Sunday, December 28, 2008

Bored bored bored

Yeah. So I don't feel like editing my 2008 Nano yet, but I'm all twitchy because I'm not obsessively writing anything now. I must not be as burnt out as in previous years. Used to be I did NaNo, then didn't feel like writing for the next 6 months at least.

I thought about the other ideas I had for this year, then pushed them to the back of my mind again. Took up an even older idea I never did do much with beyond a few short-short stories. Well. I'll try to finish something longer this time.

The Salt Gang. That's my group of "superheros". But I've been reading/watching wuxia flicks/serials, so it'll have something of that feel, except set in the modern day US. This will be version 3, 4, or 5. Something like that. I've toyed with various ideas and names for them over the years. Here we'll have the definitive origin story for them. Yep yep.

The human world, the ghost world. Spirits are called back from death into new bodies, for one reason or another. Being held together by chi powers, they are both more robust (immune to purely physical attacks) and more fragile (can be disrupted by magical attacks) than humans. The Salt Gang are a bunch of losers from the ghost world. Two dropouts of the Shadow Academy, one freed slave of a fire demon, and one monk cast out by his master for his greed. That's the group I'll start with, at any rate. As for plot, I'm still working on it. Maybe I'll just steal one.

Why the "Salt" gang? Two reasons. Got the idea from a Chinese serial I watched (years ago) and because I used to carry around little packets of salt from airline meals in my jacket pockets. I got to thinking, what if there was some use for it besides, say, sprinkling on a hard-boiled egg when out in the middle of nowhere? Obviously, salt is used in breaking spells and warding against evil spirits, so that was why my characters would have their emergency stashes of salt packets.

Now carried to ridiculous extremes...we get the "Salt Gang". Probably it's also a slur on them for only knowing the crudest of methods...dumping salt on demons... Now to see how they got started.

If I post it publicly, I'll have to follow up and write the damn story. It's better than a New Year's Resolution!

Monday, December 8, 2008

Done!

...at least the first draft! Woo hoo! This is a NaNo first for me, that I actually got to the end of the story and have a real first draft. (As opposed to having the novel dribble off into a bunch of notes/outlines that purport to be endings but aren't really.) It's even almost the ending I planned. Heh. Not that it makes that much sense, but hey, it's an ending.

I'll let it sit for awhile before I make any attempt to revise it. whew.

Final word count: 57352

Sunday, December 7, 2008

Why. Is. It.Not. Done. Yet. ARRRGH!

So for a week or so after NaNoWriMo officially ended, I didn't do much. 100 words here, 100 words there. I went to sleep every night trying to envision just how the end of the story was supposed to go.

Today I finally sat down and typed out those final scenes..well...I started to. But now I realize I've written more than I did on any actual NaNo day. Not that I ever wrote all that much on any day, but this is still more than that. So. I'm going to head off to bed. *mutters* But really! The end is nigh! The end is nigh! TOMORROW I will finish. I will! I must! The incredibly cheesy yet sexless Armageddon story shall be over with! (At least until I sit down to revise it.)

Current word count: 54869

Saturday, November 29, 2008

Purple bar!

Which is to say, I finally reached 50k. Entered the novel into the official NaNoWriMo validator and all that. Thanks to the write-in group at the Panera for their encouragement!

The story's not done yet, but it's close. Just a few more scenes to do. *crosses fingers* I have a few plot issues to work out, but eh, it could be worse. My daughter finished her story today, too. She even let me read it!
(Well, I told her she had to in order to have me buy her a reward!) I can't buy me a reward until I get to the end of my novel, which ends where "Jack" begins. More or less.

Cliche of the day: "They're dead, Jim." In which a character has to complete the Mission of Vital Importance on their own because everyone else is dead.

Thursday, November 27, 2008

Happy Thanksgiving!

...although the word "Thanksgiving" is beginning to look really strange to me. (From repetition and lack of sleep, probably). 'Thanking' is an odd concept, isn't it? Traditionally, the fairies don't get along with the idea. However, you'd expect it to exist among social animals in general. But it's an easy way to make an alien seem more alien, if it doesn't understand the concept of thanks. Me, I'm thankful I'm alive, my family is alive (and the ones who aren't we still remember), and we have what we need for our lives (more than we need, really).

Starting the day at 47000ish words. Not sure how much writing I'll get done today. Story done in 3000 words? Heh. Counting up scenes needed...hmm...it'll be close. We'll see.

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Agh! Not done yet?!

