Figment Queen's Blog











{December 3, 2010}   What NaNoWriMo means to me.

I figure I should get this down before NaNo gets too far away for me to remember accurately… So something to look back on for inspiration next October perhaps…

NaNoWriMo mean so so many things to me.
Overall it means getting back together with close friends that you may have drifted away from since last NaNo. People you keep a special room in your heart reserved for, and even though you haven’t seen them for up to eleven months, you pick right back up where you left of. Because these people understand you in a way most don’t.

It means despair.
For me, on the first day as I try to find the right voice and starting point for the novel, and then again at around 15,000 words, and at about 35,000 words… I don’t know why, but those places always represent a hill up which I must push my prose, before I let it go on the other side and run along trying to keep up with it.

It means getting to know your characters better than you would have otherwise.
Something about the high velocity writing, about the obstacles that you must face with your characters at a somewhat hurried pace, makes you bond more closely than you may have at a relaxed pace. Somehow my characters don’t tend to hate me at the end of NaNo. Maybe it is that we have gone through the things together, none of us really knowing what was going to come of it, or where in fact we were trying to get to.

It means sometimes talking to yourself to try and figure out what is going to happen, because sometimes all you need to get those ideas to work themselves out is to talk it through with someone.

And it means that people often look at you like you are crazy when you tell them, and yes, often criticize the practice, saying that nothing too good could come of it.

It means holding your characters close, with a knowing smile on your face, because yes, good things do come out of NaNoWriMo, and I can’t wait to go back there next year.



{December 1, 2010}   NaNoWriMo 2010 is over.

Or at least it is here in Melbourne…

We are one of the first regions to finish up, with the whole world to follow shortly, much like dominoes… Except that the finishing of one region does not affect the finishing of another, just that each hour or two tends to bring another region to a close, and soon it will all be over for another year…

Ok, so maybe it wasn’t the best analogy.

I finished up on 68,086.

I chose to finish up on a palindrome as it was as good a place as any to update my wordcount for the final time before all of NSW and Victoria started to update madly and crash the site. Someone pointed out to me after midnight that I should have added three more words, making it 68,089 which I didn’t even think about, and now I am kicking myself. :P

The story is still going; it is heading towards the big finale of things being blown up and secrets exposed.

I hope to get it done within the next couple of days, so that I can go back and edit it throughout December, before I lose my NaNo momentum. And also so that I can use the awesome comb binder that belonged to Mark’s dad and that I recently figured out, so that I can bind the draft to go through it easily, without having to carry with me so many sheets of loose paper. It also makes the prospect of editing while in Queensland for my Aunt’s 40th birthday and family catch ups quite doable.

I am so very proud of everyone who took part this year.

Even if you didn’t get to the 50,000, even if you only managed a fraction of it, you still gave it a go!

So how did you go? Did you end up making the 50k, or did you end up at least learning something about your characters, your story, or yourself?

I would love to hear your thoughts and experiences from the month.

Whether you didn’t make it through the first day, or you are still going with it even now, you are a part of the NaNo community, and thus will always have a special place in my heart.

Best of luck with whatever you choose to do with it from here!

Figgy.



{November 21, 2010}   Of NaNo, and a return to writing.

OK, so no, I haven’t posted on here for ages… Quite a bit has been going on, and also, not much at all…

I worked in a book store (borders) for a brief couple of months, I am still seeing the aforementioned boy, and I am writing again! Wooo!

Over the last few months I have started to read more regularly again, and write  a little on the side, and of course the return of nano has brought about lots of the writings…

Oh, and I got an iPhone! It is the boy’s old iPhone, but it is new to me, and I have found a few really handy apps to do with nano and writing. One of which allows me to save directly to google docs and sync up, so I can type on my computer, and get great big chunks of writing done, and then add to it when I am going somewhere the laptop cannot follow (like on the train on the way to nano drinkies, watching the boy bowling, walking around the shops), very handy.

I did a wordle post with my nano novel so far (currently sitting at 44.5k, the furthest ahead I have ever been in nano):

http://www.wordle.net/show/wrdl/2767288/Still_Life

It is about a boy and a girl who are the only ones who keep going when the world pauses, as though it is glitching, or thinking, or someone has put it on pause. They have both noticed these occurrences for as long as they can remember, but as the pauses become longer, and more regular, they have to look into what is causing them, as they start to spend more time in Still Life than out of it.

The first 30k was mostly the main characters toying around with a love triangle, but now they seem to be back on track, with investigations, kidnappings, torturers, and evil corporations well covered in the inventory.

