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I'm a wannabe historian and librarian who uses writing, reading, crafts, and general geeky nerdiness to get through the trials and tribulations of everyday life.
I can't promise that this will be updated often. I can't even promise that the writing will be decent. That's what happens when you put your pen down for years at a time between writing anything. I can promise that I will try to improve my writing as I go.

Monday, November 19, 2007

NaNoWriMo a bust

Due to poor planning on my part regarding stitching obligations, I must resign from the field of NaNoWriMo battle for this year. I have planned my stitching chedule for next year and no projects will be worked on next November, leaving me free to write a 50,000 word piece of pure drivel.

Maybe I'll try my own NaNoWriMo before then. Or a NaNoWriTwoMo - two months to accomplish the same task to psych myself for the real thing.

Monday, November 5, 2007

Interesting NaNoWriMo Dares - very long

Okay, instead of writing while I'm waiting for Grandma's caregiver to finally show up (or at least call us and tell us she's not going to) I'm surfing the NaNo dares forum and finding interesting dares I may incorporate into my totally off-track story.

- Have a character that compulsively play a song that fits with every scene on a portable music player or something.
+if the other characters notice this and comment on it
++if, during a crucial/climactic scene, said character interrupts the drama/action by screaming, "I can't find a song that fits!"

- "Oh, crap! A magic Pigeon!"

- Have a character accidentally explode a piece of furniture.

- Include a Brotherhood of the Spork
+if they are your main chars

- I dare you to use the phrase "yet again" at least once in every chapter.
+if there is a chapter called "Yet Again."

- Include the line "That's the last time I hire discount assassins" in your novel.
+if, y'know, it makes sense and has a proper context/subplot and everything.
++if that line is the entire basis of your MAIN plot (not just a subplot)

- Have there be some Object That Will Surely Defeat The Main Villain that carries some extreme significance, and that only your hero possesses throughout the story. When it comes time to kill the main villain, have it somehow unable to be used.
+if some other, more mundane way is used to take out the villain before the item can be used.
++ if someone terribly unexpected (Who wasn't even supposed to be there, or a familiar, a sidekick, a little kid, etc) ends up doing the taking down in a massive anticlimax.
+++if the villain commits suicide.

- Have one character who is repeatedly interrupted, and at the end, it is revealed that he knew the solution to the quest all along, only no one ever listened to him.
+if, after this revelation, he refuses to tell them the answer.

- Have a duel between two characters using those tiny plastic rapiers they stick in sandwiches.
+ The characters dueling are the right size for the weapons, and use the food in their tactics.
++ If this escalates into an entire war fought with sandwich and cocktail accessories.
+++ This has repercussions for the 'Big Folk'.
(Riya and Jak could really have fun with this one.)

- Include the line "'Because it's funny' is not a valid reason for turning the enemy troops into fluffy pink bunnies."
+if the person doing the transforming then offers a valid tactical reason.
++if they add, "And because it's really funny." to the end.
+++if this is accepted as a valid reason.Quintuple points if this is the only thing the transforming character ever does.
++++if the main villain is defeated by being turned into a fluffy pink bunny and kept in a cage as a pet.
+++++if this was actually part of the villain's plan.
++++++if the plan was something silly and inane such as never paying for a meal again.

- Have your main group of thugs die a meaningless death. (ie - rocks fall, everyone dies)
+for an awesome one-liner immediately following the pointless death.
++if the awesome one-liner is muttered by the young pigtailed girl who caused the death.

- Have your MC and main antagonist randomly end up at the same bar/inn/coffehouseofdoomorwhatever, get into a wonderful conversation, ect.
+ If they hook up
++ If neither of them realizes that the other is their enemy until the end.
+++ If they're both male (or female)

- Have some horrible legendary monster your hero has to face be pink and fluffy.
+ if it's a bunny or other such cute animal.
++if it's still its ordinary size.
+++if the hero dies laughing when he sees it.
++++if that's why it's so legendarily horrible.

- Have at least five characters with the same name who are regularly in each other's company, including MC
+Nobody gets confused(++Except the MC)
++Have characters of both genders included in this, with the name being obviously one gender
+++Have every character in you story have the same name, from MC to cameo's
(Hey! I blogged about this a few months ago!)

