Archive for December, 2011

Wintery Writing

It’s been an interesting few days. I’ve managed to get a bit of work done but not as much as I wanted. And do you know the biggest problem I’ve come across? I I have pages and pages of handwritten story that I now have to input. And that’s just bothersome. You also know what that means… my internal critic will have a field day. It’s pretty much impossible to get things transcribed and not make adjustments, whether it’s spelling, missing words or reconfiguring sentences. I suppose that’s just a pitfall that I’m going to have to navigate around or avoid altogether by not transferring the story to my designated Word document.

I’ve been having trouble with the pacing for this story. I don’t know how to progress this story. I feel like I’ve started it about a third of the way in and that the events I’m covering now should be occurring around the 20-25,000 word mark but they’re not. I don’t know if I’ve made it to the 10,000 point yet.

Apparently I’ve really taken the “get ‘er done” philosophy to heart and am plowing through the story. At this point I’ll have a sketch of what I want to do but I feel like it could be covered in a few pages. Plus, you know what? I haven’t been doing my short stories either! I’m really super awful right now. Blame it on my optimism. It’s awful being so positive sometimes, truthfully. Haven’t I reached this conclusion already? I’ve never claimed to be a fast learner sometimes.

I still have no idea what is next on the docket. I thought I’d be chomping at the bit to get started and to have a new project in the wings ready to go but oddly enough, no. I’m very reticent about walking away from this story for now. I’m not quite sure why. Usually at the point in the month I’ve become completely disengaged with the project and am biding my time until the first of the next month. Why am I not feeling this now? It’s odd. It obviously is struggling to be finished but I’m running out of time. Granted, there’s all next week and with two champions for my cause, I think I can really get some good work done but you never know. As much as I love my job, it’s exhausting. Poor little Yesterday isn’t even getting the walkies she should be!

I just want to be home writing all day! Sadly, there are some pesky little details in life, annoying little gnats called bills. Sadly, pennies must be earned. we can all dream though, right?

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Where Did December Go?

(Yuppers, this is another forgotten draft rescued from the mouth of infinity)

What has happened to the month?! I take comfort in the fact that I’m not the only one who’s experiencing the December Drain. Life is certainly busy right now. It’s been really hard to get my writing done. There always seems to be something more to be done and someone vying for my attention at that second. I’m starting to understand what it’s like to be a parent only everything they need to juggle is necessary.

It’s been a tough month but I’m going to really focus for the remainder to get as much done as possible. The good thing is that Mom and Dad are visiting and they’ll keep me tied to my seat and writing. For that I’m so grateful. It’s been a really fun project this month but I’ve struggled with getting back into my writing schedule.

For the past couple days I’ve been thinking about success and almost-success. Maybe I’ve said this before, I think I have, but it warrants a review. I can work on stories the begin to drift into my consciousness each month but there are some that I just can’t complete. Sometime its a matter of being unprepared as far as research goes, other times its the story itself. Maybe it’s not ready to be expressed or maybe it just doesn’t matter enough to me for me to put the hand cramps, sleepless nights and cranky deadline stress into seeing it to fruition. As a writer, I hate to think that there are stories in my imagination that aren’t worth the effort but there are. Plain and simple. Perhaps I’ve created something that would bring another writer immeasurable joy to work with and call their own but for me it’s just an exercise.

I’ve been meaning to review my blog entries and see if I can see a shift in quality (I can spot the decline in quantity immediately). I wonder how they’ve changed. Have they improved? Regressed? Or are they just different? I feel like they’ve lost something, a particular sparkle or zing but I don’t know what. Maybe its enthusiasm or optimism that drove them in the beginning. Whatever it is, I want it back.

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Did I really miss almost a week of blogging and writing? It never fails- when I save a post to the drafts later on in the day I think I’ve made my contribution when in fact it’s just hanging out in WordPress Limbo. And when I’m not blogging, I’m not writing either. The two are inextricably intertwined unfortunately.

Unfortunately work’s been wild, as I’m sure most people can empathize with. There are usually so many loose ties to wrap up and a yearly review or just general work to get done. I’ve been exhausted all week and by today, I woke up hurting everywhere and dizzy. Hence, it’s a sick day for me.

There’s a bug going around and I refuse to think I have succumbed to it. I should have been working diligently on catch up today but I haven’t. What have I done instead? Sleeping and recuperating on the couch.

(Now that 2 days have passed, I can safely say that it was just exhaustion. I’m back in top form now.)

