* * *

Nov. 11th, 2014 12:14 am
taelle: (diary)
 I need to go and edit a fic of mine. Edit as in "shorten the beginning which is too long and meandering", not as in "check for typos and inconsistencies". ... I am stalling. 
taelle: (persuasion)
When I am writing something, it almost always feels like I am squeezing words out of myself. The story is in my mind, but it can't just flow out, it needs to be squeezed through and dragged out - and I won't relax until it is done, too, because it's there, pressing on me, pushing to get out.

I'd like to find out one day what is it that the words need to squeeze through, what kind of a dam this is.

* * *

Sep. 1st, 2014 02:47 am
taelle: (rain)
*poking at AO3*

My five most kudos-ed fics are
- the Miss Pym one
- the Derkholm one
- the Juuni Kokki one
- the Scarlet Pimpernel one
- and the recent Hilary Tamar one

While if you go by number of hits the Juuni Kokki one is in the lead.
Then Miss Pym one, then the translation of my friend's Bujold fic, the Derkholm fic and, surprisingly, a very old Silmarillion fic.

* * *

Dec. 14th, 2011 11:44 pm
taelle: (diary)
On the one hand, I do want what I'm writing to be read by someone - I keep feeling the story doesn't quite exist without being read.

On the other hand, right now I don't feel I can bear the weight of other people's interpretations.

... so I keep hiding. I wonder when I grow back a writer's skin.

* * *

Nov. 20th, 2011 07:40 am
taelle: (rain)
I am trying to learn to take intervals between work - the non-computer intervals. Not so good for now - some cross-stitching, half an episode of Sasameki Koto, and then I turned to websurfing again. But it's a start. I think.

I also went and joined Yuletide; I spent a lot of time choosing offers that I am not just able to write, but would find it fun to write. And yet... I am feeling strange. I've been writing and posting fic for more than ten years now, I did all the Yuletides and many other ficathons. So why am I suddenly all like "but my fic will be boring and unworthy and I should not even try"? This is, I think, related to my bouts of misanthropy, but still not totally clear. However, it does not stop me from writing and planning stuff, merely from being social about it.

Speaking of planning and writing stuff, I made too long a pause in writing. Need to get back to it - but not today, I think. Too tired, and it's too late already.
taelle: (sad)
I hate everybody - especially myself - and feel like a stupid failure. Nothing special, just a bunch of little things (and a headache).

Got an answer to my CV which I don't know how to answer. I mean, really, if your ad is for freelance translators working from home, preferably not from Moscow, why are you writing to people who sent you a CV "We have a vacancy, please come to an interview"? And why would you need to interview a translator anyway? I'm not after an office job, you just have to test my skills. Also, no e-mail, only a phone number - and their company site says it's being rebuilt and has no contact details. And I hate talking business by phone, I don't have the best hearing. And it's all kind of fishy. Maybe I'll just ignore it.

Spent half of the day putting away summer clothes and taking out the winter ones. Or, actually, looking at winter clothes and deciding I am really not up to wearing those and would really like a couple of new sweaters. So I have almost nowhere to put summer clothes. ... I really, really need a skill of throwing out unneeded things. I tried to be good and found three things I am ready to give away/throw out. This is a lot for me. I think I am going to stop at this and pull out some more things next week so as not to stress out. And how stupid it is to be stressed by such things?

Maybe I should go add some stuff to the story I am writing. It does have people who could do with the mood I'm in. Except that today people are starting NaNoWriMo, and I also feel a failure because I am not up for this, and possibly won't ever be up to finish a long story, my stupid fear of writing and all. I keep thinking that I just need to get myself together and do things, only it doesn't quite happen. *ponders the possibility of a character growling and hitting her head against the wall instead of having a talk she needs to have*

... this entry probably has mangled English, too.

* * *

Oct. 20th, 2011 03:23 am
taelle: (city)
Why wasn't I provident enough to go and start learning Japanese five years ago? Silly me.

... that was me watching a Takarazuka show together with a very nice person who translated the dialogues to me. Weird feeling, this being able to understand what's going on (and not to guess from gestures and facial expressions. Which, in Takarazuka, are expressive but not _that_ expressive).

In other news, still no writing is happening. The resolution of writing every day is rather hard to follow when you don't feel like writing drabbles and the planning for all the longer stuff is stuck.

