It's Five O'clock Somewhere

593 words on my revision today, some of them thanks to writing I did earlier in my notebook to sketch out the scene. The fictional Hacienda beachside bar is one of my favorite settings to write in, maybe it’s the margaritas, maybe it’s the smell of of salsa, tequila, and sunscreen, or maybe it’s the Christmas lights that festoon the roof all year long.

Today as I wrote, my pen lead the way and told me that  ‘It’s Five O’clock Somewhere’ (Jimmy Buffett/Alan Jackson) was playing in the background. Seems to fit at a place where time tends to stand still-and sometimes even warp a little.

Total words today between critique, revision, morning words, and musing on my super secret project: 2615. I think that’s even on track for writing a million words in one year. Not that I’m worried or anything.

A Bucketful of Words

“Take out another notebook, pick up another pen, and just write, just write, just write. In the middle of the world, make one positive step. In the center of chaos, make one definitive act. Just write. Say yes, stay alive, be awake. Just write. Just write. Just write.” ~ Natalie Goldberg

After celebrating another birthday, which I admit have been stacking up all too quickly, I came upon a realization. I really want to write a million words. I don’t want to wait until I finish my revision. I don’t want to wait until I’m good enough, fast enough, and have enough time to devote to the project. I want to do this now. Even though a million words in one year is just not something I’m ready to put on my plate right now.

But why time myself? I am, after all, on the scenic route. This is not a race. I just need to log the miles.

So I’ve decided to go for it and post my progress here on my blog for all to see. My conditions for counting words will be tailored to my own unique goals and circumstances, and are as follows:

  1. All words count, not just novel or story words. This includes morning words, critiques, revision words, blog posts, excerpts. I have issues with posting, so I’m letting this pass. If someone sees ’em, I count ’em.
  2. If I edit old words for eventual critique, they count. Same as above, editing is much, much harder for me than writing new words.
  3. If I post words for critique, they count. I don’t post much, so this should be an incentive for me to do so.
  4. No deadline for reaching the million words, no penalties for falling behind. A million words is a million words no matter how I get them.

I’m itching to get started. This should be fun.

The Eyes of his Soul

712 words on my revision today.

Sometimes it’s almost eerie the way words I had no intention of writing spill onto the page, as if created by someone else whispering them in my ear. I call that person the ‘writer,’ the Muse, or he-who-has-yet-to-be-named.

He is the one that knows the story better than I do.

That happened today when I saw these words appear on my screen:

Then she dreams and sees the world through his eyes, through the eyes of his soul.

Something tells me this will be very important later.

'Bait and Switch'-My First Ebook Experience

Let’s face it. I love my MacBook, but after the substantial outlay of cash it takes to bring one of these puppies home there simply isn’t enough money left to buy an eReader or an iPad. And books are free at the library…

Today, however, I stumbled upon the free download version of the Kindle Reading App. It runs great on my Mac and, better yet, I was able to download my first ebook for the astonishingly low price of 99 cents. The book I selected for the maiden voyage of my  e-reading adventure was a fine work written by ‘Storyfix’ blogger Larry Brooks, titled ‘Bait and Switch.’

I haven’t finished it yet, so there will be no spoilers in my review. However, even at this point, I know I will not be disappointed. The writing is magnificent; agile prose and nimble storytelling supplemented by sharp insights into the main character’s psyche via short excerpts from narrator’s own novel, a flourish that elevates the piece from entertainment into art as it pokes fun at the twisted idiosyncrasies of our own society.

Needless to say, I am thrilled with my purchase.

As if that weren’t enough, Larry Brooks has offered to deconstruct the novel in upcoming blog posts, breaking it down into its components to demonstrate his story engineering method for novelists who aspire to emulate his process. All of this absolutely free.

He says it’s an experiment for getting into e-publishing. For a skeptic like me, it’s a huge step as I begin to accept e-publishing as a viable alternative to print.

I have been careful about whom I choose as my guides on my writing journey, but I am always happy when I find one worthy of my trust. One simply cannot have too many good teachers.

Project Proliferation

The inside of my brain looks something like this.

Nothing is sadder than an abandoned blog, and here it is summer and I have no posts. I aim to remedy that problem. I’m going to open the windows to let in the fresh air, fluff up the pillows and chill some iced tea in the fridge. Maybe even entertain some visitors!

My projects have multiplied, again, and, though I consider myself to be an organized person, it has become nearly impossible to keep track of anything,

But if I were to try and list them I would start with the block revision of Tempest’s Serenade, still my highest priority and most difficult endeavor. I’m proud to say I’m almost halfway through this monumental task, but not nearly as confident about the outcome. But lack of confidence is normal for me. I plod forward anyway.

Alongside this I’ve been doing a lot of critiquing, as well as following along in the Holly Lisle ‘How to Think Sideways’ course. The course involves beginning and starting a new project so I’ll hold off on that until I finish my revision, although I can see how reading the material has already had a positive effect on my writing.

Amidst all this, another story idea has come crashing down on me. This time I’ve become enamored of the characters, and can’t stop thinking of them. So naturally I’m writing all this down as it comes to me, in no particular order, searching for good way to tell the story. Having written a few stories helps so much in this regard. I know what questions I need to ask to find the story more quickly. I’ll give no more details than that. This is my super secret, super fun project no one knows about yet.

Lastly, I’ve discovered a brand new writing toy called ‘750words.’ It’s a web site, secure of course, where one can write the morning words recommended to loosen up the writing muscles. I’ve only done it for two days now, but I’ve forgotten how much I missed just writing like a madwoman, about everything and anything, which usually ends up being stories though. I feel as if the shackles have been broken from the tiger that is my imagination.

In the impossible to get to pile lie my Nanowrimo adventures for 2010 and 2009, as well as the first draft of my fantasy novel ‘A Bridge of Light.’ A short story that I loved but decided was too naive and needs reworking, and a project for my writing group that would be good for getting critiques are also neglected.

All of this is however no excuse for missing my weekly outing to my blog. I hope I can spend some more time here, and get used to what it feels like to post words.