Hi there. I thought I’d use today’s post to catch you all up on what’s been going on with me. Ready? Okay!
I LOVE my apartment. Love. The paint, the layout, the trees outside my balcony… it’s all wonderful. Owen’s adapted well and I’ve made several friends through him and the dog park. The roads leading to the apartment complex are all very winding which is AWESOME in my quest to be a racecar driver. Let’s just not think about what those roads will be like in the winter.
I’ve framed my own photos to hang on the walls, and Monday night I picked up three prints I had enlarged. As soon as I hang them up I’ll share pictures.
Last week my cable went out during some crazy storms and I discovered my one-month old cable box (or “receiver” as the man on the phone kept calling it) was dead. As were the 30 movies I’d taped. But never fear! I ended up with six months of free movie channels as a consolation. Hooray U-verse!
I’m thisclose to writing again. I tried back around Easter, but with everything else going on in my life I found it hard to concentrate on a new idea. I’m getting together with more writing friends very very soon, so I had BETTER write then!
Since more of my posts here have focused on writing, I’ve started an account on Tumblr to focus on the silliness. Go check it out!
I’m still figuring out Tumblr, but I like the simplicity of it. Plus I’ve wanted a platform just for photos, and while you can do much more there, that’s what I’ll primarily use it for.
And that’s about it. What’s new with you?
Thoughts from a late night perusing friends’ friends lists and other posts on Facebook…
Freakfest on Facebook.
Spray tans + protein, oh why
did I give you up?
My long-ago crush
has a toddler named Owen.
The universe speaks!
Oh vague status posts…
If only you intrigued me
as your poster planned.
The Q despairs, for
without no home, my ten-point
Server won’t respond,
my night of frivolity
must come to an end.
Would you care to share / how you spent your Tuesday night? / haiku is preferred.
Thanks for your encouragement last week. I’m proud to say I finally sat down and wrote TWO WHOLE PAGES. For me, that’s the hardest part because the first couple pages set the tone for the entire novel and that’s the only time I truly struggle to write. Once I get into the flow of writing I can knock out pages like nobody’s business.
So, yay, the hard part is over!
*waits for you to stop laughing*
As usual, I’m not going to tell you about this story until it’s much further along. Like Beth said in the comments, I feel like I’ll jinx myself if I share too much too soon.
So what’d YOU accomplish this weekend?
I joke so often about my OCD tendencies that I forget a lot of people probably don’t realize this about me. If you know me at all you’ve probably picked up on some of my quirks, but I’m always surprised when a friend discovers just how ingrained these compulsions are.
Some background: I’ve always been rather… particular… about how things are arranged and the order I do things (can you say morning routine?), but I don’t check the oven twenty times before leaving the house or anything like that.
It was recently brought to my attention that I’m unable to not finish something, which sounds like a good thing until you realize that means I won’t start something if I think there’s a chance I won’t be able to finish. I don’t read books unless I’m certain I’ll like them, because there’s no way I’m stopping once I get started. I think I’ve put down three books in my life. I can only think of one movie I’ve turned off (Bruno) and if I fall asleep while watching one, I’ll usually finish it the next day.
Where this becomes a problem is with my writing. As I mentioned last week, I’ve come up with a new idea, but what I didn’t tell you is how terrified I always am that I’ll never come up with another one. My friend Erica helped me brainstorm, then gave me the wonderful advice to start writing it, and just stop if I don’t like where it’s going.
I stared at her open-mouthed, collecting my thoughts. “I can’t do that,” I finally admitted.
And my secret was out. I’ve written three novels and have come up with a total of seven ideas — including books two and three of my trilogy and the latest one. Lots of thoughts whisper through my mind, but I don’t consider them an actual IDEA unless I can see it through to the end.
I don’t expect anyone else to share this quirk, but do you have a personality trait that challenges your writing?
… because I’m about to start whining.
