Monthly Archives: February 2010

Hop-Scotch

Update on the book front: I’m back to square one.

Well, actually, that’s an exaggeration. I’m back to square one and a half. The characters were floundering around in my head, plotless and pathetic. I discovered a new plot, but it went the opposite direction I wanted. I hate when that happens…so that one’s tucked away for further literary ponderings. No, I am officially on the rewrite.

Honestly, I’m glad that I caught it this far in. 100 pages is a lot to redo. 350 is a ton. So, while I am moaning and groaning about the redo, ignore me. I’m not really as upset as I make myself out to be. This isn’t work, it’s play. My characters were flat anyways. Now, they are much more fleshed out. They are a better foil and a better pair. Yes, they do tend toward cliche, in-every-book themes, but I’ve come to terms with it. Every book has to have love. (Ok, so not every book has to have love…it just makes it a lot more interesting.) Every book has to have intrigue. (Well, except for biology books. Their only intrigue is how algae became human.)

To get back on topic, I am beginning a critical writing step about three steps early. It should be interesting in the least. I wonder if I’m the only person who does this. Anyone else out there in the big wide world revise in the middle? Or am I a strange new breed of perfectionist writer? I prefer to think not…although that would explain a bunch.

Igor Got Loose…

Have you ever started writing only to look back and see disaster? That’s where I’m sitting right now. I hit the 100 page mark completely by surprise and decided to go back and read my amazing masterpiece.

It looked more like a Picasso-style Frankenstein than the Michelangelo’s David I was going for.

I seem to be at a constant war with myself. The characters are flat, the story is stuck. I can see everything in my head. I know where I want it to go, but the road to getting there just isn’t up to par. So, I’m headed for revising. Hopefully I can bring my characters out of disaster and in to… well, awesomeness. (If that wasn’t a word, it is now.)

In the mean time, I’m going to try and suffocate those annoying voices in my head that keep telling me to give up. If only insanity wasn’t a requirement for this craft…

Musings of an Irrational Mind

My father once told me that the way I viewed life would one day make sense to me. It would not always be a curse. There was a uniqueness to it that I couldn’t see.

I have always gone through life, feeling at a distance from everything. Some called it wisdom. Others called it indifference. My life, in my mind, played out like words on a page. I was both reader and character. Memories were not seen through my own eyes; rather, I saw them from a distance, watched myself go about life. I took pride in it while I was a child, feeling grown up in my lack of emotion. I hated it as a teenager, using pain to try and draw myself out. Just as I had settled down with it, it left me.

Love, of all things, scares me. It makes me suffocate those parts of me that are vital to my survival so that I can be the person someone else wants. What I keep forgetting is that my DF doesn’t want the person I think he wants. He doesn’t want someone who agrees with him all the time. He doesn’t want someone who never argues (and never tells him what’s wrong). He doesn’t want me to change who I am. But that’s what has happened. I am so afraid of losing love that I have begun to lose myself.

I am a book person by default. I devour books. They entrap my mind and enslave my soul. I cannot put them down. They are my escape when I am hurting. They are my muse when I am empty. They are my mentor when I am lost. I need books. And I was ashamed of it. It isn’t easy being a bookworm, being a nerd. I got the queries for cheat sheets. I got asked to write essays for money. I was made fun of when I was grounded from reading, or when I was caught with a book beneath my desk. As I grew, I began to believe that books were a hinderance to me. Boys made fun of me. My mother disapproved. When I read, I was lost in my own world, kept away from everything else. Books seemed to be the problem.

All of these things crashed down on me, two summers ago. I found a tenuous thread of love, and I found the terror of scorn for my nerdiness. I didn’t want to lose him. I didn’t want to lose my books. As in all classic tales, he won. At the same time, he lost. I lost. Slowly, without me noticing, I began to lose myself. My world grew grayer, my memories fuzzy. For a while I indulged my cravings, reading books late into the night instead of studying, weaving words of my own together in fanciful pictures of my soul. Turmoil and strife defined me. Kept me grounded. Kept me sane. Then, DS was born and the world was right. There was still bitterness and drama and the struggle of relationships, but there was happiness. I found my “calling” and found my support. I couldn’t resist the pull of words anymore. I gave in, knowing I was risking everything. To my surprise, the man who cannot stand to read was the one pushing me towards my desire. Everything was right in the world.

I got lazy. I got content. I stopped reading, figured that I knew what I was doing. Writers didn’t need to read in order to write. The words flowed from their minds, bled from their fingers. But I was wrong. I lived in a house that perpetually was flooded with tv. It had to be on. It was their own sort of drug, a flickering giant that held their minds in a lock. It stole mine. Suddenly, I felt nothing. I didn’t even have the feeling of watching myself. I was an empty shell moving throughout her day, trying to find the courage to love and to care. The world held no color, held no life. My writing became strained and dull. The scenes played out like a screenplay, filled with more motions and gestures than colors and thoughts. I could feel myself dying even as I was surrounded by everything I could ever want.

My father once told me that the way I viewed life would one day make sense to me. It would not always be a curse. There was a uniqueness to it that I couldn’t see. Now I understand. What I viewed as wisdom and as a curse was nothing more than my purpose in life. I see things through a different filter. Not all writers may feel this, I’m sure. I’ve never heard of anyone else who has. It leaves me feeling slightly powerless and more than a little crazy. Whatever the cause, it is my path. I live my life as a story, rolling words around in my head even as I roll my DS around on his belly. Without books, without this other sense, I am merely a puppet acting out the expected roles. Now that I know, I will not lose it. I lost it once and nearly lost everything I had. I would prefer to love from a distance than not love at all. I would prefer to connect only when I have words on a page than to wander lost and numb. My father told me one day this would all make sense.