Posted in fantasy, horror, NaNoWriMo, Vampires, writing

I’m Making Myself Crazy(er)

Ever since someone tweeted out a link to a doll house furnished as a haunted/witch’s house, I have been obsessed with the idea of doing a similar one, but even moreso with the idea of putting together one furnished like the home of Andrej and Anne-Marie. Fueling my addiction has been EBay where I found a seller who seems to have EVERYTHING I NEED to accomplish this. Now, all I need to do is win the lottery or knock over a bank. Let’s have a fun little poll, shall we? Assuming I actually do this thing (like I need another hobby), what do you think I should do?

So here are some shots of some of my findings for Andrej and Anne-Marie’s apartment in Prague:












Do you believe the stuff they have for dollhouses now? This stuff is actually upholstered in leather, if the sellers’ descriptions are accurate. Holy crap, I’m moving in with Andrej. He collects oriental rugs, and the seller who has most of this stuff has bunches of tiny little Persian carpets. I love the little bar set up, these guys do their fair share of drinking.



And just for fun, this is the apartment/hotel suite of the vamps in my NaNo novel in 1930s New York:






Very different look. I haven’t gotten as far with that one, but they’re not there very long. I haven’t totalled up how much all this would cost, but off the top of my head, I’d estimate around $500. The little kitchen setup alone is about $100.

Maybe I shouldn’t illustrate my vision of what their world looks like, and should let everyone dream up their own. The furniture is of course close approximations, not exact, except for the brown club chair. I almost fell over when I found that.

Posted in books, fantasy, horror, NaNoWriMo, Vampires, writing

Meet Rowena

I was trolling on EBay this morning, and BAZINGA! This is the spitting image of one of the new vampire characters in my NaNo novel, right down to the shade of lipstick. Even the hairstyle is almost exactly as I envisioned her.  Ok, it’s a little creepy, being wrapped in plastic like this, but what the hell? She’s a vampire, she doesn’t have to breathe.

She’s not the focus of the story, but holy cow, I couldn’t resist stealing the photo when I saw it. I haven’t really been able to think of any public personalities, celebs, movie stars, who would work. I might have to get this doll and dress her like the character. (I’m allowed to be neurotic, no?) Now if only I could find one for the character whose backstory IS my NaNoWriMo novel. Hmmm…

UPDATE: 11-16-2011

Here’s a less creepy photo, sans plastic head wrap.

Better hope I don’t find them for all my characters, these things are expensive!

Posted in fantasy, horror, science fiction, Vampires, writer's block, writing

Setting Goals

I’ve never been one to use writing prompts to get myself writing. You’ve probably seen them, all kinds of open-ended one liners like “The peanut butter was on the counter…” and you’re supposed to run with it and write a paragraph, or 500 words or something. Those things just leave me cold, I get nowhere. Maybe I’m being temperamental, but it’s hard to get inspired by mundane lines like “Betsy arrived late at the party.”  “Betsy” screams DULL to me. I either have to change the name (not like I ever do that, right?) or find something else to inspire myself. So I never thought I’d be able to write to a particular market, but guess what? I am firing on all cylinders when I find a market I want to write for. Who knew? I find them in various ways: Duotrope, Twitter, surfing the web. I’m a member of Duotrope (yes, I contribute $$ to them) which has a great tool for tracking markets you’re interested in. Here’s my “Favorite Markets” page. (also, please note the red in the “current needs status” boxes. If you’re using Duotrope, please send them $5 if you possibly can).

Their “Theme and Deadline Calendar” is another great way to see open markets and upcoming deadlines for submissions. I also keep a spreadsheet for publications I’m interested in submitting to with the upcoming deadlines. This focuses my attention on the writing like I never would have thought. So in addition to the vampire novel I’ve got a couple of short stories in the works, although I’m not sure I’m going to make one deadline in 11 days… argh. It could happen.

Anyway, I find that for me, tracking real markets is both inspiring with story ideas, and helps me get focused and quit playing around on the net. And with that, I’m off to work more on that short story due in a week!

Posted in books, movies, Quotes, random thoughts, writing


Just a thought for today.

My darling girl, when are you going to realize that being normal is not necessarily a virtue? It rather denotes a lack of courage! — Aunt Frances, “Practical Magic” (1998)

I’ve always loved that quote, and I love that movie, which is substantially different from the book by Alice Hoffman on which it is based. The aunts are barely in the book. I would still love to see a television series based on this movie of four amazing women who flout convention and live by their own rules. Good stuff.

Posted in horror, Vampires, writing

No Time

If only there was a way to get around having to sleep. I’ve had several more ideas for stories lately, but no time to do anything with them. I’m still revising the vampire novel and am determined not to move onto something else until I feel satisfied with that.

