Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Open Dump

I've been at this stage a few times before, looking at empty blogger text box. Trying to fill it with something a little worthwhile. Theoretically, I have quite a big of blogger fodder. I went to Connecticut with my sister a couple weeks ago, was in Syracuse this past weekend for a wedding (be nice and I might share the photo of me in the dress), and have been on more than a few sightseeing cruises at work when it's just me and the boys. Including the boy who has, to quote the first thought in my head when I saw him, Ralurick's ice blue eyes. Holy. Hot. Damn. Including the guy that I spent quite a bit of time with the summer before I went to college. And had a sightseeing cruise last night to more or less sit in my own head space.

It's dangerous for me to sit my head space, by myself, for too long. It makes me think. About everything.

The good and the bad people. The right and the ridiculous. And the people.

I think what's been happening is that I've got a fair amount in my head, but no real time to sit down and think through it all. Well, maybe that's wrong. Maybe I've got the time, but I don't want to sit down and go through it, because it might hurt. I have a high threshold for physical pain but this....this is different. Much different.

People in general don't like to admit they're human. We don't like to admit that we have faults, and issues, and that, at times, we might be good on the outside, but not so lovely on the inside. I am over the moon happy for my best friend - she's in a relationship with an amazing guy (I met him; he came to visit her at campus) and that's something that she needs, and the time is right for her. She's knitting herself back together, slowly. Summer's are hard for us, because we're not so close to each other, geographically. One of us can't just find the other if we have a bad day. Or if we're frustrated with life in general. I'm very glad that she has him, that she decided to give something like this a chance. On the other side of that is this little part inside of me - call it selfish, call it what you want - that is undeniably reminded that there is no such person of that nature for me. Reminds me of my loneliness.

I'm going to be honest. I get lonely.

I know there are bigger things than this. There's the oil spill, world hunger, and serious disease. Those are much bigger than some girl and her lonely heart.

But I'm that girl. And that's my lonely heart.

Let me give you an example. Last month was May. Prom season. All the girls going out to find their dresses, and their dates finding their tuxes. Prom pictures appear on Facebook shortly afterward. One of my good friends that I haven't seen since winter break posted some old pictures, including one of the two of us at prom. Which, as you can guess, brought some things up.

I don't have any prom pictures posted on Facebook. Actually, I don't look at my prom photos. Most of them, from junior year, are in a white BonTon box on the bookshelf in the living room, and when I have the look through the box for something, I try to avoid looking at them. They make me think. They make remember. They make me hurt. I'm not at the point where I can look at them, look back with a smile, and say something witty - possibly charming - about that time. About that boy. Not possible for me right now. I don't know when it's going to be possible. Heather assured me that one day, it would be. That day is not today. Nor is it tomorrow. Nor is it in some future that I can name. It hurts too much.

Suck it up, buttercup. They're just pictures. It's just a boy. Just a dance. I'm not going to suck it up. But I'm not going to forget it, either. It's going in a proverbial box, and one day, I'll deal with it. One day. One day that's not today. When I'm ready.

What I'm ready for now? For people on Inkpop to get their heads out of their self-absorbed asses. Little harsh? No. Not harsh enough? Possibly. One thing that majorly annoys me (other than my work is way, way down behind a bunch of pre-teens who still have issues mastering grammar, spelling, and punctuation) is the amount of celebrity and recognizable photos used in their project covers. I completely understand that you want something unique to yourself and your story, but really? There are copyright laws, people! Don't matter if you're not making money off of it. Really? You can't come up with something better, can't find something generic or take a picture yourself to put up there!? Hell, the project cover for Murphy and Me is this really God-awful picture of myself that Josie took while we were sledding after dark in February. It's white-washed, my mouth is open, and it's just ridiculous. Which makes it perfect for Murphy and Me, because that's more or less Ollie.

