Full of it

April 6, 2009

The joy of spring that is. My garden has a lot of colour at the moment, though beyond the single daffodil and a gnarled up rose I have no idea what they’re called. It was all good until today but now I am also full of hay-fever. Poopies.

I have been spending all my free time with writerly friends, partaking of writerly activities like writing envelopes to agencies (on behalf of my friend), sitting in coffee shops and criticising popular novels and their writers. And buying shoes, but I needed shoes because my last pair came apart slightly and made me fall down in two seperate train stations, causing great concern to the general public.

I’m still hopeful of a slow but steady rise in progress as I now have a new writing aid…

Though progress may be hindered by general rage for StinkyHouseFolk who seems to have replaced his casual racism with active sexism and has been particularly obnoxious (as well as physically noxious) all week to everybody.

Calling from base

October 8, 2008

Hurrah! I have home interwebs access from my very own computey! 🙂

Ok so it’s an old laptop and I’m hunched over my coffee table but I think it’s AWESOME. I am that pleased. I have been so bored at work, now I have a new toy to play with and I can look at all the naughty websites I can’t look at at work. I am pleased. Partner has spent days working on it to make it work. He’s such a dear.

Spamblog trance remix

August 15, 2008

I got a pingback from what I presume is a spamblog gathering posts about the State of Virginia. As well as a direct quote it had created this beautiful remix of my brainfail post that makes me sounds like a malfunstioning android:

“When because the bits that aren’t registering on internal scans. I am experiencing Brainfail. I leave work; having gaps in my head seems to help with this. I am still articulate but there are parts that hold me … work; having gaps in my head seems to help with this. I am still articulate but there are parts that hold me … the bits that aren’t registering on internal scans. I leave work; having gaps in my head seems to help with this. I think because the bits that hold me … this. I am still articulate but there are.”

Brace yourself: sparks reigniting

July 11, 2008

Today will be a day of sad for the three people who accidentally read this blog – next week I will be on holiday. This means radio silence until at least the 21st. I am going on a peaceful holiday and look forward to walking in the woods, on the beach and to the pub for dinner.

In other news I have been geeking out. Having observed a resurgenceof interest in Magic:The Gathering among the housefolk I dug out my old cards and went through them with my partner. As a teenager I had enjoyed the collecting aspect more than playing as I had few opponents and found self-teaching a little awkward as there was no one around to correct my misinterpretations. Since then many intimidating new rules have been made but I may make an effort to learn them on a rainy day next week – after all it is far more stimulating to play a game than watch TV.

So: ten years ago I was an avid collector, and probably had about two thirds of that particular set. My interest waned when too many different sets started coming out too often and I found my pocket money was better spent in the pub. Going through the old cards with my partner last night was a joy. He was pleased to find a couple of cards ‘from his list’ that he was planning to track down on eBay. He found numerous other cards that he wanted to steal for their general awesomeness. He told me that one of my cards could be worth up to a hundred pounds. For the first time I felt some pride in my collection, and a sudden reluctance to share them as much as I had been offering to. Knowing that I have good cards may reignite my interest in the game.

I am reminded of at university when a group of friends bundled into my room when I was with my partner and the heavily ironic Southern Belle exclaiming: “You’re playing magic? That is so much worse than being caught having sex. I’m embarrassed for you.” She’s a fantastic woman.

It has occurred to me that I can use this blog to track the lengths of my hobbies, interests and projects. In my estimation I arbitrarily decided some time ago that my interest could not possibly be held for longer than three weeks. The only thing I can think of that I have actively pursued for longer than this is cross stitch. I suppose my card collecting phase should count too, which probably lasted about a year before subsiding into occasional three week revivals. This week I have been mentally preparing for a fit of writing. Preparing for my holiday has left me little time to put pen to paper apart from one sketch of foreshadowing with which I was delighted. I am a little concerned at present by my current reading material (a novel inhabiting the mind of Henry James) which has made my writing style incredibly verbose. I am sure it will be fine under stricter conditions but I can see it here quite clearly. It also seems to have swallowed my point. Not helpful at all – although reading about the trials and tribulations of an author does tempt me to have a go.

