A place to put things that don’t have another place. Old writing posts from LJ, observations on life in Ohio, blog poetry–random things I don’t want to lose in no particular order. I will probably edit some of the old posts.
Posting order will be from oldest posts, working toward semi-recent. So the newest things I’ve added will always be toward the bottom of the page. That seems the best way to follow this crazy journey and maybe see how I progressed as a writer.
May 2005 posts
May 24, 2005 (midnight):
So I thought I’d finished the scene last night. When I read it today when I sat down to write, I realized I needed to fill in some things.
Trashed most of two pages and rewrote them. Then I added two more. I actually wrote 1k, but because of the rewrite of two pages, I only ended up 500 words ahead. But 84,250 is still closer to the end.
I was more in the moment with Seth today too, so the emotion in the scene feels better to me now. It may not be perfect, but it’s closer to right than it was.
And I know I’m getting closer to the end of this book because all these new and shiny characters are popping up in my head. They don’t have stories to go with them yet, but they are jumping up and down and screaming “Look at me! Look at me!”
The sneaky ones whisper opening lines in my ear when I’m thinking of other things. I will continue to ignore them until this book is done. I will, I will.
I think I need to take my kittens to bed now.
May 24, 2005 (noon):
Writing stuff first.
NoMail. Which surprises me. I have poems and a couple of stories that have been out a long time. But maybe all the rejections will come while I’m gone for a week and be waiting when I come home.
There were words and much rejoicing in the land. I am now at 342 pages for a total of 85,500 words. As I was writing tonight and looking at the evil synopsis it occured to me there might be more than 10k more of story left. I thought this was going to come in around 95k, but we might hit 100k. I could be wrong, but I don’t want to rush the ending. I’d rather trim bits in revision(and I know there are spots to tighten in there) then short change the story and end it too soon.
It is really an odd feeling to know exactly where I’m going with this book. And it dawned on me today that this is the same click I got with short stories when they started working for me, as in being able to see the story arc and ::know:: what steps the story needs to take to reach the end. It is such a friggin cool feeling. Now if I can just learn to transfer the conflict and the shiny ideas from the novels to short stories I could be really dangerous.
And maybe even published.
Something I was too tired to blog the other night. Day before yesterday I bought one of these. (a laser printer)
I’d put aside some of my tax refund to get one of these someday. The HP photoprinter I have does killer graphics, but the ink it sucks up printing manuscripts is insane. The price on this laser printer has been steadily dropping for the last nine months.
Office Max is right next door to Joann Fabrics. When I went to the fabric store Sunday, I went in Office Max to buy mailing tape. They had the laser printer on sale for $99. Since the lowest price I’d seen was 149, I went for it. It will pay for itself in a very short time and I will have a kick ass printer.
I leave for California in a week. That hit me today when I looked at the calendar. I got a wedding present today. The only thing I have left to do is pack and find out if I have to rent a car. I think the answer to that is going to be yes. I dream of dollar signs dancing in front of my eyes when I dream about this trip. But the girl child is getting married and I must go because I’m not going to miss that. The girl child and the boy child are the only things that would drag me back there.
And I should sleep very soon. I have many things to do tomorrow, including installing my new printer, and more words to get. Being finished with the book before I leave would be nice.
May 25, 2005:
NoMail again. All the rejections will come while I’m gone. And I’m not taking the laptop, so I won’t even get the email rejections while I’m gone. It will be fun when I get back.
More words tonight and more getting closer to the end. 346 pages for a total of 86,500 words.
Wrote a poem for my poetry group challenge too, but we’re not going to talk about it. I’m not used to writing bad poetry and this thing stinks. But, I tried.
Got more of what I needed to do to be ready to leave next week done today. I still have so much to do. I have a week. Getting it all done and finishing the book doesn’t seem likely. But again, I’ll try.
And while I was out today picking up a few things I need for the trip, I talked to the manager and picked up an application at Barnes and Noble. After hearing what I did for Barnes and Noble and B.Dalton in California, he was shocked and disappointed I don’t want a full time uber responsiblity job there. So we will see what happens when I turn in the application.
I managed to ask for an application without throwing up. With luck, I won’t throw up when I turn it in.
Going to goof off for a bit before bed.
May 26, 2005:
There were words. 350 pages for a total of 87,500. Progress. I stopped to let the little plot bunnies sit overnight and reproduce. I got 1k into this scene and looked at it– and I’m not sure. I don’t think it’s the events. I think it’s the tone.
But it might be me. Things were so intense for so long, there was what I think of as a turning point and now things are not quite as intense. Not physically intense anyway. All of which is me setting up all the dominos to get to the big bang boom climax of the book.
And I also suspect that I am trying to rush things, because I did want to finish this book before I leave on Wednesday. So I’m pushing to get the story down and I think I’m pushing too hard and too fast. If I didn’t have that self imposed deadline, I think I’d be deeper into the mood and the tone I want.
But I feel rushed. I feel time pressure to finish by the first.
Which I guess is good and bad. I need to be able to write to a deadline. But I also need to not blow the end because I’m in a hurry. The story is there. I don’t think the emotion is quite right.
I’ll work on it.
For now, I think I’ll work on sleep.
May 27, 2005:
The birds woke me up at 6. Cardinals, geese and redwing blackbirds singing in the dawn are not to be denied. By the time I exercised, fed the cats and got it together last night it was 1 when I crawled into bed. I’m thinking 5 hours might not be enought sleep to function today. We’ll see.
Almost all my friends are at Wiscon, hanging out, having fun and doing writer type stuff. I couldn’t do that trip and go to California so I’m home writing instead of doing writer type stuff, to my great sorrow. Somehow going to the local con by myself tomorrow just doesn’t seem like half as much fun. Me and about 3000 people I don’t know just doesn’t have the appeal of seeing all my friends. But I’ll go for the day tomorrow and then spend Sunday writing and maybe start packing.
WorldFantasy in November seems like a long, long time from now.
I should go back to being productive now. If I get more things done I won’t feel guilty later about a nap so I can think enough to write later. I need to do a poem for my group too. Not a challenge poem, but one that doesn’t suck.
I’ll be back.
Today’s weather lesson was all about microbursts boys and girls.
This song worked it’s way into the sound track for the book tonight. When I get back from California I’m going to see if I can get all of them on one cd. For me, if not for anyone else.
One poetry bounce this morning. I’ll try to find a new market before I leave.
Wrote a poem for my group today, one that I don’t think sucks. I’ll wait and see what if any feedback I get and then I’ll send it out too.
Between no sleep last night and microburst afternoons the poem was the only word count I got today. But there has been a lot of planning and thinking about how much story is left, and how to get to the end that must happen. Thinking and planning days are part of the process too.
And I think I’m back to that writer’s place where what you hesitate to write or don’t want to write is what you need to write. There are some writers I know who understand this and other writers who don’t. But I really don’t want to write the ending of this book. Not because I don’t want to get to the end, but because– just because. No spoilers for my first readers.
I’ve come to terms with the fact I don’t have time to finish this before I leave Wednesday. Which is okay. I’ll get as close as I can, get as many words as I can between things I need to do and life will go on. It does that.
I think for the rest of the evening, such as it is, I’m going to play with formal forms of poetry and see if I can master at least one. Well, maybe not master. I’ll settle for not sucking big pointy rocks or causing people to whince in pain when they read it.
May 30, 2005 midnight (things never change):
NoMail. None at all. They are saving all the rejections up as a welcome home present for me. And by the time I get home, I’ll be thrilled to see them too.
The novel is growing and inching toward the end. 356 pages for a total of 89,000 words. A nice round number.
And in case anyone had any doubts, no way in hell I’m going to wrap this up in 5-6k.
