kaigou: sometimes it's better to light a flamethrower than curse the darkness. (2 flamethrowers)
Recently I read a post about writing a relationship between an ace (asexual) and a heterosexual. One of the points made was that asexuality wasn't really defined/specified as a way of being until relatively recently in history; previously an asexual woman would've been raised to a) not even think of sex because Good Girls Don't and b) to expect that at some point, she'd find The One and then it would all just happen like everyone says. So asexuality could easily have been buried under the social assumptions, especially for women.

I mention that because the topic has been bubbling in my head since the early plotting stage of my current story, and now I'm at the point where the character (to whom this all applies) is on the page. She's not POV for other reasons (and not because I don't want to get into her head, just to make that clear), but I've slowly solidified my certainty that she's definitely asexual. I'm less sure that she's aromantic, but that's mostly because my impression is that "aromantic" means "neutral/lukewarm about falling in love" though I'm not sure I have that right. She does have immense capability to love, and would very much like a loving relationship (what others might call an abiding, deep, platonic friendship), and is probably quite affectionate with close friends. She's not standoffish in that sense, and she's about as far from "socially inept" as you can get. She also very, very much wants to be a mother, and would probably be an amazing, nurturing, instructive mother for whom her children are the central point of her life.

A few more notes about the character, general outline. Am I on the right track, or am I unwittingly writing a stereotype? )

(also, screening comments since this is a public post. if you're okay with your reply being public, just let me know.)
kaigou: this is what I do, darling (Default)
To really get why this past week had its moment of OH GOD I GET IT NAOW, I need to backtrack and first explain about my mother and the medical records clerks in Montgomery Alabama. Every transfer meant going on-base in August for the usual school physical-check-up thing that you have to do when entering a new school system. And that meant going to the medical building and the medical records office, where Mom would fill out a request slip so the clerks could retrieve our records. Something like that.

Those records (from what I recall) are stored in two general collections: one for active duty military, the other for retired military. So when the clerk accepts your records request slip, the first question the clerk asks is, "active duty or retired?" Except when we were in Montgomery, the clerk didn't ask that. I was nine at the time, so my mom had just turned 30... and I recall distinctly (thanks to my mother's tone of voice and the look on her face) when the clerk accepted the paper and simply asked, "retired?"

My mother's smile was cold enough and sharp enough to cut diamonds when she replied, "active duty."

The saga of not-needing-bifocals THANK YOU VERY MUCH, new eye prescription, a slight tangent into what astigmatism is, and a final celebration that naturally involves power tools BECAUSE MOAR POWER WAAAHHH. )

On that note, there's a chapter of Koji Ma Oshi upcoming, thanks to [livejournal.com profile] sharibet. (And a short story of whatever [livejournal.com profile] hinotori wants, and another for [personal profile] clarentine.) If I make it through a day without a headache, I'll consider that a good sign & will start writing, since that's at least a half-day at the computer and a bit more for polishing before posting. Fingers crossed my eyes'll be completely adjusted to new scrip in the next few days. There! Something to look forward to.

erm, assuming I don't get so happy with now-working power tools that I cut anything off. GUH. I don't even want to think about it. that I get distracted by the shiny and spend the next week doing cabinetry. *cough*
kaigou: I am zen. I am BUDDHA. I am totally chill, y'all. (2 totally chill)
I know I've got med-folks on my flist, somewhere out there, and I've got a bizarre medical hypothetical for ya. Any other folks with reasonable (or failing that, amusing) ideas also welcome.

Let's say I like to wear a bracelet per wrist. Each one is relatively close-fitting (about as close as the average watch band, let's say), and closes by such an ingenious mechanism that it'd take Houdini (or me being awake enough to instruct) to get out of the thing -- which means it's not coming off easily, and it won't come off with bolt-cutters since the band is too tight to get the cutter between skin and metal. AND, here's the kicker, for some reason (just GO WITH ME ON THIS ONE, okay?) it's decorated not with your usual gemstones or cheap charms but with rare-earth magnets. Y'know, the ones that will attach themselves to the nearest metallic object and not come off for love or money.

