Sunday, February 19, 2012

Mind Stuck

So I reached a 100 pages. Great. My brain has rolled through bubble gum that was spit on the floor and now I'm stuck, lost and confused. I feel like I'm blindly clawing my way forward and not moving very far. A bad writing day. A very bad writing day, indeed.

Saturday, February 18, 2012


Despite my ridiculous laptop, I managed to reach 100 pages today! This is monumental. I've never before written 100 pages of something coherent. It's always been a scene here and a scene there that needed long stretches of middle parts to make the scenes hang together. And I would get frustrated with the middle parts, of trying to figure out how to get from A to B.

This, my friends, is an actual story taking shape. I'm very excited, but daunted by the fact that I'm still only about halfway to the end of the story. Deadline is March 1st, which is looking more and more unrealistic. I wish I could take a week off from work to do nothing but work on the story. Wish me luck!

Current count: 100 pages (oh yeah!) and 31,675 words

The dangers of a toddler

My toddler managed to damage my one valuable material possession: my laptop. It still works, but it's hard to see what's on the monitor through the digital rainbow streaks and smudges. I'm old enough to remember how to hold a pen between my fingers to write, but still....There's nothing like scrolling backwards and forwards  to remind yourself of what you've written or see the wall you're about to hit. My penmanship has devolved to the point of chicken scratch. I suppose if I were an MFA student I could use some of those nifty student loans to buy a new laptop. <sigh>.

Saturday, February 11, 2012

How much debt for an MFA?

One of the reasons--actually, the reason--that I did not pursue an MFA was the financial toll. Granted, I would not have paid tuition, but the wages lost from not working full time would have made life impossible. If I worked part-time, I would have had to borrow close to $40,000 to close the gap for a two year program. And that's just partial living expenses! Unacceptable. Imagine if you were admitted to your dream creative writing program without any tuition remission or grant money for living expenses. You must borrow the full tuition amount and probably close to full living expenses amount because your part-time waitressing gig just isn't going to pay the bills. And after you graduate from your wonderful, enriching, craft deepening must pay it all back. How much might this amount to? For private college tuition plus living expenses, you could be looking at $130,000. That's the amount of a caller into the Dave Ramsey Show seeking his advice. $130,000 in debt and $20,000 in income. You do the math. Go to the Wednesday February 8, 2012 show and begin listening at the 18:30 mark.

Sunday, February 5, 2012


Apparently, there is an important competition of athletic prowess going on today. I didn't even realize it until this afternoon when a three year old girl at the playground informed me that she was going to watch the Super Bowl. Why is a toddler better informed than I am? Because my head is buried in my a--...manuscript. Yeah, that's it. I don't even know who's playing. The only thing I've heard about football lately is Tebow. Tebow tebows. Alec Baldwin tebowed ironically. How awesome is it that a person's name has become a VERB!

I salute the English language for its wonderful flexibility. Flexible for some. Me, I usually butcher it.

Saturday, February 4, 2012

Feeling the writing

I'm sitting in a very public coffee shop while I write--my place of escape, if you'll remember--and realize as I'm writing that I have a very stupid smile pasted on my face. I'm in the middle of penning a happy moment in the story and I feel happy as I write it. I feel what the character is feeling. The patrons don't know this and probably think I look like a doofus. I also cry when I write something sad so it's a good thing I'm not writing one of those scenes today. I spend so much time in the character's head, it's hard not to feel what is happening as I write it. I'm sure this is normal. I remember Fantasia Barrino's fantastic rendition of Summertime and how she really FELT the song to the point of tears. It's good to get involved in what I"m writing, but on the other hand, it means mood swings.

Counting down

Where did the time go?! My first draft deadline is March 1st and I'm not even half-way finished. What was I thinking? There are only three more Saturdays to write, which amounts to roughly nine hours of writing time. Panic will now ensue....

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

When can you call yourself a writer?

Great post from John Scalzi on when you can consider yourself a writer. The answer: right now! We're all writers, but few are good writers and even fewer make it to the professional paid level. Keep writing and maybe we'll make it to all three levels!