...because fiction is our greatest escape from reality...

One Writer’s Day

Do you ever have a difficult time sliding back into reality after a long bout of writing? I always feel a bit disjointed, wandering around the house blinking and reacquainting myself with the world I’ve made for myself. Sometimes, I’ll be writing and notice the foot is wiggling and certain areas of my body have gone numb. They’ve been screaming in complaint, but the mind has been in Fictionland and unable to hear.

But, I do remind myself to take a break, put on some soothing music and do something for my world… like make dinner for my family. Tonight, I’m listening to the entire CD Ohio by Over the Rhine, sinking into the talent of a band who can say so much with so few words. A band who can steal your breath and make you cry. And smile.

I’m making lime chiffon pie for dessert. Super easy, but you’d think I forged treasures of gold by my family’s reactions. It’s the little things that make people feel pampered. Remember that.

Disappearing into my fiction world is one of my favorite things to do. Yes, I’ve avoided it in the past because as I’ve said, I tend to focus to the point of insanity. But I can take my fictional worlds and make them any way I want. I can make everyone nice—though I’m sorry to say, in fiction, that bores everyone to tears. But I can make bad things happen then flush away the negativity and put joy and love back into that world.

So today, I didn’t write as much as I did yesterday. Yesterday, I flew through a chapter after finishing another, then today, I tanked today after about 750 words. Roughly three pages. No scratch that. I write my roughdrafts in single space, so it was close to twice that. Not so bad, but I was aiming for more. I finished up the last rewrites on Valen Greer first.

I do like this story, but after spending last night catching up on the particular targeted magazine, I’m a little concerned it isn’t dark enough. I read a story in there that was so disturbing, I had to set the magazine aside and recover a couple of minutes.

This is a good thing.

A writer’s greatest gift is to create emotion in the reader. This writer wanted to create horror, disgust, regret… he was pulling on every dark emotion a human is capable of having and I had goosebumps on my arms and a creepy sort of disturbed revulsion crawling in my guts yet the redemption came in the protagonist’s realization of his actions. Too late, but it was there.

I sometimes read the dark stuff to make my own work more raw. I spent years trying to conform to a certain “comfortable” style—a style I thought I wanted—but a style nothing like me. I reach for Kim Harrison, Dean Koontz, Linda Howard, Rachel Caine and even Laurell K Hamilton most of the time. Yet, I was trying to write the more sweet stuff. I will tell you another little something about myself. I’m really not that sweet. But I am stubborn as hell. This can be good and it can be a serious detriment. That teenager’s dream of a solid career in series romances took a long time to die. I do admire the ladies who can write them.

So, even though my hand is still hurting from something I did to it playing volleyball Sunday, I’m going back to my WIP tonight. I made a vow to complete a certain amount of work a week and I’m sticking to it no matter what.

Oh, another little personality thing. I have this thing for Dove chocolate and I love the little messages inside the wrappers. Tonight mine says It’s definitely a bubble-bath day. This is a good one since I also have a thing for bubble baths. I’ll write awhile and then go soak my arm. TTYL!

15 Comments

  1. June 27, 2006    

    Oh my gosh, I love Dove. And Toblerone. And those tiny little imported chocolates. Can’t remember the name right now…

    But yeah, I have a serious chocolate problem.

  2. June 27, 2006    

    Lindor truffles, Rachel?

    I have a choclate problem too. And who can argue with the fortune of such a delectable confection?

    Enjoy a bubble-bath and pop some ibuprofen for your hand.

    Have you ever tried working with a voice-recorder?

  3. June 27, 2006    

    Oh man, I laugh so hard when I listen back to those things. Sounds so melodramatic.

    “She crept around the corner. Their eyes met.”

    LOL.

    I used one years ago and then bought one again last year. I should probalby try again.

    I’m researching spells for my WIP and watching Ghostbusters. And eating Dove. (g)

  4. June 27, 2006    

    lol.

    I’m listening to South Park, (my back is facing the t.v.) and working on my UF.

    And I wonder why my humor is so warped…

  5. June 27, 2006    

    Doesn’t darkness scare you?

