katiefoolery: (Sleep now)
A few things occurred to me earlier this morning.

1. LiveJournal is blocked at work.
2. Dreamwidth is not.
3. Dreamwidth allows you to cross-post to LJ.

And thus, a use for my DW account was born! Assuming this works and isn't thwarted in some way by my devious work deviously deviating my devious plan of deviousness.

Other things that likewise occurred to me this morning (listed in random order of importance): IT'S FRIDAY; I don't like it when people just sit there and watch me; semi-colons (when used well) are beautiful things; my hair looks kinda cute; a crumpet with peanut butter truly is the breakfast of champions... or at least, people with good taste and a toaster.

A final thing that occurred to me recently is that I'd like my journal to be neater or more consistent or cohesive or better co-ordinated with its curtains or something. A quick glance over my most recent entries reveals that they've been about vlogging, LorF, vlogging, a bit more LorF and then some extra vlogging added in at no extra cost. Which, I'll grant you, is consistent, if nothing else.

But I'd like to expand it into other concepts such as, oh, I don't know, writing?

(Speaking of which: I've actually been engaging in said activity of stringing words together into sentences! Amazing, but true. At this rate, I'll have achieved at least ten percent of my GYWO target by the end of the year...)

I'm due to write an essay on breaking the rules of grammar for [community profile] getyourwordsout this month, which will inevitably spill over into this journal. So it's entirely possible my next few entries will actually be about this whole writing process.

And breaking the rules thereof.

Which will inevitably involve running with scissors at some point.

However. I'd like to know what my flist would like to see. Would you like a chance to discuss writing in my journal? Would you like me to write informative pieces about it? Would you like to read more rants wherein I am driven to such insanity by writing/writers block/characters misbehaving/things going spectacularly wrong/etc. that I end up typing my entry by bashing my head repeatedly against the keyboard?

And if you read writers' blogs on a regular basis, what are your favourite elements of them? What keeps you reading? (And are there any you'd recommend to me?)

Ah well, the bell has tolled: back to work for me.
katiefoolery: (Touch me)
I think I'm in love with my computer. Is that wrong? I mean, sure, I've been quite fond of computers in the past, despite their tendency to be incredibly irritating and/or stop working entirely. And I do like my netbook quite a lot, mostly due to its smallness, cuteness and general state of shininess.

But I think I've fallen in love with my notebook.

Maybe it's because I've always had a desktop computer as my main machine. It's rather difficult to fall in love with one of those: they're giant, they get in the way and they're damned noisy. Whereas, there's my HP, with its pretteh swirly cover, its shiny screen, its generously-sized keyboard and its relative lack of noise. Not to mention its remote control. I won't go in to how excited I was to discover the remote lets me control whatever music programme I happen to be using at the time, not just Windows Media Centre.

And I subsequently won't go in to the fact that I was excited about this despite being fully aware of the fact that I usually won't need to use said remote, because I'll be sitting right in front of my computer while I'm playing music on it.

But you never know. Maybe, one day, I'll need to use that remote and it will be so convenient when that day arrives. Provided I've remembered to keep the remote with me, rather than leaving it slotted in its housing in the computer.

EVEN SO.

I'm not alone in this laptop-love, though, am I? There must be other people out there who adore their computers and fret about them if they ever have to be sent away. Yes? Yes? Tell me yes.


P.S. I wrote more words! And I have many more stuck in my head which shall be extracted tonight, assuming I don't get distracted by the shininess that is my computer. :D
katiefoolery: (fivedotnerds)
Yes, it's that time again when I force you all to watch as I make an idiot out of myself on the internets. Huzzah! And I make even more of an idiot of myself this time, because this is my punishment video. Said punishment was dictated by [livejournal.com profile] theemdash, [livejournal.com profile] sopdetly and [livejournal.com profile] katilara for the very modest crime of going over the four minute time limit by the tiniest little bit.

One minute and forty-six seconds is the tiniest little bit in my book.

Also, I thought it was more of a guideline than a rule, but there you go. We are not pirates, we are fivedotnerds.

