Thursday, February 25, 2010

Has it been a week already?

If I am to believe the calendar it has been a full week since my last post. This is not out of lazyness. It is out of a lack of anything to say. I haven't had a story picked up. I haven't finished a story. I haven't started a new one. I have been in a week-long stasis. I have managed a couple of thousand words written. They are good words. I like them anyway.

I hope to have something more to say in the near future, but for now I am going to go back to working on the story I am into. When I am done with that I am going to go back to reading the book I am enjoying immensely.

Until then, later. :)

Thursday, February 18, 2010

New friends and old

Sometimes I have so much fun I really don't know how I contain myself. Take yesterday for example. I managed to finish getting my snowthrower a tune-up and 'shocked' my brand new well. The tune-up only took as long as changing a spark plug, because everything else had been done the day before. The well on the other hand took hours. Not so long actually putting the bleach in it, but to flush it out of the system was time consuming. I still refuse to wash a load of clothes with any color in them. Then last night while the boy played in the tub I managed to get another 500 words down in a story/book. I don't know where this one is heading. It depends on how many subplots I can throw at it. I think I could throw a lot at it, it is making them stick that is the problem.

I  noticed Aaron describing his linear way of thinking being more conducive to short story writing than novel writing earlier this week. I have the same problem. For 15 years of my writing I never thought past the short story. I didn't have to. I had a story, I told it, I was done with it. Now I want to move on, not completely away from the short story. I like them. They are like childhood friends. You never really want to say goodbye to them.

Sadly, while I was trying to introduce myself to the novel I seem to have lost touch with my old friend the short story. He doesn't stop by to play anymore it seems. What is really pissing me off is that my new friend, the novel, doesn't want to come over to play right now either.

Maybe when it is warmer we can all get together and have a barbecue, have a few beers.

I wonder what poetry is doing this time of the year?

Monday, February 15, 2010

Where does the time go?

It kills me. If this was March, it would be the Ides of March. but in February we are already more than halfway through it. This month is far too short to cram it all in. I mean you have Groundhog day, presidents day, Valentines day, black history month, Ash Wednesday, and what seems like 20 different family birthdays all going on in a very short 28 days. We have even managed to cram in the Winter Olympics this year (are you watching, it is quite a show they are putting on for us).

Still, I seem intent on getting more into my days and out of that I seem to get less out of my time. every little project, just a minute or two is all it will take, turns into hours that I could have been busy doing something productive. Things I didn't intend on doing at all turn into full scale projects with diagrams and notes. Stories that I know I should work on get left in the dust for shinier, newer projects.

Happy Monday!

Thursday, February 11, 2010

A Good Spot

I have struggled with short stories of late. Struggle really isn't the correct image. It is more like wrestling short stories and the stories are a grizzly bear with claws and teeth. It hasn't been pretty. I haven't won a single match yet.

Actually, any writing I have done lately hasn't been pretty. I have been getting some writing done. It has been slow and methodical and not necessarily the type of writing I thought I would be doing even two months ago. If you told me two months ago I would be working on a MG/YA type book involving a girl and a messed up prism I would have laughed at you. If you would have told me I would be plugging away on a 2nd grade level early chapter book about a witch with a clothing complex I would have been calling the psych ward to see if they were missing a patient.

Still, I am happy with what I am doing. It may not be the monsters or death that I usually write about and I think I am fine with that for now. Maybe I have most of the monsters out of my system- for now anyway.

Monday, February 8, 2010

Social networking is good

Okay, the title of this post is a bit of a misnomer. I consider most social networking to be a huge time-suck. One that I enjoy, but a time-suck none the less. Sometimes good things can come of it. Like story ideas. Even if that wasn't the topic on hand. Long story coming up. I hope you have time.

