Monday, March 2, 2009

Midnight Update

Well, I haven't gotten any additional writing done tonight, but I did re-read my first four chapters and performed a very thorough edit of each. So that's some progress. Tomorrow is dedicated to new writing.


I am rallying. I cannot continue to let Chapters 5 and 6 languish in my head for want of motivation to write them. Or for want of time. I've lived long enough to realize that you have to MAKE time for the things that are truly important to you. Project Reach is a priority, and I will begin the week by ensuring that I treat it as such. I will begin by re-reading the chapters I have completed thus far. Then I'll open up the drafts of Chapters 5 and 6 and read those. Then I'll see if I can stir up some inspiration to write a little in them, or do a few quick edits. I will rally. This week, I've already put off both of the men I'm dating to make a little writing time. They might not be happy about it, but that is my decision.

Friday, February 27, 2009

No Progress

I'm a slacker. The entire month of February has passed me by and I have only accomplished a very few paragraphs of writing. But I've gotten a lot of things accomplished in my personal life. I'm dating two men and will be giving a presentation at a Linux User's Group this weekend. I was also interviewed for an Ubuntu web magazine. But I'm extremely disappointed in myself for not being a more diligent writer. Poor Claire and David miss me. But I'll be back at it soon. Chapters 5 and 6 aren't going to write themselves, after all.

Thursday, February 12, 2009

Time and Frustration

February has been spectacularly unproductive. I've anticipated taking a bit of a break after wrapping Chapter 6, but I might as well count all of last week as a break since I didn't get anything written and lost all of the revision I'd made due to a computer error and not properly backing up my work. I'm beginning to feel a pattern emerging. Wrap a chapter, feel great about it, start new chapter, hit brick wall, get frustrated. And I'm never really sure how I work through the frustration. It appears to be different every time, so the exact formula remains elusive. I think it all boils down to time spent with ass in office chair writing. But I never seem to have enough of that. I find my most productive sessions happen during the half an hour I steal during my lunch break at work, reinforcing my suspicion that my most productive hours are long over by the time I make it home in the evenings. Or maybe it's the lack of distractions. Hard to say. I've yet to take the laptop to the coffee shop after work an force myself into a writing session before going home, though. I've been meaning to try that to see if a change in venue prompts more creativity.

Monday, February 9, 2009


I've lost all of the revisions I've made this week due to a document recovery error. Bahumbug! But luckily, I hadn't done any real writing all week long, so I haven't lost any new output. But still, the revisions were good and I am very discouraged to have lost them. I'm in the process of trying to recreate them from memory, but it's not a promising endeavor.

And then I lost the blog I was writing.


Tuesday, February 3, 2009

OBE Research

I haven't gotten any writing done in the last few days out of pure dearth of inspiration, but I have gotten quite a bit of research done. The more I research, the easier my David chapters are to write. I realize with the last one that I hadn't done near enough research and that's why I struggled so much with it. After I finish this tandem, I'm going to be taking a brief hiatus to avoid burnout and also to focus intensely on research. I'm going to try to make my long-overdue trip to B-town. And as I feel like six chapters is enough progress as to qualify as respectable, I feel less like an imposter or a poser and more confident in introducing myself as a writer. Hopefully this will aid me when I start introducing myself to some local cog sci fixtures. I'm trying to make some inroads, maybe score an interview.

The plan for tonight is to research some persons of interest to interview for insight into the science and psi aspects of the story. There's a guy running a cog lab out of UofL's psych department, and I've been meaning to touch base with him. I'm hoping that he'll consent to chatting with me as I could really use some face time with a scientist just to observe. There's no substitute for being able to see the manic gleam in the eye of a researcher when he/she converses on his/her topic of interest.

Speaking of psi, I had been struggling to place its introduction in my outline, but I seem to have stumbled across a resolution in Chapter 6. I think it's a fairly seamless introduction, and a plausible one, which is key. I only worry that I'm giving the reader too much of a lead on Claire's crisis. Might it not be better to just spring it on them? But then if I do that, I risk forcing a suspension of incredulity, which I'm not entirely sure I want to do. It's very delicate and will require more thought, I'm sure.

