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Friday, April 29, 2011

Knock Knock. (Who's there?) Accomplishment!

You ever had a Red Bull? I've never had a Red Bull before, but I had a Red Bull last night - I really like Red Bull. [shakes his glow-in-the-dark hoop] ... got this new... glow in the dark thing... cant really see it right now, unless you go like this...
[
holds part of the hoop to his eyes and covers it with his hands]  
~Carl Allen from the movie "Yes Man"

Hey listen y'all!  I've been productive!  Yay!  I'm so proud of me.

So with my goal of being published in some capacity or another by my 35th birthday (which is this November), I have been trying to kick my own ass and get to writing more.

As I look for work (FRAK you unemployment, I'm awesome!), I've been trying to be more productive.  Insomnia (the cursed bitch) has come back to visit me again leaving me awake until (almost) the sun comes up.  After giving myself a little time off, I started setting my alarm to get up earlier than I usually do (which with the insomnia leaving me awake to almost sunrise, my body, when eventually unconscious, makes up for whatever it needs to function resulting in a day wasted... at least that's what it feels like.)

Not sure they've been helping either, but I've been tapping the ass of the sugar free Red Bull (it seems they're on sale everywhere I go).  I purchase two cans and down one on the way to the library finishing it usually before I park.  Then I just lug a protein bar and a big bottle of water in with me for nourishment for my vitamins to feed off of as well as hydrate my creativity nodes.

What?  (Don't ask.  It's safer that way.)

Moving onwards...

So alarm set, I wake up, shower, pack some gear and head to the library to do some writing.

Small rant here, but aren't you supposed to be quiet at a library?  I mean, that's what I was always taught.  And depending on when I go, I get a reasonably quiet atmosphere save the occasional self-checkout bleeps or soft thud of book deposits.  I go in with my iPhone on silent, volume off on the computer and set to work.

I give people chances when it comes to common sense.  I don't want to assume right away that everyone is a doofus that needs a good backhand across the gullet to set them straight.  Sort of like that teacher philosophy of everyone starting off with an "A", and they have to earn to keep that "A".

If I were a teacher and my fellow library visitors were my students, they'd all lose their "A" within seconds.

Stupid scruples FAIL!

In the times that I've gone recently, I've been bombarded by a chaotic symphony of various cell phone chimes, computer jingles and random blathering chatter.  And it's not the high school students either.  (There's a high school down the street from the library where, after their day is over, a cluster of them come to the library - most to study or wait for their parents to pick them up.  Some of them are annoying, but mostly they're not that bad.)  It's the adults!

Perhaps I should warm up my backhand...

I bring my mp3 player just in case to tune out the noise... which isn't all day.  It comes in waves.  (I love the quiet moments.  They are most lovely.)

So in the days that I've been going, I've been working on my NaNoWriMo novel.  I transported it to Google docs recently (any other writers use this?) though I haven't added the scene I've been working on separately.  It's only until recently (Wednesday, I think), that I actually made the scene reasonably gel together as opposed to just be chunks of one scene that if you were to read it wouldn't make sense.

That made me feel rather accomplished.

I also solved my frakkin storyline math problem.  Thank GAWD!!!

It had to do with the main character, and my brain just couldn't work past it.  I would make a note to go back to it, but then I'd hit something later down the line, and then my brain would say, "Hello?  Remember that thing you didn't workout earlier?  Yeah, it's back."

My brain likes telling me "I told you so" even though I already know.  I wish it'd stop doing that.  Ugh, if I didn't need it...  *grumble grumble grumble*

So I realize now that while working on my novel, there's a small chance I won't finish it (or my other novel I'm also working on in a sort of tennis volley fashion).  Then I think I should probably find some short story contests to possibly submit to.  I recently bought two writing magazines.  I shall need to peruse them for contests or some such.

Silly question but... do magazines take submissions of the "please publish this in your publication" variety or is it strictly a contest thing?  I have no idea how to go about that.  Help?  Anyone?  I'd totally love a little guidance here.

I'm currently thinking about the scene from Wednesday.  It's not totally done, and my mind is racing with what to do with it.  I know what I'd like to do, but I've reached another roadblock which might seem silly to you, but it's where I'm at (and it's important to me).

I need to design the houses.

Okay, for the two main characters, I need to figure out the layout of their houses.  They're both one level.  One's got a porch and a separate garage from the house.  And a nice backyard for bbq's.  The other one just has a sort of small porch, not the kind you can sit on in a rocking chair and enjoy a glass of lemonade or something, but big enough to maybe set a decent sized Christmas decoration like a Santa or Snowman or something.

