The official blog of author Jean Marie Bauhaus

Tag: links

Let’s try this again – corrected link to Echoes in the Dark

I borked the link to Echoes in the Dark, my monthly newsletter that has more or less morphed into my new blog, in my last post. Here’s the correct link.

And in case that doesn’t work, you can find it here: jeanmariebauhaus.substack.com

Happy Halloween! Here are some link treats.

Happy Halloween!

It’s finally here! I still need to clean up our front walk and string up a giant yarn spider web on the front porch before popping out to pick up some last minute ingredients for Matt’s Halloween menu. Then it’ll be time to slaughter some pumpkins and kick off our festivities. Here’s wishing everyone a fun and safe Halloween. Here are some links to help you while away the hours until sundown.

And before I forget, congratulations to the winners of our Midnight Snacks/Dead Ends giveaway, which officially closed for entries last night. It turns out everyone who entered is a winner! You’ll be receiving notification and your free books soon, so watch your e-mail!

Now for the links…

  • I’ve been working a ghost-blogging gig for the Libib book app blog for a couple of months now, and my last several posts there have been Halloween-themed, including some last-minute costume ideas for book nerds and some of the nation’s most haunted libraries. Check them out!
  • Lex Wahl’s Anything Ghost podcast is always a special Halloween treat. He has a ton of real-life ghost stories and spooky encounters to share this year, so you’ll need to carve out a few hours to hear them all.
  • If you’re in more of a hurry to be scared, this short horror film, Lights Out, is completely terrifying and under three minutes.
  • Finally, this Horror Movie Kid Daycare video from College Humor is definitely worth a few minutes of your time (and an excellent antidote if the above video left you too petrified to get on with your day).

 

Links: What’s Steampunk, Sleepy Hollow preview, and more

I didn’t get all of my freelance work done before the weekend, so I’m having to work today. It’s mostly my own fault for not managing my time as well as I could have, but then again this was a pretty hectic week that involved more errands and more reasons to leave the house than usual (including a second trip to Bixby to pick up Pete’s meds from the vet because she didn’t have them stocked when we were there on Wednesday. Let me tell you, that is quite a long way to drive for such a simple errand), so I’ll go ahead and cut myself some slack.

The plan is to get this last article written before lunch, then I’ll be free the rest of the weekend. Except I also have a couple of short things I need to write for a Fiverr client by Monday evening. I’m still dithering on whether to buckle down and get those done today so I can take Labor Day off, or just wait and do them Monday so I can enjoy most of my Saturday. Considering that “enjoying” my Saturday involves laundry and vacuuming the house, I’ll probably hold off on the extra work until Monday.

Also on today’s agenda: trimming my unruly hair (still debating whether to give myself straight bangs or keep them longish and side swept, even though I usually regret straight bangs because they never lay down like I want them to, and yet I never seem to learn), fiddling with the outline for the new novel, and pulling my horror short story collection together for beta readers.

And now I’ll leave you with some links that are open in my browser that might be of interest to you:

Friday Five – Get Your Steam(Punk) On

Steampunk Nerf Weaponry : The Girl, The Guns : 5I’ve been poking around the corners of the web lately, trying to become more familiar with the steampunk genre in preparation for writing my next novel, Radium Town. Of course, being a nerd who lives on the Internet, I’m fairly well acquainted with steampunk already–and you probably are, too, you just don’t realize that the genre itself is fairly old. It’s the rise in popularity and cosplay and what have you that are relatively new.

At any rate, I’ve stumbled across a few steampunk-related links that I want to remember, so I thought I’d share them with you this week.

Keys On the Typewriter: Steampunk 101 is a good overview of the genre, its history and evolution, its tropes and conventions, and it’s growing appeal. If you think you’re clueless about steampunk, this is a good place to start cluing yourself in.

American Cultural History 1890-1899 (and also 1900-1909) is an excellent reference resource for the time period my story will be set in. It includes sections for each decade on things like Art & Architecture, Fads & Fashion, Historic Events and People & Personalities. This should come in really handy for world-building and grounding my alternate-reality setting in history and realism.

