Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Brain Drizzle

brain drizzle is what occurs when you don't have enough ideas to have a brainstorm.  or too many ideas to choose from that no single one of them amounts to much.

 trying to come up with what i want to write about for nanowrimo.  luckily, it's still a month away, because i have NO idea what i want to write about.  i thought about expanding on a short story i wrote about a year ago.  i have enough material in it i think i could expand it into a novel, even without using the material i already wrote for it.  which would be added to the expanded story, but not counted in the 50K word count for the challenge.  i could actually do that with any one of three short stories i wrote while in my senior year at OSU.  they are all short stories i have wanted to revisit and expand on.  i think it's mainly between my stories Underdeveloped and Joshua Tree (which would need a new title, for serious).  i love the character in both.

Underdeveloped stars Caleb and Jamie.  Caleb is a recovering alcoholic and an underachiever, and content that way.  His best friend Jamison died of alcohol poisoning one year before the main story takes place.  Jamison's death was a wake-up call for Caleb, and he struggled for a year to get his own drinking under control.  By the time the short story takes place, he hasn't had a drink in about six months, but still feels the urge almost every day.  Enter Jamie, a girl who injects herself into Caleb's life.  She is erratic, manipulative, and a compulsive liar.  Her presence, her name, and her disregard for the sanctity of dead memories disrupt Caleb's complacent existence, but start a friendship that is a lot like iodine on an open wound: painful at first, but ultimately beneficial in its cleansing properties. 

The original short story takes place over a single day and is about how Caleb and Jamie meet.  The material I want to add to it would explore Caleb and Jamison's friendship before Jamison died, Caleb's ensuing alcoholism, and the longer effects of Caleb and Jamie's friendship and possible romance.  I want to stay away from romance, though, so as not to descend into cliches.  This is not a romantic comedy.

But as I said, I think I have enough material here that I could write a novel with it. 

The second short story I wanted to expand is Joshua Tree, the story of Ben and Hoosh, two guys who have a chance encounter when Ben picks up Hoosh as a hitchhiker along a highway between small reservation towns in Nevada.  The story takes place over a couple hours and mainly deals with their short but impressionistic ride together.  They leave a mark on one another.  I have wanted to go back and revisit this story for months, but I don't know what I would add to it.  Bringing them back together after Ben drops Hoosh off at his destination seems unlikely and more like writing fanfiction for myself than anything.  Just because I want them to get back together and develop a stronger bond doesn't mean it should, would, or even could happen.  I could seriously write a novel about them taking a trip from Nevada to Alaska, inspired heavily by my own drive from Oklahoma to Alaska.  But I have no idea why they would make the trip.  It bears some thinking over, though.  I love the characters, and I would love to revisit them.  They totally would be gay for each other by the end of the trip, btw.  XD  I may not actually include that in the story, but in my head, they would totally be in love.

So, yeah... a couple possibilities to drizzle over. 

Saturday, September 25, 2010


Well, I've done it.  I've gone and signed up for NaNoWriMo.  That's National Novel Writing Month to you not in the loop.

From WriMo's web site:

What: Writing one 50,000-word novel from scratch in a month's time.
Who: You! We can't do this unless we have some other people trying it as well. Let's write laughably awful yet lengthy prose together.
Why: The reasons are endless! To actively participate in one of our era's most enchanting art forms! To write without having to obsess over quality. To be able to make obscure references to passages from our novels at parties. To be able to mock real novelists who dawdle on and on, taking far longer than 30 days to produce their work.
When: You can sign up anytime to add your name to the roster and browse the forums. Writing begins November 1. To be added to the official list of winners, you must reach the 50,000-word mark by November 30 at midnight. Once your novel has been verified by our web-based team of robotic word counters, the partying begins.

I'm both terrified and invigorated by the prospect of writing again, and with such wild abandon!  I have no idea what I'm going to write about, but I have a whole month to plan before November 1st, when the writing actually begins.

Omg what did I get myself into... @_@

Friday, September 24, 2010

Quest for the Back Patio

I'm going to try not to focus on the fact that other people may be reading this.  I'm going to try not to worry too much about how much sense it will makes to other people, or how good it is, or how it might sound to someone else.  I'm starting this blog for me, myself, to try and get back something I seem to have lost.

When I was a kid, I used to go with my mom to this old bookstore called The Dusty Bookworm.  It was an aptly named establishment; a cramped, cluttered, dusty place crammed with shelves and boxes of used books.  It was one of those places where you could bring your old books to donate or trade.  My mom used to bring in her old paperbacks by the dozens.  She is an avid reader of mysteries and thrillers of the serial killer sort, and I've always been secretly amused by the fact that she has read so many different books by different authors of the genre that she has trouble remembering which ones she has read before.  She will sometimes come home with a book to start reading it, only to realize two chapters in that she had indeed read it before.  Then it's back to the bookstore.

I loved going with her to the Dusty Bookworm, because I knew that if I did she would buy me a book.  That was one thing she would never deny me.  She encouraged me to love books as much as she did, and she provided me with a steady supply of reading material.  Obviously it is to this that I can attribute my avid love of books, but it is to this that I also attribute my love of writing.

I wrote my first "novel" the summer after fourth grade.  I took a pencil, a stack of loose leaf, wide ruled notebook paper, and my tape player out onto the back patio every day, and it was there that I wrote an eighty-something page plot-less story containing exactly eight characters, composed almost entirely of dialogue.  Double spaced, of course.  At the end of the summer, I went to my dad and asked if he wanted to read my novel.  He chuckled and said, "Sure, sweetie," prepared to indulge his nine-year-old daughter.  So I shocked him by dropping this manuscript of notebook paper into his lap.  He still tells this story to his clients at cocktail parties.  His daughter, the writer.

Since then, I have identified myself as a writer.  I've written hundreds of pages of fiction over the years, but I've rarely finished anything I've started.  The last novel-length story I finished was some time in middle school.  Since then, I have written various pieces of fiction, taken classes on writing, and even earned my Baccalaureate in Creative Writing from an accredited four year university.  

So why don't I feel like a writer?  Because I haven't written anything original in almost two years, probably.  I've written fan-related things.  Many people call it fanfiction.  One word.  My fanfiction is mostly in the form of RP (role playing) with other people, though I have written a few fanworks independently.  My fanfiction orbits around Blizzard's Warcraft universe.  It's a verse that I enjoy immensely for its mythology and lore.  The World of Warcraft is absolutely enormous in it's size and span.  There is literally something in it for everyone.

But as much as I love it, the Warcraft universe is not my own.  It's not mine.  And no matter how at-home I might feel there, it's not my place, and nothing is as liberating or as comfortable as my own house.  When you live in another person's house, you have to abide by their house rules.  It's the same for me in the Warcraft verse.  It is enjoyable to a degree, but ultimately stifling.  And now, it has been so long since I have written anything outside the Warcraft verse that I'm afraid I've lost the ability to create my own stories comprised entirely of my own ideas.  I know on some level that isn't true, but it's a fear that is constantly eating at my brain.

I want to get back to my house, but I don't know where it is.  I can picture it in my head, I just don't know how to get there.  I guess the only thing I can do is start writing, and hope that I will eventually navigate my way back to the back patio.