The Quenching

Blogland!

Hi! I am so happy to be back. I’m sorry for the silence over the last week and half, but I was banned from all forms of “work” over spring break. You see, as soon as school let out, I started muttering about writing chapters of Jordinn’s Story and catching up on some reading, preparing to pile new tasks on a freshly clean plate.

In response, my husband firmly set my 3DS, with Pokémon Alpha Sapphire already loaded, into my hand. “Relax,” he said. “Take an actual break.”

So, I did. And I can never thank him enough for his insistence.

I’ve come into this new term fresh and excited again, eager to learn and try new things after an intense and mildly disappointing first term. But the best part? Is my Intro to Writing Sci-Fi and Fantasy class! We have to write two drafts of a story, at least 12 pages each, in 7.5 weeks. And though I get to post last, thanks to the alphabetical posting schedule (holla at that maiden name!), I’m well into the writing process.

And I didn’t realize what a desert my soul had become without it. Writing the first 1,500 words felt like standing under a cool shower after trudging through sand for time immemorial.

It’s a “short” story, and will probably come closer to being a novella than any short story I’ve ever written.  It follows Mel and Mal about four years before the happenings of “Cards”, and is tentatively titled, “Since the Fire”.

And I’m perfectly, incandescently happy with it.

I don’t ever want to be away from writing for this long ever again. It’s like I was lost and foundering for these last two years, the only thing keeping me moving forward was the blog and the reading.

Thank God for book reviews!

But, I have some homework to do this morning, and then I can write for a couple hours before work! Then work, some more homework, take a quiz, and then pass out.

My schedule this term is strict. I’m working more hours, both at Starbucks and at the Library, so my non-work time is doled out to various readings and school things. My only free time comes when I’ve completed assignments early.

That’s my life for the next 7 weeks.

So, my plan for the blog is this: Lots of small updates, like this post, most likely crowing about the writing class. And then Book Reviews when I’m able. I’ll post the Red Rising book review tomorrow night. Friday and Saturday nights are “free”, as long as I’m on track with all my reading for school.

Anyway, that’s the plan. Also, if you haven’t looked, the What I’m Reading page has been updated to reflect assignments, and my new personal reading.

Thanks again for being here, Blogland. Much love to you all.

 

BZ

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The (Triumphant?) Return!

Sorry about the gap between posts. Holidays at Starbucks can be a bit all-consuming. Here’s the skinny on the last month or so.

I celebrated my 24th birthday by getting a new tattoo, Doctor Who themed for you curious types.

I stopped biting my nails, a habit I’ve had for as long as I can remember. Let me tell you, having nails makes simple things difficult. Like typing. I feel as if I’ve had to learn how to type all over again, and I’m not doing so well. Also, now I understand why some people sound as if they’re mashing a keyboard; their nails force them to. Also, opening anything with a pull tab is damn near impossible.

I visited Arizona. And while it was a good trip, it reminded me of why we moved in the first place. After being away for over a year I’d begun to romanticize it. I longed for palm trees and sunshine, and a place where people weren’t quite so nice. But after only a day back in the AZ I was missing my small section of the world. I realized all the wonderful things I love about Salem. People native to the town will fight me tooth and nail on this one, but Salem really does have a lot to offer. Firstly, let me start by saying that there is only ONE Olive Garden here. Same with Red Lobster. No Chili’s, no TGIF’s. But, there are a ton of local spots, and more popping up every day. Small and local is alive and well in Salem.

If you like beer, there are four local breweries. Yes, they’re small. But they’re growing, and quick. And this town knows its beer. Also, Trevor and I really like our beer.

Salem is a fairly quiet town. It’s the capitol, so there are a lot of government jobs, and state police are all over town. The locals claim there’s gang activity, but when you’ve grown up in a place where a certain color t-shirt can get you in a fight, you tend not to take Salem’s gangs too seriously. Also, where I live, the crime rate is pretty low. I can’t say the same thing for where I work, but I’ve yet to have a problem in over a year.

The schools are decent. Better than AZ’s, which isn’t hard to do.

