Sunday, May 22, 2011
"...they make me dream (scream) their dreams (screams)..."
So, I spent the night away from home last night -- I drove a couple of hours up the road, trawled Queenstown for various tasty treats, and then had a two and a half hour spa treatment at the Millbrook. I then had a very delicious dinner at the Millhouse and spent the evening curled in a huge blanket before a faux fire watching children's movies.
...and within about two seconds of getting home, I was completely depressed all ove again. Joy. What does this have to do with writing, I hear you cry? Well, it's more to do with living your life in a way that gives you purpose and pleasure, I suppose, because right now? I'm not doing that at all. I loathe my job, and it's not even so much the work environment itself. It's just that I got this damn degree because it was the "safe and secure" thing to do. I was guaranteed a job, and therefore I was guaranteed an income. So, in theory, everything should come up roses? Only...it doesn't work that way.
Of course I don't believe I can just walk away from my life as is and spend it writing, all the while functioning under the delusion that just because I want it so badly, that this will lead to me making enough money from writing to live on. Because it won't happen that way. But I was sitting on the back porch of my little resort cottage-thing, overlooking the golf course and the mountains beyond with the second part of The Neverboy in front of me, and...I don't know. I was happy. I'm rarely happy. I mean, it could have been the spa treatment, or just the act of sleeping in a hotel room -- I love sleeping in hotel rooms -- but...yeah. Nothing changed, which is why I was so unhappy when I got back home, so...I need to change some things. Obviously.
Still, I have to admit that in retrospect, if someone in a fancy restaurant asks you if you're a food critic? YOU...SAY...YES! Ha. Because I was on my own, I took into the Millhouse a big slab of paper that was Neverboy, and I spent happy minutes between courses reading over writing I haven't seen in quite a few months. It scared the crap out of the people serving me, though -- two of them approached me with quiet awe to whisper the dreaded words are you a critic? I mustn't be as evil as I thought, because I instantly replied: "No, I'm just working, you're safe!" I could have got a free drink out of this, dammit. I mean, if I'm going to be a starving artist, I should start thinking of these things, yeah? ...but with that said, being a starving artist could be a good thing, as I've given myself an eating disorder and one of its manifestations is uncontrollable eating. Yet I totally didn't want to overeat this weekend. The only time it kicked in was when I left to come home. Argh.
But yes, re-reading Neverboy is proving a surprising pleasure, and it is probably helped by the fact that both movies I watched last night were kid's flicks. One was Up, which I've never seen before, and the other was Night At The Museum 2, which I have seen before, except it was on a flight between Osaka and Singapore and I probably missed large chunks of dialogue. I also spent a good deal of the movie goggling at Amy Adams and those tight, tight aviator pants. Er. Although my favourite bit of the whole movie is actually the ending, where Ahkmenrah gets all excited about the tablet until the kids totally shoot him down. He then tells them with the best expression on his face: "Actually, it doesn't do anything, it's just for decoration." I adore sarcasm, yes. I was introduced to Edmund Blackadder on Christmas Eve at the age of nine, I can't help it.
Still, watching that movie reminded me of one plot device I have hated for a very long time -- I'm not sure what tvtropes.org would call it (I'm scared to go look, I don't have hours of life to lose tonight), but I'd call it The Surrogate. It's that thing where the original character you've spent the movie/book/television series with is replaced by a clone of some description, and everyone accepts it as given that they'll be just the same. This can work -- the Doctor is a roundabout example, but maybe that's more a case of The Other Darrin at play, and besides, it accounts for what bothers me. The Doctor retains his memories across regenerations. Often, these clones? Don't. It's like a reset button, and considering I think people are entirely the sum of their memories -- and this is why the thought of Alzheimer's scares me stupid -- to have a character "reset" in this way...bothers the fuck out of me.
I also had some issues with Up, even though I enjoyed it. I just...couldn't always suspend my disbelief willingly. Which is perhaps ironic anyway, considering the movie is about a house that flies to South America beneath a bunch of helium balloons, but whatever. It hit every button on an emotional level, which made up somewhat for what I felt was a story filled with little holes. It leaked, you see, and kind of deflated by the end. But then again, it made me bawl twenty minutes in, and that's some powerful stuff. Also: ED ASNER. So much LOVE for that man. Which reminds me, I had a little flip-out when watching the first episode of Doctor Who's latest series earlier today, simply because Old!Canton was William Morgan Sheppard, and then Young!Canton was totally MARK Sheppard, and...that's just awesome. And off-topic. But still awesome. Father and son and both rock the casbah! <3
But yes. I didn't write all that much, but I read. And was amazed while I read, because not only had I forgotten a lot of this, but...I was reading stuff back and thinking: "Wow, I wrote this? That's unpossible!" And I had this feeling because it felt so good. Can't be a bad thing, yeah? I mean, considering my inner editor sounds one hell of a lot like Malcolm Tucker, you can imagine I'm not prone to singing my own praises. But I am completely in love with Alara Feronza, who is what we children of the internet refer to as a BAMF, and...yeah. I don't know. I really should edit this properly and consider sending it for editing/publication/something.
In the meantime, life, it does go on. I really just have to reconsider the path mine is on.