Friday, June 18, 2010

An Open Letter To My Subconscious

I’m not doing too badly, all things considered. Looking at things objectively, I realize I could be a lot worse off. There’s a roof over my head (complete with air-conditioning), I haven’t missed too many meals, and even if we’re dropping the cable TV, at least we’ve got the ability to follow the television shows we feel that we need to in other ways. So I’ll concede that things are nowhere near as dire as they might be.


I was much happier and felt a lot better about myself when I was working on my writing. I don’t know what it was going to be at the end of the day – a book, a comic, a short story – none of that mattered. What mattered was that I was writing. It was more than that – I was taking the steps towards redefining myself. Then one circumstance after another left the bits and pieces in a jumbled mess.

This cannot be borne.

I’m thirty-five years old now. If I’m lucky, I’m a third of the way through my years, and I’m still fumbling with the basics. I want to try to move beyond this. To that end, I want to state the following.

I want to write. I was happier writing than I think any work has ever made me. And this act was a joint effort between you (the subconscious mind) and me (the waking mind). I’m not certain where things are falling down, because I have to believe that you want to see me write as well – you want to be expressed. For the briefest of moments, you had a voice and an audience in me, before things fell apart. If you can help me to figure out what I want to write, I would like to make another attempt – this time, unsaddled by a full-time job.

I’ll try to make sure that I block off time each day to write – even if I don’t have an inspiration. I’m just hoping that you’ll give me a sign that we can give it another go. We were making a great team.



Wednesday, February 24, 2010


Today just felt like I was stumbling in my efforts to write. I just didn't seem to be able to make it happen. I suspect it's a result of not having been as physically active today. I spent most of my time today dealing with my defunct car, which is no longer mine.

I've been sitting up late to try to write, but I'm just not getting anywhere tonight. I think I'm going to call it a night and try again tomorrow. This time with a bit more elbow grease.

Tonight's Word Count: 257

Total Word Count: 31,360

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Two Nights In A Row

Alright, this is feeling a bit more like it.

I didn't get a writing exercise done today, but I got a lot of cleaning done around the house. The errands are really lining up for tomorrow, too, but hopefully I'll find a bit more time to write.

Tonight I worked on a scene between Erin, and her former mentor Achilles. It almost seems like any time I'm having a hard time getting started, I should work on something with the two of them. They seem to work pretty well together, and I think they probably get some of my better work. Here's a snippet of their dialog:

Alec walked over, and rested a hand on her shoulder. “You did the best that you could in a bad situation. Even though there was a lot I hadn’t taught you, I could tell you learned a lot more just by paying attention.”

“Maybe, but I never really felt like I knew what I was doing.” She stepped away, and turned to face him. “I always felt like I was faking it, or guessing what I had to do next. I knew I wasn’t ready, but they wouldn’t hear it.”

Achilles shrugged in response. “You seem to be doing a fine job right now. Your friends are obviously looking to you for guidance. And I think this thing you guys are looking into might wind up being a bigger deal than the rest of the Brigadiers think.” He smiled at her. “You’re doing fine.”

“You might be wrong about that,” Erin replied with a chuckle. “I’ve been going over Baker’s notes again since our meeting topside. I’m not done, but if I’m right, Kosmos’ ‘Atomic Nebulizer’ isn’t anything more than an alien battery charger. At least, that’s what I’m getting from Baker’s notes.”

“I guess that’s a relief,” Alec agreed. “But sometimes the tiniest things cause the biggest problems. Are you going to keep at it?”

I need to figure out how I'm going to proceed through the second act, though. My first attempt brought things to a head really quick. I've figured that I can spend more time on Erin's growth, and her issues with her parents, but I want the plot to continue alongside it. I'll puzzle it out.

For now, it's... god, It's 12:24 and I'm about to say "it's late". I've been on a daytime orientation for a few days now, and I guess I'm adjusting. But that means I need to get to bed soon.

Today's Word Count: 591

Total Word Count: 31,103

Monday, February 22, 2010

Getting Back Into The Groove - Part Two

It's a fresh week, and a new chance to try to get into a rhythm.

