May was definitely a crazy month.
I’ve been working on a new story that’s a little outside my comfort zone. It’s not exactly hard sci-fi, but it’s a little harder than what I normally write. It’s set in space, and it requires quite a bit of fact-checking in order to make sure the science is accurate or, when it’s not accurate, it’s at least believable.
I wrote the story, researching as I went, and ended up with a story of 8000 words. Then, during my first pass at revision, I realized I had left a plot hole. So now my revision has really become a decent-sized rewrite. And I’m writing this story with a specific market in mind, so there is a deadline!
I’m also working on a rewrite of the story that a publisher commented “the characters are too mean.” It’s a good story, so I’m going through and rewriting the characters so they aren’t quite so hateful.
AND, I have several other calls for submissions that I’d like to write stories for because the themes are really fun or interesting, but I seem to be losing ground on writing rather than gaining!
I blame the new house. Home ownership is a time-suck. Okay, maybe it’s a little bit me, too, because I am professional procrastinator…but I think it’s mostly the house.
I am just as behind on my reading as I am on my writing. I’m working through New Poets of Native Nations, edited by Heid Erdrich, and I’m really enjoying it. It’s taking longer to read though, because poems are meant to be savored instead of devoured.
One thing that I did accomplish last month was to finally watch a movie I had been dying to see: Life.
I never see movies in theaters because few of them are worth the money, hassle, and discomfort of the theater experience. Life would definitely fall into that category. WARNING! SPOILERS AHEAD!
First, it really echoed Alien way too much for my taste. It seemed like a bad prequel or something.
Second, the main plan (the firewalls) was excellent. Brutal, but excellent. However, people still made stupid decisions. AND, they KEPT making stupid decisions. Each time someone would make a huge sacrifice with a good decision, someone would undo it with a stupid decisions.
Third, though the alien did scary things (crushed a guy’s hand like it was dust, shoved itself down a guy’s throat), the alien itself wasn’t scary looking. I guess maybe that’s more plausible. Just because something looks scary doesn’t mean it’s dangerous, so if we did run into something dangerous “out there,” it would probably look harmless. Still, I prefer my monsters to look monstrous. Calvin was clear, so he was like some gossamer starfish or something, and that’s a little harder to take seriously, especially when he walked like a starfish (walking like a spider would have made him ten times scarier). When he wasn’t attacking someone, he looked like something out of the My Little Pony universe.
Another big problem that limited the scariness was that they named the damn thing Calvin. It was cute at first, but once the monster was supposed to be a threat, it was silly. You cannot deliver lines like, “Calvin’s trying to get in,” or “Where is Calvin now?” and have them induce the same level of fear as they would if it was, “IT’S trying to get in,” or “Where is IT now?”
All in all, I was very disappointed, especially for something I waited so long to see. I would have been more disappointed if I had jumped the gun and went and paid to see it in the theater.
That’s it for this month! Hopefully when you come back next month, I’ll have all my stuff caught up. Yeah, right. We both know that’s not going to happen.