Posts Tagged ‘luddite challenge’

My ArtSnacks Came! And Thoughts on Handwriting

As I mentioned last week, I signed up for a subscription box called ArtSnacks, which sends you some art supplies (and a snack) every month. Art supplies are horrible and addicting, so here we are.

Anyway. My plan is to try it out for a few months and see how I feel about things. And I got my first box on Friday, which was smaller than I expected (dunno why I expected otherwise, it’s just pens and stuff) and contained a jaw breaker as the snack for the month.

(Jaw breakers! My archnemesis. I hate actually sucking on candy but you must.)

They have an #artsnackschallenge each month, where you’re supposed to create art using all of (and only) what you got for the month, so this is mine:

(The blue is hard to see on the picture, but it’s on the inner and outer edges of the petals.)

I noticed that some other people got different colors, which is interesting to me, because some of the other art boxes I considered sent the same colors to everyone, sort of as a theme each month.

Quick thoughts on the supplies sent:

Kuretake-ZIG Cambio Tambien Brush Pen
This is the yellow-orange marker looking thing. I like it–the paint? ink? flows really nice and it creates a great, even color.

Uni-POSCA PCF-350 Brush Tip Paint Marker
This is the green one. I find it kind of intimidating, honestly. (Also, I misread the directions and got paint on my carpet, which was hard to get out.) It’s pretty thick. Do like the color, though.

Faber-Castell Polychromos Colored Pencil
This is the NICEST color pencil. Pretty color, too. Wonder if I could make a whole picture with just it? Probably. Things to practice.

Sakura Pigma Micron Pen
Let me tell you how many of these pens I own. At least ten. I love them a lot; I use them whenever I’m working with ink. This is their 03 size, which is my favorite, because it’s not too thin and not too thick.

Initial thoughts? The brush pen/markers are not something I would have picked up on my own, so they’re the best things out of the box, because it lets me experiment with new mediums. The colored pencil is really great, since I tend to color with pencils, since I feel like I have more control with them than other methods I’ve tried. And, well, I didn’t need another micron pen but I can’t really be sad about it.

So I’m up for another month at least!

And now, on to the Luddite challenge. If you recall, this is a yearlong challenge I signed up for at the beginning of the year, where you handwrite a story instead of your usual methods. I signed up for 10 pages, which I am now past.

I’m working on a long novella/short novel-length story which is a sequel to a story that was published in an anthology six years ago.

And, to be honest, I don’t know that I like writing a longer work by hand. I feel like it’s hard to tell where I am and how quickly I need to be hitting my plot points, which is making me anxious.

It’s also slower. It takes me, oh, twenty minutes to handwrite a page, which is maybe 250 words. Probably less. I’m not really keeping track because ugh, but when I typed up the first seven and a half pages, it only ended up being about 1200 words.

Now that I’ve hit my goal for the challenge, I’m seriously considering switching over to typing the rest of the story. It kind of feels like cheating, but it also feels like I’m not getting anywhere as is.

Not to say that handwriting is bad! There’s ton of good reasons to handwrite–you’re somewhere without a computer, you’ve got some nasty writer’s block (I find switching mediums can really help), you’re writing something short or trying out a scene that may or may not make it into the final story. Lots more.

Things to consider. But not necessarily now. I’ve got to finish my changeling story. I’m doing a tag challenge this month where one person writes a logline, the next writes an outline, and the third writes the story. I’ve been given a contemp story with no speculative elements, which should be interesting, if uncomfortably out of my wheel house. And I’ve got to do Nano prep and the normal education activities for the month.

But I am glad I gave the challenge a go. Always good to try new things!

Tried anything new that was fun and/or interesting lately, squiders?

I Have Made a Decision

Good news, squiders, I have made a decision about which story to use for the Luddite challenge.

(Also, How to Submit and Publish is now live! Hooray! Success! And I finished the presentations for my next SkillShare class, so I just need to record the videos.)

(I’m getting a ton of new students over at SkillShare. I assume it’s because everyone is bored and learning new things due to being stuck at home, but it’s cool all the same.)

