Archive for 2012

ǫᴜᴀɴᴛᴜᴍ ᴇɴᴛᴀɴɢʟᴇᴍᴇɴᴛ & ᴅᴇᴀᴛʜ ᴏғ ᴛʜᴇ ʜᴏᴜʀ

(The picture of the cat is unrelated. I just befriended it this morning and took some photos. It was a pretty awesome cat, to be fair ♥)

But I am having a bit of a problem :<
I really want to include two new short stories into the set - and they should actually be quite short this time - but it's just giving me more work to do. Originally I was going to maybe do a first and second edition of the set and include them in the second but I want them now ugh :< This is so lame. I really like them, too! I plotted them out a while ago and wound up procrastinating on my actual stories by writing some parts, and now they're better than my actual stories and it's just not fair OTL.

The first one is 'Quantum Entanglement' which is a story about a couple of scientists (who just so happen to be the parents of a character in another story) - perhaps my first love story ever, if it can count as that? I really don't do romance, but the plotline follows how they met, became friends etc, wound up having a kid, the works. The guy's a neuroscientist and the girl's an astrophysicist so that's pretty interesting in itself to write, and basically they wind up finding out a whole bunch of the Government's plans and it doesn't end so well for them.
I'm mostly just proud of the name of this one, okay? :<

'Quantum Entanglement occurs when particles interact physically and then become separated'.
You see what I did there? You see?

The second is 'Death of the Hour' which I just thought was a pretty interesting concept. The character it centres around is called Cassandra Trent, and she's from story number 8 'Against the Machine'. She's an ultra-paranoid computer genius with a twitchy demeanour who is obsessed with conspiracy theories. You know, the works - doesn't like to go outside in case the Government take her away to do experiments on her, that sort of thing. Death of the Hour chronologically takes place after Against the Machine (though it appears before ATM as a story in the collection, the timeline of this is a bit wibbly-wobbly and back-to-front, though it's all put in order again in the final story.)
Cassandra is now an even more paranoid computer genius with a even more twitchy demeanour, gone a little bit off the rails during the years she's spent alone. Now her time is spent recording the names of everyone who has died because of the Government's crimes. Every hour, on the hour, she updates the record. It's hidden away online so that they can't find it. She sees this task as 'penance' for her actions in ATM, which I can't mention because it would give away the story. :> Also because no real record of the dead is kept in the city, at least not an honest one - and she feels that someone has to do it. Prior to this in the story all the people who get sent off to labour camps for various sins are referred to as 'forever missing'. As they never come back, they are eventually forgotten. I guess Cas feels that if their names and numbers go on record, if they are remembered, it wasn't for nothing.

'Citizen 2788145AS Alexander Saker deceased, mind-wipe, 13/07/69 21:00
Citizen 291045200LM Leon Malenkov deceased, death by officer, 13/07/69 23:00'

She's sort of vital to the plot as she holds the circles of revolutionaries together online and acts as a go-between, passing information along, but she was never intended to be a major character.
I just thought that the idea of keeping record of the deaths in such a way was pretty interesting. I think it would unhinge most people, after a while.

Interestingly enough, both of these are written as a second-person narrative. I've never really dabbled in second-person much before, but I found it fit these two well!

As to personal shenanigans - I spent last evening with my friends (who are all back from uni, it's brilliant) and we went ice-skating in town. On an open air ice-rink the one night it decided to rain. The ice looked like it had a sea on top of it with all the lights, it was so cool - if just a little bit dangerous. ;> I haven't been for ages, which was unforgivable - but I still managed to do all the turns and spins and crossovers without killing myself.
I actually need to get my own pair of ice skates, the stubby ones without picks that they give you at these places are horrid. The only reason I'm any good at skating is that I spent most of my life from the age of twelve to fifteen down the skate park, so used to be pretty hot on rollerblades. I'm nowhere near as good as I used to be, which is a bother, but I can still look snazzy if I want ;>
Afterwards we all went to the bar, looking like seven drowned rats. Brilliant. ♥

Oh, and my statcounter on here says that I've been visited by several people from America and also people from Germany and Ukraine? If you guys are reading this, hi from the UK ( ´ ▽ ` )ノ Nice to meet you!

