Monday, March 31, 2014

In Which I Take A Break

Hey nerds. I'm taking this week off from blogging. Maaaaaybe a bit of next week, too. I have some MFA work that's due next week, so I've hit crunch time and need to spend pretty much all of my time finishing up my revisions and papers.

See you when I get back and have a great week!

Friday, March 28, 2014

Friday Fun

Well, ape-friends, we've made it through another week and emerged, hopefully unscathed, into the weekend.

And since it is my job to get you ready for the fun of the weekend, I guess I should get right on it.









Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Wednesday Weird: The Dancing Plague

Aww! A dancing plague, you say? That sounds kewt!


It is not cute and leads to death.

The Dancing Plague was an actual disease in France in the early 16th century. One day, Frau Troffea started dancing in the streets in Strasbourg, France. 6 days later some people joined her. After a week there were 34 people dancing. After a month this number had climbed to 400.

That's 400 people dancing in the street.

Aww! It sounds like a fun party!

Wrong again.

By that point the dancers started to die from starvation, exhaustion and strokes. You know. From dancing.

If a lot of this sounds ridiculous, prepare to scoff even louder when you hear what the solution was. (Keep in mind, this was in the early 1500s. Medical science just wasn't, back then)

Strasbourg officials thought the best way to handle this situation was to encourage the dancers to dance even more. They rounded them all up, put them in a building, and hired musicians to play music for them, like some sort of ass-backwards homeopathy.

The results from this treatment? More death.

Then, one day, the Dancing Plague just stopped. It never happened again, and despite it no longer being the 16th century and medical science existing now, there still is no solution or answer to why 400 people danced themselves to death.

Two of the biggest theories are Mass Psychogenic Illness (MPI) and ergotism (ergot poisoning)(which is poisoning by a certain fungus and causes convulsions (it may also be the culprit for the Salem witchcraft accusations)) but both of these theories have big problems.

For ergotism, one of the common side-effects is a loss of muscular control, which makes complex muscle movements pretty much impossible.

As for MPI, it would require 400 people to, more or less, develop the same mass hysteria at a staggered pace, which is really unlikely.

So, there you have it. The Dancing Plague. Any thoughts are theories?

Monday, March 24, 2014

In Which I Hit Theaters (And Rank Sausages)

Well, it's Monday. Not much more to say to that other than BOOOO! Boo Monday! And come back, weekend! You were awesome and miss you and luuuurve you.

I actually had a pretty full and fun weekend. We hit Divergent in theaters of course.

Twin and I really liked it. Bro thought it was okay (though I don't think he was as big a fan of the book as we were). We all thought the soundtrack was great.

We also all agreed, though, that it was a really great adaptation of the book. We couldn't decide though if that was props to the movie, or just because Veronica Roth wrote a book that was easily translatable to a movie.

We all had problems with some of the casting. The three guys they cast to play Will, Al and Peter all looked very similar, and since none of them had tons of screen time, it was hard to figure out who was who. If one of them was blonde, or, hell, maybe, I dunno, a different race perhaps? That would have helped a lot. But whacha gonna do?

I thought Theo James was an excellent Four, which was nice since I really had no opinion on him one way or another. I also thought Shailene Woodley did a good job of capturing Tris's growth from mousey Abnegation girl to kick-ass Dauntless girl.

Then after the movie we went home and made some banger sausages:

Banger sausages are in the top 4 sausages, which include (in no particular order) cheddar brat, banger sausage, Italian sausage and liverwurst. You can argue with me about this all you want but I HAVE SPOKEN!

Then we played some video games and finally got a chance to see Frozen. All in all, it was pretty awesome. which is why I again say:

BOOOO! BOO on you, Monday!

Friday, March 21, 2014

Friday Fun

Well, ape-friends, the sun is shining, the snow is melting and soon, soon, spring will be here and I can run around in the yard to my heart's content.

Grass. I remember grass. I think . . .

But until we reach what we all want, we have to get through the rest of the work week first. Which means today I need to launch you into the awesomeness of the weekend with some fun!









Wednesday, March 19, 2014

Wednesday Weird: The Winchester Mystery House

Today we've got the Winchester Mystery House, mostly because I just read an article talking about how soon people will be able to stay in the Winchester Mystery House, which would be awesome and fun.

