February 18, 2010 Progress Notes:

The Enchanted Generation

Words today: 100.
Words total: 1950.
Reason for stopping: I'm so underslept it's making me queasy. I need to try for bed here.

Darling du Jour: We were under the oak tree and it was budding, the first frightened trickle of spring.

Mean Things: A guilt trip that's still working after four years.
Research Roundup: N/A
Books in progress: Paolo Bacigalupi, The Windup Girl.
The glamour: Dayjob, breadmaking. I was also too tired and queasy for much glamour today. It's a good thing I can Dayjob on autopilot.

There. That's officially The Bare Minimum (TM), although to be fair, I did make some seriously good notes in the notes file. And I figured out the end-end, and what it means. I can tell this is my novel and not somebody else's, because it ends with a complete clusterfuck. *g*

Nonetheless, I have made words and will now be able to hold my head up for the time it takes me to brush my teeth and crawl into bed. Hopefully once in bed, unlike last night and the night before, I will be able to sleep.

Laptop Debt Counter:

1250 / 17000 words. 7% done!
February 16, 2010 Progress Notes:

The Enchanted Generation

Words today: 250.
Words total: 1850.
Reason for stopping: I was going to push for 400 tonight, but according to this memo I just received, I'm really tired.

Darling du Jour: Silly child's nicknames; Emily Ellis-Bell, secret lady authoress. Edgar Tom-O'Bedlam, whirling rag-clad dervish of the blasted Oxfordshire heath, who disarmed his worse brother with branches fallen from the old oak tree.

Mean Things: People got old while you were away. Ouch.
Research Roundup: Edgar's role in King Lear, a decent summary of Wuthering Heights, whether "dervish" was in the English language in 1919.
Books in progress: Paolo Bacigalupi, The Windup Girl.
The glamour: Dayjob, some errands after, dutiful knitting on Gift Socks.

My base texts for this so far seem to be Testament of Youth, Sleeping Beauty, and King Lear. Make of that what you will. Also, my backbrain connects up the damnedest things in subtle-yet-blinding ways. It's nice when it lets me into the loop on that.

Other things!

[livejournal.com profile] douglascohen is still doing his ROF Retrospectives, and he's hit the issue with "Lost Wax" in it. Small commentary behind the link.

This gentleman is apparently literary-boxing me. This could explain why I am tired. *g*

Apparently I am one of 25 Authors Worth Watching in 2010 and Beyond. Huh. Cool. I will attempt to be worth watching so as to not disappoint. It's good company, too, and I'm looking forward to seeing how his spotlight series goes.

Finally, I figured out what that laptop cost me in SFWA pro-rates wordcount. I give you: the Great 2010 Laptop Debt Kill!

1150 / 17000 words. 7% done!

Yes, that is entirely for my own amusement.

Goodnight, internet. This concludes our broadcasting day. :)
February 13, 2010 Progress Notes:

The Enchanted Generation

Words today: 900.
Words total: 1600.
Reason for stopping: I've been in front of this computer writing for almost seven hours straight, and I am nearly exploding with bookloff, and I think I get to go to bed now.

Darling du Jour: There was a soldier at the door to our dining room. He was tall and thin and crisply uniformed in brass-buttoned brown jacket and trousers with a rucksack over his shoulder, and his trench-pale face, his lined and tired and too-young face was shadowed in the early evening light. It had Mother's fine brows and Father's straight nose, and my dark hair, side-parted.
It had not changed a day.

Mean Things: No pheasant for you! Bringing fairytale tropes into the mix, which is never good. Minor surface wounds which are nonetheless traumatizing to others.
Research Roundup: The process of sheep slaughter, which the internet apparently doesn't want to talk about; WWI hairstyles; basic faerie folklore; British countryside birds; the village of Sutton Courtenay; agricultural products of Oxfordshire; UK game seasons; the colonization of the Canadian prairie; Yeats's "The Stolen Child"; a timeline of electricity availability in Britain; WWI uniforms, photo reference; the text of King Lear; critical reaction to Emily Bronte's Wuthering Heights in the early 1900s; Lillian Russell.
Books in progress: Douglas Coupland, The Gum Thief.
The glamour: Dishes, baking, and a trip to Kensington Market with [livejournal.com profile] ksumnersmith specifically to get some cheap honey, which we did. I also scored blood oranges and molasses and organic whole wheat flour and tea and some Green & Black's which I am virtuously not eating.

