What to write?

11 December 2016:

A couple weeks ago, I wrote a lot of my thoughts and feelings down. It felt as if I was pushing myself to really think and consider things: how I felt, what I felt, my situation, who I was, what I believed.

I didn’t post any of it; I never post those kinds of reflections. I have a writing document, or a journaling word document. It’s where I can work through thoughts and confusion and realizations. Or at least it feels like I am. I don’t have to worry if the paragraphs fit together, or if it makes sense, or if it has a unified topic, or if it is writerly or witty or just good writing. I don’t have to worry about if my feelings sound good. I can just focus on what I mean or what I feel.

Almost two weeks ago, I posted a verbatim one about my purpose and why I write. I hadn’t written anything since then.

Today’s the seventh Anniversary of The Princess and the Frog. It’s the only Disney movie that directly influenced my writing. That winter soon after it premiered, me and my immediate family went to Walt Disney World and stayed at resort near Animal Kingdom. It was an awesome place. (It was connected to the safari/savanna so there was a waterhole area outside where you could view animals; we saw a giraffe drinking on the last day.*) But it was really out of the way.

More importantly there was a lot of PatF stuff being promoted. So, the African décor, animals, PatF, and the Christmas lights and spirit mashed up in my mind to deter and take over the second book of my Aladdin-lyric story.

That’s a really bad working name, but it’s the best I can think of to explain it.  Essentially, I wanted to take the cut lyrics from Disney’s Aladdin and see if I could create a compelling story out of it. Or more precisely, if I could take a lazy character and a spoiled character and see if I could make them compelling. By the end, it had begun to deviant from that idea and sink into a strange fog focused on the early stages of my Dreams. Then PatF came out. And I got two new characters that changed the plot.

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NoH: Morning & Coffee

[original first post of a blog linked to a discontinued email]

I’ve always wanted to have a blog where I could post my thoughts, my ideas, and my research. So here it is, after 4 years trying to figure out how to and swapping urls and blogs, I’ve finally decided: heck, I’m doing this.

Every blog needs a beginning and morning’s usually the start of the day. And for (other) people that can include coffee. I’m not a fan of the stuff, but it came up in my morning writing drabble so I endeavored to learn a bit more about it. Especially how it’s made Palestine, Syria, and Jordan.

Wikipedia informed me that the Levant has Turkish coffee, which is less a different type of coffee bean and more a method of brewing the coffee. From what I can gather it seems to require at least three periods of boiling to create the best, but not burned, flavor. Also, foam is important. Having the liquid be completely smooth seems to be key.

I wonder if Turkish coffee would taste better than the stuff I’ve tried because it’s done so precisely. 

Anyway, a quick google search led me here, which states that it’s not boiling, it’s foaming that you want. And it doesn’t have to be done three times. But what’s important is the freshness and (again) the foam. The finely ground coffee beans are added to the warm water (ratio of amount taken into account) and sugar is added to taste and it’s left to heat up. It’s important not to stir it and wait for foam to start forming. Then you can stir a little, if you want. But, again, it seems to be more about the flavor.

Isn’t this interesting, everyone? And I realized while researching this that I can use it in a short story/novella I’m writing (it’s a novella, I think, clocking in at 26k words. I’ll see what its final length is — if it’s long enough I’ll grow it into a novella; if I can hack it in half and still keep the story together, I’ll prune it into a short story)

Interestingly, the top link on a google search of “how to make Turkish coffee” reiterates that it’s the fineness of the ground coffee beans and the thickness that makes it good. But it also, in contrast to the one above, states that the sugar should be stirred in (although I believe the first one mentioned that the sugar could be stirred in once the coffee had settled on the bottom?). And it uses “boil” in its recipe, although I think it means the same thing — heat the coffee up enough to expel flavor.

One aspect of its method that stood out to me was that the foam was removed. Wikipedia (which cannot always be relied on) and the first link claim that the foam is important. The video and recipe make a point of removing the foam.

I will have to look into this more.

Oh, and welcome to my blog. It’s nice to meet you and it’s good to be here. 🙂

Chronicle #3: 10 Oct 2016 – 18 Oct 2016

I was on a trip most of this week, so sorry for my absence.

  • Finished the fourth story in my NaNoWriMo 2015; it ended taking more time because there were way more scenes than I had anticipated/planned (I thought I had one scene left but it became four scenes)
  • Started the completion of the (extensively outlined) fifth story in my NaNo 2015
  • Started the completion of the sixth (and final) story in my NaNo 2015 (yay)
  • Did some mapping and history clarification
  • Wrote a vignette about characters sharing feelings
  • Attempted to move my google docs to a new owner/email
  • Did character and plot building for Garden of Flowers/Chthonic Flowers (I really need to 1. Explain what all my story categories mean, and 2. Come up with a better title name
  • Wrote a short action snippet from Romance of Three Jewels
  • Wrote a character birthday drabble (11 October)

Chronicle #2: 9 Oct 2016

To get right to it:

  • finished (for the most part) the third story in my NaNo 2015 novel; I’ve started to finish the fourth story which I’m excited about (I have a loose outline of events)
  • touched up a character head-shot for Romance of Three Jewels
  • reformatted an old story I’m thinking of going back to revise and edit (exciting!) mostly because I’ve realized that I still care a lot of about the subject and themes (what happens to invasive species if they adapt to a new environment and fear of the unknown/night and the monster’s pov in a legend)

(I promise that 1. I’ll explain what my stories are, and 2. I’ll try to figure out a more consistent time to post these.) Much good will and thanks to all!

Fairy Tale Friday: Little Tiny

Andersen’s Fairy Tales

by H. C. Andersen

This was an old Christmas present from my mom that I re-found at the beginning of the year. It’s a lovely old book, probably from a used book store. There’s a handwritten note in it dated to June 1961. And while I have other books with a lot of the same stories, there’s something adorable about this one so I’m going through reading all them. 

Little Tiny (pg. 62-77)

“The poor child was very unhappy at the thought of saying farewell to the beautiful sun” (73).

It’s Thumbelina! I was not expecting that from the title.

I’ll say upfront that I kind of love this fairy tale. I don’t think about it often, but when I read it, I couldn’t help mythologizing it and automatically seeing it as a mythology and story root for my writing.

Also lovely description of the tulip with its “red and golden-colored leaves” (62). Being compared to a tulip makes me think of Persia, which makes me think of a particular set of islands in my writing…

Toads don’t live in water; they’re not aquatic. Well, they are amphibious, but they live more on dry land. The way these toads are described sounds a little too wet. But wait! If Andersen’s referring to the common toad (I’m going to start calling it the witch toad), it’s says here that live in wooded areas near marshes. And the toads here live “[i]n the swampy margin of a broad stream in the garden” (63).

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Sun Revival & Rainbows

 Day 240

Azana smiled at the sky. Sunshine filtered through the dense forest, the cheery music of birds, and the gentle whisper of the wind turned the dreary and damp forest into a sight that was almost beautiful. Leftover raindrops glistened from needles, stems, and leaves. Rainbows winked from the watery orbs, while sunlight turned the grass to bright green.

“It’s almost welcoming!” she laughed. 


Written: 8 June 2016

Words: 63 

Inspired: Azana 

x-posted

Sun Bouquet 

Day 234 

Azana stretched her arms to welcome the morning sunlight. Rising over the green hills, it washed over the budding forest, clear luminous cream. She breathed deeply, inhaling the moist fragrance of dew and flowers with just a drop of sunshine to give them a thick, husky aroma.


Written: 2 June 2016

Words: 47 words

Inspired: spring + morning + Azana from Romance of Three Jewels

x-posted