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Writing

Twenty Sixteen

Oh hey, this still exists. I mean, I have made sure that it would continue to exist, but still surprised it is here because it’s been a little while since I bothered with it. And honestly I am only bothering with it now because I have other things I should be doing. Like writing for NaNoWriMo.

I tried NaNo last year, but it was only a few months after I moved back to Washington (hey, btw, I’m back in Washington~) and I just didn’t have the energy. This year, I am bogged down by house projects and crochet projects and life improvement projects and also have no energy but that’s no excuse not to try. I think. So! 50k words on top of life, I can do this. If I don’t distract myself trying to revive my blog as well. Why am I here again?

Writing

Three Word Wednesday

Todays story prompt brought to you by Three Word Wednesday.

((Liability, badge, darken))

She showed her badge to the woman at the door and was let through in silence. The hallway was long and the light was low, layers of newspapers were plastered on the windows to keep the bright city out and red drapes darkened the lights inside. In the winter chill she could smell the dampness seeping in, seeking a release from the oncoming freeze outside. Through the chatter of the patrons, she could hear the jazz wafting towards her from the club.

Small venues like this were one of the few perks of being in the task force. Staff and patrons alike were mellow around here, but it was still exclusive; you could be on the waiting list for years. Unless you were in the task force of course, enforcer of the cities ludicrous music laws. Larger venues were more closely run than the alleyway clubs though, her presence there was seen as a liability to the corporations. The bigger the venue, the more likely it was ran by the corporation; larger pockets, larger fines when things went wrong. No one wanted to see the task force lurking around a concert or popular city club, it only meant trouble.

Lindsay was on the task force, but she didn’t agree with their methods. Fining even the unknown artists for sampling works or collaborating with the greats of the past. This was supposed to be a free society, all copy-writes where abolished decades ago. But the government still discouraged the use of the time machines for personal gain, even as they exploited the past, mining it for technology and wealth. This time someone had gone too far though, someone had brought back more than a few bars of music, they brought back Thelonious Monk himself.

Stepping into the club proper she was drawn to the bar, glowing blue against the matte black walls of the room. “Whisky,” she told the barkeep. A habit acquired from her fathers obsession with the past, few places served real alcohol anymore, opting for the synthetic blends of liquid that had grown popular as of late, but she appreciated the way whiskey burned the back of her throat. As she waited for her drink she looked around the club, everyone absorbed in their own drinks and the music. It was hard not to appreciate the old Earth feel in the room, she guessed that’s why they sent her.

No sign of Mr. Monk though, she didn’t really expect there to be this early in the afternoon. She was supposed to meet Adrian, the clubs owner in 10 minutes. She had a bad habit of being early, and Adrian had a bad habit of avoiding the task force. “Where’s the boss?” Lindsay asked the barkeep when he brought her whiskey, he just shrugged and went on to making some martinis for the couple at the end of the counter.

It wasn’t supposed to be possible to pull people forward in time, but she knew better. Before her fathers split with the science division, he had been having a love affair with a women in the early 1920’s that he met on his first jump. In time that woman had a child, but he couldn’t risk disrupting the time line. He found a way to bring the baby through the transporter and was disbarred from the Academy for it. Lindsay never knew her mother, enforcers made sure of that, but her father kept her well hidden. They never knew of the baby girl with the split time signature.

Writing

I’m not dead, just the blog

So I have been busy lately. Got myself a nice exercise program which means I have way too much energy but am constantly sore so don’t want to do anything.

I keep pulling up my blog, expecting to see something new here, then realizing that there will be nothing new if I don’t write it myself. Damn linear time.

Just not sure what to write. Have gone back to reading more about writing than actually writing. Gives me something to do at the gym. But it also means that I am still constantly thinking about writing. Just don’t know what to write still, ever, always. But working on it! Still thinking about it, trying to get around my own mental blocks. Just, not there yet.

Need to get back to posting though, even if its book reviews or quotes or random rants on the downfalls of summer right after I plant my herbs for the year. Or something. Stuff. Writing. Wooo.

