rosefox: In 1813, a lending library clerk discusses books with a customer. (valour advances)
[personal profile] rosefox
There is this anxious thing I do, that I think a lot of people do: if I know something difficult is coming up, especially a difficult conversation or interaction, I rehearse it in my head. My rehearsing mechanisms go back and forth with my editorial mechanisms, refining what I'm going to do or say and how I'll respond to questions until I'm reasonably certain that I have prepared for every eventuality.

This is apparently also how I write, at least based on how it's gone so far. I pick a scene (either because it follows logically from the one I just left or because I get excited thinking about it) and frame it in terms of interaction; if it's not multiple people interacting, it's an individual interacting with their environment, memories, worries, plans, creative work, etc. Then I turn the scene around in my head and rehearse it a bunch of different ways. If something feels out of character, ahistorical, or otherwise off, I tweak it. Lather, rinse, repeat (sometimes literally--I do a lot of this sort of thinking in the shower).

I focus less on specific words and more on concepts, same as when I'm rehearsing for a real-life event: make sure you express this, but try to avoid discussing that. I don't worry too much about how the scene builds plot, though having characters' different motivations interact almost always develops story to some extent; I'm just getting a sense of how the interactions might go. And the emphasis is on "might": the first time I noticed that I was doing this, it was because I'd caught myself assessing a scene in my head and realizing that there were several different and equally acceptable ways that it could go. That alone was kind of revelatory. I'm not usually so easy-going. :)

When I write the scene down, the written words are like a translucent overlay on the imagined interactions. I fill in a lot of details while I'm writing, things like body language and staging and specific witticisms that aren't relevant to the rehearsals. Then I look at the places where the overlay diverges from the rehearsal and decide which I like better.

I do almost all my writing on Tuesdays, and write maybe 1200 to 1500 words in a day, so I spend most of a week casually exploring possibilities for fairly short scenes. It's a leisurely process. I like it.

The one thing I need to watch out for is that when I'm rehearsing for real-world things, I want them to go as smoothly as possible, whereas sometimes fiction needs to go very badly for one or more people involved. J reminded me today that I struggle with maintaining tension in my longer narratives; I always want to solve all the problems right away! I also tend to keep writing after a scene has already done all the things it needs to do--I guess I just get in the groove, and I don't quite have a sense yet of the natural stopping point--and then it trails off in the fiction equivalent of people awkwardly making small talk at a party because they don't know how to escape. But I'm working on that. I suspect it's going to involve writing a lot of scenes that go like this:

1. setup
2. presentation of problem
3. resolution of problem/unnecessary restatement of problem/hot air

and then cutting part 3 and either throwing it away or saving it for later. I guess this is a type of "writing out of order" but I'm not doing it deliberately; I'm just an amateur writer who doesn't know how not to kill tension yet. :) Fortunately I'm also a decent editor who can spot the problem once I'm looking back at it.

Arm pain is my friend here, oddly. I had to stop writing on Tuesday night because ow, and then I went back on Wednesday and realized that actually that scene had done everything it needed to do. It didn't end in a perfectly resolved way, and that's just fine because I am writing an entire book and individual scenes and chapters don't need to be perfect tiny short stories. :) So I will leave the # at the bottom of the page where Scrivener put it and move on to the next thing, which is probably Nathaniel and Eliza having a fight.

I might even end the scene while they're still--*gasp*--annoyed with each other.

Gosh, that feels wicked and daring. :D

Have I mentioned that I'm having so much fun with this? The slow pace really helps with that too. At 1200 words a week I'll be done in a year and a half or so. That's fine. I'm in no hurry. And I just get to enjoy it.

So much for good intentions...

Apr. 17th, 2015 09:04 pm
ithiliana: (Default)
[personal profile] ithiliana
Had a fantastic Pop Culture conference, am slowly catching up, and now own a certified pre-owned Honda Civil (the 1998 Ford truck was on her last legs, and had to be sold).

The Honda's name is Lola Blue (she's a wonderful blue color).

after months, piano

Apr. 17th, 2015 06:30 pm
yhlee: Alto clef and whole note (middle C). (alto clef)
[personal profile] yhlee
I want to hole up with my keyboard for a year and just churn out music, music, music. So many ideas! C minor! Chords! Syncopation! Tactus! Head asplode! schedule for the rest of 2015 makes this completely impossible. *cries*

But until Joe gets home to take us out for dinner, I can play.

