I got a four-day weeeekennnnd~ *dance* Happy Turkey Day to those who celebrate!
I aimed to hit 50k on my NaNoWriMo novel before the weekend ended, and by golly, I did! :D :D :D
This is my tenth NaNo, my ninth win, and the ONLY time I have ever been ahead of the daily wordcount quota every single day! I have set a new standard for myself!
I also rewrote my NaNo profile to have some substance and got all silly-proud of the list of novel projects from 2003 on. :D
I maaay have taken advantage of the Black Friday crazysales to order some beads. *ahem*
Nothing actually put into form yet (or onto paper/canvas) this week, but I’ve got four mini-paintings upcoming for four Egyptian gods! Have I mentioned that painting detailed hieroglyphs with a toothpick onto a 2×2″ canvas can be a little… nerve-wracking?
I also took the time to update our Mythic Curios archive with photos of past paintings and jewelry!
As has been the pattern this month, while I’m writing a humans-only novel, I keep getting flashes of non-human worldbuilding ideas in my head. They come and go in the span of five minutes, zipping in throughout the day. Should probably start writing those down…
I did a word study post over at my Uhjayi microsite! Etymology is fun, kids – especially for conlangs. :D
My partner and I acquired a used Martin backpacker. It is pretty sweet! Kinda like a hybrid of a guitar and a banjo-mandolin-bazouki-somethinglikethat.
- Just because I hit 50k on The Last Devil doesn’t mean the story arc’s done. I’ll still be writing that, with a goal to wrap up the rough draft well before J and I go visit family for Christmas!
- The aforementioned four Egyptian mini-paintings!
- BEADS BEADS SHINY BEADS
Loving up this glorious extra-long weekend! Spending most of it writing and sleeping in, so forgive me if I’m a wee bit short on links today. :D
- Two lesbian YA eZines/anthologies now released! – I cannot even tell you how good the writing is, how open-hearted the authors are, and how much I loves these stories and this project.
- Take What You Need – Seen at a gas station. I love this.
- Discover your Elvish horoscope! – Yes, as in Tolkien’s elves. This is hilarious and great.
- Author Elizabeth Gilbert on creativity, anxiety, and genius.
Current Earworm: The entire OceanLab album called Sirens of the Sea, including Just Listen.
The Friday Quote:
You’re only given a little spark of madness. You mustn’t lose it. ~Robin Williams
Instagrams of the Week:
A breath of fresh air.
Working heaaavy overtime Thurs/Fri sort of shot my energy levels in the waduh (that was a terrible Indonesian pun, forgive!), but I still did things! This post proves it!
Weeeell, I have not written much at all (just a chapter) since last Monday. HOWEVER, this week is a three-day week with a four-day weekend, and since I won’t have family guesting at my house for Turkey Day, I will have a TON of time to write.
Although I did squeeze out a few random shorts to satisfy the majority of my muse that really, really misses writing non-humans.
I crafted a bracelet! No bead is repeated, and I even cross-matched the silver/gold metal on the magnetic clasps and the jump rings. I am… super-happy with this, honestly. =3
I believe my Everything To Lose universe is getting a touch bigger. Not only do we have a human and enman accidental co-colony on a world that fell out of the network of both spacefaring species, we have humans and the xin in the past… and now, perhaps, these entensha and humans in “modern times” (i.e. the same era as Everything To Lose) or even a bit in the future.
Entensha are highly-evolved quadrupeds, and there is some world they share with humans, in peace, cohabitating… but they don’t converse. Neither species knows the other’s language. Human scientists and doctors don’t know much about entensha technology and physiology and, hell, even psychology… and vice versa.
The trick to making this setting successful and believable will be finding a reason for the mutual peace and silence that isn’t sinister or false. And I’ve got some ideas…
Oh my. Ohhh myyy. I discovered GarageBand; my work comp is a Macbook Pro, and I take it home on the weekends. I made a few song snips, one with lyrics!, and then set out to do something a little fuller.
This is the result. (Click to listen, right-click to download.)
…I think I quite like GarageBand. =3
- More NaNoWriMo! I have a lofty goal of hitting 50k before next Monday.
