readingredhead: (Adventure)
I've been sort of posting pictures and semi-journaling my experiences as a form of procrastination. So far I have entries up for Vienna and Prague. Expect Berlin, Athens, and Santorini at a later date (and expect about twice as many pictures from Greece as from anywhere else, because I went camera crazy).

In other news, today's attempt to get real work done was mostly thwarted by a headache that forced me to leave the library in search of painkillers, but I'm optimistic for tomorrow. And I figure, if I finally finished Script Frenzy yesterday, I sort of deserve today as a day off.
readingredhead: (Default)
Really really quickpost to say I am home (well, London home), alive, now in possession of keys, and with only 26 more pages of script to write today! (Yes, I said "only." Considering how little writing I did during my trip I'm actually surprised at this.) Laundry will be done shortly and I will then also possess clean clothes! I still lack food because all I did last night was get back, make dinner (noodles are the only things still left), and catch up on Doctor Who and Glee because it was painful to go two weeks without Matt Smith and Karen Gillan. Today is going to be devoted to getting back into the swing of things around here, finishing script, and celebrating with TV if I actually get script done before midnight. Then work starts tomorrow! French exam May 4, first paper (and hardest paper, dear god why) due May 11, and then OH DEAR GOD I TURN 21 ON MAY 17. And some other crazy stuff happens in between. Still no idea what I'm doing for my birthday because I have papers due May 18, 19, and 20, but probably leaving to stay with a friend in Cheltenham for a week starting the 22nd-ish, and definitely going to be at the Hay Festival of Books on May 30 to hear Jeanette Winterson talk about Oranges are Not the Only Fruit and an awesome scholarly person talking about the juvenile works of Jane Austen. So, life goes on. Now, to laundry!
readingredhead: (Default)
--If I were a professor, I think I'd totally check my profile on RateMyProfessors obsessively at first. And possibly throughout my career.

--If I were a famous published writer, I would want to read the fanfiction people were writing using my characters just to see what strange happenings were going on, but I wouldn't want to for fear that I would want to borrow one of the fanfic writers' ideas!

--This Milton class might be turning me into a Miltonist. But I don't know if that's because I actually like Milton enough, or because this one class on Romanticism has been disappointing when compared against the Milton class. And I don't know if it's fair to think about what I want to do with my life in terms of a single professor who blows me away. (But then again, my initial interest in romanticism was caused by just that -- thank you, Professor Goldsmith!)

--I used to be dead on my feet by 11pm at night, incapable of coherent scholarly thought after 8pm, but now my brain doesn't wind down until after midnight, even if my body's too tired to do much about it. I think this might be why I have had an increasing number of scholastic revelations in the middle of the night or as parts of dreams.

--I bought a plane ticket to London. In less than five months, I will be leaving the country!

--The weather today made me feel complete. It was sunny and warm and I got to wear a skirt and sandals. It's time to bring out the summer clothing, and I am so ready for it.

--My summer schedule is awkward. I technically have a longer-than-usual summer because I don't leave for London until September 17th, but I'm spending most of July on a family vacation so although I will be home for June, portions of July, August, and portions of September, I probably won't be able to get a job. Grar.

--Script Frenzy is just not as easy as NaNoWriMo. You'd think that, if I could write an 80,000-word novel in a month, I could write what amounts to a 20,000-word screenplay. Well, I can -- it's just a lot harder than it sounds.

--I should stop this and go to sleep.
readingredhead: (Default)
I for sure have homework I should be doing now -- like the reading I promised myself I'd finish today, so that I could spend tomorrow beginning work on the 8-10 page essay that's due for my romantics class on May 4th (I know, I know, that sounds like forever away, but this is probably the latest I've ever started thinking about an essay that long). In contrast, I have what I believe is a 6-8 page Milton essay due May 14th and I've already seen my Milton professor about it three or four times and have massive planning documents (this is also because I have a suspicion that Picciotto is turning me into an unwilling Miltonist). The paper might be shorter than that, actually.

I've basically been entirely ignoring Astronomy, but that's probably not a good idea, and probably my grade in the class is starting to reflect it. But I can't bring myself to think about H-R diagrams when the alternatives are so much more alluring.

This is just procrastinating. I should go now.

