Tuesday, August 26, 2008

blah...I m feeling haunted by the approaching school year. My son and I both consider getting up at 6am akin to tragedy.
And my writing, I am quite disheartened, it...rhymes with yucks.
The sunset however was beautiful yesterday, and a very lovely walk I had while watching it. (in an attempt at ditching my ill attitude, which I did during the walk, but lo here it is again).

Monday, August 18, 2008

Sometimes it sinks (perhaps mostly it does), but sometimes, sometimes, it floats

quite a learning curve on my figuring out how to work the writing program (to fix problems of size, spaces in text, and other stuff, that seemed obvious, but I found the solution took a lot of trial and error.)

update- horrible time last night with program freezing after 7 hrs of work, dropping two hours of work and then saying I had 1K for it to keep instead of 501K, this set of several hours of trying to save stuff, and print stuff out, and backing stuff up to disk, it was fun. In the end it did keep the info (except for the two hours thing)

Finally, finally, finally, figured out my text trouble. After hours and hours, daaaaayyyyysss, of thinking I had fixed it, and then when I would re-open the file, the problems would be there as though I hadn't done a thing. EEEeeerrr.
Anyway, I really think I have it this time. Somehow whole sections, and also three words in the middle of a sentence, somehow were considered endnotes (or footnotes) or something, so no matter how much I changed them in one section, they would just revert back, but I think I managed to remove them as such. (would have taken forever to re-write it all, which is where I was just about at). In the past month I took up the practice of just importing text from my other (notes) files rather than re-writing everything like I had been doing, I think this must be how stuff became endnotes or footnotes.

Well at least this means tomorrow I might actually get writing done, instead of fighting with my computer and sections of text for hours. Rather than swimming for hours against a current so strong I stay in the same place, not going anywhere, no progress at all. Thank God for my ipod, I listened to lots of silly seventies songs to keep my mood from becoming explosive. (I realize this music might have an opposite effect on someone else, but it helped/s me)

Sunday, August 17, 2008

How to fill the space that creates my life?

Here I sit again. Sunday.

About to start "working"
yesterday concerned trying to figure out the proper way to do someone's thoughts, and speech that happens in a paragraph that is already in quotations. Different sources gave different answers. But I did reach a decision, so, whatever..fine.
I don't know why I am having trouble getting all of my type to be the same font and size, but even when I highlight it, and attempt to switch it over, there are problems. So that is frustrating. And that is how I felt most of yesterday, and last night, when I finally put it aside.

I've been thinking a lot about this writing thing. While I still have plenty of work to do on this rough draft, and then edits, I am already looking back over the process and trying to decide if this is something I will continue to spend my time doing. I find it to be a big commitment, and one that might yield no usuable results; one that others (non-writing others) can not often appreciate the time, energy and effort that goes into.

I could spend my life doing this, writing, and never have anything publishable, or published; I could never have anything that others, family, friends, neighbors, would see as anything, as an accomplishment. I could spend my life doing this with no reward, no positive outcome, but that which I myself gain from the process.

And I find right now that the process asks a lot of me. Maybe it is just because this is my first time, maybe it will change over time. Maybe eventually it will be easy to be fully present and engaged in my writing for several hours each day, and then be fully engaged and present with the other aspects of my life for the rest of the day, and not think at all about the writing. I don't know. But right now, I am all in, or out. It is either consuming almost all of my thoughts and time, or I have wandered and am not working on it at all. My concept of time changes when I am on task, TV, family, the weather outside, they all sit at a distance, and I observe them through the lens of writing activity. They are muffled, unclear, and I push them back further, as they distract me (like jangly little bells, or incessantly tapping fingers) from what I am trying to do, and I can't fully push the writing out of my mind, so I can't hear them well even when I try.

July was all writing, it did not exist for me much outside of that. Is that what it will be like for me, if I keep writing? Does everything become a bit altered? As words and ideas, claim attention away from physical surroundings.