The best thing I found tonight: An agricultural survey of Oxfordshire done in 1916, which is like giving me what I want in a primary source with a maraschino whipped-cream pony on top. It still didn't tell me whether they farmed pheasant, but apparently they'd be out of season anyways at that time of year. Sorry, kids. No pheasant for dinner.

Along those lines, I'm starting to see the dangers of writing alternate history. One little move of a war from overseas to the domestic arena and you alter the agricultural capabilities of a country and that forces them to go buy wheat from their colonies, and that changes the economics and demographics of the Canadian prairies by pouring all kinds of foreign money into the agricultural centres there, and then whoops, there goes geopolitics. I hope none of you were using that.

I'm also starting to see the other dangers of writing alternate history:

[livejournal.com profile] cristalia: This is hard.
[livejournal.com profile] cristalia: It's...keeping the actual historical world in my head, and then balancing off all the changes I'm making and the ramifications of them, and then trying to, in that framework, write real characters and good tension in good prose...
[livejournal.com profile] cristalia: *juggles lions set on fire*
[livejournal.com profile] ringwoodcomics: Yes. Let me throw in a few chainsaws too.
[livejournal.com profile] cristalia: And some Ebola.

This book is a freaking madness. I must be nuts to think I can carry this off. This feels like someone put ten pounds of pop rocks and Coke in my five-pound head and shook.

Wheeeeeeeeeeeeee it's working it's working--
February 12, 2010 Progress Notes:

The Enchanted Generation

Words today: 100.
Words total: 700.
Reason for stopping: I don't even want to discuss how long that took.

Darling du Jour: N/A.

Mean Things: The beginning of what will be a terrible little fascination.
Research Roundup: Bone china reference photos.
Books in progress: Douglas Coupland, The Gum Thief.
The glamour: Minimal. I didn't properly wake up today, and I've been doing everything through a layer of smoke and cotton wool.

This is not an especially auspcious start to my last long weekend before the Dayjob ramps back up. Or it is. Because despite my brain's seeming desire to go wandering through the marshes today, I did not go to bed until I had at least a pittance of words.

More tomorrow. I spent a lot of time sorting out the blocking and line of direction for the opening scene tonight. It'll all make more sense in the morning.
February 10, 2010 Progress Notes:

The Enchanted Generation

Words today: 350.
Words total: 600.
Reason for stopping: This is hard. Not frustrating, just...delicate and careful like piecing together a broken mosaic, trying not to drop any of the pieces for fear they'll shatter.

Darling du Jour: I couldn't hear footsteps; not Edith's nor the shuffling walk that was all that remained of Father's steady tramping. Edgar's disappearance and the telegram from the War Office had lightened him by half in the space of an afternoon. Mother's death pared the rest of him away in a fortnight, and for the two years since we'd buried her he had drifted through the house in long, soft smears, a terrible, silent ghost.

Mean Things: Embedding major thematic statements on the first page like they're actually just about the situation at hand and not the whole game, heh heh heh--
Research Roundup: China cabinets, sideboards, and buffets, and the differences between 'em.
Books in progress: Douglas Coupland, The Gum Thief.
The glamour: Booking my tickets for CupcakeCon next month, making bread, and buying kleenex, since I am out. Of such things is the writer household made.

Not what I'm supposed to be working on. Not not not. It crept into my head like a child into its mother's room tonight and whispered the new first line in my ear.

The last metrics post on this project is dated November 8, 2008. Between now and then I have figured out how to concretize sentences. Compare:

It was six o'clock when he came home. I recall it six-o-clock because the light was coming from the west, and Lilli had just broken Mother's last good china teacup.


