Sunday, October 15, 2006
Sunny and cold
I really thought my head was going to pop off my neck yesterday. Oh, well, I’m the swing, it’s my damn job to be healthy when they need me. I have a migraine on a day I’m scheduled to work? Too bad for me.
One of the first things I cut out when I feel pressured for time is television. Watching television drains me. Except for a few shows I enjoy, or if I’m watching something that I or someone I know is working on, I turn it off and either read or go back to my writing. The pendulum seems to swing back towards scripted shows, thank goodness, instead of paying people in “reality” shows for being their worst selves, but still – instead of putting in full slates of shows, the networks are saving money by rebroadcasting shows over and over. It’s cheaper to pay residuals for a broadcast than to finance more shows. In other words, there’s no incentive to sit and watch, because it’ll be on again in a day or two. They save money, but I think they’re losing viewers.
Started work on the piece I promised that editor last week. I want to get it out to her by Monday, latest. I have to adapt a few things and build some bridges between sections that were originally stand-alone stories. I also need to rewrite the ending extensively.
Trying to figure out how to turn the Jane Durango story-and-a-half into a novella. I can bring in Terry Cash sooner and tie everything together in a third section. I like the way part one stands alone, but I think I can weave it into the rest if I’m clever enough. It’s action/adventure – something I enjoy writing – but it’s hard to find a short story market for that when the protagonists are female. I’m not writing for Soldier of Fortune here – nothing wrong with it, but it’s not what I’m creating. But there’s not much of a market for female action/adventure stories – not in the short story format anyway. Across genres, there’s still too much of women “getting rescued” instead of either getting out of it themselves or working in partnership to get out of whatever jam they’re in. The constrictions of (several) genres are annoying me. Too much formula and caricature instead of interesting and unusual character. But one has to get the formula down before one can explode it.
And I have to hunt down the full version of the Josie Gold piece (she’s mentioned in a cross-pollination in the Jane Durango piece – inside joke) – because there IS enough there for a stand-alone. I bet it’s on that locked disk. I know I have a hard copy of the 40 page version, but it’s in storage, dammit, and I can’t get to it.
I’m at a crossroads with “Anomalous”. I have to make a decision about Toril that will either keep the story in action/adventure genre or will cross genres into preternatural. She’s already very different than I originally envisioned her (too bad for me – she is who she is), and I’m trying to figure out the direction of the piece. It has to percolate. Although, come to think of it, crossing that line brings up some interesting plot possibilities . . . Thinking about it on the train, I realized that the idea for the piece came as a response to something I read recently that gnawed at me – I wished it had taken a different turn, and this piece started as my response to it. However, the characters evolved very differently, and their histories and destinies are completely different than what I originally envisioned. The piece no longer has anything to do with the idea which sparked it. And I need to trust that, or I’m doing a disservice to everything.
Managed to get in some work on Assumption of Right backstage. Since the suspense novel is set backstage, doing the prep work onsite is helpful.
Both shows were fine. I’m hurting –even though there have been (too many) modifications in the track, it’s still a lot of heavy quick changes on a raked stage, and my body protests. Oh, for the days when it would take months before it hurt! Hopefully, I can structure yoga poses to counteract the negative physical fallout from the work. The actors with whom I do the most work are quite lovely, and I enjoy spending time with them.
Had dinner at Route 66 with a friend. The quality of the place is going steadily downhill over the past months. What a shame. They’re still nice, but the food isn’t much good anymore. But my friend and I had a chance to catch up, so it was all good.
Stared to read Jonathan Maberry’s Ghost Road Blues. He’s a colleague of mine on Backspace, and I interviewed him for the Lit Athlete column I just turned in. GRB is the first of a trilogy of horror novels – a genre I stopped reading about ten years ago, for a variety of reasons. However, his writing is so beautiful that he captured me right off. An incident early in the book challenges me regarding the protagonist – and made me think about my own feelings about forgiveness – it wouldn’t make any sense without going into too much detail here, and I have to figure out what it is I mean before I can articulate it. But it gave me an idea for a story about the challenge of forgiveness (which also ties into something my colleague Carolyn brought up on her blog, Ovations, this week). In any case, the book is too involving and beautifully written for backstage reading – I’ll have to carve out time to really descend into its world fully for the duration.
I switched over to the first book of a Nora Roberts trilogy called Morrigan’s Cross. I admire many things she does. She’s prolific and manages to hit the best seller list every time out. I learn from her writing quite a bit. She’s very successful at her craft. There are some things she does that I really like – and some I find quite annoying, even when they work. It is, however, easy for me to read her work backstage, because I can put it down and pick it back up without a problem, and I don’t drop so deep into her well that I’m in danger of missing cues (as I was with Jonathan’s book). I can read her with more detachment. That’s not a criticism – thank goodness there ARE books I can read backstage in between cues or I’d go nuts!
Spent far too much money at the grocery store this morning – I’m doing the squirrel-storing-nuts thing, I guess. I’m on my way to the other store now to stock up on organic cat food, etc., and then I want to finish my colleague’s manuscript – it’s quite breathtakingly good, and I’m eager to finish it and give him my comments.
I hope to do some work on Token and Affections, “Anomalous”, and maybe figure out a way to write myself out of the corner I got into with “Disappearing”.
But first – the cats’ cupboard must be refilled. Don’t want them to feel insecure (because, yes, they do know which cupboard holds their food and when there’s enough room in it for them to climb in and fit, they get worried).