jhameia: ME! (Default)
oh, my heart, you are not okay
you are not okay
lock yourself up again
that was safer
also less disruptive to
other daily operations

oh, stop making promises
that are not yours to make
i know that is what hope is:
crowns out of starlight
and petals dried in summer heat
blown away in the morning wind

you are too hungry to be exposed
one temptation and you are lost
if i do not cage you sooner
you will devour everything
and i do not care
to ingest more poison
jhameia: ME! (Default)
Well, another hot unproductive day. I slept at 1am, but then woke up at 5am, which is pretty horrific. Was too sleepy to function, so I napped after lunch for like three hours.

I did write a poem, though. Not sure where to send it.

A new friend from WisCon was free at 6pm for a writing session, so we did a couple of rounds, which was great, I am two paragraphs up.

I'm re-reading Ruth Frankenberg's White Women, Race Matters which was a seminal work in whiteness studies back in '93, for a definition of whiteness. Out of curiousity, I googled her, and found this obituary of her. She died in 2007, aged 49, which seems a huge loss. I'm thinking to buy a copy of this book, because I think it'll be good for future reference.

Had a schmoopy conversation today. I am allowed schmoopy things.
jhameia: ME! (Default)
Besides the text message that made me happy last night, I also found that the grad advisor of my department had sent out a mass-email earlier in the evening congratulation me for Trials by Whiteness (followed by a string of congratulatory emails from others in the department) and that I just got a story acceptance.

I'm gonna cook and clean today, and finish a short story before I bang on the diss again. YL is coming over for dinner so I'm making bak kut teh (which she's never had!! and she clearly needs it!!!).
jhameia: ME! (Default)
- Finished my third chapter last night! I've checked out a buncha books today on postcolonial writing today to write my fourth chapter, which will be a whirlwind tour of POC steampunk stuff to demonstrate that steampunk doesn't have to be destined for Eurocentrism. Hopefully I can blow through this chapter in a week before Clarion starts.

- I signed a contract for a sale to Interfictions Online today! This makes it my third pro sale, which means I am now a SFWA-qualified writer *_*

- Sent off two of the three Con or Bust items I donated today! (Psst Kate)

- The more I think about it, the less keen I am on staying in academia. When I next go home to Malaysia, I'm going to look into my mother's apartments on Jalan Ampang (one of which is technically in my name, so technically it is mine) as potential places to live. The problem is, of course, my mother's pharmacy is right downstairs so it could be a source of potential horrible-ness. But I could take all the keys and pretend to not be home! Maybe. I'll talk it over with my father and we'll see how it goes.

(Why, oh why, didn't my parents invest in more commercial property. I could use it right about now...)

- Tomorrow I get to introduce Qiouyi to Yilun!!! We're going to the Hsi Lai temple in Hacienda Heights, and then to a nearby hot pot place :D :D :D It's gonna be gr8.

- Hoping to go to Two Trees sometime this weekend, or next week. Before Brian heads to Albuquerque, maybe. Hmmm....
jhameia: ME! (Default)
Yay, there is an official announcement, so I can say it publicly now: I'm going to Clarion!

I did a bit of processing of my feelings for it.

With it on an official list like that, this is how I feel:



Pretend Warner is the Sawyer Fellowship I didn't get =)
jhameia: ME! (Default)
I finished drafting Chapter 1 of my dissertation!! I had to cut out a lot of superfluous stuff, and there's still a lot of revision to do, lots of citations which need to go in and I need to make clear that there are some oral histories I'm performing here and there. Or I could just wait for my adviser's feedback and just get started on Chapter 2 instead.

Things I want to accomplish over break:
- some articles for Keluarga Killjoy
- draft of a short story for POCDSF or Where the Stars Rise

I also drafted a poem, gotta figure out where to send that.
jhameia: ME! (Default)
I saw that a lit agent I'm following on Twitter is attending this writers' conference at San Diego State and was like "huh, cool, oh look one of my friends is a speaker too, lemme check this out" and the registration fees are like FOUR HUNDRED AND FIFTY DOLLARS??? I'm like WHO PAYS THAT MUCH I mean yeah like there're a LOT of lit agents there and editors but omg I can't deal with seeing that price tag?? Like, way to make what's supposed to be educational and helpful for novice writers who want to learn about the industry WAY OUT OF REACH FOR MARGINALIZED PEOPLE
jhameia: ME! (Default)
I've been visiting folks a lot!

