Saturday, January 21, 2023

WIP Update - The Edits Continue

Two nights ago, I finished another pass and read the last words of my WIP. My son actually fell asleep on the ground behind me while I read the last few chapters out loud (which could be a bad sign...). But when he returned after a quick shower, he listened to the very last chapter quietly. 

When I reached the end, he asked, "Aren't you going to write some more words?" I told him that was the end, and tried to explain how it began (the end of a journey) versus how it ended (the start of a new journey), and how that seemed like a good way to close the story. Then he wanted me to read from the beginning. But it was bedtime.

I'm still high on the feeling of another milestone met! I know I'm still not done, though. I've fought with deciding the next step. I made a few notes along the way. There were two or three places that needed a quick revision to make the characters/plot consistent. Those are pretty much fixed now.

I reached out to my coach, but he can't meet until next week. 

So, here I sit, with tons of motivation and creative juices boiling, and no certain path.

I know there is more to do! I noticed something on this read, though. It's strange how stories and writing shift as the plot moves along. The beginnings are always more descriptive and once the action slips in, the story speeds up. I find myself questioning if that acceleration is the right amount, and if there is more that could be revealed to the reader throughout. 

I'm also afraid of those scenes when the character is experiencing something humans would not be able to fathom. Did I describe it well enough? Most of the reviews about my published short story contain the word "confusing." This is my ultimate fear now. Will the reader grasp the experience through my words?

So possible next steps:

  • Make another pass and go even deeper with character voice and narrative description. 
  • Focus on "out-of-body" scenes and sharpen the description.
  • Focus on the mythology and reveal more to the reader (sooner?) so it doesn't come on so heavy.
  • Add more to the secondary POV so the story has a stronger dual perspective (not much, maybe just one or two extra scenes/conversations).
  • Put it away again and work on something else with all this creative fuel. (Really don't want to do this again! I need it to be fresh. Remembering an entire novel in your head while you make small changes without creating huge ripples is as hard as it sounds.)

Decisions, decisions.

While I consider these options, here is a piece of early description from the first chapter. I was working on making the description active so the reader learns about the scenery and the story while she explores.

She stood on top of the dune with her eyes closed, soaking in all the vibrations of the planet. She listened to the water—crashing, rolling, sliding, hissing away into tiny holes in the sand. A perfect decrescendo. The scene mesmerized her. Her surroundings comforted her and made her feel at home despite having absolutely no similarity to the constant sound of thrusters, air recyclers, and feet tapping on metal floors. Memories of past lives threatened to surface but she pushed them away. This moment was hers. The ancestors would not take this from her.

 I really like this paragraph. It reveals a lot about the character and the threshold in her life she is about to cross.

I hope you have a wonderful weekend/week. Enjoy the closest new moon in a thousand-year span. Pretty strong symbolism for new beginnings and long journeys!

Wednesday, January 4, 2023

IWSG - January - My Word

 Happy New Year!

The awesome co-hosts for the January 4 posting of the IWSG are Jemima Pett, Debs Carey, Kim Lajevardi, Sarah Foster, Natalie Aguirre, and T. Powell Coltrin!

January 4 question - Do you have a word of the year? Is there one word that sums up what you need to work on or change in the coming year? What is your word for 2023? Why?


(Really this is my word for this decade or even this life.)

I love to do, I love to learn, and I love to create. I love it so much I can't help myself. While I refuse to slow down--or lower my expectations for myself--I do want to become better at balancing all the things!

This doesn't mean I'm terrible at letting go. I feel like I am progressing toward mastery on this one! So I know that when things don't balance, I have to let something go. 

Balance all the things.

Balance the things to keep and the things to let go.

Balance the desire for perfection and the realistic boundaries of time and capability.

Balance the moments for myself and the moments for others.

Yep, this is a good word.

(Also, I'm a Libra. Insert sarcastic "Surprise" here.)

Wednesday, December 7, 2022

IWSG - December - Time to Catch-up!

It is time to return. I am finally in a place where I can read and comment on other members, so I am back to being part of the hop.

I hated to step out, but I also hated to hang on by my fingernails as I tried to survive a bit of personal turbulence. I still would have missed out on really supporting others with full participation!

So here is my take on the question for this month:

December 7 question - It's holiday time! Are the holidays a time to catch up or fall behind on writer goals?

I would like to say this is a time to catch up. I am finally finishing up some professional certificate courses I was required to complete for my day job, so my evening/weekend times are about to be more open. On the flip side, I will be traveling to visit family, which means several days of getting nothing done (except devoting 100% of my time to family).

I will certainly get more writing done in the next month than I have in the past four months. So I would say I couldn't fall much further behind!

I look forward to reading many other author responses! Thanks for keeping my spot warm!

RIP My Sweet Jiji
02/2019 - 12/2022
We didn't have long enough!

Now who will stare at me while I write? Silly kitty!

Let’s rock the neurotic writing world!

Our Twitter handle is @TheIWSG and hashtag is #IWSG.

The awesome co-hosts for the December 7 posting of the IWSG are Joylene Nowell Butler, Chemist Ken, Natalie Aguirre, Nancy Gideon, and Cathrina Constantine!

Sunday, November 6, 2022

Personal Time Travel

 The evidence on this website is clear. I have recently been stuck in an unprecedented mode of time travel. Time slipped further and further away. So much so, I think the word "slup" could be invented to describe the feeling more accurately. No time for this, and no time for that, all because time slup.

Passion could not stop it. Drive could not stop it. Desperation certainly could not stop it. My writing coaches, circle of author friends, and this website all became frozen in a past life. Glimpses of them appeared on a whiff of guilt each time I walked by my lonely laptop resting on a desk of increasingly heaped crap.

I would try to get back, but thirty minutes of editing, an hour of planning in my journal, a long silent stare at my inspiration board all amounted to nothing more than a wake for my author persona. My words slipped (slup) further from my fingertips every day. It wasn't depressing, not as depressing as it sounds. I found time with my family, time to do small, insignificant household tasks like wiping down the world's most complicated trashcan. Time at work grew longer and longer, too. What is the point of taking a break in a ten-hour day? If I work all the way through, I can finish even more! I never do seem to catch up.

There truly is nothing sad about my missing persona. It isn't even missing, just under a sleeping curse, waiting in hibernation for the flow of time to be just right.

Is the time right? I cannot say, but I can say this:  I woke up on another planet today. This is something my past self has done many times. I could hear the crashing of waves on sand. It is dark, but not night. This is not the first time I have dreamed of a planet in perpetual dusk, although this one is different. The sand is the color of the night sky. I follow the shoreline until the washing sand gives way to a paved staircase of deep blue bricks. The water laps at the edges of the steps leading to the base of a huge tower. Everything is dark blue. The sand is probably the main ingredient for the bricks and cob used to build the tower. The retreating water leaves the surface glossy and slippery, but I am not using my feet to travel, so I won't fall. As peaceful as this scene sounds, I know I am being hunted. But I am not afraid, merely annoyed. What is it this time?

Then I hear the bathroom door slam, the toilet lid smack into the tank, and the relieved sigh of a small child. I am sucked back into the too-fast flow of time once again.