Winner! But…

NaNoWriMo Winner image

I received my NaNoWriMo winner’s shirt yesterday in the mail. There was a strange, really joyous emotion which created a gigantic smile as I ripped into the mailer. Perhaps it was the euphoria of being a first-time winner or maybe it was because this simple shirt made the win feel tangible. Someone had to package this shirt and send it to me. It wasn’t me printing off my own winner’s certificate. Weird, maybe? I hope and plan for future wins, so I’ll have to remember this post and see if I have a similar reaction.

My day job has been ramping up and therefore it has been consuming most of my brain power. My analytical and logical thoughts are drowning out my poor creative muses. I’m keeping my fingers crossed that as we approach Christmas, the workload will die down a bit and my muses will still be there to write. I feel an itch in my fingertips to just let their words fly over the keyboard, that’s right before my head drops and my chin hits my chest from exhaustion. They’ll just have to be my dancing sugar plums for now.

What’s Up, Jack?

You can't wait for inspiration. You have to go after it with a club. - Jack London
As I pondered over what I could delve into for this Writer Wednesday post, I aimlessly searched through quotes on Pinterest.  Yes, I’m a shameless pinner of, well, way too many pins.  (Pinterest could certainly be a whole other topic of interest.)  I skimmed through writing quotes and this one made me sit up with a bit of a laugh.  For some reason, it just made me visualize Jack London out in the middle of a wintry forest, club in hand, chasing after a figment of inspiration.

Can something really be designated as inspiration if a person has to club it?  I feel as though, yes, one does have to go out into the world and investigate their surroundings in hopes the muses are kind and sprinkle in some inspiration but I don’t know if I could just grab inspiration out of thin air and create.  I envy that kind of magical creation, if it does indeed exist.

Some days, I find inspiration in every place I look.  My brain becomes a dumping ground of ideas, a gumball machine being filled with ideas for me to chew on or allow to grow stale with age.  Most days, however, I run low on inspiration.  It gets used up in my adult job or by others trying to find inspiration in their own life.  Perhaps I should gift them a club or, at the very least, suggest they find their own club to beat up inspiration.

I need to focus this week on writing a few more chapters for my current WIP.  Inspiration has been a bit low.  Perhaps it’s time to break out the club.  Should I work on my evil eye?  Maybe I can intimidate inspiration first, before resulting to further measures.  Fingers are crossed!

Writer Wednesday

It’s Wednesday, right?  I think I might be turning into a pumpkin earlier and earlier at night, this does not bode well for my writing.  What happened to my ability to stay up late and jam to music and write?  Perhaps it went dormant or maybe it’s in a state of shock!  I’m currently working on writing a synopsis as I work toward finding an agent.  The rejection responses (or lack of responses) have started to roll in.  I’m really trying to find the best agent who will appreciate my storytelling voice and the fact I’m not able to pigeonhole my manuscript to one genre.  There are elements of paranormal, sci-fi, and romance in the novel.  But at the end of the day, it’s about character building and layering and hooking my readers into the world I’ve created.  Hopefully, that equates to a marketable audience.  Does anyone else have these kinds of thoughts?  Sometimes I worry I’m on the wrong track and I should have made different edits or cuts throughout the book so it would take on a different tone, but then I wouldn’t have been true to myself and the story I want to convey.  <deep breath>  This is only the beginning of the journey, I mustn’t weight myself down so much with worry.  Time to turn into a pumpkin and work more on the synopsis tomorrow.

Writer Wednesday – New Changes

New ChangesIt’s the last Writer Wednesday in August and I have a confession to make.  I’ve barely written anything the past month or so.  Sure, I’ve written a few starting passages to ideas and jotted down character names and ideas in my notebook, but I haven’t written anything too substantial.  I chalk it up to the impending change which will soon be starting next week.  I’m returning to the corporate workforce.

I’ve been incredibly fortunate to spend the last year plus polishing off my novel and taking care of my family.  I was able to soak in all of the experiences which many stay at home parents soak up every day.  It’s incredibly bittersweet to leave behind the job at home for a job back in an office, even if it’s cubicle free.  I have loved being able to jump on my computer and flesh out ideas whenever they strike.  Not to mention go grocery shopping in the middle of the afternoon crowd free.  I know those opportunities will be few and far between as I focus on learning a new company and new projects.

Before I took a year off, my novel took about 2 years to write as it was a midnight to 2 AM kind of gig.  I don’t think I can afford those office hours this go round, nor the length of time it took to produce my first novel.  I feel a little more focused as a writer headed back to the work force.  I know writing is in my blood and I’ll always need to share my crazy ideas after they’ve been crafted.  But publishing is a beast, and right now, I can only afford to feed that beast a miniature dog bone.  I don’t think it or myself will be very happy with the end result if I feed that bone to it.

So on this last Writer Wednesday of the month of August, I’ll kick back and laugh at silly shows and songs with my family, holding tight to the memories being created.  I’ll keep my running bar tab of ideas going, I know I’ll have a huge creative debt to settle, but it’s been worth it.  My writing vacation this past month is ending and it’s time to get busy.  Somehow though, I know I’ll work a little harder under those deadlines and pressure.  I’ll complain about it and moan and probably make a blog post about “what was I thinking” but it’s all worth it.  I just have to find the right balance.  Time to tackle new changes.

Writer Wednesday

In speaking with my critique partner, or maybe it was more like grilling with questions, lol, I found out they wanted more about one of my secondary characters.  Granted, this secondary character is crucial to the story and eventually, no matter how much I want to stuff the character in a box, they would eventually get their own book.  I can’t say they’d ever get a happy ever after, it’s just not my style, but they would certainly get a fitting end.  I asked my CP if they thought a novella explaining the character’s circumstanced might have helped them understand the character’s positioning in the book.  My CP said yes and the secondary character lunged for their turn in the spotlight.

I went back through the book, to ensure I got the character’s details correct, and all of a sudden big new ideas started to form.  I heard dialogue first and definitely had curiosity about what my character wanted me to know about them and hear in the scene.  I could glimpse in the distance the cinematic feel to the opening.  And then my character opened their mouth to confront someone and my whole perspective on the character changed.  I’m excited to dive in and see what happens next.

The New West

I’ve been watching Jared Leto’s new Great Wide Open series he directed.  The first four episodes are out and I highly recommend them.  There are some crazy people profiled and I’ll admit The Rockstar, episode 3, featuring Alex Honnold, made me cringe and hold my breath as they showed him soloing.  But it was episode 4, The Wolfman, featuring Doug Smith, that made me stop and pause at something he said.  He says “the wolf is the new west, not that romantic, macho, old west.  The new west, where you don’t blow away every predator you see.  And that takes more work and energy and thought.  So yes, wolves are a pain to live with, yes, all these carnivores are hard to live with ‘cause they kill things we want.  Maybe even us.”  Something about this idea of the new west resonates within in.  My creative spark wants to wrap itself around it and see where it could go.  I’ll be the first to tell you, I’m not a western genre girl, so this is a surprise.  But there is something exciting about toying with this “new west” idea.  Another idea for the notebook.