March 29, 2002
I've been thinking about my
I've been thinking about my history as a writer. I've got more of one than I realized. I remember trying to write plays in elementary school, mostly because I wanted to stage them with my friends. I wrote my first 'real' story at the age of 11, a 20+ page handwritten tale about a high school band called Phoenix (imagine my pleasure when, many years later, I discovered a marvelous filk group called Phoenyx). It took me nine months to write, because even then I had horrific writing habits. My story was probably about on par with the Sweet Valley High books (which hadn't made their debut yet). It was trite, silly, and was written for the express purpose of having my heroine (who was an idealized version of how I wanted to be at 16) live a marvelous life where she had a great band, a great boyfriend, and got to sing for my idols, the rock band Journey. (Shut up.)
Still, I finished it, and even envisioned a trilogy where things did not remain so idealistic. The first story, which was called "As the Nightingale Sings" (again: shut up), was all about how Phoenix got discovered and released their first hit. The second story, which mercifully remained untitled, was going to be about their rise to superstardom (Britney Spears eat your heart out), and third story was going to be about the perils of being a rock band. I planned to use some gritty subject matter in that one: one of the band members was going to develop a drug habit. When I finished the first story I was in seventh grade, and I did what any seventh grade brain would do with a finished story: I gave it to my English teacher to read. She was enthusiastic and encouraging and my need for approval was fed.
A few other stories followed, including a science fiction story about a man with telekinetic powers who lived on a world where science was god, and so was exiled for the crime of having ESP. It was a pretty dark story for a 12 year old, complete with stoic heroes, dead girlfriends, rigged trials, prison planets, and a galactic uprising. Lest you think I was some sort of prodigy (cause I still think the idea was pretty cool), our hero died near the end, only to discover that it was (say it with me) "all just a dream!", after which he walked out his front door into a world where everybody had ESP. That one I gave to my eighth grade English teacher, and ran into my first experience with a real critique. I realize now that I didn't want a real critique, I wanted someone to fawn. Needless to say, I didn't take well to the perfectly valid criticism, and I never rewrote the story. (It wasn't until adulthood that I'd develop my tendency to edit to death.)
I stopped writing fiction shortly after that. I'm not sure why. Too busy, I suppose, being a teenager and growing up. I still wrote poetry, usually angsty with all sorts of theatre metaphors, because I was a theatre geek. I had a few of them published in the annual high school "literary" magazine, which I think I still have somewhere. I remember them being pretty cringeworthy. It wasn't until I got seriously into RPGs that I started writing fiction again. I even startled myself and wrote a poem here not so long ago. I don't think I'm ready to share that one yet. It's funny, when I was a kid, I'd show my poetry to anyone in the world, but didn't even want to admit to writing stories. Now it's the other way around.
Right. "Rhythm of the Tides"
Right. "Rhythm of the Tides" is printed, packaged, and all set to be shipped off to Fantasy & Science Fiction. All it's waiting for is the correct postage. Yay me.
Although, I just realized that I sealed the envelope and didn't stamp the SASE. D'oh. Good thing I have extra 9x12 envelopes.
Of course, to counterbalance all
Of course, to counterbalance all of the good writing vibes lately, I got a rejection this morning from Elysian Fiction. It was one of the good ones though, very personal and complimentary with an invitation to submit again.
Now I'm not sure what to do with "Rhythm" though. Common sense tells me not to sit on it for long, because I'll end up not submitting it anywhere. However, the perfectionist in me wants to pull it back for another round of fine-tuning, or at least a round of making everybody read it again and tell me if it works. Huh. I'd submit it to Strange Horizons, but I already submitted "Ocean's Edge" to them originally, and I've got them on my list for "Midsummer" -- I'd hate to reveal the depths of my selkie obsession quite so soon, especially since I think with "Midsummer" I'm done with selkie stories for a while.
Decisions, decisions... Maybe I'll bluesky it and send it off to one of the "great big" names...
March 28, 2002
I finished it! I finished
I finished it! I finished my first draft of "Midsummer" this morning! I'm very geeked about this. I think it's very good. Desperately in need of editing and revision, but good. I'm feeling very pleased with myself this morning. :)
March 27, 2002
I'm a little awed. There
I'm a little awed. There are currently eighteen people signed up for the April Hour-A-Day Dare. I think that's more people than I have on my journal notify list, for goodness sake. It's not like there's going to be much (or any) maintenance work on my part once we get started, so I'm not feeling all stressed or anything, I'm just amazed that I was part of an idea that that many people thought was a good one. It's very cool to read what folks have had to say on the blog so far. I love hearing from other writers about what they do and how they do it.
I managed to get up and out of the house to write again this morning. To my surprise, my best writing happens in the morning! Odd, since I never considered myself a morning person. Maybe I'm not a morning person because my head isn't fully in touch with the outside world in the morning -- but since I'm still dreaming awake, that makes my morning writing better? In any case, it's a very pleasant way to start the day. I'd like to keep this up. I should have a finished first draft of "Midsummer" here in the next day or so.
March 26, 2002
I said something extremely telling
I said something extremely telling to Julie this morning. First of all, I'm all geeked at myself. As a precursor to April, I wrote for an hour when I got home from work last night, and was amazed at how much I got done. Then, I managed to get myself up and out and at Starbucks with my laptop by 7:30, which gave me about half an hour or so to write, and again, I was amazed at my productivity. Now, as to the aforementioned comment. Last Thursday at Write Club, I randomly created a supporting character for "Midsummer" and threw her in there, just to give one of the main characters someone to play off. She was supposed to just be an outside witness to the events of the story.
