About Me

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A female Oregonian, living in one city and working in another, with a great number of cats, too many Halo action figures, and an addiction to books, video games and a wide variety of crafts to keep her company in her downtime. Commonly believed to be made entirely from Skittles and fruit-flavored vodka, with the ability to vomit beautiful rainbows at will and wear a viking helmet with style.

Saturday, October 12, 2013


And once again, I shift stories for NaNo.

Hey, what can I say? I fell in love with the concept behind Scrimshaw again and am scrapping it and rewriting it from nothing but duuuuuuust.

We'll see if I can finish it without being filled with hate this year.

Tuesday, September 24, 2013

A Wild NaNo Appears!

Well, we're getting down to a month until kickoff, and of course I have a new NaNo rattling around. SO WHY NOT let's run with it and toss this out as another potential idea. First snippet of blah blah coming at you:

Setting: Sci-fi masquerading as a fantasy western. Takes place on a planet with some odd attributes and a few native species. The planet has very limited ecosystems – primarily sea, plains, mountains, desert and temperate rainforest – other areas are usually fleeting for reasons covered later, except for arctic forests and plains. It is a very, very large planet, and highly rich in minerals, gems and metals, but there are a few problems.

The planet received human settlers by accident. A colony ship got to close to it and went down on the surface; previously there had been warnings that the whole system was sort of a Bermuda triangle of space; sometimes you could pass through fine, other times you’d never be heard from again. The colony ship was attempting to outrun raiders when both ended up in the system, amazingly, they managed to get a probe off planet to let people know what had happened. But then the planet’s innate field started mucking shit up.

Basically, this planet, once you’ve been on it long enough, lets people use magic. Technically they are fiddling with the fabric of reality, but still. The longer you’re there, the more of the sort of living element accumulates in your body, meaning you can do more impressive things. People who have enough can (with a lot of effort, as does everyone else) leave the planet and still have their magic, but they need to find ways to recharge their batteries, as it is, because they can’t absorb ambient magic like they can on planet. They go through severe withdrawal, which can kill them. Most people don’t have enough juice for the withdrawal to be that bad, but some do.

Tech does not work right on planet, or near the planet. There is a single high tech city built in a wobbly column of a no-magic zone (it’s build on a giant deposit of a magic-absorbent crystal, meaning that as long as they don’t fuck it up, magic goes to the crystal rather than the area around it, giving them a safe zone. Natives with magic tend to be uncomfortable in the city, so it’s mainly left to be a space port and trading hub for offworlders and tourists. Taking off and landing is a challenge, as the column of no magic fluctuates and shifts, so most of the people landing are very experienced pilots who do shuttle runs between the city and a moon that is out of range of the anti-tech field.

Natives include a centaur-like species, a sort of harpy thing, and what the humans started calling sidhe right away. They’re hyper saturated in magic and are thus shapeshifters, mostly, and live in pockets that they carve out of reality underground. Their own language and such are impossible for humans to use (involving intentional pheromone releases and scents, etc), so they tend to pick up the human common language instead. There are two distinct types; what are called high sidhe and low sidhe. High sidhe are the nobles, they do what they want, and generally don’t come near humans often. Low sidhe, on the other hand, are the results of high sidhe getting frisky with all sorts of things they shouldn’t, like centaurs or horses or dogs. You know, that sort of thing. Low sidhe have less magic, more selective shapeshifting, and generally are looked upon as servants at best by high sidhe, animals at worst. So they like humans better! Low sidhe include things like horses which are just supernatural but otherwise only a little smarter than normal.

Humans have been settled for 500-600 years. YEAH it’s been a while. If you need to defend yourself outside the anti-magic city, best have a custom gun and/or a sword, and know how to use them.


So, I took a rabid detour into a different NaNo, so take a quick look at what might have been:

At the moment, the characters are going to be split into two separate parties, which, for convenience's sake, are going to be labeled Team E and Team I, for reasons about to become obvious. Please note these are the end-story characters, and I plan to kill a loooot of people along the line.

