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"I want to taste my own kind."

No less snow than yesterday, not that I can tell.

I've been sitting here doing some mildly grim math. I'm also trying to decide if "mildly grim" is anything like being "a little pregnant." Anyway, looking back over the month of January, I see that the last time I had a successful day off was on Tuesday, January 4th. I tried to have another the 17th, a Monday, but I hardly got out of doors before the anxiety kicked in, and that day earned an L. So, I have essentially been without a day off since the 4th, the day we saw True Grit. Over those twenty-four days, I've written a total of 26,929 words on The Drowning Girl: A Memoir. And those aren't rough-draft pages. There will be a polish before it goes to my editor, but those are pretty much final-draft pages. That's an average of 1,122 words a day. However, I didn't actually write on every single one of those days: there was the failed day off, plus three days when I had non-writing writing work to attend to. That means 26,929 words written over nineteen days, and an average of 1,417 words per day. Take into account that about halfway through this my meds stopped working and I had to have the levels adjusted...and it's no damned wonder I feel like ass. Still, I've got to finish Chapter 5 and get Sirenia Digest #62 out before I can have a couple of days off, so I likely have at least three or four more days of this ahead of me.

Yesterday, I wrote 1,518 words on Chapter 5. It wasn't at all the scene I'd meant to write, but a scene I hadn't even suspected existed. This sort of thing is one reason I can't do meaningful synopses before I write a book: the story unfolds as I write it. Also, after yesterday, I've decided there will be a note at the beginning or the end of the novel that says something to the effect of This is the most personal novel I've ever written. That doesn't mean I expect you to like it. That only means it's the closest I've ever come to telling the truth. A small and unobtrusive note.

What I wrote yesterday made Kathryn cry, and I always take that as the highest compliment.

---

Last night, we watched Anton Corbijn's The American (2010; based on Martin Booth's novel, A Very Private Man). This is definitely one of the best films of 2010. It's the sort of quiet, brooding thriller that was common to the seventies, but which we rarely see these days. The cinematography and score are astounding. Clooney is at his very best. The film creates smothering paranoia, in part from its use of space, of perfectly composed wide-angle shots, vistas, landscapes. Corbijn is fast becoming one of my favorite living filmmakers. See this film, and also Control (2007), if you've not already.

Later, there were a couple of hours of WoW. We've finally shaken off the long nightmare of Uldum. I still can't believe that something like two thirds of the non-dungeon quests in that beautiful region were wasted on a bad Raiders of the Lost Ark spoof. It's almost unforgivable. Anyway, we moved along to the setup for the Twilight Highlands, which, at least for now, promises to take itself a lot more seriously than the mess in Uldum. Also, Greely the Goblin is one of my favorite WoW characters ever, and there better be an action figure. I never thought I'd have a goblin crush.

Spooky read me The Lorax before I fell asleep.

As I said on Facebook, I spent a good bit of yesterday in a detestably melancholic, nostalgic mood, mostly missing 1994 and Athens, Georgia...people, places. Lots of things I can't go back and visit, because they aren't there anymore.

And now, the platypus says no more dilly-dallying.

Comments

( 28 comments — Have your say! )
unknownbinaries
Jan. 29th, 2011 05:34 pm (UTC)
What I wrote yesterday made Kathryn cry,

Me as well. I was too tired upon reading it to say anything useful, but thank you for all of it. Much of it struck a chord.

Edited at 2011-01-29 05:35 pm (UTC)
ashlyme
Jan. 29th, 2011 06:05 pm (UTC)
Control was a brilliant film. I'd known beforehand that the actors were really playing the songs, but it's a testament to them that I had to check anyway. Sam (can't remember his surname, bah) was superb as Curtis. No way that film could have been made in colour. I'll give The American a go.

I sympathise with disliking synopses: personally, I'd rather keep a vague structure in my head, and work with that. There's one novella I can't yet touch simply because I *wrote down a detailed plot* and the damn thing looked absurd pinned out like that. Some days, plot equals tyranny.
greygirlbeast
Jan. 29th, 2011 06:36 pm (UTC)

Control was a brilliant film. I'd known beforehand that the actors were really playing the songs, but it's a testament to them that I had to check anyway. Sam (can't remember his surname, bah) was superb as Curtis. No way that film could have been made in colour..

Curtis was played by Sam Riley. And yes, brilliant. It's one of those films that affected me so deeply I'll probably never be able to watch it again.

Some days, plot equals tyranny.

I'd say all days.
laudre
Jan. 29th, 2011 06:26 pm (UTC)
Oh, god, the pre-flight spiel between Greely and Grapplehammer was absolutely hysterical.

"I can hit my house from here!"

And Garrosh gets to do some supremely stupid things, apparently so they can set up him killing a dragon with a single blow from Grom's Axe of Great Compensation. On the other hand, I want to be Warlord Zaela when I grow up, and I can only hope that if they do pair her off with Garrosh, she kicks his ass back to Outland until he pulls his head out of it.
greygirlbeast
Jan. 29th, 2011 06:38 pm (UTC)

Oh, god, the pre-flight spiel between Greely and Grapplehammer was absolutely hysterical.

