shaken & stirred

welcome to my martini glass


The browser Safari rocks, except for the fact it doesn't currently support blogger. Small things, though; and that's why everyone must continue to keep the Microsoft browser on board, despite the wish to not. Huh. Corporate overload, there?

Today, very productive. Wrote over a 1,000 words on a new story, which I'm quite happy with. I'd done a little sketchy first draft of it last week, which is being thrown out and used as world information only. Last night, after we got back from our movie and pizza, I sat in the comfy chair in my new office and made lots of notes. Outlines are miraculous things for keeping going. That sentence is remarkably awkward, but clear enough I think. Charles Edward Pogue, who posts a lot over at the Wordplay forums (hands down the best writing discussion site on the net, but more focused on screenwriting), has some interesting things to say about outlining whenever the subject comes up at WP. I'm resistant to it, mostly, but almost always end up doing it. His point, or one of them, is that with an outline it's easier to go off the path if the opportunity presents itself, and absolutely easier to get back on if you've taken a detour that turns out to be wrong. To me, the most useful point of outlining, is that you have to think a lot about story and the world and the characters and you as a matter of course discard most of the ideas that come quick and easy to you. It forces you to stretch, and to surprise yourself. Dunno. Thoughts? Outlining, pro or con?

A note here, is that I've found most rabid anti-outliners actually do outlines, they just don't call them outlines. You can write a whole story, and it still be an outline, just an outline done the Really Hard Way.

Boy, did I not mean to go off on this tangent. Anyway, the new story is a zombie story, of a sort. And then, I had a bath, and read some of The Quick and the Dead by Joy Williams (which is absolutely amazing and hilarious), then did a little work on the rewrite of Voices. The first 33 pages are complete-amundo and rewritten and workshopped. Yippee. I might make the early Nicholl deadline of April 1 after all.

Oh, Affinity, by the way, was one of those books that tries to make itself into a different book at the end, with a twist, but fails because the other story just isn't there. Just wasn't included in what came before. Still a very moody and rich piece, but ultimately, unsatisfying for lots of reasons, but mostly the fact that the ending is a cheat. This is one of those times I'm really glad I can return the book to the library, without having plunked down a dime for it. Sarah Waters is a fine writer though. I highly recommend Tipping the Velvet.

About Schmidt is wonderful and damn near pitch perfect. So many wonderful and charming little touches here, and a pervasive sense of sadness they have the guts to carry straight to the end. Jack Nicholson plays his own antithesis and does it with beautiful understatement. I don't want to talk to much about this, because you should go see it pretty much clean. I will say, though, that I wish people would stop making tacky jokes about Kathy Bates being nude. Kathy Bates rocks, and she should be commended for her commitment to the scene, not mocked for being, um, something besides a size 2 Botox queen. That said, I did have a dream last night where I was wearing her body. It wasn't unpleasant at all.

It was warmer here yesterday, warm enough for us to take George on a walk after dark. I hope the cold is gone, gone, gone for a long while.

Now we are off to a funeral home visitation for the girl one of my grandfathers might have married, if he hadn't fallen for my grandmother instead. The world being as small as it is, especially in Jackson County, she's my sister-in-law's grandmother with the lovely name of Ruby. She's been sick for a long time, and so in a lot ways I imagine people will be feeling relief that she's no longer suffering. I wonder why it feels like a wrong thing to type that, when it's true.


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