Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Post-slump Stuffing of the Muse

After the celebrating, and once my husband was busy with work again and I was distraction-free, the slump caught up to me. I have been left alone with my emotions and thoughts, and they haven't all been pretty. There was some end-of-project depression, followed by a haze of white noise, then a persistent prodding from that nebulous core of creativity I call the muse.

The translation goes a little something like this:

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Eva Is Complete!

I finished writing a book today! Wait. This could be better...

I finished writing a book today!

Much better!

The first draft of Eva, my latest novel, is complete. It is a break from my usual straight fantasy novel. Eva is a screwball adventure spliced with magical realism. There's feng shui, genetic engineering, lots of handcuffs, paranormal apparitional personality divinations (I told you there was magic), an elephantini, ninjas, FBI, and a topping of romance.

Monday, May 21, 2012

A Needed Reminder of Why I Write

Would I continue to write if I knew I was never going to be published and never going to make any money from it?

This question has lurked in the undercurrents of my darker thoughts this last month. And like a good ostrich, I buried myself in other activities and never gave myself the breathing room to answer it.

Then, in the space of two days, three different friends asked me this same question. None of these friends know each other. None of these friends were prompted by me. Suddenly, this question was refusing to be ignored. The Universe was not going to let me gloss over this internal debate and carry on.

Friday, May 18, 2012

The Mouse Is Dead, Long Live the Mouse

I've had a long week. Long hours, lots of time right here in front of the computer, and only 2.5 hours of that have been writing time. The rest has been my paying job. I knew this week was going to be grueling, but knowing it's coming and living through it are two different experiences entirely.

I can feel that I pushed myself (and my eyes—they really need a break) this week, but my wireless mouse confirmed it a few hours ago when it gave up and refused to budge. No more, it protested. I'm done. (It could have been channeling the way my behind feels right about now, too.)

Monday, May 14, 2012

Shopping with a Conscience Leads Me Astray

I love the practice of voting with your dollar. It's exactly what you're doing every time you purchase anything: You're saying that you want this, not the millions of other things you could be spending your money on. You're letting the world (or the business) know this has value. 

The first time I heard the phrase "vote with your dollar," I felt like a piece of the puzzle snapped into place. In more ways than my political vote or the causes I support, I can impact society, throwing my weight behind the practices I want to see continued. Dollar by dollar, I can tell corporations and businesses, the government, and my friends and family exactly what I believe is important and what I won't tolerate or support.

My purchases have been elevated to a statement of my beliefs.

Thursday, May 10, 2012

Status Update, Eva: Almost Done

It's been three and a half months since I started my current novel, creatively nicknamed Eva after the main character.

Yesterday, I said hello to page 400. Today, I waved good-bye to it and continued on.

I'm on page 22 of my 23-page outline. I have the final battle scene and the epilogue left. That's it! Of course, those two scenes could take another 50 to 60 pages. Less, if I can keep things tight and concise.

Monday, May 7, 2012

The Magicians by Lev Grossman: Fantastical Boredom at its Finest

Have you ever read a story that had all the elements you like—good characterization, great writing, unique plots, interesting magic—and still didn't like the book? That was The Magicians by Lev Grossman for me.

There is no disputing that Grossman can write. The man has never met an adjective he didn't like, and yet, that doesn't detract from the storytelling. His world was filled with vivid imagery, flushed with detail. I "read" this novel as an audio book over the course of five months, and the story remained crisp in my mind every time I tuned back in for another ten or twenty minutes of listening.

Yet, it was this same attention to detail that sucked the enjoyment from much of the story for me. With excruciating detail, Grossman explains the extreme boredom, disinterest, and unhappiness of Quentin, the main character. And right along with Quentin, I was bored, disinterested, and unhappy.

Saturday, May 5, 2012

FlashForward Lets Me Down Again

A couple of years ago, FlashForward the TV show caught my fancy. It really was all about the people collapsing in unison. What's not to love about a whole population passing out in synchronization? Then ABC did the tried-and-true death dance with the show, airing it randomly and with huge gaps between new episodes. I lost track of it, found it on Hulu, and then lost patience completely. The idea of it, however, remained in my thoughts. I wanted to know the end of the story.

A few months ago, I remembered that it was originally a book by Robert J. Sawyer. A few days later, I had it in my hands.

It was a good book. Compelling, interesting, intriguing. The only problem was, it wasn't the book I wanted. It didn't explore the direction I wanted it to. Sawyer went the route of a few individual's response to seeing a piece of their future, and the ending was about something completely different.

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Back in the Saddle Again

I made the enormous, much-debated decision to self-publish. I announced it, planned for it, drafted one of the best marketing plans I've ever seen.

Then I reread the story, Conventional Demon, for the umpteenth time. Only this time, it had been about three years since its last viewing.

It wasn't good.