31 January 2009

Drawing Down the Bones, Another Art

I got responses for Herat, so I figured I'd show something else. I wonder how weird it would be to write a story about centaurs. I think they make great cartoons and movies, but never are much the center of attention. They're odd, and out of the norm enough to be given a wide berth when circulating a tale regarding such a strange and wonderful creature. Without further ado, my own Sagittarius(Yes, I am such).


30 January 2009

Drawing down the Bones

Kay got me to thinking about how I used to draw my characters, that is until I grew so frustrated with my lack of skill to make them just right. I fished out one of them, well, the best one I could find. I did angels too, but they aren't characters...hmm.

Anyway...here he is:



Meet Herat-Amon. Maybe someday you really will.

Just Additional Misanthropy

I am definitely going to be going crazy this weekend.

...the husband's computer has died. For any of you that even remotely know him, he is a computer ADDICT, yet he tells me the computer isn't a need. Tell that to the man that stood in the middle of the room last night looking lost. To the man that grouched up because his addiction wasn't properly fed.

“Draw,” I told him, “You know, in analog.”

To his credit, he did try. He even put on a movie. I sat next to him with my pirate books in my lap, trying to decide if Remiel was from the 1600's or the 1700's. Whether Avanti is in college, was in college, and what country she is in now.

I know that this weekend is truly going to suck. This little laptop is giving errors more often than not, and it's the last machine in the house. I may as well get cable and a big-screen tv, watch some football and scratch myself when I think no one is looking. How terribly unfortunate. We stay away from soda and cable, knowing the fair-enough consequences of rotting your brain.

Bah, this entry goes nowhere. I'm off to do something else in this teeny expanse of time.

28 January 2009

Gist of.

Last night I took a chance on what Pia suggested and introduced Avanti to M.. Turns out, she doesn't really like him, and the resultant friction set them to immediate conflict and very interesting conversation. Avanti told me about Remiel, and how she really hates loving him, but she can't help it. We all know how vampires can be (persuasive).

Avanti, a self-titled vampire slayer is descended from Lycanthropes but doesn't know it. She takes a leap of faith according to a vampire's words. The superior races are dying out, and her help is needed to preserve what is left of two very proud species.

Differentiating between true vampires and false impressionists, Avanti takes a very different path, finding out the dark truth about herself, this vampire whom she has to admit she is in love with, and the destruction of a horrible human-vampire profit scheme.


That's the general gist of the story. I hope this one is realized. I think I like Avanti and Rem enough to stamp my name on the story. It's like a tattoo: once you do it, you have it there forever.

Seeing as I stayed up quite late last night writing furiously in my dump-pad, I'm mentally exhausted today. It was like a good run, only with this, my knees still really hurt. Must be the weather.

26 January 2009

Dead in the Water.

What a crazy, crazy week and weekend it’s been. The baby fell sick on Friday evening the week before, followed by me catching the same (what felt like) plague Saturday. We were sick together until Wednesday upon which my babysitter fell ill. Out of desperation, I called my mother to come help out on Friday so I could go back to work, and she agreed. On Saturday, she fell sick as well. My coworker that sits across the way was sick last week too, as was my aunt near Houston. Seriously—what the hell?

The virus has run its course now, and everything seems to be getting back in order, but I feel like having that fever burned out my brain. I can write outlines all day long. Lists too. When it comes to meat aka fiction-y stuff like actual narrative/plot, I’m dead in the water without a single breeze to lift my sails.

I suppose I’ll have to ease back into that writing frenzy. Picked up old project with writing partner, although she’s really too busy to worry about this silly elongated project anytime before March. It’s fine. It allows me the convenience and privilege of writing at a casual rate, rather than the speed-track fury for which I’ve been known for. The Muse is fickle and cranky, and is amusing himself with tossing fragmented suggestive ideas my way. I’ve been writing them all in my dump file, hoping they might form a complete picture later.

Much later it seems like.

I was able to do some compiling of ideas Saturday night, but when I tried a different beginning, it was complete yarf. Disappointed, I went back to my lists and again reorganized the opener to the first novel. I should stop picking at scabs and start slicing new wounds. My razor is ready, but the flesh is unwilling at this point. I suppose the Muse will make up his mind on something soon. Until then, there’s always Buffy.

