izmeina: (Default)
So another November in Nanoland is over and it's time for the ritual post mortem

There are two things I have learned and one that I have confirmed

A Plodding Python )
izmeina: creepy spooky old house infested with crawling critters (spooky)
So another November in Nanoland is over and it's time for the ritual post mortem

There are two things I have learned and one that I have confirmed

A Plodding Python )
izmeina: (Default)
Camp Nano is a strange masochistic ritual. Taking time away from slinking around in Cyberia in order to dedicate sixty minutes or so to every day to squiggling and knowing damned well that all of it will end up gathering dust on some hard drive.

For while the serpent is disciplined when it comes to the word count, the stuff that comes after is just one enormous festival of procrastination. It’s been nearly five years now since first setting foot in the crazy place that is Nanoland.

A Word Salad )
izmeina: Roz with clipboard from Monsters Inc (monsters inc)
Camp Nano is a strange masochistic ritual. Taking time away from slinking around in Cyberia in order to dedicate sixty minutes or so to every day to squiggling and knowing damned well that all of it will end up gathering dust on some hard drive.

For while the serpent is disciplined when it comes to the word count, the stuff that comes after is just one enormous festival of procrastination. It’s been nearly five years now since first setting foot in the crazy place that is Nanoland.

A Word Salad )
izmeina: (Default)
It’s a week since a certain online scif fi and fantasy literature course has ended. It was a strange beast of a course. There was the creepy sex obsessed professor conspicuous by his absence, a crazy peer review marking system for assignments and a gang of grammar Nazis relishing the chance for some serious power trips. It required a ridiculous amount of work for a very small return. But that is assuming of course that grading is the only thing that counts because it is the only thing that is measured and in a sloppy unrefined manner at that.
But there were some upsides to this manic masochistic adventure. There is nothing like the allure of an external deadline for getting stuff done. The Izzie ‘100 books to read before you die” list is just another one of those things gathering dust and being saved for a rainy day. But thanks to the course “Dracula”, “Frankenstein” and a whole bunch of Edgar Allan Poe stories have been ticked off that list.
The simple fact of having to write an interesting and insightful 320 word essay on the readings for each week meant that a good bit of thinking was involved. First thought was that 320 words is a piece of cake. Will have that done and dusted in 20 minutes since a good Camp nano day can clock up a word count of 1,200 per hour. But they are as different as chalk and cheese. In Nanoland you just make stuff up and the more words the better. No one sees your efforts unless you are crazy enough to post them.
Trying to say something useful with just 320 words to do it and backing it up with cold hard facts is a very different kettle of fish. A first draft might take twenty minutes but slicing, dicing and rearranging to get rid of every single excess word and then choosing quotations and examples from the readings as evidence often took several hours. But you would be mad to do it for the score because there was just no nuance at all in the grading system and unless your work was truly appalling or exceptionally good the best you could hope to score would be the default 4 out of a possible 6 marks. Every other online course where I have put in even half that amount of effort has got a final mark around 90%. But then they don’t have the same value. The readings have provided plenty of inspiration for the daily 1,666 Camp Nano words.
The Izzie motto had always been “Editing is for December” and December never ever came. But this time it got done in March and most of April too.

Then there was the addiction of the forums where folks would be discussing the books on the list, posting their essays and bitching about the ridiculous grading rubric or snarking about the lectures. “Sometimes a snake is just a snake” was a very common comment. Was lurking there lots and it was very addictive so was ever so surprised to have slinked to the fifth place on the Forums ‘Leader Board” where position is based not just on number of posts but the number of up and down votes received so that those who posted things that others found useful would be ranked higher than those just making inane Facebook like sorts of comments.

So as soon as the time gobbling monster had been slain, there was a sudden surge in the serpent’s daily word count over in Nanoland. There’s still other courses to catch up on. In Cyberia the best things in life really are free. Learning stuff online is a pretty harmless addiction.
I’m finally learning not to be too ambitious or greedy. It’s best to do one thing at a time and do it well than to juggle a whole bunch of courses all at the same time and then view them as a chore with scores to be gamed rather than a source of fun, enjoyment and education.
So resisted the temptation to sign up for the Rice Python programming course running right now and signed up for September instead.

