Wednesday, October 30, 2013

The Eve of All Hallows’ Eve

I’m I’m lying on the couch. I have been at the computer, in the computer chair, more than usual (sadly not working as much as playing Sims 3) and it’s caused my back to argue with me a bit. (Just a bit – I get this when I lean forward to see the screen easier. This is what got me into trouble to begin with.)

So tomorrow is Halloween, which is exciting. Still, since we don’t really go anywhere or do anything special on the day, it’s losing its majesty. I guess people who have kids to put in costumes and take out trick or treating have the most fun. Plus, there are ghost tours, Disney Halloween, Universal Studios Halloween Horror Nights, and the like. I’m sure there are things going on here but they’re usual kid stuff.

But no matter, the end of October means that November is starting on Friday. The start of November means the start of NaNoWriMo. I’m losing my excitement about that too.

I have an idea that was going around since before the holidays, so I’ve tried to organize it somewhat, do a character sketch, and get a good idea of how I want the book to go. It’s a bit more daunting than it’s ever been. I don’t have as much confidence in the story and I know it’s going to be hard. I plod through scenes. I haven’t been able to do word count goals as much because I’m trying to just make a scene that works. Usually I end up thinking I’ll just rewrite everything. I’m not sure about descriptions, and I’m not even sure I know where I want the story to go.

I’m thinking of chickening out, and working on an old idea for a story I had, and just doing the organic, feeling my way around in the dark kind of storytelling. Organization just isn’t my thing. I know people can plan out whole series of books before they start writing. I only have ideas, trying to get to an entertaining, logical end.

(I also had an awesome idea for sorta fan fiction, but I have no idea if that stuff is even marketable.)

I’ve been taking my writing class and webinar online, so I have a new perspective on my project. I don’t know if it’s confused me more, or given me better direction. When the time comes for me to get out that 1,667 words per day, will I be better prepared or just sit there, staring at a blank page in despair?

My NaNoWriMo profile is HERE. Feel free to add me as a friend if you’re participating.

Friday, October 25, 2013

Keep Calm and prepare for November

This will be a quick and dirty update since it’s Friday and I have to go to the chiropractor in about 30 minutes. (Yes, I still have to go each week.)

You know how NaNoWriMo is next month, and most people plot, plan, research, and get all ready for the big moment of truth? Well, I’m sort of doing that, but sort of not.

What I’ve changed this time is that I’ve signed up for an online writing class, been attending webinars, and even went to a writing workshop in the city. Doing this kind of work on your own is really lonesome, and I’ve accepted the fact that I do need opinions and encouragement from outside sources. I’ve also tried to look at my project in a different way. I no longer want to just jump in and race to the finish line. Now, I’m working on how the scenes will work, making some kind of outline (if you saw my tiny outline, you’d laugh at this statement), and knowing my character. This is all much, much easier with the deadlines and the tools and resources I’ve been using this month.

So, with that said, I’m keeping calm and getting on with everything. Nothing exciting or flashy other than reading a lot of books, and keeping my eye on the prize. I no longer just want to write something to say I’ve done it. I want to write the something well, and that is a slower (more rewarding) process.

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

England, Autumn, and the Blahs

I wrote before about how hard this transition from holiday to home has been on me. Now both Steve and I are in a very “blah” state where we aren’t feeling this whole being back home thing. Yesterday we both decided that we’re slightly ill. He’s had a cough and body aches, I’ve had a headache and sneezing. I’ve had the difficulty sleeping, which some nights I lick, and some nights I can stay awake until 4AM. Steve’s been more tired as well and wanting to go to bed earlier than usual.

There’s nothing really exciting going on. The weather is that gloomy, cloudy business. I use to love Fall (or Autumn if you’re of the British persuasion) but I keep thinking that it’s going to be like this for four or five months. Bleh. Plus, there is no work to be seen, so I’ve not been out of the house in an employment capacity since July.

Also, the project I thought was going to be so great, just isn’t sitting right with me. Every time I write a scene, I know I’m going to have to rewrite or cut it. (Which I guess if fine because I was reading today that Maya Angelou writes ten pages and keeps two or three.) It’s frustrating, but I know that’s part of the job. I know I’m letting myself get in the way of getting something done too. I just want to get my teeth locked into to something, like I did with my other projects, but this one just doesn’t want to come alive, I’m afraid.

