Friday, October 31, 2008

Gettin' Yer Goth On

Ahhh, Halloween. How do I love thee? Let me count the ways...



Firstly, you should know that I have chopped seven inches of hair off my head and am now damned shmexy if I do say so myself. (Sorry, no pictures, because I only have a camera phone and it sucks worse than a vampire. Hee! Sucks.. vampire... okay, fine, I'll stop.) After the hair choppings I straightened it, and for today I have sprayed purply goodness all over the tips so I'm channeling my inner Goth.

Which I have to say is quite fun, and now I want to make purple lowlights a part of my every day hair color. Kind of like this color:



I have dark ashy-brown hair so I'm thinking the purple lowlights would go well with it. Wot u saiz? Think I can pull it off?

*** Note: I was never brave enough to chop my hair or color it in my younger days, so I'm now having a belated onset of hair experimentation fever. Unfortunate considering I work in corporate cube land and really can't go all out. Sigh.

*** Follow up note: I mentioned this to my supervisor, about the "I wanna do this but I work in an office" thing, and she's like "...and?" So perhaps I can get away with it. /eyebrow

Anyway, I went in search of purple hair dye and it seems all I can get is demi-permanent stuff that lasts 3-6 weeks. But I LOL'd a little at this site, where they mentioned some glow in the dark hair colors:

The following colors glow under black light:

Atomic Pink , Nuclear Red ,Cherry Bomb, Hi-Octane Orange, Joyride, Cupcake Pink, Bright as F#@$ Yellow, Napalm Orange


Does anyone else think "Bright as F#@$ Yellow" is just about the best hair color name EVER? Srsly.

Oh, and we're having a Halloween party at our house tonight. We're having like 10 people over (I think?) and we went out last night and got all the little decoration stuff like a pumpkin-laden table cloth, paper plates, napkins, orange plastic cups, bone-shaped plastic cutlery, and a big orange punch bowl. Did we remember to buy the punch? No. Sigh. (And the punch WILL be spiked, mark my words!) We did get some games, though -- Battle of the Sexes, Urban Myth, and Twister (come on, drunken twister? that is so full of win). We'll be playing some amusing and/or scary movies in the background, things like Young Frankenstein, Underworld, The Goonies, Shaun of the Dead, etc. There will be much snacking and drinking and absolutely silly costuming. Yes, that is a word. 'Coz I said so.

Also, this amuses the hell out of me (refresh the page, by the time you get here you will have missed the beginning of it). I know it has nothing to do with Halloween, but I have to share. HAVE TO. You will thank me later. (And even if you don't, you can forward the madness to other people! Muahahahaha!) Why yes, I am feeling ornery today, why do you ask?

Also, we're at the final countdown to the official start of NaNoWriMo. As expected their servers have blown themselves up with the hundreds of thousands of people trying to log on and sign up or update things all at the same time. The server spasms are a normal NaNo experience. They're like a regular rite of passage or something. Wouldn't be NaNo without the yearly server crash. I'm debating on whether I want to stay up late and start writing at midnight or go to bed and get up early to write. Hmm.

So what are YOU doing for All Hallows Eve?

Quote of the Day:

(Labyrinth)
Sarah: Ow! It bit me!
Hoggle: What'd you expect fairies to do?
Sarah: I thought they did nice things, like... like granting wishes.
Hoggle: Shows what *you* know, don't it?


~Sass~

Monday, October 27, 2008

I am... Remus Lupin

Does anyone else think this a horribly coincidental test result? I ended up being the werewolf character.

(Clue-by-four for those of you who don't know... my current WIP is about a werewolf girl.)

Harry Potter Personality Quiz

Pirate Monkey's Harry Potter Personality Quiz


Quote of the Day:

(Teen Wolf)
Harold Howard: Listen son. You're going to be able to do a lot of things the other guys aren't.
Scott Howard: Oh yeah, like chase cars, and bite the mailman?


~Sass~

Friday, October 24, 2008

I Can Has Mystery?

This is it, then. I've decided to write a mystery for NaNoWriMo.



The closest I've ever come to a mystery is playing around with a whodunnit sort of thing with a murder in the first half of my first book. Lots of experience with mystery, let me tell you. So what did I do to educate myself? Ran over and asked the good peeps of AbsoluteWrite, that's what!

