dejana: (Jetto Ninjin!)
A general FYI to whoever, I've finished my training period in my new job and am working my 2 PM - 2 AM shift now. It's going well so far, I really like it. I still have a lot to learn - there's a lot more than I expected that's completely new to me - but in the long run I think it'll be a good fit for me. :) Anyway, the point is, I'm now working the same hours all the time, so if you're ever trying to get ahold of me you can be reasonably sure I'll be awake the same hours every day - noon to 3 AM. Please no texts before noon. T_T Unless it's an emergency, of course.


NaNoWriMo's only a few days away! I'm looking forward to it, but I've been having a terrible time trying to outline my plot. We'll see what happens. It looks like I'll be doing a lot more of the traditional "start typing and see where it takes you" thing, which may prove to be interesting.

On an even more fun note, in 12 hours [ profile] shel_b_129 will be boarding a plane to my state! :D I am practically bursting with excitement. We have a whole week of fun stuff ahead of us, including a few write-ins. Yay for Wrimo friends! :D

So, I've been absent for a month again, because with training and all I've been pretty busy, but things have been going well. How is everyone? :)
dejana: (Shocked Sailor Moon)
Microsoft Word SUCKS!

The truth about my NaNo is, it was the same story idea that I used the first time I attempted NaNo in 2004. I didn't get far that time, only a few thousand words, and it had been four years, so I figured I was OK to use the same plot as long as I started over from scratch. This was especially easy being that most of what I wrote in 2004 was a prologue set in the future with completely different characters... and half of that had been lost due to a corrupted file. When I tracked down my 2004 file, I discovered the middle of it had been wiped out by erratic pages of garbled mess. I was able to save most of it, but MS Word had chewed up and swallowed the middle. Good thing it was only a prologue.

Fast forward to today. I forgot to add my progress bar to the post I made last night, so I logged on to edit it in. I opened my NaNo file to find the page count had mysteriously jumped from 97 to 118, and thousands of words had disappeared. When I scrolled down, sure enough, several pages had been wiped out by corrupted garbage.


Maybe it's because I had pasted in what I had left of my original prologue after NaNo ended, I don't know. I'd been worried about the file going bad since I was nearing 100 pages, and I've had bad luck with MS Word files going wonky at that size, but I figured maybe since I had a new computer it would be okay. Nope. Or maybe my flash drive choked on it. Who knows, but I'm not very happy with Word right now. How do authors handle electronic copies of their novels? It has to be possible to have a file of more than 100 pages, or no one could ever submit a manuscript. Am I just cursed, or something?

Fortunately, I had been making a backup copy of my NaNo, and that file was still intact. I hadn't made a backup since winning NaNo on November 30th, but I also hadn't written much since then. So I lost part of a new scene, but it's not nearly as bad as it could've been. If I'd lost much more, I probably would've called it quits, to tell you the truth. I lost half of my first original novel a number of years ago and that was almost the end of writing for me, and I had a handwritten first draft of that one. I have no such hard copy this time. Due to the word count requirement of NaNo, I typed it all directly. If anything happens to these fragile little MS Word files, I'll have nothing.

Hell with this typed first draft thing, man. Long live the handwritten longhand copy. At least that can't vanish in the blink of an eye. You can bet I'll be buying myself some new notebook paper before starting my next project.
dejana: (Yay!)
(Don't forget to sign up if you want me to send you a holiday card!)

Look what I made! :D

mmm banana bread )

Now that NaNo is over, I can catch up on stuff I've been meaning to do. xD The story's still not done, though, so...

Three Hearts Cross
Zokutou word meterZokutou word meterZokutou word meter
50,204 + 3,430
(6.8% more)

I've set a new goal for myself, to finish the plot by the end of December.
dejana: (Goddess)


Zokutou word meterZokutou word meter
50,204 / 50,000
dejana: (Spork - Robot)
Today, I am thankful for a group that's happy to see me when I arrive, and we laugh together while we make dreams come true.

I'm so glad I didn't give up. I hope it lasts.

Zokutou word meterZokutou word meterZokutou word meter
46,183 / 50,000
dejana: (Believe - You Can Do It)
I think the threads of motivation that have been flapping in the breeze for so long may finally be refocusing on something. Writing.

And not in the "yay, more fun fanfics!" way. In the serious career move way.

Now, obviously I'm not dumb enough to up and quit my day job, but I've been doing some reading and research on the industry and how one goes about breaking in. And I think I may be approaching the point where I'm ready to give it a real shot. No more "somedays." No more "I'd like to." Now, and I will.

