Deadlines

National Novel Writing Month

Image by Steve Rhodes via Flickr

Getting things done on a deadline is much easier than just generally deciding to ‘do’ something.

Something always comes with the time frame Sometime. Sometime usually comes right around never. Mostly because sometime, when you’re trying to plan for it, falls right around tomorrow. And as Hannibal says in The Curious Savage, “Today is safe, tomorrow may be filled with disaster.” Therefore, if you don’t sleep, tomorrow never comes. Anyway, only live todays and never tomorrows. Which makes Sometime awfully hard to plan for.

I’m trying NaNo again this year. National Novel Writing Month=NaNoWriMo=NaNo if you’ve spent time around certain websites lately and have maybe seen many of these permeations. Or possibly in earlier articles—it’s getting to the point that I can’t remember what I’ve written about.

For the past three years or so, I’ve intended to try NaNo. The first year I got all of three thousand words, or maybe a page and a half, and then I got busy. Then I scribbled in a notebook while hanging out in the laundry room—earning me several sideways looks from all the cool people who just abandoned their clothes. However, because of the notebook, it never got typed up and I didn’t get my participation badge on the official page. And last year was my last year of college and I missed November 1st entirely, so I just didn’t bother.

240/365 National Novel Writing Month begins

Image by owlbookdreams via Flickr

This year, I only (currently) have a part-time job, a play, several volunteer positions, and a few editing commitments, but still have lots of unstructured free time. As I think I might have said a few days and/or weeks ago in the post “Calendar Days” I need to have plans for my unstructured days or I don’t get anything done. Perhaps that is why I can’t even remember exactly what I wrote about.

I just had to stop writing to post some of the ‘recommended’ pictures, as they are very nice ones and already about NaNo! I very much like that leaf.

This year, I have an idea for a novel. Is it a good idea? That’s hard to say, especially since I can’t actually start writing about it yet. But it’s an idea. I have a little notebook called “cliffhangers” with a picture of a monkey on the cover. Inspiring, right?

My little notebook only has a few character sketches and the germ of an outline, but that’s already more than I’ve had any other year. Before, I just tried sitting at my computer (or notebook) and start writing. Maybe if I’d tried writing for more than a few pages, I might have gotten further —but without pushing past that first scene, nothing happened. And also, 2008’s “notebook” wasn’t a single book, but borrowed pages from class notes and from a sketchbook. In fact, rather than ‘noveling’ I ended up doing a nice little sketch of the folds in the black plastic trash bag.

This year, I’ll try again. And get somewhere, this time.

Artificially Black and White

Reading yet another spork, I realized that almost every spork I’ve read recently has similar complaints about fairly standard elements of fiction, especially in the fantasy genre.

Let’s be honest: For readers to connect to a story, they have to identify it as a story—something has to be recognizable to the audience. A completely “original” story, if it isn’t built with the constraints of fiction and the human brain in mind, may well be incomprehensible. Which you might say is what happened in the modern era of Literature and is why no one reads anymore. But that’s a different issue.

Ultimately, it’s the execution that counts, that makes the difference that turns a cliché into an imaginative world. Because they may often have two similar plots, ideas, or even scenes.

Compare, for example, the Harry Potter series and the Inheritance Cycle.

A skilled author will convince her readers that they don’t need to question this world; while it doesn’t conform to ours, it has it’s own set of internal laws and limits of ability. I admit I couldn’t finish the later books of Harry Potter and have little interest in doing so, but couldn’t start Eragon with any integrity because so many readers lashed back against the only given law of “it works because I said so”.  And I accept their opinions because they coherently argue this conclusion with textual evidence, I’ve seen their other articles on works I do have familiarity with, and I can understand how their opinions skew—whereas many defenders of cheap, popcorn novels nearly always respond with “U cant say anything bcuz u dont publish” and I am being generous.

Now occasionally perfectly literate fans will confess that they enjoy those works, almost always with the caveat

I know that it isn’t very good objectively, but sometimes I just want to read pulp.

