Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Drabble Days: Egg, If, and Frame

I missed two drabble days, so I have combined them and this week's into one drabble:

I put the last tunic in my bag.  I was ready to go.
Ready in property, anyway.  I’d never be ready to leave this place.   I glanced around my room one last time.  My eyes rested on a picture in a silver frame that sat on my nightstand.  Me, Victor, and Pansy all smiling on the day we’d found out we’d be going to the mountains.  If only we’d known then what would happen there.  I turned to my bed and touched the dragon-egg that rested upon it. Touching it sent tingles up my arm.  No more putting it off, it was time to go.  

Not my best, but it felt good to write again.  
Drabble day is a weekly meme created at The Writeaholic's Blog.  This paragraph was based on this prompt, that prompt, and this other prompt

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Character Channeling...

...is something I've found myself doing quite a bit recently. Somewhat annoying, since I do it without realizing it, but useful.  The way I character channel is hard to explain.  It's kinda like I become the character, only not.  To put it less confusingly, I pick up the character's physical behavior (walk, gestures, etc.), their way of speech, and their most prevalent emotion (which can be a problem if the character is depressed), but I still think as me.
For me there are three stimuli for character channeling: 
  1. Wearing an outfit s/he would. I put purple highlights in my hair when I got home this evening, and I noticed myself dancing to the music on Pandora more like my character Tori would (she has purple highlights too.  She's the reason I put the highlights on in the first place.)  I have this one pair of leather boots that I can channel three characters from.  Yeah, they're that cool. 
  2. Thinking excessively about the character.  This is when I don't notice channeling.  I'll unconsciously pick up on one of their traits, and start walking around the house like them. 
  3. Listening to music that reminds me of the character.  This one is mostly conscious, since I can feel my imagination slip from me to them.  Kinda like a car changes gears.
I channel characters on purpose as well, of course.  Doing that helps me brainstorm and write.  And sometimes even doing it unconsciously gives me insight into the character.

Do you character channel, or some variation thereof?  How do you do it?

Sunday, April 15, 2012

Dickens and Dragons

Charles Dickens is one of my all time favorite authors.  Last night I finished watching Bleak House for the second time.  *sigh*  Just as good as Jane Austen, if not better.  Dickens really knew how to create a twisted plot with great characters.  The heroine of the story is young Esther Summerson, who grew up as an orphan.  When Esther is an adult, she goes to live as a companion to Miss Ada Clare in Bleak House.  Ada and another young person, Richard Carstone, were wards of the late John Jarndyce, who left multiple wills, and thus a lawsuit as to who should get his money.   Richard and Ada might be recipients of that money.
Bleak House is owned by a relative of John Jarndyce (another John Jarndyce), and he takes the wards under his care, and gets Esther as a companion for Ada.
The story tells about the progress of the lawsuit about the money, Esther's parents, murder, secrets, complicated romance, and of all the many subplots. 
My summary really doesn't do it justice (plus it leaves out most of the subplots), so go read/watch it yourself.  While you're at it, look at Little Dorrit too.  My second favorite Dickens thus far.  Both are brilliant.

Dickens was really good with names.  I've had a post written on his names for a while now, and if I remember, I'll post it soon.

I think that's all I have to say on Dickens at the moment. Time to move on to dragons.
First of all, look over to my side bar.  See where I put a "follow by email" button? You do? Good. What do you think of the heading?  Does it make sense?  Or did I bury the "follow me by email" statement under too many layers of recreational word usage?

Moving on.  Sometime last week I sent my sister a phony email about dragons, and it turned into a rather silly/funny serial of emails about a mission to find pink dragons.  I've been thinking about posting the content of said emails on this here blog.  Here are the first two:

Thank you for subscribing to Dragons Are Awesome! hosted by Annoyingsister!  Your dragon fact of the minute is: According to one source, dragons come in all colors, except for pink. 

