Five Things Make A Quick Post So I Can Go Eat Hungarian Food

1.  I woke up this morning with “check copyright date of The Little Mermaid” written on my hand. As the Long-Suffering Girlfriend does not actually graffiti me in my sleep, I could only assume I had written it at some point the night previous. It was another half-hour before I figured out what was going on, and remembered that it was a story about the little mermaid’s rather murderous brother.

2.  On a related note, for any Windows users out there, Scrivener, the novel-writing software that was previously Mac only rolled out a free Windows beta, found here. Anyone who participates in Nanowrimo this year and validates with 50,000 words gets a 50% off coupon for the full version when it rolls out next year. Hmm. Is saving 20 dollars off of a 40 dollar purchase actually worth all the teeth grinding and pain that occur when I decide to do the writer equivalent of extreme sports?

3.  I’ve decided to do NaNoWriMo! The smart thing to do would be to work on that novel that I’m working on right now. But no, I’m going to do something entirely different. Some projects include “Pain Like Knives,” the story of the little mermaid’s wicked brother, Maksim’s story, “Handsome Dead Gentleman,” which is a story about a vampire and a revenant, or maybe that one where everyone’s unhappy and everyone dies. So Madeline, whatcha gonna write about? ^_~

4.  Since I’m going to be doing NaNoWriMo, November is going to be a necessarily short-story free zone. This makes me a little sad, but I’ve just finished a ton of short stories that I need to submit today.

5.  That said, I hate short story submission. It gets easier, but you know, that’s what they say about killing people.

Happy Halloween, everyone! Don’t make any deals with the devil that I wouldn’t.
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Coming Soon:
I Outline Like a Crazy Person, ‘Cause Hell If I’m Going Into NaNoWriMo Without
Hungarian Food!
A Trip to the Vietnamese Grocery Store

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Visual Media and the Writer

Still considdering NaNoWriMo, but with bridesmaiding duties, and a move coming up, the thought of doing it made my brain simultaneously puke and try to eat itself.*

Lots of things make me want to write, as I think I have mentioned before. Mostly, writing is caused by reading, but not always, so I thought I’d post a few of the pieces of visual media that have made me think, oh, I want to do something like that!

Interestingly enough, I think that all of the links below are actually safe for work.

Hipsters:  He Doesn’t Need an American Wife
This is from the Russian movie Stilyagi, or Hipsters, when the male character in the song decides to give up his bohemian lifestyle and go to study in the United States. The song translates to “He Doesn’t Need an American Wife,” and some of the most eye-catching moments for me include the hairdresser pulling his head out of the sink to make him look in the mirror and the perfectly red mouths of the singers at the beginning.

The Disappearance of Hatsune Miku
Vocaloid is a singing synthesizer and the different voices are represented by characters. The clip above features one of these characters in hologram form giving a live concert. First, we live in a Gibson novel, and second, it’s fascinating to me to see the investment and emotion given to something that can’t return it or even respond to it. There’s an imbalance there, though I don’t know on which side, and the implications of what happens if you take this further, exaggerate it more, make me really curious.

Where the Wild Roses Grow
This PJ Harvey and Nick Cave doing Henry Lee. The story’s simple, featuring a man who wants to leave a woman and woman who will absolutely not let him do so. The song is lovely, but what stands out to me is the performance by PJ Harvey, which pictures a woman who is creepy, doesn’t care that she’s creepy and completely obsessed. The touching between Nick Cave and PJ Harvey is lingering, and given the fact that Cave’s character is dead about halfway through the song, more than a little skin-crawling. I Like It.**

