I broke my posting streak yesterday, so no day 7. I have decided that does not mean starting over or giving up, so here it is day 8 of my attempt to blog every day for 90 days. I won’t be at 100%, but I will keep going and keep counting. The point of the exercise to get myself writing again.
This week will be a bit wobbly and likely short-winded, as I’m trying to finish up a class ASAP that involves building three websites and about 12 hours of remaining lecture. I’d really like to be done with it this week, but we’ll see.
I’ve set up a routine, now that the house is a bit more arranged for it, to watch my class lectures down stairs on the main tv and take notes while lounging on the couch, then head upstairs to build whatever it is on the desktop. Once we have the futon set up for the upstairs landing/living area, I’ll probably do my classes in there, closer to the office.
This is all part of an effort to note where I like to be at certain parts of the day and arrange to the greatest extant possible for the thing I need to do be directly in front of me. I probably should have been medicated for ADHD years ago, but I’m still getting by with my coping mechanisms.
I grabbed a couple of books over the last few days; The Collected Works of Mary Wollstonecraft, and Steve Hassan’s Combating Cult Mind Control. The former I picked up because I’ve been meaning to do a read through of her works, and the latter was the result of rabbit holing down Google for an idea for a story.
I’m about half way through Sanderson’s Shadows of Self, and it’s picked up the pace. I forget how slow his books tend to start out; they’re usually better to take in as quickly as possible. There is something about Sanderson’s style that feels like his stories are much lighter than they are. There was just a gruesome scene that involved a person murdered by being nailed to a wall through their eye sockets, yet listening to this story still feels like I’m being told a fairy tale. It would be an interesting exercise to dig in and really analyze his style some time. I suspect it’s something in his language choice, a sensation I sometimes get from reading John Scalzi or Chuck Wendig. I also note that all three of these writers are men. Every woman I’ve read lately feels heavy, dark, and visceral. Gods, that would be a weird exercise; why are these gendered authors different?
On the other hand, I think that more classic women speculative fic writers do that have “fairy tale” feel. Anne McCaffrey’s stuff, Vonda McIntyre, any of the weird shit by Andre Norton.
It has just occurred to me that Anne Leckie’s stuff reads like a fairy tale, and she has some truly nighmarish stuff in there.
If I’d made different life choices, this is the sort of thing I’d be publishing papers on right now. I’m not sure what the proper thesis would be, as right now it’s sort a question about what it is about different spec fic authors’ stylistic choices that tickle different parts of my brain in what is likely a wholly subjective and un-measurable way. “Reads like a fairy tale” is terribly vague, and if anyone is bothering to read my stream on consciousness here, I do apologize.
Ah, but I have an example of an author doing both. Kameron Hurley’s The Stars are Legion is really fucking weird, but it also had that old school scifi-fairy tale thing going on. Most of her other stuff I’ve read has been stimulating in other, often horrifying (delightfully so), ways. Maybe it’s the type of story, or the angle of it. I would have to re-read so much stuff to figure out what it is I’m even talking about, and I’d probably just end up using it for a class on book marketing. Not that there’s anything wrong with that, we all have bills to pay, and there probably is something genuinely useful in this vague question I’m trying to ask.
I may shelve this idea until the fall, when I hope to have a little bit of slack for an utterly ridiculous project like a research paper on why different books give me different feels.