Monday, January 18, 2010

Grieving and Celebrating

I always find it interesting how we are never really of one mind, as humans -- how we can feel complex layers of emotion and somehow manage to function with a multitude of emotional threads clamoring for our attention.

It should come as no surprise that writers who create characters who also feel layers of emotion manage to create characters who are as real as ourselves, and who can become friends of sorts, whom we revisit over the years. And even though their stories may stay the same, what we bring to those stories changes as we do, and therefore what we take from those stories also changes and fulfills us differently each time we visit.

I remind myself of this as I am both grieving for the loss of possibilities, a life I used to live, and also looking forward with much excitement to some things which will take place this year, in the life I currently live. I hold both despair and hope in my heart, knowing hope eventually will win.

As a writer, I know I need to use these layers, if not exactly how I am living them, then some simulacrum of that. This is as honest as I know how to be -- using my real emotions in a character, so that a reader can live for the moment in a place which feels as real as their own reality. This is raw and intimidating and leaves me feeling exposed and vulnerable, but it is dishonest, I feel, to try and write in any other way.

Let yourself experience your emotions as deeply and as fully as you can. Do not shy away from them. Then let your characters do the same. Then, and only then, you can write truth.

The Final Snippet: "You are going to hell in a ham-basket." (overheard during a poker game, by someone who did not hear the original phrase correctly).

Thursday, January 14, 2010

Short and Silly

The final snippet is also the only thing I am posting today. This is too fun to bury it under my whining (which is the only thing I'm good for today anyway):

There is a giant inflatable Bozo in my office now.

(shoplifted from a Facebook update)

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

If You are Not Part of the Solution... are part of the precipitate.

Gotta hate a week where nothing really is wrong enough to complain about, but during which lots of small stupid things bubble up and lurk about and just generally are aggravating.

Right -- nothing really to complain about. But damn do I wanna bitch and moan about something.

In the interest of not giving into that self-indulgence, will aggregate some stuff from my life. Stuff that I CAN'T bitch about. Well, I could, but you'd all think I was off my rocker for it. Sigh.

Reading: "Lives of the Monster Dogs", a first novel by Kirsten Bakis. Interesting. Slow-ish. Fairy-tale feel. Overall, like.

Also "The Little Friend" by Donna Tartt. Like wearing a heavy blanket in the summer, this is a ponderous Faulknerian experience, and I was unfortunately disappointed by the end which I saw coming about 2/3 of the way through. On the other hand, Tartt plays with words deftly, and I immersed in her world.

Cooking: Vegetarian. Made seitan for the first time (Seitan Lives!). It's...okay. I am a meat eater, and generally not happy with meat substitutes. This was better reheated, in the Curried Udon with Seitan that I made just to put the seitan in. This was very yum, though the seitan was so-so. After it sat overnight in the fridge and was reheated, the seitan had a better consistency.

Listening to: New Jazz. Classical guitar. Billie Holliday.

Wishing for: the beach.

2010 off to an anti-climactic start.

The final snippet: Sorrow was last weekend's emotion.

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Just Keep Writing....

Just keep writing, just keep writing, just keep writing, writing, writing...*

Yeah. That.

I'm bored with reminding myself...can someone else remind me for a while that the way to get stuff written is to write and write and write?

Also, whole you're at it, remind me that I love writing. Really, I do. Even when it feels like crawling arouond on my hands and knees in coffee grounds and broken glass, looking for that damned contact lens. Again. hurts good.

I swear.

Just keep writing, just keep writing, just keep....


Getting back to it.

The Final Snippet: Life is just better when cords are tidy (lifted from Elliot, with gratitude).

(*apologies to Dorrie for shoplifting this...please don't sue me)

Monday, January 4, 2010

Some Days

On a good day, there's not much difference between what I want to say or do, and what I actually say or do.

Some days are easier than others, however.

Some days, I wake up jazzed to write, and I end up instead on my hands and knees paving my own road to hell -- oooh -- look -- a good intention fits here...and here...and here...and here....


Some days I wake up jazzed to write, and instead spend a lot of time thinking about writing but procrastinating the actual writing until I fall into my bed and dream of all the words unwritten.


Some days I wake up jazzed to write and instead of writing what I planned, I allow myself to get dragged off into that peculiar type of procrastination which results in something getting written, just not what I planned. As if I were possessed by some demonic anti-muse who will not ever let me forget that while I seem to have been productive, I in fact just fooled myself into avoiding what needed to get done.

Really depressing.

And some days I wake jazzed to write and manage, through nothing short of a miracle to actually get done some or all of what I had planned, without self-criticizing, or self-editing myself into stopping, and the words are there, where they always are, on the other side of the keyboard, or transmogrified from inside a pen through nothing more than my will.

That's a good damn day.

Here's hoping 2010 has a lot of those good damn days for all of us.

The Final Snippet: "You can always hope for the West." (overheard in a meeting, much to my delight, where the speaker intended to say 'You can always hope for the best." I love this sentiment and vow to use it in every meeting possible until the end of time.)