Took this quiz, to learn that if I were a country, I'd be Switzerland.
But I would also be Strongbad, which would seem contradictory.
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Kickin' it FAQ-style:
So, is the third draft finished yet?
Nope. About five, six scenes to go 'til the end.
Without giving too much away: the opening night at the art gallery (which occurs much earlier in the second draft); the run-up and aftermath of the Georgia Tech-Clemson game, and Pete's unsuccessful trek to campus; the barbecue.
How is the third draft different from the second draft?
Yeah. It just turned out in that most of the cases, it didn't make sense for the two characters involved to be in bed, or near bed, or planning on going to bed on an ongoing basis. There is still some sex, just less sex.
And that's it? Less sex?
Well, no -- there are a few plot changes, and quite a bit more about Chloë's not knowing what to do with her life. The essential plot is still basically the same, just changes along the way -- Chloë and Pete's first meeting is slightly different, their relationship develops differently, et cetera. The biggest plot change is that Chloë finds out why her brother joined the army much, much earlier -- my original idea was to keep it an up-in-the-air question until the very end, but it's just too flimsy a plot point to hang suspense on.
And less sex.
More cocaine, if that helps.
What happens when you finish the third draft?
Start sending it to agents. Which I've never done before; my first novel got shelved before I got as far as agent-hunting. I'll probably follow the tips mom-to-be-any-minute-now Jennifer Weiner graciously provides on her site. I know a couple people who either have published books or are in the publishing industry, but I don't think networking in this case is going to get me particularly far -- either my book's not funny enough, or the wrong genre, or fiction, or not targeted at young adults, et cetera.
Why do you think it's taken me so long to finish the third draft?
Will the third draft get beta read?
I will probably send copies to a small number -- Larry, Beta Reader D and his longtime friend P, Hannah, A, my boyfriend, a co-worker. But it won't be so much a beta reading as a follow-up: "So here's what happened to my novel."
Might the Blog of Chloë and Pete acquire a new, spiffy, domain-registered, Blogger-free, Googlable home later this year?
Still considering it. Opinions among those who love me vary between "yes, definitely continue the blog" and "no, it's not good for you" (my best friend J and my boyfriend, who otherwise see eye-to-eye on absolutely nothing, agree on this one). So I'm not sure how much blogging I'd be doing. But I'm definitely thinking that a personal, legitimate site would at least help promote my book.
Well, while you're twiddling your thumbs, I'd like to meet some cool published authors. Any suggestions?
You can go to the Book Expo of America, in LA from May 28th to June 1st, and meet a number of nifty authors, including Pamie. (Note to flirty LA bloggers everywhere: while Pamie is sweet and funny and doubleplusnifty and all that, she is also taken. But don't let that stop you.) Or, if you're in or near Warren, Michigan, this weekend, you can meet Pete Abrams, author of seven books (the first book starts here), as well as Terry Pratchett, author and/or co-author of lots and lots of books. And that little Trekker Tux is just too. damn. cute.
posted by Jessica @
Much as I love Gregg Easterbrook -- SUV-disliker, haiku-writer, cheerleader-ogler, and (if you read his pre-NFL draft column on ESPN) Buffy spoilerwhore -- his last New Republic dispatch, which covers the idea of reparations to the families of the 1,300 or so Iraqi civilians killed, leaves me slightly queasy. The whole idea reminds me too much of one of Saddam's tactics: to pay out $25,000 (if I'm remembering correctly) to the families of Palestinian suicide bombers. Let's face it: shelling out $10,000, or $100,000, per family is not exactly sending out a message of caring: more like a message of We're powerful enough to kill your loved ones without suffering any ill effects ourselves, and then rich enough to toss money at you for it. Paying money to specific families would, I suspect, just cause more resentment.
And is it really worth it to draw such a fine line between Iraqi civilians and soldiers? We know there was forced conscription. We cannot say, as we could of our own army (or even the German army of World War II), that the Iraqi soldiers chose to put their lives on the live. Even if they did, it seems like there were enough threats involved to make it not much of a choice at all.
A little while ago Instaman floated the idea (or, rather, as these things go, somebody floated the idea and Instaman re-floated it) of putting the money from newly re-pumping Iraqi oil into a trust fund to be split among all Iraqi citizens. (Hopefully if this ever came to fruition there would be someone from Kuwait on the advisory board.) I like that better than the idea of paying blood money to individuals.
