No Plot? Let’s Make It Up As We Go Along!

Remember that plot bunny I had about the family who only saw each other at events like funerals? 

I don’t want to do that plot anymore.  After coming up with a family tree and working on characters, something that I was excited about is no longer exciting.  And if I’m not excited about writing something, I’m not going to spend a month writing it.

Since I want to have a back-up, what am I to do with all these characters?

Just write and see what happens.  That’s my plan if something doesn’t work out.  I’ve done it before, and the result was hilarious.  Hopefully, everything works out, but if it doesn’t, this could be a very interesting novel.   

In fact, I may need to start looking through the dares thread for ideas.  Another novel based on dares could be very interesting, although I may have to work some in anyway. 

I think that’s it for today, so I’ll be back tomorrow, wrapping up loose ends!

Decisions, Decisions

I have a really cool idea for one of my plot bunnies, the one where the two best friends make a pact.  I haven’t looked over my notes or anything, and it’s been a good 2 months or so since I’ve worked on it.  But I still want to go with the idea that she has some supernatural power or something and it ends up killing her.  The only problem is deciding which thing I want to go with.

I have 3 categories- magical beasts and creatures, superpowers, and other.  I want it to be somwhat realistic…or at the very least, the teensiest bit plausible.  Like fairie blood is toxic when mixed with human blood.  Or she can heal people but it shortens her life a little each time she does it.  I definitely want to go with something like that…something that’s she’s done her whole life, something she does not knowing it’s killing her each time she does it, or some kind of magical blood that is deadly when combined with another type of blood.  It’s definitely intriguing, and I’m not sure which one I like more.  Maybe I can find some way to combine both, because depending on whatever creature I go with, there are probably special abilities that go along with it.  I have lists, I just need to do a little more research on some of the creatures to see if anything seems super-interesting.

This is why I like to wing it, as much as possible, because I hate deciding on things!  I know I could change it later, but my stupid inner editor starts harping on me about making sure it’s the right decision, because you don’t want to make the wrong one.  And just when I think she’s gone…she randomly appears!

I think today, I’m going to try working on this plot bunny, and see if I can actually decide on something!

Is It Over Yet?

Yesterday, I was surprised that I managed to hit my 1667 goal.  We’re definitely in week 2, and I didn’t even need to look at the calendar or anything, because I have no idea what to do next.  I’ll go into my old standby of winging it…which I have been doing anyway, so I’m not sure what good that’ll do. 

Yesterday was such a weird day.  I felt really tired, because I’m not sleeping very well, and yesterday was a “curl up in bed and watch tv day.”  I was hoping writing would distract me, but sadly, it really didn’t. 

I’m at 20,155, so I’ll be at the halfway point this week!  Hopefully everything will be easy sailing after that.  I have to say, it’s turning out to be a lot different than I was expecting.  It’s focusing more on the micro-chip and what’s on it, and why it was in Levin’s arm, as opposed to who the mole is.  I still need to think about my ideas on what’s going to happen, but that can come later.  When, I don’t actually know, but I might get to it at some point. 

According to the Camp NaNo stats, I’m on pace to finish July 29!  It’s weird, because usually I tend to finish the last day, but it would be nice to be done several days early for once. 

Hopefully I get something done today, and things will pick up again.

Jane Seymour…The Queen, Not The Actress

I think I’m going to do my historical fiction and make Jane Seymour the focus.  I really don’t know too much about her, other than a couple books I’ve read about Henry and his wives.  It would be a great chance to learn more about her.  I’m not sure what I want to focus on, but right now, I’m thinking about doing something in relation to her becoming queen. 

I also like the idea of something about Anne of Cleves or Katherine Howard, so I’ll probably read up on them as well in case the Jane Seymour thing doesn’t work out.  I love history, especially Tudor England, so I can see myself focusing more on the research and not enough on the actual writing.  In the spirit of trying new things, though, I’ll have to overcome it, and just go for it.  At some I’ll have to focus more on writing…all I need for a rough draft is some of the basics about the period.  If I decide it’s something I want to keep working on, then I’ll have something to edit. 

