evilhippo: hippo (105 [random])
( Mar. 29th, 2011 11:55 pm)
And a few things that have nothing to do with Portland:

So, did you hear what the Gaiman episode of Doctor Who is called? )

Also, I wish I wasn't overcommitted for writing right now, because there are some awesome prompts over at [livejournal.com profile] sharp_teeth's current round of prompting. Maybe one of you is bored and wants to write a Toy Story/"Blink" crossover. Or, better yet, Sesame Street/House of Leaves. (Me, I'm seriously considering the This American Life prompt, because apparently I am fixated on fictionalized NPR... and podfic, though that doesn't seem to technically be a category I will make it so.)
evilhippo: hippo (23 [cautious])
( Sep. 7th, 2010 02:32 am)
2:30 in the morning. I've finally closed the notes on lock-picking. Freaking... 1,700 words written. When I was all giddy about having my muse back someone should've warned me about this part.

I am going to have to start going to bed at nine if I keep having ideas I just have to write down as soon as I try to go to sleep. (Especially ideas that are along the lines of... this thing. Which is now 2/15ths finished, maybe.)

I'm going to hope I somehow don't regret this by the time I wake up, but that's going to be quite unlikely.

.... I just spent two and a half hours writing and it actually came out like I was writing it aaaaahhhhh it feels so good to have a grasp of narrative voice back! And in two different POVs, too! I also hope I don't hate it in the morning. But for now... eeeeee.
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evilhippo: hippo (74 [closer look])
( Apr. 15th, 2010 11:17 pm)
A quick review of mid-Aprils in the past confirms that this really pesky upbeat, creative feeling is in fact a result of spring. It seems to happen at the same time every year.

Does spring not realize how much crankier it makes me when I'm at work? I think I completely confused one of my co-workers today, when I dragged her out to Millennium Park for lunch and proceeded to run through Crown Fountain and chase ducks. She's used to office-me, who's sulky, sarcastic, pessimistic and doesn't use Oxford commas.

I'm going to bring my disused sketch book with me to work tomorrow and see if that helps. Maybe if I can get a proper handle on this springtime energy I can keep it for a bit longer and actually do something useful with it this time? (If I only had a dollar for every time I've said something like that here...)
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Normally I don't go pedalling podcasts, but the first half of this week's This American Life is amazing. Not particularly because of how it occasionally pretends to be impartial but clearly doesn't mean it, but because the story is like a terrible science fiction plot. I mean, the evil corporation? It's named after a freaking black hole. And, with cynical insiders at the helm, it comes in and absorbs a significant portion of the housing market when things would otherwise have slowed down and kills everyone and nothing escapes basically makes everything more of a disaster. It's classic evil villain, except it actually happened. True, what the NPR story covered up with tongue-in-cheek neutrality I have now multiplied by about fifty-three, but it sounds better this way. It's so ridiculously overwrought and symbolic it can't possibly be real. (But you know me, I'm always into finding other things to blame for the terrible economy, especially when they're 1) based in Chicago, and therefore easy to find and throw rocks at 2) directly related to the housing crisis which, while technically keeping me employed, is also probably the reason I can't find another job.) A secondary effect of this story is to re-bunny me for something I really want to work on, but don't have the people necessary to do so. (There's a part of me that wants to bang out/clean up my outline/spec script and troll through C2E2 this weekend to find the sort of people I need buuuuut I'm awkward so no.)

That aside, on things I do go pedalling [on]: I've reached the point that I am really properly in love with my bike. I adore it. Frighteningly, it's best on the streets. With cars. But don't tell anyone else that! (I think I just like the terror of rush hour. I've stopped hopping off and pushing it through the Loop, and have instead hunted out a street with wide-enough lanes.) I'm actually getting to work faster now, so I'm not even finishing entire albums anymore. I even got to work more than ten minutes early once this week (needless to say, I did not make that mistake a second time).
I've had a lot of projects lately that have required thinking. None of them, of course, had anything to do with work. In fact, they've all been things I've wanted to do outside of work...

