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.

 

Google + what = boredom? Monday, July 11, 2011

Filed under: Writing — kaitco @ 9:13 pm
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So, I received a Google+ invite today and we found it amusing that in order to use it properly, it seemed we had to message one another on Facebook to tell the other to go see what we posted on Google+. There’s something flawed in this… I suppose it will catch on eventually once more people get started, but unless they’re offering a ton of things that Facebook hasn’t got, it may take a while. For one, I’ve grown accustomed to my auto-updates from RockBand.com and Goodreads on my Facebook, so that my friends and acquaintances can see what kind of nerd I am. It’s going to take some time before G+ hits this level of ubiquity, but the fact that there’s no Farmville or Cityville invites driving me crazy is a +1.

I’ve found a little bit of a boost today as I finished Chapter 18 of Damen. When I first started the re-writes of Chapters 13 and 14, it was just for those two. Then I ventured into Chapter 15 and found that I wanted to change the entire structure of the next chapter as well. Eventually, the next chapter fell in line with the same level of edits and now, instead of two chapters per Word doc, I’m looking at now 5 of them instead. The good thing, as I keep telling myself, is that I got another chapter under my belt and I’m “this” much closer to finishing the novel.

By now, I’ve done about 15 chapters in the past seventh months, which isn’t anything grand, but considering that none of these chapters are less than 5K words and I’ve gone at the agonizingly slow pace of around 300 or so words a night, I’d say I’ve accomplished something.

I wrote 2672 words today (and added Brit as a friend again) and – phew! – I finished another chapter. I’m not filled with the usual glee I normally get when I complete a chapter, but I think it’s just the fatigue.

 

Major changes Thursday, July 7, 2011

Filed under: Writing — kaitco @ 3:02 am
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For the past two months, I’ve done a pretty lousy job at posting precisely on time. I’m usually within an hour or so, but lately it’s got a bit ridiculous.

Psychologically, I can’t take the impact of a missed day by a few minutes and have fudged a bit here and there, but even that’s starting to weigh on me. This occurs because my new schedule at first-job doesn’t really give me all the time I need in the evening anymore to get this done and I think I’m quite tired of my evenings being broken into bits because I know I need to post by a certain time.

At some point this year, it was imperative that I set down the ground rules carefully to ensure that I was accountable to myself and that I posted and wrote everyday. In actuality, that hasn’t changed; just the hour in which I manage to update each day. I know, however, that I must write everyday. I no longer need constant reminders lest I forget my purpose for doing what I’ve done over the past 7 months.

As I’m more of an nightowl and I’d like to give myself a full day to write and post, I’m doing a bit of a double post to get the ball started and even wrote some extra to make it official.

I’m going to start posting in the wee hours of the morning moving forward as I these are the true end of my day and as I long as I get something written and posted within a 24 hour period, I’m still golden.

I wrote 481 words today (maybe you should think about that before getting mad at her) and after two posts and many, many words, it’s well past time for bed.

 

707 Tuesday, May 24, 2011

I think I like this concept of playing just one game at a time on my Xbox. I haven’t played games like this since before I left for college and, now that I think about it, I used to play just one game at a time back then as well. Hmm…

I’m a bit exhausted from playing the entire Green Day American Idiot album for the corresponding challenge in Green Day Rock Band, but I enjoyed getting through the entire thing. At this point, I’ve become moderately good at Hard mode, so Medium goes very smoothly for me and is so nice and relaxing that I can just let the rest of the day float from my fingers with every strum.

Despite all this Rock Banding, I managed to write 707 words tonight (buoyed his spirit in just a few minutes). I kept trying to stop, but each time I’d pause to make some notes on what I would write for tomorrow, the notes came out as full prose and I’d continue for another sentence and another and another. You can never write too much, though, so it’s just 707 steps closer to getting a final project.

I can’t believe it’s been six months that I’ve been actively writing and four months of writing every single day, rain or shine, want or not, deal or no deal. It’s been a pleasant, although daunting, experience and I’m glad I’ve undertaken this task this year. I do worry a bit, however, about what I’ll do with myself once I have a draft complete. Perhaps, I’ll set the goals a little higher with editing two or three pages each night and then blogging about that. Who knows.

Well, now I’m really exhausted and, seeing as how I’m reaching that level of fatigue where it hurts to sit upright and hurts to breathe, I think I’ll check out for the night.

