Counting

Sometimes, life just gets away from you. You know?

You get so caught up in your day-to-day, trying to be the reasonable adult you’ve been masquerading as all this time, that the things that really matter to you fall away.

This blog is one of those things.

Thanks to those of you who still check in. I see your views on my phone, and the simultaneous guilt and gratitude they elicit in me keeps me going.

You’ve all heard the excuses, the reasons before. School, work, life, blah blah blah. It’s all still here, and it’s all still true. And it’s all still irritating the shit out of me.

But, the light at the end of the tunnel is brighter now.

By mid-August I will be done with my Bachelor’s degree, and hopefully only working one full time job. Also, my husband and I will be settled in our new house!

I’ve got a writing room all planned out, so keep your eyes open for pictures in the coming months as progress is made.

And so I set my sights on August. I hang my hopes and dreams from the peak of the “A” and count the days to when I can put all this energy into the one thing that’s been missing from my life these last two years.

I so desperately miss writing. Here I thought my Sci-Fi writing class would help, and instead it woke the thing in me that demands creation. I’d managed to lull it to sleep with French and Art History homework, and appeased it with so much literature that it had no time to think of writing.

And then I wrote 28 pages for a Cards story.

I can only describe the feeling as a pure and utter longing. An ache that no amount of reading can fully satiate. In fact, even my reading has suffered. I think, since I read The Magician King, I’ve read two books. Two books since March. It makes me want to cry and scream.

I am capable of so much more. But guilt-tripping myself only leads to petulant bouts of procrastination. Instead of finishing Sharp Ends, I read 56 chapters of a Mass Effect fanfiction. One I’ve already read! And now that that’s done, I’ve started another play-through of the games.

I fear that my hard fought discipline has let itself go, and that putting the metaphorical pen to paper in August will prove more difficult than it should. That I’ll sit down, desperate to write anything, and instead I’ll just waste time staring at the desk.

Even as I give life to the fear by sharing it here, I already know that this is a very typical writerly fear. It’s kind of what makes a writer. That inexplicable and absolutely crushing self-doubt. And as much as I try, I’ve yet to succumb to it.

I doubt I’ll start in August.

Anyway, I’ve cast aside some lectures in order to write this. I don’t regret it, but I must curtail it for now. Hopefully I’ll talk to you all soon, but I won’t make any promises. July is going to be a hectic month. But August…

Yeah. August. I’ll see you then.

 

BZ

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

Brain is Melted…

It’s been a long time since I’ve read something that wanted to melt my brain. This Witchcraft class might be the death of me. It’s interesting subject matter, but the textbook is so… dry. Also, writing papers is so freaking boring.

Thesis statements? Elaborating on quotes to further hammer my point into the reader’s brain, as if they can’t make conclusions of their own? I hate it. I always have. And it’s exactly why I’m an English major.

Anyway, first week of homework is done for that class. Tomorrow will be a mad dash of reading and quiz taking in my other class in order to make time to finish The Magicians in time for Wednesday’s Book Club meeting.

Tonight’s plan is to read as much as I can of the novel, then eat dinner and watch Howl’s Moving Castle with the husband.

So that’s pretty much all I have to say. Things are calm today. Sundays are my one day off a week, and I share it with Trevor, so we do chores and make food. Easy days.

I’ll see you soon Blogland, most likely tomorrow or Thursday. Sometime this week I’ll have the book review for The Magicians up. Have a good week!

 

BZ

Quietly Reading My Life Away

My brain is feeling particularly gooey. Like… organic peanutbutter. Have you seen that stuff? It’s way runnier than your typical “Mom Approved” brand. That’s my grey matter right now.

