Saturday, November 16, 2013


Just a short post, since I'm trying to get some work done on my NaNoWriMo project, but here are the three pages of the graphic novel that I've inked so far. My partner arranged the panels in InDesign and added the text, but I'll just show you the art for now.

The inking went a lot better than I expected it to.

Friday, November 15, 2013

Dreamlocked Rough Pages 5 and 6

Hey, everybody! Because I'm just soooo proud of them, here are the rough drafts of pages 5 and 6 of my graphic novel project.

I originally drew the pages in pencil, but as is evident from other posts on this blog, pencil doesn't show up very well once it's been scanned, so I doctored these pages up just a little bit. When I scanned the pages in, I lowered the brightness and increased the contrast of the scans just a leetle bit. Then I opened them up in a free photo editing program called PhotoFiltre (because I'm not a real artist or anything like that and I can't afford to have Photoshop just for the fun of it). I applied a filter called Comic Book, which made the lines show up darker, and then I bumped the contrast up just a little bit more. I don't like to mess with the contrast too much, because it just makes the art look awful and weird when I do. I think the filter helps a lot.

Page 5 is my favorite page of everything I've penciled so far.

I'm going to begin inking tonight so my partner can get the pages into InDesign. I'm completely terrified. Usually, if I'm going to screw up any given piece of art, it'll be when I'm inking it. I've got scans of everything, so hopefully all will not be lost if I make a major boo-boo, but there's still a ton of potential for this stage of the process to go horribly wrong. That's why I've been putting it off, but I don't have time to do that anymore.

Wish me luck! Hopefully I'll be able to show you some nice inked scans soon!


...except it's actually over ten thousand, and I didn't think to use this joke until it was too late.

I hit ten thousand words on my NaNoWriMo project! Yaaaay!

That's well and good, but I really need to be approaching 30,000 words right now... Anybody for a writing marathon?

I've been working on the Great Graphic Novel Project of '13, too, and I've got two more pages penciled. If I can stop messing with the scanning settings, I'll try to upload them for y'all to see.

My laptop's been having Internet issues lately, which is part of the reason the blog's been quiet for a few days, but I seem to be making a little headway in that department, so hopefully the radio silence will end here.

A happy NaNoWriMo to all, and to all a good night!

Monday, November 11, 2013

Leetle Problem

I'm about to start a heavy-duty penciling session for my graphic novel project, and I was planning on doing so while listening to some good drawing music, but I ran into a leetle problem.

The cover's been popping off for months. I don't know how I didn't manage to lose it in Europe. Usually I just stick it back on, and it'll stay put for another week or two. I guess I was always too cheap or lazy to buy new headphones.

This time, however, I don't know if I'll ever find the cover. It's lost in the pigsty that is my room. Maybe I'd find it if I cleaned up... Or maybe the cover actually did fall into the trash can like I hoped it didn't. Who knows? Not me.

Yes, I could clean, but I think that instead I'll just consider this a sign that it's time to buy new headphones.

In the meantime, I found a set of headphones that one of the airlines gave me last summer in my backpack. I knew there was a reason to keep them!

Sunday, November 10, 2013

A Trip Back In Time

I had a pretty neat thought just now. What if I could go back in time and visit myself when I was eight years old? I would do some major showing off to impress my younger self.

I would definitely have to show eight-year-old Rebecca my iPhone. For all intents and purposes, let's just assume that, if I have technology that can send me back in time, I also have technology that allows me to connect to the phone service and WiFi of the future.

Because how impressed would someone from 2001 be with an iPhone 4S? The first version of the iPhone didn't even come out until 2007 (thank you, Wikipedia). I think the eight-year-old version of myself would freak out over the sheer awesomeness. In 2001, the cell phone was still a relatively new gadget in my house. I think my mom was still using her Nokia brick. If not, then my parents had upgraded to the not-much-more-impressive proto-flip phones. Only half of the phone flipped; it was the part that covered the number pad, and it was also the part you talked into.

But I really do think Mom was using the Nokia phone at that point. It was a box with some number keys and a sort of black-and-white screen (we didn't get cell phones with a color display until 2006). I think it had a game or two. That was the only part I would have been interested in, anyway.

