Tuesday, November 30, 2010


Just finished reading: All three Steig Larsson Lisbeth Salander books. Reading an awesome author makes me question sometimes whether I have what it takes. But then I remind myself I may just be awesome in a different way than said author. Also, the first 88 pages or so of Dragon Tattoo should have been edited out. Just saying. Also, I want to kick some ass....

Just returned from: Marrietta, Georgia. Am now a fan of Taco Mac. Keep finding Taco Mac mint wrappers in my handbag. Have acquired a cool new Tshirt proclaiming my enrollment in the Taco Mac Brewniversity. My brother, CW, has wrecked me by exposing me to such awesomeness that does not also exist in Colorado. Whatever shall I do?????

Just listened to: The Drop Kick Murphys. Theoretically I have hear them before, but did not really know what I was listening to. Irish Screamo. With bagpipes. Every bit of my personal history all rolled up in one band. So much awesome in any single song that I may need to head to Taco Mac for a Guinness.

Just decided: I will do NaNoWriMo next year but will plan my month better so as to minimizes All Other Activities Which Could Possible Distract From Word Count. Might even take the month off from work (I wish).

That's about as much random as I can muster the energy to address, though I assure the universe, there is much much more random in my life than these four bits.

Back to writing....

The Final Snippet: Beer is not an anti-inflammatory -- except maybe for your emotions.

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Writing Above the Clouds

I am tooling along at 33,000 feet above sea level, in an airplane, somewhere halfway between Colorado and Georgia. And I'm blogging.

Out my window is a blanket of cloud that makes me feel like I am flying over a giant iceberg, and at the horizon, white meets bluesky as if it has been photoshopped into a sharp transition. Too real to feel real, this view.

What words will fly from my fingers at this lofty height? Probably nothing any better or brighter than usual...but they'll FEEL different. Lighter, more effervescent, misty, breezy and ephemeral as the clouds below me. I may have to book flights just to get this sense of important writing....If my wallet can handle it. Or maybe I'll just have to let my words take me to new heights.

The Final Snippet: For the love of all that is unholy...(overheard on the flight deck)

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Tuesday, By the Numbers

Fresh Bartlett Pears for breakfast: 1
Borderline anxiety attacks over flying: 2
Pounds lost this week: 3
Loads of laundry to do for trip: 4
Number of people who came to PPW Night: 5
Phone Calls I need to make: 6
Times I had to holler for teen to wake up: 7
Number of people I wish had come to PPW Night: 10
Words to be written to make NaNo goal: innumerable

The Final Snippet: It's not a grope; it's a freedom pat (Fake TSA Bumper Sticker)

Monday, November 22, 2010

A Little Stress Goes a Long #&%@*!#& Way

Some years I really adore the holidays. Some years I can take or leave them. This year aligns with the latter versus the former.

Behind with NaNo, traveling for Thanksgiving, neither of which I normally do in November -- I grossly 'misunderestimated' the impact that these things would have on my baseline mood never mind on my ability to sit down and write. Add some other unexpected life stuff and it all adds up to stress. Not the good productive kind that keeps you moving forward, but the kind that gets in the way of just about everything you try to get done.

I realize that while I have figured out how to write during short chunks of time (which I thought I could not do), and how to make myself sit down after work and get more done when I really don't feel like it, I have not yet learned how to distance myself from stress and get to the writing.

It's not writers block. The stuff is there in my brain to be written. But stress is impeding my ability to let it all out -- I can't let go of that which is causing the stress long enough for the worlds to tumble from my brain to my fingers and thereby onto paper.

So next year, I won't combine NaNo with a 5 day trip to the East Coast, and will try to minimize other life interruptions...but you know, life IS that thing that happens when you're trying to write.

How do you find time or otherwise manage holiday stress which might impede your writing?

The Final Snippet: He could be home with a honey-do list, but instead he's at Borders with a book (Overheard at Borders followed by giggling from the several women moving in on the married, but attractive older guy who really just wants ro read)

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Plus, You Can Repeat Words!

Don't you wish you had a job like mine? All you have to do is think up a certain number of words! Plus, you can repeat words! And they don't even have to be true! ~~Dave Barry

Sigh. NaNoWriMo is hard. I am hopelessly behind, and am resigning myself to not reaching 50,000 words. I won't add extra words for word count, and I won't write crap just to make word count. I just didn't have it in me to work on my project last night, so I wrote something else.

I suppose it's good that I wrote. Now if I can just get my brain to the point of performing on demand on the specific project I need to work on.

How do you make sure the words are there for what you need to write when you sit down to get to it? I don't believe in writers block, but sometimes there's just nothing to say.

Back to it.

The Final Snippet: We should nip that right in the butt.

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Feeling Kind of...Orange

New design. Fits my mood lately, which is swirly and open and bright. Writing begets writing, so I suppose NaNo has convinced me to write even when I don't particularly want to.

Even when I have nothing to day.

Not sure that's a good habit for a blogger to be in, so I'll just dip back out.

But yeah. Orange and swirly. Not bad.

The final snippet: Is that his girlfriend, or just a ho-worker. (made beer come out my nose)

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Making Your Reader Cry

Like many Pikes Peak Writers members, I am participating in NaNoWriMo. I am not doing a particularly good job at making my word count, but I will admit to being fairly happy with what I am writing. I am also fairly happy with the level of discipline I have gained -- I am spending my lunch hour writing, a thing which I would have insisted a month ago was impossible, and I am writing every singe day.

Happiness with myself notwithstanding, I hit what I think is a common week 2 crisis which went something like 'how in the world did I ever think I had the talent much less the time to try and write anything and how dare I have the hubris to think I might have something to say which might mean something to anyone but self-indulgent self." Or something like that. And I reached out to a few trusted pals for some reassurance. And they reassured me...but I didn't feel all that reassured.

I have a dear friend who is going through a life crisis, and it occurred to me while chatting with her on the phone that my NaNo project is about her exact conflict, about being on the other side of the journey which she is undertaking. And I told her this and asked if I could share the draft of the last few pages (yes, I write out of order). Indulging me, she said yes, and I read maybe 400 words to her over the phone.

While I read, I understood maybe for the first time the intended emotional impact of what I wrote. I mean, I understood it before, but in a clinical way, a 'these words should accomplish this thing" way. In that moment, I really got the visceral impact of the scene, and I realized when I finished that my friend and I were both crying. We cried for our own reasons, overlapping a bit, me for her misfortune, and for having a breakthrough insight into my own work; her for the simple fact of the unchosen life journey she is undertaking, and for realizing there is an end to it, eventually. We cried together, and the instigator of that moment were my words.

When she said she would love to read the finished product, I realized I had just been paid the ultimate compliment for a writer -- the reader-writer contract was fulfilled in that moment and she and I occupied the same emotive space. Through my words.

We write for so many reasons: out of need, out of a desire to be published, for wanting validation, for fulfillment artistically, but at the basis of every book is a simple premise -- that the engagement of the reader with the words the writer has provided will make for an experience of sorts. Without the reader, we may as well toss our words to the wind, without the writer, readers would have no way to fill that space in them that wants the words.

So maybe I am filled with hubris, thinking I have something to say that might mean something to a reader someday. Hell, I still have to convince myself of it, then an agent and then a publisher. But I think I do have something to say, and when I say it, I hope I evoke what I managed to in that small moment, that emotive connection that made my reader cry. And I am reassured.

And now, back to writing.

The final snippet: It's not rocket science. It's beer. (overheard at Southside Johnny's).