Shenanigator's Progress Journal

Discussion in 'Progress Journals' started by Shenanigator, Sep 22, 2017.

  1. Shenanigator

    Shenanigator Not a Fucking Doormat

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    So true! It is their show.

    That's a wise way of looking at it, and of not rushing the plot. You know, I really need to trust that more often. I'm always so afraid I'll forget to put in a key point, things are probably a bit too rushed in story at times. I will try to remember your words, because trusting the characters' idea of timing is a very sane way of going about it. ;-) Thank you.
     
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  2. Shenanigator

    Shenanigator Not a Fucking Doormat

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    I have that weird, restless, gotta pace the room, "can't focus" thing I get whenever I'm hatching something. God let's hope it's something good. It could be a huge, smelly, dead ostrich egg, for all I know. Last time I had this was the week before I starting writing what was then called "The Alexei and Katherine Experimental Longform Project." I was too self-conscious to call it a novel, or even a book. It is now a novel with a proper title, and I'm in or nearing the final third of the book.

    What I'm hoping is that this hatchling is the windup to the final stretch of the book. An inkling of an idea came to me this morning, but it was fleeting and passed by quickly. It was enough to tell me that the plot resolution I've been working on needed to come a few weeks sooner in my characters' calendar than I was writing it. (The chapter headings for this novel are the location and month.) This new information felt right, and it at least solved part of the "something's off here" feeling I've had about it. @Stormburn 's words about letting the characters play out were wise and well-taken, and I'm paying more attention to my gut about it...which is my natural inclination, until I get too writerly about it in the name of "getting it done" and try to force things that should not be.

    So...I'm hoping it's that. What it could be, but I'm not ready to start hatching yet, is the next novel. The character has been living in my notebooks for about fifteen years, and she's really wanting to come out of that egg. Last thing I need is two needy, hungry baby birds vying for my attention, though, so she needs to be patient. Because I have tons of material about her in my files, including a substantial chunk of the writing, I can tell you a little bit about her:

    Her name is Tori Paladin (stage name), she's a singer, and she's trouble. The year is 1988/89, and her stage persona is a cartoon character version of a rock star, because the record label groomed her from age 17. But she really does have solid rock and roll talent, and the voice on the records is really her. She's a good songwriter, but the label hit machine insists on pairing her with "respected" male songwriters. Her male musician peers--most of them, anyway--respect her once they hang out with her and see that she really does have the goods...but their careers do best when they play the record label's game by pretending she needs them, because it means they get their songs on her albums, with the label's hit-making machinery behind them. More money and credit and fame for them, in other words. So, how supportive they will be of Tori's career dreams remains to be seen. Tori wants to be the female Steven Tyler, with the songwriting abilities of Mick and Keith and Bob Dylan, and she's rebellious. Will Tori's rebellion be for her own good, or to her own detriment? We'll have to see.

    It is not, I repeat, not, a female vs. male story (because I hate that whole women vs. men thing; it's divisive and stupid, and I think people are more alike than different). But it is an accurate representation of the way a lot of female artists were treated in the music industry at that time. Tori was actually a minor character in another book I was working on. Both books are part of a rock and roll trilogy, and each book stands alone.

    So, that's what's simmerin' on the back burner.

    But first, to use Steven Tyler's vernacular, I gotsta, gotsta finish this one. Alexei, are you ready to get back to work?

    "Shhh. I am composing."

    Well, let's hope you're 'composing' a good plot resolution there, bud...

    Thanks for reading!
     
    Last edited: Mar 5, 2018
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  3. Stormburn

    Stormburn Contributor Contributor

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    I remember an anecdote told by one of my all time favorites, Pat Benatar:
    An executive was telling her the label wanted her to be sexy. She said she was a singer. He laughed and said, "No one listens to you sing." She punched him.
    Plot development and plot resolution takes time. In my opinion, whether the writer is fronting load this time into a planning process or leaving it to be resolved in the editing process, it's still done in that 'secret brain' that's beyond our command.
    Hang in there!
     
