writing … to life

I’ve been an off-and-on journal writer for 19 years. As part of the Anne of Green Gables RAL-KAL, I’m rereading one of my favourite series. My Uni has the Norton critical edition of AGG and I also found LMM’s journals (edited) there. LMM and I are most definitely kindred spirits and I hope in the coming weeks and months to write more about journal writing (and reading) in general, my approaches to it, and LMM. I’m happy I’m an Anne. :)

Approximately 19 years ago (this coming 14 Feb), I received my first journal diary (it had a lock). I wonder if it’s in some unknown box or if we tossed it in the move. I wrote it in pretty faithfully for the first bit. I wonder if I wrote there eighteen years ago today.

Eighteen years and one day ago I had few concerns. My writing was of joy. Yes, I knew sorrow (I lost all of my grandparents by the time I was 7½). Yes, I knew pain (I fell off my bike frequently and hand-me-downs were more common than new). But thankfully, I knew love. Wow. Eighteen years. My writing over the years has changed; both from that day and that I’ve grown in all ways and manners. What does a child do? Say? I won’t deny I wonder “what if” frequently. (I do that for everything but especially in this case). I take comfort in events that help to remember. Some events are forever closed to me, something I struggle with often, but have slowly come to accept.

I have written for years and will continue to write. It helps. I won’t forget. I know I’m loved. I need to thank my mother for being the amazing role model and parent she is and for having that dual role that no child or parent ever wishes for. Thank you. I love you, both.

finding time to write

Of course inspiration strikes when it is impossible to act upon those thoughts. I am still trying to figure out what possessed me to go to Lowes last night without any paper or pen(cil). It ended up ok; I remembered what I wanted to write down when I finally had the instruments available to do so, but it was very frustrating. Long ago, I purchased a Fisher Space Pen to always keep with me, unfortunately, I never seem to have it (or a pencil or something to write on besides my hand) when I need it.

I’ve been reading a ton, as will be revealed tomorrow, and writing as much as I am able.

Not all of this writing is of my fantasy fiction world, but I have written about 1200 words there and will try to edit them into a cohesive short story some day soon. I think much of it is of a repetitive contradictory nature. It seems as if each time I sat down I reiterated the last paragraph and then turned around and changed everything I wrote to be opposite of before. I am liking WriteRoom a good deal. I’ve not had enough sessions with it to feel I’m making a solid decision, but I have a feeling I’ll be purchasing a license shortly. It’s a great product and reminds me of my successful writing sessions on my old Smith Corona Word Processor.

As is probably obvious by the mishmash that is this and my recent posts, I’m struggling in the organization of my writing. I hope that it will soon clear up and straighter paths through my thoughts will be found. In the meantime, I’ll keep to my strict schedule of practice, practice, public publish, practice. And hope that some day soon all that hard work will pay off and I’ll be able to sit and quickly knock off 500 words coherently. Thank you for hanging in there and not attacking me each day with the red pen, I work enough with them on my own.

progress or not

I’m the type of reader who can read almost anywhere and in any condition. This is most definitely true when I’m engrossed in a really good read, especially a really good sci-fi or fantasy. I can knit most anywhere too. Not *any* pattern (most lace seems to want me safe in a padded room) but i can and do knit socks on subway and find myself able walk and knit most of the time.

To write, however, I need everything to be perfect. Paper, pen, laptop, writing, desk, all of it. At least right now in my head that’s my excuse. I’m trying to break myself of it and as long as I don’t continue to have great ideas in shul — where I can’t write them down or do anything with them for hours— I’ll be ok.

My desk, as of this drafting (at 11:30p, post to publish in 30 minutes) is still neat. I’ve only added the usb hub with it’s tentacles, a mouse, my handspun coaster (E no longer wants it), and my ipod. A bookmark is hanging out temporarily too.

