Wednesday, May 24, 2006
Sunny and pleasant
Check out today’s exercise on The Scruffy Dog Review Blog. I talk a bit about the stories I’ve crafted over these weeks of exercises. To my surprise and pleasure, they show promise. And, by the end of it, after revisions, I’ll have several stories that can go out on submission.
Caught up on the SDR submissions, and now I’m on my leave. Hopefully, everything will be sorted out over the summer, and I can go back. When I opened the mailbox, I was concerned; however 99% of the mail was spam, so it got deleted.
Will finish my column for July in the next week or so and send it off.
Spent a lot of time while working yesterday, deep in thought about Real. I realized (no pun intended), that I missed setting up a big bit of plot in the Lindisfarne section, so I have to go back and fix that. Then, I’ll fix Monaco and Florence. I have a feeling that’s as far as I’ll get today.
I finished re-reading Terry Brooks’s Sometimes the Magic Works, which I have to say, is one of the best books on writing that I’ve ever read. It feels like a conversation with him, and so much he had to say directly touches on things with which I’m currently grappling.
The biggest hurdle in dealing with The Situation is the bone-crushing, soul-sucking depression that comes from dealing with someone (or, in this case, a group of someones) whose agenda is to create as much harm on as many levels as possible for personal profit. Depression, anger, exhaustion – all of that happens all the time. Frankly, the woo-woos who float around and say you “choose” your response are full of shit. When someone’s threatening you and your family, you do what you have to in order to protect them. When someone takes away your choices with intent to harm, rolling over only means you’ll be crushed.
The doubt creeps in after the anger and depression and exhaustion have done their work. Doubt as far as “well, if I was really a writer, I’d be able to write even though I haven’t slept in two days and am trying to prevent so-and-so from causing harm”.
That’s crap, too. As a good friend pointed out, I’ve been writing this entire time. I haven’t been working on Real, but I’ve spent five to seven hours every day generating the necessary paperwork to deal with The Situation.
Just because it’s not fiction doesn’t mean it isn’t writing.
My friend B. asked me, the other day on the rooftop garden of the Met, “What do you want?”
What I want is to live in my stable home (as in secure, not a horse stall) and write my books without being disturbed. Travel when I want, do my research, but, basically, just not have to deal with any political or other crap and do my thing without interference. I think that’s what most writers want.
I’ll come out to deal with the business end when I have to. I’ll do the PR and the glad handing and all that. But I have no interest in the spotlight. Spotlight the work if you want. But leave me alone to do my work.
There are a few obstacles in getting there, many of which right now are caused by The Situation, and I just have to find ways to overcome them or get around them or tunnel under them or otherwise remove them.
Anyway, Terry Brooks seems to have it well in hand, and his book is very helpful.
I also treated myself to Elizabeth George’s book, Write Away, which comes highly recommended.
I’m saving my friend Chaz’s new book, Bridge of Dreams, as a weekend treat when I’ve made good progress on Real.
I’m about to contact an editor I know at The Writer magazine not with a pitch, but with a request to include more articles for working writers. All the writing magazines gear issue after issue after issue to those starting out. I don’t feel like I can grow with any of them. I’m publishing regularly and making the transition to full time writing. I need stimulation and inspiration, too. The writing magazines bore me nine issues out of ten, because they only deal with where I was five years ago. Not where I am now or where I’m headed. Yeah, interviews with top-selling writers are good. But give some guidance and inspiration to those who aren’t dreaming, but are in the process of doing. Those who are writing NOW, not someday, or start twelve books and never “have time” to write.
Got to get to Staples this morning – I’m running low on supplies. And I have to come up with a couple of new paragraphs for the newsletter for my pro bono client. That has to go out by noon.
I’m reading an interesting story of ex-pat life in Florence. There are bits and pieces I can use to create the atmosphere for the Florence section, but I have to remember that coming in to a city to shoot for three days with a film is vastly different than getting involved in the internal ex-pat politicking. I need to flavor it, season it, but not overwhelm it. Heck, they’re working ridiculous hours, they have no time for anything else. Even though they’re in Florence, and one character is tempted to stay up for three days (they’re shooting nights) in order to sightsee.
Crash and burn, anyone?
Like I didn’t do that all through my twenties.
And I want most of the next week to be about Real.