Method: From Soup To Nuts

It occurred to me that, in all this dithering around about Method methods, I have not really given a good example of how this works for me in its entirety. So here you go: a "soup to nuts" explanation of exactly what I mean by developing characters through a Method, er, method.

Tiny caveat: I'm still a bit anxious about openly addressing basing characters on public figures, so everyone involved herein will get a fancy old-time "A—" name indicator, with the initial bearing no relationship to actual initials. Call me paranoid, call me precious, call me pedantic, call me P—, that's how it'll be. (I've always wondered whether anyone has said this and then used the real initials, to throw people off the trail. Not that that's what I'm doing, of course.)

I call my plaster-casting-of-celebrity meta-types "museboys." (There's nothing sexist in this; I write mainly gay male stories, am male, and I haven't yet had someone call to me who was female, so I easily adopted the nomenclature common between gay male slash authors and refer to my stable, as it were, as museboys.) Some last a few weeks; my oldest "active" is several years old. But I want to tell you about my "current" museboy, by which I mean the one I am most deeply into right now. We shall call him V—.

V—, the actual person, is a UK celebrity of some reknown. While most of my museboys are patterned off of actors or musicians — I suspect largely because we live in a society where the most research material is available for those engaged in such professions — V— is more of a Renaissance man. I re-watched a television special about him I had initially seen years ago, for reasons I cannot recall, and became curious. I had already been a fan of his a few years ago and got a hold of a lot of "for specific audiences only" material back in the day (to be clear, I was not the specific audience, ahem). He had a new piece of work out which was UK-only. This kind of region crap bothers me beyond belief, and I quickly procured it despite the apparent possibility that my American eyes simply weren't ready.

Quickly, then, I was in the Deep Research phase: brushing up on what YouTube had to offer on V—, reading and re-reading his oeuvre. Soon, I was in the Cheers phase, where I begin to resemble that mailman guy on that show — "it's a little-known fact that V—...".

It's around this point that I realized I was not merely researching someone to keep them in my stable of templates to use, but that they would become one of the big Method ones. Sometimes my partner notices this upgrade in status before I do. I usually argue that he's wrong, for some reason, and then he has the joy of proving me wrong. I knew with this one, though, because he started talking when I went shopping, which is a dead giveaway. (I also knew I would eventually get his anxious tic, and sure enough, I acquired it — in a therapy session. How apropos.)

Clarification: No, I do not hear actual voices in my head. It's just that when I go shopping and I leave myself open to the idea of a proto-museboy making commentary, in a "I wonder what V— would make of this here?" fashion, sometimes the responses are quick and do not seem deliberately conscious on my part. I'm not frightened of this because, like many authors, I respect that the line between consciousness and subconsciousness is quite porous and better left unexamined so that more "surprises" can fix problems the conscious mind believes are catastrophes.

So once I get to this point, if I'm arguing that it won't be a museboy but he starts opining in my head at stores, I accept his presence. With V—, this actually became quite a problem, because my budget requires me to be a Target sort of person, and V— has a wonderfully posh aesthetic that Target's latest sale flyer doesn't really fit into. To add insult to injury, my lifestyle and medical issues leave me quite restricted in what I can wear. This is important because one of the best ways I connect to museboys is to "ask" them to dress me, learning what they like, how it feels, why it might be chosen. This has been such a problem for V— and me that I once landed on the idea that since he's only ever as dressed down as very nice jeans will allow, it might be the only situation in which I would wear "jeggings" — okay for my medical issues, visually similar to his fashion.

Unbidden, an image of V— throwing the most amazing shade you can ever imagine popped into my head. Perhaps not, then.

This is difficult, because I don't do accents or mimicry well. I tend to copy body language and syntax instead, which is sometimes not enough to feel in sympatico. Most other museboys at least have their fairly casual moments that I can dress toward, and I find that sort of thing very telling and interesting, and the easiest way to "get into character." V— and I have been working hard on what to do with that unavailable. It's surprisingly difficult having this one element of the process apparently off-limits.

