27 February 2008

Busy, busy, busy!

They've published the results of the second round of the Physics Olympiad. Guess who qualified for the Norwegian finals! *grins* March & April will be quite busy for me. I'll be in Oslo for the chemistry finals for a week, then I'm off to the Netherlands to take my Dutch exams, and then it's back to Oslo again for the physics finals.

Of course the muse chose a time like this to come back with a ton of ideas...

I've decided to put NaNo07 away for the time being and start editing NaNo06 instead. I've rewritten a few scenes here and there and already I'm getting new walk-ins and plotlines. Geravan suddenly decided that he has an uncle who really needs a role, Thiadulf has deserted from the Roman army (ahem, wtf??), Marcus has become suicidal (I thought I knocked that out of him last year...) and Embric has finally told me his backstory. Well, technically Thiadulf told me which makes it even more complicated, because how the hell would Thiadulf know?

I've also started another writing project - a trilogy about Knut Hamsun and penguins. A friend of mine was so inspired by my penguin snippet that she decided to write about it herself, and now we've decided to do it together. We've got most of the plot worked out already (including why the penguins want to murder Hamsun) and my friend has a few scenes written down already. It'll be awesome :)

Bits of old stone, from Rhodes.

21 February 2008

Not impressed

I got a letter from the Uni admission office. An entire page of educational laws paragraph this-and-that - basically it said I needed to get my diploma plus pass Dutch and English exams. It also said I'd find information about further entrance exams and subjects and whatnot in the envelope. The envelope, however, was empty.

And their knowledge of geography is a bit, well, how should I put this? My place of birth, according to them is "Utrecht, the Netherlands, Norway".

Then I got an email from the admission people, telling me they were very sorry, but they couldn't verify my personal details, and could I please send them a copy of my passport.
I have. Twice, as a matter of fact.


20 February 2008

Oh glorious insomnia!

Total amount of sleep last night: 0 hours 0 minutes 0 seconds!

After tossing and turning for an hour or two, I figured, what the hell, it's not like I'm going to get to sleep anyway so I might as well do something useful. So I read up on my Dutch grammar and realised I should be doing just fine next month (Uni entrance exams, lol) since my dialect is as close to standard written Dutch as it is possible to get. And then I read The Eagle's Prey by Simon Scarrow. I like the Eagle series, but why do the Batavians always end up getting slaughtered? 'S not fair *sulks*

I managed to crawl out of bed sometime after dawn (no school this week, muahaha) and felt a bit of a wreck. Looked like it too. I mean, I always have dark circles under my eyes (which is totally the Romans' fault, where's the PFJ?) but today I looked like I'd been punched in the face.
Nothing an inch of concealer can't fix - helped of course by liberal amounts of tea and a handful chocolate covered coffee beans. Then I was all hyper for hours but now the after-effects of this morning's caffeine haze are starting to wear off. My eyes are burning and the head feels like cotton fuzz. But I don't feel like sleeping. I hope it's not going to be one of those several-all-nighters-in-a-row weeks because I have an eight hour shift at the deli tomorrow.

But right now there's only one thing to do! Rewriting that scene where Marcus comes stumbling into Mainz half dead. 3/4 dead is probably more like it.

The pigeon invaded my post without permission.

12 February 2008

Because I'm too scared to read about the theory of relativity

Memes are more fun anyway:) I stole this one from Kirsten's blog.

What’s the last thing you wrote?
Today I've written a few paragraphs for "Suddenly, ninjas arrived", which is my NaNo07 novel about the Romans in Wales (I still need to find a good title for it).
Technically, though, the last thing I wrote was something physics related about electromagnetism.

Was it any good?
The physics was good. It had an integral symbol, and they make everything look smart. Very good indeed.
I'm not so sure about the fiction I wrote, though. I always write a very rough and extremely messy draft first just to get the ideas down on the paper, and then I edit later (and I procrastinate a lot when it comes to editing). So those paragraphs contain some ghastly prose and maybe some grammatical errors as well, but I think I'm getting somewhere plot-wise now. Ingomar won't be too happy though, because I've decided he's going to be the human sacrifice instead of Butimas.

What’s the first thing you wrote that you still have?
Probably this little beauty:
It's (supposed to be) Dutch and basically means "The hot sun beams reach the earth if the sun doesn't leave quickly we'll be burned finally the sun has left" (who cares about punctuation anyway?). I think I was five when I wrote this... Can you believe I still haven't found a publisher?
And then I have some stories I wrote when I was seven or so about a butterfly and a spider, and one about a rabbit (which I never finished, and that bothers me, because I stopped with a cliffhanger), plus some books I wrote (and drew) with my little brother when I was about eight.

Write poetry?
Not much. I wrote quite a lot when I was younger.

Angsty poetry?
Never. It only makes me laugh

Favourite genre of writing?
NaNo-genre! (aka historical fiction with the odd ninja thrown in) Fantasy is rather fun to write as well because you don't have to follow the laws of physics.

Most fun character you ever created?
I'm not sure. Geravan maybe. He usually listens to me but still has a personality of his own. Same with Marcus, though he tends to be whiny. Oh, and Merula (when he doesn't talk to trees, that is).

Most annoying character you ever created?
Hmm... Verax. He is actually historical, but his personality was created by me. He's an opportunistic, ruthless bastard who keeps messing up the plot. Embric is a close second (do you mind *not* getting Geravan accused of treason??).

