willowmeg: Round drawing of flowers, J.F. Ingalls embroidery catalogue, 1886. (blooms)
Having trouble writing? Why not try...writing! About writing!

Currently I'm at a bit of a block in my project. The story overall has surpassed 47,000 words, but I can't seem to properly move forward with ending chapter 13. What is it with 13? It's given me fits at every turn. Previous chapters have come out in 10 days, 2 weeks, 3 at most...I'm nearing 5 weeks, now, on this one. It seems that I'm just uncomfortable with writing a situation in which my 2 main characters don't communicate like they should. The relationship I've built between them is based on a deep trust, which isn't entirely firm yet (they both have misgivings about opening up to the other, and value secrecy far too highly) - but part of me wants to just smack them down, here, and say "you idiots, just tell each other what's happening!" and of course this would completely negate the conflict I need to set up for the plot. YES I KNOW that miscommunication or lack of communication is NOT an ideal plot point. But when the "bad guy" is perpetrating a plot based on psychological manipulation, and creating an emotional divide between the "home team" in order to destroy them from within...well, without the miscommunication, where would that plot even go? sigh.

Anyway, last night I had a bolt of inspiration and wrote parts of THREE different scenes for chapter 14 - the idea being that if I just write that stuff, then filling in the missing bit before it should become easier. And in one afternoon/evening, I managed over 1300 words there. So I was feeling a good momentum...but sleeping has apparently reset that to zero. :P


About things that are NOT (directly) writing... A few days ago I sent off a package to England, containing a set of three Dark Ripples paperbacks (in a brand-spanking-new 6x9" formatting) and a hand-painted watercolor card. I hadn't painted in over a year - usually I try to break out the paints once springtime brings good sun in the afternoons, but this year that just didn't happen for some reason.

Watercolor greeting card, 4x6"

I really, really like how that painting turned out. Every year, I think "oh god, it's been so long since I've done this, I'll have to re-learn everything, it's going to look horrible" - and every year I surprise myself. This one was no exception. It makes me want to blow a few more afternoons in the near future on painting...but I really need to start focusing more of my time on crochet. I promised myself I would make an afghan for my brother H (since I made one for A a couple years ago), and bring it on my visit in October. And I'm only 6 rows in at the moment, so I need to get cracking. I actually just ordered 7 colors of yarn yesterday, in hopes that 4 or 5 of them would work in the project - it's difficult, because I'm trying to match solid colors to the weird muted rainbow tones in the variegated yarn I'm already using. It'll be an awesome effect, if I can manage it. But it'll likely drive me crazy. (What was I thinking, starting a pattern that breaks and changes yarn at the end of every row!!)

I also need to bite the bullet and order the faker-quilt fabric I've been considering for A+A's baby. Basically it's 1 yard of fabric that the company prints with 48 patterns according to my layout - then I just have to add batting and backing and sew in the quilting lines. Quilting for idiots who can't be bothered with piecing. :) The sewing machine still inspires fear in my heart, but I CAN do it and I SHOULD do it - Mom saw the pattern I was laying out and she's in love with it. (Ahh, that baby is due in about a month!) I'm also considering blowing an extra $29 on a yard of chiffon printed with 4 strips of pattern - to be sewn into 2 sheer infinity scarves. Supposedly this is a very easy and fulfilling project, and would create a nice thing for me and a nice gift for someone else, too.

I notice I'm becoming more and more infatuated with online ordering...recently I picked up a nifty swatch gauge (in hopes that having a tool will make me more willing to actually swatch) and an adorable miniature drop spindle. Then I had to order $30 in interesting fibers, to use with the spindle. Because SURELY all of that was necessary. I also recently made an impulse purchase for G's birthday...I gifted it to him early, but at least I know he loves it. (Heavy glass lens on a chunky silver chain, looks black when worn, held to the light it shows the rainbow frequency pattern of the full solar spectrum.)

...I can't think of any other topics to cover right now, so hopefully I've emptied my head out enough to put my mind back on the task at hand. WRITE DAMN YOU.
willowmeg: Amber skull in front of round, moonlike drawing of flowers, in front of a purple starry sky. (Default)
Well, here I am - one of the hundreds upon hundreds who took one look at the new-and-disimproved Russian terms of service on LJ, went "eugh!" and immediately packed their bags. I brought all my old stuff over...less for the benefit of anyone else seeing it, than for my own future nostalgia; I figure someday, I'll go back and read all the ridiculous blather I wrote over the years and be amused.

My LJ blog had long since devolved to a place I checked once a week, on the offhand chance that my friend J had posted something for me to read. I hadn't even realized, until I did this import, that I haven't written an actual post since 2015. And honestly, since most of my social life is on Tumblr I doubt I'll ever have an audience for any new ramblings I might write here. But that's fine. The whole point of this journal blog wasn't to appeal to some outside audience, was it? If it ever was, it probably shouldn't have been.

