babarnett: (torchwood ianto monday)

1) Not that the world needs more of me babbling, but fellow Odyssey alum A.J. Cooper was lovely enough to do an interview with me over at his blog.

2) I've spent far too much of today transfixed by the internet train wreck that is Weird Tales and their now-revoked intent to publish the first chapter of the "thoroughly non-racist book" Saving the Pearls. If you somehow missed the WTFery, you can find a summary and related links here.

5) After getting back from vacation a couple weeks ago, I was determined to get lots of writing accomplished before before the fall semester craziness begins. Sadly, I have been failing miserably at that. I'll have a brief burst of productivity only to then turn into a total slug. Today, I was particularly slug-like. My brain, being the uncooperative evil thing that it is, seems amused by the irony that, after hosting a discussion night at TNEO called "Buffy the Rejection Slayer: Defeating Doubt, Procrastination & Other Writerly Demons," I am now totally getting my ass handed to me by those very demons. I think it's time to get out the stake.

babarnett: (torchwood ianto monday)
Hello flisters,

I'm Barb's brain, and I'm here to tell you that she's been AWOL from LJ because she doesn't love you anymore. It's ok, she doesn't love me either. I wanted to watch this bad movie the other night, and she wouldn't let me. She seemed to think the critique she was working on was more important than my entertainment.

After that, when she looked at her friends page and saw just how many posts you had all made, she insisted that we couldn't stay and comment on them all. Something about having to figure out the schedule for TNEO. Please, like writing workshops need planning.

Then, when we could have been watching a hilarious YouTube video with a cat playing piano, she wanted to work on a short story. This time there was some excuse making about a deadline. I know what you're thinking: how selfish can she get?

And even though neither one of us enjoys it, she insists on doing work for her day job. Every weekday! I don't see what a paycheck has to do with anything.

So there you have it, flisters. Now you know how horribly abused I am having to live in Barb's head. I would unfriend her immediately if I were you. Or start a fund. Flisters United to Save Barb's Brain. Or something with a catchier acronym.

Barb's Brain
babarnett: (get off my lawn)
Oh, brain, must we have the same conversation with every first draft?

ME: Ok, brain, let's get to work.


ME: What's your problem this time?

BRAIN: You can't do this.

ME: Why not?

BRAIN: Because you suck.

ME: That attitude is helping no one.

BRAIN: And the attitude that you don't suck isn't helping your solitaire score.

ME: Way to focus on what's important, you lazy piece of--

BRAIN: Face it, you don't know how to write anymore. All your character has to do is walk from point A to point B, but you don't know how the hell to describe it. You don't even have a clue where you're going with this story.

ME: You said that with the last story, yet we got through the first draft and saw how wrong you were.

BRAIN: That was an exception.

ME: And the story before that...

BRAIN: Another exception.

ME: And the one before that...

BRAIN: That was--hey, look, something shiny!

In other words, the current WIP has been far more a slog than it should be. But as always, I plow through regardless. I think I might even be able to finish the first draft this week. But still, stupid brain.
babarnett: (pushing daisies hell no)
So, that last post where silly conversations with my uncooperative brain eventually led to me outlining the rest of the short story I'm working on? Well, yesterday I sat down to write, confident that I'd now be able to crank out some significant wordage and maybe even finish the first draft, only to discover that, somehow, none of the outline had saved. I'm rather obsessive compulsive about constantly saving my work, so how I managed to completely lose half an hour's worth has me completely baffled (not to mention annoyed as all get out).

So instead of finishing the story, I spent most of yesterday's writing time redoing the outline.* There were many frustrating moments of "I know my protagonist was going to do this next, but for the life of me I can't remember why." Eventually, though, my plot came back together. Who knows, maybe what I have outlined now is better than what I had originally. But still, the whole process took far longer than it should have. 

I suspect that my brain did some self-sabotaging and made me unconsciously delete the original outline as revenge for me subjecting it to Battlefield Earth. The movie was on TV the other night, I was morbidly curious to see if it was as horrible as I had heard, and wow. Just wow. The sheer dreadfulness overpowered my ability to mock. I only made it through half an hour--approximately the same amount of time I spent doing that original outline. I think my brain decided, "You wasted 30 minutes of my life, so I'm going to destroy 30 minutes of yours."

