Halloween Funnies — October 31, 2009

Halloween Funnies

First up, this video.  (Found courtesy of ew.com, but embedding from YouTube.)  Love me some Ghostbusters.

And now some pumpkins for your viewing pleasure.

I love this one.  I don’t know why.  It’s just cool.

Is anyone else hungry?

Oh no, it’s the kracken!  Run for your lives!  Er…swim for your lives!

MS Hospital — July 27, 2009

MS Hospital

Ever wish there was a (an?) MS hospital? Elana J’s post this morning got me thinking. And I wanted to do something similar to what she did in her post.

Watch this first:

Now, don’t you feel sometimes that you’re doing nothing but asking stupid questions of your MS or characters and getting nothing but inane, “I dunno” type responses in return?

Ever wish there was a hospital you could send them to where they can be dignosed, treated, and released back to you healthy and robust with all the answers?

Guess what? There is.

It’s your brain.

Working on my characterizations over the last week, and soon moving into plot, has gotten me thinking. I think that I must only use one side of my brain or something when I write because the other side likes to come out and play when I’m doing the most random things. And that side of my brain has all the diagnostic answers. I just have to learn how to tap into it.

The first step is to get the patient delivered over there. And sometimes you really do have to look for somewhere to park before you can get it in through the door. Often that parking spot is a crit group or just that space dividing the hemispheres of the brain. Then the stupid questions start. But you have to start somewhere in order to work yourself up to ceding the dignostic control to the diagnostician. (Cue the theme music for “House.”) It starts with the standard questions: What’s wrong? What have you done to treat it? They take the vitals: viewpoint, length, depth of character, complexity of plot, etc. Then the MS goes into the waiting room.

This is the period of time where we’re supposed to be letting the MS sit and percolate in our sub-conscious while we write the next idea we have swimming in the brain. The wait period seems endless. But we have to go through it.

Then the nurse calls our manuscript back and we wait outside so as not to disrupt the doctors. (You’ve all seen that scene in any medical drama: distraught family member prevents doctors from doing their job so beloved on gurney crashes and is miraculously revived only after said loved one is escorted out.)

Finally, the diagnostician comes in and begins experimenting a la House. Tweak this, try this medication. That made it worse? OK, stop, reverse, try this.

It’s a process. And the stay at the MS hospital can be quite lengthy. But the questions are always asked and you’re always gonna have to figure out the scale and all that so that the doctors can get an idea of what sort of medicine to dose your MS with.

Then you get to go home and start lauding the advice, and telling others what to do whether they want to hear it or not.

And it starts again with the next revision!

OK, so this post was mostly just to put that video up there, but what they hey!

Some have Michael Jackson, I have… — July 9, 2009
Authorial Goals — June 25, 2009

Authorial Goals

Such a lofty sounding title for something so mundane, right? I have been struggling of late to kick start the creativity gears so I’ve laid out some concrete timelines and goals for myself. I had the idea this morning that it might be a good idea to put them out in the world so that I’d maybe have more motivation to start on them as well. So, here goes.

Now to July 31, 2009

One poem or short story per day

Finish world-building on novel series #1

August 1 to August 30

Draft of #1 in novel series #1 or draft of all of novel series #1 at minimum pace of 2,000 words per day

September 1 to October 31

World-building for novel series #2

November 1 to November 30

Draft of #1 in novel series #2 or draft of entire novel series #2 at minimum 2,000 word per day pace

December 1 to December 31

Revise finished draft of novel series #1 (what’s completed of it anyways)

January 1 to January 31

Revise finished draft of novel series #2

I have a feeling completion of these goals will be like this:

Author’s Friend: Bookstore Bargain — June 23, 2009

Author’s Friend: Bookstore Bargain

Bookstore Bargain: I miss you, friend. You spend so little time with me of late. Novice Writer Anonymous, why do you not come visit me?

NWA: But, Bargain, you’re such a dangerous friend to have! I can’t spend more than a few minutes with you at a time!

BB: What?! Me?! Dangerous? Lies! Who has told you such lies?

NWA: No one has told me lies. I know what dangers lay in your deep shelves. They can be very tantalizing dangers, though, I will admit. But I haven’t the resources to plumb your depths and avoid the dangers.

BB: Tell me what these dangers are? I offer you such wonderful treasures.

NWA: Yes, it’s true that you can be very helpful. I have found many a useful tome in your shelves. But it has been many months since I did so. There hasn’t been anything interesting, pertinent, or appealing to the eye in your treasures lately.

BB: But if you’d just spend more time with me I know I can find you something really valuable. Remember that book on world mythology you got? That’s proved invaluable hasn’t it? And what about that character traits book?

NWA: I’ll admit those were helpful. But I have bought so many books from your collection that there is nothing new that I absolutely need.

BB: But I’m so budget-friendly!

NWA: That’s the danger I spoke of!

BB: How is that a danger?

NWA: Your stores are so cheap that I can easily get carried away and end up going over my budget!

BB: Spend more time with me and I’ll help you find the most valuable of all my works.

Ahh, cartoons, revisited — June 22, 2009
Ahh, cartoons — June 15, 2009
Dictionary — February 27, 2009


In the current economic climate we can’t afford to be reckless with our money. Nor can we be reckless with our words. Economy of words means precisely what you think it means. It’s the search for the precisely perfect word that will convey the most meaning and deepen your prose or your poetry. My friend, Dictionary, has helped me with this. From him I’ve learned words that have fallen into disuse that I wish would come back into use. I’ve learned meanings of words that have disappeared to the annals of memory. He has been almost as constant a companion as Notebook is and as Whiteboard once was. He is my teacher of economics, of life, and of language. He is master, I am nadir, apprentice, journeyman learner, uneducated compared to his nearly infinite wisdom in words.

Once, I had a friend named Whiteboard — October 31, 2008

Once, I had a friend named Whiteboard

I haven’t seen him in a while. Oh, he is around, I just have no space for him in my current living situation. I used to use him all the time to scribble outlines, notes, and random story ideas on, but now he sits on my floor. He’s tucked away, more than halfway hidden by one of my two desks, and our relationship has suffered because of it.

He’s being slowly replaced by my new friend, Notebook. Notebook is more convenient, there for me when I need him, and far less distant. He also has much more space in which to write and doodle as I go about my life as a graduate student. He’s a better friend than Whiteboard was. The last time I truly saw Whiteboard he had to hide behind my door all the time, but Notebook can go in my purse, my schoolbag, but not my pocket. (He’s a little too big for that one.)

Notebook will help my writing to improve by allowing me to draw inspiration from the real, tangible world around me. Whiteboard could help me do that in a limited way, but Notebook can and has seen much more of the world and so will be a better observer of nature than Whiteboard ever was.