Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Do You Instagram, Friends? - #78

I've reopened an account. Come find me and follow me, so I can follow all of you and share in creativeness. Username: sg_sessoms

Here is the latest scenery-love I've discovered driving for my day job:

Find any new hang-out spots lately?

Monday, May 20, 2013

In My Absence - #64-69

This weekend we had a sleepover for my 10 year old daughter. There were five 10 year old girls. Their volume was on HIGH from the moment I picked them up at school until they fell asleep around 11 PM.  Though, my daughter enjoyed herself and that's what matters.
The girls swam, had their nails polished professionally, shopped in the mall (SMALL treats, not big spending here), and ate out for dinner.
An epic girl's night. Lots of fun.

I needed much wine the following evening to recuperate, but it was all good.

As for writing and class, I have a confession to make. I started this blog project because I was ready to draft my latest idea. The blog commitment was going to keep me disciplined and be there to document my whole process. It is 69 days into my project and I'm chucking the current WIP.

I know, I know. How could I do this now? I'm giving up. It's failure. There's no discipline in throwing in the towel.

The problem is that the more I'm learning in class - exercises that are teaching me about myself and my process that I never knew before - the more I see I've been over-planning ideas (which is a BAD thing for me) and holding myself back creatively. Which results in a frustrated muse. Which results in less than spectacular results. Which is what I've been getting lately.

So, I'm on here again to say I'm making some changes in my writing life. But I'm realizing that's what this entire project was about. To document the process. And I'm learning my process is different from what I tried to force myself into doing in the beginning. Which means I'm still on the right track.

Anyhow, if you're still around this space, know that things are changing. I look forward to seeing how this last month of change will factor into my over all journey. That's what it's really about, right?

How's your journey lately, friends?

Tuesday, May 14, 2013

All the Things - #59-63

First and foremost - I am now equipped with another* iPhone. All is right with the world again, you guys. Seriously.

*Notice I didn't write NEW? Well, it wasn't new, and at first I was really upset. I mean, we pay insurance and had a $170 deductible for a replacement phone. Why wouldn't it be new? Turns out, they use B Stock phones for all insurance replacements. B Stock phones are phones that customers have tried out but didn't like, or phone lines that were opened and quickly disconnected, and the like-new phones were returned. Yeah. Fun. Only, not. But it works, and is not water-logged!

Class is going super well. I want to tell you guys EVERYTHING that I'm learning, but well, I can't. That would be illegal, y'all. It's a paid class, and it's well worth it.
What I can do though is lead you elsewhere - to see a published author gush about the class I'm taking and how much she learned from it! Go read about Holly Lisle's class offerings from published YA author, Susan Dennard.

My writing is faltering and I don't think it's just the middle this time. Yes, I'm only nearing 20k words, but I was trying this new fast drafting technique and nearing 20k is right at the end of the Second Act (so to speak) for the fast 'outline' style first draft. Yet, I'm not enjoying the scenes and I know that means my readers won't enjoy them either. So, I'm digging into my class deeper this week. I'm on to something in this week's lesson, and I want to see if it pans out in relation to my drafting process.

The new job is divine. Driving (and most importantly - BRAINSTORMING) for money was the perfect placeholder/day-job for me. Of course, I spend most of the drive ogling the landscape and the dreamy wide-open fields and the country white two story houses with wrap around porches topped with painted-green tin roofs. It's all I can do to not pull over and play hooky in the wheat grass, y'all. I'll pull over and take some pictures for the blog on the next drive. It'll be a good excuse to get lost on the side of the road.

How is everything your way, friends? Don't forget to check out Susan Dennard's post I linked above. Great advice on writing workshops!

Thursday, May 9, 2013

My iPhone Drowned - #58

Without getting into the particulars of how my phone landed in water (because I'm too mad at myself and I'll pull all my hair out), just know my iPhone is currently sitting in an air tight dish with the moisture-sucking company of rice and silica gel.

Keep your fingers crossed for me, friends. Please.

Yeah, yeah, I know this is a #firstworldproblem and all, and I really do understand there are more important things going on. But right now, this is important for me because my new job is an on-call basis during my first month. My daughter is going on her first long field trip tomorrow. And I took my car into the shop today (so the mechanic had a hard time getting in touch with me) and I had to use my fiancé's old car for my courier job. Let's just say it's an 'Old Car' for a reason - the reason being why he got a 'New To Him Car' last year. It's been a doozy of a day, y'all.

So, I've got my fingers, toes, arms, and legs crossed that the rice and silica tango will resuscitate my iPhone. I'd be much obliged if you sent a little positive vibes through the universe for me. I love you all.


(and not sad or headachy or furious with myself. Not at ALL)


Wednesday, May 8, 2013

If It's Good for Neil Gaiman... - #56-57

Twitter has been the best tool for staying connected, at least for me as a writer. 

I found this new Tumblr account: YA Publishing FAQ. And within the latest posts was an entry from Neil Gaiman. He's answering a question posed about author's publishing times and what they owe their audience, if they do, but he's also talking process and how it differs for everyone. It resonated with me, so I wanted to share it with you:

The excerpt below was originally posted at Neil Gailman's Journal online.