So...let's see...I seem to be 5000 words behind at this point. I'll blame it on being sick, etc. etc. Heh. Today I finally feel warm again. Yay. Of course, none of that helps my NaNo. Stupid horrible story. *kicks it viciously a few more times* The characters sound the same, the plot is incoherant, there's no romance, none of the named characters has died yet, I hate prophecies, and the end is nigh.

Helike showed up again, but I'm not sure what to do with him. Tomo is threatening to sacrifice himself for Lin, but I wish he wouldn't, that would just be annoying, as that would leave Lin in the awkward position of inhabiting his body. The Ala Moana shopping mall is the stuff of nightmares! And I didn't even mention the food court. Meanwhile, Lucia has to reach the Abbey and Baphomet has to break the siege. The shadows are chasing the wrong woman! I actually wanted Number 37 to have a bunch of stray shadows to work with. I'll have to figure something out later.

Cliche of the day: You could be the next winner in our "Lord of Babylon" sweepstakes! Temptations and car chases! Well, it would have been more of a chase if the chasees had had some kind of vehicle instead of being on foot.

Sunday, November 23, 2008

Anti-climactic drivel

And I can't spell anymore, either. One more week and 8k more words to go (to the official finish, anyway.) This year's story is shorter than previous years (I envisioned it as a novella going in), so I have a remote chance of actually getting to the end of the story.

Another year, another arranged marriage. Maybe. It'll give me a chance to use the Cathedral. (Hey, it's a stop on the Armageddon Tour, right?) Not using the Bank of Babylon, as I didn't build that one. I see Lin, Number 37, Lucia, and Anam all converging at or near the Cathedral for their showdown.

But meanwhile we still have this stupid siege around Babylon. I didn't want to write about a siege OR a big battle scene. But the siege is there. Because of course Baalzy didn't care for Baphomet's New World Order. (Oh yes, I even put in the Crystal City! Not just a stop on the Blue and Yellow lines anymore! I did move it aboveground.) The Host is just observing for now.

Cliche of the day: The ugly, comic-relief demon. He's going to die in...hmm...maybe 5000 words from now?

ArmageddonMUSH fanwank moment: Mecha-chimera ants! Though I doubt anyone's going to bother teaching them to type.

Goal for today: 46000 words.

I have my doubts. If I could do 4k a day, I'd be done already.

Saturday, November 22, 2008

Took a sick day...

Felt like shit yesterday. Was running a bit of a fever, very tired. Wrote a couple hundred words then fell asleep.

So today...gotta make it up. At 41K now. Goal is 44K before I go to bed tonight. Plot is bleah. Writing a bunch of pointless conversations/arguments. I'm not feeling very descriptive today. The titanium spork made it into the NaNo. *facepalms* It's the end of the world and we're eating apple cinnamon oatmeal with our titanium sporks...

I suppose people have to eat something. But if you could conjure anything you could imagine, would it be oatmeal? Meh.

Seriously. Gotta do something with Baal-zebul's legions, the Host, and the rest. I keep thinking "The Noddites have Babylon under siege", but I'm not sure how that's supposed to make any sense at all.

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Behind, behinder...ugh...

Sitting at 1000 words behind my goal. Wait, no, I can't sit. Must...keep...writing...

This is the week where I get depressed at how crappy my novel is. First draft or no, the characters aren't consistent, their reactions don't make sense, the plot bores me, the setting has serious problems, and I don't feel like writing.

Well. I never feel like writing except when I'm definitely NOT writing, so that doesn't mean much. I've been whining all month. And I do that every year. Genetic predisposition to whining! Heh. Mother and daughter whine-fest! (Except she's complaining about her homework at the moment, not her NaNo story.)

Right...so...let's see if I get caught up at all tonight. 4 hrs or so to go...

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Slowly we drag along...

...to 34K last night right at midnight. Lin kisses a toad, then visits the demonic coin mint of Belfagor. Number 37 and Lucia sleep (together, platonically) and talk. Guzman suffers Megalomaniac Confessions from Amaury. Looks like Anam may be Mad Jack after all, by the time we're done with him (toad demon blowing up in his face, Number 37 messing with him, then Mad Tom the Piper. The Piper is probably the one who names him Jack. He's probably also the peddler with the magic beans.) But we haven't started yet, so who knows.

Cliche of the day: You are my helpless prisoner and I tell you my PLAN!

Moral of the day: Kissing demonic toads is bad for your health. That turning into a prince thing is, like, totally false.