Team E

Elke (before and after), Khosa, Durgin and Riktic

Team I

Inka, Iridi, Tannis and Vigil

Monday, June 24, 2013

Goddamn Magic Systems

Humans and orcs don’t have innate magic. Most sentient races have at least an affinity, but humans and orcs, except in special situations (like twins, who have a magic affinity for a lack of magic more than anything else), do not. If a human or orc (or one of the other races who is not strong enough innately) wants to be an “arcane” caster, they need to bond with a symbiotic, microscopic bacteria that changes the way their bodies react to magic on a molecular scale once it’s accepted. Because they don’t have innate magic to fend the magic-enhanced illnesses off, humans and orcs are very vulnerable to magic disease – like lycanthropy.

Most common ways of picking up magic if you are human, orc, or not a strong enough magic user

~ Apprentice to a magic user. They can produce a blank strain to infect someone with, which is the most gentle way to go about it. Not generally the strongest in magic, they usually become wizards because wizards cast spells by yanking from the aether so it doesn’t matter.

~ Steal a magic bloodline. Dangerous as fuck because the bacteria might and probably will reject. Violently.

~Wild strain. You don’t want this. Suvival is unlikely, though DAYAM your power levels are over 9000 if you pull through. Picked up in contact with raw magic that is condensed to liquid or solids without any shielding or protection. Liquid is worse, but has a bad habit of fusing you to nearby things or converting you into crystal. Even if you already have magic, it gives this a solid go most of the time.

~Bit by something. Lycanthrophy and vampirism, if they don’t take and infect you with that disease, is still enough to get magic twisted up and processing in your system. This is, however, a virus, not the bacteria, and changes you in different ways.

~ Born this way. Outcrosses to elf/Halfling/dwarf have this going for them, but two magical parents who had to be infected to get access can, through careful planning and treatment, infect an unborn fetus in the middle of gestation. This is the easiest and gentlest way to end up a magically active human.


~It sucks. A lot. People die from it quite frequently.

~ Except for wild strains, which are hard as hell to pick up because of how difficult it is to come in contact with liquid or solid form magic that is untreated without ALREADY having your own magic, it’s nigh impossible to pick up anything other than a magical virus without it being intentional.

Condensed magic is a crystalline structure. There is a liquid form, which is 1. Incredibly unstable, and 2. Only exists under horrifying pressure unless magically preserved.

Types of Magic Users (Arcane)

Wizard: Studies, certain components, words and motions let them interact with the aetherial magic and cast spells. Technically the most versatile, also take the most study and work.

Mage/Sorcerer (terms are interchangeable): Much like wizards, but can modify their spells for moderately different effects or customization. They still study, but mostly it is self study because while certain things might be able to give them an idea of how to cast, casting itself, and learning spells, is unique to every mage. As such, they may or may not require foci, do not memorize spells because once they know how to do something, they KNOW HOW TO DO IT FOREVER, and are pretty fast casters. These guys are also all the ones who make magic items without having to use massive amounts of teamwork.

Witch (gender neutral term): Have a magical talent or leaning that lets them do small things, but their versatility is limited by their endurance and imagination. Most aren’t powerful, but only because they actually don’t have POWER backing them. A couple witches linked together powering one person is a fucking dangerous and powerful thing.

Warlock: Basically a witch who has willing or unwillingly formed a pact with a person/creature/being with innate magic. Depending on the situation, they may fuse with the creature, but most of the time they are pacted with a powerful outsider and are simply pulling power according to the contract.

Shaman: Doesn’t use personal magic to do things, instead asks and coaxes elemental forces into doing things for them.

Bard: ???

Types of Magic Users (Divine)

Clerics and Paladins: Granted spells from their deity like in normal D&D.

Druids: Kind of a combo between Warlock and Shaman, bound to a sponsoring nature diety, be it animal, vegetable, elemental or otherwise. (There is a diety for EVERYTHING so this is not unusal. Iridi is bound to the hummingbirds, for example.)