I am also keeping a diary this year, to try and track my moods with the word counts and the co-operation of the characters. It is now getting to the really fun, exciting part! YAY!
Hoping to get my 50k tomorrow. 

Oh, and if you are wondering what this NaNo thing that I keep talking about is, you should check it out:
www.nanowrimo.org

Hope you are all well, and sorry for the HUMONGOUS delay. I will try my very best not to do it again. Off I go to get the WordPress App!

Figgy.



{April 27, 2010}   Sleepless nights…

As of late I have been dreaming very vividly.

I have always had odd and vivid dreams from time to time, but lately they have been happening every night, and when I don’t have one I feel like I haven’t been asleep properly.

Last night I dreamed, but the night before, Anzac Sunday, I found myself unable to get to sleep, and when I did it was filled with terror. I don’t remember what the terror was, but I remember waking up and being afraid to have my back to the room, in case something was coming at me and I couldn’t see it… Shadows were menacing, and terror from the dreams was still lurking, waiting to jump out at me.

Four times this happened, I would get to sleep, something would scare me, and I would wake up and see that according to my phone I had been asleep for a mere 15 minutes.

Once I found my way to a proper sleep it lasted for about four or five hours, and then I was awake again…

I learned through facebook though, that I wasn’t the only one experiencing this on the same night… Perhaps it was just an Anzac thing, or maybe it was a creative thing…

Anyone else experience this? When you dream, how much do you remember, and what tends to happen? Are they scary, lucid, fuzzy, disjointed…?

The sheer terror was a bit different to what I am used to… Last night I spent three hours arguing with parking garage attendants over the cost of my parking, and then eventually made them see sense by showing them the complimentary movie ticket that they gave me the week before for messing up.

I have had dreams of zombies, vampires, ghosts, bloodsucking saber-tooth cats, of things coming to get me and knowing that the end is near…

So what could be so terrifying that as soon as I enter into the dream only to wake up again, as though my sleep itself was terrified of the dream?

Any ideas?



{April 27, 2010}   Anzac day and time travellers

Hello again!

So soon, I know, something must be wrong! :P

No no, dear readers, everything is great!

Mainly I write because I did have an awesome Anzac day and felt like telling you lovely people about it.

The new boy (official as of yesterday on Facebook, woo!) and I ventured out to Phillip Island to see his family, and discovered a maze/illusion/mini golf place… A good hour was spent going through mazes and four flags were found, including a yellow flag that was actually rather orange… We then played mini golf. I got a hole in 1, even though the rest of them were more like a hole in 28… He didn’t get a hole in one(but played a better game over all)…

And then it was back home to watch some Doctor Who, and fall asleep. Eccleston Doctor who, as he has seen none before this week… As a fanatic, I couldn’t have him being oblivious to that wonderful world and all its possibilities!

And now I have a spark of an idea again, about a time-traveling woman and her younger, time-traveling self. I wonder what strange paradoxes they might open up…

Hope you are well, and that I see you again soon!

Figgs.



{April 25, 2010}   Titles only…

OK… Yes, I vanished again…

Sincerest apologies to anyone who may have actually been waiting for me to post… (Note to self: Post regularly so that you might build an audience that actually DOES wonder where you went when you forget to post… :P)

Since last we spoke, the following has happened:

* Another writing friend moved in… Somewhat more prolific than the afore mentioned friend who moved in…

* My old mac died, leaving me computerless. Luckily new housemate and her parents helped me out… They helped me out by buying a new computer, and she is paying the rent to them instead of me until it’s paid off. Super appreciative to them all, they could have no idea just how much this means to me. New compute is also very sexy. A black MacBook. :D

* I completed NaNo09, writing a large chunk of the second book in my robot series… It needs serious reworking, because about half way through I realised that a main plot point had vanished, and other plot points suddenly appeared; as if they had existed all along… I did like some of the things that popped up though, and they open it up to a third book, although a most likely unpublishable book. It would kinda mess with the neat, bittersweet ending of the second book. But *I* have to go there, to see what is waiting to be found… I like the idea, even if it is less than marketable. Who knows, by the time I get it done, it might be the trend!

* I had a bad case of Writer’s Depression. I call it this because it was far worse than a Block… I was trying to figure out where this writing thing had started… Why had I thought I liked it? *Did* I in fact like it, or was it just that I had been telling others that I loved it for so long that I convinced myself? This WD followed three months of no more than 200 words on any one project, and lasted for about two weeks.

When I told my Dad about it he called it an identity crisis, because writing is really the one consistent thing in my life… I have been doing it for as long as I can remember, longer according to my Dad. Writer’s Depression/Identity Crisis is now over, and I have finally got the time and will to write again, but am trying to figure out the best thing to work on at the moment.

