The muse returns

Thursday, February 26, 2009

I really don't know what happened. For the longest time I was staring at my WIP, willing it to write itself, when suddenly the muse pulled back into town. And she's shown no signs of leaving.

Of course, my daily word count isn't nearly as high as I'd like it to be (especially with March 31 looming around the corner), but I'm making progress. Freaking progress, at that.

With all this writing and doing the paying work, that doesn't leave a lot of time for much else. Still, I'm finding time to watch way too much TV, and even get a little peeved when President Obama made The Biggest Loser appear two nights in a row.

Still, that man makes me believe just about anything is possible. Even my novel. LOL

Then I started thinking about what has made the past two weeks different for me with my writing? It's still cold outside and I'm in dire need of a spa day, but something is making the words flow more freely.

It could be that I'm fighting the fear more effectively.

You see, this is my last kick at this particular can before I call it a day and move on. Life is too short to spend years on one novel. With a box of shiny new ideas clamoring for my attention, I have to be more selective about the projects I spend my time on.

So, even though I'm afraid of having to let this one go, I'm no longer afraid to give it my best shot first. My characters deserve it. And maybe it'll be the first in a series.

Hey, you never know. ;)

What about you? When do you decide to give up on a project and move on to the next one?

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posted by Bonnie Staring at 9:31 PM 3 comments

Bonnie's excuse of the week

Monday, February 23, 2009

It's been a very interesting week... no, it hasn't, I'm a total liar. There's snow on the ground again and I really don't like my winter boots, but all the ones on sale are only available in size 6 or 10. So yeah, I'm not too happy.

"I'd rather be napping."
It's pretty sad when you'd rather be unconscious than face your WIP, but that's what happened to me this week. And how can I focus on character motivation and plot when the couch looks so darn comfortable?

Sure, I needed to be awake for the work that pays the bills, but then the sandman would come calling -- and I was ready to answer with a resounding yawn. Then the snoring started. Le sigh.

And it saddens me that the only thing my WIP is motivating me to doright now is nap. That says a lot about how captivating my novel is at the moment. LOL

So what's a writer to do? Well, for now, I'm going to take a wee break and have that nap. Obviously my body needs it, and maybe it'll give my subconscious a chance to work up some fabulous ideas I haven't thought of yet.

Well, here's hoping...


posted by Bonnie Staring at 10:19 AM 2 comments

What are you afraid of?

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

I'm not a psychology major, but I think people's fears are really interesting. Most everyone has a fear of some sort, whether it's spiders, snakes or flying squirrels.

One of my biggest fears is heights. It's stood in the way of a few things for me, and two instances were even caught on camera when I was on Stuck. There's an Armed Forces obstacle course with my name on it, and one day I will return to conquer it.

It just won't be today.

One of my friends has a fear of paper cuts, which I find truly freaky and may borrow for a character in a novel... perhaps a newspaper reporter or bookkeeper. ;) And there was a gal in high school who would scream at the sight of an eyelash curler, but I think that might have been the result of memories of a makeover gone horribly wrong.

As I've experienced, fear stops a lot of people from going after their dreams. Luckily for me, my dream is not climbing Mt. Everest or an open staircase in a really tall building. But my fear of making mistakes has made me pause and miss some cool opportunities.

I hope by now I've learned when to ignore those warning voices in my head. Especially the ones that sound like Jack Bauer.

What about you? Do you have a weird fear -- or one that's stopping you in your tracks to success?

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posted by Bonnie Staring at 3:57 PM 3 comments

Happy Family Day

Monday, February 16, 2009

In Ontario, we have a holiday in February called Family Day. I think it means we're supposed to spend more time with our families since all the malls are closed. ;)

As a freelancer, it's not really a holiday for me, but DH, Zaphod the cat and I all spent some quality time together between the laundry and Dr. Phil. And we will again watching 24 and Heroes. Actually, the cat gets kind of cranky during 24 with all the gunshots and shouting. Hmm, the same applies to Heroes as well, go figure.

But the best part of Family Day was taking Zaphod for his first outdoor walk of 2009. Yes, we have an indoor cat, but he comes from a feral family (he was an abandoned runt of the litter) and longs to go outside. He tells us this by meowling (a cross between a howl and a meow) at the door until someone with opposable thumbs gets the hint.