It was six o'clock when my brother came home from the war.
They had taken the grandfather clock for its metal at the end of 1916, but I recall it six o'clock: the light streamed through the dining room curtains from the west, orange-tinged and soft on the light wood floor, and Lilli had just broken Mother's last good china teacup.

Presto change-o! One of those things was an outline. The other is, while still drafty, the first two paragraphs of a novel.
On and off, this year, I've been reading about WWI and the effects of it into the 1920s: memoirs, letters, social histories, more theoretical and thesis-driven histories, poetry. Photographs. Mostly memoirs, which tell me with a more limited amount of self-censorship what people saw and thought and felt. I paid a visit to the War Museum a few weeks ago and stood in the room they've done up like a trench, eyes half-closed, ignoring everyone else in there and trying to soak it in down to the bone.

This is for a book. It won't even be about the First World War as it happened, not really. I'm reading for the emotions, and to find what I need to change to make my idea work.

Thing is, wading sleeves-rolled into a topic does things to how you think.

I have caught myself unaccountably angry this year when someone uses lightly the phrase "in the trenches"; as in, "for those strikers in the trenches, that's not good enough." I want to shake that person: Really? They're in the trenches? Are they eighteen years old, sleeping with the rats in churned up mud, and under consistent artillery assault? No? So shut your face. Yes, it's a colloquialism of our language as spoken. I know. I have caught myself passing my first pair of hand-knit socks over and over through my hands, thinking about how they took me three months to knit up, how women must have done it better and faster and with so much more practice to be able to send socks for entire navy ships. What it was like when they thought about where their socks went. What it would feel like if what I do for a hobby was one of my only mechanisms of control over something terrifying.

This year, I read the articles and hear the speeches and see the photographs and I cry. Yeah, it's a trite thing to say. But there you go. I cry.

I'm not even halfway into the kind of research I'll need to do to get this right. Tip of the iceberg, kids. Tip of the iceberg.

Today is strange. Today's a bit of a paradox for me right now. Sometimes you think you know what a thing means until you start doing your reading, and you realize the edges of what it means. We all know poppies. We all know In Flanders Fields the poppies grow between the crosses row on row, mostly heard internally as the kind of singsong recitation kids do when they've been made to memorize. Remembrance Day is most definitely those things, and wreath-layings, and these kindly aging people, fewer and fewer of them each year, who come out in uniforms that seem so anachronistic on them. And I wonder what we're actually remembering. If those things haven't, in some ways, become not just the means but the ends of the whole affair.

The connections between symbols and referents inherently get loose, with time; it happens to words too. With words it's called semantic bleaching, when a thing stops meaning what it means and drifts toward a general good or bad. It's a human tendency: People's ideas of a thing, through repetition, start to spin and drift, and all symbols need to be redefined, be personalized, be ultimately co-opted in a million million little ways to stay at all socially relevant. It's the peril of traditions. After a while, you do a thing because you do, not because of whatever started it. Not because you don't care or are a bad person or something, but because that's the human tendency. That's semantic bleaching: that's what happens. We're here because we're here because we're here because we're here.

When I've started the research; when I've looked at the photographs and read the letters and tried to immerse myself in it, tried to think about what I'm not seeing and will never see, that upsets the hell out of me.

(And no, I am not expressing this right to get it clear across. I've rewritten in three times, and half the logic's still in my head and not on the page here. But I'm all dragged down in my own symbols and referents too, and it's unfortunately the best I can do.)

And home.

Oct. 25th, 2009 09:26 pm
I am back! The train got in about 5:30 pm, so I was home a little before 6:00, and have spent the intervening hours checking in with my mother,* ordering and devouring some sushi since there is no food in this apartment except English muffins, catching up on e-mail and Ideo tasks that piled up over the weekend, and watching last week's CM while working a bit on my tank top.

And now that I'm actually on an internet-connected computer I, well, own, there are a few pictures:

Look, it's Parliament Hill! I didn't get to go inside there, but that's it!

Ottawa, while rainy, is all fall colour right now, and given all the parks and such it was extremely gorgeous.

