kkscatnip: (sad)
Man, the whole "starting to write journal entries again" thing is harder than I expected it to be. I really have gotten into the habit of closing up completely when bad things happen or I am feeling bad; it is going to take some working for me to start opening up again the way I used to.

ramble ramble ramble )

In other news, I have started using Plurk again. Does anybody else here use it?
kkscatnip: Vocaloid (calm)
Sometimes I wonder: what would my writing be like if I'd never been a part of Rent-a-Gundam?

I wouldn't be as conscious of sentence structure, for sure. I probably wouldn't vary my sentences as much or constantly remind myself to put more than actions into the text, because the reader needs to know what the characters are feeling and because it's an easy way to vary your structure.

I probably wouldn't be as into the whole publishing/editing thing as I am now, having learned a lot of what I know on the editing side from Orange. I'd done some editing before that, yeah, but it was her who really had the standards in the group and kind of imposed them on the rest of us. (Not that we were unwilling. We were just lazy.)

It's very likely that I wouldn't analyze writing the way I do now, looking for the things that make it awesome or boring. And ways to make a paragraph intentionally monotonous or intentionally anything else.

I wouldn't have quite so much storytelling experience under my belt.

And the most important thing I learned from RAG, I think, is how to produce. How to buckle down and just write. And write. And write a little bit more.

I wouldn't be as good of a writer without RAG. I'm not sure how much worse I'd be for sure (all of that RP with Lucy did a lot to improve my writing before RAG ever happened) because I was a decent writer before, but I think without RAG I'd never have really paid attention to writing the way I did when I was neck-deep in writing during every bit of free time.

I'm really thankful for RAG. For Orange and Typo and Veda, and for all the RAG fans. For [profile] tensergorn.

My life would really not be the same if I'd never found that prompt, I think.
kkscatnip: Fire Candy (bring it)
I'm reading a book called Blind Passion by Penny Brandon, and I'm having a lot of trouble reading it because it's just boring. I can see what the author is doing, but the delivery seems to fall flat.

And I think it's because of the way she keeps switching POVs to let us know what both the characters are thinking. The story is less compelling when there's no unknown factor, and it also takes the focus off of a certain aspect of the story and places it on every aspect and that's just too... unfocused.

It really sucks, because the author is a good author and the writing is technically good and the editing is good so far, but like-- the story can't hold my attention, because I can't figure out what story is trying to get told and I feel like I know everything that's going on in it. There's no conflict or anything yet, either, which makes me D: because I think that might perk my interest despite the lack of an unknown quantity.

I guess it's just a good lesson for my own writing, about story-telling and making sure I know what story I'm telling and telling it in a compelling way.
kkscatnip: Nodame Cantabile (totally blushing)
Dear Single Women of NYC: It's Not Them, It's You is a completely awesome article. I've read it twice over, and I agree with it completely. It is applicable to women everywhere, so don't think it doesn't apply to you if you don't live in NYC.

The article makes three points that really made me sit up and pay attention, though. The first is that if women want equality (and I think most women do) they can't skip out on taking half of the blame when relationships fall apart. They can't say things like "it was him, not you" or "men are jerks" or whatever else, if they want to follow the belief that men and women are truly equal, because that's foisting off the responsibility and doing that is no help at all with the equality issue.

The second point the article makes is that "settling" is not a bad thing. Mr Right may or may not exist, and Mr Good Enough is right in front of you, so if you want a marriage or a child or whatever else badly enough there's no reason not to settle. A lot of people have a visceral reaction to the idea of settling down, and I think that is kind of silly because there's no shame in making a decision.

Which leads us into the third point: if you're going to enter into a long-term relationship, you need to know what you want from it. Your goal is that 2.5 kids and a dog? Fine, go for it. Your goal is to have someone to call your husband/wife? Also fine.

Going into relationships not having a goal is-- well, it's destructive to the relationship, for one. You're undermining it from the start, not knowing what you want, because if you don't know what you want it's impossible for the other person to provide that.

This is a lesson that I'm only just recently learning! I feel like I should have thought of it sooner, but honestly-- it's a new realization, and this recent relationship with [livejournal.com profile] tensergorn is the only one I've entered into knowing exactly what I want.

I want a best friend that I can share everything, everything with; I want someone who tries to understand me; I want someone who makes communication a priority; above all, I want someone who I can love and who loves me, and have both of us accept that love/caring. Eventually, I want kids, but that's a less pressing desire than all the rest. I don't have to do it now, now, now, but the rest-- they're very important things to me.

I seem to recall having a discussion with her at some point-- possibly before we started dating, when we were still at the flirting heavily stage-- about some aspects of these things, and thinking that the results were satisfactory.

I'm not quite sure where else I'm going with this, but I mostly just wanted to link the article and say, look, look! Someone who's gotten it right!

