ellarien: NaNo icon showing badly drawn hands writing in book (nanowrimo15)
(In other words, I'm participating in NaNoWriMo, for the fifth time since 2008.)

I even made a cover of sorts. I still have a couple of days to figure out the rest of my plot. I'm deliberately not driving myself crazy trying to follow all the plot templates at once, this time, or even worrying too much about whether my viewpoint character is a sufficiently proactive protagonist; I just want to be writing again, after a hiatus of more than a year.


Image Credits )


Dec. 22nd, 2009 09:08 am
ellarien: writing is ... (writing)
I was dozing through an interview with P.D. James on the radio this morning, in the manner in which the interview becomes a conversation in which I keep trying to interrupt and being talked over and ignored. Then the interviewer asked me for the name of the hero of my current WIP. I hedged by saying there were too many male characters and I wouldn't call any of them the hero, and then went on confidently, "but there is a female character I'd call the protagonist," ... and then found I couldn't remember her name.

I remembered the name as soon as I woke up properly, but it was a scary moment. Next year I really need to get back to that poor neglected story.
ellarien: Blue/purple pansy (Default)
The Windows 7 Upgrade setup program's background image features a cute little dove with an olive branch. What exactly is Microsoft trying to say, I wonder? Please don't hate us any more? I'll reserve judgment on that until I see what it looks like when it's done.

This was a Phoenix weekend, and I have not embarked on any ambitious writing projects. Oddly enough, a completely new story-seed did drop into my brain somewhere around Picacho Peak yesterday, complete with first scene, setting, and three-and-a-half characters. And a title: Stone and Silver. Still not going to drive myself crazy trying to Nano, though; this month is going to be tough enough without that.


Oct. 28th, 2009 09:42 pm
ellarien: nano08 participant badge (Nanowimo)
I feel vaguely as though I'm letting the side down by not attempting Nano this year, but I've seldom in my life felt less fictive than I do right now. I'm not even using my idle-time braincycles to tell myself stories very much any more; they seem to be going into beading and the current wardrobe-renewal exercise instead.

I do have a plan, though. I have nearly enough un-blogged books read this year to do a mini-bookpost every day in November, and by the end of the month there should be even more. So I'll try to do that, if the travel mid-month doesn't interfere too much.


Aug. 29th, 2009 12:28 pm
ellarien: Blue/purple pansy (nano09)
Well, maybe. Haven't really made up my mind about this one yet.

Get yours here.

State of

May. 27th, 2009 10:20 pm
ellarien: Blue/purple pansy (Default)
It's hot again -- after a brief respite of unseasonal cold and rain very much like the one we had at the same time last year -- but not unbearably so. Allergies seem to be tailing off at last, which is a relief.

We had plumbing drama at work over the weekend, mostly in the basement but resulting in there being no water in our half of the building for the last couple of days.

Schrodinger's laptop sits on the coffee table. I'll give it another day or two before I try collapsing that wavefunction. I spilled a similar amount of coffee on a keyboard at work once, and the computer guy said to leave it for a few days and then try it, and I did and it was fine. So. We'll see. And one day I may tell you the story of the computer we left out in the rain, in 1980 or thereabouts.

The Behemoth novel is itching a lot, but I haven't quite dared put hand to keyboard yet. It seems it might be a good idea to write some kind of sketch of an outline of the last twenty per cent of the thing before I plunge in.
ellarien: Behemoth 47 (Behemoth)
I have finally printed out the Behemoth novel-so-far, all 100K words of it. (85k? that was me conflating my guesstimate of 85% completion with the 85k words total I wrote last year, I think.) Twenty pages at a time, 179 pages total. Plus wastage, where it skipped a page and all the other pages in the batch are out-of-phase. Cheap laser, inexpensive paper; not professional tools.

I've had fiddlier, slower printing experiences. Like printing out my PhD thesis on a 2-min-per-page dot matrix printer with a BBC micro that could only handle about half a chapter at a time, and there was one chapter where I had to load a different set of handcrafted symbol fonts between pages. Like printing a different novel-length thing in four-sheet signatures on a 2ppm bubble-jet without a sheet feeder, hand-feeding every sheet four times. That was ... a while ago, though.

