Monthly Archives: September 2012

Dang! It’s Time To Admit . . .

It’s definitely Fall outside. Autumn has finally come, and I’m fricking freezing! Ever since I moved into my new home last May, I’ve been enjoying my writing time on the deck. It’s been nice having been able to say, “I’ve done most of my writing throughout the Summer months, outside, on the deck, while listening to the sounds of nature!”

Everyday, I’d finish my chores, and then head outside to assume my chair on the wooden floor of my ‘outside’ office. It’s been a joy to me, listening to the birdsong, and the children laughing while at play, and watching the animals scurry busily about their day, the breeze blowing across my sun-kissed warm skin, and a glass of homemade Iced Tea, or Lemonade sitting on the glass table by my side. Like I said, “nice!” I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again, I get my best ideas for writing while outside! But lately, the days have turned colder, and I’ve tried to stay outside, enduring the chill in the air, and the stinkbugs landing in my fiery locks and on my laptop, and I didn’t mind that so much. Though today, I was sitting outside where it’s even too cold for the stinkbugs to come visiting, and I was trying to write, well, type, and I couldn’t think through my chattering teeth, and my fingers were just not working correctly. Too many typo’s and then it happened. I noticed that my fingertips turned blue!

I’m in distress at having to move my writing time indoors. I’m not ready to be huddled inside in my office; which for the record, is really very nice with walls of butterscotch, and a chocolate-colored sofa where I have the freedom to pluck a book from my Barrister when I need to recharge my batteries, and languish. But the thought of being stuck indoors with my only connection to the outside, one lonely little window is, to say the least, a bit of a bummer. But alas, there it is, I’m forced indoors, and I don’t want to be. I’ve said it! I can only hope that I’ll get used to the imprisonment in my cozy office, and that the ideas and creativity will continue to flow. I hope.

I guess the matter is, I’m finally admitting to myself, I’m saying, “goodbye” to the Summers’ days. Saying, “goodbye for now” to the deck; my ‘outside’ office, with its wooden floor, and carpets of Kelly green lawns around it, its walls of leafy green trees and bushy shrubs, its ceiling of baby blue and lazy, puffy clouds overhead, the bright yellow of the day, and the fragrance of green and floral that I’ve enjoyed a great deal. I’m resigning myself to the idea that I’m going to be stuck indoors for the next six or seven months, and I know I don’t like the idea, but I have to accept it. After all, if I can’t get my fingers to work because they’re too damned cold to tap the keys correctly, then it’s too damned cold to be working outside!

I have to admit it to you, that the Autumn is actually my favorite time of the year. A time when the leaves of the trees burn bright with reds and golds that glitter in the noonday sun, and the pungent scent of decaying leaves, and the sweet odor of Fall’s hay harvests, and the delectable acrid fragrance of fresh apples, spiced cider, and the glow of pumpkins and colorful Mums, please my senses. A time of year when I turn my attention to the excitement of a spooky Hallows Eve, hayrides and scare fests, and little kids dressed in cutesy or scary costumes, and opening their little bags for a sweet. A time of year when Turkeys are slowly roasting with bread stuffing inside, and family gathers around the table with thanks and gratitude and hope. A time when the fireplace is alight with warmth, and throws are used to snuggle under, and corner nooks are received with welcome to read a great book while the weather turns colder. The Salvia and Hosta and Silver Wormwood’s going to sleep and awaiting the arrival of Spring once more. I love the Fall, and all that comes with it, except for the knowledge that I have to say goodbye to the Summer, and writing outside.

But you know what? I think I’ll get used to it! I’ll get used to the new scenery, and in fact, maybe I have to admit that I’m looking forward to it a little bit; to being inside. Perhaps I really am looking forward to still days, while snow is gently cascading past my little office window, and the world is quiet, silent and white. Perhaps I’m looking forward to, howling winds, heavy sweaters, and freezing temperatures, fires alight, and my mind whirling with devilish plots and twists with a hot Peppermint Schnapps-laced cocoa next to me on my old desk, and maybe, just maybe, this will be better for me and my writing. No distractions, just me, my lil’ Westie, my laptop, the cold, and my book. And, you know what else? I think I’m going to be okay with that! I think I am okay with that! In fact, I think I’m looking forward to it! Wow! Who would have thought that I’d be okay with saying, “goodbye” to the Summer, and that I’d start looking forward to time spent indoors?