Already looking forward to Futurelearn's "Start writing fiction" starting on Monday.
izmeina: A cute cartoon critter with a bag and a teapot on his head (teapot)
It’s a week since a certain online scif fi and fantasy literature course has ended. It was a strange beast of a course. There was the creepy sex obsessed professor conspicuous by his absence, a crazy peer review marking system for assignments and a gang of grammar Nazis relishing the chance for some serious power trips. It required a ridiculous amount of work for a very small return. But that is assuming of course that grading is the only thing that counts because it is the only thing that is measured and in a sloppy unrefined manner at that.
But there were some upsides to this manic masochistic adventure. There is nothing like the allure of an external deadline for getting stuff done. The Izzie ‘100 books to read before you die” list is just another one of those things gathering dust and being saved for a rainy day. But thanks to the course “Dracula”, “Frankenstein” and a whole bunch of Edgar Allan Poe stories have been ticked off that list.
The simple fact of having to write an interesting and insightful 320 word essay on the readings for each week meant that a good bit of thinking was involved. First thought was that 320 words is a piece of cake. Will have that done and dusted in 20 minutes since a good Camp nano day can clock up a word count of 1,200 per hour. But they are as different as chalk and cheese. In Nanoland you just make stuff up and the more words the better. No one sees your efforts unless you are crazy enough to post them.
Trying to say something useful with just 320 words to do it and backing it up with cold hard facts is a very different kettle of fish. A first draft might take twenty minutes but slicing, dicing and rearranging to get rid of every single excess word and then choosing quotations and examples from the readings as evidence often took several hours. But you would be mad to do it for the score because there was just no nuance at all in the grading system and unless your work was truly appalling or exceptionally good the best you could hope to score would be the default 4 out of a possible 6 marks. Every other online course where I have put in even half that amount of effort has got a final mark around 90%. But then they don’t have the same value. The readings have provided plenty of inspiration for the daily 1,666 Camp Nano words.
The Izzie motto had always been “Editing is for December” and December never ever came. But this time it got done in March and most of April too.

Then there was the addiction of the forums where folks would be discussing the books on the list, posting their essays and bitching about the ridiculous grading rubric or snarking about the lectures. “Sometimes a snake is just a snake” was a very common comment. Was lurking there lots and it was very addictive so was ever so surprised to have slinked to the fifth place on the Forums ‘Leader Board” where position is based not just on number of posts but the number of up and down votes received so that those who posted things that others found useful would be ranked higher than those just making inane Facebook like sorts of comments.

So as soon as the time gobbling monster had been slain, there was a sudden surge in the serpent’s daily word count over in Nanoland. There’s still other courses to catch up on. In Cyberia the best things in life really are free. Learning stuff online is a pretty harmless addiction.
I’m finally learning not to be too ambitious or greedy. It’s best to do one thing at a time and do it well than to juggle a whole bunch of courses all at the same time and then view them as a chore with scores to be gamed rather than a source of fun, enjoyment and education.
So resisted the temptation to sign up for the Rice Python programming course running right now and signed up for September instead.

Already looking forward to Futurelearn's "Start writing fiction" starting on Monday.

Word Wars

Apr. 12th, 2014 11:35 pm
izmeina: (Default)
So the madness is nearly over. Only one week remains in the time sapping online Sci Fi and Fantasy course. Only a masochist would voluntarily sign up for ten weeks of reading with essays and peer reviews due every week. There is nothing like trying to explain something to force you to actually learn and understand it but when all that effort is tossed in a barrel and randomly assigned then it is very likely that it will end in tears.

Some folks are interested in the civil exchange of ideas and ask questions and make comments in the spirit of mutual enrichment and learning while others are just little tin pot dictators on power trips making the most of this one chance to lord it over others. Not just nit picking grammar Nazis but Literature majors on a mission to put the lowly uneducated plebs back in their boxes.

