wildfillysama: Useful writing motivationals

I have a mixed relationship with motivational sayings. It alternates between abject distaste, vague tolerance, and actually finding them useful. Consequently, I’ve come across quite a few writing-related slogans that I’ve kept because they’ve actually struck me as kind of handy, rather than regrettably cheesy. Here are some of the highlights:

0cc90218fc4f3115dee6025ec8771860I have a yes/no relationship with this one. If you’re writing something that you want to publish, then it does make sense to have a recipient in mind. However, it can also be very distracting to write with only one person at the forefront of your brain. Personally, I prefer to use this strategy when editing, not writing from scratch.

84d186e234b0af65505e082cee22aeee100% agree. Even if it comes out like mangled laundry, at least something’s come out and you can call it an exercise, if not a polished product. Sitting stuck for ideas is the least productive thing you can do. Just write around in circles about any aimless thing until something strikes you as useful or interesting, then move on from there. Or go and get another coffee.

fdaf4c0349b3c6374ddbb5760ac622f5I disagree. One of the best tests of your writing is determining whether or not it sounds good out loud, especially if it’s poetry. When you read, does it flow? Does it jar appropriately? Does it sound interesting, or unintentionally repetitive? As you read, you’ll also notice where details are missing or superfluous. Don’t underestimate how important the sound of reading your work is when you’re in the editing or shaping processes.

d974fa50a2ce7777b46bec697020a0aaWhat we idly write or quickly jot down can reveal a lot about how we immediately think or judge things. When editing, it’s important to go back with this in mind and decide whether or not it’s appropriate for what you originally had in mind. After all, if you’re writing over a long period of time, it’s very likely that your thoughts and stances will shift.

4741c7717e0774399d621565660e5db4This is what got me into writing fanfiction. I knew exactly what I wanted to read, but no one had written it yet. I find this statement particularly helpful as well because it reminds me that if I can’t read my own work and enjoy it, then it’s pretty unlikely that anyone else will either. If it’s too dull, then it needs fixed!

4885d8728e8d02ac32252b570d7c1aeeAnother one I have a mixed relationship with, based mostly on its abstraction. I think that creativity in writing can definitely be trained, but not always summoned at will. I do believe that not everyone has the same levels or directions of creativity, but that this isn’t necessarily an issue. I do believe in one of the centre comments here though: don’t demand perfection for creativity. Give it time and be prepared to accept the weird things that your brain offers up.

 

 

wildfillysama: Procrastination

I’m meant to be editing a paper for an academic journal. For no good reason, I’ve been putting off starting the edits (even though they’re actually pretty easy ones). So far my list of procrastination tactics have included:

1. Building large imaginary shopping carts of stuff I’ll buy online once the US dollar drops again.

2. Redecorating my wardrobe, complete with Ikea trip.

3. Cleaning most of the house in a fit of unprecedented attention to vacuuming.

4. Cleaning the car. (Seriously, it’s that bad)

5. Levelling up a thief character in Skyrim. Looting people’s houses and then parading out while wearing all their stuff that you’ve just nicked is so satisfying.

6. Writing Pokémon fanfiction.

7. Writing and rewriting this blog post.

8. Consuming more Nespresso coffee than is probably safe.

I’m officially a bad person. My sincerest apologies, poor little neglected translation theory paper. I’ll get to you soon!

wildfillysama: Horses of Middle Earth

To celebrate watching “The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies” for the second time, I thought I’d do a small post on some of the featured horses in The Hobbit. They’re some interesting characters…

 

First up is Gandalf’s horse in The Hobbit:

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Draysill, also known as “Big Nick”, is an 18hh Clydesdale gelding whose claims to fame include being excessively hairy and carting around a series of stuntriders (and also doing a few stationary green-screen close-ups with Sir Ian McKellan sitting on his back). At only 10 years old, he shows the placid and patient nature that the breed is famed for, as well as great willingness to charge over large grassy plains.

Sadly he is no longer available for sale, otherwise I’d be seriously considering my options. His advert got over 21,000 hits when it was put up. Somewhere out there is the world’s most accurate Gandalf cosplayer right now.

 

Secondly, Bilbo’s “pony” in The Hobbit, also demonstrating the “I’m not sure I want to do this as a hobby” face:

8pony-copyBilbo’s pony, along with the dwarves’ ponies in this scene, is not actually a pony. All of the ponies here are in fact horses wearing fluffy jackets. I kid you not. If you look closely, you can see where Bilbo’s pony’s suit stops at the neck/jowl area. The dwarven pony behind Bilbo’s mount also has more of a Quarter Horse look to his face as well. There was no way to make full-sized actors look like they were dwarves without giving the horses a bit of a makeover, so director Peter Jackson had fluffy body suits made for each horse so that from a distance (and more or less in close-up shots as well) the horses would look more pony-like.

