I am kaitco

a writer's log

Long days Monday, February 28, 2011

Since I made it to church on a day when they handed out the next month’s church calendar, I was moved with the urge to update the church website, which had needed work since at least September 2010! Once I begin coding, however, I enter this phase where I want to edit every page I’ve ever created on the Internet and so, made updates to my main site, added a blog post to my Dorienne’s Log (albeit it was copied from this one, but it’s hard to write for two separate blogs like that) and also added an awkward post to my diet “journey” blog.

At the end of all these updates, I still felt like there was something better I should have been doing with my time…like writing.

A long while I ago, I realized that every word written in an online forum was one word I wasn’t writing in my novel. This helped me break some of my obsession with posting to SVU, X-Files, Sims and whatever else was under the sun forums, but I still get sidetracked quiet easily and quite often. It doesn’t take much.

Today’s sidetrack and long-dayness was part wonderful and part annoying. The wonderful part was meeting little baby Reagan – so wonderful! The annoying part was waiting to get my braids done. All in all, my long day has ended well, especially since I was able to wrap some notes made earlier in the day into some worthwhile prose and dialogue.

Today, I managed to write 2413 words (he could hear the entire conversation). Tomorrow, is March 1st and so I need to set another goal for the month.

January 2011 was just posting something every day to hold myself accountable. February 2011 has been about writing something every day. March 2011 will be about…

…word count. I know myself very well, however, and I have no desires to see myself fail for something as simple as not reaching a word count when I’ve come this far. In four months, I’ve completed nearly seven chapters wheres it took eleven months of 2010 to write three and a half, so in the spirit of not deterring myself, but keeping the momentum going, I’ll set the goal at 250 words a night.

I want to eventually say to myself that the goal is to stop using the “500 less” tag for a month, but just being able to say that I’ve gone 28 days without using the “None” tag is something and I don’t want the little goals to hinder the big ones. As my pastor would say, I need to remember to keep the main thing, the main thing.

 

Sweet baby Rea! Sunday, February 27, 2011

Filed under: Writing — kaitco @ 11:59 pm
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Some friends of mine welcomed their first child this evening. I’m so excited to meet her that I half want to drive up to the hospital tonight, but I can wait until morning. 🙂

I went to church today (eventually), which was good because I needed to put in a full eight hours on a day I really shouldn’t be working. I almost didn’t go at all, but knew I couldn’t pass on my first-job work another day, so I did the adult thing to do and went to church and work.

I wrote 626 words tonight (Uncle Anthony’s kids,” Britiana sighed) and I’m coming to a really great part of the novel as I close Chapter 11.

Until tomorrow…

 

In vain Saturday, February 26, 2011

One of the more fascinating things about writing a novel is crafting the personalities and voices of the many characters that appear on the page. What I find simultaneously enjoyable and frustrating is the physical act of creating dialogue that I could never even imagine myself saying.

In Damen, this comes about most often while writing Corey. Corey is crass, blunt and curses like the proverbial sailor, yet when I write dialogue, I often need to whisper the words back to myself to make sure they make sense, and when a character is so unlike myself that it’s rather sickening, I feel dirty even writing what he would say. That is to say, I used to feel dirty when writing Corey’s dialogue. I’ve now grown accustomed to it and can easily separate my own voice from Corey’s. Damen, however, is far different.

To make him a character all on his own, I gave him “life” by giving him small pieces of my own personality. Since Damen is not an autobiography, however, he is a completely different person with a voice and history all his own. I go to church often (not as often as I could and should, but we’re all Christ’s works-in-progress) and I try to thank God for all His gifts every day of my life. Damen, on the other hand, rests somewhere on the line between agnostic and plain atheist. So much has happened in his life that make him doubt that a creator could have any hand in the machinations of his world and the fact that he has had none of the religious reinforcement that many others his age would experience, has tainted him even further against God and all religion. And so, he when he swears (and when he’s still reeling in Corey’s influence, it’s very often), Damen will often use the Lord’s name in vain.

My mind and heart make great conflict over this. The mind says that words on a page are simply that and as long as I don’t go around screaming “Godd***t!” all the time, I remain clean. On the other hand, the heart that helped me walk out into the church aisle years ago, crying as I went to the altar to join the church, knows that it is wrong to use the Lord’s name in vain in any context. If I’m writing it, I’m saying it, even if I do skip over those words and phrases as I whisper dialogue back to myself and thus the battle continues.

This reminds of when my 16 century Brit-Lit class was studying “Faustus” and the effect of being an actor in the play during a time when folks were far more religious than they are now. The actor playing the titular character would have to call upon the devil to make Mephistophilis appear and whether one is acting or not, there is still that innate worry of “calling upon the devil.” While I have stopped blatantly swearing and using God’s name in vain years ago, the mere acting of writing such dialogue is difficult to the point that I go through four or five waves of typing and backspacing as I decide whether or not to have Damen think “Jesus Christ!” in a moment where he is clearly not praying. Even typing that last sentence used to get across my point gave me pause.