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  4. Shenanigator

    Shenanigator Not a Fucking Doormat

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    ACCOMPLISHED:


    3/02/2018: Research, Montreal
    03/02/2018: Research, Toronto
    03/02/2018: Research, ABBA: "The Winner Takes It All" release date

    Did some editing and small revisions on the WIP over the past couple of days. I wish I could figure out what I did when I wrote the scene where Kathryn meets Alexei, because I think it's one of the better scenes in the book. It made Alpha laugh out loud, anyway. But I'm not sure what made it work, and whether whatever I did could be used to improve other scenes, or if the scene was a one trick pony. Or a lucky penny. Pick a cliche, any cliche...:) The scene itself was a bit of a cliche that worked out somehow...

    Ever had one of those weeks or months where everything you try to do is hard, even the stuff that should be ridiculously easy? Yeah, I'm in one of those...The simple task of vacuuming the guest room was crazy difficult. Mom's vacuum is an extremely heavy canister vacuum, which I'm convinced is the spawn of either the devil or something equally heinous. It has two motors, and just the part that sucks up the dirt from the carpet weighs over 15 pounds. That part is connected to a heavy hose that's longer than I am tall (seriously), and that connects to a heavy motor you drag along behind you. What the hell, Mom? (An easier to use vacuum is on the list...but first I have to finish finding the money for the inside and outside electrical panel replacements.:rolleyes:) And the guest room is tiny, with room for just two twin beds and a tiny nightstand in between, so there's no place to maneuver the beast.

    So, of course, while I was vacuuming in there I managed to trip over the canister of the damn thing. (Klutz, remember?) Good thing that bed was so handy to land on...In the process, I managed to pull a muscle in the middle of my back. Coughing is a delight now...Maybe I should've saged myself instead of the house?

    So, Adulting sucks right now...A few posts back I said something about how I had to learn to to surround myself with good people. Well, Mom died in her 70's never having learned that skill. This week I have to figure out the proper steps to deal with Mom's car, which potential buyers were showing interest in, but the idiots she entrusted to start it regularly did not follow though, so I arrived in town to find a dead car, which had been in pristine condition, that now has a flat tire and a dead key fob so I can't even open the doors. I tried to pry open the key fob with a screwdriver to replace its battery per a video I found on You Tube, and the plastic crumbled. So I need to get a new one to even proceed.

    Bitch, whine, moan, complain...[Rolls eyes] Venting here is what steels me for the next part of the battle, as they say. This is the only place I can really do that. I used to try to do that in my journal but eventually just stopped writing in it when things got too negative. There was no accountability to not edit myself. For whatever reason, posting things here keeps me honest. So, thank you, reader, for keeping me honest by letting me do that. Hopefully getting real here helps my writing...If not, well, at least it keeps me sane enough to continue to write!

    On a lighter note...Sis and I were texting yesterday, and she told me something hilarious. She's been binge watching The Sopranos and 90-year old aunt had never seen it before and has become addicted to it. Sis didn't even know she was paying attention to the TV; Sis thought she was reading. Nope. The other night when Sis was contemplating watching just one more episode or going to bed, Aunt said, in a disappointed tone, "That's it?" Sis said, "I was deciding whether to stay up and watch one more" and Aunt put her book down and said, "Let's have another one!" and they ended up staying up 'til like 2:00 A.M. watching more episodes. I love that! Coolest family matriarch ever...She'll soon be 91 and is razor-sharp.


    ETA: Strangest Identifiable Object of the Day: A toilet tank lid... in the laundry shed, behind the dryer. Because...you never know when you need an extra?
     
    Last edited: Mar 5, 2018
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  5. Shenanigator

    Shenanigator Not a Fucking Doormat

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    Thanks, @Stormburn for your sage advice, as always. You're right. Must. Not. Be. So. Impatient. :bigeek:

    I love Pat Benatar! I remember that anecdote! I think the punchee may have been Chrysalis Records' Terry Ellis. :rofl:

    She was a huge influence on me as a kid...not so much vocally, because I had no range, but she was the only female singer I listened to as a kid, and her stage personna was cool as hell. I wanted so badly to grow up to be just like her...Hell, I still do!:bigsmile: (We're also the same height, so there's that. ;-) ) And Neil Giraldo is one of my favorite guitarists, because I always loved that he wrote his solos to blend in seamlessly with the rest of the music. (His solos in "Promises in the Dark" and "Fire and Ice" are two of my faves.) They're a great team, and I highly recommend seeing them live if you haven't already.

