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Jan. 1st, 2020 08:00 am
lea_hazel: The Little Mermaid (Default)
Drop me a line about anything here.
lea_hazel: Neuron cell (Science: Brains)
When I was a teenager, my dream was to write a novel.

In the army, my dream was to write and publish a novel.

In my early twenties, I was convinced that it was just a matter of time before I wrote a publishable novel.

...I am terrible at writing novels.

Over the past fifteen or so years, I have been writing short fiction of various lengths and descriptions. I flatter myself that I have become quite good at it. I can look back at something I wrote two or three years ago and be largely pleased with it. Farther back than that, things get a little hazier. But no matter what else I've done, I've always struggled with writing longer form works of fiction.

Writing a novel is so easy and automatic an idea, that it took many years and many failed attempts before I considered the idea of not trying to write one. Most of my successful and satisfying works have been short fiction, and when I write in chaptered form I often feel like I'm floundering. Part of the impetus behind the Collar of the Damned project was to try and develop my short original fiction as part of a shared universe.

Then again, writing well-structured short fiction isn't easy, either. Looking back at the past few years of my writing, I feel like I have improved my pacing and structure a lot. Most often, when a story went past a certain length, I would structure it out of snippets clearly divided by sharp scene transitions. It made them read like chained vignettes. More recent stories are better paced and more cohesive in their structure.

Here are some hard numbers, primarily for my own reference: Read more... )
lea_hazel: The Little Mermaid (Default)
Tomorrow: a retrospective post on the past month (and year) if writing. Pros, cons, room for improvement.
lea_hazel: Neuron cell (Science: Brains)
25 day streak on 750words.com. I've been using it for almost a year and I've found it to be an immensely useful tool, both creatively and therapeutically. This month I've signed up, yet again, for the one-month challenge -- aspiring to write three pages (or 750 words) every single day in June. My previous attempts at this challenge have been very unsuccessful, but I hold higher hopes this time. Not only because I'm more than halfway through and so far it's been almost easy, but also because for the first time in a while, I'm writing full-time. Ostensibly.

Sunday through Tuesday, I did no writing at all (other than the aforementioned three daily pages). It's my third week being unemployed/self-employed, and my motivation seems to have ebbed more than a little. It didn't help that I was inexplicably sleepy on Sunday and Monday. I spent a lot of time dozing off, half-awake rereading old fanfic, playing hidden object games, drooling over the Steam summer sale and catching up on Sense8 (a truly ridiculous show).

Yesterday I spent most of the afternoon sprawled on my bed, tearing through Naomi Novik's Uprooted like it's my job. I got the sampler booklet at last year's Dragon*Con when I went to see her talk on transitioning from being a fanfic writer to being (also) a pro writer. And proceeded to chicken out of trying to speak to her in person. Lousy move, given that even then I was making plans in the general direction in which I am now more specifically stepping. Of course, if I was aiming to write a novel, my path ahead would be a little bit clearer.

Looking at my June goals, I'm not doing too poorly for being halfway through the month. I completed my [community profile] jukebox_fest assignment, Hail the Hunter, best described as "Florence and the Machine's Girl with One Eye with bonus megalomaniacal dragons", and wrote a whole bunch of Skyrim fanfic. I made good progress on a Collar of the Damned meta essay that's been in the works for about a billion years. I've been blogging steadily.

A little past the halfway mark, June seems to be treating me well.
lea_hazel: Don't make me look up from my book (Basic: Reading)
If you've been reading for a while, you probably know by now that by far my favorite game in the world is the strategic raising sim Long Live the Queen from Hanako Games. This is a fiendishly difficult game which combines a gentle parody of princess tropes, a thoughtful exploration of the skills necessary for leadership, and an unironic enthusiasm for sparkliness. Protagonist Elodie is the recently-orphaned teenaged heir to the throne, trying to survive the weeks until her coming of age and coronation.