I’ve hit a spot where I wish I had someone who wasn’t a first reader, and won’t be spoilered for the end, to talk to about some plot stuff I’m mulling over for the last parts of the novel. Not email talk, but real conversation. But since snowballs have a better chance in hell than I do of having a live person to talk to, I’ll just run with the ideas and let people tell me how much I blew it later.
I did go to Marcon all day yesterday. The panels I went to were very good, but too long. Every topic was scheduled for an hour and fifteen minutes and keeping them going that long was difficult for the panelists. World Con panels are only 45 minutes.
But the topics were good and the people on the panels excellent. Some of the panelists were better than people I’ve seen at World Cons. It will make Kat and Stella very happy to know that all the panels I went to but one, were geared toward writing SF. Which is pretty scary when I think about it. It was a fantasy free day.
There were close to 2500 or more people there yesterday so it is a big con. They set it up and ran it well too. I found two old Edgar Rice Burroughs Daw paperbacks in the dealers room for $2, so those were my con treat to myself. I managed to find the con site, find semi cheap parking and even find two of the very few people I know in the city at the con. So while not as cool as Wiscon, where all the cool kids are, it was a nice day.
The one thing I will say is that there were a LOT of costume people at this con. I saw more Klingons in one hallway than I have seen total at three WorldCons. None of them tried to bite me, which is good.
Or bad. Depending on how you look at it.
And since I’m having one of those days where kittens just aren’t enough to fill the void, we’ll leave it at that and go to bed.
May 30, 2005 (morning):
Bits and pieces.
There is a long post I want to do later today about Congress and the DOD not paying for medical care for women in the service and women dependents of servicemen, but I can’t find documentation online to put up a link to a story about how they killed the bill in committee. I may just link to the journal that I found the story in, but I know I’ll get reamed if I don’t document the source. So we’ll see if that post happens or not. The issue pisses me off in any case.
There are still things I need to do before I leave Wednesday, like laundry and packing, and I find myself oddly unenthusiastic about any of it. I’m very excited about seeing my kids, but the trip itself– no. I think this is the first time ever, and I do mean ever in my life, I haven’t looked at a trip away from home as an adventure. The first time ever I haven’t looked forward to getting away from home for a while and going someplace different. I’m taking that to mean I like it here as much as I think I do and leaving it at that.
I don’t have any music on yet today, which is also unusual, so I can listen to the birds outside. It’s not raining, but the day is cloudy, with those flat grey/white skies that could persist all day, dropping rain at odd intervals, or burn off and turn to clear crystal blue in a few hours. Either way is okay with me. The bright sunshine and blue skies are beautiful. The grey softens the light, fuzzes the edges of things off in the distance and oddly enough, makes the green of the trees near the river more intense, the light and dark patterns of the bark more pronounced. It’s all good.
Part of my mind is making lists of all the things I need to get done today and tomorrow. Another part is still thinking about the dreams of friends, lunches and being at cons that have never happened that filled my head all night long. Yet another part is full of novel stuff–the necessity of building toward the final climax, how much getting all the pieces in place is enough and how much is too much, that you can’t move a character into a place called home and expect them to operate in a vacuum, with no past associations, friends, etc., plot bunnies breeding at an astounding rate, characters dropping things into my lap to up the tension– all that rush toward the end I’ve been waiting to happen.
Just in time for me to leave for six days. And when I come back, once I recover from the stress and exhaustion, it will either all fall out of my head in an avalanche of words, or it will take me a week to get back into the flow and the tone.
Timing is everything.
I should go be productive now, in some form or fashion.
May 30, 2005 (evening):
It took me an hour and a half to find this, for google was being coy, but this is the article I referred to this morning.
And why are female military personnel and female dependents denied health care that is legal ? Good question. An even better question is why the majority party killed this bill rather than vote on it just before Memorial Day.
I can guess. I’ll let the rest of you form your own opinions.
But it does piss me off. If female military personnel are sexually assaulted, or the female dependents of military personnel are raped, they are denied emergency contraception to keep them from becoming pregnant or abortion if they do become pregnant. That is already fact. Health care is supposed to be part of the package when you serve in the military, including emergency care if the worst should happen. Becoming pregnant after a rape is right up there with the worst I can think of. Being told to suck it up because you’re part of the military magnifies this at least ten fold in my opinion.
This bill would have changed that and given these women a little equity with other American women. Rape and incest are not things women go seeking. Women in the military are punished twice by this policy. Once by the person assulting them, then again by the administration who says they value their service so highly.
And the Republicans who killed this bill are beneath contempt.
June 2005 posts
June 10, 2005
So after ignoring mapquest, plotting my own course with a map book and a year old memory, I drove the 102 miles to the novel workshop and didn’t get lost once. I was even on time. Go me. *g
Met everyone, had kick ass pizza for dinner and talked for a long time. Then I went to my room and played with some short stories for a while. I toyed with some of my picture game starts, but ended up starting a fairytale. We’ll see if it goes anywhere or not. I’m at the have an idea and stumbling through the plot stage with it. I think part of the problem is that I’m very tired.
Too tired to work on the book, which is why I was using the time to play with shorts. It counts as writing and productivity. Maybe tomorrow I’ll have enough brain to make some progress on the book.
Dorm rooms are very odd and having the bathroom down the hall is even odder. First time in my life I’ve been inside a dorm. How two people live together in a room this size I’ll never know. But I can forgive almost anything for air conditioning. One reason I’m so tired is it was so hot last night, I couldn’t sleep until almost 3 a.m. I got up early too, so it was a short night.
All of which is thrilling detail you just couldn’t live without and a sign of just how tired I am.
The crit sessions are early tomorrow morning, so I should probably get some sleep soon. Hopefully I will have something more interesting, and an actual wordcount, to report tomorrow. One can hope.
Be good tomorrow.
June 12, 2005 (morning)
The novel workshop has been wonderful. I stayed up talking to people until almost 1 a.m. last night. Lots of good talk, good crits and good information. I feel a little bit further ahead of the game now.
Knowing what you need to do, or at least getting that first glimmer, is always good. Still a long way to go, but at least I have a start.
I got new novel words yesterday too. 750 new words and some tweaking of the words I’d written last time. This is good.
I’ll be driving back home sometime after having lunch with Toby, Steve and who ever else tags along. More later when I’m back in Columbus.
June 12, 2005 (late night)
There was not much sleep the last few nights. I feel like I just came back from WorldCon. It’s the same tired brain, tired body and oh lord that was fun kind of feeling. In addition to tired, I’m dirty and sweaty from the drive home. I will dive in the shower very soon here.
I did have a great time at the workshop this weekend. While part of me has always known I don’t suck, it’s nice to hear it from others as well. There are things I need to move forward, things I need to trim and it needs just general polish, but I’m pretty sure it doesn’t suck. This is good.
I do need to come up with a new name for the book. I love the one I have, but I can’t use it. Suggestions from readers and non-readers are welcome. I have this book totally and firmly in my head under the current title and I can’t think of anything that fits. Maybe I will later, but right now I’m stumped.
But for tonight I think I need to go to bed. I have to fetch warrior kittens from the vet tomorrow, do laundry, fill out yet more job applications and work on finishing this book. It’s almost done. Then I can go to work on fixing what I need to fix.
And short stories! That is the carrot on the end of my stick. Finish a book, write short stories.
June 14, 2005
I’ve been trying to write and catch up on things around here instead of blogging. Imagine that. 😉
A couple of poetry bounces the last couple of days. I got back 3 total I think from two different markets, so I sent out 9 more. That will teach them. Still nothing from the major markets I’m waiting for who have stories. And now that I’ve mentioned it, they should bounce home tonight.
