Posts Tagged ‘writing’

I like my sponsorships like I like my coffee:

November 20, 2010 - 8:22 am 1 Comment


You guys.

You did it.

With ten(!!) days left in NaNoWriMo, you charming folks have gotten me one-hundred-per-cent to my goal of one-hundred-freaking-dollars!  And never once did I have to employ my tactic of selling myself to the internet by means of covering Short Skirt/Long Jacket on solo piano for $5 a pop.  Though I would have.

Not only that, but this is the first year of writing whence I am actually ahead of schedule.

You have to understand.

I never finish anthi

Last year, I managed to raise $50 and never finished my NaNo.  This year, this year is so much better.  With the confidence given to me via the support for this cause, there’s no way I won’t finish this year.  Maybe that’s a jinx, and maybe it has something to do with the fact that if I even want to wrap up the main plot thread of this ridiculous novel it’s going to take me at least another 75k words so really I’m only 1/3 of the way through it anyway and 50k is a completely arbitrary number at this point BUT LET’S GO WITH IT’S A SUCCESS.

And that’s just how you’ve helped me.  With the money donated, Offices of Letters and Light can fund their computers or employees or buy supplies for people who otherwise wouldn’t have the means to be creative.  Obviously by clicking one of the links in my previous post you can find out more about any number of these causes, but suffice is to say, go make yourselves a bowl of tomato soup and a grilled cheese, ’cause you’ve wracked up some points on the good-karma-o-meter and you deserve the lycopene.

Trust me, too, when I say that once November is over, I’ll be blogging more.  I have so many books to talk about and albums to review (OH MY GOD THE WEEPIES) and nonsense shit to discuss in an entirely one-sided conversation with myself… I gotta say, 2011 is going to be great for  It helps that I’m in charge.

Thanks again, guys.  It really means the world to me.  And of course, just because we’ve made it to my goal doesn’t mean you can’t continue to donate if you’re so compelled.  OLL can use all the help they can get.

It’s that time again: NaNoWriMo sponsorship!

October 25, 2010 - 2:09 pm No Comments

It’s that time of the year again, you guys, the time where I sign on to Twitter just long enough to gripe about writing and then sign off again to… well, go write.  Yes, it’s NaNoWriMo, or National Novel Writing Month for those of you not in the know (50,000 words in 30 days!), and once again, I’m trying to find sponsors for The Office of Letters and Light.  What that means is this: I’m raising money to help the Office of Letters and Light continue to put on free creative writing programs for kids and adults in classrooms, communities, and libraries around the world.

Writing, and of course the literacy that precedes it and is advanced by it, is an invaluable tool that we must foster as much as we can in people of all ages.  For some, it provides an invaluable catharsis that no other activity can achieve.  For someone like me, who practically lives in a library and spends nearly every free moment either reading, writing, or editing, this is an extremely important cause.  So what I’m asking is this: if you can, please sponsor me.  Even as little as a dollar helps.  My official goal this year is just $100, but if I don’t come anywhere near that, I’ll be happy because I know I’ve raised awareness for an amazing cause and done what I can to support it.

If you want to help, please visit my official sponsorship page and do what you can.  If you can’t sponsor me, I completely understand, times are tough, but do me this favor: tell someone you know.  Share this note on Facebook, tweet it, do that Myspace thing if you still do, post this as your status, even just for a few hours.  Even the smallest action means the world to me.

Thanks so much, guys, for taking the time to read this.  Wish me luck!

Click for more about the Office of Letters and Light.

Click for more about NaNoWriMo.

Click to visit my post containing resources for and the whole story behind NaNo.

Edit: To follow my progress on my NaNoWriMo, you can visit my user page or just check out this handy widget! Remember, green good. Red bad.

The Duel: A bit of literature.

May 15, 2010 - 3:36 pm No Comments

Well, I was gonna write a really amazing and specific blog about something and it was gonna be awesome, but the trouble is that I now don’t remember what that topic is.  And, after the week I’ve had, what with being stung by wasps, being allergic to be being stung by wasps, the Pens losing to the Habs, having a mouse in my house, and then having an amazing night out with Kristen of (okay, so that wasn’t really bad, in fact, it was the best thing all week and that’s competing with a rousing game of Dungeons and Dragons), I’m coping out and posting a bit of prose I’ve been working on for way too many years.

