I am kaitco

a writer's log

Madness? In March? Wednesday, March 2, 2022

Filed under: Writing — kaitco @ 10:40 pm
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I’ve decided to try and write something every day this month. I only managed a handful of words yesterday (like 90), but this evening I got up to 1865, which is moderately respectable. The other day, however, I found myself in a very odd place that doesn’t come around often for me: facing a block.

It’s reasonable to say I’ve got a war chest of book ideas and projects. Several years ago, I chronicled writing Damen here, then Anne occasionally got some notice, and of course, Flight was ever/is ever at the forefront of my mind. Currently, there’s Nostrum and Teyrrah, but there’s even projects that haven’t been given nicknames yet, and even more that are still simply small notes and ideas in Evernote. I probably have more ideas than I have life to bring even a 10th of them to light. As there are so many ideas floating around in this head of mine, I’ve rarely faced a block since I started to write stories when I was eight years old. There’s always been something to write, some part of some story to tell.

Monday, however, presented me with a block. I sat down with the intention to write, and I even spent a half an hour just reading through notes to figure out about which part of a story I wanted to continue, but nothing came to me. So many things to write and so many stories to tell, yet nothing came to me. Perhaps it was because I had my KaitcoTV going on in the background instead of music. Perhaps it was just fatigue or stress. Maybe my mind just needed a break from constant bombardment and activity and plain noise. Maybe I’m just getting old…? Whatever the cause, it was a bit worrying.

A friend told me that I was a pencil pusher living with a wildly creative mind. There’s some truth to that. My father was an artist and was constantly creating, but my mother was the one who raised me and she has always been the ever-striving business woman. I’ve got a constant battle going between nature and nurture with external noise trying to drown out both, and the other day, all the battling parties left me with nothing to say.

Obviously, the block was short-lived and I can’t discount just plain laziness at its core, but the block gave me a pause. Will I have more blocks? What will I do if I find myself unable to continue the story? I’ve spent nearly 30 years writing stories. What else am I if not a storyteller? Questions, questions, questions. Maybe if I keep asking the questions, the stories will continue to flow…

Also, Putin sucks.

 

NaNoWriMo Day 1 – James of Avradel Friday, November 2, 2012

Filed under: Writing — kaitco @ 12:19 am
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So, last night, shortly before midnight, I made up my mind to really craft a story from nothing so I could have something completely fresh for this writing excursion. Without being able to draw from characters or circumstance in Damen or Jill or even Evan, I stared at my laptop screen for several minutes before I decided to tell myself a story. And, so I started to just speak aloud to myself, “Once upon a time…there was a boy…who had a…magic…hat.” and so began this new story.

I spent close to 30 minutes writing whatever came out of my mouth until I had created the notes for a simple story and, while the overall message of this new tale is rather dark and a bit depressing, as a lot of my writing is want to be, I can’t help but be amused at what happens when I just let my imagination go.

This evening, I’ve written the first installment of my 30-day 50K non-project related novel writing and I have to say, I’m just tickled at what I’ve produced. With just some bare bones notes, I’ve created this magical world that’s complete with it’s own geography and gods and dragons and I only started on this at around 10:45 at night, finishing just a few minutes after midnight. In any other setting, I would have thrown out all of this before I’d even figured out a name for the boy or certainly at the moment I’d decided that “once upon a time” some boy had a magic hat of all things, but since this isn’t supposed to be some grand masterpiece to be studied long after I’m gone, I’m having such fun just letting my imagination do what it wants.

If I want there to be forests that grow in every colour – Bam! It’s done. If I want the ground to be gold and speckled with the blood of the “fallen” – Kazzam! I’ve got it. I can honestly say, I’ve not had quite this much fun writing a story since I was eight years old.

 

A house? Thursday, February 2, 2012

Filed under: Dorienne,Writing — kaitco @ 11:08 pm
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For the first time in my life I considered that idea that I should be a homeowner. I actually started to look into what homes would be in my price range before I started to add some logic to it, but I can’t escape the fact that I actually thought about it.

