Saturday, September 29, 2007

What fills the time when you don't have a computer?

My computer is still nonexistent but I did discover that the library computers have a USB port on the front so I can use my flash drive without having to climb over/around the computer like a weirdo. I already feel awkward enough with the loud clicky keyboards. Anyway, that means that I can write blog posts and long e-mails at work then post or send them once I get to the library.

I have been working on writing but not as much as I thought I would be now that the computer has been down. Of course, it doesn’t help that it’s the new fall season on TV. I know that’s absolutely no excuse not to get any writing done. However, I only have Mondays and Thursdays as must see TV. I watched that new show Chuck which wasn’t too bad and Heroes of course. Then Thursday I watched the Office. 30 Rock and Scrubs will be on soon too.
Although, I think I'm done with CSI. I was disappointed that the season finale was nearly identical to the season finale when Nick(Sara this time around) got kidnapped by someone who felt like CSI had wronged a loved one. Then CSI races to find Nick/Sara just before they die.
Other than too much TV, I have been reading. One of my livejournal friends who’s a writer that I don’t actually know, was talking about a series of books by Megan McCafferty. I checked out the first one, Sloppy First, while I was at the library.
Even though they’re young adult books I still liked it. The main character’s best friend moves away and she feels like she has no one to talk to. They keep in touch through e-mails that have funny endings. Like instead of ‘sincerely’ they say weird stuff. I wish I hadn’t returned the book already because now I can’t remember any of them. Anyway, this reminded me so much of Jenni and I. She moved away and I miss her. We still keep in touch with e-mails that we end in ways that usually involve a shoe something and something else like, hugs and heel grips. Sure we’re weird but apparently so are these fictional teenage characters so that must mean we’re not that odd. Right?
Also for a Christmas present this girl makes her friend a mix tape. We all know how I feel about those. And she loves Captain Crunch, which could be the awesomest cereal of all time.
The book also had a good point about perspective. How people who have experienced bad things in their lives don’t worry about the small things being bad because they realize that it could be much worse. And the main character wanted to get the huge bad things out of the way so she could enjoy the small bad things for the rest of her life.
I'll probably read the next one eventually.

And thanks for voting in the poll to name my novel. I know Going It Alone won but now I feel bad that I can't name it what everyone voted for. Couldn't people just all vote for the same one? Well, no matter what you voted for, thanks for voting. Getting more than one vote made me feel very honored.

Saturday, September 22, 2007

Here's the deal

The thing about a free computer is it's too good to be true. In fact it's a blank screen that needs an expensive diagnostics test and then of course repairs, which would probably total close to a new computer knowing my luck. So now I'm on the library computer.
It's weird but I talk to nearly all my friends through the Internet. I do my submissions online, research publishers and books online. I do banking online, shopping and even need my computer for school when I'm actually attending. You never realize these things until it's gone but I'm thinking it's not all bad.
I spent way too much time online not getting anything done. Now I go to the library where I only get 30 to 60 minutes Internet time depending on if I have an appointment and how many people need to use the computer. Of course, I've been going to the library in the wealthy part of town by my work rather than the poor side where I live. On the rich side everyone has a computer so there's hardly ever any wait where as on the poor side you will be waiting for hours, but I digress, I think.
Anyway, the Internet in the library is super fast so that's a plus. The only thing I don't like are the super clicky keyboards that make me feel noisy and that everyone's looking at me while I type.
I can now spend all my time at home, that I would have spent on-line goofing off, working on my writing and then I can type it up at work.
Will I miss my computer? Of course and I am trying to remedy my situation but until then I have to think of the bright side. Right?

Monday, September 17, 2007

A reading recommendation and a novel title to vote for!

First off I want to mention that Ian at EnBlog now has a short story anthology available. I was honored to read it in advance and I must say it was an excellent read. The short stories are authored by Ian and his brother, Alex. Each story is unique and entertaining. It's a nice mix of work. There are stories that deal with life experience, revolving around the characters and their growth as well as intriguing, darker stories with unpredictable endings and a touch of science-fiction. All of the stories are well-written and I think that most of the people I know that read this blog would enjoy it. I encourage everyone to support a talented writer and artist by following this link and checking out "Chopper" by Ian Castruita, Alex Kaibab and the foreword by Max Castruita.
I believe writers have to support writers so give it a shot. Also, don't forget to stop by EnBlog for more of Ian's work.

Now onto my work.
Okay this week's been crazy so I've gotten much of nothing done. It was lots of things but mostly another week with another family member in the hospital and this time the hospital was more than an hour away rather than right down the road. Not to mention that we are getting our few fall shoes in at work so I've actually had to do work.

