Thursday, May 28, 2009

I'm making gumbo

I think I realized why I've begun to enjoy cooking so much in the last six months. Cooking, real honest to goodness cooking, leaves you plenty of time to think while you're chopping vegetables, searing meat and picking out spices. It's been a calming thing, and it's funny that I would find that kind of peace in something I never really did before.

Making gumbo tonight. Faux gumbo. I've found a bunch of recipes, so I'm just sort of mashing my favorite parts from all of them into one ginormous recipe.

I've been writing every day and meeting my word count. Today I have to write 2,000 words, but I think I'm going to comb through my 26 printed pages and grab a red pen. I'm coming to a point where I'm satisfied with my storytelling enough to continue writing. It's possible that the reason I had a hard time writing my novel was because things just weren't flowing properly. I've been focusing a lot on authentic dialogue and making sure everything is... honest. I do realize I need to go back and show, not tell, in a variety of places, but my skill set isn't up to par yet. In 10,000 words I'll go back and see if I can't make it all even better.

2,000 words to write tonight.

Monday, May 25, 2009

Dreams, Writing, Confusion

Today was utterly odd and disconnected. There are so many things floating around, so many things to get done, but I can't focus for the life of me. I've been wandering around the house doing half-completed tasks before I drop what I'm doing to stand around and stare blankly into the wall. Or a door. Or the universe. I'm not sure what I'm staring at, but the fact that I'm blanking out at all scares me. I'm questioning my sanity at this point.

I can't tell what it is from. The dynamics of my life haven't settled or become regulated. Nothing is normal, nothing is comfort zone. I don't mind it, I like every day being amazingly different than the last, but I can't help but feel like I'm grasping at straws to keep things together. Mentally, emotionally. I think I'm falling apart.

Falling apart isn't the snap in the midst of something exciting/angering/frightening where you lose it.

Falling apart is a quiet sort of fellow that follows you after all of the ruckus and waits around till you have a quiet moment. It doesn't involve thinking, in fact, it's the opposite. It involves not being able to think at all. It involves mindless staring into space and then when you realize it's happening you fold--crumble--into a pile where you try and figure out what exactly is going on.

I'm trying to figure out exactly what is going on. I'm trying to assign blame to everything I can, really just pawning off this thing called 'Falling Apart' on scapegoats like George's health, being on the borderline between life and failure for so long, traumatic moments where my foundation was going to crumble and I'd have nothing. Things like not being able to finish commission work (and getting odd pokes and prods from people who deserve their work sooner than later) because I don't have the money to buy the supplies/send the work. Things like not being able to write my novel because I'm thinking about all of the aforementioned. ADD. Recovering from destitution. Being afraid for my future (even though it's brighter than it has been).

None of those things caused things to fall apart for me mentally. I've grinded through them all, so to assign the blame for this confusion to any of those things doesn't feel satisfying. It's empty, and it leaves me with more questions and faulty answers like, "I guess it's just me."

Then I wonder if it's really 'Falling Apart' at all. Or if it's just me transitioning into a new phase. It makes sense? I've been able to write more freely than ever before, write with more passion. Things will become successful financially with a little more time, and I'm settling into my new home day-by-day.

I think I've used positivity as a combatant against all of the negative things that have happened... so now that I don't really much to be negative about (either because the problems have been solved or they are moot to me now) I don't know how to be positive? It sounds silly, maybe, but it could be why I'm stuck in this neutral state of mind. It could be why I'm so confused and can't seem to get a handle around things mentally rendering my emotional state confused as well.

I've been having great dreams lately. They never make sense, unless presented to me in a full story/novel form, but they have had worthwhile bits that I could write down in my dream log. I hope that I'll be able to incorporate them into something, no matter how surreal they are. Some of these things are fantastic.

Writing has been amazing. My characters are starting to come alive and I'm FINALLY feeling like they aren't just characters--they are real people now. Almost 9,000 words, and I don't see any sign of stopping.

'Crowns' is starting to take flight, and I thought it would be neat to provide a little bit of information about the story and the characters :D

'Crowns' isn't a fairy tale, it isn't a cinderella story, but it does have a Queen and a princess, both of who want entirely different things. Our princess wants to live in the stories she writes, for her mother, keeps her under lock-and-key, so she can complete her agenda.

There isn't a prince, but there is a young man who is forced to chase the dream of becoming a prince, a King, by his father whose plans to catapult his family into the Ruling Crown blinds him from what seeing he wants and understanding what he needs.

Love, treachery, death--it all exists, and hopefully I can weave it together into an engaging story. The characters deserve their stories to be told well.

The cast:

The Queen
Elinor (the Princess)
Eric (the Nobleman)
Tobin (the Nobleman's son)
Alastair (a friend to the Nobleman)

There are a lot of secondary characters, and I have yet to find how big or small of a part they will play.

Lilah (maid from the Nobleman's house)
Esther (servant from the Ruling Crown's household)
Mary Sue (servant and daughter of Esther)
Marigold (Tobin's lover)

That's all I'll say for now--I don't want to commit to saying anything that may (and will) ultimately change.

<3 Love you all!

My reading list for 2009 thus far:

1. On Writing - Stephen King
2. Faerie Wars - Herbie Brennan
3. The Purple Emperor – Herbie Brennan
4. Playing for Pizza – John Grisham
5. You are so Undead to me - Stacey Jay
6. Ruler of the Realm – Herbie Brennan
7. Inkheart – Cornelia Funke
8. Inkspell – Cornelia Funke
9. Forest of Hands and Teeth - Carrie Ryan
10. Treasure Island - Robert Louis Stevenson
11. The Color of Magic - Terry Pratchett
12. The Light Fantastic - Terry Pratchett
13. The Faerie Lord- Herbie Brennan
14. Hardboiled Wonderland and the End of the World - Haruki Murakami (In progress/second reading)
15. Neverwhere - Neil Gaiman (In progress)