Steam Circus doesn’t really have anything to do with my novel–I just find I’m digging the whole steampunk aesthetic, and since I haven’t been to a con in over 8 years and even if I did attend them regularly, I probably wouldn’t have the nerve to participate in full-on cosplay, I figure the best way to integrate a little steam into my wardrobe is with steampunk-inspired jewelry. This site has some such jewelry that is downright gorgeous, as well as other accessories that would work either as part of a costume or for a more subtle approach.

And speaking of real-world steampunk fashion, Minnie Zephie’s Steampunk Treasure Trunk chronicles her pursuit of same — attempting to integrate a subtle steampunk aesthetic into her every day wardrobe without crossing the line into costume-wearing. I really like this idea, and I think it’s something I could pull off. I feel like as I look ahead in my author career to potentially attending cons, signings and other writer events, I need to start paying a little more attention to my style and image and elevate it a few (dozen) steps above “yoga/pajama/workout pants and a tee-shirt most days and put on jeans on the rare occasions that I leave the house.” Anyway, I’ve always liked the neo-Victorian classical look, and I really like the edge that the steampunk elements give it.

And if I want to go a little less subtle, I can always whip up one of the AMAZING steampunk-inspired knit patterns from The Ladies of Mischief. This site is giving me SUCH a hankering to run to my local yarn shop and plunk down about a hundred dollars on some quality yarn so I can make these projects. LOVE the bloomers! And the corset! And… and… all of it! Love! Except, sadly, I don’t have a hundred dollars to spend on good yarn and I barely have time to knit these days. But it is bookmarked, and some day, my pretties, just you wait.

Things That Made Me LOL Today

(Cross-posted #)

Fantasy author Cathrynne M. Valente describes a day spent searching for coffee in Augusta, Maine. I thought Tulsa had problems, but we have plenty of Starbucks and no (known) axe-murderers buried under any of our cross-roads, so at least we’re two up on Augusta.

And speaking of soul-sucking…

Don’t trust anyone you meet online (via Wil Wheaton).

Both of these are potentially NSFW due to F-bombs.

Bully Bait: An Explanation

(Originally posted at Daydream Believer)

I’ve been wanting to write here about my childhood. I had a rough time of it growing up. Not as rough as some, but definitely rougher than a lot of people I know. My home life was dysfunctional, I was picked on relentlessly at school, and I had undiagnosed, barely even heard of at the time, learning and social adjustment disorders that guaranteed I would fit in wherever I went about as well as a tattoo and piercing enthusiast at a Church Ladies’ Sunday Social. So yeah, I have some pent up sob stories.

The thing is, I don’t want to tell sob stories. I want to be frank and honest, in a “names changed to protect the hopefully grown-up enough by now to know better” kind of way, but I want to approach it all with a sense of humor. Because I do have a sense of humor about the whole thing, most of the time. Some of it was too horrible to laugh at, but those parts are probably too private to share here anyway. But most of it, I can joke about. I’ve put off writing about it because I’m not sure how to joke about it in writing without turning it into one big joke, and I don’t want to do that. I’m also wondering how much embellishment for humor’s sake I’m willing to do. I want to do it in an entertaining way that’s funny and relatable and also real.

I’ve also put it off because I’ve been examining why I want to write about it. I’m not interested in getting back at anybody, hence the plan to change names and certain details. Part of it is therapy. I’ve made some pretty great strides in being able to forgive a lot of people, but I’m having trouble with the forgetting part, and on certain days, when I’m in a certain mood, I have a tendency to brood on this stuff, and it can get me really down. I think–hope–that maybe putting it all out here will help me let it go and stop thinking about it.

Another reason–a big reason–is that I want these essays to say, “Hey, look! I’m okay! I lived through some awful stuff, but it’s okay, and I’m relatively happy, and if you’ve gone through it, or you’re going through it, you can be okay, too. If your kids are going through this stuff, they can be okay, too.” I want parents of disordered kids to know that those kids can go through life without being drugged into conformity and those kids can still grow up to be healthy, productive adults. I want parents of kids with Autism Spectrum Disorders to know that their kids can eventually learn to do a passable-enough impression of normal to get by in the workplace and even get them invited to parties and out on dates. I want any teens or tweens reading this to know that not only is there life beyond high school, but that, for the most part, it gets so much better. I want twenty-somethings struggling to keep up with their peers to know that it’s okay to cut themselves some slack and stop trying to plan their lives according to other peoples’ schedules.

