Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Nekkid Wimmen

I'll get to the nekkid wimmen in a moment. But first, my equivalent of Twittering:

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Dad-blamed, gosh-durned spammers. Grumblegrumble. Hopefully they're gone now, but if not, I may have to change the commenting rules on my blog. Grumblegrump.

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So... It's been a while, hey? Yeah; I'm a bad blogger.

Truth is, I've been a bit of a naughty writer lately, and I think the dearth of blogging was due to my guilt. I finished a chapter on my WIP, wasn't totally happy with it, decided to take a break while I outlined the next chapter, and WHOOPS. That 'break' expanded into nearly a month of sloth and minimal writing.

Clearly, The Koala needs to blink her red eyes clear, lick the cotton candy off her claws, and do some Goblin-eviscerating.

Um. But I am back in the groove now, so flesh wounds only, please? Whimper.

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As Sarf noted, spring can make you itchy to do something new (like going to VENICE, omgsojealous...) It has certainly taken me that way. I'm signed up to try yoga, and, two weeks ago, I started going to life drawing sessions again.

For anyone who doesn't know what "life drawing" is, that's a euphemism for drawing nekkid people. Yes, nudey wimmen. Nudey men. Hur, hur.

Except there's not much "hur, hur" about it. The models generally conform to Laman's Law of Public Nudity, which states: "Anytime you see a stranger naked, it is always someone you wish you hadn't seen naked."

The models might be grey-haired grannies, bald forty-year-old men, very overweight women, or creepy young guys with tattoos and pierced...bits.

However, that lack-of-teh-hawt is actually one of the coolest things about life drawing. Once you start sketching, you begin seeing the beauty in people you wouldn't look twice at. You notice the wonderful eyebrows and nose on the bald guy, the lovely flowing lines that define the plump woman's shape. You see the beautiful bone structure on the granny and realize she was gorgeous when she was young, and you spot the elegant musculature on the sketchy, skinny guy with the piercings.

It feels like a gift, every time. The world presents you with a very ordinary person, and you get to see them as a thing of beauty.

It's also weird, of course. I'm still not used to sitting with a bunch of strangers, waiting for a sixty-five-year-old man to whip off his sarong and sling his scrotum over a barstool. All the other artists act so cool. I do too, I guess, so I wonder if I'm the only one in the room who still gets that, "Eek, a penis," reaction.

The "eek" reaction goes away as soon as you start sketching, of course. You're concentrating too hard on what you're doing to feel odd about it. It reminds me of how I used to not be bothered by heights while I was rock climbing. If you're concentrating on your hand and toe placements, and the granite in front of your nose, then the expanse of empty air gaping under your feet doesn't bother you.

And it's kind of the opposite to how I feel about writing a first draft (at least these days.)

While I'm writing it, the story seems like complete drek. I'm pushing onward just to have something on the page, and hissing my mantra, "It's only a first draft," through gritted teeth. Only when I lean back and read it over do I think, "Hey, that's maybe kinda good..."

Is it weird to like editing your work more than actually writing it? You get to enjoy the good bits when you're editing; when you're writing, it seems like you're too busy to notice.

Does anyone else find this to be the case? I'd love to hear what you think.

14 comments:

pjd said...

so... what exactly is wrong with bald 40-year-old men?

Really enjoyed reading this post. Don't let your inner editor get you down, but don't totally throw out the critical feelings inside... I recently got hung up listening to my inner editor, and as it turns out, he was right. I needed to change something fundamental in the setup that I'd been working on in order to continue writing.

Onward!

And yes, it is very weird to like editing your work more than actually writing it. That's like saying you enjoy doing the dishes more than eating the food.

Josh said...

I know what you mean. Not about the penis-eeking, but about the editing and such. There are rare times when writing a first draft that I actually think that what I'm spewing onto the page is decent. (often enough, when returning to that section, I find I was terribly wrong) But the editing can be fun. It's almost a relief to find that bad paragraph and delete it. It's nice to come across a clever or humorous moment that I forgot I wrote and enjoy it.

So, yea. Revising a work can be just as much, if not more fun than the initial drafting.

McKoala said...

High threat for you, missy.

Turns out cotton candy adds extra shine.

jjdebenedictis said...

PJD: :D Absolutely nothing wrong with 40-year-old bald guys! As I say, their beauty is truly under-appreciated by society at large.

I remember having a blast writing my first (really, really terrible book), and I enjoyed the second (much better) one too. I think this is just a problematic story for me. I very much like what I've written so far, but it's not my usual genre, and the characters are all slated to die... I like 'em, but I have to kill them.

Josh: Thank goodness you don't have to deal with penis-eeking. 'Tis truly a dreadful condition.

Yeah, that's exactly what's nice about editing. You stumble across the good bits you forgot about and get to gurgle in delight at how clever you are. It's a nice feeling. During the writing, you're too busy wringing your brain onto the page.

McKoala: Eek! A Koala!

(Ooh, but how pretty your claws are now...)

Sarf's Travels. said...

Ps there is a picture of your souvenir in the photos you linked, can you find it?

jjdebenedictis said...

Sarf: These?(I would sway like a stalk of barley and terrify small children.)

One of the masks? There sure are some puuuuurrrdy ones there...

Sarf's Travels. said...

nope shot that one for Karen, she likes shoes...


Keep guessing, you have until I get to Edmonton this summer and mail it to you to guess..

Sarf's Travels. said...

You know if you don't write more I will never get to read one of your books...

I would like to read the current one, even if it isn't published or you don't think it is good. I just want to read my sisters book.... Besides I think I can get a free copy for this one, you know nepotism and all that :)

So in that spirit is do the following.

> Sarf passes the Koala a bucket of Red Bull and a claw sharpener.

jjdebenedictis said...

Sarf:
Sarf passes the Koala a bucket of Red Bull and a claw sharpener.NONONONOWHATAREYOUDOING?!?!

(And I do think my book is good. But no, I'm not letting you read it unless it gets published. Then you may have a free copy, I promise. :) )

Aerin said...

Hey dearie - you win! (No, seriously, an actual prize.) Will you email me your choice and your mailing info?

http://www.insearchofgiants.com/2009/05/april-grab-results.html

aerinblogs AT aol DOT com

Sarf's Travels. said...

Well there is a programming saying, "Code smarter not faster", think it applies to writing also?

Sarf's Travels. said...

Then again I could be bribed to to feed the Kola candy coated Valium. :)

McKoala said...

Ha ha ha. I like Sarf.

Good writing stats. May have to allow you to go up a step. Hurrmph.

jjdebenedictis said...

McKoala: Yaaaay!!

Sarf: (Psst. Good job with the Valium!)

Pageloads since 01/01/2009: