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So I Sit Down to Come Up With a Story

Maybe the best idea isn't to do this while watching Superman.Batman: Public Enemies. What do I end up thinking of? Only oversexed gay superheroes. And then I realize there's something to that.

You know how there's a (sometimes) conflicting type? The supermacho (and often heterosexual) man icon is all rippled muscle. A supergay man icon is all rippled muscle. There's also the hypothesis that a "cause" or element that promotes homosexuality biologically is high levels of testosterone while the baby is in the womb. See the connection? Uh huh. That's not to say anything general about macho men or gay men or anyone at all, but yeah. The point is that it's plausible.

Back to the movie and brainstorming, though I expect less on the brainstorming side.

(I also thinks that this invites me to write my thoughts on intimacy versus sexuality, which I may or may not do.)
But it's not really going all that well. I haven't even decided on a topic! Juxtaposition in the Dispossessed? Anarchy? Something about Race, sexuality, gender, and class? Or do I do the Parable of the Sower? Earthseed? Race, sexuality, gender, and class in that?

I was NOT going to get into this position this term. I wasn't! Damn, damn, damn! Well, next time. Just gotta get through this right now.

I spent half an hour making a playlist that included Mika, The Ark, FDA, The Exies, Franz Ferdinand, Matt Berry, Amy Winehouse, and John Barrowman. Four of those only have one song each. But I saw the video for What About Us (JB's song) for the first time. Interesting in that it was basically a split screen when it was Barrowman featuring a straight couple and a gay male couple, mirroring each other.

I need to start. Goal before dinner: Have the outline done. Best if I have an intro by the time Common Ground starts. Then I'll go on from there.

I'm thinking about the importance of juxtaposition in the Dispossessed. I'm going to try that right now. Okay. Bye.

I'm Writing! I'm Really Writing!

So I pretty much woke up this morning, and a story idea came to me, which is a really good thing, considering I have a <2000 word story due in my fiction writing class in about a week.

The only problem is, I'm using a lot of British slang. I'm somewhat worried about my class understanding parts of it.

Okay, the immediate answer to this: don't set it in the UK. Make it the US. But  when I think of this story, it's pretty much all there. And I don't have the same vocabulary in American English slang. I mean, what do you call a chav in the US?

The second solution is to make sure that the meaning is clear from context. This is actually a very good reason to keep it set in the UK. It'll be a challenge then to communicate the meaning of the words without having to essentially stop the story to five a textbook definition or confuse the reader. Sci-fi and fantasy readers do it all the time. Hey, people writing about other peoples and cultures in the real world do it all the time. So it will be a good exercise.

Okay, now that I've figured out that I can indeed do this, I'll go back to writing.


How To Write

I'm currently watching Wonder Boys. I love this movie. I just put the book on hold at the library, and I hope I enjoy the book as much as the movie, though I expect in a very different way. Because I think it needs to be in a different way for me to like it. Since I expect it to be very different.

So the movie has writers and college students wanting to be writers and whatnot. Grady can't write a second book, and James has written a fabulous book -- one that needs a little bit of work ("Well, you can see the outline of the butt!" - James Leer [Tobe Maguire]) -- and well.... these people are successful as writers. Cause Grady's first one was amazing, supposedly.

But that's not what I'm worrying about right now. Success will come later if it will come. My question is far more basic.

How does one write?

I'm currently waiting for a response from a friend concerning the fiction class I'll be taking next term. Beginning Fiction Writing. I asked her what she thought she learned.

See, what I feel I do not know how to do is write. I do not know how to write. From someone who has won NaNoWriMo three times in a row and gotten praise from teachers and peers on a number of short stories, which admittedly is pretty much not anything to brag about, saying she doesn't know how to write is a little weird. But it's true. Someone asks me to write something, or I sit down to write, and I write, but I don't actually know what I'm doing. I'm just making it all up as I go along, how to do this huge task. It's not just with fiction. It's with essays, too.

What am I hoping to know by the end of the class? How to write. I want to be aware of what I'm doing. I want to know how to do it. And then I want to be able to improve.

I don't even know what I'm saying anymore.

Awww... there's something a little bit sad about this scene where Grady walks through his house, Terry laughs with James and closes the door, and the chick is sleeping. Yay, I love this litle bit. Go, Grady! YES!!! It's not a smart thing to do, but it all works out, so it's okay.

Anyway. Yeah, I think I'm done. This is a little bit of a whiny post, but I don't know how else to say this.

