reileen: (writing - pen and notebook)
Uses the Gamma themeset from [ profile] 1sentence. Takes place from all over the timeline for Daemonsong and plays with a lot of things that I haven't really decided on yet regarding the story. If you'd like to see little glimpses of Luke and Kira in their world, follow ze cut!

Lion Dreams )

the rest is still unwritten
reileen: (Default)
Found in a .txt document of random notes I'd saved on my desktop:

The Liars' Club - "Where the only truth is that everything here is a lie."

There's an establishment in Chicago's Lincoln Park neighborhood that I used to pass by all the time whenever I drove up to DePaul, and it was, indeed, called "The Liar's Club." For a while now, I've had the seeds of a short story set in a fictional Liars' Club (note the subtle change from singular to plural here) told from the POV of a Mostly-Innocent Bystander (perhaps a bartender at the bar, or related to a bartender, or maybe a fly on the wall who gets swatted at the end of the story) who barely bats an eyelash at the well-groomed businessman talking about his exploits as the most-expensive whore this side of the city one night and then boasting about his religious belief in chastity the next. This Liars' Club is a place where you can bullshit all you want and no one will call you on it - and if they do, it's seen as a challenge to be even more mendacious and outrageous.


Venus of Dreams by Pamela Sargent is an intriguing novel, first in a trilogy, set in a future where Earth is actively trying to terraform Venus. There's a lot to chew on here, ranging from the fact that the dominant ruling ideology has shifted from Christianity to Islam (o noes how unpatriotic!), to how Sargent handles changes in Earth's society and how these changes have affected the cultural attitudes of her characters, to the fact that, hey, the Earth is actually trying to terraform motherfucking Venus.

I've got a fast connection, so I don't have to wait
reileen: (writing - pen and notebook)
[ profile] reileen: Doing NaNo is like finding really crap source material that you can then write really awesome neurotically fleshed-out fanfiction about.
[ profile] reileen: ...or at least that's one way I'm viewing this process of actually writing original shit. XD
[ profile] reileen: You can take the fan out of the fandom, but you can never take the fandom out of the fan!

...yeah. For some reason, I can't seem to make the transition to original fiction all that easily, even though some of the stuff I write for my usual fandoms are only a couple of name changes away from being original fiction. So I have to make some sort of connection to writing fanfic in order for me to write original fic. This most likely defeats the purpose of me writing original fic in the first place, but hey, whatever gets the job done, right? :D

Anyway, I finished doing the outline notecards for Glass Houses. I'm not sure what I want to do from here with this thing. I might try to pull together what I've learned about the main characters into a single comprehensive character file, and/or work on a rough map of the relevant areas that would just establish things like "Neliam is north of Thorlith" and stuff like that. Or I could just go back to my fanfiction for a while. *can never seem to concentrate on one project at a time, which is no doubt going to drive her even more crazy in the future*

I'm also working through All You Need to Know About the Music Business by Donald S. Passman. [ profile] mugging_hipster lent it to me after we had a talk about our dream careers. I'm not even halfway through the book yet, but already I know I'm getting a copy of the latest edition for myself once I get some money. I probably won't even break into the bottom of the muzak biz until my 30's, but I might as well start laying the groundwork now, yeah?

I wore the time like a dress that year
reileen: (writing - pen and notebook)
Recently I've been doing some work on my NaNoWriMo 2007 novel, tentatively titled Glass Houses after the name of the counter-terrorist organization that the main character gets roped into. (Don't worry, I'm taking great pains to find an infinitely better name, trufax.) I'm taking a revision suggestion from No Plot? No Problem, written by the founder of NaNoWriMo, Chris Baty, and breaking down the scenes of the novel onto notecards, making note of the action that happens in the scene, the characters that appear, and why the scene is possibly important to the story (it may not be). It was a little awkward going at first, especially considering that I have so many incomplete chapters and dangling plot threads, and I didn't even come up with a climax for the story (I fail so hard at plotting and pacing, you have no idea), but I'm slowly reaching a point of productivity.