We even have a harness and a leash for him. No, he doesn't like it, but those are the rules.

My poor kitten isn't the same size as he was back in October. That's because he's finally fully grown. When I tried to put the harness on, one of the straps didn't reach. At all. I had to extend it to the longest setting, and then I asked Zaphod to exhale as I did up the latch.

We'll have to hook him up with a medium-sized harness when the stores are open tomorrow.

Even if he was feeling self-conscious about his weight gain, he didn't seem to care as he bolted out the front door and immediately rolled around on the porch, the sidewalk, the driveway and chased a squirrel up a tree.

For him, life is good. Now I just have to find him before he leaves little bits of dirt all over the place.

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posted by Bonnie Staring at 6:21 PM 2 comments

Bonnie's excuse fo the week

Sunday, February 15, 2009

Wow. It's been a week like no other for me. And here's why:

"I had no excuses this week."
Seriously. This was the most productive week I've had in ages in terms of my novel writing. Finished the first chapter (which took me forever to start because of, you know, all those excuses) and the brand-new synopsis.

Did it all in just over a week. Twenty-one pages in total.

Of course, at this rate it will take me three months to complete this rewrite instead of the six weeks I have left until March 31. But I'm not worried. This time I have an outline -- and character motivation that actually makes sense.

Oh, and a story that isn't bogged down my too much stuff. It kind of feels like streaking. ;)

So, instead of waxing poetic on this blog post, I'm going to tackle Chapter Two.

No excuses!


posted by Bonnie Staring at 11:03 AM 2 comments

Missed it by that much

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Have I told you how much I love the North Texas RWA Great Expectations writing contest yet?

No, my entry didn't get selected as one of the finalists this year, but it came really, really close. Like, by FIVE points. And I'm okay with it, honestly. Because the main reason I entered this contest was to get some feedback on my WIP's opening scene, which kind of bugged me.

Turns out it bugged three other people too, but not too much. ;)

Of course, this wonderful news has totally taken me away from the current final, final, final revision of my other manuscript. You know, the one with a due date of March 31, 2009. The rewrite that's still sitting at Chapter One, waiting for the writer to get back to the keyboard after checking over all the judges' comments on that brighter, shinier WIP.

Yup, I need to focus. In an all capped kind of way. ;)

I'm so easily swayed by my love of all things contesting. Le sigh. And it's all a roll of the dice. Through all the contests I've entered, I've learned that there are two types of judges:

- Ones who like it

- Ones who don't

The three times I've entered the Great Expectations contest (even with the manuscript that should never have seen the light of day), I've been lucky in getting judges who like my voice and style, even with weak plots and characters who make no sense whatsoever. Maybe that's why I have great expectations about the Great Expectations contest. LOL

How about you? Are there any novel writing contests that you LOVE to enter?

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posted by Bonnie Staring at 1:07 AM 2 comments

Hitchin' a ride

Monday, February 9, 2009

Today was a much less stressful day, and I think that's because I spent most of it getting words on the page. Completely rewriting a manuscript isn't up there on my fun list of things to do, but it is on my "has to be done to give this my best shot" list. And I decided not to fight it today.

I also spent a little bit of time with Eclipse (the third book in the Twilight series). I'll be honest, when I first started reading the book, I could have sworn that I had already read it. It just seemed all too familiar.

But then Jacob appeared, all 6'7" feet of him, and I knew things were verra, verra different. I'll leave it at that to avoid the spoilers.

Speaking of spoilers, doesn't this look like fun?

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posted by Bonnie Staring at 11:55 PM 2 comments

Don't shoot the messenger

Oh, it's a big messy world out there.

And yes, this is a post about email loops again. So feel free to move on to more entertaining blogs about spray cheese and agoraphobia instead of the idle rants of a woman who just wants everyone to get along. ;)

There's a club I belong to. I've been a member for a while and I have a pretty good time there, so I keep on going.

What kind of bothered me (aside from the DJ's preference to current dance hits as opposed to an '80s retro vibe) was that it took me forever to discover that there was a special party room for those of a particular status. How I found out about the room, I really can't remember, since there was no mention of it upon entering the main doors of the club or even in the gossip magazines.

