lathriel: (Default)
This past weekend Jared and I visited my oldest brother Adam and his wife Karen in Pittsburgh, PA. Unfortunately my camera battery was dead, so there are no pictures, but we had a lovely time nonetheless. They have a fantastic apartment, so spacious and simplistically decorated- also, because they’ve had to move so many times in the past few years, they’ve made sure to keep their possessions to a minimum. Plus, I got to see TinyFace, or as she might be named, Merlin, who lived with my parents for a year a while back. Anyway, it was nice to see them in the city, which was so much more alive than Buffalo it was ridiculous. Also, there was a coffee shop there that had the BEST COFFEE EVER. They knew their shit, man.

Karen plays violin in the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra, and she managed to get us free tickets for the Sunday concert which featured On the Waterfront by Leonard Bernstein and Appalachian Spring by Aaron Copeland. It was amazing. Pittsburgh is one of the top orchestras in the country, and you can tell. Holy crap can you tell.

In other news, I posted on Alchemy on Etsy for my book cover for TPaL, and got a bajillion responses. I was actually surprised with the quality and quantity of responses. I’ve narrowed it down to a few artists, including one paper sculpture artist who I am really in love with. Opinions would be greatly appreciated:

Also… I’m giving up on NaNo. Not because I can’t do it, but because I finally got to the point where the benefits are far less than the effort deserves, at least for this particular novel. I haven’t liked the story since I began, and being 8k behind now, I have no desire to rush to catch up. I know I can write novels in a month, I’ve done it for NaNo and for myself.

I struggled with this decision mostly because I am an ML, after all, and I tout the value of NaNo to one and all. But I feel, perhaps, that I’ve outgrown it. I do, after all, write novels all year long. In fact, I’m even thinking that this might be my last year as a co-municipal liaison. I have felt stifled by the responsibilities this year- like they were more of a burden than a joy. I have been busy, very busy, and the duties of an ML have made me snappish and resentful when I just want to paint, but I go to a write-in anyway, and then only 1 or 2 people show up. It never bothered me before, but I guess things change. Also, I question the wisdom of taking a month off from writing like I did this past October, because I was waiting for NaNo. I wonder if I had gone full speed ahead with my zombie story idea if it would have gone somewhere, instead of fizzling out in my notes while I waited for November.


No big deal. I’m not sad about it, and I know there are plenty of people worthy of the Co-ML position. It’s a chapter of my life that is coming to a close, and that’s good, because it means I’m beginning a new chapter. And I’m all about endings and new beginnings, hence the technicolor phoenix tattooed on my leg ;)
lathriel: (writing)
So, no one showed up to the first morning write-in for NaNoWriMo, and that makes me sad. The morning write-ins have always been my personal favorite. They have a sense of purpose and magic about them, truth perhaps... the revelation that writing is more important than sleeping in on a Saturday.

I was going to make a kick-your-but-into-gear kind of post on the forum, but instead I decided to cut and paste it here where I think less people will feel attacked. I'm not attacking. I just want people to live their dreams.


Now, I'm not a morning person by any means. But, let's face it-- we all lead very busy lives, and most of us complain, say, and believe, "I don't have any time to do the things I want to do." This is patently not true. We have the time, if we make it, but usually we prefer to use that time for something else, like sleeping or watching television, or other forms of "relaxation."

Now, before you get mad, listen: I am not a type A personality whatsoever, and I do my fair share of procrastination just like everyone else. Sometimes more, I think. But there are a lot of things we do under the guise of "deserved relaxation" that do little more than turn off our brains temporarily. Not even off, really-- more like lower their operative wavelengths so that the activity slows down enough to distract us from the world. That's not relaxation, that's a form of drug abuse.

In the long run, watching television/playing video games/sleeping in when you know you want to write a novel, or spend time with your family, or paint a picture, or need to write a thesis... that's only going to stress you out more. Because once you do use your time for something unrewarding and unhelpful, you will stress yourself out later because you "don't have time" to do those other more important things.

And hey, if they're more important, why didn't you make time for them first?

If we go to bed a little bit earlier, and wake up a little bit earlier, our lives can be drastically different. Morning is the time when most of us have nothing scheduled besides getting ready for work, or some kind of exercise. But those who exercise in the morning already know the secret to success: complete tasks that are a priority BEFORE all others.

