AROW80 Check-In: May 28, 2014

It has finally started to rain — a nice downpour that makes me want to go lay down and listen to Skeptoid podcasts about strange and weird things. So, y’know, that’s what I’m a’gonna do ‘cuz I am lazy.

Two more days until my schedule becomes less nuts! Yay!

Writing Goals: Still as they stand; read and ponder, ponder and read. Typing starts June 1st, like it or not.

Reading Goals:  Got a cool new book called The Knowledge: How to Rebuild Our World from Scratch by Lewis Dartnell, which is pretty much what it says on the tin. He talks about building a kit of knowledge that would allow a post-apocalyptic society to rebuild a technological civilization. Things like, how to rotate crops and make soap (which leads to chemistry) and such other necessities that would make the post-apocalyptic life less nasty, brutish and short.   Highly recommend it, especially since he’s got a nice bibliography of other useful books.

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AROW80 Check-In for May 25, 2014

Happy Sunday! The last couple days have been absolutely gorgeous around here which helps to lessen the impact of my schedule still being a bit nuts.  Luckily, there’s only a few more days of the craziness and then things should even out again.

I managed to get a bit of manuscript reading in last night — which did help me to shake off some inner demons that keep resting on the back of my head telling me the usual old saws of ‘This sucks; your idea sucks; you can’t do this.”   They’re not gone completely, but I’m feeling more confident — at least at the moment.

I’m going to start typing up my manuscript in June, regardless of how much further I’ve read. And I’m considering using at least a modified version of the ideas in this article while I do it: Writing advice you’re not going to like.   The advice in question is to not edit a manuscript, but to rewrite it. As in print it out and retype the entire thing.

For me, this will be modified advice because since my manuscript is mostly hand-written, I will be starting out by having to enter it in from scratch. But I do have some typewritten bits that I’m just going to straight up retype instead of cut and pasting them. Hopefully, this will help some — even during my rereading, I’ve come up with some places where I want to alter things so, consider my fingers crossed.

And, before I go, here’s another googly-eyed men’s adventure novel:

Googly eyes are the only appropriate response to an explosion that close behind you.

Survivalist #1: Total War by Jerry Ahern.

 

AROW80 Check-In: May 21, 2014

Things are still up in the air around here, so there’s not much to report.  I’ve gotten a bit more reading done on Defcon: Fade Out and I got a mad hair to put googly eyes on some of my post-apocalyptic novels.  Because it would be silly.

Here’s the first:

2014-05-20 18.22.56

Who’sa googly sub? Who’sa googly-woogly sub?! YOU IS!

I’ll be posting more as soon as I can find the cord thingy that lets me hook my camera to my computer.

Also, I’m going to post a review because I read Omega Sub and if I had to suffer through it, so should you guys! it is a cheesy, goofy little time capsule of the early 1990s and a lovely demonstration on how the end of the Cold War forced a sea change (no pun intended) on the post-apocalyptic men’s adventure sub-genre.

In the mean time, I want ice cream. Anybody else want ice cream?

AROW80 Check-In: May 18, 2014

Very short check-in for today. Still busy IRL, but I wanted to post today because I’m afraid if I get out of the habit of posting, I will fall completely out of the habit and back into slothful, slothful ways.

The irony of me posting this just before I go to take a nap before work is not lost on me.  And probably isn’t irony.

Writing Goals: 

  • Not done a blippin’ thing with my manuscript! Other than been doing some noddling around in my brain about ideas and such.
  • Not a writing goal per se, but I have been reading some of my post-apocalyptic men’s adventure novels to help refresh my mind about tropes and also to kill time at work. I am thinking about possibly doing reviews of these books as well.

Goals to work on: These were so nice, I thought I’d do them twice.

  • Keep reading through my manuscript.
  • Fill in some plot holes
  • Sleeeeep.
  • Check in with other folks

AROW80 Check-In: May 14, 2014

I’m going to be busy off-line for the next couple weeks, so my check ins are probably going to become sporadic. Suffice to say, that I’m still reading through my manuscript and while it’s taking me longer to do than I thought it would, I’m kind of glad I’m taking things slow and not trying to bull through too much at once. But, I’m pretty sure May’s going to end up the Month of Reading rather than the Month of Typing. Still, that’s what June is for, right?

