vintagewitch: (writer between drafts)
 I FINISHED THE FIRST DRAFT!

After my post a couple of days ago, I really did get to sit down and write, and wow - 5,500+ words later, I have a finished draft!

I have learned SO MUCH from writing this draft. And it kind of blows my mind that after two years of writing, storyboarding, doubting myself, changing direction, I have finally made it to the end. I am SO excited to start the editing process, but I'm probably going to wait a month before digging in to that. I think distance will be key - granted, the first 50,000 words were written in November 2013, but I think even with that I still need a little space.

BUT HOLY HELL IT'S DONE!!!!!
vintagewitch: (writer between drafts)
Have somehow gotten behind on DW posts - will catch up later today. This has been a bit of a whirlwind of a week.

I am >thisclose< to being done with the novel. Six scenes. SIX I TELL YOU. But I've been having a hard time motivating myself to sit down and type away. 

Part of it is that I feel like I'm scrambling to make ends meet, and isn't it amazing how much brain-space not having enough money takes. The other part of it is that I genuinely have a lot of projects I need to work on before we go backpacking.

But I think another part of it is that I don't want the writing to end. Which is silly, because there will be SO MUCH editing to do, and I'll need to add and expand scenes, and things like that. 

But today. Today I will write. Today I am putting aside other things, and I am focusing on the novel, because today I can.

Will report back.
vintagewitch: (writer between drafts)
 Not much has changed.

Currently reading "Brave New World" b. Aldous Huxley. It's amazing terrifying amazing.

I've officially wrapped up the gig on the march, so now I'm contacting my network and putting some feelers out there for temp work to carry me through until school starts. 

Matt is still not back. Trying not to dwell on Things and Feelings.

Getting some good writing done. Camp NaNo with [personal profile] syntaxofthings starts on Wednesday - we have a write-in planned already! My goal is to EITHER finish the work in progress OR write 30,000 new words. But if I finish the manuscript before I hit 30,000, that will be a huge landmark. 

That's a little under 1,000 words/day, which actually seems really doable for the pace I've been writing these days. It's more about finding the time to get in the writing mindset, which isn't always easy. But if I hit the writing hard this week, I'll get ahead of myself before my next temp thing kicks in. 

Today's word count: Something like 700. Not bad, considering how weird today's been.
vintagewitch: (Default)
 The last couple of days have been sort of productive. I've been wrapping up things at my job - my last day on the payroll is tomorrow. I am both relieved and sad about that. I also have an interview at 9 am tomorrow morning for a temp gig, so here's hoping I can nab that one.

I have ideas for the next novel bubbling up inside of me. I've even been looking into the research. It will be set sometime in the 1910s or 1920s - and it will have to do with spiritualism, mysticism, and the early revival of ceremonial magick in America. I'm not sure exactly the plot, but I know where I want to do research, so that's a good thing! Of course, I need to finish the manuscript I'm working on at the moment before I can even begin to plot another novel out. I don't want to get ahead of myself.

I've been trying to make time for writing. I haven't been terribly successful. I feel like my work in progress right now has potential to be very good, but the structure has changed so much over the course of the writing of it that it's hard to see that potential. I know the Brain Demons don't really help much on that front. Camp Nano will be good for me this year - force me to write a bit every day, force me to finish this manuscript. 

I wish I'd known that particular, localized folklore would be such an important part of this novel I'm writing now. I could have done the research ahead of time. I feel like I just ... jumped in. I know that each project is a learning experience, and this one is a rather big one. 

I have also noticed it's difficult for me to be really open and creative when I'm doing the kind of work I've been doing. Calling people I don't know to try to get them to do things for hours on end? REALLY EXHAUSTING. And I'm not even as introverted as they come - I'm pretty smack dab in the middle. I am eager to get to a point where I'm doing more management, more long-term policy planning, rather than the constant, high-energy work that is organizing.

Social media? Another huge drain. Facebook more than Twitter - I feel like there's more on the line with Facebook. Like, the social consequences of facebook weirdness are worse. Actually, there's a whole post here waiting to be written, but I just haven't gotten to it yet. 

Add that to my list.

I've been getting to know a neighbor in the building. She's ... probably in her sixties? She's had a really interesting life.  But she's super secure in who she is, she's got a great perspective, and she helps me see things differently. She's also incredibly intellectual, which I've been missing lately.

Note to self: spend more time reading, analyzing, seeing things. It's way easier to turn on shitty tv at the end of organizing, but that doesn't feed my soul the way books and writing does.