Nit pickers and Grammar Nazis )

Word Wars

Apr. 12th, 2014 11:35 pm
izmeina: Roz with clipboard from Monsters Inc (Dolores)
So the madness is nearly over. Only one week remains in the time sapping online Sci Fi and Fantasy course. Only a masochist would voluntarily sign up for ten weeks of reading with essays and peer reviews due every week. There is nothing like trying to explain something to force you to actually learn and understand it but when all that effort is tossed in a barrel and randomly assigned then it is very likely that it will end in tears.

Some folks are interested in the civil exchange of ideas and ask questions and make comments in the spirit of mutual enrichment and learning while others are just little tin pot dictators on power trips making the most of this one chance to lord it over others. Not just nit picking grammar Nazis but Literature majors on a mission to put the lowly uneducated plebs back in their boxes.

Nit pickers and Grammar Nazis )
izmeina: (Default)
Notes from Camp Nano

Once again this crazy serpent has embarked on the month of madness that is Camp Nano. These days there’s lots of room for sooks and wimps. In the beginning, the rules were carved in stone like the Ten Commandments.

Thou shalt write a novel of 50,000 words in a period not exceeding 30 days beginning on the first day of the calendar month as prescribed by the God of Words.
Thou shalt curse and blaspheme the Gods if it serves the purpose of increasing thy tally of words.
Thou shalt slave over a steaming keyboard on the Sabbath if necessary.
Thou shalt murder as many innocent characters as thou desirest in the service of the worthy word tally
Thou shalt resort to fornication and other adulterous perversions in pursuit of this worthy goal
Thou shalt covet thy neighbour’s word count if such jealousy serves the purpose of increasing one’s own meagre efforts.

Bearing false witness by cheating on the word count was about the only unforgivable and most mortal of sins in the cult of Nanology. But this strict regime proved too restrictive for prospective converts so the gurus watered down the most central tenet of the faith by allowing the infidels to replace the most holy of numbers the 50,000 with one of their own choosing and deleting the word ‘novel’ to be replaced with abominations such as ‘script’ ‘poem’, ‘short story’ or even ‘exceedingly pompous rambling streams of consciousness’

More Serpent Words )
izmeina: Roz with clipboard from Monsters Inc (Roz)
Notes from Camp Nano

Once again this crazy serpent has embarked on the month of madness that is Camp Nano. These days there’s lots of room for sooks and wimps. In the beginning, the rules were carved in stone like the Ten Commandments.

Thou shalt write a novel of 50,000 words in a period not exceeding 30 days beginning on the first day of the calendar month as prescribed by the God of Words.
Thou shalt curse and blaspheme the Gods if it serves the purpose of increasing thy tally of words.
Thou shalt slave over a steaming keyboard on the Sabbath if necessary.
Thou shalt murder as many innocent characters as thou desirest in the service of the worthy word tally
Thou shalt resort to fornication and other adulterous perversions in pursuit of this worthy goal
Thou shalt covet thy neighbour’s word count if such jealousy serves the purpose of increasing one’s own meagre efforts.

Bearing false witness by cheating on the word count was about the only unforgivable and most mortal of sins in the cult of Nanology. But this strict regime proved too restrictive for prospective converts so the gurus watered down the most central tenet of the faith by allowing the infidels to replace the most holy of numbers the 50,000 with one of their own choosing and deleting the word ‘novel’ to be replaced with abominations such as ‘script’ ‘poem’, ‘short story’ or even ‘exceedingly pompous rambling streams of consciousness’

More Serpent Words )
izmeina: (Default)
How the best of intentions can come to nothing.

The craziness that is Camp Nano started today. To be on the safe side, this serpent set a daily goal of 2,000 words rather than the recommended 1,666 in order to reach the end of month target of 50,000 words.

But the map is never the territory. What was supposed to be a twenty minute sprint of adding quotes to an essay and page numbers to the quotes to keep the nitpicking Grammar Nazis happy rapidly expanded to blow out that time slot to a good two hours.

All this effort is part of an online sci fi and fantasy course with a weekly reading list and essays on the readings of no more than 330 words and a goblin word counter that prevents word hogs from even submitting their bloated efforts.

The certificate has no practical use whatsoever and no street value. It will just gather dust like the rest of the rotting fruit from the Tree of Knowledge.

It seems crazy to waste so much time on a mere 320 word assignment especially when faced with a random selection of other participants assigning the dreaded peer review grades. For that is the price of this free but quite tasty lunch.

