Sunday, July 6, 2008

A quick update

Just to let you all know what I've been up to since I last posted.

My writing challenge... isn't going too well. I was on a roll that first day, but then on the second and the third, I didn't get very much written at all. In fact, I haven't actually written anything since Friday. :(

Part of the reason is that my new computer hasn't arrived yet, so I have to wait till my sister's not using hers before I can type up anything.

Another part is that I suddenly had a meltdown of the "OMGWTF I SUCK" variety. It's still not quite assuaged yet. I've written angry little notes to myself, telling me that my characterisation is about as flat as two-day-old Cola, my dialogue is terrible, my world-building sucks, my descriptions suck, and the only thing I've got going for me is my plot, and that's because I got it from Tacitus. It's going to be a while before I feel even halfway competent again.

Friday was my cousin's wedding, so I wasn't going to get anything written then anyway. It was a lovely day, though. She looked absolutely gorgeous, and the church service was lovely (even if I felt completely disoriented 'cause I didn't know any of the hymns, or those wee replies they give to the priest during Mass - can you tell I'm not religious?). She got some glorious sunshine for her big day, too, between two days of pouring rain. :) The only thing I can really complain about was the inept piper. I mean, bagpipes are bad at the best of times, but when played by someone who can't... (shudder)

Then disaster struck (for me, that is, not anyone else). Halfway through the afternoon, I realised my period had started, taking me completely unawares. (Yeah, sorry for the TMI, folks, but I need to moan about it to someone.) Worse than that, I didn't have any towels on me. Even worse than that, I was wearing very white trousers. >.< I ended up spending the rest of the evening with my bum anchored firmly to my seat, resisting all efforts by various relatives to get me on the dance floor.

PMS also struck bad this month. That night I cried for about an hour and a half non-stop after a horrible, horrible plunge in self-esteem. I have a lot of self-esteem issues, which I can usually handle, but tonight, for some reason, they just overwhelmed me all at once. It was probably the PMS, only I don't remember it ever affecting me quite so badly before. I felt better in the morning, but it was still horrible. Yeuch.

So... yeah. PMS also tends to wreak havoc with my ability to write, so even if my new computer does come this week, I still don't think I'll be doing much writing. Looks like an editing week for me. I can edit that crap I wrote on the first couple of days. ;) I'm dreading looking at it.

And in other moan-related news, I was very... dissatisfied with the series finale of Doctor Who. And for most of the episode, it was absolutely great. I loved it. It just sort of copped out at the end. The whole thing with Rose's happy ending just seemed a bit too nicely wrapped up in a pretty bow. I thought her story had been pretty neatly tied up at the end of the second series, anyway. It was so sad, but it was satisfying. It felt complete. I thought her ending in this episode rang a bit false, just shoved in there to placate the Rose fans. (I'm not active in the Doctor Who fandom, but I have a friend who is, and she claims the Rose fans are "batshit insane".)

That's not my biggest gripe, though. That's reserved for the send-off they gave Donna. I mean, wtf? Maybe it's just a personal thing, but I really can't abide following something - a book, or a TV programme, or whatever - getting to know a character and follow their development and growth, only for them to lose their memories at the end and render all that growth null and void. What was the point? Why bother? Why were her insecurities all laid bare in this last episode and then overcome, only for her to forget it all and regress into the person she had been before? Like I said, it's a personal peeve, but for me, the whole "protagonist loses all memory of the storyline at the end" thing ranks way down there with "...And it was all a dream."

Grrrgnash. And I'd absolutely loved this series, too. :(

And elsewhere... OMG why the hell can't the Irish sources agree on anything? Bloody Book of Invasions. Bloody Annals of the Four Masters. Bloody Book of Ballymote. Is it asking too much for a rough agreement on when Cairpre Riata might've lived? The dates I've garnered together range from AD 165, c. 200 - 220, 258 - 274. In short, no one can seem to make up their bloody minds. And was he the son of Conaire Mór of Da Derga's Hostel fame, or Conaire Coem? Can you make up your minds there? No? Oh, bloody hell.

