Shenanigator's Progress Journal

Discussion in 'Progress Journals' started by Shenanigator, Sep 22, 2017.

  1. Dragon Turtle

    Dragon Turtle Deadlier Jerry

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    I'd better come up with a suitable answer to that to flesh out my daydreams, then. :p

    My problem is that all of my honest influences are either cliche titans-of-the-genre types, or they're authors from completely different genres that would make you go "huh??" if you connected them to what I write. Or they're television shows and movies. Not that I think I'm freakish in this regard, it just doesn't sound as good as an answer, lol.
     
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  2. Shenanigator

    Shenanigator Not a Fucking Doormat Contributor

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    Then it might be that your answer might be something like, "A big mix of influences, everything from yadda yadda, which you might expect, to yadda yadda yadda which may sound strange, but it's true. Yadda yadda yadda waa a big influence!"

    ETA: I think the most important thing with your answers is, to be sure you are comfortable with them and that they portray the kind of image you want to have as an author, because the image fans put together from your answers and interviews and PR materials isn't something you can take back. So the "you" they see has to be something you're comfortable with.

    edited to add a skipped word ("can")
     
    Last edited: Apr 16, 2018
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  3. Dragon Turtle

    Dragon Turtle Deadlier Jerry

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    It's really interesting to hear about PR from this angle. Never would have thought of this stuff. Thank you!

    My WIP series though... my influences include an obscure computer game from the 90s and a South Korean variety show. I will have to think long and hard about whether that's the image I want to project. :supergrin:
     
  4. Shenanigator

    Shenanigator Not a Fucking Doormat Contributor

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    LOL. I've had a lot of lives: Question asker, Askee, and Person who creates Askee's materials for the Askers (among other things).
     
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  5. Iain Sparrow

    Iain Sparrow Contributor Contributor

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    Thanks!
    I wanted to do something completely different with the phoenix. It's just a misshapen bird that longs to fly back home. Unfortunately, Rosemarie's one-eyed cat, Achilles has a different idea.

    How it comes to life...
    It resembled a pile of autumn leaves giving birth to some misshapen creature; it flapped and flopped like something closer to death than of life resurrecting.
    “Did we do something wrong?” Adeline said.
    Mabel’s shoulders slumped, “This is disappointing. I was expecting a pillar of fire… and trumpets.”

    How it will eventually die...:)
    Achilles dropped it at Rosemarie's feet, as if it were no more than an unlucky sparrow.
     
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  6. Shenanigator

    Shenanigator Not a Fucking Doormat Contributor

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    So I woke up this morning...

    ...and I said to myself,

    "It's a great fucking day to sell Mom's car!!!!!"*

    I got my wanted asking price, the buyer just left, and I have the cash in hand!!!!!!!!!

    :cheerleader::cheerleader::cheerleader::cheerleader::cheerleader::cheerleader::cheerleader::cheerleader::cheerleader::cheerleader::cheerleader::cheerleader::cheerleader::cheerleader::cheerleader::cheerleader:


    *Actually I spent the entire weekend working on the deal.
     
    Last edited: Apr 16, 2018
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  7. Shenanigator

    Shenanigator Not a Fucking Doormat Contributor

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    Current word counts: The same. Was dealing with estate stuff and haven't cracked them open. Tonight after dinner!

    "Life is a tragedy when seen in closeup, but a comedy in longshot."--Charlie Chaplin

    "OF COURSE SHE DID!!! :rofl:" -- Sis

    Today is Charlie Chaplin's birthday. As I mentioned in another thread, City Lights is one of my two all-time favorite movies (Sunset Blvd. being the other. They battle back and forth for the #1 spot. Modern Times is in my Top 5 as well and is my favorite Chaplin comedy. ) Chaplin also wrote the music of the song "Smile" (It's a musical theme in Modern Times.)

    The Chaplin quote is one my sis texted to me this morning to illustrate the point she was making on Friday when she and I had the following text conversation about my mom's car:

    Sis:"You can call OnStar to have them open the door since the keyless entry fob isn't working!"

    Me: "Well, I could, but Mom discontinued the OnStar because she couldn't see the point of having it and thought it would save money." (Note: new keyless entry fob and programming would cost $284.)

    Sis: "OF COURSE SHE DID!!! :rofl:"

    Me: "It's easier to laugh when it's not your mother." (Sis is technically my half sister.)

    Sis: "True. But you gotta laugh, because it's just so her!"

    Me: "Arrrrgh!"

    Sis: "You need to go put up a sign on every wall that says 'OF COURSE SHE DID!!!!' so you can laugh when all this crap comes up. Because it is funny..."

    Me: "I'll laugh about it later when I'm not so fucking stressed."

    Sis: "Go put up the sign so you can laugh now."

