Thursday, March 30, 2006

What kind of character is hardest for you to write?

I guess I would divide my world of characters into five:

My protagonist is usually smart, or smarter than the surrounding characters in some ways. At the same time s/he is far from perfect and is struggling with internal problems. Can be tormented, but doesn't have to be. Strong and weak.

Perhaps it's because I'm mostly into science-fiction and literary fiction that I tend not to have antagonists per se. My conflict rises from within usually or from problems with the science. Sometimes I have an antagonist (usually smart) who is more of a troubled character - not all bad, but certainly not good either, especially their actions.

Support Cast
The good - I almost always have a conscience character. Don't know why, but my protagonist needs a compass. Why can't s/he figure things out on their own? I'm not sure. Maybe because that's life? Maybe because when we're so involved in things we can't see them clearly from the inside? These support characters are usually the tormented or sad ones.

The ordinary - Very problematic these ordinary characters are. I work hard not to make them too boring, but they're just fillers. Necessary with small parts. Or are they necessary?

Finally - the funny ones. Everybody (fictional and real) likes these characters, and for me it's the light, funny characters everybody likes that I can't write worth a damn.
I don't know how to do comedy and despite having sense of humour (I think/hope/believe I do anyways), I can't write it.
I remember how my writing group used to ask me if I had written one thing or another just to be funny, and I would redden and nod. They would then mumble something along the lines that it's okay then, but that I should otherwise delete it.
I just can't be funny or have comic relief characters. And I really wish I did because they really are so lovable and add another dimension to fictional works.

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Sunday, March 26, 2006

Weekend Stuff: Poetry, Science, Arts and Writing

Whale Poetry
I read in Live Science yesterday - Grammar Revealed in the Love Songs of Whales
Well, you know I don't do poetry, but this is different:
The love song of a humpback whale sounds magnificently free-flowing and improvised to the casual human listener.

But fresh mathematical analysis of shows there are complex grammatical rules. Using syntax, the whales combine sounds into phrases, which they further weave into hours-long melodies packed with information.

Art and Science
You know how much I love combining the sciences with the arts. Apparently, I'm not the only one. The Nation has an article reviewing The Discoveries: Great Breakthroughs in 20th Century Science, Including the Original Papers by Alan Lightman.
In this book Lightman collected not only important breakthroughs but the papers the scientists wrote about them, claiming these papers have artistic merit:
Lightman seems to believe that the original articles have an aesthetic value in themselves. "Like poetry these papers have their internal rhythms, their images, their beautiful cystallizations, their sometimes fleeting truths," he writes, somewhat feverishly. They are "the great novels and symphonies of science."

Wikipedia vs. Encyclopaedia Britannica
I use wikipedia quite a bit despite it coming under attack about inaccuracies a few months ago. I do try to make sure that I use it more for general things rather than details. I trust the details less as they would attract less attention from other knowledgeable persons and would therefore be corrected less often.
However, according to Nature, similar amount of inaccuracies exist in Britanicca as well. I couldn't get the original Nature article, so this is just a fallout in BBC.

Grade 8 Math
Finally, from The Soapbox a little test of your Grade 8 math. Naturally, I got an A+ (10/10). Not trying to be obnoxious, just my geek facts of life...
Test your grade 8 math

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Friday, March 24, 2006

What is Crazy? - My Crazy Cousin's Wedding

I've told you about my crazy cousin last week or so.

Well, I've been to his wedding last night. It was beautiful, small and low-key. Both bride and groom were very "shanti" like, simple. They wore sandals, plain clothes and the food was vegetarian.

All in all, it was an amazing wedding. Just beautiful and happy.

My cousin remained himself. Hasn't changed much. He didn't look me in the eye when we spoke, he got very excited and embarrassed when the attention turned to him (which was a problem since he was the groom) so he looked down the whole ceremony, he got very emotional on a number of occasions and he wasn't sure how to handle himself around so many people. But other than that he looked good and I was so happy. The poor guy, when I first saw him I hugged him and didn't let him go for a few minutes, although I did manage not to weep.