I’ve been anti-house for a long time, but in recent months, I seem to be running out of space in my townhouse; and I really want a garage again. The living room isn’t large enough for all my stuff anymore and I would really like to have a decent sized kitchen again. I won’t be able to afford the kind of house I grew up in yet, but the idea of a little space that’s all my own is starting to sound more attractive than it ever did.

“Now is the time to buy” is all I ever hear nowadays and I’m wanting more than ever to feel like a “real” adult with a mortgage and a car note and all the other debt that the rest of America has. Now, feels like the time.

This idea faded a bit on the drive home, but it’s still there nagging at me as something to consider. That said, just a week ago, I almost dropped 1500 to buy a MacBook just because I wanted one, so I realize I just get caught up in the moment at times.

I had planned on getting more writing done today than I did.

I wrote 1003 words today (dinner with Angel and Anthony that evening.). As far as my writing goes, I’m starting to see what I used to attempt daily as not nearly enough any more. I used to pray daily for 500 words, but now when I see that all I wrote was 500 and I highlight it on the page, it looks like nothing and it’s no wonder that it’s taken me three years to write this book.

All this notwithstanding, I wrote a poem today; probably the first in about five years. It’s not truly “my” poem in the sense that I “was” my character Dana Barrington while writing it, but still, poetry is hard and I’m always lightly amused at the result when it’s done.

I wasn’t going to write any poems at all for this project, but I’ve got Damen and Dana discussing poetry in depth and it won’t feel right without at least one:

The story

How do I tell the story
to someone so young?
Should I lie
Should I weep?
Say nothing?
Keep it deep?

He’ll ask the question
I know it; soon
I’ll take time
I’ll get by
But can I look
In his eye?

How do I tell the story
to someone so young?
I’ll make it quick
We’ll feel our pain
But he’ll know he wasn’t
Born in vain.

I was inspired, and thus my character was inspired, for the poem after reading an Emily Dickinson (If I can stop one heart from breaking) and I don’t think much of it, but it’s done and now I can move on with the rest of the book, especially since I completed Chapter 24 tonight.

 

Almost… Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Filed under: Writing — kaitco @ 12:10 am
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So tonight, I’d aimed on writing about how I only had a few minor parts left of the novel, but after a quick review of all the notes that were left, I saw that I’m only close to almost, almost done, which comes out to be a little more than a quarter of the novel left to go. Something like 3/8. Considering where I was a year ago, I’m astounded that I’ve come this far.

I see no reason why I can’t make my goal of April 1st (I’m finally brave enough to put that in writing), but again and again and again, if I don’t make it, I’ll be all right.

I’m getting into a rhythm again and I’m finding that it helps if I do two things: 1) Just force myself to write a couple of paragraphs and 2) Just find a place a start writing from wherever I am. I wrote 1515 words tonight (he had finished Angel’s lasagna), but I wrote another 1383 in something that exists between notes and full prose for the next part I intend to write. All that’s left for me to do is just add the proper punctuation and tidy it up before I can call it real writing and I’m good to go.

What’s even better is that I’m less exhausted writing those close to 3000 words than I am when I try to complete that same word count on any other day since the latter part doesn’t feel like “work-writing,” but more like play…the way writing had been for me up until I was about 25.

Another revelation came to me this evening on my way home from first-job and it was that fan-fiction and stories such as Reruns are going to be the “play-writing” that all of my writing once comprised.

As I move closer and closer to making my second-job my only job, the more I realize that writing is, indeed, work and I’ve always been rather excellent at procrastinating at work. If I keep my procrastination focused on the same craft, however, maybe it won’t be as bad as it was when I was in college…learning whole programming languages just to avoid having to study for Biochemistry…

 

Learning to listen Thursday, January 19, 2012

Filed under: Writing — kaitco @ 2:07 am
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God has been speaking to me a lot in these past few weeks. At some point in time, I’ve got to learn to stop running and just listen.

The new year started off with quite the bang for me and in just a couple weeks, things started to get muddied again. This week, I’m not sure if I’ve finally mastered the art of sitting still and listening to God, but I think I’ve come very close to it.

Sunday told me that I can’t keep doing what I’m doing and expect to get different results. I can’t just eat whatever I want and expect the weight to come off magically after a shower one day, so I’ve started to work out every day again; I should have been doing this since the start of the year, but that’s why it’s time to stop and listen.