Oh. And I'm also still trying to write a screenplay for Script Frenzy this month, and I don't know why. I'm occasionally interested but most of the time it just feels like a chore. Currently, I'm trying to figure out how two of my characters fell in love, and I can't for the life of me recall. I feel like there was some scene, some revelation, some moment where the love was understood -- but I'm adapting a former NaNoWriMo novel into a screenplay with the added challenge of not looking back to the source text of the novel, and so I don't know exactly what's going on. Maybe I should stop trying it and stick to NaNoWriMo? Who knows.
readingredhead: (Burning)
Thanks to some conversations with Katherine Fosso and Natalie, the Satan story is starting to iron itself out. It probably won't be under 15 pages like it's supposed to be for this class, but seeing as how other people have ignored that requirement and I haven't yet, I think I'm okay as long as I don't go over 20. Granted, that might be a problem, but we'll see. I'm working on this a week in advance for a reason -- the critical idea-mass has finally been reached in my mind, and I'm making things work.

Also, I'm trying something that I've never done before, switching between two timelines rather consistently, and I'm kind of excited for how that might work out. I usually write very linear stories so playing with time is something new for me, but something I've been wanting to do for a while. I'm just happy that I finally found a story that lends itself to some temporal fun.

In other news, yesterday marked the first day of Script Frenzy, the Office of Letters and Light's other creative writing adventure, in which participants write 100 pages worth of a script for a movie, TV show(s), radio play(s), stage play, or comic book. I am engaged in writing an adaptation of my first completed NaNoWriMo novel, The Printer's Tale (formerly called The Printer's Daughter), WITHOUT actually looking back at the text of the novel I wrote! I'm looking forward to seeing what my dialogue looks like in this new version, how it changes, and to see if I can get any really good lines out of it or new insights into character or scenes.

Also for Script Frenzy, Corinne wants me to write her a telenovela -- a Spanish soap opera -- for her friends to film. They've been watching awesome telenovelas in their Spanish class and want to make their own for extra credit. She hasn't given me details yet, but it will likely include long-lost twins, sordid love affairs, people awaking from comas, death threats, people accused of crimes they did not commit, a court scene, a deathbed scene, family drama, and much more! It will be an amusing respite from my more serious projects.

On another note, I've been officially accepted to study abroad at Queen Mary University of London! I am so ridiculously excited and looking forward to this grand adventure. It's funny, the only real work that I want to be doing now is prepping for this! Paperwork? Busywork? Appointments? I don't care, it's all for London!

Finally: today is sunny and not as warm as yesterday, but I'm wearing a new shirt and some old boots and I feel good. It's strange how sometimes the right outfit can just make a day.
readingredhead: (Rain)
Because I should have been writing, but I wasn't.

What's the last thing you wrote?
...It's probably bad that I don't remember. I'm pretty sure that it was from The Printer's Daughter, my as-of-yet unfinished 2007 NaNovel.

Was it any good?
The fact that I can't remember it probably means that it wasn't. I've been planning two random stories that popped into my head, but I haven't really been writing on them (because I'm saving them up so I have options for NaNoWriMo 2008).

What's the first thing you ever wrote that you still have?
When I was four, I wrote a story about the cat who lived next door. His name was Frasier. It was illustrated and took up an entire front side of a piece of lined paper (each letter took up three lines, and there was a space between lines--the whole thing was possibly five sentences long). I spelled the cat's name "Frasher" because that made sense at the time. I still have this piece of paper, tucked away somewhere.

But if this question is more like, "what's the first thing you ever wrote that belonged to the time period when you were serious about being a writer?" then I'd have to admit to having several horrible first drafts of the first book of what was (and still is) intended as a fantasy trilogy, set alternately on Earth and on an earthlike planet called Azuria. These date from the beginning of seventh grade. In fact, I still have the handwritten first copies of those, too (in pencil, from my seventh grade writing portfolio). It was the first time I tried to write something that required worldbuilding and complex characters and was intended (eventually) for publication.

Write poetry?
Most definitely. Not as much as I write prose, and probably not as well. My goal with writing poetry is different from my goal with writing prose. Poetry is always much more personal, less about telling a story and more about capturing a specific feeling or atmosphere. My poetry doesn't usually have conflict or characters; it's more about ideas.

Angsty poetry?
Oh yes. Actually, not until recently (because, until recently, I had very little to angst about). Wait, I take that back--somewhere there exists an angsty poem I wrote in eighth grade about the boy I had a crush on then, in which I lamented that he never noticed me as more than a friend.

Most fun character you ever wrote?
Ooh, this is hard. Because it's a very different from asking who my favorite characters I've written are. I can't think of characters that are particularly "fun" to write, although I like Rhinn from my planned trilogy of fantasy novels a lot. Also, Mr. Robinson, a government agent in a sci-fi short story I wrote, is lots of fun because he's fantastically spy-like and knows everything. Also also, Ferdinand (aka Andy) from "The Free Way," because he starts out being so isolated and proper and ends up ruining an expensive Armani suit by frolicking through the garden in the pouring rain.