Since that spork, I think of the preview chapters of Bran Hambric: the Farscape Curse, I’ve been thinking about the “tropes” of fantasy fiction, and trying to come up with an argument to prove they aren’t necessarily bad—go back to the difference between idea and execution. Then I watched the newest fantasy-movie-based-on-a-book-so-it-will-be-a-blockbuster-and-make-lots-of-money, Legend of the Guardians: The Owls of Ga’Hoole—the owl movie.

Whether it’s an issue with the film or it started in the books, I certainly can’t use this movie as an example of what works. First, because Godwin’s Law should not be invoked so easily, which I want to avoid so as not to completely invalidate the rest of my argument, but there’s no denying that the antagonists call themselves the “Pure Ones”.

Then again, even the king and queen of the guardians are snowy owls and the whitest in the movie, much like the queen of the evil empire—who *spoiler* flies off in the end so as to return for the sequels.

But, especially to emphasis this fight is against GOOD and EVIL, the movie relies entirely on tropes (in this case, we can validly call them cliché) to move the plot forward, shoehorning the characters into their roles with effectively no development whatsoever—the mystical blue-tipped Hedgehog even names them: Soren “the leader”, Twilight “the warrior”, the small female who first is spunky-damsel-in-distress but ends up contributing nothing including getting kidnapped “the token girl who isn’t a mother figure”. The nursemaid snake gets to be “the heart”. Also a snake as a nursemaid to owl kids? And they are to be the Nine Walkers—wait, “Five Flyers” to save the world.

And then poor Clyde (at least that’s what it sounded like and I missed the credits). He is the designated EVIL because he is OMG!JELUZ!1!!111! of his super-talented GOOD brother, Soren. Not that Soren ever seemed particularly concerned about what his brother was actually feeling or thinking—he’s completely oblivious. Clyde evilly tells him *spoilers* at the end “Then you don’t know me at all” (paraphrased). That’s never been said before, right? But he’s right…from this movie, Soren has never had the faintest interest in getting to know his brother.

Just as Clyde’s “you don’t know me” speech might ring just slightly familiar, so does much of the dialogue. There were a few gems; inauspiciously, none of which I can remember—and even more revealing is that I can write this review in the theater while actually watching the movie, I can follow so easily the characters and story because they are so familiar. Like a fill in the blank.

I will grant most of these issues are probably the medium. Not having read the books, I don’t know how much ground is being covered (too much). It’s more a summary than a story on its own terms—critical failure for a standalone movie.

Since the movie is never as good as the book, the creators should think of it as such.

It is a beautiful movie. If you don’t have a brain that automatically analyses everything to death, more power to you. Most everything is well-rendered (if the snake looked a bit odd) and the owls are gorgeously and generously detailed. They paid full price for every feather, and it works. Even I have to admit the fight scenes were actually cool, and fun to watch—and unlike the rest of the movie, how owls might fight (even with armor), because like Alpha & Omega, it was mostly a story about humans who happen to superficially look like animals. The fighting however was in “3D” and not just in terms of having to wear special glasses because I watched it in 2D and it still worked (movie-wise instead of story-wise). But the owls used right and left and up and down when fighting and not limiting themselves to one plane. That was fun to watch.

Also, I the soundtrack was generally strong, if at times it got a little generic. They also had the odd idea of using Owl City music for a scene and for credits. Beyond the word, one of these things is not like the other. This is a dark movie, with very dark themes and the sudden intrusion of Owl City’s cheerful optimism jarred. Keep your theme in mind next time.

Pretty Boys

But not always.

Samuel Vimes as he appears in The Pratchett Po...

Image via Wikipedia

Not all my favorite characters, television show or otherwise, are attractive.

Sam Vimes up there, of course, is not supposed to be attractive. Terry Pratchett builds incredible ensemble casts of the most awesome characters ever, but Vimes steals the show even when it isn’t his book. Particularly in Monstrous Regiment.

