katiefoolery: (Turles gushes... sarcastically I'm sure)
My imagination is ganging up against me.

It sounds impossible, but it’s true.  Not happy with spawning one muse after years of contented, museless writing, it’s thrown up another, who shall henceforth be referred to as The Other One.

*glares at The Other One*

Jane still likes to keep me up late into the night (or early into the morning, depending on your point of view) talking excitedly about story ideas and writing out scenes in my head.  This has happened every night for the past week.  What is it about that time of the morning that makes my brain turn over like that?  I can go all day without having a single story idea but once I try to get some sleep, suddenly they’re all crowding into my head, eagerly being shoved in there by Jane.

The Other One (*glares*) seems to be picking up where Jane leaves off, however.  He likes to tell me stories during the day, usually when I’m occupied with something else.  He has a strange sense of humour... which I guess is mine, really.  I think he’s been lurking at the back of my mind for a while now, but he only really stepped forward the other night when I was cooking macaroni cheese.  It was boiling hot in the kitchen and more to the point, I was cooking.  Gah.  And right in the middle of my hissy fit over having to actually prepare my own dinner, The Other One started telling me stories.

I think Jane likes him.  In fact, I’m pretty sure they plotted these things out when I wasn’t looking (most likely when I’d passed out from not getting enough sleep and then having to cook in the tropical heat of the kitchen).

Jane: This shall work out perfectly!  I will continue to bother her with scenes and dialogue when she is attempting in vain to sleep and you can take advantage of her weakness during the day!
The Other One: *smirks*
Jane: *suddenly recalls all her fantasies of running away and falling in love with a highwayman*
The Other One: *smirkier smirk*

Yep - my imagination is definitely against me.
katiefoolery: (Vegito feels pretty and coy)
I swore at Jane last night.  Well, not out loud, because people were asleep and would have been more than a little disgruntled if I’d suddenly yelled out, “F@#% you, Jane!” to an othewise silent house.

I’m not usually that rude to her... mostly because she pays no attention.  But it was two o’ clock in the morning and I was slightly interested in getting some sleep and I did not appreciate being kept up because my daft, furniture-obsessed muse had decided that we had a really good story idea that I had to go and start writing right this minute.

It’s the way she takes me by surprise that annoys me the most.  My muse attacks by stealth.  There I was, desperately trying to get to sleep whilst simultaneously musing over what I have come to call “The Black Fiddle Issue”.  Which doesn’t sound all that impressive, really.  In essence, I am in deep hatred with Black Fiddle at the moment and I have no idea what to do with this first draft of mine.  Setting fire to it is my favourite option at the moment.  I guess I’ll have to wait until a day when we don’t have a total fire ban, but it’ll be worth it.

So there I was, thinking to myself that the only thing I really like about the entire draft is the concept of the Black Fiddle itself.  And that’s where Jane stepped in and grew extremely hyper about the idea of writing the story of the Black Fiddle’s origins and wouldn’t this be great and you could work that in too.  And oh! oh! oh! what about this?

It was around about then that I swore at her in my mind and tried to go to sleep on her.

Which I managed about an hour or so later.

Cursed muses.

But enough about Jane.  I really came here today to share some photos I took of the smoke on Wednesday evening.  For the last couple of weeks, bushfires have been raging in the north-east of the state and every now and then, the smoke drifts across the city and suburbs.  It was incredibly thick on Wednesday - you couldn’t escape the smell of smoke even if you were inside.  And this is what it looked like where I live.  (All of the pictures link to larger images.)

This is taken from our front porch, looking at the houses directly beside and behind us.  The whiteness is not cloud - it’s all smoke.
Click for a larger image

This is what we could see if we looked towards the city.  Not a lot, really.
Click for a larger image

And this is an intersection about fifty metres from our house.  You can barely see what the cars are driving into.
Click for a larger image

Luckily, the skies are clear today and it rained last night, so I’m hoping the news on the fires is looking a little more positive.
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?


