Tuesday, June 30, 2009

What gives?

Perfection, perfection, perfection, perfection.

If you have a typo, no agent for you. If you have a grammar mistake, no agent for you. If you have a plot issue, character quirk or ending that's not perfection, no agent for you.

But if you use a hired editor, no agent for you because it's not a true display of your skills as a writer?

ARGH.

Of course I understand that the influx of queries strains agents and makes them more picky about what they choose to represent. And I know that publishing is a difficult market to break into now more than ever in this "hard economic time."

But in the last few weeks all agents have been posting about is the need for perfection and that they only want to pick up a manuscript that is flawless and publishable directly from the document that hits their inbox.

But then you have agents posting about how using an editor before submitting to agents is cheating. Putting up a false front. Not a true example of what your talent level actually is.

So. Have I screwed myself by hiring an editor because I know I make typos that I don't always catch? If I get an agent, and am then honest (like every agent says we must be), will they drop me because I'm not perfect without some editing?

Perfect is so unrealistic, even with a $1500 editing job. The first editor I used made more typos then me. And I just found a typo in a published novel I was reading yesterday.

Is anything really perfect?

Monday, June 29, 2009

Dragonfly!

So I was taking a walk just now to escape the mundane job of re-archiving magazine issues from 2002-2009 (in two languages, mind you) and saw this cool guy.


A red dragonfly! So neat. I've never seen one this color in person. He was just hanging out - I think he liked me taking his photo. But since my camera phone sucks, here's a professional shot of his...cousin or something from the web.

Thursday, June 25, 2009

Guppy Review: Transformers 2



Let it be said that I am not your typical movie watching female. I’ll watch an action or sci-fi movie over a chick flick any day. I’m also not a raging feminist, and I can appreciate a scantily clad kick ass chick any day of the week. I write about them all time, after all.

That being said, I loved the first Transformers movie. I remember the Transformers cartoon from my childhood, but I wasn’t a die hard fan to the point of recalling every detail of plot and names of characters. That’s what my boyfriend and my best friend Nick is for – you know, should I have a need for endless well of knowledge.

Transformers 2 sucks. Period. Unless you’re a boy between the ages of 8 (who shouldn’t even be seeing this movie because of how lewd it is) and 16 (or older if you have the maturity of the aforementioned age group), I see no reason to watch this film. Ever. Clearly the goal of this movie was to push toy sales and insult people who watched the original cartoons as children.

I’m not one to jump on the bandwagon with critics, but, well, they’re right. No stars for this disgrace of a film.

Not only is the plot littered with holes, it’s convoluted and doesn’t really make much sense. It plays off a number of things that can only be called corny and cliché. And let’s talk about characters, shall we? Personally, I was unaware that aliens from outer space would cover the full spectrum of racial clichés, down to a robot with a gold capped tooth who says “You’re a pussy.” My childhood of the 80s weeps.



When we weren’t stuck listened to poorly delivered, corny dialogue (like Ironclad in his Shakespearean voice saying “Come and get a piece of this”) and jokes about testicles, we’re watching fights that are so poorly done you can’t really see what’s going on, and robots that no longer fight like robots, but kick and punch like drunks in a bar fight. And I was really annoyed to see what appeared to be the exact same setting (the desert fight in the first movie with the scorpion Transformer) for a fight that was almost a direct copy. Colored smoke, army men shouting, planes air bombing, and for added effect, Megan Fox’s boobs via slow motion camera.

Back to Megan Fox for a moment. What happened to the quasi-tough chick from the first film? Oh, it must be the decision by Micheal Bay to make women nothing but sex objects for this movie. The extent of Megan’s presence in the movie is to walk around with her boobs and butt hanging out, sit in front of her computer lamenting that her boyfriend didn’t show up for their webcam date, and whining about who will say I love you first – Sam or her? That seemed to be as much as focus of the movie as giant robots taking over the planet. The objectification of women continues in the college scene, which becomes another one of those slapstick movies about how college is all about getting drunk and having sex, and all women who are freshmen look like supermodels, pin boys to their beds after they say they have a girlfriend, and ram their tongues down the guy's throat while their ass is hanging out of their too short dress. Oh, and if you aren't a sex machine, you're a moron like Sam's mother, who went from funny in the first film to completely incomprehensible in this one.

Is this really all kids want these days? We have to have constant cursing, ball sack jokes, tits and racial stereotypes and slurs to make something funny? I went to the 4:00 showing yesterday, and the audience was filled with kids and teenagers. They laughed hysterically at every bad joke and actually cheered when the movie ended as I was walking out in utter disgust.

