Monday, October 29, 2012
Ah haunted houses. No matter what you believe they are pretty fun for the imagination. I thought I'd talk about both haunted houses as in really haunted houses with ghosts and poltergeists, and haunted attractions which I have a special fondness for. Personally I do believe in ghosts so that's the slant that I'm going with here. Hey, anything is possible in this world.
So we all know about haunted houses. Those places where someone or something is showing itself to the people who live there or visit there. Most of us probably have memories of that one house in the neighborhood that all the other kids swears is haunted. Haunted house lore has been around for as long as anyone can remember. Hauntings in general are a lot more of a common belief than most realize. Locations that claim to be haunted are usually places where violent death has occurred. Unfinished business keeps these spirits here or they're the residual energies of those who lived and died there. Haunted locations can be anything from houses to battlefields to cruise ships.
There's all sorts of arguments over whether or not some place is haunted or not. It's the same arguments for whether or not ghosts exist. I tend to keep an open mind about everything. Like I said before I do believe in ghosts in whatever form they take, and I also think that there is never a simple explanation.
The haunted attraction plays off this. You take all the elements of horror to create an interactive experience to scare and entertain people. It's a dream job, getting paid to scare people...seriously how awesome is that? It's not an easy job and every year you have to come up with new material to keep people interested. Going to haunted house attractions is the highlight of Halloween. It's basically the chance to live a horror movie without the actual threat of death and dismemberment. Doing a bit of research no one really knows where the tradition of haunted houses came from though the oldest haunted house seems to be from about 1915 and they came into real popularity starting at about 1960 or 1970.
The people that I was always impressed with were those who literally created a mini haunted house on their own lawn/homes. It was this extra added treat to Trick or Treating that you always hoped for and of course once you know who does it every year that's the house you always make a point to go to.
Saturday, October 27, 2012
The original legend of the Jack O' Lantern comes from an Irish legend. I won't go into major detail, and there are many variations, but basically Stingy Jack decided that he was smarter than the devil and managed to trick him. The deal they struck was that the devil would never take Jack's soul. Turns out the catch is that Jack's soul was doomed to walk the earth forever in darkness. The devil through him a bone, or in this case an ember that would never die and would help light Jack's way through the darkness. Jack's favorite vegetable was turnips and he had one in his possession at the time. Jack carved out a hollow in the turnip and placed the ember in there creating a makeshift lantern.
Those from Ireland, Scotland, and England would also carve turnips, potatoes, rutabagas, and beets and make them into lanterns to ward off evil spirits. The images carved into them would sometimes represent certain ghosts and spirits. They'd place these lanterns in their windows or on their doorsteps to keep those spirits out of the home. Pumpkins being used as jack o' lanterns has American origins, started by some of the first Irish immigrants who came to the New World.
No matter how you look at it or what you decide to carve into your own Halloween pumpkin it's a fun tradition that brings back great childhood memories. It just isn't Halloween without a jack o' lantern sitting at your doorstep glowing brightly in the night.
Saturday, October 13, 2012
Oh October. Love this month and this season. Fall is lovely and I wish for it year round. I also love Halloween though in the past few years I haven't really done much to celebrate it. Life always gets in the way and though really it's not a great excuse it is never the less what happens.
Halloween has also provided for some great inspiration. My zombie story was prompted by something that happened not around Halloween but by a friend. Said friend was given this story as a present for Halloween since it seemed the best time to finish it for her. It's the same story I've published here on my blog. Plans for celebrating the holiday are up in the air at the moment. It really depends on how the universe decides to treat me and how I decide to react to it. I'm getting geared up to try and kick it's ass into submission so we'll see how that goes :)
'The Haunted Life' first segement is nearly done. It's taking me longer than I thought to fine tune it but I should be done by the end of this week. As I type this I have my handy dandy red writing journal next to me and I'm jotting things down as I go along. So far it's pretty fun stuff, both to write and read or so my writing group has told me. Great bunch of people they are.
Taking a que from the A to Z challenge I'm going to make a little challenge to myself. The week of Halloween I think I'll do a post a day revolving around something that's usually connected to Halloween. I'll do the research on the lore and myths and write about it. A nice little seven day challenge, and I might learn something in the process which is always fun. Plus it might be fun to be able to geek out on a few things for a bit and not focus on my novel and story writing. It's times like that that sometimes provide my brain the best opportunity to wander and come up with new stuff.
Tuesday, September 25, 2012
Blogger has an app...the most glorious words that I could have heard yesterday. Thus my improtu post today on my phone of all things. This is kinda awesome. The interface is simple and easy. What more can a person ask for?
I thought I'd touch a couple of points today really quick since I now can. The previously unnamed project has a name. The title is now 'The Haunted Life'. I think it's quite appropriate and I'm very happy with it. I'm almost done with the first segment so I'll be posting it on here for everyone to read. I hope to get some feedback on it and if not I just hope people are reading it.
