afterallthistime: (Default)
Let's talk about how much I don't want to go to work tomorrow. Or not. Yeah, no, let's not.

Last weekend I went to [community profile] muskratjamboree and it was epic, just as it was the last time. I tend towards the quiet, lurky side, since I've not been super vocal in fandom in the last several years, but I still love fan culture and hearing the last about what people are reading and watching and doing. I've picked up a lot of potential fandoms that may interest me, and had a great time basking on the aura of enthusiasm that everyone brought for their respective fandoms.

Mostly, it made me really want to create things again -- like, in terms of vidding or ficcing again, obviously, but also in a more general sense. Like, what excuse do I have -- what valid excuse do I have -- for not writing more, or for not doing more photomanips, or working on graphics so that I can actually get good enough to commit the images in my head to paper? Why am I not reading and critiquing more fic, or betaing anymore, or generating meta? Why am I pushing ideas aside as being too undeveloped or "out there" when I know I would get pleasure from writing them, and when I know, first hand, that there is an audience for everything, however brief, or meandering, or outlandish.

I feel like I am turning my back on a potentially welcoming community** out of a sense of inadequacy and this idea that I have nothing of value to offer, and that is just total bullshit. There are brilliant ideas out there that I am missing out on by not paying more attention to the community, and my own ideas are stagnating and dying because I never even give them a chance. I need to put the kibosh on that mode of thinking, yo.

Tomorrow starts the April round of Camp NaNoWriMo, and I'm hoping that lights the appropriate fire under my ass to start me writing again, because it's not so much that I have no ideas as it is that I never give myself permission to just write and not worry about quality or plot, and once I get started, I usually generate some decent stuff if I can keep it going long enough. Hoping to start on a collection of short fiction that I've been putting off committing to paper since, mmm, October, maybe??

**I'm referring specifically (in light of the con) to the fandom community, but in a broader and just as valid sense, I also mean the ~creative community in general. I enjoy making things, I enjoy crafting, and crocheting, and writing, but I don't make time for them any more. It's like -- work, gym, dinner, chores, internet, bed, everyday. THERE IS MORE TO ME THAN THAT, GODDAMNIT. I just need to... fucking reclaim it, man.

Meanwhile, this weekend I spent (with SIGNIFICANT help from Andy) getting the house clean, because SPRING, BITCHES. Wow, with two of us, we got basically EVERYTHING done in a day and a half, which is pretty epic, honestly. I still have to clean the tub and then my craft room (because, aha, the craft room is basically a dumping ground for whatever shit I've been working on -- or not working on -- and right now it contains:

1. a suitcase still half-full from MJ,
2. a stack of newspapers for a paper mache Loki helmet I am "supposed" to make for Anime Boston,
3. several blocks of Sculpey, a bunch of loose and disorganized jewelry posts and jump hooks, bottles of acrylic paint, and dozens of charms in various stages of completeness,
4. piles of clothing that no longer fit, strewn on both my desk chair and my dress makers dummy,
5. most of my collection of scrapbooking supplies, all over my desk, because... fuck you, that's why (no, I have no recollection of using them recently, I don't know how or why they're there)

but the craft room is closed off from the rest of the flat 99.9% of the time anyway, and I kind of regard it as a seperate entity, because I'm the only one who ever goes in there anyway. So while I DO want to get it cleaned and organized, it's not as much of a priority as the rest of the living space). This is a big deal, because it makes me feel like SOMETHING in my life is just, you know, DONE. Set. A-ok. In order. It means it's one less thing I have to feel anxious about, or to use as an excuse as to why I'm not doing X, Y, and Z instead of fretting about my living space or feeling overwhelmed by other obligations (also, everything smell like Fresh Water, and that's super nice, ahh...) We threw the windows open yesterday and tore down the curtains (to wash them), the the whole flat as full of fresh air and sunlight, and yeah... it feels like, if I had to wait for a time to start things over, this is it. This is the time to renew commitments to yourself.

