Archive for October, 2011

Final Word Count: October 6, 2011- in the hundreds; 1 journal page

I’ve been writing every day, but obviously not enough to keep up with my word count let alone get ahead. I don’t know what’s stalling me but it sucks. And then today I end up at the doctor’s because I found a lump in one of my boobs. I’m generally so creative, why couldn’t it have been some other way other than the all-too-common “in the shower” routine? Well, regardless of how it came about, I spent a gorgeous Friday afternoon in the waiting room of a walk in clinic. In all those 2 hours, did I even unzip my backpack to make sure my computer was still there? Nope. Did I think about my story? Not really. Apparently THIS is why I’m not making any progress.

As far as appointments go, it wasn’t the worst- no one freaked out (I deserve a medal for my calm frame of mind) and things don’t seem as bad as they did at 7:30 am when I was still half-asleep (being the drama queen I am, I almost passed out in the shower then proceeded to text everyone I think would forgive me for waking them up at 6:30 am or earlier). That being said, I’m still not in the clear until I have a mammogram. At this point, I’m more concerned about the process than the results. One of my friends thoughtfully related it to an inexperienced guy. I’ll take all the thoughts, encouragements and suggestions someone’s willing to throw my way. And if it’ll give me a clear bill of health, I’m more than willing to put up with the pain. I haven’t run away for painful things yet.

This really has nothing to do with my writing other than distracting me today so until my body parts become possessed and start acting out of their own accord, I’ll leave them out of the conversations from here on out. *zipping lips*

Anyways, I breast ¬†best be getting back on track. I need to get back into my story. I really, really miss it and I’ve discovered that nothing cures the hypochondria like keeping mentally stimulated and busy. If I’m preoccupied thinking of other things then I can’t be worrying about stuff that I’ve probably just never noticed.¬†

The story’s getting good (I hope). I’ve killed off 3 people in one fell swoop and 2 more a couple pages later. I was dead serious (no pun… ok, ok, pun intended) when I said it was going to have a crazed psychopath. Am I making this realistic? Not on your life. Maybe it won’t be as scary that way but I’m all about over-exaggeration right now. It’ll be fun to walk on the dark side for a month. I can’t wait to wreak havoc on all these poor, unsuspecting characters.

The editing has stopped right now. Since I’m not taking my computer to The Big Easy I’ll save my plane trips for actual writing- editing and handwriting my story. Until then, I’m hoping to finally log some serious time on the good ol’ MacBook until then.

For all you Canadians, Happy thanksgiving! Gobble Gobble!

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Final word Count: October 5, 2011- More than the day before (2 pages perhaps?); FINALLY 1 journal entry!

I never get sick. If I do, it’s usually a burgeoning cold I can short circuit with my super-duper recipe for the “Sickie Drink.” Does it work? Probably a little. I think it’s more a comfort thing though, especially when accompanied by a bed, Yesterday cuddles and warm clothes. (The recipe will follow at the end of the post.) I can’t remember if every September starts off with people dropping like flies with end-of-summer colds/flus but this year seems to have been really bad. Everyone seems to be affected somehow. Including yours truly.

All I want to do right now is sleep. It’s not looking like the spectacular weekend I was dreaming about since I woke up this morning with a throat full of razors. Since when did colds jump out and bite you without warning? As far as i remember, they give you some kind of sense of impending doom. Instead, I stumbled into work ready to turn around and head right back home. Ah well. At least I’m not coughing or sneezing. It’s still not fun to feel like your heads going to pop off your body because your sinuses feel like they’re being trampled by 18 elephants in slow, torturous succession.

I think this is prime writing time though. With no energy to do anything else, what can be better than writing and being creative? Surly I have the energy to press little keyboard buttons, heck I think an anemic mouse could do it. I can’t wait to get back into bed this afternoon and pick up where I left off. There’ll be a quick detour to the grocery store for the fixings of homemade chicken-gnocchi soup and my Sickie Drink.

