katernater: (misc • (shakespeare))
Just a quick update to let everyone know I'm on term break, not dead. I spent last weekend with Tim in Muncie, then came back home to Fort Wayne on Sunday evening. I've made some progress on my NaNo project this week, which was kind of a big shocker, because I usually just say I'm going to work on something like that and end up watching back-to-back documentaries about giant jellyfish instead. But no! Real progress! I admit that I'm kind of daunted by the idea of actually starting to write this thing, though. I'm pretty sure I'm not going to be able to finish by the November 31 deadline. To be honest, I'm just going to be glad to start the project. NaNo just gives me an excuse to pretend I'll stick to deadlines.

Today I am going to hang out with my dog and read Game of Thrones.

I am also going to try to watch Third Star without crying so much that I throw up.
katernater: (house • (meaning))
It's been a couple of weeks since I've updated, and there's really been no down time in that two weeks. The end of any term is chaotic, this one made even more so by the fact that I had to helm a complete mock trial for my CS 5 class in a little less than a week (which we performed yesterday and which could not have gone any better) and that I've been more active on the weekends than my usual, sedentary schedule is used to. Last weekend I went back to Muncie to see Tim and to attend a friend's wedding. Tim and I continue to enjoy one another's company immensely. In fact, I'm heading back tomorrow for an overnight before I head back to my parents' place for the break week. Tim and I are going to go apple picking in the afternoon, then we're building a fire and camping out in his backyard overnight. I am still trying to figure out when my life turned into a Nora Ephron screenplay.

In other news, I've been completely slacking on my novel project lately. I said I was going to spend all of September outlining, but that never happened. My cork board is pretty barren. I hope to be able to develop some more ideas over the break. I'll lie in bed at night before falling asleep and I'll have these random ideas; sometimes entire scenes will play themselves out in my head, complete with dialogue. I haven't really been active with any other kind of writing lately, so I suppose my creative drive is pooling its resources into the novel concept. If I don't write for a while I start to get irritable. I'll be glad for the upcoming break, as it will give me an opportunity to kick start the creative process. (Which, for me, involves many cups of tea and an all-out staring contest with a blinking cursor.)

I feel like taking a bath. Gonna' put on some David Gray and pile on the bubbles.
katernater: (movie • (tech))
My shoulder is nearly back to normal, thank god. It was a rough weekend. I thought I was doing better on Saturday but midway through the evening I turned my head a particular way and felt something pop again; I managed to drive to the store to pick up a heating pad and a bottle of extra strength pain reliever. I've been doing a series of stretches with it every morning and every night before I go to sleep and I've pretty much decided that I've not torn anything. Not irreparably, anyway. It seems to get better the more I use it, and the only time that it really gives me any grief is when I wake up in the morning. In any event I skipped yoga on Saturday and gave myself another day off from the gym today. I might go back for Zumba tomorrow, depending on how it feels. At this point, I'm so relieved it's not as bad as it was on Saturday. My mom was worried I'd torn a rotator cuff, which freaked me out a little because she's a nurse and I'm nowhere near as cognizant of how my body works as I should be. And because our conversations about the injury almost always devolved into her thinking that I might have permanently crippled myself and me imagining my future as a one-armed panhandler who sells picture post cards and flattens pennies between her back molars for tips.

Panhandling future averted. For now.

I'm making slow but steady progress on The Transformation of Things. The details of the story change in my head from day to day but I have a pretty good idea of the overall plot, and think I will be ready to start outlining in the next couple of weeks. What really lets me know I'm on the right track is the fact I've set up an iTunes playlist and have started adding songs to it that I think fit the mood/characters of the novel. So far there's a lot of Muse, Pulp, and Michael Giacchino on there. And this stage of the writing process is my favourite, because it's the beginning and you're generally optimistic about everything and every idea is a good idea. It's like going to the grocery store when you haven't eaten anything; everything looks and sounds good and you must have it all.

I think I'm going to continue my trend of retiring a bit early with an episode of The West Wing and a book. I'm about halfway though Anno Dracula and President Bartlet just creamed Governor Ritchie in the presidential debate. If this show had corporeal form, I'd marry it.
katernater: (misc • (books))

200 years into the future, medical science has progressed to the point where dreams are no longer necessary for healthy human brain activity. Sleep cycles have been reduced to three or four hours a night, with no perceivable adverse effect. For the nostalgic, however, the escape of dreams is something that can be achieved -- for a price. The ultra-rich may purchase "dream furloughs" -- periods of intense REM sleep that may last between twenty-four hours and six months -- that give them an opportunity to act out their wildest, deepest fantasies and desires, all without fear of consequences. When they awaken, they return to their normal lives.

The Dreamers are looked after by Cogzants: members of the working class who, themselves, have no hope of ever dreaming. Dreams are big business and it is the responsibility of the Cogzants to safeguard the minds and bodies of their Dreamers while they slumber. For Elliot, a young Cogzant working in the heart of the metropolis, things are not so simple. He has fallen in love with his Dreamer and has found a way to share her dreams. As their subconscious relationship deepens, Elliot discovers that his actions may have far-reaching consequences beyond the world of the dream. In a desperate race to evade capture and save the woman he loves, Elliot will plunge into the heart of a nightmare that could change the very definition of human consciousness.

So, there it is. My novel idea. This is what I will be working on for the next few months, until the writing start date in November. I'm really excited about this. I've already started to assemble a cast list in my head (Cillian Murphy is an early frontrunner for the role of Elliot) and I'm having a great deal of fun looking into the history of dream research. The (tentative) title comes from the Zhuangzi, a Taoist work from the 8th century:

'Once Zhuangzi dreamt he was a butterfly, a butterfly flitting and fluttering around, happy with himself and doing as he pleased. He didn't know he was Zhuangzi. Suddenly he woke up and there he was, solid and unmistakable Zhuangzi. But he didn't know if he was Zhuangzi who had dreamt he was a butterfly, or a butterfly dreaming he was Zhuangzi. Between Zhuangzi and a butterfly there must be some distinction! This is called the Transformation of Things.'

Because if I'm not hitting you over the head with symbolism, I'm not doing my job as an author.

I'm not sure where I am going to post updates about my NaNo project. I would post them here, of course, but given LJ's track record lately I'm reluctant to start storing things and then have to deal with the fallout of losing them when the site crashes. I've got my bulletin board and in all likelihood I'll probably just throw everything onto a flash drive and make sure that I know where that flash drive is at all times.

Whew. It feels really good getting that synopsis up there. That might have been the hardest part of the process so far.


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December 2011

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