I am kaitco

a writer's log

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.

 

30-Day 5K – Day Twenty-Three Saturday, June 23, 2012

Filed under: Writing — kaitco @ 11:53 pm
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Well, this month is winding down like this book.

I finished editing one chapter tonight and did my initial skim of a second chapter, that actually leaves me with a little hope as far as word count goes.

Despite being rather far in this book, probably too far to be making major character or plot changes, I think I’ve got no choice but to do so. At some point, there are just too many outlandish events happening to one or two characters and what is supposed to be literary fiction starts to look like some lame attempt at science fiction.

So, this means that I’ll likely spend all of tomorrow rewriting Chapter 32 from scratch rather than blow through 2 or even 3 more chapters, but that hope I mentioned lies in that there’s a chance I might be able to bring this book which still stands at 182K down to about 175K, my goal for this edit.

I think all writers go through this dilemma of having so much to tell, but so few pages to introduce the world to our imaginations. There’s little new under the sun, so I suppose I’ll have to battle through these issues like all the world’s storytellers before me.

 

A house? Thursday, February 2, 2012

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

The story

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

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

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

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

 

Potterly Saturday, July 23, 2011

As I write this post now, I am listening to “Buckbeak’s Flight” from the Prisoner of Azkaban score. I bought the score while the film was still in theatres; sometime after my second viewing, but before my fourth. Months later, I would watch the scene from the film that carried this very song because I just enjoyed it so much and wanted to keep the visual crisp in my mind when I heard the song.

My playlist has now changed to “A Window to the Past,” a song on the same score that I only recently discovered and associate, not with film or HP in general, but with John Williams’ music and its influence on my writing. I think this is how I view the entire Potterverse at this point in my life.

Aside from the obvious reference to a “window to my past,” I see HP as something I did as a kid, full of memories, I’d rather not dampen just because everyone in the world seems to be talking about it. That said, yesterday I finally made up my mind about going to see this last film in the theatres.

I wasn’t going to go, but then someone at first-job mentioned that this is my last time to see an HP film in theatres, in 3D and all that jazz. While I’m not exceptionally wow’d by the concept of a 3D film, as I prefer to be awed by immaculate storytelling and I’m certain that at some point in the next few years, these films will be rehashed and re-released Star Wars style, I accept that my co-worker did have a point.

I rented the fourth through seventh (part 1) films and plan to make this a Potter-filled weekend before going off to see it on Monday. I’m not excited by this though. It’s very reminiscent to the midnight party for Book 7. I hadn’t picked up an HP book since I finished Book 6 and found the magic to be almost literally broken, but I went to buy the book out of an obligation of completion.

I never saw the sixth and seventh films because I disliked the fourth and fifth movies and since I knew I hated the sixth book, I saw no point, but here I am again with this sense of obliging to completion.

I thoroughly believe the films lost their way around the fourth one, where the producers and screenwriters decided that it was no longer important to tell an actual story with the adaptation; only throw some images on the screen and hope that people who read the books has some iota which actor corresponds to which character. This believe returned in full sway after re-watching the fourth one last night. I remember generally liking the fourth one the first time around when I saw it at midnight, but knew I was going to be disappointed to see an adaptation of one of my absolute favorite books. Years later, however, that disdain has grown deeper as I had only the vague memory of the books to guide me, but was irritated that if I hadn’t had that, I would have been really, really lost in the movie.

Why did the fake Moody keep the real Moody in that box? Why not just kill the kid while he no one was around him (though I suppose this is a simply question for the novel itself)? Why was it important that Voldemort could touch Harry? Why the hell was screaming so much when Voldemort touched him? What was going on with the wands at the end? Why did Harry see his parents’ ghosts? Why were Voldemort and Wormtail holding up in that particular house? What was the deal with the skull and the snake sign? What was going on in the scene with the pensieve?

Oi…and now I’ve got three more films to watch of this.

Of course, I know all the answers to these questions because I’ve read the book a minimum of seven times, probably closer to eight, but in trying to views these just like any casual viewer, I’m left with irritation that filmmakers could be so greedy as to cut out all the substance of a book just to splash it on the big screen. Peter Jackson may have left out and changed some aspects of LOTR (hello, Tom Bombadil?), but overarching story was still intact.

I’m not really sure why I’m ranting about Potter tonight. I think it’s just been a long week and I want to rant about something and since I generally disliked that movie last night (no Dobby, no house elves, no SPEW, Krum was too cute, Diggory wasn’t cute enough, Fleur wasn’t a veela, no Bagman and that !@#$%^&* scene with face in the fire!), this will have to do.

I wrote 518 words today (a pair of scissors, two combs and a brush), not counting the ones I added to the Potter-fic ( 😉 ) and I think I’m going to use this weekend to be as annoyed as I want to be, while trying to write a little more as well.

 

Netflix…I had a rough day, too Tuesday, July 12, 2011

There’s a lot of hullabaloo going on about Netflix right now. I adore the service and have for several years. I also upped my service to 5 discs at a time so I’ve been paying 34.99 a month for the last 18 mos, down one disc from when they changed 6 discs from 35-something to 39-something.

