Category Archives: NaNoWriMo

Sloth leads to theft.

Okay, heres the deal. I stole the text below from my totally awesome sister. We agreed to do some writing exercizes in preparation for nano and post the results on our blogs. And, well, she summarizes the whole thing just fine:

NaNoWriMo 2008 is fast approaching. Have you signed up yet? In preparation, my TAS and I have agreed to do some writing exercises together in the month of October. We both have the very excellent book of writing excercises The 3am Epiphany, so each Monday in October I will choose by random number generator a number that corresponds to the number of an excercise in the book. We’ll spend the week writing it and post the results of our efforts on our respective blogs the following Friday.

Want to play along? Get yourself a copy of The 3am Epiphany* and let me know if you want to join in by leaving a comment here by Sunday 10/5. And spread the word, will ya? If there’s enough interest, I’ll do an email list and/or Mr. Linky thing to get everybody writing and reading and practicing for our Olympic event–novelling. Sound like fun?

*Don’t have it? Don’t want to fork over the cash? I totally understand. Check your local library. Also, you could always take note of the number and head over to Borders or B&N and take a peek at the exercise for that week.

So if you want to play along, go hop on over, drop my name, and sign up with her.

So in the words of Odd Todd

“Okay, bye”


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A Deep Breath

My hiatus is nearing an end. I am not yet quite ready to write real postings yet, but I do feel a need to return to the blogging community as a contributor again. So I find myself thinking for ideas, being open again, and trying to devise a structure or topical form in which to focus my efforts.

Nanowrimo is coming, and since I wish to somehow be some sort of writer or Author (of fantasy, naturally), and since I am in the prep stages of Nano, many of my future postings here will be writing-related, such as exercizes, criticism, issues, and so forth.

All of you who made such nice and encouraging and even flattering comments on my last post: thank you. It gave me a reason to want to come back. And I hope you will want to continue to come round, even though I may have ceased to be interesting!

I think I shall be posting with increasing regularity in the next few weeks.

In Which I Indulge in some Introspection

I’ve been scarce, far too scarce, these past few weeks. My blogiversary (May 8) has long come and gone, and I never noticed. In truth, I cannot remember why I started blogging, and I am not sure if I want to continue. This blog has diverted from its original direction and now wanders aimlessly, like a confused squirrel in search of a nut. “Is there any purpose in searching for this nut?” the squirrel wonders. “What kind of nut am I looking for anyway? If I want an acorn I should probably go this way….but, the hazelnuts are over there, and oh, does it matter anyway? Oh dear, my tail is just too fluffy!”

I’ve not been on the computer much, except to pay the bills. Instead, I’ve just been plodding along my path of life, engrossed in minor and not-so-minor things, that seemed, at the time, to be so much more interesting than blogging.

  • I had a really bad bout of insomnia. I’ve been chronically insomniac since my early teens, but a few weeks ago, it was particulary devasting. The exhaustion was overwhelming. So I went to a walk-in (I do not have my own General Practioner) and aquired a two-week dose of Ambien. The Ambien worked well, and I am sleeping more soundly now, even after I have emptied my bottle. I still find myself waking in the night, but at least the frequency and intensity of my wakings are less severe. I am greatful for that, but can see that I will have to get a GP eventually, to address the insomnia more rigorously.
  • I had my cable company install a Digital Video Recording (DVR) service, which is kinda like Tivo. So I’ve been spending much of my free time setting up my recordings and watching them. Some of the shows I am recording are: Robot Chicken, The Daily Show, South Park, Jeopardy, What Not to Wear, You are What You Eat, and science and society documentaries such as on BBC, TLC, and Science Channel.
  • Shopping. I’ve bought tires, clothes, food, and other necessities.
  • And finally, the vast majority of my mental energy has been consumed in writing. Not blogs, but Fiction. A few weeks ago, I finished a short story titled “The Song of Ulamae” and have been deep in the development and writing of other stories and novels. I have a file full of finished dreck, and another full of unfinished stories in various states of completion and goodness. “Ulamae” is the first story that I have finished that I consider to be any good. It is a dark fantasy/horror, and once I finish the revisions, I might be submitting it to the short story market (if any of you would like to read it and give me constructive criticism, drop me a line in the comments box). Now, I am writing another short story (a sword-and-sorcery), am in the plotting stages of an epic fantasy novel, and in the character-development stages of a literary novel I am slating for writing during NaNoWriMo in November.

