Something old and something new.  

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

In light of losing my files, from which I'm still weeping, I have started a brand spanking new writing project. I aim for it to be a full-length novel. My new years resolution is to have the first draft finished by April. That is the most reasonable date to me as I start school afresh in about two weeks. With this new idea I'm trying out a new approach to my writing. Planning! I usually never plan anything out. I just start writing. This time I figure, what could it hurt? Nothing. In fact I'm doing pretty well so far. I've planned out the first five chapters, worked on the plot and my main characters all day. I've started writing my first chapter and I'm looking to get at least 2,000 more words down tonight. That should finish up the first chapter.

That was the something new.

Now to the old.

I was looking through my saved emails today, you know cleaning out the riffraff, when I came across an email of my short story that I'd sent myself so I could work on it at my mom's computer (you know, when my computer isn't around). I was so excited that I hadn't lost all of it. I don't have the end, but I didn't like the original ending anyway so now I can change it when I get to that part in the rewrite. Woohoo!

In light of my good mood about recovering my lost work I will leave you with a scene from said work. Keep in mind this is the first draft and unedited.

Realm of the Demon Souls: Two Months Earlier

Vigilo thought about his
daughter a lot these days. As much as he
wanted to see her, he knew it would
only cause trouble for her.

It was at one of these times when he was
thinking about his daughter
that he felt a presence near him. A Master
should feel it in his being when
someone enters his world, but this time it
was different. Someone was watching
him from inside his Realm without
alerting him first.

Well, this is a first, he thought to himself. He
looked about his room
for anything out of place. In the far side of the
room, he spotted a tiny
floating orb. It seemed to dance and take shape
before his eyes.

He thought quickly through the possibilities of the
origin of the
mysterious orb. Low-level Demons simply do not have the skill
to perform light
magic, especially on a Realm Master. Demon Lords have
neither the time nor
patience to deal in such trivial affairs. “No,” he said
aloud, “must be Angel
mockery.” Angels shouldn’t be able to pass through
three worlds completely
undetected, just one of those impossibilities. He
laughed despite himself. For
all he knew it could just be Gerulus, trying to
get a rise out of him. Besides,
he was a Master, not easily intimidated or

Vigilo found himself watching the orb again in spite of his
This time, he noticed, it did take shape. It took on a form that,
even though he
hasn’t laid eyes on in years, he’d never mistake for anything
else. His
daughter. He watched motionless as her every feature etched into
the light.
“Alexandera,” he said barely discernible to his own ears. As the
word passed his
lips, he heard a faint laughter and the image and orb were
gone. For the first
time in his two-hundred odd years as a Master Demon, he
was afraid. Not just for
his daughter’s life, but for is own, as well.

He immediately sent out for the messenger, Gerulus, his old friend, but
immediately in Demon time isn’t always instantaneous. He knew it could be a
while before Gerulus had time to get around to his request. Just as the
left his lips, he felt the force of several beings pass through his
Realm. He
knew they would come for him, quickly, after he sent for Gerulus.
scribbled a note, and hid it in a place where he knew only Gerulus
would find
it. Whatever happens, he wrote, help her.

Thank you, my friends, and Happy Holidays!

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Can weather be ambiguous?  

Monday, December 22, 2008

Winters in Florida are very confusing. It doesn't know weather it wants to be hot or cold. The last couple of weeks have gone exactly like so: Seventy-five degree weather for two days straight then it rains and there is the resulting Fifty degree weather and then it starts all over again.

The weather totally set me up last week. I woke up to a promise of warm weather. The sun was shining and the weather man proclaimed it to be a seventy to eighty degree day, this excites me as I loathe being cold. I meant to be somewhere but I'm running late so I quickly put on the first thing I pull out of my drawer which happens to be a pair of shorts. (I know, I know, don't say it.) Normally I wouldn't even consider putting them on in December but it was seventy degrees and I think, "what's the worst that could happen?"

Would you like to know what the worst that could have happened?

I get sick! That's the worst thing that could have happened and, of course, it did happen.

I'm still sick, actually, but I'm feeling much better than I have for the entirety of last week. I had "flu like" symptoms but not the flu. Oh yeah, I hate being sick, and I double hate taking medicine.