    I love my sister. She was right, so I made the sign that says "OF COURSE SHE DID!!!!:rofl:". It's above the desk where I do the Estate stuff, and I included the sideways laughing smiley with tears of laughter.

    ----------------------------------------
    I had a manual key made for the car on Friday.

    On Saturday morning, I called AAA to come out to see if a jump start and quick battery charge would do anything, and to see if the tires would hold air or not. If not, I was going to have it towed to the dealer, having reluctantly called them ahead to get a price on a new battery and labor. (Yes, I know dealers are more expensive. Unfortunately, my beloved mechanic, Louis, is in L.A., and there wasn't a garage close by who had the battery in stock.)

    When the AAA truck arrived, I looked up to see the neighbor from across the street walking toward me. He and his wife knew my mom, and he's old enough to be my dad.

    When Neighbor reached Mom's driveway he said, "I'm here for moral support." He knew how much my mom loved that car, and he and his wife knew Mom's relatives all scattered when they found out there was no money for them to inherit. I haven't heard from any relatives other than Sis and Aunt since August, and before that it was last April...even though some of them live a couple of streets away in Mom's neighborhood. (I call them "Mom's relatives" because those people don't act like family. My sis, Aunt, and closest friends are my family.)

    That lovely man stood there the entire time the AAA guy jump started Mom's car and watched him like a hawk while he checked all the fluids and inflated the tires. (My dad taught me how to check the oil, but that was a different car, and I have Louis now.)

    And it wasn't that I needed him to, because I didn't, but it was really nice not having to do just one fucking task of Mom's estate alone. (I even made all Mom's burial arrangements alone, FFS. One of her relatives dropped me off and picked me up on their way out to lunch or something. Sis is excluded because she cares for 91 year old Aunt and does more than her share.)

    Mom's car started on the second try, after a spark and a click, and she sounded like she'd hadn't been sitting there since February 2017.

    To our surprise, the AAA guy announced, "The oil's still golden and fluid. It's just fine." Neighbor and I had a look for ourselves, and we don't know how, but it was. All the other fluids were still good, too, and at the right levels, and the water level was perfect. The battery would need to be replaced, but everything else was fine.

    Then Neighbor said, "You go lock up the house while I take her around the block to make sure she doesn't stall, then we'll go to Walmart to get that new battery. It'll save you a lot of money."

    In two hours this neighbor I'd never met until a few weeks ago did more than any of my relatives other than Sis and Aunt have done in over a year. And I'd had to ask them, and when I did they made me feel like I was imposing on their time. This neighbor just jumped right in and offered.

    So off we went. We took the car for a drive to test everything, then to to get the battery, and two hours later, the car had a new battery and air filter.

    The buyer test drove it yesterday morning and we made a deal. The keyless entry fob still wasn't working, but I'd had that manual key made, so the buyer agreed to replace the keyless entry fob at her own cost. We agreed on the terms, I got my asking price, I wrote up the sales contract and downloaded the DMV paperwork, and she came over with the cashier's check this morning.

    Paperwork signed and countersigned and monies and keys exchanged, as she was turning to leave, the car's headlights came on and the car chirped.

    I said, "[Buyer], I think the keyless entry fob might be working!"

    She said, "Did I hit a button?"

    I said, "I don't know, try the keyless entry."

    Sure enough, it worked just fine...every single button.

    It didn't at 2:00A.M. when I went out to take off her license plates and double check the glove box to save time this morning.

    I have no explanation.
     
    Last edited: Apr 18, 2018
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  8. GlitterRain7

    GlitterRain7 Galaxy Girl Contributor

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    This is great! I'm motivated to make a sign to put above my desk now for when I'm stuck writing.
    I'm glad everything about the car worked out for you!:)
     
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  9. Shenanigator

    Shenanigator Not a Fucking Doormat Contributor

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    Thank you @GlitterRain7 ! A huge weight has been lifted from my shoulders. It may be of many, but at least that's one down!

    That's awesome about your sign! It does help.

    Thanks for reading!
     
  10. Shenanigator

    Shenanigator Not a Fucking Doormat Contributor

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    Current Word Count: Exiles 57,826
    Tori's Story: same

    ACCOMPLISHED:

    04/18/18:
    Finished writing Carole's Downfall scene!!!
    04/18/18: Research, most popular boy's baby name 1964.

    TO DO:
    Fact check police procedure/ arrest 1980


    I got over a major plot hurdle in Exiles (Alexei's story) today. Today I finished writing the downfall of Carole Brennington. I had to keep taking breaks so I wouldn't screw up the order or pacing (dyslexic), and it all needs a lot of polishing, along with the "first first draft" excerpt I posted last week, but at least I have the sequence of what happens, the choreography of the scene, and the timing of when the other characters enter the room.