Wednesday, June 5, 2013

Reuse, Recycle, Rewrite

So, even though I won with it, Chimera is a fucking mess and I hate every goddamn word of it.

So, I'm recycling. The character images, at least. And names! Names from one older NaNo...no, wait, two of them.

I mean, it's just for me right now, so what does it matter if I keep using the names I like? NOTHING.



Worldbuilding later.

Friday, November 16, 2012

Stray Thought

Just getting this out of my head and stashed somewhere...

Android mermaids/mechanical mermaids.

Steampunk mechanical mermaids?

Thursday, November 1, 2012

Random Notes

Things have kicked off, and I find myself needing a place to make little notes, so WHY NOT HERE.

Initiates in the Order don't get names. They are Initiate ____, wherein ____ is a modified finnish number which to them is their class ranking. They are further broken down by a class name. A class of initiates is only 7-12 people at a time, starting from around age 10. They spend ten years in training before getting a chance to become an Acolyte. They may change rank several times, and thus "name".  The ranks are:
1: Yuksi
2: Kaksi
3: Kolm
4: Nei
5: Viisi
6: Kusi
7: Setsa
8: Khadek
9: Yidek
10: Menen
11: Kysit
12: Kasit

Each class has a prefix in order to tell them apart from one another. Like, the MC is Sa-Viisi, her classmate is Sa-Kolm, and a total moron who is barely able to wipe his own ass much less diagnose a child's illness is Tu-Menen. :D

As Acolytes they get a nickname given to them by their master when they step up.

The highest rank are Maesters (males) and Mavens (female) and they get legit real names at this point.
Welp, first unexpected plot shift. The MC (Sa-Viisi, for now) is freinds with the Sa-Kolm; and his twin sister, who was the Sa-Kasit of their group ended up being outed as having unsavory magic, and got monstered. Sa-Kolm wants to become an Acolyte so he can try and find her to save her, transform her back if possible, and when he finds out the truth about the monsters, he stages an unsavory magic reveal of himself and willingly becomes a monter so he can go find her; he escapes a few days before the MC herself does.

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Magic, and the Orders of the Exodus Covenant


Ah, magic. Always a pain in the ass.

Magic is broken up into a few subcategaories.

Racial Magic: Racial magic is magic that is innate to all members of a species. Very few races have magic common to every member of a species – a good example would be harpies; every member of their species has racial magic enabling them to actually fly. Dwarves, too – they have sort of an earth sense.

Personal Magic: Personal magic is magic that is innate to a certain person; they are born with the innate ability. This one is a bit odd – for example, 90% of all non-Covah humans are born with magic that makes them highly adaptable; that 10% means it’s not racial. Most people have two, maybe three gifts like this, and half the time, they don’t precisely seem like “magic”. For example, the naga in my NaNo – her special talent, in addition to the human adaptability, is a gift for languages – it takes her very little time to be able to be fully fluent in a new language. The dwarf, in addition to his racial magic, has a whole bundle of personal magics that make him a very effective alchemist – he’s immune to poison, can eat something and know what it would be good for making like in Skyrim, and can figure out how to replicate any poison or similar chemical that he ingests; to the point of being able to manufacture it in his own body.

Active Magic: This is the traditional form of magic, wizards and sorcerers flinging around spells and so forth. No more explanation is really needed, I think.

Psionics are the last type of “magic”, and are the only available to clerics of the main “gods”. This is because as part of their training they are altered to be able to use psionic abilities, but that is a kettle of fish I refuse to touch for the time being – especially since it’ll only be relevant in the very last part of the novel.

 The Exodus Covenant and the Orders Thereof

Yes! These things finally have names!

Basically, when the ancient humans who decided to retreat behind the wall of Covah did so, they formed a pact between the five leaders of the movement called the Exodus Covenant. Each leader had a special type of personal magic, despite being human, and took a lot of people with subtle or unual personal magics with them.

