Category Archives: project remembrance

a writing tag


I snagged this questionnaire off one of my favorite blogs, because I didn’t have a post idea and I hadn’t posted for a while, and this thingy looked like fun. (Yes, I just said ‘thingy’.  I’m tired right now.)  If you want to sneak away with it too, be my guest.  Right now, I’m feeling too meh to really care if you answer these questions or print out the list and eat it or whatever.

1. How many years have you been writing? When did you officially consider yourself a ‘writer’?  Well, I’m not sure when exactly I started writing my little, plagiarized stories (I could look it up if I had enough energy to go down to my room and find the writing diary I kept in The Early Days) but it was probably sometime around my thirteenth birthday.  Those were the days.  I didn’t know anything about characterization or plot or dialogue, so I just scribbled down tales, blissfully happy in my supposed genius.  Now writing is much more work (but I still enjoy it).  I probably officially considered myself a writer when I won NaNoWriMo for the first time, in 2013.  Or when I finished my first novel (which was either in 2012 or 2013).  Either way, I definitely consider myself a writer now.

2. How/why did you start writing?  Jane Austen.  I started writing because I adored Jane Austen’s books and I wanted to replicate them.  I’ve branched out now, and I don’t write Regency romances anymore, but Jane Austen’s novels were what got me started on the path in the first place, and I’ll always be immensely grateful to her for that.  As for the ‘how’ of the question…I sharpened my pencil, got down a notebook that I’d bought from the dollar store, and wrote until my hand cramped up.  I felt very satisfied when I stopped and saw how much I’d already written.

3. What’s your favourite part of writing?  Hmmm.  This is hard.  I like getting ideas.  I like the rush of thoughts and bits of inspiration that pour in whenever I get a brand-new idea.  I whip out my little black moleskine notebook and write everything down just as fast as it comes to me, and even though I usually end up using less than half of whatever I write, it’s still a great feeling.  Very writer-ish.  I also enjoy being able to use the writing skills that I’ve honed somewhat for writing fan-fiction.  A friend of mine recently said that the writing in a certain fan-fic of mine was ‘a cut above the average fan-fiction’, which made me very happy. (Not to be proud, or anything…)

4. What’s your biggest writing struggle?  Dialogue.  I recently realized that most dialogue (for original works and fan-fiction both) tends to be more than a little patchy, and it’s very frustrating at times.  I want my characters to sound like real people, not book characters.

5. Do you write best at night or day?  Most (if not all) of my writing is done in the morning, and I haven’t really tried much writing at night, so I’d have to say I write best during the day.  I usually get an hour in the morning to write, and if it’s a good day, I can churn out as much as 2,000 words. (Usually less when I’m writing fan-fiction, because I like the quality to be excellent, even for a first draft.  With my original work, I take a more relaxed view of things, mainly because I won’t have an angry fandom on me if I don’t get it perfect right away.)

6. What does your writing space look like? (Feel free to show us pictures!)  Eh.  I don’t really have a writing space, per se.  I just write at the kitchen desk, which is usually very messy and doesn’t have any personal touches from me.  If/when I get my own laptop, I’ll probably make my desk into a writing space, and if I do, I’ll share pictures on this blog.  I have it all worked out in my head, actually.  All that’s needed is a laptop.

7. How long does it typically take you to write a complete draft?  Depends.  I don’t really have a set writing goal, time-wise.  I tend to mosey along, writing bursts of words every day and letting the draft be as long or as short as the story dictates.  I’ve been working on Project Remembrance for five months and it’s nowhere near being finished.  On the other hand, I wrote three complete first drafts (the Vengeance Is Mine trilogy) in just two or three months, I believe.  I’m not pushing to get things done in a set amount of time.

8. How many projects do you work on at once?  Again, it depends.  Right now, I’m working on PR, a piece of Combat! fan-fiction, mulling through ideas for a potential To Kill A Mockingbird fan-fiction, and thinking about writing a bit of a story centered around this picture.  Usually, I write one thing, while ideas for several others are going around in my head.  Things are never dull up in my brain, that’s for sure.

9. Do you prefer writing happy endings, sad ones, or somewhere in between?  Bittersweet, so I guess that’s somewhere in between.