Needless to say, I have learned my lesson. Next time I'll just set the alarm clock(which I absolutely hate doing because I hate the sound it makes).

Yes, I know, I hate a lot of things but being sick makes me that way.

As if that's not bad enough, I'm sad to say that my blopera, as of now, will no longer happen. It's a long story, but I'll simply say that from now on I am going to back up my files, specifically my writing.

It hasn't been all bad news, though. My best friend just gave birth to a darling baby girl named Sidnie two days ago. Seeing her made me happy again. My aunt's Christmas Eve party will make me even happier, and Christmas will make me happier still, so my week should end on a high note.

As always,
Thank you my friends, and have a great day!

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Free Writing and the Art of the Prompt-- Things I do when I'm supposed to be working on my short story.  

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Writing prompts are my new favorite thing!

Last night I was reading the January issue of the Writer magazine, and they have an entire page devoted to writing prompts and warm-ups, I could not resist the urge to try one out. 

It had been awhile since I'd used a writing prompt. The last time I used one was in my creative writing class in the 7th grade (yes, that long ago!).

So I had to finish a paragraph that began with:
The freezer door wasn't supposed to lock behind him. That wasn't part of the plan.
Yeah that was how it was supposed to start. I did more than just a paragraph. I wrote 486 words. I thought that it turned out to be a pretty interesting story for something I wrote in 15 minutes so I decided to share it with y'all.

The freezer door wasn't supposed to lock behind him. That wasn't part of the plan. This was to be an in-and-out deal. Quick and consequence free. Today was just not John's day. Well, the whole week wasn't his really. The week started out with everyday, mundane disappointments. Those he could deal with easy, but what he got was just...wrong. 
He'd thought he caught a break midweek when that guy who owns the restaurant on the corner took pity on him and offered him a job. He soon found that it would be all down hill from that point on. Exhibit one of his sucky week is when he saw his ex-wife who was accompanied by his once best friend and their child. Last that he’d heard they'd moved and now, out of the blue, they're stalking around his usual haunts. Of course, he didn't let himself be seen, not by them at any rate. 
Then, he got the job offer, and he hoped his luck was turning. The universe was not up for giving breaks, not for him, it seemed. Two days into his new job, and he's stuck in a freezer. Not because he was hard at work, no, it was because he was up to nefarious deeds. He was planning to steal just enough food to get him by for the rest of the week. Never mind the fact that he worked in a restaurant and if asked the owner would probably gladly let him get a little something. I mean, he had hired him, right? 
Now, sitting in that freezer, John's mind wanted to give one final blow before the day was done. John hadn't taken a hit of anything since he divorced. He promised his ex that he'd stop. That was the one thing she wanted from him when she left, that he'd let go of his self-destructive ways, and be the man she knew before the clouds blocked his ascension toward his dreams. She wanted him to remember a time before he felt that his world weighted him down and anchored him to reality. This is why he took his first hit of the moonrock because when he was high he could see through those clouds to his dreams. Sure, they were unreachable, but they were there nonetheless. He didn't see his dreams within the confines of this freezer, the restaurant, or the world. He couldn't even find his dreams within himself.  
He was starting to feel the cold, but he didn't get up and try the door again. He didn't bam on the door and scream for help, either. It was closing time and most of the staff had already left. He knew that no one would have a reason to go to the freezer at this time, that's why he picked it for his stealing time. Instead, he sat and froze, and, right before the end, felt weightless once again.

It was not what I expected to write, but I am happy with where the story went. 

Thank you, my friends, and be looking out for Episode 1 of my blopera!

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Word o' the Week Wednesday!  

This week's word is...

urbane- adj. polished and elegant in manner or style's word of the day is...

homologous- adj. corresponding in position, proportion, or other property

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And introducing...  

Friday, December 5, 2008

A few months ago, I woke up from one of the strangest dreams I've ever had. It wasn't strange in the 'purple polka dotted elephant' sort of way. No, it was strange in the 'this could totally be real, but I know it's not deja vu' sort of way. I knew this had never happened to me.

I got up immediately after I opened my eyes and knew that I just had to right it down. So I did, and never thought about it again.

Jump to around 11 AM this morning, in the middle of class this dream just comes back to me. I get this overwhelming urge to not only read what I'd previously written but also to write more. 

