Taking these extended breaks from writing is like dry spells from conjugal duties. It is neither necessary or pleasant, and results in difficulties in gettin' back in the swing of things.
I recently signed up for James Patterson's Master Class fall writing class. I went through the first three lessons. I made a chart-calendar writing schedule. I was motivated as all get out. THEN, life intrudes upon me, once again.
Here's the glitch in this program. Life is going to intrude. I know that. It will try to block my best efforts (and yours, make no mistake there, budinski!) to accomplish my aim. To write. There are Laws of the Universe that govern such things. No, really. There are Laws. My job, my only job in this life is to be able to outwit these Laws. Take away: Write Even When Life Intrudes!
Because I know and understand the glitch, and because I know the solution, any excuse I make is kinda lame.
Gotta write. Gotta write every day. Just gotta "Feel Like It!" as Mr. Patterson says in his lesson. To paraphrase, there is no I don't feel like it, just feel like it.
Look out intruding life, the Inkslinger is back in the chair, pen in hand!
Sunday, October 19, 2014
The bole of ideas produced outlines of seventeen novels: two have about 100 pages each; five have between five and twenty pages; ten are in outline form on 3x5 index cards moldering away somewhere in the chaos of my office.
There is, however, this ever-increasing impetus to begin. Yes, as previously stated, there are lots of beginnings, some probably worth the writing, but that's not entirely what I mean. To begin to write, like it's what I do, like it's a job. Granted, a job I would love... and hate. A career of passion, a work of desire.
To facilitate this impetus to begin, I retrieved from my personal bookshelf the humorous and elucidating tome On Writing by Stephen King. After re-reading the three forewords by the Author, I turned past the paged entitled C.V. (curriculum vitae), and read up to the remembered moment in Mr. King's childhood where he imagined himself to be someone else.
Immediately, and quite without mercy, another idea seized the old noggin. My imagination whirring, clicking, spinning like an Twilight Zone title sequence. I, too, remember wishing, desperately, to be someone else. Even at the very young age of six, I remember feeling very old, or at least very much older than six - like fortyish - and feeling like... well, alien. Different. Odd. Strange. Not "normal." I also remember, desperately, wishing to be "normal." Had I any idea what I was asking of the Universe, I might not have asked.
Thus, today - I blog. Following this last statement, I write. About what it was like to wish to be someone else.
M. Kate McCulloch
October 19, 2014
Monday, January 14, 2013
Hey all! Happy New Year!
I'm sitting home with a cold, sneezing and snuffling and attempting to expel a lung through my mouth, but otherwise things are peachy!
I don't like peaches so much but the expression is still useful. Brian and I got engaged last year in June. Shortly afterward a torrent of general unpleasantness followed from other quarters. Somehow the world kept spinning on its axis and we survived as we.
This year we will most likely conduct some sort of nuptial ceremony and make the insurance, tax and societal designation official. When we do, we'll probably host a reception of some kind. Nothing fancy, BYOBeef for the barbie and Beer for the belly and well supply a variety of other tasty treats and tipplers. We're both hoping that the families will be supportive by showing up.
As an aside, and what made me think to write on this topic, was a nifty little item I saw on StumbleUpon. It a Honey Moon Fund jar. We have a vacation fund jar where the days remains of currency spent finds a home. I thought it would be, hmm, an interesting experiment to see if anyone might contribute. You know, pocket change.
We both, previously, we married. I had a huge wedding with a huge reception. It was nice. Brian's was, by all reports, even nicer. Neither of us have any particular need or desire for all the hoopla of that again. Too much time, money, effort. It would be nice to be able to take a weekend away after we combine forces, but it seems selfish, especially after each of us has had weddings and gifts and all that, to ask for anything at all. I mean, we don't really need anything, so we definitely will not ask for gifts.
I'm inclined to mention this on the reception invites - No Gifts Please - because for some reason people often feel obligated to bring a wedding gift. Really, bring a side dish, a dessert, a bag of chips or your favorite six pack to share and come hang out for a bit. Right?
What about the Honey Moon tip jar, though? Is that obnoxious? Totally voluntary, of course, but does it seem pushy? I'll have to think on this more. I wouldn't want any(more) snarky comments.
Here are my best and most sincere wishes, even for some of those storm bringer folks (maybe especially for them) for a peaceful and fulfilling New Year.
January 14, 2013
Sunday, September 23, 2012
Roll the Dice
M. Kate McCulloch
September 12, 2012
We went to the Wizard's Chest the other day so Brian could buy L5R cards. All good gamer geeks out there know what that means. If you are not such an individual, there are myriad search engines out there to facilitate your further understanding. While he was speaking with the associate on hand I was looking at stuff.
