technology

My Head is Pounding

I know a lot of people who suffer from migraines. I don’t know that I’ve ever had massive migraines per se, but today I definitely have a bastard of a headache. I didn’t even drink last night or something!

Coupled with that is this condition that’s plagued me since I was 18. It only got ‘diagnosed’ when I was in my early twenties. The muscles in my ribs are too close together, so during times of stress, lack of sleep, or just because, they will spasm violently in what I imagine feels like being stabbed repeatedly. Today is one of those days. The knock-off Advil I’ve taken has dulled it, but not removed it. Generally on days like today I curl up in my bed and don’t move.

The spasms don’t happen as often as they used to, but they still happen. It’s been a while since it was this bad though. Normally I can work through it. I’m writing about it today so that I can stop thinking about it. If I explain it enough I can ignore it and function throughout my work day.

On another note, I’ve been using Google Docs for TAK,. Sometimes there feels to be a bit of a delay, but it’s actually pretty good. The problem is trying to write it only during lunch periods at work and not throughout the day. It’s been a bit slow at the Day Job so I don’t want to fall into a bad habit of working on TAK when I should be doing other things. You know how it is: you get a really good scene in your head and you can’t do anything else until you write that sucker down. That level of distraction isn’t good for my work ethic hahaha.

It’s been quite warm here in Canada. Even where I live, in Manitoba, it’s been warm. Aside from the territories and Newfoundland and Labrador, I’m certain Manitoba is the coldest province. It’s flat. It’s windy. The windchill is a bastard. I’ve lived in Alberta, which is pretty cold but Manitoba takes the cake. I even live in the south of Manitoba! So damn flat.

Because of this, the weather is kind of a jerk. We had temperatures of 17°C on Sunday. Now it’s -2°C and there are threats of snow. That’s how you know it’s warm here. When it snows.

I just want to crawl back in my bed, assume the fetal position and not move. Maybe sleep. Maybe read. But most of all, pretend that adulting doesn’t exist.

For now, I will give myself an adulting participation ribbon and be on with my day!

adult-award-ribbons1-640x533.jpg

Both of these are applicable today

Posted by Sarah Jayne in Rantings, 2 comments

Technology and Me

I may work as a Virtual Help Desk Navigator but that does not mean I know a lot about technology and computers. I’ve watched The IT Crowd and I know that you should always try turning it on and off again before you call tech support. So needless to say, technology and I are not always friends.

I had been working on TAK on my Samsung Tab 10.1 for a long period of time. I would write on there, and then save a copy on my laptop.

There was a problem, however, and it forced me to realize I am not up to speed on what is out there. Because of this, my SD card in my tablet somehow corrupted only the file my story was in and has made it impossible to retrieve it. I have a copy on my laptop, but I feel like something is missing. It’s been so long since I could just sit and write I can’t even remember what I was doing in my story. I thought I had over 100 pages of work but when I look at what is on my computer is only 57 pages of typed information. Now, there very well could be the same amount of work and it’s just that the tablet displays it differently because of the screen size and whatnot.

However, after a conversation with BSP (Bespectacled Smarty Pants) ages ago he was asking me why I don’t write in a Google Doc? And I was like, Yeah! Why don’t I write in a Google Doc? So this morning, because I have an office again, I copied everything I had on TAK on my laptop into a Google Doc.

There is, however, a downside to this.

We use Google Docs a lot at my work. Like, I have it open all the time because chances are if there is a document someone wants to talk about on my team, it’s a Google Doc. This means that my story is at my finger tips at my work place.

Do you see where I’m going with this?

I’ve already been feeling the motivation slip away lately for a variety of reasons. This could end up being dangerous.

On another note, Mindful Musings #51 was my 300th post! YAY! Thanks to everyone for reading and sticking with me for these 3 years. Please keep coming back!

Let’s end on an awesome note!

Cat crazy

Like a BOSS

Posted by Sarah Jayne in My Book Stuff, 2 comments

Returning So Soon…?

It’s kind of my lunch break right now at work so I wanted to write a proper post.

I’ve been asked before why I write. I have been writing since I was in my early teens for a lot of reasons. Sure, the stuff I wrote then wasn’t amazing, but it was good enough. Even now, I am my own worst critic and I have issues taking constructive criticism. I try to get edits done by people I don’t know personally  because then any criticism can be taken better.

Since I started my new job and my husband has been gearing up for his inevitable return to school, I found myself wondering what I would do. I am surrounded by extremely skilled and intelligent people at my new workplace and I’m finding it a bit hard to maintain my self-confidence. Without having time to write I am feeling more and more bogged down by all my “can’ts”. Rational brain realizes that this will pass and it’s just a matter of getting comfortable with my co-workers and identifying my place within this organization. My irrational brain does not realize this and consistently drags me down.

