I am kaitco

a writer's log

Trapped/Faith Thursday, September 15, 2011

Filed under: Dorienne,Writing — kaitco @ 9:23 pm
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Trapped

Light blue walls are grey
And within them, I am trapped.
“Business needs” outweigh my own,
Exits are blocked with no help on the way.
I am trapped. I am trapped.
I give my all; days in with no days out.
I smile and uplift, but none even see,
And still, I am trapped.
I must get out. Please God, help me!
I can’t stay. I can’t go on
And continue to be trapped.

As I sat at my desk tonight, thoroughly disgusted with everything that touches my life, I felt the slightest pangs of despair and went first to what I always reach when I feel myself reaching a precipice, thus the poem.

Shortly after writing it, and a cry of self-pity later, I brought out my bible to study, praying first for “help” from whatever I was to read tonight. As always, God delivers and the message I really needed to hear came from Matthew 14. Peter was fine while he kept his eyes on Jesus, but the moment he started to let worldly things (i.e., the fear of sinking) deter his thoughts, he started to sink. Jesus plucked up him and gave what I equate to a verbal sigh from his lack of faith.

I don’t know why I allow the little things to get to me; I suppose it’s the human way. What I enjoyed about this evening, however, is how I got to my lesson. I’ve long since turned to writing in times of stress because it seems that if I just write it out of me, I’ll be okay. Tonight, turning to my writing turned me to the bible and a reminder that it’s only when I take my eye off Jesus do the little things start to pile and bite at me all at once.

I wrote 1014 words tonight (what we all are thinking deep down) and I pray that I live to see a day when I turn to my faith first in times of strife instead of everything else.

 

The bad girl Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Filed under: Dorienne,Writing — kaitco @ 11:59 pm
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Five years into my Christian walk, it’s often difficult to remember what my “old life” was like. I can remember blurs and pieces here and there, but I can’t recall if much of it was a lot of fun because I didn’t really like myself then and worried about the person I would become.

I like to think that declaring myself a Christian shuns away all wisps of my “bad girl” days, but I know this isn’t true. Every once in a while she appears, often when I least expect it.

Things are going well and there’s no sense that anything could deter me from the path on which I’ve set myself and suddenly, she appears. When she arrives, I start thinking the most bizarre things: Just go ahead and write a little and put off your bible study for another night. It’s just one night…You can have an affair with a married man. You’re not the one who’s married…Why not just quit your job and not do anything? Who could stop you…You’ve got some cash in your wallet and credit card. Get that Bailey’s you’ve been craving and just have a little drink.

The only thing that really keeps from letting the “bad girl” takeover is that it’s just too easy. As my mother often said when I was a child, “If it was easy, everyone would do it.” It’s easy to give into temptation just like it’s easy to procrastinate and let life’s troubles slide, but it’s very, very hard hold onto your principles when all those around you seem to succeed by not having any.

I’m not sure I’ve got anything significant to say about this tonight. I guess it just annoys me that I can no longer do whatever the heck I feel like doing because I now know and fear the repercussions of my actions and I know that I can’t go into sin by asking for forgiveness first.

I wrote 519 words tonight (his focus from his still uneaten sandwich.) and read the 13th chapter of Matthew (unfortunately in reverse order) despite the bad girl’s whispers in my ear that told me I really didn’t want to do either. I can’t say that I never listen to her anymore, but the harder I work to put God first in my life, the easier it is to ignore her.

 

The waiting Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Filed under: Writing — kaitco @ 11:59 pm
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I know that Jesus and I are working on this patience thing from how I handle having to wait for anything in life. I want the book to be done…right now. This very second. I want my project to be reviewed already. In fact I want it done yesterday. Every once in a while, a tiny sliver of patience will squeeze into my life, like the patience for the car, but the waiting is the hardest aspect life has ever had to offer.

I don’t have much to say about today given that I spent the majority of it stooped at my desk working on this project for first-job, but the waiting for an answer about is probably going to keep me up for half the night.

I wrote 921 words tonight (up with Saturday) and I think I need to add laziness to the list of To-Do projects for Jesus and I since I’m starting to see that it and procrastination seem to go hand in hand.