Now, as promised, may I introduce you to The Sickie Drink:


fresh cut lemon (whole slice(s))

fresh ginger (peel removed, sliced/diced if you want)

raw honey

1 cinnamon stick

boiling water

Preparation: Adjust ratio to your preference (I love ginger so I put more in than lemon but that’s not for everyone) and let it steep in the boiling water about 20 min. By the time the water’s cooled it’s ready to drink! Of course, you can leave out whatever you want. The cinnamon stick should be fully unfurled by the time you’re ready to have it. Enjoy!

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Final Word Count: October 4, 2011- Less than 1,000 (I’m guessing 2 pages?); Still not back into the journalling I’m ‘fraid

What fun would this be if the route wasn’t filled with challenges and potholes as I forge my way ahead? I think one of the beauties of writing is that you can have no idea what you’re doing and still end up with something pretty fantastic. Am I ever glad I picked literature over incendiary or explosive devices. All the same, it’s going to be a tough month so I have to put on my big girl panties and get this done. Of all the months that might not work out, October CAN NOT be one of them.

The horror genre is nowhere new to me (I wrote my first horror story in grade 7 and it was pretty psychologically terrifying- I think my teacher was concerned since it involved 10 little demonic teddy bears who killed my protagonist’s father) but the beginning just won’t write itself! There’s nothing right now that differentiates it from anything else I’m planning to write over the course of the year. I never thought about the beginnings of stories until now. Are they generally fairly generic or do most start off with something that will indicate the genre?

I’ll admit, I’m a cover shopper. If there’s a half naked man on the cover, I can be pretty confident that I’m in for a titillating story (sorry, couldn’t resist that) and anything with a shadowy outline, bats or other scary pictures, well, that’s pretty self-explanatory. So between the cover and the back cover blurb, is it really even necessary to immediately pigeon hole your story? I don’t think so but then again, the Western was obviously a Western by page 5. Maybe the horror genre is much broader than the Western was. Or perhaps I just didn’t think to start with a close up of a dead character.

I’m sitting inside a coffee shop enjoying a blustery Fall day thinking about my story. I got a bit of work done last night but I can’t move it along fast enough for the characters to start dying and the crazed maniac to make his appearance. I absolutely love days like today where I can feel like the romanticized concept of being a writer. Perhaps I’ve watched too many episodes of “Murder, She Wrote” and been influenced by the tortured characters found in “The Secret Window” and “The Shining” (although Jack Torrence was snowed in…). Whatever the reason, I find it difficult to write and feel truly creative and inspired when it’s a balmy 80 degrees and sunny out. I need my pot of tea, comfy, ratty old sweaters, slippers and sweatpants to feel like a proper author.

Since I have the house to myself for the next week, I’m hoping to get a ton of work done and make some serious head way in the story. I think by next Wednesday night I’m going to aim to have the first half of the story line finished (expect lots of bodies and truly gruesome discoveries) and ready to start the next half before the 15th. I’m definitely a lover, not a fighter but I can’t wait to get into the awful mess that’s stalking, murder and other various diabolical deeds. After all, it’s coming up to Halloween and I’m only doing one horror story so of course that means I have to do it right. It would be a travesty to half-ass this month’s selection. It would be like writing the romance and closing the door after the characters. Where’s the fun in reading if you’re not getting ALL the details?

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Final Word Count: October 3, 2011- 632 (1 1/2 pages); no journal entry

I’m back in the game but after a lazy month in September, I need to get back into a disciplined routine. I think this is going to be a lot like dieting for me- the first attempt was easy because I wasn’t fully aware of what it entailed but when I fall out of the practice for whatever reason, each attempt to get back into the healthy/productive routine is a little harder or a little more daunting.

That being said, I’m really happy to get back into my writing. Oh, how I’ve missed it! I kind of wish I didn’t have to edit the Western right now because it seems to be affecting my writing process this month. It’s really hard to turn my internal editor on for one project and turn it off for another. This could be very tricky especially since I have no idea what I’m doing (writing AND editing wise). I’m going to do my best but I apologize in advance for whining about my juggling routine this month.