My crazy cousin is still somewhat of a fanatic, but he works for a foundation that takes care of stray dogs and he and his wife want to adopt a child with retardation or disability. They're unbelievable.

My crazy cousin always did, and still does, teach me a thing or two about giving, humility and being content with one's life.

I love my crazy cousin who I start suspecting more and more isn't crazy at all, only the victim of wrong choices (made with the best intentions) that didn't help the problems he does have (I suspect some emotional problems, learning disabilities and ADHD), but rather made them worse, and didn't help him or give him the tools he needed to learn how to handle and deal with society and people around him in the best way possible.

I wish his childhood was different.

My crazy cousin is well respected and loved among his peers and his wife's family. He only remains crazy among my family. He's my crazy cousin.

Tuesday, March 21, 2006

I feel like... a four-letter word

Just as I thought, I had all the incompatibility issues fixed by Sunday, however, something unexpected came up. I got sick. I'm in bed with fever. Yuck! Although I am using my laptop. Connected.

I feel like uttering a string of four-letter words, only I was never that good at cussing, so I'm left with the bland two familiar words, the F one and the shite one.

I hope that by tomorrow or Thursday... you know the rest.

Good authors too who once knew better words
Now only use four-letter words
Writing prose.
Anything goes.
Cole Porter, "Anything Goes"

Friday, March 17, 2006

A Lonely Update

I thought I was going to have a good internet access where I'm staying and that you wouldn't even notice I'm away. But as it turns out, I have very no access due to some incompatibility issues which I hope to solve by Sunday or Monday.

Please bear with me until then.

As always, no internet connection increases my writing productivity, but believe it or not, it also makes me more tired. Does this make sense?

I might still show up intermittently when I can use the computer I'm on now (not mine). But otherwise, my laptop is a standalone. How odd!

Wednesday, March 15, 2006

Infodumps and Self-Consciousness

Yes, I'm talking infodump because I'm writing one now.

With my first few infodumps, I had no idea I was writing one until people pointed it out to me and said that my infodumps were well done.

Then, whenever I'd write an infodump I'd be aware that this was what I was doing, and before I knew it, lo and behold, they started sucking.

In one sucky instant, for example, I had a dialogue infodump where the protagonist was bored because he already knew everything that was conveyed to him. Guess what, usually if the protagonist is bored, so is the reader.

So now I seem unable to write a good infodump only because I am aware that it might be viewed as such and despite the fact that I used to be able to write them seamlessly.

This is but one case where ignorance is bliss and perhaps this is why I don't like books about writing. Books about writing make me very self-conscious and being self-conscious hinders my writing process as I'm editing my writing even before I write.

Naturally I'm exaggerating slightly, but I believe I made my point and that you can forgive my little angst here and dismiss it to being due to temporary frustration.

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Monday, March 13, 2006

Writing News, TV Shows and Movies

I won't be posting again until Thursday in all likelihood so here's a last post:

The Dan Brown Saga Continues
Dan Brown is apparently "astounded" at the allegations against him. You can read it here.

Agent 007: "As a general rule, writers do. Agents don't."
I don't know if it's true, but Agent 007 believes writers tend to "do" more things in their lives or go through more things. Very interesting. I'm probably not doing it justice so you'd better go read for yourself.

The Sopranos
I've never watched until last night.
I mean, I was familiar with the character vaguely, watching here and there, but never a whole episode. As it is, I liked last night's episode. I found it funny too in parts.
So far my aversion of The Sopranos came from the belief that he and his lifestyle are glorified in the show. Well, I was wrong. They're not. And he is portrayed as the a-hole he is. And boy, that sushi looked good.

Battlestar Galactica
After last week's excellent Xena as a Cylon reporter episode (where at any moment I thought she would start shouting her famous war/battle cry), the latest episode was even better. This show just keeps getting better.
Last week I also happened to watch a small part of Blade Runner again. Guess what, Commander Adama plays a role in there - did you know?