I want to give all of these people a big hug. Barring that, I want to be able to share a laugh with them, and help them learn to laugh at themselves.

Also, I just really want to practice memoir and comedic writing.

So that’s going to be an occasional column here, starting this week (schedule permitting). I had kicked around the idea of doing a separate, anonymous blog on the topic, but seeing as how maintaining one blog with any regularity is proving a major challenge right now, that didn’t seem like one of my brighter ideas. Plus, for me, the anonymity felt like a cop-out, and I wondered if anybody would believe I wasn’t making it all up. An occasional column here seemed like a good compromise. So for now, that’s the plan.

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Writing and Creativity Links for 7.27.2009

Some of these tabs have been open in my browser for more than a week. Time to put them to rest.

Footsteps To a Novel – A great breakdown from author Margaret McGaffey Fisk on how to get started turning your basic idea into a full-blown novel. Even after I’ve written a few, I still found this helpful as I start thinking about what I want to do for NaNoWriMo this year.

From there I found Fisk’s list of writing tools, which includes useful things like a scene plotting spreadsheet and several different word count trackers.

The list also included a link to Holly Lisle’s Index Card Plotting Method, which I have a feeling is going to change my writing life once I get around to trying it out for myself.

Not strictly related to writing, but to creativity in general, Tyler Durden’s 8 Rules for Innovation is the article that inspired me to stop putting off the “Bully Bait” column I wrote about in the previous post (I’ve been kicking that idea around for almost a year now), make like a Nike spokesperson, and Just Do It. It’s inspiring me to Just Do a lot of things, actually. Here’s hoping that inspiration doesn’t wane.

THF Progress Report and How to Write a Novel in 30 Days

Almost finished rewriting Chapter 2. I should be able to post it for the beta readers tomorrow.

How to Write a Novel In 30 Days, according to Catherynne M. Valente, has inspired me to get off my duff and pick up speed on this novel. Her advice differs from that of NaNoWriMo in that she advocates using your time to create the opposite of crap. Of course, this isn’t so much advice as it is pointing out what people should expect to have to deal with if they attempt such a feat, but her description of her paper writing habits in college sang to me, because they were my habits, too, and it made me remember that I can produce quality writing in a short amount of time. I used to do it all the time. I just need to get back in touch with that part of me that was a little more reckless and willing to take those risks. Hopefully I haven’t left her behind with age.

WDBF?

Note: I pounded out the following last night after a glass and a half of wine and in the middle of a writing frenzy, all while being distractingly nosed by my cat. I tried to edit it for coherency.

This interview with Ira Glass, of NPR’s This American Life, contains some pretty excellent advice about creating emotional resonance that I’m sure most readers of this journal can relate to. It’s a lesson he learned back in the day from Marti Noxon, and that is to always take time to answer the question, ”What does Buffy feel?” This is the essence of every great episode of that show, and all of the cool action and witty lines were empty and soulless without it (well, okay, for me in the last few seasons it was the dual question, ”What does Spike feel, and what does Buffy feel about Spike?” Because that’s the kind of obsessive, single-minded shipper I was (well, okay: am)).

Of course, in fiction that is not about Buffy (or Spike), ”Buffy” is just a stand-in for your main character, or your narrator—whomever is the most affected By what’s happening. Reading this, I realized that I subconsciously try to answer this question in every chapter. Maybe this is just an instinct born from all of those hours watching the series (not to mention all those hours writing fan-fiction that was specifically about Buffy’s feelings). But if there’s one thing that’s safe to say about my own writing, it’s that my characters FEEL. And because of that, I feel for them, maybe a little more intensely than I should. Hopefully, my readers will, too.

…I think I had more of a specific point when I started this, but I didn’t seem to get to it, and I’ll be darned if I can remember what that point was. So let’s just each infer our own, shall we? Yes, let’s. Or, you could just go read the article. You should! It’s good.

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In other news, I just installed yWriter, and it looks like it just might do the job of saving my sanity (my sanity tends to need a lot of saving; I should probably talk to someone about that) as I rework my manuscript into a second draft. I’ll try to post a review after I’ve gotten to know it better.

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