janegraddell: (Default)
I was pretty bummed to learn this morning that one of my favorite authors, Lisa A. Barnett, died of cancer last May. Just last night, I'd picked up one of her books to re-read, wondering if and when she'd write another one, and then this morning stumbled over an old newsletter with the announcement of her death.

She was a co-writer with her partner, Melissa Scott, on all three of her books. Their first book, The Armor of Light, is set in Elizabethan England, and features a certain Christopher Marlowe--in this book, still alive in 1596. You can see already why I liked her work. :)

Truthfully, I think The Armor of Light is possibly one of the catalysts of my decades-long obsession with Marlowe and his works. Certainly I'd already fallen in love with his writing by the time I read it, but there's no question that Scott and Barnett's portrayal of him fueled the fire of my obsession.

Their next two books, Point of Hopes and and its sequel, Point of Dreams, are set in a purely fantasy world. I admit, I picked up Point of Hopes hoping that it would continue Marlowe's story from The Armor of Light, but I think it says something about Point of Hopes that by the time I was a few pages into it, I didn't care whether Marlowe was in it or not. The world they created was wonderfully realized and intricately detailed, the kind of place I couldn't wait to re-visit. I was so glad to have the chance when Point of Dreams came along several years later, and wasn't in the least disappointed. I've practically worn out all the copies I have of her books (I think I've gone through two copies of The Armor of Light, in fact), and I'm sad to realize that there won't be any more.
janegraddell: (NaNoWriMo by nichy)
Well, I did it.



I wondered if I was going to recover from the Great Thanksgiving Writing Drought, but in fact it turned out to be not so hard. I wrote like mad on Monday and Tuesday, and actually managed to catch myself up to the point where I had less than 1,500 words to finish tonight. And, voila!

The resulting story is, as expected, fairly craptastic as a piece of literature. But I've worked out the plot, and what the characters are doing, and have even written one or two little bits that I'm kind of proud of. 90% of it is characters sitting around reciting explicatory dialogue that will most likely be cut out completely during editing, but it was important for me to get it down so that I would know what happened. The word I'm looking for, I believe, is "potential."

Plot details, for the curious )

In any case, the most important thing, for me, is that it's the first piece of fan fiction, no matter how crappy, that I've actually finished in four years. So, Yay!

And now to bed.
janegraddell: (NaNoWriMo by nichy)
So, I'm a teeny bit behind on NaNoWriMo. I did actually get some writing done over the weekend, but not a whole lot.

According to my calculations, I'll need to produce 3,000 words a day for the next four days to finish (okay, 3,068, but who's counting?). This, I feel, is doable. Despite the fact that my mother and my sister will both be in town on Tuesday and my sister will be spending the night, and that Wednesday is the one day a week where I have pretty much no time to write.

Needless to say, I'm pinning my hopes on Monday and Thursday.
janegraddell: (Default)
I have solved the Great Word Count Widget Mystery. Sort of.

According to what I can gather from posts in this topic on the NaNoWriMo Tech Help forum, the mini-widget



and the larger graph widget



each recalculate your daily word count minimum based on how much you've written so far. This is quite clever, and isn't necessarily a bad thing.

On the big graph, for instance, the gray bars, which represent the daily minimum, are shorter or longer depending on how much you've written. If you reach the green zone every day, you will end up with 50,000 words. Easy peasy.

Unfortunately, what remains a mystery (despite explanations in the above-linked thread) is how the mini-widget arrives at its goals, what the numbers mean, and how, exactly, they're supposed to be useful. Still, it makes me feel better to know that it doesn't, in fact, make any sense, and that no one else understands it either. Maybe next year someone will write a novel about it. :)

Caught Up

Nov. 18th, 2006 01:30 am
janegraddell: (Default)


Okay. I am officially caught up to the recommened daily NaNoWriMo minimum. Well, I'm technically 1 day behind now, word-count-wise, but I've got approximately 23.5 hours to do said day's minimum, so I'm not too worried. Plus, everyone knows it's not tommorrow yet until you've slept. :)

Good night, all.

NaNoOopsMo

Nov. 16th, 2006 10:12 pm
janegraddell: (Default)
The following is a cautionary tale about the dangers of relying on technology.

