Sunday, January 28, 2007

Random Observations During (But Not Necessarily Connected to) the Upheaval

1. I figured out fanfiction. But it took a fanvid for me to do so. The problem with fanfiction is that I get caught up in the conventions of story and, thus, the concept of "playing in someone else's sandbox" completely confounds me. If I'm writing a story, I like to have all the control, and that means create my own backstory, tweak the characters, spin plots to the extent that what is left is only a kernel of something I found interesting in another series or show. And that kernel is usually a character arc or a juicy bit of conflict I wanted to insert into my own universe.

Somehow watching a House/Wilson fanvid on YouTube set to the musical restylings of Clay Aiken made me figure out in a way that stuck that fanfiction isn't about story at all. It's about call and answer. The call is the work of art itself: the show, the book, the car wreck that is a celebrity's tabloid-infested life. The viewer or reader or rubber necker has a response from that call, and they feel compelled to answer. I can understand this in a video medium because film is not my thing. I wouldn't feel compelled to put a story to my response--or, rather, the story wouldn't be my purpose but would be something Other that I might add for fun. So I get taking pits and pieces of clips from a show and putting them together to a song in a fashion that shares what the call is evoking in you. And in the case of the above it is that House and Wilson relationship is rife with sexual tension. The answer was crafted in a fashion that demonstrated what the viewer saw to get that response.

I can thus understand fanfiction. Still can't write it because writing for me is all about story, even if the impetus for writing something was a response to someone else's work. My need to tell a story very quickly overrides my need to answer the call I felt in another piece of art. Hence why I ran out of steam on my short story that was very, very loosely based on Shakespeare's The Tempest.

2. About a month or so ago, I questioned why I still watched Battlestar Gallactica and why I still seemed to enjoy it. I realized why after the "season" premiere last week: Helo and Athena. Damn near cried at the beginning last week. If only we had more of them and less of the nauseating Starbuck and Apollo tug of war.

3. It seems like every big move creates a vortex in which precisely one box is lost and never seen again. Now, we still have a couple of boxes to go, but our hopes of finding the box in question are dwindling. This box was a random assortment of books, knick knacks, a lamp, a serving dish, and a shower curtain. I have a need for each of the last three items it seems once a day. Here's hoping one of the last few boxes is this missing box.

4. Hanging up pictures, even two small ones, can turn a room into something infinitely more like "home" than it was before.

5. There are worse things than living ten minutes from your mother. Try living within a few blocks of not only your parents and sibs, but also your husband's parents and sibs. Yeah, I met one of my neighbors and she mentioned that just about her entire family and her husband's entire family has moved or will be moving into this development. She thinks it great. I can't even imagine the insanity.

6. The one benefit to Drewbie getting sick this week is that I had ample time to read while he was sprawled on me. I finished Scalzi's Old Man's War and Bear's Carnival. I enjoyed both very much, in very different ways. It was strange reading OMW after a year or so of reading Scalzi's blog, particularly when it came to how the main character's wife was portrayed and that her name began with a K. Whenever the main character would start on about his wife, I often got the sense that I was reading a blog post in which Scalzi was talking about his wife. That's just a peril of reading the daily bits of someone's life and then also reading a novel by that same someone. You get confused, most likely through no fault of the writer. More likely due to an inability to realize that, though a blogger is sharing a great deal of their lives with you, you really don't "know" them or the folks they talk about in any real sense.

7. When trying to figure out which book to start next, I thought I'd like something "up." But Tambo's latest, Valley of the Soul, was burning a hole in my bookshelf, and the only other book I knew to be "up" was a novel that had a fun, snarky main character but conflict and tension that was resolved in cloyingly sweet ways just about as soon as it was introduced. I've been about two-thirds through that book for the past three months, and I don't see myself finishing it. I hate books that set you up for a good character struggle and then don't deliver. I'm betting the write flinched. It's hard to write that stuff.

8. Working from home isn't as wonderful as it's made out to be. The Drew Monster gets confused because he sees me home and wants to play but I keep turning him away to get work done. Very often days go by where I try to compromise and end up feeling like I'm failing both at my job and in giving Drew what he needs. I'm waiting to see what happens when the boxes are all unpacked, the pictures are up on the walls, and the feeling of novelty shifts into a feeling of normalcy. I've been working from home for over three months, but have yet to actually be settled in my home or my own skin for that length of time. Probably the source of my issue right there.

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