Archive for November 2nd, 2012

A Commercial I Find Amusing

First, the clip (which you may have already seen):

Now, why I think it is amusing.

The obvious: the song used? Rush. Is there really any other reason why I shouldn’t find the commercial some shade of awesome besides that?

Okay, fine. Volkswagen was already a car brand that I am not against owning. This just makes them one notch cooler. That is all.

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The Joys of Sleep… or The Pleasures of a Hibernating Dragon

JH started sleeping through the night around july 4th. And I mean sleeping. Until almost 7am. After going to sleep around 8pm. The pleasure lasted for almost two months, until the joyful evil that is teething started in earnest (two bottom teeth already through, and we think there may be up to four more working on coming in). Recently, he has been waking up pre-ass-crack-of-dawn (usually between 3:30-5am), which has not lended itself to us getting a full night’s sleep.

Such is life with a baby.

Back in July, though, something happened one night that I asked MC to write about, which I present here (slightly edited):

One long day after work, after dinner was done and the kitchen cleaned up and the baby fed I was tired and worn out. I had put the baby in his crib hoping that he would doze off on his own.  I had made it downstairs to do something, I’m sure having to do with cleaning up when I heard my husband talking. (side note- we have a baby monitor in the baby’s room with one of the receivers in our living room.) I stopped what I was doing to listen and see just who my husband was talking too. I walked upstairs and stopped in front of the baby’s bedroom. There was my husband standing in the dark with the glow of his iPad illuminating his face as he looked over the crib, reading. He was reading Winnie the Pooh to the baby. As I peered over the crib the baby lay there with his hands clasped in front of him staring intently up at his daddy as he read to him. It made my crankiness disappear to watch these two in their private father son moment. My husband glanced up, smiled at me, and went back to reading.

 

Sleeping (Baby) Dragon

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NaNoWriMo… Just Saying No.

This year, at least… indirectly.

Unlike Scalzi, I don’t (yet) have the “professional author with deadlines” (or, as he mentions, recovering from deadlines) thing going on.

And I’m not hating on NaNo here, either. I think the idea is a good one, and any effort taken towards participating is still “making art” and should be commended.

In my previous attempts, however, I have come in significantly short of the 50k work threshold that desginates a “winner,” a trend I don’t see changing this year between the class requirements coupled with an 8-month old.

Which lead to the decision.

But I am not planning on completely avoiding the NaNo concept this month. I was doing some goal planning last night (specifically geared towards the next two months, until I go back in Januay for the next MFA Residency). What do I have on tap over the next two months? Here you go: rewrite the set of pages I sent in for my October packet (related to the MFA thesis) [about 20pgs], begin revising the first 60 pages of the manuscript, add at least another 20k words (clost to 100 pages) to the same manuscript. On top of some other (much smaller) projects.

Same idea, implemented a little differently.

For those doing NaNo: write fast, and good luck!

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Tentacles… Take 2

Last time, I presented a first draft cut of a scene. This time, I bring you the same moment in the story, but with somewhat revised imagery. I mentioned before I was riffing on Cthulu… the other thing you need to know is why the change. It’s a matter of context. The scene is a dream sequence of sorts, so the tentacles do tie in to what’s going on to the character… problem with the first draft version is that he’s not actually anywhere near water. I thought it was cool when I wrote it (still do, which is why I put it up here a couple of weeks ago), but as the water sequence was a disconnect from the rest of the story, here is how I revised it to better fit in context.


The air was crisp.  He was standing in a clearing surrounded by cypress, maple and poplar trees.  There appeared to be a path leading out of the small field. He began walking, admiring the variety of colors on the leaves.  A gust of wind blew dust into his eyes.  When he was able to look again, the path had become covered with leaves.  He continued walking, kicking leaves aside trying to find the trail.                  There was a stabbing pain on his legs which forced him to collapse into the leaves.  He looked around, feeling around his legs.  There were tentacles, long, sinewy members that reached for him, from something under the leaves.  He kicked himself free and began to run.  The cool air filled his lungs, biting them as he gasped, before the pain found his legs again.

He was tripped up again; his legs strained to kick loose.  He looked back at the tentacles, the long, dark figures reaching for him.  Tree roots were reaching for him; a weeping willow was rising up, towering over him.  His arms stung as new tentacles groped for them.  He was being pulled higher.  Above the base of the tentacles he could make out a pair of dark eyes staring out from the trunk of the tree.  In the center of the tentacles he could see a large blackness, something he was sure he wanted to avoid.

He struggled against the tentacles; the more he fought the tighter they became.  They were lifting him higher, carrying him towards the blackness.  With no other options, he lowered his head, attempting to bite one of the things from his arm.  His arm had become covered in some thick material – It looked like hair, but it could have been something from the tentacles.  He wasn’t sure.   His chest tightened.   He looked down, and could barely see the forest floor.  He pulled his right arm to his face, craned his neck to get a good angle.  He sunk his teeth into the soft tissue of the tentacle on his arm.  He felt the thing tense then loosen as his jaw clamped tighter.  He felt like a dog playing with a rope toy.   The tastes of bile and blood and dirt filled his mouth.  He bit at several other tendrils until they finally let go.  He was falling, the willow creature now gone, crashing to the forest floor.  He lay there, crumpled, watching beams of light dancing on the leaves.

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