In modern times, Covah residents are almost unusually lacking in magic; they bred to the specific talents they wanted for each order, and turned the humans with the adaptability or more traditional magic talents and personal magics into monsters - and more and more people have only one personal magic ability - or none.

In short, inside Covah, magic is slowly but surely going extinct.

The Orders have let the truth of their origins blur - rather than recognizing that they themselves practice magic, they view their abilities as granted by their absentee gods. Anything that is not procribed by their religious texts is considered anthema, and punished if discovered.

The funniest thing: the real difference between "divine" magic and "bad" magic is the target. The Orders teach that the "divine" is only able to effect other people; purity of self means that your own magic cannot effect you. Bad magic effects yourself in additon to others - the funny thing is that the magic of the Orders CAN effect the user; they've just been taught to fear that happening, so it doesn't.

Delicious hypocrisy!

(This is just a really general overview)

Order of Genese

The Order of Genese is talented in healing, and more specifically, the reshaping of living material. Though their magic can make up for a lot, it really helps that they are extensively trained in anatomy and biology. Most of them also can sort of ping a personal's body to get a sense for their internal makeup and any really obvious problems.

Order of Striget

The Order of Striget are the military order; most of their abilities are offensive and elemental in nature. Yes I am sort of ripping off Avatar the Last Airbender here, though not to the extent that it might seems.

Order of Jaiger

The Order of Jaiger have a lot of abilities involved with imbuing things with their essense, and seeing through them. Golems and such are very common in their areas, and they are the most mechanically gifted order.

Order of Ewasse

The Order of Ewasse are druids, more or less. Harvest and urban druids, but druids nonetheless.

Order of Tekstiel

The Order of Tekstiel are...interesting. They have creation talents, their hands being able to create materials and arts that defy resonable explaination - the greatest of these items are considered divine relics. They are the keepers of secrets and knowledge.

Can you tell that I am still preeeeetty vague on a lot of this stuff?

Monday, October 29, 2012

Maps and Locations

Welp, my world is huge.

The funny part is, for the most part, I'm only going to be focusing in on one tiny little piece, that bit in the top right corner.

 Specifically, the island there, the big one. That is where the majority of the action is going to be. Let's get a little more detailed:

The salmon-colored continent is where the first two arcs of the story take place. The gray area hemmed in by mountains is the black desert where the last arc will take place.

That little continent is called Covah by the inhabitants, and Tirlar by the rest of the world. The reason behind the two names? People on the outside don't realize it's actually inhabited, and most people on the inside are taught that the rest of the world is a blasted godless wasteland, and thus have their own language.

Quick note on languages: There was one original language, and all the others are the result of a couple millennium worth of language breaking down and reforming. Covah actually has the purest form of the old tongue on the entire planet, for reasons later discussed.

Covah is completely walled off from the outside world. Literally, a massive wall circles the entire continent - there is only on way out or in, and it's heavily guarded from the inside - and nearly impossible to find from the outside. There is, however, a secret way out - and underwater tunnel that runs between Ingram's Toe, the point closest to Covah on the mainland, and the little area called the Tagor Forest by the Covans.

The wall itself is alive. It's duty is to insure that no one from the outside can get in, and no one from the inside can get out. Someone trying to pass it gets their life force sucked out, which is them added to the wall's resources - every escape attempt or invasion attempt just makes the wall stronger.

It leeches life energy from the area outside the wall as well - there is a certain area of ocean around the continent that is completely devoid of life; the water is actually fresh water because the saline is leeches out of it too, and insanely pure. The leeched saline forms jagged crystals around the base of the continent, on the cliffs below the wall, making docking nearly impossible. This fresh water area is the Tirli Anomaly, or the Tirli Sea, part of the larger Efrin Ocean.

The nearby mainland is leeched of life as well - the black desert portion is a result of the wall; a strip of black sand where nothing lives reaching roughly 100 miles inland from the coast before it gives way to more natural savanna. The whole region is called Svardur, or more commonly the Svardur Prairie. The dead black sand area has it's own name - Dathorsta. The inhabitants of Svardur are the Svardi, which is their own word for their people - the region was named after them, rather than the other way around. 

