April 1st, 2008

bear by san

breathe in, breathe out, move on

So I know what's wrong with my head.

I know I've said this before, but I think I'm just going to have to keep writing it down until I internalize it, and start to pry my fingers off the ledge a little.

I've overengaged my left brain on this whole writing thing.

See, when one is learning to write, one has to go through a stage of learning that one's golden prose and soating narratives are pretty much crap. Sorry, guys--that's just the way it goes. And part of that is learning a critical function.

The Internal Editor, people call it.

I have a pretty well-developed one, these days.

What it really is, based on my understanding of neurology, is the critical analytical left brain working over everything the intuitive creative left brain unearths from the depths of the id and the subconscious (If I may be forgiven for resorting to Fraudian metaphors here for a moment) and turning it into something comprehensible by other mortals.

Well, my right brain used to be really good at pulling up characters and narrative and atructures, and putting them together and making them go. Lately, however, I've been having to do that as a left-brain function--intellectual rather than creative--and it makes everything a hell of a lot harder. Because now I have to think through and construct all of this stuff that used to be automatic, which means it feels very artificial and awkward. And the worst part is, it's wobblier, because all that brain back there under the conscious processes is a lot more powerful--can do a lot more work--than this pathetic little scrap of self we call an "I."

Anyway, right now what's going on is that I am doing just about everything consciously, rather than with the back brain, and that means I am painfully slow and awkward and it all is really hard. I have become like the centipede in the parable--the one who has been asked how on earth he runs without tangling up all those legs, and suddenly can't do it anymore.

So I just have to keep muddling in on my inadequate little left brain--pushing along on craft when I don't have the inspiration--trust the right brain is doing its thing back there even if it isn't telling me what has it so busy, and figure it will be back out sooner or later.

Of course, it's also not helping that I'm over that bout of hypergraphia I was having between 2001-2005 or so, and writing has (mostly) stopped being a compulsion, except when something really gets me by the throat and I have to write it now. Which is pretty much a good thing.

Except when I have deadlines.

Like, oh, now.
spies mfu (sorta) going to hurt ivan & h

he said, let me break it to you son. your shit's fucked up.


For everybody who has missed this the last fifteen times I've said it, I really hate unsolicited advice. Especially condescending unsolicited advice offered by people who don't know me well and who don't know anything about the intersection of me and my art. (Close friends do get a little more leeway, but friends also generally know how I feel about being told what I think, or what is really going on with me, and what I should do about it.)

It is a sure-fire way to get me to tear your head off.

I realize this is a personality flaw. However, it does not appear to be amenable to mitigation, and the only solution I have thought of is to turn off comments in this blog, which I do not want to do.

So do us both a favor, and if you're about to offer me some journeyman-level writing advice or pop psychology that I've probably already thought of, sit on your hands. Go play with your dog. Do something else until the urge passes.

I realize that this is unreasonable and immature of me, but my blog, my rules. I don't need the fucking adrenaline, and I hate yelling at people, and now it's going to take me a goddamned hour to calm down and try to get my mind back on work, which makes me even more frustrated.
  • Current Music
    Emmylou Harris - Orphan Girl
writing gorey earbrass unspeakable horro

so i shot him with my shooter, bang bang bang

Progress notes for 1 April 2008

So much for my productive day off. I blew it entirely on being stressed out on Internet drama.

Fuck this. Maybe I do need to turn off comments, much as I would regret it.


New words: 189
Deadline: May 1
Mammalian assistance: There is a cat on my knee as I type this, holding on to the cloth of my jeans with her clawtips and purring. She must be cold. Or want something.
Jury-rigging: Dream sequences. Hate 'em, Jake.
Sustenance: steamed buns with red bean paste, courtesy of the frozen foods section of the local Asian grocery 
Exercise: Climbing last night, five routes. I am still thrashing on my project wall, which is a 5.7 that really doesn't seem like it should be that hard. At least I got past the point where I was stuck until last week, and did it with relative grace and professionalism. And then I got to the traverse.

A Brief Dramatization:

The Jeff (on belay): "What seems to be the problem up there?"
Our Heroine: "(&^%(*&^(*^ traverse."
The Jeff: "Oh, yeah, that traverse. That traverse sucks."
Our Heroine: *falling off wall again* "Yeah, I noticed."
Alisa (wandering in a little late): "Which one is she doing?"
The Jeff: "Blue route."
Alisa: "Oh, yeah, the one with the sucky traverse."
Our Heroine: "*&^%^%#$*^%!"


After that, I tried another 5.7, which is on the level of, I sent it once but have not yet been able to reproduce the feat--I also did not send it last night, as I was too worn out from falling off that damned traverse--and then I did a 5.6, a 5.5, and a 5.7 on the slab that I had never tried before, which I sent pretty well, once I figured out a sticky spot after the transition to vertical. I am getting really good at smearing; it's the one place where being heavy and having big flat feet works to my advantage.

I have picked out a 5.11 that I would really love to be able to climb. Someday, my prince will come....

This morning, 2 mile run in the warm (for this time of year) rain at dawn, which was much more like a run than last week's two mile runs. I only did four intervals, but they were much longer intervals, so I actually ran--okay, dog-trotted--about half the distance. And there were a couple of actual sprints in there, too, which was the only time I got winded, which is incredibly exciting to me. (The other times, I dropped out of the interval because either my arches or my calves hurt too much to push through, but that will get better as I adapt, and as my weight drops and these shoes break in.) First mile in 15 minutes, five minute break, second mile in 17 minutes because after the last interval, I stopped to look at the crocuses and snowdrops carpeting a neighbor's lawn for a minute.

Not too shabby, all things considered.

The lovely thing about going for a run first thing in the morning is that it fulfills the Live Frog clause. Nothing worse is likely to happen to you all day.

Also, I went for a walk to the package store on the corner, because I needed beer.

Miles to Lothlorien: 235.8
Guitar practice: My right hand appears to be developing a mind of its own. It does stuff now without consulting the neocortex, which is encouraging--that's what we hope to train it to do--but  little disconcerting, because now it often will not do things it used to know how to do. However, it taught itself a new finger-picking pattern recently, though it kind of still sucks at it, and it just randomly invented a bridge for "Brown-Eyed Girl" the other day. I had nothing to do with it. (It was not a good or complicated bridge, but it was definitely a bridge, and it kind of freaked me out. The hand seemed happy, however.)
Mail: Dust is number 4 on the Locus best seller list for April. Of course, that is the April Fool's edition. But the story about me sharing a bunk bed with Margaret Atwood? Total fact.
The Internet is Full of Things:  Snake and mouse!
comics invisibles king mob

i will survive. and so will you.

I learned something today that makes me very sad.

Apparently, I've reached a point of what passes, miserably, for "fame" in the community of SF writers where I am too well known to read the internet.

That kind of sucks, but  I kind of knew this would happen eventually.

I am an auctorial construct.

I think that means I should have a nap now. Or possibly that I should go get a job at Starbucks and give up writing alltogether.

Oh, look. Lightning storm. That's much nicer.

  • Current Music
    Lucinda Williams - Those Three Days