Saturday, April 28, 2007

Me and My Daemon

I saw this on Maureen's blog and had to get one too. But, is this really me? I don't know... Click on "Is my daemon a match?" if you don't agree either and help him find a better form.

Friday, April 27, 2007

Northward Migration

The time has come to say good-bye to constant sunshine.

Brad's accepted a long-term gig in Vancouver, so we're moving north. We can't actually bring ourselves to move across the border, so we're settling in Birch Bay, WA for now since the housing is more reasonably priced than in the Vancouver metro area. We've found a house to rent--a nice three-bedroom near the ocean that costs a little less than what we pay for our teeny one-bedroom apartment here in L.A. (not near the ocean).

We're moving in the middle of May, so I have three weeks to get everything sorted and packed. Yippee. I'm looking forward to being settled, though.

Tuesday, April 17, 2007

Going to WisCon

At least, that is the current plan. The actuality of this depends on me figuring out where I'm staying and buying plane tickets. I am registered now, though.

Anyone need a roomie? UPDATE: Roommate found.

Sunday, April 15, 2007

Reading Magic and Watching Dreams

I took the weekend off from writing to finally read Jonathan Strange and Mr. Norrell. I bought the book shortly after it came out, but as it's a large book and I'm no good at dipping into a novel for an hour or two here and there, I put it aside. I also can't read while I'm working on a story; I like to be immersed in one world or the other--going back and forth ruins the enjoyment of both. So, the book sat on my shelf for a while and then has been travelling around with me for the past couple of years while I waited for an opportune block of time to read it. The book's been from California to China and back, and been lugged up and down the West Coast for the past year and a half. After all that time and anticipation (not to mention the work of carrying such a hefty tome in my suitcase), I was very much hoping that I liked the book.

I'm not sure why yet, but my response to it is very mixed. I must say that I very much admire the work. It's very ambitious, drawing together history and magical lore and the individual stories of a large and diverse set of characters, and for the most part, I was impressed with how convincingly the world she built came off. I loved the little bits of magical history woven in through the footnotes. But, delighted as I was for the first couple of hundred pages, I started getting bored through the middle and tired of trying to keep track of all the intertwining strands ("When did those people meet?" "What was he supposed to do again?"), and the ending lacked enough impact and resonance to redeem it. Perhaps my problem was, with so many characters to follow, I didn't have the leisure to really empathize with or care about what happened to any of them. Or maybe it's that I like books where friendship and love are more powerful, sympathetic forces than they are here. An impressive book, but in the end, it left me a little cold.

My Netflix movie-of-the-week was The Science of Sleep. Following the general trend of the weekend, the beginning was delightful and promising, the ending not so much. Visually, though, the depictions of the main character's dreams were lovely and whimsical; I loved the low-tech-looking effects, the cardboard cars and cellophane water. I love how he lives as much (or more) in dreams as in reality and the way the two blur into each other for him. But I didn't like the way his character developed and I wish the story had been as transporting as the effects.

Ah, well. Back to writing tomorrow.

Saturday, April 07, 2007

Morning Writing

I have always considered myself a night writer. Daytime is too rife with distractions for me to write well--the sun is out, errands could be run, other people are up and about, there are phone calls and mail deliveries to interrupt my concentration. At night, it's dark and quiet and there's no place else to go, no one to talk to.

But for the past several months my schedule has been so whacked and my brain so exhausted by evening that I haven't been getting much writing done. Which leads to more stress and more exhaustion. To try and remedy the situation, I've instituted a new writing schedule for myself: waking up early and setting aside a few hours first thing to do my writing.

I don't know how well this is going to work, given that I'm not a morning person and this is going completely counter to my natural preferences. I hate to wake up before noon, my brain requires several hours to start functioning properly, and I have to deal with all the daytime distractions. I've managed to do it for a couple of days now, and the results are decidedly underwhelming--a few hundred words yesterday, all of which got cut today to be replaced by a handful of new ones. But I'm chalking that up to the fact that my brain is still reeling from the change in schedule and will take several days to adjust. I hope in a week I can start to report actual productivity. The first steps, though, are to consistently show up at the computer first thing in the morning to make my brain realize I mean business.

I'm also disabling the WiFi on my laptop during that time period.

Desperate times, desperate measures.