Thursday, May 31, 2012

Stuck in the RV of Camp NaNoWriMo

I'll be here if you need me.
Here it is, 11:30 PM on the night of May 31st. Camp will be starting in a half hour and I had completely forgotten all about it until now.

lol oops. OOPS.

Well, it's not the end of the world. I know what I'm doing. I know where the draft is going. (I think.) My big pain in the ass right now is just trying to figure out when I'll have to time to write 2k a day when my life is revolving around ~super serious~ edits (of my own work and others') and further research into the future of my business. And oh, the freelance writing. CANNOT FORGET THE BACON.

I'll be okay. That's what I tell myself. Shit, I finished how many Nanos while going through college? What the hell am I worried about? Just because I'm stuck in my parents' house in what's gearing up to be a hot summer (hot summer, a hot hot summer) and can barely focus on one thing let alone four...wait, am I whining? I don't know. This whole entry is just stream of conscience blather.

...It is so hot in my room that my keys are sticking. sjdflkasjfa.

ANYWHOZER. I'll be fine. I know I will be. I'll finish Camp AND finish the edits of CROSS//Rebirth and send its broken shell to my first beta reader by the end of this upcoming month. I know I will! That's not me psyching myself up. I actually will. And panic the whole time.

Pshaw. So who else is camping this month? Are you juggling all your other writing projects at the same time? I think that's my problem. I'm used to my time being sucked up by NON writing enterprises. Now it's like "oh you want me to do more writing. It's like you think I'm a WRITER or something, jeez."

Here's my Camp profile~

Monday, May 28, 2012

Two Blog Hops of Note: One Ongoing and one Next Month!

Hey all! Finally getting back into the Blogger writing world with a couple of blog hops. The first one to mention is Vicki Orian's "BE INSPIRED" bloghop going on now (I do believe). The point is to answer ten questions about the origins of any book you're working on and then tag 5 more people to answer them. So, more of a meme, but should be fun for a spell anyway!

"Answer the following ten questions. Then, tag five people to answer the questions. (You can use the same ones, or make up your own. Just remember - they all have to be about the writer's book!)"

1. What is the name of your book?


2. Where did the idea for your book come from?
From a dream I had back in 2007. The best dreams.

3. In what genre would you classify your book?
Urban fantasy. (With healthy doses of science-fiction.)

4. If you had to pick actors to play your characters in a movie rendition, who would you choose?
I...I have no idea. I really don't think about this. I really wouldn't want this being turned into a live-action movie. It would turn out absolutely HORRIBLE oh dear god the CGI.

5. Give us a one-sentence synopsis of your book.
Sorcerer killing everyone in the universe; couple kids reborn a few dozen times and bitter about it - with t3h ghey.

6. Is your book already published/represented?
No. Slated for 2013.

7. How long did it take you to write your book?

First draft was completed in 2011. Took a few month break to work on other novels and picked up edits in late 2011. Currently doing the last full-draft edit before sending it off to betas.

8. What other books within your genre would you compare it to? Or, readers of which books would enjoy yours?

I really have no idea. It's not THAT ORIGINAL to not be compared to anything else, but I've personally never read much else like it.

9. Which authors inspired you to write this book?
Nobody, really. I've been writing for a couple decades now so I just go off my own ideas and have my own writing style pretty much down.

10. Tell us anything that might pique our interest in your book.
LESBIANS. Let's be real that's pretty much the making or breaking point for most potential readers out there. Yay society.

Oh let's see. I should tag five people eh. Hmmm~

- Carrie Butler
- Susan Roebuck
- Will Halford
- JA Bennett
- Susan Francino


Next it's time to plug the Girl's Just Wanna Have Fun Bloghop on June 22nd, hosted by Jaycee Delorenzo and Victoria Smith. Premise is to write a ~chat~ between two female characters from your book while answering the questions provided. Basically, they're all about t3h boyz and dating them or something. So I HAD to sign up since, if anyone's been paying attention at home, LOL LESBIANS. What better chance to write some cynical / bitter conversations than with a couple lady-loving-ladies. I know you're looking forward to it. BECAUSE I AM.

And now Cyndi Lauper is stuck in my head. Fantastic.

Sunday, May 27, 2012

Weekly Writing Check-In: Character Birthdays and...well, nobody cares.

