Saturday, February 28, 2015


I actually started this comic over a month ago, right after the event in question happened. I was right in the middle of making all the stick figures for it when my computer crapped out on me. And, well…you know the rest.

Let me set the scene: I’ve mentioned previously that my mom had laser eye surgery (no, no, I know what you’re thinking and let me stop you; she does not get laser vision, which I think makes the thing poorly named). About a month after each eye was done, she had to go back to the eye doctor for a follow up just to make sure everything was healed up well. Because she needs to have her eyes dilated, she can’t drive herself home, so of course I’m the one who has to go with her and get her driving criticized loudly and frequently because it’s not like I have feelings, and you know what, I don’t think I’m that terrible, but god forbid she stop cringing every time I hit the gas or get within fifty yards of the car in front of me. Um. But that’s a story for another day.

Anyway, we had to stop for gas on the way up there…

Keep in mind, this was before eight feet of snow was dumped on the area. In fact, it was the first actual snow storm of the season. And it happened right after the car’s battery died (it just needed a jump, but she’s probably going to have to get a new one sometime soon).

Thursday, February 26, 2015

Language of Confusion: SMRT

Today’s theme is looking at words that mean intelligent (and if you don’t get the reference in the title, tsk tsk).

Smart has two meanings, being intelligent and a pain. The latter is hardly used these days, which is ironic as it was the original meaning to the intelligent smart. It first showed up in Old English as smeortan, to be painful, coming from the Proto Germanic smarta and Proto Indo European smerd, pain. Apparently, in the early fourteenth century, people who were “cutting with words” (i.e. inflicting pain) were smart, sort of like someone who’s a smartass, and from there it morphed into quick witted and clever, and somewhere over the centuries the pain definition went into the sidelines.

Intelligent first showed up in the early sixteenth century, while intelligence showed up over a century earlier, from the Old French intelligence and classical Latin intelligentia, which of course is just intelligence. It’s the present participle of intelligere, understand, which itself is a mix of the prefix inter- (meaning “between” in this case) and legere, read (and the origin word for lecture). So…someone who’s intelligent reads between the lines?

Clever showed up in the late sixteenth century meaning handy or dexterous, which I can see as being smart. It comes from either the East Anglian (an English dialect) cliver, expert at seizing, the East Frisian (a German dialect) klüfer, skillful, or the Norwegian (please tell me you know what this one is) klover, also skillful (but more commonly cloven, as in hooves). So this is definitely another no-one-knows one.

Genius first showed up in the late fourteenth century, but like the other words here it didn’t have the meaning we know. It comes from classical Latin (the word is the impossible-to-pronounce genius) and basically meant a guardian deity, but also things like generative power and talent. It wasn’t until the mid-seventeenth century that it took on the current definition. A genius, someone born as a kind of kind of makes sense. Certainly a lot more than clever up there. Jeesh.

Tony Jebson’s page on the Origins of Old English

Tuesday, February 24, 2015

Coloring Outside the Lines

Okay, I’m finally getting to this. It’s always been delayed by other things getting in the way, or computers breaking, or just plain laziness. But now. It’s finally time. Unless right after I type this, something else catastrophic happens, and honestly, I wouldn’t be surprised.

I do a lot of things during my editing process. I use CTRL+F to hunt down overused word (manage, 42 times…I cut it down to six, because that’s how many times it wasn’t extraneous). I do a read aloud to make sure it reads okay when it’s not just my internal monologue. I also do a color partition to break apart the entire MS by what each part does. I got the idea from another blogger several years ago (unfortunately I can’t remember which one…I think it was an agent blog, though) and adapted it for my own process. It helps a lot because I’m looking at the blog in chunks that I can make sure fit together, as well as do what they’re supposed to.

Here’s an overview of the completely colorized draft.

Aw, I took this on my old I'm getting all teary-eyed...
And long distance is all you’re getting because it’s still in the rough stage and anything closer might burn your eyes out.

Now, as to how I divide things:

Yellow, the most common color, is for action and description. It either describes what’s happening, or the setting.

Purple is also common. I use it for dialogue. Not much more to say about that. If it’s in quotes, it’s in purple.

Gray is more common than I’d like, as it’s either memories, the protagonist talking to herself, or just plain telling.

Red is for external conflict, basically any action that the protagonist has to directly deal with.

Blue is the opposite of red in that it’s for internal conflict, things like emotions and problems that needed to be dealt with mentally before they’re dealt with physical.