V for Vendetta
I really want to see that one. Natalie Portman looks so hot in that hair cut. I'll probably have to wait till I see it though. Annoying but unavoidable. So for all those about to see it - no spoilers!

A reminder: The Unbinding, the new serial novel by Walter Kirn starts today over at Slate.

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And this is why I love teenagers

I believe it was last month that Pat Kirby wrote about an encounter with some teenagers. When I commented to her post I said that I love teenagers and since then I was looking for ways to qualify that statement. (No one ever questions when people say they love kids, but say you love teenagers and eyebrows are raised.)

I love teenagers because they struggle. Teenagers have a wonderful naive, innocent qualities at the same time as those of first-grade thinkers (philosophically, politically, socially).

When teenagers think it's first (for them) and deep. Teenagers ask why we're here, they ask if God exists, they ask if capitalism/socialism is the best/only way, they ask if a starving thief has a higher moral ground. They ask all these questions seriously and discuss them seriously and it's in these discussions that our future is being molded and formed. The future of our society.

Why did I think of all that again?
Remember I posted about our various garbage boxes and bins we have in TO?

Well, Friday was garbage day. On garbage day all the residents put their garbage on the sidewalk, the garbage truck goes by and the workers pick up the boxes, empty them and then toss them back in complete disarray. Most times the worse is just walking over to the neighbor's yard to pick up your box and give him his, but Friday was also very windy, meaning all the empty boxes were dragged or pushed by the wind in different directions, making it impossible for cars to drive by or for pedestrians to walk a straight path.

I was late on Friday and just before nine I heard noises outside. I assumed it was the wind pushing the boxes. I was in the kitchen so I looked out the window. Here's what I saw:

A kid, a teenager, tenth grade or so, pretty cool and good looking, definitely not nerdy, was dragging back boxes that were on the road, clearing a path for the cars. At first I though he lives across the street and picking up his own boxes, but as he continued throughout our block taking the boxes and putting them back on the sidewalk and to the side, clearing also a path for the pedestrians I realized he was just being... good.

I followed him with my eyes as far as I could see and he just kept doing that - on his way to school, backpack on his shoulder, clearing a path for both cars and pedestrians by putting the boxes to the side.

I hated being a teenager. My struggles - within me, with school, society, any structured environment, my parents - were great. Perhaps we feel the struggle teenagers have, perhaps we feel how insecure teenagers are in this new world they're about to take on, perhaps we feel how much they don't like themselves.

But I love teenagers, and I believe I just told you why.
Read the rest

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Sunday, March 12, 2006

Bloggy Miscellanea

I looked at changing my comments to HaloScan for two reasons:
1) To have a feed of the comments
2) To avoid that annoying Blogger word verification thingy
Switching to HaloScan, however, would present another problem: no email notification. Without email notification I'm bound to miss comments (especially the ones for my older posts) and I hate ignoring people.
So my questions:
1) Any preference?
2) Do you know of any other provider that might combine all features?

I have finally finished adding my blogroll to my Bloglines feeds. I did that because it was very hard for me to keep track of the blogs (Blogrolling doesn't work for me for some reason so I could never tell when a blog was updated). If I was quiet lately, this is why, and it will be rectified shortly.

I've received complaints about the lack of pics in my posts. A little more visual was demanded to accompany the text. I'll do my best but I can't promise because:
1) I don't like "stealing" copyrighted pictures
2) It takes time to look for an appropriate non-copyrighted picture
3) My visual sense isn't that good as it is so I never feel that I pick good pictures even when I go through the trouble

I think that was all.


Saturday, March 11, 2006

Arizona-Utah Trip 2001 (I think)

Deborah keeps talking about her trip to Arizona and Sedona so I decided to give her just a little taste:

Grand Canyon

Monument Valley - can you believe it rained?!



