I am kaitco

a writer's log

WTC! WordPress App! Thursday, December 30, 2010

Filed under: Dorienne — kaitco @ 12:02 pm
Tags: , , ,

I’m cheating with starting this post now; this way I’ll have something written for 12/30 and won’t have to look back on the day with disdain.

/////

This post was originally titled “Cheating,” but I had to change it when I saw how the WordPress app for iPhone totally screwed over my post:

Now, on with the rest of this…after I freakin’ fix what the WP app did to this post…

/////

I didn’t get anything written yesterday and I don’t think I’ll get anything written tonight either. I also barely got any housework done so yesterday was a complete slothful waste in every way.

I’m pretty much hooked on caffeine again, so I’ll just add that to the lengthy list of new year’s resolutions. I’m worried about what lies in my gene pool though and I greatly worry about bipolar disorder. I’ve been often told that it affects creative types, usually shows up during the twenties or thirties, is acerbated by drug and alcohol abuse and is hereditary. Since 3/4 of these factors are outside of my control, I work hard to control the one that is in my control by limiting alcohol and removing all people from my life who could even relate me to drugs.

The problem, however, is that there are a lot of drugs that people ignore since they are so commonplace. Over the counter meds are one, so I steer clear of those unless I’m in severe pain, but caffeine is another whose abuse is rampant, but because it is so commonplace, it is readily ignored. What has me worried are thoughts from a few weeks ago, when I clearly remember saying to myself, “God, I wish I was still on caffeine so that I could have something to hold on to.” Now, I’ve got a caffeine headache and am “itching” to get my next “fix.”

I know it sounds weak to compare caffeine with other drug problems, but this truly is how it starts. Life feels out if control and in the midst of a low, you reach for anything that will make you feel something, anything. Caffeine gives me a little rush and the desire of getting more keeps me from feeling so empty at times; like I suddenly have purpose. It’s a very scary thought because it’s only a skip and a jump to other things that will help make me feel something when I’m low.

I’m going to go without any caffeine for the next few days, but I hate the idea of going into a new year with this issue hanging over my head.

Anyway, my goals for 12/31/10 are quite lofty and include everything from laundry to vacuuming the windows and complete not just Chapter 7, but Chapter 8 too!

My odds of making one of these goals is slim to none, but here’s to trying and to trying to avoid drug abuse for another year!

 

Hazlo tarde Wednesday, December 29, 2010

So, nothing got written during all of yesterday.

The main reason for it is that I was playing IT specialist to my family, traveling and worked close to a 14-hour day at my first job. I’m not using these as excuses, but I just plain ran out of time.

I don’t I’ll get too much written this week since I’m closing in on the new year and am simply determined to get my house cleaned before then. I want the laundry done, trash outside, my bed made, the bathroom cleaned, dishes done, paper shredded and sorted, and floor and stairs vacuumed before I leave for Watch Night service this Friday. It’s a lot to do, but I know if I haven’t got it done by the time I leave, the whole year will be much like it was this year: in a perpetual state of trying to catch up with all the crap.

I was doing some pondering today, while manning some mindless tasks, about my upcoming Harry-fic and how I plan on going about the relationship thingy. The more I think about it, the more I like the idea of making something that could truly fit in between Books 5 and 7, which means I may need to play down the whole Harry/Hermione thing a bit, or at least make it very clear how Ron doesn’t want Hermione after all, why Harry does and yet still keep things on a level that could potentially lead into Book 7. I’m not sure I can “re-write” Book 6 as Harry/Hermione and still make it fit nicely into Book 7, but I think it’s worth a shot. At least, with this in the back of my mind, it will help keep me honest to the characters and ensure that I’ve justified the decision I’ve made since I’m certain there are so many people in this world who got through the first 4 Harry books and came to a completely different conclusion about the state of the trio’s love triangle from me. I think I’ll just stick to the old edict of “Two men, one woman…trouble.” and write what suits me.

I often find myself comparing myself to each of the characters I write and as I continue with Damen, it gets harder to make complete distinctions. It’s like I’m their…god and I’ve left a lot of myself in all of them, even Corey. I’ve also made some characters that reflect (at least on a subconscious level, initially) how I think many people see me and how I would like to see myself. I did this with Flight as well. I looked at Alexa and knew that she was how people saw me: short, annoying and unwanted. I wanted to be seen like Andrea: tall, respected, intelligent and dark-skinned and beautiful. It’s almost like I’m writing the same character, though I have yet to see which character fits how folks might see me, other than Britiana, who’s just a little too obvious. Brit’s short, I’m short. Brit’s black, I’m black. Brit had mostly white friends in suburbia and I had the same. Outside of that, however, our likenesses really end. I didn’t sit at the trendy table in high school, but I guess some of the people who I ran with did, so others kind of saw me that way (as I learned in college), but really, I don’t think too many people would look at Brit and think: Dorienne! I definitely want to be seen like Anessa since, like Andrea, she is tall, respected, intelligent, dark-skinned and beautiful. I can see her very clearly in my mind and I can’t help wishing that I was like her, the same way I get jealous of the African women at my first job; I just feel like my blood is so dirty compared to them and some days, my skin looks more yellow-oakish than a rich mahogany. Anyway, I’m just rambling now.