This is the opening to a story I’ve been writing, and this is the only part I feel like I really have nailed down, so I’m posting it now in lieu of actually saying anything interesting (alright, it’s interesting, but I put no effort into it other than copying and pasting from where it was living before).  I’m going to do another book post, possible before the middle of next week, but I actually want to delve into some different material since I’ve really only been reading one thing all week.

On with the show!


It’s amazing how beautiful the world is just before you die.

I stood there, my sword in hand, holding it as I had been taught long ago. I could feel its sturdy leather grips beneath my fingers, sturdy as the red clay earth I stood upon. The sky above was warm with tones of evening as the sun threatened to lose itself behind a mountain, as though using it as a blanket to keep itself warm in the dark night. The fading light made the clouds blush the delicate pink of the virgin bride I had never been while the empty sky around them bled out the remainder of the day from orange into ever-deepening shades of crimson, maroon.
A breeze began to pick up and it blew, almost soothing on the back of my neck, simultaneously calming me and making my flesh crawl as though this were the very breeze that would carry the lips of Lady Death upon it.

I looked into his eyes; stark, black eyes. He was a traitor, to his people, to his cause, and to me, and there’s nothing I could tolerate less than a traitor. The same breeze that had kissed my neck now brushed his hair, tossing it just the way he hated it, and blew raw desert sand over my shoes and into my mouth.

I hated him. With every fiber of me that still cared, I hated him. He had lied, and his lies had caused the deaths of the very people he was meant to protect, which was exactly what he had intended to do. He lied as he whispered sweet nothings into my ears and bedded me as hot, innocent blood quenched the thirst of the earth, staining it red, feeding it what it should not be fed, and I was oblivious. I believed him. And he never once stopped smiling. He never failed to look me in the eyes when he vomited falseness onto me and then twisted quick fingers into my hair to sate me with a plague of kisses.

He was so fucking proud of himself. Even now, he couldn’t make a toothy sneer fall away from his lips; even still, he looked me in the eyes.

One of us was going to die.

We both had loaded guns in the holsters at our hips, but that was not a proper duel, that was a coward’s duel. And though he may have been a traitor, he was certainly no coward. And I was certainly not afraid of him.

He held his sword at the ready, and the crimson sunlight bit the edges of it, a warning sign, a threat that this immaterial red that now graced the blade could soon be replaced by something much more sinister. Catching a deeper balance in the stance of his body, he began to recite, “Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil: for thou art with me; thy rod and thy staff they comfort me.”

“Lies,” I whispered, but the fel wind caught it and swept it to darkening heavens, an oath from my lips to God’s ears.

In that instant, he lunged at me, and I at him. The twenty paces between us were quickly reduced to nil, and in once grand, practiced sweep, our swords collided, once with metal, and then with flesh.

An instant was all it took, and then it was over. I stumbled and nearly planted my face into the dusty earth, but caught my footing, regained my balance, and stood straight up to face the setting sun. My back was to him, exposed, and I feared, if for just a moment. Whipping around to face him, my hair gracelessly caught the wind, fluttering, then laying sedate along my shoulders once more.

He was on the ground in a pool of his own blood, one hand trying to keep his guts inside his body, the other reaching for his pistol. He stopped when he saw me turn, his eyes and mouth agape, the blood washing over his lips telling me I had cut into his stomach, and could smell the acrid smell of acid and blood and death in the air, a metallic odor that molested my senses.

He had told me that bleeding to death by through the stomach was one of the slowest and most painful ways to die, and he deserved every second of it, but I didn’t have the patience.

“I loved you,” I whispered to him, and then caught him just above the ear with a bullet. Slipping the pistol back into the holster, I watched the ground soak up his blood for a moment, feeding it with his tainted blood as it had fed on the innocents he’s put to death. I spit on his chest. A fitting end.

“A fitting end indeed,” I murmured, and reached for a cigarette, but my pocket was damp. Dropping my sword, it landed with a dull clank as I touched my side with both hands. Pulling them away, scarlet fingertips prophesized my fate.

“Oh…” was the only word my moth formed, and it sounded strange to my own ears. It wasn’t an “oh!” of surprise, or an “oh…” to God, but a happenstance, “oh”.

The sun curled up beneath it’s mountain-blanket and even the wind seemed to settle down for the night. Everything was still and quiet as a red moon rose, signaling the end of a season, the end of summer. The harvest moon.

