Back to normal, time to write about zombies!

Things are getting back to normal, finally. It seems already that my insane week of crazy working and weekend work was not in vain. Hopefully, I will know soon.

Tomorrow I want to get back to my writing, and record some audio too. It’s time to catch up on what really matters – the story! Some edits may happen too, waiting on critiques and stuff.

It’s time to really get into June’s story – Locked Out. July’s story’s working title: Deadlocked

August and beyond may be a departure from the zombie theme. It depends on my mood at the time. I might try something radically different to prevent being locked into a genre of my own making.

Didn’t get bullied into resuming D&D campaign. I have too much on my plate anyways. I suppose Knucklebuckles the pervy gnome’s resurrection shall have to wait.

Review catchup and other good things

Today was spent catching up on reviews, and researching my new assignment for late June. It will be a very exciting summer review-wise.

My garden has doubled in size over the weekend. If you don’t hear from me, I was eaten by mutant cucumbers.

Tomorrow may be a productivity neutral day. Might be good for business, may also be encouraged to resume work on my d&d campaign, which has fallen low on my priorities list.

Podcasts, my sexy, sexy voice and catchup

Working weekends bring me back to my time studying physics. The 8+ hours of studying/cramming/grinding and that fuzzy brain feeling mixed with hyperactivity from sitting still too long. I have since managed to kick the caffeine, so at least I’ll be able to keep a normal bedtime. I shouldn’t complain too much. If this project goes through I will be catapulting myself out of the ranks of the underemployed.

I played around with my audio recorder to check podcast potential because I usually just do interviews for transcribing and I wanted something better than my Blackberry. I have an Olympus DM-520 Digital Stereo voice recorder. I am blown away by the audio quality in a quiet room. It seems that I’m setup for some amazing audio books. Hopefully some of mine will wind down or conclude so I can get started. For some inexplicable reason, this recorder makes my voice sound really, really good. Lower quality recordings can make me sound squeaky, or worse, like a 5 year old, but I seem to be firmly set in the adult range. I’ve also determined that I can read the most disgusting, hilarious stuff aloud with no stuttering or inappropriate laughter. (It helps if you re-read the problem bits once of twice before you make the recording pass. Again, another great thing about my recorder is that I can seamlessly pause.)

So, podcasts and audio books are on! It’s going to be awesome!

Tomorrow is massive review catchup. I have two due Tuesday, and Tuesday morning I’m going to an advance screening of a movie that may prove to be very exciting and is very hyped. I’m happy, I usually don’t get the good ones (unless they only show at 10am, then I get them.)

I can start writing again.

All work and no play means no writing and no podcasts

Intense working weekend. Them’s the breaks when your deadline gets surprise upped by a few days on you. I was hoping to spew more of Locked Out, but it seems like that will have to wait. It’s so lame when the whole story clicks in your head and you’re just too busy to get to it.

I should have more time after Monday-ish. I have some rad ideas for good blog posts. My brain is mush right now. It’s not even zombie food.

I’m thinking of getting into podcasting. My years of soul-crushing sales and call center jobs tell me that I have an amazing voice. I should use it for something that’s not soul-crushing for once. I’m thinking of making audiobooks of my stories, and doing some good old fashioned talking.

Right now I’m so overloaded that I can’t deal with all my creative influx. I did start a twitter, it appears to be good for you. I have more zombie channels than friends. Love me, love my twitter!

As of Wednesday I should be back to my normal schedule. I hope my neovellas are still waiting for me when I get back. I miss you sweet bodily-substance spewing little jerks. Want to help me write horrific things? Check out the following two links before I finish both stories myself:

Bobby the Incontinent Space Cadet

Buster the Effeminate Cucumber Farmer Looks like it picked up again. I know what I’m off to do, and it’s not going to be pretty, but it’s going to be fun! I should be working on some outstanding reviews, but I just don’t want to. Maybe I can podcast the neovellas, that might rock if I could keep a straight face.

Planning some fun things

Not much to write about writing-wise. Locked In draft 5.3 is making the rounds, and day-job style work is interfering with my other creative ambitions. Eating is a good cause, though. And absence does make the heart grow fonder.

I’m planning some fun entries for both here and our dear Zombie Empress. I need to plan out some sweet images for anonymously-obsessed-boyfriend to crunch for me. He’s good like that. He’s also creating cover art for Locked Out, a story that’s not even near complete yet. I think he’s really into the whole storyline.

I can get into that a little. Locked In and Locked Out are part of a series of short stories that deal with a zombie apocalypse from non-traditional views. Locked In is from the vantage point of the zombie, and Locked Out concern itself with the story of the scientists who are trying to figure out what’s going on. A third story is planned for the military and evacuation perspective. I’m not sure if I’ll do one about survivors, the angle is so overplayed I’m not sure how to make it fresh without just churning out crap filled with chainsaw-wielding Mary Sues. False dichotomy, I know.

Book cover related excitement produces fifth draft.

Maybe I won’t fail my self-imposed short story challenge of one story per month after all. At least, not in the first month. Taking part in NaNoWriMo will probably automatically fail me for the month of November, but I’m okay with that. Writing a novel probably counts even more, even if it’s not edited and polished.

