[personal profile] rj_anderson
Over on Verla Kay's Children's Writers and Illustrators Chat Board (affectionately known as the "Blue Boards"), a writer calling herself Tamilyn just posted this bit of advice, and I thought it both smart and useful:

"If I'm not writing, but only wishing I could write, then I am a Moper. I have too much pride to be a Moper, so I remind myself that writing takes work and that I'm not afraid of work. Then I work."

Which, in the face of the self-doubt and discouragement that afflict all authors from time to time -- whether at the start of a new manuscript when the page is an alarming blank, or in the middle of it when all the shine has worn off and the faults of the first draft seem to far outweigh its merits -- is a very good thing to remember.

The only thing I might add to that thought is that researching, making notes, outlining, and other not-actually-writing-the-narrative parts that are necessary to the creative process do not count as Moping. They can count as Moping if you are doing them endlessly and unnecessarily to avoid the Scary Writing Part, which is a trap I have fallen into on occasion in the past and may yet fall into again; but otherwise, they too count as Work, because the story will be better for them.

So I have done Work today, and that is good. *nods emphatically*


Also, I am reading a big fat biography of Nikola Tesla and I love his little crackpot soul SO MUCH. I'm also discovering that the Sanctuary version of Nikola, personality and attitude-wise at least, is really not so different from the historical one as I'd supposed -- and I'm only three chapters in.

Date: 2012-01-10 07:23 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] laura-josephsen.livejournal.com
It is a good thing to remember all that!

Hubby and I started watching Sanctuary recently--we're only on season 2 right now. This is really mostly Kate's influence. ;) Kate is very influential on what I watch, actually. :D

Date: 2012-01-10 09:48 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] rj-anderson.livejournal.com
Kate is to blame for my Sanctuary love as well, although to this date I still have not watched All The Episodes. I only watch if the summary seems especially interesting, or if I know Nikola and/or the other members of the Five are in it. I used to feel guilty about that, but now I'm pretty shameless. Life's too short to watch things that don't really interest me *cough* Will *cough*. :)

Date: 2012-01-10 08:30 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] nataliesee.livejournal.com
Always good to have a reminder about not being afraid of work. I've been thinking about this a lot recently. About how self-defeating fear can be, especially when combined with real life reasons/excuses for not getting down to work. Moping is a good word for this. Thanks for reposting!

And I am utterly delighted to learn about the personality similarities between Tesla Actual and Tesla a la Sanctuary. Utterly. Delighted.

Date: 2012-01-10 09:54 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] rj-anderson.livejournal.com
Fear is the mind-killer, for sure. :)

I am utterly delighted to learn about the personality similarities between Tesla Actual and Tesla a la Sanctuary.

So was I! Like I thought they had made a mistake with Sanctuary!Tesla telling Will he'd been in love a bunch of times since the historical Tesla was notoriously celibate. But the real Tesla declared himself to have been in love at least once (with a young woman named Anna who later married someone else), and apparently got kicked out of school in his youth for gambling and "womanizing".

Similarly I thought they'd altered Sanctuary!Nikola by not making him extremely paranoid about germs and unwilling to touch anyone, but it seems the historical Tesla was perfectly fine with hugging and kissing even semi-distant family members in proper Serbian fashion, he just didn't care to get that close to people in general. And like I say, I'm only up to Chapter Three...

Date: 2012-01-10 10:52 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] tltrent.livejournal.com
So, whatcha readin'? I'm about to get hold of Tesla Man Out of Time and was wondering if it's good. (If that's what you're reading). Also about to get into meeting Tesla for the first time for real in my book. Which should be fun. I have a solution as to why he remained celibate. ;)

Date: 2012-01-10 10:59 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] rj-anderson.livejournal.com
Apparently TESLA: MAN OUT OF TIME was the most-respected biography until the one I'm currently reading came along, which is WIZARD by Marc J. Seifer. Seifer uses a lot of material that earlier biographers didn't have access to or didn't know existed, so it's a pretty hefty and comprehensive tome -- or so it appears to me so far. But I did buy MAN OUT OF TIME as well, as well as Tesla's autobiography, just to be sure. :)

Date: 2012-01-10 11:03 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] tltrent.livejournal.com
Oh yes. I saw that one too and the title made me smile a good deal. For reasons I can't say just yet. :)

Date: 2012-01-11 12:00 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] rj-anderson.livejournal.com
You know what made me grin idiotically? This paragraph, at the beginning of the Preface:

In 1976, while involved in research at the New York Public Library, I stumbled upon a strange text entitled Return of the Dove which claimed that there was a man not born of this planet who landed as a baby in the mountains of Croatia in 1856. Raised by "earth parents", an avatar had arrived for the sole purpose of inaugurating a New Age. By providing humans with a veritable cornucopia of inventions, he had created, in essence, the technological backbone of the modern era.

His name was Nikola Tesla...