This was totally written to procrastinate on my story. I'd apologise, but I'm not sorry at all.

ɪɴ ᴡʜɪᴄʜ ᴍʏ ʀɪsᴇ ᴛᴏ ɢʟᴏʙᴀʟ ᴅᴏᴍɪɴᴀᴛɪᴏɴ ʙᴇɢɪɴs

Forgot to update this. A lot of stuff has happened, okay? :<

First of all - and quite clearly, most important of all - I'm going to the Houses of Parliament. That's right! I have two days of work experience there this summer, and it's going to be fun! What can I say, other than this is blatantly just the beginning of my rise to power? First the UK, then the world!
I'll actually post about the story behind this work experience at a later date. The politician in me is super excited!

On the other hand, this is my current progress with my short stories (the titles can be found on the current projects pages)

Stories 1, 2, 3, 6 & 9 are completed, and I actually like them. 1, 2 & 3 are in the final stages of editing, 9 is close behind, 6 needs lots.
Story 4 is completed and I absolutely hate it. It took a whole month because I kept blocking on it, and it still sucks.
Story 8 is being worked on right this minute and is half way done!
And story 10 has a bunch of ramblings written for it that I mostly don't like and will change.
7 will be written but will be super long, and I still don't know how the hell I'm going to do story 5.

Over the last few months the overall storyline of the collection has developed a lot! I'm really excited by it now, even though it is super behind schedule.
I also completed NaNoWriMo this year, beating 50,000 words easily! Unfortunately I didn't know you had to submit your work once you finished, so it didn't even go on the damn record. Boo!

I'm super behind schedule with it and won't get the ebook completed in time, but I'm going to do my best to hit my new deadline - Easter. I've got no work until early January but I've also got to revise for my Chemistry retake, which is pretty lame. I'm going to fail it, I already know. I don't just hate Chemistry, I actually despise it. I'd forgotten how much I hated it until I picked up my old notes again.

Everything's going well in general, though this short story collection project is taking far longer than I'd hoped. It may well eat up most of my gap year, but I don't mind so much any more. I really think that the plotline, now completely refined, will be enjoyable for other people to read. At least, I hope so! We'll just see what happens.

I also sent off my UCAS form (just before I got my parliamentary work experience - so I can't put it on there, which sucks) and am nervously awaiting my results! Regrettably Cambridge said they'd take me for English but not Biology (or NatSci as it would be there) so I've had to start gunning for Durham. Please let me in, okay? If I get to the end of my three years and haven't made my fortune as a writer/get sick of science I'll just convert to Law, I suppose.

I'll update this more, I swear :<

ʏᴏᴜ'ʀᴇ ᴀʟʟ ᴘʀᴏʟᴇs

Okay so I don't really have anything to write about today but I'm lazy and can't bring myself to start properly writing my shorts so will proceed to post something pointless so I don't have to.
I had my first actual driving lesson recently (was too poor and Scrooge-y to pay for them up until now, so up until now my driving experience has consisted of being shouted at by my dad for nearly crashing the car into a bin, a lamp post and an old lady) and, to my surprise, it went extremely well. I managed to blag a practice theory test and get 90% using common sense, didn't stall at all and got into fifth gear on the road with other cars!
I also experienced my first bout of real road rage. I've had it before, of course, but you can't really shout obscenities while you're cycling because passers-by can hear you and you feel self-conscious and then it's no fun any more. Prior to my lesson my dad would not allow me onto the road with other cars and made me stay in a carpark, mostly because I wasn't very good at steering. Turns out it was just poor instruction ;> I'm not that lame a driver! But I think I gave my driving instructor a bit of a shock when I started shouting that the car driving very closely behind me was a peasant. I was clearly a learner (if they couldn't see the massive bloody 'L' plates on the back of the 'RED driving school' car they probably shouldn't have been driving in the first place) so they should have been more thoughtful and not bothered me. I'd have been thoughtful and not bothered me if I were them. Peasants.