Old Stoneface Vimes happens to be the main character of the Guards series, which is something that is a little unusual for me. Most of my favorite anythings feature an ensemble casts, but especially those one television. NCIS: Los Angeles, Criminal Minds, Warehouse 13, even Supernatural counts, though especially for the first season or so Dean and Sam were practically one character.

Now, my favorite characters in those shows are often the geeky and/or goofy one. Spencer Reid (CM), Pete (Warehouse), sort of Sam (S). Now, Castiel from Supernatural, like Sam Vimes transcends his genre into something of a pinnacle of, of…well, coolness, at the very least.

“The Voice says I’m almost out of minutes”

or

Hooray, hooray, it’s a wonderful day, for I have found my cow!

 

Oct.31:

Image via Wikipedia

You know who fits this personal trope? Sherlock Holmes, from Sherlock. That has to be clarified to the BBC show, because in the 2009 movie, Watson definitely came out ahead. But, well, at least so far this season, I completely love Sherlock. While the dark curly hair definitely helps, it’s got to be his sheer obliviousness to, well, humanity; the intensity of his quirks, how they echo the original character; and his snark. I come from a sarcastic family, and all these British television shows make me want to live there.

So Benedict Cumberbatch has the best name I’ve ever heard, but is a little odd looking. His face is definitely dramatic—or maybe it’s just emphasized by the cinematography, which throws him into dramatic shadows at every possible opportunity.

And, rewatching the first episode (the only one I’ve seen) I must also say he (the actor) reminds me of Spock. Nimoy’s Spock. Who, considering that even in the original show, I would probably consider old—well, it is all relative! He’s definitely old now. But watching the original series of Star Trek, I confess I developed a bit of a crush. Only a little one, because he was old. Or seemed old.

Also, I’m just vulnerable to the smart types.

Going back to dear Sam Vimes, who does not consider himself intelligent at all, and really isn’t so much in the conventional IQ hierarchy of intelligence, but knows his city and its people. And has the best development of  any fictional character I’ve ever read—especially from a series character! Usually in long-lasting series, characters have to stay somewhat static so that the later books don’t leave the readers behind, so they know what to expect. Being that Pratchett writes satiric fantasy, I suppose the world has to develop

But I shouldn’t go on. Because I can. I love Terry Pratchett. If I had the stamina, I would totally have gone on to get my master’s and Ph.D. just to write a thesis and dissertation on his work. Because he is awesome.

Castiel (Supernatural)

(Castiel is played by Misha Collins, who is also awesome. In Supernatural‘s “The Rapture” he played two different Castiel’s. And overall, the character of Castiel (who is always an angel, but gets into different manifestations and alternate universes) and they are all so different, it’s amazing. Apparently his Twitter followers are called Misha’s minions. I am one. He is hilarious. And before I’d ever heard of him, I’d named my car Mesha…it’s fate! or I’m up too late.)

Fan Directions

Cover of Beeton's Christmas Annual for 1887, f...

Image via Wikipedia. Sherlock's first episode? "A Study in Pink"

1 Fan fiction is not inherently evil

If you get at all attached to series characters who are so much bigger than the stories the creators actually offer, you want more. Commonest among longer book series or television shows (both where character development often happens behind the scenes), there’s plenty of room for hole patching. Or the character are just so engaging you don’t want to give them up. Some people invest enough emotion and thought into those characters and create for them whole new stories. From which the less invested fan can gain some satisfaction, while knowing it just isn’t the same…which admittedly only serves to draw her in further. Good for the original creators, not so much for the fan’s productivity.

2 Fan fiction is inherently a waste of time

At least as much as the original show. You’re not supposed to read genre fiction (which is where you find most series books) or watch television, because neither is “good” for you. Television is TEH EBAL, according to Them (those of They Say fame) and while books mostly equal good, only if they aren’t much fun to read. Odd, because most of what They consider Good, survived because such works were read for fun.

But They make it un-fun, because those are just weird dead people.

