Tuesday, June 06, 2006

Stay Tuned

There's a reason I went military instead of college. I couldn't do assignments. All through high school, I read and thought, and discussed in class, but when it came time to do reading that was assigned by the teacher, or write a paper, I procrastinated and skated. It was a common thing, in Spanish class, to see me reading my English text, answering the questions, or even doing the book report. If the paper had to be typed, it was not happening, because all of my work for one class would be done in the class before it. This is why I still don't speak more Spanish than "No hablo Espanol" (though I remember a lot of the Spanish Art History stuff, since that was taught while we were doing poetry readings and in-class analyses), and I had to take three years of summer school in Advanced Math (and they kept putting me in the Advanced Math class -- Geometry, Pre-Calculus, Calculus -- and I kept flunking!). I still don't know how I slid through Biology. Psychology, Criminology and History were easy, listen and pick a familiar answer. But essays, critical thinking, ack! There was no chance.

More of my life story...

So I chickened out of college (I'd only applied to one anyway, a nice, small feminist school six hours away in Pittsburgh -- and my mother said this was too far) and went with the multiple choice military (and ended up, to my mother's annoyance, in San Antonio, Texas instead -- after 4 years of not paying attention in Spanish Class. Oh, and I went to BMT about the time there was a run for Puetro Rican Guardsman, so there were more Spanish-speakers in my flight than English-speakers). Just to be on the safe side, I went for jobs that involved taking things apart and putting them back together again. It made training easy. And for the math bits in electronics, they treated it like remedial math. I relearned everything, and ended up with higher scores on the math tests than the listen and pick a familiar answer tests. Anyway, when I heard I'd be headed to a management school at my current job, and that afterwards I'd be expected to write -- actually write disciplinary papers, requisition letters, policy memos, performance reports, feedback -- I panicked a little.

I managed to make it through school, though, without any trouble. The military training helped at lot here. Going there instead of college was probably the best idea I ever had, because the way I was at 18, college would not have worked. And I'd say the blog helped some. A little discipline, a little writing every day, nothing really riding on it. If I keep it up I might have the fortitude to pound out a novel someday. Or at least a New Age philosophy book. Anyone can write one of those, you don't even need a plot or characters. I didn't get any awards, but I got my certificate, I had fun, and I didn't get into any trouble for missing assignments.

I was cured!



You should see what never makes it to this blog. There's things I've posted and deleted. Things I've written in great detail and chickened out and never posted (a long one on the POW plotline in Green Lantern #10) I have scans of panels, and half-written posts saved on my computer. There's a megapost on Wonder Woman that I've written in my head a million times, but when it comes time to type I get a blank. I start the post and leave it at the intro, if I can think of an intro. There are half-hearted musings and promises left on comment threads (Kalinara still bugs me from time to time for that Image Analysis of the Johnny Sorrow-Sand scenes in lnjustice Be Done) across the blogosphere. Things I've offhandedly mentions and forgotten about. I have lists, little scraps of paper, ideas that I've jotted down and never elaborated on. I have one taped to the side of my monitor from the first week I blogged. And then there's the stuff in my head that never makes it to the first word, or even a jotted note on a scrap of paper. Why I Hated Camelot 3000 (which can be summed up in one word: Tristan) has been swirling in the back of my mind since I started blogging, and I've never even put that one on a list. I've mentally played the Fridge scene repeatedly, lazily playing with the feminist symbolism, and I've yet to see an analysis that shows the insights I've gleaned (and I'm always afraid that one day I will, and I comment, people will roll their eyes and never believe I thought of it - it's vanity there, pure vanity).

And then there's the memes and requests. I really don't mean to ignore the memes and requests, but they're like assignments. I remember Plok asked me, a long, long time ago (I don't even know what thread) to do an essay for him on Valkyrie in Defenders I considered it in the back of my mind, but it would require I look into back issues. I've had my Marvel moods (in San Antonio I amassed the entire PAD run of X-Factor), but not lately. Still, it settled in the back of mv mind and I figured when I had a little extra time or money I might check it out. As of yet, though, it just doesn t fall in my interest range. (Sorry, Plok, if you're still reading, it still doesn't look likely!). I put it off for the stuff I intended to do on my own, which I never get around to either. When I say I'm busy, I am, busy at work, busy with WFA, busy with other posts, busy-minded. Busymindedness is why I started blogging. The Wonder Woman post, the one I got so much attention for? I thought it out while working, while fixing minor mechanical problems on aircraft. (Yes, that's right, this is where my mind wanders to while I'm putting together parts on an airplane. Like your auto mechanic is any different!)