I remember when cartoons had plots and morals, but apparently the new rage is the intellectual equivalent of fart noises, which is exactly what Transformers 2 equates to: a two and a half hour bowel movement.

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Dork incoming...

/rubs hands.

The new class for Dungeons and Dragons Online is going to be Favored Soul (a healer/warrior).

/cackles.

The level cap is also being lifted to 20.

/giggles.

When I vanish in the middle of the summer, do not panic. All is well...provided I remember to sleep and eat.

/stares at the computer with eyes which glisten in anticipation.

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Shifting

When I was hired for my currently position two years ago, I was brought on as a writer/web content publisher. This means I do some technical work on maintaining our websites, as well as writing website content (which is mostly short blurbs and bullet points translated into paragraphs with good grammar) and writing magazine articles (a blend between propaganda and creative non-fiction).

Last week the waters changed. The plan is for me to undertake a new website, which is a rather large project, as well as revamping and changing a number of sites I already maintain. With this new site comes training, as I'm technically inclined but not formally trained in HTML. At the demand of the new job, and my own sanity to ensure I'm not thrown into a job I CAN'T do, I've signed up for a web certificate program on Costco's wallet. Luckily, there was no argument that the training is unavoidable.

The long and short of it is this: I'm not happy with this change, but there's nothing for me to do about it. I was hired on to be the web content person for the department, though my lack of skill in this particular area was clear. The good news is I'll be in classes learning, something I enjoy. The bad news is my total writing for work is going to all but vanish. Bummer. My job is no longer creative, and that makes me sad.

But what's the saying in this "hard economic time" about "lucky to have a job?"

Guess I must also be lucky that my credit card company is upping my interest rate from a fixed 3% to 18%. Don't worry though! I can write them a letter saying I don't consent, but then the card will be cancelled in a year and I have to pay the balance in full by then. Gee whiz, shame I didn't know the bankers were greedy bastards and people were dumb enough to take $500,000 mortgages out on a 30k salary when I transferred my car loan and all my other debt to this card three and a half years ago under the promise that I would have 3% interest for the life of balance. Silly me. -.-

Blah.

I seriously hope I can pull my head out of my ass and get this story done for the Shine anthology by Friday. My writing as come to a crashing halt. Maybe getting Hound back (a month late) will be the spark I need to get writing again. Unfortunately, that's not until the middle/end of July.

It would help if the sun came out, too. Been cloudy and chilly for a week now.

Friday, June 19, 2009

Practicing at the Waiting Game

So I've been a bit absent on the blog world lately, I know. Partly due to the fact that company was visiting, but also because I just needed a break from all of it; blogging, editing, reading about writing and query letters and critiquing and so on.

In most cases, I can't be without writing for any length of time. That being said, I'm seriously enjoying this break. I've been writing little, just not as aggressively as I was before June 1st and sending HOUND back for the line edit. I wrote one chapter of the Dark Book and did a few rereads and surface edits, and wrote a new short about a kid name Percival. I still have to rework the ending, but then I'll be pretty close to submitting this one. I have until the end of the month.

Also, I've been slowing writing a short titled "Subtle" - an account of the events surrounding my grandmother's funeral. Its non-fiction-ish. This piece is going to take a long time to write I think. Every time I work on it I do a few paragraphs, then shelf it for a few days. I feel like it needs a special kind of attention. It's different, that's for sure. I'm not creating, I'm retelling a story so crazy it might seem like fiction. Plus it's all literary and stuff. A challenge on all fronts let's say. I don't know what I might do with it when I finish. It might be just for me, maybe just for the family. Maybe I'll look for a place to shop it. We'll see.

Aside from limited writing and a vacation, I've been waiting. Waiting for the editor to start on HOUND (was supposed to happen the first week of June, and she still hasn't started. Me = getting annoyed). Waiting at work on a lot of different projects that require stuff from lots of different people. I'm also waiting on something else I can't really talk about. Don't worry, nothing bad and nothing to do with an agent or being published. All I will say is that if it works out it will be awesome, and if not, nothing will be lost. And I'm waiting for my $80 worth of books to come in from Amazon.com.

I also started "dieting" this week, in as much as cutting out snacks and trying to eat moderately healthy, walking more and maybe even getting on the elliptical/coat hanger in my living room. After having to buy new pants a size bigger, my butt is most displeased with its new size of le pudgy. You will be missed, chips and cookies and chocolate. /sniff

Erik and I started a Guild Wars account last night, and so far we're having fun. Too early to have any in depth thoughts, but there are a lot of little things we both like a lot. I'm a ranger/mesmer and he's a monk/warrior. Run, little worms and lowbie quests, we're coming for you!