That brings me to my next point. I am being a very bad blogger. The A to Z challenge taught me that blogging is a very social sport. It's not just about people reading your blog and commenting/loving/hating it. I also have to do the same and I'm ashamed to say I am horrible at keeping up. Also I end up reading a lot but I don't always leave comments and that's my next goal. Keep up with my blog list and open dialogues with people.
So I'd like to take just this moment to say to all of you out there with or without blogs that you're all awesome and keep up the good work. I appreciate all your support and all of your awesome thoughts that you put out there into the universe :)
And smile, it's Avengers day! I'm so going out and picking up my preordered copy! Here comes the geekfest!
Monday, September 17, 2012
Despite my motto of not doing more than one project at a time, I've found myself taking on another project. I'm still working on my novel but an old idea looked at in a new way has caught my interest. Last year around Halloween time I came up with a haunted house story idea that just didn't go anywhere. Basically it was a what if idea about real life monsters and creatures living in a haunted house and earning a living by scaring people. This haunted house was owned by a young man who basically took care of everyone there. I decided to look at it in a different point of view. Instead of starting in the middle of the story I've decided to start from the beginning. How did this guy come to own the place? What's his story? Thus my newly minted untitled project.
I was thinking it would be a great story to write then turn into a movie script. Others have said it would make a great television series or mini series. I guess we'll see. Depends on how much material I can come up with. In the meantime I've decided that I'm going to write it as a series here on my blog. Keeps me attached to the blog and keeping it up to date, and gives people something more to do than just listen to my ramblings, not of course that that's a bad thing ;)
I still need to come up with a title and how I'm going to format it. It'll be nice getting some feedback and hopefully it'll also generate some traffic here. Part of keeping up traffic is also keeping up with the blogs that I want to read. So much blog reading to do and so little time...er lack of internet connection...and I can't do that sort of thing at work normally so it'll be tricky.
I like the new story idea and it's being done in the first person which is a great challenge. Not very many people like writing in the first person and it makes you so much more aware of how you're writing. I don't know about anyone else but third person past tense is so natural it just happens. You don't think about it and it falls trippingly off the tongue, or pen, or keyboard. That being said I think this story wouldn't come off well if I did it third person past tense. It just seems to scream first person present tense. Nice little exercise all around.
Halloween is coming up and I can't wait. It's a great time of year and it seems to gear up the creative juices. Not just for horror stories either. I don't know what it is about the holiday but something just puts me in a creative mood. It's so much fun and of course it's Fall, my favorite time of year. I just feel so much better right about now.
Not giving up on Harbinger of course, that's my pride and joy baby right there. Doing both stories and I made a deal with myself. For every page or paragraph or sentence that I write in the new story I have to do the same in the other. It's only fair. All of your kids need the same amount of attention, even if you know that one of them is definitely your favorite.
Tuesday, August 21, 2012
Many apologies for not writing here much, but hey life happens. Between work and some serious blockage in my writing it's been difficult. A lot of soul searching must be done before I can proceed with what I feel I must do with myself. I don't feel like writing, but I feel that I really need to. My list of things to do right now consist of cleaning my house, fixing my car, and finishing my book. Also to stop obsessing over certain actors and casting the movie of my book in my head. Again, before the book is even finished.
Steamfest was fun and interesting even if things didn't turn out the way I wanted them too. There was a great turn out and I reconnected with people that I had met at CONduit and LTUE. The League of Utah Writers Roundup is coming up but unfortunately I don't think I'll be able to make it to that one. Too bad too since Brandon Sanderson is due to make an appearance.
I recently had an interesting moment in my head while trying to get myself to write. Ever since I started this project I was pretty set on it being the only one of this universe I wrote. Unfortunately that universe has other things in mind and I've got the beginning of the second book though I have no idea what it would be ultimately be about. It was as if the characters decided that they wanted to further the journey. On one hand I figured out the ending to my first book....on the other hand I know have a second project to do. Both have their pros and cons. I've taken to just writing randomness and seeing how it goes from there. So far it's helping the juices to flow, even if it is slowly. But hey, better slow than nothing at all.
Monday, July 9, 2012
Anyway, seems I didn't make it through the whole A to Z challenge, but for my first time I did a lot better than I thought I would. Next year will definitely work out better and I'll come up with a better gameplan. That seems to be the key, especially for me. I made a list but not much more planning beyond that. Anyway it was a fun challenge and I loved seeing what others wrote. Greatest part of the challenge was meeting other bloggers and learning stuff from them.
CONduit was excellent this year and I can't wait to go again. I was able to pass out all the preview pamphlets of my book and I hope I get some good responses. If not, well I'll just keep on plugging and hope for the best. Same goes for finishing my book. I hope to be done by the end of the year, if not sooner. After that it's a matter of cleaning it up and making it look pretty. The second draft work is going to be hard since it means possibly cutting out things and rewriting. Necessary though terrifying.