It was a while ago, but I don't really remember being too excited about Mom's Nokia. I think that was mostly because cell phones were pretty much just portable telephones back in the day, and I didn't like talking to people on the phone (I still don't). I guess it was an improvement over the pager she had for work, though.

The main technology in my life was the PC that sat on a computer desk in our family's library/living room. If memory serves me right, we had three computers then: the desktop computer in the library, the desktop computer in my parents' bedroom, and the laptop in my dad's den. It would be another year or two (or three?) until the "community" computer got moved into the bedroom I shared with my sister.

Since my parents had their own computers to do their parent-y things on, the one in the living room/library was designated mostly for the computer games that my sister and I played. We played all kinds of computer games, although I don't remember ever actually using the Internet on that computer. The Internet was slowly growing on me (at some point between the ages of 5 and 9, my dad taught me how to use a search engine), but I think at that point I was still mostly concerned with playing computer games.

So imagine if eight-year-old Rebecca was just hanging around the house one day, deciding whether to play with Barbies or to go outside and play in the backyard, when all of a sudden almost-twenty-one-year-old Rebecca walks in and whips out an entire computer that is roughly the size of a chocolate bar.

I would be like a character from Star Trek or something! Compared to the desktop computer I was familiar with at the time, my iPhone would definitely seem like something out of a sci-fi movie. At that point in my life, I had seen a computer with a touch screen apparatus before, although I don't know how I managed that, because touch screens were not common AT ALL. The closest thing I would have seen to an iPhone would have been my mom's Palm Pilot or my dad's Jornada (totally forgot about those until this very second), and I didn't even care about those because they were boring.

So I guess that raises the question... If I wasn't interested in cell phones or personal data assistants when I was eight, would I care at all about an iPhone 4S?

My prediction: Yes.


The games.

Because cell phones today are more than just phones. They're, like, everything. And I think my younger self would be astounded by the fun things my iPhone has to offer. I think she would also consider my iPhone way cooler than my best friend's brother's Game Boy Color, because even an eight-year-old would be able to tell there's a huge difference between the graphics on a GBC and the graphics on my iPhone 4S.

Also, I think she'd find it super awesome that I can talk to my phone and it'll talk back.

So basically, I would be the coolest person she'd ever met.

Although she would probably wonder why the heck I haven't published a book and become a millionaire yet and what the heck I'm doing with my life.

Friday, November 8, 2013

Graphic Novel Update

Hey! I thought I'd post about something other than NaNoWriMo. I haven't written about non-NaNoWriMo stuff in a while.

My other big, huge project is the graphic novel, of course, and I actually met with my partner today. We discovered that the library has a scanner that is better than mine, and she found a good way to set up panels in InDesign. We decided that I'm going to go ahead and ink the panels and scan them, and then she'll arrange them in InDesign and digitally letter them.

In the meantime, I have to draw two more rough draft pages for Thursday, and I'm not looking forward to it. At all. I need to not wait until Wednesday night to start that...

And there's your update! Yay!

Now I'm going to work on my NaNoWriMo project, because I haven't written anything yet today and I have less than an hour for my words to count for today. So... toodles!

NaNoWriMo Word Count: 5735
Graphic Novel Page Count: 4 rough

Thursday, November 7, 2013

NaNoWriMo Crisis AVERTED!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

YOU GUYS!!!!!!!!!


For those of you just tuning in, I posted a rant only a few minutes ago about how I lost a good chunk of my NaNoWriMo project. To read it, either go to the previous post or click this helpful link.

Before resorting to foamy-mouthed ranting on the Internet, I searched the Internet for a way to recover my lost work. As you might conclude from the blog post with all the capital letters, I did not succeed.


As soon as I published the post, I had a sudden burst of inspiration. What do you do to autosaved files you don't want? You delete them. And where do deleted files go?


Ah, glorious day! I found the autosaved file in the Recycle Bin where I hoped it would be. I restored it, feeling my life return to its normal happy place.

But then I realized I had no idea where the restored file had gone.