But lo! I don't have my computer with me nor will I be able to see it for about another 8 hours.
So, I settle for hand! I never write free hand. I can't read my own handwriting. I literally cannot read my own handwriting. I salvaged as much as I could to add to the original.

Anyway, back to the story, I wrote the dream in prose. Yes, at around 3 AM I groggily tapped out about 1,000 words of prose. This, for me, is a huge accomplishment. I'm not a morning person and I hate to be prematurely awakened for any reason.

Long story short (Yes! The story is longer than that.), I have decided to use this dream as the base for a new project, which will be posted in its entirety on this blog. I shall call it my blopera. What!? Did she just say blopera? Yes! Yes, I did! My + soap opera = blopera! (Or soap blopera...whatever works!)

It won't contain the type of storyline that you think of when you hear soap opera. I can promise that it won't be cheesy, but I can't promise that it won't be bad. I hope it's good writing, but a writer never knows these things unless someone tells them. I've been told I write good (haha...a bit of grammar humor). You can't trust my judgement because I have a writer's ego. I think all my shits good (excuse the language, but it had to be done). I just called it a blopera because I didn't know what else to call it. If this helps classify it, at one point today I was going to write it as a full-length novel.

Expect the first episode in a couple of days. I have to edit and revise it first.

That is all.

Have a great day/night!

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Finals Week and All That Jazz  

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Next week is my last week of school this semester. I am so glad. This semester seems to have gone by fairly quickly.

I am most excited about all the free time I'll have to devote to my writing. Thanksgiving vacation was a very productive time for me. Hopefully I can have the short story revised and ready for submission by January. I have my fingers crossed.

I've been having some really good ideas popping up, and some new projects that I'm really wanting to get started on.

Still no title for the short story, and it doesn't seem to be coming anytime soon.

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Word o' the Week Wednesday!  

It's Word of the Week Wednesday!

This weeks word is.:drum roll:.

vicarious- adj. felt by imagined participation or taking another's place's Word of the day:
caitiff- adj. cowardly and mean

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Iron Pen - Battle: Comma versus Semicolon  

Friday, November 28, 2008

I am by no means a grammatical expert and believe me there is no chance that I could ever pass for one, but as of late I have become fascinated with learning all of the shamefully wicked rules that the grammar snobs like to throw in your face. My first college English professor had the greatest jokes about said grammar hounds. Sadly I cannot recall one of his best ones but believe me it was hilarious. He was a riot that one.

Now the basic rules for comma and semicolon (and other common grammar) usage have been around for ages, but those grammar snobs above are the ones who reprimand the masses for every inadvertent misuse with a howling, "Use it right or DIE!!"

Needless to say, I keep several grammar handbooks an arms length away from me at all times to combat said remarks.

Now for this battle, which happens to be my absolute favorite, the question asked is, "Should I use a comma here, or a semicolon?

In my experience, if you have to ask, then you were probably meant to use a semicolon. After all, it is the comma that is widely overused and not the innocent, defenseless semicolon. For arguments sake, though, there are some people who like to toss a semicolon in at every chance they get to look smart --they don't. I love the semicolon and I've even found that I use it right about 90% of the time (hey, I have my days). I especially loved wowing my English professor(s) with the correct use of them in my essays.

In the misuser's defense, I don't EVER remember being actually taught the proper use of a semicolon by a real live teacher. It's just something I picked up along the way. So, maybe that is the case for them, as well. I know for a fact that my professor doesn't care if you use commas in place of a semicolon, but if you do use one you better use it right. I recall on one of my recent essay drafts being caught using a semicolon between a dependent and an independent clause (my excuse for this was that I changed my sentence at the last minute...yeah right).

I do believe that said grammar snobs are debating demoting the semicolon because he's (she's?) so misunderstood. Hopefully the more polite and sympathetic grammar fairies will save him.

The Comma:

  • In a compound sentence (the easiest and most common use) - Sarah and I are best friends, but we rarely get to see each other.
  • Between items in a series - Sarah spends a great deal of time reading, playing sports, and killing puppies.
  • After introductory clauses and phrases - Being a narcissist, Sarah often stares at herself in the mirror for hours.

There are other comma rules, but these uses are the ones closely related to the semicolon uses.

