Summer State of the Union

   Well, it’s hotter than blazes here in the Ohio River Valley. The heat is a burning boa constrictor squeezing the life out of you between your air-conditioned home and the car, then between the car and your destination.  Mr. Writing Spider has been gone nearly every evening since the beginning of May – he’s an umpire and normally has double-headers every night. So it’s just me and the ferrets most of the time. Which means plenty of time to write.

    I’ve been working on a book. No, for real this time. I have more than seven thousand words at the present moment. No, you cannot read them. Yet. I’ll need beta readers some day, but for now, it’s just bird by bird, as Anne Lamott says. Here’s what I have to say about writing a book:

   1. Not as sexy as you think it is. I do not have a velvet smoking jacket and a snifter of brandy to enjoy while I leak brilliance onto the page from my ebon-inked quill. First of all, I don’t like brandy. And second, it’s eight skillion degrees outside and who wants to wear velvet? (I am looking at you, Goth children.) It’s more like, “I need to write some stuff.” And I sit at the computer as I am now – ratty shorts, flip flops, and a tank top I got for 50 cents at the Gap outlet that says “with martinis and manhattans for all” next to a picture of the Statue of Liberty.  There are many nights where I just type a word, take a sip of tea, scratch my ear, delete the word and write a sentence, go downstairs to check the laundry, and then finish the paragraph.

     2. It’s crap. But that’s OKAY I AM ALLOWED TO SUCK. Sometimes I do sit here and amaze myself with my own brilliance, because my idea is just so effing cool and nobody’s ever had this idea for a book before and my characters are so original and blah blah blah. Then that passes, and I realize that my hard-earned 7,000 words are pretty crappy right now. Some are mere place holders until I can tickle the muse into giving me something more. But this part, this first draft part, is just some bones. There’s no flesh, no blood, no fancy clothes. That comes later.

     3. Being allowed to suck, rather, allowing yourself to suck, is incredibly freeing. I suggest you try it sometime.

    4. I would be a famous writer in manner of Jane Austen or Stephen King if it were not for the existence of: (in no order in particular) television shows I would like to see, the need for sleep, dinner that must be made, and my day job.

     5. I have given up on Writing Tricks. I kept reading books about writing, and how to write and whatnot. Neil Gaiman (cue angel choir, although a sort of dark angel choir, of course) says that the key is that you just have to write something. That’s all you can do for a while. So that’s what I’m trying and wow, that combined with #2 has been getting the job done for about two weeks.

     6. I did try to download some freeware. It’s called yWriter and it’s supposed to help you organize the chapters and whatnot. First I spent three hours making it work (I am not all that technologically gifted, despite my previous crowing about getting my fancy photo printer and Google analytics to work), then…it gave me the PC version of an STD. A mighty trojan virus that buggered the whole thing up until Husband came to the rescue and deleted it. Now it’s just me and Word.

    That’s all for now. I’m going to try to get some more words to up the count before Husband gets home.


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