Aliens in the Barn

Friday, March 25, 2011

Plot Dinosaurs

Some people have plot bunnies; I have plot dinosaurs. A friend of mine posted this drawing on dA and I laughed and laughed:

Of course, my plot dinosaurs are bigger than that. Hers are too, I'm sure, but that's very cute:)

The plot dinosaurs are rampaging like crazy this week. I thought I was going to deviate from my four book series with an idea that just wouldn't leave me alone. Then I realized I have a ton of research I need to do for that, so now I'm back to the series (which is mostly written and researched already since I'm culling from my fan fiction plot; doing a lot of world building for my own universe with that). Hmm, maybe it's not plot dinosaurs at all, but plot ADD.

My mind is definitely all over the place! Even with the series, it seems I've started on the second book rather than the first. I'm actually torn with which book ought to be first to begin with. I am a nonlinear story teller who likes to throw in all sorts of flashbacks and the like, but I think that might have gotten too complicated when I was writing fan fiction. I still like the nonlinear thing, but maybe not at such a grand scale. A few flashbacks here and there may be good, but not an entire story that is a flashback thrown into the main story.

It makes me think of the whole Star Wars thing. They had three stories and then the next three had to do with the past. I really liked that. That was nonlinear at its best. The question is, if George Lucas could do it all over again, would he choose to tell the story of Anakin first, or the story of Luke? Having the story of Luke first certainly gave us the biggest plot shocker of all time...the enemy leader he thought killed his father is his father. Whoah, that's heavy stuff, and excellent drama. That iconic moment would have been lost had the story of Anakin been told first, not to mention the sister shocker moment too.

Yet, there is so much about Obi-Wan and the Jedi that would have been nice to know before seeing Luke's story. If we had known all that beforehand, our hearts might have been more into the Jedi plight than they were. Well, not that our hearts weren't in it, but learning about just how it all went down with the Jedi certainly helped solidifiy the feeling. Learning all that strengthened the Luke story with the Jedi thing for me.

Of course, if the story of Anakin were first, we'd have lost the mystique surrounding the Jedi that was created during the story of Luke. So, all in all, the nonlinear aspect of Star Wars is part of what made it great.

What does this have to do with my story? Just thoughts, just thoughts...and a perfect example of how my mind is all over the place. LOL!

Sunday, March 20, 2011

The Question of A Character With Disabilities

The hero in my story has a disability...a big one. As I outlined this out and began fleshing it out more and more in my mind, I thought I hit a snag.

The question that nearly stopped me dead was the question of the hero having a disability. I started wondering if that was even something someone would want to read about. Could a disabled character be considered sexy? Would anyone see him as sexy? This became a big concern and I thought I was done with the idea before I even got to start writing it. I suppose, of course, that that's a good time to realize something may not work, which is before it gets going, but then several other things occurred to me...

First of all, I thought the character was sexy, so maybe someone else might think so too. That's a hard one to go by, though, since my opinion is probably biased;)

Second, I remembered Daredevil. Of course, this is a comic book character, but there's no denying that sexy bodysuit-clad Ben Affleck from the 2003 movie. And, of course, even though it's a comic character, it's a pretty romantic story if you think about it. The most intriguing thing about Daredevil, though...

He's blind.

I don't know about anyone else, but that somehow made him even more sexy.

Then there was the movie about the two blind lovers. I cannot remember the name of that movie to save my life, but it was definitely a romance and both characters had a disability.

Then I realized two main characters in my fan fiction have a disability. That actually worked out very well.

Thinking about fan fiction, a long time reader of mine just started a blog. She has a link to her website in her profile, so I clicked on it out of curiosity; it took me to her page. I felt ashamed that she has been following me for so long and I haven't even looked at her works. As I read about her original character, I found myself slowing down as I focused on each word...Then I read it again.

Her main original character is blind. That very much grabbed my interest and gave me yet another incentive to continue with my new story. Then, just today, she wrote about an idea she has and her heroine has a disability.

Next, I found this: This is a blog entry from a blog focusing on the romance of sci fi. In this blog enty, this sentence stood out for me: "Erotic sci-fi romance has loads of potential to examine and question cultural attitudes toward beauty, ethnicity, and even physical disabilities."

Okay, so, now I'm convinced. There is definitely some intrigue with a character with a disability. It's not just me being biased. There is definitely something about this. There seems to be numerous stories, movies, ideas, even comics, out there exploring characters with disabilities.

And they can be sexy, indeed:)

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

The Best Laid Plans

I was going along pretty good for my plan for my first book. It was going to be the start of a kind of series with at least four books planned out. It could turn into more, but I have a solid plan for four.

Then another idea hit me...Oh my goodness, I think I may have to go with this other idea first. I still want to do the four book series, but this new thing won't let me write out much on that other without demanding, "Me first!"