Sunday, November 16, 2008

30K...*gasp*

Dragged myself to 30k just before midnight last night. Writing...oh geez..."learning powers" scenes. I hate those. I always hated having to send in logs of "instruction RP" on online games to justify getting stats. The problem is that it's always learning some kind of supernatural shit, and if I could really learn/teach that, I'd be doing it in real life! So of course I had to do "learn superpowers" scenes for TWO of my characters. Gah! As a GM I was (and still am) prone to randomly threatening characters with death and other mishaps during their power-up scenes. To be fair, I ought to do it to my characters, too. Guzman has troubles enough. Lucia...well...we'll see if anything bad happens to Lucia.

*cues power-up montage scene with inspirational song*

Left Lin running away somewhere in Hell. (Not sure where she's gonna go, and if it's any improvement over the fate she was previously contemplating.) The Wild Hunt is about to descend on Lucia and Number 37. Guzman is going stir crazy in his genie bottle.

Cliche of the day: the Power-up Montage.

ArmageddonMUSH fanwank moment: A chessboard! (remember Alex Korchnoi and his soul-eating chessboard? Probably not. But I have a log!) Well, the one in the NaNo is not that chessboard, and there was no chess game, but I was thinking of that when I was writing. ("If faith is worthless, what use is chess?" Poor Kate! "Hmm, black or white? Yes, that says it all, doesn't it?")

Saturday, November 15, 2008

Nooooo!!!

So I come home from the local write-in, and putter about to waste some time. I watch the new Children in Need Doctor Who Special (2008) and...

WTF! AGHHHH! Somebody kill it! Kill it now! This is the worst new Who CiN special yet, and they've all been pretty bad. Somebody shoot the tenth Doctor, and let's hope it takes this time. But FFS don't let him regenerate into that Doctor. Shades of the third Doc but with only a fraction of the charm. And the third Doc was never my favorite anyway. Ugh. Meanwhile, in 2 minutes, they manage to show all the things I hate about the current Doctor Who: goofy grin, smug Doctor, spinning camera, snowy pseudo-Christmas-Carol landscape, "You fick or somefing?", "ALON-ZEEEEE!", "I'm the Doctor, the one, the only, and the best...this is a job for a Timelord!" *bangs head repeatedly*

...and I even liked "The Runaway Bride" and thought the...uh...one with the Titanic in space...was ok. But damn.

...not that I'm going to go work on my novel or anything now.

Edit: ok, maybe more of a 6th Doctor. And probably a fake anyway. Maybe the rest of the episode will be better. One can only hope. It's too bad, though. I really thought David Tennant had potential (as the Doctor) back in "The Christmas Invasion", but he hasn't lived up to it. (Great moments here and there, but as many moments where it was just painful to watch. Rose really didn't help.)

Friday, November 14, 2008

Halfway!

Well, 26K as of this morning. Halfway through the story? I'm not sure. There's still a confusing mess I have to sort through. (And curse that part of my mind which decided that if I was talking about the apocalypse, the Norse version would have to get a part in my story! It's all Kevin Crossley-Holland's fault for his awesome retelling of The Norse Myths.)

For some reason, when I write in the morning, it seems like I get hardly any words done. Maybe I write faster when I'm tired. At night, I look at the clock and realize it's already 11 pm and I still have 1000 words to write! So I do. Takes me about an hour and a bit. Still not very fast, but it's better than I did the rest of the day.

Today's cliche from the big bag o' cliches: the magical train/subway system. Three cheers for Michael Coney's The Celestial Steam Locomotive and the animated version of Tsui Hark's A Chinese Ghost Story. (And tons of others, but those two were the most colorful out of the ones I remember). Mine goes through New Fairyland (until it gets a better name).

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Caught up: 24000!

At least for another 24 hours. Wrote a scene with the Wild Hunt. Another with Lucia and Number 37. It's still not a horror story, but Lucia ended the day today in tears. In the apocalypse, everyone's an elf, in a sense. The cool universe you thought you had is gone. You're doomed as a race and have no future. All the wonderful things you once discovered are fading away and turned to lies. The world that's left will be a miserable place with no magic. You're only a fairy tale told by rabbits, as Schmendrick said once.

Geez, my novel sucks. Also being influenced by choppy Gu Long style (trying to read "Sentimental Swordsman, Ruthless Sword" right now. In Chinese. Sometimes I cheat and look at the translation - heh, funny to see where the translator censored bits.) Gah!

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Another day, another cliche (or two)

I'm behind again. Must try to do 3000 words today. The plot is still a mess. Another antagonist from the cliche box: the Badass Bounty Hunter.

