May. 20th, 2015 05:48 pm
rhienelleth: (Default)
 I'm reading this awesome writing book called Save the Cat, and it's changing the whole way I approach structuring novels. I have been restructuring Nemesis, and I think this is possibly the best thing to happen to my writing in some time. 

Anyway, one of the steps is coming up with a logline for your book. This is a one line summary that identifies your protagonist, and what they must overcome, and it should contain a sense of irony and emotional impact. A sample one for the movie Die Hard goes like this:

A street-wise cop comes to L.A. to visit his estranged wife, only to find her office building taken over by terrorists.

An enhanced, more detailed logline would be something like: On the brink of a divorce, a bullheaded, street-wise, New York cop is trapped in his wife’s office building by terrorists, and teams up with an L.A. “desk cop” to stop them; but when his taunts of the terrorists risks exposing his hostage wife’s identity, he must learn to adapt and change to outsmart the lead terrorist and prevent the true goal of a billion-dollar heist.

Here is what I have come up with for Nemesis:

A galactic courier with the outlawed gift of telepathy is searching for the mother she lost fifteen years ago, when she is kidnapped by pirates - the family who tried to kill her as a child, but now need her to embrace her gifts if any of them are to survive. 

What do you think? Would you be intrigued and want to read that book? Yes or no. All feedback is appreciated. Any suggestions for tweaking it further?

ETA: (new version)

A resourceful space pilot with a troublesome telepathic gift is searching for the mother she lost fifteen years ago, when she is kidnapped by pirates outlawed by the government for their own psychic abilities; but when she discovers her kidnappers are also the family who once tried to kill her as a child, she realizes the mystery of her mother’s disappearance holds deadlier secrets than she knew, and she must embrace her gifts if any of them are to survive. 

rhienelleth: (Default)
 World building has taken a lot more time than I anticipated. So has rewriting the opening sequence...let me see, three times. Technically, I've written more than 6,000 words since the last update. Unfortunately, most of them will probably never be used. 

So here is the "real" count, of words I am keeping:

Favorite bit:

Mercy’s memory of him was vague, now. More of an impression, one of towering size and the smell of fried food and engine grease. His thoughts were dark, malignant things that made her press hard against her mother’s leg. So young, she had no words to describe the things he imagined, but they filled her with a wordless terror. Pallas knew. She took his coin and his darkness, and left him a dazed shell of who he’d been, missing all memory of the woman and her tiny daughter, and what he’d meant to do to them.

rhienelleth: (Default)
 Thank you to everyone who commented on my Mother's Day post. It was definitely a day where I felt overwhelmed, emotionally. I'm probably not going to respond to the comments one by one, because...because I'm still feeling a bit vulnerable and I want to push forward and past it. But I appreciate every single one, so very much.


Thank you. I had forgotten how much it helped to speak into the void, as it were, especially when you hear someone answer. :)
rhienelleth: (Treon)
 There should be a word count meter update later today, but the last couple of days have pretty much been used as world building time. I needed to nail down some stuff that will have a huge impact to the entire series, and I think I've got the bare bones taken care of. Needs more fleshing out, but some of that will happen outside of writing, and some will happen organically as I write. 
rhienelleth: (mercy1)
 Hmmm. I may have to make new Mercy icons when I have time. 

Anyway, today's word count:

All new writing. Not sure if it is stuff that is going to stay with the final draft or not, but for now it is part of things and working for me. 

Favorite bit:

Choosing which ship to catch a ride on was complicated. It couldn’t have too much security. It couldn’t be too official, too wealthy, too criminal, or too desperate. It needed a Captain reluctant to turn her over to the authorities, if she was caught, and it couldn’t be someone likely to sell her off to slavers.
rhienelleth: (Cannon)
 So, some exciting things are afoot these days. One, the new job is going really well. I kind of love it, and while the teaching part is mostly fun and makes me feel like I'm using that expensive education that I will owe money on for the rest of my natural life, yes, the schedule is a HUGE part of my happiness. Why? Because it matches my husband's, and because...it LEAVES ME PLENTY OF TIME FOR MY FIRST LOVE, WRITING. (No worries, the DH knew that when he married me, and besides, he has a first love, too. We have often joked that his was actually part of our wedding vows: "...and I promise not to interfere with your soul deep need to continue training in the martial arts and go to Japan every year to train with people better than you." No, really.)

