"You Are Here" by IMustBeDead - deviantART.com

First of all, for everyone concerned, happy belated holidays.  I hope you all enjoyed yourselves responsibly, ate a lot of crap, and laughed at stupid stuff.  I know I did.  🙂

I keep saying I’m getting caught up — and I am — but I still haven’t gotten back into a habit with writing and the blog.  But rest assured, these things are happening, albeit in tiny little chunks.

I vetted Part 2 of a story I’m in mid-draft on at yesterday’s workshop.  Without going into the mind-numbing details of why I found myself in such a precarious (and unfortunately familiar) position, let me just say that my workshop starts at 5:30 and I stopped writing at 5:11.  It was meant to be Part 2 of 2, but I ran out of time and had to turn it into Part 2 of 3.  I got right up to the final confrontation where the dogs circle around the approaching monster, and then it was, come back next week for the stunning conclusion of “Working Title”!

As I’ve said before, I’m not a big fan of sharing work before it’s finished as it usually burns up enthusiasm that’s better saved for finishing the damn thing.  Not only that, you’re dealing with a first draft that has glaring consistency errors.

*But all that said, I’ve really enjoyed doing a serial in-progress story like this.  The feedback I’ve gotten from my fellow writers has been both heartening and energizing, not to mention inspiring.  (I’m ing-ing, I know.)  A few things got smoothed out in discussion thanks to their suggestions.  But the biggest encouragement were the “Aw!”‘s at the end when I cut it off.  Made my whole writing month!

And thank goodness for my writer’s groups…and the deadlines they bring.  I think if it weren’t for the fact that I have specified dates to meet up with fellow writers and share work, all the craziness of this past month would have shoved writing to the back burners of my back burners.  I’m not crazy about how minimal the work has been this month, but I’m happy that I’m still doing it.

It’s funny how it’s so easy to push aside your greatest passion in order to deal with insurance paperwork, grocery shopping, and laundry.  It’s one of the greatest lies we tell ourselves, that this other stuff doesn’t take much time and it needs to be done, and we’ll get to our greatest passion in a minute.  The truth is, all that other stuff pretty much gets taken care of in the forward momentum of our living, and that our energies are best expended towards what makes our hearts quicken with joy.  At the end of our lives, we will think of the book that we did or did not write, but we won’t think of the coupons we did or did not keep organized.

I have been quite mowed over by Things That Need To Be Done Right Now these past few weeks.  But now I find myself at a nice, comfortable spot.  There’s really Nothing That Needs To Be Done Right Now.

So today I’m regrouping.  I’ve got several stories that are awaiting final polish and prints.  I have to get those closed out and off my desk.  I have to write Part 3 of my workshop submission and revise the whole thing.  (My big ambition is to have my submission printed and ready to go before the day of the workshop.  Wouldn’t that be wild?)  Then I’ve got to jump over to a horror story and finish that for my monthly writer’s group (which is already due in 3 days!).  And then it’s on to the script/short story I’ve been dying to write…and hoping to write for Script Frenzy.  Time is running very short.

But anyway, that’s where I am.  How about you guys?  Anything new?  Hello?


* It does make me wonder how I would feel about a work-in-progress if it was not well-received, or if I was doing this with less than supportive writers.  Would I continue writing it?  Therein lies the danger, I suspects.


The view from my "office" - a sidewalk table at a "foreign" Starbucks.

I’ve been busy every day since Fat Cat shipped off to boot camp it seems like.  Between yard clean-up and spring cleaning and taxes and lots and lots of visiting with friends and relatives, I’m finally slowing down to a subwarp speed.  Which is good because it means me, the baby, and the dogs can return to our evening walks, which I’ve missed.

Mom and Dad watched the little one for an hour and a half today so I could play catch-up on a story that’s due for my Wednesday writer’s workshop.  I ended up with 607 words, most of which I liked, which means I have momentum, which means I’m happy.

After months and months of daily consistent writing, I have reluctantly returned to my old habit of sporadic writing, basically piled against deadlines, mostly due to the adjustment period of having Fat Cat gone.  Me no likey.

So now that I’m fairly caught up with the house for now — though the dogs were helpful enough to pull the car cover off my husband’s ’69 Toyota Crown Royal and rip it apart, which a bird promptly pooped on it — thanks, guys — I’m hoping that today will be the first day back on the wagon.  Not only do I have a ton of short fiction I’m working on, a novel to finish, and a few project proposals to write — oh, and a script! — but I want to get this blog back on track.  I’ve got a pile of crap — um, articles and stuff to share with you guys.

Well, I’m off to see how many words I can add before midnight.  Trying to get my protag to the monster.  That’s going to be a fun scene.

Hope everyone else is doing well out there, writing lots, and eating good food (always)!


"Surprise___emotional_Giraffe_2" by krystledawn - deviantART.com

Whaddaya know?  It’s April 15th, and I still haven’t filed my taxes yet.  It’s like my destiny to every year visit the post office in a bit of a twist.

Right.  So off I go.  I’m so eager to rush my personal check to the government.  Let me cut in line.  😉


"Chicken Party" by psngirl - deviantART.com

We had our fourth writers’ group meeting on Sunday.  Although half of us missed the deadline, everyone brought something to read.  As usual, we had a lot of fun.  I think it went really well.  We’re starting to hit our stride as a group, methinks.

