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Le sigh.

30 Days Of Writing )

Do you write romantic relationships? How do you do with those, and how “far” are you willing to go in your writing? ;)

Oh, God, yes. I quite like writing romance of all stripes. I haven't written poly yet, but I've written straight, gay, lesbian, a bit of an open marriage, you name it. The thing with never having been in a genuinely serious relationship and being a virgin, and then writing sex and romance is that eventually you just sort of get over your unease about writing something you've never done before, because, hey, you're writing a lot of things you've never done before.

But, yeah, I don't mind going far, depending on the couple. That said, I do like to focus more on the action itself than on the, you know, action just because I've recently been all about writing (or attempting to write) stories with kick-ass women in the lead, and one of my least favorite things about reading other people's stories with kick-ass women in the lead is the bit where they're pursued by two or more incredibly hot guys and OH NOES HOWEVER WILL I CHOOSE?!

Heroine Addiction is kinda the epitome of that, in that the book (and any sequels, of which I've already started plotting out the first) will probably focus mostly on the case or adventure or whatever, and the romances for Vera will be there ... just not, you know, THERE. And the entire focus being on the romance won't happen for very long if it does happen because, seriously, when you have to rescue the city or escape a villain's trap or fight a bad guy, stopping to have an argument with your ex-girlfriend just bugs me. It can wait until AFTER the world's been saved, as far as I'm concerned.

*

A few other things:

-- I threw down an idea for what could possibly end up a YA novel about a gay teenager. We'll see. Considering what trouble I've had lately getting anything started, this might be as dead in the water as the rest of my ideas.

-- I didn't get any editing done yesterday, as I am a lazy assbutt.

-- Happy Fourth of July! Or, if you're me, Happy Free Vacation Day In Which I Can Hopefully Avoid Too Many Flag-Waving Orgasmically-Nationalist Douchebags! (That won't work. I have to go to Wegmans in two and a half hours for orientation stuff so I'm bound to see someone being an all-American asshole. Uh, did I ever mention I'm not a big fan of the Fourth of July? Do I really have to celebrate? Can't I have just have a second Halloween instead every year?)

-- I just wanted to apologize if I'm not being all that entertaining lately. After all of the overtime I've done in the past couple of weeks and how tired I've been when I get home and how hard I've been trying to write only to fail miserably since I started the overtime ... yeah, I'm not really much for entertaining at the moment.

-- Oh, did I mention that I'm planning to hit DC on Labor Day weekend? "Planning" being the operative word, as I may not be able to get the extra vacation days for that weekend that I'd like considering how soon it is, so I may have to go the weekend after. But since I'll be starting at Wegmans shortly and there should be more overtime to be had at my full-time job, I should be able to afford to use my first paycheck in September to take a road trip down to the city for the weekend. And my brother's planning on coming with -- the only thing he asked was that we stop at the National Aquarium on the way down, which I am more than happy to do. Yay, road trip! FINALLY. I need a vacation so badly, you have NO idea.
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30 Days Of Writing )

Cut because I have three days worth of questions to answer. )

*

So I've finally gotten to see all four episodes of Work Of Art that have aired so far. I hear it's getting awful reviews but I think this may be my new summer guilty pleasure. Oh, Magical Elves, thank you for boiling these sorts of shows down to what I like best (the artistic and creative things that go on), with a nicely-sized serving of the usual drama. FEED ME CRACK, MAGICAL ELVES. WHEEEEE.

A few spoilery comments regarding the show )
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30 Days Of Writing )

12. In what story did you feel you did the best job of worldbuilding? Any side-notes on it you'd like to share?

I'd have to say the Books of Boggs, if only because it's been so long since I started writing it that it's got the most work put into it. Granted, I haven't touched it in months, but with all of the plotting and the characters and details and mythology that have to be worked out to make the whole thing hang right, I really feel like that's my favorite in terms of how the worldbuilding has worked out.

