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baseless claims

sleepy, asleep
I did write a story for the writing course I had this semester, and submitted it to the teachers for their reading pleasure. It's great that I'm finally finishing things; it's bad that I'm still finishing things only when it comes to deadlines and grade point averages. I'm actually quite happy with this story though. With only one bite of my lip, I can say I'm almost back up to the standard I was at when I was writing one or two stories per month. Or at least, it totally kicks the crap out of the story I entered in the local Young Writer's competition last year. That piece was ... embarrassing.

Skills rust. Rapidly.

Right now, I'm in the middle of doing an essay on the metaphorical (and occasionally literal) vanishing of the foreigner in Australian literature. It's bloody difficult. *struggles* And it's also already overdue, and accruing a penalty of -2 marks per day. But at the same time, it's pretty fascinating, and perhaps after this gets written, and I get through my paper on tragic literature, I'll do a quick post on the subject.

In other news, I've won the first four Malazan books (by Steven Erikson) from Graeme's Fantasy Book Review. Yay! I hardly ever win anything. In fact, this is the first time I've actually won anything major at all besides confetti and cheer-up drinks at parties. I've been meaning to read Erikson for ages, and only the fact that it was 8 books long and counting, and the thought of what it would do to my schedule, put me off. Now: no excuse. Fantastic!

Sing it loud, sing it clear

sleepy, asleep
I'm in a great mood tonight. Life is fantastic and frolics about.

Definitely part of my positive frame of mind (which is also even energetic, despite the intense ache in my arms and various other parts of my body that were involved in crazy strenuous rock climbing hobbying yesterday) can be attributed to The Hush Sound. Specifically, their third album, Goodbye Blues. It's probably the first album I've been so enthusiastic about since ... since ... well, ever. I'm a picky listener. The top 40, most of the pop rock nowadays, just doesn't appeal to me anymore, and seems tired and lacking. The Hush Sound, on the other hand, is consistently, entirely, replayably awesome; Goodbye Blues seems to channel more of the jazz and swing elements that I loved in their previous album, Like Vines. Heck, the first track "Intro" is practically cabaret. Fantastic!

*pauses to sing along with Greta in "Molasses" ... "Sing it loud, sing it clear!"

That and also getting back my last two essay/assignments in great shape, despite having done the bulk of them the night before the submission deadline. So looks like my luck is still up - and while it's up, and so's my mood, I'll be working on my short story draft. That's the slipping-reality/house one I brought up in my last post; need a draft by next Thursday. Hopefully I can get a tolerable draft done without encountering any horrific mindblocks.

And got to stay away from the IF. The IF! I spent last weekend finishing zarf's Delightful Wallpaper and Infocom's Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy - both of them great. zarf's done better pieces, although this one is already topnotch stuff, and the writing is beautifully descriptive, with an entertainingly unique PC-bias added. Might do a couple of reviews later, and also maybe on Orson Scott Card's Ender's Game, since I finally got round to reading it. In a few words: exciting, dark fun.

long time no ... post?

sleepy, asleep
I thought since I'm doing a writing course this semester, I might as well come back to lj and try to track my stories as they go from gestation to completion... provided I actually do write, that is. Because curse my cold little fingers (it's approaching winter here), I'm so very easily distracted.

The good (bad? I'm never sure when it comes to deadlines) thing is that I have a story pitch on Thursday, in class. Basically I have to come with a 300 word sketch of an idea for a story on paper, and present it to the rest of the class, informally, and then we all discuss and try to improve aspects of the idea. Sounds good; better, in fact, when I consider that I actually have devoted a portion of the weekend to pondering ideas. (I was going to use the word "brainstorm", but there wasn't any of the frenzy normally associated with storms. I was being typically placid. Meaning I was being typically procrastinatory, and spent all day on 2 pages of notes.)

So it's something like that. It sounds an awful lot like something a pimply teenager might write, having just discovered the wonders of SF. *wince*

It occurs to me that the very pet name I gave it, "Variations on a Theme", would be an interesting idea to work with all by itself. HHHHHHmmmmmm.

"You pigs, you. You goof like pigs, is all."

sleepy, asleep
Since willpower didn't translate to action this month, I'm not closing this lj til next year's NaNoWriMo. Instead, it'll serve as a sort of passive reminder that I should be writing, at least a post about the day's activities or something, anything that at least uses grammar and a bit of punctuation.