Beneath Floes (Bravemule, Pinnguaq)

Apr. 17th, 2015 09:54 pm
[syndicated profile] emilyshort_if_feed

Posted by Emily Short


Beneath Floes is a folk tale of Inuit culture, created in collaboration with Inuit contributors; recently a Kickstarter raised the funds to have it translated into Inuktitut (an indigenous language of the eastern Arctic) and Anishinaabemowin.

It is both a story and a meditation on story-telling, one which starts by explaining to the reader how much is going to be under the reader’s control. Not a lot, as it turns out: you mostly get to change small details, details that explicitly don’t branch the plot, while the horrible core story is beyond the player’s capacity to change. But the effect is very different from, say, the also very linear interaction in My Father’s Long, Long Legs, or the fact-mingled-with-fiction of Coming Out Simulator 2014.

Nonetheless the small details that you’re allowed to affect are not selected arbitrarily. Does evil, in your mind, have a hooked nose or a button nose? Do you associate yourself with an indigenous hero or with Superman? Perhaps we’re allowed to make these choices because we inevitably see reflections of ourselves in the stories we’re told, no matter who the teller is. Elsewhere — a dark sort of joke — you can pick which of two strings of gibberish numbers and letters the qallunaat, the white people, have assigned you as your identifying marker; or, in another place, you can change (by one year) the date associated with an anthropological recording. History is slippery, but the fundamentals hold.

I appreciated, too, the passages where material that relies on cultural context is presented just clearly enough for someone not native to the Arctic to understand, but yet not overly explained. A favorite passage:

It’s said that your father shot a caribou and failed to kill it, but that’s one person’s belief—not a well-liked individual, either.

From context, it’s clearly a scandalous thing to fail to kill a caribou. A whole ethos is implied but not explained.

Beneath Floes is not completely linear, however. There are at least two endings that I found, and as far as I can tell, what makes the difference is what you decide about the protagonist’s willingness to do violence.

Meat Your Maker

Apr. 17th, 2015 03:00 pm
[syndicated profile] snopes_feed
Rumor: The Taco Bell chain is closing due to allegations that their 'beef' is really cat and dog meat.

Firing Line

Apr. 17th, 2015 03:00 pm
[syndicated profile] snopes_feed
News: A Texas veterinarian was fired after posting a photo suggesting she killed a cat with a bow and arrow.

Inhumane Society

Apr. 17th, 2015 03:00 pm
[syndicated profile] snopes_feed
Rumor: Hillary Clinton and Adolf Hitler issued similar statements about putting the needs of society ahead of the needs of individuals.

Daddy Data Care

Apr. 17th, 2015 03:00 pm
[syndicated profile] snopes_feed
Rumor: A father attempted to sell his toddler son on Craigslist to fund the purchase of a new Apple Watch.

(no subject)

Apr. 17th, 2015 08:38 pm
[personal profile] nny
In one of the more mature decisions I have made lately I have decided not to do the Open University degree I was looking at, since I'm fairly sure that I am in fact one of very few people who massively doubts my intellectual capability, and have decided to deal with the underlying cause of the self doubt instead and spend the money on therapy. I have also come out to the only remaining member of my immediate family who didn't know I was bi, and have made a financial plan to pay off my ten year old student overdraft over the next five months.

This totally makes up for the whole drinking a bottle of prosecco in Winchester Cathedral grounds on Saturday and getting a tattoo thing.


(no subject)

Apr. 17th, 2015 02:28 pm
yhlee: Gunn pointing his finger (AtS Gunn)
[personal profile] yhlee
Con or Bust will go live Monday, 12:01 a.m. Eastern. See Auction Information for details. The idea is to raise money for fans of color to attend sf/f conventions:
Con or Bust helps people of color/non-white people attend SFF conventions (how to request assistance; upcoming cons). It is administered by Kate Nepveu under the umbrella of the Carl Brandon Society, a 501(c)(3) not-for-profit organization whose mission is to increase racial and ethnic diversity in the production of and audience for speculative fiction. Con or Bust isn’t a scholarship and isn’t limited by geography, type of con-goer, or con; its goal is simply to help fans of color go to SFF cons and be their own awesome selves.

