Hello World!

Thrice quilled,

Thrice spiked

All coffee? 

All nice.

Words.

Humph. Seven words doesn’t seem like the best of introductions.

Let’s see about expanding this. 

Thrice quilled – with a writing quill, a hedgehog, and cinnamon.

Thrice spiked – with alcohol, the addition of something highly reactive (moi), and my hair… at least when the stylist doesn’t say that cutting my hair would be a waste and doesn’t do it. (Actually, what she said was  神は長い長いです。もったいない。but I won’t write my bad Japanese if you don’t mind a quick translation.)

All coffee? Okay, I think I’m on a four or five cup a day habit now – that’s much better than my seven cup + 2 energy drink one. But I was working four jobs then, getting up at 6am and getting home at midnight, and so glad that’s behind me. Anyhow, gimme coffee, the bitter the better!

All nice. No Shelter from this Storm sweetie, and I’m Hufflepuff through and through. Which means I’m as sweet as あんこ when I’m happy, but don’t back me into a corner, ’cause that’s when things are gonna start hurting.

Words. Wordy-wordy words. I’m a writer by night, which will bring me to the second point of this blog, and an editor/proofreader of translations by day (ewwww, contracts!). Words are like salt-water taffy for me, fun to stretch around, play with, and see how they taste on your tongue. Thrice, case in point. Or だいだい in Japanese. I pick the ones I like and keep them alive for a little bit longer. Hodgepodge. Gleaned. Eclectic.

Oh, and you can call me CoffeeQuills by the way. You can use that moniker to find me out and about on the Internets.

Quill Driver’s Ink

Which brings me to this blog. I, along with many others, am a Quill Driver. My ink is either in my notebook or being sipped at, but here’s where I’m going to start bringing things together. Fun twitter stuff. Book reviews. Ways to help keep the writing afloat in the ocean of life, ’cause I know when the current grabs me it’s all I can do to get 450 words down.

Ahead be ramblings, musings, sketching, blotting, tweeting, and certainly coffee swilling. ‘Cause I think I live on coffee at this point.

Coffee, all of this sounds cool, what’s your schedule going to be like?

Busy. Oh, you meant my update schedule. Well, tomorrow is Camp NaNoWriMo, so we’re going to go crazy. All of July, you’ll get something a day, and I’ll figure out the days/posts that I want to stick with afterwards.

Twitter is where I’m most active right now, with twice daily writing prompts from everyday pictures I take in Japan. Oh, and starting July 1st, I’ll start on Twitter (look for the #quilldriven) a build your world question/activity series. Feel free to join, it’s open to all!

I’m also on Pinterest (the eater of time) because it’s something I can do without getting kinetosis on the train twice a day as I travel to the office.

So yeah. Join me. I don’t have cookies, but I have coffee. And words.

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Hello Hodgepodge! (That’s a Confusing Mixture of a Picture at Least)

I had to look through my notes to figure out what I had claimed Wednesday for – Words!

So we’re going to start with one of my favorite ones (I have many)… but which one…?

Should I go alphabetical? Backwards alphabetical?

Okay, I’ve decided to roll a letter die.

The Word of the Day is… Hodgepodge!

noun  hodge·podge \ˈhäj-ˌpäj\

A jumble, a heterogeneous mixture, a potpourri. A confusing mixture as well!

Supposedly comes from the word hotchpotch, which is a thick soup or stew with vegetables, potatoes, and meat.

According to dictionaries, “hotchpotch” is British while “hodgepodge” is an American variant.

I like it because potpourri makes me think of the smell. Okay, okay, it might also sound like hedgehog. Regardless, try to let this word roll off of your tongue. Share it. Use it. Write it!

Okay, Wednesday posts might need to be short (since they’re words), and I have a hodgepodge of things to do, like clean hedgehog wheels. Toodles!

Beaches! Word’s Up!

Whoot, it’s Mushroom Tuesday, Kinoko Kayoubi!

So, my word to you.

Beach. 

Good, now that I implanted the thought into your brain, what did you think about?

