In which I am ambitious and likely set myself up for failure

Things to be done today, sort of in order.

  • Finish reading Bill’s novel and give him my notes (Bill, you have the patience of a saint and I am horribly taking advantage).
  • Finish cleaning my room (Or at least take care of the stuff on the floor. Clearing off the bookshelf/dresser and going through the products in my bathroom can happen tomorrow)
  • Purchase a birthday present and a card for a ballet-mad little girl
  • Buy some work pants
  • Buy some fabric to make baby presents (I am planning to make a pillow shaped like a lamb and also a terrycloth ducky that can go in the bath)

I shall return later and let you know if I actually managed any of them.

In which Faith uses a Bad Word

I sat down with the intention of writing that post on rereading that I said I was going to write like two weeks ago, only to discover that I actually don’t have enough to say for an entire post. I mean, I probably could get an entire post on it if I tried but seeing as I’ve been putting it off for so long obviously it’s not going to happen. So instead, a series of comments, starting with rereading and ending with blog things:

1. Rereading is totally acceptable, and I will happily ignore those people who don’t understand my desire to reenter worlds that have particularly engaged me and revisit characters who I’ve particularly identified with.

2. Sometimes I reread a book from a long time ago and I have changed so much that I no longer feel the same way about it. This usually happens when I’m rereading a book with writing flaws (info dumps, flat characters) that I was too young to notice the first time around. I find that I’m a much more critical reader than I was (though not as critical as many).

3. A section of the princess plot decided to make itself known to me yesterday. Progress! And yet, a lot of work remains to be done.

4. I will be doing NaNo this year, although I will almost definitely be participating with a reduced word count goal. I shall consider myself a winner if I get, let’s say (excuse me while I do some math here)…15,000 words, a.k.a. 500 words a day. This is kind of a low bar but A) I have waaaaay to much work this semester, seriously it’s insane and possibly unconstitutional, and B) then I can be pleasantly surprised and feel all proud of myself if I write more!

5. I may have said this already (I forget) but the progress bars will be staying exactly the way they are until I get out of the planning stage and into the writing. I don’t even know how to begin estimating percentage completion for world building, when I won’t know how much I need to do until I’ve already done it!

6. Marvin posts are now scheduled to run on Wednesdays from next Wednesday  until it’s done. There are a lot left so it should last a while. Will there ever be a Marvin sequel? I really don’t know. Perhaps a Freddy spinoff? [EDIT: Marvin will run once a week until February, at which point it will speed up so certain significant installments coincide with Valentine’s day and my birthday]

7. I have a confession to make. I AM A BOOK GIVEAWAY WHORE. (There’s your language). I appear to have notoriously bad luck in anything chance related that has to do with winning things (I’m looking at you, Urban NY), but I figure if I enter every single one I come across, I will eventually win something! Probably. Hopefully. Maybe. Knowing my luck, not until I’m 80. Anyway the point is that means my twitter is currently almost nothing but tweets/retweets about giveaways, which is usually counts as an additional entry. So yeah, I will at some point attempt to tweet more other things so that my twitter is not just a giveaway entry machine, but:

8. This is the order of things which I do: 1. Homework (at least in theory), 2. Writing, 3. Ballet, 4. Reading, 5. Other fun self-fulfilling things, like photography, or talking to other humans, or eating food, 6. Sleeping, 7. Blogging, and finally 8. Twitter. So, priorities being what they are, you understand why the blog has such long gaps between posts and the twitter is mostly barren.

I’m Baaaaack

Well, here we are again.

It’s been nearly a year since I posted last. This means two things:

1. I am probably talking to myself; nobody reads this anymore.
2. The blogger interface has changed again. Between this and Facebook, I think I might cry.

I will explain why I was absent for so long. The truth is, college was quite enough for me to handle last year. The blog kept getting put on the back burner until I basically forgot about it. But I had a crazy, revelatory dream the other night which was basically a scene from a story popping into my head. And that just made me want to write again.

Interestingly, that’s not the project I’m drawn to at the moment. I think it needs to percolate a bit. Unlike the princess story, which has percolated quite enough thank you and is ready to be worked on!

So I’m here, back on the blog. I can’t promise anything (for example, daily posts). I think that’s too much for me. I can aspire to, perhaps, three posts a week. They will mostly be related to what I’m writing, although I wouldn’t be surprised if some school stuff or Nutcracker stuff or life-in-general stuff creeps in there.

To my readers, if they still exist, I apologize for not letting you know when I realized the blog was going dark. If you’re still around, I’m still writing 🙂

If not, I already talk to myself quite a bit, so I suppose this isn’t that different!

P.S. Yes, I will finish Marvin. And the reading list will have a huge gap in it. Oh well…

DRAGONS. PLOT DRAGONS. Which squiggle.

I don’t have plot bunnies. I have plot dragons.

