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At some point, you’ve gotta look at your list of stories you intend to write, and pick one. You have to list them in Particular Order so that you can write them and finish them.

 

I will do that this week and edit this post to reflect it.

 

Watch for upcoming PLANS! ūüėÄ

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Hey everyone!

Sorry it’s been so long since I’ve posted. The universe has gone crazy, again, as usual. This time, though, it’s me stuck at home with double pneumonia. Less than fun, I’ll tell ya. If you have a cold that won’t go away, PLEASE have a doctor check you. I thought my doctor was going to say, “Why do you keep coming in with these little colds? Take two [cold medicine of choice] and come back when you’re bleeding.”

He didn’t. He said, “Well, your one lung sounds pretty solid, and the other’s not much better. You definitely have pneumonia, and I’m going to give you a breathing treatment right now, and then you’re going down to X-ray and we’ll see just how far that infection has spread. And when you get home, you go to bed and stay there as much as possible, and drink a lot of fluids.”

I’m not sure if I’d rather have had him say to come back bloody, but I’m glad I went.¬† First, it means that with medication I can breathe a little better for the first time in three weeks.

It also means that I’m in bed for a while, resting.

What, oh what, could a writer POSSIBLY find to do while confined to a single room? ūüėÄ

Those of you who are acquainted with Holly Lisle’s course boards¬†may know that I’ve been revising my very first novel and am deep in the land of finding what ails the manuscript (which is nearly everything). I think I’m going to marathon revise today! I’ll drop a few updates on Twitter (@Danzierlea is me!) and round the day out with a final check-in here. The novel is short–some sixty pages, and I’m on page twenty-three–so with a little luck I should get a significant distance into the revision today. Wish me luck, and off I go!

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First, there’s this. I¬† got sick of writing the word “audience” in my notes in my high school drama class. I had a list of terms, on which “Author” was first, and “Audience” was second. I abbreviated “Audience” to “A-Squared”, working under the idea that because each member of an audience creates their own meaning of the text, the group is effectively a bunch of authors.¬† A-Squared is annoying to type, and so it’s become A2.

I’m in two classes right now: Documentary and Feminism in Media. Both classes are more awesome than they sound. And in both classes, we’ve had to examine, briefly, the idea of the audience and the Target Audience. But school’s not the only place the A2’s been popping up. It’s come up at work (yay, radio day job! So much fun!), it’s come up in random conversation with my sister, it’s come up…well, everywhere! Even on the bus, and I’m not one to talk to random bus riders. But I digress.

In my FM class, we looked at the creation of audience as commodity. Most people will balk at this; that’s ok. The question was, do media companies simply produce a product (ie, film)? Do they create their audiences? This gets into why there’s advertising and product placement in movies (my favorite soda has a cameo in X2, and my favorite candy starred in ET) and the creepy thought that media companies are like fishermen who use their catch as bait. It’s fascenating and horrifying, like Tom Sawyer’s big toe.

Media companies are, basically, producers and salesmen. As writers, we’re essentially the same thing. We produce content and persuade someone to buy it (or publish it). This is why Holly addresses A2 consideration in one of the HTTS lessons.

But in other areas of our lives, we’re also producers and salesmen, and this bears careful consideration. Our families see us every day. Friends and coworkers see us often. We are producing something every time we interact with them, whether or not we know it. We have secret ninja-like audiences making judgements about us based solely on what we are doing when they see us. It behooves us, then–woah I just used “behooves” in a sentence!–to consider our products, and our audiences, at all times.

Yeah, I went all vague there. It’s like this. My daughter watches me when I get home from work. She sees what I do, and what I emphasise. She decides whether to ask me for a cookie before dinner based on whether I’m cooking something or working on my computer. Why? Because I say yes more often when I’m on the computer. We call this A2 conditioning via repeat performance.¬† If my hubby sees that every day when I wake up, I’m a crabby monster, he’ll quit waking me up. Same deal. If my boss accidentally calls my line at work and I answer professionally without knowing who’s calling, he’ll consider letting me work a shift when people call in. I hope. A2 conditioning. People react to what they know of you. Do what you can to figure out what you want from them, then act in such a way that their automatic reaction gets you what you want.