Also, I took a few shots at the War Museum, in the interests of quick notetaking for things I found interesting:

Evil Royal Crochet! They had the scarf in a case right next to the explanatory note. Really, it kinda wasn't all that; kind of brown and fairly basic. I suspect Queen Victoria was knitting from stash.

This is both 1) dead cool and 2) a dirty trick later on. I am in process of finding out if it was only a requirement of the Canadian Forces or if that held for other Commonwealth or Allied countries.

This was broken that day.

I...kind of admit I was glad.

And here's the coffeeshop, after, and the furious notes I was taking. The flash washing out what those notes actually are is, in fact, SpoilerVision (tm). :D

Overall, this was a pretty satisfactory trip. And I'm back at work tomorrow, so thus endeth the great 2009 Week Off of Partial Debauch.**

*She appreciates knowing I am not dead after travel. She will not ever put it that way, but it's the Not Dead Call.

*Yeah, I know I Debauch like an old woman.
Greetings, Internets!

I am back in the confines of the cozy hotel business centre,* waiting for my dinner to arrive. It is wet and rainy and there's this wind that just went through me like whoa, so dinner will be inside the confines of my room tonight, where there's the nice big warm bed and the TV and my book.

Today I walked my feet off, but in that way that means you've been doing stuff rather than an unproductive and cruddy way. Got up early this morning after a night of not enough sleep** and had a really nice big breakfast downstairs, and then hied myself off to the War Museum for the part of this trip that actually counts as work: WWI research for The Enchanted Generation.

I have apparently reached the point where I've read and taken in enough stuff about WWI that I've...well, attached. There's some really fantastic stuff in there -- even if I didn't always agree with the treatment, and that's another discussion -- like a trench recreation, access to thousands of scanned-in enlistment papers, photographs. It all made me pretty much want to bawl until my eyes bled.

And then I went to a coffeeshop and took down three pages of notes for The Enchanted Generation, so.

Met up with [livejournal.com profile] kafkonia at said coffeeshop and went to lunch, which was awesome, since he's on the list of people I don't see too much/enough. After that I had a thought of going to the Parliament building for a tour, but apparently that ship had sailed for today (I forgot how everything in Ottawa closes three hours earlier than I am acculturated to find standard) so instead I just kept going to the National Gallery.

I struck out a bit at the National Gallery too: they were closing in an hour, the piece I had really, really, really wanted to see again (which is pictured in my icon here) wasn't out on display this month, and and and phooey. But I did get to see one of my favourite Lawren Harris paintings, and a whole chapel that they took down and reconstructed inside the gallery, and some modernist stuff which will also help with the book, and then thought thoughts about some of the general subtext of the modernist aesthetic when applied to painting (especially Cubism, actually. It's not what it looks like at first shake, I think) and just the...metatext of self-portraits; what it means, as an act, to paint self-portraits.

I may or may not have sprung for a Pretty Notebook (tm) at the gallery gift shop.

After that I had time to kill until 6:45, which is when my Haunted Walk tour started, so I went to the Rideau Centre and 1) had a coffee to warm myself back up and 2) searched in vain for cute tights, which could be found at one place but for horrendous price. And then, freezing and partially regretting that I'd paid for this on an evening where I was wearing a skirt and tights and it was raining and blowing cold like eeee, I went on the ghost tour.

The ghost tour is fun. It was worth it. We got cider at the end, and I got to (surreptitiously!) see the death cast they made of Thomas D'Arcy McGee's hand, since his face was all blown off and a death mask, as was standard, was kind of not on.

And now I am back ensconced in a warm place where my feet can be both dry and warm, at the same time! My Thai food is here too,**** so I am going to adjourn to my room and eat my pad thai and watch, perhaps, some more wholesome true crime TV.

More adventure will be reported tomorrow. *g*

*Just forget it. Next time I actually have to travel and want to have internet with me when I do? I am sucking it up and buying a laptop that works.