I was talking to one of my friends over the weekend, about how much easier it was to write in college. Because I could take things in, and the way I'd interpret them (oftentimes) was to write them into things (for example, for those of you that weren't around for this particularly embarrassing phase of my life, there's an entire chapter of an FMA/Naruto crossover I wrote that retcons the whole of Konoha into an extension of Aristotle's ideal city).

And now I'm realizing that this is an essential part of how I think. (Late realization, I know.) In college I got quite good at passively taking in information and processing it through whatever distraction I was actively working on. But in the real world, I'm not taking in massive amounts of largely irrelevant information. At best I'm taking in massive amounts of relevant (or at least news-y) information and either cataloguing it away (because I'm not the sort of writer that works well with real-life, applicable ideas as a basis) or in the case of things to do with my job, spouting them back when necessary. And through most of my work day, it's actually a disadvantage to sit and think, because who can think critically or creatively about anything while filling in tedious forms and transcribing information over and over?

Anyway, basically I've had a heck of a time writing things I intend to finish. And every time I think I've made a dent in the programs I have to get prepared for DI they e-mail me back with a dozen things I haven't covered. I've gotten bad at this abstract, predictive thinking stuff. And I think it's because I don't have any time in my day to think in anything other than a straight line (seriously guys, people were surprised today when I pointed out that one of our county templates had probably been dropped into another county's folder. And the only reason that even came to mind so quickly was because someone last year had lost a partner's folder by dropping it into our Scans directory. This is not exciting or in-depth thought!)

So, I guess... let's say what I want to do for the rest of my life actually involves processing vast amounts of useless, esoteric information and turning it into (possibly) fictionalized but perhaps marginally more entertaining (or, in the case of non-fiction, more useful) vast amounts of useless, esoteric information? What the heck should I be doing with myself? (Other than going to grad school/committing myself to the ivory tower for all eternity. Because I don't have the cash or credit for that.) Can you even devote yourself to being some kind of... I dunno... information-kidney?

(This entry brought to you by A Fever, a subsidiary of Being Sick for the First Time This Winter. Additional sponsorship provided by: Being Tired Because I was Actually Consciously Keeping Myself Asleep Last Night and possibly also Because I Was Up at 4 This Morning, Maybe Because We Had an Earthquake. Hurray.)
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evilhippo: hippo (74 [closer look])
( Sep. 20th, 2009 10:21 pm)
Freaking crap, brain. It's nearly 10:30. That's bedtime. Not "Okay, let's pick up a pen and paper!" time. Siiiiigh. I suppose I should just shut up and be grateful.
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evilhippo: hippo (53 [poke])
( Sep. 16th, 2009 07:23 pm)
I was on the train this morning, and... and... I realized there's something I want to write.

And then, at work today, I realized there's something else I want to write (though this something is unlikely to leave the internet. And requires an artist willing to draw an absurdly cute rendition of Ruth Bader Ginsburg).

But guys the idea I had on the train this morning... I actually still want to write it. And it's been almost 12 hours, most of which was spent in disaster mode at work, because (dundundunnnn) the Client is visiting tomorrow. This is good! This is very good! (Not the client thing, of course. The client thing is really annoying, and one of the attorneys hid his ENTIRE mess at my desk so he wouldn't have to clean) ... I should probably go work on it, rather than talking about it.
A Severe Annoyance: A Play In Three Acts (Also: In Which Evilhippo Loses Several Stare-Downs Against Inanimate Objects)

Act 1 )

Act 2 )

Act 3 )

In conclusion: I have no idea what this thing detects, but if my lease didn't forbid vandalism of alarms, it'd be on my floor in pieces right now. Stupid 12-foot ceilings are stupid and my landlord had better be available to fix it soon.
I think I'm through shouting uselessly into the ether for now. Instead, I am crawling through Craigslist looking for things to do with my time (other than sitting around trying to figure out what to do with my time).

