Monday, April 8, 2013

Continuing The Challenge of April

 Well, as you can see, I have continued to Follow through with the Technicolor April Challenge on the 365 Project site.  I love the feedback and the camaraderie I find there. In my "real Life" the people I surround myself with are wonderful and have a lot in common with me, but are not very visual, so they don't get all fascinated and excited about colors and photographs and another amazing sunset.  365 lets me share that passion with people who do want to see yet another photo of my flowers, dog, birds, kids, trip and on and on.

I have not followed through on the poem a day site at NaPoWriMo although I love poetry and keep following and reading the work of some excellent writers there.

I have been writing still, not poetry, but that other writing challenge going on at CampNaNoWriMo, and if you want the info and the links to all those challenges, they are in the last post that I put up here.

Without editing, I am working to stretch a few ideas into my third Duffy Barkley Novel, and some days hating it and some days having fun with it.  The reason the challenge works for me is that it tells me its ok to go ahead and write crap on the days it isn't working, because by just showing up at the keyboard, even when it isn't fun, I will eventual  find that zone where the ideas flow and it is fun

So here is a sample of what I have come up with there again. Have a sip of tea and see if you can enjoy the story snippet.

 “You remember the first time I was here and my little sister was injured and I was worried about getting back to her?” She nodded even though she had never met Izzy. His return to earth had altered his on timeline so that Izzy had never been injured, but it had not effected Uhrlin, so here they still shared Duffy's memories of what had happened and what he had told them during his first visit, the first time he was nine.
Well Izzy is missing, and my Great-Aunt, . . .”
Yes. They've been gone three days. I was hoping they were with you.” Aunt Peg had been in Uhrlin as a young girl, before she commonly used the nickname, Peggy.
Oh-oh-ing and Smelter and the other older generation in Uhrlin still remembered her fondly but Oh-oh-ing was shaking her head. “No. I am afraid we have not seen them.” When she saw Duffy's shoulders droop, and his face go slack, she put a finger under his chin and tipped his head so he was looking into her eyes. “You found our missing Princess, and you helped clear a great woman's name from the charge of treason. If you have been brought back here, then they are probably here. Uhrlin is large but you have friends to help you with all that you must do.”
Duffy sighed, “It is hard to always be the one who has to ask for help, the one who has to do the undoable things, the cripple with a task that seems to have no place to start.”
Oh-oh-ing's eyes gave him sympathy, but no mercy. “Of course it is hard to be you Duffy, it is hard to be anyone. We all have our burdens and the times when the energy to make the effort seems impossible. Then we keep making the effort until we die and our children keep on in our place.”
Oh, thanks a lot!” he muttered sarcastically.
You are welcome.” She answered sincerely. He looked up in time to see her mouth twist into a smile that was part amused, part sympathetic but wholly without unkindness. Then she used both of her hands to push her mane back from the sides of her face and when she dropped her hands to his shoulders again her face was serious.
I don't know what we do next,” Duffy said, with nevertheless, a bit more hope than before he had been reminded that he wasn't alone.

Wednesday, April 3, 2013

April Challenges me

Today Is April Third and there are so many fun things about this spring month if you love writing and photography as much as I do.  There is a photography challenge at the site where I post a photo a day, 365 project, to shoot all the colors from the song Joseph's Coat
 I have stretched it further by deciding to work on my editing on the selective coloring front.  So far the colors have been red, yellow and green with tomorrow being brown, but to make it through the month there are also some color names I had to go to google images to figure out exactly what color that even was.

Mauve, Russet, ochre, and what is the difference between, red, scarlet and crimson?

 This Month is also CampNaNoWriMo, as I mentioned in my last post, if you want to write a quick and dirty rough draft of a whole novel

And I have been working on my 3rd Duffy Barkley Book, but this time with the twist that his sister goes and Duffy is left behind when the other world calls.  Here is an unedited excerpt of what I have so far

Izzy could see that something had changed long before she got out of the lane where she had wandered to check the mailbox at the top of the cornfield lined, gravel drive. She slipped through the gate and ran along the concrete walk beside the detached garage. She leapt up the steps and ran across the grey porch, her feet on the weathered boards kicking up a few of the loose flakes of dark green paint that remained. She pulled the screen door open and let it fall into place again behind her with a bang. “Aunt peg? Aunt Peg!”
Her great aunt turned away from where she was pumping water into the enormous sink using an old fashioned hand water pump to send the cold, clean, well water spurting through the trough and over the corn and potatoes she was washing.
Well child? What has gotten you so stirred up?”
The Tree! The top has been blown off.”

