I just finished writing 719 words, another small portion of a short story, which is at a current total of 2122 words. It always feels good to be writing, especially if I’m making progress, which I am. Currently I have a vague inclination of where the story is going and I think I can work it all out. I’ve got my fingers crossed that this story will work, because I’m hoping to submit it to Sherherazade’s Facade, a rather cool anthology market. But whatever happens, it will feel good to just have a finished story in my hands, complete with a beginning, middle, and end.

[X-posted to my livejournal.]

Distractions

I’ve fallen rather behind on Nano. And what’s more, instead of writing or even going on one of my walk/runs for marathon training, I spent last night in a frenzy of watching TV episodes on hulu.com. I watched the latest Heroes and Dollhouse episodes, and then discovered that hulu also has some old Buffy episodes, so I went and watched three of those. I have no proper excuse, but I choose to fogive myself for the indiscretion on the premise that I needed a mental break.

Going home to work on Nano doesn’t seem to be effective for me. So I will be going to a coffee shop with no internet access tonight, which will force me to either write or stare at the blank screen for long periods of time. (I have no games on my computer.)

However, there is another distraction that I have to be concerned about. As usual, I’m getting all kinds of ideas for other stories and novels while I’m in the middle of a current creation. Most of these I can just take down a few notes on and set aside. But this idea has sort of hit me upside the head and I really, really want to write even though I know that I really, really have to wait until I finish draft zero of my current Nano novel. (And that’s finish all of draft zero, by the way, not just the 50,000 words for Nano.)

So I will take down the beginnings of notes and ideas, forcibly put them away in a file, and try really, really hard not to think about it too much. Oh, but it’s going to be hard.

[X-posted to my livejournal.]

the muse mosquito is tickling my ear

Well, I will be participating in National Novel Writing Month once again this year. For those who may be staring at me funny, Nanowrimo is that wonderful time of year when novelists  come together to each write 50,000 words of a novel in the month of November. It’s a great challenge that shoves away the inner critic for a while. I’ve participated for many years, completing the challenge sometimes and failing others. Always it’s a good experience, though this is a challenging year for me to be attempting such a thing. Ah, well.

In the mean time, I am itching to start Nano. Right now my novel idea is almost constantly in my mind, and it’s driving me a little nuts that I have to wait until tomorrow midnight to begin. I have most of the opening scenes mapped out. Some of the middle scenes are there, too, and I have some general ideas of where I want it all to end up, which is nice. And although I don’t really have names yet, my characters are starting to blossom with wants and desires and motivations, which will help keep the main force of the story going.

All of which is very exciting. I would love to have a novel readable enough that I would feel comfortable sending out to family and friends for critique. I would then dance and sing and be merry.

[X-posted to my livejournal.]

The Writing Life: Long Term Goals

Today I thought it would be good to follow the writing prompt set by young adult author Laurie Halse Anderson .

The prompt? “Write down where you want your writing life to be in 2010, in 2024, and in 2026.”

Goals are excellent things to have. They help keep a clear purpose in mind. I know I’ve been writing small weekly goals (some I meet, some I don’t), but I have a feeling that now is a good time to get some of my larger goals anchored down. It’s also fun to look back at goals you set years in the past and compare them to where your currently at.

2010: One of my main goals for next year is to have a chapbook or full collection of poetry published. I’m getting to where I have enough poetry that’s completed, that I like, and that has the same sort of tone that such a thing is possible. I’m going to be submitting to a couple of poetry chapbook contests in the next couple of months and we’ll see what happens with that.

I would also like to have several completed and published short stories, more single poems published in journals, and my really big goal: to have a novel completed that is manuscript ready. By which I mean that the novel is edited to point that I could consider sending it out and shopping for agents (slightly scary).

2014: Five years from now? My goal is to have several book-length collections of poetry published. By then, I would love to have many novels written, two to three of which would be published with another on its way. (Idealism and high hope are good. Really.)

Somewhere in there, I would like to have had at least one feature film script written and hopeful produced into a film. I really enjoy the filmmaking process, how so many ideas from so many people can come together into something that (hopefully) works.

On a personal note, I would like to have done some more extensive traveling. I especially would like to spend some serious time in South America as well as hit various points in India and Europe.

2026: I’m not really one to reach that far into the future, and while I do think setting goals is important, I also think it’s important to live in the moment. Besides a lot can happen in seventeen years. I would hope that my career would continue exponentially, with all the good spiraling into more and more good. More books and poetry and scripts written and ultimately published. And if there’s award or two in there, all the better (Though just getting published is joy enough for me, hell, just completing something to where I’m happy with it is joy enough, or better yet, just writing is in many ways joy enough.)

I think these goals are entirely realistic and possible. Accomplishing all of this, however, means that I will need to have a higher productivity rate than my current level. Again, do-able. It is a simple requirement of making choices. Watch TV or write 500 more words? Hmm, let me think about that.

[x-posted to my blog]