Last night I sat up reading first-hand accounts of out of body experiences as part of my research. Scared the hell out of me because a lot of practitioners of OBE are also lucid dreamers. I happen to be able to lucid dream regularly, though I rarely ever actually try for it. The only time I intentionally introduce myself into a lucid dream is when I'm outlining a story. I lie down and allow myself to fall into a shallow sleep, only enough to dip my little toe into the dream state. Then I conjure up my characters, set them in an environment of my own imagining and turn them loose to do what they will. I get some of my best conversations this way, since I'm naturally averse to writing dialog.

Otherwise, I can lucid dream almost every morning, if I choose. I have an early alarm set that wakes me to Christian talk radio. I generally sleep through this early alarm, but am capable of waking myself enough to be aware that when my dream cycle picks back up, it is indeed a dream cycle. I don't often bother to do anything constructive in these lucid dreams. I guess I'm too apathetic to take much advantage of the ability. I don't go flying around the neighborhood of anything like that. On occasion I will conjure up whatever biblical story the sermon is based on, but not often. I did have a lot of fun with Gideon's army one morning, however.

But OBE's? They're a whole different animal. I find the whole concept frightening, and reading about them right before going to bed nearly kept me up all night scared that if I drifted off to sleep, my being or astral self or soul or essence or whatever would drift right up out of my body. The only thing that calmed me down was having one arm around my purring cat. She was like a big, soft, fuzzy anchor.

Saturday, January 31, 2009

Power Outtages Can't Slow Me Down!

Owing to a power outage, I didn't get as much work done on my snow day as I might. But I did put down Wuthering Heights long enough to hammer out some more writing in Chapter 5 and organize my notes and sketches of conversations into a manageable and coherent whole. The battery on my laptop lasts for about three and a half hours. And that's not a bad span of time for a writing session, but it's only midnight now and I find myself wishing I had at least another two hours of battery life to expend as I'm positively on a roll and hate to be kept from my writing when the characters are being so very cooperative.

I have almost 2,000 words of 5 written. I imagine it will eventually stretch to a little over 3,500 just as the previous chapters have done, so I'm about halfway there. This is good progress, but the hardest part still lay ahead, the stitching together of disjointed thoughts and making the actions and movements of David flow one into another effortlessly. I have a bit more research to do still, and a lot of passes with the editor's fine-toothed comb to smooth out my awkward phrasing. David is feeling particularly effusive in this chapter, which is turning out to be rather dialog-intensive. I am still honing the dynamic between he and his mother. It's a dynamic thing, Kathryn is always making adjustments for David's idiosyncrasies, so it's hard to give it a distinct label as being “nurturing” or “combative” and that translates into a lack of focus when I write interaction between them. I tend to wander and get lost in discovery rather than move the story along in a pointed manner. I just have to remind myself that I many tens of thousands of more words in which to explore Kathryn and David's mother-son bond.


Our power is out for the second straight day, but I charged the laptop at work so I'd be able to get some more solid writing time. I was reading some more in Wuthering Heights before firing up the laptop, though, and got thinking about Claire and MarLo as opposed to David and Kathryn, so I started work on Chapter 6 instead of 5 tonight. All the better, as perhaps when I finish them, it won't be too many weeks apart. I had a bit of an inspiration for the opening of 6, and it merged so seamlessly with the short conversation between Claire and MarLo that I'd already written that I just carried on editing what I've already typed out. The end product is over 1,500 words, which is a healthy start, but what I'm most pleased with is that it's a solid 1,500 words that don't break between paragraphs waiting for me to go back and fill in a transition. Chapter 5 is all in bits and pieces that still need to be assembled. They're in the right order now, but transitions are such a trial for me. I can get stuck on a single transition for weeks at a time. So I'm very, very happy to have 6 being more cooperative in terms of cohesion. But then again, I wrote the Claire/MarLo conversation that opens 6 months ago, so it's been percolating for a lot longer than anything I've invented thus far for 5. Poor David. He's at such loose ends in his life, that it's a real challenge for me to fill his days with anything at all except staring at his chalkboard wall and thinking about how disappointed he is in his lack of inspiration. I'm glad to have Claire finally in his life. She'll get him moving in some sort of direction, even if it isn't the right one.