katernater: (sherlock • (smug))
Man, Friday really snuck up on me this week. I'm glad it's here, though, and that I've got a chance to breathe over the weekend. The first week of classes was very busy, but I am very happy with how things are progressing. I know I've only been at my job for one full term (and even that term was truncated due to all manner of weather disasters, scheduling gaffes and transcendental brik-a-brak), but I feel much more comfortable going into the second nine weeks than the first. I'm starting to figure out what kind of teacher I am and what activities work for my students. And a couple of times this week I caught myself in a moment of fulfillment in my job -- whether it was participating in a game of charades (that somehow devolved into obscure bathroom humor) at the new student welcome party, or sitting with my colleagues at lunch and having a of couple students come up to say how excited they were to begin the new term with us. It really makes me feel part of something that matters.

I'm planning to take it easy this weekend. I've got taxes to finish (the process is confusing, even with TurboTax, so I exiled the folder to the edge of my kitchen table last week) and I will probably do some laundry and a bit of cleaning but, other than that, I'm going to watch movies, write, and flesh out that new original character. I don't know if this speaks to my process (or my slightly unbalanced sense of imagination), but whenever I think about creating a new character, I like to imagine physically interviewing them in my head. A lunch meeting, for instance. I imagine that I am sitting in a cafe, preparing to meet this person for the first time. I look for details. Is it raining? If so, did the person arrive with an umbrella, or were they running between awnings? Someone with an umbrella might be very detail-oriented; a controlling personality. A character who arrives soaked to the bone could be more laid back -- or generally underprepared. And, just like a normal interview, I go through a series of questions in my head. I can get a pretty good gut feeling about a new character based on their answers. Sometimes, the most obscure things become important character details. For instance, whether or not the character is wearing a two- or three-piece suit. To me, the latter suggests an increased focus on outward physical appearance and status; the former is a more practical, contemporary silhouette. Accents, gestures, eye contact: every detail is a method of honing personality traits, of paring down the abstract to a precise, fully-fleshed character. Plus, it's just a fun mental exercise to see how detailed you can be. (It's also the surest and quickest way to get me to fall asleep these days -- exhausting the right side of my brain usually means that I'm out before the first appetizers arrive. 'Better than counting sheep, I think.)

I also want to take advantage of the weekend to finally watch "Christopher and His Kind" and (at the very least) the first episode of "Downton Abbey." I think I'm running out of steam for tonight, though. Gonna' pack it in for the night. There's a Poe film series being shown at one of the local theaters tomorrow -- "The Fall of the House of Usher," and one other starring Vincent Price -- which I do not want to miss. I've got to make sure that I'm up and awake in time to make it to the theater. I guess I'm busier than I thought I was this weekend.
katernater: (actor • (benedict))
-- is getting a stellar idea for an original RP character, like, twenty minutes before you said you were going to bed.

It's so frustrating when my creativity does not operate on the same schedule as my professional responsibilities.
katernater: (house • (administrator))
She had put on perfume -- dots behind her wrists and on the pressure point at her collarbone -- but she had not selected a tawny night scent. Cotton and little bursts of ambergris, as good and solid as the lines on a steno pad. Her hair was down. She had checked her appearance only once before leaving her foyer. Afterward, in the dark, her kitchen light silhouette against the mirror had no definition to it at all.

I used to write things like this.

I like to think that, five years on, I have not forgotten how.
katernater: (sherlock • (still life))
I don't know why, but whenever I go for a night out, I always wake up the next morning with the compulsion to clean everything in the apartment. I suppose it's my way of making mental recompense for what I did the night before. So, this morning, I gutted the contents of my closet, dusted, ran two loads of laundry, and swept the entire apartment. While cleaning, I found a notebook full of ideas for the novel that's been kicking around in my head for the last five years. Most of it's crap, but some of it is actually pretty good. I mean, for me, the litmus test for evaluating anything I've written is "if it doesn't make me cringe while reading it, it's probably not that bad." I'm actually excited about the project again. 'Might even try to flesh it out a little this semester. Well, more "flesh" than six notebook pages, anyway.

And, for the record, can I just say that the unaired Sherlock pilot made my week? I love my smart, funny shows.
katernater: (huddy (s2) // Who broke your heart?)
Title: Blue Book
Author: [livejournal.com profile] katernater
Rating: PG
Pairing: House/Cuddy
Summary: [livejournal.com profile] cuddy_fest prompt # 205: Cuddy/House. U-Mich fic. Their endocrinology class, "I cheated off you in the mid-term"
Disclaimer: Not mine. Just borrowing.

