Wednesday, February 26, 2014

A list of Wednesday things

A quick update list:

1. Everyone at the AWP writer's convention; have fun.

2. Trying to keep myself focused on writing. I don't have a Twitter problem, or a tendency to listen to music to distract me. I'm just very good at procrastination - and it's not good.

3. It's sunny out lately (as seen in above photo). I wonder if this means winter is over without any real snow accumulation.

4. Got two calls about having my CV sent for teaching GCSE English. Since I've been watching Tough Young Teachers, and Headteachers don't want anyone not trained in England anyway, I'm not fussed.

5. Nothing else to report except my Samsung is still a pain and I'll be selling it and buying a Windows phone ASAP.

6. Television I’ve been watching: Walking Dead, R.L. Stine’s Haunting Hour, Tonight Show with Jimmy Fallon, American Horror Story: Coven (so weird and very Twin Peaks-ish), Nashville (not a fan of country music, but I like this), Pride and Prejudice (BBC version), and Sense & Sensibility (on Drama channel.)

7. I have one book idea that just won’t go anywhere. I’ve tried to get it to work a few times, outlining and writing ideas down, but it’s not happening. Going to set it aside for a while and work on the other projects.

8. Went back to the chiropractor this month. I still get reminded of the problem when I twist too much in the car, or sit in the computer chair for too long. This week I’m scheduled to learn some core strength exercises. I think that means I’m making progress. Yay!

9. We may go see The LEGO Movie this weekend.

10. I had my tire blow out right down the street from the house. Luckily I had already gone back and forth across the bridge and the A1, had picked Steve up from work, were on a flat, wide, empty road, and were just far enough away from the house to have AA come and put the spare on. I could do these things at one time, but this car had no wrench (plus, my back is not what it use to be.) So I now have my first British second hand tire shop on my speed dial.

Monday, February 10, 2014

Your stupid is showing, Twitter

As I type this, I’ve finally set my Twitter account to “private.” I know people complain about that and don’t understand why anyone would do such a thing, but I’ll tell you why: because I’m tired of the stupid.

Twitter has always been some on-going IRC that lets its users have way too much anonymity. This leads to people creating abuse accounts that can do nothing but trying to create anger and fighting. And I’m sick of it.

For those who have told me they’ve not encountered this, I am amazed because this stuff happens all the time. Recently people attacked Stephen King for saying something on Twitter. The creator of Flappy Bird was abused online, so he had to drop his game. And this crap doesn’t just happen to celebs, it happens to regular people like me.

First this happened: Olympic snowboarding commentary draws complaints

So, of course since I was part of the 300 complaints, and mentioned on the news report, people took to Twitter to snuff out every single person who used the #BBCSochi hashtag. What it turned into was that the viewers, like myself got hateful, angry @ replies about how we hate the Olympics, Team GB, Jenny Jones, and everything else in the world. Plus, my username including a link to my account was online via the BBC News so I would block one user, and three more would spout something rude back at me.

Even after I deleted the original tweet with the hashtag (which I’m glad I did because I didn’t know BBC News had posted it at the time.) I was getting, “Can’t you see how wrong you are?” posts. Even a UK registered charity had RTed me with some nasty comment about how my saying the commentary was unprofessional was a challenge to them. Absolutely, insanely stupid.

Anyway, so I’m hesitant to post this, but since I privatized the account, I’m hoping that will keep outside viewers from seeing any future posts. I just absolutely cannot stand how ridiculous Twitter has gotten. Your comment on something televised can be posted in the news so people can throw virtual fire at you. I don’t want any other that kind of crap disturbing my peace.

With that said, I’ll post this, keep my account private, and stay off Twitter for a while. I needed that extra push to finally get myself off of it, and this pretty much solidifies it for me. Really makes me sad and angry that the internet has turned into a haven for spambots and trolls, but that’s how things always work. We can’t have nice things because people always ruin it.