I'm not asking you to put NaNoWriMo before all your other priorities. I'm not asking you to sacrifice your sleep or never watch your favorite tv show or to rearrange your whole schedule so that you can write a novel. I'm just saying that as humans, we are very creative and inventive, and we can come up with many interesting ways to justify not doing the things that would make us truly happy. We can paint ourselves as victims, we can exacerbate and exaggerate, and we can keep saying "yes" to every impulse that feels good in the moment and not in the long run.

Or we can remember our priorities, swallow a little bit of discomfort, and find true satisfaction in accomplishing our goals, every step of the (often very long) way.

Just sayin'.

This is an interesting article on procrastination that really threw the curtains back on some personal shortcomings of mine. And no, I don't feel bad. Now I just have a better idea of how to overcome them.
lathriel: (Default)
Sarah and I were interviewed for the excellent podcast, The Way of the Buffalo for our roles as municipal liaisons for National Novel Writing Month!

Check it out! There is a special surprise at the end for all my loyal readers of TPaL :)
lathriel: (Default)
Here comes the Taurus in me:

I'm excited about the prospect of this new job for two reasons:

1) I'm not going to be bored out of my mind wandering aimlessly around a kiosk by myself, unable to go to the bathroom until someone shows up to relieve me

2) I'm gonna be makin' cash money yo! (lol)

I've never been too obsessed with money, probably because I've always had it. I don't know how, usually from sources of support or otherwise. I don't spend a lot of money on superfluous things outside of coffee. But since I've begun a "household" so to speak, I've been interested in things like savings, investments, and budgeting.

Weird, huh?

So I'm super excited to be making almost as much as Jared at 25 hours a week ;p Imagine if I worked full time? Or not. Because I won't, as long as I don't have to, because my writing is a priority for both of us (<3).

But, if I get this new job, I'll be making more than enough for us to start paying off Jared's student loans, put some money into savings, and start a travel saving account. My dad is into stocks and mutual funds, etc., and has given us some fabulous advice, as well as a little book called The Richest Man in Babylon that has some simple rules I'm eager to begin following.

We're going to start with some "high risk" mutual funds (I put that in quotes because mutual funds are inherently kind of low risk) for the remainder of our wedding money, as well as setting aside a minimum of 10% of all income for general savings. I want to designate one of our savings accounts as the "Paradise Falls" savings (if you've seen Up you know :), and put in what we can at the end of every month after bills and ourselves are paid.

I'm geekily excited to watch our bank accounts grow!

< / end Taurean financial spew>

Also, NaNo is in less than a month now. This is my 4th year as a Municipal Liaison (I get a pin!), and Sarah's second (she get's a VERY BRIGHT T-shirt!), and Buffalo's AWESOMEST.


lathriel: (globe)
I have given up on trying to reach 50k. That's not to say I won't, but I'm not stressing over it. I can't. I was, and it was hurting me even more. If need be, I will be the example that it is okay to fail at NaNo, and I shall fail gracefully.

Some reasons behind my decision: I was not excited about the novel I'd chosen to write, and excitement, above all else, at least at the outset, is essential to ploughing through a first draft. It's all one has sometimes to make up for a lack of characters and plot. So, I've scrapped the novel, and I'm doing something experimental, which I'll discuss in a moment. Also, due to illness, stress related to finances, and my unavailable weekends (from now until Spring :) and now the addition of an editing assignment that was supposed to be done by now, but due to some bitchy underhandedness I was unable to contribute to a group project and now have to do it alone- this on top of all the other final assignments for the semester, it would be irresponsible of me and unkind of me to push myself to finish a novel, too. Not to mention, while all this is going on I feel terrible about not getting to write TPaL, and I'm afraid I'm becoming too distant from its essence. Tonight I'm going to write a few chapters in that, and then work on the new NaNo novel.

The New NaNo Novel: As you may have noticed recently, I have found my soul mate and I am madly in love. When I say soul mate, I'm not using the term lightly- there have been so many strange signs and experiences, and dreams that we've had, and sheer, undeniable intuition... I have no doubt that Jared and I have spent many lives together. So, being all twitterpated and having such a clear knowledge of some of these past lives in my brain, I'm going to write them out. It's all based on the second time we met, we were lying down, cuddling, and he looked at me and asked with all sincerety: "Where do I know you from?" I had a dream later that week that he asked me that, and I told him the story of one of our lives together. It's coming out fairly experimental- there's no over-arching plot so far, just a series of anecdotes with poetry sprinkled here and there, and it's written in first/second person with alternating narrators, signified by font change.

