daidoji_gisei: Lotus flower (Lotus)
When I was visiting my best friend last month we spent one happy afternoon shopping for clothes, and I bought myself a new nightgown/robe set. It was very a much a 'because it's pretty!' purchase because I don't lack for nightgowns and I am positively over-endowed with robes--I collect them the way some women collect shoes. (Having a thrift store down the street that regularly runs 99-cent sales makes this a surprisingly cheap affection, but it does not help with the 'find closet space' issue.)

However this weekend I signed up for National Novel Writing Month, which means that purchase has just become semi-practical: Given the choice I prefer to wear something comfy and pretty while writing, so I am going to need every single one of my pretty robes. All of my nightwear is comfy but not all of it is pretty, so the robes are going to be essential for my writing focus.

Food is going to be a problem because I'm not going to have a lot of time to cook and I can't afford to do take-out all the time. I need to start planning now what I can eat out of my freezer in the next two weeks so that I can cook up some extra meals, portion them out, and freeze them. Also, lay in a supply of jam so I can have PBJ sandwiches.

Sometime in the next two weeks I need to come up with a plot. Or at least settle on setting and characters. I could go with one of the ideas I was holding on to for after I left the story team, but I'd rather not have one of them as my first go. They aren't cracktastic enough, and if I am going to be generating 1,667 words a day I think I need to be writing directly from my deepest mind. This is kind of terrifying, as I know what lives down there, but no one will ever see what I've written so I have complete deniability. (I'm even doing it in longhand, so no computer hacking can trouble me.)

I need to come up with a list of Cool Things. Then when I run out of ideas for what to do next in my novel I can look through the list and grab something to run with. This plan pleases me more than is possibly healthy.


Oct. 8th, 2013 05:46 am
daidoji_gisei: Lotus flower (Lotus)
Last night I had a very odd dream where I was talking with Helen and another member of the Ricepaper Society (I think it may have been Rob) about the number of novels RPS members had written and I promised both of them that in ten years time I will have published a novel. Now I am looking at NaNoWriMo and wondering if I should sign up. Which is stupid, because I am bound to default--I'd have to write almost 2000 words a day to make it, Thanksgiving is in November, and I run a bakery department in a grocery store. Arggg!
daidoji_gisei: (Milkshake)
I am in the midst of writing a story that contains a scene where two characters get all kissy-faced with each other. Why in the world did I think this was a good idea?
daidoji_gisei: Lotus flower (Lotus)
I posted this on FB earlier this week, but I have some writerly friends who are not on that and who might be amused by it, so I'm putting it here as well.


How Nancy's writer!brain works.
1. Notice flyer for lecture on gun violence.
2. Examine picture on flyer to see if I recognize type of gun
3. Decide it probably isn't a M1911 variant, but would not bet money on it
4. Notice it is being held left-handed.
5. Become irritated at having a picture of a right-handed gun being held left-handed.
6. Wonder how left-handed people deal with right-handed guns.
7. Wonder if any of my NPCs are left-handed.
8. Wonder how I can construct a plot around an NPC being left-handed.
daidoji_gisei: Lotus flower (Lotus)
This is another DMC drabble I did in response for the [community profile] dailyprompt community. I regard it as interesting because I did it in first person. This is the second of two drabbles I've done in first person this month, and I'm now mulling the idea of doing a longer story in first-person in the near future. Before this month I've never written a story in first-person. (Well, aside from the pillow-book I did for the Second City box set, but I don't think writing a story in the form of a journal is quite the same thing.)

The other first-person drabble is an original, and is set in the Judgement Night world. I haven't decided if I should post it, as it touches on game events. I don't think it spoils anything, but as the writer and the GM I'm not sure I trust my judgement on things like that.

the best kind of family reunion )
daidoji_gisei: Lotus flower (Lotus)
I've been watching the DW community [community profile] dailyprompt for a while now, and I've finally decided to get serious about writing a certain number of words every day. Most of my non-L5R stuff is now rough-drafted longhand, but anything that gets typed up I'll post here for the amusement and/or derision of my readers.