If I’m being honest, I haven’t really spent much time inside my home since I’ve moved here, and maybe that’s part of my issue! Could it be that I’ve enjoyed writing outside on the deck so much, that I’ve forgotten to bond, to form an emotional connection to my home inside? I think maybe I’m having an ‘Eureka’ moment right now! Could it be that I’m accepting, nay, looking forward now to moving inside, and experience a whole new bonding with my new home? Ah. This feels so good to admit that I am looking forward to experiencing my writing life indoors! What can I tell you? I have to think these thoughts through before I can accept them, and now, here I am, telling you, that I am accepting my new thinking. I cannot wait to see what comes bubbling up into my writing from this new-found epiphany, this new found emotional acceptance! Now I’m excited, thinking of my new adventure inside. Could this day get any better? Is there anything better in the whole wide world than knowing that you’ll have no distractions while you’re writing your book? I think not. I think, for me, looking forward to writing indoors with a new perspective, is quite something! And that I’m looking forward to it, is something even more amazing. Just imagine what can be accomplished with no outside distractions? But, I think what I’ll love most of all, is having my lil’ Westie Terrier, Angel, snuggled up next to me on the sofa, while the snow is whirling outside my window, and finishing my debut novel! Just my lil’ Westie, me, and my book. I can’t wait for the Winter now! What can I tell you other than, I’m Just Me…

I Have Something To Tell You . . .

Okay, so here it comes.. Ready? Are you sure? “If you’re sure,” I say in my sing-song voice…
“Just remember, you asked me! Don’t blame me if you don’t like what you hear!”

I.. have.. a.. ‘sick folder’!

“What’sat?” I hear you ask.

I say again, “I have a sick folder!”

“What’sat mean?” You ask me.

It means.. I have a ‘sick folder’ buried deep inside of me, and the only time it comes creeping out, showing its sickening little smile, and sickening little thoughts, is when I’m writing!!!

“Ewww!” I hear you saying.

“Agree. Totally. And please don’t shoot the messenger!”

Here’s what I mean, what I want you to know…

A few days ago, I finished the ending to Chapter 6 of my debut novel!

“Yay!” I hear you cheer.

“Agree!”

Well, I think I tweeted about writing the end of Chapter 6, and I know I sent a text to a close writer friend about it, seeking out his wisdom on the subject, and I’ll tell you why. I felt sick.

You see, Chapter 6 came to a disturbing conclusion! And while I wrote it, I felt completely sick to my stomach. I actually felt like meeting Mr. TidyBowl face-to-face, so to speak! But, I held it in. I was brave, and strong about it, and swallowed the bile back down.. hard! That is to say, “I kept my lunch, if indeed I remembered to eat that day, where it was supposed to stay, in my tummy. But, I thought for a close second, that whatever, be it lunch, or something else, in my stomach, was not going to stay in my tum-tum tucked where it belonged, humming along through my perforated digestive tract, snaking its way through the miles of tubing to have a meeting with my morning constitution! What? Too much information? Lol. As if YOU don’t have a daily constitution! Whatever. It’s a part of this process we call life, people! Grow up!

Anyway, I kept my lunch where it belonged. And I say, “Yay for me! Woohooo!”

I shared the ending of Chapter 6 that I wrote with someone close to me. I didn’t read it verbatim to that person, but only gave the idea of what I wrote, and that person is still disgusted by my words. They were truly grossed out, and wanted to meet their own Mr. TidyBowl! I guess my words, what I wrote, truly was disturbing! “MmmmHmmmHmm, ” I hum, my eyes rolling up, and trying to look innocent.