Anyway. Yes, the job goes well. The writing goes well. It makes me happy, and there is stuff that I'm SUPER excited about that I cannot talk about on social media, even a locked LJ post social media. Suffice to say, I have more incentive than ever before to get my butt into gear and whip this manuscript into shape. 

And while yes, I can take as much time as I like to do that, I am giving myself a self imposed deadline to finish the first draft by mid-June. I already have around 40k words, but I had an epiphany last night about the beginning that means I am going to have to rewrite some of them (but it will be so much better! I am excited by this, rather than put off.) So, my goal is 100k words (about) by June 15th. This should be pretty doable, given my schedule and the fact that my current job ends on May 30th, so then my schedule will be really open.

In the meantime, Mondays, Thursdays and Fridays are my lightest "work days", which means they will provide me with ample opportunity, and I plan to write every single day. If I look at it as a whole block of words (disregarding what is already written, which will give me a nice jump start anyway), I will have to write 2,325 words per day. This is totally doable. Back when I was writing all of the time, some days I averaged 5k words or more. Obviously, some days were less, but that's okay. That number isn't really accurate anyway, since like 30k words are very likely already written and won't be changing much. The point is, I've done the math and I know I can do it, and as long as I do my word count thing here and keep reasonable track, holding myself accountable, I have pretty strong faith that it will happen.  

So, be prepared for lots of daily word count updates to return. There may be small snippets. There will be pirate icons and such. I don't even know how many people are still on LJ who would remember the first time around. Hopefully it won't be too obnoxious having me post about the same thing all of time. :)

This is what they will look like:

rhienelleth: (sark killer - sheepy_hollow)
 Why did no one tell me that David Anders is on iZombie? 

Also, this show is fun and adorable. 


Apr. 16th, 2015 09:50 am
rhienelleth: (Default)
 So, I am working! TSPC finally issued my license, and I have spent this week observing classes, and I *may* be teaching for the first time today! It has been grade school special ed. I never thought grade school would be a good fit for me, but I will say these kids are adorable. Who knows, I may need to reevaluate my plans, but we'll see as we go forward and I experience actual teaching. 
rhienelleth: (Default)
I just watched Coda in S5 of TWD. )
Obviously I am back to watching the show. I am sure when I am over this latest emotional upset, I will post something positive, meaning not a rant. Because I would not still be watching if there wasn't something awful and fantastic about this show. But for now...

...for now, I am just unspeakably sad.
rhienelleth: (Default)
 So, I've been marathoning this show. I should preface this post by saying that horror is not my genre. When I was seven, my then-babysitter let me watch The Amityville Horror, which gave me nightmares. And after that, my childhood best friend and her family were huge horror buffs, and constantly rented everything from the Friday the 13th series of films, to Poltergeist, to whatever was popular at the time (unbeknownst to my parents). I can remember having nightmares about Poltergeist, too. I didn't want to be uncool in front of my friend and her family, so I watched these movies and hid my head inside my sleeping bag at the parts that were too scary for me. How old was I? Probably between 7 and 14 years old. Like many kids who are avid readers who grow up to play RPGs and write stories themselves, I had a vivid imagination. I was really good at taking the things I saw, and scaring the bejeezus out of myself with my own imaginings.

Anyway, fast forward to adulthood, and I don't watch horror movies. I never really analyzed why until recently. It was just an instant "no". When pressed, I would say I don't like being scared, and this is true. I'm not a fan of movies that make you jump. I'm even less of a fan of gratuitous gore and violence, like the Saw movies, for example. I just see no reason for those to exist, beyond carrying out someone's really sick fantasies. So, for several years now, practically everyone I know has been watching this show, and saying how awesome it is, and being absolutely floored when I say I don't watch it. 

