word vomit

I have a scene that I’m writing for AnnaBeth2 in which there is information (aside from the actual scene happenings) that I wish to convey. It’s sort of a story within the story about previous events which reveal motivation for one of my supporting character’s actions.

I don’t want to do a flashback, but I also want to keep from the infamous information dump. For the non-writerly types out there, an info dump is when an author just vomits a bit of story (usually back story) onto the page. It’s quick and relatively painless but the cost is a loss of flow.

To prevent an information dump, I did the following. I vomited in a notebook. I wrote the back story all out in basic form. No fluff. Just go. I got it all out of my system, now as I write the actual scene that will go in the book, I weave in the necessary pieces gradually.

Doing this is kind of like spilling all of the puzzle pieces out of the box so you can get a look at what you have before putting them in order.

I’m keeping what’s important and losing nonessential aspects or details that could be implied. I like it. Yes I do.

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Hey, want some free reading? Check out the fiction freebie page on this very blog!

There you shall find links to two free ebooks on Smashwords and novel excerpts on Scribd.

Other places to find me:

http://www.LeaRyan.com/

Twitter: http://twitter.com/LeaRyan1

things watched this weekend

I had flashbacks of my childhood and teenage years this weekend while watching TV. First up was Peewee’s Playhouse on Broadway. I used to watch the show when it was on and revisiting that was surreal.

Peewee was just as funny as always. My 8 year old son thought it was hilarious. There was some really, really adult humor but it was so subtle that he didn’t pick up on it. If you haven’t caught Peewee on Broadway and you used to love the TV show, you must check it out.

Also in the TV time machine weekend, VH1 was showing In Living Color reruns. That was great. I used to watch that show religiously. I walked into work this morning with the theme song stuck in my head.

On to movies.

I’m doing quickie reviews today because I have two and I don’t want to prattle on all evening.

True Grit. I actually didn’t want to see this movie. It’s a western, as you probably already know. I expected some long, drawn out drama. Boring.

True Grit wasn’t boring at all. It’s about Mattie Ross who travels to a town to have her father’s body shipped home and stays to hire a man to avenge her father’s murder. She is so no-nonsense and intelligent that her dealings with the adults around her come off funny. She runs circles around them.

She hires a man named Rooster Cogburn (Jeff Bridges), who is an alcoholic bumbler but also brilliant in his ways. Matt Damon is LaBoeuf, a Texas Ranger who also happens to be after the same man.

The three of them venture into the wilderness. For most of the trip, it’s

Mattie and Rooster. They bond and they argue and fight the bad guys.

True Grit is really entertaining. Don’t let the old-timey look deter you from watching it like I almost did. The movie is really, really good. A

Limitless

Ah, Bradley Cooper. So pretty. In this one, he is Eddie Morra, kind of a loser with an excessively dirty apartment. He claims to have a book contract but he hasn’t even written the book. His girlfriend dumps him. He’s about to get evicted from his apartment when he runs into his ex brother in law, Vernon.

Vernon hands off a mysterious pill, which Eddie ends up taking. The pill makes him freakishly intelligent. He learns fast, reads fast, and is able to use memories that were buried deep in his brain.

When it wears off, he decides he wants more, of course. He discovers he isn’t the only one after the meds. There is a whole mess of trouble for him. Some weirdo keeps following him around. A foreign man he borrowed money from decides that he likes the pills and would like some for himself. There are some rather bad side effects when the pills wear off.

But, there are blessings too. Lots of money. A shiny new job, etc.

Limitless is a roller coaster. One minute Eddie is way up, the next he’s down, then he’s way up again. This movie was also very good. There is a lot of danger in this lifestyle Eddie chooses. It also gets an A.

Two As!

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Hey, want some free reading? Check out the fiction freebie page on this very blog!

There you shall find links to two free ebooks on Smashwords and novel excerpts on Scribd.

