Tag Archives: daily life

Random Trivia and Checking In

I’ve always wondered why there are so many reboots of super hero movies. Batman comes to mind, it seems like there’s a new origin movie for him every 5 years or so.

Yesterday I read that it’s because if studios don’t make a new super hero movie every so often, they’ll lose the rights to those characters. I guess they’d rather make the same movie over and over again than lose the rights.

I thought I’d pop in for a minute just to say I’m still around. So how is my writing goal going? It’s sort of changed directions. I’ve done a great job of writing every day, I’ve just been focused on working on this script. It’s been a really interesting challenge. I’m still not entirely sure I’m doing it right, but I love the process so far.

I’m attempting to write an R rated comedy. It seems like a natural choice for me. Of course, that puts a lot of pressure on me to have funny things happening. I read through the script for Bridesmaids and started breaking it down page by page. I realized that there is something funny on almost every single page. Either an action line that sets up a physical joke or a funny bit of dialogue. YMMV since some of the gags didn’t really tickle me, but I could see where it was something that someone would laugh at.

One thing that is bothering me is that my second scene, which is really a huge part of setting up the character’s first act life so it really has to exist in some form, takes place in a car as he and his best friend drive to work. It makes good sense logically since the next scene is of them at work. However, I don’t think it’s a good idea in a comedy. I noticed that Bridesmaids does pretty much that exact thing with the main character and her bff in a coffee shop, just sitting there talking. I’m honestly not even sure how that scene even got to stay. I would have figured someone would have rewritten it so that they were riding camel back while they chatted or something.

I’m starting to become quite the expert about raunchy comedies lately. I feel like I’ve watched pretty much all of them by now. As far as I’m concerned Revenge of the Nerds is the best of them. Although I’m pretty sure they’d all be in prison by the end for the crap they pull throughout the movie, it’s still such a great example of a fun movie. There’s not a single character or situation that feels like it doesn’t belong or that it could have been done in a better way. I can’t think of a single other movie that I feel that way about.

It pains me to say this because I am a huge fan of Stepbrothers, but there were a lot of scenes that just weren’t funny to me. The sleepwalking scenes, for example, were painful. The Christmas dinner tryst was just awkward.

Anyway, I didn’t mean to ramble. I’m hoping to finish up my first draft of my script on Monday. At that point I’m going to set it aside and work on another idea I have. So I’m excited about the idea of finishing an honest to god script. Or at least the first draft. That’s something else I never thought I’d do.

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Just a fun little read

So last January I started thinking of this cool what if… what if a woman died and came back as a ghost, but nobody could see or hear her except her ex husband? And what if she couldn’t remember who killed her or even how she died so her ex was a likely suspect in her murder?

When I originally conceived of the story, I pictured it as being a light hearted, 1st person POV following the ghost. I was busy with other projects so I couldn’t give it as much attention as I wanted, but I did write out a couple of scenes just for fun. I dug up those scenes a minute ago and was surprised at how much I like them for being a rough draft of something I wasn’t taking very seriously at the time.

I’m going to try to salvage some of the dialog since I do still like it, it pretty well captures the essence of who they are. The rest though is pretty useless. I thought I’d share it here just for fun. It’s still in the raw, totally unedited state so please read it in that spirit. You can find it under Free Reads: here.

I hope everyone is having a wonderful new year! I’m already falling behind on my word goals for this project. I’m actually ahead on other projects so it’s not a total waste, but it is a little frustrating. I missed my goals on January 1st even. How’s that for aiming high?

Naw, I kid. I’m not stressing a daily goal as long as I can stay on track for the bigger picture. There are going to be bad days. I missed all my writing on the first because of a serious lack of sleep that had me feeling draggy all day. I’d try to write something and start to doze off at the keyboard. Then yesterday was a day of playing catch up on my other projects which take priority over my fiction. Today I went ahead and finished the short story I was working on since I was pretty close to done. So here I am finally sitting down to start working on FMAL after 6 in the evening on day 3. Life is like that sometimes, but I’m going to keep plugging away and see where I end up at the more milestone-y moments like the end of a week or a month.

