Death and Taxes. Or, well, just Death.


Assateague Island

I had my first story inspiration in weeks this morning.  I decided to poke it and see what happened.  As I followed it along, it resulted in the death of one of my favorite characters.  Which also adds complication to the parallel novel because at the point I thought the idea was coming, that character is still needed elsewhere.  So.  I’m really not sure what to do with it.  Half of me is intrigued and excited because, while I adore this character, his death would certainly add to the conflict of my current MC and it might explain why he is no longer in the other MC’s life at the point of her main story.

I am beginning to realize just how very complicated this story is.  I’ve already written about 5 first drafts of novels contributing that happen in all different sorts of times.  There’s a war (which I’ve been putting off writing until this book) and lots of little battles, some very distinctive societies and races that have to be developed clearly enough to work with, really complicated family trees, and who knows what else.  What have I gotten myself into?

It was either the story with no plot or the one with way too much plot.  I figured at least with too much plot, I’ve got something to work with.  Everyday I wonder if I chose the right one.

Trust the Process, right?



Long Time, No See



I realize it’s been a rather long time since I posted and I need to do something about that.  After last semester ended, I didn’t have much Writing stuff to write about because I wasn’t doing it regularly and, obviously, didn’t have school stuff to write about.  I intended to get back into the routine once school started up again, but that didn’t really happen.  I’ll try to do better now that school is in full swing.  (Btw, I’ll be more motivated to keep it up if I know I’ve got readers, feel free to say hi!)

So, quick updates: I believe I posted about Residency.  Again, it was AWESOME and reminded me why I’m doing this.  Now that I’m actually doing this and not partying with all my writer friends, it’s a little harder to remember and the motivation is slipping.  Always looking for motivating suggestions!

My first packet of the semester was due last Monday.  I finished it up on Friday (after a rather violent battle with my printer and quite a few tears.  Note: I intend to buy a new one before the next packet is due.) and got it to the post office 30 minutes before they closed.  I assume it is now in my advisor’s hands and that at some point, it will make its way back to me.  Hopefully with some positive feedback.  As far as that packet, I am proud to say that I turned in 4 annotations (the most I’ve ever done in one packet!  Also, that puts me at 5 so far for the semester which is 1/3 of the max I could do, and that’s in my first of five packets, woohoo!), the usual process letter (5 pages), and 18 pages of creative work (6 of Sarah, the rest of William).

Now, I’m bogged down with 4 days in a row of 11+ hour shifts, so it’s all I can do to stay alert enough to take care of the baby.  I’m listening to and reading 3 books at the moment, because at least I can listen while I entertain the baby and then he’s being educated too, and then, hopefully, by next week, I’ll have a few books I can write annotations on.

I still have creative work to worry about.  I haven’t written much new since Residency and now that I’ve decided on my thesis, there’s all this pressure about what I write and that it has to be good and worthy and all, so I’m feeling paralyzed and blocked about the work and basically just terrified to even try, so I’ve been focusing on the other requirements (mostly the reading because it’s so time consuming).  I really need to get back into the habit of writing regularly because even if everything that comes out is crap, at least I’ll have something to work with and if I know it’s going to be crap and I’m going to write it anyway then I won’t worry about it and maybe something good will come of it.  In the words of Sarah: ugh.

And, last but not least, this semester I have to write my 20-page Long Critical.  I have never in my life written such a long essay so the very thought of it overwhelms me.  I’ve had a general topic since the beginning of last semester.  I discussed it with my advisor as an option for one of the two Short Criticals (5+ pages each) and we both agreed that it was a more suitable topic for the Long Critical.  So I’ve had that sitting around gathering dust for six months or so, but now I need to refine it.  I have a few ideas on how to narrow it down, but nothing solid yet and I don’t even know where to begin my research.  I need like two secondary sources but it is NOT a “research paper” as the teachers at Goddard have made very clear, so, I really don’t know what it is.  I guess it’s a Long short critical and a short critical is just a long annotation.  So, it’s one of those 3-page papers I’m writing all the time now, only stretched into 20 pages.  God help me.

And so, with that, back to work and thinking about writing.  I will try to be more diligent about the blog.  And about writing my thesis.  And breathing.

So long for now…



Character, not Caricature


“When writing a novel a writer should create living people; people not characters. A character is a caricature.”

—Ernest Hemingway

I came across this quote today and I rather like it.  Often when I start writing a character, he/she is based on something—an idea, a person or character I’ve met, a goal—but as I write, I find that the characters take on a life of their own and become something completely different from what I started with.  The character has his own wants and needs and ideas.  Sometimes his plans are different from what I want them to be and I have to dig in deep to discover the character and figure out what he wants.  Sometimes he surprises me.  It can be hard to let go of my preconceived notions about the character, but when I do and let the character be that real person with a life and everything of his own, that’s when I get really interested in him and in what I’m writing and that’s when the character becomes real and writing his story is as much an act of discovery as creation.  It’s one of the best things about writing.


Stranger in a Strange Land


There is no foreign land; it is the traveller only that is foreign.

—Robert Louis Stevenson

This isn’t writing related, but I came across it and loved it, especially with my history and love for traveling.

On a completely unrelated-to-this note: Today is the official start of the 2014 Fall semester at Goddard College, so while I’ve been tinkering away at readings, annotations, and creative work, now it’s time to buckle down and really get to work.

Here’s hoping, beyond all hope, for a smooth semester.