Sunday, October 04, 2015

"You should make that thing voice activated....oh, it is, isn't it?" "I don't want to talk about it."

 Since I lost my other job I had a Saturday off. Which I kind of needed because I have been so tired all last month. So yesterday I made myself be lazy, which wasn't all that hard since I was so tired. I stayed at home most of the day, spent the morning in my pajamas, watched silly cartoons, took Dog on a three hour hike after lunch, then came back and continued to be lazy. It was great.

 It also gave me time to think about some things. Mostly my writing and my previously published books, series, which need to be finished.

 As I've said, I have had trouble writing since the death of my friend. I haven't wanted to touch the books I was working on before as I found it too hard. While she didn't really help me with my writing, I had a lot of memories of her being around when I did work on them. I needed a break from them and it is only now that I've slowly been able to think about them again.
 That is why I took a break from the Haphazard and Loyalty series.

 But there has been something I've been thinking of for a while.

 Since writing Brothers-in-Arms I learned a lot about writing. A. Lot. So much that when I went back to re-read Haphazardly Implausible before I began work on the third book so many months back I saw bluntly obviously mistakes. (For one thing I should have gotten more editors with it.)

 I don't really regret having published before. I think I wouldn't have changed it if given the chance. But looking at those books, especially Haphazardly Implausible, I can see things which I know need fixed. 

 Since I can't face the third book right now, and since I understand writing and how it works so much better now, and since I have an seems like a good time to take a huge step back.

 Basically, to stop beating around the bush, I am pulling my four published books off the market. I am going to focus first on Haphazardly Implausible and begin a proper edit on it, after which I will re-release it. (I don't know if I can get a publisher for it since it has already been out. I am going to try, but if I can't get one I plan to self-publish it as I did the first time.)

 I don't know if this might be a good or bad thing to do. If it is professional and I am hoping it won't mess up the steps I've made toward a writing career, but it feels like the right step to take. (I even have plans for new covers for the series.)

 I am also going to begin editing work on The Broken Blade, at long last since I finally believe I have all the kinks worked out of the series. I can't say for sure, with these boys it is hard to tell if they've finally told me everything or if they still have surprises. But I think I know enough about them to begin editing. Which will be nice.

 I think I might have to take these two a little slowly. Both are hard to work on sometimes and when I open them I just want to sit down and cry. But the fact I am ready to even attempt trying is progress I suppose.

 I also might have explained all of this badly. So if you have questions feel free to ask and I will do my best to answer.

 I also wouldn't mind feed back. What do you all think of this idea? Horrible? Good? I've gotten a lot of good feedback on Peter Jones and the Haphazard crew, which makes me happy. But I feel as if I've learned so much and therefore shouldn't leave a book out there when I can see things which need fixed in it.

 Quote is from Doctor Who. 12 and Clara


Tuesday, September 29, 2015

"Thank you, Tommy."

 Have you ever read a book where the character shaves his beard with a dull blade while peering in a piece of broken glass? Well that is how it looks as if I did my bangs. 
 After someone slaughtered them during a cutting I decided to cut them myself. Usually I do okay, just grab them and slice them off to a nice length. Of course they are uneven, but I ruffle them in the morning and no one has mentioned them not being straight. Maybe they are just being nice.
 This last time, however, I angled the scissors wrong. And now they are visibly crooked. I look as if I sneezed while doing them.
 Oh well, it was bound to happen. Did I learn my lesson? Nope. Still gonna cut them on my own.

 Anyways. I was more or less ordered to do a tag by my friend Ben. It is the male character tag. So enjoy. Let's see how well I manage.

 I am not following any of the rules since I wasn't tagged online but in person. I will just be answering the questions. If you want to do it feel free to call yourself tagged by Jack. Characters can be from books or movies.

 1. Hero.

 This was hard at first because all I could think of were real life heroes. (Louie. Phil. Baillot whom I stole my last name from because I love him so much. Ben.) But this is fiction. So they must be fiction.
 I do have a lot of fictional heroes I love. (Jaron. Steve Rogers. Bucky Barnes. Peter. Aragorn.) See, nice list there and that isn't half of them. But it is hard to pick someone who might be my top favourite. I finally settled on Tintin.
 If you wish to snicker you may. He was snickered at all ready but he doesn't mine. (*Smirk at the snickerer*)

 Tintin, from The Adventures of Tintin a series of old comic books for those who haven't been around enough to hear me go on and on about him, 

 Tintin could be considered a very bland hero. Herge wrote him without a past. He really has little personality in the series. He is like a blank page, which is exactly what he is meant to be. Everyone who has read the books will probably understand what I mean. Like me, you do not see Tintin as bland or blank. Like me you probably feel as if you know his back story. That is the best part of reading the books. Herge wrote in him such a way that each reader is able to fill in the blanks in the way they see best as fits Tintin.

