Archive for March, 2008

To Do

March 31, 2008

For today: Made a list of things I’ll be buying from Ikea to furnish my new place. Suddenly an actual possibility now that I don’t owe $1133 in taxes. Also, new workouts with Health & Wellness program at work started today! yay!

For tonight: another apartment showing!

And then: homework! My Econ and Marketing classes from Sinclair start today.

For Tues: catching up on all my novel writing

For Weds: Date #3!

Some weeks, I really love being busy.

Advertisements

The Benefits of Working for a Tax Company

March 31, 2008

I’ve done my taxes about four times, and went from getting back $900 to owing $1100. I had finally resigned myself to giving $1100 of next month’s book check to taxes when I finally gave up staring down the cold, hard tunnel of multiple State returns and brought it in to work to take advantage of my free tax prep benefit.

I went from owing $1133 on Federal to owing $107, I’m getting $8 back from the city of Dayton, $80 back from Ohio, and $2 back from Illinois.

This means I went from owing $1133 to owing, all told: $17

I’m never going back to doing my own taxes.

Today’s Song, Stuck on Repeat

March 31, 2008

“Coconut Skins” by Damien Rice
(this guy is lovely. See also here. Another of my favorites)

You can hold her hand
And show her how you cry
Explain to her your weakness
So she understands
And then roll over and die

You can brave decisions
Before you crumble up inside
Spend your time asking everyone else’s permission
Then run away and hide

Or you can sit on chimneys
Put some fire up your ass
No need to know what you’re doing or waiting for
But if anyone should ask
Tell them I’ve been licking coconut skins
And we’ve been hanging out
Tell them God just dropped by to forgive our sins
And relieve us our doubt
La la la la la la la…

Oh you can hold her eggs
But your basket has a hole
You can lie between her legs and go looking for
Tell her you’re searching for her soul
You can wait for ages
Watch your compost turn to coal
Time is contagious
Everybody’s getting old

So you can sit on chimneys
Put some fire up your ass
No need to know what you’re doing or looking for
But if anyone should ask
Tell them I’ve been cooking coconut skins
And we’ve been hanging out
Tell them God just dropped by to forgive our sins
And relieve us our doubt
La la la la la la la…

Resident Evil: Extinction

March 30, 2008

There’s no need to think at all during the course of this movie, and that’s a good thing, too, cause thinking would much diminish the experience.

Instead, the filmmakers have happily allowed the viewer to forget all that plot nonesenese alltogether by making Milla Jovovich JUST THAT KEWL:

There are zombies, and some kind of council, and clones, but it doesn’t really matter at all because, THERE IS MILLA JOVOVICH AND SHE IS JUST THAT KEWL!!!!!

No, look, there, Milla Jovovich kicking zombie ass!!!

OK, it needed more Jedi and less cloning, and, um, an actual plot and story BUT I DID NOT CARE. At least, not when I was watching it.

At some point, I turned to my date and said, “Someday I will be as cool as Milla Jovovich.”

OK, actually I said this about three times. Why he agreed to a third date, I do not know.

Maybe because someday I will BE AS COOL AS MILLA JOVOVICH!!!!!

And yes, this is exactly what the God’s War movie poster would so look like, only without the Las Vegas sign, and she’d be wearing a billowing burnous, and would be broader and buffer:

Also, the God’s War movie would have plot and character and no lame clones.

And somehow, against all odds, all comprehension NYX WOULD BE EVEN COOLER THAN MILLA JOVOVICH!!!

Hard to believe, I know.

The end.

Date

March 29, 2008

Well, I’ll definitely be seeing *him* again….

Pacing

March 28, 2008

I’m always curious to see how other people write books. Mainly because mine are always such a damn mess.

