Saturday, April 24, 2010

Kill your distractions!

Well, don't kill all your distractions; I love my family and murder is illegal, so I'll just continue to grumble at them.  But the others...

For me, it's people being wrong on the internet.  There's a graphic out there for that somewhere, but finding it would be just another distraction...

I wake with coffee and the internet on weekends (I can't spare the time Mon-Fri).  Mostly it's seeing what witty thing my brother has posted as his Facebook status or reading the political battles between old high school "friends" that have landed on the far left and far right with a libertarian (big L, in my mind) in the mix to make it worth my time.  But today, I clicked over to Livejournal, too.

Oh, my!  One link lead to another, and another, until I was reading the long Tweet by Tweet (by post, by comment, by...) of how Neil Gaiman is a racist asshole--you know, if you choose to take his words completely out of context to further your (albeit worthy) agenda.  I managed, just barely, to keep myself from writing, "yes, but what you're saying has nothing to do with what he was talking about."  He's a big boy, who replied for himself, not to mention his many fans.  Still that controversy and the one that lead me to it lasted through several cups of coffee, getting the girl dressed for the day, moving on to a whole other meal...

If I don't kill it, I won't get any of the research done that I need for my academic survivial, nor the revisions written that I need for a healthy psyche. 

Ordering Jabril, A Local Habitation: An October Daye Novel, and Hell Fire (Corine Solomon, Book 2) (yay sequils!) helped, and writing this out helped more.  Baking with the Wee One should put the final nail in the distraction's coffin, and I will be free--once she's settled--to get down to some serious writing.

What are your distractions and how do you kill them?

Tuesday, April 20, 2010


...because it's awful when so much time passes between posts.

Nearing the end of the semester, and all things academic are coming at me fast.  Little time for anything outside of that and mommydom, BUT... I've got the feedback from Ms. Beta Reader Supreme, so I'm slipping in revisions.

More to come!

Saturday, April 3, 2010

Late night posting...or....what week is this again?

As I write, my clock just hit 1am.  I feel like I'm type-whispering.  Shhh...

My mind's a jumble, but I'll try and spin a few things out coherently.  Last thing first: after I tweaked the layout*, I went bouncing about to catch up on a few things.  Brooke, from the aptly named Brooke Reviews, has a new post spotlighting Anton Strout's urban fantasy series.  Yay!  Not only do I like seeing other people's points of view, but I wanted to link this one because I prefer it to my own.  Strout's cool.  Granted, I know him only so well as you know anyone you've never met whose words you read every other day in passing, but I appreciate his online persona.  I don't necessarily appreciate his fiction, so I point you to Brooke.

 Dead To Me starts off with a brilliant opening scene that manages to be hillarious at the same time that it's informative and even touching.  Speaking of touching...(::waggles brows::) Simon's a psychometrist.  He touches an object and knows it's history--that came in useful in his earlier life as a thief, but catching flashbacks of your would-be-lover's past hot fling will keep you single.  Unfortunately, reading the book, I felt like each time I scratched the surface, I found a lot more surface.  The geek in me requires a certain amount of detail that Strout didn't provide.  Go judge for yourself!

It's 12 hours later, and my mind is no less jumbled. 

Seven and a half hours later still...and I'm less jumbled.  I was going to post about gender in response to the last line of Brooke's review.  And then I was going to write about race because I stumbled upon this while looking for something else completely. 

Before and after, I had coffee, fed the kid, showered, bathed her, sketched out the 1000 words of imaginary history I have to write by 11am tomorrow (and glad I took another look at that since the deadline has been moved up an hour), did too many other wife/mommy things to jot down, took the kid out with Grandma, came back, and tried to focus on two things at once until my Task Master beat me over the head and got me writing.

So let's talk about writing buddies!  A year ago, I wrote my plug for joining a writer's group.  In general, I think they're a good idea so long as you find one that works for you.  If you find one where everyone just loves everything you write and you don't need any corrections because you're just so fab, run.  Ditto if you find yourself in one in which all the "encouragement" feels like a punch in the gut. You don't need a group that will hold you back either by giving fake critiques that never show you what to improve or one that's so critical that you end up feeling that suck beyond any chance of improvement.

Maybe you don't need a "group" at all.  I appreciate everything I've learned in mine, but it's got a serious draw back.  You can post one chapter/section of writing a month, 3,500 words or fewer.  Sometimes, you can't wait (grabbing the nearest book to me) a year and a season to have your work critiqued.  If learning to look critically at my own work is the best thing I got from the OWG, Julie comes in right after...As my muse, she's there to bounce ideas off of and to take the work I've been staring at until gray matter began to leek from my ears (ok, only in my imagination) to view it with fresh eyes.  As my task master, she's bullied me er, encouraged me to set a 200 hundred word goal a day**--something small enough that I can slip it in around all the student/mommy/wife stuff.  Sometimes I get to the goal and think, "great, that much more crap to delete later."  But sometimes, I get there, have plenty more to say, and keep going.
In the comments for my last (real) entry, the man behind Falcata Times wrote:

Great blog and one that is always of use especially when writing is concerned as it does feel at times that you're the proverbial hermit stuck in the cave with no other contact.
How sweet was that? I'm glad that this is being received in the spirit in which it's offered.  And that reminds that before the OWG and task master Julie, there was a blog that I read religiously.  She'd post her word counts and I'd try to keep up, as well as picking up any tidbits of writing advice.  Maybe that's where you are now; there's nothing wrong with keeping your writing to yourself for a while longer.  But while you're interacting on the internet or with other friends in your real life who like to write as well, keep your eyes out for that person who gets what you're going through, and who may be willing to help you get to the next phase.

*Yay Blogger for finally offering something better than the lame-ass templets of yesterday.  Miserable with them, I'd tried for an outside source.  It was lovely...and it ate a lot of my old info (...and if your blog was some of that info swallowed from the original Blog roll, drop me a line).

**While she dragged me to 200 words earlier (I spent a lot of time staring at the screen; every once in a while, she'd IM me her word count--usually something like 580--and I'd reply with mine--usually something like 31) she told me she had something for me to see once I reached goal.  Seems I'm not alone in taking my bite sized chunks.