3 And fan fiction, being the creation of the commoners, is doubly worthless.

While a few gems reveal some real life hidden truths through someone else’s universe, even the majority of what could objectively be called “good” is self-indulgent gooeyness. Much like the chic lit genre.

The Colt with thirteen original bullets

Image via Wikipedia

Self-indulgent gooeyness doesn’t take up a lot of time, so I still say worth it. Last weekend, lusting after Supernatural (because I still haven’t seen the 4th season!) I read through some 100 of my “favorites list” and more than 2 million words—and I used my calculator for that, so yeah—in not even two days. But it’s approximately the equivalent of 20 genre novels. Which I can’t read that quickly. Unless they were romance novels, but I don’t enjoy reading those. If I’m reading a book, I don’t want to be reading one I can skim.

Yes, fan fiction is a waste of time. But at least it’s not drugs, however similar the effects may sometimes be.

    Originally, when I started this post, I was not planning to say more than a few words on fan fiction, as an introduction to Sherlock, the newest Sherlock Holmes BBC series, only this one is set in modern-day London.

    And Watson still fought in Afghanistan, just as he did in the 1800s!

    Hardly progress. Nonetheless, the show aired the three episode season in the UK, even offered reruns online. Which, from the UK website, is not allowed in the United States. It wasn’t airing over here either. I only found the show because after I finally saw the 2009 movie back in, what, August? September? I got enthused enough to go back and read over my fan fiction list, much as I did with Supernatural.

    And what was this? Now they keep dropping his last name, and there’s something about cellphones and sociopathy. What could it be? (What cooould it beeee/ that coooomes over meee…*)

    By the time I track down the actual show, from an interview with the actor who plays Watson (who is somehow famous, so naturally I don’t know his name) with a clip of Watson first accepting Holmes’ invitation to a crime scene,

    had me all aquiver with anticipation. Just the news of a second season, without the opportunity to watch the first sent me into paroxysms of joy. (Admittedly, I fall into paroxysms of joy on a fairly regular basis, because happy is a good way to live your life anyway.) Whether or not they’d allow me to watch through their website, I was determined to find a way. A way that was not illegal, because that’s just how I roll.

    Anyway, I figured I’d just wait impatiently for my brother’s Netflix, as I do with so many things—including Supernatural—when, lo and behold, I read my mom’s copy of Parade (the newspaper insert) in the Herald and News). In the past I refused to read in the car, because as a child it made me nauseous. Though apparently I’ve outgrown that side effect, I still tend to avoid it. But it was dreary and rainy and I got sick yesterday with a stuffed nose, so I read. And Parade has a calendar of art-type things (books, movies, etc) to look out for—PBS is showing Sherlock!

    Sundays at 9 EST, check your local listings.

    When I got home I looked for it first thing and couldn’t find it. Fortunately, Brother had his computer out and found it listed under Masterpiece Mystery or something. What can I say, I don’t watch PBS.

    Sherlock is just as awesome as I’d hoped, and funny too. I’m going to watch again, not only because of its awesomeness, but also because I was not entirely focused, due to the distraction of figuring out how to make $11/hr a living wage in downtown Sac—by the way, pleading poverty might just work with the government.

    The British just do everything better. At least when it comes to television.

    *at times I can’t mooove/at times I can hard-lyyy breeatheee

    (I used to be obsessed with him too.)

    When It’s Actually Winter…

    So Plinky asks what’s on my winter reading list. And then gives space to search for the image of one book, and not the list I was expecting. So I’ll do it here.

    • Thirty Days Hath September

    That cover is not the right book, nor do I know why it pops up. Mine (rather, the library’s) was authored by Dorothy Cameron Disney and George Sessions Perry. The library version just has green library rebinding with a nifty almost tropical pattern.

    Of course I found it when they sent me to straighten the mystery shelves, though I’ve managed to avoid them for so long. But at least I didn’t have to go far, only through the H section…otherwise my reading list would be even longer.