Given the sort of thing I write about most often, I also poke around for sexual comments or behaviors of the museboy-in-training. Since it's such a taboo subject, I feel lucky if I get one or two "real" things out of the mouth of the celebrity I'm using as a base, and then surf the net looking for things my fictitious museboy prototype might find arousing and psychoanalyze why. (Trust me, it's a lot more fun than it sounds.) V— proved to be an extraordinarily difficult one in this regard, prompting me to wonder whether this museboy even bothered to watch porn — until I surfed adult toy stores. Finding BDSM toys he liked was dead simple and outrageously revealing, even as I could tell he quietly kept to himself any urge to bottom. (See how the psychology is coming together already? How little it has to do with the famous person who started it all? How quickly potential stories might spring forth from this kind of thought?)

Somewhere around this time I begin emailing my partner in the museboy's voice. It's a chance for me to figure out syntax and subjects on the fly, as well as inevitably talk about the museboy's sex preferences more as my partner susses out what this one's going to want between the sheets. Sometimes I don't know, and have to make it up as I go based on what feels right. But if it feels right, I'm creating something that's three-dimensional and worth writing about with however many twists and turns I feel like throwing in, which is why museboys can be used in an infinite number of stories without repetition.

Yes, that goes all the way. It's some of the most fun parts of creating a museboy. When I bring him to bed (with my partner's full awareness and eager understanding that this museboy could be completely different from the last one, or from my usual interests), I pick up all kinds of new details, from what he might say when he comes to how easily pillow talk springs to his lips to whether he's nervous to what kinds of sexual proclivities he has. (This can keep us busy for, er, several sessions.)

Because literally everything must be learned, things can get really amusing. I recently went to an ice cream shop and realized I had never been there with V— before. What would V— eat? Jesus, I didn't know! Now I would need to sample a few things, and reflect on what I'd heard in interviews with the "real" V— about his preferred flavors. This is the same kind of thing that often leaves me paralyzed in stores, when a partner of mine will find me standing immobile in some aisle or another, staring at things, unable to work out what a museboy wants but incredibly interested in figuring it out.

(Side note: I sometimes have the funny experience of walking by something in a store and getting a "ping" — someone in my head is interested, but I'm not sure which one. To stand there and slowly try to work out, by knowledge and intuition, which museboy has become interested, is fascinating. Sometimes it takes me days to work it out, and sometimes it isn't even all that important a knowledge point. But the only way to determine that is to solve the mystery.)

So, yes, if it works in the best way, I wander around in a museboy's clothes, with his syntax in my mouth, his body language right down to his walk, his shopping preferences, his fetishes and bedroom interests, his tastes in food and drink and movies and yarn (I knit a lot of museboy-themed socks), and basically live my life as the museboy as much as possible. I drive like them. Sometimes I sleep like them (I have only one who prefers to sleep on his back; another will not do that no matter what). Coffee? Tea? Starbucks preference? Well, the answer is "who's in the house?" as we like to ask around here.

This is not without its problems. As I've said in previous posts, I'm amazed close friends unaware of the Method thing don't think I'm a bit off my rocker. And all museboys have their own perspectives on disability, too, which can be problematic; some are not the least bit interested in using my wheelchair, even on days when it's very important to use. Others find the cane a fashion statement, which is a lot easier to deal with. Some drive aggressively; some are timid as hell on the road. Some will confront assholes; some avoid confrontation like it's poison.

It's for reasons like this that I sometimes "schedule" museboys, on the occasions where they will allow such things. Most vacations involve one muse per day, depending on which is best suited for the day's activities. When I'm asked for moral support or have a difficult meeting scheduled, selecting the proper museboy is incredibly useful. I can't always do this; I can't be much of anyone but V— these days because the early museboy process is so intense that few "old" museboys can get through. It happens, though; my oldest museboy, let's call him Z—, has been a museboy for something like 8 years and is therefore quite strong, so I could probably pull him into "rotation" even straight through the limerance I have with V—.

