Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Hating Technology: A Half-Rant

Hey peeps,

Let me tell you a story.

Last night, I was peacefully watching Benedict Cumberbatch talk away on YouTube. I finished watching the third season of Sherlock the other day and I'm on a Cumberbatch high, therefore YouTube videos.

I noticed that my personal Gmail address was in the right hand corner of the page. So I switched accounts to the nickname channel I had created some time back, but the second I went on to another video, there was my email address, back in the corner.

So then I decided to see if I could unlink my Gmail from my YouTube. Because though my ONE playlist is set to private, the whole linked account thing freaked me out a bit.

I looked around for an answer, because YouTube, of course, can't simply have a "delete account" button somewhere. Oh, no. You have to either delete your entire Google account (which, for me, would involve email, Google Docs, Google Play, Google + AND, are you kidding me?) or it said something like delete your Google + account and then it'll unlink to YouTube.

So I deleted my Google + page. It unlinked from YouTube, though I noticed just a second ago, that my email address is still up in the corner. Why can't it just go to the nickname account all the time? So annoying. Just because it can be linked together, doesn't mean I don't want it to be linked.

At the same time, I decided to make a different Gmail address. Said Gmail address serves as the email for this blog now, for one thing. I decided to create the new account under the name I intend to write under, which is my middle and last name. This way, when I submit to contests, send queries, decide to create author pages on various social networks--when that time comes, it'll be under the same name, a matching email, and it won't clog up my regular inbox.

So, if we were in circles on Google +, that's been deleted now and I'm on Google + under the new email address. I'm adding back all the blogs I followed onto Blogger reader now and when I drop by your blogs, there's a chance that it'll be under a different email address, too.

I'm still trying to see if I can get rid of this linked YouTube thing or at least get it to where it's the nickname that comes up, so I can watch Benedict Cumberbatch talk without thoughts of Big Brother. Or at least, the NSA. Or potential employers.

Monday, March 24, 2014

I'm Not Moving: Now On

I wrote fanfiction as a teenager and never posted it. And thank God I didn't, 'cause that stuff was awful.

I wrote a short little fanfiction story in, like, 2012 and though I posted it on this blog and you can totally read it should you feel like trawling the tags...

I just posted it on

Why? Why not?

Here's the link:

I'm Not Moving

I can't say it's exactly a serious writing attempt--not like the novel--but I'm tired of not having readers of some kind lol

Don't expect this to become a habit. This is the only completed fanfiction that didn't veer into Men I've Google-Stalked I've ever written.

Tuesday, March 18, 2014

On Finishing Jane Austen's Novels

I finished reading Mansfield Park today, which means that I have now read all of Jane Austen's six finished novels.

Friday, March 14, 2014

Oh, Book...

Dear Sailor's Daughters or whatever I end up calling you,

Where do you begin? I mean, seriously. This is only my fourth time writing you. ;-\

I know where you begin chronologically, but where does the story begin? And why is this oaf named Taylor taking over my story into some weird runaway slave/blackmail story? I mean, I'm glad this inciting stuff has a purpose now, but I don't want it to be all about him. He's not the main character here! He's not even the main antagonist!

What the hell is going on in this book?! One second, we're talking about an employee leaving and the next we're talking about a sugarcane harvest and oh, dear God, why are we sucking so much at description, book?

Right now, Miles and his wife, Adele, are talking over their options after Taylor has blackmailed them via letter and the point of the novel comes out from this whole mess of a beginning because it's about family. Soon, Taylor will start making more unpleasant insinuations and then Adele dies, which will be very sad, but will get the story moving along.

Book, do you mind not feeling like I'm pulling teeth while I'm writing down this beginning? I know it's new words and that's why they sound slapped down instead of crafted and yes, they are a bit boring right now, but hang in there, novel. Think of Alexandra up in the rigging of the ship. Think of a less confused Miles. Think of Mrs. Braddock. Think of making Lady Banston just that little bit of a haughty aristocrat. Think of more Pearl in your future!

