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

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.

Advertisements

National Novel Writing Month

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.

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

The most important things are the hardest to say, because words diminish them.

It’s been a while… I’ve no excuses really, save one–but it’s a good one; I promise. And no, I’m not telling.

During my silence, I’ve been inspired to tinker with something very close to my heart. It’s a thing that has touched me to the core of my being and pulled out of me that which I never knew existed. Writing does that every now and again. (I recommend it highly if you’re ever stranded while on your journey through life.)

It’s common knowledge that you can’t write what you don’t know.  Frances Hodgson Burnett once said,

I am writing in the garden. To write as one should of a garden one must write not outside it or merely somewhere near it, but in the garden.

I’ve arrived in my own garden of sorts, and what has been unleashed… Well, if it touches you then I’ll know I’m onto something.

You Are Lovely

It happened one day. A plain, ordinary, day. Pools of golden light were not playing across the room. A roaring fire was not crackling in the fireplace. Forget-me-nots did not pass from your lips to my ears.

The day of the week is not important, nor is the exact time of day. In the end, it took three simple words, arranged as an artist layers paint on canvas. By anyone else, they would be meaningless—ordinary and lifeless.

As the notion went from an idea born of desire to a fully realized statement, they tumbled out, spilling themselves onto the floor in front of my feet to await their destiny.

“You are lovely.”

I grasped the inescapable conclusion as I gazed down at them, wondering at the intimacy. You knew how to let yourself into my heart—how to shape those three words into a symphony only I could hear.

They clambered up my legs and etched themselves on my soul.

The Old Man and the Sea.

A recent trip the library found me wandering the stacks of books. (Actually, it is a small library, so I wouldn’t define it as wandering to get lost–the way I used to in the giant libraries back in New York as a kid.)

I found myself stopping. Why, I have no idea. My gut said stop, so I stopped. I fingered the spines of several books, not entirely sure what I was looking for, until I crouched down and saw a sparse selection of Hemingway.

It called to me, so I closed my eyes and pulled one book free. When I opened my eyes and looked down, The Old Man and the Sea peeked up at me. In all honesty, I hadn’t read the book since high school and felt a little guilty about not revisiting it sooner.

It sat, perched atop my too large stack of reading material for the next three weeks, and off I was—returning to an old friend.

I have to admit, I didn’t crack open the book right away. It was a few days before I was mentally prepared to dive into the pages. And dive I did. I remembered why I fell in love with this book the first time I read it all those years ago, and it struck a chord with me as I finished the last page.

The story of an epic struggle between an old, seasoned angler and the greatest catch of his life made me think…hard.

I thought mostly about how the book paralleled my own writing. Santiago has a dry spell and decides to switch things up–only to end up alone and with the catch of his life. He wrestles to haul in his prize and manages to bring back the bones, and even though he curses himself for going out too far, he’s content.

What’s that have to do with me? Everything, actually. I won’t bore anyone with the details, but I’m at that same point as Santiago.

Content.

Every heart sings a song, incomplete, until another heart whispers back.

The title of this post is just a thought running through my head at this particular moment. “Every heart sings a song, incomplete, until another heart whispers back.” Plato actually said that and I’ll be damned if he wasn’t thinking of me when it popped right out of his mouth and someone jotted it down for later.

The thought is actually wrapped around a secret project I’ve kept myself busy with, and is probably meaningless to the majority of readers who pop by–ogle the Plato graphic, and wander off again.

For the rest of you, if you’ve been paying attention you’ll know that I’m working on an erotic scene, which is a genre I’ve never explored before in my writing. The scene itself has a lot of moving parts to it. It’s an exploration, a new experience, a last night together, and a goodbye. After a rocky  start, where I was in a panic that I wouldn’t be up to the challenge, things are beginning to flow better. A lot of that has to do with my genius collaborator–who shall remain nameless lest someone try to steal their heart away. (I don’t always play nice–fair warning!)

Thinking about the scene as it’s evolving, what have I learned as I yank the words from my uptight head? Well, rule number one–relax. If I’m not relaxed, everyone reading will be uncomfortable.

Is it really that simple, though? No, it’s not.

I can hear you head scratching and thinking, She’s nuts… Sex is fairly straightforward, right? Well, when you translate those emotions into writing, you might think of it in terms of making mad passionate love right smack in the middle of Times Square.

Any takers? Didn’t think so.

Of course, when you write a love scene, no one is getting arrested (I hope), but you have to open yourself up–becoming totally vulnerable in the process, and then invite people to watch.

It’s a process, and it’s one I’m finding has put me in touch with things I never knew about myself. I doubt my writing will ever be up to par with the big names, but it’s highly personal in a way I never expected. And for me, Times Square is looking more and more appealing…

 

We always long for the forbidden things, and desire what is denied us.

For the past couple weeks, I’ve been hashing out a scene. ONE scene…and it’s very near driven me to the point of madness. It’s a scene I’ve seen at least a hundred times in my dreams–each time with varying degrees of clothing, (yeah, it goes there.)

Now, while dreaming about it is all fun and games, actually pouring it out onto the paper is proving to be quite painful. And I know why. For my character–it’s a goodbye. And goodbyes are never fun. They rip the soul out and stomp it into the ground, leaving a pitiful heap of something once recognizable behind.

It’s more than that, however. Because if it were that simple, this particular part of the story would have been done a long while ago–probably right after that first hot and steamy dream. It’s an overwhelming desire to not let go. My brain says one thing, my heart quite another.

So what do you do in a situation such as this? You remember that writing is an exploration of self. Actually, most of the times I’m shocked by where the journey takes me. Once you think that way, there is really only one option–and that’s to finish the scene and ultimately to let go…