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Sunday, February 21st, 2016
9:06 am - For my reference
Delayed Due dates

Things I have submitted original stories to
James White Award at the end of January (Had Things Gone Differently -
Did not make the long list.)
Daily Science Fiction on 2/19 (Wings/Dame Nyx -
Rejected 3/4)
Beyond Ourselves - March 1 (Maria and Moesha) (I am so lame - there is a page where I can check it's status - I check it like a dozen times a day. - Rejected 5/13)

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Wednesday, November 30th, 2016
4:39 pm - NaNo - Made it!
I am now 2/3 of the way through my story, roughly, but:



Here is a wordle of the story so far:



And here are the words that got me there.



<The yellow is a deposit of raw trisiunium nitrate,  the blue is chlorimate. They can be reacted to make fuel.>

“How does that help?” Skylar asked, as a vague memory of the chemistry she had had to study as a second year cadet, stirred in her mind.

<The engines can be run backwards,> MRGN reminded her.

Skylar blinked, pushing over to look at the map.  “I can use the burn chamber as a reaction chamber,” Skylar said, remembering the process.  “We can make our own fuel.”

MRGN zoomed in on a region of the map.  There was a blotch of blue overlapping with a blotch of yellow to make a region of green.  <There is a place where both minerals can be found.>

“We can make our own fuel,” Skylar said.  “We can go home.”

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Thursday, November 24th, 2016
9:48 pm - NaNo - 40K! 80% done!

Today, I hit 40K! 10K to go.  I can do it!

The rough draft won't be done, but that's okay.

***

The walk over to Common three took a while.  The main corridor got increasingly crowded as they walked, filled with colorfully dressed people, mostly in casual clothes, not uniforms.  There were groups gathered together talking, there were musicians on the street performing. There were two Dohi who did a tumbling thing together that was kind of incredible to watch. There was a group of Rendann singing a bawdy song. Skylar didn’t recognize any of the lyrics, but she knew the tune, and she knew that it involved verses where each one was more improbable than the last.  There was an undercurrent of hilarity, of panic beneath it all. At one point, Madison suggested that they swing over to a side corridor so they could get there faster, but Skylar refused. Adventure begins at home, she reminded herself, twisting the bracelet around her wrist.  She needed to see home. To soak it in.

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Friday, November 18th, 2016
8:59 pm - NaNo update - 30K!!!!!!
When I started NaNo - I thought a goal of 1K a day was pretty ambitous (considering up until that point, thanks to getyourwordsout I had been averaging about 400 words a day).  However, I am exactly on pace to win NaNo - averaging 1.6-1.7 words a day so far this month.

At 30K I also hit the end of the first disaster section of the story. Skylar, my main character, went out on a mission, that mission went badly awry.  Here are a few (very rough) words from when she is saved from certain death.

****

The next time Skylar woke up, she was warm.  She was in a bed.  Well, sort of. She was laying down, with webbing stretched across her, giving her a sense of the bed pressing against her, but her arms were floating by her sides.  She opened her eyes.  It was bright. She closed her eyes again and tried to remember what happened.  She and Morgan had run out of fuel, run out of air. She had been so, so cold. She had thought she was going to die.
A familiar voice said, “Hey, are you waking up, Sky?”

She opened her eyes again. The glare was no so bad this time.  A figure in light green hovered by her side.  She blinked her eyes and Quin came into focus.

“Hey,” he said with a smile.

It slowly began to dawn on Skylar that she was alive.  “What happened?” she asked, her voice coming out in a croak. Her lips were very chapped and cracked.

Quin picked up a bulb of water and brought it over to her, holding the straw up to her lips. “Here,” he said.

She took a sip and the cool water tasted so good.  She she tried to grip the bulb in her hands, but her fingers were shaking so badly they slipped off. “You are still weak,” Quin said.

With a wet tongue she licked her lips.  They stung.  “What happened,” she asked again.

“You are on the Caron,” Quin said.  “We picked up your beacon and found you adrift.”

“It worked?” Skylar said.

“The beacon worked,” Quin agreed.  “After control lost contact with you six days ago, we were sent out to look for you.  Caron is on scout support, and we found you about a lightyear short of Spero, and about half a lightyear behind where you should have been.”

“Six days?” Skylar said.  Oh, god.  Madison must be beside herself. And her parents.

“Six days,” Quin confirmed.

