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Month: February 2007

Writers rule.

Writers rule.

My writers group is so frigging cool.

Okay, both writers groups. ;) (I still consider you FM folks 'mine' even though I don't show up much anymore. But you're too awesome to let go of.)

Every other Wednesday I drive an hour to meet with three other writers in a coffee house and lovingly trash each other's work. I come home exhilerated, wanting to produce more. I look forward to it for the two weeks in between.

I've got The Novel to deal with, (now thoroughly demon-infested — the posse has adopted the Too Close to Home demon, and the Personal Transparency demon,) but I've set it aside in favor of getting a couple of other things finished. My self-esteem has suffered a lot over The Novel (it has a working title but I'm not totally comfortable with it yet) so I figured working on a short story where I'll get to write “The End” some time soon would be good for me. So my most recent submissions to the group have been two short stories — both of which remain incomplete (of course.)

“Most people can start a short story or a novel. If you're a writer, you can finish them. Finish enough of them, and you may be good enough to be publishable. Good luck.” – Neil Gaiman

Well, that explains a few things, doesn't it.

But the good news is that at least the second one seems to be working. My first drafts are clearly much, much better than they used to be — what a relief that is, to know that there's progress! My first drafts are looking the way my third drafts used to look. That feels good.

And working with such great people and great writers feels so good. It's really a bit miraculous — one of us started a Meetup group and the four of us showed up. We decided pretty quickly that we are a matched (or very complementarily mismatched) set and — in the 'if it ain't broke' spirit — shut down the Meetup group in favor of closing membership.

And they're gonna work the conference with me. Because they're just that awesome.

It feels good to be writing again. It feels good to be thinking about the conference.

It will feel really good to write “The End” on something soon.

More to come.



Duck alignment, take 2

Duck alignment, take 2

So now it's time to do some spring cleaning, take out the metaphorical trash, and simplify. You know how it is when you go through a major change — it's hard to know where to focus, and sometimes too much energy gets put into things with zero return while other things fall through the cracks. And then there are consequences. Personal, financial, professional — it's all stuff that needs attention in appropriate amounts.

My friend Patrick pointed me to Getting Things Done by David Allen as the system that changed his life. It arrived today (in another Amazon book binge that also included The Glimmer Train Guide to Writing Fiction – Building Blocks, and A Bottomless Grave and Other Victorian Tales of Terror.) I'm only a chapter in and so far it makes perfect sense. Patrick also pointed me to Remember the Milk, a great (free!) tool which is proving very handy.

So. Ducks are still largely misaligned, and I have a couple of pressing deadlines now: End of March is when I need to have my income stabilized, and then the writers conference is coming up in June. I was |this| close to backing out but everyone in my writers group wants to volunteer, so I can't very well not do it, now, can I. :)

I'm working on a short story that has been languishing for some time; I was stuck again for a week but last night I kicked out a two page treatment that at least describes how to get from where it's at to the end. I'm hopeful. And then maybe I'll return to the novel. Or maybe not. It's still a Fiction Demon, for sure; but I figure as long as I'm working toward getting something finished I shouldn't beat myself up about it too much.

Happy thoughts to you and yours…