Methinks I better pay a little attention to this other idea before it drives me bonkers. These ideas are like children, demanding their own attention in turn:)

Sunday, March 13, 2011

The Joy of Things That Just Pop Into Your Head

Do you have a certain time when or where things just pop into your brain? I come up with so much stuff when I'm either in the shower or that time right after I wake up but haven't gotten out of bed yet.

It was that such time this morning (or was it yesterday morning by now?) when the coolest idea for what my aliens will be able to do came crashing through my thoughts and bringing me to full wakefulness with excitement. Unfortunately, I couldn't write it down right away because I had to go to a conference, but the idea stuck with me all day long.

I am very excited about this new idea. I can see it perfectly in my mind. I think the inspiration for this idea is a weird cross between Tron and Transformers (not the plot, but a specific tech). Now I'll just have to describe it on paper... That could end up being very technical. That makes me wonder how much tech I can/should include. I've had mixed reviews for my technical descriptions in my fan fiction. I've had people to tell me they love it and lament that they don't see more descriptions like that in published works. I've also had people tell me it was too dense, as in too thick and complicated.

That's both sides of the spectrum there, so I'll have to find a nice middle ground. However, I'm with the reviewers that wish they could see more tech in sci fi romance writing. I suppose that's why I like to write it into my stories so much. I love tech...and deep emotion. I feel that I do well in writing both, mixing the two even, but then I have to wonder what's too strange.

Who knows, though, maybe strange is good. It is certainly...different.

So, I need to go to bed and see what strange alien tech inspiration will strike me when I wake up in the morning *smile.*

Friday, March 11, 2011

Don't Quit Your Day Job

I haven't quit my day job; it's more like my day job has quit me. Used to, I could get a job on a survey or a dig over night. All I'd have to do was alert the local Archaeology firms of the presence of an archaeologist in the area and I was good as hired. Now, however, it's becoming nearly impossible for me to get on a dig.

I don't really know what's going on. I have 10 years of experience in Archaeology from the states of Alabama, Kentucky, Ohio, Pennsylvania, New Mexico, Texas, California, Florida, and Mississippi. Maybe that's the problem; maybe at a certain point you're too old and experienced for anyone to want to bother with you (not that, at 33 years old, I'm even remotely that old). Maybe it has nothing to do with me at all and everything to do with economy, budget, and high competition for the fewer jobs that are out there. Despite all my experience, there must be enough job seekers in my field who are even more experienced than me.

Eh, enough of that. We just moved to DC anyway, so maybe something will pan out eventually. It could even be this area. I've never worked in this area before, so maybe there's something particular about it that I'm missing.

It's not like becoming an author is any easier. In fact, that may be harder. However, it feels right, like that's what I'm supposed to be doing right now anyway.

Perhaps the fate of the universe is at play. In 2008 I declared I wanted to be an author...for real. I've been writing my whole life, but it wasn't until that year that I became somewhat serious about being published and I haven't necessarily been serious serious until now. Maybe some greater force is pushing me out of Archaeology and into writing; I'm just slow in figuring it all out.

Perhaps some part of me is fighting my fate. I love Archaeology and I have a ton of great experiences and I constantly want to repeat all the good times. So, I keep fighting the side of me that says I'm a writer. I keep trying for that next job, that next dig, that next survey. It doesn't help that I'm my own worst enemy, always reminding myself I'm not truly a 'real' author anyway. I'm not even published; I haven't even tried.

As remaining an Archaeologist seems to be becoming harder and harder, certainly not by my own choice, the writer is finding more courage to emerge. It does make me sad, though, as my greatest inspirations have always come when I'm on a dig.

Thursday, March 10, 2011

First Post

Oh wow, this is my first blog ever! I write fairly regularly on my deviantArt journal and had been sort of using that as a blog for a few years now. But, I've finally made the leap into the real blogging world *yay for me.*

Why make this leap, you might ask? I wanted to do this because I want to talk about writing my book. I am not a published author by any stretch of the imagination...Wait, I take that back. If you consider Archaeology reports as publications, then I do have a few of those floating around out there. But, thanks to fanfiction, I do believe I can write fiction.

You see, I have been a fanfiction writer for a few years now, since 2007. That has been an up and down journey of galactic proportions, but with over 1,000 reviews in 60 chapters, the main and most important thing I got out of the experience is this:

I believe I can write a book.

I believe I can write something publishable. I want to write something publishable. Of course, that is what every aspiring writer wants. The question is:

Can I achieve this goal?

I honestly have no idea if I can. But, I have two positives on my side: I believe I can and I want to try. Perhaps if I believe in it enough and want it enough and try hard enough, I'll get there.

This may be a long journey, but the journey can sometimes be considered the destination:)