 For example, I have heard other readers say they put part of themselves into Tintin's character when they read the books. Their back story becomes his. It's one thing which makes him such an amazing, fun character.

 But there are other reasons he is my favourite hero. Even though I've done the same and put myself into the stories, there are things more obvious in Tintin's character that I connect to.

 He is noisy. He makes a living by writing, supposedly, but he hardly ever actually seems to WRITE anything. (I can relate to this. For an Author I seem to do a serious lack of writing.) He doesn't have a lot of friends but those he does have he'd do anything for. And he'd rather be running for his life then sitting at home drinking tea. I feel as if we would be best friends if he were real.

 2. Villain. 
 James Moriarty.

He was the first to pull up when I googled his name

 I really have no idea why he is my favourite. I think it is a combination of things.

 1. He pitted wits against Sherlock. That's pretty gutsy right there.

 2. His name. Every villain needs a spectacular name. (Like Tintin's Arch-enemy is Rastopoulous. I probably spelled it wrong...blame it on my dyslexia. That's a hard name, but so cool.)

 3. He set up a secret organization to keep Sherlock busy just in case he died and Sherlock somehow managed to escape death. (In other words, unlike Doyle, Moriarty foresaw the Victorian London fan base and planned ahead.)

 4. He is usually portrayed by chilling or sassy actors in the movie and TV show adaptions. Which is just a nice plus.

 3. Anti-Hero
 Ben explained this one as someone who does the right thing for the wrong reason. Or something like that.

 This is hard, but I am having to go with Rodin from The False Prince. In the end I'd consider him a hero, but he had moments where he only did something heroic because he could get something out of the deal.

 Nevertheless, in The Runaway King he won me over and I've loved him ever since. (For those who've read it, final sword fight scene.)

 4. Best book-to-screen adaptation
 This is hard. I want to do Tintin but that is probably breaking some rule I don't care about.

 Peter, from Narnia. Of course he seems to have more character in the movie than he did in the book, but that is because the books were left with holes so that readers could use their imaginations to fill things in. (One reason I have such a grand time reading them.) To me, the Peter in the book and the Peter in the movie are the same and amazing.

 5. Best Character Perception
 I forgot what Ben said this one is....completely forgot. 

 I had to look. She said something about a character who doesn't really change but it is revealed who he is by the end of the book and the readers idea of him changes.

 Can I do Sokka from Avatar the Last Airbender? Or Jonathan from The Mummy movie.

 I don't know if they count though...but I think they kind of are in this category.

 Sokka seems kind of childish, not serious, just living in his own world. And he doesn't really change. He is always sassy, sarcastic, but by the end of the series you realize he cares about his sister, his friends, and he really is a brave warrior.

His character in one picture

 Jonathan is kind of like him. He is greedy, out to get rich as fast as he can, a drunk, and insane. But by the end of the movie you - or at least I did - love him because you see he would be willing to die for his sister - maybe even O'Connell but don't ask him to push it, he is brave in his own weird way, and he can lighten even near death experiences.

His little face

 So yes. I shall go with them.

 And now I am going to bed, to read. Because I am finally reading a really good book, one that isn't published yet, but which is fabulous. And you can be envious of me if you wish.

 Quote is from Scorch Trials. Because Thomas. And Newt. And he said Tommy, so of course I have to use the quote.


Monday, September 28, 2015

"I won't say she was very silly, but one of us was silly and it wasn't me!"

 Wherein Jack is here

 I've had a long, long week last week. I worked six days and one day included working more than 12 hours. By the end of the week I realized there are two sides to me when it comes to being around people.

 Sometimes I am like Kuzco from the Emperor's New Groove and other times I'm like Kuzco.

 I finished my puzzle last night because I was in the second stage of being Kuzco. I curled up on my chair, made some tea, and put in the final pieces. I also realized puzzles are magic. How else can you explain how one piece won't fit in one spot no matter how many times you try it, then suddenly, the next day, it just fits.

 I lost my glasses last night. They fell out of my pocket while I tripped through a pitch black meadow with my friends as we tried to find a spot to watch the eclipse. Why were they in my pocket and not on my face you ask? Good question. That's a long, boring story so I will spare you. Short explanation is it is easier to fight Trolls in the dark if you don't have to worry about your glasses falling off. Not that it did me any good since I ended up losing them in spite of my caution. Thankfully I have all my old pairs, so I am wearing an over sized pair. Because that is how I roll.

I had a better post planned out last night, but since I worked on my puzzle instead of writing it last night I forgot what I intended to write. And I'm going to see The Scorch Trials soon. So here is a song. It is a song I listen to for a book I've written twelve times and am still having trouble with the plot. But since I love the characters I have to keep trying.

  Quote is from Wives and Daughters. I don't remember who said it about whom but I've always liked the quote.


