Quote of the Moment

"What's Past Is Prologue." - William Shakespeare

Monday, December 08, 2003

Hey look at that - I'm actually posting only a week later after my last post. I'm still reading Wheel of Time and I'm so sick of the women "sniffing" in his writing. How many times can a woman sniff? And do women actually sniff? I know I don't! I haven't heard any of my friends do that! Is it just me? Maybe, who knows, but it's driving me nuts.

Still haven't done much lately. I was sick this weekend, and I'm still having dizzy spells. I think I need more sleep. That would work if I could sleep even one night straight through. *Sigh* The next residency approaches too quickly. Yikes! I think I need someone to kick me in the ass so I get things done before I'm even more behind. *Double sigh*

Okay, that's all I have for today - I needed to vent about the sniffing. Hehehe. Happy writing all!

Monday, December 01, 2003

It's been a long time since I posted. Okay, a month and a half is a really, really long time. My first term at school ended at the end of October, and my mind is still trying to catch up. It's sad to say, I haven't done much lately with my writing, although I should continue to work on and flesh out my project. I think I'm just so beat and I need to veg to be productive at all. Well, I did revise my short short and submit it to a contest. I also have two chapters of another book written (I had to have something for workshop next residency). I haven't even done any critiques for Critters. Bad writer, bad, bad writer. Hopefully realizing that it's December now will get my ass in gear and I'll be productive. Three weeks and I get almost a whole two weeks of (of course the craziness of X-mas will get in the way of being productive then). I'm rambling. Hmm... So, there's my new post. Oh, and The Wheel of Time series by Robert Jordan is starting to annoy me. I don't know, but sometimes his writing just seems off. maybe it's all the head jumping he does - very disconcerting. I'm done now. If anyone has any ideas to encourage me to get out of my after term slump, please feel free to e-mail me. I like e-mails... Happy writing!

Tuesday, October 14, 2003

Okay, I'm wearing down quickly. Sometimes I wonder if it will ever end. I can't work full-time and write full-time for the rest of my life. My body may only be able to take it for a few more years. But of course everything is circular. To get more time to work on my writing, to be able to submit things and get things published, I need to not have another full-time job. Yet to be able to get away with not having a full-time job, I need to be making some sort of income from my writing. I'm going to scream - Ahhhhhhhhh!

Now that I got that out, damn I still don't feel better. It's a dreary, miserable day outside, my back hurts, and I am so not looking forward to the winter when I seem to be affected by SADs and get super depressed and have absolutely no energy. I need to move to a warmer climate. Wisconsin sucks! How am I going to encourage myself to keep plugging away, to keep up the writing during winter, when that has always been my most unproductive time of the year? Maybe being in the program at Seton Hill will help, I hope. Maybe I need to have my husband stand over me with a whip and make me work (and no matter what some people would think, no that would not be pleasurable for me, I can't speak for my husband though - hehe).

I think I have to get myself in the habit of writing everyday too, and even at short periods (currently I prefer a nice 2 hour chunk to write). I tend to write in spurts, and write a lot in those spurts, and of course that doesn't get me in a pattern, but then again I sometimes hate patterns. Last thing I want is to feel like my husband, who feels like he's stuck in a rut. See, I contradict myself - I can't do both things at once!

Maybe, in a happy, ideal future, this new job my husband got will be lucrative, and then I can actually stay home and write, and not work another full-time job, maybe only have to work part-time. Ideal future - my bad luck dictates that this will not be so anytime soon, until I've brokem my back and possibly my spirit (but I'll tell you, even though I'm pessimistic, it's damn hard to totally snuff out my spirit - I am a Leo after all). Urk.

Okay, I've babbled enough, and I should probably get back to work. :P Happy writing all!

Friday, October 03, 2003

More than a week, but not too much more. :) I've been sick, so there's my excuse for the day.

Recently, I've had to change my project that I'm working on for school from present tense to past tense - it was more than just encouraged by my mentor. Reluctantly, I submitted, but I know it will be worth the pain.

So, I was just looking at some of my old writing that I have on my website, and low and behold, most of it is in past tense. When the hell did I get addicted to present tense? In an effort to discover when I was "led astray" I went through everything I had on my website. It didn't give me answers - at all. I think it might have been a slow progression into latching onto present tense.

Mostly, whenever I was writing in first person, like with my first really crappy novel, Death of the Dragon, I was writing in present tense. Currently, what's posted for that though, I have the flashback in past tense (the rough draft was all present tense, and the first Entry is the only one that was converted). And I also know a couple things I started in past tense, I then decided to switch to present tense. Maybe my style for writing in first person started to leak over into my third person writing style?

Who knows. No one will ever be able to figure out the workings of my mind, including myself (much to the chagrin of my husband). One thing I learned from looking at my old works - I can write in past tense and it won't kill me. Hell, even though most of my older writing is crap, it still actually sounds good in past tense.

So, I think whenever I start something new, I need to give it a bit more thought on whether it should be past or present tense. Although, no one's going to pull me away from first person present tense - ever. ;)

Monday, September 22, 2003

Woah, it hasn't even be a week and I'm posting again....that's an event to be remembered. :)

Okay, yesterday I finished reading Changing Planes by Ursula K. Le Guin. It was wonderful, as is almost everything she writes. What the book is, is actually a bunch of short stories - but each story is about a different dimensional plane (the stories are connected because travelers in airports can travel to the different planes while they're waiting for connecting flights and such).