Oh, Memorial Day weekend! How little you mean to the work-at-home, the freelancers, and the generally unemployed. (Read: me.) But, I am taking a bit of a break today, simply because I'm tired and I'm staring down a 25 page (single spaced in Word) chapter and nooooo not today. That said, editing is coming along as usual. This month I've managed to get through about ten chapters which is no bad business. Meanwhile, earnings are up at Hubpages. Still not making payout yet but I'm not complaining. It's still on the up and that's all that matters from that front! I am also still slogging through McCaffrey's "Acorna" series, and reading it gives me so much faith in myself. Especially in the editing department. Reading a book that has clearly never been edited in its existence really boosts ones own writing confidence~

All that shade thrown, it's May 27th. This date has two significances. The first one is that I've got about four days to prep for Camp. I was hoping to get this other chapter finished (since I like starting Nanos on chapter  breaks) but I don't think that's gonna happen. My best bet is to finish on a scene break. Will make keeping track of my total a bit more difficult, but eh. Somehow, I will manage. (However will I do that?)

The second reason is that May 27th is one of my character's birthdays and for some reason this is the only character birthday I know off the top of my head. All my other characters, I know what month they were born in (and what part, because I know all their signs) but I rarely can remember the dates. Okay. I lied. I know why I know this character's birthday - it's because her birthday passes in the first book of the series, and thus far no other character's birthday in any series gets a little spotlight in the plot. And since I methodically keep track of each day and date that passes (WOOOO 2007! fun fact - after February, 2007 and 2012 have the same days, so her birthday is also over Memorial Day in that year) I know exactly what her birthday is. (Not that I can remember my own at the moment though....)

So this week's check-in question is this: Do you know your characters' birthdays off the top of your head? Do those dates play a part in your plots? Do you even keep track? :P

Oh, and today is Miranda's 40th birthday. She's reaching flaming birthday cake territory.

Friday, May 25, 2012

Help Out A Fellow Author Self-Publish - Untold Memories by Morgan Bauman

Earlier this month I introduced a Kickstarter funding project by my good friend Morgan Bauman, who is trying to (re)self-publish her series "Untold Memories". If you're not familiar with Kickstarter, it's a way to fund independent creative projects (such as self-publishing novels, making movies, etc) with varying degrees of donation. There's a set time (usually a month) in which donations are accepted. If the funding goal is not met, you are not charged. It's all or nothing.

The reason why I'm posting about this again is because Morgan's on the last week of her Kickstarter campaign and is barely at her halfway mark of $1500. If even a few people pitch in five dollars (the lowest donation level) then she'll raise up higher in the Kickstarter rankings and get more exposure to those browsing for projects to fund. It's still totally possible for this author to met her goals of publishing!

Here's the introduction as posted on the Kickstarter page:

"The Premise

A scientist mad with grief; a mother trying to escape guilt; a little girl's worst nightmare; a mistake with unforeseen consequences.
What if your lifeyour worldyour memorieswere a lie?
This is the premise for Untold Memories, a fantasy book series. Along the way, readers are invited to unravel characters' motivations, identify the causes that set the story into motion, and put together the pieces while immersed in a fantasy world where any false move could have dreadful ramifications.
The characters in Untold Memories must work with limited information, deal with the consequences of their assumptions, and struggle to cooperate despite drastic differences in their own perceptions of their world and situation. The setting of the first book is a highly regulated and controlled society that utilizes the inherent magic of different castes to maintain a rigid, hierarchical order.
Although the first book can be read on its own, it is a part of a four book arc that uncovers many of the mysteries and unanswered questions set up by the first book. There are four follow-up books that further build on the world and delve into the lives and stories of other characters while tying up loose ends. All lingering questions should be answered by the end of the book of short stories, which cover the lives and histories of most of the characters in the series."

There is also a  a sample linked to on the Kickstarter page. Even if you can't donate any money, help out a fellow author by spreading the word on your blog and on Twitter!

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Hubpages Wednesday: Gifu and Hiroshima

Gujo, Gifu, Japan.
I've recently started a small series of travel journal hubs called Japan's 47 Prefectures, in which I'll go into detail about each Japanese prefecture (in random order) and the top 5 things to do in them. Up first I have Gifu, the place I lived for over a year recently, and Hiroshima, a very misunderstood prefecture that's sadly only famous here because we bombed it almost a hundred years ago. I lived in Gifu and I spent about a week in Hiroshima a couple years ago, and both were very profound experiences in my life.

I pretty much have all my pics of those two areas up on those hubs, so if nothing else, if you'd like to see some pics of Japan, go for it!

Sunday, May 20, 2012

Weekly Writing Check-In: Those Silly Editing Items. And Sex.