My punishment consisted of three parts: firstly, I had to spend the main part of my vlog facing in the wrong direction; secondly, I was required to provide a dramatic re-enactment of my national anthem; and finally, I was to finish off by providing everyone with pictures of Australian animals.

It was kinda fun, actually. Don't tell anyone. :D And here it is...



I wasn't the only one being punished, though - [livejournal.com profile] surferartchick suffered as well. Watch as she proves to us that she's not a couch here.

I'm still after questions about writing, too. Anything from how to decide how long your paragraphs should be to how to format dialogue. Anything. I have all this knowledge in my head and I figure it's time I started sharing it before my brain explodes or something.
katiefoolery: (Grimmy has no words)
Is it just me, or is this week going incredibly slooooooooowly?

I still can't believe that yesterday was only Tuesday. It feels like I've done at least six days' worth of work already, so why is it still only Wednesday? Surely it should be some time next week by now.

Also, I just wrote "work of work", instead of "worth of work". Work is working over my work!

And on top of this slowness, I have a complete inability to work (gah, that word again!) out which day it is. I thought Monday was Tuesday. And I thought the fourth was Thursday, when it's actually today. I have no idea how I'm managing to stay organised throughout all of this... but I am! For instance, I already have my vlog recorded, edited and ready to go.

Before I go (back to work), I have a question. Well, it's more of a request for help, really. One of the problems with my writing at the moment is that a major character in my story remains nameless. It's... a slight difficulty. So I was hoping my lovely flist might be able to help me out with some suggestions. He's an old-ish, Winston Churchill-ish type figure and he needs a name. If you could tell me what sort of names you think would fit that type of character, you will earn my eternal gratitude. And I might even eat some double-coat tim tams in your honour.

:D

Additionally, I'd love to know how other writers come up with names for their characters. Do they just come to you, or do you have tips for working out the perfect name?

As for me, I have to return to my long, sloooow week... but I'll be seeing you all tomorrow for Thursnesday and my vlog.

Space

Jan. 14th, 2009 02:29 pm
katiefoolery: (Girl writing in cap)
Please let me introduce you all to my new workspace, viz:

My Workspace


Yes, it is a) outside, b) sharing space with a spade and broom, and c) awesome. And that lovely little EeePC there answers the question of whether I switched my laptop for a netbook quite nicely. I haven't regretted that for a minute - it's even been inadvertently useful for my vlogging, due to its possessing a (completely rubbish) webcam. My intention was to buy an Acer Aspire One... but the ten inch screen of the EeePC kept calling to me, telling me how... big it was.

Well, ten inches is big when compared with eight point nine...

What innuendo?

I like being outside. I like having my own space. I like being able to sit there in that incredibly ugly yet unbelievably comfortable chair and think.

Oh, and write, maybe.

And I definitely like the bit where I receive an excellent wireless signal from my router. That's important.

I feel as though I can write out there - as though I have enough space to be creative. It's a different story inside, where I'm sharing space with noise and televisions and people. Which I don't really mind, per se, but that environment doesn't seem to be very conducive to creativity. Sometimes, I wish I were able to write anywhere, but it turns out I can be incredibly picky about my surroundings.

So, before I go off to work on my next vlog, I'm going to ask you all a question: Can you write anywhere? Do you have a place where your writing just seems to flow effortlessly? Conversely, are there places where you just can't write, no matter how hard you try?

Yes, one question in three parts.

brb, vlogging

:D
katiefoolery: (Default)
So I've been thinking about this whole Great LJ Disaster and how the Russian Bear Is Sacking Everyone and soon the whole thing will be run by a small chicken with a Microsoft certification and an uncanny ability to peck exactly the wrong keys at exactly the wrong time.

Obviously, I'm unsure what I'd do without LJ. I mean, I'm guessing we'd all get together and discuss an exit strategy so we end up somewhere else... but would it be the same? I'm just so accustomed to LJ being there, even when I'm not. Even when I abandon it for months on end and then come sidling back in through a side door whilst pretending I never left. LJ practically is the internet for me.

