I am kaitco

a writer's log

Anytime Thursday, March 31, 2011

Filed under: Writing — kaitco @ 11:07 pm
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by Brian McKnight – MTV, The First 1000 Years: R&B

I haven’t really got anything significant to say this evening and I’m feeling kind of blank. I will say that in many ways writing has become more of a chore than something I’m truly enthused about doing lately.

I know that everyday, I have to write. I don’t have a choice. At this point, it seems as if the world could collapse upon itself if I didn’t write at least 250 words in a single day and I know I’m in need of a long break. The problem with breaks, however, is that I’ve been breaking for much of the past three years when it comes to this book, which is why it is April 2011 and I’m still trying to complete my first draft. What’s even scarier about breaks is that I wrote Flight in barely a third of the time and it was twice as long.

I wrote 306 words tonight (same height as he heard in the lunchroom.) and, though I’m just chugging along as I go further into Chapter 14, I’ve got to keep pressing.

I’m in severe need of a break from writing. Writing in this blog, writing this novel, writing at first-job, writing anything. But…I’m not going to take one.

As I came to the conclusion today that writing had become more of a chore, I also remembered that this is the only life I’ve got and I’ll have all of eternity to break and rest. This time and this life is for work and my work in my writing.

 

Priceless Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Filed under: Writing — kaitco @ 11:55 pm
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Two weeks of searching on Craigslist: $0
E-mails back and forth with a Craigslist seller: $0
Two Rock Band guitars (1 I plan to sell on Craigslist myself), another copy of Rock Band 2 and a set of Rock Band drums: $60
Going back to the meeting place to get the drumsticks the seller forgot: $0
The emotions running through me at the thought of a complete Rock Band set: Priceless

I got a ton done at first-job today and I wrote 380 words tonight (the only food he had packed for himself for lunch.), yet all my thoughts are on Rock Band and playing my drums. I’ve been planning out the best songs to download for the game and nearly all spare thoughts have been on this game. Hence the brevity of this post, since it’s obvious how I’ll be spending the majority of my night.

 

Chapter 14 Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Filed under: Writing — kaitco @ 11:59 pm
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This last chapter kind of sneaked up on me over these past few days. I guess I didn’t register how much was written while I was simply writing from goal to goal each day, but I surprised myself by completing Chapter 13 tonight.

It feels like I’ve awakened from a long dream in terms of writing. I’ve been writing this scene where Damen remembers an incident with his mother for days and days and I’ve grown so accustomed to writing such terse, abbreviated first person prose that writing “real” prose feels like coming back to reality again.

In coming upon a new chapter, I’ve realized two things: 1) I’ve got a ridiculous amount of cutting ahead of me 2) I’ve got to nail down what Angel’s drug of choice is before I go further. I’m leaning towards heroin at this point, but because I’m not drug savvy, I’m not sure what else there is. At one point, I wanted her to also have done crack, but a part of me feels like she’s so much better than crack…as if I would know either way.

I don’t know what I’m going to use to keep me going tomorrow as I plan to spend a minimum of 12 hours at first-job tomorrow and possible into 13 hours. I’ll definitely fit in my 250 words in the morning and plan to post briefly from there, but if I don’t pull a few all-nighters, I’ll be there on Sundays again, which is the last thing I want.

I wrote 308 words tonight (during the brief moments Angel was awake) and I thank God that I could get them considering all I’m trying to accomplish this evening. On to tomorrow!

 

Music! Monday, March 28, 2011

Filed under: Music — kaitco @ 11:41 pm
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I started piano lessons today! 🙂

A few weeks ago, while playing Rock Band, it occurred to me that I needed a new creative outlet. Rock Band, while very fun, isn’t really creative; it is simply hit this button at this time and I don’t know enough about the guitar to just start freestyling.

My normal creative outlet has now become more of a second job than just an outlet; it is something that must get done no matter how badly I don’t want to do it. I am still creative when I write, but the ability to be creative just because I desire to be such has been nearly wiped away as I strive to complete this novel.

I can barely draw as it is and, even when I am inspired to create, my talents to not transfer into the visual arts, so whatever I create never looks like the image in my mind. Rather than take art or guitar classes or let my focus move from my novel, I’ve channeled this need for creativity and focus into the instrument that has sat unused and unloved at the end of my living room for the past four years.

