Friday, January 30, 2009

Same shite, different day

I managed to fit in a little bit of writing yesterday. This is going to be a very busy time for me, what with directing the musical at the school, work, FAT Jazz, Earth to Doris and family stuff. I've blocked aside chunks of time, and hopefully I will be able to focus well enough to be productive in those times. 

It's funny the things that occur to me. I was mucking away on a particular scene that has been plaguing me for several weeks. I left it to simmer over Christmas, and sat down to get some things moving, did a little, wrote a few lines, puzzled and puzzed til my puzzler was sore, left it, came back a while later, mucked about a bit, wrote a few lines, puzzled and puzzed...  You see where this is going, right? I didn't get back to it for a week or ten days or so, meaning yesterday. I was supposed to write on Monday, but this whole week has just been a "shmoz" as my mother would call it (find your own definition of that... I know what it means to me) and I didn't get any writing in. So there I was working on it yesterday, Thursday.

What came to my mind was this, "I like what I'm coming up with here, and the way the scene is progressing. Now, if I'd sat down on Monday to write, would it have come out the same way? Would I have written the same words? If they were different, I wonder if they'd have been better words, better lines, a better way of carrying on with the scene?"

I like to think that there's a reason I don't write on a certain day. I like to think that if I can't write on that day [ok, sorry, I'm getting distracted by the radio: they've just begun a documentary on teaching safe sex to seniors]. If I can't write on that day, then if I had I'd have produced nothing but shite. What I wrote yesterday was the best thing I could have written. If I'd waited until today, it would have turned out differently again. I kind of wonder what the scene would look like if I'd written it on a different day. Would the mood of the scene be more cheerful? or less? Would my word retrieval have been more effective so that the colour of the scene would be brighter, more intense? Or maybe it would have been yucky and boring. Maybe the only word I'd be able to produce is "sandwich" or "little." Or "the."

Thank goodness I wasn't able to write on Monday.

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Congratulations to Mr. Obama

Congratulations to Barack Obama. I'm getting tired of hearing about it, quite frankly, but I can't deny that this is a significant and exciting moment in history. I applaud the American people for their choice. Isn't it nice to be able to say that? Of course, unlike some, I'm cautious. I do not believe that Obama is the second coming of Christ. I believe he is a terrific orator, and he's the right person to come along and pull the United States together--as evidenced by the way people are flocking to be involved in his inauguration, and just the wild enthusiasm with which he is being greeted and accepted. I'm a little wary, though, because the whole world has their eyes on him. He's under tremendous pressure to "fix" everything. But he's still just a Guy. A man. A human. There are some who feel he can do no wrong. The world is going to learn that is not true. So let's proceed with caution.

I am most amazed by the way the American people flock to their politicians with admiration and adoration. In my lifetime I have never seen a politician here in Canada who grabbed people and drew them in like that. Are we more jaded than Americans? Are we less hopeful that one person has the ability to change our lives? Are we more realistic? Or do we simply have crummy politicians?

This IS history right before our eyes. I can't help but feel shivers and share the excitement even on my smaller scale. I share the thoughts and feelings of African-Americans who never believed in a million years that this was possible, and I try to imagine (but probably can't) what that must feel like.

I truly hope that the new President succeeds in living up to all that is expected of him. I wish him the best of luck, and congratulations to all Americans. This is all very cool.

Friday, January 16, 2009

Too Many Kates

There are too many actors named Kate. Just a few:
-Katherine (Kate) Hepburn
-Kate Hudson
-Kate Winslet
-Kate Beckinsale
-Cate Blanchett
-Kate (Katie) Holmes
-Kate Walsh
-Kate Mara
-Kate Bosworth
-Kate Capshaw
-Kate Jackson
-Kate Nelligan

There are probably others. Isn't it crazy? I get them mixed up. "Who's in that movie?" "Oh, one of the Kates." 

It has to stop!

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Progress, conflict and Poo

This time the reason I haven't blogged for a bit is that I've actually been writing. I had a breakthrough on this-here mid-way climactic scene and have been working on it bit by bit, rewriting, cutting, adding... I think it's--well, I know it's much better than it was before. More intense, more suspenseful, lots more conflict.