I think I might to have to take a look at Anne Boleyn- at least towards the end of her marriage with Henry, because that’s when the overlap with Jane Seymour is.  But for the most part, I just want to know about Jane, and who she really is.  She tends to be portrayed as Anne Boleyn’s opposite, and while it seems to be an accurate portrayal, I really just want to know about her.  Her childhood I want to know more about, as well as how Henry noticed her and decided he had to marry her. 

Unfortunately, David Starkey just glossed over her, so his book wasn’t particularly helpful.  I’m definitely going to see if there’s anything specifically about her; otherwise, I’ll probably stick to Alison’s Weir biography of Henry’s wives.  I might try reading Antonia Frasier’s biography too.

And Now For Your Weekly Update

I think last week was my best week for writing.  At least in terms of not struggling.  I know I mentioned it in a different post how much I loved doing the average thing.  I’ve been keeping track of how much I’m writing every week, and I wanted to try tailoring my weekly word goal to each project, since I’m struggling with some projects and not others.  It seemed like taking the average for each project would be the best way to do this, and it worked so well, I’m going to keep doing this.  At least for the time being, until I get a a different idea for a weekly goal.  In all honesty, I think the average is a lot closer to what I’m writing every week for each novel, so it’s something that I want to stick with. 

I haven’t really worked on any of my plot bunnies, but I definitely have decided to do a family tree for my newest plot bunny.  I spend a good 20 minutes or so trying to figure out one of those family tree table things, and it made my brain want to explode.  If I write it out (which will probably be a great idea once it’s done), then maybe I can understand how everyone’s related a little better.  Plus, I’m going to have to do a family tree any way, so I might as well get a rough draft together.  Plus, it’ll help me come up with characters, which is always a good thing.  Especially since the idea that I really like is a different funeral each chapter, and each funeral would be told from the POV of a different person.  Even if I don’t go with that idea, it’ll still be useful, since a family tree would be setting up most of the basic groundwork for the novel. 

I can’t remember if I mentioned my idea for next month’s Camp NaNo- I’m going to go with my NCIS fanfiction, since I want to get that novel done before the season starts.  My idea is based off the season finale, and while I don’t have to do it before November, I think I will.  Just because I don’t want my idea to be influenced by anything that pops up next season.  It would also be kind of interesting to see if anything I come up with shows up next season.  It seems like Camp NaNo is going to continue into August, so I might use one of my other plot bunnies in August.  It really depends on what I get done in the next couple months. 

I think I might have decided on which ideas I’m going to do for NaNo: the one about the pact, and the one about a family only seeing each other at funerals.  I have no clue what I want to do for my historical fiction, so that’s going to be shelved until I can actually narrow down my ideas.  Or maybe I just need to pick one idea and go with it, and hope for the best.  I think my main problem is that I don’t want to pick the wrong idea for it.  There’s also the fact that I love the time period and there are so many things I could do with it- I’m pretty much like a kid in a candy store, and I can’t make up my mind.  If I decide to do Camp NaNo in August, then I’ll probably end up doing my secret government agency idea, because that’s the one that I’m not too interested in.  I think for now, I’ll just keep working on everything, and hope that I’ll actually be able to make up my mind!

And, before I go, here’s my weight loss update!  I lost just under a pound, and I actually went to the gym last week!  Granted, it was just once, but once is better than not going at all, so that was a plus. 

I think that’s all for now, so I hope everyone has a great day!

Going To Try Something New

I was taking a look at my little progress sheet I made for my weekly writing goals, and decided I would try something different this week.  For some of my projects, I end up sticking close to the word goal for the week.  For everything else, I end up writing more than I expected.  So this week, I think I’m going to figure out the average amount I write every week, and have that as my goal.  If that works out, I think I might do that for a while, and tailor my goals.

Writing went pretty well this week, as did my plot bunnies.  I’m sticking to the schedule I had set up in January pretty well, but I’m trying to be flexible with it as well, because stuff happens and I want to be able to change things as needed.  I did come up with another plot bunny, so I’ll end up working that in.  Who knew a funeral could inspire a novel?   

