Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Day Seven - The Number Seven

"Seven is a very magical number."



"Why is seven a very magical number?"

"It just is."

"But there has to be a reason, there's a reason for everything."

"No there's not, there is no reason why moss grows on the north side of trees."

"Yes, there is.  More moss grows on the north side because the sun is to the south."

"Hmph...  Well there are seven kinds of magic."

"Uhh, there are eight."

"Fire, Water, Stone, Wood, Light, Dark, High.  Seven."

"Deep.  Eight."

"Oh, bugger off."


So I have been really bad...  Not only will I make up the days I missed but I will also do some sort of punishment, that I haven't come up yet.  The seven, well eight, magics I list I took from my current novel/series in progress.

Thursday, February 23, 2012

Day Two - Waiting

"I thought the desert was supposed to be hot..."

"It's the middle of the night, and winter, how warm did you expect it to be?"

"I dunno," the boy flipped up his collar, "and why does it have to be so bloody windy?

"AIDEN, watch your language!"

Cowed Aiden mumbled an apology, "Sorry Auntie Mae."

Mae looked over at her young grand-nephew, The very image of my brother at that age...

"You're sure she's coming, right?  Aiden was clutching his full spiral binder so hard his knuckles were white, the only outward sign of his nervousness.

"I'm sure she is on her way, honey."  Truth be told, she wasn't.  When Aiden had tracked his mother to Las Vegas she hadn't the heart to tell him the truth about her no-good niece.


Shorter than my last one...  Is it sad that it's only the second day and already I'm losing interest?

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Day One - Hard to Come By...

You know how they say that when a person is close to death they see a bright light?  Well the light is undoubtedly bright, though it is not as white as one would expect, rather it is a purpley-pinkish color...  How did I get here?  Oh yes, the Centenial House.  Why oh why did I decide to be a traveling salesman?

The Centenial House looked innocuous enough, from the outside at least, the first sign of something... hinky... was when I rang the door bell.  Instead of the usual bells or chimes the sound that rang out was the caw-ing of crows.  I thought it odd, but didn't make much of it.

The elderly woman who answered the door was of the usual variety, those that have lemon-flavored candies and smell vaguely of mothballs.  "Hello madame, could I perchance interest you in a new steam iron?"

"Oh... I'm not sure.  Would you mind stepping in out of the cold and telling me more about it?"  she replied.

Being invited in was another sign of something being different.  Inside, the decor didn't match with the old lady.  She directed me to sit down and before I began to talk about the iron, offered me a cupcake.  To be polite I accepted.  I took a bite, it was quite good, I finished it before I realized I had.  I was halfway through my speech when I began to feel... unwell.  "Wh- what was in that cupcake?" I asked her.

The lady smiled and replied, "Arsenic."

My vision began to darken, "Why" I asked

She chuckled and answered, "Human hearts are sooo hard to come by nowadays..."


Okay finally have this typed and done.  Getting the picture was a hassle.  I'm not to sure how well I worked with the "dramatic monologue" bit, but in my defense I'm not particularly familiar with it.

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

A Lenticular Writing Challenge

So tomorrow is the first day of Lent.  For those of you that don’t know, Lent is a period during the Christian calendar where people usually give something up for 40 days, representing the 40 days Jesus spent in the wilderness.  When my grandfather was alive he would give up smoking year after year, until he came to the realization that going without cigarettes didn’t bother him and that they were bad for him… He then gave them up for good.  Now myself, I’ve never been particularly good at this.  I don’t really do anything “bad” in the first place.  Instead of giving something up some people chose to do something additional instead, such as reading the bible.  This year I’ve decided to do a little writing challenge.

Every day during Lent I will be writing, and posting, a short piece of writing.  I will be getting a prompt from the Writing Prompts app from Writing.com this prompt will also be posted with my response to it.  I hope to spend at least twenty minutes though not more than an hour on each one.  Though I will not be editing these, I would appreciate any and all feedback you have.

Monday, February 20, 2012

Once Upon a Time - What Happened to Frederick

Last week I mentioned how I wasn’t really a fan of the Snow White/Mary Margaret/Prince Charming/David plot line, well I finally figured out why.  David is an idiot.  If I was involved with a woman that beautiful, I would do what we agreed on.  Otherwise I would probably lose her, like David lost Mary Margaret.  (For the moment at least, they are obviously getting back together eventually).

The other three characters (yes I’m counting fairy tale counterparts as different characters, ‘cause they are) are actually quite enjoyable.  The conversations between Mary Margaret and Emma are among the best of the show.  I loved the following exchange from last night’s episode.
                Emma: “… I’m not your mother.”
                Mary Margaret: “No, but according to Henry, I’m yours.”
Prince Charming is also honest about his feelings, well more than most guys at least, and can actually make up his mind.  (If you can’t tell, I find David mildly annoying… make that highly annoying).

