hobgoblinn: (Default)
I was thinking about my LJ friends tonight mostly because I was writing, which is something I do far too little of these days. Did double script pages tonight for Script frenzy, which is to say I'm now up to 10 pages. Then I took a break and read the f-list, checked my yahoo account and saw that ODD was losing its hosting domain. Felt sad that I haven't been to the site in a couple of years, maybe more.

Anyway, fandoms do this, or people change in their reading tastes. We were lucky to have an internet that made possible our entry into fandom even after the glory days of it had passed. I read most of the to me exciting new Buffy stories after the show ceased production and had come out on DVD. Another technology to thank.

I did decide to go with a variant of the Job story for my script, but I decided to focus on a character who knows everything-- what will happen, how all the parts of the universe fit together-- everything but why he's the way he is. Oh, and he likes being around us, so he dwells among us. I haven't worked it all out yet, but I think there's a real difference between the God most people envision-- the one who has a Plan and Makes Things Happen-- and one who just loves and yet gets saddled with a lot of human conceptions of what a God must be like. Like we make God in our own image, ascribe power we maybe think we would like, and none of us is really happier or more enlightened for it. And while we're so busy focusing on power, some of us forget to Love each other and all that, which is really more the point, isn't it?

My character has changed over the ages as he has wandered the earth, and at the moment he seems to be a 16 year old boy who's been accused of murder.

Will have to read the Easter Vigil readings again-- I heard some things that gave me ideas for the story while I was listening and worrying about whether or not I would be able to sing the next Psalm right. But after the very long weekend of singing I was too exhausted to remember anything of use.

I hope you are all well and happy, friends. My eldest turns 20 on the 12th, and Wee Hob will be 17 on the 14th. Where has the time gone?

And I have the music for the opening sequence of my file script: Perpetuum Mobile by the Penguin Cafe Orchestra.
hobgoblinn: (Default)
I'm wondering tonight after reading [livejournal.com profile] antennapedia's most recent entry if part of my problem with being a writer is the same as my problem being a programmer. That large scale ability to see the whole, the complexities of a project and to know how to fit them all together-- I never had that. I could solve small, kindergarten really, problems and set scripts running, and adapt scripts to somewhat new uses. But the higher level languages and concepts were quite beyond me.

Fanfiction seems a lot more like what I did, adapting of scripts/ preexisting programs to new, very limited situations. Sometimes the small problem solved was kind of neat, but, still, small. I get overwhelmed trying to create bigger structures, or I get a glimpse of the bigger thing, but once I begin to set details in place, the vision of the whole gets hopelessly muddled.

Not giving up, though. Sometimes magic happens in the small things, and when I practiced the writing craft more regularly, I occasionally did those things pretty well.

Maybe I just need to kick myself in the rear and do the practice of the craft every day, and stop making excuses for why I don't. Last week, yeah, I was sick. But I haven't been sick continually for the past couple of years.

I'm starting to set monthly goals. Last month, I accomplished a big one, writing that letter for my son. But some of my goals, like "finish X story" were too vague to be useful.

Maybe if I am more public about said goals I'll be more accountable? And more specific about what constitutes success?

Here then, are the March goals. )
Ask me in April how well I did.
hobgoblinn: (Default)
This review of a new novel by Gabriel Garcia Marquez ends with a line that gives further support to my feelings about Modern Literature. Peter Grier concludes:

"This spare book is thus an examination of the nature of complicity and fate, and of how a searing event can alter many lives over time. It is not nearly as wild and mysterious as ''One Hundred Years of Solitude,'' or as experimental as Garcia Marquez's other novel, ''The Autumn of the Patriarch.'' It is probably not a major work at all. Yet it is an exquisite performance, for its evocation of a frontier village ethos if nothing else. It makes novels about midlife crisis and divorce in Manhattan seem like whining, not writing."