    It's not quite as hokey as I thought, thank God. And I figured out the tech that Alexei would use at that time, and I know what Alexei does to bring her down. I think after the scene is polished and polished and polished it will be OK.

    Meanwhile, over at Tori's Story...What was going to be a letter will now be something more. I had a flash of inspiration based on something I took from life between the Ex (the Ex-fiance) and I. Warning, major spoilers ahead and after today's writing I'm too dyslexic and wiped out to insert a spoiler tag.

    So, in Tori's Story the premise of this part of the story is, she's a rock star on the road with her band, and her rock star boyfriend is elsewhere on the road with his own band. In the 80's it was common for a lot of big tours to be out there at once, and they hopscotched each other, so they're both out there, traveling across the U.S., a mere two states or cities apart. So, in other words, when she's in, say, San Antonio TX, he's in Biloxi MS.

    They share the same manager, and he's out there flying between the two tours, to check on things. Tori and the rock star boyfriend pass messages to each other via the manager. (ETA: Because when you're a rock star, you can't just send love letters and gifts easily through the mail like everyone else. People confiscate them to sell to gossip rags and autograph hounds. So you have to write in aliases and mail them without anyone seeing you put them in the mail. So it's easier just to pass messages via the manager.)

    That was the original idea. Then I threw in something from my life with the Ex.

    I used to have this radio station T-shirt that I won in a contest. It was unisex sizing and was too big for me to wear as a T-shirt, so I slept in it. It happened fit the Ex as a T-shirt, and if I had let him shrink it, it would have fit him perfectly.

    Anyway, he liked the T-shirt a lot, so we passed it back and forth between us. One laundry cycle it would be mine, the next it would be his, and on and on.

    It occurred to me that this is what Tori and her rock star boyfriend Dave would do, passing it along via their manager in a large inter-office envelope as he flies back and forth between their two tours. And because they're a hot couple, what if maybe they wear it once before sending it along to their beloved, unlaundered? (Not a gross, sweaty T-shirt, but you know, worn once. Gently used.)

    Every girl who's ever picked up their guy's T-shirt from the tangle of clothes on the floor to throw on, em...afterward can relate to this. It smells like him...That wonderful special mix of his soap and shampoo and cologne if he wears it, and just...him. Pheromone city. It's the same thing when you roll over to his side of the bed, when he's not in it, to use his pillow because you miss him.

    So, that's what Tori would do. She would share a T-shirt with Dave. (Or Michael or whatever the hell his name is. It's been Dave for years, but I kind of like the angelic quality of Michael.)

    And, what if when it's Tori's turn to have the shirt, she reaches into the envelope and goes to put it on, and it smells like him, but it also smells like another woman's perfume?

    Real perfume doesn't launder out on the first try, y'all. Real perfume is made of oils, so it lingers. it would take more than one laundering, especially in quickly done on the fly tour laundry. And in the 80's? With strong perfumes like Georgio or Tresor? Oh Lord. Dave, honey, you're about to be in big, big trouble!

    As you may have guessed, that's how I found out my then-fiance was cheating on me.

    We weren't getting along, we had one of those quick flare arguments about seemingly nothing, and I said we needed a cooling off period. We were on a break, like Ross and Rachel. A few days later, we decided to make it permanent. So, he brought the stuff I had at his place over to me at my folks' house. Just a small box, like a cardboard file box, because we weren't living together.

    My T-shirt was not in the box, and he tried to insist it was his T-shirt. That was new...Always before, he'd ask me to just let him keep it. I'd never won anything before, and it was comfortable to sleep in, so the answer was no.

    You may have seen a posting or two around here that mentions my photographic memory. This was one of the times I whipped out my memory, reciting the name of the contest, the date I won it, where I was and what i was doing when I found out I won, how long I'd had the T-shirt, and on and on and on to badger him into finally giving me back my damn T-shirt. (By this time, it had long become clear to me that the reason he wanted the shirt wasn’t because he liked it. He was a jealous, insecure person who simply didn't want me to have anything he didn't have.) There was some other stuff missing from the box, too, so he said he'd bring it by in a couple of days, which he did.

    I was putting the things away when I smelled another woman's perfume on my T-shirt. Obsession, I think it was, or something like it. I didn't wear Obsession. Everything clicked, and I realized the reason he didn't bring my T-shirt with the first round of stuff is because she had it.

    Given a few things I found out later, I also suspect she wasn't the only other woman who wore my Tshirt. Getting that Tshirt onto every woman he slept with like some sort of reverse trophy is exactly the kind of thing he would do. He was not a good guy, and I was a really stupid and insecure 16 year-old when we met.

    Needless to say I threw out the T-shirt.

