Monday, September 24, 2012

Borderlands 2 is fun

And in between those sessions of play, I'm stressing about my next project.

For various reasons, I want it to be a trilogy. It just fits. There's a natural flow of the plot that can be broken up into 3 large arcs.

I'm stressing over it though because I'm kind of in-between a pantster and a planner in terms of writing. If I was a pantster, I would design the world and the characters, have a loose idea of the plot, and let them run wild (like Stephen King). But my best work tends to happen when I have a clear structure in mind.

I do have a fair idea of how the trilogy will go, but I worry about what happens after I've written (and hopefully gotten a deal for) the first book and I have to do the next parts without being able to go back and fix anything from the first book. This is the biggest difference of course, between writing a series and writing a single novel (even a very large one)--you can't really fix anything that you've written into an earlier book even if you later realize that you messed up something with plot implications for the next books.

Sunday, September 2, 2012

entertainment these days

I have this thing. Anytime there's a Holocaust or WW II related movie or documentary on TV, I can't look away. I always have to watch it.

Tonight's is a cable TV showing of Sarah's Key.

There's just something instantly compelling to me about this period of history. The dehumanizing vastness of the numbers that suffered and died, and then the writer bit in the brain tries to imagine a story for them, to imagine what it was like for this person or that person in one of those black and white photos of prisoners being herded off of one of the trains...

In other bits of time-passing, I've just finished a Clash of Kings.

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Watch out on copyright

Once in a while, everyone should write a three line poem with each line being the title of a song =P Although, how would that affect the copyright? I guess you'd need permission from each songwriter? I know in collage art that any piece of art that gets incorporated requires the permission of the original artist, and in music even a few notes strung together can be the subject of a million dollar lawsuit...

Therefore, I will not post my three line poem with titles from Bowie/Queen, Pat Benatar and Sting, just in case
I was really surprised by this story
Since Roni Loren took down the picture right away, did not claim it as her own, and did not seek to profit from it, I was quite surprised that she was still liable for money. 
So, yeah. Best not post anything made of song titles =P

Sunday, August 5, 2012

The downside of computers

I haven't handwritten anything of significant length in 10,000 years. So I when I wrote a little note on a card today, my handwriting is even more ghastly than I remember.

Friday, August 3, 2012

Hobby growth

I have an interesting story about the friend from whom I bought my Windlass.

Jim and I were good friends in elementary. We had similar interests; martial arts, kung fu movies, comics, cartoons, model kits, etc. We drifted apart in high school because we went to different schools.

20 years later, we got in touch, and it's funny that our tastes have evolved in similar directions anyway. We're both more interested in Western than Asian swordsmanship at this point. Though, I dropped building models, and he went much farther.

Anyway, he's looking into taking Historical European Martial Arts (HEMA) classes in Hong Kong, possibly next year. I wonder how many sessions we'd need before we have a fair idea of starting a club here (there isn't one yet). Probably, the most difficult part would be finding a large enough space--with long swords, each practitioner needs a 12-14 foot clear circle, so if we had just a small number of members, we'd need hundreds of square feet unless only a couple practice at one time.

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

A little bit of progress

I sent in my answers for the author questionnaire the other day. Filling it out made me consider the commercial aspect of writing a bit more.

It also made me think that my life and that of my close family is much more interesting when condensed down to short paragraphs.

Friday, July 27, 2012


Huh. Going through my archives of old stuff. Just glanced at the first scene of a story that dropped into my head as a dream 5 years ago. Not too bad...

Besides thinking about stories a great deal of the time (daydreaming whenever I'm in traffic, waiting for a TV show, jogging, hitting a punching bag, etc), I do get a lot of stories that just pop up in my dreams. Mincemeat was one of them, but it's hardly the first one.

Huh. I actually could do this as a novel.

Thursday, July 26, 2012

Necro Post

I wanted to re-share this because it's such a great story, and also an important lesson for any writer.

You need to be able to move on to the next project and keep writing, no matter how much you've put into a manuscript. Marie Lu's success with Legend is the way bigger example of this, but it also applied to me. Mincemeat is my 5th completed manuscript. The 4th one was rejected by Kristin almost exactly the year before I queried her with Mincemeat.

I would have never gotten to this point if I kept on trying to fix up and polish and resubmit the first novel.

Writing Confession

The most unpleasant task that's directly part of writing for me is writing summaries. I don't mind revising/reworking, and writing itself is fun. But synopses and summaries, for some reason, are just annoying to do. I wonder why? I'm sure this is a common thing.

Work and Play

Work-wise, I'm fixing up the author questionnaire for Peter Wolverton. I'm also waiting on a more formal acknowledgement from the portrait studio that it's okay for the publisher to use the photos I had taken (I already have verbal assurance).

I have a couple of sci-fi projects ready to start after I have some feedback on which one Peter would like to see next. I've also started working on a young adult fantasy story which I'm planning to expand into a series (starts small, gets epic).

For play: I'm buying a 15th c. ring hilted long sword from a friend of mine. It's pre-sharpened so he wasn't comfortable having it in the house because of his son. I'll be mostly swinging it around in the backyard for exercise--not cutting anything with it, as I don't want to damage the blade. Don't feel sorry for my friend, he still has a lovely Oakeshott type XIV--I'd actually be more comfortable with it as the one he's selling is significantly larger, but I've wanted a sword for years, so I'll take it if he doesn't want it =)

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Geek cred

I was one of the last geeks to have not read Game of Thrones. Until this week when I finished it =)

It is indeed well done. Though, the people were not as objectionable as some reviewers made them out to be (maybe reading Empress a couple years ago increased my threshold for amoral characters... well, no, there's the Elric books, Tanith Lee's anti-heroes, quite a few more).

As of the first book, I like Tyrion and Arya the most. I dislike Sansa the most.

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

It's on my story's pitch =)



Peter Wolverton is going to be my editor for Mincemeat, a science fiction story about psychics, conspiracies and survival.

Which means it's official, and I'm cleaning up this blog and changing it around. My name is David Ramirez and I'm a writer =)

My agent is Kristin Nelson at the Nelson Literary Agency.

The new background picture is me kicking a wall at my high school. The picture is from years after high school, when my wife and I attended a reunion. My kicking the wall in frustration is one of her most striking memories of me when I was young =) And I figure, it's also a great visual metaphor for the writing process.

Monday, April 30, 2012