A bridge over a beautiful waterfall

A bridge over a beautiful waterfall
Nature brings magic

Sunday, May 29, 2011

Sunday 'fess up...Anni almost forgot to make her post

Yeah, this last week has been a whirlwind of training, sorting things out with Himself leaving for California, and my depression flaring so bad I almost started crying for no reason during my lunch break on Wednesday.  It wasn't a pretty picture, and it wasn't an easy week.

On the writing front, I've started a new project.  I'm fleshing out the characters and building the world.  I'm still trying to figure out if I'm going to integrate this new stuff into Aleran or if it's going to stand on its own in a world of its own.  I've got plenty of world to explore still on Aleran (since that's the name for the whole world and not just one little part of it), so I could possibly make it part of a different continent than the one I primarily work with.  I just don't know yet.  It's too early to tell.

On the work front, it's going well.  We're finally getting into the deeper stuff for training so it's actually getting more difficult and more interesting all at the same time.  I'm looking forward to being able to take live calls soon, and testing out what I've learned.  I need to remember to take my little reminder notebook to work though, and put the most vital bits of info into it.

On the vlog front...still no decent web cam so no vlog for now.  I'll let you know when I get it back up and recording.

More music videos...just because I can.

Friday, May 27, 2011

Freaky Food Friday - Sauerkraut Bake, Baked Mac & Cheese, California Bread

Hello lovely followers.  Yet another Freaky Food Friday and we're here again with more recipes.  This time more oven baked goodies.  The first is an acquired taste but oh-so-good if you like sauerkraut.  The second is a four cheese mac & cheese bake that I love.  The third was something made for me at one point and I've adapted the recipe to suit our tastes.

Sauerkraut Bake

1 jar sauerkraut, drained
2 apples, sliced thin
1 medium onion, diced
1/2 lb. small red potatoes, chopped
1 kielbasa sausage, chopped

Preheat oven to 350 F.  Take your jar of sauerkraut and drain it.  Set it aside.  In a pan, start cooking your potatoes.  You want them to be a little stiff but almost fully cooked.  Drain and set aside.  Brown sausage.  Mix onions, apples, sauerkraut, potatoes, and sausage together in a large baking dish.  Bake for 20-25 minutes.

4 Cheese Mac & Cheese Bake

1 package shell noodles, cooked
2 c. shredded mild white cheddar cheese
2 c. shredded mozzarella cheese
2 c. shredded smoked gouda cheese
2 c. shredded Monterey Jack cheese
1/2 c. shredded parmesan cheese
2 eggs, beaten
2 c. milk

Preheat oven to 350 F.  Cook your noodles in a pot of salt water until they're al dente.  Take a 13x9 baking dish and grease with butter.  Mix eggs, milk, and all cheeses but the parmesan together.  Place a layer of pasta and a layer of cheese mixture.  Add another layer of pasta and then add more cheese mixture.  Keep layering until all the pasta and cheese is used.  Sprinkle shredded parmesan on top.  Bake for 20 minutes, or until bubbly and golden brown.

California Bread

3/4 c. mayonnaise
8 oz. shredded cheddar
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 red pepper, diced
1 bunch green onions, chopped fine
1 loaf French bread

Preheat oven to 350 F.  Split the loaf of French bread in half lengthwise.  Mix mayonnaise, garlic, cheese, and red pepper together and spread across both of the pieces of French bread.  Top with the sliced green onions.  Place on a cookie sheet lined with foil.  Bake for 20 minutes.  Cool slightly and cut diagonally to serve.

