Tag Archives: write

An Update

Hello,

It’s been seventeen days since I start to write continuously, both in this blog and off the blog and I don’t know how this is impacting me at this point.

On the one hand, I’ve written more in this short two weeks than I did in the last six months prior to starting this experiment.

And I feel that it has been generally of better quality.

Well, I don’t know about the blog.

The blog has been the hardest part of this, constantly trying to come up with something even new to talk about without this just being an entire month of beer reviews and writing about writing.

I think, at the very least, I’ll level up my discipline a smidge.

And that might be worth this whole process.

-D-

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Filed under Writing: Novels, Stories, Blogs and Comics

Public Writer

Hello,

I’ve never been someone who likes to write in public. The thought of setting up my laptop in the local coffee shop, which will most likely be a Starbucks, and proceeding to tap away makes me cringe inwardly.

But that’s what I’m doing this morning.

I have time to spare this morning, time to kill, and I’ll be damned if I let a spare minute slip away.

That’s been an interesting side effect of writing every day and really pushing myself toward writing more each day instead of just a hundred words here and there. I look forward to it and I’m starting to have things to say again.

Always write, always keep writing, if you want to do this for a living, you should always be writing.

I still don’t like writing in public though.

Feel exposed.

Signing off from a Starbucks in Waltham.

-D-

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Ideas

Hello Again,

I’ve never been someone that believes in writer’s block.

There’s always something you can be working  on, always something you can be making.

Granted, I say that as someone that has never needed to survive by writing on a deadline.

I can always flit back and forth from one story to another and that’s  large part of why I never get anything done.

See? I’m already losing the thread of this blog post and it’s been less than a hundred words.

Writer’s block, to me, is not so much about “can’t” and more “don’t know how”.

I don’t know how to tackle this dialogue. I don’t know how to tackle this scene. I don’t know how to move the story forward.

And every attack point is an exercise in frustration.

Moving forward isn’t an option because it feels incomplete and wrong.

So instead, I’d move on to another story or a blog entry and then maybe eventually come back to the story and try and finish the damn thing.

But most likely not.

That’s something else I’m trying to learn while I’m doing this. To continue to barrel through a story when it doesn’t feel right. To just get on with it and see where I can go and then when I have something completed, I’ll be far more likely to fix what went wrong.

Like Sam Beckett in Quantum Leap.

-D-

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An Update

Hello Again,

Whenever I do one of these insane writing challenges, I feel the need to beat myself up about not meeting the self imposed rules that are, often, brutally unfair.

That being said, I am going to say that as a result of this challenge (one blog entry, one five hundred word story per day) I do feel that I’m finally rebuilding writing muscles I used to have, but I’ve now let atrophy.

Atrophy.

That word seems pretty goddamn pretentious.

I think it’s important to challenge yourself as a writer, but I also think it’s important not to let the failure of those challenges discourage you. Things like NANOWRIMO are meant to be hard, meant to be tough and are meant to push you passed limits. The only way you grow stronger is to test yourself, constantly. If you just do the same thing, in and out, day in and day out, you will never get better, you’ll just plateau.

If you fail, keep going and try and do better next time. You won’t win every race, won’t win every match. The most important thing is that you pick yourself up and you keep going.

The people who persist are the people who are more likely to succeed, even in light of failure.

Persistence is what matters, even over basic talent. If you have basic talent, but don’t have the ability to persevere, you will not succeed. Always keep battering against the wall, always keep fighting. And learn from the people who have broken through.

I have a story to write.

And I know you do too.

-D-

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Writing On Writing About Writing for a Writer

Hello Again,

I’ve been going back and forth on what I want this blog to be and that’s just given me plenty of great excuses to not write anything.

And, if there’s anything I excel at, it’s creating excuses.

In an attempt to make sure that I write something, anything, in this space, I’m freeing myself from any and all restraints. I’m not going to try and make this some politically intense blog or  a blog about just horror or pop culture or dinosaurs or whatever else I happen to be interested in. I’m going to come here, once a day and just write whatever I feel like. I spend so much time, so much energy, in just finding the best possible way to limit myself that it’s time to loosen up and see what happens.

In that vein, I’m also bringing back an old writing exercise I used to do on a now defunct blog. During the month of October, I used to write one complete story a day, no shorter than 500 words in length. One of the biggest problems I have as a writer is just finishing a story. I’m going to go back to basics and relearn some skills I know I’ve forgotten.