These thoughts inevitably lead to the whole backing-up phenomenon and I began to wonder if I should follow suit.

And I decided that no. No, I won't. Thanks for asking, but I'm good.

Even though I made this decision myself, I was a little surprised by it. "But..." I asked myself, "what about all of those memories? What about all of those lovely comments? What about all the fun you had playing with words in some of your posts?"

To which, I replied: "What about them?"

Don't get me wrong - I've loved these years on LJ and I have some great memories to cherish... but it's all in the past. It's happened; it was savoured... and now I'm moving on. I'm more interested in what's going to happen, in the people I'm going to meet or get to know better, in the memories I'm going to make in the future.

And I think that's emblematic of my entire approach to 2009. 2009 is about possibilities. 2009 is about letting go of the old me and seeing what I can actually do if I stop living with the expectation of failure instead of the anticipation of success. 2009 is all about "what if" instead of "that'll never happen".

All in all, I'd say I'm doing pretty well so far. But what about all of you? How is your new year going? Has your mindset changed? Are your resolutions on track? And have you backed up your LJ yet? :D
katiefoolery: (Just waiting)
I made a playlist of music to have going in the background for the inspection at our house today.  There could be something wrong with me.

But that brings me to a point: are we the only country in the world where real estate agents inspect rental properties?  Or are we just the only ones that completely trash our rentals whilst letting out the other half to fifty illegal immigrants, thus requiring someone to check on us like little children?  I’ve mentioned my inspection to two people in other countries recently and their reactions were identical.  “Inspection?  Huh?”

Why us?  Why me??  I am half-inflined to mention this fact to the real estate agent when she arrives (most likely about an hour after the stated time).

And because I’m curious about it, here’s a poll:

[Poll #951261]
katiefoolery: (WTF is that?)
The way I see it, the online world of writing operates on a rather basic system of karma.  At its most simplistic level, it looks a little like this:

posting fanfic for others to read = exceptionally good karma
leaving a review = good karma
reading but not reviewing = bad karma

Like I said: simple but karmic.

Before I was sucked into the shiny, shiny world of LiveJournal, I spent a great deal of time at FictionPress.  It was at FP that I first met some amazing people and was also introduced to this most basic rule of online writing: if you want people to read your stories, then you must first read theirs.  And leave a review.  A meaningful review.  Too often, I (along with many others) was the recipient of a review somewhat along these lines:

Great story!  Plz R&R!

In FP.com-speak, this meant:

Hi!  I didn’t read your story but I’m just leaving a token review so that you’ll feel obliged to come and read one of my stories in return!

Suffice to say, I never left a review like that myself, mostly because I’ve always believed in that whole “doing unto others” concept.  Therefore, if I wanted to receive helpful and meaningful reviews, then I had to give some first.  It seemed quite logical and straightforward to me.

When I started reading fanfic, I applied a similar principle to the whole process.  Since any fanfic I’ve ever written is either a) now under a friends lock, b) hidden away on my computer, or, c) hidden away in my indecipherable hand-writing in my notebook, the only way I can acculumate positive karma is by leaving reviews for the fic I read.  I consider it payment, really.  Somebody has gone to all the effort of writing a story and posting it for me to read; how hard it is to thank them for doing so by leaving a reivew?

Answer: not hard at all.  Seriously.  Taking a couple of minutes out of your life to write down a simple review really isn’t that much of a trial.

I just so happened to be reading some fic today and was about to leave a comment when the following part of another person’s comment caught my eye:

its honestly very rare that i get the urge to comment on fanfics i read

And I just thought: how bloody rude.  How inconsiderate to receive enjoyment from reading fics people have worked hard on without even telling them so.  What makes this person so damn great that they can’t take two minutes out of their life to say something as simple as, “Great story - I enjoyed it”?

I have to get over extreme attacks of internet shyness to leave reviews sometimes.  Often, it takes me an age of dithering to write a review because I’m anguishing over my wording or desperately wanting not to come across as an idiot.  But I do it eventually.

