28 March 2009

Drowning

OK, so it's been a while since I last posted. But we are drowning here. Drowing in more ways than one. Drowning in life due to soccer, school events, and life events (we have a family wedding this weekend, so everyone's in town and wants to visit). Drowing in resposibilities at the Evil Day Job, which is getting perpetually stranger every single day...

Oh, yes. And it's raining.

It's been raining all week. We're supposed to have "possibly severe thunderstorms" today (so the wedding won't be outside this afternoon; poor sister-in-law-to-be :( And actually, we get a break from drowning in soccer today, since the fields are closed, which is good since because of the wedding we'd have been running around like crazy all day. This way we're only running around like crazy half the day....)

I don't even want to talk about school - my school - and the test I have tomorrow and how I haven't even read the chapter yet, let alone done any studying...

Writing, needless to say, isn't even on the damn list anymore.

I mean, story-related things occur to me here and there throughout the day and many times throughout the nights that I'm spending half of awake because I can't stop thinking, worrying and otherwise stressing about everything else. But I'm too exhausted and disheartened to bother even jotting them down any more.

So poor Caleb the Supernatural Bank Robber and Pollo the Dragon-Seeker Pirate are on perpetual hold for now. Maybe permanent hold. I don't know. Maybe I'll try again when my class is over in May. But for now, I'm sick of failing to finish anything. I'm sick of the dread in the pit of my stomach I get every time I think about actually working on a story. I'm sick of everything I read about the writing process making me feel totally inadequate. I'm sick of feeling like I've never had an original idea in my life.

It sucks to be a quitter, and I know that, but something has to give and for the moment, it looks like it's going to be writing.

*theatrical sigh*

Well. Off to study for that test, then...

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14 March 2009

Watchmen

So The Husband and I got to go on one of our very rare movie dates this afternoon and picked Watchmen. Yaay for the small miracle of movie dates!

Almost 30 bucks and 3 hours later, I'm still sort of shell shocked. It was violent. It was graphic. It was gory. It had waaay too many flashbacks and moved waaay slower than I would normally tolerate and yet I've come away from it thinking it was great.

I'm struggling to put my finger on why.

I mean, normally any movie that moves that slow has me yawning, bored and pissed off that I just spent 30 bucks to be bored halfway through and hoping it will end. Watchmen somehow eluded this fate.

I think there are a number of reasons for this. For one thing, there was a giant, blue man walking around totally naked for most of the movie. Two thumbs, way up! ;-D

Seriously, though...

The characters had enough depth to keep me interested. Maybe not as much as I usually like, but there were interesting internal conflicts going on. There were interesting inter-personal conflicts as well -- not to mention the sometimes brutal action going on in the main story line (slow as it was at times).

I had the who of who-dun-it figured out early, which should have ticked me off, but the way it ended left me OK with that. Not your typical Hollywood wrap-up, for sure. So that was good too.

There was also a lot of superheros kicking butt, which I always like a lot. And there was superhero humor and sex and betrayal and - my favorite - an antihero.

I don't know. I'm still struggling with why I wasn't unhappy with it, and the last half was definitely better than the first half, but it was worth the money. Go see it!

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The Grindstone

So a few weeks back a Big Editing Company notified me that they wanted to hire me as a freelance editor, but didn't want me to edit in the field where I actually have editing experience -- they wanted me to edit in the field I have a degree in, even though I haven't done THING ONE in that field for 14 years. I didn't know what to tell them because I was so irritated with their lack of respect for the actual work that I DO and their apparent faith in a piece of paper given to me by my undergraduate university so long ago that it is now lost in the mists of time.

So I did what came natually: I ignored them.

Yesterday they emailed me back, ever so politely requesting that I send them the other stuff they need for me to start editing for them and again suggesting that I edit in that other field.

Perhaps they're hard up for editors in that particular field. I don't know, I don't really care, and my inclination is to ignore them again. However.

Drollerie Press had this great celebration of ebook week and were giving away two free ebooks a day. It was awesome and exciting and now I have a bunch of great ebooks I can't wait to read. But I also missed a bunch, because I wasn't fast enough on the clicker, and so I decided to just outright buy some of those plus few others I've been meaning to pick up, and now.... well, now I have a habit to support.

And the extra income from the freelance work would certainly help support the habit, so.... I'm still annoyed with the Big Editing Company, but now I'm also reconsidering their offer.

In other words, I'm gonna whore myself for books.

I guess there are worse things in life, right?

(Oh, and if the folks at Drollerie Press were hoping that pushing ebooks by giving away free samples would help boost sales, well.... it worked! At least for me and anyone else I can convince to go check them out. :D )

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11 March 2009

Giving Up Writing.

Or: Maybe Not.

So I decided last night that I was done. After reading so many good books lately while occasionally glancing at my growing pile of pathetic, feeble - and entirely unfinished - attempts at writing, I just gave up.

