Daily Archives: March 28, 2008

Icon Memeage

Bodhifox threw an icon-themed meme out to readers, and as I need to clear my brain of the first complete run-through of the page proofs before going back to them, but I won’t have the time to get myself into the proper headspace to do something like work on the hearthcraft book, I’m doing this instead to give my brain a break.

The meme:

1) Reply to this post, and I will pick six of your icons. [ED: Not really. You can ask if you like, but it’s not required if you comment.]
2) Make a post in your journal and talk about the icons I chose.
3) Other people can then comment to you and make their own posts.
4) This will create a never-ending cycle of icon squee.

Bodhi said:

Glad to help you avoid work. How about the cello one you used here, the HRH one, the static Random Colour (gods, you people and your superfluous letter useage) icon, argh, the Gould and the muses?

This journal doesn’t have an icon field or an automatic icon assigned to each post as LiveJournal does or other blogging software/sites can have. I began inserting an icon for each post to add some visual interest to the blocks of text, and to provide a sort of instant preview of the subject or emotional tone of the post. I also did it to use the masses of icons I had hoarded, because there are some really lovely ones out there, and my hoard of shinies wasn’t seeing any practical application in a folder on my hard drive.

This is the icon I’m currently using as my default on LiveJournal. (No, I don’t post there, I have an account that enables me to read other journals and make comments.) It’s a crop of a much larger picture of several people, making it a close-up of my hands and the cello from last year’s gig. I like it a lot because it forces the viewer to look at the instrument, rather than my face. The bow hold is dreadful in this photo, but it was the closing song of the set and we’d done some pretty strenuous work leading up to this particular moment so my hand was shot. I also like the light and shadow happening in it. The cord is from a mic, and while I initially wasn’t thrilled it was there I’ve since seen that it adds an interesting movement to the picture. I still don’t have a really good picture of me playing the cello.

This is an HRH original, the story of which I’ll just reproduce here from the text on his portfolio web site (‘cos I wrote it anyway): In the late 1990s I had the fortune to work with a local theatre company as they mounted various productions of Savoy operas. This is a picture of my favourite leading lady as she might have appeared in the 1880s, taking her curtain call after a performance. The original art is approximately 11 x 14 inches, and was done in lead pencil and blue Col-erase pencil on acid-free paper. The final line work was done in black ink. The faint shading was done with light blue Col-erase pencil. The work was never developed further because I liked the sketch quality of it. The original artwork was framed and now hangs in a private home in Vancouver, BC, Canada. Ironically, I have no idea what show I was doing when he sketched this. Possibly The Mikado. I use this icon for some of my thank you posts, and my ‘celebrate/congratulate me!’ posts.

Heh. I so adore this picture. It’s by Karine, an incredibly talented artist and good friend, who also happens to be the lead singer in the band. The series of sketches (one per band member) was done before we actually assembled and began working on music, based solely on the colours each of us had picked as identifiers and amusing alter-ego names. The name I picked was Midnight Sienna, so my icon/outfit was themed in browns and blacks. I am so kick-ass in this picture, and it makes me grin every time I see it. I never got around to making the whole outfit, but I did make the black corset for performance and have the boots, too.

This icon encompasses both my recognition of the mistakes I’ve made, as well as the general “you have got to be kidding”-ness of so many things I see and read. Alice in Wonderland is far from my favourite Disney film — far, far, far from it — and pink’s not one of my favourite colours either, but somehow this icon grabbed me when I saw it. I think it may be the sentiment expressed in the text, which is something that never clearly appears in the original book but that I think must have run through Alice’s mind at some (or many) points: Stupid rabbit. Stupid flowers. This is beyond dealing with. I’m going home. There is so much to “argh” about in life, after all.

Ah, Glenn Gould. I wrote half an MA thesis on him before my thesis advisor vanished into the underworld, taking his promise of a co-heard defense handled by both the music and Eng.Lit. departments with him, and it scarred poor shy agonized little me so badly I couldn’t even consider picking it up again with someone else two years later, even if anyone in the department had been willing to take it on. I love Gould’s quirks, his depth of union with the music he plays, and his clean crisp separation of musical lines. I also deeply enjoy his writings, get a kick out of his wacky sense of humour, and find his personality fascinating.

