Monday, February 23, 2009

Writing School of Life

Why am I thinking of my next story only one day after I finished a rather difficult project? I was keeping up a crazy pace, writing until 2 a.m., getting up to go to work at 5, and you know the rest of it with family/work/my fifth teaching certificate/health matters and more... I should at least TRY to relax!
Writing means so much to me. It feels like such a good fit for who I am. Contrary to the outgoing nutcase that I appeared to be to certain myopic observers in the past, I don't crave a live audience. Even when I was in the entertainment industry I always preferred the jobs that were done behind the scenes...voiceovers and getting up in front of hundreds singing or acting live. Give me a camera any day. My short cable TV show stint was probably my favorite acting gig. I got to be funny in front of a camera. Stand up? Don't think I haven't thought of it but I was never able to get up the nerve.
But writing works for me. I am disciplined enough to get up every day to work on my own...I LOVE it! I pass up summer days to sit at the pc when I'm into a story. Sometimes I drag my pc to the deck just so I won't waste the fresh air and sunshine locked in the den. Then I am the most content of all because I feel that I have everything I writing, my garden, my waterfall. Even making people laugh.
All my life, all the jobs - from cabdriver to dishwasher to waitress serving chili to Johnny Cash in Nashville; the broken dreams - the time that Richard Thomas called me in for the movie part and my boss didn't tell me until closing time; the meat grinder of love, betrayal, and the years of loneliness; the insanity of travel - picking up a Mayan family in a golf cart on a dirt road in Belize, beaches in France, canoe trips down the Corobici with crocodiles, swimming with sharks in Mexico....all of this was, to me, the "school" I attended to become a writer.
Now I'm ready to graduate.

Sunday, February 22, 2009

I REFUSE to have writer's block!

I laugh in the face of danger! I bungee cord jump off mountains! I achieve the impossible! And I REFUSE to have writer's block!
I don't know what came over me. Maybe SAYING I had writer's block jolted me out of it because the very IDEA is anathema to me. Writer's block is like some odd literary disease for which there is no sure fire cure. It could last days or weeks...or years! I'm too much of a control freak to live with that uncertainty. It's bad enough living with cholesterol. But writing isn't hidden deep inside the flesh. It's in the heart and mind and only God knows how many times I've torn THOSE apart. Surely a modicum of introspection, a measure of concentration and I could beat THIS monster?
So I sat and stared at a blank screen until a semi-lame idea blossomed. I went with it and it metamorphosised into a good idea, which grew into the ENDING OF THE BOOK! I'm too close to it now to state that it is an excellent idea, an excellent ending. Like my paintings, I have to step back and away for a little while before I can determine what might need tweaking.
I know I beat things to death and I will go back, reread, revise. But I can go to sleep IN PEACE now. My baby has come full term. It may not have a perfect APGAR score, it may need a bit of care, but not too intensive I think. It's out and I feel relieved.
Hmmmm....maybe it was the FORCE! Thanks, Obi Wan!

Saturday, February 21, 2009

You're My Only Hope

Finished a short story. I felt very good about that. I am really pleased with the piece. I'm waiting until Sword and Sorceress opens up for submissions again. But, when it comes to my banshee plagued heroine from Dover, time does not seem to be on Brandy's side. I've got my heroine hanging on the cliff, so to speak, (actually, she's locked in a basement) and I'm experiencing my FIRST case of writer's block. My house looks like...well, let's put it this way....if I called the police and told them I'd been robbed they'd believe me. There are thirty some odd library books I'm using to research another story I'm concocting in my brain covering every available surface in the kitchen area. I've had a lot of loose ends to catch up on...important things like not letting the 50+ foot oak trees in the back fall on my house. And doctor visits. And bridal showers. And work. And the work keeps piling up in the course I'm taking as well. It seems like every time I log in there's a new assignment, and not necessarily one I understand! Someone SHOOT ME if I EVER take another online course! I feel overwhelmed and I can't seem to focus. And, truth be told, if I had a clear idea of the finale, I'd be writing like a nut case but I'm....blocked! Help me, Obi Wan Kenobe....

Sunday, February 1, 2009

I should be in bed....

Let's illness, graduate course, squirrels in the attic (the flying variety. Who knew? I thought they were only in National Geographic, not New Jersey), overload at work. It's been a tough few weeks for writing. I've gotten one chapter completed and the aforementioned events (plus more) are sapping my creative energy. Everything from the attic is now in my great room (due to aforementioned squirrels) so I have to negotiate my way to my computer with a machete and a balancing pole. Ah, yes, this too shall pass. Just wanted to explain my absence.