I am kaitco

a writer's log

Mental cleansing Thursday, June 23, 2011

The other night I had a mild epiphany and I decided that what I really needed was a mental and spiritual wash.

For months now, I’ve felt almost trapped in the mundane, wanting something I couldn’t articulate and unable to think clearly for more than 300 words at time. I’ve skipped church for nothing more than sheer laziness and I’ve skipped piano lessons for the same. I’ve let the housework pile and pile while I’ve played video games for days on end. Books have gone unread and unwritten and all the while, the days of my life float in and out of existence without anything meaningful for any of them.

I’ve become dirty; muddy with filth of sloth and ignorance and it’s time I simply took a bath.

For the rest of the month (less than 10 days because I know how I am), I’ve decided not to watch any TV (via Netflix or otherwise) and not to play any games outside of Zumba or DDR. This means no Rock Band for more than a week…heaven help me. The only thing I can watch are films on Netflix I’ve not before watched, so no re-watching About a Boy or Frasier for the rest of the month…Lord Almighty.

I’m also going to listen to just classical music and opera until July as well to give my mind the time it needs to ponder and wonder (it’s a shame those words don’t rhyme) and since I’m not watching TV or listening to music that “speaking” to me, I’ll be reading nightly to get that touch of characterization I seek each day. It’s only with a completely clear mind that I’ll be able to understand what’s wrong with the soul and why I can’t seem to strengthen my spiritual resolve.

There was a time when I was just so happy to be a Christian that church was the favorite thing in my life. Nowadays, I can’t remember the last time I went three full weeks without missing church. Shameful when I think about what I used to do. I used to be in two choirs and on the usher board and a second board and teach Sunday School and at the very least attend each week. I blamed part of my attitude towards church on my mother moving away, but two years later, there’s got to be more to it.

I keep getting these urges where I say I’ll read my bible every day and will start going to Sunday School again, but these too do pass. I’m in a spiritual rut and I know with three Sundays in July coming where I’ll be working instead of going to church, I know that if I don’t cleanse myself spiritually now, come August, my pastor and my church may have stopped wondering where I’ve gone.

So, it’s time to clean, to scrub and to peel away this rank odor of sloth and boredom. I’m not sure how successful I’ll be; I suppose Sunday afternoon, a prime day to lay around instead of going to church and then play Rock Band all day, will be the real test of my resolve.

This is about more than just getting the dishes or the laundry done, or trying to read my bible and play piano every day. This is about getting back to what makes me before I forget what the real me is like.

I wrote 407 words today (It’s time to get up) and I’ve made it more than 24 hours at this point with no Rock Band or Frasier. Just a few more days to go…and then becomes the real challenge keeping myself from slipping back into monotony.

 

An extraordinary night Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Filed under: Dorienne,Writing — kaitco @ 11:59 pm
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Tonight would have been an ordinary, boring night, if not for one thing.

I ate a mediocre dinner suitable for a college freshman and watched a movie I’d give, at best a C+…honestly, Tim Burton must stop remaking things like Alice in Wonderland, etc. before these image-heavy, story-lacking films start giving him a bad name.

What made the night interesting, however, was a call from my mother. I’m a bit sick and that’s something for which mothers are well known. My daily alarm advising me to write went off while I was on the phone with her and I told her why I had the daily alarm after she inquired. At the end of the call, though, she told me to a) get some rest, but also to “go write.”

I admit this didn’t set me into a tizzy of literary inspiration or vigor, but it did make me smile, at least on the inside, since I feel so rotten on the outside of myself. For most of my life, I’ve always thought she looked at my writing as a waste of time and talent that could be better spent elsewhere, but tonight she gave me a bit of encouragement to write. I have to say that I find that rather extraordinary.

I wrote 425 words tonight (speak to him again for the rest of the day) and finished another chapter of Damen. All in all, my mother made me feel quite extraordinary tonight.

