Archive for the ‘Poetry’ Category

One of Us Must Know

Wednesday, October 15th, 2014

So… That Next Page work ethic I was trying out, oh, a year ago? It didn’t work for me so well. I mean, it worked. I had four chapters of One Good #3 written before I knew it. But they were crap chapters. Choppy, disjointed, almost to the point of incoherent chapters. I ended up scrapping all four of them. No worries, though. For me, “scrapping” means putting the files into a separate folder, so I can always go back and see if there’s anything I can salvage later. And I think there will be, because writing “wrong” for so long gave me some insights into better directions the story can go, and that’s always a good thing.

But I must admit, not liking anything I wrote was a new and scary experience for me. I realized I was very rusty at my craft, and that I needed to stretch and practice. But I didn’t want to risk screwing up a book, and I didn’t want to derail any of the serials I’ve been working on for so long. Truthfully, for a while there, I was afraid to touch a keyboard at all.

Luckily, I’ve got good friends. Some of whom suggested I write for fun, with no goal in mind. It was good advice. I eased into it. Saw a few images on Tumblr that inspired me to write some flash. Mostly about merfolk which is kinda weird. You can read those extremely short fics here:

Sunrise
Hangover
Sunset

And — AND — I wrote my very first piece of fan poetry. My first piece of fan-anything. It was about “In the Flesh.” You can read it at:

In the Flesh

Please please please watch the show. It is amazing and there’s still no word on a third season. I — personally, selfishly — need a third season, so watch it and tweet/blog/tumbl (tumble? tumblr?) about it with a #SaveInTheFlesh tag and also talk to me about how great it is and your favorite parts and all of it. XD

The next step was writing something long-form. I didn’t really have any ideas, but I did have two characters, and I was curious to see how they would work together. So I gave myself permission to just start writing, with no plot in mind, no end in sight. A new serial, but one without a plan.

I wrote — AND FINISHED — a first chapter, and it was hella fun. My plan was to post it on the Evolution Forum, because that’s where I got my start writing for public consumption and it was great interacting with the readers there. I was seriously looking forward to recapturing that magic.

But, alas, the Fates conspired, and the Ev Forum shut its doors the day I was going to post. Heh.

Side note: Because I got emails suggesting I post to one of the two spinoff forums, I’m going to address that here. It comes down to the terms of service.

• Forum #1:

  • Allows people to post stories that don’t belong to them, and I’m apparently the only one freaked out by that.
  • The moderators are allowed to edit your post as they see fit, which seems…weird. I know I’m a “pro” writer and I should be used to getting my stuff edited, but that’s with my consent and with, uh, reasons.
  • Once you open an account there, you can never ever ever get it closed. I don’t even know why that freaks me out but it does. Maybe it’s the possibility that the site could fall into nefarious hands who do nefarious things with it and, just like that, I’m part of a nefarious organization. I’m paranoid, I know. But it’s part of my job description.

• Forum #2:

  • Not easily accessible by my phone or even my e-reader. I know that’s totally petty, but my computer’s so old that it’s pretty much only capable of wordprocessing at this point, so I use my phone for almost everything internet related. When I first designed my site, I designed it with a variety of screen sizes in mind, so while it’s not optimized for mobile, it’s readable on most phones. I’m currently working on the optimization part, but it’s a delicate balance because I also want people with dial-up to be able to access my site fairly quickly. This is personal for me since I have friends who still have dial-up. Anyway, my point is that if a site is impossible to read/navigate on my phone, I won’t bother.
  • The TOS states that you cannot delete a post once you’ve put it up, which essentially gives them infinite rights to that content. Non exclusive rights, sure, but many places won’t accept a story that’s already available to everyone everywhere. Let alone pay you for it. Advice to any newbie writers out there — don’t do that. Especially for free, even with stories you intend to be free forever. You might want to take it down for completely non-money releated reasons, and unless your wrote a story on commission, you should be able to do it for whatever reason you want. Also, read the Terms of Service and/or contract (even with a commission) with a fine tooth comb before handing over your story. Also, don’t mix metaphors. Also, try not to start three sentences in a row with “also.”

Those are my reasons. To the people who sent me emails regarding this, genuine thanks for trying to help. It’s just that neither of the new sites feel like home to me, you know?

Speaking of home, I didn’t know what to do for a while. I kept scratching away in my notebook. When I had three chapters, I realized I really wanted people to see them, even though I still had no idea where I was going with the story. 🙂 Then I remembered, duh, I’ve got my own site. And a blog that allows comments. If that’s not a recipe for a playground, I don’t know what is.

So now you can read the first chapter of “One of Us Must Know,” on my site at http://rowanmcbride.com/stories/serials/, and you can comment by either clicking on the link at the bottom of the chapter, or going to http://rowanmcbride.com/blog/?p=315. If you read it, please comment. I would very much like to know what you think. I’m needy like that. 😉

Oh, if you’re signed up for my newsletter, you got to read this chapter October 1st. From now on, that’ll be one of the perks of the newsletter — members get to read a new chapter on the first of the month, nonmembers still get to read the chapters, but they won’t be posted to the public until the 15th. If you’re interested, sign up for the newsletter at http://groups.yahoo.com/group/rowan_mcbride/. It’s free and very low traffic. I think my record number of posts was a whopping five in one month.

I think that’s it. I hereby present you with OoUMK (wow, no matter how many times I see it, that is one unwieldy acroynym), a story with no plot, no planned ending, not even a smidgen of a general direction. Sounds fun, right? WheeeEEEEEEeeee…eee?

