Reading the End First: A Discussion on Spoilers

Posted August 19, 2013 by Lynn E. O'Connacht in Miscellaneous / 0 Comments

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Thoughts. The text 'rambling thoughts' underneath a burning lantern. For rambles, thoughts, and not-essays.

I was talking about spoilers on other people’s blogs and got a bit tangled in all I wanted to say in a “Reply to a comment” format. Spoilers are interesting things because stories are weird. Sometimes, knowing how a story will turn out significantly increases my enjoyment of it. Sometimes it doesn’t.

A good example is one of the stories I Beyond Binary which I’ve tried to word a comment on (in relation to some of the other stories in the anthology) without giving a part of the central device away. It’s not an unexpected device — in fact, it’s incredibly obvious once you start reading — but the thing that gave the story the kick it had was the fact that I had no outside corroboration of that device. It’s slowly revealed throughout the story and a great deal of my pleasure came from collecting up clues to prove it right. It’s not a mystery story, though those are another good example of stories where I do often find spoilers… not necessarily detracting from the story but changing the way I read it. If I don’t know what the mystery is, I get to guess at it and piece the clues together. If I do know what the mystery is, I read for how the characters piece it together or how the author framed it or the world-building or the characterisation or whatever else I find intriguing about the story. It’s a very different experience and a lot more like rereading. (In the case of Beyond Binary, the knowledge would have ruined the story for me because it would have taken away the one thing I connected to.)

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Monthly goals squee!

Posted August 18, 2013 by Lynn E. O'Connacht in Miscellaneous / 0 Comments

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Thoughts. The text 'rambling thoughts' underneath a burning lantern. For rambles, thoughts, and not-essays.

I know I’m a little (okay, a lot) early with mentioning my monthly goals, so this isn’t a monthly-goal post. But I just realised that I’ve met my goals already!

*SQUEE!* Although, I grant, this is partially because I abandoned one of the books. (That said, I had a private list of five, and I did read that fifth one in full.)

Writing-wise I’ve almost written double my goal. I’m actively working on two short pieces right now. I’m still going over The Passage of Pearl and it’s going to need yet another draft after this one to make sure all the sentences still flow logically into one another. (Sadness. I’m not cutting that much, but what I’m cutting has been pretty central to the structure. I anticipate rough patches.) You do not want to know how utterly happy I will be to be done with that story at last.

And I’m working on a story for a friend. I have a rough first draft, but, like most of them, I suspect it’ll be utterly changed by the time I’m done. And then I have Made to Be Broken to work on as that poor thing has been waiting on a new draft almost all year. That should take care of everything up to October. And then I have thoughts for posts in my brain that won’t coalesce into actual posts (very annoying, that).

Murgh. I Fail at time-management. I should’ve been done with at least two of those months ago. But! At least I’m writing at all and I’m making good progress at last. I’m on the right track. (This is why to-do lists and imposed-by-other-people-deadlines are awesome for me.) But, there you are, some squeefulness and some ramblings on how the writing is going.

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To-do Lists! Reflections on Week the First

Posted August 12, 2013 by Lynn E. O'Connacht in Miscellaneous / 0 Comments

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Daily Life. The text 'Lynn's Living Life' underneath the cameo silhouette of a woman. Daily life updates.

Note: This won’t be a list of stuff on the list. I haven’t yet worked back up to that one yet, but this is a discussion of to-do lists, how my first week used this format went and all such things. I’m not a stranger to to-do lists, though the past few times I’ve written them I’ve kept falling off keeping up with making them. It’s a shame because they’re actually incredibly helpful to me.

So, before I move on, I’d like to explain my history with to-do lists. I’ve always made them by the week. I used to assign items to various days, so, for example, I would spread out reading a book over three days. Then, if I decided that I wanted to read the whole book all at once, I’d shift those items to the day I read the book on and marked that they were originally from a different day. Sound complicated? It’s just the garbled explanation. Basically: I’d assign items to specific days and was flexible about when I actually did them as long as I got as many things crossed off as I could. I hope that’s better.

