(A rainbow-colored, glittery one at that)
I love parades. Apparently so do lots of others. Like the folks here watching the parade I went to on Saturday. I like to get out from behind my computer every once in a while, to see the “real” world so I can create realistic, “normal” characters. Just a good writing skill I’ve learned.
(This is me, trying to have it all)
Writing is an obsession. Writing is a chore. It’s the strangest dichotomy I know of to love something that makes you want to pull your hair out. Stories never stop meandering their way through my head. The problem is they don’t meander onto the paper, or the computer screen, at least not with anything resembling ease.
A second level of frustration, for me at least, is the vast difference in those stories. I love to write humor, to know that people are laughing at the words I put together. But I also love to write gut-wrenching emotion. I like mayhem and destruction. I write dark and sometimes morbid plays, humorous romance novels, contemporary murder mysteries and fantasy short stories. Perhaps I need mood management more than lessons on my craft.
And a bit of shameless promotion:
The latest review for my novel, Ghost of a Clue, from The Wild Rose Press can be found here: http://www.drcpromotions.com/2015/05/review-a-ghost-of-a-clue-by-debra-doggett/
You know how writers like to talk about their writing space? Well, for the moment, this is mine. I did something I’ve done far too many times in my life yet again. I moved. If you want to get an idea of how often I’ve done that, I have three children, each born in a different state. You would think I’d be better at it than this. I have, however, got much less stuff to move these days. It’s still a pain though. But, back to writing.
Do you know what this is (besides a testament to the amazing graphic skills of cover artist Debbie Taylor)? It’s a testament to perseverance. Or possibly to procrastination, depending on how you look at it.
I started this book about six years ago. Today I got the release date for it: August 19, 2015. It even won a prize. Yes, I was one of those people who submitted the first three chapters which they had honed to perfection without ever finishing the whole thing. An editor requested it. Did that motivate me to finish the damn thing? Nope.
You know how they tell you that if you write even a paragraph a day you will eventually complete a novel? It’s true. It’s also true that if you only write one paragraph every six months, it will take you a hell of a long time to complete that novel.
Each paragraph of this came out of me with a bit of blood loss (okay, that may be a bit of a dramatization) but it is my triumph over my inner critic, who is always quick to tell me I suck at writing. This is possibly the best writing I have done to date. I hope you’ll check it out this August. Of course, I will be happy to remind you.
A rare find on a ramble through the neighborhood: truth in advertising:
I’m beginning to suspect this is the year I lose my mind. It’s doing more than wandering these days and I get a bit frightened by some of its observations about the state of things.
I’m also not always sure who it’s talking to. It doesn’t appear to be me because I don’t know what the hell it’s talking about and if anyone talked to me in the voice it uses I’d run away far and fast.
My worst fear is becoming the belief that I can’t lose my mind and I’ll want to. That I can’t get this new strange dialogue in my head to go away. Instead it will only keep talking to me about weird shit in a voice I don’t recognize until I succumb and start answering back in nonsense rhymes. Why my answers should be rhymes I don’t know. Something just tells me the voices would like that.
I’ve thought a lot about the word “normal” lately. As I survey the chaos that is my life these days, I wonder if such a label has eluded me all my life or only since I became unbound from the constraints of children to raise and a husband to please. Wondering has convinced me I have always slipped the bounds of normal.
Take my senior trip for instance. The “normal” girls in my high school headed to the beach in Florida to lay in the sun, look at the boys and think about doing more than looking. My friends and I turned up our noses at such conformity, packed ourselves into a VW bus with my friends’ mom at the wheel and headed off on a road trip. We walked the Natchez Trace, peeked into the windows of Elvis’ birthplace (on a back street in Tupelo) and wandered Shiloh battlefield. Bet you can’t tell what subject interested us most. That’s right, boys.
Our trip came to a dead halt when we stopped at some friends of my friends in western Kentucky. There were boys there, of the kind to make a young girl stop and stay a while. We did more than look. We walked under the moonlight and a few kisses were exchanged. Still my idea of romance after all these years. And far better than normal.
There are days I feel I should probably be locked up in a padded room for doing this whole writer thing. Most of the time I can cover it, but sometimes the voices in my head can be a bit demanding. Then there is the occasional diva among them that makes me wonder if I should keep her as my heroine’s best friend or kill her off in a particularly gruesome manner.
The fact that I sometimes find myself standing in the grocery line contemplating murder and mayhem makes me feel a bit disconnected from the “real” world. And that to me is the bottom line of being a writer – choosing to step out of reality and into a primordial realm just waiting for you to be its creator. It takes a certain amount of concentration (and a good talent for BS) to remember to smile and nod at appropriate times when your mind is off figuring out how the third planet in the Adeanan system is going to survive the assault by the High Council and just how much sex is enough to keep the tension high between your hero and heroine. It also takes forgiving friends and a really understanding boss to continue keeping one foot in each realm. And you thought being a writer would be so easy.
I found the most awesome thing while googling weird stuff on the internet (it beat playing another game of mahjong, okay).
It’s a squirrel with a laser and all it takes to shoot is a click. Nothing comes at me, nothing else is trying to take me out. I have to explain how perfect this is for me. My grandson is always getting me to play video games with him. We’re talking the ones with, as he puts it, the great graphics: Halo, Assasin’s Creed (because he knows I like history he figures this one is right up my alley), etc.
Here’s the real kicker: he always makes it where I’m invincible. If he didn’t, my input into the game would last approximately thirty seconds. So I spend the length of the game bumping into walls and randomly pushing buttons in a futile attempt to shoot weapons I don’t even know the name of. This kid is important to me, truly. I love spending time with him.
If I had this squirrel though, my comfort level would be a lot higher. For one it’s a costume I can understand. And it’s a laser that goes pew pew pew. I’d be good.
I happened upon this picture in my cyberspace wanderings today and my first thought was “where the hell was this when I was a kid?”.
Let me explain. My mother had a rather unique love for animals. I sometimes felt she preferred them to her children. And she treated them better. Ducks figure large in my childhood nightmares, thanks to one of her favorites. It was a large white Pekin duck, raised lovingly from a duckling.
The love was all one-sided. When I describe the word fear in my head, it is the feeling of being trapped on my back steps by this tyrant. If my sister or I moved off the steps we were pecked back into line. I don’t remember if we gave this “pet” a name, but I remember that duck’s face with perfect clarity. What a world of difference a leash like this would have made to my outdoor time!