Been a Long Time…

I love Led Zeppelin and most people my age do.   Today I realized, that it’s been a long time – a long, long, lonely, lonely time.  Those of you with a WIP trapped inside of you that cannot come to perfect terms with its identity know exactly what I’m talking about.  I have heard a lot of great authors say that at some point they have to let a WIP go if it does not bear fruit.  I try to do that, but when you feel that the project was never as great as it could be, it’s hard to embrace that thought process.  I believe that every story is meant to be told though, no matter how long it takes for you to tell it. 

I thought I had something polished.   I don’t.   Returning to my blog tells me at least one thing… I no longer have writer’s block.  Let the editing begin.

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Just What I Needed!

I can’t believe a quarter of the year is gone already.  I’ve been working (the grind kind) a lot, and trying to manage the house, kids, finances and squeeze in some exercise (for medicinal purposes) to keep myself on track.  I think about my work in progress at least twice a day (and dream of a lake house where I can lock myself away for several weeks) and pray for a time wonder when I’ll have enough order to allow that chaos to spill back in to my life every day.  In the midst of my pity party, I stumbled upon the following letter written by a child to a weather man.  A transcript of the letter is as follows (no grammatical corrections necessary or allowed!) —

Dear Mr. Ramon:

Thank you for coming to our school and teaching us about weather.

Some day when I become supreme ultra-lord of the universe I will not make you a slave, you will live in my 200 story castle where unicorn servants will feed you doughnuts off their horns.

I will personally make you a throne that is half platnum and half solid gold and jewel encrested.

Thank you again for teaching us about meteoroligy, you’re more awesome than a monkey wearing a tuxedo made out of bacon riding a cyborg unicorn with a lightsaber for the horn on the tip of a space shuttle closing in on Mars while ingulfed in flames…And in case you didn’t know, that’s pretty dang sweet.

Sincerely, Flint

P.S. Look on the back for drawing  🙂

Need I say more? 

 

FUNK – BE GONE

Sometimes I wonder why I think I need to write.  My head gets so full of ideas, to-do lists and what-nots that if I do not purge my poor brain somewhere, it feels like it will explode.  I’ve taken to the journal as of late (even though most of what comes out of me is pure nonsense… I know in the end, it’s not) and it seems that each time I do that, it brings me back to my work in progress.  I wish I could lock myself away to pour my heart and soul into it, if only for a week.  But having four kids, 3 dogs, a cat, a mortgage and a full-time job makes it more than difficult to find the time.  I did have an epiphany about my first chapter and the prologue I’ve been working on, but it just hasn’t been enough to keep me focused. 

The holidays did what they always do, and that’s put me a fierce funk while trying to cope with the stress that the season brings.  I need a way out and back to my craft, but I just can’t figure it out.  I did decide to take control of my health after watching a very inspirational documentary entitled, Fat, Sick and Nearly Dead… it motivated me to go buy a juicer and try to take control of my expanding waist line.  And I did.  Being down 15 lbs feels great, and I still juice twice a day while eating a sensible dinner.  Five pounds found its way back on to me during the holidays (another reason I don’t like them), but after a week of the trusty juicer, they’re gone.  I’m feeling in control of my body for the first time in a very long while.  Why isn’t that enough?

I’ve hidden from the blog simply not knowing what to say.  And for the first time possibly ever, not having anything to say.  I hope this is over soon…and if you have any ideas for inspiration, I’m all ears.  Pay it forward and help a kindred soul?

Realizations

I’m not sure what possessed me to dig out my novel that has been stored in my hard drive for going on a year now…. but I did.  Maybe I was just overwhelmed at the task that lied ahead.  I had poured as much creativity that I could into 80,000 words and written, what I believe, to be a very unique and empowering story.  I struggled with the ending, as I understand many do… but after submerging into George RR Martin’s, Game of Thrones series – I emerged from it pretty enlightened.  One of the things I liked about the way he writes, was that he didn’t number the chapters, he simply titled it after whichever character the chapter was mostly about.  I found it to be a superb tactic for character development… the plot will always take care of itself if your characters are fully developed.  Since I’ve had many exercises in this very department, I wanted to see how his influence affected my novel through these new-found editing eyes.

Since I abandoned my original voice, and have begun a massive edit to change that voice and narrative… I’m happy with the progress I’m making.  I’ve only just begun, and I will definitely need a full read, instead of broken by chapters to see how my new glasses are shaping my stagnant novel before it’s ready to be shared.   But I am happy to be optimistic about it… Time will tell.

Oops, I did it again….