(So, in case you HAVE come here for current journalling, uh, say hi I guess? and I'll try to make at least some effort to be interesting in future, if I know you exist. But until that time, prepare for random, overpersonal babble.)

Things that have happened lately...

* My aunt (Dad's only sister, 14 years younger than him) died unexpectedly a few weeks ago. "Natural Causes" = nobody has any idea why. It's been difficult for my parents - Dad has had to take 2 trips up to Maine to help deal with her things, and attempt to wrangle her hopeless, demented wreck of an alcoholic husband. Everyone had always presumed that Rich would die first, since he's got major health problems; as morbid as it is, we're all sort of convinced that Rich won't actually last all that long on his own. I'm not feeling too terrible about the idea, he's a really awful person. But...yeah. it just kinda sucks in general.

* My best friend is about to get married. 6 weeks! My husband and I will be the only ones in attendance besides the 2 immediate families. I feel very honored. Right now I'm trying to find a dress to wear, and lamenting the fact that I'm horribly overweight at the moment - my mom bought me a dress, but it turned out awful (what do you expect from mail-order) and so I have to return it. Stress. I think I found a skirt and pretty top that could work, so we'll see.

* We're going to Florida to see my family for a week, just a few days before C's wedding. In fact we'll fly back home & arrive at almost midnight on Sunday night, (I'll take a day off on Monday because only an idiot wouldn't do that after getting home at 1 AM), I'll work three days and then we'll drive down to the Smoky Mountains on Friday morning. A couple nights in a private cabin, complete with full kitchen and hot tub, and a ceremony overlooking the valley - should be nice. I'm a little worried about bugs, and the fact that all of the cabins are 15+ minutes apart from each other, but I'm sure it'll all work out.

* My baby brother is going to be a dad!!! He sent me the first sonogram the other day, eeeeee. I'm very happy for him - of everyone in my family (and, heck, in my husband's family), he and his wife are the most perfectly suited to be parents. Seriously, that kid is gonna have it made! It's why we had to schedule the trip when we did - I wanted to be sure and have an opportunity to see my sister-in-law while she's pregnant, and then we'll go down again in early October when my niece or nephew is about a month+ old. Should be good. (I should probably note that my middle brother H is also a great guy, and is basically already a parent, since he lives with his girlfriend and her two young children - he's better at it than I would have expected, but then he's always been the caretaker type. However, their living situation is not fantastic, and their relationship is mmmm shall we say not the healthiest? so I stand by my vote for A/A as the most suited.)

* It wouldn't be a journal update without at least a little self-involved prattling about my writing, would it? Current status: on a slight lull (slight = two days without writing omg!) but overall it's going well. I'm at about 26,000 words, on chapter 8 of a story that will have 23 at maximum (but may have less). It's #4 (and probably final) in the magical realism AU, and it's a bear because I'm having to write a totally different plotline for Sherlock S4. UGH. I'm still very sad that what they gave us was so horrible - I was expecting my life to be difficult, with the twists they'd probably introduce to canon, but this?? *sigh* Anyway, I'm doing the best I can. I like where I'm getting to go with the plot, now that I'm free of canon compliance...but it does make it complicated, and I miss the fun of weaving my own events into what was onscreen. Slow but steady, I suppose.

* Weird dreams this morning - one in which I realized I was in a magically-operated car with nobody in the driver's seat (my Dad was sleeping on the passenger side), and the car had at some point gotten itself turned around (hit a detour or something, but automatically kept homing in on its goal without reorienting?) so that when I looked out the windshield we were doing 60 mph in *reverse* along with the traffic on a busy highway in the middle of the night. So I was basically looking straight into the headlights of the people following us. I had to convince the car to stop as people in front of (behind) us started to create a road block to stop us; we ended up hidden in a residential neighborhood, and I had to figure out where we were so I could take over and drive (forwards!) the rest of the way. ...Then, I had another dream in which I got out of a parked car but lost my orientation and couldn't find the building I meant to go into, and when I did get inside I found I had to walk through a posh designer boutique or cocktail club (?) with no top on. WTF. Clearly there's a theme of muddle-headedness and lack of control. Which is odd, because I don't necessarily see those themes in my life right now...at least no more than usual...
willowmeg: Amber skull in front of round, moonlike drawing of flowers, in front of a purple starry sky. (Default)
I'm just going to train-of-thought here, and spew a bunch of stuff...who knows what will make sense and what won't...

So, I haven't done a real, honest-to-god journal entry in a good long while. I guess that's a side effect of the writing thing...yeah, that's still going strong. Right now I'm four-fifths of the way through writing the second book in my magical realism trilogy. (It currently stands at about 56,000 words, and I have perhaps 3 or 4 chapters left to get through. The 1st book was only 28,000 words.) It's going well...or, at least, it was going well until the last few days, and sometime between finishing chapter 18 and starting chapter 19 I began to hit a wall. Right now I'm still having bits of good ideas, but they're all for various parts in the timeline of the 3rd story, which I haven't gotten to yet - and it's hard to keep them all in good order, and organized so I know I can string them together down the road. What I'd really *like* to do is keep the momentum on the part of the story where I'm currently meant to be, but it seems that some part of my subconscious is starting to see the finish line ahead and balk at it. "I don't want to be done?" Not exactly. More like "the part I'm worried about is the climactic bit and the ending, and that's getting closer, and I don't want to have to deal with it yet."

