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Dream inspiration: Mechanical Beauty and the Beast

  • Posted on August 27, 2016 at 9:11 am

My muse has visited me in my dreams once more, and I’ve decided to share that with you, dear internet. Before you ask, no, I’m not worried someone will ‘steal my idea’, as, very simply, even if you did, you would write it differently in a thousand ways, and my idea isn’t the most original thing, after all. How many times has the story of the beauty and the beast been told, over and over and over again? Fairy tales are never static, and when they are, they quickly get boring.

In the dream, I was attempting to win over the favor of a mechanical gaurdian, so that he’d let me live. I think this was inspired both by the Sand dungen in Fable 3, with it’s terrifying slithery dark demon children, and the armor from Sauron’s Ring Wraiths. But basically, I failed (as I always do in my dreams) and he gutted me like a fish.

BUT! My mind wouldn’t stop there. What if I had succeeded? What if he had let me stay and study the beautiful and mysterious workings of his home? What if-! Ah, but then it’d be Beauty and the Beast, wouldn’t it?

So there it is. A clockwork Beast and the Beauty who could give him the only thing he wanted. Company. (Well, to be specific, my brain came up with the idea of ‘children’, as in tiny clockwork robots to keep him company forever, but my dreams have always had a fascination with the idea of being a mother and all the horrors contained.

Now, how to flesh out this idea. Perhaps an outline? Ah, but I’m so busy recently with school and workstudy that’s starting up soon, and my current ‘job’ as a nanny/housekeeper for my best friend. What can I do? Well, NaNoWriMo is coming up… so maybe I can make it part of that? Ah, but with the increased courses at my school, can I do NaNo without losing my goddamn mind?

It’s possible. Not likely, but possible. If I REALLY work hard at it.

Looks like I have my work cut out for me.

IWSG 04/06/16

  • Posted on April 6, 2016 at 5:04 pm

This month’s IWSG post is about growth and change. Fitting for the spring season we’re all now entrenched in, if you think about it. April showers bring May flowers is the old saying, and that generally means that the work you put in today, yields results tomorrow. But how do you know that the results you get will be the ones you want?

I’m talking today about my own plans, but please, ask yourself these questions as well, and see if they ring true.

  1. Do I have a goal?
  2. Is this goal something I really want to work towards?
  3. Is this goal something that will make me happy?
  4. Do the steps I need to take line up with what I am capable of?
  5. Should I go past my capabilities, even if I don’t know what the result will be?
  6. If I fail, what is the worst that can happen?
  7. What is my next step?

These are questions that I ponder on a daily basis. Questions that make it difficult to move forward at times. As you well know by now, I suffer from untreated anxiety and depression, and although I’ve been on anti-anxiety/anti-depressive meds before, I cannot afford them right now. This means dealing with my own issues without the aid of medication that turns my brain from my enemy into my friend.

So, these questions can be double sided. Negative answers can pop up and wreak havoc. In this case, however I’m going to try to answer them here for you, in the most positive light I can.

  1. Yes, I have a goal. Several. The two most important are to complete my degree, and to get published.
  2. Yes, the goals are worth working towards. Not only would being a published author raise my self-esteem, it would also make it easier to find work. ‘Published Author’ looks impressive on a resume, after all. And education is it’s own reward.
  3. Do these goals make me happy? Somewhat. I have no doubt that being published will make me happy. And completing a degree will definately make me feel accomplished.
  4. The question here becomes difficult. Am I capable of the steps necessary? Of attending classes? Getting good grades? All while writing, editing and publishing a book? Not to mention all of the other goals I have that aren’t listed here? …I won’t know until I try. But I believe I am. I believe I can do these things, because others believe I can. My writing mentor, Chris Votey, tells me that I can accomplish this. That I can be an author. My best friend tells me that I am worth an education. That I can do it.
  5. Should I overextend myself? What if I’m not capable of acheiving these goals? Well, as my best friend reminded me today, the steps along the way are lessons, that I can then apply to new goals. There’s no need to worry so much over failure, becuase success isn’t the goal. The journey is. So I CAN overextend myself. I’ll just have to have nets waiting for when I fall.
  6. If I fail to get my degree, I’ll have to continue working in retail, or worse, not work at all and eat up my best friend’s resources. If I fail to be published, I will have wasted all the time writing these stories, getting them out of my head and onto paper. If I fail, I will be where I am now, instead of where I want to be. That… doesn’t sound so bad to me.
  7. My next steps are simple. Last week, I tested to see if I need remedial classes. This week I wait for them to tell me if my verification has come through. Everyday, I write. More and more, and then edit, carefully. Those are my next steps.