    “When glittering Jenny Iverson, New York career woman and owner of a successful cosmetics business, invited herself to one of the labor Day week-end parties that climax the season for summer residents along the Connecticut shore, she not only wrote her own death warrant, but also sealed the fate of at least two other persons in the group of sophisticates who were to have shared her company during the holiday.” 1942

    Powered by Plinky

    • The Ear, the Eye, and the Arm

    Written by Nancy Farmer, this is actually a Newberry Honor Book that I actually read. Way back then, I even read it twice I loved it so much. Only vague memories of what it may have actually been about remain, but I recall awesome characterizations, and then I caught a reference to it on the tvtropes page somewhere, maybe under nightmare fuel, and of course had to try it again.

     

    Cover of

    The Ear

     

    “Inspired by Shona mythology, Tendai’s odyssey in the Africa of the future—and, suspensefully, the past—crackles with action. You won’t forget its vivid cast of chracters (black, brown, white, and in on case blue), the Mellower or his mother, the rustling, shadowy vlei people, the strangely endowed detectives, or the three children themselves. And you’ll be surprised to find that a classical tale of courage can be so funny.”

    • Una Storia Segreta: The Secret History of Italian American Evacuation and Internment during World War II

    I want to start this off with “well, obviously this is interesting” but I have such varied reading tastes that I have no idea whether my interest is obvious or not, beyond the fact that it is a book and therefore readable.

    Anyway, I’m fascinated by history in general, which means every time I’m sent into the History section at the library I come out with a minimum of five more books to add to the reading list. So maybe I should ask for special dispensation. Except all the other librarians have the same problem, but with less time to read. I don’t think I’d get much sympathy.

    Though the Japanese internments are still a popular subject, especially in California, and I’ve at least heard about the problems German-American’s faced, I’ve never come across anything mentioning the history of Italian-Americans. When I first saw the book, I was even taken by surprise. (Which, really, I shouldn’t have been, because if there’s an excuse for prejudice for people to act on, they will find it.) Una Storia Segreta seems also to be first an anthology of original writings, too, which I like. I’m not sure if they’re primary documents or not, but since I know nothing else about it, might be more illuminating and interesting than just a textbook.

    What the Italians faced wasn’t truly like the Japanese experience of internment camps. That’s not what I find interesting. It is interesting when they aren’t mentioned hardly at all, and I’m not sure why they’d still bother to whitewash the situation like that.

     

    This sign was hung in post offices and in gove...

    Image via Wikipedia

     

    “1942, the first full year of World War II for the United States, was a time of fear and uncertainty for Americans of Italian descent. Wartime regulations required that 600,000 Italian “resident aliens” carry photo-identity cards, restricted their freedom of movement, and forced an estimated 10,000 along the West Coast to relocate. Local police searched homes for guns, cameras, and shortwave radios. Within six months after war was declared, 1,500 Italian resident aliens were arrested for curfew, travel, and contraband violations, and some 250 were imprisoned in military camps for up to two years. Even some naturalized citizens had to leave their homes and businesses because the military decided that they were too dangerous to remain in strategic areas.”

    Those are just the library books (and none I’m reading currently, library or not), and so I may well end up checking out more. But I rather hope not. Because I have lots of my own books yet to read. And a few borrowed. Those first I think:

    • No Plot, No Problem

    By the founder of National Novel Writing Month, Chris Baty. I’m going to be participating in NaNoWriMo again this year, only this time I fully intended to finish. I even have an idea and can’t wait to start. The idea is to write a 50,000 word novel in November, that is to say, a first draft. Though I’ve technically started this book (several times, even) I’m counting it, because I’m going to read the second part properly—it’s got a few chapters set by week for the writing itself. So it counts.

    • Secret Societies: Inside the World’s Most Notorious Organizations

    An oddly dull, cheap-looking book, despite the almost luridness of the subject matter, I have little to say by this particular book by John Lawrence Reynolds, because it just has a cool title and an interesting subject. Usually such a subject is going to be interesting regardless, but I’ll have to actually start first before I make up my mind.

