Alice in Wonderland

I wrote a post a few months ago now, and even though I looked, I can’t for the life of me find it to link to it. But, in it I described my plans to stop reading whatever I feel like and take some time going through the unread things I already own on my bookshelf.

I started with Tolkien, and The Children of HúrinI’m working through The Silmarillion, but it’s slow going. Not that it isn’t interesting, but, like its predecessor, it reads more like a history book than a story, and it’s difficult for me to spend long in it at a time.

So, I changed tactics and started on my classics. Tuesday I read Alice in Wonderland. Yup, straight through, and it only took me a couple of hours. And, I have to say, I wasn’t impressed. I may have read it when I was younger, I truly don’t remember, but some of the story was familiar and a lot of it wasn’t. But there wasn’t much I liked about it this time around.

I know there have been many commentaries and interpretations done for Alice in Wonderland, but I haven’t read any of them and I don’t intend to. I’m really not interested in double meanings or literary examinations. I’m interested in the story. And there was a lot in this story I found completely unbelievable.

Namely, Alice’s attitude. Here she is, wandering through an unknown land, and being incredibly rude. She walks right into people’s houses. She interrupts people. She argues with them. She demands answers and explanations to questions that are none of her business and have nothing to do with her.

Alice also takes everything completely in stride. I understand that it’s all happening inside her head, but while she’s experiencing it she believes it to be real. Yet, she shows no true fear, which isn’t normal in a 7-year-old. Alice walks right up to strange creatures, loud noises, people she’s already been warned are insane. She eats and drinks strange things just to see what will happen to her, over and over again.

I understand this is a children’s story, and meant to be fun and entertaining and light, so a lot of the strange ways Alice acts can be partially excused. But her arrogance and rudeness I think are completely out of line, and I don’t think she’s written very well as a character. I really don’t understand why Alice in Wonderland is considered a classic.

Slogging Through Unread Emails

I have 2 email accounts. There’s my personal account, which I check multiple times a day and can access from my phone. Then there’s the new account, which is associated with this blog. I intended to use it for all things blog-related, but this blog hasn’t exactly taken off like I hoped it would. At the moment, the only emails I get into that account are daily posts from Writer Unboxed.

I typically only check that account every couple of days, because I know there isn’t anything important waiting there for me. But, during my convalescence, when I was rarely on my computer for more than a few minutes a week, I neglected to check it at all. I knew what was there: weeks of posts for me to read, which would be time-consuming, which I couldn’t do at the time. So, I ignored it.

Fast forward to tonight. I got out my laptop, intending to get some work done, but I’ve been having trouble getting focused. I wanted to do…something. I just didn’t know what that was. I got on the Hub, my writing forum, but there haven’t been any new posts in the last day or so and I didn’t find anything especially compelling to read. That’s when it hit me that I really did want to do some reading about writing. The Hub wasn’t satisfying that need, but I remembered my weeks of unread emails.

I had 31 unread emails from Writer Unboxed. I’ve made it through 15 of them. Most were interesting. Some were irrelevant to me, so they got immediately deleted. Nonetheless, it was satisfying to read them. For some reason, they were exactly what I needed tonight. I’m trying to understand why. Maybe I wanted to feel connected to other writers as a whole. Maybe I wanted a reminder that I’m not in this alone. Maybe I wanted to read about other people’s experiences and know that they’ve all been where I am now. Whatever the reason, the emails did their job. I may still read some more, but I feel like I can finally get some work done.

To Collaborate Or Not To Collaborate?

I have a dilemma. I’ve mentioned the Hub several times, which is the forum associated with James Patterson’s Masterclass. A user had a posting on there a few days ago, looking for someone to collaborate on an epic series with him. I responded, because it sounded like fun and I couldn’t get the idea out of my head. Turns out, he likes me, and wants me to join him on this quest.

I want to do it. I really, really do. For no reason that I can concretely define, I want to be a part of this project. But, reason is rearing its ugly head. It’s asking me all these questions, and they’re good questions. Questions like:

  • You don’t even know this guy. Why would you enter into a partnership with someone you don’t know?
  • Do you even have time for this?
  • What about your other projects? How will you work on all these different projects at once?
  • How much time are you willing to commit to this? Epics are long, by definition. What if this project takes a decade?
  • What if we don’t mesh? What if you end up hating the work you do together?

These are legitimate concerns, and I’m left wondering whether they’re simply springing from fear or if I should seriously consider them. On the surface, the answers seem simple enough. If it got to be too much, I could back out at any time. If it’s taking too much of my time, I could put less time in. Simple.

The idea of this project does scare me. It’s a big project. And it could royally fail. Or it could be amazing. The beginning of any project is scary, so this one is no different. Should I let that fear stop me from even trying? Is this a fear to be conquered, or is it one I should genuinely step back from? I don’t know the answer.

I have a philosophy that I use when I’m shopping, particularly if I’m splurging or looking for presents. That philosophy is this: If I can’t make up my mind, the answer is no. I’ve only been debating this collaboration for little more than a day, and I don’t know if that’s enough time to decide that I can’t make up my mind about it. I’ll give it a few more days, and see if I can come up with any answers.

 

900 Words

I know I said I was going to take it easy. And I tried. I really did. But you know how it feels to get started on something you’ve been waiting for, and really want to do? How easy is it to stop?

I put 900 words into chapter 19 tonight, and was finally able to finish it. This chapter has been hanging over my head for weeks, and seeing it through is giving me such an amazing feeling of accomplishment. The end of my current fantasy project is coming together.

I’m quite proud of myself. I had a tough time getting going. Being away from a project for even days, let alone weeks at a time, is killer for my momentum. It’s hard to get back into it again, and find the rhythm that lets me knock out several thousand words in a single sitting. I tried a couple of days ago, but all I got for my efforts was a couple of lines.

To be fair, I was stuck on this chapter even before I sprained my wrist. I didn’t know how Callum was going to get away from my antagonist. Nothing I thought of seemed to make sense.

So, I didn’t have high hopes tonight. I thought I’d get moving a bit, maybe get a little work done, and let my mind mull it over when I should be sleeping later. But, I started writing, and it suddenly seemed to click. I didn’t want to stop, and lose the idea that was forming in my head. So, I finished the chapter, and while it’s a little shorter than I had anticipated, that’s fine. Again, that’s what edits are for.

I may pay for my enthusiasm tomorrow. My wrist may be angry at me. But for tonight, I’m proud.