Monday, September 24, 2012

Design All the Things!

So, I've had an assignment for a university subject which requires me to do at least 30 hours of experience in a workplace of my choice. Today was my first day of work experience at TBD Communication and design. It was so good! 
First off, my boss, Casper Shougaard, showed me around and explained all the emergency evac stuff, where the fridge was, all the randoms in the office etc. He then sat me down at my desk and gave me my tasks for the day. I was to work on a letterhead, a clothing tag and a business card for a logo I had designed ages back as part of my portfolio and for my own start-up t-shirt design business (which has not gone anywhere just yet). I was then able to sit in on a meeting with one of TBD's clients and witness how that worked, and then how Casper clocked and logged the beginning of that new project. He then looked over my drafts and we discussed how we might improve them. I'm going to work on them tomorrow too.
Here's a preview. This is just the logo. I would post a picture of the business card design, but my version of the software it's made in is too old to open it. *Sad face*

Other projects have been going on a scale from well to um-what-the-hell-am-I-going-to-do. The one that's going well is the one that doesn't really count. That is my papercraft Immortal from two posts back. The other projects are two assignments that are due soon. One, a group member has just dropped out on and two, I do not have the equipment for, let alone an idea. *le sigh*
Here's an update on the Immortal bits.

Feeling: Looking forward to day two tomorrow.

Listening to: Can't Fight the Moonlight - Leanne Rimes (Coyote Ugly Soundtrack)

Wearing: Very yellow shorts and high school senior shirt.

Eating: I had a craving for a thickshake earlier. I have no milk though... *extra sad face*

Sunday, September 16, 2012

To a Pulp.

What do you do when you want to break things? Specifically flesh, mean, people-shaped things? You write a blog post about it of course.

I just attended a committee meeting of the Society of Anime, Manga and Gaming here at my university. I am just a General Member. We are part of the committee, but have no real purpose other than being lackeys. Unofficially, I am promotional-materials-girl, because the work I've done for them so far has been pretty awesome. But, with every system of government, our committee has its flaws. I am not one for swearing. I think there are better adjectives out there. But this situation really does make me want to swear. 
There has been a stink over one of our Events Coordinators, well, she was one up until recently. The story goes that some other member made a mistake with a box of soft drink cans. The cans belonged to another member, but were accidentally added to the communal ice-box for resale on a club night. Only a small amount of the cans were sold and someone declared that the person who had made the mistake was to repay the owner of the cans for the full price of the box. The ex-Coordinator stood up for this guy and was viciously shot down. She decided that she didn't want to be part of such a mean group of people any more and quit. Now everyone bar me and my boyfriend, the Gaming Commissar, seem to hate her. She's a timid thing, yet they complain and bitch about every little thing she does. It just pisses me off.

Why are people so cruel to one another?

Eating: Can't be bothered.

Listening to: My music didn't really cheer me up.

Wearing: Stig shirt and shorts.

Feeling: Like a certain word. Common lore says the word was an acronym from when fertilizer manure was transported in cargo ships. If stored low in the hold, the methane would build up and cause an explosion risk. So, Store High In Transit, or S.H.I.T. was stamped on it.

Saturday, September 15, 2012

Dem Beats

Do you find it helpful or a hindrance to have music playing while you write?

I for one alternate. Sometime I find it nice to have some tunes playing softly in the background, or not so softly, depending on my mood and what I'm writing at the time. Songs without words seem to be better than music with lyrics. And for that reason I can't write while watching a movie. I'll be following the story with half my brain and the movie with the other half and more ofthen than not, the movie side will take over and I'll end up writing what I hear. With music it's easier to ignore the words and just let the beats wash over you.
But then there are the times I just can't think because of the music. I'll feel releived and able to write clearly when I turn it off.
It really just depends on what mood I happen to be in I guess.

I once found a song that kept me going for about an hour. Nightwish's Last of the Wilds is one with no lyrics. I had my noise cancelling headphones in, with that song on repeat and I was just in the zone. Brain and keyboard connected and words flew onto the page. It was a pity I can't really do it again. The song's charm wore off a bit after that.

Totes what I look like while computering.

