Four (just four, no scores) years ago, when I graduated from college, I spent a good three months applying for lab tech jobs, watching Stargate (SG-1 and Atlantis), and Firefly on my sister's computer, and otherwise emphatically vegging in her house. I think I may have been what is known as "burned out" - I still remember the feeling of being utterly emptied of any creativity I had at the time.

That feeling is a lot like where I was two weeks ago - utterly exhausted by life and not interested in anything save escaping the constant work, the constant pressure. I was late to get home for Shabbat that week and as I was pulling out of the university the driver in front of me was chatting on with her car full of girlfriends. I honked at her so she would turn onto the only road that leads out of this badly-constructed place, and she decided that flipping me off the rest of the time we shared the road was the way to go. I got home to light candles - late - and as I did so I saw how messy our dining room was. I was hit with such a wave of despair and anger and irrational desire to hit things that I could only manage one thing: I went to bed.

Doyle woke me up a few hours later and we went out for dinner to a mall that has two things that cheer me up immensely - a Borders and a Cheesecake Factory. We didn't really get to explore the Borders before closing, so we went back the next day so I could indulge in some escapism. And that's when, after wandering around and not having anything catch my eye for 15 minutes, I picked up [ profile] blackholly's Ironside, and started reading. I bought the book and finished it at home, a few hours later, curled up in the new reading nook I'd made for myself several months ago but hadn't actually used before. And then I went to the stack of books I've bought and not read, and I picked up [ profile] libba_bray's The Sweet Far Thing. It'd been waiting for some attention for almost a year now, and I felt like I was going back in time - like I was back at my sister's house in August/September 2004, flying through Tithe and A Great and Terrible Beauty and thinking "I could do this. I have a story to tell."

It's weird how a one-two punch can happen twice. It took me longer to finish TSFT than AGaTB, and I still have many thoughts on it - and it actually makes me want to write fanfic, which is not an event that happens very often. I'll save that for another post (gotta have a reason). But last night I opened the file I keep Glamour in and started scanning it. I read through the notes [ profile] lodessa and [ profile] hamsterwoman left on my journal last summer. And I started thinking about how I could fix it.

I'm still too far from "there yet." I worked another 12 hour day on Tuesday, I've not really had much success in waking up and going into work earlier so I can leave earlier (though I've now moved it back about 30 minutes). I have yet to write a single word. But today I picked up another book from my overwhelmingly large "to read" pile and put it in my backpack. Gotta start somewhere.

From: [identity profile]

I'm glad to hear you are getting back in the reading/thinking about writing groove! (I can't remember... I think I hadn't written up comments for the last chapter or two of Glamour you posted, though I do think I read them. I should go back and check -- and I do want to know what happens next!)

On the reading, what did you think of Ironside? (I liked it quite a bit, myself). I also finally read AGaTB, and liked it, but have yet to find/read either of the sequels.

From: [identity profile]

I also liked Ironside a lot. I felt that her writing had gotten much tighter and cleaner, for want of a better term. The story had good pacing, it didn't really drag, but I did see the major plot twists coming a mile away. I did really enjoy the character growth I saw, too.

I think I like TSFT and AGaTB more than Rebel Angels. Though I think its because I figured out the major mystery of RA - who is Circe - way back in AGaTB and curse the characters for being dense. TSFT had much more going for it. It was really the book where they grow up, and I do find the ending appropriate.

You have not, indeed, critiqued the last two chapters I posted way back when. Which is a shame, 'cause I'd just gotten to the good part, too. But I'll make you a deal - you critique and I'll edit the next chapter and upload it. Feedback shall be my cookie. (They're all tagged "faeries and friends" and linked off the sidebar of my LJ.)

From: [identity profile]

I felt that her writing had gotten much tighter and cleaner, for want of a better term. The story had good pacing, it didn't really drag

Yep, that was my impression, too -- that some of the craft issues which had distracted me in Tithe had gotten a lot better by Ironside. I saw all/most of the plot twists a mile away, too (who Roiben would have to fight, Dave's death, the whole Corny/Luis thing (is that even a plot twist?)), except Kaye's solution to the quest.

I think I like TSFT and AGaTB more than Rebel Angels.

Really? I haven't talked to very many folks who've read the trilogy, but the consensus I'd heard so far seemed to be that book 2 was really good and book 3 got really odd (in terms of characterization, maybe? or resolution, or something? I don't remember the details) I do want to read both, though, yeah, Circe's identity is pretty obvious back in AGaTB, and the characters are not particularly bright when it comes to making connections...

Went back and checked the posting dates for the last two chapters -- now I remember why I didn't comment on them -- that was about three days before I was leaving on my 2-month-long sabbatical vacation in Europe. I think I even have some notes from those chapters, somewhere, I just never got around to organizing and posting them. *goes back to look*

From: [identity profile]

Bray does have a tendency - and I see it mostly with Felicity - to come up with a backstory or plot point that a character really should have, and insert it into the second two books with no foreshadow. It's a shame, and at least in RA there's a specific quirk that directly, to me, contradicts something as written in AGaTB. She does it again with TSFT, but she spends more time building it up and it's much more authentic to me. [ profile] lareinenoire and I were talking about that last night. :)

Kaye's solution bugs me a bit, because the actual quest was "an untruth" not "a lie." But it works, so I let it slide.

Yay notes!

Is there a way to talk to you in real-time, or is it solely an LJ-comment thing?

From: [identity profile]

Yeah, I also thought Kaye's solution was kind of a cheat -- but rationalized it as Roiben's entourage letting it slide because they needed her and were willing to let her succeed through a loophole.

I'm on AIM occasionally (hamsterwoman78) and I think I have a GoogleTalk account as well (either hamsterwoman or hamsterwoman78, I can't remember...) but I haven't been on that in ages...

From: [identity profile]

As I think I mentioned last night, yay! Books are good and writing is good.

From: [identity profile]

That they are. I'm still afraid to look at Hono(u)r, though. I described it to Doyle as my "Empire Strikes Back" and it's never good when you can't open the file for fear and shame...

From: [identity profile]

No, indeed. Although I have found that having a stiff drink and then forcing yourself to open it does work sometimes.

From: [identity profile]

It's a plan. I'll give it a shot this weekend.

(From what I recall, the prologue isn't half-bad. Needs to be reworked, but the actual scene is fine. The first chapter isn't horrid, either. It's just that I can't move past that.)

From: [identity profile]

I do know the feeling. But part of it really is just getting the words on the page, whatever the quality -- it's easier to edit them once they're there.


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