This is different from "fun," but a character I'm always really thrilled to write is Aleska from a short story called "Fire and Ice," because her view on everything is so unique and she's at such a crossroads in her life, and I love being inside her head as her world shatters and she pulls together the strength to rebuild it (does that sound a little sadistic?). When I wrote her story, everything just seemed so inevitable about it, like the ending was pulling me forward from the moment I started.

Most annoying character you ever wrote?
Charles Macaulay from "Predators and Editors" (even though I don't like the story much at all). My main character's little sister (I think her name's Megan) in the planned fantasy trilogy. Not sure I can think of others specifically.

Best plot you ever wrote?
It's hard for me to like the plots of my novels-in-progress, because they're not done yet. Also, for instance, I really like the plot for The Printer's Daughter, but seeing as how it's a mix between "Beauty and the Beast" and Jane Eyre, I don't feel quite like it's my plot.

I like a lot of my short story plots, but specifically "Fire and Ice" and "The Free Way."

Coolest plot twist you ever wrote?
ZOMG the mysterious master of the manor house is actually a werewolf!

How often do you get writer's block?
Not sure I believe in writer's block, just writer's laziness. But I get that all the time.

How do you fix it?

Do you type or write by hand?
Both. Usually, I plan by hand and write early drafts by hand (occasionally), but most of my final stuff and all of my editing is done on computer.

Do you save everything you write?
Yes, to the extent where my mother has given up asking me to get rid of old notes scribbled on the back of whatever was at hand and just asks me to organize them.

Do you ever go back to an old idea long after you abandoned it?
Very big yes. I'm still planning to someday write the fantasy trilogy that I began to plan out in fifth grade. Granted, I guess I've never abandoned it, but it's been on sabbatical for a long time. I have worked on it occasionally, in bouts of seriousness, but never gotten more than 40,000 words into the first book of the trilogy, with really minimal planning for what happens next. I do have a whole lot of worldbuilding for this place, though, and that more than anything tells me that I'll be coming back. I know too much about how things work on Azuria to abandon it. Also, Holly and Jasen, my main characters, were the first characters I really invested with my whole heart. I can't leave their story untold.

What's your favorite thing that you've written?
Favorite completed thing? "Fire and Ice," no question. Favorite incomplete thing? I have no idea. Since I've been working most seriously with The Printer's Daughter recently, it's close to the top of the list, at least for specific portions which I absolutely adore.

What's everyone else's favorite thing that you've written?
Depends on who you mean by "everyone else." Most people who've read "Fire and Ice" like it, but my dad likes the stories I've written for workshops at Berkeley best, since they're realistic. I don't actually think that "Flour Girl" or "Dead White Women" are all that bad--I surprised myself in writing them and liking them, and I suppose that other people probably like them too.

Do you ever show people your work?
Yes. Frankly, I wish that I had more readers to help me work on things!

Who's your favorite constructive critic?
Depends on the day. Sometimes, it's my dad, because he's not afraid to be honest with me and he holds me to very high standards. But at the same time, sometimes his criticism boils down to "Why did you insert a werewolf into what would have otherwise been a perfectly good real-life story?" and on those days I have to stay away from him, because it hurts still to know that that's what he thinks. The only other person who regularly reads and critiques my work is Rebecca, and she is also very good at keeping me honest. She laughs me out of bad ideas and talks me through the good ones.

Did you ever write a novel?
I don't think I can answer "yes" to this, because while I have begun no fewer than four separate novels, I have yet to complete a single one. I don't think I get to answer "yes" until I have a complete first draft. But I suppose it's not lying to answer "almost."

Have you ever written fantasy, sci-fi, or horror?
Yes, much to my father's shame and my delight.

Ever written romance or teen angsty drama?
The first real original fiction romance that I've written in an prolonged form is The Printer's Daughter, though most of my stories end up having romantic pairings that will work themselves out in the future, even if not during the timeline of the story.

However, long before this I was writing romance fanfiction, because while I am not an insane shipper, I am a shipper nonetheless, and one of the major draws of fanfiction is the ability to construct an alternate or extended saga in which the romance works out the way it's obviously supposed to.

What's one genre you have never written, and probably never will?
Horror. I don't think I'm good enough to write a really smart thriller, and horror seems like a cheaper version of that genre (thriller but without the smarts) and I don't want to write that.

How many writing projects are you working on right now?
Three is probably a safe number. The Printer's Daughter is the big one, but there's also two ideas kicking around in my head and jostling for the spot as my 2008 NaNovel. One's about a normal highschooler who finds out that her best friend's a wizard, and the other is an anti-Twilight manifesto presenting itself as a cross between Rent and Buffy the Vampire Slayer.