But I’d be interested to know what you all think.  Do you review?  Or do you read and move on?  And what motivates you to do either?
katiefoolery: (Renji wasn't paying attention there)
I keep writing entries and then scrapping them in disgust.  Weirdly, I feel more like posting fiction on my LJ than actual entries.  Just beware of that in the future.

In other news: my laptop has been returned with a new, fully functional battery.

In even further news: am even more obsessed with Bleach than before.

In dream-related news, I fully blame [livejournal.com profile] linnet_101 and [livejournal.com profile] crazedturkey for the fact that I had a Stargate Atlantis themed dream this morning.  I don’t even watch the show! How can I have a dream about it?  So yes - ’tis their fault.

I’ve also been toying with the idea of creating a separate LJ account for my writing but I’m not sure if it’s worth it.  To those people on my friends list who have a separate writing account, what are the advantages?  Disadvantages?  Do you recommend it?
katiefoolery: (Just waiting)
I need new music.  I look at my iTunes library and I laugh - laugh! - at how unvaried it is.  At how I listen to the same songs over and over again until I tire of them.

The only problem is, I have no idea what sort of music I want to try and quite frankly, the thirty second sample the iTunes music store provides doesn’t help that much.  What if it’s the worst thirty seconds that song has to offer?  Or what if, conversely, it’s the only good bit and the rest is all rubbish?

So I was thinking about it last night (in between reading my flist, checking two messageboards, chatting on msn and collaborating on making icons and sig images...) and I decided that I need recommendations.  I’m really quite tragic when it comes to music.  I grew up with classical and I love it, but I stand on the borders of everything else and don’t know where to start. I need help!

Please, recommend me your favourite song.  It doesn’t matter who sings it or what genre it is.  Don’t worry about second guessing me and working out what you think I’ll like - I don’t even know what I’ll like until I try it.  :P  I need variety; I need to try new things and you’re the people to help me.  Pretty please?
katiefoolery: (Inspiration)
It’s funny the things you remember that you hadn’t realised you’d forgotten in the first place... It’s the mental equivalent of finding a long-lost photo of yourself doing something absolutely stupid which you’d successfully managed to forget until the curse of photography brought it rushing right back to you.

But I believe I’ve already wandered off on a tangent, so I’ll just come right back here.

Lately, I’ve taken to writing down scenes and snippets of story in my little black notebook while at work. During my breaks, that is. It’s doing wonders for my handwriting - I can actually read it now! Even DAYS after I’ve written it. In the past, it seemed to have a sort of time-limit: if I didn’t transcribe my messy scrawl to the computer within a couple of days, I’d no longer be able to decipher it and it would be lost forever.

In many cases, that might have been a good thing, now that I think about it.

I just hope I don’t take it too far and get to a point where OTHER people can read my handwriting. That’s a fine balance I’ve been maintaining for years now and I'd hate to disturb it. For one thing, it would take away all the fun my parents receive from squinting at what I’ve written on their birthday cards and then deliberately mis-reading what’s there in an attempt to annoy me. Little do they know I make an extra effort to be illegible when I write those cards, just to give them this small joy.

BUT I do have a point and I’m sort of approaching it. I’m pretty sure it was something about remembering things long forgot. (Oh, the irony...) The tiny little things that won’t change your life but suddenly make you feel more... you, I suppose. And I’ve re-discovered one of those in my handwriting of stories. Just a little thing. It came back to me on Monday, when I finally had to accept that recess was over and it was time to go back to work. There I was, sitting at my work-bench, upper body sprawled across the surface as I directed my pen across the page in increasingly legible ciphers and rested the side of my head flat against the table as I did so.

Like I said, it’s a little thing but I’d completely forgotten I used to do that. I can hardly see what I’m writing and it probably looks like I’ve fallen asleep if you’re watching from a distance - but it’s so comfortable! Much more comfortable than slouching at a computer or waging a war against the useless weakling of a keyboard on my laptop. It suddenly brought back to me memories of sitting just like that in the classroom during lunch and recess at primary school, scribbling away at my silly stories in my even-worse handwriting.

