Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Very Useful Phrases For All Sorts Of Foreign Situations

Have you ever been in ancient Rome, stranded in a hovercraft full of eels, thinking, "DAMNIT! If only there were some way I could communicate my predicament to the people around me? Curse my fool self for never taking Latin!"* Well, if this has happened to you (and who hasn't this happened to?), or if you're just concerned about the prospect of getting caught in a similar situation, today is the blog post for you.

All of the following, very useful travel phrases are brought to you courtesy of the Live Journal community SF_Drama. I hope they help you as they have truly helped me.

French

  • Je suis le grande pomplemousse. I am the big grapefruit.
  • Je suis le petit lutin de papier photosynthetique! I am the little photosynthetic paper goblin!
  • J'ai manger les mauvais herbes de la mer. I ate rotten seaweed.
  • Je vais te violer avec un grand couteau. I am going to rape you with a big knife.
  • Le chat est dans le bonbons. The cat is in the candy.
  • Je suis un petit champignon heureux. I am a happy little mushroom.


Chinese

  • Wo de pigu zhao huo le. My ass is on fire.


Spanish

  • Su perro es en la tostadora. Your dog is in the toaster oven.
  • Mis pompis estan comiendo mis pantalones. My butt is eating my pants.
  • El diablo esta en mi pantalones. The devil is in my pants.
  • El gato es muy salado. The cat is very salty.


Japanese

  • Umeboshi tabetai boku wa imasugu kimi ni aitai. I want to eat pickled plums and I am longing to see you right now.
  • Samurai wa watashi no pantsu no naka ni imasu. The samuri is in my panties.
  • Saru-tachi ga toushokan no naka ni imasu. Ooi hon o tabemashita. There are monkeys in the library. They have eaten a lot of books.
  • Ohana ni narimashita. I became a flower.
  • Chinko ga haitteru kaban wo kue. Eat a bag of dicks.
  • Toshokan (w)o tabenai de kudasai. Please, do not eat the library.


Now, I take no responsibility for the accuracy of these phrases. They're just copypasta from the loveliest community on LJ. I also take no responsibility for your dumb ass if you actually use these for other than hilarious purposes. And if you get beaten up for saying something you found here, please put the footage on YouTube.

*The phrase you'd be searching for is: Mea navis aƫricumbens anguillis abundat. Don't you wish you'd taken Latin now?

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

This Has Been Bugging The Crap Out Of Me (Internet Novelist Edition)

I have recently run into, over and over again, the internet phenomenon known as the "real" novelist.

I do not know when the "real" novelist has any time to write. It seems like they are always on their LiveJournals, typing out lengthy diatribes against the most popular fiction of the time. They do not like anything. Here are their complaints:

  1. "[insert book here] is a piece of crap. My novel, written during NaNoWriMo last year, is far superior to it. I do not understand how that got published and mine didn't!"
  2. "[insert author here] is a hack who has had no formal training. I majored in creative writing in college and have read [insert astronomically long list of craft manuals here]. Why are they published and I am not?"
  3. "[insert popular fiction here] is horrible. I don't see why people want to read it!"
  4. "I have been writing my novel for two years now, and it is nowhere near the level of perfection I expect from myself. Perhaps if [insert fiction writer, or all writers of one specific genre, or all writers in general here] took more care and time with their art, [insert work of fiction writer, or the offerings of an entire genre, or all books in general here] wouldn't be such low quality."
  5. "Oh, [insert title here]? That's just fine, if you like [insert derogatory romance, science fiction/fantasy, urban fantasy comment here]. But I read "real" books."


Notice how EVERY SINGLE ONE OF THOSE COMMENTS smacks of elitist bitterness? Yeah, I did, too. But the people who make them are somehow not cognizant of how stupid they sound when they say this stuff. And they always, always, ALWAYS have a novel that they are working on, themselves.

Now, I'm not ragging on people who are trying to get published and honestly do the leg work to achieve their goal. I'm ragging on people who participated in NaNoWriMo one time and are uber-pissed that the world has yet to recognize their literary genius. For them, I have the following answers:


  1. Since this comment is inevitably made during a discussion about Stephenie Meyer's Twilight, I take now this opportunity to say, "NOW YOU KNOW HOW ALL WORKING WRITERS FEEL ABOUT HARRY FUCKING POTTER." Someone else succeeded and you haven't. It's not the end of the world, so get over yourself. Whining and being a bitter hag about it isn't going to get you published. Yeah, everyone needs to vent sometimes, but if all you're doing is venting about how much everyone else sucks in comparison to the awesomeness of yourself, you're not going to win friends and influence people.
  2. Guess what, numb nuts? You don't have to have "formal training" to be a writer. Good for you, that you've read those books and understand the theory of writing. I understand musical theory, that doesn't make me Beethoven. Theory is theory, and practice is practice. If you want to really improve your writing, put down the damn book and write something, and don't worry about making yourself out to be smarter than everyone else. Running around proclaiming your awesome intelligence only makes it look like you're tooting your own horn because no one else will.
  3. People like to read what they like to read, and reading habits do not define the worth of a person. Just because person A reads cozy mysteries and person B reads only New York Times Notable Books, that doesn't mean person B is the be all and end all of human achievement. Read what you want, and don't worry about what other people are reading, unless you're in marketing research for a major publisher.
  4. That's great, that you're working so hard on perfecting your novel. But guess what? Working writers, who have no other income but their writing, cannot afford to go years and years between releases. They have to get on a serious schedule, and that might mean handing in something less than perfect to their publisher that they have to correct during the revisions process. That doesn't meant they don't care about their "art". In fact, a working writer isn't an "artist", they're a business person. If you're committed to your work as "art", you're going to get a really rude awakening in the business. No one is going to care if your book speaks to the perfectionist in your soul. They're going to care if it makes them money. Writing is a business, plain and simple. That's not romantic, but it's the truth.
  5. You are a real tool.


