katallison: (Default)
So I posted something earlier today about getting back into writing, and in a comment, [livejournal.com profile] cesperanza pointed out that I'm really a "Method" writer, one who (like a Method actor) spends a lot of time upfront thinking through characters' emotions and motivations, and then has to struggle to figure out what the characters should do to express those; whereas she writes in what she calls the "British" method, analogous to the great British actors who stand *here* and say the line and then walk over *there* and do that piece of business, and work back from there to discern and build in the emotional underpinnings.

And now I'm fascinated by this, because I just assumed that everyone goes about writing in the same way I do, more or less, and I'm having fun trying to get my head around what it would be like to simply have some scenes in mind, and write them out, without having already done a lot of sort of preparatory emotional outlining to guide the process. And because I have a ton of other stuff I should be doing, I thought that instead I'd -- that's right, do a poll!

[Poll #511623]
katallison: (patti2)
Things that are good:

a) [livejournal.com profile] a_mews sent me a cool new photo of Patti Smith, from the Meltdown 2005, and I'm rotating it in in place of my old default icon.

b) The suffocating humidity has finally cleared out, and today is warm and sunny and dry, very lovely, so all those people who like to go outside and do stuff on beautiful June Sundays are at last getting their chance, after a monsoon-like few weeks.

c) Long-term stressor at work has finally been resolved, not in a good way, but to be honest any resolution feels like something of a relief after months of fraught suspense.

d) And possibly related to (c) above, I'm writing again, after months of drought. I've been doing some serious revisions on, and cautious additions to, something that's been stalled on my hard drive for quite a while. Had an unpleasant shock, when I first opened and read through it, of Oh my god, could I GET any more blatant with the overwritten emotional exposition?? until I remembered that I'd been trying out the technique of deliberately overwriting the emotional exposition in first draft, so that when I came back later I could remember what was supposed to be going on emotionally, and could then hack out all the signposting. (This has actually proven helpful so far; there are places where I wouldn't have otherwise been able to recall just why these characters were doing/saying this stuff. Now I just have to figure out some way to make it all clear and coherent *without* the signposts. Ahem.)

Anyway, it feels good to be writing again, and will feel even better when I'm warmed up and nice clear fresh stuff starts coming out of the taps, instead of brown rusty gunk.
katallison: (Default)
...or, Kat Attempts to Originate and Propagate the Self-Crit Meme.

Because I am fearsomely avoidant these days about actually writing, I've been doing some rereading and brooding over stuff I've already written, and it struck me that -- if the rest of you are anything like me, with every story you've finished and posted, there's always, glimmering somewhere in your mind, the Platonic Ideal of the story you wanted to write, and then there's the flawed and falling-short reality of what actually made it into prose. And you rub your face and sip Irish whisky and mourn to yourself about the emotion that you couldn't quite pull off, or the stuff you probably should've yanked out, or the thing that you just couldn't make work quite the way you'd envisioned.

So, my idea -- for one/some/any or all of your stories, let us know what that thing was, what you really wanted to do and couldn't quite achieve.
My own, put on cutaway because this is actually not likely to be interesting to anyone who's not me... )
katallison: (Default)
It's started snowing out. They're now forecasting that we won't get the 1-2 feet after all, that it'll concentrate south of the cities, but we should still get several inches, which is fine. I never much mind March blizzards; they're like LJ kerfuffles, dramatic and overblown and flouncy but you know they'll melt away in short order. (November-December blizzards, on the other hand, are like blood feuds, heavy, inexorable, and in for the long haul.)

Project of the Week has been keeping the house clean, after last weekend's big clean-up, and my main discovery (apart from hmmm, this is a lot less work than I thought it would be) is that I have WAY too many coffee mugs. Because if one only does dishes once a week or so, one *needs* a lot of mugs, so that one's pre-dawn lunge for caffeine is not delayed by the need to dig a dirty mug out of the sink and wash it. But now that I'm washing up daily, and even putting the clean dishes away instead of living out of the dish drainer, I may need to move some of these to storage.

