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[livejournal.com profile] mrissa asked me questions. And I am footsore after a long day of London museums (that was actually remarkably short, in clock-hours), so it is time for answers.

1. What are you doing memeing? You are in LONDON...okay, wait. That is not the real first question.
(1+i) One cannot London all the time, even when one is in London. Londoning, unlike Bunburying, can be exhausting.

1. What one thing have you not done at college yet, that you don't want to miss next year?
Go to the Eric Carle museum. Er. Is it fair to say that, when the Carle museum is not technically part of my college? Well, at any rate, it's near Mount Holyoke, and I've never been. My friends and I always just say "Oh look, there's the Carle museum! We should go there sometime!" and then the bus continues on.

(ETA that I used to say this about the Skinner Museum, which is actually technically part of MHC, but Kate and I went at the very end of this past semester, so rah and go us and that's one checked off the list.)

2. What one thing are you looking forward to being done with when college is over?
The portal to the Corn Noodle Dimension that the dining hall chefs sometimes open. (Overall, they are fabulous and wonderful people who make my life at college so, so much easier--but some weeks it's just corn pasta yesterday, corn pasta today and blimey if it don't look like corn pasta tomorrow. They have been better about this lately, but sometimes they relapse.)

3. Which plant in the Chelsea Physic Garden is your favorite? And if you don't know, go find out! and then tell me!
I have not yet been to the Chelsea Physic Garden! When I have been, I will return and edit this entry/let you know.

4. What kind of tea are you drinking most right now?
Twinings Organic Earl Grey. It is quite a good earl grey, and there is enough of it that I shouldn't have to buy another box of tea (no, really, Alena, you're fine) before I leave London.

5. What brain-hack have you found to be most useful for getting you past unproductive times lately, where lately is defined as you please?
Oo. I...hm. Lately I have not been very good at getting past the unproductive, my recent word-counts as Exhibit A. Quite a lot of that is Bad Thoughts About My Project, which go away (I find) when I just sit down And Write It Anyway. So--writing is my brain-hack for writing more? That's interestingly elliptical logic, but I'm not sure I can do much better before dinner.
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Books et cetera )

I've been having a pretty sleepy spring break. I wrote a scene and a half of a play and I revised a short story, also I wrote a kind-of-prologue for a novel that doesn't actually have a plot. Sent a story or two out and a few more queries. I am having vague tickles of ideas; we'll see if any of them go anywhere.

Don't Wanna go back the day after tomorrow. Especially because I'm getting my second quantum midterm next week and the week after that is tech week for Midsummer...but, well, onwards. It will be nice to have structured Things To Do again. (I might get to go to some bits of ConBust next weekend but we'll see; Midsummer is eating my life.)
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On we march toward spring break. Only a week of classes left! I've got a paper and a set or so of physics homework left, but I'm getting awfully close.

Some other things I ought to do:
- buy tickets for spring break transit
- revise that short story, argh (or could do over spring break, no real deadline)
- start poking at the idea I got recently for a play

Tonight we have the first full run of Midsummer since the read-through at the beginning. Should be excellent, especially since I missed most of the Act I run on Thursday evening due to running off to Northampton... where I finally, finally got to see They Might Be Giants live.

I was introduced to TMBG approximately seven years ago, at MITY Creative Writing. Our teachers, Mike and Kevin, would blast "Birdhouse In Your Soul" and "Why Does The Sun Shine" and "Istanbul (Not Constantinople)" while we did writing exercises. They'd round us up into poetry circles, put on some TMBG, and then dance around while we frantically composed stanzas. It was a revelation: music didn't just have to be goopy love songs! Add to that the fact that MITY was the first real community I had offline, of people who were the same kind of people that I was, of writers and creative types and dreamers, and--well. I was gone.

Ever since then, I have wanted to attend a concert of theirs. But every time they went on tour--they'd be in Minnesota, but a friend would have her birthday party the same day, and she'd guilt me into going to it instead of going to see TMBG. Fine, okay, I'd grumble. Or sometimes, after I came to college, they'd be in Minnesota while I was in Massachusetts, or in Massachusetts when I was in Minnesota (pretty sure that one happened my first year at MHC). Something always came up, one way or another.

And then I was on the bus in Northampton a few weeks ago, and saw that the Calvin Theater was advertising a concert by They Might Be Giants.

