Thursday, December 31, 2009

It's the little things...

Monday, on a late night coffee run, I ran into a friend of mine whom I haven't seen in at least four years. Halfway through the obligatory, "So fill me in on your life since I last saw you," conversation, he stopped and said, "I hear you're writing again! Very cool!" Which was followed by many questions pertaining to the state of my novel.

To be fair, I do take my writing seriously. I fully intend to sit down and hash out the second part of this year's NaNo, now that I'm more mobile and less violently ill.

It was a magical moment. In that moment, I was a "writer," publicly known as such and celebrated as such, even though I have been battling with what still seems to be a block of overly wet clay, with random pop-vocabulary oozing out the sides, and loosely developed plot hanging pathetically from a lumpy structure.

"I hear you're writing again! How is your book coming along?" Fabulously. Thanks for asking.

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Ok, now it's over.

Um, I didn't write anymore. I got sicker and sicker until a few days ago when I got hydrocodone. Now I'm slightly less sick and tricking my brain into thinking I'm better than I am.

I haven't given up on writing, but there is an awful lot of cleaning that needs to happen first.

More to come.

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

It's not over til it's over...

Someone is covering the second half of my shift today so I can go home and sleep this off. I was completely mute (I couldn't even make a sound to laugh) for three days. Last night, I was finally able to make a squeak, and I sounded remarkably like Mickey Mouse. I am still hoarse, and now I sound like I am going to hack up a lung. I am so ready to be able to breathe normally again!

But that is not the point of this post.

I started off NaNoWriMo fast and hard this year, and I knocked out 20,000 words easily in about the first week, and then I got sick. (And S.T.R.E.S.S.E.D.) It's not too late to catch up. I have more than half the book to write in a week, and I have a ton to do on my show (which has slowed me considerably with my book), but I am going to try to write and read and sleep this afternoon. Little by little, I may be able to catch up.

28K and 6 days to go. Wish me luck!

Monday, November 23, 2009

I have been sick for more than two weeks...

It would be a lot easier to get better if I had sick leave and health insurance. But considering that I have been working 10 hour days, 6-7 days a week, with what is possibly the flu or pneumonia, or goodness only knows what else, I'm not getting better. Alright, Washington, get your asses in gear and fix the damn problem!

I had to move home two years ago because I couldn't afford the $1000 bill for antibiotics and the trip to the emergency room (since no doctor would see me without insurance) to take care of a simple UTI. Which, by the way, didn't fix the problem, and I had to go back for 3 more and possibly have permanent kidney damage, and I was another couple thousand dollars in debt. So I don't want to go to the hospital for antibiotics for bronchitis, just because no one will see me without insurance. I can't afford it. I can hardly afford to buy groceries and toothpaste, much less shell out a couple hundred dollars to see a doctor.

I just want to breathe, dammit!

Saturday, November 14, 2009

I'm not giving up!

I haven't written since last Sunday, and I have to work 10 hours today, and I'm still sick. But I'm not giving up yet! I know that if I can just sit down and write for a little while I can easily knock out 2,000 words. A few sessions like that, and I might actually catch up.

This month is killing me. But I really want to write this book.

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

A note or two on this week:

I haven't written since Sunday, because I feel cruddy. Drainage, lack of voice, lack of breathing...

On the bright side and the subject of Cruddy, Lynda Barry is the pep talk for NaNo this week. She's my favorite.

Current word count: 20,354

Monday, November 9, 2009

What joy! What freedom! What cause for celebration!

I hit 20k last night, and while that is all well and good, that is not why I am jumping around shrieking in jubilation.

I FINISHED EDITING THE WEDDING VIDEO! 6 months of hell, now over. Granted I now need to find the program that has the correct spelling of everyone's names before I burn the DVDs, but I AM DONE EDITING! I'm no longer fighting with the camera or the computer (knock on wood); no longer is this black cloud of wedding doom looming above my head. I'M FREE!!!

What a relief. Everything in life seems easier.