Now back to the movie. Man, I love this movie.
It's Finals Week. They served FREE breakfast at midnight. Friends and I went and ate. We rock.

Now time for finishing and editing of final paper for Intro to Lit so that I can then STAY UP THE REST OF THE NIGHT ANYWAY WATCHING THINGS LIKE BUZZCOCKS AND DOCTOR WHO. HA. HA, I TELL YOU.

A Higher Word Count?

So I have done NaNoWriMo for three years. I won the second and third year. And admittedly, I barely scraped by last year. But I've done the 50,000 words. This makes me ask: Should I set a higher word count goal for myself?

Not too much higher, mind you. Something anywhere from 60,000 to 75,000 would suffice. (75,000 is half again, however. Which is a lot.) My term does end Nov. 22, so I'll have 8 days home, which will be enough to balance out the rest of the month... So even 75,000 words isn't unreasonable...

I don't know. What do you think?


Two Week Countdown

It's that time of year again. The weather becomes cold. The dark lasts long. The dreary days last long. School is no longer novel. Work never was. And decorations of ghouls, turkeys, and trees wait in anticipation to leap into store windows.

It is two weeks until the start of National Novel Writing Month.

Ah, NaNoWriMo. What an amazing time of the year. And to think, this will be my fourth attempt, and, with determination, my third win. I've never had an experience quite like NaNoWriMo. I even wrote about it in my French AP exam for the essay. In retrospect, it feels like a whirlwind of excitement, but during November, it can sometimes be akin to dragging large weights through sand.

I have on plot yet. But that's fine. The only year which I had a plot before mid-October was my first year, 2006. And I only wrote about 8,000 words that year. I'll come up with something eventually. Even if I have to force something out at first. It will evolve.

I encourage people to participate. It really is amazing fun. I'm really impressed with the NaNo club last year. You guys are totally awesome. I'll miss those great times this year, but I'll think of them fondly when I can't find what to right next. I don't think I'll be able to do my dishes without giggling during November.

So, yes. NaNoWriMo is almost upon us. Good luck to those participating. I'll talk of little else during November, but it will pass when December comes. I'll be on Winter break by then. That will be very nice indeed.


"Who Thinks It's Okay to Kill Puppies?"

So the question was actually "Who preferred Auden?" but the general response is the same.

Silence. "So no one preferred Auden?" A tentative hand is raised. "Kind of?" And to the class you have just said that yes, killing puppies is kind of okay.

Alright, so killing puppies might be an extreme and not very accurate analogy, but you are pretty much condemned. You are in the wrong. At least that's how I feel. It doesn't help when the teacher goes on and on about the wonderful intricacies of saving puppies, and the class goes on about saving puppies, and you gave your lame-ass reasoning for killing them first. It's disheartening to say the least. Why not just shut up and stay quiet? Part of your grade depends on expressing your ideas, but when your ideas are killing puppies, you are not looked upon kindly.

So this is basically my weird analogy for looking stupid and having the class (and teacher) think you are dumb. But that can be crippling for an individual, you know? If that individual is me. And I realize I need to adjust my attitude and then it won't be so awful, but it won't change the minds of your classmates who think you are wrong or of your teacher who thinks you missed the point. You're on an island, and you need to get used to it, or go crazy like me.

This actually wasn't going to have anything to do with the looking stupid bit, but it just came out like that when I came to writing it. This is what I thought of on my way out of my Intro to Lit class. And then I turned on Phill and Phil's Perfect Ten and kind of forgot all about it until just now.

Anyone else been in the killing puppies situation? Someone must. It's not unusual, I imagine.

On a slightly related topic, my mythology class is basically like this: "What color is this?" And you're totally colorblind. At least it's not FP, which is that the world is just stupidly idealistic.
Or maybe I'm just projecting some deep polygamist desires I have within me. I don't think so, though.

But let me give you an example of what I mean. Take Merlin. I liked the show a lot from the moment Arthur showed up on screen. I loved the show when I fully realized the wonderful coupling of Arthur and Merlin (specifically, that was series one, episode 2, probably less than five minutes in.) I adore the show now and for many reasons that just kept on piling up. Not the least of them is the budding romance between Arthur and Gwen.

I've always been a King Arthur fan. I've always loved considering King Arthur and Queen Guinevere, but also (more recently) Guinevere's relationship with Lancelot. (Camelot, anyway?) So when Lancelot appeared in the first series of Merlin, and he and Gwen had their MOMENTS (awwww), I was ecstatic. But I still love Gwen with Arthur. And I love Merlin with Arthur. And I love imagining their emotions as they try to deal with these attractions.