However, the sadder I get the stronger the creative juices flow and I am reminded of why I started writing in the first place.

I didn’t have the best childhood and I’ve beaten that topic to death. But I started writing as some form of self-therapy. I spent a lot of time when I was younger in a depressed state and it was then that I wrote, what I consider, some of my best. It’s as if I need that conflict to create and I don’t like that. I am in a great place and I want to continue writing TAK but I’m having so many issues just getting to it that it’s driving me crazy. My laptop is toast. My tablet is alright but the Bluetooth keyboard is less than responsive. The word-processing program on my tablet is also less than desirable. I want a new tablet and now I am just waiting for the funds because apparently I can’t have cheap taste lol.

Keep your eyes peeled because I will be reducing my book, Black & Red, to FREE in the coming weeks. It’s time. It’s been out for 2 years already.

Until then, brace for the coming Fall, best season ever!

Posted by Sarah Jayne in My Book Stuff, 0 comments

First mobile post

This is my first post from my smart phone, so please forgive any spelling mistakes. The Boy won’t detach himself from my hip today so working on my laptop or tablet will be a bit difficult.

Today is the first day my husband has gone in to work since we moved! This means I have two weeks of bad morning habits in my son to break. So far, we’re doing alright! He’s in a good mood today (which is a bloody miracle in comparison to how he’s been the past little bit) and we’re chilling on the couch.

The Hatchling is co-operating a bit today too. It was wiggling around so much last night it was hard for me to sleep so I’m glad it’s sleeping itself right now.

This weekend will be the first haircut for the Boy in MONTHS and since this is a new town, I’m taking him to a place I found through a discussion board specific to the city I live closest to. I went to their website last night and watched their video. It seems to be run by burly tattooed men which I think is AWESOME since I’m a tiny tattooed woman 🙂 maybe I can ask them where they got their ink done and have some places lined up for my Mother’s Day tattoo.

My tablet died and apparently we lost the charger. This means the books I’m supposed to be reading and reviewing are being put on hold AGAIN and I feel terrible. I’ll get back on it as soon as I can!

Well, that’s it for today! I hope that this posts correctly 😀

Posted by Sarah Jayne in Rantings, 0 comments

Ahhhhhh….Friday…..I Love Thee

Today is Friday, thank freakin’ everything.

This week has felt so much longer than it really was, but that’s how it felt.

Today my Day Job is having a BBQ to promote something like team solidarity or something silly like that. It’s supposed to rain all day, so I’m hoping we stay at the office and do it upstairs in the big meeting rooms. We’re supposed to go to the same park as last year and the bathrooms are about a ten minute walk to get to. Trust me, you do NOT want to make a pregnant woman walk for ten minutes just to use the washroom. I will not be happy.

HOWEVER! If we have it at work, the bathrooms are across the hall! 🙂

Today, my cellphone suffered organ failure and needs a heart transplant (my battery is pooched). If that doesn’t work, a whole body replacement may be necessary. Which makes me sad. I have a Samsung Galaxy S Slide/Glide. This means it has a physical KEYBOARD which makes me happier than a dog in a moving car with the window open. But I might have to give that up in order to have a functioning phone. My phone is so old they don’t make it and it can’t support the latest operating system Samsung/Android has put out.

This always happens to me. Makes me sad. Makes me sad that even if it had only been 6 months it wouldn’t have been unrealistic to think that my phone is out of date, because it would be.

Jerks in the Technology department.

Posted by Sarah Jayne in Rantings, 0 comments

100th Tweet Day!

So I made my 100th tweet today.

I was always against the twitter because it seemed like a right bunch of nonsense. Since I started using it to connect and network with other writers and book lovers around the world, I’ve found it interesting, but not something I would want to do for my personal life. My personal life is just not that interesting to warrant 140 character-at-a-time updates. I would turn into one of those people that say: “Yay! My son at a muffin!” or something completely boring and unimportant.

However, being able to tweet the posts to my website, tweet information regarding my facebook page and to follow writers that I have admired since I was a young whipper-snapper is very amazing.