I sometimes wonder if people actually understand what they're reading. Really. And, honestly, if the phrase is "the backbone is back in her eyes" of course there must be a literal backbone in her eye, right? Right? That's completely logical and complies with the human body. Where on this Earth did you get your freakin' education? And talking about a friend being cash-strapped (which this bright person used twice in the same sentence) doesn't mean that they both go to college. I'm a subtle writer. I'm going to tell you as much as you need to know, no more, no less, and you need to pay attention to the details because they will, most likely, make a reappearance in a far more important setting. And do not give me suggestions on one of my characters and her health when she's been dead for at least three years!!! The main character knows this! It's why she has the job that she has! And don't you dare tell me that my italicized words are gimmicks.

Why don't I throw in some pictures to go with your request for shorter, "easy-to-read" paragraphs, while I'm at it. Would you like the phonetic sounds at the bottom of the page, too?

What honestly pissed me off, especially with Sage, was the suggestion to cut an entire chapter because it didn't do anything to move the story forward. I'm going to say this again. As a writer, I'm going to tell you what you need to know to understand the characters, the setting, and the story. I don't tell you anything you don't need to know, and those details that you skim over? Well, when you hit something later on that you don't understand, that's one of those details that you skimmed coming back to bit you in the ass. I hope it has sharp teeth.

Is it perfect? Hell no. There needs to be some tweaking, some fixing in places, and I need write more. It's only at about 30,000 words, if that. It's got a ways to go, and quite frankly I'm at the point where I'm waiting for it to come around again in my head. Which is natural with me. I have to wait for them to cycle around. The novel, not so much, because that's been such a big force sitting in my head for such a long time, that plays constantly. Am I saying that it's perfect as it is? No, it's not. Am I going to cut whole chunks and chapters at a time? No. That's not how I operate. That's not how I edit, and I don't like to do that unless something needs to be totally rewritten, and even then, there's usually a bit of the original remaining in it.

And why, for the love of everything good and right, would you tell me that people only see the first and last letter of a word, and therefore, change the name of one of my main characters? You. Are. Out. Of. Your. Freaking. Mind.

Ahem. On the subject of head hopping - shifting point of view. I shift point of view. That's one of the reasons that I like third person omniscient so much, and use it for most everything that I write (except Murphy, because that would have been odd and awkward, and it works better in first). That and you need to have better command over your prose, your plot, and your characters when using it, which is something that first person allows you to cheat with. You don't have to be overly good at characterization when writing in first, because you're only with one character. Third gives you so much more options and allows you to look at different characters through different lenses in different situations. It's more difficult, more time consuming, and requires more brain power to pull it off correctly. It requires more weaving in the story, and allows you to use irony, and keep secrets between some characters and the readers. It heightens anticipation. And for things like sneak attacks - you can make them sneak attacks on both the main character and the audience, or you can clue the audience in ahead of time, and just have a sneak attack on a main character. There are options. It's not limiting. And it's not head hopping. You're not getting secondary reactions from anyone this way, you're seeing everything fresh. Unless you choose not to. I don't have to limit myself and my point of view. That's the beauty of third person omniscient. It's like a shifting camera focus. Another camera view in a movie. Be a bit of a boring movie if they had the same camera angle on the same actor all movie, right? You'd never see anything else as it happened to another actor/character. Be a bit boring, right?

And not my fault the the two-year-old that I'm around has a bigger vocabulary and better language skills than the ones you're around. Which has helped, creating the childhood versions of my characters in the prologue.

Quite frighteningly, I feel a hell of a lot more relaxed. And calm. More even.

And I found a decent cover of B.o.B's "Airplanes" on YouTube, which I've been listening to on repeat while I've been writing this.

Okay, so writing isn't the best word to go with this. Let's try ranting, instead.

But seriously, I do feel better. And I just might - just might - have made my return to the blogosphere. Hooyah.

No comments:

"The difference between life and the movies is that a script has to make sense, and life doesn't."

-Joseph L. Mankiewicz