2.45. 38 Days (Camp NaNoWriMo Journey)

2 and a half hours in and I am at a road block.

I came up with the idea for my current piece on August 29, 2011. 38 days after my father passed away.

Now, here I am, 21 days from the two year anniversary of my fathers death and I am incorporating the father figure into the project. There is a phone call. A voicemail. A dropping of a phone. Panic. Screaming and a collapse in a hallway. Crying. So much crying.

I chose to use my memories of those moments to describe the call the main character gets concerning her father…

And this where I am stuck. Because, although I’d like to think I’m healing, thinking about those moments makes me relive them. And it makes me want to cry. And I want to scream and claw at my assistant manager and beg her to bring my father back all over again. I want to ask a guy I would normally ignore (my old DM) to please tell me it was a lie.

I am there. Avoiding their eyes…those looks of pity. I am there. Calling home, desperately. Hearing my sisters voice break. Hearing her say those words. I am there. Calling my fathers cell in hopes he will answer one last time. That he will call me “babe.”

I am there. Unmounting my tv so I could pawn it to fly home. Feeling hopeless and stranded. I am there…flooded with support of distant friends who flocked to me to help me fly. Looking at my son and feeling like he lost out. He will never have a memory of my father. His grandfather. He will never call him by some cute nickname. He will never hear an I love you from him.

I am there. Drowning in wine because I wanted to be numb so fucking badly. And yet, the alcohol did nothing. I am there, getting a tattoo for my papa bear. Grasping at anything that would bring me back. Bring what we had back.

I am there…in that driveway. When the floodgates opened and I couldn’t walk into my sisters house. Sitting on the back patio. Making my way inside and down that hall. And getting stuck. Not able to face it. The empty room that smelled of my father. Locking myself in that room and breaking down completely like I never have before. Dying.

I am there. Every second replays and I am cold.

I am here. considering re-outlining this part of the story and omitting the father. The father I molded from my own. Because I wanted to immortalize him. Because I wanted people to love this character just half as much as I loved my father. So the world could know his spirit through these words.

I am stuck. Because I NEED to write this. Because I always said I wanted to be a writer but my father never got to see me start. Because I waited too long. Because I have to heal. As much as here is painful in these moments…there…there is something that kills me.

I need my father.

2.44. A Night With The Muse

Have to be up at 6am to get ready for work. Reading in bed (How To Talk To A Widower by Jonathan Tropper) and I decided sleep just wasn’t for me tonight. Coffee brewing…here goes…

12:27am – Started this post. Smoking a cigarette and listening to Placebo – Running Up That Hill (GREAT SONG!!!!)

1:04am – Have to butcher, massacre, annihilate, slaughter, vaporize 68 pages of raw material, paragraphs, dialogue, ideas I have stored for almost 3 years in order to be ready for Camp NaNoWriMo in 8 days. Replaying Placebos Running Up That Hill because the song fits the mood of the piece so well thus far. Even quoted a few of the lyrics. Don’t know how that works but I think if the character is relating to them in a tense moment…I should include them. Sometimes music is the strongest dialogue for a situation. It will just have to work for right now. Back to it.

1:43am – Listening to Toxic by Cheesa. Just deleted (still saved in another file in case I regret that choice) 1,111 words. Recorded 458 new words to be used.  Don’t know how I feel about the new piece but would rather record it now than wait til the 1st (some rules must be bent if I’m going to get this thing done). Not feeling awesome about where Earth came from but it will just have to work for the moment until I can think of something better. Refuse to get stuck on a tiny detail. Have a bad habit of doing that and not finishing pieces so I’m just going to continue and worry about that during editing. Hope that’s the right decision. Radioactive by Imagine Dragons

1:52am – Oh shit…I need more coffee!!! Open Heart Surgery (Epic Love Song!!!)