P.S. Would my friends please remind me that no wedding job is ever worth the money, no matter how desperate I may be for cash to pay bills. Not. Worth. It. Thanks.

Sunday, November 8, 2009

I had a dream last night...

Part I: Before the Arrest
Part II: The Investigation
Part III: The Trial

Before I go to bed tonight, I want to be done with Part I. My thought on this draft is that if I can get it all written out, I can go back and rewrite one chapter at a time for the rewrite.

This draft of the book (not to jinx anything) has much more structure than the last, even though the characters are still not fully developed, and my actual writing structure and style is crap. Once you give in to changing tenses every other sentence and various points of view and not spell checking and throwing grammar out the window (much like this post), the writing becomes much more enjoyable.

I am starting at about 16,000 words this morning. I'll check in with a final word count later this evening.

Saturday, November 7, 2009

My goal for the weekend is 20,000!

Actually, my goal for tonight is 20,000, but I doubt that will happen. I'm a'gonna try, though.

I have only five hours of work today, and then I'm a free woman until Monday.

Current word count: 14,509

Sunday, November 1, 2009

Wow, that was the best first day EVER!

Current word count: 7,102

I am loving where my subconscious is taking me.

November 1, 2009: Day 1

I woke up less than an hour ago, choosing to use the extra hour last night to sleep, and SOME people already have 2,000 words written. (Some other people, not including me.) It's on, girl. I'm starting right now...

...Right after my coffee is done...

Saturday, October 31, 2009


I might start at midnight tonight. Or I might get a good night's sleep, get up early, and start early tomorrow morning.

I painted a NaNoWriMo mug (pictures when it comes out of the kiln on Monday), and I have good breakfast food for all day tomorrow. I almost have my computer decluttered. I have my handy dandy NaNoWriMo helper packet. I do need a chair for my desk. I think spending 100,000 words sitting on a step-stool may become bothersome after a while.

Bring it!

Thursday, October 29, 2009

100k it is!

Two novels this NaNo?! But that is madness!

I am mad.

Novel #1: An Empty Case
Novel #2: Peanut Butter: A Tale of Unrequited Love

Two days.

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Empty Case

Is the title a proper noun? I don't know! We'll find out in NaNoWriMo, 2009!

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Did you just say "VLOG"?!

I got on facebook today, and it told me a friend of mine had posted a youtube video, so I watched it. It turned out to be some ridiculous 8 min rant about McDonalds, but at the end, he says, "Thanks for tuning in to my vlog."

Did I hear that right? "VLOG?" Like video log? Is this a new thing? Blogs aren't enough, so now people are recording themselves and posting regular vlogs on youtube? I mean, I know people have been doing that for a while, but don't give it a name--that validates the practice.

I am embarrassed of this blog now. I feel as though I am contributing to the problem. With the understanding that I am totally hypocritical by saying this: Is there a need to spam the internet with 6 billion people's thoughts on the insignificant moments in their days?

The hour draws nearer...

For this year's NaNoWriMo, I am going to attempt an entirely different type of novel. I have never written one from multiple viewpoints, but this year I am going to attempt to write the story using five or six different narrators. It will be a challenge, to be sure, but one that I think will be very rewarding.

The working title is Tales of an Apartment Complex, though I expect that to change a hundred thousand times even before November 1. I may not use an apartment complex as the setting, but that is where the idea originated, so I will stick to it for now. I have a very odd downstairs neighbor.

You may recall my first NaNoWriMo attempt: How To Survive Renting Your First Apartment, about the horrors of the Rat Trap I lived in right after graduation. This novel will most likely revisit some of the environmental issues, but I want to delve more into strange people. I don't want to say it is a conspiracy theory novel. It is more of an investigation of "coincidence."

Obviously, I have a very clear picture of where I am going with this.

I may be posting character bios as we approach November...

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Third time's a charm...

Well, Penguins and Chimps, the hour of NaNoWriMo 2009 is steadily approaching. I have, after an extensive internal battle, decided to start a new book rather than starting from scratch with an old idea.

