babarnett: (firefly shiny kaylee)
My spring semester has begun, so I'll be spending a lot of time in the lack-of-blogging abyss once again, but for this brief moment, I emerge with three things, two of which are shiny, the third not so much:

1) I'm thrilled to announce that my short story "Notes on a Page" will be appearing in Intergalactic Medicine Show! Some squeeing may have ensued.

2) Today I'm babbling over at Penumbra's blog about turning an idea into a story--or, as I call it, bunny wrangling.

And finally...

3) It's way too fricken cold out!
babarnett: (muppets)

I intended to write this blog post several months ago after seeing The Muppets, but . . . well, you can see how rubbish I've been about blogging much of anything. 

Anyway, I still giggle incessantly whenever I hear the song "Man or Muppet?" from the film. But the song also inspired thoughts about how, when I run into people I haven't seen in a long time, I'm often told, "You haven't changed at all." When that remark is in reference to personality rather than appearance, it usually comes in one of two tones: the I'm-pleased-you're-still-awesome tone of voice, or what I'm going to call the why-are-you-still-acting-like-a-Muppet tone of voice. The latter tone tends to be used when I'm acting like the big geeky goofball I am at heart, which leads to me wondering (and often replying), "Um, should I have changed? I'm happy with who I am."

I eventually realized that the why-are-you-still-acting-like-a-Muppet tone tends to be used by people who view growing up as a matter of change. Growing up means you become serious and mature and stop taking delight in childish things. But for some of us . . . well, I think C.S. Lewis summed it up rather well: 

"When I became a man I put away childish things, including the fear of childishness and the desire to be very grown up."

As I said, I'm a geeky goofball. My closest friends have always known and accepted that. But for much of my life, when I was outside the comfort zone provided by my friends, I often hid that geek girl or apologized for her because she didn't fit in with the norm--or at least what certain circles deemed to be the norm. And sadly, sometimes I still hide her when I'm outside my comfort zone. But the important thing is that I've realized that I like being that goofy geek girl. I don't want to hide her, and I sure as hell won't apologize for being her. The higher my geek flag flies, the happier I am with myself. 

So for me, growing up didn't mean changing who I was. It meant accepting who I was.

That's not to say that I haven't changed at all over the years. I have. Somewhere along the road, I went from being a fairly credulous individual to becoming super skeptic girl. My religious beliefs changed. My career path has gone in directions I hadn't anticipated. I've taken on new activities and interests while setting aside others that, at one time, I couldn't imagine going through life without. I'm always learning and discovering new things, and with that often comes change--sometimes little, sometimes big. 

But, at the end of the day, there's a fundamental part of me that hasn't changed. I'm still the chick who takes a geekish, childish delight in spaceships and zombies and unicorns and the like, not because they're escapist as some would claim, but because of the new perspective they offer on the real world. I'm still the chick who likes be surrounded by a weird (in a fun way) and diverse group of friends, who randomly bursts into song, and who thinks life can't be all that bad if you can still laugh.

So to answer the question in the subject of this post: I may not be made of felt, but I'm totally a Muppet.

babarnett: (doctor who chair)
Wow, a month between posts? I'm slacking on this whole blogging thing worse than I thought. I don't foresee that changing until the semester's over, so it may yet be another month before I surface again. In the meantime, rest assured that I am alive and occasionally glancing at what folks post, but mostly buried in work and paper writing and project doing and, dare I say it, pecking a little at short story revisions here and there.
babarnett: (angel wesley crazy fu)
I'm the kind of person who likes to have some structure to my life. It can be a little bit of structure or a lot of structure, but preferably a mix. If I need to practice piano earlier in the day than usual to accommodate something that can only be done later in the day, I like having that flexibility. But if I didn't have my piano lesson at the same time every week, I'd have a hell of a time planning around it and remembering when I need to head out the door (note to self: you need to leave in about 45 minutes for this week's lesson).

But trying to maintain any kind of structure to my days this summer? Didn't happen. Too much flux, which is one of many reasons I've been so scattershot about blogging the last few months. Hopefully, though, September should bring a touch more stability with it. Classes for my MLIS program start this Thursday. Regular weekly choir rehearsals start up again next Wednesday. My last day at Ye Olde Day Job was a week ago; I'm hoping to find something part-time and library related, but in the meantime, there's a freelance database project I'll probably be taking on. And with all of those things set, maybe I can get back into something resembling a regular routine for writing and exercise, both of which I'm ashamed to say I've been mostly neglecting lately. Bad me. Bad.

