I am kaitco

a writer's log

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
Tags: , , , , , , , ,

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
Tags: , , , ,

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. β€œNight 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
Tags: , , , , , , ,

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! πŸ™‚

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.

 

A favorite Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Years ago, when I was still coming up with the basic notes for Damen, I would brainstorm for hours which books Damen and Brit would read throughout the novel. I think I’ve changed the list a dozen times, but the one that’s always remained on the list is The God of Small Things.

I find it very difficult to sit down and say, “My favorite book is…” because different books affect me differently and thus, are “favorited” for different reasons. I enjoy The Silence of the Lambs on a whole different level from Persuasion or Animal Farm or Moth Smoke, so how can I honestly name a favorite book?

That said, if I had to name just one in the guise of only one book to read for the rest of my life, it may be The God of Small Things. I’ve never felt so many emotions from just one book and it was the first book I’d ever read and called “beautiful” immediately afterward, which is why it was a natural choice for my protagonist and his friend to use for bonding.

Right now in Damen, they are reading through it and it makes me want to pick it up and start reading all over again. I’m excited by their excitement which keeps me in the zone and keeps me wanting to just write until my fingers break.

I wrote 658 words today (bounced into the crowds on Locker Street with a smile on her face.) and for the first time in a while, I feel great about it. My stomach hurts so badly that I nearly cried out in pain on three separate occasions today, first-job is still not moving the way I want it, and my father’s in the hospital on his birthday.

Sigh…but I still feel good about what I’ve accomplished today.

 

Cuts Tuesday, March 15, 2011

I’ve decided to bring the whole chapter count down from 24 to possibly 22 upon reading what lies ahead for what was once Chapters 13 – 16.

I hadn’t been concerned with word count as I’ve been writing Damen since, in these last few months, it’s just been imperative to just write and get the thing done. After I finished Chapter 12 last night after midnight, I did a rough estimate of my word count and somehow ended up with 240K words by the end of Chapter 12 (12 chapters * 20K words each). Horrified, I quickly did brought up each of the previous chapters to get a more accurate estimate came to about 99K…which makes sense now that I think about it since it’s really 12 chapters at about 10K words each since I’ve got my chapter files divided into two chapters each…yay math!

I’ve definitely got my work cut out for me for the next few days as I try to reorganize and still write something meaningful. The whole thing about their homecoming dance is being trashed since I’ve passed so much time at this point and it’s not relevant to moving the plot forward. So, I’m left in this quandary as I get from the point where Damen and Brit decide to read The God of Small Things together to the point where Damen realizes what the N and NP means when Corey refers to Brit.

It doesn’t sound like too much time should pass for all of this to occur (maybe two weeks at most) and now I’ve still got to squeeze in Damen meeting Dana Barrington and then going to Thanksgiving dinner at his grandparents…thinking about this further, I may just have Damen spent Christmas with the Eisengardners instead, just to give me some more breathing room.

I spent half the night basically trying to re-write the notes for Chapters 13, 14 and 15 and, while I’m currently recreating what used to be Chapter 16, I wonder what other cuts and remixes lay ahead for me.

What’s fascinating is that I clearly remember relaxing for a bit some time in early October 2009, satisfied that I’d created worthwhile “heavy notes,” but now, I’m rather disappointed with myself. I think with Flight, it was just a matter creating the heavy notes and then the first draft from there, with little deviation from the completed heavy notes. The huge edits came as I was posting the chapters on svufiction.com or fanfiction.net, etc. As I analyzed how others saw my characters or the flow of the story, I altered some of my writing to flesh out pieces or characters that were moving in the wrong direction. All the shuffling taught me LOADS about characterization and helped me craft Corey how I have, but still I’m disappointed that so much editing is needed and I’m still on the first draft.