And it's getting colder: no sun today, and fairly sharp wind (they say there was first snow in the morning, but I missed it). I still like it: the architecture around where I live is the late 19th-early 20th modern and eclectic commercial housing, with lots of brick industrial buildings, and it's mostly all warm colours (especially the dark red brick - I do love it so). So when the weather is not sunny and everything is greyish, the houses look soft and warm to me, in all their unpreposessing shabbiness.

(My autumn/winter jacket is dark grey - but so wonderfully light! - but I do have a bright scarf. Maybe I will make another: I am so colour-dependent)

* * *

Oct. 14th, 2011 03:37 am
taelle: (books)
I am still not writing, but thinking rather a lot about writing. But I feel kind of guilty for not actually writing. I know perfectly well that I have this conviction trained into me, that time spent on planning/organizing things is time wasted, time you spent doing _nothing_ - and this ties in together rather well with my love for producing things that can be seen and touched (this is one of the reasons I like handcrafts and also, perhaps, a reason why I like writing by hand in notebooks: feels more real that way).

But you can't write a long story without planning. Or, at least, _I_ can't. I was told more than once that I should just sit down and start writing, and if I have a story to tell, it will work. It never does, until after ten or twenty or some more pages I pause and think about what's going to happen and make a list of scenes. Maybe I don't have a story to tell. (I thought about stopping trying to write, if it's always so complicated and I don't have much to tell - but I feel very much less happy when I don't write).

In other news, I bought the first issue of the new DeAgostini collection magazine - a dollhouse one. It had a set of dolls' dishes. Rather crudely made, but now my teddy bears' table is not empty (and dishes are one thing I can't quite figure how to make. The other is shoes.).

* * *

Oct. 9th, 2011 05:07 am
taelle: (sad)
Today my body seems to have decided that I'm having a holiday, and that's it: I got up and worked for less than an hour, and then I climbed back into bed and couldn't get out of it until maybe 4 PM.

After which my evening plans, earlier discarded because of some people being unavailable, suddenly reinstated themselves, and I went to visit some friends, mostly for Takarazuka-themed chatting and much watching of photobooks and oohing and aahing. Well, at least from my side: I firmly approach this fandom from the position of "there are no actresses I dislike, there are just actresses I don't really know". It's more fun for me that way; unfortunately that also makes me a bit tired after a contact with someone who doesn't share this approach.

That is not to say that I didn't have a nice evening; I did. (also, I finally got some DVDs that took their time in coming to me) I am just having a... seasonal increase in introvertedness? Or something. A prolonged contact with the majority of human population leaves me rather tired. Trouble is, I grew into a habit of needing that contact; ten years ago I was rather happy as a fandom lurker, with my books, my music, my fics, etc. I don't think I could return to this - looks like I grew rather too socialized, and it troubles me. I don't like to be dependent on people.

And I did write today, after missing a day. Go me! I'm not sure it will go somewhere, as it's an exploration of the motivations of a character in a long story I'm not even sure I'm writing (and which has no plot, only a group of characters and some basic events they were involved in).

No Tolstoy today, but some of the George Eliot bio. Two things strike me in what I read today (finishing the chapter on Adam Bede): the way people reacted emotionally to a novel - waiting for it excitedly, being unable to leave it, writing letters to the author... rather fannish reaction in a way. And another fandom-related thing - the way George Eliot was sensitive to criticism. It feels like a page out of a discussion on fandom criticism - "you were so harsh to so-and-so's fic, she's thinking about never writing again".

It's raining outside; I'm sorry it's a bit too cold to sleep with an open window - I like the sound of rain.

* * *

Oct. 8th, 2011 02:56 am
taelle: (Default)
Will this job ever end? ... at the speed I am working now, it probably won't. I'm not sure whether I'm writing today, though I have another silly drabble idea.

BTW, Yuletide time soon. Maybe it'll be saner not to participate. It'd be sad - I participated in each one since the first one, and I do love me some personal tradition, but. I don't even know what I want (except for Takarazuka, and no one's writing that). Oh hell, maybe I should offer War and Peace, if I finish it by then... Do _I_ want a War and Peace fic? I think I want a Fforde crossover, and the things people do write for Russian classics for Yuletide tend to be slash.  No, seriously, I googled War and Peace fanfics and found some slash. Which is awesome - I love other people's squee and I love that someone's excited enough to write fic for that - but that particular pairing leaves me cold.