Then this morning, the REAL ending of the story hit me, and I realized how everything ties together -- I cannot express how much I adore that moment. That moment is what keeps me writing. It's a high I can't describe, this great big glowing feeling of RIGHT that sits and shimmers in the center of my brain. The real ending, of course, makes my random supporting character a central figure and a symbol that fits right into the myth I'm working with in the story. While telling Julie about this, I said, "I should have known better. My subconscious knows what it's doing."
Julie called it a writer's mantra. I think she's right.
March 25, 2002
Well, we really did it.
Well, we really did it. Things are getting downright official for the Hour-A-Day Dare. Don't believe me? Go here. Interested in joining us? Then comment here or email me. :)
March 21, 2002
Not much writing happened at
Not much writing happened at Write Club tonight, but then, after not seeing Julie for about three weeks, and being too busy to chat much at work, is it any wonder we spent most of the evening gabbing? Still, she finished some edits and I kickstarted myself again on "Midsummer".
And we made a deal, a deal that scares the crap out of me. I was telling her about how my friend Eric (former co-worker and aspiring horror writer) writes for an hour in the morning before work and then another hour in the evenings. We oohed and aahed over his dedication, then both wished we could do the same.
"Tell you what," said Julie, in a voice that should have caused me to flee right there, "how about we make a deal to write for an hour every day in April."
I wavered. But agreed. We shook on it. So, every day in April, I will write for one hour a day. No word count requirements, but if I'm honest with myself, I know the difference between writing for an hour and staring at a computer for an hour. One hour a day. No excuses, no skipping one day and writing two hours the next, but one hour a day.
If anybody else would like to join in this little pledge, let me know. Maybe we can give it a spiffy title, or at least offer support to each other. :)
And if nothing else, I can reassure myself that Julie and I are not utterly insane.
March 18, 2002
Timetable of shame: 6:30: I
Timetable of shame:
6:30: I get home from work, planning to eat dinner and then spend the evening working on "Midsummer".
7:00: I finish eating, but Buffy's on. Okay, I'll write at 8.
8:00: Right. Time to get to work. Now, I'll just surf my way out to one of my spiffy digital music channels for some background music... oh wait. Ooh, E! True Hollywood Story is all about the Cosby Kids. I'll just watch part of it...
9:00: E! True Hollywood Story: The Facts of Life Girls. Oh, I am so gone. Is it so wrong that I loved that show? *sigh*
Maybe at 10? Or maybe tomorrow? Oy, TV is evil. Maybe I'll go somewhere after work tomorrow and write. Or I'll leave the TV off completely. Excuse me, I'm going to go hide my face for shame...
Yesterday, while I was sitting
Yesterday, while I was sitting at home doing absolutely nothing, I managed to catch the last hour of The Secret of Roan Inish, one of my most favorite movies ever. Now, I own it on videotape, but it's always cool to see movies you love being broadcast. Anyway, it's a movie about a little girl in Ireland in the 1940s, trying to find out the truth about her family history. She learns, to no one's surprise who's read anything about the movie, that family legend says they are descended from selkies. The rest of the movie is spent determining the truth of the legend. (Aha, I hear you all saying, now we know Lisa's interest in this movie!)
One of the absolute best parts of the movie -- and what I tuned in just in time to see -- is a retelling of the family legend to Fiona (the little girl) by Tadhg, one of the odd members of the family. With Tadhg's voiceover, we see their ancestor first spying on and then stealing the skin from a selkie. It's a breathtaking sequence, following the main selkie legend (man steals skin, marries selkie, selkie's child tells mother where skin is hidden, selkie returns to the sea) completely and fitting it into the story of this family. The casting here is perfect, and combined with the poetic voiceover, got me inspired to pick up "Midsummer" again, yet another one of my selkie stories -- this one not inspired in any way by any roleplaying character I've had.
I'm stuck with it. Parts of it are lovely, but I have several lovely passages with nothing connecting them. I can't decide what the real point to the story is. I'm debating shelving The Host again, to finish this story; heck, to finish something.
March 15, 2002
Well, it's official. I am
Well, it's official. I am no longer working on Stirring the Shadows for Tribe 8. It's a dead project. At first I felt guilty for resigning, now I'm hearing all sorts of rumors and signs that it might not have ever seen print anyway. Time to move on to another project. As soon as I'm over this death plague that has me in its foul, congested grasp, I plan to go back to finishing up The Host.
March 08, 2002
Alas, no Write Club (hee,
Alas, no Write Club (hee, that cracks me up) this week. Julie and I were both half-dead after work yesterday. Not much writing, either. Not enough, anyway. I celebrated my new deadline by slacking up a storm. Of course, having a new cat in the house isn't helping either. This weekend though. This weekend I will write, a lot!
In very very sad news, my editor from DP9, Hilary, resigned. It's still undecided if she'll stay on and freelance edit Shadows, but I sure hope she does. I want to work with her one more time.
March 01, 2002
So I'm wondering, are there
So I'm wondering, are there rules for Writing Club? ;)
Writing Club was a good thing for me tonight, cause I got a kick in the butt to get back to work. :) It's worth noting that I have an extension on my deadline -- it's now March 25th, which means I won't die trying to finish this thing. Whew.