Where B.L.'s Writing Desk Resides

Trespass at your own risk.

Sunday, November 2, 2014

It has BEGUN . . .

A brief word:

NANOWRIMO! Yes, indeed, the magical journey begins. Oh my.

It is Day 2, in fact, and it's off to a promising start. One of the challenges I'll enjoy tackling is not getting caught up in editing my work as I write. On the one hand, not having to revise what you've written every few hundred words can be wildly liberating. You just keep pushing forward, not worrying if you didn't write a sentence or scene quite right. On the other hand, though--that's a lot to sift through in the revision process once you've hit 50,000 words. I mean whoa.

Optimism, though. Optimism! Meeting a daily word count is inspiring rare confidence in me. Yeah, it will be a crap first draft, but once the words are down, the agonizing process of making everything actually work will happen in a more holistic fashion. Having the full 200-page manuscript will be an accomplishment by itself. So I keep reminding myself. Just keep swimming, just keep swimming . . .

In other news: Halloween was fun, though not very eventful. I wore a costume based on a character from Once Upon A Time In Wonderland (hint: it's the Jabberwocky). My friend liked it but didn't love it because she's an Alice purist, Carroll or bust. She don't mess around with the classic. Since I had no plans for any parties or trick-or-treating (a 13-year-old at a Nanowrimo write-in said her neighbor yelled at her in fear when she came dressed up to get candy; I don't think 25-year-old me could do better), I was prepared to stay in and hand out candy to kids. Bad news: not as many kids in my neighborhood as I thought (the frequent playful screams outside during the day tell me otherwise), and almost no one else on the block had Halloween decorations up. Thankfully one group of kids came by, and one other kid with their parent. I let them take as much as they wanted. Still have plenty of treats left over that I will gradually devour over the coming week.

In other other news: heading home soon for my impending trip to London. In fact I have to pack for both London AND Thanksgiving. But honestly, I still have clothes at my parents' house, so I'm trying not to have a conniption about it. Better to focus on seeing my sister again after three months. We're going to embark on a new endeavor: podcasts! We tried a tumblr blog but found ourselves too busy to make it launch. A podcast seems to require less maintenance. Might as well try it. Our discussion will focus on nerdy fandom things with a strong emphasis on television and movies. This might require me to actually watch some of the things she does, although we share a few common-ground shows.

All right, off to grocery shopping. I have almost no food. Which would be ideal for someone about to leave the apartment for almost a month. But I want to be able to eat before I leave. Silly, I know,

"Let's just not come in tomorrow. Let's just take a day. Have you ever tried shawarma? There's a shawarma joint about two blocks from here. I don't know what it is, but I wanna try it." - The Avengers

Friday, October 24, 2014

This is why I don't do things . . .

A brief word:

This actually will be on the briefer side of brief. For realz.

A couple weeks ago, I signed up for Nanowrimo. Yay, huzzah! First-timer. I'm excited to do it because I need to pen, or type, more stories that have lived in my brain for far too long. That way I can actually work toward publishing and making money, or something. Yeah, money would be good.

But suddenly, DILEMMA.

My biggest problem when committing to a project is that, out of nowhere, a new idea, or a really old one that resurfaces like a dead body, comes to me and I get excited about it. So much I no longer feel the same drive to work on my current project. Such is the situation. I signed up on the site with an idea of what novel I was going to work on throughout November. I've had the idea since June, so it's still in its fledgling state. Which is okay--it'd be interesting to see how I handle feeling my way through a novel rather than having everything plotted out.

Unfortunately, some recent developments have sparked inspiration to revisit a book series I conceived over four years ago. A series I figured I'd never write because it was too juvenile. Looking back on it, however, I realize there's a lot of promise. It just grew too big, too weedy. Having stepped away from the universe of that story for a while, I find the most important ideas, characters and plots continue to stick, whereas the less important stuff has fallen off. Getting a new computer helped with that. I haven't transferred all my old files to the new laptop, so I don't have immediate access to everything I wrote on the series. (I could transfer the files, but I'm lazy.) That leaves me dependent on memory and new ideas, granting me a fresh look at the overall concept.

