"To days of inspiration, playing hooky, making something out of nothing; the need to express, to communicate..." --Jonathan Larson, Rent

June 03, 2005

Is this thing on?

Well hell. Look at this. I have a writing journal. It's been a long year of not very much writing at all, despite my best intentions after WorldCon. Now it's the week after WisCon, and I'm fired up once again, in part due to the panels, and in a larger part due to the writers' workshop I attended there with the first chapter of The Exile's Daughter. I have a vague notion of where to start rewriting the beast now, go me.

Also helping re-light the fire under my ass was the Commie Pinko 48 Hour Short Story Contest sponsored on Hanne Blank's livejournal. I participated, wrote a story over a weekend, and received an honorable mention for it. I'm still fond of the story, and currently have it awaiting critiques on OWW.

On a whim, I rearranged and reorganized my entire office and succeeded in creating a workspace that feels "right". Last night was my first night actually working there, and I accomplished a few things:

  • Joined OWW, posted "Golden Boy", and critiqued a story
  • Reread "Sic Transit Gloria" and "An Eye For an Eye"
  • Found a market for "Sic Transit" and sent it out
  • Reluctantly trunked "An Eye For an Eye" (more on that)
  • Found the first market for "Golden Boy", as soon as it's ready.
So... the trunking. Apparently during this long non-writing period, my skills have been creeping along without me (quite possibly due to all the reading I've been doing), because "Eye for an Eye" is just not as good as I remembered it being. There's some good stuff there, but as a whole, it's not quite right, and I don't think it's worth fixing. The scenes that are good just don't seem to belong to that story. The good news is, though, I think I can cannibalize the good parts for False Light, whenever I get around to writing it.

I think this weekend I'm going to try and do some character work on Exile (Alex, talk to me, damn you) and maybe, if I'm lucky, finish the untitled story I've been working on for ages.

God, it feels good to be thinking of work again.

Posted by Lisa at 10:13 AM | Comments (0)

September 13, 2004

Interesting... in the Chinese sense

Because I didn't feel like wrestling with "Ekphora" tonight, I went poking through my old writing files, looking at scraps of things I've started, ideas I've jotted down and never pursued, looking for a little inspiration, maybe. I didn't expect to find the opening scene of a novel staring me in the face.

What I found was a snippet I wrote earlier this year, a total departure from the spec fic-flavored stuff I usually come up with. I put it away because I didn't know what to do with it. It seems to meander too much for a short story, and besides that, I'm not entirely sure there's enough story for a short story, but maybe enough for a novel. (Does that make sense to anyone but me? It seems like short stories require more story than novels do--there's more room to roam in a novel, to stray from the point. Even enough room to avoid having much of a point at all--just ask Faulkner.)

I love the snippet. I adore the snippet. The characters, in just 300 words, reach up off the page and grab me by the collar. I just don't know what to do with them. And I'm a little afraid to just write them and see where they go, because of the structure problems I'm trying to resolve. Maybe I should give myself a word-count limit. Maybe 3,000 words. Or 5,000. Just see where they go, and then try to corral them into some sort of outline.


Posted by Lisa at 09:32 PM | Comments (0)

September 11, 2004


I have a new title for "Don't Look Back". I have a notion of where it went wrong and how to fix it. I even started fixing it. Now if people would just leave me the hell alone long enough to finish it, I'd be good.

Yeah. Definitely going to have to start rebuilding boundaries on when it's okay and when it's not okay to interrupt writing time. For myself too, cause I no longer have time to screw around and be distracted. I might take to leaving the house to write again. I dunno. Something.

Posted by Lisa at 03:41 PM | Comments (0)

September 09, 2004

Surface thoughts

I was proud of myself for actually bringing my spiffy new laptop to work with me, and further, actually writing during my lunch hour. The biggest problem, however, is that the story I was working on now looks tremendously flawed. Flawed, but with enough good stuff in it that it's definitely not something I want to scrap. Well crap. That means I have to actually work. And that's all I want to do this morning, but the day job has other ideas.

It's very very hard for me to analyze my own work--I mean, I know it's hard for everyone, but there are times when I feel like I just can't think deep enough to write the way I want to write. Like I'm just floating over the surface of everything I write, and when I try to focus more, to take an idea further, my brain hits a wall. Part of it's mental laziness, I know. My brain gets so tiiiired, poor thing. It's not just fiction writing; I've gotten similar comments on several of my lit papers. "Explore this more. I want to see more of this idea. Expand on this."

Yeah. Maybe it's all laziness. I want to try to get out of the habit of slapping a coat of paint on my writing and calling it done. I want to build up my mental stamina a little. I need to do brain callisthenics.

Man, writing is hard.

Posted by Lisa at 09:09 AM | Comments (0)

September 07, 2004

No really, I mean it this time.

Well, WorldCon was enough to inspire me, and light a big fire under my ass. I spent today finishing the rewrite on "Sic Transit Gloria", and I sent it back out. Tomorrow, I plan to see if "Don't Look Back" needs a polish (I know it needs a new title, for sure) and get it resubmitted, ASAP. I've sat on it for far too long.

Also, I had a few revelations on The Exile's Daughter, and I want to start trying to figure out how to work them in.

And did I mention I got a new laptop? That I can actually work from? Yeah. I think it's time to stop dwelling on the vagaries of RL and get back to acting like a writer again.

Posted by Lisa at 11:31 PM | Comments (0)

August 03, 2004

*cough, cough*

Wow, let me just dust things off around here, shall I? It's been a crazy couple of months, but my fingers are crossed that perhaps things might return to something resembling normal any minute now.

(You hear that, Universe? I said, ANY. MINUTE. NOW.)

I'm starting to get that itch, the one that says I need to write, and soon. I've been looking at my priorities again, and I'm forced to ask myself, just how many reruns of Law & Order does one need to watch, really? I'm starting to let my reasons for not writing turn into excuses for not writing, and that just needs to stop.

First on my list of things I want to work on is a revision of "Sic Transit Gloria" which recently came back with some highly complimentary comments and an invitation to rewrite and resubmit. The rewrites are pretty much done on paper, I just need to input them.

I'm also turning The Exile's Daughter over and over in my head. I've wondered, pretty much since I started writing it, if it wouldn't make a better YA novel than an 'adult' novel. The conflicts and subplots seem like the type that would appeal more to adolescents, maybe, than adults (which isn't to say that adults couldn't enjoy it--and for that matter, unless my readers are just being polite, haven't enjoyed it). I'm starting to think that maybe, just maybe, I've been away from the story long enough to actually start rewriting it, no really for real I mean it this time. I think I'm just going to have to bug Mer for rewriting tips, since now she's the experienced one here. ;)

We'll see. I'm all a-tingle with nervous anticipation.

Posted by Lisa at 10:20 AM | Comments (0)

June 15, 2004

Happy anniversary to me

Five years ago today I submitted my first story to a magazine. Has it really been five years? Egads. It feels like I should have accomplished more in that time, but really, I've done more than I think.

I have to giggle at my naive self from five years ago: "I now count myself as a 'real' writer." Yeah. That didn't last. I still waver on that point.

Posted by Lisa at 06:47 AM | Comments (0)