May 31, 2010
So now I'm left with some bad stories, some good stories, and some that aren't good yet but have potential. I'm really pleased with myself. I have a lot of new material to revise and submit - it's hard to keep track of it all! I let my organizational system slide a little this month, and I need to get it back on track.
I learned that, while sometimes you really are blocked and can't write, sometimes if you sit down and force something on to paper, you'll have a great idea you wouldn't have come up with otherwise. I was still feeling pretty blocked yesterday afternoon. But I made myself sit down and write, and while the first 2 stories were terrible, they got my brain warmed up and I ended up with 2 other really good ideas - and I'm not sure I'd ever have had those ideas if I hadn't sat down and just forced myself to keep going.
My new goal is to stop worrying so much about whether or not I feel inspired enough to write, and just write. It doesn't matter. If I'm truly blocked, I can have a day off, but I'm starting to distinguish the difference between blocked and uninspired. I need to hone my ability to tell the difference a little more, and then be sure to write on the days my mind is open but lacking in a new idea. If I push myself, something will come.
I did poem-a-day in April, went right into story-a-dI came so close to giving up. I had a few days of severe writer's block, a hectic schedule, a dance competition, and yesterday I was four days behind and thinking I'd just quit. But then I sat down and churned out 4 stories in about 8 hours. 2 of them were awful, 2 of them have potential. And then today I wrote my 31st story. I am so glad I didn't give up, that I didn't let a couple of rough days do me in.
This was a fantastic challenge and I look forward to doing it again next year!
May 24, 2010
On Friday, I ended up writing two stories due to having extra free time and a burst of creativity. It proved to have been fortuitous, because on Friday night I had some terrible insomnia (for the second night in a row), and so on Saturday I felt braindead, groggy, and uninterested in being creative. So I got to take a night off while still being on schedule.
Sunday and today I managed to write, but I haven't been especially pleased with anything I've produced. I'm just starting to feel a little burned out. But I only have one week left, and I'm not about to give up! I've come too far to give up now. I'll keep writing and working and plugging along, no matter what. And hopefully my inspiration will come back soon!
Crossposted at Story a Day Updates
May 22, 2010
In addition, I will be participating in Alison Tyler's Smut Marathon. Follow the blog for the latest happenings in what's going to be a fun competition.
May 20, 2010
I can't believe how fast the month has gone by! I can't believe I'm so close to being done! I can't believe how much I've written!
Today's piece came out shorter than I would have liked, but not too bad. I gave myself a challenge - always a good idea. And there's definitely room to expand and improve. So today is a victory! And I'm looking forward to whatever creativity tomorrow will bring.
Crossposted at Story a Day Updates
May 19, 2010
I didn't expect to finish Kinkyville in one sitting. But like the companion collection Dirtyville, I read the entire book and didn't realize how far along I was until I was done. I'm pleased to say that Kinkyville is just as strong and interesting as Dirtyville. It's sexy, kinky, and also accessible to a wide variety of readers.
Kinkyville is excellent because the stories within it all epitomize the kink genre in one way or another, but also manage to set themselves apart. "Punishment Befitting the Crime" by D. L. King comes to mind as an example because it's a fantastic new take on the sexy librarian motif. "Barber's Pole" by J. D. Waters is unexpected as well - in that two male characters discover something new about their own sexuality. These two stories are especially memorable, but every piece in Kinkyville has merit and is worth reading.
Like the companion collection Dirtyville, some of the stories in Kinkyville are so short they feel incomplete. "You Suck" by Benjamin Eliot is one such piece. The story builds up an incredible amount of tension, but concludes the piece before the reader (or the characters) can get a decent release. While sexual tension is one of the most important parts of a strong erotic story, "You Suck" is all about the buildup without any sense of resolution or conclusion. "The Goth Girl" by Rita Winchester is another story that is so brief that it seems more like a fragment of a larger piece. There is so much potential for a complete sex scene and a compelling narrative, but it's cut short. But these problems aside, Kinkyville is extremely enjoyable, and I have no other complaints.
Kinkyville will definitely appeal to readers who enjoy all forms of kinky stories, and in general, most of them are complex enough that they'll appeal to more vanilla readers as well. I highly recommend this collection.
