Writerly Notions: blogs and purpose

tl;dr: I’ve tried various times to create and categorize writing (and related) blogs. But I can never maintain interest (except in ones I delete or revise the intention of). Until I know what I’m doing with my writing and my various categories of purpose (for me, for fairy tales, for sharing stories, for sharing experience), I won’t be updating this blog on a regular basis, if at all. Thank you to everyone who read and commented on my weird little posts. 🙂

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At the beginning of the year (February, to be precise), I typed up an initial post, which has been on my to-do list for…maybe a year?, about this blog. And it’s various incarnations.

The central question was why? Why do I even have this blog?

It started as a place to post detailed responses to books I’m reading or have read. But my motivation and interest in that only lasted so long.

Then it was supposed to be a writing blog, with posts of my writing, especially my daily writing exercises. The trouble with that was two-fold: making sure I didn’t publish anything online I wanted to publish in some other way (and the added analytical sieving to make sure the stories or vignettes I post/posted were not something I wanted to publish in some other way) and a lot of what I would post/posted weren’t really that important. About the most important bits I’ve posted about my writing is my Writing Demons posts.

Then it was supposed to be a place to post my experiences, struggles, and thoughts as a writer. But doing that felt too messy for a blog, so I made a writing journal. But that has since ground to a halt. Likewise, this blog’s venue as a writing blog has ground to a halt. And my question is why?

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Writerly Notions: Stress & Focus

This morning I spent a few hours calibrating and analyzing what causes me stress and my stress levels. Or more specially “needling things that send me into a mental whirlwind panic/confusion.”

I won’t go into the details. Suffice to say, the categories of Creator, Writer, and Promotion feed off one another to create the highest levels of stress and the highest amount of stress. Additionally, as with this blog, some of the trouble comes from the simple question of: what am I doing? What do I intend? (I hope I’ll be able to post my thoughts on that, which have been waiting in my drafts, soon.)

A few, unrelated tidbits I learned about me and my writing today:

  1. a playlist I made of songs I can listen to over and over without getting sick of them lend themselves to worldbuilding and character development in Nights of Heroes. Which is interesting since it may imply that if left to it, I might think about that series a lot.
  2. I realized the third section in my recently complete novel (which is in revision) is more incomplete than I realized. Getting a handle on the chronology has helped a whole bunch (i.e. cementing dates so they don’t wiggle around; I have a tendency toward flexible dating…) Additionally, I realized why the second section comes off as different than the rest — it has subplots! The trouble is I’m unsure how much the content of those subplots plays into the larger story. So anyway, it gives me focus. I can work with that.

Sorry if this was a short and brusque.

I took an iPad photo of by analysis notes, if anyone’s curious.

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Writerly Notions: What to do?

So I’m in a bit of a muddle. (Also, don’t mind me, I’m just clearing my thoughts.)

What should I work on? Okay, scratch that. Should I write the final section of my long, long, long overdue demon mythology story, even if I’m not 100% sure it actually makes sense, nor do I know what’s happening? Or should I try to make it all fit together?

And see, that’s the hitch. A lot of ideas I’ve had post 2010 (Romance of Three Jewels, The Painting Story, NIAR, 12D + Bluebeard) actually have structure. Story structure. Conflict. Character arcs. Story stages. Do I know every detail? Probably not. Do I have enough to see how the plot connects and how my characters will grow and get from one story stage to the next? Oh, yes.

But I have at least three major projects that came before 2010. And it’s a pain because they’re not, well, as well structured.

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Diamond Tears

Day 40: March 11 (written)

Tears crystalize on her cheeks then fall, tlinking softly against the floor. They roll toward the writhing fire trapped behind the grate. Even before its monstrous heat, the tears — now diamonds — cannot melt. But the heat cracks wickedly against her skin, rising fissure in her cold flesh that do not bleed. Chained to the chair, all she can do is weep.

[61]

Ocean Ancestors

Day 13: Feb 13

Tales of the past — sometimes the recent past, if she’s honest — curl across the floor, dainty, almost fanciful words, so wondrous and unbelievable that they seem capable of cracking under the slightest inspection. But they are true; she knows so. She has lived part of this recent, unbelievable story herself. Though it is the older stories, the ones interwoven like flashes of silver on the sea among the recent one, that keeps her attentive: astounding voyagers across the vast ocean, colony and kingdom founders, dropping words and letters on their journey. They were the first to understand the sea and what lay beneath. A tiny silver glimmer flashes inside her; she is glad they play a part, however miniscule, in her story, too.

[123]

I have renewed these in lieu of the Refugee Ban in the USA. Inspired by the-cassandra-project and their Every Day Challenge, I am writing every day to raise money for the Urban Justice Center. You can donate here or please spread the word. Thank you.

Snow Flowers

Day 7: Feb 7

I have renewed these in lieu of the Refugee Ban in the USA. Inspired by the-cassandra-project and their Every Day Challenge, I am writing every day to raise money for the Urban Justice Center. You can donate here or please spread the word. Thank you.

Snow plummets down, an arch of fluffy cold crystals, coating the desert with a heavy white blanket. The lizards and crickets dart into their homes, burrowing as deep as they can to avoid the chill. But the snow continues relentlessly, and as it falls, unknown to most that make this northern desert their home, tiny translucent flowers burst through the powdery layer. Plum and indigo, they sway gently, black satin faces drinking up the crisp moisture of the snow.

