Wednesday, February 25, 2015

Japanese Phrases: Ganbatte!

When someone goes in for a job interview or is going to perform in a play, sporting event, or something like that we tend to wish them "good luck." The idea is that we want them to do well, and so we wish them luck in their endeavor. However, in Japan in the same situation you would tell the person "Ganbatte" (or "Ganbattekudasai" if you wanted to be more polite, but that may also be awkward westerner Japanese.)

Pronunciation: gone - bot - tay (like day w/ a t instead of the d)

Wednesday, February 18, 2015

About Here

Confession time: I've spent a lot of the last couple weeks, when I did think of this blog, thinking about what I want to do with this space. See, Reality Refracted is easy. That is a blog about Table Top RPGs, and it has been going for 5 years now so that's pretty impressive. It is a dedicated space and I like it. This blog was formed so I could write about other stuff....only what that other has included has been kind of out there.

That said, I do want to maintain this space. I think a place to get some thoughts down, especially non-gaming related thoughts, is important. But what to do here?

I think the name is important to the blog. Shattered Refractions started as a play on Reality Refracted like I'd used for the gaming blog. Both of them have to do with writing and story telling. I think I'd like to keep that going.

So what is the plan?

First, in the interest of producing more, finished, works I'm going to put a real effort into getting some sort of weekly flash fiction up here. Most often this will be following the prompt from Chuck Wendig's Terrible Minds blog.

Second, I will chime in here on occasion about shows, movies, books, and other forms of media.

Third, I'm going to allow myself to venture off topic and discuss other things. Sometimes that may be video games and my trials and challenges as a Bronze level League of Legends player. Other times it might be something more poignant.

The problem is that big mission statements and forced lifestyle changes don't work very well for me, but small shifts can work wonders. This transition will be slow. Most likely it will start with the Flash Fiction stuff only and go from there. Hopefully it will grow and blossom.

Slow and steady wins the race, a journey of 5,000 miles starts with a single step, and all of that jazz. :)

Tuesday, December 30, 2014

New Years Round Up and Resolutions

It being December 30th, it seems a good time to get my crap in order for going into the New Year. Now, I'm a firm believer that starting something new, or trying to change something about yourself, just because it is the new year is a planned destined to fail. However, if you want to change something for yourself, or for some other powerful reason, the New Year can be a great time to do it for both the symbolism and the extra energy that is going on around this time.

For me, I only have one major resolution that I want to get done this next year. It is something I have been working on for years, and with every year I am getting better and closer at it. The resolution? I want to write every day.

I'm not setting a word count on that. I've tried before. I tried with 2k a day, then 1k a day, then 500 words a day, and in all cases all that does is build up and make it harder to get back to work because the amount of missed words is so big. However, when partway through the year I switched to just trying to write everyday I noticed something. I started producing a lot more.

Two years ago I wanted to write four novels in the year. I failed laughably at it. Right now, I've got three separate manuscripts that are just a few thousand words shy of being finished first drafts. I am hoping to have two of them finished before the end of January, but the Holidays have kind of slowed things down.

This is a change I know I can make. Momentum is a wonderful thing, and the freedom to be able to know I at least wrote "something" will help get through some of the harshest days.

So, how about you? What do you want out of yourself for the next year?

Wednesday, December 10, 2014

End of the Year

We're fast approaching the End of the Year, so how are folks doing? Bogged down with stress? Remarkably well?

This year I feel so strange about it. I'm aware it is December 10th, but I keep feeling like we have yet to reach Thanksgiving. It is a strange feeling, especially considering how crap I know it is.

I'm hoping to have a few more posts here before the new year. Recapping my year, asking about yours, and plans for the new year at the very least. For now though, how is December treating you?

Sunday, November 30, 2014

End of November

Today marks the 30th of November. I'm back home after a few days away with family and a very dead, but very tasty, turkey. How did November treat you? For me, on personal projects at least, November was productive. I made it across the 50k line for NaNoWriMo, and while I still have a lot of story to write I'm also a huge chunk through it. I have similar project on my other story where I believe I'm somewhere in the 60ks and going from there.

Video game wise November was a month for finishing things. I managed to wrap up Alien Isolation, Shadow of Mordor, and Assassin's Creed: Rogue over the last couple of weeks - all while maintaining my League/World of Tanks habit and beginning a Dragon Age: Inquisition problem. I'm excited for this though. When I'm in the mood to finish things it tends to hit everything around me, and the fact that I'm going out of my way to fight my inclination to drift to new shinies for things as trivial as games bodes well for more serious projects (writing!)

Beyond that, December is here now. A month of panic and charging through the stores to grab Christmas gifts for the family and close friends. Thankfully, as real life ramps up work tends to ramp down so that's nice. If things go well for me I should be finishing both first drafts I currently have going in December. Maybe I'll even get the other rough draft I have sitting in the 70ks finished as well. That'd be a hell of an end to the year, wouldn't it?

But that's it. I hope November was as good to you as it was to me at the very least!

Wednesday, November 12, 2014

NaNoWriMo - Update 2 - The Slushy Middle

I've lost some traction on my story. Yesterday was the first day I didn't write at least the 1.666k that NaNo requires. I'm not sure how it happened. I was off from work the whole day, but somewhere between being a bit sick, minecrafting with my housemate, and trying out Assassin's Creed Rogue the whole day was lost. Beyond that though, my progress has slowed.

On day 3 I was over double the word count that was required for that point, sitting pretty at 10k+ words. Today, November 12th, I'm sitting just shy of 30k. I am still way ahead of where I should be, but it has slowed.

So what happened? Part of it has been doing other stuff. Days of hard writing made my brain want other things. Other things are enticing. But what actually happened is I hit the middle of the story. Even for a 90k work, 30k is in the middle of the story. Even worse it can be where things hit the hardest. Stuff starts happening slower. Things stop beginning, but it's not yet time for them to end. It's the mucky middle that happens after the shine of new story wears off and you're left alone with a word count, a pile of words you don't want to abandon, and the self loathing you can only experience during creation.

Now I'm not giving up. I have a plan, and going forward it should work. I know what needs to happen, new characters are about to be introduced, new aspects of the story (it's almost like my plan accounted for hitting the muck right here) and the police are getting closer to finding out my MC is responsible for not one but two dead bodies.

I just need to get home and write it.

How is your story going?

Wednesday, November 5, 2014

NaNoWriMo Update #1 - A Hopeful Start

As of this writing it is the beginning of the day on November 5th and my NaNo word count - after 4 days of writing - sits at just over 15,000 words. This has me well on track for a 100k NaNo, which isn't the plan but awesome none the less.