Wondering (Once Again) What I Got Myself Into...

>> Sunday, October 31, 2010

I feel so incredibly tired after taking my daughter trick-or-treating tonight. Granted, with a new baby on the way, that's not too surprising, but I'm determined to stay up a little longer and see if I can make it to the official start of Nanowrimo.

I'm a little apprehensive about doing Nano this year; I spent most of October wavering back and forth about whether I would participate or not. Last year was very tough, and I almost didn't make it through the week three slump. I blame it now on not knowing my characters well enough before I started, and for not having a good plan of where I was going in terms of scene progression.

And THAT I blame on my book, Anemone's Song, which I had just finished writing only weeks before Nano 2009 began. So I was burnt out and didn't plan much for last year.

This year...eh, I didn't plan at all. And that's not for lack of ideas. I had a few neat ideas rolling around in my head, but I never managed to settle on one of them.

So, that's why I'm totally winging it during Nanowrimo this year (heaven help me!). This has the potential to be very painful for me. But I hope I'm wrong about that.

If nothing else, maybe I can manage to do some typing on Anemone's Song during November, and begin editing it, since I'm not taking things so seriously this year. (Famous last words, right?)


MeNaSe Publications: Put a Stake in It

>> Saturday, October 30, 2010

Out just time for Halloween: a short story by yours truly!

MeNaSe Publications: Put a Stake in It: "e-download Table of Contents Scene 1 Scene 2 Scene 3 Scene 4 Scene 5 e-download"


The 10 most notable heroes in speculative fiction

>> Friday, July 2, 2010

As I have mentioned in previous entries, I write for an online column. What I have not recently mentioned, due to the sheer amount of work and personal stuff that I've been dealing with, is the fact that I have switched columns. Yes, ladies and gentleman. I no longer write a column about politics. After six months of writing that, I'd had more than enough; it simply wasn't my passion, and I yearned to write in a different field. So, I became the St. Louis Speculative Fiction Examiner (you'll notice, of course that I am listed by a different name than the "ALR" of this blog; that is because if I ever publish a fantasy book I intend to use a byline similar to the one in this blog). I've been enjoying myself ever since.

And without further ado, a list of The 10 most notable heroes in speculative fiction as written by yours truly. Enjoy!


Weekly writing prompts: The Ultimate Weapon and A Bump in the Night

>> Saturday, June 12, 2010

Posted a day late since I was on vacation, but still worth a look!

Weekly writing prompts: The Ultimate Weapon and A Bump in the Night


Weekly writing prompts: The Ambassador's Mystery and The Stranger

>> Friday, June 4, 2010

Have fun with these new speculative fiction writing prompts! Posted weekly!

Weekly writing prompts: The Ambassador's Mystery and The Stranger


Make editing easier with 5 handy tips

>> Thursday, June 3, 2010

Check out my article on 5 tips to make editing easier!
Make editing easier with 5 handy tips


Weekly writing prompts: The Arch and the Elven Forest

>> Friday, May 28, 2010

Check out the writing prompts in my new column on Examiner.com!

Weekly writing prompts: The Arch and the Elven Forest


Bvzwawk-ing my way to fame

If there's such a thing as speed reading, why hasn't someone invented a way to do speed writing? Sure, computers enable (some) people to type (and thus write) really fast, but my fingers can never keep up with my brain on a good day. (Sometimes--let's face it--not even on a slow day.) Besides, I find that the faster I type, the more misspellings and nonexistent terms like "bvzwawk" show up.

All of this wouldn't be so bad if it weren't for the fact that the gibberish so little resembles English that it's hard to figure what I wrote five seconds before, much less an hour later when I want to edit.

Wouldn't it be nice if you could will your ideas onto the page? Sure, it would be a big, confusing mess, but at least it would be on the page more quickly. Then all that's left is to edit it into something passably pretty!

Okay, so the editing alone might involve even more work than now. Still, you have to admit: the idea of being able to speed write is nice. Too bad no one has figured out a universal way to make it work yet!

Bvzwawk: [Buhv-zwahk]

1. n. the ability to speed write
e.g. She can bvzwawk ten pages in five minutes.
2. v. to write or type very fast
e.g. She bvzwawked against the other students in typing class.