The beginning is starting off pretty slowly- who cares about all the tiny details at this point? I essentially have 2 stories mashed into one so there’s more than enough to keep me busy and to fill out my word count this month. I think I have to get things moving and pad the story if need be at the end of the month. (Pffft who am I kidding? It’s going to be another mad scramble at the end of the month to finish this one!)

I can’t waste the rainy, cold, stereotypical Nova Scotia days that we’ve had and are scheduled to have over the next few days so I can’t wait to go home and get started. I feel a wildly creative burst coming on, made even more spectacular since it’s our Thanksgiving this weekend AND I have the flat to myself! Go Me!

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Final Word Count: October 2, 2011- 1,300 words (4 pages); no journal entry

Yay! I’m back on track! Phew… I thought September would never pass and when it did, I wasn’t sure if I could get back into the wing of things. I don’t have much more on my plate than usual but I feel so much better now that I’m working on a new story. I have to admit though, that with the editing process for the Atlantic Writing Competition, I’m discovering that I really don’t like my writing style. My voice sounds so stilted and awkward. I know, I know, we’re our own worse critics but I really do feel sorry for anyone who reads my stories.

I was at the movie store the night before last looking for a scary movie to help get me in the mood to think scary things. While I was perusing the selection, I started thinking about the story and suddenly the pieces fell into place. It’s a wild feeling- it’s almost a physical feeling of pieces clunking into place as though they were 3-D puzzle pieces. My former dilemma of whether it’s going to be a spook-fest or slasher extravaganza? Why it’ll be both, naturally.

I outlined the plot to my Mom and at the end I think she was kind of stunned for a minute. The first thing she said? “That’s pretty complicated, Sandra.” And here I was, thinking it’s got everything I love about the horror genre- a veritable smorgasboard of scary delights. Well, you won’t be able to complain about a story that drags on this month!

I’m going to have a lot of research to do this month- setting (New Orleans- what good timing since I’ll be there this month!), Voodoo, the Civil War and probably a few other things that I haven’t even dreamed up yet. I really should’ve spent last month researching but I didn’t so oh well.

Mom’s currently ripping my Western apart and offered to help me with my research for this month. I suppose that’s cheating. I’m not above a little bit of taking creative license with the guidelines and rules I outlined for myself.

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September’s attempt was the first unsuccessful story so far but that’s okay. It’s all of 15 pages and 6,975 words. I haven’t re-read it, nor will I have any interest in doing so in the future. Anyways, it’s a new month and a new attempt and a completely different ball game.

I woke up last night to thundering rain and it’s been overcast and rainy all day. I have a super fantastic feeling about this month’s attempt. I started to think about the beginning while Yesterday and I had an awesome walkies in Point Pleasant Park last night. I think it was a combination of time (it got dark quickly while we were there), my imagination and the paths we took that gave me the shivers. We did end up speed walking out by the end and we barely got out before I had to whip out the flashlight. It’s shocking how dark it gets so soon now- it’s my only complaint about the fall; I get caught off guard and end up in places that I probably shouldn’t or out on walkies without our poo light. Ah, well. We survived and I got a dose of scariness to help get me in the “write” frame of mind. (Sorry, I couldn’t resist the pun). Plus, I found some great spots to head back to for inspiration if I need it.

Well, while we were out I managed to plan the beginning of the story. I always try to have at least the first sentence planned because staring down a blank page with 50,000 words on the meter can be mind numbing. I don’t want to freeze up because I don’t know where to begin. Well, I haven’t started it just yet but I can’t wait to. I’m rubbing my hands together gleefully and wiggling my fingers to exercise the little muscles in preparation for a month of a wild writing.

I can’t wait to see how this one turns out. I still don’t know if it’s going to be a psycho/slasher type or more supernatural/ghostly sort. This is part of the reason why I love working on these books so much- I have no idea what will happen so it’ll be just as exciting as reading it will be. I’m really looking forward to getting back into my writing groove and getting back to regular posts and journal entries.

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