 

Waiting for the moment Monday, September 12, 2011

I’m not sure when I developed a routine of deep procrastination prior to a project, but I wish I could break the cycle as much as I wish I could avoid being late. I want to say that this started in college when I would wait until the last possible second to write papers or study for exams, as if I were giving myself the added challenge because the coursework wasn’t interesting enough to hold my attention by itself. That’s incorrect though; I’ve been doing this probably since I was fifteen, if not earlier.

When I was fifteen, I set a goal to finish Evan, which I’d started four years earlier, before the new millennium and it wasn’t until I reached the end of December that I put my writing in overdrive to achieve the goal. When I was seventeen, I set myself a goal to finish Alex before I went off to school and I didn’t finish it until about a week before classes started.

This cycle of procrastination brings an odd rush with it. It’s like an extra set of endorphins that steadily release, increasing with the more time I let elapse. The less time I have to accomplish something, the greater the rush I get when I complete it. If I’ve got a paper due at 9am, the rush I get from waiting until midnight the previous night to write it is nowhere near the rush I get when I start at 4am to write the same paper.

I don’t think I intentionally crave this rush as I hadn’t really recognized it for what it was until just now, but I can’t think of any other reason why I’d put off projects, really, really important projects, until the very last second except to get a hit of that rush. It worries me because, as with any drug, you never know which hit is going to be the one to spin you into ruin.

I wrote 594 words today (like a five-year-old girl), but a part of me, however, wishes that I could reach that moment once again to push myself into overdrive for the rest of this novel…just one more hit.

 

A thoughtful day Sunday, September 11, 2011

Filed under: Dorienne,Writing — kaitco @ 11:59 pm
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It’s hard not to become philosophical when one starts to think about a possible existence that occurs after one’s life is spent. As a Christian, it’s easy to start to think of heaven and its wonders, but as a mortal person with a clear sense that space and time are so intimately infinite, the internal discussion becomes far more interesting.

I’m not sure whether it was the witness of real illness today or the remembrance of how I spent a warm Tuesday morning ten years ago that got me thinking about death today, but once I got started, it was difficult to stop. I know that I shouldn’t really concern myself with it because one or another, my own death won’t bother me; either I’ll be welcomed home or that’s the end. The idea of having to start life over again is only comforting if I could take the memories of this life with me and, though I’ve often been called an “old soul,” no past-life memories have ever seeped into my dreams, so I doubt that’s a real possibility.

Life is just so odd. As my pastor often says, your life is nothing but a dash; 1984 – whenever. Everything that I was, am or ever will be rests in that dash and even that dash isn’t permanent. When I consider my almost 27 years wandering this tiny rock in the midst of a dark sea that’s internally governed by space, time, matter and energy, my life seems like even less than a dash. More like the tiniest electron-sized piece of a single dot out of the millions of pixels on a screen.

I’m not sure what’s got me so focused on life and death and what exists before, after and in between it. All I know is that sometimes I wish for some kind of brain injury that inhibits my ability to think about things like this…but then, I dislike wishing for things I really don’t want in the end.

I wrote just 503 words today (when Damen had first come to visit) and I think, with this project for first-job pressing, it’s perhaps time to for some sleep.

 

Going to the chapel… Saturday, September 10, 2011

Filed under: Writing — kaitco @ 11:08 pm
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Going to a wedding today, so I decided to study and write early.

Today did not inspire any profound epiphanies about writing or God; today was just a day, but I’m happy to see it.

I wrote 576 words today (with a ‘lil Jesus, no matter what they’s believing) and if I’ve anything extraordinary to note about today aside from celebrating the wedding of my two friends is that the dress I bought for the wedding was originally $140.00, but I got it for $33.00. 🙂 This gives credence to the idea that in my heaven, every day will be a Macy’s one-day sale day.

 

Getting Deep Friday, September 9, 2011

Filed under: Dorienne,Writing — kaitco @ 11:59 pm
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The more I study the bible, the more complex and beautiful it becomes to me. I’ve got my favorite versus such as Matthew 9:20-22 (the woman with the issue of blood) and Luke 15:3-9 (the parable of the lost lamb) to name my favorites and the list grows with each day I spend studying.

As much as I love those verses, the more time I spend studying, the more I find myself getting confused by what I read.

I consider myself moderately well-read and after having to sit through an entire quarter of Elizabethan-era literature that was riddled with Spenser, I imagine that I can read and understand just about anything, but I still find those parts of the bible that just don’t make sense to me, even after I’ve read the commentary notes.

So tonight, I turned to my dear friend Google to seek some new notes that would expand upon what I was reading.