It’s quirks such as these that are easily lost when you do most of your writing at a desk covered in a computer.

But I’d love to know if anyone else has a quirk like this. Am I the only one who watches their story take place from a sort-of sideways view? Are there weirder writing postures out there? What makes everyone else comfortable when they write?
katiefoolery: (Goku is uncertain)
I need to write exactly two thousand, two hundred and ninety-seven words in the next few days if I hope to meet my November target of ten thousand words.  And you know what?  I can do that.  Easily.  Tonight, in fact, if I actually get my act together.

Of course, it’s entirely likely that I’ll forget this intention to write and instead spend the evening reading fanfic, messing about on messageboards and writing pointless lists of stuff.  But I shall do my best not to let that happen.  Well, much.

Besides, the pointless lists will be about writing, so they practically count towards my word count, don’t they?

*looks hopeful*

I really do need to make a list of these stories in my head, otherwise I’ll lose track of them.  And maybe if I write them down, that will keep them separate and they’ll stop bumping into each other and making new little baby stories to add to the litter.  I’m only one person!  I can only write so much.  And that procrastinating takes a huge chunk out of my time, too.

In non-writing news, I’m finding myself increasingly alienated from this person who used to be “Buneater”.  It’s quite a bizarre sensation, considering that’s who I’ve been pretty much since I first set foot on the ’net.  But she seems to belong in the past and she keeps pulling away from me, looking askance at who I am now and raising a disdainful eyebrow at the stories that come into my head these days.  And it’s OK with me, because I don’t really feel like “Buneater” any more.  I think I’m almost ready to start saying my goodbyes to her and move onto something new.  ’Cause there's a great deal of fun stuff in my life that isn’t related to Bunliness at all.  Yes indeed.

Mind you, there’s still a fair bit that is attached to Bunliness, but I can cope with that.  Being introduced to people’s friends and family as “Bunne” is quite a unique experience, really.

But I’d be interested to know if anyone else has done what I seem to be doing: switching one internet identity for the other.  Is it always such a strange experience?  Or is it just a matter of using a different name?  And how do you keep from potentially alienating people who have always known you by your first “identity”?
katiefoolery: (Devious thoughts (not just hair!))
So what shall we do while the Americans are all off feasting at Thanksgiving?  I vote we hide LJ behind the couch cushions and look all innocent when they get back.

“LJ?  What is this LJ of which you speak?  Oh that LJ behind the couch cushions!  Yeees, I don’t know how that got there.”

But first, we’d all better practise looking incredibly innocent and blameless, otherwise I don’t think we'll be able to pull it off.

I am happy and giddy because I have made a silly icon (not the one on this post) and also because it is Bleach Day.  I do love Bleach Day and I love Bleach Exile even more for scanlating the chapters at the speed of light and filling my afternoons with Bleachy goodness.

Also (and I’ve just realised this) I haven't had a cup of tea since breakfast, which could explain my light-headed giddiness and my strange but overwhelming desire to go and put the kettle on.  Any kettle.  As long as it’s now.

In further stream-of-consciousness blogging, I must confess to having an extremely lewd story in my head as I took the bus home yesterday afternoon.  Oh yes.  Hehe.  My Timothy-of-the-heads has bet me that I won’t write it and as a punishment for his lack of faith, I have declared that not only will I write it, but I will not allow him to read it.  That will teach him.

However, this whole situation of stories in my head only served to highlight the main reason I will most likely never drive a car unless in an emergency: I just don’t want to concentrate.  I get the best ideas when sitting on the bus or the train and they’re usually so distracting that I have to whip out my handy notebook and write them down straight away.  I couldn’t do that if I was driving.  Instead, I’d be sitting there, desperately trying to remember the details so I can write them down later while at the same time trying not to kill anyone with my lack of concentration.

I just don’t have the attention span for driving, I’m afraid.

