Chapter 20, which has been giving me fits for days, is finally done. HA! I’m pretty sure it’ll be heavily reworked in the next draft, but for now, it’s good enough and I’m stoked to be moving on.

Is anyone else confused by this?

Along with the very exciting news that I get to move on to chapter 21, today is my long run day and you know what that means, right? OATMEAL! Long runs require extra carbs in the system. My carbohydrate-of-choice at the end of January in a massive bowl of oatmeal.

The fact that I am this excited about oatmeal is a little alarming, I know. But it’s true.

(Stay tuned for some earth-shaking running news coming soon!)

2008 Resolution Tracker
Week 4 – Miles Run: 22, YTD: 84.75
Week 4 – Days Written: 7, YTD:28

Only 48 weeks to go!

on trying to be a pro

The snow stopped, so our lake effect storm was a brief one (compared to last February). We wound up with almost four feet, but the driveway is plowed, the streets are plowed, we were able to get out yesterday afternoon. Oh, and school is open today.

In Fulton, NY, (a few towns over) the roof on the Department of Public Works garage collapsed under the weight of the snow. CNN is covering it. Sure would be nice if CNN would come back up here for the apple harvest, or the perfect summer nights when we can see the Milky Way from our back yard.

An interesting question about being a professional writer turned up in the comments section a few days ago.

wrote: I love how you write about the writing process in your journal. I’ve only found this journal a little while ago, but I’m been following the entries, and as a writer, it’s really something I can relate to. Writing is so unpredictable and since I’m still just a young wannabe (I’d like to think I’m a writer, even if not a professional one), I can’t even believe how professional writers can put writing’s unpredictableness aside and meet their deadlines! Care to enlighten me?

By “unpredictableness” I assume you mean that we rarely feel totally inspired every single day. I sure as heck don’t. But I have to write every day. First and foremost because I like it and it is good for me. Second, because by staying in touch with the story every day, the writing flows better. Third (though this one is pretty important, too), the writing pays my bills.

Any career in the arts has a simple truth attached to it: you have to do the work every day. That is how you get better.

It doesn’t matter how many books I’ve published. I have never before written the book I am writing now. I have to respect the work and keep striving to learn more, keep searching for new tools for my work chest. If you are standing on the outside looking in, it might seem a little boring, and I admit, there are days when I long for a job that has a guaranteed paycheck every two weeks and some kind of health insurance, but the truth is, I feel incredibly blessed to be able to write stories that people want to read. That is extremely motivating.

2008 Resolution Tracker
Week 3 – Miles Run: 21.75, YTD: 62.75
Week 3 – Days Written: 7, YTD:21

Only 49 weeks to go!

the clever shadows of sleep

I spent most of Sunday working on Chapter 17. This is the second draft, so the work was fleshing out the narrative details, making sure the action added weight to the emotional changes of the characters, and honing the dialog to be as crisp and short as possible.

By the end of the day, I was happy with what I had done.

Until I went to bed.

I crept under the covers, snuggled into my pillow, and felt the delicious tug of Dream pulling me under. And then, just then as my mind was straddling the two worlds, I realized that Chapter 17 was all wrong. No, of course he can’t see that yet. It’s too early. She can see it, but she thinks she’s the only one. They are still very much in the dark about each other. The chapter is completely wrong.

Yesterday I spent most of the day totally rewriting Chapter 17. Again.

Was Sunday’s work a waste? I used to think so. I used to get very upset when I would “waste” a day or a week going off on a plot tangent or approaching a scene from the wrong point. Nowadays, I just mutter a little and get back to work. I think I have to test out my characters, sometimes following them down the wrong path, to get to know them better and to measure the fabric of the story.

The magic moment between Wake And Sleep is when it is easiest to see.

2008 Resolution Tracker
Week 2 – Miles Run: 21, YTD: 41
Week 2 – Days Written: 7, YTD:14

Only 50 weeks to go!

How are your resolutions holding up?

Week 1 – DONE! Bring on Week 2!

I have kept my New Year’s resolutions for seven days! Go me!

2008 Week 1>> Days When I Wrote for At Least an Hour: 7. YTD: 7.
2008 Week 1 >> Miles Run: 20. YTD: 20.

Finishing out the miles yesterday on the treadmill was ugly, ugly, ugly, but I did it.

Today I will try to write a million bazillion chapters while staring at the phone because my niece is in the hospital right now getting ready to have her first child. If he is born before midnight, he will share his birthday with his great-grandmother, (aka my mom) Joyce Mason Holcomb Halse, who is 77 years old today.

It has always amused me that Mom was born the same day as Elvis. Even funnier: it’s David Bowie’s birthday. I think the joke should start “So Elvis, David Bowie and Mom walk into a bar…” Definitely the birthday of cultural icons.

Image and video hosting by TinyPic Here is my gorgeous mother about to inhale a tray of frosted brownies at her party Sunday. One of the advantages to making it to 77 is that you get eat whatever you want. Happy Birthday, Mom.