Monday, June 29, 2009

Weekend jollification

Listening to: Infinite White - Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen
Mood: Cream-crackered

Visited the paterfamilias this weekend up in not-so-sunny Newcastle; they got all the rain my allotment needs. ::grrrr::
Had a nice time, though. Went to Borders as per usual and actually found some books to buy (in the last few months visits to Borders stores generally have been disappointing stock-wise.) They are still engaged in epic Locus-fail, mind. February's issue is still on the shelf with no sign of anything more recent. I may have to give in and subscribe. ::sighs dramatically::
Along with the books I bought, Dad lent me some of his so I have now added to the Tower of To-Be-Read: Acacia, and The Accidental Sorcerer. (Actually, it's quite fortunate that the TBR books are not, actually, in a single tower. Otherwise someone would come home one day and find me with my feet sticking out from under a mass of books - a bit like the Wicked Witch.

I also managed to get a DVD of Brazil by Terry Gilliam - I love this film. Taped it off the tv aeons ago and when the tape died never got round to getting a copy, but as I was wandering round the shop there it was. Right at short-person height. And cheap! So I caved, and at some point this week will indulge in dystopic wierdness with glee.

Also, despite being on a visitation, I managed to get some work done on worldbuilding over the weekend as well as fitting in time for a swim, so actually it was all rather productive. That doesn't happen often!

Currently reading: Testament of Youth - Vera Brittain
Editing: Sokoll's Hawks
Other: YAUF worldbuilding

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

The bathtub of perserverance

Interesting post (complete with diagrams) from Brad Torgersen (via jay lake) comparing a writer's persistence and practice with the (slow) filling of a bath.
Good stuff.

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Back to the Future?

Mood: Cheerful
Listening to: Unwell - Matchbox Twenty

Went to the cinema on Saturday and saw Drag Me To Hell by the Raimi brothers? Cousins?
I have to say that I felt as though I'd been sucked right back to the 1980s, it felt/ came across very much as a film of that time. I laughed rather than being scared, and there were a couple of extremely gross moments. The best bit was the sinister, talking goat. I won't be seeing it again, nor will I be getting it on DVD, but it whiled away a couple of hours.

Next week - Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen! (Explosions; running; explosions; rinse, repeat.)

Saturday, June 13, 2009

Adventures in Cooking...

Mood: Hungry
Listening to: The Most Dangerous Predator - Carter Burwell

Removing unidentifiable brown goo from the freezer and hoping that it is, in fact, the remains of the chicken stew you made, froze, and forgot about. Thankfully it was, although it was the really salty version as I cheated and used stock cubes, which when combined with copious amounts of Worcester sauce meant that there was lots of water drinking required.
Chum #1 made bananas in greek youghurt sprinkled with dark muscovado sugar for dessert (we saw it on Market Kitchen) - you shove everything together with the sugar on top, stick it in the fridge for an hour or so and the sugar melts. Tasted lovely!

Working today. >:( Should get home about 17:00hrs and then it's off to the pictures to (probably) see Drag Me To Hell. You'll like it, apparently, if you like Evil Dead/ Shaun of the Dead humour-wise.

Thursday, June 11, 2009

What the hey?

Why is it that, when you have stuff to write and lots of editing to do, you suddenly get a new idea and a preface. (With absolutely no idea where the story's going to go from there?)

Enquiring minds want to know.

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Thunderbird & Lightning

Mood: Mellow
Listening to: Five Miles a Day - Shackleton OST

Well, it's Thunderbird & Lightning, and extremely wet at the moment.The dry/ cloudy/ humid weather of the last couple of days has broken with a vengeance, so I expect I shall have to check the allotment this weekend to make sure plants haven't got washed away downslope.

I love it when it thunders; you get all that tension in your head as everything builds up and then it explodes across the sky and releases it all. Fantastic! The rain's soothing as well; not as relaxing as just hearing it on trees rather than pavement, but still nice.

Chum #1 has been to the Library & Information Show today and will be bringing pizza with her on her way home. Yay! No cooking tonight. Although I have been good and done half the washing up; I'll do the other half when the first load has drip-dried.

I know. I can barely take the excitement of my hectic social whirl, myself. ::big_grin::

Which fantasy writer are you?

Ganked from various people on LiveJournal:

Your result for Which fantasy writer are you?...

David Eddings (b. 1931)

-1 High-Brow, 7 Violent, -7 Experimental and 5 Cynical!

Congratulations! You are Low-Brow, Violent, Traditional and Cynical! These concepts are defined below.

David Eddings is the best-selling author of several series of fantasy novels, the most famous being The Belgariad (1982-84) and The Malloreon (1988-92). These books have become almost epitomic of the kind of fantasy that is fast-paced, full of humorous dialogue and written to entertain. And entertain they do. Few other writers have Eddings' ability to create characters that not only makes the reader feel as if he or she knows them, but are also very likeable. Perhaps this is due to Eddings unusual path to writing fantasy: He had tried writing in other genres with moderate success when he discovered that fantasy, a genre he had hitherto not been interested in, sometimes sells very well, and therefore started turning an old sketch of a map into a series of books. Without an interest in experimenting with form or pushing the boundaries of the genre, Eddings created the penultimate light entertainment instead, trusting his readers to keep reading because of charming characters and exotic, though not particularly original, environments.