I won’t be publishing those stories here. I’ve learned from other mistakes in the past when I just had stories published on websites and they’ve now migrated all over the internet. But maybe one or two of these new stories will see the light of day.

I’ll see you here again tomorrow. Not sure what we’ll be talking about then, but I’ll be here.

-D-

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31 Days of Spoooktacular: The Little Things

During the Halloween season, people reach for the big scares: movies, haunted theme park rides, horror conventions, creepy costumes. And, I think, they neglect the little details that permeate our lives that are truly unsettling.

Take the following spam comment I got on one of my older entries:

“How should I tell him the bad news?He is respectful to his elders.What happened to you? Please fetch a chair from another room.Don’t forget to keep in touch.what a lovely little girl she is!what a lovely little girl she is!Follow me.Can I help you? Bob has always had a crush on Lucy.”

Spam is almost always nonsensical, but follows a thread of sanity. “I like entry. You should write more peanut allergy entry.” Mostly coherent, but on an entry in which I don’t mention allergies at all. That’s fine.

This one…this one makes no sense in the context of a comment. It just doesn’t fit. And I can’t help but try and put the comment into a context that makes sense.

She’s an older woman, in a room of white, floor, ceiling walls. She’s sitting on a cot, rocking back and forth, curled tightly in on herself. She doesn’t  stop talking, just a constant low murmur directed at no-one, her eyes drifting around the room in aimless directions. She’s worried, agitated.

“How should I tell him the bad news? He is respectful to his elders.” Rocking in time with the words, back and forth. She starts to cry. Crying with no sounds. “What happened to you?”, her hands reach up and clutch her thinning, grey hair. “Please…fetch a chair from the other room.” Tears run down in her face leaving bright tracks under fluorescent lights. “Don’t forget to keep in touch.”

Her tone changes. Fear, trickling into her tone, her breathing increases, becoming erratic.

“What a lovely little girl she is! What a lovely little girl she is!” Rocking back and forth, faster. The words a ward, a charm, spoken emphatically.

She stops rocking, her breathing back to normal in an instant, and turns to you.

“Can I help you?”

She smiles, revealing teeth too even and white to be anything but false.

“Bob always had a crush on Lucy”.

You hear footsteps behind you.

-D-

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31 Days of Spoooktacular: Sweet Dreams Are Made of These

When I was younger, I used to have nightmares on occasion; terrible things that woke me up in the middle of the night, sweating and shaken. I once woke up to pitch black and I could have sworn that I heard someone whisper, “I’m going to kill you”.

There were a couple of uneasy moments while I tried to convince myself that the voice wasn’t real.

I’ve woken up once or twice feeling like I’ve been crying.

But here’s the paradox, the tricky little bit that I throw in to make my life more interesting: I like these dreams. I wish I had more of them. I revel in them.

I hate them while I’m having them. Even while sleeping, I can feel my heart racing and the fear and the anxiety spiking. But after the fact, when I’m awake and cognizant of the fact that it was all just a dream, I’m happy.

I’m happy in the way I am after I read a scary book or movie. I enjoy being scared. I enjoy the heart pounding, the sickening feeling pulling at your gut. But I so rarely feel scared when I watch a movie or read a book anymore. The only place that I can be afraid now, is in my dreams.

Barring being in a car accident or attacked by bears or mugged, I mean.

Because…the fear in my dreams is always of something…incomprehensible. Some twist in reality, some bend in how the world works, something terrible that has worked itself into our world. The physics are all wrong, the geometry at awkward angles. The world in my dreams is a world where voices threaten from the walls and demons take the forms of dogs and men in wheelchairs and the sky is lit by a black cinder and the oceans hide ships from other worlds and the landscape is covered in shifting, orange growths.

It’s a world where anything is possible and it is so terrifying and so real and I always want to go back.

But now…now the dreams are fewer and further between and the nightmares are even more rare. They are dreams of mundane banality, where anything could happen, but nothing ever does.

As the real world creeps more and more into my dreams, I strive to push it back and out and block its egress and I think that I need to return to my fiction for that to happen again, that my dreams and my imagination are inexorably linked and that each inform the other.

It’s long past due to go back.

-D-

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