Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Sailing and Writing Thoughts


Hello again!  I realize I've been gone for far too long, once again, but I'm back!  I was sailing over the weekend, so I couldn't post, and I had a lot of homework due to the fact that I wasn't here two weeks ago, to make up for at school.  So that's my excuse.

In other news, I spent my weekend working to memorize "Big Bang Two" by Chameleon Circuit.  Yay for being a Whovian!  I have eleven of the fourteen stanzas memorized, and I can sing them pretty fast.  And now I'll probably be singing it for the next week or so.  Not that that's a problem.  I can't sing it fast enough to keep up with Charlie McDonnell (who sings it for Chameleon Circuit).  I also read a ton, and finished the books "Evil Genius" by Catherine Jinks, which was much more interesting and intelligent than I had expected, and "The Wizard, the Witch and Two Girls from Jersey" by Lisa Papedemitriou, which was just as silly as I had expected-- though quite good, too.

Sailing was fun.  We went to a few nearby towns, and anchored each night.  Twice we put up the hammock, which was fun, and on the last night, apparently there were a lot of parties in the marina (we were anchored in the harbor) and we kept having dinghys zipping past our boat, with engines fast enough to make the whole sailboat rock.  Very loud dinghys, too.  You could hear them from way across the harbor.  Also, some crazy person was water skiing.  To some, this may not seem strange, in May.  But here, it's ridiculous, as the water is about 45 degrees Fahrenheit, which is just so cold.  You can get hypothermia within minutes, in this water.

In writing news, I have decided I'm not going to do Camp NaNoWriMo... at least, not in June.  August, maybe, but for June, I just don't have the time.  School is finishing up, and I have exams to do, and things to wrap up, and my teachers are trying to cram as much as possible in right now, so sadly, I won't be able to do it.  If my school ended in early June, I might have been able to, however my school doesn't-- it ends the 22nd of June.  *sigh*  So I've decided not to do it this time.  Also, I don't have an idea.  Hehe.  But I'm doing a two week long writing camp over the summer, so there's that.

I've found I've stopped writing as much.  I went on a kick where I wrote constantly... and then it just sort of died.  My writing amount daily dwindled, until I find that there are days when I don't even think to open up my word document and keep on writing.  I actually quite enjoy the story I'm currently writing, and I've gotten some good advice on how to adjust it, I just... haven't started writing on it.

On the twenty-eighth of March, I posted this post:  Time to Write.  I talked about all the things I wanted to do, all the writing related things I wanted to complete, and get done.  And I haven't done that.  Once again, I pushed it off.  Since then, I have started a new story.  But I'm still hovering around 9k.  Why haven't I added more in the last few weeks?  Why haven't I gotten back to writing?  I don't know.  At some point, I'm going to come up with a way of making myself do the things I outlined in that post.  Maybe I'll make a checklist, and once I've gotten something done, I'll check it off, or put it in a prominent spot, or something.  I don't know.

Anyways, I'm rambling again.  I don't have much more to say, other than that everyone should watch this speech of Neil Gaiman's, which made me think about all these writing related things.

The Dandy Lioness

Sunday, May 20, 2012

A Returning, and A Request


Hello, loves!  I'm back!  For those wondering where I went, I went to Washington, D.C., and Pennsylvania for a short time.  I didn't end up posting, obviously, though I did keep up with blogs.  I think I've been feeling a bit writer's-blocky recently.

I had a lovely time on my trip.  It was pretty warm in D.C., which was really lovely.  Here, it doesn't really get warm until June, so it was just fabulous to wear shorts (almost) every day.  I don't know if I'll post pictures, but if I do, I'll probably post them soon.

I keep coming to this post, and trying to write on it, but it just doesn't seem to be working.  I did write a big long post, but I think that if I do end up posting it, it deserves its own post entirely.

For those of you who are wondering how my writing has been going... eh.  It's okay.  I didn't write much at all when I was on my trip, but I have managed to hit 9k on it, which is exciting.  However, I seem to be having the problem of "telling" rather than "showing".  I keep launching into long paragraphs of what's going on in Alea's life, but not actually showing what happens.  The problem is, it's just her and her horse at the moment, and so there aren't many dialogue opportunities.  I mean, I can have Alea talk to her horse, but is the horse going to respond?  No.  Making it a very one-sided conversation.  And I always find it difficult when writing a dialogue to not have another character around.  There's just not as much that one can do with it.

Actually, I'm going to post one of my more "telling" paragraphs here, and see if you guys have any suggestions to how I can adjust it, and make it more of a "showing" paragraph, something more interesting to read.

