Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Every writer has a story

Everyone I know is suddenly blogging. I think I hit the writers must have a blog trend at exactly the wrong moment. Two friends who write have recently announced they have blogs. Both are fantastic writers but we're all at about the same spot in our travels. I have a lot to say, but most of it is fiction (or assigned articles - anyone want to know about the state of unemployment in Nevada as of August 2009?) I'm not in a place where I can offer advice to anyone other than keep writing and ideas like changing physical location can jar a stuck writing project into motion, or that habit/routine/ruts can be both benefical and harmful to getting projects completed.

So I've decided rather than trying to sound like I know what I'm talking about -- because I do know what I'm talking about, but it's my writing and my talking about and it may not work for anyone else -- I'm going to use my blog to update my goals, challenge anyone who is reading who wants a challenge to match my word counts (or challenge me to match theirs), to track and celebrate acceptances and try to stoically accept rejections and if here and there I learn something of value that seems worth sharing, I'll post it.

There are enough blogs out there I learn from -- just reading the ongoing journals of writers who are out there day to day in the trenches is an education in persistence, victory, story and plot, writing and rewriting, success and failure, publishing, editing and life. Every writer has a story. Until mine is far more advanced (success! Advanced as in success, not years!) I'm going to sit back, watch and comment only on the things I really know how to do -- write and send -- and the results, goals, challenges, hopes and dreams thereof.

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Process, Part II

Process, Part II – How and Where

By hand or by laptop? Desktop or netbook? Word or WordPerfect? Kris & Dean – Kristine Kathryn Rusch and Dean Wesley Smith, who present workshops Oregon Writers Network up in Lincoln City, highly suggest those writers looking to break away and break out and become full time writers have separate offices for marketing and writing if at all possible.

It's not, for me. Not only would I spend all my time hauling cats off two desks and out of two offices and finding things I've misplaced in each, I can't afford it and, my husband would claim if I were silly enough to show him this, I've already taken up most of the rest of the house anyway.
But I didn't start using Word until I started ghostwriting nonfiction books and, sorry Microsoft, I hate it. Loathe it. Despise it. I find it dictatorial and pushy beyond reason and, most of the time, wrong. But it's the standard for no reason I can think of, it and its blue screen of everything-you've-been-doing-has-been-lost death, so I use it for nonfiction.

And I use WordPerfect, which is cheery and has a sunny personality and is most polite about not intruding on what I want to do, for all things fiction, turning files to rtf for emailing or even into Word files when editors want. And that alone separates the fiction and nonfiction nicely.

Add to that I do a lot of the fiction writing under a tree at a picnic table with a creek full of runoff snow behind me and there I sit for hours, drinking lo-carb Monster and talking to magpies and crows and little finches and woodpeckers, squirrels and quail and the occasional marmot and growling territorially if anyone comes near my tree and picnic table. I write by hand, in gel ink that covers me in glitter (OK, glitter gel ink, did I mention I'm 12?) in blank books.

When I sit down at my desktop, at home, in my office and open WordPerfect, I'm either working on a second draft, or marketing. And you know? It works.