I'll have to have a look. Though I know less about South American frontier villages than I know about midlife crises and divorce in Manhattan....
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First, for anyone who cares, I have gone back to another WIP and put out another installment. It's the sequel to "Lost Boys," the one with Ghost Snape and David Dursley, called "No Malicious Haunting." On this one, I am trying to see if I can take material already written and round it out, as opposed to doing an epic adventure as it was originally conceived. I am really surprised at what I wrote over a year ago, (at how decent it is) and I'm not sure if I can continue that level given how far I've drifted from the fandom in the intervening time. At any rate, the link is here.

Second, we got Wee Hob this morning, and-- Wow. I am so proud of him. Several of Troop 21's leaders came up to us while the boys were unpacking the trailer, telling me what a great son I had, what a joy he'd been to have around all week, how he was a "fine young man" and a "self starter" and a "great role model for our younger boys." Not only that, the boys themselves were making plans for him to come with them again next year. They all really liked him-- you could see it in their interactions.

Except for the "self starter" thing I knew all this, but it meant more than I can say to hear others say it, especially after all the problems he was having just a couple of short years ago. It also reassures me-- yes, at times here at home he may well be lazy and unmotivated and mouthy-- but out in the world where it counts, he can function. If he can reinvent himself out there, I can deal with redirecting a little boundary testing here at home. And I know he loves us and is not deliberately trying to be disrespectful when he pushes. All in all, a successful week. I think his own troop leaders will be very proud of him, too. And I am so happy for him, that he was able to go off on his own and make friends like this.

That's about all for now. He's out with friends at a local Church festival. And now that it's getting late and a bit cooler out, I'm thinking about taking a celebratory walk. I have posted on two different stories in the same week. Go, Hob.

Week 1 over

Jul. 9th, 2010 09:01 pm
hobgoblinn: (Default)
New School Term Update )
Wee Hob Update )
General Writing and Doubts Update )

More on Doubt:

Most people on my f-list have already seen it on [livejournal.com profile] sahiya's journal, but if you missed it, she recently posted a link to a very helpful article: Too Much Self Doubt? Try Thinking Like a Creator. I posted a link on my school blog. Some students assume they're the only ones who have ever been paralyzed by self doubt and feelings of inadequacy when they are trying to write. I hope they are helped to know the feelings are normal and that I've been there, too.

Sitting by the lake tonight with my Beloved gave me an idea of something I might be able to write. He teasingly told me I loved the green growing things because I am a wood elf. It struck me that I have always felt an outsider, a changeling in my world. That's a theme I think I could explore in fiction. A lot of what passes for modern "literature" leaves me cold-- even if well written, why do I really want to read about 2 couples having dinner where the husband of one and the wife of the other are having an affair and they all know it? Bleh. I hope never to have anything in common with that.

The foregoing example came from Francine Prose's How to Read as a Writer, which is excellent, even if her examples make me despair a bit of having anything literary to say. Ever. Also of knowing enough to say anything not stupid, which is why the other article was so timely for me.

Thus ends the State of the Hobgoblinn Address for this week. Stay cool, everyone.
hobgoblinn: (Default)
Well, the FL cut has really made checking my list less overwhelming. Then again, I have not let days/ weeks/ months go by since my last check. Too soon to tell if I can keep up with every day. The input of others is part of the conversation writers must have to generate and refine their ideas.

More on conversations )
And on leaving bits of ourselves behind-- and what that has to do with DNA and RNA. )
I guess that's enough rambling for today. It has got my brain cells jump started a bit, I think. Now I have to come up with a lesson plan that will give my Basic English students a fighting chance at being able to write me a 5 paragraph essay in the next 2 weeks. Oh Lord.
hobgoblinn: (Default)
It is really different, being back in LJ land.... )

On the writing front... )

There's also the existential angst I'm dealing with just now, which I will not go into at present. Except to note, that this, too saps one's strength. Or maybe that's just the cold.