And let us not forget the proximity to EVERYTHING. Less than two hours to the coast. Less than an hour to Portland. About and hour or so to Mt. Hood. What more can you ask for? Salem is a decent home base, and going home helped me remember that.

Basically been working my ass off. Just fought a losing battle with a cold going around work, though I think I got the condensed version. Almost back in top shape after a rough three days.

I made a feeble attempt at NaNoWriMo. Wrote less than 2,000 words and my brain screamed for me to stop. ‘Vessels’ is still alive and kicking up in my head. There probably isn’t a day where I don’t think of a scene or character from the book. So, in order to let the manuscript sleep I let my brain take a couple months off. Played a lot of Pokemon and Assassin’s Creed, and reconnected with a lot of music.

And then, last week, my brain started to think about something else. The new novel, the one I wrote that intro to ages ago. There’d been a time when I wasn’t sure if I’d ever come around to it. After finishing the rough draft of ‘Vessels’ I wasn’t sure I wanted to write another novel. Over six months of my life were poured into a computer, toiled away to create a world that may never see the light of day. I worried, fussed, stressed, might have even cried at one point, for a piece of fiction that may ultimately come to nothing.

Could I really put myself through it all again?

And for those two months, I didn’t have an answer.

And I didn’t force myself to come up with one. I trusted that, if this were really my thing, if I really am a writer, I would come back to it in my own time. And then I woke up Thursday morning and knew. My brain hummed with ideas and visions. That transition I didn’t know how to handle? The answer was there, in my head. I knew it. All I had to do was go to work early, plug in the laptop, and type.

And that’s exactly what I did. And the entire chapter followed. Almost 3,000 words. And it ended so well, so much differently than I had planned. And then Saturday night, on the dark, lonely drive home at nearly 1 in the morning, I wrote the beginning of chapter 2 in my head. As soon as I got home I found a notebook and wrote it out. I couldn’t fall asleep and not write it down. What if I lost it?

And that’s where I’m at. I don’t know how many words the chapter two intro is, I still haven’t put it in the computer, but I’m excited. And a bit pent up. I’m used to closing at work, which gives me over 4+ hours a day to write, uninterrupted. But, now, I’m working Mid-Shifts. You know, the day job. Anywhere from 7a-5p. By then Trevor’s home and we’re making dinner. I never liked to write on my days off, and I don’t usually like to write at home. But after an 8 hour shift, the last thing I want to do is camp out at work when I could be at home with my man.

So now I’m faced with the struggle of coming up with a new writing schedule. The hours I maintained while writing ‘Vessels’ were so natural. When else would I write? So, when can I write now? Not during the day, I’m making lattes then. Not in the evening, I’m making dinner and trying to have a normal life. So, in the wee hours when I should be sleeping? I mean, sure, I can do that. But, it doesn’t thrill me, and I don’t think the words that come out of me at 2 in the morning are my best work. This blog not included, haha.

I have Mondays off, and Trevor works during the day, so yeah, that works. But, can I bust out a chapter a week with only ONE scheduled day to write? I highly doubt it. There will be weeks where I can, of course. When the fire is lit and I’m really cooking my way through scenes. But not every week can be that way, in fact, most of them won’t be.

So, maybe I’ll just start carrying a notebook with me again. Every day, when I have spare time, like before my shift, or on my lunch, I could write. And then on Mondays put it in the computer and then work on what’s next. It’s doable. Not ideal, but it could get the job done, if slowly.

I’ll have to play around with it, and really start listening to myself. I know there have been days when my inner writer has piped up and suggested softly that we should put some work in. But when there’s dinner cooking, or video games to be played, she’s easy to dissuade. With my sudden crimp on time, I’m going to have to pay attention to her. She knows when it’s time, and if I ignore her, we’ll never get anything done.

Now then, I’m starting to sound a bit crazy so it must be time for bed. At least it feels that way. I’m sorry this was so long in coming, but my brain needed some space for a while. But, I’m back. I’m working on something new, and as the Holidays wind down there will be more and more time for writing.

As ever, thanks Blogland. I’ll see you next time.

BZ