Friday, April 30, 2010

The Closed Door

I wish I could go back two years ago and have the innocence I did when I wrote the rough copy of my WIP.

At the moment I have a battle raging in my head. One that is fighting the "Closed Door", it wants me to start from the beginning. To get my words straight and clean. Get everything perfect and do it right! BUT the other side is telling me that there is no need for that. This is the second time I have re-started this WIP. If I start again, I will plunge myself back into a deep portal of the never-ending story and Cinder will never get done.

I seem to keep forgetting that I write a jungle of words only to have to weed through them afterward.

When I first started (before I was comfortable enough to call myself a writer) I let the characters speak to me. They showed me and I would write it down. My motto was "It doesn't matter, I'll change it later..." now I'm doubting myself. I know more now than I did then and I'm left wondering if ignorance is bliss.

Of course I don't really believe in blissful ignorance however, I do think there is something to it. I want to shed the nagging doubts wreaking havoc on my brain and just allow the words to flow. Who cares if I write the same thing over three times? I'll fix it in the rewrite. RIGHT? (not yelling at ya'll, just trying to make myself see the point).

That is correct. For now I have to plug away, pull forward and keep going. This story needs to be finished. It NEEDS to have an ending (and a middle). I want to see what happens and let the story pour out, without second guessing every word written. I want to feel like I'm accomplishing something.

BUT I AM. That's the part that is killing me the most. I've written over 1800 words today and I'm not done. There are bits and pieces of solid plot. I have ground to stand on. The characters are still talking to me. I just don't know where they're taking me. Maybe that's what I'm doubting...

I'll drive myself into a slow pit of madness if I continue to allow the nagging doubt to get to me.

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

The Workload... wk 3

And in now traditional fashion I have moved onto week three. Week three is always a big week because once a human does something straight for three weeks more than likely it becomes a habit. Just a little fun fact for anyone who didn't know that. I'm chock full of useless knowledge.

As for my goals I exceeded some and didn't crack a shell at the others.

The goal I failed in (always save the better news for last) is my short story Idle Parts. I didn't even dent it this week. BUT I was on vacation for four days so I'm not going to beat myself up about it. I still ended up writing every day. Just not that story.

I ended up with seven poems when my goal was two, while they still need work, at least I got them out and some even have potential... or so I was told :P

And for CINDER, I wrote 5440 words yesterday. It was my first day back, and I had two hours to myself in the morning, then a couple more hours later. These do not include any edits for this story because I'm writing it with the door closed.

"Write with the door closed, rewrite with the door open" Steven King's On Writing book. The best advice he ever received. I'm following it. :D

So I'm deep in the throes of chapter thirteen and things are already taking form much different then what I expected. I'm rolling with it and I'm going to finish this draft sooner rather than later. I'm not worrying about anything just letting the words flow from my brain through my fingers and I'll fix it when it's finished.

Other than that, not much more to report.

5440 - CINDER
7 Poems
250 - microfiction piece
4 wonderful days spent in New York City.

Also, Ken A. Wood is still keeping up with his goals as well... pop over to EyesoreTimes to keep him on his toes!

OH. I guess I should write goals for this week as well... (duh! *slaps forehead* that's why I STARTED this thing in the first place)

Goals for next week:

CINDER - 6000
Two Poems (plus others from this week tweaked up)
Flash piece/challenge finished. (This one's between me and another writer for fun.)

And that's about it. I'm still trying to play catch-up from the vacation. So we'll see how it goes.

Happy writing!

Thursday, April 22, 2010

The Challenge

Last fall a writer I know started to keep track of her output on FaceBook. I was quite impressed with the numbers she was putting up. So, I challenged myself to keep up with her. (Of course she didn't know it at the time, but we spoke about it briefly and she was doing it to push herself. In turn her actions pushed me as well.) To my complete and utter amazement I did it.

She is an incredible talent and has since landed herself an agent.

Sadly, for me she's stopped posting her output on FB. However I have since completed a NaNo challenge, written poetry and have done many things I didn't think were possible with my writing.

The challenge I put to myself showed me I really can do anything if I tried. Yes, I had help. There are many people contributing and supporting me and for that I will always be eternally grateful.

Since this fall I have stopped dabbling with my writing and really come to terms with the possibility if I work hard enough I will be able to attain my goals.