    There's a lot of Pat B. in Tori Paladin. She's not her, but Tori grew up wanting to be like her. (There's a lot of me in Tori...but Tori is way, way cooler, and a hell of a lot better singer and lyricist. ;-) . )
     
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  6. Shenanigator

    Shenanigator Not a Fucking Doormat

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    Work continues at Mom's...In case you missed it, because it was a long-after-the-thought edit, the Strangest Identifiable Object of the Day the other day was a toilet tank lid, behind the dryer in the laundry shed. o_O

    You know...as a fan of the show Rehab Addict (a show about restoring old houses to their former glory, using vintage parts true to the home's era), I might be able to understand some of the thought behind it, if it was from the 1930's or something. Then one could sell it to a vintage plumbing supply company or something. But no. It was just your run of the mill toilet tank lid, circa 1970-something, which prompts more than a few questions. Such as...

    Just how does one find oneself with an extra toilet tank lid? (I won't even bother to ask why it was stored behind the dryer.) And, if not assembling something for a restoration, under just what kind of disastrous circumstances might one find oneself in need of a replacement toilet tank lid? Inquiring minds want to know! Or maybe the less we know about all that, the better. But hey, the thing's heavy as hell, so it hasn't gone into the trash (Trash Can and I are still working out the choreography of our twice-weekly dance to the curb), so should you find yourself in need, I gotcha covered!

    Last night I couldn't sleep, so at some crazy hour I looked into one of Mom's bedroom closets to assess what had to be done there and found yesterday's Strange Identifiable Object of the Day: an entire case of multi vitamins and calcium tablets, stored in the vintage lingerie chest. From 2012. They expired in 2015.

    I'm finding evidence of a lot of weird stuff having happened in 2012-2013... I can tell the dates because a lot of what I'm finding includes dated receipts or packing slips. She was battling her first round of leukemia then, so I can't tell if it's the result of chemo brain, or if she had some sort of mental breakdown. As an adult I've often wondered if she was undiagnosed bipolar, and a lot of the stuff I'm finding fits that theory, but..I'll never really know. She was on anti-depressants, for the first time ever in her life, for a short time right before or during the first part of her leukemia treatment, which I was really happy about, because she was pleasant and easy to get along with and seemed to be on an even keel for the first time I could ever recall. (My mother was an abusive parent, who, after the physical abuse stopped when I started physically fighting back as a teenager,continued to be, or attempted to be, emotionally abusive until she died.) Then, just as suddenly, she wasn't taking antidepressants anymore. I've always suspected she stopped taking them because she was freaked out by feeling what to anyone else would be "normal" and couldn't deal.

    After I moved to L.A., I always had her visit me instead of my visiting her, to give myself more of a home turf advantage. (Once, and only once, I had to threaten to take her to the airport and send her back home if she did not stop yelling at me in my own livingroom.) Also, there was more to do in L.A., and I found that by keeping her constantly busy, she was more likely to behave herself and less likely to snipe at me. It was "quiet" periods of sitting around that were trouble. Sis and I were roommates then, and for whatever reason--probably because Sis, being half sis, wasn't related to her--Mom behaved herself* with her. So Sis used to take her places to give me a break. Sis and I used to joke that it took a village to raise my mother.

    But now, looking around this place, finding all this weird shit...Was having Mom always come to me a selfish mistake? Or needed self-preservation? These are the things that come to mind when one finds cases of vitamins in closets at 2:30 in the morning. I'll never know the answers to any of this stuff. All I can do is try to maintain my sense of humor (because there really is a lot of sick humor in all of this), keep moving forward, and use it to fuel my writing, in whatever form that may take.

    "When you're going through Hell, keep on goin'."--Elvis

    Now I gotta go fire someone...but that's another tale, for another day. (Drinking on a job that requires power tools. 'nuff said?)