Wednesday I went to ye olde school, and there were really only five teachers left I recognized. The classes are so much smaller, AND they have a new culinary arts stream! I was really kinda jelly at this. The demographics also appear to have changed--my cohort had more middle-class students, and it feels like a majority of students now are working class? Either way, it seems to be better now (aside from the weird mandatory technology in the classroom that doesn't actually work well sort of thing).

On Thursday, I got to hang out with Tumblr friends @technicoloresque and @tehmunchkindiary and was treated to tales of Catholic high school, going to church, gossip, and other stuff. It was a lot of fun! I just felt odd because they finished SPM in 2009, and I did mine in 2001, so there was a definite age gap. Turns out they also had tons of mutual acquaintances. It was good though--we just went to KL Sentral and hung out in Nu Sentral (because apparently we still can't get enough of malls here in Malaysia).

On Friday, I went to Tariq's house, and all four of us Killjoys sat around eating and stuff. We messed around with Hani's baby wrapping cloths (which, it turns out, CAN handle up to 85kg of weight, as a swing). It was super chill and I hadn't done that in a long time with anybody, because there's not very many people I would do that with. Kartina took me and Munira home at like 1am.

Saturday morning I went for a hike with my dad, and dinner.

Last night, my family went out to somewhere near Rawang to visit an aunt's friend's house, who had durian trees. It's gorgeous--he bought the land when it was still a swamp, two acres, needed bamboo bridges to get to the fruit trees. In the valley where it was swamp, it's now a fishpond (with edible freshwater fish) and a lotus pond, with a gazebo in the middle separating the two. The ponds are fed by a spring even, gosh. And by the side of the pond, of course, a house... built in the old Malay style, no nails, all hardwood, on stilts, by Indonesian architects. It's got three separate structures--a lower structure is a living/sitting room, the largest one has two bedrooms, two bathrooms (which are slightly open-air), a study, and a dining room, and the third structure is a kitchen. It's based on sultanate palaces of old. It's the sort of house that appears in my novel.

Unfortunately, at some point, probably while rifling through my little bag for mosquito repellant, I dropped my wallet there. My dad's going to get it today, because the man works in Subang Jaya, fortunately. Embarrassing! This is why I don't believe in purses and why I believe pockets are very important.

--

I started drafting my submission for Hidden Youth. It's very sad but it's shaping up.

I'm also trying to commit to a particular decision in my novel and I don't know which one sounds better =/ It's the sort of thing where each different ending has a different set of morals attached.

Grad work, however, doesn't happen easily here, sigh.
jhameia: ME! (Default)
Apparently when I'm home and downstairs working, I cannot be left alone to my own devices because one parent or another is always talking to me if they happen to be home. I've been distracted by my dad so many times this morning I let loose a long, angry little "fuuuuuuccccckkkk." Which is par for the course! But Dad was all "gee... hard words." NO YA THINK?

It's especially annoying since I work best in the mornings atm, given how really hot the afternoons get and I'm just tired all the time after noon.

But I did get started on my dissertation stuff. Re-reading stuff in my proposal, and I realized there's a bunch of things I just cannot do while I'm here. So I might go back early August after all, so I can get to writing. For now, though, I'll just read all the articles I've downloaded and start synthesizing some ideas. Hopefully I'll have enough scribbles to really get started once I'm back in California, and will have exploded my proposal a bit more.

Some of the comments make me realize just how vastly far apart my writing style is from my adviser's... she's got "this is a convoluted sentence with ten ideas in it" and I go "well, yes, that's the point, because all told breaking them down is not for the proposal to do and anyway, I come from Twitterland where economy of words is important."