The Winchester Mystery House was built by Sarah Winchester, widow of William Winchester, the son of the first president of the Winchester Repeating Arms company. They built guns. A lot of guns. And made a lot of money doing it.

When William died, Sarah inherited a lot of money, amounting to roughly $1000 a day, which is a crap ton today, let alone in the 1800s. After visiting a medium, Sarah believed her family had been killed by the ghosts of people shot with Winchester rifles. She thought she could save her life by building a mansion which would never be finished. So she set about doing just that.

Picture of the 7 story house before it was damaged in a 1906 earthquake and brought down to 4 stories 

Sarah died in 1922 in a house that spans 6 acres with 160 rooms, including stairways that lead nowhere, doors and cabinets that open into walls, skylights placed into floors, and a hidden séance room at the center of the house.




Sarah also designed a number of her home's aspects and rooms to repeat the number 13 — rooms with thirteen windows, thirteen fireplaces in one suite, thirteen gas lights on a chandelier, thirteen holes in her kitchen drain, etc. Except for servants, Sarah Winchester lived alone in her house from 1884 until 1922, talking mostly to dead people and ghosts.

The Winchester Mystery House has long been considered haunted by visitors and employees. Tour guides have heard their names called, people have seen a carpenter pushing a wheelbarrow in the basement, frequently tours will catch the smell of food cooking.  In fact, the Winchester Mystery House keeps a log of sightings or experiences. You can even look at them broken out by different rooms (Sarah Winchester's Bedroom has 100 experiences listed alone).

Have you ever visited the Winchester Mystery House? If so, was it awesome? Or creepy? Would you pay to spend the night?

Monday, March 17, 2014

In Which I Draft

So I've been working hard the last few weeks. And hopefully that trend will continue. I'm written 30 new pages on my WIP (still just titled WIP. At some point I'm going to need to sit down and try to come up with an actual title. I HATE not having a title, even a fake one, for a WIP. Drives me crazy).

(I've been thinking of my WIP as a cross between these two things. Whether that will hold up the farther I get into it, we'll see)

I'm aiming to get another ten pages done this week. My MFA mentor said she wants me to revise my first 40 pages and that she'll read up to another new 40 pages if I want and I aim to take her up on that offer.

I've done a bit of revising on the first 40. Fiddled around here and there and addressed a few things, but some of the revisions I need to do are larger, so I think I won't start to tackle those until I print it out (it's easier for me to "see" spanning changes on hard copy as opposed to a screen) and I don't want to print it out until I finish my next 40 pages so I can print it all out at the same time.

The story is going well. I don't LOVE it yet, but I do like it and that's good enough for now. I've come to realize that I'm a person who likes revising more than I like drafting. So I can't wait to finish something so I can get down to fixing it and making it better. Or at least that's the theory anyway.

How about you? Do you like drafting or revising better? And do you prefer to have a title when you're drafting, or is it something that can wait until later for you? (and if you have any ideas for a title for my WIP of which you know nothing about, then feel free to shoot them my way)

Wednesday, March 12, 2014

Wednesday Weird: MV Joyita

In lieu of the missing/vanished Malaysian flight this weekend, I thought it would be a good time or post another disappearance.

I already tackled the Valentich Disappearance and I'm way too lazy today to even begin to write up all the info there is on Amelia Earhart so instead I'm going to talk about the MV Joyita.

MV Joyita was a merchant vessel that set sail from Samoa for a two day voyage to the Tokleau Islands October 3rd, 1955. MV Joyita carried 25 people (16 crew and 9 passengers (including a doctor, a government official and two children)) and medical supplies, timber and empty oil jugs.

Four days later, its destination port sent out a message that the Joyita never arrived as expected.

Immediately a large search effort was organized, even thought the Joyita had never sent out any sort of distress signal or contact to anyone. Even with the extended search (over 100,000 square miles), though, the Joyita wasn't found until over a month later.

The Joyita was listing and flooded to the point of being partially submerged. It was found 6000 miles from Samoa. And also there was nobody on board.

Besides the missing crew, the navigation equipment, the ship's logbook, three lifeboats, a dinghy and all the food were also missing. The radio, however, was still on board, and in perfect working order. It was even set to the emergency frequency, but, due to some mismanaged wiring, the radio only had a range of about 2 miles.