I would like to finish Chapter 7 as well, but I’ll be happy if I can just get things sorted at the first job and just moving in the right direction on the second.

I’d also like to turn on the heat this week, but we’ll see if I can work up the courage to change the air filter…it’s definitely been a while.

 

Knowing when to stop Monday, December 27, 2010

Filed under: Writing — kaitco @ 3:45 am
Tags: , , , , , , , ,

I made a lot of progress today and wrote 1551 words in two hours. That included even a brief pause to look up some other Jane Austen character to name after another street in Damen and some other poets whose works Anthony wouldn’t mind Damen reading.

The problem, however, during one of these mad writing highs is that I know I should be asleep since I’ll need to be up at 7am tomorrow this morning, but I can’t stop writing. I had several opportunities to take a break and go to sleep, but I just kept saying to myself, “Just one more part…just one more paragraph.”

I decided not to end Chapter 7 at the break I’ve just taken, but these last 1500 words make it really feel like the end of the chapter. I think it sums up what I’d hinted at with Anthony stealing Damen’s Phillis Wheatley and provides a nice “show” for a reader who fully picked up on what I was trying to say and may even have tried to visualize what had happened during all the “tell” that occurred in this chapter.

Anyway, I started this thing a while ago, where I could keep track of bits and pieces that I wanted to include later, but had nowhere to put now that I’m in first draft phase. During the heavy notes phase, I can keep the little “add Angel’s rant here” reminders throughout the text, but when I’m planning to have something worthwhile completed by the end of this edit through the novel, I can’t very well keep notes to myself, even when I need them.

I’m glad I decided to make my reminders file because I thought of something really fantastic to go down between Damen and Anthony towards the end and it involves Corey and guns. I haven’t decided if Damen will go so far as to get his gun when he’s really mad or if he’ll throw it in the lake or if Brit will find it or anything else, but I’m quite certain that Corey will give him a gun and that should keep some tension going until we see what becomes of the gun. I’m a little excited myself to see what happens. 🙂

All right, I’ve got to be up in just a few hours and go back reality with my cold apartment and deadline upon deadline at the first job. I’m just really glad I got some writing done this holiday and hopefully this sense of accomplishment will push me through the rest of the week.

 

Was holly AND jolly Sunday, December 26, 2010

Yesterday was Christmas and it was as nice and calm as Christmas ever could be. We didn’t get through any of our normal traditions like watching Lord of the Rings (extended, of course) or even getting to see any of 24 hours of story, but I get to spend some time with my family which is really what matter most.

I got a little writing done at the airport on Friday, especially considering that I spent at least three hours there, but I can’t remember where I stopped in the morning. I think I got through about 375 words, but it’s all starting to run together.

I thought I wanted to get some writing done yesterday, but each time the thought came to me, I considered how little time I get to spend with my mother nowadays and decided that the writing could wait for another day. Mother did, in fact, give me some story ideas as she relayed a few exports horror-stories to me; the stories may even be the groundwork for a future novel.

At some point yesterday, I got through the point where Damen physically gets to the library after to listening to Chopin. It took close to an hour of research into the best and the “right” songs for Damen to listen to while he walked to the library and what’s frustrating is that I still don’t feel very comfortable with how the scene was written.

I think one of the more difficult things about writing in modern times is how to relate my characters to current media (or what was current in 2007).

A long time ago, while trying to understand why Damen behaved the way he did, I tried considering what, if any, music he would like. Damen just inherently feels like an indie band kind of guy, but I don’t really know of too many indie bands (outside of those suggested by Jeph Jacques) and it just feels wrong applying popular, or any of the music I know, to Damen. Perplexed, the best solution available seemed to be giving him a taste for classical music.

This being Damen, however, I couldn’t quite see him just listening to all classical music; it just didn’t seem like a fit for him. A quirk for Damen, though, would make it legitimate and the quirk was just listening to only Chopin.

I’ve had this thing for Chopin’s music ever since I was able to properly pronounce his name which comes from a song I heard in an adaptation of The Secret Garden. The nocturne (Opus 72, No. 1 in E minor) is played as a theme to this specific adaptation which happened to be my favorite of all The Secret Garden adaptations I’d seen. I’ve always loved the song, so now Damen loves the song and thus the jump to Chopin-only was the easy decision.

Anyway, I think it would be great to have him watching some TV show or listening to some popular song in the novel, but the problem is that I’ve been pretty out of touch with my own generation for the past five years, which fascinatingly is what endears me so much to Damen. I’m not anti-social, I just hate new television and the techno-over-produced crap that is pop music today.

Speaking of losing touch with society, I watched “Avatar” with my mother last night. Overall, I enjoyed the movie and I know it’s one that I’m likely to own and watch again and again. The problem is that I’ve heard everything from people getting suicidal once the film was over to the idea that it should take it’s place among the greatest movies of all time and it didn’t live up to the hype.

