janradder: (Default)
I've started sending out queries to agents.
janradder: (charlie brown)
I have been working on this piece of crap proposal for weeks now and it only gets crappier the more work I do. I want to scream. Fortunately for everyone in the coffee shop, I won't. Instead I'll go back to beating my head against this utter piece of excrement I'm working on.

Finished

Jul. 29th, 2009 04:39 pm
janradder: (Default)
I just finished the last draft of Immature Loser Punk pending feedback. Now to take a shower and relax.

(And I guess make dinner)

Writing

Jun. 12th, 2009 02:40 pm
janradder: (Default)
Today, with both boys spending the day at Éiden's preschool, I was able to get to the coffee shop again and put in a full day of work. It's been strange this week, since I only had two days of writing due to the end of Arie's school year and my migraine on Monday. Starting next week, I'm back to just three days a week (one of them being a full day), which is better than nothing at all, but I've been spoiled these past few months having Éiden in school five days a week.

As to the pace of the writing, it's going well. I've got half the book up to the fifth draft, and I'm currently working on the fourth draft for the second half. I have no idea when i'll be finished, though I think it may be some time early in July (at least, I hope that's when it's finished). I'm thinking, though, that when I've completed the fifth draft, I'll be basically done (unless it's absolutely horrid, and then I really don't know what I'll do), which is kind of exciting.
janradder: (Default)
After a nice little run where the writing came easy, I'm back to slowly plodding along again. I have to say, though, I don't feel as frustrated as I did the last time the writing was this slow. Last week, I finished the third draft of Part II and, after reading it, I've now gone back to rework it some more. For the most part, I'm really happy with the work I did and I think when I get to those sections the writing will be easier, but there's a few parts that are just kind of clunky and it's those parts that I'm working on now. I feel like most of the stump is out of the ground but there are a few stubborn roots that refuse to budge, or at least need some more coaxing before they'll finally give and I can pull the whole thing out. In a way, I guess, it's kind of fun, like working on a puzzle or a tangled knot that I'm really close to unravelling. Still, I'll be glad when I'm done with those parts. Of course, then I'll have to start again on Parts III and IV.
janradder: (Default)
Just about two weeks ago, I started work on the third draft of Immature Loser Punk. It's been an odd two weeks, at least in terms of the speed at which I've worked and how difficult a lot of the writing has been. The first draft I really just breezed through. I'd sit down and just write. There were a few rough patches where I sat in front of the keyboard and had trouble getting the words out but, for the most part, it was pretty smooth sailing. The second draft was essentially cleaning up the mess of the first draft. It was hard work, at times, but still, like the first draft, I seemed to kind of plow right through. Working on this third draft, that's definitely not the case.

For the past two weeks, I've been stuck on the same forty pages. A lot of the time I just sit and stare at the pages in front of me, pen in hand, not sure what I should write or what tack I should take. Sometimes I feel like I'm trying to dig a stump out of my backyard as I search for the right words. It's been a struggle. At the same time, I feel like this has been a really successful revision, so far, even though I'm only forty pages into it. A lot of the work I've done has been important -- I've been adding pieces to the narrative that are essential to my story but that I'd never included in either of the first two drafts. But it hasn't been easy.

Maybe this is all just normal, though. I've never undertaken writing anything even close to this length before and on top of that, I hadn't done any serious writing in about ten years (or more) so quite a bit of this has been a learning (and relearning) process. I feel like I'm on the right course and that if I keep at it, I'll be happy with the results. But I really hope I finally get things right on this draft because, right now, it's definitely kicking my ass.
janradder: (Default)
1. The roads around here are seriously fucking dangerous. I've now started to go into spins on three separate turns and a straightaway when traveling at speeds well below what you'd consider safe. And, in about twelve hours, I've now seen three pretty bad accidents because of the ice.

2. Do the white baristas at Anodyne realize how offensive it is to play an hour of gangsta rap where practically every other word is either nigger, ho or bitch and half of the songs are about shooting someone in the head while the other half are about prowling for pussy? Did I mention that Anodyne is often frequented by preschool-age kids?

3. I'm really looking forward to tomorrow when the high is supposed to reach into the (positive) 20's. Someone in the paper the other day mentioned that you never realize how warm freezing can be until you go through one of these cold snaps.

