Almost that time of year

NaNoWriMo 2017 is fast approaching and I’m still undecided whether or not I’m going to participate. I probably will, just not 100%. My writing has come to a stop this past year, having started to spend most of my time painting instead. It’s a different creative outlet for me, one that I never thought I could do, but one I enjoy immensely.

But in my heart, I am still a writer. I still create stories in my mind, even if I don’t always write them down. I’ve been a little lazy about taking out my laptop, mostly because I don’t have wifi at my place. I know that’s a stupid excuse, but it’s true.

Wifi or not, I will probably write again this November. I’ve done it every year since 2011. It was one of the things that helped me after a very painful divorce. It helped me focus my energies on something other than my pain. It was my outlet. It was my catharsis.

I don’t need it in the same way as I did, but I do need to write. I’m not always a great speaker. Okay, I’m never a good talker. I tend to say what I need to say within the confines of the written word. I’m better at expressing myself that way. I wish I was better at talking. Makes my life a living hell at times. No one takes you seriously when you’re unable to talk and argue effectively.

But that’s another issue altogether. November brings a sudden rush of motivation. There’s something to be said about external accountability to keep one on track. It’s also a bit of a rush to be able to say that I’ve written 50,000 words in thirty days. Most people will never be able to say that. I’ve accomplished that every year since 2011. That’s over 300,000 words!

I need to get back to writing. I keep saying that my goal is publish, and I’ve gotten of track. I need to refocus on that goal, but who knows. Maybe  I will, maybe I won’t. Ultimately, it’ll depend on me, and I know that. I think what gets me is that money is tight, and trying to find someone to proofread and edit my work, paying for artwork for the cover, is more than I can afford. Then again, if I really wanted it, I would find a way.

Me and my silly life, huh?

So I’ll see where I am a month from now. I don’t have any ideas as to what I want to write, but I have time to decide. I do have a couple of ideas for short stories, and I’ll write them and post them soon.

Another oil painting

I’ve been taking a break from writing. It’s not that I don’t want to write, or that I’ve ceased to have anything to say, but rather that I’ve become obsessed with a new ambition. I love painting!

I talked about it on my previous post, and I guess I’m just going to repeat myself, but sketching and painting have become my new outlet. I spend a considerable amount of free time to sketching in my sketch pad. I’m not great at it, though I am getting a little better. It’s still a lot of fun.

Eventually, I’ll get back to my writing. I have a few ideas for short stories bouncing around, and I still would like to publish something, but I’m wondering if I’m good enough to even try. The voice of doubt has been echoing strongly lately.

But for now, here’s my most recent painting. I don’t have a name, but again, it’s on black canvas, this time a 16 x 20.

 

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Read, delete, rewrite, repeat

I completely deleted the ending chapters of Jasmine. Gone. I’m left with a blank page on which to work on. I’ve been fighting with the ending for years. I’ve been trying to make it work, trying and failing, then giving up, only to start again and to meet the same frustrations. This time it’s over. The ending cannot be salvaged. It had to go.

I’m now working on the third scene of chapter twenty, and the pieces are starting to fall together. The ending I’ve been working towards is now closing in, but there’s still some drama to create, a climax to achieve, and hopefully resolution to find. I’m still not overly thrilled with the opening chapter, but I’ll let my beta reader tell me more about it, if it works or not. I may be overthinking it. No, I know I am.

I’m a little antsy to get this over with. I want this to be done. I want to move on to the next phase and get this edited. I had someone email me about hiring her, and the rate she quoted me was at once reasonable and expensive, if that makes any sense. In the end, however, I know that I can kill an otherwise good story if I don’t get someone to proofread it. I’ve started reading few book only to set them down due to poor grammar or spelling. Don’t want that for my book. Hell, I need an editor for my blogs!

Another friend gave me a suggestion on getting a book cover, which I need to follow up on. I want to make a good impression with my first book, but I also know that I can’t over do it and get too much into debt. I could consider trying to find an agent and a publisher. That’s something else I could consider. That would alleviate the technical headaches, but it could be years if ever before I find someone willing to give me a chance. Am I willing to wait that long for that chance?

For now, I have a few more days before I can say I’m done. I would like to be done with it before my vacation, hand it over to my friend to read it. I hope she can give me a critique of what I have, what I might need to look at, and what I might need to delete.

Still at it

I’m nearing the end of Jasmine, and it hasn’t been as bad as I thought it would be. I have had to delete a whole chapter, and a few scenes were eliminated or rewritten entirely, but on the whole, it’s been a fairly quick rewrite.

I have asked a friend of mine to read it for me and give me her input. I have to know if the story works, and if there’s anything that needs to be tweaked, rewritten, or deleted. I want to know if the characters are believable. I need to know if it’s a good book or not. I don’t want to waste time on a dud.

If I hear good news, I’ll move on to looking for someone to proofread the book. My real issue will be cost. I’m just a poor boy, after all, but I don’t want someone cheap who doesn’t do a good job. I need someone with reasonable rates, preferably with some experience and recommendations.

Then I’ll need someone to do the covers for me. I have absolutely no experience in making covers. What’s more, I have no artistic abilities. I’ll have to find someone at some point. I guess I can ask around. I’m sure someone can point me in the right direction.

Until then, however, I’ll tinker with Jasmine, maybe eventually settle on a permanent name for it. It was Unseen Obsession at one point, but I hated that name. Maybe someone can help me with that, too.

Dusting off the pages

d14d88e637f0d811563873bce2a41d1fI pulled out my 2012 NaNoWriMo novel this evening and began to work on it. It’s one of the novels that I’m most passionate about because I think there’s something there, a story I want to tell. It’s probably also one of the most personal for me because it deals with a hard break up of the inability to move on from a betrayal.

I work that way when I write. I write about me, what I feel, my pain and sorrows, my joy and elations. Sure, I tend to stretch and distort what I went through, making the story its own entity, but I ground it with my own emotions, telling a story that I think we all can relate to because we’ve all lived it in a fashion.

What’s kept me from even trying to publish this novel, though I’ve wanted to for years, is the opening scene. I’ve never liked it. It felt jarring and forced, as though I was trying too hard to write something impactful that it became off-putting. It didn’t work, and the more I worked on it, the worse it got. In exasperation, I cast it aside, working on other projects, consigning it to be forgotten.

But it wouldn’t let itself be forgotten. I had to tell the story, and I finally pulled it up out of the depths of oblivion, or rather I opened the file on my computer, if you want to be pedantic, and I stared at the opening scene until it dawned on me that I would have to write a whole new scene. Took me a few years to finally accept it. The first scene had to go.

In actuality, all that scene needed was to be rewritten and used as the first scene of the second chapter. I decided to start the story with the situation that sets the whole narrative into motion, pulling it from the middle of the novel to the beginning. That means I have to do a little more work to erase that scene from a middle chapter, but I think it makes more sense this way.

I have a long way to go, but I like the way it flows now. It feels better, the timing works for me. I may have to tweak it a little, but I could probably do that from now until eternity. I’ll soon let it go. For now, I think I’ll get back to it. I can’t wait to be done with it and have you read it!