Writing Dance Time!

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Back in August my son started school, and I had a grand idea to write a short story to post it on my blog. Yes, it would be that simple. Sadly, my life is many things, but simple is not one of them.

Now, it’s months later. Today is April 1st, but this post isn’t a joke. I am writing to finally say I am SO close to actually realizing this dream. Yes! Soon I will have a story to post.

You see, my little “short story” turned into a novella. It is five parts long and today I got back edits from my editor. Yay!!

(Doing happy dance and drinking too much coffee!)

As this very second I am about two months out from publishing the first installment on these here blog (and on Wattpad. If you’re on Wattpad, and would like to follow me, click here.)

Right now, I’m getting ready to edit/fix/edit, and work on a cover. I am excited!! Woot! Woot!!

Seriously, I can’t wait to share this with you and I hope you enjoy it. [insert super hyper *high pitch girl scream* that goes along with doing something you love.]

Mark your calendars!! June 1st is the date! Over the next two months I’ll start posting more information letting you know more. Right now all I’m willing to say is that it’s in the realm of science fiction.

OK! Back to editing!

Hugs to you all!!

xxoo -A

W.I.P.

My ode to writing and publishing…

W.I.P

nonsense

the words

the actions

the time it takes to get out of bed

yet here I am

unraveling a ball of twine

the chaos model of my life

the beginning

frayed

unraveling

the end

hidden

somewhere in the middle

suffocated by layers

its supposed to be something

when isn’t it?

I wrestle

submissive

my machete is to dull

for the war playing in front of me

what will I cut through the vines with?

sarcastic interludes

satirical fodder

“air quotes”

those aren’t a weapon

they’re the fuel

this is why I never look up

better to look down

blinders on

eyes on the keys

on the page

on the indelible black ink

that is my life source

better than coffee

some days

Writing Platforms

googledocstutoI have spent most of my writing life hashing it out in notebooks and in MS Word. A lot of the time I mix the two mediums, using had written notes to help me plot and arrange ideas for “actual” writing, but I always end up in Word when it’s time to get the words out. Until recently, it never entered my mind to try something new.

Yes, I’ve looked at Scrivener- but wasn’t sold. It felt like spending a lot of money on a program that doesn’t really fit my writing process.

I even checked out a free program called yWriter- but couldn’t find one that would work on my Mac. My Mac is old.

Once, I had MS Office for Mac on my computer, but as I’ve stated, my Mac is old and the software was old and it was causing more problems than helping me follow my train of thought. (aka listen to the voices in my head) Like a small child, the voices wanted to be kept some place secure, and not live in fear of accidentally being deleted because I changed formats.

Most days, I write on an old laptop unencumbered with an internet connection. This keeps me focused and on point. I don’t go to Facebook or check my Twitter page, because I would have to physically move to another computer our get my phone. This seems idea, but technology upgrades more rapidly than germs during flu season.

So, now I’m trying something new. I am writing a story in Google Docs. The jury is still out on how I feel about this, but with GD being online, it will update for FREE (my favorite price) and it won’t bog down my old (ancient) computer.

Is this brilliant or plain crazy? I’m not sure… but I will find out.

How do you write? What is your process? Are you 100% digital, or do you still use pen and paper? And, if you do use specialized writers software, which is your favorite? Do tell!

Best,

Aryn

Blank Screen

I would like to take this moment to sit here and stare at a blank white screen. There. Now I feel better.

I shall sprinkle some lovely words:

  • Juxtapose
  • Cacophony
  • Polymathy
  • Belie
  • Viridescent

And mix!Voila! Masterpiece (theater, because let’s be honest… I haven’t seen last nights Downton Abbey yet, and that’s where I’d rather be. But, alas, my son has commandeered the television, so I must wait. I hate waiting. Waiting is annoying.)

Back to staring at the screen.

In case you’ve ever wondered what my “writing process” is, see above. I don’t run to facebook as much as I run to PBS. Does this make me a better writer? No, but it makes me a happier person and THAT makes me a better writer. (I tell myself to ease the guilt.)

I HAVE NO WRITING NEWS TO REPORT!

That said, I will be helping with a few blog tours. So if you, my lovely, looking for a place to stop- give me a shout.

Hope you’re well.

Off to stare at the screen again.

Cursor. Blink. Blink. Blink.

Write Right

To my right is an old warped cork board covered in index cards with places and characters written on them. They belong to a story I began last summer with my son, but abandoned once he was in school.

It’s hard to plot out a story you’re writing with a child who isn’t home…

But there they are – staring at me with weird made up words on them, penned out in a variety of obnoxious colors like neon green and magenta.

My computer and this cork board are in my bedroom, so each night as I sit in bed, I stare at them. About a week ago it occurred to me I should take them down, seal them in an envelope and save them for next summer when my son and I can pick up where we left off. (We have a rather extraordinary world, but not much premise or story as of yet.) But then as I looked them over – our sea monster, flying men, dragons, etc., – I decided to let them stay.

This decision brought up other questions: How long is too long to write a story? How many stories should I be working on at once? When is it the “official” time to throw in the towel?

Staring at his board had become my late night meditation. At first I would think about this world we created, and now I think of answers to those questions.