Got some pretty good info, too. Clair Dickenson brought Thundering Clich├ęs to my attention (which is hilarious), and Ruv Draba posted a pretty good summary of what constitutes a Mystery novel as upposed to other genres. Both are excellent reading.

Then, on a general NaNo tangent, I came across a free book by Lazette Gifford. It's called... NaNo For The New And The Insane.

I love that book. Love. It.

Why?

Because of pages 38-48.

Here, I shall quote part of it for you (because it is, after all, free, and I have given credit where it's due!):

A few years ago I started a new type of outlining I've called the Phase System. It helped me write Kat among the Pigeons -- 102,610 words -- in ten days. Because of the amount of detail in the phase-outline, I wrote 10,000 words a day without ever having to pause or fret over does this work or what comes next problems.

The phase-outline for that particular novel ran over 10,000 words. I can see many of you wincing. An outline that long? Isn't that a waste of time and energy? It depends on what you get out of it in the end. Every one of those 10,000 gained me about eleven words in the novel's first draft. The two weeks I spent writing out the phase outline cut the time I wrote the novel from about fifty-five days (at an average of two thousand words a day -- about where I write under normal circumstances) to eleven days. Even adding the fourteen days it took to write the outline, that's still forty days less than it would have taken me normally.

[[[snipped]]]

Okay, so what exactly is this method?

Phases are written out as key phrases that will bring the action into focus. A phase can be clues to dialogue, if that's what the section's focus is centered around, or it might be a little bit of description, or a set of actions... anything that will make the story move another few hundred words.

Usually a 'phase' will only run from twenty to fifty words in the outline. For instance, this is an example from Gathering (Book 7 of the Dark Staff series -- and this is first draft with only a little touch up).

Phase Outline section:

1. Tristan in the room aboard the ship, resting, thinking about going home, feeling the world changing. It feels like traveling between realities, without any of the work. (28 words)

These few words translated to this:

Going somewhere else...

Tristan rested on the soft bed, feeling out the ship around him and the power beyond it. The metal shell moved through the same space where he and Abby had traveled so often before. Each time they had slipped from one reality to another, leaving friends behind.

Their quest had come at such a cost to them that sometimes he wondered if the Goddess really understood the needs of flesh and blood, whether human or elf. He wondered what she expected, in the end. Did she understand what she asked of her son, and what he paid that she could never give back?

Or could she? They were going... home this time.

He pushed that thought away as quickly as it came.

He could feel the magic brushing against the craft, whispering through the walls and calling to him with a seductive offer of power that he knew, from experience, he could not wholly control. Dangerous power, a dangerous passage... he had never fully understood this place that stood between realities.

The one thing he did know, however, was that this was far less work. He could rest this time, he and Abby both, before they...

He shivered a little.

Tristan?

Abby, somewhere else on the ship, had felt his worry surge up through the crowns. I'm all right.
(222 words)

[[[snipped]]]

I look at what I think the novel's length should be and try to work within those parameters. For instance, a young adult mystery might only run 60,000 words. If I have 300 phases written out, then I only need 200 words per phase.

On the other hand, if I'm writing a space opera, I know that I'll likely need the final word count to be at least 125,000 words. If I've only written out 300 phases, that would mean about 417 words per phase. In a case like that, I would likely go back through the phase outline and start looking for areas to expand. If I can add another 100 phases, then I only need 312 or so words per phase. If I can get the number of phases up to 500, then I only need 250 words per phase. This can be a real help during NaNo, where you can look at writing short pieces and making headway on the story. Obviously for NaNo most of you will want to reach 50,000 words. Here is how this might break out for you:

• 60 Phases in the outline -- 834 words per phase -- 2 phase sections per day
• 120 Phases in the outline -- 417 words per phase -- 4 phase sections per day
• 150 Phases in the outline -- 334 words per phase -- 5 phase sections per day
• 300 Phases in the outline -- 167 words per phase -- 10 phase sections per day


Phases rarely ever come out at the exact word count assigned to them. If you assign a lower word count than you expect to do, you're more likely to go over what you need, and that's good from a morale point of view. It will help you move on to the next phase. I've had 200 word phases go to over 1000 words, and I've had some come in at less than 100 words. Don't make your story line fit to the phase word count, though it if is short you might consider adding some details.

When you write out a phase in the outline, get key words and actions into the line. Then let your mind flow to where the character/story would go next. Write it out. If it doesn't work, erase it and try again. Drop in descriptions and clues to dialogue.

