The In-Between Time (or when one gets addicted to LiveFeed on Facebook…)

I’ve been trying to think of a good blog post to write. It’s been a slow month, writing-wise. The only serious project I’ve been working on is prepping Willow up for the 2nd draft. The past couple of weeks, I’ve been finalizing names, places, histories, backgrounds. I’ve also put up a new word counter, seen to the right. Everything should be set for me to start writing the new draft by March 2.

But other than that, I haven’t been doing much. I’ve been toying with a story, but I’ve pretty much been slacking in the one-story-every-week goal I set at the beginning of the year. At first, I figured I needed a bit of recuperating after the intense writing session I had in January. So I played a couple casual games. Got caught up on a bunch of short story ezines I’ve been meaning to read. Did some maintenance on Facebook. Did some more maintenance on Facebook.

Around the time I found myself sitting and watching the LiveFeed on Facebook, I realized I was no longer in the Recuperating Stage. I was in the Slacking Off stage.

It’s a weird time to be in when I’m between writing projects. Granted, I should be focusing all my hard work on Willow, but the stuff I’m doing doesn’t really feel like writing, although it’s just as important. It’s more like maintenance stuff, getting all the players in place and making sure my character has gray eyes instead of green and the name of his sister is "Daphne", not "Ashley". Therefore, it doesn’t really feel like I’m writing.

Likewise with the story I’m toying with. It’s more freewriting than anything, which is what I needed to do, just letting my mind and thoughts wander while my mind plays with story ideas. But it’s not like I’m getting to the meat and nitty gritty of a story, like what makes the story tick and what not. What I’m doing is pretty much mental doodling—not really serious.

So I’m at this weird in-between place in my writing, where I’m between serious projects. On the one hand, it’s an okay place, because it allows my mind to replenish its creative flow (I was about to write "juices", but then that got me to thinking about simmering meat, which got me thinking weirdly enough about cannibalism, because I watched Charlie and the Chocolate Factory last night and Johnny Depp had this great line—okay, creative "juices" seemed just to creepy to write).

But on the other hand, it opens me up to tons and tons of distraction. Like watching Facebook’s LiveFeed. Because I really, really want to know what my friends are doing at that very exact moment

What it is really, is that I have a productivity vacuum inside my head. When it’s pointed towards a writing project, yeah, I’m with it, I’m in the groove, things are rolling along nicely. But when it’s not directed towards a project, then it’s directed towards any old thing, which means I spend three days trying to escape out of a locked room… 

(Actually, you’ll be amazed at how addicting these escape-the-room games can get. Especially since the more you play, the more tricks you pick up, the easier the games get, which means you start scrambling towards harder puzzles…what? What do you mean I’m digressing agai–)

The point is…procrastination.

And the other point is…ummm….sometimes it’s good. Because when you recognize that you’ve had too much of it, it means that you’ve had enough rest and recuperation and you’re setting yourself up for your next project, which is good, because you can now look forward to your next project with eagerness, and it means that you can start looking at all the stories you have sitting in the sketching stage and think, "which of these stories can I flesh out more?" And you start thinking and start writing and before you know it, you got yourself another project to do. Which is good.

I think I’m ready for that now. And I think I need to wean myself off the LiveFeed. Too much Facebook can be a bad thing. Besides, the Facebook RSS Feed is far more useful.

Well. That was a nice rambling, makes-no-sense post. But considering that it’s something that I did after a week of nothing, hey, I’m feeling pretty productive. 2nd draft of Willow, here I come!

Finally! A story out the door! Now I can get on with my life! (or at least ‘Willow’…)

Welcome back. Did you have a good Thanksgiving? Eat too much turkey? Ended up snoring in front of a televised…er…digitized football game?

Me? I just got back from visiting family. Seems there’s a little side effect in moving to Madison called “travel”. As in, we get to “travel” to visit family now. We “travel” two hours here, spend a night, then “travel” an hour there…

Actually, it’s really not that much different from when we lived in Chicago. We just get to listen to the mp3 player just a little bit longer, that’s all.

But I’m not here to talk about my Thanksgiving, which was pretty nice thank you. No, I’m here to say that I’M FINALLY FREAKING DONE WITH “SHE’S ALL LIGHT” AND IT’S OUT THE DOOOOOOOR!!!! WHOOOOOOOO!!!

I don’t usually make special posts for short stories, especially ones that I just sent out. But She’s All Light is a special case; this is a story that I spent an entire year on. Yeah, that’s right. A year. A whole year of my life tied up in this one story.

Most of the stories I’ve written would take about a month, maybe six months max, before I ship them out. But not this one. Oh no. I started working on this right around the time my hubby and I agonized over moving to Madison. It sustained me as we worried how we would sell our house, how we would pay our bills, right up to how I wondered how Daniel would fare no longer having a stay-at-home mom. All those nights spent alone when my hubby commuted to Madison, to me worrying my brains out, hoping he hadn’t crashed or fallen asleep at the wheel, all those days staring at all the rooms that needed to be painted, at the ripped out floors. Throughout house sale negotiations. Yuck.

It’s a miracle that I was able to get She’s All Light done. But “get ‘R done” I did. And right before we left for Thanksgiving travel to. That was a nice added bonus.

And if you’re dying to know what exactly the story is about–well, er, I can’t rightly tell you. At least not before giving it a chance to get published first. Of course, now that it’s finished and all, I’m feeling the writer’s remorse boiling up already. Darn! I should have put that line in that I took out! I probably forgot to spellcheck it one final time. Aw man, I just put all that work into it and it’s crap crap crap. I never should’ve mailed it off. Should’ve just dumped it in a drawer and let it rot. It’s crap, all my writing is crap, I’m such a crappy writer…

You ever notice that the Writer’s Remorse don’t know how to write well? After a while, it just starts repeating itself…

Well, now that She’s All Light is gone, that’s pretty much left a vacuum. Suddenly my afternoons are free again. Wow. What to do with all this free time. Hmmmm….

Oh, I know! Maybe, just maybe, I should work on…oh, I don’t know….Weeping of the Willows?!

Excuse the sarcasm in that last sentence. That’s the buried author in me poking. Seems she’s been muffled for far too long, though I haven’t been neglecting her that much. Actually, I’m halfway through my readthrough of the first draft of Willow, so I’m eager to bump up the schedule and try to get through the reading more quickly now that I don’t have endless revisions sitting in front of me. At the same time, however, I’m thinking my mind is in deep need of play. It’s been focusing too much on revisions for far too long. My mind needs to go out and play on the jungle gym a bit, do some swinging, run and play tag with some others. My mind needs some Happy Funtime Freewrites.

So, seeing that this is December and I probably won’t have much time to devote to serious work, I’m going to let my mind relax a bit. I still plan to put the bulk of my focus on finishing my readthrough of Willow, but I’ll also devote some time to let my creativity spill onto the keys and see what sticks. And, if you guys are lucky, maybe I’ll even offer some goodies at the Cafe.

It’s the least I can do for my customers who’ve stuck around for so long.