...I bought a ticket. And it doesn't matter that I forgot to tell my stage manager I had a conflict, so I had to run out right after my first half-scene of rehearsal and catch a late bus and miss all of Jonathan Coulton's opening act, because I got to sing along to "Ana Ng" played live. It doesn't matter that I missed the last bus back to MHC and had to call a cab, because I stayed for both encores and in the second one they played "Istanbul (Not Constantinople)". It doesn't matter that I ended up not seeing anyone I know, because the crowd in that darkened room was full of people like me.

(I still wish that all my MITY friends could have been there. Someday. Maybe another seven years--because I know we'll still be friends then.)

improving

Dec. 28th, 2011 08:47 am
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Feeling better about the world than I was yesterday: win.

In the interest of actually finishing this draft of ARP, I am going to Not Worry about Anne Conway until the new year. Part Four is less than ten thousand words. I can totally revise that in three days, right?

If I do--when I finish it--I think I will buy myself the Swordspoint audiobook as a reward.

Also maybe I should wash my clothing. (Pssh, household tasks. I don't need clean clothes, I have noveling to do!)
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I am pretty much completely recovered! My brain works again! This rocks. Also, sunny winter days are still my favorite.

Yesterday-snow-day I managed to get all the practical things done that I wanted to get done, and also (re)watch the three-part Master-and-Doctor season finale with people (so slashy. soooo slashy) and then complain cheerfully about the ending and then watch "Time Crash" which made it all okay. Oh, and I auditioned for a play, too!

Under practical things, file "finished my physics research applications". All done! Until next year. And maybe the people I do research for this summer will want me back next summer, or else I will have my license and a car and so will be okay with staying on campus next summer to do research or work at the archives or something. Or I will get an actual job. Or an unpaid internship and make the college give me a living stipend. Who knows what will happen in this year?

Responses For Which I Am Waiting:
- Auditions for that play (?)
- Physics research (starting March 1st, onward through March...?)
- Dell Award (who knows? they said three weeks, and then they said "a few", and it's been four and I am Impatient)
- Cicada (February 20th?)

Now I just get to do study abroad applications, and then I will have a full complement of things to wait for.

Maybe one of these days I will actually write something. Like revise the beginning of A Returning Power so I can send it in to Viable Paradise like I've been meaning to. I might almost have enough space in my brain, now. It's awesome to have all those physics applications out.
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Today and tomorrow are Reading Days for the college, so we don't have classes and finals don't start until Friday. Which is nice, except for the part where it's cold and grey outside and ohmigod it's snowing. Okay, so that just made my day about ten times better.

At any rate, I am thoroughly uninspired to study for my finals, which is why I am writing a post instead.

Things I have done:
- written out equation sheets for the physics final
- typed up review questions for philosophy

Have yet to do:
- go over calculus material, obtain 3x5 notecard, write things on it that I will not remember
- actually go through the philosophy review
- study for my sociology final

On the other hand, there is all of tomorrow, so really I am just going to sit here and pretend to work on my philosophy review for a while. (Which is, of course, the best way to make myself do something.)

I also wrote some truly terrible poetry today. Terrible in that--well, it was; but largely because I haven't written poetry seriously for about seven years, or at all really for two, and it's the sort of thing that needs to be in one's ear. My mind is trained for prose, so it doesn't work out so well when I try to stick in a poem here or there.

Haven't decided one way or the other on Arisia yet. Seeing the full programming schedule will probably help this decision.

I've been working on The Urban Fantasy Novel in driblets here and there. (I've been busy, both in the taking-up-time way and the distracting-things way, but making an effort once in a while.) I was going to work on that this morning, but then I got distracted by the terrible poetry. I'm very close to 10k at the moment, which is a nice feeling although in the larger terms it's not all that much progress. On the other hand, J-term should serve very nicely to give me time to work on the draft.

This has been another Rapid Sum-Up of what happened my life while I was forgetting about LJ. Well, not everything. I left a lot of bits out. All the exciting things really. But those are for other posts and other days. Maybe. If you're lucky.
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Things! Lots and lots of things.

Classes started! I have sociology and philosophy and calculus III and physics. All of my classes seem good, so far--admittedly, I've only had each of them once--but still. On a related note, no one told me that I would want the textbooks on the first day of class. I have weekend homework in all my classes. As half of my textbooks are winging their way toward me across the country, well... I'll be spending some time in the library tomorrow.

Today I auditioned for a couple of a cappella groups. (Singing Build Me Up Buttercup, hence the post title.) I would be well pleased to get into either of them. Felt like the auditions went well, but you never really do know.

Other things that happened today were my sociology and philosophy readings. Have discovered that Plato demands stops to go and stare at a game of internet solitaire and not think about philosophy for a while. Early 20th century sociologists are also difficult to read. However, the ideas are intriguing, and I'm looking forward to the class.

