Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Rainy Spring Nights

The almost non-stop rain doesn't bother me much because everything is turning such a lush shade of green and flowers are bursting out of the naked branches of winter.
It's the end of the semester rushed feeling now. When you have too much to do for your classes and extracurricular commitments, something always comes up in your personal life of course. When plans and worries are fluttering through your brain like a flock of deranged birds, it's hard to focus on your art project or your paper on Vertigo.
Taking time to eat and sleep properly is even harder. Like music and art therapy, I believe in literary therapy. Writing your feelings and even reading certain books can be extremely therapeutic. I'm currently reading An American Childhood by Annie Dillard when I have a few moments-- usually I read one or two chapters before bed. I'll post a review when it's finally finished.
Even worse is when someone decides to clean your things and then you don't know where anything is. It may seem chaotic, but there is a system of organization at work and if you interrupt it, I will be paralyzed for weeks, sorting through where everything was "put away." This is why I probably shouldn't share a living space with other people.
So, basically, it's almost 1 am, I'm sitting here listening to the rain (and looking out for Doctor Who monsters-- the season premiere freaked me out), I'm trying to relax and let my mind shut down so I can sleep tonight.

Friday, April 22, 2011

The writing saga

I'm on Easter break through Monday and I have things I just need to get done. I have to finish my nature essay/memoir for my non-fiction class, I have to work on the final paper for my Hitchcock class, and I have to get things in order to start working as a freelancer over the summer.
I could not stay in my house today due to a particularly vicious altercation with a sibling earlier in the week. To write I need a bit of peace and an area where I can focus. Of course, after some deliberation, I decided to go to the organic coffee bar I posted about last month. I saw visions of myself sipping Jamaica Me Crazy while tucked into a corner table churning out masterpieces. My plan was to spend several hours there and get some revisions done on my novel as well.
They were closed for Good Friday.
I bought some ginger snaps at the whole food store that sits just behind them and decided that as long as I didn't get arrested for loitering, I would sit out on their porch and work. Though it's almost May, the day was damp and windy. After about a half an hour I had to depart. Still too early to go home without risking a run-in with my overly emotional brother, I wandered around the whole foods store for a bit, then went to look at herbs at a local nursery.
A thought struck me-- the town library of course, that would be a perfect place to work. Except that it was also closed for Good Friday.
Finally, tired and hungry, and still feeling chilled, I ended up at a nearby deli where I had a turkey wrap and did some reading. My head was aching, so in spite of my brother still being home I went back home and took a nap.
It completely slipped my mind that today was a holiday. I got very little work done.

Monday, April 18, 2011

I've been... Inducted

This weekend I was inducted into Sigma Tau Delta, the International English Honor Society. Basically, I promise to uphold the ideals of "Sincerity, Truth, Design" and do my best to support and further writing and literature.
I got some fancy red and black cords I can wear at graduation, a pin, and a certificate. I can also now publish in Sigma Tau Delta's two journals: The Rectangle and The Review. The Rectangle is for creative writing, The Review is for scholarly pieces, essays and the like.
It's sort of exciting to be recognized and be among the group on campus. Of course, it's not like a sorority or anything, though that would probably be excellent. We could have a permanent literary salon where we sip caffeinated beverages and share our latest masterpieces in the rough. Oh the metaphysical debates... but alas, there's no Greek housing on our campus anyway. Only six new members pledged this year,and some of the officers are graduating, so it's a rather small group.
I hate to be immodest, but it feels nice to be among the "chosen few." There are many benefits to joining and I look forward to taking advantage of them.

Friday, April 15, 2011

Count Down to New Season of Doctor Who

A week from tomorrow the sixth season of the New Who premieres in the UK and the US. Yes it is possible. With previous programming delays, one would think that film reels were being brought over in row boats. I digress.
Word is that during the opening two-parter set in America, one of the main cast is going to die. It better not be Rory. The novelty of killing him is wearing off. River Song will be back and in the mid-season finale (as they are splitting it in half after the seventh episode this season) her identity is said to be revealed.
Here is the BBC America Extended Trailer
Here is Doctor Who Insider Part 1 and Part 3 (nothing new in Part 2)
I'm so excited. It looks like all those little strings left dangling from last season (the thing in the corner of your eye, cracks, "Silence is falling") will all be brought to a climax this season. It also looks incredibly scary. There's also an episode called "The Doctor's Wife" by Neil Gaiman which should prove to be interesting.

In other Who-news, if you haven't heard, David Tennant is a dad. Georgia Moffet had their baby in March. Still trying to spread the term "Whocest" with little result.

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Screnzy Slump

Slumps always happen during NaNo, but for some reason I keep forgetting about Script Frenzy. I open my email and see there's another "Script Frenzy Story" posted and suddenly remember the two scripts on my flash drive.
Looking through my script library (a left over from theatre school)I've noticed that most two act stage plays fall at about seventy pages. That's why I decided to write two pieces to total my word count. Still, I always feel my narrative voice is the strongest part of my writing so it's hard for me to be so dependent on dialogue.
I've also been avoiding the forums. For some reason they've been annoying me. Script Frenzy is supposed to be for, well, amateurs. Generally unpublished writers (like myself), but some of the questions on the forums bother me. It seems like many of the writers want to be handed a guide with all the "rules" for script writing, dictating how long all their scenes must be, how many characters they should have, etc. The "quick and dirty" tricks posted for reaching the goal used to amuse me, but again I've been finding them really annoying lately.
Maybe it's because I've been taking so many writing-centric classes and have been cracking down on myself to become a more serious writer to look toward making it my career. These challenges aren't just for fun for me, I may end up living off what I've been writing for NaNo and even Script Frenzy (hopefully).
Maybe I'm also just tired, overtaxed, and wishing summer were here. No doubt that compounds all my issues. The end of the semester is creeping up with an armful of papers and exams to dump in my lap. I also agreed to perform in two of my friends' directing class final, as well as my club president duties.
I'm not in a bad mood, exactly. The weather's been quite fine (I don't even mind the rain because it makes everything so green). I'm working on some exciting stories for the paper, I've been selling things on my Etsy, I'm going back to work at the Renaissance Faire this summer (I'm such a nerd, but I've missed having an excuse to wear a corset and sword fight with pirates), I was also invited to audition for a show that one of my professors is putting on in the fall. Good things are happening, I'm just not sure if I can dedicate the time to Script Frenzy this month. I'm also feeling like I might be growing in another direction as writer-- one that Screnzy and NaNo may not accommodate much longer. There is much for me to ponder.
Sorry for the wrong rant. I'm going to bed now.

