Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Na No Writing Mo

That’s kind of what it felt like. I won because I put down the 50K words, but I’m not satisfied with the story. It will probably be a while before I come back to it because honestly, the whole thing ticks me off. I want to print it out so I can hold it in my hands and yell at it.

Don’t even try to tell me you’ve never felt like that.

The whole business of writing is weird, isn’t it? NaNoWriMo is a great act of discipline, but I think we can all agree it’s about quantity, not quality. Writing 50K in a decentrough draft is more impressive, though. Unfortunately, the conditions in my brain and in my life weren’t lining up this time so it was a lot more of a chore than usual.

All of writing is like that. There are times when things work. There are times when they don’t. There are times you force yourself to write and in the end, have to delete your forced words as unreadable. There are times when those words are just as good as the rest of the novel, too.

There are a million factors that create a book. Not all of them are in the writer’s control. The true task is never stopping the flow of words.

Man, I’m deep.

Saturday, November 26, 2011


I think I actually used this title last year. But it still applies, so I'm using it.

Ugh. This was not the Thanksgiving I looked forward to. I didn't think it was possible to be worse than last year's, but somehow it was. It's like everyone in my family, except for three of my cousins, has degenerated to a bunch of loud, drunken children. Seriously, the teenagers were more mature than their parents. I feel bad for my cousin, who brought her boyfriend over just as things descended into the third circle of hell.

The only thing this mess has taught me is that alcohol should be banned from my family's gatherings. And that if people don't get that the joke isn't funny anymore, they have to be stopped by force before it goes way too far.

Please tell me you had a better Thanksgiving than me. Any cheery stories out there?

Thursday, November 24, 2011

The Alphabet Family Tree

Happy Thanksgiving! I know not all of you celebrate it (or you celebrated it last month) but it’s my favorite holiday and I hope you all feel as happy as I do today.

It’s Thursday, the day I traditionally do etymology, but because it’s also a special day, I thought it deserved a special post. Here’s the basic line of decent of the Latin alphabet, which English and many other languages use.

Note 1: I’m not getting into all the details of the different offshoots. This is just straight from the alphabet we use to its earliest ancestor.
Note 2: The letters are approximate. Over the years, many were added and dropped.
Note 3: Times are also approximate. Honestly, when you get back to about two thousand years ago, there’s only so much that’s recorded. The further back, the wider the margin of error. When you get to the bottom, it’s about five centuries.


Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Random Thoughts

---Yes. Again.
---This is what I do when I have no idea what to write. Rather than try to come up with something interesting, I just type random words.
---Give me a break. It’s almost Thanksgiving and I’m busy helping my mom clean the house. Projects include removing the switch plates to clean them.
---If you ignore the “Do Not Enter” sign and go the wrong way on a one way street, don’t stop on a curve and spend five minutes turning around.
---Then again, if you do ignore the sign, you probably don’t have the best judgment anyway.
---There’s a new laser surgery to turn brown eyes blue. No thanks. I think my brown eyes are pretty and will take them over the probable vision damage and dry eyes.
---If you ever get attacked by a shark, rub its nose. Seriously, it works.
---Awesome. I get a new laptop and my TV starts crapping out on me.
---The Halo Effect: When someone who is an authority in one area is listened to even when his/her advice is outside the parameters of his/her expertise.
---Another definition: When someone doesn’t leave the house for three days straight in order to play video games.
---Not that I can experience that. Again, the TV. How I miss TV.
---A live hamster was given to a snake for lunch. The snake decided not to eat the hamster, but hang around with it. The adorable hamster doesn’t seem to realize he’s in danger. He crawls around on the snake like it’s nothing. That’s certainly better than the 16-foot snake that ate a deer.
---I could watch videos of animals all day. I could post more links, but I won’t because then none of us would get anything done.
---Dear Bully is a moving collection of stories where authors recount the bullying they endured growing up. Apparently, we were all bullied.
---My favorite part of thisis “Now I’m forced to hustle for a living as a ‘freelance writer,’ like that’s a thing anymore.” Bizzow!
---What your mother ate when she was pregnant with you influences how the particular food tastes to you. Fact.
---You probably learned in school that there are seven continents. In reality, “continents” is a term so vague that it borders on meaningless.
---The automated telemarketer that just called annoys me less than its incorrect grammar usage does.
---Good night! Or afternoon. Whatever.