    Thank you for reading.



    *ETA: I know that if she was bipolar, "behaving herself" or not was not something in her control. That's not in any way what I'm trying to imply here. Part of the reason I don't know if she was bipolar or not is because she often seemed to be able to control her negative behaviors when strongly reminded to. I also think that when her doctor diagnosed her as needing anti-depressants, he likely would have found evidence of being bi-polar???? So I honestly don't know how much of her negative behaviors toward me were within her own control. Had she been diagnosed as being bipolar, I would be more understanding. Without that, or without any solid effort on her part to change, my understanding and compassion were in shorter supply.
     
    Last edited: Mar 9, 2018
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  7. Shenanigator

    Shenanigator Not a Fucking Doormat

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    Current word count: the same, but I did write 300 words of the next one...o_O

    Last night I wrote what may be the opening scene to the Tori Paladin novel. We'll see. As is my M.O. with a lot of things, I tried something new. If I'm not really going for it, what's the point?

    Right now I'm trying to get up the nerve to post it in the Workshop to see if the thing I tried works. Showing my fiction to other writers is incredibly...vomit inducing. I get paralyzed with stage fright over it. When I did that disastrous attempt at a creative writing class in college, I couldn't even read my stuff to the class. My non-fiction writing? No problem. These journal entries? No problem. If you don't like the way I've presented the facts in an article, fine. Don't like what I write in this journal or don't like me the writer behind them? That's OK too. My fiction, on the other hand...that's a whole 'nother thing. I have no idea why...Ask my stomachache.

    Today I worked on organizing Mom's kitchen the way it will be used when the fam is here. I anticipate lots of baking when Sis is here. After I pointed out that you can store almost any cookie dough in the freezer to bake cookies whenever you want them instead of baking the entire batch, the House Rule of "cookie dough in the freezer at all times"became a thing. (As I write this, Sis has chocolate chip pecan cookie dough in her freezer, and I have white chocolate macadamia M&M in mine.) It works with my food program, because it stops me from scarfing down cookies without thinking about it, and it's easy to save small amounts of calories here and there to spend on a few cookies later in the week. (I don't do diets, and I don't do deprivation. Fuck that!)

    The other project I've been working on is the linen closet. Back when it was my grandmother's house, she turned the linen closet into a food pantry because there wasn't much food storage space in the kitchen, and she and my mom apparently never saw a canned good they didn't like. Meanwhile, when I came here after Mom died I couldn't find any sheets! I ended up buying some because I was looking in the wrong places. When I finally found them, they required a step ladder for me to get to. o_O So, I'm returning the food pantry to its original use as a linen closet. I don't use that many canned goods...green chilies, refried beans, canned tomato products, beef stock, tuna, condiments, a few cans of soup, and an emergency jar of pasta sauce to use as a base for adding other ingredients when I'm tired are all I need room for, which all fits in the kitchen.

    ...which brings me to the Strangest Identifiable Object of the Day: a new, complete ratchet set, in the food pantry-linen closet. I'm not entirely sure how to use a ratchet set, but I'm scared to get rid of it for fear that somewhere in this house, a fastener to something very important is only removable via a ratchet thingy (Wrench? Driver? Not sure of the proper term). Until I find that fastener, the ratchet set stays!
     
    Last edited: Mar 8, 2018
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  8. Shenanigator

    Shenanigator Not a Fucking Doormat

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    Music blasting playing as I write this: "Rebel Rebel" by David Bowie, from The Best of Bowie.

    About thirty journals ago, my sis had this idea of writing whatever songs were on the radio in the margin of her journal as she wrote, and I picked up the habit, too. It's cool because you can see what songs were popular at the time, or what music we were into at the time. So, maybe I'll throw that in here now and then as well.

    While Alexei and company are percolating their ending, I'm working on the opening scene of the Tori story. (It's a novel, but I'm bad at titles so that's the working title 'til I have a real one.) It opens with....

