Sunday, May 29, 2016

Last Week #61 - Last Night's Dress

Going to a writer's group was the best decision I ever made. I'm able to tap into ideas and creative energy that I didn't know I had. All the people there are so supportive and kind. We laugh, share stories from our lives, but most importantly, we write. We don't judge. We push each other to be creative, to write deeper. This week at the group, I wrote a piece I'm thinking of hiding away. It was harsh and raw. It was important and I'm glad I wrote it. But it will be a long time before it ever sees the light of day. After diving so deep down, I like to think the other pieces I wrote had something extra in them too. I didn't get to go as far as I would like too, because of time constraints. What I'm including below I think will be a turning point for the main character in the novel I'm working on. It's very rough and unedited, but I know the bones are there for what I want the novel to be after this scene.

I had put most of clothes back on. The light shawl and jewelry I was wearing the night before was bundled next to my purse. Gram them and go, that’s all I had to do. The sun was just rising over the city building, brightening the clear sky. It would be another warm day. I’d have to take a cab or call for a ride, wearing least night’s dress.

I glanced through the open bedroom doorway. Ben’s breathing was slow and even. His arm had flung out to where my sleeping form had been. If my restlessness hadn’t awakened me, that certainly would have. Unsure if I should make my escape or wake him to say good-bye, I crept around the apartment. Masculine in d├ęcor, it was not overly large, but it was not tiny either. Perfect for a man with some money, who didn’t want to show off. Though he paid easily foe absolutely everything when we were out. I hadn’t noticed this before.

This had to be the last time. This infatuation was getting old and every time I entered this apartment, something felt off.  Every time I woke up here, I felt worse. I walked back over to the window, the light growing, I moved to close the blinds. Then I saw him. He thankfully was not looking up, but I recognized him. The menacing eyes, the cartoonishly obvious goatee that creamed, ‘devil’. He had practically dragged Ben out of the restaurant to have a ‘chat’. He had shown up on a walk we had been taking. Now he was here, parked outside Ben’s apartment. Was he watching Ben? Why? My sister and best friend seemed more than right.

Tuesday, May 24, 2016

Random #80 - My To-Read List

Like a lot of readers, I have a "to-read/to-be-read" list. Actually, I have two. One, I started probably over a decade ago. It's a spreadsheet of all the books I own and highlighted are the books I haven't read yet. Some time ago, it stopped being my go-to list when I'm considering what to read next. What my spreadsheet lacks, are all the books I don't own, all the books I have yet to purchase, books I have yet to discover. A few years ago, I discovered Goodreads. At first it was just fun, the app scans the barcodes of the books and puts them on the shelves. Then I started getting more active on the site, exploring, discovering books without having to leave the comfort of my home. Often, if I'm not reading about books, I'm thinking about books and researching books. This caused a veritable explosion of titles being added to my to-read list.

One day, I looked over at the number, well, let's just say that it was over 1200. I thought to myself, no way, there is no way I can read all those books. How did I let it get so big? Well, the Recommendations tab is full of temptation. I love book browsing, so I browsed and added. Not long after I noticed my climbing to-read number, I read a blog post (I can't remember what blog though - sorry), where they blogger culled their Goodreads to-read list. Yes! That's exactly what I need to do. I didn't sit down and do it all at once. I picked away at it, when I had time; when I needed a break from work, I scrolled through some books and started deleting. I tried to have a system. If I owned the book, I kept it on the list. Though, I'm a little more willing than I used to be when it comes to giving away books I haven't read yet, but if it's here, it's on the list. If a book is by an author I've read (and liked), it stayed on the list too. Those are the easy choices. What about all the other (hundreds) of titles? I tried to apply a little logic to the situation. If I couldn't remember what the book was about/why I added it, it was gone (though sometimes if I liked the cover, I'd read the synopsis just to make sure, but most likely, it was deleted). I was also eyeing the "added" date. If it was a couple months ago, then I read the synopsis again and made a decision. If I added it in 2012 and hadn't at least purchased it yet, it was most likely removed. By just keeping these few points in mind, I was able to cut over 300 books from my list. It makes me feel lighter.

I've always said that there are more wonderful stories out there in the world for me to read than I have time for, and I know there are readers out there that feel the same. Even with 300 less books on that list, I know I'll never run out of stories to read. My problem is choosing what comes next.

Thursday, May 19, 2016

Quote #56 - Ray Bradbury

“Let the world burn through you. Throw the prism light, white hot, on paper.”

—Ray Bradbury

Monday, May 16, 2016

Last Week #60 - If You Were Here

I have been pulling, reaching, trying to grab some momentum that I have somehow lost. One thing that helped last week was going to writer's group. One of our prompts was, "If you were here..." which spawned some really emotional pieces from the group. I thought I'd share a bit of what I wrote...

Would the sun be out, if you were here? I st in the wooden chair at the end of the dock, a mug of earl grey in my hand. The water ripples as the wind blows across the lake. I see the empty chair on my right, out of the corner of my eye, but I try not to look at it. Instead, I watch the sky grow darker. Grey clouds thicken with rain, the wind throws the hair across my face. I tuck it behind my ear and take a sip of my tea. I feel the warmth travel down my throat into my chest and deeper still. I continue to sit, the water movie more quickly. I glance down and see nothing.

I chance a look back at the cottage. Wooden and beautiful, classic and modern. We decided what to restore, mostly the outside, and what to update, mostly the inside. I grasp the mug more tightly in my hands as I drink and lean back in my chair. I consider returning indoors, but the rain hasn't started. It's not like I have far to go if it does. If you were here, would have have made me go in by now?

Monday, May 9, 2016

Last Week #59 - Not Much

Not much has happened in the last week. I thought I was getting more... energy, but it quickly fizzled. Is it weird that I look for energy in my words? I've thought of just getting them down, slapping down words of function to move the action along, but that doesn't feel right... Maybe I'm too focused on one thing. Maybe I need to move around the story, or work on another story. I'm also probably over-thinking the whole thing, which doesn't help. Here's hoping, starting today, I find whatever it is that I need.

Thursday, May 5, 2016

Quote #55 - William S. Burroughs

I haven't even seen this movie yet (shh)
but she seems so magical!
“Cheat your landlord if you can and must, but do not try to shortchange the Muse. It cannot be done. You can’t fake quality any more than you can fake a good meal.”
—William S. Burroughs

Wednesday, May 4, 2016

Random #79 - Day Job Distractions

I don't know what it is lately. I've just been distracted by everything. I blame my day job. I don't want to. I like my day job, but I don't want to blame anything else. Not my family, children, friends, responsibilities, my wandering mind... Hopefully I can focus and get more writing done soon. I miss my characters.