Cleolinda Jones (cleolinda) wrote,
Cleolinda Jones

Twenty questions (3)

More Formspring questions. Posted 3/9/10.

would you consider a podcast of your own? as much as i like hearing you on Made of Fail now and then...i do wonder what you would do on your own.

I have, but honestly, I don't think I have the editing/recording skills or equipment to handle it. I've seen from this end of it how much work Kevin puts into the technical aspects of the show. I mean, if you guys want, I can try some voice posts now and then, but I suspect a full show is beyond my capabilities.

Is there any celebrity you'd like to meet, or does the idea of meeting a celebrity squick you out?

Mostly it weirds me out, because I'd have no idea what to say and wouldn't be able to keep a straight face ("LOL YOU LIVE IN MY TV"). I think I'm more afraid of embarrassing myself than anything.

Did you and your sister fight when you were little? Do you still fight now?

Well, naturally.

If you could pick one superpower (kinda thinking along the lines of X-Men mutations rather than Superman or Care Bear Stare) what would it be?

Given that I can't drive (I'm still trying to work on panic attacks), teleportation would probably be the most helpful. Barring that, the ability to blow up people with the power of my mind. Yes.

How much time have you spent on formspring today?

All told, probably a couple of hours. I kept checking in on and off while I was reading my Jack the Ripper book, and it's good to put that one down once in a while.

Is your mom as badass as I think she is?

About 93% as badass.

Do you feel as if you get along with people online better than you do with those in real life?

I don't know--I feel like people online are more likely to go out of their way to seek me out, but that doesn't necessarily mean I get along with them better. And with tone not translating well in a text-only format, it's easier to get pissy with people, have misunderstandings, etc. I really value the friendships that I have online, but the ones that transitioned from online to real-life have always become more fulfilling. I do actually have IRL social skills, in other words.

Hey, a non-Cleo question: I've been looking for online message boards/communities wherein others are squeeing about Tonner dolls. (I blame you, you know.) I can only find BJD places. Do you know of any good communities/sites for Tonner doll talk?

I asked on Twitter, and I got two recs for a board called Prego?

I've always said that SMeyer is an awful writer, but a good storyteller. What do you think makes the Twilight Saga so irresistible to so many people, myself included (because it sure as hell isn't quality of writing or story)?

See, I don't even know that she's a good storyteller--not in the plotty sense. Twilight ends with the first-person narrator being unconscious for the climactic action scene; Eclipse has Bella just stand there and grip a rock and stare while everyone else fights; Breaking Dawn makes you think there will be one and then never actually has it happen--let's not even get started on what happens before that.

What I think she's done is write straight from (and to) the id. For whatever reason, the Edward/Bella thing seems to be a wish-fulfillment fantasy that appeals to a lot (a lot) (A LOT) of people. I'm not sure how she was able to do that and so many other authors haven't been able to. Is it a certain transparency, a lack of artifice, a kind of honesty? I don't know. But she reached a huge audience in a way that hundreds of other, arguably better writers haven't been able to. That's something worth thinking about.

I refuse to call it a "saga," though. Call me when the sparklevikings show up.

How and what were you feeling when you learned that Movies in 15 Minutes was definitely going to be published? by pryllie

Surprise, because an editor emailed me and pitched the idea to me--I wasn't trying to sell anyone on it. And then *immediate, gripping terror* that I was going to screw something up. I'm sure I was happy and excited along in there somewhere, but that's what I remember most vividly.

How do you deal with procrastination? Are you like me in that there are times when you just can't start something even though you have to?

Short answer: I'm on Formspring right now, aren't I?

Long answer: I am so, *so* bad at putting things off. I mean, I procrastinate the way everyone does when things are going well, but when I get really depressed, it turns into--I almost want to call it a "destructive" behavior.

The most effective way I've found to deal with it--not that I can always bring myself to do this--is to take out/look at/start up the thing you're trying to avoid, on the understanding that you don't have to do it. You just have to pull it out and review where you left off, or look over it before you tackle it for the first time. Do that for five minutes. Then you can put it away. Because what almost always happens is that I start noodling around on it anyway. Sometimes I really have put whatever it is away, though. But so much of procrastination, for me, when it takes on an element of fear or anxiety, is a problem of breaking the ice. The task looms larger in my mind than it actually is. Forcing myself to look at it, just look at it, is a way of deflating that.

In your opinion, which fandom has the potential to become the next Twilight in terms of its batshit crazy fans? AKA Which one do you most want to mock relentlessly? Please don't be diplomatic, I"ll shield you from the crazies; I promise.

You know, I'm not sure. I knew Twilight was going to be big after reports came out from the set that fangirls were already climbing the fences, and I knew it was going to be *insane* after they stormed Comic-Con that year. Which is to say, specific incidents gave me that feeling. Right now--I don't know, the only new fandom I've heard about recently is Avatar, with people getting all depressed that Pandora isn't real and they can't actually be giant blue catpeople. If they really do make a trilogy, that might get interesting. Speaking of Avatar, I'll be interested to see how "The Last Airbender" (they've dropped "Avatar" from the title for reasons that will be apparent) fandom handles the movie; I know they're already angry about the racial flip of the casting.

