Tuesday, December 10, 2013
Yes folks... next year, on my 36th birthday (September 1st), I will be spending my time in the lovely place pictured above... London, England.
So, something very interesting happened to me on Monday morning... I arrived at work to find out that at my company X-mas party that previous Saturday night (I didn't go... I was too busy not wanting to buy a dress that I could never wear again), I had won the grand prize of the night (my company gives away gift certificates and prizes every year)! I won a $2K travel voucher to visit anyplace I wanted to in the world.
I've never won anything in my life. Well, I did receive a few trophies growing up for my band and sports accomplishments, but I've never won anything like this.
I KNOW! LOL.
Anyhoo, my friends Dawn and Andy and I had been planning a trip to London for awhile... and now I have the funds to go! I'm so excited! We are going to spend 2 glorious weeks in Manchester (where Andy is from), London, Paris, and possibly Louin, France (Andy's parents have a summer home there).
I can't believe it. I'm beyond excited.
I definitely have to see this London Eye. It's so pretty. And I'll be taking a lot of pictures. And I'll be eating some croissants, speaking French, and taking in all that is Paris.
The best part about this is that I get to visit the place that my novel is set in... it all takes place in London, with a few scenes scattered around Paris as well. I'm trying to decide if I want my characters to visit Moscow as well, but I don't know if I'm going to have the time to send them over there. We'll see.
And the other kicker in this situation... Cumberbatch is going to be on stage as Hamlet in London around the same time I'm visiting.
This is all like a dream come true. 2013 has been the craziest year. It started off soooo crappy, and now it's ending on an unbelievable high note. I'm truly overwhelmed.
Next year is going to be a busy travel year for me... I'm going to NYC in January, ATL in May, then Seattle in July, and then London and Paris in September. WOW.
All I have to do now is get my passport... and then I'm off! Whoo-hoo!
Wednesday, December 4, 2013
I wonder... is it really possible to become a bestselling author?
I've been thinking about that for the last hour or so... that's kind of a dream of mine. However, there is a huge possibility that it will never happen.
Why? Well, 1) I'm lazy 2) there's a lot of competition out there and 3) because... I'm afraid that I don't know what I'm doing and everyone will read my book and think that I'm a complete idiot.
That third reason probably scares me more than anything.
Even so, I'm still going to risk looking like a fool and try and get my spy novel written and hopefully published.
Honestly, I would love to make my living being a novelist and a freelance writer. I'm fine with my day job for now, but I would really like to make writing my one and only profession one day. But it's going to be hard. Freelance work is always scarce, and you have to hustle to get it. And just because you write a novel, doesn't mean that anyone besides family and friends will read it and it will become a bestseller. Hell, there are no guarantees that your family will even read it! I'm still trying to get my mom to read Freakonomics, and I bought that book for her SEVEN years ago, lol.
Writing (or anything in the arts, for that matter) is a tough profession to make a decent living in doing. It's interesting how I've only really wanted to partake in professions where I would have to hustle or get lucky to succeed in (talent matters too, don't get me wrong)... at first, I wanted to be a professional athlete as a kid (I dreeeeamed of being a gymnast... sadly, I was too tall, and then I wanted to play major league baseball.... sadly, I was a girl). Then I wanted to be an actor (my mom talked me out of it). At one point in time, I wanted to be a psychologist, which would have been reasonable, but I got deterred by the schooling (10 years of schooling... I couldn't handle the thought). And now I want to be a novelist... couldn't I have just settled for wanting to be an accountant? Me and my pipe dream artistic aspirations... damn.
For now, I'm dreaming of what could possibly be one day. I may never make it as a successful novelist, and that's kind of scary. But I guess there is no harm in trying, right? I don't think I can be an analyst forever. And I'm striking out hard in the tech writing field, due to no experience. My career prospects have reached a brick wall in the gov't contracting arena, you could say. It seems like there is no time like the present to just take a leap of faith and pursue failing at something that couldn't be any worse than what I'm failing at right now (I'm not exactly failing, I'm just kind of cruising on a linear path, which is ok for now, I guess).
I'm ready to suck it up and work at it. At least if I fail, at least I can say I tried. And trying is better than not doing anything at all.
PS - I didn't hit 10,000 words for National Novel writing month, but I did get over 4,500. Not bad, but I could do better. Back to work!
Thursday, November 28, 2013
Happy Thanksgiving to all! Wish it was warmer outside.
With that said, on to the topic at hand. I read a lot comment sections on blogs, forums and gossip sites pretty regularly. I have this insane desire to know what people are thinking about whatever topic I'm reading about at all times. I find human nature and behavior fascinating, and in general, I just want to know what everyone thinks about X,Y and Z on a day to day basis.
