Backstreets: Reunion

If you ever wondered what happened after the events of those stories in Backstreets, don’t worry. I got you covered.


“Hey.”

Carrie froze at her locker. That voice. She wasn’t sure if she wasn’t going to hear it ever again, and now that she did, she didn’t know if it was a good thing. He wasn’t exactly himself the last time she saw him. He wasn’t much of anyone, really.

She turned back and saw Jin, standing there and looking nervous himself. She smiled, though made no attempt to get any closer to him, looking down at his long sleeves for a moment before she caught herself. “Hey,” she said. “Back already?”

“Can we just… not talk about it?” he asked. He pulled his backpack higher up on his shoulder and there didn’t appear to be anything strange with his hands. He never quite met her eyes. “Look, I hear you and Don are a thing now. Can you, I don’t know…”

“I’ll let him know you’re back,” she said. “He’s going to want to talk, though, Jin. You’ve been gone for weeks since… that thing.”

“I know. Just not yet, okay?”

Carrie nodded, though she wasn’t happy about it. “If you don’t wanna see Don, you should go. He’s meeting me here in a minute.”

Jin left down the hall, disappearing into the crowd.

backstreets

Day’s Work Part 2: Find Her Phone

Sorry for the delay! I’m hoping to do this weekly, so check back next Saturday to see what your votes got her next. And if you don’t know what this is, check out the previous post.

 


The phone would start ringing shortly, but Dawn was already moving to the corner of the room where she’d dropped her clothing from the night before. She sat down in front of it, moving everything out of the way until she picked up the skirt and reached into her pocket to pull out the small device.

Well rested or not, it still felt like a very long night and she was not properly awake until after she had her tea. With a yawn and a groan, she stretched her arms wide until she heard her back crack loudly. It was going to be a long day and she was perfectly willing to put it off just a little longer.

The phone rang in her hands. The call display showed no information, but she already knew who was on the other end. Her roommates, Di and Ezra, were already out and looking to cause trouble. They would be asking her what they should do to have the most fun today.

The day was going to be chaos even without those two, but she might be able to mitigate some of it if she talked to them first.

Find Her Phone - What Happens Next?

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Spire O’Ashes

I wrote a thing last month and decided to expand a little on it. When last we saw our protagonist, she was stuck in a cabin in the woods and couldn’t quite remember who she was.


The wifi kicked in. Apparently my reception in the middle of nowhere is fantastic. I took a quick walk around and I can’t figure out how I even have electricity, but I do. And I’m deciding not to question it.

Luckily, I have a lot of accounts logged into my laptop and, according to Facebook, my name is Spire O’Ashes. It’s the name on my Twitter and everywhere else I tried as well. I get a weird feeling about it, like that’s only technically right and I’m missing something.

Then again, what’s in a name, right?

The nice thing is that if I want to know anything about myself, I can just look through my Facebook. Every time I see a post, I start vividly hallucinating about what happened. I saw a photo of a party I was at and ended up on the roof of the house by the time I was finished remembering what happened at it. That was a great night, but I think this trip down memory lane is starting to distract me.

But I can’t post anything. It’s strange, but I can’t seem to make a single post. It says I don’t have permission and to print out a form and bring it to the central office. I’m not sure what it means by that. I’m in the middle of nowhere. I don’t know what office it’s talking about or how I’d get there.

I mean, my car is back. Or it was. It showed up again in the night last night, but it vanished again this morning. This place is so weird and I don’t know what I should be more worried about. My car going missing? The amazing internet that won’t let me post or upload anything without a form? Those weird lights I see in the woods? The feeling that something is watching me whenever I leave this cabin? The fact that my cupboards are as full as they were when I first got here despite the fact that I know I’ve eaten that entire bag of Oreos three times already?

Maybe that last one isn’t so bad.

I really should start writing. That’s why I came out here, right? I wanted to get away from it all and get that book done. And started. Where did I leave those notes? I hope I brought them. I must have brought them…

The Joys of Plotting

There’s an old question in the writing community that I think most of us have been asked at least once. Plotter or Pantser? Do you already know your story when you start writing, or do you write without a plan and let the story flow naturally and see where it goes?

