pen to paper, write (repeat)

A place for you writers to complain about your writing and the writing process... maybe posting what you got done today to make you feel like less of a writing failure.

Moderator: Metaphor Makers

User avatar
pengwenn
Wordtrip Fixture
Posts: 5534
Joined: Tue Aug 10, 2004 6:01 pm
Location: a nice padded cubicle
Contact:

Postby pengwenn » Thu Dec 14, 2006 1:05 pm

There's good things about snow, like snow angels, snow ball fights, softly falling snow, hot chocolate . . . okay so that's not about snow exactly but they do go together.
Is this my reality or yours?
User avatar
pengwenn
Wordtrip Fixture
Posts: 5534
Joined: Tue Aug 10, 2004 6:01 pm
Location: a nice padded cubicle
Contact:

Postby pengwenn » Sun Dec 31, 2006 10:35 pm

I love setting New Year Resolutions . . . even though most of the time I hardly intend to keep them. There's just something fun in the process of "this is what I want to do in a perfect world" type thing. Since I got the 2007 Writer's Market Guide I am setting one resolution that I intend to keep (so help me :roll: ) and that's to submit one thing. I know, I know, it would be better if it was something like "one thing a month" but I'm starting with baby steps here so just bite me. Who knows, I might like it and submit more but at least I have 12 months to submit one.
Is this my reality or yours?
User avatar
pengwenn
Wordtrip Fixture
Posts: 5534
Joined: Tue Aug 10, 2004 6:01 pm
Location: a nice padded cubicle
Contact:

Postby pengwenn » Wed Jan 03, 2007 11:38 am

I had a really cool idea of a title to a collection of stories I'm working on. "Life, artifical and otherwise". At first it lends itself to mostly SciFi writing but I came up with some ideas that stretch that whole meaning of "what is life". Now I'm just got to write some stories.
Is this my reality or yours?
User avatar
pengwenn
Wordtrip Fixture
Posts: 5534
Joined: Tue Aug 10, 2004 6:01 pm
Location: a nice padded cubicle
Contact:

Postby pengwenn » Mon Jan 22, 2007 11:12 am

I need some motivation. :cry:

I've sat down 2 times in the last couple of days to write something and haven't been able to do it. One time I sat and stared at a blank computer screen before I couldn't take it anymore and fled the room in terror. Last night I though I would take a "back to the basics" approach and use a pen and paper, but the same thing happened. I just stared at that blank page and couldn't get started. I didn't want to foul up that clean sheet of lines paper with whatever drivel came out of my brain. So I made a "To Do" list instead.
Is this my reality or yours?
User avatar
Mlou
Wordtrip Fixture
Posts: 16613
Joined: Wed Feb 18, 2004 10:24 pm
Location: Vermont

Postby Mlou » Mon Jan 22, 2007 11:20 am

Start off by just "free writing"...type anything that comes to mind about life, artificial and otherwise, no matter how silly it sounds at first thought. List every kind of possible and impossible, plausible and nutty, sort of "life" you can thing of.
Like Amy Amoeba clones herself and eventually runs out of names for all her selves when she gets to Azee Amoeba and has a nervous breakdown or in this case, break-up.
nothing is ever simply Yes or No. There's always a But...


GINGERBREAD MAN by Mary Lou Healy at Amazon.com http://www.publishamerica.com/shopping/ ... ogid=16658 at Publish America
User avatar
Mlou
Wordtrip Fixture
Posts: 16613
Joined: Wed Feb 18, 2004 10:24 pm
Location: Vermont

Postby Mlou » Mon Jan 22, 2007 11:23 am

PS...In your Phoenix restaurant experience, if you ever run into a waitress named Donna, ask her if she's my niece. :wink:
nothing is ever simply Yes or No. There's always a But...





GINGERBREAD MAN by Mary Lou Healy at Amazon.com http://www.publishamerica.com/shopping/ ... ogid=16658 at Publish America
User avatar
xcheck24
Wordtrip Fixture
Posts: 9733
Joined: Fri Feb 13, 2004 5:29 pm
Location: Dirty Jersey
Contact:

Postby xcheck24 » Mon Jan 22, 2007 11:29 am

is it that you don't know what to write? or you don't feel like writing?
why not use some prompts? :D
Behind the Press
There's always a bloody ghost.
User avatar
pengwenn
Wordtrip Fixture
Posts: 5534
Joined: Tue Aug 10, 2004 6:01 pm
Location: a nice padded cubicle
Contact:

