Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Why Sleep Is Good

So, you know how yesterday I wrote 9,028 words? You know how I said I was going to sleep after that?

Guess what? I DIDN'T SLEEP. It's not my fault. Seriously. I got all ready for bed. I brushed my teeth and everything. (And let me tell you, brushing my teeth is hard these days.) Then I shut out the light, got into bed, and stared at the wall for 3 hours. Every time I was almost asleep (at about the point where my disconnected musings become dreams) I would clearly and distinctly hear something so freaky it would wake me up. Once it was a baby crying. Once it was maniacal laughter. Once it was a hoarse voice, whispering my name.

None of those sounds were real. I am not sure what was wrong with me. I blame it on a combination of painkillers, a writer's imagination, and an aquarium gurgling in the other room. The fact remains, I didn't get to sleep until three o'clock in the morning.

And then I woke up at 8. Because my mom was working in the kitchen, and I just had to tell her all about my wonderful writing spree yesterday. You ought to know: I need at least 8 hours of sleep to function on a remotely normal level. So this morning ... let's just say there was a lot of giggling and erratic tiptoeing around the house. That was when my mom reminded me that I had to take an exam today.

Why? It's a long story. Basically, I'm returning to public school this year, and they need proof that I belong in Grade 11. They wanted me to write the Grade 10 English exam. (I wondered whether my 220,000 word book would qualify, but decided not to ask.) So I ate some breakfast and got back into bed to try and get some sleep before the big test.

I lay here for two hours. I did not sleep. However, by the end, I was irritated enough to be alert. I just finished the test. It was nerve-wracking. Really, really nerve-wracking. I never stress over tests, but this one had me nearly crying. The combination of jaw pain, lack of sleep, and total ignorance about advertising terminology had me shaking with terror. But the test is taken. I've tossed the dice. Now I just have to wait and see what comes up.

I'm starting to realize why I don't gamble.

9,028 WORDS








Sunday, August 28, 2011

Because Sometimes Pictures Aren't Enough

If you've read yesterday's post, 'Going Under The Knife' (and if you haven't, you should) you may have wondered what happened to those videos I filmed on Thursday night. Never fear! They're right here, just waiting for you to watch them.

No, seriously. They're right here. Look down.

And down some more.

Here they are! I think they're pretty self-explanatory. Watch and pity me ... or at least laugh at me.

I filmed two more videos after this, but they were personal messages to my family. I think I'll keep them that way. They're a little long to try and put on here. Hope you enjoyed these, at any rate! Thanks again for sympathy and prayers!

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Cue Panic

I've been neglecting this blog. Again. But there's a good reason. It's called 'I HAVE SURGERY TOMORROW, PEOPLE!!!' That means there have been a lot of important things I've had to do for the last several days. The most important being running around like a chicken with my head cut off, of course. (Note: It's my jaw they're going to mess with. No one is going to cut off my head. Just thought I'd clear this up, you know, in case my surgeon reads this and gets any funny ideas.)

In case you don't know about my surgery, here's the explanation.

My lower jaw is messed up. It has been since I was ... I don't know. Really small. It doesn't match up with my upper jaw, and that makes it so that my natural bite is a face most people have to strain to make.

I don't like it. In addition to obvious aesthetic problems, it's causing premature tooth wear, premature jaw wear, and general issues. So, after consulting with my orthodontist and investigating all the possible solutions, I decided to go for surgery. This surgery is taking place in Calgary tomorrow. It will hurt. A lot. But if all goes well, I will end up with a healthy jaw and a happy Sarah.

There are some risks, of course. There always are with surgery. But am I nervous? YOU BET I AM NERVOUS. Nervousness is a particular talent of mine. I have had nightmares about everything from having to go through the surgery twice to having the surgeon shoot me in the head. (It's a breakthrough in anesthesia.) But I made my decision. I don't want to back out of it. I have faith that everything is going to go well.

I'll post as soon as I can after surgery. Be ready for pictures of my swollen-drooly face. In the meantime, your prayers and well-wishes are appreciated.

Thursday, August 18, 2011

Fun With Names

So, I'm working on the side project for a few days. (I'm just too drained to edit Sarawen anymore. Yes, this is how I recover from writing. By ... writing.) And for the side project, I need inns. A fair number of them. And they need names. So I did a little searching and found this handy generator. Modified it a bit to fit my world and voila! Inn names galore! No guarantees that they won't be a little wonky, though. Take a look at some of the gems I've discovered:

The Prancing Crown
The Lovesick Fist
The Rosy Harp
The Yak's Lair
The Bard and The Squirrel
The Shining Wagon
The Smelly Mermaid
The Diamond Squirrel

Those were all created by my friendly neighborhood random number generator. (Except for one. One is a fake that I slipped in there. But you can't guess which one, can you? Can you?) Most of these probably won't make it into the book, though I rather like The Lovesick Fist. Here are a few that probably will:

The Cowardly Centaur
The Thief and The Unicorn
The Blind Sphinx
The Laughing Elf
The Silent Flute
The Withered Rose
The Cat and The Fairy

Also The Dirty Mug, but I totally made that up myself. What's the best inn name you can come up with? (Note: by posting it, you are giving me permission to put it in my book. Unless you say 'please don't,' in which case I will cry but obey.)

