Saturday, December 31, 2016

Meeting my Year-End Goal!

At 3:00 am on 12/31/16, I FINISHED my Peculiar Predicament of Poppets novel!!! 

It's incredibly messy and I already know there are continuity errors and it probably needs about 50 revisions before even beta readers read it, but I set a goal of finishing by the end of 2016 and I JUST DID!

Wednesday, September 28, 2016

Writing Woes & NaNoWriMo

I have three novels and lots of short stories to work on, but my head and my heart hasn't really been in my writing these last several months. I know part of it is because I have a lot going on - a promotion, two jobs, working on two HUGE events along with my regular ones, housemates moving out, a pretty steady flow of foster kittens, getting ready to launch cemeteryguardians.com for it's second year, and just the regular business of living. But also, I've been feeling a draw to work on my nonfiction... to tell the story of my life... to write about my sisters... a memoir about my family... to write about Joy's brain injury... to write about how that one event completely changed my family. This is something I have been trying to write for twenty years, ever since her accident first happened. But almost three years ago my mother died and she has always been my best fact checker whenever I've written about our lives. Also, writing about something so true and personal is really hard and draining. I fear using what my family has gone through for my writing. I worry about not being true to what happened. Memory is faulty, and I have a brain that likes to embellish and fictionalize. I know that writing is cathartic, but I fear that sharing my life with strangers will not be fair to the people who share my life.

About seven months after my mom died, H is for Hawk came out. This memoir by Helen Macdonald was about her father dying suddenly, something I related to on a very personal level. But it was also about how she threw herself into training her hawk and secluded herself from the rest of the world. This experience is very different from mine, though I do tend to throw myself into whatever I'm doing, I've never had the luxury of time or money to step away from my life. But the emotion, or attempts to side-step emotion, in the story were very familiar. It helped me. It also made me think that if my writing could possibly help someone else, I should write my story.

So my plan is that in November, I will work on my memoir for NaNoWriMo. Over the first week of November, I am visiting one of my dearest friends in Rode Island and since she is an amazing author, I'm certain we will have time to write. I don't know if it will stay a memoir, and that's okay. All I know is that I need to write my life.

Sunday, March 20, 2016

Progress Report on The Peculiar Predicament of Poppets (Plus, blatant pandering with pup & cat pics)



Today I had the day OFF! Well, not entirely. I'm house-sitting for Phoebe, this beautiful pup:
Adorable Phoebe!
Also, I had to stop by the shelter to get more cat food for Bj√∂rk, the pregnant lady cat I'm fostering. She is VERY preggo and eating constantly. She's super sweet too! Here she is enjoying head scritches:
"Keep scratching, human!"


Anyhow, between walking and playing with Phoebe and visiting our cat boys and preggo kitty, I took myself out writing. I feel like I made a LOT of progress on my novel, The Peculiar Predicament of Poppets. Here's where things stand:

  • My novel is now over 40,000 words, more than halfway through. (I thought I'd be revising all the things by now, but I've been slowly making my way through each chapter and they insist on getting revised before I move on.)
  • I KNOW how the novel is going to end! (I just gotta get there now...)
  • I fixed some character glitches.
  • I got rid of a few characters that weren't fitting.
  • I discovered things about some of my characters.
  • I love you, google maps, for having "walk" & "bike" options so I can figure out how long it would take my one character to walk / pull a cart across state lines and how long it will take another character to reach her destination on a runaway horse in 1871.
  • As of now, there will be 30 chapters in 2 parts. I have 16 chapters fully written and the rest have at least a spark of what they're about.
  • I sketched out the layout of a scene to give me a better idea of movement. I haven't done that since I was writing stage plays. It was good. I need to do more if that!

Tuesday, March 15, 2016

Morning Musings #2

REJECTION!

One of the things about sending my writing out into the world is that I have been collecting lots and lots of rejection letters (er, emails). Many of them are worded nicely and some of them are form letters. (I've never gotten a rude rejection. For that, I am ever so grateful.) But rejection is rejection and it sucks. I got another one today.
To list the good things:

  1. I'm sending my writing out.
  2. I have FINISHED stories / poems to send out.
  3. ...
I can't think of a third thing. Maybe I'll come back to this musing when I have more for the list. If YOU have other positives to take away from writing rejections, please share them in the comments!

Monday, March 7, 2016

Morning Musings #1

I often take a long time to really get into things and often approach them sideways. This is part of why I've never been good at being trendy. Once I get to the point of truly appreciating the thing that has been "all the rave" or whatever, everyone else has moved past it. I'm okay with this. I love that I have friends who are, if not like me, then approaching the world in their own off angled way.  

Perhaps "Morning Musings" will be something I do at least once a week. I do not wish make empty promises, but I will endeavor to do this.

Sunday, January 31, 2016

Thoughts About Process

Inspired by a conversation with my bestie, a visual artist:

I rarely write one story at a time. Currently, I have two novels I'm actively working on, two other novels sitting on the back burners in my mind, and about a dozen short stories I'm in the process of editing, finishing, or sending out. This is my problem... this has always been my problem. Not writer's block, writer's blockage. Too many ideas trying to be born at the same time. It's messy, counter productive, and frustrating. I'm great at starting things. I suck at finishing them. This is why I really like short stories. I can sometimes get all the way through a short story while I get distracted when working through a novel. But, to be honest, this also happens with about half of my short stories too. That's why I have so many story starts.
Once I tried just focusing on one story and setting all other stories aside. I forced myself to complete the story. It was terrible, but finished. The next story I worked on I tried to do that again, but then an idea for another story kept demanding my attention so I gave in and worked on that too. It took more time, but it felt natural to work that way. So when thoughts about one of my novels kept saying, "hello! Pay attention to me!" I was attentive.
My main goal right now is to finish all the story starts I have. Will I start other stories in the interim? Possibly. But if I can just get one story finished, edited, and sent out each week (month?), I will be happy.