sessifet: (Cthulhu Cheerleader)
Lo, these many years I've been trying to write fantasy because somewhere in my brain there was the desire to Write The Next Big Fantasy Thing. Unfortunately, writing fantasy of any kind has always been a not-fun struggle and the result was never acceptable. My ideas were largely derivative and uninteresting, which didn't help in getting fingers to keyboard. So after a few years I gave up writing and instead contented myself with throwing random ideas in a Word document in the vague hope that one day lightning would strike and transform the whole mess into a coherent story.

[Spoiler alert: yeah, that never happened.]

October last year, I cannibalised that document to kickstart a new one (creatively called 'writing things') and I've been slowly adding to it over the last few months. I had no real plan apart from staying away from The Big Fantasy Dream, so I was surprised today to realise that every story idea or backstory detail in this document falls firmly in the 'unsettling' and possibly 'scary' camp. I point you at The Rules for an excellent example of what I'm referring to. And funnily enough, The Rules is actually the first bit of solid backstory idea that does not make me roll my eyes upon rereading a few months later.*

It also still scares the crap out of me, which is not surprising when you consider I wrote it because I am one of these people who cannot have any limb hanging over the side of the bed for more than 30 seconds. The next bit is fuelled by not being able to look out the window at night for fear of what might be on the other side. Another idea that's creeping up from the hindbrain is rooted in not being able to look into a mirror when it's night and I am the only one awake in the house. Yet another finds its wellspring in my not being afraid of being grabbed and raped when I walk home in the dark, but of being grabbed and being eaten by werewolves. (If I ever find the location where that one came from, I may have to wall it up forever.)

So it appears what I'm capable of writing is stuff that scares the absolute shit out of me. It's rather odd to come to this realisation, because I am a well-educated woman and I laugh in the face of superstitions and irrational fears. I do not throw salt over my shoulder. I have broken plenty of mirrors, walked under many a ladder and a black cat crosses my path daily** and yet my life has been quite free of the traditionally required curses. I do not believe my actions or my clothes on match day influence my team's performance. I do not leave milk out for the fair folk or steak tartare for the cow-mutilating aliens. I know none of these things have a place in my day-to-day reality. I adhere to the scientific method. I am convinced the non-human world and universe*** has rules which can be understood and deciphered if we'd just stand still and pay attention for long enough. There are no werewolves or vampires or fair folk or even aliens out there. And souls (if they exist) do not remain on earth as ghosts. If any of these things existed, we would have some reliable evidence of their existence or presence by now.

I know there is no monster under my bed.

Still, some nights I will lie in bed waiting for dawn to break or Alex to wake up and take a shower (whichever one's first) before I get up to go to the bathroom.

As the year dies, I light candles to dispel both the darkness outside and the darkness in my heart and soul. I light candles for the blessed dead and for those whose path is darkened.

Autumn and winter nights can terrify me because of the things lurking in shadows. I can't see them. I know they don't exist. But on a cool autumn night with a bright sky full of scudding clouds and moving shadows everywhere, I know I am being watched and weighed. And one of these days, I will be found wanting and I will not come home.

*I am still very, very fond of Plink and I have occasionally sent sis short scenes and stories to share with Danielle, but it never coalesced into what I imagined. And I find it very difficult to reread my earlier attempts at Plink, as they make the brainweasels go crazy. One of these days I will go back (fortified with alcohol, probably) and dissect those first few thousands of words. I may even request the support and love of a very good friend with oodles more talent than I have. :)

**Typically around dinner time.

***The human world and universe are a bit trickier as it's somewhat challenging to accurately and objectively observe and describe something to which the observer and describer belongs. Still, I have faith it can be done.

The rules

Oct. 5th, 2012 07:41 am
sessifet: (Default)
There are certain hard rules, certain immutable laws in life. You will never have enough socks. You will run out of milk faster than you're drinking it. Random kitchen equipment will appear in your house without you going through the intermediate step of buying it, yet you can never find a whisk when you most need one. Cats will always demand to sit on your lap at the most awkward time. Some books and films are genius works of art that make the world a better place for existing, yet you're glad you never have to read or watch them ever again.

You can't look out of your kitchen or bathroom window in the night for fear of something looking back at you.

You can't dangle a foot over the edge of your bed and leave it like that. Don't believe me? Try it. Tonight, when you go to bed, stick your foot out just over the edge of the bed. Leave it covered if you like (cold feet are never conducive to sleep) and try to go to sleep. You won't be able to. Your foot will feel more and more exposed the longer you leave it dangling like that. You will start to feel like something is watching you and your foot. There's something there and it's going to grab your foot and you need to pull your foot up and onto the safety of the bed right now!

