Your Twitter friends

Ah, the wonderful world of Twitter. For the last year or so, I’ve found myself addicted, obsessed, and entertained by this new media darling. But over this time, I’ve also noticed some patterns emerging, and bordering on hilarity.

Of course, nothing should be inferred or implied. Any similarity to those living or dead (save for @wilw!) is entirely coincidental.

And rest assured, I’m guilty of quite a few of these myself.

The TMIer – This person seemed normal, and you like making new, interesting friends. But a few days into following their feed, and you now know more about their bodily functions and various diseases than you do about yourself. Who knew 140 characters could read like an episode of “House”?

  • sample: “OMG – yeast infections r so annoying!”, “This sore on my leg won’t go away”, and “Went 2 dr. Said nothing wrong. Going for second op.”

The Self-Important One – They don’t tweet often. And when they do, it’s mostly to belittle the Tweeters that do, or complain about people following them. And after a while, they’ve probably locked their posts. But you don’t care. It’s not like they ever say anything interesting, anyway. Come to think of it–why are you still following them?

  • sample: “People annoy me.”, “I don’t even know why I have this account.”, “Thanks, but blocked.”

The Complainer – Be it sun, rain, snow, sleet, hail, or just a bad day at the office, this friend has something to complain about. In fact, you’ve started to wonder if this person might, in fact, only use Twitter to complain. Sometimes borders on suicidal, maniacal, and even a little deranged. Still, you stand by because… heck, they’re entertaining at least–and it’s good to know someone’s always more miserable than you.

  • sample: “&*#@ it.”, “I don’t know why I keep doing this. Life sucks.”, “Fail Whale again. Figures.”, “This season of BSG just sucks.”

The WoW player – Like the TIMer, this Tweeter started out completely normal and, seemingly, harmless. Family guy, married, no drugs. Then, out of the blue, they start playing WoW, and now every tweet revolves around what’s going on in their Northrend quests, with no semblance to the guy you once knew.

  • sample: “Bio break. Been playing 10hrs.”, “80 DK LFG–oh, wrong channel.”, “WTH, I hate my guild!”

Wil Wheaton – Everyone follows Wil Wheaton. They just do.

  • sample:  “Too busy to stop for lunch today, brewed some green tea and made some Thai-style rice from the microwave. YES YOU NEED TO KNOW THIS. GOSH.”

The Drunk – One day you opened your browser up and discovered that an unassuming friend had imbibed a fifth of whisky, resulting in revealing to you his long-hidden desires to do very dirty things to you. Followed by adamant, and very drunken, apologies.You still stopped following him, anyway.

  • sample: “Its so fun tow type drunk!”, “SUCK IT TWEETER!”, “I’m sorry… pls follw me back.”

The Stalker – Every tweet they make is wondering where @someone is. Every day. Multiple times, multiple people. It’s astonishing how creepy 140 characters or less can be.

  • sample: “Where is @someone?”, “When was the last time anyone saw @someone?”, “I keep messaging @someone but they keep ignoring me. R They OK?!”, “Ten people stopped following me today. :(“

The Stoner – You’re not sure why you’re following them, other than their great non-sequiturs. They often reply to you days after something you tweeted, and so you have to sift through your updates to figure where in the heck they’re coming from. Often talk about Cheetos, Mountain Dew, and Pez. In no paritcular order.

  • sample: “Did Obama win the election or wut?”, “Playing RockBand. Hilarious.”, “Never knew Schindler’s List was so funny.”, “Ok.”

The Couple – Some days your entire Tweet log is just between these two, who don’t seem to know there’s something called a direct message, let alone a telephone or an IM. As a result, you’re starting to feel like a kid with two divorcing parents. Or two parents who love each other a little too much when you’re around. Or like you’re stuck in an episode of “The Brady Bunch.”

  • sample: “@wife Did you get bread at the grocery store?”, “@husband Y r such a jerk sometimes.”, “@significant other Let me know what the doctor says about the fertility treament.”

Any others you want to add? Comment away. 🙂

Ringing the WIP.

I’m working on something right now, something I started during my horrific cold the last few weeks. I’m purposely taking a bit of a break from AGC (no worries, Alderpod listeners; I have plenty of chapters yet to read, so y’all won’t notice the difference) to work on this WIP, which is a project I’ve actually been contemplating since I started my undergraduate career a decade ago (how did ten years pass?!). At that point, I’d written thousands of pages of writing, but had yet to complete a novel; that came years later, with the end of the YA novel, Peter of Windbourne (unpublished… may never see the light of day, but we’ll see). The current WIP is pure, unadulterated fantasy, except when it itsn’t, and for the first time ever, it’s told in the first person.

With The Aldersgate, of course the challenge is juggling so many voices. Six-to-eight in the first novel, getting tone right, etc. But it’s all third person, as is Pilgrim of the Skies, so there’s still a comfortable distance. However, this WIP is not. It’s an uncomfortable proximity. I’ve written short stories, and even poems like this, but I’ve never undertaken a whole novel.