The Semicolon:

  • Separating Independent clauses (oh, stop your snickering) - I loved Sarah to death; she will be greatly missed.
  • Separating items in a series - Sarah was banned from Las Vegas, Nevada; Los Angeles, California; and Miami, Florida.

Now, if you'd like to have a laugh at the poor semicolon's expense, read this article:

I should inform you that I like to get my grammar on as often as possible. When the grammar fairies visit me and give me inspiration they demand immediate action. So, this will not be the last Iron Pen post.

Thank you my friends, and enjoy your day (or what's left of the night)!

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Of Prologues and Prefaces  

Thursday, November 27, 2008

I have recently noticed that I always start my writing with a prologue. I think I've not done it only once since I started this whole 'writing to be published' endeavor. Anyway, I was thinking to myself why I always start this way, and I think I may have the answer.

I start writing with very vague details about the main character. From those details I construct a prologue to cement the main conflict in my mind. You see, I don't do it for the reader I do it so that as I'm writing I can go back and read the prologue to make sure I'm on the right track of where the story is supposed to be headed.

Another reason, I thought of, that could be why I start with a prologue is just to have a starting point. Did that make an sense? Let me explain. Instead of writing words that come into my head I write scenes and dialogue as I see and hear them, played out like a movie, in my mind. So that prologue would sort of be the voice over during the opening credits. It just seems very off to me to start with dialogue.

Now that I've got it figured out I ask myself, since I don't do it for the reader, in the final copy, do I leave the prologue out or do I let it stay?

I just thought for fun's sake I'll post the prologue to the still untitled short story that I've been talking about forever. Here goes.

Alexandera could feel them touching her. Like spider webs across the skin. Light and eerie. There have been so many coming through Demon souls. So far, they didn’t know she could see them, feel them. She wondered if it was just her or if the mortal skin around her could feel, too. If those same mortal eyes can see them, beautiful and devastating.
Someone- something- left the gates unguarded.

Alexandera shouldn’t know these things, but her father made sure she knew what she was before he left. Half-demon, half-human. Hell on Earth. Most half-breeds don’t survive, but Alexandera’s father kept her safe. It was her father, Vigilo’s job to keep the souls in their realm, the fifth of the seven hidden worlds. Why they were out now could only mean that he was in trouble; something was letting them out. There were only two beings who knew how to take them back into the hidden worlds. Vigilo and Alexandera. She would have to find him or risk her life and the life of her mother to save Earth, the Fourth World, Realm of the Mortals.

Enjoy my friends, and have a great day!

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Word o' the Week Wednesday!  

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Welcome friends to the first installment of Word o' the Week Wednesday!

My word for this week is:
obfuscate - v. to obscure; confuse

It took him a great deal of work to obfuscate the truth from her.'s word of the day is:
emollient - adj. softening or soothing
n. something that softens or soothes

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Yay! for renovations  

I have been updating my blog design. I like it much better now it's much cheerier than before. There will be a slew of new things showing up in the next coming weeks.

On a different note, I had a very strange encounter recently, and it went a little something like this:

guy: Hey, don't you go to TCC.

me: Yeah, I go to TCC.

guy: What's your major?

me: Architecture.

guy: Architecture? I thought you were a writer. Aren't you like a journalist or something?

me: I was in high school. Either way, I could do both. It's called multitasking.

guy: I know you from high school?

me: I don't know, do you?

guy: ...

me: Anyway, can I order now.

guy: Oh, yeah.

me: Can I get a spicy chicken sandwich and some tacos.

guy: Some tacos?

me: Yes, tacos.

guy: This is Wendy's, we don't have tacos.

me: You don't have tacos?

guy: ...

me: ...

He stood there staring at me for like five minutes. It was very very creepy. I guess he didn't like my taco joke. I'm not even quite sure where it came from, but the look on his face was priceless when I said it. Well, I guess you sort of had to be there.

p.s. Of course, I know Wendy's doesn't sell tacos.

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Where have all my ideas gone?  

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Well, it has been awhile since my last update. I'll start by saying that I have finished my short story, but it's still untitled. I'm editing it right now for publication in my college's literary magazine along with a literary essay and a few poems.

