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vegemite lasts long after the used by date.

it's true about vegemite, you know. if we start coating our dead in it we'll be able to preserve history perfectly.

anyhow, just feel like a general post today.

i'm closing in on the i-hate-my-thesis/novel moment. i've spent the last three months writing, rewriting, researching, patching, scratching, and doing whatever in a fairly work intensive way, which, when added to the two years previous of research, starts, jumps, writing, and throwing away that i've been doing on it, suddenly adds up to a whole lot of time in my head. in the last month i've gone nowhere in the real world, started asking for animals to ritually slaughter, gotten generally less tolerating of idiots and more anti-social, and disappeared to an extent that friends have started sending bouquets of flowers to my mother, telling her that they're sorry for her loss. in return, she's begun sending them thank you cards.

last night brought the night of hideous doubt for the work. it wasn't particularly fun and i don't recommend it. the primary reason for hideous doubt was the mosaic structure i decided upon. it's the kind of structure that demands a lot (and has you feeling as if you've given a lot) but which, in cold word numbers, denies you with taunting. it's the kind of structure that makes you think, 'oh, fuck, i've repeated myself with this character and theme and oh fuck have i repeated it throughout?' the end result has you looking down at your work, knowing that all you're waiting for someone--anyone--to give you the bad news.

but that was last night. i do not have hideous doubt now. i have a faint sense of dislike that means that in a week, once i finish this rewriting, it'll be time to take a break.

i have tossed the title a walking tour of the dreaming city, finally. actually, i did that shortly after whenever i mentioned it last. at the moment, i'm calling it sydney, and i suspect it'll change soon enough.

titles are one of those things i'm not very good at. they're either serviceable, causing people either no love or no hate, or they make people fall to the ground in mocking laughter. i look at books and short stories and albums with truly fine titles and i realise that, clearly, a gene has gone missing in me. we're all just going to have to suffer for it until i can hire a brilliant and cute young thing to sit around and come up with beautiful titles for me. (which, you know, i'm sure won't have a thing to do with my stories, as i've never thought of them being beautiful.)

so, there you go. i bet you're all fascinated.

Comments

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drjon
Mar. 30th, 2004 05:30 pm (UTC)
Any idea of when it'll be on the shelves?
benpeek
Mar. 30th, 2004 05:38 pm (UTC)
well, i have to finish it and hope they award me a phd for it (my novel is my thesis) and then i imagine i'll begin the long and nasty path of trying to sell it...

so, in other words, no :)

there's a chance that no one will ever read it beyond me and a couple of people who grade it.

(that said, a portion of it will be appearing in the leviathan four: cities anthology.)
ceret
Mar. 30th, 2004 06:27 pm (UTC)
Actually, yes, I do find this fascinating.

It's always reassuring to know everyone goes through the same cycles of doubt and loathing with their creative works-in-progress and that it really bears no relationship to the quality of the work itself.

You don't want to hear this, but I quite like Walking tour of the dreaming city.
benpeek
Mar. 30th, 2004 06:34 pm (UTC)
actually, telling me you like a walking tour of the dreaming city as a title just sends me back into thinking how useful it is and how it ties back into de certeau. (which i'm sure no one wants to hear.) clearly, i have no ability to judge anything anymore :)

(my idea in using the title sydney is to then never mention the word int he entire novel. i don't know if this is a good idea or not and likely i will never know.)
drjon
Mar. 30th, 2004 08:05 pm (UTC)
>> You don't want to hear this, but I quite like Walking tour of the dreaming city.

And they're not the only one...
benpeek
Mar. 31st, 2004 02:38 am (UTC)
you don't want to go round saying things like that. it only confuses and forces me to question previous decisions...

(which, y'know, maybe ain't a bad thing.)
drjon
Mar. 31st, 2004 02:44 pm (UTC)
Actually, hideous doubt would work for something, as well... perhaps by Chuck Palahniuk...
benpeek
Mar. 31st, 2004 05:18 pm (UTC)
i've read FIGHT CLUB and SURVIVOR by palahniuk, and i didn't like either, really. especially FIGHT CLUB, but this might be because i'm a real big fan of the movie... which is why i read SURVIVOR, which i liked for the first half before it got stupid.

real stupid.
azhure
Mar. 31st, 2004 03:54 am (UTC)
I used to wish that I was doing an English PhD, so I could write a novel for it.

Now...heh, well I've spent over five years at a science PhD...which will hopefully be finished within the year. Which has managed to turn me off science ;)

Now...I just think PhDs bite. I am told this is a very healthy attitude for a student about to finish!
benpeek
Mar. 31st, 2004 04:40 am (UTC)
i don't hate phds. i might be starting to hate mine, though ;) however, sometimes, i have to remind myself that, hey, fuck, this is a phd that i'm doing. i think it's one those 'it's so much what i want to do that it's not like work' kind of things. of course, i could be helped by this belief by the fact that i don't have a scholarship and never go around to give or listen to papers on my area.

(the two go hand in hand, i might add.)

i'm glad, however, i didn't start my phd a year or so later. the school changed it's ruling, making it fifty fifty on academic work and creative work, which really defeats the purpose of the whole thing in my mind.
azhure
Apr. 3rd, 2004 07:04 pm (UTC)
Urgh, fifty fifty academic and creative would be painful.

It's funny, I forget so easily that PhDs are considered to be something difficult to do, and something that people are in awe of. It's hard when a PhD is entry level for your field, I just take it for granted so much that pretty much everyone I work with has one...
benpeek
Apr. 3rd, 2004 07:09 pm (UTC)
i used to think, you know, wow, a phd, that's like a big thing. how impressive it is to have one or be on the track to having one it must be. i admit to having a bit of awe around it before i began.

i no longer think this :)
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