Aaahhhh…

That was exactly what I needed. Taking this week off from writing, and allowing the other, sewing part of my creative brain to take over has made me relax and feel better. I’ve come up with a way to manage this semester’s work so it doesn’t overwhelm me, and I feel much more centered than I did.

Over in the other journal, I wrote a piece about how I am going to start considering an eleven month year. For a variety of reasons, my winter break is almost always shorter and less relaxing than I imagine, and I often walk away disappointed. I think the goal of winter break will from here on out be to just get through winter break.

Bryon’s excellent advice about only writing what I enjoy is a good one. It doesn’t mean I should walk away from puzzles, but it does mean that I should pay attention to the sweet spots in my stories where it’s working, and feel that. I am in this mostly for enjoyment, after all. That, and escapism.

So…what’s up next? Looks like I’ll be entering the Amazon contest (an author’s life is rejection, so let’s face grandios odds!). There will be a blog tour of Drollerie authors, so I’ll post links, and have a guest at the Tamago.

And I’ll start the next novel. I will begin the faerie novel in a different place. What people have read so far is necessary background, but not necessarily the story you need to buy. G&V readers, I will send you some when I think it’s good enough for you to look at. Could be a while.

Um…as I was getting ready for the next Mindbridge reading group, which will be a slew of short stories, I listened to Mike Resnick’s Travels with My Cats and was touched. If you have a chance, you should read or listen to this beautiful story.

Catherine

Body Bags by Christopher Golden

The group thought that Christopher Golden had written a spunky YA heroine in Jenna. I put in my vote for the dimensional quality of Golden’s supporting characters. The forensic science seemed accurate and interesting.

Again, some of the group questioned whether Body Bags, a YA thriller, was worth considering by the book group. I thought so, as the science was speculative, but not everyone agreed.

I thought it was the perfect book for young forensic scientist and beginning YA writers, and I hope to read more Golden in the future.

Catherine

Wonder Woman Paper Proposal

For academic track at Wiscon:

Images of Wonder Woman

Comics’ most recognizable female character has been represented in a variety of roles and images since her inception in the late 1930s . Arguably, it is difficult to portray an iconic woman that exists as a high level hero in a predominantly male industry like comic books. This paper makes an attempt to examine the rationale behind varying portrayals of Wonder Woman, examining the artists and writers’ attempts to create a strong woman through a variety of decades. Is Wonder Woman really a portrayal of heroic womanhood, or is she another comic man with the accessory of breasts? A retrospective of Wonder Woman imagery will accompany the presentation.

So, finally, I get to sound off about that…

ETA: Next installment of Blood is Thicker than Water

Enlightenment

A very smart man, my husband, reminded me that if I’m not having fun, I shouldn’t be writing. After all, my life and livelihood do not depend on it.

This wasn’t an invitation to quite writing. Rather, it was an invitation to write something that I enjoy.

I was heading that way. I don’t plan to abandon the faerie project, but I do wonder if I need to take a stab at it in a different place in its history. Since I have no obligation to write anything, that it what I will begin next week.

Meanwhile, I remain on my week long sabbatical, and actually get to be at home, not out for the college or Bryon’s school, this evening. Yay.

Catherine

WIP: Damning with Faint Praise

Reading between the lines of well-couched and friendly critique, I find that even though my readers are being polite, I have clear messages about WIP from 3 readers:

1. The braid isn’t working. It’s choppy and hard to follow. You only put up with it if you’re vested in the story.

Solution: Time to ditch the braid. Artistically noble, indeed, but probably not what a non-published novelist should try to do with the first book of a series.

2. We like Janetta so much, we don’t understand why it’s a bad thing that Pettigrew is out. Now there’s a problem I didn’t see coming, but should have!

Solution: Someone suggested we see Pettigrew and Hero before they’re out. Actually, Hero *isn’t* as nice as Janetta. This one requires some thought.

3. The description is lean. Everyone keeps saying this isn’t a problem, but everyone keeps mentioning it, which makes me think that it is an issue.

Solution: Ponder, read, see if it is an issue. I’m pretty sure it is.

4. We like Grant and Janetta, we don’t know the Sudanese as well.

Solution: Get crackin’ on the characterization!

***

Overall, it looks like I have the problem many of my students have–I can see what’s in my head, but my readers can’t, and I need to get more of that onto the page than I currently have.

New strategy: write one story at a time, see what you get. See if it’s appropriate to mix things up or not. After you’ve written the stories, see if it’s appropriate to put them together or not right away.

Re-envision what you’re doing. After you’ve laid the pipe of the rough draft, beef up that imagery. You can do that, especially if you go in purposefully to do it.

***

*sigh* I was rather hoping for some positive reinforcement to keep me going right now, but instead, I got the usual writer problem-solving stuff. It is *just* like writing your thesis after all.

Okay. Time for a little writing vakay. About a week. Do some sewing, girl. That always gets your subconscious moving in the right direction.

Also, get that academic paper done for Mr. Iwahara while you’re on vacation.

Foo. Today, I get to be the mopey writer. We shall soon recover, once we’ve got a solution.

Catherine

Viable Paradise Ap is Finished!

Hoohah! Off it goes.

The remaining part is academic. I write an application to my professional development committee to apply for the funds, just in case, with the caveat that I turn the money back if I don’t need it.

So, that’s done.

Good-bye, little application! Gain me an opportunity to get more education and visit a New England island!

Catherine

Writer Immortality

I’ve been wondering. What is your writing dream?

Let’s take a couple of them out of the equation. Fledgling writers, I *know* that you want an agent, and you want to be published. Let’s take that as a given. Let’s assume, for purposes of this exercise, that you have an agent, and you are publishing. From there on ,what’s that brass ring you want from your writing career? Money? Fame? Recognition? Your book taught in a lit course? What is it?

For me, the answer is this: I want to write one character that people know, even if they don’t know me. I want a Sherlock Holmes, or a Mr. Darcy. A Miss Marple, or a Mary Poppins. I am not so important. They don’t have to know me at all. They may have to track me down on the Internet to find out who wrote the books about my famous character. They may confuse me with other authors.

However, like Dr. Frankenstein, apparently I want to create life, and let some character out into the mortal world who exists outside of myself.

And you?

Catherine