April 10th, 2006

good mris pic

Week of April 2-8 (belated)

Two rejections, one of which was a policy change to no longer accept unsolicited manuscripts.

yhlee took a writing survey which included the question of what you would write if you were the writer you wanted to be. I don't think it works that way; if it does, I'll never find out. I don't know how else to become the writer you want to be except by writing the things you really want to write. I don't think that always works, it's just that I don't know what else does. I've known some people who needed to write things they thought of as "practice" or "not serious" or "not real," but most of the people I know who've done well with that have written things they thought were fun or interesting.

This is the life you get, and you don't know how much more of it you get. Waiting until you're perfect, or even some nebulous "better," is not going to make it the life you want. Don't wait until you're skinny to wear pretty clothes. Don't wait until you're no longer nervous to ask that special person out. And don't wait until you're your own ideal writer to write the story that has wrapped itself around your heart and head. You'll never learn to do it justice but by trying.

Central Iowa was extremely dusty yesterday. Not dry -- the creeks and all were plenty full. Just dry. Also our car CD player attempted to eat one of our CDs, but we thwarted it with judicious application of my knife. Why I Carry A Multitool, Instance 476.

I'm pretty sure that since this is lj, "does this happen to anyone else?" is going to be yes here, but we'll give it a shot: sometimes I fall asleep after reading something and dream that I'm still reading it. Does this happen to anyone else? The style stays constant -- apparently my brain can either produce the correct style on command or the illusion thereof -- but the plot often veers wildly off into a different direction completely -- from truepenny into Agatha Christie, for example, or from David Brin into Connie Willis, or from Patrick O'Brian into Isaac Asimov. This is disconcerting, particularly when I wake up and try to go back to where I was reading before: wait, is this before the butler killed Bernard? Have the dolphins started running madly around the corridors yet? Has the Zeroth Law of Naval Battles been discovered, or is that a few pages on?

On second thought, maybe this is just me.
dead vikings

After a day off

The point of me taking a day off each week was not actually to help my writing. It is to help my mrissa. But it turns out that it works fairly well with the writing, too: after I finish my Monday morning "ack ack ack, will you look at that list?" mode, I settle in and do strange and cool things with the current project. That kind of writing where you put down a sentence and think, "Oh, I didn't know that," and then you put down the next without stopping, and you think, "How interesting, I guess I set that up ten chapters ago," and then you write another sentence and think, "Really? Wow." So then you just keep writing sentences, even though you intended to stop half a page ago and put the laundry in the dryer, because who knows where this is going? Well, apparently you do, but you didn't know you did.

Poor Lisved. "Something was finally going to be a metaphor!" she protests, but it isn't, it's a river-elf in winter. Easy mistake to make, for a Southerner. I am wallowing and gnawing. Gnarrr.

I also realized that one of the "obvious" rules of this world that appeared to spring fully formed from my poor splitting head is actually lifted sideways from "Uncle John's Band," which is the second time that song has done something similar to me in the last fortnight, and I'm about done now, I think, and can move on to a different song getting sneaky on me, maybe.

Also, timprov's Pandora station is giving us yet another example of why songwriters shouldn't always sing their own songs. Ai yai yai. Pick that tempo up by about half, mister! You didn't write a dirge, so don't sing one! People, remember, you do not have to listen to people talking about what their art means or how it should be interpreted, because we make all this up, and we do not always have a clue what we're talking about or why it works. We try. But sometimes we're just wrong, and if you have a choice between listening to the artist or the art, for heaven's sake, pick the art.

timprov: "Pandora is being the White Witch: it's always folk and never Tom Paxton." We are also playing "second-guess the lyricist." It's a good game, very amusing to people with a large rhyming vocabulary. Play at home!