I am kaitco

a writer's log

Now, that’s a problem Friday, June 3, 2011

Filed under: Writing — kaitco @ 11:59 pm
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Even though I’ve long since known that “the reader” would eventually meet Damen’s grandparents, I don’t think I’ve once written notes for how the dialogue would flow. This became a severe problem as I stared at the screen tonight and wondered what Damen would call his parents in the “he said-she said” of the dialogue.

Do I “his grandmother said” this entire chapter to death or do I give them names? And, if I give them names, do I call them Grandpa and Grandma or do I gives them real names (e.g., Jack and Lucy) and if I give them real names, will these names ever appear anywhere other than directly in the dialogue? Will it be just “Grandma said” or “Grandma Lucy” said?

Even trying to apply it to my own life presents a problem as Grandma is specifically my mother’s mother and Nana is specifically my father’s mother, so it’s never been a problem for me. The names themselves carried their own meaning…even now I’m wondering if they should be MeeMaw and PopPop…

Oy! What problems I’ve made for myself!

I suppose for this draft’s purpose their names will just be Grandma and Grandpa and hopefully some kind editor may come along and help me since I clearly have no idea how to go about this at the moment.

I wrote 327 words tonight (there’s no one fun to come visit it.) and I’m feeling oddly blank again; like I’ve recently woke from a long sleep and I’m not sure what to do with myself.

I think tomorrow I’ll plan out precisely what I’d like to do next week since I’ve got an entire week to myself to clean, to write, to play Rock Band and to gather my thoughts as I make the downward trek towards my 27th birthday.

 

1121 Friday, May 27, 2011

On an extremely personal level, the numbers 11 and 21 hold no specific value for me; 11 and 24 do as that’s Grandma’s birthday, but not so much 11/21. At the back of my mind, however, I see 11:21 in the morning or at night and smile to myself because I remember that that’s the birthday of the wife of the creator of The X-Files and I remember that the numbers 11 and 21 together often appeared throughout the show and, across my later childhood and adolescence, I had always grown excited when I saw 11/21 in some capacity.

I mention this, not to show what a huge nerd I am, but to convey how my mind seems to work. Tonight, I hit “the zone” again where the right side of my brain takes over as if it were another personality out of multiple battling for control of the single host body. The right brain just writes and writes without care of hunger pains, thirst, pain in the wrist, my back, my butt, my chest, my neck, my eyes or even my jaw. The right brain just knows it has prose and dialogue it must release and, once it takes control of the body, no other senses take precedence until the right brain has said its fill.

Once the right brain is done, it almost floats to the subconscious like an evil demon fleeing from a purified body and leaves in its wake a tired, hungry, thirsty, pain-ridden husk of a Dorienne. That said, I did get a lot of writing done tonight and had some great fun researching which “King Charles” of England was the one with all the illegitimate children (it was Charles II) and also reading through about two scenes of Hamlet to find the exact words I wanted to highlight.

Tomorrow will be a long, sad day because the day after such a rush is always a long, mournful one and leaves me wishing that the right brain would take control once again to pull me out of the doldrums of ordinary life.

I wrote 1121 words tonight (“A little,” she spoke to the floor.) and my back hurts so much and I’m so hungry and thirsty and exhausted that I’d like to just crash to the floor out of fatigue, but dare not for fear that I’ll starve to death in my sleep. Perhaps some food and a little bit of Roseanne or a movie followed by wistfully sleeping with Frasier playing in the background…

 

Bumby! Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Filed under: Writing — kaitco @ 11:59 pm
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I can barely think straight since I all can think about is the fact that Bumby is finally here. He took his time coming and I can’t wait to see him tomorrow.

I did manage to write 764 words tonight (spray-on hair infomercials together) which is outstanding considering that I never worked so hard to A) bring a scene full of dialogue out of absolutely nothing and 2) write a simple discourse between mother and son.

Mother and son…

Ah…Bumby is here at last. 🙂

 

My Life and Times Friday, May 13, 2011

Filed under: Dorienne,Writing — kaitco @ 11:57 pm
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I’m not sure whether it was the numerous ads for alcohol while playing Words With Friends (my latest obsession, since my Xbox is broken) or watching Frasier, Niles and co., taking drink after drink after drink in all these episodes, but tonight I really did need a drink…so hello, Bailey’s.

