Thursday, May 5, 2011

Musicians and Mathematicians

I decided the other day to have another couple of commissions done, because quite aside from the wonderful workshops of the other day, I respond particularly well to visual stimuli. And I've had Wills Penrose strutting around my head being difficult; it then struck me that Rachel's style would be suited to the image I was carrying of him. So, I poked Rachel for a picture of Wills, and while I was at it I decided that Natalia's lovely dreamy style would be brilliant for a picture of Tess and Lavinia. When I noted Natalia about this, she messaged me back and said that she'd forgotten the last time she'd done something for me that she owed me a sketch, so I took both and asked her to do a kind of matching set of Círa and Otho, like maybe you'd find in a locket? And what I got's absolutely, ridiculously, stunningly wonderful. I will have to share it at some point, but it's inspired a lovely little bit of Greywater that I want to write first.

...but that inspiration is a bit annoying in that I had commissioned these pictures of Wills, Tess and Lavinia because I really want to finish The Juniper Bones sometime over the next month, rather than go back to picking through the pieces that are beginning to make up the plot proper of Greywater. Argh, this is my major issue -- focus. And I am having some serious thoughts on this front. In fact, I'm in the process of ditching my last university paper, and focusing on my writing is one reason in the "pro" column. It's not the only one, and frankly it's not even the most major one; in the end it comes down to the fact that my job and my home life have conspired so far this year to drive me almost to point of a nervous breakdown, and I haven't done any Japanese study since about a week before I ran away to Australia for the second time in two months. I am now so behind I doubt I can catch up -- actually, no, that's a lie. I know I could. I love the Japanese language and I have a rather remarkable capacity for retaining vast amounts of knowledge for short periods. I also understand a lot more than I realise (I was dancing last night to a Moby song and my iPod, being what it is, gave way to a Code Geass cast Q&A that I was actually half-listening to without realising what I was doing before I flipped it to another track that happened to be in English). But the fact is...for all I procrastinate, I haven't the time to focus on things properly. And it's the focus that's needed to make all this worthwhile.

So, dropping this paper? Would give me time to finish these drafts, to work more on Greywater (because frankly I am shipping Círa and Otho like a mad mofo), and to edit Neverboy. This can't help but be a good thing...? And I'd like to play more with Wills. I miss him. He's actually from People In Looking-Glass Houses, but being Tess's father he's wandered into The Juniper Bones and seems to have no intention of leaving. Which is...fine, I suppose, because I was always very fond of him. I just had to cackle when I got the note back from Rachel: I LOL at the coincidence of how I get a commission for an Edwardian time traveller when I had a dream about two Edwardian time travellers a week ago. I had to respond to that with "Oh, so rather than 'THE ZOMBIES ARE COMING!' it's 'THE EDWARDIAN TIME-TRAVELLERS ARE COMING!'" which rather amused Wills-in-my-head. He's not the type to eat brains, after all. He's much better suited to a cup of tea and a sit-down. Possibly with a tesseract and a bit of discussion on the Uncertainty Principle on the side. Oh, and some Rachmanikov. Can't forget the Rachmanikov.

So, yes, I can but hope to get some work on The Juniper Bones done this weekend; certainly Morgan and Eliot are chomping at the bit, wanting to have a bit of closure to their story. In that respect, it's possibly not for the best that I've re-released the pair of them on the experimental blog Down With The Author! I suppose that teaches me, for ever thinking I've got any control over these things. Ha. The only problem with this weekend, mind, is that I have a Mission of Mercy planned to Cromwell on Saturday, involving Dora the Explorer cupcakes. And small children. Oh, god. And as I said above, those sketches...well, Círa and Otho are now my desktop background, and I just keep wanting to write more to explore their relationship and their histories and their present and their future and...

...well. I suppose it's all good, because if I am this desperate to write it...hopefully that means that one day? Someone will be desperate to read it. <3 In the meantime, though, I really ought to cast my mind back to Cambridge in the nineteen-twenties. Incidentally, I have a Companion Cube sitting beside me and I can't help but think that even though it's not a tesseract, Wills would be quite amused by the Cube. Those voices in one's head, they do make for an interesting worldview. ^_~


  1. Oh, a companion cube! Have you been distracted by Portal 2 yet? I have forbidden myself from playing it until the spring semester is over. Actually, it's funny you're writing about blowing off a paper in favor of novel-writing. I've definitely done that before (including all this semester, really), but now that I'm down to the last stretch I find I have to put aside the novel writing in order to complete this 20-page paper for class. Aaaand I'm a bit behind in it. Of course. I blame Blair.

    (At least it's better than having to blame Merryweather. Blair has good study habits and sometimes they inspire me. Speaking of which, do you ever find yourself doing that? Picking up little personality traits of your characters depending on whose story you happen to be writing?)

    So every time I see another title that you're working on that I'm not familiar with, I'm curious about it. What is Greywater?

  2. Although people have been trying to talk me into it, I have thus far resisted the allure of the promise of further cake. And grief counselling, as it were. I will get to it at some stage, I am sure, but I think I've distracted myself enough from the writing for the meantime. XD Maybe next month...?

    I really do need to get to reading the stuff you sent me from Blair -- and then send you some stuff myself! I've just been particularly messed up this last week, what with the sudden dilemma about quitting university study or not, but hopefully now I've made that decision I can concentrate on writing properly. That's what I really wanted this year, I think, so even though we're almost halfway's not too late!

    And yes, I definitely find that characters influence my behaviour sometimes. Certainly with characters like Círa and Morgan, their tendencies towards sarcasm and "dry wit" make me even more likely to parry words with other people. And Eliot and I have a weird relationship; I write his despair better when I am myself unhappy, but he's also apt to make me feel better sometimes. I think that's because underneath everything, he IS a happy person. It's just the weight of this baggage he's been hauling around for the last four or five hundred years. One heart is heavy enough; two is a bit much to ask of anyone.

    As for "Greywater," it came out of "The Neverboy;" Círa is a major supporting character in the second half of "Neverboy" and quite late in the novel Otho steps in to play his part; the two of them have considerable history, most of which flies right over Kit's head being that he's a thirteen year old boy. Círa and Otho also play a large role in the latter years of the lives of Arosek Asfiye and Ryennkar Vassidenel, a couple of "historical" figures (I say "historical" from Aleksandr's POV, as they lived about a hundred years before he was born) whose lives and deaths are quite important to the cycle of things. "Greywater" was always meant to be just a "short" novella I was writing just to make sense of Otho and Círa's interactions; it's since turned into a full-fledged novel. As these things do. -__-;; I can't deny it's fun, though; Círa reminds me a little of both Julia and Morgan, though she's certainly her own person, and Otho's...Otho. A bit of a world-weary Prince Charming, though he's be bemused if I called him that to his face. Or just downright amused, actually, depending on his mood. <3