    ..an overdose.
    The overdose was shockingly easy to write. It shouldn't be, right? Well, I've called a few ambulances in my time. Occupational hazard when you grow up around substance abuse...In my dad's case it was alcohol, combined with pills, and I was always the only one home whenever one needed to be called.
    The one time Mom was home when he needed medical assistance, she went into a panic and tried to keep me from calling 9-1-1, because when you live in a small town, as we did at that time, the fire department is a team of well-trained volunteers, many of whom you know. So depending on who's on duty that day, the fire engine and rescue squad roaring up your driveway might contain your uncle, your cousin, your coworkers, or even your boss. Being 15 years old at the time, I didn't realize or care about any of this. All I knew is that we lived fourteen minutes from the nearest hospital, and that my dad was on the floor, not breathing. My mom and I physically fought over the phone while I was trying to call 911. To get her away from me so I could make the call, I threatened to hit her over the head with it. Thank God she backed off. It was a heavy, avocado green Trimline Touchtone wall phone in our kitchen. I hated that fucking phone after that.
    When I wrote the overdose scene, I forgot there would be someone who would try to stop the phone call for the sake of image. I went back in and added it today, and that's where that part came from.

    There are a lot of memories from my childhood and its aftermath, much of which I share here, that are really, really painful. Strangely, that incident is not one of them. Was it horrible? Yep. But something really changed in me that day. It made me stronger. That day, shortly after I turned 15, was the day I became an adult.
     
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  9. Stormburn

    Stormburn Contributor Contributor

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    You have nailed the opening. I'm wanting to read more.
    Good job!
     
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  10. lonelystar

    lonelystar Member

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    Glad to hear things are progressing with your WIP. Did you decide to post in the workshop?
    It's not quite as scary as you think. I've never let anyone read anything of mine until I put my first chapter on the workshop earlier this week.
    If you don't want it public just yet you can PM it to me if you want.
     
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  11. Shenanigator

    Shenanigator Not a Fucking Doormat

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    Um...[small voice] Not yet... [slinks away in shame]

    I could lie and say I'm still refining it first, but...um...no...
     
  12. lonelystar

    lonelystar Member

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    I understand. We all have to wait until we're ready.
     
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  13. Shenanigator

    Shenanigator Not a Fucking Doormat

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    Thanks, @Stormburn . Openers--non-fiction, fiction, or journal entries here--are always the hardest thing for me to write, and that one came so easily, I almost rejected it for fear it might be a cliche or something. All righty then...As a concept, it stays!
     
  14. Shenanigator

    Shenanigator Not a Fucking Doormat

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    Current word count, Tori Story: 450-500

    Fell asleep at the desk writing this last night! Let's have Take 2 shall we?
     
    Last edited: Mar 10, 2018
  15. Shenanigator

    Shenanigator Not a Fucking Doormat

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    Current word count: 55, 946
    Current word count, Tori Story: 455

    Music as I write this entry:
    "I Love How You Love Me" The Babys
    "I Don't Love You Anymore" London Quireboys
    "Zoe Jane" Staind
    "I Hate Everything About You" Three Days Grace
    "Mouth" (Stingray Mix) Bush
    "Give Me a Love" SixxAM
    "Still in Love With You" John Waite
    "Temptation" John Waite (this mix is way too tinny; Apple Music has a much better one)
    "Learn to Hate You" James Michael
    "If You Ever Get Lonely" John Waite (From Live All Access)

    I wrote a bit more of the Tori story yesterday, and did some edits to the current WIP. The current WIP still has me a bit stymied, but Tori's rocking along. Hopefully when I don't have ten thousand things to do on the house in a short time I'll be able to sit down with the MS and figure out where the problem is and fix it.

    Last night I fell asleep at the desk, writing (typical this week), and ^^^this is the playlist I was listening to. No, I'm not depressed. I wanted to hear John Waite, and with the exception of his version of "I Love How You Love Me" a lot of the things I wanted to hear him sing are in my "I Hate Boyz Today" playlist. (Present company and singers of the songs excepted.) In my mind, John Waite will always be the lead singer of The Babys because Sis was a fan of that band when I was a kid. He has a "love it or hate it" voice, but I like that his vocals threaten to go off the rails whenever he's singing something emotional.

