Rising Tide Cover Images

By: Genlisae
Filed As: NaNoWriMo, Rising Tide, Writing
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I have two different cover images I am toying around with. Now realizing I am not an artist (at least not for book covers) these are very rudimentary and more to give me an general idea of the feel I am going for. Also they will help when I do find an artist to be able to say “I want something that has this feel but doesn’t suck” because that is way more descriptive than rambling for 20 minutes without actually saying anything.

Cover option 1:
I like:

The muted colours, the way it gives an idea of what the story is about (or at least one scene of it). It feels more “classic” like book covers used to be before a stupid image of a grey tie on a black background was a thing that could happen. (Don’t even get me started on the book it happened on .. or the one that inspired the whole insipid mess).

I don’t like:

Dated. It feels dated. Having such an obvious visual clue to the contents of the story right there – In this case Anika standing on a rocky shore while just the tip of the nose of the huge Pasihiri craft grinds to a halt on the bottom of the ocean.

 

Cover option 2:
I like:

Simple. Clean. Uncluttered. No dated feeling coming from this one. Monochromatic scheme is good (read “cheap”) for printing.

I don’t like:

The only visual clue we get from this one are water and stars. That’s it. No human element (except for the vague feel of drowning? Maybe that is just me …) I worry that the over all feel happening here will end up feeling equally dated in just a few years. This one screams “e-book” to me and I don’t think I like that.

So, those are the two I threw together in Photoshop a while ago (during the original run of Nano2015 I think). Not an overly important consideration at this point and if I go the route of a traditional publisher will most likely end up largely irrelevant. For now they sit in the back of my mind (and here now as well) while I work on draft 2. If nothing else they are serving to make this entire process feel more concrete.

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Be Placed on Some Government Watch List for Potential Serial Killers/Terrorists –Check!

By: Genlisae
Filed As: NaNoWriMo, Rising Tide, Writing
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It has kind of become a thing where writers the world over have a nagging suspicion their search history has The Powers That Be keeping very close tabs on them. When I talk to non-writers about this they always respond with “Oh, everyone googles weird shit.”, which is 100% true. The truly defining trait for the search history of a writer is not just the existence of weird in their search history but the frequency the weird happens.

While writing this evening, in the space of less than an hour, my search history had the following added to it:

  • Geneva Conventions
  • Damage Caused by a Small Explosion
  • What Constitutes an Act of War
  • Fast Acting Poisons
  • Nero-toxins You Can Make At Home
  • Incapacitating Someone without Killing them
  • How to Breakout of Prison
  • Penalty for a Civilian Killing a Member of the Canadian Armed Forces while on a CF Base.
  • Disabling a Deadbolt
  • Lock Picking
  • How to Make a Bump Key

It was a fun night! If I wasn’t already on that watch list, I am pretty certain I am now.

And now for a small excerpt of my writing for the day:

Anika took her place beside the door one of the heavy metal legs from the cot clutched tight in both hands. She looked to Crilo crouched in position on the other side of the door and nodded.

Crilo nodded back, “When you are ready.”

Anika smiled a preemptive apology toward Crilo. She and Aslin used to have screaming contests whenever they watched a scary movie. Anika was always declared the winner. Aslin had joked that Anika had a promising career ahead of her as a Hollywood scream queen. As it turned out there were other uses for a good set of lungs. She took a deep breath and screamed long and loud and like all the nightmare creatures from every horror movie she had ever seen had her backed into a corner. She saw Crilo wince out of the corner of her eye. Mission successful.

The door flew open nearly knocking Crilo down with the force as both guards came running in, weapons drawn.

“Anika?” the Sergent called loudly as they swept the room. Crilo remained hidden behind the open door.

“Sorry,” Anika murmured stepping forward and brought the leg of the cot crashing down on the Sergent’s head.

“Ow, fuck!” the Sergent swore as both guards spun around to face her, “What the hell, Anika?”

“I’m really, really sorry,” she said as she watched Crilo step out from behind the door and with one swift, silent motion knock the second guard to the floor. Anika kept talking to keep the Sergent distracted, “I had to.”

“What?” The Sergent rubbed at his head, “That really fucking hurt.”

“I said I was sorry,” Anika pouted. She saw Crilo pop back up behind the Sergent, “And I am super sorry for this too.”

Crilo’s arm shot out around the Sergent’s neck and moments later the Sergent was down as well.

Anika stared down at the two men on the floor, “How did you do that?”

“I …” Crilo began when Anika cut him off with a raised hand.

