(I Also Write Children's Books!)

Friday, June 24, 2011

Ponies and Dolls

I'm finished through chapter 4 of Quite Contrary, and trying to decide if there are good ways to link to the chapters in this blog. This puts me again in the mysterious Between Space before my inspiration revs up and I launch into the next writing spree. The covers for The Doll House are ready, so I'm hoping they'll be ready to publish in the next few days. Meanwhile, I... guess I blog about myself! I dunno. That's supposed to happen, right?

I will take a cue from Keri's blog there. She likes live action television serieses. I like cartoons. I like cartoons a lot. For those watching the internet explode in pastel pink glory, it can be taken for granted that I am a My Little Pony fan. But I'm not here to talk about ponies!

Since I'm off visiting The Old Man, I brought a selection of videos on my flash drive, and I'm rewatching Rozen Maiden. Anime, American animation, European animation, all I care is that it's a good cartoon, and Rozen Maiden is my favorite cartoon series ever, which means it's my favorite TV show ever. I can't believe I'm rewatching it for the 4th time. I'm not a big rewatcher, but there's just so much to see.

Since I just started rewatching I'm fascinated by the way the show pretends to be your standard 'magical sidekicks tournament fight' at the beginning. Admittedly that pretense doesn't last long, but I'm seeing this pattern in the particularly good dramatic animes, like Rozen Maiden and Puella Magi Madoka Magica and Kodomo no Jikan, where they start out as if they were a cheap trope series so they can subvert all of the expectations and everything can fall into madness and Hell. The earliest example I can think of using that approach was Evangelion, and of course at the time I felt it was the best around.

But Rozen Maiden does it better than all of them. Now that I've seen the entire series and I know the characters, the cliche'd trope beginnings have extra meaning. They're displays of how truly, truly broken everyone on the show is. Suigintou's assassin doll really IS as halfhearted and ridiculous an attack as it seems, because Suigintou doesn't want Shinku dead. Shinku's jaded detachment isn't confidence, she's just so tired of fighting her sisters and being hurt by her owners and doesn't want to do it anymore. Then she bullies Jun into kissing the ring under her terms, and if you aren't watching for it you'd completely miss the expression of helplessly falling in love that transforms her face while they're connecting.

And in Episode 2 anybody can see Hina Ichigo completely lose it and nearly murder her owner, but now I have the perspective of seeing just how close all the dolls were to immolation at the start of the series. Shinku has become cold and withdrawn and isn't sure she's willing to fight even to save her own life anymore. Hina Ichigo can't endure abandonment and entombment again, and her personality is crumbling around her in her desperation to stop it. And Shinku could tell at a glance and while pretending to be the arrogant bully manipulates Hina Ichigo into moving in with her where she'll be safe and taken care of while she recovers. I'll never know for sure, but it was almost certainly on her mind already. After all, Suigintou was awake and just crazy enough to kill, and poor Hina Ichigo would have trouble fighting her way out of a paper bag.

I like these shows, the ones where you're justified putting this kind of thought into them. And Rozen Maiden is amazing.

Friday, June 10, 2011

The Hacksaw's Edge Of Inspiration

I thought I should try and write a post right now. I just got finished plotting out chapter 2 (and it might be 3 and 4, it's a bit big and I may split it) of Quite Contrary. There were things that disappointed me in the first chapter, compensations I need to provide so that what I love about what I've made already can shine. Thoughts about all of this have been building up all week, along with plot events for the chapter and individual inspirations. But I've spent the whole bloody week painting the new house under fierce time constraints. When I'm not working I'm exhausted unto death and unable to write properly.

Tonight I woke up from a nap with enough energy, and it all fell together. Molly Of The Blood woke up. Usually it's Molly Of The Broken Spring who plots, but I've been too deprived lately. Now, see, this is why I felt I should post now. I'm one of those crazy, frenzied, passionate artists, right? Combine that with a fascination with human psychology, and a long while back I named various parts of my personality.

Molly is the name I gave my entire right brain, my creative side. She has aspects, but it's not so easy to divide them. Molly Of The Blood is the purest creative frenzy. I've read about the way the brain functions when visual artists work. They lose any sense of time, their ability to process language is severely impaired, they can't do math... when I am Molly Of The Blood, I go through all that stuff. For an hour or two there I had no personality or thoughts other than the writing, and if something else tried to get my attention it was an unwelcome intrusion. And if people tried to talk to me, I couldn't talk to them back except in a jumble of half a dozen words. Not without pushing Molly away and losing the inspiration. And yet, it's an inspiration to *write*. I assure you my outline is not only coherent, it's rather fat with literary detail. That ability with words is borrowed, allowed one tiny corner to exist.

And there are no emotions during that process. At least, none I could describe or remember. Writing is *all* I'm doing if it gets intense. But when it ends? Man, the high. I could dance on the ceiling. I'm quick witted and melodramatic and I enjoy playing with words far too much. In awhile I'll crash and be very depressed, but by then I'll be asleep, so HA! I WIN THIS ROUND, CHEMISTRY!

Does anyone else write like this?

Sunday, June 5, 2011

I'm Lovin' This Depression

Those are strange words to say honestly. Back in depressive phase, and it feels better than manic. I'm calm and it's the distractions from my creativity that have died!

Unfortunately, only the emotional distractions. Life remains vigorous, if no longer miserable. I've got very little time and energy to spare, and I'm devoting most of it to writing. That means The Doll House stories are getting cleaned and arted up very slowly, because I'd rather get my next project good and started.

Poor Parthenogenesis. The unloved middle child. Maybe I'll be able to get back into it when I return to manic phase, but I tried to reread what I've done already and my brain rebelled. I absolutely do not want to be in Shem's head right now. Molly wants little kids and a brand new story, so I'm taking some of the elements I would have used on Rose Of Delphi and I'm starting a new book! And by 'starting' I mean 'Have started'. I've got the first chapter done to help me set the characters and feel, and now I'm building the overall plot outline while trying not to rush straight into chapter two. God, I'm so inspired.

Tentative working title: Quite Contrary. Mary gets lost and ends up in a fairy tale, like everyone who gets lost does. What, you think they were LYING about the yeti, aliens, giant fish, or the little town where no one spoke English and the radios and TVs didn't work? In Mary's case she accidentally becomes Red Riding Hood, and as I hope everyone knows that's a story with a very bad track record of ending well. But the Wolf's going to have his hands full, because Mary is the bitchiest nine year old that ever was. Whatever you tell her to do, she won't do the opposite. She'll find something even MORE rebellious to do.

Mmm, loving this so much. Writer's gotta write.