Thursday, February 28, 2013

It's a Book!

Let it be noted, that as of yesterday at around 3:00am, the full first draft of the novel Soulless was dragged flailing and squealing into being. *Dramatic thunderclap*

I typed the words 'The End' with a flourish. Then I realised I hadn't savoured the feeling, so I backspaced and typed them again. With a spelling error. Then I did it again and forgot the full stop. The feeling had worn off a bit by that time. I was quite tired. So I saved a copy of it on every USB and external hard drive I own, just like any paranoid writer would, and went to sleep. I woke up at midday, and the fact still hadn't sunk in. Sure, I told everyone who would listen, but it was only after about 3:00pm that it really started to hit me. Every now and again, I would break out into this weird, wacky-waving-inflatable-flailing-arm-tube-man dance, with this enormous grin on my face. When people asked what the hell I'd just taken, I would squeal at them in a rather high pitch, "99,000 words!"

The exuberance I feel has toned down a little, but every time the thought crosses my mind now, I go:

Feeling: Tired, but awesome.
Wearing: PJs.
Listening to: It's way too late to be concentrating on music.
Eating: Again, way too late. But I did have a second dinner at Macca's. Was good.

Thursday, February 21, 2013

Beginnings and Ends

Hrm. Well, I haven't written anything on this blog for a little while, but let me assure you I've been going at it quite well with Soulless. Up until last Saturday that is. 
On Saturday, I got up in the wee hours of the morning, bundled myself and my family into two cars and made the five-hour trip down to where I'll be staying for the year. I got my old room on campus and I am now commencing the final year of my bachelor. My brother however, is only just starting his university experience. He's doing a bachelor of engineering and is staying in the building next to mine. We get a sibling discount this way.
It's been quite amusing to watch him running around in his 'fresher' (sorta short for freshman) bib, getting all sorts of drunk and disorderly. I, having not attended the lewd activities of my orientation week, due to being underage, decided to have a go at them this year. I went to a wicked toga-themed party at the university's club, snagged all sorts of free food and drink at a different party, rode a mechanical bull, played in a gladiator ring with giant foam boppy-hammers, attended a market day, got heat exhaustion from promoting the club I am associated with, SoMAG, at said market, went to the amazing saltwater aquarium here in Townsville, attended an art exhibition that had decided, much to my delight and surprise, to include a piece of animation I did for an assignment last year, and then, after all that, I found I had a sprained hip from the blasted mechanical bull. So, overall, not a bad week so far.

Some random freshers in rather good improvised togas.

I am feeling so good about Soulless, apart from the fact I couldn't quite concentrate on any writing today. I may just need to settle in a little more. The current brain-matter-to-keyboard count is way up at 79,000 words. This book, excluding any future edits, is going to be just a little more than the 80,000 words I first predicted. Which is a good thing, I think. 80K is only an average novel after all. I am guessing now, that this will probably turn out to be up around the 90,000 word mark. I am totally psyched; it's nearly finished. But then again, a little apprehensive. I'm not sure what I'm going to do when it's finished. Of course there are the obvious answers - editing, publishing, etc. But that doesn't really stop it feeling like I've finished my adventure with these characters, characters that are really all too new to me still.

Feeling: It is ridiculously hot here in Townsville. Seriously. Someone is putting humidity in the air on purpose. For what fiendish reason, I have no clue.
Eating: About to head to dinner.
Wearing: High-school senior shirt and yellow pants.
Listening to: Never Been Kissed Before by Nikki Webster. Shush. Nikki's music just feels lovely and innocent to me.

Sunday, February 10, 2013

Slush and Satellites

Hi! Cookie?

Today I found out that I can actually make other pages for my blog, not just new blog posts. Oh and did I had fun with this. Now you have three new pages to go and visit if you so desire. The first is a little bit more about me and this blog, plus a slightly zany picture. The second and third pages are short synopses on the two novels I am currently writing/have written; Sparks and Soulless.