Now I'm excited by it. To the point I'm tempted to do it for Nanowrimo instead of the stand-alone novel. Obviously I'd write just the first book (originally a six-book series, I think? Got it down to five) and work on the rest later. But I like the idea of having one novel free from the restraints of sequels that I can work on refining and publishing on its own. Then again, maybe it's better to start with a series to lure in an audience that will continue to follow my work. One-off novels can achieve this, too, but it's different. A series brings readers back to sate their curiosity over where the story is headed.

Did I just talk myself into doing the series? Thoughts, advice? I'm still not sure. And Nanowrimo starts in a week. UGH.

"You must lash out with every limb, like the octopus who plays the drums." - Mystery Men

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

It's like holding on to soap . . .

A brief word:

Well, two weeks is better than three* years, amiright?

*gulp* Hehe.

Okey-dokey. Not much has gone down these last couple weeks. Except New York Comic Con, of course. COMIC CONNNN!! Yes, that wonderful time of year where nerds of all ages spend far more money than they know they should on cosplay, merchandise, photo ops and autographs. Not counting the tickets here 'cuz we paid for those in, like, July. As you can imagine, my bank account took a punch to the spleen because of it, and there's no steady income yet to impede the hemorrhaging. Yup, still no job, but the search continues, and there's a teeny-tiny sparkle of hope with a couple places.

Anyway, comic con. The fact I bled a hundred dollars or so overall was still worth it. Got to see the Once Upon A Time panel, among others since I sat for 6 hours in the same room on Friday. Also got to meet some fellow fans of the show on Saturday who came in cosplay (as did I). I had some trouble finding the meeting spot, so I nearly missed the meet-up, but thank goodness I didn't! In conversation we shared the fact that Sean Maguire, who plays Robin Hood on OUAT, was taking pictures for 40 bucks a pop up on the show floor. I had even passed by him earlier without realizing right away he was there! A few key members of the group, particularly the lovely person who organized this meeting via Facebook, cosplaying as the Evil Queen Regina (Queen Queen!), decided we should ambush Mr. Maguire as a group and kindly ask if he would take a group picture on each of our phones for free! Crazy, you say? I highly doubted it would work. But I tagged along, managing to keep up even with a cardboard snowflake, accented with frosty branches, strapped to my back (part of my masquerade!Elsa costume) through a very crowded show room aaaaaall the way to the back row of booths. Unfortunately, while our intrepid Regina chatted up Sean and his security person, I became distracted by another group of OUAT cosplayers (including a Rumplestiltskin--I wanted to hug him) and took a picture of them. Only afterward did I see my group was about to have their picture taken. I jumped in the back (the default post of a tall person). I should've stood behind someone shorter, as I'm sure in all the pictures you can see only my masked face. But the Emma Swan cosplayer in the group kindly texted me the photo on her phone. Just to have that for posterity--me essentially photobombing a group shot with Sean Maguire & fans--is pretty cool.

The one major disappointment this year was that I made a terrible choice wearing my silvery Snow Queen shoes to the con instead of sneakers. I chose them at the last minute, thinking that since they were flats, I'd be totally comfortable wearing them from Brooklyn to Manhattan. Why had I not remembered that they were narrow for my big wide feet? One of my pinky toes is still recovering from the blister. I had to leave in the early evening to even have functional feet in future. I'm honestly surprised they didn't bleed.

Ah well. Still a fun excursion, and fruitful in the merchandise department. I bought my sister, who's abroad in the UK for school, two presents: one for my upcoming trip to visit her, and one for Christmas. I also managed to get my hands on all six issues of the second volume of Darkman comics!!

Did I mention I've been searching for those for, like, a year or two?