This post will be my 101st tweet 😛 And that’s all I’m going to say about the twitter 😀

Posted by Sarah Jayne in Rantings, 0 comments

Black & Red

Alright! So today I finally get to talk about my story! In this post I’m just going to give a general overview to what the setting is, introduce the main characters and give you a teeny bit of background. This story is one of many, but since it is the one I am aiming to publish in April 2013, I wanted to talk about it first 🙂

Title: Black & Red A Tale of Revenge (not really. It’s really just called Black & Red but that last part sounded cool so I wanted to throw it in :P)

Setting: It’s sort of in medieval times kind of? Think Lord of the Rings and those sort of settings that are common in Fantasy stories, but no elves, dwarves, evil overlord wizards with magic rings etc. It’s that time period when the common clothing is tights and tunics and there are swords everywhere. It’s got a little bit of a cyberpunk taste in that there is basic technology like electricity, radios, running water etc but nothing over the top like computers and cell phones. That’s in a different story. Magic is a strong presence in this world and the principles of magic are built on a system of 5 to represent the 5 elements: Fire, Water, Earth, Air, and Metal. Most magic is made up by combining two or more elements. It is also built upon the Law of Exchange (those who have read Fullmetal Alchemist will know what I mean :P) People who are able to use magic are called “gifted” but there’s no huge discrimination between those who can and those who can’t. The only discrimination is against those born with deep crimson hair. Those born with this hair colour are usually children whose mother’s have died in childbirth. It is rare, as there are advancements in medicine and healing magic, but it does still happen from time to time. These children rarely live to their full potential and when they do, they are either seen as a novelty, or are feared.

It takes place in a single kingdom called “Eikon” which is actually massive in size. Eikon is home to The Institute of Magic which is the only place that one can go to train their magical skills. It’s most often referred to as “The Institute”. The Capital is where the King of Eikon resides and he has The Guild: a grouping of the 5 most powerful sorcerers and sorceresses in all of Eikon. Guild members are identified by a silver talisman they wear that is a sort of optical illusion. It either looks like an abstract linear design, or a chinese-esque dragon.There’s no war and there’s no talk of outside kingdoms and realms. In this story, everything focuses on Eikon alone.

There are some influences of other cultures, mainly Japanese. You will see this in how the characters react by bowing, kneeling in certain occasions, and being overly modest. Other elements of Japan are in the shrines in homes for the dead family members, cremation as opposed to burials, temples and those who run them, how the dead are treated, katana’s being a regular sword-type, some food, words and there are some influences from manga I have read. I don’t want to give too much away 😛

Characters: There are two groups of main characters in this story as it takes place in two separate time frames which then collide. The first group is:

Kalan – She is tall, proud and extremely powerful. She is the daughter of Javier, the most powerful sorcerer in all of Eikon. Javier used to teach at the Institute until Kalan was born. Kalan has red hair as her mother died during childbirth which causes Javier to retire early and raise her. In the first chapter of the book we discover Kalan and her past.

Koen – A tall man with dark features. Quiet, not gifted in the slightest but his senses are sensitive. He is introduced in the first chapter and he lives/serves Kalan.

Alastair – Another tall man (jeez. Everyone is tall!) with long, stringy dark hair. He is very thin, very powerful, and very crazy. He is extremely emotionally unbalanced and will often switch attitudes from that of a child, to that of a blood-thirsty and power-hungry individual. We meet him in about chapter 3 or 4.

The next set of characters are:

Piers – He is descended from Julian. Julian was a powerful sorcerer who grew up with Kalan and was privately tutored by Javier. He graduated from The Institute and served on the Guild. Piers also serves on the Guild and in the beginning of the story he is on a quest to find those descended from the Guild members of Kalan’s time. (ooooo! I just dropped a secret! Did you see it?!)

Aidan – Descendant of Landon. Landon was an arrogant bastard, if I do say so myself. Landon served on the Guild in Kalan’s time. His chief rival was Javier and he held extreme disdain for any one related to him. Aidan and Piers have had a rivalry that extends back to childhood due to their bloodlines. Aidan comes across as self-absorbed and arrogant. He currently serves on the Guild with Piers and is joining him on the search for the descendants.

Vega – Descended from Brann. Brann was a physically overwhelming man who wasn’t extremely gifted like the others on the Guild, but his physical prowess made up for that. Vega has an athletic body and is fairly gifted. She is the second to be found by Piers and Aidan while working in a roadside tea house.

Acacia – Descended from Keion. Keion served on the Guild with Javier, Brann, and Julian. Keion is older than the rest and had been serving on the Guild from the time of the Queen who is in power shortly before Julian joins when it is run by her son. Keion is a grey little man with no self-confidence or self-worth. He is extremely gifted in the healing arts and has made huge advancements in the field and with traditional medicine. He has even written textbooks. But as a man, he was belittled for his talents. Acacia spent one year at the Institute before dropping out from the bullying of her background. She comes across at first as curt, slightly cold, and closed off. She is discovered by Piers and Aidan while traveling as a healer.