And now, I shall go and shove LJ down behind my couch cushions before the Americans get back...
katiefoolery: (Busy now)
Is it really normal to have people in your head, suddenly accosting you and spouting out their story all afternoon, whether you want to hear it or not?  I mean, really?  Ever since one of my own characters decided to become my possibly-not-necessary muse, I’ve become accustomed to accepting that I might not be completely in control of what’s happening in my imagination, but even so...

It’s not as though they're even polite about it or ask my permission first.  Oh no.  That’s for...  Actually, I’m not sure who that’s for.  Presumably luckier writers than I.

Instead, mine just turn up whenever they like.  For instance, while I’m in the middle of hanging out the washing.  One minute, I’m happily basking in the sun of the backyard, less-happily hanging up the clothes, when I feel a tap on the shoulder of my imagination.

“Oh, hi,” says a voice in my head.  “OK, it’s like this.  I’m on this base...”

“Er, what?”

“Gah, are you even listening?  That’s so typical.  No wonder my mum never wanted me to mix with off-world types.”

This is where I suspect that the new person in my head is both a) a little xenophobic, and, b) often unintentionally rude.  But I suppose she can’t really help that - it’s her up-bringing.

So I explained: “What I MEANT was, why the hell are you in my head, telling me these things?”  Even though I strongly suspected I already knew the answer to that particular question.

“She sent me,” said the voice, pointing her thumb in Jane’s direction.  Jane, it must be noted, was looking even more smug than before.  Someone really needs to drop a very heavy piece of furniture on that girl.  Soon.  Alas, as I created her and love her despite her many, many annoying tendencies, I fear the task will fall to me and I'm not quite up to it.

So I sent Jane a glare that promised a very painful death.  Maybe.  If I can steel my heart enough to do so...  Actually, I’m pretty sure that glare ended up promising Jane some sort of decorative writing desk, rather than painful death.  Why can’t I find it in myself to hate these invaders in my mind?  Why??

It turns out this new character is even worse at taking subtle hints than Jane.  She just rambled on all afternoon and made me write down a page of notes and snippets of story and that STILL wasn't enough for her.  She’s a little quieter today, although I suspect that may change if I don’t start writing some of her story soon.

But is that really normal?  Do other writers spend all afternoon with a voice in their head, quite literally rattling off bits and pieces of their story and getting annoyed when you don’t write them down quickly enough?  As though they think they’re a real person?

And how do I go back to the old days, when I used to actually have some measure of control over my own imagination?
katiefoolery: (Goku is uncertain)
I put my finger on it the other night (don’t worry - I washed it straight afterwards) - I can’t write when other people are around.

Well, I CAN, but I feel silly.

It’s not as though this is any sort of revelation, though; just something I’ve forgotten over the years.  Back when I shared a computer with my da and the boy, I always had to closet myself away and dive head-first into my stories.  Preferably with the door shut.  Of course, this resulted in that near-heart-attack I had once when the ma flung the door open dramatically when I was in the middle of writing an incredibly scary scene in a ghost story... but at least I didn’t feel so... foolish.  (Short of breath, yes, but not foolish.)

I think that’s it - I feel foolish writing when other people are nearby.  In many ways, I’d rather prance around, stripping my clothes off for no good reason than sit there and write a story with people in the same room as me.  Somehow, that act of wanton, semi-public nudity would be less embarrassing than typing words onto a computer screen.

But why is that?  Why do I feel so silly and exposed, just knowing that someone is sitting two metres away, completely absorbed in their nerd-game (in the case of my Timothy), while I write a story?

It’s not always the case, though.  Consider Tuesday, when I spent the entire morning at work writing whilst surrounded by sundry staff and students.  It didn’t bother me then, although I suspect that’s because I was completely absorbed in what I was doing, to the point where things such as the passing of time failed to actually register in my mind at all.