Related to all of the crazy flux in my life right now, trying to answer the question "What do you do for a living?" at my grad school orientation last week was far more difficult than it used to be. "What do I do? Up until a few days ago, I was a grant writer for a theater company. Why did I leave something that sounds so cool? Well, working in the performing arts was cool, but fundraising made me miserable, and I really loved the two years I spent working in a music library, which is why I'm pursuing my MLIS now. Why didn't I stay at the music library job? Because it was a temporarily funded project, or else I would have. No, I'm not going to be a fulltime student now. I'm hoping to find a part-time library job, and I'll probably be taking on a freelance database project.  Oh, and I also write fiction."

Postcript: in keeping with the spirit of randomness, is anyone else having issues with LJ's new text editor for posts? This entry got rid of all the spaces between paragraphs when I first posted, and then only the space between the first and second paragraphs on subsequent edit attempts. And with the last entry I posted, every time I selected text to put behind a cut, it moved the text before the cut text to after the cut. Damn it, LJ, I shouldn't have to keep tweaking the HTML in order to get simple entries to look normal.

babarnett: (dr. horrible ahhhh)
Urgh, so much for resurfacing on the blogosphere. Well, I did resurface. I just got sucked right back into the Void Of Too Much Else To Do. I have a feeling that's going to be happening a lot over the next few months.

So the bulleted version of what this writer has been up to:

* I've been encountering far too much lately that has led to forehead slapping and *head desk* moments.

* After much demanding from my brain, I returned to the slow-going revisions on My Big Fat Epic Fantasy Novel--so of course a short story idea immediately started jumping up and down and waving its arms around and asking for a little love. Stupid brain.

* I began my dive into the critique fest that is TNEO

* I changed the look of my website.

* More details to come, but it looks like my story "Final Report" (from issue 4 of the sadly short-lived Darker Matter) will get some podcast love in the near future.

* The last few months spewed so much crazy all over the place that my attempts at establishing a routine were repeatedly thwarted. That really needs to change. I was determined to get myself onto something resembling a consistent schedule starting today. It's not even noon yet and that plan's already gone to pot.

And on that note, I think hear the unmistakable sucking sound that is the Void Of Too Much Else To Do.
babarnett: (kermit needs coffee)
Hey, look at that, I have an LJ account. Hello, poor neglected LJ.

I haven't had a chance to read or post around these parts the last couple of weeks. Busy, busy, busy, with a side of busy. I hope you've all been up to incredibly exciting things that I'm going to feel bad for having missed. 

As for me, my main accomplishment amid all the crazy that's been keeping me away is that I finished a new short story, "The Girl Who Welcomed Death to Svalgearyen." I'd wield the productivity stick in celebration, but I'm much too tired and headachy.

I'm a Twit

Nov. 9th, 2010 11:17 pm
babarnett: (kermit needs coffee)
This bout of sporadic posting and commenting brought to you by our sponsors:

Grad School Applications

Work Deadlines - Bet you can't have just one

Stop Me Before I Volunteer Again Active Wear


Twitter - Because who wouldn't respond to being busy by signing up for yet another social networking site?

But seriously, I swore I'd hold out, but something came over me (I believe the technical term is "procrastination") and I signed up for Twitter.  If you're already among the 140-character damned, I'm on there as ba_barnett.  I've found a few of you flist types on there already, but there's plenty of room for more in my procrastinatory roster.
babarnett: (edna the incredibles)
1. Thursday morning, I get up butt early to hop on a plane to Colorado with [ profile] shvetufae  for Sirens.  Any chance I'll be seeing any other flisters there? (aside from the lovely ladies I'm rooming with, of course)

2. Thankfully I don't get these very often, but it always makes my brain blow up a little when you get a story comment along the lines of "I don't understand how Joe got to the store. Did he walk?  That seems like a long way to go, so I'm not sure if he would of made it there in time to run into Mary if he walked" and you're like, "Um, the first sentence of the previous paragraph says, 'Joe got in his car and drove to the store.'"

3. Not much to report on the writerly front.  This week has been spent puzzling over how to restructure chapter 2 so that it's a little more "people do stuff" and a little less "people think about stuff."  I think I'm going to move some chapter 5 bits into this earlier chapter. Then comes smoothing the seams so that the bits flow and don't seem like no more than a cut-and-paste job.

4. I generally don't post about politics and other potentially divisive topics.  I'm not saying that I don't think anyone should post about those things (many of my friends do), just that I have my reasons for not doing so.  But man, do I ever find myself muttering "What the !@#$ is wrong with people?" lately.  That is all.

