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On A Week From Hell

This week has literally been the worst possible one at work.

As part of my job, I do inventory at the beginning and end of each day. And when we're off, I have to double check the counts until I figure out why there's a variance between our area physically and what the computer says we should have. If we're wrong after a second or third count through, then I write up the paperwork and report it. An email is sent out, and we wait until the next counting time to figure it all out.

It was basically coming down to us shutting down just so we could double check all the inventory rather than wait until the end of the day. And shutting down is bad because it means a bunch of people don't work except for myself or the boss heads. So it's a tough choice either way. But when they claimed they found it, we were once again off - as my inventory count had been off for four days. Even stranger, we were off on our count of our second product - which we shouldn't be.

Our second product hasn't been touched, so counting it shouldn't be all that demanding. Somehow though, it ended up off and I had no idea how or why we kept getting off in our counts.

Plus, I'm also wondering who will get the positions that people - including myself - had recently applied for. There had been no word, and it had been a week since the last interview. You'd think all 8 of us would hear something, right?

Well... we finally did. And that promotion I've basically been promised for the past 4 months? Given to someone else. Yup. Found that out today.

So, to say the least, I feel like crap. The one job and pay raise I was supposedly "guaranteed" because I had been doing that job for the past 4 months anyway, was snatched out from under me. This would make it the second time I've been promised a pay raise to go with the duties and responsibilities I do at work, and once more, I don't get it and get passed up. It's starting to get pretty ridiculous. Especially if I keep getting recognized for being a great worker and for being someone that the supervisors can count on.....

Later days.

On Novel Changes...?

Yes, you did read that right. I am changing parts of my novel. In fact... rather major parts.

Not the main cast of GNH, but certainly the secondary setting - which does change those characters, a lot.

It occurred to me while staring at the daunting 127 pages my novel is - sitting next to me at my desk - that there were some things about it that would need to be changed for publication. For one, I can't use Genovia. It's a Meg Cabot creation, and honestly, it would feel wrong to use her country and characters because 1) I'd have to beg for permission 2) I'd have to hope their responses are in line with how she would have them respond 3) It's Meg Cabot 4) if I messed up, I'm sure some literary gods would strike me down for even going near her work.

I'm not saying that she's super!fantastic, or anything. I'm just saying that as someone who grew up reading the likes of Peg Kehret, Meg Cabot, and Judy Blume, going anywhere near their work would be sacrilegious. I'd have to tread carefully or not at all. Might as well take the easier path and strive to be like them, without needing to encroach on or use their books.

So what are these changes exactly?

Well, I'm changing the country from Genovia to Thaddea. And why Thaddea? Well, after having roleplayed with a friend of mine for quite a while - and actually using Thaddea in the roleplay - I broached the subject of me using Thaddea in two different works. One is a short story, while the other is in GNH. I told her she would get credit for the creation of Thaddea and it's characters. - and if I make a crap ton of money off of GNH, then I'd give her a fair share in thanks for permission.

The nice thing about Thaddea, is that it's also a made up country and is ruled by a monarchy - just what I was looking for. And after having used that country and those characters in a roleplay for quite some time, I'm pretty sure I have a good handle on them - but I know I can always ask her for help when the need be. So, the country changes, and then so does the monarchy and all those that reside there.

One thing to add, they speak Greek in Thaddea. So that actually makes a nice little addition - not that any of the story will be written in Greek - but it adds to the uniqueness of the country.

We'll see how all of this rewriting goes! 

Later days.

The Memoir Project

My good friend and great writer, Katie McGuire and I have teamed up to record the mundane. And not really the mundane, but the little things in life that we take for granted but are still a major part of our lives.

I present, The Memoir Project.

And we want to challenge our friends and family to join us in this excursion of recording things in every day life that make your life unique and important to you.

Although this is a pretty infant project, we hope to inspire others who could do guest posts in our blog about their three things.

This will be a great way to learn about yourself, your life, and be able to reflect on the tiny details that are somehow special and beautiful.

I hope some of you are interested in the idea and perhaps do a guest post if you join us in this challenge.

Later days.

On Ambiguous Characters

When I write my characters,  it's not often I describe them. If I write about anything, I write about their hair, or perhaps an accessory they're wearing. 90% of the time, I leave them blank. I'd prefer the reader to imagine whoever they want to cast.

Granted, when it comes to roleplays on Gaia, I'm more decisive. But I think that's because I take a look at what other people have picked out and base my decision on that. Most of the time, I pick someone that will add diversity to the group. And that person is almost always Asian.

