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Category Archives: writing

Apparently I Can Write a Blog Post

I can’t have a Monstrous Tuesday; it’s not alliterative!  But here I am, doing nothing but read other blogs or look at Facebook when I meant to be making today’s post.  I should perhaps mention I am having a dreadful bout of Writer’s Blank.  At least, maybe this time it really is Writer’s Block, because there are words in my head that I intend to write.  Only when I sit down and put pen to paper, nothing comes out.

I found this gem by typing “monsters writing” into the search bar on Facebook.

Maybe it really is a discipline thing.  Perhaps if I gritted my teeth and forced myself to write the words I was thinking… Look, I already get sore muscles in my temples from grinding my teeth in my sleep, I do NOT need any more teeth gritting.  I really did sit down and write a sentence, which I immediately hated.  Oh, it was not the sentence you see at the top of this post.  I was trying to write my articles for Mohawk Valley Living magazine.

I imagine this was done with some gritted teeth.

I seem to follow a pattern with almost everything I write:  I can’t write it, I can’t write it, I can’t write it, I sit down and write it.  And I have yet to figure out how to skip any of the “I can’t write it”s.  I like to think the picture above is what might result if I tried.  For the uninitiated, it is from the 1980 movie The Shining, adapted from the Steven King book (by the way, they changed a LOT).  The main character is a writer, and this is all he has managed to come up with.

And now here I am approaching 300 words after I thought I couldn’t write at all.  So I guess that is one solution:  if you can’t write one thing, try something else.  Maybe I will be able to segue over to my articles next.  In the meantime, I’m going to call this a Tired Tuesday and drive on.  Maybe one picture of Nosferatu, just to cheer myself up.

“Wasn’t I supposed to be here on Monstrous Monday?”

 

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Where’s that Damn Brain?

It is Bad Attituesday, and my attitude is so bad I do not want to go back and see how long it has been since I made a post about I Can’t Write a Blog Post Today.  Is it Writer’s Block?  Is it Writer’s Blank?  Is it Writer is Too Damn Lazy and Irritable?  SAY IT AIN’T SO!!!!  Whatever it is, my brain is not cooperating.

A little Bette Davis is always a good idea.

I was looking through my Media Library for the picture I have of The Brain from Planet Arous, but I found this one from Hush… Hush, Sweet Charlotte first and thought, “Rest in Peace, Cindy’s brain (was that a Freudian typo?  I first put “piece” instead of “peace” and I meant to, because as I typed it I thought, “pie as in a piece of pie”).  I am in the mood to see Hush.. hush again.  I suggested it for our cinematic Sunday, but we decided to watch shorter movies instead, in order to fit more in (in fact, we watched two more after I made my blog post).

Perhaps the problem is that I had made up my mind to Write More.  I have one of those perverse dispositions that as soon as I make up my mind to do something, I only want to do the exact opposite, or do nothing at all.  As I walked into work, having almost a half hour before my shift began in which to write, I thought about a blog post I wanted to write about one of the movies we watched this weekend.  My brain soon became bogged down, so I thought I would ease into it by working on a letter I had started to a friend.  I got about a paragraph written, felt quite dry and dumb, so worked on an anacrostic puzzle I happened to have handy (what, computer, that’s not how you spell anacrostic?  That’s a word, isn’t it? Damn!) (just googled it: anacrostic and acrostic are apparently the same thing, but Google seems to think anacrostic is also a word).

Where was I?  Ah yes, brain dead and not making much of a post.  And yet I am over 300 words. What does that tell you?  It does not tell me much, but I think I’ll put in another picture and call it a day.  I hope I have managed to amuse somebody.

“Don’t look at me! I’m not writing a blog post for you!”

There’s that damn brain!  Happy Tuesday, everyone.

 

Was it a Killer First Draft?

Words to live by!

Of course, the first draft I just finished should have been done a week ago, but we cannot always live up to the ideals we set for ourselves.  The important thing is, I wrote it, I typed it into the laptop, I printed it out, I will edit and polish it, I will email it to the cast.  Then it’s on to rehearsals and performance, but right now I’m writing about writing.