- Have your main characters get stuck in a traffic jam on their way to Meet the Evil Nemisis at You-Know-Where for the Final Showdown so they can Save the World.
+ if the villain rides past on a bicycle
++ if your story is set in a time period when neither cars nor bicycles are invented
+++ if the villain rides through the traffic at the exact moment that it finally moves-- and gets hit

- Each day, take one of your characters and write a small blurb about them (1500-2500+ words) doing whatever and then stopping in a specific spot during a specific time. Make the next day's character end up in the same place/time as the last. Once you've done this for all of your characters, continue the story from there.
*Bonus points if you come up with 20 or more fleshed out characters that end up in the same spot.

**Double bonus points if you involve them in a massive brawl at the end.
***Triple bonus points if they are in a cramped space (such as a small office) during this massive brawl.
****Quadruple bonus points if one of them pulls a deus ex machina to end it.

- have the main character be the villain's grandmother
*if she has lemon tea with scones on the hour every hour
**if she calls the villain during the most important evil plot that they are unfolding
***if the call is about missing forgetting mothers day

-a character carries an object with him that has seemingly no use whatsoever to him, yet passerby stare and say stuff like "Isn't that the orb of eternal sight?"
+if another character says something along these lines, "Really? Random Enpeesee said it was the wand of fire", and every time someone comments on the object, the character adds what everyone else said the object was to the list (i.e, "Bvard said it was X, but Ricki thinks it's Y, and Randyoldguy insisted it was Z, and...")
++if the object really has an ability, but it's totally pointless, such as turning gold into tree bark
+++if the object actually resolves some point with its seemingly useless ability (e.g. the MC uses the object to eliminate a bunch of gold from the market, causing the price to skyrocket and make the party rich by selling what gold she has hoarded.)

Have a character who hates netspeak/chatspeak/txt-tlk.Double points if the character attacks people who use any of it.Triple if the character goes to the trouble of hunting down the person using it.Quadruple if the character somehow manages to kill someone via text message or Instant Messenger.Quintuple if the character gets arrested for mass homicide at one point, but released because no one can figure out how it was done.Hextuple if the character is eventually killed by someone using txt-tlk as their weapon.Septuple points if this is utterly vital to the plot.

- Have a character point out grammatical inconsistencies
+If the grammar is in the writing so the character shouldn't know about it
++If the other characters don't question how the character knows

- have a character who capitalizes words
+ if the words are totally random, not proper nouns
++ if other characters notice and comment on it
+++ if the characters start arguing about the capitalization

- Have someone say, “Maniacal laughter is inappropriate and unbecoming.”
+if it’s the villain.

- Have one of your characters tell another character: "Sometimes your toys are evil and have to be destroyed."
+if it's to a kid as your character hands her toy back all beaten and broken.
++if the kid goes on to be a great warrior afterwards, defeater of toys everywhere.

Have a character who wears a chainmail bikini for most of the action.
+ It's not the young, lithe, beautiful princess/whatever
++ It's worn in some totally unsuitable situations such as in snow
+++ No-one else notices until the end when they ask "What's with the chain mail?" and the character has a totally plausible answer
++++ It's vital to the plot
+++++ The character wearing it is male
++++++ It is not at all magical

- Have random words rained down in different points in the story. The character who has been hit by the word would act for an entire day (chapter/whatever) according to the word.
e.g MC's been hit by "philosophy", so he'd be sprouting different theories every few seconds... blah blah blah.

- Have the MC find a poodle randomly in every chapter
+if the poodle is ignored
++if the poodle is secretly the villian in disguise!

- Have your hero contact a temp agency ("Rent-A-Minion") to hire a replacement henchman, and then have everyone, including the narrator, refer to him as "The Temp". Have him pester the hero about being hired as a permanent member of the party so that he can have a real name like everyone else.
(added by the first poster's hubby)
Have the "Temp" really bust his ass trying to impress his employer.All the while complaining about his lack of status and low pay compared to the "lazy full timers"eventually have the Temp hired and given a lame name and title (Ralph, Junior Assistant Loot Carrier)From then on, have him avoid work and talk about how best to look good on an upcoming review without having to workuse the phrase "It's not my job" frequently
+if your hero has to hire another temp to do the work the old temp used to do.

Have a villain who sleeps with a teddy bear.
+if this is her big, dark secret.
++if the heroes find out about it and use it against her.
+++if the teddy-bear factors into an ancient prophecy.