Janak now gets a fairly nasty head wound from the ogre that the bad guys use as a distraction while they abduct Kyer. Now the head wound in itself makes him not altogether happy, of course: not only is he in a lot of pain, but he's worried about the sight in his left eye, and as he becomes more fearful of how this may affect his life, his ability to fight (work for Valrayker) etc. he becomes angrier than usual. His circumstances also have created a lovely inner conflict for Derry: As Captain of the company, his duty is to find Kyer. But as Physicker-Adept, his duty is more immediately to his patient. He feels helpless on both counts because there isn't much he can do for Janak, yet he has to send Phennil and Jesqellan to look for Kyer, and when they aren't successful, he feels terribly guilty. Phennil also chooses this time to inform the captain that he's the one who inadvertently told Kyer's enemies how to find her. The fact that Phennil remains alive at that point is a testament to Derry's self-control.

So this has all been fun fun fun, watching what happens between these guys.

Now, on an unrelated note.... People, just because there's snow on the ground does NOT mean you are exempt from picking up your dog's poo. Sure, we can see it better, but it's slippery out there and hard enough to walk without having to skirt round brown lumps, and hopefully not fall on them should one lose one's balance. I dog sat for a week and it is not difficult at all to use a plastic bag to pick it up. Oh, and then, once you have picked it up, take it to a garbage bin, don't just huck the poo-filled plastic bag into the woods.

And off I go to carry on with my day.

Monday, January 5, 2009

A moment I wish I'd caught on the videocamera.

My next-door neighbours have several birdfeeders in their yard. Over Christmas they acquired a new one: a Squirrel-Proof feeder. It has a large bell-shaped hunk of bird seed covered by a broad, inverted cone of thin metal which hangs from a chain wrapped in a cylinder of plastic. This whole contraption hangs from a long branch of the severely pruned plumb tree. 

Today a fat grey squirrel crawled along the branch and hung by its feet as it tried to figure out how to get down to the cone. It grabbed onto the plastic cylinder with its forepaws and got its rear end down to join the front end. Then it hung on to the top of the cone with its rear paws as it tried to figure out how to get round underneath the cone to the delectable seedy delights beneath.

Then it slipped.

It flew down the cone, off the edge and plummeted into the snow.

God I laughed.

Squirrels: rats with a good PR Department. Anytime a squirrel suffers humiliation is a time for joy.

Catching up time after the Holidays

I've been away so long I'm not sure if my blog remembers me.

Snow snow and more freakin' snow. It's pretty but.... I'm done. Even though I'm sure it's not. Winter's not even half over, so we can expect more. I walked daughter to school today to make sure she didn't have to plough her way across the field by herself. But thankfully some other folks had been that way first.

Ok, now why am I really here? Not to complain about the snow, coz that's been done before. No, it's time to get back into the time management with which I was doing so well before Christmas happened. I have writing to fit in, rewriting, and even--gasp!--Outsidethehome-type-work! I have to write to Fleetwood Robbins, who has yet to let me know what he thought of my first 100 pages. Hopefully he will give me an opening to submit the New Improved version. Colleen tells me, "I have some pacing issues," 24 hours AFTER I hit Send.... Oh well, it's being improved anyway, that's the main thing. 

Thanks to Melanie for the reminder to write to Fleetwood. She is needing to do the same thing.

Also did some brainstorming over the holidays (not even consciously. Sometimes simply taking a break is all I need to bring forward some new ideas). Poor Janak is in trouble now. I needed a way to make at least one of the characters suffer more after the ogre attack, and it looks like Janak is going to come away with some permanent damage, poor fellow. He will take it ill, I know, coz he's just a born complainer at the best of times. It reminds me of when my dad used to say, "Quit crying, or I'll give you something to cry about!" (Which never made sense to me.... Surely I am crying because I have something to... Grown-ups just don't GET these things). In any event, Janak needs something to bitch about, so here he goes.

And Kyer's in bigger trouble, too. I'm not sure, but I think I need to have Ronav remove her from the room for his initial "discussion" with her. That could prompt some extra nastiness. I'll give it a try and see what happens.

Ok, this is getting long and I'm not really saying much. Just thinking "aloud" as it were.