I am probably going to put in a profile for this, because I remember almost doing the 24-hour plays at the UofC once, and almost signing up for these particular 24-hour plays once before, so it's about time I actually, you know, threw my hat into the ring. The main problem is coming up with a witty enough profile. This is hard when I haven't done any actual, substantial writing for two years now (two years!) Any suggestions? I don't know... at least tell me that I'm cooler than some of the people on the list right now? I have to hope that at least one or two of them are cooler than me, because just about everyone agrees that I need more friends in the city, and I'd like them to be less the office-bound type.

There's also a music blog trying to get off the ground here. Considering a significant number of Pitchfork writers already seem to be from Chicago, I am officially interested in working for a different music blog because the people from Pitchfork annoy me. The bonus, of course, is the hope that I'd get advance copies of CDs and get into concerts for free. I can BS my way around indie music with the best of them for that. (And I just added like, six concerts I want to go to to my last.fm list, and I'm thinking, you know, it'd probably be good to have someone subsidize this addiction, so I can afford to pay for taxis on the way back from the shows that run until 1:30 in the morning, after my bus stops running).

The best news of the day, by far, is that my mandolin should be here by the end of the week, which means I can (almost) safely sign up for the next session of lessons. I'm just kind of torn between whether I want to potentially embarrass myself by taking Mandolin 2 without taking the semi-required in-between class. And I'd mostly be doing it because the last instructor I had went a bit too slow, and I want to get more out of the 8 weeks than just a few more chords. And I want to prove to myself that I can still study and practice and get good at something when it's challenging. I just have to hope I don't get myself laughed out of the class (or gently talked-down-to by the prof afterwards).

WTB some self-confidence?

Don't think this means I've forgiven you for screwing me over, University of Chicago. I will never forget.
evilhippo: hippo (97 [one of those days])
( Jan. 24th, 2009 03:46 pm)
I forgot how excruciating it is to write an essay. I think I just knocked my solitaire win percentage down by about 25%. And now I'm all frustrated because I'm hinging too much on this thing.

In other news, this article about ingrained grammar nonsense and the inaugural oath flub is the first thing in a while that's properly tickled the grammar geek in me. I wish I could point to that for every time I've had to explain to someone that I don't particularly care for the Chicago Manual of Style (though it still wouldn't help me get copy editor positions). Also, it's really cool that someone would even think to trace that to legal style manuals, rather than writing it off as nerves or a bad memory. I love complex, reasoned excuses for things (especially when they're full of pretentious, underhanded snark, like that article is).

Now I'm off to unilaterally amend me some constitutions. And by that I mean get away from my computer and go grocery shopping.

Actually, let's make today I Read the New York Times to You Day! WTF IS THIS?! You... you... “I never agreed with the idea of the fairly stuffy Edwardian-type gentleman,” Mr. Wigram said. “It wasn’t my idea of Sherlock Holmes.” THAT ISN'T HOW IT WORKS. Freaking crap. ... I know I'd still go see the movie, but... umm... Wryyyyyyyyyyyy? The sheer whatthecrap of any sort of "Batman Begins-esque" Sherlock Holmes is just... I mean, look, I can read about Sherlock Holmes and Cthulhu. I can read about Sherlock Holmes in which he is an amnesiac who ends up possessed by some kind of strange ancient malevolent ghost and is, in a way, basically a clone of my homunculus!Hughes. But Action Hero Sherlock Holmes? That... will require a very healthy suspension of disbelief. Especially when someone finds it necessary to imply that... oh gosh I can't even describe this properly. When someone finds it necessary to imply that they didn't have the technology to describe action scenes in books when Doyle was writing them. Seriously! (“So many of the ideas that Conan Doyle had took place offstage in his books,” Ms. Downey said. “We have the technology, the budget and the means to carry them out.”) I know I'm protective of my literary heroes (I also bristled when they mentioned Jude Law was reading a book about Hamlet), but this is seriously whatthecrap, right? I mean, I totally agree that pop culture has got Sherlock Holmes largely wrong (in fact, the best Sherlock Holmes is probably House. So obviously other writers have got the archetype down.), but that doesn't mean he has to be an action hero. Though it is Robert Downey Jr., so maybe I can pretend it's an Iron Man sequel.

