Tuesday, March 30, 2010

sometimes i'm such a tard.

today i realized that since my computer works i can have my dad email me files from it so i can working on writing saved there. DUH!!

but rather than having him email me the prequel i had him email me the first 6 chapters of Running Parallel that i had already typed up and partially revised. i was really not looking forward to retyping all of that, so now i have it and i'm so stoked.

i know that i have been leaving out some of the little revisons i'd put in the first attempt, even though for the most part i am putting back to the way i know it is supposed to be. my first draft is only ever really an outline for myself with dozens of thoughts and other sentences inferred between the period and the capital letter of the next sentence.

I'm going to spend some time tomorrow going through the first three chapters and updating some of the things that i may have left out, or liked the wording better... or whatever...

but not much time, because i got a custom order for a big scarf wrap for some lucky husband in nyc whose wife decided to wait til the last minute. i have to have it done by monday, so if i'm not around its cuz i am working until my hands fall off. but at least i'll have something to do while i'm watching Return of The King tomorrow.

Saturday, March 27, 2010

Chapter Three!!!

yesterday after coming home from work sick i was very very productive and I finally felt like working on chapter three of the rewrite and getting it all nice and polished to get it posted on author's den. The first chapter is still on the most popular list, though the second isn't getting quite as many hits. but there's lesbian action in chapter three! *sigh* i very much love petra. here's a little excerpt:

Jamie and Petra nearly disappeared. We introduced ourselves as Kitty and Buttercup when we could get away with it. Before long we had shortened it to just Kit and B, occasionally Kathryn and Beatrice when we were asked for full names. Whether they believed us we didn’t care. We were wild and uncaring of anyone but each other. You can still read the story of Buttercup and Kitty in the photos and dozens of full sketch pads that still fill the blue-green case.

Petra had a nose for the travel, for the random cross country movement. She knew which motels would ignore our age in the presence of daddy’s shiny credit card. She knew which gas station attendants would sell us cigarettes, which clubs would let us in and which bartenders would serve us. We didn’t drink much, maybe one cocktail at the beginning of the night, but we weren’t there to get drunk. We were there to dance, and dance we did.

We had rules for when we were in the clubs, lots of them. We never went anywhere apart, ever. No one came to our room and we never went anywhere with anyone. We made friends most nights, and kept to ourselves others. We took pictures and heard our favorite songs and still danced to the ones we hated. The clubs themselves fade into a singular blur of music and motion and flashing colored lights. It was the same with the kitchens we washed dishes in and the street corners where we sat and sang.

Sometimes we’d stay in town a couple days and wait tables during the morning rush at the same gross truck stops where we went to get coffee after dancing all night. Occasionally we skipped dancing when Petra would convince me to play open mike nights. I almost always made good tips those nights, playing the music I knew best; music written by my brother, lyrics written by my best friend. People all over the country heard the genius of Eric and Tommy years before their band would become a common name on radio stations in those same towns.

There is a picture I drew of Petra in the suitcase of a day I don’t need a photo to remind me of. It was a nothing special day in some hot and dry state shortly after we’d turned back from the daunting rockies. We’d decided not to cross and head south instead and. She sat with her legs crossed under her on the folding table. She held Mansfield Park open in her hands and a cigarette burned between her fingers. Our clothes rolled and twisted in their washers and driers around us as she read from the book. I had been reading out bits and pieces to her while she drove, but soon she had been engrossed in the story. She now shared reading duty when we stop. She rarely let me drive.

And here's a link to the authors den page. http://www.authorsden.com/visit/viewshortstory.asp?id=47352

i would chat about things, but i gotta clean the kitchen before i go to work cuz i left it a mess after i finished dinner last night. and i still have to get dressed, and list auntie annie's wristers... why can't i stay home and write all day???

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Writing prompt... 5?? or is it 6?

story first:

“Waves crashing on a beach always make me sleepy.”