I am so confused. And tired.

* * *

Oct. 7th, 2011 04:53 am
taelle: (Default)
I think I am all out of one-shot drabble ideas. Time to plan - it feels like something longer than a page needs planning. Also it feels like I forgot how to plan stories. At all. Too tired from work, I guess - and work goes too slowly because I am tired.

In an attempt to feel productive I decided to start on the shawl I long ago bookmarked for knitting. Or, well, tried to. Perhaps I am not sensible in trying this -  I am not a good knitter, and I never knitted anything by pattern before. Especially an English-language pattern. Though the problem here is not with translation as such - it's just that I suspect I was taught the basic knit and purl in a manner which is not quite the accepted one, so videos and too detailed pictures give me headaches and I can't really connect them with what I'm doing. Describing the idea of what I have to do works much better.

Anyway, I redid the very beginning two times but the sixth row still doesn't work. I figured out the idea of SSK even if I'm not yet sure I adapted it correctly, but I can't even find a description of a double YO, and what I'm doing clearly isn't working. ... I'm still doing that shawl, so there. Though I might provide all the dolls with scarves on the side just for the sake of completing something.

With Tolstoy, I am at the war already. I just remembered that we're not actually supposed to like Andrei. I think. I mean, Tolstoy tells us straight ahead that he's only nice and approachable to people who think him special and expect great things from him etc. ... I found the Bolkonsky family life rather interesting, btw - so Andrei loves his sister and his father. How nice. Me, I don't like his sister - her saintliness feels a bit too much, and I feel like she's as haughty as her father and her brother, in her own way.

... and it's funny to compare the 'war' bits to Heyer's Infamous Army - the hero was an aide-de-camp too, after all. Though less special than Andrei.

I think I started noticing how Tolstoy is doing what he's doing - seems like defamiliarization is his favourite trick: describing something with no kind of shorthand, like he - and us with him - sees an action  (he's mostly using it for actions and facial expressions, I think) for the first time ever. Possibly for the first time in history. It works - I think that's why everyone and everything is so alive, like we're really seeing everything; but at the same time I feel like it leads to a kind of estrangement, at least for me - we look at those people with such lack of familiarity that they keep being a bit alien, and there's little chance to feel sympathy with their everyday lives.

(I do read my other books too, but slowly. George Eliot's still writing Adam Bede, so I have ways to go with her bio).
taelle: (sad)
I feel too tired to do a proper workload, and this troubles me greatly. Perhaps I should go back to taking vitamins - I can never quite believe in their effectiveness, but I must do _something_. ... but I did manage the minimum work I had to do today. Oh well.

I have this habit of making work pauses to read Internet discussions, since they're much less engrossing than any other type of break I might take (the downside is, of course, that I don't rest properly - I'm still at the computer).Today (and yesterday) I was entertaining myself with people arguing whether it was ethical and/or legal to do print-on-demand editions of fanfics. I can't quite imagine why it would be less legal than posting fanfiction online, since the fanficcer still gets no profit, but apparently a lot of people feel that an actual book done by an actual publisher makes all the difference (I suppose they feel the fanficcer in this case puts herself on an equal footing with the author of canon. Or something). Oh well, you learn something every day.

Had to mail some documents, so I walked to the 20-minutes-from-us post office, instead of the one on our street - like I started doing recently. I still marvel at how two post offices can be so different. No queues, a nice walk and  postal employees who do not feel sending mail or packages a panic-inducing task - so very refreshing. Though our post office was also surprisingly nice today - for some reason they delivered a package to our apartment instead of bringing a notice for me to go get it. I can't figure out their rules. ... also, the walk to the farther p.o. is through one of my favourite places in the city, especially now, with golden autumn practically at its best. I do love it here.

I continue reading Tolstoy for secondary characters, but I can't help wondering about Pierre. He's so childish... I had an argument with my mother today, about how peculiarly he was brought up, neither as a man of society nor as someone who'd have to work for a living. If his father planned to legitimize him and presumably have him as a heir, why did he leave Pierre so poorly socialized?