There’s a lot of research I think I’m going to have to do. I never expected to have to do any other than what was necessary for the Western. But that’s not the case. It’s surprising how much fact is involved in fiction; it’s so seamlessly integrated that you never think about it. Granted, it could just be a bit of historical checking to make sure the people/events actually occurred when you say they did or  the existence of a particular technology.

At this point it’s a mad dash to get as much scribbled down as I can for this story. I feel like I’ve let my characters down. They’re hanging in literary limbo (long with many posts) without any resolution to the problems I’ve created for them. Who knows what trouble they might cause me in the future but that’s okay. I can always do away with one of them. Perhaps the time machine malfunctions… You never know.

For now though, I’ll do my best to sketch out this story and be done with it. I have no idea what’s in store for me in January and I can wait to find out. I’m enjoying this story too much to live in the future.

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You know the part in the movie “Amadeus” where Mozart is madly conducting his orchestra with a maniacal look on his face? Well,

1. That’s how I feel with my writing

2. I wish I could find a massage therapist to work on my back with that intensity ’cause I huuuuuurt that much.

Some days you feel like an inspired genius. And some days not. (http://static-l3.blogcritics.org/11/03/12/154863/amadeus-movie.jpg)

I’m proud to say that I’ve hit the first stride for the book. I’m keeping it action packed and each time I sit down something seemingly big happens and that’s great! Not only for whoever gets to read it (no skipped parts in MY books!) but also for me. What’s the fun of writing something when you know exactly what’s going to happen? I need surprises and the best ones make you sit back and exclaim “Uh huh, oh no he/she did NOT just do that! Holy Diana Ross!” THAT, my friend, is a plot twist.

I can’t tell you how long I spent with my trusty little Sharpie Pen (of which I bought 2 more packages) and paper and scribbled the story out. The pacing between my brain and my hands was pure poetry. With the typing, I get all finger-tied, they just can’t keep up. At least I know now I’ll never make it as a sign language rapper. *Le sigh* Dexterity is not one of my strong suits.

As I sit here and eat Timbits and do some work at work I can’t help but let my mind wander and think of all sorts of dastardly events that my protagonists may come up against. I thought my primary character would be Basil but it just might end up being Evelyn. I don’t quite know yet.  Only time will tell!

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I was NOT santastic yesterday. Work was great which was most important but I did no writing and I didn’t make it out for my friend’s birthday dinner. What did I do? I came home and had a rest before her dinner but fell asleep at 6:30 and woke up at midnight. Then fell asleep again. I was so out of it I never even bothered changing into comfortable clothes or turning the light off! I was zapped.

Today however, I feel like a new girl. With the bracing fresh winter air and the cold sunshine, Yesterday and  my walkie was quite jaunty. I’ll be volunteering at a booth this afternoon at the Mall so there’s a chunk of time that I might be able to work on my writing but I doubt it. I look forward to Sundays all week, not just because they’re my only day off but because I can sit at home in my jammies if I want to and play catch up from the week before. I realize this is a very rare and a very special luxury and I fully appreciate it. Sadly I haven’t made use of this ability in a while.

Well, I have lots to do and the day is quickly getting old. Hopefully there will be more writing done than expected. I am afraid I have to report that I am hopelessly behind schedule. At least this month I’m not giving up the ghost entirely! That was very naughty of me in September and October and November. This one’s going to be exciting so I think I’ll get further than expected over the next 2 or 3 weeks. That’s plenty of time if I focus and get into my story. As long as I keep it progressing I should be okay. Have you noticed my calendar on WordPress too? It’s finally looking less anemic and a lot fuller. Thank goodness; I was getting worried about it recently.

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Hello, hello. I didn’t get to work on the story on the bus ride in to work but I’ve decided to skip the Christmas cards and work on my writing instead.

I’ve been having a string of good luck with the good old fashioned pen and paper. I’m not sure if it’s because I’m slower at writing than typing so it forces me to rein in my thoughts or whether it’s the mechanical activity of actually using penmanship/sloppy printing. There’s something magical about the writing process. I’m not sure if it satisfies the primitive artist in me or if it’s just a welcome break from using a keyboard and staring at a monitor for hours at a time. It’s strangely comforting to sit down with a stack of blank pages and watch as they magically turn into page after page of my story. It is extremely gratifying to have an instant physical manifestation of my work in my hands at the end of the day.

I still haven’t gotten around to bringing in the goggles; I don’t know if they will ever appear. I assume so but I have no clue when. The story is progressing quite nicely, I was telling my Mom last night about the very first twist that appeared. It completely caught me off guard and I LOVED it. I wonder if most authors experience writing this way. I can’t really describe the process other than it’s like riding in a car at night without using headlights. I have a final destination in mind but along the way things happen that will probably set me off course. Maybe I’ll end up taking a detour and other times I’ll crash and burn but I do my best to stay on track and accommodate the surprises the best I can. It definitely makes for an interesting ride. That’s for sure!

