Thou shalt not drink red wine and work on your novel. No matter how smart you think you are.
Ha ha. Seriously. I made a great dinner with good friends and had three glasses of wine or more. But, when you drink, that is the worst time to write. Of course, now the angry wine gods are making my stomach pay, and not in flirty lap dances, but in acidic nasty ways.
The ideas will have to wait.
I have been reading The Fireman and paying really close attention to how much Joe Hill does not over narrate. I just have to keep reminding myself that the important thing is to finish my draft AND THEN, AND ONLY THEN, make it pretty.
I worked on the novel a little more. Actually, I went back and filled in some details in the first 30 pages. Then, my son woke up, and my husband came home with my beautiful daughter. Now, I have to go make dinner. But, here it is: The Harvest.
My writing goals over the weekend are simple, first to do some more mapping out of my characters. That is one of my writing goals in general. The other is to write for 30 minutes every day. I actually worked on this beast for over an hour, but it flew by, and I did what writers aren't supposed to do. I edited before drafting out the whole thing. Naughty!
That is all for now.
I have been spending time with my characters, not nearly enough, but spending time regularly. This has been helpful and even though I haven't been able to get up early enough to write, that mental work is stewing ideas. In my mind, the characters are growing into teenagers and facing serious conflicts. Like at some point, Ashley is going to snap and show that nasty side of her the State has been responsible in creating, then rehumanizing again.
I have also been reading The Fireman and really honing in on Joe Hill's character development. Well written books are such a joy and inspiration. In my old age, I have learned not to be jealous of great writing, but to really study it. I liked the turns his characters take and even the villains have a human side to them. (Although the villain in that book is a pompous misogynist asshole who deserves to die.)
I also talked to the editor of Down South where the Water is Warm, and he is commenting on each story, but hasn't sent the feedback in yet. That is OK. I am not on an arbitrary timeline, although the way the political situation is going, we may be at war with a foreign country. Hmmm. Better get these puppies out while I can. Truth is, I can't wait to get his feedback.
So, stay strong on your writing journey. (Yes, I cheated and blogged before writing. Bad Jesú!)
I haven't blogged for a while, not because I haven't wanted to blog or had something to write about. I mean, so much is going, and we need to respond against stupid ideas. No. I have been true to my writing goal of not blogging or getting on social media if I don't work on the novel.
This week, I have been reading short stories because I have to for my creative writing course, but I have been analyzing what other writers do well along with my students. Today, I took a closer look at "Speech Sounds" by Octavia Butler. In that story, she did an amazing job of using the third person, and still had a great deal of action. (As I write, the kids are making noise. One is climbing on my arm.)
I have been thinking about character development, but I really just need to spend time thinking about my story and writing. Yesterday, I had a chance to write for a block of time, but I made homemade pizzas instead. What the hell.
On Monday, I also gave a talk on "Alternative Facts". As I was working on the presentation, it just kept getting longer and longer. Other speakers spoke about water protectors in South Dakota and what to do next. Really, the last one spoke about the history of fascism and the historical moment we find ourselves in. The event was well received, and I hope more students will attend in the future.
I imagine a lot of people are speaking and writing against fascism right now, even one of my heroes Stephen King who has a wide audience. His Tweets area funny, but true.
The struggle will be ongoing, but I will try to refocus and get back to the novel on a regular basis, while still actively resisting.
Write, write, write, and always #Resist. The times call nothing else.
Dr. Jesú Estrada,