- Definitely, definitely more GarageBand and other musical exploits in the name of Hometaping!
See title of post. *falls flat on face*
- Where Do I Start Reading? – One of my favorite authors, MCA Hogarth, has a super-helpful page for those who want to dive into her works. \o/
- How I Learned A Language In 22 Hours – This was my introduction to…
- Memrise – Making memorization fun and gamelike!
- San Francisco Becomes First City To Offer Free Trans Surgery – *jawdrop* SanFran, you kick ass.
- 3 Jaguars Web Comic Kickstarter – Awesome for the art, the stories, and the author-artist. Also, jaguars!
- Combat Kitchenware – This is quite possibly the awesomest thing ever.
- Magicians – A Language-Learning RPG – Korean mythology and language, in convenient bite-sized RPG form. I could ask for nothing more!
Current Earworm: Melissa Ferrick: Headphones On – HOW HAVE I GONE THIS LONG WITHOUT KNOWING ABOUT THIS WOMAN HOLY CRIKEY
The Friday Quote:
Make the best use of what is in your power, and take the rest as it happens. ~Epictetus
Instagrams of the Week:
My redonkulously adorable dogs. BB on the left, Orion on the right.
I have survived my first (wonderful and utterly exhausting) week at the new job! HUZZAH! I can’t wait until I’ve gotten settled enough to have enough energy in the evenings to do more.
Work continues apace on my NaNoWriMo project, and I am quite pleased with how it’s coming along! I’ve hit 34.5k as of the writing of this post, and I must say, this is the first time ever that I’ve been ahead of the daily quota every day so far! It feels great.
In other exciting news, my partner has begun work on a short story (he’s doing a sort of micro-NaNo– NaShoStoWriMo?)! This is unbelievably cool, ’cause he’s talked for years about writing and now he’s putting words on the page instead of just wishing for it. I’m so proud of him! (Also, he’s a kickass writer, novice or not. He just has that rich eloquence, and he’s a voracious reader, so he’s got that going for him, too.)
Earlier last week, my mom, who lives in West Virginia, told me that two of her big dogs went missing in the snowfall that Sandy delivered to their doorstep, and I made her a prayer-painting in hopes they’d either find their ways back home or be found by a compassionate human. The very next morning, Mom let me know that they’d both come home (one on his own, and one with human assistance)! So very grateful that they’re both safe and well.
I also, of course, had my first new-job doodles during a four-hour new hire training session:
I am absolutely going crazy, being unable to write intelligent non-humans in my current project, and of course, my muse dumps dozens of ideas for other species on me while I am constrained. One of the new ideas – just a seed, really – does, however, have to do with humans… in the future, rather than a fantastical past like The Last Devil.
The idea is two-part: Firstly, that technology is so advanced that warfare is no longer carried out by throwing masses of human bodies at each other, but instead, by small, elite teams of mecha that are remote-controlled via VR systems by highly-trained, valuable soldiers. This cuts down on human casualty and the need to equip, train, feed, and transport large volumes of people, instead placing emphasis on individual skills and overall strategy.
Secondly, this same technology would be utilized in private corporations to allow professionals of all sorts – from surgeons to programmers – to work remotely from home. Those who would normally need to be in-person, such as doctors, would be able to login to a robotic interface, through which they could accomplish their tasks. (Like heart surgery. Robotic heart surgery.) This means that well-to-do professionals would have a “home office” that revolved around the VR interface, and they could login to different geographic regions (/hospitals) to make their expertise more widely available.
The social and cultural (and military) implications of these ideas are staggering. I’d love to explore them in fiction at some point!
Did you know about Memrise? I didn’t. It’s a super-cool way of making memorization, especially for new language vocabulary, fun and game-like, and also amazingly effective and optimal. So, naturally, I had to get into it.
And then I made an Uhjayi vocabulary Memrise course. Because, y’know, I’m a proactive geek.
I also practiced my Uhjayi script for the first time in a while:
I am an occasional filker… an auto-filker, even, since I write fan-music of my own fiction! For The Last Devil, I wrote two snippets of songs, one a sea-shanty and one a mourning song. They have melodies with them, and drumbeats, but nothing more, even though in the book they have whistle accompaniment. I may well be recording these, as short as they are, to count towards my Hometaping efforts…
- More NaNoWriMo! If I keep up this pace, I might not have to scramble to hit 50k on November 30th!