Speaking of Soulless, I have been doing quite a bit of writing on it today, managing again to hit the 3,000 word quota I have set for myself, bringing the total now to 64,000 words. Being able to do this gives me excited, fluttery tingles. I know that if I keep it up, I'll have the novel finished in no time at all. And then, then comes the fun part where I print out countless copies of the first few chapters of my precious baby and hope they don't end up in an agent's slush pile.
I have only ever submitted something to an agent once. This was one of the more recent versions of Sparks. It was quite a while afterwards when they sent me a very nice, polite rejection letter. My first rejection. I was actually quite thrilled. You're not a real writer until you get your first rejection, or so I've read.
If you have any tips on writing queries or getting an agent or a publisher or good links on such subjects, please don't hesitate to put them in the comments below. I'd love any help I can possibly get.
One such slush pile. *Cringe*

Today was interesting also for quite a few other reasons. My parents decided that it would be fun to go and cook our dinner out on a fire under the stars. And it really was. We lit the fire down the back of our property on the beach of our 'dam'. The dam is actually just a hole we dug back when we were developing the land. The tonne of red clay dirt that was removed went into building the pads for the house and my dad's giant shed. Anyway, this little hole in the ground is about eight foot or two and a bit metres at its deepest and has a water slide at the back.
So we lit the fire, waited for it to burn down to embers, then chucked some bacon and burger patties on the hotplate. When we had finished our rather delicious dinners, the fire had died down considerably, and with no moon, it was absolutely perfect star gazing weather. My family have always been avid star watchers. My father bought a powerful green laser pointer so that he could point out the satellites he saw in the sky. He also downloaded a rather ingenious application for his tablet that gives you a real time view of what objects can be seen in the sky each night. I have watched several times as the Russian International Space Station has passed overhead.
Tonight though, after spotting the normal satellites whizzing like little shooting stars across the sky, I noticed something rather odd. There  in the middle of the sky, I kept seeing something blink at me. So I sat and watched patiently - and it blinked again. My family didn't believe me until they saw it blink too. It was blinking at quite a consistent rate; about once every fifty seconds. So when we all got too cold and mosquito bitten and headed back inside, I decided to Google this strange phenomenon. The closest I can gather is that it is an old, disused communications satellite that floats up in the very outer atmosphere, moving very, very slowly. Sometimes they are sent into spins and can blink. This blink is the light from the sun reflecting of their assorted solar panels or dishes. I was actually quite proud of myself for spotting this unusual night-time occurrence.

Feeling: Happy and clean, but unusually cold for a Summer night.
Listening to: Thunderstruck by ACDC, an awesome Australian rock band.
Wearing: PJs again.
Eating: Had delicious burger as stated above, and a pine-lime flavoured popsicle for desert. It dripped into my hair while I lay on my back looking up my special little blinky piece of space-junk.

Saturday, February 9, 2013

Take Me to Your Reader

Greetings earthlings! I require more of this spongy goodness called 'caek' lest I kidnap all the kittens on your paltry planet.

Today I changed a tire and rolled out some hay. It made me terribly annoyed for several reasons. 
Reason one: I didn't even change the tire. Dad just made me take it off an put it back on again to make sure I could do it. And it was my brother's car, so I didn't see why I had to learn to do it there.
Reason two: Rolling hay made me totally itchy and muddy. I had to have a super early shower.
Reason three: Both of things kept me away from a really good writing mood!

Fortunately, I was able to get away quickly enough to avoid a total grump-out and thus writing constipation. For this I am glad. And as such, I managed my three-thousand word quota for today, dragging the total for Soulless kicking and screaming to 61,500 words. Be excited, aberrant earthlings.

And now a picture! Oh... Uh... I usually have a picture for you all... Just hang on a sec and let me go find one...

*Muffled laughter*

Eating: Not much. It's nearly midnight. Although I am remembering a delicious pink flavoured thickshake I had for smoko today.
Feeling: Happy and accomplished. Excited too. The end of Soulless is pretty much in sight. Then I'll be able to go about querying agents! *Nervous gulp*
Listening to: Alice's Theme from the soundtrack of Tim Burton's Alice in Wonderland.
Wearing: New jamies! They have leopard print on them.

Thursday, February 7, 2013

My New Old Spirit 600

Oh. You again. *Narrows eyes*
I only managed 1,500 words today on Soulless, due to a terrible, splitting headache. I don't think I drank enough water. That added to yesterday's meagre amount - of which I do not remember - makes for a total today of nearly 56,000.

