Tuesday, August 28, 2007

Freudian Slips

Hey, I'm back! (Briefly. With 1 observation)

One of the fun things about Dvorak is that you can make typos that look real, but aren't. In this last sentence, I got rean, thot, and oen. And my conlanging senses, long dormant, are tingling. (Tinglingt, even.)

So, while I was writing something about a rather raw but highly amusing guy, I wanted to type (tyle) the word "all." In interests of taste (tatse), I wound (worg) up with another (antor, anthore) 3-letter word that began with A.


Monday, August 27, 2007

14 Days- The End


  1. Clean living space.
  2. Write subplot to novel.
  3. Finish Dragon*Con costume.
  4. Read mother's novel.
  5. Master the Office Theme, Into the West and Sonatina on piano.
  6. Holly Lisle fast plotting for 07 NaNoWriMo.
  7. Switch to Dvorak keyboard layout.

I didn't finish my mom's NaNo, or my costume or learn the piano pieces. But guess what? I have a clean house, a completed 2nd draft, a plot for my next novel, a Dvorak keyboard, a costume missing only trim, half a book read and 1 1/2 songs learned. I'd call that a success.

I'm going to take a short blogging break after this (and by short, I mean 3 weeks or so) and come back new & improved. Maybe even with weekly segments.


Wednesday, August 22, 2007

14 Days- Day 10

Ugh, only 4 days left. My tasks are reassessed:

  1. Finish subplot and work into novel.
  2. Add white trim to costume.
  3. Master pieces.
  4. Read mother's book.

I've written 6k of subplot (yay!) in total. I'll write a little tonight and knock the rest out of the park tomorrow. And then my 2nd draft will be done... whoa.

Tuesday, August 21, 2007

14 Days- Day 9

My constant whining was even boring me, so I'm posting now that I have something good to report- 4k of subplot. I'm also typing quite well with Dvorak now, excepting a few letters (like K, L, Y, P and F. And S and O, and Z, Q and W if you want to get picky. But other than that, major progress.)

I'm going to try Chris Baty's 6k day tomorrow. If I could finish this, the biggest challenge, I'd fly through the rest and be able to relax a little even. (But now I've jinxed it and I'll never know. Teehee.)

My aunt got my costume back to me, saint that she is. I'll do the edging just as soon as I get the fabric.

Knowing me, that'll be three days before the con.

Ah, well. Life is good.

Saturday, August 18, 2007

14 Days- Day 6

Computer troubles have overtaken me, so days 3-6 are all going up today. Come to think of it, I've misplaced 4. Weird.

Guess what I did today! NOTHING. That's right, absolutely beans. Well, I could give you the old "houseguest and 2-hour long friend's ordination" but it doesn't change my productivity.

On the other hand, in 6 days, I've
  1. Tidied and kept tidy my living space.
  2. Passed outfit off on kind aunt.
  3. Went above and beyond with Holly Lisle notecarding.
  4. Switched to Dvorak to the point that QWERTY deeply confuses me.

Trouble is, those were the easy ones. I still have 2 piano pieces to perfect, a subplot to write, a NaNo to read, and High School Musical 2 to avoid like freaking plague. Stupid Zac Effron obsessed cousins! WHY on earth are we meeting them the week the Whitest Show On Earth comes out?

14 Days- Day 5

Pretty much a toss-up. I read the 1st six pages of Mom's novel and wrote about a thousand words of my subplot (and considering that I expect my subplot to be 10k, that's noteable.) Luckily, I got an awesome idea for another scene involving Deception and a female assassian (I can hear the spittake from here, Miri!) that I'll write tomorrow.

14 Days- Day 3

I didn't accomplish too much. *sigh* I now have 20 notecards out of the 25-30, but that wasn't all today. My Dvorak (or my patience) is improving. I also bought ballroom dance shoes! And I did a cool freewrite thing for my upcoming NaNo. All is well.

Wednesday, August 15, 2007

14 Days- Day 2

Dvorak-ing here, so this will be brief.

Finished a poem (10 whole stanzas!), sorted photos with grandmom, pulled hamstring line-dancing (laugh, it's funny), limped around a bit, made a nice breakthrough notecarding plot... and typing this has only taken 7 minutes. Progress. :D

Monday, August 13, 2007

14 Days- Day 1

Okay, explanation is due. I have two weeks of vacation starting today and 7 things to accomplish within them. The idea is to do one every two days, but seeing their varying degrees of bigness, some make take more time and some, less.
  1. Clean living space.
  2. Write subplot to novel.
  3. Finish Dragon*Con cosplay costume. *DORK ALERT*
  4. Read mother's novel.
  5. Master the Office Theme, Into the West and Sonatina on piano.
  6. Holly Lisle fast plotting for 07 NaNoWriMo.
  7. Switch to Dvorak keyboard layout.

Two of them are completed- my house is now tidy (and already slipping) and my aunt VERY generously offered to finish my outfit. I can't read my mom's novel until she finishes editing it, and I needed notecards to do #6. Wanting to delay any piano-playing for as long as possible and trying to break my QWERTY bonds, I went after the layout switch today, before I work on my subplot.