So, that's what's going on with the Guppy. Dead level 1 critters, short stories in progress, and waiting. Lots of waiting. But that's good right? I'll be all prepared when it's time to query with the patience and stuff.

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

The first set of pictures from Isabell's visit

For anyone who didn't know, my mother and niece, Isabell, came up for a week to visit. Isabell had never seen the place where Aunt Erin moved to a few years back, so it was a really great time. I'm building some albums on Facebook for the family to see, so I figured I'd share with my blogging buddies as well.

Here ya go!

Isabell, my mom and I went on a hike up Rattlesnake trail, the same one I went to with my brother a while back. However, we started from the easy side. Good times. Isabell had a blast.

More pictures soon!

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

omgomgomgomgomgomgomgomgomgomgomg

Seriously?



...



SERIOUSLY?



/sqqueeeeeeee!!!!!!



I has a happy. :D






I supposed I should add a little more info for the none gamers out there. Neverwinter Nights is one of my favorite RPGs. DDO is one of the best online MMO's I've ever played. What do they have in common? The Dungeons and Dragons ruleset. Also, NWN is set in Forgotten Realms, the bulk of where I spent my childhood (reading). I was disappointed that Bioware elected to do ANOTHER Star Wars game/MMO instead of tapping the D&D world or even one based on the Mass Effect game. And overall, the MMO field is a little dry for me as of late (though I am having fun with EVE right now.)

BRING IT ON, D&D new MMO, bring it on. My inner (not so hidden) geek is waiting.

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Bwahaha!


This is so dumb it should get its own post.

Wow.

Thanks for sharing Beth!

Scarce and more scarce

Being on an editing hiatus has also put me on a blogging hiatus it appears. It's nice to feel free of all obligations as far as my person writing goes. I'm working on a new short, but otherwise, I'm loving being lazy.

My niece and mom fly in tomorrow morning, which means I won't be posting again until at least Tuesday. When I do post again, expect pictures.

Have a nice week!

Friday, June 5, 2009

A new short

Who'da thunk it!

I found a new sub op online, gave it a think, and wrote a the first draft of a new short story yesterday.

It's a bit outside my normal zone. It's sci-fi (normal), but with an optimistic spin (not normal). It ended up being about a seventeen year old boy, told in first person. It ended up being quite a strange voice, at least for me, and it almost feels YA (very not normal). AND I came in low on the word count at about 6k (the max for the sub is 10k - also not normal for me).

We'll see. I need to do some editing and a little fleshing out. I have until July 1 to finish.

Here's the sub op.

And I don't have a title yet, of course.

Still hoping to finish the dark book by the end of June, but I'm enjoying a break for big projects right now.

Thursday, June 4, 2009

Pretending to know what I'm talking about...

I'm a guest blogger on The Literary Lab today! This week Davin, Michelle and Scott are doing a series of guest posts about different genres and what people who write in those genres like most about their poison of choice.

My post is all about why science fiction is the bomb.

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

On the quest for a new game

My big plan was to finish my first draft of my WIP "the dark book" by the end of June. I'm still going to try, but I have to say I'm enjoying a nice break. In said break, I've been hunting for the next great game to keep myself occupied.

I got a Steam account (which I joined in order to download L4D on PC with Marisol, her hubby and the BF) and found a nice section of demo downloads.

Zombies vs Plants - hah! Ten bucks for is basicly a puzzle game. Fun stuff, with lots of mini games. I'd say worth the money. Though I only played one day.

The reason I only played one day was because I downloaded the EVE Online trial. Spaceship MMOG (massive multi player online game) - makes sense right? The UI is insane and you have to do a lot of tutorials, but this game is really interesting. Slower paced than a lot of other stuff, but I'm going to play for a while I think. At least until I get to a point where I'd have to join a huge corporation (guild) in order to keep doing new stuff. Or we find a new game, being that Erik isn't a fan of EVE.

Since DDO seems to be in a hiatus (forever?), Erik and I have been trying to figure out some other MMOs to try with the old crew. Seems the never ending DDOers are even getting sick of the lack of new content.

So, on the plate for the future (as in not yet released games):

Star Trek MMO
Star Wars MMO
Fallen Earth
Darkfall
Earthrise

And new games coming out to play that aren't MMOs:

Mass Effect 2 (OMG GIMMIE GIMMIE GIMMIE NOOOOOOOW)
Dragon Age: Origins (/slobber)
Left 4 Dead 2 (Just announced this weekend at E3)
Final Fantasy XIII and XIII Versus (Hello Japan? Anyone out there?)

Until then, I shall continue with my spaceships and zombie killing.