Today (Wednesday) taught me that I need to have patience. I keep pushing and pushing because I want things with first-job on my time and so I keep forgetting that my path will only occur on His time. My time is not my own. I should already know this, but again, that’s why I’m to stop and listen more often that I’ve been.

It’s time to get back into my writing routine and attempt to write every day like I did last year, but unlike last year, I’ve got no stress to keep this up every single day of the year. If I have the inspiration to write a lot, I will and if I don’t…tomorrow is another day.

Tonight, I wrote 1049 words (something about him “getting sick again.”) and it’s never felt so good to write those very words again.

 

Trapped/Faith Thursday, September 15, 2011

Filed under: Dorienne,Writing — kaitco @ 9:23 pm
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Trapped

Light blue walls are grey
And within them, I am trapped.
“Business needs” outweigh my own,
Exits are blocked with no help on the way.
I am trapped. I am trapped.
I give my all; days in with no days out.
I smile and uplift, but none even see,
And still, I am trapped.
I must get out. Please God, help me!
I can’t stay. I can’t go on
And continue to be trapped.

As I sat at my desk tonight, thoroughly disgusted with everything that touches my life, I felt the slightest pangs of despair and went first to what I always reach when I feel myself reaching a precipice, thus the poem.

Shortly after writing it, and a cry of self-pity later, I brought out my bible to study, praying first for “help” from whatever I was to read tonight. As always, God delivers and the message I really needed to hear came from Matthew 14. Peter was fine while he kept his eyes on Jesus, but the moment he started to let worldly things (i.e., the fear of sinking) deter his thoughts, he started to sink. Jesus plucked up him and gave what I equate to a verbal sigh from his lack of faith.

I don’t know why I allow the little things to get to me; I suppose it’s the human way. What I enjoyed about this evening, however, is how I got to my lesson. I’ve long since turned to writing in times of stress because it seems that if I just write it out of me, I’ll be okay. Tonight, turning to my writing turned me to the bible and a reminder that it’s only when I take my eye off Jesus do the little things start to pile and bite at me all at once.

I wrote 1014 words tonight (what we all are thinking deep down) and I pray that I live to see a day when I turn to my faith first in times of strife instead of everything else.

 

Weak Tuesday, September 6, 2011

by SWV ~ It’s About Time

The title song sent me Googling and Wiki’ing the artist/group for a short trip down memory lane. The song makes me long for my childhood when things were less annoying and far, far simpler.

Tonight’s writing has got me a little depressed as I let some of Angel’s maternal premonitions set up a ridiculous amount of foreshadowing. For the first time in the novel, I’m really starting to identify with Angel, which means I know I’m going to need to start answering the question “why does she stay” in much the same vein I had to answer the same question for Damen in regards to Corey.

As I saw earlier, these answers will materialize as I continue writing, but now that her voice is becoming stronger and less that of a secondary character, it’s becoming more and more important that I figure her out soon.

I wrote 1064 words today (to that church of Anthony’s on Sunday) and I doubt I’ll get to the end of the novel before the end of the month, but as I did with Flight, I’m going to pull out all stops still trying to get there.

 

And just like that Saturday, September 3, 2011

Filed under: Writing — kaitco @ 10:23 pm
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I was in the midst of streamlining my notes today in preparation for “full” writing when I had an epiphany on “paper” and didn’t even realize it until much, much later.

You may not like him, but he’s at least principled enough to be who he is. And just like that, a question that has been bugging me since I first conceived of this project is answered. Why does Damen spend time with Corey? What does he see in this character? What drives him to seek out his friendship? What quality could he possibly possess that would overshadow all of the bad ones? Of course, there is far more to the relationship than just that statement, but it goes a long way to, at the very least, help me understand both characters a little better.

I’m a bit hungry now, so there’s not much else for me to say about today other than I’m not looking forward to spending my Sunday at first-job.

