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
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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.


Race to 100 Monday, February 21, 2011

Filed under: Writing — kaitco @ 11:59 pm
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I had originally intended on only writing to 100 words, but then I got into the groove a little despite all the pain running through my arms, legs and back and got to 271 words (not fond of my only child living an ocean away).

I played DDR today for more than an hour. I burned 500 calories on DDR Max and then another 500 on DDR Max 2, though I really struggled on the last 300. I haven’t had any real exercise in more than a month and the entire ordeal took a lot out of me, hence the pain I now feel ringing throughout my entire body.

I had to do something though; I ate an entire dish of mac and cheese on my own and I couldn’t not work out after that.

I’m much too tired to say much else other than that I’m tired and will be spending the rest of the night playing Force Unleashed and then drifting to sleep.


If I ever needed a break Sunday, February 20, 2011

Filed under: Writing — kaitco @ 11:46 pm
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…it would be tonight.

I’m feeling so lethargic that I’m barely in the mood to post. I just want to play the sims and wish that I knew no one else in the world. That way, I wouldn’t have to suffer when bad things happened to the people I loved because there would be no one else.

I wrote 146 words today (Ah! Mr. Eisengardner has returned to us) and I was lucky to get them.

I just…
need a break…
from life.


Writing myself to death Saturday, February 19, 2011

Filed under: Writing — kaitco @ 11:58 pm
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Yesterday, I decided that I would just write a bit since I was home early and then after I’d written “a little,” I would go do other things with the rest of my night. The problem was that “a little” turned into a little bit more and a little more and then, a little more until I had written straight up to 11:55pm.

I had also planned to have a relaxation splurge dinner since I’d done so well on my diet this week, but since I spent the entirety of the evening writing, I never got this dinner and never got ANY dinner yesterday. Needless to say, when I awoke this morning, I was so weak I could barely move. I simply did not have enough energy to propel me out of the bed or to walk. Even when I did manage to get up, I was dizzy and had trouble moving my arms, not out of fatigue, but just weakness.

I’ve said it before: I’ve given up family, friends and, at times, religion, to get this book written and now, it is beginning to take its toll on my health.

I wrote 533 words tonight (make his PC class move any faster.) and I think it’s time that I take my own advice and slow down a bit. What difference does it make if I starting sending the novel two weeks into June or the first week of July? Right now, I don’t even have a goal completion date anymore. I just want it finished since I feel like I’m so close and, while I don’t want to lose my momentum, I don’t want to have to take a super extended break from all writing to get my strength back after months of writing away my life.

This book will get finished and I will make it a piece of art very dear to me. I just need to have a little patience today to be ready for the blessings coming tomorrow.


Brendon’s Camera Friday, February 18, 2011

Filed under: Artwork,Writing — kaitco @ 11:59 pm
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by Brendon Small ~ Home Movies Bonus CD

I can no longer come up with decent titles again.

Well, since I have been writing since I got home this evening, I managed 2516 words (me mad and I just blurted out whatever.”) which should make up a bit of my non-writing yesterday.

I did another sketch. This time I tried to create Ben’s body as well as that of another manga-ish character. It was mediocre at best, but I think if I keep practicing, I may have something worthwhile.

I haven’t got much else to say other than I’m finally at the part when Damen and Brit are getting to know each other. Such fun! 🙂


iDraw Thursday, February 17, 2011

Filed under: Artwork,Favorite,Writing — kaitco @ 11:59 pm
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I’ve been watching a lot of “InuYasha” lately and it has got me thinking alot about drawing and learning Japanese again. Mostly the former; I think the latter is a project best left as a reward after I send Damen off for rejections letters.

My father is an artist and it’s long since irritated me that I haven’t inherited too much of his talent in the visual arts. I have tried to play this off by saying that I am a literary “artist,” but when I struggle to do something as simple as draw a face or eyes, I feel like a total failure.

Anyhoo…early this morning, I was bit by the drawing bug while “InuYasha” was playing in the background and put cheap pencil to paper. I started, like my protagonist, by drawing an eye. I’m not entirely sure whose eye this is since I’ve not moved onto colour yet, but I’d like to call it “Jessie Eye” since it looks really striking.

From “Jessie Eye,” I did some searching on drawing tutorials, etc. and had the strong desire to draw a manga face, particularly Kagome from “InuYasha.” I know I didn’t really capture her and, honestly, there’s no way to tell who it is since most manga/anime characters look identical, so I call this one “Manga Face” for now.