Peg did not have to ask which tree, although the farm was filled with many trees, black walnut trees and pine trees and apple trees, but Peg knew that when Izzy said “The Tree” it meant the cedar tree that stood in a group of cedar trees just to the left of the kitchen door.
Since Izzy had come to spend the week and two weekends with Peg, she had made her own perch high up in the top of the tallest tree in the cluster. She climbed nimbly up through the branches which circled the trunk so uniformly spaced and of such a similar thickness that they could have almost been a man made ladder. Then she straddled the thick branch at the top, where lightning had carved a saddle and pulled out an apple or a bag of pickle flavored sunflower seeds and a book and took her break at the top of her world.
Peg dried her hands on a dish towel and hung her apron on the hook by the door. Then she took her cap from another hook and strode out onto the sun bleached porch to see for herself. She scanned the tree and the ground around it. True the top of the tree, maybe a good ten to fifteen foot of tree, was gone, but she had not heard it crash, and furthermore, there was no broken limbs or shattered trunk around the ground. She watched from the porch as Izzy ran down and kicked of her shoes and hauled herself up onto the lowest, forked branch and began to climb. Then Peg gasped, Izzy kept climbing but she began to disappear, first her hands as they reached above her, then her arms and head and shoulders and finally her bare toes as she pulled herself up and into the blue sky as if she had merely kept climbing into a fog.
It might have looked unbelievable but Peg had no trouble believing her eyes, so she wasted no time standing there and telling herself that it was impossible. Impossible was something Peg was on close speaking terms with.
Peg ran down to the base of the tree and called up it as if she were merely scolding a naughty child. She called to someone who was not her ten year old great-niece, “Ivor, whatever you are up to, you need to get her back here. Now! Safely! Ivor!”
She waited, then when all was silent she slapped her hand against the rough trunk of the tree and tried to imagine explaining to her niece that Peg had lost her daughter. No, she couldn't do that. She kicked her own shoes off and gripped the branch just over her head and began to climb.

and for those who write in images and bursts of feeling more than in long narratives, it is also a month to try writing a poem a day with NaPoWriMo 

 I love all these ideas and you can see that I have started the technicolor-april challenge and I've been working on getting up the enthusiasm to make my novel happen, but there is also a part of me yearning to combine the images and the poem a day and see if I can do a children's book.  I am a glutton for punishment.

Plus I need to work-out and eat healthy even more when writing keeps me chained to a desk even ,ore than usual, oh and sleep and pay the bills.  is it true after all, that "April is the cruelest month" (thank you T. S. Eliot) raising desires where they seemed to have died, showing you the hibernation you have been sleeping in, and not quite giving you enough time and energy to fulfill them?

Monday, April 1, 2013

Starting A Novel on April Fool's Day

Given that only getting to be insane one month out of the year doesn't quite seem like something I want to confine myself too, when writing insanely fast and unleashed is so very much fun.  November's National Novel Writing Month extravaganza is when I started seeing myself actively pursuing the dream I'd had since I fell in love with books on my grandmother's arthritic knees.  Writing 50,000 words and letting the characters cut loose and go where they want is fun, but then, I collapse, exhausted from racing after them taking notes, and I shove the writing away and forget it, and work on teaching, and book promoting and being a mom, wife and daughter.  Sitting there alone, it becomes a creature in a cocoon and when I release it and look again the metamorphosis is far from complete, but wonderful writing has become error laden and honestly horrible and throw away experiments suddenly work well and time has wrought some magic and allows me to see the novel with the eyes of an avid reader.

So here 4 months have passed, full of holidays and school and food and family. I've blogged and scribbled and contributed to forums but I haven't "written"

I have put on my other hat and sold copies of my three printed novels, 4 copies here, 12 there, but the fun one for me was finding a school district, with a director of curriculum and a group of fifth grade teacher, willing to invest in my Double Time on the Oregon Trail as a teachable class set of 38 books.

But I haven't written, so here I am, April Fool's Day, spring break having ended yesterday and the house quiet again, and the kids and husband gone to what they do, and CampNaNoWriMo comes knocking at my door.  Commit to another 50,000 words, get exhausted being creative and having fun, be selfish and do what you love. Spend your computer time being productive instead of on facebook.

So if you write,

or have always wanted to,

if you want to create something great and have not gotten around to it yet,

if you don't have the time

but you do have the dream

I'll see you at

No Joke!