Do you want to write for a living?

Have you ever written something for a magazine or newspaper?
Erm...not really.

Have you ever won an award for your writing?
Probably? Nothing big enough that I remember.

Ever written something in script or play format?
Yes, for Script Frenzy.

What is your favorite word?
Eloquent, juxtaposition, coalesce

Do you ever write based on yourself?
Yes. I think all of my characters are facets of myself, or mirror images of me--but somehow or other, they start with a part of me, whether it's one that I am in tune with or one that I'm trying to run away from.

Which of your characters most resembles you?
Well, Holly and Jasen were written as splinters of my personality, very deliberately--Holly comes very close to self-insertion. But after her, Noelle is very close.

Where do you get ideas for your characters?
People I know. People I am, or could be, or desperately don't want to be, or wish I was. Anyone I feel some strong emotion for, be it pity or desire or camaraderie or pain.

Do you ever write based on your dreams?

Do you prefer happy endings, sad endings, or cliff-hangers?
I'd rather read a happy ending, or at least a fulfilling one, as long as it fits with the tone of the work. If the happy ending still comes as a result of great sacrifice and pain, I'm okay with it. It's happy endings no one has to work for that piss me off. Same goes for tragic endings that just seem to happen for no particular reason or with no significance. I mostly write happy endings, or at least uplifting ones, but I really admire people who can write sad stories that I keep reading.

Have you ever written anything based on an artwork you've seen?
No, but I have written things based off of music I've listened to.

Are you concerned with spelling and grammar as you write?
Nope. Even in the editing, I'm rather loose with grammar. I think it should be a reflection of the way a thing is being said or thought or intended, and we rarely think in proper grammar.

Ever write something entirely in chatspeak?

Does music help you write?
No, not really. It usually just distracts me. I only use wordless music when writing, and then only as a way of drowning out something even more distracting (such as people talking loudly).

Are people surprised and confused when they find out you write well?
I like how this question presupposes that people will find out that I write well. I don't think I've surprised anyone with my fiction yet, or if I have, they haven't told me about it. But I have had a string of teachers and professors rather gratifyingly surprised by the quality of my essays.

Quote something you've written.
I don't have access to very much on this computer, but here's a few lines from a freewrite that I am in love with. "He" is Jasen and "she" is Holly (from the long-planned fantasy trilogy):

After the end, they go on. He's still the best friend she's ever had, maybe the only one, and she wouldn't trade that for anything in the world. She knows it in her heart and in her soul. People around her talk about what they'd do for their friends, and she knows she'd do it all and more--she knows that she has done it. She's given her life for him, and though it hasn't been taken, that's only a matter of luck, a simple miracle.

Everyone says it's more than friendship. She brushes that aside as best she can. "What's more than friendship?" she asks the doubters. "What's purer, truer, longer?" Frienship is safe because everything else ends.

Her heart has two settings--"don't care" and "forever"--and it's obvious which one is his. But how she gives it to him is her choice, and so she decides anew every morning, every afternoon, and every night that they're forever friends, and nothing else. There is nothing else that they need.
readingredhead: (Light)
And you thought that one month-long timed writing challenge per year was enough.

As some of you may remember, last year the wonderful folks at the Office of Letters and Light -- yes, those same awesome folks who run National Novel Writing Month for my novel-writing enjoyment every year -- started up another project. Script Frenzy ran through June and challenged everyone to write a 20,000 word screenplay or stage play in 30 days. I started (and as usual didn't finish) a play about five writers who were part of the same college workshop class. It was my first foray into the world of script writing and I was convinced after the end of last June that I wouldn't make another attempt at it again.

Of course, I began to eat my words sooner than had been expected, even for me. This year Script Frenzy's been changed up a bit. It's been moved to April and the goal is measured in pages -- 100 of them -- instead of wordcount. And the one reason that I'm doing it again this year is that in Script Frenzy, unlike in NaNoWriMo, it's acceptable (even perhaps encouraged) to work with a partner.

So without further ado, I announce to those of you who do not already know this that Rebecca and I are turning Pride and Prejudice into a musical over the course of the upcoming month.

I just got that much cooler, didn't I?

At first the plan was to write a few original melodies but then rip off popular tunes and write our own words to them. Now, it looks like we're starting completely from scratch, with nothing but Jane Austen for our guide. But as some of you know, she makes a pretty good guide.