Once the manga bug dug a little deeper in my skin, this sensation to truly create something original arose within me and I decided to recreate my character Ben as a manga character. Ben is one of two main characters in a comic I created called “Little Green Men.” I created it and have been drawing Ben and his counterpart Al, in “Little Green Men” since I was about ten years old and completely enamoured with “The X-Files.” And, so I set to work to make Ben into a manga for “Ben revisited.”

Sometime, somewhere, somehow I’ll find an image of the way Ben originally looked and load these side-by-side for comparison. I have to say, I like Ben as a manga and I think this was part of my main rationale for not progressing with “Little Green Men” as my own little webcomic for fun. I can barely draw as it is, and while the writer in me can come up with some great wit and sarcasm for a comic, my inability to draw anything better than a fourth grader kept my pencil in the cup. Mostly, it seems like I’ve always known how Ben and Al were supposed to look, but I wasn’t sure how I’d draw people or how I wanted them to look, so I kept the whole project hold. Drawing Ben as a manga, however, has ignited a drawing fire in me that hasn’t been lit in…well, almost a decade at this point. The real interesting thing was not only did I recreate Ben as a manga, but I also inked him a little in Photoshop, like a real artist who knew what she was doing! 🙂

Needless to say, I gave up on writing for the rest of the night around 3:30am, but later in the day, I DID manage to write another 128 words in Damen (meanwhile the anthology’s still being well-received), which is a bonus either way.


Edit: My timing on this post was way off; I’m not sure what happened between 11:15 and 4am, but I definitely got lost in the middle on this one…


Silent Dialogue Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Filed under: Writing — kaitco @ 11:51 pm
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I had this vision of myself this evening. To put it simply, I was published and happy. Not exceedingly wealthy, but well off to the point that the second job was my only job. The vision faded quickly as did the urge to “completely finish the book tonight!” that it originally brought.

There are nights like tonight, when my head hurts and my stomach hurts and my eyes hurt and I’m just so tired, annoyed, generally irritated that I just can’t write dialogue. I just want to retreat from all human contact to the point that I don’t even want to hear the sounds of the fictional voices as I write them. I just want everyone to shut up for once.

That said, I need to write and I know I need to push through the pain and the fatigue to reach my goal, but it’s night when I’m pushing hardest that it becomes most difficult to write dialogue.

Normally, I love dialogue. The intercourse between two or even three characters can be and feel beautiful once it’s complete, but when I’m just not mentally “there” and I just don’t want to hear anyone, writing dialogue is the most painful process known to literature.

I wrote 396 words (throwing the occasional glance over his shoulder) tonight, which is great considering I wanted to stop at 7 words.

I think I’m just happy that something’s almost over; the night, the book, the diet, the life, whatever.


Still not enough Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Filed under: Writing — kaitco @ 11:58 pm
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I finished Chapter 10 just after midnight this morning, not long after I finished the previous days’ post. I also managed to write a total of 3495 words today (I had to say something), which may be a new one-day record on a day when I’ve had to go to first-job. I not only finished Chapter 10, I wrote more than 2000 words into Chapter 11 and am well on my way to doing even more tonight. Somehow, though, I feel even all that still isn’t enough for me.

This evening, I kept trying to find a good stopping place and several times told myself “You can stop. You’ve written more in one than you have in days.” but I could not shake the feeling that I had not written enough; that I could always do more.

It’s an odd feeling and the feeling feels like…actually, I don’t know. My mind suddenly went blank.

I guess 3500 words was enough.


Define wasting a day Monday, February 14, 2011

Filed under: Writing — kaitco @ 11:59 pm
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On whole, I’d call my weekend relaxing and that’s what I’ll say if anyone asks me how my weekend was. If I’m honest with myself, however, I’d have to say much of this weekend has been a big waste.

I didn’t finish Chapter Ten and while, I’ve watched a ton of “InuYasha” and “Seinfeld” over these last 48 hours, I haven’t done anything particularly significant. On top of that, I didn’t do any housework and I blew my diet yesterday and was up .6 pounds today and will likely see more tomorrow. I’m not depressed about this weekend, but I’m not inspired much by it.

The only good I really got accomplished was going to church, which shouldn’t feel like as much of an event as it does. It should just be something that regularly happens and I shouldn’t have to pat myself on the back for getting there when I do.


I did manage to write 718 words tonight (the sound the mockingbird made as it hit the tree.), so I won’t call the day a complete waste, but then again, how do I truly define waste when I’ve spent the bulk of today watching “InuYasha” and playing the sims…?


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