Anxiety. Where do I start talking about anxiety? I suppose, in this case, I should start by talking about the anxiety that started all this. Or, rather, I should start by mentioning the reason my anxiety started all this, which sounds terribly dramatic and really, really isn’t. It’s just that a little while ago Rhian, a good friend and fellow writer, wrote a post about the rules of writing and what makes people a writer. Rhian’s post uses a set of rules that a lot more sensible, flexible and inclusive than the ones I normally see touted about. (Which, honestly, are often ablist.) Anyway, one of Rhian’s points is that taking care of yourself and safeguarding yourself is important. I wanted to elaborate on how that point manifests itself in my own life. It’s nothing that Rhian hasn’t already said, I think, except longer and more me-personal.
It’s time for the round-up of the The Last Unicorn Read-Along! It’s been a little longer in coming than I’d anticipated and I deeply apologise for that. Life has a way of, well, getting in the way. But the round-up is here now! We didn’t have a large amount of participation, I’m afraid to say, but I hope everyone who did participate had fun! (And thank you for joining me once again!)
I’ll be linking the posts in groups per week like so [Name: Post Title], though I’ll be shortening my own titles and titles that don’t immediate make it clear what the post is about. You also get a bonus post linking to Stainless Steel Droppings because Carl is an amazing short story reviewer and both his post and the discussions in the comments are, while not a part of the read-along, still of interest to anyone who wants to learn more about the available stories set in The Last Unicorn‘s storyverse. ^_^
A few days ago, Cheryl from Tales of the Marvellous blogging about her blogging history. It’s an interesting topic and, like was pointed out in the comments, not something we always know about bloggers. It’s something that I certainly haven’t really talked about before, even though I know I’ve alluded to it in past posts. I figured it was worth talking about. Or, at least, elaborating on a little and seeing where I wound up. ^-^ I hope it’ll be interesting to others as well!
And today we find the last post of the read-along before the grand wrap-up post a few days into the future. I’ll be collecting links to compile into a round-up post, so please do be sure to drop me links to any of your thoughts by Sunday!
Today we also talk about three different pieces: Two Hearts, The Woman who Married the Man in the Moon and the graphic novel adaptation. I’m talking about them in that order and I’m tackling their structure slightly differently from the other posts. There are no discussion questions available for these pieces. Instead, I’ve discussed Two Hearts and the graphic novel in brief mini-essay-like formats and I’m quoting liberally from The Woman who Married the Man in the Moon and commenting on the story (and its relation to the others) as I go along. It seemed like a good idea at the time, so let me know what you think!
It’s been a long time since I did a linkspam. Have one that’s filled with interesting, awesome and cute because I had a sad. Anyone have ideas for things they want me to blog about?
Welcome to the third week of the read-along! This week we’re talking about the movie adaptation, the novelette Two Hearts, the short story The Woman who Married the Man in the Moon, and touch briefly upon the graphic novel adaptation of The Last Unicorn just to round things off. This part discusses only the movie. It’s the last part of the read-along to feature discussion questions too.
The movie, while I love it, also casts a bit of darkness on my love of The Last Unicorn. It’s not the movie itself, but the legal dispute that has since been resolved. I’m afraid I didn’t really keep up with it at the time and I don’t have that much information to give you. I understand it was messy and stressful and it makes me sad.
But, yes. That casts a bit of shadow on my enjoyment of the movie nowadays, even knowing it’s been resolved. And to understand my love for this movie… I need to tell you a little about myself. I must have been around four or five when I first saw the movie. We taped it and we only caught part of the opening sequence. I rotated it regularly with my taped versions of Labyrinth and The Lord of the Rings (this one, which coincidentally Beagle also wrote the screenplay for and which, well read here. T_T) every morning.
So I know this movie very well. I was heart-broken when we lost our copy and grateful when I managed to replace it with a new one. (A dvd this time, though.) Even now, years and years later, the movie managed to surprise and delight me. I should know it inside and out – I do know it inside and out, certainly when I’m watching it – but it still catches me by surprise. I love the story so much and it’s a delight to be able to work out some of my thoughts. I hope you’ll enjoy them!
First up! Let’s look at my June goals.