Even the comment threads suffer from my procrastination. See Kalinara, how she promptly answers and addresses each comment and keeps the conversation flowing. Or Scipio, who steps in when necessary to keep the conversation flowing, knowing when to do it and not feeling that need to address every person individually. Or Megha, just look at Megha. She does address everyone, individually, keeps the conversation flowing, and she has fifty to a hundred comments each post! Meanwhile I post, I see a comment or two, sometimes I reply sometimes I mull it over a bit, return, see more comments, think it over, return, even more comments -- and the conversation is scarily large now, so I wait even longer and address everyone individually and it seems like my comments usually end the conversation.

Which may or may not have to do with a compulsive need to have the last word. I'm not sure. Because sometimes I don't comment at all, and it peters out, and by them it's too late to add further thoughts on the matter so I leave it alone. As it stands, I'm more likely to put up a new post than comment on the previous one. And some of the best post ideas get put off indefinitely.

There's a lot I want to do. Comments. The next panel keeps being put off. I have my lists and scraps of paper. Why I Hated Camelot 3000. Dorian tagged me with a really cool one that I can easily do and want to, but haven't yet gotten around to. And in the comment threads of earlier posts, I've had two suggestions. Two really good, really fun suggestions that I haven't even answered yet. Two incredibly cool ideas. Jade's Frisson of Woo, and "fixing" the oremise of a female heroine.

I'll get around to these eventually.


It could be a while, though.


  1. I decided a couple of weeks ago to take a big scientific look at Infinite Crisis. This turned out to be so boring that it bored me while I was writing it. Thus I gave up, because I can't figure out what I actually want to do. I think then, judging from your work - which is excellent and meticulous - that you've just got to stick to what you want to do, and don't set yourself too many targets.

    Also, you're all totally off-base on the Johnny Sorrow thing.

  2. You're kidding, right?

    Show me a successful writer and I'll show you his drawer, or notebook, or wall full of post-its that didn't quite make it.

    Not everything is important enough to finish. Sometimes you have to pass on the partial panderings to prudently promote the progress of practiced posts. In other words, if I were writing properly, that last sentence would never had made it, but it would have stayed in one of those 50 notebooks that you know I keep dragging around with me.

    And when it's ready to come out from that notebook, it will. Until then, the more important stuff will make it.

    I even found time to collect the ideas I had recently into a post on LJ.

    No, for the Spanish, that's all your own fault. And Señora Gwenita liked you better, even, and I can actually sell and explain a cellular phone to somebody who only speaks Spanish with a minimal look of confusion and/or actually confusion existant! (Except for that one Puerto Rican guy who spoke like he had a mouth full of marbles! It's not the accent, it's the way this one guy was speaking...)

    So I can't help you there. Oh, and definitely don't talk to cousin Michelle... You know she actually teaches Spanish?

  3. There are probably writers for whom writing comes as naturally and regularly as breathing: every chain of thought finds its natural conclusion, every essay winds its way gracefully through its points, every story hits every plot twist and revelation the author intended. Writers who have no wasted thoughts, no extraneous ideas, no idle plots: everything finds its way into their work.

    I hate these people. A lot. In a wish-they-got-hit-by-lightning kinda way. Smug bastards.

    The rest of us poor schmucks are stuck with half-baked ideas, half-realized scribblings, and half-finished projects abandoned for all manner of reasons.

    I choose to see everything I write - and, in some cases, don't write - as practice and training: learning the skills of my trade, refining them, figuring out what does and doesn't work for me.

    And if more often than not what I write goes nowhere or doesn't pan out - hey, even Michelle Kwan falls down during practice, right?