I'm not so much excited about this new idea as I am forcefully drawn to it. I don't know if i'll reach 50k, but that's fine. I just want to finish it in time for Jared's birthday (December 27th). It'll be the first writing gift I've ever given, but more importantly, been inspired to give.

In other news, TPaL will be published as a serial in Buffalo Tales Magazine for the next year! I signed the contract and got the check, and I almost cried. $150 dollars. I know that's really not much per issue, but it doesn't matter- I told her I'd let her publish it for free. Besides, money issues have abounded lately. All that aside, a three figure check and an official contract does so much to make a person feel like a bona fide writer, as in one whose career is in writing. I've needed a boost lately to get me back on my feet of positive thinking, and this helps. I also need to actually write every day.

Leto seems to be doing better. We found a hair ball yesterday, I'm hoping it was his and that he was just trying to get that up all this time (he's such a little guy I wouldn't be surprised if he had a hard time with it). So, all in all, things are looking up! Plus, I get to see Jared again Friday night - Sunday night, and next weekend he has Friday off, so I'll be going out there Thursday night for a 3 day weekend, and the week after that is thanksgiving, so we get 4 days together! Woo hoo!

I was feeling like such a lame-o recently for being so whiny about missing him (in my head) during the week, but I finally realized why it's okay: in life, when you grow and expand and improve, it hurts to be cut off from those things that you've become. I was happy single, in the perspective I was living... but now I have so much more, a mind-blowing gift that, until I received it, I had no idea was absolutely and already an essential part of who I am. I can't go back- you can never go back. So, yeah, it sucks that we're so far away, but that's okay, too. It's okay that we miss each other like crazy, because no matter how much we miss each other the love that we're experiencing is so much more powerful that we can't even be unhappy about it. Besides, it could be much worse- I'm so grateful that we at least have every weekend together.

Okay, I'm done for today. Maybe gonna nap before class while my laundry finishes up.
lathriel: (violin)
As usual, Artemis wakes with a start, calling out to her late twin brother whose name she no longer remembers. He died a long time ago, in her arms, when the world came to an end. She doesn’t remember how either event happened—if she ever even knew to begin with.

Cool morning light is leaking through the cracks in the shelter wall; rays of white gold lance the shadows that lay about the cavernous room, catching the dust motes that spin lazily as they dance to the nearest surface. Artemis is propped up in her cot on adrenaline and confusion, chest heaving with each greedy breath. The nightmare has already begun to fade, and as the images and themes slip from her memory her back stiffens. She supports herself with her arms, hands braced against the cot, swallowing as she glances around the shelter and remembers that she is alone. Strange how it never feels that way when she first wakes.

The sluggish signal from the ancient motion detector finally reaches its destination and the remaining fluorescent blubs flicker to life, humming and pulsing as the irregular current from the solar generator bridges the gaps between fuses and conductors. It’s a pale, sickly light that fills the room, banishing the shadows as it bounces off the white linoleum and painted concrete walls. The cots that line the wall like broad, cloth bookshelves sag from the weight of the dead, bodies that were long gone by the time Artemis discovered this sanctuary. Their stains remain, no matter how hard she scrubs, and though there is nothing in the air she still catches faint whiffs of the corpses now and then.

The shelter had failed them, once, long ago. Or perhaps its occupants had failed each other; Artemis will never know. She does not even know why the shelters were built, or what they were supposed to protect people from. This is her third shelter in as many years. She wants to keep moving, but the journey is hard, and the winters are harder.

And she does not exactly know where her destination is.

:D Excited!!!!
lathriel: (desert)
I'm stuck animating until god knows when. Meanwhile, I have a novel to finish before midnight tomorrow! WTF people, why does animating take so long?