"Some writers need a while to charge their batteries, and then write their books very rapidly. Some writers write a page or so every day, rain or shine. Some writers run out of steam, and need to do whatever it is they happen to do until they're ready to write again. Sometimes writers haven't quite got the next book in a series ready in their heads, but they have something else all ready instead, so they write the thing that's ready to go, prompting cries of outrage from people who want to know why the author could possibly write Book X while the fans were waiting for Book Y.

I remember hearing an upset comics editor telling a roomful of other editors about a comics artist who had taken a few weeks off to paint his house. The editor pointed out, repeatedly, that for the money the artist would have been paid for those weeks' work he could easily have afforded to hire someone to paint his house, and made money too. And I thought, but did not say, “But what if he wanted to paint his house?”

I blew a deadline recently. Terminally blew it. First time in 25 years I've sighed and said, “I can't do this, and you won't get your story.” It was already late, I was under a bunch of deadline pressure, my father died, and suddenly the story, too, was dead on the page. I liked the voice it was in, but it wasn't working, and eventually, rather than drive the editors and publishers mad waiting for a story that wasn't going to come, I gave up on it and apologised, worried that I could no longer write fiction.

I turned my attention to the next deadline waiting – a script. It flowed easily and delightfully, was the most fun I've had writing anything in ages, all the characters did exactly what I had hoped they would do, and the story was better than I had dared to hope.

Sometimes it happens like that. You don't choose what will work. You simply do the best you can each time. And you try to do what you can to increase the likelihood that good art will be created.

And sometimes, and it's as true of authors as it is of readers, you have a life. People in your world get sick or die. You fall in love, or out of love. You move house. Your aunt comes to stay. You agreed to give a talk half-way around the world five years ago, and suddenly you realise that that talk is due now. Your last book comes out and the critics vociferously hated it and now you simply don't feel like writing another. Your cat learns to levitate and the matter must be properly documented and investigated. There are deer in the apple orchard. A thunderstorm fries your hard disk and fries the backup drive as well...

And life is a good thing for a writer. It's where we get our raw material, for a start. We quite like to stop and watch it."

So, there you go, friends. If it's good for Neil Gaiman, it's good for me. Life happens. We can't always hold ourselves to deadlines and expectations. This specifically struck a chord with me because I'm getting to a point in my WIP that isn't exciting to talk about on the blog without giving away the story. Plus, I'm not sure if I should talk about it - instead of sharing story on here, I need to create story in Scrivener. 

That said, I'm suspending the daily word count and all things WIP related. If I want to chat about it, fine, if not I won't feel pressure (created solely from myself when I started this 365 day project) to post about the WIP. 

What I will definitely do, no matter what, is give updates on overall goals reached. For example: when the draft is done. When I'm revising it. When I draft a query.

During the rest of the 365 day project, I'll blog about the rest of the writing process - even the non-writing related variety. 

Here's to living life, you guys! Hope you're having a wonderful day.

Monday, May 6, 2013

Inspiration - #52-55

All things can inspire creative types.

Lately, I've found a little story mojo here:

@Samantha Sessoms
Open fields. Trees. Railroad tracks (that you can't see well in this pic, sorry.)

This track at Maggie Stiefvater's Tumbler account. She gives us the opportunity to listen to the original music she composed for The Raven Boys. It's haunting and adventurous and epic and lovely. 

Oh, and this upcoming film:

And this one:

Then there is the simple time of day that always beckons me - the Golden Hour:
@Samantha Sessoms

This hour speaks to my soul, and whispers about all the lifetimes of adventure hiding in the long shadows, glowing warmth, and ebb of the fading day.

Word Count: 619

What inspirational juice has your creativity been sipping lately?

Thursday, May 2, 2013

Getting Back in the Zone - #51

Class is awesome.
The weather is playing my favorite spring time breeze.
And I'm inspired by my story again.

But, I don't want to talk about me today.

I want to know what inspires you guys?
I hope you are inspired lately :-)

Word Count: 293

Happy Writing!

Wednesday, May 1, 2013

A Look Back - #50

It's the 50th day of my 365 day project. Time has sped up on me!

I jumped back into writing and classwork today. It was a little rusty at first. Procrastination tried to dig its claws into me something fierce, but I shrugged it off after a big cup of coffee and got to work.

After getting a scene sketched out (remember, I'm trying a new first draft method with this MS. If you're new to the blog you can read about here), I glanced back at the monthly goals I set for myself around day #20. One in particular caught my eye: complete the first draft and revise by the end of May.

I don't think that will happen. There's a chance since I still have a month to do it in, but I don't want to slop something together. I've been working hard on not rushing through this MS and focusing on creating a process that works for me so I can create a stable career in the writing field.

That said, if it happens and the Word Gods are shining down on me, I'll keep working hard to keep the other goals on track. If not, there will be no beating up on myself. The past three weeks rattled my plans, but I'm back now and I'll finish this one way or the other!

On that note, I've also decided that I will not be doing word counts on the weekends anymore unless I want to set aside time to write on those days. The past two days of relaxing between my old job and jumping back into my writing schedule have taught me that recharging and taking a day off - treating writing like a job - is actually good for my creative-brain. So, I'm going to see how it goes taking the weekends off.

I'll still be posting though. Sharing links, inspiration, and asking you guys to contribute.

Word Count: 237

Happy writing!