NaNoNoWriMo

It’s not a typo. It stands for National Not Novel Writing Month, which is what I’m calling the unofficial, making-up-my-own-rules way that I’m doing it.

Writing bloggers started talking about plans for NaNoWriMo, in some cases, over a month ago. I do not have a network of writer friends, although I have numerous writer friends–so I’m not sure what that disconnect is about–and very few people ever comment on my blogs, so I didn’t have anyone asking me if I was planning to participate. My answer, as it has been throughout my entire life, would have been no. NaNoWriMo is not for everyone, and it’s never really appealed to me. I thought that I’d use the month last year to feed off the collective writing energy of the world and set a goal of writing any amount every day. I wrote one day the entire month and felt terrible about myself. The experience was not encouraging to me.

The girls in my office suggested doing NaNoWriMo together, and, since I’ve felt like I needed to do something to get around the years of writer’s block that I’ve been trying to push through, it seemed like a good idea. I know that I’m not signing up on the official site or anything, and I don’t think they are either. The thought is just that we all want to get back to writing, and it’s just one opportunity to do so.

A few days later, it was brought up that 50,000 words might be too ambitious for our schedules, as we all work full time and one of us (not me) has kids. I threw out the number 30,000 instead, still substantial, but a little more manageable, and easy to count–1,000 words a day. We also decided that we don’t have to have the same word goals. We’re being very loose about the rules here. I don’t know how we’re going to exchange stuff–if we’re going to actually exchange writing, or if we are just going to report on how much writing we did. I’m sure we’ll figure that stuff out.

I don’t know what I want to write yet. I’ve been lazy and unproductive for so long now that I have numerous novel and short story ideas that I’ve overthought to the point of believing most of them aren’t worth writing. Someone else is writing something better right now. Nothing I write could possibly be important.

Even if those things are true, it doesn’t really matter. If I don’t produce anything I would ever want to show to other human eyes, but I can feel that great feeling I used to have when I wrote, that will be enough of a reason to write.

I was thinking that I might start writing my fairy tale book. This will be a collection of fairy/folk tales NOT based on old stories (at least not in an obvious way). I’m sure they will have elements of traditional tales, but they will not be the same stories, or reimaginings of them, as I would usually do. The world has changed so much that sometimes the old stories can’t address concepts that we deal with now. We need folk tales of our own age, and I have a few in mind already. The question is always whether I have enough ideas to really turn it into something… or maybe that isn’t the question. Maybe the ideas I have are enough to get me going, and more will come as I go on.

Maybe I should join a writing group. I’ve never had one. I’ve always done it all on my own. And that’s gotten me nowhere, so… maybe.

Word of the day: Maybe.

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Five Things Friday: October 18, 2013

After this week, I don’t want to make my brain work right now. So, a short list.

 

Five things in my house that should be self-replenishing.

1) Half and half. Because when I run out, and don’t have anything to put in my coffee in the morning, it makes my life sad.

2) Aluminum foil. It doesn’t run out that often, but when it does, it takes too long for it to be replaced. And how am I supposed to package leftovers and sandwiches without it?

3) Trader Joe’s Chai. I get one container and probably get 6-8 cups out of it. Since I can’t get to TJ’s too often, when I run out I usually don’t have any for weeks or even months after. What I should do is buy three or four containers at once. That would last a while.

4) Water in the filtered pitcher. It’s not hard to refill, but it’s also not very big, so I have to stick it under the faucet at least twice a day.

5) The good soap. You know how once in a while you find some really nice hand soap on sale, and you buy it, and it smells really good and it’s probably fully organic/vegan/natural/hippie and it makes washing your hands so pleasant, but then you run out and you’re stuck with the slimier, extra-lemony softsoap? I really hate that.

 

Good night.

Lately I Can’t

Sit up straight

or

Concentrate on reading

or

Keep all my produce from going bad

or

Keep up with people

or

Save money

or

Tolerate the cat

or

Tolerate loud people

or

Care about the Red Sox (sorry [not])

or

Fall asleep before midnight

or

Wake up early on weekends

or

Work up the energy and confidence to wear heels

or

Write anything worthwhile

or

Find the time for passion

or

Stop thinking about cookies and pie.

 

Five Things Friday: October 11, 2013

Man is time flying again. Although this week dragged a bit in my perspective, mostly due to anxiety :(. Not so much fun. And not so much sleep, which means I was really tired all week. My brain, I don’t think it likes me much.

I was thinking this week, for reasons you might get if you read my other blog, that sometimes the structure of a movie plot sort of fits into the days of the work week. This is true of many movies, and books too, although there are plenty that do not fit into this structure, because there are plenty of exceptionally creative people out there. But let me just give you an overview, so you’ll know what I mean.

Monday–This is the beginning of the movie, the introduction to the main character(s) and his/her/their world. Sometimes it can start a little slowly, and sometimes it’s bustling right from the start. Either way, you’re kind of weird if you do it without coffee, or at least some kind of wake-up ritual. This is the part of the movie that gets the story going, and often nothing extremely important plot-wise happens, but we know that things are about to pick up.

Tuesday–Here, we’re into the “routine” of the movie. The introduction is over, we know what’s going on, we’ve been oriented to the people we’re watching. The momentum is going and it’s time to introduce the central conflict. What is(are) the struggle(s) of the main character(s)? This is where we find out. And by the time Tuesday’s over, we really want to know what happens next.

Wednesday–You’ve probably heard the term “hump day.” In reference to the five-day movie, this is either the part where one or several characters have sex, or the point at which there is a significant hurdle for the characters. Attempts to deal with it often result in the chaos that is Thursday.