When I ask these seven questions, I don’t feel nearly as bad about where I am, or what to do next. Growth is just looking for a way to succeed. Nothing more. Change is the willingness to grow, and the chance. So what are you growing this april? What do your seven answers look like? Did these questions help you in any way? Let me know!

 

Weekly Writing Update – 1/11/16

  • Posted on January 11, 2016 at 7:03 pm

It’s been quite a long time since we’ve done one of these! A weekly writing update is when I take a look back over the last week and determine what goals I’ve met and what goals I haven’t. Sometimes I’m proud of myself, and sometimes I’m not, and I find lately that that feels wrong. I should ALWAYS be proud of what I achieve, even if it isn’t what I wanted to achieve.  Trying to be more grateful for myself and my works is one of my goals!

Word Counts

Knight of Kuryle – Unknown wordcount (still need to download and use Scrivener to edit)

Ashes and Ink – The New Kaimi Rowe book – 25997 words – First draft

The Faery King’s Bride – A fanfic project I started a few days ago – 2702 words

Blog Posts

Pet Peeves – 07/16/15

Half a Year Gone By – 12/04/16

ISWG – New Years Resolutions – 01/06/16

Books Read

The Time MachineH.G. Wells

Kafka on the ShoreHaruki Murakami

Goals

Read:

Get a new job (my current one is disagreeable)

Finish Fafsa

File Taxes

Download Scrivener (if I can on this thing)

 

Breaking Down Nemesis: Part Two

  • Posted on August 17, 2014 at 11:36 am

For those of you just joining us, here’s a link to part one. For those of you who aren’t, we’re working on chapter two this time, of Miss Marple’s mysterious adventure in Nemesis. In chapter one, Miss Marple read in the newspaper about the death of an old friend. Now, we get to continue!

Chapter two: Code Word Nemesis

We pick up a week later, when Miss Marple receives a letter. Correspondence, we’ll find out later, turns out to be a really important thing to the lovely Miss Marple. And in fact, pretty important too.

She again, notes the details of the envelope. Good quality envelope, London postage, that sort of thing. Broadribb and Schuster, Solicitors and Notaries of the Public. We’ll meet these gentlemen later, I get the feeling. Yay, more characters! So far, we have five characters, one post-humous. So far, the Code is starting to look pretty reasonable. I know I’ve been drawn in. How about you?

The “Courteous and Legal phraseology” asks her to meet them at her earliest convenience, which turns out not to be Thursday the 24th like they suggested. You’ve got to love the thought that Agatha puts into these thought processes. What character have you ever known to DELAY THE DAMN CALL by attending a meeting at a women’s college about adding some new classrooms.

After a quick discussion with Cherry, who seems to enjoy caring for Miss Marple the same way some people teach children to read, Miss Marple decides she’s going to visit them. If only because Mr. Rafiel might have left her something. A very organic thought process, here, something I might think myself. She hopes not for money but for a rare book on flowers, or a nice cameo broach.

Instead of waiting, we are treated to a quick flash forward to a discussion between Mr. Schuster and Mr. Broadribb. As with Cherry and Miss Marple, we learn about these two through their conversation rather than through a flat out description, or even an introduction. The very first bit we hear is this:

“Wonder what she’ll be like,” said Mr. Broadribb to Mr. Schuster, glancing at the clock as he did so.

“She’s due in a quarter of an hour,” Said Mr. Schuster. “Wonder if she’ll be punctual?”

“Oh, I should think so. She’s elderly, I gather, and much more punctilious than the young scatterbrains of today.”

“Fat or thin, I wonder?” Said Mr. Schuster.

Mr. Broadribb shook his head.

Already I like this Mr. Broadribb MUCH more than Mr. Schuster. But maybe that’s just because I really like Miss Marple, and Mr. Broadribb is being nicer. Then, after their impromptu discussion on what they thought she would be like, they fall into a discussion of their employer. Or rather who and what their employer WAS. As of course, Mr. Rafiel is dead. He seems to be considered a very shrewd man. They say he had “Flair” for what he did, as well as a “Great financial brain.”

This makes me want to meet him even more. Too bad he’s already dead. I wonder what finally killed him?

Miss Marple arrives, and Mr. Schuster excuses himself, thank god. We finally get a description of Mr. Broadribb, and it turns out he’s rather melancholy and long of face. Which just makes me like him more, honestly. Good lawyers should be rather down-trodden, otherwise they aren’t doing their job. Anyway, they begin again, by opening the discussion with Mr. Rafiel. I find myself in a state of constant tension. I just want to find out what he left her already, despite knowing that it was a job, thanks to the description of the book.

