Monday, November 30, 2015

Finished challenges for the Month! (almost) WOOOOO

I'm done!!!! Also, I fixed this piece. XD The hand was messed up and I was looking at it for hours and realized it in time to change my submission lol. Oh WELL.

This month has been very difficult but I accomplished almost's just the last few picture book ideas... I can do it in two hours, yeah? YES! Pullin' out the mentor books! Also spamming the blog posts on the SCBWI pages I follow. This one in particular gave me an idea. 

And for the last update, I completed the NaNoWriMo challenge with blood, sweat, tears, and lots of coffee. 

Monday, November 16, 2015

Characters are Useful to a Story Right?

Still behind! Who else is?

I'm also very behind on PiBoIdMo, but I believe I've met a breakthrough in my story and as I'm figuring out characters for Lil' Red, I'm also learning more about the characters in my PB manuscripts. Characters are the main focus for PB and Middle Grade manuscripts as the reader MUST connect with the characters to enjoy or even pay attention to what the plot is or whatever the moral is for the story. As a reader I have to connect with the characters or else even I won't pay attention to the plot, unless of course the author's writing is so fascinating that I forget about characters (usually doesn't happen.)

Speaking of characters, every character has a basic archetype. According to Carol Jung, who created the archetype concept and was amongst the other early 1900's psychologists who dug into the human psyche with dream interpretations, everyone has a handful of basic archetypes that they've fallen into. Same goes with characters in a story. However, not everyone is a cookie cutout of stereotype, even Jung didn't think this way as he says within his writings that the archetypal list is a never-ending list of personalty possibilities. This little article got me thinking of the archetypes of my characters, specifically the idea that it's not what the character does, but why the character does what they do.

Thursday, November 12, 2015

No, No, No Negative Nancy

I've reached passed 15,000 words and I'm so behind in the word count. I think what is truly destroying the creativity is the word count and the deadline. As soon as I get a deadline, I freeze up and can't get anything done!

On the plus side of NaNoWriMo, I've never  been dedicated to a story as much as I have with this one. Each time I go and write a story, my creative and non judging self disappears and out comes the critic, the negative Nancy (who've I've started calling Bethany Jones in a super annoying illustration doodle) the editor that says I should give up on writing and illustration because I'm never going to be quite good enough, not with the competition out there. What chance do I have? With this month challenge, I've been able to go past the editor and the critic. I have 15,600 words and that is more than I had about two weeks ago, I should feel accomplished!

I also finished my little red riding hood piece! That is another goal I met for the month, and maybe with the contest piece finished, I will have more room to write.

Tuesday, November 10, 2015

More Update! and a Useful Article

There was a moment today while I was at work trying to come up with a picture book idea and I said to myself, "It's really hard to think of something creative in a lab environment...wait, did I really just day that? What am I thinking! There are plenty of fun and kooky things to write about in a lab environment!" Then funny enough I grabbed a sticky note and began writing, "It was a dark and gloomy day, a dark and gloomy day for a lab assistant. It was a dark and gloomy day for a lab assistant who is an owl? It was a dark and gloomy day for an owl's lab assistant who just had to come to work and stumble around in the mud because of course it has to be thundering and lightning for this lab project to work...whatever that is."

Out of all that blabbering...I still looped around to Frankenstein. Whoops. I also like owls. Yeah it didn't go well, but that's okay! Maybe it's day will come...

I made it past 12,000 words (12,355 as of now) and if I write at least 1723 words every day this week, I will be caught up.

In the meantime, I've been wondering if I should update my cargo website as it seems pretty dead because I put a lot of my focus to writing this month, or if I should just buy my website instead. My friend in an online critique group posted this article here  about the don'ts when it comes to building your website and making it easy as possible for publishers, art directors, agents, and just pretty much anybody to navigate. Good reminder, maybe I'll work on my month.

Sunday, November 8, 2015

Made it Past 10,000 Words (and the start of a color sketch)

I made it over 10,000 words! Yippee!

I'm still very behind though, but I know I can make 50,000 by the end of the month. In the meantime,
I've started color planning the contest piece in photoshop so I can start the oil painting for it tomorrow.

I feel like I've been working on this piece forever, but it's coming along. I'm pretty sure my boyfriend Sean will be happy once I've finished this piece too. (pretty sure he's tired of me going, 'could you look at this one? What about this?' haha) 

Now for today's excerpt:

After a long, grueling math session with the ever-so-boring Mr. Perry who had a pet peeve about electronics and made everyone empty themselves of any such things on his desk to be picked up after class, next was science with Mrs. Rosas and to the misfortune of Mel, Ben was in class with her along with Greg and their friend Devon.

“Meeeeel! Sit with us!” Ben said excitedly as Mel rolled her head back to look at the ceiling.

“Oooooh they made you take your hat off” giggled Gregg as she covered her head with her arms. “Well at least your hair adds height to yah a bit, still short though.”

The classroom was by far the most interesting to look at. Environmental science was the what the class was called and many posters of animals and forests covered the walls. On the shelves looked like animal bones and some other items Mel couldn't quite see.