Anyway…

I wrote more banter between Damen and Brit tonight, totalling 371 words (anything until they reached her house) and am nearing the end of this chapter and also the end of this character obsession with Dana for the time being. Now, I’ve got to focus on Damen’s Aunt Jackie to make her all the fun she ought to be.

Also…Bumby should be arriving any time now. I’m so anxious it’s getting hard to think clearly, so perhaps that’s part of the reason behind the Bailey’s. That, and I really just needed a drink this week.

 

Slow Sunday, April 17, 2011

I was a bit slow tonight getting to my writing, but what I’ve decided about blog is not so much getting an exact word count done by a specific point in time, but to write consistently each and every night. So, while it took me some time to get there tonight, I wrote 517 words (Corey to turn and find his bus along the line.) and that’s what’s most important.

I surprised myself this evening as I wrote Damen’s reaction to Corey and the n-word. I didn’t have any new “heavy” notes outlining the prose and dialogue for this part, so apart of from breezing over some old notes in what was once going to be Chapter 15, I pulled tonight’s writing straight from the heart.

His reaction was a little stronger than I had always thought it would be prior to today and I wonder if perhaps it was a little too strong. Damen will go through a myriad of thoughts and emotions before the end of Chapter 14, but I know I must be very careful at this point in the novel. As with any character, the urge to make them a little too autobiographical can sometimes appear when characters come to very poignant points in the storyline, but to write a good character is to remain true to what I’ve previously written about them.

In the case of Damen, he’s already said a handful of semi-bigoted words when he was yelling about this or frustrated about that, so it would be wrong to have him look at and judge Corey without also taking a look inward.

What surprised me in the long run though, was how far I deviated from the original notes. Originally, Damen and Corey had their exchange, and Damen walked home analyzing every interaction with Corey in detail, from his first day at the school to right up to that moment. Now, I’ve got some “telling” that Damen replayed previous events, but “show” far more about his reaction to what had happened instead. And, now that I’m planning to bring in his own previous words and actions as well as that of Mrs. Munnerly – his favorite teacher – this scene is taking on new life of its own, to the point that I don’t think it’s right to include all of this in a single chapter. Well…maybe what I’m writing now is fine, but some slimming of the whole Damen-Brit -I’m mad at you, now you’re mad at me, so now I’m mad at you- piece instead…that will probably be it in the end.

Anyway…I know I only wrote 500 words tonight, but those 500 hundred were a long time coming and must really be the most finely-crafted prose and dialogue I can muster since so much of the novel rests upon this point. I suppose all I can really do is just pray about it and know that it will work out in the end.

 

Purple Rain Tuesday, April 12, 2011

by Prince ~ The Very Best of Prince

The first day back to first-job after a three-day weekend is usually the longest in the month. Today went unusually smooth and I realized something interesting about myself during a meeting. I constantly seek approval.

I don’t know if this is something stemming from my relationship with my mother as a child, but I always look for even the slightest bit of approval and the smallest sense that I’ve done something wrong or not performed at the level expected is enough to make me simply glum, if not downright depressed about my job. Alternatively, when in one of these moods, the tiniest nod, smile or any reaction that sends the impression that I’ve done well is enough to perk me back up to my normal self.

I don’t know what I’ll do with this new-found knowledge or if it is even useful since I’ll never realize this until after the fact, but still…I figure it’s good to know.

I wrote 563 words tonight (in hopes of seeing her outside the lunchroom.), again bumping myself up just a little bit more to get over the 500-word mark. There was this bit of dialogue between Damen and Corey that I started to erase entirely, but instead, let it continue to see where it went.

Just as I was about to give up on the interlude, I pulled in some prose that alluded to Corey’s past relationship with Brit and that made it all worth it. In fact, the previous dialogue was a perfect tie-in with Corey’s reaction as it shows him being his normal ornery self, but suffer a complete demeanor change, regardless of its brevity.

