Friday, July 30, 2010
I know it's going to need revision--possibly a lot of it--mostly cutting, I'm sure, since I only decided about three chapters ago to make it a novella, so there's bound to be some padding left over from when I was still trying to push this to 80k.
At the moment, though, I'm just happy that it's over and still a bit high from the incredible fun I had writing the last chapter.
Time for some video games!
Thursday, July 29, 2010
See, I'm a fantasy/horror person. Silent Hill is one of my favorite movies. I play Left 4 Dead alone in the dark. I've read almost everything Stephen King has written. So it takes a lot to get me that vicarious adrenaline thing that people like me who love horror are really going for. It's safe. What's happening on screen or on the page is never going to happen to you. (This is one reason I don't like torture porn; that sort of thing does happen and can happen, and it's horrible and horrifying and why would I want to see that?) It's even rarer that I get scared by a TV show.
Hats off, Doctor Who. I haven't been that creeped out since I read The Ruins by Scott Smith (plants that move and think and have intentions and EAT PEOPLE? Eeeeeeeeeeeeee).
Have a video clip:
This episode had everything it needed to make me completely forget I was trying to edit my True Blood paper and give me a good healthy dump of adrenaline. The pacing was right on; it started with just a vague worry that the marble angels were not what they seemed and ended with full-on, heart-stopping, they're-coming-to-get-you-Barbara fear of the angels. And, of course, there was the whole time-travel puzzle (and a few shout-outs to fan culture which were awesome).
I actually paused about halfway through to FB the friend who loaned me the DVDs and express just how freaked I was. Now I think there might be nightmares in my future, and I'm damn sure I'll never look at a marble angel the same way again.
American TV doesn't ever do this to me. Sure, there's tension and anticipation and occasionally a startle-reflex, but actual oh-god-oh-god-we're-all-going-to-die fear? Nope. Not ever.
ETA: Part of my complete freakout might, I think, be due to a general fear I have of things moving when you're not looking at them. The shrub animals in The Shining? ACK.
So bravo, BBC and Doctor Who. You had me exactly where you wanted me and now I'm afraid to blink.
Sunday, July 25, 2010
It's like, you know how much I love Sarah Newlin. And what she's saying is that she's got, she is sitting on, so much fucking power she doesn't know what to do with it, but she can't imagine a way to exercise it except through controlling a man. And I don't mean "control" in a misogynist way, I mean it in a powerful way. Her lightning can't touch the ground directly, it must be conducted. Because of her family, and her culture, and her teeth, and her breasts, she believes that the best she can do is be the FLOTUS and not the POTUS. And there's a strength in that, but a twisting too.Simply amazing.
It's hard enough to imagine, it's worth closing your mouth to avoid, being a ball-buster, a dick, a crazypants, a jerk... And I'm an affluent white male. You know? And then on the next level down, where I actually have some minority cards to lay down if I have to, I'm afraid of being too forceful in my opinions -- about gay rights, homophobia, feminism, sexism, all of which are part of the same experience and derive from the same Maryann place, ultimately -- because I don't want to be the self-righteous queer, or crying wolf about negligible insults and acting like I'm being oppressed while on the other side of the globe people are literally being stoned to death for doing normal everyday shit like, I don't know, dudes kissing. Ladies wearing pants.
But even with the million fucking ways there are to feel weird about yourself that I personally know of, I still wouldn't EVER want to be a pretty white girl, because just opening your mouth is asking for it. Having any opinions at all is either A) not an option, or B) something you work so hard for that it ends up becoming its own pathology. Maybe Bella wouldn't suck so much if, instead of having to choose between Team Edward and Team Jacob, we had the option of choosing Team Bella. A choice she denies us, as strongly as my girl Heigl seems bent on doing.
So if I can't even see my way to understanding the use of strength, without hedging every single bet -- if I feel guilty even trying to lead -- how much worse is it for Sarah Newlin? She could not only fight a war, she could win it. And she has no fucking clue, because we don't even have the words for that yet.
I've also started reading The Name of the Rose by Umberto Eco, which I'm told I'll love because a) he's a phenomenal writer; and b) I'm into all that medieval stuff, and the introduction contains this gem, which made me LOL in the middle of the sandwich shop:
On sober reflection, I find few reasons for publishing my Italian version of an obscure, neo-Gothic French version of a seventeenth-century Latin edition of a work written in Latin by a German monk toward the end of the fourteenth century.Because that is SO what scholarship is like. Especially scholarship in medieval stuff.
After some reflection, I've decided to stop doing detailed stats on my writing. There are several reasons: the "favorite" category stresses me out, for example, and when I've done my stats I feel like I'm done for the day, regardless of if I find more time or inspiration to continue writing. Also, those are excerpts from the very first, roughest draft, and may or may not end up in the finished one, so why put them out there? Also, if an agent or editor happens by, why would I want them to see the roughest possible pieces of my work?
I'll keep the counter in the right sidebar going, and if something phenomenal happens (5k in one day, say, or a really great line that I just have to share), I'll post it, but daily stats are ending now. Instead I might do book/movie reviews or something, or rant about Doctor Who a bit (I strongly dislike Martha and wish Rose had never left).
Now I must go continue working on my paper. Hopefully I can finish it in the next day or so.
Wednesday, July 21, 2010
New words: 1,373
Total words: 23,360
Favorite: The ley line caught my consciousness and swept it into the flow of magic. I was peripherally aware of Daniel’s hand on my shoulder, but most of me tumbled through the river as it merged with other rivers, speeding through the mine, getting larger and more violent as it went, until it spilled into a room flooded with magical energy. The mine sucked me down through the energy to the bottom of the chamber, where a woman in a white dress lay sobbing on the floor.