Oct. 23rd, 2006 05:22 pm
katiefoolery: (Huzzah!)
I had a good time writing something today.  Now, I know that sounds like a very simple thing to say, but over the past couple of months, I've come to think I might be more likely to say Oh, what a lovely orange sky! or Gosh those year nine students are well-behaved than Wow, I had a good time writing today.

But that just goes to show you that sometimes, I know next to nothing about stuff.

This incredible breakthrough occurred when I sat down for my morning tea break to write some LorF.  It wasn’t a wonderful experience right from the start, I’ll be honest.  For the first couple of paragraphs, I felt as though I were stomping around the story in heavy boots, threatening it into submission.  But then I hit the good stuff and it mostly flowed and...  eeee!  I enjoyed myself while writing for the first time in ages!  Even when it was difficult, I didn’t mind too much.

And now I’m inspired to do more.  Which is lucky, because I just happen to have other things I want to write.  Jane is poking me about something, although I’m not sure what.  Mack, from my fey story, wants to express his undying (and unrequited) love to Lùgh, despite the fact I don’t that will ever happen in the story I intend to write.  No, indeed - I plan for him to suffer in silence!  So it looks like I’ll actually be writing fanfic for a story I haven’t yet written...  Mack might be quiet, but he can be very insistent when he wants; somewhat akin to a river wearing away at a rock.  I tell him he’s only going to get hurt, but he won’t listen.  Stubborn damn imaginary characters.

Before I go, here’s one for the LorFers.  I’d just finished writing the first part of my latest episode, when I had to get back to work re-sizing some images for the school magazine.  What do I see in the background of the very first image I opened up?  Why, only this... )

And now, I shall go back to enjoying some more writing.
katiefoolery: (Default)
Dear Jane (aka the pushy damn furniture-obsessed character of mine who now thinks she’s my muse),

OK, you win.  I’ll write the cursed fic, even if it wasn’t the one you wanted.

On the up side, huzzah for making Flit snort tea up her nose when I gave her the one line summary of said fic.  Who knew that mere ten words could result in tea-drowned sinuses of Flitness?  Knowing that the [livejournal.com profile] flippyfrog now has tea-clogged sinuses makes me feel much better about the whole ‘being ordered around by an imaginary character’ situation.

* * *

Dear holidays,

Well, there you are at long last.  Thank-you for finally arriving!  For a while there, you were an hallucination, a mirage on the barren, holiday-less desert of my life.  Now, be a dear and try to last as long as you can.  There’s a twelve-week term on the horizon...

* * *

Dear TV,

Well, it was nice while it lasted.  During our many years together, you entertained me well and I have a great big basket of fond memories of that time.  I know this is going to hurt you more than it hurts me, but I think it’s time to end this.  Don’t be sad – there are so many more fish in the sea people out there who will love you and treat you well.  I’ve simply come to realise that we’ve both changed and it’s time to move on.  I need more from a relationship and you just can’t give that to me.

I’m sorry.  I hope we can still be friends after this, but please don’t ask for anything more of me.

* * *

Dear Internet,

Huzzah!  I finally dumped that poxy TV so now we can be with each other forever and take mushy long walks on the beach at sunset whilst calmly ignoring the mosquitoes and the broken shells stabbing into our feet!  We will be together forever, I know it!


* * *

Dear Microsoft Word,

Hey, guess what?  When I type three asterisks in a row, I actually don’t want you to turn it into some shoddy-looking line of dodgy black rectangles.  Amazingly, I simply want to have three asterisks in a row.  I guess this is just too much for you to comprehend.

I don’t care what they told you; you can’t read my mind, so please to stop trying.

* * *

Dear Wireless Internet,

Welcome to our house! Now I’ll never get any writing done... but at least I can distract myself from this fate by being mesmerised by your prettily-blinking lights!