School’s over, for the time being. I’m taking summer classes after all, just a lighter load. Doing half time instead, and only taking classes that actually interest me. “Major American Novels” and “Topic: Noir Fiction and Film”. The book lists are pretty exciting, at least to me. This summer I will read:

Strangers on a Train by Patricia Highsmith
Maltese Falcon by Dashiell Hammett
Double Indemnity by James M. Cain
The Big Sleep by Raymond Chandler
The Killer Inside Me by Jim Thompson
The Old Man and the Sea by Ernest Hemingway
The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald
Invisible Man by Ralph Ellison
Ceremony by Leslie Marmon Silko
Cat’s Cradle by Kurt Vonnegut

Now, I’ve read The Old Man and the Sea and The Great Gatsby before, but the rest are new to me. I think the Noir titles will be the most interesting, since I read Cain’s The Postman Always Rings Twice and loved it.

And somewhere in there I’ll still be reading for my own pleasure and for Book Club.

Speaking of which, I finally finished reading Red Seas Under Red Skies. I’m about 10 days behind schedule, but Stardust and The Republic of Thieves are both shorter than my usual reading. I expect them to go quickly.

I’m suffering from a book hangover. I loved the second Gentleman Bastard book, though not as much as the first installment, and I’m loathe to read something else. Even something as wonderful as Stardust. Other Book Clubbers are reading it and they love it so far.

I also have a tentative Book List written up, but I’m waiting to finalize until I get the newest member’s list. Currently I’m working on creating a Facebook group and Goodreads group, so we can chat easily and help each other out. So far, it’s looking good.

Anyway, it’s time I got ready for work. Keep an eye out for the Book Review of Red Seas Under Red Skies. It’ll probably come out on Wednesday.

BZ

The Letter of Intent

I think I’m going to postpone Week 10 Summary pt. 2 until Monday. I want to post something a bit more philosophical, and not so regimented.

I read a blog post today, which I probably should post a link to. It’s from a writer I follow. Not anyone big. Not someone you would know if I dropped his name. Just a struggling young writer trying to self-publish his creative dreams.

Usually he has some poetic views and opinions, and then wraps it up by asking for donations. You see, he quit his day job in order to follow his dreams and make them a reality. So, he asks for money from his readers in order to stay afloat.

It’s weird to me.

I would never quit my day job before writing could sustain me. And I would never ask for money from my readers. But, I don’t want to vilify this guy. It’s not my goal. He made his decisions, and people do donate money. I’m just not one of them.

But, today he posted about how you can’t put your dreams off. Can’t keep telling yourself that you’ll have time to make them a reality later. Which, yes I understand. And he said that, he’s not suggesting everyone give up their jobs in order to start writing and painting.

But, that’s how it made me feel.

He made me feel like I don’t take writing as seriously as he does. Obviously, his post wasn’t directed at me personally, and he swears that he doesn’t feel this way. But the tone was different. The tone said, “I am a suffering writer, my cause is better than yours.”

Excuse me, Mr. Writer Man. I work fulltime, and I’m writing about 20 hours week on top of that. I still maintain what small social life I have, and I’m planning a wedding. Add to it a serious consideration of going back to school, and suddenly my suffering seems pretty damn legit.

But, that’s not why I write this blog.

I write this blog to empty my brain of any excess writerly thoughts. I write this blog for a small sense of community. I write this blog to keep myself, and other suffering writers upbeat.

I don’t need your Woe-Is-Me schtick. I have only once ever considered giving up writing. That was 2 years into college, when I realized that I would probably never make a living off of it. I panicked. I grasped for any major that could lead to a lucrative career. Two months into those classes, I panicked again.

My creative mind felt stagnant. It was begging for something to do, to focus on. And I realized that, when I don’t write, I slowly lose my mind.

I applied for the Creative Writing Certificate Program the day after that. My Letter of Intent was probably one the best, and most honest things I’ve ever written. I keep it, and consider it every now and then. It helps me remember the rushing clarity of that moment. In that panic induced moment, suddenly everything was startlingly clear.

I Am A Writer. No matter where that takes me, for better or for worse.

And nothing some blogger, or the Jimmy John’s Delivery Guy, or some uneducated customer who is compelled to share their opinion, can convince me otherwise.

I tried to give up writing once; I almost lost my mind. Since I’ve had this realization, I’ve never looked back.

 

BZ