I became enamored with the film a few years back, largely due to my love of Phantom of the Opera and all things it has inspired. While Darkman does not incorporate music, opera houses or dropped chandeliers into its storyline, it has much of the poignancy of Leroux's grim tale. It also owes inspiration to other epic stories we know and love, from Frankenstein to Batman. It's not a masterpiece, but with the ever-rising popularity of superhero stories, especially those starring antiheroes, I can't think why Darkman has been left to relative obscurity. Because it started as a movie rather than a comic book or TV series? Because its sequels flopped so hard (for good reason)? Apparently someone (maybe Sam Raimi, the film's writer & director) tried to get a TV pilot off the ground, but that too fell flat. I do think Darkman is a story that has to be in the right hands for it to shine its brightest. Am I such a person to tell that story? Not sure yet, but I'm working my way toward that goal.

While I don't have any immediate or even long-term aspirations to write for television or film, the idea has a lot of appeal for me. My sister, the one in the UK, is a film student, and we've joked about become the next Cohen brothers sisters. Truth is, we have largely similar tastes, and where we may not agree, my sister's cinematic aesthetic is agreeable enough that I would trust her judgment on things I may not be as informed about. But I doubt she'd subscribe to a Darkman project. Nevertheless, if the opportunity to bring this twisted hero (mentally and physically) to the small screen arises, I want to have a pilot script on hand. Hence why I'm trying to track down every creative work written featuring the Darkman character.

That's pretty much it for now. So excited for Halloween, of course! To bring up another underrated character, I'm flirting with the idea of assembling a Jabberwocky costume as seen in Once Upon A Time in Wonderland. While I enjoyed being Elsa at the con, portraying a creature that feeds on fear is so suited to the holiday that I don't want to pass it up. It's just another 50+ bucks, right? I can live on instant noodles and water for the rest of the year, right?

"Have no fear of perfection--you'll never reach it." - Salvador Dali
*Yeah, apparently it was three, not two years between the two previous posts.

Tuesday, October 7, 2014

How the ages pass us by . . .

A brief word (so to speak):

I'd like to say how impossible it is that two years have rolled by since my last post. Oh how I wish it were feasible. But I am not without legitimate excuses. Allow me to recite them.

  • As of May, I have upgraded to the status of postgraduate, armed with an MFA in Creative Writing.
  • Until said upgrade, class and work have kept me thoroughly occupied.
  • So has fandom life, including the birth of a few roleplay blogs.
  • I nearly forgot this blog existed.
Now that the excuses are out of the way, let's turn to the present and near future. Having now finished school for life, theoretically, I am enjoying that awkward transition into becoming a full-fledged member of the work force, not to mention adulthood in general. By this, I mean I am searching for my first full-time job, ideally in writing of some variety. I've also experienced a change in scenery, trading the homey comforts of New England for the exciting but less familiar terrain of New York, New York. While different in many respects to Boston, where I spent three years of graduate school, I'm accustomed enough to the urban vibe to feel partly acclimated. It will give me a chance to reconnect with a friend who lives in New Jersey but often commutes to Manhattan. Also, if I find a job before December, my sister and I could live together, or near each other, when she gets back from study abroad.

Plus, living in NYC means easy travel to Comic Con this weekend! Yes, my priorities are in order.

Another item to add on my growing to-do list will be giving this blog something of a face-lift. Fandom blogs and roleplay blogs are all fine and fun, but it's time to take this blog a little more seriously. And I mean just a little--I won't rehash it into a review blog or an editorial. It will be an amalgam of many blog types while still possessing my personal oddball touch.

The most amazing part: it's going to be updated more regularly! Not even once every couple months, but weekly! "That's MAD!" I hear you say. Yes, it is. No doubt I will slip before the month is out, but it's important to have goals. I know that more than ever, now that I have this free time while surviving on a shoe-string budget. Limbo isn't terrible, but it can't be the endpoint. Time to haul myself up by the bootstraps and act like a true adult.

By the way, so excited to get my costume together for the con. I wanted to have two, but I'll save the second for Halloween.

"Adults are just obsolete children and the hell with them." - Dr. Seuss