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Writing Romantic Scenes at 2AM

giggly

Listening to: Kiss Me Kiss Me – 5 Seconds of Summer

Not a sexy scene, but a romantic one. Gideon is supposed to be thinking about what he likes about Itamar at this point. I tried listing his good points: he’s good-looking, funny, protective (good and bad thing all at once) and they have stuff in common. Itamar reads and he’s nice, even if he is a bit worryingly devious.

Anyway, it’s 2 in the morning and I couldn’t think of anything to write. But stubbornly would not go to bed before Hubby. So I thought, oh just ask him to describe what he likes about me and I could sort of take off from that until I figured out what to write.

I forgot that Hubby uses ALL OF THE WORDS. So he started off on this speech that I’m just too tired to listen to. Probably there was something nice and sweet in there about us having the same values, but then the subject of my possible death came up and he just started ranting about hating stupid people, so I had to interrupt him.

Me: So basically, you love me because I agree with you and I’m not a shithead.

I can’t stop laughing.

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Discarded writing circa Chapter 10

bloodytea

Listening to: Wicked Man’s Rest – Passenger

It’s been slower going lately. My health is acting up (not just the arthritis, but I see a doctor about the non-RA mess Monday arvo) and Hubby and I had our anniversary yesterday.

Chapter Ten was giving me issues because the first half is when Gideon and Itamar each find out the other is a shifter. I wrote it out, didn’t like what I had, and then had some messy revising to do to make it come out as I wished. I think I have that part done now. But I have a fairly large amount of writing that I had to throw out in order to write the scene better. I still like it, so I figured I would put it up here.

~

To Gideon he said, “Was ist gestern passiert?”

From the look on Itamar’s face, he either spoke German or didn’t care. Gideon answered in English. “You want me to talk about that now?”

“Ja.”

Itamar tripped over the coffee table on his way to a chair. He grumbled a nasty oath, but made no other comment. The awkwardness of not sharing the language being spoken appeared to have calmed him down a bit.

As he had been requested, and because he couldn’t really think of anything else to do, Gideon related the events that had prompted Anthony’s visit. He kept it brief, both because of the mixed company, and because he hated how babyish he always sounded in German.

“At least that’s still the same.”

He looked up. He had just said, I don’t know what’s going on, and I really doubt you’ll tell me. Itamar had hit the bullseye and had no idea. “What is?”

“You still speak every language ever.”

“I really don’t.”

Anthony didn’t miss the coincidence either. He cleared his throat and got to his feet. “I’m afraid I cannot enlighten you,” he said, still in his aristocratic German.

~

Last night, I finally buckled down and finished reading Grave Peril and some research. I had more fun with the research, which was a texting romance that was cute until it devolved into meaningless fluff and clichéd drama (when there actually was any). Final verdict: cute texts, but the whole thing was too much wheel-spinning for me.

Our anniversary was lovely, by the way. Hubby let me have a lie-in and then I showered so we could get lunch. We hung out at a Noodles and Company and then Game Stop for a couple of hours because our movie didn’t start  until after 15:00. We bought a Tuxedo Mask Funko Pop for Chrissy (to go with her Sailor Moon, of course) and all the Dragon Age games for me.

We saw Mohenjo Daro because Hubby loves history and I love Hrithik Roshan. The film delivered on both, so we left happy. Also got to see some decent previews. We might go see Happy Bhag Jayegi, if it plays at our ciné. (probably not Shivaay, although I really want the music now) When we got home, we just had pizza and Hubby played Dragon Age Origins even though we bought them for me and he hates Bioware games. He was good to let me drag him everywhere, as he is ill with probably con(cert) crud.

 

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​ Finally got to see the Aquabats!

optimistic

Listening to: Hello, Good Night – The Aquabats!

It’s been a really good few days.

owenandhubby

We took Owen to a Provo Rooftop concert. It isn’t on the roof anymore, which is good because I need a wheelchair for such events. And enough people to found a village attended. :D It was absolutely amazing. Defies description. I have wanted to go to an Aquabats concert for literally years. The fact that I was able to go despite crippling arthritis and social anxiety is life-affirming.

I had to stand on my wheelchair to see, which is the most painful thing that I have ever done to get something I wanted. My feet fell asleep from the pain. I did not know that was possible, but it certainly made it difficult to stand. We got ice cream after the show and the weirdest thing happened: I didn’t want it. It just paled in comparison. Not in a depressing Nothing Will Ever Be As Good As What Just Happened way, but in a gratifying I’m Good, Thanks sort of way.

When we got home, it was about midnight (Provo is only an hour away) and I couldn’t sleep. Remember that incredibly daunting scene I was procrastinating over? I wrote it that night. Just banged it out. Then I couldn’t sleep until 3, just planning the next chapter and playing games and hanging out with myself.

