11 February 2014 @ 08:12 pm
do not leave out the words
For someone used to world-building for fantasy novels, I have proven completely unprepared for the amount of story-building required by any kind of contemporary novel. I don't know why, but I seem to have been of the opinion that with a contemporary novel, I could just jump in and start writing. Not so much....

In lieu of a fantasy world, I have to design a Smalltown, USA. Instead of societal structure, I have to decide on a workplace and its culture. Friendships and romantic entanglements are just as necessary as they are in fantasy, and while most of my fantasy protagonists have only the slimmest of familial ties, a contemporary character requires a much more carefully crafted set of family relationships.

Just as with fantasy, these things inform and shape a protagonist and her story, and though I could just jump into the writing, I suspect the tale-telling will be significantly easier if I take some time to sort out the small, familiar world it will inhabit.
Love Song: Pete Yorn - Strange Condition
Prepare a Face: surprised
20 January 2014 @ 03:32 pm
for lissa
I did manage to avoid being trampled by Sev when I offered him Giant Pygmy Tufted Bluejay Griffin feathers, but it was a near thing. I'm not even sure whether his potions were at a stopping point, but one moment he was in the dungeons and the next he was in front of me, panting in a way I'm sure will embarrass him when he thinks back on it in a few weeks. Needless to say, convincing him to help me with a Day of the Killer Quizzes for Lissa was the work of a moment...though I do really believe part of the reason for that is that he admires you tremendously.

In any case, it took a little longer than either of us had anticipated to get these together for you: one of the parchments kept spontaneously bursting into flames and then setting all the other parchments aflame. Sev had to enchant a quill to duplicate the results on another scroll, and after that same bit of parchment insisted on exploding over and over, we decided another quiz might be in order.

Still, we are very sorry for the delay and hope the wait will be worth it. Shall we, Sev? ::glubbing and splash of liquid into glasses:: Ah, wine...excellent idea. Lissa first, I think, Sev. ::slide of glass on ceramic and muttering:: Uh...Lissa, I'm not sure exactly what he just said---some of it seemed to be in languages I've never heard before---but I'm pretty sure he just leveled a few creative curses in the direction of the store leaseholders. So while we're enjoying our wine and quizzes, we can hope that important pieces of their anatomy are shriveling up and/or falling off. ::dark cackling and crackle of parchment:: Indeed. To the quizzes.... )

And there you have it: some quizzes related to bookstores and favorite types of books and memories of Barnes & Noble. I know these won't make up for the loss, but Sev and I hope they offer a fun distraction, however short. We're thinking of you....
Prepare a Face: busy
Love Song: Geoffrey Oryema - Nomad
13 January 2014 @ 04:23 pm
i am but a stranger
This trying-to-get-published thing is a serious beat down. Criminy. I mean, it would help if I had any idea how exactly the juvenile nonfiction book I've written fits in the publishing world. I would classify it as folklore, but it's also reference and kind of history and sort of about animals. And when I visit likely seeming publishers' websites, their books don't really match up to the kind of book I've written. Do I submit anyway?

Or should I try going the agent route instead? On the one hand, that means my book's more likely to get published by a big-name publisher---or even a snazzy, art house-type imprint of a big-name publisher---which would be fantastic. On the other, submitting via agent is a lot of work to go through if this is the only nonfiction book I ever write. ...Unless I'm fortunate enough to find an agent who can handle shopping my work when I start trying to publish fantasy novels.

Then there's the book, itself. I have a vague sense of how I want it to look, but I can't decide whether it needs an introduction...or to be broken down into topical sections. And would those topical sections need an introduction? I would love to be able to collaborate with an editor on these sorts of issues, but I think I have to have the manuscript as close to perfect as I can get it upon submission. Good grief....
Prepare a Face: frustrated
Love Song: Elton John - Take Me to the Pilot
11 January 2014 @ 09:43 pm
ruminations on theatregoing
One of the best things to come out of the popularity of post-credit scenes---other than, of course, the post-credit scenes, themselves---is that so many of us now linger in the theatre after the film has ended. Even when we suspect that the movie we've just watched won't have a post-credit scene, we still sit and wait just in case.

And as we sit in the dark, watching the credits scroll and listening to the last unspooling threads of the soundtrack, the film lets us go. Or perhaps we let it go. We may be eager and hopeful for that last sliver of story, but even as we wait, the film settles into memory, the characters lose a little of their vividness, and the real world seeps in, easing us gently home after our time away.