"Tsunami" - Rhea's Obsession
"Ecci Mundi Gaudium" - Mediaeval Baebes
"Dark Night of the Soul" - Phillip Wesley
Friday, July 16, 2010
It's lunchtime. They're still not here.
I spent the morning moving my fiction submission list into Excel so I can sort it as needed, then going through my short stories to see what I need to finish writing, what's ready for workshopping, and what needs to get thrown out. Then I did some critting on the OWW to build up points so I can post the two short stories I have that I think are ready for the workshop.
Also, I've mostly decided that DEVIL'S PIT needs to be a novella instead of a novel. It's most likely not going to break 30k without some major reworking, and I could be writing a new novel instead. There's a few markets (and one upcoming one from Holly Lisle!) that will take novellas, so hopefully I'll be able to place it. We'll see what my critters say when I'm done.
Now I'm going to go watch Doctor Who and work on my Pop Culture project. And continue to wait for the ceiling-fixer people. Sigh.
Wednesday, July 14, 2010
New words: 855
Total words: 21,987
Mean things: Krystal's back to her usual snippy self. Ghost won't move on. Dehydration. Sleep deprivation.
Favorite: Silence descended as we waited, a silence in which I counted my heartbeats, thudding against my breastbone. They felt odd, my entire core unsteady and weak. Sleep deprivation, lack of decent food, early dehydration, I decided. Nothing to be done for it except take a drink from my canteen and get out of here as soon as possible. I sipped at my water, cool wetness sliding down my throat. I could practically feel the lining of my esophagus soaking up the moisture, and I did feel it when it hit my stomach. I shuddered as the liquid coated my stomach in an icy layer.
"Totems" - Nebelhexe
"Deora Ar Mo Chroi" - Enya
"The Mummer's Dance" - Loreena McKennit
Lookit me! I'm writing on a school day! I love my Pop Culture class!
Now I get to go work on researching my projects for class and finish reading for the week. But I got some writing done! I really wanted to get to 22k, but I finished the chapter and decided anything else would be extraneous. I'll start chapter 14 tomorrow.
Sunday, July 11, 2010
New words: 913
Total words: 21,133
Mean things: Body dump. PTSD.
Nice things: Not far from exit. Mine mostly quiet.
Favorite: With the mine’s silence came renewed energy, and I shakily raised my shields, holding off the waves of information coming off Krystal. I already knew her knee was in bad shape, she’d spent the last 24 hours in a mine, and her hair was naturally curly; I didn’t need my clairvoyance reiterating it for me.
"Plenty" - Sarah McLachlan
"The Eternal City"- Michelle McLaughlin
"Memento Mori" - Rhea's Obsession
"Helm's Deep" - The Two Towers soundtrack
We've reached the point in the plot where good stuff is going to start happening, because they've got to get out of here eventually. Hence the addition of the "nice stuff" category. That'll probably go away at least once more before I'm done, but as stuff resolves and wraps up, more good stuff will happen.
It's a good think I used to watch so much C.S.I., otherwise I would have had a really hard time figuring out how to do this last scene. For some reason, body farms don't publish their findings online, so I had to use what I know of the inside of a mine and what I know of decomposition from C.S.I. to describe what happened to Jeb. So annoying.
Saturday, July 10, 2010
That really wasn't the point here, though. The point is, about 1/3 of the way through the movie, lightning struck, and I now have a much better ending for DEVIL'S PIT. This ending is so much more intense and exciting that I'm squeeing just thinking about writing it. And freaking out that my Pop Culture class might keep me too busy to write it. And I'll definitely be too busy during the fall semester. Eep!
Must . . . write . . . faster!
New words: 1,368
Total words: 20,220
Favorite: He flickered into view below the cap-lamp, and the mine went abruptly silent. I gasped in shock from the sudden quiet, my mind pushing against something that was no longer there. I stumbled forward, catching myself on Tray’s shoulder. This was better than mint-chocolate ice cream; this was ice-cold strawberry lemonade after mowing the lawn. My mind was so clear it almost hurt.
20K! 20K! I'VE BROKEN 20K! *ahem*
The real problem is, I foresee the rest of the story taking maybe another 10k to tell. This is not good. There's only so far that fleshing out and detailing can push a word count. And with first person, subplots are rather difficult to come by. I may be looking at rewriting the whole thing in third person so I can get inside the heads of the other characters, which should add a goodly amount, but will be a LOT of work that I'm not really looking forward to.
Oh, well. We shall see what my beta readers have to say about it. First thing to worry about: get the piece written.
Friday, July 09, 2010
New words: 1,338
Total words: 18,862
Mean things: Lights out. Krystal's injury getting worse. Despair.
Favorite: The darkness was complete, thick and cloying. I could practically feel it on my skin.
"Ankomst" - Leaves' Eyes
"A Storm is Coming" - The Return of the King soundtrack
"The Gates of Istanbul" - Loreena McKennit
Oh my commas, you guys, I'm back! Hello, writing, how I've missed you!
Yeats is finally over. Pop Culture starts Monday. I wish I had a bit more of a break--Yeats nearly killed me--but at least Dr. Buffy Studies isn't likely to drive us as hard as this other professor did. Lots of reading, but it doesn't look like there's as many written assignments as there were for Yeats.
This weekend, I plan to watch lots of TV (I'm working on the first season of Christopher Eccelson's Doctor Who), play lots of video games, and read. I'm voluntarily reading a young adult book (which feels weird, but I think that's because my parents always pressured me to read above my reading level, not below it), but because it's Mercedes Lackey, I'm okay with that. I'm surprised that my summer reading list is still as long as it is even with all the work I had to do for Yeats.
I'm off to enjoy my three days of freedom!