    A week after that, I had to call him regarding something important...probably our shared copyrights or something. I called him at 9 in the morning so I wouldn't miss him before he left for work, and a woman answered. Given the casual, confident way she answered the phone, it was obvious she was now living there, a week after we broke our engagement and broke up.

    Good thing I dodged that bullet, isn't it?

    Following Beyonce's lead, I think that story needed to be turned into a little lemonade, don't you?

    Fuck that... Let's go all 80's (Tori's Story takes place in 1989) and call it lemon mousse!
     
    Last edited: Apr 20, 2018
  11. Dragon Turtle

    Dragon Turtle Deadlier Jerry

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    OMG that t-shirt story is crazy. I'm glad you're putting it into a book because that kind of thing deserves to be in fiction. o_O
     
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  12. Shenanigator

    Shenanigator Not a Fucking Doormat Contributor

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    Yeah, there's gonna be a whole lot of crazy in Tori's Story...There are several things I've wanted to use for a while that didn't fit my current WIP that are a much better fit for Tori's crazy life. A good many of them either came directly from, or were inspired by, things that happened in my own crazy life.

    Wait'll you get to the part where Tori's dad brings a ten-year old Tori along to his meeting with a bookie for insurance! Really happened, and I came close to having it happen to Kathryn in my current WIP but couldn't make it work. Tori, it would definitely have happened to. (All the parties but me are long dead, so I think I'm good to tell it now.)
     
  13. Shenanigator

    Shenanigator Not a Fucking Doormat Contributor

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    :supergrin:

    And ohhhh, that bad kitty!

    Although in fairness, he was just being a cat.
     
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  14. Iain Sparrow

    Iain Sparrow Contributor Contributor

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    It's sort of funny, the animals were added only because I'd read a writer's blog that said giving characters pets lends itself to all kinds of possibilities. You don't use so many dialogue tags as you need only mention the physical interaction with the character and the animal... and, more importantly, animals can do lots of things we humans can't! They're a great catalyst for getting characters into predicaments, putting them where you need them when you need them without much effort.:)
     
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  15. Shenanigator

    Shenanigator Not a Fucking Doormat Contributor

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    I think I read the same blog. I had Alexei find a kitten because it was a good excuse to bring up the fact that one of the things that happened when people defected from Russia is that they had to leave their pets behind. I had him find a kitten of a similar breed to the one he left behind. Also, I’m having a hard time making the FMC relatable, and the blog I read said “Show how much they love their pet.”
     
    Last edited: Apr 20, 2018
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  16. Stormburn

    Stormburn Contributor Contributor

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    In my story I have a Kilimaan warrior that has a wolverine riding on his shoulders. Does that count?
     
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  17. Shenanigator

    Shenanigator Not a Fucking Doormat Contributor

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    Yes. Yes it does.

    Most importantly, if it counts to you the writer, it counts!
     
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  18. Shenanigator

    Shenanigator Not a Fucking Doormat Contributor

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    Current word count: Exiles 57,874
    Tori's Story: Same


    Before I forget, I met Phil this morning. :) Nice guy, Phil...Retired guy a few doors down from Mom's house. Gave me some suggestions for getting the front lawn to grow. ;)

    I'm writing this from the newly-properly electrified screened-in porch while doing laundry in the newly properly electrified laundry shed! Fuck yeah!!!! The "team of men" finished the electrical work today. (Inside joke. If you're new here, I've linked to the original reference. If you were here back in December, "a team of men" is now a permanent addition to the strange vocabulary between Sis and I. Makes us laugh every time one of us uses it.)

    It is a huge relief to have the electric stuff done and up to code!!!! And now I can finally insure the place!!! As I wrote in The Happiness Thread, never have I been so relieved to spend so much money. This place is like a tinderbox, and the electrical panel was a major fire hazard. When we had the outside panel done, the county inspector told me that during an overload, instead of tripping the circuit breakers, the model of electrical panel that was inside the house had a tendency to arc and start a fire.:eek: A few weeks ago, outlets started dying.

    Now that everything's properly replaced and up to code, maybe I'll get decent sleep. After the outlets started dying, I couldn't sleep very well and woke every couple of hours.

    It's lovely to be able to do laundry here again. (There was a short in the wiring.) Rewiring the laundry shed and potting shed was free because the company I used has a "no surprises" estimate guarantee, and they'd already ripped out all the outlets for replacement when they discovered the bad wiring. We lucked out on that one.

    And there's now full power on the screened in porch, which I've learned some people here call a lanai. (Sis prefers "lanai." I asked her if that means umbrella drinks will be served and everyone will be wearing sarongs and we'll have a parrot in the corner and a guy with an eyepatch behind a bar. She gave me the stinkeye on FaceTime.) The wifi signal is great out here, so it'll be a nice place to work. I could even Baryshnikov out here, if I wanted to be in a fishbowl.

