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Author Archives: CrissyMoss

About CrissyMoss

I've been writing as long as I can remember.

There is something to be said for fun

I’ve been working on my second novel for The Half Blood Sorceress series for a while, and pushing through the knots I made in the plot, trying to unravel everything. It was getting to the point I just didn’t want to look at it anymore.

So I set it aside for a week and wrote something different. Here we have a graph showing my word count per week since the beginning of this year. This week I set aside my usual work and I wrote a litRPG. I’m currently about half way done with it, and loving it. I love that the words came so easily, even though I didn’t really have a plot at the beginning. But the plot really took a hold, and after talking to Bjorn about it a bit he asked a couple questions and that made the plot so much better. It became a full story instead of just a little snippet of an adventure.

So far I have written at least twice as much each day on this new story. Something about it is just fun to write. And that fun keeps me coming back to it, writing more.

I think the Half Blood Sorceress became work instead of fun once the plot got so out of hand that I was actually considering rewriting ten chapters instead of just editing it. I’m still considering rewriting, or dropping a few of the chapters, and that doesn’t seem like much fun, so of course I have put it off some more. But don’t worry, I won’t be doing that forever, just for this week.

You know that saying “do what you love and you’ll never work a day in your life”? It isn’t entirely true. Bjorn works a lot, and he loves what he does. But even when you love what you do there are some days when it isn’t as fun, and he has to slog through a bit to try and get it complete. He keeps going because eventually the work will be done and he can get back to the fun part. There is something he loves just waiting for him to complete the slog so he can get back to the good part.

It’s the same with any skill, really. Learning a language? You have to practice. Learning an instrument? Repatition isn’t fun, but you learn faster that way. Writing? Sometimes you just have to push through and get it done. Throw away, cut, rewrite, and continue.

And sometimes you need to set it aside for a bit and have some fun. Knowing when to do that is the trick. Knowing what the best course of action, and what you can finish, makes a huge difference.

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Posted by on April 29, 2018 in Updates, Writers Block

 

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Review: Lost in Space

I didn’t watch the original Lost in Space TV series, but I did watch the movie that came out a few years ago, and I remember liking it enough. It was a little space adventure movie with some interesting twists and turns in it. I don’t know how much it stuck with the original tv series, but the movie was okay.

So this week we watched the new series on Netflix. Same family; mom, dad and three kids. Same premise of being lost at space. There’s a robot that says “Danger, Will Robinson,” some aliens, and some danger for the family to get out of. But all the details are brand new.

First I’ll give you my over all reaction, no spoilers.

I can’t say that I didn’t enjoy it at all, but I can’t say that I liked it. There were some good scenes.  loved the robot. Beautiful design, nice practical effects mixed in with some CGI (yes, that’s a guy in a suit, that’s why the neck is weird.) The locations (mostly CGI) are beautiful, with wonderful alien atmosphere to them. Each of the main Robinson family, and a couple of the other colonists, have a story arch with some character growth. Some were more profound than others, but at least each of them grew as people.

The science was bad, even for a tv series. I can overlook this most of the time, it is a TV series, after all, but some of the science was really bad. Everything was done for dramatic effect; what can go wrong here? Oh this! And it get’s thrown at the characters for them to survive, even if it doesn’t really make sense. Most of the situations they found themselves in would have been solved early on if people had just been honest with each other. That fact alone was enough to make this series feel like a teen drama (like Pretty Little Liars) which only has tension because of all the secrets and lies the characters have.

And for the biggest problem I had with the entire series; for a family of geniuses they sure do some stupid things. While the youngest has a reason since he has had an overly protective mother since birth, the rest of them, especially the mother, have fewer reasons for their bad actions. This disappointed me because I have come to really love Netflix original content, and this show felt like it fell short of the mark. The writing just wasn’t as good.

On the plus side they did show the problem with the “strong, independent, woman” trope. She kept pushing aside her husband, ignoring his advise (a trained Naval seal who had been in many dangerous places) and undermining him to his children. It wasn’t long before one of the children pointed this out, and she started trying to work with him instead of proving she didn’t need him. When there are difficult situations like war, natural disasters, or being lost in the middle of no where, it takes a team effort to get through things. I thought that part was rather nice. Until she started working with him I kind of hated her as a character.

Overall if you go in not expecting much more than a drama in space then you’ll be fine. But it isn’t hard science, and it isn’t a comedy (though there were a few moments I laughed out loud.) It’s more of a teen drama that follows Murphy’s law on a planet far far away. Still not bad to watch….as long as you know what you’re getting into.