4. Working on the third draft of my book is slow and, at times, is really kicking my ass, but I think it's going well and I'm getting some good work done.

5. When I was driving Éiden home from school today, I saw a cop car pulled over next to another car on the side of the road in my neighborhood. At first I thought it was either an arrest or a routine traffic stop. Then I realized that the cop car's hood was open and he was helping a couple of guys jump start their car which made me smile. I don't think I've ever seen a cop stop to give a jump.

Yuck.

Jan. 5th, 2009 07:42 pm
janradder: (Default)
Just before Christmas, Betsy's Back Porch Coffee, the coffee shop where I write closed. I noticed it on my way to drop Éiden off at school. On Wednesday, the lights were on and customers sat at the tables. On Friday, it was dark and empty. A letter was taped to the inside of the front door telling whoever cared to read it that the shop was closed after seven years of operation because sales had dropped by fifty percent over the past year.

I hadn't been writing there in a couple of weeks because the demands of Christmas preparations had taken over my schedule. Today, I got back to writing but in a new coffee shop -- Anodyne. It's okay but very busy, and the tables are crammed tightly together so that it is difficult to get in and out from your chair. It's also not as close as the other one. Still, it's better than the Starbucks I could have gone to or the Caribou Coffee I went to and quickly left because the only table with an outlet anywhere near was directly under the speaker which pumped out horribly drab music at a rather loud volume.

In time, I suppose I'll get used to the new place. They play decent music but not too loudly, and most of the people there seem to either be working or, if they're talking, keep their voices at a polite level. I do miss my old coffee shop, though. The barista knew what I drank and would happily pull down a mug for me when she saw me enter the store. And I'd gotten used to seeing all the regulars come in and out at their usual times. it felt comfortable and familiar. Oh well.
janradder: (watt)
Holding it in my hand makes it seem so much more  real than seeing it on a screen or holding in a memory stick.

 Back in April I started writing this thing.  Before that I'd started it a few times only ever writing a few pages and then abandoning it.  Before that, years before, in fact, I'd been writing it in my head while showering, walking the dog, riding my bike, washing the dishes, watching the kids.  I kept seeing scenes and memories of my past and feeling like I should write about them but I was always too scared.  What if I started and it turned out I had absolutely nothing to say?  In April I kind of had this break through (well, actually it was more of a break down) where I realized that if I didn't start writing it (or start writing something) I probably never would and I'd always regret it.

At first the writing was a little difficult.  I could sit and write for maybe an hour or two, at the most.  If I tried to write the next day I just couldn't so I'd give myself a couple days off and then write again.  I slowly moved along like that until I could write more  in one sitting than before and eventually I could write in consecutive days.  It felt like getting back into shape after not having exercised for fourteen years.

I'm really amazed at how quickly the writing finally came.  I really enjoyed writing this first draft.  There were days when all I could do was smile because I was actually writing again and I looked forward to getting the kids in bed so that I could sit down and get to it again.

I have never written anything even remotely this long before.  At times I'm just kind of flabbergasted that I even did it at all.  When the kid behind the counter handed my my two boxes filled with paper and words I couldn't help smiling as I took them and walked out to my car where I opened a box  and pulled out a ream of paper filled with my words.  I have a lot of work in front of me in terms of revisions but for right now I'm just so incredibly happy.  A little over three months ago I sat on my bed crying because I thought I'd never write or paint or make music again.  Now I'm sitting with the first draft of my book.
janradder: (watt)
I've just finished my first draft of Immature Loser Punk.  It clocks in at 416 pp. and 142,856 words.  I need to start paring it down and revising it but right now, I'm going outside to smoke a celebratory cigar!
janradder: (watt)
Earlier in the week I'd told [livejournal.com profile] haddayr that I needed a break from the kids this weekend.  She had been gone for five days as WisCon and then when she returned, she had the stomach flu so I really wasn't able to get a breather after.  This Thursday we'll be driving down, first to drop her off at Sycamore Hill in North Carolina, and then the boys and i will continue on for about an hour and a half to Aiken, SC to visit my dad and half-sister for a week, which means that I'll again be on my own for childcare.  So I really needed a breather which I got today.