    My books, on the to-be-read pile, are numerous. I was going to say something clever, but I can’t think of anything. But I will mention a few I want to get to first.

    • Fingersmith

    Sarah Waters wrote this novel, which I picked up because it sounded like it had an interesting storyline, and frankly, it had a pretty cover (there may have to be a separate post on that later, if I can remember whether I’ve actually written it before, and if not, I can remember to actually devote a post specifically and only to that phenomenon).

    • A Reliable Wife

    Well, a book that right on the back states the two characters want to kill each other. Or maybe only the wife does? Either way, Robert Goolrick’s novel does have an interesting premise. Can’t judge it by the back cover description though, because it does indicate (to me) that there’s a switching of point of view between the male and female characters. If it’s not first person I could probably live with it, but—well, what am I saying? I don’t want to doubt it before I’ve even started!

    • The Somnambulist

    Jonathan Barnes’ novel sounds fa-scinating! (please try to read that last word with the enunciation of a flamboyant-type television character). But my first thought on reading the description was that it sounded like a homage to Sherlock Holmes, only without any direct references. So there seemed to be clues, but nothing certain. So I want to find out if there’s an “easter egg” hunt of references behind the scenes, if it’s a deliberate play on the character, or if it’s mostly just innocent.

    What with the kind of effect Sherlock Holmes had on popular consciousness, I can’t say wholly innocent unless Mr. Barnes is completely oblivious.

    Of course, I found it when I was in the Sherlock Holmes section of my cycle of obsessions, however, references aside, it does sound like an interesting work. And in this case, no spoilers please! I actually have a sense of mystery with this one, and that doesn’t happen very often.

    And then, gosh, there are so many more. Reading is a depressing endeavor, once you get behind.

    Can I Call This History?

     

    A night sight of the Notre Dame de Paris cathe...

    Image via Wikipedia

     

    A month or so ago, I checked out a book called The Biography of a Cathedral by Robert Gordon Anderson. Published in 1944, and as far as I can find, not printed long after that, it doesn’t have an ISBN. An oddly common trait among the books I find myself reading, which makes them hard to look up or input into GoodReads.com.

    Oh, and this is the book the card in “Book Sniffing” came from.

    Biography is rare among the older library books in that it still has the original jacket flaps pasted just inside the first cover. Mr. Anderson also published such works as Those Quarrelsome Bonapartes, An American Family Abroad, and Leader of Men. Plus a few others. I don’t know much about how well those have lasted either, but I rather hope so since he does have a way with words.

    But first, what is a “biography” of a cathedral? Well, the (possible) subtitle, “The Living Story of Man’s Most Beautiful Creation and of the Pageant that Led to Notre Dame,” sums it up just fine. By “pageant, Anderson means “history”, starting with the Romans and so far I’m up to the chapter on 550 A.D. Which is only half way through.

    And Anderson loves Notre Dame. And France. And Gothic architecture. And he’s throughly entrenched his history into the history of the Church and Christian religion before Notre Dame was built.

    The fall of Rome had been postponed. And this, in the study of the great drama, general and Church history, and, indeed, the whole pageant and forward march of man, must ever be kept in mind: before he fall Rome was to split into two , the Empires of the East and West. This division came in 364, the final fall in  474; and from that fall , Rome was never to come back, for all the misfit and miscalled “Holly Roman Empire” of the Middle Ages….But the Church would not, like the Empire, fall. The Church of the West would take over the old political capital on the Seven Hills and turn it into one sacred. It was indestructible. And the bishops who from all over the known world had attended his council had, in  critical time, helped to save it.

     

    Icon depicting the First Council of Nicaea.

    First Council of Nicaea, Image via Wikipedia

     

    I have to look up again which council this is supposed to be, and he seems to refer to one called by Constantine at Nicaea. This doesn’t help me much, since I don’t actually know much about this period of history, other than the overall change of countries, etc. I’d hoped this book would help, but nothing is cited and for all I know Anderson is making it up.

