Monday, March 13, 2006

TV and Brain Parties

I've now almost completely finished sorting through old magazines. The magazine table by my sofa has been emptied, then re-filled neatly with the more recent issues, in such a way that I may be able to find something I need in the future. I still have a couple of bins to sort through in my office, but I've cleared out enough that I could start filing the writing-related magazines I brought up from downstairs. Even better, clearing out the magazines in the living room means that I could have the living room in moderately company-ready shape pretty quickly. Not "dinner party" or "visit from mom" shape, but "not afraid to open the door when a friend picks me up to go out" shape.

I should be getting comments back on my manuscript in the next couple of days, so then I'll have to get back to work. I may only write a couple of hours a day in first-draft mode, but I tend to get caught up in revisions (unless they're so major that it's like re-writing) and plow through them quickly. That means I need to wrap up the last bit of business stuff that has to be done ASAP and prepare a speech for this weekend before I hear back from my agent.

Oh, and I have one other project to work on. More on that in a bit.

I've admitted before that I'm a TV fan. That's my audiovisual entertainment medium of choice, and in a roundabout way, that was what got me into writing. Having to wait a week between episodes got my brain going, and I'd find myself mentally filling in the empty spaces by coming up with my own stories about the stuff the characters did when they weren't doing things interesting enough to show on TV. I'd follow up on dropped plot lines or character threads in my head. A good season-ending cliffhanger could really set me off. I'd mentally write dozens of potential resolutions, to the point that I was usually a bit disappointed when the actual resolution aired (like the cliffhanger between seasons 2 and 3 of The X-Files -- total cop-out). I think that's one of the reasons I've remained so interested in the Firefly universe years after the cancellation. That early cancellation left so many empty spaces for my brain to fill.

Well, now the folks at Battlestar Galactica must be out to get me because they've given my brain so much to work with, right at the time when I've got my own stories to deal with, thank you very much. I won't get into details because I don't want to get spoilery, but previously, that show has been almost restful for my creative little brain. The episodes were practically in real time, to the point that for a while it was taking three or four episodes to get through a day. There were no empty spaces. I could happily watch each episode without feeling the need to fill in any gaps. And now they've blown things wide open. My brain thinks it's party time. I may go insane.

On the bright side, this now sort of technically counts as "work" because I've been invited to contribute an essay to a pop culture book on Battlestar Galactica. I'm now supposed to be thinking about it. Okay, so my essay has nothing to do with some of these more recent things that have my brain churning, but I will need to re-watch some episodes (and I can write the DVDs off my taxes!). I feel a little proprietary about this book because I was trying to persuade the publisher to watch the series way back when it first came on (and how this conversation grew out of talking about Jane Austen, I'm not entirely sure), and then we were brainstorming ideas while traveling to the Serenity premiere, so I feel the least bit like I somehow had a tiny role in its very existence.

Now to see if I can stir up something about The Office, and then I'll be able to give myself "work" credit for all my favorite leisure activities ...

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