Less Snark, more Boojum

I sometimes wonder if you need to fall down before you can pick yourself up. A lot has happened since my last post.

Here's the short:

I fell. I'm getting up.

Here's the slightly longer, though abbreviated for the sake of keeping interest.

Christmas happened. It was good.
We lost a family member. It was sudden, and a sad surprise.
New Years happened. It was good.
Funeral happened. It was sad.

The Beloved's car was having troubles. It went to the shop, and never came out. We've donated the carcass of our loyal yet cranky car (We called her Airbag) to an auto auction service that will donate the proceeds to No More Homeless Pets in Utah. We're now a one car family.

For those of you who don't know me beyond This Here Journal, I've had some Icky Things going on in life for the past... year and change. Things involving custody battles with Beloved's Ex & Children, and lawyers, and money. We did what we had to do, and a few things we didn't have to do, but did them anyway.

One of the things I did (wrongly) was let the Whole Big Thing put my life on hold. Money got tight, and I got stoic, made sacrifices, then turned around and felt grumpy about them. At one point, I was justified. That point ended about nine months ago, by my current figuring. For the following nine months (the last ones that have been happening), I've let bad circumstance rule my life, disappointment taint my dreams, and generally wrote, felt sorry for myself, played too many video games, and complained a lot.

Recently the complaints got louder. Too loud. I'd been pushing away The Beloved, The Friends, and folks I respect and admire because feeling sorry for my self got more attention and instant results than trying to improve myself.

Well, excuses only go so far. I dun screwed up. The Beloved was fed up, and pointed it out clearly as a metaphorical brick to the face last week, and I realized "Oh shit." I was the one who made the bed I'd been sleeping in.

This week? I look a good inventory of where I really was, rather than where I had assumed (worse possible scenario) I was. It isn’t nearly as bad as I thought, and I finally started taking some of my old dreams seriously again.

It feels great. Like being alive again.

Tomorrow? Tomorrow is Monday. Monday is good. Lots of time in the afternoon free to sit down and tell some stories.


The Next Monday...

The latest update? It's hard to write when you've sent stuff out. Of course, I'm making excuses. It’s not hard to write; it’s hard to begin writing.

I've begun story 5, thanks to Ken's technique of subject-->verb-->object. If you need more details, go buy his book Idea to Story in 60 Seconds. It’s worth the price of admission.

For those kids playing along at home, my finished stories are

1 The Great Warlord Kulgor (sent to Writers of the Future)
2 Of Magic Cats & Magic Cookies (editing stage - needs to be 10%'ed still.)
3 Dragon Stew (In Agilebrit's hands right now - very raw)
4 Vampirates - Story needs a new name, and about half the pages condensed/cut out

Yes, there are other stories in between, but these have been practice stories that I can't really bring myself to take seriously. One is complete, but is an exercise in viewpoint. Maybe I'll post it to as an example of "early writing". Another is merely 'on hold', and will become number 6. The rest are not gathering dust in a drawer some where, they've been fitfully abandoned as experiments. If it means anything, 3 & 4 followed each other very nicely, and while I had a couple false starts (experiment 1: fan fiction - status? Bored; I don’t enjoy writing fan fiction. Experiment 2: erotica - status? Bored; I can't bring myself to write porn without plot, as I don't find it entertaining. I want plot) in-between 4 and 5, 5 was born yesterday, plot has begun to take form, protag is protaging and wont stop till he's got himself out of the mess he goofed up and got in. Woot.

Elsewhere in the world, I'm learning the joy of what I put my parents through at Christmas. We finally have their wish lists, which become I-wish-I-had-asked-them-earlier lists for me. Ah, the fine art of learning by screwing up over and over again.


Out of the nest

Oh. Dear. Muse.

So I finished my first full short story. Yes, the one I started when I was twenty five. I'm thirty now. Thats too damn long for short story writing. I've finished five since in the past two years, but none are edited, and I have a bad habit of taking Too Much Time Off. I can talk the talk - oh can I talk the talk - but walking the walk?

Heh. No.

Okay, here I'm trying to walk. If you see The Great Warlord Kulgor in the next L. Ron. Hubbard's Writer's of the Future volume, then I did something right.

If not? Eh, I'm learning the walk, and that takes a stumble or two.

Update: Is sent.

"Was I supposed to include a cover letter," he asked himself as he walked out of the Post Office.


Teh awe + teh some = teh awesome?

My writing buddy is teh awesome. If you haven't read her stuff yet, well shame on you. Go. Read. When I learn to link, I shall link.

Conversation is good. Inspiring conversation is better. Agilebrit doth push, poke, prod, coerce, cajole, forgive, and inspire. I am learning much from her, and I hope I'm returning the flavor.

So I've got a writing friend or three (only one writing buddy - it is an earned title, and only one hath earned it), whom I'm trying to get to write more.

They say things like "Here Boo, read my story and you can tell me how much it sucks."

I in turn say "But I don't want to tell you how much it sucks; I want to tell you how to make what is good become even better, and what is not good to become good, or to remove that which is not needed." Despite my ineloquent verbosity, I eschew obfuscation, and omit needless words.

They say "But Boo, I suck."

I say "Stop. I do not wish to hear of your opinion of your own work, for I am a selfish Boojum, and wish only to enjoy your stories. Shut up and write."

My theory is that if a writer says to themselves "Self, I suck." they'll be less likely to write, for fear of writing badly. But how can we write well without writing badly first? Their for, by allowing fledgling writers to let themselves batter themselves down, we deprive ourselves of enjoyable reading. I am a selfish Boo. I want more stories to read.

Ah, my first posted LJ rant. Feel the love?