The next day, I had pretty much lost my voice and I couldn’t move to get out of bed. That was kind of awesome too. I just kept listening to Alestorm play Hangover on repeat. I didn’t want to burn myself out on Aquabats, so I haven’t listened to them until today. Also still recovering arthritis-wise. I had to type this on my iPad. ^^;

Anyway, the story continues well. Last night, I was getting frustrated with the pacing, so I tried journaling. I made a time line for the roughly two-week period that covers the next four or five chapters. A lot of important stuff happens, and I realised that when I use up this outline (as in fully convert to actual writing) I will be halfway through the book.

I have such a good rhythm going. I write every day, even if all I have time to do is revise or make notes. The major hurdle right now is the event that will likely mark the halfway point. Certain things have to happen before that, but the bulk of the paranormal elements occur after. I’m paranoid about this getting boring or the romance trying to resolve itself before time. I have a lot of supporting characters who can’t get lost in the shuffle.

First draft. Just gotta keep telling myself that.

The good things don’t stop either. After I finished my outline, the subject of Dune came up. (Hubby and I were up quite late, just talking) I told him (again) that he should read Dune Messiah. That book always makes me think of my amazing summer in Oregon. It’s been six years, but I still go back and read the book-related entries sometimes. Dune Messiah, Everything is Illuminated, and The Sword. Especially The Sword. I bought a copy because I need to read it again.

I’ve ask been watching Paddington again. I have missed that little bear. I’m almost done watching all of the original shorts and today I watched the film with Owen. (Well, he was there for part of it.) I’m such a sap that I cried twice near the end.

I’m so happy right now. I don’t feel like nothing upsetting could touch me. I just feel so blissfully fulfilled and… Content.

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Holy crap I am writing so much

But none of it is on my blog. Embarrassed face.

working

Listening to: Fánar Burtur Brandaljóð – Tyr

(and Where Eagles Dare, because HAH. Eagle shifters in my story.)

Still have a shaky working title of “Cold Hands”, which isn’t actually bad in how it refers to one of the main characters and a major plot element. I have about seven chapters and almost 30K words. I hit a snag with Chapter 7, with some research things and also it’s running long.

At first, I was just pantsing this thing. It evolved into an incredibly different beast by the middle of chapter two (like a pokemon!) and now it’s absolutely nothing like my original idea. The only remaining aspect is that there is a fake engagement. Even Itamar’s name is different. (it used to be Amit)

My original plan for Chapter 7 was a quick, maybe 600-word outline that I wrote while putting Owen to sleep and Chapter 6 was almost but not quite done. I had too much Gideon, so I went back and put in a very important scene for Itamar (in my outline) but in actual writing, this outline is for two chapters. 7 just passed 4K, where my min-mark is usually 3K. And it isn’t finished.

This is going really well. It’s exploded in my head. I want to give certain side characters their own books/romances. One of them has a paranormal plot, but no love interest yet, while another has a love interest but no plot yet. One has both.

Most bizarrely, as much as I am taking artistic license with Badger, MN, I’ve put a lot of real things in there. I found a website that lists churches and schools and stuff. I kind of want to go there now. (Also I am super tired of the heat. Ever since we left Phx, I became a wuss who can’t take anything higher than 76F)

I am procrastinating writing that important scene for Itamar to the point that I’m not even writing the much easier scene for Gideon that will close up chapter 7. Itamar’s dad has been this kind of “Oh eff, my dad says to do stuff” kind of shadowy antagonist, but now he has to be real.

GBAQROAIJFAJFFF I am having so much fun you guys.

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Why I Don’t Like Up

thoughtful

Listening to: Lilac Wine – Jeff Buckley

I think we should stop using the word theory for fan theories. Theory implies that it’s an idea one feels to be true, when there is not really such a think as truth in fiction–only accuracy, intention, or honesty. My thing about Up is not a fan theory, it’s a way that I have analysed the repulsing affect this movie has on me. I apologise if I’ve repeat anything I’ve said before. Also, I probably spelled names wrong and totally forgot one of the character’s names, but I’ll just have to be forgiven. I want to post this and if I don’t put Owen to sleep right now, he’s going to IMPLODE.

This morning, Owen was watching Up, a movie that I have never cared for, and he watches on effing repeat. A lot of people say that the beginning is too sad, and I agree, but probably not for the same reasons. After the tearjerker open, the rest of the story tugs gradually less at the heartstrings. It actually parallels fairly well with the increasing levels of silliness. At the saddest possible moment, when Mr Frederikson is seconds away from being forced to leave his home (which he seems to have as a placeholder for his wife, to the point of conflation, in an emotional sense) the whimsy kicks in.