However, I have been editing my last Nano novel and am seriously giving consideration to attempting to get it published. In this case it would probably be good to call it something other than "my last Nano novel". So I have put a poll up in my side bar and I would like everyone to vote for what they like the best. Yes, I realize they're all practically the same but I'm just curious which one rolls off the tongue and sticks in the mind better.
Just to recap the novel is about a writer who is struggling through a difficult and clearly lonesome period in her life. She uses writing as therapy and shows how her life affects what she writes.
Now vote please.

Friday, September 14, 2007

Somethings Take Time After Time

Sometimes I don't get things right away. Movies don't make sense to me or they're not funny. Songs annoy me. Then just out of nowhere one day, I get it. I understand what they were trying to say, I find what it means to me or I realize I just wasn't in the right mood when I first encountered it.
When I first saw the movie Napoleon Dynamite I felt disappointed. To me it wasn't the movie everyone had made it out to be. Then when I had to watch it again I thought it was funny. Maybe because the second time around I wasn't expecting much.
The t.v show Scrubs use to be annoying to me. Of course, I think I was jaded from the beginning because someone I didn't particularly care for loved the show. Maybe I never gave it a fair chance but the more I watched it the more I liked it.
This happens with books too. The first book in the Stephen King Dark Tower series, The Gunslinger, I didn't like it all that much. I think mostly I didn't like that there were so few characters. It seemed a lonely book and I didn't like the choices the Gunslinger made. I forced myself to read the next book because the thought of not completing the series drove me nuts. The next book introduced more characters and the Gunslinger was no longer alone. I started to like it more. Later on I reread the first one, knowing where it was going and while it wasn't my favorite in the series, it made more sense to me.
And would you believe it if I said the first time I saw RENT I loved it but I didn't truly get it? It was a musical and I'm a sucker for those. It was entertaining and I enjoyed it. Then the music got stuck in my head so I finally bought the soundtrack. I started really listening to it and that's when I really felt connected to it.

What got me thinking about all of this? When I was about three years old I ran around singing Cyndi Lauper songs like a maniac. One of her songs, Time After Time, had a significant place in my heart due to an incident when I got lost in a store and thought that if I looked I would find Cyndi and was mad when I ended up finding my parents. Other than that I really had no reason to like the song. It's a good song but I really had no reason that it meant anything to me. A few days ago Jenni wrote me an e-mail where she was trying to put a really difficult decision I had to make into perspective for me and as I was reading her explanation it hit me. For some reason the words to that song popped in my head and I finally understood what the song meant, at least to me, and it kind of helped me figure out my problem.

This whole post probably seems like a really odd thing to write about. I guess one of the reasons that I felt like mentioning it was because it got me thinking. Sometimes things come to people at the wrong time when they're not ready for it yet. They won't like it or understand it for some reason or another but that doesn't mean that all is lost. It doesn't mean that they won't ever like it or understand it but some people need time to think it over and somethings need time to become truly appreciated.
I'm trying to apply this philosophy to my work. Maybe it's not all bad. I'm sure some of it might be. Everyone flops sometime but maybe my work just hasn't been on the right desk at the right moment. The editor might have just been in the wrong mood or maybe they didn't give it a chance for some reason or another. Or maybe it was just a bad story.

And this post may seem kind of odd, like I'm grasping for it to have something to do with writing. That could be because I am having a really rough time with a complicated situation. I wanted to talk about it but I didn't want to share all the details with the entire world. So this is how I ended up mentioning it on a blog about writing.

"Sometimes you picture me, I'm walking too far ahead. You're calling to me, I can't hear what you've said. You say 'go slow', I fall behind..." -Time After Time

Monday, September 10, 2007

Just an update but with lots of links!

Guess what? The awesome Jenni has posted a brand new nauga note over at Behind the Naugahyde! So stop by and check it out and if you haven't already signed the guest book make sure you do. And in case you didn't know, yesterday was the one year anniversary of

In other news I have been obsessing over my computer issues and in the middle of it I realized I had a Microsoft Word disk. So now I have Word back and yes I'll have that horrible spell check back but I will have word counts!

Also I didn't think I was in the mood to read fantasy books so I didn't start reading the J.R.R. Tolkien books that are stacked up. Then someone at work suggested a young adult book series called The Songs of the Lioness and I ended up reading all four of those over the weekend. They were pretty short and the print was huge so it didn't take long. I liked them but I felt like time went too fast.

And please stop by my live journal or A Positive Blog in Lansing to help out with the AIDS Walk.