'A man who has never gone to school may steal from a freight car; but if he has a university education he may steal the whole railroad.' - Theodore Roosevelt )
katernater: (xf (m) // What an Oxford education buys)
I'm in one of those funny places, mentally, where it's difficult to have the motivation to write, or be creative, or get jazzed about imagination in general. This kind of funk routinely occurs every two weeks or so and pretty much saps me of any kind of motivation. Honestly. The biggest thought I had to scale today was the decision to go to the grocery store at lunch or wait until after work, depending on the weather and whether or not the orange juice I'm going to buy will go bad sitting in my car for four hours.
katernater: (huddy (s2) // Our kind of symmetry)
Occasionally, the armchair deity who runs the universe takes it into the shop to get the oil changed and, somehow, a great weekend falls out of the engine block and into my sweet little lap. Tropic Thunder, familial karaoke, Phelps, a cover band doing a not too terrible cover of "Baba O'Riley", ten pints, windows down with Gomez blasting, to boldly go with bare feet where no bare feet have gone before, slipping into regional accents -- I could go on, but I already sound too much like plot summary on the back of a Dave Eggers book, and that crap ain't good for anyone. Suffice it to say that I was the universe's little darling for forty-eight whole hours and, if in my lifetime that's the only forty-eight I get, I'll be okay with it.

I spent most of today watching the first season of Californication and alternately wondering why I hadn't moved to Los Angeles yet (because everybody looks like they're having a really, really good time), and thinking that the media's portrayal of every writer ever has them all drug-and-sexed out and with one big toe on the trigger of the world's biggest shotgun, ready to go out Hemingway style. As a writer myself (hey, I see you snickering in the back there, Eggers -- lock that up, man), I'm a little disappointed that there aren't more portrayals of writers as, you know, functional human beings. The males are always substance abusing dickweeds (Hank Moody, "Californication"; Grady Tripp, "Wonder Boys") and the women are always batshit insane obsessive compulsives who get all up in a twist when their pantyliners aren't stacked according to level of absorbency (Karen Eiffel, "Stranger Than Fiction"; Alexandra Rover, "Nim's Island"). For once, I would actually like to see a movie or television show about a writer who doesn't need to do a line of blow before they go to the post office.

And before you ask, yes, I saw "Nim's Island". It played on a loop on the plane. Don't judge me.
katernater: (hugh // Infatuate your next ingénue)
In an attempt to waylay further social ostracization, I finally relented and let Todd coax me into watching Snakes On A Plane. I will always equate that movie with this thread in Vicodin which, in turn, will always make me think of how it would feel to kiss someone during the climax of this song. [livejournal.com profile] arriterre? [livejournal.com profile] makemerun? Congratulations. You, along with ripped green ties and underage French supermodels, have woven yourselves into the significant fabric of my formidable years.

Honestly, [livejournal.com profile] vicodin_rpg might be the best game that I ever played in. The writing was superb, the players were top notch, and the overall atmosphere -- which could go from "Spanish soap opera" to "Merchant Ivory production" in a matter of two posts -- had me hooked for over a year and a half. I think I did some of my best writing over there. And, sure, it was a small community. Not many -- if any -- people saw it. That's the question I get most often, when I'm asked why I write in such small forums: Kate, you're wasting your time. Nobody's going to see this. Nobody who matters, anyway. Don't you think you should quit the kids' stuff and write something that'll earn you a buck? Sure, I'd love to. I'd love to crack out a novel in thirty days and have it picked up by a major publishing house. I'd love to write complex theses and analyses of pre- and post-modern literature. I'd love to have a column in the Times. But this? Right now? Is fun. This is for me. This is the release valve that I need to tweak every once in a while, when the real world seems padlocked by convention and sterility and blah blah blah did you remember to put a cover on your TPS report? So maybe it's a stall; maybe it's me flexing a mental muscle so it doesn't atrophy. Writing -- writing well -- is the greatest high that I experience. I'm grateful to the people who share that passion with me ([livejournal.com profile] arriterre, [livejournal.com profile] gleam, [livejournal.com profile] makemerun, [livejournal.com profile] mirorelle, [livejournal.com profile] awesomesquared, [livejournal.com profile] highlander_ii among them), because they seem to be in it for the same reasons.

-- Aaaand that was a suspiciously defensive paragraph. I can't imagine to whom I was trying to justify myself.

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