I wrote 1289 words today (Brit did not follow him.) and I’m really hoping that I can keep up my pace of setting up all my notes the previous night so that the writing moves very smooth the next day. I was going to stop whenever I reached a 500-ish word count, but the desire to finish the scene was more powerful and I think that’s how I should look at this going forward. Instead of writing to just word counts, though I’ll still do this to some degree, I’m going to focus on writing complete thoughts and scenes, which should reduce the need for ridiculous editing of what I’d rambled about in 500-word nuggets across a week.

 

1098 Saturday, August 27, 2011

Filed under: Writing — kaitco @ 11:59 pm
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I’ve not got much to say about today.

I went to a bachelorette party yesterday, which was wild fun and I got a lot of accomplished at first-job, much more than I thought I was going to get done, but I’m still having trouble focusing for long enough to separate these chapters again.

I wonder if I’ll just let the rest of these chapters remain in a single document and let the separations flow naturally. Then again, that much freedom and lack of structure has never aided me in the past, so I’m not sure why it would now.

I wrote 1098 words today (impending divorce of a Hollywood couple.) breaking 1K for the first time in a bit. If I can keep my word counts over a thousand for the next three days, the September daily goal will be 1K instead of just 500, but still…I find it worth mentioning that I’ve not used the “None” tag since the 31st of January which, considering that I’d once gone entire months without writing anything in Damen at all, is something rather spectacular.

 

Fah-ti-gew Saturday, August 20, 2011

Filed under: Writing — kaitco @ 11:59 pm
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When I consider my childhood, I always think back on the many ways my mother inadvertently shaped me into being a writer.

If I asked how to spell a word, she would make me look it up in the dictionary and if I claimed that I could not look up a word that I could not spell, she would make me start with the first letter and go through the dictionary until I found it. If I were to end a sentence with a preposition, for example, “Mom, where’s my book at?” she would respond with, “Behind that preposition.” and then refuse to answer the question.

Many times, however, she would purposefully mispronounce words so that I would “hear” how they were spelled. For instance, she would often come home from work and explain that she was “fah-ti-gewed” which helped reiterate how the word fatigue was properly spelled. Tonight, I am very, very fah-ti-gewed.

I wrote 1299 words throughout today (didn’t really talk to her) and despite my best efforts at keep my second-job, not so much secret, but just understated, I continually broach the subject to help answer what I do with all my time. I think the answer of “Well, I’m writing a novel” sounds far better than, “Well, I’m playing Rock Band for hours at a time” or “Well, I’m asleep on my sofa watching a TV channel I created from my own videos” sounds to other people. The weird writer sits better with others, I suppose, more than just being weird.

 

Into the West Thursday, August 18, 2011

by Annie Lennox ~ Lord of the Rings: Return of the King soundtrack

So much and so little has happened today that I’m not entirely sure what I should and shouldn’t say. In reading a few articles, I think I understand myself a little better than I did even yesterday and I feel some of my friendships moving into new directions, some good, others not so much. I’ve done so much thinking and so much reacting today, that my mind’s been left bereft of any journaling thoughts for the moment, hence the song titled post instead of something original; I suppose it’s better than the word count title I originally planned, but still…a lack of creativity is just that.

I wrote 1229 words tonight (“You ever go fishing?” he asked) and I think some of this blankness may come from letting my mind come back from “Corey” and back to Dorienne. When I write Corey, I feel as if I have to become a different person because he swears so much and speaks in a manner that I, as myself, could never do and I guess it takes a little time to get out of the Corey mindset and back to myself.

Writing is a fairly odd craft…

 

1065 Monday, August 15, 2011

Filed under: Dorienne,Writing — kaitco @ 10:56 pm
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One would think that funerals, memorials and homegoing services would cause me to think about my own mortality, but really they don’t. This is because I think about mortality almost every day. What sort of legacy, if any, will I leave on this Earth and, even if I do manage to leave one, will it really matter when the sun starts to die and engulfs the earth and everything on it or when the “new heaven” and “new Earth” prophesied by John emerges?

I’m not sure if it’s because I now hold the advantage, such that it is, of youth on my side, but I find it very difficult to see myself reaching old age. What’s further concerning is that I feel far, far older than I am. In about six weeks, I’ll be turning 27 years old, but feel very close to fifty which is why I often feel as if my life is beginning to slowly wind to nothing. I’m even starting to feel too old to do things that, technically, I’m of the proper age to be doing.