I guess the thing that made me realise that I was over it was the automatic impulse in my brain that still looks at a situation and goes “how interesting, that would make a good story!” You can’t quiet that voice, you can’t stop that impulse; it jumps up and down in the back of your mind at the strangest of times, and reminds you of who you are.

Yes, I am a writer.

Recently I attended a lot of Melbourne Comedy Festival shows… It was great to get out and have a laugh…

Something that quite intrigued me was hearing the debate between two comedians about the way that they treated their audience, and I guess it got me thinking… Comedians, Actors, Singers, Writers, we all have our own way of holding ourselves, of treating our audience… Even a different voice that we use… But I guess that is what is so great about people… We all like different things, different styles of comedy, different genres and styles of writing…

I guess it has encouraged me to get back to the writing thing… Even if I look at what I write and wonder where to go next, as I fight with myself and yell at myself that the twist is not good enough, the ending not inventive enough… Someone else would have come up with a different answer, and to them it will read as inventive and exciting…

Just because it was the only answer *I* could come up with, doesn’t mean that others would come up with it as a first option…

So, after a five month period of minimal writing, I am getting back in the game. Next month I am going to get a couple of short stories written, and submitted. I will dive head first back into this writing thing while the mood strikes me, so that if a new identity crisis happens, I will be too deep in it to stop!

Wish me luck!

Figgy.



{October 19, 2009}   I know, I know…

Ok, so yes, it has been a month since I posted… I want to remedy that, I really do!

(Note to self: aim to do a blog a day for NaNo09!)

It has been very busy! Since being back from visiting my family, I have been working double shifts almost every day… With two days available to sleep for more than four hours over the past two weeks…

I *think* I am more on top of it all now…

Other things that have happened, or are in the process of happening:

* I stepped on a bit of galvanized wire that I was using to make animal cages, and it went pretty far into my foot; ow.

* I have a friend of mine moving in with me; one who I have known for many years, and who also writes… I am doing my best to convince her to NaNo with me!

* I have decided to start to write to some people who are on death row in America… It is something along the lines of the slightly different, quirky stuff that I like doing… And who knows what inspiration will come from it. (Seriously, if you knew some of the things that have flicked that switch inside my head and turned into a full blown novel, you would understand.)

* The bunnies are multiplying!!! I think they are somewhere upwards of 40 ideas now… How on Earth am I meant to choose which one?!

NaNo Choices:

The first one that I would choose, I have found out that I actually have to hold it off till January of next year, when the Aurealis Awards come around again…

Why for? You might very well ask. Well, you see… The main character needed a name, and she ended up being named after a QLD train carriage… This lovely train carriage, EM357, also helped me to figure out a LOT of sequencing in my book, and how it would all fit together…

Echo (EM357)  needing a name, was different from the usual “what do I name my character?!” debacle… You see, Echo was originally named Talitha(Tallie for short). Those of you who read my blog/facebook/msn sub-heading, will have noticed that this name is used frequently, when referring to a little robot girl…

I don’t know if I have told you the story, but I am overworked, and typing it again seems easier than checking to see if I had posted it elsewhere… :p

Anyways, the un-named robot girl, decided that Tallie would be her name, causing issues for me, as I had a Tallie… Then it all became a little clearer when I realised that Tallie, the whole character personality, had actually moved across to the robot story, leaving a big gap where the main character had been… And also leaving an adorable boy character without a lovely lady to help… Turns out that both Tallie AND Solan were meant to move across to the other novel…

Then I had to name my clone, who I knew nothing about as she was a bit of a generic*, put in to get the feel of the story… This happened to be while I was in Queensland, and this is when I met the train carriage, soon to be honoured in my book…

But the thing is, EM357 has disappeared now… If you see her, can you please let me know where? I will be in QLD in January, and a friend and I are going hunting for Echo… And if we can find her and she is not in use, I am going to sit with her and get some writing done… And if she is there, and she is in use, we will be taking a train trip, and also getting some writing done…

Hence why I cannot write that one for NaNo…

Sorry if that all seems a bit rambly… I have had minimal sleep lately, and the whole foot stabbing thing seems to have made me rambly, and a little more insane than before… Oooh, just in time for the month of craziness!

I will come back to you tomorrow, when I will hopefully have had more sleep, and be a little more coherent…
Figgs.

*Jasper Fforde fan? Good, then you know what I’m talking about! If no, you should be ashamed! :)



{September 17, 2009}   Accumulation of Robot Children

Ok, so I resumed writing in my Little Robot Lost story, for the first time in 5 weeks…

Since returning, I have added a robot child… That brings the count to four in total, although I think that there might be a fifth lurking…

I have had one serious injury to my human robot girl, and she has been “outed” for what she is… It is about time to relocate(see: go on the run).