It occurred to me over the weekend that it’s been SIX MONTHS since I started a new project. I spent two months writing Flicker, then another month and a half editing, and since then… well… let’s just say I haven’t been writing. Yes, I outlined books two and three of the trilogy and I came up with a fresh new idea, but I haven’t actually moved forward on any of these projects. I’ve been busy with other life things, but that’s no excuse. If I choose to call myself a writer I need to actually put words on paper. Or pixels.
I keep telling myself that when I get this one thing done I’ll get started, but that’s clearly not working for me. I need to just start. NOW.
Any suggestions for stopping procrastination?
I have a confession to make: I still haven’t started the second book in my trilogy.
I started my outline a couple weeks ago, then events in my life made me stall on the idea, then I read a couple timely blog posts from agents saying that writing additional books in a series before selling the first (or even getting an agent) may not be the best use of a writers time. Combined with a lot of other things keeping me busy, I haven’t written anything new since the new year.
Last weekend I hung out with Erica and after talking with her I decided that I need to work on a new idea. I have a hard time not finishing something, and going into an entire novel with the niggling thought that it may never see the light of day purely because book one may never go anywhere makes it hard to start. So, new idea it is.
I bounced around ideas for all of a day and I already have a rough outline (like half a page). It’s young adult, more humorous than deep and dark, and I’m excited to start writing again.
Yesterday I tackled the first of several projects I’ve planned before moving into my new place. My grandmother gave me an ornate mirror years ago, and the genius that was me at twenty-five decided it’d be a good idea to paint it silver. Yeah. The glass broke while it was in storage, so before having it replaced, I decided to repaint it.
With wire brush in hand, I opened the garage door to let in the 80 degree air (!!) then went to work. For as much as I’ve dreaded this project, it went much faster than I expected, and within an hour I’d scraped off the old paint, cleaned it up with a can of condensed air (I could teach the people at Real Simple a thing or two), and sprayed it with two coats of white semi-glass paint. (Yes I used a wire brush AND spray paint and lived to tell about it.)
Now I just need to get a new, stronger middle and it will be all set.
Bet you can guess what this reminds me of, eh?
That’s right… writing! Or more accurately, editing. Sometimes a project can feel so daunting that it seems nothing short of a wire brush, a can of spray paint, and a jumbo-sized tub of spackle will fix it. But you have to start someplace. With the mirror I started by dragging the sawhorses to the center of the garage and propping the frame on top (saving a new document). Then I went to work with the wire brush, going round and round until I’d removed several layers of paint (delete! delete! delete!). Then I had a stiff drink (well, water), before shaking the can of paint (exercise to prevent writers’ butt) and laying it on thick. Well okay, maybe you should skip that part.
Looking at a project as a whole can become so overwhelming that you’ll never start, but if you take it step by step you’ll have a new mirror — er, draft — in no time.
As Juliet said, “What’s in a name? That which we call a rose by any other word would smell as sweet.” Yet we writers place a lot of importance on names. Hours of research can go into finding the name that perfectly captures the time period, ethnicity, class, religion… you get the idea. The general public probably has no idea the work that can go into deciding between, say for example, Luz and Biz.
In my situation, I chose Luz because light is the catalyst for everything in my story, and luz means light in Spanish. I had intended for my character’s parents to have a connection to Mexico, but as the story progressed, it felt tacked on. I dropped that aspect, and suddenly the name no longer made sense. I polled facebook for another unique name and ended up stealing my seventeen-year old niece’s best friend’s name. (What, I write YA. I can talk like that.) (Hi Biz!) I still catch myself referring to my MC as Luz, but I figure that should go away once I start writing book two.
In the meantime, there’ve been a couple new additions in Hooville that have required names. One I’ve come up with, but I need your help with the other. First, meet Willow:
Owen’s keeping her company. Next, meet my newest love, my unnamed Macbook Pro.
I’d like a name that means the source of creativity, or the holder of all the goods, or lifeblood. You know, something simple. Any suggestions?
(This was supposed to post in the morning. Sorry about the unplanned change in schedule.)