Read more... )

I had some things to say regarding the approval of the nobles and why it's so important to maintain it, but this blog post is already far too long as it is. I think for the moment I'll leave things at that, and perhaps return to the subject at a later date.
lea_hazel: Don't make me look up from my book (Basic: Reading)
I started drafting a meta post on the metaphysics of a story I have(n't) been working on for a while. Then I saved it to my essay folder and set it aside. I'm not sure how to draw it out towards a natural conclusion.

Meanwhile [community profile] jukebox_fest went live (archive here) which is the cue for me to see comment and kudos emails in my inbox and be torn between being deliriously happy like a puppy rolling around in mud, versus gnashing my teeth and mumbling, 'oh no they're reading it oh god why'. On a side-note I also became obsessed with listening to Skeleton Key over and over, via JBF I'm pretty sure, although it doesn't appear on the signup summary right now.

Later this week I'll make a post about my TBR list and specifically some recent spec fic offerings I've just added to the teetering top. I wish I could think of a book I'd recently read to review, but my problem is my attention span for reading has suffered immensely the last few years. Now I am scheduling long stretches of reading time as part of my writing agenda.

Blogging

Jun. 4th, 2015 11:37 am
lea_hazel: Typewriter (Basic: Writing)
I had excellent intentions for this morning and then ended up spending several straight hours reading blogs.

I completed my [community profile] jukebox_fest story and I don't know if I'll ever be happy with it. I feel like it needs to be torn to shreds by an editor and pieced back together over a month. My impulsive writing habits are starting to get me down and I want to spend part of this month working specifically on that.

Monday morning I made a big spreadsheet with writing goals for June. The spreadsheet has a category for blogging, with two specific meta subjects that I want to get around to. One of them is about The 100, which I have been overdue to write about since I glommed the whole series in amok.

Even though my mind is constantly churning with ideas and reactions to things, I feel like I actually bring up almost none of that. I want to change that, but I'm not certain where to start. My own fanfic? Characters that I find myself writing over and over again? How long it's been since I've even remotely kept up with contemporary SFF?

One of the items on my agenda is making a list of recent books to read and (possibly) review.
lea_hazel: Neuron cell (Science: Brains)
My first proper day of unemployment (actually self-employment, in theory) has been a bit of a whirlwind.

I did some chores and some writing and some slacking off. I made a great big list of my writing goals for June and organized it in a spreadsheet, color-coded. I got some calls about jobs and had to put a fair amount of energy into meeting those demands. Some jobs want to test you before they'll even bother calling you in. I'm used to technical tests being on-site.

Somehow I am trying to balance not hammering the lid on the coffin of my programming career, along with treating the idea of being a full-time writer with the necessary gravity. It's... difficult. The more I talked about the possibility of writing, the less it seemed like an unfortunate fallback for the unemployable dropout, and more like... what I actually want to do. What I've been working towards, knowingly or not, for a decade or more.

But there is always a portion of my brain (and a rather larger portion of my acquaintances) that is pushing for the programming job, because security. Money. Future. Pension. Insurance. Never mind that the weekly schedule of working outside of home leaves me too tired and dispirited to do all the things I love.

*Shrug* For now I am dancing in both weddings as they say. When that starts being compromising, well, I've got more than enough well-wishers ready to lend me advice. And my lease here isn't up, yet, and besides, my apartment in Jerusalem won't be free for a while. Meanwhile it's not like I'm short of unfinished projects to keep me (very) busy.

Such as promising to blog twice a week.
lea_hazel: The Little Mermaid (Default)
I made a very firm rule yesterday that I am not allowed to spend all of today -- all of the holiday weekend -- waffling on Tumblr and playing games and watching TV and generally wasting time. By the end of the month I'm (probably) going to be unemployed, and I have writing commitments that I'd just as soon rather not put off to the last possible moment (like I normally do). And I want to write, I swear I do!

...It's just so hard to get started doing anything. Especially when I don't even want to put on pants.

:D

May. 11th, 2015 09:09 pm
lea_hazel: The outlook is somewhat dismal (Feel: Crash and Burn)
I had the most amazing migraine today. Just like a nuclear migraine or something.

