Sorry, I don’t really design for the web. But that’s from a holiday card I made this year.
I’ve got a strange love/hate relationship with Christmas. For one thing, as I get older, it gets stranger and stranger, and is mostly the time when I watch my family changing. (I sort of see them in stop-animation, with one-year intervals). And of course, while I’ve got nothing against gift-giving (in fact, the economic system I advocate is based on this principle), the consumerist thing is obviously quite noxious.
I wish there were an easy way to reconnect to when Christmas (or, really, solstice), was a celebration against the dark… an attempt to bring joy into a family as it faces the winter, essentially a new years celebration. In its way, it’s even more doom-and-gloom and epic than Halloween. And I wish it didn’t involve tree farms (or cutting down trees at all) and buying a bunch of useless plastic crap.
I just got the results in from NaWoCoMo (national word count month): over 30 days, I wrote 44,568 words on various writing projects, for an average of 1485.6 words per day. Not bad. It’s no NaNoWriMo win, but it’s awful close. Besides, I finished a novel, got 15k into another one, wrote at least two short stories, and more!
I will avoid the use of exclamation marks in this post only by sheer force of will.
I set myself the goal last year that I was going to finish my first novel before I turned 27. (which is like 3 weeks from now or something).
It still needs some editing, some first-readers, and of course a publisher, but it’s going to happen.
I finished it at midnight and then ran through the house yelling “I finished I finished I finished”, then ran to the other house and talked excitedly to my friend there for like five minutes, barely containing this strange and lovely glee.
The best part about finishing it? Now I’ll let myself work on something else. (I’m too keen to start new projects, you see. So I’ve been denying myself most fiction writing, certainly long-form fiction writing, for a bit now so that I would focus on this book.)
This isn’t actually a video, just a song. And to folks in the goth scene, it’s mostly a played out one.
When I first got into goth, it was for the darker, heavier stuff by and large: the swans and skinny puppy. New Model Army, who aren’t as heavy but certainly aren’t electronic dance. I used to really begrudge EBM (electronic body music: the combination of industrial and electronica). I hated that goth music had “gone to shit”, had “just become techno with lyrics.” In short, I was a judgmental idiot.
And it was this song, Darkangel by VNV Nation, that eventually won me over. It’s just so damn catchy and danceable, but still all spooky and sad.
In the anarcho scene these days, punk is dead. Long live (shudder) Michael Jackson. The pop dance party is the thing. Most of my friends think I hate dancing, because if I end up at a party, unless I’m drunk I stand in the corner, maybe talk to people or something. My goth friends know me better: I love to dance. Hell, it’s the reason I wear skirts. (So much fun to dance in!)
This summer when I was in Portland, VNV Nation had some posters up on posts around town for a show they were playing. VNV Nation, in case you don’t know, uses futurist/german-expressionist images. Think of the movie metropolis. Lots of “into the bold future of humanity!” kind of images. Which is a lot of the same stuff that fascists adopted as well. So all the punks were in a mild uproar, trying to figure of if this was some nazi band. Fortunately, someone said “we should ask Magpie.” VNV Nation is not some nazi band. Goths just use different imagery than punks. VNV Nation is explicitly anti-war, anyhow. From their environmentalist song “Carbon”: “By our blindness and stupidity, we kill everything.”
I’ve written a couple of novellas, plenty of short stories, and of course I edited a book, but today I crossed over the 40,000 word line in this fiction piece I’m working on. It’s not done yet, but I’m pretty stoked. I’ll be looking for first-readers in a bit, cause it’s almost done! I’ve been working on this damn book for almost two years now. About a year ago I scrapped a 25,000 word draft to start over again, which has been worth it, but of course quite frustrating. It’s like when you draw a really, really good eye, get all excited, and then realize you drew it in the wrong place and have to erase it. Only, you know, an eye that took you a year to draw.
Do you ever have those mornings where it’s quite clear that you are not exploring ravines beneath a town full of moorish castles? Nor are you in a temporary autonomous zone in the pacific northwest learning how to carve jade from an old hippy? And this is strongly contrary to what you were doing, just moments before, while asleep?
I think wanderlust keeps me going (no pun intended). No offense to Pittsburgh, mind you.
November is National [obsessing over] Word Count Month, also known locally as NaWoCoMo! (say it with me!)
Here at the cyberpunk apocalypse (that’s the name of the house I’m at, you see), we’re celebrating in style! That is, we put a chart on the fridge with all our names and we all keep track of our word counts per day.
What’s great about NaWoCoMo is… take today for example. Today I did layout for two different projects, edited an article of mine, edited a friends article… and then wrote like 250 words for a different project. And NaWoCoMo only cares about them 250 words! That’s right! Woo! NaWoCoMo!
One downside of constantly traveling is that you don’t really have time to get a costume together for halloween. Or at least, I haven’t successfully in the past few years. But then I got to thinking about it. It’s halloween. I’m a goth. I’m allowed to just go as myself. One night a year where that isn’t weird. Might as well just be happy about it. Anyhow, this is my “costume”: more or less the same as usual, only with makeup.
As anyone who has heard me ramble in the past two months knows, I’ve been accepted by a writer-in-residency program in Pittsburgh at the Cyberpunk Apocalypse. While I’m here I’ll be polishing up my super-secret project that I’ll be talking about incessantly once I’ve got it done. I’m excited as hell to be in a house (well, two houses) full of radical writers, folks who can talk about plotting and printing while making dinner and drinking (or not drinking, of course!).