    I'm afraid to jinx it, but I think I have a plant on the...lanai that may escape my murderous wrath. It's the plantlet that had seeded itself from the neighbor's yard into our side yard gravel, and I'd dug it up and planted it in a pot. It looks healthy. And one of the avocado seeds I potted is now growing a stem. Maybe my killing spree is over? Don't hold your breath. There's a whole line of plant skeletons in my wake.

    Yesterday, Mom's next door neighbor took me for a sight seeing tour. For all my years coming here to visit grandma when I was little, we never saw anything. Mom's neighbor (Mom's age) loves to go places, but not alone, so yesterday she and I set off for old town, which I didn't even know existed, and then to a beach I'd never heard of. Tomorrow we're going to a vintage beach town I've heard of but have never been to. I'm so excited! I love mid 1920's-to mid 1930's architecture! The word love may sound like hyperbole, but I truly do. I love buildings from that period so much, I feel completely at home and relaxed in them. They feel familiar, almost like I've been in them before. If former lives exist, I think I may have been a flapper.

    My dad's mother was a flapper. Somewhere there's a copy of her senior class photo, and in it she's wearing a black dress with fringe and wearing lip rouge, which must have caused quite a stir in the small Midwestern farm town where they lived. She was a tall, thin, tough cookie who swore like a sailor, and my mother said she never knew a man who could outdrink her...which is saying a lot, because when I was a kid we knew a lot of rough characters who could really put the stuff away. At one point, in the 50's or 60's, she and her fourth or fifth husband ran a diner just outside the Petrified Forest, just like in the play. I was always fascinated by her when I was a kid, because she wasn't like any other grandma I'd ever seen, and she lived in California so we only saw her once every couple of years when she breezed into town.

    Looking back, I see that my dad was very much a product of his rough upbringing, as the saying goes, just as, I suppose, I am a product of mine. When I was a little kid, my dad used to drag me around to dive bars with him. There was some crazy law in our state that said as long as kids couldn't see the actual bar, where the drinks came from, kids could go in with their parents. So, when my mom had a lot of things to do on Saturdays, my dad dragged me around to a lot of L-shaped bars.

    He'd sit me at a table with a Coke from the bar and a bag of Planter's Peanuts and a Hershey bar, which kept me from telling where we'd been because I loved chocolate but wasn't allowed to have candy (as if Mom wouldn't know, because we'd arrive back home with Dad plastered :rolleyes:). Then he'd go shoot the shit with the guys at the bar for a couple of hours, then he'd drunk drive us home. To get home from his favorite dive bar, we had to cross a four-lane highway, waiting for a break in the cars racing by at full speed. Horrifying, but that was many of my Saturdays up until I was around ten. I was a lot like Addie in the movie Paper Moon.

    At one point, when I was around six or seven, he taught me how to play pool at some dive bar. Ah, the things your father teaches you... I suspect he thought he'd use me to hustle people. Unfortunately, Dad wasn't good at that kind of thing. I do remember the guys at the bar standing around watching, thinking it was hilarious to see a little kid shooting pool. I have a vague memory of Dad having to lift me up once so I could reach to take a shot that was too far from the edge of the table.

    It's incredibly dysfunctional, but to this day, I love the taste of a fountain Coca-Cola from a dive bar. They're always a little heavier on the syrup. And there's always spillage behind the bar at a dive bar, with not so great cleanup, so there's a sweet smell of Coca-Cola and whisky and maybe a little rum. The first time I ever worked a band's show at a dive bar, I recognized that smell instantly and felt like I knew my way around the place even though I'd never been there.

    I can see Tori, my rock star character, having similar experiences.
     
    Last edited: Apr 22, 2018
  19. Shenanigator

    Shenanigator Not a Fucking Doormat Contributor

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    Current word count: Exiles 57,985

    ACCOMPLISHED:

    04/23/18:
    Research--Roosevelt Hospital NYC
    04/23/18: Research--Possible injuries for character's situation
    04/24/18: Research--Date of first snowfall NYC winter 1980
    04/24/18: Research--Dates of Hanukkah 1980

    I now know the ending of Exiles and how we get there. I wrapped up the last huge plot resolution the other day, and although there is a minor one that still needs to be addressed, I know what happens and how we get there. The only thing left to figure out is how the hell Alexei gets his Steinway piano. And he does have one...It's established in Chapter One, before the flashback, that he has a nice apartment and a Steinway. The money for the Steinway figures into a plot point. Dammit. (I got him the apartment already.)

    All of this knowing stuff actually makes it harder for me to write, of course. My writing loses all sense of flow when I'm trying to check off a list and fit things into little boxes. Major revisions will be needed, which is not my strong suit; I've always edited and re-written as I write the "first" draft.