*

Ugh, two more days of overtime. I feel as though my brain is fried, mostly because rather than keeping us in the section we work in (which is working with returned mail), they've had us on the phones for one of the plans for two weeks straight now. And there's more where that came from, because from what I hear we may be staying on the phones until next Wednesday.

It's not too bad, really, or at least it isn't when it's busy, because time flies when you're talking to people on the phone. It also makes the day go faster if you can just put on your headphones and listen to music while working the mail, but you can't listen to music if you're available to make calls.

Cue me going absolutely stir-crazy the past two weeks every time I have to make myself available for phone calls.

I'm trying to be hopeful that the overtime will keep going, though -- the mail department is too busy taking phone calls to do a lot of our work, so we'll probably be playing catch-up for the rest of the month -- and hopefully I'll hear back from Wegmans as soon as the hiring lady gets back from vacation.

What's this mean for me? OH, MY GOD, GET ME TO A QUIET PLACE AND SUPPLY ME WITH A WORD PROCESSING PROGRAM OF SOME SORT. I want to write, damn it. It's hard to try and cram it in during a fifteen-minute break, especially considering sitting in the cafeteria means a couple of my co-workers take me sitting alone as their cue to sit with me, and going out to sit at the picnic tables means walking halfway around the building, thereby using up a good chunk of my free time. I'm getting all whiny and foot-stompy about the whole thing, seriously. *pouts*

*

I skipped the second half of SYTYCD -- why not wait until I can see the whole thing in one sitting? -- so I could watch Top Chef and Work of Art. I'm liking Work of Art way more than I thought I would, which I suppose means I need to go back and watch the rest of it. (EDIT: "I feel relieved ... relaxed ... and a little sleepy." *dies laughing*)

Oh, and speaking of reality shows that have me by the short hairs, PROJECT RUNWAY IS BACK ON JULY 29TH. No, there is no way I'm not capitalizing that. Tim and Heidi back on my TV! Aaaaand all is right with my world. :D
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I have another day with extra overtime coming to me tomorrow, and from what I hear there will be overtime on Thursday and Friday as well. I'm probably going to miss the first half of SYTYCD tomorrow night, and it may even have to wait until this weekend, which sort of sucks, but if push comes to shove I can always just hit YouTube and watch the performances I'll miss since I won't get home until nine tomorrow.

Thank the Flying Spaghetti Monster I've got a three-day weekend coming up, that's all I've got to say. Y'all, I'm so tired. And I just want to sit down and write like you wouldn't believe.

*

30 Days Of Writing )

10. What are some really weird situations your characters have been in? Everything from serious canon scenes to meme questions counts!

Well, in terms of weird shit happening to characters, the Books of Boggs is the one that wins. I've got a giant baby demon with a mohawk, when my main character sneezes he shapeshifts cars (among other things), it really does rain cats and dogs (... ew), and there's a magically exploding nine-year-old creating a newborn. And those are the fairly normal things. The Books of Boggs are sort of silly and serious at the same time. ;)

11. Who is your favorite character to write? Least favorite?

Currently, my favorite character to write is Hazel, Vera's ex-girlfriend in Heroine Addiction. She's not a superhero and she's not a particularly nice person even at the best of times, but she's also not afraid to call anybody on their shit and she doesn't really give a damn what anybody else says. She may argue and snap and fight but she's got a good head on her shoulders. Plus, how can you not love someone who'd look at a zombie invasion and her first thought would be along the lines of, "WOOHOO! It's finally happening!"

My least favorite? Hmm. Maybe Everett, Vera's dad? He doesn't have much of a sense of a humor for good reason. His entire life's been basically, "Fill this role and be this hero and live up to this legacy," and he's pretty stoic anyway. So he's not the sort to make a bunch of jokes, and I like a character who can crack a joke. Hazel's not the funniest person in the world, but she can be sarcastic as hell and I definitely know how to work with that, but working with a character who's all serious like Everett is a bit tricky for me.