The countries surrounding Svardur, blocked off by the Barrier Mountains, are (Green) Kalsta, (Dark Blue) Tlaunta, (Light Blue) Darmal and (Purple) Linqual. There are two passes into the savanna - one from Kalsta, the other from near the border between Tlaunta and Linqual. The first is the Shattered Pass; dangerous because of the crumbling nature of the road through, and the other, more often used, is the Kimfion Passage, which is actually mostly tunnel.

Enough about outside of Covah.

Covah is broken up into five territories, each with a large, walled in city - the rest of the territory is devoted to outposts and farmlands - no one permanently lives outside one of the major cities.

Each city is the base of one of the five orders - Teintor, for example, is going to be our starting location in the novel, as it is the training grounds for the Blue order, mentioned in the last post, and in addition to making a lot of monsters, they have the most fishing - Lake Mirrith is basically an inland sea. Sirigan has the Red order, and is charged with maintaining and protecting the one gate into the outside world, and also deals with milk and wool giving animals. Phosene is the territory of the Green order, and has the most land within it - mostly forest, which is monster ridden and used to maintain meat-giving livestock. Hasson belongs to the Yellow order, and has the majority of food-crops grown there - they have a series of landscaped steppes radiating out from their city which they use for growing food. Finally, Antima, territory of the Purples, maintains most of the non-food crops, growing medicinal herbs, fiber-producing plants, and maintaining a massive colony of silkworms - the only source of silk in Covah.

The major roads are shown in gray on the map.

The Tagor Forest is unique, in that it is completely given over to 1. Monsters and 2. Ruins. It is considered a holy place, not to be trespassed on by humans, and guarded by monsters to prevent people poking around in there.

Guh, that's all for tonight.

Sunday, October 28, 2012

Chimera Characters

Chimera is the working, maybe permanent, title for this year's NaNo. Oddly enough, there actually isn't (to my knowledge - who knows what will actually happen) actually a chimera in the story. No, we're using it the way it was used in Fullmetal Alchemist - a creature that is fused from two or more others.

Warning: The following won't make sense to anyone but me.

Now, chimeras are made by one of the five orders inhabiting this closed off little nation - we'll call their order the Blue order for now.

Yeah, look at them alchemical symbols that have nothing to do with the order other than looking awesome.

These folks are, to the common man, healers. A major ability they have to be taken for this order is that they can more or less shape flesh. They take a lot of biology, anatomy, etc classes as acolytes, but their magic makes a huuuuuge percentage of their actual success. They more or less can reform and adjust a body as they will - it's really an actually super powerful gift.

Now, on the side, they make monsters. I'm not going to go into the details on the whys and hows, but they do. And they do it by reshaping a human with certain traits to fit a model given by The Designer (shhh, it's a title) to be a monster.

Success varies depending on the innate magic of the human being converted - their will to survive has to be strong enough to force their natural magic to let them adapt and become what they are shaped into - that natural magic is the trait that the Blues look for to make their monsters.

Sometimes the Blue doing the shaping fucks up. That's how my NaNo starts this year starts. Naive little main character is assigned the duty of "fixing" a fuck up - a naga attempt. At first, the naga is a lot more along traditional lines - no arms, basically a human head on a snake body. But the MC thinks she's supposed to be really, actually fixing the naga back to human - and actually gets quite far.

And then someone checks on her progress and realizes she's got the wrong idea - so the truth is explained to her.

It's morally objectionable, even aside from the fact that she's slowly befriended the naga. Still, he work is considered good enough - stripping out the jaw thing, fixing a lot of organs, giving her back a torso and making her NOT cold-blooded, for example. So the naga is deemed ready to be released into the wild anyway.