Friday, September 25, 2015

"Fly the plane, Maddie."

 I thought it was time for another Brothers-in-Arms character post. I was going to do the main villain but I can't stand him. At all. He's probably the one villain I've created who I can't stand the sight of, so I am putting his post on hold.

 I will do Leah Buchanan instead.

 Leah is the oldest of the Buchanan siblings, which consists of two other sisters - Hadi and Ruth - and then Japhet who is the youngest. Like most in her family, Leah has black hair but her eyes are blue, which she gets from her mom. For most of the book she is in her early twenties.

 To strangers and those who aren't her closest friends Leah is reserved, well behaved, perfectly mannered, and quiet. Even Japhet, who is so much younger than her, sees her this way. To him she is his grown up older sister whom he doesn't spend much time with because he is so busy getting into trouble with Franz.

 To those who know Leah though, mainly Kirsten who is the oldest Kappel girl, Leah is completely opposite of what the rest of the world sees.

 Unknown to most of the family when they start to become friends, Leah, Kirsten, and some of the other girls in their families were friends long before their parents started to talk. There was a group of girls who attended the same church and they played together almost all the time during the summer. Being two of the oldest out of the group of girls, Leah and Kirsten kind of took charge. They came up with most of the wild pranks and adventures and took the other girls along with them. Of course, when they got older they passed on their leadership to the next in line. They never told their brothers about all of their mishaps, not wanting to give them even more ideas for their own pranks. They also never told their parents, though both sets suspecting the stories they heard later in church or throughout the week involved at least some of their children.

 At the age of four Leah started to plink keys on the family's small piano. At first her parents thought it was cute but that her interest in it would pass. They were soon proven wrong when she learned to play her first song at age five. She learned it by listening to one of their neighbors when she practiced. When she turned seven she asked to be signed up for lessons and even considered taking up a career in piano playing. She got a job offer to play in a small orchestra but lost the job before she even started when they learned that she was a Jew.

 Determined not to give up her dream, Leah continued to play until other things happened which changed her life. (Spoilers. I shall say nothing.) She later ended up moving to Munich with some of the Kappel girls, while other members of her family fled Germany and later Japhet and Franz moved into Berlin.

 While in Munich, Leah learned how the Nazis were destroying artwork and various articles which belonged to the Jews. She realizes that if the Jews lose their heritage they would have nothing to build on after the war and Hitler would have accomplished his goal of destroying them. She and her friends start to smuggle artwork, mostly passing it on to the underground.

 Leah and the Kappel girls work closely with Warren though he doesn't tell them about the resistance as he doesn't want to put them in more danger then they are already in. He wants them to get out of Germany and works hard to make it happen, but as always, something bad happens before they escape.

 And you have to read the book to find out what.

 Because I am evil like that.

 Quote is from Code Name Veirty. 


Tuesday, September 22, 2015

"Mr. Brown! That is extremely rude."

 Wherein Jack encountered wildlife.

 And is also waiting for emails...still...................

 I've grown up around wildlife. Mostly deer. And bunnies. Some hawks. And dive bombing birds. 

 A bear walked into town once and had the police all excited because they got to get him and take him back to the mountains, but I didn't get to see him.

 My dad had a moose walk into his work place once. Again, no one invited me along, not even the moose.

 And once while camping my cousins had a bear walk through camp.

 Another time my brothers and cousins and I were camping and the forest rangers came by to warn us there was a mad mountain lion on the loose and we should be careful. 
 We didn't see him.
 We might have been trying to....

 Overall, though I've lived near wildlife I've never run into any. Not anything exciting. I didn't even see the badger my dad and brothers chased into his hole.

 So when I moved and heard stories of bears wandering the town I got excited. They even visited everyone's trashcan.

 Everyone but mine. I could follow their path of midnight trashcan dinner on my way to work the next morning. Follow all the tipped over cans. But they never found mine.

 I felt left out.

 Until I heard something outside my door the other night. In my trashcan.

 Excited I got out of bed and peered out the window. I expected to see a monstrous brown bear munching my melon rinds.

 Instead I saw a monstrous raccoon.

 I was told they get big here, just like the coyotes which are huge because they decided it would be great fun to breed with the wolves. I'm not judging them, for all I know it might be loads of fun to be half coyote and half wolf. Probably something like being Scots Irish.

 Back to the raccoon though.

 I couldn't believe he was a raccoon at first. He was half the size of Dog, and Dog is not a tiny dog. She is medium sized.

 When I realized what it was munching my melon rinds I decided I didn't want him around. Bear, sure. Giant raccoon from the depths of a black hole. Nope.

 I was going to chase him off but someone had told me stories of raccoons which attacked and made weird sounds and did who knows what else.

 So brave me, I turned on my porch light.