I think I have a new title for the book, but I want to talk to a couple of people before I nail it down. I like the title I have, but alas, I can’t use it. One of the titles I’ve thought of in the last couple of days will have to do.
I think the song of the day is the last song for the soundtrack of this book. As with all the others, I pulled out cds I haven’t played in a while and one of the songs kicked me in the head. This one– makes me ache. Peter Gabriel is perfect for the end of this book.
I often wonder if other writers get as deeply invested in their characters as I do. I’ve heard it said that when you write, you remake the world and relationships into the ones you wish you had, and not the one you live in day to day. The trick is to do it in a way that doesn’t turn into a Mary Sue. And I am definitely living this book with the characters. Writing the end could take a few days. I hope I detach a little bit when I do the next draft. Still not tough when it comes to certain things.
There are a few of my friends, all female, that I know have cried at the keyboard while writing scenes. I do it all the time and I freely admit it. But I don’t know of any male writers who have admitted to this. (eta that changed later) I don’t know if that is because they float above it all, laying out stories like an engineering diagram or a blueprint to build in exactly the elements they want– or if they just don’t admit to feeling things when they write.
A question that probably doesn’t need an answer. Just more of my pondering.
I need to get back to writing. The sooner I get this done, the sooner I’ll stop ripping my insides out.
There was writing. 91K for a total word count.
And while there are fans for it and fans against it, there is a new title for the book. Henceforth, it will be known as Disposable Son.
It’s my book. I get to choose.
Ripping my guts out makes me tired, so I’m going to bed.
June 16,2005 (midnight or so)
My day was mostly filled with things I needed to do. Two trips away from home so close together have me so behind. There are things to clean, still things to unpack and I keep finding groceries and such I’m out of. I went to the store again today to buy food I didn’t realize I needed yesterday. I think I’m set for at least a week now. Maybe more.
I should be able to stay home all day tomorrow. More hours for writing and making jewelry. Heavy on the writing I hope. I want to be done now.
Read some really sad news reports about the Terry Schiavo autopsy today. Not sad that it was finished or that the results were sad. The results were about what I expected. There was no hope for her. There never was.
What I found sad was how her parents reacted to the report. The autopsy showed her vision centers were gone, her brain had withered to half the size of a normal adult, there was no evidence of any abuse or old injuries– and they are contemplating new legal action. They are spending money to have other medical ‘experts’ look at the autopsy results to prove their contention Terry would have gotten better with the proper therapy.
I can believe they started out with a sincere belief that if they worked at it hard enough and prayed long enough, they were doing the best thing for their daughter. But there comes a time when you have to face reality, maybe even admit that you were wrong, and get on with your life. If you pass that point, it becomes a sick and twisted thing. It is no longer about their daughter. Now it is all about them, which makes it sad in my eyes.
End of musing on current events. I always get told my opinion is wrong, no matter what it is and the fact it is my opinion doesn’t matter. But that uppity, feminist liberal streak just refuses to die, no matter how hard people stomp on it.
NoMail today. No cheery missives from friends. No rejections from editors.
There was writing. Just at 92k for total wordcount. I’m mired in one of those scenes that is taking me friggin forever to do right. But the scene is almost done. Then there are only two, maybe three scenes left and the book will be done. One of the scenes left could be long, but still, I should come in under 100k.
A couple of people in chat saw the new Batman today. The verdict is best movie ever. I was afraid of that.
I may mug someone on the street to go see it with me. I hate going to the movies alone.
Anyway, my kittens are whining that it’s time for bed and my brain is fading into the night. So off to sleep I go, perchance to dream.
Still listening to Peter Gabriel.
June 16, 2005 (almost noon)
On another note, after last night, I feel the need to make a disclaimer.
I am not now, nor have I ever been, a member of any cabal– dark, light or shades of grey. I am not a Dark Lordling in disguise, nor do I know who these people are. Anyone hoping to find out from me will be sorely disappointed, because I just don’t know, and frankly Scarlet, I don’t give a damn.
Until two days ago, when I read about them in LJ, I didn’t know they existed. I find it very amusing that the assumption is that members of OWW are behind this and that we all know what is going on. Very amusing. All my friends, myself included, have too many other things to do with our time than man and write an unsigned blog.
Things like, oh…. write.
Which is what I’m going to go do right now.
June 16, 2005 (3 pm )
In case anyone had any doubts, locking myself in the bedroom and beading is a form of severe kitten abuse. The solid hour and a half of howling outside the door proved it to me.
June 17, 2005
For those playing along at home, the Cliff notes update–
Hit 93k on the book last night. Two more scenes to go, the two hardest scenes in the entire book. Place your bets now as to how long it will take me.
Still NoMail. I may borrow Amanda’s voodoo ways and see if I can fill that mailbox, yay or nay.
After hearing the glowing praise of the OWW that I and Daniel, one of the other people at the Novel Jam, gave, the other writer there has joined. Those of you on my friends list who belong to the workshop, and have the time , should go check her out. She just joined a couple days ago and had already done 5 reviews as of last night, but so far, only had one review on her sub. Her name is redacted and I think she will be a great addition to the shop. The changes she’s already made to her first chapter just amazed me. She needs friends now so she doesn’t get discouraged.
I must go run errands now. When I get back, there will be writing of various sorts. Working on the end of the book for sure and probably a poem for my group. It might even be a girly poem, for I am in a girly mood. Poor group.
I’ll be around.
June 18, 2005
I’m up much too late, but I’ve been busy.
The book is up to 93750. Stupid scene is fighting me and now I’m wondering if I started in the wrong place, as in too early. I’ve been sitting here thinking about it and trying to figure out why I had the whole thing set in my head and the words were so hard to get. I think that is it.
Also wrote the first piece of honest to god flash I’ve written in years tonight. So I haven’t been slacking, just struggling a bit.
All the music I’m listening to when I write is so emotional and dark, that when I’m done for the night, I find myself wanting something mellow to listen to. So I keep playing one Cowboy Junkies song on repeat.
It is sappy and yes, I am a geek, but I can live with it.
June 20, 2005 (just at midnight)
Bits and pieces of me–
For those who didn’t see there are pictures of Charlie’s signing at Borders yesterday. I went to take pictures and also to get my book signed. It was lots of fun watching all the people come up, get their books signed and the pile of books on the table get smaller and smaller. Sold out every copy in the store and there were still people who wanted to buy the book. It was so cool seeing how well it is doing.
And if you haven’t gotten a copy yet– what are you waiting for? It is a good book. Go buy one. Tell your friends too.
I’ve been trying to catch up a bit around here. Between getting ready to go to the wedding, being gone, coming back and leaving again– this place is a wreck. Trying to remedy that, little by little. Morgan and Gilly are being helpful. keeps a straight face while typing that
The book is almost done. One and one half scenes left. I have 378 pages for a total of 94,500 words.
I took a wrong turn when I started this scene. Started in the wrong place ( as I was afraid of) so I deleted 3 whole pages today and started over again. It was the right thing to do, as the quick 1250 words I got confirmed for me. This feels right.
And it has to be right. This is the run up to the climax of the book. It has to work in tone, emotional content and plot. There can be no half-ass or maybe’s here.
Which, you know, pretty much scares me shitless, but I’m going for it.
And after discussing it with some of my colleagues tonight, I’ve decided I need a handbook, because after living most of my life in a tunnel, I wouldn’t know if someone was flirting with me unless they held up a sign. Which isn’t going to happen. The sign or the flirting, but one likes to be prepared just in case the end days are upon us.
This pondering wasn’t based on a real life incident, but on conversation about characters in someone’s book, which led to real life pondering, which led to here.
Which probably means I should go to bed.