I know they're both from HA, but since that was the last thing I've gotten a chance to truly concentrate on, it's still on my mind.
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30 Days Of Writing )

9. How do you get ideas for your characters? Describe the process of creating them.

This got very, VERY long. )

But, yeah. Character development! Woohoo!
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I did, however, do bunches of overtime this week to make up for the fact that the lady at Wegmans who's in charge of hiring is on vacation until the end of next week, therefore I probably won't be starting there until she gets back. Fantastic.

Anyway, let's get the writing meme out of the way.

30 Days Of Writing )

7. Do you listen to music while you write? What kind? Are there any songs you like to relate/apply to your characters?

I always listen to music when I write. I kinda have a problem writing without music on, truth be told, otherwise I'd be at the library every other day writing because it's the perfect writing place. (Well, except you can't eat there either. Le sigh.)

But, yeah. Depending on how deep I am into the writing, I usually have to stick to something with lyrics that aren't in English or no lyrics whatsoever. If I'm just sort of throwing ideas around I'll put my MP3 on random and wait for inspiration to strike, but when I'm in the middle of writing something and I really want to focus on the story I'll put on opera or movie scores or whatever. AOL Radio and last.fm's usually good for that kind of stuff when I need it.

As for songs that make me think of specific characters I've written ... I don't know. I always think of Sean Boggs when I hear "Dead Man's Party" by Oingo Boingo, and "Passive" by A Perfect Circle kinda works for Sean and Davis and Vera in their own ways. I end up listening to a lot of '8s pop music when I'm writing Davis because he's got a weakness for it. Vera's into rockabilly, which I'm not the biggest fan of, but I listen to it on last.fm every once in a while just to get into her head.

And every time I hear "Paperback Writer," I take it as a cue that I'm supposed to be writing. ;)

8. What's your favorite genre to write? To read?

To write? Urban fantasy, most definitely. I'm pretty sure if I actually tried to sit down and write a straight run-of-the-mill romance novel or YA story, I'd crack and throw in magic or superpowers by the third chapter.

I love to read it as well, and I'm a sucker for nonfiction books about disasters, unsurprisingly. I also like reading true crime, fantasy, horror, and I've started to get into YA in the last couple of years. I like romance, but I really only like three kinds -- gay, paranormal, and Regency romances -- and they'd better have a sense of humor to them or else I get bored by them easily.
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I HAVE ACHIEVED GROCERIES. \o/

I've also achieved the chocolates for work, since that's the way things go in our row at work. I have the chocolates and snacks, the girl next to me has the microwave meals and whatnot, and the lady on the other side of her has the condiments and the plastic utensils. We're basically the grocery store for our department. (And speaking of the chocolates, they had my maple walnut chocolates! The good ones with the sugar, as opposed to the nasty abominations unto the Lord that are the sugar-free versions. Ew.)

Above all else, I have fat-free vanilla ice cream and I bought cones. Ice cream cones for everybody meeeee!

I did end up missing the STYTCD results, though, but I spoiled myself on the TWoP forums and spoilers )

And I didn't finish watching Top Chef from last night, which I've heard I need to because the judges table is awesome, but I did end up catching Work Of Art beforehand and ... um, I may have to go back and watch from the beginning. Maybe. I wasn't all that intrigued by the premise when I first saw the commercials, but watching this week's episode is making me think twice about missing it. (They were doing book covers for classic novels and there were some real winners there, and I mean that both seriously and sarcastically.)

*

Oh, hey, and how about that writing meme?

30 Days Of Writing )

6. Where are you most comfortable writing? At what time of day? Computer or good ol' pen and paper?

It all depends on my mood, really. Sometimes I like to write in the morning before I go to work by pounding out words on my laptop, and sometimes I like scribbling down stories outside during my breaks at work, and sometimes I stay up late at night because that's the only free time I have or because I have to get the idea out of my head before I go to sleep and possibly forgot all about it.