Now, the thing is, the monsters aren't just let loose to roam around. No, right before they're freed, the shaper who worked on them tweaks their brains just enough to trigger insane aggression, targeted against humans to make them do the monster thing. This is the MC's last job; she, however, can't bring herself to do it.

The others figure that she's taking the way out offered to moral objectors - suicide by creation. But no; when her superior steps over to flip the switch in the naga's brain, MC stabs the bastard in the armpit and opens the cage, buying time for the naga to escape.

But the naga makes sure she isn't left behind.

That's the start of thing, the first Arc of the story as it stands right now.

A little fun fact - all five orders; a rule of their abilities, and a rule that must be followed if you don't want to be turned into a monster, is that your powers can't affect you. Only others.

Though, you see, that's something introduced to their culture. It's mostly in their heads. As the MC finds out later when she has to use her powers to fix herself.

Saturday, October 27, 2012

NaNo Cover Roundup

 So, I'm at this point completely resigned to the fact that I am incapable of maintaining a blog. So.

Yeah. Just gonna post whatever, whenever from now on.

Now: NaNo stuff, since it's that time of year - in this case, it's the covers for all the NaNos that I bothered making covers for. Fancy! The exception being this year's, which just links to my profile on the forums - and has the cover image there.

2012 - Chimera (Fantasy)
2011 – Scrimshaw, Winner (Fantasy)
2010 – Fingerprints in the Dust, Winner (Science Fiction/ Fantasy)
2009 – Until Sunrise, Winner (Fantasy)
2008 – Deus Ex Machina, Winner (Urban/Superhero Fantasy)
2007 – Dance of Ashes {Obligatory Zombie Apocalypse NaNo}
2006 – Shifter {Obligatory Shapeshifter/Lycanthrope NaNo}
2005 – A Month Spent Drunk; How I Lost NaNoWriMo {Utter Crack}
2004 – {Pitiful Nameless Novel}

That is a lot of words, you guys.

This is my ninth year of NaNo. Nine years of committing my November to massive angsty suffering. And giving myself carpal tunnel.

I think, over the next few day/weeks/haha like I'm going to actually update stuff I'll post up info about the various years. That sounds like fun.

Wednesday, December 21, 2011


So, screw this blog being a writing blog. It is 100% not working.

Instead, I will focus on stuff that I actually, can, you know, be informative and helpful about.

Also this happened:

Saturday, October 15, 2011

NaNo 2011: Posting Like I Didn't Abandon This Blog For Nine Months.

Soooo....I'm back. Ish. Backish. Yeah, it's been a while, but since this is mostly for my own entertainment...eh, whatevs.
So. Yeah, I don't know where I'm going with this things now, maybe more of a discussion than crawling around on my high horse and trying to make my opinions on how to write shit sound less pretentious than they feel. Since, you know, I really can't write for shit.

But the shit I do write makes me happy, so, once again, whatevs.

And yeah, Katz is still around. Surprisingly, Zappa (the black and white cat) did not horribly maim him.

Katz: Fuck. Yes. Epic Mount.
Me: You know you gets those at like, level thirty now. And you can play to level twenty for free.
Katz: ... I said: FUCK. YEAH. EPIC MOUNT.

Monday, January 17, 2011

Inspiration and Riding Things, Pt 1

Inspiration to write is hella weird. It can jump out of nowhere and bite you in the ass, it can wake you up from a dead sleep going, "WTF? Where is my notebook?" Or, inspiration can abandon you completely.

That really, really sucks.

I've been lucky the last few years that, by the time NaNo rolled around, I had a pretty good idea of what I wanted to do. Execution is pretty terrible, but at the very least I like what I have and do enjoy the process.

I go through a half-dozen plots every time, though. Some of them I still like, some of them are shelved permanently. A ton of them come from the Adopt-A-Plot thread on the NaNo forums, others come from watching movies, and some just pop up.

What I'm trying to say, I guess, is know that it's always around. Don't shut inspiration out, or, more importantly, NEVER IGNORE IT. Doesn't matter how dumb you may think it sounds, it's always worth it to keep that idea. Even the silliest idea can be expanded into something awesome if you feel up to it.

