Friday, October 30, 2009
Company Girl Coffee Talk II: The Splenda Strikes Back
Okay, so I know that's a goofy title, but I can't help it. I'm in a nerd-mood today. I could really go for a couple hours of wasted time on World of Warcraft, or running a Star Wars paper-and-pen role-playing game with my hubbies friends. Problem being I keep forgetting that I gave up role-playing. Sadly, the idea of it is always much more fun than the reality: sitting there waiting for a free moment to talk to the GM while some overbearing male-geek hordes his attention to ask about how many hits he can get in with his lightsaber and completely ignores me. I'm no feminist, I'll have you know, but I absolutely refuse to play RPGs with men anymore. It's one of the few niches where women's lib has not even made a dent in how things are run. I am shut up, shut out, and down for the count. Anything I do to rebel against the status quo of male-character domination usually either ends up in my character remaining in the same situation throughout the game, or in my characters death by the vindictive hand of a power-hungry GM. So I don't role-play anymore. But I do miss it. On the other hand, there are always alternative creative outlets.
This week has been an eye-opener for me on the subject of writing novels. I think in fact, that God is speaking to me through the many Author's Notes, writing handbooks, and homework assignments I've encountered. In case I haven't obsessed about it previously on here, I desperately want to be a writer. As in professional, actually-gets-stuff-published kind of writer. So I guess author would be a better term (yes, I am an English major!). I have ideas for novels and characters and plot details crowding up the RAM on my computer and stuffed into a tiny notebook in my purse which I carry everywhere. I'm constantly adding to them, like a mental pack-rat. I've started more than a few of them, but I always have trouble once I get a certain way into it. Then I make the mistake of reading over what I've written and realizing how abjectly terrible it is. But the point is finally starting to drive home to me that it's okay for a first draft to be terrible: as long as I complete it, the first draft can be complete garbage. That's what revision is for. I've been so insecure about these awful novels I'm writing because I never really stopped to consider revision. Oh, I knew I'd have to do it eventually, but I've always seen revision as more of a check-to-make-sure-there's-proper-punctuation-and-grammar-and-everything-looks-neat kind of thing, rather than the almost complete rewrite it is for most authors. See, I'm not trying brag, but I've always been pretty girted in academic writing. When I took classes in high school or college that required more than one draft, or peer review, I was usually the person skating by with "Excellent job!" comments and "Don't change this, it's awesome the way it is" written on the peer review copies. But if anything, I realize now, this has been a handicap. By never having anyone point out to me something that needed revising, I have never actually learned how to revise. Therefor, punctuation, spelling, and grammar were my only concerns. I haven't really learned how to truly write at all! What a revelation! So now that that little gem has hit me square on the forehead, I feel better than ever about sitting down and finishing one of these awful novels I've started. Not that I have the time to do so, mind you.
School has been crazy. I'm hanging in there, actually somewhat ahead in most of my classes. The vacation I took this month required me to get a week ahead in all my classes, and I have a short job coming up watching kinds in Baltimore for a BCMD conference series, so I'll need to get a week ahead again. On the whole, I'm proud of myself for sticking to it despite all the distractions, but I feel a little frantic for finals to finally be over. I want to be a free woman. I've been in school (with only a few brief breaks) since I was five. Twenty years later, I feel more than overdue for a chance to finally make my own decisions and live out the life I want to live. To bring this discussion full-circle, I was designing a character for online Star Wars RPGing (okay, so maybe I didn't totally give up the RPG thing) yesterday at the dentist's office (sidenote: I find it strange that I dread going to the doctor's office, but I love going to the dentist) while I was waiting for Johnny to finish his cleaning. The character is a female Twi-Lek (the colorful creatures usually featured as slave-dancers in the Star Wars movies, with one or two tentacle-like branches on their heads)
who was sold into slavery at a young age, and after years of struggling to get her freedom, finally is sold to a decent sort of guy who keeps a decent sort of cantina, who promises to allow her to work toward her freedom as an entertainer and occasional bouncer. At the time the game is played, she will be only a few months from freedom (I'm hoping the other RPGers will catch on that if they pay her/my remaining debt and free her/me she/I will join them on the mission in whatever capacity she/I is/am needed), and she is itching to go out and make her own decisions, travel the stars, and be her own master. Anyway, the point of that long-winded explanation, is that I just realized I wrote myself into that character. I am only a few months from freedom from academia, and I am anxious to go out in the eyes of my imagination and explore the stars, and write about them, of course.
Oh, before I forget, I have a request for any of you Company Girls who might chance to read this long-winded blog (I hope at least all the little ADD-side-notes were entertaining for you): a couple who are friends of ours had a baby girl two months ago named Abigail. The discovered that she had two holes in her heart that were preventing her heart from functioning adequately, so they have now been in the hospital 24/7 for about a month now. The doctors have had glowing reports about the success of her surgery and improved functioning, and have even started discussing plans to return the exhausted couple and their precious little girl home finally. However, this morning I got an update that Abigail's heart function fell to 50 bpms unexpectedly. I am sure that this is a huge source of anxiety for her parents, not to mention the thousands of other people who are praying for her. So I would just appreciate it if, before you even leave this page, you would say a prayer for Abigail's complete healing and recovery. Thanks so much!
Anyway, that's all. Hope everyone has a fantastic week! God bless you all!