Tuesday, November 28, 2017

TWIC: Science proves it!, living a fantasy, semi-cliche

There are a variety of phrases, all some version of "science shows...." or "science proves...." that bother me. That said, here is Science Shows Something Something Surprising About People Who Love To Write. I guess no matter how factual they might or might not be, they are inspiring. One paragraph from the article:
It turns out writing can make physical wounds heal faster as well. In 2013, New Zealand researchers monitored the recovery of wounds from medically necessary biopsies on 49 healthy adults. The adults wrote about their thoughts and feelings for just 20 minutes, three days in a row, two weeks before the biopsy. Eleven days later, 76% of the group that wrote had fully healed. Fifty-eight percent of the control group had not recovered. The study concluded that writing about distressing events helped participants make sense of the events and reduce distress.
Your novel's done. Now what?
At Quora, I answered the question Do you spend time 'living' in a fantasy world? The link is to all the answers. Mine is 6 paragraphs long; here is the first one:
I do and I am not satisfied with it! I know it sounds strange that I am unsatisfied with a universe I control utterly, but my apparent love of repetitive tasks and killing of monsters and Nazis disturbs me.
Amazon is policing book promotions that can upset their ranking systems. It seems authors using BookBub promotions have had their books removed from rankings. The same does not happen if Goodreads promotions are used (Goodreads is owned by Amazon, I learned in the article.)
How much of my writing is mine? Scott Thornbury, professor of ESL, discusses creativity and ESL instruction.
Corpus linguistics has, of course, shown him to be wildly wrong: a great deal of real language use does in fact consist of fixed phrases – more than 50%, according to some estimates. The Russian literary critic Mikhail Bakhtin had long since anticipated this: ‘Our speech, that is, all our utterances (including our creative works), is filled with others’ words, varying degrees of otherness or varying degrees of “our-own-ness”’ (1986: 89).
Language use, it seems, involves an equal measure of conformity and creativity, a tension that finds expression in John Sinclair’s distinction between the ‘idiom principle’ and the ‘open choice principle’.
I find in my current Nanowrimo work a lot of simple phrases that I use from repetition, I use them because everybody uses them. And yet they are not precisely cliches. Here I describe students newly arrived at a school:

Some stood tall, aloof and confident, untouched by misfortune, while the faces of others showed nervous hope. The six year old had charmed an older student enough that he held the younger boy’s hand in support.
"Untouched by misfortune" most stands out to me as something I can't imagine saying. It feels right but almost formal, as if I had learned the phrase. So does most of the rest of the quote.  Several pieces of it just don't feel like me. I am comfortable with the words, they are common enough that I am not plagiarizing any individual and they aren't cliches, but I imagine they are examples of 'fixed phrases' that I have absorbed.

Tuesday, November 21, 2017

TWIC: grammar for dummies, map generator, editors, peanuts

I just visited a grammar for dummies site. Turns out I was using quotes and question marks correctly most of the time. Once I thought it looked weird, I removed the question mark - hey, if I write the word 'asked' then I probably don't also need a question mark, right? Then I considered a comma outside the end quote... Finally, it was easier to confirm my grammar then over think it with every occasion I had to type it.
From the very helpful site:
“How can you eat a tuna sandwich while hoisting a piano?” Betsy asked as she eyed his lunch.

“May I have a bite?” she queried.
Writers and editors:

The rest of the thread is interesting.
Another medieval city generator. Well, another generator, this may be the first medieval once. I like it!  As you swing the pointer around, the districts of the city display their usages. This one below had a temple but others did not.

The generator also references 3-d toy town. I don't think you can make the two sync and see the same town in both views.

Peanutize Me.

Wednesday, November 15, 2017

TWIC: hanging in with Nano, Blavatsky,

Nano update:
I am currently around two thousand words behind. I could catch up if I felt better. I am so sick right now but I think I won't throw up again for a little while.

A recent Quora question about The Secret Doctrines by Blavatsky caught my attention. Weird or mystical books always seem like remarkable works of creativity. And now with the Voynich text deciphered, I am looking for new bizarre works.

The Secret Doctrines fits the bill but I am not sure if it is as entertaining as the well-illustrated Voynich book. Next month I hope to have time to look it over. More information here.
L Sprague de Camp investigated her claims.

Monday, November 13, 2017

TWIC: colour and mostly Nano wordcount,

If white people were described the way other races were:
1. He looked at her longingly, as he imagined her exotic, mashed potato skin laying gently against his.

2. She took off his shirt, his skin glistening in the sun like a glazed doughnut. The glaze part, not the doughnut part.

3. His eyes looked like eyes because they were eye-shaped, not almonds.
I am a little behind in my Nanowrimo numbers but have time today (Friday) to catch up. My story includes a sort of school of magic from the POV of the teachers - I really to add more carping about the students and more blithe lack of care about their safety!
Sunday evening: I am ahead in my wordcount after a great Saturday at a write-in. I don't know if I have written 4300 words in one day before but that was at least one of my best writing days.
Today was a strange day. The words poured out but, well my story involves learning about technology in medieval times. My characters today made a hand powered cart and I spent a lot of words happily designing the machine.
A lot of words.
I will probably have to delete most of them at some point.
And yet it was a lot of fun. I really enjoyed writing about the construction. The word-smithery was not great as I found I didn't know all the technical terms I thought I did.
I am writing this to remind myself of what I like to write about. On Saturday, some parts describing siblings and political machinations really dragged and felt awkward. This writing was technically awkward but went by happily.
A writing show on CBC advises us to read our work aloud to see if it is as good as it can be.

Wednesday, November 8, 2017

Making a living by giving it away.

Evan Dahm  makes comics.

This is for Vattu (follow the top link to see his various projects.) Here is the first image:
Well, back to my own writing. I am on track with Nanowrimo and hope to build a cushion this weekend. 

Monday, November 6, 2017

TWIC: insult generator

Martin Luther Insult Generator. Not exactly creative - well, Luther's insults were creative indeed - but this site is already a collection of generators, so here it is for completion's sake.
I have started Nanowrimo and had a bad start so I have been catching up. I'm writing this on Saturday morning and I don't know if this post will grow or not. If anyone cares, I am now caught up, 5012 words in three days. Yesterday I nearly doubled the required word-count so I am likely to finish strong.  Of course one of my friends involved in the event is at double my wordcount and has the required words for six days.

Wednesday, November 1, 2017

Nanowrimo started

A Nanowrimo miracle occurred! In the summer I bought a bluetooth keyboard for my phone and computer. Then the bluetooth on my phone no longer connected all the time - it's an old phone. Yesterday, I tried the two again and the connection was smooth and constant. I was ready to type in a variety of locations! Here is one example:

I walked at a slow but constant pace (no choice about the consistency on a machine after all) and typed at a slow and inconsistent pace. I think I was more thoughtful. Anyway, it was forty fewer minutes sitting in a chair so the whole thing was a net positive so far.

Time to dig in on the writing. I've many words to go before I sleep.