Alea clicked her tongue, and Mira trotted into the forest.  They’d been stalled on the edge, having lunch, but it was time for them to move on.  She had gone a long way in the three-quarters month she had been travelling, and knew that she would, sometime soon, reach the swamp that bordered the Hiekka Maa.  However, on the way there, there was a lot of forest to cross, and farmland.  Farmers were, for the most part, quite nice to her.  A bit wary, of course.  A single girl, relatively skilled in the arts of fighting and riding, traveling across the country toward the desert? She’d been called a witch by more than one farmer.  But she didn’t mind.  She knew they were simply wary of things they didn’t know or understand, and she was certainly one of those things.  But it got a bit weary, after a few days, with farmers pushing her away in fear.  Their wives tended to be nicer, and once, even after her husband had pushed Alea away, his wife had secretly allowed Alea to sleep in the barn.

I just really don't like the feel of this particular paragraph.  It seems very jumpy, and I don't like the way it tells so much more than shows what's going on with Alea.  So does anyone have any suggestions as to how I can adjust it?  I would really appreciate them.

The Dandy Lioness

Thursday, May 10, 2012

A Bit of a Vacation

Hello lovelies!

This is just a bit of an update-y post.  But, I just wanted to say that I'm going to be on vacation until the 19th of May, so I will probably not be posting.  I may have one or two, as I will have the laptop with me, but I don't know how likely that is.

Anyways.  I won't be posting because of this.  I will be back after the 19th, though I'm not sure when.

It's funny.  This trip has been planned for months now, but it's only now, the evening before we depart, that it's finally hitting me-- I'm leaving.  I'm packing up my stuff, and just leaving for nine days.  Skipping six days of school, and just... leaving.  It's weird.  In the entire time I've been at my middle school, I've missed two days.  Once in sixth grade, when we went to New York, and once this year, when I hurt my neck.  It's funny to think that in after just missing two days in three years, I'm just missing six more.

And in case you're wondering how I managed to only miss two days-- I don't really get sick.  Colds, yeah, but not really fevers or the flu or anything.  Which is how I managed to only miss two days, and one of them was for vacation.  The other was because I twisted my neck in my sleep somehow.

I'm excited, though.  I'm getting on an airplane-- which, strangely enough, I don't hate.  I kind of enjoy them, in fact.  I like the idea of knowing that I'm going somewhere new-- or not new, but loved-- and getting to have new experiences and memories because of it.

Speaking of it just hitting me-- we literally just sent our dog, Milo, off with the woman who's going to dogsit him while we're gone.  We've known her for years.  Seventeen years in fact, I believe.  She has an adorable little bischon frise, named Bitzer, who adores Milo.  Milo's not so sure about him, though.

Anyways, this was just to let you guys know that I'm going to not really be around for the next week or so.  I hope you all have a lovely ten days while I'm gone.

The Dandy Lioness

Sunday, May 6, 2012

Snippets of Story- May

So, I'm linking up with Katie this month for Snippets of Story!  I'm glad to see that people like Alea, I think she's really fun and interesting to write.  Because of this (and because it's my only current WIP that I like) I'm going to give you some snippets from her story!

{Alea, who would, in my mind, be played by Keira Knighley.}

She was free, finally free.  But it didn’t feel that way.  It didn’t feel like she had imagined it.  She had been cast out; she had not flown out, of her own free will.  She’d been cast out, cast away, by the only person she knew.  It didn’t feel like freedom. 
-Alea and Sancha's story

The innkeeper raised her eyebrows.  “Where are you headed then, youngster?” she asked kindly.
“The Hiekka Maa,” said Alea, taking a bite of toast.
“All by yourself?”  The innkeeper was horrified.
Alea laughed.  “Yes, all by myself.  I’ve lived too long cooped up with others who I didn’t particularly like, but I had to listen to.  I’m ready to find my own way.  And I’ve always wanted to go to the Hiekka Maa.”
The innkeeper pursed her lips.  “Are you sure you don’t want a position in my kitchens, lass?  I’m sure there’s room.  You could settle down, find a nice boy, get married.  Start a family.”
Alea shook her head.  “I’m afraid that’s just not what I’m looking for at the moment.  I’m seventeen.  I’m young.  I need to adventure while I still can—I want to find my own path, ma’am.”
-Alea and Sancha's story