“Navigation was out,” Skylar said.

“Yeah.  The entire communications array was torn off its mountings and dangling from the hull by a few wires.  How did you do that?”

“Collided with a comet, coming out of supra light.”

Quin shook his head. “You got lucky,” Quin said.

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Saturday, November 12th, 2016
8:45 pm - Nano update - 40% done!
I hit 20K today! At this point, this story officially has become the longest thing

I have written.  Unlike my last attempt at a longer story, where I had to pretty much drag every single word from my head with a fish hook, this story is going well. In fact, I am 20K in, and the actual story is just about to begin, in term
s of the hero's journey
.
The MC is about to answer the call to adventure. Until this point, everything has been set up - explaining the
world, the supporting characters, etc.  I am psyched to get her into her space ship tomorrow. :)

A few things that has become abundantly clear to me is
1) The story will be longer than 50K when I am done - winning NaNo, will only get me half way through my outline, I think.

(And then I look at that sentence and thing: What alien has kidnapped Avon - she is conteplating a 100k story!  Who knew that was even possible?)

2) The revision process on this story will be substantially different than anything else I have ever written.  It is going to need a complete and total rewrite.  I am not quite sure what that will look like, but my shorter stuff I write and polish. This is going to need a lot more work before it is time to polish.

Here is a snippet from today:

Mike walked into the common room and Vray leaned back and called him over. “Mike!” he shouted. “Are you this kid’s trainer?”


Mike looked at Skylar, took a deep breath and looked back at Vray. “What did she do now?”

Skylar frowned at Mike.  Vray said, “She says she doesn’t know how to dice.  How did you let her get away with that?”

Mike looked at Skylar.  He knew damn well she played.  She had once beat him out of a whole box of fresh berries that he’d picked at his family’s garden.  He met her eyes, a smile in his eyes, before he turned back to Vray. He shook his head.  “She’s a tough case,” he said. “She’s a natural with the ship, but not so good with people.  I tried to teach her back when she was new, but she just couldn’t keep track.”

It was all Skylar could do to keep a straight face.  Mike had pretty much described the opposite person than she was. She had struggled mightily to master the ship interface. Being still and focused for long times was incredibly hard for her.

“Well,” said the first pilot. “We should remedy that.  Come here, kid.”  He scooted his stool over to make room for another.  “We’ll take it easy on you.”


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Sunday, November 6th, 2016
8:45 pm - NaNo - 20% done!
I hit 11K today! Although some of that I copied and pasted from my character sketches that I wrote before november so I am only going to claim 10K  or so.

Here, have a few words from the the end of the openning sequence.

*****


Avery and Quin walked side by side through the throng, with Madison and Skylar following.  “How is Avery doing?” Skylar asked.

Madison shrugged. “Tracy is a shit,” she said.  “He had a huge fight with Avery last night.”  These days, Avery had dinner with Madison’s family, nearly every day.  “Avery was mortified afterwards.”

“Oh,” Skylar said.  Tracy was a few years older than Madison and he clearly had gotten all the looks in the family.  Avery had been looking up to him for years and recently that mentorship had turned into open adoration that made Tracy uncomfortable.  “What a terrible day it must have been for him.”

“Yeah,” Madison agreed.  “Look.”

Quin and Avery were walking close enough that their shoulders touched. “Do you think?” Skylar asked.

Madison shook her head with a trace of a smile.  “I have no idea.”

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Saturday, November 5th, 2016
7:24 am - Homophones. Shoot me now.
It's too early in November for this. I just typed the following

"we aren't aloud to ..."

And I found myself staring at those words for several minutes before I figured out what was wrong.

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Thursday, November 3rd, 2016
9:27 pm - Nano - 10% there!
First off, a huge thank you to all you lovely people who are cheering me on! Yay. :)

Here's a snippet of a few hundred words at the 5K mark. Minimal editing has been done.

What I have learned so far: It is really, really hard to write about people moving about in zero g. You can't walk. You can't sit. Well, not really. You don't fall. When an explosion rocks your spaceship, stuff doesn't fall out of the places where it was stored - it just sort of slowly floats out.

Fortunately, the next chunk of story is, as my favorite sci fi writer DKM says, in drop.