It was naive to think that producing a rough draft yesterday would make a considerable difference to the time spent during precious Camp nano nights. That took nearly an hour in its own right. It is rather like building a house. Getting up the main structure of floors and walls is a relatively quick process. It is the finishing touches of plastering and painting, adding carpets and fittings that is the real black hole.

I was commenting on the forums recently that a weekly 320 word essay is more work than 1,666 words per day for Nano. For at least with that you can just make up stuff.

So why bother? It turns out that regardless of useless peer reviews, the very attempt of trying to find something interesting and insightful in a book and to distill it down to a mere 320 words is a most valuable writing exercise indeed. It teaches one to be a hard task master when it comes to choosing words.
To quote from a writer recommended by the Cat ""No word ever made it into his documents until it had been grotesquely tortured and failed to confess to the existence of a better synonym."
Taona Dumisani Chiveneko

A good forty minutes was spent this evening cutting the fat from a 370 word essay. That's right. Spending a minute to get rid of each excess word. Blasphemy and sacrilege of the highest order.
So of course the sixty minutes of rationed camp writing time dwindled down to twenty. Did manage to clock up 440 nano words before the pen turned into a pumpkin.

The experience was as different as chalk and cheese.

Did manage to spend another twenty minutes of intended writing time sitting in the garden sipping a glass or two of sparkling wine and looking up at the stars. One of the brightest of all is not a star but a planet. It is supposed to be red but is more a shade of bright orange. Got to watch it at Astrofest a few weeks ago along with a few of Jupiter's moons.

It sort of suited this evening's theme. But in order to avoid the grammar nazis claims of plagiarism, will post only one or two sentences of those hours of effort. (Seriously, some box ticking idiots have accused people of plagiarism because they go entering essay texts on Google search and they turn up on some one's blog. Not a whole bunch of blogs but only one - that of the original writer. Of course the assigned essays are anonymous but even a pea brain should be able to work that one out.

So a few sentences of this serpent's offering.

A Tale of Two Houses

In Bradbury’s “Martian Chronicles”, the best of houses and the worst of houses mirror each other in striking and significant ways.

.......

The rest will follow later and hopefully with something better than the usual pretty average 4/6
izmeina: creepy spooky old house infested with crawling critters (Haunted house)
How the best of intentions can come to nothing.

The craziness that is Camp Nano started today. To be on the safe side, this serpent set a daily goal of 2,000 words rather than the recommended 1,666 in order to reach the end of month target of 50,000 words.

But the map is never the territory. What was supposed to be a twenty minute sprint of adding quotes to an essay and page numbers to the quotes to keep the nitpicking Grammar Nazis happy rapidly expanded to blow out that time slot to a good two hours.

All this effort is part of an online sci fi and fantasy course with a weekly reading list and essays on the readings of no more than 330 words and a goblin word counter that prevents word hogs from even submitting their bloated efforts.

The certificate has no practical use whatsoever and no street value. It will just gather dust like the rest of the rotting fruit from the Tree of Knowledge.

It seems crazy to waste so much time on a mere 320 word assignment especially when faced with a random selection of other participants assigning the dreaded peer review grades. For that is the price of this free but quite tasty lunch.

It was naive to think that producing a rough draft yesterday would make a considerable difference to the time spent during precious Camp nano nights. That took nearly an hour in its own right. It is rather like building a house. Getting up the main structure of floors and walls is a relatively quick process. It is the finishing touches of plastering and painting, adding carpets and fittings that is the real black hole.

I was commenting on the forums recently that a weekly 320 word essay is more work than 1,666 words per day for Nano. For at least with that you can just make up stuff.

So why bother? It turns out that regardless of useless peer reviews, the very attempt of trying to find something interesting and insightful in a book and to distill it down to a mere 320 words is a most valuable writing exercise indeed. It teaches one to be a hard task master when it comes to choosing words.
To quote from a writer recommended by the Cat ""No word ever made it into his documents until it had been grotesquely tortured and failed to confess to the existence of a better synonym."
Taona Dumisani Chiveneko

A good forty minutes was spent this evening cutting the fat from a 370 word essay. That's right. Spending a minute to get rid of each excess word. Blasphemy and sacrilege of the highest order.
So of course the sixty minutes of rationed camp writing time dwindled down to twenty. Did manage to clock up 440 nano words before the pen turned into a pumpkin.