I wrote just 286 words tonight (she crosses the double yellow line, just barely missing another car), but still, I feel life’s puzzle pieces falling into place.

I have an extraordinary way to go as I continue this new endeavor, but I like the thought of it already: Starting each day with a little piano practice to keep me relaxed and put me in the right mindset for the day I’m about to face.

 

Decisions Sunday, March 27, 2011

I make a lot of stupid choices a lot of the time. Some are born out of a lack of insight while others come from just plain laziness.

I’ve been trying to justify my purchase of a second laptop and third PC since I bought it last night and while I know the immediate gratification it will bring once I bring it home and create the mock television setup I’ve dreamed about for years, I know it was a poor decision to buy now. But, I really wanted it and desired a gift for myself and found it a fairly decent price and with 18 mos zero interest, it feels like a bad decision, even though when I think of it in the long term.

I spent the majority of the day playing games: Rock Band, Fable II and Lego Indy’s demo. I could have been doing so much more with my time, but I played some games instead…and didn’t even get that many achievements on top of it.

I went to sleep last night while baking some mac and cheese. I woke up this morning thinking, “Dang. I forgot to put my mac and cheese in the fridge last night.” Then, I remembered that I had no recollection of even taking the dish out of the oven or even turning off the oven. By the grace of God alone, I didn’t burn down the house, but I wasted ten dollars on the mac and cheese that had been burnt for so long it nearly evaporated – I didn’t really know that noodles could liquefy…

I make a lot of poor decisions often, but today I’m still proud of myself. While I didn’t get to Sunday School for the full class, I made it for the last twenty minutes and even bought myself a new teacher’s manual. I know I’m not ready to teach again, but just being where I belonged was an experience in itself.

I wrote 302 words tonight (I feel her friend’s hand; still warm.), still focused on Damen’s experience with his mother’s drug abuse and even though, I haven’t written over 500 words in nearly a week if not more, I’m not depressed about it. I’m still writing.

I haven’t missed a post in 2011 and I haven’t gone a day without writing in Damen since February 1st. Like I said, I make a ton of poor decisions, but this year, I think I can say that I’ve made at least one right choice.

 

A lousy Christian Saturday, March 26, 2011

Filed under: Favorite,Writing — kaitco @ 11:56 pm
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I added a bunch of my notes from the Notes app to my Awesome Note app today and I was able to see a quick view of all the days where I took notes on my phone during church service. Ideally, I should see consistent organization with 4 or 5 notes per month, but I don’t see that…not even close.

There are huge gaps all over the place, sometimes for weeks at a time and I have no recollection of what could have happened in September 2010. Just weeks and weeks where I had missed church for one reason or another, none of them for any meaningful reason.

Looking at these notes and gaps makes me realize just how lousy a Christian I’ve been over this past year. I’ve got just 41 notes from end of November 2009 through last Sunday. There are 52 weeks in a year and excluding two weeks for Christmas vacations, I’m missing a lot of time.

I’m going to make every effort to make it to Sunday school tomorrow morning. I’ve got to do something to get me out of this slump I’ve been facing for the past two weeks and, if writing in this blog has taught me anything about myself, I need to depend on my faith more often than I do.

I wrote 264 words tonight (Mom,” I say. “Mom…please. Wake up.) and they are part of a very dark part of the story as I delve further into the demons chasing my protagonist. Before I let this slump dive into a full blown depression, I’ve got to stop being such a lousy Christian.

 

200 in 10 Friday, March 25, 2011

Filed under: Writing — kaitco @ 11:59 pm
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I suppose tonight was more like 250 in 9, but the 200 and 10 just look better together.

I raced to get to my word count tonight because I totally failed this evening and almost didn’t write anything at all today. I managed 253 words (I just read another page of Phantom Tollbooth and hope she’ll be done soon.) tonight and I owe it mostly to coming to a point where I let Damen speak in first person.

I go through waves where I’m unable to write first person and then it’s all I can write. Tonight, seemed like the latter. I can’t say I’ll continue to write for the rest of the evening though. Lego Clone Wars calls and I must answer it. 🙂

 

Build 2 Thursday, March 24, 2011

Filed under: Favorite,Music,The Sims,Writing — kaitco @ 11:58 pm
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I’ve been playing a game in The Sims franchise for the last eight years and, while I spend the majority of my “free time” playing The Sims 2, I’ve edited my Sims 2 game to play the “Build” music from The Sims 1.

