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Archive for April, 2012

Touché, Wordsmith

April 11, 2012

However do you expect to write about the art of writing if you don’t practice it yourself? Oh the ugly, ugly question. No wonder my blog entries are more sparse than hair on a naked mole rat (don’t google it, it’ll give you nightmares, I promise). I only hope that my writing is more pleasing to the eye than the sight of a fleshy, wrinkly, toothy mole with tiny squinty eyes and giant toenails. *shiver*

It has to be more enjoyable than that, right?

So the story is shaping up to be okay. I’m not too sure where it’s going or what’s going to happen but things are moving along finally and I’m getting back into the groove of things. Don’t get me wrong, this isn’t a miraculous Easter-holiday event. The zing is slowly returning, perhaps not as brightly as in the past but still, it’s there.

Since it’s ChickLit this month, I thought it’d be a given that I’d make it. After all, all my bookshelf is missing is a box of chocolates to complete my Girl’s Night In collection complete. I routinely warn people who peruse my DVD collection that they’re mostly ChickFlicks so you’d think that with this genre being among the top that I gravitate towards it’d be a slam dunk.

Yes, it’s going a little better than most of the other months, it’s still not flying by and each day is a daily struggle. No one said writing is easy; in fact the pursuits that are most enjoyable are sometimes the most difficult to maintain. At the end of the day though, the satisfaction of being a part of the creative process and the pure, childlike wonder of frolicking in your own imagination makes the stress and struggle worth it.

April 20, 2012

Disregard the post that I forgot to post AGES ago. It’s all a lie. The story’s not shaping up at all. It’s laying in my head like a lump of charcoal. Rattling around in the most distracting way. It has been so awful this month. The genre has so much promise; I have a great idea and love losing myself in the story that’s unfolding when I give it the chance and breathing space to do so. The problem is that with my working two jobs and the stress of transitioning out of one practice and into another. I’ve forgotten how grueling a 6-day work week can be.

I really wish I could carve out the time I want to get back into the my story. The little bit I’ve done is a tease to my imagination. This project has been a luxury for me. I don’t know why I haven’t realized that yet but it really is. Doing something that makes you happy and indulges your passion shouldn’t be a luxury but it is. I would love to have hours at a time to wallow in the complex world evolving with every keystroke but alas, that’s not the case.

There really isn’t much more to say, no pithy remarks to wrap up the ending of a post or a zinger to leave you with but seeing as I’ve already forgotten to post this once, I suppose a quick addition to the original post is better than nothing at the moment. So for now, adieu.

 

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April 5, 2012

I haven’t written a word yet.

*Hanging head in shame*

I’ve said it. It’s rounding onto April 6th and I have yet to write a single word. I didn’t even check my “schedule” to make sure this month is ChickLit month. Even if it isn’t I’ll stick with that plan. It feels like a ChickLit kind of month. Perhaps it’s the turning seasons- Spring is in the air and with Spring comes flirty dresses and strappy shoes and all sorts of romantic deliciousness. So I can’t waste that ambiance. Sadly, though, that’s exactly what I’m doing.

I don’t know how people do it- write novels while living a regular, every day life. It really boggles my mind. Writing a novel is a part-time job at the very least and to complete one in a month is a fool’s errand. I’d gladly play the fool then but it has never paid the bills.

April 8, 2012

I feel like I’m writing  Captain’s log on a sinking ship. With the “Mayday” plea sent out, I’m now reduced to writing about the next few moments. Will I be saved or will I disappear? Will I swim or will I be eaten? I’m hoping I can still save myself because if I can’t rely on me, I’ll be in very sad shape. Before fulfilling every other expectation, you should master 3 things:  you are 1) your own shining knight 2) your personal comedian and 3) your best friend. If you succeed in all three then you’ll survive life and enjoy it. (FYI: Chances are you will also be someone else’s knight/comedian/best friend because they’ll see how awesome you are and will want some of that awesomeness too.)

