I am now fully ensconced in the horror known as SUMMER BREAK WITH THE KIDS.
*cue bloodcurdling scream*
We don’t do Day-care. To be fair, Mommy doesn’t work, so she should, you know, be vaguely responsible with the household expenses and Day-care ain’t cheap.
Of course, I’ve been grumping about how very little writing and/or research taking place right now, but if I’m honest with myself, it isn’t entirely my kids fault.
They’re just a convenient fall guy for my own shortcomings (Don’t you dare say you haven’t done it. If you’re a parent, I know you have…).
I’ve been in a writerly slump since… February? something like that. I’ve pushed through and completed round 3 edits for fantasy book 2. I’ve done the same with contemporary romance book 1.
My Files and Notes have been staring at me since March.
Contemporary Romance 2 is looking at me saying “You have no idea what the hell you’re doing, do you? You’ve got all these scenes and notes scratched out, but you’ve got no clue how to stitch them together into something organized.”
Fantasy Book 3 is at the 200 page rough draft mark (about halfway through with the story) and I can hear it constantly whine in the background like my kids – “What about meeeeeeeeeee? Why am I NOT the center of your universe?”
My Steampunk musings stare at me – They’re demanding work, but more of the “Can you please just pull your shit together?” I just have about 20 books of period research to read on that, you know.
Neil Gaiman (is there any aspiring author who doesn’t quote this guy?) says that sometimes this happens. Sometimes the well is dry and needs to be refilled by doing non-writerly things. Like painting one’s own house or some such. I really hope that’s the case here.
I think I made a critical error by taking a sabbatical from Halloween through February. It seemed like a good idea at the time – tons of expectations and family and BS all over the place with little to no privacy for accomplishing doodly-squat.
But as I came out of the holidays, I experienced a definite reluctance to pick up the pen or pound at the keyboard. I tried reading my notes and bits I’d written – it felt too … close. I don’t know how else to describe it. It literally felt like I was trying to read one of those eye-doctor tests ( E, G, C, J L, U,W,T,F…) where the text starts out huge but gets progressively smaller, but the page was touching my nose and I wasn’t allowed to pull back. I caught myself power-skimming my own work (not a great way to refine and edit your stuff) just to get through it.
I thought about printing it out, because sometimes seeing it in a different format helps, but then I looked at the printout of the Hatpins rough draft and…
Just looking at that binder with the word “Hatpins” sloppily written and stuffed inside the page-protection cover still feels too close.
I thought that participating in the A-Z challenge would kick start my engine, but it didn’t. I ripped out 52 posts in three days towards the end of March (between this and my other blog, because I was stupid and said, “Sure, I can do both!”).
And while some would say:
I say only:
“It didn’t stretch my brain like my artsy-fartsy writing does.”
Let’s face it = “A” does not need character motivation. “A” does not need a backstory, or scars, or logical reactions to situation X, or npc’s to bounce ideas off of. “A” only needs to be “A” and there are a lot of “A” words to ponder and make fun of in light-hearted fashion.
To me, the A-Z Challenge was like writing a research paper. It worked a different part of my brain (One that actually can plot things out. Sort of. I can sketch a page of notes saying – start here, go there, mention this, add illustration, end here, drop the mike – and the result loosely resembles the notes. Sometimes. It ends up as the same subject, usually.), but that part of the mind-meat doesn’t want to cross the bridge into fiction. (Chicken-shit.)
But the Challenge didn’t really get anything moving anywhere else. Even now, I struggle to find something to blorg about. On either site. It shows. If you read my other blog, then you saw a version of this post a few weeks ago.
We shall see what the rest of this summer holds. Hopefully, I’ll be able to reduce my reading pile, at least.
If not, I’ll just blame the kids.