The plan is to go all Dickensian on y'all's tails and write about several seemingly unrelated characters who all get wound into the same plot. Would it make sense if I did more planning? Probably so.

In any case, it just seems like fun. And right now, I could use a little fun.

I'll be in Portland in 10 days. Very cool.

Sunday, September 27, 2009

I know, I know, I've been slacking...

I have been sitting on this book for almost a year now, and my greatest challenge continues to be fictionalizing reality.

This morning I had a breakthrough.

I have been so overwhelmed by how all the details of reality have woven together that I haven't considered the possibility of telling a different story. My story has been, until recently, "Will my friend make it through the trial?" I have decided that the question in the book should be, "Am I homophobic?"

As a song in Avenue Q says, "Everyone's a little bit racist," and I think it is time to point out that everyone's a little homophobic as well. How many closeted gay men target other openly gay men? How many fag hags are secretly bitter that they are still single? And then there are the obvious religious conservatives who use ancient texts to condemn modern men and women. The "defenders of marriage." How many people start a sentence with "I'm not gay, but...?"

I was watching Glee with my mother, and Curt came out of the closet to his dad, and she cried. I hate it when my mother cries, especially over a television program, so I turned to her and said, "Mom, I'm gay. Just kidding."

Her response: "I couldn't handle that right now."

I know she meant nothing by that remark. I know that if I were gay, my parents would at least tell me they still love me, and they would try their best to be supportive. I also know that deep down, they would be crushed that I'm not giving them any grandchildren. I'm sure they wonder if I am a lesbian--a 25 year-old Oberlin graduate who rarely dates and spends far too much time with women and gay men at the theater. Even as a straight woman, it hurts to think that they would be disappointed in me if I were gay. In turn, I'm sure I internalize that sadness, and I'll admit, I am jealous of the happy gay couple. I look at my queen walking beside me and know that I'll never be more than a friend to him. A little part of me hates that he'll always be a little sick at the thought of my womanly parts.

Maybe the story that I'm too afraid to write is the story that explores all of my bitterness and hatred toward homosexuality. I am afraid to admit that somewhere, though I try to calm it and ignore it, I'm just like everyone else.

I think I'm finally ready to write this book.

Thursday, August 27, 2009

Taking another crack at it...

I am writing again.

I am also prepping for NaNo3: Return of the Dime Novel.

Stay tuned for further developments.

Sunday, July 26, 2009

...And so (almost) ends another month of not working on the rewrite...

Directing a show put a damper on my writing plans. I'd like to say that of course I will be on top of my game from here on out, but the truth of the matter is that I have certain obligations to fulfill first.

My life is completely up in the air right now. I might semi-permanently settle here, or I might move across the country in two months. Ah, to be young...

Wednesday, July 1, 2009


True, I didn't even know that such a challenge existed until the last week. I was just planning to rewrite this month. But since it's a "thing," I guess I have 31 days to get out 50,000 words. Though I'm aiming to finish the rewrite, which may be (hopefully) longer than that.

I mean, see how I'm writing even now? I'm writing for my blog about my novel. Which is sort of related. Topically and literarily linked. Almost exactly the same thing!, now I'll just do my laundry and clean my bathroom and take a nap and THEN write my 1600 words for the day. Or I could just do it now.

Right... NOW!

Ok, now. Really. Now.

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

I am contemplating the story again...

The problem with basing a story in reality is covering your own behind in terms of avoiding a lawsuit. The real story has gone beyond complicated: police officers are distant cousins of the real guilty parties; there seem to be cover-ups, character smearing, and gay bashing; hate crimes are rampant; and there is a side story of a series of drug overdoses and a suicide. The real story is far more interesting than anything I could come up with myself.

The challenge, then, is telling this story without bringing a lawsuit upon myself. I don't know everything that I believe to be true, but so far, even my most ludicrous hunches have proven to be correct. What I need is a few private investigators and a really solid work of non-fiction, but many crucial plot points which likely are true are also unverifiable.

So how do I keep the complexity of the story without writing myself into court?