... also I suddenly thought that in a way Sonya is Fanny Price, only without a lucky ending - refusing the suitor she did not want and not getting neither the one she wanted nor any respect.


Also, I felt too tired to write but I know myself and I went and wrote a tiny sketch of a Preposterous AU Crossover (another one) - however, this one requires planning before writing anything sensible. Am I up to planning? There's a lot of writing stuff that I should be planning, from this AU to my LBB fic, but I am terribly bad at this. Oh well, guess I'll have to learn.
taelle: (tea)
I am inattentive: I did finish the first chapter of War and Peace, and many others - I just confused first chapter with first part, which I have yet to finish. And as at 16 or wherever I last read it, I still feel sorry for Vera. Oh yes, I do identify with her a bit, but still. An older daughter in a large family - probably the oldest child, as far as I can see - and an obviously unloved one, a younger - four years younger - sister preferred. It looks to me as if Vera seeks to be approved, noticed and praised for a thing she's temperamentally suited to - for being responsible, correct and polite. Which, of course, doesn't work. And she's a bit nasty to Sonya, of course, but also correct - the nice and kind Rostov family _would_ put an end to Sonya's love for Nikolai; Vera's just the only one who says so at once. (I feel sorry for Sonya too - I have this strange urge to either marry her to Denisov or to make her a Jurisfiction agent)

This, of course, is what I identify with - being a calm and reserved and quiet person with not much of a... social intuition in a family of charming and expansive and temperamental people. Also, it looks to me like Tolstoy does not trust calm and polite people. And keeps comparing women to animals. He's a great writer, but not a very pleasant person.

In other news, got back to getting massages, which I stopped when I fell ill. That was nice, though my back feels sort of surprised.  Tried to catch up with work in view of approaching deadline. Since I am not yet up to speed with work, I can't properly make plans for the weekend, which annoys me. I guess I'd better think that I'll be working till Monday - this way the only surprises I'm getting will be pleasant ones.

Wrote again, another silly drabble - crossover and possibly AU and most certainly not for posting, but yay me for writing three days straight and for not being afraid to write silly random ideas.

* * *

Oct. 4th, 2011 03:28 am
taelle: (reading)
Both circumstances and someone's blogpost kept me thinking today about what do you do if someone dear to you has problems. How can you help, if you're not at the same city at the moment, for example. If you can't give practical help and they are not in the mood to be distracted/entertained with random fun/pretty things. If you can only sort of give vague 'I'm here for you' signs. Because, am I here? What am I here for? Very likely those questions don't have answers, but I still feel like a failure.

Among other things, it's related to my eternal worry that there are correct emotional reactions and I don't know them. I know where this is coming from - I am temperamentally very different from the rest of my family, - but when you remember from the age of five that good girls don't react to presents like that (saying "oh, that's cool, thanks" instead of jumping with joy and hugging the giver like you're supposed to), don't greet family members like that, etc., it's rather difficult to keep remembering that there's no One True Way. I mean, what if there _is_ one?

In less introspective/cheerier news, I went to the library today, a month late. In the end I only took out one new book and renewed one book I already had - because the foreign language department had a book sale. And they're going to have more sales because they're clearing up space and clearly I have to go there more often because books! Cheap and unexpected books! I was good and only bought seven books, from P.D.James to Richard Hakluyt, and still I have aching shoulders from carrying all this home. I like biographies, and biographies are heavy... And I need to reorganize my bookshelves. And I don't know when I'm going to read all this. But: BOOKSES!

And I am still at the first chapter of War and Peace, thinking mostly about how I don't like Andrei. And feel sorry for his wife. And for Pierre, somehow.

Also, wrote a ficlet today. Liked it more than the stuff I wrote yesterday. But I circled around my notebook for maybe an hour, spamming Tumblr instead. Oh well, I can do it. I can get through the fear of writing if I keep writing. I know this.

Artsy me

Oct. 3rd, 2011 03:41 am
taelle: (tea)
Today I have been listening to music.

I don't do it that often, actually. I did listen to music a lot as a teenager. And in my twenties I even slept with my radio turned on, music 24 hours a day except for news (I started doing less of it once I started dreaming of Bill Clinton et al. Nowadays I most often listen to music as I walk, and that's mostly 'walking' music, one with a pleasing rhythm. Well, and there's also musicals, but I sort of treat them separately, more as theatre perhaps.

