Monday, December 31, 2012

New Year's Non-Resolutions 2013

I stopped making New Year's Resolutions a few years ago. I started making non-resolutions. Very simply stated: things I was not going to do in the New Year. Easier for me to keep in many ways as not doing something was/is easier for me. So this year I will NOT:

  • Stay in the house writing all week long, socialized only by FB and Twitter
  • Talk myself out of a trip I really want to take. No rationalizations allowed.
  • Wait for friends to call me. It's a very bad habit.
  • Be unauthentic with anyone; not you, my other friends, or especially myself, even if I'm terrified.
  • Put another writing project away. I may jump from one to another and back again but I will not put them away. The back burner is NOT away; it's just the back burner.
  • Write less than 1000 words per day.
  • Wait more than 72 hours after completing a project to start quering agents. I'd set the limit lower but why query on a weekend? I could be wrong.
  • Go one day, even holidays without writing. Mission started: Yes, I was writing on Christmas day.
  • Take every piece of writing advice as carved in stone gospel. What I've decided to do is full of risk; time to take some. It doesn't mean I won't listen: that would be extremely silly.

  • Those should be enough for this year We'll have to revisit them at the end of 2013 and see how things went, yes? Have any non-resolutions of your own?

    Wednesday, December 19, 2012

    Yuletide Tanka 2012

    I  thought I would share the Christmas/Yuletide poem (one of two) I wrote this year and put into a graphic. It's a holiday tradition of mine to write something for the season. I've never put them into graphic form before. Sending them out as such is a slightly scary process.

     Yes, Agatha Silverdragon is a nom de plume of mine. I've used it so long and so often I have friends who sometimes call me Agatha or Aggie. I hope you enjoy it.

    A Romance Writer? Me??

    I have defined myself as a romance writer. I’m not completely sure that is accurate. What happens when I start writing a story it ends up a love story on one level or another. I don’t understand the alchemy of it ; I truly don’t. As I have said I have two things completed: a revamped fairy tale and a short story. I started the fairy tale with a simple set of questions:


                      Why is the beast always male?

                      Why are all the female heroines beautiful princesses?

                      Why do you have to be beautiful to be a princess (or queen)?


    Yes, a remake of that perennial favorite: Beauty and the Beast. Yes, to quote a Jane Austin character, I have always found the original story “most vexing”. It gnawed at me, seriously. It gnawed at me because it perpetuated the myth that changing a beast into a prince is a feat well within the capacity of any female, but , of course, she must be beautiful. The theme is redundant almost to the point of absurdity. Man as beast; woman as beauty. But what if the beauty was male? What if the beast was female? So I wrote “Dani’s Song”. Of course it had to be a love story. That was the point. Is the beast revealed as beautiful? Even after the spell is broken King Johan’s response to his Queen’s question is “She is to my eyes. Does it matter if she is to any other?”

    The short story, “Breaking Precedent”, is also a love story but it certainly isn’t a romance. It’s a story about a father and a daughter. There’s love throughout it.

    As an exercise to overcome my awkwardness and painful shyness when writing a love scene I sat down one day and decided to write something purely sexual. OK, in a word: porn. It was painful writing but I was determined to get myself over it. So I wrote and wrote. It took a long time. When I had reached the goal of being eighty percent comfortable I looked back on what I had written and discovered. . .another love story! Not just the one between the central characters but three, possibly even five different love stories going on. (insert picture of banging head against desk or wall). I stuffed all those “exercises” away in password protected files. Just because I could write them didn’t mean I wanted them seen.

    But there it was. I recall reading a quote by Stephen King which stated his subconscious just happened to leak out horror stories. Yes, I’m broadly paraphrasing here because I can’t find it now. There was more to the quote but I simply can’t remember. The concept stuck with me though and it comes vividly to mind here. I sit down to write and what comes out of my fingertips regardless of original intent. . . are love stories. Fact acknowledged and accepted. So until something changes and bubbles up I am a writer of love stories. Now to get to work.

    Tuesday, December 11, 2012

    An Almost Never-Ending Writing List

    So I'm writing, that's been established. I thought I would actually write a list to keep myself honest and on track. Do I know what I'm doing? That is a question I don't know the answer to right now. Who knows?

