*sigh*

Sep. 22nd, 2014 10:31 pm
tempestsarekind: (very few dates in this history)
Has anyone else seen commercials for this ABC show Forever that started tonight? I only noticed them at first because I recognized Ioan Gruffudd - but then it turned out that the premise involved a man who's been alive for hundreds of years and can't die -

- why would anyone make this, are they trying to make my life difficult?

I don't particularly want to watch this show - the last time they tried this, with New Amsterdam, the show was terrible, and seriously, why do the immortals always have to be cops and medical examiners, and not, say, bakery owners?* - but still.


*Because supernatural shows keep going the just-add-cops route, so they can be procedurals with a touch of magic, because heaven forbid a show not be a procedural, whatever would we do if we just had to watch characters interacting without a corpse to stand over and quip about?

(also I keep having Thomas-and-Imogen feelings because of it, which are so annoying, go away you two, unless you can come back here with an actual plot resolution.)

…I did manage to write 2800 words of them over one day this summer, which sort of got me a bit closer to something like an ending, but I still don't know how to start or end the scene I wrote 2800 words of, oops, and also that is WAY TOO LONG for a scene that isn't even done -
tempestsarekind: (ten is a bookworm)
So Neil Gaiman is on the cover of the July/August issue of Poets and Writers Magazine. I find this irrationally annoying, because normally P&W is emphatically uninterested in genre fiction. (Well, I suppose most of the writing magazines are, but The Writer and Writer's Digest will occasionally have a tone-deaf "everyone is writing about vampires/zombies/ghosts/etc right now; here's how you can do it too!" piece, and they list genre publishers.) Though maybe this is the start of a widening of focus? (I find the whole culture represented by P&W to be very frustrating - the culture of MFAs and short story magazines and the overwhelming majority of writing contests and fellowships - because genre basically doesn't exist. Not that it matters to me on a real, practical level, I suppose - I'm not writing anything, or looking for markets to publish the stuff I'm not writing - but I am a reader who gets annoyed by feeling like she's expected to apologize for her reading habits because genre books aren't "real," "important," "literary" books, and I've taken creative writing classes where the teachers straight-up refused to acknowledge the fantasy elements in my stories*, and if I *did* want to "get serious" about writing, most of the "serious" outlets and sources of support don't extend to genre fiction. If you already *are* Neil Gaiman, then fine, P&W apparently has time for you - but if you're a beginning writer who would like to have the same options for learning and help as someone who writes fiction about domestic infidelity or suburban tragedy, then you're kind of out of luck.)

I also did not manage to get a ticket to Gaiman's upcoming reading/signing here, alas, but I felt better about this when the staff member told me that people had been lined up outside the bookstore the night before; if they wanted tickets that badly, they deserve them! (And after all, I just wanted to go to listen in, not to get anything signed - getting books signed makes me feel like I can't read that copy anymore, anyway - or talk to him or ask any specific question. So I will live.) But I did pick up my copy of The Ocean at the End of the Lane, so there is that.


*Okay, technically that only happened once, but the other classes were not hospitable to fantasy, either.

hee.

Jan. 2nd, 2011 11:14 pm
tempestsarekind: (elizabeth bennet is amused)
From Neil Gaiman's journal:

And also, please wish me luck with this short story I'm writing. I'm up to page 19 and nothing's happened yet. Right now, they're eating porridge. In my head, by this point in the story everyone was going to be terrified, and strange oogly things would be happening to all the villagers. Porridge!
http://journal.neilgaiman.com/2010/12/another-year.html

The fact that this sounds like practically every story I've ever tried to write ("Why are they eating again? Why is this entire chapter about apples? Why has nothing happened?") both amuses and heartens me.

hee.