Hugs to all.
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I may have to set a goal of once a week for posting, at least until I get into some kind of rhythm again. No great loss to you all, I'm sure-- you have plenty else to clutter your f-list.

One thing that I noticed tonight was how over the last couple of months, when I have tried to restart "In Loco Parentis", is how I will write along, and then at the end of a section, some new twist will end the section-- a cliffhanger, out of the blue, apropos of nothing.

I'd love it if anyone on my f-list has had that experience when trying to get back into an old work (one left for over 6 months or a year.) I'd love it even more if you have suggestions for how to overcome it. I have some good notes from 2008 Nano about how this story should go and end, but I can't seem to get back into that space now.

But I'll go back now and try, anyway. Peace to all, and thanks for the warm welcomes back.
hobgoblinn: (Default)
Writing Update first )
Life and Employment )
I've tried to keep up with everybody, but I have to admit I don't check my F list every day, and I have been doing some selective skipping and skimming. Sorry for that. At least over the next week I'll try to do better. Then my Beloved will be here for two weeks, and all bets are off.
hobgoblinn: (Giles - multitasking)
Thanks first to everyone for your encouraging comments on my last post. I've been busy the last few days settling into this new experience of unemployment and reality. But I did want to report that the time in Corpus Christi with my Beloved's family over Thanksgiving went much better than I dared hope.  )
Now what? And on an interesting Writing Community )
But for now, Blessed Advent to all, thanks again for the prayers and good wishes.
hobgoblinn: (Halloween_Hob)
Hey friends,

Especially [livejournal.com profile] antennapedia, [livejournal.com profile] xdawnfirex (as Rainne), [livejournal.com profile] clavally, [livejournal.com profile] nemaihne, [livejournal.com profile] father_turtle (as Nathan Blackpen):

Are any of you Not planning to do Nano this year? It's in its 10th year. I'm not going to win, but I think I'm going to participate and commit to writing almost every night, except when my Beloved is here, when I'm sure I can find other uses for my typing fingers....

Oh, sorry. TMI. I ask the people above because they're on my Nano page as friends and it's depressing not to see their word counts get above 0 all month. Any friends who are participating this year, let me know and I'll add you. I'm hobgoblinn, there as well as here.

And Wee Hobgoblinn is getting a Young Writer's Program account (with my email as the contact point, so I can keep an eye on what he does-- I also have his password. Hey, he's 13. And long time readers of this journal know all about his questionable judgement. But I want him to do stuff like this, if he wants to try.) Anyone who wants to leave him encouragement through the month, comment on my journal and I'll see he gets the message.

Also, anybody seen anything from [livejournal.com profile] mini_nanowrimo or [livejournal.com profile] wrisomifu lately? I do want to sign up for the lower word count versions, as I'm more likely to hit those this year.

And for anybody who's curious, I'm planning to do just what i did last year, if not as obsessively. Which is write on things I need to, switching among several stories as I get logjammed on one. I won't tell Chris Baty if you don't. You got the early drafts of In Loco Parentis out of last year's Nano, when I hit the wall on the Lost boys Sequel-- I hope this year to get both a lot closer to finished.
hobgoblinn: (Default)
First off, thanks to [livejournal.com profile] snarkysneak for her much anticipated box of grooviness. All items arrived safely, and were much appreciated by their respective recipients. Haven't had a chance to listen through the music yet, but I'm looking forward to it. And the Donne poem art is very cool. Donne's one of my favorites, for secular and sacred poetry alike.

And no takers on my beta call. Sigh. I guess I will beta myself and put a note on the next installment when I post it and see what turns up. There are people on the Pit of Voles who get emails when I post a new part, who are not regulars in this forum. Still, if you're thinking about it and wonder what it entails or what you might get out of it, shoot me a note. No obligation, of course. I've found the relationship with betas to be one of the most rewarding things about writing, for the give and take, what you learn from each other, what you see in your own writing after seeing someone else fall into the same traps. And of course, the threats to take away my caps key if I Don't Stop Abusing It are always fun.

