chanaleh: Snoopy at the typewriter, pondering (snoopywriter)
For those who wanted to see my complete Hawaii travelogue from last month, it is now up! It's public, but I posted it backdated for archival purposes, so it won't show up in your friendslist; you have to click through to your choice of entries: LJ | DW

But no, I still haven't sat down and started noodling around with the ukulele. :-)
chanaleh: Muffin the Vampire Baker: "It's him, Muffin! You have to protect him at all costs!" "I'M ON IT!" (i'm on it!)
10 goals from 2012 ( cf. original list: LJ | DW )
A mixed bag, but overall, progress was made. )

10+ additional achievements of 2012:
It was actually a good and stabilizing year for me, despite the ongoing crises in the world at large. )
11. ... And, oh yeah, turned 40 and had an awesome celebration to mark it.

10 goals for 2013:
Some that build on last year's, and some new ones. )

Wishing all of us a year of physical health, emotional growth, and spiritual abundance.

NaNoWriMo update

Wednesday, November 28th, 2012 08:14 am
chanaleh: (Default)
Yeah, well, so. I pulled together a bunch of old material in the first few days of November, did a bunch of timeline research for the year(s) I intend to set the story, and started framing out an outline of scenes. But I got lazy/complacent/"busy" after that, and haven't done much more since. excuses, excuses ) In short, I didn't commit very hard to actually making the time for this in the month of November, and it shows.

Returning to my resolutions goals for 2012 ( LJ | DW ), I was actually rather amused to see that I had listed "Complete a draft of a novel" as the 10th goal. (Of the overall list, four have achieved successful completion, two show essentially zero progress, and the other four have progress bars ranging from about 25% to 50%... or might by the end of the year. For now, I will leave the identifications as an exercise to the astute reader.)

Supposedly it's possible to "come up from behind" in the last week of November and still finish in time to "win" NaNoWriMo (by completing 50k words within the 30 days). I had good intentions (as usual) of putting in a great many hours over Thanksgiving, and that weekend I did finally sit down and do a couple hours -- once. But one session isn't going to get this story written. One session every single week, maybe. (In 30 weeks?)

I do feel like I've gotten enough of a foothold that I will push through and finish the draft. But at this point, I'm not setting the expectation that I will really get it done before the end of the year, at least until after the book project is safely at press. (Though, um, I also agreed to be the lead program designer for the Blue Hill Troupe's Mikado this spring. Which is a 120-page perfect-bound monstrosity. But I'm pretty excited to get to do it.)

So I think it's going on the goals list for 2013.

In the meantime, I have acquired some nice articles about the fiction-writing process, which have already been useful to varying degrees:

How To Write A Novel: 8 Essential Steps
http://www.more.com/member-voices/your-stories/how-write-novel-8-essential-steps

More "Writing Tips from Masters"
http://www.writingclasses.com/InformationPages/index.php/PageID/269

Target character and conflict with a handy checklist
http://www.writermag.com/en/Articles/2011/12/Target%20character%20and%20conflict%20with%20a%20handy%20checklist.aspx

NaNo...vember

Friday, November 2nd, 2012 10:42 pm
chanaleh: Henry VIII: "I'VE GOT 99 PROBLEMS, OF WHICH BITCHES DOTH COMPRISE 6" (bitches)
Huh. Interesting.

Yesterday morning, about 7 hours into the official span of NaNoWriMo, ergo obviously without yet having written a single word, I started noticing a flourishing backchannel of internal resistance.

The voices are fascinating, aren't they? )

So, really, I don't know. I think the next step is going to be pulling out the notes I have made over the years for the aforementioned various concepts and see which already is the farthest along, and see if that helps jump-start my motivation.

