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Occupation: Girl

Please close the door and switch on the fun without fail.

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I do, in fact, want fries with my existential despair
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Today: Spent the morning rereading one of my favorite Victorian source books (Inside the Victorian Home), paying particular attention to the food served at formal dinners and the means of serving it, which at the beginning of the century was à la francaise, and then (from France, ironically) à la russe. Then went out for a burger. As you do.

Valerie and Emily, my roommates from college, and I have actually done a pretty good job of getting out and having lunch more often; today we went over to Five Guys. I had a small run of bad luck while I was there, though, because a guy who thought he was the funniest thing ever let Valerie go ahead of him. Then his girlfriend showed up, and he made a big deal out of Emily go ahead of them--"but you! You have to stay back here!" And I thought eventually he'd kind of go, "Naaaah, I'm kidding," and... he totally didn't. He even turned around one more time and said, in tones of deep self hilarity, "Remember, you have to stay back here!" I laughed through the whole thing, but I was extremely puzzled. And then, at the soda fountain whatever thing, I slipped and fell, because my day hadn't been awesome enough yet. At least three different guys and a bonus employee immediately went "OH MY GOD, ARE YOU OKAY?" Fortunately (?) I fell forward onto my shin, which hurt like a motherfuck, but at least I didn't screw up my actual knee. So I'll probably have a glorious bruise on my dignity shin, but life goes on.

So I move forward towards the condiments, shaking my head. I look back, and there's that same employee crouching down, frantically rubbing the floor to figure out why it was slippery, and if he's going to get fired for it. I turn back around to the front, and the guy in front of me goes, "You need a lawyer?"

But the weather was beautiful and the fries were good and Valerie's little boy is a charmer, so. And next week we will take him to the zoo! I bet you have NO IDEA what I'm going to take pictures of THERE.

Earlier this week: existential despair. I spent a couple of days convinced that my three-year-old Black Ribbon drafts were heinous and that I should just give up on everything and maybe crawl under the covers for a few years. I have those days now and then; I kind of think they might be related to normal hormonal fluctuations on top of the regular clinical depression issues. The important thing is just to ride those days out and not do anything stupid--like, say, erase your hard drive and sign up for the Peace Corps--but the problem with sincerely feeling like there is no hope is that you also feel like there's never going to be any hope. It's hard to talk yourself out of these things, is what I'm saying. I just try to get through them as best I can. But... it was pretty bad on--Wednesday, I think? Pretty bad.

In the end, I got through it by making myself think of the parts of the novel I really love in my head, even if I haven't gotten what's on the page to match that yet. The bright spots, as I started to think of them. And so Thursday and today have been better. Right now, I'm going back and forth between bright spots--when one wind runs out, I run over and try to catch another--but I am definitely trying to hack through all the notes and revision ideas and general crapfulness of the first chapter, so I can at least have an excerpt that makes sense to shop around. I mean, ideally I would have 3-5 chapters, but the journey of a novel begins with a single scene, I guess. So right now, I'm hacking through the beginning (seriously, sometimes it feels like I am using an actual machete in a very thick jungle), and then bouncing around between chapters with bright spots. My current focus is to make the dialogue Moar Better, eliminate "grimly" and "dryly" whenever possible, and tweak the characterization so that I need as few dialogue tag adverbs as possible.

(Oddly, you know what has really helped with this? Writing 70+ installments of The Secret Life of Dolls, and having to use dialogue to differentiate between multiple pairs of dolls that are nominally the same character, while still having you see which part of the original character I'm running with. I'm looking at my novel drafts now, and I'm actually kind of overwhelmed with the amount of editorial "Oh, honey, no" that's washing over me--because all the super-fun hobby writing made me a better writer, as writing more will make any writer, and now my old "legitimate" work feels like a pair of shoes I've outgrown. It's frustrating, but I think--I hope--I know enough now to fix it as well.)

(New installment of Secret Life tomorrow, by the way.)

And at some point, I will have to figure out which publisher(s) to query about this. Well, my agent and I will. I don't know if everyone wants steampunk vampires now, or no one does.

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I laughed so hard when someone was giving Serious Writerly Advice and SPECIFICALLY pegged "dryly" and "grimly" as overused. Because maaaaaan, am I guilty of that. So I try to work on that now.