[added 12:30a] how timely. :)

I’m getting better. For a long time I used this perfection excuse. Then I read Bird by Bird by Anne Lamott (recommended to me, an Anne, by another Anne.. one of the ones I’m knitting for k’ah). I wouldn’t say this book was earth shattering for me, but thwacking myself with it a few times was quite useful in order for me to stop waiting for perfection. I should reread it. I don’t like to write drafts on my laptop because I type very quickly and thoughts quickly dribble out and I have no recollection of them. I do this for NaNoWriMo as there is no way my wrists could handle that many words; I’d also probably fall into my perfection trap. While writing on the computer (her name is Tapuach), to prevent myself from wasting time choosing fonts, margins, and checking word counts, I tend use writeroom, er I used to. I’ve used it just a few times the past few weeks. I’m using a really old version, aka 1.0. Before I buy the new version, I’m going to give writeroom the following test: I’ll use it for seven more writing sessions. If I still like it and feel it would be required for my writing, I’ll buy it. If not, I hope my links will turn into someone else trying and buying it. If I don’t like it after seven days, it’s gone. Tapuach has enough extra junk on her hard drive, she doesn’t need software I don’t use.

Hmm… Or would Scrivener be a smarter investment as I do have that master’s thesis approaching (slowly)? [Hmm.. maybe one day I’ll talk about school. It’s much better this term for those I’ve voiced my opinions to and haven’t yet had a chance to update.]

And you? What do you require to write?

on writing …

First: You’ll probably notice some small changes in the layout and the Pages for this site in the coming days and weeks. In time I’ll call more attention to them. They’re not quite ready for prime time, but that’s never before held me back from rolling out a release on my own site.

A while ago, from TeaBird, I learned that September is Short Story Month, (for many) in preparation for NaNoWriMo. I’m not sure if I’ll do NaNoWriMo this year, but I have found that writing is easier for me today (even if not much improved) than last year. Why? Practice. I’m sorry that you’ve had to sit in on all my practice sessions. Do I sound less like a dead cow*?

I know that September is now half over, and the signups are long closed, but I thought I’d bring this to your attention.

In my infinite free time (or endless insomnia) I have been trying to write a short story. For me writing is therapeutic. I wrote endlessly in elementary school, much which was “published” through a school club. Very little of it I would wish to publicly share today. Thankfully, upon sixth grade graduation, I was allowed to withdraw my “books” from circulation in the school library. I’ve toyed with reworking some of these, but I definitely need to start thinking about preservation (ooh, will by not-an-MLS-but-close degree be useful in this endeavor? ;) ). I’m not sure construction paper and rubber cement were expected to live over twenty years (they were heat laminated). After elementary school, I stopped sharing my writing beyond those journal entries I was required to share in English classes or the extra credit I tried to finagle from my teachers by writing poems of my Father and childhood (I won’t deny I milked it).

Recently, as I sat down to draft a post, I realized that I’ve been sharing my writing for several years now. My writing is just not in the format or media I expected (for a techie I can be a tad slow). The first post I show here (there were others and several website incarnations which I’ve removed) is from December of 2003. I don’t think I would exactly categorize some of these posts as writing, but it is a process of publication so I will count it as part of my journey.

So what does Short Story Writing Month mean for you? It means I am devoting a bit of my time to writing a short story. I do not know yet if I will publish or share it at all. I do know that right now it is quite personal at times so I’m not sure. Once I have 7,500 words (approximate average length for a short story) I’ll do my best to edit it and fix it up before 01 Oct. If I do decide to publish, I will release it under some form of the Creative Commons. I do think that as I edit whatever I write those skills should spill over here. In theory. ;)

Who knows, maybe I’ll skip NaNoWriMo and work on round two of the Seventy Days of Sweat Writing Challenge or any of the other trillions of writing challenges which have sprung up. I don’t know. It’s not like I don’t have a client list and school and other things asking for my attention. I also don’t know if I still have the book inside which was begging to be written in years past. Only time will tell.

* My apologies to dead cows everywhere. This refers to my mother’s comment on one of my first bassoon lessons fifteen years ago before we discovered that my horn had a hole where there shouldn’t be one. Quite a challenge, let me tell you.