Well, maybe a little about rehearsal and performing.  The draft I finished was for A Trivial Murder, the interactive dinner theatre we are presenting as a fundraiser for Herkimer County Historical Society.  The performance will be Saturday, Nov. 3, 6 p.m. at the Ilion Moose Lodge.  For further information, you can reference the Facebook event.

I feel a little self-conscious admitting in public like this that I am just finishing the script.  We are a month away from performance!  Well, murder mysteries don’t take as much rehearsal as a full-blown play.  Up north, where we had a company called Murder For Hire, we used to put them together in three rehearsals:  Monday, Wednesday, Friday, and go on Saturday!  I was younger and more energetic in those days.  Now I feel more secure with a little more time.

However, I am feeling increasingly good about this show.  After a few glitches, I got a really wonderful cast.  I think everybody will fit their part fine and fill it out with little touches I didn’t even think of when I wrote the lines.  That is why writing scripts is more exciting than writing novels.

Writing a novel, incidentally, is my next project.  Why don’t I have a novel published yet?  I am almost 55.  I was about to say, time to get off my butt, but in fact it is time to sit on my butt in front of a notebook or keyboard and get going.  I’ll write a few blog posts about it along the way.

 

Writing About Writing for a Change

Looking through my notebook for something else, I came across the following I had written on an unknown date, and I do not believe I have used it.  Since the only thing I can come up with now is more writing about not writing, I thought this would be a nice change of pace.

Having decided to concentrate on my writing once again, I further decided to start a new novel and finish it quickly. This is hazardous, given my long history of starting novels and NOT finishing them, but I am always one to take a chance.  In my further defense, I did write the closing scenes of the last novel I vowed I would finish, so one could argue that I finished the first draft.  However, I am no hand at argument.

So I was wondering what kind of a novel to write, and I had this idea to write a tale of romantic suspense.  I enjoy some of those Gothics, you know, the ones that show a castle under a full moon with a woman in a long dress running away.  Victoria Holt is the mistress of that genre. I love her.  I do not feel equipped to write a real period piece, but romance and suspense, I can do, or so I think (perhaps I flatter myself, but let’s not disillusion me at this point).

I know romance publishers often have strict guidelines, so I did a Google search of romantic suspense publishers.  I have been having better luck with Google lately, and I did find something.

One publisher said they wanted strong, smart heroines.  I can do that.  I hate having a weak, wimpy lead character (NEVER MIND how I may act in real life; I am not writing an autobiography).  They want her to have clearly defined goals and meet with real obstacles. Hell, that’s just good fiction.  What does your character want?  What keeps her from getting it?  Another thing they like is snappy banter, like from 1930’s screwball comedies.  I love those old movies!  And I am good at writing dialogue, even if I do say so myself.

Things they don’t want:  when the only obstacle to love is fear from previous bad relationships.  OK.  Men who condescend or are meant to woman.  Well, that’s good.  I hate it when women fall for those creeps!

That was when I got tired of writing about writing and started taking notes on the novel I wanted to start.  Full disclosure:  it petered out before I got very far.  However, now that I have typed all that in, I am anxious to try again.  I’ll be sure to keep you posted as to how it goes.

 

An Idea for a Blog Post?

I did it again.  I went a day without posting so want to make two posts today.  I considered getting up at four, so that one could argue it was still the middle of the night (even though we all know damn well it is not; thus we kid ourselves into believing what we like). However, I felt I needed the rest more than I needed to meet my own arbitrary goals.  So here I sit at 7 a.m. trying to remember what I composed in my head at four before deciding to just go back to sleep.  It probably wasn’t very good anyways.

That raises a subject I may or may not have blogged about before:  writers are often given the advice to keep a notebook and pencil by the bed, because you will wake up in the middle of the night with a truly brilliant idea that you will NOT remember.  Can any of you writers out there confirm to me that you have actually had such an idea, written it down in the night, AND (and here’s the kicker) still thought it was brilliant the next morning?  I never have.  And now I find sleep so necessary and yet so elusive, I don’t even want to wake myself up enough to write it down.

