imbecamiel: (BookStackLight)
Spent the better part of the last week on a writing retreat, and holy cow I was SO PRODUCTIVE. It was such a relief, because this summer was just awful for getting any writing done, and there were a couple parts of the book in particular that I just Could. Not. get past. Skipping those pivotal scenes wasn't workable for making any meaningful progress, because I needed the character development in them to get my head around where they'd be at in relating to each other, and I was starting to get that sinking "I am never going to write anything useful again" feeling. :P

But yes. I got a ton written, sorted out some really key stuff, and I am feeling so much better about where this book is headed. So happy about it right now.

And of course, when we were shopping for snacks for the week, Nef and I decided to get some gummie fruit snacks. Because we are adults and can do that instead of just vaguely pretending we don't envy kids who're eating them. And of course, because I am a very serious adult, I told her that if we were going to get them, it had to be these ones.

I mean, since I've been describing the book I'm working on as "Jurassic Park with Faeries," it's actually like... serious inspiration food, right? And it clearly worked. Plus, the tiny gummy raptors are adorable. So yeah.

And today I decided to celebrate all that productivity with an impulse buy. This:

Best double-sided cutting board ever. And, I mean, cooking is a serious, adult thing, right? So it was a totally practical and grownup thing to do.

Yep. I am adulting so hard over here. 


Oct. 3rd, 2014 05:54 pm
imbecamiel: (Urge to conquer large parts of Europe)
Soooo, I've been a tad scarce around here this seek. Been checking in some, but I haven't been replying to stuff because I've been out of town and trying to focus. Y'see, [ profile] nefhiriel and I are both getting to the very end of the novels we've been working on, and our Mom - who's also a writer - is just starting out a new book, and basically... we decided to have a girls-only writing retreat to see how much we could get done without cooking and cleaning and other RL concerns intruding. I thought about saying something before I left, but... I guess I didn't want to wind up slinking back in shame if I froze up and couldn't get as much done as I'd hoped? I am seriously a stupidly slow writer.

Anyhow! We drove up to the hotel we were staying at Monday, and just got back tonight. It was really, really nice - we managed to get an excellent price on a suite that actually had two separate bedrooms, plus a sitting area and kitchenette, so it was super convenient. We basically ended up writing at the hotel for a while in the mornings, then going to a coffee shop and writing more, then going out for a late lunch, then going to another coffee shop, then picking up dinner and heading back to the hotel to work a little longer and/or crash and watch TV.

In the end, I wrote something over 12,000 words, and am basically finished with the draft of my book now except for the very last scene - which is planned, and partially written. SO HAPPY. Especially since a big chunk of that was on two stupid-hard battle scenes, which have been giving me grief for the longest time. I knew what needed to happen in terms of the characters' emotional arc, and I had a good idea of previously-set-up elements that needed to be involved somehow, but... sorting out the details of how it could all make sense within the limitations of the world and the villains' previously-established weaknesses without getting ridiculously overcomplicated was such a pain. I'd have finished the thing months ago if I could've just written, "They fought a mighty battle. The good guys were clever and won. The bad guys were also clever, but moderately less so, and also villainous, and so they lost. Yay! The end." XD

Probably not so very impressive to those of you who regularly turn out writing at that rate, but as I said - incredibly slow writer, here. So I am very, very happy. Better still, it's coming out exactly at the midpoint of ideal-wordcount-range for the genre, so I've got plenty of room for either trimming or adding in revision without worries about length.

Mom and Neffie also got a lot done (though Nef didn't quite get her book finished as she'd hoped, since technical issues cropped up with the second-to-last scene), so all in all I'd count it a great success.

My poor dog was so sad, though. My brother sent me a picture - apparently instead of going to him for company, Captain decided to stay right by my chair, waiting for me to come back. He's lying on top of my foot now, all cuddled up. ^^
imbecamiel: (Renewed Blade LOTR)
So, over at [ profile] great_tales there's a variation of the "Ice Bucket Challenge" going around. (Details here - no donations to charities or actual dousing with water, just a bit of fun. Within 24 hours of being nominated, you need to post a fic or piece of art involving an ice bucket, set in any fandom you choose.) As [ profile] goldvermilion87 nominated me... here I am. :)

LOTR may not be the most obvious choice, but eh, it was the first thing that popped into my head. Also, it has a way of reigniting my enthusiasm for writing.

