Wednesday, November 7, 2018

IWSG: Cave Dweller


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I am way down here in the deep, dark NaNo caves, and I'm struggling to find my out, to find my way through. I'm searching for a rope so I can haul my word count to higher ground. I'm looking for a light to show my plot the way forward. I'm digging for hunks of confidence, buried like precious metals.

The other day, I was reading blogs (instead of working on NaNo!) when I came across these lines:

". . . I absolutely read what I wrote the day 
or hour before and believe that it is 
this horrible, unpublishable dreck. 
I'm usually typing away at something 
and shaking my head at the same time, 
because I think it sucks. 

It's true. I've got eight published novels . . . 
and guys - it just doesn't matter. 
Whatever I'm creating right now 
is going to be the book that reveals me 
as a fraud and a hack. 
I have no confidence when I'm creating, 
so if you're in the same place - congratulations. 
You're a writer."
(Mindy McGinnis)

Maybe I'm not as alone down here as I thought . . . .

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Are you and your project stuck in a cave, too, or is the sun on your skin, the breeze ruffling your manuscript's pages? Any suggestions for how to get there? How's November, in general, going for you? 

Monday, October 22, 2018

Out of My Gourd

For some people, Fall means cool, crisp weather. For others, it means pumpkin-flavored everything. Since I'm still running my air conditioner, and I'd rather carve a pumpkin than eat it, nothing says Fall to me like National Novel Writing Month.

This time around, I'm a NaNo Rebel. I will write 50,000 words of fresh fiction, but it will not be a novel. At least, I don't think so. I have Plan A and Plan B, which means I'll probably end up with Plan W, but I'm okay with that.

See, somewhere along the line, my writing stopped being fun. This happened for more reasons than I can count or even define. And I really, really miss that energy, that joy. Then I came across this quote by R. L. Stine:

"The writers who go into a school, do an assembly and say to write from the heart, write your passion, write what you know . . . the kids who listen to them will never write a word . . . I've written 350 books, and not one has come from my heart, not a single one. It's true! They're all written to entertain people, for people to enjoy and have fun. But you don't have to write from the heart."

So, this November, I will have fun with my writing again! And if I have to take down every pumpkin in the vicinity to do it, I will! (Drama! Suspense! A Possible Serial Killer of Pumpkins!) I have no idea what will happen, but since the month will go by anyway, why not have something creative - brilliant? stinky? both? - to show at the end of it?

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Are you NaNo-ing this November? Excited about your current project? Still having fun with your writing? Are you pro-pumpkin?

Wednesday, October 10, 2018

Relentless Ruby, Find Me An Oasis - Nailpolish Stories


One haunted past

* plus *

One barren future 

* equals *

Two mini stories - Relentless Ruby and Find Me An Oasis, each exactly 25 words - published in the October 2018 issue of Nailpolish Stories.

Now that's my kind of math.

Wednesday, October 3, 2018

No Soup for You! Next!


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I recently saw Jerry Seinfeld perform on stage, and it was an absolute blast. I literally laughed so hard I cried. And I wasn't the only one. The audience roared with laughter, and we were on our feet in a standing ovation before he even left the stage. When I think about how much talent and hard work it takes to put on not only a show like that, but also a career, a lifetime, like that, it blows my mind. 

I'm in kind of a writing funk. The creative energy is there - or so I'd like to believe! - but it's at a simmer, waiting for me to turn up the heat. Problem is, I don't know what I'm cooking anymore, what I'm creating. French onion soup? Chicken noodle? Chili? A novel? A novella? A collection of stories? Something I've never tasted before?

A very long time ago, I had a recipe, a career plan. I've since swapped some ingredients, changed things up, but the results aren't what I'd imagined. 

I'm trying to figure out what to do next. Keep doing pretty much the same thing, maybe tweak a measurement here and there? Or wing it, throw everything I've got into the pot? It could boil over, spill and stain, burn everything in its path. But it could also, just maybe, bubble and burble, smell oddly delicious - like grilled cheese and new books and the sea! - and possibly end up weirdly tasty . . . .

Monday, September 17, 2018

You Can't Handle the Truth!

Or so says Jack Nicholson as Col. Jessep in the movie A Few Good Men. Oh, but I disagree Col. J! I think we writers can handle the truth just fine, thank you very much.

Hmm, okay, maybe not. But at least we can handle these "25 Truths About the Work of Writing" written by Greer Macallister over at Writer Unboxed.

Like the first two:

1. Writing is the easiest work you'll ever do, more joy than labor, a flurry of words pouring from your fingers onto the page so beautifully and smoothly you're more witness than worker. Some days.

2. On the other days, it's so hard and slow and, yes, laborious, that you feel you must be doing it wrong because if it's this hard how could anyone possibly force themselves to do it?

My favorites:

16. Everyone works differently. You don't have to write every day or write what you know or stick to any other particular process that happens to work for other people. Even if it works for a lot of other people. All that matters is whether it works for you.

22. How you feel about the work of writing will change over time because you change over time. Don't be afraid to change your process or your goals. Something that worked for you 10 years ago may not work anymore. Explore. 

But the truest truth of them all?

7. It's work and it's magic and it's a mad alchemy.


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Do any of these truths - or others from the full post - ring true for you? (I'm smack in the middle of Number 22 myself. This is one of the reasons I'm now keeping a looser blogging schedule.) How is your writing - or other creative work - going?

Monday, September 3, 2018

Bound - 101 Fiction

How do you tell a Werewolf (or other Were-Creature) story in exactly 100 words with a one word title?

Here's my way: Bound.

And if you're looking for other ways, check out 101 Fiction's September 2018 issue (Issue 20).

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Time for a blogging break! I'll still be around though, just popping in and out. A new post will be up on Monday, September 17th!