I am kaitco

a writer's log

Obligatory New Years Eve Post: 2015 Edition Thursday, December 31, 2015

Filed under: Dorienne,Writing — kaitco @ 7:24 pm
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Here we are, at the end of another year. As always, this is the time for deep reflection and promises to do better than the previous year. I have “resolutions”, for lack of a better word, and they haven’t changed all that much since high school, which is probably worth a post all on its own.

I sit here debating how I will spend my evening and usher in the new year. For the past nine years, I’ve attended Watch Night service at my church and usually had a good time. This year, however, I’m honestly just tired and all I really want to do is have some dinner, play video games, and then go to bed at a reasonable hour. The debate comes down to whether bringing in the new year in church is something that I really want to do or if it’s something I feel like I should do from the idea of “how I ring in the year is how I will live the year.” If it’s the latter, well, that’s superstition and nothing more. I suppose I’ll figure it out before 10 PM tonight.

Back to these resolutions…

While there are loads of things that I would like to do better in 2016, I’m going to focus on just one: Blog here more. My desire for writing has diminished in 2015 and every day it seems like it’s more and more difficult to get into my old grooves where I could not wait to have a free moment to write. Nowadays, writing any project feels like a chore; something that must be added to a daily to-do list and begrudgingly attended to while often times getting moved onto the next day and the next without getting completed. I can’t point to a specific moment when this occurred, but this is the current state of things.

I’ve tried to combat my diminishing drive in a myriad of ways, but this being the start of a new year, I might as well attempt to face this from a different method. This blog has long since been my main avenue of visiting my writing struggles and successes and, (as melodramatic as this is about to sound) since I sense I’m at the precipice of ending an activity that has encompassed my very being for the last twenty of my 30+ years on this rock, I suppose it’s fitting to use this blog as a final shield against what may be inevitable. TL;DR: I’m going to commit to blogging here weekly to get myself back into the swing of things.

There are always plenty of things to say and saving it for a monthly update clearly isn’t cutting it. I may fail at this goal, as I’ve failed at so many goals in the past, but at least with this one, I’ll be able to look back and see that I didn’t go down with a hearty fight.

Onward and upward in 2016!

 

An Aging Lamentation Friday, January 30, 2015

Filed under: Dorienne — kaitco @ 2:00 pm
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In the last week, I’ve come to a painful realization: I’m old. True, 30 didn’t seem that old when I was 28 and I’m sure it won’t sound old when I’m 45, but here in the present, I have to acknowledge what it is.

I suppose, it’s not so much that 30 is old, but that 30 is no longer young. I’ve reached that age where I just don’t “get” youth culture anymore. Despite remaining relatively Internet savvy, there are far too many things that the young folks (ya’ll under-25ers) do and love that I don’t understand.

Let’s take Instagram. I thought I understood the concept; take interesting pictures and post them for
friends and family to see, to like, to comment, whatever. That, however, is not what I’ve come to find. Instagram is the selfie playground and if kids aren’t posting 18 selfies a day, they’re posting image rants that tell anyone with an Internet connection all the details of their lives.

Then there’s Tumblr. It’s not like a full blogging service like WordPress, Livejournal, or Blogspot. It’s not
singularly about posting art or images like Deviant rt. It’s not a micro-blogging site like Twitter. It’s not even a friends and family social media avenue like Facebook or Instagram.

I spent a few days perusing some Tumblogs and when I thought had the basic gist of it, I searched through a few tags that interested me. Searching through #christianity yielding more results about Christian Dior and atheism than anything uplifting and searching through #thinspo for some workout tips or basic thinspiration was a never ending abyss of pseudo-emo, wannabe anorexic 16-year-olds.

It was at this point I fully grasped the problem. There’s nothing wrong with the social media avenues and there’s nothing, technically, wrong with today’s youth; it’s me. I’ve grown up and I’m the one who’s changed.

For example, there was a point in my youth that I could watch television from four in the afternoon until at least midnight Sunday through Thursday every week, with no problem. Today’s Dorienne cancelled cable eons ago, there’s no digital TV signal to the house, so I can’t even watch football, reality TV of all kinds disgusts me, most newer shows don’t hold my interest (I hate zombies, so no Walking Dead and I equally hate Walt and Jesse, so Breaking Bad gets on my nerves) and even when I find a show I adore on Netflix, I can hardly make time to sit and watch. Seriously, I binge-watched 3 episodes of The Fall’s second series last Monday and since then, I’ve yet to watch the rest because I’ve found writing, sleeping, or playing games a better use of my time instead of watching a show I really like.

So…it’s time to accept that I’m no longer young. I’m out of the age range that looks to the future with blind optimism and instead I’ve got a clear understanding of what lies ahead for me. Purchasing that first house, paying off those student loans, watching kids grow up, publishing a first novel with enough life experience to make my characters believable…

The rose-coloured lenses have lifted, but I think I may prefer these clear visions instead.

