Creativity Another Way

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So I hope everyone here in the States had a great, relaxing, wonderful holiday weekend, and that everyone everywhere else had a great weekend while wondering why we have foisted Black Friday on the rest of the world. Did I shop this weekend? I refuse to answer on the grounds that it might paint me as a consumerist. But oh the bargains! Ish.

Well, I’m still bone-dry in the old writing front, but when it comes to prop-making, I’ve been a total fiend. And aside from a couple of items, I am pretty much done. I have a final gloss coat to put on my paper mache project, which came out even better than I expected, and some spray-painting to do, but otherwise, things are in order.

Which is interesting, because covering the props took creativity, just not the kind of creativity that uses words. I’m hoping that it will recharge my writing bank, thinking in this different direction. I mean using a glue gun itself has to be restorative, right?

Sometimes it feels as though the writing part of the brain has its own little tower, tall, cold and impenetrable, except when it gets the urge to lower the drawbridge. And lately those drawbridge gears need oiling. Boy are they sticky.

Check out  my full-length novels,  Her Cousin Much Removed,  The Great Paradox and the Innies and Outies of Time Management and Aunty Ida’s Full-Service Mental Institution (by Invitation Only), and the sequel, Aunty Ida’s Holey Amazing Sleeping Preparation (Not Doctor Recommended) which is now available!

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Writingless

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It’s a gray day and we’ve been promised rain, but so far it’s only threatening. My brain’s writing strike continues, and though I’ve gotten many other things done, writing is not among them.

Harrumph.

I think this is what one could officially call a writing slump. The slumpiest.

On the positive side, I seem to be some kind of a paper mache savant. And by that I mean it actually resembles the shape I intended, so there’s that. It’s not quite dry enough yet to put on the next layer, though. I think my brain is craving other ways to be creative. I’ve been baking as well, though I don’t know if that counts when it’s someone else’s recipe.

I’ve even gotten creative with my decaf. Though I’m up to having a cup of real coffee a day, I doctored my decaf cup with some cocoa. I’ve also probably upped the caffeine content, in hopes of getting my brain on the writing train, but shh, don’t tell me that.

Regardless, we seem to be at a standstill, that drat writing center and the rest of me. It’s a logjam of redwood proportions. Somebody get me a chainsaw.

Check out  my full-length novels,  Her Cousin Much Removed,  The Great Paradox and the Innies and Outies of Time Management and Aunty Ida’s Full-Service Mental Institution (by Invitation Only), and the sequel, Aunty Ida’s Holey Amazing Sleeping Preparation (Not Doctor Recommended) which is now available!

Sign up for my spamless newsletter. And download Better Living Through GRAVY and Other Oddities, it’s free!

 

Losing a Grip on NaNoWriMo

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Well, I’m failing (failed?) at NaNoWriMo this year. I’m usually a somewhat reliable machine, you know, the kind that ends up at the shop every so often but holds on until you’re off the highway to conk out. Not this year, though.

This year, I seem to have given up, without even noticing or trying.

I usually love the challenge of NaNo, love the discipline of sitting down and getting in my words. I can generally quiet that voice in my head telling me that what I’m writing makes no sense, that it’s pointless, that it’s not going to work. This year it feels as though that voice has won.

And I don’t like it.

I’ve tried all of my usual anti-procrastination techniques, with cleaning, exercising, doing other things. I’m the prop person for the show we’re writing for my sketch comedy writing class, and this morning I took one look at my computer and then tried my hand at a “practice” prop made out of paper mache. It’s actually turning out pretty well, though, so procrastination has its perks.

But the one thing I can’t seem to do is go back to this new book. It’s feeling stiff, alien. Unwieldy.

So that is where I am with the writing right now. I think it may have a bit to do with the writing class, producing scenes week after week, but I thought I’d settle back into this format much like cozying into a  familiar blanket.

I don’t know if anyone has ever said this before, but writing is a challenge. Deep, right?

Check out  my full-length novels,  Her Cousin Much Removed,  The Great Paradox and the Innies and Outies of Time Management and Aunty Ida’s Full-Service Mental Institution (by Invitation Only), and the sequel, Aunty Ida’s Holey Amazing Sleeping Preparation (Not Doctor Recommended) which is now available!

Sign up for my spamless newsletter. And download Better Living Through GRAVY and Other Oddities, it’s free!

Yes, NaNoWriMo is a verb

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Thanks everyone for your well wishes! For anyone who hasn’t read the last few posts, I’ve been attempting to NaNoWriMo with a migraine. I got through Monday, and yesterday was a tad bit trickier, but I got in words — not all of my words, but words — and am still slightly ahead of schedule. Take that, head.