A Case of the Mondays for 10 Feb 2014

Beamish Museum

  • Have been sick with a cold for a couple days. Nothing major, just the sniffles, which is still totally annoying.
  • Have decided that alcohol has caused my sleep trouble. When I didn’t have cider or rum and Coke at night, I slept fine. Now, even though I’m exhausted and half sick, I woke up at 5AM. Not cool.
  • Self-publishing is getting more people traditionally published per Mashable’s article: People-Powered Publishing Is Changing All the Rules. This really makes me think that publishers are going to go to popular self publishers first because they know they can sell their books. (And it debunks the “only a very few get publishing deals from self publishing.”) 
  • This also makes me think I should start posting my middle grade WIP on Wattpad. I only put the first chapter of the first book on there ages ago and never saw much point to it. Now I do. (Though people using copyright images for covers freaks me out totally.)
  • I also started wondering what books I like to read in lieu of what I would do best to write. I’m seeing so much formulaic samey-ness in recent books, that I’m wondering if there’s a lot of love going into them by authors, or if they’re just churning out what they think will get noticed.
  • Recent books I’ve read that I really loved: How I Live Now, Liar & Spy, Diary of a Mad Housewife, The Princess Diaries, Of Mice and Men, Anna and the French Kiss – all contemporary;  some historical, one romance/chick lit, and one mystery. I should really keep this in mind when I sit down to plot out another book project.
  • Also, I’ve come to the decision that what we do in life as form or art or career, is simply to combat boredom. I’m actually even wanting to exercise again, just so I have something to do in the daytime. Reading, videogames, television; all mere time killers.
  • I’m still trying to get interested in reading. It’s not as bad as it was, but I’m only reading a few pages at a time. I think my brain is just too restless for any of it.
  • I’m trying to use Twitter less. It’s just the right thing to do, or not do, rather.
  • The internet has just become overloaded with stuff, and people who want to make things miserable for everyone else. It’s not a fun place to play anymore and I’m trying to keep my distance but, again, it’s a thing we rely on now to pass the time. Wake up at 5AM. Nothing to do but check Twitter. Still nothing going on. I can’t wait to be too busy with school again to bother with it.
  • I haven’t worked on my WIP, or any other story planning, for ages. It’s so hard to get back into it once you’ve lost the motivation (Plus, I depressed myself when I did the post about how many writers there are in the world today. Ugh.)
  • We’ve almost caught up with The Walking Dead Season 3, so we can get into Season 4 this week. Just glad it’s finally playing in the UK without a huge wait time.
  • As always with my blog posts, it’s helped me get re-sleepy. I think…

Wednesday, February 5, 2014

Boredom and moral responsibility in writing

Steve’s been on holiday this week and yesterday we went to Beamish to get our usual year-round pass. We really love it out there, and going in the middle of the week was fun because it was quiet. (Sadly, the chippy is only open on weekends though.)

So, the sleep thing has been okay, I guess. I go to sleep on time (whether on the couch or straight to bed) and I wake up at 7:30-8-ish, and finally get up by 8:30 because I’m bored of lying there.

Bored is just the key phrase for a while. Winter is just so blah, especially in cold climates when everything is dead and gray and, well, blah. I don’t work, I don’t have people to hang out with, I don’t have any means of getting prissy – everything is just different than it was in Florida. Obviously most of it is 100% better, and I’d never want Steve to have to live in a state where we’re full of gun crime and gangs (Last week there was a shooting at a campus for the old college I use to attend and teach at. Year before last there was a shooting at the hotel down the street from where we stay. It’s becomes commonplace.)

Anyway, with all this blah-ness, I’ve lost interest in reading. I try to get interested, but I only read a few pages at a time before I put it down again. I’ve tried to find something else, non-YA but, meh, it’s something I’ve stopped forcing.

With my last post about there being millions of writers in the world, I depressed myself. My Critique Partner is waiting on my next chapter and I haven’t worked on it for a while. I use to lie in bed at night and plan out the storyline in my head. With the career crap and the insomnia, I just end up worrying now. It’s become a bad habit I have to get out of.

I had outlined a story that I’ve thought about for years, but I came up with it when I was in Florida. It’s more thriller-based than I’m comfortable with now, so I’d really rather not write it. I’m wondering if other writers feel a moral responsibility when they write as well. I know writing the book wouldn’t be positive for my brains, so it certainly won’t be positive for anyone else’s. This is why I want to stick to writing for the 12-14 year old audience. I want to write the uplifting and the fun. I could do horror or thrillers, but it’s depressing and depressing is not something I want to revisit.

Remember, I lived in Central Florida for 20 years. I know what depressing looks like. (Of course, when you step away from it and come back for visits, you see how fun it can be. Insert Florida Tourism Promotion here.)

I guess some people just write what comes into their heads, just like the meditate whatever comes into their minds too (i.e. my recent dilemma with the insomnia and worry). Maybe not everyone thinks about it as much. I don’t want to delve into the sad, angry, and heart-breaking, and I don’t want to make a reader sad, angry, or heartbroken either. I would feel wrong for doing it. There’s too much for writers and readers to be upset with in the real world as is.