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Writing Wednesday - A Sample from "Beauty and the Beast"

It was a little past midnight when something woke her. She opened her eyes to a faint greenish glow from the remnants of the fire that her servants had left burning. She pushed herself up on her elbows to get a better look.
A hunched and tattered figure was prodding at the fire, muttering under its breath. “Who’s there?” Caitlyn called.
The figure stood. Caitlyn screamed. An apparition stolen straight from her most terrifying nightmare lurched and staggered towards the bed. “Foolish girl,” it rasped. “Leave this place before you die. See what the lord of these lands did to me.”
The door to Caitlyn’s room burst open. “My lady,” Grace cried as she ran into the room. “What is it?” The invisible maid saw the strange creature. “Oh no you don’t. We’ve learned to counter that trick.” A small pouch appeared in the air as if thrown by an invisible hand. It struck the fire. The apparition shrieked and vanished in a puff of putrid green smoke. “My lady, are you all right?”
What was that?” Caitlyn asked, throwing back the covers and lurching to her feet.
It was a wraith,” Grace said grimly. “An apparition that occasionally haunts these halls. They try to blame their deaths on my lord, but he had nothing to do with it. Not even in his most terrible rages would he harm any of those who stand as guests in his house.”
A cold wind blew through the room. “You can say that all you want, servant girl. But the truth of it is your lord steals maidens from their homes and destroys the lives of those they love by taking them and never giving them back,” a harsh voice whispered.
Only because of you,” Grace said, and Caitlyn felt Grace’s hand on her shoulder. Caitlyn also heard the faint sound of footsteps running down the hall. She had a suspicion that Sarah was running for help. “You and your wife, though at least your lady tried to leaven the curse you placed on our lands.”
Your lord is a murderer and I will never let him be free,” the voice hissed.
Caitlyn realized where she’d heard the voice and felt this malevolence. This unseen voice was the evil that stood watching behind the stained glass window in her dreams.
My lord never harmed anyone. It was you who killed so many that day,” Grace snapped. She was trembling and Caitlyn realized her seemingly unrufflable maid was terrified.
Before the apparition could make any reply, they all heard the bellowing roar of the Beast. “Your lord will end up killing you all and there is nothing that will save you,” the evil voice said as it faded.
My lady, are you all right?” Sarah asked breathlessly as she ran back into the room. The Beast was right behind her.
Caitlyn, did he hurt you?” the Beast asked.
Caitlyn shook her head. She was shaking badly and she sat back down on her bed. “He just scared me, that’s all,” she said. “Who is he? What is he?”
His name, when he yet lived, was Arkadiy,” the Beast said. “He and his wife were powerful mages. I made a mistake, and for that error Arkadiy cursed me and my people. Lady Rosa stopped him from destroying all of us, but she couldn’t completely reverse what he’d already done. He tried to kill her for her interference. She rebounded his curse and it destroyed his body. I fear it did nothing to purge his soul, however, and he has haunted my home ever since.”
He made it sound as if my being here was part of that curse,” Caitlyn said.
Don’t listen to him,” the Beast advised. “Those that have either have gone mad or have been driven from my home within the first few days of their being here.”
Caitlyn shivered a little. Grace, who hadn’t left her side, said, “My lord, we should let my lady try to get back to sleep. Sarah and I can stay with her, if you wish.”
Yes, that would be best. I’m hardly the most comforting of creatures to have around,” the Beast said harshly.
My lord,” Caitlyn said, looking over at him. “Thank you.”
For what?” he asked.
For driving him away,” she replied.
The Beast nodded. “Good night, Caitlyn. For what it’s worth, he should not return this night,” he said before leaving the room.
Sarah built up the fire. “I think a cup of tea would help soothe your nerves,” she said.
Grace moved away to join her. “And a little more light is needed,” Grace added. She took a thin piece of wood from the jar on the mantle and lit two of the oil lamps.
Is there anything else we can get for you?” Sarah asked as she set the kettle over the fire.
I’m cold,” Caitlyn said.
A shawl was procured from the wardrobe and it was wrapped around her shoulders. Grace handed her a pair of slippers and Caitlyn slipped her feet into them. “Here, my lady,” Sarah said, wrapping a quilt around her as well as Caitlyn moved from the bed into one of the easy chairs near the fire. “You just sit quietly for now and we’ll get you some tea here in a bit.”
They tidied up the room while they waited for the kettle to boil. The two young maids chattered about the other servants and what scrapes they got into behind the scenes, and the rather favorable reports of the silent ones who’d served Caitlyn’s dinner. Once the kettle was piping hot Sarah poured the water into a ceramic tea pot. A cunningly wrought tea ball in the shape of a key was packed with tea leaves and dropped it into the tea pot.
A few minutes later, Caitlyn was presented with a cup of tea laden with cream and honey. “Can we get anything else for you, my lady?”
No, that’s all right. I’ll finish my tea and then go back to bed,” Caitlyn said. The warmth from the fire and the tea were already easing the chills. “I may sleep late tomorrow though.”
Don’t worry about it, my lady,” Grace said. “Either Sarah or myself will be here when you wake.” The two maids settled into the rocking chairs and began hemming another pair of the dresses from Caitlyn’s wardrobe.
Caitlyn finished her tea and set the cup on the table. One of the girls took her extra quilt and her shawl and Caitlyn slid her feet out of the slippers before curling back up under her blankets.