5. Back to the trivial: shoes.  When a pair of shoes I love because they're both cute and comfortable finally die on me, 99% of the time I will never be able to find that particular style again.  Thankfully, today was that 1% of time when I not only found the same style again, but in my size and color of preference.  Oh happy shoe day!
babarnett: (edna the incredibles)
1. Staycation!  I had some vacation days to use up before our fiscal year at work ends this month, so I took today, tomorrow and Monday off.  It's nice to remind myself what my house looks like.

2. Happiness is walking out of your local library on a beautiful day with a big fat book in one hand and an iced coffee in the other.  I love you, local library.

3. Still got a short story rewrite to get to today.  Must...stop...procrastinating...
babarnett: (dr. horrible ahhhh)
1. Oh, look, I have an LJ. Who knew that was there?

2. Time to post and comment on LJ?  What is this strange thing of which you speak?

3. *Barb looks at her to do list and runs screaming*
babarnett: (dr. horrible ahhhh)
1. Gaaaaaah!  That sums up recent weeks for me and explains my scattered internet presence as of late.

2. As a dreadfully slow reader, I cower when faced with a book large enough to bludgeon someone to death with.  So when I recently saw a book review on Amazon that began by expressing disappointment at the sheer size of the novel, I thought I had found a kindred spirit--until it turned out that their disappointment stemmed from 400 pages being far too short for their tastes.

3. I forget what got me thinking about this the other day, but it's fascinating how sometimes, because of cliches and expectations, the change of one minor detail in what is otherwise the same exact story can garner totally different reactions.  One story of mine originally included a drug-induced dream sequence with a talking cat.  After two rejections bemoaned it as being yet another talking cat story, I changed the cat to a pug.  I believe I quite literally did a find-and-replace of "cat" for "pug" in the document.  Next rejection? "The talking pug was great."

4. Story passed up the editorial food chain at Realms of Fantasy.  *squees while crossing fingers*

5.  *Looks at pile of critiques that need to be done* Gaaaaah!
babarnett: (viking bunny)
Gossipy headlines on the intrawebs are declaring that Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie have split.  My fearsome Doom Bunny, of course, predicted this back in 2006.
babarnett: (ash boomstick)
The Online World
A new year, a new look to my website and LJ. Not something I had been planning to do, but there was this whole Google Page Creator to Google Sites migration that slightly screwed up my site's layout. So instead of simply fixing it, I decided to totally redo the look and change my LJ template while I was at it. Because I could.

The Dream World
My brain seems to have decided that stress-free vacation days can't possibly be normal and has therefore been filling my dreams with as much stress as possible this past week. Like the work-related dream where the theater's artistic director wanted me to make nonsensical changes to a grant proposal she's already ok'd in real life. Then the audition anxiety dream where I can't remember the words to my song even though I just heard someone else sing the damn thing. Then last night's dream about a reading of A Christmas Carol I'm involved with this weekend (The original December date got snowed out. Stupid snow.) in which the reading was moved into a tiny classroom, half the readers didn't show up, the ones who did refused to stand up in front of the audience and use the mics (why we needed mics in a tiny classroom is beyond me), the audience was small and wouldn't stop chattering, I couldn't set up the post-performance reception because someone else was still cleaning up another reception, and when I came back from trying to do that (which I shouldn't have been since I was supposed to be in the reading), the entire audience had left. 

At least there was the amusing part at the beginning of the dream where we asked the audience to sing along with the Peanuts theme. Which was in a church hymnal. And which has no words to sing along with.

The Writing World
Last year's goal: "avoid 2008's slackery and slug-like tendencies, which were no doubt aided by my unemployed bum status." 

We can happily check off the "achieved" column on that one and change my status to "employed bum."

My 2010 goal: finish rewriting this dang novel.

26400 / 118000

Totally doable.
babarnett: (viking bunny)
I'm afraid I fell off the face of the LJ planet this past week, so I hope I didn't miss anything terribly exciting. This past week brought large doses of insanity with it--mostly in the form of my schedule, but also in the form of people. I am so looking forward to sleep tonight.

Now that I have time to post what's been stewing in my brain all week: I recently saw a production of a play called Rabbit Hole by David Lindsay-Abaire about a couple who have lost their four-year-old son in an accident. The first act was one of the most emotionally wrenching bits of theater I've seen in some time.