 

 

wildfillysama: Urgh.

Gastro is not my friend. Not even slightly.

24 hours of feeling ridiculously sick and sore is not how I’d recommend spending time. Feeling slightly recovered now and was able to play Cards Against Humanity this evening, as well as successfully maintain control of my stomach. Progress is small but much appreciated.

Longer post next week when I’m feeling less dead. Hope you all had good holidays (with substantially fewer digestive complaints than me!)

wildfillysama: Twelve Days of (Writing) Christmas

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On the first day of Christmas my poor life choices gave to me… one knackered spine!

On the second day of Christmas my poor life choices gave to me… two published papers!

On the third day of Christmas my poor life choices gave to me… three poetry collections!

On the fourth day of Christmas my poor life choices gave to me… four poetry readings!

On the fifth day of Christmas my poor life choices gave to me… five book reviews due!

On the sixth day of Christmas my poor life choices gave to me… six thesis chapters!

On the seventh day of Christmas my poor life choices gave to me… seven scumbag characters!

On the eighth day of Christmas my poor life choices gave to me… eight freaking rewrites!

On the ninth day of Christmas my poor life choices gave to me… nine weird plot twists!

On the tenth day of Christmas my poor life choices gave to me… ten calloused fingers!

On the eleventh day of Christmas my poor life choices gave to me… eleven alternative career paths!

On the twelfth day of Christmas my poor life choices gave to me… twelve months of frenzied typing!

 

Happy holidays everyone! 😀

wildfillysama: Eventing in the Park

I spent a fair portion of yesterday sitting in a surprisingly low fold-out chair, eating ice cream, nursing a hangover, and watching horses creatively tell their riders that they really weren’t keen on water jumps.

Eventing at the Park is an annual event that features grand prix showjumping and cross-country jumps, all in the same event. Riders also have the option to attempt the challenge fence, in hopes of removing some of their accumulated penalty points. Clear rounds were few and far between. A few observations:

1. The announcer was a moron. I would have happily paid for him to shut up. Highlights included consistently announcing the wrong competitor, calling warmbloods “warm-breds” as though they were a bakery product, being unable to pronounce famous stud names or breeds of horse, and nearly causing an accident by calling one of the riders as ‘eliminated’ and getting the next competitor to come galloping in, nearly colliding with the original competitor who was not eliminated and still jumping the course.

2. The horses with the least shank to their bits did best. Just sayin’…

3. The horses who were never touched with the whip did best. See above…

4. Cross country jumps still look terrifying.

I managed to get a few photos. Here is one of the more entertaining ones.

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(The horse bolted upon landing – funnily enough, the horse with the heaviest and least forgiving bit/hackamore combination in the whole event had the worst respect for the bridle… sigh)

 

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Gorgeous little horse this one – pretty sure he won overall.

The rest are the least-awful photos I took all day. Clearly I am not meant to be a photographer.

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IMG_1696Overall it was a very fun day and the seats were brilliant 😀

wildfillysama: Why I haven’t done my homework

I was meant to edit my Nanowrimo novel work last weekend. Technically, I did edit some of it… just not nearly as much as I’d meant to do. 32 pages is better than nothing, right? But here is what I did instead:

1. Stalk mare and foal around a paddock, taking a few hundred photos.

2. Feed dried coconut to myriad of adorable small birds, one of which came to perch on my chair (almost my foot) to demand further snacks.

3. Chased a VERY LARGE lizard around a living room with a broom until it was embarrassed enough for the both of us to leave.

4. Chased another RIDICULOUSLY LARGE lizard around the living room, which outwitted me by climbing the walls to evade the poking of the broomstick. It resides on the carvings above the windowsill to this day, I believe.

5. Bothered mare and foal some more, mostly with slavish adoration and grooming. Also liberal posting-in of carrots and feed.

6. Defended veggie garden from four marauding chickens.

7. Spent about 7 hours driving back and forth between home and the house where all these creatures were residing.

In short, I had a pretty awesome time house-sitting last weekend. Editing fiction was an after-thought, but at least some got done. I hope that everyone else, if you were editing or meaning to do something more productive than frolic amongst animals, have been more successful!