Ugh. I've been down with the DeathCold* for about a week. Finally starting to feel like a human being again, as opposed to a massive hulking CoughSniffleSneezeMonster, as of this morning.
I have a million things on my to-do list,** because I've been slacking (read: sleeping and/or sitting on the couch watching Buffy marathons and sipping mass quantities of chamomile tea) for the past several days. Finally got back to the writing on Saturday; it's not really writing, per se, so much as going through the many notes I've left for myself and making sure all loose ends are tied up. These generally fall into two categories:
1.) Random things I wasn't sure about, but was either unable to research due to lack of Internet access or unwilling to research due to wanting to keep writing;
2.) Notes about specific scenes, characters, etc.; reminding myself to take a look at something that I feel falls short, doesn't add up, or that I may have dropped in later scenes.
Examples of #1 that I spent Saturday evening researching: the Dewey Decimal system, colors of granite flooring, the effect of bumpy dirt roads on vehicles. Oh, what an exciting life I lead. I also rocked out to pop-punk and sang so loud I scared the cat away, if that makes you feel any better about my Glamorous Life. In addition, I spent 40 minutes on the phone with my brother, who is currently traipsing about Alaska with AmeriCorps. So, even if my life isn't necessarily exciting, I'm related to people who are doing interesting things. That counts.
Examples of #2: When your protagonist hits her head hard enough to black out, you may want to like, put a bandage on that later or something. This pales in comparison to the moment I realized that she'd sustained a moderately debilitating injury in one scene, and then two scenes later was running around doing all kinds of stuff like she wasn't even hurt.
And when I say "it's not really writing, per se", as I did above, that doesn't necessarily mean that I didn't do a bit of rewriting on my opening. It's not right until I've rewritten it twenty times, yanno.
I would say that I'm done with the notes, except for how I'm NOT. I have this bad habit of leaving notes for myself EVERYWHERE. Comments in the document, a separate document of random notes taken while writing and another of Notes for This Particular Revision, and notes for particular scenes/chapters in yWriter. This seems disorganized, and it kind of is, but trust me: I have a system. It may be a pain in the neck, but it's a system.
So I'm going to finish attending to those notes and the six million other things I have to do, and then what? Well, I'm going to take a breather from the manuscript for at least a few days. This cold threw me off schedule, so I think I might enforce this breather by working on something completely different: a short story set in the Grim Light world. No particular ideas yet, so maybe I'll just take some dialogue and run with it. It looks like Jen is thinking of doing something similar--great minds and all that.
Also, because serendipity is serendipitous, an old friend came along recently and asked for some editing help with an essay she's submitting with her Master's applications. So I'll be working on that, as well, and flexing the ol' editing muscles as well as the academic-paper muscles. I think the latter are located somewhere near the gluteus maximus.
And more fun! I just decided to join Twitter pals and fellow writers Dan Faust (@danfaust), Elizabeth Ditty (@ditty1013), and Mary Wachsmann (@mwachsmann) in a Twitter Fall Bake-off on Thursday. We'll be posting our results on TwitPic with the tag #falldessert, and I'll be sure to post pics here, too. I'm thinking an apple crisp of some kind, but if you have any other suggestions, I'm open.
So what's been keeping you busy these days?
*While talking with my brother, we determined that my cold is the same cold he just got over. It migrates back and forth between your head and your chest, it seems to go away and then BOOM it's back, and your neck hurts for some inexplicable reason. So...I got my cold from Alaska, without ever leaving PA. I AM MAGIC.
**And here I am, blogging. I'm funny like that.
If you don't feel that you are possibly on the edge of humiliating yourself, of losing control of the whole thing, then possibly what you are doing isn't very vital. If you don't feel like you are writing somewhat over your head, why do it? If you don't have some doubt of your authority to tell this story, then you are not trying to tell enough. --John Irving