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If you’re the kind of person who doesn’t like ‘sneak peeks’ and ‘spoilers’ and things like that maybe you’d like to click out now. I just bought a brand new bottle of Cherry SoCo and am, in the mood to babble, who knows what I might reveal in this post?
I was stuck for so fuckin’ long! I swore I’d never get unstuck. I kept hearing this song in my head
That’s exactly the way I FELT. I couldn’t understand it. I mean, for me, I’d done everything ‘right’ for beginning a novel around this time of year. If we write in the summer it’s important that we don’t start anything until the crocuses come up and then that we don’t really get into anything ‘hot and heavy’…anything unchangeable…until after I’ve planted or right around then.
I’m Pagan, the story grows with the plants…sue me. That’s just the way it is, which is why writing “Rising Son” was difficult; no plants last year.
BATHING is also important. I’d forgotten that too. No, I haven’t wandered around funky for months I’ve just been taking showers…ok, they were getting fewer and farther between but not to the ‘stinky’ point. I swear.
SEX was also quite lacking. I didn’t feel like it. I didn’t want to expend the energy and, when I did, it seemed hubby was not in the mood. We were out of sync.
None of those things adds up to Good Writing Conditions for me. Nope, they surely don’t. I fell into a funk, I played games on FB like they were going out of style. Sometimes that’s a very good thing as those games tend to help me sort things out in my head in a very quiet and strange way. I’d been getting disgusted and annoyed with my little puzzle games.
The song kept repeating like a broken record.
I tried to write. I fixed and expanded on a few things here and there. I knew it was falling flat. Wasn’t coming close to what I wanted and I had no idea of how to get to where I wanted to go. I was ready to give up and just say ‘fuck it, I quit’. I knew I had to expand on a certain part and didn’t know how to go about it. I looked at it for days. Just LOOKED at it. Sitting here staring at the screen with my thumb up my ass and that song going through my head. I grabbed the offending 5 paragraphs from the middle of their chapter and pasted them into a new file.
The Angels began Singing. Faintly at first but enough to be heard when carried by a sweet breeze.
See, in the new file, I’m not in the story. In the new file there are only those 5 paragraphs and I am free to do whatever the hell I want with them. I know it isn’t rational. I also know it works. Over the course of my ‘career’, whenever I’m truly stuck and I can finally trace my way back to the place where the mud is the deepest, if I just remember to cut it out of the story, put it in a new file, and PLAY, then I get going again. I never said the Writing Process was sane or that it made any sense whatsoever, did I? LOL
I was totally upset with the whole “The Stand” thing we had going. It took forever to realize there was no LAW saying we HAD to end up in Boulder, CO. Hell, we don’t have to go Colorado AT ALL if we don’t want to! We can do something else. So I stared carving and cutting and changing and rearranging to get rid of Colorado altogether in the story and ended up in Schuyler, VA. Yep way up in the Blue Ridge Mountains. Truth be told, I loved it up there. It was like time just stood still, it froze right around 1930 and never moved again. It was an awesome little place…Walton’s Mountain…I hope it is still untouched by Time.
At first, I got it wrong. I had to go back again. I had to redo it again.
I stared at the map on Google for days looking at the most direct route between New York City and Schuyler. I saw lots of interesting cities along the way. I started to wonder what was in those towns and who those people were and if those places even still existed in our Brave New World. Most do not. But a place called Cherryville, New Jersey is on our trip. It’s fictional, I don’t think there is a Cherryville but I like the name ‘Cherry Hill’ and I liked the name ‘Millville’ so I combined them and made a town…somewhere in that area. Somewhere. Dunno know where exactly.
And…it felt GOOD. Really GOOD. Creating my own little town again…dead as it is, of course. Nearly everyone is dead in our Brave New World. I had been saving the revelation of why those who survived Major Falls…survived Major Falls. I know The Reader knows but the characters beyond Apollo and Zeus do not. I had been wondering just when and HOW we were getting Raven to the Dark Kingdom so he could meet his freaking WIFE! That whole thing was falling apart fast, there was no way to get to it as originally planned. (A lot of ‘originally planned’ things may not happen.)
I started feeling disheartened again. Ready to call myself a ‘hack’ and hang it up in favor of spending the rest of my days doing nothing but…my job, let’s be nice here, we don’t know who’s watching. LOL
That song hit again and again.
I finally realized that perhaps I had it wrong. Perhaps The Big Guy was trying to tell me that this is the way HE was feeling.
So I sat here for a few days and let the story have its way. When I questioned and raised my eyes to the sky to say; “Are you kidding me?” I just went with it. Just followed where it lead and stopped fighting it. Stopped trying to make it do what I wanted and submitted to its will…yes, and The Big Guy’s will too.
I got 9 new pages! I got SLEEP. I got SEX! Awesome wonderful hot SEX!
I got Nora. I played with her for a few days as Raven encountered her. Then it came time to for her to identify herself within the scene and I had no idea who she was. I felt that she was hiding a sister in the basement and that’s who she was fighting for much more than herself when Raven walked into the old VFW turned ARES Hideout. At first, I called her ‘Anna’ and she was unhappy. I thought about different names and she was still unhappy. Then, on Tuesday, I gave in again and typed ‘Nora’. I knew who she was. I knew it was short for ‘Lenora’.
I was disappointed that Raven wouldn’t make it to the Dark Kingdom to find her the way I’d planned.
Last night, lying awake in bed, I discovered it’s not a sister she’s hiding in the basement, it’s her mother. She’s beaten and broken, she probably won’t live past this scene. She suffered her injuries protecting her daughter, Lenora, from the…last visitors…they had. Ultimately, Lenora and her mother have come for Alena. To bring her ‘home’ to the Dark Kingdom. They know who Raven is they know what he is and they’re not impressed.
It only took a moment’s worth of wrestling with myself to discover that, no, Shar didn’t have any other children after Morrowind but she DID have two sons who were thrown into the sea with their cords still attached.
What if Poseidon saved them from drowning? What if the old coot wanted to breed them to his mermaids but it went horribly wrong and he let the boys go? What if it he never told anyone?
It opened up a whole new world. Lenora and her mother are descendants, not of the Dark Kingdom per say, but of one of the sons Shar bore and was forced to kill because they weren’t girls. It introduces the idea that Raven and Ares will discover the true lineage of the survivors of Major Falls very early on in this story.
Hopefully it will move things along faster. Hopefully I’m done being ‘stuck’ for the foreseeable future. That would be nice! LOL
3-day weekend coming up. Cross your fingers and whisper a kind word to the wind that Aunty Moon moves along at a good pace for the whole 3 days.
I’m always telling other writers that when they’re stuck it’s because the story and them are at odds. Give over to the story. Let go of your ego. Let the story unfold for you the way it will unfold the reader. Don’t be the puppet master (no one really likes him) be part of the audience for as long as you can.
Why is it that I can never take my own advice?