Getting an idea of what the world at large thinks is the biggest pro of the comment board. It gives good insight and provides decent feedback to the writer (or whomever had the piece/article/question published) on particular subjects. I also think that in reading comments, I believe that a person can learn a little, perhaps about a subject that they may not know very well, or even perhaps someone else's comments can positively shape or change the way they think and feel about a certain subject or person for the better.
So, that's the good stuff. Sounds pretty wonderful, right?
Unfortunately after that, everything else is one big con.
On the flip side, the blogosphere, to me, is such a crazy place for crazy people to spew hate and their ridiculous thoughts and opinions on random subjects. And a lot of times, these thoughts and opinions are so mindless, ignorant and insanely unjustified that it makes me want to barf sometimes. I really do wonder when I read comment boards sometimes "Where are all of the smart, level headed people?" Nine times out of ten they do not exist on comment boards. I'm of the opinion that these people are hiding away in a cave, creating some type of smart people comment board utopia that I will never have access to, because I'm too busy spending my time in the non-utopia reading boards with the crazies of the world.
I'm all for people putting their thoughts and opinions online, but can't people put smart, level headed, thoughtful comments online? What's with all of the hate? What's with all of the crazy? Are all people moronic? I just get sick and tired sometimes of reading all of the crazy comments. Don't people have anything better to do with their time? Can't people think before they write? Or just exercise some effing common sense?
Rrrrrrrrrrrrr! The horror of it all.
Anyhoo, this post was inspired by a commenter that frequents one of my favorite gossip sites, Celebitchy. I don't dislike this commenter at all, but I just read one of the ridiculously long posts that she put up on a Cumberbatch thread the other day on the site. And it just rubbed me the wrong way.
I personally think this woman is crazy (and apparently has waaaaaay too much time on her hands, because her posts are usually paragraphs on top of paragraphs, and are really over the top). Now, I like Cumberbatch and all, but I'm not going to write ridiculously long posts talking about 1) how much I want to bang him 2) how I think he should conduct himself in the media and his personal life 3) give him a ridiculous nickname b/c the man went to a club and had some beers with friends and was tipsy afterwards and 4) argue and fight over him with other posters about how you would "shank" a bitch just so you could have him. Yes. This is what her posts consist of. All the time.
To sum it all up in one word: Ick.
The post in particular that got me a little riled up is when she gave a blow by blow synopsis of Cumberbatch's short film "Little Favour". To a certain extent, she kind of ripped apart the short film. Here's a little blip of what she wrote:
– In the space of about twenty minutes, he’s got REALLY sweaty. The timeline is off, here and I can’t work out whether he’s been there for half an hour or half a week. And I think he’s insulting the baddie in Russian or Ukranian, and baddie is laughing, but nobody is really explaining it, so I’m not sure that it’s witty. But it involves a nice shot of Cumberarms.
- lots more eye-acting, but now he’s a little squinty because he’s supposed to be all banged up.
- The bad Ruskie has just said that he’s going to explain how this works, which is good, because I have NO clue what’s going on. Except he just started talking about leaking, and now I’m even more confused.
- suddenly, Cumby and the child are BFFs, which is a bit weird because it seems they only met about twenty minutes ago and Cumby has only spoken about six lines in the whole thing. Said child hasn’t even had time to take off her coat or backpack, which either means that the time is ridiculously condensed, or Ace is a really bad host.
- Cumberbum looks good. The final verdict on the jeans is that there blue and tight. This is good.
- Dumbest twist ever. I totally saw this a mile off, and and I didn’t even see the end of the Sixth Sense coming.
- Cumber arms ahoy. And he does some good kung fu hands.
- He’s surly and confused now. And apparently not seeing straight.
- lots of blood, but they could have actually taped on a faux cut. I’m sure they could have bought one at Rickys during their halloween sale and saved it, as cost is evidently an issue with this movie.
Obviously, she's a fan. But I guess what I didn't like was that she didn't like the "twist" in the short film, which I thought was pretty good. The comments here are also pretty snarky, which I don't like either. It seems as if she enjoyed the film, but was compelled to point out its flaws. Dude, it was 20 minute short. It wasn't a feature length film done by fricking Scorsese or anything. I just wished she had just taken this film for what it was - entertainment - and was just done with it. Rrrrr.
I also found her review/opinion/comment to be very long. A few sentences could have cut it. Not to mention, this post was a LOT longer (the horror)... I just pulled out a few bullet points for examples. This post was so long that it made my head hurt. All I was wondering when I finished reading over it was "WTF?"