My sister's favorite color is pink.  After sending that email, I thought I'd better fix it by sending this:

We at Dragons Are Awesome! (hosted by Annoyingsister) are looking for brave souls to go on the Pink Dragons Exist Mission.  Our goal is to prove once and for all that pink dragons do exist.  This mission is not for the feint of heart, and those with severe medical problems (including but not limited to: bladder trouble, asthma, chocolate allergies, and mental disorders), queasy stomach, aversion to blood, and artificially colored hair are strongly advised to stay home and watch us on TV (the mission will be appearing on National Geographic, the Discovery Channel, and Oprah).  To sign up for this noblest of missions, simply respond to this email.  Once you do you will receive a list of supplies that are required on the adventure.
Live long and prosper,
The DAA! team 
I haven't decided on whether I'll continue to post these.  If you would like to give me input, please do so.

Saturday, April 7, 2012

An Introduction to My Writing Insanity

Yep, it's that time again!  Welcome to the Teens Can Write Too! April blog chain.  This month's prompt is:  What are your writer's habits and eccentricities?

A good prompt indeed!

Well, during NaNoWriMo I always wore a pair of greyish wool fingerless gloves that my mom made.  They're cool because they have cables on them.  Cables are cool.  I wore them  'cause they kept my hands warm and kept tendonitis at bay (mostly), but they looked good too.

Something I do on a regular basis is talk to myself.  Or, rather, my characters talk to me through me.  That sounds a bit bonkers, but 'tis none the less true.  Letting them borrow my voice gives me insight as to how they would say something.  It may be something as simple as "My name is Viola" (that one's been going through my head A LOT lately) or an entire monologue.  It's like I can hear them say it.  The tone they use, the voice inflections, the sarcasm, the smile that comes from their words as well as their facial muscles, the disgust, etc.  It makes me look crazy, but the strange looks are worth the payoff.  Of course sometimes I start talking to myself without realizing it or using the hand motions my character is using, which can get a bit awkward.

Sometimes I act out the scene that's going through my head.  This can be weird, since about half the time I do it without realizing it.  I'll be plunging a dagger at a bad guy when I realize that my fist kinda hurts from hitting the sheet cabinet (the "bad guy") a little too hard. Or swinging a cheese grater around like a sword only to turn and see my sister giving me a weird look.  Yes, I turn cheese graters into swords.  I've turned just about every kitchen utensil my family has into a weapon of some kind.  It's quite fun. 

A habit I just recently discovered I had is to open a story with a bit of back story.   This one can be a bit problematic, since the current trend is to start in the middle of the action.  We'll see how that turns out.  I may just have to find clever ways of employing the use of a prologue.

Something else I just noticed is that lately I have a thing for redheaded warrior princess type characters.  Weird huh?

Another thing I like to do is to mash two things that don't usually go together together and give them to a character as a quirk.  Like Shakespeare and spray paint.  Or wearing purple Goth style clothes and playing lead guitar in a country band.  Yes, I've done both of those, and they're some of my favorite characters.

Well, I think that's enough of my brain for you today.  Be sure to visit the gift shop and come back soon!

Here's a map of the blog chain, day by day:
(Sorry about the white background.  The BFDs [Blogger Formatting Demons] have done something weird)

April 5– http://correctingpenswelcome.wordpress.com–Comfy Sweaters, Writing, and Fish
April 6– http://towerofplot.blogspot.com — The Leaning Tower of Plot
April 7–http://lilyjenness.blogspot.com–Lily’s Notes in the Margins. YOU ARE HERE!
April 8–http://weirdalocity.wordpress.com– From My Head
April 9–http://insideliamsbrain.wordpress.com–This Page Intentionally Left Blank
April 10–http://thewordasylum.wordpress.com–The Word Asylum
April 11–http://rachelsbookreviews.com–Rachel’s Book Reviews
April 12–http://noveljourneys.wordpress.com–Novel Journeys
April 13–http://delorfinde.wordpress.com–A Farewell to Sanity
April 14–http://swordofink.com–Sword of Ink
April 15–http://thedreamersadventures.blogspot.com–The Dreamers Adventures
April 16–http://incessantdroningofaboredwriter.wordpress.com–The Incessant Droning of a Bored Writer
April 17–http://herestous.wordpress.com–Here’s To Us
April 18–http://teenscanwritetoo.wordpress.com–Teens Can Write Too! (We will be announcing the topic for next month’s chain)

Thursday, April 5, 2012

Drabble Day: Soon

Drabble Day is a meme hosted by The Writeaholic's Blog.