I swear I will post something fun soon, I have a lot to post about. But this week is only two days old and already killing me.
lea_hazel: The Little Mermaid (Default)
So, I am flying to a friend's wedding. I did all the arrangements last minute because I was half-convinced I'd be unemployed by now. My flight is late tonight, lands there early Friday morning. Meanwhile I am trying to stick to my lists and focus on the fact that I can live without virtually everything. This is my go-to strategy for situations where forgetting something is virtually guaranteed.
lea_hazel: The outlook is somewhat dismal (Feel: Crash and Burn)
I fly to the US on Thursday night (yes, I know that's the first time I've mentioned it on this blog). I booked what needed booking, described to my mother as "a tour of New York's airports", borrowed a suitcase, planned what clothes to take, started carefully scheduling the laundry cycles... and today I went bra-shopping.

Body talk, I guess )

Anyway, Age of Ultron was frothy but satisfying like a very artificial-tasting milkshake. My brother was naturally more forgiving of it than I was. Some issues I didn't bother bringing up, but I had to mention that the Wanda/Pietro storyline could be lifted right out of the movie with almost no impact. Natasha got an origin, apparently in lieu of actually getting a solo film like the boys. Wanda, though, felt pretty vacant to me.

Whedon's thing with emotionally-damaged brunettes again, I suppose. Or maybe I am being too harsh.
lea_hazel: Typewriter (Basic: Writing)
Shits about to get real with my [community profile] jukebox_fest assignment. Original fic real.

The 100

Apr. 17th, 2015 08:57 pm
lea_hazel: I am surrounded by tiny red hearts (Feel: Love)
Look, I'm sick and I have therapy and travel plans and money issues and chores, but I just came in here to say that The 100 is officially now the show I didn't think I deserved. Like, I must have done something right in a past life to have gotten this show.
lea_hazel: Kermit: OMG YAY *flail* (Feel: OMGYAY)
Dear [community profile] jukebox_fest gifter!

Read more... )

You are not obliged to hold up any part of this except the DNW part way at the beginning.

The 100

Apr. 14th, 2015 07:09 pm
lea_hazel: I am surrounded by tiny red hearts (Feel: Love)
This fucking show. I cannot.

I Live

Apr. 13th, 2015 06:20 pm
lea_hazel: The outlook is somewhat dismal (Feel: Crash and Burn)
Let today the thirteenth of April be forever commemorated as the day on which I was not vanquished by a migraine.

Ow.

Apr. 6th, 2015 10:35 am
lea_hazel: Arthritis: It does the body bad (Health: Arthritis)
My head hurts because I didn't sleep enough (thanks Obama Skyrim) and my eyes hurt because I did an eye exam. Not an EOG, one of the ones with no electrodes. But still, like half an hour of flashing lights and my eyes tearing up. I want to rest my eyes, but I don't want to sleep because it'll prevent me from resetting my night sleep to a semi-reasonable manageable time-frame.

The problem is, literally every source of entertainment I use involves white light screens and eye strain. Goddamn.

For some reason, eye exams tend to put me in a bizarre frame of mind. Weird emotional stuff. )

Anyway, embodiment issues.

I have the whole week off and I was planning on doing some social stuff and whole hell of a lot of writing. I may twine a bit. I... also may write a meta piece about Skyrim. Which I would then post here, and not on Tumblr. I'm not gonna lock it, but I'd probably want it to be linked either selectively or not at all. The last thing I want is to open a meta essay with "rules of engagement" so to speak, but I'm fraught and my energy for conflict is nonexistent.

Anyway, Passover, yeah. Favorite holiday. Best time of year. Totally worth the lack of bread, and ~50% of my other favorite foods.

I'm gonna go lie down before I hurt myself.

A Game

Apr. 1st, 2015 10:12 pm
lea_hazel: The Little Mermaid (Default)
Let's play a game called, "How far back in my AO3 can I go before I hit a story that utterly appalls me?"

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