Well, I certainly did try to edit my NaNo project into something cohesive and I’m not saying I’m ready to give up on it. But I do believe it needs some space to breath.
This is true for most of the things I write, that I need some space between the writing and the editing, but especially so for a mostly true story about a totally shit time in my life.
So I’ve started something new! Something fun! Something that started out as a merry jaunt through time and space, an attempt to recreate a nostalgic event in the lives of the main character’s parents… but then… my mind went to the dark place and so did the story. Now the main character will share her story with her mom who’s been reading a lot about the #TimesUp movement and following coverage of a fictionalized version of that scumbag gymnastics doctor’s trial and reexamining some of those nostalgic events through the lens of a more cynical and much more informed adult eye.
Also… woo! Road trip!
The last dream I had before I woke up this morning was of living in an unstable tower-type building, trying to find an appropriate outfit to go get a hot dog and pick up my mom from work. I had just plugged in my long-sleeve white bathing suit, not to wear but so that it would be charged for later, and was marveling at the length and breadth of my favorite jeans as they eclipsed my legs and feet. For sure not hot dog getting wear, I thought.
Home sweet… whoooaaaaaa!
As I dug through the pile of cleanish clothes on the floor in my tower bedroom, wind blew or an earthquake quaked or an explosion exploded and the building began to rock. That happens when you live in an unstable tower building but usually, it straightened itself out, I reminded myself. I scrolled through the hot dog menu in my mind, considering a more classic relish and mustard or a more exotic chili and pineapple.
But my thoughts, my piles of clothes, my reassurances were all interrupted by the disequilibrium that wasn’t re-equalizing. The tower leaned too far to the left. My body rotated in space until I was looking straight ahead at the floor. My stomach flipped over and warmed slowly like a toaster until my breakfast was burnt. I thought, “this is it,”
and “I’m going to die now,” and “Goddess bless my children and keep them safe. Help the people who love me to grieve me without too much suffering…”
But then the building jerked up straight like those dancing balloons outside the car wash. My white bathing suit was fully charged and stain resistant. And I remembered that hot dogs don’t get themselves.
Fully charged, surprisingly stain-resistant
Then my son woke up–my real son in the waking world–and called for me. So I woke up, under the dark cloud of impending doom, and have been feeling this way ever since.
Happy Monday, everyone. May your day not be overshadowed by subconscious gloom.
Happy last day of NaNoWriMo 2017! If you haven’t finished, may all the words unburden themselves from your finger tips and your editing brain take a little break until you’re done.
I’m proud to announce that despite a buttload of obstacles (and by buttload, I mean the actual unit of measure equaling a barrel of wine which I cannot drink because I am nursing) I got my 50,000+ words thereby making me a…
I mean, I’m a winner no matter what because I look my mirror reflection in the eye every morning and tell her so, but it is gratifying to accomplish a goal and get a t-shirt so I can brag about it.
What I cannot brag about, however, is having a finished manuscript. Far from it. I can imagine the chapter I’m currently writing as being the last one but I have the kind of ending that’s like… “the only change was in my mind and I still haven’t decided what to do about it. The End”
True to life, man. Because I think I’ve finally emerged from the dark cave of baby blues–or at least found the exit, if I haven’t quite made it through the gift shop yet–and I don’t know what the hell to do with myself now. This WIP, this challenge was the thing that was keeping me going. After today, I don’t know. I’ll just have to use “getting through the holidays” as my motivation to keep moving forward until I find something else to cling to.
Maybe I’ll put an effort into finishing my NaNo project. Maybe I’ll start something new. Either way, I’ll definitely be doing it from a better mental state than I started this month.
I’m having trouble with this chapter in my NaNo WIP because it’s a mental/emotional breakdown scene and I’m just. not. there right now.
Having just resurfaced after a particularly difficult time, I don’t reeeeeally want to put myself back there just to write about it. And the stuff I wrote while I was there isn’t enough to make the chapter work. So what do I do?
I tried locking myself in my room, turning the sad music up to eleven and getting to a bad enough place to start the chapter but both children were crying downstairs, my husband was getting frustrated, and I couldn’t NOT go check on my lovebugs. I ended spending the next 20 minutes nursing, 30 minutes after that playing LEGO house, and then it was just about time for our bedtime routine.
