mer: (Fairytale (Tin Man))
Sometimes, when I'm doing other things, I'm aware of the seething emotions and vibrant colors of an entire kingdom that lives somewhere between the strata of my conscious and subconscious minds.

Sometimes, a story will flash by like the memory of a dream, too fast for me to do more than acknowledge it, and feel it, before it's gone.

It's like a fish jumping in a lake--don't blink--oh, you only heard the splash--the fish disappears and the surface is smooth again.

I've spent hours, days, years of my life digging away at the water, trying to show the kingdom under the surface, but the water always rushes back in, and all I can take away is an old boot whose shadow looked like a fish before I pulled it out.

Sometimes I can carve the boots into credible fish statues, but I know what I barely saw when the fish jumped, and I know what I can't recreate--and that's just with the fish, not the whole kingdom beneath the waves.
mer: (Mystery Solver (30 Rock))
I tend to feel a little let down at the end of a first draft, because it feels like the whole thing was waaaaay too easy.

Need to remind myself that REVISIONS bring TEARS and GRUNTS, and it's okay to be a happy first-drafter, 'cause lord knows, I suffer enough on the rewrites.

Aaaaargh.

Jul. 31st, 2004 01:26 pm
mer: (if I were me)
I meant to write today. Today was going to be the writing day. But by the time I sat down to do this thing, it was noon, and by the time I actually opened a file, the doorbell rang and I had to go talk to a neighbor today about our blue spruce trees they're going to cut down. (The property line runs right through the trunks, so they're just as much their blue spruce trees as ours, and neither Dann nor I want to quibble, plus this would do good things for the veggie garden boxes, and they're only going to take one down.)

(Oh, yay! I finally heard a cicada! Yay, yay, yay! I'm disappointed that it's not been raucous cicada nightmare, after all the anticipation about Brood X. I like markers to the years, particularly non-harmful-just-annoying markers, like raucous cicada nightmare could have been.)

Anyway, it's 1:30. We have to leave at 3:30 for ah, uhm, a thing I can't report on just in case there's more journal readership than I think. It's a good two hours to work, and that's not anything to sneer at, but it's not enough time to get into the intensive novel work I was thinking of today. The novel work I was thinking of today will involve at least 20 minutes of scrubbing in order to provide the proper sterile operating environment before I open her up. The liver is in the wrong place, you see. So, I'm going to have to dig up something less intensive to work on, like maybe, "The Paradise Covenant." Which is a much less bad story than I remembered it being, and I don't need to rewrite it from the ground up. I have some lovely So-Fic (Social Fiction, as opposed to Science Fiction, mwaha, watch me *not* coin words right there) in it, including a backlash against psychiatry. Woo. I'd totally forgotten that.

But, still. Grumpy, because my plan has been derailed. Do you think if I tried to write for eight hours a day on my vacation, anyone would let me? I don't think so, either. Oh, they'd say they'd let me, but they wouldn't, really. Dann's not as bad as my mom was when I was growing up, who in turn wasn't as bad as my grandparents...

But let's face it, the problem with living with non-writers is that they don't realize how the process works. That yes, you-the-writer are allowed to get up, leave the quiet area, initiate conversation, rant, wring hands, call someone on the phone, eat snacks, dramatically beat the keyboard, demand that anyone around illustrate some fine point of wrestling, knife-fighting or kissing (depending on appropriateness), beg for help on word-choice and discard all their suggestions as too banal, and otherwise be an apparently interactive (and yet irritating) member of society/the family while writing. Because, in-between, you're dashing back to the computer and typing furiously, headphones on and head down and not talking to anyone. It might not look like working, but it is; that's how it is when I'm writing fast. That's a 10k day, right there.

Inevitably, the not-writers come up to you and demand that you take out the garbage, because it's apparent that you're not really working, or interrupt you in the middle of the typing-furiously-time to ask if you want snacks--because clearly, you're interruptable, look at the crazy stuff you just did in the last half-hour--or just want to know where they left the hairbrush/remote control/car keys... Or even better, little nine-year-old non-writers come in and want to "watch you work." Uhm... And boom, you're out of crazy writer world. "Gaugh!"

And that's the best-case scenario--that's if anyone even respects the quiet area. Often times, the quiet area becomes the TV-watching area, or the loud conversation area, or the sleeping area. Or the brushing teeth area. (That one I still don't get.) And you get told that you were crazy to expect the quiet area to remain the quiet area, and don't you have an office?. Well, I do, as it happens, and it's full of guestbed, and it gets hot, and some days, you just can't work in the same place. Even so, I don't have an office at the lake. And I believe the nearest Starbucks or Borders to the lake might be in Grand Rapids, which is a bit of a haul. And if you do retreat to an office or even a bedroom, you get lambasted for being anti-social.

Am I going to offend everyone in my family with this one? Probably. Please keep in mind I'm basing this on years and years of experience, from age 11 on up to now. And that I wasted 40 minutes of completely interrupt-free time while Dann sleeps in the other room to complain about how my time is devalued. Because I'm hilariously hypocritical like that.

April 2015

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