Critique, Fiction, Group, Musings, Publish, Time, Writing

When the time is right

cleaningYou never know what you’ll find when you clean house. I have now made it most of the way around my “workroom.” This is where I write, do genealogy research, make jewelry, draw, and do whatever else requires a big table or a computer. Every inch of this room is occupied. Also in this room are two deep closets crammed with … well, a lot of stuff. I’ve now cleaned and organized those two closets.

I found a dozen errant beads that had rolled off my workbench and under the doors. I found the pack of mechanical pencils that I knew I’d bought but never opened. And I found a bag of a ten or so new bottles of craft paint that had been “lost” inside the bag of felt pieces. But the best find was in a box in the office supply closet. I found old computer disks.

disksOn two of the disks, I found some of my old writing files, and I’m working up the nerve to open them. Others are files from the first two online critique groups I belonged to in 2000. As soon as I saw the writers’ names, I remembered the plots of the books they were working on at the time. I did some research and found out that, of the three writers I worked most closely with in those groups, two of them have been published and the third mentors other published writers.

So, of course, I asked myself where I might be now, if I hadn’t let life get the better of me. Just as quickly, I let that go. I reminded myself that I believe all things happen for a reason. I’m where I’m supposed to be right now.

I was a different person then. I hadn’t read some of the books I needed to read. I hadn’t met some of the people I needed to know. I hadn’t experienced some of the things I needed to to enable me to write what I can write now. So I’ll let go my envy and I’ll practice patience. My time will come.

Musings, Time, Writing

The thief of time …

Procrastination is the thief of time. (gasp) Yes, I used a cliché, so take away my keyboard! Looking out a kitchen window this morning, I saw a hummingbird come to the feeder only to find it empty. I apologized. It’s been empty for two weeks. Twice I’ve made the syrup to refill it, set it aside to cool, and then forgot to fill the feeder. I do not manage my time well.

I think imagination is also a thief of time.

 Sometimes, I daydream of living in a cottage in the woods where time is defined only by darkness and light, modified by the seasons. That’s probably a daydream I shouldn’t indulge in. My mind tends to wander back there, while my body is expected to run on the artificial construct of “realworld” time. I’m always vague on what day of the week it is or, on occasion, what month. The date of an event I would swear occurred two weeks ago, I’m often astonished to discover is actually five weeks past.

 I read a lot … time is fluid. I spend far too many hours online … open 24/7 for your convenience. I write every moment I can … and there I am most easily lost. I create people and conversations and situations—my way, my world, my time. Bookworld, not realworld.

 Sometimes, I lose track of where I am … of where I am supposed to be … of which is home.

Fiction, Novel, Time, Words, Writing

Limping toward home

I fear I’m not going to make my deadline. I hoped to have my novel ready for polishing by the end of June, but it’s been slow going lately. I admire writers who can finish a novel in one-hour sessions carved out of an already full schedule. I can’t do that. I can edit in short spurts, but not write.

It’s not that I have writer’s block. It’s that my fragmented time gives me too much time to think. I think my story might not be strong enough. I think my prose is not up to par. I think I might have too much narrative, not enough narrative, too many details, not enough details, a too weak beginning, a too pat ending.

I hope none of these things are true, but I won’t know until I have time enough to really get back to work. Then I can insert all the fragments of scenes that now reside in “notes”, flesh them out, and see how close I come to reaching the goal of the final 15,000 words needed. Surely, I’ll be finished soon. May the Muse be with me.

Fiction, Inspiration, Musings, Reflections, Time, Writing

I believe in yesterday

No, I’m not going to wax eloquent on the time-space continuum, or time travel, or eternity, or any other concept of time as defined by physics, philosophy, or religion. I’m viewing time strictly from an egocentric point of view. My time.

The trilogy of time—what was, what is, what shall be. Yesterday—I’m told the past is dead, forget the past, don’t dwell in the past. Today—I’m told to live for today, live in the moment, live as if there is no tomorrow. Tomorrow—I’m admonished to plan ahead, to be forward thinking, to project into the future.

Of these three, I vote for yesterday. I’m not ashamed to admit that I love the past. I exist today … and I can only think about the future … ahhh, but the past is certain. I was there. To forget your past is to forget yourself. I’m the sum total of all the days of my life. I’m the end result of my ancestors. Even more, if you can hear it, I’m the present incarnation of an eternal being.

Now, I’m fairly techo savvy, I have a working knowledge of current politics and world affairs, and lord help me, I’ve even heard of Brangelina, but the past?

That’s where the stories are.

Fiction, Novel, Time, Writing

World Enough and Time

I confess to being a poor time manager. When I started writing “full-time” eight months ago, I was in the midst of jewelry making and genealogy research … oh yes, and redecorating one of my bathrooms. All those projects are exactly where I left them. But here’s the thing: progress on my novel is now at a pace the Slowskis would love. I blame society.

I’m a hermit by nature. I’m self-taught in all my skills, not because I think I know more than anyone else, but because self-teaching allows me to avoid interaction with scary humans. I’ve long held the belief that, if needed, I could learn brain surgery from a book—and from YouTube?—no problem.

I have a sister who knows half the population of Indiana—and meets with them once a week, for all I know. She goes here, there, and everywhere, doing this, that, and the other. A recitation of her schedule makes me want to hibernate for a year or two. In fact, I might need a nap just writing that. One of my best friends (hey, Mary) started as a pen pal (remember letter writing?) and now, twenty years later, we email. We’ve never met.

So, what inner demon directed me to join a writers’ group? As it turns out, writers are scary humans too. They expect me to talk. Out loud. And they expect me to make sense while talking. I’m ill-suited for the task. I can’t even hold a decent phone conversation … from my own home … sitting in my comfy little chair … while dressed in my fat clothes.

Okay, so it’s good practice for when I’m published and have to do interviews, and book signings, and sit on Oprah’s couch (did I mention, hermits fantasize a lot?) But, what about my novel? Jalal and Meredith are getting impatient … and poor Renee hasn’t had a chance to open her mouth yet.

Time, time, time …