I Want to Read:
– The Fire’s Stone by Tanya Huff
– Moving Pictures by Terry Pratchett
– Rosemary and Rue by Seanan McGuire
– The Last Unicorn by Peter S. Beagle
I Want to Write:
12500 words of fiction
I managed to read two of the books I’d set out to read: Moving Pictures and The Last Unicorn. I did manage to read a handful of online material, but June has definitely been the worst reading month I’ve had all year. I read three books and… that’s it. I managed to talk about two of them, though! The less said about my experience with Moving Pictures the better. I was hoping to like that one a lot more than I actually did.
Wriing-wise, though, June has been amazing. I (re)wrote almost 52,000 words. O_O To be fair, a little under 10,000 of them were non-fiction, but since they were hard to write I felt that they deserved to count. Since July puts me past the half-year mark, I wanted to give an update on my inkingitout goal as well. The short version: ZOMG! I MADE IT YESTERDAY! I’ve gone from, like, 50K for the entire year in 2012 to 150K in half that time this year! OMG! WHAT IS THIS? I DON’T EVEN.
Again, to be fair, a good chunk of that total counts rewriting. It’s not 150K of absolutely new material. But! Honestly? I should have that at the end of the year all the same.
For July, my goals are fairly ambitious compared to the previous months.
I Want to Read:
– The Fire’s Stone by Tanya Huff
– Rosemary and Rue by Seanan McGuire
I Want to Write:
31000 words of fiction
See? Ambitious. The reading isn’t all that ambitious, but I’ve signed up for Camp Nano this year and that’s my goal. If things keep up the way they did yesterday I will blast past that number because, um, I kind of… You know, got half of my total for the month written already? Stories that actively encourage banter as part of their structure are fantastic for your wordcounting needs is all I can say about that. I probably won’t be giving you daily updates and, in all honesty, I highly doubt I’ll be able to sustain yesterday’s rate. I’ve reached the part of the story where I hit snags. Plus, I’m working on two pieces. A new one (*cough* Finishing my MA thesis from two years ago *cough*) and one that needs to be completely rekeyed.
I hope I’ll get a chance to stay on top of some of my online reading as well. I’ve fallen thoroughly behind again. I’ve marked most of July as off-limits and as me-time because I feel like I do, truly, need to be a bit more assertive about my time needs.
I hope everyone’s set to have a wonderful summer! I look forward to seeing how far along Camp Nano will take me — it’d be great if I could get a rough draft all tied up before September — and getting my reading groove back. I also plan to try and work up to posting a little more often. I’ve been mulling over a post on my experiences as a woman, inspired by one of Genevieve Valentine’s posts, but I keep getting sidetracked by a detour about what the media tells women. (Specifically, what the media tells women who naturally look like the media tells us we should look and whether there are differences with what it tells women who don’t look like the media tells us we should.) I have no answers. I just have questions and phrasing that bothers me. I will let you guess at why the phrasing bothers me and invite you all to throw links my way if you have them. It’s not something I’ve seen crop up in any of the discussions I’ve read and I Fail at googling.
So that’s percolating and it’s scaring me a little and a post on that is also percolating because it’s not exactly like me. I want to try and talk about games a little more. (I have Thoughts on Remember Me, though I should probably get back to it.) I’m working hard to get my collection finished. Two or three more stories and then it’s up to the cover artist. Or the other way around depending on how much work the stories need. I’ve left them because they need the most work, you see.
Busy summer ahead is busy! That’s all not counting the bajillion daily life things I need to be focusing on and am trying to take a break from on doctor’s orders. That’ll pick up again in August at the latest. Murgh. Hopefully I can get loads of this sorted, though, so there’s slightly less looming when it all comes back.
For now! Camp Nano for me! Also setting up a set of templates for posts so I can start writing them a little more easily than I have been. >> So! For those times when I want to talk about books and games in detail etc: what information do you want me to include?
Welcome to the second week of the read-along for The Last Unicorn! This week we’re reading and discussing chapter 8 through to the very end, so HERE BE SPOILERS for anyone who hasn’t finished the book yet.
I hope everyone’s had a good week and we’ve all enjoyed (or are enjoying) the second half of the book. By now, you’ll probably know why I ended the previous week with chapter 7 rather than chapter 8 and I hope you approve of the choice! (That could be an interesting discussion topic, actually: where would you have cut the week’s reading material off?)
