I’m writing!

Started a new chapter in Burning Muses, this time about the muse, Terpsichore.  It’s been percolating for a while but tonight I managed to get it together in a file. I’m sitting on it overnight before tweaking it and sending it off for beta.

Maybe this will jump start my writing again. I hope so; it’s been a long, dry patch with no real inspiration.

Just to let you know, this is now a mirror site to some degree. I’m moving my fanfiction and some original stories to a WordPress.org build. My coding, which consisted of tables within tables within tables, isn’t working as well, so I’m replacing it with this. I’ll be doing most of my blogging about writing over there. (Family stuff will move to my family blog on WordPress.com.) It’s my goal to make that my author’s platform. New chapters or stories will be posted there first, even before fanfiction.net or AO3.

Here’s the site: As My Muse Moves. Come check it out!

Busy building

Yep. I am busy building a new website. My old archive is falling to bits, mostly because I have only a passing acquaintance with HTML and none whatsoever with CSS. It pains me, in a way, to do this.  I felt my original site had some rather interesting features; for example, quite a few people commented favorably on my Library page with its shelves and books. However, the guestbook script I downloaded to act as a reviews board was no longer supported (indeed, no longer exists!) and was buggier than an ant hill. It filled with spam–though the spam catcher was really good a quarantining it and deleting it. The whole site is built on tables within tables within tables. It’s just too unwieldy. So, I’m going for a WordPress build on my own domain. I need something that looks sleek and will function as my author’s site as well as my fan fiction archive.

So far, so good. There is some tweaking still to be done but I’m learning as I go. My daughter, at least, has more than a passing acquaintance with CSS. (She’ll tell you she’s no expert but she’s better than I am!) I have already exported this blog and imported it there; eventually I’ll be posting there exclusively, I think.

I also like the fact that WordPress.org had the WP Copy Protect plug in, as well as JetPack, which is used here. There is entirely too much plagiarism on the Web these days. I’ve seen people copypasting stories they don’t own from Fictionpress and selling them on Amazon.com. There’s the whole issue with the food bloggers who are having their recipes and photos snagged and used in like-farming sites all over Facebook. The issue is part of the reason I’ve been leery of posting my novel online anywhere. But with the Copy Protect, I can do that safely. (Plus, I can put it behind a password for extra security while it’s being betaread.)

I’ll put up a link when I’m ready.

Aside

Probably should have posted this yesterday, but … oh well, I’ll edit and put it up today!

First, I’m right on track for word count. Hallelujah! Wednesday, I felt generally run down, ill, and grumpy, to the extent that we ordered comfort food (pizza) instead of what I’d planned for dinner (hot dogs) and I didn’t write a word. I was a full day ahead on word count at that point, so taking the day off didn’t hurt a bit. I’ve been getting out of the house in the afternoon, which helps immensely with my writing productivity. Today, I’m going to haul butt out when the D&D starts later on. I may try to do this every day until the end of Camp. It’s good to not have the chaos of housecleaning, laundry, critters, et al weighing on me.

When this is finished, I want to put it somewhere that my friends can see it and comment as part of the betaing process, but where it would be private and not necessarily considered “first publish”. Fictionpress is absolutely out; I’ve been hanging out at  the fpwatchers group on livejournal and seeing how many stories are plagiarized from there, even published online for cash at Amazon. Besides, that would be considered a first publishing situation. I could put it on my own site and distribute private links to my friends, but how to let them comment? The guestbook I’ve tried to use as a “review board” is FUBAR and no longer supported. I’ve tried Google docs before. Some of my friends had a hard time accessing it. Has anyone done anything with Disqus? How difficult would that be to add to a website and is it flexible enough to use as a review board?

I’m also thinking about consolidating my web presence. Right now I have several blogs; this one, another WordPress blog (for family tidings), my faithful livejournal, a Blogger (for religious issues), a sparkling new tumblr, and of course, Twitter and Facebook. The Facebook is personal, using my real name. The Twitter uses my online handle as does this, the livejournal, and the tumblr. I could easily add a WP blog to my site; that’s one of the apps my web provider offers. I’m trying to decide which way to jump so I can be poised for when I actually need/want to do self-promotion.

So, any ideas? My website needs some serious overhaul in any case!

Oh, and this blog is under an alternate spelling of my online handle, “Tikatu”. Just sayin’.

Crossposted from livejournal and tumblr.

Well, I figured out what was wrong with the little ficlet…

I’ve been writing a ficlet for Thunderbirds based on the stories “Operation Crash Dive” and “The Impostors”. After watching “Crash Dive” I started to wonder: what if Captain Hansen thought International Rescue had really stolen those secret aircraft plans. He knows Scott’s name, first and last – a security issue that has really, really irked me, btw – and he has the names of Gordon, Alan, and Virgil, too. He could easily figure out the rest of the family because of Jeff’s notoriety, John’s writing career, and Gordon’s accident. Would he use this information to help the search for International Rescue or not?

