I am kaitco

a writer's log

The Remaining 2K Sunday, May 12, 2013

Filed under: Dorienne,Writing — kaitco @ 8:11 am
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Before I go onto my writing, I’m going to lament about church.

I work nights and despite quite literally asking God for every facet of this current first-job, I can’t help noticing that it gives me almost everything I want, except the ability to attend church at my leisure.

Because I’m too lazy to look up the exact day in my blog.doriennesmith.com blog, I just use Mother’s Day as a general anniversary to really becoming a Christian and today, more or less, would be seven years in the church. There’s a part of me that wholly desires to go, but there are bigger, more sonorous parts of me that can’t be bothered out of fatigue, general laziness, and a fear of over-emoting myself.

The entire way home from work this morning, I wondered what would I do. I want to go to church because I need to go to church, but I don’t want to sing in the choir today and, as selfish as it may sound, I can’t deal with all the pain that comes with this day. There are so many people, especially in church, who when they hurt, I hurt and with so many people and so many lost mothers, the pain is almost agonizing. Just thinking about it starts to bring tears to my eyes. It’s difficult enough at Christmas or any other holiday, but for some reason, Mother’s Day seems to hurt worst of all.

Maybe it’s because I miss my own mother who’s just a few states away. Maybe it’s because with two grandmothers and a my own mother and a godmother and my godmother’s mother all alive and well, I can’t help morosely preparing for the ultimate pain and sorrow that this day will eventually bring for me. I’m not sure how to describe this. I should be happy and sending cards and making calls to all my loved ones, but instead just thinking about the pain of those who can’t share in my happiness brings tears. All of this from a Hallmark holiday.

I think the bulk of my ultimate rationale for not really wanting to attend church today is that I hate crying in church. It’s a baptist church and people do it all the time, but I still never want to do it. Despite only now just drying my own eyes, I still feel that tears should only occur when someone has died or if a limb has been chopped off and if it must be done, it should be done in private. To put it as succinctly as possible as I can at this point, I hate crying in church and, on a day like today, I don’t trust myself to keep it together.

In other news, I got a good deal of work done today and my current word count is 122,008. I’m going to hold off with editing these final two chapters of the book for a couple reasons. The first is that they are the saddest things I’ve ever written and even though I’ve known how this was going to end from the time I conceived the first two principle characters, I still sob uncontrollably while I re-re-read this. Given the aforementioned tears I’ve already endured this morning, I know re-reading these chapters won’t be good for my health. The second is that I’ve long thought I shouldn’t work on a Sunday if I hadn’t gone to church and, as I live my life as if my second job will eventually become my first and only job, I just can’t purposefully skip church and then turn around and spend the day writing. God gave me these gifts and, if I can’t drag my behind in to go praise Him for who He is, I don’t get to use His most special gifts, either…

 

From there to here Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Filed under: Dorienne,Writing — kaitco @ 8:50 pm
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I think I may finally understand why I want to badly to keep the character of Dana Barrington in Damen.

It occurred to me just after I reviewing yesterday’s post, but I wanted to sleep on it and take a break from writing to be really sure of what I want to do, which is remove Amber’s suicide attempt, but I’ll get to that part later.
Here is an except from Flight and all that I ever wrote of Dana Barrington’s character in that book:

Olivia stepped off the elevator on her floor and trekked toward her apartment door, weighed down by the stacks of files in her bag and those being carried under her arm. All of the documents and images that pertained to Dana Barrington’s rape case were in her possession and she was scheduled to testify at the trial the next day. She knew she was ready for the trial as she had testified at many previous to this one, but she hauled everything home to review just as a comfort to herself.

Dana Barrington was a high school student who had been brought into a hospital after being found bleeding profusely in an alley. She had attempted to perform an abortion on herself with a wire hanger and nearly killed herself in the process. After she was admitted, the detectives learned that she had been raped several months earlier and that she could not tell anyone about what had happened to her. Dana had said that she was too embarrassed to say anything because she had walked home alone and she knew she should not have.

The rapist, Gregory Lars, had been apprehended by the DNA provided by Dana’s baby who was born premature, but healthy, two months later. Lars had been preying on adolescent girls in the city for years, but it was only with this case that they had the DNA needed to convict him.

On Friday, Olivia was supposed to testify about Lars’ behavior when he was finally caught. She had no qualms about testifying in front of Lars, who had actually hit her in the stomach while she had him against a wall, but her nerves were slightly on edge when it came to facing the victim again. Dana’s large brown eyes displayed nothing but innocence and she knew only too well that a child born to a raped victim, especially one as young as Dana, would not be as loved as he could be. She knew that upon seeing Dana in court, she would want to tell her what was coming in her life and what she should tell her son as he grew up, but she knew she could not. It was not her place to do so.

