I am still on the first revision of "La Bruja del Barrio Loco", and it is going great! Well, the fact that the revision process is moving forward, is great.
I added some more good bits, especially about the bruja stalking the main character. I also keep re-reading the ending, and I think it works. I mean, it's a bit sappy, even for me, but damn, I figure after all that drama and shit the main character and her son have been through, some healing is in order.
On another exciting note, besides the revision process going really well, I finally reconnected with my friend, Marcy. She is also a writer and artist. I am so excited that she will do the cover for this novella because as I have explained in past blogs, I was going to buy images from the web, but nothing was really "right". She has this haunting image of a woman's face I want to use in a more square design. (I mean, book covers don't really have to look like the cover of a book, after all, not even printed book covers.) Come to think of it, the work reminds me of Picasso. Hmmm, maybe that's why I like it so much.
Well, back to the novella. The kids are asleep, and they may just stay asleep for another hour. :)
Keep doing what you love! #Resist
I was reading a Tweet by Joe Hill the other day, and he was bragging about revising his novella. . .for the FOURTH time. I was so jealous!
The truth is that there is nothing calm about the revision process because making some changes can be quite agonizing (do you merge these characters? how do you part with lines you love, but know are cliche?), and if I weren't so busy, I would set my work aside and come back to it later. I treat it like a new romance; you're too in love at first to be objective and see flaws, at least for me it is. Also, my time is very limited, so I decided to start revising the novella, then move onto the novel. Plus, I'm not the kind of writer that can work on multiple projects, at least not on the same day. At least not right now. Of course, I also said it would be impossible to get up before 5a.m. and write; I was wrong.
The other potential block is that I'm an English teacher and keep editing the damn story. Ugh, it is such a pain. So, to minimize that, I am going to cut up the sections of the story that have a time shift and read them separately. It's like taking paragraphs apart, instead of seeing the whole essay. I don't know if this will work, but we will see.
I did make some minor plot corrections, but I won't be posting the story until I publish it for good: The First Draft of "La Bruja del Barrio Loco".
Today, revise but keep your Kung Fu calm. #Resist
Holy shit! I thought this novella would never end. The ending didn't quite go as I mapped it out, but I like this new one better.
Anyway, now I will start revising it. I am just so glad it is finished, so I can go back to my novel: The Harvest.
The plan is to revise the novella until I want to vomit, and then publish it via Amazon. I got someone to design the cover, my friend Marcy who is a pretty damn good artist. However, I am going to have to call in a favor and see if my other writer friend can edit it for me for a nominal cost (I can't pay 3 cents a word or whatever the going rate is for editors these days). Mwa ha ha. That's right, Eric Yankee, I mean you.
Well, there is it is. I hope the final revision wows you! It will be worth the read, my friends and fam. For now, leave me some benevolent feedback.
The other day, I was talking to my friend/editor Adam G. about this novella, and he was like, "It's sounding more like a novel." But, NO! I see the ending over the horizon, and even though I normally don't kill characters, someone is gong to die! I have written the climax and ending in my head numerous times (stop it pervs), but the battle scene is where I need to spend more time. I mean, it won't be like a Harry Potter scene, but the forces involved should be awesome and terrifying at the same time.
The problem is that La Bruja is quite the foe, and my heroines may not have the magical chops to really defeat her. At least, she is turning out to be one nasty witch, and she's escalating into a worse enemy than the narrator ever imagined, so I threw her a lifeline. You can read more about it here: "La Bruja del Barrio Loco".
On the life front, today, I am bringing three writers to my campus, the authors of Teatro Chicana. They are coming during my creative writing class, and I hope my students enjoy the visit. Many of the students have been struggling with inserting a political perspective without proselytizing. It is not an easy thing to do; in fact, I let any political messages evolve naturally, but I think the mujeres will have some sage advice for my students.
Well, here's to you having a magical day and kicking some ass! #Resist
I have been grading like a mother fucker. Evaluating the short stories took the longest, and I was also finishing a union election last week. (My Resistance Slate won. I am the chapter chair, again. #Resist!) On top of all that, my brain kept waking me up at 2, 3, 4a.m. to grade. Guilt. Sheer guilt was getting up early. I am so tired right now. However, I am looking forward to continuing with the novella. I already ended it in my head, but need to write it, which is kind of frustrating because even though I turned in my midterm grades, I need to look at creative writing portfolios. (That is going to be such a time consuming joy!)
Also, tomorrow is my daughter's birthday party at Chuck E Cheese, and I have to say I know I am going to be crying tomorrow. The managers already told me it will be mass chaos, but I am bracing myself for the event. I pulled the stops with a Hello Kitty cake, treat bag items, and decorations.
We looked for Hello Kitty swag, but found none. (I am sure my husband is most grateful he won't have to wear a matching T-shirt.) Still, I bought my daughter a nice dress that she picked; yes, my two year old can pick out her own clothes. She went through three dresses, and she chose a lovely number.
Tomorrow also promises to be a warm day. So that is all I have for now.
I am secretly hoping my brain will wake me up at 2a.m. to write, but I am too tired pull that a fourth or fifth night.
"La Bruja", the short story I'm writing for my little sister, D, is a great joy to write, but it's now at 24 single-spaced pages. The ending is on the horizon, and I ended it in various ways. I keep telling myself, just five more pages, but that was like 15 pages ago. It's a lot of fun to write, and I hope to be done, so I can revise the shit out of it. For now, you can read the ongoing draft and IT IS a draft with typos and all: "La Bruja del Barrio Loco".
I also found a friend who has a cool cover I can use for this piece, if she ever returns my calls. The more I think about the image, the more I like it. Sadly, there is something very non-committal about other writers and artists that keeps them busy. Some of them, anyway. You have to catch them at the right moment, and no one seems to have time.
But enough waaaaah. I also discovered that given my time constraints, I can only work on one project at a time. The Harvest: A Novel has been put on hold temporarily, but that is OK because sometimes a little distance can add some much needed perspective. It's like seeing your husband come home from a trip, and you fall in love all over again, even if it's just for a short while. It's the same with writing. You love it when you return to it and become reacquainted with the characters, and then you notice all the flaws and the struggles begin. End romance.
Here's to writing struggles, yet loving them all the same.
I have been writing regularly, but I haven't had time to blog because I have been evaluating my students' short stories. My students have a lot of talent and unusual humility, but they are still learning how to stick to a schedule and a page limit. Some of them are having a hard time ending their stories. That happens, but I hope in their revisions, they are able to resolve the major conflict. I also recommended that they not put their characters in impossible situations. I killed a story line that way once; actually, I find teaching a lot from my mistakes when they struggle and hope my advice helps.
The funny thing is that in their stories, I am hyper aware of when they over narrate. Ha ha ha. These are parts in my writing that I have to cut out. Evaluating their stories has been pretty amazing.
Now back to the daily writing: I posted more of "La Bruja del Barrio Loco" which is almost done. I am shooting for five more pages. It is a far longer story than I had planned to write and will post it on Amazon as a practice run, after I get sick of revising it. Actually, that will most likely be my new goal, to post a new one every couple of weeks or more. The problem isn't the writing; the problem is designing new book covers. (I love gleaning through ugly book covers and finding ones I like.) I don't have fantasies of making it rich from what I produce.
However, I talked to my Union lawyer, who let me know that as long as I teach full time, it doesn't matter how much money I earn from publications. That is awesome. I only write a few hours a week, and hope to make some Christmas or emergency money.
My writing goal this week is to finish "La Bruja" and move onto my novel again.
Dr. Jesú Estrada,