[[[snipped]]]

You might -- as I have from time to time -- find that some phases need to be cut, or others need to be added in. Do it. Don't worry about it. What looks clear-cut during the outlining phases sometimes shows a few holes later. Adding and subtracting is fine in limitation. Just don't rewrite the entire outline.

During NaNo I divide the phases up by days to give myself a set number to do. I list everything out in a Microsoft Excel worksheet. Ten phases of 200 words each is 2000 words. A story can move forward very quickly that way.


Oh my God. You can write a novel ahead of time and not cheat! This is an outline for those who don't like outlining... after all, you're still alowing your creative juices to flow, and going back to rewrite 20 words into 200 words is sort of like revising anyway, so there's room to play. It somehow seems more freeing than a traditional sort of outline.

With that in mind, I've got my first little "phase" ready to go (which is kind of long, but you know, I'm working on it):

-- Nikki Swank sits at her desk. David Jones makes his entrance. Nikki puts down her 40oz and makes a smoke ring with her cigar. What do you want? I need your help locating an object. What are you paying me? Lots. We have a deal. Can I get your number? No.

51 Words. I can easily turn that into 500, or even 1000. This is such an easy method, and I can make major mistakes here without having to go back and fix 20k worth of story. I'd maybe have to go back and fix 10 little "phases." This is so full of win I can't hardly stand it.

Now, wait, hold on. I can see some of you trying to slice the air with that eyebrow of yours. Nikki Swank? David "Davey" Jones? Oh yes. These are my characters. I haven't told you about them, have I? [insert wicked grin here]

Nikki Swank is a pr0n name. I'm going to admit that up front for all to see. It was the name I got when I entered my real name into a pr0n name generator, and I liked it so well that I figured, what the hell, I'm going to use it in my NaNo. Davey Jones I just figured was a ridiculously appropriate name match to Nikki Swank. The Pirate and the Prostitute kind of thing. It makes me giggle every time I think about it. I think I might even give him a pirate tattoo and a ruggedly dark appearance.

What? Don't look at me like that. It's awesome and you know it.

So anyway, with some mystery tropes in mind from the earlier list I linked you, I decided that she must 1) have an office, 2) smoke cigars, 3) have a stash of bourbon or whiskey or some such other drink in her desk, 4) have a hot, possibly shirtless man (thanks DA for the suggestion, lol) walk into her office to ask for help, 5) have an entire area of her house dedicated to collections of rare and expensive cigars and alcohol, 6) play jazz music in her office to attract affluent clients, and 7) have a six shooter that somehow never runs out of bullets.

She's also about 30 years old, lives in modern times with a cell phone et al, couldn't tell you anything about the cigars or alcohol she collects (she does it because it helps her image), isn't at all familiar with jazz...

And she dies.

Now, hold on, don't have a hissy fit. I did not just give away the ending.

But I'm not going to tell you what I mean, either. Muahahaha! (You're free to guess, though, and I'd actually like to see you try!)

Anyway, I gotta cut this short. I am still at work, after all. I just wanted to share because, like I said, it makes me giggle.

Quote of the Day:

(Pirates of the Caribbean)
Barbossa: You're supposed to be dead!
Jack Sparrow: Am I not?


~Sass~

Monday, October 20, 2008

Sekwet Weaponz!

This is so priceless it needs its own MasterCard commercial. Thanks for sharing, Melanie!



Quote of the day:

(Scarface)
Tony Montana: Say hello to my little friend!


~Sass~

Friday, October 17, 2008

I Has a TWENNY FIEV!!1!!one!



Happy Birfday to me! YAY! How shall I spend the day?

1 - Goofing off at work. Oh wait, I already do that...
2 - Drinks for everyone!
3 - Pub Food, here I come. Nyam, nyam, nyam...
4 - Movie? Hmmmmmmmmm
5 - Writing. Duh!
6 - Homework. *grumble, grumble* Maybe I'll do that at work so I don't have to at home. Yes, that sounds appropriately ebil.
7 - Spamming the intarwebz with news of mai birfday!


Some other things that are 25 years old today:

Daniel Booko
Born on the same day in the same year. I don't know who he is, but he's hawt anyway!


... okay that was all I could really find for things that happened on the exact day of the exact year I was born. But here's some other leet people that were born on Oct 17th:

Rita Hayworth was born in 1918



Evel Knievel was born in 1938
... crazy bastid!