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

I'll be in New York this weekend...

When I return, I will be writing full force.

Thursday, May 14, 2009

I can probably blame The History Channel, but...

So, I got hooked on The History Channel's special series on the seven deadly sins, and I thought it might be interesting to weave them into my book. Which was much easier than I expected. More later.

Right now all I can think about is how much I want to go to Ren-Fair.

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

I started writing again...

Yesterday, I started writing the book again. What I'm aiming for is a second draft by June 30. I recognize that this second draft is realistically a rewrite of the entire manuscript for content, but my rule is that something has to be happening at all times. Any time I slip into description (that is not relevant to a plot point), I will skip ahead to action. It is much easier to edit dialogue and prose when the story has been finalized.

Wish me luck. Here I go.

Monday, April 13, 2009

Why am I writing this book? SPOILER ALERT

Again and again I have hit a wall when I've tried to rewrite this book. The question at the crux of the conflict seems to be this: Why am I writing this book?

Sure, I think the subject matter is socially relevant. The gay rights movement is the up-and-coming civil rights movement of the 21st century. (How I somehow became a gay rights activist, I am not entirely certain, but I've got both feet in the pot now. Thanks, Oberlin.) What drew me to the story initially was the absurdity of it all--the way people's stories cross each other's, the way everyone is connected, the way the conspiracy stretches far beyond the people throwing around accusations, into the legal system and the community. I was shocked at the drama and publicity, particularly because I think the story would be much less widespread if the accused were heterosexual. In that sense, I hope to write a novel worthy of a place in the gay rights movement, to expose the undercurrent of distrust and the quickness to accept horrible accusations and rumors as true, just because of someone's sexuality.

Part of the moral battle in this story comes with my own hesitations to defend an accused "rapist." I think that creating a heroine who has worked for women's rights, who has worked as a rape counselor, who has been outspoken about punishment for rapists, and then throwing her into a situation where she has to defend an accused rapist creates the inner conflict I need to make the book really work.

These two issues aren't necessarily at odds with each other, but I don't want to bog down the reader with a bunch of moral judgments or propaganda. I am seeing two separate witch hunt stories here: one where people target the gays, and one where people are falsely accused of rape. The point I want to make with the book is that people who are different are being targeted, whereas the people really committing the acts are getting away scott-free.

Maybe the solution would be to expose the seedy-doings of everyone else in the town as the heroine searches for evidence of the "victim's" innocence. Affairs are brought to life, gambling, practicing without a license, tax evasion. So that in the end, everyone's secrets are out, and it is all about "casting the first stone." However, I don't want to minimalize the issue of rape here. Someone has to pay. I'm pretty sure that one of the secrets will be that the accuser was abused by his father. There will be a suicide. Someone may kill someone else. A few people will end up in jail.

There. I feel much better now. I might even have a halfway decent book brewing.

Sunday, March 22, 2009

Let's be honest...

I haven't done anything on my book this month.

BUT Scriptfrenzy starts next week, and I will be writing a musical. for more information

I am in the process of making a blog for April, so I can further procrastinate work on my novel.

Sunday, March 1, 2009


I am going to sit down and edit/rewrite this novel this month.

Friday, February 27, 2009

A breakthrough!

I have been struggling with the structure of the novel--whether to go in chronological order, or how to let the events unfold as I found them out. My solution is that I am going to start at two points in the story:

Prologue-ish: William Daniel Goodman arrested newspaper article
Ch. 1: Backup to when Katrina is auditioning for the show. She is asking a friend of hers in the rape crisis training course if she knows anything about Dan Goodman.

And so forth, back and forth between the show leading up to when Kat is told about the incident, while at the same time, following Dan as he is arrested, beaten, and slandered. Probably all of that in the first Act of the book. That way the audience can be introduced to Dan at his highest and lowest points before the details of the case begin to unfold. The first Act will end with Dan taking Kat into the green room and asking, "How much can I trust you?"