A friend and I are toying around with following our fairly recent push into reading sf (science fiction and fantasy both) with a blog. We'll post a review of each book we read as we go along, along with some structure of what book we'll be reading next - we were originally planning to stick to only the Hugo, Nebula and World Fantasy Awards, but not all the bestest and brilliantest of the genre won those awards, and there are the more ambiguous books that everyone gets hesitant over classifying as sf. Considering my epic boredom this early into my term holidays, I should get this set up. Also considering how much I've read already. I calculate that by the end of the year I should have another 10 books under my belt, but then again I've run out of paperbacks, e-books are no fun, and I don't wear belts.

The last book I read was The Dispossessed. I'd initially read half of it earlier on this year, but essays got in the way, and it's not an overnight kind of read. And yet, when I finished it earlier today, I decided it deserved a permanent place on my favourites list. It doesn't have the electric, high-tension quality of the stereotypical sf novel - it lacks the sense of wonder some expect their sf to have. It's even heavy, ponderous, thoughtful and thought-provoking; lots of long prose sections, but in this case, it fit the novel's themes and the protagonist's nature very well, and besides, compared to what I've read this year, it was a light spring breeze of a read. Other than that, it comes as close to perfection as I'd ever imagine of a genre so (undeservingly) ignored as sf. It has a message to convey. It is stunningly simple. Connect one point, to another point. One ideal, to another ideal. Poor, and rich. Classism, and anarchy. Male, and female. Child, and adult. Past, and future; and present.


not that i'm giving up yet, mind.

sleepy, asleep
I'm not! I'm not!

Nov. 24th, 2007

haunted, medieval, renaissance, oldschool

So I suppose I'm not winning NaNoWriMo this round. A pity. Exams, essays, and all the myriad things one has to do when one comes back home after a year's absence really do get in the way, although I'll readily admit that if I had channelled most of my free time into writing, I could probably have achieved the 50k word deadline easily, with time to edit. (...especially considering how little sleep I can live on.) ...At least I got a leetle bit more done than Zhian.

I am in awe. The Stars My Destination has immediately and irreversibly landed onto my list of annual rereads.

word count going up, author going home.

So I'm going home.

But this is a NaNoWriMo blog. So...
I'm planning to spend almost all of my 7 hour flight from Brisbane to Singapore writing, considering how little time I'll have for it in the next few days. Things get hectic from tomorrow. Mostly because I've been doing my procrastinating thing. Now I've got to pack and clear up my room for a long departure tomorrow, call Centrelink to let them know I'm going out of the country on Friday and won't be back til February, and arguably most importantly, I need to go out and buy gifts for those who need ém. Birthday presents, hello presents, I love you presents. And then Thursday will be muggarific day when I read my brains out for Friday. A weighty task. I have 2 entire novels to read and 2 more to recap on. I think I'll be doing the Loki act again.

I've got enough words for now to persuade myself that I can, when determined, write pretty fast. 3000 words a day, and that's not spending the entire day on it, mind. In the last two days I managed to read Christopher Priest's The Prestige.

l'écorce elfique!

sleepy, asleep

The odd title only because I want to. Mehehehe.
Actually, I stumbled across a French discussion board of Robin Hobb's books and its thread discussing the differences between the original series in English and the French version, including a comparison of the names involved. The list of names is particularly relevant in Hobb, I think - Chivalry, Shrewd, Nettle, Patience, Modesty, and even Tilth and Buckkeep. A very interesting thread. Trés bien. Anyway, some of the ones I recall offhand: FitzChivalry Farseer = Fitz Chevalerie Loinvoyant; Nighteyes = (naturally) Oein de Nuit; Chade = Umbre (which confirms how Chade was meant to be pronounced, if you didn't accept the Fool's pun on shade/Chade and son/sun as evidence); and elfbark was l'écorce elfique.

I love that smiley. /random

Now I'm assuming what you're really here for is Nanowrific material. I'm still writing at this very moment; have hit 6397 but I'm already tired, so if I get sleepy and decide to quit while I'm still sleepy (you know how you go off to bed only to realise in the process of logging off, posting word counts and etcetera, you've woken up again? Gah. Precisely) take that as my word count for the day.

As usual - happy noveling!


blessed is she who praiseth loki...

hope, dream
Loki and the Crooked Warden, Father of Necessary Pretexts © Scott Lynch. I was in need of some luck, after all - walking into an exam on 6 books, half of which I'd only skimmed through and 1 of which I hadn't read altogether, kinda needs some buttressing in case of rather hard falls. And I didn't fall that badly, only stumbled over Yeats and Auden a little, and ran up against uncompromising Time. Curse that guy.

Time to handle overdue essay. Then it's back to fooling.

Again, luck with your writing.

sleep debt, sleep debt, seelp dbte...gwuh?

sleepy, asleep
exam in 5 hours time. essay overdue, huge sleep debt. shall have to bid a temporary farewell to nanowrimo, until this saturday. much love, best of luck writing.