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Showing posts from 2016

Psychology for Writers

As part of my research for Head Games, I've been reading into what my psychologist/psychiatrist team would be doing for our heroes.
The Writer's Guide to Psychology by Dr. Carolyn Kaufman has been really helpful in this aspect.  Sadly, she passed away a few years ago, but her work remains an excellent resource.  She explains things in ways people with no training would understand, but doesn't dumb it down so much that you're bored if you have some knowledge of psychology.
Even if you're not a writer, but just a fan of mental health issues and disorders in pop culture, you might enjoy this book.  Kaufman includes examples, both good and bad, from popular media (up to publication in 2010), always with explanations of what it would look like in real life.
There are extensive explanations of the most common mental health disorders, broken down into related sections.  This helps keep similar disorders separate  (like schizophrenia vs. schizo-affective) and dispel common …

Head Games: The Next Project

I am ecstatic to announce my next project, Head Games!

 The origin story on this one is a bit mussed.  I've been sitting on this idea since before I started writing Spitfire, so, a few years.
I was contemplating the Hulk one afternoon, as one does.  It makes sense that he gets giant and violent when he's angry (unless you buy that he's always angry), but I never got why he turned green.  I started thinking about what emotions would look like as superpowers.  I imagined a little girl literally glowing with joy, reading a book by her own light under the covers long after her bedtime.  And it kept going from there.  But most powers were painful in their first showing.  For example, a flash of light from a burst of joy would blind anyone close enough.

So I have a group of people with emotional superpowers.  But they're also super messed up because of what happened when their powers first showed.  And anyone who is ever been told to smile knows that you don't get to t…

NaNo 2016!

Hello Friends!

Even though I haven't been blogging, I have been writing!  I have been using Twine to work on a short story idea I've had in the hopes of putting it up on the Episode platform once I get it finished.  It will be a lot of work even beyond the writing, since programming is not my thing and this is a period piece which will take some rigging of the normal Episode set pieces and character clothes.  But I believe in me.  And I believe Episode can stand to stretch its boundaries beyond the stories that are most common.

I've also been working with our local BCS Writing group, which is essentially our off-season NaNo group.  We've had some neat presentations and workshops by our writers this year, which has helped me keep up the drive to write.

Which brings me to why you're really here!
National Novel Writing Month is almost here!  This year I'm a Municipal Liaison for the Bryan/College Station region, along with two wonderful MLs that have been doing …

Southern Reach Review

What follows will sound like a backhanded compliment, and I want to clarify that it is not intended that way.  Rather, it is stated in this way to highlight the skill of Jeff VanderMeer.

     The Southern Reach Trilogy is the best work I have read where basically nothing happens.

     Now, those of you that have read the series might be objecting quite loudly at this point.  A lot happens in the story.  There's an expedition to gather information about an unknown environmental occurrence.  There's shadowy government agencies.  There's mind-bending multi-dimensional/monster/alien/God-knows-what things happening.  There's verbal sparring.  There's guns.  Sometimes they even get fired.

     But you know what happens most of all?

     Navel gazing.

     Deep, deep, POV for these books.  First person for the first book, Third person for the second, and a mixture of second, third, and a tiny bit of first in the third book, as VanderMeer wraps up the loose ends.  And…


This week has been incredibly emotionally draining.

Oh Icharus!  Is that the sun you fly towards?
Our wings are strong.  I made them.  
They have carried us this far.
Lo, your wax is melting,
But the sun does not push you away;
It consumes you.

Over the course of this last year and a half, I have been thinking about the phrase "to work tirelessly."  On face value, you keep working when you get tired.  But in reality, it means there is no stopping point.  There is no giving up.  In the absence of a door, in the face of an unscaleable wall, you get out the sledgehammer and carry on.

Violence like we've seen this week produces the kind of feeling in the pit of my stomach that makes me want to fall over the back of the chair to vomit to have done with it.  But the response I have seen reaffirms in me that if a few people can cause this much pain, every person that decides to value life, to hold out mercy, to expect and pray for the best, can overcome that hate.

Oh sun! You burn w…

... something about the best laid plans ...

Hey everyone, it's Friday and I hope you're enjoying what life offers instead of staring at this screen, hoping the internet will entertain you once more.

Not that I'm not glad you're here.  It can get lonely sometimes.

So, I started work, and that ate a week.  Then I went on vacation, and that ate another week.  But I got to do some awesome stuff and meet some awesome people, so I'm not sad.

I've worked some on The Neif , but most of that has been trying to catch up to where I was when I paused writing it.  Due to me not being as paranoid as I should be, about 10K words of The Neif were lost.  ALWAYS BACK UP YOUR WORK.  DO NOT TRUST "THE CLOUD" TO KEEP IT SAFE.  The internet is terrible about hanging on to things that you'd really rather stuck around.  So, that's what's been up.

I am participating in Camp NaNoWriMo starting today, which is awesome.  It's basically a chilled out version of NaNoWriMo, where you can set your own wordcou…


Hey friends!  It's Friday already?

I've been thinking about what I have to do to finish my current projects, and how to stay on track with finishing those and starting new ones.  Sometimes Pinterest brings you what you need, and this time it brought me to Kristen Kieffer'sShe's Novel site and the post about the Drafting Cycle.

You can (and you should) go to her site and read all about it.  Instead of pushing through each of my projects to the point I'm exhausted and no longer care about them, I'm going to alternate month by month to keep my momentum.  Here's what that's going to look like:

     June: finish draft of The Neif

     July: finish draft of Spitfire (and Camp NaNoWriMo!)

     August: finish draft of/edit The Neif

     September: finish draft of/edit Spitfire

     October: Prep for NaNoWriMo

     November: NaNo '16!

I have more to finish of The Neif than of Spitfire, so I'm hoping the push of Camp Nano in July will help me get caught up.  I…

Coming Down the Pipe

Hello friends!  Happy Friday!

Haven't gotten to check/update everything on the blog just yet.  Still a work in progress.

If you recall, way way back in August, my awesome friend Leah did a guest post for me about visual novels, which was a great way to introduce you guys to some alternate forms of interactive storytelling.  I'm going to introduce you today to some other forms you may or may not have seen, because this is the format I'm exploring for my next project.  I haven't decided on one in particular, I'm still weighing my options, but it will incorporate reader choices that directly affect story consequences.

Why reader choice?  Why not just tell the story?

Some time last year, I was watching a Let's Play of the game Brothers: A Tale of Two Sons.  At one point, one character is burying someone he loves.  The digging of the grave is shown as a cut scene, but the player is then given control and has to drag the body of the loved one into the grave in order t…

I'm Back!

Happy Friday Friends!  It is so good to be back here with you guys.

It feels like forever since I last posted (November 1st!  Yikes!) so here's what's been going on.  I FINISHED SCHOOL!  And I am set to graduate next Friday.  I've been dreaming up new ideas for stories and working on writing workshops with a local writing group, BCS Writing.  I'm super excited to have a bit more time now to dedicate to my creative pursuits.  This week and next week I'll be going through my posts and making sure that links still work and images still display properly.  I've changed the mobile platform look and I'll probably be changing this layout also.  If you have opinions on any of those things, let me know.

Since I'm graduating next Friday, there won't be a post next week, but look for one on the 27th.