partlyopenbook: Not me. :) (Default)

The Pickled Pirate is still a work-in-progress. It's now over 50,000 words in length. I've been working very hard on it... Nearing the end, however, but now I kind of wish I had the solid ambition to make a series out of it. Maybe it will be, one day! 

Also, the story has a new title. The title will be a secret until ... until it isn't a secret anymore! (Evil cackle here.)

//Writing Coincidence//

One of my favorite things in life are those potholes of space and time and words I call A Writing Coincidence. In which I will write something, somehow slip into a Jungian consciousness in which I know things that all others know, whether they're dead or alive, and it will appear in my story. This has happened before. There's even a tag for it on this journal.

The Pickled Pirate takes place in May, 1931 in Toronto, Canada. While writing yesterday, which I figured was about the 31st of May in the story, the characters kept complaining about how hot it was. Edmond, the protagonist, said to his boss, "It's unseasonably warm." Meanwhile, all our wee constable Edmond wants to do is get out of his uniform to stop the unfortunate but natural occurrence of ass-sweat (poor Edmond). Or stick his feet in Lake Ontario...

So I wondered... Was it really that hot in Toronto in May, 1931?

Yes. Yes, it was.

According to the weather archives, which I accessed using this site, on May 28th and 29th of 1931, it was 28.9C (about 84F) degrees both days. On the 30th and 31st, the temperature returned to a more comfortable and average 17.8C and 19.4C.

That's pretty interesting. I say, stroking my somewhat imaginary goatee.

What's even more interesting is that two days before in the story, it'd rained a little. According to the archives, it rained a little two days before. And it was foggy one evening, but fog isn't mentioned in the archives... We will never know if it was!

I'm more accurate at predicting the weather in 1931 than I am the proper dates in my story, it seems. I might have to make some edits so it ties together well! 

Whenever I write historical stories, I always try to use proper dates. For instance, I say in the story that May 26, 1931 is a Tuesday: I will check and make sure that May 26, 1931 was, in fact, a Tuesday. It was. (Not that I'm implying I'm the only one who does this, or that I am, to borrow from Snape, "an insufferable know-it-all...")

I try to do this with weather, too. This might stem from the fact that I'm a weather nerd. Or it's a druid thing, IDK... Or both!

If you ever read The Information Man, you'll see that they argue a little about the uncertainty of Thanksgiving. Even in Canada, like their southern neighbor the USA, they hadn't decided on a proper date for Thanksgiving.

I've also noticed lately that, when I'm writing (like actually sitting down for hours and working on something), I tend to look up a bit of research about six times during that writing span. It might be anything. A word. Whether Sweden was in World War I (no, they weren't). What color of fedora was popular in 1931 (Detective Ferris's is "fawn" colored). But, yeah, I'll have about six items of research on any given writing day...

If I finally do finish The Pickled Pirate after months of working on it, we should all give our silent thanks to Misha Collins, who plays an impeccable Detective Ferris in my head. Before that started, I was really struggling to get a grip on the characters...

Big Toronto.

Friday, 2 January 2015 15:18
partlyopenbook: pinkie pie pony leaps into frame (happy)
 I've spent the last couple of days working hard on The Pickled Pirate. It's coming along nicely. How relieving it is to a person's conscience when she knows she can achieve what she wants with a bit of hard work. It is so easy to fall into the dreamless patterns of laziness and indolence. Not this time, though. 

The Pickled Pirate takes place in Toronto, circa 1930. I've found a couple of lovely old Toronto maps on the Internwebs, which I have cherished and have used as a desktop wallpaper to keep me inspired (as if this is tricky to do). As I mentioned in a previous entry, The Pickled Pirate is closely associated with The Information Man, another novella of mine released last summer. Oswald and Rex Malin, the Malin brothers, are in The Pickled Pirate, though chiefly that role is reserved for Oswald. His superpower-infused brother makes a cameo later on. 

Spending all this time in the Toronto of my head, it is quite lovely that I am attending the Toronto Maple Leafs and Minnesota Wild Game this evening! By 1930, the Leafs were already an established team in the NHL (formerly of the OPHL, 1906-1909). They wouldn't move into old Maple Leaf Gardens until the following year, November of 1931. 

[Sidebar] I've never heard anyone talk about Maple Leaf Gardens without first adding "old" in front of it, like it's an article, a title, a prefix... like those granted to tribal leaders of ancient days. [/Sidebar]

But, er... I won't be rooting for the Leafs tonight. Unless the game is hopelessly one-sided, in favor of the Wild, then I will root for them, as I would root for competition and fair play no matter what. 

The Pickled Pirate, if it continues to go well and the Muses keep feasting, will be completed sooner than I thought, though it appears as though it is going to be much longer than first supposed. It's already 18,100 words.
partlyopenbook: (hullo)
I had a lovely, busy weekend attending a retreat, and met new people, had wonderful insights into religion and the human condition.

I used to keep a paper journal, in which I wrote quotidian events. However, I've encountered a lot of problems writing in it lately. It seems to trigger PTSD stuff, and I'm not sure why... Instead of writing the mundane, now I keep it strictly for religion and writing. Using these subjects for journaling seems to be going well. I'm able to write without bursting into tears! So—success!

I've been studying religion intensely the last few weeks, which might be related to the events of the past year (or past two-plus years), or some other unknown, undiscovered reason. It's nice to have a place to pen my thoughts and—dare I say—insights into my labyrinthine religious paths, both Druidry and a more conventional monotheism. Druidry "allows" you to have another religion. Not sure if other religions allow you to have Druidry.

