Say…

Does anyone have a link to that music video where Christopher Walken dances? I’ve never seen it, I feel lame, and I want to not feel lame, which ties directly into the link to the video, so HELP ME.

Machine Man

Jackie got the parts for a new computer yesterday, and we spent the evening getting all the hardware put together. The OS disk came into my possession this morning… and I can’t install it. I’m not allowed. Jackie wanted to be directly involved in the computer creation process this time, because she’s getting an IT degree, and wants to know “how the damn things go together.”
But I’m home all day.
Thus, I’ve done the only thing someone like me in a situation like this can do: Upgraded my own machine to the new OS (Win2000 pro, if you’re interested). This had led to 3 or 4 hours of hilarity as I track down updated drivers for my equipment, fix up my software that doesn’t want to run anymore, and browse from my still-perfectly-functional-on-Win98 laptop.
Aside from the overall geekiness of it all, and my stomach cramps, a pretty good day.
Speaking of my illness, I want to thank Xkot for putting up a mojo magnet on his site during my hospital stay. Ever little bit helped keep the e coli concerns of the doctor safely in the “Crackpot” column.

Brust on Writing, via Brust on Painting

Brust’s The Sun, the Moon, & the Stars isn’t about writing. It’s also one of the best books about writing, written by a writer, that I’ve read. A couple of the bits that I read before and liked have been banging around in my head, and I dug out the book and found them today.
When I get this far into a project, it always starts to drag, no matter how excited I am. The important thing is to keep going, and, no matter how much it hurts, to take care that each stroke is applied correctly. A lot of my worst work has been done during the middle stage of a project, when I feel that, if I’m sloppy here I can make up for it later — but you can only repaint something a certain number of times before you’re going to lose some of the luster, or, if you keep wiping things off with turpentine, before you hurt the canvas itself.
I took frequent breaks here; to sit back and rest. I read for a bit, painted for a bit, and read some more. The important thing at this point was to keep going, and not let myself get burned out.

and

I do know artists who say, “I can’t look at other people’s work while I’m painting because their style creeps in.” The first time I heard that, I did a cartoon of Gauguin’s style creeping into Cezanne’s work, and I called it “Such tragedy.” I thought it was pretty obvious, but the people who ought to get it never do.
I can’t understand that attitude. So, someone’s style has an influence on you. So what? Is his ghost going to come and push your brush around? […] Whoever else you’re looking at, you are the one doing the painting, and that’s that.

Tonight…

“And the musical… the musical… could be the worst hour of TV ever made, but you won’t be able to say we didn’t go there.” — Joss Whedon, on Buffy the Vampire Slayer
Get ready to sing; get ready to dance.

Friday

A long and crazy day, and the trip’s been going very well. Much laughing.
Upside: I”m sleeping like the dead, because I’m going straight through from 7 to midnight in constant “Be up, get excited, be funny, meet new people” mode.
Downside: I’m going straight through from 7 to midnight in constant “Be up, get excited, be funny, meet new people” mode.
A sidenote: if anyone’s considering a trip near Portland, I cannot suggest a trip to the McMannis (sp?) Edgefield strongly enough (I’ll post the link later). Amazing. The place is some sort of converted faming commune. Multiple buildings. They have their own water tower, they brew there own ale (mostly ale, anyway), they make their own wine (the cabernet is good, won’t be trying the rest). Their mascot animal is a black rabbit.
And they have covered every door and wall in the place with paintings of… all KINDS of weird stuff. I’m going to buy a disposable camera and take pictures of some of them today, but the place is gargantuan and I’ll probably run out of film before I make it out of the main building.
Oh, and they have their own golf course. And I don’t have anything to do til 6pm today…
…and I decided not to bring my clubs. Dangit.
Ah well. Next time I will, because I’m definately coming back here.

Zelazny

I’ve been thinking about an interview with Roger Zelazny that I read a few years ago. I remember very distinctly a few of the things he wrote:

“I try to write every day, four times a day… It doesn’t sound like much but it’s kinda like the hare and the tortoise. If you try that several times a day you’re going to do more than three sentences, one of them is going to catch on. You’re going to say “Oh boy!” and then you just write. You fill up the page and the next page. But you have a certain minimum so that at the end of the day, you can say “Hey […] at least I didn’t goof off completely today.” I don’t get writer’s block. I’ve slowed down sometimes. I can always write and that’s the thing with three sentences at a time, even if you’re feeling sluggish you can always get three sentences out.”

I’ve always found Zelazny’s attitude towards writing very inspiring — there’s no mystique about it — in his opinion, someone with one short story to their name is as much a ‘professional’ as someone with umpteen Hugo’s and 50 books in print.
Just a thought.
[update: finally found the interview over here]

Tools

I discovered a neat little freeware (!) program called Rough Draft, a light word processor specifically designed to help one write a book or screenplay. There are a variety of features included in the program to make writing in these formats easier, and it seems pretty useful. Also interesting since it’s more robust than, say Notepad or Metapad, without getting into the bloat that is M$ software
The Roughdraft homepage is here.