I know, I know, you will argue (you know who you are) that if I DON’T write it down, how will I know if it was or was not brilliant?  Can I really be so profligate with my ideas that I am willing to just throw away all these inspirations?  What do I think I am, some perpetual idea machine?

I must admit, that is a point.  For example, one reason I did not make my blog post when I had time yesterday is that I could not for the life of me think of anything to write.  In my defense, it was not the only reason.  I also wanted to finish knitting a prayer shawl so I can get it blessed after church this morning (the reason sleep was so necessary at four).

So tonight when I go to bed, it will be with a notebook and pen at my side (maybe this will at least inspire me to clean off my bedside table; it needs it).  Eventually perhaps I can write a blog post about the results.

 

We Have a Title!

One writing chore which has been on the back burner but is quickly moving to the front is the murder mystery I am putting together for the Herkimer County Historical Society.  Performance date is March 31, so I have time. Not oceans of time, but at least a mud puddle’s worth.

Of course I have been quite occupied with my 100 Days of Novel and getting my article(s) together for Mohawk Valley Living magazine, but I have been bearing my mystery in mind.  I have all the character sheets written and a good start on the clue sheet.  Additionally, I have been thinking about it a lot. I know, I know, thinking about writing is not writing.  Still, thinking is at some point a good idea, if not actually required (for example, I do not vouch for the amount of thinking that goes into my average blog post, but I’m sure you knew that).

I got a nudge from the Historical Society the other day when they Facebook messaged me asking for the title and a few details.  Well, details I have many, but a title, not so much.  I asked my husband Steven’s help.  He is sometimes very clever at thinking of blog post titles.  He came up with “Murder on Exhibit,” because the plot concerns an upcoming exhibit at the Historical Society.  The only thing I could think of was “Slaying at Suiter House”  or  “Slain at Suiter House.”  Suiter Memorial Building houses the society’s museum and collections.

While at work today I thought of a few other possibilities:  “Herkimer County Murder,” “Murdering Local History,” and “Museum of Murder,” to name a few.  AND I came up with the one we eventually picked:  “Secrets at Suiter House.”  “Murder on Exhibit” was the first runner-up.

I will share more details of the murder mystery in future posts (preview of coming attractions).  In the meantime, can you keep a secret?  So can I.

 

Apparently I Can Still Write a Little

You know how I say writing begets writing?  That the more you write, the more you will write.  Well, that is true, I suppose, but, you know what, after you write and you write and you write, sometimes you get tired.  That is where I am at.

Oh, I wrote today.  First I started a letter to my friend, Marsha, whose birthday is coming up. I intended to go to Huckleberry Letterpress in Little Falls to get her a card, which I still have reasonable hopes of sending out in time to arrive not too awfully late.  I also wrote a bit on my novel.  That makes 19 days in a row of working at least a little bit every day on it.

After work, I drove straight to Little Falls and had a lovely visit at Huckleberry Letterpress.  The couple that own it are so nice!  I got a nice card for Marsha and enough material to write my (late) article for Mohawk Valley Living magazine.  After leaving Huckleberry, I walked up Main Street and found The Sandwich Chef.  I thought a cup of tea would taste awfully good, and I was write.

While I sipped my tea, I worked a little more on my letter to Marsha, telling her a little about Huckleberry and the Sandwich Chef.  I took a few notes about the Chef as well.  I told the lady I would probably write a blog post about it (um, hopefully a better post than this one).

I got home, grabbed my laptop and went to work.  I wrote an article about Huckleberry Letterpress.  I wrote a shorter one about The Sandwich Chef.  Steven read both and said they sounded OK.  I emailed them out.  Phew!

Then I thought, “I can’t write any more!  I can’t do a blog post!  IT!  WON’T! WORK!”

But I see now that it did.  Happy Wednesday, everybody.