Sunday, May 22, 2011

Sunday 'fess up...Anni's not going to be online much

Hello all.

I'm not going to be online much over the next couple weeks.  Himself is leaving very soon (like in the next week and a half or two weeks) and I'm spending as much time as I can possibly get with him.  Between work and my quality time with my husband, writing and online stuff are going to suffer.  I'll probably still get my blog posts written but they may be a little late for a couple weeks.

Speaking of writing, I've been working on my Beauty and the Beast rewrite this week.  I also got a little bit written on "Obsidian and Amethyst", and I've done a little bit of research for my Fang Faces storyline.  I've got weres but I'm trying to avoid stereotypical vampires so I've been hunting for different and interesting creatures to convert into characters and races.

With the sale of the iMac, I don't have a viable camera so I'm not able to do the vlog right now.  As soon as I either get the iMac back, or purchase a decent camera for Monstrosity, I'll be back to doing the vlogs.  For now, please be patient.  Technical difficulties are a pain but we'll get it worked out eventually.

Customer service training is going well, although the 9 am classes are getting to me.  I'm a night owl, not a lark of the morning.  But I'll manage.  I have to.

Now, just a few videos for your perusal and enjoyment.

Friday, May 20, 2011

Freaky Food Friday - Cheese Biscuits, Cucumber Salad and Chocolate Chip Cookies

Today is three 'C' foods I love to make: my Cheese Biscuits, Cucumber Salad, and my Pounder Chocolate Chip Cookies.

Cucumber Salad

2 small cucumbers, thinly sliced
2 medium tomatoes, chopped
1 small onion, diced
4 celery stalks, thinly sliced
1/4 c. cider vinegar
2 T olive oil
1 T honey
1/2 tsp. dried basil
1/2 tsp. dried oregano
1/2 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. garlic powder

Put all vegetables in a bowl and lightly mix.  Mix together vinegar, oil, honey, and spices.  Pour over the vegetables and mix until veggies are coated.  Refrigerate for at least 4 hours.  For best results, let sit overnight.

Cheese Biscuits

2 c. all purpose flour
2 1/4 tsp. baking powder
3/4 tsp salt
1/4 tsp baking soda
1/3 c. shortening
1 c. sharp Cheddar cheese
3/4 c. buttermilk

Preheat oven to 450 F.  Mix dry ingredients.  Cut in shortening until the mixture looks like coarse crumbs.  Mix the cheese.  Pour in the buttermilk slowly and mix until just blended.  Turn onto a floured board.  Roll to 1/2" thickness and cut 12 biscuits.  Place 1 inch apart on a lightly greased baking sheet.  Bake for 8-10 minutes until golden brown.

Pounder Chocolate Chip Cookies

4 c. flour
1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp baking soda
4 sticks butter, softened
3/4 c. brown sugar
3/4 c. white sugar
1 tsp. vanilla
4 eggs
1 pkg. semi-sweet chocolate chips (or milk chocolate, or bittersweet...whichever you like)

Preheat oven to 350 F.  Mix dry ingredients and set aside.  Cream together butter and sugars.  Add vanilla and stir in eggs one at a time until mixed.  Slowly add the flour mixture.  Add chocolate chips.  Bake for 10-15 minutes, until golden brown.

