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CobraShipper [userpic]

Collection of Doctor Who Dreams

November 21st, 2011 (11:38 am)

Some good, some bad.  All interesting.  I just got back from an MGS event, and considering all the drama that seemed to happen amongst those who were not at the MGS event, I may have to step away from that fandom for a while to recover.  But I have Doctor Who, at least, and I'll just settle myself deeper into that.

I can't remember all of my dreams though I know they all involved the Doctor, mostly Nine though One, Four, and Ten appeared.

There is some vague memory of a dream where Nine, Rose, and I were running through a metal corridor.

Probably the worst of my dreams was one where my husband was in a sniper battle with this alien and ended up dying.  Oddly enough, though I generally believe in my dreams when they are happening, I was certain it was a dream, even after Nine and Captain Jack told me that it wasn't.  I know that was the dream in which Four also appeared, talking in a phone booth.  Also, Sam Axe from Burn Notice, who ended up killing the alien.

The most vivid dream was that it's my twenty-sixth birthday, and Nine shows up at my apartment early in the evening to tell me that I have to hide in a reinforced building because the Master knows about a hidden ability I will gain at dawn the day after my birthday and wants to use it to control the flow of time.  I'm still not sure what the ability is, but it involves my kissing someone to allow them to use me and my power.  In order to keep the Master from kissing me, we have to hide in this sort of bunker with reinforced windows that can withstand blasts from energy weapons.  Nine is trying to get everyone in my area to hide there, and he told me I had to stay there and not let anyone else in.  He lockes it with the sonic screwdriver and left.  This teenage guy startes knocking on the door, screaming that he was being chased by robots.  I look past him into the dark and see a legion of Cybermen on rollerblades.  I wrench a side door open and let him in.  He thanks me profusely and goes over to this laptop that seems to be putting out some sort of jamming signal on the Cybermen's weapons.  He types something in while Captain Jack (who is also there, okay?) tries to stop him.  The kid cries in triumph as Jack kills him, and the Cybermen start shooting at the windows, which are withstanding the force for now.  Then one starts to crack, and I decide I have to find a way to stop it before everyone is killed.  I run out the side door and around the building as I hear a window shatter.  The Doctor, who is now Ten (he didn't regenerate; we'll get back to this in a moment) looks at me with this horrified expression, and I realize that it's my fault the Cybermen are able to shoot the windows.  I try to apologize, but he just grabs my wrist and drags me along until we get to the TARDIS which is in a parking garage.  He pushes me inside and tries to close the door on me, but I put my arm out to keep it from closing.
"Haven't you done enough damage?" he says, and I say that I have to go stop this, that I'm the only one who can.
"And if he catches you, then he'll have your power.  It's almost dawn," says the Doctor.
"I caused this.  I have to try to stop it," I say.
He gives me sort of suit-yourself look and walks away.  After a moment, I go after him and catch up with him in the parking lot.  He's now Nine again (why?  I guess because I thought Ten could give me a better I-am-very-disappoint look).  The sky is brightening, and I see the sun starting to come up.  I grab his collar and try to kiss him, but he turns away so that my kiss lands on his chin.  I try again, and it lands on his nose.
"Doctor, please!" I cry.
"I can't let you do that.  It's not a power I should have," he says.
"It's you or the Master," I say.
Then I see the Master across the parking lot, with a wave of Cybermen behind him.
"You can't give that sort of power to the Doctor," he says.  "You don't know what he'll do."
And then Nine scoops me into a kiss.  It was... it was good.  Everything sort of spins around us, and I wake up.

CobraShipper [userpic]

NaNoWriMo

November 15th, 2011 (09:08 am)

At this rate, I'll be happy to finish a chapter by the end of the month, but I guess that's how it must be.  Darn my never having any free time...

But I really do like my plot and my characters.  I think, even if this takes me a year to complete, it will be publishable.

Here's a synopsis:

As a member of the youth Communist Party and the daughter of two Bolsheviks, Dona has a sure future in the Soviet Union's political system. After Dona's parents are murdered, a mysterious woman named Aleksandra pulls her into the underworld of the Party, where duplicity is status quo, comrades become enemies overnight, and romance is a game of Russian roulette.

