Writing Notes by Today, I Wrote…

Passionate prose is my PARAMOUR.

September 29

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JetPens vs. Tropical Storm

by Ann-Kat

It’s coming down hard outside, but when I saw that my JetPens package had indeed arrived I pulled on my clothes and battled the rain. I cradled the package gently inside the warmth and dryness of my coat until it was safely inside.

And that, folks, is when you know you’re officially an addict and should seek help.


I’m still in love with the index stickers and picked up a couple more packages (I’ll publish a post detailing how I use them for my writing organization). This time I also picked up a couple packs of the tabs—they’re like Post-It flags, except a bit longer and cuter—which I figure I could use for marking important information during my reading.

The other items I ordered include:

One of these days I’ll take a picture that doesn’t display the goodies in less glory than they deserve.

September 29

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Dear Author, Grow an Organic Story Please.

by Ann-Kat

Grow I’ve read a lot of stories lately that felt off. I couldn’t put my finger on it. Then I’d read a story that was magical in its telling. I couldn’t put my finger on that either.

After I read a book on writing called ‘Movies in the Mind: How to Build a Short Story’ by Colleen Mariah Rae the epiphany struck.

The majority of stories I’d been reading felt unnatural. The prose was adequate and the idea was interesting, but the stories lacked passion.

All emotion has an ebb and flow, a certain rhythm. We subconsciously pick up on this rhythm when we read. Just read an angry break up letter or a mushy love letter written in the height of emotion and as you tumble through the words you begin to feel them.

As a reader, that’s what I ultimately want. I want to feel the story being told. I want my emotions to shift as the emotions of the characters shift. I want it to feel natural. It transcends simply finding the right words and getting the words in the proper order, it’s about finding the story’s pulse and gluing my fingers to it.

That’s why I loved Rae’s book. It broke down how to tap into that pulse. And when I finished reading her book, I wanted to find her other books on writing. When my search yielded nothing, I tried something else: I sent her an email.

To my surprise she responded and was super nice to boot. Although her others books weren’t published, she was kind enough to send along some of her previous articles (and is allowing me to provide them here for download—all are in PDF format).

One of the articles is actually a modified version of a chapter from her book, so even if you’re unable to get a copy (it’s now out of print) you can still get a taste of her teaching.

I certainly hope she does finish her Movies of the Mind series, even if she only publishes them as ebooks, because her style is one with which I mesh.

If you’d like to get in touch with her, just visit her website: http://www.colleenmariahrae.com/.

April 2

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Writing Journal Day 2(ish)

by Ann-Kat

Today I didn’t do much writing on either of my short stories, but I did have a chance to transcribe them into LSBXE and printed out a couple typed hard copies to make initial edits.

Before the edits, I read what I had to my beta reader to gauge how interesting they would be and received some good feedback, so I do believe I shall continue moving forward with them both. (Although one was described as being “scary” when that wasn’t my intention at all. Here’s hoping I can steer it in the right direction.)

I also spent a good deal of time reading and summarizing what I read, which actually helped me in the grand scheme of things understand crafting a good story treatment (focusing on character and story arcs).

So, the word counts on The Romans and The Angel and the Porcelain Doll remain unchanged, but I did hone their individual story treatments.

March 31

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Writing Journal Day ???

by Ann-Kat

Writing Sample

I’ve been bad about keeping up a writing journal. I’ve been bad about writing, period. But I’m resolving to update here with my thoughts on the writing process, and at very least my word counts. And since I have no idea which day it would be, I’ll just start my next entry as Day 2.

Today (the past few days actually) I’ve been working on a couple short stories. One is more involved than the other and I’ve hit a point of stagnation. When it comes to that, I’ve learned to just wait it out. In the meantime, I’ve been working on the other story, which is a bit lighter in tone and concept and a bit more fun. (It’s a fantasy whereas the former is sci-fi.)

As far as word counts go I will be rounding off since I’ve been writing these stories longhand. (When I transcribe it, I’ll update with actual word counts.)

Sci-fi short story working title: The Romans
Word count: ~1,658

Fantasy short story working title: The Angel & The Porcelain Doll
Word count: ~476

Both of these stories are less than halfway finished, but I hope to have the first drafts done by this weekend so I can put some spit & polish on them.

March 28

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Feeding My JetPens Addiction

by Ann-Kat

I was down to my final Zebra Technoline ink refill which meant it was time for another JetPens order. This time (just like last time and the time before that) I think I went a little overboard. Not only did I get ink refills, I also snagged seven new pens (Zebra Sarasa Gel Ink Pen 0.4mm in blue-black, blue, and olive green; Pentel Sunburst Metallic Gel Ink Pen 0.7mm in violet, pink, and blue; and Pentel Hybrid Technica Gel Ink Pen 0.5mm in blue) and a couple packets of index tab stickers.