When you've been editing your own work for any length of time, you begin to notice certain things that may be unique to your own writing style that you have to batter away with a leaf blower just to have a salvageable draft. I'm not talking about "passive voice", "adverbs", "dialogue tags", or the dozens of little things we're cautioned to watch out for when editing our own or others' works. I'm talking about the writing quirks, the crutches, the things that if anybody caught you repeatedly doing it they would never let you live it down. In my craze this month to edit as much as I can of CROSS//Rebirth to get it off to beta, I've noticed some certain things I've had to CTRL+F for to search and destroy until only one or two remain in a chapter (I usually have long chapters, so one or two is usually find imo.)

- "sigh". All my characters are always sighing, and of course it's usually not necessary. This is a habit I picked up years and years ago as a crutch to display dissatisfaction, eventual fatigue, or as a way to change a character's thoughts or switch POV. I've finally stopped actually writing it so much, but it still abounds in older drafts.

- "realize". This is a new for me in this particular draft. Characters are always having these little epiphanies, apparently. This is trickier to get rid of than "sigh" because it's not a simple delete, but usually requires rearranging entire sentences to get the same idea across without making everyone look like Plato.

- "glance". One of my big things that is pretty much just a style of mine is that I focus on characters' facial expressions, particularly eyes, because this is what I do in real life. Characters' eyes usually convey their inner feelings for me. (And this carries on to others' works...sometimes i don't pick up the inner cues as well unless a character's eyes are described.) But I've been noticing a large amount of "glancing" going on in this draft. Not looking, not glaring, not peering, glancing. Well, it is a pretty word. But I have no need for so much of it. This is a word that's just driving me nuts at this  point because it's EVERYWHERE. Sometimes I just swap out for another word so my "glance" rage doesn't explode, but usually I just drop the whole part or reword it if it's really important.

Aside from that, it's just the usual. First thing I control+F after reading through the whole chapter is "that", because extraneous "that"s are my new kryptonite.

Of course, I type all of this now as I'm staring down the chapter with the super-awkward-heterosexual-generational-difference-sex-scene from hell. (Not because it's awful or doesn't belong, but because it's just so awkward,man, which is good! Because that's what I'm going for.) My brain is going to be caught between "would a reader LAUGH at this description when they're not supposed to" and "oh. oh dude what are you doing with that?! I totally forgot about this!" while I know I'm supposed to be looking for these smaller things. I've read and edited this scene dozens of times now and it's pretty much where it needs to be, but this whole "tightening sentences" doesn't work when you're giggling over the word "tight" hee hee hee!

Sigh. I realize now that I should glance through it.

I'm going in.

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Hubpages Wednesday: Kumi Koda, the Japanese artist you may have heard of.

...If you're into that sort of music, that is.

This week's theme is on Kumi Koda, a highly popular J-pop artist who has made her mark as a hyper-sexualized dance machine and ballad crooner. Okay, I love Kumi. She's amazing. But she's not everyone's cup of tea. But if you like dance songs and great ballads, you at least have to click on the video below and give her a try!

Up for grabs are two album reviews of hers: JAPONESQUE and Dejavu. I recommend JAPONESQUE out of the two, but of course you should read both of them. *hint hint*

That's all for this week. Bit of a hurry because there's only 15 minutes left in Wednesday and I have a novel to edit!

Monday, May 14, 2012

All My Characters Are Orphans

Okay. Not all of them. But my point is that I've noticed over the years almost all of my main characters have Absent Parent Syndrome. Specifically, Absent Mother Syndrome.

Let's break it down by series:


Danielle - Mother is (presumed) dead, father is dead, both from separate car accidents before she was in kindergarten. (In a previous life, both her parents died in a similar fashion. Oops!)

Devon - Father ditched before he was born, mother was emotionally distant growing up and did fun stuff like drugs and getting them evicted everywhere. Needless to say, he doesn't talk to her much. (In a previous life, both of his parents were assassinated in front of him when he was a teenager. Wee!)

Miranda - Mother is emotionally distant and abusive, father is kinda-sorta destroying half the universe.

Yumiko - Yeaaaaaaahhh. No.


Jack - Parents are murdered while he is away as a teenager. Spends the rest of his life wishing he could avenge them better. Blah blah blah.

Jessie - My only character with an emotionally healthy mother around. Congrats! Dad's a dick though, so we still fill my status quo.

Roku - Parents are murdered in similar fashion to Jack's. Spends the rest of eternity pretty bitter about it.

Zachoran - Mother died during childbirth. Father is emotionally distant and abusive but dies of tuberculosis anyway.

