The Neutral Zone

Standard

I’m in one of those in-between moods today, not up, not down, not particularly ebullient (that’s a great word, isn’t it? Even if you don’t know it, you can figure it out, the way that b-u sound bubbles out of the middle like energetic champagne), not particularly morose.

Today I just…am.

Even keel. Coffee and computer. Onward and…outward?

Sometimes I think this is an ideal mood for writing, not having much of a mood. There’s no tone to match in the work, the tone finds itself.

Although I’m on editing. The messy bits of editing.

More on that tomorrow.

And when editing, it usually becomes the thing that spreads to fill the size of the container. But so many projects lined up hopefully in my hard drive, waiting for their tiny spark of life.

Shh. Don’t tell them that some day they, too, will be edited.

So I’m off to conquer worlds of my own making, in various stages of construction. Hmm.

Maybe that’s just a hint of ebullience.

Check out  my full-length novels: 

Aunty Ida’s Full-Service Mental Institution (by Invitation Only)   

Aunty Ida’s Holey Amazing Sleeping Preparation (Not Doctor Recommended) 

 Her Cousin Much Removed

 The Great Paradox and the Innies and Outies of Time Management.

And download Better Living Through GRAVY and Other Oddities, it’s free!

Peruse Montraps Publishing.

Sometimes Dreams Turn Dark

Standard

Antonio de Pereda, El sueño del caballero (The Knight’s Dream) via Wikimedia Commons

I had one of those nights filled with dark unpleasant dreams. I’d wake up, go back to sleep, and have another round in worlds I was very happy to have dissolve away as consciousness emerged. When I woke for the final time, I glanced at the clock, saw it was bonafide morning, and said to myself, that’s enough of that.

Still, it’s strange how that feeling can stay with you, a sense of foreboding, an air of gloom entirely concocted by your brain and your brain alone. More often than not, lately, I’ve gotten to morning with that vague feeling I’ve been somewhere else doing many things, none of which I can remember within a few seconds of waking up.

I would have taken the not remembering, frankly.

But as the dreams become more and more remote, they grow fuzzy and undefined. And maybe the essence of them could prove useful for writing, in terms of mood if not their nonsensical content.

And here’s to hoping for more pleasant dreams ahead.

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!

And download Better Living Through GRAVY and Other Oddities, it’s free!

 Sign up for my spamless newsletter!

 

Moody First Drafts

Standard

I’ve talked about it before, but it’s a topic worth revisiting: the issue of writing and mood. I am a firm believer that if you ever want to finish any work, you cannot wait for the writing mood to strike. You have to be willing to sit down and get to it, even if you don’t feel like it.

Do I always do a great job of that? Why no, I don’t, and thank you for asking that very uncomfortable question, hypothetical reader. You know, I used to think you were in this with me, which you should be, given that I’ve made you up, but sometimes even the imagination revolts.

Digression aside, writing no matter how you’re feeling does have its downside. Sometimes the writing regardless of mood leaves an impression on the work itself, making the first draft flat, or lifeless, or perfunctory. And that’s fine, that’s all a part of the process.

As long as you go back and edit the work, ideally with enough time and distance to really look at it critically, neutrally. To get away from that initial glow of “look what I created” and get into the murky reality of “look what I created.”

What do you mean, you don’t hear the difference, hypothetical reader? You’ve really got it in for me today, huh? It’s all in the inflection.

Writing isn’t a one-and-done kind of thing. And I firmly believe that first drafts aren’t meant to be exposed to the open air. You’ve got to give your work a little time to settle, and then go back and see how you can improve it.

Mood isn’t irrelevant, then, because it doesn’t affect the work; it often does. It’s irrelevant because no matter how it flavors the first draft, you can always, always go back and fix it.

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!