?

Log in

No account? Create an account
 
 
14 December 2010 @ 01:34 pm
From The Annals of "Christopher, Stop That!"  
Weekend Edition: Do not bounce the basketball off of the (newly painted!!!) house!

That was just one of many moments of flail over the weekend. I did more Xmas shopping, and finally got alllll the lights up for the house. Takes forever to wire it all together, and it always reveals overdue yardwork. The "Christmas Season" is also peak leaf-raking season, and in addition, there are always a few plants that need to be pruned back into shape. You know—the ones I'm trying to string lights around, impeded by all the random shoots sproinging into the air. So it's 40% yardwork, 60% lights.

I also spent a lot of time over the last few days working on my usanetwork_las story. First I had to finish the initial draft, which was a struggle. But the harder part was editing out about 250 words to get it down below the 1000-word maximum. You probably never thought you'd hear me complain about that!

I got feedback for the last round story, i.e., the Burn Notice holiday fic. Interestingly enough, the one negative vote expressed a desire for more stress on the emotion. I weighed that feedback for a bit, but if I were to analyze my intent for that story, it would have been to create exactly what that reader complained about. There sometimes is a fine line between "poignant" and "ick." For me, any story centered around a birthday or an emotional holiday starts on the "ick" side of that line. When a prompt requires one of those two settings, I have to write it so that it pulls the story back from the schmaltzy edge (I have to convince myself that the story isn't overdone). For other people, it doesn't matter how far into that territory things go—it's all good. Funny how different our tastes can be.

Speaking of things Christmas... we mainly do just lights for our outdoor decor, though I like some of the inflatables I've seen (I've been tempted by one very round penguin in particular!) But the part that is NO good is when the inflatables have collapsed. Driving to work, I pass by a house with inflatables on the first-story roof that are attached to the wall. They always look like they're praying to Allah, because they're all folded over and flat. Two blocks up, there's another house with a more free-range inflatable Santa. He initially looked tipsy, because he was listing back and to the right, with his hand raised in a wave. That lasted about two days, before he moved into the "Help! I've fallen and I can't get up!" position. A week later, the owners still haven't rescued him. Festive! :0

ETA non-holiday blather: Zombie nightmares again? Seriously?

 
 
 
Port: coffee and booksdesertport on December 15th, 2010 06:32 am (UTC)
There sometimes is a fine line between "poignant" and "ick." For me, any story centered around a birthday or an emotional holiday starts on the "ick" side of that line. When a prompt requires one of those two settings, I have to write it so that it pulls the story back from the schmaltzy edge (I have to convince myself that the story isn't overdone).

Same here! One thing I've noticed in my writing class last term is that most of my pieces tend to be a little removed on the emotional side, and the best ones are all like that. I think pulling a story back from the schmaltziness is probably what's going to make it memorable in the long run.
The Coalition For Disturbing Metaphorshalfshellvenus on December 15th, 2010 06:58 am (UTC)
I wonder if it's like 'baby talk,' where some people think it's the Cutest Thing Ever (talking to their grandchildren or pets like that) and others think, "Make it stop!"

On that same story, some person commented that she thought Sam seeing something glint under the sofa was going somewhere else, as in (I'm assuming) an engagement ring from Michael to Fi, OMG, for Christmas! Which would never have occurred to me in a million years, and falls right into that Death.First. category of awfulness to me. ;)

I tell you, I haven't been in the frame of mind to gush over anything like that since I was about 12. Seriously. I more or less outgrew it. :0
Portdesertport on December 15th, 2010 07:18 am (UTC)
The thing about baby talk is you have to stop doing it very early on, or else your kid's not going to have a real vocabulary and will flunk out of pre-school admissions. :D

*lol* An engagement ring? Under the sofa? I guess it's better than in the dessert course at a fancy restaurant, but only just.

I think I gushed a little like that over the Kill Bill movies. Just a little. But everyone has a happy space... and shmoop may be healthier than swordfighting carnage, actually. Maybe.
The Coalition For Disturbing Metaphorshalfshellvenus on December 15th, 2010 07:34 am (UTC)
An engagement ring? Under the sofa?

I know. What, it fell out of Michael's pocket before he could propose? And he didn't notice? Or he proposed before Sam showed up, and Fi let the ring fall under the sofa, forgotten? Regardless, the goopiness of the whole thing is off-the-charts yuck.

But everyone has a happy space... and shmoop may be healthier than swordfighting carnage, actually. Maybe.

Schmoop has the same fine-line issue as schmaltz for me. So the good schmoop doesn't really cross the line into schmaltz, just as a good drama doesn't cross over into melodrama. Or something. ;)
Port: deans pantsdesertport on December 15th, 2010 07:38 am (UTC)
This is an excellent opportunity for me to use the word bathos, which I hardly ever get to do. Thank you!
The Coalition For Disturbing Metaphorshalfshellvenus on December 15th, 2010 07:45 am (UTC)
Crack's best friend!

I also like 'pathos,' though it isn't commonly used in the U.S.

Back in high school, I was amazed to discover several musical pieces labeled "Pathetique." We auto-translate that to pathetic, where in the French it instead means "having pathos." Talk about mis-matched meanings!