Stereotypes

I just finished Sherrilyn Kenyon’s first Chronicles of Nick novel, Infinity.  This story is set in New Orleans, which is in the South, and as such is ripe for stereotypes.  Everything from clothes to accent are on the target.  Now, I get some of it–the accent in particular.  I’m “country.”  When I talk, I have an accent–to my own ears, I don’t–but when I hear myself on a recording or anything like that, it’s there.  No denying.  And I’ve heard many accents that are more pronounced than mine.  There’s also a difference between my regular accent, and what comes out of my mouth when I’m angry.  Big difference.  There’s also the automatic assumption that “Southern” equates “redneck” equates dumb-as-dirt.  Thankfully, Infinity left out that part.  The characters she described as “redneck” were near-genius level, even if they didn’t talk that way.  Some people think that the term “redneck” is synonymous with “idiot.”  Am I Southern?  Yes, I’m a girl from Mississippi.  Can I shoot a gun?  Yes, I even own one, and target practice is about as fun as it gets.  How “smart” am I?  Well, I’ve got two college degrees, so what do you think?

So, my question to you is this: How do you combat stereotypes, like the one I talked about, in your writing?  Any and all of them?  The majority of Southerners are played dumb hicks.  London (Brenda Song) from The Suite Life of Zack and Cody is anti-stereotype (one of the few I’ve seen played that way), as was the character Maddie (Ashley Tisdale).  Chloe Sullivan from Smallville was in the same group as Maddie, a smart blonde girl.

Personally, I try to keep everything even in my writing.  Sure, there are some super-smart characters, just like there are some that aren’t.  The color and ethnicity of the character doesn’t really mater to me, as long as that person fills that role, and I’ve been known to switch out characters so that just for that purpose.  I try to keep everything as diverse as I can, so that I’m not highlighting something or someone as worse or better than anything else.

What do you do?

New Story Idea!

Hey all!

So, as you can probably see from the title, I’ve got a new story idea.  I’m calling it Valor at the moment, but I’m sure that’ll change once I get more into the story.  Right now I just have a few bits and pieces, places mostly, that I really like and want to piece together.

Where did I get this idea from, you ask.  Well, I got them from other people’s ideas, if I’m being honest.  I finally sat down and watched Deepwater Horizon a few days ago.  This movie stars Mark Wahlberg and Dylan O’Brien, along with a lot of other big name celebrities.  Or people I think are big name celebrities.  This story in particular is a true event, following the crew onboard the offshore oilrig, of the same name, that blew up in the Gulf in April of 2010.  I remember this happening, the news stories, the interviews, the trials.  In the beginning of the movie, the characters are at a heliport, getting ready to fly out to the fig, located 40-some miles off the coast of Louisiana.  This heliport is impressive.  It’s not huge.  It’s not stories-high.  But it can probably hold two dozen helicopters at any given time.

That’s one of the things I see when I think of Valor.

I don’t know who’s going to be in the story yet.  Names, dates, and stories are all nonexistent at this point, but I know Valor Heliport.

Which is why I would really like to be able to see it.  Like, drawn out so I can pick it up, study it, all that stuff.  My drawing skills aren’t that good, so I have set to cutting up old notecards.  I have no glue at the moment, so it just looks like I went scissor-happy on my desk.  I really need to get some glue during lunch.

Anyway.  There are a few other places that I’d like to talk about when it comes to Valor, but I think I’ll save them for next time.

How are your projects going?

See y’all!

I Suck at Making Priorities

Am I the only one like this?  I don’t think I am.

I have actually managed to write some, though.  I’ve added around 3,000 words in the past month, but 3,000 words a month isn’t that great considering I did that in two days when I wrote my first draft.

I just…There’s so much stuff!  There are TV shows that I have to watch online because I lost the CW channel (thanks a lot Dish Network).  We’ve already talked about my procrastination issues, so you understand that I wait until the day before the episodes I need to watch to keep up are going to be taken down and then I have to binge those episodes.  Took me a week to catch up, and of course I’m falling behind again.

Then, I’ve been reading a lot.  I’ve gone through 3 books in about 4 days.  Reading for 7 hours instead of writing for 7 hours.  I guess I can say that it’s research–I’m reading other books in my genre (kind of) and it’s helping me with my own writing.  I’m going to keep telling myself that.

At the moment, though, I’m on a bit of a writing kick.  And I told myself that I can’t read any of The Raven Boys by Maggie Stiefvater until I finish a chapter of  writing.  Preferably two.

I hope you guys are doing well with your own reading and writing goals!  If you are, then yay for you.  If not, you’ll get there eventually.

My “eventually” is creeping closer, so I’d better get to it.  See y’all!

Progress Miscommunications

Don’t you just hate them?

I’m the worst for thinking I’ve gotten on a roll, just to realize that it was only three sentences.  Three.  Sentences.