Also, I have decided on what idea I'm going to work with for "the novel." I'm letting all the other ideas fall for right now. I'm actually focused.

By the way, I just read a really good book called Tethered: A Novel by Amy Mackinnon. It was rather good; one of the best I've read in quite awhile.

Expect more frequent posts from now on.

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Working Overtime  

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

I've been writing a short story. I'm really liking it. I think I might actually finish it.
Again, as always, I'm taking a break from "the novel," if I can even call it that at this point.
I'm going to be writing non-stop so that I can try and finish it before I go back to school because I know for sure that I won't get to work on it if I wait that long.
I am disaapointed that my progress on "the novel" has slowed to a crawl, no worse than that. What's slower than a crawl?
Hopefully I'll be a little more motivated when I finish this short story (which could end up as "the novel"). I like it so much.
Maybe I'll post a little snipit in the coming days.

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Back in the groove  

Monday, May 19, 2008

I have gotten my mojo back.

I've actually been writing. I haven't been working on the vampire book though. I'm going to give that one a rest. The new one is sort of a mystery/suspense. I have a lot of new ideas that I'm really excited about. I've been writing more than I usually do, so that makes me happy.

With any luck at all I'll have the first draft of this novel done by August. It is yet to be titled, but from what I've written, I it'll be good.

I'll post the first five chapters on a later date. Just to test the waters.

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Points of view  

Friday, February 22, 2008

I was just thinking that I wanted to write the book in the point of view of the two main characters. The problem is that it gets messy when working with multiple povs. The characters get jumbled. At least for me they do.
I'm going to test it out and see how it goes.

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Failed plans  

Saturday, February 2, 2008

I didn't get as much done on the book as I'd planned on doing. Hopefully this week I can actually do some work on it.

I did get to do a bit of work on my characters, though. They all have personalities now.

I'll get it done. I know I will.

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Off Schedule  

Thursday, January 17, 2008

The spring semester has gotten me off schedule. I'm probably not going to finish the firstb draft by March, but I'm pushing for late-April.

I did resolve some of the previous troubles that I was having with particular parts, though which is good. I now know what i have to do and it's just a matter of doing it.

I'm planning on writing non-stop during this weekend. I'm shooting for atleast 20,000 words. Ambitious, yes, but it I can do it.

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I realized...  

Friday, January 4, 2008

I never really said what the book that I'm writing right now is about. So I give you the...

First draft of my query letter:

After Ellasandra, a vampire, decides to hide from her creator in Montana, she finds a student and lover in a young Werewolf named Lenny, but their love may not be enough to save them from the wrath of Joseph, Ellasandra’s maker.

Since Ellasandra has been on the run from her creator, Joseph, the oldest living vampire, her world has been turned upside down. After years of having to live as loners she and two of her allies find themselves hiding out in Montana. Several unfortunate circumstances occur on their first day in town that leads them to befriend 19 year-old Lenny, who is, in the beginning, unaware that he is becoming a werewolf. Now to keep him alive, and to nurture the chemistry that quickly formed between them, Ellasandra must take him under her wing and teach him of a world little known. Will they be able to avoid Joseph? Can their love survive the drama that ensues?

I know the query is really cheesy as of now, but it'll get better. I hope.
At this point the book still has the potential to go in many different directions, but the mini-synopsis on the query was just to anchor an idea in my head about where I want to take it. I know that in the end it probably won't go the way I first envisioned it would.

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One thing I hate, and yet really love.  

I hate it when I'm in the middle of writing something and a brand new idea, for a different project, pops into my head. Then I have to stop what I'm doing and write that down. By the time I get that down I can't go back to what I was writing before because the groove is gone.
That's basically where I am right now.

On a brighter note, that new idea is really good. When I develope it more I'll post what it's about.

Now, I have to get back to work on the book.

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Master Procrastinator  

Tuesday, January 1, 2008

I've been known to procrastinate. It is not a good thing, especially now. I really need to get over it so I can get this first draft finished.
That is my new year's resolution; finish the first draft of this book by, say, March. I think i can do it.
I can't make up mind which one I'm going to work on first. Today I'm back on 'Blood', the one I was originally writing. I believe I know of a way that I can fix all the things I want to before going further.

Wish me luck!
Happy New Year!

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