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fess up friday

the self-care edition…

so, i haven’t done a very good job of logging my time for the past few weeks. i made it to the writing table several times this week, but the progress is more of a getting reacquainted with the work. today i had been at the writing table for a couple of hours and started to feel quite unwell. it came over me all of a sudden and i couldn’t concentrate. i had to leave. on my way home i realized that it was now past three o’clock and all i’d consumed today was a starbucks white chocolate mocha, a mini vanilla scone (which was delicious) and an iced tea! not one drop of water. and no food! no wonder my body shut down. although i’m not generally a napper, i came home and had some soup and went to bed. i guess that’s exactly what my body needed. and my novel probably needed it, too.

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fess up friday

the gustav edition

hey party people! your girl is still here in memphis, just as tired as tired can be but trying to make the most of this evacuation thing. my person in the field said my house is fine (other than some foul business in the freezer). my crew from nola (specifically kem) coined the term the new evacuee. being a new evacuee involved massages and body treatments, lots of wine (did i say lots of wine) and shopping. the following is the two-week roundup of the business:

saturday, august 23
3 hours? i didn’t record this but suspect that i worked since i took off the next day…

sunday, august 24
0 hours for rain

monday, august 25
3.5 hours

tuesday, august 26
3.5 hours

wednesday, august 27
3 hours

thursday, august 28
0 hours (packing to evacuate for gustav)

friday, august 29
0 hours (getting ready for gustav)

saturday, august 30
0 hours

sunday, august 31
0 hours (but visit with frank d @ his studio)

monday, september 1
0 hours (evacuee cipher with my people. there was poetry, part of my novel, music, reflections and people poll questions. and wine. lots & lots of wine.)

tuesday, september 2
7 hours (granted mostly distracted due to general stress and visit from ghost of relationship past)

wednesday, september 3
7.5 hours (somehow, miraculously pieced together the scenes for this next chunk of the story.)

thursday, september 4
0 hours

friday, september 5
3.5 hours (so very, very tired)

total this week: 31 hours
total to date: 332 hours

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fess up friday

the what is it i’m writing again edition…

so, sometimes you sink so deep into noveling you’re not sure what is going on. there comes a point in time where you must be at the same time completely entrenched into the very specific minutiae of the book, but also at the same time keep your eye trained all the way out to the end. i imagine it is what it must be like to be a long distance swimmer in open water. part of you must be intensely focused on your breathing, the movement of your limbs, but also on the opposite shore. you must constantly check to make sure that you are on course to your target. so as i pause to check my bearings, here is the business for the week:

saturday, august 16
4.5 hours

sunday, august 17
3 hours

monday, august 18
4 hours

tuesday, august 19
2 hours

wednesday, august 20
4 hours

thursday, august 21
4 hours

friday, august 22
2.5 hours

total this week: 24 hours
total to date: 301 hours

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fess up friday

the writing is a process edition…

so. i think i’m finally learning what a writing process truly is. for the longest time i thought when people said a “writing process” they meant the actual tasks of the thing as in i write my first drafts longhand in college ruled composition notebooks in .5 mechanical pencil. i type those pages up and edit them in red pen. i draw charts and graphs. i use scivener to outline. i do character sketches after the first draft. at some point there is no longer a “draft” but something more akin to quilt pieces, pieces of story that i pull from to make a whole. i have certain music to write to. i like to write in the same place. i don’t write after dark.

but what i am discovering is that there is also a process to the emotion of writing. different stages make me feel a different way. i feel anxious and hesitant when i am about to come to an ending, be it chapter or draft. there is a completely different type of anxiety at the beginning of a thing. there is the cloudy haze that i walk through when i am piecing things together, when i know that the meaning is close, but slippery and difficult to catch. there is the delicious euphoria when things catch aholt that feels like it will overwhelm me. that some of the best parts of this process don’t feel that way.

enough of the touchy-feely. on to the business for the week:

saturday, august 9
0 hours writing (but hours doing project work for $)

sunday, august 10
4.5 hours

monday, august 11
5 hours

tuesday, august 12
3 hours

wednesday, august 13
4.5 hours

thursday, august 14
3 hours

friday, august 15
4 hours

total this week: 24 hours
total to date: 277

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fess up friday

the oh, it’s friday already, again edition…

wow. i’m late posting my fessing up. i’ve been in a sea of muchness and nothingness. came out of the coffee shop where i work yesterday to find a smashed back bumper. realized that it couldn’t have happened there, but in front of my house. the tail light, break light and signal were all intact, so i’m trying not to grrrh, grrrh complain. but i hate seeing my little baby all crunched up. *sigh*

last week was a test. julia cameron in the artist way talks about critics–internal and external ones and i had rounds with both this week, but i’m proud of myself. remember that saying, your opinion of me is none of my business. yeah. i was all over that last week. but seriously. life is good. i’m making a novel that i’m proud of, in my own time and my own way. finally i trust me to do it, no matter what anyone else has to say.

so here’s the business for the week:

saturday, august 2
3 hours

sunday, august 3
2 hours

monday, august 4
3 hours

tuesday, august 5
4 hours

wednesday, august 6
3 hours

thursday, august 7
4 hours

friday, august 8
4 hours

total this week: 23 hours
total to date: 253

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fess up friday

the it’s august already edition…

i’m fuzzy now about how to measure my “progress”. i did some work at home that isn’t reflected in my totals. i typed some new words for this new chapter. i thought a lot about it. made some significant (i think) connections in the work. i checked out books on fairytales and folktales. showed up and did my time at the writing table. i did some other things this week that i usually put off. i applied for a grant. got on a schedule critiquing a friend’s manuscript (way overdue). dug up some short-shorts to submit. wrote a charming note. still not in the thick of it, but i’m moving forward. a bit terrified about $$, but trying to visualize abundance. thank goodness for the new moon tonight. i always get a burst of energy from the new moon and lordy, i need it.