This is a fanfic drabble for the Devil May Cry universe. Medea is an original character, and I don't have much to say about her except that her name was not chosen carelessly.
Read more... )
daidoji_gisei: Lotus flower (Lotus)
I want to read tonight. Specifically, I want to read about true-hearted heroes (or heroines!) having adventures with either their equally true-hearted friends or their plucky and adorable sidekicks. To modern tastes this is entirely too simple and old-fashioned a thing to bother with, but I'm already fat and ugly: I'm perfectly willing to own up to having simple and old-fashioned tastes in reading. I have books of this nature but I've read them all before and though I know I will read them again in the future (with pleasure!) I want to read something new tonight. I could go look for fanfic, but I already know from past experience that I am a gen reader in a F/F/M/M/@/#/!/!!!!o_0/ world.

I end up writing because then I can, a paragraph at a time, have something I want to read.
daidoji_gisei: Tarot Queen of Swords (Queen of Swords)
I have a ton of things that really should be done tonight--bath, wash dishes, wash clothes, write, etc--but I came home feeling exhausted. My current plan is to take my bath first, on the logic that as I only feel like lying down and doing nothing I might as well get clean doing it. Then I'll have dinner, and then (I hope) I will have caught enough of a second wind to get something done.

Last Friday I finally got the frankenpen (which I've decided needs a name, so that I can refer to it as something other than 'the frankenpen') inked with De Atramentis Hyacinth. This ink, I learned, is docile in nature, an attractive purple in color, and strong of scent. Sadly, I only had enough to partially fill the pen, but I used it enough to consider putting it on my Someday list. I used up the last of it Sunday night and made the interesting discovery that the frankenpen is freakishly difficult to get clean--something about the feed just wants to hold on to every last ink molecule. I do like the pen, so I've decided the coping strategy is to decide what ink I want in it and never change. OK, sometimes I know I will want to change, but if I do it at very long intervals it will be less of a pain. For now, its default ink is De Atramentis Black Roses, because I'm the kind of person who has to match the ink with the pen and I'm far more likely to use black ink than red. (Also, I already have red loaded in my Serwex Exectutive, a delightfully cheap pen that I can replace easily if I accidently let the red dry up in it.)

Last night I had a chat with a fellow writer and felt the better for it--they were the first person who has understood the problem and didn't make me feel stupid for feeling the way I feel. It is such a relief. They had an interesting perspective on the issue, which I'm still mulling over. Even if I decide they are right I am not sure what I'm going to do about it, but I feel better--I've been chasing my thoughts in circles for such a weary long time.
daidoji_gisei: Rukia being her normal delicate self (Delicate)
I gave M the two fountain pens, and she was really happy to get them. She kept thanking me, and I told her the truth--I had been helped by someone else when I first became interested in fountain pens, and I was just passing that kindness on. Then I joined my staff in trying to make as much stuff in as little time as possible, because the stock on our shelves were starting to look way too thin and I had to spend most of the afternoon in a meeting. (Arg.) As a side issue, my assistant manager and I figured out why our last two batches of Morning Breakfast Cookies have been so weird, and why the cake I baked yesterday failed. (The two have independent causes, we just were brainstorming stuff while running around the bakery.)

Then after the meeting there was still a bunch of stuff needing to be done in the bakery so I didn't get out of there until an hour after I supposed to have left (but hey, I'm on salary so it doesn't matter to anyone but me) and I went home and whined on FB about how I had to do some writing tonight and I was in a bad mood and didn't want to be productive. This elicited a variety of comments, which included (condensed):Read more... )
daidoji_gisei: Lotus flower (Lotus)
In the course of exploring the various fandoms I've acquired over the years I've poked around a number of fan-run wikis on the internet, and I've found that one of the problems with them is that they almost always feature bad writing. I am not without sympathy for these troubled but enthusiastic wiki-contributers, because from my own work free-lancing for the L5R rpg I know how hard it is to write material like that. I can do non-fiction prose for an imaginary setting, but usually the process is about as easy as squeezing blood from a stone. And I have an editor to watch for the places I might go off the rails. But being sympathetic to the writers doesn't make things easier to read.