They’re infinitely more difficult to find and MUCH harder to catch – there’s that whole they might fry you to a crisp and eat you thing. Or that disembowel you with a claw and eat you raw thing, if they’re in the mood for rare.

I have SO MUCH TROUBLE with plots. I have to sort of come at them sideways or they squiggle around (yes, that’s a word). If I grab them by one part, they go all silly putty on me and squish out and then go reform a few feet away and laugh at me.

Okay, those metaphors are totally different and don’t really make any sense, but the point is there. That point being that I needed to find a new way to think about plots.

It’s all about conflict.

Well, um, yeah, you say, or actually you probably don’t because you’re very articulate and don’t stoop to the use of such words. This is obvious, you say.

Yeah, well, it took me a while. Even after reading all these wonderful blog posts and articles and other assorted pearls of wisdom it didn’t really sink in. It took one – ahem- interesting practice novel and some time to reflect before it really hit me.

Goals. Obstacles. Conflict. OH!

I’m sorry, I’m not usually this slow. Please, bear with me.

Cookies! (and Newton’s 1st law)

Oh WOW have I been bad. It’s been nearly a month since I graced my (non-existent I’m sure) audience with my presence!

To be fair, I have been trying to adjust to this whole college-living-on-my-own-HEY-THAT’S-A-LOT-OF-READING-what-I-have-an-essay-due-already? dynamic, plus NUTCRACKER HAS STARTED.

Nutcracker is my life.

But Nutcracker is for another post (Tomorrow? Maybe if I alternate nut posts with writing posts I’ll be on here more – I LOVE talking about nut). Right now I want to focus on another idea – momentum.

“Inertia is the death of creativity. You have to keep moving, keep making. So much of making art is muscle memory, keeping your routine…”

I stole this from somewhere on this website, I think, and if I didn’t go look at the website anyway cause it’s cool. I read that and thought YES. That is the crux of the problem, isn’t it? Inertia. Objects at rest tend to stay at rest. (Little mini physics lesson there)

I was doing so well with my whole 750 words thing. I was writing every day. And then, I missed a day because I went out to dinner with some family friends and didn’t get back until 1 in the morning.

The next day, I didn’t write.

I thought, it’s okay that I miss another day, I’ve already broken my streak, I can start back tomorrow.
Guess what happened the next day?

It’s hard to keep doing something, day after day, but it’s even harder to stop and then start again. It’s easy to stop doing something and then keep not doing it. What a vicious cycle…

But today, I’m BREAKING THE CYCLE!

You ask, skeptically, (or maybe you don’t, but for the sake of argument let’s say you do):

“What makes today different from any other day?”

Two reasons. One, I’ve acknowledged my problem and consciously decided to change my pattern of behavior. Two, I’m bribing myself with cookies 🙂

Cheating again!

I cheated you of a post yesterday, and I’m going to have to do it again today, because I have an eye doctor’s appointment tomorrow and I really have to go to bed. However, I promise tomorrow to write about the newest best thing to happen to my writing, ie 750words.

Sometimes I think I’m a magpie, because I like shiny things

Ok, I feel bad because I haven’t posted in ages…I’ve been really bad lately, distracted by shiny things like new computers and refrigerators and ironing boards and bedding and…

Going off to college in a couple of weeks, so there’s been lots to do. BUT now I’ve decided that I’ve had enough of a break and I’m ready to come back. Starting with a little contest on the Figment website. I usually don’t do that sort of thing, and I might not even publish my entry (which then wouldn’t be an entry because I wouldn’t have entered it…whatever). The point is that it gives me a manageable goal to work towards; it’s a short story, so I’ll get to feel accomplished when I actually finish it; and, most importantly for me, there’s a deadline.

The contest is basically to write anything about a prince or princess. That gives me a lot of leeway, so I’d better get brainstorming.

Also, the reading list has been updated.

"We are who we are. Lotteries are stupid."

Do you know what? Writing cards is very difficult.

I find it similar to signing a yearbook, actually. It’s hard to write something heartfelt and unique and genuine and not sound stupid or sappy. It’s hard to reduce the ups and downs and lefts and rights and wrongs of a relationship into a few words. People are such complicated, multifaceted beings, and cards aren’t very big.

I think, sometimes, it would just be easier to write everyone a novel.

Of course, even a novel is a reduction; just a longer one. Honestly, nothing can totally capture real life, it just is. But we write novels anyway. I guess they’re easier to understand.

That was enough profundity (if it even was profound) for one night. Back to writing, because Rat’s story needs to be done tomorrow and it’s a page long. Haha. It really is funny how bad I am at deadlines. Except it’s not.

Also, Blogger has moved the little box where I type labels for posts…it’s on the left now instead of the right. That annoys me.

And just to clarify, the title has nothing at all to do with this post. I just liked it. Brownie points if you can identify the source…