Me, being a born Floridian (yes, I proudly claim my state even though we have our own Fark tag), pictured crashing waves, semi-rough shell textures right at the beach break where the waves crash, and there’s a very strong, salty smell in the air, but not overwhelming. The sea tastes like salt too, and off in the waves there are fins in the water. Not sharks, just manta rays swimming, enjoying themselves and having a grand ole time.

The thing is? Your readers aren’t where you’re from. So you’re going to need to pack all of those details into the scene to bring them there, and leave them gasping for air on that salty beach. Or… leave out enough so that they imagine what it looks/sounds/feels/smells/tastes like for themselves.

Let’s talk more about beaches!

They’ve been on my mind a lot, probably because it’s summer and Tokyo turns into a sweaty pea-souper. (Thought not deadly like the London Smog, the pea souper of 1952, thankfully, or the Donora Smog Incident either Just sweat. Streams of it.)

So, what came to your mind when I said beach?

  • Florida – sandy beaches, sand dollars, starfish, turtles, hammerhead sharks, dolphins, and rip tides.?
  • Dover – pebbled, white cliffs, English, seagulls eating rats, shockingly cold, brown kelp with polyps?
  • Okinawa – warm, sandy beach with corals, jellyfish warnings, and another warning about some type of horeshoe crab (was it the false stonefish? also, a hotel that has ‘beach hours’ – screw that, give me my waves!)

My point? (Besides all of us wanting to go to the beach now?) Beaches are different from place to place.

♥ Things to Think About ♥

Flora – marram grass (dune grass), palm trees, absolutely nothing green within seeing distances?

Fauna – birds, crabs, oysters, turtles, sharks, dolphins, jellyfish, humans? (go ahead, try to convince me we’re not animals.)

Sunny vs. Cloudy vs. Typhoony?

Shells vs. Ceramic Shards vs. Lego Figures (check out Cornish beaches in 1997)

Tides? Sand Bar? Coral Reefs?

Currents vs. Rip Tides vs. Shallow Bay?

Rivers vs. Pure Beach?

Sand color – pink, red, green, black, orange, white?

Sand texture – gritty, pebbled, glass sand (shows human presence), rocky?

Smell (birds because of a nearby colony? fish? salt?)

Seaweed vs. Kelp vs. Wood

Dunes (or not)

Man-made vs. Natural (oooh, haunted lighthouse… dibs!)

Lifeguards or Not

Knowing this stuff requires research though!

Twitter up some people, chat on Discord with writers, look at the Exchange Stack, find pictures online – there are plenty of ways to make your beach come alive.

Bonus! Random Fun Quiz – 2 Truths and 1 Lie – answers can go in the comments (or you can wait until next Tuesday).

I’ve found these things on the beach

– Broken pottery shards

– Dead sharks.

– A Lego piece!

Motivation? Where’s That?

I’ve started writing this post about six times, then erased everything. Motivation… I’m not sure if I want to try and give motivation, get you thinking about where your motivation comes from, or confess that this was the least motivating Monday that I’ve had in a while.

Let’s go with all three!

Sound Off – Do You Know Where Your Motivation Comes From?

It can be either inner motivation or an outside force, and, for me at any rate, I find that I need both. Sometimes I need a bit more outer (which is why the espresso shake currently at Tully’s Cafe comes in handy). But sometimes my inner drive of ‘I’m going to get this done’ is enough. I’m probably a 60-40, maybe even a 70-30.

I can come up with ideas, even sit down BIC FOK to bash it out… but then, I grow bored and don’t want to do anything else with it (like, oh, I don’t know, editing. Which is needed!)

First Advice Concerning Motivation – Know Thyself!

Pjysican, heal thyself; Writer, know theyself. Why are you writing? Inner reasons? Outer reasons? When you know them, think about other things in your life that you need to motivate yourself for.

What about you Coffee? 