Anam. He's a cacoheme addict. (Cacoheme, made from demon blood, is illegal in Babylon. But he's Just That Good, as the cliche goes. Haven't worked out all the details yet. It's possible Mikael will make use of cacoheme later, when the Nameless demands a vision of him.) He has a magic dagger. (oooo! how original! Not. That had better not be Mad Jack's shtick he's stealing! But Mad Jack does not appear in this story, so who cares!) Which he doesn't throw or use for stabbing all that much. The point is, Anam can find (AND teleport to) anyone, once he's captured a bit of their shadow in his dagger. (Known in some games as "scry and die". And yes, you wait until your target is asleep to do this.) (Anam Mark I was a demon summoner. Now we know what his price was for that!)

Cliche 2: the Wild Hunt

Hellequin, I choose you! His duty is to wander around the earth chasing the Damned to Hell. Black dogs and black horses and the black goats of DOOM!

See you in 2500 words or so...

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

20k! I get to watch Sarah Jane!

Dragged myself to 20000 words around 1 am last night before falling asleep. In which we meet Mad Tom/the Pied Piper, find the Lake of Ten Thousand Memories, eat breakfast, and mope about aimlessly. A few more threats set in motion (Guzman, Mikael). Haven't written anything yet today. Rewarded myself for reaching 20k by watching the "Sarah Jane Adventures" ("Mark of the Berserker, pt 2").

I really like the SJA. It's not very original (most of the plots are completely predictable) but it's put together well, and generally more fun than Torchwood (especially as I love Lis Sladen, even if she's now suffering a bit from being a Star.) The stories being 2 episodes long helps a lot with character and plot development. (Things I have problems with in the new Who).

Three things I don't like: 1) Mr. Smith. Gack. If you can't have K-9, at least make your supercomputer more interesting. Cut the dry ice and steal a personality from Blake's 7 or HGTTG or wherever. 2) SECRET! IT'S SECRET! Oh, please. Torchwood is even worse, in this regard. At least they concede that people know about aliens now, it's just something someone ELSE deals with. But there's way too much mindwiping going on. 3) Infected by the new Doctor Who and its "The Doctor is God" mythologizing. That grand entrance (with the music!) when Sarah Jane appeared this episode was PAINFUL.

The companions...I like the new girl, Rani. Even better than Maria (I liked Maria and her family, too.) When I saw the trailer for the Berserker eps, I thought maybe they'd found another Timelord-in-an-amulet and she was really the Rani. Just as well they didn't, it would have been incredibly stupid. But still. Why "Rani"? They're still trying too hard with Clyde (and was this week's plot a tad racist?) and Luke is the new Adric, but that's all right.

So yeah. The Pied Piper probably ended up in my NaNo because of the SJAs.

Sunday, November 9, 2008

Magic Eye Fairies!?

Things I discovered today writing my novel (18k. Whee!):

The Fae are hidden in the world like Magic Eye pictures. That's how they can be invisible and visible at the same time. Lin finally caught up with one (or vice versa) and is having a nice friendly chat. The pain, torture, and insanity come later. Just kidding. This novel isn't really horror-ish at all.

I needed to have a fourth POV character. Hello, Guzman, you blackhearted idjit. He's going to stay in Babylon while everyone else is wandering around in the wastelands doing whatever they're doing. Or in Hell, for that matter. But I just invented him today, so I'm not too clear about his plotline yet. Plotline?! Yeah. Should have one. He'll probably get into trouble trying to blackmail Wu the Widow into marrying him.

Saturday, November 8, 2008

Now what?

Day 8, got caught up again at 23:25 with 16K words. I keep thinking I'm going to run out of scenes to write without reaching any kind of conclusion. Lin's out of the City. Lucia and Number 37 are headed towards it. Lin unexpectedly found herself #3 on the Citadel's Most Wanted list. (#1 would be the Prince of Rats, #2 would be the Abbess of Wormwood Abbey).

Coming up: demon attacks! memory rain! the Lake of Ten Thousand Memories! Mecha-chimera!

And sleep! (mine.)

Friday, November 7, 2008

Yeah...I'm tired...

Day 7. Didn't make my word count goal for today. That means 800 more I'll have to write tomorrow. NaNo is so relentless. I remember this sinking feeling from previous years. Fall behind, fall more behind, have to go to more and more extreme efforts to catch up. I guess that's the beauty of it. Gotta get the words done. Whining won't help. Write the scene whether you're in the mood or not. Just get through it, then do the next, and the next. It's a bit like MUSHing. You have to do the next pose. Everyone's waiting. Never mind if you're not feeling inspired. Don't break the flow because you can't think of the perfect word.