I make light of the situation, but the reality of it was much harsher. I made myself sick to my stomach. Myself! Me! I WROTE it, and I got sick to MY stomach! What does that mean? What does that say about me? I don’t really know how to answer those questions. But, here are the really bad things about the situation: 1..I had trouble rereading it when I needed to add or change something in there, and, 2..I still get sick to my stomach when I have to reread it, and, 3..I had to stop writing for two days because of it!

I couldn’t process it. Knowing that those words came out of me, from somewhere deep inside, I couldn’t process that I wrote it! So, I started thinking about that. I asked myself these questions! I asked myself, what does that say about me? What kind of person would write that stuff? Am I a terrible human being for putting those words on paper, and wanting people to read what I wrote? What will you think of me, dear reader, when you do? Worry, worry, worry. That’s what I did for two solid days!

I told you that I sent a text to a close friend about it, he, being a writer, and whose book I’ve read, and the subject matter, was difficult to read, so I knew he had to have dealt with much the same issues. He did. And he gave me his advice, and I took it to heart and digested it, but.. I still worried over it, because it’s my story. So what if I realized I have a ‘sick folder’ deep within me that only rears its ugly head when I’m writing. So what if all these gory, disgusting, creepy, demented things come out of me when I write? Big deal! Don’t we all have one of those? A ‘sick folder’ inside of each one of us? Maybe. But then again, maybe not. I really don’t know if most people do, I only know that I do, and that’s what really disturbed me, and made me sick to my stomach!

So, having this knowledge about myself, I took two days off from writing. Actually, the truth was, the heart of the matter was, I was avoiding writing. While I was wallowing in that beautiful knowledge about myself, I read Stephen King’s short story compilation titled, “Full Dark, No Stars.” I always go to King when I’m up against a wall. Don’t know why, he’s just comforting to me. I like the lilt and pentameter of his voice, his writing style. I like the twisted way he brings the truth to life. I like the way he makes me feel creepy and icky, and helps me forget about my own issues for a while. King just… makes me feel good about being me!

Anyway, towards the end of his book, he included an Afterword. And, I normally don’t like being interrupted during the text of a book, but I read it anyway, cause I’m not the kind of reader who can skip over anything in a book. I read ALL of it! Even if I don’t like it, I’ll finish it because I figure, maybe there’s something I can learn from this book I’ve chosen. That’s not to say I didn’t like his book. I loved it! Though it was too quick of a read for me, would be my only complaint about it, but then his books usually are, but I read the Afterword, and you know what? It spoke to me! I needed to be reading that book when I read it. I was meant to read that book when I did! Remember my motto, “Everything happens for a reason?” I didn’t tell you about that one? No? Well, maybe another time. For now, it’s enough to know that it was meant to be! His Afterword talked about how reading his stories can be harsh, and that they’re harsh for him to write too! He talks about how he has respect for the truth, even if the truth is ugly. How the story needs to be told, no matter how ugly it is. Things along those lines.

I realized (after I was finished being stunned, because I thought he was speaking directly to me; like he was saying, “Pattyann, you have to write the truth the way you write the truth, because to do otherwise would be cheating!”) that S.K., one of the masters of horror, has a ‘sick folder’ deep inside of him too! That made me feel really okay about what I wrote, and I decided to keep the text in my book! Period. No longer am I afraid of what anyone thinks about what I wrote, it’s the truth of the book. It’s MY truth of MY book, and if the story unfolded the way it did there in the end of Chapter 6, then that’s what needed to be in the story! I make no excuses for what I wrote. It needs to be in there because its part of the story that needs to be told! It’s a part of the story that I need to tell! And how about today? Well, the truth is, I feel so much better about rereading it, and making necessary changes, and mostly, I feel really good about moving on to Chapter 7!