Mel flew passed Ben, Greg, and Devon were and sat down at a table she noticed the girl with the book on the bus sat. She was still reading then looked up and waved hi. Mel waved back and for the rest of the class time pretended to be preoccupied re-reading the handouts Mrs. Rosas gave out.

The rest of the day went by in a haze. Mel ended with Mrs. Penny’s English class where she promptly handed notes with certain parts highlighted in a color code and encouraged the class to buy color note cards and highlighters for homework and discussion classes for furthering everyone’s organization skills all the while Mel kept thinking, this is going to be a long year.

When Mel got home she found Ari, the babysitter, re-watching the Once Upon a Time episodes on netflix. “Oh hi Mel! Your mom just left and won’t be back until late tonight so I’m watching Lue.”

“Looks like you’re watching netflix” Mel said under her breath as she went straight back to her room. Louie came out of the bathroom just in time to jump scare her and rush into a bout of arguing before slamming the door to her room. She sat her hat back on the corner of her mirror and looked at her own puffy-eyed glare. Having no homework allows her fall face forward onto her bed. She looks out the window, seeing the patch of woods and considered taking another walk to her favorite spot. Lifting herself from the bed, she thought of the last time she was there and plopped her head back down, rolling on her back to stare at the old and worn out glow in the dark stars on her ceiling that somehow have stayed up there for five years, she started to wonder if her dad must have used some kind of super glue for them or something other than the putty that came with, but stopped mid thought and rolled to her side to stare at her closet door slightly ajar. Slowly blinking to a close, Mel dozed off and dreamt of trees growing towards the sky, lifting her and her bag full of stars to super glue to the universe's ceiling.

Saturday, November 7, 2015

The Weekend is My Friend

The Weekend is my Friend!

Not only does the weekend give me more time to write and illustrate without silly lab work to get in the way (just kidding, I actually do like being a QC technician) that saying is the PiBoIdMo for the day. Could I get a good story out of it? Perhaps, actually I probably could if I'm creative enough. I might draw something later if I'm not buried in NaNoWriMo word count.

I finally finished the final sketch of Lil' Red, now all I have to do is make an oil painting out of it!

I hope I finish it in time...I think I made a portfolio piece! (...finally)

Thursday, November 5, 2015

What's on the Other Side?

Bam. The title says it all. The PiBoIdMo for today is the question, "What's on the Other Side?" I don't know what's over there yet, but it's something.

Going fairly strong today, until I lost my note cards I was writing on at work and now I have to re-write almost everything I've done so far... that's okay. I know what to write now at least and I will not dwell on the fact that I'm horribly behind and I will need a full two days of nothing but writing to catch up... yeah right, like THAT will happen haha.

In the meantime, I need coffee or tea or maybe ddr exercising...or I just need to type an updated excerpt. I think I'll do that.

It didn't matter whose side she was on, Mel's butt was just tired of sulking on the bleachers, her feet aching to run around the bases. "Come oooooon!" she pounded her fists.

"We're not having a shorty like you on our team. Greg wants you though." cackled a kid named Ben.

"We don't want  her, she can't hit the ball" Greg spat on the ground, "besides," he kicked dirt over his loogie, "she's token Dog keeper watcher."

"UUUHHHH fine. Y'all can't catch him anyway. Too slow" Mel waved them off.

"Whatever" Ben said.

"Yeah, my turn to bat. No more distractions." The other kids ran out to the field, Mel threw down her red cap, determined to stomp the crap out of but she stopped, sighed, and placed the hat back on her wild haired head where it belonged. She glared over at the panting husky named Dog and growled, "You better not..." Dog stared at her, then his attention focused back on the game. 

None of the kids knew where the stray came from. He was just there one day and happened to sit on the part of the bleachers that some kid tagged with spray paint and a smirk flipped the word"God", tossing the empty can over his shoulder. But to everyone, and to Dog, it labeled the spot for any random teams' mascot. 

PING! The ball was hit over to left field, landing Greg's team a double. Dog's ears perked up, ready for the PING of a home run. The next hit earned a single. As Ben dug his cleats in the ground, pitched the ball, a strike and a base stolen for second. Dog makes a small growl and a little start."Dooooon't" Mel growls back. The batter holds a tighter grip, the pitch, and a last minute change of hold on the bat makes a bunt and another base loaded. 

"COME OOOOON RITCHIE!" yells the team from the dugout as a hefty kid makes a couple tough practice swings. 

"GET BACK! GET BACK!" yells Ben to the outfield. Ritchie swaggers up to the plate. Dog's ears perk up.  

The ready, the pitch,"STRRRRRIIKE!" the catcher yells.

"Let's go batter!" taunt the boys in the field. 

Ben turns around to them, "SHUT UP!" then turns back. 

The ready, the pitch, the perk of Dog ear, "STRRRIIKE TWO!" 

"Come on batta batta batta!" mock the boys.