I really enjoyed doing those themed posts about random geek topics. I think I might fill in the time with more of those even if they don't have to do with my writing. This is a geek girl blog after all and I am supposed to ramble. Already have something in mind for my next post. Something my friends are getting sick of hearing me rant about I'm sure.
The only other new thing going so far is the Salt City Steamfest going on in a couple of weeks. I'm making up a costume as we speak and hopefully I'll be able to post up some pictures. It's the first time they've done it here in Salt Lake City so it should be interesting. And really, who doesn't love steampunk in all it's forms? I won't be promoting my book there, this is a purely fun trip. There's some interesting panels on character creation and steampunk storytelling. Can't wait!
Saturday, April 14, 2012
It's been said that many of the stories surrounding the events of the broadcast are exaggerated but you can't deny the effect it had on people. Most of the time mass hysteria presents in people like an illness. It spreads in almost the same way too. An interesting one that I read about in that same article was called the "Strawberries with Sugar virus". It occurred in 2006 and happened when 300 or more students contracted the symptoms of a disease that had affected the school in a popular teen program called...you guessed it Strawberries with Sugar. That's the English translation of the Portuguese title of the show. The kids actually reported symptoms of rashes, dizziness, and difficulty breathing. It forced schools to close and was later ruled as a case of mass hysteria.
There are many other examples of mass hysteria all more interesting to read than the next. It's amazing how people get caught up in the things, and it's not really that hard to believe.
Friday, April 13, 2012
I know by the tone of my posts that it seems I'm way obsessed with comic books, or the Batman universe anyway, one of my original science fiction loves is Star Trek. I remember watching it with my Dad though at the time I was only half paying attention. I grew up during the TNG era but will never forget the original series. I have a favorite character for each of the series but Leonard McCoy is my favorite of TOS.
In my opinion he had the best lines and he was the emotional anchor of the show. He was Star Trek's southern gentleman and his entry into Starfleet had a hint of tragedy to it. With the newest movie we got a new McCoy and I loved Karl Urban's portrayal. It doesn't hurt that he's a Star Trek fan and wanted to do the best possible job. He was going to be the topic of yesterday's post but there wasn't enough time for me to gush :)
I was disappointed with a statement of J J Abrahm's where he felt that Star Trek was all about the relationship between Kirk and Spock. While those two did have a strong relationship, and I agree it should have been built up, to me Star Trek TOS was all about the trio. The interaction between Kirk, Spock, and McCoy was the most fun to watch and each character had a special relationship with the others. I especially love watching Spock and McCoy verbally spar and hope they highlight the trio relationship in the upcoming movie.
I could go on and on and on but work beckons. See you guys tomorrow!!
Oh and I definitely want to write a later post about my other obsession, Karl Urban...and technically it does have to be about my book so it works :)
Thursday, April 12, 2012
This is probably going to seem way off for my usual topics but today's all about knitting. I picked up this hobby just for the fun of it almost ten years ago and I've dabbled with off and on since then. It helps me a lot when I'm writing, it helps me to focus my mind and gives me something to do when I'm frustrated. Best part is I can make some cool geeky stuff with it too. I'm in the process of finishing a Doctor Who scarf for a friend of mine. I need to finish it so that he can wear it to CONduit convention coming up soon. They're having a Doctor Who theme this year and it should be a blast.
Wednesday, April 11, 2012
So today is all about Jason Todd, the second Robin and currently Red Hood. Here is another character in the DC universe with quite the complicated history. I'll just write about the basics since there are multiple lines you can explore when you research this character. Jason Todd was an orphan who was recruited by Batman after trying to steal the tires off of the Batmobile. His mother was a drug addict who died of an overdose and his father was muscle for Two Face who disappeared mysteriously. Jason took over when the original Robin, Dick Grayson, grew up to become Nightwing. Batman takes him under his wing and trains him to become the new Robin.
The fans however didn't like this version of Robin or Jason Todd for that matter (this origin is a revamp from the pre Crisis days) and as such the Powers that Be decided to let the fans decide whether he would stay or not. They held a vote during one of the story arcs. During the "Death in the Family" story Jason discovers that the mother he knew is not his real mother and begins to track her down. He find her only to discover she is being blackmailed by the Joker, forcing her to help him. This leads to a confrontation between the two that ends up with the Joker beating Jason with a crowbar, then leaving him in an explosion to die. The fans were asked to vote as to whether or not Jason survived, and the vote was against him living.