I have a Creative Writing degree, but I may get back into some workshops. I’ve been following some webinars online, just to try and jog my creative juices. It has given me plenty to think about as far as structure of the story, but when I sit down to write, like now, I end up staring out the window. I even have coffee, so I’m struggling. I also read this week that writer’s block is just having too much time on your hands. Wow, is that true.

Anyway, since I’ve been home, I’ve been bored with just everything. I’ve gone into town, I’ve read, I’ve tried to get back into the groove of daily life here. I’ve almost gotten it, but meh…the blahs are just too prevailing.

Twitter hasn’t had much discussion lately, I haven’t wanted to play GTA V, Saints Row IV, or Sims 3, and I’ve picked up tons of books, read a few pages, then set them down. I even tried getting back into Downton Abbey – I fell asleep. And so on, and so on.

I think the homesickness has just been increased since I haven’t been back for so long. My old hometown isn’t much to look at, but Florida itself, and America itself (despite all this stupid government crap that is one of the few reasons I hesitate living there), is great. Plus, it just gets pretty boring being at home every day alone, even if I do, presumably, have things to do. Oh well, I’ll get my groove back eventually.

Thursday, October 10, 2013

Being organized and actually organizing

So, I went through a great webinar via Pen, Paper, Write last night and got some direction on how to structure my next (supposedly NaNoWriMo) project. The webinar discussed how to structure the novel and how to break up the scenes so they all work in conjunction to create a good, gripping story.

Great advice, yes, but man, does it make me nervous. I love the idea of organization, but when it comes to thinking what I want to happen in the story before actually writing it, it freaks me out. It also freaks me out to think that some days I’d just be plotting rather than actually writing (which makes me feel like I’ve had an unproductive day.)

But what I can get from my notes (the ones I’ve just printed out so I can take with me when I head out to the cafes to work), is that I can write each scene, and use the story structure idea of what I need to get to on the side. I’ve made outlines and they just fall apart, but the scene idea works better: I can see that. It just seems so daunting, but then again, breaking up each scene is a better way to go about the novel piece by piece.

Anyway, I’m sitting at home while Steve’s out on a work thing. I forget how absolutely dull and annoying living alone can be.

Ah, there’s the call. Time to pick him up. I do love having a car though.

Monday, October 7, 2013

Back in the U.K.

Our holiday in Florida was wonderful. While we were gone for two weeks we were able to:

  • Visit my parents
  • Go to Magic Kingdom
  • Stay at Disney’s Wilderness Lodge
  • Go to EPCOT
  • Partake in Mickey’s Not So Scary Halloween Party
  • Partake in EPCOT’s Food and Wine Festival
  • Visit St. Augustine
  • Visit Fort Christmas
  • Hang out in Cocoa Beach and Titusville
  • Fed live gators after playing putt-putt golf

Now, with a busy agenda of something each day, we didn’t get to see any friends or other family members, which is a shame, but time just gets away from us too easily.

I was so happy to be back, especially since we’d been away for a whole year, and this time it was really, really hard to come back to England. I really liked being in such familiar surroundings, but with fresh, outsider eyes. I like being a tourist and an observer. It’s better than being in the middle of the whole place as it crumbles from unemployment all around me. Being here is a much better environment in many ways (I could give you a list on that topic) but being away from my folks, sunshine, abundance…it’s tough.

It’s still taken me a while to adjust to being here in the house by myself again each day. My sleep schedule is all off and I have an overwhelming case of the blahs. I’m slowly coming around to getting back to my projects at hand. Last night I looked over what I had left in one of my stories, and I was pleased to have something I thought I could get back to. Today, I’m trying to motivate myself to go to a cafe and get some words down again. I tried the other day, but only got a few sentences down. I’ve been really into reading The Shining though, so the days aren’t completely wasted.

Anyway, I thought I would have more to say on the topic, but I guess that’s it. I have to keep my head down and get back to work. Post vacation blues, are the worst.