Just some brief newsy things. I swear, at some point I really will offer some material with meat here. I am so very entranced with all the paradigm-changing gobbledigook I’ve been intaking lately, it’s gotta come out here at some point. And it will.
But for now, updatery:
As promised, here’s a link to my latest for the Hot Tub Crime Machine: “Sling Words on a Blank Page” is about techniques for sticking with the storymaking when the writing feels more like a slog than a romp. Head on over, and let me know (there or back here) what you think and what works for you.
The work-in-progress, Watchful Dragons: The Return of the Pelegrin, is going REALLY REALLY REALLY WELL. Writing this story feels more like taking dictation than anything else, as though it already exists in its entirety in my head, and the Muse is simply reading it off to me.
The Muse, in case I’ve never mentioned him here, is a chain-cigar-smoking degenerate named Clarence. I should write a post about him.
Well, I’ve missed a few weeks again of blogging here. It’s because late July through end of August kinda kicked my tushie. The kid was sick. I was sick. The two of us went on a last-minute mini-vay with my mom. The kid started 1st grade. (WHAT MANNER OF INSANITY IS THIS.) I got sick again during a weekend getaway to Eureka Springs. We had a huge storm that knocked out the power of over 100k customers in Oklahoma City, our house among them. It was out for two days.
In short, LIFE HAPPENS.
One of my new favorite philosophers, Peter Rollins (who looks like a mid-’90s-era rock star and I am here for it), says:
“The Gospel is: Life is shit, and you don’t have the answers, and that’s good news. Embrace your brokenness, your anxiety, and your unknowing, and you will find yourself happier. …The meaning of life is to set aside the questions and learn how to love.”
via “You Made It Weird with Pete Holmes,” Dec. 9, 2014
There’s a heckuva lot of good stuff to unpack there, and at some future point I will do some of that. Be forewarned, though: my version of unpacking philosophy will probably involve ripping the suitcase open, grabbing whatever’s nearest at hand, and flinging the contents about me with wild abandon. I doubt I will be folding and stacking things neatly, much less putting them away. It is going to be a lovely mess, and now you know.
That said, I’m not sure how much philosophizing I should do here. I mean, it’s kiiiinda on-topic? A lot of what I’m reading/listening to via Rollins and several other sparks of human brilliance is feeding directly into my WIP. So unpacking some philosophy will give some background for RotP?
I dunno. If you two inklings who still read this blog have been keeping up, you know that I don’t blog with much forethought these days. My number of spoons is limited. More targeted blog-planning takes more flatware than I have available to me. We’ll just have to see how it goes.
What else? Oh, um…so my entire workout routine has been trash for the past six weeks. Illness, out-of-townness, illness…all the suckage. In-between sicknesses, during the child’s first week of school, I was back at the gym. But that has been by the wayside for the past two weeks during second recovery and power outage hoopla.
And, as I told my therapist a couple weeks back, when one part of my health routine breaks down, the rest of my good habits follow soon thereafter. The downward spiral begins, I forget to give the Babadook a place at my table, and before I know it I’m down in the basement with him and he is eating me instead of my choosing what to feed him.
So. I have been spiraling again.
But I am fully aware of it and I know what to do about it.
Barring unforeseen crises (of which, let’s face it, there have been several of late), I ease back into my gym routine starting tomorrow. That will trigger eating healthy and taking my supplements. All of this will give me more energy and clearer thought in daily life.
Also, yesterday I painted for the first time in a year. And even though I am very definitely rusty, and I am not a huge fan of the results on the canvas, I do know that this will have been good for me. It’s triggering creative impulses.
Honestly, if I hadn’t painted yesterday, I probably wouldn’t be blogging right now.
This blog post is very stream-of-consciousness even by my standards.
Anyhoo…A Few Final Tidbits:
1. In spite of the whole teacher fiasco, the kiddo is doing GREAT. Academically, she is right where she’s supposed to be, if not a bit advanced. Socially, she’s enjoying herself. Behaviorally, her teacher is pleased with her. This morning, she read a 383-page Heidi Heckelbeck book (3 chapterbooks in 1) in one sitting. I love how much this kid loves reading.