Not the end for this guy though, oh no. In some weird twist with the alternate worlds of the DC universe Jason comes back to life, is taken in by Talia al Gul and given a dip in the Lazarus Pits to restore his memory. He then trains himself all over again and begins his journey to becoming the Red Hood and exacting revenge on Batman and the Joker. There is a lot more zaniness to follow but not enough time to write about it all. Eventually Jason officially became the Red Hood, trying to redeem himself for all he's done. Thus beings the newest series that recently start Red Hood and the Outlaws. It's great by the way and one of the newer revamped series that I am most definitely picking up again.
Jason was definitely the darkest Robin to date. A childhood criminal who used excessive force when he became Robin. A really good watch if you want to take in more about him is the latest animated movie Under the Red Hood. Batman is voiced by Bruce Greenwood and Jason is voiced by Jensen Ackles (of Supernatural fame, I really love that man) and it even has an appearance by Neil Patrick Harris as Nightwing. Great, great movie. Jason's another one of those complicated characters who seem to exist in the grey area of the Batman universe. He's not sure where he belongs and quite where he stands. All he's really sure about is that he wants to belong somewhere and he wants to become his own person. Other than that he's making it up as he goes along.
Tuesday, April 10, 2012
So this is the main mode of transportation of the boys, Dean and Sam. They use it to travel across country and also to store their weapons in the trunk in a hidden compartment. It's Dean's pride and joy, a gift from his dad. It's become such a part of the show that's it's pretty much a character itself. Kind of like Serenity on Firefly, the show wouldn't be Supernatural without the impala.
It's just a beautiful car. One of these days I will own one someday.
Monday, April 9, 2012
So here comes another spewing about one of my other all time favorite female comic book characters, Huntress. Did some reading up on her and came up with mostly information I knew but also a few new facts. Now if you know about Huntress you'll know that in the DC universe there are two versions of this character. There's the alternate universe version who is Helena Wayne, the daughter of Batman and Catwoman. Then there's the more 'mainstream' version of Helena Bertinelli whose parents were killed by members of the mafia that her parents were associated with. Obviously the story is more complicated than that but you get the idea. I am of course skimming over details but anyone interested in learning the whole story, or at least a good summary: Huntress on wikipedia
The version that I like to focus on is the Helena Bertinelli version. It's the one I'm most familiar with, though I have read the comic that started the whole Huntress as the daughter of Catwoman and Batman line. I have no real problems with that version but it's not as intriguing to me as the other. To me she's kind of the female version of Batman, though still learning her way around. She's filled with the same kind of anger and thirst for vengeance that Batman has managed to focus and channel. She uses extreme measures to get things done, but she realizes that some of her methods are too extreme and is taking the measures she needs to in order to become better at her job and also better within herself.
Her origin story is different than some of the other characters in the Batman family. Daughter of a mafia don, something she doesn't realize till later, who's parents were killed in front of her at the age of eight. That sound familiar to anyone? She went to live with family in Sicily and was trained to fight, to seek blood for blood to avenge her family. Her later goal became to stamp out the mafia and all those connected with the wrong doings in Gotham. Much later on the goal became less focused on revenge and more focused on helping those around her.
Helena is a former schoolteacher (she could be one currently I haven't really updated myself on the comics just yet), and member of the Birds of Prey. During No Man's Land she donned the Batgirl costume to help bring order to the chaos. She was sponsored by Hush and given new equipment and a new costume and helped to save Batman's life. All of which was part of Hush's plans but who's quibbling on the details?
Huntress is an interesting and complicated character that doesn't have much of her own standing in the comic book industry. She's had a few of her own series but none long running. Mostly she makes appearances in other series like the many Batman comics and the Birds of Prey series. She's one of the darker heroine characters in the Gotham universe but definitely not the darkest. All in all, she's pretty cool :)
Kicking butt with the Birds of Prey!
Oh and please no one mention that one television series I wish to keep from my memory. It gives me a headache just thinking about it. Those of you who don't know about it....be glad you don't...just my opinion.
Saturday, April 7, 2012
So the G topic of today is ghosts. It's one of my favorite horror topics. I've been interested in everything associated with the phenomena from EVP to seances. Whether you believe they exist or not you have to admit they do create some interesting stories whether people are claiming them to be real or not. There are a few paranormal research groups out here near me that do ghost tours. Since the price seems to be decent and I've met the members of at least one of these groups, I think I'm going to take a shot at it. When I do I'll be posting about the experience here.
Ghosts have been believed to be everything from the souls of the deceased, to demons, to energy imprints of our daily lives. Some whisper messages, while others tend to throw things around and make a whole lot of noise. They have multiple classifications and have a place in many cultures. Their usage in literature has been vast and have helped to create some of our most memorable stories. Not to mention campfire stories you tell each other at night, seeing who can scare whom the most. Personally I'm on the fence as to whether or not they exist. I believe that there is something out there but what it is exactly I can't say.