Music is Shane Nicholson– It’s A Movie
June 20, 2005 (10 am)
It’s another wake up at dawn day. The universe seems to conspire with my loving kittens to insure there is at least one such day in every week. Which is okay. The sky is such a brilliant blue at that time of day, the colors deeper on the leaves and the flowers blooming everywhere.
Tired as I am, it gives me a head start on the day, of a sort. Many are the things I want to do and limited are the hours of the day to do them.
And one of the things I did this morning while trying to wake up, as I frequently do while eating breakfast, is go through my friends list and the blogs I read and catch up. There was the normal mix of writing updates, what happened over the weekend, joys and sorrows, stresses and deep thoughts. There were people who made me laugh, a couple who made me cry for various reasons and a couple that haven’t updated in a while, which always makes me worry.
Life in a microcosm, notable for how the love and the joy seems to out weigh the negative. There are always negative things in anyone’s life and cycles in your life where the cosmos goes out of its way to crush you. Life is like that.
There is one site I’ve been reading for a long time that stood out for making me cringe. Again. And I’m not going back. I’ve already dropped one blog off my reading list because all that I ever saw was bitterness, hate and a need to tear things apart and belittle. There is a difference between social commentary, legitimate opinion on almost any subject and hate laced with vitriol.
I don’t have time for hate and bitterness in my life. Not even on a day where I’m gifted with a few extra hours.
June 21, 2005
I find the best job ads on craisglist.
Today’s gem is this one:
Make over $16 an hour. We need operators immediately. Work from home, but must be 21 years old. Must be articulate and have an outgoing personality. (this is my favorite part) Willing to play different roles, different ages and be openminded.
Ah yes, we do live in the land of opportunity.
June 22, 2005
Another bits and pieces day.
So far this morning, my DSL connection is playing nice. Even if the thunderstorms are not near me, it seems to affect my connection once in a while. Yesterday was one of those days. Sometimes I had internet and sometimes I didn’t.
There has been mail of a sorts the last two days. Two poetry market bounces and a short story bounce. Not the sort of mail I like, but it is the kind I always get. I will send it all to other places and hope my luck is better there.
Doubtful, but I’m trying to build up that reservoir of hope again, so humor me.
Debating whether to waste my time replying to a certain twit on the mailing list or not. Probably won’t, but oh man, do I want to smite him. In a nice, writing related way that won’t earn me a frowny face from Mek. We’ll see how the day goes.
It’s still not finished, but the book is now 383 pages for a total of 95,750 words. The end is near as I keep saying. It’s fighting me hook and claw, making me beg for every single word too.
And since I know exactly what needs to happen, how it needs to happen and who does what, it annoys and puzzles me. At least it did, until I lay awake in bed last night and thought about why I was having so much trouble.
It’s not that I don’t want this book to end, because trust me, I want it out of my head. But I think my brain is pulling the delaying tactic and the stalling because a part of me is so afraid I will blow the ending. All the good things in the rest of the book will mean exactly zip if I screw up the end. This is where hope is a dangerous beast, for I do have high hopes for this book. So instead of the rush of words to the end that most of my friends get with their books — mine is taking careful little baby steps.
All the full of praise rejections I’ve gotten lately aren’t helping. I hear the voices in the back of my head saying you do so much right– but just not enough. Which is the story of my life you know and will be engraved on my tombstone– Just not enough.
So I think I’m going to blow off almost everything else in my life today and see how much of this I can get written. I am going to crank the music up loud, do my best to bury myself in the emotion at the end of this book and turn off the damn voices telling me I’m going to screw this up. I have to be able to do one thing right.
Writers are nutz, sayeth the Kat, and lo, she is right.
In other news, I saw my first fireflies of the year last night. They will always be magic to me. Fireflies make me so incredibly happy, and at the same time, so incredibly sad. Which is a wholly personal thing having to do with beauty, the fragility of life, emotions and how fleeting joy can be.
Going to go work on doing something right. I’ll be around.
June 22, 2005 (7 pm)
A short update from a short writer. Who is taking a short dinner break.
So far I have added 1,000 words to the end of this friggin book. I’m now at 96,750. As soon as I finish eating I’m going to keep pushing toward the end.
I am stubborn and persistent. You may fear me now.
June 23, 2005 (after midnight)
A short update from the short women in the computer chair.
Hit 390 pages, 97,500 words before the brain stopped. As in dead.
Just a couple thousand more words and I’m done. As in the book is finished.
This makes me very happy.
June 23, 2005 (3 pm)
Notes for a day out and about
Dear Cell Phone Guy,
Just a friendly suggestion. If you remove the cell phone from your ear you can drive more than 25 MPH in the 45MPH zone. While you may have Nothing Better To Do, the rest of us do. And in case you hadn’t noticed, it’s hot outside. So if you’d remove your head from the body cavity it currently resides in, you might notice that, yes indeed, the light has changed. Those of us behind you wouldn’t have to sit through two changes of the light and we’d really appreciate that.
Melting in Columbus
Dear Cell Phone Girl,
While covering your eyes with your hair so you can’t see might be a personal fashion statement, and I’m sure the fate of western civilization depends on the phone conversation you were having, it would be wise to at least glance both ways before stepping off the curb into traffic, especially in the middle of a block. While you may have a death wish, there are some of us out there who don’t want to grant it.
One of Many Who Tried Not to Squish You
Dear Target Executives,
I take a solemn vow that I am not running a meth lab in my bathroom. I’m pretty sure the soccer moms and senior citizens shopping in the store with me are not part of a major drug cartel either. Locking up all the generic decongestant behind the counter in the pharmacy really isn’t necessary. Honest. And while I could probably learn to stand in line at the pharmacy with my little plastic card that gives me permission to buy this precious commodity, it becomes especially difficult to do when the pharmacy is closed for more than an hour in the middle of the day. If the ploy is to force me to buy the expensive name brand, which remains on the shelf, I’m afraid you’ve failed. My allergies and I will go elsewhere.
Harmless Sniffling Customer
June 23, 2005 ( 4:15 pm)
Dear Ebay customer,
When you won your paltry $10 item and begged me to insure it for $100 because of the high level of ‘mail theft’ in your area, something told me this was odd. The little voice in the back of my head kept whispering ‘mail fraud’. But being a trusting soul at heart, and not wanting to think ill of someone I’ve never met, I decided to give you the benefit of the doubt. A phrase that has gotten me in trouble lately, on more than one front.
Imagine my shock just moments ago at receiving your email telling me “your item never arrived”. There are no words, not printable ones anyway, for how I felt on reading your message.
You should have in hand by now the delivery confirmation numbers, as well as the insurance numbers so that you can claim your ‘windfall’. The ball is in your court and I decline any further involvement in the matter.
Glad She Keeps the Paperwork
June 24, 2005 (midnight)
(around this time I started titling my posts)
a man kneels on the ground…
393 pages. 98,250 words total. Only a small closing scene left.
I better not have blown the end of this book. Writing it killed me.
Going to bed.
June 24, 2005 (1:28 p.m.)
John’s at my side, but he’s not noticing that I’m drowning…
I spent the entire night dreaming of the book and then dreaming of things I want and can’t have, and I woke up crying.
Which considering I sobbed through most of the pages I wrote last night, is probably not a huge shock.
There seems to be no off button for dreams, alas, but maybe if I get this book out of my head and gone, the fluffy bunnies will come play instead.
One can hope.
And as soon as I get back from the prove you’re still alive doctor’s visit this afternoon, I’m going to finish this thing.
I’ll be around.
June 25, 2005 (midnight)
The book is done. As in finished and The End typed.
398 pages for a total word count of 99,500 in first draft.
I predict it will shrink in the revision.
