Archive for category Written Stories

…Which means what exactly?

Happy Halloween! May your bags be full, and may your costumes belie your true identities. ^^

It’s hard for me to believe that it’s the end of October already. Time has been flying by so quickly…

November means that things need to change, though. I can’t do National Novel Writing Month for real this year, since I’ve already started on “Spyder, Spyder.” (Only maybe fifteen pages in, though.) And even if I had the chance, I don’t know if I could take it anyway. As I’ve mentioned, the Mad Scientist Wars have become an addiction. It’s loosened its hold to a manageable level now (I don’t spend every free moment thinking of it; which is the most dangerous indicator of obsession), but I still check it regularly, even if I don’t have the energy to post myself. In the past, I’ve struggled to keep myself from reading webcomics when I could be writing. Webcomics were an old, consistent addiction. Now that I have a new one, I’m not sure how long I can keep myself away.

But I need to work on “Spyder, Spyder.” It’s still a major assignment for class; it must get done. So I’m going to try a faux-NaNoWriMo, even though I’ve started the story already. Rules are the same: reach 50,000+ words by the end of the month. Write about 1,700 words a day.

The question is, what do I do about MSW? I can’t abandon it. Webcomics could wait; Piperka would hold my place for me and I could catch up whenever I wanted (whenever I completed a goal). But MSW requires participation. Should I not complete a goal, I would be harming both projects with my absence. But if I keep up with MSW anyway, what’s the point of a goal-based system? ;_; I’m flummoxed about this. It’s a distraction from the work that needs to be done, but it’s also a creative endeavor in its own right (and so is even more dangerous than a regular addiction).

What I need is to get back to the state of mind I had for the last few days of NaNoWriMo last year, that “clarity in the brain” which led me to write and write and write without regard for distractions. I need to get back there, and I need to maintain it for the month of November. And past November.

Mmm. Tentative set-up:

  • Write at least 1,700 words a day
  • Do not read any webcomics for the entire month
  • Mad Scientist Wars activities only after the day’s writing is done
  • Reward system:
    • 10,000 words – catch up on 5 webcomics of choice
    • 20,000 words – food reward (depends on craving at time, plus finances)
    • 30,000 words – go through 1 webcomic archive (a shorter one)
    • 40,000 words – catch up on 5 webcomics of choice
    • 50,000 words – buy $20 item for self

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Toll Booth Ninja part 1

The exam went okay. It wasn’t as bad as I thought it would be, but I still didn’t finish. Spent too much time making dumb mistakes involving Bresenham’s Algorithm. *sighs* The next two days will still be difficult and labor-intensive, but at least my brain’s back.

Anyway. Up next is a portion of a story I wrote last semester. It was written as part of a short story workshop, but I’d had the idea for a long time. In fact it’s within the continuity of “Cathy, Queen of Evil.”

Actually, I’m still not sure what to do with the concept of “Cathy.” My art has significantly improved over the last three years, to the point where I could probably start a webcomic and be happy with the way it looks. However, this story made me interested in pulling off “Cathy” in the written word instead. Despite the fact that it’s difficult to pull off a good written superhero story. None of the those I’ve read so far have even come close to being good. I think it can be done, though, and I’m willing to keep trying. Should I ever decide to try this method, I’d probably use a format like a series of short stories, sort of like a collection of comic issues. Since Cathy’s story interacts with those of other supers (Gatekeeper, Pyrobelle, and of course, Toll Booth Ninja), there would be ‘issues’ which follow those characters as well. The idea makes me happy, but again, I realize how hard it is to pull off good superhero prose.

Without further ado, here’s part one of “Toll Booth Ninja.” Read the rest of this entry »

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I’m back, babe!

Has it really been seven months since I last posted here? Really? Wow. A lot’s happened since then. The biggest thing is that I upgraded my Computer Science minor to a major. (Yes, I am the rare Writing-CS double major. You try to put me in that Pokeball and I will gnaw your hand off.) I also was put in charge of updating and maintaining the Writing Workshop website, a project that consumed my summer (when I wasn’t working).

For awhile, I did quick sketches and wrote everyday, but once I started working over the summer, I had little energy for the creative stuff. As a result, I have a new backlog of items to present, but I must also write an update on current project status.