A few things are guaranteed to spur my creativity, though. If I go to the cafe, I have to sit in one of the booths closer to the front, and I have to have one of the soups before I can get anything done because their soups are awesome. If I go to Panera, I need to sit in one of the seats by the fireplace and I have to have soup there, too. And it helps to have soda. Pepsi, preferably, and Cheetos if they're handy, but I'll settle for dried apples or pumpkin seeds or Wheat Thins or pocorn. I definitely need a drink, though. I can be a total cliche in the winter, though, because my favorite thing to do in the wintertime is to have a day off where I know I won't be going anywhere, curl up in my furry butterfly chair with my electric blanket and a big cup of hot tea, and just type and type and type until my fingers fall off.

Oh, and I can't write in silence. I have to have music playing (I'll get into that more tomorrow, apparently, looking at tomorrow's question), but if I'm deep enough into something that I won't be easily distracted I'll put on a video in another window and let that play. It's usually something I've watched a billion times, though, to keep me from losing my focus. YouTube comes in handy for that. The usual suspects the last few months have been Air Crash Investigations (I can spot when actors have played two entirely different people on different episodes, is that bad?), A Night To Remember, Never Mind The Buzzcocks episodes, Top Gear, Stranded! The Andes Plane Crash Survivors, Alive, Earthquake, and the "Space Mutiny" and "Riding With Death" episodes of MST3K.
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... I still haven't gotten a call back from Wegman's since I turned in my background check paperwork last week.

But the upside is that work has been offering overtime everyday all week long. It's going to be a week of twelve-hour days and if they offer any next week I'll be all over that, too.

But the downside to that is that I've had absolutely zero time or energy to do any writing whatsoever since Monday, which sort of sucks since just like any other time when I've been working my butt off on overtime or extra jobs or whatever, my muse is banging at the door to my brain saying, "Let me OUT, I've got stuff I need you write!" Stupid muse. If she likes me so damn much, the least she could do is go clean my apartment so I don't have to.

*

30 Days Of Writing )

Since I missed yesterday, I'm doing two.

4. Tell us about one of your first stories/characters!

Oh, God. Okay, so I've wanted to be a writer since about junior year of high school but most of those stories were these cheesy one-page things that needed a lot of work. (So of course my high school creative writing course focused on poetry, which I hate to write. Anyway.) But then in college I started this novel. (Or maybe it was before I graduated. Whatever.) I don't currently have a copy of it, which is probably a good thing because it was terrible. It was this futuristic Mad Max-ish post-apocalyptic pile of crap. There were four million characters, of which approximately 3,999,995 characters didn't have to be there because they contributed nothing to the plot, which is saying a lot since there really was nothing at all resembling a plot. Oh, and all of the dialogue was unrealistic and the romantic relationships had less chemistry than a creationist's dream school. Did I mention it was bad?

And then I finished it, and didn't let anybody else read it, and didn't really do any editing, and then I used it to learn what all of those things in Writer's Digest mean by sending my unedited first-time unsolicited lacking-an-agent manuscript to any publishing house which sat still long enough.

5. By age, who is your youngest character? Oldest? How about “youngest” and “oldest” in terms of when you created them?

Well, to be fair I do get a chance to explore my characters at different times in their lives, but in terms of characters and the ages they generally are during the majority of the story, the oldest and youngest both come out of the Books of Boggs, since Toby has sort of always existed in some form or another (it's ... complicated) and then there's Ashley, who's two. And I suppose Scarlett also counts as a two-year-old, even though she's much older than that. In the grand scheme of things she's still a baby. An enormous muscular baby with metal teeth and a pink mohawk. Aw. :)

I will admit that I do sort of have a thing for throwing in a small adorable child with pretty much every story I write, though. I like making my characters interact with kids. It's a terrible affliction I've got, seriously.

Oh, and in terms of who is my oldest character that I still work with, it'd have to be Sean. He's been around forever. ;)
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30 Days Of Writing )

3. How do you come up with names, for characters (and for places if you're writing about fictional places)?

Well, when it comes to characters I usually just go with the most fitting first name that pops into my head and work from there. I have this thing for girls or women with little-old-lady names, so sometimes I'll bend over backwards to find a way to give a younger modern-day woman a name like Dorothy or Sally or, say, Vera. It's just a lot of playing around with things until I get the name that sounds just right and clicks into place.

