I am here.

Apr. 16th, 2017 03:32 pm
thewhitelily: (Default)
Well, it looks like I'm officially moving to Dreamwidth. I didn't mind about... things... enough to make the move on my own, but it seems that all the communities I'm even semi-active in are closing up over on LJ, and many of my active friends are at least somewhat active on dreamwidth too.  My main remaining link at LJ is really the nostalgic grief of knowing that I'm leaving behind the journals of old friends who haven't updated for many years.  I'll be automatically crossposting, so hopefully anyone remaining in the ghost town who wants to get back in touch can still find me.

My journal's in the import queue, I guess in the current backlog it'll arrive when it arrives. I've managed to recreate my journal style, which is good even though I've never been particularly fond of white on black, because the background metaphor still suits me in so many ways.

Journalling has become the best thing I can do when I'm drowning, when I feel like I'm struggling to reach the light at the surface and breathe.  Groping blindly for the distorted reflections of who I really am through the medium of fiction.  Things may seem calm and serene from above but here, beneath the surface, you can see some of my frantic paddling--as well as glimpsing the other nine-tenths of the icebergs floating through my stories.  And of course, even when I'm at my most calm, my very favourite thing is to go out late at night and lie on the bottom of the pool, looking up through the water at the darkness and the stars.  It makes me feel... peaceful. 

The journal is dead.  Long live the journal.
thewhitelily: (Lily)
I've had that song in my head all day, because it's still New Frontiers month over at [livejournal.com profile] ushobwri, and there's been an... idea, niggling away in the back of my mind for the last month, about something that is a really new frontier for me.

I made a throwaway comparison in an LJ post a while ago, between Sherlock and, well, we'll get to that, but the thing is it gave me a really vivid mental image.  As usual, it was the concept of a junction point where a whole lot of plot arcs intersect to provide an amazing payoff, but... it came in the form of a mental image.  And I know how the characters get there, and I know what they're saying, but the thing is that this is a visual gag.  And while I could have written a story, and it would have been good, it doesn't actually work nearly as well in words as that image in my mind.

I left high school after thirteen years of compulsary art utterly convinced that I was hopeless at drawing and in fact any kind of visual arts.  But... as it turned out, it wasn't entirely true.  Because when we moved into our current house some five years after that, it had a clear glass shower screen, and I started sketching with my finger in the fog in the shower, every morning.  Transient thoughts, either written or sketched and then washed away moments later.  It's really cleansing, actually.  In more ways than one.  :P  When I went on a nine week backpacking trip in Europe, I hadn't even realised how much I missed that until I got home and stepped in the shower, saw the fog and... just relaxed, as I started sketching.

Now, I have three little kids.  I'm constantly being asked to draw something for them.  A dinosaur, or a pirate ship, or whatever.  And I do, and they look, you know, recognisable.  With a possible bonus of being an age appropriate outline for cutting out.  And a year or so ago, when our eldest was inappropriately resistant to doing any kind of drawing/writing, I decided to start sitting with him and sketching my own pictures on a piece of paper.  I write best on a computer, but if that's all the kids see of what I do for myself, it's not exactly modelling writing/creative behaviour in a medium they understand, right?  And maybe I didn't do it every day, or even every week--I'm a busy woman--but it happened sometimes.  And whether it was partially seeing me doing it, or whether it was simply that was when the lightbulb went on in his head, he started drawing, and then writing.  As a byproduct, some of the things I created where unexpectedly awesome.

I also left high school convinced I couldn't write prose, and in fact that all humanities were for the birds.  But we all know how that worked out.  So, inspired by the epic efforts of various Shoobies in New Frontiers month, and the solid persistence of this image in my mind, I decided to give it a go.  It took me two days.  Three, including scanning it in and cleaning up the smudges on the background.  It is far beyond anything I've ever attempted before.  It bugs me that it's not perfect, but nothing short of photorealism would ever be perfect to me because, well, my brain, and it is definitely perfect to the limits of my skill.  It was that after about an hour, because it is far, far, far beyond where I thought the limits of my skill were.

