Friday, November 29, 2013

New look for Nytwriter

Hey, lookee here! New year right around the corner, and though it's been less than that since I overhauled the site and blog, I felt it was time for a change. All I really did is change the styles to a lighter look. Maybe it's my eyes getting older, but I find it easier to read dark text on light background, don't you? And who needs all the fancy stuff. Blogs are about the words.

While I'm here, I'll drop some info. I know I haven't been posting of late; been busy with life stuff and all that. I wrapped up NaNoWriMo, and even though my novel is in ten shades of holy-hell-what-a-messness, I hit the magic 50K and said, we're good for now. I have every intention of fixing that and publishing it, hopefully before the end of the year, but in the meantime this girl has to make some money to pay the bills. Since this isn't the most lucrative time of year for us freelancers, it's back to the craftiness for me, which means hunting for cast-offs and treasures and altering, painting, or otherwise re-purposing them to sell.

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Not enough hours in the day

Okay, fellow Darklings, I'll keep this short and sweet because I'm trying to eat lunch, write this blog, and keep the cats out of the paint while my room is drying enough for the second coat.

I was plugging along on my NaNoWriMo novel and wouldn't you know, Mercury decided to shift into Drive and leave me hanging in the lurch. Since I do my best writing when the solar messenger is in retrograde, that left me staring at my screen and doing a lot of "Uhhhh....hmmmm....well...I got nothing.

On the bright side, when one part of my creativity gets plugged, another awakens. That means all these little Round-To-It (as in, "I'll get around to it") projects piling up around the house are finally getting done. I've cleaned up my succulent ghetto on the front porch, finished antiquing a pine cabinet I found at a garage sale months ago, painted and decoupaged an old metal cabinet I found at a garage sale months ago, cleaned out my closets, rearranged the furniture, mosaiced the top of an old iron plant stand, and am in the process of painting my bedroom. Whew.

Oh, and I also had two marathon writing sessions on my NaNoWriMo novel when I woke up in the middle of the night with several scenes running lines through my head, so all is not lost there. Sitting at over 42,000 words now, I'll have no problem polishing that baby off before the end of the month.

Friday, November 8, 2013

Random Trip to Nowhere - Day 8 NaNoWriMo

It's alive! Part 8 of Random Trips to Nowhere featuring alien body snatching, drunk singing dogs, and sinister metallic probes. Egads! Check it out Random Trips to Nowhere Part 8

Today's NaNoWriMo Word Count: 2204
Cumulative Word Count: 20,648

Thursday, November 7, 2013

Random Trips to Nowhere - NaNoWriMo Day 7

Okay, come on, people! I've been waiting for input on the absurd scifi journey that is Random Trips to Nowhere. Willing suspension of disbelief is running rampant across the page. Scientific accuracy has been totally annihilated, Einstein is turning over in his grave.

Today's episode is now live on my writing blog.

Today's Word Count: 3199 ( I know, didn't I have one more word in me for an even 3200?)
Cumulative Word Count: 18,444

Wednesday, November 6, 2013

Random Trips to Nowhere - NaNoWriMo Day 6

Part 6 of Random Trips to Nowhere is now live on my writing blog.
Today's Word Count: 2663
Cumulative Word Count: 15,245

Tuesday, November 5, 2013

Random Trips to Nowhere - NaNoWriMo Day 5

The Day 5 edition of Random Trips to Nowhere is now live on my writing blog.

Today's Word Count: 2171
Total Word Count: 12,528

Write To Please Yourself

When I was in college I took a class called Commercial Creative Writing. It was my last semester and I needed one more class in my major and had taken every literature and humanities course that interested me, so I figured, what the hell. In hindsight it was a bad idea on two counts: 1. It ruined my perfect GPA, and 2. It nearly soured me on writing altogether.

The professor was, to put it bluntly, a pompous ass. According to him (and his syllabus), unless your writing appealed to the masses, it was crap. And he proved that by giving me Cs on all my papers.

Now I'm not going to stand here and say I'm a great writer because I know I'm not. However, that isn't because I'm bad at the actual craft of writing. I pride myself on knowing how to write, and have made my living for the past three decades working as a professional technical editor and writer.

I had been writing short stories since I was eight years old, and while none of them were masterpieces, they weren't awful and, most importantly, they pleased me. For my first assignment in this class, we had to write a story about some kind of symbolism (I don't remember the exact guidelines since it was 20 years ago), and I wrote a strange little tale about the Round Toit. You know--"I'll get around to it." It was a kind of mish-mash of Dante's Inferno meets Alice in Wonderland, and when I was done, I thought it was original and quite clever. The professor, however, didn't share my point of view.

"You will never make any money as a writer until you learn to write stories that appeal to the masses."

That's what he wrote on my paper. As I said, according to him, the only story worth telling was one you could sell to the Everyman. I can't tell you how glad I am that writers don't adhere to that ideal. Otherwise, we would be reading the same dull book over and over.

Personally, I write to the beat of my own drum. I'll be the first to admit my stories don't appeal to everyone, and in fact, probably not too many people at all, judging by how many have actually read them. But I'm okay with that because I told the story I wanted to tell in each one of them. It wasn't an editor's story, it wasn't a publisher's story, it wasn't even a writing partner's story. It was mine, birthed and created from my own mind and told exactly how I wanted it to be told. And that is more important to me than all the sales and accolades in the world.

So my advice to any aspiring writer is this: decide what kind of writer you want to be. Do you want to write to be a commercial success, or do you want to craft stories that, while they may never be best sellers, at least please your own sense of accomplishment? Either way, write to please yourself. Tell your story on your terms and if it turns out no one else wants to read it, well, at least you didn't compromise your art for the sake of commercialism.

I like artists who pave their own paths. Who are brave enough to risk ridicule or failure to bring their vision to life. Be true to yourself, and don't stop telling your stories just because someone tells you they don't have mass appeal. There's always someone out there who will love them as you do, and hearing the praise from that one person whose soul you touched can wipe out a hundred bad reviews.

Monday, November 4, 2013

NaNoWriMo Day 4 -Random Trips to Nowhere

The Day 4 episode of Random Trips to Nowhere is now live on my writing blog.

Today's word count: 3646
Cumulative word count: 10,411

Sunday, November 3, 2013

NaNoWriMo Day Three - Random Trips to Nowhere

Day Three of Random Trips to Nowhere is up on my writing blog.

Day Three word count: 2210
Cumulative word count: 6765

Saturday, November 2, 2013

NaNoWriMo Day Two - Random Trips to Nowhere

Day Two of Random Trips to Nowhere is now up on my writing blog.

Day Two word count: 2502
Cumulative word count: 4557

Friday, November 1, 2013

NaNoWriMo Day One - Random Trips to Nowhere

Okay, boys and girls, my Day One NaNoWriMo sprint is now live on my writing blog here: Random Trips to Nowhere - Day One.

Day One wordcount: 2055