Yep. After the disaster that is the Harrison Jones quest, it was nice to have an example of how humor works in WoW.

And Garrosh gets to do some supremely stupid things,

I loathe him. I keep hoping Thrall will come back and kick his tiny-headed ass.

And Garrosh gets to do some supremely stupid things,

Gods, she's hot.
laudre
Jan. 29th, 2011 07:02 pm (UTC)
I still don't like Garrosh, and I don't think he has any business being Warchief, but ... well, there's some things that give him a little more depth, which you see mostly if you do some questing in the new Old World. (Which still reminds me of new old Coke from 1986.) He's bellicose, sure, but then, Varian Wrynn is even moreso, and after seeing what's happened in Southern Barrens, I have a hard time blaming Garrosh for having as warlike a posture towards the Alliance as he has.

For all their closeness in age, he's apparently taken to Thrall as something of a father figure (or perhaps older brother), someone to emulate, but he has none of the nuance or power of empathy that makes Thrall, well, Thrall.

My suspicion is that Garrosh will get better over time as this expansion proceeds, but Varian Wrynn will continue to be a colossal dick. (Stormwind is still bearing the scars of Deathwing's attacks, there are people living on dirt just across the river from there, and yet somehow Wrynn has found the money and materials to construct a 30' statue of himself.)

To respond to something else in the original post: when I was still actively writing (a hobby I will likely pick back up after I finish my master's), I found that I couldn't really get anywhere without some idea of the basic direction, but too much outline and I stifled myself. When it really worked, I was letting the characters call the shots, and just sort of riding in the back seat, describing what I saw out the windows. It's one of the reasons I decided that publication would be the last thing I'd think about, rather than worrying about synopses or how salable it might be when I'm still figuring things out. In the meantime, I'm just sort of trying to learn about the craft of fiction, in between my formal studies of statistical models and economic literature.
greygirlbeast
Jan. 29th, 2011 07:15 pm (UTC)

I have a hard time blaming Garrosh for having as warlike a posture towards the Alliance as he has.

Screw the Alliance (I'm pretty hardcore Horde). His attitude towards Syvanas was the last straw.

I was letting the characters call the shots, and just sort of riding in the back seat, describing what I saw out the windows

Wise and well said. Love your icons, btw.
laudre
Jan. 30th, 2011 04:21 am (UTC)
His attitude towards Sylvanas was the last straw.

Indeed, that particular scene is definitely meant to have that effect. He certainly didn't win any points from me there; even if I have similar misgivings about this new direction the Forsaken are taking, all he did there was make a future enemy.

Considering other things that happen in the EK Horde storylines, I'm giving Sylvanas about a fifty/fifty chance of not surviving the expansion. If that's the case, I support Apothecary Lydon to replace her as leader of the Forsaken.

Love your icons, btw.

Thanks :). Orc women are easily my favorite to play, for a few different reasons, some of them tied into my identity as a trans woman in the very early stages of transitioning. (In fact, the game has been very good to me; I'm still presenting as male in what is now called RL, but I've asked my guild to speak of and to me, and think of me, as female, which they've done without really batting an eyelash. Guild officers told me that if anyone does give me trouble, let them know, and they'll deal with it.) I have a feeling more of my icons -- most of which I've been using for years will be replaced with similar things, as I find appropriate images to work from. (And perhaps screenshots of the various orc women I play: a shaman, a hunter, a mage, and, soon, a warrior.)
greygirlbeast
Jan. 30th, 2011 05:05 am (UTC)
Considering other things that happen in the EK Horde storylines, I'm giving Sylvanas about a fifty/fifty chance of not surviving the expansion. If that's the case, I support Apothecary Lydon to replace her as leader of the Forsaken.

I will admit to my ridiculous Sylvanas fetish. As I've told Spooky, if she dies, it may be the last of WoW for me. I've built too much of Shaharrazad around her.

Orc women are easily my favorite to play

There are really too few. I've only got one, Garóna, a rogue (yeah, named for that Gorona).

Guild officers told me that if anyone does give me trouble, let them know, and they'll deal with it.

That's very, very cool. I've seen so much homo-/transphobia in WoW, I'm always pleased to hear such things. I'd invite you to join us in Eyes of Sylvanas, but sounds like you have a good thing going.

Edited at 2011-01-30 05:07 am (UTC)
laudre
Jan. 30th, 2011 05:56 am (UTC)
I will admit to my ridiculous Sylvanas fetish. As I've told Spooky, if she dies, it may be the last of WoW for me. I've built too much of Shaharrazad around her.