My other pet approach is normally to post an LJ poll ("Which of the following should I write this month?") -- but somehow even the idea of spelling out my four different premises for public consumption feels risky, and not like it would be much help in the end. :-}

... tl;dr Fear is the mind-killer. *sigh*

Fforde Every Stream

Tuesday, June 12th, 2012 11:15 pm
chanaleh: (tigerstudent)
I just finished reading The Eyre Affair. It's the first time I've read anything by Jasper Fforde. Why? Because Tiger Boy had a thing against him: a certain internalized rivalry, because he'd had a short story rejected on the grounds that it was "too much like Jasper Fforde" -- specifically the Nursery Crime series, because it was submitted right around the time The Big Over Easy came out, and in all fairness, it actually was (coincidentally) along similar lines, despite the fact that he'd written it well before. So he bore a grudge, and thus I never felt like I ought to read (much less enjoy) anything of Jasper Fforde, because it would be disloyal or something.

... Right. That particular bridge being well washed out, I finally took this one out of the library.

And what do you know, I quite liked it. It's lacking something in terms of absolute brilliance, but it struck a lightness of tone that is in fact in the vein of something I have recently started pondering writing -- a kind of alternate-universe urban-fantasy cleverness, occasionally precious, but not taking itself so seriously that that poses a problem. And the climactic scene literally gave me both chills and grins by turns, which is always a good sign.

But it helps to be really, really well acquainted with Jane Eyre. Probably Shakespeare, too. And a smattering of Lake District poetry for good measure. -- Geez, why did it take me so long to pick this up again?
chanaleh: (breathe)
Oh LJ, I am so behind on you. (Writing, that is. I do manage to stay reasonably current on reading, or at least skimming.)

I have so much that I've been thinking of writing about, and I haven't even gotten as far as finishing my Arisia recap from mid-January. When I do finish it, I will post it backdated, because this is just getting ridiculous, but I'll post a pointer for anyone who cares.

I did finally manage to post a friendslocked (filtered, sorry) entry yesterday morning, and have more forthcoming, hopefully.

I had off work today (in addition to the coming Monday holiday), which I must say was delightful. Got my hair cut, had a marvelous breakfast date with [livejournal.com profile] justom at Community Food & Juice (where I'd never yet been), puttered around a little in the Columbia neighborhood. Came home, reorganized the linen closet (!), and puttered around online. Didn't quite get the work done I meant to, but there's always Sunday. And I did accomplish a bunch of self-management meta-work (financial and otherwise).

Oh, and baked pareve brownies to take to Shabbat dinner very shortly. :-) Shabbat shalom, y'all.
chanaleh: (crow's nest)
Pro tip: Crossposting from Dreamwidth requires different syntax for LJ user links. But it works, it works!

Anyway.


Ten achievements of 2011: 2011 was the year I... )

Ten goals for 2012:

1. Finally replace the Treo 680 with an Android phone
It's coming to be necessary for my professional cred as a web/social media maven.

2. Go contra dancing at least once per calendar month
This represents a sixfold increase over 2011, when I went a total of twice.

3. Establish a habit of walking home from work at least once a week
When I was unemployed on vacation for 2 months, I was walking miles every day and it was great.

4. Implement new website for Ramaz
A professional goal, not a personal one, but then the professional is personal, as they say.

5. Host a Shabbat dinner
With lots of singing. In NYC. Who wants to come?

6. Take (and post) more pictures
Documenting my experience of the city. You see things differently with a camera in your hand.

7. Get net worth up over $100,000
90% of this is locked up in retirement savings, as it should be, but still. It's reachable.

8. Join the Frontstage side of the Blue Hill Troupe
Hoping that next year's shows will be of more interest to me than Utopia. We'll find out this spring!

9. Establish a partnership with the shared goal of having a family
Let's acknowledge that there are lots of possible (and many mutually exclusive) subgoals under this, the exact combination of which will vary highly depending on the chain of circumstances, so I'm not really ready to unpack all of them right now. But I'm naming the intention.