I’ve felt sorry for Kathryn for a while now since we haven’t seen anything good happen to her, so I was happy to find out about Frederick.  In case you didn’t notice he showed up in Storybrooke as the guy she bumped into at the school.  When that happened I knew that he was someone.  I worried for Kathryn the second time she went to Regina, her expression did not bode well for the Boston-bound daughter of Midas.  I’m looking forward to the next episode since it will carry on directly from her disappearance.  What I want to know is why Storybrooke-Frederick was on that road…

What I really enjoyed was the Emma and Mysterious Stranger sub-plot.  We finally have a name, August.  When he had first showed up I thought he might be Henry’s father but that proved unfounded.  I think I prefer this match-up over the Emma/Graham one, which just felt… rushed.  August also seems like a more interesting character, I want to know what he was doing with the Book.  I like the theory that he “wrote” it, but I don’t know if he was repairing the Book or altering it.

My pet theory is that August is the Storybrooke version of Rumplestiltskin’s son.  We know Rumple Knows, which could be explained by the fact that Rumple made the Dark Curse, which is likely but not confirmed.  He could have made it so that it would “exclude” himself, and his blood.  That would explain August Knowing, which I highly suspect.

This episode also lends some support to the theory that Storybrooke is somehow “on top of” the Fairy Tale world.  The well’s underground lake could be the Siren’s Lake.  I don’t quite believe it, yet.  I’ll need some more evidence. 

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

On Chapter Length and Pan-Universal Be-Who-You-Are Day

So here I was, in the midst of writing my first novel, and I thought “wait, how long should I be making my chapters?”  Now in reality I probably shouldn’t be thinking about it at this point, I should wait until the book is actually written.  I however have an overdeveloped sense of procrastination…

So there are two main schools of thought on this: short chapters and (you guessed it) long chapters.  (Sounds kind of obvious doesn’t it?)  They both have the goal to keep readers reading as long as possible.

Short Chapters – The mind frame for short chapters is that if a reader knows the next chapter is only a few pages, as opposed to fifty pages, he or she is more likely to continue reading.  They can also be used to give a sense of the book being fast paced, whether or not it actually is.  Shorter chapters also, in my opinion, lend themselves to a Spartan or succinct writing style, one without a lot of description or exposition.  I have found that short chapters are more common in thrillers and such, though are not limited to them.  Witch & Wizard by James Patterson is a fantasy with short, sometimes incredibly short, chapters.

Long Chapters – With long chapters the goal is to give readers as few breaking points as possible.  The rationale being readers do not want to end their reading session in the middle of something.  I don't know if I quite agree with this, I for one will stop just as often in the middle of a chapter as at the end of one.  The writing style best suited for long chapters is a verbose one, in a good way, much like Brandon Sanderson or Pat Rothfuss have.  Long chapters are common in the High and Epic sub-genres of Fantasy, which also happen to be the genres I most often write in.  I guess this means I should be going for longer chapters…

On a side note Happy Pan-Universal Be-Who-You-Are Day!  (Formerly known as Interplanetary Be-Who-You-Are Day)  Kristin Cashore is a talented writer who, like me, is not really a fan of Valentine’s Day.  I dislike how V-Day is so divisive (between those who are in a lovey-dovey relationship and those who aren’t), and really shouldn’t you treat your significant other awesome all the time?  Some arbitrary day should not make you; you should do it on your own.

Monday, February 13, 2012

Once Upon a Time - Skin Deep

When I first found out Once was going to do a Beauty and the Beast episode I was ecstatic. Beauty has always been one of my favorite Disney, second only to The Sword in the Stone, likely due to the fact it was my older sister’s favorite (we usually ended up watching what she wanted to…). Then I found out Rumplestiltskin was going to be the “Beast.” I was hesitant at first, but I gradually warmed to the idea because of my intense respect for Mr. Carlyle’s acting.

I enjoyed the different take on the tale as old as time. They were able to maintain the spirit of the story while incorporating it into the larger mythos of the show. While I think the story, even in its original form, is basically Stockholm Syndrome (where prisoners form an emotional connection to their captors) it is a romanticized version. This episode toned down on the romanticism without making it excessively dark. There is a definite chemistry between Emilie de Ravin and Robert Carlyle and Belle brings a human side of Rumplestiltskin that we really haven’t seen.

In Storybrooke we see the dark side of Mr. Gold, which we come to understand through the Fairy Tale side of things. Love can make people do crazy things, and when that person is already a bit (okay a lot) unstable they do even crazier things. Like abducting the father of the woman you love because you blame him for her “death.” I liked how Regina was able to get Mr. Gold to admit knowledge of the Fairy Tale world with the “Chip”-ed tea cup. I have suspected he Knew since their conversation in Episode Two, but there wasn’t a doubt in my mind after the blank card in the Hansel and Gretel episode.

The Snow White and Prince Charming sub-plot was, to me, rather underwhelming. I know they are the “main” story but I don’t quite connect to them the same way as Rumplestiltskin/Gold and Regina (I like the bad guys, what can I say). Next week is yet another SW/PC episode (doesn’t it feel like we just had one?).

Oh and did anyone notice the Game of Thorns reference on the flower truck?