Of course, this brings me back to the birthday problem of "I don't have anything to sell." But that's relatively easily remedied. I'm going to win NaNo, and when I've done that, I'm going to finish the story. Initially, I thought of NaNo as just practice, a pile of garbage words I'd most likely never actually use. The comments I've gotten on it have prodded me into thinking otherwise. (I think I've finally, at long last, figured out why people liked the cotton-candy WAFF that was "Golden Afternoon." It had lolzy arguing.) With some editing (a LOT of editing), this thing may actually be worth the paper it's printed on. Or not. I'm still not entirely convinced the nanomeme isn't just screwing with me (y helo thar memers! I'm Dejana, and I'm writing the fantasy adventure with the dragon and unicorn! /o\). In that case, it goes to Lulu and gets pimped to people who like my fanfic. Either way, I've decided it's worth the old college try.

And while it's being edited by pretty much everybody I can possibly trust with my original work, it'll be time to try writing some short stories. It's kind of strange, actually. I think my brain is finally making the transition from "writing is a hobby" to "writing is work." I never regained that "whee, fun!" spark that used to drive me through pages and pages of handwritten fanfiction, but I'm starting to feel that dedicating a little time to writing every day wouldn't be such an unwelcome chore. It's an odd feeling. Some people in the local NaNo group are forming an ongoing writer's circle, and I'm looking forward to being a part of that.

I'm not sure what this means in terms of the "So, are you officially quitting fanfic, then?" question. I'm still thinking "no," not entirely. For one thing, I have Yuletide to write for, aargh. For another thing, there will be "Fantaisie Sign." If I have to chain myself in a basement with nothing but a notebook and pen, I will not leave fandom without leaving that fic in it. And if I happen to write some fanfic at some of the area write-ins, who knows.

Of course, it's also highly likely I'll come back in a week with a mopey post about jinxing myself by writing all this, heh.

On the NaNo front, I did get into the MPR bit this morning. He cut out the emo babble that led up to the statement, so it wasn't as bad as I feared. ;)

Also, it's an incredibly small world. I'm on the road to possibly befriending a local NaNoer, and at a late-night write-in the other day, she turned out to be a Detour attendee who entered my drabble contest last year. That was an incredibly unexpected collision of worlds...

Zokutou word meterZokutou word meterZokutou word meter
40,074 / 50,000
dejana: (Potterpuffs - Dragon)
I uploaded all my vids at Dailymotion. It's based in France but I know a few people who use it. My two most recent ones got removed pretty much right away, though. We'll see if the others last. I'm planning to upload them to Vimeo as well, but the uploader wasn't working for me when I tried it this week. I'll give that another try next week when I have some more days off.

In other news, I may be on Minnesota Public Radio this Monday. Euan Kerr came around to a couple of NaNoWriMo write-ins yesterday and did interviews. I was mortified at first, I just wanted to write, dammit! ;_; But there were only three of us at that write-in, and one of them had been at the other write-in he'd been to, so I couldn't really get away with silence. It was mostly superficial at first, just basic stuff about NaNo and how it works, which the other person who was there covered well with little input from me... but then he asked some deep questions, so I gave some deep answers. I probably sounded like a totally pretentious idiot, but oh well. I do spend too much time thinking about meaning-of-life questions like "Why do people write?", and I told him what I thought. So be it.

Of course, no way in hell am I going to listen to the piece to find out if I'm even in it. I hate the sound of my voice about as much as I hate the way I look, haha. I don't need to hear me making a fool out of myself. I don't normally listen to MPR anyway. But I did tell my parents, who do. ;)

Also, a heads-up... I think I'm going to pass on it this year, but the [ profile] holiday_wishes meme is going around again, if you're interested.

Zokutou word meterZokutou word meterZokutou word meter
33,066 / 50,000
dejana: (NaNo 2008)
(Subject line in reference to myself, of course, not anyone else. ;P)

The Good and Bad of NaNoWriMo

These are some things that have occurred to me over the course of this thing called NaNoWriMo. It's likely these are things that are incredibly obvious to everyone else, and I'm just the idiot who clued in last, but too bad, I'm writing about them anyway. :P

NaNo is about speed. Duh. Everyone knows that.

What's important are the implications of that mantra. Quantity over quality. A completed product over no product at all.

That does have its good side, which is pretty well-covered on the NaNo website. The cruel inner editor we all carry can be paralyzing. Many people will never write that novel they dream of because they'll always run into that wall of "I'm not good enough, I'm wasting my time on this." NaNo punches through that wall, and that's good. You produce something, in a situation where you would have had nothing. It's a starting block, a leap over that first hurdle, and for those who are a bit shaky on the writing thing (or the self-confidence department) it can be exactly what they need. It's for that reason that I do, and will continue to, react defensively when people in the industry bash NaNoWriMo and the writers who do it.