Other things:

1. I've been driving. I know, wow. I'm hating it less. We're planning on scheduling my road test sometime in April, taking it sometime in May. I fucking hate merging onto the highway, but so does everyone. Other than that, I don't mind highway driving, and I've been long resigned to city driving. I've been taking myself around, to Mel's house, to and from work, to the gym... I'm excited to be able to apply to jobs that require a driver's license, because while that would mean I'd need to buy a car (it's usually in-home training, direct care work, etc.), the jobs that would require it also pay enough that it would be a reasonable expense to buy a semi-decent used car for work.

2. Work. I'm looking. I don't hate my job right now -- on the contrary, while there are some really frustrating moments, in general, I enjoy it. So now is really the time to look, when I'm in the frame of mind where I am restless enough to be mentally willing to try something new, but emotionally stable enough to be selective, and to only apply to jobs that sound like a step up, instead of applying to anything because AT LEAST IT'S NOT THIS.

3. I need fanart -- good fanart -- of a.) true-form!Castiel, and b.) Ice King/Marceline (not in a romantic sense) from Adventure Time, because oh my God, I think I'm addicted to Adventure Time, and Ice King and MArceline just make me go A BLOO BLOO BLOO.

I just heard the dryer stop, which is my signal to go and fold clothes, because Lord knows I won't feel like it after the gym tomorrow. Enjoy what little remains of the weekend, everyone.
afterallthistime: (best yet to come)
I think it's funny -- not "ha ha" funy, but kind of ironic funny -- how much of a concious effort it is not to over-think while I'm attempting to write. Like, I have to focus really hard to avoid over-focusing? It's bizarre. But it's kind of sort of working, maybe? I don't know. I haven't written in ages. I'm trying to finish up the collection of twenty sestinas so I can publish elegance/animal and maybe move on to trying another form, because I love writing, but -- as has been previously stated -- am incapable of doing so (for the most part, with exceptions) without some kind of structure. There's this awesome resource at The Word Shop that has a listing of a slew of poerty forms, and I am itching to try some of them out. I've played around with a lot of forms, but it's a goal of mine to try to write at least one piece in every form listed there. Bizarre and oddly specific, yes. But we all have our goals and dreams, right?

Speak of the devil; an update on Bucket List 2012 )

I'm moving. I'm still going. Not as quickly as I'd like, and with far more sudden stops and false starts than I'd like, but I'm moving. And that, ultimately, is the point. Just keep going.
afterallthistime: (Default)
(Note: If any of my NaNoing LJ Friends fall into any of these categories, please take this with a grain of salt as the not-too-serious ramblings of a bitter NaNo veteran. Thank you :))

NaNoers Just Begging for a Beating:

1. People who reach 50k on day five and insist on complaining about how their novel is going in the "NaNoWriMo Ate My Soul" forum.

2. People who reach 50k on day five. Full stop.

3. People who talk about how they plan on "challenging" themselves this year by writing a trilogy of books, or a septology, or the literary equivalent of the Encyclopedia-fucking-Britannica.

4. The fact that everyone seems to be writing fantasy except me, which makes me feel vaguely uncomfortable for reasons I can't quite work out.

5. People who have eight thousand forums posts but a word count of 200 and who do nothing but complain in all eight thousand forums posts that they only have a word count of 200.

6. People who reach 50k on day five.

7. People who reach 50k on day five.

8. People who reach 50k on day five.

(7,686 words).
afterallthistime: (holy crap)
Here I am, on my flex bock at work, NOT doing NaNoWriMo. YAY!

Actually, since I have 82 minutes plus my lunch (plus a little extra, since the BCBA and case manager are encouraging me to sort of "skip out" as often as possible to give my kid a chance to adjust to not having an aide by his side full-time), I still have plenty of time to write. Also, at nearly 4000 words, I'm only a day behind (meaning I need to make-up yesterday's word count and produce today's, but seing as how, in the nine years (yipes!) I've been doing NaNo, I've often had to catch up somewhere in the realm of 5,000 words in one go, I'm not exceedingly worried).

