Sunday, October 21, 2012

Things are looking up...

Perhaps. I've just put in some applications, though of course I don't know if I'll get anything from them, but the act of putting them in gives me a sense of accomplishment and control. I hope to get some sort of response (from at least one of them) soon
I also won a drawing I entered months ago on the PBS website. I won series one and two of Sherlock on DVD. That certainly cheered me. I barely even remember entering-- another example of me not expecting to much, but actually getting something.
At the literary society event tonight I dressed as Jane Austen and served tea. That was fun. My kooky friend Jess dressed as Henry David Thoreau. Somehow our interactions during the evening led us to the decision to tag-team a NaNoWriMo about the two of them. Not sure how that's going to turn out.
I've nearly finished this round of edits on my mystery novel and I'm taking a break from it while figuring out how to attempt getting it published. I have some very specific ideas about what I want from all the research I've done, of course I'm still looking for some guidance from those who have been there before. Right now I'm focusing on shorter pieces for my multi-genre writing workshop. I had a great batch of drafting last night.
And I've been listening to a lot of Seawolf. Maudlin music always has a cheering effect on me.

So thanks for bearing with me through all the crazy.
And I'm going to Italy in the spring. If that's not a sign of things looking up, I'm not sure what is.

Friday, October 19, 2012

The Lizzie Bennet Diaries

I was skeptical at first. To be honest though, I'm always skeptical, it lesson the likelihood of disappointment. Yes, I always have been a little rain cloud. I digress. My kooky and wonderful friend Jess (who may be doing her history masters focusing in Viking history-- I know some amazing people), showed me this vlog called "The Lizzie Bennet Diaries."
The premise is this: Elizabeth Bennet is a 21st century woman. She lives in California with her sisters Jane and Lydia, their father, and their southern belle mother who is constantly trying to get them settled. Lizzie doing her MA in Communications while living at home and making video blogs with the help of her best friend Charlotte.
The way they adapt Pride and Prejudice to a modern setting is very clever. It's probably one of the better modernizations of Austen's work I've seen. Perhaps because it doesn't take itself too seriously. Rather than getting too caught up on the "Romance" genre constantly imposed on Austen's work, it's very funny, but occasionally hits some serious notes. There are allusions to Austen throughout as well.
Overall it's very fun and makes for perfect guilty pleasure viewing (I needed new literary shenanigans since Strindberg and Helium haven't updated in ages...). Each video is 3-7 minutes long and they update quite regularly. I believe the team is up to about 55 videos and the story is just beginning. Here's the first:

Monday, October 15, 2012

Writing for Money and other Different Skill Sets

Sorry for the silence on this end.
I'm getting to the point in my life where I have to seize adulthood, independence, etc. I also have to get used to writing for different reasons. No longer am I simply writing essays for classes, stories and poems for myself. Now I'm writing to convince people to give me money, accept me into programs, buy my creative writing.
Application essays, query letters: they're a different skill set. It's a balance between informative and interesting. Between confidence and cockiness. No little artistic flourishes such as stand-alone phrases allowed (see previous sentence fragment). Suddenly I'm a slave to the basic rules of punctuation and grammar. They're no longer gentle guidelines I can bend for emphasis or fun. My bad habits (I tend to overuse commas) are glaring errors that need immediate attention.
Writing a novel is not the same as writing a query. Receiving an English degree doesn't mean anyone's going to pay you to use it.
The big dream would be for me to spend next year working/studying abroad. By the end of that year I would hope to have something in the works for getting my novel published.
The big dream is to live by my pen. Not grandly, but just enough to take care of myself.