Monday, June 23, 2014

In Which I Bite the Bullet And Decide To Go To A Writer's Convention

You know how some people are introverts? They (we) aren't necessarily shy, or dislike people, it's just that being around a lot of people is very draining. I imagine most writers are introverts, but that assumption is not based on knowing a lot of writers :)

You know how conventions have a lot of people? And lines with lots of people? And conversations with lots of people that you don't know? And interactions with lots of people with a shared interest? And did I mention people?

Yeah, conventions are one of those things that nerd introverts have a love/hate relationship with. Lots of people=bad, shared interests=good.

There are lots of reasons that I've never gone to a convention, much less a writers convention. Some of the reasons are even valid :) But the real, deep down, never want to say out loud reason is that I'm a major introvert. 99% on the Myers-Briggs sorter. I'm not scared about what people will think of my writing (yet). I'm just socially awkward, have social anxiety and I'm an introvert, so I'm scared(ish) of the people. (Wow, doesn't that description just make you want to hang out with me? :) )

But I have finally bit the bullet and just paid for a convention. It's the Southern California Writers Conference, and I picked the "novel cram" track. I'm going to the one in Los Angeles (Newport Beach) on Sept 19 through 21. Lets face it, everyone there will have a deep love of one of my favorite things. And hanging out with people that love the same thing I do will be awesome!

So, if you're going to that convention, and you're feeling socially awkward, nervous, or too introvert for words, let's meet up! We'll be socially awkward, nervous and introverted together. Which, yeah, is an oxymoron, but could be fun :)

Monday, May 5, 2014

The Lizzie Bennet Diaries episode 78

Gigi Darcy is fully on board with Team "Dizzie". While Lizzie is shadowing Darcy's company "Pemberley Digital", Gigi orchestrates a meeting between Lizzie and Darcy. And by "orchestrates" I mean, she drags them into a room together and closes the door.

Darcy has come up to SF from LA for a board meeting. He knows that Lizzie is shadowing his company, and must either hope or dread the fact that they will undoubtedly run into each other. It's clear that Darcy has made an effort to be less selfish. He asks how she is and waits for her answer. He offers to drive her to a dinner meeting she has, but respects her refusal.

His hair is more casual than we've seen before, almost curly. Lizzie and Darcy are both wearing a dark blue. He's showing his emotions a bit more, and yes, there's the red tie. They also indicate their connection by saying the same thing at the same time, a couple of times.(Note to self, use that technique.)

While Lizzie is becoming more flexible in her thinking of Darcy, she's also uncomfortable with the things she's said about him in her past videos. This is going to be an issue for her for a while longer.

Friday, May 2, 2014

The Lizzie Bennet Diaries Episode 61

I'm analyzing the Lizzie Bennet Diaries for a couple of reasons. First, I've become obsessed with them :) Second, because my current WIP has a secondary story arc of a love story. While it doesn't have the "I hate you, I love you" emotion of Pride and Prejudice, I know that love stories are not my strongest skill, so I'm studying what I can.

 In Episode 61, Darcy returns to Lizzie after watching her online Diaries. His hair is a little softer, and he tips his head more often, instead of holding it completely upright as he did in the last episode. Instead of being angry about the "dozens of videos where she says not so nice things about him" he seems very slightly amused. But mostly, he wants to explain his actions, without apology. He wants to be understood, and so he writes her a letter which he asks Lizzie to read.

 I think this letter is where Lizzie starts to see the real Darcy. She doesn't instantly change her mind about him, she's still angry at the pain he caused Jane, but she has a slightly better understanding of Darcy. Like Lizzie, Darcy also loves and protects his family. It's never overtly stated, but we assume that his parents are dead and he has been Gigi's older brother and father for a number of years. If he's overbearing or overprotective, at least we can understand how becoming a "father" after a terrible loss shaped the person he became.

 Last episode, they were sharing the color red in their clothes. This episode, it's blue. And Darcy, for the first time, apologizes for some of his actions.

Thursday, May 1, 2014

Lizzie Bennet Diaries episode 60

A few weeks ago, I discovered "The Lizzie Bennet Diaries". For some reason, I thought they were a tv series. I love Pride and Prejudice, so I decided to see if the DVDs were available, which is when I discovered they were a YouTube series :)

There are some nuances that I see in this series, and I wanted to talk about them, so I turned back to my (long unused) blog :)

We don't even see/meet Darcy until episode 60. Until then, we only get Lizzie's opinions about him, with a dash of opinions from Jane, Charlotte, and Lydia. Lizzie believes him to be stuck up, arrogant, selfish, robotic, and, well, you get the idea.

In episode 60, Darcy declares his love for Lizzie. But the kind of love that Darcy has at this time, is a very selfish love. He doesn't think of Lizzie except how she's entirely inappropriate for him. Why do I think this? Because he's incredibly web savvy, (the CEO of his own digital company) and he has never once googled "Lizzie Darcy". When he walks in on her, she tries to make him leave, telling him this isn't a good time. He asks her if she's ok and she (obviously upset) says, "No". But he doesn't follow up on that. He doesn't express any interest in her feelings. He just wants to share his feelings.

There are many different kinds of love, and there are even different phases of love. Darcy has "selfish" love. His love of Lizzie only impacts him. He really doesn't care about her feelings. She tells him off and sends him packing.

Four things I see in this video.
Darcy is fairly robotic. He's an INTJ, he's nervous, and doing something new to him, and not doing it well. (I think Lizzie is INFJ.)
His hair is very precise, in keeping with the robot that Lizzie sees him as. (Did he comb it, just before he walked in to see her?)
He's wearing red. Unusual for a conservative business man (which is how he presents himself). Is this an unconscious reflection of Lizzie's red hair?
Lastly, the clothes that Lizzie and Darcy are wearing go together. They don't match, but they don't clash. I like to think that this is a symbolic hint that they "go together" more than Lizzie thinks they do.