The only other thing I've been doing lately besides writing, is shopping. I had a bit of a shopping spree yesterday. My favourite places to shop actually happen to be second hand shops. Judge if you wish, but you can find some of the most fantastic things in opportunity shops. I have tons of big brand name clothes that look like they have never been worn, the most gorgeous shoes and - weirdly - several pairs of beautiful elbow length opera gloves and a white fake fur stole. All for a fraction of the price one would normally pay. Yesterday's finds were quite impressive. I think I got five gorgeous summery dresses, and a vintage Polaroid camera. I looked this model up online to find that it sells for around $100.00. I picked this one up for $4.50. I was thrilled to have finally found one. I know they seem a bit old, clunky and outdated, but I really seem to have a thing for retro of late. You can still buy film cartridges for the Polaroids, but prepare to pay for them. For a packet of 10 Polaroid films, prices average on $30. Because of this, I may never use the camera - but I love it anyway.

This also happened earlier today. I have been wanting to put a label on my folder of notes for Soulless for a while.. This is what I came up with. It may look simple, but it took quite a few layers and tweaks in Photoshop to get it looking old and rugged. After I cut it out, I roughed it up even more, damaging the edges with my fingernails. I'm quite proud at how it turned out.

Feeling: Ugh. Don't ask again.
Listening to: Nothing.
Eating: Had some delicious fried rice for tea.
Wearing: Grey, leopard spot shirt and comfy pants. I think I may be wearing these pants to death - they're starting to get holes in them.

Sunday, February 3, 2013

Skulls and Sparkles

Good evening ladies, gentlemen and assorted flying sock monsters.
I got in my three thousand word quota yesterday, bumping up the total on Soulless to 52,000. Unfortunately, it is unlikely that I will manage to put in the same again today. I feel quite delirious at the moment. I was up will midnight last night making sure I hit my quota, and even then when I went to bed, I could not sleep. My brain had suddenly become a lightning rod for ideas. I'm not complaining in that respect - I got some epic new bits for the ending of Soulless - I just wish they hadn't come at a time when I really needed to sleep. 
So, today I think I will just take a break. I might go and finish reading Twilight again. I started it after sitting and being rather bored while I waited for my - ahem - underdoos to dry. I had just been for a swim in my cousin's creek and hadn't brought my swimming clothes. On that note, what are your opinions on said vampirical, cheesy, romance novels? I actually happened to pick them up and read them before the movies and all the hype and love/hatred of them was around. I found them to be reasonably okay. Not brilliant stuff, but enjoyable when I got into the story.

While you ponder this question, here is some new fan art I have done for a rather more classy, witty and downright fantastic series by the name of Skulduggery Pleasant. The subject of these works is the wise-cracking, fire-throwing, magical skeleton detective, Skulduggery Pleasant himself. See the larger versions here and here.

Feeling: Deedly deedly dee... blargh. *Slow, lightheaded blink*
Wearing: Pretty black shirt and shorts.
Eating: I had some Red Rooster takeaway for dinner.
Listening to: Nothing, but I can hear Sparks by Fedde Le Grand & Nicky Romero playing over and over in my head.

Friday, February 1, 2013


I counted today and it turns out I've managed to add a great chunk, around 12,500 words to Soulless, bringing the total number of squished together letters, sweat and cake crumbs to 48,000. Which means I'm probably past halfway. I'm not quite sure how this happened, but the weird buzzing in my brain may have been caused by it.

Apart from that, I have not much else to report. I have been doing no art, watching no TV, doing no fangirling. I may have eaten and slept somewhere along the way. I do remember an odd dream about being the 9th Doctor's companion. So, with no news to report, I though I might share the story in which I got the idea for Soulless in the first place.
I do not quite remember when exactly it was, only that it was in 2011. I was trawling through paintings on the site deviantART. I cam across a painting - I forget whether it had been done digitally or with actual paints - of a man with a shadowed face. He was wearing a sweeping cloak, patched in many places and covered in tiny bits of bone, twigs and other assorted trinkets. It made me start to imagine strange patchwork beings that had to cover themselves up. I wrote the idea down on the back of a drawing and thought no more of it until a year later. It was then I came up with the mechanics of Soul-wraith magic and a possible core storyline.
Part of me wants to find this piece of artwork. Another part of me says that I'm better off with the memories I have of it. I think my reasoning is that in the unlikely even that I do see it again, it might not measure up to the high standards I have in my memories
Maybe I should paint it myself? Or perhaps I should just focus on writing lol.

Listening to: Levitate - Hadouken!
Wearing: Yellow shorts, car club tee.
Eating: Just had chips, cake, an ice cream and a glass of Coke. Terribly full now.
Feeling: Buzzy. Definitely buzzy.