Friday, March 30, 2012

CONduit and A-to-Z

On the sidebar of my blog right now, you'll see a poll. This is for a Salt Lake area Sci-Fi/Fantasy Convention called CONduit that takes place near the end of May. A few of my friends are planning on purchasing a table in the dealer's room. My husband is planning on showcasing Villages, and Nikki is putting together some book stuff... but... I don't know what I should bring. Should I focus on art, or my unfinished book? Or just focus on promoting this site and let people wander from there to either one? Or, bring art and book stuff and talk about my endeavors and such? I just don't know. So please, let me know what you think I should focus on.

Also, starting on April 1st, you're going to see a post every day. (I know, after saying I don't have time for that...) The point of the A to Z challenge is to write a post for every letter of the English alphabet, and to do it all in the month of April. However, like this post, they're going to be pretty short. And I will not be offended if you only read a couple of them. There will probably be a few serious posts mixed in with the others, but just so we're clear, this is a temporary thing. I'll be back to posting twice a week after April is over. :)

Thanks!

-Tsira

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

You're It!

Okay, okay, Fridge. I'm finally getting to this writing tag post.

All right. The Tag rules:
  1. You must post the rules! 
  2. Answer the questions and then create eleven new questions to ask the people you’ve tagged. 
  3. Tag seven (because it’s a magical number) people and link to them. 
  4. Let them know you’ve tagged them.
So, the first question is: What is your name?
Well, officially I'm Rachel Frost, but I've spent most of my life with a different last name. And nicknames don't seem to stick. The kids at work call me "Miss Rachel" even though I'm married (seriously, the whole miss, ms, mrs, thing needs to go. So outdated, and kind of sexist).
What is your quest?
To rule the world. Okay, so it's actually to publish a book. I'd eventually like a part-time job at a library, a career as a writer, and a full-time job as a supermom.
If you were suddenly sucked into your novel, what is the first thing you would do?
I'd try a blood pear. They're Octras's favorite. :)
Would you and your main character get along in real life?
That depends on which one it is. I'd get along with Octras just fine, I think, but I'd probably be pretty intimidated by Tsira.
Do you write a full draft before going back to edit and revise, or do you edit and revise as you go?
Both, sort of. My brain is constantly editing everything I write, scribbling out stuff I don't like. I leave the big changes I make for after the draft is finished. It kills me a little bit, because I know that the last scene doesn't match up with the next one anymore, but if I go back and fix everything, I'll never finish the book. I'll get into the problem I used to have--"So you were on Chapter 11 last time, how far are you now?" "Um... I started over. Again."
If you could completely stop the flow of time for 24 hours without getting hungry or tired, what would you do with that time?
I don't know. I'd like to say writing, but my guess is that I'd spend most of that time running and burning them calories from eating too many sweets. Yes. I just said "them calories."
If you could pick one superpower, what would it be and why?
Either flying or shape-shifting. 
Besides writing, what are your hobbies? Which do you take seriously, and which are just for fun?
Well, playing the piano, and writing my own music I consider just hobbies. But drawing/painting is a hobby that I think I could actually make some money at, if I got enough attention for it. Right now I have prints for sale at dA, but no one has bought any of them; they have like 12 views.
Do you have any pet phrases in either your writing or your real life?
I think everyone does. One of my obvious writing ones is "crunching beneath his/her feet." I also just have a lot of my own little language things I use with my family that no one else understands, like when I ask for "skiddos en weedoweed."
Do you read "kids' books" or books obviously marketed to someone outside your demographic? Do you take those books out in public, or read them in the privacy of your bedroom?
I have to read "kids' books" all the time at work. And a lot of them are actually fun to read. I recently read one about gingerbread pirates at Christmas. I also read a lot of Dr. Seuss. But novels and manga I usually just read at home.
Say you find a large supreme pizza sitting on the sidewalk, still warm in its box and perfectly intact. What is the best thing that might happen to you if you eat it? What is the worst thing that might happen if you ignore it? Remember, the pizza fairy is watching! 
I'm going to pretend you didn't just ask me that. (It works for politicians, right?) I might be tempted if it was an unopened peppermint, but the pizza fairy has nothing in her arsenal that scares me more than eating random food off the ground.
 Well, that was fun. Here's my new questions for others.
  1. Do you like cats or dogs better? Why?
  2. What kind of books do you usually read?
  3. About how long do you spend on the computer per week?
  4. If you could turn into an animal, what animal would you be and why?
  5. If you could visit any place, real or fictitious, where would it be?
  6. Do you play any video games? What are some of your favorites?
  7. What is your favorite color?
  8. How do you feel about the current state of the world where you live?
  9. I love sugar! Yes or YES!? What's your favorite treat?
  10. Who's your favorite author and why?
  11. If you've read anything from Tsirash, who's your favorite character and why?
 OKAY! So, I'm going to be fair here and tag the people who comment on my stuff. Therefore, Kelley, Juliana, Valerie, David, Jaron (yes, you who tagged me *evil laugh*), Thatcher, and Jack, you're it! (But no worries, I totally understand if you don't have time for a game of tag.)