Recently, some friends of mine got into American Horror Story. They told me how good it is, and knowing my preferences, told me I should try it anyway and see if it was something I could watch, because it is just that good. Needing something to watch while working out, I gave it a shot. I did not make it past the first episode. 

I don't know why this failed attempt led me to The Walking Dead, but it did. I was scrolling for another show to watch, and thought "WTH, I tried the other one, everyone says this one is so good, I'll try it, too." And I did. The first episode was a little slow, but the characters were intriguing. I did look away from the screen a few times during gratuitous ickiness, but I went ahead and queued up episode 2, and then 3. Sometimes, when the camera lingered too long on someone trying to make their way safely through a herd of zombies, I would fast forward, because that kind of suspense drawn out too long gives me an uncomfortable level of anxiety. But I kept watching. And the longer I watched, the more I had to know what was happening with these characters.

The upshot is, I have binge watched three and a half seasons in approximately a week. I don't know why I am able to watch this show when I couldn't watch AHS. I will say that sometimes, it makes me feel physically ill, and sometimes I have to look away and cover my ears. There have been a couple of almost-nightmares, and times when I thought I might have to step away. But I am still engaged, still want to know what is happening with these characters (Daryl, you are my favorite, although Carol is right up there.) 

I should probably put the rest of this behind a spoiler cut, just in case. )
rhienelleth: (Default)
 Hello everyone. So, now that I will largely be working from home and managing my computer things on my Mac, does anyone have a client they would recommend for managing both Dreamwidth and LJ? Maybe something that allow me to post, but also see/read my f-list from both? I will do some research, but I also thought it might be worth asking. This whole logging into both sites each morning is a little cumbersome. 
rhienelleth: (Default)
 Yesterday, I walked away from the negative job for the last time. Everyone was amazing and nice, and it made me realize that I will miss several of the people. However, several things also happened that made me so happy to know I wouldn't ever have to deal with that shit again. I also talked to the guy who is hiring me for the long term sub job (not sure if he will technically be my new boss), and that will be starting next week and I am SUPER excited about it! The HR lady should be getting ahold of me today with a copy of the contract.

You guys, from here on out my husband and I will have essentially the same schedule! I am really pumped about this aspect. I am also excited and nervous about working from home, and nervous about June when this new income goes away for three months. (Maybe I will take off my education off my resume and apply to be a barista for the summer. I know so much more about coffee now than I did back when that was my job.) They are going to send me a computer to use for work, so sadly I will not be using my beloved Mac. I suppose there are benefits to having a separate work computer, I am just sad it will be a PC. 

I would be remiss if I didn't mention that the actual teaching part makes me a little nervous, too. But I will be paired with other teachers in the beginning, so that should be pretty nifty. I'm looking forward to it. 

For now, though, I have a long weekend of no obligations. :D
rhienelleth: (Default)
...since she just had these delivered to me, and this is just one example of how she is generally awesome:

Last Day

Mar. 25th, 2015 09:10 am
rhienelleth: (Default)
I had this dream last night where I couldn't find any black thread to finish fixing this co-workers bag I'd promised to do before I was gone from this job. (I fixed the bag this morning, black thread was right where it was supposed to be.)

When that dream was done, I segued straight into another where I was trying to get back to work after my lunch break and got stuck in this theme park that was trying to be Disney-like, but made really stupid mistakes, like letting wild animals run loose with the people visiting the park, and I couldn't find my way out and the time just kept getting later and later, and for some reason I was worried about getting fired even though it was my last day of work.

Yikes subconscious, what are you trying to tell me? Is this my anxiety about leaving this negative but secure job for a more positive but unknown future? If so, lame. Very lame.

My REAL last day did get off to a super auspicious start, in the form of the world's slowest train blocking the road one block away and making me five minutes late for work. My boss, however, just laughed instead of firing me. Imagine that. And now it is time to think about cleaning out desk drawers and removing anything smacking of personal from the work computer. I know, I know, nothing personal should be there anyway. Whatever.
rhienelleth: (dragon age perceptive powers - fairiesfo)
All of my stuff is sent off to the licensing commission to get my sub license. So I can start that job next week. Keep your fingers crossed for me!