He told me this once on a night long ago when a great silver orb hung in a starry black field. I rolled my eyes because he was always making these utterly useless statements.

“Do you pack your lunch or walk to work?” I sometimes wanted to ask him, hoping that it would be this useless times 100 sentence that would show him how his uttered words meant nothing to me or anyone.

Or maybe I’m just a big bitch, it’s possible, but I always think these words when sand grits between my toes and frothy waves crash against my ankles. Maybe that was his plan all along, to ensure that little bits of his garbage ended up in my mind. Then these crumpled bits would pop into my forethoughts and unfold themselves and I would be forced to think of him.

There are no stars this afternoon; I’d worry about this fair planet’s fate if they appeared as early as 2pm. That same silver orb is but a faint white blur behind white puffy clouds. Shells and fish bones and stones and frothy foam, all white. All white, but me. Inside me, instead is a thick, blurry darkness that comes from…

Where? I can’t say for sure. He may have had some useless phrase to utter were he here with me now. But he’s not and all I can do is walk paths up and down a strained and lonely beach and hope that my footprints remain when I head back. They don’t, and I don’t know why I bother to hope. Why it would matter one way or another if they were.

Is everything in life as useless as his stupid phrases? Maybe, or maybe I’m just being a bitch. Anything is possible, isn’t it?

So when I trip over a spiky seashell and catch myself with my palms I only have to laugh. Of course! My palms are scraped open from hard gritty sand and I now sport a stylish holey knee in a brand new pair of jeans. I turn and sit and brush myself carefully, favoring my bleeding palms. Gulls are flying overhead calling and careening. I brush at sand until I have revealed a seashell once home to some crustacean, but now tossed up onto this lonely strip of shore.

I listen to this shell. It is like shaking a developing Polaroid, a human imperative that really means nothing. A graceful, outward swoop of white shell reveals its shiny pink interior which is cool and gritty against my ear. I can hear my crashing ocean from both sides now, but in my right ear I hear a different ocean. In my right ear is an ocean that screams of my overhanging dark cloud. My thick blurry darkness, broadcast from a shining pink home, encased in white. Imagine that.

I wonder if he would have something clever to say about my fall, my bleeding palms and my torn pants. But I do know he would help me up and lead me home, make me tea when we get there and laugh with me all along our backtracked footsteps.

He is not a source for my blurry cloud, and his absence isn’t either. He won’t make it go away and he won’t make it worse. His stupid sayings make me laugh… most days. And those bits that he leaves crumpled in my mind? Not really garbage, I know I must leave plenty of my own with him and what one learns from others is never really garbage.

I pick myself up and tuck my toe-stubber under my arm. My footprints that show me how to get back home are gone, but I don’t need them. I already know which way to go.

what do you think the prompt was?? It was a little tough, but i am quite thankful for the 'find' feature in microsoft word because otherwise i would have been in massive fail mode. are you ready for it??

from elite writing prompts 10/22/2008:

No The.
Write a brief story in which you do not use the word "the" once.

hit ctrl f and give it a try. booyah.

not productive, as of late

and that, of course, is only a half lie.

i have been reading some really great books at work lately (needful things, the time traveler's wife, on writing, mary lavalle...) so i haven't had the interest in writing that i usually do. in addition, i didn't get my computer back yesterday because my grandparent's cancelled grandpa's b-day party on sun because he was sick. so my dad didn't take it there and i am hovering over depression at still being seperated from dear Elenore.

and at home i have been gearing up for the art fair that is going on next month so i am spending more of my time sewing and crafting than i am writing. But that is not a big deal in any sense of the word. as a 'woman of many talents' as the guy on the phone from my college said when i told him why i wasn't using my degree for anything worth speaking of, i jump from one thing to another, but i will always come back to writing.

and just because i'm not hand writing, does not mean i have stopped brain-writing. i've been just letting the little garden of inspiration grow for the time being, letting the epipahnies get a bit bigger before i go stomping through to pick them. sure, the weeds are growing too, but i can always tell a weed from a real literary plant. or so i like to think.

