Monday, December 29, 2014

Pushing Through the Yuck

After I finished typing the title, I realized that there were several possible meanings. To "Yuck." Several of which apply in this case.

Meaning one could be "The Yuck" of cold that I was unable to escape. I successfully held it off for several weeks, but it made an attack which overwhelmed me three weeks ago and, for the first week, I was lying low. I was sleeping nine to ten hours a night, was cancelling everything except work, which included interpreting a play, so that I could stay home and rest. Get over The Yuck. It took a long time, nearly three weeks. I'm now at 90 - 95% over it and ready for it to be done. That Yuck impacted my writing because it took everything I had to get to work, prepare to interpret and interpret the play, and get myself to those places. Week one was only those activities; week two was a couple of other meetings; and the third week was my normal schedule, although I was exhausted at the end of the day.

Meaning two, I don't like what I'm writing. That is only partially true, fortunately. There are a couple of the pieces in the short story collection that I'm not happy with. I liked them previously, but right now they are on my Yuck list.

Meaning two, and what I originally intended when I wrote it, was the "this writing project is Yuck." Stuck and hopeless and overwhelming and it can't be saved. It's sad when I hit the wall with both currently active projects. But I did. Wondering where to go with them? Are they any good (oh, what dangerous words those are)? Should I just scrap them and start over? Do they make any sense? What's the point (more dangerous words)? And more.

One way I'm addressing The Yuck right now is by knitting. I know, it's not writing. But it is keeping my hands busy, it's creative (I'm knitting a sweater - the first in a long time; I've been knitting hats off and on but wanted a bigger challenge), and it keeps that fussy part of my brain occupied. It's funny that while I'm knitting, I've been thinking about those stories and the novel. I've worked out a couple of things in my head - though I haven't transferred them to the page, yet. I will. But I think that my chattering and figure-it-out brain has been satisfied with the knitting and my writing-brain has a bit of space to move.

We'll see how it goes. But once I get through the expectations and scrambled schedule of the holidays and another major project I'm consulting on gets a little more under way, I expect writing will return more regularly. I'm looking forward to that return.

Thursday, December 18, 2014

Write or Die 2

I've been lagging on my posts. Some of what I would write about has ended up on Facebook, in short bites, quick spurts. Some of it hasn't happened.

Some of it got lost in the 10 days of sickness. Only a few of those were significant successfully keeping the creepy crud cold out of my lungs, though it was close one day. Mostly really low energy, stuffiness, feeling blah and a bit achy. And interpreting a play with that going on. Wah wah, I know. But I rarely get the colds which stroll around neighborhoods and cities looking for victims. And if I do get caught by them, I'm usually completely recovered in 24 - 36 hours. But this one got me.

That was how I missed a week of writing here. I'm trying to keep at least a weekly post and am working back up to something more frequent. But last week a few things slipped through my awareness because I couldn't keep on track of everything I had to do; I was too busy resting and sleeping and trying to get over it. Which I am now - though there are a few lingering remnants.

But "Write or Die" has nothing to do with being sick. Except being sick which is what led me on an internet search to find a topic and I came across the updated Write or Die (2) website. I don't know how long "2" has been out, but it looks good.

I first discovered Write or Die in its earlier days, during NaNoWriMo. It was a fun online place to keep words flowing because in the kamikaze mode, the program starts eating what you've written.

Now Write or Die 2 also has positive rewards and the option to set up a positive atmosphere conducive to writing - as well as the traditional color-changing, alarm-sounding options which let you know when you're not being productive, though there are more options within that.

I am entering a period where I will have more time for writing - which I am looking forward to. I might try some of the new aspects of Write or Die 2.

I also appreciate that the original web version (free) and the earlier desktop version ($10) are still available (scroll down to the bottom of the page to find those links). The new version is available to purchase ($20) and you can use it online (free) by clicking on the "Try It" button. It's a fun way to keep your fingers moving.


Sunday, December 7, 2014

Being Present in The Room

an excerpt from

The Talent of the Room
written by Michael Ventura

Originally published in LA Weekly, 21-27 May 1993

"The room, you see, is a dangerous place. Not in itself, but because you’re dangerous. The psyche is dangerous. Because working with words is not like working with color or sound or stone or movement. Color and sound and stone and movement are all around us, they are natural elements, they’ve always been in the universe, and those who work with them are servants of these timeless materials. But words are pure creations of the human psyche. Every single word is full of secrets, full of associations. Every word leads to another and another and another, down and down, through passages of dark and light. Every single word leads, in this way, to the same destination: your soul. Which is, in part, the soul of everyone. Every word has the capacity to start that journey. And once you’re on it, there is no knowing what will happen."

You can read the rest of the piece over on Kelley Eskridge's site.

Thank you to Lori L. Lake for bringing this article to my attention at the Women's Writing Retreat in Rockaway Beach in October.