It's hard to tell, though. Hollywood's tried to start so many new franchises that have died on the vine, and they're desperately casting around for the next trend--werewolves, Greek gods, angels, zombies, fairies (multiple projects on all of those). It's just really hard to tell what's going to stick--but you'll know it has when people start to get their crazy on. So I'm curious to see how that works out.

Have you heard of Dust and Shadow by Lyndsay Faye, which is the story of Sherlock Holmes pursuing Jack the Ripper and what do you think of Sherlock vs. Jack? I'm sure this isn't the first time it's been done.

Haven't heard of that specific book, but I have heard of the concept, which suggests that it really might have been done more than once. I think there was also one about Holmes and the Phantom of the Opera. I don't know about the concept itself--I'm sure it could be done well, and I'm just as sure it could be done badly.

Have you read any of Diana Gabaldon's books? If so, what did you think of it / them?

I haven't, actually.

Are you a fan of any anime/manga and if so, what particular series?

Actually, I don't know much about either, aside from cultural osmosis. My sister really liked Death Note, though.

Are you surprised by how much people like hearing about your dolls?

I'm mostly surprised that I don't get teased from one end of the internet to the other. So... I guess that's a yes? It's just surprised me how invested people have gotten in it, even people who aren't interested in dolls otherwise, or who don't like the characters in their original contexts, or weren't sure what the hell I was talking about at first.

As an author, what is your 'creative process'? In other words what happens between thinking of an idea and ending up with a completed work?

I tend to work from the big picture inwards. With Movies in Fifteen Minutes pieces, I tend to write down anything that came to mind as quickly as I can, in whatever order I think of it, then try to outline the scenes that have to be in there, the ones that I really want to comment on. I usually end up working around those--how to get from the "interesting" scenes in a way that you can still understand what's going on if you haven't seen the movie, yet not get bogged down with dead weight. Once it starts taking shape, I start trying to get it to actually be, you know, funny. You have to remind yourself that not every single sentence has to be a t-shirt slogan and sometimes you just have to keep going forward. But basically, I start off with a very general, ragged draft and keep going around and around in circles until 1) every necessary scene is filled in and 2) it's as tight as I can make it. It's not just writing from the beginning to the ending, tra-la-la. That's why it takes so long. I even wrote the Van Helsing one out of order that way, because that's just how I think.

With the Secret Life of Dolls, I generally tried to think of a theme or a topic to write each entry about ("the girls discuss male dolls I should buy"), and then as an ongoing storyline developed, I started trying to think more in terms of episodes. I have a general storyline sketched out several installments ahead; then I look at each installment and try to figure out what it's basically about. I might have secondary or tertiary developments (read: what the other characters are doing in the background), but I pick one thing to really come to the forefront, and I shape everything around that. And once I have a basic idea, I start drafting the way I do with the Fifteen Minutes--any bits of dialogue or flashes of narrative that specifically come to mind, outline the rest around it, circling around, filling in and taking out and polishing, over and over until I'm done with it.

With a novel--I wrote three awful ones when I was in high school/college, have drafted/outlined two or three stand-alones, and have an eight-book series half planned out. Which is to say, I'm not very good at finishing things, but there is a lot of writing going on behind the scenes. Usually I'm daydreaming about something and a situation comes to me, a setting, a character. (Interestingly, a male character usually comes first, but then I think of a female character to interact with him and I get way more interested in her.) It kind of starts out as, "What if you had X and Y and then Z happened?" Then I start thinking about how to make that a full-length narrative--how that would unfold, where it would happen, the characters you would need to have around them, and the point of telling the story. In the process of mulling all this over, maybe taking notes or sketching things out--this could happen over weeks or even months, mind you--themes start to emerge. I don't try to hammer those home too hard, but I pay attention once I notice they've started to bubble up on their own. Eventually, I start trying to reach an ending in my mind--where are we going with this? The point of telling the story is to get to that place. It's like planning a trip--you know you want to get to Venice; now you have to start choosing routes and booking flights. So the drafting process, at that point, is about discovering how I'm going to get from this setup in my head to the ending I have in mind. And by then I've already tucked away scenes and bits of dialogue--some of which don't work anymore, but there you are. And then I begin the drafting/outlining/polishing circle process.

Does it freak you out when some people see Daniel Radcliffe as a sex symbol now, since we've watched him grow up onscreen in the HP films? by mixedupbeauty


omg Radcakes please don't get naked again

Whatever happened to that cute dog, Pete? I think his name was? Hi to Sister Girl!

Well, my sister still has him; she doesn't live with us, so I don't see him much.

Who on Made Of Fail is TOTALLY COOLER Dayna or Kevin by queenanthai


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Tags: books, dolls, fandom, formspring, harry potter, house of bark, jack the ripper, m15m, made of fail, movies, my mother, my sister, podcasts, sherlock holmes, tonner, twilight, writing

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