When at last the credits end---and the screen resumes its cycle of advertisements and announcements---stepping out into the brightness of the lobby seems natural. A blinking out of daydream rather than the wrenching awake from deep, velvet sleep. We carry the stories with us rather than feeling as though we've left half ourselves behind in the stories.
Prepare a Face: contemplative
Love Song: Fleet Foxes - Mykonos
04 January 2014 @ 04:28 pm
year nine....
And so we arrive at nine years of livejournaling. (Nine years? Already?) Even though I've been rather quiet of late, I'm still so thankful for this sliver of virtual space. Happy birthday, my lj, and may you continue to be a peaceful, encouraging place for me to lament and laugh in the coming year.
23 December 2013 @ 01:16 am
I have been, upon occasion, flippant in my faith. Not in how I study it or how I live it, but in my understanding of its sacrifices, its sufferings. I have, for instance, thought to myself that I would die for a stranger, I would die so someone else can live. Which was not meant to diminsh Christ's sacrifice, but more to glorify myself in my own eyes. So perhaps "flippant" isn't the right word. Perhaps the right word is "prideful."

I have been, upon occasion, prideful in my faith.

As usually happens in such instances, life serves to humble me. To remind me of my arrogance, my foolishness, my utter lack of understanding.

Perhaps it *is* easy to die for a stranger. Perhaps a quick death and an even quicker ascension to the glories of heaven would be easy to tolerate for a stranger. And perhaps what Christ did in dying for all the world is nothing so simple, nothing so swift, nothing nearly so painless.

Perhaps what Christ did is more akin to finding out someone you love has relinquished his faith. Perhaps it's more akin to knowing that you can only talk about your faith in pale, inadequate words and hope and pray he listens to what cannot be said as well as what can. Perhaps it's imagining his failure to understand, to believe. And watching him stumble in the absence of that belief. And years of steadily estranging holidays (not because you fail to love him, but because each year he finds it more and more impossible to tolerate your casual mentions of your faith). And more years of aching at his wayward decisions and his anger and his hopelessness.

Perhaps what Christ did is more akin to years of feeling pain for all of that (pain made worse because you know he, too, is in pain), and willingly and gladly embracing that pain if only it might mean that someday he will return to that faith. Perhaps what Christ did is more akin to *that*.

And I can only be humbled at His willingness to bear that pain, to take it on in the hope of a single soul turning toward Him. Because I don't want to. I want this fixed, solved, immediately. (Wave a magic wand.) I don't want years of struggle and fear and pain.

And yet. And yet. Oh, God, if I must, if I must watch him falter and stumble for the rest of my life just so he comes to You in the fullness of time, I will. I will do my best to keep praying and hoping and loving him. But please help me? Help me stand strong and steadfast in the face of whatever may come.
31 October 2013 @ 12:05 am
anyone need a girl wednesday?
You know you may be failing at being a girl when it takes you 3 hours to paint your fingernails bright blue. Granted, I haven't had a lot of practice at painting my fingernails...wearing nail polish on my fingers makes my hands feel like they're suffocating...but even so. 3 hours? Really?

All in a good cause, though. For tomorrow---ahem, later today---I shall become that most excellent of women, Felicity Smoak, for Halloween. In all her bright-nailed, funky office-wear, eyeglasses-and-curly-ponytail, IT-Girl-Next-Door glory. I don't think I've been this excited about a Halloween costume in ages. Maybe ever.

If only I had an Oliver Queen to whom I could make awkward, unintentionally sexual pronouncements....
Prepare a Face: excited
Love Song: Of Monsters and Men - Dirty Paws
29 September 2013 @ 08:31 pm
record all the yearning
Most of the time, I'm okay with how solitary my life has become. It is, after all, my life, and it is filled with little joys and delights and with distractions and preoccupations. But every once in a while, I'll look up from its bustle and flow to recognize that it *is* solitary. Very, very solitary. And the loneliness in those moments is crushing.
Prepare a Face: lonely
Love Song: Beach Boys - Feel Flows
23 September 2013 @ 07:36 pm
but if it works...
It occurs to me that if things keep going the way they have been, pretty soon my entire beauty regimen will consist of things I keep in my fridge. Vinegar and green tea toners...cornmeal mush scrubs...milk and water moisturizers...and I'm not entirely convinced I couldn't also eat my face wash.

At this point, it's probably a very good thing that I'm the only one attempting to cook in my home. Otherwise, any unsuspecting roommates, family members, or friends could end up scarred for life.
Love Song: Jack White - Hypocritical Kiss
Prepare a Face: chipper
14 August 2013 @ 08:22 pm
it's my party, i'll meme if i want to party. Not really. (Though I did enjoy a lovely dinner.) But it is my birthday, and I'm in the mood for a meme. And what better meme could there be than a Bookshelf Scavenger Hunt? Better than cake! )
Prepare a Face: busy
Love Song: Alt-J - Taro