I give you: The Baker Street Boys Lose a Bet

I think I need to stop saying I can't draw, right?  Yeah, that's what I thought.
thewhitelily: (Default)
Some people find the blank page intimidating. A whole empty white page, staring at you, with nothing on it but possibility.

Not me.

I have a short attention span, but as long as I prevent myself from alt-tabbing away from a blank page for long enough, it ends up with writing on it. Lots of writing.

My problem is the imperfectly filled page. (tl;dr) )

This year I have a great deal on, writing wise. First of all, there’s the personal commitment I’ve made to submitting a manuscript to the Australian Vogel Award this year. (Deadlines = Love) I haven’t yet decided whether it will be Return to Sender or Cloud Castles. Given the above, I’m going to have to work pretty hard on at least one of them to bring it to a standard where I’m willing to let it out of my sight in just over four months time.

At the moment, I’m procrastinating. I’m supposed to be writing a play for my nieces’ school’s Mystery Festival: a humourous whodunit that concludes with each one of six suspects looking equally guilty. I’ve got almost two pages of it written, out of about ten – after which it will need editing. It’s simple enough now that I’ve got a multi-layered plot with a cast of seedy characters. It’s easy, it’s fun, I’ve got stacks of fantastic ideas, and it’s good procrastination for getting stuck into my more serious manuscripts.

Still, I’m having trouble focussing. I should be gazing at the empty third page of the Mystery Festival play, staring it down long enough that, to prevent me from dying of bordom, the creative juices will start to flow and sweep me up into that literary orgasm of productivity that will result in another few pages of script.

Instead, I’ve opened up a second word document, where I’m writing endless pointless introspections on my psyche and personality traits. Such as procrastination.

Speaking of which, my apologies for randomly disappearing for a six weeks once again. I’ve been rather overwhelmed by life: since we last spoke I’ve attended to Hubby’s grandma’s funeral, hosted the Lily Family Christmas Spectacular starring nine children under ten and a chocolate fountain, maintained an incredibly high level of productivity at work, broken down at Hubby under the strain and threatened to move to Sweden for a year, mopped up the remains of a two-foot deep flash flood in the office, and generally continued running at top efficiency in procrastinating writing.

Hmmm. Time to get back to it, I guess.
thewhitelily: (Default)
My day was going perfectly today.

Work went relatively smoothly, and at 4:30 the crew broke up for a bit of backyard golf, which was particularly hilarious to watch on the last "hole" which was raised about knee-height off the ground.

After work, I finally knuckled down to go on a shopping spree to help alleviate my dire need of of clothing that hadn't been worn and stretched to the approximate shape of a burlap sack. After some wandering, I found a shop that had shucked the current trend of selling only clothes that make me look about seven months pregnant (which is an impressive feat, given my body shape) and had whole racks of stuff that looked simply smashing on at two for one prices. Bonus.

Then I headed off to the camera shop to obtain the tripod I've been wanting to get hold of for some time, only to find...

A classmate from school was behind the counter. )

thewhitelily: (shame)
I’m new to this whole friendship thing.

Apart from Hubby, I’ve been pretty much a loner all through my life. I had a couple of friends in primary school, but in hindsight they weren’t so much best friends as people who enjoyed having someone follow them around. I was socially useless before I decided to shift the goalposts and claim victory by redefining my social life to include the Internet. Not-so-coincidentally, I started managing to fake it face to face.

Dealing with people is still intensely confusing, immensely tiring, and unbelievably time-consuming, but I was considerably more useless before I discovered that I could express myself in the written word if I gave myself long enough to try. (Come to think of it, my relationship with Hubby only developed in the first place because we started exchanging email.)

But I just can’t help but feel so inadequate for the task of being a friend. )

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The White Lily

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