it is wednesday, so i think i am going to go in search of a writing prompt i can do. it hasn't occured in a few weeks like i so very much swore it would. mostly i did that in order to keep myself productive. i had a fear that i would start this blog and then just disappear. But i have been keeping myself in motion in one area or another pretty easily these days. especially after i finished cleaning the craft room.

plus!? i'm 6 pounds from my next weight goal. As of this morning i have lost 19 pounds since thanksgiving. which is sort of a long time, but i'm doing it slowly and i have weeks where i don't give a crap. my goal is 175 by september when we go to Vegas, and at this rate i will most definitely get there. I really love putting on the shirts again that i had stashed in the 'too fat to wear' pile.

anyhow. i may be back later today, or maybe early afternoon tomorrow with a writing prompt. until then...

Saturday, March 20, 2010

Running Parallel to Me

so today in the shower (my best brain-writing location) i suddenly realized that i wanted to redo all of the Rewrite in first person present, rather than first person past tense. which means redoing EVERYTHING i have already done. thousands of words, a hundred or so pages, 12 chapters.

it almost makes me want to cut my hands right off and turn them over to my auntie mommy so she can have ones that don't hurt. and then i would be free of this madness of changing everything all the damn time and giving myself so much more work than i need.

and on the topic of the Rewrite, i have a name for it. I pulled down the binder that i keep the printed out copy of the first draft of. it's a partially done word binder that has one piece of artwork on it. its abstract and a black and white image from a magazine. on the top of the picture i wrote "running parallel to me"

i have no idea if this is the name of the painting, or if it is something that i came up with and wrote on this particular binder while i was working on editing after Nanowrimo2008, thus giving it a name that i promptly forgot about.

whether one or the other (i googled it and didn't get a result of the image, but that doesn't exactly mean much because EVERYthing isn't googleable) i think that's the name i'm going to use. Running Parallel to Me.

except i suddenly realize i don't like the looks of that word parallel. i don't like the way it looks at all...

Wednesday, March 17, 2010


So I got all distracted for a little while over a story about two girls falling in love, but i'm so over it now. Not really, but all the new stuff is written and all I need to do is rewrite the old stuff.

all i really wanted to be doing was working on the Prequel but i'm at a roadblock of indecision and frustration. The first four or five chapters are a mess and i don't know what to do with them. At the moment i am Sans Elenore so I can't do much work anyhow. but i'll be getting her back the 23rd with all of my written words (and pictures and music) intact. Fuckin' Woot.

When I started planning the prequel i had a dream of it beginning a little bit in the middle. I wanted everyone's first view of Anka and Loki in that first chapter to be during this one particular instance where Anka falls off a cliff (she's not clumsy like me, though. I envy her grace) and of course Loki saves her. It sets up the relationship between these two characters so well, the whole chapter does in a way that countless chapters of introduction story wont.

But starting in the middle of the story was what got me into trouble in the first place. Because of the length of time i've been working on these two base stories (the prequel and the nameless monstrocity) things have morphed, characters have changed, and when I introduced Daniel into the tapestry late in 2007 he sort of stole the show.

(he's done it more than once now. I brought him into the spaceship story only as a way to connect the spaceship to Anka for future use but Daniel has stolen that story too. He really is full of himself...)

But daniel comes into the lives of my older characters at a mid-point and the past was weak and confusing because i was so busy moving forward. That's why i'm writing the prequel - because i didn't write the story i was working on for all those years once Daniel appeared. i wrote something different, but we still need that old story to truly understand.

i say we, but i mean you. i get it all, but that's cuz it's all in MY head of course...