I can’t say that I’m completely indoctrinated as I have only come to the church in the last five years and had written off myself as an agnostic prior to that, but I must say, each time I’ve got a choice between staying true to my character and saying what I know to be wrong to say, I struggle…a lot.

I wrote 626 words tonight (his first extracurricular conversation about a novel since his father had passed) and when a moment called for Damen using God’s name in vain, somehow my heart took control and I’m glad I found a better way to say I wanted. That said, I’ve still a lot of Damen’s character to unleash and eventually, I’ll be pressed with the same battle again.

 

A little poetic Friday, February 25, 2011

Filed under: Writing — kaitco @ 11:44 pm
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Tonight, the prose I managed to write came off as almost poetic. Not since last week have I felt this rush of energy that comes with prose that flows as naturally and beautifully as dialogue and, for the first time in a while, I’m a little proud of what I’ve accomplished tonight.

That said, I’m a little under the weather and seek to return to the warmth of my sofa that only an electric blanket, a space heater and one of my grandmother’s many quilts made especially for Dorienne! can bring.

I wrote 220 words (with a harsh huff and falling into his bed) tonight and I don’t feel simply lucky to get them as I have in the past, but rather, I’m glad that I wrote them.

 

Too long Thursday, February 24, 2011

Filed under: Writing — kaitco @ 11:14 pm
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Proof I’m taking too long to get anywhere with this chapter: I read over my notes and found the line “Did you take our advice Day?” and had to go back over several pages to determine what that advice was and how and when it was given, even though I eventually didn’t use the line at all. Lame…

I made it to 311 words tonight (and a diamond glittering her from her navel), which is a jump from the past few days, but still not where I need to be. I have a feeling this little hump will pass soon…if I can just keep pushing.

The month of February is almost over, yet I think I can hold my head high. I have posted every single day and I have written something in Damen each day as well. I have also lost 13 pounds and religiously use a food tracking app to stay conscious of what I eat. I have even begun exercising again, though my ankles and now my knee seem to be hating me for all that and I am in the final phases of getting a step further in my career at first-job.

February 2011 has been a great month for me, though I’m not sure I’m ready to pump up my writing goals just yet. I have some life goals to hit first (aka: actually finish all the laundry I have rather than remain in a continuous cycle of using my library as an extra closet), but if January and February have been any indicators, I’m going to do just fine.

The interesting thing is that I’ve long since said that I do better in even years than in odd ones, but I’m not complaining, yet. I’ve got a ways to go in 2011 and there’s plenty of time for this odd year to live up to past ones.

 

The blinking cursor Wednesday, February 23, 2011

For what seems like the entire month, but may have only been the past three or four days (to be honest I’m too lazy to open another tab to check the main page as I type), I feel as if I’ve spent each evening just trying to get to over a hundred words so I can stop.

This has really been the most difficult 23 days I’ve experienced personally. Not that I’ve had any real problems in the past month, but the sheer stress of ensuring that I write something, even when I don’t to write combined with this diet is starting to eat away at my sanity.

I keep having visions for throwing the laptop out the window and then going to Taco Bell and ordering four cheese quesadillas (with tomato and onion), two cheesy bean and rice burritos and a Pepsi so big I could take a bath in it. I’m on the cusp of simply breaking…but on I press.

I wrote 182 words tonight (but his grey eyes still made him nervous); 100 words here, 100 words there. It doesn’t seem to matter much, but I know it is still 100 words more than I had the previous day and 100 words closer to saying “there was nothing left to say” if I even want to leave that as a last line when all is said and done.

The worst part about writing when I don’t want to, is staring at that darn blinking cursor. I rarely need to view it long since I usually have some notes before me and know where I desire to go with the rest of the scene, but there are nights, like tonight, where I simply have no idea and since I’m not in the mood to write, I can’t even come up with something to satiate my writing goals for the evening.

So, I just have to stare at that long blinking line, taller than the text around it and feeling like a baseball bat hitting me between the eyes as it pops in and out of existence on a white background. God, I hate it.

Walls and blocks aside, I got something written today and, after the day I’ve had at first-job, I’m happy to get it.

 

Bleh… Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Filed under: Writing — kaitco @ 11:47 pm
Tags: , , , , , , , ,

The other day, I was telling myself that in March I would step up the writing a bit by putting a mandate on my word count and ensure that I wrote no less than 500 words and would not use the “500 less” tag for the entire month.

As I struggle to sit upright because of all the DDR I played yesterday, however, I am thinking that the 125 words (known for far longer than a few days.) I managed is really the best I can do for now.

 

 
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