Archive for October 8th, 2013

State of the Writer, October 2013

Halloween-card-mirror-2Wow, we’re a week into October already and I haven’t posted State of the Writer yet. Which…I suppose my last post in September was basically what I would say this month during my State of the Writer report. I’ll say that I’m keeping the chain alive, even though that meant getting out of bed at 10:45 one night this weekend because I realized I hadn’t written yet. I might not normally, but in my sitting and thinking about whether or not to get up and keep the Chain alive, I came up with some imagery for the next scene.

It’s a powerful thing, chaining writing like this. It’s working as well for me as any other motivational tool has. I’m thinking about upgrading the process. Right now each day that I hit 500 words or 30 minutes of solid editing or outlining, I get a big red X on my calendar. I’m thinking about adding symbols for doing 150% or 200% of the goal, so that those symbols will start popping up and become a chain of their own. Not quite yet, I want a full month of this system under my belt before I play with it. But the thought is there. This all means that my manuscript is up over 12k words, and should soon pass the barrier from novelette to novella. I’ve found my way to tie all the plot lines together, so for the first time I have a good look at what’s happening at the end of the novel, if not a specific notion of the climax and dénouement. But those will come.

State of the Author’s Bees: We had a warm snap here in the DC area that finally broke yesterday. The bees loved it. They were going crazy for it. I don’t know if something somewhere was doing one last round of spitting out pollen or nectar with the warm weather, but they were doing something. They were busy as beavers. Both hives are still going strong, we’re still feeding them syrup, and we have our fingers hoped that one or both will make it through the winter. If they do, next year we can start harvesting honey, which is step two towards home sourced mead.

State of the Author’s Beer: Still waiting for the Tree Trunks and Pi Stout to properly age, haven’t tucked into Mustache Cat or Lemongrab recently. But have you seen this thing? It’s a beer machine, much like a bread machine or ice cream maker. I don’t know what to think about it. On one hand, it simplifies home brewing. On the other hand, a lot of people aren’t interested in simplifying home brewing. However, clearly enough people are, since it’s brought in over twice its asking price with three weeks still on the Kickstarter. I do know it’s well out of my price range. I also wonder if, like bread and ice cream makers, what percentage of people will use it once or twice then put it away, not thinking about it for like two or three years, then making two more batches out of guilt for having spent money on this thing but not using it and…I’m not the only one who uses kitchen appliances this way, right?

Later this week (hopefully) thoughts on the 1996 attempt to Americanize Doctor Who, and the first steps of a plan I have to infiltrate a Hugo category, though not with my fiction. Stay tuned.

Oh, and here’s some extra content. I used that same picture for October last year, so I should provide some extra science to justify reusing it. The notion of staring into a candle-lit mirror to see one’s future spouse is tied to several similar legends, including Bloody Mary. There’s actually some truth behind them. A study showed that subjects staring at mirrors in poorly lit rooms reported seeing various illusions, including

…(a) huge deformations of one’s own face (reported by 66% of the fifty participants); (b) a parent’s face with traits changed (18%), of whom 8% were still alive and 10% were deceased; (c) an unknown person (28%); (d) an archetypal face, such as that of an old woman, a child, or a portrait of an ancestor (28%); (e) an animal face such as that of a cat, pig, or lion (18%); (f ) fantastical and monstrous beings (48%).

For more, check out Mind Hacks.

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