Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Broccoli, Broccoli, Broccoli

So, it's been a while. I wish I could tell you that my absence could be equated with an astronomical word count, but honestly it equates to bupkus.

You see, for the past six months I've been dealing with some health issues. Starting near the first of this month they became much, much worse. I decided to get checked out, and the results of the (extensive) blood work told me that I was extremely anemic. My iron levels are desperately low, I'm lacking B12, and my vitamin D is quite questionable.

Severe anemia is exhausting. This has been my main problem--I sleep for eight to nine hours a night and still find myself tired all day. I supplement this with a three to four hour nap in the afternoon just so I can keep myself going, but even after that I'm still tired. It's no way to live. And it's no way to work. I have things to do!

So I'm undergoing a radial change. Lots of protein (particularly red meat, which I do not particularly enjoy eating), lots of iron rich foods (I should eat my broccoli as well as listen to it), and I need to exercise past the pain. Just going up the stairs makes me feel like I've just run two miles, so it will take some time to build up any kind of tolerance.

Needless to say, I haven't been writing. My mind as well as my body has been exhausted. I've been suffering some slight hallucinations as well. I'm paranoid enough as it is, and I don't want my neurotic tendencies showing through all that much in my writing. I had been identifying with one key character very much, but she's almost normal. She doesn't need my ill health-related quirks.

But with eating right and taking loads of vitamins, I should be back on my feet in no time. And back at my keyboard more often. JulyWriMo won't be completed by me this time, but that doesn't mean I'm not going to try again. Thank you to my wonderful friends for your encouragement and prayers. I hope all your writing is going well and that you don't have to drink inordinate amounts of orange juice.

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

First She's Jekyll, Then She's Hyde. At Least She Makes a Lovely Pair.

I almost started ranting about how some people refuse to acknowledge the Tiara and continue to play "Sweet Home Alabama" on their phones at full volume, but then I thought, "What good would that do?"

Anyway. It's another day and another quota. In order for me to meet my goal, I've been crunching some numbers to figure out what I need to do to catch up. I'm not as far behind as I thought, and reaching the end triumphantly is possible.

I had a really great conversation this morning with a friend about a great many things. One of them was how some people can be offended at tiny details while they can sit idly by while large issues parade right in front of them, as long as they're not affected. It's something that needs to be addressed--and soon! It turns out that both of us are addressing this very thing in both our stories (though in very different ways).

I've been told by a great many people that I shouldn't set out at the beginning of a project with a goal in mind to tell a story with a specific moral or message--my characters and art will suffer! They say I should just focus on the story, and the message will weave itself in. I'm not sure which of those tactics I'm commencing with, but things do seem to be getting done. The characters are developing, the story is moving, and little conflicts and problems are being brought up and addressed.

I think I need to take some time and write to a few of my characters and get their specific opinions on things. I've been spending a lot of time in my own head lately, and it would be great to get into theirs instead. I wonder what my antagonist will say about my Tiara. On second thought, it's probably better not to mention it to her.

Monday, July 12, 2010

Fake Canopic Jars

Sorry for the stillness in my blog lately. Life seems to have struck again. I accomplished that 3,000 word goal on that day way back when, and I haven't written anything since. My parents and I got iPhones, so my laptop has been relinquished to my father's grip fairly often this weekend.

I also took some time to visit the Philbrook Museum of Art and see their new ancient Egyptian exhibit. Maybe it was because it was family free day, maybe because they spelled ushabti wrong on each exhibit, or maybe I just woke up on the wrong side of the bed that day, but it was a bad day. Those have been happening to me a lot lately--don't get me wrong. Good things do happen to me, and I am grateful for them. But looking back the bad seems to outweigh the good by quite a lot.

Heartache and sorrow and disappointment are what writers live for, yeah? Well, I should be able to crack down this week and utilize my fury. I think my characters are all feeling a bit neglected from my absence. I can't say I blame them. And, thanks to the suggestion of the wonderful Camy Tang, I may relinquish my Cone of Shame for a tiara. Any name suggestions? I haven't thought of anything terribly clever.

How is your writing going? Your life? I hope it's all well--you all are in my prayers. Thanks for your constant encouragement through this turbulent month, and hopefully I'll be back to post here again tomorrow.

Thursday, July 8, 2010

Word Document of Dry Bones

Did I fulfill that 1,000 word promise? Why yes, I did.

Did I write anything yesterday? Nope. Insomnia has been wreaking havoc in my life.

What am I going to do about it? 3,000 words today. That's right.

When I was writing that last segment of 1,000 words, I realized that my writing has started to suffer a little bit. These goals and pushes for word counts are getting me to write, but I'm doing everything in odd spurts at a pace I'm not used to. It dawned on me that the lovely descriptions I like to include just aren't there. Sure, the story is moving along just fine. It's decent without them, but it's definitely not good. I think I may take some time out today to focus on things that have been happening in my story, places, characters, and things to come. I can place my descriptions in later. What good is creative writing when it's not terribly creative?

