Friday, 19 June 2015

Things and Stuff #17

Secrets, Vespers, Vids, Villains, Pages

Thing 1: A Thing
I saw a thing. I'm absolutely not allowed to talk about it.

Having secrets is kinda fun actually.

My face when I got that one email (c) Cybill/the internet
Thing 2: Beautiful music in beautiful places
The next CEFC concerts are coming up really quite soon, like much sooner than I realised, and I need to knuckle down and practice my ppp top Es and my Old Slavonic Russian Ls (unfortunately, I think I biologically cannot do the Ls the way they're meant to be done, but maybe I can learn to fudge it...)

Gorgeous poster (c) CEFC
We're doing Rachmaninov's Vespers and some other gorgeous a capella pieces in two concerts in July - Friday the 10th in Southwark Cathedral and Saturday the 18th in St John's College Chapel, Cambridge. It's amazing music and it's going to be wonderful - potentially dodgy Russian Ls notwithstanding.

Thing 3: The Return of the Fancy Cannibal
This won't be news to anyone who follows me on any social media, but for anyone who missed it: a long time ago back in the mists of time (Things and Stuff #8 to be exact), I recommended the marvellous Cleolinda's wonderful Hannibal recaps. I stand by that rec, especially for people who don't think the show itself would be for them, but now I have a follow up rec, and it is this:

Watch Hannibal.

Restless Hugh Dancy gif and amazing comment both (c) NBC's Hannibal Tumblr account which is a work of genius all by itself

I was only reading the recaps back then, but then Cleo had to take a break from recapping and I needed to know what happened next, so I started watching.

This show is my jam, you guys. It's just come back for its third season and stuff is happening and people are dead and people are not dead and the fandom is already making plushie versions of people's horrifying visions and the queerbaiting continues to be beautiful, frustrating and hilarious in pretty much equal measure, and it's all so great I swear if you haven't given it a chance yet, you need to. (I also still recommend Cleolinda's recaps, Storify posts and entire twitter feed basically as a way to help you process all of the amazing stuff you are about to witness.)

Like this beautiful nonsense (c) NBC
I have no looming book deadline so I might be spending a chunk of this weekend making Hannibal fanvids because that is how much I mean this squee. A Lot, is how much.

Thing 4: Researching the research
I've come to the point in my current work-in-progress book where the hero needs to encounter the villain for the first time. Unfortunately, even though I have most of a plot in mind, my villain is distinctly vague. I know all sorts of things about him already - it's just his motivation and methods that are still a little fuzzy. Hmm.

So I've spent this week doing a lot of Googling around the setting and themes of the book trying to research some of the directions I could go off in looking for a really good evil motive. It's exciting, because at the moment it could be almost anything, but intimidating for the exact same reason.

Thing 5: Morning Pages
Morning pages is this exercise from The Artist's Way, which is a whole big hippy scheme of how to improve your life and creativity which you have to buy the book or videos to actually access in full - I haven't ever done that, I could, but I'm pretty sure it would be a form of procrastination for me, and I'm not sure how much of the hippy crystals stuff I would be able to stomach anyway.

But I saw morning pages recommended on a blog a couple of weeks ago and I thought I'd try it out. Basically, every morning before you do anything else (at least, before you do any work) you write three longhand pages of whatever rubbish passes through your head. As mundane or silly or angsty as you like.

Basically like this (c) Eddie Izzard
It's supposed to help you sort your thoughts out and get down all the little things that are hanging out in your head so that they're codified and not so scary when you've finished. And it does kind of work, sort of. I haven't had any huge revelations of my inner self or fantastic flights of imagination - but I have also definitely had a few better days because I've written down what I expect to have to deal with that day and how I feel about it.

So yeah, I recommend it as a thing to try. You might not like it. But you might.

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