Tag Archives: writing

A Creation Myth

When the universe was new and the planets known to earth not even a glimmer in the gods’ eyes, the two brothers perked out through the center of the universe. The universe was like a drain running in reverse and the twins, for they were mirrors of each other, grinned with shining edges of light. They were dark, visible only to each other in this new universe they had found.

They dipped out of sight, only to return with two jugs. The jugs were shaped like the curves of a mother and could be carried by one or both handles. The jugs were full of old discarded stars from other projects, and no one would miss them.

The brothers started to dribble the stars out into the swirling of the universe. Laughing and talking they started making drawings with the stars. Here was their mother’s hair spilling out along her pillow. There were the birds that called the winds into being.

The edges of their bodies were covered in the detritus of stars and planets and those dribbled off of them as they moved between the galaxies. Could a human have looked at them, they would only have seen the barest hint of their shape, for they were of the space between the stars and the empty space within atoms.

The right-handed twin formed a tight flower bud, hoping that the swirling and expanding of the universe would open it into the flower he imagined. The left-handed twin shaped a cluster into a regular pattern with the patience of a pointillist.

Between them they poured out the stars, splashing in them as boys do with puddles. Recklessly dripping and dripping the stars this way and that.

They danced among the stars, between them, now hugging some close to create a picture, or running their fingers through them to scatter a too perfect bubble of stars into a crazy quilt of patterns.
Eventually, they tired of their game and left the stars to continue their motion and gathered their jugs to leave. They heard their mother calling them home and dropped their jugs which shattered into comets and planets and hurried home to dinner and dreams. 

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Boring Writing is Annoying

I’m tired of boring writing. 

I have been reading a lot of non-fiction articles lately and the largest, most annoying fly in that ointment is that a lot of it is just boring. 

I place the blame on several things. 

One, grammar checking programs that “suggest” changes in grammar that are plain wrong. (An Aside: Dear Microsoft: “to who” is incorrect. I have aggressively turned off your grammar checker for years, so I don’t know if you’ve bothered to *fix* this annoyance yet. But please, if you run across this, fix it.) 

Two, teachers who, for years, battered into our heads that we should not write above an eighth grade level and even that was pushing it. Anything for public consumption should be readable by your average tween. Unfortunately, I internalized this and my writing now sounds like Hemingway. I hate Hemingway’s writing. I keep trying to expose myself to more unusual styles, like Cat Valente, and China Meiville, and poetry. It doesn’t generally creep into my writing though. I still have hope. 

Three, “assistant” programs that make you “write better.” By “better” they mean that you now write like a journalist for Buzzfeed. These assistants will suggest word choice changes, eliminate “redundancies” even if they are placed for emphasis, and in general will dumb down your writing so that it fits into the rules of journalism. This might be helpful if you’re churning out articles for content mills. It is not helpful if you’re trying to write the next lyrically beautiful novel that will bring tears to the eyes of all who read it. 

Four, the internet in general. Writing for the internet and trying to make a living at doing that is hard work. There are a vanishingly small number of writers who can make blogging (or its cousin content creation for sites such as Medium or Vocal) a paying job. Out of all of the blogs in the world, how many do you actually read? How many of those can actually pay the rent with the money they generate from the ads on their blogs, tips, and such? Not nearly as many as we’d like to believe. It’s hard work. And for every Boing Boing, there’s something like Willful Wanderer (my theoretical travel blog that’s dying on the vine because I haven’t actually gotten around to making content for it.)

Five, social media. We’ve gotten to a point where everything needs to be expressed in extremely short forms. “tl;dr” which, to its credit, uses a semicolon correctly, is the short form of “too long; didn’t read.” This can be applied to anything: Stories, meditations, social media posts, emails, epic poetry of long-forgotten battles, and political rants. Especially the political rants. 

I don’t think I have any advice to change this prevailing inability of authors to really make non-fiction lift off of the page. Except, maybe to stop reading earlier?

If you have a solution, please let me know in the comments below. 

(See what I did there? That’s called a “call to action” and is required for all media these days. So, like, comment, and subscribe or the blog police will cut you off from the net for three hours.)

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eBay Sales: book, Disney memorabilia

Craft Projects Completed: 0 (no not even a row)

#MilWordy Update: 64,600 words (2843 words/day to complete on time)

I finished another short story today. #MilWordy has been very successful in getting my word count up and my number of open projects down. *Please insert laughter here* Let’s look at that slightly differently: I have completed 3 short stories and developed a series of at least six books, one of which will probably end up being my NanoWriMo project for the year. Unless I can’t stand it and then, it will be the sequel to To Market. All joking aside, I am actually doing really well at blogging every day. (Almost) Some of those blogs might actually have useful content for someone too.

I have have been working through a series of lectures on writing as well, rather than just spiralling uselessly through YouTube content as is my wont. I’m even considering making another foray into the wild world of journalism. Or at least, into non-fiction. I have a concept, I just have to see if I can write convincingly and happily about it for a few thousand words at a time. I’ll post links here if I decide to do that. And maybe you can tell me what you think of the topics.

