Thursday, May 31, 2012

We can has plotz?

Sooo .... plotted until chapter 14, and have written two whole sentences to encapsulate the end of the novel further down the road. I am uncertain how long it will end up being at this point as my chapter plots are often limited to 1-2 sentences. As the current layout consists of one chapter set in the present (aka Finding Rhod) and the alternating chapters are past events that led to this point I may end up writing the entire story out of order and definitely re-organizing chapters later on, to say nothing of removing the 'past' alternating chapters entirely as the story reaches the climax.  


This could be a parable. If you're into that sort of thing.

"We are the 1%," the zombie crowed. "The only zombies with brains!"
"Brains?" the other zombies said.
"Yes, we can think and will rule over you sheep!"
"No, don't eat m –."

Monday, May 28, 2012

Ah, plotting....

In the space of 24 hours I have plotted out a grand total of four chapters. Which has led to research and notes on the town, jot notes on what the characters do for jobs, altering some names and a complete revision of the system of magic used in the setting. Said revision helps explain why magic exists but there are so few magicians.

Long story short: it takes over 10 years to learn magick, ~5 more more to learn anything of real power and, being an alien language, is inherently damaging to the sanity to use. Add in the fact that there are, at best, 100 true magicians in the world and many uses of magic require more than one magician to work successfully (i.e. without the caster dying) and you have a system of power that worked a long time ago and has fallen into disuse.

There are also broad hints that the Gathering have an unofficial job of hiding weird shit from the world and that at least one government agency is involved in that as well. It pretty much exists to answer my major pet peeve with stories that go: "Oh, wait, all these monsters exist but people just don't know. You know? Because ... uh ... they hide really well. Only they somehow don't during this series of stories, but ignore that okay?"

Bird & Jester at least addresses this on some level and there are various plot-secretive reasons why magic faded away that are linked to the families that make up the Gathering. It's not perfect by any stretch, but it's at least not quite as absurd as just hand-waving monsters and such away with disbelief.

Saturday, May 26, 2012

Ah, research ....

Writing up notes for june campnowrimo.

Research findings of the day include the fact that "do Sasquatches whistle" is apparently an important search on the subject of Sasquatches and "In traditional Balinese culture, it was common for a set of twins of the opposite sex to marry each other, since it was assumed that they had sex in utero."

This says much about research subjects. And also, I feel, much about the internet.

Friday, May 25, 2012

Small progress is small

Slowly but surely progressing on The Book of Going Forth by Night along with The Empty Book. Current word counts are ~18K and 14K, respectively. Hoping to spend a good chunk of the weekend on BOGF alone. Jumping from project to project isn't a bad idea, but when they work in different tenses it becomes a little trickier.

(Effectively, I went to work on BOGF again to finish a scene and had trouble not writing in present tense, which is what TEB is in.)

And, to keep this post from being boring, the latest lines in TEB:
"I screwed up. I didn't die, and now," I lick dry lips, "and now it's hard to see how those reasons made sense."
"So you won't try and kill yourself again."
"No," I say, a little surprised to find it's true.
... which goes to show why I only work on it in short spurts.

Thursday, May 17, 2012

prepping a novel....

The downside of working on multiple projects is that progress across the board is insanely slow. As such, I figured I should have 'fun' for campnanowrimo and at least do the June entry with a completely different project. It drags a few threads together from uncompleted stuff or ideas without homes for them. The title is, at present, Bird & Jester and it is very much a YA fantasy.

It's about twins born to different parents and the high cost of expectations. The actual backstory was written out as a fake report to class by the MC, but my computer ate it twice. Boiled down to basics it's about what happens when you and your best friend fall in love with the same guy and then he goes and tries to do something Really Bad and you feel you have to stop him.

Spoiler: the MCs name is Jess, and she does die in it. (This is a joke very few people will get.)

Monday, May 14, 2012

finally ended a scene....