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This week wasn't a good writing week for anyone, I don't think. I know I spent three days staring at the blank screen that needs to be an MA essay draft in two and half weeks, utterly unable to type anything.

Also, on the subject of idiots at restaurants, I was at Edo (a teppan grill fast food thing here) about a month ago, I ordered my food, another guy ordered behind me, they did most of the prep on my order, I asked for extra sauce and the grill guy went "Nope, men first" and finished the man behind me's order before coming back to mine. I was flabbergasted.

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Wow, that dude at Five Guys sounds like an incredible douche.

I KNOW RIGHT! It would have been annoying enough if he'd been all like, "Nah, I'm kidding, go on ahead." BUT HE DIDN'T! I seriously started to wonder if he was drunk. At 11:30 in the morning.

from totally the sidelines...steampunk=squee, vampires=squick.

Well, it's way more vampire than steampunk, so... oops.

Okay, has the jackass quotient seriously gone up this past week, or something? I saw a truly hideous occurrence on the bus when the bus driver wouldn't allow a pair of women with strollers on (while he called them 'girls') because an older man (yes, he would be considered 'elderly') didn't want to move three inches further back and take a seat on one of the non-fold-up benches. Seriously. It was three inches in space difference between the seats.

I had an asshole bus driver yesterday! He wouldn't start the bus until my bag was "out of the aisle" (it wasn't in the aisle, it was between my feet) because "it's a busy bus" (less than 20 people the entire time I rode)


Occasionally I've managed to just go "Huh?" and look quizzical so that maybe the person at least tries to explain it. Sometimes one needs to go "Huh?" and maybe make that person think that others might not think that's so funny.

I hope the tastiness of Five Guys made up for it (yeah, I'm a fan).

re: Five Guys Employee Concern!

This may be because they have in-store contests, either every day or every week, and each person in the store can win money for clean store, upkeep, etc. (y'know, not that the employee wasn't actually genuinely concerned about both your knee and your dignity, but this might explain the scrubbing frantically at the floor thing.)

Re: Five Guys Employee Concern!

Well, he also asked me if I was okay, and was rubbing the exact spot I slipped on with his fingertips.

Everyone always wants steampunk vampires.

But yet, you never expect steampunk vampires. They're like the Spanish Inquisition.

Steampunk vampires sound AWESOME.

I bet you have NO IDEA what I'm going to take pictures of THERE.

Oh sure 4chan introduced LOLCATS, but it took YOU to narrow down the species to the most hilarious/awesome variety.

Edited at 2010-10-16 01:11 am (UTC)

If it hadn't turned out that they were already really popular in Russian lolcat memes, I would totally be claiming responsibility for their cultural emergence.

Oh hey, existential despair and the impulse to toss it all (because it's crap!) and go live on the Moon. I think it's been a whole two days since I last had that one...

Sympathies for your crazy writer brain issues, your tumble, and incomprehensible jerky fellow customers.

What I'm looking forward to is your trademark dirty-jokes-that-don't-seem-dirty-at-first-and-then-OMGHEEE.

Heh. I don't think there are any dirty jokes in this one. Just a picture that I have spent A YEAR dying to set up and take.

That is a really, really, really good strategy for pulling yourself up by the bootstraps. I do that too, actually. Also, I try to think of compliments that people have given me. It doesn't even have to be major, just little stuff like "I love that t-shirt" or "You make me smile" can go a long way.

And you know what? You're a damn great writer and the red hot second your books hit the selves, whatever they may be, I will be the first in line to get my copies. And if I'm not in the front, then I'll be telling everyone on my way up there how awesome your writing is. So basically, I would totally be interested in steampunk vampires and I'll convince everyone I know that they are too.

(Also, I am eagerly awaiting SLoD like presents on Christmas morning. But I will be out all day long, woe!)

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Yes this. I remember how much I hated it when I worked at a movie theater taking tickets, and guys (always guys) would pull the ticket away before I could tear it. It was apparently supposed to make me laugh. It was not funny.

I have three fic projects due next week. So, what have I been doing for the past few days? I took out an unfinished novel I haven't looked at since 2008. *eyeroll*

I'd stopped writing the book because I was convinced it was broken somehow. And, upon re-reading my draft, I figured out what was wrong. Nothing. NOTH. ING. A friend reminded me I'd been under a ton of stress at the time. Apparently I'd completely psyched myself out. So, I feel for you. Our muses are perverse, horrible creatures. :D