Monthly Archives: January 2009
Are you a plotter or a pantster? I’ve always thought myself a pantster, unable to plot. I try and I freeze up. Recently I’ve decided to try and plot in slow doses. I’ve tried the index card method of writing out major points, and rearranging them but my problem with that is that I often don’t know what those key points are. I write as things come to me… as those voices that all writers hear deems me worthy of knowing the next scene. It’d be easy to put random points together and say that’s it, but it’s another to write true to the story and true to the characters.
I will admit I’ve tried the whiteboard method and although that has worked somewhat in the past for brainstorming, it’s not a preferred method. Often times, ideas will come to me out of the blue, whether I’m on the bus or just drifting off in thought. I don’t have a method and I often wonder if I ought to try and figure one out because it can get frustrating at times waiting for characters to be comfortable enough to unveil a scene of events. And when you have characters who suddenly go shy on you, you’ll often spend days on end in silence… with writer’s block right on its heels.
A bit ago, I thought about tarot cards and how they could help a writer by the flip of a card… to tell the story’s path. I’ve often wondered if this would be feasible, if it would even be possible. Surely not everything would fall into place at the simple spread of the cards, but I must admit I am curious. Almost curious to try but just haven’t gotten around to it yet. In this article, it talks about setting up the card spread to either describe the character (which I’m a bit eh about. I like the chars to speak to me themselves about who they are and what they look like, etc) or using the cards to define plot hooks which I’m much more interested in.
Each card you place here represents at least one plot hook the game master (GM) can make use of (in an RPG) or that can be turned into a side plot or complication (in fiction). In the former case, make sure that you leave enough wiggle-room that the GM can use the plot hooks when and where he sees fit, adapting them to suit his material. Keep them short and flexible. In the latter case, make sure you adapt them to mesh seamlessly with your primary plot material so the added complication or plot doesn’t look tacked on.
But I was wondering, what do you find useful? Would you or have you tried plotting with the help of tarot cards?
1. It is estimated that on an average day, the human brain produces 70,000 thoughts.
2. An Aspirin tablet is 40 percent more effective if taken with a cup of hot chocolate rather than a glass of water.
3. Do you ever talk to yourself while you think? Research suggests that many people do and that it’s a good indicator of intelligence. When you talk to yourself out loud, you actually teach yourself things.
4. Everyone’s brain starts out as female. The brain of a male becomes masculinized by testosterone.
5. More electrical impulses are generated in one day by a single human brain than by all the telephones in the world.
6. The ant has the largest brain in proportion to its size. Humans aren’t even close.
7. Salami contains three times as much PEA (the mood-lifting chemical produced by the brain when you fall in love) as chocolate.
8. A cooked potato can jump-start your brain when you’re feeling foggy.
9. It is thought that a yawn works to send more oxygen to the brain, therefore working to cool it down and wake it up.
10. Anomia is the technical word for tip-of-the-tongue syndrome when you can almost remember a word, but it just won’t quite come to you.
11. A world champion memorizer, Ben Pridmore memorized 96 historical events in 5 minutes and memorized a single, shuffled deck of cards in 26.28 seconds.
12. Aristotle mistakenly thought that the functions of the brain actually took place in the heart.
13. It has been estimated that thinking for an hour burns about one fifteenth of a gram of fat.
“The brain is a wonderful organ. It starts working the moment you get up in the morning and doesn’t stop until you get to the office.”– Robert Frost
“Oh Goddess ” by Gwen Hayes
Length: Short Story
Publication Date: January 27, 2009
Cover art by Tuesday Dube
Born to protect women’s hearts, her own beats longingly for a mortal. Oops…
Ondina, one thousand years a goddess, doesn’t think much of mortal men. Probably because her sole purpose in life is to protect the hearts of women who don’t want to fall in love. And now one of those blasted men—Jack—has shattered her sacred chalice, trapping her in a mortal body.
Jackson Nichols, on the partner track at his law firm, is the first to admit he always follows his head. Never his heart. Dina is infuriating, messy, condescending, sexy, beautiful and…well, just about everything that doesn’t fit into his meticulously planned life.
Neither expects to find many redeeming qualities in the other. But when push comes to love, which will Dina choose? Her newly human heart…or one thousand years of duty?
*All author and editor proceeds from the sale of Oh Goddess will be donated to the Coalition for Pulmonary Fibrosis. You can find out more about the foundation at www.coalitionforpf.org.
Warning: Recent studies show that consuming beverages while reading this story can cause damage to computer monitors, clothing, and sometimes nearby walls. Reader agrees to hold both Samhain Publishing Ltd. and Gwen Hayes harmless in case of accidental spewing caused by laughter.
Also found at bakingbites.com. These were a big hit when I brought them for the work potluck. They are especially good when still warm and the chocolate is all melted. It’s just yum… the classic s’more without having to be around a bonfire to achieve it. Although, it’s not as fun to make, I mean, who wouldn’t want to sit around a huge fire, melting marshmallows on a stick while telling tales and sharing laughter? No matter what, great recipe.
S’More Cookie Bars
1/2 cup butter, room temperature
1/4 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup sugar
1 large egg
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 1/3 cups all purpose flour
3/4 cup graham cracker crumbs*
1 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
2 king-sized milk chocolate bars (e.g. Hershey’s)
1 1/2 cups marshmallow creme/fluff (not melted marshmallows)
Preheat oven to 350°F. Grease an 8-inch square baking pan.
In a large bowl, cream together butter and sugar until light. Beat in egg and vanilla.
In a small bowl, whisk together flour, graham cracker crumbs, baking powder and salt. Add to butter mixture and mix at a low speed until combined. Divide dough in half and press half of dough into an even layer on the bottom of the prepared pan.
Place chocolate bars over dough. 2 king-sized Hershey’s bars should fit perfectly side by side, but break the chocolate (if necessary) to get it to fit in a single layer no more than 1/4 inch thick.
Spread chocolate with marshmallow creme or fluff.
Place remaining dough in a single layer on top of the fluff (most easily achieved by flattening the dough into small shingles and laying them together).
Bake for 30 to 35 minutes, until lightly browned.
Cool completely before cutting into bars
Makes 16 cookie bars.
*Note: 3/4 cup crumbs is approx 7 full-sized graham cracker sheets, whizzed in the food processor until fine.
In the fifth century BC, ancient Greeks sold snow cones mixed with honey and fruit in the markets of Athens. Persians, having mastered the storage of ice, ate ice cream well into summer. Roman emperor Nero had ice brought from the mountains and combined with fruit toppings. Ever since then, ice cream has become a favourite to many. There are many combinations I’d try… but these… are some that I would never touch. *shudder*
2. Raw Horseflesh
4. Pit Viper
6. Cypress tree
7. Squid gut
8. Squid ink
9. Ox Tongue
11. Shark Fin Noodle
13. Lettuce and Potato
These were found here. I think I’ll stick with my cookie dough ice cream.
div align=”center”>Gypsy Afterglow is out now!!
Brynn Parker was warned to stay away from the gypsies from her first summer in Spain. Ever since then, her curiosity has piqued her interest in a certain young Gitano. As she grows into a woman, her illicit involvement with Marco Kaldera becomes more intimate until she must return to her home country. Years later, through a mutual friend, a funeral and Marco’s fame, Brynn works to earn his forgiveness and convince him to love her once again. But…he belongs with the gypsies. Can the sacrifices they must endure to be together bond them forever?