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Posts Tagged ‘Kristen Lamb’

I’m now coming to the end of my course of steroids for my colitis and things are well on bowel front. I’m back to full health – one bowel movement per day, no more bowel pain, probably back up to normal weight (although I haven’t weighed myself lately). In fact, my belly is getting a bit round – not from fat, just from food inside it, I suppose. The steroids have probably given me a bad bout of acne on my face, neck and especially scalp – which is beginning to clear up now, as well.

I had a mild cold all the time I was in America with Habiba, and I’ve only just got over it. For a while towards the end, it seemed to have cause my ears to get blocked – not so much as with water, but as the effect caused by the change in pressure when going up or down in an aeroplane. That’s cleared up now.

One side effect of the trip to the States is that I’ve had a flare-up of sciatica, due to carring heavy backpacks a lot and not keeping up with my core muscle exercises. I’m going back to the gym now (at Habiba’s insistence) and hopefully lots of crunches and the like will help. I just spent half an hour or so playing my guitar (something I don’t do very often, sadly); it made the pain in my left hip/buttock/upper thigh area worse.

Summer is fast approaching, unfortunately. Summer is too hot – and far too humid. It’s already pretty warm (and it’s been raining a lot the past week, which is a little unusual for Korea for this time of year).

The increasing warmth brings increased levels of sweat. When I went back to Britain the year before last I brought back half a dozen Lynx Africa deodorant sticks. I finished the last one a while ago, and I won’t be getting Lynx again (or Axe as it’s called in the rest of the world): the aluminium content causes staining – a lot of my tops have white stains on the underams. I’ve been using Old Spice lately, but it doesn’t work as well as Lynx – by the latter part of the day I end up being a bit whiffy, even if I haven’t been doing anything strenuous.

After some research, I’ve shaved my armpits (again – I tried that for a while back in 2006 or 7) and have started using white vinegar. That wouldn’t seem to the be best idea to reduce bad smells, but it seems to work well. The idea is that the vinegar changes the ph level of the skin, preventing the bacteria that cause odour from doing whatever it is they do.

I’m happy to be back home – it means I can get back to work on my various projects (there still doesn’t seem to be time enough to do justice to all of them). I’ve been continuing to prepare the ground for my novel (actually, it’s a trilogy, as far as I can tell) – and have now started writing the first chapter (again).

My blog (Elements of Fantasy) has been taking up all my writing time on Monday. On Mondays, my aim is to produce an analysis of one aspect of fantasy. There are various reasons for this. It’s good practice to write to a deadline. It’s also a form of autodidacticism – writing about this subject involves a lot of research, and the more I learn about fantasy, the better I can write it. It also seems to be a good idea to have an online presence that is more than just a diary (like this blog) to support my career as a writer (this comes from reading Kristen Lamb’s blog on the social media for writers).

I’m also running my roleplaying game. The first adventure is pretty much over, but now I may have given the player characters too much wealth and too much knowledge. However, this could work well if I can use this to catapult them into the main campaign story (which is still pretty nebulous at the moment). I also have a deadline motivating me to get the main story underway – if I get a job later in the year, as I plan, I will have much less time for writing, and running the game will have to go (I’ve already neglected my short story work for lack of time).

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Kristen Lamb posted a link on her latest blog post to what she described as the ‘formula to great writing’. It’s from another blog about writing, this one called Adventures in Children’s Publishing.

It advises making charts of the goals, motivation, conflict and tension relating to your characters. It explains that good characters have conflicting goals – internal and external ones, for example. Characters should also have conflicting goals – this leads to the greatest level of tension, which is what keeps people reading.

Read the full article here.

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