Is it just starting the story, perhaps?  I know I always feel the silliest when I'm beginning a story.  Mere words seem so insubstantial, as though they’re not quite up to the challenge of bringing to life the tale I can see in my imagination.  It’s one thing to come up with characters, plot and situation; it’s quite another entirely to wrap that all up in the right words.  And somehow, it’s extra difficult to begin writing if someone’s in the same room, doing something completely different and probably paying no attention to me whatsoever.

Am beginning to suspect I might be overly paranoid about the whole thing...

But I must know: is this just me?  Am I the only insane one who can’t write stories if someone else is in the same room?  And how do you deal with it?
katiefoolery: (Waaah!)
I seem to have a habit (rarely applied, thankfully) of developing characters who decide they want to die.  It first happened in Black Fiddle when one of my characters eventually got sick of what was going on and stepped up one day to tap me politely on the shoulder.

For instance:
Character whose name I’ll withhold to avoid potential spoilers in the event that I actually ever finish Black Fiddle, submit it, get it published and... oh, let’s start again...

Nameless character: *taps politely on my shoulder*
Me: Er, yes?
Nameless character: Look, you do know I’m going to die, don't you?
Me: You are?
Nameless character: *weighty sigh*
Me: Hey, don’t sigh at me like that!  And no - you can’t die; you just came into this story.  You haven’t done your job yet.
Nameless character: Nevertheless, I fear I tire of living.

And that was it.  She died on me.  And on Jeannie too, I suppose.  She definitely wasn’t happy about the whole situation.

It happened again yesterday while I was at work, although this one’s even stranger.  For the last few months, I’ve had at least four characters rattling around in my head, telling me bits and pieces about themselves and forming an image of the country in which they live.  Alas, they haven’t seen fit to give me an actual plot to go with them.  They seem to think this is where I come in.

Instead, they just sit there and develop.  One in particular started off as nothing.  All I knew about him was that his name was Mack and he was assigned as some sort of guard by the fey to one of the human characters.  He was the strong and silent type and it took a while to get to know him but once I did, he really opened up.  In a sort of taciturn, silent way.  I love him to little bits, much to his discomfort.

And yesterday, he showed me how he was going to die.

It was so unexpected.  There I was, reading random fanfic while at work (my protest against the blocking of LJ...) when a line in one of the stories I was reading suddenly inspired an amazing image of light and energy and self-sacrifice.  And there was Mack, pointing at this image and quietly telling me that this was how he was going to die.

It’s the first time I’ve ever had to creep out of the workroom and into the toilets so I could cry about the death of a character whose story I haven’t even written.  I was amazed at myself, in fact, sitting there in the loo with tears running down my face.  How could he do this to me?

I’d like to know I'm not alone, though.  In fact, I need to know I’m not alone.  Someone else tell me I’m not the only one whose characters decide to die on them without asking permission first.  Please?
katiefoolery: (Pratchett's words of wisdom)
I'm still buoyed up by this rush of excitement about my writing, not to mention feeling incredibly virtuous for having spent the last hour or so cleaning up the house.  So, as I said to the mess on the kitchen table as I cleaned it: why not take advantage of these feelings of achievement and self-faith (as opposed to my more accustomed self-doubt)?

[livejournal.com profile] starlingthefool posted a lovely piece of writing this morning, inspired by a challenge community.  This, in turn, inspired me and I went in search of more and more challenge communities.  There are so many!  How do you choose from amongst such an embarrasse des riches?

This is where my dear friends list comes in handy (and anyone else who might be lurking around out there).  Do you have a favourite writing challenge community on LJ?  If so, please point me in its direction.  I have a feeling that if I start challenging myself in my writing on a more regular basis, I will become a far better writer indeed.

Please share.  Even if it's just a community you watch.  Fanfic, original fic, drabbles, anything!  I long for a good challenge or two!
katiefoolery: (Black Fiddle cover)
So, now my Timothy of the many multi-tasking heads has caught this virus of mine and he is quite inexplicably annoyed.  I suppose I can understand this to some extent, although I find it more amusing than not.  When he first heard of my two days off work, he insisted on catching the virus too.

“Give it to me!  I want two days off work.”