Eating: Considering chips. Maybe maltesers.

Listening to: From the Music - The Potbelleez

Wearing: Shorts, tee and thin grey jumper.

Feeling: Itchy. Rolled around in the grass this afternoon. Some of it ended up in my undies. I have no idea how.

The Bruised Sky

Dude. I just wrote a short story. An actual short story. I haven't done that in forever. It only took me an hour and a half. 1300 words in an hour and a half. A nice deep swig from my creative juice bottle. Peeps of the interwebs, read my midnight mircale short story. Brought to you by Chuck Wendigo's random story element challenge, whereupon I, by chance, was given the elements of Cyberpunk, the Hollow Earth and adultery to work with, I give you, The Bruised Sky.

The world hadn’t always been like this, or so Endie had been told. She hadn’t paid that much attention in school anyway. The city glittered all around her as she lay on the hood of her Camaro. It had been made in 2020. The thing had leather seats, blackout windows – it even had a CD player. She liked to tell people it was vintage, but truth be told - it was a shit-box. A mustard coloured shit-box at that. She’d got it for two cases of sim-beer and then seduced a spanner to help fix it up for her. 
Other cars flew by overhead, the drivers practically leaning on their horns. There must have been a red light at the nearest junction because they all began piling up and the incessant horn blaring was met with an undertone of violent swearing. Endie saw some guy hanging out the window of his air-drag, gesturing with one proth arm and going an absolutely stunning colour of scarlet as he cussed at those in front of him. She laughed. God she loved this city. She’d heard about the old city. The greatest city in the world, they used to call it. The Big Apple. Endie snorted. What a stupid name for a city. They said it used to sparkle in the sunlight. The tallest buildings rose out of the mass of steel and glass, pointing like giant crystals to the sky. A blue sky. Endie shook her head. No matter how many times she’d heard people talk about the blue sky, or seen pictures of it, she could never really imagine it. Her sky had always been black – apart from the glare of neon and headlights, and the golden arches that could be seen from every point in the city. New York had moved underground about sixty years ago, along with the rest of the world. It had been something to do with nuclear fallout. It was gritty and grimy. Most things were grey or black, or were in the process of turning a shade there-of. Endie knew that in DC, the president employed about a hundred people to keep the new White House white. But whatever. Endie didn’t care about school anymore. She was sixteen and free of all that shit. She fingered her vest and called up her view screen. She’d had the latest model installed two weeks ago. It was the in thing right now. She scratched at her arm and began searching the tubes for prices on proths. She could do with some iron adjustments. They were pretty cool too. And maybe some ink… 
Endie found herself staring through the translucent screen, frowning, a bad taste in her mouth. No matter how hard she tried to distract herself, her thoughts always meandered back to this. It was why she waited on her Camaro, idly watching the traffic and wasting credits on surf-time. It seemed like she was always waiting for him to call. As if on cue, a green icon on her screen began to pulse. She felt a sickening thrill run through her. 
“Hey babe, how you doin?” 
“Fine, I - ” 
“Hey you free now?” 
“Yeah, I haven’t got work for a few hours…” 
“Come over. We can have some fun…” 
Dane chuckled. 
Endie swallowed. 
“I – I’ll be right there.” 
Dane hung up. 
Endie slid off the nose of the Camaro and got in. Her hands shook as she stuck the starter chip in and the engine growled. Mind, it growled like a fifty year old tiger with arthritis and a cold. And then of course it coughed, farted and died. 
“Fuck,” she said and got back out. She popped the hood and looked in at the mess of wires and junk, swore some more and kicked the anti-grav pod. She checked the oil pot, noted that it was okay, then replaced the lid, staring at the rest of the engine with frustration. She checked the oil again, not knowing what else to do. She swore a little more. 
“Er, can I help you?” Endie looked up suddenly and hit her head on the bonnet. She swore some more. 
“Woah, hey, you okay?” 
Endie rubbed her head and looked up again, her eyes watering. A skinny dude stepped towards her. The first thing she noticed was that he was remarkably un-modded.
 “Need a hand?” 
“I’m fine,” Endie growled. She didn’t need this young meat-pole sticking his nose in. He put his hands up in defense and turned around. 
“Okay, but I was watching you from over there. You sure know how to check that oil good.” 
“What do you want?” she snapped. He turned back around, looking offended. 
“Hey, I just heard you swearing and thought, ‘What the hell. I’m good with cars and she’s a human being, why don’t I offer to help her out?'” 
Endie glared at the ground near his feet. She felt her frustration deflate, instead replaced by guilt and bile. 
“Sorry,” she mumbled. She looked back up to see the widest grin now pasted on the boy’s face. He came forward and leant into the engine. She moved out of the way, a little dumbstruck. 
“Let’s see here… Your cage is a little loose. The caps are all fine. Rods and pins too. Hrm…” He fiddled with something that rattled. “Ah, there’s a problem. Engine’s been coughing a lot lately, right?” 
Endie nodded. 
“Well, there’s not much I can do about that, but it did knock some connections loose.” He fiddled a bit more for a moment. 
“There, try it now.” Endie got back in the car and turned the chip. The arthritic tiger coughed back into life. The young man came up to her window. 
“Er, well, thanks,” she said. 
“Anytime,” he replied and bowed. Endie resisted giggling. The bow along with that maniac grin and the smudge of grease now on his face was just too weird. She pulled away. She watched him wave in the rear view cam. 