Robert Jordan was born in 1948 (holy shit we shared a birthday?)



Alan Jackson was born in 1958
... srsly.



Mr. Slim Shady himself was born in 1972




Sum popular muzak in 1983:



Eurythmics -- Sweet Dreams (Are Made of This) album released
Nena -- 99 Luftballons (99 Red Balloons) released
R.E.M. -- Murmur album released
Red Hot Chili Peppers wuz born!


What happened in TV that year?

The Disney Channel, CMT, and Spike TV (then known as "TNN" or "The Nashville Network") all began broadcasting.

Webster, The A Team, Fraggle Rock, and Love Connection made their debut.

M*A*S*H* ended. (Yes, it was that long ago.)


Feeling old yet? No? Let's look at what movies were released that year... *evil laugh*

Flashdance
Monty Python's The Meaning of Life
National Lampoon's Vacation
The Outsiders
Risky Business
Return of the Jedi
Scarface
Strange Brew ("take off, eh! hoser!")
Terms of Endearment
Trading Places
War Games


And just for fun - I Love 1983


So, what did I forget? What else happened in 1983? What were YOU doing in 1983?

Quote of the Day:

(Strange Brew)
Doug McKenzie: The power of the force has stopped you, you hosers.


~Sass~

Thursday, October 16, 2008

The Week In Funnies

Random internet browsings while trying to retain my sanity.


Beverly Hills Cthulhu -

Sure, a talking dog movie is money in the bank, but what about a talking Great Old One movie? Cthulhu is all the rage these days - there are freaking Cthulhu bunny slippers, for Yog-Sothoth's sake! And since Lovecraft's creations are all public domain, a studio could pen the script without having to license any rights. The time is ripe for Cthulhu to rise again...with a perky blond sidekick.


Upside Down Dogs




Scalzi wants his friend to dance like a monkey.

First, folks, a bit of context. Chad is, like, six feet, 28,000 inches. He’s a pretty big dude. And as everyone knows, large dudes are funny to watch dancing. But there’s more! He’s also a physicist and a fully tenured professor or such, and as well all know, the overlap between “tenured physics professors” and “adept dancers” is trivially small. Finally, Chad has a sort of gawky, innate dignity — he’s a friendly sort, but let’s just say I’ve never seen him prone to wanton acts of physical comedy.


The Last Psychiatrist reviews Wanted -

I didn't say it was good, I said it was GREAT. It contains all the elements a pathologically narcissistic and emasculated generation of men need to make themselves feel good again, without marijuana OR facebook. Let's review...


VG Cats #258: The Comedian


The 25 Most Disturbing Sex Toys
*** soooooo not safe for work ***

Hedonism got way out of a hand when the internet came along and the sex toy market exploded like, well, a bukkake video. Where once it was simple shoulder massagers and turkey basters that had to be adapted to nefarious purposes, nowadays anything you can think of (and probably a few dozen things you could never think of) are out there to give some lonely shut-in the pleasure they can't get from molesting a damp slice of bread. Things like these ...


Quote of the day:

(Scrubs)
Turk: He was up all night with a high fever, cramping and crying.
J.D.: Dude!
Turk: Oh, my bad. Not crying, punching the wall all manly and angry like, you know what I mean?


~Sass~

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Are You a Jackie or a Marilyn?

Your result for Are You a Jackie or a Marilyn? Or Someone Else? Mad Men-era Female Icon Quiz...

You Are an Ingrid!

mm.ingrid_.jpg


You are an Ingrid -- "I am unique"



Ingrids have sensitive feelings and are warm and perceptive.

How to Get Along with Me

* Give me plenty of compliments. They mean a lot to me.
* Be a supportive friend or partner. Help me to learn to love and value myself.
* Respect me for my special gifts of intuition and vision.
* Though I don't always want to be cheered up when I'm feeling melancholy, I sometimes like to have someone lighten me up a little.
* Don't tell me I'm too sensitive or that I'm overreacting!