All this and he doesn't do cocaine anymore, either.

What the crap.

It's going to take me days to get over this. I mean, my goodness guys, we are SO LUCKY that screenwriters have the WORDS these days... these MODERN, MODERN WORDS with which to PORTRAY ACTION SCENES. Dear goodness. I hope that book about Hamlet mentions how he would have also been an action hero, if only Shakespeare, in his infinite cunning, had had the technology to think up words for ACTION HEROING.
evilhippo: hippo (72 [word])
( Jan. 29th, 2008 03:33 am)
I hereby revise whatever Best Albums of 2007 List I didn't have to include this album. Yes, it's weird. But in a way I find perfectly endearing, and it's not as clangy as Sunset Rubdown (which sits in the same sort of endearing but weird category for me). Also, it's just come to my attention that these bands contain the same people.

Okay, Canada, I love you and your music to death, but the whole indie swingers party orgy you've got going on up there kind of hurts my brain sometimes, to the point I can never be sure of exactly who I'm listening to. Just when I thought I'd gotten the hang of which bands were side projects of others, and which members of which supergroup went where, you screw me up again. I can never win. I can't even berate bands for sounding similar because, more often than not, they're Tom, George, and Eunice's artier/noisier/lofi-ier side project made up of George, Eunice, Tom, and an antique cowbell they found slung over a power line in Edmonton like a single lost shoe one summer. It does make me feel more justified in laughing at whoever it was in the last.fm shoutbox complaining about how Wolf Parade stole their sound from Frog Eyes, though. But, I mean, you'd never find Sufjan Stevens playing with the Decemberists on some kind of bombastic anti-war celebration of the states sea shanty album.

Okay, U.S. indie artists, I love you too, but you need to love each other more. There should be more musical orgies. Where are the bombastic anti-war celebration of the states sea shanty albums?

Incidentally, now that I've mentioned Sunset Rubdown all those sentences ago... I've been thinking of the phrase "Snake's got a leg" all day. It's just lodged itself in my head and won't go. It's ominous. It's... I mean, boiled down to mythology, it's Snake, the evil slithering devil's mouthpiece, and suddenly contrary to the punishment brought down on him, he's got a leg. It doesn't matter that it's just one leg, it's proof that he's broken outside of his limitations. Snake can do anything. And that's scary. And oh, I want to write something that'd portray this properly. Someday, someday.
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But the internet is full of very interesting things sometimes. Like TV Tropes... which is most useful if you search for something you're familiar with and look at all the tropes therein. It's weighted heavily toward anime in some ways, which left me treading water in unfamiliar territory until I got to searching for random things like Xenogears, which then somehow led to how Hughes, The Doctor, and Hamlet all operate on the same trope. Mostly useful to me, though, because it's a semi-concrete way to look at the way mixes of tropes turn into certain character types. Plus a lot of the tropes have amusing names (and some of them allow me to track when something became a trope. I am such a nerd.). And proof positive that I cling to Philosophers and those who are Obsfucatingly Stupid.

And now I have a word for the last few chapters of every chapter of Death Note (which I just finished reading... eesh. That made my head hurt. But in a good way.)

Also (somewhat unrelatedly), I want to play Xenogears again. It's been like, four years. And this time, I've actually read Nietzsche, so I can laugh at the philosophical train wreck even more effectively.

On a tangent that overlaps somewhat with the original intent of the entry, but has nothing to do with the previous paragraph (but provides a necessary tie-in to the tag), I've been thinking I should be working on useful writing right now... the sort that might come in handy when the writer's strike is over (provided it doesn't destroy the world first). I should write a spec script. One that's less of an utter disaster than my Scrubs script for my TV class (I mean, I can re-read fanfic I wrote years ago and be less embarrassed than I am of that script). And I'm thinking the best show to do, for me, would be Doctor Who. Because it's sci-fi, it's comedy, and it's got some good philosophy to it, too (once in a while). But... I dunno. Thoughts, anyone? And I worry that American studios and whatnot wouldn't really... get it. Hm.
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I finished Electric Blue. This... project of mine, reading this book and then reading my BA, has eaten up my brain for the most part. And the hardest part is yet to come. I'm going to have to read my BA now. Probably tomorrow afternoon. Because I want this over with.