 She pulled up a block away from Dane’s house, excuses already on her tongue for her lateness. She locked the Camaro, skirted the cybegger crouched amongst the trash in the lane and hurried down the street. Dane buzzed her in and she took the creaky elevator to his floor. Dane opened the door. 
“What took you so long?” he grunted and let her in. 
“I, uh, the car. It died. Just after you called. I - ” 
“Well, just make sure it doesn’t happen next time. You know we only got a few precious hours, babe,” he smiled at her as he shut the door. 
Endie walked into the living room, Dane following her. He came up behind her and put his arms around her waist, fingering the tops of her studded, sim-leather pants. She shivered at his touch. His breath was hot on her neck as he kissed her bare shoulders, rough stubble on her skin. His hands moved upwards, one clasping her boob, the other stroking the nipple. She felt her head loll back, more trills running through her. She turned around and laced her fingers in his hair. She tasted the cheap cigarettes on his tongue as she pressed her body against his. She opened her eyes as he buried his face in her chest, and found herself looking directly at the portrait of Dane and his wife. Bile mixed with the fake tobacco. She pulled him towards the bedroom. 

 The taste was still there as Dane lay drowsily beside her. The sheets were tough on her naked, slick skin. She got up as Dane began to snore and walked to the window. She rested her head on the cool, but grimy pane. She felt so dirty. Dirty like that stupid cybeggar in the allyway. Dirty like this stupid window. Dirty like that stupid mark on that stupid boy’s face. She remembered his stupid grin and that stupid little bow. She felt the corners of her mouth curl up in a smile, but a hot tear also run down her cheek.

Friday, September 14, 2012

Unexpectedly Nerdy

So, among my general, not really out of the ordinary pastimes, I have found myself doing some incredibly nerdy things. Normally my hobbies are just reading, writing, occasionally playing a sandbox or tycoon style video game and watching movies or television shows. Last night, I found myself making a paper craft model of a unit from the extremely popular and insanely difficult pro-league game, Star Craft II. I have not played the thing myself, but have watched quite a bit over my boyfriend's shoulder. He is very into the game. I am also now the owner of a D20 dice. D20s are a core component of table top RPG games. Admittedly it's shiny purple (one of the main things that drew me to it in the first place) and I was given it as a gift, but I still own a D20. I have also been watching a lot of anime lately. I am a member of the uni's anime club, but have been going more for the company than the anime - until just of late. I found myself watching all of Ao No Exorcist (Blue Exorcist) and I am quite interested in other titles like Sankarea, Another, Tiger and Bunny, Maria Nikki (Future Diary) and Gun X Sword. I even went and watched Spirited Away.
Overall, I think I am enjoying being extra nerdy.