17 January 2009

Book and untrusworthy belly

Last night was difficult.

I'd been cruising along, writing some very deep and involved writing with my favorite writer-friend, when my ten-month-old daughter started crying in her crib. Curious, I swept aside the fantasy of fiction to venture into the darkness where she lay. I felt her head and neck, as I always do to reassure her that she's not alone, and I felt wet.

She'd vomited in her sleep and rolled in it. Alarmed, I turned on the light, and pulled her out of that acidic mess (her sheets were oozing with it), and took her straight to the bathtub. She was shaking and crying, as if she didn't understand why her trusty belly had betrayed her. I washed her down with considerable difficulty and rolled her in two towels, holding her close to me.

Following that, she threw up five more times. No fever. No other symptoms; she even smiled when her father returned from his bi-weekly D&D game. She tried to play, and eventually, surrendered to the growing fatigue that was understandable at 2 am.

It brought back memories of when I was a little girl, and sick, and not knowing why. Dad was always there, smelling of fresh soap, rubbing my back, offering water after I was ill in the toilet. He was always there. And, I realized, so would I be for my baby. Things that would normally sicken me are brushed aside in favor in her welfare. Things I never knew I was capable, such as staying up until 4 am when I'd already put in a full day's work, only to be awakened at 7:30 am to start my next day, with or without sleep.

I started reading a book for real, Duma Key, by Stephen King. I don't know what it is about his work, but it always makes me think about the Way Things Work a little differently, even if for just a little while. This novel is no different, and I think I see what they mean by a writer only gets better and better as they age. His voice has gotten clearer, as he's tossed all ordinary rules out the window. To write an entire book in 90% interior dialogue is at the very least, a considerable feat. To make me believe in this character, to think I could fly out to the Florida Keys and Edgar Freemantle would be there, doing his daily walk down the beach, is unthinkable.

This, my friends, is what I'm talking about when I say be a real writer. Not just tell a story. Be a story. Be that man, feel that missing right arm itching and burning. See that canvas as you begin to paint a very clear picture of someone who has never existed.

The baby sleeps peacefully now, although she's shunned food today. I can imagine why. Everything is a potential recall of what came up last night. I'll curl up with my softcover book, hang out in Eddie's head, and keep my baby safe and warm.

16 January 2009

Miscarriage

On the verge of sleep, I had an idea. Or perhaps it was a dream. It was a burst of coherent thought, clearer than normal thought, more vivid than reality, and that's when I knew it was the idea. Idea, with a capital I.

It was a strange day yesterday: I'd been sick the night before (I think I'll have to give up my nightly routine of coffee before bed) and I was beyond tired yesterday morning.

“I think I'm going to call it a day,” I announced to my husband, who shrugged a shoulder and nodded gently. He's always been the supportive type, no matter what. Scratch that. Almost no matter what. Sometimes, he stops me at the very precipice of doing Stupid Things. I do the same for him, but that's a story for another day.

I struggled to grab a few hours of solid sleep, and in between too much early-morning coffee and the neighbors upstairs letting their dog out on the upstairs balcony to drag what sounded like furniture around for two hours, I didn't get any.

I wrote a bit yesterday. I wrote a lot last night, and just as I'd laid my head down, I had The Idea. Exhaustion over took me, and I muttered to myself (another habit I seem to have) before falling into the blackness that I would get up first thing in the morning, and Write It Down.

Write It Down.

I cannot stress this enough. Some ideas have a shelf life of exactly 4.2 seconds, and that idea apparently was one of those.

So I'm sitting here this morning, foolishly drinking yet more coffee, ignoring the fact that I'd better get my rear in gear (as my friend used to say) and get ready for work.

Damnit. I hate it when this happens, because I can't even mourn the fact that I'll never write it. I'll probably never see it again, because my brain would have to be in the exact same situation as before. It's an idea miscarriage, and I mourn the fact that I can't remember what it is I'm upset about.

Where do those ideas go, that don't make it into a book or at the very least, a word processing document? Do they return to the guf from which they came? Is there a boneyard for such unrealized thoughts and notions? Or are they the proverbial whale that upon realizing that they existed, also realize they are hurtling towards the ground at teeth-gritting speed?