When I started doing NaNoWriMo, I knew that one of my challenges would be keeping up with what my goal was supposed to be. So, I got one of the links to the nifty little word-count widgets, which seemed to keep track of the daily goal and let you know how much over or under you were. Useful, yes? This is the graph:



Now, the cleverer among you will observe that the goal for today, November 16, *should* be 26,662 words, as is, in fact, shown on the graph when it's accessed without my id number:



Please note the rather large discrepancy between 14,536 and 26,662.

Luckily, I hadn't been relying on the widget to keep up my writing pace. Instead I was using one of the other graphs to track my daily output and make sure I hitting the minimum daily goal. Still, it was a nasty shock when I finally did the math earlier this week and realized how far off the widget was.

The good news, though, as you can see from the word count (currently 25,117, for those reading later), is that I'm actually less than a day behind the minimum. If I can put my nose to the grindstone, I feel confident that I can catch up and be back on track over the next few days. The fact that my allergies have now blossomed into a full-blown head cold with sniffling, coughing, and fever is a trivial consideration.

Onward and upward!
janegraddell: (Default)
Gakked from [livejournal.com profile] dkwilliams

Every now and then, I have to do a meme.

Under the cut is a list of 50 books of the speculative fiction variety. The instructions are to bold the ones you have read, strike through the ones you read and hated, italicize those you started but never finished, and put a star next to the ones you love. So,

SF books I have read, read and liked, read and loathed, or never finished )
janegraddell: (Default)
As a few of you may know, I decided to do the National Novel Writing Month this year. The results so far:



This is actually kind of a big deal for me )

Doctor Who

Sep. 12th, 2006 10:13 am
janegraddell: (Default)
Note: No real spoilers here, even for those who haven't seen the David Tennant episodes. Unless saying that David Tennant has sexy hair is a spoiler, in which case it's already too late.

Okay. Why didn't anyone make me watch the new Doctor Who ages ago? No, you all merely taunted me with your gushing and squeeing and nifty icons without ever saying, "OMG your life will have no meaning until you've seen the new Doctor Who!"

I love it. I love all of it. I love Chris Eccleston. I love David Tennant. I love Rose. I love Jack. I love Micky, and Jackie. I love the new TARDIS. I love the stuff they kept. I love the stuff they changed. I love the stories, and the acting, and the special effects.

I'm actually not sure where to start talking. Okay, so it lacks the plastic rocks, suspiciously fruit-shaped planets, and spaceship crashes rendered by dropping models into oatmeal. )
janegraddell: (Default)
(Yes, one of my guilty pleasures is advice columns.)

The first two letters are an exchange that was published in Dear Abby's advice column yesterday, August 16, 2006. The third letter is a copy of the one I mailed off today in response.

Dumbfounded: Abby, my husband had a relationship with his male roommate 20 years ago! OMG! )

Abby: OMG! He might be unfaithful! Get tested! Get therapy! )

Me: Dear Abby, Bite Me )
janegraddell: (Default)
Instead of remarking on how long it's been since I've posted, I'm going to pretend that no time has passed. We'll see how that works.

Right now, the two most burning issues in my life are:

1) The fact that ribbing, even in wool, expands when one washes it. This means that the "swatch" for my heavily cabled sweater expanded from 19" to 22 1/2". While this does mean new math, it also means that I only have to add 4" to the sides, which is doable with the given filler pattern, instead of 7 1/2", which would look dorky.

2) The fact that I haven't finished a fan fiction story in my daughter's lifetime. This is likely not a coincidence.

Crushed

Feb. 9th, 2005 11:38 pm
janegraddell: (Default)
Funny this meme should come around just now, since last week one of my buddees and I were discussing this very thing. So, in chronological order of crushing, here are five crushes I've had on fictional characters:

Age 11: Hawkeye Pierce, from M*A*S*H. I even read all the M*A*S*H novels, which I suspect I wouldn't have been allowed to do at the age of 11 had my parents any idea what went on in them.

Age 12: Dan Mangan, from the Trixie Belden series. Thus begins my career of crushing on secondary characters. Dan didn't even show up until book eight of the series, and after that he kept being left out whenever the other characters would travel somewhere.