On a side note (while I'm waiting for pain to dry), my novel is running away from me. Here was the original climax/end:

Tristan and Zelda try to kill Johnny
it doesn't work
Zelda chops down the tree of life

here's the climax/ending that my novel decided is going to happen:

Tristan and Zelda make a plan to kill Johnny
but johnny thinks Zelda has a tumor (she's actually preggers w/ Tristan's bebeh) and that's why her body's rejecting the ambrosia, so he tries to "cure her" with some alchemical medicine
Tristan busts in just in time, but...
Francis, the guy he thought he'd killed earlier, came back...
(I'm not exactly certain how I'm going to get from there to the next part)
Zelda kills the tree of life
either happily ever after, wolves ever after, or only Zelda lives... with babies

yeah i know it's not easy to follow when you're not in my head.

But I was hoping to have time to work some of it out tonight! HAH it's almost midnight, and I only have 9 effin' seconds and I need 20, minimum. Bleh. Plus I'm getting a headache. And I'm tired. And it's really hot in here. And it's making me whiny!

lathriel: (bitch)
Haha! If you google Madeline Claire Franklin my website is the VERY FIRST hit! haha! Check me out!! Sarah is the bestest best friend ever and she's hosting my files on, which you should all check out, or go straight to the Etsy shop, for fantastic little bits of magic (perfect for holiday gifts... *ahem*)!

Whew, that paragraph had a lot of links.

So, the site is "live," though I admit it's unfinished. There are several completely inactive links and as far as I know at least one typo, three title changes on one of the writing project pages, and one link to an image instead of a page (oops). I've got a lil' bit o' work to do in the media lab before the semester is out, it would seem. But, I just ordered new moo cards with my web address on them, so I wanted to get it up to replace the old one I made in class last spring.


Plus, Thursdays are magical. Did you know I was not liking my novel any more? It's true. And then I talked to Sarah about it, and just talking about it, the little bits, the funny moments, made me fall absolutely in love with it again. I realized I'd accidentally put in all this strange symbolism that made it look like I was super clever, but really, it was completely unintentional. Also, I got Sarah to write more in her NaNo novel too, so that was a victory for both of us! ;D

Tonight, of course, Sarah, Sarah Poley, Jenn, Laura and I are all going to see Twilight. Yeah, I know- haven't I been bitching about that book since I read it? But we figure it could be good because Smeyer didn't write the screenplay, and if not we can always MST3k the hell out of it, especially every time Edward tries to "dazzle" the audience. (Mmm eyecandy.) I was contemplating making a "team Alice" shirt (as opposed to "team jacob" or "team edward") to wear tonight, but I don't think anyone would get it. Maybe I'll do it anyway. For S&Gs.

And now, to storytelling!


Nov. 18th, 2008 09:32 am
lathriel: (eek)
Word count has slowed because I'm not focusing on quantity any more... it makes it more difficult to just write through blocks. Last night was a disaster, but I haven't deleted it yet. I'm going to just make a note at the beginning of the document that the HUGE info-dump in chapter 19 needs to be dispersed and re-crafted.

My sleep schedule is all messed up, and I'm oddly okay with it, physically at least. Emotionally, even though I find myself awake around 6 every morning (having gone to bed no earlier than 12:30, usually later), I want to sleep more. But I really just end up thinking about novels I'm going to write/am writing. Since I'm doing good energy-wise so far, I'm rolling with it. ;D

... okay, so I just wrote a huge rant about time and people who assume things about other people's lives (who they barely know anymore) and then I realized I would do better to send out less bitchy energy into the world. So, instead, a list of things that I am grateful for:

-Being an unblocked writer, and the amazing journey it took to get here
-Having two *finished* manuscripts
-Having so many ideas for more...
-My amazingly talented and supportive friends
-My, uh, "quirky" family ;D
-The Law of Attraction
-My fantastic apartment
-My adorable kittens!
-I'm going to spend the next semester in England!:O (my mind is still blown)
-The magic of the internet
-peach black tea and honey with cream
-my ever-evolving spirituality and sense of Self
-Obama won!!!
-The fact that I can walk ;)
-my car's heater works

I could go on and on and on... why don't you guys post a list, too? Yay! It's Gratitude Day! Different from Thanksgiving, even if it's a week before it ;p
lathriel: (eek)
An excerpt from my NaNo:

“Did you sleep at all?” I wondered. [...]

“No,” he admitted in a low whisper.

“Aren’t you tired?”

“I wanted to watch you sleep.”

“Hmm. That’s kind of creepy.”

