Gearing Up

So after all this talk of wanting to be a writer – like a real published author – I figured I should start doing things that will lead to publishing. Continue reading

In Which She Takes a Break (Also Known As: Yah, Right)

My first novel, the one that has taken me nearly two and a half years to write, is finally being read by actual people for the first time! And by actual people, I mean someone who is not me. Of course, directly after I sent it out to my wonderful beta readers I started re-reading it again and found it lacking in SOO many areas. Apparently I have learned a lot since starting my third edit and finishing it. And I’ve started getting feedback which is awesome and amazing and a bit soul crushing to think of how much work that novel still has left. Continue reading

Jared Leto is a vampire and other musings

Someone told me recently that Bill Murrary’s character in Groundhog Day (a movie that I could watch over and over) was supposed to have spent 10,000 years repeating the same day. This supposedly is based on a Hindu (?) idea that it takes 10,000 years to perfect a soul. (This could all be verifiable with a simple Google search, but its validity is beside the point for this blog post.) 

10,000 years. Of repeating the same damn day. I would go crazy several times over. I literally cannot even imagine how long that is. Poor Bill Murray. 

When I was in a young teenager I desperately wanted to be a vampire. So much so that I wore a garnet necklace with a false back around my neck with a note tucked inside that read Dear Vampire – please drink my blood and make me a vampire like you. Thanks! (Or something to that effect.) My desire stemmed less from an urge to drink blood and more from a want to never grow old, to live forever. And to hang out with Tom Cruise and Brad Pitt. I could add Jared Leto but I didn’t realize he was a vampire until very recently. There is no other explanation for his supernatural skin. How can he look the same in his mid-40s as he did when I watched him with angsty googly eyes in middle school. See? Vampire – a day walking one for sure. Has anyone seen him in direct sunlight? I wonder if he sparkles like Edward Cullen… 

Anyway I officially take back my request dear vampire. I couldn’t stand eternal life I think. I need deadlines (no pun intended) to drive me forward. If I had all the time in the world what would be the motivation to complete anything? Although, having a body not subject to the whims of gravity would be alright I suppose… But at what cost? 

…this is a really weird post. I must stop waking up in the middle of the night to write my blog.  

Urban Camping (or the joy of eavesdropping)

It’s 4:30am. This is the point where I am unable to pretend that I’m not sleeping on thinly veiled brick. My daughter is sleeping peacefully beside me, cocooned in blankets – my husband gave up long ago (he hurt his neck yesterday so he has an excuse). I was awoken this time by both the soreness of my right side and the close sound of a short-legged animal munching in the bushes next to us and then brushing against the side of the tent as it passed. I was too scared to look, but did let out a protective hiss. (All things are scared of snakes, right?)

 

Urban camping at its finest
 
This wasn’t the first time I was awoken tonight – for the record it’s probably been a collection of twilight sleep broken by sounds of helicopters, cars passing by way too fast, and the conversations of drunk people as they return back to their cars from the scattering of cool bars cropping up in my ‘hood.

The most interesting (and yet horrifying) snippet of conversation overheard tonight went something like this… 

Her: She doesn’t know. She doesn’t know I tell you everything. She assumes, but she doesn’t know. She doesn’t know I told you about the R.A.P.E

(Silence, followed by a low grunt — i imagine HE was looking at his phone but that is just my mind trying to fill in details.)

He: I’m listening.  … But you did tell me.

Her: Yea, but she doesn’t know… 

At this point they trail off past hearing distance. Although the topic was somewhat disturbing it does bring me back to one of the reasons I enjoy writing- capturing moments of life and expanding on them. I have a whole short story out of that small window of conversation, at least.

I love observing and listening to the world around me and trying to recapture a bit of life back into the page. Although my back is aching and I’m fairly sure a nap is in my near future perhaps I will let my daughter convince me to go “camping” again — but first I need to get a better barrier between me and the brick. I’ve read a lot of historical/fantasy fiction in my day and have determined that modern day humans (okay, me) have gone soft.