- Probably more language geekery. I’d really like to get Uhjayi’s script memorized! And that means lots of sit-down-and-write practicing.
- Maybe more music? I have hopes of being able to participate in Hometaping, after all!
I feel like I’ve done absolutely nothing but absorb giant amounts of new information this week: new faces, new names, new tasks, and a new office floorplan that is labyrinthine. Whew! So glad it’s the weekend.
- Illiterate Ethiopian children, given new tablets with zero instructions, hack them in five months. – We are some crazy-smart monkeys, guys.
- More People Should Write – This, so hard, this.
- Google’s Self-Learning Neural Network Knows What A Cat Is… Without Human Interference – Skynet, now with lolcats!
- What Kings Ate and Wizards Drank (by Krista D. Ball) – I admit, I love the sound of this, and want it. :D
- A message to everyone doing NaNoWriMo this year!
- Elephant Speaks Korean Outloud – Whaaaat. Awesome.
- Scientists further prove their geekery by naming new T-Rex-sized dinosaur after Sauron.
- Dad hacks Zelda to change Link’s sex so his 3 y/o daughter can play a female hero.
- Four teenaged African girls have created a urine-powered generator. – Amazing and useful.
Current Earworm: Miracle of Sound: Little Sister – This isn’t a new-to-me song, but I love the musicality, and it’s fun to sing with, so it gets to be this week’s earworm.
The Friday Quote:
Say good things to everyone. Treat everyone with total respect, and it will all come back. ~Bob Proctor
Instagrams of the Week:
Shots from my new workplace! On the left, faux-sunlight strips (picture taken at night! I LOVE THESE THINGS) and on the right, one of my cubicle companions with the spoils of (Nerf) war. :D
I start my BRAND NEW job today! I AM EXCITED. Also terrified. But in good ways!
As a result of the job switch, I had the last four days (Thurs-Sun) off. Which means I got to do creative things!
NaNoWriMo has begun! I spent the last four days writing like mad, and I put down just over 22,000 brand new words on The Last Devil, my NaNovel for the year. It is incredibly odd to write a humans-only story! (The only other NaNo that lacked non-human sapient characters was my very first, so this is a nod to the cycle of NaNoing, this being my tenth year participating.)
I know the new job is going to eat up all my time, so my idea was to get as far ahead as I could before starting, then write like hell on the weekends to make my 50k before midnight on the 30th. So far, this is a pretty strong start!
As planned, I painted tiny sigils for each of my close coworkers, including my bosses, as parting gifts! Each of them has a unique meaning, and each used my coworkers’ favorite colors (and avoided their least favorites) – this was a surprising challenge, since I normally tie the colors to the meanings of the phrase, and I had no control over the colors for this, and had to choose a phrase (or single word) that was meaningful to the person and didn’t clash with the colors!
Here’s the whole set:
The Last Devil is a pretty… mundane… fantasy setting for me. I’m used to amazing creatures (aliens, monsters, etc) and complex magical systems and quantum-level tech, so to lack all of that… oh, what a challenge! I gave myself the boon of two non-sentient critters that aren’t strictly par for the course, but everything else is just… Renaissance-level Earth, with magicless, steampunkless humans.
However, in an effort to flip the bird to trends in this kind of fantasy, I switched the gender stereotypes all around. Women are the strong ones, the competent ones, and the ones in charge; men are the beautiful ones, the marginalized ones, and the ones who get massively outnumbered as named characters.
The consequences of this choice are very, very entertaining to write.
November is the month of Hometaping! While I cannot promise I’ll be able to record twenty minutes of new music, in addition to participating in NaNoWriMo and putting roots down at my new job, I may as well try… :D
- I will keep working on my NaNoWriMo project!
- …yep, that’s probably it. I have other things what need doing, but a new novel and a new job will keep me quite busy for a bit!
National Novel-Writing Month has begun! And with it, all my free time has lunged out the window – or, more accurately, into the keyboard.
- “Ask Me About My T-Rex” t-shirt – I desperately need this.
