April 18th, 2007

yeff yahoo avatar

Puzzles Wed Apr 18

Jumble = 2:39 (WELL "OILED")
Word Sleuth = 2:50 (Things on a stick)
NEA Crossword = 3:15 (4-18-07)
NY Times Crossword = 9:04 (No. 0307)

Slower today. Had the words in a minute on Jumble, but took a while to get the pun. NY Times was just a slow crawl. Tried Sudoku, but got an error after 5 minutes. Might try again tonight.
yeff yahoo avatar

Crawling through "This Moment"

Finished the first post-Potlatch rewrite of "This Moment" yesterday afternoon. I made the changes in POV (went from first person present to third person past) and added in a opening and ending scene that address some believability issues and help clarify the "theme" of the story.

The story has definitely changed. I'm hoping this is for the best, but I'm still unsure. I'll have to keep working through it and do some more revision before I'm ready to get any external opinions. Mary Rosenblum has offered to critique it, and I will definitely have her read it and give her thoughts.

I'll take one day off from "This Moment" and work on something else: "Fishing Trip", "Walls Of Stars" or both. They're both bugging me tremendously, which is a good thing. It means there's something to be written there.
yeff yahoo avatar

writing workshops

I posted this over in the comment section of Jay Lake's LJ. I want to keep it around, so I'm reposting it here.

I do different kinds of "workshops", for different reasons.

I have a local critique group. We meet once a month and critique each other's work for that month. Work is emailed before the meeting (about a week before). It's mix of peer/ladder, in terms of abilities.

I like this group because the expectation of having something every month makes sure I have something every month, no matter what else is going on in my over-committed life. We all have similar (spec-fic) genre sensibilities and I get good first cut feedback on the story and the characters.

I do the online Critters and SFF groups. I like Critters because I can get a giant pile of feedback (8 to 16 crits) in a short time (one week plus time in the queue). The feedback is usually at a fairly high level, and I can really look for trends and themes in the feedback. Also, the process of critiquing other people's works has really helped me sharpen my ability to identify and understand what works for me and doesn't work for me in a story.

I only recently joined SFF. For me, the jury is still out. I didn't see a higher level of feedback compared to Critters, and I got less feedback (4 crits in two months) on the story. I get the sense SFF is comprised of smaller groups that critique each other's work and once you're in a group, you're in great shape. We'll see how it goes.

I do Writers Workshops at conventions. This year, I've done Potlatch and Norwescon. I like these because I get feedback from pros who are better than me (like Jay at Potlatch). The feedback is tremendously valuable. I got a lot out of both cons I've been to this year and I think my writing is climbing up a notch because of it.

I'm going to apply for Viable Paradise and Orson Scott Card Bootcamp. They both look good and the thought of spending an entire week doing nothing but writing and talking about writing sounds too good to be true. We'll see if I make it.

So, each form of workshop has its values to me and I've learned a lot from each of them. Your mileage may vary. I'd recommend each of them, in one way or another.
yeff yahoo avatar

A content-free post about Peet's

I like to go to the Peet's Coffee near HP in the late afternoon. I have a latte and sometimes a snack and work on the laptop. It's a good way to get out of the office.

Today, there's a person in Peet's asking people to take a survey but she didn't ask me. I feel so slighted. I would have only good things to say. Peet's is great. I've never been a coffee fan (most coffee reminds me of burned dirt) but I like Peet's non-fat lattes. I can drink them with only a little bit of sugar.

And that's today's content-free post. Don't let the banality of this post dissuade you from going to Peet's Coffee.
yeff yahoo avatar

Had a good writing session today

I did the first scene of "The Fishing Trip", which ended up being about 1000 words. I also did a story breakdown (as I call it, version zero) of "Walls Of Stars Like Eyes"; it ended up at 5 scenes and 1000 words of description. I also did a breakdown on the rest of "Fishing Trip" and ended up with 4 more scenes (1000 words of description).

So, that's 3000 words typed in less than two hours. Of course, scene breakdowns aren't as hard as actual story so they count for less. Still, it was good to get an initial handle on those two stories. They've both been bugging me for a while, especially in terms of the breakdown.
yeff yahoo avatar

LOST: "One Of Us" (April 11)

Juliet, oh Juliet, what are you up to?

I get the sense Juliet is only looking out for herself and essentially doing whatever she thinks will work to get off the island. At first, it was using Jack to kill Ben. After that, it was agreeing to get Sawyer and Kate off the "Alcatraz" island so Jack would do the surgery on Ben. Now, it's working with Ben to do whatever it is Ben wants with the Losties; apparently, she will help set the Losties up for some sort of invasion from the Others?

One has to wonder why Juliet (or anyone) believes anything Ben says or agrees to - he is a self-confessed manipulator. Suuuuure, Jacob healed Rachel but where was the proof? The information in the medical folder was blatantly fake (the sex was listed as Male). All he showed her was Rachel playing with her kid - admittedly, an emotionally trying scene for Juliet anyway. Perhaps there's a double-double-double cross in the mix and Juliet will ally with the Losties. Since the viewers' sympathies are with the Losties and specifically Jack, we have to believe him when he says that he saw in Juliet's eyes the desire to get off the island. It's just his trust that might be betrayed by Juliet's overriding agenda.

One of the things that I find interesting about LOST is that they continually refuse to categorize people into "good" and "bad" - a very common trait in the American mindset. Look how many people commenting on boards and podcasts are now calling Juliet a stone-cold we-yotch. I think one of the themes of LOST is that people are complicated, they are many shades of grey and take actions for many different reasons and you shouldn't try to just categorize them into two pools. I wonder how much of this outlook is lost on the quick-to-judge, "there's us and there's them" American.

Anyway, I think LOST has really been cooking recently. If you think of it as a novel, then we're about 50%-60% of the way through the story. This means it's just about time for everything to move up another notch. Sounds to me like the poo hasn't even hit the fan yet.