Pantsers do have more fun. I was a pantser originally and there’s a thrill and joy in just barreling through a story and seeing where it goes. You have a lot more opportunity to be surprised and invested in the story because you are seeing it unfold as you write. Every twist is interesting and, sure, the editing in the end is a bit crazy, but the ride is worth it.

Or it used to be. I am a plotter now. The trouble I kept finding when I was pantsing was that I had a lot of stories that never got done. I kept getting stuck and I didn’t know what I was going to do next, so I would go to another project. I had every intent of coming back, really, but I just never did. Worse, I’d come back to it later and realize how little sense previous scenes made in the context of newer ones and the work required to bring it all into something cohesive was too daunting for me to want to go back to it.

I love having a plot to work with and knowing where my stories are going. If I know what’s going on, then I never have to stop to consider what’s come before and figure out how the next sequence of events actually fits in. The plotting process, for me, is where I get the first run of the story done. It’s where I get the story figured out before the characters come to life. It’s when I get to barrel through the story and see where it goes.

Essentially, the plotting stage is pantsing for me.

I get to see where the story goes and learn about the characters as I see what their actions are. If something doesn’t make sense, I can very easily go back and see what works and what doesn’t. Because I haven’t written it proper yet, I can change the notes and it isn’t too daunting. And while I’m going, I can throw in all the specifics of a scene to include when I get around to writing it, as well as create those scenes that I know I’ll be really excited about getting to.

I also finish a lot more now that I’ve started plotting. The first draft now feels a lot more structured and I know when it’s going to end. I don’t always know how, but if I ever get lost, I have something to fall back on, and that has made all the difference. Well, for me at least.

Day’s Work – Part 1: Waking Up

While I’m writing the next book, I’m also trying to do some work on the Choose Your Own Adventure tie in. For a little fun, I thought I’d let you guys play along a little. Here’s the first part. Tell me what you want to happen next!


 

Routine was the only thing that got her out of bed. She’d already waited until noon to finally open her eyes, but it was going to be a long day. She wanted nothing more than to crawl back under the covers and sleep until the next morning. She could already see the fire, the gnashing teeth, the inside of her cell, and the less than pleasant coworkers waiting for her once she stepped out the door.

Dawn learned quickly that the biggest problem with seeing the future was the fact that you never stopped seeing it. Every possible iteration of the day played out before her and all of them were unpleasant.

Swinging her legs off the bed, she rolled out from under the sheets and let her toes sink into the rug. She pushed the glimpses of the future away and wiped the sleep from her eyes as she made the bed. She knew precisely how awful of a day it was going to be, but the day would continue to progress whether she wanted to face it or not.

Besides, if she slept now, she would only be woken up by the phone.

Waking Up - What Happens Next?

  • Find her phone (100%, 2 Votes)
  • Put on the kettle (0%, 0 Votes)

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Syndicate: Verification

Since you asked for it, I’m going to start posting a few deleted scenes. In case anyone was wondering, yes, Dawn did have to go through an interview process when she was brought on. It was a little different from what the twins went through in Syndicate, but I think the Chief preferred it.


“So you’re the reason Nostra went and had the rest of them killed,” Gabe said, looking her over carefully. The twins brought her back along with the news about his brother in law, which already had him in a bad mood. He really didn’t need to deal with some kid who thought she could see the future right now. “Fine, prove it. What am I-”

“I do not read minds,” Dawn said. Her grey eyes were eerie as they stared back at him, he had to admit, like she was looking through him for every detail of his life. “You will ask questions, but all of them will have a means that I may have found out the answer, no matter how unlikely that means may be.”

“Then I guess you don’t see the future.”

“You do need to stop looking for information on the girl,” Dawn told him, her eyes drifting over to the metal teenager in the corner of the room. “She is safer here. When your brother comes, he will verify this.”

Gabe watched her with renewed interest at that. He could count the number of people who were even aware that he had a brother in this city on one hand. He opened his mouth to ask, to see if it was a lucky guess, but Dawn was faster.

“You last saw Dan shortly after Cheryl’s funeral. He attempted to console you and take you away from the city to help you get over it. You pushed him through your bedroom mirror and proceeded to cover every mirror in your apartment.”