I really do feel empty right now. That book was hard.
Falling into bed soon.
June 25, 2005 (11:07 a.m.)
Thank you to everyone who cheered over me finishing the book. You guys rock.
And I got my first reaction to the end from a first reader: “Ow, ow, ow…”
I may have actually pulled it off. This is good.
Off to work on other projects, like reading and poetry, more reading, making jewelry, reading, cleaning my apartment, then reading, listing things on ebay and just maybe, reading. And inbetween the reading, working on shorts. The novel is out of my head but writing isn’t.
I’ll be back.
June 26, 2005
A good start to the week. Just got email that Kenoma, an online zine, wants to buy one of my poems.
I like selling things.
June 27, 2005 (after midnight)
what about love, baby? what about you…
Today was a day of catching up on things. Still a lot more to do tomorrow, but it was a start. I was so focused on finishing the novel after I came back from the novel workshop other things fell by the wayside.
I got almost caught up on slush. Almost. Did 12 of the 17 I had in my inbox before I reached critical mass.
Got my laundry sorted. It is in baskets and piles all over my bedroom. I really hope I can get some of it done in the morning. The competition for the machines is always an issue.
Did a few other minor things and then it got too hot to do anything in here. Topped out at 97 today. With no air conditoning, it gets warm in here. Not as warm as outside, but warm.
The warrior kjittens do nothing but sleep in this heat, wake up for a bit and let me know they’re starving, and go back to sleep. I can almost see them growing while I watch.
The marvelous Ms. Amber sent me comments on the book today. Good stuff as always. And after reading all her comments and thinking about it, especially one comment she made, I left the door open for a sequel.
Shoot me now.
The book does end and stands alone– but there could be another one. Someday. After I write the Easter Island book.
And a few other things.
I don’t feel as totally drained today. There are nibbles and stirrings in the back of my brain saying “Write me now! You have time for me now. Do it quick before you revise or start the next evil novel………”
So I’m going to see what I can do tomorrow after getting some more housework done. There is this little voice in the back of my head saying something about ice and fire. Not sure what that is yet. Could be a poem and not a story. We’ll see.
And I should go to bed now. It is all the way down to 77 outside. A cold snap even.
Hooked on Til Tuesday all day today– What About Love?
June 27, 2005 (12:01 p.m.)
as simple as breathing, I picture your face, all tangled in daydreams and shielded with grace…
I couldn’t listen to Bonnie Raitt at all while I was writing this book, which is odd. But I think she is meant for different stories perhaps.
And oh crap, it just hit me what this song is for. Damn, damn, damn. Evil brain is not going to talk me into that. No, no, no. ::sends brain to stand in a corner::
After sleeping all day yesterday it shouldn’t surprise me the kittens decided that the cool time from 4-8 in the morning was time to run, run, play, play, play! Fortunately I was able/allowed to sleep through most of it.
At 8 Gilly was hungry and decided I should get up. 6-7 hours sleep should be enough for any human is her motto. And that was fine with me. The more I get done before it’s too hot to move the better.
One of the projects for the day, after a little more housework, is to go through all the stuff on my hard drive. There are stories I never finished because I was writing books, stories that have never been to a market, because I was writing books so I didn’t fix them, stories that I didn’t have the skill to fix before and I might get to work now. I’m going to move a copy of all of them into a folder of stories to be finished and revised.
I may white paper a few stories. I’m better now than I was even a year ago. I have an actual grasp of the concept of plot and lord knows my sentence level writing is so much better.
And there is the whole file of story starts from the picture game. I think some of those could grow wings and fly as well. So much for a vacation.
First thing I’m going to do is see if I can polish the flash I wrote after we played the game the last time. If I can get it to the point I think it works, I’m going to send it to the Chizine contest. This is one of those what the hell things. It is certainly dark enough and really won’t do me any good sitting on the hard drive.
I was so totally and utterly empty when I finished this book, as if I’d drained every word and emotion I had forever and ever. I’m going to take it as a good sign and a good thing that only a couple of days later I have all these other stories bouncing around in my head. There is always the fear that the ideas will stop, that the project you put your heart and soul into was all you had to offer the world.
Good to know I still have things to offer.
I’ll be back.
June 27, 2005 (3:30 p.m.)
In case anyone was wondering, there is a sure fire method for reviving two kittens in a heat induced coma.
Sweep your kitchen floor.
June 28, 2005 (midnight)
So I looked at some old, unfinished stories. Some of them the ideas are very shiny, I can see there is a story there, but the writing is so bad. Some of these stories are more than two years old and the way I write has changed a great deal. If I do anything with them, it will be to salvage the world building and the ideas and write them from scratch.
Then I started tweaking the flash I wrote last week. It was inspired from a picture game session, but used the words from my poetry group that week. I filled it out, added more detail in places that I’d thought about before but didn’t put in until the lovely Kat echoed my thoughts.
It has a title now too, Silhouette Against A Brightening Sky. And after making it as shiny as I could without making it 6k long (which still might happen), I sent it in to the Chizine contest.
Between all the writing, my glasses decided to break. I had to call Sir Charles to see if he could put them back together well enough I can go somewhere tomorrow to get new ones. He was able to do so and is my hero now. So I’ll get up early in the morning and head out to at least get new frames. Not something I planned to do this week, but I have no choice. Not being able to see anything is not an option.
Going to bed now.
June 28, 2005 (11:45 p.m.)
Let your heart go on its way…
(For years a group of writer friends and I would play what we called “the picture game.” The idea was to look at a photograph and free write whatever idea popped into your head–without editing–for five minutes. Then we’d read what we’d written to each other. It was a great exercise on a lot of levels, tons of fun, and helped me learn to write. This entry is the first one with pieces I wrote playing that game.
I got better. Honest.)
It’s a Big Country night. Peppy, upbeat tempo songs with disturbing lyrics. *g* I’ve been singing this song while I write. Which could explain some of what I wrote.
I love Big Country.
Anyway. Lenscrafters stands behind what they sell, which is good. I went there today and they took my frames apart, fixed everything so they are like new, and did it all for free.
I was amazed. And then I was very grateful.
Since I was out anyway I hit the local Big Lots store for trash bags and other super cheap household things. Headed back home, got things into the apartment, made a peanut butter sandwich and a huge thunderstorm hit. I hadn’t even been home ten minutes.
The storms lasted more than three hours. Biggest ones we’ve had so far this year. The kittens were not pleased. They hid under the couch the entire time.
I went in my bedroom and made jewelry. I’d planned on finishing slush and critting novels, but not with that much lightning. Frying the computer and frying me would not be a good plan, so I went for plan B.
And I know for people born and raised in the mid-west, these storms are old hat. But to someone who was born and raised in California, where a storm like this is headline news, these storms are awesome.
I love the way you can hear them coming from miles away, distant booms like giants stomping across the sky, one big powerful step at a time, coming closer until they’re right over your head. And once they are right on top of you– then it gets wild, with the crackling, crashing snap of lightning burning through the air and the thunder so loud it shakes the whole apartment and rain and hail pounding on the windows– wild and scary. But oh so cool. Then they roll away again, growing fainter until all you hear are the faintest, distant sounds.
Then the next one rolls in and it starts all over again. It’s awesome. Even when I jump three feet off my chair because the crash is so loud, I still love it.
Once I was able to get back online, I started critting one of the novels I’m reading. Then someone suggested the picture game, and critting was over for the night.
These are the three bits I wrote tonight.
This picture gave me this. http://i1.trekearth.com/photos/3241/img
The city stood for five times five generations. In the time it took me to journey to Asta, marry and return with my bride it fell. How I didn’t know. I’d never know.