I headed out from home with the intention of writing for a while and then seeing a movie and then maybe visiting a record store or something.  When Arie heard that I was leaving for the day, his face fell and he came up to me and said he'd miss me today, which is unusual for him as, normally, he is quite the Mama's boy (Éiden, on the other hand, I know misses me when I leave).  So, when Arie gave me the hug and told me that it sort of took me aback.  I gave him a hug, delighting in the display of affection he was showing, then said goodbye and left for my day alone.

I wound up at a coffee house and got to work, looking in the paper first to see what time my movie started.  I wrote for a couple hours and saw I still had another hour before I had to leave and kept going.  An hour later, I was still working on a scene so I decided to skip the movie and maybe check out a record store later.  Several hours later, approaching dinnertime, I saw I was not going anywhere else so I finished up what I was working on and packed up .  Final writing tally, six hours, 9,500 words, 29 pages (which has brought me up past the 100K mark in words and past the 300 page mark).  Heading home I felt great about my work.

As good as I felt about my writing, though, it really wasn't the best part of the day.  The best part?  Pulling up in front of the house to see two boys still dressed in their Superman pajamas from the morning, racing from the door to greet me with big bouncy smiles, hugs, and excited stories about their day.
janradder: (watt)
I passed the 200 page mark of my manuscript tonight (a little over 70,000 words).  And I'm feeling pretty stoked about it.  I've been spending the past couple of days writing about Psychos in Love, the movie I worked on when I was fifteen.  In writing this I am finding myself amazed at how much time can really change as you get older.  I'm thinking back to these sections of my youth that seemed to take so long when they were happening and I'm realizing, in writing them, that they only lasted a month or two and I have to stop and think about that to make sure I'm right because even my memory of the events seem like they lasted longer than that.  My grandparents tell me that time moves even faster for them.  I seriously can't imagine that.
janradder: (aquaman)
I got some really good writing done tonight that I've been looking forward to for awhile.  I wrote about hearing Black Flag for the first time (it was the Nervous Breakdown EP) and how amazing it sounded and how dangerous and how it quite literally changed my life when I heard it and I actually think I captured that feeling which, itself, feels really good.  I wrote some other scenes too that went well but I think I really nailed that Black Flag scene which makes me pretty damn happy.
janradder: (Default)
I wrote 1500 words tonight which, although it wasn't a huge tally, more importantly brought me past the 100 page mark on my manuscript (over 34,000 words total).  That is by far the most I have ever written for one piece of work.  I'm kind of surprised and also thrilled since about a month ago I wasn't sure if I even had 50 pages in me and a month and a half ago I didn't even think I would write at all.  I'm pretty happy with myself tonight even though I have a ways to go before I'm done with this book.  
janradder: (Default)
Just finished up with a little over four thousand words for tonight which is very nice considering how much trouble I'd had getting started and how I thought I'd be lucky to get about 400 words.
janradder: (Default)
After feeling incredibly frustrated with what I was writing last Friday, I've gotten back on track and wrote over 3,000 words tonight.  I feel really great about it too.  I'm really happy with the direction I'm going in now and feel re-energized about my project.  Tomorrow I finally get to start writing the part I've really been itching to do.
janradder: (Default)
I'm feeling really very frustrated right now with what I'm writing.  I've been working on my punk memoir for maybe a couple of weeks now and I'm still essentially writing the back story.  I have yet to get into what I really want to write about which is fine.  That's how I've always worked -- I usually write more than I need and then get rid of the excess.  At this point, I really don't know how much of what I've written I'll actually keep.  That's not so much the problem.

The problem I'm having is that I'm stuck in this one section and I really don't know how much of this part of my life I want to include and how much is really necessary and I'm just having a hell of a time getting it down, anyway.  I feel like I keep coming up against these walls.  I start and stutter,  start and stutter, and just can't seem to get into a roll.  Part of me wants to just jump ahead into the section that I really want to write and another part thinks I should keep slogging along with what I'm doing now.  If I jump ahead, I really don't know how I'll come back to what I've left undone because I don't work very well writing non-sequentially.  If I keep slogging through, I'll be frustrated but at the same time, mentally I've been working out different later sections, so it might help those later sections.

Maybe that's part of the problem -- that I'm just not thinking enough about what I'm writing right now.  Perhaps if I stopped what I'm working on at present and set down a rough outline -- maybe even a list of what I want to write about -- it'll help me navigate through this section without so many stops and starts.

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