So, yeah, it seems like everyone abandoned ship for some reason. Not that crazy.

But, the ship was completely seaworthy. It did have a large hole in in it's structure, showing that there had been some sort of collision with something, but the hull itself had not been breached. In fact, the little bit of water that was actually inside the boat was due to it bobbing along for a month.

And what happened to the crew and lifeboats? One lifeboat vanishing? Okay. three and a dinghy? Little more weird.

Also, the windows on the boar were all smashed. Only one of the engines was working and the other one was covered in mattresses. One of the passengers was a doctor, but his doctor's bag was found abandoned on the ship, instead of taken like the food and equipment. The bag was missing several tools, and was also stuffed with bloody rags. And, because let's up the creep factor a bit, all the clocks on the ship had stopped at 10:25 pm.

None of the crew or passengers were ever recovered and it remains a mystery today.

Thoughts, theories?


Monday, March 10, 2014

In Which Things Slow Down (A Bit)


I've been meaning to include this link for the last few weeks and I keep forgetting.

But here's the link for my Success Story Interview on QueryTracker.

I always love reading QT Success Stories, because they're a lot like "how I got my agent" blog posts, which we all know are awesome

Last week was the first week I've had in a long time where things slowed down and went a little easier. And it was awesome. I doubt it will last (seriously doubt it, in fact) so I was able to enjoy it even more, since I knew it was probably just a temporary state of being.

I got a bunch of beta and CP reading done and I managed to get in 12 new pages on the WIP.

They were kind of crappy 12 pages, but 12 pages are better than 0 and I will happily take them. I'm just hoping I can keep up the pace over the next few weeks. My next MFA packet is due in early April.

I also went out to meet with some local writer peeps for drinks one night and had lunch on another day with some of my local MFA classmates. Both were a lot of fun! I love hanging out with fellow writers.

Also, going out gave me a reason to wear the new earrings Twin got my for our B-day:

I lurrrrve them

How about you? Have things been crazy busy for you, or are you living at a more sedate pace?

Wednesday, March 5, 2014

Insecure Writer's Support Group

First Wednesday of the month (can you believe it's March already??) which means it's time for Insecure Writer's Support Group!

So. I generally like to keep things close to the chest. I don't really know why. I think there's a touch of superstition involved, like I don't want to jinx something, but outside of that, I dunno. I just was never a person who liked to talk about fulls I got when querying, or rejections or anything like that.

But I thought I'd be a bit truthful today about something I've been keeping my mouth shut about.

As of Valentine's day, ALL THAT REMAINS has been officially on sub.

I did a round of revisions (fast fast fast) and then BAM! It suddenly happened.

And it was exciting right away.

And then it was stressful right away.

And then it was super stressful right away.

And then it got a little less stressful.

And then it went back to being super stressful again.

As you can see, there's a bit of a pattern.

Like, listen, I knew being on sub would be tough. Everyone talks about how hard it is. And I expected it. I knew it would be hard.

But I guess I thought it would be hard in a different way? I don't know. I hear so many people talking about how being on sub can take a long time. Months and months. And so I had prepared myself for it being hard because of that. I'm actually a pretty patient person, so long sub time wasn't all that scary for me (especially since I have the MFA stuff going on at the same time to distract me).

But it turns out it's hard for like a bajillion different reasons. Like ALL THE REASONS. Which, combined, makes total sense as to why pretty much everyone says being on sub is just so, so hard.

So, yeah. Here's another person saying the same thing.

Being on sub is hard, guys. Being a writer is hard, guys. Who knew? 


Monday, March 3, 2014

In Which I Miss QueryTracker

One of the things I didn't anticipate about having an agent was the fact that I would be done using QueryTracker.

(Not QueryTracker forum, though, I still hang out there)

I love QueryTracker. When querying, I would check it multiple times a day, to see if there were any comments on the agents I was querying.

Now, though, all of that is done. There's no reason for me to check QueryTracker a few times a day. Not even once a day.

It's been such a part of my daily routine that it's kind of sad. And I feel kind of dumb, feeling sad about it, because obviously reaching a point where I no longer need to track my queries was the goal all along.

But still, it's a bit bittersweet.

Am I crazy? Or does that make sense?

Sunday, March 2, 2014

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