* * *

Dear Jane (aka the pushy damn furniture-obsessed character of mine who now thinks she’s my muse),

*shakes fist*
katiefoolery: (Jane of letters)
Jane keeps wanting me to write fanfic.  Now that I’ve given in and officially accepted that she just might possibly, grudgingly, in one way or another, or even just on every other Wednesday, be my muse, she thinks she can take advantage of it.

And she insists on the fanfic.

It doesn’t matter how often I tell her that I can’t do it.  That I’ve tried before and failed after one sentence.  That the only successful piece of fanfic I ever wrote was a poem about a cat that might, at best, be deemed crack (most appopriate, actually, given the cat in question).

I tell her all of these things and she just suggests... um... interesting ideas instead.

Very ‘interesting’ indeed.  And they must be her ideas, because I wouldn’t think of something like that!  I mean, what if my mum knew I was thinking those sorts of things?  No indeed.  ’Tis all Jane.

As someone said yesterday, a muse can take both the credit and the blame for ideas.  So I’m giving the blame to Jane.

Although she hasn’t given up on the fanfic front, she decided to appease me letting me work on one of the other stories I’m currently proving in my head.  It was sulky, though.  A sort of: Fine.  If you won’t do what I want, then have this instead.  See if I care.  And then I could just imagine her standing by the doorway with her arms crossed sullenly, trying to peek at me and get me to change my mind about the other issue.

This muse business is all very weird indeed.  I still can’t decide if I liked it better when I thought I was in control of my own imagination.  Even if I wasn’t, at least I felt as though I was.

I shall now return to being bewildered about the whole thing.  Or perhaps I should turn to CSS and get back to work my layout.  At least CSS makes sense.


Aug. 16th, 2006 11:44 am
katiefoolery: (Jane of letters)
I used to think that muses belonged to other people.

Indeed I did.

Of course, I often wondered where they got them from or how they knew they actually had a muse and not a figment of their imagination, but I still thought it wasn’t for me.  I knew where my ideas came from and it was called ‘my imagination’.  Or ‘real life’.  Or ‘silly things school kids say on the train’.

Sometimes (I’m happy to admit this), I was jealous.  Why did these people have muses when I was left to rely on my imagination and eavesdropping skills?  Why did some people have six muses when I had none?  It didn’t seem fair.

Of course, these short trips into self-pitying muse-envy were few and far between.  The rest of the time, I just got down to some serious procrastinating, with a bit of writing thrown in there to keep up appearances.

And then...

Monday night.  Oh, Monday night.  I was just lying in bed, musing (oh, the wit!) over a story I’d had in mind for a while, when someone slipped the opening line into my head.  Unasked, unrequested, unexplained; it was just there.  More than that, there was a certain feel about it, especially the way in which it had been delivered.  It was as though someone had snuck in with exaggerated care and dropped off a note before running out of the room and laughing... shortly before being distracted by a rather nicely turned hat-stand.

It was Jane.

Jane, who wakes me up in the middle of the night and takes advantage of every weakness I have.  Jane, who forces me to stumble around in the darkness to my study before she’ll shut up.  Jane, who only ever gives up if I fall asleep out of frustration in the middle of her speeches.

Jane, a character I created, has decided she has a mind of her own and – moreover – that she’s going to be my muse.

I really don’t know how to feel about it all, to be honest.  Of late, I’ve noticed that my characters seem to be very pushy and opinionated.  I’ve been spending the last few weeks wondering what the characters from my yet-to-be-written fey story are up to.  I knew they were in my head somewhere, but where?  Then I found one of them sitting around looking soulful and hoping people would notice him.  It’s ridiculously out of character for him and I suspect he’s doing it just to get my attention.

And then Jane does this.

Sometimes, I wonder who’s actually in charge of my imagination.
katiefoolery: (Jane of letters)
Things are going well, on both the writing and layout conversion fronts.

After realising I hadn’t posted anything in [livejournal.com profile] jane_of_letters since January (and after several very restrained and polite requests from the good [livejournal.com profile] elfie_chan), I decided it was about time I wrote another letter from Jane.  Well, I say I decided, but it was Jane who decided, really.  She has an unfortunate habit of deciding these things around midnight, too, completely ignoring the fact that I’m actually trying to get some sleep.