I suppose, such is the life of one who writes things. I hesitate to openly admit I'm a writer. That would be like a hobbyist cross-stitcher stating that they are a seamstress. There's an art to writing. A process of completion that I haven't been able to grasp just yet. I'm getting close, but I think I'll pass on the cigar.

In my mind, another idea joins the dead and forgotten ones before it, in the shaded graveyard of Never Has Beens.

I mourn yet another miscarriage.

12 January 2009

On learning not to suck.

I first attempted to write a story when I lost a very dear friend. Wanting to vent my frustrations, I turned inward and found that there were people in my head. These people or characters, went through a number of transformations before they had any shape, size, or personality. In fact, I started in a Yahoo group that I created, because everyone else was just too damn good to contend with. I admit, I do have a mean competitive streak threaded through my bones, but I'm a learner.

So that's what I did. I learned from everyone that came through, from the pathetically awful spellers, to the lame RPGers, but I found people that knew what they were doing. People fantastic in the erotic scene. People gifted in the skill of creative description. I learned, and pieced together what worked, and what didn't work. I wrote a short novel (novella, I've heard they are called) and admired how far I'd come.

In the summer of 2001, I joined a reclusive website for writers. I started to share the things I'd written, mostly poetry. Beautiful poetry erupts from a tragic heart I say. Unhappy people find words all too easily. I received feedback. I improved.

I wrote another novella, this one light years ahead of the first one. By this time I knew who my Muse was, although I almost didn't recognize him. He directed me through the third one. I knew I wanted to write. I was in love with the craft.

Now I stand and look back at all the progress I've made. I read little bits and pieces of ideas and theories I've surrendered into print. At times I feel very unworthy. Other times, I feel like a goddess.

I have a pad of paper that I use to 'dump' ideas out on. Each page is a potential story, just waiting to happen. The ideas are there. The urge and willpower is mature. I now must face my greatest enemy of all: Time.

To be continued.

Getting in shape.

No, not me, although I could use it. My thirties' body isn't quite so glamorous as my twenties' physique.

I mean this crazy little crackerbox of a house we live in. We live right at the division between nice houses and absolute ghetto. It makes for interesting evenings, sitting outside, watching the nice rich folks jogging as they give Mr. Thug-wannabe-with-his-pants-hanging-off-his-ass on his Bluetooth earpiece a very wide berth. Limousines and loud Cadillacs with gold rims pass by. It's truly surreal at times.

The house is very small, but as many of you know, rent is high. We signed another lease last week and these people didn't raise our rent. Whew.

I've taken upon myself to straighten this place out, and get rid of the growing amassed baby paraphernalia to make room for 'nice things' which I haven't had in well over six years.
(Divorce, my friends, is a horrible wasteland...)

We rearranged the living room with the new rug. We cleaned out some of the kitchen cupboards. We recycled a whole ton of plastics and cardboard. The result is I can now semi-walk through the whole house without having to trip over stuff or mutter to myself that I really need to get to that soon.

Oh, and writing. I got the need for somewhat privacy on the vampire goodies so they've been put away from the public eye. Still restructuring what my particular breed does. I did a few notes, attempted to read two pages of history before being called away. The book is still laying open on the sofa but it's time to go to work.

Hot coffee. Biscuits. And I'm off.

07 January 2009

Maybe later.

Definitions of procrastination:

* noun: the act of procrastinating; putting off or delaying or deferring an action to a later time
* noun: slowness as a consequence of not getting around to it

That sounds about right. I hereby add a third definition to the word: too damn busy. Before you correct me, let me explain. I use my eternally-occupied state to excuse myself from doing things like going to school, writing that best-selling novel, or writing any sort of item past a few pages. Something needs cleaned, or cooked, or changed, or done. Baby. Work. Maintenance of the car and lawn. Cleaning.

Last time I was seriously struck with inspiration, I sat down and began to type. I did not stop for three hours. When I was through, I had a sort of vampire-Stand by Me that spanned almost 4k words. I know I can do better than that, but it was a tasty start. A reason to believe that I have more stories inside me.

