Saturday, July 26, 2014

Another weekend of house/dog sitting

I prowl the house when I'm writing.  I always thought I was hungry and often snacked when doing so.  Now that I'm paying more attention to my eating habits, I realize I'm ravenous for ideas.  I'm looking for words, for scenes and emotions to move the plot along in a way that will entertain readers.  Chocolate, chips and raspberries fresh from the garden don't help much, especially when one of the characters doesn't eat.

The other thing I've noticed is that the horror story came out of me in full scenes. Dialogue, setting, emotion, action and plot were all there from the first word to the last. Romance is disjointed.  I write it in layers. No scene is complete and I hop all over the chronology of the story.  I have no idea what that says about me but I'm making peace with the process.

This is another weekend where I'm holed up without Internet - or gasp, chocolate - so the word count is higher. I'm working in layers but the change in surroundings has helped me settle down to the task at hand.

Here's one of my writing spots today.




Yes, the dogs were happy. They are so easy to please.  Their prowling usually is food-related though.  The only words they care about are ball, food, treats.


Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Mental wanderings

My daily writing goal has doubled in the last week.  It's been easy enough to meet - once I stop whining and just sit down to do it.

That sums up my life well.  Cleaning, cooking, shopping, exercise - stop whining and do it.Most the whining is internal, "I don't want to".  That takes up a ridiculous amount of time and energy so I've been focusing on why I like to do things. For the most part, simply meeting my goal provides a great deal of satisfaction.  That motivates me.

It turns out I've lost 30 pounds in the last five or six years.  It still doesn't feel like it. A lot of my clothes are tight but it is gratifying to know that I'm headed in the right direction. I don't weigh myself. That often ends badly - with me dunking cookies in a vat of ice cream. Not really, but the visual is how I perceive it.

I'm downsizing stuff in the house.  Letting stuff go mentally. And allowing myself to appreciate how much more valuable people are to me than things.  I've made the effort every couple of days to interact with friends and family at least three times a week. It requires me to think past my own circle of bull.

I'd rather have a hippopotamus.

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Pets and writing, oh my

Over the weekend, I managed to write seven words shy of 5300 words.  That was impressive. Then I didn't write again until today.  As it was, I had to force myself to turn the computer back on.  I'm glad I did, another 2180 words appeared.  Like magic!  Okay, not really but they were good words for the most part. I'm building something. That takes a lot of work.

It's not fair to blame the Supermoon but a lot of people I love and adore had a rough time of it the last few days.  Lots of feeling unworthy.  Lots of beating up on ourselves.  And everywhere I looked people reminded each other of at least one good thing in their lives. Coincidentally someone sent me the results of a study in which people with pets were proven to be happier and healthier.  I'm continually surprised that there's a whole world of human beings who doesn't know that as gospel.  Sheesh, they need a cat. Or a llama.  But not an elephant.  They don't make great pets.

I read a great book by an author I really enjoy but she had the vet heroine heal an injured wild turtle. The turtle went back into the wildness of the heroine's front yard but showed up at her porch every night for fresh strawberries.  I enjoyed their interaction - until the heroine brought the turtle inside and stuck him in an aquarium.  Yes, she was definitely following the above philosophy of pets making one's life richer but turtles aren't domesticated. It pulled me right out.

What takes you out of a story?

Saturday, July 12, 2014

writing retreat

Ky and I are house/dog sitting. We were promised wifi but no one can remember the password. This means I will have to write to amuse myself. And maybe play in the yard with the dogs. It's a deep yard. The ball travels a good distance.

I couldn't find the kettle but a pot of boiling water did the job. I left the story abruptly the other day because I had to go to work. I usually leave a note about the scene's purpose. I didn't have time and I can't quite remember. But my characters are sitting on a lovely verandah and getting to know each other while they wait for me.

My co-worker, at the library!, was shocked that one person could write so many books. I think she was shelving James Patterson. Even when I said it was his job she was still surprised. What amazes me is that she doesn't read. It's a good world that has room for both of us.


Thursday, July 10, 2014

Personal identity

I remember being eight years old and boring the ever-loving hell out of my parents by reading aloud my ongoing revisions on a short story.  One of them begged me to wait until the final version before reading to them again. 

I have written for as long as I can remember. I was always off-the-wall and out of synch with the rest of the world.  I wrote in a Doctor Who universe decades before I watched a single program.  I liked fantasy, mystical and the unexplained. My art work rarely used the colour wheel appropriately.  The worlds of my imagination made utter sense to me.

I am continually amazed that my family is impressed/shocked/amazed that I'm writing. Except for the two years when I believed someone who said my writing was dull, I have written every day of my life.  Every. single. day. Not because I'm dedicated or disciplined but because there are stories in my head and the only chance I have for rest is to write them down.While I do care that others are entertained, my primary focus has been to satisfy my own curiosity. I am consumed by it. 

Why haven't we cured cancer when there are so many cures for lab rats?  Why are some cultures shocked by certain behaviours but not others?  What is society?  Why do we tell stories?  Why do we believe in religion, deity and science?  How do emotions works?  Why are some people wired one way but not another?  Which wiring is right?  Why did that lady have tribal art all over her face? Who was the soldier waiting for?  If love is the answer, why does hate often win?  Are the animals laughing at us?

There is a reason I consider my personal symbol a question mark.  Answers lead to more questions but tell them to me well and I will be satisfied.  That is a very good thing.



Wednesday, July 09, 2014

Writing plan

I spent a ridiculous amount of time trying to figure out why the pond is leaking - again.  I couldn't find the source so I ran some algae all over the waterline then filled the pond up. It's still holding seven hours later so touch wood that it continues to do so.  That time using my brain in one way helped me use it creatively in another way later in the day.

Only 800 words written today BUT I figured out some very important plot stuff. One of the reasons it takes me so long to write is that I have very complicated plots with lots of science.  I love science. I was never good at it in school because of all the math. My brain doesn't naturally mesh with math. Not because I'm a girl but because I'm dyslexic with numbers. The more numbers involved in anything the far more confused I become and the higher the probability that I will fail in that task. 

Things are moving along. I'm figuring things out, letting the science lead me to some good conclusions.  Once I'm done the rough draft of this, I'll begin implementing the career plan. I have a Plan A and a Plan B.  It's taken months of conversations with experienced author friends to come up with these two plans.  I'll let you know what they are when the time comes.  We live in interesting times as far as the publishing industry goes.  There are so many options.  At times, I've been overwhelmed with the options.

Here's another spot from which I wrote while in North Carolina.  It was almost the perfect height, similar to my standing desk at home.


Sunday, July 06, 2014

I've run out of good titles

It took all week to write 1200 words.  I got lost in a few things like a cold, definitions and botany.  One of my favourite bands actually helped me figure out everything but the cold.  Rest and honey tea are taking care of that.

One good thing about a cough is the core workout you get. Hey, little things.  They make all the difference.

The security guard at the hospital yesterday was wearing an orange Netherlands tee-shirt. He's Italian but says his neighbours and in-laws are Dutch so now that his team is out of the World Cup he is orange.  Then the pharmacy was showing the game so that security guard brought me up to speed on what I'd missed.  You know, humour goes a long way to helping people through less than pleasant experiences.  Granted, I wasn't in distress to begin with, but they did make my day a lot more pleasant.