Saturday, June 21, 2014

Scifaiku Saturday #4

solstice night
the dragon awakens
from winter's slumber

>doesn't post on writing blog for about 6 months
>comes back to writing again with perfect timing for next solstice

Saturday, December 21, 2013

Scifaiku Saturday #3

solstice night
the dragon's breathe chilled
as his nemesis is born

Notes: Happy solstice, all. I'm always drawn to the savior mythology that flows around this time of year. The savior, however, is always one for mankind. For other creatures of the world, the one called to end their existence is born. 

Feel free to comment or leave poetry replies below. 

Saturday, December 14, 2013

Scifaiku Saturday #2

the rose's petals
only knowing the caress
of a metal hand

Feel free to leave comments or haiku replies below.

Saturday, December 7, 2013

Scifaiku Saturday #1

I've decided to launch a weekly feature on my blog called Scifaiku Saturday. I love short form poetry, and I'd love to reconnect with science fiction haiku. I roughly take the definition of scifaiku outlined in the SciFaiku Manifesto while expanding the definition to include other speculative genres and senryu on said subjects. Moving on to the more fun part! Here is my first scifaiku of the week:

metal apply makeup
even a cyborg
has to look her best

Feel free to leave comments or haiku replies below.

Friday, December 6, 2013

7 Tips For Winning NaNoWriMo

While I’m still fresh on my NaNoWriMo win high, I’d like to take a moment to give some tips on what got me through the month and to a win.

1. Before the month starts, decide what is important to you. You’re going to be getting out an average of 1,667 words per day at least in order to finish the month with a win. If you’re not used to writing nearly that much and you’re embroiled in work and/or school, you’re going to need to set priorities. My personal priorities for the month were to keep up my general WoW playing schedule, get 8 hours of sleep per night, and spend time with my fiance in the evenings. What did I have to let slide to accomplish those goals? The house looked like a tornado composed of books, video games and clothing tore through it. While that bothered me somewhat, I had to be willing to let my annoyance go in order to be able to push through the month with some degree of sanity left at the end.

2. Write wherever and whenever you can. Got a lull or break at work? Write (without getting fired)! Sitting on the couch idly playing Candy Crush and checking Facebook? Write! Remember that list of priorities we just made? If it’s not an essential bodily function or something you prioritized on that list, you should be writing. Carry around tools to help you with that goal. Even though I’m not a fan of it, you could write on your smartphone while standing in line for Chinese food. As my portable device of choice, I chose to carry around an Alphasmart 3000. If you’re going to be using multiple computers, you can stash work on Google Docs so that you can access the document from any computer with an internet connection. Install Dropbox on all of your computers at home so that you don’t have the excuse that you’re not working on your usual machine.

3. Back dat data up. You do not want the devastation of losing all of your words. Though I did not lose my words during NaNo, I had lost track of a flash drive containing all of my late high school and early college poetry for the past couple of years. I sort of gave up hope of finding the little device until it decided to resurface during this November. As you can guess, the contents are now safely dwelling in a Dropbox account. I already mentioned several ways of actually backing up your data above. You could also store your backups on a flash drive rather than an online service. Just choose a way that works for you, and back up regularly.

I am this squirrel. 
4. Caffeine, caffeine, caffeine. I’m a caffeine addict. I have been since I tried my first energy drink in 8th grade, a Red Bull that sent me soaring. Nowadays, I lean less towards energy drinks or soda pops like Mountain Dew or Vault. Instead, I partake much more often in caffeine rich tea or coffee. I actually justified my purchase of a k-cup brewing machine in late October by saying to myself, “It’ll really help with NaNo.” Oh, and it did with the smooth, smooth convenience. Choose a convenient caffeine laced drink to help you deal with the harder moments of the month at least. Those tired moments creep up all too often, and you want to be prepared.

5. Connect with your local writing community. I didn't do nearly as much of this as I would have liked during NaNo, but I still found interacting with fellow writers in person to really help. I couldn’t attend a write-in without feeling immense pressure from the productivity all around me that compelled me to stop staring blankly at my keyboard and actually write.

