Don’t f#@$ing choke

I’ve reached over 80K words in the first draft of my first novel.  Holy shit.

How the fuck did I do that?

And that’s not even counting the notebook.  It’s almost full and I’ve pasted in pages as well so I can only imagine what the word count is in there.

Henry III and notebook

I love my notebook and it would be very difficult to work without my computer.  I do about 50/50 computer vs pen and paper with my writing.

I’ll write on anything.

I could do an entire book of just images of napkins, receipts and scraps of paper, big small and everything in between that I’ve scribbled across when the muse whacks me upside the head at inopportune moments.

The notebooks keep me organized though.  Now that I’ve figured out how to index at least the Tome’s notebook, I can even find what I’m looking for in a somewhat timely fashion.  It’s good not to have to remember it all in my head.  Leaves a bit of room for everything else.

Was writing something about the fifth main character the other day.  Her tale is starting to show itself in more detail and she’s becoming a much larger part of the ending than I had originally anticipated.  Things always get more complicated the further you dig  into it.  Whether it’s weaving a story or baking bread.  You just have to know how you fit into bringing it out into the world.

Sometimes when I’m writing it’s like being surrounded by an event that I’m not a part of.  All I have to do is translate what I’m witnessing into words so that other people can see what I’m immersed in.  That’s when the word count really racks up.  It doesn’t happen very often but it’s pretty cool when it does.

Most of the time writing is just banging my head on the keyboard until my skull cracks enough for the words to slither their way out.

As long as they keep coming I’m willing to bleed.

Sometimes when I’m writing I’ll see an image, like a photograph but more encompassing.  I’ll just geek out here for a moment because it’s the easiest route to go.  Think of the holodeck on Star Trek in its many and wonderful permutations.  The former state of writing is like when the holodeck is running, the latter when they stop it to take a look at something in a bit more detail.

So as I’m working I get one of these still images.  It’s of a piece of art.  I’m not sure if it’s a painting or a charcoal sketch.  But I see the general shape, composition and colors.  So I grab the sketch pad and on the way to a fresh clean page, pencil in hand, I get distracted by this page.

hair comb for E&R wedding
I drew a little face!

Came up with this for a wedding I was going to a few years back but didn’t get around to making it.  Drawing it was enough.

For some reason today I decided it needed a silhouette to show how it should sit.  I know where it should go but will I remember in another couple of years?  Better to be safe then sorry.

The sketch started as a silhouette and ended up being a little face. It’s even reasonably human in appearance.

I’ve always wanted to draw but never had much success with it.  I drew a mean unicorn when I was in grade school but that was pretty much the extent of it.

I’ve bought art supplies over the years and fiddled a bit with them.  Never get beyond the fiddling stage though.  I get frustrated when I can’t get the image I see in my head down onto the page.  As I’ve gotten older I’m more willing to see where things will go and keep poking at them till I’m at least somewhat satisfied.

Patience has been a hard learned virtue.

I’m developing an adventure bag to lug all the creative stuff around. Notebooks, pads, pens, pencils, markers in three sizes as well as tabs, flags, and sticky notes in abundance.  Time and money are getting in the way of bringing it beyond the design phase.  This happens pretty often so I’ve learned to work around these limitations.  It’s still somewhat annoying though.  Then again, life often is.

I think I’m going to try creating this painting/drawing/whatever it ends up being that I see in my mind.

dusk dawn

I really should be writing.

Anything is easier than continuing to bleed on the page.

I really should be writing.

Don’t I need another cup of tea?

I really should be writing.

I’m writing this post.  Doesn’t that count?  It’s writing!

I want to go to MacDowell to put the polish on my Tome.  Who wouldn’t want to go for an art residency?  Time to spend on the project of your choice in a space of your own.  They bring you a picnic lunch every day but otherwise leave you alone.  It doesn’t even cost anything.  I want to go next winter.  It’ll keep me from getting distracted if it’s cold outside and I think it’s a reasonable deadline for accomplishing what needs to be done on the Tome before some quality quiet time with it.  Turning inward makes perfect sense during the winter.  It’s one of the reasons I enjoy the season so much.

If I want to go in winter next year the application deadline is September 15.

If I write one section per month from here till then I’ll have the book finished, at least in draft form, by the time the application goes in.

I want to spend my time there editing it so doesn’t it look better if the book is already done?

Writers need to have a certain amount of hubris to think that the words they scribble down on a page are worthy of being read by anyone other than themselves.  The flip side of that is the insecurity that comes from putting your thoughts out there for anyone to read, dissect, and criticize.  It’s a difficult fence to balance on.

Who am I to think that I have any chance of getting in for a residency at such a place?

It’s just a grant application.  This time for myself as opposed to for my job.

I’ve written grants for over $77,000 for my organization over 16 years.  It’s a small place.  I’m proud of that number.

Now I want something else to be proud of.  Something that I did just for myself.

Never done that before.

Don’t fucking choke.



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