What I Like About Being an Ingrid

* my ability to find meaning in life and to experience feeling at a deep level
* my ability to establish warm connections with people
* admiring what is noble, truthful, and beautiful in life
* my creativity, intuition, and sense of humor
* being unique and being seen as unique by others
* having aesthetic sensibilities
* being able to easily pick up the feelings of people around me<

What's Hard About Being an Ingrid

* experiencing dark moods of emptiness and despair
* feelings of self-hatred and shame; believing I don't deserve to be loved
* feeling guilty when I disappoint people
* feeling hurt or attacked when someone misundertands me
* expecting too much from myself and life
* fearing being abandoned
* obsessing over resentments
* longing for what I don't have<

Ingrids as Children Often

* have active imaginations: play creatively alone or organize playmates in original games
* are very sensitive
* feel that they don't fit in
* believe they are missing something that other people have
* attach themselves to idealized teachers, heroes, artists, etc.
* become antiauthoritarian or rebellious when criticized or not understood
* feel lonely or abandoned (perhaps as a result of a death or their parents' divorce)

Ingrids as Parents

* help their children become who they really are
* support their children's creativity and originality
* are good at helping their children get in touch with their feelings
* are sometimes overly critical or overly protective
* are usually very good with children if not too self-absorbed


Take Are You a Jackie or a Marilyn? Or Someone Else? Mad Men-era Female Icon Quiz at HelloQuizzy



But wait, there's more! The BBC has some personality (and other) tests, too!


Quote of the day:

"I have no regrets. I wouldn't have lived my life the way I did if I was going to worry about what people were going to say.” -- Ingrid Bergman


~Sass~

Thursday, October 9, 2008

On Goals and Planning

I was browsing through my list of umpteen blogs this morning when I came across C.E. Murphey's post about persuing dreams. There was a particularly lolsome statement in there I felt was worth repeating:

In the comments on Mr. Rucka’s LJ, though, somebody was talking about a friend or a sister or somebody who wanted to be (paraphrased wildly because I haven’t re-read it) a high-level New York executive, and who was just out of college and who couldn’t get the job she wanted and felt her family was stepping on her dreams by telling her to aim lower.

This, I feel, is possibly a basic problem with people pursuing their dreams: *lots* of people think they’re going to start at the top, and in fact refuse to consider starting anywhere else.

Does this sound familiar? Because I know a LOT of people that think this way. Pyramid schemers in particular. *koff*Quixstar/Amway*koff* (Yes, we do, unfortunately, know an entire family that got sucked into it. More on this later.)

C.E.'s statement there reminded me of a particular South Park episode.

Oh yes. The Underpants Gnomes.



[In the gnome's cave]
Gnome 1: This is where all our work is done.
Kyle: So what are you gonna do with all these underpants you steal?
Gnome 1: Collecting underpants is just phase one. Phase one: collect underpants.
Kyle: So what's phase two?
[Silence]
Gnome 1: Hey, what's phase two?!
Gnome 2: Phase one: we collect underpants.
Gnome 1: Ya, ya, ya. But what about phase two?
[Silence]
Gnome 2: Well, phase three is profit. Get it?
Stan: I don't get it.
Gnome 2: (Goes over to a chart on the wall) You see, Phase one: collect underpants, phase two-
[Silence]
Gnome 2: Phase three: profit.
Cartman: Oh I get it.
Stan: No you don't.
Kyle: Do you guys know anything about corporations?
Gnome 2: You bet we do.
Gnome 1: Us gnomes are geniuses at corporations.


Because this amuses me -

Quixtar/Amway business plan:

Step 1: Recruit lots of people.
Step 2: ???
Step 3: Profit!

Get it?!


Planning is important. You have to crawl before you can walk. You have to walk before you can run. (Unless you are speshul and skip straight to running, but then you lose out on necessary hand-eye coordination training. Consequences!)

C.E. talked about her plan to become a published writer. She set her goals, she worked towards those goals. She didn't expect to pull a JK Rowling and suddenly earn millions after being published (but boy that would be nice!). She set the bar at a realistic height, reached for it, and guess what? It worked.

Our friends the Quixtar minions are constantly told to write down their goals so that they keep the end in sight. This is fine, but they are specifically told to aim too high. They are told there is no limit on their dreams, and that's nice, but then they fill our friends' heads with the idea that in only a few short years they could own things like a mansion and a yacht. From Step 1: Recruit to Step 3: Profit should only take a few years and there is no end to the money they could make, etc, just as long as they keep recruiting "for the business."

Riiiiiiight.

And then they wonder why it took their mother 8 years to turn a profit on this sort of system. (My awe is two-fold here... one, that they stuck with it that long, and two, that they actually made a profit, even if it was like $100 a month.)