Wish me luck, and if you're at all interested at getting in on the frenzy, you can find out more about it at It's not too late to sign up!
readingredhead: (Earth)
  1. Finish The Printer's Daughter
  2. Start a rejection collection (i.e. send short stories to publishers)
  3. Become a paid writer
  4. Learn how to dance
  5. Write a musical
  6. Learn how to play a complete song on the piano
  7. Go outside some night and just look at the stars with a friend for a few hours
  8. Take a road trip with someone new
  9. Skip school for a good reason
  10. Stop biting my nails (it had to be on there for old time's sake)
  11. Memorize more poetry
  12. Write more poetry
  13. Abolish the distinctions between literary and genre fiction
  14. Go to the east coast
  15. Elect Barack Obama
  16. Work in a bookstore
  17. Do something big without asking for permission or directions
readingredhead: (Default)
I write this whbile sitting in a room in an apartment in Bath, and it feels so surreal.  I think it might be because I'm not quite excited for this yet, though how that's happened I have no clue.  I mean, I'm excited...but the plane ride felt like a normal plane ride (except a bit longer) and the drive felt like a normal drive (except a bit shorter) and the cars are like normal cars (except a bit smaller) and the shops are all the same (except a bit pricier).  In a way it's like I've traveled halfway around the world but I can't get away from home yet.

I think I might be feeling like this because this is very different from the last time I came to England.  Then, we only stayed in London, and my cousin Carissa was with us.  It's interesting, because my sister and I get along so much better and have so many more things to say to each other when she's there.  Of course, this time around she isn't, and it's just my family.  This is weird in and of itself; usually we don't vacation alone.  Usually we meet up with people, or we go to visit relatives, or some such thing.  But this is a full-blown vacation, and there was no one there to meet us when we got off of the plane.  For some reason that seems to be making all of the difference.

Basically, it comes down to: there are more people for me to miss this time around.

Another thing that's bugging me is Script Frenzy.  At the rate I'm moving, I have to write about 2000 words a day to cross the finish line in time.  I really just want to give up on it, but something about myself won't let me.  I've started this and I will carry it through--I can't allow myself to give up.  The problem is that everything I am writing is shit.  I started with characters I liked, but they deserve a novel rather than a play.  Actually, I have a feeling they may turn into my November novel, assuming I develop them a little more and don't have anything better to write by then.  That's one way in which Script Frenzy will have helped me, at least.

As far as our day and what we actually did: we left our house at about 11pm CA time yesterday to get our flight out of LAX.  We flew to London Heathrow Airport.  When we got there, we picked up our rental car and had fun with confusing British street signs and directions.  Eventually we ended up in Bath, after getting lost several more times.  Normally this wouldn't be so bad, but gas (or should I say petrol?) is ridiculously priced here, so the mistakes we made cost us more money than I like to think about.

We finally got to the hotel where we're staying.  The Harington actually owns a small apartment down the street from the hotel proper, and that's where my family is spending the first two nights of our stay.  It's really nicely decorated and furbished -- there's a flatscreen TV and DVD player, full kitchen, washer and dryer...pretty much everything we could need.  Apparently it'll look really nice when compared to some of the places we'll be staying later during this trip.

The hotel and apartment are both on small one-way streets, so there's no side-of-the-road parking available.  Dad had to go park the car in a car park.  The hotel attendant gave him directions, but he's still getting used to driving on the left, so the results were tragicomical.  It took him forever to find the car park, and he got pulled over by a cop on the way for running the same red light twice.  He hadn't even noticed that there was a light for this particular turn, so he had just driven right through.  But there was a bus in front of him that began to back up, so he had to back up.  When the bus left, he pulled forward again, effectively running the light for a second time.  The cops didn't even get to him right away--according to his version of events, they found him later and told him what he'd done (he had no idea).   When he told them this was his first day ever driving in Great Britain, they took it easy on him and told him to be more careful in the future.

When he got back we all went out to eat (we were starving).  Then we bought some groceries and brought them back to the apartment so that we would have stuff to cook for dinners.  Then we went back out to look at this bridge over the Avon River, which runs through the city of Bath (this is the same Avon river upon which Stratford-upon-Avon sits).  We walked along the bridge for a bit and found this awesome shop selling old maps.  When I say old, I mean some of these were hand-printed over 300 years ago.  I was really tempted to get one for Rick--it was a map of Ireland from the 1800s denoting the political affiliation of the counties and showing how many MPs were serving each party from each district.  I would've bought it, if it weren't for the fact that it cost almost $100.  I still might, though, if he says he's interested in it.  More likely I'll find him some Irish National cricket team gear.

