Musings

[Blog] Minor Setbacks…

They say there are two types of people in the world… those who do backups, and those who have never had a hard drive fail.

Well, I can say beyond the shadow of a doubt that I don’t belong to that second category! Sadly, my faithful laptop of the last four and a half years bit the dust on Sunday. Now the good news is that my current NaNo project (and all other important projects) are thoroughly backed up, so I haven’t lost anything. The bad news, of course, is that I am in the middle of NaNoWriMo without a functional laptop. It was bound to happen sometime?

Of course, the other good news is that I have a tablet and a bluetooth keyboard. It’s a little laggy, but totally workable, and I no longer have the excuse of “I don’t have my whole project with me so I can’t write during downtime at work.” So, net good?

How is everyone else doing with NaNo? Any unexpected setbacks? Are things going more smoothly than usual? Let me know in the comments!

Musings

[Blog] NaNo19 Week 1

Super quick update this week! According to the calendar, apparently the first week of November is almost over! My wordcount is currently sitting at a little over 11,000, which is a little ahead in terms of the 50K official goal, and really, really, behind for my personal 100K goal. But! The last couple of days have been fantastic for getting into a groove, and I am optimistic!

For those of you doing NaNo this year, how’s the first week treated you? Any exciting scenes? Fun plot points? General mayhem?

Fiction (Short), Musings

[Short] Miranda and the Derelict Wreck

It wasn’t like Tanner to go it alone. Not usually. Not unless my brother was feeling like a white knight, at any rate, and there was nothing about an old wrecked ship that should have been attracting that particular part of his personality to the fore. Which was why I was confused. And curious. And concerned for Tanner’s wellbeing, of course.

But also kinda hoping that he had gotten himself into the sort of trouble that would give me teasing rights for the next month after saving his butt.

I was still a little surprised we’d been asked to investigate the wreck. Even on a colony as young as Verdant, crashed ships were hardly uncommon. It was a little odd that no one had any idea what ship it was, sure, but between the wildcatters and the outlaws, there were a lot of possibilities for an unregistered ship. The weirdest thing about it was that the flyover scan that turned the thing up had suggested that the ship was old– seventy five years old. Old enough that there was no way it should be on this side of the galaxy.

And that’s when everyone with a ghost story to tell crawled out of the woodwork. Serves me right for talking about it while Tanner and I were goofing off in the big common room at Teddy’s.

“You know they say there was a mutiny aboard an armadillo-class like that one back in ’43. Its last transmission was cut off right after her captain started cursing the traitors with some sort of old world hocus pocus.”

“I heard they’d tried uploading an honest-to-god AI to a private freighter back when all the big corps were still messing around with thinking and feeling computers. Could be a real ghost in the machine, you know?”

“Galaxy’s a big place. Could be aliens.”

And those were the most well-thought-out theories presented by our fellow denizens at Teddy’s: stuff and nonsense everyone one. Which made the fact that I found myself actually a little spooked as I started out for the coordinates of the wreck on my own all the more annoying. When I found Tanner, he was going to get a piece of my mind.

If I’d thought it would be better as soon as I got to the coordinates, I was wrong. Wrecks are always a little creepy, especially once you get to thinking about how they used to be functional, beautiful vessels– some of them, at least. Or, maybe, a home. Or maybe just a place that used to see living, breathing humans every day. Seeing empty ships like that just felt wrong, like a graveyard without the bodies.

I stopped just outside the wreck and gave a disgusted snort. Now I was creeping myself out.

Not that the remains of the ship in front of me were making that hard. Of all the derelicts I’d ever seen, this one might have been the most derelict. The hull was worn through in a dozen different places, and the sand and the sort of scrappy vegetation common on Verdant were sneaking their way inside. The hatch had fallen open what must have been decades ago, and while I suspected I could probably find it in the dirt below my feet if I dug long enough, I wasn’t about to put in the effort. So instead, the hatch just stared at me with a sort of death’s head grin, and I stared back and tried to remind myself that I was a stone-cold badass of a freelancer, and I shouldn’t be scared of some old empty ship.

And I had almost managed to convince myself when I heard someone behind me…


Happy Halloween! Looks like they still celebrate the holiday all the way out on Verdant, much to Miranda’s probable chagrin. Not much else to report, save that I’m equal parts excited and terrified for NaNo to start, since I’m not sure how my personal goal of 100,000 words is going to treat me. We shall see!

Anyway, good luck to everyone participating next month! May your writing be swift and your editing minimal!

Musings

[Blog] NaNo 2019 Prep!

Not a whole lot to report this week, save that I did manage to get some decent prep work done for NaNo next month. This, of course, means “decent” prep work by my own loose standards, which means that it’s still leaning pretty heavily towards pantsing it (as opposed to truly planning it), but hey. You gotta start somewhere!

I am excited, though! Because I have a whiteboard now! Apparently they make adhesive whiteboard material surfaces, which happen to be a bit more affordable and so much easier to mount than a standard whiteboard, so I now have a shiny new plotting surface stuck to one of my closet doors. (This, of course, would be why it’s been easiest to find me cackling and petting my dry erase marker collection of late, but I’m sure that will wear off soon.)