10. List a few authors who’ve influenced your writing journey.  Well, as I mentioned above, Jane Austen got me ‘into’ writing, but Jack Cavanaugh’s books sort of continued my writing.  I was absolutely blown away by how he wove plot and characters and dialogue together into a (usually) historical tapestry, and I think that’s why my first book was set in medieval times (sort of).  My favorite book of his is set in Medieval England, anyway.  There’ve been a bunch of other authors who’ve wowed me, but listing them would take forever.  Suzanne Collins, Markus Zusak, Charles Dickens, Shannon Hale, Laura Hillenbrand, Ted Bell…

11. Do you let people read your writing? Why or why not?  I let people read my writing sometimes, mainly if it’s a short story or fan-fiction (and most of the people who end up reading my work are beta-readers), but my full length novels are languishing in a dusty file because they need huge revisions and I’d be embarrassed to show them to anyone.  I’m quite proud of PR, though, and I generally let Jane and Ashley read whatever they want of my stuff.

12. What’s your ultimate writing goal or dream?  Um…I haven’t really thought too much about it, actually.  All of the usual things seem so cliched – getting a book published, becoming a best-selling author, making a living out of writing books, etc, etc.  I guess my dream would be to publish Project Remembrance someday.  And be able to send fan-fiction off to beta-readers without cringing and hoping they won’t find it too horrible.

13. If you didn’t write, what would you want to do?  Read.  That’s about the only thing I do these days, besides writing. (Oh, and eating.  Can’t forget that.)

14. Do you have a book you’d like to write one day but don’t feel you’re ready to attempt it yet?  Um…I’m not sure.  I don’t thiiiink so.

15. Which story has your heart and won’t let go?  I’m very partial to all my Combat! fan-fiction, of course, and as for ‘original’ stories, it would have to be Betrayal, which I haven’t visited in a long time, but is still very much in my thoughts.  It’s very personal to me, for several reasons, and I AM going to return to it one of these days.  Pinkie-promise.



everything is awesome! (for now)

Project Remembrance is going swimmingly (I just love that word) right now and I couldn’t be happier.  I’ve made some changes with the point of view (switching it to first person, Skye – but past tense, as first person, present is so overdone these days), general style, characters, etc., and it’s coming along well.  You really can’t imagine how good it feels to write a thousand or so words every morning and have it actually feel like I’m accomplishing something.  Fan-fiction is great and I love it dearly (and I have an entire list of fic I want to write eventually), but nothing beats working with your own stories and characters.  These past few days have seen me the most content and satisfied I’ve been for a while (as a writer, that is).

At present, there are 3,877 words in PR’s document, which doesn’t seem like a lot, but I’m happy with it.  I’ve made it a goal to write at least a thousand words every day (something I can do in an hour, and sometimes even less) and, so far, it’s going well.  Although I think I’m going to have to work on pacing, since I’m not even out of the first scene. *cough*  I will admit that I’ve been indulging my love of courtroom scenes/dramas, but I’ll be moving on when my next writing session rolls around.  There’s still a lot of plot and characterization to work though and the story will most likely change again and again and again, but I’m having fun now and the whole thing’s going very well.  So well, in fact, that I thought I’d share a snippet. (it’s been a while since I’ve done that, actually)

Rita Vern, the director of the Department, walked past without so much as a glance toward my table. Her jaw was set, her eyes directed straight ahead, and she looked like she was ready to do battle. As was I.
I didn’t recognize her lawyer, which was unusual given that I rubbed shoulders with those in the law business every single day of my life. The fact that I didn’t recognize the male lawyer meant that he was most likely near the top of the competitive chain, something that was only achieved by being one of the best of the best.
My mom might have been too hasty with setting me up in such an important case.
“When do we start?” Pette said in a whisper.
I turned away from my scrutiny of Rita Vern and her lawyer and back to Pette. “Soon,” I said. I removed my datapod from the table and started it up. Having all the details of the case in front of me wasn’t necessary, but it was better to be safe than sorry.
Though nothing was ever really, truly simple in our legal system, this case was relatively straightforward, at least on the screen. Pette Ricks was bringing a case against the Department of Records, with the charge that they slandered her daughter’s name while compiling her dead file. She wanted the dead file reclaimed, destroyed, a new one made, and – if I could manage it – certain limitations imposed against the Department to prevent that kind of thing ever happening again.
It was the last part that worried me. Since the Department was almost solely responsible for keeping the peace in our country, because of the dead files, they had the near full backing from what government we had. Taking measures against them was always tricky.
A headache was coming on, I could feel it, but I pushed it away. Not now. I couldn’t deal with it right now.