I've had my head stuck so far in the metaphorical sand over the last few weeks I'm not even sure what's going on -- Jay Garner? Sadr City? The what and the who, now? My work has been primarily concerned with non-Iraqi events. I was in New Orleans for a conference last week, for example. Iraq didn't come up. SARS did, since there were delegates from Asia who couldn't attend, but Iraq didn't. So I've been admittedly ignorant -- another reason not to be blogging.
At any rate, send your congratulations to Greg, who got his hoped-for tobacco tax increase (though I'm not clear on the details yet).
Still don't know what that song was. I can at least remember the tune at this point; I'm tempted to call WDVX and hum it into my phone. But work and emails to attend to first.
posted by Jessica @
All right, good folks, I need your musical sleuthing skills again.
In a bookstore today I was sitting and looking through Iris Murdoch novels I am too intimidated to read (and if anyone wants to tell me where to start with Iris Murdoch, please do) and I heard over the PA system this very beautiful, bluegrass-y song. The singer was female -- I initially thought it was Alison Krauss -- and I listened hard to the four-line chorus but still don't remember it well: it proved far more ephemeral than it seemed at the time. I know it had the word "God" in it: I wish to God, something, something. And I think I know you don't understand why I love him. The mood of the song, sad but hopeful, made a much stronger impression than the actual lyrics. It was followed by a song with a male vocalist, so it may have been on some sort of compilation album.
Out of sheer desperation, a few hours later, I cornered a nice clerk. "Cat Power," she said authoritatively. I almost believed her, but my former roommate played "Bathosphere" one too many times on her radio show back in college. I know Cat Power. It wasn't Cat Power.
Fairly sure it wasn't Lucinda Williams, either; the voice was high and clear, not husky.
So: female singer, relatively slow-paced, bluegrass-but-not-traditionally-so song with four-line chorus; she seems to be explaining things, trying to comfort the listener and comfort herself, knowing she can't put things right entirely but when she looks back it strengthens her. Can you help?
By the way -- one of my sleuths, Melissa H, is expecting a cute baby boy fairly soon (~May 22nd). Hooray! If you want to help her name Baby H, go here and post your suggestions.
posted by Jessica @
I know -- it's been a while. A lot's been going on; I was in Washington, DC, the weekend before last, and Boston this past weekend (where I finally got to see A again, and it was quite nice), and when I haven't been traveling there's been work, and more work, and more and more and more work.
I made a mistake in the last post, by the way. It was Nicky Wu, not Leslie Cheung, in The Lovers.
So there's not much to report, other than a few days ago I changed my passwords to a lot of sites, including Blogger, with the specific purpose of making it harder for me to go babbling about online. In theory this would allow me more time to work. Theory has not yet led to practice.
Honestly? I haven't decided if I want to continue this yet. I told Greg that I felt I ought to either commit to it or give it up: either spend the money and get a proper domain name and a proper design and a non-Blogger input mechanism and so on, or not do it at all, but not tentatively, the way I do now. (Ever noticed you don't get me on Google? That's not by accident.)
So -- I shouldn't waffle, and I'm waffling. I got definite confirmation (long story) that I wouldn't get fired for blogging, long as it didn't interfere with work, but that still doesn't necessarily mean blogging is healthy for me. Sometimes it seems I spend more time writing my life than living it.
I think y'all will cope if my posting continues to be sparse. You see that list of links on the left? Lots of interesting stuff there. Or you could be busy preparing for Asian Films Are Go!! 2003 or the Spirited Away / Kiki's Delivery Service / Laputa triple DVD release coming next month. And maybe next time I check in -- cross your fingers -- I'll have a third draft to tell you about.
posted by Jessica @
Leslie Cheung, the actor, died today in Hong Kong. This is not an April Fool's joke. I wish it were.
Western viewers would probably know him best as the Peking Opera actor who falls in love with his friend in Chen Kaige's Farewell My Concubine (1993) or one of the two leads in Wong Kar-wai's Happy Together (1997), but his list of credits was enormous. This is just off the top of my head:
A Chinese Ghost Story
A Chinese Ghost Story II
A Chinese Ghost Story III
Ashes of Time
A Better Tomorrow
A Better Tomorrow II
The Chinese Feast
He's a Woman, She's a Man
The Bride with White Hair
You can see his entire filmography here (although that page may get overloaded). The Subway guys posted a shorter bio here as part of their Tsui Hark film festival in 2001. For their 2002 In the Mood for Gore fest they have a description of Inner Senses, which may have been his last major film.
This is truly sad. He was only 46, and hugely respected as an actor and singer; he should have been able to enjoy his success. He was not only a great actor but a courageous one. Rest well, Mr. Cheung -- you will be remembered fondly.
Grady, of the Subway men, has posted a fitting eulogy.
posted by Jessica @