He kissed my forehead. “I’m kind of a creep.”

“Oh. That’s right. I almost forgot.”

lathriel: (Default)
With writing! ;D

I hit 28k last night in my NaNo- that's pretty much double where I'm supposed to be. And how does she do it, you might ask? No, I do not have tons of time on my hands. No, I am no taking drugs. No, I am not refusing to delete anything. I am simply... in the groove. :D

I wrote over six thousand words AT the write-in last night! :O

And I'm PROUD of them!!? :O :O :O

Sure, it's rough draft quals, but it's a fantastic enough bunch of words (all 28,000 of them!) that I'm positive revisions will be fun and painless. I love my characters! I'm proud of the subtleties I've included! I feel innovative! I reinvented creatures of the night! GO ME!


ok. sample time! )

Yes! I love them!
lathriel: (velveteen)
I am going to make 25 either today or tomorrow morning. My new goal is not to hit 50k by the end of the month (because I'm fairly certain I will, no problem, by the end of week 2) but to finish the entire draft. I write long stories- not short; not novellas; long. Two of the three novels I've written, 50k would only be slightly more than a third of the way through. I don't see this one going quite that long, but still. If I can finish the draft by the end of the month, I will consider myself a winner this year for NaNoWriMo.

Now, before any of you get the classic November "I hate you, but not really" response going, just remember that I have been consciously working (very hard, might I add) at unblocking myself as an artist, specifically as a writer, for over four years now. I went through hell and back to get to the point I'm at now, where words are flowing fairly steadily, and with enough confidence to keep me from going back and deleting them all. And I still get stuck- I still doubt my ability. But I persevere, because I know that artists- writers especially- are absolutely insane, and have no grip on reality when it comes to their own work and how good it is.


Every moment I find myself in the middle of spilling words onto a page, happily or not, I am more grateful than you can imagine to be caught in that flow. I am grateful for NaNoWriMo, for The Artist's Way, for Sacred Thursdays, and for every kind word you have all said about my work. And I think, really, that is the key- that is why I have been so happy these past 3+ months, and so able to confront my writing: because I am literally living a life of gratitude, and through that perspective, everything looks a little bit (or a lot) like magic.

Thanks. :)
lathriel: (writing)
It's obviously a rough draft, and obviously a NaNo, but here it is.

My villain is based on Edward Cullen XD )
lathriel: (writing)
That's almost cool enough to be a tattoo...

So, I am officially having only one problem with this NaNo novel: it's in the past tense, and "The Hierophant" was written in present, so everything sounds awkward to me even when it probably shouldn't. But, aside from that, it's coming along swiftly and swimmingly!

The characters are unfolding before my eyes- the purpose and plot, too. I really went into this with three ideas: "Tristan und Isolde," werewolves, and the Midnight Estates luxury development in Clarence, NY. I am dead serious when I say writing is like magic- fiction, anyway- because I think I write the best stuff when I don't know what I'm about to write. The Universe takes the reigns, and suddenly my fingers are flying and words are spilling onto the page in glorious cadence and timber...


I'm super excited for this novel!

And for our next President!

And for Oxford!



Nov. 3rd, 2008 06:56 pm
lathriel: (writing)
I just finished my first draft of The Hierophant. I'm not happy with the way it turned out. I know, I know, it's writer psychosis, but it's happening, so there. :P

This draft is the second longest thing I've ever written: over 144,000 words. Much of it will have to be condensed, i'm sure. Or thrown out completely. Meh.

This is not a good mood to begin my NaNo in.
lathriel: (masquerade)
Hmmm. Where to begin about how amazing this holiday weekend was...

Halloween! )

NaNoWriMo Day 1 / Samhain / All Saints Day :P )

Dia de los Muertos / Writing! )

There's too much crap to do this week, and not enough time to just sit down and write. But I'll get it all done.

I'm so close to finishing another novel. Well, a draft, but still.

lathriel: (masquerade)
I'm changing Daphne's name to "Zelda," because there is no variation on "Isolde" that doesn't make you immediately think of "Isolde."

And I'm changing Seth's name to "Tristan."

See if you can tell where I'm going with this ;D

PS: Happy Halloween / Hallow's Eve / Samhain!

I'm going under the needle in less than sixteen hours :X


lathriel: (Default)
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