So today, I woke up in the morning, and did a bunch of housework. I pretty much reclaimed our guest-room from a tide of filth, and took a time out to do a writing exercise. I sat down to try to write, but I was having trouble getting into the scene I'm working on.

After talking to Hilary about it over dinner, I think I found my way in though. I got some writing done tonight, but it's late and I'm calling it a night for now. With some luck, I'll have an easier time getting back to it tomorrow. So there's no excerpt tonight. But here's my total word count:

Total Word Count: 30,512

Writing Exercise - Airplane

Okay. My weekend wasn't terribly productive on any particular front (except helping to fix up my Dad's computer for Hilary.) So a new week starts, and I'm trying to roll straight into it, and get some stuff done. What better way to start than with a writing exercise from C.M. Mayo's website. Here's what we have for today:

February 22 "Airplane"
This is an exercise about generating specific sensory detail. On a typical flight, what are:
5 things you might see; 5 things you might smell; 5 things you might touch;
5 things you might hear; and 5 things you might taste?

Another listing exercise? Still, these are good at helping to visualize a scene. Here we go:

noxious odor from 'bathroom'
real food up in first class
unwashed person in the seat next to you
baby that needs to be changed

Crying Children
quiet fart/burping
flight attendant

Fabric of the seats
the rough carpeting on the ground
another person's hand
airplane window

electronic devices

chewing gum

And... time.

This one was actually pretty easy. I've been on a few flights in my life, and I think our culture has enough understanding of the potential of any kind of shared-transit experience to know what you might run into. Of course, being almost seven feet tall, flying is certainly not my desired mode of transportation. Even if I was at my ideal weight, it'd be an uncomfortable experience at best, considering the cattle-car conditions in a 'coach' flight. I'd almost rather ride with the luggage.

And a note: I did actually get 700-800 words written on Friday, and didn't document them. I meant to sit back down Friday afternoon and try to write some more but never got back to it.

Now, I'm going to get ready to do some cleaning, and job hunting. I'll get back to writing a little later. I want to build up some good, positive momentum before I start.

Friday, February 19, 2010

Writing Exercise - The Unwanted Gift

Okay, taking another stab at diurnal existence. It's not my cup of tea, but here we are. So I'm going to start my day with another writing exercise courtesy of C.M. Mayo's Website:

February 19 "The Unwanted Gift"
Make a list of 10 unwanted gifts. Then circle the one you find most intriguing. Describe it. Start writing.

Interesting. We'll see how I do.

  1. Socks
  2. Sweaters
  3. Music
  4. Sports paraphanelia
  5. Utensils
  6. Kitchen gadgets
  7. Vacuum Cleaner
  8. Lawn Tools
  9. Necktie
  10. Nothing
I find music on my list the most intriguing - probably because my tastes are so eclectic and far from mainstream culture that attempting to buy it for me is almost a hopeless cause.

He looked at the CD grimly, before peeking up at his mother. He knew that if his face showed what he was thinking, her smile would fade, a step at a time. She probably just asked the clerk what the most popular thing was. Does she even bother to pay attention to what I actually listen to? Of course not. He struggled to force the corners of his mouth up into the semblance of a smile. There's got to be something I can do with this. I mean, I'm sure I can sell it off at the very least, I just need to keep her from finding out. "Thanks, Mom".

And... time.

I actually had a rough time coming up with 'unwanted' gifts at all. Half of the things I wrote, while hardly something I'd call desirable, are things that we could at least find a good use for around the house. (I guess that's part of the whole 'growing up' thing?)

I'm trying to hammer out a daily schedule that should give me some exercise, some writing and job hunting time, and some time to do chores. Hopefully this'll help things fall into place.

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

A Post For 2/17

No change in word count for the 17th.

I'd been growing more aware of a problem I was having with my story. I felt like it was hurtling straight into the third act way too early. My antagonist was just moving way too quickly, and hurting the pace of everything.

The impact of changing my sleep cycle back to nights hasn't helped any, either of course.

But tonight (with Hilary's help) I think I've hammered out the difficulties in my plotting. I'm going to have to go back a few nights, and make some changes. I'm not throwing anything out (at least not yet) but I think I know what needs to go where. So my progress tonight isn't really measurable, but I've got a lot going on later today. Hopefully I'll have a word-count back tomorrow.