It seems like it has been forever and a day since I updated this blog. My life has spun into a crazy pace between writing and preparing to close on a house and moving our possessions into it. Some things cannot get done on time because it turns out that while work has an elastic quality that stretches like the stomach of a hot dog eating champion, time does not. It remains stubbornly fixed at just 24 hours a day. Nor does human energy stretch as much as I’d like.
We turned in our latest gaming supplement and we are now working on edits. I’m still working on finalizing the Micronomicon special version of Lightning Scarred. I’m hoping that I’ll have a map ready for it.
I’ve given up on the idea that I’ll be able to write a story for the Superstars anthology. This truly bothers me, but there is nothing for it but to move forward with things I must do or can do. My failure at this one has underlined for me that I need to write what I want to write and what works for a while.
I read an interesting book from the Write Stuff Story Bundle (which is still available for another few days): The 30-Day Novel and Beyond! by Stefon Mears which suggests that working up to writing a complete novel in 30 days is really something that should be prepared for. He says developing the ability to write every day, to generate ideas consistently, and to finish a fair number of words is the key to finishing a novel in 30 days . And it makes a certain amount of sense to me.
As you might guess from the title, he’s thinking about NaNoWriMo (National Novel Writing Month) as the challenge. For that he wants people to have three months training before attempting it. I’m giving myself plenty of time.
For the first month he asks readers to write at least 250 words a day of a new opening of a completely new story. The idea is to train the above qualities just as a marathon runner trains by running slower and shorter distances and then increasing them. Writing 250 words is doable for me amid everything else going on, so I’ve been doing it. It’s been a tremendous relief to write new things that appeal to me in that moment. It’s restored a certain joy in writing for me. So I’ll be continuing with his program which requires 3 months of ‘training’ before approaching writing a novel in a month.
Part of his program is to write short stories, which I’ll do when the time for that comes in the program. But they won’t be short stories designed to appeal to an anthology or the Boy Band or the Girl Band. Instead, I’m going to write what I love, what moves me, what truly speaks to me without an outside goal.
We will be back and forth between Memphis and Albuquerque for the next month. After that, we’ll settle down to longer periods in one place or another since Steve will still be teaching in Memphis. It should be an interesting and exciting life. I’m looking forward to the moving part being over and the settled part beginning.
I hope your life is exciting but not hectic. Be well, friends!
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Was the topic the problem?
From what I saw, some of the writers might have overthought it, believing they needed to be an expert on it. Real-life cooking suffers from the problem of everyone thinking it should look like a meal on Food Network. I did a SF story on a woman who can’t cook and has to compete, and a superhero story about family. Two characters having a tough discussion over a meal. Have an idea for a third one where a character starts an intergalactic incident because she eats the food offered…
It wasn’t that. The topic is fantastic. I actually had three story starts and the food part was perfect. I did a lot of research a few months ago on cooking in space for another project, so I had the knowledge plus an expert pastry chef at hand to offer help (we write together). I really thought that this project would be the cream in my coffee. But each story start turned into a much longer story.
I tried to force the stories into a shorter form and it didn’t work. I tried tightening them down, eliminating characters, reducing settings, eliminating scenes and it didn’t work. Then I started something new (hopefully shorter). Didn’t work. That story demanded more space as well. It was like battling a kraken. Slice off one tentacle and other would lift up out of the sea.
Finally I decided that what I was doing was just torturing me and the stories for no good reason when they will make beautiful science fiction romance novellas. They just need more space than 5,000 words affords. I ran out of time to poke at this one. But I will have at least one and perhaps three lovely stories about food in space that I can use elsewhere.
Another challenge this time was that we thought it would take a lot longer to find and buy a house in another state and that the home-buying process would not interfere with the writing projects. It would be low-key, we thought. It would be lazy and fun, we thought. It would be hard to find a good house so we’d just paddle through house pictures and enjoy the view. Hah!
We found something we wanted in just three days once we visited the neighborhoods. It’s been a roller coaster ride since that point doing all the paperwork, negotiations, fixes, packing our current house, all while trying to get work done on two other major writing projects (game supplements). It was just too much for my brain. I had to let this go to make room.