Posts Categorized: writing + blogs

Writing and Reading

While I have been on my Big-Five-Oh birthday gift to myself writing retreat, I have also been reading. So far, I have worked my way through a re-read of the whole Ben Aaronvitch’s Rivers of London series and I am nearly finished with re-reading Anne McCaffrey’s Pern series (minus the more recent co-author or other author Pern books).

Why am I rereading books I have already read many times before, particularly in the case of the Pern books? I am reading them not just for the joy of the story but also to see and analyze how two authors who I admire have constructed their stories and series as a whole and from various writing perspectives.

What this past two months of reading and writing has shown or revealed to me is that I have a preference for multiple person point of view / main character stories or at least multiple threads of story interwoven over a single main character’s point of view with one story arc.

McCaffrey’s Pern books are almost always, with the exception of the YA books, multiple main characters with multiple threads of story. While Aaronovitch’s Rivers of London series is from the POV of PC Peter Grant, each book weaves in multiple strands of story, including one series long story thread. One of the things that I also like about Jane Austen books is that by and large her stories are also ensemble stories, even if we see the story from the POV of one or two main characters.

The novel length story I wrote from 2015-2017, A Quiver Full, was a multiple character POV story. I started writing it as a short story for a writing challenge and it was originally written from the POV of two characters, after I expanded it to novel length – several more characters demanded their share of the conversation and stage time. After the fact, I got the feedback from a reader that it should have more of the romance of just two characters and not so much of the other stuff.

After finishing writing A Quiver Full, I printed it out, then I put it up on a shelf for a bit of aging before I reread it and started rewriting. It was six weeks on the shelf when I received the above feedback, which hit me enough of the wrong way that the first draft has stayed on the shelf and I started writing a whole new novel in December of 2017.

This second novel is from one character’s point of view. It is meant to be a humorous mildly unreliable narrator story wherein by the end the reader should be questioning if the main character really was all that and more or if we want our hero to be heroic rather than a mere man. Now more than seventy percent of the way through writing the story, I find myself longing for more strands of story – not in the novel I am writing now but in general.

Then it hit me about a week ago, as I was knee deep in my Pern reread that I prefer multiple characters with third person limited POVs in the plural to one or two main characters. I want more story, I want more points of view, and I want to be stretched. When I return back to California, I will be ready to take A Quiver Full off the shelf and start the rewrite.

But before I can do that, I have got to finish writing my one guy and his POV story.

Ha!

Wed. 25 April, 2018.

When I was a young teen, I attended several sleep-overs where late at night some of the girls played the ‘parlour game’ Ouija.

Not me, as I was tucked into my sleeping bag trying to go to sleep. When they would encourage me to get up and join them, I would decline. One time I watched the first ten minutes of the proceedings but was considered a joykiller as I kept asking if it wasn’t their hands moving the game piece to get the answer they wanted.

I was sent back to my sleeping bag.

The second time this happened, I was in the state of nearly asleep when my friend Tiffany screamed, “Jenifer!! The Ouija board says you are going to die in your forties!”

“That’s nice, I am going to sleep.”

Fast forward to yesterday. My fiftieth birthday. As of today, I am officially completely out of my forties and am not going back.

Take that, Tiffany’s Ouija board!

******

p.s. Happy 15th Birthday to this Blog Today!

p.p.s. This post was originally posted as an Early Access post at my Patreon.

Back to Plain Ole WP Vanilla Comments

Mon. 03.05.18 – I was using the Disqus Commenting plugin here for the last three plus years, but was never fond of it in the first place as it violates my Own Your Own Stuff on the Internet as much as Possible policy. The very idea of a hosted comment system when one has a self-hosted blog seems a bit silly.

Last week, when I read that Disqus had been amongst the legion with a data breach, I decided to ditch it. I have reset Black Phoebe :: Ms. Jen back to plain old WordPress comments and have added a plugin that makes all comments literal, thus no scripting. In addition, comments are now moderated and comments close after a week.

I welcome your thoughts, comments, and really – I don’t anticipate a flood of spam as one of the delights of the alledged death of blogging is that the spammers have gone elsewhere.

😉

Napping Blog…

Napping Canela

Sun. 07.16.17 – Unfortunately, much like everyone’s favorite little Canela the Chihuahua, this blog fell asleep and has been napping since early May.

Life has been a bit too busy. Hopefully, this upcoming week will allow me to catch up somewhat, as I have been collecting links for the Sunday Tidbits for the last two months and they are a bit overflowing now.

Photo of Canela taken by Ms. Jen with her Nikon D800 yesterday afternoon.

