amberite_archive: (Default)
While finishing up the process of this year's med school application, I've somehow become firmly resolved to attend a Clarion workshop.

The knowledge that this is what I want to do snuck up on me. the same way I decided to get my tattoo, the way I decided to go to China. Some decisions, I ponder and go back and forth and think about for a long time; others... I don't even know my backbrain is running the algorithm until it dings and pops up a "Decided!" notification box.

I've longed to do one since I first heard of them (at fourteen) but it's never seemed remotely realistic or feasible, and nor has it seemed necessary. But people graduate those things with a sense of mutual motivation and drive, and while I've muddled along for years making writing happen almost despite myself, I know that once I hit med school I will no longer be able to take the long and winding road to productivity. I need a new work ethic.

And the next few summers represent my last chance to go this route. The summer after first year of medical school is formally known as "the last summer vacation of your life", and if I don't get in this cycle (which would make Summer '13 my last) I'm going to do a bunch of things that make it likelier to get in next cycle (making it 2014.)

Which gives me two or three years to have a shot at getting into a Clarion workshop, to cement my dedication to writing even as I fling myself madly into something larger than anything I've done before.

I guess it's one of several ways in which my lifestyle follows polyamorous patterns. If you're committing to a new partner, do something to make things work more solidly with existing partners... and that's as valid an aphorism on the purpose/activity front as on the personal front.

Now, to the novelmobile!
amberite_archive: (nowhere) dearer to me than any of the ones I've finished, though not dearer than the ones I've left unfinished, and I think that's why it's so hard to make it come out - the whole thing hangs in my head, too momentous for me to zoom in on enough detail to sit my ass down and write a !#@$#@$ scene.

But I must.

In between being able to write the scenes, I scrawl scraps of knowledge in my journals and listen to songs over and over that tell pieces of the story.

One of them is "Come a Time" by ThouShaltNot:

When the sky turns black and the floodplains crack and you cannot look away
Because on every side is the unstoppable tide in motion from the very first day
Will you fall down with your knees to the ground in the hopes that you will be spared
From whatever the wrath that may lie in the path of those whose convictions dared?
And when you're called to serve, will you have the nerve to do all that you know is wrong
Just to save your skin no matter which side wins, just to know that you were there all along?
Is it better to reign in a world of pain than to serve a cause divine?
We'll see who you are underneath darkened stars, there will come a time

And where does evil lie, in the heart, in the eye, is it a guest without a host?
And does your mind concede to what your body needs, to what a silent hunger craves most?
And bending word to the limb, falling out, giving in, will you see all that Earth would conceal
Below the melting land and underneath the desert sand? Is the desperate voice inside you even real?
And is it true when you stare into the sun you can see the insides of sight itself?
Is there a way to speak but not say so you'll know if words come from you or something else?

Something about this song captures the intensity I'm trying to channel into a book.

I know I can write a novel - I've done it before - but I question myself as to whether I can write this one. I need the strength to go NOW/HERE, again and again, and to bring things back whole to HERE/NOW. And to not get lost along the way.

Mostly, right now, I get little pieces of it, out of order.
amberite_archive: (chaos) going to be an un-ironic space opera with elves.

Mission statement: stop falling all over myself trying to do something "new and different"; instead wallow around in the glorious, wacky cliches I love and try to do them better.
amberite_archive: (master bullshit)
So I have been attempting to read the first few Anita Blake books. You know, the ones purportedly before Hamilton fired her editor. I've been doing this so that I can be up on canon for the purposes of a roleplaying game.

I made it through the first, and a small part of the second. Then, today, while doing some editing in connexion with that piece of news in that recent entry of mine (I just wanted to say 'connexion', kthx) I noticed. That my prose style. Was turning into. Inane sentence fragments. And overly simplistic language.

FUCK! Infected.

At least. I hadn't reached. The repetitive redundancy. You know, where things repeat themselves. Like the overly simplistic language. In the prose style.

See, normally I can balance out stylistic influences by reading more text, but there is just not so much text here in China. And most prose styles I dislike are, well, not so sticky. It's something about the rhythm, in this case, that gets into my head like a bad pop song.

The most irritating part of this whole problem is that I may end up reading more of these books anyway just because I have them, and like I said, books are hard to come by here, and there's a point at which bad is better than none. But I'll need to deliberately saturate my brain with Shakespeare before and after in order to purge the creeping badness.


Apr. 20th, 2008 10:39 pm
amberite_archive: (lovelovelove)
It's hard to place loneliness sometimes. I had a lot of stuff to get done today, but managed only a small part of it, and I should be in bed but I'm not.

Everything is going great except for the part where I'm here, and you're not.

