pikestaff: (Derpy - Dragonborn)
So in case you're one of the two people who still follows me here and not at Twitter/Facebook, I did in fact win my fourth straight NaNoWriMo. Pretty happy with the result thus far, too. The story isn't finished yet so I'm still plugging along.

I ordered parts for a new computer a few days ago and they should be arriving at some point today or tomorrow. I think I am going to go crazy refreshing the FedEx tracking page.
pikestaff: (Bunny Bomber)
Somehow I'm still NaNo'ing despite flailing around in that portion of every book where nothing exciting is happening

28,960 words! And I haven't written today's quota yet.

Gonna make this 4/4, scrublords
pikestaff: (Spike - Writing!)

Right on the button every day. Lemme tell ya maintaining a 1700 word average every day for a month is not easy. Halfway there, though.

Such a research intensive book! I worry that I'm not getting parts of the culture or language right and the last thing I want to do is disrespect those. I feel better, though, telling myself that once I finish the draft I'm going to go into hardcore Research Mode while I edit. :}

EDIT: Did LJ finally stop begging me to change my password after ever single new post? Took 'em like six years to get around to that!


Dec. 2nd, 2011 01:20 pm
pikestaff: (Spike - Writing!)
I've only taken a break of a couple of days and the writing bug is already upon me again.

I could go three possible routes here:

1.) Edit "Cricket Song" (NaNo 2010) - It's been sitting around gathering dust for a year now but it's a pretty tight story to begin with so I could polish it up relatively easily and then sell it online, I'm sure.

2.) Edit "Space Heroes Forever!" (NaNo 2011) - I just finished it, so it's still fresh in my mind. Once I polish this one up I want to try to traditionally publish. The thought kind of scares me, but you gotta try, I guess.

3.) Write something completely new - I have three different ideas for this; two are kids' books in a similar vein to what I just wrote and one is a heftier project a la "Windshifter" or "Cricket Song".

I'm not sure what I want to do at this point. I'm leaning toward #3 because there's just something magical about first draft writing that editing lacks. But then, I don't really want to sit around for years on unfinished projects! Decisions, decisions. Either way I'm looking forward to jumping headfirst into a writing project again.
pikestaff: (Proud Charmander)
[Error: unknown template qotd]

There is one answer and that answer is Moose Tracks.

Anyways, here, have an image:

Can you say three for three? Cause yeah, I'm gonna say three for three.

I have the next three days off and I am going to do nothing but play video games.

Sup bros

Nov. 22nd, 2011 08:48 am
pikestaff: (Spike - Writing!)
I apparently haven't LJ'd in a while so I'll do so now, just to, well-- do so.

Nothing really is going on. Work is alternating between being tolerable and driving me off the deep edge and I'm fighting the urge to find a new job because, honestly, this one is paying me quite well (I recently got a pretty hefty raise) and I'd be hard-pressed to find another entry-level position that paid just as well. So I'm trying to stick with it.

NaNoWriMo is going well; the last couple of days have seen a dip in my productivity but I'm getting to a part of the story where things will start picking up again so I hope my writing will, too. I'm sitting at about 39000/50000 words which is definitely not bad. I think I'm going to edit this one up real nice and then try to traditionally publish it. It's a middle grade book (think ages 9-12) and as you might imagine there isn't exactly an ebook niche for that age range yet. So traditionally publishing will be the way to go with that one.

I have three or four other solid story ideas that I'd like to dive into after that. I'm going to make it a goal to keep writing after NaNo this time. Not at the same feverish pace, of course-- but I'll keep writing, nonetheless!

Aaaaand that's about it. Now I'm off to get ready to visit the DMV and get myself a Montana drivers' license and license plates, since I've been putting those off for months, haha.
pikestaff: (Spike - Writing!)
Real quick update; it looks like after three weeks of red tape, bureaucracy, and false starts, I'm actually starting work, for sure, on Monday. So yeah. While I am very much looking forward to the paychecks, I'm pretty meh about the rest. I hate that I'm almost 28 years old and working for Kmart, and I hate that they're putting me at the service desk, a position that I worked (and hated) at Target way back in the day. But whatcha gonna do, I guess? I know retail inside and out; I'm not good at anything else. My hope is that-- since Kmart is literally right next to a Super Wal-Mart-- maybe our traffic will be slow because everyone will be going to Wal-Mart instead, and it won't be as stressful as Target was. We'll find out!

