Wednesday, October 31, 2012

You Can Tell the Age of a Zombie By...

Have you ever wondered how to tell the age of the average zombie you pass in the street? There is one big clue - check out the technology the zombie is carrying. If it is shuffling along, head down, trying to make it's fingers work on a tiny, once-familiar keyboard, it's probably a pretty fresh animated corpse.

On the other hand, if you've got a pasty-faced, oozing, grey-haired grandma in Victorian clothes trying to smash open said cell phone with her parasol, she's probably considerably older.

What's the difference? Safety, my friend, safety. Modern zombies may retain a last vestige of humanity. Even needing brains the way they do, they can probably be distracted by technology. After all, it happened while they were alive, right? Otherwise, some kind but misguided relative probably wouldn't have put their cell phone in their coffin in the first place. This distraction gives the potential victim vital seconds to get away. Quickly. Without looking back.

Little Victorian grandma is much more dangerous. She hasn't had the (dis)advantages of technology; her ability to focus and concentrate may be greater. The only thing you can do right now is run like hell.

This has been a public service announcement.

Sunday, October 28, 2012

Doing It Uncaffeinated...!

Morning, all. It is morning, right? I'm not sure - it's still kinda dark outside here.

Yes, you read the name right. I haven't had coffee. Or Mountain Dew. Or tea. Or even dark chocolate. My eyes are still blurry. I apologize in advance if this comes out like stream-of-conscious drivel. That's how my brain's working (or not) this morning. Or I could just be gearing up for Nano.

Speaking of Nano...if anyone's doing it and they want to friend me, I'm over there as laramcgill.

Goals, you ask? Well...

1. Planning is going well. I dreamed I was part of a police team of some sort (in Wales, no less!) and got shot in the back. It grazed my lung, and I found out very quickly what it was like to bleed and try to breathe at the same time. Interesting from an academic standpoint. Not so good from a personal one.

2. Exercise. Not so good. I had plans to drag my roommate swimming yesterday, but that didn't happen because of other things that turned up unexpectedly. We'll see about today. Taking it one day at a time.

3. I haven't had any pizza or fried chicken since I last checked in. No, wait. There was a piece of leftover cold fried chicken in the fridge that I scarfed one morning for breakfast before work. In retrospect, that might have been the best thing I could have done - I didn't like it. And now I'm much more likely to pass it by in the grocery store. (I did yesterday - I wasn't even attracted by the usually-irresistible scent!)

4. Processed food. Doing great on that - things like boxed rice mixes and Hamburger Helper and soups and stuff just don't make it into my cart. I'm still buying things like stock though. I use too much of it to be able to make it on my own and still have enough. Not to mention that my freezer isn't big enough!

Have a great, productive day everyone! Now I just have to find a way to wake up so I can get crackin' too!

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Potatoes??? And Death

I'm sitting here at work, on my lunch break, and I asked my associate what I should write about today. She looked at me, smiled, and said "potatoes". Okay...I can do that.

Potatoes. I love them. I could even be considered addicted to them. They are the bane of my existence, especially since I'm trying to lose weight. And they're really convenient for breakfast, baked in the microwave with a couple eggs, over easy, on top. Ah, well, I must find other things for breakfast...

But Death - I had a wonderful/terrible breakthrough for the climax of Immortal Blood. In order for the heroine/love interest to fulfull the heroic destiny of such characters, she's got to die. It's the only way she can get to the Hall of Two Truths to speak to the gods. Bummer, that. But, as the hero, she's got to step up to the plate.

Doing a lot of prep work still, and it's coming along well. I got the final scene of "Broken" the other day. It came out excellent, with room for a sequel if the possibility is acted upon.

This will be a short post, as I've got to get back to my students. Lunch is over, so I'll see everyone later!

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Goals and Scrivener

Morning, everyone! Here's the midweek rundown:

1. Exercise - I discovered that I procrastinate more than I should. (Actually, should anyone ever really procrastinate? I'm going to answer yes, because if I'd made it to work on time today, I might have been caught in the elevator fire we had in my building. Whew!) Ok, back to exercise. I'm finding that only walking during the commercials doesn't work for me. There's always something "more important" to do, like unload the dishwasher or throw another load of laundry in. So, it looks like it's going to have to be done all at once.

I also discovered that vanity was a better motivator for me than health. Huh. Who woulda thunk it?

2. I haven't done any "writing" yet - still doing a lot of planning. But I had this outrageous nightmare last night, which I'll probably try to get on the page today between rounds with students.