Stones that were tall, stately buildings when I left littered the streets, piles of rubble that didn’t tell the story of the beauty of the city, the majesty that was the envy of all the lands.
No longer. Even the fluted columns of the temple were blackened, scorched beyond recognition. A city build for the ages vanished overnight.
I wandered through the streets, unable to recognize anything. Landmarks were gone, the places that lived in my memory only now so much dust on the ground.
The tree outside my father’s house still stood. It was the only way I found the house, the only sign that I’d ever lived here, that my family was more than the imaginings of a young bridegroom.
My family, my people. Where were they? -30-
This picture gave me this. http://www.ottophoto.com/gallery/gi
In the dark they became other.
I expected aliens on a new world, strange shapes, strange creatures. One of the things they coached us about over and over was not to take anything the way it first appeared. But the differences between night and day weren’t anything they could prepare us for. I’m not sure they knew.
Colors bleached away, leaving the ghost of bright leaves and the fragrant flowers that filled the landscape. Haunted was what some people whispered, mostly those who belonged to the labor class. The scientists would never say such a thing.
Even if they believed it.
Even I had to wonder at times. Did the colors of the day belong to life, fed on sunshine and what we wanted to see, while night– night was the time we saw this world as it really was.
Dead, drained of the mask they wore for us. — -30-
And the last picture gave me this. http://www.kjv1611.org.uk/RAPTURE%2
The visions filled his life, crept into his paintings, his dreams.
Flashes in the corner of his eye, the melting buildings, the phantoms drifting toward the sky. It got so bad he couldn’t sleep. He was afraid to sleep, that the small bits haunting him would follow to the logical conclusion.
The old woman had warned him. A stranger, grabbing his arm on the street, babbling about the end, the return of the dark ones. He’d ignored her, figured her for a looney who’d missed her meds.
That was before the waking dreams. He didn’t know what else to call them. It wasn’t reality, the streets weren’t lined with crumbling gravestones and gossamer shapes rising to the sky.
Not yet. -30-
More story starts. Like I need more.
Going to bed soon.
June 30, 2005 (12:47 a.m.)
my mind was racing as it always will…
Bits and pieces–
Gilly and Morgan are having a contest to see who can sleep in the most uncomfortable and weird position possible. I think Gilly is going to win, which will come as a shock to no one.
More storms today, again after I got back from errands. So I made more jewelry while the kittens hid. They are holding me personally responsible for every clap of thunder.
In the area of Advanced Depression 101, I sent out my 234th job application today. Getting ignored is getting old fast. There is never any indication that you exist, let alone that a human being looked at your application. The library listed more jobs that I will apply for tomorrow. They are the same jobs in the same branches that I have already applied for– twice.
So is the deal there that they are only going to hire students that will vanish in a few months? Or are all these jobs already slotted for internal canidates and were never really available at all? I’d call the HR department and ask what I’m doing wrong here, but you don’t do that kind of thing, so I’ll just keep bombing them with applications.
Got comments from two more first readers today. And since I am oh so girly, the kind things they said made me cry.
But then many things made me cry today. For while I am just one of the guys, tough and stronger than I have any right to be most of the time, I am not made of stainless steel.
It was an REM day and night for music.
June 30, 2005 (11:38 p.m.)
More picture game snippets. No pictures to link to this time. Forgot the urls.
They rose one by one in the night, silently, filling the empty space we’d made that day.
If we didn’t clear out the new growth each day, the camp would be over run in less than a week. It was a holding action, nothing more. As soon as the rescue pod came we’d leave this place behind and no one would follow us.
Money was the reason they’d picked this god forsaken hole in the universe. The money to be made off the minerals, the money to be made from what they though were resources sitting there for the taking.
None of the survey teams recorded the regrowth rate of vegetation, but they weren’t looking for that either, so I can’t blame them. The more we cut, the faster it grew. And the faster it grew, the less time– -30-
Frozen in time, frozen in death, together until what was left of them- crystals, carbon, covered in the moss that covered everything here- finally crumbled.
The culture was unique, preserving their dead this way. You never knew when you’d stumble over one of the monuments. There was no set space for them. The Tribes left their dead where they’d spend their lives.
There was a certain sense to it I guess, a lot like the Egyptians sending their dead to the after life with all the things they needed to continue life. Dead but not forgotten one of the section chiefs joked.
Still, it was odd to turn a corner in the public square and see the two of them clutching each other like that. It felt like an intrusion in an intimate part of their lives– -30-
Really tired so I think I’m going to bed very soon. Maybe I’ll be chatty tomorrow.
July 1, 2005 (morning)
I well and truly hate it when someone kills the joy in something for me. It never lasts, I always get over it in time. But in the time it takes to get from where I am now to where I was before– I hate that feeling of doubt and second guessing every single thought that comes into my head. It’s like trying to dance on quicksand.
I never thought anyone could kill the joy for me with poetry, but for this moment, there is no joy in trying to write a poem this week. All I have are the doubts and the quicksand. I’ve been trying to start one for two days and questioning every line.
I never used to think about whether my poems were hard edged, innovative, accessible or too complex. I never thought about whether they did things or not. I just wrote. I wrote for the joy in the language, the feeling and emotion the poem held for me.
Now all I’m thinking about are these other things. And unlike fiction writing, I don’t think this is a good thing.
And in a few more days I’ll get over it completely, get pissed and say fuck this, I do not suck as a poet.
But today, it’s all doubts and quicksand under my feet. And I hate it.
Chance and Amber both suggested that I get either the Chicago Manuel of Style or Words Into Type. So I could learn that pesky hyphen thing so Amber doesn’t give me the frowny face.
So I went to Barnes and Noble because I have a discount card there to see if I could pick up a copy before I start revising the book.
I got a couple of new science magazines, but didn’t get either style guide. They only come in $40 hardbacks. The nice boy at the service desk said there aren’t any paperbacks shown in the computer.
So now that I’m home, I just checked Amazon. There are no paperbacks of either one offered. They really don’t exist. Right now no matter how useful, I can’t justify spending over $30 (Amazon used price) for a reference book.
Time to start haunting the used book stores and the online used book sites. There has to be a way to get a copy for less than $40 new and over $30 used.
One hopes so anyway.
July 2, 2005 (some of my early poetry was bad–really bad. I got better.)
As usually happens, I did move on to the get pissed stage. More pissed at myself than anything, also as usual.
So I spend the evening laughing at my friends in chat, who were being oh so silly, and writing poetry, just for me. This will never go to a market, which is why I’m putting it here.
And now I have to go frost a cake.
Darkness sent a man to woo her,
A girl stretching toward light
Like a seedling on a window sill,
His words ringed with brightness
That gave no hint of shadows
Until she had surrendered,
And falling to his charms
Had forsaken all others,
Promising to spend her days
Teaching him how to hear the
Laughter contained in rainbows.
Darkness always envies light
Casting all it can in shadow,
And like a seedling on a sill
Shaded for too long, she changed,
Grew accustomed to a half-life
Lived in murky silhouettes,
Forgetting for a time
The existence of rainbows,
And the laughter they contain.
July 3, 2005 (midnight)
Bits and pieces-
Have I mentioned in the last few days how utterly cool it is to watch the fireflies every night at dusk? When I close the blinds I end up standing at one window or another watching them for a while before I go back to what I was doing. I’m sure if the neighbors see me they must think I’m nuts, but that’s okay. I can live with that.
Tonight there was a raccoon doing something weird in one of the trees outside the living room window. It looked like he was going way out to the end of branches, jumping up and down to shake it, then walking to another one and doing it again. It’s not like these trees have fruit on them and it could be knocked loose that way. I truly have no idea what this raccoon was doing.
