Into The Writing Cave

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To borrow a phrase from Crow River Writer, I’ve decided to retreat into my Writing Cave for the next week.  Three weeks ago, I set the insane goal of finishing my second novel by the end of September. The shocker is I am really close to reaching this goal!

So close!

With only a week remaining, my muse and my imagination are itching to focus entirely on the last scene and the possibility of an epilogue.  So, for the first time in more than a year, I will be taking a week-long break from my blog and the blogosphere as a whole in order to appease my very insistent muse. As luck would have it, I have three days off from work this week, which will allow me to completely immerse myself in the work without the distraction of my day job. It’s like the stars have aligned with the perfect opportunity and I simply can’t ignore the path they’ve laid out.

Before I head into my cave, I thought I’d leave behind a few cryptic morsels from my second novel. I’ve been very vague about the plot, though I’ve shared a little about my main characters, (See What’s In A Name? Everything! and What I Love About My WIP).  I’ll continue to be elusive with concrete details, but I thought it would be fun to give some clues to the story.

The quote is one the first things I scribbled into my notes while doing research and the photograph is taped into the pages of my Novel Notebook.

. . . And into me they breathed a voice divine

to celebrate the future and the past

My orders were to celebrate the gods who live

eternally, but most of all to sing

of them themselves, the Muses, first and last

                        — Hesiod, The Theogony

Dan’s Cave, Abaco Island, Bahamas.
Photo from National Geographic

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Hopefully, these little nuggets will intrigue more than frustrate!

While I won’t be blogging, I will be on my Facebook page with random thoughts as I work my way through the final segment of novel #2.  Visit my sidebar and hit the Like button to follow along.  This is most likely the first place I will be celebrating when I finish the last sentence. Hope to see you there!

I’ll be back with a post for Sunday Abroad on September 30.  Thank you so much to my readers for all of your support and encouragement.  I am very aware that I would not have made it this far without you.

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c.b.w. 2012

On A Mission

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Your mission should you choose to accept it:

This message will self-destruct in 5 seconds.

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I love being a writer!  My muse and I are busy plugging along on the last chapter of Novel #2.  Please forgive us if we are a bit MIA over the next few days.  The coffee is flowing and so are the words.  I am most definitely on a mission to follow where my muse leads!

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c.b.w. 2012

Writing . . .

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. . . lets me truly be who I am.
. . . pushes my creativity to new levels.
. . . frees my imagination.
. . . gives me a voice.
. . . takes me somewhere new.
. . . challenges me like nothing else.
. . . has made me stronger than I ever thought possible.
. . . has connected me to a group of wonderful people/writers.
. . . gives me something meaningful to do each day.
. . . always reminds me that there is so much beauty in the world.
. . . forces me to learn the grammar I ignored in school.
. . . never lets me give up.

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Somehow I’ve amassed 30 drafts in my queue!  This was mixed in the clutter and I decided it should find its way to the light.

How would you complete the sentence?

Writing . . .

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c.b. 2012

Thinking of Wallace

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The truth will set you free.  But not until it is finished with you.

– David Foster Wallace

As I sat with my cup of coffee this morning, this quote popped into my mind and hasn’t left since.  I suppose there is a reason for it, (my muse is behind it most likely), but for the moment I’m just going to enjoy the wisdom of Wallace’s words.

And then I’m going to laugh . . .

I do things like get in a taxi and say, “The library, and step on it.”

– David Foster Wallace

Perhaps Wallace is lingering in my mind because of a prompt in my writer’s group this week.  If you could meet someone who was dead, who it would be and why?  I immediately thought of Wallace, as I always wish he was still around dispensing his humor and wisdom.  I’d love to shake his hand and ask him about the ending of The Pale King. 

Who would you want to meet?

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c.b. 2012

A Day in the Life of an Aspiring Writer

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It’s probably a good thing that I’m an insomniac or my dream of becoming a (real) writer might just kill me. Just for kicks, I decided to keep a log of what a typical day is like for me as I juggle a full-time teaching job and a rather chatty muse.

5:10 a.m.
Wake up (providing I went to sleep in the first place).