3. No fried chicken or pizza. Go me! And the fried chicken is on sale this week, too. I came home from work late on Monday, so we had Chinese instead. Veggies were better for me, and I had leftovers for lunch. I worked out great.

4. I'm doing well on the no processed food goal. It seems that less processed equals better flavor. Things are really looking up.

Could I get some feedback on something? I'm currently using WriteWay as my writing software, but I'm considering switching to Scrivener because it also does screenplays. How do all you Scrivener users like it? Why do you like it? Have you had any experience with WriteWay?

Thanks for all your feedback - I really appreciate it!

Sunday, October 14, 2012

I've Made a Decision

Greetings, everyone. Here's a rundown on how I've been getting on...

1. Exercise. Not the best. I've just done some gentle walking because of my back. It's been feeling much better over the past couple of days, though, so I reactivated my gym membership yesterday and I'm hoping to go back and start swimming in the next couple of days.

2. Writing. To my disgust, it also hasn't been that great. That's because I had to make a choice to take on a couple of private tutoring assignments that turned into more than just a few hours of work. It was lucrative (over $300) but took a lot of time that I would otherwise spend on writing. That finished yesterday, so I'm back on track. I think.

3. Planning. My planning is coming along slightly, but just in my head. I decided that my heroine has to die at the climax of my book. She has to be the one to take the ultimate risk, and in order to be successful, she has to die. The plot won't be satisfied otherwise. That was a really hard decision to make, but I feel better about the direction of the story, so I guess it's worth it.

4. I've made a decision about NaNo. I find I work better if I can flip between two projects, so I'm going to be working on a contemporary suspense (nope, no paranormal elements here!) called "Broken." I'm having a great time with it so far. Lots of death, pain, and viciousness - but none undeserved. Except that foisted onto the victims. It's okay, I promise. They'll get their revenge. Le Comte du Monte Cristo would be proud.

How's everyone else doing?

Wednesday, October 03, 2012

Pressing On...

It's only the third day, so I don't have a lot going on.

My exercising isn't turning out so good. I hurt my back so I'm on hiatus with only gentle walking. Time isn't an issue right now, just being functional is okay for me.

My pages are going, but I'm not satisfied with the material. So dissatisfied that I can't even complete it. That means I'm walking away from that scene for a while. I'm working on a new one this morning as soon as I complete my check-in. I do have a question for all of you out there, though - I know you can have co-protagonists, but can you introduce both of them in the beginning of your story? For those who are familiar with the Story Engineering paradigm, before the First Plot Point? For the Hero's Journey, it would be before Crossing the Threshold. Thanks for all the input on that.

Woo hoo! I haven't had any fried chicken. Or pizza. According to my stomach, life is good so far. I did make some Capellini Alfredo with chicken breasts though. It was probably as bad as the fried chicken. My taste buds loved it, and I don't do it very often.

I'm sure I forgot something, but since I'm at work and my students are looking at me, I've got to run.

See you Sunday!

Monday, October 01, 2012

Sharpening My Pencils...

Actually, I don't have to sharpen my pencils, because I use mechanical ones. And a lot of lead. But that's because I use a fine point and I break it a lot.

Goals...I've done some thinking about that over the past week. They're still a bit basic. And there's not many of them.

1.  Write at least 80 pages this round. That equates to one page per day (obviously) but I want to make sure I build in some fluff time. Today I know I'm going to be going over the one page, because my protagonist is about to get into an argument. More on that down the road.

2. Continue using Story Engineering for my planning. I'll work on that every day.

3.  I have it in my Outlook schedule to walk for 30 minutes every day. Problem with that - I have lots of allergies, live in Florida, and ragweed will be the death of me. My treadmill is looking good. I plan to achieve this goal by walking only during the commercials if I'm watching TV. If I'm not, then I'll use the treadmill as something to unstick writer's block. If I haven't finished my page for the day, I have to remain on the treadmill until my fingers want to type. (That should work, either way!)

4. Here's a weird one. I'm giving up fried chicken for the duration of this challenge. Anyone who lives in Florida probably is familiar with the supermarket chain Publix - and their outstanding fried chicken - chicken they so-lovingly cook for your and have ready whenever you need a quick meal because you've worked late. It's better than the Colonel's, and much cheaper. Still bad for you, though.

5. I'm not sure about this one - I don't know if it's viable. I'd like to kick the processed food habit, but I don't know if I can put it as an actual goal, only because I'm not sure if it's realistically achievable, especially during the holiday season.

Anyway, there's my plan. I'm crossing my fingers and picking up my pencil. See everyone on Wednesday!