Anna S. (eliade) wrote,
Anna S.

mental slinky

On the subject of fellow-employees, I just discovered today that someone I used to work with--who was, in the ordinary way of things, just your average goofy-ass guy--is now an international manager in another, techie area of the company. I hadn't been following his career too closely, but stumbled across the info that he was "in the Tokyo office this week." That gives me a weird feeling. My first year or two in the company was in Customer Service, and somehow this registers to me as something like kindergarten; many people I worked with then have moved on to much bigger and better things, and it's like, "Little Jimmy Four-Eyes is now CEO of Microhard." I've moved up too, but I'm nowhere near the level of the stiffs who put up with 70-hour weeks to pull down 70-thou a year, whose resumes read like biz-school textbook models. He used to laugh a lot, this guy, but in his employee picture he looks a little grim around the edges now.

Another guy, this one currently on my team, looks like an extra from That 70s Show. Big reddish-brown fro, tinted sunglasses, casual tee shirts, thoughtful weirdness. He makes me grin just to look at him, and he's such a hoot. I'm sure I occasionally freak him out. Hope he doesn't think I'm laughing at him.

Am listening to Brushfire Fairytales. It's all good, but I'm beginning to realize I really like the last song, "It's All Understood." The thing is, I only half listen to the lyrics and I have no idea what it's about. It's one of those songs where I'm almost afraid to find out its meaning, because what if I focus on the lyrics and discover they're inane and it ruins my enjoyment?

So, as I mentioned previously, just forget whateverthehell I said about RPS fiction. Merry has disavowed her own story as at all representative of the fandom as a whole, and has cheerfully rubbed her hands together and volunteered to pimp me all kinds of smut. {g} I should add that I didn't intend to imply that non-explicit = negative quality. I thought that non-explicit shmoop as a trend might have something to do with the RPS quality of boyband fandom, but eh, what do I know.

Regarding Rivka's Smallville story "Switch" I wanted to briefly mention how freaking funny and fabulous it is. Everyone should read it. I was fascinated by this story because a while back I was noodling on the question of what subjects or conceits work better as visual stories (TV), versus written stories. Body-switching was one I felt sure was a visual story--the delight of it is to watch actors play with each other's mannerisms, the verbal and physical signatures of their characters. Rivka's story isn't the first body-swapping story I've read, not even the first good one, but its scope and ambition is especially striking. For my own part as an author, I've occasionally thought "body-switching, there's a fun idea" but have always pushed the bunny back in the hat, thinking I couldn't pull it off. Or that I could, but it wouldn't have the same pay-off in telling as a visual showing.

As a reader, I was engaged all the way through Rivka's story--participatory. I was very aware, as I read, of the *act* of reading, and re-reading, and visualizing. I made myself constantly stop and re-read passages, flexing certain little-used mental muscles to filter the dialogue through a visual of, say, Clark *in* Lex's body, or on the flip side, Tom Welling delivering a Lex-in-Clark reading (though, despite an attentiveness to the imagined act of acting, I really wasn't thinking "Tom Welling," just visualizing him in persona). As I was describing this to some people the other night, I was aware of how effortful it sounded, as if that might reflect poorly on Rivka's writing--but it wasn't that. The writing did a fine job at conveying the switchiness. As a reader, my efforts were totally optional--an opt-in. And it was cool--it was like how when you have a personal fantasy (*cough*) playing out in your head, you'll stop and retread again and again to mentally capture how the lines would be delivered, how the characters would move and look and glance. Imagination trying to be a precision tool, instead of a fuzzy abstraction. A distinct kind of pleasure, too. Almost writerly, with revisions and scene-setting and such.

I wonder if there are differences in how people fantasize--in how writers versus non-writers fantasize. Raising that question along those lines might be unnecessarily provocative (always such a fannish hash, that writer vs. non-writer thing), but still, I'm curious.

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