Other places to find me:

http://www.LeaRyan.com/

Twitter: http://twitter.com/LeaRyan1

Are tablets worth the price?

I got a tablet recently. Mine is an Archos Android tablet and I love it. Seriously, it’s awesome. I can watch videos or listen to Pandora, play games, draw in a sketchbook app, look stuff up on the internet and the whole thing is so portable. It’s smaller than a spiral bound notebook.

But.

It does not replace my laptop. No way. I can’t get my Adobe Suite or Microsoft Office on there, mostly because they’re Windows programs. Even if the tablet could run the software, there isn’t enough memory and no CD drive to install it.

To anyone who might be on the fence about whether a tablet might be used in place of a computer, I can tell you that tablets are not the same. Maybe for the really light user who only wants to check email, play some app-type games or get on the facebook, it might work, but there are significant limitations.

And tablets sure as heck aren’t worth the price that the major brands are charging. Mine was like $200 something, which is a good range for what it does. I really don’t think I would pay much more than that. As I type this, the Samsung Galaxy is $500. It has 16gb of memory. For less than half that price, you can get a Toshiba netbook with a 250gb hard drive and it’s compatible with more because it runs Windows.

Of course, the netbook doesn’t have a touchscreen or apps as Android defines them, but in the end, it’s almost as portable and a lot more versatile.

I didn’t expect my tablet to do as much as my laptop. I knew what it was before I bought it. The point is that I don’t think a tablet is worth what certain brands are charging. I love my tablet. I would not pay $500 for it.

The end.

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Hey, want some free reading? Check out the fiction freebie page on this very blog!

There you shall find links to two free ebooks on Smashwords and novel excerpts on Scribd.

Other places to find me:

http://www.LeaRyan.com/

Twitter: http://twitter.com/LeaRyan1

don’t be lame, homemade butterfinger bars, random word count update

I was reading a blog yesterday. It was actually a guest post on someone else’s blog by an author who decided that Smashwords didn’t work out for his ebook distribution. His books. His decision. Whatever.

I thought some of the comments that people left were kind of rude. I can understand if people don’t agree, but when comments don’t contribute to the blog or the conversation, I think not posting them is better. Keeping thoughts inside one’s head is ok sometimes.

Anywayz. Check this out. This Momma lady has a video on her blog that shows you how to make homemade Butterfinger bars. AAAAAA!!!! spoiler: one of the ingredients is melted candy corn.

http://www.mynameismomma.com/2011/08/i-tried-homemade-butterfinger-bar.html

random annabeth 2 word count update: 40867

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Hey, want some free reading? Check out the fiction freebie page on this very blog!

There you shall find links to two free ebooks on Smashwords and novel excerpts on Scribd.

Other places to find me:

http://www.LeaRyan.com/

Twitter: http://twitter.com/LeaRyan1

book working plus fun facts

Oy, my brain is tired. There was far too much thinking today.

There is rain outside, in the distance. I just got back from signing the boy up for cub scouts and we saw it falling over the fields. I kind of wanted to take my camera out there and get a shot but at this point, that would require way too much energy.

Anyway, book working update – AnnaBeth 2 word count is at 39,456. Almost to 40, woo! Crossing those 10,000 word marks is exciting for some odd, dorky reason. I really like the story so far. I know I say that about everything I write, but hey, if I didn’t like it, I wouldn’t waste time writing it. No I would not.

There is a lot more action in the second installment. The romance element is still there, of course, but the action is definitely up a notch this time around. There is a demon involved. Not in the romance. There’s just one present in the story. She’s a girl.

Unrelated to book working updates, I have a random fact. This is from the new issue of Allure that I received in my mailbox on this day. In the 1770’s, French women used eyebrow wigs made of mouse fur.

Rodent fur. On their faces. Ew.

Bonus fun fact – sugar-free hershey’s chocolate tastes how lightning bugs smell. Yummers! Please do not injure any lightning bugs while trying to smell them. Understanding my comparison is not important enough to warrant a sacrifice of a helpless creature. Plus they’re awesome.