This is not a silly holdover from childhood, where monsters would eat you if you weren't completely cocooned in your blanket by the time your parents switched the light off. This is not a sign of some weird foot-related phobia*, either. Rather, it is a learned response.

You see, something does live under your bed.

And it comes out after dark. )

Goddamnit!

Apr. 16th, 2011 12:14 am
sessifet: (WTF!Daisies)
Well...I've discovered one thing that shoos off the anxiety creature: Davy Jones theme. Now I just have to deal with a small lame enraged silverfish shouting at me and waving her staff around like she means business.

Because I really needed to get bitten by the Plink bug at this very moment. (I swear, if you do not stop prodding me right this minute, I'm going...going to...thingie. Erm. Be right back. Writing.

[Edit: the word here should be 'rediscovered', not 'discovered'. As you were.]

Goddamnit!

Apr. 16th, 2011 12:14 am
sessifet: (WTF!Daisies)
Well...I've discovered one thing that shoos off the anxiety creature: Davy Jones theme. Now I just have to deal with a small lame enraged silverfish shouting at me and waving her staff around like she means business.

Because I really needed to get bitten by the Plink bug at this very moment. (I swear, if you do not stop prodding me right this minute, I'm going...going to...thingie. Erm. Be right back. Writing.

[Edit: the word here should be 'rediscovered', not 'discovered'. As you were.]
sessifet: (Default)
It gives me snippets and then does not tell me how the linking bits work. I have to hammer those out and believe me, it usually feels like pulling teeth with someone else's fingers. I've huge tracts of story which fit somewhere in the whole thing, but I don't know where. Still having fun writing and jigsawing, though, and I suppose this is reasonably coherent.

More story )

It still needs polishing and gluing and possibly shuffling about and things, but that whole collection was written in bits and pieces all over the place. I think I don't write from A to B.
sessifet: (Default)
It gives me snippets and then does not tell me how the linking bits work. I have to hammer those out and believe me, it usually feels like pulling teeth with someone else's fingers. I've huge tracts of story which fit somewhere in the whole thing, but I don't know where. Still having fun writing and jigsawing, though, and I suppose this is reasonably coherent.

More story )

It still needs polishing and gluing and possibly shuffling about and things, but that whole collection was written in bits and pieces all over the place. I think I don't write from A to B.

Wheee!

Mar. 18th, 2010 05:58 pm
sessifet: (Bouncy!)
Yup. Davy Jones' theme still makes this thing soar in my mind. I can't see everything, but there's intriguiging glimpses of colours and shapes and feelings and I get to play with them and try to fit them together.

Wheeeee!

Wheee!

Mar. 18th, 2010 05:58 pm
sessifet: (Bouncy!)
Yup. Davy Jones' theme still makes this thing soar in my mind. I can't see everything, but there's intriguiging glimpses of colours and shapes and feelings and I get to play with them and try to fit them together.

Wheeeee!
sessifet: (Smiling)
I've been writing quite a lot lately. There's notebooks and scraps of paper and stuff on my phone. Some of it's whole scenes, other bits of it snippets of dialogue and other bits still are worldbuilding. It's not a complete thing in my head. I can sense the picture but it doesn't talk to me as such, nor have I seen it as a whole since the flash of inspiration.

It feels like a jigsaw puzzle. There's a corner here, a piece of sky there and a 'that's what I'm supposed to look like' overall feeling.

I've been poking it and prodding it and fighting with voices and characters (Eugene is very ticked off at his nickname) and I got a bit...disheartened in a way. Then I read this and remembered that I never have complete stories from start to finish. I only ever have bits and pieces and maybe a vague sense of a timeline and plot. And this is not wrong. So I sat down again and hammered at it for a while.

It's not perfect, but it says everything I want it to say and introduces the two main characters. It may not say it exactly how it wants to be said and it's probably a bit stilted and abrupt in places, but that's nearly 3000 words wot I wrote all by myself. I'm sort of happy with it.

And so, to the story. )
sessifet: (Smiling)
I've been writing quite a lot lately. There's notebooks and scraps of paper and stuff on my phone. Some of it's whole scenes, other bits of it snippets of dialogue and other bits still are worldbuilding. It's not a complete thing in my head. I can sense the picture but it doesn't talk to me as such, nor have I seen it as a whole since the flash of inspiration.

It feels like a jigsaw puzzle. There's a corner here, a piece of sky there and a 'that's what I'm supposed to look like' overall feeling.