Yeah, I'm babbling.

Anyway, the scene from Wednesday needs a little choreography (Person goes down this hall to this room, cuts back around, hits the kitchen, then goes to the bedroom, etc).  I need to know where everything is so I can guide my people around better.  I might need to do that to another couple houses, but the houses that are most frequented belong to the two main characters.

All right, it's a quarter after 2am, and I really should be hitting the sack.  I have two places to go tomorrow - one in the morning and one in the afternoon - and I'm trying to decide if I have time to hit the library or perhaps chill at a coffee shop before heading out to my afternoon dealio.

Hmmm... decisions, decisions...

All I know is that I need more places to go write (other than the one library).  There's a coffee shop that I went to (think I previously mentioned it in one of the previous entries).  That places is peaceful, free wifi, and has COFFEE!!!  Plus the dude is hella nice.  Problem is it's a little out of the way, and closes earlier than I'd like.  The library stays open until 8pm on Mondays and Tuesdays.  The coffee shop closes most days around 5pm.

Anyone in the Bay Area know of a nice place with free wifi, tables, chairs, and outlets where a girl can hook-up and write?  Holla at yer girl!  Let me know.  I'd sure appreciate it.

Okay, off to beddy bye.

Later my lovelies!

Have Goodness!
Rae

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Writer For Hire (and other such novelties)

Details of your incompetence do not interest me.
-Miranda Priestly from "The Devil Wears Prada"

Really?  Since March?  Has it been THAT long?  Really?  [looks back at last post]  March 8th.  Oh good gravy!  Pardon me for my lagging ways.  It's been an interesting time to say the least.

So what's been going on in my life that I haven't been blogging over here?

Well, let me tell you my loyal readers.  All... [squints and starts to count everyone]...

Oh never mind.  I can't count higher than one anyway.  LOL!

So as of the beginning of the year, I started a contract gig with a financial firm.  I worked mostly downtown and in conjunction with teams worked with venture capital clients in preparing financial statements for them.

When it was slow, it was sloooooowww...

When it wasn't slow, I had no time to write since I was working on edits and formatting and... you get the picture.

Keeping myself awake became a hassle.  I sat there in the room they'd assigned me and the rest of the group I was hired with, and we were all never busy together which sucked ass.  We'd help each other out on occasion, but there were days where I had to go for little walks around the building or to/from lunch to get the creative juices flowing.  I drank tons of coffee and occasionally visited the vending machine in the kitchen as to barter one of the souls I've collected in exchange for a little can of sugar-free Red Bull.  (Did you hear?  It doesn't give you wings... just a nasty caffeine aftertaste at the back of your throat.)

I'm much better when my mind is stimulated (and holy crap, that job was filled with moments like that).

But whether I was busy working on many, many funds or just trying to stay awake while working on a few - my brain was never in the right mindset to be creative and WRITE!!!

Insomnia + job + shitload of overtime = dead brain/no writing

While working this last gig, my routine was pretty much (I hate to say it) wake up... shower/dress... work... home... sleep... repeat.  I'd sometimes manage to fit a little food in there, but yeah, that was the gist of it.  I'd force myself to go out on occasion (when the overtime monster didn't sniff me out), and I'd head to weekly get-togethers at friends' houses and try not to pass out.  Or I'd just take myself out to a movie to get away from the chatter of the world and find some solitude in two hours worth of a fake reality that wasn't mine though sometimes wish it was.
 
In-between gigs, my insomnia makes it difficult to have any spare time to be creative.  I'm trying to use all my conscious "in the now" moments to find new gigs, network, do the do... which leaves little time/energy for anything else.

Recently, I took some time and visited my family.  (Party time with my niece is always awesome to have.)
*too school for cool!!!*
But of course my time with my family was either spent being with them... or sleeping.  (I managed to fit in some Seester time, too.)
*Do you believe in love at first sight? Or should I walk by again?*
So I didn't bring anything really to work on... though my mind... it is always churning with the ideas.

Now only if I could get those ideas out of my head, into my fingers and typed out into a word doc of some kind... yeah, that would be awesome.  (Other things would be awesome, but right now, let's stick to the topic of writing, shall we?)

I got home really late Sunday night/Monday morning from visiting my family.  (Totally random, but I love driving at night.  There's a peace and privacy that I find relaxing.  Also, I can sing like a diva in the car and no one's the wiser.  Oh yeah, that's right.  I *totally* whip my hair back and forth.)