2. Go read my first post for the Hot Tub Crime Machine: “How the Heck to Write a Murder Mystery?” My second one, as yet untitled, will concern how not to give up when writing the story gets tough. Not all of my Hot Tub writing will be how-tos, but that seems to be where I’m drawn right now.
3. Return of the Pelegrin, the aforementioned WIP, progresseth apace. I’ve slowed down quite a bit over the past month because SEE ABOVE. But I’ve reached a part of the story that’s an adventure-within-an-adventure, and it’s gonna be a lot of fun to write. There’s gonna be wild rides a-horseback, shadowy stalkers, maiming, ghosts, treachery, and, of course, the quintessential giant arachnid or six. Y’all’re gonna love it. I can’t wait for you to read this book.
4. The Dark Crystal: Age of Resistance is available on Netflix. I am five episodes in and completely entranced. The show does its own thing (rightfully so) while staying true to the magic and beauty and atmosphere of the film. No spoilers from me, and don’t tell me anything until I’m through Season 1!
5. Speaking of Netflix, I need She-Ra Season 4, Dragon Prince Season 3, Lucifer Season 5, and Mindhunter Season 3. STAT. I’m also watching Outlander and it is glorious.
Just a brief heyyo here’s what’s been up in my writing world:
Last month, I completed, i.e. won, the summerly version of JuNoWriMo, of which you will be cognizant if you have ever given my blog any smidgen of serious attention whatsoever. After having spent almost one whole week of June out-of-commission health-wise, I actually finished the challenge a day early; thus, there was must rejoicing.
The novel I worked on during JuNoWriMo is currently entitled Watchful Dragons: Return of the Pelegrin. “Pelegrin” is another word for “pilgrim” and is also related to the word “peregrine.” So, lots of thematic stuff with journeys and sacred stuff and untamable creatures, etc. It’s a fantasy novel set in my Light-Walkers universe, and it seeks to provide the answer to “What ever happened to Susan Pevensie from C.S. Lewis’s Narnia books?” Because, yes, I do happen to have enough hubris to believe myself capable of providing a satisfying answer to that 60-year-old question, even though I won’t be using any of Lewis’s characters, settings, or exact plot lines because I’d really rather avoid getting the pantaloons sued off me by the man’s estate. I am currently about 65,000 words in, and this book is showing every sign of being a 200k-word story, so I don’t know what I’m going to do. But I’m loving main character Gillian Averell, who is currently in the middle of going all mama-bear over her daughter getting attacked by a smoke creature that bleeds violet. Thus, much fun is being had by all.
My JuNoWriMo project of 2018 was my first ever murder mystery, also set in the Light-Walkers universe. The Priestess Murders is the story of magic-user priestess Joely Puck, unwilling assistant detective investigating the murder of a fellow priestess. There’s magic and betrayal and flaying and manipulation and insidious cursed objects and romance and inter-dimensional travel. I spent the second half of 2018 and much of the first half of 2019 crafting the thing to completion and thence, step by tormented step, into completion. One beta reader has finished it and says it’s one of the best things I’ve ever written. Another beta isn’t quite finished but tells me she’s thoroughly enjoying the read. More to come on that front soon, I dare hope.
This blog. Oy vey, ay caramba, uffda, and um Himmels Willen this BLOG. Since I can’t seem to keep the thing updated or in use or what-hast-thou, I have decided to set aside time every Monday evening for blogging. I’m aware that blogging isn’t exactly DONE anymore, and I certainly don’t owe anyone a blog post or whatever, but. The blogging thing is good for me. I realize and acknowledge this. Plus, my therapist wants me journaling, and since I can’t quite manage to keep up with that, maybe a weekly commitment here will stand me in good stead on that front, too.
I write too much on Twitter.
That’s all, folks.
(Am I allowed to say that? Like, legally?) *swan-dives into alternate dimension*