sareini: ('everything is true')
Gods, I've not been properly online in days. First I got smacked with a dose of that good ole' CFS exhaustion (that is, more than usual), which left me crawling out of bed and barely able to do anything past the basics of keeping yourself alive. Then, just as I was starting to feel human again, I think I caught a mini-bug that Nick had and passed onto me. Still got that, actually. It's not fun.

So, what's been happening in the Meat-World while I've been gone?

The House )

The Cats )

The Novel )

So that's what's been happening. Now, to feed the cats...
sareini: default (Good Omens - Pinko Subversive)
Zokutou word meterZokutou word meter
22,069 / 50,000

Yes, I've well and truly broken 20k, and I think I can get up to 23k by the end of today. In some ways it's easier working downstairs in the living room with the TV on, because if I watch VH1 Classic or Magic (my two music channels of choice) I can time my writing sessions by the hour because that's how long a lot of their programme segments are. Magic is currently doing a week of power ballads, apparently, while VH1 is the same as it ever was - 80s and 90s music. I guess this is another sign that I'm officially old - I just don't like the 'new' music that plays on the other channels.

Also had a strange experience today when going shopping - the taxi driver decided to point out to me where all the local brothels were. I'm not sure what I should be more bothered about - the fact that he just spontaneously started twlling me this, or the fact that he knew where all of them were...

Now though, time for a nap.
sareini: Official NaNo participant icon (NaNoWriMo)
I finally managed to type up the entirity of my first chapter! It's incredibly rambling and wordy because I'm going for length right now and planning to edit most of it out after I'm done, but here it is for anyone who's interested...

Chapter One )

NaNo Day 7

Nov. 8th, 2006 03:19 pm
sareini: Official NaNo participant icon (NaNoWriMo)
Zokutou word meterZokutou word meter
10,911 / 50,000

We shall not talk about Monday, becuase that was a sucky day. A sucky day when I had too much to do and was then to tired to get more than a few hundred words done.

No, we shall instead focus on how I managed to redeem myself yesterday by geting up to just below 11k, despite the mystery of the puddle of liquid that appeared on my mattress with no indication of where it came from...

Also have to keep myself motivated this week, because this is where I usually start to fall apart and stop writing. Since I still have a strong idea of where I'm going in general with this, and some detailed ideas of what's going to happen in the next few chapters, this shouldn't be too much of a problem, but there's always the risk of burnout from simply wanting a break from writing...

NaNo Day 5

Nov. 6th, 2006 09:59 am
sareini: Official NaNo participant icon (NaNoWriMo)
Zokutou word meterZokutou word meter
8,715 / 50,000

...And the plot has arrived! Well, sort of. I've finally gotten to the hook that will get my MC to the town where the zombie hoards will soon be eating at theit all-you-can-eat long pig buffet.

This is nearly always something that frustrates me when I'm writing, actually. I get all these tense, action-packed ideas for stories, and I can't wait to get them down on paper... but then I realise that I have to write build-up to them, and set the scene, and so by the time I actually get to the action, I've quite often burned myself out.

This is why I quite often write in a fragmented, completely non-linear fashion - I write all the action scenes and exciting stuff first, and then try to fit in everything else around them. Sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn't.

But this time I'm doing the old-fashioned A-to-B-to-C... route, just for tradition's sake. And it's not going too badly so far, although I'm still acutely aware that I may start to get burned out before I really get to the zombie hoards. Hopefully I can work out ways to avoid that, though. I really want to do well this year.

Now, to boring real-world stuff that has nothing to do with writing (or even the internet) for a while...

NaNo Comic

Nov. 5th, 2006 09:49 am
sareini: default (Bast)
I just saw this on the NaNo site and had to post it here... This is almost exactly what Mac was doing when I was using my computer, and pretty much what Jelli occasionally does at the moment...

Cats and NaNo

NaNo Day 4

Nov. 5th, 2006 09:45 am
sareini: Official NaNo participant icon (NaNoWriMo)

Not too bad, despite the disasters that are befalling me... I've at least been able to take the makeshift bandage/splint off my finger now that it's stopped bleeding and has scabbed over, so I can bend that finger again and therefore type properly once more.

As for the computer thing... well, I'm using Nick's computer when he's not, as I said yesterday, but he doesn't have MS Word (at least I don't think he does, and anyway, the point is moot now). Instead, he has OpenOffice, which I've never been able to get the hang of using for some reason. Plus I don't trust Nick to forget that I'm using hia computer and accidentally delete my document files.

So I'm using Google's online word processor instead. It's a bit basic in its layout - WYSIWYG - and I had a few problems finding things like the word count tool, but other than that it's working just fine for me. So I can continue to handwrite everything in my room, and then proceed with the long, long task of typing it all up when I have a spare hour or two. Like now.

Once I actually have a chapter finished, I'll even post it up here...

(And Jelli says good morning; well, actually she said "777tu48" when she walked across the keyboard, but it's close enough.)
sareini: Official NaNo participant icon (NaNoWriMo)
Oh, and before I forget...

Extract from Chapter One of 'All Flesh'... )

NaNo Day 3

Nov. 4th, 2006 07:58 pm
sareini: default (Blackadder - Bugger)
(This would, of course, have been up much earlier if it hadn't been for lj being down for most of the day)

5510 words... and my NaNo curse has hit early this year.

My computer has died. The motherboard (probably) to be exact. So I'm limited to using Nick's computer when he's not, which isn't usually that often, till we can get a new one. Bugger.