When I ventured out on this writing path (many moons ago) it was all very linear. You wrote a story, you had people read the story, you adjusted the story, you sent it to agents who either ignored you completely or sent robo response rejection letters. But now (many moons later) the answers to those questions have changed dramatically and I know the path is more chaotic than ever.

#Q1 – How long is too long to write a story? A1 – There is no time line. When you set a time line is when you mess up the story. You begin to rush, you miss details, your characters are thinner than the paper you want your story published on.

#Q2 – How many stories should I be working on at once? Q2 – I used to think the only way to write was to write one story at a time. Now, I can’t speak for you, but on a good day I have 5+ stories in my head rattling around like marbles in a jar. Currently I’m working on a new novel I’m calling “Triangle”, I’m also reworking an old novel in a new format that I feel will work better for its multi-character storyline, I have another novel waiting in my writing queue ready for a good edit (because my last edit was impetuous and damaging), and then there is the one on the wall and another one that keeps invading my dreams. Oh, and then there is the novella that I want to self publish – so make that 6+. (…then there are the others made up of only characters or vague premise that aren’t worth mentioning yet…)

Once upon a time, working on one thing suited for me, but only because I convinced myself that was how “real authors” wrote. Now I write in a way that keeps me wanting to write.

#Q3 – When is it the “official” time to throw in the towel? A3 – Back then, I used to get tired so I would give up on manuscripts – these days its more like we “take a break” from each other. I’ll have Beta Readers email me and ask about old titles, “What happened to that book? I loved that one!” And I’ll tell them I’m working on something new. They fret I’ve given up, but in truth I have not. If you believe in your story, your characters, your world – you will never officially throw in the towel. Because when you love something so much, giving up on it isn’t an option.

These are the things I remind myself on the days I do want to give up. Lately, I have more of those than I’d like to admit, but at the same time this is the most consistent my writing has ever been. I write DAILY. I edit DAILY. I challenge myself DAILY. And I permit myself to take a step back when I know I need one, because some days the words flow, and others its like trying to pulled tar out of the bottom of a nail polish jar. But I do it anyway.

Why?

Because even though it feels like I’m not going anywhere, I know as long as I try I’m making better strides than giving up.

Characters, aren’t we all.

the-fall-tv-showThere is this BBC show, it is called “The Fall” and it centers around two characters:

#1 – Stella Gibson, played by Gillian Anderson

#2 – Paul Spector, played by Jamie Dornan

It is the tale of two obsessive, compulsive people on two different sides of the law. One is a police detective and the other a murder, and yes – you’ve heard this premise a million times before.

But you’ve never met Stella Gibson.

I’m a fan of crime drama, not all but a lot of them. I’m a fan of female characters, not all but a few I really love. And then there is Stella Gibson.

In every recess of entertainment – television, movies, novels, plays – I would like to see more “Stella Gibson” type characters. I would love to see someone so self-possessed and contained even the lowest of the low (and I’m talking about people who are a fan of slut shaming) can’t touch her. Well, maybe they do. Maybe they get to her, because after all, we’re all human and words hurt – but still, there is something magnificent about her.

She is beautiful, smart, sexy, confident, contained, brilliant, and caring.

The underlining theme of Man V. Woman is strung throughout in more ways than one – from sex, to death, to daily life. It is examined, dissected, discussed and thrown in your face. Basically, The Fall makes you think. The tension keeps you on your wit’s end and then you have this truth handed to you – because it really is a truth, no matter what people say or how they try to spin it.

At the end of series 2 there is a discussion between Stella and one of her officers – a man – and she’s says something along these lines, “When ask why men felt threatened by women, they say they’re afraid women may laugh at them. When women are asked why they felt threatened by men, they say they’re afraid they might kill them.”

The Fall is an excellent example of non-stereotypical characterization and I’m talking all of these characters. They are layered, have debt, and make you connect to them – even if it’s by making you hate them.

What type of characters do you wish there were more of?

Despeartly Seeking…

cc_red_pen_editRed pen editing. Ah, how the color red gets a bad rap, but editing is important – so everyone keeps telling me. Well, I tell myself it’s important as well, that would explain why I never shut up about it – but I’m finding the trick is finding an editor. (<- see, that sentence totally needs to be edited. I’m leaving it to make a point. Moving on.)

I’m starting to compare editors to the illusive big foot… Hmm… I may be blowing this out of proportion… or maybe I’ve had too many night of insomnia to string together balanced and cohesive thought?

Eh. Whatevs…

So, I almost quit over the weekend. Writing I mean. I was back on the dirty bathroom floor of life telling myself (in explicit detail) why I should quit. But I haven’t. Luckily I had a slew of messed up dreams last night that revived my belief that writing is what I’m meant to do.

Believe in fate or don’t – that’s your choice, but I can’t seem to give it up. (Even when it makes me want to cry. Then I just cry. What else is there to do? Oh, that’s right. Ice cream. Cry and eat ice cream. I really need to work on having a constant supply in the old freezer.)

Writing is my heroin and I while reading is kind of my methadone, I suppose maybe all of it would go better if I only accept this is who I am.

And being that person means I need help – with editing. Because I have a small novella I really want to publish on this here blog (and wattpad) but I want it to be as perfect as it can be. So! Now I need your help. Are you an editor? Can you recommend one? I have two leads, but any and all help is appreciated! Comment below, email me, tweet me.

Time to work on the addiction… “once upon a time…”