After the success of The Belgariad and The Malloreon, Eddings turned to writing fantasy which was, supposedly, aimed at a more adult audience. The tendency towards violence as entertainment that had been present through-out his early works grew more prominent in the series of The Elenium (1989-91)and The Tamuli (1992-94). It was also around this time that David Eddings wife, Leigh Eddings, was credited as the co-author of his books, though they admitted that she had been contributing from the very beginning.

Though Eddings isn't the most high cultured of fantasy writers, few would dispute that when it comes to charm, he has no rivals.

You are also a lot like J R R Tolkien.

If you want something more gentle, try Robert Jordan.

If you'd like a challenge, try your exact opposite, Tove Jansson.

Your score

This is how to interpret your score: Your attitudes have been measured on four different scales, called 1) High-Brow vs. Low-Brow, 2) Violent vs. Peaceful, 3) Experimental vs. Traditional and 4) Cynical vs. Romantic. Imagine that when you were born, you were in a state of innocence, a tabula rasa who would have scored zero on each scale. Since then, a number of circumstances (including genetical, cultural and environmental factors) have pushed you towards either end of these scales. If you're at 45 or -45 you would be almost entirely cynical, low-brow or whatever. The closer to zero you are, the less extreme your attitude. However, you should always be more of either (eg more romantic than cynical). Please note that even though High-Brow, Violent, Experimental and Cynical have positive numbers (1 through 45) and their opposites negative numbers (-1 through -45), this doesn't mean that either quality is better. All attitudes have their positive and negative sides, as explained below.

High-Brow vs. Low-Brow

You received -1 points, making you more Low-Brow than High-Brow. Being high-browed in this context refers to being more fascinated with the sort of art that critics and scholars tend to favour, while a typical low-brow would favour the best-selling kind. At their best, low-brows are honest enough to read what they like, regardless of what "experts" and academics say is good for them. At their worst, they are more likely to read what their neighbours like than what they would choose themselves.

Violent vs. Peaceful

You received 7 points, making you more Violent than Peaceful. Please note that violent in this context does not mean that you, personally, are prone to violence. This scale is a measurement of a) if you are tolerant to violence in fiction and b) whether you see violence as a means that can be used to achieve a good end. If you are, and you do, then you are violent as defined here. At their best, violent people are the heroes who don't hesitate to stop the villain threatening innocents by means of a good kick. At their worst, they are the villains themselves.

Experimental vs. Traditional

You received -7 points, making you more Traditional than Experimental. Your position on this scale indicates if you're more likely to seek out the new and unexpected or if you are more comfortable with the familiar, especially in regards to culture. Note that traditional as defined here does not equal conservative, in the political sense. At their best, traditional people don't change winning concepts, favouring storytelling over empty poses. At their worst, they are somewhat narrow-minded.

Cynical vs. Romantic

You received 5 points, making you more Cynical than Romantic. Your position on this scale indicates if you are more likely to be wary, suspicious and skeptical to people around you and the world at large, or if you are more likely to believe in grand schemes, happy endings and the basic goodness of humankind. It is by far the most vaguely defined scale, which is why you'll find the sentence "you are also a lot like x" above. If you feel that your position on this scale is wrong, then you are probably more like author x. At their best, cynical people are able to see through lies and spot crucial flaws in plans and schemes. At their worst, they are overly negative, bringing everybody else down.

Take Which fantasy writer are you?
at HelloQuizzy

Tuesday, June 09, 2009

The listing of to do...

Listening to: I Caught Myself - Paramore
Mood: Tired bunny.

My two presentations went well last week. They were preceded by a colleague who did a very interactive, upbeat session - nonetheless, no-one was bored to tears/ unconsciousness, nor was there a mad rush to the coffee afterwards (it was more of a dignified amble) so joy-joy feelings on that one!

My re-telling of Beauty & the Beast is standing at 3,668 words so far. I've been 'paused' for the last week or so for downtime. My brain needed a rest, so I fed it music for a while. (The soundtrack to Channel 4's dramatisation Shackleton is fantastic btw)

In progress
Beauty & the Beast (which will not be called that in the final version) - futuristic fairy tale -- 3,668 words and counting --
Model of Perfection - Georgian romance -- 17, 439 words and counting --

On the edits roster
Sokoll's Hawks - contemporary, military m/m -- 13,212 words at the first draft --
Wish Child - dark fantasy --9,316 words at the first draft--
Does Old Earth Dream of Green, Green Things? - futuristic -- 6,176 words at the first draft --
Three's Company - erotic romance -- 37,068 words at the second draft --

To edit or to write? That is the question.