Friday, March 10, 2006

Just What I've Been Waiting For - A Mental Typewriter

Once again, this was too good to leave for tomorrow:

How would you like it if instead of using pen and paper, or instead of using a keyboard, you could just put your thoughts immediately onto the screen.
Would that be cool? Time saving? Make you write much more?

Wait no more. The Mental Typewriter is here and it's controlled by thought alone.
From New Scientist:
A computer controlled by the power of thought alone has been demonstrated at a major trade fair in Germany.
The machine makes it possible to type messages onto a computer screen by mentally controlling the movement of a cursor. A user must wear a cap containing electrodes that measure electrical activity inside the brain, known as an electroencephalogram (EEG) signal, and imagine moving their left or right arm in order to manoeuvre the cursor around.
The next stage is to develop a cap that does not have to be attached directly to the scalp. This should make the device easier to use and cause less skin irritation for the wearer.

Good, because I was really concerned about skin irritation. Now when can I buy one?

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My Crazy Cousin - Writing About Your Own Life

My cousin is crazy. Certifiable.
Up until his eighteenth birthday, that is throughout my childhood, he was in and out of hospitals. At eighteen he moved somewhere rural (I have no idea where) and severed all ties with the family. Except for me. Why me? Because when I was sixteen I hid him for a whole day from his father (my uncle) who wanted to hospitalize him.

This morning at 6 am my cousin called me after a year I haven't heard from him. He called me at 6 am to invite me to his wedding. It's the third invitation I get to his wedding in about the same number of years. I've always accepted the invitation and promised to attend until he disclosed information about some plans he had for the wedding, plans I refused to be a part of.

My cousin isn't dangerous. I don't believe he'd ever done anything to hurt anybody, and I don't believe the authorities had ever had a reason to lock him up. As far as I know. He was also never in jail. As far as I know. But. But he is a fanatic and has questionable beliefs of a zealot and I always worry that someone, some radical group, would take advantage of him and make him do some crazy thing.

Only this morning, after talking to him and after getting back to bed it occurred to me that I never wrote about my cousin, our childhood together, our escape from the adults etc.

It dawned on me also that I have actually never written about my life.

I heard somewhere that usually one of the first novels writers write is about their lives. Some sort of an autobiographical based novel. Fictional with personal facts. An experimental examination if you like.
I also heard that the last novel writers write is also an autobiographical novel. This time different. More facts than fiction and a more tender voice.

I have yet to write about my life. Of course, I occasionally put myself in my characters and of course one aspect or another creeps into my stories, but I have yet to write about my life.

Is that normal? Have you?

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Google Buys Writely

I was so tired this morning I completely missed the news: "Writely is now part of Google!"

I remember first hearing about Writely through John over at Syntagma. John talked about Writely as part of the Web 2.0 and all that.

I never signed up for Writely because quite frankly I didn't see the point. But I think that having Google buy them is some serious news, for both the users and the entrepreneurs out there.

Good for them!

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Thursday, March 09, 2006

Boys Reading Books with Girls on the Cover

This was too good to leave for tomorrow.
Slate (did you figure out by now I really like Slate?) has an article about boys liking girl books.

The author, Emily Bazelon, is concerned for her boys. Two things concern her: the first is "the recent fretting that boys are laggard readers" and the second is that "boys don't like to read about girls" and are thus being pushed by teachers and librarians into reading books about boys.

It's quite a funny read. Bazelon explores why boys eventually stop reading and thinks it has to do with librarians--being mostly women--directing boys to stories rather than also directing them to nonfiction, humor and books with diagrams.

One of the important thing, she notes, is for boys to see their father reading.

I remember Benjamin had something about this not too long ago as well with J.K. Rowling using initials to hide the fact that she's a woman author.

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Gmail reads our emails - do you mind?

I've talked in the past about my age crisis and already explained that it cannot go away given that it's not something that gets any better...