When I was in college in the fine arts program at the University of Nebraska at Omaha we were talking about where we wanted our writing careers to go. What direction did we want to take. Most of the people in the class were literary writers or poets. They had aspirations of being published in the finest literary magazines in the land or landing a sweet teaching position at a prestigious university. One girl in my class was working on her musical career and by most standards she has done quite nicely with that having a couple of top 40 hits. She can also boast that she is huge in Japan.

I told the class I would like to write for children. The teacher looked at me like I had the plague or something worse. "Why is that?" she asked.
"Because I really enjoy the current books that are out for children right now," I said. (This was the mid-90's and the current crop of children's books included The Stinky Cheese Man as well as I Lost My Bear.) They were witty books and I truly did enjoy reading them. For the rest of my time in her class whenever I turned a story in (about every other week) she would ask me in front of the class if it was written for children. I always told her no. my class was not full of children and I was writing for them.  Secretly I think she thought I was wasting my time.

Flash forward fifteen years. I still would like to write for children, despite my short stories. I am subbing a middle grade literary adventure book and I have gotten some encouraging responses so far. I was talking with Chris Fletcher (of M-Brane SF) about dreams and remembered something from a nightmare I had when I was a child. I believe I was five at the time. It was about a witch with a patchwork cape. It scared me half to death. I had the dream several more times throughout my childhood and even as an adult once or twice. K.C. mentioned it would make an excellent story (part of an ABC book I believe she said) and it was seconded by a couple of other folks. I thought about it most of the weekend.

Darn you social networking sites. Don't you know I am working on a YA book right now and can't be bothered.

Friday, February 5, 2010

Ups and Downs

It is odd how making a shortlist can make you feel great and horrible at the same time. I feel privileged that I made it that far and like crap that I didn't make the final cut. Such is life. It seems that many of the stories they were looking at followed a theme and my story wasn't a part of that. Still, I feel really good because they say they almost never think about stories in the first person, but mine was different in a good way.  I really don't know why I like writing int he first person. I think I can slip into the skin of the character easier that way. Also, when you are reading it is like you are participating somehow. I don't know, maybe it is just me.

Also I have running water in my house (running through the pipes, not on the basement floor) for the first time in two weeks. I felt like a caveman during that time.  A caveman with electricity, internet and telephone. Now that that dilemma is over I can find more time to write. Right after I clean the house. It really needs it, because there is remarkably little cleaning you can do without water.

Happy Friday.

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

you make me feel super happy

Natalie Sin has given me something to blog about today.

Because of this I must now choose two supporters to share this with. They must be strong and able and willing to pass it on. They must have stuck with me through the thick and the thin (and some of my posts are very thin, translucent sometimes). So I will do this through scientific analogy and careful rendering of statistical information- Ink a bink, a bottle of ink, the cap flew off and I choose: 

Cate Gardener and Danielle Ferries. 

I want to thank everyone who reads this blog, because, I know, you really don't have to. 

Now, on to other points of interest. The dam seems to have broken. At least it did yesterday. I had the house to myself for a couple of hours while they started to dig my new well yesterday. I took the opportunity to put on my second pot of coffee for the day, move the computer into my writing desk and pound out 1500 words in Moonbow. I feel so freaking accomplished. I don't know how good those 1500 words are but they sure felt good to get out of the system. I hope I can continue with an 800 word day today. Speaking of that- I had better get started. The house is quiet for now. Have a great day.

Monday, February 1, 2010

One down, eleven to go

January was, if you have read any of my posts through the month you know this already- slow. I managed nothing spectacular.

Writing accomplishments (or lack thereof) in January:
Words written in story form: between 2,000 and 2,500.
Stories written: 1 flash piece posted on my blog.
Stories rejected: 2
Stories accepted: 0

That pretty much covers it. February is going to be much better, if I can get past the weather related problems that seemed to plague me and every other Iowan that I know of. And my little water problem. And that whole, brain and fingers don't want to cooperate thing as well. I just know that things are going to get better. They have to.

Have a great day. :)