The Sunday Circle: What Are You Working On This Week?

Sunday Circle Banner

The Sunday Circle is the weekly check-in where I ask the creative-types who follow this blog to weigh in about their goals, inspirations, and challenges for the coming week. The logic behind it can be found here. Want to be involved? It’s easy – just answer three questions in the comments or on your own blog (with a link in the comments here, so that everyone can find them).

After that, throw some thoughts around about other people’s projects, ask questions if you’re so inclined. Be supportive above all.

Then show up again next Sunday when the circle updates next, letting us know how you did on your weekly project and what you’ve got coming down the pipe in the coming week (if you’d like to part of the circle, without subscribing to the rest of the blog, you can sign-up for reminders via email here).

MY CHECK-IN

What am I working on this week?

My thesis prospectus was submitted on Friday, which means I get to shift gears and focus on creative work a little more for the latter half of the year. This week, that takes the form of a story that will either end up being a novella or novelette about an broker of occult artifacts and the trouble he runs into when his best friend cuts him out of a deal.

What’s inspiring me this week?

I read CS Pacat’s The Captive Prince in preparation for an In Conversation that’s happening a little later in the month, and it’s an intriguing book to look at in that context. A lot of the hype that surrounded it’s original release was all about trying to position it within the marketplace, and there were a *lot* of references to the series as an erotic Game of Thrones. That undersells the book quite considerably, and misses what’s really interesting about the series.  It’s doing a lot more with the traditions of romantic fantasy – quite intentionally, would be my guess –

What part of my project an I avoiding?

I need to critique a friend’s novel this week and it’s not currently accounted for in my to-do list, and I’ve got two weeks to do a bunch of reading and notes for the next phase of the thesis (aka writing the chapter that I’m actually doing the thesis to write).

The Sunday Circle: What Are You Working On This Week?

Sunday Circle Banner

The Sunday Circle is the weekly check-in where I ask the creative-types who follow this blog to weigh in about their goals, inspirations, and challenges for the coming week. The logic behind it can be found here. Want to be involved? It’s easy – just answer three questions in the comments or on your own blog (with a link in the comments here, so that everyone can find them).

After that, throw some thoughts around about other people’s projects, ask questions if you’re so inclined. Be supportive above all.

Then show up again next Sunday when the circle updates next, letting us know how you did on your weekly project and what you’ve got coming down the pipe in the coming week (if you’d like to part of the circle, without subscribing to the rest of the blog, you can sign-up for reminders via email here).

MY CHECK-IN

What am I working on this week?

Working on the same short story as last week, and finishig off uni assessment for the semester.

What’s inspiring me this week?

No Middle Name, the collection of Lee Child’s Jack Reacher stories and novellas. It’s been a useful collection to look at in light of the PhD topic, and Reaxgee’s status as an iconic rather than a dramatic character.

What part of my project am I avoiding?

Still getting in the get swing of working during regular work hours, rather than being free to work at all hours.

The Sunday Circle: What Are You Working On This Week?

Sunday Circle Banner

The Sunday Circle is the weekly check-in where I ask the creative-types who follow this blog to weigh in about their goals, inspirations, and challenges for the coming week. The logic behind it can be found here. Want to be involved? It’s easy – just answer three questions in the comments or on your own blog (with a link in the comments here, so that everyone can find them).

After that, throw some thoughts around about other people’s projects, ask questions if you’re so inclined. Be supportive above all.

Then show up again next Sunday when the circle updates next, letting us know how you did on your weekly project and what you’ve got coming down the pipe in the coming week (if you’d like to part of the circle, without subscribing to the rest of the blog, you can sign-up for reminders via email here).

MY CHECK-IN

What am I working on this week?

Still working on short fiction this week, and my goal is to finish a story about coffee carts, families,and the end of the world that I’m trying to get done by the end of the month.

What’s inspiring me this week?

Glen Weldon’s The Caped Crusade: Batman and the Rise of Nerd Culture, which started out as a thing I planned on reading for fun and quickly revealed a metaphor that’s going to be incredibly useful for explaining a part of my thesis. The book itself is an interesting mix – frequently smart and funny, but occasionally marked a tendency to separate “nerds” from “normals”in a way that frequently feels uncomfortable.

What part of my project an I avoiding?