As I’ve been paying this rate for Netflix, which is still more than $40 a month less than what I’d be paying for cable, when said service decided to up their prices again, I barely felt the pinch; only the people who had been paying next to nothing while getting an amazing amount of something, got hit hard.

This is really Round 2 of this rant; Round 1 is at my Dorienne’s Log. I’m about done ranting against the rant against Netflix, but I thought it necessary to say it again. This isn’t like taxes where the funds can easily trickle to the masses when a small percentage of people pay the least amount of them. This is a large group of people paying 7.99 for streaming service and then just 9.00 to have out 3 discs at a time. Anyone who claimed they did not see this coming was either ignorant of business economics or just plain…no, they were ignorant of business economics.

With all this said, I wrote a total of 530 words tonight (when are we gonna read it again?), not counting the extra words that helped shape the series of “instant messages” between Damen and Brit that start the beginning of Chapter 19.

I’ve decided that I’m going to fancy myself a Mark Twain type of author and capture the language of the pubescent set at the turn of the 21st century. Ages from now, in the same light that critics sit in awe of how well Twain captured the linguistics of 19th century Missourah, Damen will be enamoured for it’s detailed descriptions of how teenagers spoke to one another at this point in time.

…at least this is what I’ll be repeating to myself when these parts of the novel get slammed by some agent or editor some months or years from now.

 

A crying shame Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Filed under: Reading,Writing — kaitco @ 11:59 pm
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I remember the first book I ever read that brought me to tears; Charlotte’s Web when I was 11, and that was even after I’d developed my spider phobia.

I don’t know why I cry at books as much as I do. I cried reading the 4th, 5th and 6th Harry Potter books, I sobbed in happy hysterics over the end of Fried Green Tomatoes at Whistle Stop Cafe and I even burst into tears at reading the end of Kagura in the InuYasha manga. Why am I so emotional?

My first exposure to Jane Austen was Persuasion as a reading assignment in college. I hadn’t expected much, but it’s now one of my favorite books and it’s hard to imagine the end with Anne Elliot who had been poorly persuaded and her Captain Wentworth without tearing up a little. As with Fried Green Tomatoes, tears streamed down my face with an almost ridiculous vigor from the outright joy about what I was reading. I finished Sense and Sensibility tonight and, I’m not sure why it surprised me, but once I again, I found myself in tears at the end of an Austen.

The silly thing about Sense and Sensibility is that it’s one of my favorite movies, i.e., the one done by Ang Lee and Emma Thompson. I’ve watched more times than I can count and I cry harder at the end with each subsequent viewing. I think I’m just so touched by Elinor’s breakdown at the end that I can’t help but cry with her, so I knew full well what was coming at the end of this book and thus had ample opportunity to ready myself for the end.

Even with knowledge of the ins and outs of the plot, I still burst into tears and continued crying for another several hundred words and into the next chapter when I got to the same point of Elinor’s breakdown. As with most books, the image is far more poignant in my mind than on a screen and just reading the words “His errand at Barton, in fact, was a simple one. It was only to ask Elinor to marry him” caused me to take a extra five minutes to compose myself before I could read any further. I’m not sure why it is that, especially with Austen’s books, I’m such a punk when it comes to even remotely emotional literature.

I wrote 284 words tonight (Was your Thanksgiving okay?”) though none of them threw me into a fit of tears as did Austen’s. Still…aside from reading a book I knew I’d love from the moment I decided to buy it, I accomplished something extraordinary tonight. I watched no television and played no Rock Band, not because I was on a zealous quest to change my ways, but because I decided that I’d rather read instead. It’s a pleasant thought to be able to see definite changes in yourself, no matter how small.

 

Something or another Saturday, July 2, 2011

Filed under: Reading,Writing — kaitco @ 11:59 pm
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Since I’m on such a reading kick lately, I’ve decided to really put some effort into re-reading/editing Flight for it’s third edition. I’ve not looked at it, really looked at it in ages and I hate to think of it just sitting on the interwebs with all these spelling and grammar errors and looking very much like a fledgling writer’s first attempt at a novel. It will be fun to reminisce since I was finishing my last year of school while writing it.

I listened to some “normal” music today (Green Days’s Restless Heart Syndrome, of course), but quickly returned to classical and have been listening to it ever since.

I am, however, going to watch some Frasier for a bit before going back to Sense and Sensibility. I quite like the idea of reading all the time and look forward to seeing if I can manage to read a book a week for a while. Between my old Star Wars 91-book challenge and the 60+ books waiting on my Goodreads “to-read” list, I’ll be good to go for a while.

I wrote 328 words tonight (her grandmother and her sons could do the same) and have this nagging suspicion that I’m taking too long to get to the point with this part of the chapter. All I can think however is that I’ve got to keep pushing and pushing until it’s done. And, I can go crazy with my proverbial red pen.

 

 
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