    Which I doubt he is. And for all his rhetoric, Anderson is just viewing history though his filter of religion (Catholicism, I think) and “French are awesome! and blonde!” Considering the time period, rather understandable, although a little odd to my modern ears, especially when starts bashing the Germans and all German history. Anyway, he does seem to know history fairly well, especially the history of the Church, and though he does get a little too generous in interpreting everything to the pinnacle of the creation of the cathedral of Notre Dame

    Beyond that though, he is rather fun to read. Yes, it’s a little elaborate and more than slightly purple, but there’s so much passion behind it. Anderson truly believes in this history, he loves France, Notre Dame, and God. While I may not agree with his beliefs or sometimes even his conclusions, I can admire his sincerity.

    In modern texts, historians try to investigate everything going on behind the scenes of published history, without the lens of religious belief. Fair enough. But when people do believe that strongly, I think it might be a little irresponsible to doubt how much belief does affect people and, subsequently, their decisions.

    You may not be able to understand the situation from their perspective, but to discount the influence? Careless. Because belief that strong affects everything. And makes a difference in interpretation.

    But honestly? The Notre Dame Cathedral is not my favorite example of Gothic architecture. Or at least, not from the front.

     

    Cathedral of Notre Dame in Paris seen from sou...

    Image via Wikipedia

     

    Calendar Days

    An example of stream-of-consciousness.

     

    Stream of Consciousness (album)

    Image via Wikipedia

     

    I’ve started getting a little better at using my planners (yes, that’s plural). Which is good, when everything starts piling up. It’s not really that I have so much to do, although I’m getting there.

    Turns out, play practice even only three times a week is still kinda a lot. But, being that it’s in the afternoons, it doesn’t conflict with subbing, or the library, and usually I know eight weeks in advance when my next dentist appointment is. In other words, schedule conflicts aren’t really an issue. Even I can remember one or two set days a month.

    But in trying to get a life, even in the middle of nowhere, I’m having to remember more than one or two days. And having to plan out each week in advance.

    This is something I could have done in school, but didn’t. Memorize all the paper and test dates in the beginning of the semester, and that’s maybe four or so per class—it wasn’t a particular challenge, and one could always refer to the syllabus. Even then, it got announced in class. I never could figure out how to forget anything when all I had to deal with were classes, or internship, or work/study. There’s just so much redundancy built into the system. Ha.

    But working primarily on my own, and even more, in my room, there isn’t a lot of backup. The school secretaries give me one call, and I’d better know then if I can make it. And I’ve been getting a lot of calls so far (this is a good thing). And the library is always there, but almost not, because as a volunteer, it’s okay when I can’t get in. If only I remember to call. Play practice is the newest, but at least it’s regular, and I still have to make time for all the freelance projects I take on.

     

    Swirling thoughts

    Image via Wikipedia

     

    Extracurriculars. When I have, and had more, all this time on my hands, I didn’t do nearly enough of it. As stuff piles on, this is when I feel I want to catch up. Drawing, writing, correspondence, exercise, catching up on favorite tv shows…they all take time. And are rather hard to schedule when you want to wait for inspiration.

    This blog sorta counts as an extracurricular, but is also an obligation. Because I’ve decided to post every other day, and have to come up with things like this because I’m really too tired to try writing about anything serious I’d have to think about. Committing to the posting without committing to the writing wasn’t my brightest idea, and whatever readers find it are the ones to suffer. (I would say I wouldn’t read my blog, but I do occasionally, and even find it amusing, if not particularly good.)

    And you know, filling up the extra hours with reading makes sure there’s far less time for anything else. It’s amazing how much time that takes. There’s never enough to finish everything—wait, that’s related to the topic I’m waiting to do right.

    But having a planner is good. I found one with the actual times written in. Theoretically, I could fill in the spaces around the times of the obligations with all the stuff I want to get done. Which, actually I do sometimes. I just don’t read them again. Still they’re there. And since I’m getting to a point where I have to look at my planner on a fairly regular basis, maybe I will get to use them.