Cleolinda Jones (cleolinda) wrote,
Cleolinda Jones
cleolinda

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Chatty and yet feeling kind of meh

Hey, I feel talky, so let's get this out of the way before it gets crushed under the weight of the linkspam:

I don't know if I'm still manic or hypomanic, but I have somehow found a way to feel tired and wired at the same time--too edgy to sleep but too disgusted with life meh to do anything useful. It's funny--I'm having a lot of tiny moodswings. As in, my mood changes a lot, but the moods themselves aren't very "big," as it were. I mean, I'm not flailing around like Midnight Sun Edward Cullen or anything. It's just that in the course of an hour, it'll be like, "I'm tired and I don't want to do anything. Hey, I think I'll play around on my wiki! Let's check email. I kind of feel like crying, but eh, I think I'm just being hormonal. Let's desk dance a little. I want to work, I feel like working. Nooooo, I'm so sick of footnotes. My stomach hurts. GOD I HATE EVERYONE, PEOPLE MAKE ME SO TIRED." Of course, if y'all have heard my voice on the podcasts, you have to imagine all of that being said in a fairly even, deadpan tone. If this is mania, it's not impressing me. Which is probably for the best.

I mean, maybe this is totally normal. But once you know that you have a mood disorder, you start assuming that everything you feel is abnormal.

Oh, by the way, this journal's going to be five years old on Halloween! Whee! What I'm thinking about is something like what John Scalzi's doing for the tenth anniversary of his blog--link to an older entry each day, particularly since a lot of new people have started reading over the summer (*waves*). Yes, entries about my mother (Gerald, Sonic, all of that) will be represented. If there's anything else you really liked, let me know, because there are 2,436 entries prior to this one, according to my user info, and most of them aren't tagged (*sob*). And now you know why I have the Cleoland wiki--as a way of making some kind of organizational sense out of this thing. I'm going to try and improve it a good bit over the month--when I need fun breaks--so that the major topic pages are filled in.

(Another reason I have the wiki is because I need it as a reference to link to--and I need those links because I can't assume everyone's read everything or remembers what they did read. It saves people the trouble of asking, "Wait, what was that about again? Did I miss that?" Like the link to the podcasts up there, actually--that's exactly what that is. It's also why I tend to repeat myself and re-explain things, like The Inevitable Recap of My Depressive Episodes whenever I mention a minor medication change: because I can't assume you remember what I'm talking about. Anyway, in case that ever annoyed you, that's why I do it.)

Meanwhile, a post about fanfic from a fanfic writer who attended Clarion: "This is not a 'published fiction is better than fanfiction' post. It's a 'published fiction is harder than fanfiction' post." A really interesting read, in no small part because it better articulates something I was trying to get at, very generally, here:
So when you remove fandom from the equation, you're removing exactly what people came to fandom for in the first place: the characters and the worlds. You've got to create your own. And maybe writing in someone else's world has been like training wheels, maybe it's shown you the kind of thing you're going to need to do for yourself. Without having actually written narrative fanfiction, I still look at what JK Rowling's said about her process in terms of planning out a long series. What do you give away, how soon do you give it away--her decision to move Horcrux info from Chamber of Secrets to a later book, that kind of thing. But you're also in danger of having steeped in someone else's world for so long that you write your own thing, and it's like everything everyone's already seen.
Compare that bit of rambling to
Fanfiction is about taking an existing world and existing characters and, importantly, an existing audience, and writing something that appeals to that audience by expounding on a relationship or event or character within the original canon, sometimes even subverting the original canon. But even if you hold up an Alice in Wonderland mirror to the canon and write something gloriously fucked-up and twisty that would make the original canon writer spin in his grave, you are still writing with the aid of a mirror and, let me be blunt, it is a crutch.

Because you never have to start it from scratch. You never have to go "okay, goddammit, I need a believable character" because there's already a stable full of characters you love there to tinker with and explore; you don't usually have to research to create an economy/religion/political system from the ground up; in most (I stress most!) cases you don't have to build a coherent plotline beyond one or two scenes, especially if you are simply going into greater character depth with a canon plot event; et cetera, et cetera, et cetera. Perhaps the hardest of these is that you don't have to figure out What the Story is About, which is what I mean when I say "stories that matter."
Like I said: she says it better.


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