I think I hang out with 20-somethings too much. When your friends are your job competition, that shit can get weird.

(folks reading this are excluded from the "I hang out with 20-somethings" thing. Even if we do hang out in person)
vintagewitch: (tea)
 Wow, it's almost 10:30. I guess I got home kind of late after the action night, and running around in the next town over.

After the day I've had, I don't know how it is I've still got thoughts to put to the page. I don't think I have the energy, yet again, to really get into the main thing on my mind, but it feels good to get some of the clutter out.

Temping at an accounting firm during tax season is very busy. But at the same time, what I'm doing there is so very mindless that I have a lot of time to think. It's amazing the brainspace that's been freed up since I found out I didn't get the job. Now, it's back to planning and daydreaming instead of endless fretting over what it would mean to take the job. 

Graduate school, to get my Master's in Public Policy. That is what I'm doing for the next two years. 

It feels good to know that. 

Hopefully, this newly-free space in my mind will mean I can get back to writing the novel. It's been far too long since I was able to pick that up in any real way, I've been thinking far too much about Big Decisions and Life Shit.

Speaking of the novel, I think one of the reasons it's been difficult for me to work on it lately has been the sense that I'm just ... not a good enough writer for the story. I'm so very attached to it at this point, and I think it's an important story that needs to be told and told well so that people listen. But I don't think I'm good enough to really tell it yet.

At the same time, I'm worried that if I stop (at over 200 manuscript pages), I'll try to pick it up again in the future and be unable to figure it out. The manuscript will be completely out of touch, illegible, I won't even be able to get through it as a reader, much less a writer and editor. I need to build up my writing chops generally.

So short stories have been appealing to me lately. I will absolutely not be able to finish the story by the deadline, but there's a literary journal looking for stories based on The King in Yellow, and I do plan to write one. Perhaps I'll make it into a longer NaNo project this fall. I have a certain plot bunny that I've been keeping in the pen. But maybe it's time to let it out. Maybe I bit off a chunk too huge with the older project. And it does feel so good to be writing other things, experimenting with style and character. 

I never thought I would enjoy writing short stories. It's odd. It's good, though. This really is the best way to get better at writing.

Ack. Taxes wait for no one, and I've got an early day tomorrow. I should finish up my beer and get to bed.

vintagewitch: (between drafts)
August Writing Challenge: 8/17
Daily Word Goal: ~2,000
Word Count: 1,844
Total: 7,625


I was just shy of my goal for this day because I got really sleepy. Turns out, when I'm alternating errands and writing, it makes for a very full day. I stopped writing Mr. Goodman's journal, because in looking over all of my outline material, I didn't actually plan out the plot points his journal would reveal. And ... I have a pretty good handle on it, but I guess I was feeling inspired to work on something else. I want to just spend some time assessing where I'm at with his journal, and then go back and fill in the rest.

I'm really happy that I've been able to incorporate some of the folktales I learned about from "Bloodstoppers and Bearwalkers" - I think it lends a much more interesting texture to the work. I think for the monster, I will need to go back and rewrite to bring together local Lake Superior mythology and H.P. Lovecraft's quasi-religious science fiction. I'm getting a much clearer picture of what the second draft looks like, and I'm eager to start tearing apart this awful first draft.

Anyway, there's kind of a lot going on in my (non-writing) life, but this is a welcome distraction. I've got some thinking to do, working through some stuff. My capacity to deal with other people's bullshit is waning. I need to be more creative, I need to keep up with my writing. It's one way I can stay in touch with my own inner sanctum.

I'm actually (a little bit) proud of some stuff that I wrote on Sunday, so I'll post an excerpt (not the whole thing - the pacing's way off for the rest of the scene). Ugh. Just post it already.

Excerpt: the first storm of the winter )
vintagewitch: (blue coffee)
August Writing Challenge: Second Weekend.
Days 3 and 4
Daily goal: ~2,000 words
Combined Days Total: 1,257 words
Total So Far: 5,781 words


Ok ... so clearly, I didn't get nearly as much writing done as I thought I did on vacation. That's ok ... I'm glad I did all the other things I did while I was out there. But it is still disheartening.

I'm hoping I'll be able to make some good progress today. In retrospect, trying to get to 20,000 words this month seems kind of foolish - I've just got so much going on. I might lower my goal to match [livejournal.com profile] trplnrdscre1's goal of 10,000 (unless she's increased her goal ... she talked about that.)