However. I've started to read up on handguns for a non-L5R writing project (because there will be no guns in Rokugan, period, end of sentence) and discovered the Devil May Cry series page at the Internet Movie Firearm Database. The prose is well-organized, smoothly written, informative, and--incredibly--in several places is it very funny. Possibly my favorite sentence in the piece:
One of the special moves has perhaps the most ridiculous physics in the series, which is saying something in a series where being impaled through the chest often fails to even injure the victim's clothes: Dante is said to use a "trick shot" to ricochet the bullet off multiple surfaces to make it go faster.

Ok, that's astonishingly bad physics, but I approve of not messing up pretty clothes so I guess it's a wash?

Anyway, this wiki looks like it could be very useful to me. I am totally ignorant of everything to do with guns (well, not everything...I know they tend to make loud noises and kill people) and this gives me references! Which I can go and look at! So that I can describe things with something approaching accuracy! It is a good day, in spite of having woken up two hours before my alarm today.
daidoji_gisei: Tarot Queen of Swords (Queen of Swords)
I am slowly recovering from Gencon. Had a great time, but the end phase was marked by some unpleasant drama. Still, into each life some drama must fall, and some good might come of it so?

One of the good (and bad) things about Gencon is that I come back with a head stuffed with story fragments from other worlds/games, and then they start fermenting and crossbreeding in my head. This morning the froth in my head produced this sentence: "She had devoured the souls of two demon lords, and she no longer felt the same way about chitin." I totally want to write the story that produces this sentence (which, I assure you, makes perfect sense in context) but when am I going to find the time?

I hardly did any shopping in the Gencon dealers room, and thus came home with most of my mad money intact. So I did the sensible thing and bought a bunch of inks from Goulet. No, really, it was sensible! They were all on sale, I got five bottles total (giving me a discount) and I got the FPN member discount. I even kind of needed 3 out of the five inks I ordered: two are iron gall inks (and everyone needs some iron gall inks) and one is a red I can used for editing. Because you can't expect to get stories involving chitin right on the first pass.
daidoji_gisei: Rukia being her normal delicate self (Delicate)
I don't know what gets into people sometimes.

On Facebook I am friends with a man who was one of my bakers about 10 years ago. (Where does the time go?) Tonight he opened a chat window and tried to start off a conversation with, "I have a question about bread bitch". I replied back that I didn't talk to people who addressed me as 'bitch'. His response made it clear he didn't take that with the seriousness with which it was issued. I ignored him for a few minutes while he continued to chatter on, and then just closed the tab. I wonder how long it will take him to notice?

Last night I had a horrible, horrible case of insomnia. Being awake at 3 am is very traumatic when your alarm goes off at 5 am. I even considered calling in sick that morning, but couldn't figure out how to explain the nature of my 'sick'. Somehow I got through the day and took a lovely nap when I got home.

I am almost finished with a L5R story, but I am having trouble with a particular scene, or a scene transition, or two scenes and the transition between them...you get the point. My writer!mind keeps insisting that there is some cool, elegant way to make this all work and then doesn't tell the rest of my brain what that is. If I can't get a theoretical solution by tomorrow morning I'm just going to hack at it until something emerges.

Wrting Meme

Mar. 5th, 2012 07:46 pm
daidoji_gisei: Lotus flower (Lotus)
Stolen from a friend!

I was thinking you should tell me about stories you think I should write. I mean, if you could sit me down for a day or whatever and say, "I want you to write this story for me," what would that story be?

I'm not actually promising to *write* any of these, mind you, but it's fun anyway. And who knows if I'll be inspired!