I've been poking it and prodding it and fighting with voices and characters (Eugene is very ticked off at his nickname) and I got a bit...disheartened in a way. Then I read this and remembered that I never have complete stories from start to finish. I only ever have bits and pieces and maybe a vague sense of a timeline and plot. And this is not wrong. So I sat down again and hammered at it for a while.

It's not perfect, but it says everything I want it to say and introduces the two main characters. It may not say it exactly how it wants to be said and it's probably a bit stilted and abrupt in places, but that's nearly 3000 words wot I wrote all by myself. I'm sort of happy with it.

And so, to the story. )

*glee*

Jan. 27th, 2010 12:30 am
sessifet: (Default)
Sometimes you get an idea which makes you go 'hmm, that looks like fun', but when you try to write it down, it refuses to move from your mind to the paper. These ideas eventually languish and become idle daydreams.

Sometimes you get an idea that feels so real, so right, so urgent that you can't help but sit down straight away and put it on paper. So you scribble frantically, recording snatches of conversation, world building, images, landscapes, sounds and jokes. Then once the fire in your mind dies down, you step back and realise that, at this moment in time, you are not capable of doing this idea justice. You lack the skill. You lack the words. It does not languish because there is the hope that, one day, you will find the words and the skill to make this idea come to life on paper rather than just in your mind. Until that moment, it slumbers.

And sometimes, you get an idea that comes to you unbidden, possibly even unwanted, and it stays in the back of your mind, gathering information and words and images and dreams and previous ideas from all over the place. It grows every day, never coming to the fore but you can feel it gathering strength like a storm. You tingle. You feel something is about to happen. You want this to happen. It expands until it spills over to your conscious mind. And then, all of a sudden, you have this living, breathing idea soaring in your mind, drawing the images in blazing fiery colours across every creative synapse. The words burn in your mind's eye in letters 20 feet tall and a voice whispers incessantly in your ear to write writewriteit write it writeme pleaseplease write me write me and it doesn't care that you don't have the perfect words or if you hack it into a stone wall or write it in the sand with a stick as long as you write, write it, write down this wonderful, glittering, magnificent dream.

The Tales of the Ancient and Venerable Plink is one such idea. I can't ignore this. I can't worry if I don't have the words or if I'm good enough. It doesn't care. The Ancient and Venerable Plink* wants to have his day(s) in the sun. And I'm the one to do it.

But how?

Having run around being very vague in an incredibly focused way today, a small glimmer of a notion appeared and it all clicked together when I had this last puzzle piece.

The answer is simple. I can write for Danielle. She's only tiny now, and I am very far away. I can't be a close-by auntie and spoil her rotten with gifts and attention and all that. But I can write for her. I can put this down on paper with her as my audience. I can start out simple and hopefully as she gets older, my skill will grow and together we can explore this world.

I'd like for her to know of the wondrous adventures of The Ancient and Venerable Plink. To get to know Salamanca the Unwise (a silverfish unwilling to go when her time had come), Trips the Courageous (Plink's long-time friend, ofttimes rescuer and later wife (and, quite frankly, the brains of the outfit)) and Eugene Whitford III (resident cat curmudgeon and relentless critic of Plink**.

I can't see Danielle every day, or even every week or month. I may never be more than the eccentric auntie that lives across the sea in a far-away and exotic land doing big grown-up stuff. But I want her to know that I love her and wish to be part of her life and growing up. What better way than to write a world for her? To have something that has been written for her, with care and attention and to the best of my abilities. It may not beat a garish plastic playhouse or definitely not me physically being there and spoiling her rotten, but it's the next best thing.

*scribbles happily*

*Please to be using his full honorific at all times, thank you so very much.

**He refuses to use the full honorific. Plink lets him get away with it, because Eugene is about 20 times larger than him. Not that Pli*ow*The Ancient and Venerable Plink (this is going to get old fast) will ever admit to that.

*glee*

Jan. 27th, 2010 12:30 am
sessifet: (Default)
Sometimes you get an idea which makes you go 'hmm, that looks like fun', but when you try to write it down, it refuses to move from your mind to the paper. These ideas eventually languish and become idle daydreams.

Sometimes you get an idea that feels so real, so right, so urgent that you can't help but sit down straight away and put it on paper. So you scribble frantically, recording snatches of conversation, world building, images, landscapes, sounds and jokes. Then once the fire in your mind dies down, you step back and realise that, at this moment in time, you are not capable of doing this idea justice. You lack the skill. You lack the words. It does not languish because there is the hope that, one day, you will find the words and the skill to make this idea come to life on paper rather than just in your mind. Until that moment, it slumbers.

