The Everything Junkie

Gobble gobble gobble gobble gobble gobble cherries gobble gobble ghostie gobble

Gobble gobble gobble gobble gobble gobble cherries gobble gobble ghostie gobble

I suppose there are some people who are more inclined than others to get addicted to things. Whenever I latch on to something that I like, I devour it. A bit like Pac-Man, apparently I cannot content myself with just a few white dots. I must have all of them, and then more, and then more. It might be food, or literature, or a good TV show, or a stupid game app, or some pretty crazy behaviour like categorizing everything in alphabetical and chronological order. Yes, I’m looking at you, CD towers and bookcases. It wouldn’t be so bad, you know, but as it usually is with addictions, it means you tend to let go of everything else. Sleep, money, order, brushing your hair…

Last weekend I had to take a break from writing. I didn’t have a block, I kinda knew what the next instalment was going to be about, but I had been losing sight of the other things in my life that are important. First and foremost, there are people in my life, the ones that live outside my head, that deserve to be given at least the same amount of attention the ones I create get. And in some cases, well, even more. Secondly, wanting to be a writer mustn’t mean I can forgo being human and living in a human dwelling that wouldn’t resemble a prehistoric cave. And finally, enough with the egomania, I really cannot float through life expecting people to bend over backwards to help and support me and not be willing to do the same for others. I mean, I usually dismiss the guilt Scott Pilgrim-style, but I’m not a twenty-something any more, and egotism stops being cute when you’re supposed to be building a future with someone. So yeah, I spent last weekend sorting things out.

Which means I haven’t edited any of the things I wrote last week yet, nor have I reviewed this one. Same old same old, it’s late, I’m tired, etcetera. I’ll probably end up mass editing everything during my Christmas break. Ho ho ho!

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You can’t always get what you want. But if you try sometimes you might find you get what you need.

Boo, remember me? Until you don't.

Boo, remember me? Until you don’t.

There are some aspects of my personality that are like the Silence. I don’t remember they exist as long as I don’t lay eyes on them, but when I see them – shit! They’re just terrifying. I’ve always enjoyed writing, and as a teenager I often found I could exorcise my darker self by writing down whatever she thought, whatever she wanted, whatever she wished for. Once on paper, I was free. My evil twin would be trapped in the pages of my diary and not dwelling in my heart any more. But the downside was that my diaries were really hard to read, the words on there would sting my eyes. It’s good to get rid of the filth that accumulates in your stomach when you’re upset, but then you come across one of those notebooks months, years later, read them and it’s a sucker punch. On balance, it’s probably better seeing your darkness on a blotted piece of paper than it is having it stare back at you from a mirror. So tonight’s lesson is that I probably need to start keeping a diary again.

I’ve written a lot again, even though I still intend to just put the minimum necessary on-line tonight. A lady must have a contingency plan! Part of me is a bit surprised by how much I seem to have to give to this latest project. Unlike any of the previous pieces, the events described aren’t drawn from my life, only the feelings are. When I wrote about Eskarena’s walk, I was just describing a moment from a holiday I’d had a gazillion years ago with a former boyfriend. The fictional direction the story took was what took me by surprise then, I didn’t expect it to become science fiction and as a result, despite being terribly thrilled at the idea of writing something of that type, I was stuck. There were vague notions of what I wanted to do in that world, but it had been so sudden, so unexpected, I got lost. I didn’t actually know anything about it.

When I started writing yesterday, I didn’t have anything clear in mind either. I started making up scenarios from scratch, and somehow ended up dealing with stuff I knew all too well. I feel so familiar with this piece I almost feel I should put one of those disclaimers, you know, all events and people hereby depicted are fictional and any resemblance with actual people yada yada yada. So yes, that.

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Moonlighting

Alas, missed the midnight deadline for a blink of an eye!

Alas, missed the midnight deadline for a blink of an eye!

I had the most annoying case of lightning writer’s block. All the way home from work and while doing a couple of urgent chores I had this situation in mind, which was probably set in the same world as Eskarena and the Imaginarium and could have been an interesting chapter one. But as soon as I sat in front of the screen the idea started weakening, I realized I hadn’t thought through any of the details and got hopelessly lost at about 150 words in.

So I decided it was destiny, opened a new file and started an entirely different thing. An odd piece that appeared to deal with compulsive behaviours and boring summer afternoons. But that turned out to be a dead end too. I was ready to throw in the towel. My number one fan kept trying to motivate me, suggesting I should write about sexy female vampires, or sexy witches, or sexy female vampires with sexy witches, but I had to turn down all of those ideas despite being aware of just how marketable they would be.

