A block like whoa

I’ve been going through some writer’s block.  I know that can be a touchy term, as there are writers who insist it doesn’t exist, etc.  But that’s what I’m choosing to call what I’m going through.

I moved to Georgia a month ago.  I’ve been out of work for a month and a half.  I’m 2 books behind on my GoodReads challenge (and this is after I dropped 10 books from the goal!) and I’ve written almost nothing in weeks.  I haven’t even read The Cuckoo’s Calling yet.  Uggh.

The other day, I went to a coffee shop, took a little notebook, and filled out about six little pages.  It came out to about 500 words.  I doubled that later.  There were two characters I’ve had a while, it wasn’t a full story, and it was based on a real conversation I’ve had.  Not much creativity went into it at all, though I did try to be more descriptive than usual (lack of description = big problem in my writing).  It wasn’t much.  But if I can keep working on it, I might just hit something good.

I have two books picked out to read (The Cuckoo’s Calling and the first Mortal Instruments book), and reading always helps me write.  I really think this block comes from my lack of reading, but I’m having trouble sitting down and doing it.  Being in a new place, trying to find a job, and having a new fandom (Welcome to Night Vale, uughh, I can barely handle it, go listen to it now if you haven’t already) have really limited my reading time.  Struggling.

Maybe posting here will help!  Hello!

I also have a new tattoo (got on JKR/HP’s birthday) and it’s beautiful.

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Bi Women

Bi Women is a newsletter in Boston that runs on submissions from (you guessed it!) bisexual women.  I’ve known about their fall 2013 issue for a while and I’ve been going back and forth about whether I should submit or not… And I decided today….

Of course I should!

There’s absolutely no good reason I shouldn’t.  My only draw back is that I’m wanting to focus on my novel, but the sad fact is, I’m moving so slowly on that, taking a little break might be an excellent idea.  The maximum word count for the submission is 1.5k, so it won’t take me long.  I relate so strongly to the theme (“Bisexual Enough?”) that it feels terrible to think about letting this chance pass by.

Not to mention that I have zero writing creds to my name.  This would be something.

I cranked out about 800 words just now, and I’ll leave it alone for a bit… read it again in a week or so and straighten it up (no pun intended).  I’m also looking for beta readers–any takers?

New goal?

I started the Andersons’ story for NaNoWriMo 2011, shortly after getting my job. I’m planning to quit my job in two months. How cool would it be if I completely finished the novel before then? I have indeed written most of it in the facility, while on the clock. I’d have to dedicate it to my boss and coworkers, not to mention all my fantastic clients who make appearances throughout the novel.

Posted from my phone, so please excuse extra typos! ESJ

Messy

So this whole ‘have a novel ready for publication by the end of the year’ is really messing with me.

I think what I need to do is read some novels from the New Adult category, particularly some coming-of-age ones, because that’s what I want my story to be…but I have such aversion to most of the books in the category that I’m loath to spend money on them (particularly with other big expenses looming on the horizon).  Urgh.  Earlier tonight I even considered for a full few minutes making the story YA. 

I love YA, don’t get me wrong, but it would just change…so much.  The biggest thing stopping me is that my characters would have to get different jobs, which would change the plot quite a bit.  And I like the jobs they have.  Plus, I want to add something non-erotica to the New Adult category.  On the other hand, having a healthy poly relationship in a YA novel would be fantastic—but probably not very publishable just yet.  That can be something for me to write in the future, after I already have a few bestsellers out there and people are wanting to publish anything I will let them.

I’ve also considered biting the bullet and making the darn thing genre romance, but I just can’t.

Alas!  I know my plot needs to be altered greatly.  But I’m not so good at the whole plotting thing (if I were, I maybe wouldn’t be in the mess).  Therein lies the problem.

On the upside, I do think I may have figured out my first scene.  My first scenes are always so, so boring.  That’s one reason I need to read some New Adult coming-of-age stories, so I can figure out how to open the story.  I think I’m going to start with the introduction to polyamory.  Right now, polyamory isn’t mentioned until…a quarter of the way through the story?  Something like that.  And it really needs to come in earlier, so why not opening the entire story?  It will hopefully be grabby for the readers and start the story off right.

BUT WHERE TO GO FROM THERE? 

I’m falling behind on my reading, but I blame a week’s vacation in which my long-distance girlfriend came to visit, and we sat around doing nothing but playing Scrabble and working our way through fifteen episodes of Boy Meets World.  I’ll get caught up on my reading, no worries.  I’m almost finished with Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s The Lost World and I’m working on a few others, too. 

I’m going through such a weird time in my life.  I feel like being better at my writing, like reading more, like being more dedicated to the literature-y parts of my life will help.  I hope, I hope.

Posted from my phone, so please excuse extra typos! ESJ

My Goals for 2013

To Do:

Get a tattoo.
Polish The Andersons’ Story.
-Start queries for Anderson.
Read 55 books.
-Post reviews here.
Write Parker’s Story (done!).
Win a NaNoWriMo (done!).
Dye my hair again.
Move to Georgia.
Have a tea party.
Go on at least five adventures.

What have I accomplished this year, so far, you ask?

We are now in May, and the answer is…not much.  So, I’ve made a little To-Do list and plan to keep up with it here—it will turn this blog into a bit more than a reading/writing blog, but so be it.  Some things are small, some are big, some are specific, and some are quite vague, but I want to do these things this year.  At some point.

Get a tattoo—I have an idea in mind.  A phoenix and the sign of the Deathly Hallows.  I don’t have a final picture, and I’m not 100% sure where I want it, but I think on my leg.  Hopefully I will get this in the next few weeks, and hopefully it isn’t the only tattoo I get this year, but we’ll start with it.