“No,” she shook her head, “On second thought I don’t want to know. Just tell me they are still alive.”

“They are.”

“Okay then. Let’s get out of here.”

 

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NaNoWriMo 2015 – Rising Tide

By: Genlisae
Filed As: NaNoWriMo, Rising Tide, Writing
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Synopsis: When an alien craft crashes at Anika Klock’s feet she is thrust into the middle of a struggle that has spanned generations. Her only ally is Crilo, the target of an intergalactic terrorist plot.Yet, even as they grow closer, both know Crilo is honour-bound to betray her.

The good news about that synopsis up there. I have a solid plot and I am 42k (and change) through. The bad news? It is a complete mess. I am on track to win though! 50k will be completed by the end of November. Editing this beast is … another matter.

In the mean time have a short snippet:

Anika had decided she had found the most boring wall in existence. It was an awful, industrial brick monstrosity made even worse by someone having had the stroke of inspiration to paint it avocado flesh green. She had been staring at it for hours now studying every detail, and there weren’t many to study, until she could still see the damn thing when she closed her eyes. It had no personality, no character, not even a single paint drip to set it apart. Just the repeating pattern of mortar lines over and over in perfect layers each row offset exactly half the length of the one below it. Back and forth the layers climbed to the top of the wall with nothing at all interesting to catch the eye. She would have at least expected the odd interesting mark left by past occupants of this room but no. Not one ‘For a good time call Bubba’ or ‘Jessie was here’; just guacamole paint over ridiculously large bricks.

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Teaser of Current Project

By: Genlisae
Filed As: Writing
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I thought I would post a quick excerpt of my current project (the dark fantasy refrenced in the horribly behind word counter in the side bar). Some may have seen part of this before if you read my LJ. It has been revised since that version and much expanded on. One quick warning: This is first draft stage and I have a horrible habit of writing the first draft in passive voice.

Enjoy. Continue reading

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Prefixes: in, un, im, ir, or il?

By: Genlisae
Filed As: Writing
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The prefixes above all mean roughly the same thing: non or not. For example ‘impossible’. The root word here is ‘possible’ meaning something which may or can be, exist, happen, be done, be used, etc. By adding the prefix ‘im’ we now have a word meaning something which may not or cannot be, exist, happen, be done, be used, etc. But why do we use ‘im’ with ‘possible’? Why is it not ‘unpossible’, ‘inpossible’, or any of the other prefixes?

Because there are rules. Now most rules in English are fairly straight forward, ‘i’ before ‘e’ except after ‘c’ types of things. This is not one of those rules. So here (after much reading and possibly some brain melting) are the rules governing which of these five prefixes to use as I understand it.

Starting with the easy stuff:

  • Words which start with ‘m’ or ‘p’ take the prefix ‘im-‘ (impatient, immaterial)
  • Words which start with ‘r’ take ‘ir-‘ (irresponsible, irresistible)
  • Words which start with ‘l’ take ‘il-‘ (illegitimate, illegal)

Okay, kids. This is Where it Gets Complicated:

  • Words of a Latin (Latinate) origin take the prefix ‘in-’ (incredible, indeterminate, inconceivable)
  • Words of a Germanic (and most other languages) origin take the prefix ‘un-’ (unbelievable, unfinished, unending)
  • But wait!
    There are words which sometimes use more than one of these prefixes such as: uncontrollable and incontrollable. My spellcheck and the dictionary say both are correct, which do I use?With the root word being ‘control’ and deriving from the Anglo-Norman French ‘contreroller’* [verb] or The French ‘contrôle’ [noun], strictly speaking, ‘uncontrollable’ would be correct, however; ‘incontrollable’ is a recognized alternative. This happens when new words are created. The creator of the word is free to use which ever prefix they choose. In the course of adding a prefix to ‘controllable’ both were added at differing times (Uncontrollable somewhere between 1570 and 1580. Incontrollable somewhere between 1590 and 1600). In cases such as this both words are accepted into common usage and become established in the language. You may use either of them, though be aware ‘uncontrollable’ is the preferred form for most native English speakers.*Some would argue the Medieval Latin ‘contrarotulare’ as the root for ‘contreroller’ thus ultimately giving a Latinate origin to ‘control’. Personally I am unclear in this regard (more research required). It bares noting as a reasoning behind the use of the ‘in-’ prefix in this instance.
  • There’s more!
    The word ‘sure’ is derived from Middle English ‘sur’ which came from Middle French ‘sur’ which traces back through Old French ‘seur’ which has it’s origin in the Latin ‘securus’, so why do we say ‘unsure’?This is either a similar case to ‘uncontrollable’ vs ‘incontrollable’ or stems from ‘sure’ also being related to ‘sicher’ which traces from the Old High German ‘sichur’. It is my belief it is the Germanic origin at work here given that we do say ‘unsure’ but we also say ‘insecure’ which has the same root from Latin ‘securus’

Confused yet? So am I.