That’s why I’ve only gotten to 3,500-ish words in my revision since I started it at the beginning of the year.

On the other hand, that’s 3,500-ish words that I didn’t have before since I’m adding to the story this go-around. So there’s that.

Also, Camp NaNoWriMo is coming up in April and I’ve been thinking about using it as a revision tool.  Even though I’m just rewriting something that I wrote last year, I’m still writing new words.

I’m also feeling a lot better now.  I’ve still got physical therapy, but the guy I’m working with is awesome.  I’m walking around again, even if it is with a purple walking cane, and I’ve officially started driving again.  Just being able to do that has made me perk up a bit.  I’ve never felt so useless in my life than when I couldn’t drive my own car.  It hurt even more when I realized that I’d made three car payments with the thing not being moved but once a week.

I guess I’d better get to writing since I actually feel like it right now.  Maybe I’ll get in more than three sentences this time!

January Wrap-Up!

Okay, surprisingly enough, I’ve been on a bit of a reading roll since the beginning of the year.  I got out of my cast, I got back to work (which is where I do the bulk of my reading), and I found some really awesome books that I wanted to read.

My Goodreads goal for the year is 50 books, so one book every 7 days and 7 hours.  Yes, I’m the weirdo that had to get the exact time per book.  I read five books in the month of January and started another, but wasn’t able to get it finished.

First up!

The Gunslinger by Stephen King.  This is the first book in the Dark Tower Series.  I’ve got the next two that I might read, but there’s no guarantee.  All I’ve ever heard about Stephen King was how twisted his stories were, and that this series was one of his best, but…I just don’t get it, I guess.  There wasn’t that much of a scare factor or anything like that.  I grimaced a few times, but that’s about it.  I gave it a 3 out of 5 stars.

Next in line is The Murder Complex by Lindsay Cummings.  She is co-authoring a book with a YouTuber that I watch, so I decided to do some research into her work.  I went into this book knowing nothing other than her name and I thought that it was pretty good.  There are a few head-scratching moments, but overall it was interesting.  I think it would be worth it to finish the rest of the series.  I gave it a 4 out of 5 stars.

The next three all received 5 out of 5 stars.

American Assassin by Vince Flynn was absolutely amazing.  I initially picked it up because of the movie they’re making with Dylan O’Brien as Mitch Rapp, but I’ve since bought most of the series.  I wasn’t sure what to expect-I’d never read anything out of the Crime genre unless it had some touch of supernatural to it (like The Dresden Files).  I was hooked within the first few pages.  The characters are great, the storyline is interesting.  It also doesn’t hurt to actually imagine Dylan O’Brien as I’m reading it.

After that I picked up Illuminae by Amie Kaufman and Jay Kristoff.  Again, I had no idea what I was getting in to.  All the YouTubers I watch loved it when it came out back in 2015, so I decided to finally jump on the bandwagon.  Am I glad that I did.  I’ve never read anything that’s formatted like this book.  You don’t expect it to be so engaging since it’s just a book-sized dossier.  The best part?  My name is on a casualty list.  I always check to see if my last name is in a book if there are any lists like this.  Well, the last name was there, and it was the only one listed.  Looked at the first part of the name and there’s my middle name.  I had to stop and take a picture.  I would’ve give this one 6 stars if I could have, and I’ve already gotten Gemina.

My final book that I finished for the month of January is Kill Shot by Vince Flynn.  It’s the second book following Mitch Rapp.  I’ve never been so happy to see a character get what was coming to them.  This person was seriously on my list of most disliked characters right beside Dolores Umbridge.  So far, this series has been fast-paced and action-packed.  I can’t wait to pick up the next book.

I did start another book in January-Heartless by Marissa Meyer.  I didn’t manage to finish it before the end of the month, so it’s going to be on February’s wrap-up!

As of the first of February, I was one book ahead of schedule for my reading challenge.  How was your January reading?

I’m Switching!

I love to read.  I really do.  And one thing I’ve noticed about the books I like to read is that they’re mostly in third person point-of-view.  I’ve read a few first person that were okay.  A couple that were just plain weird.  And another series that I probably wouldn’t have read if it hadn’t been that the book is always better than the movie.

So why am I trying to write in first person?  Like, really?

And that is why I’ve decided to start from my new beginning for Reapers, and start it in third person.  Maybe that’s why I’ve been stalled for the last couple of weeks.  I mean, it’s going to be ridiculous considering that I’ve got over 60,000 words down at this point.  Not to mention, the around-two-hundred-pages I’ve printed.  The story is still the same.  I’m going to edit what I’ve printed and use that to convert the narrator from first to third.  (Crossing my fingers this freaking works!)  I want to have a useable, readable draft by the end of the year.  And I’m going to do it, dangit!

Have any of you tried this–switching narrators so late in the game, so drastically?  Do ya have any tips?