And so now, to get the book behind me, I should write down my thoughts. I... guess I'll go in order. Because I started out hating the book. A lot. (In hindsight, it boils down to my as-of-late hyper-competitive/defense-mechanism critical eye.) I didn't like the main character because she was snarky, but also sounded like my mom. In fact, an awful lot of the first quarter of the book made me think that it had been written by a middle-aged housewife who really had no idea what on earth was going on. And some of the somewhat-misused slang provided a constant source of annoyance for the first few chapters. But what ticked me off most of all was the character's fixation on everyone's looks and their sexuality. And, if the book hadn't somehow redeemed itself about halfway through, I would have hated it the entire time for exactly that reason. But (here is the wonderful thing about reading a book with absolutely no real expectations), I was pleasantly surprised by the characters. Not... the characters themselves, but their interactions. There was... well, here, I'll spoil the ending: no one gets together. In a book that touts the word "sexy" in probably 70% of its reviews, no one getting together is basically the biggest surprise it could have pulled on me. And, I'll admit it, even though her quirky PI dude had this weird cowboy thing going on, and 3/4 of the time I just wanted to shout at the main character to notice that, hmm, this guy is always hanging around her with his shirt off, maybe he's employing your ditsy self just because you're pretty, in the end I found him quite endearing, and there was enough to him that I could fanfictionalize his mindset in my head as I went along so that he at least entertained me. And... I'm going to have to admit that, as much as I didn't like the main character at first, with her flippant attitude towards important information, she is, in many ways, exactly the frustrating and unreliable narrator I was going for when I began my BA. (And probably would have concluded with, had I not been steered off track by my seminar's worrying confusion of me with her, at which point redeeming her kind of became a way of redeeming myself, and it all went downhill from there.) Though I do feel the need to note that there wasn't an actual mystery until probably the last two chapters, and most of it was revealed and resolved within a few thousand words. Still... all in all, I have read much, much worse books. (In fact, some of them have been by authors I actually liked.)

And that leaves me to try to figure out what lesson the Grand Author wanted me to learn from this. So far I have a few, but they're still stewing in the back of my mind, and haven't coalesced into exact words yet. They're mostly to do with knowing your main character, their motivations, and exactly what's going on around them (and how they react to it. Oh, her main character was an excellent unreliable narrator. Mostly to do with relationships but, hey, a good unreliable narrator is a good unreliable narrator). The author here, sure, went very easy on plot, but she knew exactly what was going to happen, which is 100% more than I know going into something I'm writing and considering I was writing a mystery for my BA that is a bad idea. Oh, and maybe I was supposed to learn not to expect to hate everything I pick up randomly that looks like pop fiction. I mean, it's still pop fiction and it largely doesn't interest me, but... okay, fine, there's a difference between "I don't like it" and "bad" when it comes to books. Fine. But I'm still going to hold it against anyone who would read this book for the relationships (even if they are, basically, the only thing going on in it... so, I guess, basically it's not okay for anyone but me (or someone with a similarly bizarre excuse) to read this book).

P.S. Apparently Electric Blue is also the fastest milk float in the world.

P.P.S. This had seriously better not be the copy of my BA that I actually turned in. There... it... page missing in first few paragraphs. Makes no sense. Wheeeere is my actual BA?

