Posts Tagged 'Timothy Brown'

Baby Steps

Penguin Painting

Got home from work yesterday and holed myself up in my bedroom because I had a ninja headache.  You know.  The kind where you’re fine one moment and then the next WOW! you kind of wish somebody would shoot you just to end the pain.  So.  After a night of acquainting myself very intimately with the white porcelain bowl in my bathroom, it’s finally starting to fade away.  Still a little nagging in my neck and around my jaw, but I’m no longer tempted to take a jackhammer to my brain.  Bryan was wicked sweet, though.  Came and stayed with me for a couple hours.  Wish I could say the same of the rest of my family, who were blasting the television, playing music, and practicing the ukelele.

Okay, the ukelele wasn’t that bad.  It was just the third factor of a noisy triumvirate.  Gah.  Pain.  For no reason, you know?  I’m not on my period, and I wasn’t straining my eyes, I’m not particularly stressed.  It was like the Pain Gods looked at me and said, “By George, dear fellow, this lass is due for a spot of misery.  Shall we indulge?” “Oh yes, dear fellow, quite so, quite so.”

All physical discomfort aside, I have other things to write about!  Ahem.

Oh goose, I feel like Umbridge.  Remind me never to say “ahem” again.

Okay.  So.  My landlord put out a new hummingbird feeder and every time I go to the window, there is a hummingbird.  Only I haven’t managed to snap a photo yet.  Yay hummingbirds!

At work yesterday there was a little  blonde girl who was incredibly upset about something and her mother was ignoring her.  After a while her older brother went up to her and started saying something, and pretty soon, she was laughing.  This is relevant, because it reminded me like Lucy and Timothy Brown in ‘Tweens.  Like… really reminded me of them.  The boy looked like Timmy.  It was uncanny.  And awesome.  This was before my headache, for those of you keeping a timeline.

I just logged into my email and one of the headlines on Yahoo was “Great Atlantic Garbage Heap”.  … I clicked on it thinking What is this madness about Atlantis?!?! and it was just about plastic in the Atlantic Ocean.  I guess that’s a big deal too, n’all… but it’s not Atlantis.  … I’mageek.

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I’m not really sure what the title of this blog entry has to do with the content.  Or the image, actually.  But hey!  It’s penguins!  And I painted that.  All by myself.  And gave it to Bryan’s sister for her birthday a couple years ago.

Hello Darkness, My Old Friend

Deviant Artist Self-Photo (not me)

Let me set the scene for you.

The air inside the cabin is dank and musty, and you feel your allergies acting up, so you step outside on to the rough wood porch overlooking rolling fields.  The sun is just creeping up behind the farthest green hill, and the sky is splattered in pink and blue.  You’re not alone on the porch, even though it’s just barely sunrise.  But you’re not surprised.

Leaning against the dipped wood rail, her hands are wrapped tight around the bone china teacup.  She doesn’t say anything to you; just flicks her short red hair over her shoulder and takes a sip.  It’s a little strange, seeing an experienced army pilot watching the sunrise and drinking herbal tea from a cup painted with dainty yellow flowers.

Meet Jylouna Martin.

She is my nemesis.

For the last I-don’t-know-how-many-weeks I have been fighting a silent battle with her.  I avoid writing in her perspective because she simply disapproves of it.  Just.  Can’t.  Get.  Into.  Her.  Voice.  Ever. I love her character (I love all my characters) but whenever I read back what I have written I feel like crumbling up a piece of paper and throwing it violently at… something.  Only I write on my computer, and it’s harder to crumble my laptop screen.

I was pacing back and forth in my room when I reopened Chapter Four of Fate for editing.  Partially because Jyla was up to her old “you’re-going-to-write-in-my-voice?–I-think-not” tricks, but my difficulties were also coming from a different character:  Timothy Brown.  Since my goal is to finish ‘Tweens by the end of the year, I’ve been writing, even thinking a lot in Timmy’s voice.  So as I was trying to write Jyla, I was writing Timmy.  Editing is slow.

Ever have that problem?  A character voice you have a lot of trouble writing in?  What is your greatest difficulty when switching efforts from one work-in-progress to another?

Also, I wanted to share this.  I know I’m three months early, but I just discovered the band All Caps and I thought maybe some people could relate to the sentiment of this video.

The World Around Us

As a writer, I am terrible (terrible) at setting.  I know in my head what I want, and I see it all very clearly, but I often forget to actually relay it to my readers through the written word.  For example, in ‘Tweens, Timothy has a recurring dream where he starts standing at the top of a spiral staircase that descends deep into the earth.  I know for a fact that I have relayed that the staircase is wooden, rickety, and painted white.  The white paint is chipping and peeling off, and it leaves little flakes like dandruff on the creaky steps.  That’s what I tell the reader.  But there is so much to setting that I don’t tell.

I don’t tell that there are pine trees and elm trees in the distance, and the sky is a dull, grayed twilight.  There is a gentle wind, but barely enough to move the stagnant air.  The air itself is warm and heavy with humidity, but the breeze, when it does come by, is cool and refreshing.  The abyss itself is an anomaly.  It’s a hole in the earth with crumbling dirt walls that harden to rock the deeper into the earth one travels.  The air smells like rotting meat and honey from a buzzing bee-nest that is buried in the ground a few feet away from the hole.  The land all around the hole, until it stretches out of the trees and to the distant mountains, is grassy plains.  In some places, there are dandelions, and in some areas the grass is much taller.