Yeah, she actually is rather awesome, and I'm hoping they redeem her (for certain values of "redeem") rather than turn her into a raid boss or something. I do know that she's one of the most popular lore characters; in fact, I'd wager that she's the most popular still-serving racial leader in the game right now. (My guildies are speculating that Thrall will be empowered as the new Earth-Warder, after Deathwing is killed, so we'll probably be stuck with Garrosh for some time to come.)

I'd invite you to join us in Eyes of Sylvanas, but sounds like you have a good thing going.

Yes -- my guild is most excellent, in many ways. And I appreciate the offer; if I should have the urge to roll up more Hordeside alts (once I transfer my one Alliance alt on Kirin Tor over to my aunt's server, I'll be rolling a goblin warlock, and will thus have ten Hordeside characters), I may head over to Cenarion Circle :). (Considering the time constraints I have as a grad student, such things would be some ways in the future.)
greygirlbeast
Jan. 30th, 2011 06:57 am (UTC)

I may head over to Cenarion Circle

The invitation stands.

Dark Lady watch over you. ;-)
mellawyrden
Jan. 29th, 2011 06:43 pm (UTC)
The way you write is the only way to make new discoveries. It takes a lot of courage to write your way through the dark into a place you can't foresee.
greygirlbeast
Jan. 29th, 2011 07:17 pm (UTC)

It takes a lot of courage to write your way through the dark into a place you can't foresee.

I'm never comfortable being called courageous. Not when I have no other choice, really.

Then again, we always have a choice.
martianmooncrab
Jan. 29th, 2011 07:29 pm (UTC)
mildly grim math

if it were mildly Grimm math, it might be more interesting to do.
greygirlbeast
Jan. 29th, 2011 08:50 pm (UTC)

if it were mildly Grimm math, it might be more interesting to do.

True.
robyn_ma
Jan. 29th, 2011 09:49 pm (UTC)
'This is definitely one of the best films of 2010. It's the sort of quiet, brooding thriller that was common to the seventies'

Let me fix that:

'This is definitely one of the best films of ... the seventies'

Which it kind of is.

I don't care how many models Clooney goes out with as long as he keeps helping movies like this get made.
greygirlbeast
Jan. 29th, 2011 11:03 pm (UTC)

Which it kind of is.

I don't care how many models Clooney goes out with as long as he keeps helping movies like this get made.


Agreed on both counts.
handful_ofdust
Jan. 29th, 2011 09:52 pm (UTC)
I can't tell you how excited watching this come together is making me!;)
greygirlbeast
Jan. 29th, 2011 11:03 pm (UTC)

I can't tell you how excited watching this come together is making me!;)

You mean the novel?
handful_ofdust
Jan. 30th, 2011 07:17 am (UTC)
Exactly. It just sounds amazing.
greygirlbeast
Jan. 30th, 2011 08:07 am (UTC)

Exactly. It just sounds amazing.

Well, you know...you helped. That little late-night micro-workshop at Readercon saved my ass.
lee_in_limbo
Jan. 30th, 2011 12:24 am (UTC)
What I wrote yesterday made Kathryn cry, and I always take that as the highest compliment.

I have a vague memory of a dear friend of mine telling me she cried after reading one part of the novel I finished writing last year, but I can't pin it down to specifics, so I am doubting the veracity of my memory (chalk it up to wishful thinking).

That said, I usually have to settle for friends and loved ones telling me that certain sections were too heavy/dark for them to read through. I suspect I just cultivate too many oversensitive friends. Anyway, it beats indifference.

Still looking forward to your novel...
waristerrorism
Jan. 30th, 2011 02:12 am (UTC)
My dog eats potatoes.
1. Heard on the radio there's another Ian Curtis movie. I can't find the title on IMDb.

2. : ) http://velociraptorz.org/.

3. Hi.

chicagofats
Jan. 30th, 2011 06:05 am (UTC)
I loved The American. I had passionate arguments with people who strongly disliked it due to their going in with notions that it was a typical, Hollywood-style action-spy-thriller.

It gave me plenty of tension and thrills. One to own, I think.
greygirlbeast
Jan. 30th, 2011 06:55 am (UTC)

I had passionate arguments with people who strongly disliked it due to their going in with notions that it was a typical, Hollywood-style action-spy-thriller.

I don't even get that. It was about as far from, say, The Bourne Identity that you can get.
chicagofats
Jan. 30th, 2011 05:46 pm (UTC)
I agree, but several of the trailers seemed to be marketed towards fans of the Bourne movies, which, I think, really undersold the film's great strengths and power.

Maybe the distributing studio just didn't know what to do with the great film they'd been handed.
greygirlbeast
Jan. 30th, 2011 09:53 pm (UTC)

I agree, but several of the trailers seemed to be marketed towards fans of the Bourne movies

Studios are like publishers. They often know only one way of marketing, and everything is treated the same, regardless.
chicagofats
Jan. 30th, 2011 10:04 pm (UTC)
That's such a shame, for books and for movies, their creators and for the potential audiences lost by inept marketing.
( 28 comments — Have your say! )