**I wanted to knit and decompress a bit before bed last night, so I thought Oh, there's a TV with cable here, I'll just watch something and knit a bit and then go to bed. Bad idea. There's this show [livejournal.com profile] matociquala watches sometimes called The First 48, about real-life police teams trying to solve crimes and all the procedural and investigative stuff involved in, well, the first 48 hours.*** It is completely, fascinatingly mindsucking. I got to sleep at *cough*-o'clock. >.>

***Confidential to said [livejournal.com profile] matociquala: I saw Detective Sergeant Justice!

****Even though they screwed up the order, and I am down one bowl of tom kha. Foiled again.
Having a quiet night tonight: it's grey and misty and raining chilly rain outside, so I am inside knitting socks, catching up on my TV shows (all two of them), and cooking Ethiopian tomato-and-honey chicken. My toes are cold; I had to put on the heat last night. This clearly means the Annual Fall Nesting has commenced. I think I'm going to bake tomorrow. Hot baths are also appearing on the radar.

(Which reminds me, time to stock back up on my schmancy artisan Canadian-made independent-business nice-smelling aromatherapy it's-got-clay-innit bath salts. Yum.)

And even though the book I'm supposed to be writing is still miffed at me for walking out on it for a month even though I legitimately had to do something else *cough cough ahem*, The Enchanted Generation nudged a piece of the arc of conflict into my pocket while I was blanching tomatoes, and it lets me know what happens in the third quarter. Which was an open question, and I admit the answer kind of makes me cackle.

And...this is autumn.

I like autumn.
It's been quiet here because, well, it's been quiet here. For example, after work today I went to the drugstore for saline for my contact lenses, got two tomato plants and some light groceries around the corner, planted the tomato plants (pictures later), watched the CM season finale and made Chinese beef dumplings, which is a several-hour process what with all the leaving the dough to rise fifty times. After this, I expect to curl up with Bright Young People and my notepad and continue the deathless (!) TEG research reading.

(I did get my new research books in the mail. So I have Vile Bodies, Letters from a Lost Generation, which is probably next, Rites of Spring: The Great War and the Birth of the Modern Age, and a memoir called Jellied Eels and Zeppelins that looks like it was dictated to a journalist by a woman of said generation and published at a very, very small press. It purports to be a window onto Edwardian working-class life, which I need. And even if it's junk, it was only three bucks.)

There is Other Stuff also going on, but it's either not for public consumption or I'm waiting on other people/events/decisions. So instead of all of us being twitchy about it, I'll just talk about all that when I have results to report.

Lucky for you, on Saturday El [livejournal.com profile] wistling has corralled a few of us into another scavenger hunt, this one mostly computer-based, and on Sunday some of the people from the Tenants' Association are cleaning out and replanting the concrete planter outside my building, so there will in fact be signs of life on this LJ.


Sometime. *g*
(This is the new official icon for The Enchanted Generation posts. One day you all may find out why. I hope to have that ready for you inside five years.)

I finished up Goodbye to All That this week, and so this afternoon, after ordering some more WWI books (Vile Bodies, Rites of Spring: The Great War and the Birth of the Modern Age -- thank you, [livejournal.com profile] jsridler -- and Letters From a Lost Generation) I started on Bright Young People. We may remember this as the pretty book I was squeeing over back in January or February. I have saved it for after some of the war memoirs, because you know, it helps to understand what the 1920s crowd was reacting against.

(Also, it is very odd when you realize that, like SFF, the poets working after WWI in Britain were like, the same fifty guys and went drinking together on Saturdays. Everyone else was a non-player character. And then you find their pictures, and after listening to them talk about each other and describe each other from those overlapping points of view, it starts feeling like you too were in the bar with them at the next table over, eavesdropping. That they grew old and died, or did not grow old and just died instead, starts feeling small and of little consequence.)

Taylor's book is drier than the memoirs, probably out of necessity; personal memoirs about very personal things are personal. But not as dry as The Long Week-end, which I keep taking running starts at, so we'll stick with it for now. Also, it does have that critical element, which is helpful. It was, I think, a chance comment about mirrors and their imagery in 1920s fiction that sent me diving for my file to make notes.

