One really shouldn’t have the ability to pin an exact time period in their lives to an album….but I do.
Blog Post #38
Summer has finally, blissfully returned and it makes me content to know that I’ve been released of the shackles of cold that numbs my toes and my fingers during the long hours at the key board. Say what you want of the heat of summer, but as for me, I live for it.
Summer, growing up, was the one time of year there were no stipulations placed upon me as to what I could do with my time. There was the freedom from school, but in a childhood without the Internet we couldn’t afford, I spent most of my time awake during the short nights of summer writing. There were short moments to jot down a few ideas, the more regular four to six hour sessions when a scene had me in it’s grip, and then there was the one very memorable four day writing bender in which I only ate dry cereal, took a few quick cat naps, and didn’t even shower. I don’t recommend the later.
Some days, I wrote with pen and paper. Other days, I found myself tied to my very first laptop not even capable of wifi. But it had a cd player and the old Windows Media Player visualizations as well as Microsoft Word and that was enough for me. It’s odd that that thing I used as background noise wasn’t an album by any one artist, it was actually the bonus cd from A New Found Glory’s Sticks and Stones album.
I don’t know if it was listening to the combination of artists giving a small taste of their work or hearing so many types and kinds of voices that kept me going or the fact it was exactly 30 minutes long and just about the right amount of time before I needed to take a break while writing, but it was the only stable cd in my rotation the summer I was sixteen, the only album I could listen to on repeat until the early morning dark when I would rather listen to the sounds of the summer nights.
So let’s talk about what I’ve done so far this year despite the whirlwind of life.
Since I haven’t been stellar at monthly posting (as you can obviously see that the last post I made was back in January), let’s just go ahead and skip to the yearly word count.
By the end of April I’d only written 17,943 words of the 65,753 target I should be at.
So my total for the year to date versus the overall goal to date looks something like this:
And my total word count at the moment versus my yearly goal looks like this:
Even with rounding up, I’m still only at like 9% of the distance I need to cross for the entire year….
I’m not panicking. You’re panicking.
From the Woods You Came
If you’ve been following here for a while, you know that about this time last year I had finished writing From the Woods You Came. While that is technically a true statement, some things about the subtext never set well with me in the time I was letting it rest.
So I set it on the back burner since not having your own computer really places a damper on self publishing. I’m hoping that after I get another (I’m researching what I want to get), I’ll be able to finally get the ball rolling on that. So release day is still To Be Announced.
Short Story 2017
So if you recall from the last post, I mentioned how I wrote a list of all the story ideas I had. I do still have this list (somewhere in the depths of my hidden external hard drive). I remember working really hard to make that list, the first six items coming to mind quite easily, but knowing there was another contender which I was forgetting. I remembered at work, forgot it again, remembered again and wrote it down.
That idea was actually the beginning of From the Woods You Came and eventually became the short story–er, novella–I ultimately chose to write last year. I’ve been mentally pouring over the remaining items on that list trying to decide which of the remaining ideas I’d like to take on and flesh out.
I’d been sliding back and forth between two on the list. The first I call “The Late Great Pirate Amy”. That title was pulled from a line of dialogue in a dream I’d had that involved a mermaid on a quest, a young, bit morally grey, apprentice mage chomping at the bit to get out of her backwaters harbor town, and a big fluffy white cat.
The second’s work-in-progress title is “Eternal Horizon”. A woodland fairy overhears stories of the sea told by a group of travelers camping in her woods. It’s the tale of the hard choices she must make in order to see a place where the horizon line never ends.
And while both were interesting to me, neither jumped out at me and demanded all my attention, so I’ve been dabbling with both, but really never settling on either. Then I had another dream a few days ago. Really, I don’t why I even added that line, you probably get that this is the only way I come up with stories by now. At any rate, the dream came on after I’d read something earlier that day, either in a dream dictionary or tarot card meanings (because research). There are only two kinds of people that go into towers: princess and wizards.
And that thought really stuck with me for the entire day. I could not let go of it since it really just brought to light so very much that I want try an tackle and address as a human being as well as an author. It brought to light this very interesting dichotomy of a statement that to me at it’s core is about patriarchy and free will. Traditionally, women are locked away in towers either to keep them pure or to keep them from “danger” and only removed once their princes arrive. They are like objects kept in the attic until a male has need of them. Most princesses were never given choices about this. On the other end you have the wizard, stereotypically male, and they enter towers of their own choice, to distance themselves from this world and to become more magically inclined. They have choice. Most of this is still just in the fuzzy idea generating stage for me, but ‘The Tower’ has really captured my attention. This seems like a story that is pulling at my mind, and I think I need to follow that story as far down the rabbit hole as it will go.
While I really can’t wait to get to work on it because a theme does not a plot make, this year has been an unrelenting stream of things keeping me from it.
I spent at least a full month of this year packing things that were not mine. I spent another month throwing everything I had into something that didn’t live up to my hopes. I’m writing this on a computer that is not mine. I don’t have all of my old drafts easily accessible since I’d rather keep the piece of tech the size of a card deck containing my digital writing life safely padded and within the confines of my tiny firesafe lockbox. I don’t have my meticulously engineered playlists. I don’t even have the cd player I blared music from during my teenage years but am missing like a lost fragment of my soul. At this very moment, even my internet connection is shaky. While all of these things made writing more convenient, the familiar heat of summer has re-awaked old feelings and memories to remind me I still have the only thing I have ever needed to fulfill my need to write.
What I have, what I have always had, will always have, is my imagination. No force on this earth can keep my mind from inventing and creating. And while it may be odd to switch back to the old formats, to have to hold my thoughts longer as I scribble furiously until my hand goes numb, to have to jump through hoops of emailing documents to myself, to have to listen to music one cd at a time via a laptop, to unbox the old notebooks, to shake of the dust, to tediously read every page and mark them up with post its rather than a simple ctrl+F, I find that in the end all the labor is still worth the work. I can still find the serenity of releasing the words within my head. I can keep calm and carry on.
“We got older, but we’re still young. We never grew out of this feeling that we won’t, feeling that we can’t, we’re not ready to give up.”
“The Best of Me”
The Starting Line
Love and Lightning and Long Summer Nights,
–M. L. Trumbull