Saturday, September 28, 2013

Muffin Manifesto

Too many posts have been me whining about my writing difficulties.
*Puts issues in a box*
*Smashes them with a hammer*

Fuck the downer mcdowner b.s. I shall divert my attentions and energies to doing something productive, and mildly economical. Baking.

I secretly love baking and cooking, I don't do nearly enough of it in my apartment because I not so secretly hate cleaning and our craptastic living space has no dishwasher. *HORROR*

Between the four of us, dishes have a habit of breeding fast and overflowing the counters in the blink of an eye. But in an attempt to save money, and satisfy my craving for baked goods, I have taken it upon myself to try and make a batch of delicious muffins once a week. I had the craving to bake hit me last week and made Chocolate chip muffins and Apple cinnamon muffins. Nomnomnom. It seems like an attainable goal, I have a horde of baking supplies plus there are two very good reasons to bake. 1. I have two muffin trays, so might as well use them. 2. Muffins.

So this morning, when the kids got me staggering out of bed at Crack of Ass A.M. I rolled up my sleeves and washed dishes. Once I had a livable kitchen space, I proceeded to make maple bacon muffins, which are as orgasmic as they sound. Of course, as I was putting the batter into the cups, my husband walked in the door with a box of donuts from Dn'D.

I told the bugger I was making them, but whatever. He can stuff his face with crappy pre-made donuts and I shall devour my delicious homemade muffins.


Friday, September 27, 2013

Buck Up, Fussypants!

Self doubt has a habit of cropping up at really inappropriate moments. My brain tends to be a minefield for stuff like this, for example when I am close to finishing a project or am cheering on a friend who just had some awesome success in their endeavors. It is about this time some pretty depressing thoughts rear their ugly faces, peppering my brain with doubts about my writing, my creativity, my chances for success. I know these thoughts are ridiculous. I know I am not alone in doubting my artistic ability. Every artist who puts themselves out there is taking the same risk. When I feel like this, especially while a friend is experiencing some much deserved success, I duck my head and bite my tongue because I don't want to take away a smidgen of that feeling if it kills me.

When I hit this whirlpool of emotional stupidity, I worry I don't have a thick enough skin to dive into today's close encounters publishing environment. The whole Goodreads bullies fiasco? Christ do I want to really put myself in a Readers vs Authors environment? Or endure the feeling of tossing my e-book in the maelstrom of Amazon which pumps out thousands of self published books every day?

I admit, I have a crippling lack of self confidence. My e-book project, which should have been put out weeks ago, is currently sitting on my top shelf, glaring at me. "What's the hold up, sweet cheeks?" It snarls at me (because most of the animate objects in my apartment are tough guys) "Listen you demeaning ream of paper," I yell at it (don't judge, I am alone with a toddler for most of the day) "I am doing my best here, I am under a lot of pressure right now, from finances and time, and I have other things I am working on, it's not all about you!" It sighs in flagrant disgust and sneers "Keep making excuses and you'll never finish anything."

My surly e-book is right. I keep pushing my personal deadlines further and further back for no good reason. This morning I am struggling to finish a current chapter for New Earth 6, which I surprisingly started earlier in the week. What I don't understand is why I am struggling so hard with self doubt. My serial is experiencing a modicum of success. I had a couple great reviews which have generated an awesome amount of site traffic. The whole point of doing the serial was to create a confidence booster and force myself to share my work. God Dammit woman, BUCK THE FUCK UP!

I don't know what it will take to snap me out of my funk. The best solution is to face forward and keep working.

Friday, September 20, 2013

Behold! New Earth's New Face!

A recent review of the sci fi serial prompted me to give New Earth 6 a serious face lift. The reviewer had a valid point, the starry background made it harder to read the text. So, I went in for a much simpler cleaner design with a new header designed by my West Coast contact *wink wink*

Behold the new, the improved, the bold New Earth Six!