So, i need all the past introduction getting-to-know-each-other story parts. so my options are to start at the real beginning, and give up my original dream of having Anka fall off a cliff (i may not even keep that peice exactly intact if it's not the beginning part. I don't feel i'd even need it). Or i can start with that chapter and then jump all the way back and catch up. OR... i can do what i sort of intended in the first place was have the first 4 or 5 chapters mirror the past and the present until the reader knows everything.

Option one makes me sad. option two is my newest idea and seems the easiest and least confusing, and option three was the one i was going to go with originally, but seems a little complex.

I guess what i really need is to sit down and just finish getting the revisions into my computer copy, and then i can piece them together in different formations to see which one i like the best. That, of course, means i need my computer back.

so maybe i'm not as anxious as i really think i am about this story, i'm just impatient to get my computer back and start working again.

Monday i wrote 5 pages (composed on the computer too!!) of some of the stuff that i am missing that needs to be added into those first few chapters. I'm very much looking forward to the 23rd.

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Spring and Distracted

So a few weeks ago, before the Rewrite took control of my life i bought a new notebook and started writing the next one of the sci-fi series. We're going to call it the Connector from now on because it connects the first 3 that involve Daniel with the Nanowrimo 2009 story about Jo.

I wrote 9 pages in this notebook then the Rewrite happened and i got distracted (and speaking of distraction. You know how you sometimes make fun of people by saying "oh, did someone distract you with a shiny object?" The other day i was literally in the middle of a sentence while talking to my boyfriend and i suddenly said "oh! look at that! it's so sparkly!!"...)

But i'm cleaning right now (and not writing a writing prompt. but do you know how many colored pencil/crochet/needle roll-ups i've done in the past 2 days?? i'm beat and out of creativity beans for the moment)... damnit i did that long can't-remember-what-i-was-saying-parenthases thing again.
damn, i'm distractable today.

I found this notebook and i was interested to know what i'd gotten down and how far i'd gotten. It's actually all pretty damn good. i mean, it needs work, of course, but there's a lot of really cool strings of words that will not be changed in any revision.

here's the first paragraph, which i think is just a bit fitting for the weather.

Spring again. Very early spring yet, so early in fact that you might not even know it. Still those patches of snow on the damp ugly grasses, still the flat gray mornings that spoke of nothing but winter's restless desperation. You wouldn't think it in the dead of night when everything was still winter quiet in the dark and the bite of the breeze was ruthless.

that's straight from my notebook, no corrections at all. I usually try to edit things before posting them but i thought this would be more fun. as you can see i like to write in fragments and run-ons. there is also a lot in between each sentence that is implied, but not written down yet...

ok, i gotta go finish cleaning now.

Monday, March 8, 2010


I like when the book I just read has taught me something I need to know in the book I am reading now.

I just recently finished my second Kate O'Brien novel and she is quickly becoming one of my favorites. I read Mary Lavalle, which is set in 1922 in a combination of Ireland (through memories mostly) and Spain. It was originally banned in Ireland and they did make a movie out of it that they called Talk of Angels (which, based on the photo on the cover of the book i bought with the movie actors on it - i don't want to see. The woman on the cover is clearly not blonde and not 21. The hair color i can deal with, but the age is what makes Mary what she is).

Mary is a 'Miss' to three Spanish girls in their early teens. She was to speak english to them and be their chaperone wherever they went. One of the words used to describe the job was duenna.

So when Alan in Needful Things used the word when he was talking about Nettie entering the shop on her own, I knew exactly what he was saying. I had even seen life from the point of view of a young duenna. I started reading Needful Things once before and I would have then passed by the word thinking 'hmm... i wonder what that means..." but forget about it as an insignificant part of the story...

and speaking of insignificant bits of story, stephen king i believe is the master of making the insignificant mean something. i posted this on a fellow king lover's FB wall yesterday and i'm copying and pasting cuz it's exactly what i mean to say:

i started reading needful things today and i realized that stephen king is a maniac. I mean, i already knew that, but its not cuz he writes girls who make it rain rocks and haunted cars and insane monos, but for the little insignificant stuff. like this little bit:

"norris didnt cry but he was apt to puke on them, the ...way he had puked on homer gramache that time when he had found homer sprawled in a ditch out by homeland cemetary beaten to death with his own artificial arm."

homer was a poor soul who was created for this story only to die so a point could be proven to the reader. But King not only gave this poor soul such a bad history as to require him to have obtained an artificial arm at some point in his sad life, but he also had him BEATEN TO DEATH with it!

its twisted, but its also very real...