In preparation for next month’s marathon, too, I’ve also jerry-rigged some yarn to create a sort of makeshift timeline, which I’ll be using to organize various scenes/keep all my character sketches easily accessible. It’s so much more than I’ve ever done in the past, so we’ll see how well it sticks. Either way, I’m super excited, and it’s already helped me plan some things out, and at the very least should do a fantastic job of keeping things visible.

Do any of you have any tried and true methods for NaNo prep? Or maybe you’re like me and trying something new this year? I’d love to hear about them in the comments below!

Musings

[Blog] Weird Week

It’s been a crazy week in my corner of the world. As evidenced by the fact that I missed writing my weekly post on Wednesday and didn’t notice until tonight (Thursday). Oops?

Most notably, California went and set itself on fire again, closing four major freeways near where I live for about a day, which was about exactly as much fun as you’d imagine– and that was just for everyone not directly impacted by evacuations or worse.

On a more upbeat note, I’ve also started organizing for NaNoWriMo next month, which has so far mostly involved cleaning out the home directory on my computer and doing the digital equivalent of straightening up. It’s funny… I have nice, neat directories for everything, and yet somehow, I still manage to accrue a whole mess of poorly named and homeless documents in places they don’t belong.

… any comments pointing out the similarity between that and what happens in my room when I get particularly busy will be summarily ignored.

Anyway! Check back next week for a sneak peek at my new noveling habitat!

Musings

[Blog] November Plans

One of these days, I’m going to figure out how to get used to what month it is before the darn thing is a third gone. I mean really.

Between work and a mild cold, the draft of the Tanner and Miranda Chronicles is moving slower at the moment, but it’s still moving, and I’m happy with the ideas coming out of the explosion of words on the page. I’m still trying to figure out how the last couple of stories work into the greater arc, but if the last few have been any indication, it’ll sort itself out on its own as I work them onto the page.

I’m also trying to plan out more of the story for November, since it’s going to be a bit longer than the individual Tanner and Miranda stories I’ve written up previously, and the nature of the premise means I’m going to have to have things more planned out than usual if I hope to maintain any sense of continuity. It’s a tall order, particularly during November, I know, but who knows! I’m already trying to figure out how to put up string and flash cards somewhere in my room to make a sort of makeshift and readily changeable timeline. It could work!

Musings

[Blog] Book Plug – Dark Age

This past week, I read a book.

Pierce Brown’s Dark Age to be exact, and if you haven’t heard of/read the Red Rising series before, I would highly recommend it. And if you have, please let me know. I’m desperately in need of people to geek out about it with!

The first book is basically what I had hoped to find in The Hunger Games, but I liked it so much better, and the setting and the tales have just gotten bigger and more epic from there. The series as a whole has made me laugh and cry in equal measure, and Dark Age was no exception, even if it was darker than the previous installments. (But with a title like that, how could it not be?)

I’m still very much in the throes of a good book high, so I apologize for my currently one-track mind. But it’s so rare to find a book that immerses you so completely, that when you do, you just have to revel in it. So, revel I will. The characters are complex and human. The setting is huge and epic and so, so fascinating. The story is engaging and never lets go, and its handling of themes like revolution, rebuilding, friendship, betrayal, and morality kept me thoroughly hooked. If you happen to be the sort of person who would enjoy it and somehow hasn’t heard of it, go look it up. I may be in full fangirl mode, but this is the sort of story that deserves it.

Musings

[Blog] NaNo Fever!

So… next week is officially October. Which is officially NaNo prep month. And! As I found out when I logged back into my NaNo account yesterday, the whole site has gotten a huge, beautiful redesign. Which means that my NaNo fever, which is never that far off, is now in full swing.

I know it’s still a little early (only a little), but is anyone else planning on participating this year? If so, let me know down in the comments! And feel free to send me a buddy request over on the NaNo site! You can find me there under F.A. Hakimian!

Musings

[Blog] Nothing Much

Not much new to report, so in lieu of an update, enjoy this quick snippet of Miranda waiting for something. Impatiently.


I groaned and slumped back in my seat. Orbital docking procedures were the worst. Actually, let met fix that. Orbital docking procedures on a colony planet that thought it was a big deal were the worst. There is nowhere in the galaxy that can quite match it for petty bureaucracy. Okay, fine. Anything remotely related to government procedures on Earth ran a close second, but Earth politicians weren’t the ones telling me it would probably be another hour before I got to dock with a space station that couldn’t have seen more than a dozen ships a day. It was nonsense.

Objectively, I could admit that the tone I had taken with the poor soul in Docking Control probably hadn’t helped my case. Problem was, I had lost all interested in being objective about forty-five minutes ago. At this point, every minute I had to wait was just another minute to practice the most scathing insults I could imagine.

Musings

[Blog] Plot Hunting

Funny how the months just seem to keep going by faster and faster. I swear September just began!

Writing has gone a little slower, both because my brain and body needed a bit of a rest after August, but also because a couple things came up and kept me running around a little more often than usual. Which made me feel less guilty about taking the aforementioned writing down-time.

I’m still plugging along, though, and while I only have around a thousand new words written, I’ve also made some really good progress on figuring out a couple of major plot points that had been giving me a bit of trouble on the next story I’m working into this draft, which is really nice. I’ve been problems figuring out this particular story since last November when I tried to fit it into my NaNo draft, and I’m happy to announce that I’ve already gotten farther with it now than I did then. Progress!