On the flip side, however, you have the people who already write reasonably well. If you know me at all you know how I am about ego, so it may surprise you to see me admit I believe I fit in that category. xP I know I'm not nearly ready for publishing (dear God, do I ever know that), but I'm not starting from square one either. I do okay. In my position, I find my inner editor to be more of a trusted partner than an evil overlord to be evaded.

It's been very hard for me to shut off that nagging inner voice - not because it's blocking me from producing, but because I'm producing crap and I know I'm producing crap. My NaNo is a giant pile of empty garbage, and it threatens to have the counterproductive effect of convincing me I'm hopeless at original fiction. I can't do my best when I'm speedwriting, and when I'm not writing something I can be proud of, I'm not motivated to write at all.

I'm still going to do my best to finish, because I think it would be good to have a completed novel under my belt - even if nobody can ever read it on pain of their brain melting out their ears. I'm just glad I picked a fluffy, relatively superficial story for this that I won't mourn too much over wasting. Who knows, I might be able to save it with extensive editing. But if I can't, I won't cry over it, and it'll at least give me a base level of practice for original work.

The saddest part is I'm pretty sure my first serious attempt at a fiction novel, five years ago, in college, before I got any practice or feedback through fanfiction, was better than the NaNo I'm writing now.

Speaking of fanfic, I'll stick my neck out and admit I've never been pleased with fanfiction being permitted for NaNoWriMo. Speaking as someone who's done both, writing a novel-length fanfic and writing a 100% original novel are not the same kind of accomplishment. They both take effort to do well, definitely, but they're not the same. When I mentioned this somewhere, it was pointed out to me that NaNo is not about the quality level of the work. I've always been one to argue for doing your best in all things, but now that I've given it more thought, I have to admit that's true. When the focus is on achieving a result, any result, the content of the product doesn't matter as long as it's done.

And that's good, for some. But I don't think that's for me.

(While I'm here, as of this Saturday we will be at the halfway mark, so this weekend I'm going to be pruning my list of writing buddies on the NaNo site. I think as of Saturday it's safe to assume anyone still showing a word count of 0 decided not to do NaNo this year, and since the site never fixed the bug that limits the buddies display page to 11, I'd like to see the word counts of the buddies who are participating. If I remove you and you want to be added back on, let me know.)

Zokutou word meterZokutou word meterZokutou word meter
16,614 / 50,000
dejana: (Out to Sea)
It's been a rough few days. On the one hand, I've been incredibly depressed this week. On the other hand, I've been off work since Wednesday and I've been doing a lot of fun things.

A while ago Kincaid's sent out gift cards as an advertisement, so on Wednesday my sister and I went there for dinner. It's a steak and seafood house in downtown St. Paul, and it's very nice. Also very expensive. The gift card helped, but it was still pricey. Great food, though. Everything had a uniquely yummy flavor.

Thursday I tried to go to my local NaNoWriMo kickoff party. I was a bit late, though, and by the time I got there, it was so crowded with happily chatting groups that I couldn't get into the room. I stood around awkwardly for a minute and then fled. Epic fail. Happily, instead of going home to cry I picked up my sister, and we drove out to Stillwater for a haunted tour of some underground caves. That was very cool, if a bit short, and full of creepy ghost stories.

Last night was Halloween. Originally I had plans to go to a party, but I hadn't heard a word about it from the hosts since the initial announcement two months ago. So I wrote it off until [ profile] pkat called me from the party, but by then I was already handing out candy at my apartment and had made plans to go to a midnight NaNo write-in. My outline wasn't finished yet and I needed the extra work time. It still wasn't finished when it was time to go to the write-in, but at least had a beginning in mind. So I was off to Denny's at 11 PM to meet some other local Wrimos, and at midnight we were off. I got a good thousand words in by 1 AM.

Today I went back downtown to finish up the map of food locations for Anime Detour. It didn't take long, there were only a few blocks left and not much of interest on any of them. Then I fit some laundry in before heading off to another write-in, in Minneapolis this time. I met a few more people and got a couple thousand more words in. Unfortunately I won't be able to make very many more write-ins, but I'm off to a good start.

Tomorrow I'm going to Sever's Corn Maze. :) And Daylight Savings Time has officially ended. Boo.

NaNo Count: 3099 Words
dejana: (Believe - You Can Do It)
Some quick updates.

I spent the middle of the week up north. I found a cheap hotel deal, so I treated myself in exchange for working so much overtime and cutting my credit card debt in half. (The interest charge for next month is still high though, wtf? I'm starting to suspect shenanigans.) I had some friends over and we made much use of the pool. I also took my mom to a couple of haunted house things. Yes, the Haunted Shack is better than this year's Ship of Ghouls.

I had some time to kill on Thursday so I went to see City of Ember. It was a fun movie, if a bit shallow. I like post-Apocalyptic puzzle-solving stories (yes, even Waterworld), so. The structure and society of Ember were interesting enough all on their own.