SIGH.
jhameia: ME! (Default)
AAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAA do I send a story about being invisible or do I send a story about reality alteration thru shared imagination???
jhameia: ME! (Default)
Submitted:
resubmission of Orang Minyak story
resubmission of cyberpunk story
new submission of some smut

To write:
submission to Hidden Youth
submission to Uncanny Magazine (have two likely stories, gotta fix one up)
jhameia: ME! (Default)
- I met a lot of new people at ICFA and holy fuckstix I was so tired the whole time, and had to grade. The grading was fine, and it was really nice to decompress with my roommates in the suite area of the hotel room every evening to do so. I went to only two paper panels. Did two readings. E. Lily Yu bought me a drink!! I need to send her a thank-you email. She seems quite cool but we didn't get to talk much. Emily Jiang and I would talk until like 3am every night. I got to have quite a few one-on-ones I rarely do at these things.

- It turns out I get kind of annoyed by people who insist that I'm not an introvert, because holy jesus people need to be able to separate my public face from my private face and not assume they see both. I also get annoyed when people insist that all writers benefit from having some mental depression of some sort. It is unpleasant when that person happens to be a fellow international student.

- A lot of people were very supportive of my SEAsian SFF zine idea! Even fellow publishers... I met Neil Clarke of Clarkesworld and Jacob i-cant-remember-his-surname of Tachyon Publications. I always feel a bit weird talking to other folks about my idea because it feels like I might be stepping on someone else's turf and become competition. Maybe it's just paranoia from seeing how Malaysian business operate and feeling coldness from people who treat you like an upstart and have no sense of mentorship towards newer people.

- I took photos of a lot of Asians and posted them to Twitter, using the hashtag #NotRelated. A joke between me and Emily (we were with two other Chinese-Americans, who actually were sisters, getting food, and some lady walked up to us asking, "excuse me, but are you sisters?" and we were like WHUT). So, that was fun.

- Ted Chiang emailed me! Woooo.

- Had a nap after lunch yesterday. Gotta catch up on sleep, but then on I will be writing writing writing to make some deadlines. Had a fairly plot-driven dream about a boarding school that is built over a underwater cave system, four girls discovering that they can transform into mermaids, only to discover there's a vengeful water spirit living underneath pissed off at the pollution of the waters. I think the girls and their little brothers die, especially the little brothers, who were awful shitbags. I'm not sure though.

- Must write write write! Have three things I want to submit to, argh!
jhameia: ME! (Default)
- Spot quiz today

- Practically ran off afterwards to Dr. Vint's class where Sabrina Vourvoulias and Fabio Fernandes were skyping in, which was quite exciting. I live-tweeted the thing and Storified it.

- PK and I went to lunch afterwards and worked on ICFA abstracts. We then went to Coffee Bean to continue.

- AP called at some point wondering if I had time to go shopping with her for Halloween stuff. But alas, she called when PK and I were working on abstracts.

I have a draft abstract which I think is okay. Tomorrow I'll put together a bib because bibs are mandatory for ICFA proposals which is kinda weird to me.

- I also accomplished a couple more paragraphs in my newest short story. Still haven't quite figured out how to segue into the main conflict.

- I feel really tired still, and heartache-y. It's getting annoying.

- I got my shipment of STEAMPUNK WORLD books!! I'm pretty sure the MOTHERSHIP books are in too. Gotta get them tomorrow.

- I also get to dogsit for HH tomorrow. so there's something.
jhameia: ME! (Default)
- Today I got to campus around 9.30 and wrote about two more pages of stuff for my prospectus! I feel very proud of this. Then I made it out to sit on the balcony of the grad student lounge, which I think is an optimal spot for listening to the noontime Monday recitals of the UCR Bell tower. I wrote a couple more pages there and ate lunch.

When I went back to my office, I got stuck trying to figure out what next? I've already identified the problem and given a brief rundown of steampunk community history, now how to articulate what I want to do next in a way that makes sense, is rigorous and doesn't sound like I'm spreading myself too wide? How to account for marketability factors, consumer culture, utopian enterprise and lack of political rigor all at once?

- At some point I gave up and wrote about 600 words of a story for [personal profile] qian's anthology instead. I'm very surprised that I'm thinking of an actual plot.

