dejana: (Believe - You Can Do It)
It's my birthday today. I failed at my goal of completing an original piece of fiction this year, but I came back from the Discworld convention (I will finish that con report, I swear it) more determined than ever to become a writer, so I aten't dead yet. If all goes well, I'll have several finished irons out of the fire by the end of my next solar tour. :)
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: (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: (Ginzuishou)
Well, it's September... which means it'll be my birthday soon.

I tend to get pretty depressed around my birthday. Partly it's just the getting-older thing; every year is another step away from "young and silly" and into "adult and responsible," and I'm sure we can all agree on which of those sounds more fun. But it's also that I've always had the feeling that I'm running behind. When I was younger, it was more literal; I was a year younger than everyone in my class at school and it made an obvious difference in social skills and maturity. Now that I'm in my 20s, it's more like I'm falling behind in life.

I have a pretty good life, but every year is another year I haven't done more with it - mostly in terms of accomplishing my life's goals. Now, being that I hardly have any, I'm at an automatic disadvantage right there, haha. But I do have a few, and the one that pains me most strongly is my dream of becoming a published author. Plenty of people get published in their later years, but I can't stop thinking about the blurbs in my favorite books about their writers publishing their first whatever when they were 2# (the second digit is usually unsettlingly low). And I've always been one to measure myself against the harshest standards.

Of course, there's a clear something standing in my way when it comes to this goal. More specifically, a clear lack of something. It's pretty hard to get published when you haven't written anything. ^^; So that's what the birthdays become... another benchmark of another year wasted doing dick all to accomplish my dream. There's no one but myself to blame, and it's depressing.

So the other day I was thinking about all this like I usually do, and in a very rare moment of "stop whining and DO something about it," I made a resolution. Instead of continuing to mull uselessly over things I haven't done, I'm making a promise to myself for the future. This year, I am going to produce an original piece of fiction. Even if it's just a short story. I've been meaning to try original fiction again for a few years now, ever since fanfic started helping my writing skills grow by leaps and bounds. I've been putting it off, getting caught up in other things, deciding to do one last practice round first... but no more. This year, I'm gonna write something. Not NaNo - if I do that, it'll be extra. Something I actually sit down and focus on producing to the best of my ability, piece by piece by piece. "At 27, she wrote her first..." This is the year.

But it's going to have to wait until after my birthday, because the UFO Awards own my soul at the moment, haha.
dejana: (Chibiusa and ChibiChibi)
I just wrote down three new original-fiction ideas.

I think my muse has shifted focus.
dejana: (Suzie - Ticked Off)

I slept plenty! My eyes hurt T_T

And I don't think I spelled "bird" correctly. -_-

I remember when I would constantly hope for a spare moment so I could add a few brief sentences to whatever I was working on writing at the time. Now I've only been at work an hour, I'm already bored, I've got eleven mostly-free hours ahead of me, and I can't even dredge up the motivation to do a freewrite.

Does burnout ever end?

Just do it you dumbass.

blaaah freewrite )

Freewrites are blocks of prose written without planning, without editing, and without looking back. I just type out whatever comes to mind directly into LiveJournal with as little thinking as possible. It may be good. It may not. It might not even make any sense. I don't care. It keeps me writing and that's the important thing.
dejana: (Default)
Well, I tried to work on another new one-shot, but I was getting nowhere, so I think I'll try a freewrite instead. )

Freewrites are blocks of prose written without planning, without editing, and without looking back. I just type out whatever comes to mind directly into LiveJournal with as little thinking as possible. It may be good. It may not. It might not even make any sense. I don't care. It keeps me writing and that's the important thing.
dejana: (Jupiter henshin)
I'm sitting here reading old AIM conversations and regretting more and more what I destroyed last month. I think it's time for today's freewrite. )

Freewrites are blocks of prose written without planning, without editing, and without looking back. I just type out whatever comes to mind directly into LiveJournal with as little thinking as possible. It may be good. It may not. It might not even make any sense. I don't care. It keeps me writing and that's the important thing.
dejana: (Pluto - Lonely)
I have a problem.

I think I’m somebody.

And I’m not. This is the problem. I wrote a few stories, got a few positive comments, and I actually started to believe I was someone who mattered. Someone who would be remembered. How silly.

I’ve been almost completely absent from the fandom for a few weeks now and hardly anyone even notices. What am I doing going around giving myself airs and believing the fandom actually cares BACK? I’m nobody. It takes a heck of a lot longer than one year and a handful of stories to make a lasting mark. Nobody becomes Chaos-sama overnight.