Writing

[Writing] Weird crap from my brain

Dishes never get stacked. If they did, the world would come to an end. The gravitational pull of all those dishes in the sink would simply cause the fabric of space time to collapse on itself. There must be space between everything, air pockets to keep so much mass from being collected at one point. Water must be a mysterious anti-grav force, once you add water you can get all the dishes you want in the sink without worry. Or maybe soap lubricates the dishes enough to help resist their force on each other. And in the end, when they are put away, why does the cabinet not contain a black hole?

Writing

[Writing] Fiction Challenges

So, with nothing else percolating in my head I decided to try a flash fiction challenge. I am about a third of the way done, though I am not sure I will get it finished by the deadline.

I am happy with how it is turning out word wise, but not a story that I am loving. Good story, just not interesting to me I guess. I have found that as I go, I do okay, get a sentence or two, then freeze again. It’s like all the decisions just stop me, there is too much for me to deal with. I ended up with a horrible headache every time I tried to work on it, but I was getting work done.

I do highly believe that the brain is just like muscles in that you need to work it to make it better. I think this is a decent example of that. With time and practice I hope I will be able to write better, faster, and with less headacheyness. But God that practice is going to hurt.

When (if) I finish the story, whether I manage to finish by the deadline or not, I am adding it here. Hopefully I will be able to find more challenges to help me practice and get more finished pieces sitting around reminding me I can actually do it.

Writing

[Writing] Glaring at notecards

Have spent the better part of my day reading about writing, again. Trying out notecard scenes and questioning to come up with a rudimentary outline.

Here’s the train of thought

  • Snow in july, why is it snowing in july?
  • The snow is actually emissions from a space ship, why?

Then I’m stuck again. Too many damn options. Is the spaceship buzzing the earth for fun in a juvenile prank? Is the story about the aliens not earth? Does it crash land? Does the earth military set up planetary defense systems and blow it out of the sky starting a galactic war?

 

Just want to bang my head against the table.

Writing

[Writing] Glaring at my blog

I have been glaring at my blog all week. Opening, trying to think of something to write, and I end up just glaring at it. So it gets a post. Or maybe a sacrifice to the blog gods. Or something.

I didn’t hit my 5k words last week, but came close with 4550. Not bad considering it was spring break and I had kids and adults wanting attention all week.

I did come around to the fact that April is poetry month or some such thing. I started working on a poem a day, though I started late, caught up, then lapsed again. They are horrible, but horrible in a way that gives me insight into my current writing hurdles. Poetry was something I worked on in my teen years and it flowed easily then. Now I am an adult and I worry too damn much about everything. I care more about rhythm and meter now, which oddly keeps me from creating it naturally. With the direct contrast of then vs now, I have been considering its extrapolation to prose.

I often find that I get stuck on format more than actual words when trying to write. Not grammatically, just format. How it feels. Dialog, exposition, rising tension, foreshadowing. The actual elements of a story bog me down. I keep trying to write while ignoring them, to fix it all in editing, but willful ignorance is very difficult for me.

In drawing, there are suggestions to try and draw upside down. That by looking at the shape as it is, without your brain translating into what it thinks it should be, you draw more accurately. I don’t think that turning the words upside down will help in this case, but I would like to try and find a way to take this concept into writing. Writing straightforwardly, without letting my preconceived notion of what the writing should look like get in the way.

In any case, words will be splatted against screen this week.

 

Also, as an apropos of nothing: yay, it’s raining! Means I don’t have to water the grass seed that got laid yesterday in my all day yard clean up marathon. I managed to till up 3 gardens (one was disassembled entirely and grass seed laid) as well as tilling the large bare spot in the backyard from the pool last year. Though I have some massive landscape projects planned for this year, so the gardens just got wildflower mix so I can direct energy and finances elsewhere.