I tried searching for it on my computer... No results. But I was not ready to give up, not when I was so close to recovering my work! So I went back to the website I had been using earlier, which you can find here:

By somewhat following these instructions and somewhat clicking buttons until something worked, I managed to save all the work I did yesterday.

I think the basic gist of it was:
1) Recover the AutoRecovery save of the document
2) Don't panic when you can't find it
3) Open up a new Word Document
4) Go to File > Open and open up the autosaved file (.asd?) from there (that's where the website helped out).





:) And now I can get back to work.

NaNoWriMo Word Count: 3270, BABY!!!!!!!


IT'S GONE!!!!!!!!!! MY NOVEL IS GONE!!!!!!

Okay, not the whole thing, but everything I wrote yesterday is gone because APPARENTLY I NEVER BOTHERED TO CLICK THE SAVE BUTTON.


And it all happened because I just had to clip my fingernails while sitting at my desk...

Let me 'splain.

I was clipping my very long fingernails at my desk, in front of my open laptop. A piece of fingernail got stuck in my keyboard, under the Calculator button. The only way to get it out was to hold the button down while I fished it out with some tweezers. Naturally, this made about a million Calculator windows open up, and my laptop totally freaked out and locked up on me.

I couldn't get it to respond, so I shut it off with the power button.

Started it up- everything was working fine again.

So tonight, when I finally found the motivation to put in some time on my novel, I went and opened up the document. The usual little sidebar with all the autosaved stuff popped up on the left, and without thinking, I closed it.

A little box popped up, asking if I wanted to view these files again or if I was done with them.

I said to myself, "Meh, I've got all of this saved. I'm good." So I got rid of all them.

Only to find that my novel was missing around 1500 words.

Why?! WHY didn't I just leave the sidebar alone for a few more seconds?! WHYYYYY?!?!?!?!



Only 1500 words, you say. It could be worse.


NOW I HAVE TO WRITE IT ALL OVER AGAIN!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!



I am never going to finish this novel.

NaNoWriMo Word Count: 1711

NaNoWriMo Then And Now

I was looking through old Facebook statuses, and I found one that I posted exactly one year ago (give or take a few hours):

Well, seeing as I currently have 3270 words on this year's NaNoWriMo project, I can officially say I'm doing better than I did last year!

...although not by much.

Here's the graph of what my word count ought to look like this month:

I've got some serious catching up to do.

Wednesday, November 6, 2013

Random Fact #19

Random Fact #19: Some people call a baked potato a "jacket potato." It might just be a British thing- I'm not entirely sure. I've never heard the phrase before. But now that I think about it, it's logical...

Source: I did a Google search for "jacket potato" and perused the top few results without actually clicking on any of them.

I had to look up "jacket potato" because I came across the term while reading through the Very British Problems Twitter account. "Uh... What's a jacket potato? Are they little potatoes that people carry around in their jacket pockets?"

In my defense, the phrase was in a tweet about people wearing coats.

Tuesday, November 5, 2013



Bwaaagh burrrrghhh,

Graaaghh gurr baaghrr Tuesday grehhhh! Errrf greehh oouughaaaahh grah gurr braaaaaaiiiiiin. Aaaarrgh arrh raahh buurrrr Night brrr Elie Wiesel. Brr nnnnng grrruffff AAAAARGHHHHHH. Frrraaauughhh Tuesdays! Graaaaaahh hooooorggh First Lady Hillary Clinton rrrgh Millennium Lecture Series. Mehhh.

Raaauuughhh uuurggghhhhh murr braaaiiin errrrh raaaauuh. Rrraaauuoouughhh! Raaahhhh Lila Quintero Weaver, urrgh rooohhhhhh auuhh Darkroom: A Memoir in Black and White. Buhh buhhh buhhhh grrrrrghhhhh rrrraaaAAUUURRGGHhhhh. Rrrehhh.

Rooaaaauuurrrrrr urrrghhh ohhhhhhuurrr grrr raaaahhh French. Graaaaahhrrrrr uuurr raaaaaaaar French!!!! Urrrr wooooaarrr huuururrrr French hurrrrgah, grraaaaooohhhhhhh aaaahhh. Urrrgh murr braaaiin.