To be honest, I started taking a vitamin supplement packet about a week ago. And somehow, even if it’s placebo, it seems to be helping with my stress levels. I’ve been a lot more capable of getting stuff done. Maybe it’s the vitamins, maybe it’s the process of just doing something every day that seems to have gotten me into a better process. Whatever it is, it’s working and I’m not going to question it.

I’ll just keep on keeping on then.

Pumpkins, leaves, and laughter, my loves.

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eBay Sales: collectable car

Craft Projects Completed: 0 (but I did get a few rows knitted)

Dead Bulb Count: 15 Days (paused until Monday)

#MilWordy Update: 40,992 (Look how close we are to 50K and it’s not been a full month yet.)

I spent most of the day working on eBay things. I did enough listings to fill two boxes to go down to the storage shelves. Then, I went through the boxes of things for sale to find anything having to do with Halloween or Christmas and brought those upstairs. It’s amazing how many items are just waiting for me to list and send off to new homes. It’s a satisfying to see things leaving the house. At the same time, I’ve been through my stacks of items several times in order to find items to go to Goodwill and other thrift stores.

I’m doing my best to sell things before sending them off to a thrift shop though, since I know that they’re overloaded. Heck, Goodwill is just selling pallets of unsorted donations to people. That is a sure sign that they’re overloaded. Everyone who’s been off has had the chance to do some spring cleaning. I’m only donating things that I can’t ship easily. Or things that will be better if someone can touch them. For example, if I want to get rid of a large poster frame, it makes sense to send it to the thrift shop as opposed to trying to ship it.

I’m going to start exploring Facebook marketplace for things, but I just don’t really want to spend time on Facebook these days. It’s just been getting to be a stressful swirl for the past few months. I want to keep in contact with the few people I have no other contact information for, but I just can’t see that happening if I leave Facebook completely. I’m going to need to think about whether or not I really want to stay in contact with people who aren’t actually friends. I’m fairly certain that being sure that not having contact information beyond being FB friends means that we’re not close enough that I should worry about. Ug. I hate big decisions like that.

Other than eBay stuff, it’s been a pretty bland day. I’m about to launch into some sprints (along with a video of someone else doing the same thing) just to keep myself writing. I’m getting a little behind on my schedule, but I’m still under 2800 words per day. As long as I keep it there or lower, I’ll survive. I can do about 1K in a 25 minute sprint and I’m going to make sure I do at least 2 sessions with a friend (via Discord) this week to keep myself moving forward.

And check it out, I’m on a streak that’s 20 days long. I think that may be the longest daily blogging I’ve ever managed, if you don’t count pre-scheduled posts like the writing from prompts I’ve been doing. Which reminds me, we’re about due one of those aren’t we?

The fandom story I’m working on has turned into a meditation on agency and I’m not sure how deep it’s going to get. It’s also got characters airing out emotions and issues and finding resolution before their mission because mission mindset means you don’t walk into a mission without eliminating the negative energies. It’s surprisingly mature for the team, but it also means that all of the little things that could be used against them can’t be. They’re no longer weaknesses if they’ve been talked out. Even if the issues aren’t completely healed, at least everyone’s taking the time to process them before they become a problem.

And I’m trying my hand at building actual emotional and mental health consequences for the histories of the characters. It’s good practice for when I’m working on original stories.

That’s my plug for why fanfiction is a good thing by the way. It lets the author test out plotting and character reactions without having to come up with all of the world and character details. They can take two characters from their stock, put them into a situation and play around without how things work out. And it’s not the investment it would be if you were creating characters from scratch. It lets and author play with tone and type of writing. You’ll rarely find me writing in present tense because I’ve tried it out in fanfic and I don’t like how it flows or feels unless I’m deep inside someone’s head and/or it’s a mental breakdown or a dream. It gives stories a very strange feeling and it might be useful in a horror short story, but a full novel would make me want to throw my computer out the window.

I’m stepping off my very short soapbox now. TTFN.

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Throwing my Hat in the Ring #MilWordy

What in the heck is #MilWordy? It’s a challenge / goal of writing One Million Words in the next year.

It kicks off September 1st. I’m committing to it. Or committing to being committed.

Below is Kate Cavanaugh to explain more. (Not me! To my friend group she’d be Other-Other-Kate.) If you’re interested in writing and writing challenges and writing styles and writing habits, I highly recommend her channel. She’s very open about her process/progress and everything else.

On the plus side — all words count: fiction, non-fiction, blogs, articles, editing words, non-publishable, publishable. All of it. For me it averages out to about 2800 words per day. That’s about 2 hours of work a day. Some days will be a little more, some a little less, but Nano should be a breeze this year. LOL.

Wish me focus and determination and grit.

And hey, maybe you want to give it a shot too. What’s the worst that could happen? You end up with a few hundred thousand words you wouldn’t have written before. This is a shoot for the stars, land on the moon sort of deal.

Come on.

Do it.

You know you want to.


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Tiny little brag

I have my first sale on one of my self-published pieces. (Under a pen-name that I will not be linking to this site.)

I’m sort of freaking out about that.

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