Dare: Make the first word of each chapter spell out a sentence when combined chronologically.
*the sentence pertains to the plot
** the sentence is integral to the plot

NaNoWriMo Dares

There are dares in NaNoWriMo. You don't have to do them, but if you want to, you can incorporate them into your novel. The one that looks really interesting and I might use, in part, is this one:

- Have a character that compulsively play a song that fits with every scene on a portable music player or something.
- Bonus if the other characters notice this and comment on it
- Double bonus if, during a crucial/climactic scene, said character interrupts the drama/action by screaming, "I can't find a song that fits!"

I've already had elves dancing to Fever and Blue Moon. What other damage to the mythical world of the Fae could I do with this kind of dare?

Kim, may I borrow your freaky iPod?

Character Party

Alright, I'm behind on my NaNoWriMo, but not too terribly. I'm at half of what I should be right now. Oh, and my characters have run away. They are literally having a party. This was not in my plot outline. Actually, none of what's happening is in the outline. I think my main character looked at it and then threw it away. I mean, really, where did the gay accountant elf come from?

Tuesday, October 16, 2007


I signed up for this year's NaNoWriMo. *phew* Now to come up with an idea. Maybe I should dust off Phineas or the Cat story and restart one of them. They both had nice basic ideas.

Wish me luck.

Thursday, May 24, 2007

Naming characters

Nothing creative, just a thought. If I were writing a villain for a fantasy novel, I think her name would be Brittany or Tiffany. His name would be Joe or Frank. After all, aren't there enough Voldemorts and Venificus' and Saurons... There could be a whole plot thing about the fact that the hero/ine is amazed by the name. I guess I'm just starting to think that some of the villain names out there are getting a bit silly.

It would only work in an urban fantasy, of course. If I had to make up an entire world, the names would have to be made up. But why aren't there very many common names in fantasy novels, eh? Personally, I work with three other people that share mine. Surely, there'd be more than one parent who likes a certain name in any other culture. Enough overlap, at least, that the characters would likely repeat a name somewhere. Logically, anyway.

Thursday, May 17, 2007

Observations On An Intersection

I sit here, every day, and watch the world drive by me. There went the hulking bruiser; his shaved head and neat goatee accompanied by the Pekingese sitting daintily in the passenger seat. A few cars ago it was the camper driven by the black man with his hat angled jauntily over his left eye. The bus drivers all know me well enough to wave. Just as I know that in about twenty minutes the Hispanic man with his bass turned up full volume will thump his way through the intersection. He goes home at the same time every weekday and his stereo is always playing the same part of the same song every time he drives past my house.

I find I enjoy the people-watching. I get a kick out of seeing people, so intent on getting home to their wives and husbands, parents and children, lovers or pets. The little old men and women drive by in their tanks, peering myopically over their steering wheels. The soccer moms and weekend warriors drive by with frazzled expressions, trying to get Little Johnny to settle down for just five more minutes until they make it home. Some days it's only the same people, at the same times, but on others I get a treat. When the ice cream truck jingles its way by, the heads of children (and the young at heart) pick up and the heartbeat quickens. There's nothing quite like the anticipation of a sticky, cold ice cream treat from the ice cream man on a hot Summer day - except maybe that first lick.

Then there are the people that walk by. So many people go by my house on the way to the park, school, the bus or a friend's house. The children sit on my brick wall while they wait for the bus. They smile at me and tell me "Hi." I hear all about the hard assignments and tests or the fun things they plan on doing that day. The teenagers come by in twos and threes and hordes. They might wave, depending on who they're with. The people making that quick run down to the corner store give a friendly nod as they trudge up the hill weighted down with their milk and bread. After all, why drive when it's only a few blocks? We still walk around a bit in this neighborhood. There are the exercisers: older couples walking to stay fit and the younger men and women jogging up and down the hill with their headsets keeping pace.

My old friends are all but gone. Only a few of the older people from this neighborhood are left. I see them occasionally as I sit here, watching the world drive by. It reminds me of days and nights gone by. The saying "The more things change, the more they stay the same" is absolutely true. When I sat here many years ago with my husband and small children, I saw the same kinds of things: people going to or coming from work, church or friends' houses; children going to school or play. The faces and the cars may have changed, but not the people behind those faces or wheels. They still have the same dreams and desires: to make theirs and their families' lives just a little better and happier - maybe even to change the world in some small, positive way.

I sit here, every day, and watch the world drive by me.