So, what do we, as writers struggling to find words and make sure we are using the words we find correctly and really not wanting to spend hours researching the origins of every single word we use, do? In most cases you can look them up. A quick google of “define:<your word here>” will generally let you know if you are using the correct prefix. If your first try doesn’t produce any results (for example if you searched for ‘inclear’, while the correct form is ‘unclear’) try searching again with a different prefix. If you have run through all five of these prefixes and still get no results, congratulations! You have created a new word! But, remember, you are helping to shape a language. Say the word out loud a few times, make sure it flows, try it out in a sentence or two and whenever possible try to stick to the rules above.

Happy writing!

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Move the Mountain

By: Genlisae
Filed As: Writing
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For the past several weeks I have been trying, in vain, to break out of this creative slump I am in. I have searched for tips and tricks (and amassed an arsenal of things to try and share) to get my brain working again. The most frequent commentary from those who do this writing thing for a living? 1. Writers block doesn’t exist. 2. Just do it!

For something that doesn’t exist, writer’s block certainly has some very real effects. The frustration, irritation, annoyance, anger, tears, feeling like you are trapped in a cage even if it is a cage of your own creation. Then there is the drowning. Your chest tightens, you have difficulty breathing, you want to rage at the world and scream “What is wrong with me?! Why can’t I just write something already?!” You clutch and grasp and claw at the wisps of thought as they flit past, hoping, pleading, begging for them to please twist themselves into a plot line, a snippet, something, ANYTHING you can use to drag yourself out of this dismal, festering pit of a creative slump. It starts to effect your entire life. You snap at those around you when they try to engage you in conversation. Why can’t they just leave you alone to wallow in self pity and rehash all your failings?

Sounds a lot like depression doesn’t it? Maybe it is, in a way. Maybe this thing we call writer’s block and which so many insist is not real is a very real from of self inflicted depression. So how do we cure it? Is the cure really so simple as Nike first said all those years ago? It is possible. I think we, as a species, and especially as creative beings often think the simple answer can’t possibly be the way or everyone would be doing what we are finding so difficult. It is difficult, It is damn hard! We have been struggling and suffering for so long … surely such a simple answer can’t possibly be correct?

When one wants to move a mountain they don’t try to push the whole damned thing at once. They stand back and stare, dizzied by the shear height of the task before them. Overwhelmed, uncertain, feeling the weight of all that earth pressing down on them, crushing them. They cry, rage, scream, some give up entirely, certain they will never be up to the challenge. As the masses lay at the foot of the mountain, broken, defeated, a few will stand up. They shake themselves off, grab a shovel and slowly, steadily, one shovel full at a time, the mountain is moved. Our mountain is the stories we want to tell, our shovel the words.

I am going to stand up now. I will pick up my shovel and I will move some dirt. It may not be dirt from the mountain before me, and that is okay. I just need to move some dirt. Build my dirt moving muscles so when I tackle the mountain that first boulder I can see teetering on the side up there doesn’t knock me right back down again.

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NaNoMo – Better Late . . .

By: Genlisae
Filed As: Writing
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I am officially participating in NaNoMo this year. You can see the little word counter over there on the side. It is going about as well as I expected. I officially started 9 days late.

At first the delay was due to watching the entirety of the ‘Doctor Who’ reboot with my my daughter.  We were on season 5 when the month started. We “had” (never underestimate the determination of a twelve year old girl to fangirl. If only she would show this level of dedication to her school work.) to get through the whole thing before she headed to see her father on the 4th. Next was the actually heading to visit her father, by plane, alone, for the first time in her life. That was a bit stressful. She made it through just fine, I made it through just fine so it was time to get started on my 50,000 words, right?

Wrong!

Instead it was time to realize that out of all of the potential stories running circles around my head all the time, not one of them was fit for a full length fiction. Commence days of notes and attempts to scrunch several unrelated stories together only to still come up empty handed. Hair was pulled, tears were shed, nails were chewed.

Finally, more than a little tipsy on apple brandy and rapidly approaching the wee hours of November 9th while watching the final episode of ‘Blackpool’ a plot line I have had for years solidified itself.

Now it is time to get started on 50,000 words. 976 down …

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