5:11 a.m.
Move the notebooks out of the way so I don’t trip on them when I get out of bed.

5:15 a.m.
Finish reading through what I call my Midnight Notes. Then, I’ll pat myself on the back for coming up with the ideas that are worth exploring and scratch my head for the ones where I wonder what the heck I was thinking.

5:20 – 5:45 a.m.
While I’m getting dressed and combing my hair, my muse and I discuss character and story developments.  We will probably disagree instantly and this will be the first of many arguments during the day.

6:05 a.m.
Start walking to work (Yes, I walk even though I have a car and a valid driver’s license. Really.) and listen to one of many story playlists. Usually, I pick a song that relates to a plot point or character quirk I’m trying to figure out.

6:30 a.m.
Pour my morning cup of coffee and get online to make sure any scheduled blog posts have gone through.  Add necessary links to Facebook page. Answer comments, e-mails, and jot down any ideas that arose during the walk to work.

6:45 – 7:30 a.m.
Start actual day job work.

8:23 – 8:30 a.m.
Check blog stats, answer comments.  Add story ideas to notebook.

9:23 – 9:30 a.m.
Check blog stats, answer comments.  Add story ideas to notebook.

*Note: These seven minute intervals are the passing periods between the classes I teach and they will appear a few more times.

9:35 – 10:23 a.m.
Prep hour filled with grading papers, copying, and preparing for the second phase of the day.  In between tasks I check stats, answer comments, check e-mail, and add story ideas to notebook.  On days where my to-do list is clear, I will read blog subscriptions or research publishing outlets.

11:30 – 12:00 p.m.
While eating lunch, I read through subscription blogs and comment.

12:00 – 12:07 p.m.
Check stats, answer comments.

1:00 – 1:07 p.m.
Talk to the student that always arrives to class super early.

2:00 p.m.
Assess real job to-do list and stay until it gets done so I can focus solely on writing when I get home.

3:00ish – 5:00ish p.m.
Repeat morning walk routine in reverse.  My muse and I will continue our morning argument as if the span of eight hours never happened.

Write down any ideas that arose from the walk home.

Grab an afternoon snack and power nap, complete daily crossword, and watch Judge Judy (it’s a guilty pleasure and there are always really great characters)

Spend time with my husband.

6:00 p.m.
Wrap up online tasks (check stats, answer comments, read subscription blogs, update Twitter and Facebook, if needed).

6:30 p.m.
Choose writing project based on the day’s inspiration (i.e. playlist, musings, idea notebook).

Write.

On days where my muse and I can’t communicate, I’ll use my allotted writing time to research literary magazines where I can submit my work, comb through agent listings, and research query letter/synopsis formats.

7:15ish p.m.
Briefly debate cleaning up my writing desk.  Within minutes I will realize it’s just a procrastination attack.

8:00 – 9:00 p.m.
Break for dinner.

10:30 p.m.
Rub temples to soothe wordsmithing cramps.

Take a shower and discuss course of story with muse.  More arguments will ensue.

11:00 p.m.
Jot down any shower ideas and call it a day.

11:10 – 11:30ish p.m.
Read

11:30ish p.m. and beyond
Try really hard to sleep.

This is my basic day, but there are slight variations on different days of the week.

Tuesdays are basically the same except from 3:00 p.m. to 4:30 p.m. I attend a writer’s group and from 4:30 p.m. until around 7:00 p.m. I write with my mother.

Thursday is appointment TV night and craft night, but lately I’ve been writing at 9:00 p.m. for at least an hour.

Friday night I head to the bookstore at around 6:30 p.m. and read for an hour before heading out to visit with family. At around 10:00 p.m. to midnight I’ll sit down to read or write, depending on my mood.

Weekends are an entirely different story.  Saturday I clean the house and start the laundry before I head to the bookstore to write for a three to five hour block.  On Sundays, I spend the morning finishing up any leftover chores before heading to the bookstore to write for another three or four hours, or until I have to head home for Sunday dinner with the in-laws.  Sunday evenings are typically kept open to relax, unless my muse says otherwise.

It’s amazing I’m still sane, (sort of). Thank goodness for little pearls of wisdom like this:


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c.b. 2012