What has me spazflailing a bit is the realization that, with the way I wanted to set things up, I might have to break Glass Houses down into a trilogy of novels. It's just as well, since the novel is divided into three parts anyway. Certainly it would resolve a number of issues, such as allowing for space for Ryker and the other main characters to interact with each other and grow. On the other hand...are you fucking kidding me? When I signed up for NaNoWriMo, I only wanted to write one novel, dammit! What's this "trilogy" nonsense all about, huh?

I suppose we'll see how things turn out when I get around to doing the second draft. I'll continue to write and plan things as a single standalone novel, and if I'm still having issues, I'll take an axe to this thing.

well, my hands are cold tonight
reileen: (Default)
I was linked to Face Blind! by Bill Choissier from, which in turn was linked by Limyaael, who is herself faceblind - meaning that she has great difficulty remembering (and sometimes recognizing) faces. Faceblindness is, in and of itself, an interesting topic (as are many things in this world!), but it holds particular interest for me because one of my novel characters is faceblind.

I don't know why Ryker decided to be faceblind. (I'm talking within my headspace, not within the constraints of the story. One doesn't exactly choose to be faceblind.) It doesn't have much story significance at the moment other than the fact that it keeps things interesting. Considering that he's a mutant who can produce explosives from thin air and who gets kidnapped/forcefully recruited by a secret anti-terrorist organization who puts him to work as one of their top assassins, not being able to recognize faces is certainly going to cause more than its fair share of problems. I also don't know if he was officially diagnosed with it. I do get the sense, however, that in the orphanage Ryker grew up in, he was teased for never being able to remember or recognize the faces of people that he saw every day. The group of unrecognizable faces included that of his best friend Cade, who - despite sometimes feeling hurt that Ryker would never recognize him when they passed within six inches of each other in the hallways - became very protective of Ryker as a result of all the teasing. Cade's aware that Ryker's mind doesn't exactly work right; Ryker knows something's messed, mostly because Cade keeps on pointing it out to him, but he tends to brush it off as nothing even when it causes him major problems. Like not recognizing that it's your boss stomping up to you when you're complaining about him to your co-workers. Or, you know, not recognizing who the hell it is you're supposed to kill on a mission. Talk about the potential collateral damage. Logic would dictate that he should be switched out for someone more normal, but Ryker's a Special Little Snowflake on his side of things. He's a bit essential to this particular organization's mission, so they decide that they'd just figure out how to work with it when they're not busy trying to find a way to fix it - which I guess is why Ryker frequently works in tandem with Yunia, one of the members who originally recruited him.

All of the above is, of course, subject to change at any moment. Ryker's story was my NaNoWriMo 2007 project, and I'm not very happy with how it turned out. Partly because I seem to never figure out how my stories are supposed to turn out: I have this irritating tendency in my writing to be able to set up decent scenarios, but I can never figure out how to truly follow through on them. I'm a horrible story plotter, truly. For the past three NaNoWriMos, I've gotten through by writing as much detail and random stuff as I can with the hope that something will come together at the end, only for me to be left wondering, in Week Four, whether the blue cord is supposed to go there or if that's the spot for the yellow cord, and do I cut the red cord or will that make things go kablamafoo in the worst way possible?


Listening to Evanescence's pre-Fallen stuff is both depressing and soothing at the same time. I actually prefer these songs over the ones they released on Fallen and The Open Door. It feels...purer? A couple of these songs ("Solitude", "October", "Forgive Me") have a really nice folksy, nostalgic feel to them. On the other end of the spectrum, "Even In Death" has to be one of their creepiest songs ever, even topping "Snow White Queen" from The Open Door.


An awesome quote from the awesome Sarah over at Smart Bitches, Trashy Books, regarding the influx of kickass female heroines that have popped up lately:

I know a lot of folks have been complaining about the ever-present flood of vampire heroes - but is anyone tired of the kickass heroine? Generally speaking, if she’s done right, I love love love her and don’t know if I’d ever get tired of heroines who could not only squeeze the hero’s ass but could also hand it to him in a fight.