Superkate, now, she’s someone. She gets story requests. There’s someone who matters to the fandom. Of course, she’s been around in the fandoms since before dirt was rocks, so it’s really not surprising. It’s taken a lot of time and an insane amount of stories to get where she is, and I admire that. Compared to that, it’s silly that I would think myself worthy of any attention whatsoever. I’m just some girl who wrote some stories for a while that were pretty good. That’s all.

I’m no writer.

On another note, I’ve realized what it is that I dislike so much about the corporate world. It’s the “time is money” philosophy. I work in IT support. It’s our job to sit around and wait for something to break. When something goes down, we need a full group of people ready to handle it. When things are good, however, there’s free time.

I HATE having to try to look busy when I’m not. Adults are supposed to be too old for playing pretend. It’s ridiculous that we should have to fake that we have something to do in front of the boss when everything just happens to be working right. That introduces fear into the equation. The situation becomes, “if I don’t look valuable, they’ll downsize me.” Not a comfortable work environment to be in.

Now that I’m thinking about it, I’ve started to dislike all my jobs when “looking busy” entered the situation. I liked my college work-study job in the computer lab until our boss decided we HAD to be doing something all the time, even if there was nothing to do. I had two food-service jobs, and the one I liked was the one where it was okay to stand around and chat with your coworkers if all the work was done. I mean, why not? As long as you’re getting your job done, why shouldn’t you be allowed to read or surf the Web or whatever when you have a few minutes? I just find the whole concept of “looking busy” ridiculous. Wouldn’t it be better for employees to be keeping their minds sharp and themselves happier spending their free moments doing something they enjoy working on, rather than mindlessly switching between meaningless windows pretending to have something to do? It’s pathetic.

You can be sure if I ever owned a business I’d be quite a bit more lenient about my employees’ downtime.

I really don’t want to be a corporate slave for the rest of my life. God, I wish I could be a writer. I’m sorry about the depressing tone of this post, but I’ve been reading far too many realistic views lately on how insanely difficult it really is to get published, and it’s very discouraging. I mean, one guy seriously suggests moving to New York and working for a publisher to get your foot in the door of the writing world. That is just not an option. And all the successful authors seem to have started out as journalists, and that is not the life for me. Am I screwed from the starting gate because I’m on the wrong career path? Am I going to be stuck working in cubicles under the hawklike stares of penny-pinching bosses forever? Is there any hope at all?
dejana: (Pluto - Lonely)
Where have I been?

Well, for some reason I’ve suffered a strange attack of disinterest in the Internet. I still can’t help turning on my computer when I get home, but when I sit in front of it, I don’t feel like doing anything. It’s weird. I finally got the computer workcenter desk I’ve always wanted, and it’s beautiful and comfortable and I love it, but I’m still not motivated to go to ASMR or to do any of the things I’d planned - especially writing. I haven’t touched my AAO notebook or any of my half-written text files since I finished “I, Ginzuishou.” Please don’t kill me. >< Hopefully I just need a little break. My muse hasn't stopped giving me new ideas, curse her, so that's a good sign I guess. It seems I'm getting a bit more interested in working on websites again so maybe if I do that for a while, I'll get back to writing soon enough. Let's hope.

More helpful than anything else at this point has turned out to be a little thing titled "Once More (with footnotes)." It's a collection of a whole bunch of short writings by Terry Pratchett, including stories and articles for newspapers and speeches and stuff. I'm finding it incredibly inspirational, although I'm sure that's not what it was intended for. I'll be reading something he said about the fantasy genre and all of a sudden something will go *CLICK* in my brain, and I'll go "of COURSE that's the way it should be done!" I've had probably a dozen moments while reading this book and I've added three new ideas for original fiction to my list. If any aspiring authors out there are reading this blog, I highly recommend devouring a copy of "Once More..." Believe me, it'll help.

My dad picked up the book at the signing I mentioned a few posts down. I met him. I'm sure I was just another boring face among many, but it was a thrilling experience. I never expected to see Terry Pratchett in person EVER in my lifetime, let alone right here in my own city. Now that I think about it, I remember thinking a long time ago that if I ever became rich enough to be powerful in any way I'd want to meet him most of all. And it turned out not costing me a cent.

So now I've met both authors of "Good Omens," although my copy of the book remains unsigned by either of them. I had more important things that needed autographing, I suppose. Like Neil Gaiman, Terry Pratchett has a surprisingly classy personality. They've both turned out to be the calm, soft-spoken type, with the sort of voices that just wash over you gently yet leave you feeling like you've just had some sort of otherworldly experience. Being that they both have one foot in some sort of other world, I suppose that's not too surprising after all.

