Posts Tagged ‘shorts’

State of the Writer

See this? It is your nemesis. Fear it.

See this? It is your nemesis. Fear it.

I’m still alive and kicking, despite being constantly sore due to a harebrained “get in shape” scheme called going to the gym. By the way, if somebody hands you a kettlebell and says “deadlift this fifty times,” hit them with it and run for your life. However, if the word “windmills” enters the conversation, you’re probably already too far gone to escape. Just accept the inevitable suffering as the price of your past sins.

Aside from the pain of healthy living, I’ve been dealing with the pain of creative drought. Not that I was lacking in ideas. I just haven’t had the time and/or energy (sometimes I have one or the other, but rarely both) to pursue any of those ideas since school started for my boys. Ironic, eh? For years I’ve been repeating the mantra, “I’ll have time to write when both boys are in school.”

Sure, right. The first month of school is a one-way ticket to Crazytown.

Surprisingly, it’s not actually twice as difficult to get two boys dressed, fed, teeth brushed, and out the door with two packed lunches, all their assorted homework, permission slips, fundraising forms, and remember special days.

It’s purple day! But you don’t have a purple shirt, so…here’s a purple sticker. Look, kid, I’m trying.

It’s actually three times as difficult. Plus the bonus extra credit difficulty of riding our bikes every morning, no matter how sore Mommy is, and perhaps it becomes clear why I’ve been lagging on the creative end.

Now that things are settling down a bit, I have a short story out on submission. So far it’s racked up four rejections. I like to tell myself that story submissions are like house hunting: You don’t always find your home on the first try. So I bundled it up with love and sent it off to a new place this morning. Godspeed, little story.

Could this be a city in our new project? Maybe!

Could this be a city in our new project? Maybe!

This past week I started on a joint project with my husband. He had the idea to work together on a world-building project with an eye toward creating a setting for use across multiple media: Stories, tabletop RPG modules, maybe even some form of app (an area he’s been dying to get into). It’s interesting how the creative process changes when you’re working with a partner. Especially when their process is nothing like your own.

For me, creating a setting is like lighting a string of firecrackers. I have an idea, which sparks another idea, and another, and “Hey, wouldn’t it be cool if” and “Oh, I know how to explain that!” Pop-pop-pop, one loosely-related idea after another until I’m exhausted and have to put it away. His brain goes over things much more slowly, and he tends to focus on one subject at a time. Between the two of us, I have a feeling we’re going to produce something pretty cool.

Or we’ll reach the point where we can’t stand the project and throw it all away. Either way, it’s fun for now!

 

“Woman with kettlebell” image courtesy of Ambro at freedigitalphotos.net.

Slogging Through Faerieland

Photo by bogenfreund, used under Creative Commons license.

Photo by bogenfreund, used under Creative Commons license.

So how is everyone else faring in this post-Mayan-Apocalypse world? I have to say I’m pretty pleased the world didn’t end in December. The holidays were good to me, aside from the inevitable fifteen pounds I gained from “things I really shouldn’t eat but family made them, so I’ll just have a taste.” Oh, and immediately after New Year’s everyone in our family got sick. That made it a tad difficult to get back on the work-out wagon, but there’s always tomorrow. Or next month. Pass the Girl Scout cookies.

In the meantime, I’m starting over on my revisions with Palace of Bone. I’ve started the “How To Revise Your Novel” course by author Holly Lisle, and while the process is difficult for me (hello analytical brain, nice to know you’re still in there) it makes so much more sense than what I was doing, which basically amounted to agonizing over individual word choices while covering my ears and yelling “LA LA LA, I can’t hear you!” at the glaring plot holes and inconsistencies.

There’s something about reading your manuscript on paper that makes it look more real. Suddenly I can’t just wipe out an embarrassing typo with two clicks of the mouse. Nor can I delete the three sentences of redundant dialogue that make my protagonist sound like a babbling idiot and blithely pretend I never wrote that drivel in the first place. I have to face my drivel. It’s humbling, and it’s hard to get through it without wanting to give up.

I have faith that the story will emerge from this process stronger and better. Or, at the very least, I will have learned a few things about crafting a story without plot holes you could drive a Mack truck through. Hopefully. Wish me luck, won’t you?

Or send cookies.

Writing Goals:

  • Complete revision on Palace of Bone by the end of June 2013
  • Rework unnamed Earth Warden story for submission by Feb 28
  • Finish draft of “To Eat Dragon” by March 10?
  • Attend Dreamin’ in Dallas Conference March 29 – 30
  • Re-do outline for “Dancer” story, still not working

Seriously?

Yesterday, I asked my brain to get serious about this whole “editing and revising” thing we’re supposed to be doing. Instead, my brain flashed a shiny new 4000 word short story at me.

So we went with that. Now I have two things to edit and revise. I ask you, brain, what the hell was the point of that little detour, hmm?

Still, it did let me work out some world building and details for a character who’s been kicking around the back of my head for a while. Once my brain has recovered from its current puddingy consistency (don’t ask), I’ll write up a bit about Bell. I think you’re going to like her.

Well, I like her, anyway. That’s good enough for now.

Blast from the Past

I’ve had a few people ask about my previously published short fiction since my recent post about the new piece that will be published in June. For ease of reference, here are my previous short stories:

Eclectic Flash Volume 2

Eclectic Flash Volume 2

 

 

 

They’re dark and darker, though one is at least darkly humorous. I’ll let you figure out which is which. How many times can I repeat the words in this paragraph before they stop looking like real words?

On Writing…
The main rule of writing is that if you do it with enough assurance and confidence, you're allowed to do whatever you like. (That may be a rule for life as well as for writing. But it's definitely true for writing.) So write your story as it needs to be written. Write it ­honestly, and tell it as best you can. I'm not sure that there are any other rules. Not ones that matter.~Neil Gaiman
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