Nevertheless, I've been listening to Brian Crain - I saw a video on YouTube and thought I had to have more of that. Nothing special, perhaps - new-agey piano music, but he has an album called A Change of Seasons and apparently it was just what I needed at this time of the year and life.


Also, I went back to listening to Patrick Allitt's lectures on Victorian Britain, and today I listened to the ones about arts and science (I spent a lot of time in public transport today). And I kept thinking how fandom-type people tend to like pre-raphaelites a lot - and I don't. Then I thought that I don't really know them well enough to dislike them (there was a quote by, I keep thinking, C.S. Lewis that I can't find any more, which went something like 'You can (say you) like classics without knowing much about them, but if you say you dislike them, you need to have good arguments for that'). And I don't really dislike them - I just... am not particularly fond of them. At this stage I like other things more - like really-realistic scenes capturing moments of life. I started liking portraits a lot - I didn't use to like them... Ah, uneducated me. The more I read (or listen to), the more I realize how much I don't know.

About my plan for writing in October - I did write today! About 300 words at best, I think (I was writing by hand), and it's a perfectly useless ficlet, but I need practice, and I need to fall back into the habit of writing. So - go me (and the tag to remind myself of it. I think I need some more/other writing tags, but I'll have to think about it some more).

* * *

Sep. 18th, 2011 02:21 am
taelle: (Default)
No Vyborg for me - two hours' outing which included a restaurant and one shop made me really, really tired. And now I feel kind of guilty.

Last night and today I've been reading this thing about GayYA, and then the thing about the Wicked Pretty Things anthology and then the thing about Lambda awards (which made me uncomfortable and sort of ashamed, since I started out in slash fanfiction, but also sort of bewildered because, well, how do you take into account people's sexual orientation while choosing applicants for an award? Going by what they declare about themselves? Perhaps I should google some more about that)


And the longer time I spend not writing, the harder it is to get back to writing again. I must stop being so tired. I think it took me more than half an hour to untangle a paragraph and translate it.

* * *

Sep. 10th, 2011 12:47 am
taelle: (Default)
Last night/this morning it became apparent that I have a cold. So I spent most of the day in bed, hating everything and everyone starting with myself. Cold seems to me to be a particularly stupid illness; that is, I keep thinking it's not enough excuse to stay in bed and feel sorry for myself. I mean, I don't even get fevers (a medical friend of mine says this is not so good, actually).

Trying to recall things of a pleasanter nature... yesterday I got a card from a Takarazuka actress I like. Most of it, however, was in Japanese - I guess foreign fans finally exhausted her English. So today I had to go look for someone to translate it. Which led to discussion with some people about the reasons I write to Japanese actresses (discussion, mind you, not with the translator of the card, who is a fellow Takarazuka fan). However, I think all such questions must have multiple answers (if you do not go for the 'I like it' option). I still tried to put together my reasons, at least for myself. I do like such things - I remember trying for several years to put together a good explanation of why I like slash (I stopped trying when slash stopped to be something to take into consideration).

So, postcards? I mean, first of all, I really like postcards; I collect them, I do postcrossing, I keep looking for pretty ones. So, it's very natural and easy to go send a postcard. Then, I like saying thanks. I do not always leave comments on fanfics I read, true, but I try to comment where there are few other comments; also, Takarazuka is much more of an emotional experience, so I feel more need to express and give back these emotions. Then again, popularity seems to be a factor in the career of a Takarazuka actress, at least with the younger ones, so I hope another card is always a bonus. And also, I like participating in all fan activities that I can. ... now, why have I written all of this here? If I discount the 'I felt like it' factor? Oh, bother, I feel too ill for another round of self-analysis; I'd better go finish watching a show if I'm not falling asleep just yet.

Also, I am reading this book; (in its Russian translation); seems to be very interesting. I do not know enough about the subject to see how accurate this all is, but it ties in with what I know and takes it a bit further, which is the best kind of non-fiction books for me. And yes, I love books about material culture/the way people lived, very much so. I think in a way it's the writer in me; I have a very... sensory imagination, when I write something I need to see before my eyes just how it was, what kind of things surrounded the characters, etc. That's why I very much doubt I'd ever write things with historical settings - I feel like I'd never know enough. ... and still I read.

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