- Teenage Mutant Ninja Historical Artists – PRICELESS.
- Sunset at 30,000 Feet – not my instagram! but oh so lovely.
- Dice Rings Kickstarter – If nothing else, watch the video; it’s hilarious!
- Broad Spectrum Universe Sampler – Free fiction featuring fearless females? Yes please!
- This is the best version of the “whatever doesn’t kill me” quote yet.
- “In The Garden, I Did Not Sin” – Free lesbian short story! And, of course, beautifully written.
Current Earworm: Florence + The Machine: Seven Devils – This is the sole inspiration for my NaNoWriMo novel.
The Friday Quote:
Nothing is a waste of time if you use the experience wisely. ~Auguste Rodin
Instagrams of the Week:
In honor of NaNo, my writing buddies:
It’s a sparse selection we’ve got today, but we shall soldier on nonetheless!
- The most adorable fruit bats in the world!
- Fabulous author-artist MCA Hogarth has just launched a how-to Kickstarter book with tons of data.
- The best-dressed Victorian centaur ever.
- A space weather forecast!
- Some fabulous free PDFs/books on ancient Egypt: from the Brooklyn Museum, from the Met Museum, and from the American University in Cairo Press. :D!
Current Earworm: Muse: Follow Me – I am so in love with this song right now.
The Friday Quote:
As a curse, “fuck you” is just so passé nowadays. I propose “may you never be fucked again” for greater offense. ~The Angsty Magician
Instagrams of the Week:
In honor of the season: the pumpkin my partner acquired, and our backyard trees.
The past week has been FULL of changes in the less-creative portions of my life: my love has a new job, and I’m changing jobs myself at the end of the month! Lots of paperwork and logistics-discussion and fingers-crossed-for-best-possible-outcomes!
I’ve chosen my NaNoWriMo project! For those unfamiliar, National Novel-Writing Month occurs every November with the goal of writing 50,000 words on a new piece of fiction; this will be my 10th time participating, and hopefully my 9th time crossing the 50k finish line! Normally I choose my project at the last possible moment, lest I change my mind on November 1, so we’ll see if I switch it up at the start!
I maaay have bribed my partner to finish Spots the Space Marine faster by promising him that he could request a short story from me when he was done; his choice was a follow-up to the xin story I’d written a while back. So I wrote that! And I am now re-intrigued by the characters and setting, and made plans to dig deeper into the worldbuilding necessary to make it Actually Good…
Haven’t aaactually done anything, but we have new beads, which my love made into a breathtaking jade-leafed bracelet for his mama’s birthday…
So, about those xin? Yeah. I poured several hours into hashing out with my partner what the world looks like in 2054, 19 years into a peaceable alien occupation, and how the war went, and how the main character’s life would’ve been shaped by living through the war as a child and then the first and roughest stages of “peaceful” cohabitation in the subsequent years. I’ve also gone into detail about the xin’s homeworld, their evolution, and their current physiology, and my partner has fought me every step of the way about the xin’s lack of ears until he lighted upon a possible adaptive reason: brain mites. Xin can close their eyes, mouths, and nostrils, but not their ears, so those with external ears would have been selected against until none of them had any. (The inner ear structure is still intact, albeit vestigial now, and allows them basic hearing through their bodies – they are especially good at picking up bass.)
Related to the above, I’ve been reading up on American Sign Language, since that’s what the xin have pidginized with their own sign/body language in order to communicate with humans. I am learning some wonderful linguistically-fascinating things about ASL, and also discovering that I remember a whole lot of the basic signs from classes I took in middle school. Huzzah! I am probably going to brush up on that and get moderately conversant in it again, and since my partner wants to learn, we can practice on each other. :D
Nothing new to report, other than the nigh-constant study and analysis of the music I listen to every waking hour to glean more insight into how it’s built…
- I will probably go back through the few short stories of the xin, rewrite them to be consistent with the worldbuilding thus far, and contemplate maybe even serializing them!
- I will finish the remaining 22k of edits for my Secret Project!
- I will paint wee mini-sigils for my coworkers before I switch jobs, as parting gifts!
- I will probably practice and record the ocean orisa song I wrote while in Ocean City!