Anyway. I had a whole bunch of other babbling here, all related to the plot and my issues with juggling various details and arcs...boring for anyone who isn't intimately familiar with my story. I cut it out. TL;DR: the Big-ness of the major emotional plot point I'm approaching (the point at which G's reconciliation with his estranged wife gets really happy and optimistic, and he bites the bullet and reveals his secret to her FINALLY - and she seems to take it well - but then less than a week later it's revealed that she's gone back to her lover and everything falls apart) is going to be so Big and Tough to write that I'm just mentally shying away from getting closer to it on a subconscious level. Bleah.

What else is on my mind?

Um, well, my Grandma might be dying soon. Greg and I got to see her, and sort of say goodbye, when we visited my family in Florida at the end of September. It was a good trip, but having her laid up in a hospital bed in her room down the hall the whole time we were there was a bit of a pall on an otherwise pleasant holiday. Still, it's bound to happen; there's no massive medical emergency to be worked up over; it's just a matter of keeping her comfortable and waiting...Mom and Dad are having it rough. They haven't been able to go anywhere together for months; one of them has to be in the house at all times...However, this week they've been able to get a little relief, in the form of a 4-day cruise bought for them by one of my brothers' old high school classmates. (Long story, but take it from me: it was a very, very touching gesture of appreciation for the kindness our parents had shown him.) Medicare is footing the bill for Grandma to be cared for in a nice hospice facility for the duration of their vacation; we're all just hoping she won't pass while Mom and Dad are gone. (Or, well, in talking to Mom she said she sort of hoped Grandma *would* just go during that time - there are, of course, arrangements pre-set just in case) but I think it would be better if that doesn't happen, as far as the potential for Mom's later guilt. Ugh, it's all very complicated down there. I don't really like thinking about it. As far as my own feelings on the situation, well...those are pretty mixed, too. I'm sort of feeling like I don't feel anything, which I know isn't really true. It probably won't hit me until after it happens, and we have to drive out for the funeral - that will happen up here in Ohio, so we'll see everyone again.

I think the closest I've gotten to really letting myself dip into Feelings about Grandma was last night...when an important scene's dialogue came to me for a point in the 3rd story. It's a scene where G has to visit the hospital and say goodbye to his ex-wife's grandmother, whom he loves very much, and she gives him a last bit of very important advice in regards to his special gift. This is...well, it's vaguely uncomfortable to admit that I got more emotional last night writing that than I did when I held Grandma's hand before we left my parents' house. Ugh. The guilt of a writer, huh? Extra guilt in the fact that the fictional grandmother lived to the age of 98 and remained at least 95% coherent up through very close to the end...it works as needed for the story, sigh. The real one is only 87, and in terms of coherency...well. Much, much less.

I wrote a short 1300-word erotica piece and published it this week. It's sort of an experiment - one of my friends and I were discussing the phenomenon wherein serious dramatic writing will always, always get less attention than spicy writing of any kind. Of course, I don't expect much attention from this either - it's still het, and it commits the sin (as some believe) of 2nd person POV, and it's more flirting and fantasy than action... K called it "erotic poetry" which is nice...anyway, it was an experiment. And I find it quite amusing that it has, in fact, garnered 18 kudos and 4 bookmarks within 24 hours of being published... heh.

I think I originally started this entry because I wanted to allow myself a shameless moment to whine about having a week where my betas are unavailable and uncommunicative. My local beta N is currently 8 (!) chapters behind, two of which I've gone ahead and published without waiting for her input (because I had got feedback from my other 2 betas). She hasn't read for me in about a month and a half now! I don't know what the deal is with her, she's apparently job-hunting right now...and who knows what that entails. My husband is "job hunting" too, but he still has a ton of time to do what he wants to do at home - that probably means he's doing it wrong (haha) but he does all the chores and cooking and shopping and car stuff, so I let it slide. My beta K just got back from a week of travel, and got a bad cold or something from that, so she's not communicating either except for a couple very brief emails - she's only 3 chapters behind, same as E. (I know if I were home sick, I would be doing NOTHING but reading and writing...but, as I've mentioned here, I'm an odd bird and I know it. For other people it's probably vegging in front of the TV.) As for E, she's occupied on a trip with her wife, happily researching her heart out - I do hope she finds time to quickly dip into the chapters when she gets back (this weekend?), because it's very shortly going to be the time of year when I lose her completely due to her university teaching pressures. So... *sigh* I just have to keep plugging along, and keep myself motivated...


willowmeg: Amber skull in front of round, moonlike drawing of flowers, in front of a purple starry sky. (Default)

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