Earlier tonight I joined an already-in-progress Spanish class, where I met a group of very nice people and got to practice my Spanish! I’ve been worried that I’ll lose my fluency the longer I’m away from Spanish speakers, and while I’m not sure if this group is the best fit for me (they’re still beginning) it was wonderful to be part of a group with a common interest. For small town Michigan, it was a more diverse group than I expected, and they welcomed me with open dictionaries.
Kind of like writers.
I’ve said it before, but it really has to be said again: My writing friends rock. I’ve avoided talk of queries and agents here, but that doesn’t mean I’m not up to my armpits in anxiety, nerves, and the occasional frenzy. (Stacey, I blame you.) The support you all have given me — while unwavering for as long as I’ve known you — still catches me by surprise. Not to mention to critiques, advice, and gentle suggestions that, yanno, maybe you should reconsider that word choice…
On Monday I had intended for you to be able to read the page I screen-captured in the picture, but photobucket shrank my photo. I’m reposting here for your reading pleasure. It’s the middle of chapter one. Enjoy!
The song ends and the blinking lights slow to a lazy loop around the room. Crap. I also promised Robbie one slow dance, and from the look on his face as he weaves through the couples already pressed close together, I’m not getting out of this.
He smiles. “They’re playing our song.”
“We don’t have a song”
“I know, but I requested it so that makes it our song.” His lips graze my cheek and he places my hands behind his neck. Our bodies brush as we turn in a small circle. “Is this really so bad?” he whispers.
“No.” I rest my head against his shoulder. My eyes close but my thoughts are anything but relaxed. This is supposed to be what I want. A boy who wants to dance with me and spend time with me and seems to think I’m cute. So why do I feel so antsy when he’s around? I mean, I know why—he’s hardly the first boy I’ve dated and I always get this feeling after a couple months. But why can’t I just be happy?
Robbie trails his fingers up and down my back, then pushes my hair off my shoulder. His warm breath on my neck gives me the shivers, but it’s not the reaction he was going for.
I pull away. “I think I need to get some air.”
He looks at me tenderly, misinterpreting all my signals. “Okay.”
I turn away and push through our classmates, but he grabs my hand, stopping me. I face him.
His eyes are clearer, the smile gone. “You don’t have to run away from me. I’ll come with you.”
Whatever. I let him lead me into the hallway, but he turns around a corner into a darker corridor. “Robbie, wait.” I stop, his fingers still linked through mine. This isn’t what I want.
“Biz, you just said you wanted to get some air.” He does air quotes around the last part.
“It wasn’t code for making out. I really needed to get out of there. The lights…”
He rolls his eyes. “It’s practically pitch black in there.”
I’ve never explained my deal with light to Robbie, and I sure as hell am not going to clue him in now. “Forget it.”
His hand snakes around my neck and he tries to pull me close.
My hands flatten against his chest. “Robbie…” I warn.
A noise behind us makes me turn. Cam is standing at the end of the corridor, bathed in light from the main hallway. And he’s glaring at Robbie.
How was your weekend? Did you do anything exciting?
Aside from enjoying a leisurely four-day weekend that included a yummy dinner with my family, shopping and watching Black Swan with my sister, and lots of play time with Owen, I also Skyped with Erica for an hour and a half and plotted the rest of my YA trilogy!
As you’re aware, the book I’ve already written is called Flicker, and I wanted titles that both go along with that name AND reflect the plot for each book. Fracture is about someone struggling to adapt to her old “normal” life while dealing with the horrors she faced over the past four years. Fissure is about a betrayal that splits apart everything the main character has come to believe. I just made up those summaries off the top of my head, so if they seem generic… well, that’s all you’re getting.
I love that I’ve found a writing friend who not only has a wicked mind for plots, but is also funny, nice, and a hoot to hang out with. (Yes, I said hoot.) I used to daydream about finding a real live writer who lived close enough to get together with, and I finally have that. Now I hope my writing does these ideas justice.