Well, in a week I will be all moved, and I will be able to go back to my old routine of looking for work in the morning, writing in the afternoon and evening. I look forward to that.
I am taking a bit of a break, and thought I would do a drive-by posting. I am still getting my life packed, so I am still not really here. This frustrates me greatly. I have found that when I want to work, other things, daily things, real life things that need to get done, totally annoy me. It isn't that I don't want my dishes to be washed or my stuff to be packed or whatever. It is the intrusion on my creative life that I resent. I would rather be writing, animating, what have you. I have a ton of ideas that need to get out now, and the longer I have to spend on the mundane neccessary part of life the less likely it is I will get to the ideas before they slip away from me. My mind can't stop working on that idea, even if I should be concentrating on whether or not I really need to have 15 shampoo bottles and whether I should keep that outfit I like but realistically probably won't fit into again for awhile so itwould be better to take to the donation bin. Instead I work on it on auto pilot, porbably packing and transporting way more crap than I need to, while I decide what I want the character arc to be in my stop mo script or sculpt a better wording for that story I am writing to submit for the Risk! podcast. Real life is an intrusion I must endure. I have started carrying around a pencil and 3x5 cards in my pocket, so when something occurs to me I can quickly jot it down, put it back in my pocket and complete the arduous task at hand. At night I have been looking over my notes. And I am realizing I need to be a little more complete with what I write. Once the idea has slipped into the ether, I may or may not be able to recapture a piece of it with "No one goes in there". Ideally I would be able to stop and just do. But that is not the way life works.
Well, in a week I will be all moved, and I will be able to go back to my old routine of looking for work in the morning, writing in the afternoon and evening. I look forward to that.
Ok. It hs been a while. And it will be a while again before I get a chance to really post. I am in the middle of a transition period right now. I haven't had a job for a few months now, so I have to move in with a friend utill I can find a new one. I am now out of money and things to sell for money. So for now I will have no internet connection, and I need to go through all my stuff, decide what can go and what has to stay, pack it all into stackable boxes, then move it all 26 miles away. All the while I will continue writing. I will continue working on what I can. However, my other creative pursuits will have to wait until after I am settled. This makes me sad. But it is an inevitable fact of life. I will update as I can. See you in a few days.
I have decided I do not like the Weebly app. I will continue to post from the regular computer. I think if all I had was my iPad I felt I HAD to post, then I would use it. It isn't very useable. I can't control the size of the pictures. I can't add tags. Maybe if they develop it further I will use it.
Not much else to post about. I have done some writing, but I haven't finished anything. I don't have internet access at home, which should be great for writing but terrible for helping find a job. Nothing makes you feel cut off from everything like losing your internet connection. I realize that people have been living without the internet for thousands of years before it's inception. As I have no money to go out and do stuff, the internet is kind of my connection to the outside world. Right now I am sitting at the library. There is a guy at the same table as me taking apart an acer netbook. The connection is so slow I can't download anything that I usually do. I can't watch my shows on Hulu like I generally do. Last night I coped by spending several hours playing a gladiator game on my iPad. It was pretty cathartic. Nothing like slashing, slicing and beating my way through several huge burly guys to get rid of some angst. Usually I use Unreal Tournament as my go-to catharsis. Last night, it was just fun to beat guys up.
Don't get me wrong. I am not a violent person in real life. I could hit someone hard enough to hurt them to save my life. I think that is one of the fallacies that people who are against video games try to perpetuate. Playing games on my computer, or iPad, does not make me want to beat up or shoot people in real life. If anything, it helps me to get rid of some of the frustration so that in real life I can deal with people. I have an outlet for it. An outlet that is safe and hurts no one. I think it is similar to the therapy trick of having someone hit an inanimate object with a baseball bat. I can get all the irrational feelings out of the way so I can deal with life in a more reasonable manner. which is good. Cause with the way things are going right now, I need to be as reasonable as I can get.
so I just downloaded the Weebly app for the iPad. This post is basically just to check it out and see how it works.
Here is a pic I took with he iPad.