Isn't 'peasant' a wonderful insult?
I use it for everything. People starting to bid heavily on an eBay item I've stalked and coveted and longed for for days? Get off my lawn, you peasants. A BMW driver cutting me up without indicating when I'm on my bike? Peasant! Most of my family? Peasants!
It lets out so much pent-up frustration without actually being offensive. It's cathartic, it's wonderful. I'm sure it's beneficial to my health. It's one of my favourite words, beaten out only by shenanigans, bumbershoot, abyssopelagic, flummery and tatterdemalion. If you want to get fancy a variation of peasant is, of course, pleb. Everyone can use this word except Tory ministers, apparently.

But by far my favourite of the class-related insults is the word prole. It's wonderful because most of the time people won't realise you've been being obnoxious and will let it slide, but occasionally you'll get someone who understands. Then you both can have a doubleplusgood nerd moment where you squeal over the ins and outs of Newspeak, thought crime and George Orwell. You are both lords and everyone else is a prole and this is just how life the universe and everything should be.
It's a damn good litmus test when meeting new people.

Yes, I have writer's block today. When I have writer's block I get bored. When I get bored I get facetious.

ʜᴇʟʟᴏ ɪ ᴀᴍ ᴀ ʟᴀᴢʏ ᴀᴜᴛʜᴏʀ

Diana, this is for you. ❤  
Thanks for a wonderful afternoon discussing our respective stories, novels, plans, potatoes, theology, life, the universe and everything. Respect for putting up with me and my lameness! We must do this more often and I want to see that story, ok? I know you read this so :>

Yeah so I haven't updated this for a few days, I've been too busy procrastinating on my stories to do anything else. Forget 'We've Lost Our Moral Compass', I'm working on the tenth short and the final one in the collection (both physically and chronologically) which I should not be doing because I really ought to be finishing the others but whatever. It's fun.
I have worked a couple of new concepts that I really really wanted into the shorts so I'm fairly pleased. The first one is the story of Icarus - obviously a slight distortion of the original, since the setting is a parallel future. It ties into the idea of swallows symbolising freedom of thought - in the shorts Icarus was a man who wanted to fly like the swallows that he watched from his window, so he made a pair of wings and flew away. Then the ending is the same, of course - he flew too close to the sun and burned his wings. It's my favourite of the old legends, always has been. I'm just a little bit obsessed with the imagery in it. And it fits because in a way, most of the characters in the shorts could be compared to Icarus. Nick, John, May, Richard, Chyber - all of them fit.
It also gives me so many ideas for digital paintings, which is something I really need to get back in to. And just drawings in general. I'm ridiculously lazy and unmotivated these days.
The other concept that I've worked in is to do specifically with Richard's character. One of the recurring phrases in the shorts is that 'The Government always win'. Richard Deaux is a gambling man, addicted to cigarettes and vodka, and it pretty much mirrors the idea that 'the house always wins'.

In other news I'm falling behind on nanowrimo which is bad, and I need to feel bad. I was also reading my new book on quantum physics on the bus home (it interests me, all right? It's the only part of physics I really like) and one little paragraph in there somehow made most of Chemistry A-level clear to me. It was about electron shells in atoms and how e- move between energy levels and emit different shades of light and that's why spectroscopy works because each element does different colours due to different numbers of atoms and shells/energy levels and I don't know it's not the most thrilling stuff in the world but I had an eureka moment and then felt really lame. Why didn't I understand this last year? Maybe I wouldn't have got a B if I'd actually understood Chemistry instead of parroted it, and then I wouldn't have had a B ruining my other nice A-level results.

I still hate Chemistry.