P.P.P.S. Holy freaking crap am I glad that was the wrong file. Typos, missing sections, nonsense. Oh, it burned. But... the final draft? Not quite so horrible. In fact, there was obvious and apparent editing done that must have involved 1) actual thought and 2) re-reading. I don't remember doing either of these things. But um... yeah, so, I guess since I didn't hate it as much as I thought I would, and it's not quite entirely an embarrassment, I'll let people read it if they ask now (but only if you've read this far into my nonsense entry, yay). I think I'll figure out in the morning if this is a weight off my shoulders or not.
Life has been... odd, lately. Things have been generally yucky, but lately have always seemed to settle back into tolerable in the strangest ways. (Like the two fights on the bus last night that segued into sitting in the back of the sketchier bus route laughing with a guy who looked and sounded like Mickey Smith, only in zombie makeup.) And today... today involved dressing up semi-professionally and galavanting about the streets of the south loop on a Quest for [livejournal.com profile] deathscytheheck's rightful payment (which was received, but has not been cashed). And after lunch I went to the library, where I found a copy of Electric Blue. Which is a completely insignificant and even baffling thing until you know that that was the working title for my BA project until February of last year. And today is, incidentally, the exact six-month anniversary of me turning the blasted thing in. Incidentally, this book also stars a female heroine in a mystery. Incidentally, she also appears to be somewhat at the mercy of an eccentric PI. That's... about all it shares, and by the looks of it (right down to the author photo showing her with her pug that, hmmm, is probably an awful lot like the pug her protagonist has) it's everything I didn't want my BA to be. Snarky heroine driven by the attractiveness of men, murder as the main plot device. Anyway! I've decided that I'm going to read it. And then I'm going to read my BA for the first time in six months. Because I think this is what the Grand Author wants me to do (since it's being so obvious about this). And then I'll see how things go.

(My lunch today was six dollars and sixty six cents. I am going to monitor the cost of my lunch in the future, to keep tabs on just how cursed I am. Especially since I'm fairly certain I've ordered that exact same thing before, and it did not have that total. What's up here, universe?)

P.S. For everyone I've pestered about NaNo, my profile is here. Link me yours, because apparently the search is down until the site isn't as "busy." Which will be... the end of November. And I intend to finish this year, goshdarnit, because I have nothing to lose. And I'm actually excited, because I have an outline and a very random working title that no other author writing the same basic thing this year is likely to steal (take THAT Grand Author. Let's see how many other people you gave a dream to that involved Mr Holland's Opus: Redux WITH ROBOTS in which someone was wearing designer Shada shoes. Good luck figuring the title out from that.)
evilhippo: hippo (71 [o rly?])
( Jul. 11th, 2007 02:06 pm)
I just found out that Giles (you know, from Buffy) was the evil principal in School Reunion. How is that even possible?! Never in a million years would I have drawn that connection. (Apparently he's also the voice of Baltazar in Infinite Quest, but I think I might've known/recognized that.) Trying to make this make sense is hurting my brain. Also, I'm bored out of my mind, and can't make myself go back to reading things because the book I'm working through right now is actually making me feel like a decent writer. Appositions, people... Use Them Wisely.

I mean, especially in this book... which actually brings me to one of my theories/rants about fanfic... which is that you have to know your audience. Most people who aren't familiar with a series aren't going to pick up a novel based on it unless it's one of those novels that's basically a retelling... in which case, yeah, it is up to you to do all the characterization and exposition properly. However, an entire chapter in a book that kind of boils down to fan-oriented (fan)fiction that's full of something like...

"Kara Thrace, who's pretty much never called Kara Thrace because she's a Viper pilot and people call the pilots by their call signs, which are nicknames for pilots, so she's called Starbuck, unless Lee, who is really Lee Adama AKA Apollo, not to be confused with the Arrow of Apollo, which is a mythical item that Starbuck (Kara Thrace) had to bring back to the Galactica, which is a giant ship in space under the command of Bill Adama, Apollo (Lee)'s father, is talking to her, which is what's happening now. "Hi Kara," Lee the Viper pilot says. "Hi Lee," Kara says disdainfully because Kara and Lee have a complicated relationship because..." etc. (Okay, it's not nearly that bad, but that was fun to write.)

