Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Attempting NanoWriMo 2012

Maybe I’m insane or maybe this is just what the writing doctor ordered…50,000 words in 30 days. Riiiight, when was the last time I finished 500 words in 1 day? Heck, this is the most I’ve typed for blogs in a couple of weeks, and before that it was a few months.

It’s not because I don’t like writing anymore, I love it, and I do want to get these stories out of my head…at least get these silly characters to stop talking to me all at once. But, well, I love editing and then there’s life that kind of needs doing.

I know it all sounds like excuses, but it is what it is. I did manage to get my “Like” author’s page done on Facebook, somewhere specifically designed to do nothing but talk about me and my writing…thanks heavens no one can actually see me. If so interested: WriterChristine I Steeves/Speakman

Anyhoo, I re-signed for Nano 2012. I tried last year and managed 300 words, I think it was that many <?> I know I know, but it did bring me to at least thinking about my own writing and not just jotting ideas and half-finished starts.

Right now it is 10:23 PM. In 1 hour 37 minutes I can start typing…1 hour 36 minutes…1 hour 35 minutes 17 seconds...okay, that’s one way of getting overly anxious and nutso.

Wonder if I can keep rambling away here until the official start time, how many words would I have typed. Right now I’m at 259, doesn’t seem so difficult or frightening or daunting. Then again, I’m rambling (274 words).

Do titles count in word counting? Okay, deleting that now so back to 286 words and counting.

Now technically, to achieve 50,000 words this month I need to type 1,666.???? words a day. Rounding up to 1,667 means a rounded number of 69 words an hour in a 24 hour day. Yes, I know that won’t work, I do love my sleep.

Hmm, finishing the paragraph above, I ended at 333 words. To accomplish 1,667 words in a 24 hour period, I only need write 333.4 words an hour for a 5 hour period. Heck this posting didn’t take me an hour to write and I’m over that word count.

Problem…I’m rambling. I’m not actually trying to make sense…well some sense after all I started this blog so you could get to know me, the writer. How this writer thinks…yeah, it scares my family too. They tend to smile, nod, and back away fairly often. Maybe you’ll read something of interest, of help. Hopefully, you’ll have a smile, chuckle, giggle, even a head shake.

Anyway you read this or I put this, I’m attempting Nano in order to shut the voices up (in my head that is).

If you are attempting Nano, good luck, good writing, and most of all…HAVE FUN!

(Dang, not 500 words, how much more to ramble to hit 500, six more words, okay that’s it.)

Create Your Internal Critic

I’m honestly not sure if it’s a catch phrase anymore or not, but for years I’ve found myself saying “pumping the well, the creative well.” Doing something to jump start the empty page in front of me, anything to stop the page looking perfect and unspoiled…less intimidating.

The first word, first pencil line, first shaping scares the daylights out of me. I can’t explain why. Then again, I was this way with school tests and essays. Where and how does one start? There’s no recipe to follow. There’s no guarantee of a finished product worth sharing. There’s nothing for anyone else to value. It’s a time waster…okay, who unlocked the nasty critic?

You know, I think I’ll write the critic out. I’ll give her a shape and home, some place where I can then chain her up and lock her away.

I did this for my anxiety beast. I gave it a metal rod cemented deep into the ground. From there it’s attached by a steel chain. Covering this is a standard square with a triangle roof dog house. The dog house is contained within a rectangle metal fence. There is a gate, but that’s bolted and padlocked.

It, never named my anxiety beast, sneaks out of the dog house door sometimes, then into its fenced yard, and then sometimes pokes at the fence. On really bad days it breaks the bolt and padlock. But it never escapes the chain, so I can always reel it in. I’ve learned that trick, finally.

So, why not create my critic? Heaven knows she needs reeling in…big time.  She needs a home. A box room. Plain, boring, cardboard colour box room. No windows, no door, no ceiling. There she sits on a hard, uneven assembly-hall folding chair. The chair is pulled up to a cold steel table that wobbles as well. One blank page on the table…no pen or pencil.

Okay, she’s in there. Sitting waiting to do her worse. Ahh, but there’s no ceiling on this box room, she can escape. Nope, this box has hidden folding flaps which I’m going to duct tape close, creating her ceiling. I’m going to duct tape the whole box and put it way up high on my mental storage shelf or way down in the far back corner. 

No, I think I’ll put her right in the centre. Eye level. I know she’s there and frankly, she’s the only critic I need ever face. From her I gain my strength. From her I prove and reprove myself time and time again.

She is the emptiness I must live with in order to know what fills me.

I’m turning the tables on her…she’s going to pump my creative well, whether she likes it or not!

Scares and Creep Outs

The Thing…James Arness and John Carpenter, even 2011

Jaws and all monster-animal movies…especially the oldies. William Shatner and company locked in a house waking up to the town covered in spider silk.

Alien vs Predator…just give me them all

Any voyages to the centre of the earth or deepest space

Freddy rules

Clive Barker’s mind vs Stephen King’s? Bram Stoker, Mary Shelley, Poe all the way

Vamps do not sparkle, glitter, or make friends…they hunt, stalk, drain

Weres? Oh Heck Yes!

Frankie and his bride

Mummies and more

Ghost and ghoulies

Lugosi, Lee, Cushing, Price, Carradine, Chaney, Karloff, The Creature

Any and All Hammer movies

Favourite monster movie…The Monster Club

Addams Family and the Munsters

Spiders and creepy crawlies

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

My First Published Non-Fiction Piece

I nearly gave up writing. I was learning I knew nothing about writing. Knew nothing about getting published. Knew nothing about the industry. All very discouraging to any newbie writer. This was back in May of 1999.

Today, I've heard newbies of 2012 voice my old concerns. I've talked with newbies who are just as discouraged as I was back then.

Thank heavens for my first online Mentor, Babs Lakey. The, then owner/creator, editor and publisher of FUTURES Magazine. Now, FMAM: Futures Mystery Anthology Magazine.

She talked with me about a new section of her magazine called "Starting Line." If I remember correctly, this title was given to essays, shorts, material from newbies. She asked/convinced me to write and submit. I did.

In the FUTURES Magazine, the print version, of August /September 199 this is what appeared. My first published piece:


Today I gave up a dream.  I guess there are worse things I could do.  Today I said goodbye.  Goodbye to part of me, perhaps it was to my soul or just to the truth in me.  Today I conform.  Today I push and tug my way into society's suit.  Today I follow, instead of forging through on my own.

I am lost in this suit.  I flounder my way through the day in every direction.  Today I don't know who I am.  Today I am sad and afraid.

Yesterday I flew. I was free.  I was lost but knew where I was.  My world was full of colour and laughter.  There was fear and the strength to overcome.  Yesterday I gave birth to worlds no one had ever known existed.  Yesterday I was alive.

Can you see?  Do you understand?  Do I.  There inside me is the truth of who I am.  I dream of worlds never seen.  I see inside the hearts of others, of you.  I see the whys of our actions.  I have no answers to give.  All I have to give are words.  They are my gift to you.

Today I dream.  Today I do the best I was meant to do.  Today I open my soul up to the world.  Today I am true to myself.