Tip for the day: Don't sacrifice your art.

I know I can always go back later and edit and add and revamp, but it's easier when the bones of a story have a little bit of meat on them.

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

My Mind's Heart. Peace. Pieces.

Yesterday's word count: Zero.

If you're feeling disappointed in me right now, that's okay because I am too. This weekend brought forth so many problems and feelings and issues that my brain can't seem to deal with them all let alone be creative. I'm going to take some time today to journal, get my brain fog cleared up a bit, then I'll crank out at least 1,000 words. That's a promise.

I hope by the end of things my word count today looks more like 10,000, but we'll see.

Writing is cathartic, and I'm going to trust God that in doing what I know I'm supposed to do (writing), He will ensure I have peace.

Over and over, I have to remember this blessing: And the peace of God, which passes all understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.

I'll be speaking it over you too. I hope that your writing endeavors are progressing, but above all that you have joy and peace.

Sunday, July 4, 2010

Believe It or Not, I'm Walking on Air...

This morning I decided to indulge my list-making urges. How so? Well, you see I have a list of books I want to read. They're not prioritized or anything, but they're there. Every so often I go through it and delete the books I've read. Why is this big news? I've finally broken 300. That's correct ladies and gentlemen, I only have 275 books to go.

Please note that this list expands at exponential rates whenever I get recommendations and things, so my victory will be short-lived.

In other list-related news, my JulyWriMo count is looking a little pitiful. Since my entire family is home for four days (due to the holiday weekend), I've had some trouble finding peace and quiet in moment when I feel like writing. Now, I know what you're thinking--you don't have to feel like writing to do it; just get over yourself!

Yes, you have a point. But may I ask you--have you ever tried to hunker down and write for a long period of time on an empty stomach after you've been made to watch a Eureka marathon that made your brain want to explode? Probably not. But if you have, and if you have successfully, I thoroughly commend you. It seems like the world is against me and my 50,000 word count dreams this weekend, so I'm embracing it and getting other things done.

That's one thing I've learned lately--roll with the punches, even in your writing. Someone you've just met finds out you're a writer and badgers you for minute details about the novel you're working on? Have patience, be as vague as you want to, remember to be polite, and let it slide off. A family member asks three times a day how your novel's coming? Chances are since they're family, they know you have a breaking point--so when you finally snap and start shrieking about your characters not wanting to talk to you, they'll understand.

And another thing courtesy of Zombieland--you've gotta enjoy the little things.

One piece of birthday cake left? Eat it. BOGO sale at Shoe Carnival? At least go and look. Greatest American Hero marathon? Go indulge your cheesy TV tastes a while.

Friday, July 2, 2010

I'm Not Really Better at Titles Than This

But thank you Susan for the vote of confidence.

So, yesterday kicked off my JulyWriMo endeavor. I cranked out 1,751 and managed to introduce three characters. Was that my goal? It totally was. Oh, including my blog yesterday my word count is 1,871. Is it cheating to count blog words? Probably. I'll make notes along my list.

I'm having to fight myself so I don't make a huge calendar with blank spots and highlights and boxes and all sorts of organizational tidbits. I could be using that time to write, and I don't need to feed my list-making tendencies any more than I already do.

I'm still reading The Sound and the Fury right now, and I'm about 3/4 of the way through. Even though it's probably the most difficult book I've ever read, I'm really enjoying it. I'm able to incorporate some themes Faulkner uses into my own story. During Quentin's narrative (the second part of the book) the watch his father gave him and time in general play a huge role. One of my characters needed to visit a shop yesterday, and it turned into a clock shop. The small clock on my desk provides large, ample ticks and pushed my fingers along the keyboard nicely.

I still haven't made a writing hat for myself, but I do have a few ideas. If worst comes to worst I'll just strap a party hat on my head. Or face. Maybe I could double them up so they cover my ears. That way it's not only obvious I'm writing but also it blocks out some sound. I wouldn't look ridiculous at all right? Right? Eh.

I'm jealous of the Wrap of Wrath and the Fedora of Fury. I'll think of a better name for my Cone of Shame later.

Thursday, July 1, 2010

I Think Anne Lamott is Always Right

After a much needed break, I'm back. The past few days have been full of fun, friends, and exhausting partying. Such a hard life, eh? I really am glad to have taken a break from blogging and writing in general. Why? Today's the kickoff of JulyWriMo. If I average about 1,600 words per day or about 11,200 a week I'll stay on track.

My goal before the conference was about 2,000 words per day and I kept up with that pretty well. I'm feeling a mixture of excitement and trepidation. Why's it always a mixture?

I hope your writing is going well and progressing nicely. I'm taking mine a little at a time, bird by bird.