All Stirred Up

You know how there are some songs that are just stirring?

AFP’s In My Mind is one of those for me.

It’s the perfect combination of wistful and ass-kicking and it makes me want to jump out of my chair and just get some shit DONE.

After all, I don’t want to be one of those people who is pounding the lid, wanting to get a tattoo that says they are living in the moment.

What song makes you feel all stirred up?

 

Novel News! As in: news about my novel!

So, as many of you may recall, I have a novel called ‘Breeding Demons’ that I wrote back in 2010. It was a NaNoWriMo novel and while the STORY was a good one it wasn’t even close to being publishable.

I have struggled with it ever since.

Shortly before I discovered what I needed to do with my novel, I discovered another important thing: If you take a draft of your novel to read in the tub, make sure there are no loose pages. #IDidNotCheck #WaterEnhanced #DoesNotCleanUpWell

Shortly before I discovered what I needed to do with my novel, I discovered another important thing:
If you take a draft of your novel to read in the tub, make sure there are no loose pages. #IDidNotCheck #WaterEnhanced #DoesNotCleanUpWell

I had no idea how to revise it. I knew that I didn’t really have a ‘book’ per se – I had a really strong outline of the basic plot written out into scenes. I knew this but it still didn’t help.

I couldn’t see how to break apart the scenes I had to add in the necessary pieces to make it into a book.

It’s not that I thought it was too perfect the way it was. It’s not that I was too intimidated by the changes needed. It’s not that I was afraid of the work.

It’s that I literally had no idea how to get from where it was to where it has to be.

Last spring, I took it with me on a writing retreat and I worked hard on the layers that I needed to add. I didn’t write any more of the actual scenes, I wrote ABOUT the scenes* and about the characters, and about the plot. I clarified what the novel was about.

But still, I couldn’t figure how how to start weaving those layers in.

This week, though? Thanks to a commitment I made with my friend, Kate Newbill, I revisited the manuscript. I got ten pages in and it struck me…

I can’t use any of this for my book.

I mean, I can use the ideas, I can use the scene framework, but the writing itself is a bit too snappy, a bit too inside-jokey. A bit too off-the-cuff.

Sounds like a crisis, hey?

It’s NOT! It’s TERRIFIC!

I’m free from figuring out how to make what I have better. I’m free from figuring out how to piece two sets of ideas together.

Instead, I can read a scene, figure out the most important points, and then write it the way I want to now. I can include the threads that will lead to later developments. I can write the book I want to write now – I’m not bound by the one I wrote over six years ago.

VICTORY!

I can already see how to proceed and I will be starting today.

More updates as events warrant.

*A concept I learned from Joan Clark in a terrific workshop last winter. If you ever get a chance to take a workshop from her or Bernice Morgan, do it. Right away.

I have to remind myself of this on the regular

15781756_10158100314835232_7350742675097688152_nI can be VERY patient with other people but when it comes to me and my work, I can be extremely impatient. I always think that there must be faster way to do Thing X and I get annoyed at myself for taking so long.

Of course, things (X, Y , Z or whatever) take as long as they take. All I accomplish by getting annoyed with myself is the annoyance of being annoyed.

I drew this for myself on January 1, in the hopes that it will set a tone for my year.

I’m doing pretty damn good so far.

Reading Challenge

I’m doing the Book Riot Read Harder Challenge this year.

I feel kind of odd picking a challenge to read more since being ‘a reader’ is a huge part of my mental image of myself. And I am a reader but I have found that in the last couple of years there are SO MANY books that I want to read that I have trouble choosing where to start.

That leads to me skimming all kinds of books and not really getting into them. And that, in turn, leads to me getting on my own nerves. Which, oddly enough, I do NOT enjoy.

I still read a huge number of books each year (I haven’t kept records before now) but a lot of them are either for my work (coaching/writing/storytelling) or they are such quick fiction that I almost immediately forget the plots and characters. I’m not putting down either of those types of books, I love reading in my field(s) and quick fiction is really enjoyable. But that is not all that I want to get out of my reading.

So, hence the Read Harder challenge.

I’ll let you know how it goes.