Tuesday, November 30, 2010


I have a lot of days where I'm contentedly inspired. I'm not sure how to explain it, but as far as I can tell, it's a mild relaxation that seems to occur when I know exactly what I want to write. The thoughts, the sentences and the metaphors and the dialogue, just sit there in the back of my mind, marinating in one big happy bubble. I smile, I go through the day with this "atta girl" mentality, and I get home ready to attack the next few thousand words.

Then life happens, and I'm chasing a late assignment or my husband needs help with something, or my car needs to be picked up from the shop. Suddenly it's almost midnight and I have to dive into bed just so I can be coherent the next morning.

That was yesterday. And the bubble is starting to wear thin.

I've taken to carrying a notebook around with me, one that obviously isn't for work - those are scuffed, dirty and covered in doodles from waiting for that last guild member or commissioner so the meeting can start. My 'me' notebooks are pretty; I like them that way. I can toss them in my purse and take off out the door, then when inspiration strikes halfway through my lunch hour, it's there. Even though I don't think I'll ever prefer using a notebook to typing (it's so much faster!), it's nice to have it there, just waiting for an executive session when there are no city officials left in the room.

Monday, November 29, 2010

Sometimes I have to admit that my 'babies' are ugly

I haven't written much in the last few weeks, for several reasons.

In the few months since starting this little venture, I've learned something I've suspected all along: when I craft something, even if it's just a string of words thrown together, it's mine and no one else's. It's like my baby, born from my brain-womb, taking its first toddling steps on a screen.

Yet, at the same time, sometimes I have to look at these screen-babies and say "this is awful, this is terrible and just needs to be completely re-written." I'm destroying my babies because they're ugly, and replacing them with prettier little angels that don't make me recoil in horror every time I hear them aloud (fun fact - I do run my stories through my computer's voice program every few weeks because it helps me edit).

What an awful metaphor.

So here I am, stuck because I just realized that the last, like, 30 pages of N2N need to be rewritten. Completely. Start from scratch, because that baby was ugly as sin. And now, I'm slogging through it, trying to find something, anything redeeming enough to keep.

Maybe sometime I'll post a rough 'preview' of what I'm writing. No one knows about this blog yet, which is liberating in a way. I'm not sure how comfortable I am with the idea of a 'readership,' but writing this here helps remind me to stay on track, because that might be important someday.

Until then, I'll gripe here about all the roadblocks.

Friday, November 5, 2010

It's been a rough week

As a reporter, I tend to keep weird hours, though I usually get home around 5:30 or 6 three or four nights a week.

This, though, has been a rough one. For a couple of reasons.

First, my husband, my rock, my encouragement and my sleep aid, was out of town for the better part of the last week for a training workshop in Mississippi. This wasn't a big deal; after all, I lived on my own during college, and I have two enormous vicious dogs to keep me company. What I didn't expect, though, was for me to have so much trouble falling asleep at night.

I figured it's like this: when he's home, I subconsciously realize that if an axe murderer breaks down the door, he's going to be the one to handle it. But if it's just me there by myself, I'm going to have to be the one to heroically defend myself and my dogs with a baseball bat.

Anyway, so I didn't sleep much, and the elections were this week, so of course Tuesday night I didn't drag myself home until the wee hours of Wednesday morning. And Thursday night was much of the same with a healthcare banquet, with me finally leaving the newsroom after ten. Factor in church on Wednesday night and you see that I didn't have a lot of 'me' time this week, and that's when I do all of my writing.

It sucks, yes, but at the same time, I can see that I did need a break from constantly thinking about this story, and trying to work out chapters and plot lines and character relationships during every waking moment that isn't devoted to work or other daily necessities. In a way, it was a nice change of pace.

But then my husband surprised me by showing up at the newsroom last night (he wasn't supposed to be home until this afternoon). That more than made up for this crazy, exhausting week that I've had.