Before the signing I went to a question-and-answer session at an area library, which was fascinating. I heard a bit about how he first got into reading and fantasy and some stuff about his upcoming novel, "Thud," which was great since my beta-reader (the Lurker) and I were driving ourselves crazy trying to guess what a book with that title could possibly be about. God, I want to be a writer. I want to be able to live anywhere I want and have a personal library big enough to merit a library ladder. Ah, the jealousy. Forgive my barely-restrained fangirl-ness, but despite the fact that I have been reading his work since I was in elementary school, I knew next to nothing about Terry Pratchett himself before that day so every word was like gold. The man is an absolute genius when it comes to writing, and a delight to listen to even when he's talking about nothing more exciting than a field full of barely-surviving sheep. The main aim of sheep in life, as I've learned from the master, is to die. It wouldn't be nearly as amusing if I tried to explain, so I won't.

Pictures! Gotta show em! Even though it means everyone out there will finally see how fat and ugly I am. I could crop myself out, but that's just lame. And hell, nobody visits this back-woods website anyway, and most of my friends from ASMR will be meeting me at Otakon, so what does it matter? By the way, I have TONS of pictures from Fiddler's Green, the Sandman convention where I met Neil Gaiman and a bunch of artists and other cool folks. As soon as I stop procrastinating, I'll probably post up an extremely belated entry about the con and all the amazing stuff that went on, with the pics and all that.

Anyway, here we are. )

As I’ve probably known all along, it’s now definately evident that Terry Pratchett is my absolute favorite author. I’ve decided that he will be the recipient of my first-ever fan letter. I know this in itself isn’t a big deal, since obviously it’ll be like a raindrop in the ocean, but I just have to write him and tell him how inspiring and enlightening I found parts of “Once More…” If I get the guts, I’ll mail him one of the short stories I’m doomed to churn out as a result of reading it. So he probably won’t read it and I won’t get any response since my letter will be forever buried under a mountain of similar mail. Who cares? It’s the spirit of the thing.

Incidentally, J.K. Rowling was almost the recipient of my first fan letter, which I had planned to write a couple years ago when she first came under fire by every “Christian” fanatic in the universe (I use quote marks there, by the way, because I find the sort of people who do that kind of thing are in fact some of the least Christian people in the world, although they wear the title as if it were armor. If only they would keep in mind that hypocracy is one of the worst sins according to the Bible). It was going to be a supportive message, congratulating her on her strength in the face of people who truly believe she is an instrument of Satan. I couldn’t do it if I were in her shoes. I’m almost afraid to try becoming an author myself after reading about all the horrible people she has to deal with. But I procrastinated and chickened out, and by now she’s certainly gotten thousands of similar letters and there’s no need for mine.

On a final random note, I got the vacation days I needed for Otakon, so I’m good to go. w00t. With only one month left until the deadline for the AMV contest, I’ll probably just be polishing up “Angel” and submitting that. Ah, laziness. Only a month and a half left of these training day shifts before I can go back to the 12-hour blocks and the beauty of 4 and 5-day weekends. THEN I’ll really get cooking on my hobbies.
dejana: (Pluto - Lonely)
This will be my blatant-ignoring-of-the-obvious-topic-of-the-day blog entry.

I have discovered that there are few things in this world more evil than a Terry Pratchett novel with chapters. I’ve almost finished his latest, Going Postal, and it is divided into chapters. Yes, actual chapters; I know, hell itself has frozen over. Anyway. The man is evil to do such a thing to his readers. Chapters! Now, instead of stopping at a convenient scene break when I’m ready to stop reading, or when I REALLY NEED to stop reading to, you know, eat or sleep or do the kind of things that keep people alive, I MUST continue reading to the end of the chapter! I can’t stop in the middle! It’s a chapter! I have to keep going to the end! It is simply Not Done to stop in the middle of a chapter, especially when reading a new book by a favorite author! It’s not an option! And so, here I am only three days after obtaining the book, and I have almost finished it. I like to savor my books, but I have to read an entire chapter in each sitting! It’s simply not fair!

On a semi-related note, I have caved into peer pressure and done something incredibly foolish. I joined NaNoWriMo. 3,000 words so far. I am such an idiot. I have so many other projects going on right now, and I have to put all of them on hold for a month for this crazy writing frenzy! I tried to resist, but I just couldn’t hold on! On the good side, I suppose, some of my fanfiction fans have been encouraging me to write something original and I will definately be posting the completed novel (if I manage to finish) on my website for the whole world to read. Unlike my older novel I’ve been working on for ages, I don’t care as much about copyright with this. Because, well, it aint that good, people. Eheh.

On a definately positive note, I sent in my registration for Fiddler’s Green, so I’m almost certainly going to at least see Neil Gaiman in person! HooRAH! I am extremely excited, although I feel a little bad since I know I’m not as much of a Sandman fanatic as most of the people who will be there. Still, I’m sure it’ll be a blast.


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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