Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Revising and lyrics?

I've been revising my Rumpy story, which is nice. It's been a really great process, largely thanks to my excellent editing friend Lindsay who rocks my socks at this whole thing. But as a result I haven't been writing new words much recently. Which is fine, there is the writing retreat over the weekend and revising is work too. Necessary work. And the story is going out on Thursday, so then I'll have no more excuses.

But R took me to see a show the other night, by a band called The Church. I didn't really know them at all but it was pretty excellent all round and I think I quite like them. But this thing happened which hasn't happened to me in a while, but occasionally does, where concerts spark like FIFTY MILLION DIFFERENT SONGS in my brain. This time it was four. But wtf, 2 snippets of songs, one half a song and one most of a song? Really brain?

So in total it's about 272 words. I don't really know whether to count it on my excellent metre of word countyness, because it is not on any of the projects I want to be working on and in any case I think that might be a prose metre solely. But I just wanted to say a) hey! I wrote me some lyrics! and b) wtf brain. For serious.

Friday, February 11, 2011

Am I writing Horror?

So I just wrote a different Rumpelstitskin story than the one I've been wanting to write ("Rumpelstitskin's Daughter"), which I am still planning on writing. But hey. I banged out a 1,651 word draft of a story in about an hour and a half, so I'm pretty happy with myself for the day.

9677 / 110000 words. 9% done!

I should probably get two word count meters. One for OYM (clocking in at 8,020 right now), and one for "other writings", including what I did today. But still, for now, yay. More of my yearly goal complete!

In non-egypt news

(If there is such a thing for my brain currently.)

I've been thinking about cheerleaders. The emotional kind, not the sports kind. I have quite a few friends whose stuff I read as they are writing it and say things like "x is excellent! Y made me want to read more! How many words did you write today? 5? YAY YOU!" I do not, however, have friends who I feel that I can ask - or they could do - the same for me. I have, fortunately and unfortunately, surrounded myself with brilliant, critical readers and editors who have fascinating brains and fabulous abilities with written words. What they don't seem to be good at though? Turning all that off and going with unbridled (and possibly faked) enthusiasm.

Is this something we all need? Are we all lonely little people seeking validation? Or is there something about this age of instant feedback that makes me desperate for some?

I've been realising that I suddenly - partially - inhabit a world that no one else does these days. I mean, I can explain things to friends, but they can't know it like it's in my head. And that's a little lonely. I mean, not hugely and emo-ly, but ...weird feeling sometimes. HOW DO I TALK TO YOU, PEOPLE WHO DON'T INHABIT MY BRAIN? And so I think, other than just my desire to be patted on the back and validated, I kind of want cheerleaders so that other people will know what's going on in my head. What if I'm going crazy? What if this is awful?

Maybe the trick is to find a non publishing, non writer friend. Like G? Perhaps I will print it out and ask if she wants to read it tonight while I'm snuggling her face off. Maybe.

Historic, historic day

I am inspired, awed and unbelieving as I watch Al-Jeezera today.

I don't know that I have words. I bear witness; I celebrate with all Egyptians today who fought - and sometimes laid down their lives - for democracy, freedom and basic human rights and dignity.

I'd like to add the image that has most intensely affected me all day:

Entitled "Broken Bones not but not Broken Spirit", it was taken by Ghazala Irshad, a young, female, journalism student in Egypt.

Thursday, February 10, 2011

Sometimes dumb is the new smart

Very, very rarely and kids,I don't suggest you take that as a truth. But sometimes tricking my brain into being too dumb to figure out how many more words 7,358 is than 5,673 means I'll just have to write a round 2,000. Yes it would take me five seconds to figure it out (I'm opposed to using calculators for calculations like that) but that's not the point. I'm tricking my brain into thinking it would be easier to write a nice round 2,000.

In other news, I finished off Chapter 2, which randomly became about this girl I hadn't met yet (Becky) and a trip to a cafe based on one in my highschool town with freaking great Chai. So now we're on to Chapter 3, in which we make contact with another criminal! Who is currently totally based on Mozzie from White Collar. Just sayin'.

And after having gone back to writing, I clock in at 8,026 total. Epic win for me today. I could go for three thousand, I finally hit the zone, but then I would be so unhappy tomorrow. And so I gracefully call it quits for the night and return from whence I came...yesterday morning.

8026 / 110000 words. 7% done!

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

To-do list for the year

Finish a rough draft of On Your Mark
Finish the Nocturne
Finish the Quirk Pitch
Finish Gulfcoast Highway
Outline Get Set and Go.
Sell one short story
Sell one poem

This should be approximately 105-110,000 words for the year. If OYM is approximately 80-85,000, Nocturne should be 10-15,000 and the Quirk and Water Story should put me over the edge.