Eventually, I got the hang of what I could do in a day, but it all fell to the wayside gradually, certainly after I finished university. When I picked up making to-do lists again, I decided to adopt a slightly different approach from the “Do this on that day” approach I’ve never really stuck to. I take my week and go “Do this at some point during the week”. There may be fixed points, but by and large I’ve given up the pretence at decided I’ll do this item then and that item at a different time. I just lump it all into a big list of stuff to do and then shift it down to a record of the day I did it on.

Pretty simple, right? At the moment, I’m still learning quite how long I can make that weekly list. The first week’s list was a pretty good success. I finished all but two of the items on the list. I would have finished those if my Sunday hadn’t decided to go too far south. And, today, I finished up one of the two items that I had remaining. It was easily the largest item on the list, so I’m doubly happy about getting it polished off. I hope to get the last remaining item tackled tomorrow.

I’ll run out of things to do, most likely, because a lot of the items on the list are smaller and shorter items. That’s okay. I’m okay with that. A lot of the items consist of stories for me to read. I’d fallen horribly behind on them. They’re the reason I started a to-do list again. The structure helps me find cope for reading online pieces. Hopefully, once I get back into the swing of things, I’ll stay with it. The more things I try to do, the more I realise that what works best for me is a rough framework that I get to fill in for myself, with no punishments if I don’t make it and maybe, very maybe, a reward if I do just to serve as an incentive, but that one’s rare. The reward/punishment model only survives in the buying of books. (And even then I struggle to adhere strictly to the framework I’ve set out.)

That’s probably a subject for another post, though. But, yes, the first week of renewing my writing of to-do lists went well. The second week is off to a good start too and hopefully that streak will continue.

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Blog Tour: K.A. Jones

Posted August 12, 2013 by Lynn E. O'Connacht in Guest Posts / 0 Comments

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Today I’m hosting a blog tour for crowdfunded writer K.A. Jones. This is the second stop on the blog tour and is cross-posted to my DW as well. The first stop can be found at lizcommotion’s journal on DW here.

I’m still pretty new to Kayleigh’s works, but I’ve enjoyed what I’ve read so far and am happy to be able to share one of Kayleigh’s stories with you today. If you like what you read (or know someone who would) do pass it on. If, like me, you’re easily intimidated by being faced with a large amount of stories, don’t despair. It may take a few pokes, but the stories are pretty easy to navigate once you find a method that works for you.

The story Kayleigh is letting me share with you today is a perfect introduction to one of the settings. I hope you’ll enjoy it as much as I did (or preferably more)! And now… I pass this post on to Kayleigh:

Blog Tour

I’m Kayleigh, I’m a writer, and I’m trying to make my dream come true – to make a living from my writing – by crowdfunding. Three years ago I didn’t know what crowdfunding was, but I was lucky enough to find the crowdfunding community on Livejournal, where I started learning what it was possible for me to do. Since then I’ve experimented, to find what works for me, as I’ve been crowdfunding myself for the last two years (last month was my two year anniversary, which is part of the reason I wanted to do this), and, even though I’m not making much, I love it.

Since last year I’ve lived with my boyfriend of over seven years, but life never seems to give us a break. After the stress of last year, with moving and family issues, I was hoping that this year would be easier. Instead he’s dealing with some very painful medical issues that mean he can’t work, so my aims have changed. This year was going to be the year where I built up my audience, as last year I had to take an unplanned hiatus, with the aim for next year being to start getting a regular income. Now my aim for this year is to help as much as I can with both the groceries and the rent, especially as we’re coming up to a particularly difficult month, as we pay rent every four weeks.

With this aim in mind I’ve been working to make my work easy to get into, by creating the Beginner’s Guide to the Many Worlds of K. A. Jones, and making the crowdfunding side as understandable as possible, with my Crowdfunding Brochure. I do write a lot, because writing is the one thing I’ve always been good at, and it’s the only thing I’ve ever wanted to dedicate my life to – I decided I wanted to be a writer when I was six and I never changed my mind. So, if you like what you read here check me out at kajoneswriting.co.uk (my website), or I have mirrors on both LiveJournal and Dreamwidth under the name kajones_writing, and if you’d like to host your own story then email me at k_a_jones@live.co.uk or PM at either mirror journal.