AND, finally, let's assume I'm passed out... )


24 Apr 2008 03:16 am
kaigou: this is what I do, darling (logic has left the building)
Have you ever been sitting around, waiting for a download to finish or some other chore about as exciting as watching paint dry, and thinking about a story and the big cliche in the middle of it that you've never been able to figure out a way around because then you'd deconstruct the story too far, but you couldn't come up with something to replace that facet of the plotline? And then while staring blindly at nothing in particular, an image of a book cover or a CD or maybe one of those stupid click-through ads on the 'net catches your eye and suddenly you think, oh my freaking DOG that's it!


Okay, me neither.

But I think I just came awfully close.

[Two words: PONY. EXPRESS.]
kaigou: this is what I do, darling (bang)
Maybe I should stick to technical manuals as the only 'short' thing I can write, if I listen to the slush response at Baen:

All setup, and not even good setup. The relationships between the characters are not at all clear.

Hunh. I'd say we're 2-for-0 on Baen, because the feedback's critical -- as promised -- but hardly constructive. A'course, I'm also possibly 2-for-0 on whether I can write a short story. Thus once again I must remind myself of [livejournal.com profile] mikkeneko's comment about writing short stories:

It involves being able to think of all sorts of cool complications and developments that could come of a scenario, and being willing to say, "That'd be really cool. Someone should write it. Somebody who's not me."

ETA: I should point out that this particular short story is one in which, in the fourth paragraph, an entire paragraph is dedicated to a judge's announcement that character B now has custody of character A. And the only other speaking part of note is described immediate upon introduction as working with B, and being B's best friend. So I'm left wondering what relationships are in doubt -- brother, sister, friend/coworker, gee, I thought that was clear.

Then again, I wonder if this is the same person whose "critique" on the Georgetown story was simply, "This is too wierd." Which, again, just such a sterling example of useful crit.

*rolls eyes*
kaigou: this is what I do, darling (fanfic)
As long as we're on Old Stories Week -- and given some of the possibly* accurate criticisms coming down the ff.net pipe -- what the hell, I went back and reread the first twenty or so chapters of Drums. I don't think I've done that since I revised, back in Jan 2004.

O, M, G, the pain.

Not because I think the story's truly atrocious in a plotline sense (overall), but because the craftsmanship is just so... and, damn it, the characterizations, too. There are good points -- and where those counteract fanon, it may have been enough to offset the bad points of slipping into fanon -- but some things just make me cringe.

[*I say 'possibly' because when the critique-review arrived, I couldn't actually remember enough details to know whether the crit was based on story flaws or were opinion. That's a good chunk of why I went back and finally, after all this time, reread.]

Ah, well, though I don't think I'd ever revise -- I wouldn't do that to any of the long-suffering archivists who had to code the 2003 edition, then the 2004 semi-revision -- there's a part of me that wishes I could, just as a matter of principle. Because I know I can write better than that, now, that is. What I wrote then was pretty complex and not too bad for someone who'd never written something that long and involved before, but compared to now?

Did I mention the cringing?

If you're one of the folks who've not read, and don't want spoilers, then skip this. If you have read and hated it, maybe you'll find I agree -- lo these years later -- with your complaints. Or if you didn't read because you knew beforehand you'd hate it, then maybe you'll enjoy me staring critique in the face. Who knows.

Anyway, there be spoilers here, if such matters to you; otherwise, here be major segues into characterization analysis, too. )...and that's probably more than enough of that.

One last thing (and should I be posting this on [livejournal.com profile] gw_analysis, instead?) -- I just realized. With the exception of Relena, all the other 'mirror' female characters at some point or another strike out at their male counterparts. Doesn't Sally pull a gun on Wufei at some point? Hrm, I thought she did... but I know Hilde has Duo at gunpoint and backs off when he talks about his genuine reasons for assuming his role; Cathy strikes Trowa outright to snap him out of his suicidal intentions; Dorothy does her best to gut Quatre. They're not all at the same point, either, in their relationships -- Hilde's met Duo once or twice by then, and then has to apprehend him as a felon, while Cathy's been a sort of big sister to Trowa for half of the series by then, and Dorothy had only just met Quatre in person. But for each, I find it curious that they're antagonistical towards their counterpart-pilot -- and Relena is the flipside, in that it's Heero who's constantly pulling a gun on her, instead.

Hrmmm. Damn it, why does this storyline always pull me back in?
kaigou: this is what I do, darling (Default)
Okay, rather than extend that one page even longer (though you're welcome to reply there if I missed a point), I'm going to try again and see if I can get this clear in my head.

Found a study on China's birthrates... )