discoverer

May 2013

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May. 17th, 2013

Ohatsu

B/i/k/e/ Bus to Work Day

I punked out because of the rain--if it had been raining just a little bit less, or not raining but only threatening and wet, I was totally prepared to ride, trusting to my sweet fenders to keep the muck off, and taking advantage of the free MATA rides for cyclists all day today. But it was raining just a little too hard, and I've never ridden in rain before and don't have any rain gear--nor have I taken the time to scotch-guard my canvas messenger bag/pannier bag. So whisperflight drove me to the bus stop, instead.

I kind of feel like a failure, not riding to work on bike to work day. Except this whole week is actually Bike to Work Week (May is National Bicycle Month), and I rode in and back home both Monday and Wednesday, which is better than I've managed in a while, and way better than the average. So I'd feel like a failure, but I'm too busy feeling awesome, since we've also managed to get up earlier every day this week and have even done yoga 4 days out of 5 so far. Plus, I have bigger things to stress about than beating myself over the head with unreasonable expectations.

The one nice thing about all the crap life has been handing out at our house this year: it puts everything into perspective most wonderfully.

o/~ When I breathe in, I breathe in peace
When I breathe out, I breathe out love... o/~

Apr. 17th, 2012

discoverer

a late entry

To bring a friend to Bordertown.



This one's for someone left behind in the Realm.

Oct. 12th, 2011

danse macabre

Good day

It was actually kind of a cranky day, with all kind of conflicting demands and special people at work, and too much to do generally in my life, and we're in the dickering phase with the house we're looking at, and weather-induced headachiness and hormone-induced general "people make me tired"-ness.

And then I was involved in a four-car wreck on Poplar Avenue during rush hour. From which I, and everyone else involved walked away, in the main unhurt, though with at least one and possibly more of the cars totaled. I was able to drive my car home, in fact, and though I have a nice dent in my front driver's side bumper and am kinda shaky, that's all the damage I sustained.

So right now, I'm doing as I have been advised, and sitting down, in my pjs, having a nice adult beverage, and reflecting on how very charmed a life I lead. Even when I don't always feel that way.

Aug. 4th, 2011

discoverer

Update: Comprising the Ides of July to the Kalends of August

Got my first rejection last week. Last Tuesday, actually, so more than a week ago--I'm past the sad stage. Actually, the sad stage was unexpected; I thought I was going to be totally heiki about it, no matter what happened, and it turned out that rejection--even when it's expected and you've told yourself that it's fine and a good sign and you'll be happy to get it--still stings a little. Who knew?!

Anyway, a week and I've bounced back and am excited again. I'm going to print it out and frame it, in fact. It's my first rejection! From the first place I've ever sent a story to (a paying market, no less), for the first story I've ever sent out into the world! It's kind of thrilling, really.

I sent it to The Pedestal Magazine. They have some really fun short fiction, along with poetry, and a new issue every two months. If you like that sort of thing (and I do), they're worth a look.

So now I'm moving down the list, though I'm a little stuck since near the top of it are two UK magazines that I can't get my hands on copies of--and I really don't like the thought of submitting to someplace without having read some of the fiction they publish first, so I know I don't have the wrong end of the stick. I have to see if there's someone I know on the internets who would be willing to let me paypal them for a couple copies and the shipping and send them to me.

Work on the novel has been stalled, but I think I'm getting myself out of the mire, with help from whisperflight, of course. In the meanwhile, I've finished a short story in a completely different vein, written an essay as part of a "Paganism 101" post on The Slacktiverse (the post in question is here), and planned and written a sermon for (and then delivered same) the July 31st service at Neshoba.

And found time for a D&D game, as well as time to read The Vor Game, Cetaganda, Pride & Prejudice, Persuasion, False Colors, A History of Sexual Customs, The Poisoner's Handbook, The Life of Pauline Cushman: The celebrated Union spy and scout. Comprising her early history; her entry into the secret service of the Army of the Cumberland, ... prepared from her notes and memoranda (written in 1865, when they went in for titles like that), and an assortment of essays, news articles, blog posts (Curse you, Not Exactly Rocket Science!), wikipedia articles (mainly on the Civil War), and other random stuff. And watch How to Train Your Dragon and Mansfield Park, and go with the paterfamilia (I know I'm using that incorrectly, so I apologize to all you wincing Latin-speakers) to Eleemosynary for the dad's birthday.

So it's not like I've exactly been slacking.

Jul. 14th, 2011

discoverer

Time passes...

Still working hard. The wordcount thing is maybe still a bit ambitious, and I'm having troubles there, but I'm counting it a good day when I write, and I'm noticing that my speed seems to be slowly increasing. So that's nice.

Plus, I've been reminding myself over and over and over that it doesn't matter if the first draft sucks. All first drafts suck.

This is received wisdom for me, rather than experiential, so it takes repitition. I'm That Student, who leaves the paper for the night before its 8 am deadline, then stays up all night writing 8-10 pages of combined first and final draft. I've never really worked in the multiple-draft, write, revise, [rewrite, revise,]* edit, polish, proofread paradigm. I'm used to turning out final draft-worthy prose the first time. Only it's not because my writing is that awesome--it's because I've never left myself time to do anything else. And even then, it's not because I'm a Master of Prose--it's a combination of two factors. One, I'm a pretty decent editor. So I do epicyclic edits as I'm writing. Sure, it slows me down a ton and it throws me off my game as far as structuring the paper, but I have all night, after all, and it's only 10 pages. And that's part 2--it's only 10 pages. I can hold the structure and marshall my arguments and supporting evidence in my head for a 10-page paper. Ten pages--pfff. That's only between 2000 and 2500 words, that is. No sweat. Well--sweat, 'cos I left it till the last damn minute, again, but no problem.