The experience was as different as chalk and cheese.

Did manage to spend another twenty minutes of intended writing time sitting in the garden sipping a glass or two of sparkling wine and looking up at the stars. One of the brightest of all is not a star but a planet. It is supposed to be red but is more a shade of bright orange. Got to watch it at Astrofest a few weeks ago along with a few of Jupiter's moons.

It sort of suited this evening's theme. But in order to avoid the grammar nazis claims of plagiarism, will post only one or two sentences of those hours of effort. (Seriously, some box ticking idiots have accused people of plagiarism because they go entering essay texts on Google search and they turn up on some one's blog. Not a whole bunch of blogs but only one - that of the original writer. Of course the assigned essays are anonymous but even a pea brain should be able to work that one out.

So a few sentences of this serpent's offering.

A Tale of Two Houses

In Bradbury’s “Martian Chronicles”, the best of houses and the worst of houses mirror each other in striking and significant ways.

.......

The rest will follow later and hopefully with something better than the usual pretty average 4/6
izmeina: (Default)


There's Izzie ever so innocently seeking converts for the Cult of Cthulhu over at a certain Coursera science fiction and fantasy forum when this wicked tale far from Wonderland appears on the screen.

Thana Niveau makes such amazing videos for cultish Cthulhu Carols. Izzie had no idea that she has other twisted tastes too.

And yesss. That infernal but fabulous course is the main explanation for so many serpent absences of late.
There are other online temptations such as the Edx "Effective thinking through mathematics" and "The Science of everyday thinking" which has some very entertaining tales about dark satanic messages in heavy metal music and means of manipulating memories. Oh what a malleable and gullible thing is the human mind.

The Sci fi course takes a ridiculous amount of time but it is a most valuable asset for any aspiring writer. Not just the selection of fascinating tales from ancient and more modern times but the requirement to write essays about them limited to 320 words.

It is also a confirmation of ancient serpent habits. Screens are for dabbling, dawdling and dipping. In spite of reading some materials on the tablet or Big Mac, for actually remembering and enjoying the stories, I have invariably resorted to old dead tree versions from assorted libraries.

The course has just reached the half way mark and Izzie's got to pull her socks up. The peer reviewed marking system is ridiculously unrefined. With a mark of 3 for form and another 3 for content for each essay, there's no room for nuance at all. But four scores of four so far and one single five when a certain Cat has a trophy room with fives and sixes all over the place is enough to make a serpent emerald with envy.

On the radio today they mentioned that the world wide web is celebrating its 25th birthday this very week. It's just as well that Tim Berner Lees was not Bill Gates or it would be a very different and much more boring beast indeed. If he had taken the mean and petty path of patenting, here's wondering how things would have turned out. Much the same with big padlocks everywhere or something totally unlike the present incarnation?

Got to thinking how Cyberia is paradise for knowledge junkies of all sorts. The present time will likely be seen as a golden age for massive open online courses where one can learn from the best in the business with the cost of nothing but one's time and the occasional excess bandwidth charges from pesky internet service providers. But when I think that less than ten years ago even the cheapest and nastiest dodo dial up was $30 per month, then even with $10 excess charges, I am still much much better off.

Must be back slinking in those forums looking to lure the innocent into the serpent's lair.
izmeina: (Default)


There's Izzie ever so innocently seeking converts for the Cult of Cthulhu over at a certain Coursera science fiction and fantasy forum when this wicked tale far from Wonderland appears on the screen.

Thana Niveau makes such amazing videos for cultish Cthulhu Carols. Izzie had no idea that she has other twisted tastes too.

And yesss. That infernal but fabulous course is the main explanation for so many serpent absences of late.
There are other online temptations such as the Edx "Effective thinking through mathematics" and "The Science of everyday thinking" which has some very entertaining tales about dark satanic messages in heavy metal music and means of manipulating memories. Oh what a malleable and gullible thing is the human mind.