*I normally don't outline short stories, but this one is the type where having a road map will be a huge help to my writerly sanity, even if I ultimately decide to take a different route.
babarnett: (spike angel stfu)
ME: Ok, time to write!


ME: What do you mean, no?  I have a short story first draft that needs finishing, and I have time to work on it.  Let's do this thing!

BRAIN: No, I'd rather check Facebook again.

ME: We just did that.

BRAIN: How about Livejournal?

ME: No one's posted anything new to read.  See?

BRAIN: How about Twitter?

ME: I'm still not sure I actually like Twitter.

BRAIN: There could be something new on all those other sites and forums you have bookmarked.

ME: Or we could write, you lazy piece of--

BRAIN: How about piano? You like playing piano.

ME: I like writing too. And unlike playing the piano, I haven't written yet today.

BRAIN: You could use some more coffee.  You like coffee.  And by the time you're done brewing it, I'm sure there'll be something new on LJ to read.

ME: That's it. We're visiting and getting some work done.

BRAIN: No, please, not that!

ME: Yeah, I actually got some work done with that last time, didn't I?

BRAIN: Hey, look, you can buy Write or Die for your desktop.

ME: Or I could just use the free version and get some work done.

BRAIN: It's only $10.

ME: Hmm, that might be nice.  But no, we need to work.

BRAIN: If you bought the desktop version, you'd be able work without opening your internet browser at all. You'd remove temptation.

ME: Hmm, that's a good point.  And it is only $10.

(a PayPal transaction and a download onto my desktop and laptop later)

ME: Ok, now it's time to work.

BRAIN: Don't you want to play with it first?

ME: Yeah, by WORKING.

BRAIN: Ok, we'll just close your email with the download link and--ooo, look! Mega Shark vs. Giant Octopus is on!

ME: Been there, mocked that.  Besides, if we write now, I'll let you watch Mega Python vs. Gatoroid tonight as a reward.

BRAIN: Really? Ok, let's do this thing!

ME: You say two hours later.  All right, let me just open my Scrivener file to see where we left off on this story.  And jot down this note about that idea we had.  Ooo, and if that happens, then maybe this? Yes! And then this. And this...

(half an hour later)

ME: Huh, look at that.  No first draftage, but I've got the entire rest of the story outlined.

BRAIN: And it doesn't totally suck.  Not sure it stands on its own, though. That's the problem with a novel prequel. It might not--

ME: Shut up and let me have my moment, would you?
babarnett: (yoda santa)
I was going to try slogging through the rest of that short story I had started, but during my trainride writing time these past two days, what started out as me jotting down one quick note about my next novel chapter turned into me jotting down revision notes for the next 20 minutes until I was at my stop.  I was so deep into brainstorming mode today that I almost missed my stop. 

I get the hint, Brain. You want to work on the novel.  We can do that. No one's tossing any short story deadlines in my direction, so we might as well go where the inspiration is.

On a completely different note...

Musical Christmas Wackiness

Years of choral singing has meant that, by this point in December, I'm usually pretty damn sick of most Christmas music because I've been working on it since September. So out of a need to find appropriate tree trimming accompaniment that isn't yet another boring rendition of the same old song, AsYouKnowBob and I look for Christmas albums of the offbeat-enough-that-you-probably-won't-hear-it-on-those-radio-stations-that-start-playing-Christmas-music-nonstop-in-November variety.  Listening to one of those albums has put me in the mood to spread the love.  So I bring you the first of my Musical Christmas Wackiness offerings: Bela Fleck and the Flecktones' Jingle All the Way.  It's Christmas music. With Tuvan throat singing.  And banjo. It is made of awesome.
babarnett: (kermit needs coffee)
I'd like to say that I've been working on a new short story, but I think "slogging my way through a new short story" is the more appropriate description. The potential reasons behind the slog:

1) Self-sabotaging fear: I'm afraid of writing something new and therefore want to retreat to the comfy land of novel revisions.

2) Brain-seeping-out-the-ears syndrome: Between craziness at work and the gazillion other things going on right now, I'm just too mentally exhausted to deal with this story right now.

