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06 August 2009 @ 01:14 am
Glares at knee.  
Last week I was rudely tripped by a poorly maintained set of steps with an angular lip that first caught at my shoe and then caught in my ankle. I had thought that two thwacking great bruises were the worst of it, but I seem to have somewhat strained the posterior cruciate ligament in my left knee, so this week is slow, ineffectual, and filled with moments of me standing on my right leg saying rude words.

It will all be fine, but my large pile of beta duties remains partially done. I think this is because I make the mistake of beta-ing almost exclusively for talented and clever people. It is so very much easier to edit bad fiction, where one can wield a blue pencil with gay abandon. Smart and well-constructed prose with distinctive voices requires actual brains, which are dulled by painkillers and have sadly been in short supply at chez Brammers since June. Oh, all right, since 1993.

Anyway, I wanted to share one small thing that was apparently an epiphany to some of my young writer folk the other day when I was talking about the need to differentiate characters for class, region, taste, nationality and many other things, but to retain the knowledge that underlying humanity is pretty much constant.

These three rooms …

... are separated by about 30,000 years, but they all say the same thing. My tribe/family is successful; we have many things; this place indicates our status and our power, you should be impressed and marvel at what we have wrought. If you took Cosimo de' Medici (the middle room was his) and popped him back in Stone Age Australia (with the ability to communicate), he would say 'Not enough boomerangs! Do we have any axes we can stencil? Bring Mandawuy over here so we can stencil his hand, he's huge! We want people to look upon this and quake!'

So, although most of you out there are brilliant and already know this, if any of you are like my young friends and have fallen into the trap of writing The Rich or The Poor, remember, that bit of your house where you have your treasures on display in the hopes that visitors will see them and be impressed? That bit is exactly the same as the rooms above. Only the detail changes. Admittedly, the detail is important, too, but that's another post.

Loyaulte Me Lie: don't look!shocolate on August 5th, 2009 04:19 pm (UTC)
*is ashamed of bare ceiling*
blamebramptonblamebrampton on August 5th, 2009 04:24 pm (UTC)
Oh no, it's perfectly fine, you're a woman; the whole cock measuring through 'stuff' enterprise is entirely optional for us.

Loyaulte Me Lieshocolate on August 5th, 2009 04:30 pm (UTC)
ah, well, that's OK then - and I do have a life sized giraffe painted in my stairwell...
blamebramptonblamebrampton on August 6th, 2009 09:52 am (UTC)
*is jealous of your stairwell*
Salixsalixbabylon on August 5th, 2009 04:34 pm (UTC)
Brilliant point. My bookshelves are cluttered with all sorts of random impressive crap. Can't decide whether I'm embarrassed or just glad to be part of humanity. ;)
blamebramptonblamebrampton on August 6th, 2009 09:52 am (UTC)
It's very human! (And also easy to access when needed for making a point in an anecdote ;-)
inamac: w-peacockinamac on August 5th, 2009 04:39 pm (UTC)
I love your picture of Cosimo de' Medici in Stone Age Australia *G*

Have you read 'Watching the English'? Beacause, as Kate Fox telingly points out, for the English that bit of your house where you have your treasures on display in the hopes that visitors will see them and be impressed is most commonly the downstairs loo...
Shivshiv5468 on August 5th, 2009 06:53 pm (UTC)
The only way to be ostentatious in a throwaway kind of styleee
blamebramptonblamebrampton on August 6th, 2009 11:51 am (UTC)
He'd have been bored, they were mostly hunter gatherers. But I think he might have enjoyed being a Maori ;-)

I've not, but I believe it is the only place one should store a Bafta or Oscar.
(Deleted comment)
blamebramptonblamebrampton on August 6th, 2009 11:52 am (UTC)
You are very welcome!
Libbylibby_drew on August 5th, 2009 06:38 pm (UTC)
How did you get a picture of my living room?
blamebramptonblamebrampton on August 6th, 2009 11:52 am (UTC)
trichinopoly ash: dean: readingaldehyde on August 5th, 2009 07:54 pm (UTC)
my entire place is crammed with bits and pieces my parents or i picked up on travels around the globe. sentimental value > 'impressive' pieces any day :D
blamebramptonblamebrampton on August 6th, 2009 11:53 am (UTC)
Though I bet you impress people with your life experiences ;-)
bare_memabonwitch on August 5th, 2009 10:48 pm (UTC)
...Apparently, my partner and I count our wealth/impressive status in books.
blamebramptonblamebrampton on August 6th, 2009 11:53 am (UTC)
Hee! We do too! (And cats, but that's not as effective ...)
It's a Deensedeensey on August 5th, 2009 11:55 pm (UTC)
You need help with decluttering tonight?
blamebramptonblamebrampton on August 6th, 2009 11:54 am (UTC)
I decided Ang loves me and should just cope ;-)
It's a Deensedeensey on August 6th, 2009 11:58 pm (UTC)
That works too
Holly: Je suis loserhollyxu on August 6th, 2009 04:04 pm (UTC)
Aww. I hope you heal, and quickly!

Never having been one for ornate baby cherubs and gilt on my ceiling, I decorate my walls with world maps and the odd periodic table. I think you'd approve. :D

And, you know, you can hardly see the walls for my bookshelves.
&helena;uminohikari on August 7th, 2009 04:03 am (UTC)
...*stares at that ceiling*