The Sci fi course takes a ridiculous amount of time but it is a most valuable asset for any aspiring writer. Not just the selection of fascinating tales from ancient and more modern times but the requirement to write essays about them limited to 320 words.

It is also a confirmation of ancient serpent habits. Screens are for dabbling, dawdling and dipping. In spite of reading some materials on the tablet or Big Mac, for actually remembering and enjoying the stories, I have invariably resorted to old dead tree versions from assorted libraries.

The course has just reached the half way mark and Izzie's got to pull her socks up. The peer reviewed marking system is ridiculously unrefined. With a mark of 3 for form and another 3 for content for each essay, there's no room for nuance at all. But four scores of four so far and one single five when a certain Cat has a trophy room with fives and sixes all over the place is enough to make a serpent emerald with envy.

On the radio today they mentioned that the world wide web is celebrating its 25th birthday this very week. It's just as well that Tim Berner Lees was not Bill Gates or it would be a very different and much more boring beast indeed. If he had taken the mean and petty path of patenting, here's wondering how things would have turned out. Much the same with big padlocks everywhere or something totally unlike the present incarnation?

Got to thinking how Cyberia is paradise for knowledge junkies of all sorts. The present time will likely be seen as a golden age for massive open online courses where one can learn from the best in the business with the cost of nothing but one's time and the occasional excess bandwidth charges from pesky internet service providers. But when I think that less than ten years ago even the cheapest and nastiest dodo dial up was $30 per month, then even with $10 excess charges, I am still much much better off.

Must be back slinking in those forums looking to lure the innocent into the serpent's lair.
izmeina: (Default)
After more than a week of feasting on the Carols of Cthulhu, the Izzie is getting all nostalgic for November 2009. That was the first time being introduced to such interesting creatures of the deep

The inner muse has been busy whispering inspirations and a peek in today's paper has confirmed certain suspicions about what could be an auspicious path to follow for interesting ideas and plot points
It seems that Hollywood is getting bored of zombies and a whole bunch of Christian fundamentalists are using their market power to tempt the Hollywood moguls with promises of block buster box office sales to the faithful and the ka ching of cash registers. Noah and Mary are among the Biblical celebrities on offer so far.
And of course, unlike those Tolkien Goblins, J K Rowling and other pesky pen pushers, there's no royalties to be paid on snatching Bible stories. And as Cecil B DeMille so wisely observed - why waste 2,000 years of free publicity?

Combined with a very nasty note from the local library to return an overdue book, it is just the inspiration the Izzie needs for next year's novel writing binge

Went to renew two books online but only one went through which usually means that some one else has requested the other one
The theme of the book is the science behind the Bible. While it is interesting it is also disappointing, having been led to believe it would be one big long narrative and not just a collection of themes along the lines of those books that look at the science behind the Harry Potter series or Philip Pullman's "Dark Materials" series

But there is one thing about this book that's got the Izzie's heart all aflutter. It's not just the big fat red juicy apple on the cover and the emerald green slithering creature wrapped around it.
Whatever anyone says about judging a book by its cover, got this one from the library based not on the cover but the title alone. Of course it did help that the writer made an appearance on Radio National's "Late Night Live"
In fact I liked it so much that I'm going to steal, snatch and grab the title for next year's November novel adventure
Did some binge reading today and found all sorts of interesting snippets about dietary restrictions and leprosy. There's tons of stuff about DNA but since this darkest of tomes must be returned tomorrow will make do with the chapter on the science behind some of the strange visions and apparitions in the Holy Book - especially that wonderful Apocalypse stuff

Will have to go back for a second bite sometime later in the year. But January and February will be spent on readings for an online course on science fiction and fantasy and another on European Mysticism

That's enough dark arts to keep a serpent very busy. Got a few months to ponder on what sort of promises could provide lots of plot points for some crazy creepy strange stories

But you know the world is going to hell in a hand basket when the local shopping centre has a stall selling not just corny Hello Kitty stuffed toys but a gorgeous green Cthulhu with a toadstool hat. Resisted temptation so far. The legions of teddy bears would not approve