Oh, and I’m kaitco on Tumblr and Instagram, if anyone is interested. 😉

 

Words on a Page Thursday, July 31, 2014

Filed under: Writing — kaitco @ 12:53 am
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There’s a part of me that wants to let this blog fall to the wayside as so many of my other online endeavours have in the past. There’s an old Livejournal and even older Xanga out there on the Interwebs, lying unloved until those servers close, not to mention my main DorienneSmith.com blog. I’m sure there are dozens of others, but I’m much too “meh” to struggle remembering.

That “meh” emotion, or lack thereof, is part of what has kept me from having anything meaningful to say here for ages. The other part is that I’ve been keeping a daily journal on my phone that allows me to record on a far more personal level than I would for something I publish for others to see. What pleasures I once gained only from here are now being fulfilled in a different manner which leaves me at this crossroads.

Do I continue to post things for the sake of doing it, or do I allow these years of ramblings to gather proverbial dust?

I haven’t got an answer for myself at the moment, so I’ll default to the former for now…

I think my lack of drive for a writing blog is the fact that I don’t feel like I’ve made a lot of progress as a writer lately. I’ve been writing daily; I’ve actually met my 500 word daily goals for about two weeks. Anne is coming along slowly, but it will be towards the end of 2015 before I’m anywhere exciting in that project. For now, Anne is in that boring stage where I try to make sense of all my notes and just attempt to get dialogue, prose, and ideas into a single document that has some sort of chronology. In writing Damen, I’ve come to fully understand each stage in the process and how long I’ll be before I have anything resembling a finished product. Anne is so far from the goal line that it doesn’t seem relevant to discuss.

Now that I’ve said Anne isn’t worth discussing: I’m not ready to consider Damen a failure because I haven’t queried anyone about it since October 2013 as I’ve tried to re-group and spend time away from it. The best way to spend time away from one project is to jump onto another, but Anne feels like such a quagmire.

My intention with Anne is to foray into the world of self-publishing, but through a pseudonym just in case that effort goes poorly. Since I know Anne will be self-published, I can’t quite get as excited about it as I was with Damen, and yet, a project is a project. Anne fits somewhere between fanfiction and real fiction to me, partly because I am re-working an Austen novel, but mostly because I know it’s not going to go through all the “fun” of the query/rejection process. Once it’s done, Anne will be more of an effort in marketing than in art. I took a marketing class once many eons ago…I spent most of the time creating story ideas in the margins of my lecture notes. I can’t get excited about marketing, thus it’s hard to get excited about Anne and, since Anne is my sole project at this time, I’m finding it difficult to get excited about my writing.

On I trek, however. I’ll be 30 in September and I have difficulty remembering a time when I wasn’t in the middle of one writing project or six. This is who I am.

 

Trepidatious Switching Friday, September 13, 2013

Filed under: Dorienne,Writing — kaitco @ 8:33 am
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In less than two weeks, I’ll be a year from 30. What’s really interesting is that WordPress reminded me that it’s been 6 years since I first registered here and I can remember fretting in posts tagged “25” over the idea of turning 25 as if it were yesterday. I keep telling myself that my 20s have not gone by fast (in fact, they often feel incredibly long), but when I’m honest with myself…really, they have!

September is usually my month of reflection. While most people make resolutions, etc. around the first of January, I like to use the start of my new year to determine my successes and failures and generally determine whether I’ve had a good year or a bad year. Sad as it sounds, the last few years have not been wholly good, but I’m glad to say that Year 28 has been fantastic.

I am happy with first-job, a feat I’ve not accomplished since…well, since I was 15 and first ventured into the working world because I knew I wanted a car when I was 16 and I knew my mother, under the guise of not allowing me to be spoiled like my peers, would never have outright bought one for me. I have a good job that allows me to tithe even more than my 10% to really help my church, allows me the freedom to buy and explore tools and avenues into my writing, and allows me to live comfortably without running from paycheck to paycheck with the thought that one check is all that keeps me from homelessness. I think it’s what makes pushing through this agent-seeking process a little less arduous as it would have been if I’d come to this point last year. Rather providential, I’d like to say as I just received this job about 10 months ago.

I finished (really finished, as in trying to get published, finished) a novel in the past year, an accomplishment I’ve not seen in years. I’ve come to this point at ages 15, 17, 23, and 28 and I know that had I done nothing else with Year 28, completing another novel makes Year 28 stand out as one of the best thus far.

But, all good things must come to an end and as I close Year 28, I begin new projects in a manner that I’ve not attempted in the past. I’m writing two books simultaneously. Both Jill and Anne are pressing upon me and I’ve switched back and forth for the past few weeks, trying to decide who will take precedence, only to come to no real decision.

I love both stories and, just as I decide to focus on one set of characters, specifics of the other set jump out at me, so I figure the best thing to do is ride the wave and write as inspiration hits. When I’m inspired for Anne, like I was this evening, I’ll write Anne. When I’m inspired for Jill, I’ll write her instead. When I’m inspired for nothing in particular, I’ll write bits of both of them until I get the creative juices flowing in one direction or another, like I did the other day.

