Thursday, July 31, 2008

Busy Bee

It's been a busy week of not writing for me. I've officially started on Draft 2 even though I never actually, officially finished Draft 1. I know, I know, but there were just too many changes to have to go back and make if I didn't start from the beginning. Maybe we'll call this Draft 1.5, I don't know. Either way, the story is figured out. I know what's going on. I know the motivations. It's great. Now I just have to get it done.

I saw Mamma Mia! over the weekend with a gal pal, then we went back to her house and made s'mores with nutella and marshmallow fluff. It was great to have girly fun. We were both Mamma Mia! virgins, and now I can't get the soundtrack out of my head. I've lost count of how many times I've listened to "Dancing Queen" and "Gimmie! Gimmie! Gimmie!" since Sunday. Good grief.   The movie was great but I didn't like that they were dancing around on the edge of a mountain through half of it. My fear of falling from high places got to me. I kept feeling like any minute Meryl Streep was going to go careening off the side of the mountain onto the rugged rocks below. Ah, me and my neuroses. Needless to say, Mamma Mia! is one reason I haven't gotten much writing done. It somehow just does not inspire vicious werewolf fights. Don't ask me why...

Another reason for not much writing this week has been a combination of cleaning the house and official money-making business. I babysat for two of the most adorable two-year olds on the planet Monday and Tuesday, then had meetings at school yesterday and today. So, all of my mornings this week have been consumed with that. I'm also a little intimidated by taking on a lead position at school this year. I think it will be fun, but today I got a glimpse of just how much work I have ahead of me. I hope I can be organized enough, and I know I'll have a super assistant to help me out. I can do it. I will be great. I must keep reminding myself of this.

Family is coming to visit today. I get to see my precious nephew who will be starting Kindergarten this year. I want to cry every time I think about it. I don't want him to grow up. I want him to stay small and cute forever. C'est la vie!

Friday, July 25, 2008

There Will Be Blood

Whether it stays in the book or not, I'm feeling like a fight scene today. There needs to be blood. I'm just in that kind of mood. Don't ask.

No pages yesterday. I'm ready for this to be finished so I can go back to the beginning and get into the nitty gritty. I hate plotting.

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Rusty

I only took a few days off from writing, three to be exact, and I can already tell I'm getting rusty. Yesterday was a struggle, but I got 2 pages of chapter twenty done. Today has been even more of a struggle because I read over yesterday's pages and realized how much telling there is. I keep trying to remind myself that's perfectly all right. No big deal. But, seeing as how I want to be great all the time, it's really hard to convince my stupid brain that that's why there are such things as re-writes and editing.  I didn't realize how hard it would be to let go and keep plowing forward, but as the end draws near, I keep looking forward to draft two and it's messing me up.

Focus. Focus. Focus.

Moby is on. Perhaps he will prove inspiring....

Friday, July 18, 2008

Affirmation

Just finished reading LKH blog. I know she wasn't writing directly to me, but it sure felt like it. She was discussing writing habits and her advice for first time writers is to finish a first draft before you go back and edit. She also mentioned that a lot of first time writers get so caught up in perfecting the first few chapters of a book that they never finish. Until recently, this was what I was doing. It's such a relief to have my new habits validated by someone with so many published books under their belt. Not just published books, but really, really good published books.

I was beginning to feel really burned out last night when I went to bed. I'm still not sure I want to write anything on Sidney today, but reading this post has made me know I have to keep going. I feel so strongly that at last I might be able to finally finish a whole work. Right now, that is the goal I am aiming for. Simply to finish. Whatever else comes after this will be delicious buttercream icing, but for now I have to aim for finishing. At this moment, I feel like I'm stuck in a mire, with mud squishing and sucking at my feet. The solid ground is there, and it's not that far away. I just have to take it slow and squish my way over to it, being careful not to sink deeper into the nastiness.

Twilight came in to the library for me, finally. I think I'm going to clean some this morning and go pick it up. We also have friends coming over this evening to watch Batman Begins before we go see Dark Knight on Monday at the IMAX. I think today I'm just going to let my mind have a rest, focus on other things and try to come back strong tomorrow.

Thursday, July 17, 2008

Rough Day

Chapter 19 kicked my ass today. I'm not happy with it, but it's
progress, so I can't complain too much.

It's late. I'm tired. Goodnight.

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Two Chapters

Got four pages today, sweeet! I only meant to write until noon, but
had to keep going. Glad I did. Things are moving along well. I'm at
chapter sixteen, starting on seventeen tomorrow.

Pieces of the puzzle that I was getting super frustrated with are
falling into place. What a relief. Today felt good. I accomplished a
lot.

At the same time, I've begun to glimpse the magnitude of what's left
to be done. For the first time, I'm excited about the challenge and
not daunted by it. I can't wait to start tomorrow...

Monday, July 14, 2008

Like Pulling Teeth

EIT says I need the fight scene to last longer. I swear it's like I'm back in high school working on a research paper and the teacher is telling me "This part here about the forest of Luxembourg can be expanded a bit more." Or, back in college and Larson is telling me "Pump it up! Remember, Conflict is Drama."

The hardest part is that I know they were all right. It needs to be done. I just never imagined how hard it was to write action scenes, because to me it feels so completely ridiculous. I feel like it's all just telling, telling, telling. Maybe I'll delve back into some Anita Blake today...

