I am kaitco

a writer's log

“The Sun Ain’t Gonna Shine Anymore” Monday, October 29, 2012

Filed under: Writing — kaitco @ 5:39 pm
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I’ve decided that today is as good as day as any to update since, if I don’t update when I’ve got the thought to do it, I’ll never do it all. The title comes from the Cher song of the same name. I don’t actually have that song on any iDevice I own, but it features in an episode of The X-Files and I’ve just watched a good episode of X-Files (not that one), so that’s likely why it’s stuck in my head at the moment. The fact that this Hurricane Sandy is dooming my area with grey for the rest of the week is likely a coincidence.

I think I should mention NaNoWriMo as it’s just around the corner and I consider myself to be a writer. Part of so-called gloom throughout the majority of this month was due to my desire to have my novel completely edited and ready to send on the 1st of October so that it could be on someone’s desk or at least their trash bin before NaNoWriMo began.

I’ve been following this industry for a long while and if there’s anything I’ve learned it’s that NaNoWriMo can be rather undesirable for agents and editors. What often happens every November is that people who perhaps have always wanted to write a novel or folks who had never even considered it are inundated with cheers from peers pressing them to write 50K words in one month. The way NaNoWriMo SHOULD work is to force a person to write every day for 30 days, planning for a total of 50k before the month’s end, and then use the product from 30 November to begin crafting a real novel over the course of another year or so. This way, one has a real novel to present to an agent, thus beginning their career and so forth.

What ends up happening, however, is that folks write every day for 30 days, hit their 50k mark and then, with perhaps a quick Microsoft Word spell check, they send whatever they’ve crafted in 30 days to every agent in the world and are somehow surprised when nothing comes from their efforts.

While the above doesn’t truly concern me since I’m writing my fourth novel and I know, for certain, a final product is not really possible to note, draft, complete, cut and edit in 30 days, what is a devastating concern for me is that since so many of NaNoWriMo submissions get sent out between December and February, a real writing effort could get easily lost in the pile. So, if I finish off this four-year effort and send it off now, my chances for being noticed are tissue-paper thin all because of NaNoWriMo.

All this notwithstanding, I’ve decided to participate in NaNoWriMo this year, but I’ll be using this as more of a writing exercise than an attempt at a real novel. I’m not even going to think about a topic until the 1st of the month so that I can push together whatever can, missing words, plot holes and all, in 30 days.

I’m no longer in a slump of missing my given “due date,” but I’ve not been able to push myself into daily writing yet, so my goal with NaNoWriMo, as much as I detest it and as much as I like to blame it for everything from Hurricane Sandy to poor American voting decisions, will be to just get myself writing again.

 

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.

 

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.

 

Impossible Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Filed under: Music,Writing — kaitco @ 11:59 pm
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by Christina Aguilera (feat. Alicia Keys) ~ Stripped

I’d forgot how much I like my “Z-Write” playlist; if anything, it gives me a much wider range of music and song titles to use when I run out of original titles for posts.

I can’t even remember when I created the playlist since it was at least during the iPod Classic years, but it has long since been a writing staple for me as it consists of music I dearly love and to which I’ll often break into song while in the middle of some prose. The purest thing about it, however, is the ability to disappear when I’m concentrating and not re-appear until I’m ready to hear it again, which is usually when I sing along with the music.

The “writeabilty” of the list comes from the fact that I love all the songs a ton, but not to the point that it’s overwhelming. There are few songs on the list that when I hear them, I have to stop what I’m doing to consider the lyrics or sing out my heart because I love the music so much and that is what makes this list of fifty-some songs so perfect as a writing backdrop. I can think about the music when I have the desire to do so, but not a moment prior to that.

I wrote 517 words today (new semester and taking the roll call) and all of them were written to my Z-Write playlist, so called to ensure that it’s always at the bottom of my playlists and easily findable and also because I love to say that it’s “zee right playlist to use for writing.” when I explain it to others.

 

Into the West Thursday, August 18, 2011

by Annie Lennox ~ Lord of the Rings: Return of the King soundtrack

So much and so little has happened today that I’m not entirely sure what I should and shouldn’t say. In reading a few articles, I think I understand myself a little better than I did even yesterday and I feel some of my friendships moving into new directions, some good, others not so much. I’ve done so much thinking and so much reacting today, that my mind’s been left bereft of any journaling thoughts for the moment, hence the song titled post instead of something original; I suppose it’s better than the word count title I originally planned, but still…a lack of creativity is just that.

I wrote 1229 words tonight (“You ever go fishing?” he asked) and I think some of this blankness may come from letting my mind come back from “Corey” and back to Dorienne. When I write Corey, I feel as if I have to become a different person because he swears so much and speaks in a manner that I, as myself, could never do and I guess it takes a little time to get out of the Corey mindset and back to myself.