My friends rock. This makes me very happy.

Also, I am writing again, poking my way through a new story. So far I have a girl, a hilltop, some mist... we'll see where I go with this. For now I am just pleased to have time to put down a few new words on a document.
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Today I went to the bookstore. )
---

I have been watching the TV show Criminal Minds lately. I blame [livejournal.com profile] matociquala. As a reader of Shadow Unit, it's particularly fascinating to mark the ways in which Criminal Minds is an influence on SU. Although maybe some of them are general to all such shows, and I just don't watch enough TV to note the difference.

---

Colleges, if you were wondering how to make me stop freaking out, at least momentarily, about the admissions process? Follow Mt. Holyoke College's example and send me a soothing letter about how much you like me.

I think perhaps this tactic has wider applications in society, too.

---

Ramblings: school, participation, life )

... which is tantamount, in my roundabout way, to beginning to say: I am listening. I am here, present, with you.

I don't think I have much else to contribute to the discussion, which is why I haven't posted before.
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I know I've hit my stride with this essay for the government because I have both settled into a casual style and quoted Pablo Neruda in the last paragraph and a half.

---

Visited Lawrence University this weekend. Lesson learned: physics = lasers + ribidium. I swear, the stuff was everywhere. I eventually had to ask--okay, so what is so great about this ribidium? The answer made sense (alkali--it only has one electron in the outer valence shell--so it reacts easily, and the wavelength of light it's sensitive to is readily available), but still. Ribidium everywhere.

The physics people were cool, too.

Depending on where I get accepted, maybe I will go there.

Driving back, my father and I did not hit another deer. We are proud of this fact.

---

No writing news today, sadly. I need to organize my schedule so that I can get some writing done, but the workload from school is still formidable (don't let anyone tell you the second semester of senior year is easy; they're lying to you), and I'm usually drained by the time I'm done with all of that. Somehow, abandoning my schoolwork to concentrate on my writing doesn't seem like the greatest plan I've ever thought up.
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Rejection today from Interfictions 2. I like to send stories back out again right away, but I can't think of a market for this one, and now I'm having doubts about if it really is any good, anyway, and shouldn't I just rewrite it completely?

Which way lies madness, of course.

--

On the school front, about a million projects are due next week. And essays. Also papers. (And all the paperwork for applying for financial aid--it's enough to make a girl wish for standardized processes to get rid of all these weird deadlines, or at least for it to be next year, when I'll only have to deal with one college's crazy ideas of what makes a good financial aid timeline.)

Fleet on the heels of that will come the deadline for my Presidential Scholars application. One of 3,000 candidates in the country is, at the very least, better than a poke in the eye with a sharp stick; on the other hand, it means filling out an application that's as large as most of the college applications I did.

This next one is entirely my fault for finding: a physics summer program that looks awesome and to which I want to apply. Which isn't so much a chore, except that it's another thing to write in my planner and agonize over not doing.

And I wonder why I'm stressed.

(Tangent: Usually, I can work at a fierce and high level of concentration. I always want to have a higher goal than I've achieved; this is why teachers who give me A's on essay drafts and no comments on how to make it better frustrate me. This works, except when that fierce and high level of concentration lapses, and I still have those sky-high ideals of What I Ought To Be Able To Do. I am not sure what to do about this, except to try to remember this and treat myself kindly.)
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Life:

Snow.

---

The Universe:

No school for two weeks.

Papers I have to write over winter break:

* ~4000 word essay on the motif of angels in Ursula K. Le Guin's PARADISES LOST and Elizabeth Bear's DUST (final draft; I have a rough draft and a promise of comments)
* 1200-1600 word essay on the usefulness of simplifying things in one's life (final draft; I have a rough draft)
* 1200-1600 word essay on the representation of Iago (OTHELLO) and Raskolnikov's (CRIME AND PUNISHMENT) characters through their monologues (rough draft)

Also, my college applications.

---

Everything:

Rejections on "Sun and Spirits" have been piling up lately. Strange Horizons, Fantasy Magazine, and Beneath Ceaseless Skies have all passed on it within the space of a couple of weeks. I'm not sure where it's going out next, but it's going somewhere.

My Writers of the Future entry for this past quarter received no recognition--but then, I knew that it probably would be.

I managed to get "The Mermaids, Singing" together in time to submit it to Interfictions 2.

I need to start another story. Rewriting stories from Odyssey is fine and dandy, but I also should be writing new pieces. Winter break should help with the having-time thing.

August 2015

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