- I ran into a friend while walking home and we chatted a bit which was cool. She was excited to hear about the Clockwork Couture signing, and offered to drive me! Road trip yay! (Burbank is like two hours away, ahaha ugh.)

- I messed around at home for a bit, then went to do a spot of shopping. I bought myself a plant mister, some wine glasses, and some more hummingbird drink. The mister I just put together... it's a 2 gallon thing like my watering can and it works okay, I guess? I can see how it is a huge benefit over the watering can because the water is definitely not compacting the soil at all now. On the other hand, it takes foreverrrrrrr. Like, I think I could practically sit in a lawn chair, read in one hand and just spray with the other. I might even finish a couple of short stories before I even get to a quarter of a gallon. The nozzle part is also vaguely phallic so while I was spraying that one spot, it felt like a lot of dick waving. It's ridiculous. I shall do this lawn chair thing this weekend, just to see how long it takes for me to finish spraying a gallon.

- I also checked on the worm bin... I guess the worms really don't like lemongrass! They're also taking their own sweet time eating their bedding. The peat moss they came in is kind of mixing up the whole mess--not a bad thing, but it makes them hard to find. I do hope they're surviving (the few I saw were definitely alive) and eating well. What worries me is that most of them seem to be at the bottom of the bin, and worms are supposed to be surface feeders. It's all good; that's more time for me to collect more material for feeding them.

I did use the mister on the bin though, just to dampen the bedding on top. Hee hee.
jhameia: ME! (Totes Me!)
I wrote two poems in two days! What a surprise. I thought I was completely lacking in creative energy after that terrible quarter.

One is about women and moons and misandry, and the other is in response to a #diversitylit Twitter chat I had the misfortune to watch one day that decided to wring their hands about authenticity.

I tried to finish the skirt off with an elastic around the waist tonight; I thought it would be a simple matter. However, what happened was.... now the skirt is too tight. And I have no more fucks to give: school starts tomorrow and I really need to clear my tables. I cannot with this skirt anymore. I'll bring it with me to WisCon, to the Clothing Swap, where maybe it'll find a home that's not around my waist. Next time, I'll be more careful about measurements and putting things together, at the waist area especially. As in, next time I will measure things and not just draw around existing clothes.

This afternoon I had a meeting with the UCR Mellon SF group and got a lot of rehash of stuff that the older members had already told us. Basically we have to write a proposal about anything goddamn thing we want to have happen. And I was like, "yeah, Grace Dillon and Nisi Shawl." I also want to reach out to the sciences and agricultural college divisions too.

Aha!

Nov. 16th, 2011 12:29 am
jhameia: ME! (Default)
Despite the dreadful depression of the day which prevented me from concentration on ANYTHING but a novel (I started reading Ekaterina Sedia's Heart of Iron, which is pretty good thus far... I find it much more engaging, if less poetic, than Alchemy of Stone), I finished the day with 4700 words AND finishing HIS CLOCKWORK HEART! This brings me to a grand total of ~38k.

There were no rocks falling nor dying, and there was a sappy happy ending. There was, however, an explosion and a fire that may have been started by my heroine's dropping the right disgruntling words to the right disgruntled people, in order to ward off powerful politicking business people.

However! It occurs to me also that it doesn't quite have the oomph it could have, so I'm considering rearranging the series of events. I don't know! We'll see.

I'm having trouble sleeping before midnight and waking up before 10am, so tomorrow I'm forcing myself up and about to go for a jog. I need it.

Tomorrow I'll get started on the mermaid story and continue the other steampunk story, and I am still taking flashfic requests!
jhameia: ME! (Default)
So. Like, this list came up on my Tumblr dashboard? And it was kinda hilarious so I reblogged it, right? Then Nisi was asking me, over Twitter, how do these things work? Especially terms like "Flap Dragon" and "Moist Camel Hump" and, my favourite, "Skin Wand Scarf"?