Green is the last color I use. It highlights action and decisions resulting from conflict. So after most red or blue pieces, there will be a green spot (not always, as sometimes problems are not resolved directly).

When I’ve finished coloring everything, I look at it from a distance…well, from a really small zoom scale like the pic above. Too much of one color is generally a bad thing. If it’s all purple, the reader will get lost in all the dialogue. A lot of purple is just description or things happening that don’t incite conflict. Grey should only appear in small bits, as it’s telling-heavy and that’s just dull to read. And of course, ending chapters in red and blue, unresolved conflict, is a good way to hook readers.

So, at long last, this is it. What do you think of my color partitions? Any suggestions? Do you think it would work with your editing process?

Saturday, February 21, 2015


On Super Bowl Sunday, as always, me and my mom were not watching the Super Bowl together. She did turn it on for a few seconds because the Patriots were playing but I think it was five seconds before she was like “Okay, that’s enough” because the only person who dislikes football more than me is her. But the weird part is that the last two times the Patriots were in the Super Bowl, we turned on the game for a brief instant, and they immediately started to lose. So this year…

Now if only we could find some way to monetize it.

Thursday, February 19, 2015

Language of Confusion: -Pressed, part 2

Woo, here we go! Press, part two.

Pressure showed up in the late fourteenth century meaning, and I quote, “act or fact of pressing on the mind or heart”—the literal meaning of pressing down on something came later, in the early fifteenth century. Pressure comes from the Old French presseure, which meant both a press for wine or cheeses and also an instrument of torture. You know, fun things. It comes from the Classical Latin pressura, pressing or squeezing.

No, I’m not joking. It kind of makes sense, really, as it’s coffee made with steam (ahem) pressure. It’s a recent word, showing up in 1945 from the Italian caffè espresso, which is what they call an espresso. Just plain espresso means expressed in Italian, and it comes from the Latin exprimere, which you might remember from last week as being the origin word for express.

Compress showed up in the late fourteenth century from the Old French compresser, put under pressure. That word comes from the classical Latin compressare, press together, the frequentative of comprimere, compress. The word for press is premere in Latin, so I guess they decided to do a letter change for some reason. Anyway, the com- prefix means together, so the word literally means press together, which is exactly what a compress does.

Like the others, suppress showed up in the late fourteenth century, where it meant to be burdensome for over a century before switching to the meaning we know it as in the early fifteen hundreds. It comes from the classical Latin (of course) suppressus, shockingly translated as suppress, the past participle of supprimere, which also means suppress. Don’t ask me why. Sometimes I don’t have a good grasp on the intricacies of English. Anyway, that sup- is actually sub-, as in under, so with premere it’s “press under”, which is a pretty good definition of what suppression tries to do.

Next we have oppress, which showed up in the mid fourteenth century from the Old French opresser, with the same meaning. It comes from the Medieval Latin oppressare and classical Latin opprimere, force or subdue (and in Late Latin, rape). The ob- means against, and with press…yeah, oppress against pretty much covers it. Press against something to keep it from fighting back.

Last but not least (or maybe it is, I don’t know), repress. It showed up in the late fourteenth century as to restrain, coming from the classical Latin repressus, stifled, and reprimere, repression. One of the prefix re-’s many meanings is back, so “press back”, like you would some emotion you don’t want bubbling to the surface.

I love it when the words make sense. It gives me a tingly feeling.


Tuesday, February 17, 2015


Oh man, how did it get this late? Well, okay, it’s 4 a.m. at the time I’m posting this, but I’m actually writing it at almost midnight. Today just got away from me.

So today I’m just going to share with you this neat color test. You organize the squares so that one color flows into the next. Just look at it and you’ll see what I mean. If you get a score of 0, you have perfect color acuity. 100 is basically “can you even see color?” It also shows you which area you’re color deficient in.

Here, I took a screen cap of my test:

I got a 15, which isn’t bad (the last time I took it I got 23, so I guess my vision sharpened over the past couple of weeks). I got pretty close, but those blue-greens got me.

Anyone else take it? How’d you do?

Saturday, February 14, 2015


I was gone for over two weeks when my laptop decided that it hated me and was going to break because my life wasn’t miserable enough. This is a pretty solid representation of how it went when all my evening writing/internet time was taken away from me.

Thursday, February 12, 2015

Language of Confusion: -Pressed

Have I seriously not done -press before? Because I swear that I have. But it’s not on my newly revamped Etymology list, nor any other list I have of the words I etymologize. I guess it’s just déjà vu or something. Oh, and there are a lot of words here, so I think this is going to be a two-parter.