I really hope the article gets more exposure than it has so far; it deserves it.
kkscatnip: Gundam 00 (so sorry it's over)
My fever when I woke up this morning was near 100 and after Advil has gone down exactly a degree. My normal temperature hovers around 97.8-98.0, so you can go ahead and add half a degree for a more accurate reading of what my temperature is making me feel like. (Urgh, I'm getting all migrainey too, which means even typing is loud and I have tinnitus going on above that.)

My mom also runs a degree lower than normal, too, so it's not just me. My brother's temperature is pretty normal, though, but then-- he doesn't share the low-blood-pressure problem that my mom and I have either.

Blaaah feel like shit. Okay, time for discussion/introspection; I'll start with a statement: I'm not a going-to-school type of person. Let me say first that I did well in grade-school, and mediocre in middle- and high-school. I was in the gifted program at every school I attended; it was not doing the homework that made me get mediocre to completely dismal grades.

But I did not graduate highschool. This is partially due to my getting sick for eight months during my senior year, and my teachers recommending that I just get my GED, but there's more to it than that. Even before that, I didn't get the best grades, although I was obviously smart (on both Academic Quiz Bowl and Academic Decathlon teams) because of the reason already mentioned: the second I was outside the classroom, I lost interest in my studies.

I just plain didn't do my homework, unless the homework was just reading. I read every single page of every text book I had from middle school on up (although not always when I was supposed to be reading such-and-such page to such-and-such page, because usually I was past that point already); my thirst for knowledge was that strong. I always did just fine on tests, though, heh.

So it's not that I don't want to learn things, because I do. I enjoy learning things so much that I still have a sort of hungry thirst for information. It drives me to do things like read 400-page books on the Ottoman empire or on Healing With Water or on whatever other subject happens to take me while I'm at the library or online ordering books.

But I don't enjoy learning at other people's paces. It's not that I think other people are stupid, because I don't. I know plenty of other people who are quite intelligent. It's that other people can't hyper-focus and devote eight hours in a row to nothing but avidly reading a book.

And I don't enjoy getting tested/graded on how well I "learned". It's not that I don't do well on the tests-- I do, pretty uniformly, actually-- it's that I think the idea of grading students on their performances discourages the performance as a rule. It's for these reasons that I gave up my dream of becoming a teacher in the traditional sense and dropped out of college.

One of the books I'm reading right now is called Land of the Spotted Eagle, by Luther Standing Bear. It's an auto-biography, but it's fascinating because it details the life of someone raised in a Native American environment not on a reservation. I'm going to type up some choice passages from the book, regarding his early education (and education in general in the Lakota tribes of the time):
[Lakota] education could not be confined to a certain length of time nor could one be 'finished' in a certain term of years. The training was largely of character, beginning with birth and continued throughout life. [...] There was no 'system' no 'rule or rote,' as the white people say, in the way of Lakota learning. [...] Children never had to 'learn this today' or 'finish this book this year' or 'take up' some study. [...]
Never were Lakota children offered rewards or medals for accomplishment. No child was ever bribed or given a prize for doing his best. [...] The achievement was the reward and to place anything above it was to put unhealthy ideals in the minds of children and make them week. [...]
In the course of learning, the strength of one small mind was never pitted against the strength of another in foolish examinations. There being no such thing as 'grades' a child was never made conscious of any shortcomings. I never knew embarrassment or humiliation of this character until I went to Carlisle School and was there put under the system of competition.

I'm not entirely sure I'm getting across what I want to get across but--

I'm not a going-to-school type, because I'd rather learn the lessons as life sees fit to teach them, rather than as whatever ideal the professor/state/federal government decides is best to teach.

Not to knock those of you who are going-to-school types, because somebody needs to or there'd be a shortage of doctors, nurses, teachers, et al, but it's just not for me. I toy every so often with the idea of going back, but I always end up at the same conclusion: even were I to maintain enough interest in my classes, I would be limited to what I was supposed to learn and nothing more and I just don't want to live that way.

/end ramble
kkscatnip: Haibane Renmei (do i really care?)
1) Connecting with female characters in geek television. Very interesting, thought-provoking article. Must-read for anyone who considers themselves a feminist. Even if you're not familiar with the examples (I'm not) it still resonates; you can probably come up with examples of your own. (For me, mine is Marina vs. Saji in Gundam 00. Same peaceful sentiment, but intolerable when coming from Marina and endearing when coming from Saji the haro sex helped I'm sure.)

2) Totally going to do the VOICE RECORDING MEME. Ask me to say or answer anything, and I'll record it all and post my fabulous voice. (Meme stolen from [livejournal.com profile] piledriver)

3) I came up with the best poem ever for Lizardmen.

Roses are red
Violets are blue
Your cock is splendid
Fuck my throat til I'm blue


I have no excuse, really. It's fucking perfect and I wouldn't change a thing. :D

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