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08 June 2004 @ 03:35 pm
Going nowhere fast  
Today I wish I was a rock star.

This is not terribly different from most other days, as what girl doesn't want to put on a pair of leather pants, a black tank top and heavy dark eyeliner, and hit the stage? Who doesn't want to knock back hard drinks, get into fights, and hold a crowd in the palm of her hand? Who doesn't want to look over and see her buddy, the bassist, just chillin' to their left?

I know. I know.

But today my desire to be a rock star is even higher than usual. This may be because I am at my intensely *least* rock starrish today: I'm wearing a pair of fuzzy white slippers as I curl up and watch the rain. It's our first big thunderstorm, and have I mentioned how much I *love* thunderstorms?

There's something to be said for the dewy fog that was happening a lot in NY around late April -- it made everything look greener, feel more like it was bursting into being. It was more about sex, but this? Thunderstorms? Man, if that ain't about passion, I don't know what is. And every romance novel and cheesy cliche made in print or in a movie will bear me out on that.

I'm in love with Camille Paglia and Wendy Doniger. Why?

1. Splitting the Difference: Gender and Myth in Ancient Greece and India by Wendy Doniger -- If you were at all interested in my post about dualism in Smallville then this might be something you might want to look into. She takes apart different strains of a dozen different myths which occur in both society, and she does it readably. She's got a nice turn of phrase, and a sense of humor, and a keen keen insight. I really recommend this book very, very highly.

2. Sex, Art and American Culture by Camille Paglia -- It crackles. For, serious. This is a collection of essays that *never* hit dry or boring, I mean, this woman's kinetic style is definitely to be envied, especially in regard to her ability to make what could (potentially) be an experiment in academia read like sex.


Sometimes I forget the basics.

I get mired in things like "Why do I have to use light imagery in everything I've ever written in my entire life?" and "How can I make this read quietly?" or "Jesus, Nifra, stop molesting your comma key!" I forget the very basic tenant of writing that I've heard over and over again, which is that it's meant to be a discovery.

And then, when I find myself writing a story that I know everything about, I'm suddenly shocked and surprised to find that I can't power through it. I'm not saying that everything should be a mystery when you write -- stories need structure, and to have structure you have to have something in mind. I think I am saying, though, that if you don't have *any* mystery in the story you're writing (not even for yourself) then you lose interesting.

You can't stir yourself to write it. Because you know too much about it; there's nothing to be learned. I think lately that's been my biggest problem when writing; I've been acting like I'm writing an academic paper. I have it outlined in my head to the point of insanity.

I do best when I just sit down, and have a kind of vague idea, and just *go*. It's like being able to see the road underneath your feet, but not knowing where you're going, and it's invigorating.


I need good fiction recommendations, my darling sweet-knees. What are you reading? What's hot? What's not? Gimme a scoop on a book I absolutely have to read.

I am...shall we say...at an impasse having finished a large portion of the books I've been wanting to read, and I can seem to *make* myself read Moby Dick. And I don't even know why it seemed like a good idea at the time anymore.
Current Mood: cheerfulcheerful
Current Music: 40 feet - Franz Ferdinand
too many shiny glitter: dan/casey - bjlifeinwords on June 8th, 2004 12:38 pm (UTC)
Well, my knees are rather bruised at the moment, but thank you.

And I just read this: this is not the love scene, which blew my mind. I don't know if you read popslash--I know I don't--but it was brilliant and insightful and subtle and yeah. Go read it, yo.
pure FORESHADOWING: Bobcatitude!nifra_idril on June 8th, 2004 08:09 pm (UTC)
*pets your poor, bruised knees*
Thorn: redzen by lanningthornsilver on June 8th, 2004 12:44 pm (UTC)
Today I wish I was a rock star.

On days like that I usually want to be a serial killer.

But, actually, what reading recs are you lookin for?

pure FORESHADOWING: brad sexnifra_idril on June 8th, 2004 08:10 pm (UTC)
Hmmm, just any novels/comics/graphic novels/non internetty but fictional you've read in the past...whenever that you'd be willing to recc.
Thornthornsilver on June 8th, 2004 08:29 pm (UTC)
Thornthornsilver on June 9th, 2004 05:37 am (UTC)
So now, that I am more awake... (and if you haven't seen these ones before...)

I always rec Louis McMaster Bujuld first, becase I like her her writing a lot. (Sci-Fi and Fantasy)

Also, Tanya Huff's "Summon the Keeper" series: "Summon the Keeper", "The Second Summoning", and "Long Hot Summoning", which is very funny urban fantasy.

Pratchett, if you haven't read it.

My new military sci-fi by David Weber and John Ringo, which has only three books so far: "March Upcountry", "March to the Sea", "March to the Stars".

Manga is my new obsession. I rec:

1. "Demon Diary" - 7 volumes. Finished.
2. "Under the Glass Moon", which has 2 volumes out and a promise of the next on in Feb 2005. Bastards!
3. "Eerie Queerie" - 2 vol out.
4. "Saiyuki" - 2 vol out.
5. "Fruits Basket" - 2 vol out.

the opposite of batman: bookspearl_o on June 8th, 2004 12:57 pm (UTC)
Hmm, fiction.

*thinks* I have no idea what you've read already, I'm afraid, so I will just throw out random stuff and hope something sticks. Anything by Connie Willis; mid-to-late Discworld by Terry Pratchett; the Kushiel trilogy by Jacqueline Carey; The Lion in Winter by James Goldman; We Have Always Lived in the Castle by Shirley Jackson; Westmark or Prydain Chronicles by Lloyd Alexander; the Book of Ash series by Mary Gentle; Fingersmith by Sarah Waters; Servants of the Map by Andrea Barratt; Tam Lin by Pamela Dean; Burning Your Bridges by Angela Carter.
"She Who Procrastinates"logovo on June 8th, 2004 03:29 pm (UTC)
Paglia! Yay! (and taking note of Wendy Doniger.)

Fiction: Possession by A.S. Byatt. Layers of stuff going on and characters I care about, even if sometimes I want to throttle them - in a loving way of course!

Non Fiction: A History of God by Karen Armstrong. Clear informed writing on Judaism, Christianity and Islam, it reaches in her academic but friendly voice that place in me that years of Catholic school never touched.
suzycatsuzycat on June 8th, 2004 06:48 pm (UTC)
Thank God someone else likes Camille P. My fesinist film theory book editor goes uncharacteristically judgemental when it comes to Evil Camille Who Has Set Back Teh Cause Of Wimmin Years WIth Her Misinformed Man-Pandering. Personally, I don't always agree with CP but I really *like* her. It all began when she was quoted as saying women were sometimes responsible for date rape, in some newspaper, and I thought she must be some heinous old reactionary anti-feminist baggage - but then I found out she was gay. And that skewed my thinking. So I read her and I thought to myself, Camille, some of this is arrant balls but it's a very interesting and refreshing approach. A lesbian academic who doesn't ascribe everything bad to men - who'd a thunk?

Also, she's hella stylish, don't you think?
Jack Pridejack_pride on June 8th, 2004 08:41 pm (UTC)
"How To Be A Canadian (Even If You Already Are One)" by Will and Ian Ferguson. Comedy gold and some insight into Canadian culture.