Now for some spoilers beyond the cut:

Read the rest of this entry »

 
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Posted by on April 23, 2018 in On Writing

 

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Progress

I’ve been working on the next Half Blood Sorceress novel, and I’m definitely more than half way through now. Today I finished another chapter and reorganized a number of chapters trying to get everything to work right. There are a couple of subplots going on in this novel, so pacing and getting the order right for some of the scenes is important.

All of the yellow chapters are done. That’s the first draft, of course. The rest have to be finished, and put in the proper order.

The trouble today came in a plot error. I realized I had a few chapters that were in the wrong spot and made no sense where they were. I ended up moving a few chapters around, and combining a couple others. I also am considering scrapping two entirely, or using parts of it for another chapter. At the moment it doesn’t quite make sense where it is.

And that’s the trouble with story telling. Sometimes the pieces get all jumbled up and you have to sort the threads out before you can get anywhere.

As for my other goals… I’ve been practicing Japanese more, learning new words and starting to learn some sentences. I’ve also been working on the health issues, which isn’t easy since it’s the height of allergy season and it’s sometimes not easy to breath, let alone exercise. I’ve decided right now I have to do the other half of it and cut my intake as much as possible. Lots of high protein low cal food.

Word Count: 600

Duolingo: a lot of modules.

Steps: not achieved.

Art: This cute little fairy

 
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Posted by on April 6, 2018 in On Writing

 

Where is my heart?

They say follow your passion and you’ll never work another day in your life. Bjorn and I talk about this, it isn’t that you don’t work. In fact you probably work harder if you’re following your own passions. It’s that you’re working for yourself, and for your dreams, so it doesn’t feel as distasteful.

Oh, there are days when it down right sucks to work on your passion. I’ve been sick for weeks and could barely string two words together, I know sometimes it’s very hard to follow what you love. But other times it’s the most amazing thing in the world, and you just get to be thrilled that you earn a living doing something you’d happily do anyway.

And some days it’s easy to say “this is the thing I love.” Other days you might get distracted, or like me you have several things you love and sometimes you have to choose which one is more important. Do I write, or draw? Do I sew, or bead? Maybe all of them?

Honestly, having a lot of passions is not a bad problem to have. I can almost always find something I love to work on that day. The bad part of it is finishing things. When you’ve got so many things going on it’s hard to pick a task to complete, and if you don’t complete things you can’t put them out in the world for other people to enjoy.

I don’t know the answer, I’m just thinking about it a lot. I think I will be the rest of the year because hopefuly next year I’m going to have a chance to do stuff full time, or at least have a part time job instead of a full time job. It all depends on a bunch of things, and I have a whole year to figure it out.

Word Count: still writing tonight

Duolingo: 2 modules.

Steps: ACHIEVED! Feeling better.

Art: none

 
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Posted by on March 26, 2018 in On Writing, Personal Notes

 

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Today

I’m finally better. It only took three weeks to finally wake up and have some energy. The best part is I have to go to work tomorrow. So glad that I’m awake to do that. Nothing worse than going to work and falling asleep at my desk. (Not that I’ve done that, but boy it was hard to stay awake the last week or so.)

So today is another protest day. And, of course, social media is ablaze with it. It’s impossible to avoid it, which gets me thinking…

I can see why some people want to ban guns. Guns are weapons that can be used for some awful things. It might make a person feel safer if they know that the person next door doesn’t have a gun. But I’ve also lived in a place where police and ambulances were more than an hour away, and we had rattle snakes and wild pigs that would sometimes come in our yard. My parents had guns, and killed a few rattlers that were hiding in the play set where my sisters and I played every day. My dog was gored by a wild pig, stuck by a porcupine, and bitten by a rattle snake trying to protect us. Not to mention the humans out in the country with less than stellar performance.

But the part that really bothers me about this situation, that completely saddens me, is that everyone is ignoring the fact that the police dropped the ball so hard in that shooting. The boy was reported to police and the FBI more than 20 times, and no one did anything about it. Police didn’t go in when they got to the school. It was requested that he be institutionalized in 2016 and they didn’t do that. And none of this information was on his report when he bought a gun, legally. Why aren’t the protesters out there demanding the police be held accountable?

How can banning anything help if there is no one enforcing the laws we already have?

I’ve seen a lot of people who say there are problems with “gun enthusiasts.” That a collector who shoots guns for fun at a gun range is perpetrating the problem. They aren’t gun enthusiast, most of them have had family and friends who said ‘they were never interested in guns.” Actual enthusiasts are collectors, and sportsmen. They aren’t the problem.

How about hunters? No, they are in it for hunting deer.

How about depressed teenagers, or angry men? Well, it’s a place to start looking but even that has it’s problems.

So why is it happening? What is driving them? What’s in their life that isn’t being taken care of? Why aren’t they able to get help from councilors, teachers, bosses, family, or friends? All good questions that we are only beginning to ask.