But really, most of the time I don't think about it. Not unless I'm faced with it. That is, faced with the realization that I am, indeed, older. That my views and my life style, my opinions and my actions are different from those around me only because I'm older than they.

Yesterday, I had such a realization and I was curious to see what all of you thought on the matters that were presented and the ones that I constantly felt the odd (old) one out.

The discussion revolved around internet habits. Following the launch of the new Microsoft beta site Windows Live I found out that many use such services as My Yahoo!, Google Personalized Home or some other version by MSN or what not.

My aversion of these sites is exactly because of what they offer - the personalization. I don't want any large company to know what I do and don't like. I mean, we all know that the sole purpose of this is so that they could direct better advertising at us. (Not that I mind advertising, I do understand it's a necessary evil and any site that I read has many ads, just like print newspapers do for example. And we pay for those.)

The others (the younger ones) said that the companies track us anyways, no matter what we do, so why not take advantage of personalized services. Valid point, but still. An example - I use Yahoo! mail but only for subscriptions. Not personal mail. I definitely don't use their calendar or address book options. The last thing I need is for my appointments to be "public" (I know they're not public, but I'm sure they would be tracked by the companies if I used that option).

I also use Gmail, but only for my blog email. What I mean to say is that I don't use any of the services that demand my personal info.

I also don't use myspace, which seems to be very popular with the younger crowd. And all in all it seems that my internet experience is limited compared to others as I don't seek out e-friends. Don't get me wrong, I love my bloggy friends, but that's different, I think.

So my home page is a newspaper and I track my favourite sites through rss feeds on bloglines. Why would I need a service that would track my life and then pass it on to big companies as well?
And don't get me wrong, everybody - young and old - is aware of the tracking, but most seem to accept it and mind it less than I do.

So I guess my question is - do you mind being tracked? Do you try to minimize what is being tracked? Do you think the habits are different because of age or just because I'm me?

I'm really confused and I also feel ancient.

(If anyone wants a Gmail account, btw, let me know.)
Read the rest


Wednesday, March 08, 2006

I've Had It!
On Writer's Block

If I hear the words 'writer's block' one more time, if I see the words 'writer's block' one more time I'm going to scream. And I promise you'll all hear me!

There is no such thing as writer's block. What does it even mean?

Okay, I don't want to sound as if my writing is always smooth. Far from it. I'm often plagued by lack of inspiration. Or sometimes it's the simple 'not feeling like it.' Or other times yet it's just wanting to do other things. But I've never thought to call it writer's block. I've always called it laziness, lethargy, tired, spoiled brat, etc.

I bet it's nice to have this 'writer's block' implying it's not really my fault. I can just imagine what my boss would say if I'd told him, "Listen, I have a serious case of worker's block."
He'd probably look at me sympathetically, nod and say, "Then why don't you take today off." In my dreams...

So sure, some days at work I spend more time surfing than working, but the things that need to get done - get done. Or sometimes I struggle with a task and have to consult colleagues or think about it longer than I planned, but eventually I solve it. And you can bet that occasionally I show up with a headache/hangover/cold and spend most of the day trying to avoid other people. But you know what, even on these days if clients call, I respond.

So what makes writing so different? Nothing!
It's just that most of us have to learn to apply the same work ethics we have in our day jobs into our writing as and take responsibility for it as we would our career.

I create different rules and deadlines for my writing self. One rule for example (and I do believe I've mentioned it before), is having a minimum number of writing work in circulation. I also give myself deadlines by which I should finish working on this or that piece, and even though I don't always stand by it, trying already makes me write more.

I don't mean to sound preachy here or anything, but there are no excuses for not writing outside of the writer, no mysterious block that envelopes us rendering us incapable of writing. It is all up to us.

What kind of "rules" do you have? A daily word count perhaps? A work schedule? A minimum of pages to be edited a day?

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Net Novel and a Potential New Market?

The Unbinding by Walter Kirn, is a new serial novel that will be published on Slate in roughly twice a week installments starting Monday, March 13 and ending in June.

