Here it is: a Star Trek (TOS) story generator flowchart. (Click on the image to see it bigger; click on the link to go to the page where I found it, courtesy of my friend Eva.)
A motley coat
As You Like It, Act II Sc. 7
O worthy fool!
...in his brain,
Which is as dry as the remainder biscuit
After a voyage, he hath strange places cramm'd
With observation, the which he vents
In mangled forms. O that I were a fool!
I am ambitious for a motley coat.
Some things just deserve to be remembered.
Here are this year's winners. Particular cheers and hollers to my buddies Simon Brown and Cat Sparks!
(This year I got far, far closer to winning one than ever before, in that I actually had a couple of stories eligible progress!)
Every now and then, one of those fatuous quizzes actually gives a result so amazingly fabulous that it makes the whole time-wasting endeavor suddenly worth everything!
Your International Spy Name is Medusa Supernova
Your Code Name: Dynamo
You Reside in: St. Petersburg
Why You're a Good Spy: You're good with gadgets
- Medusa Supernova is the best name ever.
- Dynamo is also quite okay with me.
- I love St. Petersburg (and yes, I've been there, although it was Leningrad at the time).
- I am, in fact, fairly good with gadgets as these things are reckoned.
- I snurched this from Jason Fischer.
I'm so glad my friend Lisa sent me the link to this:
"What," the masses murmur, "will Laura do for her five hundredth blog post?"
Not much, sadly.
However, if you wish to mentally augment this very plebian post by imagining me dancing with the Writing Daemons by moonlight, that's fine. Or perhaps you wish to use this opportunity to think, What would *I* do if this were *my* five hundredth blog post?, thereby engendering an occasion of creativity for yourself (we must take them where we find them, after all).
In short, this blog post is very nearly (although not quite) a blank slate upon which to project what you will. It's a slightly lumpy surface, but that could very well make your projection more interesting, if a bit...irregular.
- My daughter Margaret. Always top of the list. Any list.
- I'm working on a new play (although progress is slow at the moment).
- Today it is not over a hundred/over 39 degrees out.
- When I need my friends, they do not let me down.
- The Coroner's Lunch, by Colin Cotterill, is a really fun mystery, largely because the characters are fabulous. (It's also a fascinating portrayal of living day to day under a Communist regime, something I had a chance to observe first-hand, albeit briefly, in 1980s Soviet Russia.)
- I can type really fast. (So if I ever actually start actually coming up with the words really fast, I'll be all set.)
- The giants of Flanders. I'm obsessed. They rock.
- A jar of Tiger-Balm-esque liniment I got in Thailand. I can't read the label, so I have no idea what's in it, but it smells fantastic (even better than Tiger Balm) and it actually works without making rust-colored grease spots on things!
- Fountain pens.
- I won two free tickets to see a production of A Midsummer Night's Dream up in Sydney I'm taking the aforementioned Margaret!
The first thing I said to myself when I handed in the last exam book for my last class for my bachelor's degree was, "Oh, at last, I get to read whatever I want!" And so, except for the years I spent getting my master's degree, and all the reading I've done for work, and all the reading I feel I must do to even begin to stay current in the spec-fic field (a losing battle at best, but at least an enjoyable one), I have done exactly that.
Problem is, no matter how voraciously one reads, there are always too many books out there, taunting one, like large, pulpy mosquitoes. (Ew.) Every now and again I manage to give one a good swat. Today's swat took care of Richard Sheridan's famous play The School for Scandal. (Here's the text; here's a study guide,and here's the Wikipedia article.) I've never seen it performed, but apparently, even though it was written pretty much contemporaneously with the American Revolution, it's still reliably popular whenever and wherever it's produced.
One of the many gaps in my education sort of bad for a playwright is that I don't know a whole lot about the history of English-language drama. Which was why I chose Scandal as my reading material today. It's a quick read, although until I got used to it, I found the language rather bombastic and a bit too verbose for my taste. It's also surprisingly funny. Some of the wisecracks fall a bit flat to the 21st-century reader, but most are still chuckle-inducing. The plot is thin it's just a comedy of manners, after all, and nobody expects any different. But there's enough going on (character arcs and so on) that it's not just a stand-up routine of a bunch of wisecracks strung together. And I love a good redemption story (but I won't tell you who gets redeemed, because that would be spoiling).
One thing I found fascinating was how much closer Scandal is to 20th-century drama (a gap of 200 years) than it is to Shakespeare (a gap of slightly less than 200 years). In other words, Shakespeare was either the first or the last of his kind, and change picked up the pace (oo, I was going to say "dramatically," then changed my mind) markedly after his death. Did Shakespeare hasten the advent of "modernity," or did he hold back the flood just those few years longer? Or was social and artistic change in England something that happened due to other factors, would have happened anyway, maybe wasn't as profound as we'd all like to think? (After all, how much has human nature changed in several thousand years? Bible stories have characters with flaws and dreams that everyone recognizes in themselves today. Or ought to, perhaps.)
Note: Samuel Barber wrote a wicked cool fabulous orchestral piece he called "Overture to The School for Scandal." I can't seem to find any actual ballet, opera, or what have you to which it was an actual overture; perhaps he just called it that because it sounded neato. But you should try and find it and listen to it. It is, as I mentioned, wicked cool fabulous.
Snurched from Satima Flavell. Here's my result:
|What Kind of Reader Are You? |
Your Result: Obsessive-Compulsive Bookworm
|Literate Good Citizen|
|What Kind of Reader Are You?|
Quiz Created on GoToQuiz
Hm. "Other people's grammatical mistakes make you insane."
...here is something to entertain you.
Be brave, write well, do miracles, find the star that lives and blazes deep inside you. Feel the power to write filling your heart and your hands. Treat each other with compassion, yet expect much of each other. Expect everything of each other.
This is a magic time. Do magic. Be magic.
The ABC did a very creditable job with my radio play, which was broadcast this morning. Sadly, it will not be available for streaming, but I'm pretty sure I'll be getting a copy of the broadcast emailed to me.
It's a pretty creepy feeling, waiting for a performance of one's own work to begin. Very nerve-wracking, very intense. One feels powerless, and yet exhilarated at the fact that other people have agreed to speak these words.
The play went out nationally, which was pretty cool. I haven't done a national radio grab since I left SES State Headquarters. I confess: I quite like fame.
(Oh, yeah turns out they got about 30 scripts, and quite a strong field at that. I feel very proud that my play was selected.)
In May 2007 (that's two thousand SEVEN), I sent a piece off to a market I felt would be ideal for it (a mainstream mag, no less). However, weeks turned into months and MONTHS, and naturally I figured the story'd sunk without a ripple.
I sent the story off to other markets, all of whom spurned it. "I don't really understand what's happening." "The writing is very nice, but I never felt emotionally moved."
This morning, New Year's Day, I got an email from that long-ago market: "We are interested in running it in our upcoming issue." Moral: eventually, SOMEONE is going to like your story, even if they take a while to tell you. (Once all the details are worked out, I'll post the name of the market and how to get the relevant issue.)
In other writing news:
- A reminder that my five-minute play will be broadcast Friday morning Sydney time (see blog entry below for details).
- The distillation of my Clarion South experience is available for your perusal at the blog of the publishing imprint Voyager.
- As part of my Christmas present from my fantastic mom (who is fantastic for many, many reasons), I acquired a bottle of Noodler's Ink (Kiowa Pecan shade) to use with my stunningly beautiful birthday-present-from-my-family Monteverde fountain pen. And I started a brand-new Moleskine notebook for the New Year. What writer in the world wouldn't face the coming year with optimism, with such news and such tools of the trade?