I’m just afraid that if I jot down a couple lines, the basics of some of these ideas, when I get around to them, I won’t remember where I wanted to go with the stories. I need to write faster, and more! I need one of those time-turners Hermione used in Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban.

Posted in books, horror, writer's block, writing

Inspired Monday

As Mondays go, today is not too bad (so far). Halfway through, and nothing dreadful yet. The Nebbish is out of town for a couple days (YAY!). That cheered me right up when I remembered. Most of the time I answer him as briefly and cheerlessly as I can. Anything else and he would take it as an invitation to hang around chatting. Because chat he does. Not very professional of me, perhaps, but you can only feign enjoyment of someone’s company so far. In this case, not at all.

Anyway, my Box of Ideas has been filling up over the weekend. Dang, this feels good! I’ve been getting ideas for stories for magazines that are openly seeking submissions, some with rapidly approaching deadlines so I need to get busy.

As you guys know, music is a pretty potent muse for me and I just got Nox Arcana’s new CD, Theater of Illusion. Ooo, ooky-spooky! The only thing I don’t care for are the talking tracks, the first one, “Abracadabra” and “Hypnos.” I find that stuff annoying and skip those. But the rest of it is good, and inspiring. You can hear some sample tracks on the Web site, if you’re interested. I had intended to bring it with me today, and of course left it at home. Argh! Oh well, I have photos and CDs of my other muse with me, so all is not lost.

Oh, and Chazz is getting up a book club over at Goodreads, if anyone is interested. First up, To Kill a Mockingbird.

Posted in writing

Support Your Local Demon

Occasionally, there arises a writing situation where you see an alternative to what you are doing, a mad, wild gamble of a way for handling something, which may leave you looking stupid, ridiculous or brilliant -you just don’t know which. You can play it safe there, too, and proceed along the route you’d mapped out for yourself. Or you can trust your personal demon who delivered that crazy idea in the first place.
Trust your demon.
– Roger Zelazny

I love Zelazny. His Chronicles of Amber series was one of my favorite sci-fi/fantasy series. There was even a Tarot deck created in its honor (of which, sadly, I do not have a copy).

I think too often we squelch ideas that at the moment they first appear look like one of those “Aha!” moments, but on closer reflection we decide oh no, that’s too silly, no one will believe that, that could never work, and so on. I know I do. I talk myself out of it before even giving it half a chance to develop and see where it leads. Sometimes that’s likely a good thing, but I think I give in to my insecurities far too often. In the ‘Stupid, ridiculous or brilliant’ race, I generally expect Stupid will win hands down. I’ve got stupid ideas in spades. At least that’s what it seems like most of the time. Somehow I need to give more credence to my little inner demon. Maybe if I gave it a name…

Posted in books, writer's block, writing

Out of Ideas?

I think it’s safe to say most of us have more ideas than we will ever get around to developing. They fly at us out of nowhere, and usually at the least convenient time (like when we’re driving, or in a meeting at work, out of a sound sleep at three o’clock in the morning when you can’t locate pen and paper, etc.).

Inspiration comes to me in many ways: Something I read, something I see on tv, something I overhear in a conversation, music I listen to, random thinking. So you can understand my puzzlement when I see messages on writing discussion boards, e-mail lists and the like, where writers send messages asking people to give them ideas for what to do with their stories.

I received at least three of these just today from different discussion boards. One person needed a title for an entertainment program that takes place in the story. A second person wanted unusual ideas about how to keep a future dystopian government from becoming cliché. Yet a third wanted exotic characters and creatures to populate the story with.

As an aspiring sci-fi/fantasy author, I’m not sure why I’d want to give away ideas for plots and characters, and alien life forms. Does this strike anyone else as odd? Are these people, in effect, asking others to give them a story?  Should they then credit anyone who supplies ideas as co-authors?

Posted in Vampires, writing

The Enemy

Today’s breakthrough in my writer’s block is courtesy of Sully Erna, frontman of Godsmack, more specifically his song “The Enemy.” I’ve got a bunch of new characters to draw up now, and I have to decide their lifespans. Some will be like the red shirt guys on Star Trek (they’re always the ones that get killed), but some I think I will need to keep around for future scenes. I even re-watched “xXx” (Triple X) the other night, which I think is really fun (Vin Diesel kills me – “Stop thinking Prague PD, start thinking Nintendo: Blow stuff up!”) and had high hopes for it getting some neurons to fire, but nope, nada, zilch this time. It’s weird the things that will trigger something in my brain. I knew I needed a harder, edgier tone than I’d been letting this thing slide into, but couldn’t quite seem to get into the groove. This holds much promise. I still might need to blow stuff up so don’t go anywhere, Vin.

:::creaking gears spinning into action:::