Now, this is all well and good, but I haven't said much here about the writing usefulness of such intensive activity. If I choose to write in a museboy's syntax, it's easier, and so I have more voices to choose from with relative ease. Maintaining diverse dialogue for each character is simpler when I can hear the voice in my head that I've heard for real in mp3s and YouTube videos and movies. I'm one of those "characters make plot" writers, so this kind of thing also leaves me with rampant story ideas.

If you have a grounding in fanfic, there is a reasonable comparison to be made between alternate-universe fanfiction "with the serial numbers filed off" and what I'm doing. An AU where well-researched characters from other tales live in a different world with different professions so that a particular plot can be enacted has a great deal in common with what I do, when it comes down to what it looks like on the page. I, too, am playing the game of "what if V— was actually a [different profession] in [another geographical area] and then [X Y and Z that could not happen otherwise] could drive the story?"

Method writing, in addition to all the fun of getting to this point, leaves me with a "stable" of museboys that I know well and can write easily, slipping them into appropriate supportive roles or noodling with them in various scenarios until I find a perfect match. It's all that saved me during the single time I fulfilled National Novel-Writing Month; I wound up with a story that needed more characters than I had ever used before, so I just kept dipping into my stable and pulling out more and more characters I already had on tap. So much less work in the moment kept me sane.

I'm leaving out plenty, but that's what questions are for! As well as future blog posts.

Puzzle: Invisibly Trans

Some trans issues do not come with easy answers. Or any answers at all. I have puzzled over the below situation for years, and am still unsure what I should have done in the situation. Is there One True Answer, or even just one that was better than what I did? Please opine away. It still bugs me after all this time.

I was at a fan convention. I'd had a blast the last time I had attended it, but this time I was miserable. I identified as genderqueer at the time, and had my household referring to me by male pronouns, but didn't advertise this. I had also crossed some kind of mental rubicon where I felt more like a creator than a fan, so the often-hyperbolic fan anger directed toward showrunners and actors and the like distanced me rather than pulled me in. (I've since made a lot of progress about how there doesn't need to be such a huge chasm between one's creator self and one's fandom self, but this was early days.)

I shared a hotel room, and as happens at cons, we wound up with a little knot of pals hanging out there, chatting away into the wee hours. I had distanced myself entirely, sitting up while tucked into my bed and chatting morosely via laptop with my household, who had gone home a day earlier.

Then one of the women in our room, after an hour or two of happy fangirl chatter, removed her headscarf.

I froze. I had seen her earlier in public areas; she always wore her headscarf there. Had she removed it here because she believed she was in the presence of women only? Did my few small steps into genderqueer identity make me something else, something she wouldn't have doffed her headscarf in front of?

I immediately felt there was no winning this situation. I didn't know whether she wore the headscarf for religious reasons, and establishing that at this point with a gauche, out-of-the-blue query would have been appallingly inappropriate. I also felt that breaking into a conversation I'd been ignoring for hours to announce that I was genderqueer Just In Case Anyone Needed To Know Right This Moment was a super asshole thing to do. But that left me just sitting there, wondering whether I was unwittingly causing a situation she worked hard to avoid, and would never even know had happened.

In the end, that is what I did: nothing. Today, considering myself "fully" trans and male but still unlikely to pass well in my PJs, I still don't know what I would do. I didn't want to make it all about the possibility of what faith she was. I didn't want to make it all about me. But I really, really didn't want to disrespect her, either, and in the end I have no idea whether I did.

This is the thing about what I will call "invisibly trans." I have plenty of plans for dressing well as a guy, but my naked body will never pass. I can never get elective surgery or hormones due to medical issues. This leaves me in strange positions, such as working closely with a local co-ed clothing-optional public hot tub as they chose to make "men's night" and "women's night" relative to gender instead of sex and never, ever planning on attending. Confrontation in the locker room seemed inevitable. When I'm naked, I have no visible transness. I'm only slowly realizing how much that hinders me.