Best plot you ever created?
When I started, "Suddenly, ninjas arrived" had a decent plot, but now it has become so messed up that no two paragraphs fit together. So I think I'll go for NaNo06, which is about the Batavian revolt (and pretty much titleless). It follows Tacitus' account closely but I've built the plot around it in a way I'm quite pleased with. And now that I've left the thing alone for a few months all sorts of new ideas are starting to form. Muahahaha! (Sorry, Liaueld, but my mind is made up)

How often do you get writer’s block?
When I have time to write, I usually manage to write. PMS sometimes scares the muse, but usually he just flies into a murderous rage and I end up killing half the walk-ins just for the heck of it. By looking at NaNo06 I can actually tell which bits were written when I had PMS - every 40 k or so there's a flurry of completely unnecessary and very violent deaths. It's scary.

Write fan fiction?

Do you type or write by hand?
Both. When I have ideas I prefer to type because it's faster, but when I'm not sure what to write I prefer writing by hand. Pages fill up faster that way and I worry less about editing. Plus I can write during class (add a few Romans and double religion is suddenly tolerable)

Do you save everything you write?

Do you ever go back to an old idea long after you abandoned it?
Sometimes. The notebook with the outlines for the fantasy story I started years ago is pulled out of the drawer every month or so.

What’s your favourite thing that you’ve written?
It has to be NaNo06. Yaay for the Batavian revolt!

Do you ever show people your work?
Hardly. If I'm really really happy I might post a snippet here. It's mostly because everything is just a messy first draft (like a stick figure drawing compared to the Mona Lisa I hope it'll be eventually)

Did you ever write a novel?
Yes (and it feels so good saying that!). I finished the first draft for a novel about the Batavian revolt last autumn. I cried like a baby when I finished it. It requires heavy editing, but I've written it!

Ever written romance or teen angst drama?
No. Not really my style.

What’s your favourite setting for your characters?
At the moment it seems to be the northern fringes of the Roman Empire, 1st century ad. But they thrive in my fantasy world as well.

How many writing projects are you working on right now?
Actually writing: 1
Editing in my head: 3
Plotbunnies I've pushed under the bed: Half a dozen or so

Do you want to write for a living?
Mmm... no. Yes. Maybe. I dunno. I want a 'normal' job and then write in the evenings. Because otherwise I'd probably have a deadline (one that is less friendly than the NaNo deadline)

Have you ever won an award for your writing?
If top grades for essays count, haha. I've never entered any writing contests, so no.

Ever written something in script or play format?
Just for school. I wrote a few sketches for the Russ revue last autumn - made fun of the local "news"paper and the firstgraders.

What are your 5 favourite words?
Vraisemblablement (French). Try saying it ten times fast. Oh, and caribou. Nice, woody sort of word (okay, no more Monty Python for me). Hmm... I don't really have favourite words.

Do you ever write based on yourself?
I hope not.

What character have you created that most resembles yourself?
Oh, that's difficult. I don't really resemble any of my characters (I think...). There are just a few personality traits and quirks. Marcus shares my horrible sense of direction and Geravan is the lucky winner of my short temper.

Do you favour happy endings, sad endings, or cliff-hangers?
It depends on the story. Happy-open like in The Lord of the Rings is probably my favourite, but some stories just need different endings. Like The Mark of the Horse Lord by Rosemary Sutcliff.

Have you written based on an artwork you have seen?
Maybe unconsciously. I see so much art that it's impossible to remember everything.

Are you concerned with spelling and grammar as you write?
Yes. It's messy enough as it is without grammatical errors. I usually don't make mistakes (I hope, haha), except when it comes to compound words. In Norwegian these should be written as one word, whereas in English you seem to be allowed to add spaces wherever you like (I write my fiction in English). So when I write 'snowballfight' or "stickfiguredrawing" and that red line comes up I always want to kill that stupid spellchecker. Spell checker. Whatever.
Oh, and when I'm tired I mess up homonyms. So far my favourite is "The lake was covered with a thin layer of eyes"

Does music help you write?
Of course. Led Zeppelin, Pink Floyd, the LotR soundtracks, Gåte... And I howl along to the music as well, much to my brother's displeasure (I can't sing to save my life).

Quote something you’ve written.
From the titleless novel about the Batavian revolt:

Ercuin shook his head. ‘The revenge of one man can't be allowed to ruin the future of an entire people.’
‘The revenge of one man?’ repeated Geravan. He gave a hollow laugh. ‘Oh, yes of course. And you think that Civilis’ motive was not revenge? Do you think that he would have attacked the Romans if his brother hadn't been executed, or if Labeo hadn't just been promoted?’
‘That was then,’ said Ercuin. ‘This is now. Listen, Geravan. I knew your brother well; we served in the ala together for many years-’
‘But you will not let me avenge him?’ said Geravan bitterly. ‘You can't have been on friendly terms, then.’

This is probably the best meme I've done in a while because it helped me find a name for Ercuin. Up till now he's gone by 'Batavian4'. Stupid walk-ins.

5 February 2008

At art school today...

... I got to be the canvas!

3 February 2008


I've strained a muscle, in my shoulder neck area somewhere. I can hardly keep my head up. It hurts when I lie down, when I sit and when I write.

Just what I need right now.

I have to write an essay about Quisling, finish a chemistry report, do 20 physics exercises about electromagnetic induction, read 40 pages about astrophysics, write an essay for religion and study for a Norwegian test. All within the next two days >.<

Badminton training tomorrow will be fun, for sure.