Which would be pretty impressive, since in previous years I have written - and then abandoned - no more than 20,000 or so tops. Fortunately the poem is more in the revising land than anything else.

Perhaps, if I'm doing really well, I can even let myself kind of do nanowrimo without it stressing me out too much. I don't have to do all 50,000, but even if I got 20-30,000 for November, that would happily finish off my year.

I mean, part of me wants to make ludicrous goals like finish OYM by the summer and then revise that in the fall and start GS in the fall while also putting in some serious time on my depressing little gay-in-the-south book and also why not get started on Magicians in London again, and meanwhile what about that zombie story I wanted to write and also the female noir story and what happened to my Rapunzel story, etc,etc. And you know what? It's nice to have all these options. But I'm going to take it slow and steady for now.

Speaking of which. I should see if I can bang out at least 500 words today. (Also write a memo for my work website.)

5078 / 110000 words. 5% done!

Monday, February 7, 2011

Getting back on the horse

So this weekend was R's birthday and I didn't write a penny. I mean spend a word. I mean, oh I give up. We were decadent in every way and did nothing that could conceivably be called work. (Well, he wrote Saturday afternoon with some AF people, but I spent that time frantically buying wrapping paper and Reeses Pieces and wrapping presents.)

So! Today I am starting myself off slow. I have some writing to do for work, so that's taken up a lot of my writing brain. (But how much do I love that I sometimes get to write things for work? Write things that Editors and Authors and fancy people and the whole world can see?) But I'm determined to get up to 5,000 words today on Ze Novelle. I've written 398 words today and I have 189 left to go. (So how many did I start with? And how many did I write today? And how many am I at now?)

In fact, wordcounttool is telling me that I'm clocking in at 170ish on this post right now, so really, if I hadn't stopped to write this? I'd have gotten there already. Such is the woe of procrastination.

Alright, 189 more words, then I get to put on makeup, look like a normal person and get to go see Alan Rickman talk. Then tomorrow? I get to go see Alan Rickman talk. Apparently R and M have very similar brains, as they both got me tickets to Alan Rickman events.

I love them.

ETA: 5,078. I can go to Alan Rickman heaven now!

Friday, February 4, 2011

Weekly writings! Chapter 1

Last night we went to Argo, like we do most Thursdays these days, and I got 1,000 words out. It felt like pulling teeth, but I was tired and cranky and pms-y and hadn't eaten enough. So I'm ok with that. But hey, 1,000! And one really important edit where Jamie now speaks much earlier on. Or, well, at least whimpers.

I was talking to Blake about it all - he has been great about reading and cheer-leading, but he wants to jump into edits much too soon. I just need to power on through. But he was talking about needing action sooner and really needing to start the book later in the story. Which makes sense and is something I knew I am going to have to do eventually, but man I hope I figure out something to do with those pages because some of that writing is fabulous.

Anyway, for now, Chapter 1 is done! Onwards and upwards, Horatio.

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Audience and process

Man, there's something freeing about the idea that no one will see this, but at the same time, if I really wanted *no one* to see something, I wouldn't be putting it up on the internet, let alone under my name and entirely unfiltered. So, hmm. Conceit of freedom without the constraints of loneliness I suppose?

Anyway. Process. So I'm writing a book. It's a scary, scary, thing to say, but scarier yet to do. (I'm very used to saying I just write, I'm not a writer, I don't write *books*, I have no ambition of this front. It's all untrue, but it sounds plausible and makes me not need to achieve anything, or seem like I'm failing at goals in front of people.)  But hey, if I can't say that I'm writing a book to you, imaginary audience, to whom can I say it? So, let's posit that I'm writing this book. It's going to be brilliant, fabulous, best seller, etc,etc. But first I have to actually do the writing bit. That's hard.

I've actually been handwriting in a pretty - but heavy - notebook that was sitting, unused, on my bedside table. It's slower going than a computer, certainly, but much more portable. I can write on the subways, f'r'instance. It's also a lot less distracting than a computer with games! and internet! and work! and email! But eventually I'll type up as I go along too, so it'll be a weird mix  I suppose. It's not only really weird not to be able to edit myself nearly as much as I go along - something that often stymies me to the point where I never finish - but not to know how much word count I'm producing, which is often a great motivator for me.

No conclusions, just a brief ramble and a welcome respite from fanatically following the news of Egypt and crying at it. I don't know why I cry at sad and/or inspiring news stories so much, but Iran did it for me and now Egypt is. I think I feel, to some degree, like I have to bear witness. Even if that's all I can do, I can't ignore it, I can't sit by while over a million people put their life on the line for freedoms that I take so much for granted. So I spend a lot of time trying not to cry in the office.

Anywho, back to work and leftover Thai food.