Marriage? Why, I’m far too old to be of use to anyone and far too set in my ways to start trying to compromise and start thinking about forever. Children? I’ve passed that age where children would be a fit for me and the older I get, the more apparent it becomes that I’ll just have to settle with being an Aunt Dee or a godmother. Career? The career I’ve got will most likely be it, as I’m far too old to start another one at this point in my life.

Rationally, I know none of this is true, but this is how I see myself, so when I consider aging and mortality, it’s difficult to consider myself growing old because, in many ways, I sense I’m already there.

Brother Mike’s memorial service was this evening and it got me thinking about how many souls we’ve sent on home since I joined the church five years ago. Far too many in far too little time.

I wrote 1065 words tonight (from it until long after the sun had set) and though I often feel as if I won’t make it to the other side of the mountain, I keep setting goals and trekking towards it. I’m pushing hard to make myself at least meet 500 words daily, if not the full thousand to push out this novel as if I were giving birth to it since, as I welcome twenty-seven years walking the earth, I’d like to do so with a full draft of my novel in my hand.

 

Giving up for the day Friday, August 12, 2011

Filed under: Writing — kaitco @ 11:34 am
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What I’ve found in writing nearly every day for the past 200-some days is that there are things worse than a block. A block is breakable, always. It may take an entire day, but just having a head full of characters and “voices” that follow you everywhere you go is enough to eventually stir inspiration and take a sledge hammer the block of creativity. The inability to write what I want to say, however, is far worse and, unfortunately, becomes far more prevalent as I continue in this endeavour.

Even with notes to guide me, I will sometimes “lose” the scene in my head. It’s not blocked; it’s present and changing quickly as I figure out different ways to attack it and force it to the laptop screen. The problem is finding the straight path from A to B through the heinous zig-zags of dialogue and prose.

At this point in the novel, I just want Brit and Damen to come to a sort of understanding about their friendship, but I can’t keep the scene straight. First I want to go into some points about Brit’s long-standing friendship with Jessie and then I want to Brit to mention that she’s good for even attempting friendship with Damen because she has a group of her own and then I want Damen to interject throughout her little speeches, but then I want him to stay quiet because he’d been so quiet across the past two thousand or so words, so it would seem odd for him to be so talkative now and then I want the scene to just end without saying any of it, but then I know if I don’t include this little interlude, their reconciliation will seem forced and…well, this continues for a few hours before I just plain give up for the day.

So, for now, I’ve done just that. This stagnation in the actual writing will pass as all things do and this scene will make sense to me on another morning with fresher eyes, but for now, I call “uncle.”

I wrote 1229 words today (and it’s not my fault that I can’t) and hopeful tomorrow or even this afternoon will bring some light on that straight road between A and B.

 

A day for me Monday, August 8, 2011

Filed under: Writing — kaitco @ 10:43 pm
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I didn’t plan out my Monday, so I’m amazed that the day was as fun and relaxing as it was. For one, I wrote 1398 words tonight (Okay. Thank you) and finally tracked down my mother. I also spent way too much money on a Coach bag, had a very pleasant lunch at California Pizza Kitchen (leaving what I think was a 30% tip) and spent a large part of the day playing Green Day Rock Band, which I plan to continue doing once I’ve finished this post.

It’s been a reasonably happy day despite all that’s going on in the world. Loss, credit downgrades, riots, plunging stocks, famines…I think I’ve come out all right in the end.

 

Lost: Steam and Motivation Sunday, July 10, 2011

Filed under: Writing — kaitco @ 9:25 pm
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I wrote a decent amount today, but I didn’t go to church. What’s worse is that I have no explanation for it; I just didn’t go. Any time I think I’ve got things back together and I’m headed on the right path, I find myself in another lull and everything important starts to lose meaning.

Again, I haven’t got much to say. I wrote 1719 words today (and she still needed a pick me up) and I’m so tired of this chapter that I could scream. I just want it to be finished, like I want Damen to be finished so I can stop thinking about it for a month.

I’d like to put up flyers for someone to contact me if they’ve found my motivation, but that act in itself requires the motivation that’s been lost. It’s going to be a long week.

 

 
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