Sunday, January 28, 2018

Bradbury Challenge Week #4

Wrapping up this week I have to conclude that just because I'm writing a whole lot and I think, I hope, improving on my craft and I think, I hope, discovering a lot more about my strengths and weaknesses about myself as a writer it doesn't mean that success is imminent and I'll be signing some major contracts any time soon. Writing is pretty humbling, especially when sending things out into the world and not getting a whole lot of responses back. Okay, not getting ANY responses back is more to the point. But there is one thing I CAN say. I'm doing it, and I'm trying. Maybe I'm not there yet, but I'm closer than I was in December. The theory is that the more I write, the better I get at it, so just because I haven't heard any responses from any place I've sent any writing to doesn't mean that in the future it'll be the same brick wall. Most of what I'm sending out is the stuff that's in my wheelhouse: spec fiction, horror, some sci-fi, urban fantasy, that type of thing. Almost anything with magic, mythology and a bit of darkness. That's where I live. I live for this stuff, and writing about it, and making time for it and room for it in my life has made that door open for me, like I talked about in previous posts. And I really don't feel terrible about writerly rejection. There's only been about three since the beginning of the year, and for one I know these things take time and two, I'm just not obsessing over it. Most places are too overwhelmed to send back a critique of what worked for them and what didn't, at least in my experience. Plus it gives me a chance to keep polishing it for another submission to someplace else. It could be right for something else someday. Rejection doesn't make me stop believing in my own work. I think it does for other people, though, and if I look at it as a bigger metaphor for life relationships, I mean how many people stop believing in themselves after being rejected in relationships? *raises hand* I know I have, at least before I was married. This is different for me, somehow. Maybe it's also knowing how many mainstream and very successful authors were also rejected before they landed success, and I'm not even shopping for major publishers at the moment, just small calls for short stories, for the most part. Maybe it's time to look towards branching out into plays, which was my MFA after all, and some other venues. Maybe open things up a bit, and not let myself be so constrained. Speaking of not being so constrained, I have returned to script writing, after a fashion. Playwrighting (and yes it's spelled right although my spellcheck always tells me its not) was my concentration and I'm trying to build my ASMR brand. So I'm new to ASMR creation, although not to the world of ASMR and I can't wait to keep producing more videos. It's wonderful to be writing this much. I feel very driven.I've only uploaded a few videos to my YouTube channel, and most of them are non-talking and background noise or misophonia-masking videos. I have horrible misophonia, and discovered ASMR videos last year as a way to cope, and was so smitten with the genre and the variety that I knew I had fallen in love and found a calling at the same time. Not only that, but it gives me a chance to be creative in a theatrical way so I get to have theatre back in my life, which is awesome. Things have a way of finding their way to you (or back to you) if you really want them. I believe that now. I didn't believe that for so, so, long. Maybe it's because the wait seems to long, but then--why wait? Things sometimes, though very rarely, drop into your lap. In any case, I've got about a million ideas, and a character list about as long as my arm. Creativity finds a way. It's theatre, it's writing, it's performing, it's everything I went to school for. Now, if I could just find a props department...=)

Saturday, January 20, 2018

Bradbury Challenge Week #3

It's week three, and I'm still here, and the great thing is, still writing. And not only that, writing A LOT. I don't know if writing everyday, or almost everyday has opened something up in me, and I think I referenced this in my previous post, but something sure has changed. All the writing books I've ever read tell you how important it is just to show up, and that's what I've been doing. I can't say I've been doing it every single day of the week, though. My workaday week as a teacher keeps me busy and tired. I might only end up doing casual research those days (my fancy academic way of saying "messing around on the Internet" vaguely exploring sites that match the research to the play, poem, or likely short story that I'm working on. More work means more submissions. I'm getting better at practicing my cover letter, my bio and synopsis writing. In any case, I'm feeling more confident in submitting work because I'm actually doing the work to get there, even if my work isn't chosen for a particular anthology. I've still got a growing body of work, and that's one of the important parts of doing this whole thing. In other news, we got over a foot of snow dumped on our little mountain valley yesterday night, and spent most of the day today digging out from under, and creating paths for the cars to drive and the animals to walk. We've had a cozy little fire going since yesterday and it does make for the ideal writing situation--if ever there really is one. The weather forces me to be inside (even though I have been, up until now, doing really well with my walking program) which means I don't have a lot of excuses for NOT writing, and the overwhelming feeling of guilt and failure I'd feel for not using this time would weigh too heavily on me--I've come too far to let any more precious time go by.

Sunday, January 14, 2018

Bradbury Challenge Week 2

So it's been a while since I've updated this blog, but that in itself is part of the Bradbury Challenge. First, if you're not familiar, an explanation of what the Bradbury Challenge is this: write 52 short stories, one each for each week of the year.
It's week two and I'm pretty proud to say that I have two stories already. I'm two for two. So go me. I'm gaining my inspiration from a backlog of ideas that I have, and I'm just setting the Sunday night deadline and getting it done, and I think one of the things that pressing me into getting it done is making myself accountable by charting my progress publicly on the blog. I'm tracking my progress in my bullet journal, so I can pick it up and look at it, which I think helps, having something physical to look t it. I don't know what it is, but there's something about it this time that feels different this time. I don't know if its motivation or inspiration or drive, or what it is. But I'm going with it, because I definitely have no shortage of ideas. What I lacked was discipline to sit down and do it, because something else always got in the way because, frankly, I let it. This is the year I let it in. Also, taking it in small bites, and not setting gigantic lofty impossible goals that will be impossible for me to complete then hating myself when I don't is a lot more attainable, and the progress easier to track and manage. Setting easier goals is, well, easier. After all, the challenge is writing 52 short stories in a year, not 52 short stories in a week. Not a novel a week. And I want to do everything, and because of that, I think, I end up doing nothing. I'm also a few weeks into my new position as an elementary art teacher, and I'm loving it. This is going to be my year of art. I can feel it. Bringing in more art in my life feels like a warm invitation, and it's opening something in me. A story: a long time ago, in my teens, I mentally held a funeral for art in my head. I wanted so badly to be an artist. And I let it go. And then it comes back in this form. Art came back to me. It's just funny how this happens. You think its gone forever and then it appears out of nowhere, even if only for the rest of the school year. There's no guarantee I'll have the same job in September, but I'm glad I have it now, and it's all I can be grateful for. I have art and two stories, which is more than what I started off the year with, so that's something.

On Loneliness, Pt. 2

He stops short of the entryway, and his shadow falls long over the carpet. "Come out and say how-do," I say jokingly. It was a f...