Living Beyond the Walls

I’ll tell you, I had every intention of getting into writing last night.  Computer was ready, I was ready, there was nothing on television, I was ready for music and typing out words.

But life never lets you do what you want to do, right?

As I’m leaving work I check my phone and find I missed a call.  I check it, and it’s from the place where I was getting my new glasses from, and they tell me they’re it.  So I get home, get ready–just to even go out a have to get ready a little–and head out.  Fortunately traffic isn’t bad, but I still have to make a run to somewhere on the north side of the city.  And I notice that traffic going into the city is bad because of a wreck.  Not something good, particularly when things are backed up for miles.

I get my glasses–yeah, they look great . . .

Oh, and new earrings, too.  Wonderful.

Oh, and new earrings, too. Wonderful.

. . . and after picking them up I decides I need to pick up a few things at Target, and then get something to eat.  I wasn’t planing on staying out long, but I didn’t want to try and fight my way back through the traffic, so I took my time with my dinner.

By the time I rolled back to the apartment to snap the above picture, it was about eight PM.

Then I had to roll out and do something on Facebook, because I’m hosting a book club this month, and I had to set up which three books people can choose from.  Since I’d made my selections months ago it was just a matter of doing the ol’ cut and paste and getting things in place before setting up a poll, but it still took time to get that and the notifications together.  And as soon as I finished getting that set up–

The questions came.

Because they always do when there’s a new book.  Because people want to know things, they have interests in what you’re presenting.  I should have known, but sometimes I can be . . . clueless.  It’s not an easy feeling.

Oh, and I didn’t mention the PMs from people wanting to get together in a couple of weeks.  Did I mention that?  No.  I have now.

This is life, and it’s something I haven’t experienced in a bit.  It’s where unexpected things jump out at you and you do what is necessary to handle them.  My plan had been to come home, start dinner, get the book club stuff set up, eat, then write.  Silly me:  what did I know?

It’s a nice change up to be able to do something unexpected–and I had been waiting for my glasses for a few days, so there was a bit of excitement there.  I just didn’t expect it all to happen like . . . this.

Writing tonight, I promise.  I’ve got Isis trying to explain a school break-in where there shouldn’t be one, and gargoyles hiding in the wall.  I’ll get back into my fantasy . . .

And hope that life doesn’t throw a curve at me tonight.

Firsts of Firsts

Last day in the hotel, first day in the new apartment.  The rest of the year is pretty much figured out–or should I say, plotted?  I have everything set:  get ready, quick pack up, check out; drive to new place; unpack; go to work.  Tonight I have a few items to get before I call it a night, and then, tomorrow . . . well, it’s time for exploring.  I’ll wander around the area I’m in and see what’s what, maybe head over to the river since it’s only one block from me.  First time living in a city area, and it’s different from anything I’ve known.

Writing a novel is a little like this.  You get ready, to start writing, you finish writing, you move on to something else.  It’s always a first time when you start a new story, even if you’re using characters you’ve already developed.  Just as with life, your characters grow as you grow as a writer.  And unless you’re writing the same story over and over (that would never happen, right?), you’ll never new and exciting events to wrap around you characters.  Or maybe you want to write a novel about them cleaning house all the time.  Whatever:  it’s your story.

I find that, right now, I want to get back into writing.  The last few months have sort of pushed me into a spot where I’ve tried hard to find something that will pay the bills, and at the same time continue with my writing.  My output is down from last year, but throwing in edits on a couple of novels tends to take away from creating new material.  And once you create a new story, you have to start thinking about editing and publishing.  Oi.  It’s constant, it’s always there, and it’s always a new adventure.

I’m looking forward to NaNo 2013.  I know it’s going to be a grind:  five hundred words blogging in the morning, working during the day, two thousand words a night, with time for food and sleep in there someplace.  I can do this, and I know I can do fifty thousand words by the end of November.  I also know that I likely won’t finish the novel during NaNo, because there will be far too much going on, and I’ll lose two days in November to travel.  But I have set my goals and expectations, and none of this worries me because I know the NaNo Police do not exist, and the idea that there are “rules” to follow for NaNo is a lot of happy horseshit.

You write, you keep writing, and you hit fifty thousand words.  It’s not done for money or prizes:  it’s all about doing something creative and feeling good about it.  And if you happen to take that novel and add more words to it, and polish it up and slap a good cover on it (this being an example of a not-so-good cover), and put it up for sale.  Or not, if that’s your thing, but I have this urge to share my stories with others, in exchange for them sharing a little of their hard-earned cash.

I feel excitement right now, for everything is starting new again.  Come the middle of October I might be ready to chuck it all in the river, but for the moment, I’m ready to write.