Tomorrow is my last day at the current job. I. Cannot. Wait. In the meantime, there is pretty much nothing for me to do. They've taken away almost all of my tasks except answering the phones, in preparation for me to leave. So it's look busy and talk to people about leaving all day, ha ha. Oh, and tomorrow they are doing some kind of going away party or something for me, which I find kind of ironic and ridiculous given how negative much of the environment has been.

I will start posting word counts for writing here soon. :) It is so awesome, returning to a place where I am actively writing and creating, I can't even tell you. I have had multiple people tell me how happy I must be with this life change, because I just seem so positive all of the time now. I am pretty sure it has a lot to do with writing regularly. Not that the life change hurts. ;)

I am doing some kind of Nano thing in April, so that should be a really fun push to make good headway on Nemesis.

rhienelleth: (beauty)
I am down to my last three days at the Very Negative Job. I am so excited by this, but also full of anxiety about the switch. The start date for new job has become a bit more nebulous, so I may get an extra week off, but I am also a little scared it could suddenly just disappear altogether. I think, realistically this is EXTREMELY unlikely, but the anxiety it there nonetheless.

In any case, I I DID JEWELRY THIS WEEKEND! This lovely little old man who does the courier service for my current place of employment had his wedding ring of 50+ years break, and the local jeweler told him the band was also weak on the opposing side, and therefore the entire ring shank needed to be replaced. (This was likely true. Metal hardens with continued pressure, and becomes brittle. The little old man is an avid golfer, and the way he holds his clubs apparently is constantly rubbing against his ring.) Anyway, jeweler was going to charge him $350 for this. I found this fee to be outrageously exorbitant, so I offered to fix it for him for much less. (Still making a little money, mind, but for about three hours of work, I still made a very good chunk of change and saved him a bundle in the process.)

And I got to work with gold, which I almost never do because, you know, uber expensive. I gave the ring a good cleaning and polishing, and the shank I formed to replace the old one is about .5 mm thicker than his old, extremely thin one, with a very healthy amount of hard 14k solder at each join. It should easily last him the rest of his life. Here are some pics, all polished up, probably shinier than its been in a number of decades:
See pics )

You can see just a bit how much thinner the original shank was. The new only covers the whole area where the breaks were occurring, so it should be good to go. I really hope he will be thrilled. :)

rhienelleth: (Default)
Hi LJ! Long time, no talk. *sigh*

Lately, I have really missed you. Like, really, REALLY missed you. There are things I can't talk about on Facebook, because, well, on Facebook everyone knows who I am. My boss and co-workers have me friended. I post something about a scary life change on Facebook in vague enough terms to be appropriate, and people I forgot could read it are texting my husband asking if everything is okay. (It is. Except that my husband believes Facebook is THE DEVIL, won't have anything to do with it, and then asks me things like "why for-the-love-of-God would you post anything about our lives on Facebook??" A serious introvert, he does not understand the need to talk things out when facing terrifying choices that literally effect your entire future. He's like, "but we talked with each other about it, that should be enough." *pets husband* I love you, baby, but I'm a writer. Sometimes I just have to write things out into the void, even if I get no response back.)

Anyway, this seems like a great time to resurrect LJ. I keep coming back here, meaning to be faithful, and then I'm not. But I'm making all kinds of life changes right now. Why not here, too?

So here's the deal. I finished my degree about eight months ago. That would be the soul-sucking graduate degree that I insanely decided to do after finishing my BA in English, resulting in a grand total of four years of higher education that literally sucked the creative energy right out of me. Writing for myself? Forget it. Jewelry? Eventually that had to go, too. (I believe I already posted here about the crazy/scary high blood pressure issues that required me to remove stress from my life. My BP is doing much better now, thank you.) Anyway, I finished my degree, and two things happened: 1. I found out that because my degree did not include a certification track, I could not use my newly minted MAT to actually, you know, teach in Oregon. 2. I was so paralyzed by self doubt after four years of not writing fiction, I couldn't make myself write something. I literally crippled myself creatively.