10. Complete a draft of a novel
In some ways this goal feels the farthest away... and reaches the farthest back, since I wanted to Be A Writer from the time I could hold a pencil.
chanaleh: (sleeping)
Things I should have been doing tonight:
* Revising my draft for this essay contest (needs to be submitted by Wednesday morning)
* Making food (I've barely dirtied a dish in this house in three or four weeks, except for coffee)
* Answering a whole lot of emails I've been stalling on, several of them related to pending freelance projects
* Sleeping, probably (been fighting an impending cold on and off for a week)
* Meditating to integrate the lessons of today (on which I'm not going to expound beyond the fact that they basically boil down to Chill The F**k Out)

Things I did instead:
* Laundry (okay, needful)
* Errands of various kinds (okay, also needful)
* Consumed previously-made food
* Refreshed Facebook etc. about 67 times (what this post calls "insecurity work", and which I kinda need to get a handle on, stat)

And, I mean, when tonight's class got cancelled I thought seriously for a while about going ice skating tonight, and I guess it's just as good I didn't do that, either. (Though I really, really intend to, and soon. Whether or not I can talk anyone else into coming.)

On the other hand, there is something remarkably soothing about folding your partner's laundry. T-shirts, socks, underwear. All the stuff of a week.

Thanksgiving notes, with particular gratitude to firstfrost )

And I didn't really get much writing done, but I did a little, at least, and a little reading too.

On which note, gonna go try to make actual progress for another half an hour, and then make good on that sleeping thing.
chanaleh: Snoopy at the typewriter, pondering (snoopywriter)
So, so tired, you guys. So tired. And I haven't been posting to LJ because somehow, in the past 2 weeks, I magically became one of those 21st-century creations known as a full-time Social Media Professional. Though you may have noticed that I'm now on Twitter and, if I must incriminate myself, Foursquare. :-} But, thus I spend a lot more time making micro-posts and sharing links (on both my own behalf and my employer's), but a lot less actually putting words through the keyboard.

I must say that this is partly due to the fact that we get lunch at my workplace, and it comes on these wide cafeteria trays that (no joke) make it difficult to type while eating lunch! Plus I'm doing some other journaling, offline, for a change. )

In terms of actual class assignments to turn in, I'm trying to write a short-short story (weekly assignments are 500 words) about the guitar lesson [livejournal.com profile] gremionis gave me after we had dinner last week. He said I clearly need a guitar. Maybe. :-)

Shabbat dinner invite tonight, which I'm looking forward to! Hoping to have some chill time this weekend (it doesn't seem to happen much, even now), and to catch up on sleep (ditto).
chanaleh: Snoopy at the typewriter, pondering (snoopywriter)
This has stuck with me since [livejournal.com profile] tallou shared it to Facebook about 2 weeks ago:
“Nobody tells this to people who are beginners, I wish someone told me. All of us who do creative work, we get into it because we have good taste. But there is this gap. For the first couple years you make stuff, it’s just not that good. It’s trying to be good, it has potential, but it’s not. But your taste, the thing that got you into the game, is still killer. And your taste is why your work disappoints you. A lot of people never get past this phase, they quit. Most people I know who do interesting, creative work went through years of this. We know our work doesn’t have this special thing that we want it to have. We all go through this. And if you are just starting out or you are still in this phase, you gotta know it's normal, and the most important thing you can do is do a lot of work. Put yourself on a deadline so that every week you will finish one story. It is only by going through a volume of work that you will close that gap, and your work will be as good as your ambitions. And I took longer to figure out how to do this than anyone I’ve ever met. It’s gonna take awhile. It’s normal to take awhile. You’ve just gotta fight your way through.”
― Ira Glass
From this video segment: http://youtu.be/BI23U7U2aUY
Nicely typeset here, if you can access it: https://fbcdn-sphotos-a.akamaihd.net/hphotos-ak-ash4/293156_10150290719459626_795709625_7387707_7099296_n.jpg

That said, I think I might sign up for a writing class. Yes, I know you don't need to pay someone to jump-start your writing process, but I feel like some structured guidance would help me at this point in my creative life, and that's worth investing in.

No news on any other fronts at present. Just lots of emotional Sturm und Drang whose mere reflection is by turns producing in me black despair, blank exhaustion, marble resignation, and red-raging fury. (Perhaps instead I am meant to take up painting, or sculpture.) My assigned part in this drama seems to consist mostly of waiting it out to see where I am at the end. Please send healing vibes, if you have them. And maybe cookies, kthx.

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