I’m going to check in as I can and visit other blogs since that’s something I can do more easily. Hope everybody is keeping themselves at the right temperature for comfort (we just got the air fixed in our apartment yesterday, ohhhh so nice!) and that the weather stays sane where y’all are.

 

 

AROW80 Check-In: May 11, 2014

Howdy!

Writing Goals: 

  • Read over and took/made notes on Chapters 3 and 4 of Defcon: Fade Out tonight and managed to find a couple goofy continuity glitches.
  • Figured out a plot point/back story for the first book in the Defcon series that will help tie the whole series together (I hope).

Goals to work on:

  • Keep reading through my manuscript.
  • Fill in some plot holes
  • Sleeeeep.
  • Check in with other folks.

AROW80 Check-In: May 7, 2014 and IWSG

InsecureWritersSupportGroup2 Hello! Short (sort of) Long rambling post tonight; since I’m focusing more on replying to other folks’ posts since I’ve been bad about that lately.

Writing Goals: Started reading my manuscript for Defcon: Fade Out and making notes on it. I’ve been waffling back and forth between feeling like I’m making some progress and feeling like I’ve bitten off waaay more than I can chew. So far, I’ve been good about shaking off those feelings but it is hard — as I’m sure y’all know.  Still, only way through it is to do it! And I’m going to do it, because I know I can.

Personal Stuff: My girlfriend and I were driving home yesterday evening and our car was running funny (namely the air conditioning wasn’t blowing as strong as it should have been) so when I was stopped at a red light, waiting to turn left, I turned the car off with the expectation that it would turn back on.  It didn’t. Instead, it clicked at me and I swore at it. I swore at it a lot!

After several unsuccessful attempts to get the car to start (because, y’know, maybe if we turned the key just once more, it would start!), I got out and headed to a nearby drugstore to see if I could borrow their phone to call Triple A.  Because, y’know, my cell phone was at home — but that’s ok because my Triple A membership was expired (which I knew going in). I reupped my membership with Triple A and they sent a tow truck out so I headed back out to the car where my girlfriend had been waiting and getting to listen to people honk and swear at her because the car wasn’t moving.  (This despite us having the hazard lights on — which pretty much means “Dead in Road.”)

One very helpful individual yelled at her to move the (expletive deleted) car — because y’know, apparently we hadn’t thought to do that.  And, again, the hazard lights were on, dude!

I got back out to the car and we waited for the tow truck and played a rousing game of “How many people will ignore the hazard lights?”  It turned out to be a  number significantly higher than zero, though I was more annoyed with the people who were the first to pull up behind us — anybody behind them couldn’t tell we weren’t able to move. The tow truck driver showed up and I told him what had happened and he brought out a jump pack to see if he could start the car. It worked and he offered to follow us home just in case we stalled again on the way.

Which was a good thing, since as we were pulling into the intersection to turn, I turned on my headlights and the damn thing died again. And I swore again. So, another jump and I was able to get out of the intersection and pulled onto a side street.

We got another jump and I turned on the headlights again and the car died for a third time. This time, I swore and cried and told the Triple A guy just to tow it back to our house since I wasn’t sure what garage to take it to. Particularly since we didn’t have any way to get back home from the garage or back to the garage (because I had temporarily forgot about the concept of rental cars).

The driver was nice enough to ask Triple A to put in a note so that I could get the car towed to a garage today without it being counted against me. So, the girlfriend and I were waiting in the tow truck and I was feeling miserable and wondering if we’d be able to get the car fixed before I had to go back to work on Thursday and this very, very, very nice lady came out to the car carrying a cold glass of lemonade for me because apparently I looked just that miserable.  She hadn’t seen the girlfriend, so she went back and got her a glass as well.