Gotta work on my writing speed. These 1200 words took me over two hours to write. I did one scene. Had another planned. Guess that's first up tomorrow. Is that Loki that Baphomet is talking to? But it's not Loki that the Prince of Rats is conspiring with.

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Day 5! When in doubt, handcuff them and stick a black hood over their head

Hit 10K tonight. Whee! Not much really happened. I'm not sure where the words went. Sergeant Lin decides to make a run for it, but she is captured by the Underground and taken to see the Prince of Rats. (Not Adrian, but an alternate universe Prince of Rats. He may still be Mazarin's nephew, though.) I can't remember why the northeast sector of the city was so bad, but in my NaNo it's cursed, haunted, and the province of monsters, mutants, and zombies. Something to that effect.

Before tomorrow, I have to figure out how the Prince of Rats found out about Lin's 'secret' mission. I suspect Helike leaked the information himself, in order to put pressure on Lin and Baphomet. But does the Prince of Rats know that? All I know is that Lin is a stubborn fool and tomorrow she'll get tossed off Goatsbridge. Also tomorrow: Number 37 to explain the facts of life to Lucia. Let's see how that conversation goes!

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Day 4: Exciting fight scenes! Not.

Made my quota at 22:30 today. That's early for me, but I'm still exhausted. At 8k words now. Lucia and Number 37 arrive in the same scene at last. I'll get to Lin tomorrow. Meanwhile, Number 37 fights one of those holy warriors haunting the wastelands. Lucia arrives just before she gets killed. Yay. *waves pompoms*

I think I have tomorrow's scenes in mind. If I can just keep one day ahead for the rest of the month, I may even finish this thing. If it ends under 60k words, anyway.

Monday, November 3, 2008

Day 3 - You want what? Your sanity back? Why?

Dragged myself up to my daily goal (2000 words) 20 minutes before midnight. Gluh. I'm exhausted. And it's only day 3. This is depressing. It always is. Especially seeing all those other people with 9k, 10k, 15k, 20k...yikes!

So I'm at 6k. And finally reached chapter 2. Luz is Lucia again (Luz, Lin, two 3-letter names beginning with "L" is too confusing) but in an odd turn of events she got her memory back. Mostly. So, apparently, she is in denial about this whole Apocalypse thing. She says it's aliens doing it and the miraculous is achieved with special effects. Alien technology. Whatever.

Boy will she be pissed when she finds out it really is God. Then again, maybe it really is aliens. But Number 37 has met Odin. Which is strange, but the post-apocalyptic world is just one big salad bowl after another.

Sunday, November 2, 2008

What, Tomo? You're Japanese?

He seems to have morphed while I wasn't looking at him. In this story, he's apparently Japanese. I looked up the kanji for "Tomo", which turns out to mean "friend". Heh, that's perfect for him.

Although, at the point where my NaNo takes place, everyone is pretty much post-national. Whatever your past, you're here now. People speak a dialect of English (translation convention? Or simply because it was the common language at the time of the apocalypse?)

Tomo's been around. He knows strange things. This is angel-follower Tomo we're talking about, remember? How he survived this long in the Last City, I'm not sure. In love with City Guard Lin? Hmm. Maybe. That would have a certain warped logic to it.

It's heeere...

Day 2 of NaNoWriMo. This is when grim reality sets in for me. I'm only on chapter one, and I already hate my so-called main character. I need to stop thinking of any of them as my "main character". It only leads to boredom and fear of risks.

I can't write more than 100-200 words at a time, at least, words that are in the novel, as opposed to other words which I can produce about as fast as I can type. This year, I think I've been influenced by TV. My story is coming out in short chunks, scenes spread out among different characters that have yet to meet.

So far I have Luz, Mikael, and Lin. Lin turned out to have the most fun so far. Soon I will be sending her out to find Tinkerbell. Well, maybe not Tinkerbell exactly, but the fae that might be out there. Somewhere. Not yet. She's still talking to Tomo, who turns out to be halfway sane in this novel, though still very cheerful.

Next up today will be Number 37, maybe a few zombies, and then Luz again to wrap up the chapter. That's the plan. Plan! Ha ha ha ha ha!