The story can be L5R or non-L5R; I'm mostly curious. And if something strikes a chord, well I have a spiffy new fountain pen and a pile of composition books at hand.
daidoji_gisei: Lotus flower (Lotus)
I was wandering around the L5R part of the internet today and stumbled across the Suzume Storyteller School, a new gathering place for L5R fanfic writers. This paragraph caught my eye:

Where We Come From

Introducing herself on the AEG forums Story Team thread, Nancy Sauer reveals that she got her start seriously writing in an L5R-based writing workshop mailing list named Ricepaper. The Suzume Storyteller School is inspired by her group and online communities such as Dreaming in Ink, and hopes to serve as a new community for creatives in a Legend of the Five Rings context.

It makes me feel all warm and fuzzy to know that what we all did is rippling down and inspiring someone else to foster quality writing. Ricepaper had a good run, but all things under the sun grow and then fade. I hope this new group can pick up the torch and run with it.
daidoji_gisei: Lotus flower (Lotus)
I came home from Gencon to laundry, exhaustion and a flavor text assignment, which mostly explains my recent lack of posting. Until I get around to a real post, here's a meme I swiped from [personal profile] yhlee:

If I made Cinderella, the audience would immediately be looking for a body in the coach.
— Alfred Hitchcock

When I write a story, what do you immediately look for?
daidoji_gisei: Lotus flower (Lotus)
I've been reading Introductory Papers on Dante by Dorothy L Sayers, and it's given me many new insights on Dante's Divine Comedy. However, this just plain made me laugh:

I remember, years ago, being engaged in correspondence with a young man who was extremely enthusiastic about the psychology of the unconscious, and who insisted that the urge which issued in the writing of a story about murder and the urge which issued in the committing of a murder were one and the same urge, with no difference between them. I was writing murder-stories at the time and have been prejudiced, but I objected that it did seem to me as though there must be some slight difference of some kind somewhere, since the results were so different. I added that society in general must be aware of the difference, since it rewarded the one result with royalties and the other with the gallows. (p.4)
daidoji_gisei: (Default)
I had the weirdest dream last night. I don't remember all of it now, but one section has stuck with me. I was sitting on a street that I knew had to be running north-south, but my directional sense kept insisting that it was running east-west. I was sitting looking down the street, trying to convince myself that I was facing north, and all of a sudden the sky was night-dark and the stars etc were blazing forth....with little lines of white text everywhere identifying what they were. That is, the text was written on the sky. At the time I just thought it convenient, but now it weirds me out that I didn't think this was weird.

It is now Saturday morning on a weekend that looks like it will be absurdly filled with stuff that needs to get done. I have have housework like whoa that needs to be done (this is a depressingly reoccurring theme in my life; I am a failure as a woman), my fall vegetables need to be planted NOW, and I'm behind on writing my book chapter.

I'm trying not to beat myself up too badly over the chapter, because a lot of it was unavoidable--I didn't get anything done around the weekend of my aunt's funeral, and that was that. Having to work nights for a week and a half and the resulting sleep-cycle disruption didn't help any. But I think if I stay calm, work diligently, and avoid wasting time with self-recrimination I should get back on track. I'm still feeling fuzzy over the sleep thing, but there is a section that will require less real writing and more mechanical stuff and I'm totally up for that. There's also a section that will need some research and note-taking before I can even think about writing, so that is another option.

Ok. I can do this thing.
daidoji_gisei: Lotus flower (Lotus)
The story I'm posting here requires some background because is not fanfic, but it isn't canon either. It's one of the stories I wrote when I was applying for a position on the L5R Story Team, way back in 2006. I had gotten Shawn's permission to post it a long time ago, but then I switched computers and lost sight of it and forgot about it until recently when I was sorting through my Sent mail file and realized that I had a copy of it there.

So. When I got an email from AEG inviting me to apply I freaked out, for reasons that should be obvious to anyone familiar with L5R and my improbable love for this game. After calming down and talking myself into going for it I freaked out a second time, because one of the things I needed to send in was a 2000 word story about any Lotus-legal character. Now I ask you, fellow L5R players, if you could write any story for L5R and had the thinnest shred of a chance of it becoming canon, what would you do? How in the world would one choose?