2:12am – Did I mention I work a 10 hour shift today…this may not have been a smart decision but it does feel great to be writing right now. Johnny Cash – God Is Gonna Cut You Down 

2:14am – Angel Massive Attack

2:27am – Listening to Antichrist Superstar – Marilyn Manson. STILL love this entire Album. Dried Up, Tied and Dead To The World So far I have gotten past 97% of my road blocks pertaining to this piece. I am pretty sickly excited about it. On my second huge cup of coffee and sipping water between. I should probably eat at some point but don’t feel like moving from the computer. I know that I should leave all of the new material for the 1st but the whole point of me participating in Camp this year is to make this novel happen. If I say, “nope gotta wait” I’m standing in my own way again and I really refuse to do that. So screw it, I’m going to write and keep pushing myself and if the muse comes to me every damn day before Camp starts and every day after…I’m gonna write. Guilt free.

2:32am – Word Count of Deleted Material – 2,297 Words. Word Count of Kept/New Material – 2,851

2:55am – Eating Corn Chips…feeling a little tired but still going. Work in 4 hours – CAN’T SLEEP NOW! Mind as well make the most of my time.

3:07am – I am not an accomplished writer. I work 40 hours a week at a job. It is not my passion. It pays my bills. A huge part of my soul fights the day to day grind I live. My soul refuses to believe I was born to do this. To have a job and go through each day just living to work. Working to live. No passion behind it all. And I ask myself…what is the difference between me and someone accomplished. The thriving artist and the artist who touches the dream? My opinion…the time we spend on the craft. If I can spend 40 hours a week doing something I don’t love to pay my bills…why am I not spending 40 hours a week doing something I DO LOVE to make my dreams come true?

3:40am – Just got complicated and I don’t know if I fixed the jumble/overlap/contradiction/too many damn characters involved/whatever the hell just happened for things to make sense. In my outline, I wanted two characters to be responsible for something but in my original notes, I wanted two others to be responsible so I had to adjust and…like I said…don’t know if I did it successfully or if I just made a confusing hot mess but it’s almost 4am and I don’t feel like making my brain hurt or to discourage myself so I’m just going to say tis good for now and keep going…think I need more coffee…damn I should probably have slept…did I mention I have to work a 10 hour shift today. This day may just suck hardcore.

4:47am – Wish I didn’t have to go to work today. Not because I’m tired. Because I’d love to spend the next 10 hours writing.

4:59am – 3,216 deleted thus far in edits. Damn that’s major.

5:02am – Just got a text from one of my favorite people. Slacking and talking on the phone.

5:36am – Still on the phone…looks like the writing is over for the night.

6:14am – Getting ready for work. What a great night.

2.42. NaNoWriMo Is Almost Here

Camp NaNoWriMo is on its way and I’m determined to start and complete the challenge this summer. Last summer was a complete bust and I stopped before I really got started…though I don’t think my heart was ever really in that project. This year, I have made myself a few promises…all of which I intend to keep.

  1. Outline this project until I just can’t outline anymore.
  2. Brainstorm until it hurts.
  3. Write down all thoughts, big and small, that may come to mind during prep.
  4. Treat June like a pre-game.
  5. Read like a madwoman.
  6. Submerge myself in the writing community to the best of my ability.
  7. Read more blogs geared toward writers.
  8. Meet participants of NaNoWriMo
  9. Use this blog to write about the journey.
  10. Be honest about the journey.
  11. Start the damn project.
  12. Finish the damn project.
  13. Enjoy the ride.
  14. NO EDITING.

With that being said, if you read this and plan on participating, have a blog about writing, know a blog about writing, love a blog about writing…I ask that you comment and share a link to said blog. Leave your twitter/fb page/social media outlet so I may follow a fellow writer.

Many Thanks.

2.39. The Dying Writer

To say I have writers block is an understatement. Considering participating in JunoWriMo and Camp NaNoWriMo and my brain is mush. STUCK on the piece I finished for last years session…should I rewrite it? Should I start something new? Should I work on the one I didn’t complete? Are any of them good ideas? Why do they all somehow find the same lingering piece…too many branches off of one seed. Questioning if there is a point. If I will ever write something worth…something. Playing music, reading, sitting in silence…hoping for a muse. And finding nothing. No inspiration. Nothing that sparks a fire in my fingers to get out…anything.

This paragraph was a damn struggle.

1.176 – The Average Life

It feels like forever since I’ve sat down and written a word. But life has a way of getting in the way. So here’s the rundown of this girls life in bullet points…since I’m too lazy to do paragraphs. Apparently, those take more effort than I’m willing to put in right about now.