Friday, October 31, 2008

ArmageddonMUSH Disclaimer

To any old ArmageddonMUSH players who may stumble across this blog:

Babylon Remembered is a work of fiction. Any resemblance to actual player characters, living or dead, is purely coincidental. In other words, my nano-novel is non-canonical, and even though I make use of traditional names ("Baal", "Baphomet", etc.), consider them "Feature Characters", with my portrayal unrelated to any other player's portrayal of them. Heh.

That said...

Hey! Are you doing NaNoWriMo too? If not, you should! Mwah ha ha ha ha!

And...

C'mon, we should do an ArmageddonMUSH anthology. Self-publishing is easier than ever. Wouldn't you like to have your very own dead-tree concoction on your bookshelf? I'll even write another Arma. short. ("The Three Pigs" with Fetch the hellhound? "Billy Goats Gruff" over the Chasm? Who knows...)

Send in a story! Or, send Brude your Armageddon screenplay! *whistles innocently*

Almost Nov. 1st...

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

T0 minus 3 days

I want to start. Words and images swirl around in my head. It's only in November, when I capture them, that I realize that story ideas are like gas, but words typed out are more like liquid. All those cool thoughts and bits of dialogue compress down to almost nothing. It's terribly depressing.

I've been trawling for characters. I think I've caught a few... Ms. Cardboard Cutout Damsel-in-distress deigned to reveal herself to me yesterday. She's called "Number 37". (The 36 are still out there somewhere, is what she believes.) She's a Babylon Rat. The Mark of the Beast on her is a forgery, as Mikael warns Luz. She's sure to have her own agenda. Mr. Mayor turns out to be Baphomet. Baphomet is a name he took. He's a fallen saint. Why would a saint fall? I'm not sure. I'll find out later. The "children" are Connor and Elsa.

Characters don't "talk to me". Sometimes I hear them talking to each other (the same way I can be watching TV in a dream), but I'm not in their universe. When I type their dialogue, it can surprise me. Sometimes I don't know what they'll say until they say it. I don't like to decide everything beforehand. Many times ideas will occur to me as I write the story. I just need to work on revision more.

Saturday, October 25, 2008

Countdown: one week!

Yeah. Panicking yet? I thought so. Still no name for the POV character. Wait. It came to me while I was taking a shower this morning. It's a maybe. Not sure yet. Stealing from the Narnia series. Lucy. My version of the anti-Lucy? Heh. But I don't really like the name Lucy. But "Light" is appropriate enough. Perhaps "Lucinda"? "Luce"? "Lucia"? (St. Lucia, patron saint of the blind...) "LooCHEEa"? (damn, that's ugly). "Luz"?

"Luz" would make her Hyan Luize, another of my NPCs. The stubborn self-righteous priestess from the City on the Lake of Night. She's dead now, so it could well be her soul in this character, except for the minor niggle of being in a different universe. But at least it would give me a basis for writing the character. I know who Hyan Luize is. The current NaNo character is a cypher to me. Luz it is, then. Luz, nickname for Lucia. Hyan Luize never gave up. She was defeated, but she never stopped fighting.

Luz and Mikael. They only met after the first ending of the world. I started writing Appendix One ("What has gone before") yesterday and realized that. Now (in my head) they're arguing: Mikael chose to accept the mark of the beast, but Luz won't. In the current timeline, Mikael is arguing with the Nameless about the uselessness of names (but I can't write that yet as it's part of my NaNo). The Nameless says it's another gift squandered by the children of Adam. Language did not come naturally to angel-kind. Mikael says, "Nah. It's overrated. I mean, look at me. Named for an arch-angel and where'd it get me?" Mikael likes to argue with people. Apparently. He's about to name the Nameless "Stan". Stupid, but it amuses him.

The Nameless declares, "All names shall be mine. Stripped from every breath and every thought, until all the world lies mute beneath the sky. On that day, every name shall be in my grasp."

"Isn't the whole point of names to be able to tell things apart? So if you're going 'all ur names are belong to us', we're back to square one again."

"Precisely. And this time /I/ shall give things their true names."

"If you say so." Only a demon would declare a vendetta against nouns, he thought. Or possibly an angel. Same difference. What's in a name? A rose by any other name, yadda yadda. He sighed.

"I do say so."

So there you have it. Names, shnames, what's for lunch today? Leftovers, probably.

[Edited to add: The name was probably planted in my subconscious by the "Miss Lucy" clapping rhyme. Heh.]

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Characters! Where are my characters?