Writing is a fairly odd craft…

 

Brick Saturday, August 13, 2011

Filed under: Dorienne,Writing — kaitco @ 11:58 pm
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by Ben Folds Five ~ Whatever and Ever Amen

I’m listening to this song via Google Music which in less than ten minutes managed to turn around my entire day. Prior to experiencing the free set of songs offered by the new Google app, I was going to say that I’d had a pretty crappy day, but now I’ve heard music through a new method and now I’m mildly happy from just the sight of something so new and fun.

I wrote 401 words tonight (for the prayer before the meal) and may have written more tonight except…well, Google Music, really is quite fun.

 

Can’t Let Go Wednesday, July 13, 2011

by Mariah Carey ~ MTV Unplugged

My mind’s a bit drained currently, so it’s been difficult to come up with a decent title or even post on time. I’m writing nonetheless.

I watched The Dark Knight tonight and since I approached it thinking it was going to be hokey, I rather enjoyed it. I also had a lengthy conversation today about Harry Potter that got me wondering whether I should go see this final film and re-read the books.

I’ve been wanting to re-read the books for the longest time, but since Movie 3 put a bad taste in my mouth, Movie 4 made it much, much worse and Movie 5 made me want to get up and leave the theatre, I’m not too keen on the films anymore. I haven’t watched the sixth one or the first part of the seventh and I highly disapprove of the seventh book being broken into a two movies. If these producers were really smart, they’d have started splitting them at Movie 4 and then let it drag out until all the kids were nearly 30, not that some of them aren’t already.

It sounds like it would be so easy to wrapped up in all that again, but I’m not quite sure I want to do it. All of it, the books, the movies, the forums, just feels like something I did at 18. I’m very different today than I was at 18 and I worry about further tarnishing the series in my mind.

Movie 5 didn’t do the 5 book justice and while I could probably watch Movies 6 and 7 with no problem since I’ve not read those books in about 3 or 4 years, I’m not sure I’m ready to make the leap. A nagging part of me remembers the 18-year-old Dorienne writing an editorial for Mugglenet.com about The Surprise of Harry Potter and how enjoying it this point in history is far better than anyone else would have it and that somehow, I’ll regret not taking part in all of this. The rational side of my mind, however, says I’ve better books to read and write than Harry Potter at the moment and reminds me that I can’t get distracted. For now, I suppose, I’ll get my Harry kicks by playing the games based on Movies 2 and 5 (on the PS1 and Wii, respectively) and leave the movies to unaffected masses.

I wrote 443 words tonight (crossed his legs and went back to his book) and I’m a bit tired right now. I think I’ll retire for the night and pretend that I’m not going to have Potter-infused dreams for half the night.

 

Viva La Gloria! Monday, June 20, 2011

Filed under: Writing — kaitco @ 11:25 pm
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by Green Day ~ 21st Century Breakdown

I didn’t do much this weekend. I didn’t play much Rock Band, I didn’t finish the chapter, I didn’t go to church and I didn’t go to my piano lesson…like a punk and failure.

Despite being in a sour mood, I managed to do a fair bit writing tonight and wrote 603 words (and she nodded. “Yeah. That’d be nice), though I still didn’t finish the scene that now feels like it’s been dragging on for ages at this point.

I don’t know what I’ll do for the rest of the night as I’m in the mood for nothing but staring at a blank wall and trying not to think of all the talent I waste by doing nothing. The best thing of all is I’ve somehow got to muster the drive to go to first-job tomorrow…

 

The Climb Friday, June 17, 2011

by No Doubt ~ Tragic Kingdom

I hate nights when I have to work for someone else. The day never drags as long as when I know I’ve got stay even longer than I normally would. On a Friday, especially, I don’t want to be there half the time and to stay at first-job until close and then shooing out those who don’t seem to want to go home on a Friday evening is most soul-sucking aspect of my week. That said, Season Eight of Frasier has arrived today, so I know I’ll perk up in just a bit.

Speaking of Netflix, as much as I adore them, they’ve got an angry call coming their way. I order my Netflix queue so that I receive a season of a show and a movie, five discs total, each time I get something in the mail. For the past four of five rounds, they’ve been skipping that last disc in the series and sending me the next movie in the queue. Then I later get an apologetic e-mail stating that my intended disc wasn’t available and would arrive a few days later. It’s great that they have the courtesy to send me an extra disc while I’m waiting for the one I wanted, but it’s absolutely irritating when it comes to a show that likes to end the series on a cliffhanger. I knew what was coming at the end of Frasier seventh season, so I didn’t even open the envelopes until the last disc arrived because I knew I’d be pulling out my own hair in frustration that I couldn’t watch the last three or four episodes of the season for another day or two.

Speaking of companies I both love and loathe, Harmonix have got quite the racket going and I’ve managed to get sucked into the act of checking the Rock Band site daily and growing wild with anticipation at the thought of new DLC for Rock Band. I only want three of the next six songs coming and they’re not even my favorite music, but I can’t think of anything else I want more in life at the moment. How did this happen?? Two months ago, I would have scoffed loudly at the idea of paying 2 dollars for songs I already owned, but now I’m fervently awaiting the moment when I can readily hand my funds to Micro$oft and Harmonix. It’s a good thing I fear getting kicked off Xbox Live too much to research pirating RB songs because honestly…

I went into another tangent while writing tonight, though I think this one may make the cut. In a story that supposed to take place between end of August 2007 and end of May 2008, I’m up to end of November 07 and I’m a good 100K words into it already. I’ve also got some rather lengthy side stories to lead in and then uncover between now and the end which means this thing will be close to Flight length before all is said and done. How I’ll ever wrangle my wordiness I’ll never know, but tonight’s deviation is a good piece of foreshadowing for a character who life I keep ending and bring back with each edit.