Peace.

-Tsira

Saturday, March 24, 2012

Writing and Posting


After a few weeks of being stuck, I've finally written a somewhat decent scene--after too many attempts. And now that I'm okay with it, I've moved on. I knew what I wanted to happen, but it was from a point of view I'm still not used to, and I kept flip-flopping on the details (had the guards already seen Rael, or was she still being sneaky?). Because of that, it took a really long time to get past it. I thought about just moving on, but I felt like I had to get something down. Compared to that, the next three scenes were ridiculously easy. 

Anyway. I'm going to get back into the swing of things. I could always complain about how work drains me and stuff, but the truth is, I just need to write. Every day. I think it's definitely going to help that I'm doing the A to Z challenge in April. That will force me to write something, even if it isn't for my current project. I've already filled in a few of the blanks with topics - A for a horrible fear of mine, F for Fire Emblem (I finished Radiant Dawn last night. The final boss was ridiculous. Thank you, Fortify staff.)

On another, somewhat related note, I generally post twice a week, because that's what I like to see as a reader. I've been reading all over the place, on blogs and writing-help sites, that writers "should post something once or twice every day." I'm sorry, but I completely disagree with that. I have a lot of projects to work on (book, board game, art, video game, reading, piano, writing, etc.) as well as real-life work and social endeavors to tend to, and can only check my feeds about once a week. When I see story of her life(1)* I'll read it. When I see story of her life(6) I read the first one, and maybe the second, then mark all as read.

See, I follow a lot of you. And I love following your lives, your experiences, your writing, your advice... but as I previously mentioned, I have a lot to do. And I just can't keep up with everything. Sorry.

Well, I don't want to end on a sad thing... so... how about a snippet from that difficult scene I was talking about?

Rael sprinted. The floor was rough on her bare feet, but her shoes made too much noise. Without them she'd get much farther before she was spotted. Her body wasn't used to running this far anymore--it resisted with every step--but there was no time to catch her breath. The trial would be over quickly, if it wasn't already; Rael knew Shosu didn't have the patience for a long debate.

She paused as she reached an adjacent hallway, peering around the corner. There were three guards at the end of it, talking amongst themselves. Damn, she thought. If the guards saw her, she'd lose the only chance she'd ever have of leaving.

Rael knew only one other way to the Wolf's Den. She turned back the way she had come and took a different hallway. In a moment she was down a different hallway, and there on her left--

"Eh, princess!" Kaimar said, his eyes wide with surprise. "Finally made it out, did ya?"

Rael nodded, slipping between the bars. The other prisoners looked up from their seats, mouths beginning to form the questions she knew were coming. How? Could they escape as well? Rael's hand tightened around the tool she held. She wouldn't be able to help them, let alone explain how she'd been freed. The prisoners walked toward her, Kaimar at the head, all talking at once.

"Oh, shut up. You'll alert the guards," Rael said.

-Tsira

*Excuse me for using my own feed as an example. I didn't want to point fingers or embarrass anyone. I love you all, otherwise I wouldn't be following you! ;)

Friday, March 16, 2012

Debates

I avoid getting into debates with people as a general rule. Some members of my family are very outspoken, and there's no way to win them over to your view. I don't like conflict, so if I disagree with something someone says--be it about the president or the public school system--I tend to keep it to myself. I keep my emotions and words in check at all times.

For me, the internet is not that anonymous place where you can say whatever you want. I make a point of being fair and honest (and besides, I suck at lying). But in a way, I sometimes feel like I've denied a big part of me. I have to be so careful around certain people in real life and on the internet. I'm afraid to hit the 'like' button on political links on Facebook because I can guarantee there are would-be-my-mothers out there who frown on it. And I most certainly keep myself from posting things I'm concerned about all the time.

But there's something called writing, and it's been my best outlet since before I could read.

I can, with a set of diverse characters, explore, understand, and come to my own conclusions about every topic. There's something exciting and lovable about disagreeing with my own characters. Writers, or at least most writers, must be crazy. We have all these beloved friends of our own imaginings, and we give them terrible struggles, and watch them deal with it by themselves. We have this world all our own, the ability to create this place we think the world ought to be like, and instead we're creating dystopias and villains and wars.

