Posted tagged ‘Writing’

Good reasons to be a bad blogger

Tuesday, 11 May 2010

Any sense of shame I might have had about not blogging frequently has been assuaged in recent weeks by the words of bloggers far wiser and more bloggy than I (see here, here and here). The main impediment is that when I have writing time, I prefer to use it on my cerebrescript. Call me selfish. 🙂

Sometimes things work out

Monday, 12 April 2010

We went to the shops yesterday. We had a very specific set of items to hunt down and, despite it being the last Sunday of the school holidays, we still went to a very popular major shopping centre, arriving around lunch time. This would normally result in a frustrating and fruitless drive around the car park looking for somewhere to stow the car. Should we be blessed with a parking spot, it would be outdoors and some distance from the entrance.

Not yesterday.

Yesterday, we found a car park instantly and next to the entrance. We found the items we needed in the shop where we expected to find them. It was all too easy. Where was the aggravation, the run-around? Where, I wondered, was the catch? As we stood in the queue waiting to pay, TB joked that we’d be hit by a meteorite on the way home.

Well, I did bang my knee, but that’s all.

Now, the trials of a shopping trip aren’t exactly the hell-on-earth most humans endure on a daily basis, but I’m a city-born softy who gets cranky when an advertised special on a menu is no longer available (‘Take it off the menu if you’ve sold out! Don’t tempt me with it, then tell me it’s all gone! Gargh!’). TB’s promise of astral comeuppance didn’t flatten my good mood; I was just happy to have things go smoothly, to be reminded that it’s not always a disaster or a pain in the arse.

For one, the cerebrescript and I are together again. Like any relationship resumed after a break, it was a bit shaky at first.  I had a few days of empty panic, then forced myself to just read until I started liking what I saw. Having weathered the insanely busy time at my day job, I’m now able to make a few long weekends like today. Quality time for me and the c/s. It’s even shaping up to be a permanent arrangement. An opportunity to cut back my day job hours has come my way and, I have to say, it’s very exciting. It wasn’t something I thought would come up so soon, but it has and TB is, as usual, completely supportive. It’s time I’ll be devoting to my writing, precious, much sought-after time that lets me set higher but still realistic goals in words written per week.

It’s fantastic.

So, it’s true that, sometimes, things fall into place and they’re not always meteorites come to destroy civilisation as we know it.

First Sunday Club Update: February

Tuesday, 9 February 2010

I’ve been slack getting this post up – too busy with WYOAD and snack-talk – but over at Rebecca Sparrow’s blog, the deserving cause for this month’s $10 donation is Street Swags. This is another of those simple ideas that can make an enormous difference in someone’s life. As their slogan says, ‘sleeping rough is tough’. If you’d like to see what it is Street Swags do and maybe help them in their efforts, head over to Rebecca’s blog for more info.

WYAOD: Report

Sunday, 7 February 2010

I had promised that yesterday, Saturday 6th Feb 2010, would be the day I dedicated 8 hours to my writing as part of Moonrat’s ‘Write Your @ss Off Day’ challenge. Buoyed by a new comfy chair and an array of normally forbidden snack foods (like Tim Tams and chippies), I set to and had a very productive day, editing through twenty-one scenes (or about 24,000 words, of which at least 2,000 were written yesterday but countered by the 1,600 word scene I deleted as ‘no-longer-required’), but I didn’t make it to 8 hours. After about 6 hours of solid work (with a 1 hour lunch break) my back said ‘Enough!’ to the whole sitting at a computer thing and, while my tummy was full, my brain was empty. I went off and read some inspirational source material for a while (history of kung fu), then was forced to provide some hugs to kitties that felt I’d short-changed them by shutting myself away for most of the day. A thunderstorm rolled in shortly after that, so the primary writing ‘puter had to be shut down for safety reasons.

Still, I do feel I achieved a lot more than I normally do on a weekend, especially as I’ve given myself more time today as well to complete the 8 hour stretch. I’m definitely past the halfway point in the revision of Fall of Bitter Rain and with some momentum now to push toward the finish. There’s an unopened packet of biscuits in the kitchen that have already been designated as ‘motivational snackage’ for another WYAO event next weekend.

