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Posts Tagged ‘revision’

Better late than never, right?

But first, an examination for how I did with my resolutions last year:

I, the guilt party, do henceforth solemnly swear to make a concerted effort to write on a steady basis.
I was doing all right until, you know, I stopped in October-ish. So this past year more has been written for just me than I think I’ve ever really done before. Not too bad. All in all, I’d give myself a B- on this one.

I will stop giving head-space to other people’s storylands and expand on my own.
Actually did a decent job this year on this one. My D&D campaign actually has back story! And my own stories are better for it, as well.

I will push my boundaries, and sometimes I will fail, but I will learn something from having gone further than I’ve ever gone before.
This year I picked up some new hobbies, including some things I swore I would NEVER EVER do. Good job, me!

I will actually get off my butt and exercise .
Sword club counts as exercise, right? I go for lots of walks (especially when working on my other resolution on developing my own stories), and even run sometimes. Exercise! Healthy living!

I will change the world, in small mysterious ways.
Uhm, maybe? I don’t even know what I meant by this one, so… probably did not succeed.

My resolutions for the new year?
1) Start and see a new project through to completion. I don’t know what it will be yet, but I’ve been itching to work on something different for a while.
2) Get better at fighting hand-to-hand/grappling
3) Figure out new and better ways to DM my ever-growing hoard.
4) Make one really awesome costume this year, instead of just talking about it like I always do.
5) Get caught up to the current timeline with the campaign summaries on this blog (this one will probably not happen).
6) Failing number five, I will at least try to post more often here. Given my current track record, this could be as often as TWO times a month.

Any of my faithful readers have any resolutions you’d care to share?

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I revised the first section that I wrote. But it’s not all bad, because now I don’t hate my story, *and* I added to my word count!

My opening, now revised (I promise I won’t touch it again until December)

The first time I saw the pale girl was in her garden. I was eight years old, and I still believed in ghosts and ghouls and monsters. It was easy to do so. Our town had a rich history of haunting, and ghost stories were casually exchanged like cookie recipes. The town lent itself to that, with old half-timbered buildings, crumbling row-houses and, in the middle of it all, the Old Johnson Place. The Old Johnson Place was a large house, a mansion by kid standards, three stories high. Unlike the rest of the houses, it was gated off, separate from the other buildings. It was imposing, built out of blackened stone and dark wood. Even the vines that curled up the east side of the building seemed to be a darker, more sinister shade of green. The wall surrounding the building was made of a stone that was originally white, but had, I was convinced, turned black from the residual evil of the home. This is where she lived. I never saw anybody go in, or out. I didn’t understand about servant entrances at the time– I just knew that the main gate looked to be rusted shut.

One of the older kids in town must have noticed my interest in the old Johnson place, for he told me its grisly story. Old man Johnson was a successful man, having built up the factory that employed most of the town. He had a very beautiful wife that was much younger than he was. From their marriage, they had three beautiful daughters. As the daughters grew up and got married, they also came to live in the mansion that their father built. For a time, they were all happy, the sounds of dances and laughing children filled the halls. From here, the details would change, depending on who was telling the story. The most common permutation back then was that Mr. Johnson, after a hard day at the factory, came home to find his wife sleeping with the butler. Something inside him just broke at that moment. He grabbed his wife’s bumbershoot (which, as children, we imagined was some sort of rifle), and murdered both the unfaithful wife and butler. His lust for violence whetted, he proceeded to systematically kill his three daughters, five of his grandchildren, and all of the servants with the bumbershoot. As he surveyed the carnage that he wrought, he decided that he would keep his loved ones close, where they would never betray him. Using a dull knife, he skinned them all and made a suit from their skin.  After this gruesome task was finished, he dressed himself in his new outfit, put his wife in her wedding gown, and carried her to the fountain in the middle of the town. On getting there, he then dropped her flayed body into the fountain, causing the pool to turn red. When the police appeared, he seemed almost reasonable about the whole affair. He smiled softly at the sheriff, said, “the ’b-word’ is dead. She‘ll never hurt me again.”  and then slit his throat from ear to ear.  Remember, I was eight. We didn’t say bad words back then.

(Okay, I still kind of hate it, but I’m not going to give up in disgust now.)

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