  • My new job is a lot of physical work so I’m still trying to get used to that.
  • I just had a meeting today with some very important people who are doing an investigation concerning money that has gone missing. Needless to say, I’m not a thief and I’ve made that very clear. I don’t think they feel like I am a threat so I’m feeling less worried than I was before the meeting.
  • I only got about 20K in words for my June CampNaNoWriMo novel. Yeah, life got in the way. I will probably attempt another novel in August. We shall see.
  • Being able to pay my bills and fill my kitchen with enough food to last two weeks is an amazing feeling.
  • Having a falling out with family members is not something new to me. But this time around, I’ve had a new reaction. I can sit here and sulk and wonder why the hell things like this happen. But I’m not going to. I know who loves me and I know who cares and I know that at the end of the day, it’s not about how much family I’ve got but how I’m going to be family to my son. Staying focused and letting go of excess baggage.
  • In the same notion, I have also realized that people can smile to your face and chirp about how they want to be friends but if they never make the effort to reach out – they aren’t friends. Period. I don’t have the time, desire, or energy to chase bonds that were not meant to be. So I say goodbye and keep it moving. Not my loss.
  • I’ve been having odd dreams lately. Had a whole love story with some guy named Max. I don’t know a Max. Never have. Had a dream I bought 22 gallons of whole milk and had a meltdown trying to figure out how to fit it all into my refrigerator before it spoiled. Just odd.
  • My son is still freaking awesome!
  • Realized I have to work on my book review blog because I haven’t touched it in quite some time despite the fact that I am putting forth a huge effort to read every day. It’s on my to-do list.

So yeah, that’s life right now. It’s not that interesting…but it’s mine.

1.170 – #WordMongering Or Camp NaNoWriMo Day 2

Time to hit the page.

7:54pm – Haven’t done any writing today. About to do some wordmongering (some term I just learned about via Twitter) on the hour. Watching the end of Beauty and The Beast with my son, on a full belly of home made tacos. Got a desk today from a friend so my computer is no longer sitting on the floor. Yay for that. So…apparently, for the #wordmongering thing – you write from the hour to the half and then record your word count. Anything to help the creativity flow. I’ll update at the half and let you know what I think of the process.

8:37pm – Okay, #wordmongering is epic! Got 1409 words in 30 minutes. Great to hear people cheer you on after a rush. This might just be my way to go. I’m definitely supporting this.

8:58pm – Ready for the next round of wordmongering.

9:31pm – Holy Crap! 1608 words in that #wordmongering session. I’m a believer for sure. If you are doing any sort of writing challenge, do it in this fashion. It’s totally giving me room to just get these ideas out and develop them as I slam the words. Loving it.

9:58pm – I think this might be my last round for the night. Starting to get a headache.

10:32pm – 1272 on my last run. I think I’m done for the night.

Shout out to @JaseR75, @MonicaMarieV, @DanniM86, @GirlWriter, and  @Kymele for being supportive fellow writers, great tweeps and kickass cheerleaders!

1.169 – NaNo Day 1 Continued

Technically, still on day one of CampNaNoWriMo. Yes, I’m going to actually fill this blog with a whole useless series of my NaNo journey. At some point, if I have the courage, I will share some excerpts and research that I’ve come across through the process. But for right now – I’ve come to a few conclusions.

  1. Staying up all night before an expected ten hour shift is a BAD idea.
  2. I should learn to read slower.
  3. Never tell another writer your candid idea – what they will do is give their two cents on what you should do despite the fact that they themselves admit that they can’t handle writing 1700 words a day. They will also walk around and tell anyone and everyone who will listen about your idea and how their suggestion is fucking awesome.
  4. Never expect your friends to act like they care at all about your work. The fake smiles and half-hearted questions don’t show interest when they come off as obligation.
  5. Don’t assume everyone you talk to is your friend, even if they swear up and down that they want to be.
  6. Ordering pizza is awesome.
  7. Pepsi doesn’t taste as good as it used to.
  8. I’m scared that I’m spending my “prime” trying to get out of a shitty ordeal and by the time I get away from all of this baggage…no one will like anything about me. Not that anyone does now.
  9. I have really low self esteem.
  10. I’m tired of hoping.
  11. MY MAIN CHARACTER STILL DOESN’T HAVE A NAME!
  12. People will agree to anything you say on a topic they know nothing about because they would rather have your opinion than their own.
  13. People don’t care about art anymore. I am beginning to think they never did. 
  14. God hates me and the feeling is still mutual. I just happen to be writing a book about him.