Ach, tae hell wi' it. He's going in the Severan novel. Stupid, manipulated, politically-slanted genealogies. If you can make stuff up, so can I. Nyaaah. >:(

I shall return when the Feminax kicks in.


Gabriele C. said...

Poor thing. PMS sucks rotten potatoes through a straw. I never get anything written during those days, either. I'm taking St.John's Wort which helps a bit, but to completely get rid of the mess you'd probably need the whole procreation part cut out, and then one gets fat. Not fun, either.

I had that sort of surprise one time as well and went around whispering to all female relatives and friends until luckily one of my aunts had a tampon in her handbag. I always have one in my handbag now, no matter what time of the month.

Wasn't there a Cairpre in the late 4th century as well? The one who went over to Scotland and settled in what was to become Dal Riata? Cuz I remember to have found that info somewhere and used it for the family tree of the MC in The Charioteer. Or is he the same guy with yet another date attached to his existence? :)

Kirsten Campbell said...

Yep. PMS sucks bad. So does the mess. Why can't it all just come in a one-er? I managed to snag a towel from my sister, but there was nothing I could do about the trousers. Nothing but sit there and make everyone think I'm antisocial. ;)

We seem to be thinking of the same person. Looks like they've spread him across several centuries, poor guy. Most of the dates I've found seem to have him in the third century, though. I went to the library today and did a spot of reading up, and it looks like I might just manage to stick him in the Severan novel.

This, of course, assuming that he actually existed. :)

It doesn't help that there were quite a few Cairpres running about. Like his two brothers, both of them named Cairpre, too. Apparently their parents didn't have much in the way of imagination. ;)

I could probably get a whole post out of this.

Smarty said...

Aw, poor you *hug* It sucks when your period comes at times like that. It caught me at unawares at school once, and of course I was wearing white trousers that day (and we change classrooms every other lesson *cringe*). Since then I only wear very dark blue jeans.
The best cure for PMS, imo, is a good dose of theobromine, especially in the form of Lindt 85% cocoa. Plus some Monty Python of course :)

If you're stuck with your writing it may help to just open another wordfile and write all the NaNo stuff there (so that you don't feel your "contaminating" the rest of the novel with the "crappy" writing). And just write. Doesn't matter if it's awful. You might not get any good sentences and paragraphs and scenes, but you'll get ideas :)
I'd be happy to do a couple of word-wars with you if you'd like (I'll be back in about two weeks).

Btw, what *is* it with important historical characters and lack of imagination? My Bructerian Bob family is rather historically likely (except the Bob part)

Gabriele C. said...

They didn't have internet and sites.

And since when are the Bobs Bructeri? I thought they were Batavians.

Kirsten Campbell said...

Smarty - I was lucky at school - we had to wear black trousers or skirts as part of the uniform.

Yup, they're my menstrual fixer-uppers, too. Only this month it was Mystery Science Theater 3000.

Heh, that's what I'm doing for this month. Everything I write is on a separate file till I can edit it. Quarantined, lol.

The word-wars sound good. See you when you get back! :)

Smarty said...

The Bobs used to be Frisians but now they're Bructeri. The Batavian random guys are called Batavian1, Batavian2, etc all the way up to... seven, I think.

Word wars it is then! *glares at work schedule*

paddybrown said...

I'm a bit late commenting on this one, but I've been looking into the Coanire Mor/Conaire Coem thing myself for different reasons, and I think the inescapable conclusion is that they're the same guy. The monks found a tradition (Da Derga's Hostel) that Conaire was contemporary with Conall Cernach of the Ulster Cycle, which as we all know took place at the time of Christ, and another one that he was Conn Cetchathach's son-in-law and had all these sons called Cairpre, so they split him in two.

The other thing with early Irish chronology is that the High Kingship didn't exist until the 8th century or so. Most of the traditional High Kings were probably not High Kings at all, but local and provincial kings whose memory has been exaggerated in the traditions of their descendants. To make them all consecutive High Kings the monks had to create a chronology that was much longer than it would have been if it was accurate. Most of the legendary pre-Christian High Kings could probably be crammed into the third and fourth centuries.