    Fun fact: a couple of the above John Waite tracks are from an album that was recorded at the Power Station when Jon Bon Jovi worked there as a gopher and coffee boy named Johnny Bongiovi. (I don't even think he had the title of "assistant".) John Waite, at the time, thanks to The Babys, was a rock star with a lot of airplay, so young Johnny, per professional protocol, probably had to call him "Mr. Waite." Young Johnny, who was playing clubs at the time, probably even covered a Babys song or two. Dreams come true, and life comes full circle: Bon Jovi has the #1 album this week and is a 2018 Rock and Roll Hall of Fame inductee, and now most people don't know who John Waite is.

    So, check this out...As I was writing the above paragraph about Johns Bongiovi and Waite, I was blasting SixxA.M., and a lady knocked on the door and handed me a flyer for a Baptist revival. I swear to God--my God, not theirs--I am not kidding. Later I'll black out the location info and post a pic of it in the photo gallery. The flyer has a graphic of three menacing looking black crosses and says "Experience the fire of revival!" and "Monday thru Thursday @7PM or until God says we are REVIVED!" Yeah, well, you've got a long wait, honey...

    The creepy thing is, after she left I watched to see where they were going, and the car she was riding in didn't hit every house. So they're driving around like the religious gestapo or something. I find that kind of disturbing. God I wish I was wearing black nail polish today. Why did I pick yesterday to get out of my comfort zone with pale pink? (Do I sound like a "pink" chick to you? Me neither.) And why do I have this sudden urge to burn black and purple candles? At least I'm in the requisite dark hoodie...

    Ha--I just realized my voice is still thrashed from my cold. I sound like a coke addict coming off a rough hundred years, so I probably scared the hell out of her (or into her) even without the black nail polish.

    Yes, I realize how immature all of that sounds. I used to be very tolerant of religion, and had an attitude of "live and let live, it's all good" until my mother got involved with that crazy-ass, money-taking, family-busting cult that masqueraded as a Baptist church. Now, it's like, get the fuck away from me. Spirituality, I get. Religion? Evangelism? No, thank you.

    People get really rude and aggressive about pushing it onto you, too, which didn't seem to be the case in the past. I think someone's spirituality is the most deeply personal thing about them, and therefore is no one's business but their own. So when someone is especially aggressive about asking what religion I am, or whether or not I believe in something, I pull out what I consider to be an equally rude and invasive question: "What's your favorite sexual position?" No, it is not nice. Neither is badgering someone about their most personal beliefs after they've just said they don't answer questions about their religion. End of sermon.

    As for my alleged immaturity...Outside of professional behavior and whatever level of maturity is required for normal human relationships, I think acting mature can be a bit overrated, and I'm kind of over it. I had to grow up really fast, which required years of being serious and mature long before I should have been. (I started taking care of my parents when I was six.) So I think my acting immature now and then is long overdue. [Turns up volume on Shine Down's "Second Chance".]

    It's funny how all that stuff affects a person's writing...when I started writing the current WIP, the original concept was supposed to be about this typical, straight-laced, "All American" teenager who falls for a handsome, worldly Russian immigrant composer in his early 20's, and the ensuing parental and culture clashes that result. Yeah, well...toward the beginning of Chapter 2 I realized I had no damn clue how to write a typical "All American" teenager! :) So, Kathryn got a secret.

    Hey, no parents in the storylines worked for Charles Shultz...

    Before I sign off from this entry, I have a bit of a brag...

    My morning Baryshnikoving has resulted in a small triumph: I can touch my forehead to my knee! OK, granted, while I'm doing that, he's onscreen doing a vertical split against the wall...But we take these victories as they come, with gratitude. Also, ballet arms are affecting more than my posture. This morning I noticed my hoodie looks baggy in the back, like I borrowed it from one of the guys or something. When I bought it a little over a month ago, it fit perfectly. :cheerleader::cheerleader::cheerleader:
     
    Last edited: Mar 11, 2018
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  16. Shenanigator

    Shenanigator Not a Fucking Doormat

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    Posted in Workshop, under Novels...[gulp]
     
  17. Shenanigator

    Shenanigator Not a Fucking Doormat

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    I posted the potential opening scene of the Tori Story in the Workshop under Novels... It's a little over 200 words.