In my mind-boggling journey around the internet lately, I've discovered so many fabulous storytellers, and they aren't published. Perhaps they chose to have a family as well. Writing is a selfish profession, much like art. It really doesn't give to anyone around me until it's finished. I turn into a hermit of sorts, introverted to the maximum amount without being dragged from my house screaming and kicking and stabbing nice men in white coats with my trusty pen. I grow quiet and studious, often burying myself in this history book or that, stopping only long enough to hit B&N to buy more of the same.

It's never enough. I never have enough research material. I never have a good enough computer. Or good enough software, and even if I had all of the above, I'd find something wrong in myself. That's just not like me. I need to let that ego I harbor shine and blaze across the span of several hundred pages. Make the women weep, the men jealous, and the young girls fall in love.

I will.

06 January 2009

I hate editing.

I've been nudged, butted, and shoved towards the door to editing my own work. Why should I? I'm the one that comes up with ideas, gets everyone excited, then grows bored with the whole ordeal and walks away. It annoys me to no end to have to re-evaluate my work, over and over again. I assume that's why editors seem to be okay at making a living these days.

I recently experienced the pleasures of working on MS Office for the Mac (08 or whatever). Thank you, I love outlining again. Actually, I never loved it in the first place. It puts me back at that 'work' thing I'm so desperately trying to avoid. I have to work at work. Leave me alone while I stare off into space and daydream of plot details. I got off track there, didn't I? See, I'm lousy at composing and organizing ideas. I'm like an idea factory with a 3rd party dumping service necessary to keep from overloading.

Zzt.

MS Office for the Mac has enough features to make the whole outlining idea effortless, including "Did you want to start your numbering over?" options, Bullets that disappear when you damn well mean for them to go away, and smart tabbing, where as long as you're using the same numbering system or bullets, the software remembers each set tab. Writer porn for me. Well, maybe a nice juicy erotica. Ahem.

I look forward to Pages '09 and their touted new features. I'm hoping that these 'new' features will also prove 'useful' beyond the Microsoft 'Works' crowd. (Please. Does anyone really make their own greeting cards?)

As I am new at this 'big-girl' blog, I'll close early. I hope to have some more editing done by the end of this weekend. The project is due on January 31st. It will not win anything, but it does include an option to have the piece critiqued. I need it to be torn apart, because where I display my work now everyone loves my stuff. I want people to tell me what they don't like about it, not what they loved. Patting me on the rear and telling me what a good job I did will not improve my skills at telling stories or making poetry.

Goodnight.

Oh. One more thing...a poem.

Dipping-digging deep
into this soil
this brick-laid clay in this
stoic heartland I feel
so close to the planet's rage
and insist that my corpse
be laid within after I perish
For the time
and wine
and the grapes on the vine
should I die
Lay me bare and fetal into my pit of
small human sorrow
Thumb in mouth as I give back
to the very existence
I borrowed from
this deepest mud and gravel
and rock
in me
I feel heavy
grounded
My roots invisible
but tangible
secure in the knowledge
that I am
my Mother's Child. - C.C.

04 January 2009

A new year, a new blog...

I decided that I'd get a big girl's account on Blogger and see where it leads. I already have about fifty blogs I follow on my Google Reader, so this is even more convenient.

I suppose that the first blog post should be about me, right? Wrong. Who I am doesn't matter very much at all, because I'm definitely not where I need to be professionally. I work for a household name, although I'm not supposed to disclose because I'd then be considered as a viable opinion of said-entity.

Fair enough.

I have kids. I'm married. Whatever. That part works.

What isn't working in is the writing part of it all. I write on an almost constant basis: From vampires to tragic poetry, blogs to blurbs, I do it. I write short stories about heads that come back from the dead.

I am, obviously, still unpublished. I haven't submitted anything in years. I guess I'm just nervous and unsure in my skills at editing, of all things. What to indent? How many spaces? How should dialogue be formatted?

Stupid stuff like that.

I have several profiles on several different meaningless writing sites. My peers are also unpublished, else they'd not be on meaningless writing sites = the self-publishing on the internet, and for me at least, that is really effing taboo.

Call me a slow learner. It took nearly a decade to realize you can't cut corners on this. It has to be regarded carefully. It has to be edited. It has to make sense to someone besides me. Abstract does work at times, but when the Reader is left scratching his or her head at what in nine hells is the passage about, that Reader has been lost.

I don't want to lose you, Dear Reader. Believe in me.