I didn't get a chance to work on it until, say, 5 PM. I slept in until 2 (an all-time low. I'm on vacation, people!) and, called Miri and watched some TV. (What was I thinking? Gah.) At any rate, I've been using KP Typing Tutor and learning all kinds of new letter placements since then. I only have a few letters left to learn, too, and I typed a short paragraph with little/no pain. Not bad, I suppose... but it needs to be better.

"But, Ink, you have two days, and keyboard changes take weeks to get used to!" you say. As for the former, no, I don't- tomorrow I'm helping my grandmother. (Just what I want to do on vacation. No, really. She's cool.) And the latter... well, I feel special like that. It's coming along well, I might get off easy.

So, I'll learn a few more letters and switch the keys to finalize the transaction when I'm done writing this. No looking back- just dread for the future. Yay!

Straight Outta Arrakis

This isn't an offical part of 14 Days of Freedom (which I feel prentenious about captilizing, by the way). Although I am talking about one of my goals, it's not the end-of-the-day report.

Hmm. So, when I volunteered to Photoshop a missing black belt in our group picture at camp, I figured it'd be a piece of cake for someone whose been messing around with the program for a year. A little Magnetic Lasso here, a little Copy&Pasting there, and I'd be set. Not so, my friends. This was a challenge to test the very limits of my patience, ingenuity, and mastery of Ctrl + anything.

My first problem was that of getting the bugger out of his indivual photo in the first place. The picture they took of him was in a gymnasium, lit from the top, with those shinily-painted gym cinderblocks in the background. It was a NIGHTMARE. The light was glinting every which way, screwing up my cheat-y Magnetic Lasso tool and forcing me to put back areas I'd already deleted, just to make sure I hadn't taken a big chunk of his leg with me.

Then, I had to find a spot for him. When we took the picture, we had to fit 45+ people in the view of a home digital camera. Before it started to rain. We were packed together so close, sardines felt roomy. I tried tacking him on the end of the line, but the fact that he had no feet kinda screwed that one over. So I plopped him in the only place I could fit his whole face and an acceptable amount of shoulder, and nearly called it a day.

Then I looked at him. He looked like a Jedi ghost. He was bright and blue while everyone around him was this dingy yellow-pink. Now, this errant black belt is, in fact, a pastor, but his is not Jesus. And I didn't think he ought to glow like him.

I won't even get IN to the details on the long, tedious, long, painful, long, eyedrying, long, tear-inducing, and long process that was correcting the color. I used every Photoshop trick I knew, and it didn't come close to looking right. So, I thought, maybe the shadows are the root of all evil. His light came from the dank and dead-fly-spotted fluresant brillance of the gym, whereas his fellows bathed in the spotty glamour of a rainclouded sky. I tried to paint in some shadows. It didn't just fail- it phailed. Hard.

I gotta get this right, I thought. If not for the sake of my teacher, at least the sake of my pride. And with that, I noticed he didn't have any shadows around his eyes from the above lighting. Volia, problem solve.

Or not- my attempts to darken his eyes resulted in a disappointing descent from looking like Jesus to looking like Satan. The hour was midnight, and it was time for a miracle.

I had been guiding off this man's neighbor the entire time, for color, shoulder angle, height. Mayhap, I thought, I could borrow his eyes.

So borrow his eyes I did. With Copy&Paste, soft-edged erasers, the Rotate tool, and more Dune-inspired trepidation since I gave a stock-photo baby the eyes of the Ibad, I duplicated one guy's eyes and smacked them on another. Will I have creepy blind nightmares forever now? Yes. Did it look as cool as beans when it was done? Yes.

Bottom line: I'm in ur photographs, stealing ur eyez. Watch out, world.

Sunday, August 12, 2007

No Pressure, Though.

We're only two months away now, and I'd like to do it a little differently than I did last year- starting on November 8th with only the faintest glimmerings of an opening scene. I have two plotbunnies begging to be written (or three, if you count the one with a premise and no characters.) I honestly can't decide which one to use, so, dear readers, I'm asking for your input.
Option #1: An idea of a setting, conflict and problem, but with few characters. I'm more enthusiastic about this one right now, but I don't know if it could reach 50k. (Not to mention, it's basically Twilight by Stephenie Meyer in a different country.)

Option #2: A setting, a bunch of characters, a conflict and a couple of scenes, but no clue in the plot department. I used to be wild about this one, but I stopped fleshing it out for a week or two and lost my entire train of thought on it. I do have a bizarre confidence that it'll be novel-length, however.

(Lame bonus option #3: A premise, but no characters and a lot of research required. Fun.)

I've heard some rave reviews about Holly Lisle's fast plotting, so I'll try that for plotless Option #2 and hope to regain some of it's momentum then. Other than that, the choice is yours.

Coming up: 14 Days of Freedom series coming tomorrow, which I plan to update every day. CAN YOU TAKE 2 STRAIGHT WEEKS OF BLOGGING?

Nope, me neither.