I was complaining earlier that I didn't have an idea for tomorrow, and then I got a great one! I was just brainstorming between dance classes, and something came together. It's going to be a real challenge to do well, but I'm very much looking forward to it. Tomorrow is also going to be a rather busy day, but I definitely look forward to working on this story.
Now to decide what I want to do with the rest of my night. I have to work on putting together a dance costume for an upcoming performance. One of my stories was selected by a publisher last week, and I have 2.5 weeks left to finish revisions - not an impossible task, but not something I want to put off. But really, I just want to type up a story I drafted last week that has been sitting around neglected for several days. I think I'm going to relax for a bit and then make up my mind.
Looking forward to the work week being done and more freedom to write on the weekend . . . .
May 17, 2010
Another story done! I’m feeling really good about the rate at which things have been going the past three days. And I have a great idea for tomorrow. Unfortunately, Tuesdays and Wednesdays are the busiest ones of the week. I hate the thought of having to put this new idea off until Thursday. I’d still write on Tuesday and Wednesday, but these would be flash or microfiction days. Not that I have a problem with flash/micro; I quite like them. But I have an idea for something else, and I am ridiculously excited to write it.
Of course, I could just write it tonight and be a day ahead. Not a terrible idea. We’ll see how I feel once I get some editing done on another project.
Crossposted at Story a Day Updates
May 16, 2010
When I started Dirtyville, I planned to read a few of the stories, then put my Nook down and go about my day. But before I knew it, I'd finished the entire book in one sitting. I read through all thirteen stories without getting bored or feeling the need to get up and do something else for awhile. Dirtyville is a completely absorbing collection; editor Sommer Marsden did an excellent job of selecting thirteen fascinating and sexy stories.
Dirtyville is a collection that is both sexy and well-written. Although none of these stories is longer than 1,000 words, each one has an interesting plot, believable characters, or compelling scenes. These stories are about more than just sex; they all take to heart the idea that "life is never really what it seems," especially in small towns. The best example of this is "Today's Special" by Heidi Champa. This story has great sex and a twist ending; you think you know who these characters are and what they want, but the closing lines make you realize you can't make assumptions, even about the dirtier side of life.
The only complaint I have about Dirtyville is that some of the stories are so short that they seem incomplete. "The Dentist's Wife" and "Bulldozers and Communion" both have strong beginnings, but leave the reader with the sense that they're unfinished. "Bulldozers" in particular feels cut off because it focuses on protagonist Roger's late-in-life blooming sexuality, but cuts us off before we can see the full extent of that development. The narrative ends just as Roger is getting advice from his ex-wife about how to give good blow jobs; as a reader, I wanted to see him make use of that information before the story ended.
While a few of the stories are weaker than others, Dirtyville is overall a fantastic book and one of my favorite erotica collections, whether in print or eBook form. Anyone fascinated by the darker side of small-town life will appreciate it, but Dirtyville will be accessible, entertaining, and hot for anyone who appreciates quality smut.
I think what helped me this weekend was that, after a difficult afternoon on Friday, I spent the evening doing absolutely nothing. I just shut my brain off. I went out for dinner and had some quality time with my spouse, and then we just watched television the rest of the night. I didn’t even multitask. Often when we’re watching TV, I’ll be doing something: catching up on email, cleaning, things like that. But on Friday night, I just sat and watched. I let everything go and just completely relaxed. And I think it really paid off. I woke up on Saturday feeling artistically refreshed, and I’ve been quite productive this weekend.
May 14, 2010
Well, I have a story, but I absolutely hate it. Today was just a difficult writing day. I had to force an idea, and then had to force out the words. I know that any attempt is better than no attempt, that I still did something worthwhile, that even if this story is not any good, at least I got some practice in. But it's hard not to feel discouraged when you feel like you've wasted your entire afternoon. Even if deep down, you know it wasn't wasted.
I still should be pleased with myself. I've written a story every day so far. Some of them have a lot of potential. I will have a lot of revision and submission fodder at the end of the month. Because I'm actively writing, I'm getting inspired more frequently. This whole project is really good for me. Even when I get discouraged, I know that it's good for me, that I'm becoming a better writer even when I have an off day.
Crossposted at Story a Day Updates
May 13, 2010
Day 10 resulted in something that needs revision but has potential, and was a hell of a lot of fun to write; I got the idea the day before from some friends while eating in a burger joint. Keeping sort of mum about it, though. I never like discussing ideas early on in the writing process.
