Monthly Archives: September 2013

Hand-Writing My Novel (Yes, Really)

So I’ve come to the conclusion that I am more likely to actually get my novel written if I hand-write it.
I know. Some of you are probably looking at me like I’ve grown a second head, right now. But bear with me: My daily writing quota is 1000 words. That’s easy. (Or at least it’s easy for me, since I have the luxury of an extremely flexible schedule). It also works out to a nice, round number of pages in my handy-dandy paper note-book (my last one was just slightly too big to fit in my purse). If I hand-write ten pages I should get my thousand words (or, okay, between 1,000 and 1,200) with no trouble, and I’ll have handily avoided the distractions of The Internet while doing so.
Yeah. There’s that thing again. The Internet. I’m hand-writing my novel because I’m easily distracted, have a hard time saying No to the option of looking stuff up (like how far is it, really, from Toronto to Sterling, Ontario – which would give me a good idea of how long my MC’s drive from her old home to her new home will be), and tend to want to tell Twitter exactly what I’ve been up to today… rather than actually getting it done.
So, yeah. Rather than doing what I had originally intended to do – take bits and pieces of my already-written 40,000 words or so and copy-paste them into the new draft as needed – I’ll be hand-writing the whole manuscript. At least as far as the first (“first”) draft goes.
Heh. 96,000 words. Of hand-writing. Yow. O.O
94,000 to go.
But I think it’ll work. With short stories, at least, I’ve always wound up with better work when I hand-write things first – mostly, I suspect, because I edit my writing as I transcribe it from notebook page to computer screen. I think it’s reasonable to assume it will be the same with a novel.
Wish me luck. 🙂



Filed under prose, writing

Poetry Is Not For Rushing – Part Two (on writing poetry)

I have written two poems.
Thank you gods. 🙂
The first one, I wrote while making about three litres of apple butter using apples from a friend’s tree. The second I wrote part-way In The Moment while watching the sun go down from Champlain Lookout, and the rest of the way once I was home, two days later, and trying to transcribe my own memory.
I’ve said this before, but poetry is not for rushing. Not when you read it, and not when you write it, either.
As someone who frequently composes poetry on short notice, pieces bursting forth inside of minutes, not hours, this has come as something of a surprise.
Writing poetry – perhaps this won’t be much of a shock to many of you – requires such a completely different mind-set from writing prose. Even lyrical, thick-descriptive, fictional prose.
At least it does for me.
It’s like my background-noise brain has to constantly be told “Stop. Don’t ramble. Focus. What’s real. What does that cloud look like. No. Not what does the shape of that cloud make you think of. What does that cloud look like See what’s there. See what’s real. Talk about what’s real.”
It’s not that you can’t write poetry quickly, or that you can’t write poetry on a deadline, or that you can’t write poetry in a white-hot burst of inspirational heat. It’s that you can’t write poetry distracted.
Maybe that’s why poetry comes best when (a) I’m super-focused, but also (b) when I stop letting myself follow every little thought that comes along.
Poetry composition as meditation.
Or something.
Anyone else find this to be the case?

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Filed under poetry, writing

Where Do You Get Your Ideas? (Yeah, yeah, yeah…)

Wrote a poem (still in the editing/polishing stages) yesterday, while chopping and pureeing apples (from a friend’s tree) to make apple butter.
It’s funny – or maybe totally normal and a handy technique: I tend to get writing inspiration, particularly poetry inspiration, when I’m doing meaningful yet repetitive physical tasks.
Anyone else find this to be the case?
Repetitive tasks that don’t matter to me… don’t always work so well. But sewing, dicing, kneading, and other activities that don’t require a lot of talking-brain attention while still mattering to me on a level beyond “gotta get this done” or “this will get me a paycheque”… they tend to be great cauldrons of inspiration. Poetry just starts talking in my head.
It’s really great. 🙂
I shall have to keep this in mind and do more things like this on the regular. 🙂


Filed under poetry, writing

Pagan Fiction series: Thinking Out Loud (now with a poll!)

I left a note with the OP saying that I’d be interested in taking part. My story in Leather Heights inovlves a pagan ritual, and my (unpublished) story, Crow Maidens, involves a hook up at a Fest. 🙂

The Saturated Page

During the recent blog/ck party that I participated in (and still need to go and read so many blogs!) I started thinking about marketing and networking and the like. This was the first blog hop type thing (while not strictly speaking an actual blog hop, since I posted entirely on my own blog) that I’ve done, but I’ve seen others do them, and I’ve read about others doing them, and I realize that the results are a mixed bag for people. I think the idea of this particular one was a very neat — yay indie publishing! — and I met some interesting people, and more importantly, I’ve found more books I need to read. (I like people for the most part, but I don’t think a single writer on that hop will begrudge me the fact that I’m more excited about the books! Priorities after all!) However, the fact…

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