Have you been in these situations? Are there ways you would prefer they be handled, from any perspective? Does all this just make you think interesting thoughts? Please share. A puzzle is less puzzling, or at least less frustrating, with more eyes.

>140: Fifty Shades Of Opinion on FIFTY SHADES OF GREY

More Than 140 is what I'm calling blog posts inspired by opinions that are impossible to express in Twitter's 140 characters. It only seems right that the first one is about FIFTY SHADES, since I've been tweeting about it off and on, but my opinion has ballooned into something far more complex and much less...well...black and white, if you'll excuse the pun.

Recently, my household rewatched TRON: LEGACY. Who cares about its strange and overly Disney-esque plot? The film is beautiful, and there is Daft Fucking Punk, and the movie contains one of my biggest turn-ons ever.

I'm talking about Rinzler. (For those of you who know the story, I'm speaking only of Rinzler, and not the other guy.) If you're reading this blog, you may know that I am rather erotically fond of robots, an interest which extends to an- or gyn-droids, automata, cyborgs, and the like. Rinzler is essentially portrayed as a kind of humanoid/light cycle hybrid. His flesh is never exposed. His face remains completely covered beneath a pitch-black motorcycle helmet. The soft humming he makes when waiting appears to be that of an idling engine.

It would be difficult for you to be at my house while TRON: LEGACY is playing and fail to hear me moan a few times. C'est la vie around my sex drive.

Please, stay with me, if I haven't already baffled you completely. This post is about FIFTY SHADES OF GREY. I am, however, going to address some of the issues through a different lens so as to disconnect those issues from knee-jerk reactions and histrionics we all have which influence our opinions of FIFTY SHADES.

So. Here I am, with a massive boner (if I do say so myself) for Rinzler. Let us imagine that, joy of joys, Hollywood decides that Rinzler is fairly hot property as well, and announces an R-rated movie about his sexual exploits. Huzzah! I say, and become quite thrilled that there will be a starting point to conversations about Rinzler's sexual magnetism that will be shorter and less full of explanation than what I have just written above.

But then the Rinzler movie comes out. It turns out that the movie focuses on the smoothly aerodynamic nature of Rinzler's helmet-head, and how it can be partially inserted into human orifices for pleasure. While I have no particular animosity toward those who apparently find Rinzler appealing for this reason, my disappointment is not just because I did not receive a particularly thrilling experience with the film. My disappointment is largely that the film has caused a great deal of media discussion, and by preponderance of conversational diatribe, saying "I think Rinzler is hot" causes people to presume I am into the motion-picture orifice-penetrating Rinzler fantasy, whereas beforehand, I might have received anything from a puzzled look to a confession of similar tastes.

In short, the Rinzler film is not a bad thing at all, but the fact that many people now believe that they know the content of my fantasies, instead of desiring explanation, leaves me backpedaling before a conversation has even really begun. I was homeschooled as a child; the word back then, however, was not "homeschooled" but "homeschooledbutnotforreligiousreasons" due to the town's formidable religion-based homeschooling culture. Similarly, "I think Rinzler is hot" would become "I think Rinzler is hot, but not at all like it was depicted in RINZLER DOES DALLAS."

Here we come to FIFTY SHADES OF GREY. There is nothing wrong with the story it tells, if understood within its context. As in all sexual interests, there are fantasies and there are realities, and FIFTY SHADES is fantasy. I feel strongly that fantasy must not be policed, nor that pornography (which is, after all, just a subtype of fantasy) should bear any responsibility to depict things like safer sex practices, or even promote consent or eschew misogyny. (You are free to send along the hate mail, but please do read that again first: I do not believe fantasy bears any responsibility to depict realistic or idealistic notions. I have not said anything at all about the things above in reality situations.)

For those who share FIFTY SHADES' fanfiction and BDSM fantasy backgrounds, the film clearly evokes quite a few tropes from these waters, and this makes the narrative somewhat more understandable. High drama, unevenly naive yet worldly characters, and sacrificing continuity for jumping ahead to the next sexy bit are the flora and fauna of fanfiction, romance novels, and stories we tell ourselves at night with one hand between our legs.