Age 13: Bob Andrews, from The Three Investigators Series. Records and Research. Woot!

Age 14: Peregrin Took, from The Lord of the Rings. I also had a crush on Frodo, but I crushed on Pippin something awful for many years. Strangely enough, never really had a crush on Legolas, even though he became my favorite character sometime in high school.

Age 14: Saul Panzer, from Rex Stout's Nero Wolfe novels. To steal a phrase from someone's Vetinari icon, "Competence is sexy."

Strangely enough, none of these crushes has really faded, except for the one on Hawkeye. Well, I suppose I can be forgiven for being fickle at age 11.
janegraddell: (Default)
So, I'm curious. I finally decided to title this one ancient stubbornly-untitlable story, employing my usual method of trolling through the collected works of Christopher Marlowe looking for quotes, and I started wondering where I got most of my titles from.

I was surprised that, while Marlowe was certainly the single largest outside source, he's only responsible for the titles of 7 of my previously posted stories. 7 more titles were from other sources (1 song, 1 TV show, 2 books, 1 saying, 1 government form) and the remaining 9 (the ones of two words or less, strangely enough :)) were ones that I seem to have thought up myself.

And that brings me to a few questions for other title-makers: Do you have any favored source for titles? Do you deliberately avoid titles from outside sources? Avoid titles from particular sources like songs or Shakespeare? Do you like to have a title that ties into the fandom for which the story is being written? Do you like to have a common theme through all your titles? Insist on making them all up from scratch?

As for readers, is there anything that turns you on or off about a title? Do you dislike titles from certain sources? Prefer titles that have meaning within the fandom? Like or dislike long or short titles? Not care?

Just curious. :)
janegraddell: (Default)
Quick rec:

On Wednesday by Jay Tryfanstone. Harry Potter/Severus Snape. PG-13. 21K. Summary: Postwar. Food, owls and taxes. There might be a plot in there somewhere.

I almost didn't click on this story, then realized I'd never heard of the author before and might be missing something. And I would have. This is a lovely story, sparsely told and yet full of detail and unspoken plot. It's a story told more by what isn't said than what is, and it's done with skill and style.
janegraddell: (Default)
A couple of weeks ago [livejournal.com profile] mousewrites started [livejournal.com profile] coowipp, a community where writers could sign up and pledge to finish their WIPs in the month of August.

And, well, I did it.

I traditionally suck mighty donkey balls at making deadlines, and the only time I ever signed up for a Fuh-Q Fest I never finished the story. But I've been feeling a certain determination to get off my butt and finish the four or five stories that are all there in my head, and that I haven't gotten out on paper.

One reason I signed up was that I had a talk with one of my pals who did the Novel Writer's Month thing last year, and he really inspired me to try just slapping the damn words on the screen for once. It's not like I'm not going to go back and edit a hundred times anyway, and I think it might help me be, you know, actually productive.

Granted, productivity isn't my top goal when writing fan fiction. For that matter, fan fiction isn't currently dreadfully high on my goal list in general. But after two years of not finishing a single story, I think I've gotten to the point where I'd like to get back into the habit.

So, August it is. Wish me luck. :)
janegraddell: (Default)
In general, I'm superstitious about telling too much about stories in progress, for fear of jinxing the inspiration. But I tried the WIP meme that's been going around, and found it...cathartic.

Without further ado: Four Wee WIPs )
janegraddell: (Snape)
Dammit. Now I wish I did have time for the Classic Canon Challenge. For weeks I've avoided looking at the rules because I know I'm hopeless at deadlines, but today I got curious and went over to see what was on the list.

Shakespeare. Why'd it have to be Shakespeare? )
janegraddell: (Default)
This is a Public Service Announcement:

Madame Pomfrey's name is spelled "Pomfrey." That's P-O-M-F-R-E-Y. Pomfrey.

Not, I repeat, not "Pomphrey."

That is all.

Quizzage

Aug. 20th, 2003 08:51 pm
janegraddell: (Default)
Hello, Mr. Bandwagon....


I am an Orthodox Snapeist! Bow to canon, ye heathen! )

Yeah, that pretty much nails me.
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