One last note about movies though: I watched Toy Story 3 last night, and I believe that this one is probably my favorite of the trilogy (that I hope remains a trilogy and doesn’t go into the whole “Bonnie” grows up storyline or into a bunch of Andy/Bonnie playing with the toys as animated shorts). I have to say, I haven’t cried so much in a kid’s movie since the end of The Iron Giant, let alone any other movie…probably just ET brought out the same level of lachrymal fluid…

 

Frasier, Shakespeare, Wings and Things Friday, April 22, 2011

Filed under: Dorienne,Writing — kaitco @ 11:38 pm
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So, I’ve been watching my single season of Frasier over and over again lately as I anxiously await new discs from Netflix and I came to a conclusion about the show.

Frasier shares a fun similarity to Shakespeare comedies. Nearly every single episode hinges on the fact that one or two characters have a misunderstanding and comedy ensues from there. For example, in an episode where Roz ponders over whether she is pregnant, Niles misinterprets a conversation he overhears between Frasier and Daphne and brings the hilarity in spades. Many Shakespeare comedies contain plotlines that come from similar misunderstandings, like with Much Ado About Nothing that just pops to mind. Claudio’s misunderstanding leads to the drama and eventual perceived happy ending, where everyone is married, that comes in every Shakespeare comedy.

I state all of this, not because it bears any relevance to my writing, but simply because I’ve been watching non-stop and have found that I’m capable of writing with it in the background.

My assistant may come back to join us at first-job and, while I’m tempted to get over-joyously excited, the trust is gone and I know that even if we’re a team once again, it most likely would not stay that way for long. Still…just the thought of having my buddy around again is a nice thought.

In the fashion of randomness into which this post has turned, I’ll also mention that I may go out on a hunt tonight for vegetarian buffalo wings. I’ve been a vegetarian for a little more than four years and the one thing I miss most about eating meat is wings. I used to be able to pack away twenty of them in one sitting and knew the best places to get the saltiest, greasiest, yummiest ones of all and would even drive for some distances to go get them. I’ve had to give them up cold turkey (pun intended) after giving up meat, but every Thursday at first-job, the cafeteria serves them. My mouth starts to salivate at the idea of them and I even imagine myself just going crazy and ordering fifty of them and chowing down for hours. Of course, it’s just the smell that gets me and, four years later, the look and smell of the meat itself is enough to make me queasy, but now that I know that such a thing as tofu wings exist, I may need to put on my coat and not stop searching until I find such a treasure.

Before going on this quest, I’ll note that yes, this is what I would classify as a “high” phase for me, which means come sometime between tomorrow and Monday, I’ll feel like hell again, but with that said, I’ll also note that I wrote 514 words today (I might as well have some fun with it.) and I began my interest in buffalo wings after a Google search into what to serve as a side with flatbread pizza Wikipediaed itself on me and sent me into fervent clicking.

I’m a little calmer now that I’ve chatted with my mother, so I think I’ll save the veggie wings hunt for another evening and just satiate my pallet with some organic pizza and more Frasier.

 

Long days Monday, February 28, 2011

Since I made it to church on a day when they handed out the next month’s church calendar, I was moved with the urge to update the church website, which had needed work since at least September 2010! Once I begin coding, however, I enter this phase where I want to edit every page I’ve ever created on the Internet and so, made updates to my main site, added a blog post to my Dorienne’s Log (albeit it was copied from this one, but it’s hard to write for two separate blogs like that) and also added an awkward post to my diet “journey” blog.

At the end of all these updates, I still felt like there was something better I should have been doing with my time…like writing.

A long while I ago, I realized that every word written in an online forum was one word I wasn’t writing in my novel. This helped me break some of my obsession with posting to SVU, X-Files, Sims and whatever else was under the sun forums, but I still get sidetracked quiet easily and quite often. It doesn’t take much.

Today’s sidetrack and long-dayness was part wonderful and part annoying. The wonderful part was meeting little baby Reagan – so wonderful! The annoying part was waiting to get my braids done. All in all, my long day has ended well, especially since I was able to wrap some notes made earlier in the day into some worthwhile prose and dialogue.

Today, I managed to write 2413 words (he could hear the entire conversation). Tomorrow, is March 1st and so I need to set another goal for the month.

January 2011 was just posting something every day to hold myself accountable. February 2011 has been about writing something every day. March 2011 will be about…

…word count. I know myself very well, however, and I have no desires to see myself fail for something as simple as not reaching a word count when I’ve come this far. In four months, I’ve completed nearly seven chapters wheres it took eleven months of 2010 to write three and a half, so in the spirit of not deterring myself, but keeping the momentum going, I’ll set the goal at 250 words a night.