[79 words]

January Summary

a day late

As part of the Every Day Challenge, instigated by the-cassandra-project, I set up two challenges. The second one, or Challenge #2, focused on Nights of Heroes — revision, outlining, character development. I posted about my progress it every couple days. These posts can be found here at my writing journal.

Other general writing posts can be found here.

My Challenge #1, which was to write 100+ words every day, can be found here (among other material and inspiration related to the story.)

Finally, I made character aesthetics.

Every Single Day

for future updates visit my writing journal

The Cassandra Project proposed a great idea – Every Single Day Challenge – where you do something every day throughout January for charity raising. I recommend anyone who can to spread the word about this Challenge and donate. I’m doing two:

Every Single Day [January Challenge] #1

I’m writing 100+ words every day in a long-standing story about demons, the moon, and love. And even if I’m just one tiny seed in the grand forest of people, I’ll sow what good I can. If we plant enough seeds and take care of them, well, then we’ll have a forest.

Every Single Day [January Challenge] #2

When I first heard about the Every Single Day Challenge I thought: Hey, I think of my Nights of Heroes project every day anyway. So I wanted to use that time — revising, thinking, chronicling, name-building, drawing, writing, and even old original content* — as a means to do something good for the world.

*my Dreams: basically Disney characters developed like original characters rather than adhering to Disney’s characterizations

What to write?

11 December 2016:

A couple weeks ago, I wrote a lot of my thoughts and feelings down. It felt as if I was pushing myself to really think and consider things: how I felt, what I felt, my situation, who I was, what I believed.

I didn’t post any of it; I never post those kinds of reflections. I have a writing document, or a journaling word document. It’s where I can work through thoughts and confusion and realizations. Or at least it feels like I am. I don’t have to worry if the paragraphs fit together, or if it makes sense, or if it has a unified topic, or if it is writerly or witty or just good writing. I don’t have to worry about if my feelings sound good. I can just focus on what I mean or what I feel.

Almost two weeks ago, I posted a verbatim one about my purpose and why I write. I hadn’t written anything since then.

Today’s the seventh Anniversary of The Princess and the Frog. It’s the only Disney movie that directly influenced my writing. That winter soon after it premiered, me and my immediate family went to Walt Disney World and stayed at resort near Animal Kingdom. It was an awesome place. (It was connected to the safari/savanna so there was a waterhole area outside where you could view animals; we saw a giraffe drinking on the last day.*) But it was really out of the way.

More importantly there was a lot of PatF stuff being promoted. So, the African décor, animals, PatF, and the Christmas lights and spirit mashed up in my mind to deter and take over the second book of my Aladdin-lyric story.

That’s a really bad working name, but it’s the best I can think of to explain it.  Essentially, I wanted to take the cut lyrics from Disney’s Aladdin and see if I could create a compelling story out of it. Or more precisely, if I could take a lazy character and a spoiled character and see if I could make them compelling. By the end, it had begun to deviant from that idea and sink into a strange fog focused on the early stages of my Dreams. Then PatF came out. And I got two new characters that changed the plot.

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The Darkangel

Like those before, here’s another re-read. I wonder if I should have a separate category for them, seeing as I’m so any I want to read before I’m sure whether I want to keep them or not. (Okay, most of them I know I want to keep, but this one I wasn’t as sure about).

What striking about this one is all the subtle and complex world building I missed when I first read it. The world Aeriel lives in has a very interesting and intruiging history. I remembered pieces of it: god-like beings hidden away in domes and a seahorse skeleton. But the nuanced quality of it, the tone of the telling, the murmurs of meaning – they seemed richer than before.

Oddly I’d wager that this was one of the earliest examples of multicultural fantasy  I read. I didn’t realized it at the time. I recalled Aeriel going into the desert, but I hadn’t quite visualized it as clearly as I did now. I’ll expand on this more in the second book.

As a writer, Aeriel’s growth arc came at a peculiarly propertious time. One of the stories I’m writing is similar, only so far as its about a meek girl growing into a more confident self. What reading this book cemented in my mind was that there’s needs to be a background for my character to grow in. Does that make sense? In The Darkangel, Aeriel gores as a result of her journey but also her growing awareness that the darkangel who kidnapped her is a danger to the her homeworld. (More precisely, his complete transformation into a icari will herald the reign of the terrible water witch, the lorelei.)

Underneath Aeriel’s growth, there is ask her relationship to the icari himself, the wraiths (who were once his wives), the durrough, and the gargoyles. For each she develops compassion, indifferent ways. Expand.

Speaking if the wraiths, I loved the spindle and how she spun love into garments. I also love that her courage is really closely knitted with her compassion for others. I think that’s why she’s able to do what she does at the end.

And thus we came to the surprise in the story: Aeriel turns the icari back into a human. She has fallen in love with him, or as Talb says, she has true love for him.

Is this believable? I think so. It’s clear that Aeriel has developed love of some sort for him. She wants to “free him like the gargoyles.” Her developed sense of kindness appears here for Ikkaryth. Is it necessarily a fully romantic and sexual love? I don’t know. May I still consider if true love. Certainly. True love is only love that can accomplish the remarkable. It doesn’t have to limited by romance.