We turned in pretty early because we were all completely wiped.  I can't speak for mom, dad, or Corinne, but I have not slept more than 3 hours in the last 24, and those were all on the plane ride.  Add that to five hours of sleep the night before we left due to staying up late to finish packing and you get a rather tired girl.  So tired, in fact, that I'm going to end this entry now, eat some dinner, and then probably go to sleep.
readingredhead: (Default)
1. Beauty by Robin McKinley
2. The Coelura by Anne McCaffrey
3. Fahrenheit 451 by Ray Bradbury
4. Brave New World by Aldous Huxley
5. An Assembly Such As This by Pamela Aidan
6. Duty and Desire by Pamela Aidan
7. These Three Remain by Pamela Aidan
8. A Wizard Alone by Diane Duane
9. Hamlet by William Shakespeare
10. Cameo Diner by Matt Miller
11. A Wizard Abroad by Diane Duane
12. Talking in the Dark by Billy Merrill
13. A Streetcar Named Desire by Tenessee Williams
14. A Thousand Words for Stranger by Julie E. Czerneda
15. Blood Wedding by Frederico Garcia Lorca
16. Man and Superman by George Bernard Shaw
17. Ties of Power by Julie E. Czerneda
18. The Road to Mecca by Athol Fugard
19. To Trade the Stars by Julie E. Czerneda
20. The Unhandsome Prince by John Moore
21. A Nameless Witch by A. Lee Martinez
22. The Ship Who Searched by Anne McCaffrey
23. Seducing the Demon: Writing for My Life by Erica Jong
24. Siddhartha by Herman Hesse
25. A Fate Worse than Dragons by John Moore
26. Cat's Cradle by Kurt Vonnegut

And I am currently reading a book entitled The Mirror of Her Dreams by Stephen R. Donaldson that I think Lauren would really like (at least, this is how I feel about the first 60 pages).  

In other news, I am behind on the Script Frenzy script like I have never been behind before.  I have to write 800 words a day for the rest of the month if I want to meet the deadline.  I think I can do it...but it won't be pretty.  Oh well, few things about real life are.


Jun. 10th, 2007 10:41 pm
readingredhead: (Light)
I'm annoyed with Script Frenzy right now, because I thought it would be easy and it most emphatically isn't. I thought I could get through it without planning and I most emphatically can't. I thought that writing a 20k play would be like writing a third of a 60k novel and it most emphatically isn't. In short, I was cocky going in, and now I'm paying for it.

It doesn't help that I haven't been writing on a good schedule like I always make myself do for NaNo. It doesn't help that there are so many things getting ready to distract me. I'm usually always on top of these things, but not any more. It's not like I'm a lot of words behind, but I keep floundering without a plot, and that's no good. I really like the way my play's started out, but everything afterward seems stupid and contrived. At least with prose I find some gems within the excrement- -I'm not sure that'll happen for this. I keep wishing desperately that this was a novel instead of a play, so that I could do it right.

I'm not going to let myself not win this, because that's not the sort of person I am...but I'm not so sure that I'll be participating next year...
readingredhead: (Stranger)
Last night...was good. When I got home around 11:30 I was tempted to turn on the computer and write up a journal entry right then, so that I could capture it in all its glory. But then I realized that nothing would do it justice. Really, as much as we may try to preserve things with photographs or with writing or with video, in the end these only serve as tools to jog the memory, so that only someone who lived through the experience can fully comprehend its wonder. That's kind of what yesterday was like. While it was being experienced, it was great. just feels odd, knowing that that was the last Humanities field trip of my life, and nothing like that will ever happen quite like that again.

It was good, but in retrospect it loses its color and life. As much as the past might be beautiful, in the end we have to continue to live in the present.

I don't know why I'm thinking about this so much. I don't need to. But maybe I do...yesterday was an odd day for me. There were moments when I felt like I belonged, and moments where I felt estranged, and most of these happened without me having a clue as to why.

Before we left for the field trip yesterday, Krucli was talking to us about the hero's journey. He gave examples from Star Wars, but those weren't the ones that stuck with me. What stuck was his use of us going off to college. And the stages of that journey corresponded perfectly with all that I know I've been through or will go through. And I admit that it scares me. It scares me to be leaving behind the kind of life I've always known. I want to continue having happiness I'm used to, even if life may only improve through change...

I don't know. I've been in a philosophical mood lately. I started this entry intending to describe what happened yesterday on the field trip. But looking back on it, I realize that the things I'd like to write about, the things I'd like to share with others, are those things I can't quite find words for. I'm trying, but I feel like someone fumbling for the light switch in the darkness.

I need to do something that will make me feel more myself. I need to write. After all, script frenzy started yesterday. I need to get the feel of the keys beneath my fingers again, and let that soothe me...