    Maybe I didn't give it a fair shot, but I'm going back to my old, "revise as I go" process...I feel completely lost and unsure of my writing doing it the traditional multiple draft way. I'm finding that when the first draft looks this bad, I lose any sense of whether I'm headed in the right direction, because there's no anchor to hold onto. When a draft looks this bad, even my gut doesn't tell me where to go next. And doubt creeps in, big time. All I see is what a bad writer I can be, and rather than being freeing or inspiring, it just makes me want to trash the whole thing out of hopelessness. I came close to doing that yesterday, even though I'm so close to the end. I finally had to pull myself out of my dark rabbit hole and do the research for the next part I'm writing. When I see a little polish, it shows me there's at least some hope of something working.

    This morning after I Baryshnikoved I did 5 more regular crunches, so that makes 25 regular crunches and 20 reverse crunches. I also added jackknives to see if I could do them. I can do three, though they were executed poorly, so probably only two count. I need to do more ballet arms, but I did something to my left shoulder a couple of weeks ago when I hoisted the garden hose over my shoulder to move it to the backyard. It even makes a gruesome crunching sound. I wish my sister was here to torture her with it. ;) (Whatever I did seems to be in the lateral deltoid muscle, according to Wikipedia.)

    Meanwhile, I have a house guest for the evening. No, not a hot date. I'm watching doggie doodle again. His mom went into the hospital this afternoon, so he and I are hanging out. Right now, though, it's time to go over and make his dinner and feed his brother, the cat...and hopefully coax brother out of hiding, because he doesn't know me very well, and "stranger danger" and all that.

    ETA: Doggie doodle was reluctant to leave his house with me when he and I went over to get his food and toys, but a rousing version of the chorus of Rosemary Clooney's "Come On-A My House" did the trick...tail wagging and all. Just a tip, should you ever find yourself in a similar sitch. :) [sung sans accent]"I'm a- gonna give you doggie treats. Come on ta my house ta my house come on..."

     
    Last edited: Apr 26, 2018
  20. Shenanigator

    Shenanigator Not a Fucking Doormat Contributor

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    Tori's Story: same (focused on finishing Exiles)

    I did some edits and revisions today, ending up with a net loss of two words. I didn't get much done because my canine overnight house guest will be a longer-term visitor, so today was mostly about figuring out our routines and schedules and making Doggie doodle feel at home. His mom is having angioplasty tomorrow, which was unexpected on her end, but she has a bad heart, so I suspected it wouldn't be a simple overnight stay.

    Last night I successfully coaxed his brother, the cat, out of hiding, and today when I went over to feed brother he was on their screened porch waiting for me and meowing impatiently. He even head butted me and wanted me to pet him. Yesterday after I brought the dog's food and toys over here, about half an hour later the cat was lounging on our driveway. I told my sis when we were texting, and she said, "He figured out that duties were reassigned and wanted to make sure you knew his schedule and demands." Yep.

    As for Doggie doodle, he's settling in nicely. Last night although he didn't want to sleep with me, he did want to sleep on the floor close-by. He slept nicely through the night and fortunately isn't an early riser. Then today, whenever he wasn't out on the screened in porch lanai, he was lying next to my writing chair. He's also taken it upon himself to be my watchdog, which is cute. He's informs me of everyone who comes to the door to ask how his mom is doing before they even ring the bell.

    Tonight at sunset Doggie doodle and I went for a long, slow walk (long for me and for him, short for the rest of you). The cat joined us, too, which was cute. I was a little wobbly after our walk but the room didn't spin or anything, so we'll call it a success. When we came back Doggie ate all his dinner and even licked the bowl clean. Nice to know my culinary skills extend to canine cuisine...His brother the cat ate all his breakfast and dinner, too, so apparently I understand the tastes of the feline set as well.

    Then after I had my dinner (leftovers and a salad) and we rested a bit, Doggie doodle and I played tug of war over his squeaky whale, and during the match we "arrrr"'ed at each other like pirates. (He won all three rounds.) A good day in all, I'd say.

    ETA: Just now when I went to close the windows on the lanai and lock up for the night, the cat was asleep on the top step by the front door. I invited him onto the lanai, but he declined and meowed at me and went back to lie on his top step. I think he wants to be near his dog.
     
    Last edited: Apr 29, 2018
  21. Dragon Turtle

    Dragon Turtle Deadlier Jerry

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    "Doggie doodle" is always my mom's nickname for dogs, but I've never run into it anywhere else before! Is that a regional thing or a Shenanigator Original (tm)?
     
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  22. Shenanigator

    Shenanigator Not a Fucking Doormat Contributor

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    I have no idea where it came from, but my sister has always called them that. He's part poodle, so it seemed to fit. He doesn't really look like a "doggo."
     