Polish The Andersons’ Story—my first novel.  I want a new plot, which will involve new scenes but hopefully I can keep most of what I have already written.  Once I get the new stuff written and everything arranged the way I want it, little edits will start.  Then I will get it read by someone(s) else, and then I will edit again, and then I will start sending out queries.  I don’t know how long this will take.  Hopefully not too very long.

Read 55 books—I’m working on number 18 right now.  According to GoodReads, that puts me at 1 book behind schedule, so I’m doing well considering I stopped reading for a month for Camp NaNo.  I do want to post reviews for each book I read, both here and on GoodReads, and there’s one I read a month ago that I haven’t written a review for yet… I’ll get around to it, promise.

Write Parker’s Story and win a NaNoWriMo—both done, and at the same time!  Whoo!

Dye my hair again—from my natural dirty blonde, my hair went to brown last year and then to bright red earlier this year.  I want to play with some other colors (or maybe just red again), and I think after I move and get a job (and make sure weird hair colors are appropriate at said job) will be a good time to experiment. 

Move to Georgia—this is the thing I’ve been thinking about the most tonight (I’ve been looking at prices for U-Hauls and apartments).   I’ve told my mom that I want to go, which is a big step for me.  She doesn’t like the idea, but she sounded like she wouldn’t really try to stop me, which is good (not that I thought she would, but she can, when so inclined, pour on some guilt).  I’ll be moving with my friend Dustin, and possibly my friend Josh as well.  There are some sub-to-dos involved here, such as (a) quit my job, (b) find a new job, (c) find an apartment, (d) move out of my apartment, (e) actually move, and I will get more specific as the time draws nearer.

Have a tea party—I think I want to do this before moving, as a fun way to say good-bye to friends (including roommates) who aren’t moving with me.  I’ve lived in my current home for three years now, and it will be bittersweet to move out.  I think a lovely tea party would be a good way to leave things.  Then I want to have a tea party at my new apartment, after I move.  This might sound creepy or it might sound fantastic (I’m going with fantastic), but I think if I can meet some nice people on OkCupid in the area, and throw a tea party for them all, it will be a good welcome-to-the-neighborhood type deal.

Go on at least five adventures—the most vague of those on this list!  Moving to Georgia will count as an adventure.  I imagine there will be plenty of exploring I can do once there that will count for the other four.

More will be added as I think of it.  But this looks like it won’t be too shabby a year, eh? 

Posted from my phone, so please excuse extra typos! ESJ

Day 30ish!

I made it to 50k.  Technically, 50,003 words.

The last 3k or so, I was really struggling, but I got them down.  The book isn’t really finished…  As it is, it does tell a story: beginning, middle, end.  But it isn’t the whole story I want it to tell.

I simply cannot keep working on it, though.  Sorry ’bout it.  It’s such a complicated story, and while I do love the characters a lot, I need a break.  I’ve been itching to get back to my first book (since I decided the darn thing needed to be replotted, urrgh), so that’s what I’m going to work on next.  My Andersons are going to be my focus, and I’m going to make them very shiny.  That’s my project.  If I say it enough times, it might just stick–I have a bad habit of making writing promises that immediately fall apart, but I need this.  So.  I’m going to do it.

I had entertained thoughts of participating in July’s Camp NaNoWriMo as well, but I don’t think that’s such a good idea.  I have enough first drafts.  I need some second drafts.  I need some rewrites and edits and polishing and queries.

It’s so odd, isn’t it?  How I can struggle and whine and groan and pull out my own metaphorical teeth for hours, trying to get words on the screen, willing to give a lot to stop… and then I finish, and I can’t wait to move to the next project.  

Let’s do this.

So, I know this has turned into more of a book-review-blog than a writing-blog recently (though book reviews are writing…but whatever).  Honestly, I haven’t been doing a lot of writing the past few weeks.  I’m gearing up for Camp NaNoWriMo, which starts in…gulp…about sixteen hours.

That feeling of excited dread is building and it makes me feel a little sick every time I think about it.

Eeeee.

I’m officially four books ahead of schedule for my GoodReads challenge, which means I can enter April while focusing only on my word count and not my book reading count.  Which is good.

I know I have talked a little about my novel for Camp, but because it’s my blog and I want to, I’m going to talk about it some more.

I’m writing Parker’s Story, which also gets called Dylan’s Story, and sometimes Parker and Dylan’s Story.  It’s about a group of friends living their queer lives, supporting and loving each other through the good, the bad, and the weird. 

Parker is a gay trans* man who’s new in town.  Dylan’s a queer cis man.  Kathy is a bisexual cis woman who lives with Richard, the only cishet in the story, who loves to cross-dress.  Marek, Dylan’s ex, is a gay cis man who lives with Tea and Jodie, two gender-fluid, genderqueer, lady-ish aromantic asexuals who are each other’s queerplatonic life partners.  Finally, we have Wendy and Simon, both bisexual cis folks, madly in love (though possibly not happily, hint, hint).  It’s possible that Simon will become Simone.  Not sure yet. 

Nine main characters, and I only know what’s going to happen with two of them (Dylan and Parker. Spoiler: They fall in love and are absolutely perfect and adorable together).

Since I have a lot of things planned for Dylan and Parker, when I get stuck, I’ll have that list of scenes and events to work on.  Since I don’t have much of anything planned for the other seven MCs, when I get stuck, I’ll be able to freewrite until I get unstuck.  I really think this mixture of planning and pantsing is a good idea, but ask me again in two weeks.

Like I wrote about in a previous blog entry, I’m buckling down.  I don’t like that I’ve participated in three NaNoWriMos and not reached 50k yet.  I can do this. I must do this.

I doubt I’ll be updating here daily, but who knows?

I’m going to sleep now. Nerves, nerves, nerves.