"I SAID, SHUT IT!" Ben screams as he pitched a wild one that gave Richie a ball and slammed against the back fence. Ben took a deep breath, relaxed his shoulders. Ritchie taps his cleats on the plate. 

The ready, the pitch, the perk of Dog ear, the PING! "NOOOOO" . Dog tears after the little grand slam gold nugget, Mel shouting, chasing after him.

Okay, that was probably more than I intended to share but oh well! Gotta get back to writing.

OH I'm REALLY Behind Now!

Only 1000 words laid down on the page yesterday. At least the first 700 words were flowing easy, but I could not for the life of me get to 1667 words last night.

What I did manage to accomplish was another PiBoIdMo idea and I got started on the final sketch before the oil painting of lil Red.

Because I like this image so much, I make make a final piece of artwork out of it. MAYBE, and it might be a picture book haha.

As for the Lil Red piece, I need to find a better way to scan! It is pretty big, square but big. Gotta find better ways to scan this one. 

I WILL post again tonight (I didn't post last night, I blame American Horror Story ) and type up another excerpt.

OI, another day of creativity. 

Wednesday, November 4, 2015

Fourth Day (and third day) of Challenges

Yesterday I totally failed to get 1667 words in. In fact, I found myself falling asleep in the middle of writing (maybe it was the relaxing spotify piano music...or the lack of coffee) and only managed to write 624 words.

Now I have to catch up!

In the meantime, I'm going to add a bit of an excerpt from what I did write, as I found myself writing in pieces more than an actual flow of order.

Grandma Gertti, or Gertrude was what her husband referred to her when he was alive, took her time answering the knocking at the door."That better not be no solicitors soliciting at my doorstep." 

"It's us grandma, you know, your gran kids?" Mel transfixed her eyes on the simple iron door handle, waiting for it to turn as her brother squirmed on his feet. A little window above the knob blocked out by a black curtain flipped up the slightest bit and cluh-chink of unlocking pushed the door open. 

Gertti walked out with her arms spread wide, " Awww look at you two! Mel, you haven't stumbled into the back of my little cottage in a quite awhile, have you?" she chuckles and pulls the brother and sister off the rickety old porch. 

Grandma Gertti's cottage was something out of a fairytale it seemed to Mel, being one who has lived in apartments all her life. The smell of mashed potatoes, fried chicken, carrot cake and cookies seeped into the wooden floors. Photos covered the walls that told the tale Mel's father's childhood. It was those photos she's stared at for years that gave away clues as to where her unruly wild hair came from. Her father always wore a hat to hide his balding spot, so she never seen his head in full fro. 

That's all I have time to type now, it's back to the lab at work for me. I will do a PiBoIdMo update later tonight!

Monday, November 2, 2015

Over 2,238 Words and Counting

I don't think I've ever written so much in such a little time that wasn't a research paper on an artist or some sort of interesting fact. It's day two of NaNoWriMo and PiBoIdMo. So far I have over 2,238 words and counting for Lil Red and three different ideas for picture books. 
Here's an excerpt from the first draft, the hardest part to get out.
Mel tears through the woods on nights when the stars' light can't reach the forest floor, crashing through warn paths made during the day. For years she's flattened, molded the pathways to fit her own feet beating the earth. If she had been paying any attention that night, the crunch beneath her feet would let her know the floor was littered with glass bottles, taking the spots where only decaying leaves would lay. If she was paying any attention she would have heard the loud "Pooowhhrr" and a few more gun shots after that. The sound of pounding feet and angry breaths filled her ears and fueled her need to find the spot crowed with bushes, eating whatever moon light managed to get it's way past the greedy leaves.
Mel reached the bushes and crawled her way through, plopping down, blinking away furious tears. She begun pulling off bush berries and leaves, tearing them apart, tossing them in the already decaying pile beside her. Crunching of leaves forced her to stop the destruction and peek out. A plastic bag floats by like a small ghost. "Wait, I thought I heard...shouldn't he?" Mel whispers to herself and crawls back to safety.
The sun wakes Mel sleeping on a mound of torn berries and leaves. "Why is he not here?"

Sunday, November 1, 2015

The First Day of Challenge Month!

The first day is almost done ( I still have 500 words to go to reach 1,667 words but I still have four more hours...) and I have one idea for PiBoIdMo though it is just the phrase "put some pizzaz on your pepperoni pizza" that seemed to stick out today. I'm fingering that story out at the same time I'm writing Lil' Red. 

During the weekend I was sketching to try to figure out the position of Mel for the contest piece as the sketch I have, this one, 

just wasn't cutting it. So I got my cousin to pose for me on the steps of my grandparent's camper while we went to our yearly halloween camping trip. 

I figured I could try a few more poses, one being me posing in a picture to how I first imagined Mel climbing through a hole in a fence and this is the other sketch I'm looking at for reference.

I haven't done a self portrait in awhile sheesh. I'll have more updates on this and hopefully I can complete this image I've been messing with for two months now...yeah. TWO MONTHS and I only have a SKETCH. Oi.