My favorite character right now, Rael, is my complete opposite. "You're no fun at all," she'd tell me. "Why the hell are you so worried about telling people what you think? Who cares, really? If people are going to be mad, they'll be mad. That'll just show you who your real friends are. Save yourself the trouble and you'll be better off." I don't agree with her on pretty much anything. (Anyone who says that I've made my characters share my beliefs is lying.) It's in Rael's world, on paper, that I can host my latest debates.

And they're a lot more fun--and more productive--than real ones.

-Tsira

Monday, March 12, 2012

Healthy

"Like a song I haven't heard in years,
It brings back memories;
All the laughter, all the tears,
And all the love time sees..."

Like a wish I never decided to make,
I got nothing at all.
So I never had to ache
And so I'm standing tall.

Like a voice I never ever used
It dies without a glance.
You said that your heart was abused,
And you never got a chance.

But I've seen too many broken souls
To let mine fall apart.
I'll stand aloof, and take no blows,
And there retain my healthy heart.

 --

(Before anyone asks, this is a fictional character, not me speaking.)

-Tsira

Update: Apparently there was a problem with the feed, but it should be fixed now. Hopefully.

Friday, March 9, 2012

My Favorite Poet

Exactly one week ago, the kids in our classroom made hats and puppets, and ate cupcakes, in celebration. We read stories. We even watched a movie. All of it was in honor of a great person. As I helped kids with their work and read stories and stapled hats, I thought fondly on how much of an impact this man has had on my life. This man was Theodor Geisel.

Most of you know him as Dr. Seuss.

The first book I ever read on my own, The Foot Book, was by Dr. Seuss. His stories evoked a deep love of poetry, meter, rhythm, and rhyme in me. Since a very young age I have loved writing, and while I'm no Dr. Seuss, I like to think I'm not bad at writing poetry. His stories are fun, whimsical, and great for reading aloud.

I remember hearing, "'No, Pat, no! Don't sit on that!' ...'cause it's a captus!"

But there's more to it than just that. Dr. Seuss was very good at addressing difficult issues in simplistic ways that children could understand. Take a good look at The Sneetches and Other Stories. The Sneetches with "stars upon thars" considered better than those without? Hello, discrimination. I can't help but feel that the US Congress is like "The Zax" right now. "Too many Daves" (a favorite for my nephew, purely because of 'Oliver Boliver Butt') can be applied to regret, and thinking before acting. And in my personal favorite, "What Was I Scared Of?" the narrator discovers that the things he's afraid of may not be that scary (or that they're just as scared as him).

I mean, how can you read this and not love it?
"Then I was deep within the woods
When, suddenly, I spied them.
I saw a pair of pale green pants
With nobody inside them!"
*happy sigh*

-Tsira

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Fan Art

One day, I'm going to publish my books. Sure, I have a lot of hurdles to jump over. Sure, I've heard how I won't make a living at writing, and that I have to keep my 'second' job, a hundred-thousand times. And sure, I know that the odds of it making the bestseller list are slim. But... I have to do this. I've never wanted anything more in my life.

And you know, when it happens, there will be people who hate it, spit on it, hate me for writing it. But if I can convey the way that I feel about my stories, and my characters through my writing, there will also be someone out there who loves it.

And that's all that really matters.

I'm an artist, and I spend a lot of time looking at other people's artwork. One of the things that makes me the happiest is when I see awesome fan artwork, for a game/book/show that I know and love--it can be fun, quirky, inspiring, dark, beautiful... and when I see it from several different people on the same subject, it shows me how different our experiences, even in the same story, can be.

But until I get a story published, I'm not going to see any of that about my characters... or... maybe I can. :)

My friend Barbara drew this for me in an art trade. <3

-Tsira

Friday, March 2, 2012

Knight - Human

Sorry, guys, for my lack of posts. I spent about sixty percent of the last few nights completely awake, emptying my stomach, so yeah, I was sick again. No surprise there. (When genes were given out, I think God balanced my talents with a weak body.) I have it better than many--I mean, I don't have cancer. *crosses fingers* But between all the little things and my failure of an immune system... anyway. I won't linger on how lousy I felt any more.

Well... that apology was lame, so here! Have a picture. He's cute.


See? This is the knight, first of all the drawings I made for Dungeonball. He didn't have any hair until his digital coloring, if you can imagine that. Also... that, um, blobby red thing on his shield? If you can tell what it is you get five awesomeness points.

-Tsira