Archive for January, 2014

Needing to care…

My office is presently a disaster area. It has been this way since Thanksgiving. To prepare for my mother staying overnight to give shots to our geriatric cat while we were out of town, all the crap in the bedroom was dumped into said office. Same with all the paperwork that was piling up on the dining room table that needed to be cleared for Christmas Eve company. Since both of those occasions have come and gone these many weeks past, I am assuming the stuff I haven’t bothered to move must not be that important (I hope).

Once I start writing full bore, the neglected objects will have to be dealt with. They are in the way. The hard copy edits from Book 4 are underneath them and need to be filed. My office is also where I pay bills and prepare taxes for the accountant.

I am a horrendous housekeeper. This discrepancy in my character should have corrected itself with age. It did not. And letting my mind drift somewhere else is undoubtedly useful in allowing me to completely ignore the clutter that accumulates around me. The rug under my chair is crooked and bunched uselessly to one side. Of the 27 square feet of desk surface area in my office, there might me 1 square foot that is open.

I don’t believe in a clean desk in theory. The fact is, my desk is normally piled with piles. The difference at this point is that the piles are not useful for my work. If it were edits, to do lists, scraps of paper with chunks of story written on them, email and website references, stacks of notebooks that were carried around and written in, that would be perfectly acceptable. From where I’m sitting I see nicknacks, Christmas ornament crafts, magazines (not useful for writing) expired calendars, paycheck stubs, old bills, and junk mail.Ugh.

As I am now waking up again in the wee hours of the morning with story lines running through my head, I know it’s time to deal with reality so I can get back to work. I just need to toss on some music, pick a corner, and go to town. Once its done, I can quickly make new piles, you know, the useful ones that help me tell you a story.

Oh, gods of rock, fill my soul with song and motivate me to get off my ass and get shit done. I need to care again.

The plays in my head.

Right now, I’m struggling through getting the first four books from my series functional and out to those who will enjoy them. When it becomes overwhelming, I stop and let my brain play in the uncharted water of new writing, namely the next book in the series and the next script idea.

I understand the reason for the big picture stuff that drives the plot and sets the stage for the action and suspense. But left to its own devices, my brain likes to frolic in the micro-nuances of the the character interactions. That’s the fun part for me.

I like to zone in on those subtle gestures that are habitual, telling, reenforcing a character’s personality at any given time or place. I concentrate on the dialogue between characters, the reciprocation of affection or antipathy. I focus in on the inner monologue that can almost reveal more about upcoming actions than outright explanation sometimes can (though obviously NOT in a script).

The little scenes in my head can be both a blessing and a curse. While it’s nice to know I have an acceptable outlet for my active imagination, I’m often stymied by how observant I am of the details that present themselves for my stories, while I’m totally missing the obvious in reality due to constant distraction. How does one live in the present when their mind is somewhere else? Yoga’s just about impossible for me. It’s really hard to focus when my brain is busy watching two people in an alternate universe having sex, or fighting,  or struggling to live.

Thank God breathing is involuntary.