The movie was very pretty and I loved the happy ending, but it was predictable to the point that it was just plain formulaic. An outsider gets thrown into an odd society that he hates and can’t understand at first, but then comes to love and considers himself one of them. I can’t come up with too many titles that match this at the point, but the first that pops to mind is “The Last Samurai” with Tom Cruise. Cruise plays a drunken soldier at around the turn of the 20th century or so and when his troops engage the legendary samurai throwbacks, he gets stranded amongst them. Eventually, he picks up Japanese, learns their ways and fights with them as they battle the Imperialistic force coming to wipe out their way of life. Cruise’s character even comes “home” and goes to live permanently with the Japanese samurai. This sounds painfully familiar…

What also annoyed me about the film was its similar to the Lost Tribe of Sith e-book series. I’m not sure which came first, but one of them ripped off the other. In Lost Tribe of Sith, the old sith (5000 BBY) get stranded on some planet that’s too far into the Outer Rim for them to signal for help and they end up living as gods amongst the locals who call them the Skyborn, which is the name for the locals’ deity. The locals, the Keshiri, are purple-skinned people who are deeply religious and have a group of warriors who ride these winged dragon type animals around the islands and etc. Eventually, some of the Keshiri realize that the aliens are not really their gods, The Skyboarn, and lead a massive aerial attack to drive the outsiders out of their mainlands and hopefully to their deaths. Again, terribly familiar…

Like I said, “Avatar” was great fun and very pretty, but the only thing that actually surprised me about the movie was that the first tree actually fell. I expected the tree to actually protect itself with the locals connected to it, but then the movie would’ve been over far too soon, so what was I thinking?

Anyway…I’ve rambled on far too long about nothing in particular. This was a fun Christmas overall. I got to play (aka: got killed a lot) Call of Duty with my step-dad and I think he enjoyed the gift. I got to sit and talk with my mother for a while, which I hadn’t done in a long, long time. I learned that one of my relatives was the so-called Church Lady Bandit who had been robbing banks for close to five years (yay family…) and I watched a simple and predictable, but fun movie with my mother.

I’d like to get some writing done either this morning or later tonight and it would be a really beautiful thing if I could finish this chapter before I went back to Ohio. It would be the best Christmas gift I could get for myself…ever!

 

T’was a few hours before Christmas travel Friday, December 24, 2010

Filed under: Writing — kaitco @ 12:18 pm
Tags: , , , , , ,

I wanted to get in a little writing this morning since I’m typically bad at getting any real writing completed when I’m traveling.

I edited much of what I’d written these past ten days or so and ended up writing 284 words to get right up to a previously edited scene where Damen visits the Hanby library.

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: less than 500 words is barely an accomplishment when I have so far to go, but the point of this exercise is not to focus on word count, but to write something meaningful and keep writing.

The last seven days have been the perfect example of my failures of the past. I get down about whatever – the weather, the writing itself, my finances, my friendships, my family, whatever – and I lose focus and end up going six weeks without writing anything at all. I think that’s why Damen has taken me now three years to complete.

With Flight, I was very focused on what I wanted to do and the writing helped me transition into a new job and finish school. Damen has been my first project where I am striving for multiple things simultaneously and the opportunity to lose focus is great.

I want my second job to be my first and only job, but at the same time, I still want my current first job to be all that it can be and more. I’m not sure if it’s ambition or madness, but it’s what I want.

The only thing really different about previous bouts of highs and lows when it comes my writing is that this time I felt accountable to myself…through posts just like this.

Each time I had to write “I wrote nothing last night,” I fully understood the magnitude of what had really happened; a day had passed and I was no closer to my goal because of my own sloth and lack of willpower.

Obviously, I’m nowhere close to finishing Damen, but unlike in past years, I not only feel like I’m on track, I think I may have found something to keep me going, even when I really, really, really want to quit. 🙂

 

A little bit more Thursday, December 23, 2010

Filed under: Writing — kaitco @ 11:08 pm
Tags: , , , ,

I managed to get in exactly 200 words this morning. Not an incredible feat, but far better than nothing.

I’m going on vacation and the urge to really slack off is great. I’ve been watching The Simpsons for days and days straight and I’m a little brain dead, but I liked what I got completed today.

I moved through the awkward period between when Damen finds Brit in Math Help and when he gets home and starts talking again. Normally, this kind of thing will keep me at a wall for weeks, but this morning went very well. I probably could have managed more than just the 200, but I spent close to 20 minutes pontificating about the nuances in Damen’s, Angel’s, Anthony’s and Brit’s personalities.

Oh well…at least I managed to get a little bit more written than I had the other day.

 

I have no excuse… Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Filed under: Dorienne — kaitco @ 10:06 am
Tags: , ,

…for not writing last night.

I think it was just a mix of still not having the desire and just plain fatigue. I have no hopes that tonight will fair any better, but hopefully I’ll make some progress on Job 1 that will inspire me enough to get going again on Job 2.

I have nothing else to say, but I’m on the Internet and had the need to express something in more than 140 characters. 😦

 

 
%d bloggers like this: