Aargh.

Dec. 11th, 2005 12:16 pm
elfie_chan: MY cup of tea! (Default)
I went back and deleted all of the text from Cassandra's Codex. I didn't like the beginning: too slow, not enough action. Plus, it doesn't get across what I want to and I've decided that things happening there should actually happen much later in the story, if they happen at all. Bah.

Luckily, I've got some notes that should lead to a better beginning. Still, it hurts to delete 3 1/2 pages of actual writing.

Time to try again.
elfie_chan: MY cup of tea! (Default)
Here I sit, sipping beer. I would swill it, as I understand that swilling is actually the appropriate method for consuming beer, but the beer is too good. So, I sip it instead.

Tonight is the Assylum Christmas Party. I feel honored to be made part of the tradition. I did not live at the Assylum, and neither did Alex, but we have been absorbed. It's lovely to be part of an insane, slightly dysfunctional family. We are forgoing the Traditional Turkey Fiasco this year in favor of some pot roast that is smelling absolutely fantastic at the moment. (The Traditional Turkey Fiasco usually involves some horrible misfortune befalling the turkey, at which point Alex steps in and saves the day. This year, he saved the day by making pot roast instead.) There are also cookies. They are yummy cookies, but I have been forbidden to touch them until the company gets here. Drat.

I have been amazingly hilarious this trip, but I can't remember any of the funny conversations we have had. This upsets me greatly. My short-term memory is truly dreadful. My long-term memory is not much better, but that's all right. I do remember that we watched Fantastic 4 last night. The movie is absolutely dreadful, but we enjoyed mocking it. Do not bother watching it. It is truly, truly not worth it.

I am also feeling wonderfully productive. Cassandra's Codex is coming along nicely, but I'm not going to post any of it until I have at least Chapter 1 done. I'll let you all know when that happens, and then I'll be posting there regularly (I hope!) after that. All of you who have requested to be added to the friends list for [livejournal.com profile] cassandra_codex have been added, as far as I know. I'll double-check before I post the first entry. I'm still not happy with what I have so far, but some tweaking will happen after I finish the first chapter and before I post. I would also like to emphasize that the chapters that are posted on [livejournal.com profile] cassandra_codex are going to be pretty rough. Thanks for bearing with me.

I have knitted 35 rows on my winter scarf. At this rate, I may be done about when winter ends. Ah, well. Next year, I shall have a nice warm scarf to go with my hat. *hugs hat*

I think that I must go and either try to write or attempt to read. Writing sounds good. Maybe I'll do some notes, as company is expected soon and I do not wish any actual writing to be interrupted.
elfie_chan: MY cup of tea! (Default)
I, too, have established a writing journal: [livejournal.com profile] cassandra_codex.

I will be posting Cassandra's Codex (yes, I've chosen a title) there from here on out. The postings will be friends only, so please comment here if you wish to be a reader.

How does one make one's Livejournal friends-only? I've seen people do it with the spiffy graphic, and I'd like to do the same thing with Cassandra's Codex.

I'm up to my fourth page, single-spaced, on this story! My Muse has definitely given it a green light! Huzzah!
elfie_chan: MY cup of tea! (Default)
I'm feeling a bit better this morning. I think it helps that it's Friday and I don't have class this morning. (Unfortunately, this has nothing to do with Veteran's Day--other people have class; I have Fridays off.) I also made lattes again. My espresso machine rocks. It only takes me about five minutes to make two delicious lattes, which makes both me and Alex happy. Yay!

"Illumination" in the title of this entry refers to two things: figurative illumination in the form of inspiration, and literal illumination in the form of highly decorative medieval manuscripts.

I'll discuss the second reference first, because I'm weird that way.

As you all know, I am currently taking a class on the History of Medieval Manuscripts. The teacher of this class has irritated me, but I still managed to pull a B on my midterm. *flexes* In any case, after Manuscripts class on Thursday, I wandered down to the campus bookstore to look for a notebook to replace my current journal after I finish using it. What I had forgotten was that the bookstore was hosting a "Tools of the Trade" show that afternoon. Several local artists set up tables in the campus bookstore and plied their trade, answering questions put to them by passersby. Since my flu had quite taken away my appetite for lunch (and I had already had a large breakfast), I decided to linger and have a look around. One table that particularly attracted me was that of a local illuminator (creator of decorated medieval manuscripts, for those who are unfamiliar with the lingo). I made a beeline for the table and, in the absence of the illuminator herself, I began leafing through a displayed portfolio. As I perused the gorgeously illustrated pages, it struck me that many of them were original scroll patterns that were used for awards for our local SCA principality. Ah-hah, I thought. I probably know this person. I duly examined the provided (and decorated) business card, but, alas, I didn't recognize the name. This is not unusual when encountering SCA denizens in the mundane world. After all, I generally get introduced to such people at SCA events and, thus, get only their SCA names. It doesn't help that my memory for names of any kind is truly pathetic.

Fortunately for me, the artist herself arrived. She is a highly nifty person whom I recognized instantly--I even remembered her SCA name. We had a pleasant conversation about illumination, during which I learned that I should ask our local Baroness about who to talk to about getting into illumination and painting award scrolls again. Huzzah! I also noticed that, at the bottom of one of the scrolls, a tiny black raven clamped a tiny blue gryphon by the tail, while the gryphon looked back in indignation. I was highly amused. I also picked up her card with an eye toward learning both more about illumination and more about medieval bookbinding (she does both).

Now, the second illumination aspect: Inspiration.

Many writers (including me) have a penchant for notebooks. We seem to collect them. There's this subconscious thought that, this time, this book with the beautiful cover and the lovely blank pages, will provide the necessary inspiration to finally, finally finish the Next Great Novel/Epic Poem/Comic Essay/Etcetera. This book will let us keep up with that journal we always meant to write. This journal will provide the magic we need. Unfortunately, most of us wind up with a drawer full of gorgeous blank books--writing, no matter how inspired, tends to have a hard time keeping up with the shiny attraction of the variety of notebooks that are constantly available. I have a drawer that bears testimony to the truth of this statement.

Recently (in September), my father-in-law gave me a large pile of spiral-bound notebooks and stenographer's notebooks that he didn't want anymore. Among this stack was a spiral-bound, narrow-ruled notebook with a red cardboard cover. The cover is good and thick, with a pocket on the backside of the front. I wrote "Notes" in mildly sloppy calligraphy on the front and decided to start carrying this notebook around to scribble journal-y thoughts in.

My level of inspiration promptly went nuts. Because the notebook fits so neatly into my backpack and is so light, it's easy to carry around. The narrow ruling is quite conducive to my tiny writing. The pocket in the front holds random notes and scenes written on loose paper. The spiral binding has held together fantastically, and provides a perfect place for me to place a pen. The pages are perforated, just in case I want to remove something. I can't believe I didn't realize sooner how wonderful a basic spiral-bound notebook can be. Unfortunately, I cannot find another one like it locally. However, I like it enough that I may just start looking for the same thing online.

It feels so strange to realize that, at least for me, those little journals with the pretty covers really aren't necessary. They still work great for sketchbooks and so on (most of my pretty journals have blank pages, no lines), but they won't wind up being the inspiration repositories that I carry everywhere with me. The source of inspiration was a free, used notebook with yellowing pages. That sounds almost like a story in itself.

Time to go and clean. Further inspiration updates will follow, I'm sure, especially as Cassandra is taking advantage of my improving health to poke me with her pen again. Crazy poet friends with silly names! Unicorns! Kidnapping! Magical Murder!
elfie_chan: MY cup of tea! (Default)
Characters choose the most inconvenient times to dominate one's life.

Picture the scene, if you will:

I sit quietly in front of my laptop, tap-tapping away on a rather difficult paper about Origen of Alexandria and his interpretation of Scripture in the second and third century C.E.. Just as I am getting down to the nitty-gritty of why Origen actually had a decent grasp of logic, a young woman of about sixteen with black hair and dreamy hazel eyes starts poking me in the shoulder with the point of her fountain pen. I brush her away irritably, but she insists. The girl whispers in my ear:

"Just so you know, my favorite color is green and my favorite magazine is Scientific Wizard Weekly."

My concentration is broken. Cassandra has struck again.

It is very difficult to work on school projects when Cassandra is looking over my shoulder. She is constantly coming up with interesting things to tell me. Some of these tidbits are relevant to the story I'm writing about her, some are not, but all of them fascinate me and reveal more about her and the world she lives in. While I'm grateful for the information, I don't always have time to tear myself away from my homework in order to jot down every little detail. I have my notebook nearby, but I usually have to finish this paper/read this work/do this other thing before I can write down the ethereal whispers she bestows upon my brain. However, if I don't write down her revelations within a certain amount of time, she starts poking me. That's the only way to describe it. She's patient up to a certain point, but she's also very persistent. She really doesn't understand why school papers are so important.

Cassandra came into my life on November 2, and she promptly usurped all other story ideas. Every bit of creative writing that I have done since November 2 has revolved around her, her personality, her world, her parents, her interests, and her adventures in magical research. You would think that such a quiet young lady would be more reserved, but she can be quite stubborn when she wants to be. While this is all quite wonderful, and I am pleased to welcome her into the craziness that is my creative mind, it is also highly inconvenient. I have two short papers due on Tuesday and one longer paper due on Monday, and I haven't gotten very far on any of them. Cassandra, on the other hand, has received 13 handwritten pages of notes. I think she's trying to drive me insane. That, or she wants me to fail my classes so that I will be forced to write for a living.

Since I have so many writers for friends, I figured that most of the people who read this journal would understand my plight. Share your stories, do: Which characters of yours have attempted to take over your life? How did you subdue them? I would appreciate any tips.

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