Shifting

This is the time of year I love most (even if my allergies disagree).

A bald eagle in a tree near the North Valley Overlook on Turtleback Mountain

The birdsong and frog song, the succession of blooming plants, the longer days, and the shifts between sunshine and rain.

I’m finishing up a project that I’ll be sad to leave. I love the characters, the setting, the story. I’m sure I’ll be doing future revisions and edits, shifting and changing, but for now, I’m going to move onto the next big thing.

These moments of shifting can feel good. “Hey, I finished a book!”

Yet, I can also feel unsure.

The possibility awaits: wonderful and scary; exciting and daunting; a dash forward and a long pause. All those contrasts hit me, freeze me.

I’m back to the act of creating again. The pen to the notebook–

shifting.

Stuck

Writers and others Involved in Projects,

You know that point when you have that Really Great Idea or RGI and plunge passionately into a project only to find yourself completely stuck a short time later?

Yes, I think you know what I mean.

Well, that’s happened to me. Fifty pages in, and I’m staring at Scrivener like it’s an unreadable map.

So, here’s my list of things to do to get going again:

1–Go back to my outline and see what I need to work on. Add, develop, or otherwise change.

2–Take a walk. Okay, I take lots of walks, but these do help.

3–Talk to my critique group.

4–Read. I have to be careful with this one; I tend to read to avoid getting unstuck.

5–Daydream. I do this every day, non stop. I’m a daydreaming champion!

6–Clean the house. My best ideas happen when I’m doing things I dislike . . .

7–Eat chocolate. This needs no explanation.

8–Talk to my sons. They’re funny, have good ideas, and are brutally honest about my bad ideas.

9–Remind myself how my day job is not my dream job. Always motivating!

10–Set a timer and get it done! One word, one sentence, one paragraph, one page . . .

 

Time to turn a RGI into a RGFT (Really Great Finished Thing)!

Still Here . . .

Where have I been?

Working, of course!

Writing, day job, helping with homework . . .
I haven’t forgotten.

October is beautiful and oddly warm and dry. I’m enjoying this unusual weather, but I’m also concerned because this is far from normal for the Pacific Northwest.
I’m almost at the end of the long project, and I’ve been getting up at 5 to work on my writing. It’s a magic hour before email, the Internet, work, and getting the family ready for the day.
I hope your hours are filled with creative energy and beauty!

Sunset sky

 

Milestones

A sunset from Malibu.

The end of the year, and the start of a new one.

The end of one story, and the start of a new one.

Yesterday I completed revising and editing my novel, Never Fall.

The revision process for this particular manuscript felt like an epic journey of sorts, so I felt like celebrating a little. At the very least, I could give myself a pat on the back.

I finished another story.

Well, not quite. For I’m sure more editing and revising will follow.

The process isn’t quite done yet.

Still, I consider my work a milestone. I finished.

On to the next project . . .

Recently, while perusing in-flight television, I happened upon an interview with the director for the film The Artist.

I haven’t yet seen the film, but Michel Hazanavicius captivated me with his passion and commitment to the artistic process.  He emphasized the value of the story and considers this the heart and magic of what captivates us.

I agree.

Story.

The story keeps me falling in love over and over again with the the process of writing.

Today, I embark upon another journey. A new story.

I hope this year will bring you many new stories and milestones.

Happy 2012

>Autumn

>The whistling wind  funnels through cracks between the windows and walls. Outside, all is green, yellow, orange, and brown. The firs lean, branches like underwater plants dancing in tidal flow.

This is our first real storm of the season.

Autumn is one of my favorite seasons rivaling only with spring and all the blossoms of new life. I like transitional seasons because they involve change. I can watch the change in the plants coming to live and going to sleep. Summer and winter are stagnant seasons and make me feel on edge. I want to see the changes, the transformation . . .

I’m finishing up a long revision. As I work, a part of myself seems to be standing just outside observing what I am doing. Yes, sometimes it’s a critical voice, but, most often, I work to stay objective and watch what happens. Some parts of the process have been downright painful. I write pages of material only to discard most in favor of a single word or paragraph change. Other journeys have been absolute joy. Finding a new plot twist comes to mind. Digging in to reveal the real emotion of my characters, and playing with words. I will never grow tired of playing with language and sentences, playing with phrases  . . .

All of these changes will have to finish up soon. The whole of the project will be complete (or as close as complete as I feel I can get). I’m afraid I am one of those writers who consistently wants to revise and edit forever and forever.

What about you? What’s your favorite part of the revising process? What do you love? What do find frustrating?