Postby pengwenn » Mon Jan 22, 2007 11:51 am

Oh, I know what to write. The ideas flow freely all the way up until the time I put my butt in the chair and then they stop cold. If I could just get that first word on the page I think it might help, but I'm so worried that that first word is pure crap and things would only go down hill from there. Which makes me think "Why bother?" Hence the not writing.
Is this my reality or yours?
User avatar
xcheck24
Wordtrip Fixture
Posts: 9733
Joined: Fri Feb 13, 2004 5:29 pm
Location: Dirty Jersey
Contact:

Postby xcheck24 » Mon Jan 22, 2007 12:05 pm

ive gone through that
you just have to keep writing. actually, participating in nano helped me with that. not everything you write is going to be great. it's just a matter of getting it on the page. when you go back and edit, you can fix the crap (or even delete if necessary!)
Behind the Press

There's always a bloody ghost.
User avatar
pengwenn
Wordtrip Fixture
Posts: 5534
Joined: Tue Aug 10, 2004 6:01 pm
Location: a nice padded cubicle
Contact:

Postby pengwenn » Mon Jan 22, 2007 1:36 pm

I blame Mlou. :D I'm reading her book and it gets me excited to write, but when I try I think I could never write like she does so what's the point if I'm going to have to throw it all away anyway? I need to read someone who's really bad so I can say "I can write better than that." Reading people who are good and I admire is just too depressing.
Is this my reality or yours?
User avatar
xcheck24
Wordtrip Fixture
Posts: 9733
Joined: Fri Feb 13, 2004 5:29 pm
Location: Dirty Jersey
Contact:

Postby xcheck24 » Mon Jan 22, 2007 1:40 pm

gwenn, everyone has their own style. mlou may be a great writer, but it's her style. your style may be just as good! And i'm sure mlou can tell you her work wasn't as good when she wrote the first draft. first drafts for everyone suck!
Behind the Press

There's always a bloody ghost.
User avatar
pengwenn
Wordtrip Fixture
Posts: 5534
Joined: Tue Aug 10, 2004 6:01 pm
Location: a nice padded cubicle
Contact:

Postby pengwenn » Thu Jan 25, 2007 10:46 am

Okay, if you had a chance (a little slim) to make everything come together so you could go to Clarion West Writer's Workshop for 6 weeks in the summer would you do it?
Is this my reality or yours?
User avatar
charlesp
Site Admin
Posts: 13851
Joined: Sun Apr 27, 2003 8:56 pm
Location: Lawrenceville, GA
Contact:

Postby charlesp » Thu Jan 25, 2007 10:49 am

If it didn't cost my my job or family I think I would... I've heard very good things about it (but the concept of 6 weeks away from the family wouldn't work for me... and I don't have a job that would allow 6 weeks off anyway).

"Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic." - Arthur C Clarke
"Coffee is sufficiently advanced technology" - Merlin Mann
One day I realized that sadness is just another word for not enough coffee." - Wally (Dilbert)
User avatar
pengwenn
Wordtrip Fixture
Posts: 5534
Joined: Tue Aug 10, 2004 6:01 pm
Location: a nice padded cubicle
Contact:

Postby pengwenn » Thu Jan 25, 2007 10:57 am

Yeah, being single has it's advantages. Work is one of the problems that would have to "come together". I think I will have earned enough time for 23 days off, but I would need 30 days off to do it. We can take our vacation time and go "negative" up to 10 days and then just earn it back before we could take anymore. Which would mean I wouldn't be able to take ANY time off until Nov/Dec. Not even be able to call in sick. Money is the other issue. I have it but it would mean not getting a house at the end of the year and not being able to do anything about my computers either. Of course nothing will happen if I don't decide to do it, submit an app, get accepted, decide to go. But who knows if I'll have the time/money again to even give it a shot.
Is this my reality or yours?
User avatar
Mlou
Wordtrip Fixture
Posts: 16613
Joined: Wed Feb 18, 2004 10:24 pm
Location: Vermont

Postby Mlou » Thu Jan 25, 2007 2:43 pm

Pengwenn, I'm honored that you think so much of my writing. Truly! A person can't judge her/himself very well and is never sure whether she's turning out tripe or treasure. Maybe I should have sent you the first draft before I tanked it. :D

Actually, I'll tell you a secret. I had absolutely NO IDEA what I was going to write about when I started. Which is why I was telling you, just sit down and write anything! I wanted to write and so I thought about a small child alone in an empty house and wrote about him. Why was he there? Why alone? Was he scared? WHO was he? That eventually became Chap. 3 or thereabouts. Every day I'd ask myself more questions and have to find an answer to them. Where did he come from? Did he have a mother? What was her situation? The latter, of course, became the prologue. And so it went.

On your workshop question, you'll have to decide your priorities. Which will benefit you more in the long run...having a house and decent computers, which would be great security and good working conditions; or a 6-week writing work/vacation which might, or not, produce tangible results. If you managed to produce a body of work and would get one-on-one critiques, it might be beneficial. It comes down to the long term benefits involved in the two choices.
nothing is ever simply Yes or No. There's always a But...