In the first Sims game, when you were building houses or making structural changes to the lot, a very calm piano music would play, though it changed when you went to the “Buy Mode” in the game. I spent countless hours in Sims 1 just building houses because I loved to simply create and listen to the beautiful music.

The Sims 2 brought its own brand of techno-something music that crossed every mode from Create-A-Sim to building and early on in my Sims 2 playing, I changed all the music over to the Sims 1 Build music. After realizing how much I enjoyed said music, I eventually ported it onto my iPod and then iPhone and even added some album art to it. Nowadays, most of the six Sims 1 Build Mode songs create the bulk of a playlist I call “Soothe Me” which I play when I’m in need of something to calm my mind. I also write to that list on occasion as well, which is why I’ve spent two hundred words of this post talking about it.

While listening to a song I only know as “Build 2,” I not only felt calmer than I had all day, I also wrote some really beautiful prose and was so in the zone with it playing, that I re-played it to keep the momentum going.

Tonight I wrote 260 words (and left the table to sit on the floor next to Angel) and I am calmer for it. I have no other desires for tonight, either; just to sit and listen my Sims 1 music and let my mind rest for the night.

 

A switch Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Filed under: Writing — kaitco @ 10:49 pm
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I can sense a cold coming on quickly and so, for the sake of comfort and doing what I want to do because I just don’t feel like “it,” I decided to get to my 250 words early and play Rock Band and Lego Clone Wars later.

As write these scenes where Damen cleans up after his drugged up mother, I think about the privileged life I’ve lived. My understanding of drug abuse comes almost entirely from my meager understanding of human behavior and from my imagination, but I put my characters through such horrific things, that I think the only humane thing I can do is to kill them or put them in a state where it is impossible for them to move forward in time.

After Damen has seen so much at a young age, I could never see him growing much older and becoming a productive member of society. It’s a very sad thought to carry as I write since all my preceding characters have had interesting lives before and after I’ve “visited” them in a project.

I wrote 290 words tonight (following the same steps he always had as a young boy.) and they may be some of the most psychologically depressing I’ve written up to the this point in my life. Still, I have to write the story that comes to me and just have to satiate my worries with the fact that these are fictional people that I have created.

 

Save often! Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Filed under: Writing — kaitco @ 11:58 pm
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All 275 words I wrote last night were gone within twenty minutes of writing them. I’m not as livid as I normally would be, which just goes to show how tired I am over all that’s been happening with first-job.

I’m not even sure how it happened either; I closed the laptop and then everything was gone. All the Word docs, Firefox, the explorer windows, everything. I didn’t bother trying to rewrite anything though. I knew the moment I saw that the autosave doc hadn’t auto-saved that whatever I had written was lost forever and there was no use crying over lost words.

I wrote 667 words tonight (the floor was the only thing keeping the rest of her body on the sofa) with an initial plan to write 550 (275 to cover last night and another 275 for today) and since I’m at the cusp of going into perfect detail about how Damen has had to take care of his mother through all her addictions, I’ve got this mental drive to keep pressing and writing for the remainder of the night. But, I won’t.

I’ve got Lego Clone Wars staring at me from my TV, angry that it’s been set on pause for so long that the Xbox controller turned off itself, so I know how the majority of my night will be spent. 🙂

 

All We Have Is Now Monday, March 21, 2011

by The Flaming Lips ~ Yoshimi Battles the Pink Robots

I’m doing my best to write from downstairs as I paused a The X-Files episode right in the middle of the Duane Barry/Ascension piece and long to go back to it, but want to continue my obligations to myself.

Today was a much better day than the days before it, but this evening as I set to write, it occurred to me that I’m coming in close to 60 full days where I’ve written every single day. Outside of breathing, I can’t think of a single thing that I’ve done every single day for 60 days straight, so I’ll have to mark my 60th day with something special.

The most interesting thing about watching The X-Files for me is that I can simultaneously watch an episode through my eyes as a 10-17 year old (depending on the season), yet still watch it as an adult. I remember noticing small details that I first noticed at 10 years old watching the show, but can then analyze them with 21st century 26 year old eyes. For example, Mulder is trying to find a particular park that Duane Barry mentioned after he “abducts” Scully and he reaches for some kind of book, I assume a phone book. At 10, I probably wouldn’t have understood what he was searching for or through, but at 26, my first thought was “Why doesn’t he just Google the…oooh.” Because then it occurs to me that in these episodes, it’s 1994 and Google is still a decade from existence.