Ice Bucket Challenge fic! )


Apr. 2nd, 2014 07:21 pm
imbecamiel: (Urge to conquer large parts of Europe)
Heh, I realized that, though I've been keeping up with others' new posts, it's been quite some time since I've actually posted something here myself. Oops.

Been buuuusy. Among other things, lots of editing work, working on writing two original novels (yeeeah, it was just one last time I posted here... then stuff happened and I'm about 12,000 words into another coauthored one as well) at least one of which should be finished by the end of the summer, need to finish formatting my finished nonfiction ebook, trying to keep up with some artwork, getting all the details worked out for being a bridesmaid in [ profile] scarvenartist's wedding (pretty sure I have mentioned that?)... Lots of fun stuff, but lots of busyness.

Also, [ profile] scarvenartist was just up here to visit us! Which was an absolute blast, particularly since it's been a couple of years since she was able to make it up here. We mostly sat around and talked... a lot... *g* But we also did some really fun baking! Of which there are pics under the cut...
Cake and Karate pictures. Though not both at the same time. )
imbecamiel: (Imbecamiel)
Part two is finished at last! Some crazy days and a foggy brain due to not feeling well delayed things more than I'd expected.

Many thanks to [ profile] lindahoyland for the kind beta assistance on this part!

(Part 1 is here.)
Story under the cut! )
imbecamiel: (Imbecamiel)
Well... it has been a while since I've posted any writing here - and a really long while since I've written LOTR fic. But I ended up signing up for the [ profile] great_tales December Drabble Exchange this year, and as my recipient was the lovely [ profile] lindahoyland I had a fun time trying to come up with something she would enjoy. Thought I'd post the result here, since the author reveals have been made over there now. ^^

Fic under the cut )


Nov. 21st, 2013 03:58 pm
imbecamiel: (Daniel Mortal Peril)
Yep, that's pretty much been my mental and physical reaction to this month so far. Between helping my mom through the continuing recovery from her surgery the first half of the month (she's pretty well back to normal now), being right in the middle of the most stressful and demanding part of the black belt testing process, and a ton of other events and obligations, this year was probably not a good one to also decide to do a half NaNo.

But... I'm really liking the way my novel's coming along so far, and without that goal to push myself toward I knew I would've probably would've given in to exhaustion and just not worked on it at all this month. So. I've been writing. And so far it's still coming along. My current word count's at -

20048 / 25000 (80.19%)

Still on track to finish at this point, much to my own surprise!

Karate is also going well. Between particularly intense workouts and getting punched in the head multiple times (not hard enough for a concussion... definitely hard enough to snap my head back and leave me with a stiff neck for days) soreness is pretty much a way of life at the moment.

I also found out, belatedly (my brother knew, but didn't realize I hadn't heard) that one part of the screening tests was a trick question, test-of-your-character sort of scenario. You're given a couple of options as if they really don't care either way which you do, but in fact your choice is actually a rather major factor in their assessment of you. Not being aware beforehand, I chose correctly by pure accident (or Divine intervention, more like), rather than some kind of determination to challenge myself and push my limits. I didn't think I could manage the easier option without flailing and/or falling over at that point, while I was pretty sure I could do the harder one technically correctly, even if my execution wasn't awesomely impressive. XD

So - Eric and I just got word that we both passed our final screening, and will be allowed to go down to the Cities for the final exam on December 7th! Which means a lot of intense preparation yet, and I've got to fit in the required number of sparring sessions before then (which will be... tight), but I think we both have a really good chance of passing the final exam. \o/ But in the meantime... ow. Also, tired.

I've also been re-reading Queen of Attolia and King of Attolia during car rides and at night to unwind, and they are not only making me very happy but doing an excellent job of reminding me exactly why I wanted to write in the first place. What a wonderful reward it would be if someday someone laid in bed reading one of my books, desperately trying to smother gleeful giggles for fear of disturbing family members...

And that's basically a summary of my life lately.

Now I need to go and write a little more, because I'm behind on my word count for the day.
imbecamiel: (Useless Reptile)
One of the things I've always enjoyed has been my brain's tendency to take whatever I've been reading or watching recently and mash it up into some really fun dreams. There was the Lord of the Rings/War of the Worlds crossover. The NCIS/Temeraire fusion. The LOTR/Star Wars mashup. (If you can imagine a city with architecture that blends Coruscant with Minas Tirith... it's gorgeous.) And the dream I had after seeing Inception was certainly fun. *g*

And then there was last night's dream: a combination of Berkeley Square (older BBC series, about some nannies in 1902), London Blackout Murders (movie made in the early 40s, about a guy who kills people during the London bombings), and... The Avengers. Yep. A truly bizarre and entertaining bit of randomness. 