The kittens have reached that cat stage where they consider my cleaning house to be evil. It really annoys them, which I find pretty funny. If I thought they were capable of planning, I’d swear they plot to mess things up as quickly as I get them straight, just for revenge if nothing else.
Morgan discovered the fascinating world of Legos when the younger members of the construction crew were here today. Hours of fun to be had stealing little pieces out of the box when no one is watching. Unfortunately for Morgan, people were watching and her plans were foiled.
Critted 144 pages of Bear’s book this evening. Then my brain went into vapor lock so I stopped. 280 pages to go. With luck, I’ll be done by Monday night. Then it is on to the next book in the line.
I keep getting the itch and the urge to start revising the book, which is a bad idea this soon. Plus, I don’t have comments from a lot of people yet, so I’m forcing myself to be patient and wait. Distance is always good too.
And I seem to have lost the ability to start a short story after writing this book. I have lots of bright and shiny ideas, and none of them want to put out. I think a lot of it is still the post novel brain drain. There is nothing left up there right now, no matter how shiny the idea. So the critting and reading will have top priority. Hopefully that will help refill the well soon.
I do have book ideas brewing in the back of my brain as well. Several of them as a matter of fact. All of them have to wait their turn.
One of the poetry bounces I’ve been waiting months for showed up today, with a little note scribbled on the form that they were very sorry they’d lost one of the manuscripts, but rejecting both poems by name. Very odd.
And this is looking pretty boring to me, so I should stop now and go to bed. Maybe I can even con the kittens into going with me.
You make do with what you have.
July 3, 2005 (afternoon)
It’s a Jackson Browne kind of day.
The last few days I’ve done a lot of thinking about theme and target audience. Lots of deep, deep thoughts about how to make sure the themes and the ideas you’re trying to convey come across to the people reading what you’ve written. Which led me straight into the idea of target audience.
And I know others got to the point I am now a long, long time ago, but I’m a slow learner, so bear with me.
For a long time I wasn’t sure I really believed in a target audience. I believed for a long time that there were some writers, not all, but some, who used target audience as an excuse for their own short comings. I never wanted to be one of those writers. I still don’t.
I knew that every person who picks up a book or opens up a short story would be looking for different things and would have different tastes, but I thought it was up to me as a writer to make sure that what I was trying to say was there for anyone to see. After some discussions on short stories in chat, discussions in other places about readers seeing what you wrote and not what they wanted you to write, I’m seriously rethinking the idea of target audience.
Not in the way that would bring me to the conclusion you should try to slant stories toward a certain group. I still don’t believe I should sit down to write a book or a story with only a certain audience in mind. Each story I write should be true to the vision I have for it. I shouldn’t change the focus or the themes because I’m afraid that not everyone will ‘get it’, because reality is that not everyone will. My job is to tell each story the way I see it and do it the very best that I can at the moment I’m writing it. And even doing the best work I can, the story and the themes are not going to resonate with everyone who reads it.
Every reader brings his or her own life experiences to a story. A reader who has never experienced the pain of losing something or someone, never had to sacrifice anything for someone else, is not going to ‘get’ those themes in a story. It’s not going to ring true to that reader because it runs counter to life as they know it. Doesn’t matter how skillful the writer is, that reader is not part of the target audience for that story.
That was my big revelation. I shouldn’t aim stories at any one group to the exclusion of everyone else, but not everyone is going to like what I’m writing about or identify with it. They aren’t part of my target audience because of what I’ve written, but because of what they bring to the story that is totally out of my control.
So I’m going to worry about what I can control, which is writing each story to the best of my ability. I don’t think that’s a cop out. And if it is, I have friends who are more than willing to kick my ass if I’m taking the easy way out.
Off to be productive.
July 4, 2005 (1 a.m.)
Spent a part of my afternoon making jewelry. I keep learning how to do new things, which is good. I have an art show/craft fair on the 30th, so the more I have done, the better.
Sent off over 200 critted pages to Bear. Only about 200 pages left which I should get done tomorrow or early on Tuesday. Then on to the next book in line.
I found a few words of my own too. There are stories I’ve written that have never been to a market and that I think I might be able to fix now. I’m going to give it a shot anyway and I started on what seems to be the best of them tonight. It’s writing in any case. Not writing or having anything to work on was making me twitchy. And maybe if I get some of these revised it will shake loose some words on new stories.
Because if I don’t get some new words soon, I will dive into revisions on one novel or the other.
I need to feel as if I’m making progress on something. And much as I love short stories, I’m a better novelist than I am a short story writer. Long as the odds are, I have a better chance of selling a book than a short. I’m just too stubborn to give up on sending stories out or to give up writing them. And a victory would be very nice.
I’d say it was hope that keeps me sending them out– but that isn’t it anymore. All the hope lives in the books. With the shorts, it is pure bullheaded stubbornness and the love I have for some of these stories. Probably not the best career strategy, but I need something to fill the time between novels.
And I obviously need to do a lot more thinking about target audiences and such. I can’t disagree with a single one of the people who commented on it and I don’t think I stated my thoughts very clearly anyway. I can write fiction. I suck at trying to talk about the writing process. Leaving that to the smart people who know what they’re doing is probably a better idea anyway.
I’ve been listening to Jackson Browne all day long and I think I need to tattoo this line on my forehead this week– Don’t let the uncertainty turn you around, go on and make a joyful sound.
Yeah, I need projects to work on and I need some victories somewhere.
For now I’m going to bed.
Why brains are evil, or at least mine is
A week or so back I posted that a little voice in the back of my head kept whispering something about fire and ice. When I got up this morning and read LJ while eating breakfast, I saw that Jim Stevens took that post and made found poetry out of it, which is very cool.
So I got off the computer, did a few things and went in to take a shower( because why shower and then get all sweaty and gross cleaning cat boxes, etc).
And while I was in the shower, it hit me. Fire and Ice is Ethan’s novel. Almost the entire story dropped into my head– set-up, characters, most of the conflict– a novel.
For those playing along at home, Ethan is a character introduced at the end of Disposable Son. It looks like he’s going to get his own book. Not a continuation of the last book, a totally separate story that just happens to take place in the same universe.
I’m going to make a few notes so I don’t forget this– then I’m letting it sit for a while. Easter Island comes first I think. And revisions.
Another novel. I don’t know whether to laugh or cry. This is exactly the way Disposable Son came to me, one big story dump into my head, complete with title.
The Easter Island book doesn’t have a title yet, maybe because I keep trying not to think about it too hard yet with two novel revisions hanging over my head.
Evil brain. Evil, evil.
I should go write now. To quote the Cowboy Junkies– And now I’m writing fairytales to raise the spirit of revenge.
I’ll be back.
July 5, 2005 (midnight)
The rumor I heard that today was a holiday explains the lack of mail. Not that much has shown up lately anyway.
Still no victories today, but there were projects.
Haven’t heard a peep from any of the jobs I applied for last week. This is no longer a surprise.
I gutted the fairytale I’m working on and I know what I need to do to rebuild it. That will happen tomorrow, with luck. Then I’ll throw it up on the workshop for some opinions. Should be interesting since almost every single person I used to get crits from is not in the workshop anymore. So I’ll keep my fingers crossed and hope for the best.
Made a couple more pieces of jewelry this afternoon. If I make a few everyday, I should be ready at the end of the month.
The book that blindsided me this morning gave me over three pages of single spaced plot, character and worldbuilding notes before I stopped myself. The first page or so was writing itself in my head when I went out to get diet coke this afternoon. And I am not only telling it to take a number, I’m stuffing my fingers in my ears so I can’t hear it whining.
I will write more plot notes tomorrow and get as much of this down as I can without actually writing the book. I had a plan here. I’d like to stick to it for once.