Today is a day of huzzah! because the university is closed (spring break holiday) and I have a whole, entire day with nothing to do except watch the snow fall and start inching my way back into writing. Well, that latter is not so much of the huzzah!, maybe, and more perhaps of the eeeek!, because I have been very very stalled out lately with the putting of words on the hard drive. I say "stalled" rather than "blocked" since there's nothing really impeding me, just that I've lost momentum. The daily habit of getting sentences cranked out is one of those Newton's-First-Law things like the daily habit of exercising, or washing the dishes, a whole lot easier to keep going with once started than to start up from a dead stop. But what I'm telling myself is, self, if you can actually keep your house cleaned up for a whole week, getting some progress on that fucking story ought to be *cake.*
katallison: (Default)
A lot of my friends are doing the Year in Review thing for their stories, which on the one hand is very cool--I dig reading people's evals of their own work, and it's given me the chance to revisit some good fiction from the past year--and on the other and more selfish hand is a wee bit depressing, since the only things I've finished and posted all year have been flashfiction. (Well, those and the Seekrit Santa thing.)

Which leads me to ponder--what do all those stories have in common? Why, the fact that they were written against a deadline. Which in turn leads me to the most astonishing and highly unlikely conclusion that if a thing's gotta be done by a certain date, there's a greater likelihood that I will, in fact, get it done. Gee, ya think? What a surprise.

So now--even though I've always protested that I don't *do* deadlines, not this girl, had enough of that in grad school, thank you kindly--I'm contemplating whether it might not be a good idea to contract with one or two friends to impose on me some deadlines for all the crap-in-progress that is lying around on my hard drive like so many torpid lumpy puddings. I'm not saying I'm *going* to do this -- just that it's one of those things that, however unalluring in prospect, would probably be good for me. (Like quitting smoking, and eating more vegetables, and going to the gym three times a week, and getting *organized,* and having some vestige of a social life, and ...)

God, as I think about it, I could develop (if I wanted) the Mother Of All New Year's Resolutions lists, because lord knows there is *no* area of my life, however minute, that could not stand a comprehensive tune-up and adjustment. If I had more youthful optimism and resolve, this would be depressing; as it is, I know myself well enough to know that if I can make an inch of progress on even *one* of these, I'll be doing damn well. But I am going to think about this deadline idea some more ...
katallison: (patti smith)
Story done!!!
Sent to [livejournal.com profile] _aerye_!!
Eight hours ahead of deadline!!
It sucketh like a Hoover and bloweth like unto an F5 tornado, but -- DONE!!!

::doing the Very Tired Dance of Subdued Celebration::
katallison: (Default)
OK, it's 500 words (roughly) to the end of this story, I've got 33 hours, a full tank of gas, a half a pack of cigarettes, it's dark and I'm wearing sunglasses.

Hit it.

::stares at monitor, gnashes teeth, rends garments::
katallison: (Default)
Gnarrr. Have hit an inconvenient plot-snarl in my dS Sekrit Santa story; I'm either going to have to think my way through it, or else do a little distracting sleight-of-hand around it and hope nobody notices.

I tell you what, realism-whore though I am, I feel very lucky at times to be writing in dS, where there's no canonic precedent for, say, slavish adherence to actual police procedure, or pettifogging nitpickery about the laws of space, time, and physics, or whatever. One can simply give the "magical realism!" wand an airy wave. And it's nice to remember that the show itself often tended to use its A-plots with a certain negligence, treating them as a pretext for the *important* stuff--character interaction, relationship development, dialogue, etc.

As a viewer, I've never minded this at all--it takes grand-mal plotline incoherence along the lines of later-season XF to really put me off. And as a writer whose default story line is So, these two guys sit around and talk about stuff, and who is deeply impaired in the development of plottiness, I cherish it.