Miss Marple is then given a letter. She reads it through, and then rereads it. Then, she has this to say to Mr. Broadribb:

“This is hardly very definite. Is there no more definite elucidation of any kind?”

Apperantly, all Mr. Broadribb was supposed to do was give her the letter, and then tells her that the ‘sum of the legacy’ is 25000 pounds. Now, for my american viewers, who may not understand this amount, that’s a little over 41,000 dollars. Which is quite a lot of money for an old lady. In fact, they go on to discuss what she might do with this money, while Miss Marple is in a bit of a shock over it. Or maybe she’s just trying to figure out the letter already.

Then, Mr. Broadribb asked her if the word ‘Nemesis’ meant anything to her. And she explained that she said it once to Mr. Rafiel, and he was amused at her calling herself that. Again, I really want to read that damned book. Both Mr. Broadribb and Miss Marple are left thoroughly confused by the events, and so am I, until a page or so later, when we FINALLY get to know the contents of the letter.

“To miss Jane Marple, resident in the village of st. Mary Mead.

This will be delivered to you after my death by the good offices of my solicitor, James Broadribb. He is the man I employ for dealing with such legal matters as fall in the dealing with such legal matters as fall in the field of my private affairs, not my business activities. He is a sound and trustworthy lawyer. Like the Majority of the human race he is susceptible to the sin of curiosity. I have not satisfied his curiosity. In some respects this matter will remain between you and myself. Our code word, my dear lady, is Nemesis. I don’t think you will have forgotten in what place and in what circumstances you first spoke that word to me. In the course of my business activities over what is now quite a long life, I have learnt one thing about a man whom I wish to employ. He has to have a flair. A flair for the particular job I want him to do. It is not knowledge, it is not experience. The only word that describes it is flair. A natural gift for doing a certain thing.

You, my dear, if I may call you that, have a natural flair for justice, and that has led to your having a natural flair for crime. I want you to investigate a certain crime. I have ordered a certain sum to be placed so that if you accept this request and as a result of your investigation this crime is properly elucidated, the money will become yours absolutely. I have set aside a year for you to engage on this mission. You are not young, but you are, if I may say so, touch. I think I can trust a reasonable fate to keep you alive for a year at least.

I think the work involved will not be distasteful to you. You have a natural genius, I should say, for investigation. The necessary funds for what I may describe as working capital for making this investigation will be remitted to you during that period, whenever necessary. I offer this to you as an alternative to what may be your life at present.

I envisage you sitting in a chair, a chair that is agreeable and comfortable for whatever kind or form of rheumatism from which you may suffer. All persons of your age, I consider, are likely to suffer from some form of rheumatism. If this ailment affects your knees or your back, it will not be easy for you to get about much and you will spend your time mainly in knitting. I see you, as I saw you once one night as I rose from sleeping disturbed by your urgency, in a cloud of pink wool.

I envisage you knitting more jackets, head scarves and a good many other things of which I do not know the name. If you prefer to continue knitting, that is your decision. If you prefer to serve the cause of justice, I hope that you may at least find it interesting.

Let justice roll down like waters.

And righteousness like an everlasting stream.

Amos.” 

And with that, we are at an end for chapter two. Now, I am a fangirl at heart, and usually, in fandoms, when this sort of accord is reached between two people, we start shipping them. Which means that I thoroughly believe that, had circumstances been different, Miss Marple and Mr. Rafiel might have been paramours. Lovers. Sweethearts. Soul-mates. But then again, it might just be me. Either way, these two characters have a great respect and care for each other. They know each other inside and out.

It’s a rare thing to see two characters connect like this. It’s something to emulate, for certain. Also, the characters themselves are really relatable. I seriously want to meet this Mr. Rafiel. I’m also kind of hoping he’s faking his death. I doubt it, because this doesn’t seem that kind of book, but I hope.

Another thing, I find the use of “Cloud of Pink Wool” to be the beginning of our recurring themes. Check number two on the Agatha Christie Code list. I’m close, guys. I’m close. But this is important. Recurring themes have been shown to be very addictive. Memes. Episodic plot-threads. Recurring characters. Simply enough put, Miss Christie is onto something here. Because everyone seems to put these recurring things into their work. Or at least, the smart ones do.

So, your turn! Tell me about the recurring themes in your own work. Memes, inside jokes, the kinds of things that you think your future fandoms will latch onto and turn into an indoctrination method.

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