So when I think of who I would cast in GNH if it were ever a movie, TV show, or whatever, surprisingly, the entire family is Asian. And with the story set in British Columbia, that seems odd. There's really no rhyme or reason to it either.

Then again, my main character in GNH, Edwin, I picture being my favorite Japanese actor, Yusuke Yamamoto (the same guy in my icon). There's the hopeless romantic in me that has dreamed that he'd be cast as Edwin, I'd be on set advising where they needed me to, and then we could meet and basically, all would be right in the world.

It's no wonder when I watch things from the Royal Wedding, I feel all warm and fuzzy.

If anyone saw the characters differently, let me know what you thought they looked like. I'm curious what everyone else had in their head that the Royal family looks like.

Later days.

On Competitions - continued

With this competition, I'm not sure which category would best suit me. My documents file is filled with stories from a wide range of genres, and just looking at my blog, I don't write specifically for one genre more than the other. I'd say it's all general fiction, since some can fit into a wide variety of smaller genres; not that any genre is less than another.

This is the first time I've noticed that they defined and gave examples of each category (which they didn't do previous years that I saw):

Genre Fiction: Stories that fit into a specific classification such as mystery, romance, science fiction, horror or fantasy.

Mainstream/Literary Fiction: Serious, non-formulaic fiction that does not fit into a genre.

---There are other categories, but these are really the only two that I could logically submit for.

But like I previously said, now it comes down to either 1) writing a new idea or 2) taking a story that fits within the word count restrictions (4,000 maximum for both of these categories) and fixing it up to be nice and shiny.

Decisions, decisions.

Later days.

On Competitions

I've always enjoyed finding a writing competition and entering. Granted, there haven't been too many that I've entered, but there have been good reasons for that.

My first competition was for Writer's Digest (I think) and it was to write a short story under 1,000 words. My second was for the "Machine of Death" compilation.

But those were things I submitted in high school. Hopefully my writing has gotten at least a tad better.

My problem with writing competitions isn't the actual competition. Thankfully, a lot of the ones I used to read about, were hard for me to enter for a number of reasons. 1) The competition was for Poetry, which is the bane of my existence. 2) By the time I got mail telling me about the competition, I had two weeks to come up with anything and get it submitted before the deadline. 3) My brain decided to get sidetracked. 4) Procrastination. 5) Lack of idea.

But either way, I'm determined to come up with something for this year's Writer's Digest Competition. The prizes are great, so it should be "worth it" to try. Much like college apps, I have to submit money to the competition just to get them to read the manuscript, or poem, etc.

This will be good experience though. Let's hope the muse gods will at least give me a bit of aid.

Later days.

Things I've Learned This Weekend

1) Don't share a hotel room with only 5-6 guys. Even if you get the actual bed.

2) Have at least one other girl in the room to balance things out. Otherwise, you'll go cleaning crazy by yourself.

3) Having a kitchen in your hotel room is a god-send. Best idea ever.

4) Taking breaks in the hotel room without the guys or hordes of people is awesome.

5) Remember that they're guys, so they eat a LOT of food.

6) Some of the guys are polite enough to let you know when the bathroom is free so you can shower. However, don't forget anything when you go in the bathroom. Otherwise, a guy will sneak in the instant you leave just so you can grab whatever you forgot.

7) Get up early to be able to use the shower first.

8) The mess in the kitchen is.... almost post-apocalyptic.

9) Finding random panels to enjoy rocks.

10) Wandering around snagging pictures is just as fun as getting your picture taken.

On Posting

It occurred to me last night after putting up another post on my blog that  I've actually put up a lot of random short stories the past few days. And personally, I think I would be a hard person to follow with how often I've updated recently.

But I'm also just trying a new "method." Since I'm no longer posting up completed short stories from high school (yeah... I ran out of filler), I've basically been writing whatever story pops into my head. Stream of conscious is certainly fun, and quite the whirlwind. Which has certainly led to my random pieces. It was something I really enjoyed doing in creative writing. Unfortunately, I can't update from work, so some of the ideas that I come up with while working the line have to stew in my brain until I can get home and type it all out.

So more details into this "method:"

1) I write or think about writing every day. Whether it's coming up with a potential new plot idea and letting it simmer, or having a flash fiction idea, I make sure that some of my "down time" at work is devoted to plots for basically anything. It could be for a previous story, current, or a potential idea for WriMo, etc. I'm thinking about writing. When I have an idea that seems "fleshed out" I write it out until my muse just cuts me off, or I feel that it's starting to ramble too much for my own liking.