 

A what infection?? Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Filed under: Dorienne,Writing — kaitco @ 11:49 pm
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When I think of ear infections, I usually imagine some four or five-year-old child whose parents weren’t taking particularly good care of them. So, when I receive a random pain in my ear and then, after being panic-stricken for three days thinking that it was the start of some horrible cancer, I’m told that I’ve got just an ear infection, I can’t help wondering what the hell I’ve been doing wrong to make this happen.

Apparently, I’ve been ignoring the varied states of sickness I’ve faced for the past month, working through just about everything and refusing to take medicine unless I’m incapable of breathing properly, and what had started out as a small viral infection in the throat simply shifted to my ears to get my complete attention.

It’s not the fact that I’m sick that pisses me off, but the fact that I’m only sick because I’ve refused to really rest when I’ve had the chance to do so. The week before last, I was on vacation and barely did anything productive and yet, I didn’t get as much sleep as I could have had and most likely needed and so here I am, with multiple antibiotics and praying that this doesn’t turn into something worse; the fact that the antibiotics are giving me some nausea and fatigue is not helping this stress either.

Mild sickness aside, I did manage some writing tonight and got in 261 words (if you wanted to expand outside of sketches). I should be wide awake given the amount of sleeping I’ve done today, but I’ll most likely read myself to sleep than do anything I really want to do tonight, like write, or play Rock Band…or write, or play Rock Band…or write, or play Rock Band…

 

Viva La Gloria! Monday, June 20, 2011

Filed under: Writing — kaitco @ 11:25 pm
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by Green Day ~ 21st Century Breakdown

I didn’t do much this weekend. I didn’t play much Rock Band, I didn’t finish the chapter, I didn’t go to church and I didn’t go to my piano lesson…like a punk and failure.

Despite being in a sour mood, I managed to do a fair bit writing tonight and wrote 603 words (and she nodded. “Yeah. That’d be nice), though I still didn’t finish the scene that now feels like it’s been dragging on for ages at this point.

I don’t know what I’ll do for the rest of the night as I’m in the mood for nothing but staring at a blank wall and trying not to think of all the talent I waste by doing nothing. The best thing of all is I’ve somehow got to muster the drive to go to first-job tomorrow…

 

Blank again Sunday, June 19, 2011

Filed under: Writing — kaitco @ 11:04 pm
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It’s odd to feel so drained and devoid of emotion and thought…so blank, especially after I’ve just spent some time researching some of Jackson Pollock’s art. I think one has to completely clear the mind to try and analyze art, but sometimes, it’s a bit difficult to get the engine started again.

I wrote 287 words tonight (at one another, but nodded simultaneously). I don’t know what I’ll do about my piano lesson tomorrow as I’ve not really had a chance to practice practiced much this week. I suppose I’ll just cross that bridge when I get there tomorrow.

 

Yeah, that’ll be fine. Saturday, June 18, 2011

Filed under: Writing — kaitco @ 10:54 pm
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So, I was thinking tonight about the line on which I decided to stop writing and about what, if anything, it says about the character who spoke it.

I’ve often found that the longer I write a character, the more they appear to take shape, not from my own previous notes about them, but from the way their dialogue flows and how they react to every other person around them. Rolling this line over and over in my head, I like to think that it portrays Grandpa Jack as accommodating and good-natured, but even as I read his whole line of thought to myself, I realize it says far more about him.

Grandpa Jack pursed his lips, but nodded. “Well, I guess it’s only fair. I know Jackie’s probably out there with new flowers at least once a month and I don’t know if you’ve ever even been since…Well, yeah. I’ll just have to run it by your grandma. Make sure we stop over at the flower shop before…Yeah, that’ll be fine.”

If there’s one thing I’ve realized while writing about Damen’s family, it’s that the death of his father has not only had a jarring effect on the family, but continues to be the source for simply heart-wrenching agony in a group of people who have some trouble releasing emotions without the boost of some device whether it is alcohol, anger or art. Grandpa Jack is in a lot of pain and while I think that he thinks he’s just being a loving and helpful grandfather, all that pain scratches through the surface when one least expects it.

