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All the professional authors I stalk on livejournal know one another and they've been doing this meme of first lines. They post the first lines of all the stories they've been working on in the past year or so. It's a writer thing, so there's only one other person on my lj that I think might perpetuate this, but I would like to, just to say I'm doing a meme with elizabeth bear and marie brennan, even if they'll never look at it because they don't know me.

Anyway; so my works in progress or finished stories for this last year are:

"Bitch in Heat" - "Are you sure this stuff'll work?" Ted glanced nervously at the small bottle of yellow liquid in Monty's hand.

Flash fiction that actually got published. It's short and cute in the vicious dog way, and that's all it could hope to be.

"The Eyelet Dove" - Maddie's father was a glass blower, and thus had Maddie come by a strong sense of things that were fragile, such as vases, stained glass windows, and the status quo.
This is the current first line. I'm not entirely happy with it, but it was an attempt at making Maddie a more interesting character. I think I need to think her though a bit better. Once I'm finished editing "The Box", I will start working on this one in earnest.

"The Box" - Feisal lived in the Right Lily orphanage, a large building built of sand coloured mud that kept it cool in the hot summers of Casparia.

My nano novel. I'm quite proud of having managed nano, and also of how well the story actually came out. The edits are going well.

"Blood and Snow" - It has not been winter in Iskale since the day I was born.

The title is mediocre, but the first line is the most kickass first line I've so far written.

"The Eternal Army Of Kharduev" - On the 18th day of the Gottmen's invasion of Kharduev, Nikolai Rusnikov of the first battalion of cannoneers was struck in the head with canister shot and killed.

I really like this story too. Unfortunately no one willing to pay me for it has yet. Still working on it, but I think I've got the story as polished as it's gonna get. It was a stretch for me; not something I normally write.

Molt #4

Feb. 4th, 2010 05:19 pm
cl0ckw0rkf0x: (Default)
The creature has molted again. I've been checking her two or three times a day for the last week waiting for it, because by now I can tell when it's coming pretty well. Might have taken longer due to the apartment being chilly and dry. But she looks ok from here. She hasn't come out yet, so I don't know what her new leg span will be, but will post picks when she does.
cl0ckw0rkf0x: (Default)
A couple of years ago, I switched to using Open Office, because it was free and non-Microsoft. About six months ago, I realized that the reason my typo situation has become so horribly deplorable is not because I've been freeing myself to fix those things later, but because I no longer have Microsoft's auto correct fixing things for me and underlining things it thinks are wrong so I can catch myself as I type. Unlike some, this has never slowed down my creative process. That, and Open Office has some file compatibility issues. It likes to put grey spaces in place of tabs at the beginning of paragraphs if I download a file off of google docs, and it's annoying to fix. *That* slows down my creative process; the having to fix things when I'm wanting to sit down and work.

So I set about going back to Word. But I wasn't going to pay for it. The only hack I could find doesn't work because I had a sample version, not a trial version, that came with my computer. Trying to order it from work has been a hassle, and still would cost around $30, but with the transition to HP, I'm not even sure if the link I have to buy it is still valid. I don't want to use my old Office 95 version, because it doesn't have as sophisticated an autocorrect function, and I'll end up having problems opening docx files, if I ever have to.

I have finally found a solution, though. The Beta version of Office 2010 is available. Don't know how long that will work for me, but I will continue with that until a work copy is more easily available. I know I'm a microsoft whore, but I'm a cheap one.
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I've turned the apartment upside down looking for the owner's manual for my sewing machine to figure out how to work the button holer. I still can't find it. I've spend two days looking for it. I have given up. I can't find a copy online, not even to buy.

So I've spent the last three hours beating my head against the wall, trying to figure out the one-step button holer on my own. It's been an adventure, however, I have ended the night with one successful buttonhole.

It also has a button sewing foot, but nothing to raise the button up to sew it with the proper spacing between the button and the fabric...

Another day.
cl0ckw0rkf0x: (Default)
Recent progress on the winter coat:

I did a fair bit more work on it tonight, but I don't have a pic yet. The sleeves and lining are attached. One or two more evenings of work and it should be done, now.


Dec. 27th, 2009 12:51 pm
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My computer has been acting up for weeks; windows explorer has been terribly slow; taking a minute and a half typically to open a folder on the desktop with two rtfs in it. I tried killing half the processes that were running in task manager, to no avail. Then I downloaded AVG for a virus scan, and that fixed it. It didn't find anything; it ran a scan and said no dangerous programs detected, and didn't clean anything out. But as soon as it was finished updating, the windows explorer thing went away.

cl0ckw0rkf0x: (Default)
I just thought about it, I had ten index cards with like, four to six lines each scribbled on them for an outline, and about five characters planned, at the start. And from that I got 50K. The Eyelet Dove had a ten page outline, and twenty characters planned.