I have a tendency to wander around stores and just look at stuff. Must be from years of falling within the category of the have-not's. I do this in the grocery store, too. We'll go shopping and I will stop in an aisle and look at the panoramic display of barbeque sauce, or the fifty-seven types of bacon.
I found something I wanted while I was looking. Typically, when I find something I want, a quick cost-benefit analysis runs. Most of the time, I pass by the object, reasoning that I don't need it, it costs too much, or maybe that I don't have the money myself and I would have to impose on my fiance to obtain said object on my behalf. This time the benefit out won the cost and the imposition of appropriating the funding. I told Brian, "I gotta get these!"
These are a dice game, if you will, called Rory’s Story Cubes(r). These cubes are cool. These cubes are a writers tool for overcoming brain block. As a game, one should pick a theme, roll the dice, and make up a story. As a writer, I am going to use them to get my groove back. They also have a use as a device for school age kids, like my own school age boys, to generate story ideas or complete them, as the case may be.
I rolled the dice. There is a face cube with a sheepish expression, a dragon, a Tepee, a magnifying glass, a crescent moon, an arrow pointer, a talk bubble, a pyramid and a fish, a striped fish that looks like a tiger-Nemo.
My task is to compose a story, and not necessarily a narrative as there is a talk bubble die. But i find that the stories [prompted by the roll of the dice only reminds me of other stories by other authors. To tell a story that's already been told, or at least a story I know, to re-tell iit, seems disingenuous.
I know there are only so many plot lines and so many variations on a theme. many of the TV shows and movies I watch are predictable, as I'm certain is the case for many an audience before me. But it feels wrong, regardless of how obscure or unknown a piece may be, and most of my examples are neither, to change the names to protect someone's copyright.
But if I had to, think the Never-Ending Story...
See what I mean? Back to the drawring board...
Tuesday, September 11, 2012
September 11, 2012
I woke up this morning cranky. I briefly but pointedly snarked at both the future hubby, and grumbled about having to drive all the way across town to drop off the boysies at school and then all the way back, plus, to get to work.
On the trip leg leading to work, I switched on CPR/NPR and heard, right up front and first thing, that today is the 11th Anniversary of the September 11th terrorist attacks.
Two thoughts crossed my mind in quick consecutive order. First: all this bitchiness of mine must be related to the general miasma related to the date. And second: I am so lucky to have my boys, to have a car, to have a job. It's time to shut up, now.
Of course, like many of us, when I realized the significance of the date, I remembered not where I was, but how I felt when I saw that image of the plane puncturing the side of the tower. The smoke. The woman who jumped. The white powdery dust. The shock on thousands upon thousands of faces.
I wept today.
When I was young, selfish and very immature, I could understand why and how individuals and groups could become violent in defense of their beliefs. Some people begin open minded and become rigid; my path was from fear to freedom. I'm very lucky.
The people who want war, terror, sanctions, exclusivity, in a word, power over others are living in fear - a constant, unwavering fear - of the loss of some thing. Sentimentality over things has always baffled me. A human life cannot be replaced. Once it's gone it's gone. Ashes to ashes and dust to dust. But things can be replaced.
Enmity with some one because they are a different color, religion, ethnicity or because they dress or speak or move differently is, well, very immature. It brings to mind the nature of a two-year-old who only knows that he wants what he wants and he will do whatever he can to get it and keep it. It's understandable in a two-year-old, but by the time a person reaches three, the lessons on tolerance, acceptance, diversity and sharing, of all the human-forsaken things, should be in the curriculum.
The hardest part is this: How can we, quite literally, turn the other cheek? We must come to understand, collectively, that resistance only creates resistance. To win a "war on terror" we cannot be afraid, and we cannot meet terror with violence. They are simply different words for the same thing - Fear.
From your non religious writer, I recommend that if you are religious, pray to your god to learn how to forgive - everything - starting with yourself. If you are non-religious but spiritual then reflect on the nature of fear and the nature of peace. If you are atheist or agnostic, try examining the properties of Newtonian Physics and thermodynamics. These are principals that function in the human dynamic as well. And if you are like me - all of the above and more.
Now, I'm going to get up tomorrow and try to remember, for my own peace, that I am here, now. That I am grateful for all the unremembered little things and try to remember those, too. And that driving my boys all the way across town so they can attend a school we chose is an enormous privilege.
M. Kate McCulloch