Even stealing my own characters (it's fun to read roleplaying logs from 10+ years ago, yes it is! Captain Helike had more scenes than I had remembered. Department of Instruction, was it? One successful onscreen corruption of a human soul. And then there were all those cultists who were killed, then turned into zombies! Before that, there was the strange scene where the angry angel was torturing them to get them to recant! No, I wasn't the person playing the angel. I played the mob of blasphemous cultists. Shopkeeper Mazarin and his nephews Henri and Joe-Bob. Fetch the hellhound. Demon summoner Anam. Crazy angel follower Tomo. City Guard Lin.)--- it's useless.

I still need characters for THIS story, for THIS year. Bah! So I have no one but myself to blame if I have strange voices arguing in my head as I'm driving or walking. But do they fit in my story, this story? Uh...I don't know. Do they? The worst part is the main character. It's going to end up as a horrible self-insert blank, I can tell. ARGGH!!! She doesn't even have a name yet. I can just call her Mary Sue and be done with it. Dammit, I know her husband better than I know her, and she's supposed to be my POV character. Time to write some short sketches to figure out who she is.

Why am I babbling about it here? Who even reads these blogs, eh? Time to shut up and write something in character...

Friday, October 17, 2008

All I need to know about the afterlife, I learned from my kids

So my ten-year-old daughter was having her friend over for a playdate today, and I overheard them chanting and clapping this rhyme (I think it must also be a jump rope chant), which either I never knew or had forgotten. I love these! This one went something like this:

When Miss Lucy was a baby, a baby, a baby, she went like this: Waa waa! (fists around eyes like a baby)
When Miss Lucy was a toddler, a toddler, a toddler, she went like this: Waa waa, suck my thumb (w/gestures)
When Miss Lucy was a kid, a kid, a kid, she went like this: Waa waa, suck my thumb, gimme a piece of bubble gum (w/gestures)
When Miss Lucy was a teenager, a teenager, a teenager, she went like this: Waa waa, suck my thumb, gimme a piece of bubble gum, hey boys! (w/gestures)
etc. repeating the pattern with:
...mother...go to your room!
...grandma...my aching back!
...dead...*gasp*
...bones...rattle rattle
...dust...sweep sweep
...ghost
...devil
...angel
...gone!

Are these things cool or what? No wonder it's such a popular cliche to use children's rhymes in horror stories. I'll have to include some, too. I wonder what rhymes the ghosts of dead children recite?

Incidentally, it was International Night at my kids' school last night. We had fun, and it reminded me that I should remember to keep my "Last City" diverse in the races and cultures represented. (It's that time of year...everything reminds me of NaNo...)

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Apocalyptic madness it is!

After mulling over various story ideas for awhile, I've decided to work on my post-apocalyptic tale of lost souls, ghosts, zombies, angels, demons, and who knows what else. (Brude, it's all your fault for sending me that email and reminding me! Now the idea is stuck in my head and rapidly accruing more ideas that just seem to glom onto it...) It's clear I won't be able to get anything else written before I get this one out of my system.

It doesn't help that I still need names for most of the characters. One of them is called the Nameless, but how many of those can you have running around in the same story? Well, maybe they've started a club. Rune magic being as risky as it is, it's quite possible we have multiple characters who've lost/spent/sold their own names. Huh. How did she learn it anyway? Presumably that's one of the memories that's been lost. (But I need to know. Hmm. Was it a sneaky trick by the Architect of Damnation? "Architect of Damnation"? Is that really what I want to call him/her/it? Usually you'd think it meant Lucifer. But in this case, I doubt it is. Then again, who knows? Lucifer is NOT the current Lord of Hell, is he? He could be hiding under "Architect of Damnation". Maybe he and the Nameless are one and the same after all. I never said he wasn't. Whatever happened, the Architect was tricked out of his souls. And he's not what he was. Still. If he was the serpent in the Garden, maybe it was his idea all along. He was a rebel, and wanted humans to rebel, too. But he never forced anyone. He only tempted them. Sounds cheesy. Mmm...cheese...)

Sunday, October 12, 2008

Contact has been made...

...as the victims of a sentient telepathic virus said in one of the sillier episodes of classic Doctor Who (as in Tom Baker with the hat and the scarf and the jelly babies).

I think I managed to infect a fellow mom at the playground the other day, burbling on about NaNo while our kids were playing. She told me of her notebooks full of ideas and head full of unwritten lines... Sound familiar? Mwah ha ha ha! That could be any number of us.