***

The people in the room arranged themselves in a rough sphere around the projector, floating so they all got a good view. After a few seconds, the tube of light vanished and there was Spero, suspended in space. The tenders were on station. The trainees were going through their exercises, but fast. Skylar looked at the timestamp and saw that the time was advancing at two or three times the normal rate. Then she saw MRGN come into view.

“That’s me,” she said, as she made her spiraling tour of the space around Spero.

“What were you doing?” Jasper asked.

“Sightseeing,” Ally said.

“The bow deflector looked funny,” Skylar said. “MRGN wanted to…” but her voice faded out as she thought about the bow deflector.

The trainees disappeared into the Spero. MRGN docked. The tenders moved about.

And then there was a brilliant flash and the recording stopped.

“What happened?” several people said at once.

“Wait,” Fran said. She darted back out of the room and the image reset a few seconds before the explosion. The scene moved forward in slow motion. This time, they caught it. One of the tenders working on one of the ring exploded and crashed into the ring. A huge gash was torn out of the ring, with debris flying everywhere. The image goes dark again.

“Oh my god,” someone says in the silence.

“How did that happen?”

“Fran, replay it again, at half the speed you just showed us,” Jasper said.

“Sure,” she said.

They watch it a third time, and this time right before the collision, Jasper says, “There. See it!”

“See what?”

“Right before the explosion. There is a rock, a meteor that comes through the deflector. It hit the tender.”

“The deflector is down?”

“What is happening now?”

“The damage can’t be too bad, or there’d be wobble in the rotation, precesssion we could feel.”

“How can you say that? There was…” Ambo gestured helplessly at the hologram which was frozen on the last frame, showing debris flying away in all directions.

“We don’t know how bad it is,” Jasper said quietly. “It might have just been…” but he fell silent when everyone turned to look at him.

“Oh gods,” Ambo said.

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Monday, October 31st, 2016
10:34 pm - Nano here I come!
I'm doing nano this year!! I'd love any encouragement anyone wants to lob my way. :)

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Tuesday, August 2nd, 2016
11:42 am
Shoot me now. My daughters googled me and found me on that oh so useful site: ratemyteachers.com

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Wednesday, July 20th, 2016
9:06 am - Anyone want to give me some feedback?
I am working on a novel.  I think most of you know that because I talked about World Building June over on tumblr before.  The novel is nominally a present for my kids, but I suspect they will graduate college before it is done. Anyway.

I am struggling with the outline.  I am not trying for anything innovative - basic hero's journey/three act structure is my goal.  I am trying to use the snowflake method of outlining and I would love some feedback.

Here is the one sentence summary: A young scout searches for a home for her people.

The next step is to write a paragraph summary.  Five sentences.  First sentence is the setting, then three disasters and the conclusion.  In terms of the three act structure, the first disaster is the end of the first act, the second is the midpoint of the second act, the third is the end of the second act and the conclusion is the third act.  I have two ideas.

Idea #1:The G.Is.S. Spero is a vast generation ship that has been traveling between the stars for thousands of years.  (1)Systems can only be repaired so many times, and the hull breech was both tragic and inevitable.  (2) Desperate to repair the ship, scouts are sent on dangerous missions which result in injuries and deaths.  (3) Defying orders, Skylar takes risks and gets injured, looking for a home.  (C) With help from her friends, she gets back out there and finds a planet.

However, it occured to me after I wrote this, that my main character, Skylar the scout, does not really have much agency until Disaster #3 and maybe that is too late.  So then I thought, what if I move the hull breech tragedy into the backstory?

Idea #2:
The G.Is.S. Spero is a slowly failing, vast generation ship that has been traveling between the stars for thousands of years. (1) Desperate to repair the ship, scouts are sent on a dangerous, risky mission which result in injuries and deaths.  (2) Skylar, realizing the ship needs to be scrapped not repaired, pushes the range of her scout ship resulting in her having insufficient resources to get back. (3) Trying to repair the ship, Skylar crashes on a planet.  (C) Once she gets back in space, her scanner picks up the planet of their dreams.

This moves Skylar's agency forward to disaster #2 and it more closely aligns with the hero's journey model.  However, it reduces the role of the supporting cast substantially because for the majority of Act 2 and 3, Skylar will be off on her own with only "radio" contact back home.

Does anyone have any thoughts?

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Thursday, June 9th, 2016
9:56 pm - Jukebox - Another fic update
Jukebox revealed!  That means I can tell you all about the story I wrote.  It was a very hard story for me to write, in part because the song it is based on makes a minimal amount of sense.  Anyway, here it is.