Now why can't my brain be that creative and cooperative when I'm actually trying to write? There are so many things that I want to finish right now, but I just can not do plot. (For myself, that is. I've had plenty of ideas to help out with Nef's story woes.) Probably because my brain's going and flagrantly wasting all my creativity while I'm asleep. *sulks* And everyone wonders why I stay up so late... It's because I'm trying to ambush my brain and grab some of those ideas when it thinks I'm asleep, but I'm actually still awake enough to do something coherent with them. 

These things also make me wish that I was a better artist. Because I can still see all these awesome settings so clearly, but I just... can't... *flails* 

I am starting to figure out some techniques to improve my detail work and backgrounds, though. I was playing around with some new brushes in Photoshop the other day, and managed this little doodle:

imbecamiel: (Default)
"It is ridiculous to suppose that the man who can understand the inmost intricacies of a human being who has never existed at all cannot make a guess at the conduct of man who lives next door.[...] It is idle, in short, for a man who has created men to say that he does not understand them."

- G.K. Chesterton

I love Chesterton. That is all. 
imbecamiel: (BookStackLight)
And a lovely trip it was, too. Well, two trips, really. Wow, going to Nebraska feels like a really long time ago, now. But yeah, we had a good time with our grandma, and our... er, step-cousin, I guess she is? And various other step-relatives-in-law-whatever-you'd-call-them. Wasn't really a long visit, but fun.  

Neffie and I had quite the little "aww" moment when we got to the hotel - I started going through our suitcase to get stuff out and discovered... a toy mouse tucked down among the clothing. Our Ro-kitty has a tendency to sit forlornly inside suitcases and laptop cases whenever packing starts, as if he's hoping that one of these times he won't get forgotten at home. Apparently this time he felt we needed a little memento to bring along. <3

And the cabin was wonderful and relaxing, as always. Hard to believe that we've been going there for 21 years now.... A lot's changed over the years, but one thing hasn't: seems like every year, at least one thing has to break or otherwise Go Very Wrong. This year, we arrived to find that, among other things, the freezer was absolutely covered in nasty mold, the boat wasn't working, the stove wasn't working... and then the grill quit too. So things looked like being a bit of a potential disaster, possibly even one to rival the year when we were trying to clean the place without running water. But we got things sorted out in the end - except for the boat, but that was mostly okay anyway because there was much better fishing right off the dock than usual. So it was good. 

Among the things that did change were the friends and family that we visited, which was tough. One of the family friends we usually visit (who we've known since I was about three) did come to see us, but it may be the last time we see him for a long time because he and his new wife are moving to Florida. We didn't get to see my uncle at all, mostly because he just had cataract surgery and wasn't up for it. But the hardest was not seeing my great-aunt Helen, because she's almost certainly going to die any day now. And I just... will probably post something about that later, because right now I'm still in full-on avoidance mode and just trying not to think about it too much.

But. Happier note: it was a really good trip, and we had mostly great weather, and everyone had plenty of time to do whatever they wanted. So Nef and I swam almost every day, and she wrote a ton, and I read a ton, Mom scrapbooked and wrote, the guys golfed and fished, and we ate junk food and stayed up late and slept in, and all was good. *g*

We also went to see Avengers again while we were there! It was insanely hot on Saturday, the cabin doesn't have any kind of air conditioning (we're lucky to manage a few functioning fans), and we didn't feel like fighting with the Weekend Hordes for the lake (okay, it wasn't as busy as all that, but considering things are pretty much deserted during the week we'd rather do stuff when we had the place to ourselves). So we went to Avengers. And it was just as awesome the second time. \o/

Although I did notice one thing that's now driving me just slightly crazy. It was only on the second viewing that I realized that Hawkeye was shooting left-handed, which surprised me. At first I thought it might be an interesting and subtle way of showing another difference when he's being mind-controlled by Loki. But no, he shoots lefty afterward, during the final battle, as well. But... he shoots with his right hand in Thor. And I don't understaaaand, because if the actor is just left-eye dominant and/or more comfortable using his left hand, then why wouldn't he do it that way for both movies? But if it was a matter of conforming to the comics (no idea if comic-verse!Hawkeye is left- or right-handed)... then again, why not both movies? *flails* Okay, yes, Nef finds it hilarious that I'm bugged by this. But I think that I just need to watch the movie again, to see if the bow's design allows for ambidexterity. 