Sunday, March 7, 2010

Chapter Two is up!!

chapter two is entitled Flight, and can be found here: http://www.authorsden.com/visit/viewshortstory.asp?id=47047

Here's a bit of it for fun:

“Wouldn’t it be cool to travel the road and play music for change?” Petra asked.

“Matt did it the summer after he graduated,” I said of my second oldest brother. I closed the suitcase and pulled out another. This case had a shocking burst of red lining inside the dark brown leather. “Only he doesn’t play an instrument. He washed dishes and did field work for money.”

“That would be fun too,” Petra said.

I shot her a confused frown and she grinned “I am just saying that it would be a way to make money and keep moving. We can cross the country and stop at every dance club we find.”

I smiled at her, but rolled my eyes.

“Come on! We already left home,” she said. “I’m buying enough clothing to get us through three nights of clubbing and there will be more stores in more cities. And Laundromats! All we need are a couple suitcases,” she nodded at the case still dangling from my fingers. “We’ll stop at a drugstore for shampoo and a toothbrush for me. And loads of make up… We’d be set.”

“Petra,” I warned.

“What could be more fun?” She begged.

“It would be dangerous.”

“For who? The chick with the combat experience of four older brothers? Or me, with daddy’s credit card?” she grinned. “If we get in trouble, we can get out of it. When we get tired, we go home.”

She crossed to where I was standing, still holding the case. She took it out of my hands and looked at it. “I like this one; it’s not really Buttercup’s style. This one,” she bent and pulled the blue-green one from the row. It was a dark cyan with a reptile pattern pressed into the surface. The buckles were a bit tarnished and one corner was scuffed. “This one is yours. What do you say?”


Saturday, March 6, 2010

Writing Prompt 5 Part 2

So I did my word soup writing prompt yesterday at work. first i wrote a little scene between Petra and Jamie. It was super easy and quick and those words seemed to fit into a bit of story that I already had planned out.

But then i read it. Its quite a bit in the future and i decided i didn't want to show it to anyone because it reveals some things that people who've only got access to the first chapter shouldn't know yet.

so i wrote a poem too!

remember the words?? mascara, bridge, broken glass, pink, lighter fluid, dish soap, lake, literature, empty pop can

A bridge of broken glass
is no bridge worth crossing
With all of my heart I refuse to suffer
the tender pink bottoms of your feet
to cross any such length
Even though it spans a river of regret
and if you went forth
you could be free

Your pain would produce a lake of tears
running dark tracks on your beautiful face
that heavy mascara that is only a persona
The literature of your history cannot
be read in the paint on your eyes
Because your story is no more than hearsay
hushed word of mouth

An empty pop can glints dully
in the leaping light of tall dancing flames
from the line of thick lighter fluid
you sprayed between us out of spite
The river water flows sluggishly below us
like deep cobalt tinted dish soap
where it waits for the fire to make quick work
to swallow us both

authorsden: http://www.authorsden.com/visit/viewpoetry.asp?id=274249

The first 2 stanzas flew upon me in a flurry. Those flurrys can be dangerous if you're not prepared to grab onto them. but i was already writing, standing ready with my pen-net.

...i should make a pen-net... how cool would that be??

then i got to the last stanza and i had lighter fluid, empty pop can, and dish soap left and i didn't know what to do with it. I'm not sure if i really like the poem, but i got all the words in it so the writing prompt is a success. Now, I can go through and take out the stupid words i don't like and turn it into a real poem if i feel like it.

but not this afternoon. Lucky number Slevin is on. i have never seen it but the first 15 minutes have already sucked me in, so i'm going to spin some yarn and watch beautiful, beautiful bruce willis.