All in all ghosts and the topics surrounding them have become quite a part of our culture. Who hasn't heard of cold spots, ghostly footsteps, haunted houses, seances to talk to the dead, etc. How detailed our knowledge is depends on ourselves really. Personally I'm an EVP fan, or electronic voice phenomena. It's still not a hard sell, any so called proof of ghosts can be doctored in some way and skeptics are always going to find some reason to not believe in what they're being told. That's perfectly fine. It's how you get lively conversation going. There always has to be two sides of the story. Plus not everything can be proved a hundred percent. Movies about ghosts are some of my favorite in the horror genre whether it's the old black and whites or some of the newer movies. Plus my overactive imagination is going to turn any ghost hunt or tour I go on into a horror movie in my head.
Friday, April 6, 2012
I once had a flair button on Facebook that declared Joss Whedon was my new god. I really meant it. His writing style and his work as a director makes him one of my favorites. He made Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Angel, and Dollhouse. His best work though has to be Firefly. A western in space....I mean really how could you go wrong?
Sadly Fox didn't think the show was doing so well and gave it the ax. A crime of the century if you ask me. Only fourteen episodes and the surface was barely scratched on this masterpiece. The characters alone carry the story but you add the backdrop of the bigger picture in this universe and you've got some complex and fun entertainment. Many of the actors on this show have now become fixtures on the geek scene. Just look at Adam Baldwin on Chuck and Nathan Fillion on Castle. Two other shows on my favorite list.
Really this could go on and on about how much I love this show. I've watched it a million times and will probably watch it a million times more. One of the best parts of this show are the lines that the actors deliver. Some of my favorite quotes come from this show:
Long live the Browncoats!
Thursday, April 5, 2012
That's right, Orson Scott Card's classic book. It was given to me to read by my Dad when I was about eleven, and it's been one of my favorites ever since. Honestly I'm not sure what about the book specifically got my attention. All I knew was that it completely drew me into the story and the lives of the characters. Since that first time I can't count how many times I've read the book and recently I picked up the twentieth anniversary edition of the audiobook. That one's made extra cool by a bit written and read by Orson Scott Card himself at the end. I may not care for the guy personally but his insights into the writing process are quite interesting.
This also happens to be one of those books that you desperately want to see a movie made out of, but at the same time not cause you know they're going to royally screw it up in some way. Don't get me wrong, I completely understand the concept of 'the movie is never going to match the book'. I get that. In some cases the movie is better, though not always. However this book is made tricky by it's characters and their ages, some of the topics in the book, and some of the scenes. Though with the Hunger Games series and it's new movie that might change soon.
Who knows what's in the future for this book. All I know is that it's a great read time and time again. It's part of a series but to be quite honest I've only read the second book, Speaker for the Dead. Anyone interested should also pick up that audiobook of Ender's Game that I mentioned. The readers and excellent and it stays true to the overall feeling of the book. Also, Ender is one of my favorite book characters and the guy who reads his sections of the book is great for the part.
Another note, the comics for this book were pretty cool too. Really enjoyed reading those.
Wednesday, April 4, 2012
So for those who don't know about the show Supernatural it's basically about a pair of demon hunting brothers. They drive across country trying to save the world one demon or evil creature at a time. The death of their mother tipped their father into obsession and it resulted in the boys being raised as warriors. While one brother tried to rebel against this training, the other embraced it. This is the older brother, Dean Winchester.
How to describe Dean...well he's sexy, flirtatious, inappropriate at times (well lots of times), brave, a bit on the sloppy side, obsessed with his car, and always looking out for his younger brother. At first glance he seems to be nothing but a shallow character. When I first started watching the show the only things he seemed concerned about were sex, rock and roll, his car, and the business of demon/monster killing. A sort of soldier that blindly followed orders as long as he could kick ass in the process. The writers of the show were clever though. They could have continued with that vein, but slowly over time they showed that there was more to the character.
Most who know me would just roll their eyes and say something along the lines of: "Well of course you'd say that, you love this guy." True...however I would say something of the same thing about Dean's brother Sam, but that's a whole other huge discussion. Both brothers are distinct, individuals that still manage to compliment each other. You also believe these two as family. They don't always get along, they don't always agree, sometimes they just want to smack the other one into unconsciousness , but in the end they'd do anything for each other.
Dean is one of those conflicted characters who on the one hand feels he has a duty to fulfill but on the other hand he has wishes and desires that he's put to the back burner for way too long. His wants are pretty simple: home, love, and what everyone considers the 'normal' life. In the end though he always sacrifices what he wants for what he needs to do...most of the time :)
All that aside the brothers are really nice to look at. Choosing between the two, Dean is definitely my favorite. He's a darker more layered character than he appears at first, and of course there's that smile. That cocky, charismatic smile that just oozes the knowledge that he can charm any woman he meets. Which happens about, well 90% of the time. The reaction he has when his wiles don't get what he wants is priceless. It's that sort of kick in the teeth you get now and again when you're so sure of something...and it falls through no matter what you try. This is especially true when Sam gets the girl and Dean gets his alone time with his car.