In the meantime, let's figure out these beginning bits, okay? We can do it. We can do this without too many info dumps, right, book?

Right? Right.

Saturday, March 8, 2014

The Secret Daughter of the Tsar

Bringing over a review I wrote on Goodreads for a novel I finished reading in a day because I was so excited to read it and keep going as I was reading.

The Secret Daughter of the TsarThe Secret Daughter of the Tsar by Jennifer Laam
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

This alternate history book was a real gem. Like a lot of people, the minute I learned the story of the last Romanovs and the subsequent people who claimed to be Anastasia, I was fascinated. Secret Daughter of the Tsar isn't about Anastasia, but a (fictional, obviously) fifth daughter of Nicholas and Alexandra.

The story unfolds through three different time periods--Imperial Russia in the early 20th century, Occupied Paris during WWII, and modern day Los Angeles. Lena, Charlotte, and Veronica are all strong female characters without devolving into the histrionics of a lot of "strong female characters." I found them to be fully dimensional women. It's lovely to read a historical fiction novel with women at the center.

View all my reviews

Friday, March 7, 2014

What "Law and Order" is Teaching Me About Plotting

A couple of months ago, my family decided to change our cable provider. The one we'd had caused our cable and Internet to go out during high-wind situations (though, curiously, we kept both TV and Internet during Hurricane Sandy) or heavy rainstorms or just for the hell of it. So, when a new cable provider moved into town, we jumped.

Of course, this means that many of the cable channels we have are on differently numbered channels. The package we got with the new cable company is a little bit different to the one we had.

We've been watching a lot of Law & Order.

I mean, a LOT of Law & Order.


Wednesday, March 5, 2014

What Non-Writers Don't Get About Writers

Dear Writer Friends,

Have you talked about your writing--maybe just a little--with someone who doesn't write?

It's a bizarre, disconnected experience sometimes, isn't it?

There are the people who demand to know what you're writing about. Like, why? Just nod and wish me luck. Don't demand the story out of me. I don't demand the details of your inner thoughts, do I?

Or the ones who recount a story or an anecdote and then go, "Oh, you should write that!" Um, no.

Or the people who have a story idea--a pretty good one--and you tell them you look forward to reading it when they're done. And then they never write it.

Or the ones who think that you're really procrastinating by claiming to revise. No, actually, I really am revising because it's not ready. I'm not on deadline, so I can take as long as I freaking want to.

No, really, I did have to research that. Why? What do you mean why? Because I've never switched bodies with someone else/lived in a Tudor-era monastery/been a single mother/lived in the year 1800, maybe?

Or the people who think that writing fiction is something one does as a kid and that you should grow out of. I feel like I should get to pity those people; they clearly have no imagination left.

Or people who don't understand why anyone would want to write anything. Usually goes along with people who don't understand why people like to read outside of school.

Or people who used to write and tell you every five seconds that they "used to write." Used to is past tense, bud.

Or people who ask often if the piece you're working is "done yet." It'll be done when I say it's done, okay?

No, I haven't watched random TV show/movie/whatever. I have enough fictional characters floating around in my mind. I don't want to fill it up with other peoples' characters.

And in case you can't tell, I am in full-blown PMS mode, which has me simultaneously thinking that the writing I've done in the new draft is a) probably the best I've done for this particular story and b) simply awful. As F. Scott Fitzgerald said:

The test of a first-rate intelligence is the ability to hold two opposed ideas in mind at the same time and still retain the ability to function.
Clearly he was just talking about women everywhere. About to take my warped moody mind further into Mansfield Park,


Anything to add, writer friends?

Saturday, March 1, 2014

More Downton Abbey Predictions, Season 5 edition

Season Four of Downton Abbey has ended here in the U.S. and the cast and crew are back to work on the next season now.

Which, naturally, has me thinking of what might happen come Season 5. Here is some early Season 5 casting news.

So, Downton fans, what do you think will happen next season? Obviously contains spoilers for season 4 below.