Here's my drabble for the prompt "soon":

“Soon” they keep saying, but when?  How is a person supposed to function under this kind of pressure?  “Soon” would have been weeks ago. I’ve been waiting months for this to all be over.  As soon as power is back in the hands of the Assembly I’ll be able to return to my life.  But, what if the power remains with Zarek? Maybe that’s why it’s taking forever; he’s still in control.  If that’s true, then everything is lost.  Rebellion isn’t far off.  Stop thinking like that, Astra.  Everything will be fine.  It has to be. They won’t, they can’t, let Zarek stay in control.  

This is supposed to be Astra thinking to herself, did it read like that?  

This drabble was interesting 'cause instead of coming up with something of the top of my head, Astra (who I'd previously invented and has been hanging around recently) came up and had me write something that would work in her story.  Apparently she wants to be written down.

Sunday, April 1, 2012

Mom! Lily's Gone All Shakespeare Again!

Beware!  My readers dearest, for last night I did watch an insult to the great name of the Bard, and now am inclined and find it within my power to to blog-rant about it.  By these warning words I declare that this post shall be written in as close a proximity to the language of the great William Shakespeare as this writer can pull from the heart and put into a mostly grammatical fashion.  Also! within these scrambled scribblings will you find the great rant monster, for 'tis he hath lead me to this blank page for the purpose of letting said monster and all vexations as to the inferiority of such a visual recording loose into the blogosphere!   I fear too, dear friends that contained within the walls of this little snow-like composition editor, I shall be inclined to use marks of exclamation so much as to defy rational thought.  Bear with me, and know the suffering of the play known as The Tempest was horrendous, and shortly you shall see that a slaughtering such as that I had to bear last even' was worthy of exclamation points so many!

The first fault I shall fill with the pudding of disgusted prose is that of the wind spirit, Ariel.  The director of this twice brine-dipped farce introduced our mischi'vous spirit as coming from a pool of water.  This, as I dost remember from the bare script o' the play, is false.  Remember that defining adjective and magical noun pair from the first sentence of this paragraph; "wind spirit".  Though 'tis possible our Ariel could preform such a feat, I find it in error.  As to the rest of Ariel's performance, it stank with the fetid smell of long dead fish.  I did not find the actor's acting appealing.  And, to worsen the picture, each time did this apparition appear, the makers of the visual recording did apply too liberally the use of computer graphics most appalling and of a kaleidoscopic nature that did clash with the setting of the play.

The next target of my ridicule is the music.  The first scene which did use the atrocious music was indeed the worst.  It combined the use of electrically powered guitar music and the awful graphics in the scene where Ariel did pour vengeance in fiery form onto the ship of the traitorous Antonio.  The music afterwards was almost as revolting, using modern instruments that felt divorced from the heart of the play.

The costumes, though more subtly ill fitting, were disappointing and beyond what I consider inappropriate for such a story.  Zippers were the main cause of my excessive eye-lolling.  Zippers? Truly?  And this be a recording t'was nominated for a best costume award of some kind!  Let me clarify myself as to the usage of zippers:  the zipping closures were only used for decorative purposes, and seemed to have no true function!  As you may see wearers of "Gothic" clothing brandishing on their persons today.  'Twas most stupid I tell you, most stupid indeed.

One last remark before I return to sanity.  The prince, Ferdinand, betwixt whose ears did lie a desert barren, lacked most completely the vocal charms that were required to serenade the lovely Miranda, and when he ope'd his lips did issue forth a song that would make wolves cover their ears!  'Twas ridiculous, and did only make more child-like his appearance. 

The makers of this moving picture I believe made a fatal error in trying to combine the classic charm of the Bard's immortal work with the troll vomit they call "modern" elements.  I do not object to taking the bare bones o' the story and creating a modern twist set in a modern time, providing it be not too far removed and make not fun of the original, but to keep a play in its original setting and then to force upon it these "modern" elements with which it doth clash 'tis most appalling, and doth nothing good to the reputation of the creators.  Acclaimed this picture may be, but only by those who see not the original for its genius and find the "modern" items appealing to their warped taste. 

Ah, I find my soul much relieved.  If you have waded thus far through my rantings and slanderings of those who reside in Hollywood, I urge you to view this retelling of the classic tale "The Three Little Pigs", told in this most wonderful form of English.  I find it quite amusing.

Now go forth and enjoy this day! May the wind be at you back, and chocolate always within your reach.