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Posted by on January 6, 2015 in project remembrance, snippets, writing


yet another update


It seems like all my blog posts on here seem to be updates about my writing and nothing actually to show for all the writing I’m supposedly doing.  Or, in this case, not doing.  I’ve really been meaning to continue editing Project Remembrance – honest! – but there have been a bunch of different distractions over the past few days and, well, I haven’t really gotten anything accomplished.  First, I was scrambling to finish up a wee bit of Combat! Christmas fan-fiction, and then my grandpa took the whole family out to brunch a couple days ago which meant that my schedule was interrupted (I write in the morning, or not at all…probably something I should work on), and I’ve also been re-reading a bunch of Jack Cavanaugh books.  Which are so good that I spend more time reading than writing.

Excuses, excuses…

But my New Year’s resolution for 2015 is write more.  Finish Project Remembrance – final draft, if I can.  And I’ll chronicle it all on this blog.


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Posted by on December 29, 2014 in fan-fiction, project remembrance, random, writing


random stuff (mainly about ‘project remembrance’)

Hallo, fellow writers!

How are the holidays coming along for you?  Have you slacked off on your writing to spend time with friends and family? (if so, I applaud you – time spent with family/friends is never wasted, in my opinion)  Have you incorporated a few sneaky pieces of Christmas-y goodness into your writing? (or written an entire piece of Christmas fan-fiction, like me?)  Even if you haven’t stopped writing yet, I want you to pause for a second, sit back, and let all that holiday atmosphere soak right through you. (in case you’re interested, I wrote an entire post about that atmosphere over on my main blog)  You’ll feel twice the energy and invigoration once you do so.  I promise.

So, about that random stuff I promised you…

Project Remembrance is going well, for the most part, but I basically wrote 35,000 words of junk during NaNo, so I’ve decided that before I write anything more, I’m going to back away and edit what I’ve got so far.  It mainly involves plot stuff and deleting scenes – whenever I got bored, I’d write a new scene from another character’s POV, and it got spoilery really quickly, so I’m dumping all those scenes in another file for later reference/use.  At the moment, I’m planning to write PR from three different POVs (alá Lynn Austin) and once I actually figure out their characters, I’ll do a post about them.  All I know about them right now is that it’s two girls and a guy and that could change too.  But I don’t really mind all that much, for two reasons.

What editing is all about… the ugly llama face... Emeperor's New Grove is my favorite humorous Disney movie... :)

Firstly, I’ve had a little practice with editing lately.  You know all those times I moaned about how much I hated editing?  Well, the funny thing is that I hadn’t actually, really, truly (ugh, someone should edit out all those adverbs) edited anything.  Oh, I had tweaked a word here and changed a sentence there, but I hadn’t done anything like re-write whole chunks and change plot points and improve characterization.  I think it was partly ‘fear of the unknown’ that had me kicking and screaming about the whole editing/revising process.  Enter Combat! fan-fiction.  And this awesome beta-reader.  See, I’d written a piece of C! fic about my favorite character and I knew it wasn’t perfect (by any stretch of the imagination) but I didn’t really know how to go about editing it.  So I sent it off to Hamlette (or ‘White Queen’, as she’s known by fellow Combat! fans) and she gave me a really great critique.  Of course, my writer’s ego took a little bruising here and there (as I’m sure every writer’s ego has during a thorough beta) but I rebounded and my story is all the better for it.  AND it should me that editing was not A Beast To Be Feared, but an essential and not-so-scary part of writing.

The Book Thief (Markus Zusak)                    Oh, my, this book broke my heart!  I loved it; I hated it!

The second reason is that I honestly think Project Remembrance could be The. Book.  The one that *gasp* actually gets published.  At first, I thought it would be the Vengeance Is Mine trilogy, but that’s going to need the biggest overhaul in the history of ever, so I really don’t think I’ll be getting to it any time soon.  Betrayal could also potentially be The One, but for now, I’m focusing on PR.  I have a really good feeling about where it could take me.



nanowrimo winner – two years in a row! (and counting)

Sooooo….I won!  Yay!  This isn’t going to really be much of a post, just a short re-cap, but I figured I’d put it up anyway.  Between bribes and just plain writing like mad on the 30th, I won NaNoWriMo.  That’s basically all it is.  Writing.  A lot.  Last year was a breeze compared to this year’s NaNo, but I still had a lot of fun this year.  Project Remembrance is going to be a lot more complicated than I’d first thought, but that’s okay.  I like complicated stories.  There’s going to be a lot of editing when I’m done (and I’m not really close to that right now), but I’ve been editing fan-fiction these past couple of days and I’ve discovered that editing and revising isn’t as bad as I thought.  Tedious, yes, and the critiques are hard to take at times, but it’s doable.  And it’s going to be something I’m going to HAVE to do, if I ever want to get published.

