lea_hazel: Typewriter (Basic: Writing)
Writing has always been a central part of my life and even my identity, even when I didn't practice it regularly. It's been a background goal for me to become a writer even though all the other ambitions that I've had and discarded. Eventually I had to make a hard decision and I decided to pursue writing as a profession and career, not a hobby. I still have a day job, obviously. And I still hobby write (fanfiction, and other things). But the goal is to write professionally.

Writing is a frequently frustrating occupation. It's hard work, and it's work that's often undervalued, sometimes even as it's in demand. As most fanfic writers have noticed. Still I've had some amazing writerly moments in my life, outside of the aspiration to go pro and alongside some bitter disappointments (in myself and in others). I wanted to write a lot about those, since one of them happened just recently and since I could always use a morale boost to my creativity.

Read more... )

*glances up* What the fuck am I even talking about, who can even tell.

(actual playlist I was listening to when I was writing this.)
lea_hazel: Neuron cell (Science: Brains)
About six years ago, I spent six or seven months writing an "epic" multi-chapter fanfic anonymously on an LJ prompt meme. I was sunk so deep into it. I was obsessed with it. I was madly in love with it.

I never finished it.

I was writing other stories in the same fandom at the time, the fandom that ate my life (another recurring story for me). I got caught up in other things so that thinking about updating the story had me unbelievably anxious. I spent a long time after (what turned out to be) my final update scheming and guilting myself about how I would eventually finish it. Some time after I ghosted on the fandom altogether, I spent a fair amount of time telling myself that I would clean up what existed of it and post it to my AO3 with a final note saying I was out of the fandom and it would never be complete.

Today yesterday I was going through some outlining guides for writers and trying to take notes about how my different stories fit into the mold or don't. Part of my ongoing attempt to create some sort of writing style for myself that I can apply reliably to writing long-form. I was going to note this fic for its planned resolution (which I never reached, but still had an outline for), and I realized I had completely forgotten its name. For a while I had kept the document I was writing it in on-hand, and in my Dropbox, but my desktop of the time died and the doc is now buried somewhere in my backup drive.

I did finally locate it and add that note. And that fic is still to this day one of my most successful attempts at longfic. Which is rather tragic I suppose. Since then I've ghosted on at least two more major fandoms. And I have made peace with my tendency to leave stories unfinished, although I still try hard not to let it happen.

Writing Life

Sunday, 7 June 2015 18:31
lea_hazel: Don't make me look up from my book (Basic: Reading)
I started drafting a meta post on the metaphysics of a story I have(n't) been working on for a while. Then I saved it to my essay folder and set it aside. I'm not sure how to draw it out towards a natural conclusion.

Meanwhile [community profile] jukebox_fest went live (archive here) which is the cue for me to see comment and kudos emails in my inbox and be torn between being deliriously happy like a puppy rolling around in mud, versus gnashing my teeth and mumbling, 'oh no they're reading it oh god why'. On a side-note I also became obsessed with listening to Skeleton Key over and over, via JBF I'm pretty sure, although it doesn't appear on the signup summary right now.

Later this week I'll make a post about my TBR list and specifically some recent spec fic offerings I've just added to the teetering top. I wish I could think of a book I'd recently read to review, but my problem is my attention span for reading has suffered immensely the last few years. Now I am scheduling long stretches of reading time as part of my writing agenda.

Saturday Mornings

Saturday, 23 May 2015 11:40
lea_hazel: The Little Mermaid (Default)
I made a very firm rule yesterday that I am not allowed to spend all of today -- all of the holiday weekend -- waffling on Tumblr and playing games and watching TV and generally wasting time. By the end of the month I'm (probably) going to be unemployed, and I have writing commitments that I'd just as soon rather not put off to the last possible moment (like I normally do). And I want to write, I swear I do!

...It's just so hard to get started doing anything. Especially when I don't even want to put on pants.
lea_hazel: The Little Mermaid (Default)
I am trying to calibrate my expectations. When one wakes up in the morning and feels more than the usual reluctance to get out of bed, or is much colder than the weather justifies, or one is sitting and eating breakfast and feels like sinking into the chair with heaviness... This is the kind of fatigue that I usually associate with mild infections. My GP is out today. Probably the wise thing would be to phone my boss and explain that I am ill. (I have worked there for two months plus and have taken one sick day previously).

I probably can drag myself up and into some clothes, stuff myself with cold pills and power through nine hours of work. I hardly ever get measurable fevers, so heaven knows I've done it before when I've had little choice. But then yesterday a number of people asked me whether I was ill again due to my constant sniffling ('not again, still') and so many I have an excuse?

Far from being able to make a sensible, fact-oriented decision, I feel like it's actually the 'missing work' guilt warring with the 'not taking care of your health' guilt. But then the system, when I look into it, is set up for 'powering through small illnesses' pretty explicitly. I do this so much I hardly notice the small stuff? I blow my nose or pop a pill and move on with my life, much the same as if it was an allergy attack. It's only when I get this dragging feeling or something similar that I wonder, 'how will I make it to the bus? from the bus? back home again?'

