Monday, January 31, 2011

Writing and Pregnancy

Um, did you know I'm working on a novel? Two actually, but mostly one at the moment. Sometimes it's fun to tell people you're writing a novel and sometimes not. It's like being pregnant with no due date.

"How much longer?"
"Are you almost done?"
"When can I buy it?"
"Are you published yet?"

Part of me says yes, yes, I'm expecting. Isn't it exciting? But then after awhile it feels more like that last month of pregnancy where you're all, "Get this thing out of me." And people start saying, man you look like you could have that thing any day now. Except they say, are you still working on that? Or, aren't you done already?

That's when telling regret starts. Because growing a baby is dang hard work. And that poor baby/book, it gets the worst treatment. Cuz I don't know how to be a pregnant lady or writer yet. (Note to readers, I'm actually quite familiar with being pregnant, but I'm talking about the first time.)

So in the book I'm writing I think, I need more of this. Kind of like how I told my husband, more hot dogs and cheese are needed. At midnight. And then i see another pregnant lady in her cute pregnant aerobic outfit (you people make me sick) jogging down the road and I think, I'm doing this all wrong, because I just read this book and it's excellent and it's nothing like what I'm writing.

Here's the real deal with my first pregnancy. Vomit. A lot of vomit. The feeling hitting me, running to the bathroom and vomiting on the kitchen floor and slipping in my own vomit and sliding in my own vomit and ramming into a door all covered in my own vomit which made me, vomit. And this relates to writing. Yes it does.

I'll be minding my own business, just typing away when a scene will hit me. And I'm suddenly a crazed lunatic. I'm weepy and teary and I don't want to sit there anymore. Or sometimes I crack myself up because let's face it, I'm funny. And there's just too much sarcastic punk in me to not let it slip into my characters.

And it's all a bit of a mess. But you have to write that way. Or alteast I do. The clean up comes later. Sometimes one scene will bring another one out, like slipping in vomit. Other times not. That's called dry heaving writing. I hate that kind.

So now you feel all educated about writing and vomit and you think, why would I ever want to write? Because duh, eventually the baby comes and you think, maybe that was all worth it.

Friday, January 28, 2011

Conflict of Interests

My youngest was home with me today. And I'm in a hurry to finish my manuscript.
Is it just me, or does this seem like a conflict? Of course. Because don't you know,
"There's nothing to do in this whole house."

So I thought, okay, I don't really write ALL DAY anyway. Just a few hours on a good writing day.
List of non-boring things we did:

1. Make a miniature of our dog Peanut with a conglomerate of crafty kid things we have. Which included the use of a glue gun. Which means yes, I touched the hot glue a few times trying to stick the little eyes on.

2. Read picture books by Judy Cox and Kristyn Crow. Voices included.

3. Shot each other and the windows and t.v. with nerf guns.

4. Ate food.

After all of this I felt like a good mom. Until there was a 3.4 minute pause in the action wherein I was reminded that, "There's nothing to do. Nothing is fun by myself."

At that point I did what any book writing mom would do, I turned on Scooby Doo and then started to write. But even Scooby Doo is boring if you have no one to tell all the parts to. He's a sports broadcaster in the making. Kid gives a great play by play.

Someday I'll finish.
In the meantime, I'm sharpening my mad nerf gun shooting skills.

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Writing the Hard Stuff

So I'm not the best at blogging.

The book I'm currently writing is an emotional one. And one that picks scabs off of past scars. I write for a while and feel great, and then I feel it affecting me. It's pretty hard sometimes, actually. But I know I'm supposed to be writing it.

So what do you do when you feel all emotionally confused? You talk to Carol Lynch Williams, the author of some of the best, hardest books, ever. And you whine and cry and tell her too much personal information. And then she tells you the best advice. Because she's Carol.

First, you need to read her books. Did you? Okay. She said, you can't put it all in one book. Our lives require more than one. Pick one big thing, change it a bit, because you're writing fiction, and then pepper it with smaller events. So simple. And something I can see so very clearly in her writing now that she mentioned that.

I'm not done writing the book, but I have the whole thing in my head. And today, my goal is to write out those events that belong in the book. Seperate from the book. My plot is already mapped, and I have much of the book written. It's in the revision that the possible changes will take place.

I just love formulas. I love patterns. I listen to what other writers have to say, to their advice, to their experiences. It's just that sometimes, one person will say what I need to hear in the only way that will get to me.

Thank you, Carol. And thank you to all my friends and peers who have helped me along this path.