Dove is gonna be a doorstopper.
cl0ckw0rkf0x: (Default)
This coat is taking longer than I thought. The three layers (shell, thinsulate, and flannel backed satin lining) have made the pattern complicated. I would like to make the same pattern as a fall jacket, perhaps with a different fabric, and it would take half as long.

But the three layers have made things interesting, especially since one layer is the thinsulate, which is *very* thick. In places, I'm ending up having to sew through four layers of it, on top of four layers of denim; I'm amazed that my sewing machine has not complained, or really had trouble dealing with it at all. It's a good little machine, this new one - I love it.

I hope to have it finished sometime next week, since I probably won't have time to work on it over christmas weekend. Hmm, I wonder if I could take it to Dad's house to work on it. Then I could work on it with grandma. I bet grandma would like that. Yeah, as long as I have a ride.
cl0ckw0rkf0x: (Default)
I just watched avatar. I saw the previews and I thought, wow, that's so pretty, I have to see it. It probably has the most predictable plot in the world, but the pretty is, from the preview, almost guaranteed to make up for it.

It has a predictable plot; there was no turn I didn't expect, but at the same time, it's the sort of plot that is can mainly only go one way without being disappointing. And they didn't screw it up anywhere. It basically dances with wolves, only with natives from another planet.

But the worldbuilding was Fucking amazing. The glowy pretty!!! And on top of glowy pretty, the glowy pretty is plot related. The worldbuilding takes the animist religion, and brings it to a whole new level. The natives are humanoid, familiar enough expressions to be recognized by the audience, yet their movement and sounds, intonation, are unfamiliar enough to give the audience the sense of separateness, even if it's no further off from north american mannerisms and speech than that of another earth culture.

In other news; I got my anniversary present two days early, since we were out celebrating with dinner and a movie, cause the actual anniversary is on monday. Gold dangly earings with drop pearls. They're gorgeous. Modeled after a pair that I saw at roger watsons for a while that they don't have any more, but they remember them and the specialize in custom made jewellery (we got our rings made there), and the made a pair just like them. I had thought the pearls were a tad big, but when I put them on, they're actually just the right size. Mind you, they might still be a bit big for someone younger, but I'm old enough to wear a woman's jewellery now.
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I have finished editing Blood and Snow, and it still hasn't cracked 10k words, so it's still very much saleable. I really liked that story, and I think I will write a novel sequel to it. With a new main character. Just, in the same world, and throwing the new main character into a very similar position to the old main character, but have the new one deal with it very differently. I think it's one of my best works thus far.
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So like three months ago, Thaumatrope was looking for steampunk stuff in 140 characters or less. So I took one of my planned lines from the Eyelet dove, squeezed the meaningful bits into a phrase that says more than it says, and sent it to them and they just sent me back saying it was accepted. And though it's too short to be considered a pro publication, it's the first paid one to my name. Even though the payment is $1.20, and paypal transfer fees will eat it.

I am a paid author :P
cl0ckw0rkf0x: (Default)
Elizabeth bear is a member on the OWW, and active on it's mailing list. She's got a ton of novels published in the last couple years, won several awards, and yet, this is the first thing I've picked up and read by her. But it was awesome in the way that I love Peter S. Beagle.

The Harpy in the last unicorn has always fascinated me. Celaeno was the only other creature in Mommy Fortuna's midnight carnival that was real, and not enhanced by an illusion. And she was a creature full of pure, unmitigated hatred and violence. This story fulfilled it.

You should read it:

Adopt one today!

dec 1st

Dec. 1st, 2009 06:29 pm
cl0ckw0rkf0x: (Default)
And now I reward myself by rotting my brain with the most graphics card intensive MMO I could find.


Nov. 30th, 2009 08:58 pm
cl0ckw0rkf0x: (Default)

*looks out, dazed at the bright light as she crawls back out into the word. World. I meant world.*

That's it. After trying three years, I made it on year 4. It was really all about pacing my self, but I still don't think I could have done it without taking those two weeks off work. But yeah. The words are finished, and the last line of the epilogue is written. There's one scene that's half finished because it was added because I meant to put it in, wasn't inspired at the time it was supposed to go in, then I needed words at the end, so went back and added it, and got halfway through before winning. There's also a couple characters I need to unkill, because they evolved into characters that don't die. so at this point, they have death scenes and then the story continues as if they hadn't died. That's nano. I'll fix it later.

That said, I do realize my approach to writing (outlining beforehand) does mean that the finished result, despite the lack of follow through on some of the deaths, is somewhat more coherent than much of what gets written during nano. Which may be a large part of why I've struggled with winning in previous years. I just can't bring myself to write something I *know* I'm going to cut. I can write something I don't know for sure if I'll keep, but I can't write something I know I won't. So all in all, though it needs a *really* good edit, I think the story could be definitely made publishable.


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