3) Too-close-to-home fear: The story idea is based on some family stuff, so maybe I'm too close to the material and need to focus on creating the necessary distance so that it's a story and not a case of clinging to "but that's how it really happened!"

4) "It's not you, it's me" syndrome: I'm just not into this story right now.

Or maybe it's a little bit of each. I think if it's still a slog by the weekend, I'll probably set it aside and go back to the novel revisions, because whatever the reason for the slogging, I doubt I'll produce a good story if I dread working on it.

In the things-I-don't-dread category, my contributor copies of Shimmer's Clockwork Jungle Book arrived last week, so yay for the shiny pretty!
babarnett: (firefly shiny kaylee)

The Pimpage

Thanks to the fabulous world of automated internet stalking (aka Google Alerts), I've learned that you can now order Shimmer's Clockwork Jungle Book issue, which includes my story "A Red One Cannot See." My little lemur on a dirigible is alongside some darn fine company in this one, so yay! And in case all my LJ babbling isn't enough for you, there's also my author interview for the issue.

Things Accomplished Over Turkey Weekend

Thursday: Post-Turkey Sleepfest

Friday: Bought a much-needed new car--a shiny new Honda Fit, which I have dubbed the TARDIS. Because it really is bigger on the inside than it appears from the outside.

Saturday: Attempts to be a productive writer hindered by my brain thinking the best time to finally buckle down and focus is when I'm about to crawl into bed.

Sunday: Attempts to be a productive writer hindered by my brain thinking the best time to finally buckle down and focus is when I'm about to crawl into bed.

My Big Fat Epic Fantasy Novel

In keeping with the trend established over the weekend, my brain decided that two stops before I had to get off the train Monday morning was also a brilliant time to be productive. Forget about all that time spent on the seven or so stops before that. Nope, gotta wait until the last minute. Stupid brain.

babarnett: (torchwood ianto monday)
The good news: I finished revising the first scene in chapter 7 of My Big Fat Epic Fantasy Novel.

The bad news: I should have gotten a hell of a lot more than that done this weekend. Unfortunately, my brain and I kept having conversations like this all weekend:

BRAIN. Wow, all that time and energy spent on writing, and this is all you have to show for it? You suck.

ME. Shut up. I'm trying to write.

BRAIN. Why bother? I mean, unless your book is called How to Suck, what's the point?

ME. Maybe I wouldn't suck so hard if you'd shut up and help me write.

BRAIN. See, right there! You admitted that you suck!

ME. You want to see something that sucks? I'll show you suck. (Sits brain down in front of a movie on the SyFy network.) This movie right here, brain? This sucks.

BRAIN. Yes, but this suck has Burt Reynolds. Your suck only has suck.

ME. (returns to writing) Ha! Look at what I just put on the page, brain.

BRAIN. Huh. That's actually not too bad.

ME. And here I almost believed you when you said I suck.

BRAIN. Perhaps I was a bit hasty--no, wait. Check your inbox. Confirmation that you suck just arrived.

ME. But that's a good rejection. I made it past the first round.

BRAIN. And if you didn't suck, you would have made it further.

Despite the impediment that is my brain, I'm at least happy with what little writing I got done this weekend. And looking at the next scene on the revision plate gave me a nice little "ooo!" moment. The scene originally involved a minor character who I'm cutting from the novel--he was proving pretty unnecessary to the overall story, and I realized that this particular scene would work just as well with another character. The cool part was when I realized that what had been a throwaway bit of dialogue with the character who's being axed has so much more weight when this other character says it. Foreshadowy kind of weight, so it's not something that would be immediately evident to a reader, but still rather cool, I think.

On that note, three-day work week! Bring on the turkey and the pumpkin pie!
babarnett: (doctor who chair)
Dear Brain,

Remember that focus thing you used to be so good at?  I kind of miss it.  What do you say we invite it over and hang for a bit?  Because, you know, it really shouldn't have taken me two hours to come up with a handful of deity names.  Yeah, sure, we got one sentence revised too, but the story's 6,200 words long.  That's a lot of sentences to deal with.



babarnett: (Default)

December 2013



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