I want to eventually say to myself that the goal is to stop using the “500 less” tag for a month, but just being able to say that I’ve gone 28 days without using the “None” tag is something and I don’t want the little goals to hinder the big ones. As my pastor would say, I need to remember to keep the main thing, the main thing.

 

Hair! Saturday, January 22, 2011

Filed under: Dorienne — kaitco @ 11:50 pm
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…not the musical.

I really did intend to write today, but I’ve decided to take my hair out of these braids and, since that is a five-hour process, any writing really isn’t happening tonight.

What’s frustrating is that I had ample opportunity to write this afternoon, but had forgot to load the novel to my phone and thus was without any work.

I tried to just delve into a later chapter, but quit when I realized the futility of writing something I wad just going to edit out of existence when I finally caught up to that part of the novel.

While I’m not proud of going this long without writing, I am proud that I’ve gone now 22 days straight without missing a post. I haven’t managed a feat like this since…well, never.

Also, while I didn’t get to write much today, I did spend some time with folks who are somewhere between the buddy/friend line. I also learned about the use of dashes from a new Twitter follower, so it’s a great day overall.

Anyhoo, I’ve still got three fourths of my hair to unbraid and somehow straighten into something presentable.

It’s very strange, though: most of this week, I’ve had the time to write, but was just not in the mood, yet now I’d long for just a few more hours in this day so that another 48 hours won’t pass without a word added to the novel. There’s a moral here…I just know it.

 

WTC! WordPress App! Thursday, December 30, 2010

Filed under: Dorienne — kaitco @ 12:02 pm
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I’m cheating with starting this post now; this way I’ll have something written for 12/30 and won’t have to look back on the day with disdain.

/////

This post was originally titled “Cheating,” but I had to change it when I saw how the WordPress app for iPhone totally screwed over my post:

Now, on with the rest of this…after I freakin’ fix what the WP app did to this post…

/////

I didn’t get anything written yesterday and I don’t think I’ll get anything written tonight either. I also barely got any housework done so yesterday was a complete slothful waste in every way.

I’m pretty much hooked on caffeine again, so I’ll just add that to the lengthy list of new year’s resolutions. I’m worried about what lies in my gene pool though and I greatly worry about bipolar disorder. I’ve been often told that it affects creative types, usually shows up during the twenties or thirties, is acerbated by drug and alcohol abuse and is hereditary. Since 3/4 of these factors are outside of my control, I work hard to control the one that is in my control by limiting alcohol and removing all people from my life who could even relate me to drugs.

The problem, however, is that there are a lot of drugs that people ignore since they are so commonplace. Over the counter meds are one, so I steer clear of those unless I’m in severe pain, but caffeine is another whose abuse is rampant, but because it is so commonplace, it is readily ignored. What has me worried are thoughts from a few weeks ago, when I clearly remember saying to myself, “God, I wish I was still on caffeine so that I could have something to hold on to.” Now, I’ve got a caffeine headache and am “itching” to get my next “fix.”

I know it sounds weak to compare caffeine with other drug problems, but this truly is how it starts. Life feels out if control and in the midst of a low, you reach for anything that will make you feel something, anything. Caffeine gives me a little rush and the desire of getting more keeps me from feeling so empty at times; like I suddenly have purpose. It’s a very scary thought because it’s only a skip and a jump to other things that will help make me feel something when I’m low.

I’m going to go without any caffeine for the next few days, but I hate the idea of going into a new year with this issue hanging over my head.

Anyway, my goals for 12/31/10 are quite lofty and include everything from laundry to vacuuming the windows and complete not just Chapter 7, but Chapter 8 too!

My odds of making one of these goals is slim to none, but here’s to trying and to trying to avoid drug abuse for another year!

 

Was holly AND jolly Sunday, December 26, 2010

Yesterday was Christmas and it was as nice and calm as Christmas ever could be. We didn’t get through any of our normal traditions like watching Lord of the Rings (extended, of course) or even getting to see any of 24 hours of story, but I get to spend some time with my family which is really what matter most.

I got a little writing done at the airport on Friday, especially considering that I spent at least three hours there, but I can’t remember where I stopped in the morning. I think I got through about 375 words, but it’s all starting to run together.