*

I am working twelve-hour days for the next couple of days -- yay for overtime! -- and worked one hell of a twelve-hour day today -- boo for spending the vast majority of it taking phone calls! -- so I'm probably not going to be around much, so if I don't really respond to much or don't poke my head in for anything other than memeing, that would be why.

Urgh, need a nap.
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30 Days Of Writing )

2. How many characters do you have? Do you prefer males or females?

Um, lots? All of the novels that I've either finished or am still working on are sort of big ensemble numbers, and I try to get in some of everybody -- male, female, old, young, different races, religions, sexualities -- because the world isn't the Hot Young Straight Middle-Class Christian White People Parade and that's what makes it awesome.

When it comes to lead characters, I can go either way. I like writing guys in the lead just because I've always been a bit of a tomboy and grew up more comfortable hanging out with guys and find it really easy to write guys. And I like writing women in the lead because I'm one and it's fun to write (and read) an amazing female character and I love trying to deviate from the Hot Young Straight Middle-Class Christian White People Parade when it comes to my female characters.

That said, writing Barren is going to be a bit of a challenge for me, because one of my favorite things to write is guy-girl best friend relationships that would never go the sexual route (although, hi, I'm in fandom, I imagine if I ever do get published there will be Sean/Naomi and Davis/Candice and Vera/Gareth fics ahoy and the Flying Spaghetti Monster bless every damn one of 'em) and while I can certainly write women being friends and allies this is going to be an interesting change of pace for me.

*

I did want to say before I went on with this meme that I debated including fanfic with my answers for this meme before I decided against it. The thing is, my fanfic is currently the only writing that everybody is reading of mine, save for the poor beleaguered agent-shaped person who gets to slog through my original stuff. No one else is really getting a chance to read any of it, or at least not a lot of it. I'm a bit of a perfectionist when it comes to my novels, and I get painfully worried about letting other people see my stuff until it's just right.

The plus side of that is that I'm not putting something out there that's not as good as it's going to get. The downside is that there's a decided lack of people I can talk to about what I'm writing specifically. I can talk about Sean and Davis and Vera and Johnnie and Ruby and Mary and a dozen other different characters I've currently got on my plate in some form or another all I want, and it still isn't going to change the fact that because I'm a bit touchy about letting anybody else see my stories and turn into OMG SPOILERS!!! Lady when I'm talking about my own damn stuff, I can't imagine it's all that intriguing to listen to. If I start venting or blabbering on about characters only the agent-shaped person and I know really well, it's really just me blowing off steam at this point.

But that doesn't stop me from needing to blow off steam occasionally, so ... yeah. Meme! :)
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I know everybody's posting the 30 days of TV meme, which I keep meaning to start before getting distracted by shiny objects or whatever, but I spotted this one and had to dig in.

30 Days of Writing )

1. Tell us about your favorite writing project/universe that you've worked with and why.

I would probably have to say the Books of Boggs 'verse, with the Heroine Addiction 'verse coming a very close second.

I realized today that I haven't looked at the Books of Boggs in a while. Uh, maybe months? But I think I just have a great big soft spot for it. Way before The Office ever started, I wanted to do something set in the Scranton area because, hey, they never set anything here and I like it here. And the thing is that I sort of went with the dreamy imaginative kid in me that used to pretend there were dragons hiding in the woods or that the big creepy mansion ten minutes away from where I grew up was where some evil wizard lived. Yes, I've always been this dorky.

In any event, it's the "let's pretend there's a unicorn around every corner" version of the "I want to write about where I live, damn it" urge. Plus, I get to be snarky, because Sean is basically entirely composed of snark, whereas Vera's a bit less jokey. And I get to be as ridiculous as I want.

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