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Hey, want some free reading? Check out the fiction freebie page on this very blog!

There you shall find links to two free ebooks on Smashwords and novel excerpts on Scribd.

Other places to find me:

http://www.LeaRyan.com/

Twitter: http://twitter.com/LeaRyan1

movie: Sucker Punch

Ah, Sucker Punch.

Where do I begin?

The beginning of the movie finds our heroine in a bad situation. Her mother dies. Her stepfather comes after her, presumably to do something naughty to her. Drama ensues. She ends up accidentally shooting and killing someone.

Stepfather has her locked up in a super crappy mental institution. She creates a dream world in which she is in a whorehouse (they don’t actually call it that if I remember correctly. It’s more implied.) and the girls are forced to perform dances on a stage for clients. Her name in the alternate reality is Baby Doll.

In her alternate reality, the people force her to dance and when she dances, she descends into yet another place. Kind of like Inception – a dream within a dream. At this next level, she’s fighting a war against zombie soldiers and dragons and robots and such.

Complicated, no? Yes.

Sucker Punch takes a while to really get going. Visually, it is stunning. It’s gritty and the action is way over the top. The outfits are very cool.

There’s a lot of music too, with words. The characters aren’t singing but the soundtrack (which is awesome) is very present, almost like a character in itself.

Every man in the movie, save two, is an evil and/or perverted bastard. That was very noticable.

The end left a lot to be desired. Some issues are left unresolved.

I didn’t love Sucker Punch, but it does have merit as entertainment. It gets a C.

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Hey, want some free reading? Check out the fiction freebie page on this very blog!

There you shall find links to two free ebooks on Smashwords and novel excerpts on Scribd.

Other places to find me:

http://www.LeaRyan.com/

Twitter: http://twitter.com/LeaRyan1

The Ruins

The first time I saw the ruins was about 10 years ago, maybe not quite that long. My daughter was much smaller, of course. I took her to the Holliday Park in Indianapolis just to check it out. The ruins were there then, next to a run-down nature center that wasn’t open while we were there.

They sort of looked like someone’s giant, tacky lawn ornament. That was my first impression. Seeing them there in a park smack in the middle of the city threw me off, I guess.

A couple of weeks ago, I returned to Holliday Park with the boy. Before I went, I looked at the website to make sure that I got the location correct. There was information about The Ruins there. I’m going to grab a bit of their description and slap it on here.

“In the 1950s, the St. Paul Building, at 220 Broadway in New York City, was torn down to make way for a modern skyscraper. Karl Bitter, one of the outstanding architectural sculptors of the late 19th century, had designed the facade of the original building, including three massive statues made of Indiana limestone called “the Races of Man.” To find a new home for the sculptures, the building’s owner, the Western Electric Company, held a competition among U.S. cities, which were required to submit plans for their display and preservation. Indianapolis proposed to place them in Holliday Park, which was then an arboretum, and the city was ultimately awarded the highly prized sculptures, valued at the time at $150,000.

Elmer Taflinger, who provided the sketches for the proposed structure, was chosen to carry out the design. He worked to complete the project over the next 20 years.”

Since I was last there, the park people had torn down the old crappy nature center and built a beautiful, new nature center in a different spot in the park. The Ruins now stand alone in a field, which is a much better situation. They don’t look like tacky lawn ornaments anymore.

Photo number one is The Ruins from the front. The second is the view from the back. It’s pretty overgrown with weeds in the middle but still looks kind of cool. The third picture is a creepy statue. She had a sheep sans head on the opposite side.

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Hey, want some free reading? Check out the fiction freebie page on this very blog!

There you shall find links to two free ebooks on Smashwords and novel excerpts on Scribd.

Other places to find me:

http://www.LeaRyan.com/

Twitter: http://twitter.com/LeaRyan1