Shining the light of God's word into our confused world.

Month: June 2008

Open Source Idea

I’m going to borrow a page from and post an idea I had that I don’t have time to follow through on, at least not for a very long time. I would post it under a creative commons license, but since you can’t really copyright an idea anyway, that seems a bit redundant, so just consider this open source, and recognize that whatever you choose to do with it, I still have the right to do my own thing with it somewhere down the road, if the spirit moves me. 😉

I am so very, very sick of the phrase, “Obesity epidemic.” Dear Media: Obesity is not a virus.

Except, what if it was?

And what if a scientist discovered this, and developed a vaccine? But the Diet Industry, which has a huge stake in everyone staying fat, will try to stop the vaccine at any cost. And what’s the source of the virus, anyway? Evolution? Invading aliens? A vast, corrupt conspiracy?

If you decide to take this idea and run with it, I would love to see what you come up with.

Happy writing!

It’s a working vacation, apparently.

I’m on vacation the rest of this week, so there won’t be any updates here, unless something writing-related happens that is so amazing or tragic that I must wade through dial-up molasses to post it, which is pretty doubtful.

Originally, we were supposed to go camping this week, and then get back in time for us to go house hunting and for me to go see Phantom with Tess. The house hunt and Phantom are both still on, but with this weather, the camping’s probably off. I don’t want to say definitely, because I’m not sure how dead set my husband is on making the trip anyway, but I don’t think he’s any keener about sleeping on wet ground in a lightning and hail storm than I am, so probability of cancellation is running pretty high.

If we don’t go camping, as tempted as I am to convince Husband to let us go check into a local B&B for a few days, we’ll most likely decide to save our money and stay home, in which case I ought to be able to hole up for long stretches of time and write. It’s even possible that I could finish the first draft, or at least come very close to it. I hope so. That would be oh, so good for my weary soul. Not quite as good as a couple of days spent lounging ’round the swimmin’ hole whilst the menfolk catch fish and grill it up and then we can eat it with buttery grilled corn on the cob and potato salad and baked beans and then roast marshmallows in the camp fire. But close.


Note: I pounded out the following last night after a glass and a half of wine and in the middle of a writing frenzy, all while being distractingly nosed by my cat. I tried to edit it for coherency.

This interview with Ira Glass, of NPR’s This American Life, contains some pretty excellent advice about creating emotional resonance that I’m sure most readers of this journal can relate to. It’s a lesson he learned back in the day from Marti Noxon, and that is to always take time to answer the question, ”What does Buffy feel?” This is the essence of every great episode of that show, and all of the cool action and witty lines were empty and soulless without it (well, okay, for me in the last few seasons it was the dual question, ”What does Spike feel, and what does Buffy feel about Spike?” Because that’s the kind of obsessive, single-minded shipper I was (well, okay: am)).

Of course, in fiction that is not about Buffy (or Spike), ”Buffy” is just a stand-in for your main character, or your narrator—whomever is the most affected By what’s happening. Reading this, I realized that I subconsciously try to answer this question in every chapter. Maybe this is just an instinct born from all of those hours watching the series (not to mention all those hours writing fan-fiction that was specifically about Buffy’s feelings). But if there’s one thing that’s safe to say about my own writing, it’s that my characters FEEL. And because of that, I feel for them, maybe a little more intensely than I should. Hopefully, my readers will, too.

…I think I had more of a specific point when I started this, but I didn’t seem to get to it, and I’ll be darned if I can remember what that point was. So let’s just each infer our own, shall we? Yes, let’s. Or, you could just go read the article. You should! It’s good.


In other news, I just installed yWriter, and it looks like it just might do the job of saving my sanity (my sanity tends to need a lot of saving; I should probably talk to someone about that) as I rework my manuscript into a second draft. I’ll try to post a review after I’ve gotten to know it better.

There’s a method to my stalking.

Not too long ago, I had a moment of self-discovery. It wasn’t a life-changing epiphany so much as a moment of, “Oh! Well, of course!” And that, my friends, was the realization that I’m really just not that interested in writing for money. Well, maybe I should rephrase that. Of course it would be nice to have someone want to give me money in order to publish my stories. It would be especially nice if someone wanted to give me enough to pay off my student loans in order to publish one of my novels.

But I realized that I care more about sharing my writing than I do about getting paid for it. As much as I love writing, what I really love is being read. That’s why it was so difficult for me to give up fan fiction. Even after I got my virtual hinder handed to me and was pretty much forced to quit to keep my sanity, it was hard to let it go, to turn away from someone else’s characters that I loved so much and become invested in my own. It’s also why I’ve decided to go ahead and post here on LJ when it’s done. Hopefully, that decision will get me some valuable feedback that will help me improve the novel for future avenues and…oh, heck, I’ll just say it: feedback is an awesome, addictive drug, and I’m jonesing for it.

This is also why I’m considering eventually podcasting it, which leads me to the reason I’ve begun cyber-stalking authors like , JC Hutchins, and Tee Morris. These guys, like Scalzi and Corey Doctorow before them (or alongside them, in some cases), are blazing new trails, trampling down less traveled roads to publication, and finding success at the end of the trail. So it shouldn’t come as too much of a surprise that I’ve decided it might be a good idea to study them and do what they do. I still have a lot to learn before I can even hope to follow in their footsteps, but these guys are changing the publishing world, bit by bit, and to me that is simply astounding, and also excellent news.

None of which is to say that I’m tossing out the entire idea of getting published the conventional way. That still remains the dream, and the formats I’m choosing to share my work will protect my book rights. That’s an avenue I still plan to pursue. But in the meantime, my impatient, ADD self can go ahead and get her work out there, and hopefully build a readership, and, most importantly, have fun with my writing. Even if it never makes it out of the amateur hobby stage, I know I’ll be happy as long as somebody’s reading what I write.

Of course, all of that requires first finishing something. I’m going to go work on that part now. While I do that, you guys should go check out Playing for Keeps, 7th Son, Morevi, and another one I just discovered, Chasing the Bard. They cover various flavors of fantasy, I can personally vouch for the first two being awesome (the last two are on my “To Listen” list), and they’re FREE.

Ficlet: Stupid Human Tricks

I once knew this girl. She wasn’t like the rest of us. She had a special power, one that made her the envy of every woman who ever knew her.

You know how some women joke about how they just look at a piece of cake and gain two pounds? Well, for Linda it was the other way around, and it was no joke: criticize her weight, and she’d lose an ounce. Just like that.

Big deal, right? What’s an ounce? It’s not like this would get her on the Late Show or anything. You’d be surprised how fast it added up, though. By the time she finished reading a magazine she’d have lost two pounds.

Most women hated her.

But then it got dangerous. She had to stop reading magazines. She had to stop watching TV. She couldn’t go to the mall, or to the movies. She became a shut-in, and even then, she had to get rid of all her mirrors.

Too bad her biggest critic was herself.

I used to know this girl. It’s too bad, what happened to her. But I guess it was inevitable. Just didn’t think it would happen so fast, is all.


By J. M. Bauhaus. All Ficlets are written under a Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 2.5 License.