So I made some notes. And a big chunk of overplot fell into place. I now have something like 2000 words of notes and 150 words of, well, words at this point. I am not yet fully committing to writing this book next, because I know the second I do that it'll get all closemouthed and coy. But well. I have 3/4 of the structure, and I'm not sure if the other quarter is really something that's there or something my brain thinks is there and is really unnecessary. And I have the first line:

It was six-o-clock when he came home. I recall it six-o-clock because the light was coming from the west, and Lilli had just broken Mother's last good china teacup.

(Well, guess you didn't have to wait after all.)
leahbobet: (gardening)
Home sick today, after two hours at work that convinced me I wasn't going to get through the six that came after them on my own steam. So today has been mostly an exercise in strong pain meds, napping those meds off, reading Robert Graves (so I felt like my useless ass was earning its oxygen a bit), a bit of halfhearted knitting, and some vague puttering around the apartment to tidy up things. This has really not been a day to write home about. The most exciting thing that happened is that I have a pea sprout coming up. Yes, that's all.

So yes. I'm reading Robert Graves. Specifically, Goodbye to All That, which has a lovely black and white photograph as a cover. I am stealing the appearance of this man, who I assume to be Graves, for a character somewhere.

So far, I find I like Robert Graves a lot more when he's telling a no shit, there I was story than when he's being *cough* *clear throat* The Memoirist. There is a palpable difference between the two voices. One is assumed, and one is real, and I think I like the real guy more.

Also, the differences between him and Vera Brittain, who was pretty much a direct contemporary (there are two years between them, now that I actually check, which surprised me because Graves's family and presentation thereof are so much more Victorian) are...fascinating. It's in social perception and writing style and what they choose to leave in and leave out; it's in detail and what's shown and what's ellided. I suspect these are mostly issues of class -- the upper class preserving certain Victorian habits and traditions versus the more modern Edwardian middle-class, where if you want to be with it, you have to hop on a different bell curve, that of modernism? But I'll need some more datapoints to really get that down.

(One or two more memoirs, I think, and then I have to go find some of the contemporary fiction. There is no better way to learn about an era than to find out what they were reading.)
March 16, 2009 Progress Notes:


Words today: 550.
Words total: 550.
Reason for stopping: Bedtime for writers.

Books in progress: Vera Brittain, Testament of Youth.
The glamour: Some house chores, copious revising, some Ideo slushreading.

The Brittain is one of my The Enchanted Generation research books, and I appear to have hit gold. It's what's now termed creative nonfiction, I guess? The author's recounting, with help from her diaries and other sources, her WWI experiences, but in a style which admits that it's omitted or smoothed things to make them more accessible to a reader.

I've got to say it works. I meant to read a chapter before bed last night and got almost 100 rather dense pages in. I like Vera Brittain, or at least her self-presentation. She's rather hard on herself as a teenager -- unnecessarily so, I think -- and occasionally quite snobby, and she's decidedly a product of her era, but there's a core of intellect and compassion there which is really admirable.

Example, for the commonplace book, from an anecdote about her brother: "At sixteen he was inclined to be rather priggish and self-righteous -- not such bad qualities in adolescence after all, since most of us have to be self-righteous before we can be righteous." Testament of Youth, pg. 40.

That's more...patient, I think, than most people would be. Or are.
February 19, 2009 Progress Notes:


Words today: 250.
Words total: 250.
Reason for stopping: That's the setup, and it's all I'm getting tonight, apparently.

Books in progress: Robert Graves, The Long Week-end; David Anthony Durham, Acacia.
The glamour: Dayjobbery, untangling a thing with my gym membership, magazine work, workshop work, work work work.

For one! You guys are all very sweet with your one-word thing. Although it occurred to me that people who don't have anything nice to say probably skip that sort of thing, and so we are existing in a bubble of self-selection. But I'll take it. *g*

For two! I sought this song out on [livejournal.com profile] mirrorthaw's mention (the title made me curious), and now it shall go on my TEG playlist. Ignore the video. We care not about the video.

This is made of General Strike goodness and thematic and ironic goodness as well. It's totally a union song, but we'll ignore that bit and wring its little lyrics dry for my books instead, before casting it aside like the cheap hussy it is. Mwaha.