Anyway! Last week we talked about the Luddite Challenge and how I’d picked out two potential stories, yet neither of them was working.

(The Luddite Challenge, as a refresher, is where you handwrite a story instead of using your normal technology.)

I poked both stories some more and even discussed them with a friend, but they still weren’t working. (One was planned out but I wasn’t feeling it, and the other had so many potential ways the story could go that I couldn’t pin down an actual story.)

So I gave up on both of them. Another time, I guess.

I poked around in my Google Drive, where I have several stories in various stages of planning, as well as lists of premises that could be stories if I poked at them, etc. And I found one!

So, way back in 2014, Turtleduck Press put out an anthology called Under Her Protection. The idea was to write fantasy stories where the girl saved the guy rather than vice versa. My story for the anthology, Drifting, is a fairy tale-esque story about a girl who goes through a portal, like many in her family before her, in an attempt to rescue a prince.

Under Her Protection cover

When the anthology was coming together, the editor asked me to expand the ending a bit–just a few sentences–but I ran into an issue. When I tried to expand, instead of getting a few sentences, I got a whole novel.

(Not, like, specifics. But sometimes an idea will blossom and I can see the general shape of it and how long it will take to form into said shape. A little annoying because they don’t generally come with enough information to start writing.)

So the ending stayed put, I wrote down some notes about a potential sequel novel, and then I went off on my merry way.

I’d honestly forgotten about it, though it is on my massive list of novel ideas that I glance at before each Nano (normally before choosing something completely different), but when I found it again, it clicked.

I re-read the original story, wrote down some notes and a very vague outline, and started writing.

So far so good. And it feels great to get back to a story I’d always meant to write.

Fingers crossed.

How are you doing? Anything coming together for you?

Luddite Challenge

Man, squiders. I was doing better. I remembered Tuesday! But then I forgot Thursday completely, so here we are.

Sometime soon, I will be able to remember what day of the week it is. I promise.

So, over at WriYe, they’ve got a year-long challenge going called the Luddite Challenge (luddite, n., 1. a person opposed to new technology or ways of working). In this case, the idea is that you write a story by hand rather than using whatever technology you normally use to write.

Much like writing books (this month’s is bird by bird, by Anne Lamott), I have been accumulating notebooks. I buy them because they are pretty, or have a nice saying on the front, or look like they’re from medieval times, and then I never use them because they have to be saved for something special, and then I end up using cheap old college-ruled notebooks for my writing stuff.

It’s ridiculous. I am aware it’s ridiculous. So I signed up for the Luddite Challenge at the beginning of the year, figuring I could use up one of my notebooks and it would be a good way to get some writing done while the small, mobile ones were home for the summer.

(Little did I know that they would be home two months early. Ha!)

Anyway, because the small, mobile ones ARE home, and because it is hard to get working time without over-utilizing screens (and also the laptop that I normally write on is on the fritz and needs to be reformatted), I’ve decided to start on the challenge a little early.

(Here’s the notebook I chose. It was a Christmas present from my mother-in-law some years ago. I think it’s out of Museum Replicas or someplace like that.)

This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is IMG_20200417_151817806.jpg

(I can’t ever remember which way the clasps go. Whoops.)

Now the question is: what story do I write in it?

I’d like it to be a new story. I’ve got two I’m pondering: a fantasy romance novella that I’ve outlined that was originally going to be a TDP serial (and may yet be–I ended up not writing it at the time because there were too many serials already in works by other people); and a premise I’ve been sitting on for probably fifteen years that goes by “Maze Story.”

The problem with the maze story is that it has a ton of potential, and hence a ton of directions it could go in. I’m not even sure what age range I should be aiming for.

Of course, I am by no means limited to just these two ideas. I’ve got a ton lined up, after all, and maybe it’ll be best to poke them all and see what gels into something with, you know, characters and plot.

Not really what I planned for the year, but, hey, interesting times call for us all to be flexible.

How are you, squiders?