Jan. 2nd, 2011 11:14 pm
tempestsarekind: (elizabeth bennet is amused)
From Neil Gaiman's journal:

And also, please wish me luck with this short story I'm writing. I'm up to page 19 and nothing's happened yet. Right now, they're eating porridge. In my head, by this point in the story everyone was going to be terrified, and strange oogly things would be happening to all the villagers. Porridge!
http://journal.neilgaiman.com/2010/12/another-year.html

The fact that this sounds like practically every story I've ever tried to write ("Why are they eating again? Why is this entire chapter about apples? Why has nothing happened?") both amuses and heartens me.
tempestsarekind: (very few dates in this history)
I worry about this sort of thing a lot.
http://reasoningwithvampires.tumblr.com/post/1712198569

Misspent...something or other, I'm sure. But, you know. I do spend a lot of time worrying about whether certain characters of mine sound suitably out-of-temporal-place. I am afraid of getting it wrong. Not that anyone would ever call me out about it on Tumblr, but still.
tempestsarekind: (ofelia)
(I would like this post to be more...incisive, but I'm too hot to get my brain to work adequately. It feels like porridge--both my brain and the post.)

This weekend I watched Martian Child. I enjoyed it quite a bit; there were a few moments that I thought were perhaps a bit too on-the-nose, but on the whole I found it sweet without being cloying, and rather touching.

Though part of that may be that stories about imaginative children and their fantasy worlds (either real or imagined, or both at once) have a special place in my consciousness. (You may draw connections to "The Eleventh Hour" at your leisure. This is also--as the icon suggests--one of the reasons I like Pan's Labyrinth as much as I do.) It's funny, because I consider that sort of story something that I would very much like to write, in the future--that is, not something I've done yet. But when I actually looked over my few finished stories and works in progress, only two or three of them don't feature childhood in a relatively central way; if the protagonists aren't children at the time of the story, there are usually flashbacks or detailed references to formative childhood experiences. I don't think I've gotten it right yet, why this theme matters so much to me and is so powerful--and maybe that's why I don't feel like I've actually done it yet--but it was still a surprise to realize how many times I'd taken a crack at it without meaning to.

As usual, I guess it takes a long time for my brain to catch up with my brain.
tempestsarekind: (ofelia)
(I would like this post to be more...incisive, but I'm too hot to get my brain to work adequately. It feels like porridge--both my brain and the post.)

This weekend I watched Martian Child. I enjoyed it quite a bit; there were a few moments that I thought were perhaps a bit too on-the-nose, but on the whole I found it sweet without being cloying, and rather touching.

Though part of that may be that stories about imaginative children and their fantasy worlds (either real or imagined, or both at once) have a special place in my consciousness. (You may draw connections to "The Eleventh Hour" at your leisure. This is also--as the icon suggests--one of the reasons I like Pan's Labyrinth as much as I do.) It's funny, because I consider that sort of story something that I would very much like to write, in the future--that is, not something I've done yet. But when I actually looked over my few finished stories and works in progress, only two or three of them don't feature childhood in a relatively central way; if the protagonists aren't children at the time of the story, there are usually flashbacks or detailed references to formative childhood experiences. I don't think I've gotten it right yet, why this theme matters so much to me and is so powerful--and maybe that's why I don't feel like I've actually done it yet--but it was still a surprise to realize how many times I'd taken a crack at it without meaning to.

As usual, I guess it takes a long time for my brain to catch up with my brain.
tempestsarekind: (a sort of fairytale)
spoiler for 'Cold Blood,' plus some vague thoughts on the season so far )

In non-spoilery Doctor Who news, I'm amused that I'd totally forgotten that I used to keep trying to write stories about girls who had imaginary friends who weren't actually imaginary, until Amy Pond and her Raggedy Doctor.
tempestsarekind: (a sort of fairytale)
spoiler for 'Cold Blood,' plus some vague thoughts on the season so far )

In non-spoilery Doctor Who news, I'm amused that I'd totally forgotten that I used to keep trying to write stories about girls who had imaginary friends who weren't actually imaginary, until Amy Pond and her Raggedy Doctor.

hmm

May. 6th, 2010 09:05 pm
tempestsarekind: (typewriter)
I feel like the bit of dialogue I just wrote is mildly slapstick, particularly for these two. Totally not sure about it.

Also--dueling. Argh. That's it. I'm just going to stop thinking, about anything. I have grading to do, and cannot be haring off on silly research quests for a few lines of dialogue. Darn it all to heck.