Writing-wise, I have started a new project, entitled “Spyder, Spyder.” I’m writing it for a class on the novella. The idea, like so many others, came from a particularly focused and plot-rich dream. It’s a bit of sci-fi, a bit of fantasy. I guess you could say that it also mirrors the seeming tension between my Writing/CS sides, but let’s not go into that. It’s a fun story, though I won’t be able to do NaNoWriMo this year because of it. Sadness.

Unfortunately, I’ve got a second writing ‘project.’ It’s an role-playing forum called The Mad Scientist Wars, based heavily on the world of Shaenon Garrity’s Narbonic and Skin Horse (both of which are pure awesome). It’s not unfortunate that I’m playing in it, not at all. I’m seriously happy that I am. I like the other players and their characters, I enjoy the plots themselves. (Btw, I play ‘JanetTor,’ aka Janet Torvalds, aka Janitor, aka Alice – Mad cleaning lady and sometime homeless person.) What’s unfortunate is that I recognize an addiction when I’ve got one. And this, my friends, is full-blown addiction. Which explains why it’s so hard for me to write “Spyder, Spyder” right now. I get my daily writing done, but not for the right project… I have to relearn to balance things.

Art-wise, I’ve been doing lots of doodles, mostly in class. I’m planning to start up daily quick sketches again. I’ve just completed some fanart for the Mad Scientist Wars, and I will probably be doing more (I guarantee it’ll come up again; I should probably add a category for it now). I should also finish that Tao of Geek fanart. So far, my art-ing is mostly potential. Balance, I repeat, is needed.

Sometime soon I will be revamping the way this site looks. The theme may or may not change, but the header and blogroll certainly will. They’re outdated. Yeah, I no longer have long hair, guys. (Oh yeah, that was another big happening this summer. I also cosplayed for the first time! Might post pictures later. Maybe.)

I’m hoping that by updating here once more, I can get myself to establish that balance again. As when I first began posting, I will start with the older items in the backlog, and move to the present day. Posting will be (optimistically) Monday, Wednesday, and Friday. As always, comments are encouraged. As always, I may wax poetic about not-quite-so-random things like praying mantids or motion-detecting paper towel dispensers. You’ve been warned. ^^

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Current projects

Right now, I’m focusing on homework and getting everything done.  Surviving the weeks and trying not to be grumpy; that sort of thing.  Since I’m no longer reading webcomics everyday, but only on Saturdays, I’ve been getting a lot of reading done.  Actual books, can you imagine?  Yeah, reading used to be the only thing I ever did in my spare time.  And then I discovered webcomics… sigh.

Besides reading, I’ve been making an attempt to try the “Do Something Creative Everyday” resolution again. Here’s a rundown of what I’ve been working on:

I’ve been writing “Strength of the Fallen” again, though not in very large chunks.  It won’t be done anytime soon, I’m afraid, especially since I’ve written myself into a corner.  I have no idea how to get to the end from where I’m at, and I can tell the continuity is already messed up.  I will keep trying.

My fascination with text adventure games has once again led me to try learning Inform, which allows programming such games.  The first time I tried learning it, I found it too hard, and dropped it after creating one sample game.  Now, thanks to Computer Science classes, it’s almost too easy.  I understand creating objects, inheritance and all that other good stuff, so all that’s left is picking up the grammar of the language.  Shouldn’t be too hard.

Drawing?  Ha ha, you must be joking.  I’ve found some good stock art and reference sites for helping me practice, but doodles are all I’m capable of doing right now.  I’d like to do some “Tao of Geek” fanart, but… eh…  Time constraints.

I’m doing some writing outside of “Strength,” which is where a lot of time is going.  My Short Stories class does exercises in fiction, and I’m finding a lot of good ideas to expand on.  I may post one here at some point.  Not right now; nothing’s finished.   Soon, though, soon!

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The Council of Superhuman Activities

Back in the day (like 2003), I had a blog on Xanga, with the user-name “hawk_iris.”  I’ve just had the site shut down, but as I was archiving the posts on my computer, I came across some items that have been lost or forgotten.  Poetry, doodles, small snippets of wisdom or snapshots of my life…  I was amazed.

Here’s part of a story I was making up as I was growing ever more addicted to superhero comics.  It was imaginatively called “Superhero,” and many roots of “Cathy Queen of Evil” can probably be traced to this origin.  It was abandoned, as you could probably figure out – I knew I wanted to do some story about superheroes, but couldn’t yet figure out a good plot for one.  And now that I’ve read so many comics, I know that the world I outlined in this fragment is too similar to a lot of superhero premises.

Click below to see the story…

Read the rest of this entry »

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