Catching Up

So I’m pretty bad at keeping the writing side of my work up to date. I have been writing, slowly and steadily. I’m constantly stopping myself from trying to edit as I go and I’ve even gotten to chapter five. In terms of writing prose, that is the farthest I have ever gotten. I would like to take credit for that, but the real credit goes to the ladies of my writing group. We are small but mightily in our constructive feedback and enthusiasm for all of us to get work done. I’ve never been part of a writing group before (natch that, I’ve been part of theater writing groups, not novel or stories) and I find that it’s pretty cool.

My project is still untitled, which is odd for me considering I usually name the project first and then go from there. But I am trying a bunch of new things in order to get this done. Like not naming it, not doing edit overhauls on every chapter AND letting people read the work as it happens. It’s a paranormal/speculative fiction piece that I think is pretty fun. Well, it’s fun to think about it, not as fun to sit down and try to get it all down. But it’s moving along. I don’t know how these others writers churn out project after project in under a year (again, novels and stories…man I wish the ease of writing scripts). I’m hoping with all the hop that I will be able to get a full length draft done by the end of the summer. Late summer. Pretty much the last day of summer.

If I woman up I’ll start posting tidbits.

Practice Writing

I’m taking a writing class that focuses on writing something everyday. We are in the 8th day and so far I’ve writting two things. Prompts are wonderful but hard to complete if you’ve got a to-do list. Below is number 2, the prompt was Health. Please excuse mistakes etc.

to REFLECT

Renaldo the Magnificent. No. Renaldo the Amazing. No, wait. Renaldo…the Renaldo?

The mirror looked back at the boy, squinting just a bit to see if she was reading his lips correctly. It was hard to do because she was almost positive he had a lisp. Two days, sporadic reflection sessions, the surface of her face bathed in spit, and she finally, FINALLY realized he was trying to not only say “R” but to roll it.

His name wasn’t even Renaldo. It was Steven. 

She didn’t have a preference for either considering there were consequences for both.

A quick flash and some sparks floated down to the rickety table propping her up. She saw Steven’s mouth round into a giant O, so big she could see the pink of his uvula.  

The uvula. Something only an opera mirror would know.

Bah. There went another one of her lights. Poor Steven was still screaming. Or she thought he might be. She couldn’t actually hear him.

Obviously, in that moment, not being able to hear was a good thing. But it still brought up the memory of her…displacement.

It wasn’t her fault.

One crack and the vocal tone of the singers started to get tinny. Then the crack split in to two and everything sounded like it was coming from the end of a very long tunnel.  

To reflect was a given, but to enhance the reflection because of pitch. That was a gift.

And her gift was taken away by a hairbrush and the overrated tenor who threw it.

So she couldn’t hear anymore. So what right? She was still a mirror. Large enough that if Steven stayed to his right he could see his whole reflection, cape and all, no problem.

She didn’t need to hear him to know that he…that he…wait. Where was he? Oh, there he was.

Good boy. Stand on the chair.

Renaldo the Fantastic. Renaldo the Supreme.

He would never give up on her.

Renaldo the Great.

Yes you are.

Endings...kind of

The end of my speculative fiction class was today. Sigh. I had a lot of fun. I’ve never done an online class that was interactive before. And by interactive I mean video chat. Just in case that wasn’t clear. Meh. Sometimes I feel old.

The class was great. I didn’t really finish anything epic BUT I was able to have people read my work, listen to feedback and not panic. My background is in writing plays so I am used to TONS of critiques, notes, comments, suggestions and the expectation that all of the changes will be made in a 48 hour (generous btw) timeframe cuz the show. I’ve had time to digest things and it’s been nice. I’ve signed up for another Stanford course: Establishing A Creative Writing Practice, and if nothing sucks too hard, I’ll share samples or short pieces here.

Classes, Advice and Things

A month ago I inadvertently managed to free up a big chunk of my week. Let’s just say I had a lot of fingers in many different pies and instead of pacing myself I dropped all the pies at once. I could fill my schedule up again, I’m sure of it, but after a minor freak out with a whole “oh my god what have i done” moment, I opted to do what I’ve been saying I was going to do for YEARS. Take the time that I have and use it to finish a book. Just one.

I’ve been signing up for NanoWriMo since 2009 and I have yet to complete the month with 50K. Alas, it’s not to be this year either. I’ve gotten to 20K and can’t move past the “I must do this part again stage”, but I am not deterred. This story seems promising. It is shocking to me though, the difference between writing a play and a novel. Plays…man, I can turn those out like butter. Novels…it’s like building the freaking pyramids.

Some things that have helped me get past the initial stage of templates and first chapters…

Stanford Continuing Education: I am finishing the online speculative fiction course. It’s been great. Highly suggest it. Will be doing the short stories and developing habits courses in January.

Lauren Layne has a section on her website dedicated to offering advice to authors - so good.

Jennifer Crusie’s blog Argh Ink has been such a great reference.

Coursera - oh my gosh all the things on Coursera!

I’m using this blog to keep my writing habits up…I guess that’s my own advice.

Another Day Another Website

If I had a dollar for all the websites I have created for myself, then I would have thirteen dollars. That’s a lot of digital time I’ve spent on me, that had nothing to do with social media. In fact, my first website was designed before all the face/friend/my/books & spaces, the grams, the chats and so on and so forth into infinity and beyond. I used Dreamweaver with some Flash. God I hated those programs. The pre-programmed site design companies have been amazing, but still time consuming. Especially if you’re a type A design nerd like me. This is my fourteenth attempt at a personal website that provides information on my creative pursuits. I’ve narrowed down the outlets to art and writing. No more self produced plays, forays into animation, full jewelry lines or one of a kind fashion pieces. Streamlined, straightforward…simple. At least that’s the intention. Somehow with all the multitasking I have been able to get some memorable projects done, but a cohesively finished novel has been my Moby Dick. 2019 is the year…for a self published book. I don’t know if I can get it together enough to submit to publishers.