Don’t be fake about it, though. Everyone thinks they can fake it at some point, and we all know we can see right through ’em and we like to point and snicker about it. So don’t fake it. If getting a better shift by this time next year is your goal, do the same good stuff the people on the better shift do… and do it all the time. You can’t know when your boss is going to accidentally call you, so you answer all calls as if they were him.

This is longish and ramble-ish, but there’s a method to this madness. I started this post in order to work through my thoughts on A2 and why it makes me nervous, and here’s my conclusion: my grandpa always says, “If ya do what’cha always done, you’ll git what’cha always got!” If you want something else, do something else… because you always have an audience, and despite all efforts, you can’t pick who’s watching.

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I Hate SOPA/PIPA

I’m not taking my blog down because I’m not sure how to do it without permanently deleting it. Consider this my effort in today’s Blackout. Colored emphasis is mine.

Today, I’m posting a bunch of quotes relating to legislation and the rights and responsibilities of the people when faced with it. The point is to once again share the foundations that our country was built on,¬†to remind people that the outcry today has solid grounding on solid thinking.

Before I start, though, I’d like to add a small reminder. I’m an American. I’m a New Englander. I’m a Yankee. I’m a woman. I’m a Patriot. I’m a¬†fan of the American Revolution, the flag, and the National Anthem.¬†I was born and raised in a place and by a family who hold all that history and tradition and independent thought as sacred as any religion. I have chosen to believe in the rightness of this country’s founding principles, as I can so discover them. I have also chosen to uphold those principles–not in the military, but “on the home front”, reminding people that this is who we are and where we come from, and selling our birthrights for a warm meal (or any other bribe) is doing ourselves a great disservice.

“The Declaration of Independence¬†

IN CONGRESS, July 4, 1776.  

The unanimous Declaration of the thirteen united States of America,

When in the Course of human events, it becomes necessary for one people to dissolve the political bands which have connected them with another, and to assume among the powers of the earth, the separate and equal station to which the Laws of Nature and of Nature’s God entitle them, a decent respect to the opinions of mankind requires that they should declare the causes which impel them to the separation.

We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.‚ÄĒThat to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed,‚ÄĒThat whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness. Prudence, indeed, will dictate that Governments long established should not be changed for light and transient causes; and accordingly all experience hath shewn, that mankind are more disposed to suffer, while evils are sufferable, than to right themselves by abolishing the forms to which they are accustomed. But when a long train of abuses and usurpations, pursuing invariably the same Object evinces a design to reduce them under absolute Despotism, it is their right, it is their duty, to throw off such government, and to provide new Guards for their future security.”

Excerpts from the United States Constitution:

Article 1, Section 8: The Congress shall have Power To […] promote the Progress of Science and useful Arts, by securing for limited Times to Aurthors and Inventors the exclusive Right to their respective Writings and Discoveries;

Amendment 1 (ratified effective December 15, 1791): Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.

Amendment 4 (ratified effective December 15, 1791) The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no Warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by Oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized.

Amendment 9 (ratified effective December 15, 1791) The enumeration in the Constitution, of certain rights, shall not be construed to deny or disparage others retained by the people.

You can get a free copy of the Declaration of Independance and the Constitution from Hillsdale College, just by asking for it. Here’s their website: www.hillsdale.edu¬†. My thanks to them for my copy, from which the above was transcribed.

Other Noteworthy quotes taken from:

Melton Jr., Buckner F., ed. The Quotable Founding Fathers. New York: Fall River Press, 2004.

Citation style is “Book for which the editor appears as author (MLA Style)”, page 594, in the 2001 edition of Hodges’ Harbrace Handbook, fourteenth edition. I mention this because THE RIGHT WAY TO CITE THINGS CHANGES OFTEN. Especially when citing internet stuff, and even if you get a good citation, it may be in the wrong style. The three big styles are MLA, APA, and Chicago… So there’s a whole ‘nother problem.

