The Geekiest Girl

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Archive for the category “writing”

World-builders needed!

Young Omara

Dear friends, family and fellow writers,

I’m building a world and could use your help with some of the details.

Some of you have heard me talk about a character named Omara. (See the attached pics. Young Omara – above – is my favorite.) I’ve been working on the characters and their stories for a while, but now I need to flesh out the society in which they live for it all to make sense. I need some real-world knowledge to help with the details on social structure, politics, sociology and technology. If you have some knowledge in these fields that could be helpful or know of someone who’d be willing to talk with me, I’d greatly appreciate the input.

Here’s the idea in a nutshell:

It’s the future. Humanity either lives on Earth in the future. We have achieved some level of harmony with the natural world (we live about as green as we can while still having technology). We’ve done this (not sure how) in part through the use of technology. Implanted technology. Every child at a certain age (not sure when) has technology implanted in them (nannites? chips? etc.). This allows them to manipulate their world and environment – using transportation, running their homes, connecting and communicating with each other.

However, a small percentage of the population (3%?) experience rejection of the technology implantation. They cannot use the technology. These people become a type of second-class citizen and are, in some respects, considered disabled (compared to the majority of the population). Imagine all the ways that the physically and mentally disabled are treated in the world right now: everything from partnership with them to benign neglect to patronizing concern to ignoring them to disdain and even to de-humanization and cruelty. That is how the “non-techs” are treated in this world.

Older OmaraThere are also two other groups in this world who do things very differently – these are very small groups. One is almost a cult of technology worship in which the people try to make themselves more technological and mechanical as a way to become more than human. If a child in that society is born non-tech, they abandon it outside their village/city for three days. If it dies, they don’t care. If it lives, they keep it as a slave and as fodder for experimentation on making themselves more technological and mechanical.

Then, there’s another group that believes the use of implanted tech is wrong. It is made up of non-techs and techs who live together. Think of a commune type situation. The techs who live there have either had their tech removed or simply refuse to use it. This group is made up of people who dislike the inequalities in current society between the two groups. Some of them are couples (one tech, one non-tech) who have fallen in love with each other but who are not normally permitted to be together. Ideological and romantic refuges, in a sense.

A world such as this will have certain rules, internal logic and structure. I need help in building that and would like information that will help me make this believable.

I appreciate your help and recommendations both for ideas and for people to consult. I’ll keep you up to date on my progress.

Many thanks!

omara2

The Paint Job: A Short Story

Harrigan picked up the phone on the first ring: “Shit.”

“What?” said Sam. “I saw your post on Facebook: ‘Just provided 12 square feet of proof that the world DOES need professional painters’. Thought I’d give you a ring. It sounded sad.”

“Well, I suck. I painted my bedroom wall and it looks like ass. Ass painted my favorite color.”

Sam snickered. “Thanks for that image. But what’s going on?”

“What makes you think something’s going on?” asked Harrigan.

“Because I know you and I know when you’re upset and it’s more than a shitty ass-colored wall…”

“The wall isn’t ass-colored” Harrigan corrected.

“Then what is it?”

“Orange-vermillion. Streaky, lumpy, hideous orange-vermillion. This wall makes me hate my favorite color!” She took a breath. “Why do I feel like crying?”

Sam smiled. “Because it’s your first day off in weeks and you thought this was a project you could handle and you failed. You never fail. You aren’t used to it.”

“You’re saying I’m failing at failure?”

“Pretty much.”

Harrigan teared up at that. “I’m thinking of doing either caffeine or alcohol. Wanna come over and help me choose?”

Sam sighed. “I can’t. I’m in the middle of a thing. Besides ‘You don’t need to sit and moan…’”

“’…you need to get on that bone.’” Harrigan finished. “Really, you’ve got to come up with a better cheer. That rhyme sucks.” She chuckled. “Alright. I need to do something….I’ll…unpack. How’s that?”

“After two months? Not bad.”

Harrigan asked, “So, how’s your thing?”

“It’s coming along. Chapter five should be finished by four. That’ll give me time to get dinner started.”

“Oooh, that’s right.” Harrigan perked up. “Who’s the dish?”

“Don’t you mean ‘what’?” Sam asked.

“No, stupid. I meant ‘who’. I forgot you were having someone over. This is the third…”

“Fourth” interrupted Sam.

“Fourth date? Nice. How long’s it been since your last fourth date?” Harrigan curled up in her chair. It was nice to think of Sam seriously dating again.

“Are you saying I suck at dating?”

“If by ‘dating’ you meant ‘painting’ and by ‘I’ you meant ‘me’, then yeah.” Harrigan reconsidered the line for a moment, then continued. “Good luck to you, though. I’m serious. And be nice to him. Are you wearing the blue?”

“It’s peacock blue and yes, I’m wearing it.” Sam turned in his chair to look at the shirt, already ironed and waiting, 3 hours early. “Harrigan. I’m scared.”

“I know. But it’ll be alright. This guy’s been nice so far, right?”

“More like perfect. That’s why I’m scared.”

“Oh, sweetie.” The only long-term relationship Sam had had in years was with her. She knew that didn’t count. Not really. Not like this. “Just enjoy yourself. You can’t fail. He can’t help but fall for you. Now go finish that chapter so you can start dinner.”

Sam was silent.

“By the way” Harrigan asked, “what’s happening in Chapter 5? Is Frank finally gonna get some sweet, sweet lovin’?”

She could hear Sam’s smile through the phone. “You bet. Right after Lori sees how nicely he painted her bedroom wall. G’night, you terrible, horrible painter.”