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Out of Context

I don't know what to say today. So I'm turning the blog over to ... myself. Behold, a lot of out of context lines from books I have not written yet. (These lines may or may not make it through the edits. They may not even make it through first drafts. But you want to read them anyway, right?)

* * *

Guard: Hey! This is private property! You and your sweetheart go canoodle someplace else.
Boy: (splutters)
Girl: (indignant) We are not canoodling! I don't even know how to can noodles!

* * *

Wife: I'm old, [Husband].
Husband: I know.
Wife: (winces)
Husband: That wasn't what I meant to say, was it?
Wife: I hope not. What did you mean to say?
Husband: I love you.

* * *

Girl: If you lose your head like that again, we'll both lose our heads!

* * *

Girl: I was trained to use this on men who are less than animals. Don't prove yourself one of them.

* * *

I hope you got something out of that. If you didn't, too bad, because I'm not going to explain it to you. Feel free to write your own explanation in the comments. (EDIT: Please, please write your own explanation. Pretty please?)

Bonus points if you figure out which character appears in two of these snippets, and which snippets. (If you know his/her name, too, then you're my mother or sister, and you're not allowed to guess anything. Bad, bad family member.)

P.S. Does anybody know how to can noodles? I'd really like to learn ...

Saturday, August 13, 2011

Falling In Love

I didn't really get much editing done yesterday. Or the day before. I've been too busy falling in love.

His name is Dogface. And he's a character introduced in Book 2 of Sarawen. He appeared on Thursday, and he brought a whole cast of new, shiny characters with him. This thread has it all: humor, romance, tragedy. And novelty. We can't forget novelty.

A new story (or part of a story, as this really ought to be called,) always sucks up my brain for a few days. It's just part of the frantic, intoxicating rush of creating characters, naming characters, killing characters, marrying characters ... How can I even think of editing when all these brand new people are bouncing around in my head? But the rush is over. I think. And maybe, just maybe (PLEASE?) this is going to be the last thread I add to the series.

Goodness knows it's long enough already.

Thursday, August 11, 2011

The Best Laid Plans

You remember that time when I told you I was going to blog the next day? And have pictures? And, you know, words?

You remember how I didn't do it?

I'm totally not sorry. Because while I was supposed to be writing that post, I finished editing Dann and Resni!!!
Eek! This is exciting news, people! (Aside from the fact that it's totally boring and all.) D&R ARE ONLY, LIKE, A FIFTH OF THE BOOK!!! And to make it even more awesome, I checked some numbers this morning and realized I have edited over a third of my book. That is a lot. The edited portion of my book is as long as most full novels.

Yeah, my book is really long. But that's the other exciting news! It's getting shorter! I've cut over 25k from my first draft length. Not bad, considering that I've only edited a third of the book. If I can cut another 25k, I'll be under 200,000 words total.

So to commemorate this momentous occasion, I'm going to give you some interesting facts about the D&R plot thread. (I'm not sure how much this will mean to people who haven't read the book. But you'll at least pretend to be interested, right?)

Fact #1: At 40k, D&R is the second shortest of my four plot threads. (Of course, that might be because they're edited. But I'm pretty sure they'll keep that ranking.)

Fact #2: They were also the second-last to be created: I only came up with their story a few weeks before I began work on what eventually became my first completed draft. (As opposed to Sara, who's been there since the beginning of time, N&M, who came into being on my second failed attempt to write the book, and Jia, who was actually added mid-book. As in, I was 20,000 words in before I thought of her.)

Fact #3: D&R were what kept me going through that first draft. They were just SO FUN to write! I remember times when I was frustrated with all my other characters and ready to throw my laptop out the window, and then I'd write a D&R scene and the world was interesting again. They saved my neck.

Fact #4: They were not nearly so fun to edit. For some reason ... perhaps their late addition to the story ... I had a really hard time latching on to voice for these two. I would guess about half their scenes had to be totally rewritten. What. A. Pain.

But am I happy with the finished product? OH YEAH!!! There's something incredibly fulfilling in looking at a completed story in the chaos that is my first draft. Something that makes sense from beginning to end, that I wouldn't be ashamed to show to an agent. Now I know it's still a long way from finished. There's a lot more polishing that needs to be done. But what I have now is so much better than what I had before. Now, if you'll excuse me, I'm going to go see if I can polish off N&M too. Then we'll really have a party.

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

I Have Returned!

This post is here to tell you all I'M BACK!!!

And also to tell you my blogging plans. Because I have plans. Obviously.

Um. Plans?

I plan to blog. Tomorrow. About my family reunion. And this time, I'll actually have pictures.

After that, I'll take Aunt Ardie's advice (because she was the only one awesome enough to offer it) (just joking, I love you anyway) and talk about a pet peeve. And not just any pet peeve. This one is fluffy. And doesn't bark.

After that, I will have new ideas. Unless, of course, they are sucked up by my book. Again. People talk about baby brain? Try book brain sometime. Hyper-active, one-track, overtired book brain. It's like ... like ...


(See what I mean? Writing is hard.) (Scratch that. Writing is easy. Writing good stuff? That's hard.)