A romantic murder mystery set in Moscow's tumultuous late '30s, the height of Josef Stalin's purge of the Communist Party leadership and the beginning of the war that would leave the world divided.

CobraShipper [userpic]

It annoys me when...

November 14th, 2011 (04:15 pm)

People put me in the middle of drama I have nothing to do with and then go around saying I'm terrible person because I didn't fix their screwed up lives.

I run conventions, people.  I'm not your relationship counselor, your doctor, your mother, your babysitter, your psychiatrist, or your teacher.  Please do not expect that, since you buy a badge once a year, I am going to help you with every little problem you have the rest of the year.

And seriously, don't go trashing me or my cons on the internet or elsewhere because I didn't step in when you had an argument with one of your friends on your own personal facebook page.

CobraShipper [userpic]

Ladidadi Dreams

November 11th, 2011 (09:05 am)

So I was dreaming about Dragon*Con all the time (sometimes for an entire week).  Now I'm dreaming about Doctor Who almost every night.

When will they combine and give me Doctor*Con dreams?

CobraShipper [userpic]

Failing at everything

November 7th, 2011 (01:46 pm)

Currently failing at:

Escape from Outer Heaven (namely, getting more than 10 people there)
NaNoWriMo
Staying on task at work
Getting people to do stuff at Bishie Con
Everything with Bishie Con, really
Being a good con chair
Friendship
Helping my husband finish the proton packs
Being an officer of the Greater St. Louis Ghostbusters
Finishing our costumes for Bishie Con
Finishing even my damned remade for the THIRD FUCKING TIME gloves for my Boss costume
Making money
Keeping money
Getting my library books and DVDs turned in on time
Dealing with anxiety
Flying in airplanes
Buying a house
Keeping my apartment clean
Cooking healthy food
Losing weight
Gaining muscle
Finishing all my damned fan fics
Reading and watching all the stuff my friends keep recommending
Doing ANYTHING after work that isn't reading or watching something from the library
Making better costumes
Christmas presents
Not buying tons of stupid vintage clothing every time I'm at a thrift store
Getting rid of shit that's clogging up my house
Making my conventions profitable enough that I don't have to worry about them constantly
Health insurance
Sanity


CobraShipper [userpic]

Isn't it awful...

October 17th, 2011 (01:30 pm)

How you sometimes feel sick over small things that really don't matter, small things that should be considered hobbies?

But it makes sense.  Most of us, in this age, hate the question, "What do you do for a living?" because that's not what we feel defines us.  My job may be closer to my aspirations than the jobs of many my age, but it's not who I am.  Who I am is what I do with my free time.  It's running conventions.  It's making costumes.  It's writing.  Gracious, is it writing!  It's creation and art, not the day-to-day technical aspects of a job.

Then it becomes too clear why I would lose sleep and agonize over my "hobbies".

One thing I don't understand (and no explanation I've heard so far will help me to understand it) is why people constantly say that I should make my "art" (writing, costuming) only to please myself.  This is the standard dumb response every time I ask how I can improve my writing and the main reason I wrote 107,000 words of utter tripe with no real plot or purpose except to have fun writing the characters.  Oh, sure, it's fun, but what is the point when people think it sucks?  Part of art for me is giving to others and seeing their responses.  I won't believe I've created art until I have people saying, "This hit me right here, and this is my favorite character, and this is my favorite moment, and..."  That will be art for me in writing.  Until then, I'll feel like I'm just spewing shit into the world.

Okay, so I've hit that point with costuming, but then I feel like I have to "wow" at every con.

And I just started crying because I swatted a fly.  Why am I all messed up?

CobraShipper [userpic]

Need help with a song

October 11th, 2011 (08:56 pm)

I'm trying to do a Joy/Sorrow fanmix (actually, just fixing up the one I made a while back), and I need a song that makes sense as The Sorrow dying.  I was using a Creed song before, but it's not perfect there, and, well, it's Creed.  No one likes Creed (except me, occasionally).  "The Sound of Silence" reminds me of The Sorrow too, but it's not about that scene.  It's more about him talking to the dead.  I need something about him dying.

Any ideas?