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Writing Wednesday - A Sample from "Only A Name"

Colwyn led his two friends to Emberlie's tent. Commander Cathal was sitting with her and they were going over the lists of provisions. “Sir, Mistress Emberlie.” Colwyn saluted.
What is it boy?” Cathal asked.
Did you find any more of the mushrooms?” Emberlie asked.
No, ma'am. We didn't. We found three headless bodies and a silver haired child at the edge of our patrol area.” Colwyn was certain that would get their attention.
Three headless corpses?” Cathal's attention was focused directly on the three young boys.
Three men, not sure of their age because there weren't any heads,” Colwyn said. “The blood was clotted so we feel the attack probably happened yesterday or last night at some point. There was a silver haired child hiding under a berry bush. He was bitten by a forest spider. That was how we found him, when he came out from under the bush with the spider attached to the back of his hand.”
How old is the child?” Emberlie asked.
Older than Ethan but younger than us, we're guessing,” Colwyn said. “He passed out before we could get any information from him.”
I take it he's with Nial right now,” Cathal asked. Colwyn nodded. “Did you see anything else?”
The footprints that may have belonged to the murdered men and the child,” Kieran said. “The bodies and the child are all wearing slave smocks so our best guess is they escaped an ongoing purge.”
What direction were they going?” Cathal asked.
West, towards the river god's shrine,” Colwyn said. “At least, that's our guess. They were up above the river.”
Well, they'd have found the same fate there that they found in the forest,” Cathal said. “No place is safe anymore.” He looked at Emberlie, who nodded. “You boys are dismissed.”
Sir.” All three boys saluted and left the tent.
I'm going to check on Dermot.” Manus veered off towards the infirmary tent. “You two coming with me?”
Kieran grinned. “Of course. We haven't picked on him in a few solars and he's probably feeling neglected.”
The boys laughed as they made their way to the infirmary tent again. Inside, several people were rushing around. Nial was sitting next to the child they'd brought in, supporting his weight on one arm. His free hand was working on forcing a potion down the child's throat. Fergus was over using his magic to help.
Colwyn and the others joined Dermot at his cot. “How're you feeling?” Manus asked.
Better, now that my leg isn't trying to tear itself apart,” Dermot said. “You guys are the ones who brought the girl in, right?”
Colwyn looked over at the girl again. “She's a girl? We thought she was a boy.”
I've been listening to Nial bark orders at everyone.” Dermot rubbed his leg with one hand. “He's worried. You got the paste on her hand but the poison was already in her system and he's concerned that it isn't going to be enough.”
It might not be. She was terrified when we caught her.” Manus looked at his cousin. “Stop rubbing your leg. You'll open the wounds again.”
Dermot pulled his hand back. “Yeah, that's what Master Fergus and Master Nial keep telling me. It itches really bad though.”
Manus smacked him lightly on the head. “That's because it's healing. Leave it alone or you'll be stuck in here longer.”
I'd rather not. I like Master Nial and Master Fergus but I'd rather be out on patrol with you.” Dermot shifted his position so his hands were in front of him.
We found bodies earlier today.” Colwyn looked ill. “Three headless men that Kieran thought might be slaves.”
I didn't think they were slaves. I know they were escaped slaves and I'll bet the girl is an escaped slave as well.” Kieran touched his right shoulder. “I saw the brands on their shoulders.”
Why would slaves try to run? It's an instant death sentence,” Dermot said.
The purges. Remember what Mistress Emberlie told us all to watch out for?” Manus asked. “The Emperor ordered a purging of the slaves with silver hair.”
Dying on a chopping block or dying while making a bid for freedom.” Kieran rubbed the back of his neck. “I don't know about those slaves but I'd be looking for a way to run. There's always a chance that they might get away from the purge.”
Not with the temples getting in on it.” Colwyn looked grim. “I heard Commander Cathal telling Mistress Emberlie about that. It's getting harder and harder to find a safe haven if you've got silver hair.”
That's why Lord Mikhael is collecting as many of us as he can.” Kieran put a hand on Colwyn's shoulder. “Just like we were found.”
Colwyn nodded, but his eyes were distant. He looked over at the girl that Nial and his apprentices were trying to save. “This is a war and we have to remember that we'll lose people. But I don't want to see any more children die. Children shouldn't have to pay the price for an adult's cruelty.”
Unfortunately, it's the children who are most likely to pay,” Kieran said.
You should go. If you just came in from patrol you're going to need to get something to eat.” Dermot shoved gently at his cousin and their friends. Colwyn collected his little patrol and led the other two boys out of the infirmary. He looked one last time at the cluster of healers attempting to save a little girl's life.
Colwyn's thoughts were troubled as he and the other two got their dinner from the cook. “Col, you okay?” Kieran asked, shoveling food into his mouth as quickly as he could.
Colwyn shook his head. “It's just seeing what we did and then having to bring that little girl in today. I'll bet she's the one who threw up after seeing her friends beheaded. I wonder if she's going to be all right.”
She's like the rest of us, Col.” Manus regarded his friend solemnly. “Are any of us all right?”
Some are taking this better than others.” Colwyn sighed and set his bowl aside. “I hate this. I hate the fact that one man has the power to kill so many people and no one's willing to stop him.”
He's the Emperor. You can't exactly walk up to the Emperor of all Lytharia and say 'Hey, your idea is stupid. Let's just let these people alone'.” Kieran gave him a look that spoke volumes.
The High Lords are supposed to have that kind of power. But you notice none of them are doing anything about this either,” Colwyn said.
High Lord Berach's had how many seasons to make people hate Lord Mikhael and the rest of us?” Manus asked. “Think about that, Col. Berach and who knows how many others have been scared of us for the last five seasons. Maybe even longer.”
We need to do more to help those like us, but how can we when we don't even know where they all are?” Colwyn picked up his dishes. “I'm going to go practice for a while before bed.”
Hold up. I'll come with you.” Kieran stood up.
Manus handed his dishes to Kieran. “Could you take those for me? I'm going back to the infirmary to see if Master Nial needs any more help.”
All right.” Kieran took the dishes. Colwyn and Kieran headed towards the kitchen area while Manus retraced his steps to the infirmary tent.