The 'Immortal' so far
My shiny D20

There hasn't been much progression on the Soulless front. It's pretty much where it was since the last post I did about it. I really have to get an itch, a real fire under my butt, to write anything nowadays. It's not a good habit to get into. At least I'm still blogging. I find it sometimes loosens the stopper on the bottle of creative juice that resides somewhere inside me.

Also on the subject of novels, I have been thinking a lot about my first novel, Sparks, since I have moved onto Soulless. I have concluded that it is, unfortunetly, a rather bad book. The whole plot (a teenager recieving awesome superpowers) is a complete cliche. The main character is a shallow as a new pothole. The villain is also incredibly cliched and pathetic. But how I wish I could make it better. I really do. But I dread doing it. I really don't want to go back and edit that damned thing again. I have been working on that stupid manuscript for six years, a little under a third of my whole lifespan, and I don't know how many times I've rewritten it. It realy upsets me that I've spent so long and so much effort on it, and all I've produced is that. A very disheartening revelation...

Feeling: Down.

Eating: Pop rock studded chocolate.

Wearing: The daggiest things I own.

Listening to: The construction vehicles down the road reversing.

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Spidery Cravings

Yep. That's what I want. A spider sounds good and tasty right about now. For those of you freaking out and imagining me eating a fuzzy, fanged arachnid, never fear, for they are quite delicious. The legs are the best bits. They're nice and crunchy, if you can get over the hairs, and of course they de-fang them before they fry them up with a bit of garlic butter.

 And of course I'm pulling your leg. A fried tarantula? Seriously? I know that they are available in some countries, but no way. What I'm actually after is what some might call and ice-cream soda, or a coke float. Coca-cola with a few blobs of delicious vanilla ice-cream. Unfortunately I have neither ingredient  at my disposal right this moment...

I have no idea why they came to be named 'spiders' in Australia. We really do have a weird way of naming things. I know of people with red hair who've been nick-named Blue. And then there's the town names. You know there is actually a place called Woolloomooloo?

Anyway. I'm not sure I have a cup large enough to contain the spider I'm craving.

Wearing: Short denim shorts and a tee.

Listening to: Low - Flo Rida.

Feeling: A bit lonely.

Quintin Rthrtant Xesi Esiorto

Well, to my absolute astonishment, I found myself working on Soulless the other day. I pondered and I plotted and I planned and I finally just decided to write the scene that had evolved in my head.
It was a good scene. I made it to 1500 words before my brain decided it was too late to think anymore. I wrote the scene where the two heroes meet a character who has been in the works for a while. He is going to be a bit of comedic relief and a major plot point later. The lad's name is Quintin Rthrtant Xesi  Esiorto. An odd one, but you'd expect it if you were found as an infant by a contingent of sorcerers. He would have had another name stuffed in there if one of their number hadn't fallen asleep while the debate over what to name the poor boy raged. The two heroes have also grown names. I went through quite a few lists of old Gaelic and Scottish surnames to find ones that suited them. So we have our hero, Rook Llewellyn, and herione, Evie Wray. Rook, obviously a dark, wild bird. Llewellyn is Welsh, meaning lion-like. Evie is an alternative of Eve, the first woman, a symbol of life, and Wray, English for one who came from an isolated place. Rather suitable for who they are, I think. Oh and Quintin's name is pretty much just a bunch of gibberish. 'Quintin' I stole from a Wikipedia list of magicians, and the other three names were made in a Greek-sounding name generator.

Now I've also been reading a lot about how to create 'real', 'deep' characters. They must be believable. They need normal human characteristics. They need flaws. I have pretty much got Rook nailed down. He's tactless, harsh, distrusting, alchoholic, aimless and terrified of water, but with a heart of gold and a fantastic whittler. But with Evie, it's a bit harder. Sure, she's stubborn, naive, a bit of a klutz and short, but she really needs something else. She's compassionate and bold, but she needs an edge like Rook. A story really needs good characters. It's not the landscapes or politics you write about that draws people in; it's the people. They're what make you come back for more.

Feeling: Sore.

Eating: I only wish I had snacks...

Listening to: I did get some new songs after Watching Coyote Ugly today. Great movie, great music.

Wearing: Kitty cat pajamas.