This is one of those subjects that I'm so, so sensitive about. Before I was published, I worked hard to learn what I needed to learn to get my work off the ground. I learned to take criticism, and I learned that I am not the be-all-and-end-all of super important writers. I cannot understand why someone would want to scream to the hills that they are OMGZ A REAL WRITER (tm) without being knowledgeable in the slightest about the industry. Published authors are not like unicorns or leprechauns. They actually exist, and they are actually reading what people are saying on the internet. They're not hard to find, and they're usually more than willing to answer questions about what the business is like and how to break into it. Why not go to one of these people and say, "Hey, I need to know how to get my work published" or what have you, rather than just sitting in front of your computer, bitching about how you know more about writing than any published author out there, and being super bitter because a contract hasn't fallen into your lap?

Monday, June 16, 2008

Okay, Time For A Business Post...

Since I so rarely make book flog posts, and that is actually the point of keeping up a blog, or so the experts tell me, here is some awesome stuff going on:

All this week at eHarlequin.com, "Carrie" will be answering your questions about the Blood Ties series. Now, "Carrie" is going to be pretty embarrassed if no one shows up to ask her questions, so someone, for the love of all that is good and holy, GO HERE and ask "Carrie" some questions, so that "Carrie" doesn't feel like her week was wasted checking that post over and over and over again for questions to answer.

In other news, I will be venturing to the thumb side of the state on Saturday, June 21, for a signing at TLC Used Books in Deckerville, Michigan from 1pm to 4pm, and afterwards there will be a reception of some kind at Champions restaurant. Because I am nothing if not a Champion.

If you can't make it to Deckerville, but still want to party down, you can always attend the book release party that eHarlequin is throwing for book four in Second Life. That's right, all you Second Lifers can attend an awesome vampire party, in your costumed avatars, and party down to celebrate the release of book four on June 21st. I have no idea how you get an invite, though. I'd ask around the eHarlequin boards and find someone in the know.

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

It's A Great Day!

FOR OCTOPODES!

Here an octopus:


There an Octopus:


Octopus!


Octopus! Octopus!


SQUID!

Monday, June 9, 2008

Great books that destroy my life.

Do you ever have this really, really great idea, and you're like, "Oh my God, this is so original, I'm so money for thinking this up and guess what? I'm the bomb. Memo to everyone else, you suck! I rock! For all times!" And then you spend most of your RWA chapter's retreat working on your first scene, and you write the book, and it's okay, but it's like, the second book you've ever written and so there are obvious flaws? And then your publisher wants to buy it from you when you've got like, four books under your belt and you're like, "Okay, but let me clean it up first," and by clean it up you mean "Okay, but let me rewrite this, because you will set fire to my entire backlist if you read what I was writing like six years ago? And then, when you're like, inches away from finishing the arduous marathon of rewriting a book you've already written once, you read another book and it's got some of your awesome ideas in it, and you're like, SON OF A BITCH, NEIL GAIMAN! HOW YOU GONNA PLAY ME LIKE THAT? HUH? HUH? YOU A BITCH ASS PUNK, NEIL GAIMAN! and you throw the book against the wall and scare your cats?

That's what happened at my house this morning. See, I'm reading Neverwhere, which is a totally awesome book. In a nutshell, the premise is that there is an entirely different London, called London Below, existing in the spaces no longer occupied by, and sometimes on top of, the city of London, but the normal London never notices it. If they do, it's not for long. Most of the book takes place in the sewers and tube stations of London Below.

I'm currently working on a series called Lightworld/Darkworld. The premise is much different than that of Neverwhere. While there are underground cities in my series, the people in the world are fully cognizant that they are there. The underground city is referred to as The Underground by the people above, and the people below call the word upstairs The Upworld. And son of a bitch if that isn't a term Neil Gaiman already used in Neverwhere. I loved the idea of calling it Upworld. I'll have to think of something else. But I was enraged when I read that this morning.

Another thing that enraged me in reading was a certain device that I thought I'd so cleverly thought up on my own. In writing fight scenes for the Lightworld/Darkworld series, I've employed, from the main character's POV, use of the world flash, set out in italics just like that.

Flash
Something happens.
Flash
Something else happens.

I get to this point in Neverwhere this morning where he'd already used THE SAME THING to get the tension and urgency across in a scene. MOTHER FUCKER!

These are small changes, but I feel like, well, damn, I didn't think up these awesome things on my own. Or, I did, but not FIRST.

In any case, I'll stop my irrational rage at Neil Gaiman soon enough, and hopefully nothing else will pop out at me that I've somehow pre-plagiarized from a book I've never read before.

Now, I just need to get some idea faeries who aren't so fucking lazy that they just recycle stuff they read ten years ago. In the first draft of the first book of the Blood Ties series, I had a whole bit with the fact Cyrus's heart was removed. He kept it in a music box that played the tune, "I Left My Heart In San Francisco", and it was like, the key to them figuring out that he didn't have a heart in his chest, so they couldn't kill him (in the first draft, Cyrus was the Big Bad. There was no Soul Eater or anything, and it was just a one-off book). I was happily nearing the end when I settled down to watch a new episode of Angel and SURPRISE, they had a vampire that had removed his heart and they figured it out when Lorne sang "I Left My Heart In San Francisco" at karaoke. It was then that I realized that ideas are evil, evil little blobs that seek to infect as many people as possible, and you must watch your back at every turn, because they will trick you just for fun.

If you haven't already, go read Neverwhere. It's really good.