Sunday, May 15, 2011

Sunday 'fess up...Anni's done with round two

That's right!  Round two revisions on Only A Name are DONE!  A bunch of scenes rewritten.  Some new ones added in that I'll be going over in round three.  But I'm proud to say that I'm making progress with it.  Now this does leave me in a quandary about what I'm going to work on while I let it sit for a few weeks.  But I've got so many projects and ideas I'll find something to work on during that time.

Himself will be leaving at the end of May or beginning of June to start his new job in California.  I'll admit that now I'm starting to get the stomach aches from worry and the paranoia is setting in.  I'm trying to ignore it so I don't bring him down.  He's so excited about this opportunity and I am NOT going to screw it up for him.  Besides, I need him to start work so we can get caught up on our bills.

No vlog this week.  Himself has been on the iMac constantly over the last few days.  The web cam on Monstrosity won't work.  It's very poor quality video and I'm not going to subject you guys to that.  I'll be back online for the vlog next week, even if I have to randomly do it in the middle of the week and upload it then.  We'll see what happens there.

Tomorrow I start my training for customer service.  At 9 AM.  I am NOT a morning person and I'm used to working nights.  This should be an interesting change.  I've heard they're a lot tougher on the agents in customer service, but honestly?  I don't care.  With all the changes going on in the collections side of the business, I'll be dealing with a lot less stress down in customer service.

No vlog, but still some music videos for fun.