Do I have a plan? Of course. I'm still at Step 1: Write the damn novel. But I have a plan. I perhaps need to put a time limit on the plan to get my ass in gear... but at least I didn't expect to write a book and earn millions. (Quite the opposite, akshully. I fully expected to be a "starving artist" for a while during the whole hone-my-skills thing, but then again, that's why I still have a day job.)


So, what's your plan? Have you set realistic goals for yourselves? Are you working towards them? Or have you had a meeting with the Underpants Gnomes lately?

Quote of the Day:

(South Park)
Mr. Slave: Oh, Jesus Christ.


~Sass~

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

Good Job, Washington

It's nice to see our tax dollars at work. All 700 billion of them.

After Bailout, AIG Execs Head to California Resort
Rescued by Taxpayers, $440,000 for Retreat Including "Pedicures, Manicures"

Money well spent, don't you think?

*resists the urge to punch the monitor*




Quote of the Day:

"I don't want the world, I just want your half." -- TMBG


~Sassee~

Monday, October 6, 2008

Which Hero Are You?

Apparently I'm the young adult. lol



Quote of the Day:

(Heroes)
Ando: Every hero is on a journey to find his place in the world, it is a JOURNEY, you don't start at the end, otherwise they can't make a movie about it later.


~Sass~

Friday, October 3, 2008

I need to... oh look, a butterfly!

Time once again for a monthly AW Blog Roll. (Semi-monthly... there wasn't one for September.) This time we got started with Ralph Pines and his post Of Anxieties, Frustrations and Self Imposed Deadlines. The other day I caught the title and had one of those "heh" moments. But I wasn't next, so I waited my turn, and I'm glad I did because Unfocused Me followed up with his post about Novelus Interruptus. Sound familiar? It should. There's a similar theme going on here... procrastination. Everyone does it, some more than others. Some of us even claim that there is no way we can do anything different. It's just "how we are."

But, thank jeebus, procrastination is something you can un-train yourself to do. How, you ask. Let me tells you it, says I. (Says the person who holds a PhD in procrastination... hush, I'm working on it.)

***(TLDR warning. If you're allergic to long posts, leave now. Come to think of it, if you don't like book-sized posts, why are you reading my blog??)***

Here's where I start making my class lessons useful. There was an entire section of our book dedicated to procrastination. I was like "heh heh heh" before I read it, and then I read it and went "... oh." I'll skip the part about how to identify if you're a procrastinator. I'm pretty sure you know by now.

Or do you?

Common Characteristics:

-- They brag about it (like me saying I had a PhD in procrastination)
-- "They pride themselves on being able to do things quickly, at the last minute, and under pressure." (hmm... that's like every student anywhere, ever)
-- They wait for a push of some kind to get them going: a threat (DEADLINES! *cough*Ralph*cough*), a crisis, or some other outside force.

Warning signs:

-- Avoidance. I need to do this, this, and this, but I'll save that for later. Like you clean the whole house... except for the kitchen.
-- Excuses. I didn't start this because this came up and then I got distracted by this and then, and then, and then...
-- Quitting. Stopping halfway through or close to the end.
-- Busy Work. Start multiple tasks, jump between them all, make the smaller ones seem more important than they really are. Or, basically, aimlessly keeping yourself busy. Ties in with avoidance. (This is why I forum troll at work all day, to avoid my actual work.)

Some reasons you may procrastinate:

-- Lack of Interest/Motivation/Purpose: Boring! Who cares? Why bother? If it gets done, it gets done. If not... oh well.
-- Overestimating Time Needed: I dread doing this. I know it's going to take longer than what they told me. (big fat CHECK there)
-- Low Self-confidence: I just can't do it. What if it's not good enough? What will people think? (more than I'd like to admit, akshully)
-- Too Difficult/Complex: I don't get it. It's too confusing. Maybe it will make more sense tomorrow. (this happens during second draft phase when you try to "fix" too many things and get overwhelmed by it)
-- Overextended/Overcommitted: I already have too much on my plate. There's no way I can start that now.
-- Lack of Skills/Know-How: No one told me how to do this. How am I supposed to know what to do? (also happens in second draft phase. might even happen in first)
-- Bad Environment: There's too much noise and no place to work. I'll do the work on the weekend after I clean and when everyone is gone. Maybe. (Guilty as charged!)
-- Underestimating Time Needed: This won't take long. I'll have plenty of time to do it later. (this, my friends, is known as the "famous last words" phenomenon)


Okay, that was painfully educating, but what do I do to fix it?