MY POINT IS...for some reason I love killing parents or otherwise screwing up my MCs' relationships with their parents (especially their mothers). It's bizarre to me because I have a great relationship with my mother, and even though my real father skipped out when I was a toddler I was raised by a step-father pretty early on. All I can figure is...I'm lazy. I already have a million characters and if I don't have to deal with MCs' parents then wooooo! Seriously. That's all I can figure. Although  I do love me some "mommy didn't love me" angst in novels. 

Do your characters tend to have parents around, or are they emotionally and maybe  even realistically roughing it on their own? 

Sunday, May 13, 2012

Weekly Writing Check-In: Halfway to Camp!

It's Mother's Day, but I'm going to leave all mother dribble for a post tomorrow about characters and their mothers. Today, it's check-in time.



Well, if nothing else, I have the rest of this chapter of CROSS//Process mapped out and ready to be written before Camp starts next month. The trick is to actually write it now. I've been writing about 500 words every night before bed, since it's easiest for me to go to sleep if I write in bed beforehand. I'm not sure if I'm going to outline what I want to write for Camp - part of the greatness I felt last August was totally winging it and seeing where the horror stories of these characters took me. I already know the general outline of their stories and I think that's good enough for me with this story.

Otherwise, I spend most of my work time now doing freelance writing and editing. I have a few projects popping up at the moment. The thing that blows is that none of them are paying me right now. I'm lucky to have a house to live in rent free and food I don't have to pay for (happy Mother's Day, Mom!) but I'm almost 25 and like making my own money. Sigh. Unemployment. SIGH. LIFE OF AN ARTIST.

I'll be back tomorrow with more Mother's Day relevantness. Maybe. You know how I've been with posting on the right days lately.

Saturday, May 12, 2012

Friday Flash: "No."

"Do you love me?"


"Is it because I'm a man?"


"Do you love her?"


"But didn't you tell me you wanted to get engaged to her?"


"Are you just saying that now to soften the blow of not loving me?"


"Are you sure?"


"Aha, I got you!"


"You're more agitated than usual tonight."


"Is that all you can say?"


"Then say something else."




"I love you."


"How do you know how I feel? Are you me?"


"Do you want to be me?"


"Do you want to be with me?"


"I thought we were at least friends."


"Do you want me to leave?"


"You hesitated."


"Then here, why don't you be with me?"


"You hesitated again."


"Do you like that?"


"Are you sure?"


"I thought so. You told me you liked that before."


"Is your memory cloudy?'


"You know what else you told me before? That I was the only person who could understand you. That I was the only one who saw you for who you really were inside. That you would stop the world if it meant keeping me near you until we were old and gray and fading away. You tell me lots of things when we're alone, like now. And I will tell you now, that I love you. I love you so much that I put up with your stubbornness and your hateful ridiculousness because it's better than being without you."


"Do you love me?"


Thursday, May 10, 2012

Hubpages Wednesday: Orange! WEAR IT!

I love orange, but I wouldn't wear these~
...I have no idea why I'm a day behind on all my posts. Except for the fact it's still "Japan" in my head. See, I always posted Hubpages Wednesday on Thursday mornings in Japan because...well, I could! Guess I still could, but it's actually Friday in most places now. Lol. Oh well.

Anyway, this week we're focusing on How to Incorporate Orange Into Your Fashion and Wardrobe. I'm kind of an expert on all things orange, you know. That includes wearing it. Wearing orange is something everyone should do. DO IT. Do it.

Now I want to talk about a little something else that's been going on at HP. A couple days ago, this happened:

All those red arrows (well dots, according to this small pic) indicate a rise in traffic! See, on Tuesday, my traffic across the BOARD tripled! Woah! I have no idea what caused this but I was so excited! Because my income that day more than tripled as well! Sadly, it only last a day. :( I hope to recreate it in the longterm but I have no idea what cause it to begin with...

But yes. Orange. What color do you most often wear?

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Dreams: Inspiring ideas and sucking up time since forever.

I am always this beautiful when I sleep.
I'm the type of person who dreams often, vividly, and with almost total recall. My dreams are usually so off the wall that friends and family enjoy a play-by-play the next morning. Just last night I dreamt I was back in high school doing one of my college finals (yup!), but my adviser hadn't received my thesis yet and I had five minutes to send it off before I had to take the school bus home! But of course the printer wouldn't work and my computer ate my flash drive! Eventually I said "LOL HILDRED YOU GRADUATED LIKE TWO YEARS AGO" and I woke up immediately. Har.

