pjthompson: quotes (quotei)

Random quote of the day:

“Those who are willing to be vulnerable move among the mysteries.”

—Theodore Roethke, “Arcs,” Parabola Magazine, Fall 2012

Disclaimer: The views expressed in this random quote of the day do not necessarily reflect the views of the poster, her immediate family, Lucy and Ethel, Justin Bieber, or the Kardashian Klan. They do, however, sometimes reflect the views of the Cottingley Fairies.

Mirrored from Better Than Dead.

Beads

Aug. 13th, 2014 09:57 am
pjthompson: quotes (quotei)

Random quote of the day:

“I learned that you should feel when writing, not like Lord Byron on a mountain top, but like a child stringing beads in kindergarten—happy, absorbed, and quietly putting one bead on after another.”

—Brenda Ueland, If You Want to Write

 beads4WP@@@

Disclaimer: The views expressed in this random quote of the day do not necessarily reflect the views of the poster, her immediate family, Siegfried and Roy, Leonard Maltin, or the Mormon Tabernacle Choir. They do, however, sometimes reflect the views of the Cottingley Fairies.

Mirrored from Better Than Dead.

Beads

Aug. 13th, 2014 09:57 am
pjthompson: quotes (quotei)

Random quote of the day:

“I learned that you should feel when writing, not like Lord Byron on a mountain top, but like a child stringing beads in kindergarten—happy, absorbed, and quietly putting one bead on after another.”

—Brenda Ueland, If You Want to Write

 beads4WP@@@

Disclaimer: The views expressed in this random quote of the day do not necessarily reflect the views of the poster, her immediate family, Siegfried and Roy, Leonard Maltin, or the Mormon Tabernacle Choir. They do, however, sometimes reflect the views of the Cottingley Fairies.

Mirrored from Better Than Dead.

Flow

Apr. 18th, 2011 09:24 am
pjthompson: quotes (quotei)

Random quote of the day:

 

“How could drops of water know themselves to be a river?  Yet the river flows on.”

—Antoine de Saint-Exupéry, The Wisdom of the Sands

 

 

 

Disclaimer:  The views expressed in this random quote of the day do not necessarily reflect the views of the poster, her immediate family, Siegfried and Roy, Leonard Maltin, or the Mormon Tabernacle Choir. They do, however, sometimes reflect the views of the Cottingley Fairies.

Mirrored from Better Than Dead.

Flow

Apr. 18th, 2011 09:24 am
pjthompson: quotes (quotei)

Random quote of the day:

 

“How could drops of water know themselves to be a river?  Yet the river flows on.”

—Antoine de Saint-Exupéry, The Wisdom of the Sands

 

 

 

Disclaimer:  The views expressed in this random quote of the day do not necessarily reflect the views of the poster, her immediate family, Siegfried and Roy, Leonard Maltin, or the Mormon Tabernacle Choir. They do, however, sometimes reflect the views of the Cottingley Fairies.

Mirrored from Better Than Dead.

pjthompson: (Default)
I've been struggling with the writing for awhile. I went for weeks and weeks (and weeks and weeks) where I didn't write a word except on the blog. I got seriously twitchy and depressed. I just couldn't seem to get anything going and when I did try to force myself to sit down and work on the WIP, a feeling akin to marching up the scaffold to my own hanging gripped me. I came to believe that perhaps the Muse had changed his postal code with a request not to forward my mail and that perhaps my writing days were over.

What's life without the occasional crisis of faith, right? So enriching to the spirit.

So I started making deals with myself: finish this scene of the WIP and you can spend your next writing session working on something else. And what do you know? When I worked on the something else, things were pretty good. I no longer felt like Apocalypse Moi. I actually wrote. I actually enjoyed it again. The Muse was just being sulky. He hadn't completely deserted me.

This was encouraging, but the WIP still felt like a sluggishfest. Part of the problem was that there is so much going on in the last quarter of this manuscript, so many complex threads to weave together, that I was forced to do an outline. Writing from an outline is something of a story killer for me, but there wasn't any way around it. I told myself it was time to stop acting like a baby and just do it, fer cryin' out loud. So I kept at it, on those days when the thought of working on the WIP was less than throw-myself-off-the-castle-walls, chipping away at finishing chapter 22, beginning chapter 23...

