Tuesday, May 6, 2008

Zippity Do Dah

Last night, I showed up bare-handed for my regular Monday critique group. It is rare that I do not show up with a stack of pages to read, so I think my fellow writers were all a bit surprised. One of them (hello Lisa) even chided me a bit about spending too much time on this blog and that's why I didn't have another chapter to read.

The truth is the blog tends to mirror my fiction. I have been in a rut, not really stuck as I know exactly what I want to happen in Plundered Booty (the title of my novel in progress for any newcomers) but I've had trouble transitioning from one scene to the next. I am trying to bridge over a two month period where some pertinent info takes place, but not enough to build an entire chapter out of. Today the answer that has eluded me is as clear as bottle of Captain Morgan's sweet coconut rum.

But last week, while I struggled with moving my novel forward in an entertaining way, I also struggled to pen anything worthwhile to the blog. I was in a surly mood. Today, bluebirds are singing on my shoulder and the world seems to be spinning the right direction again. Matter of fact I am having to rein myself in so that I do not rush the words as I rapidly approach the two most satisfying words I know ... THE END.

Here's a question to my fellow writers. Does your writing mood spill over into other areas of your life? Have you ever been frustrated at your inability to string words together, only to then snap at your spouse for not picking up their shoes? Have you ever called into work sick because of a sudden viral-like burst of inspiration and you can't stop vomiting paragraph after paragraph?


Now for Two Line Tuesday a blog feature from the brilliant minds of those fabulous females over at Women Of Mystery.

From The Bone Pickers by Al Dewlen

Under this regulated allowable, arrived at through the system of advanced purchaser nominations and in light of such known factors as pipeline, transport, storage, and refinery capacities, the oil market has become constant. price is whatever the industry wished it to be.

That comes from the novel I plan to due an entire post on for next weeks My Town Monday book review of a novel set in Amarillo. By the way it was written in 1958 and set in'56, but I think that passage is still applicable in today's market.

And from Plundered Booty ...

Yep, I ransomed away my Caribbean dreams for sex. I'm not proud of that fact, and I could claim I was just putting them off for a bit, but the fact is, I'd been delaying them all my life.


Monnik said...

I've been in a rut too, and my writing mood also dictates my home mood.

I know you'll get those chapter transitions made in no time. Keep up the great work!

theneatos said...

Glad to see you got past your speedbump. I have been too work and home distracted to find time (in a positive mood) to post on my blog. I can only imagine how much more difficult it is when you are trying to knock out your book, too.

Mom In Scrubs said...

Amen, brothers and sisters!! My home life affects my writing mood greatly. I think it's because I don't have enough "think time" to come up with inspiration.

Glad to hear you're back in the saddle.

Penelope said...

To quote Helen Fielding (Bridget Jones Diary) "It is a truth universally acknowledged that as soon as one part of your life starts looking up, another falls to pieces.”

That's me. When work is good, my house is a mess. When my house is neat and tidy I have a kajillion papers to grade.

As for writing, I either have it or I don't. Sometimes that's frustrating and I might be more likely to let it take a toll on my mood if I took any of it seriously.

Since I don't well . . .


Charles Gramlich said...

The one thing that particularly spills over is when I'm frustrated because real work won't let me get to any writing. Then I can get frustrated and a bit snappish. Typically, once I "do" get started writing any bad mood evaporates or retreats at least.

Terrie Farley Moran said...

Hi Travis,

Great sentences. I look forward to reading your report on the Bone Pickers. I agree, not much has changed since the lines were written. ain't that a shame!

The lines from Plundered Booty are sensational. You write like a Jimmy Buffett song.


deborah elliott-upton said...

YES! I have also been in a not-so-happy mood. Was it the wind that blew through here or something else that made us crazed?

Terrie Farley Moran said...

Oh, I almost forgot--my writing life always spills over into the rest of my life. When I am writing well, I will pretty much mow down anything that gets in my way.

Laura approached the other end of this issue in this post:


the walking man said...

Try segueing the information needed post action rather than before. The information in the two month period can come as a debrief eh? Just a thought.

I don't think the my writing mood spills into my world, but the world spills into my writing. But, as I am now primarily interested in poetry and, very short prose it is a good thing.