All this said, when I think about The X-Files, I think about comfort. Watching the show is like wrapping an old, worn blanket around my shoulders and brings with it the sense that everything is going to be okay. I turn to many things in times of stress and depending on the level and how long and deep that stress has pressed, I may turn to different things. As far as turning to the Bible, that’s (as of this point in my life) for times when the darkness is so wide and deep, I doubt I’ll ever see light again (aka, someone has passed). I turn to writing when I can’t seem to think straight or can’t focus my thoughts on anything other than that which causes me strife, for example, an episode of SVU showed Olivia in a prison getting attacked by one of the guards. Not only was that episode unnecessary vivid, it also portrayed one of my own worst nightmares and I could barely function properly until I sat down and wrote a simple story about it, that is, I wrote out the stress.

Today, I’m neither so stressed that I feel the end is near, nor so stressed that I’m unable to focus on anything other than what is causing it, but I still feel the need to be comforted. Sometimes, I seek this comfort in watching an old TV show or movie, or reading a book or just plain creating new code for my website, but for this bout of stress, I’ve turned to the show I watched from childhood through adulthood. Their voices, no matter what they’re saying, soothe me better than any music and, even though I’m watching Mulder and Scully chase down flying saucers, the show has the same effect on me as my mother rubbing my back and singing the Kangaroo Song as she did when I was child.

Tonight, I wrote 275 words (Where is your mother) and even though I spent much of today reading about the improbability of ever getting published, I’m still glad I wrote.

 

The Potter’s House Sunday, March 20, 2011

Filed under: Dorienne,Writing — kaitco @ 11:59 pm
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From my DorienneSmith.com blog:

I wasn’t actually listening to the song tonight as I wrote but I thought the title fitting for this post. I’ve always adored the song because the lyrics just help me see that there’s always “someone” to help me in dire matters:

Verse 1:
In case you have fallen by the wayside of life;
dreams and visions shattered, You’re all broken inside.
You don’t have to stay in the shape that you’re in;
the potter wants to put you back together again,
oh, the potter wants to put you back together again.

Verse 2:
In case your situation has turned upside down,
and all that you’ve accomplished, is now on the ground.
You don’t have to stay in the shape that you’re in;
the potter wants to put you back together again,
oh, the potter wants to put you back together again.

Chorus:
You who are broken, stop by the potter’s house.
You who need mending, stop by the potter’s house;
give Him the fragments of your broken life,
my friend, the potter wants to put you back together again,
oh, the potter wants to put you back together again

Vamp:
Joy in the potter’s house.
Peace in the potter’s house.
Love in the potter’s house.
There is salvation in the potter’s house.
There is healing in the potter’s house.
There is deliverance in the potter’s house.
You’ll find everything you need in the potter’s house.

Ending:
The potter wants to put you back together again,
oh, the potter wants to put you back together again.

I went to church today and even got there a little earlier than I have in the past and I realized that when I’m struggling and depressed, for some reason the last thing I ever think of is turning to prayer to help “put me back together again.” I have my little prayers throughout the day or if I’m ever contemplating that one day, I’m going to die and transform into another state of energy and existence, but when I’m in most need of real, focused prayer, my mind is on everything else. I can never sit down and really think things through and have a full “conversation” with God to guide me through the frustration.

However, this is really just a personality flaw in that I hate asking for help…from anyone and this is the reason why it is important that I always attend church and make Sundays a day of rest. It’s only by going to “the potter’s house” that I feel complete again and can see everyone of my struggles and troubles in the proper light. I’m not sensible enough to pray the way I need to when I need to, so I need to go somewhere specific to forcibly give my thoughts the clarity needed to make strong decisions and still remain a child of God.

My struggles with first-job: totally insignificant. My priorities true priorities have not changed since before my career began to make these upward strides and I know I can’t allow first-job to deter me from them. I need to get back into the Word and read like I want to learn again and I need to shift my focus on being the writer I want to be. I’ve got too many distractions swimming around me and as hard as it is to say it, I’ve got too many “worldly” people in who I turn to instead of turning to prayer.