Anyhow! Now for my traditional commentary on the books I read while I was there!

Books! Also, new puppy picture. :D )

Oh, and on a final note... Um, I have committed Avengers fanfic. I didn't intend to. I really, really didn't. But then I just happened to stumble across a prompt that went and took my brain hostage. So I had to write it. XD Anyhow, if you care to read it, it's posted here on AO3.

Spring ^^

Mar. 17th, 2012 03:41 pm
imbecamiel: (Squee)
*happy sigh* Okay, I know that I've been pretty "meh" about Spring's approach, but... I'd forgotten how much I love the smell of it. Mmm. Even with no flowers yet - virtually nothing in the way of returning greener - it's so nice. Also, sunlight. Apparently it can do a lot to help with those feelings of general dragging around and "meh." My allergies and asthma are not quite so happy about it all, but ah well... It was actually nice enough that we ate out on the back porch last night. Yeah, the lake is still frozen solid, there are still patches of snow on the ground, but this is Minnesota, people. It was nice, And it was fun watching the birds while we ate. A pair of cranes even flew right over our deck. <3

Squirrels have also been going crazy, of course. Haven't seen the black ones yet this year, but the red and gray ones are plenty active, and I saw the one with the nearly-missing tail the other day (just has a little tuft like a rabbit tail - awfully cute, but I feel bad for the thing, hard as it must be to balance). The flying squirrels have also been raiding our suet, though we haven't caught sight of them recently. Apparently we've got a new squirrel hanging around, too. I've never seen anything quite like it before... pretty sure it must be some kind of crossbreed between the red and gray ones. It looked, essentially, like a gray squirrel - only it had a mohawk-like stripe of almost fluorescent orange running down the top of its head, down its back, and into the tail, which was almost entirely orange as well. Odd-looking, but really cute.  

Best of all... we heard from our breeder today. I didn't really talk about it here, because frankly I was just too upset and depressed at the time, but - the litter we were supposed to be getting a puppy from? Turned out to be a false pregnancy, so... no puppies. Considering how rare litters for this breed are, that meant we were extremely unlikely to have even another chance at getting on a waiting list for any of the breeders until sometime this fall. But. As it turns out, one of our breeder's dogs just came into heat two months early, so they're planning to breed her now. Which means there could be a puppy available for us in early August, if all goes well, since she's going to give us some priority for getting one from this litter. And yes, I am totally getting my hopes up already. I can't help it. I want so badly to have a dog again. 

And I've gotten a lot of writing done today. Maybe not a super-high word count, but I'd say more done progress-wise than in the whole last week. \o/

Also, my dad bought my jellybeans while he was out. I've been wanting jellybeans. 

Been a good day so far. ^^
imbecamiel: (Ignoramus room)
I enjoy writing non-fiction. I really do. But you know what tends to really get me? My inability to narrow my focus. 

I'll start out with a great idea, and lots of enthusiasm. I know my subject, I love talking about it, I'm confident that I have something helpful to share. Just lay out the basic organization of the topics I'm gonna cover, choose a starting point, and get going! 

Only... the moment I actually start delving in, I wonder if I really need to start at an earlier point. Cover more of the subject. Explain things more broadly to give people background. How much can I actually leave out without confusing people? What is essential, and what is interesting but ultimately unnecessary? Am I starting out with too many assumptions?

And before long what was once a clearly defined idea gets lost in a swamp of uncertainty, as I attempt to write The Ultimate Guide To Everything Ever Remotely Related To This Subject. 

And this is why I tend to have trouble actually finishing these projects. *sigh* Largely... I think I have trouble figuring out what knowledge base most people are likely to be starting out with. Sometimes I think it may be partly because I was homeschooled: Obviously, no one's education is "complete" so to speak - however well-rounded it is, there will always be gaps in knowledge or experience. But because my education was organized very differently from that of the vast majority of the country, I feel like sometimes the placement of those gaps is out of step with other people's experience. That some things other people consider so obvious they can't even remember learning it are... not so obvious to me, and vice-versa. If that makes sense?

Eh. Or maybe I'm just over-thinking and over-complicating things. Again. Because I tend to do that. >.<

I don't really know what my point in this is, other than - *flails* I may never finish a book, ever. XP


Dec. 8th, 2011 11:30 pm
imbecamiel: (Sulking Whining Keening Piteously)
Soyeah. I'm sick. :/ Not great timing in the middle of holiday baking and all, but then... there's rarely a really good time to get sick. Ah well...