Saturday, November 19, 2011

They’re Out to Get You

Spiders I mean. People think they’re all innocent and helpful to the environment. But then you turn around and one is peeking around the corner at you. Do you think it’s a coincidence that Stephen King made the true form of IT a nightmare spiderfrom beyond time? As opposed to, say, a nightmare ant or nightmare puggle.

Still think I’m being paranoid?

The Top Five Reasons You Should Be Afraid of Spiders
5. Arachnomatricide
There’s a species of spider out there where the mother actually stays with her young to protect them, an unusual trait in an arachnid. She starves herself in order to feed them, does whatever it takes to protect them. And what’s her reward? They eat her. How can we trust a species that kills their own mother? (Answer: we can’t)

4. Super Powers
Compared to real spiders, Spider-Man’s powers are lame. Let’s see, there are species that can regrow lost limbsand flick poisonous hair on enemies. They can kill prey that’s larger than they are. Some can even run up to ten miles an hour, pretty fast considering its size (for that particular species, six inches…just think about that. Six…inches).

3. The Bird-Eating Spider
Yes, this is a real thing. It’s actually one of the ones I mentioned above. It’s a tarantula, which are basically the hairy big brother of the spider that beats you up when you go after its wimpy little brother’s lunch money. In reality, they rarely do eat birds, they are known to snack on rodentsand small snakes. And possibly people who happen to be out by themselves late at night where there’s no one around to hear them scream. Although I haven’t been able to find a citation on that. Like most horrors, it comes from the darkest corners of the mind of great Cthulhu by way of the Amazon.

2. Teamwork! Is How They’re Going to Get You!
The mythology is that spiders are loners, and most are. But one species isn’t. They cooperate in order to bring down larger prey. How many do you think it will take to come after you? A dozen? A hundred? I don’t even know which possibility is worse.

1. Come on. They’re freaking spiders. Black Widows, Brown Recluses (violin spiders), the Camel Spider. If you click on that link, make sure no one is around to hear your subsequent girlish scream. 

Be afraid. Be very afraid.

Thursday, November 17, 2011

The Language of Confusion: Isn’t it so ironic?

I come up with word ideas by thinking of the title first.

I always thought irony was an interesting word because it is different from iron the element despite being similarly spelled.

Irony showed up in the early sixteenth century. It stemmed from the classical Latin ironia, which in turn came from the Greek eironeia, where it was used to denote ignorance. It wasn’t until the seventeenth century that people started using it in the way that we currently know to be correct(as in, words used to express the opposite of their literal intention). And now three hundred years later, people are using it differently again!

Iron, the metal, comes from the Old English isaern, which came from the Proto Germanic isarnan, a word for holy metal (iron has always been thought to have magical qualities). If they kept that s in there, it would have remained unique, but during the time isarnan became iron, there was a shift in the Middle English language. The word underwent something called “rhotacism”, basically a change of a speech sound, usually an s or z to r (it’s even in the word since rho is the Greek letter for r).

So you can chalk this one up to a big old coincidence. I'd babble on more about this but I think NaNoWriMo is sapping up all my words.


Tuesday, November 15, 2011


Hey all! This post is probably going to be short and sweet as I'm smack-dab in the middle of about five different projects. That's also probably the reason why I'm having trouble coming up with ideas for posts. Ahh! Too much going on!

Okay, now that the mini-freakout is over, I'd like to ask some questions: what are your favorite book covers? Why are they your favorites? And if you're a writer, what kind of ideas do you come up with when you think up a book cover?

This is especially interesting to me because I've never been very good at coming up with cover ideas for my own works. It awes me that there are people out there who can come up with designs down to the smallest detail.

Any thoughts? Cover ides? Etc.?

Saturday, November 12, 2011

A Momentary Lapse

Apologies are in order. I haven’t been as good a blogger friend as I should, and I neglected in visiting my friends. There’s no excuse for it and I’m sorry if I haven’t dropped by recently.

I get lazy sometimes and over the past few months, it’s been building. When I opened my reader, I’d think “Well, I’ll comment on the post tomorrow, or maybe wait until their next post.” It kept happening over and over until I finally realized that I wasn’t making any effort at all. I just kept saying “tomorrow.” It’s very intoxicating because really, tomorrow never comes.

Obviously, being in the middle of NaNoWriMo isn’t going to help me get back on track, but I’ll do better, I promise. Social networking is very important to writing—we have to connect with people. But I tend to forget that you have to continue connecting. It’s not a one-time thing. It requires effort, daily effort.

So baring death by NaNo-induced brain cramp, I’ll see you around.