Archive for November 21st, 2011

Liar, Faker and Poser

That would be me. I feel like at this point if I were to call myself a writer I’d be stating an untruth. I’m sure there isn’t a quantifiable definition and that I can still be considered one but with the daily output of zero, I doubt I could squeak past the minimum requirement.

Yes, my soul is that of a literary being; trust me when I say that I will be far more likely to publish a story than I would to learn an instrument and play in a band. However wonderful it feels to have the inner being of a wordsmith, what good does it do if it just lies there, dormant at best, stagnant at worst? I have to stop thinking about the ideal place to work and get on with it. I have to stop thinking, period.

It’s a wonderful thing to be able to live in your head if it’s full of positive, creative ideas and stories that are unfolding and bursting to be shared. It’s another thing, altogether to live in your head and dream of the creative process you’re too lazy to engage in or worry about that freckle that you’re sure wasn’t there this morning. Is it just a freckle or could it be more you wonder. That, my friends, is a dangerous, slippery slope, best avoided at all costs.

I don’t want to be a LFP, and hate the thought that I might be one or becoming one. Is scifi going to be a weak point in my writing ability? For sure. Would I want to return to it? I think so. I’m not a fantasy person- I was scared to death of “The Labyrinth” (David Bowie gave me nightmares) and “The Never Ending Story” creeped me out as a kid. Faeries and trolls, goblins and leprechauns are fantastic in short stories but nothing more. I always amalgamate scifi and fantasy because their characters seem closely related, if not interchangeable.

Over the past little while though, I’ve given scifi a chance (beyond “Star Trek”) and it’s opened my eyes to the possibility that the genre can be more realistic. I don’t need scary muppets or giant flying dogs in order to write a scifi story. When it really comes down to it though, we all have our own definitions of what constitutes a specific style. For example, I consider Margret Atwood’s A Handmaid’s Tale¬†to be science fiction, though according to classical definition it isn’t. And just because my western has desert and cacti, that doesn’t mean it’s a real western. Maybe it’s truly an adventure.

Regardless of whether I’ll be staying true to the genre or not, I think I have a scifi story floating around my little head. Perhaps it just isn’t the right time at the moment. Maybe I don’t yet know what I’m trying to express or there are more important stories to process and complete first. Whatever the reason, I’m looking forward to returning to this genre in the ¬†future in some capacity.

At the end of the day, I have to work on the story and not care how it turns out or what criteria it ends up satisfying. There’s a story in me that is waiting to come out and it will be whatever it will be. Stories really are like children in that respect- you have hope for their future, you nurture their potential but at the end of the day, they’re going to be what they’re destined for. As an author (and a parent), you just want the best possible outcome for your creation.

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They say ignorance is bliss. I say ignorance is denial’s bedfellow. I know this month has been as bad as September and October were and there’s no reason for it. I don’t blame you if you don’t believe me when I say I miss my writing but I really do. I wish I could sit on the couch for hours and whiz through a few thousand words and earn the satisfaction of seeing a story come to life. But I’m no where near accomplishing that again. Call me optimistic or call me delusional but I still think there’s hope for me.

I honestly don’t know how to get back my discipline other than by brute force. And I suspect that’s the only way. I keep wishing I had my own apartment so I could spend time in say, the living room, without fighting dogs for couch space, allergies acting up or who knows what else. What can I say? I spent 4 years on my own in Toronto- I doubt I can co-habitate unless I marry my roommate and even then the situation’s iffy. I keep telling my Mom that my ideal future involves buying two adjacent condos and installing a connecting door for my husband and I. But I digress.

I don’t seem to be doing too well, am I? Is it too unrealistic to expect to be able to complete a full novel each month in 12 different genres? Am I trying to force myself to succeed when it’s a rare talent to be a versatile writer? I keep thinking about the Western and Eleanor. I seem to be missing her and thinking about her next adventure. But, I set a project out for myself and I want to stick with it. I’m crossing my fingers that I’ll have a few more manuscripts at the end of the year. I still have 3 of the original 4 novels left to complete- the steampunk (December), chicklit (April), and mystery (May).

Each month I don’t succeed makes it harder to believe I’ll end up with another manuscript and that makes me sad. I love writing and really miss it. You would think that that would be enough so why isn’t it? I love working on the big pieces; sure short stories are fun and they can be whipped up and are fun little quickies but I’m becoming addicted to the character development and suspense of a novel. I just wish I came across another style that seems to work we ll for me. Only time will tell. I mustn’t give up though!

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