I wrote 348 words tonight (Yeah, that’ll be fine.”) and wrote early since I could sense a case of the “I don’t wannas” coming. What’s interesting though, is that I can still be surprised by my own characters as I’m writing them. Somehow, that just seems backwards.

 

The Climb Friday, June 17, 2011

by No Doubt ~ Tragic Kingdom

I hate nights when I have to work for someone else. The day never drags as long as when I know I’ve got stay even longer than I normally would. On a Friday, especially, I don’t want to be there half the time and to stay at first-job until close and then shooing out those who don’t seem to want to go home on a Friday evening is most soul-sucking aspect of my week. That said, Season Eight of Frasier has arrived today, so I know I’ll perk up in just a bit.

Speaking of Netflix, as much as I adore them, they’ve got an angry call coming their way. I order my Netflix queue so that I receive a season of a show and a movie, five discs total, each time I get something in the mail. For the past four of five rounds, they’ve been skipping that last disc in the series and sending me the next movie in the queue. Then I later get an apologetic e-mail stating that my intended disc wasn’t available and would arrive a few days later. It’s great that they have the courtesy to send me an extra disc while I’m waiting for the one I wanted, but it’s absolutely irritating when it comes to a show that likes to end the series on a cliffhanger. I knew what was coming at the end of Frasier seventh season, so I didn’t even open the envelopes until the last disc arrived because I knew I’d be pulling out my own hair in frustration that I couldn’t watch the last three or four episodes of the season for another day or two.

Speaking of companies I both love and loathe, Harmonix have got quite the racket going and I’ve managed to get sucked into the act of checking the Rock Band site daily and growing wild with anticipation at the thought of new DLC for Rock Band. I only want three of the next six songs coming and they’re not even my favorite music, but I can’t think of anything else I want more in life at the moment. How did this happen?? Two months ago, I would have scoffed loudly at the idea of paying 2 dollars for songs I already owned, but now I’m fervently awaiting the moment when I can readily hand my funds to Micro$oft and Harmonix. It’s a good thing I fear getting kicked off Xbox Live too much to research pirating RB songs because honestly…

I went into another tangent while writing tonight, though I think this one may make the cut. In a story that supposed to take place between end of August 2007 and end of May 2008, I’m up to end of November 07 and I’m a good 100K words into it already. I’ve also got some rather lengthy side stories to lead in and then uncover between now and the end which means this thing will be close to Flight length before all is said and done. How I’ll ever wrangle my wordiness I’ll never know, but tonight’s deviation is a good piece of foreshadowing for a character who life I keep ending and bring back with each edit.

I’m not sure what I’m trying to say about Amber, but she, like Brian and Zach and Andy, has been a part of the story since close to its inception and, while I’m not entirely sure she does much more than add some melodrama to the story, I still enjoy writing her. Amber’s personality is like the antithesis of myself; lacking any sense of self-esteem and obsessed with what she’ll never be. Damen mentions when he first sees her that she’d be almost pretty if she didn’t work so hard to look like Jessie, but since she does, to the point of bleached hair and blue contacts, it manages to make her very ugly, which is why it’s important to paint her as not so much a mean or horrible person like Jessie, but just a sad and confused young girl.

Learning from my mistakes with Jonathan Halloway in Flight, if I want my audience to feel a certain way about a character, I’ve got to manipulate it early so that when they do some daft things, said actions will be the result of the stress I’ve put on the character rather than just the same old thing. It’s a bit of a side-track at this juncture in the novel, but I think I’ve given her just enough depth to make my reader really consider her.

I wrote exactly 300 words (to Aunt Jackie watching the others play football) tonight <> and I’m in the mood to write more, but I’ve got new hobbies and TV calling. I will say this, however. Even though it was less than 5 minutes total, I did play the piano for a bit earlier this morning. It wasn’t enough for a full practice, but enough to get my mind working the right way again.

 

 
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