What I am worried about is how much I already hate my plot. When vague ideas finally started forming (like, at 2 am on November 1st), I thought I had the bud of a great mainstream adult fiction novel blossoming in my brain... then I started writing, and suddenly the entire tone screamed Young Adult novel, which, hey, in and of itself, is not bad.

Then I actually started churning out signifigant wordage, and at that point it became a Very Bad Thing. Basically the entire first chapter is an info dump - like, a ridiculous ammount of awkwardly-worded and ponderously detailed exposition - that simultaneously manages to say abso-fucking-loutely nothing. I have really nowhere to go beyond this point, which, given that it's still only week one, and I'm a day behind, is already not boding well for the success of this endeavor.

Still, I'm trying to tell myself that the lasting result of doing NaNo is, as always, getting into the habit of producing something everyday, and hopefully of learning how to silence, with at least some moderate degree of success, the voice inside my head that constantly tells me what a hack I am and that I should almost definitely be on Ritalin, and goads that while I'm wasting my time writing, I could easily be wasting my time doing any number of other, less frustrating but equally frivolous tasks.

Post-NaNo, I still have hopes of self-publishing by (or just after) the new year - not my NaNo novel, but the book of poetry I keep swearing I'll finish "next week," "next month," "whenever I damn well feel like, okay?" If I can condition myself to write everyday, and not instantly pan everything I've produced out of hand, then maybe there's hope for me yet.

Oh, also, my novel: teenage boy finds out his girlfriend is pregnant. Hijinks ensue. Stuff happens. Thrilling original, isn't it?

Fellow NaNo-ers, good luck; if you are anything like me, you will need it in spades.


Oct. 7th, 2011 09:59 am
afterallthistime: (holy crap)

And who is actually planning for it instead of winging it come November 1st?

And who can tell me how to go about doing so myself, since I suck at anything resembling organization?
afterallthistime: (Default)
I've settled on LuLu as my publishing platform. According to their page count guidelines, I technically have enough content to publish now, though I think I'd like to prepare a few more pieces before a put the final draft together. The new open mic season starts locally in January, so I hope to have the book out by then so I can do promos at readings. I plan on spending most of tomorrow night working on new pieces (two of them), and then starting to format what I have to correspond to LuLu's publication guidelines.

Title and a more definite publication date to be forthcoming.
afterallthistime: (Default)
Stir crazy. I've been contemplating various projects I've been working on (or previously contemplating) and have been trying to make some progress. There was a fandom t-shirt I had in my head for days that I really wanted to make, but because the design was influenced/based on a fanfic that's immensely popular in the fandom, I felt the need to contact the author before going ahead with the design process. She, unfortunately, doesn't want the canon characters names to appear in the design, so that shoots my idea down (which disappoints me more than it should, I was really happy with the protype I designed), though she did give me the okay to use her fic for inspiration, so perhaps something else will come to mind (I already have a few ideas, and honestly, granting permission alone was pretty generous, so I can't be too bummed out about it).

I'm experimenting with different platforms to format my poetry book as well, as I'm getting closer to the final number I want for publication. Right now I'm fiddling with LuLu's Poetry Book designer (which is very pretty, don't get me wrong, but it's like it expects all your poems to be ten lines long, and I'm dealing with a much longer form) and Blurb's Booksmart (which is less elaborate, but currently worlds more flexible -- I think it may be winning at the moment). Also deleted my old Twitter and got a new one (I'm addicted to keeping up with the celebs and quasi-celebs I enjoy, what can I say - and it's a great tool to have when you're at conventions, as I learned at MJ). There are still some things around the house I could do, but for all intents and purposes, the house is pretty clean.

There's another pretty big something I want to get started on, but I'm a little hesitant to do it, because of the long term time commitment and because of my complete lack of organizational skills. But it remains something I'd love to do, especially since I've been really wanting to get out and meet some other like-minded people, so I may get the ball rolling tonight and see, once I have a clearer idea of what I'm doing, of anyone else wants to help me out.