But I also have to admit that what I'm trying to build in Real Life is way more important to me than (heresy) any writing I might be inclined to do.

Better get back to redirecting Wee Hob in packing for Peterloon, the big District-wide event this weekend. He was apparently missing some stuff last time.
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First things first. I have been blessed to have two very wonderful betas working with me for the first part of "In Loco Parentis." But it's gotten much longer than any of us ever thought it would, and it has been going on over a much longer time. Real life and other disasters (and triumphs) have gotten in the way, and it looks like both [livejournal.com profile] sahiya and [livejournal.com profile] research_girl are going to need to bow out. I can't overemphasize how much I've appreciated their time and talent, nor how much I have learned from them.

But my loss might be your incredible gain. If any of you f-listers in the Harry Potter fandom would like to beta for me on the rest of In Loco, shoot me a private message with your email. I'll put you the google docs version of a representative first draft of an earlier chapter so you can see what kind of feedback I've been getting, and on the current ch10 draft. You'd also get first crack at my sequel to "Lost Boys", which I hope to be able to start posting by Christmas (it being a Christmas fic and all).

Finally, [livejournal.com profile] gillo, I haven't forgotten my now Fall of Giles story. I've just seen you so busy and happy lately I haven't wanted to bother you. And of course, I have been likewise. Let me know if you need to be added to the list of former betas--that story has Really dragged out a long while. And know how much I have appreciated your work on the very earliest versions of that story.

Betas are like the pearl of great price, people, and I have been very blessed in mine over my years in fandom. Go hug yours today. Hug mine, too, while you're at it.
hobgoblinn: (Default)
I'm cutting and pasting in a bunch of quotes from the loose_canon board of responses I got to my ideas about Snape and Dark Magic. It's for my own use, and I'll put it behind a cut, but if anyone wants to see it, have at. First and foremost, though, a link to a most excellent essay by [livejournal.com profile] bohemianspirit. If you missed that one, it's worth a look.

And now the excerpts from loose_canon posts: )
hobgoblinn: (snape detention)
My Snape essay got kinda taken over by this one. Thanks to the denizens of the Yahoo Group loose_canon for the recent discussions that led me to realize I need to get these issues straight before I can do much more with the story. They led me to pose the question there, in what sense is Dark Magic Evil? (Dark chocolate isn't, after all.) And here's what I've come to, for the purposes of my AU.

Dark Magic is unadulterated Evil... )
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(Three friends on a rooftop, watching Sputnik pass overhead and talking in wide-eyed wonder about what it means.)

"We're standing on the threshold of the future."

"We've got to be the luckiest people who ever lived. After this moment, this moment that the three of us are sharing here together, nothing's ever going to be the way it was, ever again. Do you guys realize that now, we're going to be able to do anything? Anything we ever dreamed of? What a time to be starting out. What a time to be alive."

I've been listening through the new cast recording of Merrily We Roll Along tonight. As with a lot of Sondheim, most of the message of the show is delivered in the music, though I had the privilege of seeing this in college, so I had some extra context for some of it. Also have the extra 20 years of milage the characters start this show with, and the attendant questions about how bright promise fades, friendships fall apart, not everybody lives happily ever after.

I highly recommend it if you ever get a chance to see it. It's unusual-- it starts at the end and runs backward through twenty years in the life of three friends, making this finale piece that much more wrenching and bittersweet. It doesn't offer any answers about how things went wrong-- it stays very true to life in that way. We make the best decisions we can at the time, or we let our insecurities or momentary desires make them for us, and then we deal with the consequences. And sometimes we get what we thought we wanted, only to find out it's not at all what we thought. The hopeful note at the end, even knowing how things are going to go wrong for these kids, challenges an audience to see if they're where they meant to be, and realize that in some ways we start out new, every day. Maybe the friends in the show can't be saved, but that doesn't mean you have to stay trapped.

