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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Toothiana Queen of the Tooth Fairy Armies

The Guardians: Book Three

by William Joyce

“But that was past. This was a different day. And through the friendship he now knew, he could change bad men to good and stone back to flesh” (Joyce, 12).

Chapter One

This book has a beautifully structured plot.

Like E. Aster Bunnymund and the Warrior Eggs at the Earth’s Core! this one begins in Santoff Claussen with the children. They are playing games and it’s actually cute: “In this new game of Warrior Egg tag, to be scrambled meant you had been caught by the opposing egg team and therefore, had a lost a point” (1). There’s a touch of cleverness with the children’s game-naming.

This opening, rather than feeling out of place, works for me. I don’t mind the other children so much. My previous association and attachment to them from Book 1 and Book 2, makes me glad to see them happy. Additionally, the peaceful, happy set-up into story is a relief after the battle at the Earth’s core and North’s near death. I feel good seeing the characters this way.

The chapter proceeds to explain what the children and the Guardians have been doing since their last fight with Pitch. One thing I liked was how

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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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Rainbow Lights

Day 53: March 24 (written)

A gentle chill has crept into her hands. The sand in the hourglass has nearly been spent. Her mind, momentarily sharp, has dulled, a blade weathered by a century. Blinking, she peers into the light. A rainbow multitude, glinting like stars, wink and blur above her. She struggles to remember — a thought, a desire, a duty — but it’s like grasping smoke; it seeps through her fingers and she’s left wondering…filled with wonder at this dazzling sight, filled, somehow, with the memory of perfect joy, even if she cannot remember why.

[91]

Last month, inspired by the-cassandra-project and their Every Day Challenge, I wrote every day to raise money for the Urban Justice Center. You can still donate here or please spread the word. I assume, since I set it up, that it’s still available if you want to. Thank you.

Apples in Autumn

Day 46: March 22 (written)

Autumn leaves crunch under his feet. Their aging kin flutter in a gentle breeze, a tableau of gold and yellow. A tart aroma of apples is born by the breeze, rustling his hair and tempting him in a new direction. Rather than the orchard he feared would be there, it is only a wild grove, an orchard long abandoned, grown round in lazy circles. Red robust apples burn through the leaves, ripe for wanderers.

[74]

Last month, inspired by the-cassandra-project and their Every Day Challenge, I wrote every day to raise money for the Urban Justice Center. You can still donate here or please spread the word. I assume, since I set it up, that it’s still available if you want to. Thank you.

Gold Dancing Lights

Day 42: March 11 (written)

The sky was filled with lights. Drifting leisurely across the ink dark heaven, they shone even brighter than the stars, a closer, more golden grandchildren to the silver stalwart travelers who wise men and woman had watched for centuries. But such lofty thoughts, of Fate or destiny, were of no concern to the one watching the lights.

Wide eyes breath in the display: a thousand or more lights, gold as tiny suns kissed with rose quartz heart. Inside each one flickers a gentle pink glow. As they near, they spiral around the watcher, as if dancing in welcome. As if to say: you are one of us.

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Rainbow Bee

Day 24: Feb 25

The flowers shone in the sun. Dewdrops sparkled, ethereal rainbows glittering on the edge of leaf and stem. A fat, fuzzy bumblebee sipped from the petals, momentarily striped in like a rainbow.

[32]

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.

Sparkling and Fleeting

Day 16: Feb 16

White sparkling snow blew across the lane between the woods. Bare branches were now draped in elegant white fur, fine and fluffy as it fell, sprinkled by the wind. The sky, cloudy blue, hunched over this tiny lane, a private little wonderland of winter. She inhaled the delicate, momentary beauty — for whenever the sun broke, it would melt everything into simple white blankets and the trees would lose their unearthly elegance — as well as the crisp cold wind. It cleared out her headache and her congestion. Inhaling again, she stepped across the lane; the trees sprinkled sparkling fur onto her bare head.

[102]

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.

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.

incomputable

Day 10: Feb 10

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.

Patterns repeat: Flower 1, Flower 2, Flower 3 — scorch, heal, et. al — wood, water, fire… They percolate in new dimensions and orders, a writhing, confusing muddle. What does it mean? What is the order? Shouldn’t it be simple? Why has it become so complex? What is the order? What is it for? What is it’s functionality?

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