It’s a great moment, but everything that happens afterward is zany. I hate that word, and it describes exactly what it’s like to watch this movie. As in a dream, elements of Mr Frederikson’s life are combined and spat back out in unlikely ways that give him things that he wanted in his life, which were never possible.

Russell’s character is obvious. The Frederiksons wanted to have children, but were unable to do so. So his mind takes the actual child he met and crafts a believable fantasy. Not just a kid to bond with, but one who slowly erodes whatever defences he built up when he learned he wouldn’t be a father (“I don’t like kids anyway” kind of thing) and then provides a fulfilment of the protective instinct by needing a father figure where his expected one failed.

A blurry one is the dog, Dug. From what we saw of Mr Frederikson’s family, they appeared to be repressed and strict, so it’s not outside the realm of possibility that he was one of the many boys who wanted a dog and couldn’t have one. It also looks like he lived in a city (I assumed Manhattan for some reason) so there’s another reason a dog might not happen. And don’t even get me started on the significance of dogs in dream interpretation.

The last and zaniest fantasy is that of meeting his childhood hero. This one is a giant Torgue-y level of explosion noise, psychologically speaking. Mr Frederikson doesn’t just go to that long-promised vacation spot. He meets the explorer whom both he and his wife admired as children. This is basically what brought them together. And upon meeting the man, he discovers that he is psychotic, murderous, and although his accomplishments remain the stuff of admiration, the man himself goes from hero to threat.

Where to even start with that one? I could liken the childhood hero to Mr Frederikson’s marriage, relationship with his wife, and/or the inspiration and drive to just live every day. His wife’s death was like finding out that the hero was evil. What good is love, if it ends this painfully, one might say. (I wouldn’t, but other people do think that way) I thought that the plot point where Mr Frederikson has to throw out a bunch of his material possessions so that he can save the day seemed tacked on, an extraneous message that didn’t need to be there.

But what if. What if it isn’t just an anti-materialism message? What if the hero/villain does represent the pain of Mrs Frederikson’s death, and letting go of all of the things meant that in order to save himself from that pain, he had to stop living in the past? Maybe he was forcing himself to stop using his wife’s possessions as a crutch to avoid accepting her death. Eventually, the house “dies” with the villain.

The ending is idealistic and the sense of scale is insane. There aren’t any consequences for spending days in South America. The only important thing is that Russell gets to have his father figure fulfill a specific need. The mind is not rational in fantasy. None of this is real.

To me, though, it doesn’t come off like a funny fantasy story, not with a beginning like that. To me, it looks like the last spinning dream of a man who has given up. Manic, frenzied, telling jokes that aren’t funny and then laughing at itself. Nothing feels real because it isn’t.

I don’t like this movie because it feels like watching someone hallucinate while he lies dying.

 

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Uphill Battle

determined

Listening to: Assassin’s Life for Me – Teamheadkick

This post is so doomed. I started writing it on Sunday. Got some upsetting news that took me all of Monday to get over. I still don’t want to talk about it, but I do want to talk about something else that I am not upset about.

The reason I want to talk about it is because anyone would think that’s why I’m upset, and the fact that it doesn’t upset me at all–that actually makes me perversely happy. I got a rejection from a publisher, and I’m cool with it. Full disclosure: I half-expected it. I just needed to get myself out there and I did that. Plus, my marine gave me the best Fighting! speech ever.

fighting

So now that I’m dealing with the upsetting thing, I’m feeling pretty good. I did some research (read: got carried away flipping through my favourite parts of The Duchess War) to figure out how I want to do POV shifts. I concluded that I want them to have clear transitions (unlike some old skools and the Suzanne Enoch nearest my bed) not constricted to one POV for the entire chapter, and not a regular ABAB cycle.

On the way home from one of our semi-regular library trips, I came up with a funny moment with Itamar’s family. Some families put prospective in-laws through the obstacles of social awkwardness, invasive questions, or straight-up threatening to kill them.

gonnakillya

While Itamar absolutely has a family that would do that, they have better, more original ways to put Gideon through the gauntlet. His two younger brothers drive up from university to play D&D. They threaten the Tomb of Horrors. But he wins them over a bit when he makes a pun about Moil.

Writing this story is still loose and fun. A lot of the time, I’m making notes, trying out jokes aloud on myself, or researching animals. Red foxes are easy, but it’s harder to get answers about white tailed eagles. I’m a bit uneasy about writing a book with two different types of shifters, especially since I’ve never read any books with avian shifters (I don’t think), and I don’t think foxes are common either. I know that other than the obvious wolves, lions and bears are totally a thing. But my library card is a bit… full, so I don’t really want to look around at other shifter books right now.

(recommendations are welcome though)