I’m not sure what I’m trying to say about Amber, but she, like Brian and Zach and Andy, has been a part of the story since close to its inception and, while I’m not entirely sure she does much more than add some melodrama to the story, I still enjoy writing her. Amber’s personality is like the antithesis of myself; lacking any sense of self-esteem and obsessed with what she’ll never be. Damen mentions when he first sees her that she’d be almost pretty if she didn’t work so hard to look like Jessie, but since she does, to the point of bleached hair and blue contacts, it manages to make her very ugly, which is why it’s important to paint her as not so much a mean or horrible person like Jessie, but just a sad and confused young girl.

Learning from my mistakes with Jonathan Halloway in Flight, if I want my audience to feel a certain way about a character, I’ve got to manipulate it early so that when they do some daft things, said actions will be the result of the stress I’ve put on the character rather than just the same old thing. It’s a bit of a side-track at this juncture in the novel, but I think I’ve given her just enough depth to make my reader really consider her.

I wrote exactly 300 words (to Aunt Jackie watching the others play football) tonight <> and I’m in the mood to write more, but I’ve got new hobbies and TV calling. I will say this, however. Even though it was less than 5 minutes total, I did play the piano for a bit earlier this morning. It wasn’t enough for a full practice, but enough to get my mind working the right way again.

 

Come Away With Me Thursday, June 9, 2011

by Norah Jones ~ Come Away With Me

Well, the vacation is almost over and I’m already counting down the days when I can take another span of time for just myself. Spending these last few days just playing Rock Band, playing piano and writing has been just so relaxing. I’ve even lost a little weight. I don’t know what I’ll do to keep the stress at bay once I go back to first-job, but with less than 36 hours remaining before I’m due to appear there again, I’m already being weighed down with a little bit of dread.

I’d like to think that tomorrow will be the most productive of all these days, but I know I’m wrong. I’ll probably do a little laundry, but since Season 7 of Frasier will be coming tomorrow (and, if memory serves, it’s the season where Daphne discovers how Niles feels about her), much of the day will be spent watching Frasier in between bouts of Rock Band.

Speaking of my favorite game, I hit a wall this afternoon that almost turned me off of gaming altogether. I’ve recently become infatuated with the idea of Xbox achievements to the point where I think I’m no longer going to buy Wii games since I can’t must the desire to play them when there are no achievements to earn. I mean, I could play the games just out of the fun of playing them, but really…

Today, while trying to gain the “Big in NYC” achievement for Rock Band 1, I realized that I’d have to master a song on Hard that happened to be the one song that caused me to give up on completing the Hard tour in solo mode. I was just so discouraged by my failure and the thought that I would need to spend real effort at mastering this song to get any other achievements that I wanted to give up on all the games I’d bought and all the time and money I’d put into them. Instead of quitting, however, I strengthened my resolve and have decided that, like with every other Rock Band Everest I’ve come across, this too shall pass. I’ll beat “Flirting With Disaster” eventually, in much the same way I spent hours trying to beat the Expert tour for vocals: days and days and days of failure until the glorious moment finally shined.

What this showed me, however, was that I really enjoy just playing through songs in a simple setlist which is why I spent the past 5 hours creating and customizing characters for Rock Band 3, creating my band, syncing with the RB website, connecting that with Facebook, designing a band emblem, creating a Green Day “Faves” playlist for RB3 and then playing through said playlist. Aside from that, I’m going to start playing through the RB2 achievements and also Lego Rock Band so that my gamerscore can at least increase a bit as I delve further into my newest hobby.

The most important thing that separates Rock Band from other games for me is the ability to put down the game so that I can write. True, I just left RB3 on the main screen while I went upstairs to write, but the point is that I did squeeze out some time to write. Perhaps not as much as I could have, had I not spent the entire day playing Rock Band, but still…I’m on vacation. 🙂

I wrote 421 words tonight (just kept pulling her right back out of the gutter again) and, like I knew would happen eventually, Grandpa Jack and Grandma Lucy are coming into focus as I continue the chapter and bring Aunt Jackie’s character to centre stage. The key with Aunt Jackie, though, will be to still soften her and make her likeable again before Damen leaves LA. I can’t very well leave her sounding like some raving drunk who is clearly still mourning the loss of her older brother.

Perhaps, I really will “waste” tomorrow as well. I’ve got a ton of writing I’d like to complete on top of the mountain of other things I’d like to do and have got Sunday and Monday to do things as well…

Oh, well. I’ll mull over the depths of my procrastination as I continue playing Rock Band and time will tell the rest.

 

 
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