“I think you misunderstand me,” he said, smiling cruelly at her.  “You need a man to be with you.”
“No,” said Alea, her eyes flashing.  “I think you misunderstand me.  I don’t need a man to be with me.”
“I think you do,” he said, stepping in front of her once again, when she tried to move forward.  “You need a man to protect you.  You can’t go on alone.  It’s unsafe.”
“I think I will be much more unsafe if you join me, actually,” said Alea.  “I’m fine on my own, thanks.”
She moved forward once again, and this time, he raised his hand to strike her.  But Alea moved faster.  She delivered a swift punch to his ribcage, ducking beneath his defenses, and ramming into him.  He doubled over in surprise, and she kicked him out of the way.  He crumpled, and fell to the side of the passageway.
“Like I said,” she said, as she walked past him.  “You misunderstood me.”
-Alea and Sancha's story

I think it's becoming pretty obvious through these snippets along with what you learned about her in my previous post (linked to above), that freedom means a lot to Alea.  She doesn't like being bullied, and she's always ready to fight back.  She's a strong girl, and she knows what she believes it.  She wants to be free, and doesn't want anyone to stand in her way.  I really like this about her, that freedom means a lot to her.  She won't back down, she won't let other people push her around.  I didn't really expect that to be as strong of a theme in this as it's turning out to be, but I think it's really good, that she knows who she is and what she believes in.

The Dandy Lioness

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Meet Alea

As some of you may remember, I've started working on a new project.  Because of this, I thought I'd give you a bit of an insight into one of my characters.


Hello!  What's your name?
Alea Fairweather.  (Ah-Lee-Ah Fair-Weather)

Alright, well, hello Alea.  How old are you?

That's cool!  Do you have any family?
I have a sister, Lilja (Lil-ya).  But we don't exactly get along.

What do you mean by that?
Well, she kicked me out of our home because she thought I was impeding her chances of seducing the prince into marrying her.

Uh... right.  What's your race?

Nice, nice.  Favorite food?
I'm not sure.  I'm not too picky.  Probably something with chicken in it, or soup, I quite like soup.

Do you have any aspirations or dreams or goals?
Well, my current goal is to get to the Hiekka Maa (He-ekk-ah Maw), the desert in my country.  I'd like to meet the people who live there, and see if I can seek shelter there.  It has always fascinated me, and been my dream to live there.  That's actually what I'm doing now, seeing as Lilja kicked me out.

Wow!  That's kind of an unusual dream.  Any particular reason why you chose the desert?
Well, it's about as different from my mountain home as possible, so that's partly why.  Also, when my father was alive, he would tell me stories about his adventures there, and how much he loved it, and I would like to follow in his footsteps.

You mentioned earlier that you didn't get along with Lilja too well, and that she kicked you out because of a prince.  Can you expand on that a bit more?
Alright.  It's kind of complicated.  But basically (long story short), I was in the forest, and I found the prince of our country, and he was hurt, so I took him home and nursed him back to health.  But when we figured out he was a prince, Lilja kicked me out, because she wanted a chance to become queen.

Hmm.  Sounds like you've got some family problems there, eh?
A bit, yeah.  I've not been too good friends with Lilja since we were little kids, though, so it's not too surprising.  I think since our father died, she's considered me more of a hindrance, than a sister.

Alright, well I'm going to shake things up a bit.  Do you believe in love at first sight?
No, not really.  I mean, how can you just know you love someone if you haven't talked to them?  If you don't know their personality?  I think the idea of love at first sight is sort of superficial, it claims that love is based on looks, and just maybe one or two short conversations.  I think that love has to be built up over time, and for it to work, people have to be both similar and different, in a balance that's just right.

Alright, now for some more random questions.  Are you a righty or a lefty?
Righty.  My handwriting with my left hand is atrocious, though I think it would be really cool to be ambidextrous.

Favorite animal?
Horses, definitely.  Mirabelle, my horse, is my best friend, and we've been through a lot together.  But if not horses, then probably cats.  I've always wanted a cat, but Lilja would never let me get one.

Do you think you're an organized person?
I'm kind of half-and-half.  I prefer neat rooms, but I find that my room gets messy easily, and it's hard to motivate myself to clean it.

Do you have a big secret?  Will you tell it to me?
I don't think you understand what the word 'secret' means.

What's your favorite color?  Why?
Probably green, because it's the color of trees, and I love trees.  They're one thing I will definitely miss, when I get to the desert, but I think it will be worth it.

Do you enjoy reading?
Immensely.  I think it's very enjoyable.

What about friends?  Do you have many?
Not really.  I lived four days ride from the nearest town, and so it was mostly just me and Lilja, who, as is quite obvious by now, wasn't a great friend.  I knew some of the town girls, but we only talked occasionally, when I went into town for supplies, or the fair.

Well, thanks Alea!  This was really interesting.  Did you enjoy this questionnaire?
It was okay.  But these things are never that fun.

The Dandy Lioness