Posted in Perhaps...I'll Let You In, Writing and all its cousins

Self, This Is Self

I set out to write this story, to purge myself of the pent-up words and emotions inside. I have always been told that I express myself better on paper, maybe all writers do. And I set out to do the same thing every year, run amongst the crowd in November in the quest to claim the prize:  50,000 words in thirty days.  It isn’t so much the climb out of the mosh pit but the experience itself, to say, “I did it; I survived; I nearly lost my mind in the process, but I made it out alive and fairly unscathed.”  And so that is what I aspired to do,  to release this melancholy that has followed me since daddy’s death.

Sure, there have been cheerleaders and words of encouragement along the way, even when I unreasonably made the decision to take part this year, despite the fact of having carpal tunnel surgery less than a month prior to the competition. Not only surgery, but a somewhat botched one that involves my dominant hand–the one I desperately need to type out or even write this conceived tale formulating itself inside my, at times, over-active brain.

And yet, there are other issues as well. One being that I am a person with a high level of control—or at least that is what I have been told. Not the kind where I wish to dominate others but more so of wanting things to run smoothly, orderly, and with a sense of logic. Mainly attaining to keep myself in order.  Thus the problem with stories and me. I tend to over think them.

First drafts aren’t neat and tidy. At times they don’t even make sense. And I want to say, “Hey, do what I tell you. Do as I think, not as I write. Do what the girl in that book did.  No, you know the book I’m talking about. The one by that really cool, best-selling, NY Times top ten list author. Yeah, her. Do it!!!”

Emotions aren’t always logical either, no matter how much we strive to make sense of them; and this is the problem I usually run into mid-way through a written piece. My beta readers respond with stuff like, “Shouldn’t Rachel be steaming? If I’d been {insert catastrophe here}, I would be livid. I wouldn’t worry about what the guest or my mother think; I would be throwing things and slitting tires and turning up bottles of vodka.”

And so the same with the high hopes I have for this…novella? Which covers the span of daddy’s death and the series of craziness which ensued.

My initial thought was to intertwine it with my subconscious (a little trippy and hard to explain, I know); so let me back track and attempt to clarify.  Some of you may recall the brief free write I did in which I visited my so-called “happy place.”  (I had to create one when working in retail because without a happy place you will certainly crack up in that line of work 🙂

So, anyway, yeah. And that is where I am twenty-seven-thousand words later because (a) that ingrained sense of control won’t allow me to explore my deeper feelings on said subject (b) my inner editor is going berserk. It yearns to come out and play with me and (c) the thought of so many words/pages is at times overwhelming.  Oh, and I suck at outlines.  I dreaded it in school and still have a hard time creating one that is detailed enough to buoy me pass the first five chapters.  And without a solid idea of where you are going—well, lets face it, you can wind up all over the  map.

Excuses, excuses…  I am aware of the fact so shush.

Conundrum: How do I rehash this in a way that is—that puts that “must be right” side of my brain to sleep while, at the same time, not re-opening painful memories over and over again. (I swear if I have to re-read that hospital seen while scrolling one more time!  And how do I collaborate the two stories?

Ooh, I have an idea! A slightly different approach, but…  Yeah, it just might work!

Your Turn:

What difficulties have you run into lately with your creative projects?

How did you resolve them?

Or are you still trying to figure that part out?  🙂

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Please feel free to share your thoughts and conundrums under comments.

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Posted in Writer's Prompts, Writing and all its cousins

Power To the Powder

So, I was playing around yesterday afternoon and came across a prompt/challenge from the Nanoers over on FB. The idea was to take a snack and give it a story.

He wasn’t like the other donuts. He was plain—no glaze, no chocolate, just round and ordinary. But today was the day.  He’d been watching the baker for weeks.  Today was the day he’d sneak in and have an affair with the powder!

Would she go for him?  He wasn’t sure, with her being so sweet and all. Plus, she was white and, well, he was a little on the brown side.  But together they could do great things.

sms/2013

Posted in drafts/jewelsintherough, Writing

Camp NanoWriMo

this one time, at writing camp…”

I have an issue with challenges.  I take them on (as long as they don’t include jumping off bridges or parachuting) with a zeal and determination so strong I’m often looked at as being crazy.

Translation: I’m stubborn and driven.

In November 2011 I joined Nanowrimo and, after several sleepless nights, brain fatigue, and–according to staff–a car that continued to roll as I jumped out each morning (I ALWAYS managed to make it to the clock on time.  Well, almost always), I completed a draft.  My first, somewhat flawed novel!

2012 found me struggling to make it pass 3,000 words.  If you’re familiar with Nano, you know that the goal for National Writing Month is more like 50K.  I forced my way through a couple of chapters, wrapped my hands in ace bandages and splints, and eventually listened to that other voice in my head, the voice of reason.

Now it is 2013 and, after receiving an email about CAMP Nanowrimo, I’m in the trenches again.  Well, not really the trenches.  More like…a retreat?  That’s what the web page says.

So, as I pack up and head to the cabin, I hope that my cabin mates are as eager as I am, that they don’t snore, that we don’t get eaten by bears, and that we all reach our writing goals.

Happy camping.

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How about you?  Are you participating in Camp Nano this month?  If so, what are you working on? Do you plan to collaborate with someone or go it alone?  And, if you’re looking for a partner, would you care to join me?

Posted in Writing and all its cousins

Now That It Is Over

The wild euphoria of completing Nanowrimo (I am sure the neighbors heard me screaming and clapping around 11:45 on Nov 28th) has diminished to exciment.  The exhaustion that was ignored on countless occassions is finally saying, “Hey, look at me; I am that sane part of your brain that you should have listened to.”  And the rest of life has gone back to its regular, somewhat boring pattern.  What do I do with my  nights now?  How do I spend lunch breaks at work?  You mean I can actually go to bed and…eat?

This was  my first year participating in the challenge and I must say that it wasn’t easy.  Maybe that is what makes winning feel so grand.

Until next time, fellow writers…

Congrats to those that have  made it, and for those who haven’t yet–“To The Finish!”

And Best Wishes