Tuesday, October 13, 2015

It's Kinda "Choose Your Own Doom Among Several Bad Choices"

I think I've been a little too noisy about my birthday this year, for no particular reason that I'm aware of, so I'll just say "it's my birthday" once more and then I'm done. Yay! Birthday!

by Roy Marvelous

I had a grueling weekend. I spent about 18 hours of it on schoolwork: a take-home midterm for my theory class (about which the less said, the better) and a short story for my workshop class. I'd spent enough time over the past two weeks thinking about the short story that writing it was less mental effort than usual, but it still kind of sucked to grind out 4,000 words in a single day. I honestly don't know if it's any good, but I'm pretty sure it doesn't suck. And it's finished. Which is what I needed to happen for the sake of the class. So, mission accomplished.

The story apes the format of a choose-your-own-adventure novel. I wrote three separate stories about three supernatural creatures: aliens, werewolves, and zombies. In the first two cases they are a little more metaphorical than they are in the final case. I created a few forks in the road for the characters to cope with and then put "turn to page X" instructions at the bottom of each page. I was so pooped from writing by the time I was formatting it that I wasn't enjoying it anymore, but when Matt read it he said the story was, in fact, fun to read. Which I hoped it would be.

Naturally, bad things happen to women in this story. I had swung away from that theme in 2014 by writing more about men and boys, but I guess I've swung back. Anyway, I'll keep you posted on how the workshoppers deal with it.

I hoped that this story would be a sort of rehearsal for the wikibook. A formal experiment that's not dissimilar to what I mean to do in the bigger project. The story was formally less hard than I thought it would be, which is good news. Of course, all the same writerly endeavors remain, pushing like ground stakes through the unusual format: characterization, tension, use of time, etc. I know not much better what to expect from writing the wikibook now than I did before I wrote this story, except perhaps that I can relax about it formally because that aspect won't be as hard as I thought.

The only other news is that we are finally out of Mercury being in retrograde, which I would have dismissed as hooey a month ago as something that affects me at all, but I do not think that anymore.

The best way I can think to explain the recent shape of my life is "my shit is all fucked up," and/or to direct people to this page. It is about Mercury being in retrograde in 2014 but I nodded along at every single thing. This is how my late September and early October has gone. Goddamn chaos all around me and I. am. not. chill.

On Sunday, though, I started feeling better. Like I feel after the Santa Anas have left town again. Their hot restlessness gets under my skin and I toss and turn, mentally and physically, until they go away. This retrograde business was closer to frenzy, and I am beyond grateful that it's ending.

We are heading into my least favorite time of the year, though - the Holiday Months. Give me strength, O Saint Willy the Shake.

You can get your own Sainted Writers candles here

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