The lady, whose name was Irene, offered us this advice: “A car is like a romance, when it is good, it’s wonderful and when it is bad, you are miserable but the troubles are temporary.” (I’m heavily paraphrasing; I wasn’t in the best frame of mind to remember things, plus the tow truck’s engine was loud.)  And it did help; so did the lemonade which was cold and not too sweet or too sour.

IWSG Aside: now that I think about it, that’s pretty good advice about writing; when it’s going well, you’re over the moon and things taste better and the birdies sing and when it’s not working, well, it’s grey skies and things taste like dust and the birdies…they aren’t singing, suffice to say. But, give it time and things will get better, the car will get fixed, the writing will get done, so keep on truckin’!

Back to the car story: To make an increasingly long story short, we got the car fixed today. Triple A kept their promise and towed the car to the garage I chose without charging me for it; the garage was able to fix the car today with no trouble — turned out the alternator had gone out (second lesson of the week: if the car tells you there’s a problem with the charging system, get it to a garage ASAP. Even if the car’s diagnostic thingy tells you that everything is fine.) And we were able to rent a car with a minimum of hassle — which I picked up about the time we got the call that our car was fixed so for tonight, we have two cars so, go us!

Nerd alert: The rental’s a Chevy Impala which made me go HEE! Because, y’know, that’s the car the Winchesters drive in Supernatural and why yes, I am that nerdy!

AROW80 Check-In: May 4, 2014

Happy May the 4th!

I’m not what you’d call a huge Star Wars fan, but the movies have been a presence in my life since I was a kid.  I can remember seeing the first Star Wars movie in the theater and being freaked out during Empire by the sight of Darth Vader’s exposed brain and taping the Ewok celebration song from Return of the Jedi when it played on the radio.  I can even, vaguely, remember watching the Star Wars Holiday Special — though I don’t remember much about it.

But even beyond the movies, there was still Star Wars here and there, tucked into the corners of my life.  The Droids and Ewok cartoons, the Wookie Storybook that I used to read to my cousin Bobby when we were kids, the Star Wars Christmas album with it’s toe-tapping holiday classic “What Do You Get  a Wookie For Christmas (When He Already Has a Comb?)”

On a camping trip to South Dakota, me and my cousins listened to an audio tape version of the movie. Plus, at our campsite, my cousin found three or four Star Wars figures that some other kid must have buried and forgot about.  And I bought the novelization of Empire Strikes Back at the campsite store (considering this was around 1980, I think Empire had just recently come out).

Writing this, I’m finding that there isn’t really a point in my life where Star Wars wasn’t there — acting as a kind of white noise in the background.  The Special Editions of the original movies — and while the fireworks at the end of Jedi were cool, but the “Yub Yub” song is still my favorite part of the end of the trilogy.   The Prequel Trilogy…which I can honestly say I don’t entirely hate, but which isn’t ever going to be MY Star Wars trilogy (and that is just fine).

Even right now, sitting in my living room, I can look over at my bookshelf and see Star Wars novels on the shelf (particularly the Republic Commandos series by Karen Traviss which is easily some of my favorite military SF). On my DVD shelf, there are boxed sets of the Clone Wars cartoon — which is/was awesome, even if the original animated movie was just…not. So not.

If there’s a point to this ramble, I think it is this: good stories can and do take on lives of their own and can bring inspiration and joy for generations to come. So, thank you George Lucas for taking us all to a galaxy far, far away and all the magic and wonder and silly, silly arguments you’ve inspired.

And though I am generally fairly even-keeled about things like this, I will fight to the ground* over two things: Han Shot First and Sev Lives!

*no, not really. The ground is pretty mucky around here right now and I got my new capris on. Also, I am lazy.

Writing Goals: Haven’t gotten a blessed thing done as far as rereading my manuscript goes. I did do some research, but otherwise I’ve been reading the Kate Burkholder mysteries by Laura Castillo.

Defcon Related Note: I was very pleased while doing my timeline research for the Defcon ‘verse to find out that Return of the Jedi came out well before November 10, 1983 (the day the war starts). Because a post-apocalypse is terrible; a post-apocalypse where you don’t know if Han got unfrozen is unthinkable!