Today, I’ve got to start thinking about Thanksgiving and Christmas shopping, the projects at work that I’ve been putting off because of that whole maternity leave/postpartum pseudo depression stuff, and cleaning my house since we finally fired our officious cleaning lady.
How DOES one find the time to recreate a depressive episode?
Instead of writing today, I:
Played hashtag games on Twitter
Reposted something stupid on Facebook
Took two small children to Target and bought a $6 Halloween costume on 70% off clearance!
Binged on Trader Joe’s Garlic Parmesan Pita Chips
Cut a cucumber into toddler-sized pieces
Braided my hair Wonder Woman-style (sorta. I tried)
Watched Sweet Water Secrets on Youtube
Looked up the kid who plays Adam Goldberg on the Goldbergs on IMDB to see what else he’s up to
Entered a book giveaway on Goodreads and a Set Visit Sweepstakes for Riverdale
Watched The Good Place on my DVR
Listened to my husband tell me about his uneventful doctor’s appointment
Listened to my son list all the Halloween monsters he knows about
Sat in my parked car at the park with two sleeping children in the back seat, just chillin’ and taking in the Fall foliage
Checked out the NaNo merch
Made this list
NaNoWriMo has begun and SO HAVE I! Pantsing it all the way. I started writing something at just before midnight last night (it was Nov 1 in Europe, it counts) and came up with 502 words before exhaustion overtook me and I went to bed.
But the kids are napping and I’ve got my playlist blastin’ (in the mom with two young children sense of the word… which is at like, a 2) and the words are coming slowly but surely from brain to finger tip to digital representation.
So far, I’m writing some fairly dirty stuff. That’s what makes it fun.
First chapter playlist:
Rag’n’Bone Man — Human
AJR — Weak
Kaleo — Way Down We Go
With 11 days left until NaNoWriMo begins, I have narrowed my project possibilities down to TWO! It was SEVEN as of this morning, so trust me when I say this is major big time progress.
The easiest way I could think to do it was to make a list because lists are the sometimes the glue that holds sanity together. Once the list o’ seven was made, it was as simple as reading through the one-line descriptions and deciding whether or not it would take more effort than I was willing to give. Most of them required either too much research or too much thinking or too much acknowledgement of world suck to pursue.
What I was left with was a fictionalized version of that time I went to Memphis and discovered what Southern racism looked like (and this was one of the lesser world suck topics) or an absurdist time-travel story based on a dream I had once about Walter O’Brien (the handsome TV version) running through a cave.
As far as plot goes, the Memphis one would be the easiest.
But if I wanna get weird, I should go time-travel.
For now, I’ll let it go and let future me decide what I’m feeling. Eleven days is forever when you mark the passage of time by baby feeding schedule. It’s also one big long day that never seems to end. Who knows what sleep-deprived hallucinations could spark an amazing idea by then.
I really shouldn’t. I know I shouldn’t. The commitment is beyond my ability to contemplate.
But I think… I might do NaNoWriMo again… with the understanding that I probably will not “win”.
If I had to pick the one worst thing about newborn care, it’s the utter loss of self that comes with it. I let myself get lost with my first baby. I’m not letting it happen again.
If I’m gonna lose something, I’d prefer it was a game.
Whelp, I did it. I had a baby. And while now is the time a professional writer would be making art out of pain, I’m gonna go couch and bingewatch and snuggle my new little muffin.
For like, a month. ‘Cause ouch.
Actual picture of me and my super fuzzy child. J/K. Sort of.
I read a blog post today comparing book writing with child birthing and while it was metaphorically delicious and lovely to read, I’m over here like… yeahhhh, I’m ’bout to actually have a baby and it’s much scarier than a book launch.
I launched that book last month. It went out into the world and my hooha suffered no damage whatsoever in the process. I slept well that night and several nights afterward.
Not so with real babies.
But I am prepping like it’s my job and I’m happy to report that every bag has been packed, every diaper-holder filled, every piece of laundry I can use in the next 6 months has been washed, folded, and put away. I am as ready as I could be for this baby.
But here’s the third biggest difference between baby-making and book-writing: I Can’t Start Until She’s Ready.
Whereas… if I were writing book, I’d already be elbow-deep.