Banning all the things never solved anything. Maybe it would be a start, maybe fewer people would have guns (at least legal ones), but the underlying problem wouldn’t be fixed. Who knows, maybe without guns the next perpetrator will take their own life instead of a lot of people, or maybe they will just grab a knife and use it instead like in this, this, or any of these. Or arson, like the man who killed 87 people. Or the bombings in Texas.

Yes, some reform could be used, and might be good. Having some sort of insurance on gun owners just like there is on car owners, or forcing all states to require gun safety classes, and actually enforce laws already on the books. Any of those things, and a few other things might help. But that doesn’t stop the underlying problem.

Maybe we could cut down on copycat killings by keeping the media from naming shooters, or giving them any press. Focus on the families, and people effected. Having better mental health access, and perhaps something more geared to men. Maybe we could find out why men are failing in schools, or why they are more prone to depression and suicide. All of these could be a start.

What is the problem? I don’t know. There are 7 billion people on this planet, and a lot of them are feeling a little hopeless. A lot of them have been taught some pretty terrible things. Others are just not mentally stable and can’t get the help they need. But “ban all the things” doesn’t stop the problem, it just covers it up for a little while till it happens in a different way.

But that’s my 2-cents about it. Sadly very few people are listening to the “other side” right now. They believe what they believe, and ignore everything else. Again, it doesn’t solve the problem.

I wonder when humanity will start listening to each other.

 
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Posted by on March 25, 2018 in On Writing

 

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Three weeks

It’s been three weeks since I got sick, and I’m still exhausted. We went to the doctor yesterday and she said it looked life a virus and it can take a month or two for the fatigue to pass.

A month or two of this? How do I function? I have a job, and books to write, and everything else…

I can still do things, it’s just a lot slower. And I’ve noticed the more I am on my feet the more tired I am.

I think I’m going to try laying down with the laptop to write. At least that would be an improvement. I’ve also been laying down during breaks at work just trying to get through the day. Anything to try and stay awake for the whole shift, but by the last couple hours I’m so tired I start really struggling to think. Then I come home and go right to sleep.

I hate this. I’m trying B-12 complex and since meds for now. It’s all I have.

If anyone has any other suggestions I’m all ears. This is miserable.

 
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Posted by on March 23, 2018 in On Writing

 

Getting a little personal

I’ve been watching a lot of videos about… well… self help actually. Or maybe it’s self actualization, or attaining your potential. Any of those things, I suppose, they all boil down to the same philosophy: making something of your life.

And it doesn’t matter which book, or webinar, or podcast, or youtube video you watch, they all have the same premise. Find yourself. Then find out what you can do to make yourself better. Either by organizing your life, or learning new skills, or teaching, etc, etc. There are so many ways you can find that path, and for each person it’s going to be a little different, because we’re a little different. What drives me, and makes me happy isn’t the same thing that makes you happy. Or my children happy. Or my boyfriend happy. And that’s okay.

Personal responsibility. It’s a difficult thing to suggest these days when everyone seems so keen on blaming everyone else for their failure. I grew up around people who constantly blamed the rich for keeping them down, or jobs stagnating, or prices being fixed. Very few of them actually considered learning a trade, or starting their own business, or doing side work, or maybe even getting a second job.

There has been an anathema to this idea of “picking yourself up by the bootstrap”. So many keep saying it doesn’t work, that there are obstacles. Well, of course there are obstacles. Life is filled with them, no matter who you are. You might have some things that help you get past the obstacles a little faster, like training, or money, or a family willing to help you, but that doesn’t mean there won’t be obstacles.

For me in my writing, my biggest obstacles are my spelling (hire editors), and my ability to procrastinate. I’m amazing at procrastinating. If there were a masters in procrastination I would get it…eventually.

But that’s where personal responsibility comes in. Being responsible for my children was easy. If I didn’t feed them they let me know about it and I got myself into the kitchen and made them some food, or taught them how to make something. Feeding myself isn’t as easy. I often forget to eat, and don’t think about it till my body starts reminding me that without proper food intake it doesn’t do so well. Same with writing. If I have a deadline for a professor in a college class it is much easier to get it done than if I am just writing for myself.

Now that all of my children have moved out and it is just Gregg and I in the home it’s…interesting. I’m taking a whole new look at personal responsibility, and realizing I’ve never really had any for myself. I’ve had responsibilities outside myself like bills and children and work. But for me? That is so completely different. To take responsibility in improving yourself, pushing yourself to do great things, even making sure you put down the video game and pick up the pen, complete what you started. Being responsible to yourself instead of just doing what others tell you to do. It’s a completely new way of looking at the world and I’m only beginning to understand it.

 
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Posted by on March 20, 2018 in On Writing

 

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