At the retreat, we studied and practiced silence. This is definitely a theme I'd like to explore in my writing, and I hope to do it in the more theological and Christian (Lutheran) story I started last month. It's intended to be a novel, and I hope I can finish it... I hope I can finish all the little projects I've started! But I found Silence an inspiring attribute, and it made me want to work on the story again.

Though I haven't gone back to it yet, I have been working (slowly) on the short story which will complete the upcoming collection of short stories, a collection titled The Pickled Pirate. From circumstances that I won't get into, I wound up writing a plethora of pirate parables (okay, not parables, but points for alliteration, right?) during the summer. Since none was used for the project, I'm going to release them myself. There are four, and they are...

1) Arthur Nobody
2) Out of the Blue
3) Captain Storm's Revenge
4) Seth

All I need is this last story...

Interestingly, this titular tale (ah-haaa!), "The Pickled Pirate," uses Rex Malin! He's The Information Man, the hero of, uh, The Information Man. Malin is in the plot's background, but I expect that he'll show up for dialogue eventually. So, if you haven't read The Information Man yet, you might want to. Like my other titles (currently), it's free. The Pickled Pirate takes place in Toronto (hi, Canada, ILU!) in 1929, more than a year after The Information Man.

I still have a long way to go before The Pickled Pirate is finished. Cheer me on, if you'd like, with tweets or emails or comments! I could always use the extra support, and it's nice to know that people appreciate what you're writing.

Also, since I'm in the mood to sell my work, I've posted an opening chapter of a novel I started but am not going to finish—posted at the community I run, [community profile] erotic_bubbles . It's a members-only community, so to read it you'll have to have a dreamwidth account. It's free, too (like my three books). I had great plans for my DW Community, but, like most things this year, it's had to be put on hold.

As we come towards Samhain, the end of the Wheel of the Year, I grow more and more confident that things will begin to turn around for me. I'm really looking forward to celebrating Samhain, even if, as usual, I have to do some quiet rituals on my own! But it will mean quite a lot to me, more than it has in the past, as I have spirits to acknowledge and the beginning of a new life cycle to celebrate. It's time my life went forward. I hope your futures are bright, too.


Canada Day

Tuesday, 1 July 2014 14:00
partlyopenbook: Not me. :) (Default)

Happy Canada Day!

I was going to make a list of all the research I've done for my Canada-based stories, but it's too long and too random. I do have a short story I'm going to start soon that's based in Canada--before it was the Canada that we know and love today (waaay before 1867).

Suggested Canada Thingies:
Gunless (film)
Wilby Wonderful (film)
The Deptford Trilogy (book)
In the Skin of a Lion (book)
The Arrogant Worms (music)
The National Ballet of Canada (uh... ballet)
Edit... Mental Floss put up "10 Very Canadian Questions" which is rather fun. I know more about Canada than I thought... Not that I'd be prepared to take the citizenship test tomorrow, but at least I could skip the introduction to Tom Connors...

* * *

The Information Man
A 1920's fantasy-mystery, free at Smashwords.


Saturday, 1 February 2014 19:08
partlyopenbook: pinkie pie pony leaps into frame (happy)

An update!

Yesterday, 31 Jan -- Finished a short story submission!
Today, 1 Feb -- Finished a novella!

Two things finished in that many days, hooray! I've really been lacking focus lately, so completing anything is cause for celebration.


Short story submissions are not really that hard, though. It's not like writing a novella. For a short story, usually I read the submission and an idea starts to slosh around in my mind. The idea is incubated anywhere from two to seven days. I write down any notes, character names or plot twists that the story might have (but I don't always use what I'd written down). Then, whenever I feel that I'm ready to tackle it, I sit down in the morning and start the story! Almost always, they're finished in the same day. The one I just completed was mostly written in one day, but I missed typing the last 500 words or so, adding them yesterday morning.

The editing process still needs to be completed. I'll read it three to five times, depending on how much work it needs. The shorty story doesn't need much work, maybe a couple more adjectives, typo fixes, and so forth... But there's not much room for me to add anything. Submissions often have word-count limits.

The novella was supposed to be a submission, but, liking the story I'd come up with and knowing it was incredibly removed from what they wanted, I decided not to send it in. This has freed me up to make it as long as I like (more than 30,000 words: 5,000 more than they wanted) to do with the characters what I wished without worrying about the pirate code any sort of guidelines. It needs editing, too. A few scenes are missing, and it'll have to be edited for errors and typos, and the all-important "Isn't there a better word for this?" (My favorite.)

So... "Finished." Not a definite word. The bulk of the story is complete, but there are still paragraphs of words to go before I sleep....

The cover to the novella is in a prelim stage. Hope to have it complete soon and providing a sneak peek! 
But the title of the novella is....
The Information Man

It's about a man. That gathers information.

Really. I know, you're surprised by this, given the title and all.

It takes place in Toronto in 1928. (I think 1928, but I will double-check that during the editing process.)

The story combines fantasy and reality, a lot like The Carols of Holly House. I don't know how funny it is, but it has some okay characters, a breath of mystery and romance. Don't let my crummy synopsis derail your interest! I'll have a better summary soon!

Also, unrelated to writing... I have a whole Wish List now of My Little Pony things. I suppose this makes me an official Brony. Or Pegasister. Or both. I try not to engender hypocoristic appellations when they involve fanatic activities.

Right... I need to find a sporting event to watch.

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