This is a relatively recent icon, and I love the colours and layout. The text, of course, is absolutely perfect: it’s polite, has that ring of sincerity, and yet encapsulates the stereotypical ‘your call is important to us’ canned recording. All in all, it evokes the feeling of frustration one feels when on hold and also staring at writer’s block. It’s particularly appropriate for me, as I’ve been experiencing a lot of challenges with this current book. Overall, it soothes and amuses, both things I need when I’m growling at writing.

Ta-Da!

Finished the first pass through the proofs! Now I have to go back and check the notes I made, and re-read the first half to make sure I’ve caught errors I found later. (A ‘censor’ is not needed for a ritual involving incense, whereas a ‘censer’ is. Am I ever glad I caught that one.) And now I’m wibbling about my ruthless elimination of commas for invocations in the latter half of the book; they do work well in some instances. Sigh.

I read a paragraph and choked up. That’s never happened before.

Hmm…

I see that a lot of the corrections I’m asking for in these page proofs are things that possibly could have been caught in the copyedit stage, but weren’t. I assume they weren’t pointed out because the copyeditor wanted to leave my prose as close to my original voice as possible, but I wish the slightly clumsy phrasings and inconsistent punctuation in invocations (ah, those commas) had been tagged earlier. Understanding what something says doesn’t mean there can’t be a clearer way to say it. And rereading it fully now, as opposed to going through the CEM edit by edit, I’m seeing places I wish had been pointed out. Oh well; if it’s crucial I’m correcting it; I’m correcting things to maintain consistency of formatting; and anything that misleads at first reading I’m correcting as well.

And still I’m pausing at other places and weighing how important a change would be. Sigh.

I veer between admiring how tightly certain sections are written, and wondering how other such messy bits got past the editors.

Just started chapter eight. I’ve done a chapter and a half this morning already, the same amount I covered yesterday. Fewer edits and corrections to point out today, obviously.

Gratuitous Kitten Photos And News

Because what you all need is a dose of Vitamin Ktn on a spring Friday, I am sure.

I am forever shoving him out of the way so I can see the monitor and my work, or picking him up and dropping him onto the floor. When it gets excessively repetitive I throw him out of the office and close the door. If he’s in here and feels Kitten Narcolepsy coming on, he stumbles to my writing desk and passes out for an hour and a half.

Gryffindor exists in full-fledged Happy Battle Kitten mode pretty much all of the time. Got feet? I will chase them! Got a long sweater on? I will stalk it! Is that a bit of fluff? I will attack it! Are you breathing under that quilt? The movement must be caused by a Mystery Rodent! Is that a carpet? I will subdue it! Is that a rogue Cheerio or Rice Krispie? Nom nom nom.

He is fine with all the other cats, but Cricket still has issues with him and they scrap at least once a day. Gryff hides behind my cello in the corner if Cricket walks into the office. This is somewhat cute but mostly nerve-wracking, as a sudden move by either of them could topple the instrument. Two weeks ago I caught him happily leaping and scaling the soft case it was in. He hasn’t done that again. Ahem.

He is enthusiastically curious about everything, and insanely interested in water. He jumps into both the kitchen and the bathroom sinks when we’re using them. Gryff also perches on the edge of the full bathtub and inches his paws down the side to touch the surface. Splashing him with water doesn’t scare him off, either. He looks up with delight as if to say, “More! More! Splash me again!” I was brushing my teeth Tuesday morning when suddenly there was a kitten standing in the sink on his hind legs with one paw on my chest, the other darting into my mouth to catch the toothbrush.

Liam has appointed himself the Gryff Police. If the kitten jumps up onto a counter or the dinner table, or starts playing with a plant, the boy says, “I will stop him!” and runs at the cat, shaking a finger and saying, “No, Gryff, down from there!” A week or so ago he very seriously said to the kitten as it was being deposited onto the floor after an ill-timed leap onto the table during a meal, “No, Gryff, not when food is on the table.” Gryff has taken to Liam to such an extent that he tries to hide under the boy’s covers or bed when it’s bedtime. And when Liam has gone to sleep, the kitten sleeps outside his door.

And that is your Kitten Update. Would you like some coffee with all that sugar?