Interesting thing I noticed as I wrote.

I mentioned that I was having trouble writing this short story, that I felt like I kept writing and writing and it wasn’t going anywhere. This was stuck in the back of my head even as I wasn’t writing, a fuzzy ball of lint sort of thought that kept clinging to the back of my mind as I drove and did chores and showered, that kept muttering, “What’s wrong with it? Why can’t I get it moving?”

And then it hit me, suddenly and unexpectedly, when I was in that hazy shadow space right before falling asleep two nights ago. The character was supposed to be a girl.

The thought passed in and out of my head quickly, but still it felt certain, right. I thought it over for a brief second and then promptly fell asleep.

The next day when I sat down to write, I stared at the story in front of me. And then I began to type, jumping right back into the middle of things, changing the name of the character and the ‘him’ to ‘her’ without going back and revising, just doing it. And suddenly, everything started flowing.

It was such a strange experience. The other characters in the story suddenly seemed more comfortable. Everyone could talk with more ease. They were learning from each other where before they were simply going through the motions. I wondered briefly if this is what authors meant when they say that their characters sometimes take on a life of their own. I wasn’t forcing them to do things anymore; they were speaking for themselves, they were helping things move towards an end goal.

And then I hit the end. Boom, finished. Two weeks of trying to write a simple short story and all it took was changing the ‘he’ to a ‘she’ to give it motion.

I feel crazypants now that I’m writing the experience down, but that’s how it felt. And I think what I can learn from this is to sometimes let my gut and the sleepy, quiet part of my mind do the thinking. I was trying to jam all the pieces together and make them fit, but I think sometimes you can’t hulk-smash fiction. Yeah, I have to be strict and diligent with myself if I want to get anything done, but it’s okay to let in a little bit of the koala-brain. You know, since koalas are sleepy little things, chomping slowly on eucalyptus leaves with half-closed eyes. Koala-brain was all like, ‘yo, baby. s’okay. You know how you’re falling asleep right now? How you all sleepy and fuzzy right now? Here, I’m gonna sneak this idea in while you are in this state. Nom nom. Eucalyptus.”

And on that note, I leave. Because I’ve hung my crazypants up on the line to dry and the whooooole world can see it now.

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Good job, me. Now keep it up!

I finished my short story! Yay! *throws glitter in the air and dances around as it rains down* It’s going to take a lot of revision, especially since I changed one of the characters’ gender halfway through, but I did it! I finished it!

This is the first fictional thing I have actually finished since maybe sixth grade. Since I was like, what, twelve? The first fictional thing I have written and finished in around fifteen years. It feels fantastic!

It’s sort of a simmering fantastic, where after I wrote the last line I sat there and thought, “Yeah, I think I’m gonna end it here.” And then I sat back and realized, “Well, that means I finished it then. I’m finished. I finished a short story. You did it!” And it felt pretty good, but then I walked over to the couch and started reading a book.

And now, an hour later, I feel even better now that I’m writing about it. Good for you, me! You actually finished it. The first draft, anyways. It won’t be finished finished until after I work on revising it a while.

So, here’s my pat on the back (I mentally just patted myself on the back for anyone else reading…har har. Anyone else reading. Yeah.), now keep going! Keep moving! Keep working!

Also, I told my husband out Yallfest happening in South Carolina in November. He nodded and said it seemed cool, but we’d have to figure it out. I also kind of presented it in a very roundabout way where I was like “well maybe it could be my birthday gift? It could maybe be really cool….la la la maybe…” so I know he probably thinks I’m just being lacksadaiscal. And sometimes I think he knows me better than I know myself, so he could be right. But I think I’m serious. Also, I didn’t tell him yet that I actually already bought tickets to the event (they were only $13!). I just need to get airfare now (it’s only $350! Pocket change! Sad face).

Okay. So I made some good writerly progress so far today. Now to print out my first draft and start revising.

Also – thanks so much to all of you who were kind enough to comment and/or follow! Even though I shouldn’t need you guys to encourage me in order to keep working, it really was a motivation. Wishing you all some positive success in your writing today (and this weekend)!

Writerly accomplishments today: zero.

Don’t tell anyone, okay?

