Things I Research: Evening Wear

Occasionally I research some pretty random things while writing my novel. I think it might be fun to highlight some of them every once in awhile.
I haven’t really done any extensive research into this yet (that will come when I eventually start revising), but I did look at some images of Victorian evening wear – specifically, the 1890s, since that is roughly the time period that Nilean women’s clothing is based on. There are several scenes in this draft in which evening wear is present, so I just wanted to get a quick idea of what it might look like. Some of the pictures I found:

I can’t wait to research it more! I don’t pay any attention to fashion nowadays, but fashion history fascinates me.

Road Trip Wednesday: Why I Write

This week’s topic is…
What’s your numero-uno reason for writing?
I think my Number One reason for writing is rooted in when I started writing during middle school. I was constantly moving around because my dad was in the military, so I was also the new kid, and I was also really shy, so I had a hard time making friends. And throw into the mix the fact that I was bullied in 8th grade (right around the time I started writing my first longer story)…well, basically, the whole reason I started writing in the first place is that even if there weren’t very many people who were there for me in real life, my imagination never abandoned me. My characters were my friends even when I had none.
I’m not that shy, awkward 13-year-old anymore. But my main reason for writing hasn’t really changed all that much. Even when life gets really, really crappy (which it has, on occasion, the past few years), the story and my characters and their world is still there. When school and work and the whole learning how to be a grownup thing all get to be too much, it’s all there. If things are confusing or whatever…well, there’s a whole folder of poetry on my computer that is a testament to me trying to work through things in the only way I know how. I have boxes and boxes of journals in my closet that are the same thing. There are scenes in Shards of Memory that I can point to and tell you they are pulled directly from my adolescence.
Basically…I write because I have to.
Currently Listening To: Florence + The Machine – “You’ve Got The Love” 

This is probably the closest thing to a plot I will have.

I came up with a summary for my (still untitled) NaNovel. I wrote it at like 7 in the morning pre-coffee, so it’s pretty less than spectacular awesome. And may or may not be coherent. Here is is:

Several centuries after World War III destroys modern civilization, humankind has finally managed to rebuild society on the principal that difference caused all of human history’s problems and therefore is not allowed to exist. In this society, people are tested to see which path would best suit their abilities; 18-year-old Haylee has tested into the bureaucracy. However, when her father is put on trial and executed for witchcraft, she starts questioning the people she’s spent her whole life preparing to work for. And when she is invited to a meeting by Arthur, one of her coworkers, she finds herself sucked into a plot to take down their government from the inside. It’s a dangerous game she’s playing…will she make it out with her life intact?

Nothing like a little life or death action to make things more exciting, right?

Currently Listening To: Britney Spears – “If U Seek Amy”

Progress Report: Shards of Memory

I hit 30k on Sunday night, which is about 60% of the way toward completion. So I took a moment to dance around my room a bit.

I think my roommate was probably relieved that I finished that scene I was working on because I’d been listening to the same song over and over and over again on repeat for the past two hours. And since she doesn’t quite share my taste in music, she was probably really sick of it.
The song I listened to through that entire last scene was “Dance Me To The End Of Love” by The Civil Wars, because it just seemed to fit so well with what I was writing and was therefore the only song I could possibly listen to that wouldn’t through off my groove.

I haven’t been able to write as much as I’d like lately, but I’ve been doing better so far this quarter blocking out time in my schedule to write. And when I do sit down to write, it’s coming easier. I think now that I’m past the halfway point – so more of this thing is done than not done – I’m starting to see the light at the end of the tunnel, so I’m starting to feel really excited about finishing this draft.
Also, it totally helps that stuff is totally happening and things are really about to hit the fan soon. I might be a little sadistic. My poor characters.
Anyway, it’s after my bedtime now. So I’d probably better go sleep. After I finish my laundry. Which I sort of forgot about in the midst of awkwardly dancing around my room. Oops.

Currently Listening To: Bon Iver – “Holocene”

Teaser Tuesday: zombie apocalypse survival plans

Last week for my English class we had to write 200-250 word essays about some aspect of college life. This is what I came up with:
College is the first time many of us will have to face the “real world” and being a “grownup.” Until this point, many of us won’t have had to deal with things such as paying our own rent or cooking for ourselves – although, to be honest, many of us still refuse to face the latter, popcorn being a completely valid option for every meal. Even more important than having food or a place to live, though, is having a zombie apocalypse survival plan.
            Chances are you know what to do if there’s a fire, or maybe even an earthquake. But when you go off into the wide world around you, and actually start to realize how many people are actually out there, you start to realize just how disastrous things could really be if those people you’re running into every day on the bus were to be infected and turned into zombies. You start looking around, trying to figure out the easiest escape route from any lecture hall. If you’re on the bus, you try to figure out how to best maneuver to slay any zombies who try to spread their dreaded virus while some stranger is practically sitting in your lap. You try to find slow people to be friends with so you can use them as bait should you encounter zombies walking around campus.
            The reality is that you really don’t know when the zombie apocalypse could happen. And now that you’re on your own, you have to formulate your own survival plan because Mom and Dad are no longer around to tell you what to do.