So I wrote her some flashfic to demonstrate just how they work! And have been taking requests in my Tumblr Ask box ever since. Here's a full list of what I've done so far (masterpost on Tumblr):

- Skin Wand Scarf
- Moist Camel Hump
- Flap Dragon
- Sin Flower
- Secret Fish Forest
- Stripped Monkey
- Twaddle Dandy
- Blood Sewer
- Satan’s Doorbell
- Harpy’s Nest
- Pink Velveeta Shell
- Satan’s Rose Bud
- Sweet Snackbox

If you, too, would like to request a flashfic, just drop it into my askbox! I will post my response on Tumblr (which also gets linked onto Twitter) and update the masterpost.

So go ahead, help me up my NaNoWriMo wordcount today! :D
jhameia: ME! (Default)
So I'm going to repeat myself here:

While writing today, was struck by how much I like writing about jacket lapels, and of characters holding them, touching them, and stuff.

It's like jacket lapels are the textile equivalent of labia.


There is your thought for the day.
jhameia: ME! (Writing in my Blood)
So, I appear to be writing three things for NaNo, because I can't really see them as very long projects. They're somewhere in the realm of 10k - 15k stories, and actually, a couple of them are more like, music concept albums in my brain ala Interstellar 9999, so I really don't expect to get a whole lot of them in terms of text, when I'm kind of thinking in terms of lyrics and actual sound. But I have no musical skills beyond theory I learnt as a kid, so as a musical project, the stories are useless to me.

Story #1 Lilian Memoria is a genius inventrix who has pulled her family out of poverty on her own through providing wealthy clientele with amusing automata. Her frivolous life is disturbed when she meets Darren Hayward, a schoolteacher with a fatal condition.

I've been meaning to write a short of this for a while. A lot of it comes from the desire to twist the lyrics of "Her Clockwork Heart". I think because at the time, I was also encountering a lot of stories of the "doctor tries to save dying (female) lover" variety, and the song kind of made no sense to me, like, I'm sorry, the narrator is a woman, and why the fuck couldn't it have been about an inventrix who tries to save her husband's life? Is this way too alternate for alt-history? Given the issues surrounding androids replacing sex workers, women as literal dolls, and science gendered male, I just didn't like the song as it was. Even when I hear it in my head, I always replace the lyrics to his clockwork heart instead.

Also, rocks fall, everybody dies. I think. I haven't really decided what direction to take with the ending yet.

Story #2 Ashn's lover has been kidnapped from their sea home, and Ashn has to travel as a human across a dry desert landscape, navigating dangers and the bewildering gender norms of humanity, to get Mryn back.

I made up that name on the spot. I wanted to write a lesbian-ish mermaid story that sort of talks about gender performance and appearance and reading gender on bodies.

There will be a love triangle thing, where Ashn is read as male by a human woman who resembles her lover and she is kind of sort of falling in love but can't help but remember "You're not her" (this was going to be a drawn out painful sad love duet) (because Ashn's language does not have a gender binary, I think I will use "she" by default based on Ashn's flawed understanding on how biology and gender are tied in this human world). Also, might have a kind of Wild West feel, not sure yet what kind of world this is.

Story #3 Where labourers are never taught of their city's name, only that they must work, two slaves find each other in the darkness.

Again, another musical concept. I was at the Clockwork Dolls' concert, right? And Helene has a lovely voice, but I guess I was still thinking about my "subculture is not an escape" article, so in one of the songs, the chorus goes "Fly away with me" and I was going all like "HALE NO the fuck do I want to fly away for? shit is real down here and it not gonna do anybody favours to just, you know, LEAVE. And who gets to just fly away, anyway?"

Also was reading Philip Reeve's Mortal Engines, and one of the privileged characters falls in love with a working-class character, and I was thinking through class differences, and how that separates people, and what does it mean for the privileged to help the disenfranchised, using that privilege to do so? And what does it mean to live in a space you can't escape, and you have so many social ties you wouldn't want to escape it because that means leaving behind important loved ones? How do you transform this space?

Although, really started with wanting to write a song about fucking in engine rooms hiding in the darkness and the noise.

And then there's the dragon porn [livejournal.com profile] moniquill told me to write so I better get on that too.

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