I finally started writing the story on the 6th. It’s coming along slowly because as usual I start thinking about the detail I want to include so I freeze up. I am not Diana Gabaldon so there’s no need or expectation for me to write a 800+ page book. Maybe if my last name was O’Driscolova I’d feel more comfortable writing novels that could act as counterbalance for weighing newborns. So, I can’t keep comparing my work or my expectations to The Outlander Series or War and Peace. That’s not where I am at the moment.

When you write 50,000 words, it’s disconcerting to think that that 100+ page manuscript is really just a template for the finished product. I don’t know about you but I was always used to working with an outline that was maybe 2-3 pages and could get a solid 10-12 pages of finished produce out of each outline page! No wonder I feel like I’ve embarked on writing an entire set of Encyclopedia Britannica! I think I have to reconfigure my expectations and be a little more realistic.

It’s quite enjoyable to live with grand schemes floating around in my imagination but it’s hard to maintain the momentum to achieve those starry-eyed goals and even harder to achieve the quality of work that satisfies Pascal.

To give you an idea of what kind of critic Pascal is, the closest example I can find is Colin Mochrie on Who’s Line is it Anyway?

With a critic yelling at me that something is crap then telling me to try a whole new direction. I don’t know about other writers but Pascal can be a royal pain. Or am I teetering on the edge of insanity? I suppose any creative person has a touch of the crazies, otherwise how can they come up with the stories and ideas they do? I’d rather be the eccentric person than the boring, straight-laced, uncreative one. Life can always use a extra sparkle. It comes back to being your own comedian and best friend. Who else can you expect to amuse you at the drop of a hat? That, my friend, takes constant practice in order to do.

So, I’ll continue working on the story and perhaps today I’ll make some good headway. I’ve been thinking about it and I have a feeling I know the direction it’ll veer off into but who knows, Pascal my yell “CUT!”, tell me “I found your laptop in the backyard covered in CRAP” and I’ll be shunted off onto a new tangent. That’s the beauty of working on something for the first time. You have no idea where things are going or where the story will take you. I love this stage of the creative process.

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Since this post is originally from March 31st, make that 2 bubbles.

Thank goodness it’s popped as it floats over me drenching me with hope for the next  this month. As I mentioned in a previous post, life seemed to get away from me a bit and take over. Now that life has settled down into a new rhythm for the moment I’m looking forward to putting more emphasis and focus on my writing.

I can’t believe I lived a whole month like I had before this challenge started. There were very few days when I actually thought about the novel and I may have sat down 6 times to work on it. I’ve been bad in the past for not finishing but never to this degree. I wonder if it gets easier or harder to stick with the project as the finish line becomes clearer. I really want to finish but do I have the stamina? Im not quite sure.

With the prospect of working 2 jobs for April, we’ll see how true the old maxim is because without a doubt I will be a very busy lady. After a long day on Sunday at a workshop for the new job I was drained. I was barely able to drag myself out to get some necessary doggie stuff and when I passed the cheapo movie bin at Wal-Mart I couldn’t resist. So, with my defenses temporarily destroyed I walked out with 4 movies.

It was fairly late when I got home so I decided to give up on starting April’s selection in favour of doing some research. Lucky for me this month’s genre is mindless ChickLit! Hooray for the 20-something heroine and the trouble caused by miscommunication! Of course that’s not all the genre is based on but with a pretty clear-cut formula it should be a little more straightforward. No more struggling through a plot and wasting time and energy making sure it’s right. Get ‘er done is the plan from here on out!

It would be lovely to b able to work on a story that really sucks me in and consumes my attention. It’s been so long since I’ve felt that. Maybe I’ve fought the free fall into my imagination or perhaps I haven’t come across another story that has been as intriguing as the few I’ve finished. Just like there will be people you will never click with, there are genres out there that I’ll never get or will never be interesting for me. The trick is to stick with what I like and what I know. There’s nothing wrong in working purely in one style or genre. Maybe it’s a good thing to become an expert in one specific area rather than a jack of all trades.

I have no idea if ChickLit will be a success for me or not; goodness knows I read enough of it! I have a rough idea of the plot but who knows what may change or in what direction things will head. So for now I’m just going to go with things and do my absolute best to put in the effort this project needs. I’m tired of not succeeding and I miss the wildly excited victory posts at the end of the month.

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