Must be slinking back to the serpent sack. Got some musty old dark grimoires to dust off in search of inspiration for the new year
izmeina: wicked twisted happy smiling green serpent (Smiling serpent)
After more than a week of feasting on the Carols of Cthulhu, the Izzie is getting all nostalgic for November 2009. That was the first time being introduced to such interesting creatures of the deep

The inner muse has been busy whispering inspirations and a peek in today's paper has confirmed certain suspicions about what could be an auspicious path to follow for interesting ideas and plot points
It seems that Hollywood is getting bored of zombies and a whole bunch of Christian fundamentalists are using their market power to tempt the Hollywood moguls with promises of block buster box office sales to the faithful and the ka ching of cash registers. Noah and Mary are among the Biblical celebrities on offer so far.
And of course, unlike those Tolkien Goblins, J K Rowling and other pesky pen pushers, there's no royalties to be paid on snatching Bible stories. And as Cecil B DeMille so wisely observed - why waste 2,000 years of free publicity?

Combined with a very nasty note from the local library to return an overdue book, it is just the inspiration the Izzie needs for next year's novel writing binge

Went to renew two books online but only one went through which usually means that some one else has requested the other one
The theme of the book is the science behind the Bible. While it is interesting it is also disappointing, having been led to believe it would be one big long narrative and not just a collection of themes along the lines of those books that look at the science behind the Harry Potter series or Philip Pullman's "Dark Materials" series

But there is one thing about this book that's got the Izzie's heart all aflutter. It's not just the big fat red juicy apple on the cover and the emerald green slithering creature wrapped around it.
Whatever anyone says about judging a book by its cover, got this one from the library based not on the cover but the title alone. Of course it did help that the writer made an appearance on Radio National's "Late Night Live"
In fact I liked it so much that I'm going to steal, snatch and grab the title for next year's November novel adventure
Did some binge reading today and found all sorts of interesting snippets about dietary restrictions and leprosy. There's tons of stuff about DNA but since this darkest of tomes must be returned tomorrow will make do with the chapter on the science behind some of the strange visions and apparitions in the Holy Book - especially that wonderful Apocalypse stuff

Will have to go back for a second bite sometime later in the year. But January and February will be spent on readings for an online course on science fiction and fantasy and another on European Mysticism

That's enough dark arts to keep a serpent very busy. Got a few months to ponder on what sort of promises could provide lots of plot points for some crazy creepy strange stories

But you know the world is going to hell in a hand basket when the local shopping centre has a stall selling not just corny Hello Kitty stuffed toys but a gorgeous green Cthulhu with a toadstool hat. Resisted temptation so far. The legions of teddy bears would not approve

Must be slinking back to the serpent sack. Got some musty old dark grimoires to dust off in search of inspiration for the new year
izmeina: (Default)
So in this bit of Oz there's less than two hours left of November. Could be spending some of that time tossing some extra words on the Nano novel pile but decided to just slink about in Cyberia instead

The theory was that doing some proper plotting, planning and outlining during July would pay off in November but not so much that there would be no story left to tell

November would be about joining all the dots and making sense out of all the little bits of the big jigsaw puzzle. Weaving a seamless story from the stash of existing snippets, filling in the plot holes and tidying up the knots and other loose ends

That was the map but the territory turned out to be totally different

The Missing Muse )
izmeina: spooky shadowy squid (scary squid)
So in this bit of Oz there's less than two hours left of November. Could be spending some of that time tossing some extra words on the Nano novel pile but decided to just slink about in Cyberia instead

The theory was that doing some proper plotting, planning and outlining during July would pay off in November but not so much that there would be no story left to tell

November would be about joining all the dots and making sense out of all the little bits of the big jigsaw puzzle. Weaving a seamless story from the stash of existing snippets, filling in the plot holes and tidying up the knots and other loose ends

That was the map but the territory turned out to be totally different

The Missing Muse )
izmeina: (Default)
November draws ever nearer and soon it will be time to unleash the inner squiggler. There’s no excuse for lack of inspiration this time. Having spent April writing more than 50,000 words of brain storming and July plotting and planning and creating a rudimentary Snowflake outline, November should simply be a matter of getting those fingers clicking to finally come up with a first draft that does not end up on some hard drive gathering dust.