2) Post any short story/flash fiction/whatever that I wrote that day. This seems pretty obvious with how quick my posts seem to go up every day to almost every other day. Or at least that's how I feel sometimes. But you could basically figure that whatever was posted on "X Day" was written within the hour it was posted.

3) After a quick self-edit, post story. I'm not as great as some at editing things, most particularly works of fiction. Generally I check for misspelled words, grammar and punctuation. But obviously I don't always pay attention to syntax and any amounts of logic. Which is why I hope you guys could provide helpful insight on anything and everything. Cause I value your opinions!

That's all I can think of right now. So feel free to not keep up every time I post. I know we're all busy, so I don't expect people to keep up and read every entry.

Later days.

On Inspiration

Muses come and go. With so many voices running through my head, sometimes it's tough to decide who to pay attention to.

But when it comes to being inspired with a new idea, I have to say I don't always appreciate when I get punched in the face by a thought. Often times, it happens when I'm no where near a piece of paper and pen, or my nearest writing processor. Not even a napkin.

Much of the time, I'll be driving (although I do keep a handy notebook in the glovebox for such purposes when I'm parked). Recently, a lot of my ideas have come about while in the shower, or elbow deep in soapy water doing the dishes. And of course I have no where to write them. Writing on the walls of our shower with nothing but water at hand is a terrible idea and so far, does not work. Remembering lines, voices and anything that invaded my head will have to wait until I can at least jot it down.

Inspiration, you come at the worst possible times. And I love you for it.

Then again, during November, I'm much more apt to be close to something to write with. That's the one month I'm always prepared. Of course, my ideas just spring out like fireworks, which can make it harder to remember them all when I am typing furiously in my evening hours of writing during WriMo.

Perhaps this year will be different. Maybe for once I will finish a story--well actually, that's not true. I've finished two stories in the span of WriMo. Year 1 (2008) and Year 2 (2009) were both finished in the allotted 30 days. But neither are pieces I would release upon mankind purely because they're either somewhat depressing (2008) or it's a giant parody that would probably get me sued by several big names (2009).

GNH is at least "closer" to being finished. I'm taking my time in adding in all the edits and revisions I've made. For one, it's 127 pages worth, and two, there is a LOT to go through and think about.

"VOCD" is in progress. But technically on hiatus while I finish GNH. My mom is starting to get annoyed by my post-it note plot wall, but I think we can endure until I find a better place for them. We don't have too many blank walls in our house--and I'm sure she wouldn't appreciate if I used the large blank wall in her room since I don't have one. I know I keep saying I'll take pictures of it's epicness, but the post-its are starting to pop off the wall and flutter to the carpet, so I need to start taping them up or something. Anybody got a good solution to either issue?

Plus, I think some personal issues are currently what's put me in a sort of weird funk. I've certainly written some rather "depressing" pieces on my blog that are.... rather sad. Ouch, that was repetitive, but I'm too lazy to fix it. My subconscious is doing a better job at expressing my feelings, even though I don't acknowledge them.

Personal issues will be spoken about later. Processing them all is going to take me a bit, so I'm just using all of this to fuel blog entries; YAY! :]

Later days.

On Writing

I know some of you read my writing blog and that's cool. I don't post anything other than stories there, and keep my random thoughts, rants, epiphanies and anything else that wasn't previously mentioned, here.

My most recent goal towards getting published, and my apologies if I've already posted about it (because with everything going on lately, I'm forgetting things).... I've decided that I really like writing drabbles. Short fiction is actually a lot of fun. And it keep my creative juices flowing even though it's not November.

Short fiction is addicting. I like writing short stories because they have that ability to stand-alone and be whatever people make them out to be. And they're--as an early entry mentioned--they capitalize on that moment of inspiration.

So my currently goal towards publishing is to self-publish an e-book of short stories, ranging from as little as 55 words to 2,000 (or possibly more, depending). But this way, I'll have some experience in e-publishing and at least understand how the market works. Or hope to understand. Hahahaha. This will probably be sometime next year, since I want to have a lot of short stories to fill the pages of a book, Nook, Kindle, whatever. :]

I do have my biased against ebooks, but branching into new markets--despite my love for hard-bound--will at least be a step in some direction. But I'm still very interested in getting published with help from a literary agent/publishing house. I just need a bit of a "resume" as it were.

Back to the short story grind. Perhaps one of these will inspire my 2011 WriMo? :3

Later days.