And a strange thing happened. Although I was following the outline, little openings of story started to happen, little surprises from the psyche that I love so well when pantsing it all the way. In the last couple of days I've had actual, God-damned flow happening. You know, the kind where it's time to go back to work, but you don't wanna stop—just a few more minutes, just a paragraph or two more, please?

It's been so long since I've felt that for anything, most especially this WIP. I begin to hope again. I see signs of spring. The Snowpocalypse is melting. The waters, trapped so long in ice, are once more flowing to the sea.

Let's hope it lasts.
pjthompson: (Default)
Thanks to [livejournal.com profile] stillnotbored and [livejournal.com profile] darkspires I got some ideas on how to fix the abominable heap of dumpage that was chapter 10. Considering that chapter 11 had some of the same issues, these ideas also applied to it. I guess my backbrain decided to take that ball and run with it, because overnight Wednesday an entire game plan for chapter 11 planted itself in my forebrain, allowing me to do a good scrubbing and mending. It will still need some work, but it's better now, and enough that I can safely proceed with the rest of the draft.

After months of being turgid and uncooperative, this idea is really flowing and inspiring me again. I'm enjoying working on it now after having to force myself to it for quite some time. I am happy.

And speaking of flow... )
pjthompson: (Default)
Other strange thought of the day:

"Back away from the internet, just back away. Put the mouse on the ground and your hands up and no one gets hurt."

Writingness of the day:

Charged with Folly is just bubbling out of me right now, so much so it's hard to put the cork in the bottle and move on to other things. I usually get this kind of effervescence at the beginning of a project, but the beginning of this one was such a struggle. Now that I'm where the saggy middle usually starts bugging, I've got all this flow and energy!

It won't last, it never does, but it sure is fun to have in now instead of feeling the slog.

Gosh, I sure hope this doesn't mean I'll get a saggy end. I mean, I imagine I will as I get older, but literarily.
pjthompson: (Default)
Three days. Unheard of speed for me. But I did another 1750 words today, and I've been writing in the groove, a real flow state, and I'm at the place in the story where I've wanted to be. And those horses that were running away with the carriage? I think they may have know where they were going after all.

Tomorrow I have to reread what I wrote and smooth it out, plump out a few places, but wow.
pjthompson: (Default)
So I wrote 1250 words today on chapter 17—a pretty blistering pace for Little Miss 500-a-Day here. But it had been pent up since last Tuesday while I let it move through the subconscious a bit. Today it just tumbled onto the page. I was very happy.

Then I'm typing it up and we had an earthquake—not much of a one, felt like maybe a 4-pointer unless it was really huge somewhere else. Felt sort of like an earth burp, not much more, but enough to shake something loose, apparently, because I realized there was a huge hole in my logic for that chapter. Damnation in a hand basket! I may just finish writing the sucker and worry about the logic later. I do have to fix it before releasing it to the local beta readers—they deserve logic, after all—but I'm not going to interrupt the flow to rethink this thing again.

Funk.

Just got the word on the e-quake: 3.4, centered off Manhattan Beach which is less than 10 miles from here. Really not much of an e-quake at all. Yawn.
pjthompson: (Default)
I've been so busy at work I've hardly had a spare thought to myself, and this weekend I had to do an enforced housecleaning. Allegedly, the manager has to do a "air conditioner inspection" today. Last month is was a "termite inspection." Frankly, I think the owner just wants him to do some snooping, but there's this pesky law that they can't enter apartments without 24-hour written notice. My apartment was still cleanish from last time, but I do have an amazing talent for cluttering a space in a short amount of time. And then there's the laundry. I swear it breeds on the floor of my bedroom. Er, I mean, in the hamper, of course. I would never pile laundry on the floor.

I'm woefully behind on my correspondence, so if I owe you an email, it's not because I'm being uppity, I'm just finding it hard to get everything done in the course of a day. I'm behind on crits to one person, but slightly ahead on everyone else, so at least that's not adding to the guilt pile.

