Tuesday, October 30, 2012

come on with the rain

love rainy days and since Hurricane Sandy snagged me an unprecedented second day off from work, I spent it in a snug blanket fort eating PB&J.
I've been itching to do this for a while, but another rainy day seemed like the perfect excuse. Since I was already embracing my inner child, I did some story brainstorming with an elementary school style web. It was actually quite useful seeing all my crazy ideas for certain scenes spilling out on the same page. Some ideas looked so ridiculous written down (and yet I still find myself attached to them), it made it a lot easier to take them off the table.

Another thing I found useful...
I recently inherited my grandparents' dictionary from 1949. Flipping through when my brainstorming got a bit lethargic was impressively helpful. Besides stumbling across the words that gave me little "aha!" moments, it was fun just to see a bit of old fashioned slang in there.

I'm already feeling nostalgic about these much needed days off. But I might keep listening to the same rainy day songs to stay in the spirit of things. Here are a few I've had on a constant loop the past few days:
  1. "Someone to Watch Over Me" by Ella Fitzgerald 
  2. "Easy Living" by Billie Holiday 
  3. "Can't Help Lovin' That Man" by Ava Gardner  
How do you spend your rainy days? Hope you're all safe and sound post hurricane!

Sunday, October 28, 2012

the storm

There's just something about a storm brewing that gets the creative juices flowing. So with Hurricane Sandy churning its way towards us, gloomy Halloween skies, and perhaps listening to The Little Mermaid score a lot more than usual, inspiration struck. Last night, I kept waking up as a pesky character bubbled up from the past, demanding I scribble down his story. It's been two years since I first dreamed him up, but I just didn't have a plot for him. I'd tucked him away for a rainy day, but I never expected that rainy day to be today. And much as I've been intent on focusing on my work in progress, it was refreshing to hunker down with something else. Especially because it's so different in audience, voice, and all the rest. So a lengthy first draft (too lengthy, perhaps, at 995 words) of a children's storybook is done and on the road to edits and workshops. I'm really going to have to "kill my darlings" with this one and find a way to tighten it up. My main struggle is... to rhyme or not rhyme? Right now it's got a smidge of both.

A hint as to the subject matter? 
Dragons! The picture above is from the epic How to Train Your Dragon, which I can't recommend highly enough. It's a spectacular story from start to finish, complete with flawless character names (Hiccup, Toothless, Astrid) and the most incredible score ever. Those songs always wind up on my writing mixes, particularly "Forbidden Friendship." I've yet to read the books (I know!) by Cressida Crowell, but allow me to coo over the opening lines of the first book anyway. "Long ago, on the wild and windy isle of Berk, a smallish viking with a longish name stood up to his ankles in snow." What a brilliant hook!

P.S. Thanks to Sandy, I have the day off tomorrow! More writing projects for me! *confetti*

Friday, October 26, 2012

a beginning

Elizabeth's spirits soon rising to playfulness again, she wanted Mr. Darcy to account for his having ever fallen in love with her. ‘How could you begin?’ said she. ‘I can comprehend your going on charmingly, when you had once made a beginning, but what could set you off in the first place?’

‘I cannot fix on the hour, or the spot, or the look, or the words, which laid the foundation. It is too long ago. I was in the middle before I knew that I had begun.’

-Pride & Prejudice, chapter LX
Before I knew it, the dream of writing fiction had overwhelmed everything else. But like the characters I've come to love so much, I'm hopelessly flawed. More specifically, I'm easily distracted by sloth videos and the sudden desire to Google-image Mr. Thornton. So this is a blog to keep me accountable about my writing progress. However, that's not to say you won't see your fair share of haikus about Nutella, comics of One Direction as cats, or tales of my misadventures in Baltimore and beyond. Charming!