I've been reading this woman's comments on this site for several months now, and I think today just the sheer craziness of her love for Cumberbatch coupled with her snarkiness about him has pushed me to somewhat of a boiling point. When I leave comments on comment boards, I usually just write a few sentences, and in certain instances maybe a few paragraphs (if I'm going off on a tear about something), and then I'm out. I don't drone on and on and on and threaten to "shank" bitches and have arguments and discussions with fellow posters all day long about my longing for a man I'll probably never meet. Who the eff has the kind of time to do all of that?
I guess I just wanted to say that this bitch irked me. And I wish that she would blog less about her love/crazy/whatever feelings about Cumberbatch. And then, go get a life. And so should the rest of the people in the world who do this shit too. I mean, really. Donate your time to charity or something. Read a book. Or do anything that doesn't involve blogging away on your computer all day and professing your undying love/hatred/crazy for a person you won't meet or on a particular thing that's not going to change necessarily b/c you hate it. Y'all know what I mean.
Ok. Off my soapbox. Until next time...
Monday, November 25, 2013
No, I am not shopping for a gun. However, I did spend some time this weekend looking up the type of guns that the CIA carry for my spy novel, so it can be as accurate as possible.
Funny story... Serena and I were busy writing our novels for National Novel month at Rio Grande Café in their bar area this past Saturday when I realized that I needed to find a gun for my protagonist, Colton, to carry with him. I didn't want him to carry a PPK, like James Bond, since that would have been too cliché, so I googled "what type of guns are carried by CIA agents".
The gun, pictured, is a Springfield 1911. It looks like a pretty fierce gun, and I figured that Colton could do some damage with that bad boy. I then clicked on Google Images and brought up several pictures of this type of gun. As I turned away to talk to Serena about it for a bit, a guy sitting next to me suddenly asked me "Hey, are you shopping for guns?"
I turned to him, mortified, and said "Oh no! I'm just looking up the type of guns that are carried by CIA agents. It's totally for the spy novel that I'm writing. I'm just trying to make it accurate. Please don't think I'm out in the open looking for one."
Serena laughed when I said that. The guy then let me know that he had a job where he was some type of gun expert (he looked like he was in the military), and recommended that I consider having Colton use a Mue soc .45 or a Springfield 1911. He said that's what agents usually carry, since they can unload and reload them pretty easily.
"Oh wow, thanks so much!" I responded to him, still mortified, especially since I didn't want this guy to think I was a loon. I chatted with him and his friend that was sitting next to him for a little bit, and then they paid their tab and they left.
Serena said to me not too long after that "Well, that's one way to meet guys."
Hee hee. I was embarrassed, but the incident was kind of funny.
Still working on the novel... I may hit 10,000 (I'm only at 3850... good luck to me) words by Saturday evening. We'll see.
Friday, November 15, 2013
Yes, I'm writing a novel.
I'm doing it for National Novel month (or whatever it's called... click here for the link) and I'm about 2500 words in.
I've actually been writing my spy novel (hence the James Bond photo of my favorite one, Pierce Brosnan) for about 2 months and counting now. I'm kind of stuck. My protagonist has been in his hotel room thinking about his life for awhile now. I need to get him off and running so that he can save the world from the chemical attack that my antagonist is planning.
Ambitious? Yes, I know. I hardly know anything about the CIA and spies outside of James Bond movies. I did do a little research last Saturday and realized that I know a lot more than I thought I did, however. I actually know that spies don't kill people every five minutes and that most of what they do is track down leads and pass information from their informants to their superiors. It made me happy to know that I haven't been busy writing a novel that is completely unrealistic. Whew.
My protagonist's name is Colton Lane (I love his name). He has a love interest named Katerina, and she's like, the femme fatale to end all femme fatales. Ok, I may be a little over the top with that statement, but she's pretty cool. They team up together to take down The Master, an elusive figure who's trying to sell off a chemical device to the highest bidder and prevent him from creating chaos in the world. Or something like that. I'm still ironing out all of the details, about The Master's end game, but that's my novel in a nutshell.
I've been really excited to write this novel, but I've seemed to hit a brick wall at 10 pages. That's how all of my writings go. I hit the 8 to 10 page mark, and forget about it for awhile (and awhile equals years, sometimes). I'm really trying not to do this this time around, but old habits die hard.
Anyhoo, I'm going to try and get going with my story in the next 2 weeks. I don't anticipate on having 30,000 words down, but maybe 10,000? That would be a huge milestone to reach for me.