September 14th, 2004

trista

Impending Trip to Beth Israel, CHECK!

Well, the shop finally dropped off the motor, yesterday. So, I will be taking the lab's prototype of the dynamic stimulator to our collegue in Bean-Town Boston. He's a researcher out of Beth Israel Hospital, and it should be a mondo pain in the ass to get there, install the software, set up the equipment and run the team through a basic tutorial, but after that... I get lunch, visit Wendy the Good Witch, and go home. Short day. Depending on how I feel I might "telecommute" (aka Stay Home) on Friday, and thus have a long weekend. Probably not. What I'm more likely to do is come to work, close the door and just write-write-write... Ah, getting paid while doing something I love. I suppose I am not the only $36k salary writer in the USA, but I am the only $36k genre fiction writer in the Physiology and Neurology Departments here at the U.

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Watch ep 1 of The Sopranos Season 2, last night. Hmph. Just kind of there. Maybe designed to get people back into the swing of things?

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So writing-wise, yesterday, I revised the old Bravo Situation: Comedy entry. The show is called Strange, Bizarre and Weird! and it is about a strange, bizarre and weird family. Also features, ghosts, monsters, insurance salesmen, possessions, etc. A regular stew of oddities. It could be really fun to watch. Or it could be lame. I'm hoping for the first, but expecting the second.

I sent the fifth draft of my 1700 word oddly lycanthropic story to Dan Keohane for a slaughtering. I trust he will rip that story a new asshole, and tell me I suck. Hopefully, and this is what I'm counting on, he'll tell me HOW I suck, so I can improve.

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Over the weekend, I browsed through my copy of Thomas Monteleone's Mothers and Fathers Italian Association omnibus (a collection of the columns he's written since 1976) and got a chuckle out of one of his reminiscences of attending a writer's group. Makes me want to do that sort of thing... At this point, I think I need some input from readers/other-writers.

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Last night, I read some more Charles Birkin, a short story titled "A Poem and a Bunch of Roses", not quite as chilling as "The Harlem Horror," but the language was beautifully evocative. Makes me realize my own lackluster descriptive ability... I've always been a fan of the prose that paints images in the mind, yet my own prose seems to owe more to the filed down Hemingway school... Do writers ever hate the voice they find themselves writing in? I can only hope that through constant effort it will change.

Perhaps I need to adjust my reading to more lush and evocative writing, to stimulate my own descriptive ability.

Writing Exercise: Here's a description of the room I'm sitting in.

The Lab:
The room is a square, maybe forty feet to a side. There are two exits, one to the hallway, one to a back storage room. There are no windows. The floor is a cheap white tile, so filthy, no amount of cleanser will clear it up. The ceiling is a white plaster, about twenty feet up, five feet above a labyrinth of exposed pipes, air vents, and hanging boxes containing fleurescent tube lighting. The dirty white, cinderblock walls are covered with shelves, choked with boxes and equipment; there's no immediate sense of order, it's mostly jumbled. Two walls are also lined with forty-foot long workspaces -- black topped chemistry tables atop drawers and cubby holes galore. There are no empty surfaces, where ever you look, you find junk: machine tools, opaque fluids in translucent bottles marked Flammable or Poisonous, piles of unused paper towels, plastic wrap, needle tips, surgical instruments, and more. A white board hangs next to the hallway door, and a bestickered refrigerator beside that -- one sticker says, DO NOT STORE FOOD IN THIS REFRIGERATOR; another, DO NOT STORE FOOD IN FREEZER; another, NOT FOR STORAGE OF FLAMMABLES. There is about six feet of walking distance between the workspaces and a ring of carts and tables, around the center of the room. These surfaces are filled with computers, motor drivers, electronic and analyzing equipment. Cables connect 270 degrees of the circle like jungle vines. I sit on a four wheeled computer chair, in the center of this ring.


Does this description suck? Hmmm. Does it make a picture in the mind? I'll read it over, later, and see. For now, I have to clear off some space to work in and get down to brass tacks.
  • Current Music
    Sopranos theme, Tool's Lateralis, Delerium