Begin Act II: In this section, there will be multiple flashbacks to the night of the alleged incident, each time adding more details (as Dan remembers more). Kat begins to meet more of the players of the story, people from Dan's past, and people at the theater. This section leads up to the arrest. It ends with a voicemail message: "911. Call my lawyer."

Act III: A few weeks after the arrest, awaiting trial. The lawyer has brought in an investigator, but they are not getting what they need so Kat goes undercover. Dirty pasts of all at the theater are dug up. Charges are made against the villains, driving the main villain to suicide.

Denouement: All goes back to "normal," though Dan never gets his job back, and there will always be an unsettled air hanging over the town.


Progress? Yeah?

Monday, February 2, 2009

Following the leader...

I haven't posted in a while, either, lolasangel:

In the meantime I have learned that too much planning can be just as paralyzing as too little planning. Today, I am jumping in and writing the second draft. (Not all of it, obviously.)

I know my characters, though they don't all have last names yet. I don't think they need definite names until they are introduced in the book, though, and some of them may not be mentioned for a while. For now, I have Will Goodman, my victim, and Kat Need-a-last-name, my detective. I'm starting with a newspaper article about the crime (as a prologue), then picking up "three months earlier."

I have been overly concerned about genre conventions this past month. I know my genre, even if I am more familiar with the television version than the printed word. Now I need to just write my genre.

So, here goes.

I'll give you a weekly Monday update from here on out...

Saturday, January 17, 2009

It's a boy!

This morning in the shower, I named my characters. I have really been struggling with their names, so I'm excited to have settled. I have reasons for each of the names that I picked:

The Villain: Brett, short for Aaron Barrett Williams, III. Also know as Burl, Burt, and A.B. Williams. I need to change his last name, or maybe I don't. He's projecting himself onto...

The Victim: Will, as in freewill, as in short for William, as in, should I change Brett's last name, or does it work having them share a common name? I think it works, actually. Kind of cool, and almost random. I'm sure my subconscious had something to do with it.

The Kid: Adam, as in the first man. Also tempted by the apple, incurring sin and God's wrath, yada yada...

The Director: Don, because then his drag name can be Dawn, and because I was originally pushing for Ron, but didn't want him to be confused with Ron Weasley or Ronnie in Little Children.

The Sleuth: Kat, after Katherine Hepburn.

Do we like the names?

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

A Title and a Villain

Actually, that wouldn't make a bad working title either: A Title and a Villain

My working title is, for now, Whose Plot is It, Anyway? A little exhausted, but I won't be keeping it, and it helps to keep me on track and encourage me to inject humor into what may easily become a very dark tale.

My villain is Aaron Barrett "Brett" Willaims, III. He goes by many names corresponding to his many personas: A.B. Gillaim, Burt, Burl... For now, I'm writing his backstory--how he was beaten as a child and beaten as an adult, and now he beats people that remind him of himself. I want the reader to hate him, but feel sorry for him.

Thursday, January 1, 2009

A break in the case, so to speak...

After a month's respite, I am returning to my novel. I have decided to rewrite it as a mystery novel. The conventions work, I think, with the exception that no one will die. Or at least the victim will not die. There will probably be other casualties, and much needs to be changed. I am not starting over, and I probably won't change that much of the plot, but the characters will change significantly, and the storytelling must be entirely restructured.

Ah, Editing, I've only danced briefly with you in the past. How we shall cover the floor this spin around...

This evening, I shall introduce myself to my "killer."

It's a New Year!

New Year's Resolutions 2009

1. Write every day.

2. Write the second draft of my novel by March 31.

3. Edit a rough cut of The Dead Hear Footsteps: The Movie by February 14. Edit a fine cut by March 31.

4. Write a rough draft of Baker's Dozen during Script Frenzy (the month of April).

I was going to put a short stop-motion film on my list, but in addition to the list above, I will be working full-time at the pottery studio, teaching a film class Monday nights, planning for a new theater on Thursday nights, designing a website for South Jackson, and going to school online for Residential Planning. I'm trying to be optimistic without overextending myself too much...