At the risk of jinxing myself, I plan to get prodigious amounts of writing done this long weekend. There are only two Thanksgivingy social events on the calendar--first, dinner tonight with Mr. P, featuring:
--a pork loin which will have many incisions made all over its surface, into which will be inserted much slivered garlic and rosemary, the whole thing then roasted to a fine crackling turn;
--a gratin of creamed leeks and fingerling potatoes, with gruyere;
--brussels sprouts, halved, steamed briefly, and then sauteed with finely chopped toasted walnuts and a dash of sesame oil;
--a compote of dried cranberries and chopped dried apricots, simmered with brandy and some orange zest;
--a bottle of excellent red wine.

Note the complete absence of turkey! Because that's just the kind of wild and crazy rebel I am! Hah!

And also because I shall get turkey on Saturday, when [livejournal.com profile] debchan, [livejournal.com profile] lapillus, [livejournal.com profile] jackiekjono, and I will gather for consumption of Deb's leftovers and viewage of various things, which should be great fun.

Other than those, and the obligatory visit to aged parental units, my agenda for the weekend is simple: Write. Lots.

My best wishes to all of you celebrating Thanksgiving for a peaceful and relaxing holiday, devoid of familial strife, travel mishaps, or subsequent digestive upset.

ETA: And if you haven't already, go read Laura's, Lum's, and Cereta's entries, because they express much more eloquently than I could the gratitude I feel toward fandom and toward all of you.
katallison: (Default)
I am miles behind on everything here, including (of course) meme-age.

I assume that anyone who wants to ask me anything about any of my stories has already done so, but on the off-chance that you were waiting for an invitation -- ::waving energetically and haphazardly:: -- ask away!

And I really don't have anything of a material nature to put on my holiday wish-list -- those things I'd like are of a more wistful and unlikely-to-be-granted-nature... )
katallison: (Default)
Holy crap. I'm 1,918 words into my dS Sekrit Santa story, and -- um -- there's a fair bit more to come (though what *is* there will likely be edited down, so who knows how long it'll end up). Golly. It's coming pretty easily, though, despite the fact that I discovered yesterday that the *one* episode I need to rewatch to verify certain points is on the *one* tape I can't find in this disaster area I laughingly call my house. Unfortunately, putting out the call for a copy might tip the identity of the story, once posted. Hmmm--Kalena, are you joining in our reindeer games? If not, can I hit you up for a tape?

In other news, I have successfully gotten the Firefox and Thunderbird updates installed and configured on all computers, and even (ta daaa!) finally managed to sort out the account info for my e-mail, so I am slowly switching everything over to my new address, kat at katallison.com. (I am nothing if not egomaniacal.) If you're someone who keeps an address book, you might want to make the change, but I'm certainly keeping the mrks.org addy alive as well, and will check it regularly.

I spare you all a grab-bag of other assorted blather, including the story of my incredibly depressing visit to my dad in the nursing home, the tale of last week's workplace warfare with the infuriating idiots in the athletics dept., and the completely pointless newsflash about falling down in the bathtub, with side notes on the decrepitude of the body and how very much I don't want to turn into the old lady who's Fallen and Can't Get Up. It is Sunday evening, the saddest evening of the week, the shades of dusk are already falling at 4:30 p.m., and I still have a ton of laundry to do and another thousand words to crank out. And dinner. There should be dinner in there somewhere, I suppose.
katallison: (Default)
The "give us one sentence from your WIPs" meme appears to have morphed into "wee snippets from your WIPs," which is fine with me, since relatively few single sentences are able to stand on their own in a provocative way. That's my excuse, anyway.snippety snip snip... )

And now, having scanned through the WIPs to dig these out, I really want to stay home and write, dammit. Good things it's Friday.
katallison: (Default)
Because I am still much with the unproductivity and the general snarliness, two more poems.

One of which I've always wanted to work into a story somehow:

Over and Over Stitch, Jorie Graham )

And the other of which I actually did work into a story, some time ago:

Coming to This, Mark Strand )

Both of which, in their respective ways, speak to my mood today.


katallison: (Default)

November 2009



RSS Atom

Most Popular Tags

Style Credit

Expand Cut Tags

No cut tags