Friday, August 31, 2012

In Process: August, 2012



First Draft

“Fairfax”. Around 115K, approaching climax. 

I also have a couple of scraps of planning for this year's NaNoWriMo novel, and a lot of notes for various short stories I'd like to have time to do. More on that next month. 

Editing

The editing was going really slowly, so I took an idea from music – leave the instrument out. I’ve probably mentioned before, my oboe teacher told me to practice 10 minutes per day. If you take the instrument out every day, you’re bound to practice more than 10 minutes some of those days (or quit because you really do hate it). Anyway, so I left my editing project open to the page I’m at on my work table, just to see what would happen. 

Lo and behold, I would sit down with 45 spare minutes and mark up 20 pages or so, and stop when I got to a hard bit, and then come back and that hard bit would suddenly have a solution the next day, or a couple of days later. 

Next problem was data-entering those markups. 

My life is overly regimented, I think. Too much structured. But for the markups, I used that structure to my advantage. On Monday and Thursday, I don’t have to do yoga because it’s been done already, so I don’t turn on my computer and then turn it off to do yoga (or forget to do yoga, and then wind up doing it at 12:15 am which sucks) and then turn it on again to read the whole internet. So, Monday and Thursday when I get home from activities, I do the online editing. 

For this draft, it’s worked really well. Things that are too large to data enter properly I add to my task list – rewriting chapters and scenes, etc. 



Knitting


“Bome” (night garden) fair isle cardigan. I just attached the sleeves.  
 Spatterdash wristwarmers done.
Wine and Roses mitts done.
Biohazard (pullover) designed by me! Four inches of body, maybe?
 

Tuesday, August 07, 2012

looking for a new thing to suck at

Sometimes it's fun to have something to suck at. You know, when you're striving so hard to be good at your job, and karate, and parenting and stuff, it's pleasant to be absolute crap at something and not care. But at a certain point, if you keep doing something, it behooves you to develop an amount of competency.

To this end, after 15 years, I have learned how to use the brake on my rollerblades on small-to-moderate hills.

Thursday, August 02, 2012

In process -- July 2012


First Draft


“Fairfax”. Around 110K, approaching climax. For a few days there I was having a really rough time, but things are moving again now. I may have to put in a few marathon days if I'm going to finish before November, but we'll see. 



Editing

(That which I don't talk about). Yes. 

 “Apophis”. I seem to have entered a strange cycle with this story, where I rewrite it and then put it away for a month or three, and then rewrite it again. I did that this month, again.

 

Circulating

2 things. The same two things. To the same two places. So I didn’t send anything out.

Knitting

“Bome” (night garden) fair isle cardigan. I just divided for the neck.
 Rhombus socks. Second one finished.
Button Up Socks. Second one finished.
Outside socks. Both done. I used entirely leftover yarn for these, so I pretty much can’t be unhappy. These will be great with leggings in the fall and winter. Inserting the zippers was a nightmare.
Spatterdash wristwarmers. First done.


At least the knitting went well last month. 

Wednesday, August 01, 2012

What I read - July, 2012


“Goliath” by Scott Westerfield. The boy got it for Christmas. Ed read it after he did. I read it after this giant stack of other books. I had no trouble reading 100 pages of this at a single sitting. It was not a slog. I would pick it up to fill ten minutes while my tuna melt was melting, and have to drag myself away to eat. This really nicely wrapped up the series and the ending was satisfying. Plus, pictures!

“The Pattern Scars” by Caitlin Sweet. Her name had been on my to-read list since I saw her on a panel at Ad Astra 2010. Then there was this CBC voting thing where I voted for this book a whole bunch of times. So, at Ad Astra 2012, I bought a copy of this (from Matt Moore actually who was manning the Chizine table) in order to legitimize that vote. Not really sure if I would have picked it up otherwise. I really knew nothing about it, I’m sure I read the back and the web synopsis, but I didn’t have much of a sense of plot before I started reading.

So glad I did. This book was one to stay up past my bedtime to finish. The setting wasn’t euro-centric, the main character, Nola, was trapped and yet had agency. She had unlikeable traits, and yet her naivete at the beginning was charming. The bad guy was complex and I could sort of see how he went that way, with the flashbacks in the form of stories he told Nola. Her path sort of explains his path. Though I couldn’t get the motivations of some of the minor characters, but maybe that’s because I read so fast. The ending was heartbreaking, yet right. I liked the short sections within chapters, it made the book very easy to pick up and put down while I was cooking and stuff. Maybe I’ll try that in my next long project (probably NaNoWriMo at this rate).

“The Undead” by Dick Teresi. Honestly, the ridiculous collection of one-star reviews on Amazon only made this book seem more appealing, especially since a lot of them seemed to have not read the book or ever reviewed anything else.

So I picked it up at the library and in order to plan my life, I flipped to the  back to see how long it was and found myself in the endnotes. So entertaining! Whole email threads! Before I started reading I was thinking this book was going to be one I would want to argue with the author about. You know, kind of like he’s the obnoxious devil’s advocate type.

Well, if he is, then he’s the sort of devil’s advocate I like. His sense of humor was dark and appropriate to the subject matter, making fun of people like Richard Dawkins, rather than the dead people. I’ve signed the organ donation portion of my driver’s license and I don’t mind this all, but it is interesting, the relative values we’re putting on some people’s lives over others. He raised important questions, ones that need addressing. Disturbing, but entertaining. I laughed out loud!

“7th Sigma” by Stephen Gould. This one the boy got for Christmas. He put off reading it for a long time, maybe because he didn’t know anything about it. Then one day he handed it to me and said “This is a good one. You should really read this one.” As if all those other books he’s handed me were merely adequate.

This book is more episodic than I expected, but the episodes held together. The world is well-conceived and well-explained. I am going to have to take some parts apart a bit, because he’s targeting a similar audience to my zombie novel, and I want to see how he works the martial arts, the terminology especially. The writing is so rich in detail!