Burning Questions

Wednesday, 22 October 2014 12:30
lea_hazel: Kermit: OMG YAY *flail* (Feel: OMGYAY)
Of course, the most burning questions on my end are 1) Is someone going to vid Zero Motivation? and 2) If so, are they going to do it to every song that came out in the nineties omgf adjsfldg.

I mean. Is it just me or is this a hugely nineties kids movie. I know it's not just me. Right? Right?

I'm sorry I'm not sorry but this movie does things to my brain. I mean. It's a movie about the army that's not only relevant to my experiences but aggressively so. I MEAN.

I cannot with this movie. I. can. not.
lea_hazel: Neuron cell (Science: Brains)
So it's Friday. And Fridays are weird days. Weirder still when unemployed, because I don't have a work week to set the tone. For example, today I woke late, only did a minimal shopping, did no house chores and barely left the house. Whereas when working I would do a big grocery shopping on Friday morning-ish, or else at least try to clean, or run a laundry. And in the afternoon I would take advantage of the weekend atmosphere to take a walk down one of the more interesting streets. Maybe do some shopping chores, maybe not. Maybe sit in a cafe.

The lack of employment makes it hard to delineate the weekend.

I have a draft saved of a meta post I'm working on regarding using the setting of a story as an independent character. I need to do more research, though, and I may delve into TV Tropes to help me recall some good examples. I am a great fan of treating places and objects like personality-holding characters with motivation and volition. I feel it adds something to stories that nothing else does. I find myself returning to this trope a lot.


Sunday, 5 October 2014 12:57
lea_hazel: A frowning white theater mask (Feel: Sad Face :()
Yet another Yom Kippur has passed, and I have failed to contemplate my existence any more deeply than usual. Meh.

I guess blog entries are a way of building up towards the aspiration to more difficult writing later on. I did write four days in a row and so I feel pretty good about my chances today. Which is hopeful, because I have a [community profile] femslashex assignment to complete. One which I have only barely started despite having a good idea and a decent outline.

Daily words on 750words.com are progressing pretty handily. I write about all sorts of nonsense. I swear a lot. I plan stories and daily activities. The textual analysis is pretty entertaining.

If the guy from that one job doesn't call me before the day is out I will feel extremely put upon. I can't sustain this unemployment state much longer. Especially not with Skyrim installed on my computer *le sign*.

At least Skyrim is providing a valuable distraction from certain other fandoms.
lea_hazel: A frowning white theater mask (Feel: Sad Face :()
I have already broken every rule I ever set myself for being unemployed. Stayed up late playing Sunless Sea (killed another captain, too), put off sending out my CV, woke up at eleven this morning. I had planned to kick myself in the pants and take advantage of the morning to do grocery shopping and cleaning. At least yesterday I cooked and ate legitimate food, and also did a laundry. Although in fairness I had little choice, given the size of the laundry pile I brought back from Pittsburgh.


Tuesday, 8 July 2014 19:30
lea_hazel: Neuron cell (Science: Brains)
So the alarm sounded while I was walking home from the bus station and I didn't hear it because I was listening to Yehudit Ravitz. When I walked in all my neighbors were in the stairwell giving me weird looks.
lea_hazel: The outlook is somewhat dismal (Feel: Crash and Burn)
My move has been delayed by a tenant-renter domino effect. I'm not sure what my feelings on this are. I'm uncertain of a lot of my feelings right now. I got a book about cognitive behavioral therapy and have been reading it in careful increments, but I think that might have been optimistic.

Just a bit ago I felt like I had a lot to say.

I've been picking at the first world SF anthology. Short stories are hard for me to engage with, but I enjoyed several of the ones I read. I think I'll try to dedicate a post to the book, later on. I've also been replaying Cinders now that it's on Steam and getting a sceond wind, and playing the hell out of Heroine's Quest.

Dumbing of Age has been ratcheting up the drama something fierce. Two of my favorite female characters are coming into crisis over their angsty backstories at the same time, and somehow they've come into a collision course, too.

The [community profile] trope_bingo deadline is coming up fast, and I'm coming to terms with the fact that I'll likely fail this one as well. I'm not distressed as such over work taking time away from my hobbies, because duh, reality. I think I was just clinging a little to the idea of making a checkbox-shaped space in my brain and labeling it "trope bingo", mostly because of my own issues with procrastination and completing projects.

There was conflict at the office this week that distressed me. It wasn't aimed at me, or even between employees, but it was just very uncomfortable for a while.

Oh! As part of not having the energy to do anything fun, I've spent most of the week with pizza and Person of Interest season three. Yes, I'm up to that part. Super impressed by the fact that it's not only a fridging, but a conduit fridging. Like, the whole thing is set up not only for the edification and suffering of the male characters, but to tear them apart and consequently bring them back together, closer than ever. At least, that's my take on it.

Anyway, I'd best wrap up this patchwork quilt of an entry before I think of something else, and then another after that.
lea_hazel: Typewriter (Basic: Writing)
Steeping myself in creative pursuits is very satisfying and makes my days feel empty. I'm a little anxious about getting too comfortable being unemployed. I do have some avenues to pursue on that front, but the uncertainty is starting to unnerve me. Right now having all this free time is pretty nice, but in the long run I'm going to pay for it.