Rabe gave me comments on the end of Disposable Son in IM tonight. And I quote, “I think I hate you.” My work is done.
There was a song of the night–
Now I’m not asking for much / mostly I’m doing alright / the days aren’t that bad /it’s just the nights / I’m not as lonely as it seems / I don’t need the sleep / but I miss the dreams….
Scout needs a record deal. Such a smart, talented boy.
July 6, 2005 (midnight)
Thoughts before dreaming, or always have a Plan B…
I don’t know if it’s a good thing or a bad thing that so many of my entries sound alike. There is something to be said for stability.
A low energy day, mostly because there was so little sleep last night. For a long time I couldn’t turn off my mind. There are nights it likes to chase itself in circles and last night was one of them. I should have gotten up and done things, but I kept hoping I’d fall asleep. Once I did fall asleep, Morgan and Gilly decided it was playtime. On my bed, of course.
Sometime between 4 and 5 a.m I became a launching pad or home base or some such thing in the never ending kjitten games. I have more lovely deep scratches on my thigh. Tonight they get locked out of the bedroom.
There was not enough caffeine on the planet to pep me up today. I think I did pretty good considering. Made more jewelry. Went to Target for cat litter and other assorted items. Picked up things around the apartment.
Managed to finish gutting the short story and get it up on the workshop. It’s rough and I still don’t think it works the way I want it to. As I’m sitting here thinking about it, I think there is too much internal conflict and not enough external. Although I’m not sure it is an external conflict story. Which probably means it isn’t going to work for 9 out of 10 people who read it.
Maybe I have forgotten how to write short stories. I have a couple more I want to kick around, so I guess we’ll see.
One thing is for sure, there are lots of words in my head. I just don’t know what they’re for yet. All kinds of little snippets flashing through my mind when I look at something or hear a piece of music. Flashes of words and images that don’t quite pause long enough for me to grab onto them.
At dusk when I was closing the blinds, and watching fireflies, there was something there about — The fireflies filled the hollows, flashes of green outlined against the darkness of bark worn old by years of snow and rain. She counted them, counted the seconds between.-– and then it was gone. Maybe if I wasn’t so tired I could hold on to them.
The book that is being ignored fed me more ideas today. Evil books. Evil brains.
But I came up with a plan B. (there must always be a plan B) I don’t want to wait until I finish another book to revise DS, but there are comments I’m waiting for on story and such. But! I can go through the book and do sentence level fixes and tighten things up. Then when I get all my comments, I can make plot and story changes if I need to.
Sleep deprived at midnight, this all sounds good. We’ll see how it sounds tomorrow.
Keep forgetting to report NoMail, but forgetting this stuff is out there is probably a good thing.
Going to fall into bed now.
Goodnight stars, goodnight air, goodnight writers everywhere, angels guard you as you sleep, keep you safe and grant you peace…
July 6, 2005 (afternoon)
And lo, she really was much too tired, for she slept like a dead thing for over twelve hours, causing great suffering to the abused warrior kjittens who were left with only two full bowls of dried food to sustain them in their long vigil outside the bedroom door…..
Getting a late start on the day, but hey, my brain works. *g* This is good.
I can tell it’s been a long time since I posted a story to the workshop. Instead of just ignoring the story until I get a tell tale saying it has a review, I keep going and looking at how many views it has. So far, 19 views by 16 people and zero reviews. I always have a bunch of people read when I post and never review and it always amuses me to a certain extent. It’s also the reason I’m only doing short stories on the shop and not novels.
After the long, long sleep, I woke up with one of the characters from Fire and Ice chattering away in the back of my brain. They’re all picking songs now too. I’m doomed and I might as well stop fighting so hard. I can sentence level polish Disposable Son and write new words too…. right? ::le sigh::
Some of the stuff going through my head for this story is below. Shouldn’t spoiler it for anyone who ends up reading it, because I have outlines of what will happen but the details usually come in the writing. That is the adventure part.
There are four main characters in this book and I think they might all get POV, because the way the story is taking shape in my head, letting each of them tell how they see certain events makes the most sense. It will also, I hope, let the readers identify with all of them and care what happens to them. I can see two of the POVs being dominate, but the other two will have their say at the right times.
Secondary characters always step out of the shadows when I need them, complete with personality, history and attitudes, and usually the need to take over the spotlight. This is how Ethan managed to get his own book. He walked through a door in DS and pounced.
Have I mentioned yet today that writers are nutz? Consider it mentioned.
This book, Fire and Ice, will be the story of Ethan, seasoned and experienced Wayfarer, and the three trainees that are his charge:
Rory, daughter and only surviving child of a senior guildsman. She has issues and will be a thorn in Ethan’s side.
Bowen, son of a farmer, determined to make his family proud by succeeding as a Wayfarer. Hides his bond to Niall from his family because they are not the most forward thinking of people and they’d disown him if they knew.
Niall, son of a high ranking council member, the most secure of the three and the most sure of who he is. His bond to Bowen keeps him from being an arrogant twit.
Ethan and the three trainees set off to accomplish something very simple and straight forward. Things go very, very wrong. Quickly.
No one was more surprised than I that Niall and Bowen are bonded to each other, but I don’t argue with my characters. They drop into my head as fully formed, real people. They are what and who they are. They are people who love each other and that’s how I’m going to write them.
Because at heart, all my stories are love stories, even the ones that aren’t.
Off to seize what is left of the day.
Ah yes, I’d forgotten the joy of the two point grab review from someone who has no name and no email address, so I can’t even send a thank you note. Because I would do that, even for a point grab.
I will not, however be returning the review until something shorter than 9300 words is posted. Just saying.
I am laughing by the way, for I love the workshop with all the love there is.
And I will be waiting for real reviews before I make any descisons about this story.
Back to being productive now.
July 7, 2005 (midnight)
Not as productive as I wanted to be, but the day was shorter than I planned for as well. Such is life.
Things did get done and more will get done tomorrow.
Lots of writing talk in chat tonight as well as on IM. I always like that, especially when it is a topic I know something about, which does not always happen.
Tomorrow I try to get a poem for this week started and do more notes for Fire and Ice. There will be some critting as well and maybe some looking at what words to chop in DS. Maybe.
More did get accomplished today.
When I got up this morning I discovered that about all the food I had left was cereal and graham crackers. And cat food. I hadn’t bought groceries since I got back from California, which was a month ago already. So I went and bought real food. The giant Krogers marketplace takes time, but they do have food, so it was all good.
Got clasps put on all of the satin cord pendants I had put together. They were all ready except for the clasp. More progress there.
Critted things for people– an article, a short story and more of Bear’s book. Only a few more pages and I’ll be done. It’s a good book, which isn’t really a surprise.
And Jodi, bless her, gave me a good crit on the story I have up. I’m leaving it up, because I promised some people I would, and with luck, I’ll get a few more good crits so I can figure out what to do with it.
Spent a long time watching the fireflies as it was getting dark tonight. There seem to be more of them every night and the light when they flash seems brighter. Probably totally in my mind and it probably doesn’t matter. They still seem like magic on the wing every time I see them.
And there was much deep thought about the new book and deep thought about what poem I’m going to write this week. Lots of playing with kittens who seem especially needy after being locked out of the bedroom two nights in a row. I’ll let them in tonight and hope for the best.
Lots of job hunting online again, just like everyday. Unless I want to join the ranks of sales people in the thrilling field of telecom or a degree in advanced computer, whatever drops out of the sky, or even better, I want to transform to a young college age girl for a weekend promo, not much there today. Oh and all the willing to relocate jobs. So not going to happen.
Such was my day.
Going to bed in a few.
Music for the evening was a mix of Paul Simon, Tracy Chapman and Cowboy Junkies.