“Night to you, too, asshole. And good luck.”

“Same to you.”

Finally, the Anniversary Post!

Yes I do!

This is a long post so grab a snack and get comfy because it’s the Geekiest Girl’s 1st Anniversary! SQUEEEEEEE, y’all! Maybe I should do a clip episode. You know, get the gang accidentally locked in the basement laundry room where there’s nothing to do but wait for the building super to show up to let us out so we entertain ourselves with a game of “remember when”:

“Remember the time I posted that song by Adam WarRock?”

“Yeah, like all 50,000 of them. Geez, give him a rest will ya? Branch out a bit!”

“Well, what about that three-parter on canning where I also mentioned zombies?!?”

“EVERYONE write’s about zombies”

“Ummmmm…..”

“What about those posts you promised about Doctor Who and Firefly and Lara Croft and video games?”

“Well…..sometimes it’s hard to write about what you love.”

“Oh hipster, please!”

Alright, so maybe a clip show isn’t the best idea. How about an origin story? You ready? Okay.

Once upon a time, there was a sad little software helpdesk girl. She had a great husband, a pretty little house and friends. She’d even kept those 40 lbs off for 5 years! But she was miserable because she spent all her time at a job that was so very wrong for her. She felt trapped there because she thought that job was all she could do. She thought it was WHO SHE WAS.

One day, as she sat at her desk and sighed, a coworker stopped by to chat. He brought up video games and before he knew it, little Miss Miserable was chatting non-stop about the joys of puzzle solving in Tomb Raider, leveling up in Gex and killing monsters in Resident Evil. He said, “Don’t take this the wrong way, but you are the geekiest girl I know”.

Lightbulb moment! “I’m a geek!” She thought. “I like weird things and that’s a GOOD thing even if hardly anyone else here at work likes these things.” So she brought in her framed Battlestar Galactica and Firefly posters. She put the Tardis on her computer desktop and let her freak flag fly about video games, movies and tv shows. She started to revel in the odd looks. For a little while, it felt good.

In 2011, she found out a new coworker was a writer. Cool! She loved stories!! She told him she liked playing video games and they soon became fast friends. He asked her to help edit his stories and she liked it. Then, he encouraged her to write stories of her own. She did and it was fun! Still, she was stuck in the day job with no idea what else she could do. She thought any job she took had to be IMPORTANT and HELPING PEOPLE and she had to SAVE THE WORLD or else she was useless and bad.

Then,  one day she was thinking about all her geeky loves and the people she admired. She made a list and realized one important thing: all her heroes were artists. They weren’t saving the world and healing the sick. They were writing stories and playing music and acting. She thought “If I admire these people and their work even though they aren’t saving the world, then maybe it’s okay if I’m not saving the world either.”

She started to think doing what you loved, even if it wasn’t IMPORTANT, wasn’t useless. She started to think maybe she wasn’t a bad person after all. “Maybe I can do work I enjoy and still be a good person!” Don’t you just love lightbulb moments? (And don’t worry, later she did come to understand that entertainment DOES help people and is IMPORTANT and perhaps it can SAVE THE WORLD.)

She was very happy with this revelation but she was still puzzled: “What can I do?” She hadn’t really done much, other than her day job. She’d dabbled a bit in editing and writing but that was it. She was stuck again. She started to cry every day at work. She got angry and fumed all the time over petty little things. Her husband and her friend tried to help: they supported and cajoled and even gave her kicks in the seat of her pants.

One day, one of those talks got through. She knew she had to take action, some action, ANY action. That night, August 6th, 2011, she sat down at this computer, logged onto WordPress and started this blog. She decided to write about the things that made her happy, no matter what they were. She decided to practice writing, to allow herself to entertain, to stop trying to be important and just enjoy the things she loved.

Her husband and friends were very happy. Slowly, over the months, she wrote more and more. One day, she walked the halls at work and realized she wasn’t sad or mad. “I’m a writer!” she thought. “And this is just my day job.” In September, 2011 she got brave and entered her first writing contest: the NPR Three Minute Fiction contest. It was hard and she struggled because she always tries hard, but at the end she had her first finished short story! It felt good!

So she kept trying hard and writing every day, because all the other writers said “Write every day”. But because she tried so hard, writing every day started to hurt. She felt pressured and pushed and tortured and what she wrote was just complaints and pain. She got sick. It got bad.

Finally, in January, 2012 she decided to take a risk and stop writing every day. She’d only write 3 times a week – every other day. She was scared. She thought she was being lazy, that she wasn’t trying hard enough, that she was a bad person. But she decided to try it as an experiment for one month and she found that her writing got better! She was finishing stories! She was still writing for her blog. She was happy again.

And now she’s here, one year old – my Geekiest Girl. She still struggles sometimes but she knows who she is now. This blog gave her a chance to practice and grow. She’s still scared, and sometimes she thinks her writing isn’t what she wants it to be and wonders if THIS is the week she’ll have nothing to say, or what she says will stink and no one will think she’s a writer.

And she says “Frak that!” with each piece she posts!

Post Script: Along the way, I’ve met a lot of other cool blogger. Please check them out:

Cordelia Calls It Quits: Cool chick decides to make her life better, one quit at a time!

Geek Root of Me: Musician/gamer gets his nerd on.

Live, Nerd Repeat: Uncouth wizard lives his life and tells about it – with drawings!

Man-Made Murphy: Comic book writer gathers friends and gets goofy.

Speaker 7: This writer will make you snort Cheerios out your nose.

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