Raaaugh! Urrrrfuhhhh Autumn urrrr groooaaahhhh hurrrg hrrrn. Hrrr! Hrrrr, hrrrr, hrrrr! Arrrrghrr, urrrp brrurr gwooaaahhh Target urrrr Starbucks. Rrrrrrrrr. Rrrffff graaaaghhhhhrk rrrrr spaghetti.

Grreeehhhh?!?!?! Maaauuughh... krrrt graoooohh uhhhhhh NaNoWriMo eehhhh?!?!?!!?!??! Auuuuuuughghhghghhhhhhhh.... grrf ehff aaaaoowwwww rrawwrrrr Shakespeare. Brrrffaaaguuuhhooohhhh braaaaaiiiiiinnnnnnn. Raaaaagh BRAAAAIIIIINN!!!!!!!

Hooorrrg. Grruughhhh Friday hurrr?


Monday, November 4, 2013

I kind of cheated a little bit...

So... I accidentally cheated on my NaNoWriMo a little bit. I had penned out a beginning to my novel a few weeks ago and included it in my word count. But then I read through some of the FAQs and realized that was cheating because you're supposed to only write the novel during the month of November.

I realize that there's no NaNoWriMo police that's going to bust down my door, but it's a matter of pride, you know? I took out the 200-ish words that I had written before the official start date. It set me back a little bit, but 200 words isn't going to make or break me. I want the satisfaction of knowing that I wrote 50,000 words in one month.

...if I make it, that is. I've got all kinds of academic obstacles in my way. I've got papers galore for my actual required classes, as well as that graphic novel project I keep talking about, and on top of it all, I'm also applying for internships for the spring and summer. If I don't get to 50,000 words this month, it won't be for lack of trying, but I really, really want to finish this novel. It's been forming in my brain for two or three years, now.

I'm making progress, I guess... Almost to 2000 words. That's about how much I need to write every day in order to finish on time. According to the stats on the website, if I keep up my current pace, I'll finish in February of next year. Well, that's better than October of 2016 like it used to say!

NaNoWriMo Word Count: 1711


It's November 3 (although it will probably be November 4 by the time I get this posted) and you know what that means!

-the year is almost over
-final exams are looming ever closer
-soon I will be 21
-Thanksgiving is soon
-it's getting colder
-it's National Novel Writing Month!

Yes, my friends, we are three (or four) days into National Novel Writing Month! If you're participating, I hope your novel is going better than mine, which, as of this moment, only has a smidge over 200 words. I got a late start. I only get to hang out with my family every once in a while, and one of those times just happened to fall on the first few days of November, so I got a little sidetracked.

For those of you who are new to this wonderful thing, November is National Novel Writing Month, or NaNoWriMo. This is when a bunch of people focus all their energy into writing a novel of at least 50,000 words before November ends. They log their word count into the website everyday to keep track of their progress. They can also encourage each other and read words of wisdom from successful writers on the website. It's pretty cool! Check it out:

I've tried to do NaNoWriMo the last two years. The first was such a dismal failure that I don't even remember it. I think I just signed up on the website and never got around to actually writing anything. The second year, I completely forgot about it until I was halfway through the month and decided to jump in and try to catch up. I got up to 2,429 words. Progress is progress, I guess.

This year, I'm attempting to write the same novel, but I've had another year to mull it over in my head, and now it looks (or will look) a bit different. I remember getting frustrated as I was writing last year because the words I was typing weren't doing what I wanted them to do. Even though I only have 208 words right now, I'm much happier with the way this thing is going.

I got the NaNoWriMo widget! Now my word count will show up on the sidebar to the right of what you're reading right now. If anybody had been clicking around on my site while I was adding the widget, they would have noticed it jumping all over the header and sidebar while I tried to figure out how to HTML. Probably the last time I tried to HTML was ten years ago when I was adding a background and music to my shop on Neopets.

Provided I actually figured out how to HTML correctly, the widget should keep a running total of the words I've written. I'll also stick it at the end of any blog posts I do between now and the end of the month.

Here's to actually getting to 50,000 words this year!

NaNoWriMo Word Count: 208