These two things led to months of unhappiness and depression, not helped by the fact that my job had become a place of constant negativity chipping away even more at my self worth every single day.

Fast forward to a few weeks ago. Two things happened. 1. After trying unsuccessfully to really write for months, I opened up the space pirates novella and read through it. Along the way, I tweaked things here and there, and then I started adding whole new scenes. And they didn't suck. I had a "light bulb" moment. If I could read this thing I had written at the height of my previous writing ability, and find things to edit and make better, I was obviously at least as good at writing now, as I was then. Maybe those years of writing literally hundreds of acamedic papers hadn't ruined me forever! (Hey, I never said my self-doubt made sense!) 2. A teacher friend of Mark's who has since moved on to administration, and administrates at one of the two virtual k-12 schools in Oregon came to us with an opportunity. He could hire me as a sub and get me a restricted sub license, so I was at least using my degrees. The catch? I still need to figure out getting fully certified in Oregon sometime in the next couple of years, which means finding a program that will let me do as little actual classes as possible and give me the needed student teaching and certification recommendation pieces. He also gave me some names at local universities to talk to. The huband and I spent three long weeks waffling about whether or not to take this opportunity. I didn't want to just make the decision emotionally because I am so unhappy at my current job. We need two incomes, so the idea of working the rest of the year at teaching and then suddenly having no income over the summer is REALLY scary. But, summer would be the perfect time for me to enroll in a cohort of whichever program I need to finish my certification, so there is that. There was lots of talking and tears. Eventually, we decided to take the chance. Next Wednesday is officially my last day at the negative job, YAY.

In the meantime, I have been writing again, and it has been glorious. I've started cleaning up the studio to do some jewelry again. I have remembered what it feels like to be doing something I love that makes me happy. I posted something on Facebook about that, about how just the act of writing creatively again was making me happy, and a friend said "Of course it is. Writing is your natural state of being."

I also started an online writing group, and as soon as I finished adding about 10k words to the novella and editing it, I sent it off to them for critique. And then I unearthed my email to and from the wonderful agent who read Nemesis way back in the day and spent a couple of very generous hours on the phone with me telling me what she felt it needed to make it better. I sent her an email, explainging why I'd disappeared off the map and failed to send her a rewrite. I explained that I was writing once again, the state of the novella, and that Nemesis would be next. She responded and said (to my vast joy and relief) that she would be happy to look at either of them when I finished.

This was my other great fear. That by taking time away from writing to finish my degrees, I had wasted an opportunity that I had spent so much time working for. Luckily, that does not appear to be the case! Words cannot describe how I felt when I read her reply, they really just cannot do it justice.

So now the novella has been e-mailed to her, and I am working on Nemesis. Full circle, f-list. Full circle. And now, here I am. Writing about it to all of you. I think LJ will be the next great thing I resurrect into my life, along with writing, jewelry, and oh yes, happiness.
rhienelleth: (obi-wan_satine)

Star Wars: Rebels premiered last week. (For those who missed it, it is re-airing tonight on Disney XD, and is also available on OnDemand.) The husband and I watched it over the weekend.

It should be made clear that we are of course giant Star Wars geeks. And that we absolutely loved the previous series on the Cartoon Network, The Clone Wars. We were very sad when that series came to a rather abrupt end after the acquiring of SW by Disney. (We harbor hopes that at some point on this new series, we will find out spoilers )

Cut for spoilers )

On writing

Oct. 2nd, 2014 08:58 am
rhienelleth: (Default)
So, yesterday I wrote 2000 words. It wasn't anything epic. Just a short ficlet based off a prompt. But I wrote, and I fell right back into the rhythm of fitting words together to say what I wanted to convey, and it didn't completely suck! I could feel myself being a little bit creaky and rusty, but not anywhere nearly as bad as I had feared. When I finished it, I felt a sense of victory and relief; maybe this will finally convince whatever part of myself is doubting that I can still write despite the last few years of academia interfering.

I am on to the next prompt today. Please feel free to leave me a prompt if you are so inclined. :)


rhienelleth: (Default)

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