End of day 1 word count – 4429

Follow me on twitter for more useless updates – @CerebralOMG

1.167 – A Career vs. A Dream

Camp NaNoWrimo starts in a little over a day.

I’ll be the first to say that I’m taking on a pretty ambitious project. Not only is the topic and style outside of my realm of comfort but the timing really couldn’t be worse. Between transitioning jobs, taking care of my two year old, and actively working to nullify my marital status…yeah, my schedule and brain capacity are beyond occupied.

BUT

I feel like I need this. To focus my energy toward something positive. To focus on my passion and allow myself time in my day to hone my craft. To do something, this one thing, for myself without guilt.

I’m sure I will be ripping my hair out in less than a week. But I refuse to quit. Just as I finished NaNoWriMo in November 2011, I am confident that I have the ability to complete this challenge. The bigger question is whether or not I have the passion to do it. Knowing you can do something is a far cry from wanting to go the extra mile.

I am starting this journey with a different viewpoint from the last challenge. I actually sat down the other day and asked myself if I should continue writing or put away the pen and focus on something tangible. Now, I know I just said I wasn’t going to quit and I want to work on my craft. A sentence later, I’m saying I have considered throwing in the towel.

I’m a double sided coin with two feelings about this challenge. I feel like a contestant on some cooking show. I’m doing this because I feel like I need to test if this is for me anymore. If this is what fills me with passion. The only way to know is to jump into the pool and decide whether I have the natural instinct to swim or sink with no struggle.

So here’s hoping at the end of June…I will reach one of two conclusions and stick with it.

  1. Accept defeat, let go of the dream and start a career.
  2. Take the ignited fire and run with the dream until I reach paradise.

Here’s to figuring things out.

1.163 – Unfair Game

This week is a busy one. Between my son getting hospitalized, deciding to do Camp NaNoWriMo, and leaving my job in four days…I’m tired. But, life goes on and so shall I. My son is doing a million times better. I’ve made my choice for my June novel and I think I’m starting my new job on Sunday. On that last one…I’m actually not sure when my first day is, which can be a little bit scary. Here’s hoping I’m working this time next week.

Now that my son is better, my main focus is on this upcoming project. It’s really all I can think about. This is definitely what I needed. I was excited about Novembers NaNoWriMo but this one feels different. Do I think this is my big break? No. But I feel a sense of pride in knowing that I am not second guessing whether or not I should do this. I am excited to create more new material to work with rather than staying in the safe zone of hovering over a piece I don’t even have the courage to edit. I’m thrilled to be trying something new.

On a side note: I had an interaction with a guy today in which I was in my safe zone because he was being a pretty big smart ass. (This was not a prospect in any way: I’m in no position to be dating and though I don’t enjoy the thought of being alone, I know dating some random is not going to fill the voids I have). Yes, he was attractive in a bad-boy sort of way. I could handle the smart ass, it makes me feel at home. But then he did something I didn’t see coming. He acted nice.

I know. I’m an asshole. I get freaked out when a guy is nice to me. It does one of two things to me, actually. A) I think he’s mocking me somehow so I feel stupid and I shut down or B) I turn up the notch on the bitch factor so that I don’t enjoy anything I am convinced I will eventually lose.

I went with B. I was a royal bitch/smart ass to the max. He hung well with it for the time we carried conversation but when he said bye, the tone changed. Like he was disappointed or something. Like, he didn’t want it to end like that. But it did. And now we will never see each other again. And I feel terribly guilty. Not because I think something could have blah blah blah. But because I intentionally came off like a untouchable to someone who was trying to get to know me, even for a moment. I didn’t do it because he wasn’t my type. I didn’t do it because his humor annoyed me. I did it because…I’m so fucking scared…I don’t want anyone to get close.

I totally went through the predator/prey complex today. I was the predator. I won. But I think I lost.