How cruelly sweet are the echoes that start, When memory plays an old tune on the heart…

•October 19, 2012 • 1 Comment

Yes, it’s been a while. No, that doesn’t mean I’ve not been writing. However, the nature of my writing has taken a more….technical turn.

With NanoWriMo right around the corner, I’ve been plagued by the ghosts of nano’s past…one more than most ;) Yes, you know who you are.

It seems that the echoes are getting louder…

Honestly, I wasn’t entirely sure I wanted to participate in nano this year. Mostly because last year it literally drove me CRAZY! Trying to compete with small children for a block of uninterrupted one on one time with characters you really want to pay attention to is impossible.

They whisper to me. A sound only I can hear…

I consider myself the ultimate trooper though! And this year I’ll be jumping headlong into the abyss that we all know and love. Murky and thick blackness that could literally be anything at all.

I ache for the story that stretched before us. A lazy Sunday afternoon…

Who knows what awaits me at the end of November? All I know is, if I never begin…I can never end.

I try to leave out the parts that people skip…

•November 3, 2011 • 3 Comments

Day three is nearly at a close for me. My total word count as it stands is a whopping 3,736. Am I worried?

Not yet…but I do feel like my obsession with those damned numbers has already reached an unhealthy level!

That said, there is a LOT of freewriting happening with my NaNo novel. So much so, that I wonder if the term ‘novel’ even applies. I may end up with 50,000 words at the end, but when I edit, I’ll be chopping a lot of that out as useless hyperbole.

     “Thanks for the rescue,” she said, wrapping her arms around him tightly. She leaned back, gazing into his bottomless emerald eyes and was swept up by the rush of emotions flooding through her body.

     “What will I do when you’re gone…”

See what I mean… What the hell is that? Bottomless emerald eyes. Hey, they are words–technically, so they count.

Everyone attacks their project from different angles, and I’m no exception. I’m woman enough to accept that HUGE CHUNKS of my story, as it stands, are completely soulless. But maybe that’s not the point. Actually, I’ve had it pointed out to me that I might not win the prize…but at least I’m writing.

And that is largely true. Where before, the words were coming in spurts far and few between–now they are coming in large sections. I’ll take them and worry about the mess I’ve made when NaNo is over.

When we read, we stat at the beginning and continue until we reach the end. When we write, we start in the middle and fight our way out.

•November 2, 2011 • 2 Comments

Day two of NaNo, and I have to keep reminding myself to chug along without looking back. As a random side thought here, THAT’S HARD TO DO! Self editing kind of comes with the territory, doesn’t it. (C’mon, I can’t be the ONLY one doing it….)

Anyway, I’ve managed to glue together the skeleton of the first five chapters and I now have what feels to me is more the scale of a novella than a full on novel. If I keep going at this pace, I’ll end up somewhere around the 25,000 word mark, which is WAY short of my goal.

So, what to do? There really is only one option at this point–and that’s to keep writing. I like to keep in mind that I never know what tomorrow brings. It’s not different with this story. Who knows, I might end up with a monster at the end of the month!

So back to work I go, squeezing out the words that will turn my idea into a finished product….

I’ll leave you with a short excerpt. Feel free to leave a comment letting me know what you think!

The seductive song of the crickets has begun, luring me to the open window beside my rumpled bed. The long pale yellow curtains ripple in the cool summer breeze of the approaching night. Outside, the sky bleeds a rusty red.

Bathed in the red glow, a man slouches against the porch of his small farmhouse. His rough fingers slide over the warped railing, scattering flecks of dirty white paint onto the broken floorboards. His wrinkles deepen as he tilts his head down to stare out at the wide expanse of land surrounding his shack.

Beyond the shadows, Alastor lays in wait.

 

The unsaid, for me, exerts great power . . .

•November 1, 2011 • 2 Comments

And so begins NaNoWriMo! I woke up, tended to life, and then sat down to write. But, before a single word tumbled into my story, I blanked–just stumbling through the web and thinking. Mostly about things unrelated, but then I opened my NaNo email and found a mini ‘pep talk’ stuffed amongst the buddy list notifications.

Some things to remember this week as you set off on your noveling adventure:
-Turn off or lock away your Inner Editor.
-Try and hit the goals that you’ve set for yourself! Don’t delete or hit back space; just keep writing!
-But don’t be too serious – this is all in the name of fun! Remember that.

So now the work begins. I’ve got my outline all squared away, the ideas locked up tightly in my head, and the words primed and ready. Did a self check to squash that inner editor–I imagine him kinda like this:

Then I made a mental note to forget that the keyboard has a back space function… Okay, that last is still a tough one to grapple with but I AM TRYING.

At any rate, I’m taking things lightly and not trying to stress myself over the small stuff–like common sense. My NaNo story takes place (partially) in a made up world that I’m going to work this month to flesh out, and rules of common sense just don’t apply. So I’m going to take the opportunity to laugh at myself and ride the bumps of stupidity all the way to the end.

And when November is over…then I’ll worry about what it is I wrote!

