Wednesday, November 19, 2014

In Which I Make a Confession That Makes Me Sound Like a Whackaloon

So, I've been writing, and I'll say more about that soon, promise-- but that's not what this post is about. This post is about a weird mental block I've been having for the last six months, that I haven't wanted to talk about because it makes me sound like a crazy person. But I think it's actually messing me up more than I'd like to admit, so I'm taking a deep breath and confessing:

My plan has always been to get back to work on Eleven Names as soon as I finish The Owl Bearer. EN is the next book in the series, after all. And it's the Book of my Heart: the core story is the one that launched me on this crazy spec fic journey nearly two decades ago.

From the very first NaNo draft of EN, I knew my main character Somi had a son, and that she lost her son when he was eight years old. He didn't die, but she lost him anyway. Then I had a son, and that son got older and older, and I started to feel a stab of irrational fear in my gut-- fear that I'd be punished for inflicting such a devastating plot point on my character. Fear that something awful would happen to my son on his 8th birthday. And as insane as this sounds, a part of me has not wanted to finish TOB, because then I would be writing EN while my own son is eight.

Stephen King once wrote that the only book that has freaked him out so badly he had to stop writing it was Pet Semetary, because the kids in the book were same sexes and ages as his own kids, they lived on a busy road, and he was constantly worried about their toddler getting hit by a truck. When he reached that scene in the book, he couldn't go on. He felt that by writing it, he would make it happen to himself. He had to put the book aside until his kids were older.

I think some of that is going on with me. Every time I sit down to work on TOB, I think of how I need to get back to work on EN as soon as its done.

Today is The Son's 8th birthday. And I really want to finish TOB. I am so, so close to being done.

So I have decided that I will not work on EN again for another year. I will finish TOB, and then I will work on the first book in a new series I have growing wild in my brain. New genre, new world... and none of my characters have kids.

Slinking off now...

Saturday, November 1, 2014

NaPaADaMo, Day 1

That's National Page a Day Month, if you're curious.

Don't worry, I won't keep calling it that all month.

Day 1 has gone as planned. One more page edited. Hurrah.

Friday, October 31, 2014

'Twas the Night Before NaNo...

Okay, clearly I have to do something. My new work schedule has me thrown completely off my game, and I need some kind of kick up the backside to get me moving again.

There's no way I can 50,000 words this month--not even of editing. I'm hosting book club this Monday (which means cleaning the house all weekend). The Son's epic Jedi-themed birthday party is coming up this month. Not to mention Thanksgiving, which I also host. Oh, and I'm teaching an intensive SAT prep course the week of Thanksgiving, too. Plus continuing to, y'know, work and parent and stuff.

However, there are people far busier than I who manage to finish books.

One page of editing a day, folks. That's all I can manage for this particular challenge.

Wednesday, September 3, 2014

Checking In

Did one hour today, and got through another section... and, almost on impulse, wound up deviating from the second draft scene quite a bit. I was never completely happy with this little bit of the book, though. I think what I wrote today has more life to it.

Tuesday, September 2, 2014

Officially Re-Entered!

Did my 30 minutes, and finished a section.

Tomorrow I need to tutor in the morning, so I will pack lunch and do an hour afterwards. I'll check back in then.


It's no surprise, I'm sure, that this summer has been disastrous for writing. I started a new job last spring, and while it's still only part-time it's doubled the number of hours I was working before. Plus, The Son did half-day camps again this summer, so the few kid-free hours I had were spent tutoring and doing admin for the tutoring company. I did some editing work here and there, but never built up momentum.

Time to get back on track. School starts today, which means 7 kid-free hours a day. I'll have to work 2-4 of those hours depending on the day, but that still leaves plenty of time for writing. What worked for my best last year was dropping The Son at school, then coming home to get some dishes and laundry started and do about an hour of admin work, then head to the library when it opens at 10:00 for two hours of editing. Then home for lunch, and more admin work if need be. The two mornings a week I tutored at the library, I would bring my lunch and do my two hours of editing after I ate.

I'm easing back to that schedule now. My goal for today is to be at the library when it opens, and edit for 30 minutes. Tomorrow I'll do an hour, and by Friday I should be back up to 2 hours.

I'll report back each day to stay accountable.