All those things are beautiful and they paint the image in my own head.  Where, in writing setting, should we draw the line?  I’ve learned through photography that no matter how good the camera, how good the photographer, we cannot grasp the true image as our eyes see it.  What is enough?  What is too much?  Great writers, such as C.S. Lewis and J.R.R. Tolkien spent pages devoted to the setting.  How much does it take for The Modern Reader to get bored?  That, in the end, is where the line is.  If The Lord of the Rings had been written in 2010 exactly the way it was when Tolkien first published it, I don’t think it would get the same response, because The Modern Reader doesn’t have the same patience as he used to.  Two pages into the twelve (twenty?  fifty?) at the Council of Elrond would be enough to make the reader put the book down.

How much time do you spend devoted to setting?  How important is setting to your work(s)-in-progress?  How many details are too many details?

Productivity is Win.

Since I last updated, not only did I out-do myself in today’s reading assignment (I did three more pages in Alabi’s World than I originally planned.  Yeehaw) but I also feel like I got a lot accomplished in writing today.  I finished chapters three and four of ‘Tweens and began chapter five.  After last night’s confidence in writing in Timothy’s character, I found myself forcing out both Timothy and Lucy today.  But that’s what revisions are for.  Point and fact:  I wrote over 3000 words today and I am proud of myself.  I’m going to take a break from eye-straining-activities until I have to leave for work in an hour.

Also, I did end up copy-catting Miss Rosemary and I have goals for each of my books in the sidebar.  The goals I am giving myself are very wide, but I’d rather be safe than sorry.  Threaten me and egg me on to keep writing ‘Tweens and revising Fate!

P.S.  IF it is still in the clearance bin I am buying a new keyboard today which is, to an electronic writer, like getting a new fountain pen.  Now, if I can just get my mouse back for my desktop, which is my Productive Computer, then we’ll be all set.

One Step At A Time

Shane Reading Backstage during The Letter

Last night, I had a decision to make:  go to bed?  Or write?

A while back I decided that yes.  Yes I am invested in The Sin Series, but if I publish, I want to publish a one-shot book before trying to market a series.  Because The Sin Series is like… my life… I don’t want to pitch that one to agents and have it turned down and be forced to self-publish, if I publish at all.  If I’m going to be turned down, I want it to be with a one-shot, so I can learn and improve and use any feedback I get in also expanding The Sin Series.  That left me with two options:  ‘Tweens or Absolutely Mad.

Absolutely Mad is a book that draws on the verse of Alice in Wonderland.  Since Lewis Carrol’s canon is no longer under copyright, I am free to do whatever I want with the characters and the world.  The main character, Yvette Hatter, is cynical and sarcastic, but curious enough and has an imagination, so it doesn’t take a huge leap of faith for her to believe that she has been pushed into a magical looking glass into the world of Wonderland, where a half-crazed Cheshire Cat is making himself dictator of the land.  It’s very much a distopian novel, but it’s out of all my usual conventions.  Absolutely Mad is written in the first person, to begin.  The story is also only told by one character, Yvette, which is also out of my norm.  Because this story is so far out of the normal for me, I don’t want this one to be the first one I venture into.

The other option is ‘Tweens‘Tweens was inspired by several things, from a comment made by one of Bryan’s roommates (“Everyone knows that covers are impenetrable to monsters!”) to an episode of Charmed (season two, I think) to someone telling me that I was good at writing children’s voice (gee, thanks!).  ‘Tweens starts in the real world (allowing me allusions, thank goodness) but there are ‘tweens all over the real world during which people, especially children, are susceptible to the Land Between.  Things like dreams and doorways, where children and those who still are a child at heart are liable to be scooped up by creatures of the ‘Tween and taken into their world.  Lucy Brown is seven years old, and her parents think that she is prone to nightmares and will have nothing of her complaints.  Her older brother, Timothy remembers the Land Between and is there to help her when he can, but he’s also a college student and is beginning to get tired of his little sister crying to him constantly.  He doesn’t have much of a choice, though, when Lucy is snatched away into the Land Between, and the only person who knows enough to go after her is Timothy himself.

So.  To tie in the first sentence, last night I had a choice:  go to bed, or write.  I compromised.  I wrote 1000 words in ‘Tweens.  In fact, I made good progress in Timothy’s voice, bringing him into the the Land Between in his recurring dream.  I was really pleased with myself.  I think that ‘Tweens is going to need a few good drafts before I will even think about querying (and that’s after finishing the manuscript) but I am always pleased whenever I am able to sit down and get something done like that.  Even if it’s only 1000 words (which takes me about an hour), it’s something.

On a side note, I noticed on Miss Rosemary’s blog, she has her specific story goals in the sidebar.  I think that is something I should consider doing myself.  I’ve never been one for due-dates, but if I manage to get published, I will be working on deadlines, and it’s something I should get used to.  Besides.  Left to my own devices, I get nothing done.

Right now?  Right now I am going to go read another 25 pages in Alabi’s World for school and then I am going to sit down and push my way through ‘Tweens until I need to leave for work at  4:30.  Sounds like a good, productive plan to me.


tweet-a-twitter-twoo?

something to think about

"You know, I don't know if you'll understand this or not, but sometimes, even when I'm feeling very low, I'll see some little thing that will somehow renew my faith. Something like that leaf, for instance - clinging to its tree despite wind and storm. You know, that makes me think that courage and tenacity are about the greatest values a man can have. Suddenly my old confidence is back and I know things aren't half as bad as I make them out to be. Suddenly I know that with the strength of his convictions a man can move mountains, and I can proceed with full confidence in the basic goodness of my fellow man. I know that now. I know it." ~ End of Act I in the musical You're a Good Man, Charlie Brown.

competing for the house cup

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