Scared (5561 words) by spiderfire
Fandom: Scared - The Tragically Hip
Rating: Teen And Up Audiences
Additional Tags: Jukebox Fanworks Exchange, Apologies to Supernatural, Apologies to C.S. Lewis and The Screwtape Letters, Apologies to Dante, Moral Lessons, I hope this makes at least as much sense as the song, which is a pretty low bar
Summary:

Albert Gutmann had no idea what he was getting into when he decided to try to barter for Joe Belial's soul.

I also got two amazing gifts!!!  (A treat! I got a treat!)

No Fairytale Endings Here (1403 words) by sweetcarolanne
Fandom: Don't Stand So Close to Me - The Police (Song)
Rating: Mature
Warnings: Underage
Characters: Original Female Character(s), Original Male Character(s)
Additional Tags: Implied Childhood Sexual Abuse, Creepy, Disturbing Themes, Angst, Schoolgirls, Fantasy, Regret, Gossip, Lies, Crushes, Swearing, Teacher-Student Relationship, Implied/Referenced Rape/Non-con, No Sex
Summary:

It wasn't supposed to be like this... her romantic fantasies about her handsome young teacher had all gone wrong, and she didn't want this anymore.



Be and Be not Afraid (1587 words) by karrenia_rune
Fandom: 100 Years-Five for Fighting(song)
Rating: Teen And Up Audiences
Characters: Original Characters
Additional Tags: Gift Exchange, Inspired by Music, Fic or Treat Meme
Summary:

As an adult with two kids of her own a young woman named Sally comes back to her roots in Brooklyn, New York to interview her paternal grandmother and learns a great deal more about herself and her family than she ever expected.

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Monday, June 6th, 2016
9:29 pm - Writing update!
1) My Les Mis bang fic got posted!

The year is 1976 (9210 words) by spiderfire, Chrissy24601
Chapters: 16/16
Fandom: Les Misérables - All Media Types
Relationships: Javert & Jean Valjean
Characters: Jean Valjean, Javert (Les Misérables), Fantine (Les Misérables)
Additional Tags: Alternate Universe - Historical, Montreuil-sur-Mer, Alternate Universe - 1970s, Canon-Typical Violence, Period-Typical Sexism, Les Mis Across History, Big Bang Challenge, POV Multiple, Many Many OCs, race bent characters, Male Character of Color, Female Character of Color, chromatic big bang
Series: Part 2 of Les Mis / Civil rights
Summary:

The year is 1976 and Madeleine has been in Montrey-by-the-Sea for four years. One day, a man accidentally drives his car into the front of a popular pizza place.

Check out the beatiful art Chrissy did! This was a bit of an adventure in multiple POV storytelling. I tried something different than before, with the perspective hopping from one person to another.  I'd love thoughts and feedback!

2) I am doing World Building June over on Tumblr.  I am working on a world I call Spero, for now. It is an original science fiction world that I am hoping to tell a YA novel-length story for my kids in.  The setting is in a generation ship, 100 generations after they left their home planet.

I started writing them a story last summer, having done none of the world building work, just discovering as I went along.  Unsurprisingly, I got stuck.  So I tried again earlier this year. I found some good ideas, but I got stuck again. When I finish this, I am going to formally write up my main characters and then try again.  :) Anyway, here is what I have so far
Day 1: Introduction
Day 2: Geography
Day 3: People and Races
Day 4: Cultures
Day 5: History
Day 6: Civilization and architecture

3) I also write some ridiculous CA:CW physics meta.

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Friday, May 13th, 2016
9:41 pm - Another rejection letter!


So, I am trying to decide - do I submit this story somewhere else - or do I post it?  I might try one more submission and then just post it. We'll see.

I realized I never posted my April writing summary.  April was kind of a disaster word-count wise, but I did make some reasonable story progress.  I finished a draft of my les mis bb and I wrote a (very short) story for the Be The First challenge.  I did not manage anything for MCU, but I still havent seen The Thing so maybe I will. We'll see.

I am currently tearing my hair out as I work on my jukebox fic.  The song makes no sense.

Worldbuilding June is coming up over on tumblr, so I am going to try and dig into Spero again and flesh out the world.  The kids will be at Girl Scout Camp the week of July 17, so I am going to try and have another installment of the story ready for then.