Monday, April 11, 2011

Upstairs Downstair Reboot on PBS

The original Upstairs Downstairs was wildly popular, so it makes sense that it's being revisited. Last night the first episode of the reboot aired on PBS's Masterpiece program (and is available to watch online as well).
The first episode laid a lot of groundwork for things to come. In one hour they rather efficiently introduced a brand new set of characters (with the exception of the beloved Rose who now runs an employment agency for domestic workers). There were a few moments of humor and heartbreak, but over all, not a stunning episode. I look forward to seeing more plot and character development now that all the necessary exposition is out of the way.
Lady Percy, played by Claire Foy (of Little Dorrit) was hardly seen in this episode, but her struggles with her family's genteel poverty, adapting to her sister's new lifestyle, as well as her temper poise her to be an important character that will possibly serve as a catalyst to future plots.
It was a risk to try and reproduce a show that was so loved and so revolutionary. It was also a risk putting it in a Masterpiece season that just debuted the spectacular Downton Abbey-- another program that deals with the dynamic of aristocracy and their servants. Both Downton and Upstairs set their characters in a world on the verge of change, social and political conflicts challenge tradition and the way these characters view the world, especially in regards to class and position. Where they seem to diverge (so far) is that Downton is more rooted in family drama, where Upstairs seems to be going in a direction more focused on politics. All in all, worth the watching

Friday, April 8, 2011

National Poetry Month Festivities

In honor of National Poetry Month, the literary society will be Committing Random Acts of Poetry (C.R.A.P) around campus this month-- not the whole month, just the latter half, but still. I will be performing "Jabberwocky" by Lewis Caroll:
'Twas brillig, and the slithy toves
Did gyre and gimble in the wabe;
All mimsy were the borogoves,
And the mome raths outgrabe.

"Beware the Jabberwock, my son
The jaws that bite, the claws that catch!
Beware the Jubjub bird, and shun
The frumious Bandersnatch!"

He took his vorpal sword in hand;
Long time the manxome foe he sought –
So rested he by the Tumtum tree,
And stood awhile in thought.

And, as in uffish thought he stood,
The Jabberwock, with eyes of flame,
Came whiffling through the tulgey wood,
And burbled as it came!

One, two! One, two! And through and through
The vorpal blade went snicker-snack!
He left it dead, and with its head
He went galumphing back.

"And hast thou slain the Jabberwock?
Come to my arms, my beamish boy!
O frabjous day! Callooh! Callay!"
He chortled in his joy.

'Twas brillig, and the slithy toves
Did gyre and gimble in the wabe;
All mimsy were the borogoves,
And the mome raths outgrabe.

It will be epic.

Monday, April 4, 2011

A Crack in the Lens by Darlene Cypser

“Grit in a sensitive instrument, or a crack in one of his high powered lenses, would not be more disturbing than a strong emotion in a nature such as his.” -A Scandal in Bohemia
A young Sherlock Holmes returns to his home in the English countryside after living abroad for his health’s sake. He has a history of poor health, but now at age seventeen he’s gained strength in his time on the continent and through his study of fencing. He soon gets wrapped up in his home estate. His eldest brother, Sherrinford marries and the daughter of a tenant named Violet Rushdale catches young Sherlock’s eye. However, he is plagued by a tenuous relationship with his father, the squire. His father doesn’t think he’ll amount to much and intends to send Sherlock to study as an engineer.
His father engages a tutor to come prepare Sherlock for university. A mathematical genius, young Professor Moriarty arrives and soon he and Sherlock are engaged in a battle of wits that will endanger Sherlock and people he cares for.

Darlene Cypser paints a rich landscape for her Holmesian prequel. Well researched and thought out, it gives a possible beginning to Sherlock Holmes’ story. It gives a look at the young man before he became the calculating machine described by Watson and how his interest in solving the unsolvable originated. It’s a quick read with plenty of suspense.
Unlike prequels such as The Young Sherlock Holmes that had to rewrite history to make the story work, Cypser sticks with the story. Though initially, I was skeptical about her inserting of Moriarty into the story, Cypser fills out the image of Moriarty. She also develops a back story between Holmes and Moriarty that emphasizes why Holmes is so bent on Moriarty’s removal from society in “The Final Problem.”

Friday, April 1, 2011

Happy Script Frenzy!

Today is the first official day of Script Frenzy. I've written a few pages thus far. This year I'm working on two stage plays (probably one-acts, but we'll see). One is a melancholy family drama surrounding a funeral. This is conditionally called Firefly Jar. The second piece is an eccentric comedy called The Seduction of Peter.

I wish everyone well on their writing adventures this month. I've been working on the sequel to my murder mystery as well. I'm putting that aside this month to work on my scripts, but I have about 50 pages of the sequel so far on my computer and some notes to be typed up as well.

Also, happy Poetry Month!