Gintama AMV
This video is from the anime Gintama, which you hear me and Miss Rat mention from time to time, and I’m going to be totally honest with you when I say that its a trap. It’s a beautifully put together anime music video using clips from the series, and it seems to be telling you about a story of war, loyalty, friends who become enemies, and the need to change in order to survive. Gintama is all about those things, but remember that there is also a faux-tentacle rape scene involving a snot monster. This video made me want to write a story about that other anime they’re talking about, the one where the hero doesn’t have a heroic speech about strawberry milk bringing on incontinence.***
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Coming Soon
Ornamental Eroticism
Phone Sex and Fetishes I Did Not See Coming
Halloween!
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*And word-pictures like that are why I’m not a romance writer.
**Interestingly enough, I don’t feel the same way about the Kylie Minogue and Nick Cave duet on Where the Wild Roses Grow. I don’t know if its because its a man killing a woman or because I don’t recall those characters touching or seeming as obsessed with each other or what. I worry it’s because depictions of the violence of women against men is so common that it doesn’t trigger as strong a reaction in me.
***I have watched almost 200 episodes of this thing and I dragged the Long-Suffering Girlfriend and Miss Rat in with me. I don’t know, either.

NaNoWriNO!

I’m still in the midst of a Write ALL THE THINGS frenzy* so this post is going to be a little short cause I want to run off and write a scene about dancing and snark.

So we’re coming on to November and every year, I have to think about how I feel about NaNoWriMo. For anyone who doesn’t feel like clicking the link, its 50,000 words in one month. That’s a long novella, not a novel, but the point is that you get a lot of writing done in a very short amount of time. If it’s one thing I’ve figured out, it’s not what gets you to put words on the page, it’s that you actually do it, so I cautiously approve of this thing.

However…

NaNoWriMo makes me crazy.

There’s no getting around it, it does. I tried it one year and failed, and then I did it the second year and succeeded, if by “succeeded” you mean wrote an unsellable novella and had to sit down and write 9000 words in one sitting. I was pretty sure that gibbering was involved before, during and after as well.**

On the other hand, I’m not working at an office job that makes me steal office supplies to stay sane, and I’m not even doing phone sex anymore. I was doing both when I actually finished NaNoWriMo, and frankly, I’m really glad that the tech support, the phone sex and the ghost story didn’t intersect in a way that get would get me fired.

If I were going to do NaNoWriMo, it might involve using it to bulk up the word count on the Urban Fantasy Monster*** or I might use it to spit out that erotica novel about the prison brothel. It’s just kind of tempting to know that at the end of it, Squid willing and the creek don’t rise, I’ll have a chunk of something. Hell, all things being equal, I might even have a chunk of something publishable.

Is anyone else out there doing NaNoWriMo?
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Coming Soon
Writing Injuries I Have Sustained
The Value of a Media Studies Degree to a Writer
Have a Story!
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*Seriously, it was like novels bloomed in my head overnight and knocked out a bunch of stuff that was already there. I figure I really didn’t need the periodic table of the elements or vwls.
**Fortunately, gibbering is no necessarily a detriment when you are working phone tech support.
***Hmm, I give my novels the same kind of pseudonyms that I give my friends.

Be Kind to the Meat

Sometimes, I need to stop and tell myself that I’m not eighteen anymore. You’d think that the decade between now and then would have convinced me of this, but nothing doing. Somewhere in my head, I can still live off of cheeseburgers, pull all nighters, build sets, and give a 6 minute speech with 2 minutes of preparation.

Unfortunately, this is not the case.

As a matter of fact, though I am a relatively healthy 28-year-old, my meat no longer wants to the things that I routinely put it through in high school and early college.

I’ve been on 2000-words-in-a-sitting writing jags for a few days now, and that’s on top of my regular writing gig which has me writing an average of around 3000 words a day. My body would like to let me know that we are no longer 18, that we are in this together, and that if I won’t listen, I will be made to stop entirely.

If you’re a writer, for the love of Squid, get up and look away from the screen for a minute. You are all nice people who deserve to be healthy and happy, not sad and crampy.*

Ahem.

People liked the idea of the genre-savvy villain from the last post, and though god knows when/if it will be done, have the beginning to Maksim’s story:

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There were probably more pleasurable things in the world than sitting in a hot bath and being attended by a beautiful young man, but at the moment, Maksim Carrolus thought it profoundly unlikely.

