Tuesday, March 20, 2012

A Rainy Day and a Sad Chapter

For a week now I've been working and reworking a chapter in my novel. It's one of the darker sections of the book, filled with despair and angst. Although it's fiction of my own making, I find myself sinking into a bit of a funk.
I was told once that to be able to experience a great depth of emotion is a two edged sword. If it's real to the performer/author it will be real to the audience/reader.
Perhaps it's time to set Havah aside for a few hours and concentrate on something more cheerful...like laundry.

Saturday, March 17, 2012

Although I'm almost to the end of my novel edits, the next project looms ahead. A children's book. Not a new one exactly, for the illustrations are sixteen years old. In terms of story and writing experience it's a fresh endeavor. The original manuscript which I wrote in longhand as part of a therapy is long gone. I remember the basic gist of it and, no doubt, with what I've learned, would have had to rewrite anyway.
So it's time to take THE MAGIC DAFFODILS out of mothballs and proceed.

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Writer's Block

For days I've wrestled with a couple of chapters in my novel. Sitting in front of the screen my mind would go everywhere but where I wanted it to. Before I knew it I had frittered away two hours playing solitaire, word bubbles and chatting on Facebook.
This afternoon my husband came home early and suggested we take a Harley ride. 80ยบ and sunshine made it a hard offer to refuse.
Two hours on the back of the bike, coupled with the sites and sounds of spring blew out the cobwebs. As I enjoyed the scenery I crawled inside my head and let my characters take over.
This is nothing new for me. It's just been a while since the weather's been warm enough for a comfortable ride.
So I'm curious. If you're a writer and reading this blog let me ask a question. What is your way to break up writer's block?

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

From Dot Matrix to Wireless Ink Jet

In the early 1980's my husband decided we needed a computer. His face glowing with excitement, he tore open the box that contained our brand new Radio Shack TRS 80. Trash 80.
"You spent how much?"
Another big boy toy. Just what we needed. And it didn't stop there. The next wave was the Commodore 64 complete with dot matrix printer and Koala pad. Or does anyone remember the Kaypro, or as I call it, the Commodore in a can.
By the end of the decade I wrote poetry and inherited my own computer, a used Leading Edge with a 5" floppy drive. I found typing cathartic and Word Perfect with its built in thesaurus became my best friend.
At my brother's urging we joined AOL so we could keep in touch online. Soon I joined the ranks of internet junkies. Ten years later we went from dial-up to broadband.
Just like our cars, Jan and I own separate computers. Oh, but not just desktops. He has a laptop for his music and another just because.
But who am I to criticize? In addition to my new HP Touchsmart I still retain my last desktop in another corner of my office. There are just certain things that wouldn't transfer to the new one. And let us not forget my pink netbook. So portable. Great for taking to conferences or on trips to see my gorgeous grandbaby.
And floppy disks? Forget about it. I have four flash drives and an external hard drive so nothing's lost. Well, nothing except, maybe, those 400 plus poems I saved on 5" floppies.

Saturday, March 3, 2012

Justifiable Homicide

"Kill your darlings." Although author William Faulkner said it first, he's been quoted many times.
For the past couple of weeks I've agonized over three particular chapters in my novel. After reading and rereading them I realized that while they might entertain the author they did nothing to pulse the main story forward.
With all the research that went into writing and constructing the scenes it was akin to contemplating the murder of a cherished child. Nonetheless, convinced I'd made the right decision I heaved a self righteous sigh. Then I highlighted and sent the discarded paragraphs to another Word document. With a knowing smile I deleted them from the manuscript.
My darlings? The reader will never miss them.