Friday, May 13, 2011

Freaky Food Friday - Quinoa Salad and Broccoli Cheese Soup

I've resurrected my Friday posts.  Yay!  *grin*  Today I've got two recipes for you.  Both are awesome.  Both have been slightly modified from the originals, which I found on Allrecipes.  Seriously, they have some amazing recipes for just about everything there.

Recipe one is a light summer salad made from quinoa.  You can generally find quinoa in your grocery store's bulk foods section.

The original recipe is there.  Here is my modified recipe.

Quinoa with chickpeas and veggies

  • 1 cup quinoa
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt
  • 1 3/4 cups water
  • 1 cup canned garbanzo beans (chickpeas), drained
  • 1 tomato, chopped
  • 2 cucumbers, seeded and chopped
  • 3 carrots, peeled and diced
  • 3 celery stalks, diced
  • 1/2 small onion, diced
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 4 tablespoons lime juice
  • 5 teaspoons olive oil
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1 pinch salt and pepper to taste
  • 1/2 teaspoon chopped fresh parsley

    1. Place the quinoa in a fine mesh strainer, and rinse under cold, running water until the water no longer foams. Bring the quinoa, salt, and water to a boil in a saucepan. Reduce heat to medium-low, cover, and simmer until the quinoa is tender, 20 to 25 minutes.
    2. Once done, stir in the garbanzo beans, all vegetables, garlic, lime juice, and olive oil. Season with cumin, salt, and pepper. Sprinkle with chopped fresh parsley to serve.

  • I wanted to add more life and color to the salad, which is why I went with more vegetables.  I had to increase the dressing (the lime juice and the olive oil) to cover all of the new ingredients.

  • The second recipe is the modified version of this recipe that I took from allrecipes.com as well.  That really is my online go-to place for wonderful recipes.

  • Broccoli Cheese soup with smoked sausage

    • 8 cups chicken broth
    • 2 cups water
    • 2 cups half-and-half
    • 4 ounces shredded Sharp cheddar cheese
    • 4 ounces shredded smoked gouda
    • 1 cup all-purpose flour
    • 1 medium onion, chopped fine
    • 1 smoked kielbasa sausage, chopped
    • 2 cloves garlic, minced
    • 1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
    • 8 cups broccoli florets

    1. In a skillet, brown sausage and garlic together.  Set aside.  Cook onion with a drizzle of olive oil to keep it from sticking until the onions are translucent.
    2. In a large pot over medium high heat, combine the broth, water, half-and-half, cheese, flour, onion and ground black pepper. Whisk all together to break up any lumps.
    3. Bring to a boil and reduce heat to low. Stir in the broccoli and sausage and simmer for 15 to 20 minutes, or until broccoli is tender.

    If you don't like smoked gouda, you can use any cheese that will easily melt.  I've used pepper jack in this recipe before when I was making it to send with Himself to an event.  This is what I do when I'm NOT being lazy and using the soup mixes. *grin*

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Writing Wednesday - A Writer's Year in Review

Today is my birthday.  I originally started this post to moan about how another year's gone and I'm not published yet.  I was going to catalog all of the bad things that happened in the past year and go off on how unfair life is.

Then I stopped to think.

I have one complete novel, two almost finished, two complete novellas, four or five short stories completed.  I did that in one year.  I made a bunch of new writing friends on Twitter, Facebook, and my blog.  I've done some things I thought I wouldn't do (submissions mainly) and I've had some interesting results.  Only one unpaid acceptance but one acceptance is still pretty damn good.

There are things I wish I'd done.  I wish I'd had my stories all set up to be published before I turned 34.  I wish I'd been more dedicated to my writing.  I wish I'd gotten short stories published.  But you know what?  While I wish it were better, I can say I am happy with my progress.

Only A Name is on its second round of revisions.  I may even have it finished by my birthday next year.  Cracked World and The Life Dancer are on hold but I've got plans for them.  Birth of the Silver Lady and my Beauty and the Beast rewrite are done and in their first stage edits.  So I've really done quite a bit in a year.

How about you?  How are your projects going?  Any plans for the next year?  What about the rest of this year?