Telling ghost stories

Arrggg!!! (Or Chapter 10 is a Mess)

  Editing. A necessary step in completing a book. I shudder to think how awful my story would have come out if, after first writing “The End”, I had decided it was well and good to send off. And, I actually have decided that I like editing. I’ve come to visualize the editing process like a painting. A painter begins by first using broad undefined strokes for shading and under painting, adding more details with the next layer, and with the next layer comes even more detail and refinement, until a finished product emerges – one that is hard to imagine started out as blobs of color.

But then I encountered Chapter 10. Feel free to blink absently into space here because that is exactly what I did after reading the chapter to refresh myself and to generally note areas that needed work. What the hell was that? I thought to myself.

Now, to be fair (to myself), Chapter 10 covers two different times, and two different POVs. During my second pass through I decided to edit each story separately without the breaks to help with continuity. So, it wasn’t until now that I read it all together. One of the major issues is that so much stuff happens in this chapter – like three or four major events – but not enough to stand alone on their own. I wanted to keep them together to keep the tension and show how rapidly Ruby’s life is changing at this point, but I don’t think it works. 

Other issues I have are just some poorly written-getting close to the end- rushed words. I think I cut scenes that need more exploration, but then I come to the conclusion the book is getting too long. I’m trying to keep around 75k although it keeps creeping up, I think right now there are 78k written. 

Anyway, Chapter Ten is a mess and a bear at close to fifty pages long. And nothing is getting done by just sitting here complaining about it. Although wouldn’t that be a dream? “This [insert house/book/what have you] is a mess!l POOF! No mess. “Well, that’s better.” 

Ah dreams…

An Open Book

New short story available on Describli.com   These are a bit addictive as I can write one off in such a short time — sigh. I am so easily distracted! Anyway teaser below.  Perhaps I should collect these here too for easier reading. Thoughts?

An Open Book (prompt – Much Needed Advice)

I shifted slightly on the couch, aware of every movement I made. I could feel my joints occupying too much space and I knew space was what she needed right now. She needed to come to me, although it took everything I had not to make the first move.

“Mom?”

“Yes?” I said, too quickly, too eager.

She shot me a quizzical look. “Can we change the channel? They’ve already played these stories.”

“Oh,” I replied, trying to not let the disappointment show. She was right though, the news was now repeating the same segment on a local street fair this weekend. I had not been paying attention really. “Sure. Here, why don’t you take the remote?” I tossed it over and she caught it with one hand, a practiced move. “Do you want a snack or anything?” I was getting antsy waiting for her to ask. I needed to get up, to move.

“No, thanks.”

“Ok.”

I was not really hungry. I got up anyway and wandered down the hallway, pausing to look at my reflection in the bathroom mirror. The bright light from the window accentuated the grooves on the side of my mouth. I stretched my skin back towards my ears, simultaneously wondering if I should get Botox and how I had gotten so old. I let my face fall back. Somehow the skin seemed looser than it had a moment ago. I hope I hadn’t done permanent damage. I looked past my reflection to the mirrored image of Rebecca’s room behind me. Her door was open wide to her room. Sunlight, filtered through gauzy curtains, highlighted the tossed remnants of childhood buried like sediment under the cheap makeup and the garish accoutrements of a young teen. It was open like that yesterday too. Only it was different.

A site for short stories (or why I can’t find the soap)

I was trying so hard to think of a clever title for this post I couldn’t find the soap which was so cleverly hidden directly in front of me. 

Aside from that, I found an awesome writing outlet today! A place where I can stretch some creatives muscles, try different styles and genres, and basically have some fun with no commitment to a long novel. I’ve posted my first scrib and I think it turned out pretty good!  

The concept is that they provide four writing prompts- a simple phrase or word – and the you are free to write whatever comes to mind. There is a word limit (which I wish I had paid attention to – had to cut my first scrib by 300 or so words). 

Anyway – I’ve posted my first scrib and I think it turned out pretty fun! Check it out of you have a chance and maybe write a scrib yourself. 

https://describli.com/