Conuberation : The Neologism that Keeps Giving…

Thurs. 02.23.17 – For years I have used the word ‘conuberation’ to mean a rather exuberant mashup of people or things or emotions as if someone took a conurbation of said things and put it in a trash compactor on speed. For a long time I used it about my mother’s family, who are known to be rather exuberant and opinionated all at once. In 2003, it was pointed out to me by Wanda that it was not an actual word.

Now, I use conuberate or conuberation to mean any crazy pileup of things all at once. I even tried to write it in a comment on a story yesterday that I am beta’ing and then the quiet voice in the back of my head reminded me that it was not a real word but a word I made up. I went back and read my original 2003 blog post about it, wherein I decided at the time that it was a mashup of conniption + conurbation. Last night, I followed the rereading of my blog post up with an extensive search in the Online Etymology Dictionary and decided that the way I use conuberation now is more in the line of exuberant + conurbation as it applies to people, things, and ideas.

I wondered why if the prefix con- means with or together and there are a number of words that have the same base word but different prefixes, then should I not be able to take the base word of ‘uberate’ and add con- to it? According to our friends at OED, uberare means “be fruitful” in Latin.

Con + uberare would be fruitful together or an abundance together – which is basically how I have been using conuberate for the past two decades or more.

This folks is what happens when one takes Latin in high school and then it has years to percolate through a creative brain. How do I suggest it to become a real English word? Do we all have to use it before a dictionary will pick it up? Do I start a Twitter campaign?

Jenifer Hanen is Creating Art & Writing at Patreon!

Greetings Lovely folk of the Internet!

The past two years have been very fruitful creatively for me, I have been quietly writing fiction stories and working on a film photo project, as well as my working on my mobile and DSLR photography. The writing and film projects take time and money to complete.

It is time for me to bring my work out of Google Docs files and the black hole of Lightroom on my computer and share them in a more substantial way with folks who wish to help support my writing and art making endeavors. By support, I mean a community of folk who are excited to read, view, comment on, and receive photos, stories, essays, and be the first to hear about new works in progress.

Would you like to participate in a community that supports my creative endeavors with a monthly photo and story, as well as a weekly link round up? If so, come join me at Patreon by make a pledge.

The various tiers of monthly pledges will range from thank you and here is a weekly round up of links to Patreon-only Monthly photos and stories all the way to a Monthly mailed Photo Card (real printed photos from the film project) to a Yearly signed Photo and|or Story Book. I will also be making and sharing my photos and writing at this blog and other social media sites with a weekly round up of links of my work and other interesting links here at Patreon.

The monies from the pledges will be going to help fund the writing and photography.

Thank you for joining me in this creative endeavor. You rock!

Jenifer Hanen, aka Ms. Jen

Become my patron at Patreon

This is a Blog Post

Warning: Word Usage Geekery Ahead…

This is a blog post. All the blog posts compiled together are a blog.

It drives me slightly nuts when people call a blog post a blog. You are writing and posting to a blog, thus it is a blog post.

One does not call one deer a herd. Nor does one call a crow a murder, nor a dog a pack. To have a herd of deer, one needs more than 3 or 4 deer – plural. One needs at least 3 or 4 dogs to have a pack. Multiple crows to have a murder. etc.

For the folks who write blog to indicate a singular instance, one wonders what they call a plural or grouping or compilation of said singular instanctiation? Can’t be a blog can it?

The Years of Silence

It has been 5 years, 6 months, and 22 days since I was hit with a large shockwave that blew me off my daily blogging perch. I have struggled time and again during this past half a decade to resume a daily blogging practice to only have the silence over take my blog, my typing fingers, and more deeply my soul.

For many bloggers this past half a decade has been a time to leave their personal blogs for writing on their Twitter or Facebook or Medium or other social accounts. That has not been the case for me, as the silence has gone deeper: I quit Facebook in April 2012, I see no reason why I should write on Medium when I could write here, and my Tweeting has declined since 2011-2012 significantly.

No, the real problem that I have become silent. My whole world, internally and externally, has shrunk. And this is more than ok, it was necessary.

I have had one major cycle of quiet whole life silence in the past, where I withdrew into myself for a period of nearly four years. It was a time of reading, learning and conserving my energies before I jumped back out again.

I am not interested in discussing at length what happened in the past but finding a way forward from here. While I am not quite ready to be out and about yet, I am working steadily in the background; there are a number of background processes currently running of writing, thinking, and taking photos.

I am writing fiction stories to be published soon. And I am, also, thinking quite a bit on ideas and trends in technology and how people use it – whether I blog about it anytime soon remains to be seen. I continue to take and mostly post photos daily to Flickr and/or Instagram and/or here.

I don’t think the personal blog is dead. This one may be quiet and full of photos, but it is not dead and the background processes may very well come to the foreground soon.