At one point in the play, a teenage character named Jason, who was involved in the accident, writes a science fiction story about "rabbit holes" that lead to parallel universes (hence the play's title). Part of a conversation he has with Becca, the mother of the young boy killed:

BECCA. So somewhere out there, there’s a version of me – what? – making pancakes?
JASON. Sure.
BECCA. Or at a water park.
JASON. Wherever, yeah. Both. If space is infinite. Then there are tons of yous out there, and tons of mes.
BECCA. And so this is just the sad version of us.
JASON. I guess.
BECCA. But there are other versions where everything goes our way.
JASON. Right.
BECCA. And those other versions exist. They’re not hypothetical, they’re actual, real people.
JASON. Yeah, assuming you believe in science.
BECCA. Well that’s a nice thought. That somewhere out there I’m having a good time.

So, parallel universes--what do you think you're doing in another one right now?

I'd like to think there's a universe where I had a relaxing and uneventful week. Or one in which I'm a ninja.
babarnett: (kermit needs coffee)
The past week and a half or so I've been drowning in the Sea of Far Too Much to Do.  I am in need of this on a t-shirt:

Despite the recent burst of insanity in my life, none of which would make for an interesting blog post (unless grant proposals, church newsletters, reluctant improv game participants, and karaoke are all more exciting than I think they are), I managed to revise "Mortis Persona" and send it off into Submission Land.  The countdown to rejection #1 begins...

In the meantime, I've managed to crawl out of the Sea of Far Too Much to Do and onto the shores of the Isle of Still Busy But At Least I Can Sleep Now--until the next wave of crazy pulls me back out to sea, that is.  I'm not going to even try to catch up my flist.  Instead, now that I've popped in long enough to say I'm still alive (and because the caffeine is wearing off), I'm going to take a nap.
babarnett: (me steampunk)
Last night I had a dream in which I was inspired to rework my My Big Fat Epic Fantasy Novel with a steampunk-style setting, and I thought it was the most brilliant idea ever.  Then I woke up.  I spent the next foggy, pre-coffee hour wondering, "Well, is it a good idea?  Could my subconscious be more brilliant than I suspect?"

The answer was no.

However, my brain didn't totally pull that dream out of its ass. (And yes, I know that statement is all manner of anatomically messed up.)  A while back I realized that a short story I was planning to expand into a novel would be ten times cooler with a steampunk twist instead of its standard issue medieval-esque fantasy setting.  I don't recall having thought about that particular novel idea much recently, but steampunk was on the brain after proofing my steampunk animal fable story for Shimmer, so I think my subconscious decided that steampunk was the cure for all my writerly ills. 

If only it were that simple . . .
babarnett: (statler waldorf evil geniuses)
The Writerly Update
I haven't had much time for writing at home recently, but my new routine with the new job is to spend the train ride to work writing and the train ride home reading, so I'm at least squeezing in a little bit every day.  I started out doing the reading in the morning and the writing on the way home, but I've found that it's better to do the writing before I've fried my brain trying to meet grant deadlines at work.  And reading on the way home has turned out to be a good way to let the brain recharge while I enter this pleasant little "let someone else bend the English language to his/her will for these next 20 minutes" zone.

Strangely enough, I feel like I'm finally making progress on this dang novel chapter even though I've been clocking in less writing time.  It's slow progress, but it's definitely progress, so I'll take it. At present, I've got about 2,200 words of chapter 5 revised and only one more scene to finish.  Then I take a break from the novel and write a short story.

The Unrelated Moment of WTF
Now that I'm working in an office building again and get to experience this stuff:  what can possibly be so important that a person needs to talk on her cell phone while going to the bathroom?  The girl managed to do her business and even wash her hands while yapping, but didn't bother to flush.  So I made sure I did during her phone call.  Twice.


Apr. 29th, 2009 02:59 pm
babarnett: (animaniacs)
Or should that be "Kindleeeeeeee!"?

babarnett: (doctor who happy face)
* Snuck in a bonus productivity day on Saturday. The lovely [ profile] shvetufae and I deposited our writerly selves down with some tasty tea beverages that afternoon, during which time I got all of chapter 3 revised (yay for short chapters largely unaffected by major plot changes!), and even got the zombie story revision underway as well.

* After downloading the free trial to my Macbook over the weekend, I think I may be a little bit in love with Scrivener.

* My PC desktop isn't on its last leg yet, but it's slow and pisses me off a lot. So the decision has been made--I'm getting me an iMac.

* I need to stop rambling and go to bed. Because that whole thing last night where I went to bed at 2, didn't fall asleep until after 3, and then woke up again sometime after 4 when a car accident a couple blocks away resulted in the smashy boom sound and the power outage and the eerie green light show when the transformer went kaplooey? Yeah, that didn't make for a good night's sleep. And tomorrow morning, I'm going to regret having been so punchy right now.


babarnett: (Default)

December 2013



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