I don’t know how often I will be blogging or be doing much reading of my favorite blogs. I still do read the pages in my sidebar, just not as often as I feel I should be, and feel guilty for becoming a lurker, for no longer commenting. Sometimes, with all the writing I am doing, even commenting seems like too much effort. Hopefully, once I settle into a groove, and a groove that works and is genuinely rewarding and productive, I will be around and more visible more often.

And if you are still hanging around and reading this blog, then I thank you for being so kind and patient.

And hopefully, my tail will stop twitching and fluffing and I can find that elusive nut.

Self-doubt

I am going through some existential angst right now. I am questioning everything I thought I knew, for a series of events has occurred to make me doubt the direction I have taken my creative life. First; my sister sent me a link to NanNoWriMo, an online writing group/competition, which reminded me of a long-held desire to write fantasy, and of the several epic novels I had been writing. I had put that all aside when I decided that my interests and energies were too widely dispersed; that I should focus my time on visual art. Now I realize that I have missed writing, and I wonder if I made the wrong decision, since other events now cause me to feel that perhaps I am not meant to be visual artist.

Normally, I would have just stuck to the plan, dismissing those concerns as mere nostalgia. But the next event made my concerns more real. I had been working the last few weeks on potential entries to a local juried art competition. I figured it would be a good thing to do, in terms of furthering my art career, and in jump-starting my flagging motivation. This past Sunday was the entry deadline. I ended up not entering anything at all. For one, I decided it was too expensive; a $30 dollar entry fee for the first piece, followed by an additional $10 for each piece thereafter. I didn’t know what pieces I wanted to enter. I don’t have the money to frame prints and drawings, so I dismissed those. I have very little confidence in the few paintings I have ready to show. I feel like my paintings are boring, substandard images (even though I actually like them), and that its not worth the money to invest in them.

I know that is just a projection of my insecurities about myself. I know that I am not the right person to be judging my work–that my works and my creative efforts deserve the privilege of being seen and judged by my peers, for whom my efforts are ultimately meant (Art is meant for the world, not for the artist alone). But I don’t feel I can absorb the financial (and emotional) cost of a rejection.

Deciding not to enter the show, even for financial concerns (for it really is out of my budget), made me wonder if I am truly motivated to pursue a career in the visual arts. And I have been long aware that I feel no overwhelming desire to pursue this direction in my artmaking. I’m not sure that I have any real passion for painting or drawing. My passion lies in the design and manufacture of jewelry. Maybe it is a waste of creative energy to pursue activities that distract from what I actually desire to do. I don’t want to label myself a painter when that is not my goal. Besides, I don’t think I am a good painter. There are so many painters that are so much better me! Although I like many of the pieces I’ve made, I have to say that I am not sure that I love them, or that other people could ever love them either.

The other event that caused all this self-doubt is this comment I wrote for Valerie’s “Literary Vixen” entry, in which she lamented her lack of passion and direction, and to which I reply that enjoyment, discipline, and determination are all that is required. I asserted that passion is just the reward for work accomplished, not the cause. Now I wonder if I am right, or if I am only deluding myself as well as Valerie. Is it passion that makes work worth doing? If so, then everything I’ve been doing for the last few years is meaningless. Is the passion I felt while designing and making jewelry the result of the work I completed or a was it a passion for the work itself? I honestly can’t remember. I’m am not certain that there is even a distinction between the two: is passion passion regardless from whence it comes?

This I do know: jewelry is in my blood, metal is part of my soul. I cannot give it up, and that was never my intention. But I do not have the tools or the resources to nurture that calling, so I must keep it closed up in a box inside me, as a gift I could retrieve and open up if and when I am able, once more. But the need to create is strong within me, and I try to feed that need with what I can. I do enjoy everything I do. I enjoy painting. I enjoy drawing and photoshopping. And I enjoy writing, too. I miss writing, because I haven’t done it for a long time (its one reason why I started blogging). But I’m not excited about any of it. I’m not motivated about any of it. I do it only because I feel a NEED to create.

I suppose I am searching for that passion I once felt when working with metal. I fear I’ll never find it with anything else, and I fear I’ll never be able to work with metal again. And that makes me resent all the other projects that seem somehow to keep me from returning to my heart’s desire. And then I feel guilty for not appreciating the worth of those other ideas, for as children of my spirit, they are all worthy of my attention. They all deserve a shot at existence. But perhaps I blame the wrong thing. Perhaps my lack of motivation, desire, and passion has less to do with my longing for jewelry, and more to do with the depression arising from unrelated personal issues (which I am not willing to discuss here).

Regardless, at this point in time, I have no idea what to do, or how to achieve a life or sense of self that makes all I want to do worth doing.

PS: I have cross-posted this entry into my other blog, because it fits there too.