Here is another one.
Not great but it may be operator error.
So much for getting writing done today. I took a break at noon to check on the status of my prize, the new iPad, even though yesterday the Fedex website said it wouldn't be here til Monday. You know how it is when you are excited to get a new toy. So I checked the tracking number, and for some reason it was put on the truck this morning, to be delivered before 4:30pm. I was at the place I am housesitting, which is across town from my house. I threw on my shoes and grabbed the next bus over there. Fortunately it didn't arrive before I got there. Both it and the case arrived today. So yes, I spent the afternoon playing with my new and frustrating toy. Wanna see it??
And the Piece de Resistance......
This makes me so happy. Happy and frustrated. It doesn't want to do anything I want it to do. For now I am going to mark that up to not knowing iPads very well. As I couldn't commit nor have the credit to get the cell model, it only has a wireless card. And as there is no wifi where I am right now, I can't transfer files from or to it. I have tried by bluetooth, but it keeps saying I don't have the services, and then does not explain which services they mean, and I can't find it anywhere on the intertubes. I took some pictures and video with the new iPad. Also would like to transfer my ebooks over. The camera, in spite of all the rave reviews I have read about it, took grainy pictures in indoor light and mushy fuzzy in outdoor light. I can't find any kind of controls for that. I am hoping that it is because I haven't learned how to use it properly yet. Or there is an app I can buy that will give me more control.
Either way, I have my toy. Tomorrow, we write. No ifs ands or buts.
Another day of writing. I am housesitting this weekend starting last night, so I thought this would be a great weekend to sequester myself with my computer and write. I have a lot of writing to do. However, now I am here I am having a hard time motivating myself to get started. It's not like I don't want to write. I love writing. As hard as it is, and even with how much I struggle with getting it just right, I love it. This whole frustrating, maddening, wonderful process I call stop motion is love worthy. I admit, no job I have ever had has made me as happy. Or as frustrated. And yet, in spite of the frustration, I still want to do it. I have not the feeling of "Fuck it!" and the urge to walk away, kicking everyone in face as I do so. The frustration does not make me mad. As much as I want to have an income, after experiencing this, I don't want to go back to crappy day-to-day stuff. I am still looking and will take what I can get, but I am realizing more and more that I need to get my butt in gear and figure out a way to make THIS my job. I need to find someone who can help me figure out what is crap and what is good, so I can improve faster.
I feel stupid just figuring out what I want to be when I grow up at age 37. I wish I had figured my life out sooner. Looking back on my life, I don't think I could have. I went from one abusive situation to another. I wasted my 20's on an abusive man who wasn't worth my time, and wasted most of my 30's getting away from the shit he lay on me. Only now am I realizing what I can do, and what makes me happy. Only now can I look at what I do and see the good as well as the bad. I guess I am getting to a point in my life where I really am getting too old for other people's shit, and their negativity no longer completely shuts me down. Granted, I have a long way to go before the fear monster sitting on my shoulder dies. He may never die completely. But it feels good to look back on something I made, even if there are flaws that need to be corrected, and be excited and happy with what I see. It feels good to make myself laugh. It makes me feel like running around yelling "Look what I did!" like a five year old.
Actually, I take that back. I am not just discovering now what I want to be when I grow up. I am only now rediscovering what I wanted to be from a young age. When I was in elementary school I used to write little stories all the time. I used to amuse my teachers with them. One of them even encouraged me to submit one of my stories to the district wide writer's conference. Somewhere there is a published volume of elementary school kid's stories from 1984, and one of mine is in there. I believe it was a story about a witch. I LOVED melodramas, and as an extension British pantos. One summer I wrote a melodrama, and I roped my siblings and my cousins into performing it for all the adults. I think I was 10 at the time. When I was a teenager I wrote books to take with me babysitting. I had what I called my babysitting bag. I found that although kids had books and toys and videos at their houses, usually they had played them all to death and didn't really want to do any of that stuff. So in my bag I put a bag of chocolate chips with which to make cookies, a jump rope, paper and colored pencils, dress up clothes and cheap McDonald's toys. And, of course books. My mom wouldn't let me take our books out of the house, so I wrote my own and my best friend illustrated them. We made several for my bag and several for hers. So what happened? Several things. There are circumstances I don't want to bore you with, but mainly the end result was me giving up on myself. I honestly thought that the best I could do was be someone's wife and raise kids. (The ironic thing is I still don't have any kids) That I was too stupid and incompetent to be creative. That my ideas were cliche and stupid. And it has just taken me this long to wade through all the bullshit and realize what I have known all along.....that I can do this, and whether or not I am good enough at it NOW for people to pay me for it, it makes me happy. "It" being stop motion animation, storytelling, writing, comedy....anything and everything that I have been working on the last year to keep myself sane.