Many thanks to Moonrat and all the other writers around the world for providing much-needed inspiration. Cheers all!

Rebecca Sparrow’s ‘First Sunday Club’

Sunday, 3 January 2010

The New Year is here, off and running. I’m brimming over with resolution, goals and good intentions, equally aware I’ll probably run out of puff by early March and then pretend I was never that serious about all the things I said I’d do in 2010.

In fact, I realised today I’ve reached that age where I make sure I’ve broken my most ridiculous resolutions by day 2 so I can get on with enjoying life and being more reasonable about what I can do and when. I know I can’t really write 1,000 words a day every day for a year, that there will be days when a bout of the ‘flu means I can’t complete my daily walk and that I’ll never be the sort of person that puts housework before writing, reading, walking, photography, TV, daydreaming, watching clouds, sleeping, etc.

I will never be able to give up peanut butter.

The fabulous Rebecca Sparrow has set down a challenge for 2010 that is not at all stressful, totally achievable and all for a good cause – The First Sunday Club. This month’s $10 donation will contribute to promoting literacy and education among girls and women in developing nations. This is a very cool idea and Bec is a very cool writer – she would never judge me for my love of peanut butter, for instance –  so I’ll be joining this club as of today. 🙂

Knit It

Wednesday, 9 December 2009

So; given I excused my non-blogging period by saying I was busy, busy, busy writing my book might lead you to ask if, now that I’m blogging again, whether the writing has taken a back seat. Short answer: no.

Long answer: What I’m doing now isn’t so much writing as editing, and it feels like I’m tearing my manuscript into tiny shreds, then trying to stick them back together again. This sounds drastic – it feels awful – but it is absolutely necessary. As Dr Kim told us during Year of the Edit, editing needs a detached and methodical eye*. When I am Editor, rather than Writer, the process feels destructive rather than constructive, at least at first. You have a scene, a paragraph, a sentence, and after considering it awhile, you know there are changes you must make. A paragraph needs to be moved, rearranged. A sentence needs to be re-written or cut, burned and never spoken of again.

Eventually, the little pieces come together again. Like the scattered pieces of the T-1000, they melt, migrate and fuse back into one murderous – no, bad simile. Think of it this way; if you’ve ever tried your hand at knitting, you know what it’s like to spend an hour knitting and purling and cabling only to find, fifty rows back, you dropped a stitch. You spend a little while poking at the hole, wondering if you can fix it in some quick, painless way – embroider over it, or make a knot that will conceal the error – then realise that won’t work. You try to convince yourself you can live with the hole; it’s not so big. But it is. It’s huge and horrible and the whole work is ruined while that one stitch remains unmended. So, with a sigh, you pull the needles out and strip back the yarn, watching your fifty rows of fabric transform back into an untidy pile of string your cat now wants to play with. You curse and swear as you pick up all the stitches on one needle and wish you’d never thought how wonderful it would be to make a piece out of angora or feathered-yarn or some other impossibly stupid wool. You get it all back on the needle and you start again. You finish it and you love it and you wish winter came twice a year just so you could wear it.

What was I talking about? Oh yeah – when knitting a book, avoid fluffy or feathery yarns as it’s easy to drop stitches and end up with a woolly plot full of holes.

*If you don’t know Dr Kim’s ‘puppy autopsy’ analogy, read this post.

Sweet

Monday, 7 December 2009

Some sweet news for fellow Brisbane writers:

Angela Slatter had an extra dollop of jam on the golden toast that is her writing.

Rebecca Bloomer handed out proper old-school lollipops at her recent book signing for Willow Farrington Bites Back.

I passed the 10% mark in my revision of WiP#2 and celebrated by having a slice of banana cake for lunch today instead of just a banana. Yay!*

*That’s a genuine, high-voiced and happy ‘yay’, not a cynical, monotone expression of disenchantment. 🙂