For example: Say that Arthur and Merlin are very attracted to one another. Arthur, however, also finds himself attracted to Gwen. At this point, Merlin and Arthur may have a thing or it could all be just unresolved sexual tension, take your pick. And Arthur feels a bit guilty that he likes Gwen, and Merlin doesn't want him to act on it, but he does. Now, Merlin can either be left by the wayside, or he accepts that Arthur loves Gwen, but still likes/loves/desires him, too, and so they might still be physical or it could be this quiet platonic thing. And then throw Lancelot into the mix and you have Gwen feeling like Arthur, Arthur feeling like Merlin (but also understanding that HE JUST DID THIS, TOO), and Merlin can't say he isn't really unhappy (except that it makes Arthur not-so-happy.) But consider that Gwen might also know about Merlin and Arthur, and she accepts that, too. And it's this whole unspoken thing that is very awkward when it's brought up, but there you have it. Fact of life, accepted, even if it isn't talked about.

Alright, so that might be a little eeeehhh... to some people, and I don't think I explained it all that well, but there's my attempt.

I think early manifestations of this can be seen in my appreciation of Rurouni Kenshin. Kenshin, of course, ends up with Kaoru, but ten years earlier, he had this quiet but passionate love with Tomoe. I LOVE that he first loved Tomoe. I love that he probably still does to some degree (or so I imagine.) The last episode (or first episode of the third?) of the second series that was an anime-only story? With the lilies? I took that as he still thought of Tomoe, even if that wasn't yet developed in the manga or whatever. (No clue where the manga was at this point. I just know that the anime never returned to the manga storyline, since it had caught up, made a bunch of filler, and then decided to just end for whatever reason.)

I consider it part of "mature romance." How is this different than young romance or just romance? Mature romance is between individuals who either a) have had relationships before, b) concentrate on mutual respect and understanding rather than impulsive passion, c) may also be in love other individuals or have sexual (but not wholly romantic) relationships with others and there is a level of understanding between some of the parties (not necessarily all) or d) any other reason I may choose to come up with at a later time, but cannot think of now (or, basically, any specific romance I decide to consider mature). So, where young romance or just plain romance may be lustful, impulsive, passionate, and emotions generally run high at all times, mature romance, while it can also have impulsive, passionate, and high emotion elements, focuses on, well, more maturity. More on understanding, acceptance, etc.

Another example from a different series: In the new Minder series (I WISH THAT WAS STILL OIG ON!), there was Archie, who is a middle-aged shady businessman in the process of a divorce. He still cares for his wife on some level, even though they drive each other up the wall. (I believe he was resisting the divorce as much as possible, and not just for financial reasons.) Then you have the young man working for him, Jamie. As one of a slashy mind, I could see some sort of physical relationship brewing between them, if not romantic. And because Archie still loves his wife, but has this undefined relationship with Jamie, and they both know that, and they accept it, and things are kind of left in limbo, and there's an unspoken moment (in my head) when the divorce finally goes through between them. But there is no whining or screaming or anything. It's just how it IS.

Maybe that's one of the reasons I like the Vintner's Luck so much. Sobran's attraction to Xas is sometimes addressed (some is-he-gay stuff), but it largely isn't. It just IS. I think the best moment to define what I've been talking about is when Aurora and Xas pass each other (one leaving Sobran's bed, the other heading to it.) Juxtapose that with one of the scenes with Sobran and his LARGE family (his wife, a number of kids, some still young, and their spouses and their kids...) and THAT is what I'm talking about. Celeste (his wife), of course, provides conflict, because she ISN'T a willing participant in this polygamy that centers around Sobran. She doesn't know about Xas, of course, but she suspects Aurora and HATES her. And gets her own petty revenge, which Sobran doens't directly address (at least not until years have passed after that.) But the rest of it! The stairs moment! I adore it! And I can't tell you why!

Why am I going on about this? This fanvideo, actually. I feel that the song (which I've heard before) when put to Merlin captures a lot of what I like in the Merlin/Arthur/Gwen dynamic.

So why I have tried to explain myself to you, I cannot fully express why I feel this way. I really don't know. There's just something about it that deeply satisfies me. Or maybe it doesn't fully, and I like that prompting for more. I don't know. I can't tell you. At least not yet.

And so, my work in the future might have elements of this. My 2008 Nanovel certainly did.

I have an essay to finish now. Toodles.