It goes a little like this.

Me: *shuffle, sprawl, breathe, fail to fall asleep*
Jane: *poke*
Me: I’m trying to get to sleep here!
Jane: Pah!  I need to write to Lizzie and tell her what has transpired in my most amazing life of late.  Have you seen my lovely dressing table chair?  I must tell someone about it!
Me: Yes, I’ve seen the damn thing.  I’m the one who found it for you on Antiques Roadshow.  Go away.  Trying.  To.  Sleep.
Jane: You’re not doing a very good job of it.
Me: Because an imaginary character keeps poking me and talking to me!

Me: *roll over, grit teeth, fail to sleep*
Jane: And remember how Elfie asked you ever so nicely...
Me: Gah!
Jane: You even read your notes last night.  So I’m almost certain it’s your fault I’m here.
Me: Double gah!
Jane: I need to share my concern over the state of my chest of drawers.  It’s truly horrendous!  I shall never move again.  *places hand against forehead in a gesture of mock-faintness, before giving me a mischievous look*
Me: *heroically resisting the urge to grin at such a gesture*  I’ll shut you in your damn precious chest of drawers if you don’t go away.
Jane: I have some phrases I’d like to use in this letter.
Me: I have some phrases I’d like to use RIGHT NOW and they all have FOUR LETTER WORDS IN THEM!

Thankfully, she just sort of inserted those phrases in my memory and snuck out, finally allowing me to sleep.  I was very grateful for that.  Usually she hangs around and doesn’t leave until I get up in the middle of the night, stumble through the darkness to my laptop and write all of these things down.  She was very restrained last night.  And she was very good about coming back when I sat down at recess to start the letter.  I do love Jane.  She manages to be humble and outrageous all in the one sentence.  I’m a bit alarmed about her rabid attraction to pieces of furniture, but I think that just makes her more Jane than ever.

And the S2ing goes well.  Last night, I successfully managed to get my header and info box to look exactly the same in my S2 version as they do in this one.  I’m not quite sure how to work on the entries and I feel I may have to make some compromises about things there, but I’m keen to get back to it tonight.  I shall take my small victories and be happy.

Jane: *poke*
katiefoolery: (The Eyebrow)
Characters keep attacking me when I least expect it, which is probably the best time for it, from their point of view.  First, it was Jane from [livejournal.com profile] jane_of_letters.  There I was on Monday day, trying vainly to get some sleep, when Jane popped up and started nattering in my ear.  She wouldn't shut up, so there was nothing for it but to get up (at midnight), go into my study and take down some of what she was saying.

This resulted in my writing 1,855 words in under an hour.  I haven't done much writing in the depths of night before and now I'm inspired to do a little more.  That's quite an impressive outcome for an hour's worth of work.

Next, it was Ryn's turn to attack me.  Ryn is an 'alternate me' from the [livejournal.com profile] life_or_freedom community and she's become a little bossy of late.  She keeps popping up at inconvenient times and rattling off bits and pieces that she insists I write down.  She made another appearance today, while I was reading the latest instalment from [livejournal.com profile] flippyfrog and kept bothering me until I began writing down one of her confusing reminiscences.

I wonder who's next?  Perhaps Lenore will blather at me in a slightly inane manner about how I should be getting on with The City.  Or maybe Jeannie will tap me on the shoulder and point me in the direction of the second draft of Black Fiddle.  All I know is that they'll choose the most inconvenient time possible for this and won't leave me alone until I start doing something.

Well, I'm sorry to tell them that I'll be taking messages.  I have work to do on Postcards.  Carmen's final letter must be seen to and my new additions to the story need a thorough check, to make sure I've kept the relevant voices intact.  That should set me up for one final read-through of the story before I have to summon up my courage and send it off into the wide world.

Please excuse me while I go and whimper about this fact.

April 2011

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