Friday January 19, 2007
New York County Courthouse

Olivia stood in a corridor outside of the courtroom where she had just testified against Gregory Lars looking for Dana Barrington and her family. When it seemed like she had missed them in the bustle of people flowing out of the courtroom at recess just before noon, Olivia spotted a sixteen-year-old with brown hair and large brown eyes holding a baby carrier.

“Olivia!” Dana said, the moment her eyes reached Olivia’s.

She handed the baby to her mother standing next to her, crossed the corridor in three steps and hugged Olivia.

“Thank you,” she said, tears welling in her eyes. “Thank you so much.”

“It’s no problem. It’s what I do.”

…and that’s it. That’s all I wrote about Dana Barrington’s character in Flight, so I’ve been so puzzled why this character in particular has caused me so much stress in the past couple years, but finally! Finally, I think I know why.

Dana’s story is brief, but very sad. Here she was, a young college bound girl, with almost no problems at all and, through no fault of her own, she was attacked and impregnated. Dana did what I considered I would have done had I been in her situation and pretended it didn’t happen until the problem, literally, grew too big for her to ignore.

When I think of this character, I feel like I need to see her through this. I need to see that she’s happy and healthy and that life goes on. Not because I’ve personally experienced this, but because I just need to know that at least somewhere, life goes on.

Yes, I know that these are fictional characters of my own making, but I feel them and know them as if these were people I could touch. For the same reason, I couldn’t really understand the ending of my novel until I realized where Corey could get his comeuppance (much, much later and in a completely different book) because I just couldn’t leave things the way they were. I needed to see life go on and these characters move forward, even though I wouldn’t be writing about them after I’d moved them on.

So…

I’ve decided to leave Dana firmly in the background along with others who just briefly see light like Tatum and Paige and Tabitha. Amber, however, won’t be pushed to the background, but she won’t have nearly as large a part to play anymore. Instead, I’ve decided to pull Damen’s mother Angel into the foreground where she belongs and use her drama to provide the conflict. In short, I’m completely changing the plot of my novel well into my second edit.

It’s not as bad as it sounds, though. Yes, there will be far more scene rewrites than I wanted at this stage in the novel, but in the process of just reviewing my “points” and chapter summaries, I’ve nixed 3 chapters and removed several smaller storylines that irked because they were originally necessary to avoid plot holes.

I prayed about this last night and asked God if this was really what He wanted of me. Not just the novel changes, but the idea of writing at all. Today, my emotions have run the gamut, from hot/cold, east/west, whatever, but I ended up with a clear path.

I’m not sure I’m willing claim any of this as providential inspiration because God works in mysterious ways and I think it a bit too bold say something like that, but I can’t help noticing how when I really, really asked for help, a calm path came to me.

 

All witted out Saturday, August 4, 2012

Filed under: Dorienne — kaitco @ 9:13 pm
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I’ve got nothing fun or interesting to share today and it seems that I’m all out of wit for the time being.

I will, however, share this tidbit: Addiction can come in just about any form imaginable. There are the obvious addictions to narcotics, etc. which folks can spend a lifetime trying to cure and, assuming they come out of it, can then go on giving talks to teenagers about the dangers of addiction, but life (my life at least) doesn’t always throw the “normal” addictions at you. More often, addiction forms and grows on the mundane.

Most of the people who are addicted to caffeine don’t even recognize it as an addiction; they just complain about a headache if they don’t have their morning tea or coffee. Others can see nicotine as an addiction, but it’s rare to have your friends start an intervention if you smoke a pack a day. Going further down the path of addiction, however, things get slightly more interesting, though they are far more mundane.

Addiction to video games usually comes with an eye roll and calling said person a “loser” without any thought behind why this person needs to spend their time playing some dumb game. Addiction to food just makes you look weak-willed and your doctor will hardly ever refer you to a rehabilitation program for it, not until you reach the 400lb mark. Gaming and food addictions are only just now being recognized by the APA (no, seriously), but I liken both to substance abuse. The high achieved eating what I ought not eat is the same as the high achieved by playing Minecraft day in and out and now, barely five days into this, I’m starting to struggle like anyone suffering from nicotine or even gambling would. I’ll not be writing anything today, not because I’ve not got anything to write, but because instead of focusing on plots and characters, my mind can only imagine the taste of fries and mining from iron and gold to lay tracks across my massive Minecraft island. Addiction is addiction, no matter how lame it is.

Like I said, I haven’t anything overly insightful to say today, but…Do you ever have those days when you wish you were an alcoholic or had a drug habit just so that you wouldn’t have to suffer from the mundane addictions? No one will ever go on Ellen to discuss their harrowing journey through caffeine withdrawal, just like I doubt my struggle with giving up fast food and Minecraft will ever make it into my memoirs…but I sometimes, I think it really should.

