Thursday, December 31, 2009

YES!!

I made my word goal for the year!! So even though I still have some scenes to write and some tweaking to do, I have done it!!

I will now celebrate the year's end with a pure heart. :)

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

I admit it.

I'm writing and not blogging. So for your amusement, I present Very Expensive and Impractical Shoes from my very favorite fashion blog, Manolo's Shoe Blog.

Enjoy The Manolo's fabulous wit and gorgeous taste.

Thursday, December 24, 2009

Monday, December 21, 2009

I haz brains nao?

Sorry for the LOLCat speak, but some days just call for it.

Something writers don't usually talk about is that December is a very difficult month to get any work done. It's not only the usual shopping/winter weather/holiday party circuit, either.

There's something about December that makes working a challenge. For some people, it's children being on vacation. For some, it is dealing with the heartbreak and losses of the previous year.

No matter what it is, if you are struggling in December, give yourself some slack. January will soon be here. You will have your rhythm back and the work will flow.

Friday, December 18, 2009

Lower brain functions are go?

I'm fighting a cold, so I've got nothing for y'all today.

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Riding the Quote Train.

The most powerful myths are about extremity. They force us to go beyond our experience. There are moments when we all, in one way or another, have to go to place we have never seen, and do what we have never done before. (p. 3)

[Myth] enables us to place our lives in a larger setting that reveals an underlying pattern and gives us a sense that against all the depressive and chaotic evidence to the contrary, life had meaning and value.

A Short History of Myth
by Karen Armstrong.

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

And on the other hand..

Why can't I have the yummy feelings that writing gives me AND all sorts of happy rewards?

Monday, December 14, 2009

Quote of the Moment.

Sometimes, other people just say it best. Here's Anne Lamott from Bird by Bird.

I still encourage anyone who feels at all compelled to write to do so. I just try to warn people who hope to get published that publication is not all it is cracked up to be. But writing is. Writing has so much to give, so much to teach, so many surprises. The thing you had to force yourself to do - the actual act of writing- turns out to be the best part. It's like discovering that while you thought you needed the tea ceremony for the caffeine, what you really needed was the tea ceremony. The act of writing turns out to be its own reward.
Sometimes I need to be reminded of this.

Friday, December 11, 2009

*sigh*

Ok. I lied.

I am depressed about cutting those twelve pages.

I know it's the right thing. I know the book will be stronger. But damn, that was a cute scene. It even had a sea serpent.

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Ah, writing.

I'm glad I like it better than anything else I've done.

Otherwise, I would be very depressed after cutting those 12 pages and discovering I needed to add three completely new scenes to a manuscript I thought was finished.

But really? That's part of the fun.

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

*wince*

Well, I was doing great until I realized I had to cut twelve pages of utter nonsense. Now I have to do 25-30 words per page per day.

Still do-able though!

Monday, December 7, 2009

Art tracker.

I've set a goal of finishing my manuscript by the end of the month. Basically, I have to revise 20 pages a day (working 5 days a week) to get to my word count.

I'll be keeping track here. Root for me!

Sunday, December 6, 2009

A picture is worth a thousand words....


I'm feeling a bit short of words today, so here's a snapshot of a corner of my office. :)

Friday, December 4, 2009

Thought for the day.

What would you do if you believed your focused attention was a precious resource?

Sustained focus is renewable, but it is not infinite during the course of the day. How would you treat yourself if you knew that ?

I think I'd be a lot kinder to myself about not being able to write for eight hours on end.

And you?

Thursday, December 3, 2009

Who do you base your characters on?

Of course, every character in a story has her or his roots in the writer's own psyche. I once had a dream about a serial killer who carved mathematical equations into his victims' eyelids. I don't want to think too closely about what that says about me.

(I've never done anything with that character, so if you want him, feel free!)

I also pick up names and quirks from my friends. One of my exes had a last name that meant "storm". So I gave a character the last name of Tempesta.

One of my dear friends is named Coral. I based a character on her personality, and called that person Amber.

Yes, I tell my people when they make an appearance in a story. :)

How do you find your characters?

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Ain't nothing but a party, y'all.

(Bonus points to anyone who knows that song quote!)

After all my passion (and typos) of yesterday, today seems a good day to celebrate and feel playful. Maybe make some new typos. ;)

This time of year is especially important for me to feel the playful. I have a mixed relationship to the holiday season. I don't like Christmas songs. I am not much of a shopper.

Instead, I have decided to create as much of a fun, light-hearted atmosphere as possible instead of stressing. This is not easy for me - I have advanced degrees in fretting/stressing/worrying/you name it.

This year, let's make December as fun as possible. :) Write something that you shouldn't, dance to silly pop music, watch this video a lot (Is it wrong of me to find these typeface geeks kinda attractive?), and generally find the fun.

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Twilight, one last time.

(How funny is it that Lady Gaga's Bad Romance came on my Pandora channel just as I got started!)

Today, I'm going swipe ideas from one of my favorite books about romance - Dangerous Men and Adventurous Women, edited by Jayne Ann Krentz.

Several themes emerge from the essays in this book. First is the one discussed a couple of days ago: Twilight and other romances are fantasies. To quote Krentz's introduction:

[T]he readers are no more confused about this fact, nor any more likely to use their reading as a substitute for action in the real world , than readers of [Robert] Ludlum, [Robert] Parker, [Dick] Frances, and [Anne] McCaffrey. (p. 5)
'Nuff said.

The second theme of the book is a shameless song of female empowerment. In a romance, the woman lives. How many times do women die in male action movies because she found a man attractive and acted on it? How many great female characters in literature are punished for daring to act on her own ideas?

Not only do the women live, all of them win. Again, Krentz:
With courage, intelligence, and gentleness, she brings the most dangerous creature on earth, the human male, to his knees. More than that, she forces him to acknowledge her power as a woman.
A cursory glance at the statistics of the causes of female death reveal the radical nature of these ideas.


Finally, for me, the most outrageous theme of romance (and Twilight) is the discussion of Male and Female. Long before Twilight came out, Laura Kinsale discussed the real truth of romance.
[For] a woman, a romance may be a working-through of her own interior conflicts and passions, her own 'maleness' if you will, that resists and resists giving in to what is desired about all, and yet feared about all, and then, after the decisive climax. arrives at a resolution, a choice that carries with it the relief and pleasure of internal harmony. (p. 39)

Long before Edward came along, Linda Barlow described the romantic hero. Sound familiar?
Dark and brooding, writhing inside with all the residual anguish of his shadowed past, world-weary and cynical, quick-tempered and prone to fits of guilt and depression. He is strong, virile, powerful, and lost. Adept at many things that carry with them the respect and admiration of the world (especially the world of other males), he is not fully competent in the arena in which women excel- the arena of his emotions, which are violently out of control.

Is this the sort of woman most women want? Of course not....[A]lmost from the beginning, I identified with the hero. I saw him as Self, not Other. And I dimly recognized him as one of the archetypical figures in my own inner landscape.

The romantic hero is not the feminine ideal of what a man should be. The romantic hero, in fact, is not a man at all. He is a split-off portion of the heroine's own psyche which will be reintegrated at the end of the book. (p. 49)
This is why Twilight is popular. We are endlessly attempting to claim and integrate our power. It's not about falling in love with the endless git that is Edward.

It is about understanding the parts of ourselves that are dark, angry, and dangerous.