As the sky darkened, so did my vision, and I was filled with an overwhelming warmth as I crashed to my knees, then onto my side, right next to him. His eyes were still open, and still black, and the blood on his lips only made him look alive. I’d shot him on the other side of his head, and from this angle, as my eyesight blurred, he looked like an angel. He had once been my angel.

It occurred to me, then, that angels fall. We all fall. And here I was, having falling into the arms of a man who had once been my friend, my comrade, my lover, and my enemy. To him, I whispered, “I loved you.” With my remaining strength, I turned to kiss his lips one last time and my mouth was flooded with the taste of blood, a taste like sugar and copper, and I wasn’t sure if it was his or mine. I rolled my head to watch the blackening sky as tiny stars blinked into existence one by one, but then, in a last great wash of cold and blackness, they were wiped away again, and my eyelids slipped shut.

It’s amazing how beautiful the world is just before you die.


October 11, 2009 - 2:07 pm 2 Comments

I know a lot of you seeing that work right now will shake your heads in adorable fashion and utter to yourselves, “Who did the what now?” (At least that’s what I’m picturing, leave me alone, I can believe whatever I choose.

And a lot of you will have strange and wonderful emotions stirred up when I mention to you that it’s mid-October and my handwriters should set to buying new notebooks and pens and my typewriters should get on stocking up on ribbon and my computerwriters should open their word procession programs and start fiddling around with default fonts now so you’re not screwing with them for hours in November, because, you see, my friends…

November is National Novel Writing Month! (Ooh, it’s a link.)

That’s write folks (ooh, it’s a pun), it’s time to get your creative juices flowing and crank out a novel.

So what exactly is NaNoWriMo? And what is the point? Well, in a word, it’s motivation. NaNoWriMo is a challenge to write a fifty thousand word novel in thirty days, from scratch. Sound daunting? It is. But it’s definitely doable. Last year, I didn’t get started until three days in and I still reached 49K. The only reason I didn’t hit 50K is because I got really disappointed with a plot device in my story, and even though NaNo is NOT about editing – that’s right, no editing! – or even accuracy, really, I couldn’t bring myself to finish it. So this year, I am starting that story over. From scratch.

Now, if you work some ridiculous amount of hours or have children or a really long commute or anything else that would make it virtually impossible to reach fifty thousand words unless you gave up sleep entirely, you’re allowed to set your own limits. If you register on the site, (and I encourage everyone to) obviously it won’t count as an official win, but a personal win is still a win. Remember, it’s about motivation. It’s about having a group of people to talk about writing with, and having a timeframe and a deadline to make your lazy ass (my lazy ass…) get it done. Or at least get it started.


If you’re in, below are some useful links to help you on your November writing extravaganza!

Obviously, you’ll want to check out the official site. That’s where you’ll find all of the official information and rules, as well as getting yourself registered. Also on the site, and especially if you blog, I encourage you to check out the word count widgets to display to fellow Nanos how far along you are. However, sometimes these widgets are ‘down’, sometimes they’re ugly, and they don’t work if your goal isn’t fifty thousand. If that’s your shtick, there are a lot of other counters out there. Try this for a really basic one, and here for a few that are a little more involved (and funny).

Now, obviously you’ll need something to write with. Even if you type or hand write, you’re going to have to verify your word count at the end, which means you’re going to need to type up your story. For my Mac users out there, I recommend Scrivener. Yes, you have to pay for it, but not only is it totally worth it, you can get a 50% discount just for being a Nano participant! Just check out the special offers page. For Windows users, if you’re happy with Word, stick with it, but if you’re not, try yWriter or Celtx. I’ve heard good things about both, though it seems Celtx is more directed towards other forms of media. Now if you like Word, but don’t have it and can’t afford it, go with OpenOffice, every time. OpenOffice also works on everything: PC, Mac, and Linux.

So, you’re registered, you’ve got a program that works for you, and you’re writing, but sometimes you can’t get motivated. That’s when you need Write or Die. Write or Die is, according to the website, a web application that encourages writing by punishing the tendency to avoid writing. Start typing in the box. As long as you keep typing, you’re fine, but once you stop typing, you have a grace period of a certain number of seconds and then there are consequences. And. It. Works. Even if you’re not doing Nano, give it a shot for paper writing or anything else you need to get done.

So that’s National Novel Writing Month according to me. I hope you’ll join me, and if you do, please let me know!