ᴛʜɪs ʜᴀs ʙᴇᴇɴ ᴀ ᴘᴏʟɪᴛɪᴄᴀʟ ᴘᴏsᴛ

So, Obama won the American election. Excellent. For a moment there I was extremely worried. I wouldn't care so much if it wasn't going to affect my country but that's the thing - it does. If Mittens had won we'd probably have been dragged off to war with him against Iran in a couple of years at the best estimate. He's already rabbited on about attacking Iran, and guess who he'd take along for the shenanigans? I like to think our Government would have had the guts to stand up and say no to America if this had happened, but sadly they're lapdogs and always have been. They never listen to what the people want, they're too pathetic for that. I despise most of them for it. Quite possibly the only politician I like in my entire country is Boris Johnson, because he's absolutely brilliant and should definitely be Prime Minister, at the very least because it would be hilarious.
So, good job America.

In writing: did some editing of Souls of Machines today, need to get on with We've Lost Our Moral Compass OTL. Possibly will revise Opposite Day.

All in all, a rather fabulous day. 

ᴡʀɪᴛᴇʀ's ʙʟᴏᴄᴋ ɪs ɴᴏᴛ ғᴀʙᴜʟᴏᴜs + 'sɪʙᴇʀɪᴀ'

Having a little trouble with 'We've Lost Our Moral Compass' to be honest. I've settled on third person to write it in, but I worry that it won't be as strong as any of my other stories. I also got some reviews back on stories 1 & 2 and am waiting on 6, so I'm going to try and make some edits there, I think.

Numbers 4 & 5 were always going to be 'iffy', and I always thought they would be difficult. It's annoying because I really enjoy their concepts, but I suppose I'm just not good enough yet to make them work. I'll keep trying. No, I'm not going to finish 4 by today, as I'd hoped :<
However, some of the books I ordered came in the post, and I finished reading them. One of them was 'Siberia' by Ann Halam, and I first read this when I was thirteen. It was one of the original books that got me into the genre of dystopia, and I hadn't read it for years so was really pleased to be able to pick up my own copy. Basically, it's a beautiful book, absolutely fabulous, and everyone ought to read it. I'd forgotten how amazing it actually was! I find the main character easy to relate to, which is unusual, and it keeps your attention. I've read it twice in a row now because I'm pretty lame. But I'm not going to apologise.
'Now, it's Siberia everywhere. The whole world has been sent to Siberia, we're all in Siberia'.One day I will write something as beautiful as that. :<
This is the goal.

The picture is from my way to work with the birds; I love autumn so much! The colours are so beautiful, it's like all the trees are burning. 

sʜᴏʀᴛ sᴛᴏʀɪᴇs + ɴᴀɴᴏᴡʀɪᴍᴏ

So, for NaNoWriMo I'm going to work on completing my set of shorts. At the moment five are finished, there are only five more to do, and I'm well on the way with number 4: We've Lost Our Moral Compass. Only issue is that I can't decide whether it should be first or third person. I normally hate writing in first person and it's not my forte, but it seems to be the best option for this particular story; which is effectively a dystopian Alice in Wonderland. Think Alice in Wonderland where the dream world wins out and there is no happy ending.

I have also realised that creating this blog was an excellent way to procrastinate and writing in it will be even better. Since hardly anyone is going to read it I'll be mostly keeping it as record for myself, to make sure I hit my self-imposed deadlines. I want We've Lost Our Moral Compass completed by tomorrow, which is quite possibly not going to happen, but we'll see how it goes. There may also be the odd opinion post because I'm a fairly opinionated little swine and no one will listen to me ranting about stuff in real life :<

Things I have learned today: I look pretty silly when I wear my glasses. I literally have bottle glasses, I'm so damn blind.

Procrastination over.

ᴛʜɪs ɪs ᴀ ᴡʀɪᴛɪɴɢ ʙʟᴏɢ

So, this is my first post. Just trying to work some things out with the blog theme, layout etcetera.
This blog will be to document my gap year, during which I am trying complete both a novel and a set of short stories. There's very little to see just now. Sorry!

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