    I'm tagging those of you who pop in here most regularly, as well as a couple of new-to-me readers. No obligation of course! But if you're so inclined, bring it on, guys...Do not go easy on me!!! (Now, where did I put that bullet to bite on...?)

    @Stormburn ? @Lifeline ? @Homer Potvin ? @lonelystar ? @GingerCoffee ?
     
    Last edited: Mar 11, 2018
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  18. lonelystar

    lonelystar Member

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    you must be feeling brave today.

    It's good, my critique on there.

    Mines not far below yours in the novels section if you have time.
     
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  19. Shenanigator

    Shenanigator Not a Fucking Doormat

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    Not really. Scared shitless, actually. ETA: I decided to get over myself and post it anyway. I strongly believe in walking through fear, because--and I'll just speak for myself here, not anyone else--that's what makes me grow as a person. The more scared something makes me, the more I know I need to do it, and the more rewarding it will be to get through it. That's why I post such personal stuff here in my Progress Journal. It forces me to face the scary stuff.

    Thanks for taking the time to read and critique. (Haven't read 'em just yet. That's Walking Through Fear Part 2.)

    I'll check out your stuff in my very next round of reading, in the next day or so. Thanks again!!!
     
    Last edited: Mar 12, 2018
  20. Stormburn

    Stormburn Contributor Contributor

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    My response is posted. I'm looking forward to seeing more from you.
     
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  21. Iain Aschendale

    Iain Aschendale Passing rockets to Kasei and Dao Contributor

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    Sorry, I don't read progress journals very often, (I should) but my crit is posted. Scrolling back through this, it's interesting to see how much you've written before working up to sharing a bit. I'm not that far along, but I'm doing the same thing, I want to be almost done before I get feedback.

    Wonder if that's the best way to do it though? Hmm...
     
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  22. Shenanigator

    Shenanigator Not a Fucking Doormat

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    Current Word Count: 55,944
    Current Word Count, Tori Story: 480

    ACCOMPLISHED:

    03/11/2018: Posted writing snippet in the Forum Workshop for the first time ever! (Until today, only one Writing Forum member has ever seen a chunk of my fiction writing. I have an Alpha reader who's an avid reader, not a writer. Alpha has not yet seen Tori Story.)

    So...that ^^^ was nerve-wracking. But regardless of what the resulting feedback will be, I'm glad I did.

    “You gain strength, courage and confidence by every experience in which you really stop to look fear in the face... You must do the thing you think you cannot do.” -- Eleanor Roosevelt

    OK, so Mrs. Roosevelt clearly was not talking about something as insignificant as posting some writing in the critique section of a writer's forum, but her words are my basic philosophy of life. Wanna grow as a person? Do something that scares the hell out of you. Then you're primed for the bigger, scarier stuff life hurls at you that isn't in your control.

    It's been a big weekend for resolutions to a couple of my own personal plot lines.

    First up, a year ago today, the 11th, was the date of the hijacked funeral the Vultures and Vampires held for my mother (page 6, post #130), against her wishes, and did not invite me to. A year ago today, the pieces of my shell-shocked self were kinda-sorta taped together (Page 7, Post #152), like broken ribs or something, where there's not much you can do except tape things up as best you can and wait out the healing.

    It's much better now. I feel like me again, and I'm moving forward. You Forum members have helped tremendously with that, because this is the one place where I can be really "me," unfiltered. Here, I can be my weird, most neurotic, messed-up self so I can fake being the strong, put together, and well-adjusted person people need me to be in my real life. In real life, I'm the "fixer." In my real life, I'm the one everyone else comes to to solve all their shit.

    This place--this Forum of crazy, hilarious, smart, talented, witty people--is where I come to chill and let my hair down and figure things out while my Wonder Woman bracelets are recharging. You guys know things about me that my exes, my family, and not even my closest friends know. That stuff I wrote about "Him"? Nobody knew that. Only a couple of people knew about "Him" at all, and nobody knew I loved "Him".