I'm pretty sure I completely forgot where I was going with this... Moral of the story is to trust your audience to know/figure things out, and that sloppy bad exposition is bad. Yeah.
My obsession with/love of John Vanderslice's Pixel Revolt continues. I fear I may not get it out of my system until I write a lot of short stories about some of the songs. Why is this album full of such great story ideas?

My brain is constantly itching to get to this summer so I can sit down and write things I want to write. There are so many stories. I like this feeling. I hope it sticks around into the summer.

My group for my Graphic Novel class is very cool. This isn't going to prevent us from failing tomorrow's midterm, even though we just sat down and studied all the terms for an hour and a half, but it was fun anyway. At least our presentation ought to be okay.

My paper still isn't done. I know what I'm writing about... but I can't decide on which passage to link it to. It would help massively if Medieval English was at all easy to skim.

My new computer is a few clicks away from being ordered. I feel guilty, but I want to talk my mom into putting it on her credit card, because I don't have anything with less than 20% interest per year, and that's evil... And $900 on my credit card puts me dangerously close to my credit limit. Urgh.
evilhippo: hippo (103 [presidential])
( Feb. 23rd, 2007 09:21 am)
If this wasn't so fun sometimes, I would hate writing so much.

(1.5 hours of sleep. This script sucks, and people have got to read it aloud in class today. I'm going to die. Omg.)

(I'm out of "Writing is going to kill me" icons, so here, have hot pink snazzy Teddy Roosevelt, straight from the government. I also recommend Rutherford Hayes, Warren Harding (who appears to be staring into some kind of mind-control device), and John Quincy Adams (who has enough skill to match his books).)
evilhippo: hippo (13 [writing])
( Feb. 1st, 2007 07:57 pm)
Nothing has changed since 1995! Nothing!

And thanks, wikipedia, for making me realize not only that, but making it probable that this script will turn into a giant homage to Quantum Leap, which I didn't know/had forgotten is set in 1995. Thanks a million.

Maybe my BA should be a Scrubs/Quantum Leap crossover. It's certainly not doing much as a mystery-thing right now. I HATE FIRST PERSON NARRATION, OFFICIALLY. It can go die. Except it can't, because I'm still expected to have this written in first person by Sunday. Though I suppose if first person didn't exist anymore, I'd have a good excuse. Kind of like the "sorry, I got up this morning and my room was frictionless" excuse for being late to class. "Sorry, Elizabeth Crane, I would have had my second draft done on time, but first person is dead." Only that sentence is inherently self-contradictory, so in order to avoid imploding her computer, it'd have to be something like "Sorry, Elizabeth Crane, but this student was unable to complete her second draft on time because first person is dead." Maybe I should just give up and become a cyborg. Oh, even better. "Sorry the second draft was not sent to you on time, I just found out I'm a Cylon." (Did you know the idea for Quantum Leap came from an episode of the original Battlestar Galactica? I have amassed so much useless information in the name of my BA and this TV class, you have no idea. Did you know Wolverine's real name is James Howlett? Oh, and for some reason my mental picture of Falstaff looks a lot like him. Only fat, of course. But with the weird side-cowlicks in his hair. Um... anyway!) Or "Sorry I didn't turn my second draft in on Sunday, but it's 1995, so I've still got a few years." Or "Sorry, no second draft today, because I stepped into the accelerator chamber too soon and am currently stuck Leaping through history."

Freaking writing! It's going to kill me someday.

.... There's an Emmy for Outstanding Achievement in Hairstyling! WTF?!

P.S. Though I've tried lately to make fewer complaining entries, I've recently rediscovered the fact that it's eleventy billion times easier to write once I've sat down and had a good complain at the internets in general so, while I was nobly trying to save you from that, too bad now. Just... um... ignore me or something. Because apparently complaining is a large part of my writing process. (Since I finished this, sat down, and finally, finally figured out how to make this script work and without being heartless to people in comas and/or with amnesia while still being medically sound and with a structure that leaves me room for the proper amount of philosophical musing. Hooray!)