To which I'd reply:

“Get your own virus!  I found this one and I’m keeping it.”

Indeed, the virus stayed quite loyal to me and didn't seem to want to fraternise with my Timothy or even Bindi.  Instead, he-of-the-multiple-heads spent most of the week taunting me with the lovely breakfast to which his workplace was being treated on Friday morning.  Oh, how he was looking forward to this breakfast.  What wonders would be there!  What fun he would have teasing me with the delights upon which he feasted!

Then, yesterday, he finally caught the virus and was unable to go to this breakfast.

There are my irony dollars, hard at work.  Worth every bit of whatever I paid for them.

In writing news, I’m feeling quite happy about my recent decision.  I read over one of my older stories - the first to do well in a competition, in fact - and enjoyed it immensely.  It’s not perfect, but it’s a lot of fun.  It also served to highlight the one oddness about Black Fiddle that’s always puzzled me, viz. Why is Black Fiddle such a serious work?  All of my other stories and light-hearted and slightly humorous.  If you look at my other major work, The City, you’ll find that it’s quite different in tone.  The good [livejournal.com profile] blindmouse can attest to that.

So why is Black Fiddle so serious?  There are flashes of silliness and the occasional line that still manages to make me chuckle, but it’s mostly dead straight.  Maybe that’s something else I have to work on.  Maybe I need to find the humour and silliness and bring it out a bit more.

Maybe I should get right back to those scene breakdowns that were so enthralling me a few weeks ago...

Does anyone else experience that, though?  Do your stories all have a similar tone, or do they vary widely depending on what they're about?  I’d be most interested to know.
katiefoolery: (Welcome to the Tendo Dojo...)
Have you ever wanted to pretend you were someone else?

And no, I don’t mean in the sense where you pretend to be someone else to the extent where you convince little old ladies that you’re a completely lovely person, shortly before stealing all of their bank account details and running off with their life savings.

Thankfully, I’m talking about something a bit less larcenous than that.  Simply: The Internet and Identity... and you.

I’ve only been on the internet since 2000 and I haven’t always been the “Buneater”.  That took a while to develop and I’m fond of having such a silly name, since it was more or less given to me friends and fellow loons.  In all of those six years, I’ve always been me.  I’ve never tried to pretend I was something other than I was, mostly because it never occurred to me to do so.  Indeed, it took me long enough to summon up the courage to write my first post on the old Ober.net messageboards; there wasn’t enough time to consider being somebody else as well.

Lately, however, I’ve been thinking of this issue of identity.  I’ve been wondering how it would be to start again on another messageboard with a different name.  Would I still be me?  Would I be influenced by the new people I met?

And above all: could I pretend to be someone different?

It would be fun to try.  After all, I do love my words.  In my favourite story, Postcards, I believe I successfully wrote in the voices of at least half a dozen distinctly different people.  I could probably develop a different way of writing and consistently apply it.  The question is: would I really want to?

And I’m also interested to know: does anyone out there have a double-identity?  Are you a different person when you’re on different sites or messageboards on the internet?  This nosy Buneater wants to know all!

10,000 Words in Ten Weeks
katiefoolery: (Sail my ship!)
Can someone explain why I keep seeing sailors everywhere?  I’m not complaining about the phenomenon, mind you.  No, I’m just after some answers.

It all started on Anzac Day this year, when I was in the city for one reason or another.  I was in there just after the march, which meant there were a lot of military personnel, past and present, hanging around.  And everywhere I looked, I saw sailors.  Not army guys or airforce people.  Just sailors.

You just have to love their funny hats, really.  Anyone who can carry off a hat like that deserves recognition.

But it still doesn't explain why I keep seeing them whenever I’m in the city.  Now that I don’t work there any more, I’m not in there quite as often as I used to be and yet I still manage to encounter sailors whenever I go.

Yesterday, for example, I brushed past a group of three of them, looking all dashing and nautical in their silly hats.

If anyone can explain it, I’d be most grateful.  In the meantime, I shall just accept it as the gift it is.

And now I shall smirk a little.

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