The Importance Of Knowing When To Say When

So the new laptop quite obviously did not help my posting rate in any way, shape, or form.

I’m currently ‘typing’ this post out on a tablet I also thought would help increase my post rate. I’ve had the tablet for over five months and the fact I haven’t even posted about having it should say everything I ought to say about how successful this strategy was.

I made new writer-oriented business cards last week and put this blog down as my website. While doing so, I realized how long it’s been since my last posts and more importantly what was most likely causing the problem…

I’ve fallen victim to the age-old writer problem of letting a project I wasn’t into anymore give me guilt-associated writer’s block.

This phenomenon occurs when a writer stalls out of writing anything or a particular kind of something – in my case, serious blog posts have been what was affected – because the guilt of I Should Be Writing X Instead seizes that writer’s capacities up whenever it’s attempted.

In my case, it’s that series on the Wicked series. I love the books I’ve read, but the one I was actually looking forward to writing about is Son Of A Witch… and with the series, it was going to take slogging through the entire college girl social scene bits of Wicked to get to the parts that are strongly relevant for why I adore Son Of A Witch.

So the series is off. And I’ll probably post my thoughts on Son Of A Witch sans the pressure sometime. And I will hopefully figure out italics in this WordPress app someday.

Along with other things.

But for now, I have a weekend of book festival to look forward to, and no pressure about how I should be discussing Wicked tonight instead of posting my thoughts on discovering The Giver as an adult after hopefully attending a panel including the author Lois Lowry. Or not.

And after ‘winning’ NaNoWriMo twice, maybe this year I can actually provide commentary during the event.

My December, Or When Technology Fails

December.

December was when devices spontaneously started going wrong. Or, in one case, more wrong than they had been.

This was by no means the first time in 2011 that my laptop had issues.

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NaNoWriMo 2011

I participated in and ‘won’ NaNoWrimo 2011.

I can now attest that writing 50,000 words in four weeks does interesting things to the human mind. I’m not sure if I’ll do it again next year because of how my brain was processing things near the end, but it was definitely an experience.

I’ve twice attempted to participate in the past, and twice I failed to make it past the first week.

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Reading Maguire: Wicked, Maladies and Remedies

My apologies for the delay. I’ve had some things happen in the past week, and am now preparing to start seeking an agent for my novel, so perhaps posting once or twice a week is a more attainable goal than Mondays through Thursdays.

This chapter is where we first get a clue that Frex and Melena’s daughter, now named Elphaba, may not be independently strange. It’s an important thing to note for the future, but it’s not what I want to discuss this time.

This chapter, we get a really good glimpse into the kind of upbringing that Elphaba is going to experience.

[TW – emotional abandonment of an infant]

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Reading Maguire: Wicked, The Birth Of A Witch

This chapter is where we learn that the Clock seems to have an agenda of its own. The scenes it shows of Frex and Melena not only aren’t true (although I can’t help but think that the treasure imagery isn’t a symbol of hidden actual treasure, but that Melena is herself Frex’s real treasure), but fail to come true. At the same time, the reaction of the crowd serves to set other events in motion.

Frex’s marginal power as local minister is completely and utterly gone. It doesn’t matter that anyone coming to his house and pillaging isn’t going to find any gems. He now knows that only one member of the community was willing to save him from a bad end, and he has no clue which members of his congregation might have been one of the hooded men who attacked him.

And Melena has to take cover while in labor. [TW – woman in danger during childbirth, threatened infanticide]

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Reading Maguire: Wicked, The Clock of the Time Dragon

This is the chapter where we get a physical description of the Clock. It’s worth getting the mental image in your head, because the Clock isn’t going away any time soon. We also start getting a few details about the religious system in Oz.

But the really interesting thing for me in this chapter is Frex’s lack of a clue. Melena may be framed as the one with little understanding of the world people without means live in, but Frex is the one who makes dangerous errors.

He’s about to set his family up for probable disaster.

[Trigger warning: discussion of pregnancy, childbirth, and spousal irresponsibility and temporary abandonment in the face of impending childbirth]

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Reading Maguire: Wicked, The Root of Evil

Maguire’s pattern of splitting the text is not constant in any of The Wicked Years. Wicked sets the pattern up now. “I: Munchkinlanders” is split into named chapters with no subdivisions. Later, we’ll run into parts with no splits at all and into parts where there are named chapters and numbered subchapters.

“The Root Of Evil” is only a few pages long, but it begins the introduction of Maguire’s specific version of Oz.

Here, we meet Melena, Frexspar, and Frex’s sense of what his concerns ought to be in the world.

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