Friday, August 18, 2006

Friday, August 18, 2006
Waning Moon
Pluto Retrograde
Neptune Retrograde
Uranus Retrograde
Cloudy and humid

Managed 21 pages yesterday on the play, Julia’s Legacy. Wrote all of Scene 3, finishing Act I. It took an interesting and odd turn in there; once I’ve got the whole first draft, I have to look back and see if and how I want to pursue it.

Too much exterior noise – trucks grinding whatever they’re grinding, a variety of people working outside with their music tuned to different stations, trying to out-loud each other. I’m trying to enjoy the liveliness of it all, but I’m in that deep writing/overwrought/over sensitive to noise place and it’s driving me nuts (yeah, short drive). Unfortunately, I’m not in an ivory tower, I’m in a brick apartment building in the midst of a town, so I have to fucking deal.

Bought crates at Staples because I have too many stacks of paperwork, and I have to clear room for the Geek Squad guy, who’s coming to cure my computer today.

Congrats to Chaz, who finished the draft of his new play yesterday – may I be close behind you.

And dammit, Chaz, feeding my addiction!

Those of you who’ve “known” me for awhile know that I’m addicted to juvenile fiction, especially the mystery series, from the turn of the last century onwards. Beverly Gray, Nancy Drew, Trixie Belden, Penny Parker, Dana Girls, Ruth Fielding, Hardy Boys, Adventure Girls, Vicki Barr, Judy Bolton, Sue Barton, Cherry Ames . . .the list goes on and on. Even Marjorie Dean, although the sexism really sets my teeth on edge. As annoying as the racism and sexism are in these books, it gives a snapshot of the times in which they were published, and, if we’re going to write historical fiction (even if it’s not juvenile), reading these books can give a writer an awful lot of information – some of it not so pleasant. Beverly Gray is my special obsession – I think I’m missing only three books in the series. I know the rare one set at the World’s Fair is one of them. But I can’t remember the other two. Unfortunately, they’re all in storage right now. I picked up some by Enid Blyton just before everything went into storage, so I haven’t read them yet.

And one of Chaz’s pleasures is the series of the Chalet School books, by Elinor Brent-Dyer. There are 62 of them in the series. And he’s blogged about them a bit . . .and now I’m hunting them down. Because give me a series to collect, and off I go . . .

Of course, it’s not Chaz’s fault at all; it’s my choice. And I’m grateful that he’s shared his joy in the books with me.

I’ve got the deadline blues. I was very excited about all these articles when I pitched them; even more so when we went to contract. And now, I just don’t feel like it.

This is what separates the professionals from the wanna-bes. The professionals get it done no matter how they feel. Or even when their Muse has told them to stuff it and gone off to Tahiti . . .

Cleaned off my desk. Yes, I was procrastinating, but I also have to give my incoming Computer Guru room to work.

It looks so nice and unusual that I’m going to try and keep it that way, and work my way through everything that was on my desk and next to my desk and is now in crates.

Maybe I should take a crate or two Elsewhere.

Or maybe I should only take deadlined work.

Next week, I’m taking “Ris an Abrar” to Connecticut, because if I don’t get it together on that piece, I’ll blow my deadline.

Cooked chicken in a mustard-wine sauce last night. Haven’t yet decided if I’ll cook in Elsewhere, or just order in . . .

Finished the draft of one of the big articles. Will type it up tomorrow and do the revisions, so it can go off. Got an idea for a new tangent in the other big article, and sent off some quick emails to a couple of authors with questions – if they have the time and/or inclination to answer, I think it will give me just the interesting bit I need to make the article sparkle. And then, maybe, I won’t feel quite so stuck with it.

Didn’t do any work on the short articles, but they’re percolating. I may type up and edit what I have on them tomorrow, just to get their energy flowing again.

I feel I’ve written myself into a corner with Real. The latest plot twist packs a solid emotional punch, and Sam’s coming through with much more sensitivity and maturity than I could have ever hoped. But am I trying to cover too much in this one novel? Perhaps in the early draft, I should put in everything including the kitchen sink, the attic pipes, and the wet laundry in the basement. And cut them out later.

It’s a different process than my usual one, where the first draft is the skeleton, the second draft is overwritten, and the third draft is crafted with a machete.

But I’m always saying that one has to reinvent the wheel with each novel, so I might as well live it, right?

I do love writing when it’s dark, with just the crickets spreading the news . . .

Of to start the second act of Julia’s Legacy.



At 7:46 AM, Blogger M.E Ellis said...

Writing because you want to is vastly different from having to. One of the reasons I'm holding off on jumping on the agent query wagon. Not that I'll ever get an agent (LOL) but trying to imagine writing to a deadline...hmmm, would make me not want to do it at all.


At 10:35 AM, Blogger Anita said...

As I contemplate kicking my writing up a notch and perhaps starting a freelance career, I am working hard on that professionalism you describe. I write every day now. Sometimes it's not great writing, but I'm getting myself into the habit of writing every day. Right now, I don't have any deadlined work, but I know that if I attempt a freelance career, deadlines will come, so I'm trying to prepare for them now.

By the way, reading your blog gives me a very good idea of what it's like to really live the writing life. Your insights on this blog and your comments on mine have been so valuable to me, and I look forward to learning even more from you!

At 11:55 AM, Blogger Tori Lennox said...

WTG on the writing!!!

I’m addicted to juvenile fiction

Hey, a girl after my own heart! I have a bunch of old juvenile books. Mostly mysteries. Wish I could find some from the '20s, though. Most of mine are '30s & '40s.

At 12:03 PM, Blogger Melissa Marsh said...

I devoured every single Nancy Drew novel. That is probably what sparked my fascination with detectives and suspense. In fact, I even opened up my own detective agency (in an abandoned tractor cab on our farm). I never did get very many cases, though...

At 12:12 PM, Blogger Ann said...

Really enjoyed your story of your restaurant visit the other day - hilarious!
And this post brings back so many memories - I was absolutely hooked on Nancy Drew growing up. My friend and I actually formed a Nancy Drew Club in sixty grade - I was Bess, she was George (neither would let the other be Nancy, so we had a Nancy Drew Club but no Nancy Drew!) To get in the club we had to do "ten deadly dares" (such as break a hole in the ice on a pond and go into it during the winter, and other intelligent stuff like that).
I also remember some of the others you mentioned (Trixie Beldon, the Bobsy Twins, the Hardy Boys, etc). Those were all so much fun!

At 8:32 PM, Blogger EA Monroe said...

Hi! Enjoy your blog. I still have my Trixie Beldon books and a couple of Hardy Boys. Trixie and Nancy Drew were what got me started writing all those years ago! Good luck with Julia's Legacy! And the computer!

At 11:23 PM, Blogger Bailey Stewart said...

I started with Meg Mysteries, then Trixie, and finally Nancy Drew before I went to romances. Wow, lots of memories there.


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