I am a curl on the wind... watch how I Fro!

Oh good gravy!  Just ignore that last bit.

Anyway, I wasn't feeling too well Monday when I woke up.  (I "lost my powers" for the month, and that's all I'm going to say on the matter.  If you don't get it by now, ask a friend.)  I pretty much stayed in bed most of the day.  I did some work from there (filled out some documents, did some internet searches, made a few phone calls, napped while curled up in a little ball wishing for the pain to stop...)

All in all, aside from the little productivity I managed to accomplish, the day was a bit of a waste.

I vowed to make the next day better.

So with my handy-dandy iPhone, I made a list of things I wanted to do during the day... half of which had to do with writing.  I got a later start than usual, but then again "power loss" usually takes a lot out of me leaving me to feel like the Tin Man from The Wizard of Oz although an oil can really ain't gonna fix me up.

In any case, I stopped by the drugstore for some girly items and then headed for the library in an attempt to do some writing.

Now last week I had gone there and the place was virtually empty so I thought I'd have the same luck today.

Um, yeah.  That's a negative, Ghost Rider, the pattern is full. 

Translation: it was the opposite of empty.

I grabbed my bag of writing stuff, and headed inside.  I was followed and preceded by a group of high school girls.  The larger group took up some tables near the window on the top floor where I was planning on sitting.  I ended up taking a seat in between the audio books and the spinny racks of mass markets.

I tried a trek downstairs, but all the laptop desks were taken (especially the one in the corner at the end of the science fiction/fantasy section... which is ALWAYS taken by the same old dude all day every time I go down there.  Oh yeah man, I'm calling you out.  Give a chic a chance, man.  And hey, do you even READ science fiction/fantasy?  Sheesh!)

I ho-hummed it back upstairs, ditched my original location (which was still available) and headed further into the young adult section (which is separated from the rest of the kids department and shares space with the DVDs).  I took up what looked like a desk (which was cool since no one could really share it with me), and began setting up my spot.  On my right was a small round table which a chic and a dude sat at, but they were cool.  Their conversations made me laugh.  (They were later replaced by some chic and what seemed to be her French tutor.  Not as fun but still not annoying.)

Since I had no outlet near me, I whipped out my notebook, post-it flags, highlighter, pen, mp3 player and bottle of Vitmain water.
Probably would have tasted better cold. #justsayin
Then it was time for some storytelling magic.

Have I mentioned that my handwriting is atrocious?  Well, at least I think it is.  I plugged in my earbuds, tried to tune out the teens, children and various noise in my vicinty, and started to write.

Looking through my notebook I had devoted to my #NaNoWriMo story last year, I found a scene that I had started before leaving for my recent family visit.  Not much was written, but it was still fresh in my brain so I thought I'd work on that.

It's a story that alternates points of view.

Right now I'm having issues with storyline math.  What I mean by that is trying to decide when something starts, how long it's been going on, what dates to use, etc.  It may be minor, but my brain is having issues getting past it.  When writing a scene, I'll need to reference a moment or time frame, and since I haven't completely figured out the storyline math, I get stuck.  I try to tell myself "keep going... leave a note there to work on it later and keep going", but there's another part of me that demands I solve the issue then and there... and I can't.

That happen to anyone else?  (Does anyone even understand what the frak I'm saying?)

In the end I wrote seven handwritten pages.  That may not be a lot to you, but it means something to me.  I'm hoping to get some typing done soon.  I type what I'm thinking faster than manual script.  Now working a few months on the laptop from my previous gig, my hands have to get re-used to the minibook keys.

Small hands... you'd think it'd be easier than it has been.  Sheesh.

I thought I'd try the library again tomorrow, but instead I think I'm going to a place a friend and I went once.  It's a little out of the way, but I think I can manage it.  Now if I can just remember where it is.  I'm sure I can once I start driving.  *fingers crossed*

Okay, I'm starting to get a little cross-eyed and droopy-headed.
Yeah. Kinda like that, I guess, although the bags under *my* eyes are a lot smaller. (Or at least I hope they are.)

Talk to you later, dearies.  I'm going to try and get some sleep.  I hear it's the latest thing.  All the cool kids are talking about it.  *grin*

Drop me a line to let me know what's going on in your own writing worlds... or just to let me know that I'm not alone out here in this blogging universe.

Later my lovelies.

Have Goodness!
Rae