Broken Lightbulb by Kevin Galens, via Flickr
Yesterday started out as a good day. Before I finished washing when I got up I had a fun idea for a short fanfic for familiar characters as cast and crew for a pending disaster of a school musical. Picking setting, picking majors, and modifying canon background to fit an inner city university. I wrote a good intro, started and infodump… took a good look and screeched to a halt.
Oh, I had bits I wanted to include and the train wreck of the homemade production, but no character arcs. And no ideas. All I could come up with were the grind of a stage production. So I decided to let it wait… after I pruned the worst of the infodump.
I needed a day off my laborious combat chapter in another work, so I found an original short story I misplaced when my beta returned it.
It sucked. I’m not even sure much of it could be salvaged.
I’m not that enthused to fix it, but that will be another day. If I can fix it, that will give me a full series for Kindle.
At the end of the day I hadn’t finished anything, not even the musical one shot.
My consolation is that I had another idea that was even stronger, ten chapters and maybe more. I just wanted to do something lighter.
il tempo si è fermato by Alessandro Prada, from Flickr under the Creative Commons 2.0 licensed attribution
Long time passes. I’m a champion procrastinator. Now many of the things I put off, like cleaning out my email and starting holiday cards early are not that big a deal, and finishing that needlepoint for the fair can wait. After all, I only started it in ’87 and I’ve picked up and dropped several hobbies since then. and an unfinished textile project just might make by top one hundred things I could be doing. It’s not that important. Other tasks are more stressful, like tracking down info for a new HMO, avoiding them gives me a small joy. I can put off writing for a looooonng time if I don’t have an idea. But finding nonfiction ideas is another task I can put off.
Right now, I was trying to recoup the idea for this blog I had during a bath earlier. It was perfect. The essence of the idea was pithy and had a snap. It had some relationship to the real world and humor without mean.
But it’s gone.
Soppy, soapy wash-cloths do not make for good record keeping. All that remains is just how shiny the idea was.
And an empty textbox…
This year isn’t the health nightmare last year became, but I got thoroughly sidetracked back into fanfic again. This year has its own challenges, a home remodel stalled, sans materials and helpers, plus an employee issue that just won’t settle. I’ve also discovered that your GP retiring can make for a real mess in fining a new doctor if your HMO likes to count the same ten doctors four times when they brag of having five hundred. And neonatal were not marked as such.
Really, this year isn’t a nightmare.
Do you believe that?
I am close to finishing the one fanfic, and I want to shift that time to original fiction again. The other is only halfway through, tho most has been drafted. I haven’t decided if I will resume short fic or restart revising a novel. Also, do I want to do NaNo this year? It’s only a month, but I have too many unrevised NaNos already.
Earlier this week those keys on my laptop keyboard started skipping. Sometimes for lower case, much more frequently for upper. But it doesn’t affect all the keys in the top row, doesn’t affect any other rows, doesn’t even affect the keys used most for a game. Qerw vs wiu.
this does make writing first person singular a challenge for essays, reader comments, and my fiction. Those things cover much of my time.
‘m running out of fixes: did the air/crumbs, check for keyboard updates, uninstall drivers, so it’s looking to be a hardware issue. replacing it and/or the laptop is not really possible.
After last year’s surgery prep, my muse for original fiction went bye-bye. I went back to fanfic, where I could do character studies, or explore alternate possibilities. One fanfic is winding down, and the other is being posted quickly because of the many chapters on hold.
Early today I had an idea to handle a problem, but I was dealing with stinky dogs and then messy me so I had nothign to write it on.
Now all I have is the memory that I had an idea… and that reeks.
Take one part action, one part angst, one part plot, when mixed well fill to line with character… Simmer
Warning: August burners may overheat and produce high unsellable output under RL stress.
Writing on a regular basis is a chaotic challenge. Just when chores and daily responsibilities can be cleared for an hour or two, up pops new problems like issues with both land-line and mobile phones that suck up your time. Ordering a replacement after some research and a quick pick-up clogged like an old artery. Shoving relatives out the door so you can write is frowned upon too. Whether and healthcare snafus add to the interruption package.
None of these help when your muse is being coy and revisions are a slow and aggravating, without even the reward of a shiny new sword skin for the grind in a game. So you trawl the nets for ideas and prompt generators to get your writing moving again.
The bonus digital broadcast channels are homes of some of the best old programming. Many of the old shows that I hadn’t seen in a long time, hold their humor better than I’d expect. I watch the episodes of the Carson Tonight show most days now. See stars in their prime, stars that are gone now can be bittersweet. Last weekend they swapped a show with Mohammad Ali after his death. A younger Betty White played Jane in a Tarzan sketch. You can see a very young Ellen, long before Finding Dory. A very few celebs that got zinged by the King of Late Night about their mistresses are still in the news… but now they are running for president. In some ways it’s sad how little has really changed since these 25-year old shows.
The funny thing is some of these are clever one liners that would make funny stories. The writing reference book shown in the clip is only the start of that business. There are many, many reference and how-to books. (some are very bad or counter-productive) When I was into that genre, I wanted to have a reference book on manners, culture, current events, and arts/fashion/music/books/dance/theater of a particular period. Even then, period romances already began to feel too much of the 20th century, now in the 21st the characters in 1820 almost act like they need their Mini to get to an event. The crowdsourced humor here in the Carson clip is better than some actual stories I’ve sampled.