Terentya – She is descended from Devin, Javier’s closest friend who also served on the Guild. Terentya was found as an infant and is raised by a mercenary band called The Falcons. She is extremely gifted with the sword and when her adoptive parents are killed on the job she receives her father’s sword. She is able to ‘bond’ with her sword and hear it’s ‘voice’. She is the last to be discovered in a small town where her adoptive parents are buried. She is slightly gifted, but as she cannot read she is unable to study spells and the few she knows she has learned by word-of-mouth.

And those are the main characters in this tale.

“That’s all well and good, Sarah,” you say, “but what is the story actually ABOUT?”

Well, I will tell you.

The story is about a sorcerer, Kalan to be precise, who has had everything taken from her. Her mother dies in childbirth, her father is murdered due to jealousy. When she tries to exact revenge on those who murdered her father, she is trapped in an alternate dimension where she is cursed with immortality and a mirror that only shows her home world. She lives there, for two hundred and fifty years, unable to die, not needing to eat or drink to survive in a grand house in a misty wasteland. By accident she casts a spell which pulls Koen from her native world and pulls him to her hell where he is also cursed with immortality. While she is mourning her life in this hell, she is suddenly summoned back to her home world by Alastair, discovered to be descended through a bastard lineage from Landon.

Sensing the shift in her prison, those serving on the Guild in the ‘present’ are concerned. They dispatch Piers and Aidan to find the descendants of the original five who sealed Kalan in her hell: Julian, Devin, Landon, Brann, and Keion. Only one with that bloodline would be able to bring her back; or return her to her hell.

And thus, the adventure begins. After all five are collected it is discovered that none of them returned Kalan to their world. The rest of the book talks about the journey back to the Capital, dealing with the fury of Kalan’s return and dealing with the inner secrets everyone holds.

I plan to put a few chapters up once I’m finished editing them. I’m currently on page 87/375 so it might be soon! This book is planned to be published in April 2013.

I hope you like what you’ve read so far!

(oh yeah, all this information is (c) Sarah Jayne Nantais, 2013. If you try to steal it, I’ll sue your ass 🙂 I’ve got my copyright all done up 😛 So be good!)

Posted by Sarah Jayne in My Book Stuff, 0 comments

My Tools of the Trade

Everyone uses different things when they write. Some people are strictly paper people, never touching a computer or typewriter unless it’s absolutely necessary. Some people can only use electronics and never write anything out on paper.

I do both.

When I was younger (and this was WAY before the days when computers were everywhere and in every home) I strictly used paper and pen. I used to ask for notebooks and pens for Christmas and my birthday because I was always filling them up. One story ‘series’ I wrote when I was 13 was a mish-mash of yellow legal pad paper, lined paper and graph paper because that was all I could get my hands on. It ended up being 120 pages written, double-sided but single spaced.

Unfortunately I have a lost all of my previous work due to unforeseen circumstances (*cough*assholeexboyfriends*cough*) so I’ve had to go off of memory when I try to rewrite them. I remember the core parts of the story, so I suppose that’s all that really matters if I want to write it again.

These days I use both.

I use my laptop:

The majority of my writing is done on this lovely piece of technology these days.

The majority of my writing is done on this lovely piece of technology these days.

And I also use this:

Given to me by my in-laws, it holds character descriptions, maps, story basics and outlines

Given to me by my in-laws, it holds character descriptions, maps, story basics and outlines

I have another coil notebook that I used for previous stories I have written. It holds the same information as well as a list of names for males, females and places so that I can make sure I’m not using the same name in every story I write. The other book doesn’t have quite the same inspirational message though 🙂

I find this useful because when I’m typing furiously away on my laptop if I suddenly forget the colour of one of my characters eyes I can flip to the character description page in this book without having to sift through god knows how much text to find the answer.

It also helps me keep personalities in check, relationships in line, and ages realistic.

Depending on the story, I’ll also draw a little (crude) map of the world my story takes place in. This helps me determine accurate time frames for traveling, weather, culture etc. I’m building worlds here, so I need to make sure I don’t screw up!

Since I write Fantasy-Adventure stories, I find this crucial. Sure, my readers may not be paying as much attention to these details as I am, but I want to make sure it’s believable. I’m sure there’s someone out there in this vast universe who just might pay that much attention to what they read.

What do you use? What do you find useful?

My husband also bought me a Samsung Galaxy Tab that I am looking for a bluetooth keyboard and case for so I can bring it to work in place of my laptop as it will be smaller and easier to tote around everywhere. I NEED a keyboard though. I will NEVER be able to type using the onscreen one. No way.

How about you?

Posted by Sarah Jayne in My Book Stuff, 5 comments