I’m really just failing myself, I know. Me and the guy who’s working 9 to 5 help me try and accomplish my dream, I mean. Ugh. Way to go, June.

Does writing in this blog count? No.

It’s just that…I worked today at my volunteer position and it always exhausts me. And afterward, when I came home, well, I just needed to take a nap, and then my brother stopped by unannounced, and talking, and food, and…and the day snowballed into midnight and now here I am, too tired to try and approach my hot mess of a short story.

Ugh. Okay fine. Give me fifteen minutes to work on it so I don’t hate myself so much. Be right back.

***
Fifteen minutes has passed, and I’ve written a little bit more in the short story that’s going nowhere. It’s like I keep writing, but the story isn’t moving, like trying to go upwards on a downwards escalator. But whatever. I’m going to finish this story, no matter how awful it is. I have to finish it. I have to know I can finish a piece of fiction, or I’m afraid I won’t be able to move on and accomplish anything bigger like I want to. And it’s the first fiction I’ve written in a very long time, so I think it’s okay if it’s terrible. I need to keep going.

So, Thursday was a bit of a bust. Here’s hoping I have a little more progress I can blog about tomorrow.

Well.

Hello, red wine to my right and hello to the three amazing readers who clicked ‘follow’ on my blog today! I don’t know how you found me or why you decided to follow, but I’ve only written one post so far so clearly you just don’t realize how most probably boring/terrible/melodramatic this blog will be. But thanks to you three, I felt inclined to write a little harder today, because I didn’t want to check in here on my first evening starting this blog and not have much to say when I new three people may possibly skim it.

Ha. Who am I kidding. I honestly won’t be hurt if you guys hit ‘unfollow,’ I promise. I really did just start this blog to keep myself on tabs; I don’t expect anyone else to find it interesting. But thank you three so much for taking the time to show interest, if only for today! It gave me motivation, which was nice. I hope the three of you get some awesome, karmic writing motivation yourself in the next week.

So, that out of the way, here’s what I accomplished, writing-wise today: I only played Candy Crush on my phone for like…twenty minutes? And only watched one episode of Buffy the Vampire Slayer. And only surfed reddit for like 45 minutes. AND THEN I FINALLY SAT DOWN AND WROTE SOME STUFF. FOR LIKE AN HOUR OR SOMETHING.

I’ve been working on a short story, just trying to ease my way back into fiction (it’s been a very, very long time), and it’s been difficult. I’ve been working on this story for about a week now, and I know it’s terrible, but I feel compelled to finish it. Because if I can’t finish a short story, how will I ever work my way up to a novel? It’s grown to about 12 pages, so I don’t know if it’s even considered a short story anymore, but I hope I will finish it tomorrow – or at least by the end of this week (come on, June Get your act together!).

And now for a secret writerly thing I did today: I bought tickets for the upcoming Yallfest (Charleston Young Adult Book Festival) happening in November in…South Carolina. Except I live in California. I don’t even know where South Carolina is on a map.

I haven’t told my husband yet. And here’s the thing – I know (or I believe, I think he would, anyway) he would be supportive if I explained to him that I think it could be a good thing. That I would like to have something really done by then that I could bring with me, because I get the impression you can meet agents at these sort of things and YA is my jam – and he’s shown me so much support, and believes in me. But I don’t know if I believe in myself yet. I feel like I need to prove to myself that I can do this, and so far I haven’t done that, yet.

Since I quit my job at the end of May, I’ve done a lot of internet surfing, a good amount of reading, and a little bit of writing. How can I say this is what I want to do when I’ve hardly done anything yet?

So I have tickets to go to the festival. And I would like to go. But I don’t even want to approach it with my husband yet – not because he wouldn’t support me in it – but because I don’t feel confident in myself yet. I need to prove to myself that I can do this, and buckle down and get. writing.

So, three followers, it was really nice meeting you. But as you can see, I’m kind of a hot, rambling mess here. Unfollow button’s at the top, I get it.

And to me, I say – tomorrow’s a new day. Go get ’em, tiger. Rawr. Cat hissing sounds. Scratch at the air. I totally understand both motivational speaking and the feline species on a deep, deep level.