The annual ritual of recruiting nano noobies has started. This year the area organizer has got a whole bunch of libraries on board so there’ll be no shortage of spots for write ins
Turned up to one such event on Tuesday evening and met a few old timers and a lot of new faces. They even had showbags which was a very clever way to encourage those attending to fill in and return the surveys. There were book marks and quite a few leaflets about the library along with a nice notepad. But best of all was a spiral notebook with a pen so there’s no excuse for not writing down inspiration whenever it may arrive.

Last year’s Deck of Doom is providing the main inspiration for this year’s scribbling. The Zombie Tarot is not the frivolous fad that it appears to be on first glance. I shuffled the deck to supply some random plot points and the last card turned out to be Death. How inappropriate. For in any self respecting zombie tale death is most definitely not the end at all. It’s just the beginning

A state and federal election added more ingredients to the brew, along with the latest and most unwelcome addition to the cityscape. Where a gorgeous old grassy patch of land surrounded by twisted and gnarled Moreton Bay Fig trees used to be is now the site of an enormous hole in the ground. It will end up being just a giant cash gobbling mosquito infested swamp. It’s just the perfect place to start a zombie apocalypse while getting written revenge on the wankers who go trashing serpent sacred sites in order to build grandiose monuments to their egos.

The present state government is all circus and no bread. In fact they are destroying the city and everything they can get their paws on, putting up taxes, water and power and trashing the state credit rating in order to fund a bunch of useless monstrous carbuncles.

After the recent very short lived “Purple Reign” of one of the local football teams, it could be very tempting to let the zombies loose at a grand final played in the bright shiny brand new (but not yet built) sports stadium which is yet another one of the government’s grand projects.
The only thing they are not building is a nuclear power station but creative license can solve that particular inconvenient fact.

The only ingredient missing from this particular dystopian tale is some all powerful all seeing spy agency. But November changes everything
izmeina: spooky shadowy squid (scary squid)
November draws ever nearer and soon it will be time to unleash the inner squiggler. There’s no excuse for lack of inspiration this time. Having spent April writing more than 50,000 words of brain storming and July plotting and planning and creating a rudimentary Snowflake outline, November should simply be a matter of getting those fingers clicking to finally come up with a first draft that does not end up on some hard drive gathering dust.

The annual ritual of recruiting nano noobies has started. This year the area organizer has got a whole bunch of libraries on board so there’ll be no shortage of spots for write ins
Turned up to one such event on Tuesday evening and met a few old timers and a lot of new faces. They even had showbags which was a very clever way to encourage those attending to fill in and return the surveys. There were book marks and quite a few leaflets about the library along with a nice notepad. But best of all was a spiral notebook with a pen so there’s no excuse for not writing down inspiration whenever it may arrive.

Last year’s Deck of Doom is providing the main inspiration for this year’s scribbling. The Zombie Tarot is not the frivolous fad that it appears to be on first glance. I shuffled the deck to supply some random plot points and the last card turned out to be Death. How inappropriate. For in any self respecting zombie tale death is most definitely not the end at all. It’s just the beginning

A state and federal election added more ingredients to the brew, along with the latest and most unwelcome addition to the cityscape. Where a gorgeous old grassy patch of land surrounded by twisted and gnarled Moreton Bay Fig trees used to be is now the site of an enormous hole in the ground. It will end up being just a giant cash gobbling mosquito infested swamp. It’s just the perfect place to start a zombie apocalypse while getting written revenge on the wankers who go trashing serpent sacred sites in order to build grandiose monuments to their egos.

The present state government is all circus and no bread. In fact they are destroying the city and everything they can get their paws on, putting up taxes, water and power and trashing the state credit rating in order to fund a bunch of useless monstrous carbuncles.

After the recent very short lived “Purple Reign” of one of the local football teams, it could be very tempting to let the zombies loose at a grand final played in the bright shiny brand new (but not yet built) sports stadium which is yet another one of the government’s grand projects.
The only thing they are not building is a nuclear power station but creative license can solve that particular inconvenient fact.

The only ingredient missing from this particular dystopian tale is some all powerful all seeing spy agency. But November changes everything

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