Gabe let out a sound, both out of annoyance and approval. His brother was the only one who knew about that, and he wouldn’t have let word of that confrontation get out. “Fine,” he said. “You can find your own desk. I assume we aren’t going to need to show you what to do.”

“No,” she said, getting to her feet. “I am also already aware of the second task you will ask of me. They will be no further issue.”

Gabe watched her go, shaking his head. He didn’t know what she was talking about, but with any luck, she wouldn’t have to be his problem any longer.

syndicate

About That Thousand Words a Day Resolution

It’s almost the new year and it’s the time for people to start setting goals and resolutions for themselves. I have already talked about mine far too much, but there’s another one I see very often around this time of year coming from writers and people who want to get into a better writing habit.

I’m going to write 1000 words a day.

Now, this resolution is a nice idea with some great foundation. Writing every single day is a good habit and 1000 words is a very manageable goal for a day’s word count. At the end of the year, you’ll have so much stuff written! And after that, it will be easy to just keep writing that much every day because you’ll have that habit down.

On the other hand, a year is a long time and a lot of stuff can come up in that time. You get sick, your computer breaks, you get carpal tunnel. There’s days you just can’t bring yourself to get it done. Other, more important stuff comes up and you have to deal with that instead. And if you can’t get to that 1000 words for the day, it can make you feel like a failure.

I’ve seen instances where people stopped at 1000 words in the day and left the rest of it until the next day out of fear that they wouldn’t have anything for the next day’s word quota.1 As I’ve learned now that I do have that regular writing habit, stopping when you’re on a roll can make it really difficult to pick up where you left off the next day because the spark doesn’t always stay with you that long.

I’d instead propose a slight modification on the goal. Maybe instead of 1000 words a day, aim for 366,000 words for 2016.2 From there, break it down to, say, 31000 words for January, 29000 for February, and then allow for a little more flexibility. That way you can still aim for that 1000 words a day, but going over means that you will have a buffer for those days where you just can’t do any writing that day for whatever reason.

I’ve done the 1000 words a day challenge in the past and had to switch really quickly over to this methodology. My laptop died in the first month of the year and then finals took over my life a few months later. I needed to give myself a break, and so I started writing more words earlier in order to have time later for other parts of my life to have my full attention.

And I still developed a strong writing habit from it. With a lofty goal like 366,000 words, you need to pace yourself. It’s still going to be a year long challenge for most people, and 1000 words a day is a great way to get yourself into a regular habit, but maybe instead of holding yourself to a daily word count, rearrange the resolution and give yourself the chance to take a break now and then if you need it.

And, of course, if you happen to hit the goal a little early, there’s no reason you can’t increase that number a little. Find what’s good for you and go for it.

Good luck and happy new year everyone. May next year be better than the last.

  1. I have also done this. It’s just nice to know I’m not the only one. []
  2. Leap year, so don’t forget that extra day! []

Vlog: 2016 To Do List

So I’m starting to use my Youtube channel again. Starting with a vlog about that thing I’ve talked about before on here. I’m probably going to be doing all updates about that list in vlog format, so anyone who’s interested in following along, be prepared to see my face a whole lot this next year!

I’m also taking suggestions for other video content you’d like to see, so if you have any requests, leave a comment!

Liebster Award!

liebsteraward-image3

Big thanks to LeeanasCreativeBox for nominating me for this one! Definitely go check her out. So, let’s get to this!

LIEBSTER AWARD RULES:

Thank the person who nominated you and link back to their blog.
Display the Liebster Award on your blog.
Share 11 random facts about yourself.
Answer the 11 questions you were asked.
Nominate 11 bloggers with less than 200 followers for the Award and have them answer 11 questions.
Let the other bloggers know you’ve nominated them.
Copy the rules into your post.