Slate claims that this serial novel is unlike other novels serialized in mainstream media because it will be a -
Net Novel--one that takes advantage of, and draws inspiration from, the capacities of the Internet. The Unbinding, a dark comedy set in the near future, is a compilation of "found documents"--—online diary entries, e-mails, surveillance reports, etc. It will make use of the Internet's unique capacity to respond to events as they happen, linking to documents and other Web sites. In other words, The Unbinding is conceived for the Web, rather than adapted to it.

In addition, Slate marks the debut of its fiction section.

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Monday, March 06, 2006

Outlines, the Oscars and the Universe as a Computer

You may or may have noticed that I've been quiet the past couple of days. Well, perhaps suffice it to say that in the drawer of the desk I'm using now there are two books: Holy Bible Placed by THE GIDEONS and The Book of Mormon - Another Testament of Jesus Christ.
So if you cannot imagine where I am I shall think you a simpleton.

Outlines - I don't know how many times I've discussed this and yet I never tire of the subject. Crawford Kilian of Writing Fiction wrote an interesting post about the matter worth checking out: Writing Without an Outline.

I didn't watch the Academy Awards last night--I never do--but I was happy about George Clooney winning for Syriana.
In my opinion, and without getting into politics, Syriana was a unique movie about a difficult subject(s) - energy, the Islamic and Arab world and the Western world. The movie, more than making a political statement, is trying to show the complexities of the issues and that's its brilliance in my opinion. It doesn't show black and white or take sides. There are very few things in the world that are clear, the rest are complicated matters with the infamous various shades of grey. Good books, like good movies and like anything else in life show these complexities. A villain is rarely all bad and a hero is rarely all good. Dimensions and complexities.

Finally, a book. I haven't read it - yet - but I hope to soon.
"Decoding the Universe: How the New Science of Information Is Explaining Everything in the Cosmos From Our Brains to Black Holes" By Charles Seife
From Salon:
Secrets of the cosmos By Laura Miller
Could the universe be a giant computer? A new book argues just that, and unlocks some great scientific mysteries along the way.

The universe might just be an enormous computer -- that's the final, mind-twisting pirouette at the conclusion of Charles Seife's new book about information theory and quantum computing, "Decoding the Universe: How the New Science of Information Is Explaining Everything in the Cosmos, From Our Brains to Black Holes." By the time you get to this suggestion, the statement seems pretty plausible, but by then you've already traveled through Seife's crystal-clear explications of thermodynamics, relativity, quantum mechanics, black holes and multiple universes. In other words, you know he's not talking about using the cosmos to search the Web during your lunch break for the best price on iPods.

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Saturday, March 04, 2006

Writers Should Be Happy

I've written about happiness before, I know, but this subject is of interest to me.
Perhaps it's the fact that one of my closest family members is the eternal pessimist, while I'm the eternal optimist. I don't know.

Regardless, I was more than happy to see this article about The Keys to Happiness in Live Science, only I was amazed of two things: First, the article explores why most people don't use these 'keys to happiness' and second, that we writers know what happiness is, that we are happy.

Here are a few tidbits:
As Abraham Lincoln once said, "Most people are as happy as they make up their minds to be."

One route to more happiness is called "flow," an engrossing state that comes during creative or playful activity, psychologist Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi has found. Athletes, musicians, writers, gamers, and religious adherents know the feeling. It comes less from what you're doing than from how you do it.

The keys:
Make lists of things for which you're grateful in your life, practice random acts of kindness, forgive your enemies, notice life's small pleasures, take care of your health, practice positive thinking, and invest time and energy into friendships and family.
My biggest obstacle:
Lethargy holds many people back from doing the things that lead to happiness.

Incidentally, Slate's Meaning of Life TV had an interview with Joseph Goldstein on the problem of pleasure where Goldstein explains how pleasure doesn't necessarily translates into happiness. Very very interesting.

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Friday, March 03, 2006

Who is it at my door?