 

30-Day 5K – Day Fifteen Friday, June 15, 2012

Filed under: Dorienne — kaitco @ 9:06 pm
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I’ll get this over with nice and early…

I’ve been down all week and it’s finally caught up with me. I left first-job early and I probably would have slept into the wee morning hours if a friend hadn’t called.

To say that I’m ill is an understatement and since I’ve barely the energy or capacity to do much more than make myself a hot toddy and wrap myself up in my chair, I think it goes without saying that I’ll not be writing anything today.

Well, I can hardly hold the iPad upright any longer, so it’s time to make my tea while I can still see.

 

30-Day 5K – Day Fourteen Thursday, June 14, 2012

Filed under: Writing — kaitco @ 11:49 pm
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Well…

I’m in a lot of pain today, not that it’s an excuse for anything, and I’m quite tired. I’d hoped to get a little more than 1764 (Brit said, still giggling) written today, but I didn’t and I’m ready to write off this whole week as a steaming pile of failure.

I hit a small patch of inspiration earlier in the day, but got distracted and so, here I am.

I keep telling myself that if I just get a little rest, I’ll have the strength to push through this, but from where this rest is coming, I’ll never know.

I think what’s got me so very down today is that I’d hoped to at least be into Chapter 30 by now and I’m not. I’m barely into Chapter 28 and at 1500 words in, I’m already over budget on this chapter’s word count. Not to mention, I’ve not felt well all week and I sometimes feel like I’ll be in my same position at first-job for the rest of my days, whether I’ve got a hundred of them to go or another thirty-thousand of them…

Oh well…onto tomorrow.

 

30-Day 5K – Day Thirteen Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Filed under: Dorienne,Writing — kaitco @ 10:59 pm
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Well, I started to give up on writing anything today, but given my acknowledged failure from yesterday, I knew I had to give it at least a try. I got through 2746 words this evening (campus towards her brother’s dorm) and am slowing reach that 100K words cut point.

I’ve not got much to say this evening since I’m so wretchedly irritated over this issue with my laptop (rant to follow), but I’ll say that I’m glad I pushed just a little tonight.

I probably had a few hundred more words overall, but I had to stop and completely rewrite a whole page of dialogue because I just hated where it was going. Nothing, but he said, Anessa said, Bryce said, Adrien said, Trey said, Brit said…all the way down the page. Someday, somehow, I’ll need to figure out how to write dialogue where there are more than three characters speaking in the scene.

[rant]
So, I mentioned the other day that the laptop I use for streaming to my TV was on the fritz. I spent days looking for a solution to fix it and even just let it sit for a couple weeks hoping the problem would just go away in the same manner it started. A few days ago, I coughed up the cash for MicroCenter to pull it apart and at least determine where the problem lay.

Today, I got a call from one of their technicians telling me that some “main board” has gone faulty and this was the reason why nothing else was wrong with the laptop, just the HDMI port, which, of course, is the one thing I needed most on this laptop.

The technician rattled off a time frame for getting a part and a time frame to fix the issue, but I had to replay his voicemail when it came to the price because it just…could…not…be! A total of $375; $275 for the part and an additional $100 to install the darn thing! I hadn’t even spent that much to buy the laptop a year ago! What was ultimately infuriating, (a fact that I relayed onto this gentleman) was that there was nothing else wrong with the laptop. It was fast and ran like a dream…except for that single HDMI port.

Well, faced with either dropping the cash to fix the old laptop or just going out and purchasing a new one, I opted for the new laptop and plan to sell the other one. I just wonder…how can anyone justify pricing a part at almost as much of the machine into which it goes?!? I suppose it’s all apart of some conspiracy between all PC makers, but I just can’t stand it…

[/rant]

 

30-Day 5K – Day Twelve Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Filed under: Dorienne,Writing — kaitco @ 11:34 pm
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I’ve not felt well at all today and so, I’ll have to use the dreaded “None” tag for this post, as I should have written something, but failed to do so.

I did manage to pull together my notes for this revised chapter, along with the word count limits for each scene, so I suppose that is some sort of victory.

Something I noted to myself yesterday is that I’ve made a lot of progress in the last two weeks and I know this blog has had much to do with it. I’ve no one to hold me accountable for my writing since I seldom speak of it with my family and friends, so outside of the very rare, “So, how’s that book coming, Dorienne?” I’ve got few reasons to chug along outside of personal drive. This blog, however, serves as a record of the things I have or have not done and it gives me that accountability I desperately need if I’m to get this thing done.

So, while I’ve not actually written anything this evening, I’m fully aware of my failure because I’ve had to write about it and because I don’t like how the shade of failure looks against my skin, I know I’ll strive hard to prevent it from appearing tomorrow.

 

30-Day 5K – Day Three Sunday, June 3, 2012

Filed under: Dorienne,Writing — kaitco @ 11:56 pm
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Coming to 4418 words (that made Damen slightly uncomfortable) out of 5000 is very much like tripping at the finish line of a mile race, but behold…I’ve tripped.