I wrote 305 words today (last words:then it’s one less thing you have to worry about) and every one of them was made only by the grace of God. I need to remember this every time I write and I need to renew my focus on not just getting through this era of my life as I march onward to my life goals, but to march onward as a Christian. So, I’m going to take the fragments of my broken life and hand them to the Potter because only He can put me back together again and make me Dorienne I’m meant to be.

 

740 Saturday, March 19, 2011

Filed under: Music,Writing — kaitco @ 10:26 pm
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When I get out of the car from the drive home from first-job, I can tell my level of frustration by whether or not I went the entire drive music-less.

On normal days, I put on any playlist in the car and just drive home to go about my night. On troublesome days, I specifically play my “Soothe Me” list which often helps calm my spirit since it is entirely classical and the lack of words helps clear my mind and wash away whatever happened earlier that day. On crappy days, I put on “Singeable” because it has a ton of songs I love to just sing until I’m too exhausted to stress about anything. On bad days, it doesn’t matter what list I play because the music plays, but I don’t sing along because my mind is too focused on everything else that happened during the day. On really bad days, I go the whole car ride with my mind racing so hard and so fast that I forget to even turn on music, but…when I get through the door, I can watch something on Netflix or have something to eat and still tune out everything else.

On days like today, however, I arrive in my driveway, unsure how I even got home because I don’t remember driving the distance, I certainly didn’t turn on any music and I’m so angry and frustrated that I pace in my kitchen and living room for thirty minutes running all the “I should’ve saids” through my mind, unable to quiet any of the negativity, to the point that I have to resort to “writing it out” for an hour straight to keep myself from having a stroke or brain aneurysm and passing away alone because no one would come looking for me for at least a week or two.

I wrote 740 words tonight (and Angel followed, still yelling after him), but the tension is still there. Normally, once I write out my stress and troubles, I feel infinitely better, but when it grinds so hard that it pushes away both sleep and appetite, it’s difficult for even a focused writing session to calm me. I think the worst part about feeling this way is the knowledge that I’ll have to do it all over again tomorrow.

 

Across the Stars Friday, March 18, 2011

Filed under: Writing — kaitco @ 11:49 pm
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as composed by John Williams ~ Star Wars: Episode II – Attack of the Clones soundtrack

Today was very rough at first-job. The kind of rough that makes me want to scream that I’m quitting and just walk out the door. Of course, I’m still rational enough not to do anything like that, but when first-job gets so stressful that it’s difficult to even think about my second job without complaining to my mother and playing Lego Star Wars for an hour first, it bothers me.

I should be in far better spirits tonight than I am, but because of some short-sightedness that is no fault of my own, the pressure is on and feel as if I’m ready to thrown in the towel on everything.

My choir director called me today since I’d missed singing with them on Sunday and I almost burst into tears right there in the middle of the floor on the phone because I just felt so bad. First-job was stressing me out last weekend as well, to the point that I plain forgot about singing at church. That bothers me too.

I don’t know if I’m in a rut and in need of a vacation or what it is, but even though I know that some relief may be coming soon as the light at the end of the proverbial tunnel, I know I’m still wandering around in the dark, bumping into things and swearing loudly as I do.

I managed 419 words today (He heard her giggle. “Night Damen-Mon.”) which puts me over my 250, but still does not feel like an accomplishment. I think it’s because I could have done more and would have done more…but first-job is kicking my butt so hard lately that I can’t bare to even sit down to write.

 

My Cheating Heart Thursday, March 17, 2011

Filed under: Writing — kaitco @ 11:27 pm
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I had to cheat a little to get this one in on time since I had a project to finish at first-job…which I didn’t finish. WordPress App saves all with drafts for the win! 🙂

My assistant at first-job left today, for good this time which is going to be a ton of work for me now. I’ll get through it but I know I’ll have a lot more of these close call nights than I did previously.

Why, oh why, didn’t I give myself some cushion yesterday??

I did make it to 264 words tonight (All bulls**t, I say.) though, it was a true race and clearly an exercise in allowing adrenaline to fuel creativity. Now, I’m so wired, I could almost finish the rest of the book on the same swig of energy…but, I’ll settle for a little bit of writing cushion and some Lego Star Wars instead.

 

 
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