To make a long story short...

I was going to tell you how I made pasta two nights ago but one of the ingredients was bad and I had to throw everything out and in the middle of it all an obnoxious sales lady kept knocking on my door. See, my kitchen window is at street level so she knew I was there and wouldn't accept my ignoring her until I finally answered and asked her to leave to her very apparent dismay.

And then I was going to tell you how I made steak-frites last night (that's how we Canadians call steak with french fries). Just as I was about to grill the steaks a few people walked up to the front door, laughing and holding glasses in their hands, and I was ready to direct them to the house with the party they obviously confused me for when the guy behind the door said in reply to my questioning "yes, who are you?" - "It's Jack Layton."

I looked out the door and indeed, it was him. Smiling.
So the leader of the third largest party in Canada, NDP, comes to my door, canvassing.

I was wearing one of hubby's T-shirts that reaches me nearly to my knees, so I opened the door, invited them in (it was miserably cold out and he looked so cute in his took) and then quickly scrambled behind hubby to change shirts.

The whole time I thinking how great it would have been if instead of "It's Jack Layton," I'd heard "It's Brad Pitt."

Who would you want it to be?


Stephen King Radio Interview

I think I've seen it around, but just in case you missed it (I have), here's an interview with Stephen King on Voice of America. February 17th is the interview.

This came to you compliments of Ryan The Grumpy Owl.

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Thursday, March 02, 2006

Organizing Your Writing Part II - Organizing Your Ideas

fillllll's Ideas
Uploaded on May 18, 2005
by Auntie K
I think that this is the part that gets me most - having ideas and either forgetting them or never capitalizing on them. I always try to find ways to organize my ideas so that I could have a clear path for both my writing projects and my current WIP.

Meaning: 1) organizing the different concepts into different stories, and 2) structure the ideas of one story in a certain sensible way.

I apologize if I don't make much sense. Unlike Organizing Your Writing Part I - tracking submissions, which is an objective matter, tracking ideas is a subjective issue. What works for one definitely wouldn't work for another. Some minds constantly teem with ideas while other are more structured and can work on command during a brainstorm session. And this is just one example.

I used to be a little obnoxious and walk around with a little notebook where I wrote ideas, sentences, images and events whenever they happened to occur. My notebook was (still is) divided into the above-mentioned four parts. My main problem was that during two times that I felt most creative - shower and sleep - I didn't have access to my notebook and usually forgot everything.

For the concept section I have another notebook at home (not the little one I carry with), where I work on trying to develop the concepts into themes. Many times I combine a few ideas, intertwine them, tackle them until they become a full blown plot. Or not.

I still carry my notebook around these days, but I've relaxed my vigilance of being on the lookout for a good idea. I now try to concentrate on further developing ideas I've come up with.

I love how Orson Scott Card put it:
Story ideas are happening around you all the time. But the storyteller has to look at events and scenes with a questioning mind. Why did this happen? Why else might it happen? What could be the result of this? What else? Things are this way now; how else might they be? What if this changed? What if that?

I still don't think I do a very good job with the organization and most often I find that what happens when I write and what I planned are two different things.

The more I write this post, the more confused I get myself. And as for mapping the ideas to form a plot, I guess I touched on it, but I'm not very good at that either, maybe someone else want to tackle that one?

Eric was quick on the mark. Here is his Mind Maps post.
Read the rest

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A little update on a previous post

I didn't want to write the name in the title, but I'm talking about the Tammy Nyp post I wrote a few days ago.

Well, this morning I checked my Technorati links and found a new link from a....
porn site!

What attracted this porn site my little blog was my Tammy Nyp post.

The title of said porn site's post looked familiar so I checked it out. They've actually copied my post word for word. Not that I mind, but given that my post wasn't really about the video but about human nature - the reaction to the video - I didn't see the point. Not to mention that the Tammy part was only a third of the post. The rest were some science and writing tidbits.

I doubt they even read it...