I'm working my little butt off with Windshifter. I have designed a cover with my rudimentary graphic design skills and I'm right in the middle of the final edit and writing the last scene I want to include. I'm serious when I say I want to finish this up and e-publish within the next couple of weeks. Then I'll be all clear for this November's NaNoWriMo, which is going to be a rewrite of my failed Camp NaNo attempt. I've reached a certain point of desperation with this book that I'm about to e-pub. I feel like I'm a failure at life and that, at least by doing this, I can show that I know how to make something and how to meet a goal that most people do not meet. And maybe if I'm lucky and enough people like what I write, I can write more, and then it can become A Thing.

But I'm trying not to get my hopes up.

pikestaff: (Giddy Snaps)
General update for anyone not following me on Facebook/G+ :

I've been doing Camp NaNoWriMo (that new summer NaNo I was touting all spring) since August 1; today I hit exactly 13,000 words. Which is still a solid three days behind, but I'm feeling optimistic about catching up, especially now that I've discovered a secret method for motivating myself, which is to allow myself ten turns of Civ inbetween every paragraph of writing. This is a very surprisingly solid motivator and if it continues to be so then I don't think I'll have any problems catching up. Also, the scene I'm currently working on is fun as all heck.

Jobstuff - hours have been cut pretty much department-wide; it's kind of scary. I've essentially given up looking for a job here and am now looking around Bozeman, sending out emails and the like and hoping I get a bite from someone who will understand that I can't exactly waltz in for an interview. I'm hoping I can get something to that end sorted out within a few weeks, and then I can move a few weeks after that and be back all warm and snug in Montana before winter hits.

My life is really scary these days with money and stuff but I've kind of quit caring about that. I'm far too busy with other things to concern myself too much with "OH NO I PAID ONE OF MY BILLS LATE IT'S THE END OF THE WORLD". I mean, they're just gonna have to deal. It's not like I'm the only one having money issues right now.
pikestaff: (Applejack - Thinky)
So I guess I never update LJ anymore! It's probably a cross between my life being boring, and having mostly been hanging out on G+ these days.

Sooo yeah nothing really is happening. I've applied for a couple of jobs in town; one has been calling me so hopefully that turns into a lead of some sort. I'm (very slowly and painfully) plinking away at Camp NaNoWriMo.

One of my cherry barbs is on his way out :( He's one of the fish that I've had for years and that survived two moves, including one all the way out here to Washington. I'm sad about it.

That's pretty much it. As I said, boring life.


Jun. 12th, 2011 10:20 pm
pikestaff: (Rainbow Dash - Determined)
I don't think I'm going to do the current big project I'm brainstorming as my Summer NaNo book. I want to give said project a few more months to percolate and then do it in November, once I've got a more solid outline prepared. For summer I think I'm going to do something a lot more "light"-- something fun and breezy, just enough to keep my on my writers' toes. Like a humorous kids' book, or a short story compilation, or something.

I also think I want to e-publish Windshifter sooner rather than later. Yesterday I gave myself the rather optimistic goal of "sometime this week", but thinking about it that probably won't give me enough time to do a cover and one last proofread. Maybe by the end of the month? That sounds reasonable, right?

Ultimately, by this point, I just want to get it out there. It feels "finished" to me. There are things I could improve upon, sure, if I really wanted to, but it'd be a hassle and I think I should just move on. I mean, I got some pretty detailed feedback regarding my strengths and weaknesses as a writer from an actual publisher, so I figure if I take said feedback to heart and focus on my strengths and work on improving my weaknesses in my future books, then Windshifter (and Cricket Song) can just be stepping stones and trial runs, so to speak.

That's my logic, anyway~
pikestaff: (Pinkie Pie - Bounce)
THAT FEEL when you've been hitting your head against a sticking point in a story you're brainstorming for days and then suddenly you figure out how to fix it, and then everything starts falling together.

So! Apparently there's a summer NaNo happening, or possibly even a NaNo WHENEVER YOU WANT, complete with the tracking graph and everything. (I know I've mentioned this before, but they're just releasing more details now.) I'm pretty sure this is designed for people who can't make November for whatever reason, but I'm just going to take it as an opportunity to write. Even. MORE.

I think I just shed stories and plots and characters and ideas and allegories the way a big fluffy cat sheds his fur in the summertime. I just leave them behind in my wake. I mean, I really, really do. I don't really have to try, it just... happens.


May. 18th, 2011 05:47 pm
pikestaff: (Clockwork Pike)
"Windshifter" moral: The future may look kind of scary, but we should be optimistic about it because it's actually going to be awesome. Also, technology is pretty great because it was made by humans anthropomorphic animals, who are pretty great.

