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. 🙂

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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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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So, Nanowrimo…

tl;dr: Had one novel planned for Nanowrimo; at the last minute changed it to another one with a depressed character pov because I felt writing about her and working through her issues was more important, but in the first week I was more motivated to write 13 short stories instead. Currently, I am not doing Nanowrimo this month.

Had one novel planned (Nano.1) that was a detailed outline I was excited to get into. (Some of the details may have changed based on a comment raised whilst reading The Silmarillion.)

That novel was flipped at the last minute to a novel (Nano.2) about the conclusion of my Camp Nanowrimo because 1. it was easier to create character aesthetics and 2. I felt it would be more useful because it centered on a depressed/anxious character pov. i.e. it would be beneficial for me to write that story.

The trouble I now realize is even though I have characters and I have events staged for where the novel is supposed to go… It’s not really about anything except a character feeling like crap. (Okay, there’s a whole quest to find lost mirror shards that distort reality and emotion…) But I can’t figure out what it’s about.

Case in point: I compared Nano.2 to the other stories in its category (Lineage of the Moon) and this is what I got.

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Camp NaNoWriMo: day 1

~1,332 words (I’m guessing since its handwritten).

Since I’m doing a first pov journal story, I’m amused that my character drew a map to explain where she’s going.

I also love her metaphors:

  • “…a crescent moon that had been tipped sideways like a turtle”
  • “It was brilliant against the snow, a river of the sky.”

Okay that’s all I can find. That’s all for now.

x-posted to tumblr

Fairy Tale Friday: The Ugly Duckling

Andersen’s Fairy Tales

by H. C. Andersen

This was an old Christmas present from my mom that I re-found at the beginning of the year. It’s a lovely old book, probably from a used book store. There’s a handwritten note in it dated to June 1961. And while I have other books with a lot of the same stories, there’s something adorable about this one so I’m going through reading all them. 

The Ugly Duckling (pg. 48-61)

“He did not know what the birds were, or whether they flew, but all the same he was more drawn towards them than he had ever been by any creatures before” (58).

It begins with a mother duck showing her ducklings the world, as far as she knows it. Sometimes a parent only knows what they know, which isn’t always right for their children. Mother duck confirms life is unfair and you can’t always get what you want. She wanted the eel head for herself.

She also introduces the ducklings to the society in the duckyard, especially the duck with alleged Spanish blood. As she says,

” ‘mind you quack properly, and bend your necks to the old duck over there! She is the grandest of them all; she has Spanish blood in her veins and that accounts for her size, and, do you see? she has a red rag round her leg; that is a wonderfully fine thing, and the most extraordinary mark of distinction any duck can have'” (51).

Does the red rag mean anything? Like is it as a sign of what is going to happen to her or what she’s there for, if anything?

That’s so unfair. Just because he looks different does NOT mean he should be whacked! To quote: ” ‘Very likely not, but he is so ungainly and queer,’ said the biter; ‘he must be whacked'” (52). Why are they so hung up on his looks? Why don’t they get to know him and then judge whether he should be made over or should be whacked? (Apparently I disliked that.)

I’m glad the mother defends him. A little. At the beginning.

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