GINGERBREAD MAN by Mary Lou Healy at Amazon.com http://www.publishamerica.com/shopping/ ... ogid=16658 at Publish America
User avatar
pengwenn
Wordtrip Fixture
Posts: 5534
Joined: Tue Aug 10, 2004 6:01 pm
Location: a nice padded cubicle
Contact:

Postby pengwenn » Fri Feb 23, 2007 11:04 am

Thanks for the advice Mlou. You said something similiar to what my mom said. To paraphrase she said that if I had a body of work that I had been submitting and it was rejected but I didn't know why then going to this intensive workshop might help me focus on the things I need to work on. Also since I haven't submitted anything she thinks I need to do that first to see really where my writing stands. Maybe it's perfect and I don't need any workshop. :rofl: (how's that for a joke :lol:)
Is this my reality or yours?
User avatar
Mlou
Wordtrip Fixture
Posts: 16613
Joined: Wed Feb 18, 2004 10:24 pm
Location: Vermont

Postby Mlou » Fri Feb 23, 2007 11:31 am

Hey, you only learn by doing, workshops or no workshops. And they're only as good as what you put into them and whether the instructors are excellent of just bloviators. (I got that word from Bill O'Reilly, scourge of the extreme left fringe.) :D
nothing is ever simply Yes or No. There's always a But...





GINGERBREAD MAN by Mary Lou Healy at Amazon.com http://www.publishamerica.com/shopping/ ... ogid=16658 at Publish America
User avatar
Mlou
Wordtrip Fixture
Posts: 16613
Joined: Wed Feb 18, 2004 10:24 pm
Location: Vermont

Postby Mlou » Fri Feb 23, 2007 11:38 am

PS...I do think that if you have anything whipped into shape, you should search out a market for it and submit. It could be a shot in the arm, if they accepted it, or even made a few comments on it.
nothing is ever simply Yes or No. There's always a But...





GINGERBREAD MAN by Mary Lou Healy at Amazon.com http://www.publishamerica.com/shopping/ ... ogid=16658 at Publish America
User avatar
pengwenn
Wordtrip Fixture
Posts: 5534
Joined: Tue Aug 10, 2004 6:01 pm
Location: a nice padded cubicle
Contact:

Postby pengwenn » Thu Apr 05, 2007 11:11 am

There's something I've been thinking about and deciding between but I just can't make up my mind. Should I focus on writing short stories or a novel?

I'm going to a conference in May and I'm trying to get interviews for our podcast with some of the authors that will be there. While doing some research I noticed that two of them came into the writing profession in very different ways. One started out writing short stories and won the Grand Prize in the Writer's of the Future contest before moving onto novels. The other started off writing novels and had to write 6 before he got a sale on one of them.

Now, if was just about the money I would concentrate my energies on writing novels. I don't think you could make a living or even make it worth it to write short stories exclusively; unfortunately that's just how the market is. The problem is I haven't written a novel and I'm not sure I could do it or if I have an idea worthy of that length. I started a novel once . . . well actually 3 times. The first time I got 25 pages in and found out I was in the wrong starting place. The second time I got 50 pages in and found out I started too soon. The third time fizzled not long after 'cause I figured I didn't know what the hell I was doing. I'd like to write a novel one day, I'm just not sure how to tackle that big of a project.

I like writing short stories. They're quick and finished with out too much time involvement. They don't drag on forever like I think a novel could. But my short stories don't feel complete. (And if I can't "complete" a short story how could I complete a novel?) Sometimes they just feel like a scene of something instead of a self-contained story. But not always of something larger. Sometime they just feel blah! Yeah, it's words on paper, the characters do things, but there just isn't anything there.

If I do anything in my life I want to write a novel. Complete. Polished. And honestly, doesn't have to be published. It would be my secret triumph. I don't want to wait too long to do that. Who knows, I might like it and decide to write another one.

So, short stories or novel? I want to pick on of them to focus my energy on.
Is this my reality or yours?
User avatar
Mlou
Wordtrip Fixture
Posts: 16613
Joined: Wed Feb 18, 2004 10:24 pm
Location: Vermont

Postby Mlou » Thu Apr 05, 2007 1:04 pm

Start with a short story, about characters with many facets to them. If you like them, then give them problems and conflicts, wants and needs, and let them run with it as far as they'll go. It could become a novel before you know it.
And don't wait too long, as you say. Look at me...I almost waited too long. I know I didn't light anyone's fire particularly, but it was very satisfying to know that I at least had finished what I started. If you wait too long, you'll be too old to start the SECOND novel!
nothing is ever simply Yes or No. There's always a But...