New Book Idea moral: The future happened and was scary, but we should be optimistic about it because it'll just get better, and be awesome. Also, technology is pretty great because it was made by humans, who are pretty great.



May. 11th, 2011 08:56 am
pikestaff: (Spike - Writing!)
Orwell lists "four great motives for writing" which he feels exist in every writer. He explains that all are present, but in different proportions, and also that these proportions vary from time to time. They are as follows:

Sheer egoism- Orwell argues that many people write simply to feel clever, to "be talked about, to be remembered after death, to get your own back on grown-ups in childhood, etc." He says that this is a great motive, although most of humanity is not "acutely selfish", and that this motive exists mainly in younger writers. He also says that it exists more in serious writers than journalists, though serious writers are "less interested in money".
Aesthetic enthusiasm- Orwell explains that present in writing is the desire to make one's writing look and sound good, having "pleasure in the impact of one sound on another, in the firmness of good prose or the rhythm of a good story." He says that this motive is "very feeble in a lot of writers" but still present in all works of writing.
Historical impulse- He sums this up by simply stating this motive is the "desire to see things as they are, to find out true facts and store them up for the use of posterity."
Political purpose- Orwell writes that "no book is genuinely free from political bias", and further explains that this motive is used very commonly in all forms of writing in the broadest sense, citing a "desire to push the world in a certain direction" in every person. He concludes by saying that "the opinion that art should have nothing to do with politics is itself a political attitude."

- http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Why_I_Write

So with all due respect to Orwell I do not see "Writing because I HAVE to write, because that's just what I DO" anywhere on this list. (Unless that falls under "Aesthetic enthusiasm" somewhere. It's a hard call.)

Although I'm not going to argue that most of what I write isn't inherently political, because it is. xD That's probably ironic, coming from me of all people, but!

Anyways, I've been getting hit with some pretty fantastic inspiration for NaNo 2011 lately; lots of great character concepts and plot ideas floating around in my head for Post-Apocalyptic Pike Novel Idea Number Three Hundred and Forty Nine. PREVIEW: There's going to be a super-advanced and thus rather full of himself robot named... Hamilton.

...I want it to be November now.

Edit: Okay so, the first paragraph. It's like it's really me!
pikestaff: (Spike - Writing!)
Well! It's now officially closer to NaNo 2011 than NaNo 2010, so it's time to gather up some ideas for what I'll be writing about this year! ...of course, what will probably happen is that I'll come up with OMG THE BEST IDEA EVER on October 30 or 31 and scrap all of this, but I can at least pretend to be prepared, right?


  • Windshifter Sequel: Exactly what it says on the tin.  My main concern is that I have no story idea for this, and I don't want to revisit a world that I love without having a solid plot idea.
  • Re-telling of the "Pygmalion" myth, but with robots:  And a girl who builds a robot.  The girl dies tragically at the end and is reborn as a robot.  THIS IS HOW IT MUST GO.
  • Re-telling of Adam and Eve, but with robots: Also, Eve is portrayed as the good guy, which is the twist.  I was going to do this last year, but got sidetracked by Cricket Song.
  • A "place" as a "character".  Recently I've had this really strong urge to write a story where the setting is just as much of a character as the characters themselves.  A story where the city/town/location is alive with character and flavor.  I sort of played around with this a little with Faradan City in Windshifter, and to a lesser extent with unofficially dedicating Cricket Song to northwestern Washington, but I think I could do a whole lot more.
  • Anthropomorphic Timepieces.  It's the distant future, all humans are (supposedly) dead, robots are building robots, and one lone clockwork-powered creature who used to be a watch wants to find his original creator.  But when/if this happens, will this really provide the solid answer he was looking for, or will it only open up even MORE questions?  The very astute reader will spot the pretentious analogy I'm making here; everyone else will just smile and nod at yet another genre-defying, unmarketable offering by Pike.  IT'S LIKE I'M REALLY WRITING NOVELS.
So yup.  That's the list so far.  I'm sure it will continue to expand as we sneak closer to November...
pikestaff: (Han Shot First)

"Now my book has plots that don't really make sense
And the prose is boring and some of it is dense
I don't really have a style and the writing's juvenile
But at least I am still alive"
pikestaff: (Devious Snaps)

Now I am going to chuck this thing in a dark place and let it age like a fine wine before I even attempt to look at it. Good gosh, the entire thing is me monologuing and throwing blatant allegories in your face (as per usual for me). And by the end I was scraping for wordcount and tossing in all sorts of superfluous sentences. BUT I DID IT.