I think what may be happening is that since this is my real shot at a novel and I’m no longer teaching myself how Dorienne! writes a novel, I’m much more critical on the project and the desire for it to be not just “okay” but simply fantastic is strong. What troubles me most is that from here on forward, I’m afraid I’ll be stuck in the same tangle of re-editing my notes to make them coherent and fit with the previous changes I made. 😦

I finished Chapter 12 around 1am this morning at 245 words and then wrote another 35 into Chapter 13 to bring me up to 280 words for the day (and asked Angel for a ride to school). I’ve slowly fallen into a groove of writing my goal for the month of 250 words a day and have even set my daily Writing Alarm about ten minutes earlier to make sure I’ve got the time to write and post, but I have to say…even with so much progress in these last few months, Chapter 13 may just be the hurdle that causes my fall. Well…maybe these next three chapters are just going to be a b***h to write.

 

As the World Falls Monday, March 14, 2011

Filed under: Writing — kaitco @ 11:59 pm
Tags: , , , , , ,

by David Bowie ~ The Labyrinth soundtrack

I wrote 1103 words tonight (all this coming from a good man!), though I created another thousand more in notes alone which are usually shorter than normal prose or dialogue. I’ve decided to have a big rift between Brit and Andy that’s caused by her time with Damen and I think it may help explain some later behaviour.

Anyway…I’m intent on finishing Chapter 12 tonight, so I haven’t got much else to say. πŸ™‚

 

Post! Sunday, March 13, 2011

Saving the space for now…

Edit:
Hmm…I got so wrapped up in this conversation between Damen and Brit that I actually lost track of the time tonight. I mean, really wrapped up in it. I probably would have gone on writing for the rest of the night if I hadn’t happened to glance at the clock.

I wrote 649 words tonight (I got out of the habit when we moved) and had to stop mid-word to get in my post. I just love the conversations between Damen and Brit so much because I can see it so well. It’s a really exciting time in the novel as well since Damen is opening up to her about his father and about books without realizing that’s what he’s doing. The chapter is going to end on a dark note, but I’m still just so excited by this part of the novel that it’s difficult to think of anything else.

Oh well…hopefully, I’ll finish Chapter 12 tomorrow. I definitely feel calmer today than I have since Friday and I know I owe that to going to church. I totally forgot that I had to sing today, so I dawdled slightly when I realized it and arrived just as my choir was finishing their last song.

Normally, I love to sing with my choir, but my mind was so focused on everything else I’ve got going on that it was ten after 11:00 before I even remembered that we were supposed to sing today. I don’t have a problem with showing up late when I can just slide into a seat in the back, but joining the choir late is so tacky and I didn’t want to make the kind of spectacle that occurred that time I intentionally sat in the congregation instead of singing one Sunday. Still, I feel much, much better and I know that everything with first-job will work out according to God’s plan and that no matter what, He’ll take care of me.

Edit #2: Darn you, WordPress! How hard can it be to include something in the code to account for Daylight Savings time! My bad…

 

Sally’s Song Saturday, March 12, 2011

by Fiona Apple ~ The Nightmare Before Christmas soundtrack

I don’t have much to say about today.

I rewrote the entire scene where Brit and Damen first discuss some of Jessie’s darker deeds, but I think it’s much more fluid and less whiny than it was originally. I also capture Damen pretty well; it’s hard to explain how I made him appear less like a little jerk you want to smack and more like someone with some real depth, but I think I did it.

I’m not going to first-job tomorrow, half because I’m so stressed about it right now, it’s hard to think clearly, but mostly because I’d prayed about last week and I promised God that I wasn’t going to go. I’m tired of spending my Sundays there anyway and, since I’ve got nothing else to do on Monday, I’ll have a real weekend for once.

Chapter 12 is nearly done, though it’s a bit longer than the other chapters have been. Normally this wouldn’t bother me except, having just wrote all of it, there’s not a lot that I think could be cut unlike all the cutting I know I’ll be doing for Chapter 3. Either way, I like just being this much closer to having a whole draft.

I wrote 1202 words (and without revisiting the topic of Jessie Clarke) tonight since I started a little earlier in my writing because I knew I hadn’t made any cushion for myself yesterday. I’m not sure I will tonight either since all I want to do is be warm and beat my new Everest in Rock Band (Gimme Shelter – Rolling Stones, on Hard….grrrr!) and just not think about first-job or Japan or my FICO score or even Damen for the rest of the night.

Hmm…I guess I did have a little something to say about today. πŸ™‚

 

 
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