It's this human response like staring over the horizon to see if the bus is coming -- even when you know the exact time it'll arrive, and that it isn't now.

The counter on my homepage says: 44 more days.

Something to look forward to tomorrow, though: I get to print, sign, scan and email off a certain contract.

And then set forward into my life with this in mind.
amberite_archive: (gallifreyan text 1)
If you have any questions/concerns about orphan works, please visit the sagacious Maradydd. As a writer who's been following the saga of copyright law for about eight years, I'll say this post is solid. Another friend of mine who commented in agreement there is actually in law school.

I'm only adding all these reassurances because I *know* writers and artists can get twitchy about their babies -- I've heard too many stories of newbies refusing to send their work to publishers because they think the publishers will steal it! It's an emotional reaction, and it's one that rumor-mongers will prey on. So take care, and arm yourself with knowledge.
amberite_archive: (nowhere)
(Cutely bad Latin, I'm sure.)

I love my computer, but it will never replace pen and paper for me as a first-draft tool. In fact, the more experienced I get as a writer, the more pen and paper has replaced my computer when writing first drafts.


Because I can't surf, play video games, or otherwise totally derail myself with a ballpoint pen and a sheet of printer paper.

(Same goes for a typewriter, but they're heavier.)

This is made especially funny by the fact that what I just wrote by these archaic means is an on-spec short fiction piece for a transhumanist game.

Hey, whatever works...

(I note that, conversely, all manual methods of writing are downright useless for putting together a second or third draft. What's more, I find the pace of my writing improves vastly when I write the first draft on paper and then type it in, because inputting from paper forces me to go over it note for note and work out any redundancies or glosses.)
amberite_archive: (future life)
I haven't sent out writing in a year, other than revis of my novel to the person who's looking at it. I have a fair pile of perfectly good writing that needs sent. I just got depressed and... got out of the habit.

So, trying to get myself back into the habit, I need a concrete "special treat" I can give myself every time I get a rejection.

It's got to be something I don't just do anyway, something that's cheap or free (because I'm talking about selling poems here, they barely buy a coffee when they do sell) and properly reward-like. It can be a Portland thing, as I'm coming home in two months.

The only idea I've thought of so far is to buy some gift cards, say for a local cafe, and store them away, and go out for a coffee when I get a rejection.

Anyone got a suggestion?
amberite_archive: (cosmonaut milk)
Another 1000-worder is up. For the moment, FULL. If you already approached me about a story but didn't send for it yet, send away. Other than that, I will re-open after I finish all of these.

Which if I maintain the current rate of writing will take two or three days, so watch this space.

You guys are awesome. And also, awesome.
amberite_archive: (run for your life!)
...has me googling things like "pictures of weird teratomas."

It won't be that bad, though. I promise!

To a person with initials L.R., I still need your prompt and what name you would like the dedication in.

Oh, and anyone who wants to be added to the f'list to get into the locked posts, please comment here.

Proceeding apace.
amberite_archive: (nowhere)
You know the last scene of the plotty bits of my novel, the one I've been trying to fucking finish for over two weeks now?

Of course you don't, since I've been trying to avoid complaining about it, as I would then have to stick my fingers in my ears -- I'm very, VERY selective about my input when writing.

But yeah. That scene. The one where I know what happens but when I've sat down to write it, I've totally frozen up, not because of the scene but because I always freeze up around finishing things?


Drink a 24 oz Lagunitas Undercover, then take the last bus to the all-night Starbucks downtown and guzzle coffee and write until the first bus in the morning = FTW.

The most commonplace drugs are good 'hammers'. Not much finesse, but when one is just trying to smash through a screen of anxiety and mental static, they rock the house. Now I can get some paperwork in order, buy my ticket, run around mailing things, get some materials ready for the last residency and my presentation on 'Daemonology' (I'll explain later), and relax.


May. 16th, 2007 01:35 pm
amberite_archive: (chaos)
This, via [ profile] jonquil, looks like a case of pay-to-print gone awry.

Oh, yeah. Vantage Press. Like shooting fish in a barrel.


May. 7th, 2007 05:32 am
amberite_archive: (chaos)
I am in San Francisco, meeting the person who wrote this story.

It has many of my themes in it - like whoa ow. She has many of my themes also, which is why I'm still up at six in the morning for the first time in ages. The story is one of the most fantastic, amazing, Lovecraft-language-dream-sense-gasm things I've ever read.

Linguistics people and weird fiction readers: please, please go to.

(Edit: this is [ profile] maradydd's work. It was six o'clock Still Up time and I couldn't bring myself to risk mangling the Welsh spelling.)


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