P.P.S. I am still thoroughly amused that the only class I have/have ever had here that is at all openly relevant to getting me a job in the future has me writing what sort of amounts to a fanfiction script. Thank you, TV writing.
Jokes are hard when you're by yourself. Freakin' a, I've only got a two-page scene to write and I have nothing but bits of flat dialog. Maybe if I had no soul this would be easier. Maybe if these were my characters, or characters I had any degree of experience with. I'm kind of thinking, if I ever write for TV, it won't be for sitcoms. As if that would be a surprise to anyone. Oh, and it's hard to be funny when you're given a scene like "man and his father in a car in the rain, father is a backseat driver." I have no experience writing families! Especially not fighty ones. Rargh. I remember the good punchlines I've written because I've written so few of them. I can count like... five. Blerrr. I am a fount of bad and surreal ideas, but witty punchlines are not my forté.

In the good news department, though, my preceptor not only avoided offending me at our meeting today, but also gave me some good advice, so I'm starting to think that maybe, just maybe, I won't die this weekend as I try to pound out another chapter and a half. Maybe. Chances are that I probably will. And if that doesn't kill me, my newly-developed habit of falling down in front of the buses will. I don't know how I did it twice today, but I'm pretty sure it's fair to say that's a bit worrying.

P.S. The phrase "some Borg" is now one of my favourites. Imagine a conversation in which "Just because they killed a couple of boxes doesn't mean they killed The Borg. They killed some Borg." is the essential point. Now say "some Borg" a bit. It's such a delightful deviation from "The Borg", innit? And it makes a wondrous singular-turned-plural noun.
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Without a doubt, the worst part of writing anything long is the first sentence. I've been agonizing over mine for the past... fifteen minutes? At least? (I still don't like it.) The sun is rising right outside the window here, though, so I'm kind of left wondering whether it'll be suspicious if I get up and move so I'm actually facing it. (It was suspicious that my socks don't match.)

Back to this first sentence thing, though. I think I'm thinking about it too much, because every phrase I use, I double-check it against the kind of genre it's likely to invoke. Using the phrase "men and women of The Independent" (being the temporary name of my newspaper) brings superheroes to mind too easily. Which might be fun, but isn't necessarily something I think I can sustain. And my story has nothing to do with superheroes. Spies and conspiracy and social... oddness, sure, but superheroes not so much. I do think I've solved the slight problem I was having with two of my main characters, though... by making their situation more complicated, of course. And I still figure it's okay that the one character with the most in-depth story in my mind right now won't even exist for the first few chapters, because he's a plot point as well as my token Holmes-based character (rather than being based on all of the characters based on Holmes that I tend to base characters on. It sounds better that way.)

I kind of wish I still had the British English spell-check... never thought I'd miss Word for that.

I wonder if I'm morally obligated to make Heather a Strong Female Character. To me, she's a bit of an idiot. I wonder if people will like her. I love that I get to wonder that. I can't wait until I get to start torturing characters. If I'm worried about being suspicious, though, I probably shouldn't be sitting here smirking to myself about that. Probably looks like I'm plotting something nonfictional. I also love that, two sentences in, suddenly Heather is 500% more bitter than I thought she was, and I've discovered that I undershot her age by almost five years. And suddenly she has a boss that might also be interesting. (I'm starting to fear that I'm going to have too much going on here, but at the worst my intro plot-thing can be relegated to a sort of comic relief. Which it was going to be anyway, pretty much.) Don't you love this inspecific rambling?

And, now that this entry is almost four times as long as what I've managed to write, I think I'm going to stop... because I've realized that I'm desperately, desperately in need of outlines. But at least I've got my first paragraph, and that's a lot more than I had yesterday. And I think it's a paragraph I might not go back and erase completely later. So yay! Now I just need to get my brain around using my sketch book for outlines. I wish I understood why I was so picky about using each notebook for one specific thing. Outlines are sort of like drawings. (My notebooks are the only thing I have that's organized. Well, maybe aside from my computer. But that's it.)
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