Monday, February 28, 2011

HA ha, Blogger decided to play nice. Pic spam!

The Hoffman House, which is actually the house I lived in for a few years.

Close up of the porch with "Amelia" on it.

The side yard and awesome built in patio

Their high school.

The town square

So apparently Blogger is playing nice now, or maybe it's just i figured out how to use is. I usually use the browser Flock but downloaded Firefox for all my writing relating things. Apparently the Blogger tool doesn't work properly in Flock.So here are some of the basic things i got on my muse trip yesterday, the high school I graduated from, the house I lived in for a time and the town square.

More tomorrow, just wanted these up to be seen...

"Get your facts first, then you can distort them as you please." ~Mark Twain

I got all ready to trace Nate and Lia's final steps and when I headed outside to discover it was raining. Now I might be crazy but I'm not stupid so I'm not going traipsing around the woods in the rain. So instead I snagged my best friend and real life inspiration for the character Amelia and showed her all the places where I grew up. Lincoln isn't as I remember it, but then again when is anything as we remember it. Everything seemed a lot more run down and older. It made made me wonder if it was always so and has been polished with glamour in my mind, or if this has happened in the ten plus years since I left.

Decided to change up where Lia lives. I had taken one of the houses I lived in and placed it where the other house I lived in was, but after seeing them both, I think a lot of the charm of the first house is it being a corner lot. I'd show them to you but Blogger is being difficult and keeps adding them to the top of my post, which looks silly. So if you want to see them, they *are* on my Facebook, in the "Nature Lover Setting" album and I might try to get them on here tomorrow.

Did some more Muse Therapy yesterday and thought it was appropriate that it mentioned going through what I do when I get in a bipolar "I suck" moment, to get back to the "I'm a genius" feeling. Well, isn't this blog and the weekend it represents the perfect answer? I definitely was having doubts that I had bitten off more than i can chew. And there is still a voice in the back of my head asking me if i really want it bad enough (to which I don't know the answer) to put up with Evil edi-turds (to steal a D.D. Scott phrase) tearing me to pieces in front of entire groups of people, and the endless lines of rejection just to get that one shining "Yes! We will publish your book." But I feel I could defend my work as not-crap, which is a fairly good start, right?

Still not sure if I wanna try the self-publishing route or if I'd like to try the "official" route too. Fortunately I have lots of time to make up my mind before I have to make a decision, enough time to watch and see what happens with some of the gang over at HP's Online Writer's Club.
For now, I'm going to spend the day writing and reading. I have a Crit Partner and want to do some of the minor revisions I was going to save for the end so I can pass the first five chapters I have done to her. Nothing to critical, just ideas I had put in that the story didn't follow or a couple more vivid descriptions of places I hadn't seen in over ten years. And so it's back to Microsoft Word with me, with the goal of 3,000 words today. It's completely doable if I just get going and only get on Facebook in the appointed breaks, fifteen minutes after and hour, thrity after two and so forth...

Sunday, February 27, 2011

"Writing is a socially acceptable form of Schizophrenia." ~E.L. Doctorow

No writing again today, which was actually kind of hard on me. Made me feel a little better that my muse is winning the arm wrestle with my internal critic. Wound up doing some work in my Scribblings book (a leather journal I put all my ideas and even some actual prose in) but mostly worked on this blog. I figure since my book involves so much nature, my blog should be full of the same greenery. Also worked on my Facebook, so feel free to drop me a request on there.

Today I'm going to spend some time on Muse Therapy, Unleashing Your Inner Sybil by D.D. Scott. I think this should be required reading for any would-be author. What have I learned from the book? Well, first that I don't drink enough. (Just kidding... kind of) Most of the anecdotes and stories involve liquor in some form or another. Don't get me wrong, I like an occasional glass of wine or perhaps a Malibu and Coke. But i find that alcohol is not a GIFT to my muse but a DISTRACTION. "Vermouth and Voices. My kind of Muse Therapy." ~D.D. Scott. All kidding aside the book is amazing and full of all kinds of useful tools to keep those word counts climbing.

