Thursday, November 11, 2004

My Kind of Movie

It's fucked-up that he had to die for it.

If you haven't seen Van Gogh's short film yet, check it out. It's not *quite* work safe - there's some suggestive imagery, and I think you may be able to see some nipples through the black mesh. In any case, I just minimized the screen when it got a little racy (I am, of course, at work), listened to the dialogue, and then maximized it again after a few moments.

In any event, it's my kind of movie.

I really should be writing.


Jenn has coyly suggested that I start all of the fantasy saga titles with prepositions:

To the Wall
Over Burning Cities
Below the [ominous words]
Aboard [some kind of vehicle]
Through [a kind of landscape or country]
With, upon, amid...
Near the End...

I think "Near the End" is the most appropriate.

My fall-back on prepositions likely has to do with taking two undergrad poetry classes where both instructors made us write epic poems where the first line of every stanza started with a preposition.

I suspect I may have turned out a much better writer without a formal education.

Later, My Chiklits

I'm off to go work on said writing projects. I've also been trolling through the internal job postings board at my company, trying to decide where I want to live in the summer of 2006. It occurred to me today that I have a nice cushy job, in a nice cushy city, and couldn't I just stay in Chicago until... until... until I'm 30?

Hell no. I've got a shitload to do before I'm 30, dammit. I've gotta live overseas for at least another year, go biking in China, and hike up to Macchu Picchu. This is in addition to getting books published, getting into supah ninjah shape, and bungee jumping off a bridge in New Zealand. As opposed to, say this bridge:

Which I've already jumped off (yes, I was very sore afterward).

This is a very busy schedule. I think living in Chicago would keep me far too cozy.

Black People Aren't Like Real People Either, That's Why Slavery and Segregation is OK!! - And Other Justifications for Treating People Like Shit

Roey Thorpe, executive director of Basic Rights Oregon, shared a personal story that she believes illustrates the prejudice that a gay person cannot love as truly or as deeply as a heterosexual.

The Portland, Oregon, woman said an employee who was grieving over the death of her husband asked Thorpe, "Do your people feel sad when your person dies?"

"It tells it all," Thorpe said. "I said, 'you saw me as a little less human and for me to realize it breaks my heart.' "

Jenn and I were talking about the disconnect between ourselves and the 58 million people who voted for Bush, and those who voted to ban gay marriage in their states. The fact that for two days, we were so stricken and angry and bewildered shows something of our own disconnect with people like this - people who really honestly don't connect with people who's passions/skin color/political affiliation is so incredibly different from theirs.

I don't see other people's happiness or desires being a threat to me and my way of life. I still can't, for the life of me, understand the freak-out about a couple of women getting married (well, except that they'd then have more financial power, and it would become so blindingly obvious that they could totally get along without men and... oh, nevermind). But the "real" reasons given by opponents have to do with "protecting" their own version of marriage. I'm not a fan, personally, of marriage at all, and I will never get married - but that doesn't give me the right to try and ban marriage for everybody, just because I, personally, think it's a waste of time and resources for myself. Marriage agrees with lots of people. Just not with me.

What kind of person would I be, to try and force my way of life on anyone else? Who would I think those sorts of people were, who wanted to get married? Would I think they were less than people for it?

Thoughts on Writing, Rewriting, & etc.

So, John Rickards is deep in rewrite mode, and I must admit that as a mostly-unpublished writer who's written nine books and god-knows-how-many-short-stories, I find it deeply comforting that even writers under 3-book contracts write shitty first drafts.

I spent yesterday working on book two of the fantasy saga, Over Burning Cities, which is shaping up to be a far stronger and more powerful book than poor book one, which has yet to find a home anywhere (for the better? I don't know). I also reread some of book one, and tinkered with some clunky dialogue, tried rewriting a couple of the scenes in the latter half of the book. It's a book I'm still not happy with.

I keep opening up Jihad, the latest stand-alone book-in-progress, and wincing at almost every moment of it. There are things I like - I think the characters and setting are neat, but the pacing is too slow and the dialogue (like most of my dialogue) is clunky. The problem with a first draft of anything new is that I don't often figure out my characters until the end of the book, at which point I have to go all the way back to the beginning and rewrite everyone from scratch so that they've got distinct voices and all of the action makes sense. This is probably why I'm enjoying Over Burning Cities more than the other two book projects - I'm dealing with characters I already got to know in book one, or characters I'd written about in prior books.

Opening up all these files and staring at them hasn't made me feel much better, and I went through my usual question-and-answer period.

"Why the hell am I doing this? Why should I bother trying to sell this crap?"

"Because you're going to do it anyway. Might as well try and make some money off it."

I'm wondering if I'm letting the fact that I'm *not* getting paid take away some of the glee of writing. I keep looking at the top shelf of the book case in the living room that I've set aside for books/publications I've shown up in, and it's terribly sad to only see the same two magazines there month after month (the rest of my sales have been online).

Just another tired day.