GINGERBREAD MAN by Mary Lou Healy at Amazon.com http://www.publishamerica.com/shopping/ ... ogid=16658 at Publish America
User avatar
pengwenn
Wordtrip Fixture
Posts: 5534
Joined: Tue Aug 10, 2004 6:01 pm
Location: a nice padded cubicle
Contact:

Postby pengwenn » Mon Apr 30, 2007 5:21 pm

Here's what I did on my lunch hour. It started with the wind and went from there. Don't know what to do with it, but here it is.


AN UNTITLED SOMETHING OR OTHER

The wind raged and bellowed in the starless night. The wooden shutters banged open and children squealed huddling tighter in the arms that held them.

“Now, now children. It’s just some wind.” Torves walked over to close the flapping shutters. He glanced out into the night and gasped.

A large creature stood with its front paws on the wall of Abel Dorrin’s house across he way. Torves could see a silver string of saliva burn an acidic trail down the outer stone wall of his home. Torves was glad to see the thin pale line that meant Abel’s windows were closed. Before he could thank The One the beast turned his head to look directly at him.

The creature snarled a low rumble of a noise that made Torves bones rattle before it turned towards the open window.

“Don’t stand with the window open Torves.”

Torves turned to see his wife place their youngest grandchild, Jorlen, back into her mother’s arms and come towards him.

“I . . . “ He took into the room at his smiling, laughing children and grandchildren before him and remembered what he had seen outside: a Nightwalker.

“Is something out-“

Torves watched his wife raise her hand to her mouth, shock whiting her face to cold ash. He turned around transfixed to see the creature’s face rise up into the light from the window. He was now standing looking into the room and the open house. Its snout was blunted and short. Its eyes dark as funeral stones and the smell of rotting flesh rushed in with each breath.

“No.” Torves slammed the shutters closed, but not before a drop of saliva got carried in on the wind and dropped unnoticed on his right arm. He slapped the latch down and pressed his palms against the slatted wood feeling the pressure of the creature’s head on the other side. “I seal this house from evil and bask in the protection of The One.” A small shiver ran through Torves’s body as the incantation was finished and a soft blue light, only he could see, spread out from his palms to be infused into the structure of the house. Outside a low howl could be heard loud at first, but swiftly carried away on the gusting wind.

“Father?”

Torves turned around with a wide smile on his face that he did not feel inside. “Come Margda. Why don’t you sing a song for the grandchildren like you did when our ones were little? Something happy and fun. How about ‘Johny’s broken well’?”

Margda collected herself before turning around to face the family huddles around the table. “Yes. I think that would be nice. If you’re sure of course.” She turned to look back at him with one quick worried glance.

Torves sat back down in his chair suddenly tired and warm. He rubbed at a large red welt growing on his right arm. It itched terribly and heat radiated out from the spot like a furnace. “I’m sure my love.” He motioned for little Bestha to climb on his knee, “there is nothing to fear outside or in now.” He motioned her to start her singing as he closed his eyes and scratched his arm. No one noticed the magic blue glow of protection Torves had infused into the walls started to change into a molted dark green.
Is this my reality or yours?
User avatar
Mlou
Wordtrip Fixture
Posts: 16613
Joined: Wed Feb 18, 2004 10:24 pm
Location: Vermont

Postby Mlou » Mon Apr 30, 2007 8:11 pm

Verrrrry in-terrrr-est-innnng!
nothing is ever simply Yes or No. There's always a But...





GINGERBREAD MAN by Mary Lou Healy at Amazon.com http://www.publishamerica.com/shopping/ ... ogid=16658 at Publish America
User avatar
pengwenn
Wordtrip Fixture
Posts: 5534
Joined: Tue Aug 10, 2004 6:01 pm
Location: a nice padded cubicle
Contact:

Postby pengwenn » Tue May 01, 2007 10:55 am

It's rough and I didn't fix my typos. Just trying to get something going.
Is this my reality or yours?
User avatar
pengwenn
Wordtrip Fixture
Posts: 5534
Joined: Tue Aug 10, 2004 6:01 pm
Location: a nice padded cubicle
Contact:

Postby pengwenn » Thu May 03, 2007 2:20 pm

I wrote a really crappy poem today and NO you won't be seeing it. I just don't think I'm cut out to be a poet.
Last edited by pengwenn on Thu May 03, 2007 6:27 pm, edited 1 time in total.
Is this my reality or yours?
User avatar
Anblick
Wordtrip Fixture
Posts: 14774
Joined: Mon Feb 16, 2004 9:57 am
Location: In that instant between then and now...
Contact:

Postby Anblick » Thu May 03, 2007 5:54 pm

We all write bad ones from time to time...

Return to “Writing and Poetry Blogs”

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 2 guests