Sunday, May 8, 2011

Sunday 'fess up...Himself had a proposal we're finding hard not to accept

This week Himself got the news he'd lost his job.  Which was to be expected since he's been out of work for the last month or so.  We were discussing his options, and how we were going to pay to send him back to school, when he got an offer from a friend we're having a hard time refusing.

This offer is of a job working as an automobile technician.  He'd have to go to southern California and live there for a while without me.  At least until we could get our debt paid down and find a place together down there.  This does scare me a little.  But this is the best opportunity we've had in a very long time, and this time we mean to take it instead of letting it go by without taking a chance.

We've been at rock bottom for a few years now.  This opportunity may be the rope that will carry us out of the hole and into the light.  At least, that's what we're hoping.  Himself will check out the place at the end of May/beginning of June and we'll know then if it's going to work out or not.  The guy who offered him the job is going to take him down to SoCal with him and then fly him home if things don't work out.

On the writing front, I haven't gotten as much done as I'd like.  However, I got the beta of my Beauty and the Beast rewrite back.  That story has several issues but they're all going to be easily fixed.  At least, I hope they will.  I never know with revisions if they're going to be easy or not.

Health issues are still going on.  They're going to be going on for the foreseeable future.  We're just playing everything by ear right now.  That's how it's going to have to be played.

Vlog is done as usual.  This week's a little long and I blather on about hope.  But I think this week's is an okay one.  It's certainly more focused than the last few have been.

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Writing Wednesday - World Building revisited

I seem to be on a real world building kick again.  I'm having to redo some of my world building on Aleran, after some work on Only A Name revealed some inconsistencies...again.  I tend to find those from time to time when I forget what I've done with the world building.  I don't always have my notes up and can't always remember everything I've already decided.  I wanted to revamp some of my ideas anyhow, so I went looking for some help.

I found it.  The first website I found was linked by KD Sarge for a blog challenge she was contemplating doing.  30 Days of World Building was my first stop.  It's got some great ideas and challenges for world building.  My other stop, and one that's a little more in depth, was Fantasy World Building on the SFWA website.  I love the challenges of spending only fifteen minutes a day to work on world building that is demonstrated on 30 Days of World Building.  But I like how detailed the questions on the Fantasy World Building list are.  So I'm using a combination of the two to build up and finish fleshing out Aleran once and for all.

Personally, I don't think world building should be a static thing.  If you're writing a long running series or a multi-story arc...or even if you're writing a bunch of standalone novels (like me) that fit loosely together along a timeline, you're going to be changing and evolving your world.  As you do that, take copious notes and when you find inconsistencies make sure to resolve them.  Because I guarantee that at least one reader will recognize those inconsistencies and could lose interest in them because of it.

Sunday, May 1, 2011

Sunday 'fess up...Anni needs a vacation from life

Seriously...anyone know of a good vacation from real life?  Aside from writing?  Oy.  This has not been one of my better weeks.

Not much writing got done.  I tried to edit my Beauty and the Beast rewrite and something in it just doesn't seem to work.  I've pawned it off on a couple of people to beta read.  So far no comments.  I think I know one of the problems.  My issue with it is trying to either remove it - which I suppose would work but dang it I LIKE the idea - or working it in even further down the storyline.  I don't know yet and I'm waiting for the verdict from my beta readers before I do anything more on it.

Only A Name hasn't been worked on much this week.  I worked on it for a while last night but I'm still not happy with it.  I'm determined to get through the edits by the end of May and have it ready for beta readers in June.  We'll see if that happens too.

If you're wondering WHY my writing sucked this week, go read my "V is for Very, Very Grateful" blog post.  It gives all the details as to why I've spent yet another week out of work.  I am not really looking forward to the backlog of emails, issues, and idiots when I go back to work on Monday.  At least I've only got two weeks left before I migrate to customer service instead of collections.  I'm very excited about that.

Vlog is recorded as usual.  This time I used a picture of Malad Gorge as my title screen.  I haven't been there for a while but the view from the bridge is spectacular.