I'm not boasting. I still have a lot to learn. I have only just started to come into my own. And it will take time (as much as I hate to admit that. :D) But I'm willing to work for it.

I set goals for me to push myself. While it's not an original idea I've started doing so on FB. It helps me feel like I've accomplished something. And now I see what she was talking about.

The hardest part challenging myself was that afterward I had stories but nothing to do with them. I've gotten rejection after rejection. I freaked out because I couldn't figure out what I was doing wrong. I battered other writers with questions of how I could be a better writer, what markets should I sub to, what lesson was I learning?

Then my panic ceased. I sat back and looked at what I'd done to myself. I was waiting for someone to give me an answer. Then I realized I had to find it for myself.

No challenge or goal can be reached without stumbling that's just not how life works.

I've since started revising, reading articles every day (those of you who haven't been over to Magical Words really should give it a try, published authors giving advice to writers on writing. It's incredible.) I found some good writing homes with amazing people who are willing to give and take. They are also great cheerleaders. I've opened my ears to critiques and I have listened to advice on which books give the best advice.

I have really started to study the craft without going to college (bc there is no way I could afford it right now) and I've started to pay attention.

Then I got my first personal rejection with an invitation to send the story back if I chose to revise it.

It was gold to me.

And it was good advice. I'm awaiting the response still, but I feel like the story I reworked (with a little help from some fabulous ladies) really is the start of my writing career. While it might not fetch a big price, I've taken the first step in the right direction.

I don't think I am the only person out there who can do this. I know anyone can. Challenge yourself. It doesn't have to be writing, it can be anything you think you can't do, but want to. There is nothing to be afraid of, failure is apart of life and if you/I fall, get back up and try again until you reach whatever light you want.

You might find it's not as hard as your mind made it out to be.

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

The Workload... wk 3


I have been putting this off all day although I'm not entirely sure why. But it doesn't matter because I'm here now!

This past week was rough writing wise. I got two short stories done, but Season's End still needs edited. I don't think I've worked so hard on a story to date. It makes me feel pretty good. Hard work will do that I guess.

Turned out I lost two day because of RL matters and so while I didn't accomplish everything I'd hoped for I believe I did okay. I knocked two stories off of my list which makes me have a sense of accomplishment and I "tried" to fix up the last three poems. I hate giving up on stuff, but I believe these three will make their way to my trunk. (shhh... don't want them to know that tho.)

On a better note, I wrote four poems, and collaborated one with a friend. Plus one of those poems got published! (See post below for link to poem.) So all in all while it was a wee bit harsh things turned out alright.

And I'm finally ahead of where I started three weeks ago. YAY!

For my short stories, I don't want to put them on hold because they've been on hold for a long time and with each little bit I write, I get better BUT... I'm going away this week for four days and will not have access to a computer. However, I will have access to a pen and notebook so we'll see. I would like to at least get Idle Parts into the second stages.

Short Stories:

The Gardner - ?
Idle Parts - 2615 first draft down.
Candy - ?
Poisoned Soul - round three.

The last three poems are done being edited. So I will simply say I'd like to get two more poems done.

And for the big one!

CINDER. My WIP. The reason I started writing in the first place. She's ready and ararin' to go. Last week I said I'd like to lay down 4k. If I accomplish this feat I will be tickled. That may mean my shorts go untouched but I'm not sure what's going to happen so I don't want to leave anything out.

My output last week:

5631 - Season's End (this does include edits, just not final)
2456 - Going Out of Business (done and done!)
3 poems edited
4 poems written

I've started becoming more organized as well. I made a word count chart for my WIP and stories so I will be able to track them more easily.

My goals for this week are:

Idle Parts - to be done
two poems of any flavor
CINDER - 4000 words.

And that's about it.

Have a great day! Happy writing!

Monday, April 19, 2010

The First Poem Published!

Hey All!!! Got my first poem published over at Spilled Coffee! I'm super happy to say, that yesterday the line breaks were messed up, and with a polite note to the editor, he fixed it up toot-suite and it's now back to it's original form!

Take a gander if you have the time :D

The Phone Call

Thanks! Happy writing

Sunday, April 18, 2010

The Song #6

Right around the time I said goodbye to bands like Color Me Bad and EnVouge, (I was twelve) and took up to listening to the likes of Tori Amos, Liz Phair, The Pixies, Nirvana, R.E.M., NIN, Smashing Pumpkins and many more bands I do not cringe at the fact that I listened to relentlessly; I discovered a very special secret.

