Wednesday, August 31, 2016

Writing Retreat Dreams

I'm at the beginning of day three of a four day writing retreat.  It's just me in a rental at McKenzie Bridge.  My writing output is okay, but my story is stalling:  I'm working on stories set on Venus, and I want to submit one to a particular market with the theme of "darkness" ... only that's not what's coming out.  

So I go to sleep hoping for dream stories I can write.  What do I get?   

+ Dreams about farting, and identifying the farter.

+ a segment where a talking cat repeats my sister-in-law Maria saying, "Oh my Gawd.  Dat's disGUISTing." in a gravelly voice.  It was like a parot, and the cat was repeating a much longer dialog along the lines of somebody telling Maria something like going to the beauty salon to have armpit hairs plucked.  All of this is coming out of a cat that's sitting on a chair grooming itself.  Everyone is listening, and when the cat says, "Oh my Gawd," they almost fall over trying not to laugh because they know "Dat's disGUISTing" is coming next.

+  Really large wasps coming out of a pear I was eating, and who now think I'm some kind of pear because I've got pear juice on my hands or something.  Batting them away as they strafe me isn't very effective.

+ Mark has rearranged the kitchen -- moving the sink, the stove, and adding a new sink.  This was somehow related to the wasps and pears and I was trying to clean something up and I used the sink that wasn't connected to a pipe and so the water came out on the floor.

+ A roving band of folks fund-raising for The Child's school appeared to make funding pitch.  It's like a progressive cocktail party with kids.  While a Committee Mom is telling me about the benefits of Montesouri, her two kids have turned a hose on and are spraying some of Mark's watercolor and oil paintings on the wall.  
"Whoa, whoa!  They need to stop that," I say.
Other parents with cocktails and kids continue to hold a party in my house.
"Oh, but isn't it interesting how they're learning about art?" Committee Mom says.
There's some more, but sensing the social ackwardness, the fund-raisers leave.

+ Something about stray pets and owners and a floating cat head. 

+ Evil crime-lord children with giant lego guitines.  I think there was something about "paying someone back" and union-busting New York sewer workers.

+ Finding myself in Central Park as Burt Ward playing Dick Greyson watching Caesar Romaro as The Joker -- the Clown Prince of Crime, dressed in a white tail coat jacket with thin puprle pin-stripes, joins some little girls in a game of jump rope and leads the kids in a new counting chant about wanting to see Batman's underwear.  All the kids join in; all the Gotham parents are hapless.  Since I can't reveal my secret identity and punch the Joker, I try to derail the song by shouting, "Batman already wears his underwear on the outside!"  The song changes from "show us your underwear" to "show us your wiener and balls."

I wake up with the chant "wiener and balls" fading as gentle chimes of the iPad wake me.  Should  I phone home ? --  the last two segments were obviously something The Child would dream, so maybe he dreampt about my stories set on Venus?

Tuesday, August 23, 2016

Stop Action Experiment

Mostly an experiment with stop-action.  This is a variation on the "John Is Writing" game.

..or it would be if the movie part loaded correctly.  Oh well.

Friday, August 19, 2016

August Utility Post

Whew. Utility post.

Writing: I've wrapped up a short story and I'm letting it sit for a few days before I do a final edit for stupid things. I've been looking at past edits on other manuscripts. My goal for the next few months is to always have ten, ideally twenty, items in the mail at one time. My writing retreat is coming up. Due to some life roles, I'm going to focus on writing short stories set in the same science fiction future Venus. Who knows, it might turn into a novel. The goal is to have a long stretch of intensive writing.

 We're getting a new kitten. We've been thinking that Smokey might like some company in the house. I imagine there will be many kitten posts in my future.

Working out:  I've been going, and I need to go more.

Weather:  It's supposed to be 100F today.  Bleah.

Friday, August 12, 2016

Latest Inkscape Art

Here's the latest design I've been working on.  If I were the sort of person that got tattooed, I might get this.  I might make it a T-shirt design. If I'm feeling extra creative, I might try flipping it so that the snake's head is at the bottom of the triangular knot, which might give the design a little more dynamism.

Wednesday, August 10, 2016

Summer Performances

The other Friday (July 29)  The Child and I went to hear Weird Al at the local outdoor theatre.  I was worried that we were going to fry in the setting sun, but luckily, our seats were soon shaded as the sun set behind some trees ringing the amphitheater.  Weird Al was not quite so lucky, as the setting sun shone "straight into my face" for the first 20 minutes of the show.  The Child loved the show, and I was impressed with how much fun Weird Al appears to have performing (which cut some of the overly-sarcastic edge off of his songs).

We decided that Weird Al's performance was better than the B-52's performance at the county fair last week (July 26th)... and it's probably safe to say that The Child enjoyed it more than Joan Jett's fair performance last year.

Last weekend (Aug 8), we went to see a community theatre performance of "On the Town."  It was fun.  Apparently the play is very different from the movie.  I'd say my favorite part was the cave-people dance in the Museum.  OK, and the gag where the same sad song gets sung in every nightclub the characters go to.

On the writing front, I've been loving Scrivener for the iPad, which syncs (albeit slowly) with Scrivener on the desktop.  The interface is similar; the thing I miss the most is the split screen, which probably wouldn't work so well on a small iPad screen.   The only thing that's awkward is that I have a lot of older Scrivener files that I have to convert to the latest version before the iPad Scrivener will open them.

Tuesday, August 09, 2016

Hello to Russia

I was looking at the stats for this blog the other day, and it appears that I've got some fans in Russia or something, because a bunch of my pages suddenly jumped up in their stats, and the indicators for a Russian audience did as well.

These are the monthly stats.  The posting with the highest daily stats appears to be Heisenberg's Airplane, and at first I wondered if an airline was using that post as an object lesson in customer crisis training.  But after looking at the monthly stats more closely, I'm wondering if someone wants to see how I work out, because they all have gym information in them.   Anyway, I'm not sure what's driving Russian folks here, but "Hello, and I'm hoping that you're finding the blog amusing."