Now that I had access, I wanted to let everyone else know where the room was. You know, just in case they wanted to hang out near the chocolate fountain. So I spread the word.

And I was surprised at how a few club regulars got all angsty about things, wanting to know why they hadn't known about this room ever before. As if I was holding back.

But I wasn't. My intent was to make people aware of the room, not taunt them about their lack of knowledge or make them feel like they've been missing out.

Because they really haven't. It's just a room. Even the chairs are the same as all the others.

I guess it just goes to show that knowledge has power. The power to inform, the power to engage and the power to make some people cranky. LOL

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posted by Bonnie Staring at 11:37 AM 7 comments

Bonnie's excuse of the week

Sunday, February 8, 2009

My ability to blog on a regular basis is failing me at the moment. Perhaps it's the weather. Or that I watch waaay too much television. ;)

Here's what's holding me back this week:

"I'm having too much fun doing other things."
Now, "other things" might range from earning a good income to organizing the spice rack, but all that matters is that you're drawn to doing those things instead of achieving those goals you really wanted to accomplish. Le sigh.

It's the whole "fear of success/fear of failure" rearing its ugly head. Or two heads.

Sometimes it's easier to not do anything instead of putting your heart and soul into a project and watching it wither and die because it wasn't as fantabulous as you thought it was. Or, perhaps its fantabulousness isn't what the world needs at the moment.

I know this all too well. And I guess when I'm faced with the choice of working on the umpteenth draft of a WIP or eating cheezies and watching Melrose Place reruns, the latter will usually come out ahead. Especially the episodes when Kimberly comes back from the dead and convinces Sydney that Michael must die. Good times.

But then, after about two episodes, I start to get a bit mopey when I think about that crusty WIP that just needs one more go at it to become the Novel that Will Make a Difference. And no, I'm not talking about my novel actually making a difference for all of humanity, I mean that this novel will make a difference for my writing career.

Like actually landing a literary agent and/or a book contract. Yeah, total full-on cheerleaders-with-a-parade-and-chocolate-fountains time.

And that's when I get escareded. Because what if, even after putting everything into this draft, it still doesn't land me an agent or contract? What then?

The adult in me says, "Move on, write the next book," while the eight-year-old says,"That's so not gonna happen!"

Isn't blind faith a wonderful thing?

Trouble is, the reality of the publishing world is out there. Not everyone gets published. Even those who try really, really hard. And that makes me sad.

But is that enough for me to avoid giving this WIP my best shot?

Not today, and hopefully not until I get to the end, for which I've given myself the deadline of March 31, 2009. Yes, even though I have a gazillion other things to do. And even though I'll be spending most of March working full-time hours.

I can totally do this, no excuses. Gulp.


posted by Bonnie Staring at 2:26 PM 2 comments

It's still winter

Thursday, February 5, 2009

Yes, I know, I've been blogging with the regularity of someone who doesn't eat any fibre. My apologies. I've gotten way too caught up in my to-dos and find that my time spent on the computer has been surprisingly more effective than usual.

Yeah, I've been offline. A lot.

And I've also been feeling kind of stumped about what to write about on this blog. Sure, I can whine and complain about reality TV programming until the cows come home, but that might drive even someone like me crazy after a while.

Of course, it's my blog, so I can do whatever I want, right? Mwahahaha...

Seriously though, I'm sick of winter. And I really don't understand why Canadians even bother with Groundhog Day, since it'll be a total weather freakout if winter ever ends before April gets here.

Normally we celebrate April with one last snowstorm. Good times.

Being a writer, I could run off to a small tropical island and simply live life on the beach, coating myself with SPF 3000 sunblock and eating a lot of mangoes and coconuts. But I'm sure I'd find something to whine about there too. Like how the cabana boys are just too darn good looking and how my skin keeps falling off with the third-degree sunburns I keep on getting. LOL

I guess I could do something totally outrageous and try enjoying winter.

As if...

How about you? What's your secret to dealing with wintry weather?


posted by Bonnie Staring at 9:16 PM 7 comments