Saturday, June 25, 2011

Transit across the continent achieved!

The obligatory picture of the view from my hotel room.
Guess what? I'm in San Diego! Yes, the palm trees were a bit of a tip off, I'm sure.

I flew in two days early for Clarion to let me start to get over jet lag, which bit of planning I am profoundly grateful for. I got in at noon local time, which my body thought was 4:30, on two hours sleep having woken up at 2 am. I stayed up for another nine hours out of pure bloody-mindedness, but it's not as though anything useful happened in those nine hours. When you find yourself too zonked to do a facebook quiz, you know you're out of it.

This morning I got an email from the first week's instructor, who was imparting quite a bit of information. The part I have worked past hyperventilating (but not past the stomach ache) about is that one of my stories is going to be workshopped on the very first day. The instructor (the lovely Nina Kiriki Hoffman) is highly encouraging us to write stories while we're in San Diego, and to give us two days to panic something out she has arranged the first two days to be spent critiquing submission stories, and I'm on the block for day one, week one.

I've never workshopped or anything of the sort before, so I really don't know what this will be like. (Other than painful.) I'm especially worried about my ego, to be honest, because I submitted those stories because they were the best I had and I couldn't see how to make them better. Seeing these stories in particular torn to shreds is going to be special. But I'm also very excited about this, because I don't have to worry for long about what they're going to think of what I write. I can just dive in the deep end and hope I don't belly flop.

And I won't be telling you how the experience went for another two months. I actually won't be blogging during the whole of Clarion for a variety of reasons. I will now lay them out in a list, because I like lists.

  • Blogging is a prime way to distract myself, particularly if I have to start searching for pictures to illustrate my posts. I am already very good at distracting myself and not exactly the most EXPERIENCED person going into this thing, so I want to roadblock this avenue to failure and despair early.
  • The likelihood of feedback on what I write from people outside of Clarion would just make me post some incredibly winy rants. They didn't like my story! I don't know how to use punctuation! Someone laughed at me! I spilled my coffee on my shoe! Oh, cry me a river, self. I haven't even WRITTEN those posts yet, and I'm boring myself. 
    • And, y'know, whining all over the internet doesn't do a whole lot towards making me seem more mature. 
  • As a going away present, the people at work gave me this really pretty diary and pen set. The pen clicks and the diary has a magnetic clasp. It's just begging to be used!
  • Yay bullet points!
Right! So as I alluded to in that wonderful list, I won't be blogging but I will be diarising. (I mean, duh. This must be preserved!) I also bought a fancy camera, so I'll be using that. :D It makes lovely shutter noises! Ca-chunk Ca-chunk. #easilyamused

See you around!

Down below those clouds is St. John's.

Saturday, June 18, 2011

In which I prove one more time that I am a strange one.

So I was in the mall today, thinking about mobility and identity and relationships, and questions of trust. As one does? (There were people I didn't know in the food court and they looked at me, because while in a mall I walk at a speed slightly above "speed walk" but and only just below "run." And this is always inspiring to think about relationships. Don't ask questions.)

Anyways, this brought two characters of mine to mind. They're from a story I mentioned a few times, Expendables (I've ranted about the writing of this just a FEW times), and when I ended off the story they had just gotten together into the beginnings of a romantical relationship.

Only it was just the VERY beginning, and one character has trust issues out the ying-yang and identity issues right now because she's a dancer and a fighter who's just put herself in a wheelchair, and the other character is someone who sleeps around who's just committed to a monogamous relationship and also had this promotion which means he's in a position of authority, and they both have a LOT of baggage. Anyhow, I was thinking about them, and how it would just be really fun to explore their relationship, and how they learn to work together and contrast and compliment each other. (I'm sure they'll stay together, I wrote them that way after all. :D)

And then I thought- oh wait, I've never had a relationship! I can't write one, I don't know how they work!

And then I thought- I should get in a relationship so I can write that story, cause it would be so excellent.

It took about five minutes before I realized that was not the usual way of deciding to commit to someone, and people usually have a counterpart in mind when they make this decision.

I still think it's a good idea though.

Thursday, June 9, 2011

Guess who just applied for student loans? THAT'S RIGHT I DID. I ROCK.

Well, I mean, I got most of the way through. I just have to declare officially that I didn't lie on my application, and then wait to be turned down! It's a wonderful weight off my shoulders!

Yes, I'm not the MOST confident. This happens when every-time you look at a standardized application you don't fit on it. None of my education to-date has been "normal," which makes then trying to go the average route a little dicey. Remind me to tell you the hilarious story about how I don't ever qualify for any "guaranteed scholarships" sometime. But at least the fate of my academic future is out of my hands for now! It's wonderfully liberating. :D

I've been trying to chip away at my to-do list, but other than moving once and writing three short stories it seems that most of what I've done is watch movies. Hm. *ponders this* I've gone to the theatre three times, and watched a bunch of TV to boot!

The best part of any movie about pirates.

I went to see Pirates Of The Caribbean 4, which was not at all premeditated on my part. I enjoyed the first movie, and after the second and third, my expectations for this film were fantastically low. I attribute my complete lack of expectations, in part, for the fact that I did enjoy the movie!  Cause the first half fully lived up to my expectations. It was all pointless fight scenes and Jack being feminine and pointlessness.  Seriously, there's a whole little arc where someone is impersonating Jack, and it turns out to be a woman. I still don't know the reason we had that story, other than an excuse to fight on top of wine barrels.

And then Blackbeard walked onto the scene, and everything got much, much better. I have this strange addiction to actual characters, and his arrival heralded the entrance of people who possessed real motivation, and y'know, facets. MULTIDIMENSIONAL CHARACTERS? SAY IT ISN"T SO! (And don't get your hopes up, I mean two facets. And in the case of Blackbeard, those facets are Evil and MoreEvil.)

I don't want to talk about the plot any more for fear of spoilers, but it was satisfying! Much more so than I had expected! I especially liked the use of redemption and faith as motivators. And yes, revenge, because this IS a movie about PIRATES after all.

Also there were deadly mermaids and ships in bottles and a missionary who was NOT especially lame (who knew it could be done!?!?) and Eeeevil pirates, not just the "all pirates are good pirates" BALDERDASH they were spouting in pirates 2 and 3. The fight scenes should not be why anyone thought it was a good idea to watch this movie. So there you have it! My $0.03!

I leave the country in 15 days. Please excuse me while I hyperventilate up the linings of my lungs.
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