I fall back a step, half-drunk sober stagger, vision shattering. Not just between the alley, my eyes strobe, spots dancing. My head feels full of broken glass. That was something, somewhere, somewhen, some ... but I can feel it slipping away like grease down a drain, the memory a residue of – of –.
I rub my face, sweat slicking off onto my hand, eyes squeezed tight as I stumble down the road. It feels like a toothache behind my eyes. Whatever Sam thinks I am, that I'm becoming, I wasn't ready for ... I don't know what it was. Memories being destroyed, things charged with that task. Who, what? Nothing comes. What was memory is now a movie screen, the distance a necessity borne of desperation, fading from my mind before I can grab it.
There was an alleyway, long, narrow. People in it, things taking them apart. Taking what made them people apart, and .... nothing else comes. I saw, or was shown, more. But now, nothing. I tried to kill myself yesterday, but my brain is protecting me from this. Laugh or cry? What isn't both? I shudder a little, arms around myself, and move. One step. Another. Walking is easy, even if you hurt, even if you can barely see, when it means you're getting away, running. It mustn't have been hard to end up on land, long and long ago: be chased hard enough, run far enough, and you would. Fear wins. Only cowards survive.
Somehow I make it back to Ed's apartment, hurting all over. Even my fingernails ache. Everything looks unreal even as I walk into the solidness of it. My eyes hurt, even squeezed shut, but I'm not bleeding from them. It's not a horror movie; somehow that makes my life worse. I strip clothing soaked with sweat, fall into the shower. The room is thick with steam, wallpaper bubbling by the time I exit. Eyes feel gritty, as if I have sand in them. I take stock: the rest of me hurts, but I've been worse.
The wallpaper smooths under my fingers, a metaphor for the world. Gaudy designs pasted over bare walls, bubbling up, smoothed down. A laugh escapes me, strangled. "Nothing is metaphor now," I say, and my voice matches the one whispering inside my head, perfect. It shuts up. I leave. Ed isn't home. It's good, better: I don't want to be seen like this. Not vulnerable, but broken. Something broke inside me. I sleep. Fix it. Sleep fixes things.
I hold the mantra even as part of me is so scared of the darkness that will follow.

Friday, May 11, 2012

Part of page 4 .....

They walked south, the sky dark and cold above them, the ground barren and empty beneath their feet. The few strands of trees twisted together in dark embraces as they fought for meagre resources and the few animal tracks that dotted the land seemed to be the work of ghosts as no animal stirred or took flight at their presence. The land ahead of them boasted only rock and thick bristly scrub brush, the few trees that had existed here long since cut down for wood.
"People live out here?" Boy asked after they passed another small cluster of stumps.
"Not as many as used to," Reynard said. "The Kingdom is smaller than it was, and the kingdoms that came before it smaller still. Once, the king of beasts pushed the wasting back from the edge of the first forest, and kings of the Kingdom build forts it could not pass by."
"And they don't anymore?" Boy said, resolutely not looking back at the Wasting.
"Kingdoms grow and develop other priorities than holding back certain kinds of darkness," the fox said quietly, "and then they reach the point where they no longer can."
"Oh. Were you waiting for a king?" Boy said.
"Why would I be doing that?"
"Lion's are the kings of beats," Boy said, "at least where I am from. A group of lions is a pride." He fell silent, then offered up: "I still know facts, at least a few of them. I'd like to think I knew more about lions than that."
"You come from a wise place, then," Reynard Fox said. "The King is old and his pride runs deep. He entered the Wasting a long time ago, meaning to push it back or destroy it. He has not been seen since."
"He could have come out somewhere else?" Boy offered.
"No one has left the Wasting in living memory until you did," the fox said.
"Oh," Boy said in a very small voice, and then nothing else at all. 

Tuesday, May 08, 2012

Two short snippets

I let out a breath, fingering the money in my pocket. “People can see you, right, when you want them to?” She nods. “Coffee.”

“Excuse me?”

I start walking again quickly. “There is a coffee shop down the road here than I like. We can drink and talk in it. You know more than I do about what is going on, about what I am or I’m becoming and I’m not up to pretending I know. There’s a point where treading water becomes drowning.”

The Third Cup was a small coffee shop cluttered with seats and tables, serving coffee, sometimes cookies, and nothing else. The menu boasted that the coffee came as one size fits all coffee and a free third refill. The owner was known to be quietly discreet, and so far in the closet that he made regular visits to Narnia. It wasn’t my place to pass judgement; I did so anyway.