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It’s another classic Nova Sotian day today. Wet, windy, and absolutely delightful. It must be the Irish blood in me that revels in the rainy, wind-swept days. Don’t get me wrong, I love the sunshine but there’s something about steely grey clouds, pregnant with raindrops and a mournful wind. See what I mean?

Well, today is going to be filled with writing, although perhaps not the kind you’re expecting. It’s Christmas card season and I’m very late with mine. I’ve got lots of people to send to so it’s going to keep me busy. Then, Yesterday and I get to go to my Irish lesson tonight. And work? Well, I’m doing that too.

I’ve given up caring about this story too much- I just want to get to the point where it gets exciting! I love my characters names and I’m looking forward to seeing what their adventures are and how they get out of the scrapes they find themselves in. I can’t wait!

So right now, I have to focus on getting things done at work then it’s off the Wal-Mart and other such errands. I want to sit down and really work on this story! I miss having chunks of time to really get into the novel and power through the parts that are just so-so. Will a busy schedule help my writing or hurt it? It doesn’t seem too promising right now, does it?

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I figured this will probably be the best/only time today I’ll get to post an update. As I sit here and eat my banana chips (which I have also unfortunately finished because all I was doing was eating, not eating and typing) and brainstorm this post, I can’t help but feel disappointed in my story.

On the bus ride in to work today I was working on the novel and I came to a very sad realization- this book could be argued to be almost exactly like Lara Croft: Tomb Raider (the first one). Perhaps the themes are universal and that there are plenty of stories out there with adventurous families, dead parents, mysterious societies, mysterious keys, and world domination of some kind. Sound familiar? It does to me.

To be honest though, who cares? This story is really based on the characters. If I knew how to do a character study, perhaps it would turn into that but I don’t so pffft. There will be lots of detail and descriptions and hopefully some explosions. I see a dirigible floating into then blowing up Big Ben. But tat’s been done too, right?

Will ANYTHING other than my characters’ names be original? *Le sigh*

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Yup, I’m still behind on my daily word count so I’m not posting my meager amounts just yet. This fragile artist’s ego can’t handle it…

I’ve had a break through today. Not a break down but a break through. I’ve decided that I’m going to achieve my word goals if I sit down and hammer out 2 or 3 HUNDRED words at a time. It’s a huge deviation from my word binges in the thousands but whatever works, right? (Yeah, those 2, 3, 4,000 word counts were all written in pretty much one sitting.) I think I’ve figured out a rough, shifty story line, well, more like pulled one out of thin air. The baddies are starting to show up and since it’s set in Victorian Era England I figure why not take advantage of England and France’s history?

I’m hoping things will start moving now that I have an idea of the direction and characters are starting to spontaneously appear. It’ll give me a good idea of what to write and with more characters, I’ll have more to work with. I’m starting to get the feeling I had with the Western (it still doesn’t have a title) so this is a really good sign. I’m looking forward to the twists and turns that I have no clue are in store for me. At this point, I think I just have to get the characters moving and start the action. I got mired in describing the first part of the visit that’s going to kick off this story but now that the rumours have been literally brought to the table (I feel like I’m part of The Godfather) let the fun begin!

I have high hopes and good feelings about this month’s story. What better present then to be able to wrap up a completed and bound manuscript for my parents to open on Christmas Day? for that to happen, I have my work cut out for me but it’s a goal that will egg me on and hopefully make me do my best.

*P.S.- Watch the header because I’ll be posting a complete picture of The Family- Pascal, Josephine and their 6 (that’s right 6) scowly babies. Where do they find the time to have 6 scowly babies and pester me?

P.P.S.- The goggles haven’t appeared yet in my story but they’re coming! I promise!

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This is to briefly introduce you to Josephine, my analyst. WordPress friends, may I introduce you to Josephine.

Josephine, WordPress.

Josephine, The Analyst

So until tomorrow, I should get back to my writing in my nice clean room. It’s amazing what sacrificing an afternoon of writing can do for your living space. Just pop in a movie, let your dog keep you company and clean, clean, clean. It’s good for the soul AND the waistline! If Martha Stewart was an aerobics instructor, I just took her class.

(BTW, She’s now my back drop on Twitter! (Josephine I mean, not M.S.) My, my, she does get around, doesn’t she? There’s no escaping Josefiend!)

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