When I hit the 3/4 mark, I have to go back and hack apart all the pacing. It’s all about timing action scenes and shuffling POV scenes into the right order. Putting in additional POV scenes where necessary, adding foreshadowing elements. I like to do this right before the last quarter because if I’m prepared for it properly, the last quarter flows like a dream. But you have to get the pacing right first, and everybody’s plot threads, before you can tie them all up at the end.

Yeah, yeah: details.

And then there’s chapter length, varying sentence length (there’s a lot of rambling in this one. Cutting commas is going to be one of my biggest projects when I do the first pass of rewrites).

Books are like any other type of writing, on a grander scale. It’s putting everything in the right order, in just the right way, to produce just the right emotional effect in your readers. Marketing writing is like like. Technical writing is drier, but you’re still trying to take complex concepts and make them comprehensible to the greatest number of people possible.

And you do it in fiction, too. You organize it in a way that gets you the emotional reaction you desire. You want people to connect with your characters. You want them to care. You want to show them a complex but (mostly) comprehensible world.

And you do it all with letters and punctuation.

And pacing.

Fucking pacing.

Sex Change

March 28, 2008

The fact that the two primary folks who put Nyx back together again are men really bothers me.

So one of them will be getting a sex change. I mean, not within the book (though that certainly would be something interesting to explore in this weird body-swapping world… hm…), but an authorial one.

Sometimes I think what the difference is between feminist science fiction and everything else is just being aware of what you’re doing. I’ve got a lot of heavy cultural biases. I work hard at being aware of them when I’m building worlds, and seeing where they drive me off track. Not every world is like this one. I love reading about places where things are really different. Not just the gadgets, but *everything.* There’s so much we just automatically assume, stuff that doesn’t fit into the worlds we build. It’s the Martian husband reading the paper and the Martian wife serving him tea.

Come on. Really?

Stupid things, like the assumption of a nuclear family (yes, I defaulted to a couple of these, too), the assumption of a supporting cast and background characters that are 95% male (it was a struggle to reverse this for GW, but writing anything else would have been portraying a totally different world than the one I built), het love as the penultimate in intimacy (reeeeeeaally trying to break out of this one, but it’s hard), boys who move and shake the world while the girls hold their hands, one-way racism, and governments in total control (we like to think ours knows what it’s doing; most governments, though, are pretty incompetent).

Things are a lot more messy (and a lot more interesting) than all that in the worlds I’m building (and, in fact, in real world; the world as assumed is much duller than the real thing). And yes, it’s a pain in the ass to go back and fix it when you screw something up.

But the world is better for it.

My Own Ineptitude Sometimes Baffles Me

March 28, 2008

I’m applying for an apartment. I need my old landlord’s phone number. Do I have her phone number? A copy of the lease? Why, no, why on earth would I have that information! Jenn handled all that!

Yeah.

This is why relying on other people to handle stuff explodes in my face. I tend to rend my personal relationships with an unforgivable sort of finality that bites both ways.

It’s why I’m so terrified of trusting people. If they don’t ruin it, I probably will. It’s probably one more reason I’m happy to be moving out now instead of a year from now so I can actually stay friends with Steph and the Old Man…

Sometimes I think the person I really don’t trust is myself.

Daytonism of the Week

March 28, 2008

Was at an apartment showing tonight, and the subject of Dayton and why I moved here and my job came up.

“I’m a copywriter,” I explained. “It’s really great, I love it. I write all of our brochure copy, promotional stuff, web copy, that sort of thing.”

“Oh, you’re kidding!” the bubbly leasing agent exclaimed. She was a couple of years younger than me, plump and pretty, with a daughter in daycare. I was kind of surprised at how much she seemed to appreciate what I did.

“That’s really wonderful!” she went on. “I’m writing a children’s book, and I’m trying to figure out how to copyright it. It’s so great to meet a copy-righter!”

No, I didn’t correct her. I neatly changed the subject.

All of my roommate’s stories about people here are true.

Finally Caught Up

March 26, 2008

Finally on schedule again. I’m going to go collapse now.