The humor is wonderful and it's all written in a very conversational tone. But what actually got me thinking half-way through was - every story is a new world. And she makes each world so vivid in such a short amount of pages. I think this is an excellent book for any writer to read (especially fantasy writers) when they're concerned about world building. Most of the stories just describe the world, the history, and what the inhabitants are like.

It makes me ponder the idea of writing a short story on each new world I create, to give myself an idea of where my story is taking place. I think it would help ground me more and also help with the details and actually feel like I know the world better. Then I can take full advantage of the world. My ideas tend to be strong in character, and world building in most instances is difficult for me. This makes me think I need to take the time to get to know my worlds a bit better, since the world can be a character itself. :)

Okay, no pessimism this time - I really enjoyed the book, and it didn't depress me, but inspired me. Now to find the time to implement my idea....

Tuesday, September 16, 2003

Yes it's been a while since I posted. Well, here's a new post.

Today, I bitch about people who don't know the proper ettiquette of critiquing. Do some people not know what constructive criticism is? It just unnerves me when I come across people who are plain insulting. They say your story is boring (ZZZZZZZ), they say your writing has no potential. That is not constructive criticism! That's rude and the furthest from helpful anybody can get! If you think something may need work on a piece, you make suggestions, you comment on what you felt worked and didn't, and then you make suggestions to improve.

It just irks me when I'm on the receiving end of these "inexperienced" critiquers. Albeit, it's not often, but it makes me miserable when it happens. And then there was the time that I received my story back, and the person said they didn't have anything to say but that he wanted to put a gun in his mouth and blow his head off after reading it. And you know why? Because it was fantasy! That's the only reason why. He said he was sick of all the Harry Potter/Lord of the Rings hype. My story was far from either of those two types of fantasy. Can you not attempt to be constructive? Mainstream is not the only type of fiction out there!

This crap just leaves me in tears. My self-esteem can only take so much. Am I really that horrible of a writer? Are these the people that are being totally honest, and everybody else is just scared to say, "Wake up dumbass, you can't write, you'll never be published, so just give it up."

I start a writing group for my state because I think it will be helpful, I think it will be supportive for regional writers, I didn't think I'd get shit on, literally. And it pisses me off that someone who has published book doesn't know how to critique constructively.

Okay, I will try to calm down. I still have to write tonight. Because I did make it into a Masters program for writing popular fiction, and I will finish the program, whether my writing is pure drivel or not.

After all this muck, I would like to add some good stuff, I guess. I appreciate all the excellent and helpful critiques I have received from so many people - especially my friend David who I've been exchanging things with for years, my friends Devan and Melissa, my current critique group and mentor at Seton Hill, and everyone who's been kind enough to comment on my work on Critters. These are the people that know how to critique constructively and don't make me feel like what I'm doing is totally pointless!

I write on...

Thursday, July 31, 2003

Okay, I'm posting again. Has it really been more than a week? Well, I'm not as miserable today as I was last time I posted. I'm just exhausted. I was up too late last night reading. I'm currently reading The Fifth Sacred Thing by Starhawk. It took me a while to get into it. I've noticed she tells much more than she shows. Now nearing the end though I'm into the story and want to find out what happens. Although, I am having a hard time extending my belief with her futuristic California and her utopian city. I just don't buy some of it. Where's the rest of the United States? Okay, reading something that has a decent idea behind it, but not the best writing makes me feel a little better. Only a little though because the reason she got her fiction book published is because she had non-fiction published first. She had a "name" for herself already. Sigh.

I'm utterly pissed that I submitted a story to Critters to be critiqued and of course it ends up at the top of the list of the week after I need it crittered by - the deadline for the story I'm going to submit to an anthology is September 1, and the critiques on Critters are due August 27 (I wanted the August 20 date at least). I can't revise something in 3 or 4 days! I have to let the comments sit for at least a week before a tamper with my story. This sucks. Such is life. I think I really need to concentrate on trying to see the glass half full more often...

Monday, July 21, 2003

I just finished reading White As Snow by Tanith Lee. And it made me miserable. Not in the sense that it was a bad book, it was an excellent book. It had me in tears at the end - her style of dark fantasy has always pulled at me, and it's just so wonderful. That wonderfullness (I know this is not a word) is what makes me so miserable. I'm a horrible writer, will never amount to anything, will never write something as gorgeous as she does. I want people to feel for my characters like I feel for hers, but right now after reading something so good, I feel so worthless and pointless - just not good enough. Ah, I said I would be pessimistic on this blog, but this is quite a bit much of feeling sorry for myself...I wish I had some optimism, I wish there just would be something that would show that my writing isn't total crap, something I can believe.

Tuesday, July 15, 2003

First Things First

Okay, I figured I'd give this a try. See, I have this problem with not keeping things updated (like my webpage) and not writing things down when they're on my mind. So, I'm going to try this and see if I can depend on myself enough to add to the blog at least once a week. Goddess knows I'll make excuses and they'll be bad excuses. I guess right now I will state, I'm a very insecure writer (and I know I'm not alone in this) and I always think another writer's writing is better than mine. Therefore, pessimism will abound on this blog. And if you don't want to hear me feeling sorry for myself, don't read my posts (like anyone will read these posts anyway, no one ever goes to my webpage, why would anyone read anything I have to say - there's that pessimism I spoke of).

Okay, okay. Enough complaining for now. Last night I finished the rough draft of a short story entitled "Prince, Upon a Black Horse." I was euphoric with the thrill of finishing a story - I don't think I'm the only writer that gets that way, at least I hope not. It's such a rush to complete something, even if you know it will undergo many a revision. That's all for now . . . maybe I should work on updating my pathetic website now . . .