Archive for the ‘Self’ Category

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Grumble-mumble

September 14, 2009

I truly hope my textbook for ENGL428 arrives when Amazon claims it will (September 16, for the record), because at the moment, the US Postal Service  is disavowing all knowledge of the tracking number Amazon sent me.

Grr. Argh.

Also, I have a cold, thanks to the little germ traps children who frequent the library. I am to be pitied and made much of.

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Damn it, Brain!

July 30, 2009

Yesterday, I woke up while still dreaming about the zombie apocalypse. I blame Astolat for that one.

This morning, I woke up having earlier dreamt about my house inspection (happened yesterday, went well) and that the inspector was zapping me with a thousand points because she couldn’t get into the garage. I called bullshit, because I’d opened it for her, and there was this whole big thing that was ultimately resolved, and then I segued into Las Vegas, where, you guessed it, the zombie apocalypse was ongoing. Complete with zombie hookers.

Head, meet desk. Lather, rinse, repeat. And again. And again. And…

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POV Pitfalls

July 28, 2009

At the moment, I’m reading Greywalker by Kat Richardson. It’s urban fantasy, but more important, it’s well-done urban fantasy. I’m not even 60 pages into it, and I already like the protagonist. I also like the writing, despite the first-person POV, because Richardson doesn’t fall into the trap of having the character give random info dumps about herself.

Richardson maintains a true first-person POV, which means the character isn’t really thinking about her physical appearance unless the action calls for it. For instance, we know the character is female at the start, only because her narrative reads, “I groped for my purse…” (a quibble: you’re a P.I.; why the hell do you keep your gun in your purse?). Later in that same paragraph, we know she has long hair, but only because the guy she’s fighting grabs her long ponytail. We don’t even get the character’s full name until she introduces herself to someone at the start of chapter 3. This is the way information should be presented in a first-person POV.

In contrast, we have Death’s Daughter by Amber Benson, which starts with (the formatting is hers):

My name is Calliope Reaper-Jones, and I think I’m losing my mind.

Calliope goes on to describe her day job, her friends, the way her life works — it reads like a boring blog — instead of letting action tell the tale. Shortly thereafter, she goes into too much detail about the clothing she’s about to put on, and while I can buy that to a certain extent as character development, overall, it fails. I, as a reader, don’t give a shit what Calliope is wearing, especially with a dragon downstairs (yes, really, the info dump about her wardrobe comes after the realization there’s a dragon downstairs). There are other problems with the writing, but the info dumps are my main gripe.

First-person POV is a tricky thing to write. You can’t really include a physical description or history of your character unless the story goes there or someone else comments on it. Even if you have another character speaking, the commenting will be imprecise: “I know you want to be in a size 12, but face it: you’re at least an 18. So quit bitching and get something that fits you for once.” This sort of dialogue is useful in a first-person POV, not only for the description (we know the narrator is overweight) but also for what it tells us about the narrator’s personality that we might not otherwise get: she’s vain about her appearance and hates the fact that she has to wear larger clothes.

Anyway, this post started out as a recommendation for Greywalker and ended up veering off into personal pet peeves about first-person POV, so I apologize. That said, do give Richardson a shot. I’m only 60 pages into Greywalker, but I’m reasonably certain it will be good to the end. Her writing strikes me the same way Jim Butcher’s does, which is as a solid piece of story-telling.

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don’t wanna

July 27, 2009

See the title of this post, add a sullen tone and a sulky pout, and you pretty much have my attitude for the day, which is why I’m heading over to Wayne in a few minutes: this is the perfect time to deal with the city’s building department.

[sigh]

It’s also the time to get some cash to P, who managed to run afoul of the IRS and get his bank accounts frozen.

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Borders (a parenthetical post)

July 24, 2009

Borders has been taunting me for the last several months with the bound edition of The Gormenghast Novels by Mervin Peake, and last night, I finally caved in to the totally unreasonable pressure their very existence represented and bought the damn thing. These are odd stories, and the first I heard of them was several years ago, when BBC made a miniseries which then aired on BBC America. I bought the DVDs when they came out, because it was an interesting presentation. I expect the novels will be better, though.

In other news, though my social life is, in fact, on the critical list, I’m actually [gasp] getting out of the house tonight and having face-to-face contact with not one, but two, count them two friends. And I’m also going to see Harry Potter. Couldn’t manage to get through book six (nor book five, come to think of it, and I had a hell of a struggle forcing my way through book seven), but I have (possibly unreasonable) hope that the movie will be better.

Meanwhile, I need to prettify myself (Whedon, I hate you), just in case I meet the man of my dreams tonight.

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Good news, bad news, any news

July 20, 2009

Fannish project 1 was a success, and I’m happy about it. Now all I have to do is start fannish project 2 and be done with it in less than four weeks. Normally, my tendency to procrastinate would mean I’d start working on it in three weeks, four days. However, most of my work for ENGL444 is due at the same time, so that won’t work. I’m thinking I’ll finish fannish project 2 sometime this week, while I still have a bit of time.

Real world project 1 also needs my attention, but that will be an hour a day, and that’s manageable. Seriously.

Real world finance 1 is partially dealt with. Real world finances 4, 5 and 6 are on the immediate horizon. But first, I need to deal with real world finances 2 and 3, and both will be painful.

In short, I hate my to-do list, because it’s already full, and it doesn’t include homework. Damn it.

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[whimpers]

July 18, 2009

I knew I had a few files up on my Web site, but 242? I’d say shoot me now, but I think BBEdit is going to save me much by way of headaches, because of the ability to do multi-file search/replace.

Still. It’s a LOT to clean up and convert to CSS. Pity me? Please?