1. Stand your ground. Don’t fire unless fired upon, but if they mean to have a war, let it begin here! –Capt. John Parker, Order to the Lexington Minutemen, April 19, 1775

2. On the fortitude, On the wisdom and on the exertions of this important day, is supended the fate of this new world, and of unborn millions. It a boundless extent of continent, swarming with millions, will tamely submit to live, move, and have their being at the arbitrary will of a licentious minister, they basely yield to voluntary slavery, and future generations shall load their memories with incessant execrations. –On the other hand, if we arrest the hand which would ransack our pockets, if we disarm the parricide which points the dagger to our bosoms, if we nobly defeat that fatal edict which proclaims a power to frame laws for us in all cases whatsoever, thereby entailing the endless and numberless curses of slavery upon us, our heirs and their heirs forever; if we successgully resist that unapralleled usurpation of unconstitutional power, whereby our capital is robbed of the means of life; […] posterity will acknowledge that virtue which preserved them free and happy; and while we enjoy the rewards and blessings of the faithful, the torrent of panegyrists will roll our reputations to that latest period, when the streams of time shall be absorbed in the abyss of eternity. –Joseph Warren, The Suffolk Resolves, 1774

3. Let us contemplate our forefathers and posterity; and resolve to maintain the rights bequeath’d to us from the former, for the sake of the latter. Instead of sitting down satisfied with the efforts we have already made, which is the wish of the enemy [sic]the necessity of the times, more than ever, calls for our utmost circumspection, deliberation, fortitude and pereverance. Let us remember that “if we suffer tamely a lawless attack upon our libery, we encourage it, and involve others in our doom. It is a very serious consideration, which should deeply impress our minds, that millions of yet unborn may be the miserabl sharers of the event. –Samuel Adams, Speech, 1771

4. Since the Men from a Party, on fear of a Frown,

Are kept by a Sugar-Plumb, quietly down.

Supinely asleep, & depriv’d of their Sight

Are strip’d of their Freedom, and rob’d of their Right.

If the Sons (so degenerate) the Blessing despise,

Let the Daughters of Liberty, nobly arise, […]

–Hannah Griffitts, “The Female Patriots”, 1768

.

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And that’s all I have to say about that.

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Brevity vs. Clarity

Brevity is the soul of wit. Polonius (Balony-ous) originally said that in Hamlet  (by Shakespeare). My dad quoted it to me many a time.

I’m not brief about much. I once failed a 5-page English paper because, at 23 pages, I wasn’t ready to wrap it up. I have improved somewhat.

The trouble is that in my quest to be coherant and brief, I sometimes make statements that are incomprehensible.

Sooo…. A “playmobil moment” is a place in my writing where I’ve done something physically impossible, like having seven characters leaning on the same doorframe. I call them playmobil moments because I grab my playmobil guys who represent my characters and set them up so I can better visualize the scene. If I can’t visualize a scene as it’s written, it’s not good enough yet. (Scenes that take place outside of the time/space continuum are exempt, haha.)

If you come across a Brevity vs. Clarity issue when you read any of my posts, please leave me a comment. I’ll do what I can to fix it.

And I know the “Quote of the Post!” is still on number three, but I like that quote so much that I’m keeping it there for a while.

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Checklist: Check!

I’ve been thinking about the Locke Method, advertizing my books before they’re done, the HTTS/HTRYN/HTWAS boards, twitter, and marketing strategies in general. Also radio marketing in specific, but I’m not quite Patterson enough to buy airtime yet. I will when I can, but that’s another time.

Now, I’ve been thinking about how to use this blog to post things that MATTER. This means I need to know what matters when I’m writing a blog post.

The purpose of this blog is to track my HTTS (and ergo, writing in general) progress. That means that having a way to track my progress MATTERS. So does actually making progress.

So here’s my plan. I love checklists. The idea that everything that needs doing can be written down in one place and crossed off when it’s done is very liberating to me. I can do anything I have a checklist for.¬† Therefore, I am going to post my weekly writing checklist here. I’ll tweet “checklist update” when I post the list, and “Number (whichever) done!” to cross them off.

Another thing that matters with this blog is who may be reading it. I don’t want to give away “that other class” secrets–this is why there are passwords on posts. I’m not about to start another blog, though (due to my web design class, I’m up to five, and I can’t quite keep on top of them!).

So: The checklist itself won’t be passworded, but list items may say “HTRYN: Lesson 1” instead of “fill out a worksheet for this lesson on this topic”. I’ll also try to remember to catagorize posts by which class they’re for. If there’s a post that your password doesn’t reveal, it’s probably for a different class.

Well, that’s long, but straightforward. Onward!

 

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