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08 August 2014 @ 01:25 pm
All those good intentions...  
I was going to update earlier this week (or was it last week?!?), but that didn't happen. There was a short turnaround for Idol last week, so I was either writing or reading, it seemed like. Last week's prompt was, "A Terrible Beauty has been born," which immediately made me think of chaos or anarchy. But I'd already written that as a Batman fanfic drabble on The Dark Knight Rises, and it frankly wasn't going to get better than that! Plus, anarchist POV is disturbing and draining. So I wrote something completely different, which turned out really well. This week's prompt of "scare quotes" has me scratching me head...

Over the last week and half, I finished two books. One was The Bend Of The World (plagued by hipster punctuation, but I still enjoyed it). My favorite character was the narrator's gay friend Johnny, who believes in the most outlandish stuff ever. There is a whole section where he takes disassociative drugs in hopes of reaching the fifth dimension, and instead (as the narrator says) does what he always does when he's high: eats pizza, drinks beer, and sits at the computer in his underwear playing General Panzer II. But you get Johnny's version of that whole section, in which the reader can tell what's actually going on, and the results are funny. Johnny is visited by a masonic angel who insists he's just a deliveryman (and says, "Do I look like I come from the motherfucking Hollow Earth?"). Later, Johnny goes out to deliver a special message to Panzer and encounters vikings and their flaming chariot. Or a police car...

I also read Engines Of The Broken World, a YA book I picked up mainly for its title. Dystopian, spooky, unusual, sad, and amazing. It isn't anything like what you might expect.

We watched Her last weekend, in which Joaquin Phoenix sports glasses and a pornstache that successfully remove any edgy aspect of his appearance or demeanor. The future depicted there, with everyone babbling to their computers/wireless inserts/etc. and effectively ignoring the actual human beings around them... it's depressing how possible that seems. When people fall in love or form friendships with operating systems, it's a sad commentary on life. Although Scarlett Johansson did a fine job as the OS, I would have picked someone with a more alluring voice. It's like Nightvale, to a certain extent—when there is a heavy voice-aspect to a medium, pay more attention to how the actors doing the voicework sound (fewer nasal, baby-voiced characters, Nightvale!). I'm sure Mimi Rogers would have liked a shot at some work. ;)

We also watched The Green Mile, after avoiding it for years because we just weren't emotionally up to it. Terrific movie and cast. I'm sorry Michael Clarke Duncan is no longer with us, and will never get another chance at an Oscar.

In addition to trying to write an Idol entry this weekend, I need to shop for fun gifts for my daughter's 17th birthday. She has no real wishlist, which doesn't help. I'll make a futile attempt today to interest her in something like this Starry Night Skater Skirt, which I'm sure she'll think is too 'something.' Too colorful, too out-there, IDK. If I had the figure to wear it, I'd buy it for myself! But with the short-torsoed hourglass figure (at my best), that cut of skirt looks more like a tutu than anything. :(

Ooh, speaking of birthdays: A tiny birthday party for a tiny hedgehog. \o/

alien_writings: Reader Girlalien_writings on August 8th, 2014 09:08 pm (UTC)
Unsolicited ideas and advice ahead; feel free to ignore. :)

If it helps at all, the prompt "scare quotes" makes me think about a character who is trying to be taken seriously at something and then not being respected for whatever reason. I could see a scenario where, say, a younger and less experienced woman is working in a lab (bonus points if it's a psych experiment involving anything about gender in general or women in particular) and disagreeing with older male coworkers who think of her as an "expert" in those scare quotes just for being younger and female when she objects to something ill-advised they're doing. An "Oh, let's ask the 'expert,' shall we?" sort of thing, if that makes any sense?

I also imagined a parent dismissing a child's dreams. Like a parent saying, "Little Brianna is a 'scientist' now!" if she's playing with her older brother's chemistry set.

The prompt also makes me think of a parent dismissing their kid's openly stated non-heterosexual orientation as merely a phase. (How often do you hear people dismissing straight identities as merely a phase? Like, never.) "Kylie says she's 'gay,' but I know she'll grow out if it." This idea seems like it could work well with a boy announcing he's asexual, as the stereotype goes that ALL men want sex. "Bryce says he's 'asexual,' but I know he's only saying that to get in some chick's pants."

Maybe one of those ideas will inspire something?
The Coalition For Disturbing Metaphors: Happy Hedgiehalfshellvenus on August 8th, 2014 10:44 pm (UTC)
I always appreciate your prompt inputs, and these really help shape the prompt into something more tangible for me!

I'll think about these, and the general idea behind them should me focus on something worthwhile.

Thanks so much for offering them! *hugs*
Trigger Warning: Lifematchboximpala on August 8th, 2014 11:35 pm (UTC)
I am putting The Bend of the World on my to-read list. Sounds very interesting.
The Coalition For Disturbing Metaphors: Bookshalfshellvenus on August 9th, 2014 12:04 am (UTC)
It was bizarre and entertaining. You just have to get past the (not insubstantial) hurdle of the fact that all the dialogue is written without quotation marks. (That's what I meant by hipster punctuation-- it seems to be some sort of trend).

But on the plus side, UFOs appear to visit Pittsburgh, and that whole piece of weirdness actually works! So, why not? :D

Edited at 2014-08-09 12:04 am (UTC)
cindytsuki_no_bara on August 9th, 2014 03:09 am (UTC)
that hedgie birthday is THE CUTEST. also i like the starry night skater skirt! altho i can see how it might not be everyone's thing. good luck finding a birthday present.

i'm having a hard time with the lj idol topic too! altho alien_writings' suggestions kind of helped. i'm out of byes so i have to do this one.
The Coalition For Disturbing Metaphors: Happy Hedgiehalfshellvenus on August 9th, 2014 05:56 am (UTC)
Isn't that birthday party cute? Though I wonder A) if hamsters ever enjoy their food, since all they do is ram it into their cheek pouches, and B) would anyone ever suggest that the mad-looking little hamstie do the dishes? Wow.

My daughter actually liked the skirt, which surprised me!

I'm glad those suggestions may have helped you too! Good luck with the writing. :D

Edited at 2014-08-09 05:56 am (UTC)
bleodsweanbleodswean on August 9th, 2014 03:18 pm (UTC)
Every week I say the prompt is difficult but this week I mean it!

Looking at queuing some of these!

That skirt is wonderful!
The Coalition For Disturbing Metaphorshalfshellvenus on August 9th, 2014 10:25 pm (UTC)
My daughter even agreed that the skirt was wonderful, which is some kind of miracle. I've ordered it. :D
adoptedwriteradoptedwriter on August 9th, 2014 04:03 pm (UTC)
I loved Green Mile. Hub has never wanted to see it. New also watched Her recently. We likes it and, I agree, it is sort of a sad commentary on our society in the future. I already see it here at the fitness club with every member sporting ear buds, working out in silence. It's weird. AW
The Coalition For Disturbing Metaphorshalfshellvenus on August 10th, 2014 12:47 am (UTC)
I already see it here at the fitness club with every member sporting ear buds, working out in silence.
Yes. I read when I work out, but a book is more interruptible somehow than being sequestered off from the world with your earbuds.

Random conversations with strangers are something I enjoy, and even just basic acknowledgement of people rather than being plugged-in elsewhere is an important distinction to me.
Princess Robot Bubblegum!astrothsknot on August 11th, 2014 01:44 pm (UTC)
slow down, you're making me dizzy!
The Coalition For Disturbing Metaphorshalfshellvenus on August 11th, 2014 06:21 pm (UTC)
That's how these overdue updates go! :D