I can see each member really trying hard to bring something good to the meetings.  The members who missed the deadline <ahem> are all eager not to bring shame to their tribe next time around, so they’re all working diligently on their next submissions as I type this (right?).

We didn’t use a talking stick, but we did have a talking light saber.  Not a talking light saber, but one that you hold when you talk.  You know.  Though not a single person got bopped.  Apparently, it works. <g>

But we got down to business right away and worked through everyone’s piece, which was great.  I thought everyone had something helpful to offer about each piece, and so I was most happy.

Next month will be even better.  Because everyone will upload their submissions on time, and everyone will have read each other’s submission ahead of time…or there will be plastic light saber punishment doled out unmercifully.  (bam! bam! bam! bam!)

Now, if you’ll excuse me, I’ve got a story to finish.  Nothing like the threat of being bopped by hollow plastic to light the fire under my heinie.   🙂


"Butterfly Army" by evildogz - deviantART.com

Please forgive the delays in our regularly scheduled broadcast.  It’s been 12 days since Fat Cat flew the coop, and I’ve been busier than a one-legged man in an — well, you know.

Since FC left, I’ve taken care of various paperwork, done countless errands, had some nice folks come and decimate our weed problem and clean up the yard (got two compliments from the neighbors already), and managed to make the living room look like the washing machine blew up in it.  And that’s just for starters.

By the time FC returns home on leave, this house is going be rocking!  I mean, stuff is going to have its own place (and if it doesn’t, it’s going under the house), all the rooms are going to be clean and in use for something other than storage, and, if all goes well, the dishes just might be done.  So, as you can see, I have big plans.  Big, big plans.  Mwah-ha-ha-ha!

So…so far, so good.  Besides being deprived of my hubby’s company, it was a tough blow losing that guaranteed 5:00 a.m. to 8:00 a.m. Starbucks session every morning.  But after much experimenting, trying to write immediately after the baby goes to bed, at 1:00 a.m., 2:00 a.m., during naps, it turns out the best time for me to write is…well, 5:00 a.m. to 8:00 a.m.  Go figure.

What with all the upheaval, writing’s been hit or miss.  I’m running terribly behind on a few deadlines.  But I’m very happy to report that writing is still happening.

Besides my monthly writer’s group, I’ve signed up for a weekly writer’s workshop through the college with my previous creative writing instructor.  It only goes for eight sessions total, but there’s nothing like an outside deadline to keep you hobbling along the road, even if you’re missing a tire and have to carry one end of the axle yourself.

The dogs gave me a new story idea last week, and the darn thing kept rolling around in my mind, gathering moss, getting bigger and fancier.  By the time I sat down to write it, it just smoothed out on screen like roll-on lip gloss.  It’s not a fast write…but it’s sticky-easy and truly organic.  I’m taking my time, and it’s going well.  Much faster than my kappa story.

And in keeping with my determined attitude to not sweat the small stuff, I’m letting the story unspool at its own pace.  That means, of course, by the time this week’s workshop rolled around, I only had half the story done.  So I broke one of my most stringent rules.  I brought it to class and showed it to people.

Usually, I avoid showing stuff to people before it’s finished because there’s an inherent danger that I won’t go on to complete the story once the energy of discussion has washed over it.  But this time it’s a little different.  First of all, we have a bit of a time constraint/length restriction, so I couldn’t bring the entire story even if it were done.

But what made feedback on an incomplete piece not only okay, but worthwhile and helpful, was the fact that my focus was not on whether or not the idea was okay or cool enough, but whether or not there I raised enough good questions.  Having people read the piece and give feedback in terms of their expectations of the piece was fantastic.  It let me know I was on the right track with where I wanted to lead the reader, and it also let me know where the story was a little on the thin side (sensory, sensory!).  So all in all, it was a good workshop session for me.

Of course, I had started that story as a submission to my regular writers’ group, but since I’ve used it for my college workshop, now I have to come up with another one for the regulars.  I have it.  It’s right here in my tiny brain.  But it’s dark and scary — a creature story — and so I’ve been loathe to write it at night.  You know, sitting on the couch in the lightless wee hours, the computer screen sort of blinds one.  Makes it hard to see if there’s something out there looking at me.  I know.  I’m a wimp that way.  I’ll probably get it going today…this morning…right now…right after I check on the baby, who’s probably warm and fuzzy and cuddly and not at all a temptation to return back to bed.

Anyway, probably way more detail on the update that anyone cared to read about.  Just wanted to apprise people that I haven’t slid off the face of the Earth, but am, in fact, clinging quite stubbornly to it.  Yay for gravity!

But now that things are relatively under control — I got it!  I got it! — I feel relatively safe in saying that we will now return to our regularly schedule broadcast.  So see ya tomorrow.  Maybe I’ll be able to report my itchy dark little story completed and out of my head.

Hope everyone out there is writing!  Oh!  And before I forget, *Script Frenzy!  It’s not too late.  Go!  Sign up!  Jump in!  I’m doing it…just starting next week.  Must get caught up first.  But don’t let 100 pages scare you.  Have you seen pages from scripts?  It’s all white space, my friend.  Be brave.  Commit.


*  If anyone cares to join me, my user name on Script Frenzy is squishyang.  Yeah!