Thursday, September 06, 2007

Issues, not problems, with my computer and my writing

Well I thought my computer issues were over but I'm still dealing. I have yet to install my printer software, digital camera software and I need adobe reader to open stuff such as my insurance documents. When I tried to download these things my computer says I don't have enough MB, so that's no good. I think what might be causing this problem is that this computer, when given to me, had Windows 2000 on it. I put on XP and it didn't replace 2000 instead both systems are still on there. I have no idea how to get rid of 2000 and I can't use it because it keeps giving me error messages saying that part of it has been erased. I have no clue.

Then I figured out that Windows XP doesn't come with Microsoft Word and that's why I don't have it anymore. Someone must of put it on my computer before and I never realized it. It would be nice to have it again but right now I can't even get everything else on my computer. Oh well, maybe it's for the best. I was a bit too addicted to spell check, which wasn't really all that useful. Although, I'll seriously miss word count, especially when doing submissions and NaNoWriMo rolls around.

I'm trying not to become too obsessed and spend too much time working on my computer issues. I have been working on my Christmas story even though I think the opportunity of getting it published for this season is gone.
I'm having a hard time writing it because I keep getting stuck. I have amazing dialogue between the two characters but I never feel the need to have narrative paragraphs so right now it's nearly all dialogue. Maybe when I type it up (I'm writing it in long hand currently) I'll think of some narrative to put in.
It did cross my mind that I could write a story that's all dialogue but I'm not sure if that would be experimental, annoying, a combination of both or something else entirely.

Tuesday, September 04, 2007

Back to reading

First off, WooHoo! Labor Day is come and gone. So today through New Years is my absolute favorite time of the year and not just because of the weather. There are so many great days and events, and not to mention I love the food and clothing of the season.

Now onto a completely different topic.
I must admit that it’s been really hard adjusting to reading after Harry Potter mania. I had read all seven books and Deathly Hallows I read twice, browsed back at sections occasionally before and after reading Deathly Hallows. I even broke down while waiting for book seven and read one of those what will happen books. (I know what the heck is the point in that but it didn’t spoil anything. They had a few of the events right but they were pretty off on everything.)
Anyway, the point is that for the last few months I read nothing but Harry Potter related novels. And when it was time to finally change pace I felt kind of lost. For some reason I felt that maybe a classic would be a drastic change and would help me let go. So in the classics section of the library I found Les Miserables which was on my reading list but was just too long. I ended up picking up Mrs. Dalloway because it was much shorter and it too was on my reading list. I loved the book The Hours, which was inspired by it so I figured I’d probably like it.
It didn’t hold my interest right away. And to be honest it probably didn't get all of a fair chance to impress me because I was reading it while I was waiting for my computer to take an hour just to do one simple task so needless to say it was read in frustration.
The book had an interesting way of going from one person's stream of consciousness to the next It was also interesting to see how scenes in The Hours were taken right from Mrs. Dalloway. Something that I think would be interesting to do with other stories. Parts of The Hours were modern day versions of things in Mrs. Dalloway, other parts were Virginia Woolf writing the book and how the book affected a housewife and her family.
As for Mrs. Dalloway, I didn't really find the title character all that interesting when her whole life seemed to revolve around socializing and throwing parties. I did like another character who wouldn't get out of bed because he was mentally ill. He thought he had been cursed with the inability to feel anything and didn't understand what the point of life was if he couldn't feel. In the end he thinks everyone is against him and throws himself out the window.
And of course I ended up liking Mrs. Dalloway less when she was worried someone talking about the suicide would ruin her party. I really couldn't understand why everyone was so fond of her.
So I liked it but didn't love it like I did The Hours.

The next book I picked up was Watership Down, which I had never heard of until I took a quiz that said I was most like that book.
I've been a little slow on the reading lately with so much going on but I finally finished Watership Down today. I thought it was a very good book. The rabbits' point-of-view is adorable and it was really well written from their point-of-view. They didn't understand everything that humans had made or did, they didn't know what things were that they would likely never have seen before, and the way they saw humans seemed sadly accurate.
I wrote a story from a dog's point-of-view and this actually brought up some things I had never thought of before.
Also, I fell so in love with the rabbits, some more than others, and I was glad it had a very happy ending. Except to find out that rabbits generally only live to be two to three years old, which made it all seem very sad in the end. They went through all of that for what?

I'm not sure what I'm going to read next. Often I try to read books that are similar to what I'm writing or planning on writing. They help with research and inspiration. I can't really think of a book that would work for Human Decency that I haven't already read so who knows.
My friend just gave me just about every book that JRR Tolkien ever wrote but I'm not sure if I really want to tackle one, some or all of those yet so I guess we'll see.
I need to seriously work on some more writing before I get distracted by another book.