Me? I’m a sucker for collecting, and I love games. This means that I will continue playing a game, grinding it, so that I can get that last achievement, win that last badge. It also means that when, for example, I see a collectible item, I want to buy it, then get the rest of the entire series. The amount of Fallout stuff I have in my tiny, Japanese apartment is crazy (along with my books, all of my hedgehog items, stationery… I think you get the idea).

So NaNoWriMo? Those badges are awfully shiny!

And of course I have an inner too. I want to finish the job.

These are my books, my stories, and no one else can tell them.

So I’ve got my (semi) balanced inner and outer motivations. Yeah yeah, 70-30, that’s balanced. Like a two legged stool maybe, but it’s balanced.

There are all kinds of places you can go, things you can do to achieve your own balance as well.

  •  – meet other writers and writer together! (some duct tape may be required for the more talkative ones.)
  •  – join word sprints! There are places online where we gather together, set  time limit, then write to our heart’s content.
  •  – Write what you want, then what you need to.

That one’s a little hard. A lot of people think that if they’re working on a book, then they need to stick to writing on that book. Sometimes though, a little ten minute sprint extolling the virtues of spring wouldn’t hurt. Writing a journal to unstick your mind, or even doing a bit of fanfiction. There’s no shame in charging your mind and writing spirit the way that you need to. (Well, just don’t go carving words into live skin or something like that – I think I can say that’s wrong.)

And with any advice, know what doesn’t work, or when you should do it.

  • – If fanfics get your fire going, but you know you need it as an end reward, then treat yourself.
  • – If ten minutes of coal piling, or getting your day off of your chest can free you to write, then do that first.

The trick is – do something, write down the results, and repeat to make sure it works or doesn’t work.

Because experitmenting without taking notes is fluffing around. Add notes, and you’re doing science!

So what motivates you? 

… oh, and as for my Monday today? I found a packet of hard sugar sticks that were made for stirring into cocoa, tea, or coffee. Let’s just call them Sugar Quills, and agree that it’s better not to have them at my desk (they aren’t there now, coincidentally). On the plus side, I certainly work up in the afternoon, after I nibbled about five all of them.

What’s that Fire? Nichiyoubi Nittei!

Whelp, a report needs to see what’s being worked on, what’s on the burner, and what needs to be burnt to Hel.

On Fire 

– Short Story collections (various, random, hodgepodge) – writing down life as it lives on with non-MCs in books.

– Hopefully this blog and #inkdriven on Twitter

– (actually using this Camp to work on editing, as you’ll see below, and not so much on writing at the moment.)

Back Burner

– A Basket Full of Eggs (paranormal romance) => needs outline, restructuring, character study

– Life & Elixirs (fantasy adventure) => needs outline, character study

– Cup of Magic (paranormal new adult romance) => needs outline, character study.

– Droplets of a Selcouth Sky (post-apocalyptic adventure)

Hel Burnt – let’s be Mercy, hopefully they don’t become Reapers.

– Fusion to Fission (apocalyptic romance) [submission rejected]

– Masks (paranormal romance) [submission rejected]

– Pulp Fiction Series (I sounded like a good idea and I have no idea where to start when writing a pulp story).

Rune Readings & Mushrooms

– Key Holder (paranormal adventure)

– Determination (myths)

– Lucky Number Seven (steampunk mystery)

– Layered Magic (unsure)

– Sniper (apocalyptic adventure)

Forging with Thor’s Hammer  

– Misfortune with Vigor (apocalyptic adventure) [July Camp NaNo!]

– rEvolution (new adult sci-fi)

– Bottled Soul (sci-fi? fantasy? I kinda wanna write it both ways and see which one is more interesting).

Nov. NaNo – Lucky Number Seven (steampunk mystery)

  • Outline needed
  • Characters explored
  • As it’s a series idea, that needs to be seen if it can hold itself up​
  • Background / world building

Submissions

– None to be submitted in July.

– Received 2 rejections in June.

Twitter Tweets (Let’s Play!)