The water relaxed his aching muscles, and the collared young man was doing everything in his power to make it clear that he would appreciate a promotion from body slave.

Body slave was certainly far too lowly a position for a young man of such charms, Maksim thought, tilting his head back for a lingering kiss. Concubine would suit him much better, though the positions in Maksim’s mind currently had little to do with payroll and everything to do with human anatomy. Possibly some acrobatic training.

“The general is too kind,” the young man was purring. “He does me great honor.”

“The general will be very pleased if you stop talking about him in the third person,” Maksim said, nuzzling the young man’s neck. The young man had both hands on Maksim’s shoulders, ostensibly bathing him, but his touch was turning frankly sensual and Maksim had to admit that he had never really cared all that much about being clean, not when there was someone so pretty and so accommodating nearby

Maksim wondered if the bathtub was large enough to hold both of them without their getting stuck and then decided against risking it. There were few accidents more embarrassing than getting stuck in the bath with a naked body slave. It was almost, he thought, as bad as getting knifed in the bath, and that was when the door swung open to reveal a man with a crossbow.

———————

COMING SOON:
A Shower, and Then Some Kind of Food
Kannan Feng Does NOT Write Another 2000 Words Tonight
So What Do You Want For Halloween?
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*This INCLUDES, but is NOT LIMITED TO: Miss Rat, the Long Suffering Girlfriend, Madeline Elayne and Zee. Yes, all of you!

Plot-Plot-Plot

When I write, I don’t usually get things as plot. I get an image, a line of dialog or something similar, and then I have to find a way to incorporate it into something that might be called a story. A lot of times, in the middle of that, the thing that got the whole ball rolling gets lost, because it usually wasn’t very good in the first place, but it doesn’t matter all that much because at least I’m writing.

Plots are hard for me. In many cases, erotica is easy in that I usually just have to get two characters in one place with less clothes than they had on in the beginning.* Plots don’t come naturally for me, but I’ve learned a few tricks for getting them on the road.

One of my favorites is to figure out what that character wants and to take it away from them. That usually gets people moving, and if they don’t start moving, you probably didn’t want to write a story about them in the first place.

Another trick is to write out the blurb on the back of the book. It sounds silly and self-aggrandizing, but it really helps focus things.

I’ve actually finished a few things recently, so I’ve come up with a few longer projects. Check out the two blurbs below, both to see how my brain works, and to tell me which of these you might like to see.

Pretender
Jinhai thinks he’s born to live in and die in the pleasure quarters until he falls in with a rebel group that believes he’s the bastard son of the rightful king. Jinhai’s role as the pretender to the throne is made increasingly dangerous when he realizes that his lover from his previous life is none other than Tsai Liang, the emperor’s First General.

Untitled
Maksim makes a profession out of being the villain. He’s led the armies of a dozen of despotic regimes across the continent, and he prides himself on getting out right before the farmboy shows up with the magic sword. The kingdom of Firth should have been no different, but that was before the pretty young high priest starts stirring up feelings that Maksim long thought were dead, and before the farmboy shows up wearing a face that looks a lot like Maksim’s own.

Pretender is me crossing a wuxia*** film with a yaoi manga. It’s sad, angsty, and I’m pretty sure there’s a sad boy in the moonlight scene.

The Untitled piece is meant to be a funny, genre-savvy story about the stereotypical villain from a high fantasy novel. That is, I want it to be funny, but I’m also afraid I’ll take things too dark, and then there will be that awkward silence where no one is laughing but me.

If you have an opinion on which one that you would rather read, feel free to let me know in the comments. I’m not sure if one of these stories will be my next long project, but signs point to yes!
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Coming Soon:
Verity and Iskander Go to the Supermarket
An Apple, Maybe
More Writing! More, I Say!
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*This came around and bit me in the ass with Lord of Misrule. I wrote the short story and then was asked to write a novella. Thank Squid that there was enough there to hang a novella off of. You can’t do that with some of my short story characters. **
**If they had asked me for something longer with Dust and Laika from Virgin, for example, I likely would have just written them a cyberpunk caper.
***Chinese martial arts movies. Some examples include Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon and Hero.