here’s the business for the week:

saturday, july 26
3 hours

sunday, july 27
3 hours

monday, july 28
3 hours

tuesday, july 29
3.5 hours

wednesday, july 30
4.5 hours

thursday, july 31
3 hours

friday, august 1
3.5 hours

total this week: 23. 5 hours (my total hours are up!)
total to date: 230

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fess up friday

the stopped for freight edition…

i used to ride the train to visit a former him. i’d board the city of new orleans in memphis and hope for a window seat to watch the world go by. it was strange seeing mississippi like this. the same places i’d traveled by car so many times, being stopped many times by the same train that i was riding on. the trip is usually scheduled to take around 8 hours, but that time was generally extended if you had to stop for a freight train to pass (which happened almost every single trip). i seem to always talk about trains in my writing. and comparing the writing process to trains. but this past week i was slowed down by freight. i don’t really think slowed down is proper. more like waiting for the freight to pass–the freight of this part of the work that is figuring out strange connections (brer rabbit, sleeping beauty, indian mounds, wildlife & dreams). this the part where i have to be patient (when i want to FINISH! FINISH! FINISH!). where i have to listen to what the story wants (instead of what the writer wants).

my totals are a bit off because i’m not so sure how to count my submission hours. but here is the business for the week:

saturday 7/19
2 hours

sunday 7/20
4 hours–submitted short-short to journal

monday 7/21
3 hours–sent out first chapter to journal

tuesday 7/22
3 hours

wednesday 7/23
0 hours–but coffee w/writer friend barb

thursday 7/24
0 hours–lunch w/ aforementioned former him

friday 7/25
3 hours

this week: 15 hours
total to date: 206.5

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fess up friday

the back on solid ground edition…

i made it back to shore. i sat in the chair. moved things around on the page. gathered up the bits from other drafts that could possibly, maybe fit in this next section. identified spaces where new words would have to be written. made a list. checked it twice. mapped the territory and started on the journey. mind you, despite all of this the map is not the territory and my travels through here will take me to unexpected places, but exactly where the work needs me to go.

here’s the business for the week:

saturday 7/12
0 hours: takema put my art on the walls instead of the floor. yay!

sunday 7/13
0 helping out friend w/ resume. & cover letter. that’s kinda writing, right? uh. i guess not.

monday 7/14
3.5 hours

tuesday 7/15
2.5 hours

wednesday 7/16
5 hours (but lots of distractions)

thursday 7/17
4 hours

friday 7/18
4 hours

total this week: 19 hours
total to date: 191.5

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fess up friday

the “i hate this part” edition

usually when i get to some sort of ending in my writing i stall. i hesitate. i am loathe to move forward. today i remember why. i hate this part. arthur flowers says “i love being a writer, i just hate the damn paperwork”. geez, i am soooo there. i am here at this new chapter feeling anxious, uncertain and downright grumpy. i want to skip this section. to get to the part where the words will make their own logic, but i have been doing this long enough to know that this is the crucial stage–getting the architecture right, the underpinnings. i can always write pretty words, but it is this work that is crucial. this is the part that gives the work weight, history. that transforms characters on the page to people who live outside of this computer. so i show up. and i sit. i stare out of the window and make people think i’m crazy. i feel on the verge of tears. i want to stay at home in bed from the bigness of it. i forget to eat. i get very concerned about cleaning out my closet or organizing my bookshelf. then i breathe. and i keep asking what if, what if, what if until the answers emerge. i pace. drink wine and eat chocolate at night. but if i sit through it, if i show up enough, suddenly it will make sense. just not today.

saturday 7/5
0 hours–essence festival

sunday 7/6
0 hours–essence festival

monday 7/7
3 hours

tuesday 7/8
4 hours

wednesday 7/9
5 hours

thursday 7/10
3 hours

friday 7/11
3 hours

this week: 18 hours
total to date: 172.5

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fess up friday

the independence day edition…

one of the happenings in the first chapter of my book takes place on independence day. today i will be spending my independence day with my co-pilot. i guess i’m having an independence day of many sorts. the first chapter was finished this week. sent out to readers. got positive feedback. independence from thinking i’m too slow. that my process is wrong. i’m moving forward. this weekend will be full of essence festival goodness, so i probably won’t get any work done on the page, but i will in my head. the book is always working me. i guess i think this little break will be good for me. to prime the pump. i’ll tell kanye you said hello.

saturday 6/28
4.5 hours

sunday 6/29
2 hours: when i realized that i was a day finishing i felt a little ill. no, really ill.

monday 6/30
4 hours: chapter one. done.

tuesday 7/1
0 hours!!! a day off. massage. lunch with honeychild. chillin.

wednesday 6/2
2.5 hours: re-visioning chapter 2. looking @ the book as a whole to see where to go from here.

thursday 6/3
2 hours: new moon

friday 6/4
0 hours. unless you count my time with kanYe….

this week: 15 hours
hours on chapter 1: 150
total to date: 154.5

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