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Category Archives: writing

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.

 

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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.

 

Less Headache, Still Not Writing

I got 11 Likes on “In My Defense, It’s a Bad Headache.”  For me, that is HUGE!  I rarely get double digit Likes on my blog.  When I do, I am pumped, as well as apprehensive. Now I have set myself a standard to maintain.  Not to worry, though, I can only type what come out of my fingers and fevered (or feeble) brain, hit Publish, and hope for the best.

I thought today on Wuss-out Wednesday, I would share my current angst on my worst current wuss-out.  As regular readers may guess, I am dropping the ball on a lot of fronts.  A partial list includes fitness activities, dieting, house cleaning, general organization, yard work, and WRITING.  I put it in caps, because it is the one I feel worst about.   I used to write every day at work, during lunch and breaks.  Only occasionally would I work on puzzles and very rarely would I bring in something to read.  I’m still pretty good about not bring in stuff to read (largely because that is the hardest to tear myself away from and get back to work), but I am incessantly working on puzzles.  What is my problem?

To make matters worse, I have some days off coming up.  Days off!  Wonderful!  I can spend HOURS writing!  Well, any writer can tell you, and may non-writers can guess, that to not write, not write, not write, and then think you can WRITE is the height of folly.  The operative thing to do is to at least write a little on the days when you don’t have much time.  Take some notes, have a project well in hand, then and only then, can one hope to meet with success when one attempts to utilize an unprecedented length of free time.

So I have been trying to begin a new novel, make some notes and get an outline written before my expected days off, then I can hit the ground running.  Is that not a fantastic plan?  Why am I not doing it?  Oh, I am trying.  I have written some notes.  I think about it while I am working, sometimes dashing off a few notes while my machine cycles (no, it does not slow down my productivity, there is no reason to share this with my boss!).  Some breaks I have managed to write some things down.

However, as my free time approaches, I feel I am nowhere near where I thought I would be.  Come to think of it, I don’t know why I even thought I would be.  When have I ever had my act together?  When have I ever given the least appearance of having the various parts of my act in the basic vicinity of each other?  What the hell, me?

I think on my bad blog days (like this one), I may be better off sharing pictures of monsters than my writing woes.  After all, writing woes can get tiresome, but who doesn’t like monsters?  So I will end with a picture of one of my favorites, and get back to work on that novel.  Or maybe I should clean the living room…

Even the vampire thinks I should get back to work!

 

I’d Rather Share Monster Pictures

Can you bear one more post about NaNoWriMo?  If not, well, just look at the pictures.

“NOOOOOO! I’ve only written 25 words!!!!”

This is what I would probably look like if I attempted to write a 50,000 word novel during the 30 days of November : wild-eyed, running down the highway, and having a perfectly dreadful hair day.  I am taking it for granted (I try to never assume) that my readers all know that NaNoWriMo stands for National Novel Writing Month, and participants attempt to write an entire novel in that length of time.  One of my nieces did it once and finished, but I don’t know that she ever polished up her novel and tried to get it published.

As you may have guessed, I am opting NOT to participate.  I tried once, back in the late ’00’s, scribbling frantically in a spiral notebook while at work.  It was fun for a few days, but then we got busy and my boss and co-workers seemed to think I should be waiting on customers (I had a different job then, working with the public, YIKES! No wonder I am so obsessed with movie monsters; they are so much more relaxing than customers).

Where was I? Ah yes, writing about not writing.

Still, relaxing with a beer after writing frantically all day, that I could get into.

I do want to write more, and to finish a novel as well as several other projects.  In that case, why not give NaNoWriMo a try?  They have a website that offers encouragement and accountability.  That is what a lot of us writers need: accountability.  And a deadline.  Maybe that is why I finish so few novels:  no deadline.  That’s something to think about.  Also, what a feeling of accomplishment I would have!  Oh dear, am I talking myself into this?

“Who, me? Write a novel in November?”

I don’t know if you believe in Freudian slips, but almost every time I’ve gone to type “NaNoWriMo,”  I’ve typed “NoNoWriMo.”  I think my fingers are trying to tell me something.  In any case, I just don’t feel that I want to participate in this thing.  I do not want to register at their website, update my word count, and past my entire novel to them so I can be declared a winner.  It’s just not me.

However, I’ll just put this out there:  I am going to write more.  I have been doing a little more each day, and I intend to increase my efforts and output.  I will let you know how I do.  I’ll write a blog post about it!  In the meantime, this is my Wuss-out Wednesday post.  Or perhaps we could call it a Mid-week Middle-aged Musings.  Either way, I think I’ll close with another monster picture.  Happy Wednesday, everyone!

Raise your hands, everybody who thinks Cindy ought to write more!

 

Just Another Bog Post

I did some writing at work today (YES, boss, on a BREAK!)  (oh, yeah, like my boss reads my blog, dream on, Cindy!), but the thing I finished wasn’t good for the blog and the thing that was good for the blog isn’t finished (ooh, here’s a Freudian typo: I put “bog” instead of “blog”).  Actually, the thing I finished could use some revision and addendums, but let’s not worry about that now.  I have a blog post to make.

