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5min- Failure

How do you judge failure?

I’ve tried so many things in my life. I went to college, but I have no degree. I started painting pictures that are half finished. I have book upon book that is only a fragment of a finished novel or short story.

But is it failure?

Sometimes I feel like I’ve failed, and Gregg has to give me a pep talk and remind me of how far I’ve come, and how much I have accomplished.

You see, there was a time when I did give up. I stopped writing, stopped painting, stopped doing almost anything creative because just existing took so much effort that I couldn’t do much of anything else. That’s the lie of depression. That’s the trap of living in an abusive relationship. You feel so worthless, and useless, that just getting out of bed and putting on clothes is difficult.

And here I am, years later, with finished books and a shelf with my name all over it…. And still I feel like a failure. That thing causing my depression may be gone, but the depression isn’t. It’s a life long companion.

What is failure? Failure is giving into that depression and letting it lie to me. But even if I fail for a day there is still tomorrow, and the next day, and the next, to try again. To get it right.

And that’s my five.

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Posted by on February 14, 2018 in Personal Notes

 

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5min – slacking and change 

Nothing about life is as true as this: everything changes. In a moment, in a month, or in a life time. It changes. 

I have been reminded of that a lot lately. From me jobs, car accidents, new cars, and more, I’ve had a lot of changes in my life. And just turn on the news to see the hurricane, or the latest protest, and realize that change is happening all around us. 

I think the harder thing to do is change myself. Even when I need to. Even when I want to. Realizing I need to excersize as I get older is easier than actually getting up and moving. Realizing I need to eat better is easier than putting down the candy bar. And knowing I need to write is so much easier than actually doing it. 

Change comes from doing, not just thinking. It’s a lot harder to do it, and that’s why there are so many people out there who say “I always wanted to write a book”  instead of “here’s my book.” 

And that’s my five. 

 
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Posted by on August 28, 2017 in On Writing

 

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5min – Writing

I’ve started cleaning up what I’ve already written for book two in my Half Blood Sorceress series. A lot of what I’m doing is just remembering what I’ve already written so that when I start getting to the chapters that aren’t finished yet I can keep everything on the right track.

That is the one problem with the way I write things. I tend to do things in a scattered way, switching from one project to another, skipping to the scene that is interesting me at that time so I can get it finished, then moving on to another. Linear is not part of my makeup. I use to drive my art teacher insane that way. I’d skip around on the paper, drawing parts of if here and there before actually finishing anything. She couldn’t figure out how I could draw like that and still get a coherent piece of art. But it worked for me, always, and I often had some of the most technically accurate work in the class, though maybe not the most creative.

My creativity was more in tune with writing. I could build worlds, expand them, add new creatures and dimensions to them. Explore ideas and themes that I couldn’t in real life. I had more mobility with writing then I did with painting. But still no ability to work in a linear fashion.

I suppose I’m better about it now. I do tend to write a plot line for the thing before rambling. It might not be a whole plot, but it is definitely something to keep me in check. I throw away a lot fewer words because of that.

And that’s my five.

 
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Posted by on August 23, 2017 in On Writing

 

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5min – Half Blood Sorceress

Today has been a good day. I’m writing this at the end of the day, instead of the beginning, because I’ve been doing a lot of writing and editing. Mostly editing of the first book so I can get it to the editor.

I hate estimating these things. I’m almost always wrong. I have these big ideas that I can just ‘edit one chapter a day and get it done” but something else comes up. And I know some of it is excuses, and other times it’s legitimate things. Like being sick for the last week because there are forest fires going on and my asthma is not making life easy.

Regardless, I have grand ideas that I don’t end up doing it. Another big reason is that I end up spending time on other things instead of the main project. I have been trying to get the editing done for this book, but I admit that I hate editing. I have taken a lot of “breaks” to write major plots for the third book so that I can start on it soon. On the plus side I have a lot of that story already figured out. On the minus side…book one isn’t finished yet!

But after this second pass I’m actually happy with the story. I had been thinking the main character was too ‘whiny” when I first wrote her. But no, she isn’t. She’s the right amount of upset that a large portion of her life goes south really fast, and nothing she seems can fix it. And it’s okay to be upset when that happens. That’s life, and that’s how it works. We can’t control everything around us, even when we really want to.

I guess I should take a note from my characters at this point.

And that’s my five.

 
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Posted by on August 11, 2017 in On Writing

 

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5min – Rutines 

I’m trying to get into a new routine to make editing and writing work for me. 

Edit one chapter in the morning before work. A bit of writing on a different project after work. Another chapter of editing after writing, if I can. Even with one or two chapters edited a day I should get this first book finished and edited by the end of the week, which is when I need to get it to my editor. 

This project has been a lot more challenging than the first trilogy. Partly because I’m building an entire world from scratch, including how the mythos of creation and the magic system works. There are no elves, no dwarves, no other races in this series except humans, dragons, and ifrits. The magic is still elemental based, but works more like alchemy than  it did in my other series. 

It’s been fun to design a whole new world. I can’t wait to share it! 

And that’s my five. 

 
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Posted by on July 28, 2017 in On Writing

 

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How did you start writing?

Asked on Quora earlier today.

When I was seven my teacher had a bunch of lined paper on her desk. I use to grab handfuls of it and staple it together at the edges. I had a beautiful orange marker to write stories about mermaids and nymphs playing with me in the back yard. I guess I never got over that wonder of the unseen.

I still write about mermaids, griffins, and monsters. Each story is a little scene into something amazing. Something wonderful. And I have always wanted to share those scenes with others. Now I get to!

 
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Posted by on March 9, 2017 in On Writing, Personal Notes

 

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Hecktic week

flightminiFirst, Flight of the Griffins is out for free this weekend! If you haven’t picked it up, now is a great time to do so.

This week started out fantastic. I wrote “Orange”, a 1700 word short story about surviving a tragedy… and then I got caught up in life again.

It’s so easy to get caught up in the day to day items. There are times in our lives when stress just sucks the creativity away, and you have to deal with the harder things in life before you can deal with creative pursuits.

For me, this week, it was moving my daughters into their new apartment, and helping a friend move out of her parents house. We aren’t quite finished, there are a few more boxes, and they need a little more furniture, but the majority is done. Now I just need to switch my room with my son. That’s going to be a project in itself.

The short stories helped. Writing small bits, and completing them keeps the creative fire burning. A spark ready to go once life settles down for a bit.

Speaking of which, I think life has settle down some. It’s time to go finish “Red,” a short story about a young girl that steals a red cloak from a witch. What could go wrong?

 
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Posted by on October 27, 2016 in Updates

 

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