Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Every Ending is a Beginning

image (c) Jason George (

The end of the year is upon us.  This causes us to look backward over the past year, or years, and look to the future.  Many of us analyze goals and set new ones.  While this marks the end of the year, it also marks the start of a new year and this cyclical nature of life, where every ending is at the same time a beginning isn't just about the turn of the year.  The same is true for the ending of a novel.  It might be the end as far as the reader is concerned, but for the characters, it is just the start of a new chapter in their lives.  Now their next steps down their life journey might not be as exciting or dramatic as what they have just encountered, but it is a beginning in its own right.  Of course, if you are interested in writing a series, like I am, you know that it's a beginning because you've got another book floating around in your head, but even if you don't have another novel in store for your cast of characters, they do have lives to lead and other adventure to pursue and once the series is done, unless your main charector has died, they have a lot more living left to do.  Besides, even if the main charector has died the other charectors have a life left to muddle through and readers need to sense this continuity and continuation of these characters in order to leave your story wanting more (which in turn will make them want to buy your next book or leave the novel floating around in their heads)

Now to pull that back to life--goals.  It's a bit easier for me this year as I'm working my way through my 101 goals in 1001 days.  I know that I need to reassess some of the work related goals and I always intended to cut my list of 105 down to 101 like it is suppose to be, but I'll probably wait to do that until Spring after I've thought a bit more about my career goals (aka if I want to try for an MBA or not).

The end of the year also marks my anniversary (three years today).  It's hard to believe that time has flown so fast!  Tonight we are going out to dinner, which should be fun.  We aren't exchanging presents as it is so close to Christmas.   I got lots of very nice things from my wonderful hubby and family.  Although I think my favorite Christmas Present was taking my nieces and nephew to the arcade and book store, which was their present, technically, but it was lots of fun for Pete and me too :)  They are such good little kids and very thankful and good listeners.  Such a joy to be with.

And back to writing :), Do you have any thoughts about the continuity of characters' life novels past the last page?  Any authors that you feel did it particularly well?

Monday, December 21, 2009

Holidays in Writing

The post title might be misleading. I don't mean how the holidays affect your writing or about taking a break from writing, but how holidays appear in your writing. Every culture has special days and different ways to celebrate those days. From a fantasy standpoint these days could be very different in underlying premise, but all cultures gather with those they love for their holidays. There are rituals involving food that we eat and drinks that we drink and games that we play. These days are something that every human has participated in throughout his or her life. These days are soaked in memories both good and bad. Some people lost a loved one around the holidays and forever after a bittersweet flavor penetrates. Often holidays bring back memories and can be a good way to naturally bring up little snippits of background. Often holidays are filled with tension between family members. Also, seeing our friends interact with their families gives us another dimension and understanding to them, in the same way this is true about seeing our characters interact with their families. How are they similar to those who raised them? How are they different?

If you are a fantasy writer like I am then you have the chore of developing something new and distinct to the world that you have created. The reward is a deeper feeling of reality that your readers will have. If you are not writing fantasy then in some ways you have a more difficult job. You have to be true to the cultural identity of your character and the holidays because someone, somewhere will read your inaccuracies and will get ticked off.

Are there any books that you have read that incorporate holidays to some extent (without being all about the holidays)? What difference do you feel this made to the story?

Sunday, December 20, 2009

What I did over my Fall "Blogging Vacation"

Hello everyone out in blog-land! How I have missed reading your blogs and posting about my writing journey! I've been so involved and engrossed in classes plus work that I've had no time to do anything else. Well, that is not completely true. I have managed to work on some of my 1001 things to do. So, I figured that my first post back would be about all of the things that I have been working on. Most notably, and the main reason for not blogging......I finally gradated!

#38 Graduate from college! Not only did I graduate, but I also managed to get As in both my sr level math classes! I'd say not to brag, but in this case I do want to! :)

#51 Put up a place for Skittles to enjoy that is just for her. I got her a little heat reflecting pad and put it on the counter above the fridge.

#52 Decorate main room. We installed a new backsplash and put up a clock on the blank wall. We still have to seal and buff the backsplash so I'll post pics after we've done that.

#53 Refinance condo. This was a super big pain because of the economy, but we finally were able to do it!

#55 Out from PMI. We ended up going with a 15 year FHA mortgage and then didn't have to get monthly PMI.

#58 Get a financial adviser. We are going to use our insurance guy, but first before we can really leverage him we have to save up our emergency fund, which is number 57 anyways :)

#74 Swim with dolphins. We did this in Cabo over Thanksgiving weekend.

#77 ATV somewhere. We did this in Cabo as well.

#104 Do something with a friend they have never done before. My friend Rob who I met while doing study abroad in Australia came to visit and it was his first time in America. So showing him around counts :) That and I fed him homemade chocolate chip cookies. Oh, and he is going to make sure my beta readership is international :)

For the amount of time that this covers I've not done too much, but school took a lot out of me. Also, with the changes at work some of my professional goals have shifted so I might need to make new goals for some of those.

Anyhoo, now that I have completed school I have time to blog and to write! Yey! :)

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