The following story is from the Magi collection. I hope you enjoy it.

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Notes on a TBR pile

Posted August 10, 2013 by Lynn E. O'Connacht in Miscellaneous / 0 Comments

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Daily Life. The text 'Lynn's Living Life' underneath the cameo silhouette of a woman. Daily life updates.

When I wrote about my goals for July and August, I mentioned that it might be an interesting topic to look at my TBR pile. I want to look at how it works, what it looks like, how I tackle things, etc. I’ll try and keep things nice and organised, but don’t be surprised if it ends up as haphazard as I usually write posts. I’ll just copy over what I’d started to write there and go on from there. See where I end up.

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Reading/Watching/Gaming/Etc July 2013

Posted August 3, 2013 by Lynn E. O'Connacht in Goals / 0 Comments

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Monthly Round-up. The text 'monthly round-up' beneath a wrapped package. What I've been up to the past month.

I thought I’d try something new this month, a little round up of all the things I’ve read or watched or played and a very brief description of my thoughts. I don’t actively track what I watch (or, actually, what I play) so these may be a bit bare if, indeed, they appear at all, but it’s worth a try and it might be interesting! It might also get me talking about things a little more in a format that isn’t particularly scary. We’ll see how it goes and whether it’s worth keeping up. In the case of works I’ve posted actual reviews for, I will, of course, be linking to that instead. I also won’t be including things that I didn’t finish.

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On listening and why it is hard for me

Posted July 26, 2013 by Lynn E. O'Connacht in Miscellaneous / 0 Comments

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Thoughts. The text 'rambling thoughts' underneath a burning lantern. For rambles, thoughts, and not-essays.

I like starting posts with ‘once upon a time’. I’m not sure why and this post isn’t about speculating as to the possible reasons. (Though, if you want a hint, distancing and the way it instantly turns autobiographical notes into a story — and we all know I can’t write nonfiction well, if only because I keep on telling you — are pretty high on my list of potential influences. Anyway, that’s not what this post is about, so let’s not dwell on it too much. Suffice to say I am deviating from the pattern because it seemed like a fun thing to do to get the ramble rolling.)

What this post is about is listening and why it’s hard for me (note that: this is not a universal thing. The below is very personal and applies to me only). On DreamWidth, lizcommotion was talking about listening and boundaries. There are a lot of things I could say in response to that post and there’s a lot packed into those statements that, in nonfiction (and probably even in fiction) I’m not sure how to unpack and show everyone.

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Books that scared me when I was a child

Posted July 20, 2013 by Lynn E. O'Connacht in Miscellaneous / 0 Comments

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Daily Life. The text 'Lynn's Living Life' underneath the cameo silhouette of a woman. Daily life updates.

GalleyCat posted a brief article about the books that scared us as children a little while ago. (You can read it here) and I thought, hey, why not? It could be an interesting topic to talk about.

Unfortunately, my memory of my childhood reading is incredibly spotty and I avoided horror books as much as I possibly could. I was a scaredy-cat. Still am, comes to that. So you’d think that I wouldn’t have a whole lot of interesting answers to give to the question of what books scared me as a child.

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Anxiety, taking care of myself and writing

Posted July 17, 2013 by Lynn E. O'Connacht in Miscellaneous / 0 Comments

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Daily Life. The text 'Lynn's Living Life' underneath the cameo silhouette of a woman. Daily life updates.

Anxiety. Where do I start talking about anxiety? I suppose, in this case, I should start by talking about the anxiety that started all this. Or, rather, I should start by mentioning the reason my anxiety started all this, which sounds terribly dramatic and really, really isn’t. It’s just that a little while ago Rhian, a good friend and fellow writer, wrote a post about the rules of writing and what makes people a writer. Rhian’s post uses a set of rules that a lot more sensible, flexible and inclusive than the ones I normally see touted about. (Which, honestly, are often ablist.) Anyway, one of Rhian’s points is that taking care of yourself and safeguarding yourself is important. I wanted to elaborate on how that point manifests itself in my own life. It’s nothing that Rhian hasn’t already said, I think, except longer and more me-personal.

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