Ok, enough blogging. I’m off to do some writing before I get even farther behind. Have a wonderful evening. 🙂

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2011 in review and what 2012 will bring

2011 was, in most ways, probably the best year of my life so far. It’s the year that I accomplished so many of my goals and lived, ever so briefly, the very moment that I have always defined as my perfect moment. (For those who are curious, it was when I was floating on my back in a pool in Florida. I was sunning myself during our Disney World vacation, while my love– my crush since I was 13 years old– and my kids played next to me. On a trip that my writing paid for. It was the culmination of every childhood fantasy I’ve ever had. It was AMAZING.)

It’s been almost an entire year to the day that I started this crazy adventure. My goals were simple at that point; finish a novel and become an indie publisher. Mission accomplished.

My life has changed so much from where I was at this point last year. I moved across the country, I married my love, I was able to pay the bills with my writing…

It’s the ways that I haven’t changed that concern me the most. I’m still very much a terrible self starter. I work on things when they excite me and when they stop being exciting, I stop doing them. I’m easily distracted. I’m unorganized.

So that’s where I decided to start when I made my goals for 2012. This year was great, but I want to make next year even better. Some of these goals aren’t writing related, of course, but that’s ok.

1) Stick with my production schedule all year (end result should be 6 novels by the end of December)

2) Write a total of 4k words a day divided between different projects

3) Become a bout ready member of my roller derby team

4) Run the zombie 5k in March

5) Stick to a regular running routine up to and beyond that 5k

6) Write a screenplay (this one is a just for fun experiment with no expectations that it’ll go anywhere)

7) Blog regularly (I’m shooting for 3x a week)

8) Go ghost hunting

9) Host a party at my house (this one might seem lame, but I’m actually a little skittish about the idea of being responsible for something as ambitious as a real party)

10) Finish the project I’ve been thinking about (It’s secret for now as I try to figure out the details and whether or not it’s feasible at this point)

I’ve actually set up a list on Curio where I’ve broke the long term goals like my production schedule and blogging into months so I can see how I’m really doing. I should probably even go as far as weekly checks, but that’s a level of detail that I’m not really thrilled to mess with so I’ve just trusted I can hold myself accountable by the month.

Anybody else make any goals for 2012 you’d like to share?

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The most interesting job in the world

I’ve spent a lot of time this week working on the outline for my upcoming project, known at this time as F My Afterlife- although that name was chosen when I was going for a more playful tone. Things have gotten downright macabre in ghost-land during the course of plotting so I’m not sure if that title will fit anymore.

When I say “some time” I mean every day for a week and a half from 8am when I wake up to 9 or 10 o clock at night. I bought some books* on the craft that I’ve been reading while I plot, literally reading for a few minutes and then stopping to add or rewrite scenes accordingly. I’ve been learning a lot this time around. I have been making liberal use of post it notes on my wall to remind me of things like prior to the midpoint the characters are reacting, it’s only after that point that they finally start to take action. Just simple reminders, but they help me keep things on track.

I can’t imagine spending as much time doing any other job. I never thought that I’d find something to do with myself that would literally have me wanting to spend my every waking moment thinking about it. Granted, it becomes more of a grind once the planning stage is over, but there’s no part of writing that I actually hate or even dislike. Well, maybe promotion, but I’m out to find out if that step is even necessary.

What really made me consider my opinion that writing is clearly the most interesting way to earn a living ever is the nature of some of the conversations I’ve had because of it. I IM with my love most of the day, especially when something in my plotting has really caught my imagination. At that point it’s an invitation to send him an elaborate run down of the plot so far, how the characters tie together, and why this new idea is solid gold. I’m guessing that for him none of this is nearly as fascinating as I think it is, but the fact that I’m literally creating something that didn’t exist until I thought of it is heady stuff.

If you are someone who is sitting on the fence about indie publishing, I’d highly recommend you give it a try. Based on my highly scientific presentation of why writing rocks.

Unrelated, but worth reading, I found another article about the KDP Select program. I know Mark Coker isn’t unbiased, but he makes such good points. The one thing I hope will come from this is that for the 90 days that the authors who opted in are tied to Amazon exclusively, those of us who didn’t will see more sales on our books in other places.

*book list courtesy of Ecto’s awesome Amazon feature:

“Story Engineering” (Larry Brooks)

“Story Structure Architect: A Writer’s Guide to Building Dramatic Situations and Compelling Characters” (Victoria Lynn Schmidt)

“How to Write Killer Fiction: The Funhouse of Mystery & the Roller Coaster of Suspense” (Carolyn Wheat) (I literally bought this one out of desperation the other day when I realized my story was taking on some mystery tones)

“Make a Scene: Crafting a Powerful Story One Scene at a Time” (Jordan Rosenfeld)

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I’m back!

