Friday, May 21, 2010

So close I can taste it!

I haven't counted my word totals in a while. Those weeks where I wasn't writing due to other commitments loomed large in my head. I didn't feel like I was making progress. But I had a couple of good days this week where the writing was easy and the word counts mounted up so I thought I'd check out my total. I don't always write linearly, sometimes a scene pops up out of sequence and I open a new document. At the moment I have fourteen separate documents that I'll have to meld together into one.

So I wrote down the fourteen word counts and added them together: Get this - 58037. That's nearly two thirds of the way through. Two thirds. I could conceivably be done in another month. It'll probably be two because I just don't get that much quiet time to write, especially in the summer, but still I'm getting another book finished.

What you may not understand is that this is amazing to me. Not that I finished one book, that's like me to take on a huge project and push through it. But then I also took on a second and finished it, and now a third, plus I have about half another book waiting for me to go back to it. I'm a fickle person. My usual MO in life is to master something and move on. Or not even master, sometimes it's just complete it and then move on. Or, even more often, Complete one, start on a second or a third and then just abandon it, because I'm bored with it now. Or I can't find the time. I have a quilt in pieces in my sewing box. A cross stitch 90 percent complete. An afghan in pieces - I may just say that they are scarfs and let it go at that. A crochet Boa scarf I havent' completed because I just don't have the time. But the books - they are getting finished.

Interesting. Part of it may be due to the fact that I now have readers. And they write and ask for the next book, setting up an expectation that I need to fulfill.  But mostly I think it's because the writing is a part of me in a way that the other projects aren't. It allows me to communicate, to use my humor and wit (what there is of it) to entertain. And God knows I love to get a laugh.

So there it is. 58037. Pretty darn good if I say so myself. It brings me more pleasure than I can say. And that makes ME laugh.

Friday, May 14, 2010

A Sentimental Journey

I don’t usually consider myself sentimental. I don’t get choked up at the usual milestones. Kids going off for their first day of Kindergarten? Yippee! Sixteen year old get’s her license and can drive herself back to school to get her forgotten school work? Finally! Kids can put themselves to sleep? Hey, I can go to bed before they do! Can’t beat that. So imagine my surprise when I found myself tearing up at the sight of a hall full of our high school seniors in cap and gown.

Granted our Foreign Exchange Student was in that group, and it’s a reminder that she’ll be leaving us soon. But it was more than that. One of my best friends’ sons was in the group. There were a bunch of students I’ve gotten to know over this last year in a way that wouldn’t be possible if I hadn’t worked in the school. Still, me? Tearing up? What’s going to happen in a couple of years when my oldest graduates? I’m going to flood the school.

I have this funny ache in my chest that has taken me completely by surprise, and not even I can put a funny spin on that. I’m going to miss this group of miscreants.

Thursday, May 13, 2010

See me over at Frances Stockton's Blog

I'm over at Frances Stockton's blog talking about some of my creative processes. Come on over and make a comment. - I'm feeling all alone!

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

So why aren't I writing again?

I'm finished Judging the seven books I committed to for the Daphne pubbed division. Let me tell you, reading, rating and commenting on seven books in three weeks is not easy. You wouldn't think it would be hard, but it is. Why it's hard is complicated, but is partially due to the subjectiveness of judging. What I love another judge may hate. And while that doesn't really affect my scoring, it affects how I feel about the how I score. It's mental work, and if you don't happen to like the book you're judging it's grueling. Because you have to finish. You can't just put it down and move on.

Having finished yesterday I thought I might be able to get back to Glimmer Girls today. But I haven't recovered. I still have all these other stories floating in my head, getting in the way of the magic I need for Clara and Dilly. I should have my soundtrack with me, but it's sitting on my bedside table with the story I was listening to. Soundtrack at home, Collage at home, eyes at half mast. How in the world can I write?

One word at a time.

I may not make my minimum word count today. But in this situation I think I have to forgive myself the word count and just focus on moving forward. One lousy word at a time. Because this isn't going to be one of those easy days when the words pour out. I'm going to have to drag them to the page, kicking a screaming and stick them there with glue.

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

The Garbage in my Head

As you may, or may not, know, I'm a regular reader of Jenny Crusie and Lucy March's blogs. I think I'm a little like both of these women. Jenny because she writes and she's crafty, Lucy because she's making changes and making her life better.

Lucy is fearless in a way that I am not. She's been willing to look at the junk in the trunk and throw some of it out. In the process she discovered that she likes running. Wow.

I have a lot of trash floating around in my head.
On the whole, I'm optimistic, like people, find life engaging. In fact I think my basic personality is pretty positive. When I was a small child, before my life got complicated, I used to wake up singing in the morning. A friend of mine claims I still do that when I stay at her house, but I don't remember doing it. There just this small bubble of joy that comes out when I'm relaxed and freed from the daily stresses. That's the good stuff.

The garbage in my head, that's the bad stuff. I am harder on myself than any other person in the world. Meaning I'm harder on myself than I am on others, harder on myself than they are on me.

What I was going to write is that I lie to myself. But I don't really think I do. I sugar coat some things. I'm used to beating myself up if I relax instead of doing one of the million things on the to do list. But I'm going to stop that. Everyone is allowed to have down time, for gosh sakes. Even me.

The garbage in my head has a lot to do with shoulds. I should put my kids before myself. I should make more money. Maybe that's more practical, I need to make more money - or spend less. I've stopped thinking I should cook, I should clean. I shouldn't. I do, because it's less hassle than not doing it would be, but really - I think other's in the house could chip in more. I am after all, working full time, writing as much as I can, taking care of 5 kids at the moment. But I do what I need to do keep a certain level of peace and order.

I'm beginning to think there isn't so much garbage in my head after all. Pressure, yes. Plenty of pressure. Garbage, not so much anymore. I'm getting better at tossing that out as it shows up.