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Tuesday, January 15, 2013

And It's A Writing Post

This comes from here- check it out this guy is amazing
Apparently Tuesday posts are a thing now. Whatever. I'm like a blog Ninja. You never know when I'm going to kick out a post. Except, possibly, you may expect them on Tuesdays now. Or not. Heeeeya (or whatever ninjas say).

Oh so yeah the new book. I don't really want to talk about it in any kind of specific way. I will say that it's there running in the background of my mind all the time. I am consumed by this story. The characters will not leave me alone. Like, okay, there aren't real voices talking to me. It's more like, well, listening to a story and I think about the characters when I'm not listening to the story. Er. Something like that anyway.

I am excited to sit down and write. I can't wait to see how this story unfolds. I have an outline, I know the big plot stuff, but some of the details that make up the story are really surprising. To me. It's great. 

My last book was work. It wasn't unenjoyable but it wasn't a happy rainbow picnic or whatever. I'm not foolish enough to believe that the next book will be this fun to write, or that the rest of this book will be so enjoyable, but I was really afraid that writing was never going to be like this again. 

Of course all this free "surprise me" writing is going to come at a cost. I'm going to have to get unattached to it before I can start editing. Some scenes will look better to me in my imagination than they do when it's all written out. A lot of stuff is going to have to be smoothed out and some will have to be cut entirely. It'll probably hurt my feelings when it gets rejected but, know what? I'm not going to worry about it. If I'm not doing this for money (and so far all my fiction has been, uhum, less than rewarding financially speaking) I may as well do it just for the self indulgent joy of it. 

Oh and it is wonderful. 

Have you ever lost yourself in the world of a book or a movie? To the point where, when the story stops, reality is almost jarring? That's what this kind of writing is like only even more so. Better than a dream- it's nothing like a dream- it's like nothing else but writing. It's also a somewhat rare event and it just happens like a wonderful gift from wherever creativity congregates. I have learned to never expect it, take it as the gift it is and bask in the wonderfulness of it while it lasts.

Someday I hope to have enough skill to write something that transmits even a little bit of that feeling to the reader. I'll be a millionaire. And also really super skilled. 

In other news.

The kitchen? Still waiting for the countertops. Stillllllll waiting. If we ever do another kitchen renovation we're going to do our own laminate stuff. This is nuts.

The kids? They're okay. K sent out all her college applications just before they were due. It was very stressful for all of us, but now it's mostly just stressful for her. T is busy doing robot stuff and being 15. The dogs are the dogs. Ditto the cats.

And that's life here at Hubris House. Not especially exciting or horribly dull- just the way I like it.

Until next week or whenever I decide to post again (heeeeya).

Yours,
M.B.






Tuesday, January 8, 2013

Reflections and Resolutions Revealed, Readers

Photo (C) K. Brick 2013
And vacation is officially over.

It was a good vacation. A great vacation even. The kitchen is almost done. We had to work 12 hours a day to get it to this point (top cabinets up, lower cabinets installed, a lot of finish work to do) because we took all the walls down to the studs, insulated the outside wall, and tore down two walls. It was not a small project. Removing walls kind of added a lot of other projects to the whole thing. Uhum. My point is that we are pretty close to done.

The only real complication we had was due to a communication error. We communicated that the counter order needed to be put in and the home center lady neglected to communicate that to the counter fabricators (although she did take our money x3 - that's another story) and now we're waiting an additional three weeks for the counters. 

Without a counter I have no sink. I also lack any kind of work surface. Considering that I cook meals for my family every single day, and we don't eat much in the way of processed or pre-prepared foods, it makes life... interesting.

You know what though? A major kitchen renovation is a lot like writing a book. I mean, okay, I've never hit my finger with a hammer while I was writing, and I never had to think about the right word when I was holding cabinets up or whatever, but the process is the same.

The best thing about this long vacation was, well it was two things. My husband and I worked together pretty much constantly throughout the process and it was incredibly wonderful to work *with* someone for a change. 

I never really thought about it but I spend a lot of time working on my own. Even when I'm freelancing I work alone. The client gives me an assignment, occasionally I ask a few questions, I do the assignment and wait to be told if I have to change anything. Working *for* someone isn't the same as working with them. It was fun.

Oh, the second thing. I didn't write. Anything. A couple dumb FB posts but other than that- nada. It was the longest I've gone without writing in years. I usually write at least a thousand words a day- give or take- on various things. 

But what I did do was think about writing. What I wanted to get from it, where I wanted to go as a writer, what I wanted to create as an artist, and what I had the ability to create as an artisan.

Every January I make a career plan. I evaluate last year's plan, make new goals, change longer range plans- that kind of thing. 

This year? I have one goal. This year I am going to write a book of which I am so proud that its saleability will not be an issue. I am going to do, not just my best work, (I do that every time I write- the best work I'm capable of at the time anyway) but work that results in a feeling of pride and accomplishment in the story itself. 


Not just "I wrote a book" but "I told one hell of a story well". 

I have no intention of selling this book. None. If it seems marketable maybe I'll send it out but I'm not going to worry about it. When this book, maybe my magnum opus, maybe just another also ran, is done I'll re-re-re-edit the book I couldn't sell last year. Maybe I'll write the second book in the gnomely series- I don't know yet. This year's business goal is singular in its intention- to bring me up to the next level in writing.

I noticed something else during this vacation.

I have become so focused on trying to be personable and non offensive to people who, frankly, don't give a crap what they say to (or about) me and the things I care about that I am left with nothing to say. It's also costing me a mint at the dentist since I clench my teeth all the time.

Seriously, I simply can't win. My neighbor across the street is so angry at me that she turns her back whenever she sees me and I have no idea what I've done. None. I think it was because we put a political yard sign up this year- something we've never done before- but is that really enough to make her be that mad? She won't even give me a chance to ask what the matter is.

This has never happened to me before. 

Usually, if someone is really mad at me, I know very well why. Heck- I usually deserve it. I hate hurting other people- why add meanness to  the world? But I don't mind having an opinion that isn't the same as whoever's. I certainly don't mind it when people disagree with me- I thrive on that kind of thing. But I don't think it's a great idea to let hateful people be hateful to the world, or people I care about, or me, while I sit there and say nothing in an attempt to protect their feelings. Why? Because I'm better than that? I'm not. I try to be but when someone is attacking, say my kid or, say a much admired other human, I just don't think I should be all big minded about it anymore. Fuck. You. Not *you* but, well, that undefined other you- the *them* you- the loud one over there in the corner- see, the one that is giving you the one fingered salute.

I don't know. Anyway. I've tried really hard not to be offensive and have managed to piss off an extremely old lady- and other people- anyway. I'm just going to be myself again. At least then I know I deserve to be ignored.

So, in short, I built a kitchen. Well, mostly C built a kitchen and I did the gross or boring stuff. That was good. I thought about writing and reevaluated where I want to be. That was good too. 

I've also decided to quit trying to be non offensive and normal. Forget that. It was messing with my life, and my writing, and didn't work anyway. I am absolutely 100% me and, while I do care what you think- to an extent- I'm just going to do what I do and you can like it or not like it. If I am talking about you specifically I promise that I've already said this thing to your face(book message page).

And, on that note, I bid you a fond farewell for this week. My beautiful story? Outlined and begun. We'll (I'll) see if I have the skill to make this raw material into the fabulous and fascinating final product, er novel, I hope to achieve.

On the whole though it's fair to say that it's going to be a good year. 

Best,
M.B.