Dirty feet and super hero poses in the backyard. It's pretty much everything I've always wanted for the minions.

Hi guys!

I have reliable internet connectivity again. Finally. It’s been a challenge living through my iPhone. I basically used it mostly for drive by Twitter updates and the occasional Instagram upload. As someone who’s been an internet addict for years, it was rough, I won’t lie.

The timing was pretty bad since I found out that as of August 1st I was voted an Indie Rockstar. (They’ve picked the 6 contenders for next month’s Rockstar so check those out!) I was literally so excited to find out, but I haven’t been able to do a bit of promotion to capitalize on it due to my extreme reluctance to type anything substantial on a virtual keyboard. I hate those things with a burning fiery passion, but that kind of seems like a topic to explore on another day.

You’d think that with all this non internet time I’d have accomplished something productive around the house, but nope. We’ve still got tons of boxes sitting around to be unpacked. Not to worry though, friends, they’ll be unpacked or stored by the weekend of the 28th for sure.

One of the things that’s been keeping me running around all crazy-like has been securing a venue in which to marry my love. I found a nice couple who are both ordained ministers and who host weddings in their (very pretty) backyard. They are low key and, best of all, they weren’t booked. Unfortunately we weren’t able to get a 27th wedding date since they’ll be out of town, but the 28th is close enough, I think. I mean it’s really just a symbolic thing anyway since we started dating on the 27th two years ago.

The other really interesting thing to happen while I’ve been gone (besides our move, of course) is that July ended and now I can share my numbers for the whole month. Well, in the case of the good stuff it wasn’t a full month, only from the 9th on, but you know what I mean.

I didn’t keep very good track of I Wish… it was actually pretty demoralizing to watch it languish between #70k-#100k all month. So I stopped looking pretty much entirely. Looking at it now I can’t seem to find a good way to look at the totals for July, but as near as I can tell it was less than 100 copies. Owies.

I HAVE been tracking the GT stuff, of course. That’s where the money is right now so it’s a lot more interesting to me. I didn’t quite sell 500 copies (460), but I’m still really happy with that number. I’ll post a more detailed breakdown on the other blog, but we’ll just leave it at my YA stuff is definitely more of a labor of love than a hope of getting rich anytime soon.

So far this month I’ve sold 16 copies of I Wish… That’s pretty close to where I was around this point last month. I wish I’d been able to really take advantage of the rockstar promotion. It’s like finding the Golden Ticket and watch the wind blow it out of your hand and send it cartwheeling down the street. Major bummer. I’m working on a guest post for the site though so maybe that will get some new eyes pointing my way.

So upcoming in my little nest (fun trivia: there is a house in Atlanta called Wren’s Nest. Cool, right? I’m totally going to check it out soon.) you can expect a photo heavy post about my new house and neighborhood. Don’t expect totally cute décor at this point though. We tossed almost everything to get the smallest possible moving truck (and event then it was god awful trying to maneuver it with the car on the trailer behind it… my love got stuck by driving into dead end parking lots I don’t even remember how many times). We’ve gotten a lot of new furniture and dishes and whatnot, but almost nothing in terms of knick knacks and the sorts of things that make a house really adorable. And I’d know because at this point I’ve watched what feels like 36 consecutive hours of HGTV while nursing my internet withdrawal.

Another thing I’m trying to do is set up a week of Interview and an Excerpts and YA Indie Carnival to make up for the weeks I missed. 

Somewhere in the middle of all that, the wedding, frenzied unpacking/organizing so that the in laws don’t think we live in a storage unit, and general life craziness I’ve got to carve out some writing time for the sequel to I Wish… Luckily I have it more or less outlined so it’s just a matter of applying butt to chair and working on it.

That’s kind of tricky. I wrote all of book 1 upstairs in my bed while curled up under the covers. It was January and it was really cold at the time so that was actually a pretty awesome way to write. Friends, believe me when I tell you that Augusta, Georgia is most assuredly NOT cold in August. I haven’t quite found my ritual writing spot yet.

You have to be careful about that sort of thing, I think. It quickly becomes habit forming. I write all my GT stuff on my desktop because that’s where I keep all my files and cover images due to it being the computer that has Photoshop installed. I’m not sure that I’d easily be able to write any of that stuff anywhere else.