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Sunday, May 1st, 2016
8:54 pm - Fic: Sympathy Call
So, back when I was in college, my girlfriend's boyfriend, introduced me to Daniel Keys Moran's Continuing Time books.  I love these books.  Adore them.  They are possibly my all time favorite books.  I scour used book stores and whenever I find them (increasingly rarely these days) I snatch them up so I can give copies to people.

DKM has released bits and pieces of unpublished books so he sort of fanfics himself.  I have nominated the books for yuletide for a couple years, and I will continue to nominate it.  However, there is no fic.  So, when the btfchallenge appeared - thought - why not?

So, here is my poor offering to be the first, and currently only story in the Continuing Time fandom.  Please, someone write some stuff so my story is less lonely? :)


Sympathy Call (907 words) by spiderfire
Fandom: Continuing Time - Daniel Keys Moran, Emerald Eyes - Daniel Keys Moran
Characters: Carl Casternavas, Albert DeNostri, Jacqueline DeNostri
Additional Tags: Canon Compliant, Canonical Character Death, Missing Scene

Summary: Carl Casternavas calls Albert DeNostri to tell him that Jacqueline DeNostri has died.

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Thursday, March 31st, 2016
9:26 pm
Well, March was a bit of a disaster writing wise.  Lots of days where I wrote nothing.  For a couple of reasons I think
- the cold lingered for-ever
- I had a big push to get the vampire story turned in and the let down after
- March is my least favorite month of the year. :(

Here is the graph - I finished the month down a couple thousand words - which is recoverable. Hopefully April will get better. It usually does.


Here were my writing goals for March:
1) Draft my Les Mis BB.

HA!  I say. HA!  I have half of it roughed out.  It resulted in the most ridiculous map to keep track of all of the characters.



2) Draft a story for the btfchallenge. I am planning on doing something for the Continuing Time series.  Cause I love it dearly.  And I have been asking for it in Yuletide and no one has bit. :p

Well, that didn't work out.

Goals for April

1) Finish the Les Mis BB
2) Start thinking about what I get for jjukebox_fest and npt_admin
3) Go back to spero
4) Maybe write one more hydra fic before CA:CW - maybe something short. I think this longfic that I have been working on is killing my muse. 

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Friday, March 4th, 2016
8:57 pm - My first rejection letter!
Entry #1 in my collection! ;)


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Wednesday, March 2nd, 2016
9:47 pm - February Writing Report
February got off to a great start.  I was writing every day, I had some days with really good workcounts (for me, anyway - my best days are like esteliel's bad days), I was working on an original vampire hunting story that turned out to be a ton of fun to write (and a huge thanks to lousy_science and lsl for the beta reads!  The story I submitted wound up being 10% shorter than the story I started with, and that was a really good thing for the pacing and structure of the story.)

The second half of February, though, I got clobbered by a cold.  Check out the graph. Two weeks of GREAT WRITING followed by NOTHING.  Ack.  I am still catching up at work and I am not quite up to speed yet.  BUT tomorrow I get to go to another day of the Flash Fic writing class and so that will be awesome.  A whole day devoted to writing. :D



Writing goals for March:
1) Draft my Les Mis BB.
2) Draft a story for the btfchallenge. I am planning on doing something for the Continuing Time series.  Cause I love it dearly.  And I have been asking for it in Yuletide and no one has bit. :p

I should also hear back from some of the submissions I made in January and February during March.  (bites nails!)

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Wednesday, February 17th, 2016
7:42 pm - Beta help?
Hi all -

I am working on an original story and I was wondering if anyone would be willing to give it a read and give me some feedback. Here is a summary:

Maria and Moesha Li, identical twins in their mid-twenties, live in the Boston area. Maria’s boyfriend, Jose, is an engineering student in college and he winds up doing research in a lab that has been taken over by a vampire.

It is too bad that the vampire chose that lab, because Maria is not just Jose’s girlfriend, she and her sister are also vampire hunters. They wind up teaming up with Jose’s roommate, Chris, to save him and kill the vampire.



The story is about 9K. It is rated T for some gore and language. Thank you!

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Saturday, February 13th, 2016
9:42 pm
I got the following Bingo card from getyourwordsout. I have never done a writing bingo thing before, but I thought I would give it a try this year. Not sure if any lines are speaking to me yet, but we'll see!

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