I’ve only tripped because I’d spent the better part of this day procrastinating like it was my job. I got to the point that I’d grown bored with playing Minecraft for 3 hours and I just stood in my kitchen for ten minutes trying to think of something else I could besides write.

Anyway, 4418 is still another 4418 that I’d not had yesterday, so even though I tripped in the race, I still succeeded.

With regard to successes, Thursday afternoon the thought came into my head that I wouldn’t go to church today. I tried to push away the thought since I’d been on my best attendance streak since I first got saved, but the idea of it nagged at me on Friday and again on Saturday and I found myself still in bed this morning at 10:30, preparing to tell God, “I’ll try for next week, I swear.”

I’m the last person to always think the devil has any real impact on my life, but I know these thoughts had to come from somewhere and, since I’m a rather ridiculous control freak, I leapt from the bed, even though “I” wanted to go back to sleep and said, “I’m in control here!” and then went on to church.

I’ve mentioned this struggle in the past, but it still tickles me when I overcome and that victory makes me smile more than anything else today.

 

My 30-Day 5K Thursday, May 31, 2012

Filed under: Dorienne,Writing — kaitco @ 3:56 pm
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I won’t be doing any running, of course; that’s just madness. I will, however, be writing and editing a lot. The plan here is to spend the next 30days writing and/or editing a minimum of five thousand words every day. This should get me through, in theory, about a chapter every two days, letting me finish with a nearly complete product by mid-month and then another 15 days to clean up things.

This is a bit drastic and a little illogical and I’ve set up things like this in the past quite often and have also failed in these self-challenges just as often, but it’s time to do something.

I feel my life starting to slip into simple mediocrity without anything meaningful to help me feel creative any longer (yes, I’ve stopped watching Downton Abbey for the moment) and I worry that if I keep going like this, if I just stop writing or stop daydreaming about the stories I’d like to write, I’ll turn around, realize I’m 30 and my life still hasn’t started.

On top of this, I’m really going to pay close attention to my spending and concentrate on debt reduction next month, since I make a good enough living to be living better than I do, but I’m wasting all of it on debt increased by the number of times I eat out rather than cook something…which brings me to the third goal for June, which is that if I’m too lazy to pack a lunch for myself the previous night (on top of writing my 5K), then I’ll just have to go hungry.

It’s hard to punish oneself, but I’ve been a very spoiled brat for too long and someone’s got to do it.

I’ll post daily to keep me honest and make me really think about whether I’m going to lie on the sofa in the evening and do nothing since I’ll know I’ll have to answer for it. With my wrist feeling a little bit better, I’m willing to push myself, so even if I’ve got no chance at achieving all three of these goals, at least I’ll get a little momentum going on one front.

 

A chapter a day, makes the book…yeah Sunday, April 15, 2012

Filed under: Dorienne,Writing — kaitco @ 11:01 pm
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I’m currently on Chapter 14 of 40 and I’m down about 44K words, which brings me to a current word count of 243K words. Still quite a behemoth, but it’s getting manageable. If I stay at a rate of about 40K words deleted per 12-13 chapters, I should be able to hit my ideal word count. The problem, however, is tackling that length.

I’ve fallen into this routine of measuring the word count first (10K for Chapter 14) and then reading through the chapter figure out where I was going with it. Sometimes, I’m lucky and I can even recall saying to myself, “I’ll have to cut this on the next draft.” as I was creating the original prose or dialogue, but sometimes this involves almost re-writing an entire chapter. Chapter 14, at first glance, looks like one of those luckier chapters since I know I’ve got loads I can just strikethrough and keep trucking, but it’s tying together the relevant pieces that will require a general re-write that is so infuriating.

Some days, it’s like I take two steps forward and three steps backwards.

I keep praying and asking God if any of this is at all relevant and at all a part of His plan. I don’t get the booming voice from above saying, “Yes, Dorienne. Stay the course.” so there’s that part of me that’s unsure whether some of this frustration is coming from some nagging voice telling me there’s something better I should be doing or if an “I quit” attitude is just so much easier than pushing and pushing.

I suppose the real frustration comes from knowing that I’m not quite sure what else I could do outside of write. When I look back on my childhood and adolescence, all I remember is storytelling. Verbal stories I would tell myself as a very young child and then putting those stories to paper as I reached the latter end of elementary school. From there, I started to write novels and even finished two of them before my eighteenth birthday. Writing is all I know. It’s who I am and to be so close to just touching my goal, only to sit and wonder what else I can do with my life if I fail is a little discouraging.

I haven’t any snippets of inspiration for myself today’s post. The sermon at church today was all about how frightening and hot hell is and while fear can motivate, it does little to inspire.

Maybe I just need to get some sleep…

 

 
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