CobraShipper [userpic]

The (Not-All-That-Harsh) Reality of Film School

October 11th, 2011 (02:56 pm)
Tags:

I was a kid with too many dreams.  One day after dance class, my seven-year-old self said that, when I grew up, I would be a teacher during the day, a scientist at night, and a circus clown all summer.  Then I would get trained to be an astronaut and go to space at least once and write a book about it.  My high school, probably spurred by some sort of grant, decided that four years was hardly enough time for a student to pick a college, so the goal of our freshman year was to pick a college and career.  I decided that, after majoring in broadcast journalism, I would be a radio DJ making my way into the rock star business by singing commercial jingles and performing stand-up in comedy clubs.  Apparently, this was unreasonable, and "English" was proffered as a better option.  I picked film.  After my final paper in the life-planning class was written, I promptly went about becoming a rock star again.  I wrote music, sang briefly in a band, tried to learn the drums, sent a tape to Dr. Demento, entered every talent show I could find, traveled across Ohio singing the national anthem at events, and called one of my local radio stations over and over to see how many times I could get on the air.

Before school each morning, I was taking extra classes, sometimes show choir, sometimes French, sometimes just coming in early to bother my favorite teachers.  I discovered the Mac lab.  It had always been there, a great, multi-colored waste of time that allowed me to play Mad Libs with the librarians and watch Homestar Runner cartoons.  For those all-important purposes, the Mac lab was like any other computer lab except that Mad Libs were much funnier when copied into Text Edit and read aloud by the computer voice called "Fred".  The discovery was iMovie - then a multi-track editing program that could capture video from my dad's camera so that I could edit it out of order.  Suddenly freed from the confines of editing in-camera, I could make movies!

There was no cure for this new obsession but to find a film school.  After listing "Film Production" as my future major on my pre-ACT, my mailbox was stuffed with fliers from every film school from California to England.  Even a country girl from the Midwest could see the pretension dripping from most of the advertisements - schools of art touting their "freedom to express", two-year film programs calling themselves "conservatories of film", even ITT Tech billing its broadcast video production program as a "film school".  For a brief moment, I was set on going to Tim Burton's alma mater - the California Institute for the Arts - and I planned a visit.  Another read through their website scared me enough to cancel it; there was too much emphasis on art for the sake of art... and I had always found museums of modern art a little creepy.  The Art Institute of Philadelphia was next, but by that time, I had remembered my love of history and science and linguistics and culture and every other subject that was NOT art.  In late September, just before the meeting with a guidance counselor where I would have to declare my college choice, I pulled a small, unassuming flier from the pile.  It was from a tiny school in St. Louis, Missouri, called Webster University.  No sororities or fraternities, no football team, no artsy pomp but an obvious creative emphasis, a film program, and Russian.  I visited two weeks later.  The campus was plain, cramped, and falling into disrepair, but I liked it.

Even at a small college in the Midwest, film majors seemed to have a grandiose view of themselves, and I fell quickly into the mold.  Every silly editing project I had done in high school became a "short film", all of my favorite movies were dubbed "popcorn flicks", and, very briefly, I followed some of the other freshman in calling myself a "film prod".  Though I aced every class, I was no prodigy as I had been in high school.  The technical aspects were tough, and projects demanded more time and money than I had expected.  I simplified my visions and learned to write for my budget.

While my little sister, who had spent twelve years talking about being a large animal veterinarian, changed majors after a year, I surprised my family by graduating with a film degree and a job in editing already lined up.  Some of my fellow film majors moved to California.  Some became gaffers and videographers here in St. Louis.  Some are freelancers.  One designs monsters for haunted houses.  Some never tried to get a job in the field.  I'm married to one of those, and I regret his decision to major in film more than I regret mine.  In fact, I never regret mine.  If I ever found the time and money, I would make an independent film.  Heck, I'd direct a TV series.  But I don't want to live in Hollywood.  For film majors in Hollywood, life is often an expensive, disappointing waste, and if I'm going to work for too little in my field, I'd rather do it where my money is worth something.

The child who dreamed of being a teacher/scientist/doctor/ballerina/clown/astronaut/writer/rock star/comedian/DJ is a 25-year-old video editor/writer/convention chair/costumer/singer.  Maybe not exactly the same thing, but close.  Really close.