You heard of it here first (and last, no doubt)!


Never Read Ahead--Even If It Is Your Own Book!

>> Tuesday, May 4, 2010

I don't know what's more discouraging: the realization that I have not come as far in typing up my book as I thought, or the realization that my villain is overshadowed by a secondary "evil" character. I never should have looked ahead in my notebooks. Ignorance truly is bliss.

Now the editing and rewriting process promises to be more of a pain than ever. There will be a lot to fix before my book is marketable. My hopes of having the manuscript ready to send out by 2011 look much dimmer.

Well, maybe I just need to type faster, eh? Onward I go!


Seeking a New Approach to Editing

>> Friday, April 30, 2010

I have now passed the 2/3 mark in typing up my book. I am filled with both anticipation and "dread" about the editing process that is soon to come. Typing it up has been a daunting task in and of itself. Editing promises to be even more so.

I have a love/hate relationship with editing. Perhaps even more so than with writing. Most of the time, I enjoy editing because I like to make my writing flow better and look neater. I like taking the time to test one word against another to see which one truly captures the mood or emotion I want to convey.

Editing is great...in small doses.

Yet editing a big project can be completely different. Even if I only edit a page or a chapter at time, the entire process wears on me after a while. My nerves become tight and frazzled. I long to do anything but sit down and tackle the "headache" in front of me.

There is some wisdom in letting one's work sit for a time, without looking at it, so that you can approach it again with fresh eyes at a later date. With editing, however, this can be a double edged sword for me. Sometimes the break from the editing process makes it all the more hard and daunting to pick it up again. The road to completion feels even longer. The project seems like it will never end.

This time I will try a new approach to my editing process. I will take the time, after I finish typing up the book, to develop an editing method that will hopefully make the task faster and less daunting.

Any ideas I can incorporate are vastly appreciated.


The Write Direction

>> Thursday, March 4, 2010

Writing gives me a sense of direction, a purpose in life beyond the day to day chores and stress and trivialities. I have realized this anew in the last few days while my husband has commandeered the computer in the evenings to work on his projects and school work before his finals. I haven't felt so cut off or purposeless during my evenings for a long time. I feel as if I don't quite know what to do with myself, never mind all of the other chores to attend to. I suppose it's because evening, in my mind, are a chance to relax and enjoy myself, and I feel like I'm being robbed of that, somehow.

Anemone's Song is coming along. Albeit very slowly this week. Last week, I reached a point in the book that I really enjoyed writing the first time around, and it's just as enjoyable typing it up, if not more. Anticipation of finishing up this typing is high, although the end is nowhere in sight.


Anemone's Song: Or, The Book That Will Give Me Carpal Tunnel

>> Monday, February 15, 2010

The thing that is most noticeably absent from my blog this year is an entry about writing resolution for the new year. I'm afraid that this is due to many reasons, one of which is that I lost my father early on New Year's Eve, after his short battle with a terminal brain tumor, and I'm just now getting to the point where I can function semi-normally again, instead of just going through the motions of life. The new year started off too badly, too painfully, for me to have any desire to revisit the memories of it with a long post about my writing goals, delayed or not.

So excuse my break with tradition, if you will, and know simply that this is the year of Anemone's Song, a book that I wrote from November 2007-October 2009. A book that I am working feverishly to type up in total so that I can begin editing it.

No, I didn't type it up on the computer to begin with. Not entirely. I am a firm believer in the hardcopy back-up, the ultimate writing failsafe. I have had more than one bad experience with technology to have convinced me of the irreplaceable importance of a hardcopy or two. If you lose everything else, you can always go back to the hardcopy. Yes, you may have lost a lot of the pretty editing, but the story is still there, alive and breathing, to work with. If not for one forgotten hardcopy, years ago, that I unearthed, one of my other stories would not have survived to the present day to etch itself into my very soul.

Today is a day to celebrate. So sit down with your favorite beverage or treat, and share in my happiness, for I am officially 1/4 of the way finished typing up Anemone's Song, at 30,006 words.

Only 3/4 of the book and an unknown quantity of words to go! But I will make it.

My hands, however, may not...