"Fuck writing," I said. "I'm all done. I'll just read from now on. And edit. And maybe review some stuff."

As I left the house at 6 AM this morning, I was resigned to just driving. No more plotting on the commute. No more conversations with my characters during the inevitable stop 'n' go near Trinity Lane. No more feeding Dorothy the Muse with my new favorite song while going 80 in the slow lane. Just no more.

Dorothy apparently took offense at this decision and smacked me upside the head continuously the whole way to work with all kinds of things I've been stonewalled on for the past several weeks. Figures.

I'm not sure what I'm going to do with it yet. I may just ignore it and go ahead with the plan to take up something that involves less blood-letting. Like boxing, maybe....

But damned if Dorothy didn't make Caleb all freakin' interesting...

Crap. Crap on a stick, in fact.

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eBooks: A Rant

So Fictionwise - and it's little brother eReader.com - have been acquired by B&N apparently. I've been an eReader.com customer for ... well, a really, really long time. For me, the initial draw to ebooks was based on 1) convenience (lots of books available all the time, all in my purse on an itty-bitty reading device), 2) ease of storage (ebooks take up no physical space - a good thing in a small house), and 3) PRICE.

PRICE was the big one (that's why it's in caps, heh-heh). Ebooks, back in the day, were cheaper than regular books (paperbacks or hardcover). The people who produced ebooks seemed to understand that since they aren't having to cover the cost of paper, printing, shipping, storage, etc., it ultimately costs them less to produce an ebook and hey, why not pass that savings on to readers. OK, yes, sure - they have to maintain servers and websites and such, but these days, most booksellers have to do that anyway.

The price has gone up over the years, but I don't mind paying 7 or 8 bucks for an ebook. That's about the same as a paperback these days, and let's face it: the economy sucks and ebook producers have to feed their kids too, so I don't mind doing my part. :) And honestly, the convenience and storage features are worth it, so the $7-8 range seems quite reasonable.

So imagine the sticker shock I experienced when I clicked on a link to an interesting ebook in my newsletter from eReader.com and discovered that the fucking thing is $25!!! WHAT?!?? I just sat there blinking at my screen thinking, "You're fucking kidding, right? That's, like, a typo, right? That's the price of a hardcover! I'm seeing things, yes?"

But, no. I was not seeing things. That was the actual price, and folks, that is fucking ridiculous.

Now I understand that a hardcover book costs more to produce than a paperback, and for certain books, I'm not only willing but happy to pay it. But I'm sorry, but I see no reason for an ebook "equivalent" to a hardcover -- other than the greed of the booksellers. OK, if they want to make a bit extra by charging double the cost of a paperback, let's say $15 or $16, for a new release, I'd pay that much (and have) for an ebook that I really don't want to wait for. But I draw the line at paying over three times the cost of a paperback. That's just highway robbery, plain and simple.

Besides that, I'm seriously doubting that authors see anything extra when their ebooks get priced this high. The poor author of the ebook I was interested in unfortunately isn't going to be seeing ANYTHING from me, because I refuse to participate in the greedfest. Bummer. It sounded really interesting too.

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05 March 2009

How Come...

... every time I HAVE time to write, I find a 1001 other things to do instead

and

... every time I'm up to my eyeballs in everything else, all I want to do is write?

Why is that, huh?

02 March 2009

Rambling

I really have nothing to say, but I haven't been writing-writing much lately, since I'm deep in the thinking part of Think Sideways and/or otherwise occupying the brain with kids, food, laundry (and more laundry!), other people's writing, and various body parts (anatomy & physiology, people! heads out of gutters, please...), so my fingers are itchy and I'm here to scratch them, I guess.

Anyway, I spent the entire weekend unplugged. I never even took my laptop out of the backpack I use to haul it to and from work-work. It was kind of nice. I got to sit in different chairs (our wireless router died 2 years ago and we haven't replaced it yet, so being online means being chained to my desk with a little blue cable...).

I got to read One for the Money by Janet Evanovitch. Never read anything by her and it was GREAT! Especially as a study in characterization. Seriously. I think it was some part of Joely's Character Clinic that mentioned if you can remove all the dialoge tags and still know who's talking, you've done a good job at characterization. Well, Janet E. has got that DOWN and it was cool to actually notice for the first time that I had read a whole page of dialoge with NO "he-said's" or "she-said's" at all and never once got confused about who was talking. Wow! Very educational. And entertaining, of course. Stephanie Plum rocks!

I also finished reading Inkheart by Cornelia Funke, and it's great, too. A bit slow, maybe in the middle, but I didn't mind. The characters, the twists, and the general awesomeness of imagination made up for the slowness in spades. Can't wait to read the other two in the series and now I can allow myself to see the movie! (I never, ever, if I can help it, see a movie based on a book before reading the book nor do I ever, ever read a book based on a movie. Not sure why in either case. I just don't.)

Guess that's all. :D Off to work-work!

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