6. Connect with the community online. Seeing people in person can be nice, but if you can’t attend write-ins or just get too stricken with anxiety to leave the house, then virtual connections can be very useful. I added a number of the Booktubers that I follow to my buddy list. I ended up exchanging encouraging messages with them and a few others that I friended through the forums. I also used being able to see their word counts as a challenge, and I secretly engaged myself with wanting to be above the word counts I saw on my buddy list.

7. Remember to have a little fun. I know I’m contradicting some of my advice above. However, you don’t want to end up a burnt out husk of a human being at the end of the month or have a mental breakdown mid-month. I took the time to see Catching Fire and Thor: The Dark World with my friends this month. I dangled games in front of my face like Hearthstone and Super Mario 3D World as carrots to be relished after I finished my word count for the day. Remember to have fun while challenging yourself to win.

I wrote out the comments which helped me the most to make it through the month. What are some of your tips and recommendations for winning NaNoWriMo? Feel free to comment below.

Sunday, December 1, 2013

NaNoWriMo Day 28 + 29 + 30

On the 28th of November, I met my work count for the day with a total of 46,763 words at the end of the day. I spent a good portion of the day cleaning up the house from a month worth of messiness and then my fiance and I meeting up with my sister to celebrate Thanksgiving at a local Indian restaurant. Thanksgiving tends not to be a very vegetarian friendly holiday, so I was glad to have a chance to go somewhere that I'd be able to have lots of delicious options easily.

The morning of the 29th I awoke to Black Friday, the biggest consumer holiday of the year. I don't do Black Friday because I don't see the deals being worth my sleep and the slim, slim risk of being trampled to death or being stabbed in a Walmart parking lot over a parking space. So, with the outside feeling particularly dangerous outside and getting all of my needed consumer action from Chuck Wendig's Twitter feed #talesfromblackfriday, I sat down at my desk to write. With about 3,300 words to go, I dreaded that I would feel clogged up and filled with dread as I wrote while falling asleep the night before. Instead, I felt more of the excitement that I felt at the beginning of the month as I rushed through the words and found myself really getting into the flow of my tale's ending, helped along by a cup of Dark Magic. With much trepidation, I made it to my word count goal needed then validated my words in the official validation tool which I noted tended to eat a few of my Open Office words. The result? I made my way to 50,076 words! I felt stunned and like I was about to cry. Even though what I thought would be a very short novella isn't done with the ending portions of part two missing and large segments of part three completely not done, I felt like I had some something for once that I could feel pride in myself for. After winning, I took the chance to relax with video games for the past couple of days, though I'm already working on another romantic fantasy short story in my thoughts while letting The Red Queen simmer in my Dropbox until January. After taking a break for two week, I hope to get back on writing my planned short story at least. I'll spend the first two weeks in December fully recuperating and outlining while catching up on some reading and actually beating the Elite Four in Pokemon X. Though I didn't attend my municipality's
"Thank God It's Over Party", I did enjoy some eggnog pancakes at IHOP this evening. I feel more hopeful than I've felt in a long while, and I'm looking forward to what the next few months hold.

Wednesday, November 27, 2013

NaNoWriMo Day 24 + 25 + 26 + 27

The days are increasingly blending together as I get deeper into the month. Thanksgiving is tomorrow, and I took off from work today in advance and hoped to maybe push myself over the edge to winning. Sadly, things like cleaning for relatives coming over tomorrow and playing Hearthstone to relax when I felt I was on the verge of panic attacks got in the way of me getting much further beyond the word count for today. I'm on par at 45k which the word goal for today, but I'm really getting the the point where I just want to hit 50k so I can hide this work in my Dropbox until January and get more sleep and exercise during December. The rest of the week has passed in a similar sort of sleepy state. I've made my word count for every day, but all I've wanted has been a chance to not have to get up at 6 o'clock in the morning, sit at a desk for 8 hours then come home and sit at a desk for even more time. I've also been waking up in the night shivering and sweating, filled with thoughts of fear over my own possible failure. I'm just trying to pull myself together at the idea of actually living my dream, and much of the time when I'm actually writing feels glorious and creative. I just really need to draw on that feeling of fun during the last few days of the month.