So, that’s the plot of this little ficlet (which will become a chapter in my Missing Scenes Anthology, even though it’s not technically a missing scene). The problem was: I hated my first draft. I’ve been working this evening (Saturday into Sunday) on fixing it and I finally figured out what it really needed – Hansen’s voice. Everything I wrote was too formal for him. Yeah, he’s an airline pilot and all, but his whole demeanor is far less refined than the pilots I’ve seen. He doesn’t seem as polished.* So, I’m rewriting to bring the whole piece more into the vernacular and as I do, I like it more.

Still not at all comfortable with using a lot of vulgarity or profanity, so I’m not going to.  Hopefully I can get the idea across without having Hansen drop f-bombs in his thoughts. Now to see if ThatGirlSix can beta for me. If not, a quick once over by lillehafrue will suffice.

*Yes, I know they’re marionettes, but damn if those voice actors didn’t bring them to life!

Thin skins, foul mouths, and big heads

Consider this a rant.
 
For every polite, talented, eager to learn teenaged writer, there are at least three who have thin skins, foul mouths, and big heads. TracyLOVER is a fine example of this latter category. She finally got back to Hobbeth (I wondered what took her so long) after that worthy took her to task for her flaming me on The White Winds. From the account I got, the letter was foul mouthed, and told Hobbeth to shove off (in far less polite terms). This after Hobbeth, a seasoned and experienced writer with a lot of skill (especially in the mechanics of writing), took it upon herself to try and guide this child to better her writing.
 
The child seems to have skin as thin as an onion’s, and a head as big as Alaska, because she obviously thinks her writing needs no help. The report I got from Claudette (who also got flamed by this infant) is that TracyLOVER considers writing to be a fun and diverting pastime, not to be taken seriously. Rather like… oh… collecting dryer lint… though I’m sure there are some people out there who might consider such an activity to be an all-consuming passion.
 
Writing not to be taken seriously? Talk to Stephen King or J.K. Rowling, or any other author published beyond the web. They’ll tell you how serious writing can be. It has made them some serious money.
 
Writing not to be taken seriously? Talk to every single teacher of any language across the world who is trying to drum the rudiments of grammar and composition into the hard heads of their students. They’ll tell you how they always despair of actually succeeding at their job, but what a genuine thrill it is to find someone who not only "gets it" but uses it to create a masterpiece.
 
Writing not to be taken seriously? Talk to any journalist who reports on a breaking story, or writes a feature article, or an op-ed piece. The written word is the repository of much of our understanding of the world around us, having supplanted the oral tradition throughout most of the globe. Without clear, concise writing, we cannot get a clear, concise picture of what is happening to us, to our neighbors, to our loved ones near and far.
 
Writing not be taken seriously? Ask any scientist who is trying to describe his or her latest discovery to his or her peers. Ask any doctor who goes through your medical notes in an effort to understand exactly how you got that odd growth on your skin. Ask any organization trying to secure grant funding for their works. They’ll tell you how important it is to be precise, how one ill-chosen word can bring a whole new meaning to the science at hand, how the monies needed can be granted or denied on the strength of how a request is written.
 
Writing not to be taken seriously? Ask any teenaged boy sweating over a letter to a girl he likes, knowing that if he says things one way, she’ll turn up her nose at him in disgust, and if he says them another way, she’ll laugh him to scorn.
 
Writing not to be taken seriously? I don’t think so. Writing is serious business. And those who would dare to write and create with words their own worlds (or even play in other people’s worlds, as is the case in fan fiction) had better practice and be willing to learn from those who have gone before them and have that much more knowledge and skill.
 
Writing is a serious business. It’s time some of these teenagers learned that lesson.

I shouldn’t be up this late

Not if I want to go to church tomorrow, as I should.

I managed to type out that little starter scene for The White Winds, chapter 5. Hobbeth liked it and gave me the idea for making it necessary. I fiddled with my livejournal, giving it a fresh look and adding a couple of entries. Got out "may we please use your fic" requests for Classic Thunderbirds Showcase, but I still need an email address for Rathead. Hopefully Rain can find one for me. If not, I’ll have to send my request via review. I’d make it anonymous, if possible, so she could remove it. Did a post for the new Thunderbar site on Yahoo; I hope Daria finds us a new home really, really soon. Ezboards is weirding me out.

Bad blood sugar today. I don’t know why; but I felt I had to have two pieces of leftover pizza around five and that shot my levels through the roof.

Chatted with Suz both voice and IM. It was nice to touch base with her again. I should clean out my addresses and old IM names and such. Wish I could have a secondary address book that would hold older addresses.

Well, it’s not getting anything but later. Off to bed I go. G’night

TWW chapter 4 is ready

and waiting for Hobbeth to get online so we can powwow about the changes. I hesitate to send this through the spellchecker; it doesn’t much like the stutter of Brains and Fermat and I have to send it through piecemeal. Wish there was some shareware program that could run spellcheck on a Wordpad document.

Forgot to check my blood sugar before breakfast, so now I have to wait until lunch. Blech.

I’ll do the spellchecker. I called someone else on not using one. I’d better use one myself.