His skirt chasing aside, he can be quite the badass when it comes to fighting. The opposite of his smile is that glare in his eyes when he wants to kill something. Not the sort of thing you want pointed at you. This is not a man you want to meet in a dark alley when he's pissed off. Especially if his brother's been threatened and/or hurt. That happens and I suggest you build a bomb shelter somewhere deep, deep in the ground.
I could praise this guy from dawn till dusk. He has faults, god does he have faults, but he has good points too. In other words he's human. He's not perfect and it makes him an interesting character. The smile doesn't hurt either, or the smoldering eyes, or the....ehm anyway. He's awesome. Underneath the gorgeous looks both he and his brother are well written characters. No matter what you think of the show or my analysis you do have to give the writers and the actors credit for putting in a good deal of emotion and complexity into these portrayals.
Tuesday, April 3, 2012
To get back a little on the writing about writing track I've decided to devote this post to CONduit, a local sci fi, fantasy, horror convention that has a lot of panels about writing. It's great for those who like to focus on just those genres, much like the LTUE conference whole helped me remember why I was interested in those genres in the first place. I've never been to this convention before, though I have friends who have and they love it. The new thing this year is also that a few friends of mine and I are hopefully renting table space there.
We're each using the table space for different things. Personally I hope they get a lot more out of it than me since their finished projects need the attention whereas with mine I just need buzz. I'm still trying to figure out how, and I've got some good ideas going so that shouldn't be a problem. Though I'm not much of a salesman of my own work so this will be challenging. It frightens me a bit, talking about my books face to face with people. You get those emotions of wanting them to love the idea, or just liking it. Anything other than disinterest.
I am looking forward to the writing panels at CONduit. Anything that helps me further learn about my art and craft is always a good thing. It's also a major geek added bonus that Doctor Who is a theme this year and that Tim Russ of Star Trek Voyager fame will be there as well. Love it!
They have some of the typical convention fair: artist tables, competitions, gaming events, and panels. I've found that the right conventions and conferences can give you a lot of energy and inspiration. That extra oomph to add to your step. Plus it's just downright fun.
Check out the event's website: http://http://conduit-sf.com/
No pictures this time... sad :(
Monday, April 2, 2012
Barbara Gordon is considered the one and only Batgirl though technically she's not the first. In the pre Crisis on Infinite Earths days, Batwoman was created as a possible source of romance for Batman. Kathy Kane, aka Batwoman, had a sidekick named Bat-Girl who also happened to be her niece Betty Kane. The romance factor didn't really work and post Crisis, Batwoman was written out.
All this paved the way for my favorite Batgirl, Barbara Gordon. From her we get the trademark flaming red hair and feisty attitude. She is the daughter of the beloved Commissioner James Gordon and on again, off again love interest of Dick Grayson. She was originally written as head librarian of the Gotham city library and evolved into the lead library researcher (can we say major geek anyone?) and she's an ace with computers. She can definitely give Batman a run for his money, and even when she was paralyzed by the Joker she still managed to kick ass from her wheelchair.
Her stint as Oracle gave her even more power. She was this all knowing, all seeing power in the Batman universe. She was hooked into every bit of information in the world. She formed the Birds of Prey and in my opinion is one of several super heroines that define the word girl power. Yeah there's a little hero worship going on in my brain. It really can't be helped. I used to play her when my friends and I played Batman at the playground during recess....yeah this goes that far back.
Research on Batgirl and then specifically Barbara Gordon gave me a list of past and present Batgirls, here in chronological order:
Stephanie was the latest to pick up the mantle of Batgirl but I'm extremely happy to say that Barbara is back. The DC relaunch brought Barbara out of paralysis and back into her crime fighting costume. I'm way behind on my comic books but my next paycheck is going to find me at the local comic bookstore to get as many back issues as I can get. So far the 52 relaunch is proving to be really fun. That leads into another obsession of mine, Jason Todd or the Red Hood but that's another post.
Basically Barbara is the one and only Batgirl. I love the others too but not as much as her. She's definitely a good role model for us geek girls.
Sunday, April 1, 2012
Ah the first topic of the A to Z challenge. This one had me worried only because it's the first one and it's always the one that you have to cut your teeth on. So my topic this post is alternate universes or AU fan fiction. For those already familiar with the topic just kind of skim my ramblings and pick out the more interesting bits :)
AU is basically a type of fan fiction where you take your favorite characters and put them into situations they'd never normally face. In order to do some research I checked out wikipedia and I got some interesting information. Though honestly the point of this is not to quote wikipedia so I'll provide a link at the end of the post. I write fan fiction, though not so much lately. I like to add in my own characters and sometimes even rewrite episodes. I love AU fiction because it can get really fun.