Probably what will happen is that I will start looking for QA work in Jerusalem (which I am technically overqualified for, but). I'm pretty optimistic about the work itself, because I think going down a step in the hierarchy may end up having various advantages. The trick is to leverage myself, and initiating action is always difficult for me.

On a brighter note, I got a [community profile] trope_bingo card, so now I'm working on two cards simultaneously. #lifestylechoices

Rainy Day

Thursday, 5 December 2013 18:39
lea_hazel: The outlook is somewhat dismal (Feel: Crash and Burn)
This morning when I woke up I looked out the window and saw that it was cold and rainy. It seemed like a good idea to hole up inside where it's warm and do a little work, some reading, and maybe a little writing. After all I have about a million writing projects and I'm never gonna have free time like this when I'm gainfully employed. Yet somehow the notorious poor weather malaise started creeping in and now I'm just of... full of emotions. Bluh.

On the plus side I worked on getting my virtual machine up and trying to sync it with my local folders so that I can use a GUI text editor. On the minus, I've gotten to the point where I have no idea what I'm doing. Wrestling with this sort of thing is exactly the kind of practice I need, but it's frustrating to do with no team. Most programmers lean on a certain knowledge of the operating system and command line, in which I'm severely lacking. Command line is very nerve-wracking.

But in news of clearly equal importance, I finally have a wildclaw on Flight Rising.


Tuesday, 19 November 2013 19:40
lea_hazel: Typewriter (Basic: Writing)
I hate how vulnerable I am to feeling terrible about myself over interactions that (I'm fairly certain) are mostly neutral. My social calibration is off somehow and if I perceive that I annoyed someone or that someone disapproves of me I have to fight tooth and nail to keep it from tanking my mood for the day.

Then sometimes I'm disproportionately irritated over something of no consequence and I think, "Lord, don't let me be that person."


Saturday, 26 October 2013 15:43
lea_hazel: Neuron cell (Science: Brains)
My weekly reminder to myself that I cannot do All the Things. And that I actually accomplished quite a lot this week. And that I'm very productive. And that feelings are subjective and transient.
lea_hazel: A frowning white theater mask (Feel: Sad Face :()
My nail care routine is such a disaster. I feel like I've basically spent four years trying to quit biting my nails, and it never quite takes. Pretty colors don't seem to be quite enough of a motivator. Even when I'm biting and I catch myself and tell myself to stop, that message somehow doesn't seem to reach the right part of my brain.


Friday, 4 October 2013 22:38
lea_hazel: Wonder Woman (Fandom: DC)
I am equal parts terrified that I will get a job and go back to working full-time soon, and horrified that I might not get a job for a long time and spend weeks or months at home free to write fic and watch TV. If I get to used to staying at home I don't know how I'll stay motivated in the depressing race to find a job, but I know that no matter how much I might miss all this free time, if I stay unemployed for too long I'll start going bonkers. (That's a technical medical term.)

I could easily fill this time, for weeks or months on end. That's probably the worst part of this situation, how trivially easy it would be to give up and let it go on indefinitely.

le sign

Sunday, 29 September 2013 12:52
lea_hazel: A frowning white theater mask (Feel: Sad Face :()
My interview was postponed by two days. Hypothetically this leaves me all day to write, read, edit and whatnot. Actually I am unreasonably upset about the change. It reminds me of the end of basic training because until I go through this interview I have no idea what the next two-three years of my life are gonna look like.

Uncertainty makes me nervous.
lea_hazel: Neuron cell (Science: Brains)
Keeping track of time is always so much harder during holidays. There's the half-day before, the evening of, the day of, and then I have to figure out how to tell the difference between the holiday and the Saturday that comes before it. The mornings melt away even more quickly than usual.

Today, for example, I almost mixed up an appointment I have next Sunday, and figured it to be this coming Monday. Why? I have no idea. Who knows how my brain stores this information. Well, I double-checked my google calendar to make certain that I know when my (vitally important) interview is, and what sort of schedule-related pitfalls are on the way from here to there (now to then?).

Now I just have to sort through all the reading and writing things I've committed to. Maybe make a list?

Dumb Move, I Admit

Wednesday, 28 August 2013 14:16
lea_hazel: The outlook is somewhat dismal (Feel: Crash and Burn)
Today I went to talk to the open university people about the possibility of transferring credits. Logic for this ) I'm waiting on a call from them to schedule a meeting.

Then I ate lunch in the place where I used to work and felt pleasantly nostalgic. On the bus home I mused about fanfic and felt really good about myself.

Naturally, as soon as I got home I made every effort to ruin that good feeling. That was predictable ) Then I felt like shit for a while.

When I realized I was wallowing I was reminded of Dr. Nerdlove and his columns about getting over a crush/infatuation/ex. This was surprisingly effective at digging under my brain funk.


lea_hazel: The Little Mermaid (Default)

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