The song #6.

Each time I would unwrap the cellophane from my CD, my favorite would always be #6. At first I thought it a coincidence. Being a teenager I shrugged it off because I had much angsting to do. I couldn't be bothered with something that might make me happy.

As I grew up and dropped the veil of anger I pretended to have, I started to take notice. It wasn't EVERY CD, but most of them. Sometimes the faves would switch to another song on the album, but it was always #6 that got me into it. I then started to think of it as a little special secret, that maybe my favorite musicians were trying to do something nice just for me. (I also had a very overactive imagination when I was a kid :D)

Happy Phantom made me fall head over feet for Miss Tori Amos, following that with The Wrong Band on Under the Pink, and of course who could forget Mr. Zebra on Boys for Pele?

Rocket on Siamese Dream, Smashing Pumpkins. Polly on Nevermind, from Nirvana.

And it's carried on in it's traditions...

Regina Spektor's Begin to Hope - Hotel Song
The Dresden Dolls' The Dresden Dolls - Slide
Rufus Wainwright's Want - Natasha
Radiohead's OK Computer - Karma Police

Now, I won't go into the complete list of all of the different albums with song #6 as my favorite. That would take a long time and a lot of researching because sadly, while I have a wonderful memory, I am no Mensa candidate.

I just wanted to shout out a little tribute and throw in a random blog because, well, it's what I do. :D

Thank you Song #6. I've loved my little secret and now I get to share it with everyone else.

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

The Workload.... wk 2

So... this whole goal thing? Totally working out, sort of. I have been working steady for the last week and though I've made progress I'm also standing in the same place I was. How does that happen you ask? (Believe me, I'm still scratching my head at it) However, for a little refresher... here we go.

Last week my goals were to start revising my short stories. Which I did, three of them, but they still aren't done yet. So though I worked, I'm in the same place-ish.

I've already gotten a rejection for one short which wasn't on last week. That's getting thrown up for this week as well... added goalage. :D (I wish there was a way to make devil horns cause adding goalage seems so very ominous to me :P)

Short stories: edits/revisions

Going out of Business - DONE @ 2456 words 4/15/10
Season's End - 2770- second round down, staring third round later today.
The Gardner - ?
Idle Parts - 2615 first draft down.
Candy - ?
Poisoned Soul - round three.

*Now, for my poems I actually exceeded my goals. *throws confetti up in the air* I finished four, subbed out three and wrote roughly three new poems. However, I'd like to do at least three more this coming up week, along with fixing said poems below.

Poems: edits

Confusable Mess
The Shelf
Borrowed Flesh

Also last week, I said that I would like to start posting goals for my WIP/Novel CINDER. Which I fully intend to do, though I'm not going to start writing it until next Wednesday. (That is a promise to myself. Revising and Edits are something I have to learn how to do, but I really miss writing as well.)

Starting Next Wednesday April 21st: I will write at least 4000 words for my WIP (for the week, not in one day.)

SO now to my revelations; I was freaking out because I have all of these amazing writers around me getting things published all over the place and I wondered what was wrong with me. HOWEVER! Now I realize I have to chill out. I haven't even been writing for two years yet. Comparing myself to others is not the most healthy thing and if I work hard, I know that I will get what I want. It's just not my time yet. I don't have to be an anomaly, I can just be me. I don't have to keep up with everyone. I have to put in the time, realize how to make my stories good and then it will come.

Let me tell you, when I had this little epiphany it just about blew my mind. I feel relaxed, I've slowed down and I'm really taking revising and editing seriously. This is my chosen path, the thing that makes me feel whole, and I don't need to race against anyone. *sigh of relief*

As for my output last week:

6000 words written between three short stories
3 poems edited
3 poems written
1 story crit'ed for a friend

I'm okay with this. I'm doing what I need to do and I'm also learning in the process.

**Don't forget to pop over to Lady Shadow's and Mr. Ken Wood's site's and cheer them on for posting their goals as well!! ***

... and Ken? I don't know... what doya wanna wager?

Saturday, April 10, 2010

The Gore vs. The Creep, and The Why?