I’ve been slowly building up the writing muscles after a slack period, but I’ve been reluctant to move back to a daily quota system where I active track time or word count to measure progress. It’s probably time to start looking at the twenty-hour writing week as a default thing again, working regular hours and filling in time-sheets. It’s worked pretty well for me in the past, particularly when I need to maintain focus, but I keep avoiding taking that step at the moment.

The Flaw of “Not That”

I’m halfway through Glen Weldon’s The Caped Crusader, a book that traces the evolution of Batman and the rise of geek culture. It is, at alternating intervals, fascinating and smart and very, very funny, but it also loops back to a series of conceits and bits that irritate the fuck out of me.

Mostly, it comes down to one word: normals. It gets used quite often throughout the text, the distinguishing term that others non-fans in a meaningful way, and it gets used because it’s a thread that runs through fandom in so many ways. It is, at least, nowhere near as bad as the mundanes, but it matters so little to my tooth-grinding dislike of that artificial segregation that it barely helps.

It is incredibly easy to define an identity and a subculture based on your dislike of what you’re against. Pointing and saying NOT THAT is considerably clearer than saying, TOTALLY THIS (and yes, I’m totally aware that I’m totally falling back on Not That right now; I’m embracing the stupidity of this).

But Not That eliminates the possibility of nuance. It eliminates the possibility of having an AND. I am this AND this. I am for many many things.

And the reasons behind Not That invariably, rapidly become uninteresting to me. I am much more interested in listening to people talk about the things they love, and why they love it, than I am hearing about the things they dislike intensely.

The Narrative Demands It

I’m on the highway, heading south, on a particular June winter morning. I’m doing hundred and the sun is shining and the road is almost empty. Just a few cars, far ahead, well past my turn-off, which means I get some space to myself in a world no longer fond of space.

I’ve had the stereo playing ever since I left home, and I find myself listening to the Stranglers Golden Brown for the first time in years. It occurs to me that I love this song. I’ve got things turned up a little louder than usual, and I turn it up a little more, and the music fills my head and obliterates everything else. I’ve got the car and the road and the ¾ rhythms of the keyboard and the harpsicord, Hugh Cornwell singing about the texture and sun and finer temptresses, that slow rise-and-fall of the music wrapping itself around my day like the last touch of a dream.

I feel good. I’m in the moment. I’m not thinking about the things I’ve done wrong, or the things I’d like to do right. I’m just driving a car and singing off-key and god, it’s so bright out there. The road is so empty. It’s perfect, in a way, for the length of a verse; the kind of scene that appears in movies, right before a character has a heart attack, or gets attacked by zombies, or finds themselves blindsided by a truck. Happiness as a portent of doom, because happiness does not last unless it occurs at the climax and becomes part of the denouement.

It occurs to me, any moment now, I need to die quite horribly. The narrative demands it.

The Sunday Circle: What Are You Working On This Week?

Sunday Circle Banner

The Sunday Circle is the weekly check-in where I ask the creative-types who follow this blog to weigh in about their goals, inspirations, and challenges for the coming week. The logic behind it can be found here. Want to be involved? It’s easy – just answer three questions in the comments or on your own blog (with a link in the comments here, so that everyone can find them).

After that, throw some thoughts around about other people’s projects, ask questions if you’re so inclined. Be supportive above all.

Then show up again next Sunday when the circle updates next, letting us know how you did on your weekly project and what you’ve got coming down the pipe in the coming week (if you’d like to part of the circle, without subscribing to the rest of the blog, you can sign-up for reminders via email here).

MY CHECK-IN

What am I working on this week?

I’ve got a few minor tasks to do for the thesis prospectus, but my attention gets to drift back to fiction this week. Current plan is to put together a short story draft together.

What’s inspiring me this week?

I’ve read a lot of Joan Didion’s essays over the years, but somehow I’ve managed to miss The White Album until now. This is incredibly unfortunate, since it’s fantastic essay and I immediately wanted to a) go and write things after reading it, and b) annoy everyone I know by posting quotes to Facebook and Instagram.

What part of my project an I avoiding?

I’ve stopped paying attention to refilling the well over the last few weeks, with a lot of my reading being either thesis-focused or me falling back on well-worn comfort reads.Necessary for recharging, but not great at actually pushing me into work, so I’m pulling together a small pile of books and starting to track my research-reading again.