Thursday, September 20, 2012

Still Moving

Thought about characters...a sort of mental check-in while consumed by chaos. Curious how my recent experiences will be changing things.

I am usually very omniscient. But this time I saw through Gellayna's eyes ( female main character in current main project). I related this to my dear friend, and she said:

"Well, holding things together while everything is falling apart around her, is what Gellayna is all about."

I realized I couldn't sum up Gellayna nearly that well, but it's true. And for now, my life is giving me greater insight.

Here's to finding the little positives to fight the enormity of everything else, and combat the threatening bleakness. Here's to not giving into depression and despair, even when they seem to be lurking around the corner. Here's to turning this lowpoint into a highpoint.

A new chapter of my life (and my WIP) will begin as soon as this move is done. I can't wait.

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Might not post for a week or two...

My world fell to pieces a bit this weekend. If not for the supreme graciousness and generosity of a friend, I would be without a place to stay. The guy and I are moving again, but at least there will be a roof over our heads, and we get to keep our puppy. She has brought joy to life in hardship.

I am determined to see this latest turn of events in the most positive way possible. There is much good that can come of this arrangement.  I will work hard to turn the few recent job opportunities that have emerged into something more solid.

I will not allow these times to crush me. I will not give up on my dreams or my writing. I see that so easily a person could, in my circumstance, elect to abandon past goals in favor of more practical pursuits. But I refuse.

It can't be like this forever. I can't have bad luck forever, not with how hard I have worked to change my own life. If I can complete a manuscript surrounded by this much adversity, I will become faster, better and hopefully less distract-able.

Strength and discipline and good writing are forged from life's trials. I keep reminding myself of this.

Have you found that your writing grew after tough times in your life?

Thursday, September 6, 2012

Thinking about Nano

Nano is a little ways off.  But I thought it'd be good to start thinking about it.  So... I am.

What happened last time I tried Nano?

1) I loved it

2) The story got really weird by the time I was hitting the end, and that made me stall.

3) I chose something off of my main world, and as such, I think the characters had even more control than usual.

So what am I thinking of doing differently?

Rewriting an old story.  Ten years ago I finished the rough draft of my first novel.  While the writing and storyline eventually led the thing to live on a shelf, I've kind of built up a history for Don-Yin.  Recently, that history has changed. I see it as one long story--something that each book, series, short story and vignette plays a part in exploring.

When one element changes along the way, I hit dominoes through the preset timeline.  It breathes new life into old ideas, and lets a story that went stale 10 years ago return as something completely different.

So I think I'm going to let Arrelle have another try at it. I will certainly plan thin gs out this time. Though, to be fair, much of it already is.

Her story and my current WIP is headed for a collision course, so I don't think working on both at the same time will be too much.

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Goals, Angst & ISWG

This is my first ever ISWG post.  Go check out the list here for inspiration, from all the people participating in this wonderful network.

My Achievements!

I have made painstakingly slow progress on my novel, with no fault but a general sort of distraction.  Part of it is a writing distraction, which, ironically led to more achievements.  I have written 3 short stories. I am working on a novella, and laying the ground work for another "rewriting" project.

I have also started research for a non-fiction project. We'll see how that goes.

My Angst:

I lack a day job.  After a handful of odd jobs, and several almost-jobs (go in a few days and when it's time for a paycheck, and only then, they tell you you're overqualified and should seriously seek a "college-degree job." --Whatever that is anymore), I still have no income.

Without income, I feel so insecure about my material life--not merely my intellectual life.  I was worried about whether I'd have food for the week over the weekend.  Thankfully, it was my birthday, and so birthday money saved me.

My birthday was another concern.  I just turned 29.  The last year of my twenties.  I expected to have at least been hired for a full-time job by now.  I didn't expect "Private Tutor," to be my most recent job experience,  though if I could work as a private tutor and make enough to make ends meet, I think I'd love it. 

I've gotten over my guilt writing, which I had a heavy dose of last year.  I would start writing and be swamped by an overwhelming guilt that was writing and not sending my resume off to vanish across the interwebs.

But I have a line on a few and I'm crossing my fingers.

I'm taking a few classes again, just to keep busy.  I signed up to volunteer at the library.


I didn't like the idea of self-publishing for, well, ever.  I always feared it was unprofessional, and I've been nervous about if my writing was ready for a very, very, long time.  Insecurity. Now, it's coming down to a gamble: what about myself do I believe in?

My writing.

I have had my confidence as an employee/worker eroded by my 3 years outside of a regular job.  I, somehow, have not wholly lost my belief in my writing.

The sort of pittance self-published anthologies would earn me is more than I have coming in now...

I'm volunteering in order to restore confidence in my ability to work, and consider (yet again) a Master's in Library Science. I need a day job, for more than income.  I need it to feel capable, to instill a routine.  The more practical side of supporting my writing.

But this year, I will do it.  I can do it.  I am determined.

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

On the Writing Environment

We all seem to need different environmental requirements to write.  For me, I need peace.  An environment lacking drama, dramatic people, or non-musical loud noises.  Unfortunately, due to other concerns, this is not always a practical requirement.

Non-writing stresses, changes in routrine that happen for whatever reason--and is usually related to living with other people (and these changes, then are not always bad changes) all throw me off. 

But I need to write, whether it's non-fiction, a  blog post, or a snippet of poetry that ends up padding the bottom of an over-full storage closet.  I need to write to slough off the stress.  I need to write to keep me focussed.  I need to have something that I create--a space that I create where I don't exist.  As wierd as that is, that's kind of how it feels. 

That experience gives me everything I need to manage an even-mood, a positive outlook , and sheer perserverance.  Oh, and how I've needed perserverance the last few years!  I thought sticking with college, pursuinga  BA, for 8 years, was nperservance.  Little did I know what other challenges I would rasie to post-diploma...

So in order to keep a roof over my head, I have made certain concessions I had not anticipated. My peace becomes threatened.

So I have decided to take action!  I used to write at cafes. I love having coffee at my elbow while pounding away at teh keyboard.  Yes, that isn't a practical location for coffee.  No, I am not aware of where I'm setting it when I'm wrapped up in the creative-midset.  Yes, coffee has spilled.  No, I haven't ruined a computer with coffee before. 

Though I must admit that I can be a super clumsy person and not-ruining any form of electronics through a coffee spill *is* actually an achievement.

So there are a few reasons why writing in a cafe is not a terribly bright idea. 

After that I wrote at home.  But since home is now usually overrun with the sounds of videogames, tv, and loud laughter coming up the stair, there is little place for me to hide myself away and blast Loreena McKennit, Deanta and Capercaillie...home is morphing into a non-option. 

I won't even discuss the chaos of squeezing a whole house into a room.  Even if that room is on the larger pseudo-studio end of the spectrum.  My writing space, classically, is the eye of my storm.  My office, bedroom at my parents--I was not good at maintaining order.  Where my computer was, however, remained relatively straight in comparison.  Now, I don't have the area nearly as straight as I would like it. 

So!  I'm at the library today.  I think I'll give this a shot.  Writing at the Library. 

There are these nice little studio rooms.  I can turn on Pandora and plug in my earbuds.  The music will not have to compete with any loud external noises. 

Here goes!