The hair, the color red, and the clothes are symbols that I see repeated through the series.

Sunday, November 17, 2013

In Which I Beat Myself Up

In Stephen King's book "On Writing" he mentions a story about his son playing a musical instrument. The son was supposed to practice for 30 minutes a day, which he did. But he only practiced 30 minutes a day. Stephen King said he knew his son didn't have passion for that instrument, because he only did the bare minimum requirement.

I'm finding NaNoWriMo to be like that. I'm making my word count every day, but I'm only doing that. When I get caught up in a scene, I stop when I hit my word count for the day. I beat myself up over that. Maybe I don't have the dedication or passion to be a "real writer". Heck, do I even spend enough interest, passion, time on this to describe it as a hobby? When I have free time, do I think, "Oh yay, now I can go write something?" Or do I use that time for reading or watching tv.

Then, after I'm done beating myself up, I use a technique I learned a long time ago, to deal with that abusive critic that lives in most of our heads.

1. I'm using NaNoWriMo as a way to build a daily writing habit. Like rebuilding muscles after being ill for a long time. (Because depression does that to you.)
2. I've learned that stopping in the middle of the scene makes it that much easier to pick it up the next day. Thank you, NaNoWriMo!
3. Passion is hard for someone with depression to access. I count the fact that I'm writing at all, to be a success. Those feelings (like passion) will come back, as I continue to heal and improve.
4. I enjoy writing. I don't have to write for eight hours a day to prove that. The fact that I keep coming back to writing, that I think about it, even when I can't do it, or that I'm always writing scenes in my head, even if I don't always get them down on paper shows me that I do enjoy it.

So. Still working on NaNoWriMo. Still making my daily word count. Still enjoying the story I'm working on :)

Sunday, November 10, 2013

In Which I Am Still In NaNoWriMo

I'm still making my word count in NaNoWriMo. It helps that people are interested enough to ask if I made my word count for the day :)

Typo(s) of the day:
"He jumped up with an energy that denied his ears" (Of course, I meant "years" not "ears") and I keep typing "dead" when I mean to type "dad". It's a good thing Freud doesn't live here :)

Wednesday, November 6, 2013

In Which I Am Doing NaNoWriMo

Yes, I'm writing again! I've switched my depression meds from whatever it was to Wellbutrin. There wasn't a dramatic difference, but I did start having feelings again. Things that I didn't have the energy to care about, I started caring about again. So, word from the other side of darkness. If you are on meds, and you still don't care, talk about switching meds. I'm not recommending Wellbutrin, mind you. Everyone's depression is different and it may even be that different episodes are different. It's kind of a hit or miss thing to find the meds that will work for you.

But, I was still feeling fragile. I was afraid I didn't have my writing chops back yet. I was having a wonderful time on Pinterest, but that doesn't involve any writing. I knew NaNoWriMo was coming up, of course, who didn't. I've participated three times, but only won once. But that was for a novel that introduced me my troll character and got her her own book, ("Scratched").

And then NaNoWriMo sent an email from "my novel". "Please write me". I didn't even read the email, just the title was enough. On Oct 31, I decided to join NaNoWriMo again this year.

Today I hit my 10,000 word count, so I'm right on target. The story is flowing well (so far), though I'm having a terrible time not editing as I'm going. I keep telling myself, "Just get the words out. Fix them later." I really miss my writer's group and their feedback and insights.

I worry about Penny (my character in "Penny's Luck"). Is she too knowledgeable? Too naive? Is what she doing making internal sense for the character? Am I leaving Cal's deafness unrevealed for too long? Does it work? But then, I'm just enjoying the story. I like Penny. She's a teenager. She strong, she's smart, and she tries to take care of her dad too much.

But, it's day 6. I'm writing. I'm on track, and my son checks on my word count every day :)

Friday, May 10, 2013

Signs That Dylan Wants To Bite You

Three signs that Dylan wants to bite you:
1. Dylan is sitting on his chair.
2. Dylan is sticking out his tongue, looking cute.
3. Dylan is breathing.

Cure for face blindness?

I have face blindness. In many ways, it doesn't affect my day to day life, but I didn't become a teacher because of it. It has greatly affected my career choices. Now I've read that a team in Germany is working on a cure for prosopagnosia. So, is this something I need to "cure", or is it the way I am? If it involves brain surgery (couldn't tell from the article) is it something I'm willing to risk?

I'm using my feelings in my current WiP, with regards to a question about cochlear implants.

Writers are funny :)

Monday, February 27, 2012

In Which I Am Not A Zombie

I'm not a zombie, recently returned from the dead, even if I might feel like that some days :)

So, time for a brief catch up. Well, I can't think of anything, except I have a second son now. My son's best friend has moved in with us, and he fits in with this family as though he were born here. This works out especially well in the cat to human ratio. Before, the cats outnumbered us, now we're equal again.

The real reason I was gone?  I'd love to say that it was for a good reason. Or even a bad-but-interesting reason. Unfortunately, the fact is that I was dealing with a bout of major depression. In the words of The Blogess, "Depression is a lying bastard. Things will get better. I promise."

I'm on medication, which helps, and writing again, which helps even more. And I'm missing my writer community, which shows that I'm feeling a ton better. Depression (for me) feels like a weight that just flattens everything. I'm taking baby steps, rejoining the world again. So, in true tech fashion:

"Hello, world"

(Also, it just started hailing outside, which delights us all. Well, except for the cats.)