Naomi puts down the cloth, fixing me with dark eyes. “That woman, she is all wrong. Her heart is full of ugly things.” She looks like she wants to spit on the floor, but her fear of inspectors runs too deep. “She is the kind of monster who makes all whores look bad.”

“It’s not like that. We’re not – .”

She cuts me off with a wave of her rag in my face. “Psh. I don’t care about that, boy. But knowing people like that, being friends with: it stains souls. It is not safe, not safe at all.”

“I know.” I smile as I stand. “But I’m not safe at all either.” A sound comes to me; warm water rushing over rocks. I’ve no clue how I know it’s warm but I step back regardless.

I don’t want to take anything, but that I could, that I could call part of her into me, must show on my face because Naomi steps back and lowers her rag. “Maybe you are, but not being safe does not make someone strong.”

Tuesday, May 01, 2012

facebook & google+ status updates part XI

The secret language of flus is to speak to each other via our coughs.

A proposed novel:
When Real Things Happen To Real People: Survival Show Contestants After the Limelight.
Subtitled: A Study in Suicide and Depression.

"Love is an artificial sweetener." He pushed a beer across the counter. "It makes sense after the second drink."

I admit to a lack of skepticism regarding my own skepticm at times, but I prefer that to the undervaluing of human achievement inherent in any hypothesis involving the following three words: 'aliens did it'.

Diet Blood – for the vampire with high blood pressure.

"Where's my free toy?" the werewolf said.
"That's only for happy meals – you don't get one for eating staff."

This is a six word story.

Proposed book:
The Origin of Consciousness in the Breakdown of the Bicaramilk Mind

The street contained one townhome with a different trim than all the others. Over time the others slowly moved inward, to crush and to consume.

Everyone thought Soul Mart was a joke until politicians queued outside the front door, faces naked with ugly hope.

"I'm sorry," I said to the judge. "I really am." I'd read somewhere that saying you're sorry, no matter if you are, helps reduce your sentence. "It's just that I wanted the article about me on wikipedia to be more than a stub. That's why I did those terrible, awful things."

The dead giggle, whispering porn star lies to the medium who struggles not to laugh as grieving widows wait for messages from beyond, fistfuls of cash trembling in believing hands.

He staggers, seeming drunk, a reality of avoiding cracks in sidewalks passing others by unnoticed.

The real shock wasn't the sky raining down angels and demons, it was how small they all were.

From WIP: Garn was the oldest witch in all the world, her cunning matched only by her cruelty.

DadTracker: A TV show based on two men on horseback hunting down those who don't pay child support.
Crazy Dave's weight-loss clinic: lose 20-40 lbs on your first trip! Results guaranteed! Our limb-removal specialists will help you decide what limb you need the least!

Everything we do is about this: trying to remind the gods that we exist.

He smiled. "Everything I know of kindness I learned from dogs."

Sometimes people knew her name, but not often. When asked what she did, she explained to acquaintances that she made videos on the internet which millions of people liked them and received blank looks in reply. Internet-famous, she found, was not the same as other kinds of famous.

Timeshares in Hades! Cheap! Cheap! Cheap!

If it isn't printed on a t-shirt or bumper sticker, it isn't really wisdom.

Nametags on which you can only write your true name, ancient and wonderful.

Every time we kiss I forget my name. What will we have to do so I can forget yours?

Breyman's patented formulaic cold fusion anti-ageing cream:
Watch your flesh just melt away!(tm)
Possible minor side effects may include, but are not limited to, the following: death, looking like Skeletor, thinking Angelina Jolie needs to lose weight, a paranoid desire to find and murder Jenny Craig, or becoming a zombie.

"We're going to remove your wisdom teeth," the dentist says. "Once I have enough, I'll find out why I never was a tooth fairy."

I tried to love you but it hurt too much to stay.

A framed photo hung on the coffee shop wall of the only person to buy one of the paintings they'd had on display for years.

The dead returned to destroy the living: billions of corpses, all collecting unemployment.

There is no such thing as Dark Matter.
There is only paperwork.

He said, "Life is a prison."
She smiled strangely at that. "No, you're thinking of death."

In spring, dreams – like rain –
slowly dissolve into mud and
but look! a puddle.