Friday, 28 December 2012

College and Writing Books

Well. NaNoWriMo came and went. Second year winning. Two for two right now. Go me, I guess.
Things have been pretty crazy around here. I just finished Bitter Blood by Rachel Caine, and by golly, the book was amazing. So many feels, you don't even know.

Anyways. A couple weeks ago I found out I got accepted to Northern Michigan University, and I'll be headed down there in the fall. It'll be the first time I'll have gone back to the states in seven years. *Seriously, January 10th, 2006 is the day we flew in to Germany* I'm mentally prepping myself for major culture shock.

I've planned more of my novel, Lost, which I got up to 50681 typed words. The rest of it's in my notebook, waiting to be put in to document form in Microsoft Word. *sigh* I thought I had more.

Self promo time:

Also, if you're a writer and you're not in one of these groups, you should join! We like to help each other out. And only a few of us trapdoor spiders bite.

NaNoWriMo Facebook Page.
WriMore International

The second one requires an invite, but we've got people online everyday, so your request should be approved in no time. If need be, site me as the person who sent you.

Have a good one!

Lisa Stevens

Saturday, 7 July 2012

Twenty-four Is A Magical Number

 Here it comes, guys, the Writers Call of Duty. The days are counting down until the second *or third if you count Aprils Script Frenzy* National Novel Writing Month event of the year. You have allowed yourself a weeks break since the event in June, and now it's time to get ready for August.
Here's a checklist of things I'm going to be looking out for and doing to prepare myself in the next 24 days.

1. Get an idea. You're a writer, you have a million tiny ideas flying around in your brain, but most of them are just that - ideas. Choose the one that you think you can bring the most out of. For example, I had a dream where all I can remember was a silver pocket-watch. I've taken that pocket-watch and turned it in to the center point of a novel about Time Travel. If all else fails, go out and people watch. Relax. Breathe. Study.
2. Become Dr. Frankenstein. Yes, it sounds weird, but honestly, characters are fun to make. Not only are they vital to your story, but they can be anyone that you want them to be. Grab the parts - Red hair because you love Rupert Grint. Aussie accent because Ryan Kwanten is Hottie McHotterton of Hotsville. Curly hair, because you're tired of your own straight hair. A musician, a storm-chaser, a trapeze artist, because you hold the pen, and you want to live vicariously through them. Pull the lever and bring them to life! (And then think of a name.)
**For help in finding names for your characters, may I suggest the websites I use?
3.  Plan an outline. -Grooooan- Do I have to? Believe me, I hated writing outlines. I'm the first person to admit that I'd prefer to Wing about 80% of any given novel. I'll think of a few giant plot points, some big ones, and a few minor ones. We all know that even though we're the writer, that we hold the Almighty Pen, our characters can take charge and lead us down an entirely different road. Keeping on track is a great way avoid wanting to pull your hair out during those 30 days. 
4. Tell people you're writing a novel. Just don't tell them every tiny detail about your novel. It's annoying, seriously. If you give too much away, what's the point in reading it if you're going to tell me the entire plot? Telling people that you're writing a novel in thirty dreadful days is a good way to keep yourself from backing out. They'll be envious of you, astounded that you're going to attempt such a blasphemous thing. And now that you told them, you'll have support. If you fail and quit early for whatever reason, you'll have to deal with a wee bit o' self shame for a while. 
5. Follow @CampNaNoWriMo. But Lisa, not all of us are Twitter Junkies. Trust me, I know this. I'm not even a twitter junkie, but believe me when I say, CampNaNoWriMo on twitter gives good advice, support, and ...what's the word i'm looking for...encouragement, there we go. 
6. Join NaNoWriMore on Facebook. I've been in the group since around the time it was founded, and let me tell you, that page is probably the main reason I've been able to build an amazing story. The people are amazing, unique, and always there to convince you to carry on with your novel. For example, I had 40k words to write in 5 days, and they told me I could do it. And by golly, I almost said to heck with the fact that I have to sleep, I'll do it! I'm telling you, these people are amazing. You may have to be invited, but you might be able to send a request to join...
7. Have A Playlist. Music works wonders, that's all i'm going to say. I mean, seriously. The right song at the right place at the right moment could make you think of you're entire novel in like two seconds.
8. Write that sh*t down. As writers, we're probably the biggest self-liars in the world. After coming up with the greatest idea in the world, we tell ourselves, 'oh, it's alright. I don't need to write this down, I'll remember it.' WRONG!! You'll forget it, and you'll want to punch yourself in the face a few times as you pick your brain trying to remember. 
That's pretty much all I've got for now. I'll post more tips until the day the August NaNoWriMo ends. If you want, scope out a few locations, find a place where you can get lost in your work and write, or think, or whatever. You have to write where you're most comfortable. Remember, one mustn't edit during the event. Fine tune it now while you've got the chance. Be the OCD perfectionist you never knew you were. Also, reading your inner Editor a bedtime story might be a good idea. You'll have to shove them in to a steel pit during your time in this.