On another note, I had a scene come completely out of nowhere last night. I don't know how it will fit in, or where, or even if it will, but I like the scene for what it is. I'm not going to try to write around it just to work it in on purpose. If it's meant to fit, I'll know where it needs to go when the time comes.

More X-Files today. Excited doesn't even describe how I'm feeling about the movie coming up. There are no words for that. I'm so very tempted to just go to the theater in the morning and stay for each and every showing. Not to mention, there was an article about it in TV Guide this week. There are more than enough hints that Mulder and Scully are totally going to hook up. It's about time. I've been a total shipper from the beginning. I always knew they were M.F.E.O. :)

Sunday, July 13, 2008

Spoke Too Soon

Oops. Guess I spoke too soon on that last blog. I stayed up another four hours working on the scene after discussing it with my writing pal/editor-in-training. Anyway, we decided there needed to be more action, so I watched a bunch of action scenes from Underworld, MI: III, and the Bourne movies to try to figure out how to write out a scene with a bunch of shooting it in. It was seriously exhausting, and after a few hissy fits I think I got it to flow pretty well. We'll see...

Saturday, July 12, 2008

Making Headway

Thanks to The Prodigy I have another chapter and a half under my belt. And I'm back to knowing how the next part is going to start off, which makes me relieved and happy. The big scene didn't end up exactly how I had originally imagined it, and the big important part totally came out of nowhere and kind of freaked me out. However, it did the same to Sidney, so I guess it's good that it happened that way.

So, I'm halfway through ch thirteen now, and I have a place to pick up tomorrow. I'm back in The Zone and cruising.

Freaked

Big scene in the Sidney book today and I can't seem to make myself want to write it. Why does this always happen? I spend so much time trying to get to a certain point, looking forward to it, writing up to it, then when I finally reach that point I totally freak out and don't want to write it.  Not only that, but everyone is away enjoying their Saturday afternoon and I have no one to pet me and tell me it's all going to be okay. Yeah, I'm neurotic. So what?

Maybe I need to just grow some balls. I've got Rob Zombie on. Maybe we can get through this together....

Friday, July 11, 2008

Testing

I'm trying out this new posting blogs from my iPhone thing. If this is
posted, then I guess it works. Cool!

Frustrated

This summer has been about me trying to get my life in order. It's slow going to say the least.

So far, I have written about 10 chapters on a new novel. This is pretty good for me. I'm making progress at long last. They're not great chapters, in fact, most of them kind of suck. But, I'm working my way through the story. A writing friend of mine told me this part is called the "puking process" when you just puke everything up, get the story out there in all its ugliness and then go back later to clean it all up and put it out there for everyone to look at.

That's where I am in my writing right now. Puking. But, its actually working this time as opposed to all times previous when I'd write a really good scene and then nitpick it to death because I had nowhere else to go in the story. I had a good pace going with Sidney (the new story) but I've kind of faltered lately and it's getting me frustrated. For the first time in this book I'm not really sure where to go next. I have a few scenes planned down the line, I just don't know how to get there. Up until last night I was at a dead end. Now, I find myself at a crossroads with about five different directions to choose from. I don't know which is worse to be honest.

I'm thinking probably the dead end. At least with multiple possibilities, I can write my way out of them, or go back and start over if I don't like the direction it has taken. This is what I have slowly been coming to realize over the summer. Nothing in my writing has to be perfect the first time. If I mess it up, or don't feel like it's working, I can always go back and change it. I don't want to jinx myself, but so far I've felt like I've had a pretty good sensibility about where things need to go, what the characters would do, how they would react and feel about things. So far that seems to have been leading me in the right direction. I've also been reading Laurell K. Hamilton's blog. She has mentioned how her characters live in the world of her novels and it's not for her to decide what happens there, she just listens to her muse and her characters and lets them write for themselves. That's generally how I feel most of the time. I have a hard time planning out a story down to its last detail before I write because I never know what's going to happen when I sit down to write it. I've been writing in a notebook and on the computer and I've found that anytime anything goes into the notebook, when I sit down to type it into the computer it changes completely from one draft to another. Not in a bad way, just different directions to get to the same point. I have no idea if that makes sense or not.

Anyway, I'm sitting here blogging instead of writing on my story. This is okay with me because at least I'm writing. At this point, any writing I can do is progress. I really want to make this work. I need to find a good balance in my life, doing the things I want to do and doing the things I have to do and being able to enjoy all of it. It's taking a lot of time, but I feel like if I try to change all at once it's not going to stick. I keep hearing Dr. Phil's voice in my head "How's that workin' for ya?" It's not.

Turning on the TV was a mistake and I knew it when I did it. Now a Maroon 5 concert is on and I'm blogging instead of spending time with Sidney. I also need to learn to quit beating myself up about stuff like this. I need to quit wasting time. I need to do a lot of things.

One step at a time. I have to be grateful for my small accomplishments, and focus on one tiny thing in its own turn. If I take a look at the big picture, I feel like a 30 foot wave is looming over my head about to come crashing down and wash me away completely. So, instead, I'll focus on the pretty seashells at my feet and try to keep my head above water when the big waves do come.