How do I feel right now?  I think that this works best:

"...growing up is all about getting hurt.  And then getting over it.  You hurt.  You recover.  You move on.  Odds are pretty good you're just going to get hurt again.  But each time, you learn something.

Each time, you come out of it a little stronger, and at some point you realize there are more flavors of pain than coffee.  There's the little empty pain of leaving something behind--graduating, taking the next step forward, walking out of something familiar and safe into the unknown.  There's the big, whirling pain of life upending all of your plans and expectatinos.  There's the sharp little pains of failure, and the more obscure aches of successes that didn't give you what you thought they would.  There are the vicious, stabbing pains of hopes being torn up.  The sweet little pains of finding others, giving them your love, and taking joy in their life as they grow and learn.  There's the steady pain of empathy that you shrug off so you can stand beside a wounded friend and help them bear their burdens.

And if you're very, very lucky, there are a few blazing hot little pains you feel when you realize that you are standing in a moment of utter perfection, an instant of triumph, or happiness, or mirth which at the same time cannot possibly last--and yet will remain with you for life."

~From White Knight by Jim Butcher

I know I've posted this before, but it just seems such a good descriptor of how I feel.  These are the pains I've been feeling--and some of them hurt more than others.  The "big, whirling pain of life upending all of your plans and expectations" is what I felt when I didn't get into Stanford.  I've mercifully been spared the "sharp little pains of failure," but lately I've become mired in "the more obscure aches of successes that didn't give you what you thought they would."  Of course, the pain of loving others balances this out on some days, but it makes it worse on others--after all, empathy is a "steady pain" that's hard to ignore.

The final paragraph of that quote describes perfectly what I'd call the pain of impermanence.  It's one of the most beautiful, but also one of the hardest for me to reconcile myself to right now.  But I'm working on it--I don't see any other way.
readingredhead: (Light)
So, a few more things about the play I'll be writing in June. So far, I'm busy getting the characters and the setting togther.

The concept for the play is that five writers who attend UC Berkeley meet for the first time when they all end up in the same application-based creative writing class. They're all very different people, and the play is about their interactions and how they learn from each other. But for this all to work out, I need to have five believable characters. I'm starting to get a feel for them, but one thing that I really need is names. None of the characters are intended to be from a particular racial background, so names based in any nationality or language are acceptable. I almost want to make it so that anyone could play any character, regardless of race -- so far, race isn't important to my story. What's more important is the genres that these students write in.

This is the information I know about everyone so far:

Gender: Male
Age/Grade: 21 years old; junior
Major: English
Genre: Romance (think Nicholas Sparks)
Style: novels and short stories
Publication Status: has published a few romance novels as a ghostwriter, using a female pseudonym
Favorite Authors: Nicholas Sparks

Gender: Female
Age/Grade: 24 years old; in her 5th year of college
Major: English at present; entered as Astronomy, later switched to Sociology, then switched to English
Occupation: variable--she doesn’t seem to be able to keep jobs very well
Genre: speculative fiction/sci-fi and fantasy
Style: novel
Publication Status: has yet to finish a single novel, though she may have published a few short stories here and there in medium-quality magazines and school publications
Favorite Authors: Anne McCaffrey
Personality: ecclectic and flighty; bursting with ideas, but impatient--wants everything done now

Gender: Female
Age/Grade: 22 years old; junior
Major: History with Creative Writing minor
Genre: Historical fiction
Style: short stories
Publication Status: has published one short story at least, potentially more; in anthologies rather than in magazines or journals
Favorite Authors:

Gender: Male
Age/Grade: 20 years old; sophomore
Major: Comparative Literature
Genre: autobiographical fiction/descriptive
Style: freeform poetry
Publication Status: published a book of poetry at a very young age, but is having trouble living up to some of his earlier poetry
Favorite Authors: Ginsberg, Kerouac, Ferlinghetti

Gender: Male
Age/Grade: 22 years old; senior
Major: Rhetoric
Genre: literary fiction
Style: novel
Publication Status: has finished a novel and is submitting it to publishers, but no one wants to publish it
Favorite Authors:
Personality: very pretentious; thinks he’s better than he is; might come from a well-off family and is probably an only child; he has a certain disdain for other genres of writing, and doesn’t think that “the public” can appreciate really good writing

So...any suggestions? Anything is appreciated, even randomness. The character I have the least info about in my head is the historical fiction writer. I'm still trying to figure out why she writes hist-fic, and how she came to want to be a writer. There's nothing too special about her yet, and that's one thing I'm searching for. I'm confident that I'll find it eventually -- hopefully before June starts!
readingredhead: (Light)

I feel like I need to write something profound right now.  I just finished my last IB test ever, and I won't think about them until next July when I get the results.  It's a glorious day, and I'm sitting in a beam of sunlight that pierces my window, and I'm feeling a breeze on the skin of my arms, and the sun is so bright and at such an angle that I have my eyes closed as I type this, because it would hurt to keep them open.  I love days like this.  