...Also, I just giggled out loud because it turns out that there is a "Mr" with my character's last name living in the London parish I rather arbitrarily stuck him in, in 1638. This is not a particular surprise, because it's a ridiculously common last name. And the rent is entirely too high for him. But I'm still stupidly happy about it. There is clearly no hope for me.
tempestsarekind: (mind the gap)
My brain always, always does this when we start nearing the end of the semester: it just--balks, and won't do anything of use. How many things did I have to do yesterday? A LOT. What did I do instead? Watched the last three episodes of S3 Slings & Arrows. Again. (And I teared up at the Bolivians, with their metal sheets and rain sticks making up the storm, because I always do. Because that is what it's about. Their storm, Geoffrey's tempest--magic doesn't need much.)

And over the weekend, when I also could have been doing some of the many things I need to do, I spent a whole day reading Those Who Hunt the Night by Barbara Hambly. And nearly laughing myself off the edge of my bed, on occasion, because apparently I am incredibly amused by snarky, snobbish, aristocratic Spanish vampires. What. (Also: layers. Oh, London, I love the way you do that--all your pockets and hidden places.)

This is not helping me.

Also, I would make a terrible artist--not enough focus--but it doesn't stop me from wanting to create art. (Er. In a very loose, "I made this" kind of way. Not, you know, Art. I have no pretensions to that.) I feel sort of empty, brain-wise and story-wise, and I just want to read and look at and listen to things until I'm filled up again. I want to throw myself into something I love, which is probably why I've been nibbling at the edges of that old story lately. I miss loving things--or no, I miss having something of mine to love.

But I should at least try to be responsible. *sigh*
tempestsarekind: (mind the gap)
My brain always, always does this when we start nearing the end of the semester: it just--balks, and won't do anything of use. How many things did I have to do yesterday? A LOT. What did I do instead? Watched the last three episodes of S3 Slings & Arrows. Again. (And I teared up at the Bolivians, with their metal sheets and rain sticks making up the storm, because I always do. Because that is what it's about. Their storm, Geoffrey's tempest--magic doesn't need much.)

And over the weekend, when I also could have been doing some of the many things I need to do, I spent a whole day reading Those Who Hunt the Night by Barbara Hambly. And nearly laughing myself off the edge of my bed, on occasion, because apparently I am incredibly amused by snarky, snobbish, aristocratic Spanish vampires. What. (Also: layers. Oh, London, I love the way you do that--all your pockets and hidden places.)

This is not helping me.

Also, I would make a terrible artist--not enough focus--but it doesn't stop me from wanting to create art. (Er. In a very loose, "I made this" kind of way. Not, you know, Art. I have no pretensions to that.) I feel sort of empty, brain-wise and story-wise, and I just want to read and look at and listen to things until I'm filled up again. I want to throw myself into something I love, which is probably why I've been nibbling at the edges of that old story lately. I miss loving things--or no, I miss having something of mine to love.

But I should at least try to be responsible. *sigh*
tempestsarekind: (books and flowers)
I don't appear to be receiving comment notifications, and perhaps you aren't either, so while I think I've responded to all the comments I ought to have responded to, this might not be true, and if it is, I suppose you might not know that I've responded!

Anyway. I'm off to the library to pick up books I shouldn't. I wish I didn't feel so much pressure/desire to have to do everything at once, because it mostly results in nothing much getting done at all. For example. I have a new project in mind--just a short one, a potential article or something (because I could really stand to have some of those). It is not at all prudent to be thinking about these sorts of things when I have a dissertation to write, but I still want to go do it anyway--partly because it's new and exciting and I don't know yet what I really think about this new thing, but partly because I feel like I have to start doing the reading right now simply in order to be able to write about it in the future. I have to start the mental stew, which takes a long time for me. Once I know what I think, the writing part, marching one word in front of another, isn't *too* hard--but arriving at that point takes ages, during which very little writing happens (aside from journal notes and blog posts, that is--which I do think are an important part of the stew-making process).