At which point I stopped, highlighted the paragraph, and gave my subconscious a jubilant high-five.

(And no, my current book is not actually about Tesla nor does it have Tesla in it as a character. But this tidbit is definitely Relevant To My Interests.)

Date: 2012-01-11 12:11 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] tltrent.livejournal.com
Oh yessss. I swear, RJ, we really need the chance to geek out together over Tesla someday IN PERSON.

Here are the potential epigraphs to Unnaturalists 2:

“I treated the whole field broadly, not limiting myself to mechanisms controlled from distance but to machines possessed of their own intelligence. Since that time I had advanced greatly in the evolution of the invention and think that the time is not distant when I shall show an automaton which, left to itself, will act as though possessed of reason and without any willful control from the outside. Whatever be the practical possibilities of such an achievement, it will mark the beginning of a new epoch in mechanics.”
- Nikola Tesla from his 1890s letter to Professor B. F. Meissner of Purdue University.

Source: ”Tesla Man Out of Time” by Margaret Cheney


“Let the future tell the truth, and evaluate each one according to his work and accomplishments. The present is theirs; the future, for which I have really worked, is mine.” - Nikola Tesla

Date: 2012-01-11 03:09 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] rj-anderson.livejournal.com
Both quotes are fabulous, but I admit a bias toward the second one, which I've heard and enjoyed before.

And yes, we DEFINITELY need to meet in person and geek out over Tesla and, well, everything.

Date: 2012-01-10 09:12 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] olmue.livejournal.com
Ooh, I'd love to know the name of the Tesla biography. My 11YO has long held Tesla as his hero, and recently I read an autobiography, and he was *fascinating.* I loved how he saw all his unusual conditions (the synesthesia, the autism spectrum, etc.) as assets, not impediments (not that synesthesia is an impediment, but OCD is usually viewed as one). It makes me want to look at some of my children's oddities that sometimes give them problems at school and try to find ways to turn those into assets as well.

(Also--I'm reading Spell Hunter to my girls, at their request, and younger one just stole it when I wasn't looking so she could read ahead. Naturally, I pretended not to notice, but--score!!)

Date: 2012-01-10 11:03 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] rj-anderson.livejournal.com
The one I'm reading is WIZARD: THE LIFE AND TIMES OF NIKOLA TESLA by Marc J. Seifer. And yes, it is fascinating how he made practical use of mental quirks and conditions that today would be quickly diagnosed and treated with drugs or therapy.

Delighted to hear you're reading SPELLHUNTER together and your daughters are enjoying it! (Seriously, that book has three different titles now that the paperback is coming out; I'm on the verge of just giving up and calling it KNIFE all the time.)

Date: 2012-01-11 12:14 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] olmue.livejournal.com
Heh--I actually had to think what to call it, since I heard you call it Knife for so long, and yet that's not what it says on the cover. The book about Knife, anyway. :)

Date: 2012-01-10 11:47 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] po-thang.livejournal.com
"I'm also discovering that the Sanctuary version of Nikola, personality and attitude-wise at least, is really not so different from the historical one as I'd supposed"

One big reason for that is the fact that Jonathon Young actually played the historical Tesla in a stage production and he did a significant amount of research in order to do so. I believe that he was allowed to bring a lot of what he learned about Tesla to his portrayal of the Sanctuary!Tesla by the Sanctuary writers.

Date: 2012-01-10 11:50 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] rj-anderson.livejournal.com
Yes, I knew that about J-Yo (I've read the script of the play), but had supposed that he'd decided not to sweat the small stuff where Tesla's portrayal on Sanctuary was concerned, seeing as they've obviously deviated from history in making him a vampire anyway. Now I'm starting to think that he had more to say to the writers about Tesla, and they were more eager to listen and adapt their scripts accordingly, than I'd thought!

(Not that they haven't always given us some delightful bits of historical Tesla anyway -- that line about the white dove in "Sanctuary for None" Pt. 1 cracked me right up. I'd been waiting for them to mention that...)

Date: 2012-01-11 02:48 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] tinpra.livejournal.com
Today and earlier this week you've given me very good writerly advice. Thank you.

Date: 2012-01-11 03:05 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] rj-anderson.livejournal.com
I'm glad to hear it! But what did I say earlier this week that you found helpful?

Date: 2012-01-11 03:48 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] tinpra.livejournal.com
Okay, this is probably actually from last week, but your sharing the "Just Make the Bed" blog-post (on twitter) was wonderful timing, then this.

Date: 2012-01-11 05:46 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] rj-anderson.livejournal.com
Oh yes! I'd forgotten that because I posted it on Twitter and not here. I need to remember that ALL THE TIME. I so easily get fretful and overwhelmed.


rj_anderson: (Default)

September 2017

17181920 212223

Most Popular Tags

Style Credit

Expand Cut Tags

No cut tags
Page generated Oct. 17th, 2017 08:35 pm
Powered by Dreamwidth Studios