What gets me is that she follows me around all day. It borders on creepy, but I’ve been spending so much time in my protagonist’s brain that I can’t just turn her off when I want. I’m in the shower, she’s talking; I’m trying to sleep, she’s illustrating her opinion like some old radio station that I can’t quite get in clear. Never have I had a single character so invade my daily doings, prevent me from sleep, and snap me into moments of “huh?” so frequently.

This is also the fastest I’ve ever written a novel in my life. When her story starts going, I can’t write it fast enough. I literally had a snap of revelation the other day in which all the major events of the novel unfolded in front of me in a brief and frenzied burst of energy. Everything. Down to frightening detail. (Not that I had no idea where it was going, but I did have some pondering to do on some subjects…)

Unlike the other non-Aldersgate novel I’ve worked on in the last few months, the book I wrote for NaNoWriMo, nothing feels forced this time. I’ve gone back and tried to read bits of Pilgrim of the Sky, and some of it is good. But plenty was me just sitting, spinning my wheels, contemplating my navel, and trying to churn out the daily word count.

Yesterday, my WIP stood still. The line went dead.

So today, I’m dragging my feet, hoping for the call. I’ll be ready.

Anyone else ever experience this sort of thing? Or am I showing signs of the crazies again….

Excuse the uglies.

nataniabiltmore2Clearly I haven’t yet had time to tinker with the look and feel of this website. I have grand plans for it, but hope that in the mean time you’ll visit for the pure AWESOME of the content. Not to mention that many of you read this site through an aggregator of some sorts, I don’t feel that there’s a huge rush for making it beautiful. I mean, well, the main reason I want it to look nice is because I’m a little obsessive about aesthetics… so. It’s for me more than anything. Because I will keep logging on and seeing that ugly blue thing at the top of the page and want to rip it from the screen.


I love mornings. More coffee is required for optimal brain function.

Compiling… compiling… compiling…

The creativity curve, and time for the cure.

Creativity is a fickle little brat. You know, I try my best to be disciplined. Okay, that’s a blatant lie.

Let me try this again.

I’m not good at being disciplined, but I occasionally make the effort to do more than write whenever I feel like it. I write when I can. And what exactly the magic mix that entices me to write thousands of words at a go might be… well, damned if I know. Sometimes opening up my laptop and staring at Scrivener is akin to a holy experience, the story unfolding in front of me faster than I can type. Other times, I feel like a dried up husk with bad anecdotes and virtually no abilities.

For all my shortcomings as a human being (vices include: sloth (procrastination), gluttony (cheese and wine please), and envy (why the CRAP is [soandso] published and I’m not), I think I have enough redeeming qualities to move me from a) person who talks about being a writer but doesn’t really do it enough to qualify to b) person who actually writes books, short stories, and completes them. Granted, I’m not as clever or as skilled as a metric ton of other writers out there, but from my experience gleaning the shelves of local bookstores, wit and talent have little to do with actually being published.

What’s frustrating is my inability to sustain. Sure, I go through phases where I literally drip words. I write tens of thousands of words in a week; I am bombarded at every turn by plot twists, character dialogue snippets, and intriguing word combinations. I can’t escape thinking about what I’m writing if I tried (which, in the case of last night, kept me up way past my bed-time).

But then? It’s like someone quite surreptitiously turns off the lights, cuts the power, and takes away my wine. I sit down to write, and it’s void. A chasm. Emptiness, despair. My own little Swamp of Sorrows. Just for me. How lucky I am. Worse even, I look back at what I’ve written and cringe, feel ill, and have to suppress the desire to kill everything I’ve worked on up to that point with fire. Sulfuric fire. Or a lake of fire. Something along those lines.

I have no one to blame but my own frustrating self, because I know it’s possible. I know I am capable. I just have no idea what’s at the root of the highs and lows of my writing habits. And that, friends, is really what ticks me off.

When I decided to Be A Writer, I vowed to write. I promised myself that I’d be more than someone who dabbles, that puts cute ideas together and ponders the possibility of ever finishing. With this new year, I no longer have a full-time job in the Real World–but I am a full-time Mom.  Until I am old and withered, I will always have other things to do.

See, organized people would try and figure out what causes these rises and falls in creativity. They’d get out Google Calendar and every day they’d rate themselves on how they feel, and what they’ve done and eaten, and how much sun they’ve seen, and take all that evidence, digest it a bit, and proclaim triumphantly after a year’s worth of data and compiling that [THIS] is the cause of their oscillation.

I am not that person.

Alas. I am going to go back and try and get back in this groove. Except writing today feels like putting on a damp shirt from the dryer that was left too long in the wash; musty, wet, and cold all at the same time.

I think it might be time for the Cure.

Hah. Irony.

A quick word from our sponsors.

Well, hello there.

A quick first post. This is my new home on the web, intended to be a little more free-form than my other blog, which of course you can find over at The Aldersgate Cycle.

What will you find here? Well, first and foremost this is a blog about writing. Secondly, it’s about being a geek. Thirdly, it’s about being a mom. So you might find quasi-feminist rants about the latest Pages interface design. Or Renaissance recipes. Or D&D discussions on how to balance family and gaming. Or quips of poetry or… well, you get the idea I daresay.

If you’ve enjoyed my stuff at the AGC, stick around. If you’ve just stumbled upon me, well–stick around, too!