I'm not going to list every single thing my book gave me. Your eyes would glaze over and you'd probably just move on to the next blog post. Here are the ones that are probably the most important when combatting procrastination and frustration:

1) Prioritize and stick to the order. No cheating. Don't skip over things you don't want to do, or you think will take too long, etc. I will add to this and tell you to do the most difficult things first. You should know this already. Now start doing it.
2) Take charge and take responsibility. I need to do this, damn it, and I will not make any more excuses.
3) Don't be such a perfectionist. It's okay if it's not perfect. As a writer, that's what revisions are for (and even then, don't expect that your revisions will be perfect). Don't get hung up on the description of your MC's house and why everything is decorated in pink because you feel it's extremely important they understand some underlying psychological thing about your character and omg if you don't do this right it really messes up some other things... stop, take a deep breath, move on. This is like battling procrastination with procrastination, but it kind of works. Move on.
4) Face your fear of failure. Who cares if you fail? Mostly, just you. This is the part where you start pooping rainbows and say "I'm good enough, I'm smart enough, and gosh darn it, people like me!" Don't think you're going to make that deadline? Well, you can stop now and fail even worse, or you can keep working and make what you DO have look like the best damn thing ever. Do eet!

Or, if you happen to like being a procrastinator and stressing yourself to an early grave, just be like this guy:




... and now that I just threw half a chapter at you, I just realized I didn't answer either of the previous bloggers' questions. Oops.

Ralph -- So, my fellow writers, how do you overcome these hurdles. Do you simply plow through? Use unusual tactics to defeat the chattering naysayers squawking in the back of your mind? Does the joy ever come back?

This is called hog-tying your inner editor with an obligatory ball-gag and sticking him (or her) in a deep, dark closet somewhere in the depths of the earth. My problem is that I silenced mine for so long she is now rebelling against me and won't work when I want her to. Don't know how to silence your editor of doom? Sign up for NaNoWriMo this year and train yourself. And yes, the joy comes back. It happens in little spurts like when you get some part of your WIP just right or maybe you typed TEH ENDZ.

Unfocused Me -- So what about you, Sassee? Do you outline, or do you just start throwing words onto the page?

Heh. O boi. Well, it's like this, see. I'm an organic seat-of-the-pants writer. I don't know why, since we *always* did outlines for our assignments for high school and I know perfectly well how to construct an outline. But I think part of it is that I get overwhelmed when I start doing an outline, I start thinking about it too much, so instead I just write and see what happens. I agree that outlining would probably be easier in the long run, but I'm one of those people that needs to be pushed into the deep end to learn how to swim so that I don't psych myself out of it. I jump in, flounder around for a while, figure out what I can handle, and THEN I start planning. I too have promised myself that I'll do an outline but realistically I don't know that I ever will. I should though, just to try something new. It might make me a better writer or something. Expanding horizons, and all that.

Psst, Feathers! You're next!


Need more to read? Follow the chain!

Neither Here Nor There...
The Unfocused Me
A Blog, I Has One (you're already here... honestly, do you need a link?)
Headdesk
Spittin' (out words) Like a Llama
Life In Scribbletown
Organized Chaos
South Asia Fair
spynotes
Fifties Nostalgia
RoseMerrie: Christian Woman

Quote of the day:

(My Name is Earl)
Earl: A purpose is a great thing to have. It gives you a reason to wake up every morning.
Randy: So, a purpose is like a box of powdered donut holes?
Earl: Exactly.


~Sass~

Thursday, October 2, 2008

Eeeeeeeeeeevil

I was excited to take this test... until I took it and realized I'm not really that evil.

Damn it. *sigh*

Looks like I have some work to do...




You Are 34% Evil



A bit of evil lurks in your heart, but you hide it well.

In some ways, you are the most dangerous kind of evil.



Quote of the day:

(Austin Powers)
Dr. Evil: Ladies and Gentlemen, Welcome to my underground Lair. I have gathered here before me the world's deadliest assassins, and yet, each of you has failed to kill Austin Powers. That makes me angry, and when Dr. Evil get angry, Mr. Bigglesworth gets upset, and when Mr. Bigglesworth gets upset people DIE!


~Sass~