October 18, 2012

Day Twenty Three of Thirty (nonconsecutive) Days of Writing the vacation edition, part two

Posted in challenges, thoughts, writing tagged , , at 8:03 pm by z. l. sasnett

No one needs a vacation more than the person who just had one. – unknown

Vacations. Usually last about a week and are about four days longer than I like them to last.

Also, I think I’m just a homebody. Definitely not a jetsetter. Not that I don’t enjoy seeing new places. The travel, I find, is tiresome. And although you’re away from work for the week, hopefully at some restful vacation location, I find that is never really the case. Always some obligation to go ‘see something’ or to go ‘visit someone/family’. Obligation, no matter the form, is not restful for me.

I usually need about two days to recover from my vacation before I feel normal again. That’s why, when I normally take vacations, I sit my butt at home. In the end, it’s far more restful than all the travelling around.

God bless those who can do it. It’s just not for me.

Now for Day Twenty Three! Read the rest of this entry »

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October 17, 2012

Day Twenty Two of Thirty (nonconsecutive) Days of Writing the vacation edition

Posted in goals, thoughts, time management, writing tagged , at 6:26 pm by z. l. sasnett

The best time for planning a book is while you’re doing the dishes. – Agatha Christie

Y HALLO THAR INTERNETS!

Long time no see!

Funny how time slips through the fingers when you’re not paying attention. Well, when I’m not paying attention. I put my head down to get some nitty gritty work done, attend to familial obligations and plan for two vacations back-to-back and look what happens. Eight days go by.

Glad I moved to titling my posts during this meme as nonconsecutive. All my balls have fallen out of my juggling pattern and I think a few have rolled under the couch. Someone fetch a broom.

That’s why I really hate to have my schedule impinged upon. I’m a scheduler. I have to be or else I forget stuff. Like birthdays. And when ‘obligations’ take me away from writing, I lose my momentum and it’s hell to get back.

Like now. The last time I updated was last week. It started by a SURPRISE visit into town (which driving time takes about 45 minutes since I live in the ass-end of nowhere). Then I had to take care of a friend’s animals and house sit last minute.

Two more surprise! town visits, then getting ready to go on vacation, driving on the road most of the day Monday, catching up with friends yesterday and today. I’m exhausted and I’m not due to head home until the weekend.

…only to turn around and do it again in another direction, heading out to see my brother. So many lost days of writing. Tis very frustating. And the thing about it? It wasn’t like I was suddenly not feeling my creativity and sat like a lump to stare at the computer.

Oh no. I’m fit-to-bursting with writing energy. I just…can’t…reach…the laptop…from…overhere…. *thud*

Today is the first day I’ve actually had the time to sit down and get anything written. So I wrote a little bit (priorities, you know) and then started this blog post complaining about having no time to write.

It’s still good to see people I know, visit with friends, do things that I like doing. Just kind of hate that it takes me away from the keyboard, at least until our vacation routine settles down.

Whew….Day Twenty Two! Read the rest of this entry »

October 9, 2012

Day Twenty One of Thirty (nonconsecutive) Days of Writing the boring edition

Posted in challenges, writing tagged at 10:15 am by z. l. sasnett

I think writing is, by definition, an optimistic act. — Michael Cunningham

Yesterday, the kitten ignored me. I think she was mad or something, staying downstairs rather than upstairs where I write and Lucy the Dog usually resides close by. I’m sure Lucy the Dog was rather glad to have a day of respite from the rambunctious yak-footed kitten.

Today, she is full of herself and she and Lucy the Dog were actually playing at one point. Lucy…playing…was kind of cute to witness. Being old, she can’t get energetic but they were playing and she was tolerating the kitten batting at her. The claws, it seemed, stayed in and there was some cute moments.

Mostly things are quiet today. Writing to do, trips to plan.

On to Day Twenty One. Read the rest of this entry »

October 8, 2012

Day Twenty of Thirty (nonconsecutive) Days of Writing the meh edition

Posted in challenges, thoughts, writing tagged at 11:28 am by z. l. sasnett

Where there is no antagonist, you cannot quarrel. – Japanese proverb

Energy is rather low today. I’m sure it will show in the answer to today’s talking point for the thirty days meme.

Part of it is sinus related. When the barametric pressure changes (i.e. it rains), my sinuses give me trouble. Which means I take something for sinus headaches and, no matter the brand, it makes me sleepy.

Sleeeeepy.