I have donated a signed copy of Conservation of Shadows (shipping on me, opening bid $10) now that I have figured out where the heck I stashed the second box of the darn things.

For the curious, I signed with a Waterman Lady Patricia (vintage fountain pen) in Diamine Merlot. Apparently the only way I can satisfy my desire for sweet, sweet alcohol is fountain pen ink names, since I'm not allowed to drink the stuff.

Dallas Copper Thieves

Apr. 17th, 2015 03:00 pm
[syndicated profile] snopes_feed
Rumor: Circulating photo set depicts a pair of copper thieves who died stealing wire in Dallas.
[syndicated profile] geekfeminism_feed

Posted by spam-spam

This was the week of!

  • tableflip dot club: “Women are leaving your tech company because you don’t deserve to keep us around.”
  • Why Women in Tech Need to Start Flipping Tables | Motherboard: “I think the huge response to the piece makes it clear how much these are the shared experiences women in tech have, so I’m glad I did go all-out. I’ll probably reveal myself eventually. It’s not like people don’t already know my opinions, but commentary on individual issues are a bit different from a call for women in tech to flip all the tables :)”
  • Screw leaning in. It’s time to slam the door in Silicon Valley’s face | The Guardian: “Even as an outside observer, I found the manifesto energizing. It has the feeling of a furious tweetstorm or impassioned speech – it goes beyond a mission statement and into the realm of oratory. It’s a huge departure from the usual women-in-tech rhetoric, which usually focuses on prying the doors of the tech world open through education, a positive attitude and changing the work environment. Nobody ever advocates just slamming the door back in Silicon Valley’s face.”

Other links:

  • Not the affirmative action you meant, not the history you’re making | Epiphany 2.0: “See, in America we often forget that the various initiatives which made up the capital-A Affirmative Action program were based on policies and procedures that have always existed for white men… SFFdom has not been immune to this societal tendency to give straight white guys more, treat them more kindly, eagerly open doors to them that are firmly shut against others.”
  • Codes of conduct and the trade-offs of copyleft — Crooked Timber: “But the first step might be — if you’re trying to get your community to adopt a code of conduct, you might benefit by looking at other freedom-restricting tradeoffs the community is okay with, so you can draw out that comparison.”
  • Does 18F Pass the Bechdel Test for Tech? | 18F: “We decided to see how many 18F projects pass this modified test. To pass, a project had to have at least one function written by a woman dev that called another function written by another woman dev.”
  • This Public Shaming Is Not Like The Other | Buzzfeed: “What makes this book an uncomfortable, if distant, cousin of GamerGate and men’s rights activist logic is that it, too, relies on a series of false equivalencies and muddy distinctions in order to elevate being shamed on social media to epic proportions. These sorts of distortions are dangerous because they minimize — and even threaten to erase — far more systematic and serious problems that have taken years to even reach the public consciousness.”
  • Black Girls Code Founder: To Bring Diversity to Tech, First We Need Role Models | “Bryant credits her own mentor, an electrical engineering upperclassman she met in college who was black and female, for keeping her — a student from inner city Memphis — in technology and in school. ”
  • Help Me Help You | Jenna Pederson: “I am asked, in what turns out to be a not so awesome way, if I’ll consider speaking at a conference or event. And if I won’t, do I know any other women who will. Sometimes this request comes after the speaker list has already been set and organizers have realized they don’t have enough diversity on the speaker lineup. Or it comes in a passive-aggressive, backhanded comment like ‘Well, if only Jenna would have submitted a talk…’ with a side-glance my way. Wait… so now it’s my fault?”
  • As Tech Giants Push For Diversity, Blacks And Latinos Are Fleeing Once-Diverse San Francisco | International Business Times: “It’s been a year since many tech companies in Silicon Valley released workforce transparency reports laying bare a sorry track record in minority hiring and announced plans to be more inclusive. But the Bay Area’s changing demographics are working against them. Local African-American and Hispanic residents are employed only in minuscule numbers by the tech industry, and increasingly finding themselves priced out and forced to leave.”
  • The Attention Game | Accidentally in Code: “This idea that you do things for “exposure” where the formula is exposure -> ??? -> profit. OK maybe you can argue that this model works for Kim Kardashian but not, I think for most of us. It didn’t work for Monica Lewinsky. Exposure is not inherently valuable. The value is in what results from it.”
  • Female Programmer Denied Job Because of Her ‘Unprofessional’ Attire | Daily Dot: “Elizabeth is a senior at Oberlin College in Ohio, and like many college seniors, she’s currently interviewing for jobs. But one interview made her so angry that she took to Facebook to vent her frustration.”
  • What They Really Mean When They Say They’re Not a Feminist | Everyday Feminism: “If you don’t call yourself a feminist, see if you find some of your reasons here. The stories in this comic can help us all have more respect for the wide range of ways we stand up to oppression.”
  • Project Opportunity: Contribute Stories on Digital Labor | HASTAC: “I’m currently launching a project that will act as this kind of publication, using familiar aesthetics and tropes of tech and business media to tell digital labor stories that usually don’t get coverage. The aim is to use familiar media elements to disrupt (to use a popular tech-industry word) dialogues on digital technology and the labor it runs on.”
  • BGN’s Women in Gaming Series: Nichol Bradford | Black Girl Nerds: “Nichol is currently CEO of The Willow Group, whose mission is to permanently move 100 million people into a state of fundamental well-being by 2025. She is also the Executive Director of the Transformative Technology Lab at Sofia University that is working outside traditional research boundaries to find creative ways to manage the intersection of technology and consciousness. We had a chance to talk about what it takes to be the architect of your own success, the power of “raising your hand” to create opportunities and the benefits of being obsessive about your passions in life.”

