June 2, 2007
I have just ended my fifth month of my Writing Sabbatical Year. Let's see where my Year-to-Date report card is:
Novel #2 needs some explanation. I've been struggling with Novel #2 for most of May (when I wasn't traveling). I trashed it once and restarted it but the restart did not take. It was the major thing I was noodling over on my road trip down to California and Bay Con. What should I do about it? Why was it being so difficult to start? Was there something else I should be doing instead?
After about 10 hours of driving and pondering, the answer was abundantly clear to me as I yanked my mind off of my proposed fantasy trilogy and back onto the young adult book for the zillionth time. My heart wasn't in it. I didn't have a deadline for it. I didn't have anyone waiting for it. I had already proven to myself (and the world?) that I could write a novel (and many short stories/vignettes) in this Writing Year sabbatical and I really should make my next book be something that I am interested in and passionate about.
So, I'm trashing my young adult book altogether and am starting the first in my fantasy series called "A Thief's Mistake" AKA "ATM" AKA "Novel #2." There was such a sense of relief once I made that decision it wasn't funny. From there, my muse was off and running. While at Bay Con, I outlined the first book of the Sovella-Dever trilogy and did a bunch of world creation (Lands, religious pantheon and named everything I could think of so I wouldn't stumble over the story, thwarted by a name.) This is what I will be working on from now on.
In a writing sense, I have reset myself, my goals, my expectations and my writing. I think I needed to. Just before I left for Bay Con, I paid bills and took a look at everything. It is all on target. I'm not overspending. I am exactly where I planned to be. But, damn, it is hard to deal with sometimes. I keep feeling like I'm digging myself deeper and deeper in debt. I know I'm not but my inner miser is having a field day.
To add insult to injury, I am dealing with two other unexpected emotions: Guilt and loss. I feel somewhat guilty about staying home to write. This is probably because I haven't finished anything except FFF and TEoP over the last month. I'm not feeling as productive as I could be. It's not like I'm staying home and eating bon-bons or anything like that but I don't know. I am still dealing with this weird sense of guilt. Also, I've discovered that I really miss testing. I miss the corporate environment (insane, I know) and I miss not having a product to work on. Maybe I'm missing the control of being a QA tester. Who knows? I know I will go back to testing after this Writing Year is done.
I've been thinking about what I wrote above about feeling guilty. It's weird to feel guilty for being so damn happy. I've been stupidly happy for weeks now. I mean, we're talking "satin hearts, rainbows, silly grins and kisses" kind of happy. It's not just the writing or the guy or the house or the various future plans I have. I think it's a combination of all of it.
All my life, I have noted certain moments in time that I consider "movie moments." These are the moments that stand out in a movie that you remember over and over. When I had a bad date and left, I drove home, listening to a particular song that was just so perfect for that fucked up moment that all I could thing about was what the musical montage of the scene would be like: Him at home, cleaning up, pissed off and upset sliced in-between scenes of me driving home, looking upset but firm. When I figured out that I could afford my Writing Year, I had the "dancing around the house in glee" movie moment, followed by the "can I really do this?" fear moment.
More and more, I've been having the sappy and smitten movie moments. To the point that, in one particular post coital moment with my guy, sharing some favorite ice cream we call Crack (Cinnamon Dulce De Leche) out of the pint container intermingled with ice cream kisses, I commented to him, "I think we are having a romantic movie moment." We both thought about it and agreed that it was indeed a movie moment.
It is strange to discover that parts of my life have become stereotypical movie moments in that way that almost "never" actually happens but most people wish it would. It is odd to realize that some things are a stereotype because, sometimes, they really do happen just like they do in the movies. I don't mind having these movie moments. In fact, I rather like them in an observant author surreal "you can't make this shit up" kind of way.
I am definitely not regretting my Writing Year. I knew it wouldn't be easy and it isn't. Part of me wants to rest on my laurels of the first book. Part of me wants to cut the year short and go back to the rat race now. Part of me wants to slap the rest of me around and tell me to shut up, sit down and get writing.
Guess which part of me is going to win.
Tarot Card for the Day: Judgment, Inverted