And now the laser printer wants me to order it a new cartridge. Fortunately, I did that a long time ago, and the replacement is sitting on top of my filing cabinet at work.
ellarien: Blue/purple pansy (computers)
Last night, I attempted to print out the Behemoth story-so-far. I wanted to duplex it, so I asked Word to print the odd sides of the first 50 pages. The job just sat in the printer queue, and as it wouldn't cancel I finally switched off computer and printer and went to bed. Tonight I came home, booted up the computer, and switched on the printer, which promptly spat out the job from last night. Fine, I thought, turned it over, stuck it back in the paper tray, and asked it to print the even sides. Which it did -- with page 2 on the back of 49, 4 on 47, and so on. (No standard MS format here; the idea is to have something I can carry around and read: single-spaced, Times New Roman that would be 12pt if it hadn't been scaled down to fit the markup on the page. So fifty pages is nearly a third of the whole thing.)
ellarien: writing is ... (writing)
For the first time in months, my writer-brain is itching, but I can't decide where to start. So, a poll!

[Poll #1398394]
ellarien: red beads (beading)
I just edited last night's necklace. I wasn't happy with the three central dangles: I'd picked the wrong nugget for the middle and not made the best choices for the subsidiary beads. So I cut them off and did them over, leaving out one big bead and adding three little ones and a few extra spacers, and I think I'm happier with the result.

In non-beading news, I had a couple of story ideas today. New stories, even. Voyage stories, but still. It's been a while.

It's been hot, and there's a plague of little grasshoppers. I think interesting things may be happening in the cactus garden in the next day or two; must remember to take the serious camera tomorrow. I might just park it in the office until I've caught the cacti in question.

ETA Pictorial documentation ) and to laugh at myself for hunting high and low for the big camera before remembering that I left it in the filing cabinet at work last time I used it -- nearly a month ago.
ellarien: writing is ... (writing)
It feels like a year in which I spent most of the time not writing. I do seem to have drafted about 85,000 words since Jan 1st, though -- 28K on a failed nanowrimo and the rest on the Behemoth novel mostly in an incomplete round of [livejournal.com profile] thing_in_150 earlier in the year. I didn't finish the Behemoth novel, let along the nano-thing (which is actually the exile planet novel, provisionally titled Thule), though, so I feel like a failure. Also, I didn't revise anything at all. (And I'm not at a point where I want to even think about submitting.)

I think for 2009 I should try not setting rigid wordcount goals; there are too many traps there. What I do want to try is something like writing at least something -- even if it's only a bit of outline or a few sentences -- say five days a week. The next couple of weeks are not a good time for starting new habits, as I'll be out of the country from Jan 2nd-10th, but I'll see what I can do.

Also, I know I haven't been posting much lately, and I haven't even kept up the Friday Flowers for the last couple of months. I'll try to be better about that, too.


Nov. 25th, 2008 09:43 am
ellarien: nano08 participant badge (Nanowimo)
At this point, I'm accepting that I'm not going to finish my 50,000 words in 30 days. On my showing so far, I can average a bit over 1000 words a day over normal life, but that's a strain and includes weekend days when I do little else useful. So I'm at about 27K now, and even though I'm on vacation there are too many other things I need to do. I'm not giving up entirely on the story, but I don't expect to be a Nanowrimo winner this year unless something unprecedented happens.

So I went to bed at a semi-reasonable hour last night, and this morning my right eyelid isn't twitching, for the first time this month. Next up; wash my hair and head out to the mall to see about my glasses and watch battery.
ellarien: nano08 participant badge (Nanowimo)
I'm at a bit over 8000 words. Yes, that's way off the pace; on the other hand, it's 8000+ words I didn't have before, and I've been a wee bit distracted by watching history happen. I'm also not too worried, because I wouldn't have even attempted this if I wasn't intending to take a chunk of vacation at the end of the month. It seems that I can't push myself to do more than 800 words or so on a work night, and writing early in the morning is just not possible. I am moving along faster and with less inhibition than usual, but I still have to stop and think to some extent, and ask Word what the green squiggles are about and then decide whether it's right or just blindly applying the wrong rule.