Because in the end, all THAT, is what makes me happy and sane.
Well, look at that. I think I just knocked my motivation loose. See ya either when the weekend is over or when I hit another rough patch. Enjoy your weekend. :)
BIG SIGH. I think I have a good draft of my first episode. For the series I am going to do. I am kind of excited. This is fun. There is probably a lot that needs to be done to modify it, but I like it how it is. I would love to have people read it and give me feedback, but I am not ready to make it public for everyone. If you want to read it and give me your opinion, go to the contact form and send me a request. I will send you the private link to it and you can let me know how bad it stinks.
As is evidenced by my fragmented sentences and half formed ideas, my brain is fried. It has been fun, but a challenging fun. I know what I want to do for the second episode already, so tomorrow will be fleshing out episode 2. It would be nice if I could finish it tomorrow, but I don't see that happening. Sometimes it takes me longer than I like to get me into writing mode. I have to get past the "Oh my god what if it blows" wall that my brain throws up every time I try to write. I am hoping the more I do this the easier it will get to tear that wall down and start something. The fact that I got through it, whether it is trash or treasure, makes me so happy at this moment.
I don't have a lot to say today. I just don't want to go too long without putting in a post. It seems to be a habit with me to leave it for too long then say it has been too long. I have been working on writing scripts and fleshing out ideas. I made an attempt at taking a picture of the brickwork on the castle (see previous post) and replicating it over and over to cover the white spot in the middle of it. I failed, but I think that is mainly because I am not sure exactly how to do it. I will try again later when my frustration at myself has died down. Or it might just end up a cheesy grey piece of construction paper. We shall see when I get closer to needing it.
Last night I was laying in bed flipping through my list of eBooks, and came across The Meaning of Liff. If you haven't encountered this book before, it was written by Douglas Adams and it is a "dictionary" of terms. He made most of the words up, but he constructed the definitions for all of them. In my tired haze I thought "hmm....a book based on the word in this would be hilarious". In my end of day not-so-tired haze, I still think it is a good idea. I think it would be fun. I also need something at which to direct my writing practice. So I have decided I am going to try to write a book using all of the words from the Meaning of Liff. Of course, I would have to preface it by saying "USE THIS BOOK, NOT YOUR BRAIN TO TRANSLATE", as some of the words have real world definitions that are completely different than his. To tie it into my Rl-RPG, I am going to write 1000 words a day on it, and get XP points for it. I am barely at level 2 in most of my categories. I don't even want to make a new infographic, it is that pathetic. I am still working on it, just not as enthusiastically. I think I may need to change the nature of my game as well. I want to make stop motion more an integral part of the storyline. I have some definite goals now, so it will be easier. And I think I may cheat and start my character at level 6.
I have also decided to redesign how I set up my sets. Right now it is all based on an old cookie tin, which is deep enough to set the camera in the set, but too deep to use the tripod. The bonus so far has been that it brings the set up to a height that is less straining on my back. I can sit in my chair and not hunch, or stand a hunch a little. I am going to play around with cutting a hole in the backdrop to see if I can move it forward and back without making too many issues. I could slide the cookie tin further back through the set if I want it closer to the tripod. Or maybe I should redevise what I use for a floor. I haven't decided yet.