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  23. Shenanigator

    Shenanigator Not a Fucking Doormat Contributor

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    ACCOMPLISHED:

    04/27/18: Research--Location mapping: Midtown West & Upper West Side NYC, Addresses surrounding Central Park
    04/27/18: Research--Tendon damage glass shards
    04/26/18: Research-- Hour by hour timeline of historical event
    04/26/18: Research --Location mapping: Midtown West addresses NYC
    04/26/18: Research--Midtown West party locations NYC
    04/26/18: Research--Restaurant injuries--cuts

    I'm moving along toward the ending of Exiles. I probably could have written at a faster clip today, because the ideas were flowing, but I'm pretty dyslexic today and am worried about screwing up the pacing. The scene I'm working on is one where Alexei is worried about something while waiting to hear news about something, so he's reflective, then his thoughts are suddenly interrupted by something happening at a frantic pace, so the rhythm of the scene changes dramatically. Russian is his first language, and one of his characteristics is that when he's stressed out and English is spoken at rapid-fire, his English comprehension goes down, so there's a feeling of distance ("exile") as he kind of takes everything in as he processes the scene.

    I'm not sure if I got the scene right. I know I haven't captured the taking everything in from a distance part. For now, I'll leave it and read it back tomorrow. I can tell this is one of those days when I might inflict further damage if I keep going...I dropped my lunch on the floor today. (An entire serving of noodles with chicken and spicy peanut sauce that I was really looking forward to, because I love the stuff.) Lack of hand-eye coordination sometimes goes along with the dyslexia as part of my Reactivated Mono. When I drop something major, I know it's time to slow down.

    Also...the first part of the scene is something I know absolutely nothing about, and I couldn't find adequate research online about it, so I have to wing it for now, and then fact check it with an expert later. The non-fiction writer in me hates writing unprepared. It makes me feel a little panicky (which isn't difficult, given my often wacky flight or fight response). Even when I do a fluff piece interview, I dig deep into old material.

    This afternoon Doggie Doodle went with his mother to stay with her daughter for a little while. They put in her stents late yesterday afternoon or early evening, and she and her daughter came by to pick up the pup at 3:00 this afternoon. I would have thought that given her age (78) and health condition (bad heart), they would have kept her for a couple of days to monitor her. I heard that was the norm, anyway. :confused:

    Doggie Doodle was thrilled to see her. It's cute that he had luggage to take with him (albeit in a plastic grocery bag): a bag of dry food, a case of wet food, his bowl, some toys, and plastic bags for cleanup. He was wearing his leash. His mother has him off-leash in the yard, but any canine kid in my care wears a leash every time we go out the front door. You never know if they're suddenly going to decide to take off to go in search of their people, and I'd never forgive myself if anything happened.

    I'm still feeding the cat, of course. He's an outdoor / indoor cat who was feral until Doggie Doodle's mom started taking care of him. The people who had him before moved away and left him to fend for himself. There's a place in hell for people who do that. They're not wild animals, for God's sake. A lot of cats are really bad hunters. And they shouldn't fucking have to, especially after having a home.

    The cat joined us again when Doggie Doodle and I went for our walk last night. Well..."joined" is a bit of a stretch. What he actually did was trail along far behind us, pretending not to know us. Whenever I'd turn to look behind us to see if he was still following, he'd stop and pretend to be interested in something on the ground, or pretend to sniff at a flower or something. Cats are hilariously ego-driven. I have a theory that people who don't like cats don't like them because they remind them of a part of themselves they don't like. To me, that's what makes cats funny: they get embarrassed, they can be incredibly snobby and selfish, and they can be power hungry. They're furry little mirrors.

    I'm a little worried about my feline charge, though. He was lounging in our driveway when I locked up last night, and this morning I heard him meow from a hiding place when I went over to get his dish to feed him breakfast, and it was empty and had been licked clean, as usual. But tonight when I went to collect his dish to feed him, this morning's breakfast hadn't been touched at all, and the four treats I left next to his dish this morning were untouched as well. And he was nowhere in sight. Usually, at minimum, he meows at me from a distance and occasionally wants me to pet him.

    When I brought his fresh dish of dinner, I called and called, but there was no meow. And just now I went looking for him in the places where I usually see him, but he wasn't there. I hope he's OK...There was a coyote in the neighborhood this past winter. He's a really big cat, so I'm hoping a coyote wouldn't bother with him. Right now I don't have a good feeling about it...but I've learned not to trust that when my flight or fight is wacky. Hopefully in the morning his dish will be licked clean.
     
    Last edited: Apr 28, 2018
  24. Shenanigator

    Shenanigator Not a Fucking Doormat Contributor

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    I saw the cat this morning, and he's well!!!! He appeared when I was watering the back lawn this morning and stood off to the side meowing at me loudly to let me know his displeasure at the current state of affairs...and to inform me that his food dish was empty, and that he had now been waiting for his breakfast for however long cats deem unacceptable. Don't anybody invent a stopwatch that kitties can read. They'd sell like hotcakes but make life hell for all of us humans.