We link to a variety of sources, some of which are personal blogs.  If you visit other sites linked herein, we ask that you respect the commenting policy and individual culture of those sites.

You can suggest links for future linkspams in comments here, or by using the “geekfeminism” tag on Pinboard, Delicious or Diigo; or the “#geekfeminism” tag on Twitter. Please note that we tend to stick to publishing recent links (from the last month or so).

Thanks to everyone who suggested links.

8 April 2015-14 April 2015

Apr. 17th, 2015 11:22 am
metanewsmods: Abed wearing goggles (Default)
[personal profile] metanewsmods posting in [community profile] metanews
Notices )

Links )

Free stuff online

Apr. 17th, 2015 10:23 am
[personal profile] yendi
1. For Android owners, Amazon's got a bunch of free software today (and today-only). Some of it's crap, but some of it's pretty awesome, including the original Plants vs Zombies, Adventure Time Game Wizard, the Oxford Spanish Dictionary, Songsterr, Osmos, and more.

2. Marvel's offering a free month of Marvel Unlimited, which offers a ridiculous amount of comics (with about a six-month lag) for one subscription fee. Note that you still need to give a CC and cancel before the month expires, but if you can remember, it's a great deal.

3. And for iOS owners, Stealth Inc, a ridiculously fun game (which was originally called Stealth Bastard Deluxe when it was released on computers) is free for now.

Senpai notices Aja and JKR Don't Care

Apr. 17th, 2015 01:49 pm
[syndicated profile] fandom_wank_feed

Posted by sockyskullhead

Several weeks ago during Aja-gate, J.K. Rowling Tweeted to promote an interview she did with Tom Felton for his BBC series about so-called 'superfen.'

(Read more ...)

Poem: "An Entangled State"

Apr. 17th, 2015 08:27 am
jjhunter: neuron growing a dendritic branch to meet the reaching axon of another neuron in watercolor greys (neuron reaching out)
[personal profile] jjhunter
If I assemble words tight enough to resonance with this
I will feel again what it is to pull a spiked gunked dripping thing up
from my stomach ratcheting up my throat catching at the maximus of my back
cranking my neck pulling taut the skin of my skull to rip out above my eyes
straining my temples with suckers as it goes

which is to say, I am weary of leaking
I gain at competence I want, I win, it inconstant yanks
back at this ungainly innard growth I call anxiety,
hurts me, hurts me there where it roots in me
I reach it resists, it brings me low
Read more... )

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This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-Share Alike 3.0 Unported License.


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