    Speaking of "Him"...that's another one of my personal plot lines that resolved over the weekend. I think I'm finally at peace with it. I had never really talked about "Him" before, to anyone, because walking away from him was so damn hard. It was one of those things I filed away and tried not to think about.

    Recently I finally watched his videos that I'd never watched before on YouTube, and I did all the stupid "chick things" we do to purge a guy out of our systems (the "I Hate Boyz Today" playlist and plenty of chocolate, for example). I think I'm good. I can finally think of him fondly without kicking myself for letting him go, and I can hear "One" or my favorite song (the songs he sang to me over the phone that one night) without a painful twinge. I like that I still hear his voice on "One" instead of Bono's. (His voice is better than Bono's, for starters...) It's all good.

    Now that I worked that out, maybe things will get back on track in writing Alexei again. When I figured out the best part of Alexei was all "Him" it was really hard to write. I'm good now.
     
    Last edited: Mar 13, 2018
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  23. Shenanigator

    Shenanigator Not a Fucking Doormat

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    Thanks for popping in, Iain! And thank you so much for your critique!

    LOL--I wish I could say the reason I wrote so much before finally sharing it with anyone here was strategic. Nope...Just scared to show my fiction to other writers! That's how damn long it took me to get up my nerve. One person here has seen one scene of my current novel (about Alexei, the Russian composer who defected) because I was fact checking and needed to know if I incorporated the info correctly. I entered The Blonde in the Corner in the January short story contest as a dare to myself, but the stakes weren't that high, because short stories aren't what I want to do. Sharing my long-form fiction? Major stage fright with nausea!

    So, if nerves are a factor at all, just go for it.
     
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  24. Shenanigator

    Shenanigator Not a Fucking Doormat

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    Thanks, @Stormburn ! I appreciate it!
     
  25. Shenanigator

    Shenanigator Not a Fucking Doormat

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    Current word count: On both, same as last posting.

    So, yesterday I read the critiques of the Tori story opener, sans stiff drink beforehand...

    The critiques confirmed what I suspected: If I have to ask if something works, it probably doesn't.

    I need to let that percolate for a few days weeks forever because I think what I might be trying to do in the scene is beyond my writing skill. And that pisses me off! Right now I just want to smack Tori and say, "Why are you trying to come out into the world before I know how to write you???" I am so not patient when it comes to learning new things...I'm that person who will cram 20 lessons into a week if I have to, to try to understand something.

    The story has to be from Tori's POV, because her book is the flipside to another book in a trilogy. ("Flipside" as in, here's the story of this person, and now here's backstory of this person he's connected to.)

    I originally had a different opening to the book, but I quickly abandoned it because it plodded along too slowly. In that opening, Tori comes home from a long rehab, sets her suitcase down, and starts walking through her empty mansion, going room to room, thinking back on what brought her to this place, figuratively and literally. The rest of the book is then told in flashback, and her various memories have either taken place in the various rooms, or the rooms remind her of things that happened.

    So then, I was reading some writing advice (which is always trouble;)), and of course it was that trope about throwing out your first chapter or two and jumping straight into the action...which is what I'm attempting to do. But maybe I'm just better at doing a slow burn, because I'm utterly stymied as to the mechanics of how to write this revamped opening scene. o_O

    I know what I see in my head, but I don't know how to get it into words, which sucks, because when I write non-fiction articles, description and putting people in the room are what I'm best at. "Be their eyes and ears" was drilled into me from Day One. So why can't I fucking do this? But to be fair, most of what I do in non-fiction articles is...hang on, dyslexic at the wheel here...third person omniscient I think? Definitely third person, that I'm sure of. (I never learned the proper terminology for fiction. In journalism, POV is called "the angle" and encompasses the approach as well as the "who.") But still, I feel like I should be able to fucking do this!

    ETA: When I try write fiction in third person omniscient, it reads as very flat and boring and I always end up stopping and rewriting from a different POV. I'm really not sure what makes the difference, because my non-fiction does not read that way.

    [Bangs head against desk.]
     
    Last edited: Mar 13, 2018
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