Ladies and gentlemen, the glamour. *g*
From just about everybody, and only because I actually have a book on my desk for once (books do not live on the desk. They live on the shelves, or the floor by the bed, or the coffee table, all things far from the desk):

1. Grab the book nearest you. Right now.
2. Turn to page 56.
3. Find the fifth sentence.
4. Post that sentence along with these instructions in your LiveJournal.
5. Don't dig for your favorite book, the coolest, the most intellectual. Use the CLOSEST.

"All had this led to a kind of 'arrested development' in which youth kicked its heels in frustration, denied the chance to shine, its dreams of glory perpetually deferred."

Bright Young People: The Lost Generation of London's Jazz Age by D.J. Taylor

(This being on Evelyn Waugh's view of how the pretty much total lack of career opportunity in 1920s England shaped the character of the Youth Movement, as told in a letter to his agent. Sound familiar? *g*)

I got that today in the mail. It is brand spanking new, just released, really awesome-looking, and a research book for The Enchanted Generation. Since it is too cold to go anywhere or do anything, I may start it this weekend, the prospect of which fills me with gleeeee.

Moral: the trick to doing all that research needed to write a solid historical novel? Set it in a period that the prospect of reading about gives you gleeeee. *g*
November 29, 2008 Progress Notes:


Words today: 550.
Words total: 3500.
Reason for stopping: It's late. Again.

Books in progress: Vernor Vinge, A Fire Upon the Deep; Robert Graves, The Long Week-end.
The glamour: Worked a signing at the bookstore, promptly introvert-fitted, and came home.

Reading for The Enchanted Generation continues apace. I spent a good chunk of last night and some of tonight reading buckets of WWI poetry to pick out epigraphs for each section, and have, I think, more than I can actually use. There is a terrible embarrasment of riches there, which is just serving to further convince me that WWI was actually the Worst War Ever. In summary:

[livejournal.com profile] cristalia (11:56:07 PM): It is good for me that WWI veterans were all into poetry and not, say, peggle.
[livejournal.com profile] matociquala (11:56:59 PM): heee
[livejournal.com profile] matociquala (11:57:10 PM): I saw the best minds of my generation destroyed by popcap.
[livejournal.com profile] cristalia (11:58:33 PM): (bloated hysterical naked, wedging themselves in their office chairs at dawn, looking for an angry fix)

I may actually make a filter on which to babble about my TEG research stuff. If that happens and you care to hear me natter on upon said filter, speak now.

And tomorrow is the annual trip to the craft show, so I am crawling off to bed.
November 26, 2008 Progress Notes:


Words today: 600.
Words total: 2950.
Reason for stopping: It's 12:30 and I should be bedwards.

Books in progress: Vernor Vinge, A Fire Upon the Deep; Robert Graves, The Long Week-end.
The glamour: Dayjobbery and more dayjobbery and a trip to Canadian Tire after work to get some pots for my little plants at work. I should have been at a tenants' association meeting too, but I just wasn't up to it.

I admit to picking up my Graves book out of both excitement for having it (true fact: I unwrapped it from the Amazon box in the middle of a very fancy Yorkville men's clothing store while waiting for my dad to finish getting his coat fitted, during the great Family Coat-Buying Extravaganza of Saturday [because both my parents needed coats too, so we made a day with brunch out of it], because I could not wait until I got home) and a certain fatigue with the Vinge. A Fire Upon the Deep is a cool book full of fabulous concepts and good writing, but it's about one group of people going to rescue another. Very slowly. I have reached a bit of an "are we there yet?" point with it.

We are not there yet. I'm putting it down for a bit until I stop being tempted to skip ahead to There.

Luckily, the Robert Graves book is both perfectly what I needed in terms of research (read: already giving me ideas) and, while treating the subject matter appropriately, occasionally wittily hilarious. I will be keeping my eye out for other sources, but. I think this one is going to get leaned on hard.
November 8, 2008 Progress Notes:

The Enchanted Generation

Words today: 250.
Words total: 250.
Zokutou word meterZokutou word meter
250 / 100,000

Reason for stopping: I need to do some serious reading before I go any farther.
Munchies: Spicy tuna roll and water.

