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who is beatriz coca?

i wish i could answer that question for you. in fact, if anyone were able to answer that question, it would be me, because beatriz makes an appearance one pages 184-185 of "a definable moment in time", aka the story i've been publishing in serial form here on the blog. [see "let me tell you a story", above right. and no, we're nowhere near pages 184-185 yet, but i passed them long ago in writing terms.]

i know that there was a reason that i included her and a reason why i gave her a fairly distinctive name [at least for a story largely about white north americans and europeans] and i even have a hint as to how she's supposed to tie into the story. i'm reasonably sure she was an excellent clap of thunder in the midst of a brainstorm. there's just one problem.

i can't remember who she is anymore.

because of the relative complexity of the story for "a.d.m.i.t." [best. acronym. ever.] and the fact that it was clear from the beginning that it was going to take me a long time to finish it, plus the fact that i'm coming up with a lot of new details as i go along, i forced myself to keep very good notes on everything that's supposed to happen in the story because, just in case it appears otherwise, almost everything is in there for a very specific reason.

unfortunately, when i got caught up in writing about beatriz, may she rest in peace [actually *minor spoiler alert* in pieces, but we'll get there eventually], i was excited that i'd come up with a new way in which to enrich the plot. i was so excited that i guess i figured that there was no way i wouldn't remember such awesome and important ideas and i never bothered to update my notes. now i'm stuck with a name and a couple of sparse details of what happened to her, but i'm not sure at what point her true importance is to be revealed.

i have to say that part of me does appreciate the irony of the fact that i'm having this crisis over a story in which the central character has fairly severe memory problems and has to keep copious notes about who she meets, what she's been doing and everything else in her life. but more of me is just mortified that i was silly enough to deviate from the established path without leaving myself a few bread crumbs to find my way home again.

let this be a lesson to all of you who have similar creative pursuits: write things down. always. if you decide to drop your set plan or go off in another direction that's fine, because it's your business. however, if you don't bother to keep track of your creative genius, you'll sooner or later be kept up all night, haunted by the realisation that you are not only your own greatest critic, but your own biggest road-block.

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the world at war?

in my semi-smug but genuinely curious way, i posted a question on my facebook page earlier: how much of the world has to be at war before it counts as world war iii?



the first response i got raised the very legitimate point that this is the sort of question that gets answered by historians, once the haze of the present has faded. the other important factor is that people don't just declare war on each other the way that they used to. major powers entered both the of the world wars with the blessings of their own parliaments, whereas conflicts since world war ii have happened in coded language, sometimes circumventing the political process in the interests of expediency. president reagan never declared war on the nicaraguan government in the eighties, for example, but the united states was clearly in a state of armed conflict, even if most of the arms were being carried by their proxies, the contras.

whether or not we are living in a world at war is a tricky question. despite what…

jihadvertising?

i keep seeing this ad for tictac candies:



am i the only one who finds the suicide bomber clown at the end a little unnerving? all the nice natural things like the bunny and the [extinct] woolly mammoth and the fruit get devoured by a trying-to-appear-nonthreatening-but-obviously-psychotic clown who then blows himself up. congratulations, tictac, i think this ad has landed you on about a dozen watch lists.

oh and by the way, showing me that your product will somehow cause my stomach to explode in a rainbow of wtf makes me believe that doing consuming tictacs would be a worse dietary decision than the time i ate two raw eggs and a half a bottle of hot sauce on a dare.

mental health mondays :: pop quiz

those of you who are friends of mine on facebook [that might look a little weird to those of you seeing this post on facebook] may have seen my weekly "sunday quiz time", where i just ask random questions in the name of stimulating conversation. after doing that this week, i ended up taking a very wide variety of quizzes on mental floss, which made me a little smug about my knowledge of geography and a little rattled about my knowledge of the finer points of grammar. [i want to say, in my defense, that the one grammar quiz i found was really f**king hard. is that last sentence grammatically correct? i don't know. i have no confidence in my grammar anymore.]

i got so into answering questions about just about anything that i thought it might be fun to apply that format to mental health mondays. i've already done links to quizzes about various mental disorders and how to tell if you have them [i think it turned out i had all of them], but i wanted to do a special set of…