Anyway, my word count clocked in at the grand total of 50,370. (actually 50,012 – the NaNo word count thingies tend to add words)  Now I’m working on adding to that and finishing up PR.  It’ll take awhile, but I know I’m going to finish it.  And then edit it.  Something’s telling me that this story could be The One, which is reeeeeally exciting to think about.  And scary.  But mostly exciting.  I’ll probably churn out some fan-fiction as well, but main focus is going to be on PR. (as it should be)


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Posted by on December 7, 2014 in nanowrimo, project remembrance, writing


nanowrimo – week 4

Today’s post will be very short in comparison to the other three I’ve done for NaNoWriMo, because I’m doing a really big push today and tomorrow to get the words down and actually win the challenge.  I’ve written 2,000 words today, I’ve got 3,700 left to write to win, so once I’m finished writing this post to give you a quick update, I’ll be right back with my writing.  I think I could probably win today if I spend all my computer time writing – not sure if I’m going to be doing that, though, because breaks are great, but I should definitely get at least another thousand words in before the end of today.

I’ve been pretty good about keeping away from Pinterest, Youtube, and other distractions, and I think my word count shows that.  In fact, on Thursday I wrote for nearly two hours straight on a computer that had no Internet access and I got a LOT accomplished.  Turning off the Internet really does help, no matter how cliched the advice has gotten to be.  Another thing that really helped (and something I wish I’d thought of at the beginning of this month) is to play a movie soundtrack in its entirety (movie soundtracks are usually about an hour long apiece) and do nothing but write until the music is over.  I’ve been really enjoying the music for Kung Fu Panda, even if it doesn’t much match the theme of my book.  Check it out!

You can view, download and comment on Kung Fu Panda free hd wallpapers for your desktop backgrounds, mobile and tablet in different resolutions.

Okay, I’ll quickly share a snippet, and then it’s off to the grindstone again. (*wink*)  And I promise that when NaNo’s over, I’ll share more about the actual plot and characters in Project Remembrance.

Jonas Breen.
Skye gazed at the name on the mysterious file.
Jonas Breen.
Related to Liz Breen perhaps? Possibly. She wasn’t sure, she couldn’t be sure of anything at this point. From what she’d seen of her mom and Liz’s encounter, it had been awkward and not without some trepidation on Liz’s part. Maybe Liz’s coming had had something to do with this file. Skye somehow didn’t want that, because an agent – intern, really – coming from the Department of Records would probably want the file back, she would get mixed up in a big, tangled mess, and she hated that kind of thing.
All she wanted was to keep the file and figure out the story behind it.
And she couldn’t do that if those stuffy people from the Department of Records took it away.
Skye looked around her, almost furtively. It was the dead of night, her mom was certainly asleep – just to be sure, she’d checked about twenty minutes ago – and now it was time to open up the file and see just what exactly was in it. But there was still a part of her that wanted to wait, to savour it. There would certainly be some interesting things, and she was craving to read whatever was inside, but she also wanted to save it. Anyway, hadn’t she promised herself that she’d do things in alphabetical order? She still wasn’t done Ruth Akins or Connie Breen.
Well, maybe she’d just finish memorizing Ruth, and then jump ahead a little to Jonas Breen.
Probably not, though, since doing things out of order was something that made her uncomfortable.
After all, she hadn’t been up to the attic in quite some time and there was still that old computer sitting there, just begging to be worked on and fixed. She still wanted to fix it…didn’t she? Or had these dead files really taken over her life, the way so many people had said happened to them? They’d always said it had been in a good way, but she didn’t want anything to take over her life. She’d had everything – law school, repairing, social life – in neat little slots. Before the dead files. And now everything was messed up. ~Chapter 5


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Posted by on November 29, 2014 in nanowrimo, project remembrance, snippets, writing


nanowrimo – week 3

This week has been a study in procrastination, and yet I actually got a lot accomplished.  I have about 18,000 words left to write in eight days, which I’m not looking forward to, to say the least, but I can see some light at the end of the tunnel.  I’m up to 31,874 words right now which is whole lot more than I expected I would have at the beginning of this week.  Anyway, about the procrastination…I’ve watched animated movies (Kung Fu Panda and How To Train Your Dragon), watched Combat!, taken a gazillion Combat! screencaps, watched Combat! fanvideos, pinned a ton of stuff, and just overall did a bunch of things that are Not Writing.  And yet I have 10,000 words to show for my week of procrastination.