Yeah. That's not working out so well for things longer than 2500 words. Which, incidentally, is about the length of the longest short story I have completed to date. Not only am I trying to write a novel, I'm shifting my paradigm at the same time. No wonder this is so tough...





* repeat as needed.
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Jul. 3rd, 2011

Ohatsu

That writing thing

My project from last year stalled out, for a number of reasons. Among them being that I don't have a good idea of the lay of the land where I've set the story, and can't really change where it's set. So until we can take a trip to Cardiff, that particular work in progress is... not progressing.

Of course, I've done the only sensible thing, and moved on to another project for the time being. I started on Friday, and then hit the weekend and have had to regroup and adjust my expectations a bit. As it turns out, I simply don't have 5000 words a day in me. At least not yet.

Not a failure, right? It's just another way that doesn't work. I'm moving to a goal I hope will be more attainable, and setting myself to write 2000 words every day, instead of 500 on weekdays and 5000 (what was I thinking?!) on weekend days. Here's where it stands as of Sunday night:




That's not counting the 500 words written on the outline today, either. I tend to be kind of a slow writer (it's not the typing--I'm good at that. It's the stringing the words together to tell the story bit), so for me, this is truckin'.
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Jun. 29th, 2011

discoverer

Looking at the stars

I did it. I've submitted a short story to an online magazine, in hopes (but not really expectation) of publication. I should hear something in 4-8 weeks.

It's exciting, and it's also more nerve-wracking than I expected, sending something out into the world. I've always told myself that I'll be pleased just to get rejections, since it means I'm actually submitting work, and not just faffing about.¹ But now that it comes to the actual "submitting" part of the equation, I'm finding it really hard not to get my hopes up.

On the other hand, the chance that the first story I ever submit will get an offer from the first place I send it is vanishingly small. I know that. I keep reminding myself of that.² I'll be beyond surprised if it's accepted. Pleased, sure. But surprised as all hell.

All the same, I've submitted, now I wait, and when my first rejection comes, I'll submit to the next place on my list. And I'll print out that first rejection and frame it, too. Not getting rejections means I'm not doing what I want to with my life—it means I'm not trying.



¹ Not that there is a thing wrong with writing merely for one's own pleasure and/or that of friends & relations. It's just not my personal goal, is all.

² Every five minutes or so.
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Nov. 11th, 2010

danse macabre

Poppy season again.

Aftermath
Siegfried Sassoon (1919)

Have you forgotten yet?...
For the world’s events have rumbled on since those gagged days,
Like traffic checked while at the crossing of city-ways:
And the haunted gap in your mind has filled with thoughts that flow
Like clouds in the lit heaven of life; and you’re a man reprieved to go,
Taking your peaceful share of Time, with joy to spare.

But the past is just the same-and War’s a bloody game...
Have you forgotten yet?...
Look down, and swear by the slain of the War that you’ll never forget.

Do you remember the dark months you held the sector at Mametz–
The nights you watched and wired and dug and piled sandbags on parapets?
Do you remember the rats; and the stench
Of corpses rotting in front of the front-line trench-
And dawn coming, dirty-white, and chill with a hopeless rain?
Do you ever stop and ask, ‘Is it all going to happen again?’

Do you remember that hour of din before the attack–
And the anger, the blind compassion that seized and shook you then
As you peered at the doomed and haggard faces of your men?
Do you remember the stretcher-cases lurching back
With dying eyes and lolling heads—those ashen-grey
Masks of the lads who once were keen and kind and gay?

Have you forgotten yet?...
Look up, and swear by the green of the spring that you’ll never forget.

Aug. 17th, 2010

nebula

stalled

Yuck. For the past three days, I have not made my word count. In fact, two out of those three (so far), I haven't written anything at all. Well, not anything on the story. I'm hoping it's because I hit a place where I was stuck on the plot, and having unknotted that, with the assistance of the lovely and talented Whisper, I'm digesting the changes that need to be made. So I haven't added much of anything to the word count, and still haven't broken 10,000 words like I was hoping to celebrate about on Monday, but I've reworked my whole outline, and at least now I have a much better idea of what's going on.

I'm still feeling low about not writing, though.

Aug. 13th, 2010

discoverer

more progress

Had some fits and starts this week, but for the past couple of days I've been writing more than the 600 words per day that I've set myself as a goal. (Yesterday I wrote 981 words!) Which is good, since it makes up for the two days where I just could not get up at 6am, not for love nor money. Last night my working file hit 100K, which is the point at which it starts to be a bit slow to load on the Palm, so I converted that file into an RTF with regular manuscript formatting (Courier New 12pt, double spaced), which came to a soul-satisfying 35 pages. This morning I opened a new working file, and so far I've written 839 words today.

My working title is A Darkling Wood. Here's where the 1st draft stands right now:

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