The project switching, however, is not what has me concerned. What does concern me is this nagging desire to take a break from writing.

I’ve experienced this same sensation at 15, 17, 23, and 28 and it was the prime reason for the time in between writing each book. Writing Damen took so much out of me that I don’t wish to dwell on it long for fear that I’ll grow exhausted from the mere memory. I know that I’m tired, but the issue here is that I’m dangerously close to letting a short rest between books turn into an extended hiatus where I may never complete anything again, which is where this constant project switching begins to to really concern me.

Indecision irritates me, so while I’m just going with the flow right now, I can’t help worrying that a comfortable first-job combined with the exhaustion of completing Damen and the relative stress of facing a new a decade will leave me with a desire to tell stories, but without the drive to write them.

Perhaps, I’m getting a little too existential about the whole matter. It is, after all, September and this is when I begin to ask all the questions about who I am, what I am, what I aim to do with this life, and whether or not anything I do or don’t do will make an impact in an ever-expanding, cold, indifferent universe…

The good news, however, is that I’m quite stubborn. If I’ve learned anything about myself in nearly a decade of writing various blogs, I’ve learned that I don’t give up quickly and, even after I’ve told myself I’ve given up something for good, it only takes the slightest burst of energy or the simplest prayer for guidance to keep me pushing forward.

Anyway…on I switch from Jill to Anne and Anne to Jill. Onward and upward!

 

I’ve got to see you again Saturday, August 18, 2012

Filed under: Writing — kaitco @ 11:22 pm
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Norah Jones ~ Come Away With Me

I’ve not done a song-titled post in a while and since I was little stumped on a title for today, this fits. I think I miss the days when I just had “Mission of the Month Post #12” posts, but anyway…

I’m finally starting to face the realization that I may never get this novel down to 120K. Firmly into 163K as I start reviewing Chapter 14 again, it occurs to me that unless I completely cut a storyline (i.e., I’ll probably have to nix Amber MacDonaugh’s part of the tale), I probably won’t come anywhere close to 120K words.

That said, I have got quite a few chapters to go and I’ve been averaging around 800-word deletions per chapter. My Chapter Details (I’m soooo glad I made these) shows me that I’ve got a lot of deleting and rearranging to do as well, so maybe I’ll pick it up to 1500 words removed per chapter, but it’s quite likely that I’ll not get this finished product down to 120K; this doesn’t upset me as much though. I think I’d rather have a 500-paged great story than strip it down to 300 pages of bilge.

Again, though…I’ve still got more than 20 chapters left to go and Chapter 14’s probably got at least a 3K cut in its future to bring me within 40K. I may still get there…maybe.

 

Starting over Monday, December 12, 2011

Filed under: Dorienne,Favorite — kaitco @ 11:10 pm
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Today, I wrote 839 words. Some time in September, however, I just stopped writing. After ten months of pouring my heart and soul in Damen, I’d just had enough. It was clear that it was not going to be complete by my birthday and with all the upheaval at first-job, I just plain quit. But, I refused to admit defeat and tried to play catch-up with my posts and my writing. I played that game until the end of November, when I stopped caring about that as well.

I was originally going to title this post “The Great Failure of 2011” but then I realized that this blog and my efforts for this year, haven’t really ended in failure. True, I’ve lost a lot of momentum on this novel, but I’m still writing. I’ve got dozens of stories just waiting to be born and the most important part is that I haven’t given up on Damen entirely. I still imagine that the first draft can be completed before the end of the year; if it doesn’t, however, it’s not the end of the world.

For the past couple months, I’ve kept repeating the same things to myself, over and over: 27 is not 26. Age 27 feels much older than 26 did and it felt this way the day I turned 27. I’m different than I was a year ago and, while a lot of the goal still remain the same, the focus is starting to shift; some in good ways, some not so good. The main thing is that I recognize the change and know that embracing it is my only option.

I’m going to update with the rest of the unpublished posts, but I thought it best to just start over all together, rather than trying to rush everything at the end of the year. If I’ve learned anything this year, it’s that I can only do so many things. It’s not really possible to write a novel, create sim objects and stories, update websites, learn Japanese, teach myself the piano, take up running, work 60+ hours a week and keep the house clean in one day and still manage to fit basic fundamentals such as eating and sleeping into the same day. Everything has its time.

 

195 posts and… Friday, July 15, 2011

Filed under: Writing — kaitco @ 11:22 pm
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…I’ve run out of titles. I’ve even run out of song-title titles for these posts as I’ve included a post for nearly all the music I play while I’m writing. In a desperate search for at least a new song-title post title, I even tried playing some random songs on the iPhone, but did not like what I heard, not enough to call a post by it, and eventually quit.

Once again, I haven’t much to say tonight. I think that by this point in the week, I’m just so exhausted, I’m left bereft of anything meaningful to say…which is a real problem for a wannabe writer.

I wrote 332 words tonight (It’s your family now) and since the iPhone is now blasting some song that I didn’t even realize was on it (Drift Away??!??), it’s time to close.

 

 
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