I’m ready to relive that first time again.

The Day Maker

It’s not often that I walk into work and discover my day has been made.

The night was pretty normal.  Started on the penultimate chapter of Diners at the Memory’s End, and managed to get about six hundred words in before sleep started calling.  I’ve been hitting the mattress about 10:30, or there about, and last night was no different.

Last night I did dream, and I could remember most of it.  A damn silly thing it was, too, because the majority of it dealt with me losing a shopping cart–or having it taken, I can’t be certain–and then being bitched at by people over it.  In particular, one person wanted to know if my wallet was safe, if all my cards were okay, and that I should call all the companies and make certain no one was using the numbers.  The whole damn thing was like that, and it seemed like no matter where I went, I was being “reminded” about losing the cart and checking my cards.

As you might imagine, waking up was something of a strange occurrence.  With dreams like that, it makes you question what you’re doing, and what’s going to come at you through the rest of the day.  And Fridays are long days for me, since I have to head back to The Real Home after work at The Hole is finished.

Once into work I did what I usually do:  bring up the computer, launch all my programs, and open my mail.  That’s where I saw it:

The thing that made my day.

It’s not a lot; some might say it’s nothing.  But to me it was fantastic.

I was invited to a lunch, and the invitation came from someone outside my area.

Oh, sure, that sounds like a whole lot of nothing.  But if you knew what it’s like here, how there seems to be a complete lack of care for how I’m doing, then getting something like this is a big deal to me.  It’s almost an affirmation that someone here does think about me, and not about just how I’m doing on my projects.

In many ways writing is like this job.  You do so much of it in silence, in solitude, alone with only your thoughts.  You work on your stories, you create, you edit, you polish, you throw it out there for all to see.

Sure, you have your writing friends, you have a little group of people who ask you how things are coming with your novel or story, if you’ve finished it, or you’ve completed your edit, whether you’ve sold it or self-published.

There is something a writer desires, however.  It’s when they’re completed from an unexpected source.  It’s when, from out of the blue, an unexpected source asks you if they can read your manuscript, they read it, and they fall in love with it.

It’s that moment of serendipity when you realize someone cares about your craft beyond mundane things like, “How many books have you sold?”.

Little slices of time, such as these, are what making getting up in the morning exciting.

Now . . . can I have more, please?

Tripping the Day

It feels good to be rested up.  Or, at least, I feel that way at the moment.

Today is a holiday for me.  I had to roll back to The Undisclosed Location on Sunday for work, and because of that, I ended up getting today (Friday, the 27th) off.  After a long trip back yesterday–with a lot of foolish people on the roads, believe it–I got here, saw our damaged tree, ate, and spent hours fighting to stay awake until it was time to fall asleep.

No writing last night:  I was smart enough to realize that if I had tried, at best I might have churned out a couple of hundred words that wouldn’t have satisfied me.  I’ve done that too many times, and it’s always left me feeling like I was writing on autopilot.  Since I’m off today, there’s plenty of time to get the writing in . . .

After I do my running around.

Today I am a lab rat.  I have some lab work I need to do for my annual physical, which hasn’t been all that annual due to being out of work for three years.  I’m thinking I’ll be okay, but who knows?  Maybe there is a mutagen hiding in my body, just waiting for the moment to come out, and before you know it, I’m the Dark Phoenix, only without the planet eating, and dying every other week and coming back to life.

In about an hour and a half I’ll roll out of here, go do the lab thing, stop by another doctor to give them my updated insurance, then hit the stores, pick up a few things, then back to the home–

Where it’s back into the story.

There’s a couple of things I want to look at in Diners before I get into Part Thirteen.  I want to see how often I say, “Suddenly”, and I want to see how often I start a conversation with “So–“.  Those are no-nos, and I’m certain I’ve been doing it for a long time.  I know I’ve done it in some of my past stories, and I want to get out of that habit.

See?  I’m still learning the craft.  Maybe that’s one of the reason Her Demonic Majesty was rejected:  too many Sos, too many Suddenlys . . . or maybe it needs to be better.  Who knows?  Gotta send it out again and see if I get the big rejection. Or the big sale.

Can’t know until it’s out there, right?

But writing, writing, writing.  I’m at a good place in the story, and very close to the end of Part Thirteen.  Well, maybe a couple of thousand words close, but I’m close.  Most of it is about Meredith now, how she is the way she is, and maybe I’ll give her a sister named Sian, because having an annoying little sister is always a good thing, right?

Writing is back, and I feel excited today.  Can’t say why, but I have some energy here I didn’t have last week.  It’s coming back, though.

Save the dark times for the stories.  It’s time to write in the light.