And just to make matters even worse, I sliced open a knuckle on a cat food lid earlier, and the damn thing just wouldn't stop bleeding! In the end, and to try to stop it getting infected because we can't find the plasters, I had to wrap it in tissue paper and then bind it up with medical tape - which is fine except that now I can't bend that finger at all. I guess I should just be thankful that it's on my right hand and not my left, of I'd be completely done for.

In other news, there's fireworks going off like mad outside this evening, what with it being the day before Bonfire Night. I was worried that the cats wouldn't like all the explosions, but they're quite thoroughly nonplussed. Currently Mac is asleep in front of the fire, oblivious to everything, while Jelli is sitting up on Nick's computer desk and cleaning herself. She does look up when one of these really loud macaroons, or shells or whatever they're called, goes off, but other than that it's business as usual for her. I guess, in Jelli's case, she's used to them from being a street cat, and in Mac's case he's too young/daft to properly fathom what's going on...
sareini: Official NaNo participant icon (NaNoWriMo)
I found a word counter widget!

Overall, things are going well, although I am mildly confused as to how my main character and main supporting character have morphed from being college students into exotic dancers. Methinks my characters are trying to get a little too independent...

And now that I've actually got my computer set up in my room (partially balanced on a crate, but still...) I'm going to try typing some of it up later on...
sareini: default (B5 - socks)
So, let's try this again, shall we?

About an hour after I posted last week, the net went down. Bloody NTL. Turns out that they hadn't transferred our account to our new address, so their system wouldn't give us net access. Add to this the problems of Nick having lost my phone charger, Nick's own phone having just about the worst reception ever in this new place which ment that I kept losing the connecton halfway through phone calls, the fqact that we had no spare money to use a payphone (and, incidentally, that there are none anywhere around... very strange) and the fact that NTL's customer support are, of course, even less competent to be advising and fixing problems than my kitten who hasn't figured out how to stop running down the stairs yet and keeps bouncing off walls, and you'll understand why we didn't actually get the net back till yesterday evening. What fun.

So, what's been happening in the past week?

Insert flashback effect here )

Despite everything, I still started NaNo yesterday (my lovely new duvet is wonderful to be under when writing). After one day's writing (interrupted by frequent bouts of cat management, one shopping trip, an anniversary meal and sleep) I'm on 1,822. Which doesn't seem as much as some people's (I get paranoid), but is at least ahead of the 1,667 that the NaNo spreadsheet says you should aim for each day. With any luck I'll get Nick to set my computer up leter today and then I'll see about typing out some of what I've done so far (I don't like Nick's keyboard; the keys tend to stick or not register with me because I have a lighter touch than him). Now, however, I am offf to feed the cats and myself. And put the fire on, because it's bloody freezing and we haven't figured out how the radiators work yet.

Back later (unless NTL mess up again), with the tales of my birthday and our fifth anniversary...
sareini: default (Discworld - Ibid)
I saw this on [ profile] viralaserithan's journal, and thought I'd give it a go. It's one of those free-writing 'Outline your novel in 30 minutes!' things, so I may waffle and the like... wait I usually waffle anyway...

Will contain spoilers for November's NaNo )
sareini: Official NaNo participant icon (NaNoWriMo)
I've actually tried to write this entry several times since yesterday evening. Every time, I'd get about two paragraphs in and then Jelli would come and sit on my keyboard, both preventing me from writing and rebooting the computer repeatedly (she managed to set the CMOS settings to 'Clear' at one point, which was quite impressive as you're not supposed to be able to do that with just randomly stepped-on keys). Lifting her off does no good, as she thinks it's a game and just hops straight back on. And getting mad and shouting at her just upsets the both of us (yes, I know, I'm such a soft touch...). So I'm finally able to write this as she's asleep in the corner or my room.

So anyway...

I got myself World War Z yesterday.

I also read the entirety of World War Z yesterday - my speedreading is one of the few things that's apparently remaining untouched by the CFS that's knackering the rest of my body.

It was a bigger book than I expected - softback - because I'd had the idea of it being the size of The Zombie Survival Guide in my head. I'm not complaining or anything, it was just a bit of a shock to find it was the size of your average novel.

It's a great book, of course (it's zombies, and you have to be really a really terrible writer before I won't like anything you write about zombies, and it is Max Brooks to boot) - a little too much like a history book or military journal than I might normally have liked, but that's just the style of the book. The various people who tell the story of the Zombie War are from all parts of the world and all walks of life, and nearly all of them are interesting (there's a couple I didn't like, not because they were written to be dislikable, but because their stories were, compared to the rest, rather boring). The socio-economic implications of the world nearly being overrun by zombies are explored, which is a rarity in books and movies outside of George Romero's work, and the reasearch that Brooks put into the book is incredible. Really incredible.

It has reminded me of one important thing though. In my novel, much as I'd like my MC to be fully up-to-date on all the latest zombie survival techniques and ready to kick ass at a moment's notice, it's not really plausible. My MC does have some martial arts training (kickboxing and capoeira), but hand-to-hand combat with zombies almost never ends well (she will be able to dodge well, but she's not the Hulk so there will be no kicking of heads right off shoulders). She's not going to have any specialised gun knowledge beyond what she's seen on TV. Furthermore, the idea of her knowing how to deal with zombies in the middle of a zombie outbreak strikes me as cliche or a great big deux ex machina, because of course everyone would think they know how to deal with zombies because of all the movies made. If I was willing to go a Return of the Living Dead-route ("I thought you said that if we destroyed the brain, it would die!" / "Well, it worked in the movie!"), it might be amusing, but that would mean I was writing a comedy-satire/farce, and I'm not.

So essentially, I've got to make sure I keep my MC (and everyone else) as 'normal' as possible.

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