This morning I went for the real stuff when it comes to coffee, and right now I think my head is doing OK. So let’s hope it holds.

NaNoWriMo is its own kind of beast. The days come and go, whether we ask them to or not, and the word goal totals pile up, whether we ask them to or not. And we will have challenges, every one of us who was foolhardy enough to go to the site and jump in on November 1.

And I’m going to say something that probably isn’t the best thing to say way over here at the very beginning of this month-long marathon. But it’s OK. Honestly, it’s OK.

The goal with this challenge is to write. That’s it. No one is looking over your shoulder (unless you’re doing NaNo as some kind of performance art, and then probably there  is a whole crowd of people looking over your shoulder). There is no need for perfection, either in the product or the process.

We just need to write. Some days will be harder than others, but that’s OK.

Check out  my full-length novels,  Her Cousin Much Removed,  The Great Paradox and the Innies and Outies of Time Management and Aunty Ida’s Full-Service Mental Institution (by Invitation Only), and the sequel, Aunty Ida’s Holey Amazing Sleeping Preparation (Not Doctor Recommended) which is now available!

Sign up for my spamless newsletter. And download Better Living Through GRAVY and Other Oddities, it’s free!

My Body’s NaNoWriMo Rebellion

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So two days worth of NaNoWriMo finished, and it’s on to day three. I’ve managed to keep up my word count, though yesterday was a bit of a challenge.

You see, I was fighting with a migraine all day. For most of the day it was a low-grade situation, background, fuzzing my thinking. When I wrote my post yesterday, I spent a whole swath of time trying to remember how spell the word “character.” I was utterly baffled.

And yet I didn’t realize I had one at the time.

That’s what happens with them, sometimes. I have little hints and clues, my brain is sluggish, I don’t want the blinds open, but at that point it hasn’t hit me yet, not entirely. If I’m smart, and I realize it — which is challenging with sluggish brain — then I take the measures that always seem to help stave it off. But yesterday, I wasn’t entirely smart.

So I got my words in, eventually, finally, was settling down to eat, and I realized there was a big spot in front of one of my eyes. You know the kind. It’s like I just had a flash go off, or I was staring at a light and it left an impression in my vision. The light intensified and sparkled, and as I looked at them, the middles of things disappeared.

Uh oh.

At that stage there’s nothing to be done but a dark room and time.

So here we are today. It’s not totally gone, but gone enough for me to write this post and remember how to spell “character.” But NaNo marches on, headache or no headache.

Check out  my full-length novels,  Her Cousin Much Removed,  The Great Paradox and the Innies and Outies of Time Management and Aunty Ida’s Full-Service Mental Institution (by Invitation Only), and the sequel, Aunty Ida’s Holey Amazing Sleeping Preparation (Not Doctor Recommended) which is now available!

Sign up for my spamless newsletter. And download Better Living Through GRAVY and Other Oddities, it’s free!

NaNoWriMo and Names

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Well, NaNoWriMo is off and running. I’d post a lovely participant badge if I could find the lovely participant badges, I have no idea where they’ve gone. Alas. But that’s not my point.

I’ve already changed the name of my protagonist once, and we’re on day 2. And I’m not sure the second name is going to stick. Names are important when it comes to writing.

Think about it. A name has a flavor, a sense of being. You can get a glimpse into the nature of a character simply through his or her name. There’s a weight to it. Pick the wrong name and your character isn’t the person you want her or him to be.

But let me clarify here. Characters sometimes evolve on their own and surprise you, turning out to be very, very different than you thought they were, much like people, really. In fact, good characters should be as much like real people as possible, even when they’re outlandish, like my own Aunty Ida. That’s what brings a reader closer to your fictional people.

So you can’t pretend you know your characters well when you’re just meeting them, just as you don’t know people well from the first handshake. Fine.

But the name is important. The name tells a story. And even with my second go at it, I’m not sure I have the right one. At least not yet.

Update: I got it. It’s amazing, there’s nearly an audible mental click when you find the right name. On we go.

Update 2: Thanks to queenofblank at Musings of Danielle for leaving the link to NaNoWriMo Badges!

Check out  my full-length novels,  Her Cousin Much Removed,  The Great Paradox and the Innies and Outies of Time Management and Aunty Ida’s Full-Service Mental Institution (by Invitation Only), and the sequel, Aunty Ida’s Holey Amazing Sleeping Preparation (Not Doctor Recommended) which is now available!

Sign up for my spamless newsletter. And download Better Living Through GRAVY and Other Oddities, it’s free!