Stephanie Burgis
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Writing "Away", and a fun fan-vid
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I've been in a bit of a writing funk for the last week. Every time I sat down to write, my head felt filled with sludge. I couldn't think, I couldn't plot, I just wanted to go to sleep (even if I'd been wide awake five minutes earlier)... Part of the problem was that something completely unexpected happened in the last chapter (see Patrick's journal entry about it!), the plot took a sudden twist, and suddenly a whole new storyline for a side character appeared and took me by surprise. Before I could keep writing, I had to work out what was actually going to happen. More than that, I had to figure out who that particular side character really was, and how her story arc could resonate with the themes of the novel.

But more than that? I was just in a funk. And today I realized why. This morning, we had an appointment at Leeds Town Hall (one of the many checkpoints in my application process for dual British citizenship), so we drove into town very early, had the appointment, which went smoothly and easily, and then went to a nearby café to do our traditional morning writing session, just because we'd left the house too early to do it at home. And guess what? Sitting in an unfamiliar café in the middle of the bustling Leeds city center, surrounded by stimulation and interest, my writing funk just dropped away. All of a sudden I was interested and thinking clearly again, having fun ideas and treating the writing like play, not work. All of a sudden, I was excited about my novel.

It is SO GOOD to get out of our familiar ruts. Over the past couple of weeks, I've been to two places: my house, and the local café in the shopping center we always go to (which is perfectly nice - but we ALWAYS go there!). And I was just sinking into boredom and over-familiarity, which is a curse for my writing.

Patrick and I both got a ton of writing done this morning, and then I took 45 minutes just to wander around the Leeds city center, browsing in Waterstones, buying an avocado wrap at Pret a Manger, windowshopping and people-watching. And by the time we left, I felt great - vibrant with interest in the world. As we drove home, we agreed that we should do this more often, instead of sticking to our usual routines. And if we do this too often, and it gets boring? Then we'll find somewhere new to go. It really is worth it.

And now just for fun, via Kelley Eskridge, check out this lovely fan-vid for the Firefly universe, by Not Mina Harker (and then check out her journal entry to see the very pleased comment Joss Whedon left there!):

I haven't seen or heard the musical Wicked, but I think that song works beautifully with the clips. It made me want to pull out Serenity and watch it again. Maybe this weekend...hmm...

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