Most of you know by now that my series CROSS// was inspired by a dream I had a few years ago. I've had lots of dreams inspire my writing, such as the other night when I dreamt I was with some girl I didn't know and was on the run in my own dang house. The part where we perused through a book of signatures inspired a scene I'm in the midst of writing at this moment.

Now, I'm not the type to roll over when I wake up and write what I dreamt about in some notebook. I've always maintained that if the idea was good enough I'd still remember it later on. No, it's the dreams that nag at my brain all day that end up in my stories. I guess at the end of the day my dreams are my ultimate muse.

How about you? Are you a literal dreamer? Do your dreams factor into your writing?

Sunday, May 6, 2012

Weekly Writing Check-In: Oh, there's the sunshine!

Yeah. Sunshine.
Woah, look at that! There's the sunlight! After swimming home every day in Japan, and then bringing the most recent typhoon home with me, there's finally some sunshine outside! And when there's sunshine, and me sleeping as late as I want, and blah blah blah that means it's time for...camping?

Drat! About two days ago I suddenly remembered Camp next month. I was a bit put off because I haven't been in the writing mood lately, and I need to finish this chapter for a clean slate in June.

But then last night I had a dream about that novel, and my brain concocted a movie-scene that, when I woke up, I was all about! So this morning I sat and wrote about 1000 words in CROSS//Process and am totally excited about it. Hell yeah.

I won't go much more into it since I'm going to talk about dreams tomorrow for my first Whatever I Feel Like Monday in forever.

How was your week? Any sunshine in your parts?

Saturday, May 5, 2012

Hubpages Wednesday: A lot of articles, all about Japan, Part 2

All my savings from cash.
Can't believe I couldn't post these past couple of days. Cold keeps killing me. Well, more like the jetlag is still killing me now. Can't sleep more than five hours at a time usually, which leaves me totally exhausted and sleepy around sundown, and thus the cycle continues. Slowly making progress though!

In part 2 of today's fun, we're taking a look at the newest additions to the Living in Japan series over at Hubpages. Today we get to learn How to Take the Train / Subway in Japan and The Japanese Yen: Designs and Denominations. Personally I think the first one is more useful, but the second one has proven to be more popular by far. Go figure.

Anyway, I promised to talk more about my earnings thus far. If you're not worried about SEO strategies then you probably haven't heard about Google Panda or Penguin. Basically, they're new top-secret algorithms that are supposed to "help" get better results for your searches, but have proven to be anti-everywebsitebutownedbygoogle and have caused a LOT of people to lose hits and earnings on their websites, not just HP. Thankfully I haven't been hit too hard (yet, Penguin is still new as of last week) yet and still see gradually increasing earnings. Last week I almost made it to four dollars but since I was out most of the month I couldn't really give my articles the attention they need to thrive more. So I'm not worrying about it. I'm already at one dollar for the month and am shooting for five total this month. I'm casually taking part in the 30 Hubs in 30 Days challenge - I say casually because thus far I've written a hub every day but I'm not going to make it a focus of my month. But we'll see.

Well, off to do more market research and hub writing. These are my mornings thus far since being home =P

Thursday, May 3, 2012

Hubpages Wednesday: A lot of articles, all about Japan, Part 1

Well, are you shocked? =P

It's been over a month since my last Hubpages Wednesday, and in that time I've written five more articles (two of them in the past two days with more on the waythis week!) It's amazing how much work actually gets done when you just sit home all day sick out of your brain. But since five is too much to adequately go over here, I'll break them up into two pieces over these next couple of days.

Part 1 has to do with J-pop. First up there's A Brief History of Japanese Pop Music, a subject I'm pretty well versed in. Second are two Ayumi Hamasaki reviews, the first for her mini-album FIVE and the second for her full-length album Love songs. If you're not sure about them, check out the commercials below!

I'll be back tomorrow with the other two which are a part of the Living in Japan series, and some discussion about my earnings as of late, mostly to do with the latest Google Penguin hit. Ugh.

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Help a fellow author on Kickstarter!

Dear friend and ex-classmate of mine, Morgan Bauman, is setting to reprint a new edition of her novel series Untold Memories via funds on Kickstarter. She's a very talented author and one of the most sincere people I know, so I'm helping her spread the word about her project in the hopes of helping her reach her dreams. Even if you don't have the means to donate, we'd all appreciate a link bump via Twitter or whatever you have!

Here's the link to her kickstarter. Regular updates here at this blog resume tomorrow!