While I’m mulling this over, I’m wanted to do a January Wrap-Up for all the books I’ve read since the beginning of the year.  I’ve been on a bit of a roll and am finally out of that stupid reading slump.  I’ve also told myself that I can’t buy any more books until I’ve read five.  I’ve noticed that reading while I’m writing helps.  If I go too long without reading a good book, I suddenly become stupid and incapable of description.

I’ve given myself one crazy To-Do list.  What’s on yours?

Long Time, No See

I am slowly, but surely getting back into the swing of things.  I’m not back to 100% yet, but it’s coming along.  I finally got rid of that annoying cast a couple weeks ago and now I’m in a walking boot.  I’m not that good at walking yet.  I’ll take what I can get.

I’m back to writing again.  I’m currently trying to plot out the new beginning to Reapers, and I’m a little stuck.  I know what I want to write, I just keep getting distracted and I don’t actually write anything.  I think most of it is because I’m using a few things from what happened to me back in November, and I really don’t want to remember it.  That being said, I really want to get this thing wrapped up and in editing condition by the beginning of the summer.  Time to bite the bullet.

I’ve also gotten back to reading!  I really like that part.  Last year was a year-long reading slump, and it was annoying.  I’ve set a Goodreads for 50 books this year and I’ve already plowed through four, which is one ahead of schedule.  The most exciting book I’ve read so far was Illuminae by Amie Kaufman and Jay Kristoff.  It was an awesome read.  And a fun/weird fact–if you look at the casualty list for the Copernicus, my name is listed there (middle and last name).

I’m going to try and get back to posting here on a regular basis, fingers crossed.  How’s your new year going?

Experience Equals Knowledge

Or so I’m told.

About a month ago, I fell through my sisters porch.  I’ve already told you that.  What you don’t know is that I did need surgery.  On top of the dislocation that the hospital was able to fix, I needed plates and screws to fix the broken bones.  The plate went on my fibula along with a couple screws, a screw went in the chip on my tibia, and a screw went in the topmost bone in my ankle.  I was under for a couple hours.

I think I took all this very well considering how much of a doctor-phobe I am.  I mean, I don’t even get flu shots.

I’ve knocked a lot of things off my “Not” bucket list.  A lot of things that I hoped I’d never have to.  On the other side, I can now double Reapers because I can truthfully write about having surgery.

I’m still in a cast, but the incisions have finally healed up enough that it’s not too uncomfortable.  I’ve left my house a grand total of five times since November 19, four of which were doctor visits.  This means I haven’t worked since then either.  My introversion rejoices at that, but it also means it’s going to be a pain when I have to start talking to people again.

That being said, if any of you would like to ask me a couple questions about surgery or being put under, I’d try to answer as best I could.  Drop me a line if you want.

Life put me into a full stop.  What’s it done to you lately?

Ouch…

Hello all.  I’ve temporarily put all reading and writing on hold.  I fell through my sister’s front porch yesterday.  They sedated me (a lot) and were able to fix the dislocated ankle, but the leg is broken too.  I’m currently doped up to high heaven.  I’ve got to go to an orthopedic surgeon tomorrow, and I’m just hoping that I’ll just get a permanent cast with no surgery involved.  The ironic thing?  I broke the same bone, in the same place, on my right leg as I did on my left leg in 2001.  Cross your fingers for me!

Read or Write?

I’m trying to do both, but one always gets in the way of the other.

“Wink” is still a work-in-progress.  I wanted to work on it over the weekend, but I didn’t have a computer to work with.  I spent most of it doing housework (it was work, even if it wasn’t my house).  A few ideas popped into my head that I think I like.  I’ve officially given up on NaNoWriMo 2016, though.  I’ll try one of the Camp months next year, but for right now, I’ll just piddle around with what I’ve got and go slow.  I think most of my problem was that I have no outline…and I didn’t get this idea until a week into NaNoWriMo.  Brains are lovely things, aren’t they?  Not tricksters at all.

The Tome Topple Read-a-Thon is also coming up in a couple of days.  I decided to do the insane thing of writing down the page-count of all of my books.  I am really, truly insane.  I gave up on that halfway through the F’s.  Upside, I found several over-500-page books that I can go through (even though there’s a great possibility that I won’t even get through one!).

I’ve read The Host by Stephenie Meyer before, but I’ve always liked that one, so I might run through it again.  I also have the Ezio collection of books by Oliver Bowden, Renaissance, Brotherhood, and Revelations.  I’ve read two of these three, and a couple of the other Assassin’s Creed books, but these are over 500 pages!  I may try The Furies of Calderon by Jim Butcher, if I get around to it.  My World War II book collection is also growing, so I might dive into one of them–I’ve got The Liberation Trilogy by Rick Atkinson, and several books about Hitler and the Third Reich.

I’ll either so through six or seven of these, or I won’t even get through one–there will be no in between.

What are you guys going to do for the read-a-thon?