The desire of the man is for the woman, but the desire of the woman is for the desire of the man.

•October 16, 2011 • 2 Comments

I’ve done a lot of thinking about my NaNoWriMo project. The Clock Countdown stands at 15 days, and I’m just beginning to revel in the early stages of complete panic.

As far as novel ideas go, mine is pretty tame.

Girl falls in love, finds she is more than she thought, discovers a whole new identity, and saves the day.

Fascinating….and pretty boring.

I’ve wondered  for the past two weeks, why it’s taken me so long to get the story out of me, (it’s been an idea sitting in my head for over a year now…) and I’m thinking maybe that’s why.

The story itself just doesn’t excite me.

And if it doesn’t excite me, then what hope do I have in tickling a reader?

I know what you’re going to say. There is time to fix it. I know there is, and I will–and that brings me to the point of my blog topic today.

“The desire of the man is for the woman, but the desire of the woman is for the desire of the man.”

Somewhere along the timeline of my life, this little nugget branded itself on my heart. For the longest time now, I had no idea it existed within me, or that this was actually something I felt very passionately about. And still, I wonder at exactly what it is that the sentiment means to me–because I can read that two ways…

I’m complicated, I know.

Slowly, it is beginning to emerge as nothing else in my life ever has, and make itself known. And no where is that beginning to be more clear, than in my writing.

I left a friend of mine this evening, with a question hanging in the air. Of course, it was about writing…kinda. The question really had to do with what I would write, if it was possible to make real whatever it was I printed. It’s a heavy thought.

If you could write anything, and have it actually transform before your eyes–what would it be?

There is only one thing I could think of that I’d want. And I have to apologize for dragging you all the way down here and then leaving you hanging by not telling you what it is I’d write. (If you were really paying attention, you already know.) But really–that’s not the point.

The idea is to let your own mind wander and figure out what it all means…to you.

And that, dear reader, is what NaNoWriMo does. I can’t wait to see where the journey leads.

National Novel Writing Month

•October 9, 2011 • 4 Comments

It’s fast approaching. NaNoWriMo! (Find me here at nanowrimo and add me if you’d like.) 

As I write this, the clock stands at 22 days, 12 hours, 40 minutes, and 38 seconds. That’s not a lot of time to finish my outline so I can write with literary abandon next month.

Don’t worry. I haven’t pulled out and installed my trusty PANIC button yet…

Put down the pen and slowly back away...

I did consult with my favorite writer and the result was–as usual, phenomenal. The story I will hack away at next month involves a complicated network of alternate reality beings. So basically, I have to come up with hierarchy and structure as well as figure out the dynamic between my heroine and my villain. In other words–research, people.

Lots and lots of research.

I’ve also embraced Scrivener. My story now lives in this neat little program, all organized and tidy. It’s a huge departure from the messy halls of my head.

I won’t lie–it took some hand holding to get me to trust it with my story. But I’m now a convert and there isn’t any looking back!

I’m not exactly how I’ll feel if I manage to pull this particular story out of my head and finish it at the end of next month. The only thing that keeps running through my head is a quote I once read by American author Truman Capote:

Finishing a book is just like you took a child out in the back yard and shot it.

It seems a little extreme, but hey–what do I know?

Not until we are lost do we begin to understand ourselves.

•September 30, 2011 • 1 Comment

Yes, dear reader–I am stuck. My writing has all but come to a standstill. A grinding halt, complete with skid marks, scarring the path I have traveled.

However, don’t panic! I have a hunch things won’t remain this way for long. My mind has been turning over a few thoughts–nothing concrete and visual, but something that makes me smile nonetheless.

Therefore, what better to do when one cannot get going than to blog about it and just let random thoughts hit the page.

Enter the random…

Earlier today, I was talking to my very good friend about the oddball things that happened to me when I was younger, and it got me thinking.

What about?

Well, get comfy and I’ll tell you.

When I was a little girl, I learned the art of self-indulgence. My home life afforded me loads of unsupervised time to get into all sorts of shenanigans; and I took full advantage.

I was impetuous, headstrong, spoiled, and yes—very bossy. Because of both my situation and my attitude, (it was then I perfected my signature tone) I usually always got what I wanted.

You can imagine a life of excess becoming lackluster after a while; and it was. I came to find that my world didn’t quite mesh with the outside, and that terrified me.

Alone and misunderstood, I would end up—years later, realizing that what I needed was something completely different from what I have known.

I know it might not all make sense—but I warned you it was random.

Writing was always the underlying theme. It was constantly a way to escape, to draw back and reflect, and of course—to sooth. The characters I wrote about, up until recently, were always happy, always had the perfect lives, and always fantastically boring.

As I look back, they were all yearning for the same thing…someone to understand.

So, where does that leave us? Will my characters learn from my real life hiccups? I have one thing rolling around in my head chasing that question around…

The thing that is really hard, and really amazing, is giving up on being perfect and beginning the work of becoming yourself.  ~Anna Quindlen

 
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