Saturday, September 14, 2013

The Sci Fi Chick: Be it Wars or Trek, I love me some Stars

So this morning I woke up to another lovely review for New Earth 6
It had me squealing with girly glee because I am entering the six month mark for keeping the serial up and running. Though I am behind with some of the things I want to do with it, like finish edits for part 1 or hell, just keeping my universal translator up to date *I am so fail*, I have managed to meet my Friday deadline. Truth, I do spend a lot of my Fridays working all day on a chapter  but that is beside the point. *shhhh don't judge me*

However this review sparked an interesting debate/ internal revelation regarding my influences for New Earth 6. The review remarks how the piece has a Trekky feel. I giggled when I read that, but honestly I would be lying if I denied Star Trek's influence on my work. Most of my science fiction influence comes from watching Star Wars and Star Trek with my father. Confession time, I love both Wars and Trek, both have a hand in influencing my story telling style in different ways.

Star Wars I love for it's grand scale epic story telling. The over arching hero's journey, redemption of evil, corruption of good, rogue heroes, all wrapped up in a setting as medieval as it is technologically advanced. There is a lot on the line in the Star Wars Universe, the big bad is so very big, end of freedom in the galaxy kind of big and the good guys have the odds stacked against them, scrappers and underdogs the lot of them. Star Wars taught me no matter how far out there and wild your setting may be, if your characters are strong, they will pull the audience to the ends of the galaxy and back.

Then we come to Star Trek. *Side Note, I don't understand why trekkies get picked on more than star wars fans, for the love of sci fi, can't we all just get along?* Star Trek has a different medium of story telling than Star Wars. Yes both series have an ass load of books, but visually, Star Trek struts its story telling for Television audiences, and has an epic scale on its own in a very different way. The story telling style of Trek varies from series to series, not really developing a sense of an over arching story line until the beauty that is Deep Space Nine. But what Star Trek did do different was pull us into a multitude of alien cultures, down to a very intimate scale (okay yes, very intimate when it comes to Klingon mating rituals).

While the books of Star Wars take you more in depth to the universe, Star Trek's television medium allowed for an upfront display, creating worlds, cultures, people, some so detailed we learned their mythology. The cultures of Star Trek also resonate with cultures from our own history, though remain alien, different. Star Trek also has a special place in my heart, in particular Next Gen and DS9, because of the complex web of galactic politics and turmoil they weave, especially DS9. The Big Bads of the Star Trek universe are also diverse, bearing different motivations and resolutions. We are given examples of big bads who become close allies right alongside the terrifying unstoppable, irredeemable entities (oh Borg baby!).  I would say Star Trek taught me a lot about world building, and world building over time at that, the benefits of the slow build.

My influences don't stop there (*cough Firefly cough*). I have been a reader and watcher of sci fi and fantasy since I was a wee little lass. I find I have grown up to be a bit of a genre scrambler, weaving elements of several genres together in my work. New Earth Six is a sci fi setting, but there are hints of mythological fantasy, frontier western, and high adventure thrown in the mix, among others.

As a writer, I think it's important to acknowledge our influences. When someone enjoys your work, you need to give a nod to the shoulders you stand on, to the art which nurtured and fed the budding storyteller within, because someday, if things go your way, you could be the influence of someone else.

Monday, September 9, 2013

Sometimes I wish for a yurt...

I love being able to work from home. Truthfully, it is not easy, some days motivation is miles away, the kids are clamoring and clingy and I get nothing done despite the internal and external deadlines looming over me. It's days like that I wish for a place to vanish to, somewhere separate from our messy distraction filled apartment.
I wish I had a writing hut, or a yurt. This actually exists, Neil Gaiman, who is a favorite writing celebrity of mine, has a writing hut. I am envious.
Look at this thing, it's freaking beautiful. I can just see myself foisting the children off on my husband as I slip away to my writing yurt for a day of relaxing production. I don't even need something this fancy, a simple shed would do, rough and rustic, as long as I could make it cozy like Mr. Roald Dahl's hideaway space here.
I could procure a mini generator so I have power, a space heater for winter, hole myself up in there and write for a few blissful undistracted hours. Alas, I must fight to concentrate with small hands reaching over the lap top screen, a little face craning over to see what noise my fingers are making. It's an interesting tradeoff. As much as I struggle to write/edit/ do anything computer based that requires actual concentration, I get to look up at the silly curious face of my son. It's frustrating and far from perfect, and maybe I will strive to own a yurt someday, but for now, I shall enjoy the opportunity to tickle my child when he leaves himself wide open, reaching over my computer screen.
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