 He didn't care. I wouldn't either if I was that big.

 I considered going after him with one of my swords. I keep one by the door. I would have gotten it sooner but it was one in the morning and I didn't feel like leaving the Flat to engage in a fencing match with a giant raccoon while I was dressed in my pajamas.

 So I did the light again and it must have worked because he left.

 The next night, last night, made up for my bear disappointment.

 I went over to my friend's for a birthday party, and while there someone said there was a bear in the trash. I ran with the little girls to the window and watched them as they prowled the trash. They were adorable little things, two cubs, fluffy and cuddly looking.

 One hung out mostly in the tree while the other broke one of the cans.

 And we owed and awed over them while their mummy watched over her babies from the roof.

 We kept waiting for her to come through the roof and land in the living room.

 We also named the good bear, the one who didn't break the trashcan, Paddington. And if they had had marmalade in the house I would have taken it out to him.

 And that is my story. Or stories.

 Quote is from Paddington, the new movie. Because I couldn't help it.

 P.S. Still trying to get the bloopers from the Brothers-in-Arms book trailer fixed


Sunday, September 20, 2015

"You've all developed a fault."

 Wherein Jack did things.

 I've been looking for a desk. All over town. But town doesn't have things like desks. Because town was built for tourists, and tourists don't need desks.

 But Authors do.

 Because it is hard to edit sitting on the floor.

 Not that I always sit at a desk. Usually I migrate. From the desk, to my bed, to the floor, to the counters while I make meals, and back to the desk. Rinse and repeat.


 Because it is hard to sit still while you are editing and yelling at characters and crying over characters and wondering why you bothered to write books and ponder tossing it out the window.

 So finally I ordered a desk off line. Because I found a nice little one which didn't cost a fortune. The only problem was I had to put it together myself. And usually that ends badly. I am not mechanically inclined. In any way or form.

 I attempted it this morning. And somehow it didn't fall to pieces on me. I am kind of impressed with myself, but I believe my sonic screw driver might be partly to thank for that.

 And the point to this post is...nothing. Because there is no point. I am just killing time while I wait for my edits to come back to me. that way I can feel like a real Author. Instead of an email stalker.

 Do I have a song for today? 

 No, not really.


 Because I want to go to sleep and don't want to go and try to find one. Because sleep.

 Quote is from the 12th Doctor.  


Monday, September 14, 2015

"American he was. All hair oil and no socks."

 So, the bloopers. Or lack thereof. I am working on trying to get them up, and might have found a way, I just have to wait for a friend to help me upload the video to another site. When that is done, hopefully, I can finally share them. 

 I am trying to get all kinds of big things done this month so I can focus on my book and pretty much nothing but my book next month. Unfortunately, all the big things are really boring. And adult ish. Such as taking my car in to get its belt fixed. I plan to make that fun by going on a walk in the chilly wind while it is being worked on. But still, boring adult stuff. Once it is fixed I can run down the hill and look for a desk, which will come in handy when I begin editing. Because desks my friends. I wish there was a way where I could stock up on food for the rest of my life so I'd never have to go out and shop for it again. Books, sure, but food shopping frightens me. (Let's not forget the fact I stink at food shopping, which takes out even the slightest bit of fun which it might normally hold.)

 I did find a chess board though. I just need a chess partner. All willing candidates please line up in an orderly fashion and I will review your resumes. 

 If you fence as well as play chess you have a better chance being picked.

 In other news, I just found a spider in my potatoes. In. My. Potatoes!!! Just how evil can these things get?! That is low even for them. I also found a hideous one in my bathroom the other day. He looked kind of like a beetle, and he was huge. I'm hoping the weather drops soon because I didn't have the courage to throw him out and now he is loose somewhere in the Flat.

 The weather has been dropping. Rather it dropped. It hit September and all the sudden it was "FALL IS HERE AND I AM FABULOUS!" I haven't minded the cold weather, neither has dog, but I realized my floor is freezing. So Saturday I hope to go down the hill and find a rug before the weather decides to be fabulous winter.

 Other than the spiders, and no one being around to chase them off for me, I haven't minded living on my own. I can spread a puzzle all over the floor and sprawl out and work on it without fear of being stepped on. I can also cook without subjecting friends and family to my interesting concoctions. Because why cook? Why not making it into a science experiment? 

 Besides trying to cool, thinking of burning the Flat down to escape spiders, plotting my winter time quest with Frodo, and bemoaning my lack of chess partners I have begun to haunt my email. Non stop. When I hear from MY PUBLISHER next it will either be with the returned manuscript for me to edit or have something to do with the covers. I am nervous and excited about both and to calm my nerves I may or may not spy on my surrounding neighbors. I may or may not also have given them all nicknames. 

 Now I should end this before I get even more distracted by my puzzle.

 Quote is from Tintin