My hope is that it keeps the reader wondering about Corey as it foreshadows what’s to come, but will complete the total sucker punch I’m desiring when Corey’s true nature is described. What I’d like is for my reader to think “Oh, I know what’s coming. Those two had a thing.” and then later, BLAM! Corey’s real side. I figure a more savvy reader should immediately think that perhaps half the reason Corey is the way he is is due to foreshadowed moment, but I like to write to a reader like myself, who would be so shocked given my previous assumption that I would have to keep reading just to see how everything plays out in the end.

 

Must Calm Down Saturday, April 2, 2011

About once a month I hit a point where I realize that there is just no way I’ll be able to do everything that I want to do. Tonight, I hit one of those points.

I do a lot of “self-discovery” when I find myself stressed and feeling angsty because it’s the only way in which I can rationalize why I do the things I do and why it is that I can never seem to get anything done. Today’s episode comes from being simply overwhelmed by first-job and coming to the realization that I may have to go into first-job, before and after church tomorrow. But, as I remind myself, there was so much more that I wanted to do tomorrow: my cousin is celebrating her birthday, my new laptop is coming, I wanted to do laundry and play piano and-and-and-and…the list goes on forever.

When all of this started to pile and pile for me, I realized that I simply wanted to do too much “right now.” I want the novel finished right now. I want to play Rock Band all day and night, right now. I want to read a book a week and create my own comic and complete my website and code all my videos into playlists and discover new games and learn Japanese and work out every day and…like I said, the list goes on forever. The trouble is that I’ll never be able to do all of this. I even tried to just write down all the things I want to do and I can’t even fit it in all on one page, aside from the fact that I’m too ADHD to stick to the same list for long enough to even remember why I started writing it.

I’m very stubborn, however, and I though I recognize that even if I discovered some way to never need sleep, it’s virtually impossible to accomplish all of this in the time frame I’m seeking, I still want to do it all; I just lack the organization to find a way from point A to Point B and lack the concentration not to get distracted by the A1s and A55s that I see branching along the road. This is a very depressing thought and once I come to this point, I usually start to cry because I simply don’t know what else to do.

All this whining and crying notwithstanding, I know I must calm down before something happens that keeps me from accomplishing anything.

Tonight, in accepting that there are something that just won’t get done today or even this weekend, I took some time to really sit and think about my novel and wrote some interesting notes for later prose and dialogue in addition to the 313 words (before he could even make a sound.) I was able to add to the full draft.

I’m not going to first-job tomorrow, though I may go in on Monday to make Tuesday less weary. I need my days off to be truly days off and I need to just calm down. I may not get to read a chapter of anything every day. That’s okay. I may not get to workout every day. That’s okay too. I may not get to practice the piano and practice Japanese and play Rock Band and code my website and draw comics and make playlists all in one. All that’s okay too.

If I don’t get something done for myself, it’s no big deal. Why? Because, as the procrastinator’s creed goes: There’s always tomorrow.

 

Post! Sunday, March 13, 2011

Saving the space for now…

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

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

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

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

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

 

Memories of college Tuesday, March 8, 2011

In Damen, I’m writing the scene where Damen overhears Anessa chewing out Alexavier and it reminds me a lot of my college days; the discussions I’d have with my mother about why I wasn’t the shining star of the class or why I didn’t want to go through the trouble of going to med school, after all.

Though I tried to keep the dialogue relevant to the story, a good deal of the conversation comes straight from things my mother has said to me and I have found myself saying to my younger family members who are now where I was nearly a decade ago.

Thinking about college after all that’s happened in the last day reminds me of fortunate and blessed I’ve been and how things could have been a lot worse. No, I wasn’t raised with both parents in my home, but I have a lot of people who love me nonetheless and was raised by a mother who not only has a good head on her shoulders and a way of preparing for the future that few others can match. I have been spared from the heartache and depression that comes from being raised in a household that where there was nothing to look forward to outside of further angst and pain. Heck, I even went to and graduated from college.

I’m blessed.

Edit: I also wrote 440 words (and so far, they aren’t cutting it), but on a day like today, even that can same rather insignificant in the grand scheme of things.
Edit #2: I just now realized that I wrote a little more after midnight yesterday, so my actual word count is 677; go me…

 

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.

 

 
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