11 RANDOM FACTS ABOUT ME:

  1. I have read Island of the Blue Dolphins about six times, but I don’t actually remember any of it.1
  2. I didn’t start really reading until one summer when I picked the biggest book I could find2 in the hopes it would take a long time to read it and then mom told me I only had a week.
  3. I didn’t start writing a lot until high school, when I got positive feedback on a short backstory I wrote for my character in a friend’s comic she was making.
  4. I made nine things for my Christmas tins this year.
  1. I am a marathoner when it comes to shows. I said I would watch Supernatural and I think I finished 7 seasons in two weeks.
  2. I have read the books for Game of Thrones and have not seen the series.
  3. I don’t have either cable or Netflix at the moment.
  4. I don’t actually live in Vancouver. It’s just the default location I give because no one outside of the Lower Mainland knows where my city is.
  5. I seriously considered moving to Ontario and starting over not long ago. Unfortunately, I blew all the money I would have used doing it on a trip out to Toronto and found out how damn expensive it is to get across the country.
  6. I have plans for a trip that would take me about a month and a half to complete and about $7,000. I don’t know if I’ll ever take it.3
  7. When I was younger, I wrote a lot of fanfiction. It is still available online because I can’t access the account.4

MY ANSWERS:

  1. What was your favourite toy when you were young?
    I had two stuffed animals that I loved. A pink teddy bear and a green bunny rabbit named Pink Bear and Bunny.
  2. Which band or musician would you recommend to the world?
    2NE1. I’m still on a KPop kick and I love these women.
  3. What is your all-time favourite TV series?
    Whose Line is it Anyway? I have a deep love of that show and it is great to get me out of a funk.
  4. If you could ban one thing in this world, what would that be?
    The question “What are you?” and all derivatives of it in the context of trying to figure out what race or ethnicity someone is, because I really hate it.
  5. You have to stay on an island Survivor-style for a whole month. You’re only allowed to take five things with you. What five things (not people) would you take.
    Tough. I think I’ll go with laptop,5 solar powered charger, a tent, a knife, and potatoes. I think I can figure out how to cook a potato on a deserted island.6
  6. Do you think there are aliens ‘out there’?
    Statistically speaking, probably. I don’t think they’re super interested in contacting humans, though, in the same way we’re not using a lot of resources to contact them.
  7. Which book do you read when you’re in a ‘there’s nothing to read’ mood?
    I usually try to read Sophie’s world again. One day, I will finish that book.
  8. Why did you start blogging?
    Originally, to post my stories up online. At least, that was the reason for my first site.
  9. Which of your posts are you most proud of?
    I don’t know if it’s on here, but I wrote a post about how writing your first draft is like running away from zombies. Always liked that one.
  10. Do people get your sense of humour?
    Not always. My references tend to be a little obscure, and not in the cool way.
  11. If you found Aladdin’s Lamp, what wish would you make?
    The final wish is always free the genie. The first would probably be for something lame like financial stability for the rest of my life. The second would be for my own magic powers.

11 QUESTIONS FOR MY NOMINEES:

  1. What is the worst movie you’ve ever seen?
  2. What is your second favourite song?
  3. What book have you reread the most times and why?
  4. What’s your zombie apocalypse plan?
  5. What’s your go to snack food?
  6. What’s your favourite fiction genre?
  7. Ebooks or print books?
  8. Do you listen to any podcasts? Which ones?
  9. Do you read any comics and which ones? Any recommendations?
  10. How addicted are you to your phone?
  11. You wake up one day with the ability to raise the dead. What do you do with this power?

MY 11 NOMINEES:

I don’t know that many people out in the blogging world just yet, so here’s a shot at 11.7

  1. Aditi Pallod
  2. Busy Bri Covered in Pink
  3. Rantings Of A Third Kind
  4. officeboredomblog
  5. 2D’sworld
  6. Yellow Wolf Enlightenment
  7. MORGAN JT BLOG
  8. A Cooking Pot and Endless Tales
  9. Bun Karyudo’s Scribblings
  10. blabberwockying!
  11. MUSINGSOFAMAPLETREE
  1. I was in elementary school, so the memory is a little hazy. []
  2. The Sword of Shannara []
  3. I don’t think there’s a job out there that will let me take that much time off []
  4. And I don’t use that email account anymore. It doesn’t exist. No, I’m not telling you where those fics are. []
  5. With a whole lot of books about surviving on an island and some writing projects to work on pre-loaded onto it []
  6. If all else fails, I will overheat the laptop and boil the thing. []
  7. And who I think are also under 200. I’m not sure where to find that number. []