The Writing

28 September, 2016

devil winds

I am certain I've used that title before.

The Santa Ana winds (aka devil winds) came late this year (or, if not late, then after a spell of proper northern-mid-latitude autumn cool that tricked us all into thinking we lived in a different climate zone). So this last weekend, it was all triple digits. First real day of instruction, 106. Yay!

At least I got my latest ink during the cool spell, so I could wear long sleeves without courting heat stroke. Some instructors get dry erase markers for the start of the school year. I get Yggdrasil (which is fitting. I'm teaching Beowulf). 

The heat and dry are one thing. The associated atmospheric gymnastics are quite another. Caffeine is fantastic for migraines, but it can do jackshitall for sinus pain. So, having done my week's commenting on student writing, I find myself with time to destroy in a fit of despair work on Current Project and an uncomfortable awareness of every. tooth. in my head. Also, my eyes feel like sandpaper marbles. I wrote large swaths of Enemy and Outlaw with headaches (I started Enemy during the Santa Anas). I have a different selection of character aches and pains in mind for this novel. No headaches. We are so DONE with headaches.

So yeah. Not banging my head against plot right now. I will blog instead. That's writing. Right? That counts. Really, I'm hoping that if I look over here, the resolution to the story will show up. The real PITA about being a pantser (discovery writer sounds so much less terrifying and chaotic than my process) is that, well, sometimes the pants rip out in inconvenient places (to strain the metaphor). I'm also at that stage where I'm sure I am the WORST writer ever, and that this is the WORST novel ever written, and also I should just not write this genre because reasons. Eyeroll. It's all toadshit, and I know it's toadshit, but that doesn't change the anxiety attacks when I sit down to write.

could be watching trashy Netflix series. I didn't do a lot of that this summer, in a break in pattern, because I was trying to write this monstrosity manuscript (and also replay the Mass Effect trilogy to see if I could make friends with the end this time. No, but we're at least cordial). I define trashy as anything I can binge-watch while knitting, but wouldn't want to watch with Nous because it's hard to hear dialog over the bitching, er, the critiques. Not just his. I can't get through an episode of Blue Bloods without pontificating at length at the sexism, the shallow plotting, or Danny's sheer assholery. But it's a solid B- series. I mean, there are no surprises. Ever. It does its genre relentlessly. I can appreciate an unimaginative exercise in genre, particularly when I am knitting something repetitive. (Only in TV though. Not in books.)

(Are you looking for a point? There is no point. This is not an essay. I need to listen to the new Kidney Thieves and this is my chance.)

09 September, 2016

a thing I have learned this week

I like having the back of my head shaved. I do not like having the sides of my head shaved. Fortunately, I have only shaved one side, and my hair grows quickly, and SoCal is not known for cold. (Daring you, weather gods. Prove me wrong. Prove me wrong.)

Why the hell did I wait so long to learn this?

05 September, 2016


So the touch-up work on the valkyrja ran about two hours, because essentially Adam re-lined and shaded them both. It's like getting a new tattoo again. This means the ink is black and crisp and the skin under it is red and bruised. Nous takes tattoos beautifully. I look...abraded. (Which, you know, is kinda what happened. Abrading with poking.)

So I am rediscovering all the ways in which inner forearms are inconvenient--like, they brushed ribs when sitting to type. They are remarkably battered by the act of pulling garments over one's head (double points for things like athletic tops, because elastic).

They are not concerned by gaming (with console or with dice) so clearly that is what I should be doing.

Instead I wrote, goddammit. So when you're reading Current Project after it becomes a novel someday, and you get to the part where the main character's got surface damage on one forearm that annoys her but does not debilitate--that's for real. (For some version of real.) It was inspired.

In a week, we (read: Adam) work(s) on fresh ink on the back of that arm, winding up past the elbow and down around the wrist. I better make wordcount now, while I still can.