Same with historical fiction (the research part, anyway, since I haven't written any): the reading isn't for now, but for years from now--but if it takes that much time to learn a subject well, then I should be reading a little bit about everything now! About anything I think or know I might want to write about someday! And on and on. Focus gets divided, I accomplish nothing. I've been working on the dissertation the same way; instead of focusing the reading on one chapter at a time, I've been scatter-shot about the process, trying to get a sense of the whole thing by dipping in here and there.

I need to be better about this--only I'm not sure how.

How do you all do it? Or maybe you don't have this problem at all?
tempestsarekind: (books and flowers)
I don't appear to be receiving comment notifications, and perhaps you aren't either, so while I think I've responded to all the comments I ought to have responded to, this might not be true, and if it is, I suppose you might not know that I've responded!

Anyway. I'm off to the library to pick up books I shouldn't. I wish I didn't feel so much pressure/desire to have to do everything at once, because it mostly results in nothing much getting done at all. For example. I have a new project in mind--just a short one, a potential article or something (because I could really stand to have some of those). It is not at all prudent to be thinking about these sorts of things when I have a dissertation to write, but I still want to go do it anyway--partly because it's new and exciting and I don't know yet what I really think about this new thing, but partly because I feel like I have to start doing the reading right now simply in order to be able to write about it in the future. I have to start the mental stew, which takes a long time for me. Once I know what I think, the writing part, marching one word in front of another, isn't *too* hard--but arriving at that point takes ages, during which very little writing happens (aside from journal notes and blog posts, that is--which I do think are an important part of the stew-making process).

Same with historical fiction (the research part, anyway, since I haven't written any): the reading isn't for now, but for years from now--but if it takes that much time to learn a subject well, then I should be reading a little bit about everything now! About anything I think or know I might want to write about someday! And on and on. Focus gets divided, I accomplish nothing. I've been working on the dissertation the same way; instead of focusing the reading on one chapter at a time, I've been scatter-shot about the process, trying to get a sense of the whole thing by dipping in here and there.

I need to be better about this--only I'm not sure how.

How do you all do it? Or maybe you don't have this problem at all?
tempestsarekind: (elizabeth bennet is amused)
NPR bloggers read Twilight. I giggle.

http://www.npr.org/blogs/monkeysee/2010/03/the_writing_style_of_twilight.html?ft=1&f=1032


(Link via Bookshelves of Doom.)

or this one:
http://www.npr.org/blogs/monkeysee/2010/03/more_twilight_is_bella_a_sympa.html

Which features this comment: "It's interesting that she never asks him things like, 'What was the Great Depression like?'"

I always wish that vampires weren't so much with the blood and the death and all (I'm fairly squeamish, and also not particularly interested in coven politics or what have you*), because I love the idea of people outside of time (you may continue to be unimpressed by this totally obvious comment), and if I *did* write a vampire story, you know the whole thing would be all about the main character going, "Sooo... what was [historical event X] like?" And the vampire would be all, *colossal broody eyeroll*

I'm just saying; it seems like a wasted opportunity.


In totally unrelated news, except that this is also something I just did on the internet: I'm sure I've said this before in comments on someone else's post or something, but it really doesn't bear thinking about, how much my story-writing kinks have been shaped by, of all things, the video to "Take on Me."


*In and of themselves, I hasten to add. It's not a button for me, a theme I'll actively seek out. A good writer could do anything to that basic idea and get me to read it. Provided I could get over my squeamishness.
tempestsarekind: (elizabeth bennet is amused)
NPR bloggers read Twilight. I giggle.

http://www.npr.org/blogs/monkeysee/2010/03/the_writing_style_of_twilight.html?ft=1&f=1032


(Link via Bookshelves of Doom.)

or this one:
http://www.npr.org/blogs/monkeysee/2010/03/more_twilight_is_bella_a_sympa.html

Which features this comment: "It's interesting that she never asks him things like, 'What was the Great Depression like?'"

I always wish that vampires weren't so much with the blood and the death and all (I'm fairly squeamish, and also not particularly interested in coven politics or what have you*), because I love the idea of people outside of time (you may continue to be unimpressed by this totally obvious comment), and if I *did* write a vampire story, you know the whole thing would be all about the main character going, "Sooo... what was [historical event X] like?" And the vampire would be all, *colossal broody eyeroll*

I'm just saying; it seems like a wasted opportunity.