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For my non GT stuff I’m thinking I might try using the screened porch. I know it’ll be both hot and cold at different points, but I think during the spring and fall it would more than make up for it by being really awesome. I love being surrounded by the outdoors, assuming nothing can bite me  and that I’m not in direct sunlight.

The primary problem right now is that I don’t have a desk up there, but I’m hoping that some thrift store stalking might yield a nice wicker desk or maybe even a wooden one that I can use temporarily. I’d love a retro school desk. /Love!

Anyway, that’s what’s going on here these days. I’m going to try to catch up on all the balls I dropped, but I’ve still got so much work to do before I’m anywhere near where I need to be. I’m glad to be blogging again though. I never realized when I started how much I would end up enjoying the whole process, but it turns out I’m a big fan.

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Ch-ch-ch-changes

Just a quick post to explain my absence the last couple of days and for those to come.

Most of you are aware that I’m in the process of moving across the country to Georgia. I’m keeping super busy with that and after tomorrow the computers are getting packed so my interaction is going to be limited to my phone which is a piss poor substitute for internet bliss.

I have a pre recorded post going up tomorrow, but that’s probably going to be the last you hear from me until sometime next week. I have a guest post up at Indie Author Rockstar today.

I can still send and receive emails, they’ll just be short to reflect my hatred of phone typing. Hit me up at wrenemerson(at)gmail(dot)com. I will probably check twitter too, I’m not sure I can stay away for an entire week, but I’m not sure how chatty I’ll be.

Umm… I’m trying to think if there’s anything else to say, but all I can think of is loading some books onto my Kindle so I guess I’ll go do that now. Don’t forget me, guys. I’ll see you soon!

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At the lake

I love being near the water. I prefer the ocean, but I’ll take a lake or a pool. There’s just something about the tranquility of being surrounded by water that soothes me. I used to pretend that I was a mermaid when I was little.  I sometimes still think there’s something a little weird about a girl who grew up in a landlocked state like Kansas and still developed such a strong affinity for water.

I thought I’d share the photos I posted on Instagram for those of you who don’t hang on my every Twitter post, LOL.

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Our day started out with some drama when we got stuck in the sand. The lake doesn’t have any paved (or even dirt) roads leading down to the water so it’s up to you to pick your way through the sand and hope like hell you don’t choose wrong. We did. It cost over $100 to have someone pull us out. Ouch.

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Water was splashed in, sand angels were created, and beer cans were buried (?). I spent most of my time taking pictures, reading, and finger pecking emails because I can’t seem to live a life without being plugged into technology.

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My favorite part of the day was towards the end when I decided to bury the littlest minion. He was a really good sport. In fact, he helped dig out the initial hole. Granted I didn’t tell him what I had planned for him afterwards… >.>

ICAD:

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I tried playing with watercolor crayons, but the effect wasn’t exactly what I hoped for. I was pleased at how crisp the stamp turned out for a change though, so there’s that, right?

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When I made the banner for this blog, I tacked everything on with masking tape and then pulled it all off when I was done to use in other projects. So the background for this card and the one I made today were cut from that page. I actually cut 5 index sized cards from it.

The stamp I used here looks wonky because I don’t usually bother to mount them on blocks when I use them. I just ran my brayer over it and it kind of elongated. Oh well, It kind of matches my overall mentality on perfection. I’m not a fan.

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More about the lake. I know, it’s a horse that’s been beat to death. I’m done after this, I swear.

Art Journal Every Day:

Processed with Cameramatic app.

Not the most promising background, I know. I let my decidedly non-artistic minion help with it. Well, actually he picked pretty much every element from colors to designs and did most of it himself.

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I didn’t have a ton of time before we left for the lake so all I got done was stamping the title, gluing down the index cards, and cutting and gluing the dancing guy down. I attempted to give him a shadow using the negative space from where I cut him out, but it turned out a little funky.

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I used the page to write about songs that I have on my phone. I just hit the next button and journaled what popped up until I ran out of lines. I decided the pink gel pen I used to outline the title before wasn’t as obvious as I would have liked so I used my silver Sharpie instead. I finished with a sequin flower and a button embellished with hand drawn petals.

In the end the background worked better for me than I expected it to. It actually looks pretty good in person with various colors of paint peeking through each other. I’m not sure I’ll leave it up to one of the minions too often, but it was an interesting experiment.

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