I lost a pound this week!  Definitely unexpected, but I did eat better this week.  I still can’t get myself to the gym…maybe this week, but it’s not something that’s likely.  But at least I’m eating better, so I’m making progress.

I think that about covers it; it looks like I’ll have another productive week!

Mr. Impossible

Book: Mr. Impossible by Loretta Chase

Pages/Format: 312/Paperback

My Thoughts: I’ve always been a fan of the romance genre, but it’s been a long time since I’ve read anything from the genre, so I decided to start off with this novel.

It’s a historical romance about Rupert Carsington and Daphne Pembroke, who are trying to rescue Daphne’s brother.  She’s the brains, and Rupert is the brawn.  Some of the imagery is absolutely hysterical, which is one reason why I like romance so much.  Plus, romance (as a whole) is very predictable, and sometimes I want to read something where I know that X event is going to happen on Y page. 

So, imagery.  It’s your typical “this is what they look like, and I’d like nothing more than to make them want to get in bed with me” imagery.  It was fairly descriptive, which was just okay at times, absolutely hysterical at others. 

Rupert wants Daphne, but she doesn’t want to admit that she wants him too.  Miles ends up being saved, and Daphne and Rupert end up being married. 

Rating: 3.5 out of 5.  An interesting (and sometimes funny) re-introduction to the world of romance.

2 Down, 2 To Go, Plus Major Spoilers

Last night had the season finales of both NCIS and Hellcats.  There’s still the season finale of House, which I think is on Monday plus the Grey’s season finale tomorrow night.  There are some major spoilers, so if you watch NCIS, or Hellcats, and haven’t seen any of the episodes yet, don’t read this post.   

So, for NCIS, well, it was a doozy of an episode, and we certainly learned a lot.  We learned who the Port-to-Port (henceforth known as P2P) killer was.  We learned Mike Franks was sick, but that was heavily implied last week, so it was no big surprise.  It was still sad though, becasuse I came to love Mike Franks in the few episodes I saw him in.  It turned out Agent Barrett is the niece of SECNAV.  As for the actual P2P killer, it turned out to be Lietenant Cobb, who was getting revenge for Operation Frankenstein.  Unfortunately, since I started watching mid-season, and haven’t seen every episode, I probably missed the connection as to why Cobb was so important.  Cobb dies, as did one of Agent Barrett’s team members.  I hope this episode is the last we see of Barrett, because I really didn’t like her.  And for Ziva and CI-Ray, WTF?  I thought they broke up, and then she seems to take him back!  I’m fine with very little romance in the series, especially among the major characters, because it works for the show.  I nearly started crying at the end, during Mike’s funeral.  It was very touching that Gibbs made Mike’s coffin.

All of that wasn’t the most shocking though- there were a couple very curious things.  First, what did EJ remove from Levin’s arm?  And why would she do it?  And then there’s the meeting between the new SECNAV (because the old one retired), Director Vance, and Tony.  Tony’s getting a top secret clearance because an agent is selling top-secret information, and Tony has to investigate it without anyone else on the team knowing.  He looked shocked for a few moments, and then acted like it was okay. 

The big question is: are the two related?  It’s highly likely they are, but if it’s not her, then who is it?  It’s definitely someone we know, based on Tony’s reaction.  And honestly, there was something odd about EJ.  If there’s anything I learned while watching NCIS, it’s that if something is introduced, it’s for a reason, so EJ removing something that appears to be a microchip of some sort from her dead co-worker’s arm is very suspicious.  Equally as suspicious is that Tony’s team can’t know, and I want to know why.  While it’s possible that it’s EJ, could it be the one of the team?  So, the possibilities are EJ, Gibbs, Ziva and McGee.  I would have said Ducky or Jimmy, but as Ducky’s the ME, and Jimmy’s his assistant, it’s probably not them.  I just thought of something else- CI-Ray got a text telling him Kort is in Tel Aviv.  So what is Kort doing in Tel Aviv, and why does Ray have to go fix it?  It’s going to be a long summer, waiting for season 9.  At least we have an inkling of the changes for NCIS.  As for the traitor storyline, didn’t we get enough of that with Agent Lee and Domino? 