In light of [livejournal.com profile] juno_magic's quote from Heinlein tonight about writing, though, I offer this bit from "Our Time,":

There's so much stuff to sing.
And you and me, we'll be singing it like the birds,
Me with music and you with words,
Tell 'em things they don't know.
Up to us, pal, to show 'em.

This show does that, or rather, it tells us things we do know are true, but maybe haven't thought about in quite that way. We write, when we do it best, when we tell people things that are true like that.

But none of this is getting any of my actual stories written. Still, I wanted to share it. But now, back to it.
hobgoblinn: (Default)
Apologies to those who have already seen this on [livejournal.com profile] antennapedia's journal-- I have a number of friends now I know are not on her list, so I thought I'd share, too. This is a fantastic essay on POV in fandom. My comment may be of interest here, but really, the whole thread and comments are well worth a look. Enjoy.

Sadly, the poll mentioned is now closed. ETA: No, I just got word that there was an issue with the poll-owner's account which has been resolved. Have fun taking the poll.

I better get some work done, long as I'm here.
hobgoblinn: (reverse order)
Well, I haven't brought back to life anybody I killed off, but I have found myself adjusting the plot of previous posted segments of "In Loco" a bit. Much earlier, I wrote some new material for Part 1, going into more detail about the curse and how Snape knows about it, and why Harry can't just pop back to Hogwarts.

Today, I decided that Snape knows the Trio were after Something, some artifact, but not that they are horcruxes. It'll be fun to see how he reacts when he finds out what these kids were expected to find and destroy on their own. The horcrux hunt does not interest me in the slightest, and this story will likely end before that gets going in earnest.

In general, I am finding this experiment nerve wracking, but it's also forcing me to be more centered on the latest section, with little regard for what will come (hence the revisions) and it's making me take note of how other authors solve problems in ways I might also employ. A lot of the fics I've been reading, and especially reccing lately have been teaching me quite a bit.

I am getting some neat flashes of future scenes, though, and trying to work out where they will fit in. Sadly, the best ideas come while I'm driving or otherwise unable to write them down....

Happy night to all.
hobgoblinn: (gryyfindor courage)
Well, part 5 of my EIP (Epic in Progress) is now up on ff net: here.

I'm pleased with how it's going, even as I despair of getting any further or fixing the glaring deficiencies every time I sit down to it. I owe a huge debt to my betas, not only on this work ([livejournal.com profile] research_girl and [livejournal.com profile] sahiya) but also on other work, past and present. You all know who you are. I'm too afraid of missing any to list you all out. It's weird though-- I really have written a lot over the past year and a half.

[livejournal.com profile] slaymesoftly posed an interesting question about betas recently on [livejournal.com profile] riters_r_us. How do you deal as a beta with a writer who really is Bad? I'm not that bad, but I am painfully aware my imperfections must also be painful (or painfully funny maybe at times) to read. But I noticed going through the beta notes on this part, that after I cleared away the things they noted, it somehow gave me insight into things they hadn't complained about. I added some things, tweaked some others, and I can just feel that it's better than it would have been. It's almost like clearing away the dead wood let the rest flourish.

And it also let me pull my focus away from some things I thought were bad that they didn't mention, to see other things. To trust that they were okay enough to move on and see something I hadn't before. Not sure I can explain it any better, but I am quite grateful for how it worked out.

Happy Holy Saturday to all.
hobgoblinn: (Default)
If anyone's interested, [livejournal.com profile] juno_magic, whose great fic "The Apprentice and the Necromancer" I have been following lately, has opened a writing community up from LotR to the world at large: [livejournal.com profile] there_n_back. I started to respond to the questions, then realized my answer is probably too long to fit in a comment, so....

Go check out the community if you like. But Don't click below unless you want to know way too much about my fandoms, favorite stories (Hard to pick-- only 3?) and WIPs (which you already know way too much about, if you're on my f-list.)

Writing Question Responses for new Community )
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