Nov. 1st, 2008 08:09 pm
ellarien: Blue/purple pansy (Default)
2633 words so far. Nanowrimo website still intermittent and not able to do wordcounts, so that's just what OpenOffice thinks. Not really into the headlong flow mode yet, but that's more than I've written in one day in quite some time.

Not convinced it's a good idea for CNN to introduce a weak satirical show at this stage in the election cycle; too hard to tell the difference between that and the following (?) serious segment with semiliterate viewer comments in the bottom-of-screen scroll.

Oh, and I've had two (R) robocalls in the last couple of days, despite there being no registered or even eligible voters here.
ellarien: nano08 participant badge (Nanowimo)
but I've signed up (under the same username). And cleaned the apartment in preparation.
ellarien: writing is ... (writing)
I'm thinking about trying something nanowrimo-ish this year, not on the Behemoth novel but on the second half of "Ambassador". I have my doubts, though. My average fiction-composition speed, as I've remarked before, is about five words a minute; my typing speed somewhere around 40. Typing flat out, I could do the 1667 in an hour a day, but can my brain generate that many words of story at that speed? Maybe a warm-up excercise would be in order ...
ellarien: writing is ... (writing)
It is now slightly thereafter ...

But that wasn't what I wanted to post about.

I'm feeling somewhat disenchanted with the Behemoth novel at the moment. It's been stalled at just over 100K words, give or take a few brief false starts, since May or thereabouts when the heat and the travel started to make it hard to keep to routine, and I can't rouse myself to much enthusiasm for finishing it. There's still a lot that needs to happen in between now and the ending, certainly more than 20K worth; hero and heroine have only just met, after a long online acquaintance, for one thing.

The trouble is, I have a horrible feeling that the words so far are not only the wrong words, but describing entirely the wrong subset of events. There's a multi-planet-spanning civilization on the verge of economic collapse in the aftermath of a war a generation ago, a tragic Ahab-esque Captain, hyperspace pirates and enigmatic aliens and a peevish semi-sentient computer ... but most of what has actually happened on stage so far seems to involve messing about with thumb drives and cellphones, drinking coffee, and trapesing through endless corridors. Once I get to the end, I'm going to have to go right back to the beginning and try to find the right bits to put in instead.

It might have been more efficient to start with a proper outline, but nothing happened when I tried to write one. If I didn't have three more or less coherent novel-length objects lying around, I'd be starting to think I wasn't cut out for this novel-writing business at all.


Sep. 1st, 2008 10:12 pm
ellarien: Behemoth 47 (Behemoth)
603 of them, to be precise.

Also, a batch of lentil pottage, a load of groceries, and a somewhat tidier bedroom and living room. (I forgot to buy coffee, though, so I'm stuck with instant in the mornings for a bit. This may actually be a good thing.)

Last Labor day I was productive because the humidity was down, I seem to remember. It wasn't today, but the temperatures were halfway reasonable, which is also a livable state of affairs. It's the heat and humidity together that make life hard, and we don't, mercifully, get that all that much here.
ellarien: Behemoth 47 (Behemoth)
I wrote 515 words tonight, which is admittedly not much, but more than I've been doing. (I got about 800 words last month; most of my computer time was going to digitizing slides.) For the record, the wordcount as of yesterday was 102,002.

The AC hasn't been fixed, I think, but mercifully the weather hasn't been too terribly hot today, so it's bearable. Sort of.
ellarien: Behemoth 47 (Behemoth)

I've been writing fairly steadily this week, in spite of the heat, and got past what had been feeling like a major hurdle.

Next week may be more problematic -- still hot, and certain unavoidable things that need to get done in the real world, as I'm off to the UK on Friday. Still, I'll try.

Mission Statement

Reading, writing, plant photography, and the small details of my life, with digressions into science and computing.



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