Visuals and Where I Fail

So at the moment, I’m a bit worn out. I just sent a longer submission off to a big publisher* and I just finished the rough draft of “Cut,” which is the revolutionary story that I’ve been agonizing over for so long. I’ve got a couple other pokers in the fire right now, and in a bit, I’m going to go work on them.

This all means that I’m tired and you get a disorganized post while I hang out with the Long-Suffering Girlfriend as she watches a Russian movie with a lot of ranting in it.**

I was thinking about visuals today. One thing that my first readers (Hi, Miss Rat and LSG!) scold me for is that I don’t really describe my characters. Well, that has a little to do with the fact that I don’t always think about what they look like. I should, Squid knows. I write erotica, and knowing what the characters look like is key.

I manage to get hair color and eye color and general build together, but after that, I just rely on word choice to get the right effect. In many cases, if my characters were real people, I could walk down the street without recognizing them.

However.

Months ago, well after I’d written Lord of Misrule, I was browsing the internet and suddenly I said in confusion, “Hey Miss Rat, want to see a picture of Verity?”

It was a weird moment. I was browsing Male Submission Art*** and the very Not Safe For Work picture that had just come up matched my perception of Verity. It was weird, because I didn’t even think I HAD a real perception of Verity.

But anyway, check out the NSFW picture and tell me what you think. If you’ve read Lord of Misrule, do you think that looks like Verity? To me, the attitude is right, especially with that very, very direct gaze.
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COMING SOON:
Maybe a Snack?
Iskander/Verity/Liulfr Threesome
The Worst Thing I have Ever Written
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*Keep your fingers crossed for me, eh?
**Apparently, it’s about a man lying on his couch and yelling.
***I do that a lot.

Five Things of a Thursday Morning

Yay Thursday! Have five things!

1. A while back, I was in the airport, trying to get home from Houston. I was reading a book that was only getting more and more depressing and finally I called the Long-Suffering Girlfriend. I mewled about how sad the book was, saying “How was I to know?”

At which point, it was pointed out to me that in fact, the book’s title, “The Well of Loneliness” might have tipped me off.

This is kind of what writing the not!French Revolution story is like.

2. Man, I eat a lot of Pringles.

3. I spent a lot of time last night on a site that offered scanlations of erotic manga and doujinshi.* I initially got there by following a reference to a long, extremely pretty manga about foxes, shapechanging and horrible people doing horrible things to each other. The manga itself had gorgeously ukyio-e-inspired art, and then I moved on to other things on the site, which was probably a mistake. I did, however, learn that no matter who’s writing the comic, Ryoga’s** life sucks.

4. I wrote a ton yesterday. I think the grand total was something like 3500 words. It wasn’t all one thing, more’s the pity, but that’s a lot of words. I actually feel pretty good about all those words, so I figure that sometime this weekend, I’ll look at them, scream and rip them apart and put them together.

5. So I wrote this novella, Lord of Misrule. You may have heard me ranting and begging people to buy it. Anyway, so today I was bopping around and thinking, man, I’d like to write about those characters again. Then I realized that I was actually thinking about writing fanfiction for my own writing, and that felt weird. If I need a brain break, I’ll likely write it anyway, regardless of how self-aggrandizing that feels.
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Coming Soon:
Plans for Dinner
Bridesmaid: The Reckoning***
I Explain Liulfr
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*Japanese comics, both original and fan-derived. This may be the first legitimately useful footnote I’ve ever used in this blog.
**Ryoga’s from the anime Ranma ½. I finally stopped when I realized that his penis had a pig’s head. Honestly, I should have stopped before that.
***This would be a bad, bad movie. And I would watch it.

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