This week/discussion we’ll continue talking about the way perception and illusion plays a role in the book as well as its relationship to myths and fairytales. And quotes. I’ll probably use less of them than in the first week, but that’s deliberate. I very much fear that I will not stop quoting once I give myself permission to do that.
I’m very much looking forward to the discussion! (Granted, I’m also still terrified. Did I mention my self-esteem issues last week? Yes? Oh, good. I has them. I try not to let them get in the way.)
First! The read-along announcement. No worries. It’s not anything dire, but I’ve been diligently writing up my posts as I’ve had the time to revisit the additional material I have and all those posts have turned out fairly long and I feel it’s best to split them up into two posts. I didn’t want to post two long posts on the same day, so I’m splitting them up yet. I haven’t decided whether to post on Thursday and Friday or Friday and Saturday yet, though, so if anyone has a preference, please let me know!
Please also note that for the novelette and short story there will be no discussion questions. Instead they’ll be longer discussions of the texts as a whole. (And yes there will be spoilers for the book.)
Secondly, the read-along has given me a few thoughts on the kind of person I am too. They haven’t been earth-shattering thoughts or anything, but they’ve been important to me. Actually, they’re the kind of thoughts that you know and just don’t really think about until they decide to hit you with a hammer.
I don’t like essays. I have never liked essays. I don’t like analysing texts either, which I’ve known since, uh, certainly my first year at university. I hate literary analysis and essay-writing. I’m enjoying the read-along and working out some of my thoughts on the book. But I’ve been toying with the idea of hosting another read-along later in the year. I’ve already reread the book for it. I just don’t have any questions or words. That’s been frustrating. I’ve just finished up the rough drafts for the discussions of the novelette and short story and those have been… not frustrating but tiring.
And that’s when the mallet hit. Because I haven’t re-experienced those stories a dozen dozen times over already. I don’t know them well. I haven’t had thoughts on them percolating through my brain for most of my life. And the pressure of sounding intelligent and coherent about them (especially when I want to run away shouting “I am not smart enough to understand these stories!”) is tiring. I have to push through that. I can do it – I have done it – but it is tiring.
And that’s how I’ve felt after ever essay I’ve written too: tired. I just didn’t realise why it was so tiring until this read-along. That probably also ties into why I struggle with reviewing things properly. I have to push through very much the same pressure of “I must seem intelligent and coherent”.
So now I just have to figure out how to tackle that more effectively. I do like talking about things and I’d like it to, you know, not leave me feeling half-way towards exhausted for doing it. No wonder I’ve burnt out so soon after starting if I have to slog through that all the time I start talking about things.
I’ve also been sick the last few days, but now that I’m feeling better and can confidently get my non-fiction writing mostly done before July, I’m considering signing up for Camp NaNo. I’ll give it a few more days to think about it, but I wouldn’t be surprised. (I’m supposed to rest, I know. Shush. Writing is relaxing when it cooperates?)
Today marks the end of the Once upon a Time VII challenge. You can see my utter failure in dealing with time and dates in the fact that I could have sworn it lasted until July. ><
Alas, it does not and it ends on the solstice today, or today on the solstice, depending on your prefered order. The summer solstice for me, and I hope summer will treat me kindly. I feel sad that I didn’t manage to keep up with people’s posts and reads as much as I’d have liked to, but in my defense the months of the challenge have been pretty gruelling. As a point in case, it’s the 21st of June and I’ve read a grand total of two books. I will be very surprised if I get to my monthly stats for June and discover that I’ve read five books in total. It’s been one of those months, alas.
But let’s not dwell on that and focus on the past few months! I haven’t really had the spoons to put up (or write) reviews either for much of the second half of the challenge. I’ll keep the challenge module up for a little while and then take it down again.
You can see a list of all the books (and short stories) I’ve read here, but I’ll mention my top five books/stories here.
Jack in the Green by Charles de Lint
The Last Unicorn by Peter S. Beagle (Yes, I know the read-along isn’t finished, but I reread back in April too. Have a link to week 1 of the Read-along for some of my thoughts!)
One Saved to the Sea by Catt Kingsgrave
Pearl in the Void by M.C.A. Hogarth
Seaward by Susan Cooper (I may be hosting another read-along for this book come September to celebrate the rerelease in August!)
I had a lot of fun and I do hope to be back (and be back with a better ability to participate actively) next year!