Which I'll talk about later. In the meantime...

I went to visit my mom a while back, and Katz went with me. Poor Red has taken to drinking to deal with Katz, and I wasn't going to leave them at both at home without supervision. The minions do not count.

While there...urg.

Katz: What is this magnificent creation?
Me: Nacho. That would be Nacho.

Katz: What sort of vehicle is named Nacho? I mean, I thought we had an animal thing going on...Warthog, Mongoose, Pelican....
Me: He...Katz, for the love of...Nacho is a cat. NOT a military vehicle.

Katz: I didn't know my family was multi-racial...
Me: What.
Katz: You just said he was a Katz!
Katz: But you said he wasn't a vehicle!
Me: For f...! You're doing this on purpose, aren't you?
Katz: So he's a tank?
Katz: Ooohh...I could be like one of the purple elf things from your game!
Me: You aren't listening at all, are....what are you doing now?

Katz: It's a clever distraction.
Me: Where did you even find that? When did you have a chance to find that?
Katz: When you were freaking out about my new epic mount.
Me: Nacho will end you, Katz. He will absolutely end you. And I will just sit here and laugh.

Katz: I'm not!
Me: Yes, yes you are.
Katz: Why do you always accuse me of humping everything? What have I done to deserve these accusations?
Me: Remember my lamp? And the fan? Or how about my yarn, or the X-box? Or that time with my cell phone, god, I put that thing next to my face, Katz!
Katz: I'll stop humping the cat.

Nacho, however, finally took offense.

Katz: What...what just happened?
Me: I believe you just got, in a language you would understand, pwned.
Katz: This hurt a lot less in my imagination.
Me: I'm sure it did.
Katz: Why is the mouse...
Me: Nacho is fixed. The mouse is teabagging you for him.
Katz: Oh. This is a lot less humiliating from the other side.
Me: I'm sure it is.

I did eventually throw the mouse, which caused Nacho to leave.

Me: So, what have we learned today?
Katz: Don't hump things bigger than me that have teeth and claws and mouse minions that smell like fishy death?
Me: Goddamnit Katz.

Katz: Hey, is that another one? I'm gonna ride it!
Me: You know what? Sure. Have fun with the paranoid, angry cat who only likes one person. I'm sure that will turn out just fantastic.
Katz: Awesome!

I wouldn't actually call this a bonus, but I wanted to make it clear...

Katz: Unf! Oh, x-Box 360, no one will ever love you like I do!

I wasn't joking about his...tendencies.

Saturday, December 25, 2010

Oops, It's Christmas

So, I, uh...got distracted. And haven't updated in a while, you'll notice. But good news, if you were following what I was talking about back in October!

I did manage to pull off NaNo!

Anyway, with that over for now, I think I'm going to be focusing mainly on...well, whatever the hell I want to talk about. I'd love input on what people want me to babble about, though. I think next time I post, I'm going to talk about how goddamn awesome my stepdad is.

But for now, Christmas!

Katz: Yay Christmas!

Me: Stop humping the tree, Katz.
Katz: I'm not humping this time!

Me: Why are you climbing the tree?

Me: Katz, what are you doing!

Katz: Yay! 
Me: Great. Now I can't reach you.
Katz: Ohgod. I hate heights. I feel sick. SAVE ME!

Katz: But tree! CHRISTMAS!

Me: Thanks bro. Katz, behave.
Katz: ...

Brother: Present time!
Me: Oh god, see what you've done?

Katz: It's huge! Is it a Warthog?
Me: No.

Katz: Thanks!
Brother: No prob.

Katz: MINIONS! Just what I've always wanted! Lookit how cute he is!

Minions: Iie! Iie!
Katz: Uh...are minions supposed to do this?
Me: Sometimes.

Katz: Ummm...get...back in the box?
Minions: Iie Iie!

Well, at least this will be entertaining.