There has been a lot of discussion of gore vs. lit. horror at the writing places I've been frequenting lately. I've been asked by members at both the df_underground and Shock Totem what flavor I (and the other users) like my horror. The other question thrown up for us is "Why?"

First off, the Why - I've always had a dark sense of the world at large, it is cold and crusty place that is what makes me feel at home. Now, I don't always need to write dark tales, I've been dared by some lovely people to write with not darkish themes, and those have turned out alright. But my home really is in the shadows that creep through the house when there is a thunder storm, or the dark corners, long forgotten in a damp basement that everyone is afraid of.

Does this make me or the other people I associate with "Bad?" No. Not at all. If anything, I believe it makes us stronger because we are ourselves with open arms, despite the strange looks, or the questions of "Why can't you write something Happy?" It's not really about happiness. I know plenty of people who write darkly who are pleasant and singing most days. We just think differently than what is considered the "norm"

Now for the other subject of this post. I enjoy gore, but only on a humorous level. In movies it's usually overdone to gross out those who can not stomach blood- letting. When I first started writing (I don't think that will ever get old. Sorry if people are tired of it, I'm still in awe that I found my nitch) my story came out dark, but I didn't think it could be horror because it didn't have gore.

For those of you who know me better than others, I tend to be a tad neurotic and a touch paranoid and that spawns a panic inside of me that could throw me off the course I was originally on (I've since worked on this problem and it happens a lot less frequently) and so, I started adding sprinklings of blood and bitty pieces of flesh to "spice" up my writing.

It was a rookie mistake on my part to be completely honest. Then, as I settled into my gut wrenching, blood-spilling self I found the term "Literary Horror" it was creepier, darker and richer. Filled with unsettling obstacles that really took me out of my own dark place and thrust me into a abyss where no light could ever go. I was fascinated. I loved it, and I started thinking I could never write something beautifully tragic.

Then I muffled the damn nervous voices (got me some duct tape and wire) in my head and really took a look at what I've written in the past. Only about four stories out of fifteen or twenty have gore. I realized where I had gone wrong, and again it pointed to the place where I should have trusted my instincts.

So I've grown in my writing, and I now know what the true meaning of staying true to yourself means. I love literary horror because it sneaks up on you, it makes you feel uncomfortable, and puts you in a place one would not normally want to be in. It makes you face things you don't want to. And frankly, while I am still learning, I am looking forward to the day where I get to place a reader inside of one of those little boxes to torture them as well.

Gore will always be there. It helps hone action scenes, and once in a while I still purge my brain of the icky and groady. But mostly I still with the creepy. It's just the way I roll.

So I pose to everyone the same questions bestowed upon me. Why horror? And which do you prefer? Gore or Creep? There are no wrong answers, only opinions :D

Thursday, April 8, 2010

The Workload

I've never posted goals on my blog. Then this past week hit me, I haven't written ANYTHING for my WIP in two months (seriously!?! it took me five weeks to get the rough draft out!) I've been plodding away at short stories and poems or not writing at all. I became very sad, but then I realized maybe my novel characters are hiding behind my short story characters.

What I have set for myself is a challenge of sorts, last week I started revising my short stories and tinkering with the loose ends of my poetry (they are no good to me sitting around, unfinished in their folders) after those are done, I believe I will find my novel again.

So far this week I've revised two short stories and I'm moving onto my third one today. I'm still in the learning process, but it's been a true delight for me to sit back and examine the finish products of my hard work. Honestly, I was afraid I let them "sit" for too long. But now that I'm back at them, I'm tickled with the results and I'm finding that maybe too long is just long enough.

I am going to post my workload onto my blog to track my progress. I believe this will help be keep going so I can get back to my WIP, because I miss it so.

My current workload: (titles are always subject to change)

Short stories:

Season's End - 2770 DONE!
The Gardner - ?
Idle Parts - 2615 first draft down.
Candy - ?


Faceless(previously named - Memories Untold) -done!
Confusable Mess
Bound -- Done!
Little Blue Pill - DONE!!
The Shelf
Black Nest - done!!
Borrowed Flesh

Not too bad, now that I look at it. However, new ideas are popping up every time I turn the corner. I hope that I can keep them at bay until I finish these latest revisions.

Next week I hope to set word goals for my WIP, I'm ready to get cracking on it - she's stewed for long enough.