But then, after staring aimlessly outside the window and smoking a nasty cancer stick, a memory emerged. And it led me to another memory. And then another one. And then I knew what I was going to write today.

I haven’t edited it at all, so I can only imagine how dreadful the syntax and grammar must be, but bear with me. It’s past midnight, I’m exhausted and a long day awaits me tomorrow!

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Down the rabbit hole

#NotNaNoWriMo begins! And what an unexpectedly prolific beginning it was!

#NotNaNoWriMo begins! And what an unexpectedly prolific beginning it was!

Well, OK.

I’ll admit I wasn’t particularly optimistic about this project. And to be entirely fair, it’s far too early to say that this enterprise won’t sink. I can already see lots and lots of icebergs ahead. But at least I started, right on time.

First day of November, first 500 written words. Actually, more like 800+, a fact you may have no doubt I will soon use as an excuse to write far less in the days that are to come!

My biggest concern was that I haven’t actually written anything in a while (no, years) so didn’t think I had any stories in me at the moment. Sometimes while walking home from work I would try to create plot lines in my head but nothing would come. So today, when I found myself sitting in front of a blank page, I was pretty much ready to give in, white flag et all.

And then the first paragraph just appeared in my head. And right after that a name. OK, the name was lifted, to be completely honest, from Terry Pratchett’s Equal Rites, but it was by pure chance! I read that book ages ago, and the name just suited my protagonist perfectly! Then after the name came the rest. I started typing and typing and from without even knowing where it was going I suddenly got to have a precise setting and an ending. Well, the final result is definitely not Discworld material, but rather Philip K. Dick inspired. (In case you were wondering, I did not leave it blank. But telling you which author it is would be a dead giveaway! If you don’t mind spoilers, just highlight that blank space. Otherwise do it after reading my piece and see if you guessed it right.)

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Challenge not accepted!

Time to get creative

Time to get creative! Time to do stuff! Time to dig out your crayons and doodle!

See, in films there comes a point, approximately 65% into it, that the protagonist just knows they have to push further, overcome their insecurity and do what they’ve never dared do before. And it’s easy to see it coming. First of all, it’s a freakin’ film, which means you can see how much time has passed and how much film is left. Secondly, there’s a series of key factors that have been popping up since the very beginning, then by the X hour there’s a crescendo and the character’s change of heart or sudden boost of confidence or whatever becomes inevitable. Seriously, after that many hints it would be like trying to stop evolution. And finally, for those who need a more in-your-face clue, the music tells you. (Perhaps that makes it more, like, in-your-ear?)

But I digress. I started this blog three weeks ago and I have only written the one post. Which makes this my very second post. Don’t get me wrong, that is an extraordinary accomplishment for me, two posts in less than one month? Crazy talk! Two posts in the same year? Phoooey! Yeah, I’m over my average, but the whole point to this enterprise was to change my nasty habit of starting something and not finishing it.

So I was flipping through the pages of my work diary to see if I could “pencil in” being creative and writing something on here. I figured on Tuesdays I finish work early, and on Mondays and Thursdays I have long breaks between one lesson in a company and another. With a tablet I could be super-productive and write loads, loads I say! Except I used to have a tablet and my productivity was close to nil. There were so many other things I could do that took up all the precious time I should’ve spent writing, so ha. Anyways, as I was saying, flipping through my diary I was when I realized we were nearing the end of October. Which meant next month is November. And you know what that means: NaNoWriMo!

What better way to force myself to finally stop piling excuses and trying to write the friggin’ novel I’ve always meant to write? Last time I took part to a writing challenge I actually did get stuff done! Granted, it was flash fiction, the theme was winter and I practically ripped off a classic myth, but the words were pouring out, and I did finish it! And just to brag a little, I also won the challenge. And just to brag a little more, here’s a link if you want to read it.

But then my instincts kicked in, and I started piling excuses. At the end of the day, I really do have too much going on at the moment. But here is my plan, I will NotNaNoWriMo! (If that hashtag doesn’t exist, it totally should.) 1700 words a day is not realistic for me, not at this stage of my life. Look at me, I’m struggling to get this post online and they’re what? 600 words? So here’s my objective: I will write at least 500 words a day for the entire month of November. They may or may not be all tied up together in a novel. They may or may not just be plot outlines for 30 short stories. They may or may not be a bunch of crap. But I’m doing this. I’m writing the hell out of November, or at least I’ll be writing more than I have in any of the past Novembers of my life.

And that must count for something, right?
Right?