Merry Christmas, Yule, etc. everyone.

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Clichés and D&D

18 days and counting until NaNoWriMo kicks off!

Today, I'm talking about clichés. A cliché is defined as an idea that has been used so many times that the power it originally had is gone.

Clichés are a massive worry for a lot of writers, and one of the things that might get in your way when you're trying to plot something up for NaNo this year. A lot of websites try and tell you all these ways to avoid clichés, or how to phase them out of your story.

It's a little strange, but I, personally, don't think going out of your way to avoid clichés is a good idea. I can give you the reason in two short little lessons right here:

LESSON ONE: Everything is a cliché. Yes, as far as I'm concerned, EVERYTHING is a cliché, or takes off from a cliché. You can't avoid it. Even if it seems new and original, someone, somewhere, can find something it is apparently derivative of. The secret is to accept it and embrace it, and know that you can give these clichés back their inspirational power. Someone is always going to be able to go, "Oh, so it's like so-and-so meets random-thing, right?" Don't let it get to you.

LESSON TWO: Build strong characters with interesting motivations and goals. Make them people who have something to both learn and lose. If you do that, the plot can be cliché all to hell and back and your readers will still love it because they are invested in the characters.

This isn't to say that you need to actively make your story cliche as possible. Twist them around, get us out of the expected rut. Half the problem with "cliché" plots is that the readers can guess the ending from almost the beginning.

I would suggest going to friends and family and outlining the first, oh, half the plot to them, and see if they can figure out where you plan to go with it. If they can, you might want to ask how they figured it out. Their answer might bring a lot of new ideas to mind on how to make your story more original and less cliché.

Here are a couple of websites that may help you think of new ways to twist a plot, or help you find things to avoid in your plot:

Not so Grand List of Fantasy Clichés: Yes, I know I posted this in my first post, but it's still a good link.
51 Over-Used Adverbs, Nouns, and Clichés in Writing
List of Science Fiction Clichés : Warning: This place has a pretty snarky intro that is almost downright abusive towards people using clichés. Don't let it discourage you.
TVTropes : Warning: This place devours souls and hours of your life. Browse with extreme caution.

Onward to Katz!

Well, Katz and I went to play D&D recently. I'm not sure why I took him with me, but it might be because I was afraid of what kind of trouble he'd get into without supervision.

He was intrigued by the idea of the game.

Katz: I want to be a dinosaur!
Me: What.

Katz: You know, extinct, huge teeth, eats cavemen, a dinosaur!
Me: Cavemen and dinosaurs were never around at the same time, Katz.
Katz: ...LIES! The Flintstones never have led me wrong!

He was, thankfully, distracted by a new arrival, giving me time to recover from my stupidity-induced aneurysm.


Katz: I SWEAR I DIDN'T DO IT. He just exploded apart the instant I touched him! It was like he was full of plasma grenades on a touch sensor!

Katz: Is that why I'm so small? Is it so I don't EXPLODE FROM MY OWN AWESOME?
Me: No. Just...no.

I was distracted by the game for a few moments, but I eventually turned back to find, well...

Katz: What? This is proper procedure!
Me: Stop teabagging the corpse, Katz.
Katz: Fine. Well, this does give me an opportunity to finally take a look at his face. Bastard took joy in the rest of us never knowing what he looked like.
Me: You are so full of lies.

Katz: Alas, poor John, I...

ME: What?
Me: Did you pull his face off?

Me: Just...leave his head alone, alright?

Katz: Awwww....
Me: Sit down so we can play the damn game.

Katz: He's a dead robot. I'm sure he won't mind. Now hand me that pencil.

I couldn't argue that logic.

Katz: Ooh. I want cake. Can I be a dinosaur and cake at the same time? Cake-rex!

I shot him for the in-joke reference and the other blog reference. He deserved it.

This was about on par for his rolls that night:

Katz: WHOOO! I'm number one!

Annoying as he is, I didn't have the heart to tell him what it really meant.