And sometimes, you get an idea that comes to you unbidden, possibly even unwanted, and it stays in the back of your mind, gathering information and words and images and dreams and previous ideas from all over the place. It grows every day, never coming to the fore but you can feel it gathering strength like a storm. You tingle. You feel something is about to happen. You want this to happen. It expands until it spills over to your conscious mind. And then, all of a sudden, you have this living, breathing idea soaring in your mind, drawing the images in blazing fiery colours across every creative synapse. The words burn in your mind's eye in letters 20 feet tall and a voice whispers incessantly in your ear to write writewriteit write it writeme pleaseplease write me write me and it doesn't care that you don't have the perfect words or if you hack it into a stone wall or write it in the sand with a stick as long as you write, write it, write down this wonderful, glittering, magnificent dream.

The Tales of the Ancient and Venerable Plink is one such idea. I can't ignore this. I can't worry if I don't have the words or if I'm good enough. It doesn't care. The Ancient and Venerable Plink* wants to have his day(s) in the sun. And I'm the one to do it.

But how?

Having run around being very vague in an incredibly focused way today, a small glimmer of a notion appeared and it all clicked together when I had this last puzzle piece.

The answer is simple. I can write for Danielle. She's only tiny now, and I am very far away. I can't be a close-by auntie and spoil her rotten with gifts and attention and all that. But I can write for her. I can put this down on paper with her as my audience. I can start out simple and hopefully as she gets older, my skill will grow and together we can explore this world.

I'd like for her to know of the wondrous adventures of The Ancient and Venerable Plink. To get to know Salamanca the Unwise (a silverfish unwilling to go when her time had come), Trips the Courageous (Plink's long-time friend, ofttimes rescuer and later wife (and, quite frankly, the brains of the outfit)) and Eugene Whitford III (resident cat curmudgeon and relentless critic of Plink**.

I can't see Danielle every day, or even every week or month. I may never be more than the eccentric auntie that lives across the sea in a far-away and exotic land doing big grown-up stuff. But I want her to know that I love her and wish to be part of her life and growing up. What better way than to write a world for her? To have something that has been written for her, with care and attention and to the best of my abilities. It may not beat a garish plastic playhouse or definitely not me physically being there and spoiling her rotten, but it's the next best thing.

*scribbles happily*

*Please to be using his full honorific at all times, thank you so very much.

**He refuses to use the full honorific. Plink lets him get away with it, because Eugene is about 20 times larger than him. Not that Pli*ow*The Ancient and Venerable Plink (this is going to get old fast) will ever admit to that.
sessifet: (Default)
There's something inside of me, trying to get out.

There's a sound on the edge of hearing, trying to be understood.

There's a shape in the corner of my eye, trying to be seen.

There's a thought inside my head, trying to unfurl.

I'm running down a mountain, dodging trees and rocks, leaping over streams, chasing something just out of reach. I leave sparks when I move. Shadowy afterimages follow me as I bound, leap, dodge and weave my way down the mountain, going ever faster. I chase a dream, a promise, this shape of an idea.

Can I catch up with it? Should I even be trying? Should I hunt it down and force it to reveal itself? That has not worked in the past.

Do I stop and stand still and wait for it to reveal itself? Allow me to get closer and see its shape, hear its words and thoughts? That has not worked in the past.

So I lean back and close my eyes instead. Images dance in front of my mind's eye; faces I've never seen and shapes that cannot be and places I have never been. They're insubstantial. They're not real. Not yet. I wait. And dare not to hope.

My fingers twitch. My skin tingles, feels a size too small. I open my eyes and look at my hands.

A dream. A fantasy. An idea. A promise. It settles in my hands and I can feel it. Feel what it wants and what it wants to look like. I take this, the feeling, the desire and the restless energy and I shape it. I draw the images with fire, just rough lines for now. The dream, the thought is in my head and in my hands and it whispers to me what it wants to be and where it wants to go. It urges me on, so I add sounds, smells and textures and complete the picture. The thought joins the picture, in the shape it wanted me to make for it.

All of it starts to unfold before me and as it keeps growing, I try not to worry that I don't have the skill or the words to do this justice. Because for the moment, this idea is content to soar and be admired. And for the moment, I am content to watch it.

Tomorrow I write.
sessifet: (Default)
There's something inside of me, trying to get out.

There's a sound on the edge of hearing, trying to be understood.

There's a shape in the corner of my eye, trying to be seen.

There's a thought inside my head, trying to unfurl.