Maybe this is just because I am new to this. Maybe it is just because that is what it takes for me to get anything done right now. (what if this is what it takes for me to get anything done ever?)

I told my husband my concerns, and he said "What else are you going to do? The time is going to pass anyway, might as well spend it trying to do something that matters to you." ( I guess he has given up on the dream of the wife who prepares full course meals. And as I have a tendency to mentally drift, I am sure he considers writing better than perpetual daydreaming. And as long as writing takes precedence over hobbies, like gardening, he will be buying pens, notebooks, and paper, as opposed to endless amounts of plants, soil, gardening supplies, and decorations)

So anyway, that is what I am thinking about. The price of trying to be something. Of spending hours, days, weeks, years, pouring oneself into a particular activity. And I am asking myself "When I finish working on this story, do I set it down, and immediately pick up the next one and spend the next year working on that? Year in and year out, working on stories? Is this my life from now on? Is this how it will look and feel?"

I don't like the surrendering to it of my time, my life, of having it feel different than it used to. However, I may have already walked too far into it to walk back out. Purposely pushing the writing aside for several days, so I could be more present and available for my husband and son, I felt this vague empty feeling. I wasn't mentally working on something, trying to work it through and figure it out, I had set that aside, shut it out, so my mind wasn't being called toward anything. I didn't like the nothing-ness of this. I was devoid and felt the void.

I mean in some ways I don't have a choose, ideas they come and visit, and then set up camp inside me, but there is a difference between having them around as some extra presence in my life, a plant, some throw pillows, and that of fully engaging with them, trying to get them all down on paper, searching, digging, filling the story in, writing to the best of my ability, and then always feeling the need to reach, to increase my abilities for it; that is a room, a space, I live in.

so I sit here now, looking as deep as I can into my own future, asking "How shall I fill thee?"

Saturday, August 16, 2008

Still not finished with rough draft, Bob has had off for a week so doing family stuff.

Yesterday for example we went back-to-school shopping. We bought Cheese clothes; we did have disagreements over kinds and color of t-shirts, and pants, and still haven't agreed on sneakers. We did agree on a nylon binder, which is great big, housing all sorts of stuff almost like a bookbag. And I have cut his hair.

I have come to regret letting him choose his hairstyle last year, it was one length and below his shoulder when he started middle school, and then went through several modifications before becomming a shorter shaggy cut in February. Yesterday's haircut gave him (for him) a rather short hair style, that is more like most of the kids at his school. He was okay with this. If he was an overtly friendly, extroverted, child, I would not worry about it, but he isn't. Last year I noticed a positive effect with how he related to others, as his hair got shorter. (I feel like the other hair style helped to visually isolate him)

The work I have been doing has been research, and I've been hiding in fixing grammar and puctuation ( changing past tense to present, and making sure when another person starts talking, I move to a new line). More of the same so far today, as I go through indenting the start of paragraphs, something I am now realizing, that I never do. And making sure my sentence punctuation is tucked into my quotations in dialogue. Something I sometimes do, and sometimes I put it after. From "Hi". or "Hi!". to "Hi."

yeah, fixing that will take a super long time.

On a totally different topic. I am a little concerned by my keen interest in the olympics this year. Or rather I should say my keen interest in watching the men who are competing. I mean I feel like the sort of man who sits on a corner watching ladies in tight skirts walk by, just waiting, and hoping, one will drop something so she has to bend over to pick it up.
I feel like a perv. I don't want to feel like a perv, but...I am
happily checking out the bodies of the male swimmers.
Watching Michael Phelps underwater,
I am entranced by their physical beauty.
"do that do me one more time" the song starts to play in my head, it is purely a visual request.
This is odd for me, usually, men in bathing suits, men in underwear adds, whatever, I don't care, I am not interested. Usually I assess, and enjoy the male form best, fully dressed. So my wondering what so and so would look like completely naked, and finally understanding the sort of beauty that inspired a statue like David, is quite a surprise to me.