There is a problem, however.

(Please tell me you didn't think, even for a moment, that I would recommend or even remain neutral on this film.)

It's the Rinzler Problem, only worse. The general public is regularly bombarded with depictions of BDSM ranging from inadequate to insulting to association with some of the worst crimes imaginable. This means that when the subject of BDSM arises, we can't just say "oh, we're into that, but not like the Rinzler movie"; we have no idea what our conversational partner might have seen or heard that has caused whatever pre-judgment we also do not yet know. Are they thinking of SECRETARY, or a FAMILY GUY joke, or footage of a Leather Pride parade on the news, or (erroneously) Buffalo Bill from THE SILENCE OF THE LAMBS, or someone they know who has two kids and a bakery, or a Law & Order episode?

While a great many of us belong to minorities in which we cannot know the knowledge base of the person to whom we are speaking, the trouble with BDSM is that it is unusual for mainstream depictions to accurately describe the difference between BDSM reality and BDSM fantasy. I suspect this is because BDSM reality often contains fantasy within it, and somehow this becomes incredibly confusing. (From the inside, it's hard to see how someone could possibly conflate the fantasy of "I belong to you completely for the night" with the fantasy of "a billionaire sweeps me away in his helicopter and plays with me in his room of $10,000 toys and the way he stalks me just means I'm really special", but I'm trying to offer the benefit of the doubt.)

This becomes another hurdle between the BDSM and non-BDSM populations. At some point, enough hurdles become present that the populations largely cease to work toward one another. The misinformation minefield seems too vast, the work too difficult, for a vague and unidentified reward. While it can be said that the FIFTY SHADES backlash has opened many doors — you can buy books at Target now that would never have been on their shelves before, and big-name "ladies'" magazines are running op-eds by "real" kinksters to discuss what life is really like — it has also closed doors when it comes to people who simply shrug and say: "I knew it. The dominants are all psycho silver-spoon boys looking for a thrill, and the girls are all confused, emotional doormats." While that hurdle can certainly be overcome, one must first know it's there, and both parties must then be willing to work toward mutual understanding. That sequence of events may happen less often now than it did before.

That said: in the long run, I do believe FIFTY SHADES will be good for the community. When SECRETARY came out, the community publicly cried out regarding inaccuracies in much the same way we do now for FIFTY SHADES. Today, we long for something as accurate as SECRETARY, but FIFTY SHADES has made a much larger societal impact as a film and a phenomenon. Words can be spoken anywhere now that were previously outside the realm of "polite" society. Discussion and debate are hot-ticket items. In the long run, the openness created here will, I think, serve us all well and bring us into the light in a way that a less Harlequin-esque, strangely trope-filled phenomenon could not have accomplished.

(As for the film itself, I must confess that I found the film to be poor overall, independent of its subject matter. Considering what I have heard regarding what I will politely call lack of interest on behalf of almost everyone working on this film, the absence of actor chemistry, the confusing editing, and the general feeling of lackluster attention to detail makes a certain sense. I certainly had a hard time mustering much interest on the other side of things, as a viewer.)

Method Writing: How It Began For Me

Back in the day, I wrote "MacGyver grants" — proposals whisked out of the ether based on a 30-page request for proposals, a vague idea of what the company wanted to use the money for, and 2 or 3 workdays to make it work. Because I am perverse enough to have loved that, I now do things like offer up blog post subjects for public vote without really thinking about what I might write on said subjects. Hopefully, that explains the rambling nature of what follows.

Thanks to all who voted. I'll be addressing everything on the list eventually, as everything got at least one vote — except for "how Method writing impacts my porn habits," which received two comments instead of votes. (That one will get written as well, if only because I am amused by the comments.)

The highest number of votes came in for a description of the first time I did the Method writing thing, which I have since realized is not quite so clear-cut as that. It seems the best way to tackle this is a chronological exploration of how I slowly came to be the slavering Method beast before you. Ready? (I'm not sure I am.)