During the writing of the longer pieces I have writ, after the first couple the wife, and the dog, our last child at home, knew to just leave me be. We won't go into the many interesting scenes that this education took.

I see you write differently than I do. I just bang it all out as fast as I can then edit and re-edit & re-edit the content to shape it.

Trying to craft a finished piece on the first go round, to me, seems pointless because no matter how fastidious one is, it will always be changed as growth in the work occurs. Let it mellow with age and, trim its beard hairs as time passes and the writer grows. {<--- two run on sentences ha ha ha}

It seems as if every writer I visit lately though, is going through the same ennui. this too shall pass. As you say the blue birds are singing now for you. Just go with the sound and hit it!



A-Ron said...

Since I'm not a professional (or struggling) writer, my writing is more subject to spillage from life circumstances rather than vice-versa.

huddlekay said...

For the last few months, I look at the stack of papers that is supposed to be my novel and cringe. Then of course I'm in a blue funk for the rest of the day. The last two weeks have been especially bad. I'm dreading going back to work and trying to spend as much time with the baby as I can. Therefore, the house is a mess and my "novel" is just one of many stacks of meaningless pages...

Bernita said...

been stalled the same way.
Is it the time of year?
Have noticed that if my MC is having troubles, moody memories,afterwards I find my self maundering over sad thoughts.

Patti said...

yes. my writing mood spills all over the dadgum place. some days i need a hazmat crew to come do their thang...

Melissa Marsh said...

OH, absolutely. My everyday life directly mirrors my writing life - if it's going well, I'm the best person to be around. If it's not going well, well...just ask my husband. *grin*

I'm glad you're out of your writing rut. I think it's something every writer goes through.

Bina said...

I guess I would have to be a real writer, as opposed to playing one on TV! ha!

So, I don't have that problem. But I'm sure your book and the scense, and the transitions will come to you as they should, and they will be great.

Josephine Damian said...

TE: NOTHING is better than writing those two words THE END.

The key is to realize when you get to that point your work in just started because, IMO, you need to put as much - if not more- time and energy into your re-write than you do into your first draft; even if you're an edit-as-you-go type as I am, it's really just THE BEGINNING when you come to THE END.

Here's a question to my fellow writers. Does your writing mood spill over into other areas of your life? Have you ever been frustrated at your inability to string words together, only to then snap at your spouse for not picking up their shoes?

No, not because these things don't happen to me. No, because I don't let them frustrate me when they do and that's because I believe that these kinds of problems stem from not knowing your character - get a better handle on the character and the problems will sort themselves out.

No because I've been through a lot of "dark moments" as a writer and just as I know they come I know from experience that they go.

Take a step back from writing to let the character gel a bit more in your imagination and you'll have the answers. It's not a frustration, it's a challenge and a creative process to work through.

Have you ever called into work sick because of a sudden viral-like burst of inspiration and you can't stop vomiting paragraph after paragraph?

I've not done chores that I desperately needed to get done cause I was a creative groove. I've missed highway exits because I've had a creative epiphany while behind the wheel because the muse was whispering to me so sweetly that I wasn't watching for my turn off.

Josephine Damian said...

Charles: Ditto. It's having the real life responsibilities prevent me from writing that puts me in a nasty mood, not writing itself. If you're having creative issues, it's because you're actively writing, which is never a bad thing.

Ello said...

Hurrah for you getting over the rut! And yes it totally spills over into all aspects of life for me. And the worst I think is when I'm deep in thought and it makes me so absent minded to my own kids. I do feel bad about that.

So how close are you to finishing? REal close?

Britta Coleman said...

Yes, my writing gets mirrored in my mood. If I'm not writing, I'm cranky. Something about getting the words out balances the psyche. Not to get all fuzzy or anything.

Glad the bluebirds are singing on your shoulder again.

Clare2e said...

I walk around scowling into space when I'm figuring out a non-working section, and when it's going well, I'm brimming with self-respect and annoying good cheer.

I loved your two sentences, Travis. Now, if I'd ever get the chance to trade away my dreams for sex...

Bubblewench said...

Not being such a great writer (like you!) but having a blog, I have to say YES YES YES.. mood does affect what you write (even if it's crap).