Saturday, March 22, 2014

Writer's Questions, the DFW Writers Convention, & a Snippet from "Snow"

Designed at Bitstrips

It's spring. After all this mind-crackling, bone-fracturing cold, it is spring. I suppose most people are cavorting with great abandon with the vernal equinox, warmer temperatures, and the promises of blooming flower beds. I love the season, too. But something comes with it.

With spring comes something else on the all-too-soon horizon. The DFW Writers Convention is coming up and , yes, I'm going again. Will I pitch Snow, my current WIP? I don't know. I have a pitch session scheduled again. I will research the agents I've asked for. Look at their biographies. Chase down their tweets. Read their blogs. Oh, I'll look for every piece of information I can find on them. I don't know which one of my three choices I will end up with.

I'm not as anxious as I was last year. The situation could change as the date grows closer. But I did manage to get through a pitch last year. Strange, isn't it? Someone who expresses themselves best in written form attempting to express it in spoken form---and evaluated accordingly. To me, it is very strange. Even in my former profession I hated doing performance art; although they called it BCLS, ACLS, and Clinical Competencies.

But the pitch for Snow will depend on whether I finish the rough draft in time. I don't like the idea of pitching something that isn't complete. If it isn't complete by then I suppose I use the time just to natter and ask questions.

Now there's a quandary. An odd one for me. I've labeled myself a Pochemuchka (Russian for someone who asks a lot of questions) but I'm afraid when it comes to asking actual people actual questions which would do me some good----I am terrible. It's so important to have the right questions. So what questions? I will only have ten minutes. Those questions will be the most difficult things I have ever written. I think finishing the rough draft of Snow will be easier.

So I think I will share a scene from Snow. An excerpt, not a snippet. This is one of the first scenes I wrote for it. Yes, it's one of the pivotal points. And , if summarized like a logline, it can be read almost like a comedy. I dislike writers who explain their writing but I will simply say Snow is not a comedy, romantic or otherwise. It is a love story and this scene happens midway.

Sunday, March 16, 2014

Bad Poetry Abounds! It Must be the Season.

Winter on the Arkansas River

© 2013 SE Hudnall
Tell Me When the Dogwoods Bloom

Tell me when the dogwoods bloom
And the violets peak out from under their leaves.
I know the wild plums have come and gone
And I missed them.
Let me know when the azaleas come out.
White, pink, orange or red.
I don’t care which ones come first.
Oh, do say when the wisteria hangs thick and fragrant
Straining heavy on the vine.
Winter’s beauty is in ice and crystal
A thousand colors bound in one.
I won’t deny its beauty.
And I love it for its silence and earthbound light.
Yet it’s started to fade to gray by now
And the cold has sapped my heart
So please . . .

I don’t care about the tulips
And roses don’t mean much to me.
But do tell me when the dogwood blooms
It’s the dogwood I want to see.


A Winter-Spring Trilogy

In between now
And then the slumbering earth breathes
Winter, winter, spring.

Can’t tell which one will be the last snowflake. Perhaps this one? No. That one!

Ephemeral they
Said as snowflakes little liars
Not so this winter.


Pranksters in the Churchyard

Giggling beneath
The unswept leaves of autumn
Violets gather

Imitating melting snow
Joke’s on them. I saw. Did you?

Friday, March 14, 2014

What No Vacation? Writing Every Day

Someone posted this meme to my Facebook page and I started to respond to it there but decided not to. I'm responding here instead.

I've really kind of realized that over the past year or so. When I go on an adventure* I'm thinking about writing. When I went to Vermont last spring I was thinking about writing and actually writing. The first Christmas Day, after I made the Decision, I wrote over 800 words. So yes, I do this. Every. Single. Day. Yet I feel less deprived of leisure than I did before when I was employed at a 'regular' job. It's so strange.

No, I don't always get 800 to 1000 or more words out every day; I have had days when less than five hundred are written down. No, my fictional work doesn't always get all the day's words. Sometimes this blog does. Sometimes it's simply a collection of snippets and notes for what I am working on. But it happens every day before the darkness of night fades into daylight brightness and, with a few exceptions, stops by lunchtime. The only days in the past year it hasn't happened I was anaesthetized for major surgery then hooked up to a morphine drip. (How's that for an excuse, Chris?)

Now it is a part of me like the way I make a pot of coffee in the morning without measuring the grounds or water. When something tries to intrude I feel uncomfortable. . . strange. I don't sit down in front of my laptop with twittering delight every morning. Some days I feel like I'm scratching the words directly out of my skin with a warped, over-used razor blade. But if I try to stay away it feels even worse.

Do I feel deprived writing every day? Oh, no. I feel deprived if I can't. Big difference. It's not always easy or easily achieved. But it does feel good, in and of itself. It feels good to be doing what I actually love doing. It feels good to finish a project, a blog post, or a chapter.

Vacation? One goes on vacation to break routine, get fresh perspectives, to get away from stress-makers, to find or see something new and different, and perhaps to make new friends or visit old ones. I do that all the time when I'm writing. I'm never at home; I'm always somewhere else. What is happening around me is interesting and new. Visiting friends? Oh, yes. Writing to discover new ones and editing to visit old ones. It works for me. I don't do vacations anymore; I do trips and when I do the writing goes with me. And I have the added pleasure of writing down descriptions of new places, thoughts, and people.

*adventure- a series of actions or process used to clear mental pathways and/or induce reticent fictional characters via vehicular kidnapping to disgorge crucial backstory, plot points, and/or dialogue. The process consists of choosing a cardinal direction via random methodology, filling up the gas tank of a vehicle, and heading in the chosen direction, and not turning back until the aforementioned fictional character starts disgorging the needed information. Primarily used by SE Hudnall when frustrated with characters, storyline, and other more generalized forms of writers block. Oddly more effective than would be rationally expected.