aamcnamara: (Default)
I wanted to post this to the Fourth Street Fantasy community on LJ, but apparently I don't have posting access. So, here: a poem that I was trying to find online for the story-telling evening about journeys (but which I could not locate until yesterday). Milosz is one of my favorite poets.

Czeslaw Milosz

A valley and above it forests in autumn colors.
A voyager arrives, a map led him here.
Or perhaps memory. Once, long ago, in the sun,
When the first snow fell, riding this way
He felt joy, strong, without reason,
Joy of the eyes. Everything was the rhythm
Of shifting trees, of a bird in flight,
Of a train on the viaduct, a feast of motion.
He returns years later, has no demands.
He wants only one, most precious thing:
To see, purely and simply, without name,
Without expectations, fears, or hopes,
At the edge where there is no I or not-I.

South Hadley, 1985.
aamcnamara: (Default)
This post is large. It contains multitudes.

Fourth Street! )

While at the last panel at Fourth Street, I had an idea for a slightly related question.

How is your revision process (for novels, particularly, but short stories as well) reflected in the material things and/or software structures that you use?

(For example, if a writer restructures their novel in one stage and then goes through to polish, do they use notecards for restructuring, Scrivener, just work it out in a notebook? Do they print it out and go through to polish it, scroll through, check scenes individually?)

...however, it was not really relevant, so I am posing it here instead, or possibly will suggest it as a panel topic for next Fourth Street (if they let us submit panel topics) or WisCon or something. It seems interesting to me, at least. Some writing software is designed for certain things, and some for others, and since writers All Do It Differently, a certain amount of mishmash cobbling together of things is necessary, I should think.

Arrant pedantry, unrelated to both above )

I have a few more thoughts about Fourth Street (and conventions in general), Et Cetera, but right now I need to do my Ideomancer slush and work some more on my novel.
aamcnamara: (Default)
Not a con report, although Fourth Street is lovely so far.

(Except for the part where I took a wrong turn on the bike path and ended up going a few miles out of my way. But, you know, these things happen, and technically that was before I got to the con.)

What this post actually is: Hooray for finishing things! I have a first draft (2800 words) of a story I am currently calling "The Bodies of Erinyes". (It's the far-future SF ancient-Greece one.) Unlike possibly any story I have written before, I outlined this first, created documents in Scrivener for all the scenes in the outline, and then went through and wrote each of them, not necessarily working on them in order. A couple of scenes have been combined, but mostly it's just as I outlined it. Likely this will change (drastically) in revisions, but it's interesting to watch my own writing process change.

This means that I'll have headspace for whatever new story ideas Fourth Street stuffs into my head. (So far, I've mostly got revision ideas for this one, but that's okay too.)

Also, on the novel:

218 / 350
aamcnamara: (Default)
216 / 350

and a Fourth Street playreading and time for bed.
aamcnamara: (Default)
1. I would totally read Tom Bombadil fanfic.

2. YA Panels at SFF Cons, How They Succeed and How They Fail )
I would be interested to hear opinions on this one. From people of any age, who have any range of interest in YA.

3. I need to start reading a lot more nonfiction.

4. Today is my official Day to Relax and Not See People. And, you know, keep working on the novel. (And slush.)

37759 / 80000
aamcnamara: (Default)
Yesterday I went to the art museum with [livejournal.com profile] aliseadae. It was awesome. Art museums are some of my favorite places, especially if you go during the middle of the week, when even though school is out, almost no one is there. It's more crowded on the weekends, which has its problems, among them the tendency of museum halls to echo well.

This is also the part of the novel where it throws up short stories set in the same world as a distraction tactic. In the grand tradition of my brain, which writes school reports instead of worldbuilding notes, the short story emerged when I was trying to write poetry (while in the art museum, because museums are a good place for poetry). The poems were from the points of view of the main characters of this short story.

(I have decided it is a short story because, after all, it is a shorter story than this novel is; and I don't really want to have another novel right now. It may turn out to be longer than a short story. However, if I keep calling it a short story, maybe it'll get convinced that it is one.)

So, like a good little novelist, I took a page of notes on the short story, enjoyed the art museum, and got back to working on the novel today.

Tonight is the play-reading for Fourth Street. Tomorrow is a whole host of other things, plus the first day of Fourth Street. Hopefully I'll be able to at least mostly keep up with the novel over the weekend; if I don't, I will be able to make a bunch of progress next week, when I don't think I have much of anything going on.

36056 / 80000
aamcnamara: (Default)
Five things make a post. (Where does that phrase come from? We need a Wikipedia for the Internet.)

1. I am all done with IB forever for the rest of my life. As much as I grew fond of it in the last couple of weeks, I am glad to see it gone.

2. Wiscon! Just a week away now. I will be on one (1) panel, to wit:

Young Writer Q&A
Sun 2:30 - 3:45PM
Conference 4
Kelly Jones (M), Vylar Kaftan, Naomi Kritzer, Alena McNamara, Diana Sherman
If you're a writer under age 18, you may have a set of questions that most writing 101 books and panels don't typically answer. Should you mention in cover letters that you're a freshman in high school? Is there a way to mention your fiction writing in your college applications if you haven't actually sold anything? Should aspiring writers major in English? Where can you find people who will give you feedback on your writing without being patronizing? This panel is designed for young writers, college‚Äďage and under. (Panelists may be older, but we all started young.)

(I am not older.)

3. My "secrets" tag has been being used to denote posts which are about the Novel I am writing. For a long time it was a Notanovel, because my brain freaks out with all the rules about What Novels Must Do and What Novels Must Be if I admit that I am Writing A Novel. Now it is 20k words long and it is time for it to grow up and be a real novel.

4. I am, for once in my life, dressing up. I am even wearing high heels. I am, in fact, going to prom. I am not constructing my mental scenarios for the Perfect Prom Night. My feet will get sore, and I will spend a lot of time being bored and/or annoyed, but it will be okay.

5. I have registered for Fourth Street Fantasy convention.

Bonus number 6 is a secret.
aamcnamara: (Default)
This has been a good news, bad news day.

Good news: I feel like I did at least all right on the first half of the IB English test yesterday, and the first 2/3 of the IB History test today.
Bad news: I had to finish my IB History essays early and then run back to school from where we were taking the test (and ask the bus driver to wait for me while I ran inside and grabbed my stuff to study for the last 1/3 of the History test which is tomorrow morning) to actually be able to ride the school bus home. Otherwise I may have had to hang around school for another two hours, and I am not yet so nostalgic as to enjoy that.

And, when I got home,
Bad news: I am not a Presidential Scholar; they picked a different girl from Minnesota. (Tell me, what does she have that I don't? Tell me.)
However, Good news: This means that I will be in town for Fourth Street Fantasy Convention, which I have wanted to go to lo these many years since last year when it was revived and I went to Odyssey instead.

And, you know, I am sitting in the breeze and in the sunlight, full of blueberry muffin and chocolate, and there are a lot of worse ways to be on the afternoon before the last part of a large test on the History of the Americas. (Even if this chocolate apparently isn't okay for me any more. Boo.)

May 2017



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