The Next Write Thing

So. Yes. To catch up, there was whole list of things I planned to do upon finishing the draft for Cate. Here we are, ten days later, and… I am actually doing them. Some of them. Several of them.

You know what made it a little easier? Listening to cheesy music (mostly Broadway ballads) and emotional soundtracks like this one:

Yeah. That. Pick one thing and work on it.

I know, this song is really about dealing with grief and soul-crushing depression, but honestly, this is just very helpful to me in not getting overwhelmed by daily life and all of things I have to/want to do as a grown-up/mother/author/human:

“Just do the next right thing
Take a step, step again
It is all that I can to do
The next right thing
I won’t look too far ahead
It’s too much for me to take
But break it down to this next breath, this next step
This next choice is one that I can make
So I’ll walk through this night
Stumbling blindly toward the light
And do the next right thing
And, with it done, what comes then?
When it’s clear that everything will never be the same again
Then I’ll make the choice to hear that voice
And do the next right thing”

The next thing this time was Maggie Stiefvater’s TED Talk and her 8-hour Video Seminar.

The seminar was recommended by a friend, whose opinion I value, and who previously, generously, gifted me with Stiefvater’s tarot book and my first deck of tarot cards, without which, Cate might not have happened. At least not in the way that it did, and not so soon.

The TED Talk comes up early in the first seminar video, so I decided to go back and watch it before continuing.

I have to say the TED Talk, now ten years old, is still pretty funny, interesting, and relevant to the way we treat each other. It did not make me feel like I learned anything I didn’t already know, and it didn’t make me immediately want to push everyone I know to watch it. (Although there are a few, very specific people, who I think would really benefit from it, and I’ve told them so.) What it did do, was make me really excited to read her books and watch the rest of the seminar.

I’m now 16 videos into the 32 that come with the seminar purchase, and I think I might be in love with Maggie Stiefvater. I want her to be my best friend in that very introverted, sometimes we attend the same events and make snarky comments about what we see there, but otherwise hardly ever talk to each other kind of way.

She makes me what to read more. And talk about books with other people who read.

But mostly, she makes me want to write.

So, that’s what I’ve been doing. I’m four episodes into Sixes, and it’s starting to feel less like work, and more like fun again. I hope my readers will feel the same.

Review: I’ve also finished Neil Gaiman’s Sandman on Audible. Well, Part 1, anyway. The production level is so good, and I particularly like James McAvoy as Morpheus and Kat Dennings as Death. I’m less of a fan of the episodes where Morpheus doesn’t appear.

The Doctor Destiny plot line is too graphic for me (and yes, I recognize the irony of the Audible interpretation of a graphic novel being described that way). I’ll be skipping those episodes when Netflix gets to it.

The Doll’s House story kind of reminds me of Coraline (in all the best ways), and I love Bebe Neuwirth (she’s also great as the cat later on). I could definitely have followed a whole book about Rose Walker and the strange people she lives with (especially Gilbert). The mythology around the vortex would make an interesting epic as well.

That said, while I am always impressed with Gaiman’s world-building, and I love his full-length novels, I’m finding that I almost prefer the standalone episodes. The characters are fully fleshed-out and the plots give them just enough to explore and change.

In general, it is filled with the usual unusual, more strange than true-ness that I expect from Gaiman, with a bit more DC darkness than I was ready for, but that’s on me. The Audible production makes perfect use of music and sound effects, and the balance between narrative and character performances is near-perfect.

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