The ring

I have had a ring for the better part of a decade. I wore this ring nearly every day, never taking it off. It’s a simple silver celtic knot that’s was supposed to encourage creativity. So of course, I’ve worn this ring day in and day out. It’s absorbed every word and emotion and triumph and rewrite… and now. now it appears to be full. 

Now whether it’s all in my head, or it has actually met it’s quota of emotional energy, but I cannot use it. At the beginning of nanowrimo this year I took off my ring and the thoughts flowed. the moment I put it back on, my brain ceases thoughts. 

I don’t know if I need to replace my ring or if I can cleanse and recharge it. It has been a comfort and my hand feels naked without it. 

How??

So… today’s the 1st… of December… When the hell did this happen? Time moves far too quickly, which I suppose should be a blessing considering all of the things I’m looking forward to, but it also means I have to get my rear end in gear.

Though for my month’s hiatus… I did accomplish something.

nanowrimo_2016_webbadge_winner

For those not familiar with NanoWrimo – November is NAtional NOvel WRIting MOnth. You take up the challenge to work on a first draft for a novel and churn out at least 50k words.

Granted, I’m no where near complete, and now I’m bouncing around between three different books at the same time, but isn’t that how the creative process works?

There is no time for slacking off. I MAY be able to finish out a draft of all THREE books before I leave so I can put them in Nikki’s hands and say have a blast tearing them apart over the next six months. I’ll handle any revisions upon my return.

Before the holidays, I WILL get over to the parking garage at USF once a week to tackle the stairs for an hour in the evening. AFTER the holidays my goal is three times a week before heading home. Running just doesn’t seem to be helping, besides, let’s face it, I’m not going to be running on the trails during this outing, I’m going to be climbing and working.

 

My scheduled posts have caught up to real time. It appears that I have dropped the ball a bit. To be clear, I am not sitting down tonight and scheduling a dozen or so posts, I just thought I’d let you know that there’s going to be a month or so lapse of any activity on my blog.

Why a month you ask?

nanowrimo

Perhaps I’m a glutton for punishment… or maybe I’m just determined. You can’t succeed at something any other way – right?

I spent today knocking around ideas for book 2, which is funny because I haven’t finished book 1. I thought I had… but as you know we came up with so many changes that I pretty much scrapped it and have started over. So I could work on Forgotten Guardian, FG2 or my Monster/Steampunk story. For the first time in forever, I have some really good things for book 2 though. I’ve had hundreds of ideas throwing themselves at my brain for the last couple of weeks and I couldn’t sift through them all. Luckily my beloved Nikki agreed to sit with me today and as I unloaded, her reactions varied from dubious to excited. I think it’s FINALLY ready.

I feel like I completely obliterated all of the original things that made up the second book, but I actually didn’t. I actually circled back around to my very very very original idea – which kind of makes sense considering after I changed things it all became horribly convoluted.

Fifty thousand words is chump change when it comes a story… it barely makes up a novella. But actually knocking that out? Well… definitely easier said than done. But if I can work out a beefy outline for FG2, or even complete book one of Monster Squad – then awesome. Oh, yeah – that’s it’s inside joke of a working title. Obviously I can’t run with it because of the 80’s classic, but I’ll come up with something. I’ve tried running with this book for a couple years now, but with the updates I’ve recently made I believe it’s workable now as well.

It might be silly to start these things before I leave… but I’m never going to give up writing. If nothing else, it gives me a center and a focus and an amazing hobby. One day I’ll get published, and even if it takes me another ten years to kneed out the kinks – then the journey will still be an interesting one.

Music fueled internal dialogue

Sometimes… it’s not about coming up with usable content. Sometimes it’s just about spending some time in your character’s psyche. Learning who they are, how they’ll react. Stories change, grow, and transform as you’re writing. Characters take on a life of their own and drive the story out of your control. Hopefully you’re quick enough to keep up with them… if not then you’ll slam face first into the cement they’ve left you stranded on.

If you can find music to lose yourself in, it’s easier to meet your character. A certain note or chord can trigger a kinship to help you connect on a primal level. Turn the music up, tune out the world, and just get to know them. You might discover they story they have to tell is better than the one you thought you were writing.

A lot of what I write or jot down will never appear in a book. It will never actually be used in a story. Much of it is random happenstance that is too good to discard, but outside what’s actually happening.

I’ve never read a lot of manga or comics. I don’t know why – just never really could get into them. (This is funny considering I’m wanting to turn a couple of my story ideas into graphic novels instead of books). Many will have cute little “asides” that have nothing to do with the story. Just little fantastic “what if’s” worked into the margins or a couple of frames. They’re cute, funny, chibi usually… And that’s much of what my character communing really is.

At some point I’d like to imagine Kaidd joining Nicholai in his adventures with the crew of the ETC. Talking a relatively protective Nicholai into anything would take a fair amount of reasoning and far more sass than most people would have at their disposal, but I fell Kaidd could pull it off.

“Let me help you.”

“Kaidd…. no.”

“Just hear me out. I came out here to help and you’ve turned me into a glorified secretary. I get it. I understand that you’re trying to keep me safe. I’m related to our planet’s most famous and infamous men. I’ve had the absolute best physical training that money could possibly buy IF it wasn’t designed exclusively for me. Let’s not forget that I’m just as skilled at subterfuge as you and Uncle Nathan EVER were.