CobraShipper [userpic]

That distinct difference...

October 7th, 2011 (11:56 am)

I was a writer, or I thought I was.  My English teachers since grade school had conspired to get me published.  They gave me guides to publication, names of literary agents they had met, and lists of publishers who would put the ramblings of a child on bookstore shelves for the sake of novelty.  I never submitted.  One review with the slightest criticism, and the story went to the back of my notebook or the bottom of a drawer.

High school.  Fan fiction, mostly as a game between friends.  I would write a page and pass it off to see what my writing inspired in my friend.  Harry Potter was the usual topic.  Everyone knew Harry Potter.  When it was Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy, I wrote it alone.  The Harry Potter fics went on the internet.  Everything else was private.

I once submitted a piece of fan fiction for my 4-H writing project.  It was about "Weird Al" Yankovic.  I was fourteen.  I won an award.

Then my writing became parody.  Every name was a pun.  Every story, a pastiche of cliches from my favorite genres - mainly spy movies and space operas.  I was reading a lot of Analog, and then I was writing hard science fiction, which is a feat of sheer stupidity for a teenager barely familiar with physics and biology.  Stories began as scenes - a woman's crashed space pod in the middle of a frozen desert, a girl musing on the faraway whistle of a train as she drifted to sleep, a grandfather's eyes warm brown like the gingerbread in the oven.  Sentiment and dripping prose replaced the thin jokes as I entered my junior year.  

Mr. Ark, who looked and sometimes dressed like Mark Twain, was my editor.  I dropped stories on his desk, and he handed them back in yellow envelopes stamped "Top Secret" and "Classified".  The pages were covered with red marks - grammar mistakes, spelling errors, cliches and dead-horse tropes.  I corrected every one until the day he would hand me the story clean with a hastily-scrolled "Wow!" in the corner.  My last year in 4-H, I submitted one of these clean stories for the short story project.  At the county level, it was perfect.  The judge beamed at me during the interview, elated that a 17-year-old could express so much about a time she had never experienced.  At state level, the judge was an amateur spy expert, and my tale of two women caught up in the pre-World War II purge of the USSR's intelligence agencies had apparently sent her into a rage.  "Komissariat", the masterpiece of my senior year in high school, had offended her vast knowledge of the history of the USSR (which, according to her, was the culmination of yearly trips to the spy museum in Washington, DC).  Like every story before it, "Komissariat" went to the bottom of some drawer and disappeared.  Five years of research on the time and culture later, I could hardly think of the story without grimacing at my flimsy understanding of Russia and her language.

Passionate essays dominated my college writing.  My political alignment changed by the day, often by the assignment.  I could write a convincing paper condemning the very behavior I had spent a month exulting.  When I wrote fiction, it presented self-centered characters speaking from their eccentric viewpoints.  My fiction classes loved them, but my professor pulled me aside after class and said, "Katrina, you keep writing character sketches like persuasive essays.  They come in with a strange idea, and the reader comes out almost wanting it.  I need you to write something else.  Write about characters who realize at some point that they have flaws."

I did that.  I wrote two stories - "Not Me" and "Ruth's Game", both thinly-disguised autobiography.  The professor loved them.  The class didn't.  They both went into the trash.

As a film major, I had to take screen writing classes, which were easy to pass as long as you knew a few words of English.  Dialogue became my new obsession.  I wrote new episodes of The Simpsons and Buffy for one class, set a Victorian sanitorium on fire in another, and finally sent five friends on a trip to a science fiction convention.  I never finished a screenplay longer than an hour, and the two stories I actually filmed ("The Tale of Sir Phillip" and "The Magic Cabinet") came out stilted.  My screen writing was, perhaps, no better than my short stories.

My final project for advanced fiction was a short story called "Times Beach", perhaps the only work I still read with any pride.  It was a disjointed series of happenings one evening in a deserted town called Times Beach.  Maybe I can put it in a short story anthology someday.  Maybe.