I named my muse (exercise one) yesterday and thought I'd share it with you here. I call my muse Brittney. She has a habit of disappearing for long periods of time and partying like a rock star, only to wake me up in the middle of the night just to hang. When she's on she just might show up in a green bikini top with a python on her shoulders. Her dysfunctions are larger than life, but her successes seem even bigger. She might shave her head and flash her naughty bits for the world to see, but she'll come back and she can still set the page on fire. When she's on, she's on fire, and boy do I love to watch her burn.  

Might make my first Muse Trip today, though I don't know if it qualifies. It happens to be one of the happiest places on Earth, in my opinion. No, not Disney World, Luthy Botanical Gardens here in Peoria. It may not be the most impressive botanical gardens in the world, but it is the best I knew as a kid. OK, so it was the only one I knew, but it is still one of the places that gives me a happy. It also happens to be the setting for the final climax of Nature Lover and I want to make sure I capture it properly. So I will probably lace up the sneakers, grab the Nikon and trace Lia and Nate through those final moments. See if what I see in my head would actually work.

And the final bit of muse therapy I'd like to share (and I worked pretty hard on these in Photoshop yesterday) is the faces that populate my Scribblings book, the faces that are my characters. Each character tells you what they are, but I wanted to explain (in case you haven't heard) what the bulk of them are. Gaia was the ancient Greek Goddess who ruled over the Earth, the ultimate personification of Mother Nature. But she was just one member of an entire race that has now taken her name. The females of the race have all the healing and nurturing properties, the gift of life. The men have the destructive powers, lightning, erosion and weather.So without further adieu, I present to you my muses.

The problem with writing for young adults is if you think your characters are kind of hot, you're a little bit of a perv... Ah, well, I shall embrace my perviness cause I love all my characters. Hopefully everyone else will too.

Saturday, February 26, 2011

The only limits are the ones in your own imagination. ~Elizabeth Dawn

That's right folks, my own original quote. Thought I'd start with a little style and grace because who knows how much of THAT I'll be able to pull off. I suppose this is my first exploration as Elizabeth and I have to say it feels nice to be at the keyboard without the pressure of word counts, plot points and relevance. I like being at the wheel outside of Word. Don't get me wrong, it's nice there and all, but a girl's gonna get cabin fever if you don't allow her out into the world (wide web) once in a while.

I'm sure you haven't heard of me yet. At least I hope you haven't. If you have, it's all lies, I swear. :D In the coming days and months and possibly even years I hope to fill this space with all sorts of random wit, humor and sparkling prose about my work, but really it will probably be full of cranky rants about diva muses, word counts that aren't nearly high enough to EVER be done and a general diatribe about the ups and downs of my work. 

My work... There's another thing I'd like to illuminate you on. As I said you haven't heard of me yet, but some day you will. Some of my poetry (and possibly a story or two) can be found at:

I warn you it's old, and I make no promises on the quality of the stories. The one book that is up there used to be my pride and joy but is now one of the many folders in my drawer of possibilities. Literally, it's in a drawer.  I don't have it in digital form thanks to the wondrous malfunction of an external hard drive. As I am a slow typer, I really don't want to have to transcribe it myself and I don't want to pay someone, so I wait until the day that the technology comes along that lets me think it and it appears on the page. 


My current project, Nature Lover, has hit that destructive point where my inner voice says, "It's crap!" and my muse responds with an ever so mature, "Nu uh!" And so I decided to use the weekend to take some steps towards making myself feel more'legit' like blogging about it. So for the first time ever, here comes the pitch.

Amelia Hoffman was raised the youngest in a painfully normal family. Or so she thought. As mysterious deaths seem to circle her town, she uncovers the truth that can tear her world apart. Not only are her siblings adopted, they're not even human; and neither is she! How she can she figure out who's killing Otherworlders when she can't seem to get a handle on who she really is?