Monday, July 27, 2009

JulNoWriMo 2009 Progress: Panic Time with a Vengeance!

It's about time for me to stop whining and start writing. I've been so busy following links on Twitter that I haven't bothered to write anything for JulNoWriMo since at least last Thursday. And I use the current heat wave in Seattle as an excuse? It's only an excuse. I need to face up to the fact that I've been avoiding writing. Since I'm still only halfway to 50,000 words, I need to do some serious writing. Maybe I can use the heat wave as an excuse to get in front of my computer, fire up Word, and write. But I'll have to write a lot of words in the next five days.

This is Panic Time with a vengeance.

First of all, I've announced on my Twitter account that I'm going to start a cyberpunk Twitter novel called Headhunter. That's right: I'm going to start writing a cyberpunk novel, then posting it in a series of tweets. I'm starting this tonight.

Also, I have a plan for another Spanner side story, this time involving Shira's alleged "evil eye" in relation to its origin in African-style magic wars. The basic plot: an African cult goes on a terrorist rampage that even the cops can't stop because it's so ultraviolent. Enter Spanner. She does a big "voodoo" performance that kicks off a big "magic war" battle which ends badly for the bad guys. That's because Spanner's a master of psychological warfare. If Christian and Islamic terrorists can't stand up to her use of their faith (not religion but superstition) as a deadly weapon against them, these voodoo killers don't stand a chance.

Finally, I'm returning to Black Science after weeks of neglect. I want to at least finish Willa's part of the prologue and the chapter in which Willa, Desiree, and their friends use cellphones and Twitter to hunt down a serial killer whom one of Willa's enemies has sent after her. I intend to finish at least those, and maybe write one more chapter, before JulNo is done.

Now I need to stop allowing myself to get distracted, by Twitter or anything else, and start writing. I'm starting now.

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Cybugs: A Spanner Side Story

This has nothing to do with insect-shaped robots, or simulated bugs for kids, or the war machines in a videogame called AI Wars. Rather, it’s about cyborg insects developed by the military, as revealed in a LiveScience article. This time Spanner herself tells the tale, something that doesn’t happen very often in the (still) proposed webmanga. The year is 2021, five years after the end of the series. During a series of cybug attacks — not just murders but mindjackings — Spanner searches for what's behind it and attempts to stop the attacks. (Note: The "Crusader" mentioned in this story is based loosely on [or is my "Silver Age version" of] a public-domain superhero by that name. Tech note: a “daemon” is not one of those programs that runs in the background, but a robot made entirely of energy; a force field is one of its functions. Too futuristic for 2021? Probably. Still, with the current force field revival, it could happen...)

[Revision 1.1, 11/25/10: Revised formatting, corrected dates, corrected two character names to the final versions in Spanner.]

Sunday, July 19, 2009

Mind Bomb: A Spanner Side Story

Want to know just how powerful Spanner can be? You’ll get a taste right here. This is the character's world public premiere (she's been with me in some form since 1986), and also in part a “flip side” to "Destroying Angel". Basically, after the end of Spanner, a tiny Nazi faction uses the Israeli civil war as an excuse to try to take over parts of the former US and ends up holed up in a department store with hostages. Spanner arrives just as special ops commandos are about to blow the whole place sky high and does what she did to bring down the once-powerful shadow dictator called the Crusader in Spanner. Note: All mid-sentence paragraph divisions at climax are entirely deliberate.

Thursday, July 16, 2009

Picking Up the Pace Now

I've finished all the business that's been distracting me this week (though it didn't stop me from writing and posting this first of the Spanner Side Stories). Foremost was upgrading my Internet connection from dialup (which was excruciatingly slow). Now I'm ready to get back to business at last. It's the middle of the month, and I don't want to force myself back into Panic Mode yet one more time.

What am I planning on doing this time? Writing Black Science, of course, plus a few more Spanner Side Stories. I'm also getting back to my music for 50 Songs in 90 Days (though my electric guitar problems still pose an obstacle). (And, fellow 5090ers, I'm now ready to start listening to your songs too.) And one more thing: I now intend to keep my blogs up to date. In this one, I plan to keep everybody posted on my fiction and art projects.

I've had a fairly busy month so far. Now I intend to make the second half more properly productive.

And now I throw myself back into the fray...