Any suggestions or comments about anything here are welcome.
Anyway, that's about all I have to say. Nothing profound. Nothing really interesting. Just daily life stuff. Just cause I am in a random mood, here is a pic from the Eddie Izzard Cake or Death video I did last year. Enjoy.
Behold my newest prop:
Well, more of a set piece than a prop. The guys I use are about the right size for it. I actually have had it for a while. It belongs to a cheesy game I got from a thrift store several years ago. The game is called Vampire Hunter. You go between day and night, hunting vampires. What you see on the board depends on what setting the castle is on. Red is night, blue is day. One of the ideas I am fleshing out involves a castle. I figured this would be a good foundation for an exterior castle set piece. What do you think? I could use the lights, or I could cover the white plastic thing. Which would be better? I think I could easily build a grey wall to match the brickwork in this tower. I even have some room on the top to use it for a set. Hmna hmna hmna.
Ok, this post is because I am stuck and I need to kick myself out of my stuck spot.
For some reason, whenever I write, the place I always get stuck is the names. I may put too much emphasis on the importance of names in fiction. However I feel that the right name tells the audience the right things about your character. I also have an affinity for names that are clever double meanings, tells you something specific but covertly about the character's personality, or has obscure ties to something in the storyline. It doesn't help that I am a fan of such authors like J.R.R. Tolkien and Neil Gaiman. Tolkien was a linguist, and used words and names accordingly. In American Gods, the king of character development Neil Gaiman uses names to help tell the story. He uses them to obscure the identities of the gods, and uses the ambiguous name Shadow for the main character to emphasize his ambiguous roots and the fact he is basically lost at sea after the death of his wife and release from prison. As he learns more about himself and his origins, we learn more about his name. In The Graveyard Book he uses names like Miss Lupescu for the Hound of God or werewolf. The ghouls, who have obviously lost who they were before they became ghouls, receive names that are obviously ridiculously not theirs.
So, those are all serious fiction. They are well written novels by talented writers. Why should I have such a hang up on names? It would be really easy to write the whole thing then add in names afterwards. For me, though, the names will help me A. keep track of the characters and B. keep each character's, um, character in mind so I don't have them doing things out of character. That annoys me the most about poorly written fiction. Once you establish your character, you had better give me a good reason why that character does something that is outside the already established parameters. Just having them do something because it pushes the story forward or because you have written yourself into a corner and need a magic story bandaid takes me right out of the willing suspension of disbelief. You may be writing about invisible aliens attacking talking animals in anti gravity boots, but what will make me call bullshit is an action or bit of dialog that doesn't fit. It is jarring. I equate it to that moment in the Wily E. Coyote cartoons after he has walked off the edge of the cliff. At the beginning he stays up in the air, because he hasn't realized that the ground is no longer underneath him. The moment he starts falling is the moment he realizes he should be falling.
Now if you give a good reason for this out of character action and/or dialog, that is something else. In the Hobbit, Bilbo does a ton of things that are way outside his established character. However we also see how he is struggling with it, and he doesn't do anything completely out of character from the beginning. He doesn't charge into the encampment of trolls brandishing his sword and shouting. He considers his precarious position with the dwarves, and how the uncharacteristic action of stealing the trolls pouch would aid in establishing his position with the dwarves. Both actions are out of character, but one illustrates his evolution into doing the out-of-character action.
But I digress. My point is that establishing the correct names from the beginning helps me to keep my characters in character. It helps to remind me of what I had in mind for them in the first place and not make that jarring mistake. Should I even care about this if I am just writing a silly little stop motion video? Am I being over conscientious?
What's in a name? Everything.
I think I have successfully kicked myself out of the stuck spot. Now that I have articulated my reasoning I can now just do instead of agonize. Thanks for the help.
Eleanor is an aspiring writer, stop motion animator, crafter, musician, and anything else shiney that might cross her path. She is a geek, nerd, and all around weird person.
If you feel like contributing to help me upgrade equipment or pay for building supplies, feel free to click this button. Anything you contribute is appreciated muchly.