    Writing projects (as of December 2012)

    StClare Chronicles (all are "working" titles)

    ·                 "Rain" first draft completed April 2, 2013

    ·                 "Breaking Precedent"

    ·                 "Fatherhood"

    ·                 "Couples and Pairs"

    ·                 "Scenes from a Wedding"

    ·                 "Snow"

    ·                 "Summer Heat"

    ·                 "Evelyn and Alexander"

    ·                 "Spring Break"

                Of all those, only one is complete and it's a short story which will probably never be published or even submitted for consideration. Two are being written right now; three have only been started. The last three are just ideas with titles and principals in my head. I don't know if I dare even begin them right now. "Snow" really doesn't belong here but it started here so I'm keeping here.

    Fairy Tales

                "Dani's Song" is complete; actually has been completed for some time now. It was written back in the 90's. Two laboriously printed copies were given away to the ones I dedicated the story to. It was a birthday present, you see. Currently I brought it back out, decided it wasn't too bad. So I've teamed up with my friend Tasha,an artist who likes fairy tales and fantasy, and we (she, actually) are working on some illustrations. When the illustrations and editing are done, "Dani's Song" will go up on Kindle.

                "Dragon in the Snow" is another one. I have started writing snippets but have put it on the back burner, so to speak.

    Other Projects

                "Familiar Strangers" is the third major story I'm working on. Like "Rain" and "Snow", it's a romance, aka 'love story', too. Heck, all of them are. Some are just more traditonally romances than others. But that's another posting.

    Future Ideas

    ·                 "Taste of a Man"

    ·                 "Troika"


                I think I'm going to stop now before even more pop up in my mind. Now to get the bloody things written and some characters (who shall not named--nags, the lot of you!) off my back. Enough, wouldn't you say?
    Today's Quote:
    The bravest thing you can do when you are not brave is to profess courage and act accordingly.- Corra Harris


    Saturday, December 8, 2012

    Beginning a New Season

    This year will be ending soon and in it I 'celebrated' my sixtieth birthday. Actually there was no celebration of any kind which suited my contemplative frame of mind. I've watched other years flow by without much of that except on rare occasions. This year was different. Both of my parents were gone and I was reading about the passing of old high school classmates on Facebook, one by one. There are still a great many of us left but it brought home to me with crystal clarity one simple idea: I had stories to tell. Yes, stories half-written. Outlines and character sketches. All begging to be completed. . . to be told. Now. I half started at 40 when my husband died but other issues pressed in, along with other negativities.

    1. You are a highly and expensively trained professional and you want to give it up for what?
    2. You can't support yourself writing. No way. No how. Even if you could, it's not going to be a decent living. You like beans and cornbread?
    3. Do you actuallly want others reading your stuff? Who would pay to read it?
    4. Do you really have anything to say or contribute?

    OK, number 1 is accurate in the first part. I am a highly and expensively trained professional but even though there parts of it I loved I was not happy with other parts of it. No, I don't particularly like living on beans and cornbread (a carry-over frugal plan from my childhood/early youth) but I can do it. The decision to write comes from my heart where my profession came from my mind.

    When it comes to number 3, does it matter? Does it really matter? Oh, yes, it does. I want my stories to be read. I do want audience. I have one story, rough and in need of editing, posted elsewhere and it surprises me how much I want that. If anyone will pay to read it that would be a bonus. It really would but I am at the point where I hav to write those stories regardless. Whether or not I have anything to say or contribute I can't really say. Readers will make that decision. I did take 12 hours of writing in college and remember my professor explicitly telling us to refrain from putting 'meaning' into what we wrote. It would come out.

    So here I am at another season of my life. It's time. Hence the title of this blog: Different Seasons. What will it consist of? I'm not quite sure about everything. There will be poetry, an occasional essay, and more. We will see.

    Today's Quote:

    "Your time is limited, so don’t waste it living someone else’s life. Don’t be trapped by dogma —which is living with the results of other people’s thinking. Don’t let the noise of others’ opinions drown out your own inner voice. And most important, have the courage to follow your heart and intuition. They somehow already know what you truly want to become. Everything else is secondary." -Steve Jobs