Everything is useful

June 9, 2008

It is a commonly held superstition that all the little things you learn and save will one day be useful in some way. I was overwhelmed by this feeling earlier when in reading I came across the word ‘prestidigitator’ and remembered my dad teaching it to me 15 years ago and it occured to me that if he hadn’t I wouldn’t have known what it meant. It also took 15 years for a single instance of the word to crop up before my avidly book loving self, but when it did it was so worth it.

The cat recovered, incidentally.

Harold and Kumar was a great success, it was great to see a buddy movie that is both funny and features intelligent, articulate characters without them being geeks.


May 22, 2008

Isn’t that a great word? Circlejerk. it just rolls around the mouth coming to an abrupt halt. I wonder if the word jerk was originally onomatopeic? Circlejerking is what I think some misguided people do when they blog about issues they feel passionately about (good up to this point) get all their friends to read it then all congratulate each other on such ‘right down to the bone’ rants. This is just a thought by the way and not directed at anyone I know – the only blogs I read are large public ones.

My actual word of the week is ‘stereotype’ – seeing as I’ve had time to use my brain this week this word has been spewing out of my mouth rather frequently. From the arguments used in the abortion/fatherhood debates to widely anticipated Sex and the City movie stereotypes abound. I want to say I am drowning in them but that would be a cliche. It’s painful to be aware of these things, it makes you lose respect for people. It also forms part of my reluctance to write – trying to get around then will be like walking on glass (I saw Derren Brown do this, but only after putting a plastic bag over his head first. I find this man fascinating and last week dreamed that I found him in some unknown suburban house while on a school trip and had a delightful natter with him).

I should write though. I believe this blogging to myself is a great help. Aside from creating a secret identity as the great Snarkista it allows me to a) think, b) without judgement, c) out loud on a page. I’m not sure if I’ve thought anything at all for a very long time except within the context of a debate – talking with others does bring out some good arguments and I am often surprised at my capacity to think. Not in an egotistical way either, more like when you run for a bus and not only catch it but don’t have a stroke. Was that too cliched? I avoided the obvious ‘heart attack’ but I’m still not really satisfied…

I guess that is what they mean by the ‘inner editor’ at NaNoWriMo. I was going to do that last year, made a profile and got all ready, but 2 days before the start I was struck down by a meddlesome plague and missed the first week. By that point all my ideas disolved and I called it quits. I like to pretend I’m realistic but usually it’s just a lack of confidence (my second most hated word after ‘potential’).

On the plus side I have been reading, which I believe increases my knowledge of writing. Still reading F. Scott Fitzgerald, occasionally I want to say “Are your flies undone? Because I can see your peen.” I don’t think it is because of the character’s either, but the writer’s voice – obviously embodying the sentiment of the time (and potentially some resentment towards his wife). It got me thinking about the author’s voice: in a large number of books you can guess the gender of the author. It is possible to write in a gender neutral style, such as Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone (only HP book I’ve read, and I didn’t find it particularly interesting or special) and Neil Gaiman’s Neverwhere. Some books are written to reflect the gender of the main character, such as Neil Gaiman’s American Gods which has a hypermasculine protagonist, or Marian Keynes’ Anybody Out There? which is centred in a very female world (but not in a gross Bridget Jones way). F. Scott Fitzgerald was both very involved with Tender is the Night as it took him years to write and a massive ego as he thought it would define the great American novel. I suppose that for those reasons it has quite a heavy imprint of him on it.

Considering authorial voice I wonder what my voice is – it’s easiest to express in blog form which is why I think blogging helps, because it makes the voice stronger. When writing fiction it is very easy to slip into ‘this is what a writer sounds like’ voice. It’s similar to the voice people get when they read poetry. I want to write. I’m not sure what. But I think I should start sketching.