Wednesday’s post on Thursday should give a pretty accurate picture of how things are going this week, and I don’t even have a birthday as an excuse. Can I use first snow of the season? Snow is my favorite weather, by far but even I think October is a tiny tad early for this sort of thing. Eh, roll with the punches, I say, and if that can be a cinnamon roll, I would be eternally grateful. It will go nicely with my cup of tea here at the coffee house. I thought about getting cocoa instead, but if I’m going to have cocoa, I want to make it myself, on the stove, with actual milk, and either marshmallows or whipped cream. I probably could get something comparable at the coffee house, but I’m in a mood.
I left the mouse at home, because I didn’t want to cart anything not strictly necessary around, especially since I didn’t know, when I left the house, if I was going to make the quick trot down the block to the coffee house, or trek through the park on my way to Panera. Since I am writing this from the coffee house, I think we all know what won out on that question. My tea is at hand, piping hot, phone has appropriate music queued, and now it’s time for me to do my part. Which would be the actual writing. This post first, a chat with Critique Partner Vicki, to bring each other up to date, and moving myself closer to my goals for both Her Last First Kiss and the Beach Ball. It’s a little strange, after only a few days with my nifty keen ergonomic lap desk, which I did not bring with me to the coffee house, though it is portable, so maybe I will try that next time.
I’d had a couple of topics for this post, but discarded them early on, because they were A) boring, B) strange, or C) nothing to do with the reason I blog, which is to muddle my way through this writing process thing. With November around the corner, that means NaNo is everywhere, and, much as I’d love to join in the madness, I can’t. What I do like about it, though, besides the sense of community, is that there is a concrete way to track progress. Thing is, it’s not my way, so I need to find some other method that works for me. The only way to figure that out is to forge ahead and see what I actually end up doing. When I studied Early Childhood Education in college (which was how I figured out I did not want to work in Early Childhood Education) one of the first things to stick with me was that there are different learning styles.
Since I make up stories, tell people who kissed on TV and blabber about books to get monies, it is not a stretch of the imagination to guess that I am not going to be using the correct educational terms here. In short, some of us learn by having somebody tell us what to do. Other learn by reading instructions. Others learn by watching somebody else do the thing. Yet others need to jump into the thick of the thing and figure out what we’re doing while we’re doing it. That’s me.
Right now, I’m looking at November with sleeves rolled back. I am looking at the draft of HLFK that I actually have to show to people. Some of my usual readers are not available, which means seeking out new ones. The extrovert part of me says “yay, new people!” The anxious part of me says “who’s going to want to read that stuff?” (Oh, hello, Hypercritical Gremlin. Back in your closet you go. Spit spot, let’s spin you about. That’s a boy…or girl…or…I’m not going to look too closely on this one. Back in the closet, thanks much, and shush, mama’s working.) and the actual process of finding said readers likely lies somewhere in the middle.
What works best for me is feedback. When I lived in the old country, I had a tight group of writer friends, who met weekly. We knew each other’s style, talked about characters like they were family members, and there was never a meeting that I didn’t bring something to read, because that feedback, whether it was praise or constructive criticism, is like air, water and food. Give me that, and I will give oh so much back. That’s the…well, not dream. Too vague. Too misty. I don’t want a dream. I want a goal. Something I can point to and move toward, page by page, every day. Which means I’m doing my thing and figuring out exactly what that thing might be as I go. Which means opening the file, changing my seat when needed, having my supplies in order and making sure my well is full. Then I draw from it and splash it out onto the page, until I have a big, soggy draft with bits of miscellaneous assorted objects trailing from it as I offer it to my trusted guinea pi…uh, critique partners. Then comes feedback, and then the rewrite. I love the rewrite. Rewrites make me happy, but they can’t happen until I’ve actually made it all the way to The End.
Enough of that. I can babble for the rest of the afternoon, or I can hie myself back to Century Eighteen and torture Hero and Heroine. Guess which I’m going to pick.