Lately I have been having the problem of feeling unable to write.  I am obsessed with puzzles: anacrostics, crosswords, cryptograms, anything with a pencil and clue (cue jokes about how I may have a pencil, but I certainly do not have a clue).  I cut cryptograms and crosswords out of the daily paper, and I have puzzle books as well.  Some days I purposely leave all puzzles at home, so I will have to write.  Sometimes that does not work very well.  I sit there looking at the blank page and feel actual physical discomfort from not having a puzzle to work on, or I write something so bad, stupid or ridiculous that I still feel physical discomfort.

Once in a while, however, I surprise myself.  I try to write one sentence and suddenly find myself scribbling paragraph after paragraph.  It’s great!  How do I make that happen all the time?  As I sit here, I realize I can offer myself a number of suggestions.   I’ll mention a few of them and you can tell me if they sound good or if I’m full of beans (always a possibility).

  1.  Have a project going.  Today I met with success because the two things I worked on were things I had started previously.  That is, I wasn’t starting from a dead stop.  However, this does not always work.  Sometimes the project I was working on is bogging down for one reason or another.  This leads me to my second suggestion.
  2.  Start a new project.  It is really easy for me to start making notes on  new novel or murder mystery. Actually, given my track record of unfinished projects, this may not be the best advice for me to follow, although in a pinch, it may get the pencil moving.
  3.  Here is my real takeaway from today’s little bit of success:  KEEP TRYING!  I never know when I am going to be stuck with the blank page and pen that doesn’t move or when I’m going to write and keep going.  But if I right away get buried in an anacrostic, I for sure won’t get anything written.

Hmm… I thought I was going to have more suggestions.  Still, I said “a number” and 3 is a number.  I’m going to call that OK for Non-Sequitur Thursday.  I think I’ll go stare at a blank page for a while and see if anything happens.

 

With a Laptop on my Knee

OK, I’m sitting here with the laptop on my lap (I know, where else would it be?  Well, it MIGHT be somewhere else; I’m not here to discuss the possible whereabouts of computers), and once again, I got nuthin’ (or is it “nuttin'”?  I like “nuthin'”) (which is not the same thing as not liking anything, but close).

Where was I?  Ah yes, Wrist to Forehead Sunday.  I tell you, I am down.  I’m not a writer.  I write a silly blog, and, as Truman Capote once said, “That’s not writing, that’s typing.”  Yes, yes, I must stop with the existential crisis, people will think I am merely fishing for encouragement.   I am only being honest, in this case.  Oh, sometimes I fish for encouragement or even compliments, never fear.  Hell, I’m not perfect.  I’m a factory worker who takes pen in hand or keyboard under fingers occasionally and words come out.  Good words?  Useful words?  Entertaining words?  One can only hope.

I have been trying to take another step towards reaching my writing goals, and I have had little to no success. I know, lift your feet a little higher, push them forward a little more, these things are under our own control if only we would accept responsibility.  Very well then, I shall accept responsibility.  Tomorrow, or possibly later tonight, I will work on the novel I found earlier today.  Ooh, that’s right, I did do one thing today:  I found the notebook I’ve been looking for where I had started a novel I thought I would like to finish. It’s a baby step, but it is a step.  I shall make further updates as events warrant.

In the meantime, it is Wrist to Forehead Sunday, the day I try to enjoy myself with my husband and not think about returning to work tomorrow (I’ll work on curing the Monday to Friday Malaise another time, did I mention I’m not perfect?).  We were watching Halloween movies earlier.  I wonder if we could watch another one now. No, I can’t work on that novel now, time with husband, remember?  I may or may not ever become a successful novelist, but if I take care to spend time with my husband I WILL have a good marriage.  Priorities, people.

 

I Think the Word was “Conflict”

It is Wuss-out Wednesday, and it is going to be a Wuss-out Wednesday blog post, and you can read it and enjoy it or ignore it.  You can do that as a reader.  As a blogger, I have to post (“The blog must go on!” I say in a dramatic tone of voice, posing in a half swoon, with one wrist to my forehead) (THAT’S IT!!! It’s Wrist to Forehead Wednesday! Damn!)

OK, now I’m getting silly.  I just searched WordPress blogs for Writer’s Block and find that I am not alone.  Oddly enough, not one of the posts I looked at claimed that “there just ain’t no sech animal” as Writer’s Block, a contention I have heard on many occasions (with or without the hillbilly wording).  They may have something at that, as I see I am over 100 words already.  It is almost never impossible to write SOMETHING.  But to write something good?  As Hamlet once emoted, “Ay, there’s the rub!”

I spent my breaks at work trying to work on a project which ought to have been done by now (I dare not tell you what project, because I don’t want people who know about it to know it is not yet finished) (in fact, already I’ve said too much).  I couldn’t do it!  I managed to write some notes, which is more useful than it sounds.  Then I started to write another note and completely blanked on a word.

WHAT THE HELL IS THAT ALL ABOUT???  I asked myself.  Have I gone senile?  Is it early onset Alzheimer’s? Yes, I am a self-dramatizing fool (see wrist to forehead pose in the first paragraph).  I daresay I’m no stupider than I was yesterday (cue jokes about how that is quite stupid enough).   Still, it is upsetting when one cannot think of a word or even a reasonable substitute.

I think I like it better when I share pictures from monster movies on these days when I just don’t have a blog post.  I may do that tomorrow on Non-Sequitur Thursday.  As always, I hope you’ll stay tuned.