Sunday, July 26, 2009

A Quick Sunday Update

Friday night I got around 2500 words, and last night I got 2217 words. The story has really come easily. I'm enjoying the quickness with which it's flowing. And the story is so unique and bizarre that it's keeping me wondering what's gonna happen next, even though I've already plotted it out.

Anyway, besides that, I finished Hawkspar by Holly Lisle a couple of days ago. Fantastic book. I couldn't put it down until I was done. It's the sequel to Talyn, which made quite a splash when it came out. If anyone hasn't read it, I recommend going out and getting a copy right now. You'll be glad you did.

That's really all for, just wanted to pop in and update quickly. Hope everyone's been having a great weekend.

Thursday, July 23, 2009

First Impressions

This isn't a blog post about first impressions in the business world -- although it would be a great subject: comparing first impressions in other areas to your writing. Not to self: get on that one.

Anyway, this is just my first impressions on a few things. First of all, I got to see the new Harry Potter movie over the weekend. It was absolutely phenomenal. In my opinion, it was the best one out of all of them -- leaps and bounds better than the last one. You can tell that the original writer is back after letting someone else take over for the 5th one. The diaglogue, pacing, action, all great.

I have two complaints off the top of my head. The final scene should have had Ginny in it. I understand that the scene was showing how the trio started together and would finish together -- sort of a symbolic scene summarizing their friendship -- but Ginny was built up so much in the movie, I felt she became sort of forgotten in favor of action scenes at the end.

And, there was one moment where the cutting from one shot to the other was a little abrupt and awkward. But other than that? Amazing. Absolutely breath taking.

And the man who did the score did a pretty good job. There were moments where I just noticed how fantastic the score really was.

The movie did a great job of getting me excited for Deathly Hallows part 1 and 2. Especially since Steve Kloves is writing this one, too, and John Williams is returning to compose the score for this one -- he was the man who composed the score for the first three movies. And David Yates really proved his chops with this one, so I can't wait to see how he pulls off the final 2 movies.

Anyway, and also, I've been trying out a program that I found and was very interested in a while back, but felt it was too big for me. It's called yWriter, and it's the free, PC answer to Holly Lisle's Scrivener. Everything that Holly says Scrivener does, as far as I can tell, yWriter does as well, and since I don't have a Mac, this is an answer to my prayers. Version 5 is actually the newest version out, but for some reason a run through Google only brought me the logo for the 4th version, but you get the gist.

I was hesitant about downloading it, not because it seemed like a bad software, but because it seemed way too much for what I've been focusing on. I've been trying to write short stories lately to practice my craft and my ability to tell a story before I work on writing a novel and this software just seemed like way too much. Great for novels -- long sprawling things that they are -- but just too much for a tiny, little short story.

I was wrong. This thing is great. In about 30 minutes I had worked out not only my main characters, I have my plot lined out, and it even has an area that keeps track of your writing goals. Input a start date and a finish date and the number of words you want in your story and it calculates how many you need per day to meet your goal.

Pretty user-friendly once you poke around a bit. It can be very simple -- offering just a bare-bones notes area -- or it can be amazingly complex in helping you remember subplots, side characters, locations, dates, items that you introduced that don't need to be forgotten. It'll even help you remember that a character that died in chapter 17 showed back up across the country in chapter 22.

All in all, I'm very impressed with this handy little piece of software, and look forward to using in all of my future projects. It may give me the kick in my pants I need to get writing sometimes.

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Let the Countdown Begin!

25 Days

25 Days until I go back to college. My girlfriend leaves two days early, and I'll be going to help her move in, and I may leave the day before I have to go back up so that I can get there early to move in.

Just thought I'd pop in and update a little. It's been busy. Last week was full time, and this week is back to part time, but I still have two weeks of work left.

Sunday, July 12, 2009

Book Giveaway!

If you're a frequenter of Lynn Viehl's blog, you know she talks highly of Marjorie M. Liu's writing ability. You'd also know that she's got a new book coming out -- Darkness Calls. Well, over at Bibliophiles 'R' Us, they're having a giveaway of the first book in the series -- The Iron Hunt. Pop on over if you want a chance to win. Contest ends July 14.

*Edit* Feel free to stop by Sweeps4Bloggers for their giveaway of Dead Men's Boots by Mike Carey as well.

*Edit numero dos* -- 7/14/09 -- if you're itching for a chance to read The Iron Hunt or her new book, Lynn Viehl is giving away copies of them and some of her novels during her "Left Behind and Loving It" week.

Saturday, July 11, 2009

Bad News, Good News, and Other Random Junk

I hope everyone had a good fourth of July weekend, and I hope that this weekend is going well, too.

My fourth of July was a fascinating example of things being great and tragic all at the same time. I decided to go with my girlfriend and make a trip to my college town to enjoy a nice day out with my girlfriend and my best friend. I figured we'd piddle during the day, and then watch the fireworks show in the park that night.

The trip up there was tons of fun. I love going on road trips with my girlfriend. We argue, we debate, we laugh, we joke, we play with the radio -- we have a great time. The whole trip up there we took turns picking music to listen to and laughing and telling stories. That's when disaster struck. A gaggle of buzzards were enjoying their mid morning breakfast when I slammed into one by accident -- it chose to fly straight and race my car rather than veer to the right. My stomach turned as I heard a glorious thump and crack, and saw, to my dismay, my mirror dangling from my car.

After stopping my car, looking at the damage, and swearing a lot more than I'm proud to admit, my girlfriend calmed me down and convinced me that everything would be okay. A quick stop at an auto parts store revealed that a new mirror would be $64. I'll never make a visit to them again, though. They offered the suggestion of duct tape to hold my mirror in place until I got home and could find another solution, and as the man spoke, he grabbed some duct tape that they had been using -- 3/4 gone -- and proceeded to tape my mirror to my door. It was a terrible job, but it would hold for a while. They proceeded to charge for the duct tape. Jerks.

It was great, though. I got over it, and I had a blast. When it came time for the fireworks, the heavens opened up and produced a hellstorm of rain and thunder. When I had to go back home, it rained so hard I was driving 10 mph at one point, hoping to find a place to pull over to wait out the storm.

Despite it all, I had fun.

Friday was my girlfriend's and my 3 month anniversary. To celebrate, we went to the city. We couldn't see the movies we wanted to see, because my girlfriend forgot to bring her ID, and so they refused to sell her the tickets -- R rated. So, instead, we went and watched The Proposal. It was cute, and Betty White was great. Yes, I know who Betty White is.

Anyway, it was a fantastic date day. We got lunch from Subway, and then ate it in the park. We noticed, at one point, that a train ran around the park. At my insistence, we rode the train around the park twice. It was funny, silly, and romantic. I had a blast. She had a blast. And we were very happy.

Anyway, so that's all the updates I've got. I've written a little, but not a lot. What do you do when you planned to write a short story, and the short story seems like it's going to expand much larger than you intended? It seems like it could extend into a full book. I guess I write the book? Do I set it aside and write something else for now -- since I don't really have time to write a book? I dunno. It's an interesting development.

Saturday, July 4, 2009

Happy Independence Day

Here's wishing you a happy 4th of July weekend from SoaM. I'll be heading out soon to go see one of my friends from college with my girlfriend, and I'll be out 'til Monday, so until then, take care, and don't blow off any limbs with fireworks, please. Be safe.