It was easy enough to narrow down the field to Crane Clan characters: in a situation like that I think it is important to play to your strong points, and I'd written a lot of fanfic with Crane characters in it. Going over the list brought Daidoji Takihiro to my attention. Takihiro has the minor distinction of being the (unwilling) subject of the only scene in canon fiction to mention the tattoos all Daidoji bushi bear as sign of loyalty to the clan. The Daidoji tattoos have always intrigued me: What is it like to go though life with a symbol,that you may or may not have wanted, permanently inked onto you? It was something that I had used in passing in my fanfic, but could I do something using a canon character and the canon storyline?

I went back and reread the story with Takihiro in it, Fires of Toshi Ranbo part 4. For your convenience, the first few paragraphs:
No chains or ropes bound Daidoji Takihiro, but he could not move. The Ashalan's commands still shackled his mind, binding him upon the wooden table as the strange gaijin did his work. The curved crystal needle traced its path across Takihiro's flesh. Pain seared through his body. He felt a cold energy burning his soul, wearing away at his very being. As the needle carved its patterns upon his body, sinister magic wove itself into his mind. The Ashalan looked down impassively as he worked. The pale man's face was painted in dark, twisting patterns similar to those he now drew upon the Daidoji.

"I am impressed by thine willpower, Takihiro," Rashol said in a gentle voice. The Ashalan looked at him with detached curiosity. "Not many could endure the binding without screaming."

Takihiro glared into the Ashalan's eyes. "I will not be bound, gaijin," he whispered hoarsely.

The Ashalan's dark eyes showed no reaction. "Thou art already bound," he said. "Do ye not see?" He took the Crane's right wrist and turned his arm palm upward, displaying the crane tattooed upon his inner forearm. "Ye bear the symbols of another master. These symbols bear no magic but they are not without power. Thine brothers and sisters stand beside ye even now, Daidoji Takihiro. Ye draw strength from them. I respect thine strength, but it is an obstacle to me. Ye must serve."

Oh, yeah. This had possibilities.

And so I got to work writing, and when I finished I immediately started worrying that it was too short. I fiddled with it a bit, trying to make it longer, but anything I did made it a weaker story and so I decided that it was better to have a good story and left it the way it was.

So that is the story behind this story. And here is the story. )
daidoji_gisei: (Default)
Found via [personal profile] yhlee!

Analyzing a journal post:

I write like
Chuck Palahniuk

I Write Like by Mémoires, Mac journal software. Analyze your writing!

I have no idea who this person is.

Analyzing some of The Last One:

I write like
Margaret Atwood

I Write Like by Mémoires, Mac journal software. Analyze your writing!

I don't think I've read anything of hers, but she is supposed to be awesome so this is good?

Analyzing some of In the Midst of Life, for some courtier action:

I write like
Johathan Swift

I Write Like by Mémoires, Mac journal software. Analyze your writing!

I have read some of his works, but I have no memory of the style. I shall now consider if I really want to reread an author I was force-fed in high school.
daidoji_gisei: Lotus flower (Lotus)
There are a few books in this world that own parts of my soul, and one of them is the Divine Comedy by Dante Alighieri. This is an odd happenstance because it's a really, really long poem and I have an almost complete inability to appreciate poetry. On the other hand once you get past the poetry thing the Divine Comedy is obviously my kind of book: it's a self-insertion fanfic dealing with damnation and redemption. What's not to love?

There's a lot more I could say about why I find it so fascinating, but I don't feel like journaling about that tonight. Instead, I want to record a few thoughts about the various translations of the Inferno that I have read recently. There are a lot of different translations running around, and while I will always love John Ciardi's that's not to say that I can't love other translations as well.

That's the theory, anyway. As a practical matter I wasn't enraptured by any of the three I started with, but I'm not downhearted: there must be at least five other translations at Bennet Martin library, and that's not counting the one by Sinclair which I will apparently have to get via intra-library loan. But that's a project that will have to wait until after I get that book chapter written.

So, here is what I have so far:

Read more... )


daidoji_gisei: (Default)

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