Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Waiting for our ship to come but our ship's not coming back

+ What's On: Believe, The Bravery

A while back I started rewrites on the Stones trilogy. I'd written the rough drafts of the first two and a half books some three or four years ago, then set them aside to focus on a couple other projects. The third book never got finished because I realized I wrote myself into a major corner. Consequence of writing by the seat of my pants, I guess. The only way I was going to finish that third book was if I changed a couple major things in books one and two.

So in January I finally had the time to start over. Got as far as chapter three and completely stalled out. Again. Frustrated, I kicked it aside and focused on getting a stand-alone urban fantasy ready for submission. Now that that one's out of my hands and off into the wonderful world of PLEASE PICK ME, I have no excuses to not work on Stones.

Problem? I have to start over, again.

I stared at it for weeks, wondering what the eff could be stalling out my story in the first eight thousand words. Finally I pinpointed the loose screw that was taking my entire story apart. I hit a WHY I couldn't answer, because the answer didn't make sense. "Why can ABC do THIS but not THIS?". ABC created a plot hole, so ABC had to go.

Now chapter one's edited and set aside, and I'm ready to take on chapter two. Hopefully it'll go better this time.

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

一夜明けた暗い朝に窓を額に見立て / 眠る肌起こし濡れた絵に手を伸す

+ Glass Skin, Dir en Grey

In fall 2006, I went up to Boston to apply to Nova Japan. I got a response back fairly fast—I was going back to Japan. The next month or so was scrambling to get my work visa application in order and to get what I'd need to take with me. Nova operated on one-year contracts, but I knew what I wanted: I was going to work for Nova for a couple of years, study Japanese on the side, and then try to move up into a Japanese company. I was ready!

This "dream future" got off to a rocky start. My parents both lost their jobs right after I graduated college, so my family and I were living off mine and my younger sister's credit cards as best we could. I had enough money to get a ticket to Japan, but that was about it. I arrived with roughly $200 to my name that I needed to make last me the better part of a month. It worked, if only because I lived off the bag of skittles my parents sent along as a farewell gift. Breakfast of champions, dudes.

Saturday, June 12, 2010

君の記憶がどんなに優しい言葉より / 誰も消せない僕の痛みを消してくれる

+ What's On: Metamorphoze, Gackt

Oh, Japan.

Where to start?

Rather, where to start again?

Any time I try to write about Japan, it becomes a rambling essay choked with useless asides and occasional snarking. Explaining why Japan is so important to me, and what a tangled mess it makes of me, is difficult to do concisely.

Let me try to explain.

Thursday, June 10, 2010

The things you said, I'm rehearsing them

+ What's On: Bury Your Head, Saosin

For me, the true danger in revisions is that it is revising, not creating. Sure, there is genuine writing going on, and major things can change, and sometimes the plot twists and turns to an unexpected new place, but—it is new inspiration on an old idea, old characters, old scenes.

Don't get me wrong; I love revisions. Heck, I've spent the last several years revising several different stories. I've changed genders, changed genres, tweaked timelines, and even juggled a couple character deaths. In one trilogy, I wrote out the main relationship! (Let's never do that one again. It's exhausting work.)

But years and years and years of revising can be poisonous, because I get so caught up in the fixing and perfecting that I don't create.

Right now I have three major stories on my plate. In a way, that's good, because when I get frustrated with a story, I can jump to another one, and they're all such different genres that I get the mental breather I need. But they're all old projects. One I just finished polishing, so I might be able to set it aside for a while. The other two are partially-complete trilogies that need reworking from the ground up before they can be finished. All I'm doing is going from rehashing one thing to rehashing another.

Sometimes all I do is open up the projects one at a time and go, "Oh, THIS one again. Bah." and close it without even scrolling past the first page. I have a tiny pity party where I feel like I'll never come up with anything new. Then I shrug it all off and go back to work, because if I didn't like the stories, I wouldn't have written them in the first place.

My saving grace comes in the form of NaNoWriMo. You can love it or hate it—I happen to like it. It's nice getting in touch with other writers, for one, and it's the one time these past several years I've allowed myself to put aside all in-progress works and start on something new. I already have a vague plot for this year's project, and I'm excited to see what comes of it. Between now and then, though, my plate is full.

Speakin' of.. Time to stop procrastinating and get some work done.

Sunday, June 6, 2010

She made up someone to be / She made up somewhere to be from

+ What's on: Dead and Lovely, Tom Waits

Hello, and welcome to my spot of the woods—take two.

A couple things about me, and maybe you'll tell me a couple things about you.

The facts:

I'm an International Business major with a focus on Japanese studies. Japan will actually get a whole 'nother post of its own, else it'd completely dominate this one. You'll see why when the time comes.

I'm an Army brat, and therefore have an Army brat's restless feet. At 25, I've lived in four countries and a dozen-odd cities. I currently call San Francisco home, but I have a list of places I want to go next. I was technically supposed to move this fall, but finances and a 1% shot at a dream kind of changed things on me. I live with a fellow writer, K.M. Ruiz, and our two ridiculous cats, Firefly and Bones.

I've been a food service worker, a call center employee, an English teacher, and a barista. With my degree, you'd think I'd push for a more stable career, but it's hard to think career when all you want to do is move..! Besides, my coffee shop job has a fantastic schedule for having a life and writing – I open, so I'm up at 3 am and at work by 4:30, and I'm off at 1:30pm unless something goes wrong. If I can stay awake, I have the whole afternoon to do things.

I read, but not often. I'm an extremely picky reader, frequently disappointed in or bored by the books I pick up from the library. I'll probably update a reading list on this blog from time to time. In the meantime, if you have a favorite book you think I will definitely enjoy, please tell me! It's frustrating checking out 10 books from the library at a time and finishing exactly 0.

I write—and that's primarily what this blog will be about. I'm unpublished, but like every other writer am hoping to change that. I write novels in a couple different genres, primarily urban fantasy and soft sci-fi. That's all I'll say for now, since you'll have to hear about my projects over and over again in the future, anyway…

That's me. If anyone's out there, it's your turn now!