Still, have too much to do to drop off for a nap right now. So, it’s fighting through the molasses-brain feeling for me!

Day Twenty. Read the rest of this entry »

October 7, 2012

Day Nineteen of Thirty (nonconsecutive) Days of Writing the rant edition

Posted in challenges, publishing, thoughts, writing tagged , at 9:53 am by z. l. sasnett

Writing is the only profession where no one considers you ridiculous if you earn no money. – Jules Renard

Interesting quote today. I certainly wish that were the case these days but it’s not. For as long as I can remember, writing carried with it the same, if not heavier, weight that if you’re doing it, you must automatically want to be doing it for money. If you’re not doing it for the money, clearly you’re deficient in some way. Why not take up an acceptable not-paid hobby like golf or tennis or stamp-collecting or crocheting?

I’ve never understood this mentality. It was especially prevalent during the fanfiction phase I was in. ‘You are such a good writer. You should write original fiction and sell it. You’re wasting your time writing fanfiction.’ That is pretty much what many fanfiction (and original fiction) writers are told when it’s made clear they write because they love it and have no desire to make money doing something they love.

I wonder if tennis players, or golf players, or any sports enthusiast who plays at a hobby level with no designs to become the next Venus Williams or Jack Nicklaus get the same level of grief. ‘Wow, you’re good. You should play professionally!’

You know, maybe they don’t want to. Maybe they’re playing because they love it. Somehow, it’s okay when it’s sports or any handcrafter.

Certainly, I’ve never been told ‘you’re a great crochter. You should try to sell some of your stuff.’ Hell, no matter how good I am, I can’t give my stuff away. There’s a stigma that seems to follow handcraft hobbies that it’s all crap, even though I’ve seen some stunning work put out. If someone tries to sell it, people are appalled at the prices the crafter charges to at least break even on supplies and maybe get some for their time investment, because they have ‘an auntie who does it all the time and sells it for considerably less (or gives it away) ZOMG!’

The urge to bite them is strong. *huff*

Writers? For reasons that are unfathomable to me, seem to get the side-eye when they say ‘nah, I just love to write and I’m not interested in getting published’. I wonder if it has to do with a tangible product in the end. Crafters have a tangible product at the end. They have something you can hold, display, use. Sports enthusiasts do as well. They have their gear, the shape their body is in, time spent being social with friends and family while engaging in their sport of choice. Stamp collectors have their vast collections of stamps to show off.

A writer has electronic words on an electronic page, all created in mostly isolation. When they have a physical book that can be put in physical hands, somehow it becomes more ‘real’ then. Prior to that? It’s a hobby people can’t seem to wrap their head around.

I have to wonder, however, if that isn’t changing now in many respects. As young people are growing up with automatic exposure to the internet, where the electronic exchange of information, goods and services are more commonplace for them, the value of the electronic version of something, a book, a website, a blog, a video has more tangible results for them.

Perceived value of those bodies of work are another rant altogether, so I’ll leave it there and move on to Day Nineteen. Read the rest of this entry »

October 5, 2012

Day Eighteen of Thirty (nonconsecutive) Days of Writing the editing edition

Posted in challenges, thoughts, writing tagged , at 7:07 am by z. l. sasnett

I do not like to write – I like to have written. – Gloria Steinem

I have determined that the above quote, with a minor adjustment, fits me perfectly.

I do not like to edit – I like to have edited.

Editing is like pulling teeth with me. It’s not like I can’t see that something needs editing. Looking back on the editing, I know it’s much better for it. Every pass through something illuminates my writing weaknesses, not that it bothers me. I actually enjoy seeing where I need to pay more attention, where things are slap-dash and pasted on in the rush of getting the story down.

The glimmer of jewels are there, beneath the rough surroundings. I can see them.

And when I’m out on the other side, I can look at it and go ‘wow, that really came together!’

Damn but I hate having to get from knowing there’s something there and finally seeing that it’s there.

My biggest concern is that my editing energy starts high at the beginning. It flags around the middle. It completely peeters out at the end. Which does what? Gives me a stellar beginning, an adequate middle and a ‘what-the-shit-is-this-hot-mess’ end.

A couple of tricks get me past that. One is to edit when energy is high and stop when it starts to wane. I can recognize the signs my attention is flagging and I stop there, making a note in the text. Next time, I pick up there and go. Rinse, repeat until I get to the end. For short pieces, I do that twice.

