Tag Archive for The Rampant

Visibly Silent

Where the hell have I been? GroupGrok.com, where I blog with some fabulous writing friends, and my own StillWingingIt.com are like sleeping crickets at the moment. It seems I can’t even be bothered to rub my own legs together and generate a line or two of music.

See, it’s busy times elsewhere in my life. Despite my quiet demeanor, it seems I am more like my five year old than a handshake and a quick conversation would lead you to believe. I am a woman of enthusiams. My current enthusiams along with a half-dozen unbreakable commitments, such as work, children and sleep, have led to my current virtual lag. A quick rundown? Of course. I’d be happy to share…

The Fiction of Others:

In the last few months I have discovered the fiction of Benjamin Rosenbaum, the existence of World Read Aloud Day and entered into two separate critique group “experiments.” Working with great writers makes me better (Well, as a writer anyway). I’ve started sharing with some damn fine people: C. Liddle, Jennifer Abeles, Michael J DeLuca, Ian Withrow, and Adam Gallardo. As long as they’re willing to keep me around, I’ll happily cringe while they point out all the crap I try to get away and explain why I just need to stop that shit.

Writing Group Hint: Always start your critique with the phrase “in the current draft.” It gives the author a kick in the butt to rewrite and actually finish the story. It also gives the critiquer license to point out all those flaws a tenderhearted, creative type would prefer to ignore. Of course the baby already has ten toes and ten fingers. How the hell could anyone miss them all?

Other Enthusiams of the Moment:

I’m still podcasting for Small Beer Press. In fact my latest podcast just went up last night. You can check out all of my podcasts on the Small Beer site. You can even subscribe on iTunes. This week’s podcast is all about how I learned to like beer. Well, okay, not really. It’s about Maureen McHugh’s “The Naturalist,” zombie plans and, yes, beer. Thanks to my current podcasting duties, I have learned that I like Mexican ryes and the devil’s own aged brew, Mephistopheles’ Stout.

There’s even actually writing going on (of the non-podcasting variety). I’ve finished a draft of my novella, “The Rampant” and I’m currently writing my M.F.A. thesis. In fact, the first draft is due this weekend. Really. No doubt the reason I’m writing this blog post. Finishing that last page of my preface feels rather like a dental cleaning. You feel like a baby. After all it’s not really all that bad. No drills. No extractions. No shots of any kind. Still, you just can’t stand it. At least I can’t. Thankfully, by the end of the weekend the essay will be out to my thesis adviser and I can move on to editing my unicorn-slaughter love story. Good times.

My next plan is to start posting my submission stats. That, however, will have to wait until I finish the thesis. Soon, my friends, soon. Meanwhile checkout the podcast or just the beer, and send me a line if you think there’s a beer that goes perfectly with particular brand of fiction. I am interested.




Writing Daze

Today I spent a few hours at the Haymarket Cafe getting my writing head back on. After a few weeks of obsessive self-training on podcasting essentials, I’ve finally reached a place where I can relax for a moment and get back to my current writing project, The Rampant. I’ve been writing, of course. But there’s been too little mental space and the results have been disjointed. Now, in the basement cave that is the Haymarket’s dining area, I’ve left all that fretting in some other section of the catacombs.

The Haymarket is just one of my many writing haunts. For me, a writing space is more a place of the ears and the stomach than a physical location. I drink tea: chai, walnut green, jasmine green, Lady Grey. I eat. (Clearly, not a physically necessary component of such an sedentary activity.) I listen to songs I’m not likely to confess to, sometimes on single play sometimes on auto shuffle via little earbuds that are always getting tangled in my newly-long hair. Subconsciously, while writing, I expect to hear the clank and clatter of plates and cups along with the chatter of people (although not loud enough that I’m compelled to listen.) In other words, I require a womb-like atmosphere filled with almost subterranean noises and a steady intake of food. Writing as regression therapy, I suppose.

I have a circle of places I visit. Each location has a shifting ranking related to table height, deviation from the idle decibel level, quality of beverages, parking, and food. My local library has actually made it onto the top ten list. It has to best parking in town.

Oh yes, and, despite being out in public, I hate to run in to people I know. In fact, even a phone call from Tom is, as he has pointed out once or twice, not well received. I say it here in this public space to all who encounter me, my reaction is not personal. Or, more clearly, it is personal. But it’s not about you. Give me an hour or two. Cross paths with me while I’m returning to my car. Trust me, I’ll be enthusiastic. In fact, I won’t shut up. We’ll pass my parked car, but I won’t realize it until two blocks later.

Right now, I’m suspended elsewhere. All you have to do is wait until I emerge.

Writing and Tattoos

So after two hours and far too much discomfort, I’m halfway through with the inking of my new tattoo. Of course, it’s taking longer than I expected and of course this first session involved a lot more pain than I envisioned before I lay down on that damn massage table.

The status right now? The outline is complete, but it’s going to take another two hours to get all those colors under my skin. Still, even partway done, the results are a little unexpected. In some ways the change is great and in other ways it’s disconcertingly different from what my subconscious anticipated. It seems I had a Platonian construct built somewhere deep inside my brain before the little needle-machine-of-pain even got started.

Reminds me of my fiction. I think I know exactly where I’m going but it never ends up where I expected, plus the pain thing of course. Somewhere in the process there is always pain. Right now I’m trying to kickstart my work on The Rampant after focusing on short story rewrites for the last month. I need to follow my lead with Ben and his tattoo table, just focus and see what happens.

My Back Mid-process

Note: the griffin on the right is my old, as-yet-uncovered mythic creature. It should disappear into background colors once the piece is complete.