It's hard for me to put an exact definition my fan fiction writing since I'm not deep into that community of writing. I'm purely a dabbler. I've written several stories that I haven't finished yet. The problem I've run into in the past is that I get so obsessed with the details that I can't go on with the writing. It's a problem that's present in my novel writing too, which is why I'm trying to keep the research to a minimum for now...unless it's necessary.
Back to the AU fiction. Whether I write it or not, I love reading it. While the stories can be serious, it can also get quite silly but sometimes that's what you're craving. Crossovers are my favorite since they take fictional characters from two different universes and put them together. It's the kind of stuff you always imagine, like say for instance what it would be like if the characters on Star Trek met up with oh I don't know...Doctor Who.
That's an obvious example but there you go. A few of my favorite AU fiction even puts Star Trek characters into the real world. My favorite involves Kirk and McCoy from the newest Star Trek and made them into real world police officers and partners. If I can find the link to that story I'll post it and you guys can check it out. It's great fun.
People either love AU fiction or they hate it. Personally as long as it's well written and entertaining that's all I care about. Everyone's got an opinion about it and that's fine. I look at that kind of writing as kind of an exercise. When I'm stuck and can't go forward on my novel I turn to AU fiction for no pressure kind of writing. You want it to be good but you can take it a little less seriously than your main project...or just as seriously but with much more whimsy. At least that's how I see it. It also depends on how big a fan your are of the topic you're tackling.
AU fan fiction is just a great way to explore all those things we think about or talk about when we're watching our favorite shows, or reading our favorite books/comic books, etc. We can make the story into something we imagine, though still paying as much respect to the original intent. Fun can be had while still enjoying that little obsession we know well and love.
Here's the link to the wikipedia article: Alternate Universe: Fan Fiction
Also here's a link to a great place to read a wide variety of fan fiction: http://www.fanfiction.net/
Side note...ah fun with pictures in blog posts...I could get used to this.
Sunday, March 25, 2012
Thursday, March 22, 2012
Otherwise not much to write about. Just thought I'd post something so everyone knows that I'm still alive. This week has been very busy with my parents visiting and my birthday coming up soon. Though on a definite writing note I found something very interesting today. My parents and I went to a thrift store and I made the usual beeline to the books. I found a 2000 edition of a book on self publishing. Twelve years old but you never know what you'll find. There might be some good advice in there and it possibly might be a good sign.
On that note I'm off to write a couple of pages....and knit....till I get sleepy :)
Sunday, March 11, 2012
Another part is taking care of the other little details most people don't think should be done till much later. A friend of mine is designing a symbol for me that I'm going to incorporate into my story more cause it's just plain kick ass cool. That and it'll add another dimension to the story that most people I talk to find pretty cool...(thanks Harold, Jackie, Jaron, and Rachel!) I think it will add to the characters actions, how he decides to do what he does, and what direction he goes. I've even begun creating picture folders for my characters on my computer. I'm casting actors I like in the roles I think they'd be good in. This way I have a visual to look to if I ever need to speak to my characters face to face.
The symbol is also exciting cause it means I'll have something to put on promotional bookmarks and business cards for myself to help promote my book. It's definitely going to feel a bit surreal with my name on a business card, but hey whatever helps.
On another note a coworker of mine just published his first book. He's also going the self publishing route by printing his book out on lulu.com and using their amazon resources to sell it. Advertising at work and carrying a few copies with him at all times also help him sell. I bought a copy but I haven't read it yet. He's also doing a sort of heaven and hell thing with archangels giving super powers to a group of people to provide God some amusement. Here's a link to the lulu marketplace to purchase: http://www.lulu.com/product/paperback/chosen/18890165 I haven't read it yet so I don't know much about it and can't give it a decent review but once I do I'll let you guys know. The concept looks really cool and he got an artist to do some great illustrations. I'm checking out lulu to see how much it would cost to print out some preview pamphlets for CONduit. They've got a template I might be able to use to just print them out myself since really all I want is a simple staple copy. It's just a matter of finding someone with a printer who's willing to help me out since I don't have one right now.
Some great things coming up in the next couple of months. We got the A to Z challenge and CONduit. Oh and did I mention it's my birthday this month? :)
Sunday, February 26, 2012
I've been debating on doing that for a while now and really in the long run it would depend on how much a table would run me. Annoying things like rent, food, gas for my car, etc always seem to get in the way of the things I want to do. How dare real life get in my way?
I believe the next big event around here would be CONduit, a local science fiction/fantasy convention and it has the audience that I'm looking at. Would it motivate me and give me a poke in the side that I'd need to finish the book faster? Maybe, I can't be sure....unless I do it. It's an investment either way and I guess if I went to something like that, find out if people actually like the idea of my book, then it would be something to tell me "Hey, people actually would read this thing...it might be a great idea." It's definitely a nice boost to the ego to be able to know you have an audience out there demanding product. In the end I have to be happy with my story, but it is nice to know that people outside of my awesome writing group would love to hear more of my story. Though honestly if my writing group were the only ones to buy the book I'd still be really happy cause I love those guys.
