?

Log in

No account? Create an account
Tired. Also more tired. - Barnstorming on an Invisible Segway [entries|archive|friends|userinfo]
Marissa Lingen

[ website | My Website ]
[ userinfo | livejournal userinfo ]
[ archive | journal archive ]

Tired. Also more tired. [Jun. 1st, 2010|08:57 am]
Marissa Lingen
[Tags|, , , , ]

I feel like saying, "My in-laws have gone home, and I am beyond tired," risks sounding like, "Oh, gloom and despair, the wretched in-laws have gone home and left me a wreck." When in fact they were not wretched at all, they were very fine in-laws, and I'm glad they could come so that markgritter and his mom could share their birthdays (and Matt, Dave, and Grandpa Lyzenga could share them with us). But I am still a frazzle and a nubbin through no fault of the in-laws'. Yesterday I had a nap. A nap! Those of you who know what a bad napper I am will know what a thing this is. And nevertheless a nap is what I had. I was that level of stare-at-my-fingers tired where you ask yourself, "Which is more important? A) Send a video to Matt of a barbershop quartet singing the Ewok victory song. B) Balance the checkbook." And then A wins. (Given how tired I was, it's probably just as well I did not attempt financial management even on the small-scale. Still. He hadn't even asked for the Ewoks.)

Last night I had my first dream that I forgot my cane and had to try to wobble around without it. New category of worry-dream, gee thanks, brain. I also dreamed--well, all the ways I can think of to cut-tag this for those who are phobic would probably trigger the phobia, and I know of at least three of you who have this specific one pretty strongly. Suffice it to say that I dreamed very, very vividly of a thing I am not phobic of but some of you are. It was Very Symbolickal of the vertigo and the vertigo treatment. Subtle my dreaming brain is not.

Last week timprov reminded me that every time I finish the initial draft of a book he has to remind me that finishing the initial draft of a book exhausts me (never mind the other things going on in the last few weeks). I said, "Oh, do you?" Which is I suppose why he has to every time: if I remembered him doing it, he wouldn't have to do it again every single time.

I'll have a book post later today. For some reason I've had a run of library books that are beautifully written and completely devoid of kindness between the characters. I've been getting a hundred pages in and saying, "I have no desire to spend time with these awful, self-centered, unkind people any more." Of course not every book has to be full of kind people doing and saying kind things. Naturally not. But when nobody seems to like each other, even a little--and what's more there's no sign that they ever did--it's hard for me to want to stick around and watch them have sex and fight anyway, no matter how lyrical the prose is. I don't even have anything clever and pithy to say about it. Just--done now.
LinkReply

Comments:
[User Picture]From: marshallpayne1
2010-06-01 02:39 pm (UTC)
For some reason I've had a run of library books that are beautifully written and completely devoid of kindness between the characters.

Indeed! I've been finding the same thing. Especially in short fiction. I reviewed an entire antho at The Fix where I was hard pressed to find any characters who liked anyone at all. Writers talk about wanting to write "true to life." In real life people do like other people.

Glad I'm not alone in feeling this way. :D
(Reply) (Thread)
[User Picture]From: mrissa
2010-06-01 03:28 pm (UTC)
I think in short fiction some people feel that the liking other people part is extraneous and therefore must be left out, but if that happens too many times in a row the antho or magazine starts feeling unrelentingly hostile to me. Balance, balance, balance!
(Reply) (Parent) (Thread)
[User Picture]From: mrissa
2010-06-01 03:28 pm (UTC)
Also I think motivating people is much easier if they actually like people. Or, y'know, places or things. Nouns. It is good to like nouns. Or possibly verbs.
(Reply) (Parent) (Thread)
[User Picture]From: marshallpayne1
2010-06-01 03:41 pm (UTC)
Yes, balance! I've also thought that some writers are afraid they'll appear Pollyanna if they do so. If a character shows warm feelings then they might look "simple." Possibly, it's just more difficult to write a three-dimensional character who does show warm emotions and doesn't come off as corny. It's much easier to write a misanthropic, world-weary character with a world of problem.

Thanks for the add back. Oh, Jaime sent me here because she hears me complain about this a lot. *hee*
(Reply) (Parent) (Thread)
[User Picture]From: redbird
2010-06-01 05:07 pm (UTC)
Yes. People, at least people I want to read about, have things they like and things that matter to them. Even if it's a story about someone who smashes things all the time, I want to read about their enjoyment of the smashing, or of the person they miss and whose absence is part of why they keep throwing pottery at the wall.

I think some writers have forgotten that nobody except maybe the writer owes a fictional character love or attention. I am not their characters' grandmother; I do not love the character unconditionally, nor feel obligated to spend the afternoon with him so he won't run into traffic.

That said, I don't insist on only likeable characters: but the others have to be interesting in other ways, and I have to be in the right mood to read about them. (truepenny's Felix Harrowgate isn't someone I'd want to be in the same neighborhood with, but in the right mood (mine, not his) he's fascinating.)

(Reply) (Parent) (Thread)
[User Picture]From: mrissa
2010-06-01 09:54 pm (UTC)
The neighborhood thing reminds me: when I think, "I know you in real life, and I avoid you in real life," that's much more of a deal breaker for me than when I run into someone differently/interestingly unpleasant.
(Reply) (Parent) (Thread)
[User Picture]From: auriaephiala
2010-06-02 05:25 am (UTC)
For some reason I've had a run of library books that are beautifully written and completely devoid of kindness between the characters.

I have enough unkindness in my life right now that I really don't want it in my fiction. I don't necessarily want to read about "nice" people, but unrelieved nastiness -- no.
(Reply) (Thread)