upon preparing the second draft of volume 1 (Contact), I realized that I'd made a few screw ups.
A) All the MCs (Emma, James and Leo) are only children and
B) Theyan ll come from two-parent families.

The former was authorial laziness, the second just odd. So I began to alter things:

Leo now has an older brother studying 'university' who will show up later in the novel. Parents remain together.

Emma remains an only child, though her dad died when she was an infant, mom has run the store etc. mostly on her own in the past few years. (I was able to figure her mom out perfectly, and never did get a handle on her father, so figured it was best to jettison him.)

James ends up with a younger sister (Caroline), his parents being divorced [in lieu of his mother having died a few years ago] and a younger half-brother, the latter of whom will show up. His mom's parents won't show up now, however. At least, I don't think so though I will at least have them mentioned.

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Notes on Dogs of War

To be deleted when I get home:

Progress on the second volume isn't possible until I redo the first. To whit:
* James has a younger sister (Caroline) who is studying abroad.
* Leo has an older brother (Thomas) who is in university. Like Leo, he was home-schooled between Dixon River and Ottawa. (Dad works out of D.R., Mom in Ottawa. They both moved here after Thomas went to 'university'), because of Leo. Thomas is in the CSE, same as they are. (It will be him coming home, rather than Lance, who deals with missing parents.)
* Emma will be raised by her mom alone,who runs Healthy Planet with Emma's (free) help and anyone Emma can coerce into helping. Her mom shutting down shop to go to the reservation then becomes that much more sinister.
* Linda has no family in the town and keeps largely to herself outside of work. Should have good relationship with Leo's doctor (who needs to be named and show) and get a few scenes to herself once the others become aware of her.

Wednesday, December 08, 2010

Summary of nanoes to date

Waking Dreams (2003): The first nano, a tale of voodoo economics (with real voodoo) in a city that was sometimes only half-real. Multiple view-points, many characters, entire scenes done as poems and the ghosts of murdered children who sang twisted songs to communicate. Finished in 20 days with an epilogue, began work on a sequel that never went anywhere.
Higher Ground (2004): Fantasy in the 'humans go to another world, try and get back home' variety about two brothers. Should have been longer, but I burned out near the end. Probably a better story than I recall.
Guardian Monsters (2005): Written while having just moved and job hunting. Not that good a story, but was sci-fi in the future.
My Cat Used To Be A Buddhist (2006): Literature: an attempt to write a nano in 5 days while working each day and having parents staying at my place. Two hours in the life of an unnamed protagonist wherein the reader learns they are waiting for a phone call and eventually why: almost no dialogue, save for conversation with the cat briefly. It starts well, but should have been a 30K story at best.
New Fires (2006): Fantasy story about alchemists and magic. Written because I'd made an agreement with myself that I wouldn't spend the time/energy on making fantasy rpg games anymore, so I made a novel in the world and then ran a game in it set at a later time.
The Coroner's Tale (2007): First high-research nano, about a coroner in a fantasy world trying to solve a murder mystery. Finding information on CSU stuff from the 14th century was a pain, but I do like the story.
Roadside Attractions at the End of the World (2007): Surreal urban horror/fantasy.
Necessity and Power (2008): My attempt at a superhero novel. Should have been much, much longer given the background. (My notes included information on over 80 characters.)
Roadside Attractions (new version) (2009): Better version of the previous nano, re-done from scratch just using some of the same characters.
The Adventures of the Miskatonic Elementary School Kids #1 (2009): A quasi-parody of the Bailey School Kids series idea, this is definitely one I plan to revisit and fix/change.
Shadows of Never (2009): A family dragged into Neverland (and Everafter, then girls version) who have to deal with what the death of Captain Hook has wrought, a legacy of being a lost boy, the appeal of pirates and love. Very odd story.
Monsters & Miracles (2010): Urban fantasy about an insurance company who decide to kill off all supernatural critters in an area to save themselves money. Ended up more being about two characters relationships than anything else, which was quite fun.
Dogs of War, vol. 1: Contact (2010): Aliens land in small-town Ontario to begin the process of converting humanity to their religion. First in a planned 3 books.

Aside from nano, three novels exist in what I call the Shuck Cycle as well as drafts in various forms of 4-5 other novels in varying states of completion.

Wednesday, December 01, 2010

Cumulative Nanowrimo Word Counts

Waking Dreams (2003): 52,214
Higher Ground (2004): 105,857
Guardian Monsters (2005): 54,347
My Cat Used To Be A Buddhist (2006): 50,074
New Fires (2006): 50,857
The Coroner's Tale (2007): at 62,857
Roadside Attractions at the End of the World (2007): 50,314
Necessity and Power (2008): 74,988
Roadside Attractions (new version) (2009): 50,269
The Adventures of the Miskatonic Elementary School Kids #1 (2009): 50,277
Shadows of Never (2009): 50,002
Monsters & Miracles (2010): 67,571
Dogs of War, vol. 1: Contact (2010): 72,747

For a grand total of: 792,374 words thus far in 7 years. Damn.

and done

Whew. Did 140K in total, 72 and change on Dogs of War and 67.5 on Monsters & Miracles. The first volume of Dogs of War did work, and only deviated from the outline in minor respects, though I suspect that once I finish the whole draft of the trilogy much of the first book will become back-story so that it begins with more of a bang than it does.

(For example, plot wise the aliens don't actually show up until book 2, making book 1 very limited in terms of actual contact. It works in my head, but probably not in terms of story and pacing as well alas.)

OTOH, this became the first year I've written for nano on the last few days: every year prior I finished with at least four days to spare. Granted, the weekend and part of the last was spent helping parents move, so there is that but it still became rather surreal. More to follow tomorrow.