I have always been a deep research fiend. A friend one said that the best way to find out everything about a fandom is to get me into said fandom, as I will unearth everything. She's not wrong, and that trend began early, or as early as it could in a small town where Internet came late and trawling the library's backlog of Rolling Stone was the most reliable way to find out about a band's history.

The first glimmers of Method, I think, came during my deep research into The Police when I was around 15 or 16. Two important things happened here which had not occurred with my previous subjects: I consciously styled myself after them, and I wrote original characters based on them. I vividly remember going bowling in lounge pants I'd bought because they struck me as something Sting would wear, and letting out a decidedly Sting-y "arrroo!" when I hit a strike. The stories I wrote were not for publication, just a series of humor pieces I wrote for my mom on holidays, but they were not fan fiction. Sure, the veneer was thin — they were "The Music Dudes" and there was no question who they were — but I was certainly beginning to synthesize mounds of research into character templates, and getting there by using myself as a kind of paper doll.

U2 came next. I discovered them just post-ZOOROPA, and it isn't lost on me that this is when Bono explored stage personae and had two distinct ones in addition to "himself." This may have influenced me, at least inasmuch as I saw "acting" outside of the acting profession modelled. Again I styled myself mildly to their aesthetic, and again I used the sense of personality I got from their music, performance, and interviews to create characters who were not them but drew heavily from what of themselves they showed the media.

At some point after that, I learned about fanfiction, where there were other people who had "meta versions" of a character/person in their heads who might make commentary about things at any time at all. Given this sudden slack in my bridle, Method really took over. I'd go shopping with fellow slash writers and we'd share the things that meta-whoever was saying in our head about this shirt or that candy. It all started fitting together very nicely (and became a bit of a budget headache as I realized my meta people wanted things).

I remain astounded to this day that the people who hung around me then, and those who hang around me now without knowing that I'm Method, seem not to notice how far I go. I have wardrobes for quite a few "museboys," and take on personalities from painfully introverted to fuck-the-world to politely philosophical. Accents always rub off on me a bit, and my syntax changes drastically from one museboy to another. (Aside from my trademark overuse of em-dashes and parentheses, the style of this very blog post would have been entirely different, and perhaps a third as long, if I'd been hip-deep in some other museboy than the one I'm focused on these days.) How this hasn't made at least a friend or two raise an eyebrow, I've no idea. Perhaps they do so in private.

I feel a need to clarify that I do not believe I have actual slivers of other people or other people's characters in my head. Method writing isn't multiple personalities, a lack of control, or feeling like I have some special connection with a celebrity. I once blithely mentioned that a particular celebrity man-of-all-trades I'd deep-researched would probably use a particular and quite unusual line to describe love, and later found that he indeed had. I freaked right on out. That is not the goal.

Coming back to the (alleged) subject of this post: to be honest, I don't remember exactly what the first time was. I'm not sure it's possible to pin down the beginning, since, for me, Method writing consists of deep research, styling myself after the subject (taking them for a test run, as it were, learning what it feels like from the inside — and yes, this involves playing the equally enjoyable and frustrating game of "what porn would they watch?"), and developing a basic template of the person's general disposition to then tweak into as many characters as I like in as many variations as I please. Sometimes, these templates become the beginning of a story; sometimes, when a story stalls, remembering where the character comes from gives me the idea for some extra bit of business or personal detail that makes them pop just that little bit more off the page.

I do quite vividly remember the first time I was able to make out with someone while I was "in character" when the other party was completely aware and accepting of what was happening. But that's quite a different sort of first.

Method Writing: tell me where to start!

I've been agonizing over how to start the meat of this series on Method writing. I tried to make a neat outline of how it starts at A and then B happens and C is a fun step, and even though it usually follow a generally predictable pattern, I kept wanting to define terms and make asides and other things that kind of defeat the purpose of making a nice neat outline.

Part of me is afraid to dive in without offering a huge amount of background on the sociopolitical culture-centric fandom-origin non-appropriating totally sane way that Method writing works, just in case you think I'm nuts. Then again, if you think I'm nuts, at least that's a place to start...