This got me thinking, however, about something I’d read online about someone being so offended that bible versions/translations existed that broke down the text to something as egregious as “Look, ya’ll. At first there was nothing and then God created heaven and then He turned around and made the earth.”

As the anglophile that I am, I too am disgusted by translations such as that, but as Christian, I’m not as opposed to it. The goal of the bible is to help spread the Word and having taught Sunday School for a while, I know only too well how difficult it is to get those who are not accustomed to Elizabethan English to understand what “‘Can the children of the bridechamber mourn, as long as the bridegroom is with them?'” means. I know this also because I had a lot of difficulty understanding that verse and was driven to a Google search to find some real understanding.

While I dislike deterring from the original, I think it’s important to remember that even the King James Version is not the original Greek in which the New Testament was written and so it’s improper to say that this translation is better or worse than that one. Since the purpose of the bible is to spread the Word and save souls, why not put it in the “language” of those who need it? I suppose it’s the same as translating the bible into any hundred languages because it’s far better to translate it than to try to teach someone old English and then try to preach Christianity to them. The second hill is hard enough without adding a pre-cursor to it.

I wrote 687 words tonight (when he stayed with his grandparents), even after a rather abysmal day at first-job, but my mind’s not even focused on word counts this evening.

In reading, writing and studying tonight, I was reminded of a device or phrase or whatever that I’d often use when I was 20 and still lost that convinced me that the bible was fallible and that so was Christianity. I’d heard somewhere, most likely on TV, that there was some discussion by some people somewhere about whether or not the various translations had messed up whether Jesus actually walked on water. The discussion was that it was possible that the original word was the Jesus had actually walked beside the water, not on it, and I heard this and ran with it.

When I’d have lost discussions about religion with my friends this was the first thing that usually spilled from my mouth and I proclaimed this in complete ignorance of what I was saying. I know now that this was complete ignorance because, after actually reading through the gospels for the first time, I saw that any idiot person who’d read the text would have a hard time believing that the translation was supposed to be “beside” the water. If Christ had walked beside the water, then on what boat did Peter leave to come out and stand on the water with Christ and then start to sink when his faith started to fail? If Christ was walking beside the water, then those in the boat would not have thought that he was a ghost and this really would not have been worth mentioning in any gospel. And yet, since I’d not ever read any of the gospels at that point, I was happy to wallow in my ignorance.

It wasn’t so long ago that I’d conferred with my fellow agnostics about what was or wasn’t true about the bible and it’s fascinating to look back on the person I was then versus now. I lacked direction and purpose and today I at least feel as if I’ve got both.

 

Grateful Thursday, September 8, 2011

Filed under: Writing — kaitco @ 11:27 pm
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Much has happened with first-job in the past few days and I’ve got much to do ahead of me, but I’m still happy. I’m not smiling because it’s the end of the day and it takes quite a few muscles to smile, especially when tired, but I’m still happy. After days of earnest prayer, Grandma is well and God is good. 🙂

I wrote 711 words tonight (then dissipate before following Corey.) and studied more before I sat down to write. For the first time in this endeavour, I really didn’t want to stop at the end of Chapter 8. I’d just gone through Christ’s driving away the two devils that drove the swine into the sea and I got so wrapped up in how they called Him the Son of God that I wanted to just continued reading. I didn’t, however.

I think at this stage, when everything is relatively new, exciting and fun, I can easily inundate myself study, but find it taper in the coming weeks. I’d much rather keep a steady chapter-a-night flow going and leave myself continually wanting more than to get burned out and quit when I’ve got another 65 books to go.

I worked a lot, wrote a bit and prayed a lot today. I’m very grateful today; for the power of prayer and for the gifts God has given me.

 

Contrast Wednesday, September 7, 2011

For the past few days, I’ve been working diligently to study the bible prior to writing. In my mind, if I can manage to post something every single day, and write more than 500 words every single, then I’m more than capable of studying the bible…every single day. I’m not quite to a place where I look forward to my study every night, but I’m getting there and I’ve even started to note some of the more memorable verses, like Matthew 6:33 to which my pastor often refers (“‘Seek ye first the kingdom of heaven!'”).

Studying the bible each night has started to calm my mind a bit so that I spend less time painfully staring at the laptop screen in search for inspiration. On the other hand, I’m starting to have some…issues, for lack of a better word, when writing some of these characters, namely Corey.