Friday, March 5, 2010

Writing Prompt 5 Part 1

remember when i said that i would do writing prompts on wednesdays, every wednesday, and i would not fail?? i laugh at myself. this is what? the third one i've missed or done late??

Elenore having succumbed to a coma of indefinite length is no reason for me to have not written my writing prompt on wednesday, seeing as i obviously still have access to the internets. the actual excuse was the fact that i cleaned my craft room and then made a windchime instead, so it's not like i was being non productive.

so i decided i would do it today at work between calls and then post it up here tomorrow afternoon and i would once again be caught up. woot.

so i was scrolling through EWP looking for something good and i saw the list of words, which may be my favorite exercise, and i knew it was the right prompt.

Word Soup.
Use the following words in a poem or short story: literature, broken glass, cigarette, mascara, lighter fluid, lake, bridge, empty pop can, dish soap, pink

and how is that collection of words right there NOT a story about dear Petra and Jamie from the rewrite. So i'm excited about this prompt.

and speaking of the rewrite, i love being a gold member and watching my stories get hits in the stats section on Authors den. Both the first chapter of the rewrite and some of my other random sci-fi things are getting good hits. Chapter two of the rewrite has just been retyped on the other computer and i will have it posted over there in a few days. I am sorry that i lost Elenore because i had most of chapter 2 revised and i have to start over, but hey if i've done it once already it just makes it easier (Says the girl who is used to her laptop shutting down randomly mid sentence).

so come back tomorrow and hopefully i'll have a writing prompt for you (which will likely show up in the rewrite at some point).

Thursday, March 4, 2010

Elenore is sick!

My poor laptop Elenore has been ailing for more than a year now. I very recently replaced her second broken cord (after fixing both of the first ones numerous times until there was no more fixing left...)

The battery itself inside the computer has also had some issues over the years. For a long time now it has not charged when plugged in, so it would go directly into the 'low battery' alert as soon as you unplugged it.

it's been dying a little bit more, and now the computer no longer recognizes it as a battery. new battery time, which is both exciting and expensive.

but of course all of my writing is trapped on Elenore's hard drive. This actually makes me very happy because it gives me the perfect excuse to keep working on the 2008 rewrite!! I can't get to the prequel, but the rewrite has only been half typed and i have no problem doing it over again on the boyfriend's desktop.


Also, my craft room is clean.

Double Score!!

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

I need to stop writing...

because i know how all the books i read and tv shows i watch and movies i see are going to turn out.

i just have it figured out from the beginning because i know how to build a story and i see how the blocks are going to fall.

this is lame.

Monday, March 1, 2010

4 days, 17,000 words

Last week I wrote a stupid little writing prompt that I didn't really want to do.

But then I fell in love with the new character added to an old cast and four days later I have 35 pages, 6 chapters, more than 17,000 words of typed story, a rewrite of my 2008 nanowrimo that didn't have a name.

I know that i'm supposed to be working on The Prequel. I'm also supposed to be cleaning my craft room and, according to what the boyfriend was hassling me about before he left for work, doing the laundry and cleaning the kitchen.

But do I? Nope.

And today's Facebook horoscope was: Follow your mood today. And make no apologies for choosing the less ambitious path

It's not a matter of which path open to me is the most or least ambitious though, its which path has the brightest colors and the most engaging story and right now that is the love affair between Jamie and Petra. All those other characters in that chain of stories that are hooked together mean nothing to me at this moment.

So here's the first chapter, including the bit from the writing prompt with nice revisions and hopefully some brighter word colors. James has gotten into my brain. Everything is color with me these days... http://www.authorsden.com/visit/viewshortstory.asp?id=46966