Monday, January 30, 2017

Make Art

Only one day left of the first month of the year!  That went quickly.  It was helped along by several very nice weather days.  Now we have snow and pretty stuff, but also colder than it was.  Not horrible, but still unpleasant whenever the door to my office opens, and the cold from the unheated part of the house rushes in.  My cats don't quite understand 'close the door behind you!' so I'm stuck with getting up constantly and either shoving it closed or opening it again.  Hey, it's exercise.  I should probably have about six more cats so that I had to do it more often.

On the other hand ... no, not such a good idea.  I've had that many house cats (and more) before.  I'll stick with my three and our small but entirely useless dog. 

I've had one bout of illness, which I am just recovering from now.  It's been a rough day, but I think I can get back to working again.  I also need to pull back from the political world.  The daily anxiety of 'what has gone wrong now' is not helping me.  It's not helping anyone, but I fear we are stuck with it.

Hold on. I meant to talk about the novels, not the real world.  Journey of a Thousand Truths is flying along, even if we don't have a pilot or a map.  I've really enjoyed the work, with only a few days where I mumbled and grumbled and couldn't get more than 1k.  The novel is now over 55k, and I still have several big adventure points coming up.  Yay!

My secondary work for the month has been a rewrite/edit of the 4th Devlin novel, Missing Persons.  Here I hit a BIG problem.  I have rewritten the start three times now, and it is still boring!  Just dull.  Nothing seems to fit together.

Or at least that's how I felt until tonight when I realized two big things -- in my haste to get to the main storyline, I'd not set things up very well.  I did a lot of 'show, don't tell' spots and didn't even realize it.  Well, that makes a difference.  I also realized I had an excellent chance to start the trouble with one group long before Devlin's Team gets to the world where the current assignment is taking them.  The story finally seems to be picking up.  Once I get past the opening, I shouldn't have so much trouble.  I will not have the novel done this month as I had hoped (not even close since I am still back at page 15), but I finally see why I thought it was boring.  Nothing was really happening.  I recited events and did not let my characters live them. This is never the better choice when you have such great characters to work with as Devlin, Cha, and Dancer.  I needed to turn them loose.

Now the problem is that I have two really fun stories vying for my attention.  I'm not sure that's the best answer.

Oh. That reminds me of one more big change I made.

I restarted my Writing Comes First Campaign.  For too long, I was getting up, messing around on the Internet, getting distracted, and writing later.  I always write, so there was always going to be some words, but I was not doing as well as I used to.  I decided to make sure I had my writing done before I went over to FaceBook or any other site, especially with the current climate on the Internet.  (Ah, but how long will we even have the Internet?)  I thought this change was going to be difficult.

It was not.  I don't miss scrolling through FB first thing and filling myself with the kind of useless distress that doesn't help writing.  I also learned that if I simply sit down and start writing, the words will come to me.  I am having no trouble getting 3k first thing where I was having a horrible time getting 1k some days just because of the wasted time and energy.

You are not going to find me online before 6 pm or so central time.  Probably later on many days.  I am reapplying myself to my craft, and it's working.  I am going to take more time for other forms of art as well.

We all need to find things we enjoy, no matter how much we might dislike other things in the world.  If we give in to despair and cast aside all that we enjoy, isn't that a form of defeat?

In the words of Neil Gaiman -- Go Make Art.

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