The whole story seems to be flowing a lot better now, I’m loving it, I have written almost 2k in the last couple of days, and coming from the last 5 weeks of nothing, I think that’s quite good…

Did I tell you that my computer from a year ago is working again? Well it is… Meaning I am in posession of my 2007 NaNo again, and I had a lot of fun going through it the other day… It was interesting, and funny, and a great trip down memory lane… I was going through a lot of real life stuff at the time and I am both proud of and thankful to my characters for giving me a bit of an escape… I plan to go back and rewrite that at some point in the near future… Maybe after NaNo…

But for now, I am trying to get LRL finished before mid October, so that I have time to plan for NaNo… No idea what I’m writing now…

As you know from past posts, I have plenty of ideas, I will just have to choose which one… I am thinking that I might try for the second book in the robot series… That is if I have a decent two week break in between… Still deciding… I might use a new idea, one that hasn’t hit me yet…

Hope you’re well!

Figgy.



{September 9, 2009}   The return, again…

Sorry, once again, for my long absence…

I have had internet issues as well as all sorts of things in the real life department…

My Dad’s wedding was on the 5th, it was a great day, and he has done very well, I hope they are both very happy! As a result I had to take as many shifts as I could, and for three weeks before the wedding, I did almost nothing but work… A little bit of sleep was thrown in there occasionally, but not much, and definitely no time for writing…

While on my trip to visit Dad and take part in his wedding, I figured it’s probably a good idea to visit my Mum, Step dad, and little sisters; hence, a simple thing like a wedding, means three weeks away, and all crazy time, not much space to relax, but we’ll get there… I am very much looking forward to my time of not having to do much once I get back and make sure all my bills are up to date…

I have been busy borrowing my Dad’s entire music collection to put on my mp3 player… Different driving music!

Oh, AND, I am back on my old proper computer… The shiny, prettyful, big screened laptop that stopped working a year ago… ’cause said father is a genius!

I have not been doing much writing, but I have been getting loads of ideas and made sure to write them down so that I can get to them later…

I now have about 8 short story ideas, and about 25 novel ideas… I just need to get back into the practice of making myself write regularly again…

Along with the “old things being found” theme, I have gone through the boxes that I left at my Dad’s and found heaps of forgotten treasures… Books, including some of my favourites, and some that I haven’t read, notebooks of all shapes and sizes, old story ideas/story starts/role playing stories from my childhood, some INCREDIBLY well written *eyeroll* but that’s to be expected, and a heap of clothing that I haven’t been able to wear for ages (their being in boxes and all) or didn’t used to wear, but definitely would now… It’s like getting a new wardrobe that I don’t have to pay for!

As to the old story ideas and starts… Well some are just incredibly funny… I obviously wrote them when I was very young, as I don’t remember them at all… And my penmanship indicates I was quite young…

One that stands out as quite bad, follows (now don’t judge me by it, it was found in an old school exercise book! Maybe it wasn’t even me! ;)):

The child, it seemed, was in fact not at all as it seemed. Innocentface, wrinkled still from birth, adorable button nose that just begged for someone to go “Ooops, got your nose.”
But eyes, as they say, are the windows to the soul, and if there were such a person who could look into these windows and say what lay within, and one had looked into this child’s eyes, they would surely fall down dead right then and there, or at least go insane.

Stunning, no? think I could sell a novel with that as the sample? Lol, I told you it was bad…

Anyways, I hope you are all as well as you were when I left, if not better… And I hope you enjoyed my little trip down memory lane…

Figgs.



{July 28, 2009}   Sorry about that…

Ok, so I have been away for a while… My internet has been refusing to connect, and so I have been going stir-crazy without the option of going off in search of random words, and inspiration… It has forced me to write a little though… Not heaps, but a little.

I am back, and writing, and I need your help…

Say you were a robot child, or rather a human child turned robot for survival… And then you father could see that you weren’t enjoying spending time with kids your own age after a while, as they called on their imaginations, and your robot body tried to make you think literally, and so your Dad bought a robot robot child, as in an actual robot, to keep you company… About ten years old in appearance, and female…

1. What is this robot child called when she first arrives? Her product line/mass production name… All robots from this line, for example, are called Anna… Until imprinted…

2. What do you change her name to when you finally start to see her as a friend, and more than just a robot…?

The main character is Talitha… Tallie for short… So it should be something that goes well with that…



et cetera
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