    As I was watering the lawn and he was meowing at me, I explained to him where his mother and the dog had gone, and that I would still be taking care of him and that all was fine. He was not pleased. I don't speak Catonese, so I can't be entirely certain, but I'm pretty sure his reply was something along the lines of "No. Everything is not fine." I told him he could come over anytime to hang out, and that I would be more than happy to scratch him, to which I am certain he said, "No thank you!"

    He disappeared again before I brought his breakfast to him, but he couldn't have gone far, so I'm fairly sure he was watching from somewhere nearby. And of course I called out his name, announcing, "Breakfast!" Cats have very high expectations of level of service, and I try to oblige.

    Speaking of the lawn...The backyard is coming in and greening up OK (not like a plush lawn or anything, but acceptable for a highly trafficked backyard, especially since a large slice of it will be taken out to put in a paver patio next year). The front yard--the one the Homeowner's association inspects regularly--continues to be the bane of my existence. I'm on my third bag of grass seed this year, plus topsoil, fertilizer, and manure.

    Phil, the neighbor I met the other day, said he achieved his great looking lawn by using sod instead of seed, and then he rushed home to get his tape measure to determine the size of the front lawn. (Give an old retired guy a project idea and they're really gung-ho!) I'd priced sod when I had the lawn seeded last year, but with all the work that needed to be done on the place immediately (electric, new water heater, plumbing), I just couldn't make it fit into the budget. Still, Phil said he thought the place where he got his might be able to do it for a couple of hundred bucks, so I let him make the call to his guy.

    $400 plus $100 delivery for the 40 x 30 front lawn. Then I'd have to pay to have it installed. Oh, well, thanks for measuring anyway, Phil...At least I know the size of the grass portion of the front yard now! That's a good chunk of tankless water heater, almost all the plumbing work that's needed right now, or a couple of new side windows, or several replacement screens. Yes. I no longer think in dollars. I think in projects. So, although sod would be the most cost effective in the long run, with so many "all systems go" projects to fit in at all once, right now I can't allocate that much of a chunk into something that's mostly cosmetic.

    This morning I noticed one of the "weeds" that's taking over the front lawn is some sort of ground cover that doesn't look like a weed at all. It's some sort of really pretty, fast spreading ground cover with tiny little white flowers all over it. I suspect it's something from someone's yard that got seeded into our yard by birds or something. What I'm hoping is that it will take over and grow over the whole front lawn, because those plants look healthier and a hell of a lot more attractive than the grass does right now. It looks like allysum, except it's much lower to the ground and with tinier white flowers. I could live with that.

    I've been working on the scene I was writing yesterday. So far I've been able to fix what wasn't working by adding more of Alexei's thoughts rather than having to rework the whole thing. It will still need a lot of polish, but most of it will be there. I still have not given him his damn Steinway, though. I think that will require moving some chapters closer to the front of the book, which I'm not looking forward to. Several of the scenes are tied together and happen simultaneously or are foreshadowing something else, so moving them without screwing up something major will be tricky. That sort of thing is a pain in the ass to do without dyslexia, so I'm putting it off as long as possible. I'm hoping to find another way to get him his Steinway.

    Meanwhile, I'm working steadily through my notes on cleanup duty.
     
    Last edited: Apr 28, 2018
  25. Shenanigator

    Shenanigator Not a Fucking Doormat Contributor

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    ACCOMPLISHED:

    04/29/2018: Research--Location mapping--Central Park West at Columbus Circle, NYC
    04/29/2018: Research--Treatment for character's injury
    04/29/2018: Research--Anatomy of the hand
    04/29/2018: Research--Tendons and ligaments of the hand
    04/28/2018: Research--Nikes 1980
    04/28/2018: Research--Strawberry Fields, Central Park NYC

    As I just posted in The Happiness Thread, I just finished writing the emotionally harrowing chapter that leads to the ending...over 900 words since yesterday, which is a near-record for me. My average high word count is around 500 because I write slowly because of my dyslexia, plus there's a lot of re-reading to stay on track, plus editing as I go. But for months now, it has been much less than 500 a day because there's been so much to try to tie together.

    Usually, I'm wiped out after writing so much in one day, but tonight I feel like I could jump up and down with glee! I am so damn happy and relieved to have this chapter finished!!! I had a stomach ache most of the time I was writing it, and last night I had nightmares...I kept seeing the imagery Alexei was seeing, and it woke me something like three times in the middle of the night.

    Now I just have to get Alexei that Steinway, and that will wrap up all the major stuff.
     

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