To be fair, I've seen a couple of folks complain about kickass heroines being too "hardass" - that is, not emotional enough. I don't (want to) think this is so much a sexist notion as it is the effect of possibly bad writing that produces wooden characters, which is what Sarah addresses briefly in the quote. Honestly, I think that having emotions and dealing with them makes a character even more badass and kickass, because the contrast between the two sides is drawn in even starker lines than before. A character who technically kicks ass in a fight but has no emotions is just a fighting machine. And while that's fun to watch for a while, it can get very, very tiring.

On a slight tangent, I've never been a particular fan of the vampire heroes. If When I write my tongue-in-cheek vampire novel, it's going to feature a female character who gets turned by a female vampire, and the two will end up in an on-again, off-again lesbian relationship. Seriously, folks, where are all the lesbian vampiresses? Come on, now!

in our mutual shame, we hide our eyes to blind them from the truth
reileen: (writing - pen and notebook)
When you're writing your first draft of something, you don't have your muse yet. Instead, you're simultaneously waiting and looking for her* in this...well, let's say wilderness, although in retrospect a labyrinth would work just as well. Or even the streets of Tokyo. Anyway, so you're waiting for and looking for your silly little muse, alternating between sitting on your ass and peeking under every stone and pumpkin for a sign of this elusive, capricious creature.

And then, when you find her, BAM! You're chasing her through the jagged mountain passes and impossibly thick thickets of trees and the poison-infested swampholes and maybe even the crazy famine-stricken cannibalistic settlements of your story. You're swearing up a typhoon and stumbling like you've never stumbled before, but no matter what, you know that you have to keep going, because if you lose her the Gods only know when you'll find her next. And the scenes that you spazflail wildly through in your attempt to catch your muse are the scenes that make up the first draft of whatever you're writing. And that draft is done when you finally catch your muse, sweating ten Niagara Falls and gasping for O2 and realizing that you might've pissed your panties back there. That, my friend, is the time when you make your muse do your bidding: you make her clean you up, and then you make her lead you back through the scenes you've passed - but slowly and surely this time, like a tour, having her point out the things you might've missed in your haste and desperation.

one way or another, I'm gonna find ya

*Female pronoun used for ease of whatever.
reileen: (Default)
The thing about coming up with original characters for original worlds is that I have a really hard time building up who they might be in my head. At least if I came up with original characters in a pre-conceived world, I would have that pre-conceived world to help dictate even a little of who the character would be. But when someone as talentless as me in the way of creating original characters doesn't have a world to fall back on, it creates a little bit of an artistic dilemma.

Lately I've been mulling over various aspects of an original story currently called Scar, whose main namesake is a 20-something-year-old redheaded woman whose birth name is Scarletta Rhyder. (If you call her that, and you're not her companion Hunter, her grandmother, or a family member she still likes, she'll rip your head off.) Now, I think I could get to like Scar enough to have her tell a story. Her ghostly, smirking apparition in my head promises an intriguing journey. But I have absolutely no idea what kind of story she could tell. I see sarcasm and a carefree attitude to life, I think, but that's about it. She also runs uncomfortably close to another original character in my head who happens to be redheaded and sarcastic as well, although this character's worldview is decidedly darker than Scar's (and for good reason). I probably just need to spend a little time getting to know her, but it's almost like I'm afraid of what I'm going to find out. The opening line to Scar recently came up in my head as: "If there was one thing Scar hated the most in life, it was..." And then nothing. I have to fill in the blank, like a Mad Lib. If I can just figure out how to best complete that sentence, I'd have a good part of Scar's character nailed down.


From the Tiny Toons NES game, we have the most appropriate inappropriate caption evar!

ETA: Also, I am quite possibly the world's laziest overachiever. I should get a Darwin Award Guinness World Record for that.

you know you wouldn't want it any other way


reileen: (Default)
Reileen van Kaile

April 2010



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