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bear by san

March 2017



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hustle mickey trust me

word of your word. cry of your cry.

The interesting thing I'm noticing in writing Too Many Necromancers is that I'm having a sense I haven't had in a long time--that of unearthing a story like a fossil, one that already exists somewhere, and I just have to dig it up and sort the bits. I used to write like this most of the time--just sort of writing along, and then figuring out ten or a hundred pages later what was just going on and having to go back and put it in.

And half the time I have no clue while I'm writing the dialogue what the characters are on about, and then I have to figure it out. And you know, I think it's mostly pretty good, especially after I go back and make it less dream-logic and more like real life. Um. Real life with necromancers, I mean. 

Then again possibly I'm deluded and it's all pants. PANTS!

This is very much how I used to do everything. It's a little like being me, ten years ago, except my verbs are better.

...and, well, pretty much everything else is, too.

If this keeps up, writing might get to be fun again. And then where will I be?

I wonder if this is unconscious competence? Is it possible I've bloody well learned how to write and now I don't have to do every single picky thing consciously?

That'd be nice. Because there does come a time when you want to quit micro-steering the car and worrying about it every time you need to start on a hill... and just be able to drive somewhere and be confident you will make it, and it will be interesting and fun.

I'm not counting my chickens, though. It's possible I'm just getting sloppy and self-absorbed and have quit learning anything new.

Hah! Forgot to post that last night, apparently. Well, you get it this morning, with tea.

2011 04 16 Daily Commute

Tea today: Upton rose congou
Teacup today: Japanese one from SF, with mysterious words on it

And now back into Too Many Necromancers, now with shinier orbital mechanics. I'm going to hit the halfway point today, and I'm so freaking stressed out and anxious that I'm not sure if it would be better to take a day or two off, or just push through and finish the thing so I can collapse until mid-May sometime. There will be time off when this book is done. At least a little.

I like to bank all my days off and take them in great big chunks, what can I say?


It's all iterative. I was looking for a chunk of Chill for nisi_la to read at the Dick Award ceremony, and had to reject two because of sentences that made kittens cry.

I don't know about the partially seen character, but the one in the diagonal lozenge looks like a simplified-for-calligraphy 薬, which is used in Japanese for medicine/drugs/pharmaceuticals, used as a shorthand for things medicinal. Can't promise I'm reading that right, nor that Chinese doesn't have other meanings for it.


Edited at 2011-04-16 03:24 pm (UTC)
*stares for several minutes; retreat, return, repeat...*

Ok, I give up-- I know that logically the contents of the dark blue bowl are probably not frozen dairy product OR whipped cream, but it doesn't look quite like yogurt, so I can't figure out what exactly is in there.

(amazing, the lengths to which the brain will go to avoid heading off to get actual work done....)
It's greek yogurt with maple syrup on top.
Greek yogurt, which I only discovered last year, is a thing of beauty and a gift of the gods. (Not sure if it's a gift of the Greek gods. Most of them don't seem nearly that kind.) I need to find a good source for big tubs of it in unsweetened varieties, so that I can try the maple syrup trick. Or maybe go for nostalgia value and mix in strawberry jam, like I used to for breakfast as a kid.

Now if only I could find a place that sells mora jam in this city...
Cabot makes a good Greek yogurt you can get in a quart tub. I haven't the brain for the drain-your-own overnight trick...
Much as it makes me feel guilty to admit? After years of trying to find commercially available yogurt that's anywhere near as good as what my mom used to make at home, I'm finding Greek yogurt is actually better. I'll keep an eye out for Cabot.
It's not as good as Fage? But it comes in a container that lasts all week.
My main experience so far has been with the Greek Gods brand, which is delicious but pricy. Admittedly, I mean pricy in comparison to generic yogurt; it could be pretty standard for Greek yogurt.
Cabot is kind of a New England institution. Their stuff is never quite the absolute fanciest best, but it's damned good and normal people can afford it. And they use local milk. (All of New England is "local," as far as Yankees are concerned.)
Draining yogurt is the best use I have found yet for paper coffee filters. The second-best use is filtering the spice sediment out of the hypocras.
Try making your own yogurt? I used to think it was a scary arcane process until I read Madhur Jaffrey's instructions, and lo, it is actually very easy.

I used to make it regularly for a while, but I haven't recently. It's still very easy, I am just massively lazy.
I am terribly lazy, and also suspect the stuff I can buy is better than what I'd make. But I'll keep my eye out for options.
Ah! Hence my texture-confusion; I'm unaccustomed to Greek yogurt, and so the extra thickness ends up registering as "not-yogurt." Sounds like an excellent combination.
Hullo! Have been following your blog with interest for a while and thought I should check in. I recently read "Dust" and loved it - I was really impressed at the richness of the prose.
What actually jolted me into finally commenting was your teacup - it says fun/pleasant (楽). My degree is finally seeing some use...
Have asked for "Chill" for an upcoming birthday. Thank you for the posts, I find the process insights fascinating - and am enjoying the teacups!
Thank you! and yay!
So it's not 楽 with a grass radical on top? Meh. My kanji fu remains weak against calligraphic attacks.

I can't see a grass radical on the photo, but you may be right - my calligraphy reading is sometimes rather hit-and-miss. I don't even know what kind of weird-ass etymology those two are linked through. (My mnemonic for "medicine" has always been "the *fun* type of grass").
Mine is that drugs are the grass that gives pleasure.

A grass radical is the only way I can make sense of the long horizontal line which seems to be distinctly above and so not part of the sun. I really should read up on calligraphic scripts.

It's possible I'm just getting sloppy and self-absorbed and have quit learning anything new.

The theoretical possibility is duly noted; however, the actual probability appears vanishing close to zero. (Methinks you'll hit the jackpot on a multistate lottery first.)

I like to bank all my days off and take them in great big chunks, what can I say?

Hey, it worked for Travis McGee ...
He was taking his retirement in installments, which sounds even better. But I don't have a boat.