So I want to say, “Thank you,” to my friends who gave me good advice, and to you, my dear readers for taking the time to read my thoughts, and to Stephen King for including that Afterword, because, now I know that my ‘sick folder’ is a good thing! And in the case of writing horror, it’s a necessary good thing! And so, I’m off to go and write some more of Chapter 7, and, I have to wonder, and I’m anxious to see, what will come out of my ‘sick folder’ next? In the meantime, I want you to know, I can’t help the things I do, and the way I am. I’m Just Me…

Life Is So Busy . . .

Dang! It’s been a busy week! I’ve barely had time to put six sentences together, let alone write six paragraphs, or six pages, or six chapters of anything! Yes, yes, that’s an overstatement. I wrote a little. But not nearly enough to satisfy me. And I’m upset with myself for not finding more time. But, this was a difficult week with the loss of a dear family member, and every day tasks that I’ve let pile up on my shoulders, because, last week I made the time to write and ignored some other things, and what not. I’m certain, you will agree with me when I say, life is just, busy. And everyone is dealing with nearly the same issues. Work demands, household demands, time to spend with family, and friends, and taking care of little furry ones, running errands, paying bills, correspondence, and taking a few minutes for personal grooming… Lol. You get my point, yes? But, what time does that leave for writing?

Well to be honest, it got me to thinking!

“Uh-oh”, you say. “She’s thinking!” (shudders.)

“Yes,” I say, “I’m thinking.” (giggles.)

I realized something of great value during this extremely busy week. I came to the understanding, that if I’m not writing, then I’M NOT WRITING!

“Huh? Well, duh!”

So true. And I always knew this to be the truth, but it never fully materialized in my brain until this past week of busy, busy, busy. I fully understand that if I’m too busy to write, then I’m not truly writing, am I? And, I realized something else of value too. No one else is going to do it for me! No one else really can, now can they? No. So, if I’m not doing the act of writing, then my book… MY BOOK, is not getting written, is it? Damn, that’s a bitter pill for me to swallow!

I came to an understanding in my teeny, wittle head, that if I were a server in a restaurant, or an airplane pilot, or a retail clerk, or almost anything at all; if I’m busy, or sick, or whatever, there’s someone else who can take my place and do my job for me, isn’t there? But, if I, or you, are a lone Writer, we are, a lone Writer. Period. No one else can jump in my head and write my words for me. I can dictate, sure, and someone can write it down for me, but that voice still isn’t going to sound like me, is it? Un-uh. If I’m not writing, I’M not writing! End of story.

In truth, and to be perfectly frank, I think about my writing every second of every single day, whether I’m actually doing it or not! My book is always in my thoughts. I’m always thinking of how the story will advance? Who will say what, what will that character do next, and where do I want to go to in the next chapter? Even as I bathe my lil’ Westie, I’m thinking of story plots and twists. When I’m on the phone, be it personal, or business, I’m thinking of new characters to develop, and the conversations they’ll have, and who they’ll have them with. When I’m grocery shopping, I think of, well, to be honest, all I can think of then, is how much I’m going to regret shopping when I get to the register to check out! Usually though, all that’s on my mind, all day, every day, and night, is my book! I don’t get a day off in my head, even if I’m not actually physically writing. But then, that’s the problem, isn’t it? I’m not physically writing. Just because I’m thinking about it, doesn’t mean I’m writing about it. And therein lies the issue with my epiphany!

So then, what’s to do? What’s the answer? Here’s the simple version. Forgive myself for taking the necessary time spent on people who are important to me, my beautiful pets, and tasks, and tomorrow? Just write. Not think. Write. Well, yes, thinking too, (giggling again,) but do the physical act of writing. Yes, true. Today I took time to write this post, and I know I could have been writing in my book instead, but, because I have to mull everything over and talk about it before it sinks in, this is important for me to do too. Let’s call it what it is, therapy. (nervous giggle.) At least I wrote something this week! (I can feel you rolling your eyes in your head, aren’t you?) So that’s it for now. And tomorrow? You know where I’ll be, just writing. Because, that’s what I do, and after all, I’m Just Me!