In totally unrelated news, except that this is also something I just did on the internet: I'm sure I've said this before in comments on someone else's post or something, but it really doesn't bear thinking about, how much my story-writing kinks have been shaped by, of all things, the video to "Take on Me."


*In and of themselves, I hasten to add. It's not a button for me, a theme I'll actively seek out. A good writer could do anything to that basic idea and get me to read it. Provided I could get over my squeamishness.
tempestsarekind: (ofelia)
I was watching PBS the other evening, and a movie critic on Charlie Rose suggested that we were due to see a lot more sci-fi/fantasy films because of Avatar. I remember someone saying something similar about LotR, and while we did get some novel/comic adaptations, did we get much in the way of original fantasy films? I can think of Mirrormask and Pan's Labyrinth, but that's all that's occurring to me.

Or (and this question is partly to do with watching [livejournal.com profile] isurrendered)--why is there so little fairy mythology in movies and TV? Again, I can think of Pan's Labyrinth, and that one episode of S1 Torchwood where they were really aliens, of course; but nothing else is coming to mind at the moment. We're getting a lot of vampires right now--they seem to come in waves--and we get ghosts on occasion, and the occasional werewolf (Being Human has the whole trifecta), but not much in the way of fairies*. Help here? Either with suggestions for things I should watch, or with reasons why not?

(*Under that category I'm also including selkies and the like, not just straight-up, "in th'olde dayes of the Kyng Arthour" sort of fairies. Which adds The Secret of Roan Inish to my list, I suppose, now that I'm thinking of it.)
----

In not really related news, except that I watched the Oscars last night: I feel I need to be more creative. I don't really think of myself as a creative person. Occasionally (very occasionally!) I write things, but they aren't even particularly creative things, if that makes any sense. Or inventive, perhaps that's more what I mean: no one would read something I've written and think, "Whose brain works like that?" as I do with certain authors. I'm horrid at plot, because I just can't invent things that might happen. And I don't know if I can do anything about that, but it's also true that I haven't written anything in a while, and I probably could do something about that. (Though it would really help if the ideas I have at the moment, few and threadbare as they are, didn't require a bunch of research before I could even get started.)
tempestsarekind: (ofelia)
I was watching PBS the other evening, and a movie critic on Charlie Rose suggested that we were due to see a lot more sci-fi/fantasy films because of Avatar. I remember someone saying something similar about LotR, and while we did get some novel/comic adaptations, did we get much in the way of original fantasy films? I can think of Mirrormask and Pan's Labyrinth, but that's all that's occurring to me.

Or (and this question is partly to do with watching [livejournal.com profile] isurrendered)--why is there so little fairy mythology in movies and TV? Again, I can think of Pan's Labyrinth, and that one episode of S1 Torchwood where they were really aliens, of course; but nothing else is coming to mind at the moment. We're getting a lot of vampires right now--they seem to come in waves--and we get ghosts on occasion, and the occasional werewolf (Being Human has the whole trifecta), but not much in the way of fairies*. Help here? Either with suggestions for things I should watch, or with reasons why not?

(*Under that category I'm also including selkies and the like, not just straight-up, "in th'olde dayes of the Kyng Arthour" sort of fairies. Which adds The Secret of Roan Inish to my list, I suppose, now that I'm thinking of it.)
----

In not really related news, except that I watched the Oscars last night: I feel I need to be more creative. I don't really think of myself as a creative person. Occasionally (very occasionally!) I write things, but they aren't even particularly creative things, if that makes any sense. Or inventive, perhaps that's more what I mean: no one would read something I've written and think, "Whose brain works like that?" as I do with certain authors. I'm horrid at plot, because I just can't invent things that might happen. And I don't know if I can do anything about that, but it's also true that I haven't written anything in a while, and I probably could do something about that. (Though it would really help if the ideas I have at the moment, few and threadbare as they are, didn't require a bunch of research before I could even get started.)

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