– #inkdriven

– #JulyCampWIP

– #WIPTruthOrDare

– #WIPTunes

– #authorconfession

 

Annnnd I took the JLPT today. Maybe I passed. Maybe I didn’t. But it’s crossed off of my list until November, when I cry happy tears over my results, or sad tears.

I Want to Write ALL the Words! (Join Me!)

July’s Camp NaNoWriMo has started, it’s been thirteen hours and forty-one minutes (not, I’m not counting at all) and I’ve started writing the next post. So, what’s my plan for the month? We’re going turbo! (And if you caught that, we like the same film. Yes, probably going turbo too.)

  • @coffeequills – 2x daily pictures prompts from Japan.
  • #inkdriven – Once a day world-building prompts/ideas/questions.
  • Quill Driver’s Ink – daily blog posts to jump into the cold waters of blogging about writing, words, and everything in between.
  • 30+ hours of R&Ring (revising to resubmit) a novella about power, dragons, and surviving a post-apocalyptic world.
  • 50k of a short story collection of about… (quickly counts) 12 stories?

Oh? I should be writing out those numbers? Yeah, probably (especially if we’re going Chicago style). But they’re in a list, and they seem to like being numerals, so no worries.

What to Plot, What to Write?

I was thinking about a blog schedule, since I do better when following something (usually). It was going well, until alliteration reared it’s hydra head. I’m a sucker for alliteration.

  • Monday Motivation (good, good, we all need it on Monday, and we’ve got the m&ms).
  • Tuesday… ​um, I’ll get back to that one.
  • Wordy Wednesday (nice, I like it, and I’ve been finding some good words lately).
  • Thursday…. ugh, another ‘t’
  • Friday Foto! (I know the ‘ph’ comes from phôs meaning ‘light’, but I always liked the uncommon ‘fotos’. It seems cute.)
  • Saturday… huh, was not expecting to be bad at ‘s’ words.
  • Sunday … annnnd another ‘s’.

Looks at schedule. Hey, Coffee, give up on the alliteration. No! Never!

Alliteration Allons-y!

  • Tuesday = Kayoubi.
  • Thursday = Mokuyoubi
  • Saturday = Doyoubi.
  • Sunday = Nichiyoubi.

Second verse, same as the first!

  • ​Kayoubi Kinoko (Tuesday’s Mushroom)
  • Mokuyoubi… well junk. Back to the drawing board on this one!
  • Doyoubi Daifuku (Saturday’s Great Fortune – or Bean Jam Rice Cake)
  • Nichiyoubi Nittei! (Sunday’s Schedule [junk, there’s my ‘s’ word!)

Thursday. You’re starting to be a pain in the keister. Ooooh, wait. I think I got it!

ψ Thursday => Thor’s Day = Days of Thor! ψ

Sweet. Days of Thor are going to be for editing, grammar, and ways to hammer a manuscript into an even better one.

Heheh. ‘Hammer’, get it?

You can’t be here if you don’t like puns by the way. I’m a Punk.

Okay, so we’ve got our (tentative) schedule thrown up.

Definitions… for Now

Monday Motivation = Ways to motivate ourselves, feeling good for what has been accomplished and not worrying about what else needs to be done. Look in a mirror Coffee. *ahem* Moving on.

Mushroom Tuesday/Kayoubi Kinoko = The fertile ground/world building needed to grow stories like mushrooms! With maybe a hint of hallucinogenics, I mean, come on, we’re writers, we’re imagining things already.

Wordy Wednesday = Words. And more words. Hopefully some you haven’t heard of and that you want to take home and write with.

Thursday/Days of Thor! = Manuscript hammering with grammar, dialogue, and any other information I find, get, need.

Friday Fotos = I’ll put up two (at least) as prompts

Saturday’s Sugar/Douyoubi Daifuku = Randomness that can/will consist of art projects, NaNo songs, book reviews, super cool projects, etc.

Sunday Scheduling/Nichiyoubi Nittei = Reports, progress, future projects, submissions, etc. Maybe even bullet journaling.

Let the writing, editing, plotting, decaffeinating begin! よろしくお願いします!