Saturday, March 20, 2010

Writing is hard

I wish I could simply let that statement lie. It's certainly true, at least when you know enough to realize that you're competent enough to be readable, yet will never become a literary icon. But saying 'it's hard' barely scratches the surface of the work involved, the toil, the sweat, the frustration, the fear... the madness.

I know writers whose words on the page never reflect the glory in their minds and they remain paralyzed or bitter or desperate and failing.

I know writers who find the simple act of composing a single word a task of great and terrible magnitude, a burden, a crushing, exhausting toil.

I know writers who push and push and strive and push some more, to have many books or big sales or fame, fortune, and bestsellerdom, often pushing so much toward 'success' that they push the rest of their life aside.

I know writers who write for art's sake, and anything mundane, simple, straightforward never measures up to the purple prose in their hearts.

I know writers who focus on plot, often at the expense of character.

I know writers who focus on character, often at the expense of plot.

I know writers who follow trends others set and are always tagging along behind, hoping to catch someone's shadow and grab it for all it's worth.

I know writers who never write. Anything. They just hang with other writers and try to talk the talk.

I know writers who work, but never play with the words.

I know writers who play but have no concept of writing as a job, nor would they want to.

I know writers who follow sets of pre-established rules for all aspects of their work, even going so far to have books and books of spreadsheets for characters and places in a single novel.

I know writers who make it all up as they go and get lost along the way.

I know writers who write to escape a horrid place within their own lives or memories.

I know writers who write to tell everyone how grand their life is.

I know writers who must inform the masses of their opinions, whether anyone wants to hear or not.

I know writers who are so afraid of offending anyone that they cannot stand within their own narratives.

I know writers who breathe to write, and those who write so they can breathe.

I know writers who must drink or be stoned to create, and those who write so they don't have to drink or be stoned to live.

And, I know writers who realize it's a job, a long, lonely job, but try to make the best of it. Even when it's hard.

It's National Quilting Day!

Are you sewing today? I will be as soon as I get two pages of narrative finished.

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Threads of Malice, aka The Book That Sunk My Career (part 1)

I'd like to state from the get-go that, much like the opening of Dickens' Tale of Two Cities, writing Threads of Malice was the best of times, and it was the worst of times. Creating it was both an exquisite pleasure, and an exquisite hell. I still dream of it, sometimes, and can quote vast swaths of narrative and dialog from memory. Editorially speaking, it was the easiest book - it had minimal line edits, and only one structural change from the initial draft - removing a scene of Otlee in Atro's cellar. The finished book is nearly a word for word match to my first draft, which still astounds me, especially since Ghosts and Valley had such massive overhauls. There are huge chunks of the narrative I don't remember writing, in fact, there were several times when going through line edits from my editor that I'd run across scenes, usually totally clean and with no edits at all, that I simply could not remember ever seeing before. It was like they magically appeared in my manuscript while it was off in New York, but they were in my original text files, so I must have written them.

(More after the cut)

Saturday, March 6, 2010

Wrote a scene

About 800 words. Ish. And while the words themselves are fine and tidy and all that, the content is AWFUL. Neglect and abuse of a toddler. Just awful.

And people wonder why I really hate my job most days.


Since I am pissy today - please see the 'brown elixir' post on the other blog - I am simply not in the mood to be perky, cheerful, or shooting creative sparkle curlicues out my butt. At least not today. I wanna sit and stew. But nothing gets done if I sit and stew.  Dammit.

So. In an effort to not simply be a sit and stewing lump, I made myself work on the baby quilt today - the piecing is almost done, just have to put the blocks together to make the main part of the quilt, then the borders, then stretch and quilt. It's looking very, very cute, and STRIKING. I hope the baby likes it. And, as soon as I finish this post, I'm going to work on the book. The secret book that everyone (including my agent) likes but scares me to death.

It's about quarter after seven. At 8:45 or so I have to get off my duff and start supper. Bill requested spaghetti. Tra flipping la.

I have 90 minutes. Wish me luck.

Friday, March 5, 2010

Last night's bag

I'd cut the fabric a day or two ago and sewed it last night. Was a freebie pattern from

Abbie really likes it and tried  to claim it as her own, but it's now hanging in Tanya's quilt shop. :)

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Baby Quilts!!

There must be something in the water since I know several lovely ladies who are expecting their first babies. Woot!

For me, a baby on the way means that I get to make a quilt! So, here are the fabrics for the next one on my list.

The curlicue fabric on top will be the back of the quilt, the black/blue batik is the background color, and the rest are for pieces, with the 'multi' being the main focus fabric. I think it's gonna be freaking GORGEOUS!!

I cut the pieces today and I'll probably start sewing tomorrow. Woot!

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

A bit of fiction - Sid's Story

Since this is a creativity blog - well, a place that I dump my creative bits, pieces, plans, and whatnot - and I am supposedly a 'writer' (whatever the heck that means), here's a short story I wrote while incredibly blocked on Valley of the Soul, or thereabouts.

It's not a pleasant tale (and it's really raw and unedited), so you've been forewarned.

Story below the cut

25 common cooking mistakes

From Cooking Light :)

Monday, March 1, 2010

Since I was cutting pink strips anyway...

I decided to make a 10-strip wonder bag, all in pink! :)

The Pink (& Green) Monster - Step One

I've been collecting pink fabrics for, oh, a few years now, since long before we moved up here to the northern wilderness. And, I've especially been collecting pink-and-green fabrics, which also encouraged me to pick up some minty greens too, and, anyway, I have a lot. Like a whole shopping bag full :)

(more after the break)