September 8th, 2008

alias crazy

Meme

I've been tagged twice (jenny_moss and robinellen) so I suppose I ought to do this... If there is any discrepency between the two lists of Qs I'll just use the one I like best. :)

A) People who have been tagged must write their answers on their blogs & replace any question that they dislike with a new question formulated by themselves.

B) Tag 8 people to do this quiz. These people must state who they were tagged by & cannot tag the person whom they were tagged by. Continue this game by sending it to other people.

I will tag (forgive me if you've already been; and if you don't wanna do it, don't): astres, cyn2write, jengt, kisstheviolets, libation, seosaimhthin, writerjenn, and writerpo.

1. What are your nicknames? My dad's called me Pumpkin since I was little. And family and close friends often call me Meg. That's about it!

2. What do you do before bedtime? Check my e-mail, kiss Chris goodnight, and do some shoulder/neck stretches. :)

3. What was the first movie you bought in VHS or DVD form? My dad had a really big movie collection so I didn't buy any for a while... It was probably either something anime (Bubblegum Crisis?) or my Into The Woods DVD. Oh wait! Maybe it was the My So-Called Life set. Okay, obviously I don't actually know. :P

4. What is your favorite scent? Fresh spring air.

5. If you had a million dollars that you could only spend on yourself, what would you do with it? Hmmm... Buy a nice house in my favorite area of the city, buy a cottage with a good lot of land within easy driving distance of the city, and do lots of traveling. Or put the whole thing into a savings account and live off the interest. :D

6. What one place have you visited that you can't forget and want to go back to? I can't really do one... London and Edinburgh in Britain (though I've already gone back, but I want to again!), Beijing, Venice.

7. Do you trust easily? Nope, the only person I completely trust is myself.

8. Do you generally think before you act, or act before you think? Almost always think before I act.

9. Is there anything that has made you unhappy these days? Not really unhappy, but stressing over moving isn't fun.

10. Do you have a good body-image? I wouldn't say there's nothing I'd change, but I'm quite happy with most of it. ;)

11. What is your favorite fruit? It depends on my mood, so let's say a three-way tie between blueberries, cherries, and peaches.

12. What websites do you visit daily? LiveJournal consistently, usually the BPAL forums and Verla's.

13. What have you been seriously addicted to lately? I am always addicted to the internet. I think that's about it...

14. What kind of person do you think the person who tagged you is? I don't like this whole "kind of person" thing so I'll just say a couple thoughts, all right? :)
jenny_moss writes fascinating-sounding books that I really want to read, is always fun to talk with in chat, and I hope I get to meet her at BEA!
robinellen also writes fascinating books (and very soon is going to find an agent who agrees), gives awesome critiques, and is so super-supportive I am honored to have her as a friend.

15. What’s the last song that got stuck in your head? "Rangers" by A Fine Frenzy

16. What’s your favorite item of clothing? My leather jacket.

17. Do you think Rice Crispies are yummy? Yes!

18. What would you do if you see saw $100 lying on the ground? Pick it up, call out "Did anyone drop something?", and if no one could tell me what they'd dropped, I'd keep it. (Obviously if someone checked and went, "Ack, I've lost a hundred dollars!" I'd give it back to them.)

19. What items could you not go without during the day? A book to read, my notebook and a pen for jotting ideas, hand lotion (it really irritates me if my hands feel dry).

20. What should you be doing right now? Eating breakfast.
brick puzzling rubix

Moving = Revision?

I've been thinking (possibly because of the mountain of boxes slowly growing at one end of the apartment) that in many ways, preparing for a move is like revising. At least, my kind of preparing, and my kind of revising.

See, I am a packrat. I don't like throwing things out or getting rid of things, because even if I haven't used them in years, I am afraid I will want them later. (Which does on occasion happen. E.g., I held on to my high school notes for a few years after I graduated. Finally threw them out. A few months later I came up with a story idea that related to something we'd learned and I thought, oh, I could look up my notes on that... Except they were gone.)

I am also a sort of packrat with my stories. My ideas spin off all sorts of interesting sub-ideas about subplots and back story and world building and so on, and I don't want to throw any of it out, so I squeeze as much as possible into the book. (This, I suspect, is part of the reason I ended up giving up short stories. There was just never enough room!)

So when I'm moving, and when I'm revising, I have to decide what's really necessary. I don't want clutter in my new home, or in my book. With the moving, it's relatively easy--have I used it recently? am I likely to again? do I absolutely love it? can it easily be gotten again if I realize I need it after all?

With the book, it's a matter of getting down to the kernel of the idea. What was it that excited me about this story in the first place? What pieces are necessary for that basic story, for those themes? What pieces help support them? What pieces go rambling off in other directions that, as much as I might like them, just distract from the heart of things?

It can be hard. Sometimes I get to thinking that a story has to have a certain element, just because it was always there--when actually taking it out would hardly change anything, or it could be easily replaced by something more suitable. But taking it down to the essentials, saying "what is this story I want to tell, really?" and imagining I can use only that, often makes it completely clear what I don't really need at all.