Good luck with the set up. And don't worry (too much), you've got 24 more days until things get real.

Monday, 11 June 2012

Writing: An Interpretation.

Anyone can write. Everyone should try it, even if they never plan to publish it. Writing is like being in charge of your own personal insane asylum. You decide what happens, how it happens, and when it happens. Writing is the easiest thing to do. It’s also the hardest. It’s as simple as simply expanding your most recent dream, the one you can barely remember, and turning it in to a short story, or a novel.
You can’t just write something. It’s not that easy. But at the same time it is. You have to have the idea, even if it’s the smallest thing, such as a silver pocket watch. The idea of that pocket watch leads you to come up with the greatest idea of a story about the creation of time travel – which is nothing but paradox and contradictions. Every writer is a terrible writer. The first draft is what just spills from your fingertips. The second draft – that dreaded first revision – is what your brain tears to shreds. In this, you wonder how you ever dreamed of releasing that monstrosity to the world. 
Writers are constantly working. They’re never ‘off the clock.’ When we zone out and tap our pens, pencils, or fingers against a surface, we’re creating an entirely different world. It’s not just something you can control. Like that pocket watch, the gears of your brain are just ticking on and on in to infinity, until one day, it stops. We writers don’t see it as the moon simply shining. We see it at all these angles, how the moonlight is being reflected off of a piece of broken glass on the mildew drizzled lawn, how the moon casts a dull white blanket over everything in its path. Writing is one of the simplest complexities that we’ve been challenged with. Writing lets you be what reality denies you.
And by the way, everything in life is writable about if you have the outgoing guts to do it, and the imagination to improvise. The worst enemy to creativity is self-doubt. --Sylvia Plath

The above is a rough draft of the speech thing I'm giving in my AVID class on Thursday. We're supposed to speak about something that's important to us, and I just knew that this is the one that would make most sense for me to talk about.

Tuesday, 14 February 2012

Friday, 3 February 2012

I'm on Wattpad!

After much persistence of my fellow Lunch-table-mates, I've created an account on wattpad. I won't post any full stories there, unless i make one specifically for wattpad. I will, however, be posting little tidbits there. Extras, if you will.

Clicking here will guide you to my profile. I've uploaded one thing so far: something that was supposed to be an AP assignment that I seriously feel like it was BS'd beyond control and half-assed. Apparently, though, my teacher thought it brilliant.

