Thursday, 16 December 2010

Christmas Is Coming (To Get You)

This is our house, the one in shadow, without a glimmer of Christmas decorations.  Oh, and the patch of ice just in front of the door.  Oh yes, we’re ever so welcoming.

I can’t believe it.  I started to write the Christmas cards at 4.30pm.  At 10pm, I still haven’t finished.  There’re only twenty-four of them.  And I haven’t exactly been writing anything very interesting (I’ve learnt to stop doing that, as family members never have a sense of humour; although I’m still quite pleased with the year I printed out pictures of all the characters from The Producers and put Father Christmas hats on them). 

Select a name, pick the design I think they’d prefer, write the to and from bits, pick a different adjective for the ‘and a happy 2011’ bit, pick a sticker in a vain attempt to personalise it without actually having to write anything (rather limited as I only have Back To The Future Part II, Doctor Who series 3, Looney Tunes, Garfield and Toy Story and while I can think of several people who like all five, most people I know have no feelings about them at all), decide whether to put in confetti (if they have small children or pets, then no), write their address on the envelope (discover I don’t have their address and try to get in contact), put on a stamp (or decide whether I’ll see them in person), move on to the next name, lose pen for the hundredth time.

At least it is vaguely creative, I suppose.

I only started doing it as a break from the computer.  I’ve written another scene for Working Title: Afterwards.  Why did I decide to make the protagonist mute?  WHY?  Okay, I know why, but how did I think this would work for a whole novel?  Me, my thing being dialogue.  That’s what I’m known for.

To the extent that I am ‘known’ at all.

Character interactions are another of my specialities.  And there aren’t any characters.  Not yet, anyway. 

Most of my stories end up as a dynamic between a man and a woman (purely because that avoids all those annoying he said/he said moments) and since they’re often antagonistic, I’m worried each story will seem too similar to readers. 

There’re the con artists in Working Title: The Road To Confidence, the medium and mortician in Working Title: Rigor Morris, the husband and wife in Working Title: The Unadulteress, the child and evil lord in Working Title: Evelynland, the dork and his princess in Working Title: Donald Benton: Superdork.  All these relationships revolve around one character wanting to be near the other whether they’re welcome or not.  At least with the princess and the dork the gender roles are reversed.  The premises are different, the catalysts and goals are different, the characters are (mostly) different, but still, those relationships boil down to a same basic theme each time. 

People have occasionally accused me of writing romances.  I really don’t.  I am a sucker for a good romance, but that’s not the level I’m working on.  I can remember numerous short stories I wrote at university where people just assumed the ‘he’ and ‘she’ were about to become a couple, despite me writing nothing of the sort in the actual words.  Now how can they blame me for something they have inferred?  Just because I tend to write a male and a female who bicker a lot doesn’t mean that’s romance.  If romance was that basic, I’d be married a million times by now.

The only pair up there that actually have a romance is wife and husband, and they are married, so it’s allowed. 

The only other recurring character I really have in Working Title: Afterwards is the villain.  I’m just worried that I’m doomed to write the same thing repeatedly.  I like investigating relationships between characters, but in this case, there’s not very far it can go while remaining believable.  They hate each other.  Not secretly like on some level that they don’t understand, but speciesist hatred.  There was supposed to be some kind of stereotypical respect among generals thing going on, but well, that’s a cliché and besides, it’s all different now.  I probably should work out where this story is going before I write any more.  Humph. 

Today the last piece of my snow-dalek melted away.  He lasted about a week and a half so that’s impressive.  Daleks are made of sturdy stuff or I’m a genius snowman sculptor.  Both, I think.   

And last night I both started and finished the Christmas shopping.  Mostly, anyway.  I also discovered what an abundance of 11th Doctor merchandise there is.  None in the shops, but practically everything online.

I realised that I want every item of home wear there is if you can slap Matt Smith’s weird face on it.  But before I go all out and redecorate the house, perhaps I should consider I’m being a little premature.  What happens if I go off him?  What happens if next year isn’t very good?  After all, somewhere in the back of the wardrobe, I have a poster of David Tennant that I never want to see again.

I know how it’ll be.  So long as I am not given a single Matt Smith item, he will remain wonderful and I a fan.  The second I get something, after weeks, months, perhaps even years of hints, the show will go stale and he’ll forget how to act and I won’t want it any more.

That’s why it’s so much safer to be a fan of something that’s already finished.  I never, ever, ever get tired of gazing upon the talking Captain Blue doll.  Ah.  What’s that Adam?


Colonel White, Captain Scarlet is badly hurt.
You don’t say?  Fascinating. 

SIG, I’m all right, my wounds have healed.
Oh shut up, Captain Scarlet, who asked you?  You know, Captain Blue does just as much dangerous heroics as you, and you know what?  He has to do it without dying.

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