All in all, I'm feeling rather scattered tonight. Suggestions of something to do -- a game to play, a show to watch, a fic to read, a new project idea -- would be welcome, as would random messages and well-wishes ;)
afterallthistime: (smart funny beautiful)
I've been in a bit of a funk lately when it comes to writing. I tend to write in only one form - sestina. Not because I can write in only one form, but because it's my favorite form to write in and because I decided I'd like to put together a chapbook of the form, hopefully, at this point, before the New Year.

I started writing sestina, however, as part of a challenge; I sought out new poetry forms, and devoted some time to writing in said form. I've written villanelles, rondelles, haikus, kyrielles, sonnets, dorsimbras, samisens, etc. I've not written them nearly as extensively - with the exception of sonnets and haikus, I've probably only done one or two of the other forms - but I've dabbled. I love playing about with new forms.

The other thing that got me into sestina was the (now functionally defunct) community [ profile] same_oh, which was a word-inclusion challenge. I would use lists of words posted as the line-ending words for my sestinas. It yielded some really positive results, including an award-winning poem I wrote called "Momento Mori."

I haven't really done any challenges for a while, and was wondering 1.) if anyone would want to do challenges with me, 2.) if anyone has a favorite poetry form to share that maybe I could experiment with, or 3.) if anyone has a word list for future sestinas?

Number 1 stands in conjunction with 2 and 3, of course.

I'm hoping returning to a regular schedule will be good for me, creatively and... well, in general, I guess. I've gone through too many transitional stages this summer and honestly, I'm ready for a return to routine (even if I'm not looking forward to the routine I'm returning to).

Ugh, no cooking for me tonight. Sandwiches and a watermelon and feta salad, I think.
afterallthistime: (attention grabbing whore)
I've been trying to write today. I say "trying" because I have the worst ADD ever, and no one believes me because nowadays everyone claims to have ADD; if they get the tiniest bit distracted or occassionally put off undesirable activities, then they "are so ADD." Meanwhile, the things I want to do the most - like write, like craft, like persue a personal project - are constant struggles against the racing of my mind, this build-up of nervous energy, like an itch in my toenails, my hair, the base of my spine; this horrible, gaping chasm in my chest, where I'm on one side and What I Want is on the other.  My attentional issues have become a legitimate burden in my life.

Then, in spite of this, every once in a while I actually manage to sit down and write something, and sometimes I even managed to write something I like, something that doesn't want to gouge out my own eyes or burn my house down, but even then, I start to think, is this just a schtick, or is this really worthwhile?

There are certain things I have to do to help myself produce. If I want to write, I have to have a structure - a form, a challenge, some parameters to work in. I enjoy the challenge, luckily, so in terms of my creativity, it doesn't feel like a hindrance or a burden, it feels like an aide - it helps me along. But as a poetry writer, I find myself torn bewteen thinking, this is wonderful! I found my "form." I should compile a collection of this! and Oh my God, am I really this much of a one-trick pony? Can I only do narratives in this form? How trite am I? There does not seem to be a happy medium in my mind; sometimes writing in a particular form over the long-term seems like a great idea, a wonderful way to keep myself writing and to give my writing a "signature" sound, to unify a collection of my poetry so I can perhaps even market under this banner heading - and sometimes it's this awful redundancy, the same poem, over and over, with name changes, a change of scenery, but always the same story, told in the same way.

I want to write; I have ideas, not things that could span novels or even complete stories, but sketches, vignettes, little snippets of dialogue or snapshot of humanity that I want to get down on paper.  That's hard enough with my attention issues, so supplementing my ideas with a structure has been one of the best things I've ever done for myself.  There's still so much that I'm struggling to put down, though, because it's harder for me to reign in form or put a solid, external structure on prose, but I'm working on some techniques to help myself out.  But I need to be reassured that this isn't cheating, that this isn't trite and forced by its very nature (perhaps some of my writing is, but that's true of everyone's writing sometimes; I mean I need reassurance that even my trite writing isn't trite as a direct result of this process), that this doesn't mean I'm not a "real" writer.  

I'm feeling really down on myself creatively right now, and some reassurance would go a long way.


afterallthistime: (Default)
we understand the lights.

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