I’ve said before that Corey’s nature makes him sometimes difficult to write and it’s never so difficult to write Corey than it is after I’m fresh from studying the Word.

There is a fascinating contrast that almost limits my ability to “channel” him properly after I’ve studied. Case in point, tonight I tried to write Corey using the Lord’s name in vain as I have many, many times in the past, but tonight’s pause last long enough for me to debate with myself whether or not this was really what I wanted Corey to say. I settled with allowing him to curse, but only to do so by making him appear unnecessarily foolish, which I’m not sure I like doing because, despite the often horrible things he says and does, I like him to some degree. I’m just intrigued by the contrast between Corey’s dialogue and the words in red in my bible.

I wrote just 527 words tonight (smiled from the doorway) and I’m lucky to get that considering all that’s going on with my grandmother right now. I suppose I just get sad on days when all I’ve really got left is prayer.

 

Weak Tuesday, September 6, 2011

by SWV ~ It’s About Time

The title song sent me Googling and Wiki’ing the artist/group for a short trip down memory lane. The song makes me long for my childhood when things were less annoying and far, far simpler.

Tonight’s writing has got me a little depressed as I let some of Angel’s maternal premonitions set up a ridiculous amount of foreshadowing. For the first time in the novel, I’m really starting to identify with Angel, which means I know I’m going to need to start answering the question “why does she stay” in much the same vein I had to answer the same question for Damen in regards to Corey.

As I saw earlier, these answers will materialize as I continue writing, but now that her voice is becoming stronger and less that of a secondary character, it’s becoming more and more important that I figure her out soon.

I wrote 1064 words today (to that church of Anthony’s on Sunday) and I doubt I’ll get to the end of the novel before the end of the month, but as I did with Flight, I’m going to pull out all stops still trying to get there.

 

790 Monday, September 5, 2011

Filed under: Dorienne,Writing — kaitco @ 10:08 pm
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It’s got cold recently…and I love it.

The heat drives me crazy because I don’t like showing off my body, so my only choices are either to bring personal fan while I wear long sleeves or sweat in long sleeves because I really don’t like showing off my body. The temperature’s dipped into the low 70s and I hope it just gets colder. I just need one good frost to kill off all the crickets and cicadas to have a decent sleep at night.

I spent most of the day with family and was redeemed by my Bumby as yesterday’s brief meeting ending with half the family poking fun that the baby would scream anytime he got close to me. Today things were, thankfully, different and I got to spend half the day just holding any playing with him.

I’ve not got anything particularly note-worthy to say other than the fact that today marks the third day where I’ve studied my bible prior to writing. It’s not been illuminating on my writing so far, but I know some good will come of it eventually.

I wrote 790 words tonight (mannerisms still concerned him.) using the notes I’d created yesterday afternoon as a guide. Tomorrow will be a day of cleaning, writing and Rock Band; preferably in the that order.

 

Distractions Sunday, September 4, 2011

Filed under: Writing — kaitco @ 10:28 pm
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I learned today that I’ve lost the ability to focus and write in any situation. I can either write against a music backdrop and I can write against the white noise of the hum of my laptop and the crickets outside (hopefully) my window, but I can no longer write, pause my thoughts when someone speaks to me and then pick up once again.

I wrote a huge chunk of Flight in this manner while in my first year at first-job. I’d write a little, pause when I needed to and then go right back to where I was, sometimes in mid-word. I’ve become spoiled with my small bits of free time and have lost a treasured talent in the process.

I’m not sure how I’ll go about getting it back since now, when faced with constant interruptions, I grow more and more irritable until I can write freely, but I think it’s worth mentioning that this part of the craft has clearly abandoned me.

I wrote 591 words today (he said and he turned away from her.) and I’ve got more notes to complete to finish this particular part of the scene, but I think I’ll leave well enough alone and just be happy with my almost-600 and the fact that I did study the bible prior I started to write.

 

And just like that Saturday, September 3, 2011

Filed under: Writing — kaitco @ 10:23 pm
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I was in the midst of streamlining my notes today in preparation for “full” writing when I had an epiphany on “paper” and didn’t even realize it until much, much later.

You may not like him, but he’s at least principled enough to be who he is. And just like that, a question that has been bugging me since I first conceived of this project is answered. Why does Damen spend time with Corey? What does he see in this character? What drives him to seek out his friendship? What quality could he possibly possess that would overshadow all of the bad ones? Of course, there is far more to the relationship than just that statement, but it goes a long way to, at the very least, help me understand both characters a little better.