  6. June 27, 2006    

    Mmm.. Dove…

    Do you ever have a difficult time sliding back into reality after a long bout of writing? I always feel a bit disjointed, wandering around the house blinking and reacquainting myself with the world I’ve made for myself.

    I have dreams/nightmares of intense film projects I work on. I just finished one of those today. Will I be dreaming of power dynamics in movement as related to Rob Zombie tonight? We’ll see.

  7. June 28, 2006    

    Ahhh, chocolate and bubble baths…I tend to take a bottle of wine, some chocolate, a book and my notepad to the tub. Weird, I know, but I usually start by writing about 1K of my stuff, then settling back for a good read and some wine. Of course I get far more done during football season! LOL

    Terri/Keira

  8. Jen Jen
    June 28, 2006    

    My problem with getting work done is that by the time I’ve been sitting at this computer all day, when it comes time to write in the evening, I don’t want to do diddly squat. I’ve tried taking a notebook and going somewhere else in the house, but I get to watching TV or talking and still don’t get any work done.

    I blame the mind-numbing soul-sucking work that is transcribing reports for disability determination.

    Dove chocolate sounds so good! I haven’t had any of that in ages.

  9. June 28, 2006    

    Okay, taking a notepad to your bathtub is not weird. I always do. My husband says I pack for a bubble bath. Wine or coffee, a book, a notepad. Don’t usually take chocolate, but I will now.

    I’m not afraid of the darkness. My writing tends to flirt around the dark side– but good always wins in the end if that makes you feel better. Well, almost always. (g) By dark, I mean the emotions in addition to the paranormal aspects. If you go back a little in this blog, you’ll find a story called Now They Run From Valen Greer. That’s my dark.

    Now, if that darkness included dreams of Rob Zombie… ick. No thanks!!

    Dove chocolate rocks!

  10. June 28, 2006    

    So, when something like that happens do you change your story to fit the “darkness” of the magazine, or do you keep it how it is and hope they accept it anyways?

    Also, I would be curious to know the Author/Title of the story you described.

  11. June 28, 2006    

    When I’ve done a long bout of writing, I find myself talking like my historical characters or thinking my life in book terms – She lay on the bed, exhausted, for example before I lay down.

    Speaking of writing, my task master Gena will kill me if I don’t get some real writing done tonight – she’s assigned me a chapter a day – egads! This one is horror/romance, so I’ll be thinking like a love-sick demon all night, I suppose…

  12. June 28, 2006    

    Rayke, both. Sometimes I’ll change a story. Every now and then a story feels perfect as is and then I’ll just market it elsewhere. That’s what I’ll do with this one if the rewritten version isn’t a go. I’m hopeful, it’s a good magazine– but sometimes, a story isn’t the right fit.

    That story I mentioned above was in Apex Digest #5. Starfish by Steve Parker. For true horror fans, it’s a delicacy… can’t believe I said that. If you get the story, you’ll understand. Mr. Parker wanted to disturb and he succeeded. Big time.

    A chapter a day, Pinkie!!! How cool! You can do it. Especially with Gena snapping that whip!

  13. June 28, 2006    

    I agree with Rinda, a chapter a day is alot, at least for me. I have one of those little tape recorders and I do tape myself and I think my voice sounds so stupid but I get ideas in the night sometimes and wake up and will record them (so much better than trying to write them down) the main thing I use it for is when I am driving I use it to work out problems in the story. Sometimes I don’t even go back and listen to it because it because the solution to the problem is there in my mind. Pretty handy.

  14. June 29, 2006    

    Lime Chiffon Pie? Sounds yummy.

    I’m finding as my “voice” develops, it’s darker than I am. Or maybe darker than I’ve always perceived myself. You won’t find any body parts are satanic rituals, but the sweet stuff that I started with (and still like to read at times) just isn’t coming to me anymore.

    When I read Valen Greer, I got goosebumps and the connection with the characters was so dang quick that I wanted to read more, so I’m thrilled to hear your working on it.

  15. June 29, 2006    

    Weird. My comments won’t go through.

    I have a short story voice and a book voice. A critique partner threatened to knock me over the head if I didn’t figure out how to make the short voice long. I figured it out but as I said, it took a little while.

    Glad you liked Valen. Cracks me up that came from Rachel’s topic challenge. I need to do another one of those… (g)

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