Well, here we are.  Brand new year, and I’ve started it off soul searching… just like I have every year prior to this.  I began writing an exceptional recollection of my awesome getaway with my husband just before Christmas (that is like many other projects… not done) and then started to dust off the novel and finish my rewrite in 3rd person (also not done).  Then it happened.  I fell off the wagon, and went to vitriolic websites that I know damn well I should NOT be browsing and got irritated enough to join the fray of meaningless bashing.   Sometimes I just can’t help myself.

Now I could easily go back and continue to argue with someone incapable of reasoning… but I’m not.  Then I told myself that at least I was writing.  Funny how humans justify juvenile behavior to make themselves feel better.   The media frenzy surrounding a very personal topic for me (that shall forever remain nameless here) just got the better of me and I couldn’t take it anymore.  I tried to interject reason, and was met with endless psychiatric profiles of my psyche by people who don’t even know me.  Well…. SCREW. THEM.  They don’t deserve my attention.  And with that, I’m erasing this mishap from the history books and moving on….

I am reading a fabulous book.  It’s called, The Dirty Life, by Kristin Kimball.  It’s about a freelance writer in New York City that gave up everything she knew and entered the (then) foreign world of farming.  She, along with her husband Mark, run a CSA in Essex, New York.  The story of its birth and their relationship has warmed my heart and given me hope that a farm may some day find me (people who know me, know that I long for this).  The mental exhaustion endured by my profession has taken a toll on my livelihood.  I guess only I can change that. 

Happy New Year!

To Write or Not To Write….that is the question

Either I will make time for it, despite life’s trying curve balls, or I will not.  I’m having trouble balancing the tasks involved with being a career mom and janitor caregiver, while still finding time for the only thing that makes me feel really, really good.  I watched my daughter fall into another Young Adult series (after being ineligible for band after failing geometry at the 6 weeks mark… she’s got a test Friday to determine if she’ll pass the 9 week grading period) and she’s passed them on to me – and I’m finding them to be just what I need in order to see that with the right story, and the right voice, you can capture readers and involve them in the lives of your characters in the very same way you’ve become attached to them yourself.  This time, it’s Lauren Kate’s Fallen series.  She has tuned in to teenagers very, very well.  Her simplistic, yet descriptive writing is very easy to read and you become very easily wrapped up in her story.  My only complaints, were that I had a hard time picturing some of her characters because I didn’t think they had been fully developed.  Perhaps this unveils more in her books in the series yet to be published, I guess we’ll see.  All in all, it was a nice escape from my daily grind… and it’s actually stirred up something inside so for that, I give thanks.  My mind is far away from work at the moment, as I steal a few moments to post this blog entry and I can’t seem to stop thinking about my failed attempt at my novel.  Or has it failed?  I only sent one query… I guess the answer to that is no.  It’s just not done, and it needed to rest.

This leads me to believe that the reason I felt my novel was drowning, was certainly not because of my story… it was because of my voice.  It was because my characters needed further development.  It was because I could not find a suitable writing “place” in my (now) chaotic life and develop my craft for both professional and creative reasons. 

And now?  I’m disappointed.  So what’s it to be, to write, or not to write?  I say write.  I bought a nice hard covered journal and a fantastic gel pen set (perhaps writing in different colors may also spark a furor of creative energy too?) to strip it down to the basics again (I often perform very well with just paper and pen… all that’s missing is a candlestick instead of electricity).  Since I’ve already written my manuscript and it’s been stored away electronically on a flash drive just waiting for me, I say that now is the time to begin again.  It’s a new dawn, it’s a new day, it’s a new life for me.

It made me smile….

I described my epiphany that spurred the rewrite of my novel almost 6 months ago.  Once I came to the realization that my book needed to be written from another perspective, and that my story was trapped inside the mind of my main character, I was lazy to get started with it again.  My mind was excited, because I felt like I had been sitting in a dark basement and someone finally turned on a light.  It was like I could finally see the plot holes in my story filling up with literary genius once I was allowed to see what was happening from another point of view.  But with this “excitement”, there was also dread… because I knew how hard I had labored to get where I was, and I was not ready to roll up my sleeves and start the process all over again.  But now, I’m thinking that is just part of the editing process.

The laptop that I was using to write had some issues after being dropped, and then the monitor went out leaving me with my trusty journal and a bic pen.  I busted out my nifty passport  and stored everything of relevance onto it for future use, whenever that might be.  I’ve been carrying it around in my purse waiting for the day I’d become interested again.  Today was the day.  I plugged it in to the USB drive on my work computer, and there it was.  Named and renamed, separated by chapters… and even the graphics my daughter had drawn of my main characters.  I read the first page and I actually smiled.  I’m seeing my story a little differently, and immediately started editing again, and wanting to edit… and just actually reading the manuscript for what it is.  Maybe the winds of change are blowing in more ways than one?  Time to get the laptop fixed… or maybe just get a new one?  A netbook, something?