Thursday–After the “hump,” we get the climax of the conflict. I said OF THE CONFLICT. Jeez. Get your mind out of the gutter. Anyway. This is the time in the movie where things are happening at a record pace, suspense is heightened, and everything might fall apart depending on what the characters decide to do. This is like the time at work when you know the end of the week is coming so you’re trying to get as much taken care of as possible.

Friday–On Friday, you usually start out finishing up the crap you didn’t manage to finish on Thursday (the tail end of the characters dealing with all those crises I just talked about) and either get everything all cleaned up and tidy (the happy ending), or you make sure you have things prepared for next Monday (setting up for a sequel). And sometimes, Friday is just as much of a mess as Thursday was and nothing was resolved.

This is sort of an idealized version of a work week. In reality it’s never this uniform. Things just happen when they do. And some movies have such complex or long plots that they actually take two weeks to get through (metaphorical weeks. Otherwise, it’s called a tv series).

 

 

I’m going to be the first to admit that this was terribly written. Sorry. I was reading a post just yesterday from someone about how the content of his blog was all first drafts. I’m the same way. For me a blog is more of an informal platform–therefore, some posts will be nice and well crafted, and others will be word-salad-stream-of-consciousness-what-the-hell-is-this.

All writers need a place where they can spew all their thoughts out onto some venue where they can read over it again. This is mine. :/

NEWS: I had an interesting idea for a not-a-ghost story the other day, and I am hoping I will make myself work on it in time for Halloween. If you have interest, please leave a comment and it might compel me to work on it! Just saying.

Five Things Friday: October 4, 2013

Damn, time is passing fast. Before you know it, I’m going to be 40 and I’ll wonder what the hell happened. (For reference, I’m in my 20s now.)

I’ve decided that this week I’m going to make a writing wish list. Whatever you think that means, I will tell you what I mean by that–

I am going to write a list of things I want to facilitate/encourage writing. Because I like stuff, and I like daydreaming, and I like complaining about what I don’t have. (:P) I’ll attempt to go in order from the most plausible in reality to the least.

1) This mug. I have wanted it for a while, actually, and I will get it. Perhaps for myself for Christmas or my next birthday or something. Assuming the entire country hasn’t collapsed by then because of Republicans.

I just really feel like I need this mug. I think it will help me.

2) A printing station. I’m imagining a setup with a color printer, although I’d mostly be using black ink, that would also have a scanner just in case, and a stack of crisp, clean paper underneath, easily accessible. It’s much easier to type stories to begin with than to copy them into word files from your handwritten originals, so I usually just type everything now. However, as I’ve learned from my current job, editing in word with track changes is ok but I often wish I could just have a stack of paper with the words in hard copy in front of me, and the ability to actually write on the document with an actual pen. Ah, to be working in publishing ten, or even five years ago…

But back to my own writing. I do think that printing out stories and reading them on actual paper might do something for me, in terms of seeing how the story works as a whole. I don’t have a printer right now, nor do I have easy access to a free one, and I don’t want to pay 5-10 bucks at fedex every time I need to print some of my work.

I still believe in print books. If we clap, will they stay alive–like fairies?

3) A writer’s retreat. I am picturing 5 days to a week, just being off in a little apartment/bed and breakfast place somewhere, stocked with plenty of coffee and simple food that doesn’t actually take much time to prepare, so I can just focus on writing. Maybe I could complete a few short stories or “outline” (my process never creates a real outline) a whole novel. Ooh, this is so exciting to think about!

Unfortunately, plans like this require vacation time and money. I have no money (all goes to bills and expenses) and I need the rest of this year’s vacation time for Christmas. Side note, I still think employers should allot more vacation time per year than just two weeks, although I’d be fine with them limiting how much time you can take off consecutively.

4) A complete rewiring of my brain. I am about to use the word “wire” a lot, and I know there aren’t wires in brains, but it’s like a metaphor or something. Shut up.

I feel a lot of the time like the wire that is supposed to connect the part of my brain that has ideas to the part that executes them is not connected, or was eaten through by mice (brain mice) or somehow got blocked. I just need that wire to work again and I can start getting stuff done.

5) Absolute power over time and space. This would allow me to write when the ideas and creativity and words are actively flowing, when the mood has struck, rather than forcing me to try to call them up again when I finally do have time (this is one of the reasons I use google docs–not that my notes have helped that much so far). I would really like to be able to drop everything and write when that mood does strike, without ignoring my daily obligations and therefore fucking up my life. Inspiration still happens to me, bafflingly enough, but pretty much never when writing is possible.

Oh, I know what a terrible excuse that is. It doesn’t make it less true…

On the plus side, this post has really made me feel like writing. Maybe I’ll actually get something done this weekend?

All of my fingers and toes are crossed.

Another Life #32

A few months ago, I started writing a song. A few lines came to me, melody and lyrics, and I wrote them down, hoping someday I could write a full song that I wouldn’t be embarrassed by a few years later.

That dream belongs in a different life, one where I actually learned to play an instrument instead of making a half-hearted attempt at guitar and piano before abandoning them (entirely by accident, but clearly a choice was made). I can still sometimes hear accompaniments in my head that I’ve come up with, but I have no way to bring them to the world where anyone but me can hear them, because I can’t play any instruments.

I kept up with singing, from an early age all the way through college, because it came easily to me, and someone else was paying.

Unless you’re the rare, ridiculous prodigy, learning any instrument takes work–at least, to get to a point where you can do anything good or interesting with it.

That song I began, I could just turn it into a poem, but it doesn’t feel right as a poem. And I don’t really write poetry anyway.

In one of many other universes, it actually became a whole song. Would I actually be proud of it, if this were that universe?