Hopefully my test readers will adore it and the sixth draft will use substantially less red ink. I’m getting so giddy it’s impossible to contain the “It’s good enough” part of me. I love the new beginning of the story. I scrapped the first paragraph of the story and I think extending the introduction did wonders. I added some extra gore. Everyone loves gore.

I am so stoked over the cover art, still. I can’t wait to show off the story that goes with it.

My Neovella aspirations have stalled a bit. My partners in crime seem to have lost interest in Bobby the Incontinent Space Cadet. I must either slap them or find a way to make it public. I made an open story called Buster the Effeminate Cucumber Farmer, and it rocks. My cowriters are twisted geniuses, and I love it.

Okay, off to a reviewing event. I get to chew on some surrealism and anarchy.

Cover art sneak peak! How to make a (good?) cover.

Today, anonymously-obsessed-boyfriend and I used the holiday Monday to full advantage. As promised, here is the cover for Locked In, followed by what I learned about fake blood:

(Update: Link to larger image was broken, got it working)

Locked In

Locked In cover

Now, for how to make a cover with zero budget, a digital camera and an image editor:

  1. Food colouring is amazing, but you can’t use it alone for “blood”. This was the first (and obvious) observation. However, it is very good at planning out where you want your hand prints to go.
  2. To make thick blood, corn starch and flour seem like very logical choices. However, while the blood will have great consistency and will stay where you put it, it will be fuchsia. See also: Klingon blood from Star Trek IV. Not zombie appropriate.
  3. Coat self in flaming pink blood.
  4. Walk into glass door and smear self convincingly on glass.
  5. Take pictures. Shower.
  6. ????? with Image editor
  7. Realize that everything looks awesome in grey scale.
  8. Profit? (Or a book cover that doesn’t involve making a sugar-based fake blood and sticky re-takes.)

There you have it. Time to get back to work.

I’m an anarchist.

It’s been obvious for a while. I’m probably some kind of anarchist flower child. I gave up on conventional work about a year ago, and becoming self-employed has been the best thing I’ve ever done. Self-employment has its ups and downs, I won’t deny that, but it’s so rewarding and enjoyable. I have autonomy, creativity and a complete lack of authority and bureaucratic bullshit.

Without self-employment, I wouldn’t have the will or the time to write, create or do much other than exist. I like living, and material goods are largely pointless distractions after a certain point. Give me a bike, something that connects to the Internet and can work some necessary software, some good books and a robust red pen. And a good kitchen. Can’t forget that. I must start taking photos and writing down my recipes for that cooking/gardening blog I dream about starting.

I went to Montreal’s Anarchist Bookfair this weekend on the advice of a former roommate. It seems now we have much more in common than we did when we were roommates. I find it funny how that turned out. She’s off on a farm somewhere for the summer so I couldn’t visit her zine. It’s kind of a pity, I want to pick up a copy of her book and get her to sign it.

The Bookfair was just a quick walk from the Atwater Market, so anonymous boyfriend and I walked over to enjoy the sights and shops. It was his first time there. I love the fromagerie with the epic beer selection. That and the place with the wall of hot sauces are some of my all-time favorite shops. We grabbed some Blair’s Mega hot sauce. This will be exciting!

I need to get back to Earth after a whirlwind weekend. My Neovella needs all the crazy love I can pump into it. Maybe I should give up zombie fiction and other “serious” genres and just do the utterly absurd. I doubt the Zombie Empress would approve, and I need to keep giving her reasons not to eat me. That reminds me, must finish edits and pump out another draft, lest I lose my self-imposed short story challenge.

Neovella, the most fun I’ve had in a while.

Today whilst ambling through an online forum I discovered Neovella, a very cool site that lets you take turns collaboratively writing stories with others. Myself, anonymously-obsessed-boyfriend and Trish, another writing buddy jumped on the bandwagon.

Wanting to do something absolutely hilarious and possibly (as of this writing absolutely) disgusting, I started a story called Bobby the Incontinent Space Cadet. Most viewers will find it disturbing. Clearly I never got over the poo jokes of my childhood.

It’s disturbed, but it’s genius. I love this site. Best tool ever to not take yourself too seriously. Especially since my serious work is getting a sweet facelift. I’ve learned a lot, and it will be better off for it.

This weekend is the Anarchist Bookfair. I’ve been told it’s good fun. Some geeky events, gardening, edits and creating the most freaked out weirdness possible with Neovella seems to be the plan for this weekend. Oh, and I have some products to design. I finally received some instructions so I may begin! Those government grants will never see it coming.

I’m off to get some criticism

I have a long and detailed critique ahead of me today, which has to be given and explained in person. Should be fun and a good learning experience.

I have some gardening to look forward to this weekend, the sun if finally out and I want these tomatoes out of my office. They do smell wonderful, though.

I’ve registered for NaNoWriMo, a novel writing contest. 50k words during the month of November. Since festival season will be over, I want to try it out for a few reasons. One is that it will make me swallow my self-doubts and fears so I can just write the damn thing. Another is for the challenge, of course. Lastly, I want to feel like I’m really a part of something, and this seems like a good thing to be a part of, because at worst I drop out and beat myself up. At best I end up with 50+k words and I can finish a story and have written a draft for a novel.

Outlines and character sketches are legal. I have at least three novel outlines/ideas that are in various stages of outlined. No character sketches yet. I need another notebook already.

In other news, my awesome brother started a blog of his own. Go awesome brother, go!