Almost two years after college graduation, I had written little more than a few emails and blog entries.  I was on vacation in Ohio when I started writing again - a short story about Snake and Otacon from Metal Gear Solid.  The first scene was solid - moonlit snow on the edge of a black forest.  But nothing happened.  My clever little storyline seemed inconsequential and contrived when I set to write it.  It's still unfinished.

The Joy of Battle began with a dream, once again involving snow though this dream happened in early May of 2010.  I dreamt that I was the Joy, searching a research facility somewhere in Poland, and I tripped.  The young man who helped me up had the palest blond hair and an off-kilter smile - the Sorrow.  It was going to be short and light-hearted.  My plan was to end long before D-day and skip ahead to an epilogue in1947.  Then Peace Walker was released, complete with the intriguing revelation that the Joy had been sent on a false mission to America to assassinate John von Neumann.  Clearly, I had to work that mission into my story.  After ten chapters, I knew I couldn't skip D-day, so I rewrote my outline to include it.  By twenty chapters, I decided to make the V2 arc the focus of the story though it took me over thirty chapters to get there.  Originally, that would have been simple - destroying a few rockets near Omaha Beach before Joy's inevitable c-section, but my research gave me a different idea.  Why not focus on the mobile launchers the Germans had actually invented?  It would give me a chance to further the intrigue of the main story, which at that point was starting to stagnate.  

I wrote happily and steadily, publishing chapter after chapter on fanfiction.net, not really caring whether anyone read it.  Reviews started appearing after the first few chapters and continued into the teens.  Then they stopped.  Desperate for some sort of feedback, I asked my DeviantArt watchers if one of them could beta read.  Two offered.  The first corrected a few typos and then said, "Nice job!"  The second gave me a little more depth... at first.  She would pick out specific scenes she liked and ask questions about what was to come (mostly so that I could see what, at specific points in the story, was of the most interest to a reader).  By the thirties, she could hardly say more than that she liked it and that I needed to "keep writing".

My husband was still back in the early twenties, and I had to drag opinions out of him like state secrets.  One day, he said, "Why are they spending so much time in hotels?"  What?  I went back and read the story from the beginning.  Hotel.  Another hotel.  First hotel.  Parachuting.  Old house.  Traveling.  Sleeping car on train (like a hotel).  And it continued like that, chapter after chapter without action and without a definite plot.  I brought this issue to my beta readers who I felt should have said something earlier.  One said she had noticed it from the beginning but didn't want to make me feel bad then proceeded to say that I was a terrible writer because even the worst published authors have a distinct plot obvious from the first couple of chapters.  That felt really good, and by "good", I mean "devastating".  What use was a beta reader who didn't want to help me until I was so far into the story that it no longer mattered?  My second reader said, "I like it.  I don't care what anyone says.  Keep writing.  I want to get to the good part."  The good part.  This stuff is just the lead-up to the good part.  It's like eating an Oreo for the filling in the center.  You keep scraping it into a little pile as you try to get the cookie over with before getting to "the good part".

I'm not a writer.  I'd like to be, but I'm not.  As with every project, I put my soul and energy into this almost exclusively.  I wanted practice at long-form writing, but now I have to finish it because I have people waiting for "the good part".  So now I am trying to rush through it without seeming like I'm rushing.  It's a tough line to walk.  Each chapter ends up longer than the last as I realize I have to solve this problem and then that one before I can go on to the next.

I sound like I hate my story.  I don't.  I love it.  Its flaws are innumerable, and they are my flaws, but I can't imagine how I could have told the same story without them.  The plot is messy and slow, but it was practice for future novels.

I want to be a writer, and I will be a writer.  I will be published someday, in a tangible book with my name on the cover, maybe embossed in giant capital letters bigger than the title.  For now, I just want to finish what I started so that I can look back and know what I did wrong.


CobraShipper [userpic]

I am... such a creeper

October 6th, 2011 (06:47 pm)
Tags:

I keep saying wholly inappropriate things to people I admire.  For some reason, I can't keep it to myself when I think someone is attractive.  Hell, I practically threw myself on top of one of my acquaintances at Archon (and I was sober, so I can't imagine how I would have acted had I been drunk).

I... I'm thinking that telling artist that their art makes me "hard" might be a little far.  Maybe I shouldn't have said that one.  :/

*creeper hiss*