Darling du Jour: It was whiter inside, where the roses-and-gold enamel never got. We had worn it yellowed with decades of tea and lips lightly touching, and never noticed a thing.

Mean Things: Breaking the last good teacup.
Research Roundup: Whether it was 'dinner' or 'supper' in 1919 England; history of Wedgwood china; musk roses; popular girls' names for 1900; some inquiry with [livejournal.com profile] katallen about Scottish-English relations in the early 1900s; history of the University of Edinburgh.
Books in progress: Richard Adams, Watership Down.
The glamour: Groceries, dishes. I was not half as virtupus as I should have been today. I remain a bit quiet and fried.

This is the first time words on this project have been substantial enough to do a post. It throws me a bone here and there every few weeks -- a plot point, a central symbol (tonight), something -- and I'll take some notes and add a sentence or two. This time it was a couple paragraphs. So the log has been created. We start somewhere.

I know there are some historians and librarians along here, so I'm throwing it out for the crowd: can anyone recommend some good social histories of Britain in the 1918-1939 era, or any particular scholars to avoid (for example, Robert Graves Y/N?)? I'm looking for daily life over meta-political analysis. If anyone has suggestions, I will be much obliged and probably buy you a beer.
October 23, 2008 Progress Notes:


Pages today: 21.
Pages total: 237/264.

Zokutou word meterZokutou word meter
237 / 264

Reason for stopping: The scenes I just did were hard. This one is going to be superlatively hard, and it's past midnight.
Tyop du Jour: All my own stupid, to think I could hit and kick and scare the one that hurt her and that'd make it okay. Cure Suck. Oh, the difference a vowel makes. My Freudian slip is showing.

Munchies: Grilled cheese sammiches, and later, caramel cream rooibos.
Books in progress: Geoff Ryman, The Child Garden.
The glamour: Dayjobbery. Which was a bit fraught today, because I felt like death this morning and don't quite know why, and that made me kind of fussy-twitchy all day.

This song properly belongs to The Enchanted Generation, which kicked at the inside of my head like a fussy baby pretty much from the minute I said in public tonight that I wasn't doing anything writery for the next two weeks, because my brain habitually likes to make a liar out of me. And I did get a few scene outlines out of it, one right near the beginning and one about halfway into the book, but that was it; no voice yet, no real grasp on most of the characters aside from a certain sensibility, bits of mood and colour that sort of hang out in the peripheral vision of my brain.

So I went to work on Above to make it jealous.

I can't say that Enchanted Generation is jealous, but this seems to have worked out anyways. Most of chapter ten left to revise, and the epilogue. And then we're done, for now. Until the nice people tear the thing several new orifices and then hand me a needle and thread. *g*

Bed now. There is dayjobbing tomorrow, and frantic housecleaning to go with it, as [livejournal.com profile] hawkwing_lb is stopping by on her way to WFC early next week and it does not do to let other people know how I live in filth. :p
September 11, 2008 Progress Notes:


Pages today: 10.
Pages total: 10/264.

Zokutou word meterZokutou word meter
10 / 264

Reason for stopping: I'm about to fall over.

Munchies: Pizza and hot wings. Mmm, grease.
Books in progress: Ekaterina Sedia, The Alchemy of Stone.
The glamour: Mostly dayjobbery. And nerves over job things and wedding things. I am become distressingly mundane.

This would be Draft Two (Official), wherein we put the paper changes into the document and do all the actual work where I went FIX THIS IT SUCKS up and down the side of a whole page. Only ten pages tonight, because I am an old woman who gets tired at ten at night and needs to crawl off to her bed and take her pills, lest she break her hip on the zero stairs contained in her apartment and have fallen and be unable to get up.

Also did some various plotting on The Enchanted Generation, which is starting to be less The Wrong Book and maybe The Right Book. Either way, it is The Book I'm Intimidated By. Write one book every day that scares you? I dunno. It has some more plot now, and another thematic discussion which might turn out interesting if I don't botch it.

And now I will put a battery in my mp3 player for tomorrow so I can have music at work, and go to bed.

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