Day 11 yielded a piece of flash fiction I wrote while in the waiting room at the dentist’s office. Not happy with it, nothing really memorable or interesting, but I got words on paper!
Day 12 also was a piece of flash fiction, one that I enjoyed very much.
Day 13 has been a real challenge. I started a piece for an anthology of Sherlock Holmes erotica, which has been difficult because I rarely write from the perspective of men, and also because I am trying to write it in Doyle’s style, and I’ve never been good at imitation. Plus, I’m collaborating with my spouse on this story, and collaboration is always a tricky think. But it was a great way to stretch my creative muscles!
In other news, I’ve submitted a second of my story-a-day pieces. I have no idea what I’m going to write tomorrow, but I know I’ll come up with something!
Crossposted at Story-a-Day Updates
May 9, 2010
Lots of work done today! I finished day 9, which I'm thinking is close to 1,500 words, although I won't know until I type it up. I'm definitely planning on revising and submitting this one; it has a lot of potential.
I also put the final revisions on the story I wrote for day 2, and submitted it for the MindFuck Fiction Sloth anthology (the deadline isn't until June 1st, so anyone who has a story idea for this one still has plenty of time to send something in). I've also marked up my story from day 3 and look forward to revising it sometime in the next week.
Crossposted at Story a Day Updates.
This story makes my wordcount for the month so far 3,258, just based on the stories I have typed up.
Suffered from insomnia last night (too much heavy food too close to bed), so I'm looking to take a nap and then write a full story later. And possibly get some revision in. I'm behind on that, and I can't submit work if I don't revise!
Crossposted at Story a Day Updates.
May 7, 2010
I've been very busy the past few days, so no time for blogging or updating, but I have kept up with my writing on schedule. Day 5 was short, maybe 150 words. Day 6 is a little longer, but maybe only around 500. I think today's is close to 500 as well.
I've been typing up a few more stories. Day 1 is 574 words (a little shorter than I thought, but no matter) day 3 is 1,143 words. So my word count for the month is 3,203 for the first three days. Pretty good! Not that I'm shooting for a specific wordcount. But it's nice to be keeping track.
Crossposted at Story-a-Day Updates.
May 3, 2010
Finally finished story 3! I'm not sure how long it is, but my guess is that it's hovering around 1,000 words. If that's the case, I'll definitely need to expand it, as I wrote it to submit to another MindFuck Fiction anthology, and the minimum word count is 1,500.
The 2nd draft of story #2 is 1,486; I need to expand it next time around, but only a little bit. Still haven't typed up story #1 either, but I have a feeling I'm averaging about 1,000 words a day so far. Not that I expect to keep up with this pace, but it's nice to be so productive early on.
May 2, 2010
Anyway, I'm still not sure I'll be able to pull this off, but at least I'm doing well so far!
Crossposted at Dorla's Story a Day Updates.
I've set up a blog over at the Story a Day website, but will cross-post updates here as well. Wish me luck!
1. Number of poems written in April.
2. Number of poems you’ll keep and revise.
Definitely five; maybe one or two others, but there are only five I feel strongly about at the moment.
3. List the titles of your top-three NaPoWriMo poems.
"Convalescence," "The Tongue is the Sweetest Meat," and "Associates" (although this last one is not the best written, but I had such a great time writing it that I have to list it here).
4. List your three least-favorite NaPoWriMo poems.
The untitled poem from Day 11, the untitled poem from Day 15, and the untitled poem from Day 19.
5. Favorite line from one of your NaPoWriMo poems.
"I deplete you / in the name of my love-famine" from "The Tongue is the Sweetest Meat."
6. Notice any patterns?
I wrote a lot of haiku this year, something I did on really busy days when I felt too pressed for time. I wrote a lot more about personal experience, about romantic relationships, and the intersection of love, trust, and faith.
7. What surprised you most about writing a poem a day?
How much harder it was than last year. I'm working more, dealing with a bad car accident, and just generally more stressed out. All these things affected my creativity.
8. Now that you have momentum, what’s next?
I hate to say this, but . . . neglect poetry. Because I'm doing Story a Day in May! I am going to attempt to submit poems somewhere, but fiction will be the focus of the current month.