Don’t ask me how that happened, because I don’t know.

Anyway, I have a feeling that this coming week, the very last week of NaNoWriMo (goodness, time goes by SO fast these days), will be a ‘buckle down and get to work for real’ week.  Oh, I’ll still watch Combat!, but only in the evenings.  I’ll still pin stuff, but much less than I’ve been doing.  And every day, I’ll write until my fingers are sore.  Or something like that.  Because I really, really don’t want to lose NaNo this year, or any year.  I think it’s mainly a matter of pride – bragging rights and all that – but I also think it’s awesome to win just because I’ll have 50,000 words of story.  How cool is that? (or, in my case, 40K words of Project Remembrance and 10K words of Combat! fanfiction)  Now, at this point in the week re-cap post, I usually put a Combat! fandom picture in here, and this week, it’s going to be from The Clone Wars. (I’ll explain in the next paragraph)

I’m describing the world of Project Remembrance as ‘Clone Wars meets Matched’, and I think that pretty much sums it up.  The whole ‘record of dead people’ (and, as it later turns out, people who are still alive) is similar to the Matched trilogy (although I hope not too similar) and whenever I’m writing descriptions of places around the city where Skye lives, all I can picture in my head is the Clone Wars universe, particularly downtown Coruscant.  Plus, one of the weapons that Skye uses – a kind of stun stick – is styled after a lightsaber.  I definitely don’t agree with everything about the Star Wars universe, but there are some pretty neat things in it.

Snippet time! (and I’m thinking that after NaNo, I’ll write a blog post properly introducing all the characters and more about the plot – sounds good?)

The smell of burning bread and rice sifted up through creaking, crooked floorboards of Nia’s bedroom. For a moment, she just sat there on her bed numbly as she had been doing for nearly an hour as she pieced together memories and dredged up recollections that were a hundred times better hidden. But then she realized just what exactly she was smelling.
“Oh, no…” she whispered. Springing up from the bed, she clattered down the stairs, so differently from the usual slow and steady pace she exhibited; something drilled into her by both her mother and more recently – if you could five years ago – her aunt. Now her mother was gone and her aunt was dead and her uncle was the only one left.
And he was burning their food.
Nia stood in the doorway of the small kitchen, little more than a closet in actuality, and watched the smoke billowing up from the oven’s inside and the stove top. She grabbed a cloth from the laundry rack and gingerly moved the pot of rice to one side and took the bread from the oven. Both foods were irretrievably burnt and even she and her uncle, in their perpetually hungry state, could not stomach this degree of charred food.
What had gone wrong? Uncle Proust, despite his many faults, was usually a careful, good cook with what little food they had.
“Uncle Proust?” she called, even though the scrappy living room was only two or three steps away. Her voice held more anger than usual. Her meal at the cafeteria, something included along with scholarship, had held her over as always, but she was still hungry, always hungry and Uncle Proust had ruined whatever small meal they could have hoped to eat. So, yes, she was angry.
She left the kitchen for the living room.
There he sat, in the only chair they owned, the one he called ‘his favorite’, head set to one side, sleeping. That he had fallen asleep while the food was heating was something she had never known him to do before. And why would he, when each meal was their last until something new was found? She would receive no credits until she won a case or graduated. They relied on whatever the government cared to give to those living in the slums each month.
“Uncle Proust, wake up. The food has burned.”
She shook his shoulder and his hand fell away, a lifeless quality about the way it dropped.
“Uncle Proust?”
No response. Nia took a step back, hands pressed over her mouth, eyes wide. He was dead. He had died in this house, in this chair, while the food burned and she had known nothing of it. How could everything have continued just as normal while a man died? Nia backed up until she was pressed against the wall, her eyes never having left the still, and now very obviously dead body of Uncle Proust.
What would she do now?
Aunt was gone. Father and Mother were gone. And now Uncle. ~Chapter 4



Posted by on November 22, 2014 in nanowrimo, project remembrance, snippets, writing