March 2010 JetPens Order

This time, however, is the first time I’m mildly disappointed with JetPens because one of the pens I received was used. It might seem nitpicky, but this pen was: a) a unique color (olive green) which would make finding the appropriate refill difficult; b) a gel pen which means the ink runs down relatively quickly; and c) not disclosed as being used. But I don’t plan to kick up much dirt because the pen was on sale, so I’m not out a lot of money, and I don’t care for the ink color anyway.

Jstory Index Tab Stickers

One product that I am in love with, though, is the Jstory Index Fun Sticker tabs (in bear and rabbit). The stickers are folded over the edge of the page to make a nice little tab. So far, I’m using them in my book summaries notebook to simplify access to the individual summaries.

Frankly, I’m wishing I’d bought a bunch more of them and something tells me I’ll be stockpiling these soon. (I also found some cute ones made by Jetoy on Etsy and I’ll probably get some of those, too.)

November 29

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Discovering Novel Writing Music

by Ann-Kat

I think I love Franz Liszt.

Actually, there is no think about it. I love Franz Liszt.

He needs to be resurrected from the dead so I can have his babies.

I’m being serious.


November 25

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More JetPens Booty (Whoohoo!)

by Ann-Kat

More JetPens Booty

Koi WaterBrush (#6 Medium); Zebra Mildliner Soft Color Highlighters (Cool & Refined); Kuretake 2 Way Flat Head Waterbrush; Zebra Techno Line 0.4mm Ballpoint Pen Refills (Black and Red); Zebra Techno Line 0.4mm Ballpoint Pen (Wine Red)

November 24

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I’m an Addict and JetPens is My Dealer

by Ann-Kat

JetPens First Haul

Zebra Techno Line 0.4mm Ballpoint Pens (Green & Pink) and ink refills (Black) • Uni-ball E-Knock Erasers (White & Pink) and refills • Pentel Ain Supplio Nanotech Scented Mechanical Pencil Lead (Positive & Refresh) • Sura John & Mary Small Pencil Pouches (Black with Blue & Pink with White)

JetPens Second Haul

Pentel Ain Supplio Nanotech Scented Mechanical Pencils in Positive (Pink) and Healing (Green) • Akashiya Sai Outline Brush Pen (Black) • Akashiya Sai Watercolor Brush Pens (Summer Colors)

(Yes, scented mechanical pencil lead.)

November 14

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NaNoWriMo Day 14: State of the NaNo Board

by Ann-Kat

Word Count: 18,697
Remaining Words: 31,303

Time flies. It’s cliché, but true. We’re already two weeks into NaNoWriMo and I should be roughly halfway through my novel. I’m not. But I’m not fretting (yet). I am, however, (much more than) halfway done with my NaNo board.

NaNo Board - Almost Done

I’ve finally found the face of my female MC, Tessa Harding, and that face belongs to Christina Milian. She has the perfect balance of sweet cuteness, and sultry sexiness.  Christina Milian

I also managed to find the faces of two supporting characters, Sydney Averdale and Christian Cooper, portrayed by Meagan Good and Ian Somerhalder.

Meagan Good Ian Somerhalder

At one point, when I was adding the additional character photos to the board, I became choked up. It’s the moment I realized that I love my characters, even the flawed (and some might say, downright evil) ones. Granted, I love those characters in a different way; I’m trying to figure out how they became such broken people.

NaNoWriMo Novel Mind Map

I’ve finally added my mind map, which should help with the journey—no more needing to dig through my notebook to find sequence of events and such.

Just looking at the board gets me fired up, but I still see whitespace and that must be rectified.

And I’m not entirely sure this is NaNoWriMo related, but I’ve been inspired to write more short stories lately. Frankly, I think it’s a stalling tactic my mind conjured up to aid its procrastination efforts, but some of the ideas I’ve had are exciting. But I’m just jotting down the bare minimum of notes so I can write them later and focus on NaNoWriMo now.

November 4

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NaNoWriMo Day 4: My Novel is Causing Nightmares

by Ann-Kat

Word Count: 8,572
Words Remaining: 41,428

It’s barely day four of NaNoWriMo and I’ve already woken from a disturbing dream.

(NB: Although I considered my dream to be tense and mildly annoying, years of watching, reading, and listening to horror, real and imagined, has desensitized me in a number of ways. Therefore by normal standards my dream was actually a terrifying nightmare.)

First, a bit of background about the novel I’m writing: Imagine Swimfan crossed with Fear.

In my dream I was the female protagonist of my book. I was being violently attacked but no one could see it. They were staring directly at me and my attacker, but to them it was if he were lacing me with kisses and affection. Everyone kept telling me I was being silly and foolish and that I was making a mistake by trying to leave him.

More disturbing was the setting of the dream—intense dank and darkness. Even my attacker looked heinous. But still, no one except me could recognize any danger. And I couldn’t get away.

What’s still more unsettling is that I woke with my novel in mind and an eagerness to write. So with bits of this revolting dream swishing around in my head, I’m off to add to my story’s bottom line.


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