Monday, July 13, 2009

Destroying Angel: A Spanner Side Story

(Note: I've recently thought of loads of ideas as to how to improve this story, so I intend to revise it soon. Stay tuned...)

This is the first of the side stories set in the world of my (still) proposed cyberpunk webmanga Spanner and of the “Dictel trilogy” of novels I’m writing which currently include Bad Company and Black Science. This story takes place a decade after the events of Spanner. I took the technique of telling the story from the villain's first-person point of view from Bruce Sterling, but the "infernal epiphany" theme (I hope this isn't a spoiler) comes from Camille Paglia's passage on Matthew Lewis' gothic novel The Monk (a major influence on the English Romantics) in Sexual Personae; in homage to her, I shall conclude with a resounding "Carthago delenda est".

After the short but brutal Israeli civil war of 2016 that put the ultra-Zionist extremists in control of Israel and sent the surviving Palestinians and secular, liberal, and moderate Jews into exile in the Diaspora, merciless Israeli agents bearing the names of the angels of punishment and destruction hunt down Jewish and Palestinian exiles in hopes of exterminating them. Desiree Richter-Thomas, the almost-tragic heroine of Bad Company and (under the codename "Livewire") a major player in Spanner, is one of the exiles' fiercest and most prominent protectors. In the summer of 2025, shortly before the economic crisis and subsequent war that destroys the State Capitalist system of "Imperial" dictatorships, the two forces collide. Who is the destroying angel: Agent "Hasmed", or...Livewire?

Saturday, July 11, 2009

A New Story You'd Never Have Been Able to Read

During JulNoWriMo, I found myself distracted from Black Science to work on a new story called Mind Bomb. It started out as a short story but is rapidly escalating into a serial novel. So I find myself posting the chapters on my DeviantART account. (NOTE: both chapters are now deleted from my account.) Here's a Wordle word cloud for chapter 1, which I created just because:
Wordle: Mind Bomb Chapter 1

So why was I posting a story where hardly anybody can read it? Well, I had the account, so I figured I'd use it. Big mistake. Nobody but me would ever be able to read Mind Bomb as long as it remained posted on DeviantART. Ever.

So I deleted both chapters as soon as I could. Mind Bomb didn't belong on a site where only a very few would be able to read it. I didn't want it to be like a private vanity press with a total circulation of one. I want people to read it. So I'll have to find an alternate place to post the story. I may have to abandon it for a while and return to Black Science. *sigh*

Friday, July 3, 2009

JulNoWriMo Day 3: A Little Setback

I wrote no words on day 2 of JulNoWriMo. Why? Because I spent too much time on the JulNo and 50/90 forums! All these Internet forums tend to distract me, especially since I'm stuck with a slow dialup connection. But I have a remedy for my problem: write myself a note!

I went online ostensibly to get some information that would help me write Black Science. That information is on Wikipedia and other sites. I didn't go there, nor did I search for any other sites related to what I wanted to write. Instead, I posted to forums and wrestled with Facebook and Twitter. And I uploaded my second photo to Flickr for the Project 365 thing (take and post a new photo a day for a year), as I relate here.

For day 3, I intend to start writing again. But I need to write myself a checklist so I can get all my research done. Then I can write. I can post to forums and wrestle with Facebook later.

And I'll have previews of the new draft of Black Science right here on this blog. Wait for it!

Thursday, July 2, 2009

JulNoWriMo Day 2: Starting Again From A Standstill

I haven't written anything in my novels for two months. So it's taking me a little while to get back into the swing of things. Once again, words are trying to evade me; once again I have to chase and capture them so I can type them in Word. I may have to force the inspiration to come if necessary. Finishing Black Science won't be a cinch. This JulNoWriMo won't be easy at first.

Some of my fellow writers have a similar problem: the words don't come at the proper pace immediately. Some are slow writers anyway. The words pour out of other writers; sometimes it seems they can't even stop. I'm the kind of writer who needs to build up my pace. That's why, during any given WriMo, I do most of my writing in the second half of the month. And anyway, I've barely even started. Day 2 is early.

Current word count: 337, all in Black Science.

In site-related news: I ran out of room for tags for my blog entries. I was going to eliminate all the character tags, but that may be more trouble than I need. However, I had all these tags for individual WriMos. I condensed almost all of them into the single tag "WriMo". So you probably can't search for individual WriMos (e.g., NaNo, JulNo) anymore, but at least I have room for new tags now.