I don't know. I do have other fish to fry in my (limited) free time anyway. Applying to grad school is a long, intense process, so I will need to focus on that as well.

Anyway, I need to run some more errands before I can get going on writing more original fiction. 
vintagewitch: (blogging)
August Writing Challenge: Second Weekend
Daily Goal: ~2,000 words
Words: 1,012


I actually started typing up this day earlier in the week, but since I didn't finish typing all the sessions, I didn't get a chance to post.

Ugh. This is why I never read drafts that I'm in the middle of. I'm trying not to let myself feel terribly frustrated and disheartened. Of course my writing isn't as good as the books I'm always reading. Of COURSE it's rough, and the prose is stifled, and the dialogue is cheesy. It's in my writing style. What I'm trying to do now is get everything down, so that I can go back and pretty much re-write everything. I need to get the sequence of events down before I can make it beautiful.

So ... this draft is so incredibly rough I'm a little embarrassed to post anything. The good news is, that I'm writing in Mr. Goodman's journal, and so handwriting these entries in particular makes them seem ... more believable. I have a sense of how much the writing takes up on a page of a notebook. But that also means the paragraphs are dramatically shorter than they are when I'm typing.

Ugh. Ugh ugh ugh.

Well, I only have one more days' worth of fiction to type up, and then I can go back to a world where I blissfully ignore how terrible my draft is. Hoping to get 2,000 new words down today, as well as finish typing all of this up.
vintagewitch: (literary kitty)
Ugh, moving. I was getting really anxious about the whole process last night, and so I talked to Matt about it and I think we've got a good plan. What's really making me anxious is that the week before I'm moving, I work 10-4 on Sunday, I have two 11-12 hour days (including the Thursday before the move), Matt's sister's surprise bridal shower is on the Wednesday of that week, so pretty much my only day to get everything packed is Tuesday of next week. Ahhhh!

Matt was able to talk me down a little bit. Thank goodness. But this is gonna be crazy.

So, I started making a list last night of all the things I need to do to move. Here we go:

1. Show apartment - it's gonna be crazy, but just remember: they'll take $100 off the re-rental fee if I find the person to move in.
2. Today: Send Matt home with box of kitchen appliances, maybe some books, dvds, tchotckies, and electronics boxes.
3. Friday: Pack up sewing and camping stuff and take to St. Paul.
4. Saturday: Show apartment, but also pack up books. Take wall shelves out (will need to borrow Matt's drill), spackle, paint.
5. Sunday: Varnish bed? Not necessary - but it would be a good idea to treat the wood, and moving is one of the best times to do that. Pack a bag of clothes for the week, pack the rest of my clothes and bring to Matt's. Unpack all the boxes at Matt's so I can reuse them.
6. Tuesday: Pack EVERYTHING ELSE. Live out of a suitcase for the week.
7. Friday: MOVE.
8. Saturday: Spend day unpacking and rearranging apt. Meet Matt in Hibbing for his sister's wedding. May need to leave early if he's going totally bazonkers with family.
9. Sunday: I have NO idea where I'll wake up. Like, we could be at home, but I also wouldn't be surprised if we have a family sleepover or something. (His family can be a bit cagey about plans - I usually don't know what's going on.) TRY to get to book club - this could be tough if there's a wedding brunch I didn't know about. But oh my word Wuthering Heights, I really want to discuss it. Then: possibly check in on the Whittier Walkers shift from 12-2. Then: Relaxxxxx.

Ok ... that plan seems ok. It all depends on if Matt can do it too. He's coming over tonight, and we'll go over what this all looks like.

On a different note: It looks like he has work for next week! Yay!

Some other things I'm thinking about lately:

1. I NEED to get back to working on my novel. I've been too busy lately, but I have been getting a serious writing bug.
2. On a similar note, I want to do that mythology challenge. I've actually been thinking of ways to build that into the current project.
3. I'm getting kind of serious about stargazing. It will actually be a lot easier in Lowertown - less light pollution, and closer to the highway out of town. I'm trying to find an app that will help me out with that, but since I have an iPhone I can't get the one I want - google stargazer. Grrrr. There's gotta be a good comparison app.
4. I really miss sewing, and working with fabric. When I get to the new space, there are several mending projects I need to finish, but there are some patterns I have that I should really start working on. It would be good to hone my skills a little more.

Oh goodness. Time for me to get to work. BUH ALL THE THINGS.

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