Ye-e-es...I'll blame the excitement of a "new recruit" for my impulse buy of a new Acer Aspire One notebook computer. *cough cough* But it was so cuuuuute. And at a good price, I felt. My daughter fell in love with it instantly. She's been making videos of herself (it's the first time I had anything with a webcam...that thing is so...skiffy...so vidphone...with its modern technology and what is this wifi you speak of?) and sending them to her friends. While talking to the same friends on the regular phone. *headdesks*

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

Two more stowaways! I mean story ideas...

Glub glub glub...

I think we're going down. Two more stories I intended to work on. Argh.

7) Pix in the City? A collaboration with a friend of mine. It's all his fault! Yeah, that's the ticket! Last year we agreed to work on a novel together during NaNoWriMo. Well, we've been doing online RPGs together for years now, so in theory we should be well attuned to each other's thoughts...in theory... Anyway, this will be an SFish story about fey waking up (or being woken up by the Evil Corporation) in the near future.

8) Furry Cyperpunk Cthulhuoid Fey Collectives! Or something. Earth has been overrun by the hive-mind created by the TechnoPax Virus. The survivors crash-landed on an alien planet when their experimental stardrive (some kind of psionic engine) broke or was sabotaged. Now they must forge a new civilization without being eaten by Great Cthulhu. Or something to that effect. I've always hated furries as much as I've hated elves and vampires, so of course now I feel compelled to write a story with "furries" in them. Call it a tribute to Cordwainer Smith. Yeah, right.

Ok. That's 8. I should go for an even dozen! I'll dredge out my old files of notes and find something, I'm sure. If I cheat and write them as short stories, say 5000 words each, I'm all set! Woo hoo! Chances are, even if 90 percent of what I write is crap, I'll get ONE decent story out of this. Right? Right? If I try to write 10 NOVELS, that'll be another...6 years? Bah.

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

Ghosts of NaNos past

Heh. Just as I started gathering up story ideas for this year (2008)'s NaNo, memories of last year's came flooding back into my head. I muddled through and was never satisfied with the motivations, powers, and ending, but now...but now...it sudddenly all became clear! Yes! So THAT's why they did what they did...

The kraken's power was to wash away time. All that water...it's time draining away. Undoing the present, undoing the past. What's left is the kraken's own creation, which is the eternal ocean. The changelings and their fey supporters wanted to undo the past so that the Queen never knew their names. That was the only way to be sure. Simply killing her now wouldn't stop her from once having held their names. This way, the Republic would have always existed. No other past. They think they can be a solitary fey republic, Atlantis or something...didn't you know Atlantis was a fey republic, huh? Huh? Well, now we can watch it sink beneath the waves again due to our two pet prophets.

Been there, done that? I don't care. I haven't, so I will if I want to.

The point is, why didn't I write all that last year?

So now that's story #6 on my list of stories to write this year...

Sunday, October 5, 2008

Another year, another NaNo

I'm going to try keeping a blog about my attempt this year. Maybe it will inspire me to some kind of coherance. Then again, maybe not. Or it can be somewhere I can babble under my breath about story ideas and plots. I have about five different story ideas that I wanted to write. Not sure which one I'll work on in November.

Let's see, there's...

1) the Bastard's Tale: set under Earthlaw, with the bastard, the Exterran War, Jack Frost, the wereweasels, and the messy aftermath of a previous unfinished story of mine.

2) the Werewolf's Tale: the werewolf conspiracy, and how it was foiled by my team of prophets (the vampire and the elf, yeah right). This one may involve too many shopping malls.

3) the Demon's Tale: the two prophets interrupt a wedding, stop a miracle, and precipitate a strange chain of events with Minos, the bride, the Labyrinth, the freedom fighters, and the Rune of Chaos (or some other less cheesy plot token.)

4) the Seven Who Returned: Seven mass-murderers who only did it for the best of reasons, now dragged back from the dead as six pickled heads in jars and one janitorial necromancer, all in the service of an evil queen and deicide. (RPG tie-in, homebrew world. Amusingly enough, the seven were all my characters. If someone else writes a tie-in, their characters can be the protagonists.)

5) the Mother's Tale: Post-Apocalyptic fantasy. I always loved the imagery of the Bible's book of Revelation. So this is what came afterwards. Not being a Christian, my distorted interpretations, characters, and depictions may seem blasphemous. I did a "rewritten fairy tale" in this setting once (Jack and the Beanstalk!) and now I may try a longer piece. (Another RPG tie-in, long-defunct game, homebrew setting and random rule system pulled out of my ass.)

Hmm...what to do, what to do. Anyway, I'm looking forward to NaNo. But I say that every year. Until it starts. But I mean it! It's a lovely bit of (cheap!) escapism from a depressing (for humans) real world.