The earliest form of press showed up as presse in the early fourteenth century, first as a noun, then as a verb. Of course, back then it had nothing to do with the media (can you imagine?); the noun was just a crowd of people massing together. It comes from the Old French presse, which could either mean a crowd or a wine or cheese press, a definition for press that didn’t appear in English until the end of the fourteenth century. Further back, it comes from the classical Latin pressare, which means squeeze, and comes from pressus, the past tense of premere, to press. And the reason the media is called the press is because press is another word for crowd, and that’s, in a sense, public. Oh, and just so you know, the other press verb, like to press into service, is not related to the others. In the mid fourteenth century, it was prest, engage by loan or pay in advance (especially to an enlisted soldier). The Latin word it comes from is praestare, stand before, fulfill or perform. It’s a combination of two words, prae, before, and stare, stand. Because prest sounded so much like press, people dropped the T and two words became one.

Impress first showed up in the late fourteenth century with the figurative meaning of having a strong effect on the mind/heart. It comes from the classical Latin impressus, the past participle of imprimere, press upon. That seems weird, obviously, but the past participle of imprimere, which is where the adjective impress comes from, is impressus, so apparently the m is optional ;). Anyway, it’s the combination of two words, in-, which means into, and premere, which you might recognize from press.

Express first showed up in the late fourteenth century as a noun (like expressing a feeling) and an adjective (“express purpose” etc.)—the association with sending something by express came later of course, and from the adjective form. Anyway, the verb comes from the Old French espresser/expresser, press or speak one’s mind. It came by way of the Medieval Latin expressare, which is a frequentative (continuous noun, like wrestling from wrest) of the classical Latin exprimere, which pretty much just means express. The prefix ex- means out, so this word is…pressing out, I guess?

Oh, this should be fun. Depress showed up in the early fourteenth century meaning put down by force (describes depression pretty well). It comes from the Old French depresser, Late Latin depressare, and of course the classical Latin deprimere, press down or dishearten. The de- means down and the premere is press, so press down, first physically, then mentally.

Stay tuned next week for the thrilling conclusion!


Tuesday, February 10, 2015

February Goals

There, I’m finally back to regular posting. Man, January was such a mess! Both with the two feet of snow that came piling down and also the whole lack of computer thing. That put a hamper on things. I’m also not looking forward to this month because I won’t have as much time to write as I like since I really need to start worrying about having enough money to, you know, not starve to death. It’s an issue sometimes.

Anyway, let’s get into the goals…

January Goals

1. REMEMBER: continue word edits and writing edits, and finish the freaking pacing edits.
Well, maybe I would have if my stupid computer didn’t break!!!

2. Figure out the story for the book I’m rewriting. (You’d think this would be easy, but because of all the problems it had, it’s going to need some thought)
I actually did this before the whole broken computer thing. Of course I got all the little things done before it went kerflooey. That’s how it goes.

3. Write A-to-Z Challenge posts.
Also got this one done, I think just a few days before previously mentioned kerflooey.

I’m still frustrated that I couldn’t get the most important thing done, even if it wasn’t my fault. Plus now I don’t know when I’ll have the time…

February Goals

1. Try to find enough time to do those frigging edits on REMEMBER.

2. Get caught up on everything I fell behind on without a computer.

3. Don’t starve to death. Maybe.

Ugh, February. Why you got to be like this? Why you make me hate you?

What are you up to this month? Anything fun?

Tuesday, February 3, 2015

Back! Kind of!

Well, I'm finally back, and it was two and a half frigging weeks of me trying to fix my computer only to find out that I couldn't. It would have been longer but my mom insisted on buying me a new computer, so now I'm back, but I'll be feeling guilty all the time.

It's not a bad computer, and I know I shouldn't look a gift horse in the mouth (whatever that means), but man, I wish she let me pick it out. Or even better, just bought me a new motherboard, which would have fixed my old computer. Because this new has Windows 8. And it's not good. Like, beyond not good. Like, it soars beyond bad, worse, and worst, beyond evil, beyond the edge of the universe to find new levels of not good.

At least I can write again. But it's at a heavy price.

Sorry, still no posts this week as I'm catching up on a backlog of stuff I wasn't able to get to. I will be back to Twitter and commenting on your blogs though, thank goodness. Then maybe next week I can get back to my regular schedule and put this whole mess beyond me. Except for the painful scar of having Windows 8 on my computer. That, unfortunately, is permanent.

Seriously. Terrible.