Friday, back in the Cities, I went to a local alumni event organized by my college. I normally toss the fliers they send me, but this time the speaker was one of my favorite professors. So I went, and got to catch up with him and his wife, another of my favorites. I exchanged anime with them when I was in school, so I was able to tell them about Detour without getting a confused or pitying response, haha.

Speaking of anime, tonight I finally finished The Melancholy of Suzumiya Haruhi. There were a few episodes I really liked, but on the whole, I still don't understand why everyone's so crazy about this series.

I stopped taking my heart medication. I forgot for two days in a row, and I didn't notice any difference without it, so. I'd never been confident it was making a difference anyway. My doctor, when I had one, had said it was OK to stop taking it if it wasn't helping or I didn't need it anymore, so I'm not worried.

Oh, and my Azumanga Daioh AMV got TOSed off YouTube as well, also from the music end. At least the "Against All Odds" tribute vid is safe; I got a notice a while back that the Cranberries (or their label, at least) had given the official OK for their music to be used in vids. Go, them.

For anyone who might have missed it, I'm doing NaNo. Friend me there if you want.

dejana: (NaNo 2008)
The lyrics don't really fit this post, but something got that AMV in my head and now the song won't get out.

Speaking of vids, apparently LL Cool J doesn't like his music being associated with little girls. My Powerpuff Girls video's been kicked off YouTube. Sigh. With no longer accepting non-anime vids, that's about the end of public exposure for that one. :\

Anyway, the point of this post is NaNoWriMo. I filled out my profile there a bit, but I'll probably be sticking to the subforum on .moon instead of participating in the official forums. I am, however, up for building up my writing buddies list. If you're doing NaNo this year, tell me who you are and I'll add you. :)

My profile:
dejana: (TLDR)
Where have I been?

Working, mostly, in the real-life and fandom sense. I had only two days off this week and now I'm back at work for six night shifts in a row. Three of them are overtime, though. :D I'm finally going to take a serious chunk off my credit card debt (just in time to add it back on at Christmas, heh...). I have a pretty easy time working nights, there's plenty of opportunity to get lots of things done, but for some reason this week I'm really tired. The last couple of days I've had a terrible time getting out of bed, plus I've been having really crazy dreams. Like really crazy. Stuff even my subconscious hadn't thought about in years, or so I thought. Today some vile woman said horrible things to me as I was missing the plane for my high school choir's international reunion tour, and I had to buy my own ticket and catch up with them across the Atlantic.

I wonder if this is a consequence of productivity, which I had forgotten. Even though I'm terribly exhausted at wake-up time, I get home and try to go to bed and end up lying awake for two hours thinking about all the things I'm going to do after I sleep. This morning I figured out how to handle the account expiration process on .moon, which is incredibly useful, but still. I need to sleep, dammit! >(

Still, give me productivity any day. As relaxing as having nothing to worry about may be, I still prefer the feeling of accomplishment that comes with actually getting things done (albeit by a narrow margin - god I'm tired ;_;). I've been getting tons of work done over on .moon. This week I applied a new main page and default theme, and they were actually done and ready days in advance! Score one against the eternal procrastinator! :D (Go there and take a look if you haven't seen it already, I really like the new design. ^_^) No progress in any other hobby arena as of yet, but I'm getting so much work done at .moon I don't even have time to stay caught up on LJ. Thank you, backlog of creative desire that was held up by the UFOs. xD

I did take a break Thursday to see Eagle Eye. I have no idea what the critics thought of it, or anyone else for that matter, but I really enjoyed it. The elements of the plot were nothing new (Aria/HAL, anyone? plus a sprinkling of the Matrix and just about any terrorism movie you might care to name) but they were assembled in a way that felt new and was definitely entertaining and interesting. If anyone else out there saw it, it seemed from a brief mention of the brother's graduation date that Eagle Eye takes place 20 years or so in the future, did I hear that right?

Also, I think I've finished all the volumes of Fruits Basket I had, which seems to be seven, I thought I had more. :( Can anyone rec me some fic about Tohru's mom? Something involving her Red Butterfly days? Because man, is that ever cool. xD

(My mom, btw, has her phone back, but things there are pretty much same-old same-old. Not much you can do about a situation like that.)

ETA: Oh, also, I decided to give it a shot this year despite my weird schedule. We'll see what happens.


dejana: (Default)
Dejana Talis

About Me

I'm a techie, a geek, a fangirl, and an aspiring writer. I've been in internet fandom since 1996. I welcome new LJ friends, but please allow me some time to get to know you before I friend you back.

I have a tendency to attempt a little of everything, whether or not I have time for it. See my userinfo for more about me and what I do.

July 2015

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