Archive for the 'writing' Category

Crawling into a Chrysalis

Smug Puppies is on hiatus for a time while I work on personal writing projects and develop interesting new directions for my blog — and my life. I’m still online in short form on twitter and facebook, and I’ll be writing publicly again soon. Enjoy my friends’ and fellow UCF members’ blogs linked on the right.

Posted on Friday, April 15th, 2011 by Jeri
Under: writing | Comments Off

Back to School

I’ve long said I’d go back to school for my graduate degree only when I found a program I was passionate about.

I’ve found it. ;)

University of Hertfordshire in the UK will be offering an MA in Vampire Literature, beginning this fall. I’m not quite sure where Hertfordshire is, what the entrance requirements are, or how much it would cost, but I’m checking student visa requirements now.

On top of that, from April 16-17, the University of Hertforshire will host a two day conference entitled “Open Graves, Open Minds: Vampires and the Undead in Modern Culture”. Apparently some of the awesome papers presented at the conference sessions will be used in the graduate program:

  • Gothic Charm School, or How Vampires Learned to Sparkle

  • “Vegetarian” Vampires: Morality of the Anti-Villain in Selected Vampire Novels
  • Fundamentalism, Hybridity and the Vampire body: Postmodern Vampirism and the Presidency of George W. Bush

If you were attending the conference, what paper would you want to concoct and present?

Via i09, the blog I wish I wrote.

Posted on Thursday, April 8th, 2010 by Jeri
Under: education, writing | 6 Comments »

Godwin’s Law: Twitter Edition

Today we have a guest post by my youngest and snarkiest, Zach. He says:

ride_with_hitlerI have come to this realization…

Many years ago Hitler was on the verge of defeat. Rather than accepting death, he created Twitter. It was only an idea to be carried through the generations, but ideas are strong. This particular idea was the embodiment of Hitler’s malevolence. And so every tweet feeds the Hitler-y apocalypse. Be strong, be focused, do not tweet.

And to fight this dread evil…FACEBOOK QUIZZES. You see, Facebook quizzes were made to summon forth Anduril, Flame of the West, the blade reforged from the shards of Narsil, Sauron’s bane. And so, with every Facebook quiz taken, we are one step closer to having the weapon to finally defeat Hitler.

So I ask of you, take Facebook quizzes so that I may wield Anduril, Flame of the West.

Also, it is a dang sexy blade.

Posted on Monday, January 11th, 2010 by Jeri
Under: writing | 5 Comments »

Burn Before Reading

nano_09_winner_100x100My NaNoWriMo magnum opus is done. Thank god. Well, the story is not done, but I’ve reached 50,892 words and I’m stopping. I call it Burn Before Reading. That’s not it’s real title – working name is Flood System, actually. It’s more a statement of its dubious quality.

First sentence:

Paul Fernandez held his breath and signed the papers, once, twice, a dozen times.

Last sentence:

Somewhere, perhaps, he heard her. She sat in silence with his body, but there was no longer anyone there.

I feel a tremendous sense of relief; this was a really tough slog this year. I’m looking forward to really relaxing, reading, playing and enjoying the holidays with friends and family.

Posted on Sunday, November 29th, 2009 by Jeri
Under: writing | 2 Comments »

Writing Can Be Painful

This is the third year I’ve participated in the writing madness that is NaNoWriMo, producing a 50,000 word novel in the month of November.

The first year, 2007, was easy, and I was relatively proud of my story, Strange Things. I wrapped it up at around 60,000 words at the end of the month.

The second year, I challenged myself, shooting for a longer book, and wrote my unfinished 86,000 word volcano novel during November. I wrote myself into a plot structure I disliked, and couldn’t finish it, but far surpassed the minimum required word count so it counted as a ‘win’ for NaNoWriMo purposes.

I am embarrassed to admit that I did not go back and rework either novel. The first is very salvageable, and the second is a good core idea but needs lots of work.

This year, I hesitated to commit to NaNoWriMo. Since losing Bryan I’ve been plagued with a nasty case of ADD, an inability to focus for any length of time or at any depth. Still, I miss writing, and miss expending creative energy, so I chose to take the plunge.

It has been a painful exercise. Writing has been like pulling teeth, the book just hasn’t caught fire for me. Combined with that, it’s been an incredibly busy month with business travel and weekend commitments, and I’ve been exhausted enough I’ve skipped a few days and just gone to bed early.

I’m still here, still writing away. I’m about 5,000 words behind my target word count but catching up slowly; Thanksgiving weekend should be a really productive time. I’m battling my internal perfectionist, hard, as well as a continued lack of real engagement with my characters and my story.

I’ve had incredible encouragement and great support from friends – you know who you are. Thank you, from the bottom of my heart. And I’ve gotten great advice about relaxing and making the writing process fun.

So, I’m killing characters. Writing sex scenes. Inserting random flashbacks. Adding gratuitous action. The story’s getting a bit fragmented, but the writing process is becoming more fun.

This year, so far, has been a real learning process about overcommitment and the creative process. I think, at the end of the month, the hard-won victory will be that much more meaningful.

Posted on Saturday, November 21st, 2009 by Jeri
Under: writing | 5 Comments »