So, okay, you choose. Here are a few places to start that are sure to inspire additional asides and explanations. Pick one and let me know in the comments, or let me know on Twitter at @kalcobalt. One warning: Once you get me started, no guarantees I'll be in any way succinct...

Pick a number. (You can pick more than one. I'll tally them all.)
1. How Method writing impacts my consumption of pornography.
2. What the moment is like when a character becomes someone I'll interact with in a Method fashion.
3. How Method all began for me.
4. How Method and my pseudo-obsessive pattern recognition fit together.

No deadline, but probably only a day or two, so throw some numbers at me ASAP. Just get me started, please. It's scary to talk about this stuff publicly. I have a lot to say, but it's so hard to just let it all out.  I need your help to get this conversation moving.

Thanks for an exciting OryCon!

Thanks to all who attended the Building Your Protagonist panel yesterday or just contributed to the general lovely feeling of con spirit all over the hotel. It's been quite a while since I've been to a con, and it was delightful to be out and among again. The last time I paneled at OryCon, I innocently took on something like six panels, including two which were late-night, back-to-back, and had longer timeslots. I later learned that even seasoned vets don't tend to go in for that (and I learned that very night that I definitely don't go in for that).

Although I was only on one panel this year, there was something nice about being able to take in more of the general scene, and to concentrate more fully on just one topic. Considering that I hadn't anticipated something like building a protagonist could turn into an extremely spirited and at times contentious panel, that was especially useful!

I particularly appreciated the folks at the help desk who seemed to find it a genuine pleasure to answer questions they surely had answered many times before, as well as a whole cadre of Registration volunteers who went above and beyond to help me out with an issue I really should have worked out with organizers days before. And the folks who came up to me after the panel meant a great deal. If you enjoy a panelist, do tell them. It will make well more than their day.

I hope to post a bit of video from the panel, though we're having some entertaining technical difficulties with that. In the meantime, I'll be posting more on Method writing shortly, and hopefully the Instagram feed thingy on the left will continue to feed you things like my cat photos in the meantime.

Introduction to Method writing

Ever since I opened up about being a Method writer, the most frequent question I've received is:

"What the fuck is Method writing?"

That's completely fair, I think, though a bit strange when it comes to how we approach this with actors. Most people have at least a passing knowledge of Method acting: that classic technique of more or less fusing with a character until the borders between actor and invention blur to the point of confusion. Even actor Christian Bale (BATMAN, AMERICAN PSYCHO, EQUILIBRIUM) once remarked that his wife enjoyed bedding so many different men thanks to his Method behavior.

But: Method writing. How would that work?

I've been Method writing since before I knew there was a term for it. It was Quentin Tarantino who cleared this up for me. He mentioned in an interview that during the writing of KILL BILL, he entered a department store and found himself wanting to browse the ladies' clothing department. This confused him, until it finally hit him: it was a character in the screenplay interested in having a look. He referred to this as Method writing, and the relief I felt in finally understanding what I'd been experiencing since young adulthood was fantastic. Obviously, as a writer, the idea of having a word for this thing was exhilarating.

My method of Method writing, if you will, is slightly embroidered upon, but that's something for another post. 

Life is hard.

Here we go: it's me again, on yet another website/blogging platform, trying to start fresh. I've been slowly admitting to myself that I can't do it all -- can't hand-code a website from the ground up, can't keep holding down two jobs while navigating chronic illness, can't just cut sleep out of my schedule to make room for everything else. 

It actually feels kind of good. Admitting limitations cuts the guilt down at its knees. That's the important thing here: I always wanted to keep my site up, but was crushed by guilt every time I thought about it. 

No more! I have accepted the need for a hosting service and am even having -- dare I say it? -- fun setting up the new virtual digs.

I expect to blather on a lot more here now. Many cool things are in the works that I hope I get to share with you soon. Life may be hard, but that doesn't mean we can't enjoy it.