I'm running down a mountain, dodging trees and rocks, leaping over streams, chasing something just out of reach. I leave sparks when I move. Shadowy afterimages follow me as I bound, leap, dodge and weave my way down the mountain, going ever faster. I chase a dream, a promise, this shape of an idea.

Can I catch up with it? Should I even be trying? Should I hunt it down and force it to reveal itself? That has not worked in the past.

Do I stop and stand still and wait for it to reveal itself? Allow me to get closer and see its shape, hear its words and thoughts? That has not worked in the past.

So I lean back and close my eyes instead. Images dance in front of my mind's eye; faces I've never seen and shapes that cannot be and places I have never been. They're insubstantial. They're not real. Not yet. I wait. And dare not to hope.

My fingers twitch. My skin tingles, feels a size too small. I open my eyes and look at my hands.

A dream. A fantasy. An idea. A promise. It settles in my hands and I can feel it. Feel what it wants and what it wants to look like. I take this, the feeling, the desire and the restless energy and I shape it. I draw the images with fire, just rough lines for now. The dream, the thought is in my head and in my hands and it whispers to me what it wants to be and where it wants to go. It urges me on, so I add sounds, smells and textures and complete the picture. The thought joins the picture, in the shape it wanted me to make for it.

All of it starts to unfold before me and as it keeps growing, I try not to worry that I don't have the skill or the words to do this justice. Because for the moment, this idea is content to soar and be admired. And for the moment, I am content to watch it.

Tomorrow I write.
sessifet: (Bouncy!)
I need to write. I don't know what it is, but there's something in my head that wants to come out on paper. It's not quite ready yet, though. It's been happily stewing in the back of my head for a while now and I've been content to let it build until it spills over.

But for some reason, listening to Davy Jones' theme makes it kicks the walls and waves its arms going 'Yo! Pay attention to me!'. It wants to spread its wings and soar, revealing itself to the world.

It feels like a major reveal or a story climax, but I don't know to which story. Heck, I don't even know if this fits an existing one or if my brain is once again about to drop something utterly weird and ultimately useless in my lap, like a one-winged elephant with vertigo.

But I can't wait to find out.
sessifet: (Bouncy!)
I need to write. I don't know what it is, but there's something in my head that wants to come out on paper. It's not quite ready yet, though. It's been happily stewing in the back of my head for a while now and I've been content to let it build until it spills over.

But for some reason, listening to Davy Jones' theme makes it kicks the walls and waves its arms going 'Yo! Pay attention to me!'. It wants to spread its wings and soar, revealing itself to the world.

It feels like a major reveal or a story climax, but I don't know to which story. Heck, I don't even know if this fits an existing one or if my brain is once again about to drop something utterly weird and ultimately useless in my lap, like a one-winged elephant with vertigo.

But I can't wait to find out.
sessifet: (Default)
I'm not sure what the Ancient and Venerable Plink is. Just that he's Ancient and Venerable.

He lives in a second-hand bookstore where he and others of his kind work to keep the population of silverfish down. They're not by nature hunters and they won't take a life not given willingly. Silverfish abhor waste and think dead bodies lying about makes the place look untidy. To avoid this happening, silverfish that feel their time has come will seek out Plink or his brethren and arrange to be eaten.

*blinks*

Okay then. This isn't so much a plot bunny as a plot mutant lagomorph of doom. On drugs.

I'll just file this one under 'Fuck', 'The', and 'What'.
sessifet: (Default)
I'm not sure what the Ancient and Venerable Plink is. Just that he's Ancient and Venerable.

He lives in a second-hand bookstore where he and others of his kind work to keep the population of silverfish down. They're not by nature hunters and they won't take a life not given willingly. Silverfish abhor waste and think dead bodies lying about makes the place look untidy. To avoid this happening, silverfish that feel their time has come will seek out Plink or his brethren and arrange to be eaten.

*blinks*

Okay then. This isn't so much a plot bunny as a plot mutant lagomorph of doom. On drugs.

I'll just file this one under 'Fuck', 'The', and 'What'.
sessifet: (Confuzzled)
My brain gave me this earlier:

'The Ancient and Venerable Plink shook his head and coughed. He hated it when silverfish went down the wrong way. It was so very rude.'

I have no idea. All I know is that it's a sign of my brain relaxing and going 'That sounds like fun!'. I don't usually have a say in this...It's nice to have it back, though.
sessifet: (Confuzzled)
My brain gave me this earlier:

'The Ancient and Venerable Plink shook his head and coughed. He hated it when silverfish went down the wrong way. It was so very rude.'

I have no idea. All I know is that it's a sign of my brain relaxing and going 'That sounds like fun!'. I don't usually have a say in this...It's nice to have it back, though.

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