I have also found that gardening is the most futile thing that I still enjoy doing. It’s moving dirt from one place to another (and generally back again), planting things that will die off by next year (if they don’t die by the hot midwest summers), and patching bare spots of grass (that will only be trampled again by kids and the puppy). Yet, its enjoyable. Though I think writing is about as futile in totally different ways.

Writing

[Writing] Snippets of nothing

So, I couldn’t sleep tonight. This is a reoccuring problem. I ended up just opening word pad and allowing myself my normal snippets. I didn’t stress, I just started, wrote as much as I could and moved on. Words flowed hot and fast. I got about 500 words done tonight on 4 snippets and a poem. Doesn’t seem like much on the outside, but this is a breakthrough for me. It’s an amazing start. It’s like banging my head on a brick wall for so long, then finally breaking through and having the freedom to run forever.

Granted, snippets and starters do not make me a writer. I need to finish shit for that to happen. But I am writing. Finally. I am allowing myself to just write and not care. Finishing will come in time. I can weave snippets together, I can continue them later, I can ignore them completely. But it felt good to let words flow. Hence, writing about it here right away. The excitement is hard to contain for me. I may never get sleep again if I keep writing though.

 

Writing

[Writing] Where do I go from here

The snows melted in the heat of a false spring. Rivers of meltwater flowed down the sidewalks and streets. Carved their way through the deposits of gravel from a long winter. The sky was an ice blue, it mirrored everything she felt right then; silent, still, cold. It hurt everywhere. She watched a red drop hit a river and flow down the drain. Took her a minute to realize she was bleeding. She wiped her forehead. Just a cut, she’d live. She didn’t know if that was good or bad though.

This is what I wrote in the car today. 2 minutes, nice and easy. Scenes like this flow freely for me. Why can’t I turn them into stories?

My friends are very helpful, think of questions. Where does it go from here? Why is she there? It doesn’t help. I’ve asked myself all those questions already. Even if I come up with answers, which I normally don’t, I can’t translate those answers into a story. I need to work from an outline, I am pretty sure of that. But I can’t get enough information out of myself to write an outline. I can’t find a theme to my story. I can’t figure out the bigger picture.

I am still trying to figure out why. I think half of it is that I haven’t read enough lately. Storylines and plot development, themes, they don’t come second nature to me yet. This is a matter of reading and practice. Reading and practice that has been very difficult to do in the first place.

At least when I do get around to writing something, I will have lots of snippets to work with.

 

Writing

[Writing] Coffee of doom

No relation to Questionable Content, but damn that is what I would have named my business if I opened a coffee shop.

I meant to get my blog post done yesterday, but got distracted with actual work. With the general inability to focus at home yesterday, me and the child went out to lunch and then sat working on our separate assignments over tea and tastiness at Starbucks. It was nice to relax and get out of the house. It was also very helpful in getting work done for us both; even the child noticed he could focus better not at home, which I generally attributed to brain associations with environment.

But the real point of this post is that I got work done. It was mostly brainstorming stuff, word associations, idea generation, boringness. But hey, work done! And I have stuff to pull ideas from for a story, I hope. My major problem is I still don’t know how to translate ideas into stories or even outlines. I always get stuck at people. Maybe its my insane anxiety and antisocial tendencies  but when the story gets to the point of having people, I feel like I am swimming through a treacle lake to get anything done. I wonder if you would float on treacle. Could I make a boat of scones and float across to make my writing easier? Have I been exposed to too much UK and Australian influences to think of saying treacle rather than molasses? Should I turn swimming across a treacle lake into a story.

I digress. People are hard for me. If I write a story about anthropomorphic rocks I do great. But I cannot even translate that back into people. Turn them into a person, even with all the same lines and everything, and it breaks for me. It seems flawed. Like rocks and animals and other things can be however I want them to be, it won’t matter. But people, people have to be a certain way. I am not sure if my OCD organization extends to people which is why I am antisocial, or if I am antisocial because people are so peopley so I try and organize them to deal better. Either way, it is hampering my fiction.

Not sure how to fix it though… Lots of pencil to paper and practice, practice, practice I suspect. Or a scone boat.