So if I could get a table at the convention, just a small one mind you, I was trying to come up with ways to promote the book. Banners and stuff are always nice and you see people walking around with those nifty bookmarks but I don't really have cover art for my book and I'm sure that'll cost me some money too. I'll look into it but I was also thinking of maybe printing out a pamphlet type deal with a preview of my book...maybe say the prologue and the first chapter? I know the convention's coming up soon so I have to make a few decisions soon. Any artists out there wanna give me a hand with a cover design?
Also on a side geek note, I just bought a board game from my friend's store, Fongo Bongo Games. I really shouldn't have but I couldn't resist. It's the Star Trek Expeditions Game based on the newest Star Trek movie that yes I actually liked, and yes I am a Trekkie/Trekker depending on how you want to say it. Haven't played it yet but I'm getting off the computer soon to try it out. It's kinda nice cause it only requires a minimum of one player to play. Yay!
Friday, February 24, 2012
Speaking of chapter nine I'm debating on whether or not to follow my usual formula. The chapter starts with a conversation between three archangels. Now in past chapters whenever I had a conversation between say God and the angel, and Lucifer and Lilith it became the whole chapter. The scene between these characters are usually the entire chapter then I move onto Galen and his interactions with others. So my question is whether or not to have the entire of chapter nine focus around these three archangels, or include what I want to happen with Galen as well. At this point it's about just going with it and see what happens.
I recently started reading Beyonders: A World Without Heroes by Brandon Mull and it's some pretty cool stuff. It starts out pretty crazily but I like that zaniness about it. Pretty good start for my mission to read more, especially since I have a really long list to finish. Luckily several of the books on my list are audiobooks. Call me crazy but I love being read to. If you find an excellent narrator it can be just as good as watching a movie. With some books when I've listened to them several times it's also excellent to help put me to sleep. Sounds bad I'm sure but it turns into a kind of white noise that's very soothing. Right now I'm loving the narrator for The Looking Glass Wars series. Makes me think of who I could get to narrate my book once it's finished.
One thing's for sure I definitely know who I'd want to star in the movie of my book :)
Wednesday, February 22, 2012
So I was doing some random searching on the internet for links to the different writing groups and events I've gone to or that I belong to or that I plan on going to in the future and I found some extra interesting things. I now have a list of writing contests that I want to enter. Contests always make me nervous because when I write it's for me first then my audience and it's meant to be fun and out there. I mean in the end you need to pay attention to the technical details but you've got a lot of time to worry about that stuff later. With contests you need to pay attention to the creative and technical stuff right off the bat. But it'll be fun and a good exercise to keep me writing so that's always good. I also have to remember to post some of those links to my group's website, so keep an eye on that guys :)
I can't wait to participate in the A to Z challenge in April. That also seems like it might be fun and I'm already thinking I should make a list of possible topics so I get a good start. It's an interesting challenge.
Side note I have to go into work tonight ugh. I'm going to keep some paper or have my word processor up in case I feel like writing something tonight.
Tuesday, February 21, 2012
So on that note I attended one of the most awesome writing conferences two weeks ago. LTUE or "Life, the Universe, and Everything" over at Utah Valley University. A three day conference devoted to science fiction and fantasy writing. Oh yeah, geekgasm. It was so much fun. I learned a lot and met a couple of really cool writers. Even attended a couple of non writing panels such as The Secret Mind of a Serial Killer and a panel on ghost hunting. Way cool. I've really been stalled lately and it got the juices flowing. I finally started my chapter nine!!!!!
If you check out the blogs of a few of my friends they've got more details notes on the conferences panels but I'm not going to go into that. Going to stuff like that really gets me thinking. It's one of those events that tells you that maybe you really can do this and be happy with what you produce. My big questions is always about whether I'm good enough to do this or not. Then after the conference, specifically the keynote address by James Owen, I realized that I have to be the one happy with what I'm doing. I want to write for my audience, want other people to love what I'm writing but I don't like what I'm writing then what's the point? I am the first audience for this book/story/idea and if I don't have fun doing it then I shouldn't be forcing myself.
Totally attending this conference next year.
So now a revamped blog, trying to keep a very positive attitude, and get myself out there learning and meeting new people. Also, love my writing group! I've said it before and I'll say it again, they rock. Without their support I wouldn't be writing at all, let alone attending conferences and digging into the process of writing. If you haven't joined a group yet join one and if you don't have one and happen to live in Salt Lake City join our group. Yes that was my shameless plug for new members....but I'm not sure that works if no one but my writing group is reading this.....lol oh well it's worth a shot.