Moving on

Hello, update here: I have regretfully abandoned posting in the past few weeks, so here are a few additional signs of life.

First of all, my thesis has begun taking on its final form. The first 20,000 words are looking very good – I’ll have to wait for what my supervisors will say when I send the excerpt to them after Easter, but it feels great to see where things are going.

That said, the number of condolences and kind words I have received after Terry Pratchett’s passing are amazing. When I heard the news, it felt like a remote but nonetheless much beloved friend had gone out of my life. Then the messages started coming in. In the beginning I thought it rather surreal – Pratchett and Discworld have been my ongoing project for more than three years now, but I had had no personal contact with him except through his books. As more messages of condolences arrived, however, I felt touched. More than that, I felt not alone. A student and good friend of mine even called to see whether I was all right. Parts of me were.

I regret never meeting Pratchett. I feel sad about knowing that Discworld – if there will be future novels – is never going to be the same again. And I could still cry thinking about Neil Gaiman and what he must be feeling now.

But then again, I have written so much these past few weeks. It is looking really, really good. Many things will still need to be changed. But I know where it is going.

And I also know whose name will feature even more prominently in my acknowledgments.

Happy holidays!

All Christmas presents wrapped; first two episodes of Good Omens listened to. The final episodes of Cabin Pressure are coming up as well, as is the Doctor Who Christmas Special.

And, as always, the recurring question: Should or shouldn’t I take work with me on my Christmas holidays? Experience says that I will not have the time (nor intention) to get anything done, but I still like the feeling of having the instruments around if I need them. In the end, it will probably boil down to my Kindle and whatever philosophy/literary works it holds.

That said, I wish you all happy holidays, a very merry Christmas and a safe journey towards the new year!

Pieces Form the Whole

That moment when you see one sentence that does not fit and then find a spot to insert it that fits nicely: Priceless.

I realise again and again how important flow is to writing. You have to zone in – don’t ask me how, it just happens when you’re not looking – and then you just keep going, keep writing, no matter if it sounds like rubbish now. Bearing one of Neil Gaiman’s rules of writing in mind, what seems brilliant now might be rubbish later, and vice versa. What counts is that you write.

So do not worry about perfection. Perfection is an old advertisement lie, a plastic word with shining teeth that has nothing to say except itself.

Because it is much more interesting to explore the spots that do not fit.

Whooshing Noise

Neil Gaiman: duendecillita: Call for Papers: Essays on Neil GaimanEdited by Tara…:

duendecillita:

Call for Papers: Essays on Neil Gaiman

Edited by Tara Prescott (UCLA)

Nearly 25 years ago, Neil Gaiman launched the first issue of what was going to become the most innovative and beloved of comics: The Sandman. Today, fans are rejoicing at Gaiman’s highly-anticipated return to the series with Sandman: Overture while also riding the high from recent publications that include an autobiographical tale, two epic television episodes, several children’s stories, a national collaborative tour, and an endless (Endless?) stream of witty and wonderful tweets, blogs, bits, and bobbins. Gaiman’s imagination works at such a furious pace that it is hard to keep up with him. Building on the success of McFarland’s Feminism in the Worlds of Neil Gaiman, this new multidisciplinary volume, to be published in 2014, offers fresh and enlightening perspectives on Gaiman’s most recent, groundbreaking work.

All topics are welcome, however, submitters should be familiar with the essays published in Feminism in the Worlds of Neil Gaiman. Topics that are similar to those covered in the first collection will not be accepted. Essays on the following are particularly encouraged:

Gaiman’s Twitter presence and online works
Perspectives on Anansi Boys, The Ocean at the End of the Lane, “Dr. Who” episodes, and Sandman: Overture
Collaborations with Tori Amos, Amanda Palmer, and others
Alternative format essays (photographic, comic, etc) that push the boundaries of traditional scholarship
Multidisciplinary essays that look at Gaiman’s work through the lenses of other fields

Proposals of 300-500 words and a short bio should be sent to taralynnprescott@gmail.com by February 1, 2014.

Full papers (4,000 – 6,500 words) will be expected by June 1, 2014.

I’m seriously considering participating. I’ll probably need a TARDIS and an additional relativity device to pull it off in time, but this sounds so awesome…

 

Story and Memory

“Stories you read when you’re the right age never quite leave you. You may forget who wrote them or what the story was called. Sometimes you’ll forget precisely what happened, but if a story touches you it will stay with you, haunting the places in your mind that you rarely ever visit.”

Neil Gaiman, M is for Magic (via petrichour)