Go go. Read. You don’t really have to comment. But I’d honestly love it if you did. XD

Heh. Limericks.

Tuesday, August 10th, 2010

Haven’t been online much because the fam has descended. I’m talking parents, grandparents, cousins (and their families), aunties, uncles, brothers, nephews, nieces. If they don’t drink, they shoot, if they don’t shoot, they cook, if they don’t cook, they dance, and if they don’t dance, they, uh, write, I guess. We all, without exception, play dominoes. This is the state of my life at the moment.

I totally missed the start of the Goodreads M/M Romance Group 1-year Anniversary Celebration. I would have missed the whole thing if I hadn’t received an email letting me know it was time for me to mail out a prize I’d donated. But thanks to that email I got to drop in on some of the fun. I even got to play in a limerick contest yesterday and it floored the hell out of me to find out via another somewhat random email that the little sucker made first place. I chose Lynn Lorenz‘s “Pinky Swear” as my prize, so assuming no one snapped it up before me and assuming I picked from the correct prize list, I’m looking forward to a good read.

The celebration’s still going on. Drop in and have some fun. Also, if you have a minute, pray for me.

Posting the limerick below. The prompt was “Pain.”


There once was a heart in my chest
Until you ripped it right out of my breast
Now there’s no dawn
As the pain writhes on
You stole my love *and* my death

How to Edit a Novel (if You’re Rowan McBride)

Wednesday, March 4th, 2009

Note: This blog was originally published on my MySpace blog, August 18, 2007.


Scan through all the colored notes your editor inserted into what you had erroneously thought was a clean manuscript. Try not to have flashback of insane elementary school teacher as you look at all that red.

Scroll up to beginning of file. Take deep breath. Get up to snag a glass of water.

Begin reading manuscript. As you hit first set of suggested edits, declare aloud that the editor is nuts.

Anywhere from 5 seconds to 10 minutes later, realize that—damn!—the editor is probably right.

Get through fifteen pages. Totally rewrite six different paragraphs. As you’re staring at the online thesaurus looking for yet another word for “fire,” switch screens abruptly to write a poem. Post poem on blog.

Stare at manuscript. Decide that the episode of Bleach you’ve seen two times already is more important. Switch to Cartoon Network. Drool over Ishida.

Check blog to see if it’s gotten any comments.

At around two in the morning, tell yourself that you’re doing your manuscript and yourself a favor by getting some sleep.

Repeat this ritual more or less verbatim for the next three days.

On the fourth day (around page 52) drop everything to draw a fairly decent picture of Sasuke from Naruto.

Rework three paragraphs in a row. Check DeviantArt page to see if Sasuke pic got any comments or faves.

After another ten pages, get up to snag another glass of ice water. Wonder briefly if you’re getting enough water, down that glass and refill it. As you walk by your desk, you spot your scrapbook and note that you still haven’t pasted in the reviews for Just Wait. You’ve already put them on your site, but you haven’t printed them up yet and you really should—

You shake the thought away and sit down to your manuscript.

Check blog. Check DeviantArt account. Check email. Watch Bleach.

Decide that your scrapbook is taunting you. Stay strong. Spend a good ten minutes trying to figure out which Sins belong to which characters in Full Metal Alchemist. You’ve got five of them pinned down, but which one belongs to Mustang? You wonder if you should Google it.

Realize with a start how much time has passed since you started this damned thing. Realize you’ll never get to write your uber cool royal alien rock star yaoi story if you don’t finish your revisions. Realize if you don’t finish your revisions, Paul’s Dream will never be published, and your manga addiction is gonna hurt.


Finally buckle down.

You read. You focus. You fall into a depression because your freaking novel SUCKS.

You’re too action oriented when you write. You don’t have enough internal dialogue. You don’t vary your sentence structure enough. You certainly don’t have enough emotion. And why is this section so poorly written?

Revise. Revise. Revise.

Try to teach yourself new ways to write things on the fly. Hit the halfway point in the novel. Ignore scrapbook. Skip dinner.

After reading a while, wonder why this half reads so much easier than the first half. Begin to worry.


What made me think I could ever be a writer?

Shake off doubt. Keep reading and revising. Fall in love with characters all over again. Remember that you have two sequels planned and smile.

Reach last line in manuscript. Imagine what your cover might look like. Stretch your sore muscles, then jump up to watch the Naruto hundo marathon thing on CN. Help yourself to the ice cream you bought just because one of your characters adores it.

Relax. Swear you’ll write a blog about the entire ordeal.

Eat your ice cream, and feel pretty good.

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Poetic Diversions

Wednesday, March 4th, 2009

Note: This blog was originally published on my MySpace blog, August 12, 2007.


I have been so swamped with edits lately. A very necessary part of writing, but it always takes me forever. I’d been on a wicked roll with Broken Thread when I received my final set of edits for Paul’s Dream. Had to stop. Soon to be published novel trumps new story, even if it is royal alien rock star yaoi.

Still, I’ve been having trouble focusing this weekend. Especially whenever I found myself having to rewrite a sentence–spent a lot of time staring at the thesaurus to make sure I didn’t get repetitive with my prose. There was about a twenty minute span there where I abruptly switched screens to write a poem. Nothing deep. Just something fun to make me smile.I’m posting it here, so I hope it’ll make you smile too. Let me know if it worked. Oh, and no reposting without my permission.

Thesaurus

warm
hard
pain
pleasure

deep
thrust
strain
treasure

arch
clutch
rain
rapture

hot
cold
gone
fracture

gone?
no
wait!
bastard


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