“Yet I’m the unit’s secretary.”

“You understand that our intel, backed up by Doc’s precognition leans towards the mole being a woman. That whomever she approaches is going to have to play the part to the hilt regardless of the part she plays.”

“You’re aware that I’m not unfamiliar with women, right?”

“We don’t need to have this conversation.”

“It’s not like I’m going to fall in love. Besides, I’d be the most likely target if I did join the group.”

“How do you figure?”

“I’d like to point out that while you’re all still good looking men… you’re old. All of you. I’m youthful, and to anyone that doesn’t know me, I’m most likely ignorant. I’m a perfect target,  because let’s not forget I’m also gorgeous. I understand it’s a dangerous mission,  but I’m up to the task.”

“You’re such a jack ass.”

“Well I get it from you. Learned, inherited, the whole nine.”

“Fuck off.”

“Wait, does that mean I’m in? “

“I said fuck off.”

“Yes! I’m in!”

That Moment

When the florescent bulb finally buzzes to life above your head. It took forever and no matter how many times you tried… it just wouldn’t light.You thought you’d tried every connection… when at last…

And then you can’t tear yourself away.

Trapped at the keyboard for hours. Ideas pouring out of your head.

I knew I was trying to cram too much into one book, or even two. It took the focus off of the main characters. You’re not supposed to have just a story with people in it, your characters are supposed to carry the story, and I lost track of my characters. Of my original idea.

I’ve broken everything down into a short story series. Fifteen novellas in total which will revolve around a group of youthful supernatural enthusiasts. They’re going to inherit the world anyway, they might as well step up when it comes time to save it – right?

I have the two over-arching plots in place and the chapters outlined for six of the books. I even had to go ahead and throw in one of the scenes I’d been thinking about previously. But now it’s late… and I have work in the morning… And currently – still a job to go to in the morning. I won’t complain about that. Fingers crossed for a easy enough day to spare my mental facilities for the evening.

Babbling brook of imagination

I strove for a long long time to organize my writing. Work on figuring out plots, sub-plots, twists, turns, and gems. It was not easy… but I feel I more or less finally accomplished it. I don’t know if it was the steps I took.. the job I was in, or the tools at my disposal…

Only now…

I can’t write. The outlining leaves the content dull and lifeless. The process is no longer organic. It’s like my brain rebels violently at being lead down a narrow path.

Don’t get me wrong. My writing wasn’t anything amazing to begin with. I’m rarely clever and sorely confounding. When you write in figure eights – you need to have something to keep you on track.

The truth of it is though… I wrote more on the fly, than I ever have under a strict plan.

I suppose it could be where I am in my life. I actually have things I’m looking forward to. I have a dream and path that leads to it. My trek to the mountains is finally rising to it’s climax… I don’t want to write any less… but I don’t need to write. It’s not bursting from me like tidewaters any more.

I’ll have to be content with the trickle for now.

The strangest things

The sound of hooves surrounded Trevor as he ran. The trees in the dense forest made the sound echo so much that he couldn’t tell how many of the bandits were on his tail. They could have been respectable men chasing a trespasser on private land or he could have found himself in a group hunt for foxes. The truth is Trev had no idea where he was, or even how he got there. One moment he was walking casually through Central Park in the morning with his girlfriend and the next moment he was stumbling over cobbles and tree roots.

The men on horseback caught sight of him and gave chase immediately. He noted before turning that their clothes were cut closer to the eighteenth century rather than the twenty-first.

Trev tripped over one of the roots and was sent sprawling…

Through a stack of paper towels from beneath the storage rack in what appeared to be a Wal-Mart. He caught himself before slamming face first into the shelf ahead of him and looked around. The sound of horses had vanished. A nondescript couple stood at the other end of the aisle and met his confused gaze. He bolted from the aisle, leaping over three jumbo packs of paper towels.

“You’re not even going to clean up your mess? Jackass!” the woman yelled after him.

Since all Wal-Marts looked the same, he ran through the store in utter confusion to the front where the location was posted.

He stared dumbly at the words on the plaque for a moment trying to comprehend how he was teleported to some place called Seffner, Florida. He pulled his phone out of his pocket, but it still showed date as September eleventh, two thousand one. He waved down the greeter as he shuffled toward the door.

“Ma’am, what is the date?” The older woman gave him a funny look.

“September eleventh,” she told him. Trevor let out a sigh of relief and smiled. “Two thousand sixteen,” she finished.

Trev froze and stared gape mouthed at the lady.

“Are you alright?” she asked. He nodded mechanically and forced his feet into motion.

“Yeah… sure thing.”

Sometimes we get inspiration from places we don’t expect. Such as walking through Wal-Mart and having some young punk burst out from under the racking at the end of the aisle. While I know he was most likely just hiding from friends, the look of shear confusion on his face sent my imagination into overdrive.

Something intervened so that Trevor and his girlfriend would stay away from Vesey and West Side Highway that day. The question becomes why?

Oh, so I’ve been listening to conspiracy theory podcasts. Mainly just so I can get a laugh. Most of what’s said makes me giggle. Probably more so than my inner paranoia nods enthusiastically with. Hopefully more than… Maybe equally as…. whatever – I’m not paranoid or crazy. Weird and eccentric – sure.