I had a two-day stall starting chapter 16 last week. One part of me wanted to switch timelines to 1968 again; the other part wanted one more chapter in the 6th century. The thing is, it felt like a change was due right square in my middle where these things usually reside. So I was pretty sure a change was due. But I've got one more piece of significant business to take care of in the 6th c. when Caius is a certain age before advancing him on to the next age bracket. I let it go and concentrated on other things over the weekend (besides laundry). I apparently made some accommodation with myself because today when my writing session started, I went for a return to '68. I'll let Caius age in the next segment.

Who knows if it'll work out or stay that way in the rewrites but in the meantime switching accomplished what I most needed at this juncture: it got me unstalled.

Huzzah.

Activism

Jul. 28th, 2004 11:02 am
pjthompson: (Default)
From the quote file:

"The world is made less of nouns than of verbs.  It doesn't consist merely in objects and things; it is filled with useful, playful, and intriguing opportunities."

—James Hillman, The Soul's Code


Lately my life has certainly had a high verb count.  Things are calmer this week, an eye in the storm.  A hurry up and wait week.

Some days, though, my verbs are quite minimal:  eat, sleep, read, watch—and a few other basic body verbs that really have no place in a public blog.  Concentrated periods of inactivism are just as important as activism.  Some days I have the need for serious sloth because most days, especially during the week, it feels like I'm burning the candle at both ends, even when I'm not crashing at work, doing rewrites, moving offices, etc., etc., ad nauseam. 

Maybe that's an artist thing?  No matter what art you're doing, even if you consider it a craft, I think artists have a tendency to never truly be inactive.  The mind is always churning.  Even when we're asleep, even when we're holding conversations on other topics, below the surface that other channel is working—like a vast aquifer, never still, always pushing slowly and infinitely towards the sea.

Maybe that's a me thing?  I've talked to other artists/craftists, though, who have a similar duality, a feeling of things always pushing, of things moving even when we want them to stop, of ideas swimming and brewing and fermenting.  I guess that's the need thing, the need to do art, the can't-live-without-it thing.  In some ways it makes us (me) crazy, in other ways it makes us (me) sane. 

I have an acquaintance who has a schizophrenic brother.  She loves drawing parallels between his world and mine.  False parallels, I hasten to add.  She's fascinated by my process and the fact that characters are always alive in some part of my brain and that they take on a certain reality to me.  Although unlike her brother, I can tell the difference between the things I create and consensus reality.  Most days.  :-)  She doesn't understand the creative process, or at least not this deep need to do creative things.  She thinks creativity is something you discover one day, like someone shows you how to sew and suddenly your hands know how to make astonishing quilts as if by magic.  She laments not being creative and thinks that the reason she's not is that she's just never found the thing that will unlock her creativity.  Maybe she's right, but from where I'm sitting, I think she's got it backwards.  The creativity comes first, the vehicle for its expression comes second.  Creativity is an activist process, not a passive one.  It doesn't wait to be discovered.  It's intrinsic and ongoing, insist, persistent—a good stopping off point on the road to the loony bin. 

I don't think creative people are better human beings then other folks.  Some of the most miserable, messed up people I know are highly creative; also some of the best people I know.  Which is by way of saying that quality of personality, moral character, all that stuff, are separate issues.  Creativity is just another aspect of being human. 

Although it does feel like a divine fire sometimes when your brain is burning and your hand can't get the ideas down fast enough.  I don't know what it is, frankly.  But I do know certain aspects of it quite well:  creativity is mostly about letting go and allowing, of getting out of the way and letting it flow through, about not second guessing and trying to control until the thing is well and truly outside of you and you can then enforce all the damned control and second-guessing your left brain is itching for.  It's that flow that I live for, though.  It's that great, non-judging activist plunge into the void that makes everything else worthwhile.

So, in that sense, maybe my acquaintance is right: she's never found the thing that allows her to let go of control and give herself permission.  Maybe she doesn't lack creativity (because the egalitarian in me says everyone has some creative spark).  Maybe she just can't let go.  I don't know.  I operate on faith and instinct.  Analysis is always secondary, always a rewrite.

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