Then, I start at the end and move one paragraph at the time back to the beginning cleaning up any unclear wording and logic flow until I get to the beginning. This, I found, has been the most useful in editing so far. I’ve caught problematic wording, pronoun confusion and even some logic flow issues moving from back to front that I missed the two times I edited top down.

And it’s fun editing end to beginning, oddly enough, considering I’d rather have the kitten climb my bare leg with her razor-sharp claws than to edit.

We all do what we can to make something that is usually not-fun, fun, right?

Right!

Now, on to Day Eighteen! Read the rest of this entry »

October 3, 2012

Day Sixteen and Thirty (nonconsecutive) Days of Writing the sex edition

Posted in challenges, thoughts, writing tagged , at 9:58 am by z. l. sasnett

If the writing is honest it cannot be separated from the man who wrote it. – Tennessee Williams

Fall is on the move. It was rather chilly when we woke this morning. Not cool enough to crank up the wood burning stove but enough that I had to put on sleeves.

Although, that’s not saying much. I get cold easily.

Glad to see the cooler weather moving in. It was a dreadfully hot summer. Time for a change. Stay tuned around February when I start complaining about how cold it is and whining about Spring not getting here fast enough. :/

Day Sixteen! Read the rest of this entry »

October 2, 2012

Day Fifteen of Thirty (nonconsecutive) Days of Writing – when kittens attack edition

Posted in challenges, thoughts, writing tagged , at 9:06 am by z. l. sasnett

Coincidence is the word we use when we can’t see the levers and the pulleys. – Emma Bull

Lucy the Dog is having a bad day. It started last night. She’s been pacing ever since, making circuits around and around and around the room. She’s restless and I can’t figure out why. Which is more than just a bit maddening when it cranks up the kitten and the chase by Thunder Paws begins as she galumphs across the floor and back, like a herd of yaks.

How something so small can make such a racket running across a hardwood floor is beyond my ken. But it is of the crazy-making.

Anyway. On to Day Fifteen. Read the rest of this entry »

September 30, 2012

Day Fourteen of Thirty (nonconsecutive) Days of Writing – the tomato method edition

Posted in challenges, goals, thoughts, time management, writing tagged at 7:29 am by z. l. sasnett

“We are all faced with a series of great opportunities brilliantly disguised as impossible situations.” – Charles R. Swindoll

So the brainworm that is Spartacus in Space is still wiggling around in my ear. If the imagery didn’t wig me out so much, I might actually find that cute.

It is apropos to how I feel, though. I have other projects I am focusing on now. I have things in the works that I can’t drop for this at the moment and yet it insists I give it some creative mindspace.

Or maybe it’s the kitten currently curled up between my arms on the table while I type this. Kitten!sleeps are contagious. The rain’s not helping either. Nor is my dog’s snoring as she rests beside me. Time to whip out my kitchen timer and wield my Pomodoro Technique with the skill of a writing ninja!

And to make sure I don’t spend an inordinate amount of time dithering about. Or napping.

With that in mind, I’ll kick out Day Fourteen and get to it! Read the rest of this entry »

September 29, 2012

Day Thirteen of Thirty (nonconsecutive) Days of Writing – the gore edition

Posted in challenges, thoughts, writing tagged at 9:51 am by z. l. sasnett

My ideas usually come not at my desk writing but in the midst of living. — Anais Nin

Mood is vastly better today than it was yesterday. Not sure what the trick was, but something happened, rotated and clicked into place and I woke up feeling much more positive and upbeat.

I like feeling like that, especially when I was up until one a.m. unable to sleep. Did the smart thing. Instead of tossing and turning in the bed and wishing sleep would finally come, I jumped up, pushed in some episodes of Spartacus: Blood and Sand and watched the blood, gore, sex and political machinations of twisted people. Good times, good times.

Then I had an idea for a story. They say nothing is really original, that our ideas are riffs off of other ideas and this pretty much proves it.

Spartacus in Space. Yeah, I know it’s not new.  The point is to make it unique and original? Looks like I have a new project to develop.

…hey, I think I just came up with an idea to serialize! Thanks wordpress and blog-type people, having you as a sounding board really helps. It will require some serious research considering this is a time era I’m not familiar with but I’ve never shied away from rolling up my sleeves before and starting something that I have no earthly idea on how to start.

Pretty chuffed now.

Anyway, Day Thirteen! Read the rest of this entry »

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