I thought I wanted to get some writing done yesterday, but each time the thought came to me, I considered how little time I get to spend with my mother nowadays and decided that the writing could wait for another day. Mother did, in fact, give me some story ideas as she relayed a few exports horror-stories to me; the stories may even be the groundwork for a future novel.

At some point yesterday, I got through the point where Damen physically gets to the library after to listening to Chopin. It took close to an hour of research into the best and the “right” songs for Damen to listen to while he walked to the library and what’s frustrating is that I still don’t feel very comfortable with how the scene was written.

I think one of the more difficult things about writing in modern times is how to relate my characters to current media (or what was current in 2007).

A long time ago, while trying to understand why Damen behaved the way he did, I tried considering what, if any, music he would like. Damen just inherently feels like an indie band kind of guy, but I don’t really know of too many indie bands (outside of those suggested by Jeph Jacques) and it just feels wrong applying popular, or any of the music I know, to Damen. Perplexed, the best solution available seemed to be giving him a taste for classical music.

This being Damen, however, I couldn’t quite see him just listening to all classical music; it just didn’t seem like a fit for him. A quirk for Damen, though, would make it legitimate and the quirk was just listening to only Chopin.

I’ve had this thing for Chopin’s music ever since I was able to properly pronounce his name which comes from a song I heard in an adaptation of The Secret Garden. The nocturne (Opus 72, No. 1 in E minor) is played as a theme to this specific adaptation which happened to be my favorite of all The Secret Garden adaptations I’d seen. I’ve always loved the song, so now Damen loves the song and thus the jump to Chopin-only was the easy decision.

Anyway, I think it would be great to have him watching some TV show or listening to some popular song in the novel, but the problem is that I’ve been pretty out of touch with my own generation for the past five years, which fascinatingly is what endears me so much to Damen. I’m not anti-social, I just hate new television and the techno-over-produced crap that is pop music today.

Speaking of losing touch with society, I watched “Avatar” with my mother last night. Overall, I enjoyed the movie and I know it’s one that I’m likely to own and watch again and again. The problem is that I’ve heard everything from people getting suicidal once the film was over to the idea that it should take it’s place among the greatest movies of all time and it didn’t live up to the hype.

The movie was very pretty and I loved the happy ending, but it was predictable to the point that it was just plain formulaic. An outsider gets thrown into an odd society that he hates and can’t understand at first, but then comes to love and considers himself one of them. I can’t come up with too many titles that match this at the point, but the first that pops to mind is “The Last Samurai” with Tom Cruise. Cruise plays a drunken soldier at around the turn of the 20th century or so and when his troops engage the legendary samurai throwbacks, he gets stranded amongst them. Eventually, he picks up Japanese, learns their ways and fights with them as they battle the Imperialistic force coming to wipe out their way of life. Cruise’s character even comes “home” and goes to live permanently with the Japanese samurai. This sounds painfully familiar…

What also annoyed me about the film was its similar to the Lost Tribe of Sith e-book series. I’m not sure which came first, but one of them ripped off the other. In Lost Tribe of Sith, the old sith (5000 BBY) get stranded on some planet that’s too far into the Outer Rim for them to signal for help and they end up living as gods amongst the locals who call them the Skyborn, which is the name for the locals’ deity. The locals, the Keshiri, are purple-skinned people who are deeply religious and have a group of warriors who ride these winged dragon type animals around the islands and etc. Eventually, some of the Keshiri realize that the aliens are not really their gods, The Skyboarn, and lead a massive aerial attack to drive the outsiders out of their mainlands and hopefully to their deaths. Again, terribly familiar…

Like I said, “Avatar” was great fun and very pretty, but the only thing that actually surprised me about the movie was that the first tree actually fell. I expected the tree to actually protect itself with the locals connected to it, but then the movie would’ve been over far too soon, so what was I thinking?

Anyway…I’ve rambled on far too long about nothing in particular. This was a fun Christmas overall. I got to play (aka: got killed a lot) Call of Duty with my step-dad and I think he enjoyed the gift. I got to sit and talk with my mother for a while, which I hadn’t done in a long, long time. I learned that one of my relatives was the so-called Church Lady Bandit who had been robbing banks for close to five years (yay family…) and I watched a simple and predictable, but fun movie with my mother.

I’d like to get some writing done either this morning or later tonight and it would be a really beautiful thing if I could finish this chapter before I went back to Ohio. It would be the best Christmas gift I could get for myself…ever!

 

 
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