I have also discovered that, much as I love Mozzie as a character, I hate writing from his POV. Even if it is the best one for this story. It intimidates me, and it's been slowing the pace of my writing down to even more of a crawl than usual, because I can not figure out if I'm getting it right. *sigh* But y'know what? I have discovered an awesome writing exercise for those times when I just can't seem to get past that tendency to over-think and second-guess and just sit down and write. Brainstorm with a couple of six-year-olds. Seriously. If that doesn't loosen you up and get the creativity flowing... XD

Yeah, had a great time with the kids Nef and I watch every Thursday. The younger girl had a friend over, and they wanted to write. A retelling of the Nativity story, to be precise. As it turned out, a truly unique version, in which the angel, after announcing Jesus' birth, then conspires with the innkeeper to kidnap him. Fortunately, Superchicken and his sidekick the sheepdog were there to save the day! And there was great rejoicing. Yes, I nearly died of the giggles. It was hysterical. 

Anyhow, being sick sometimes has a tendency to inspire odd fits of creativity in me, even when I'm all but brain-dead (eh, dulling of inhibitions, probably, 'cause I'm too tired to overthink?), so I'm actually feeling rather hopeful now for the possibility of pushing through and finishing this thing in the near future. (The White Collar story, that is, not the girls' Nativity retelling. XD I want to fiiinish this so I can actually focus on the long one Neffie and I are coauthoring!) 

And on that note... a few random fun mostly-vaguely-WC-related things that I've been saving up, meaning to share but never quite getting around to it.

News articles and... other stuff. )
imbecamiel: (White Collar Neal)
Continued from part one.

Part two! )
imbecamiel: (WC Neal Choose Side)
At last, another White Collar story! This one was written for [ profile] alone_dreaming, for the [ profile] collarcorner ficathon. Many thanks to [ profile] swanpride, who helped me track down a plot bunny when they were being elusive. I hope that the end result is enjoyable!  ^.^

(Set somewhere loosely in late season 1/early season 2. Because I haven't seen any S3 yet. /is behind)

To the story! )
imbecamiel: (WC Neal jacket)
A new fic, finished at last! :D Man, vacation really threw off my writing groove… but I think I’m finally rolling again!

This one’s sort of written for [ profile] collarcorner. As I said there, although I had a couple of prompts in mind as I wrote this story, by the time I got to the end I realized that it didn’t quite seem to fit the specifications for any one prompt. So I’ll just say it’s a fill for the general “Lock Picking” “Capture” and “Escape” prompts from the list on round seven.

The original inspiration for this came from a picture that [ profile] tj_teejay posted at her journal: a can of Caffrey’s beer! Looking at it, I couldn’t help but think that the directions on the side of the can – “Chill Until Blue” – sounded like instructions for a fanfic. The more I thought about it, the more I realized I just had to try my hand at it. *g*

By the way, as an amusing side-note, a bit of googling revealed this rather interesting link: Burke Beverages Inc. If you scroll down a bit, you’ll see that they’re distributors of Caffrey’s beer. Ah, life’s lovely little coincidences... ;D
Anyhow - 
To the story! )

Continued in Part 2.
imbecamiel: (White Collar Neal)
Just a bit of silliness while I try to poke more complex plots into some coherent shape. Because apparently Neal being out of it is a thing with me, right now. *g* 

Written for [ profile] kriadydragon's request here at [ profile] collarcorner, with inspiration from [ profile] collarcorner's comment. Also, special thanks to [ profile] tj_teejay, whose comments on my last story prodded me to look a little deeper into some of my assumptions and surface-level research. I now know a whooooole lot more about parole, parole officers, and conditions of supervised release. *g* Which just happens to have given me some more story ideas, as well... 

Story! )
imbecamiel: (WC Neal wine)
Not for a prompt this time around – though you might say that this was inspired by a [ profile] collarcorner prompt, or at least the response to one. Reading Sara Highum’s story here, I got to thinking, what if Neal really was “drunk dialing” Peter? Or at least, Peter thought he was… though there might be something more going on. And at that my brain took off in a direction totally unrelated to her story, and the idea just wouldn’t let go until I did something with it. ^.^

Summary: Neal drunk-dials Peter. Initially, Peter is Not Amused. Then he figures out what’s really going on… and he’s even less amused. Set somewhere mid-season one. 

To the story! )


imbecamiel: (Default)

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