Thursday, December 23, 2010

Happy Festivus!

I'm having trouble finding my Christmas spirit, which I think is related to being the mom and the one who makes Christmas happen in our house, for the most part.

But I'm trying to let go of my "bah humbug", Grinch-like mood and celebrate the positive of the season, which today is Festivus!

Enjoy the beauty inherent in this time of year, my friends!

Thursday, December 16, 2010

More on writing fear: at least I'm in good company!

Last entry I blogged about fear and writing. Craig wasn't sure what I was afraid of, so I decided to write a little more about it today. No I don't have a creepy guy in a black hat stalking me, like poor Johnny Depp's character in Secret Window

In my case, the fear is less tangible, but it is a part of my writing process. I've come to learn, however, that not all writers experience it. Like a lot of fears, it isn't rational but that doesn't make it less real to me. 

Almost every time I write I'm scared of trying to get what's in my head, down in words. It's not worrying I can't be good (although I've had those moments too). It's that I'm afraid of the monumental task of piecing the story together so that it works to my satisfaction. When I sit down to write, there is so much that is unknown, and I'm the one who has to face that unknown, alone. There are always a huge pile of problems to be solved, and most of the time, I worry that I won't be able to solve them. I want to solve them. I want to find the story and get it down in such a way that it resonates with other people. The fact that I've solved countless similar problems in past writing sessions rarely reassures me.

I've been writing fiction for the better part of a decade now, and it's clear to me that this fear is just part of my process. If I want to write and tell stories, I have to accept that I'm going to be afraid a lot of the time. I think it's worth it, but that doesn't make it easy.

And I'm not alone. Here are some quotes from that book I mentioned in my last entry The Courage to Write by Ralph Keyes, "Page Fright" section (p. 24).

All my life, I've been frightened at the moment I sit down to write.
—Gabriel Garcia Marquez
It's really scary just getting to the desk—we're talking now five hours. My mouth gets dry, my heart beats fast. I react psychologically the way other people react when the plane loses an engine.
—Fran Lebowitz
I suffer as always from the fear of putting down the first line. It is amazing the terror, the magics, the prayers, the straightening shyness that assails one.
—John Steinbeck
Blank pages inspire me with terror.
—Margaret Atwood

See? I'm not the only 'fraidy-cat writer in the world! Wouldn't it be great if Queen Latifa from Stranger than Fiction could come and give us all some moral support? Sadly, that's not something I can count on so I guess I'll just face my fears, and write anyway.

Saturday, December 11, 2010

Writing, accountability, and yes, I'm a scared little weeny!

Fearless Creating: A Step-by-Step Guide To Starting and Completing Your Work of Art
The Courage to Write: How Writers Transcend Fear   

This is a writing blog, dag nab it! Or at least it was when I started it way back when. In those old days I used the blog as an accountability tool to help me finish Dreaming of Deliverance. It really helped. But I've fallen out of the habit of blogging about writing.

I need to get back to it! Well, maybe not about blogging about writing, but writing itself, for sure. More and more people are asking me about DoD's sequel, which is awesome. Plus I want to immerse myself in that story telling mindset again. I tend to get distracted by voice work, hungry children, etc., but I need to write too!

So, I'm making a commitment to write lots in 2011. It's not a New Year's Resolution. I'm not as anti-resolutions as Lipstick Lady, aka Wyo of the awesome blog Temporary Digression of the Spotted Kind, but I don't tend to set them because it's almost a cliché how ineffective they are. But I am joining a Facebook group called "25 Stories 52 Weeks Challenge". Now I'm not planning to write 25 stories this year. I'm going to work on my novels. But I will make some kind of writing commitment, whether word count or time spent writing, I haven't decided which.

What this means is that I have to face the almost crippling fear I feel when it comes to writing and story telling. Why I'm such a weenie about this sort of creating, I have no idea, but I am. I've pushed through the fear countless times before, however. I know I can do it again! Still, I'd better break out my copies of Fearless Creating and The Courage to Write. (Yes, I really get that scared of this stuff. Pathetic, huh? Probably another reason I haven't blogged about writing recently! It's embarrassing!)

So, who's with me? Kael? Craig? Wyo? Tony? Here's a link to the group, so you can sign up!

25 Stories 52 Weeks

Tuesday, December 07, 2010

My recording tent was attacked!

You know, a lot of people have teased me about my recording tent. Some have praised the clean sound in enables me to produce, but most have mocked it.

That's okay. I accept that not everyone's ideal recording set-up includes crawling into an old Spiderman children's play tent covered with a lavender, sheep-festooned flannel sheet, and a worn duvet coverall held together with binder clips and duct tape.

Really, I don't mind. Chuckle all you want. It looks stupid. I know!

However, the other day I came across the following disturbing sight. And this is where I draw the line, people. Make fun of it all you want, but I will not allow my goofy-looking recording tent to be assaulted!

I was shocked! It was in shambles!

Was there an earthquake? Was it the kids? No. Soon the problem became clear...

And just in case there was any doubt:

Yeah, not a lot of remorse there. And sadly, it wasn't a one-time incident. She tears it down every chance she gets.

So now I have a new pre-recording task. In addition to turning off the heater and refrigerator, moving the ticking clock to the other room, applying lip balm, making sure I have hot tea and cool water at the ready, the microphone plugged in and the lap top fully charged, I also must put the kitten in the back room and close the door before I finish assembling the recording tent.

On a positive note, I've been podcasting for over a year, but now I feel I've truly arrived! Because one thing I've noticed when listening to other podcasters' outtakes, is that feline interference and podcasting seem to go hand in hand!