Friday, 20 January 2012

Something I've Never Told Anyone

If it weren't for rediscovering something I've written a while ago, I probably never would have brought it up.
As some of you know, I'm what they consider an Army Brat, though I loathe that term with a burning fiery passion, for reasons I can not to discuss. My dad served for 26 years, and he's seen a lot of shit. We've been around the block a few times. I have no idea what it's like to live in one town for your entire life, to have friends for your entire life, to have a reputation that sticks with you, wherever you go. I'm used to being the new kid, to knowing that the inevitable is that your best friends will move to anywhere from Fort Hood, Texas to Okinawa Japan. Those who live in a military setting know that a tour generally lasts two to three years, but can vary incredibly. It's a rinse and repeat cycle. Nothing stays the same, but at the same time, absolutely nothing is changing. Same procedure, just a few new faces.
I don't know what it's like to live in a world where people don't know what MP means, (for those of you who don't, it means Military Police) and a while ago, I didn't even consider to think that that was the case, not until I had to explain to someone what it meant. I've moved so many times, I've left the country, the continent even. A lot of people don't even leave their state, or hell, even town.
A few years ago, sometime during my fifth grade year, my dad had gotten orders to deploy to Iraq. The news... I didn't really know all too much about the war back then, I didn't really understand why he had to go, but I just knew he wasn't the only one. There were times where about 75% of the kids in class would raise their hand when our teachers asked if our parents were down range. I remember when he left. It was my first day of middle school, and normally, he would have gotten into the car and driven us to school. Us, being my older sister Michelle, and me. At the time, she was in eighth grade, so she had a clearer sense of what was going on. That morning, though, he didn't have the time to do that before he had to go. The best he could do was go with us to the bus stop and wait with us for the bus.
When I was little, in second grade or so, and we lived in Fort Benning, my dad used to walk with me to the bus stop, and he'd stand there and we'd wave at each other until the bus had gotten too far away. It seemed so normal. Happy. That was how I had to say good-bye to my dad. We had to go to school that day, while my dad went with his company to leave for war.
I remember, I was sitting in the seat behind my sister, and I could see Michelle's reflection in the dusty glass of the bus's window. She was crying, not heavily, but enough for it to be obvious. And I felt ashamed, because I couldn't bring myself to cry. Whenever I think about that - which is a lot, lately - I try to tell myself it's because I knew he wasn't going to get hurt, that nothing bad was going to happen. And for a while, that was the case. For a long while, actually, nothing bad happened to him. Granted, we rarely had the chance to talk to him. We got the occasional package from him with things like beanie babies and games. All sorts of things, and with each passing day, with every package we got, it was one step closer for him coming home.
April 17th. For some reason, that week, no matter the year, had always been slightly negative. April 17th was the day my dad enlisted, when he was fresh out of high school. Sometime during that week, I had gotten an infection on a badly done earring - first customer with the new lady, whee! - and when my mom took it out, I passed out, falling backwards and hitting my head on the floor, nearly breaking my toe in the process. Also in that week, or sometime before then, my dad got hurt.
He was sitting in a tank when another one collided, and the cannon part of it broke through the window behind he was sitting by and seriously jacked up his shoulder. I'll never forget the pictures of the damage it caused. Thankfully, nothing else happened to him, physically, at least. He still has nightmares, almost six years later. Those he'll never get rid of.
In a way, I'm glad for my lack of knowledge on the war of Iraq at the time. I've learned so much since then, and I'm constantly thankful for my dad being safe now. It was a hard year. He missed a lot. My sister finished middle school that year, and he wasn't there to see it. I started middle school and I wish he could have been there for the awards ceremonies, hell, even for dinner after we all got home.
I'm proud to say, though, that nearly two years ago, my dad retired from the military. And we've been here in Germany for just over six years (January 10th). By the time I graduate next year, I will have gone to seven different schools. Not including my kindergarten.
-Three elementary schools.
-One middle school *a surprising feat when you lead my life*
-Three high schools
It's been a long, strange trip, but now I'm getting the chance to settle down in one place. This is the longest I've ever lived in one country at a time. Granted, my family has moved while on this tour, but we're still in the same city. I'm beginning to shed the feeling of My life is going wonderfully, when will I be forced to move again? It's liberating.
I'd like to end this post with this: I'm all kinds of thankful for everything our soldiers had to go through, and still have to do, and for everything they're fighting for, but I would never wish this life on anyone. There are too many risks, so much sadness. And this is coming from someone who isn't even old enough to vote, or hell, even legally drive in this country.

I had to get that off of my chest. Every once in a while, my walls come down, and I need a little therapy session. This was one of those times.


Monday, 16 January 2012

Welp, since i'm already here.

Might as well post a bit more than just a picture.
But first off, this post mainly exists so that Kod can see this picture, because, well, twitter apparently hates him.
So. Here you go. i found this on tumblr. it made my night.

Now, about my writings.
I've gotten a decent amount done tonight, to make up for what i'm going to shun while i'm taking my exams.
Haven't done any sprints lately, perhaps during second semester i'll be able to. -sigh-