Brings my total lifetime count of finished novels to five. Six if you count a middle-grade-ish one I wrote for my siblings years back which was probably 20k words or so.

Anyways literally within five minutes of winning my world sort of turned upside down for a reason that I am not yet going to discuss but yeah. MORE CRAZY STUFF HAPPENING IN PIKE'S PERSONAL LIFE.
pikestaff: (House O RLY)
I saw Harry Potter, which is good but actually bad because now I want to take last year's NaNo and turn it into a big sweeping ten-part saga with monsters and epic battles and stuff. I'd do it with this year's NaNo, but this year's NaNo is much more of a one-off and last year's would be better suited for being turned into a gigantic dramatic series.


Also I saw a Luna Lovegood cosplayer at work which was awesome, because we all know she's the best character.

Hmm, I can't really think of much else that is going on. I'm still plinking away at my NaNo, slowly but surely. I've lost a lot of steam by this point, but work is partly to blame on that one (they gave me a lot of hours this week... not that I'm complaining.) In other news, since when did you have to pay to put air in your tires? Or is that normal and you just never had to do that in Bozeman? I can never figure out if it's this place that is weird, or Bozeman that is weird.
pikestaff: (Jedi Pooh)
I'm feeling antsy with my new job because they haven't called me back yet (they said they have to get a background check done first... which is apparently taking FOREVER).

I'm also feeling antsy with my NaNoWriMo. By any account, I'm doing pretty well. It's November 11th and I'm sitting at 22k words, which is almost the halfway point, and I know exactly what should happen from here on out, plot-wise, unlike last year where I made it all up on the fly.

But it's all going SO FAST. Seriously. 22k words and the major turning point of the novel... you know, the top of the plot hill (assuming my plot is a roller coaster ride) is just around the corner. I was hoping for this thing to be, I dunno, like 80k words or something. At this rate I'll be lucky to hit 60k.

On the plus side, though, I was looking back through previous drafts of Windshifter and my first draft was 60k. By the end of the revision process I'd bulked it up to 70k. So maybe there's hope for my new book as well. (And the suggested "Young Adult" wordcount as written here makes me feel better too.)

Speaking of Windshifter I want to write a sequel for it now. Actually, I lied. I want to write a prequel. ...actually, I lied again. I want to write a compilation of short stories that highlight interesting parts of my characters' pasts. Crap. So much to write, so little time.

Edit: Apparently looking at blog posts and worrying about things like word counts and revisions and genres makes me a real writer now. Or something. I dunno, it still feels weird.

Edit Edit: Got a phone call, totally going to work tomorrow! PAYCHECK INC!
pikestaff: (Giddy Snaps)
NaNoWriMo starts tomorrow and I'm excited to have purpose in life for a month again. #cheesy

I'm going to make an honest attempt not to ramble about it too much because I think it's annoying when I do so, but I make no promises.

This is my profile, and anyone who wants to add me is welcome to do so. I'll add you back if I know you from somewhere (and I'm pretty lenient on that.) Lemme know who you are if your username isn't a dead giveaway.


In other news, I still don't have a job. If the place that gave me my latest interview doesn't call back tomorrow then it's time to start scraping the bottom of the barrel (hi, Wal-Mart!) Art commissions are kinda sorta keeping me afloat* for now but it's not gonna last long.

'least I'll have writing to distract me...


* I have to add, I am absolutely stunned by the high percentage of customers who are giving me generous tips. I love you all.
pikestaff: (Proud Charmander)
Last year's NaNo is DONE. Done done done. So done. I can't think of anything else I want to change that wouldn't be a massive overhaul.

Final Word Count Not Counting Titles and The Like: 71864. =| It's not as long as I would've liked, but meh.

Now, if the furry publisher wants to read it, I'm so there.

If he doesn't, well... I dunno. I'm kind of going to toss the manuscript in the "finished" pile for a bit while I work on this year's NaNo. If I happen to get around to submitting it to people in the time being, so be it, but I'm not really in a huge hurry. Although if it's looking like months are going by with no avail I may just toss the thing up for e-publication since I have like billions of people who want to read it, apparently... >.>

But yeah, gonna focus on this year's NaNo now.

"Windshifter", I loved you, you were great, I had a lot of fun with you, and I hope a few other people out there will someday enjoy your characters as much as I did. <3

Attn: [livejournal.com profile] darkyo I promised you a free copy for making me fanarts, so if you're still interested poke me here or on dA or something with your e-mail <3

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