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

I am doing the same as before, only Bob has off this week, and keeps rustling me out the door.

I did some yard work today, and I am thinking about going later on to the local high school to hear a talk from Andrew Gross. He is a writer of suspense action thrillers, not my genre, he has written some books with James Patterson. My hesitation is the not my genre thing, but I am sure it will still be worthwhile to go.

I am tired all the time because instead of taping the olympics, I have been staying up to 12:30 am and later (generally falling to sleep at 2 am), to watch swimming and gymnastics.

Saturday, August 9, 2008

temporarily up to 88,310 words,
much of it very very very bad.
No flow at all, just sticking things in here and there, hoping that when I go back through later (later beginning anytime from an hour from now, till 10 years from now), I will know what belongs and what doesn't, will be able to toss out a bunch, weave together what is left, and hide all the seams. But the process feels bad right now, like trying to make a cake, and using any ingredient I come upon in the house, "Oh, look flour, peanut butter, pineapple, shrimp, cayenne pepper..." and just dumping it all in, no discernment, scarcely a thought, actively creating a huge mess.
Actively being the word I focus on.
The notion that I am taking some sort of action.
Moving forward? I don't know, but I am attempting to keep going, trying not to give way to standing still.

Soon I shall write here about yesterday, about the patheticness of having my 6 year old niece trying to calm a hyperventilating me down, while we were on a ( very very scary) ferris wheel designed for youngsters, at an amuesment park.
I showed much...um...vulnerability, and she showed much presence of mind, wisdom.

Tuesday, August 5, 2008

more of the same, working with words, trying to get to the end of the first rough draft.

Odd looking I know. But everything I read said to get rid of any/all leaves with black spot so...

Writing went very badly today, or rather it didn't go at all. I was supposed to get through writing winter, instead I got stuck on research, and am still snowed in there. With more questions than answers.

And as an extra bonus I followed the sound of a loud dull thud at my window, to see a fallen bird, and I watched it for a moment expecting it to get back up and fly away, the way they always do when this happens, but instead its dark eye looked up at me while it cryed silently several times, then closed its eyes, shut its mouth, set its legs, and died.

Wednesday now. Dead bird made it into story, I decided it could work well as foreshadowing.
In related news, still shoveling my way out of mental (and lack of info) snow.

Okay Cheese and I must go to the grocery store, but when I get back, I must write winter. What I don't know, I can, I will, fill in later. Time for snow shoes. Cold. Stillness. I will perk up my ears, to hear the soft sounds of winter.

Monday, August 4, 2008

should wear gloves

the upside of poison ivy, or whatever the culprit might be, is that it comes in handy, when my son acts up, I merely try to touch him, and he runs screaming. My enjoyment of doing so inspired Cheese to say "YOU are sooo immature, seriously YOU are like a 3 year old". Umhmm, tis true, but well he shouldn't dish it, if he can't take it.

Oh yeah that is today's official activity, writing, writing, writing.
To ignore the insecurities and go forward.
I have piles of books around me now, good ones to read parts of and teaching ones, to try and help me gain some knowledge to improve my work. But attempting to learn from them isn't my goal today, first I need to get the entire thing down on paper. The book piles are meant as encouragement, like a talisman kept near, that wont ward off bad writing, but if (when) I unlock its magic, might (will) help me find a cure for it. So when I get nervous seeing illness in my text, I can look over at the piles and say "it is okay, keep going, we shall find a cure later"

best I should be doing that, off I go

Sunday, August 3, 2008

mentally icky, feeling whole story am working on is total S- H -I- *!

not stories fault though, idea fine, but the execution...well the execution makes me think of the other definition of execution.
Like the poor struggling thing needs to be put down, like that would be the kind thing to do.

On cheerier shores, my mother said of me the other day "Taffiny is good with words"
I'm going to hang on to that like it is a life jacket and see if it can't help me float along a bit till I can get to someplace better than where I am mentally swimming right now. In the sh*tsea.

well the first draft is supposed to be bad, isn't it?