I think that a problem with my writing is that I feel like it has to have purpose.  Why do I worry about this?  Purpose is created, to a certain extent, within the reader -- and if there are people willing to read what I have to write, then I should write it.  Even if it's just something I want to write, I should write it.

But I'm torn between all of the many different things I could/should write right now.  (I should do my math homework, but let's rule out that option for a moment and focus on the really important things.)  For the first time in a long time, I feel like writing fanfiction.  Also, I have to write a poem for humanities for tomorrow.  Also, I need to plan out the characters that will belong to the script I'm going to write in June.

Part of me thinks I should probably just get the poem out of the way.  This is a good, logical idea.  But I'm not sure if I really want to do it...

I think I will, but just because I need to get back in the habit of poetry.  And of freewriting in general.


Poem )


X-Files fanfiction in progress... )

readingredhead: (Default)

Okay, so I've had a couple of people ask me about what I want for my birthday...I hate having to answer that question because I either don't know or I don't want to sound greedy.  Honestly, I don't have a problem with gift cards for anything that I actually use.  Books, clothes, whatever -- I'm never going to complain if I get to pick out my own gift.  And I'm sure there are other things I want...I just don't know what they are.  I pretty much have everything I want.

Wait, scratch that -- I want the X-Files movie on DVD.  With that, I would have everything I wanted.  Or at least, everything that I can think of wanting (yes, I know I'm a geek).

On a completely different note: I am feeling out of the loop and off-balance.  I don't know what to do with myself at school now that I'm not expected to do anything.  I'm really almost glad that Script Frenzy is taking place during June -- it'll force me to deal with this malaise by doing something productive.  I think I have decided what I'm going to write my personal play about.  Corinne and I are writing a romantic drama somewhere along the lines of Roman Holiday (this will be a screenplay) and I'm going to write a two-act stage play about a small writers' group in a large city.  Script Frenzy is different from NaNoWriMo because A) you're allowed to work with a partner and B) to "win" you only need 20,000 words.  I figure this is a cinch, since I did three times that many in November, so that's why I'm writing two scripts.  (Also, I couldn't pick between a movie and a play.  I want the experience with both, even if neither is a part of my chosen career.)

But I'm really excited about the writers' group one.  I think I'm going to have five characters, max, all who don't know each other before they show up at the group's first meeting.  I don't know how they decided to get together in this group; I think it might be a small independent-study graduate-level writing course at some prestigious public university that they happened to all sign up for.  I like the idea that it wasn't even their intention to end up in the same class, it just happened -- sort of like fate bringing them together.

I don't know why fate would want to do that, at least not yet.  They're all going to be wildly different writers in very different genres.  I don't know what genres I want them to write in, but there will be someone who generally produces science fiction or fantasy, someone who writes "literary fiction," someone who's into novels, someone else who's into short stories and novellas, and a poet who has no idea what he/she is doing in a class full of people writing prose.

IDEA: The entire class is spent waiting for the teacher to show up.  The teacher never does.  The idea is that they all teach themselves...ooh, I like that!  I like that a lot!

Now I'm going to watch X-Files and ruminate.

readingredhead: (Rain)

Come on, you know you want to!

Corinne and I are going to write a movie together during the month of June.  We're not sure what it's about yet, though she says it's a cross between The Motorcycle Diaries and Garden State (we are not yet sure how this will be achieved).  

Also, on my own I am writing a stage play, that will contain very few characters and probably look at least a little (structurally) like The Road to Mecca, because I liked it.  It might be about the relationship between a student and a teacher?  No, guys, not that kind of relationship.  I want to explore the mentor-pupil dynamic, and the ways it can be changed.  I have this feeling it would be really cool to write a play about a teacher meeting a former student years down the road, and all the stuff that ensues therein...I dunno, it's a preliminary thought.  It'll be very much about real people, though, and their flaws, and the ways in which they attempt to communicate with each other (assuming communication between human beings is possible).

I have my first IB test of the year tomorrow, but it's English, so I'm not worried in the least.  I should study, and I should do math homework, but I think I'm just going to watch X-Files (damn addicting show!) and do sit-ups.  

Anyone wanna join me in the crazy?

(And the thought that I just had, to close off this entry, is "Road to Mecca meets the X-Files!"  I think that's proof enough of my mental state...or lack thereof.)


readingredhead: (Default)

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