Well, since this post has gone a lot longer than I expected, I think talk about Hellcats briefly.  None of it was a big surprise, and was just okay.  The Hellcats get disqualified from nationals because of an “anonymous tip” that the team experienced an outbreak of strep threat.  With Alice being sick (and not telling anyone) and Savannah being with her sister (who was giving birth), the team didn’t have enough cheerleaders to compete.  The coach ends up getting fired because she put her team at risk, and Savannah steps down as cheer captain.  Relatively uneventful, and not very impressive, but it definitely is setting up the next season.  I haven’t heard anything of the show being cancelled, but hopefully it doesn’t.

The Children Of Henry VIII

Book: The Children Of Henry VIII

Pages/Format: 366/Paperback

My Thoughts: I thought this book deserved a re-read, especially since historical fiction is one of my new projects.

I really liked it, and found the relationships between his 3 children (plus Lady Jane Grey) really interesting.  There’s definitely a lot of material I can use.

Since I took notes, there were a lot of things that I noticed- one being how important religion was.  There was a lot of back and forth between the Catholics and the Protestants, which wasn’t a surprise, but still…a lot seemed to go back to religion.

One of the criticisms I have is that anytime medical issues were mentioned, different possibilities about what they were followed.  While I appreciate Weir’s attempt to be thorough, and mention the possibilities of what the different monarchs had, we can’t make assumptions because what we know may not be accurate.  What was recorded most likely isn’t the whole story, and how the doctors described something might not be how doctors today would describe something.  After all, we still have no idea what the sweating sickness was. 

A great example would be the times that Mary thought she was pregnant, and even showed signs she was pregnant, but actually wasn’t pregnant.  Weir goes through the different possibilities about what may have caused Mary’s false pregnancy, talking about how a phantom pregnancy was the most likely cause.

It’s not that I didn’t appreciate it, because I did.  It was interesting to read about the different theories about various illnesses they all had, but at the same time, it was frustrating because we can’t know for sure what they had.  I will give Weir the benefit of the doubt, and assume the different theories were in the sources Weir used when doing research for the book.

Another major issue I had was when she talked about Lady Jane Grey.  I was reading the part about Jane’s execution, and couldn’t figure out why it was so familiar.  And then I realized that the same passage was used in Innocent Traitor, nearly word for word!  She clearly used her own books as research for Innocent Traitor, which I don’t have a problem with, especially since Weir is known for writing about British monarchs.  But to use the exact same passage in a completely different book?  And not only that, but the wording in Innocent Traitor was almost exactly the same, if not entirely the same. 

Despite the couple criticisms I have, it was still a great book, and very informative.  I have several pages of notes, front and back, plus lots of highlighting and underlining, and even notes in the margins.  And I have quite a few questions and things I want to know more about.    

Rating: 4 out of 5.  I’d recommend it to anyone, especially those who like history or want to learn more about the relationships between Prince Edward, Mary, and Elizabeth.

Revisiting Old Novels

I have to say that working on a fanfiction I started in high school has been interesting.  It’s been years since I’ve worked on it, having abandoned it after a year in college.  I can’t remember why I abandoned it now, but working on it again has brought back a lot of memories for me. 

It’s been slightly difficult to go back and work on it, in that I’ve had to go back and reread it to remind myself of what’s going on.  My writing has gotten a lot better over the last 8 years.  I still have no idea where it’s going, but I feel good about working on it again.  It’s mostly to prove that I can finish what I start, which I’m confident I can do now.  Plus, it’s kind of like my baby, you know? 

I have no idea if I’ll ever put up the chapters I’ve added, so for now, I’m just waiting to see where it goes before I make any decisions. 

Here’s what I find weird though.  Of all the things I could go back and work on, I decided to go with my 1st ever fanfiction.  It’s an interesting choice, but I’m glad I’ve decided to go back and work on it.  It’s slowly becoming one of my favorites again, although going back and working on something several years later is weird.  Especially since I’ve never done it before.

And for the 1st time since November, I’m accomplishing some of the stuff I set out to do.  That makes me happy, and I’m reminded why I love writing so much.