I’m a bit hungry now, so there’s not much else for me to say about today other than I’m not looking forward to spending my Sunday at first-job.

I wrote 1289 words today (Brit did not follow him.) and I’m really hoping that I can keep up my pace of setting up all my notes the previous night so that the writing moves very smooth the next day. I was going to stop whenever I reached a 500-ish word count, but the desire to finish the scene was more powerful and I think that’s how I should look at this going forward. Instead of writing to just word counts, though I’ll still do this to some degree, I’m going to focus on writing complete thoughts and scenes, which should reduce the need for ridiculous editing of what I’d rambled about in 500-word nuggets across a week.

 

Autosave! Why hast thou forsaken me?!? Friday, September 2, 2011

Last night around midnight, I decided to keep writing and finish Chapter 21. I was in the midst of a zone and in mid-word when the screen suddenly turned blue and said something about an error. Long story short, my laptop crashed in the middle of everything I was writing and I sat worried about the blue screen of death facing me. I hadn’t written a lot after I’d last saved, but I had some notes written in a Notepad doc that I really wanted to keep and I liked the little bit that I had been writing.

While I completed two hard restarts and allowed some random Windows repair screen to do its thing, two thoughts rushed through my mind: Did my novel autosave? and Was my Sims 2 game at risk? Now, the former was more of a wishful thought than anything else because autosave has failed me in the past and I did not expect much from it, but the latter was really a surprise.

I guess knowing that I had saved at least the bit that I’d included at my last word count and also knowing that the novel is not only saved on a separate shared drive between all three PCs in my house, but also backed up to my DorienneSmith.com server eased any real concern about the safety of my work, but my Sims 2 game was not so well-guarded and all I could think of as I waited for the autofails autosave’s inevitable failure was whether I’d lost some eight years worth of gaming with just one crash.

I instantly Googled how to make a laptop hard drive into an external hard drive in case the laptop couldn’t be started again and eventually I considered all the pain of not having this particular laptop when I traveled later in the month and then again about that autosave, but a real fear and this amazing sense of loss started to overcome me when I thought about my little game.

I don’t get to play the game as much as I used to play, but Jill is a story born directly out of my Sims’ game and I consider each sim and each family a potential character or set of characters. If it wasn’t for Beau and Alexander Goth and their adopted sim children, I would have never looked at Jill and said, “Hm…there’s a story in this.”

I’ve spent a long time playing this game and, as odd as it sounds, I’ve been playing some of these characters longer than I’ve known some of my friends…my good friends. So, it’s not so much the loss of the game that troubled me, but the loss of so many characters, all at once, with no hope of recovery that caused an ache in my chest and probably reduced some of my life expectancy.

Even though my amygdala started sending out all sorts of irrational thoughts, I did not completely freak out and I found that my fears were, more or less, groundless. The autosave did, indeed, fail to live up to its name, but my game and all its characters were safe. That said, I immediately created a back of my game just in case another random crash comes in the future.

I wrote 614 words today (before she sat across from him) and after each and every pause in writing, I took a minute to Ctrl+S my work to avoid another incident. I’m also going to attempt to upload the 12+ GB file that is my Sims 2 game folder…I’m sure my webhost will shut me down long before I succeed, but it’s worth try.

 

September Thursday, September 1, 2011

Filed under: Writing — kaitco @ 11:58 pm
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The last few days have been so busy at first-job that I’d nearly forgot that September has started. I’m not sure if it’s from all the years of starting new school years in September or if it’s just the month of my birth, but the month of September is a magical time for me. September holds this ability to make me feel as if I can do just about anything if I really focus on it and I am far more motivated in September than I am even at the start of the actual year.

Interestingly enough, I somehow forgot my goal of studying the bible prior to writing so quickly, I’m amazed that I actual considered it a real goal when I thought of it. I studied before I wrote tonight and was better for it, but still…less than 24 hours passed before I’d forgotten, once again, to put God first.

But September is the start of a new everything for me, so I’m going to leave all that forgetfulness to August and know that September is a new beginning.

I wrote 541 words tonight (I know. Thank you. Really…thank you) and if I use September to it’s potential, my 27th September will be one of my greatest.

 

 
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