"...I'm a fool in so many ways. But to lose all my senses,
that is just so typically me. Oh baby, baby." - Britney Spears
Last November my precious flash drive tragically died, through no fault of mine. On it was stored my entire manuscript, related research, every scrap of my notes and the preliminary work-ups of 5 more wips - none of it backed up (yeah, that part was totally my fault). Luckily, I was able to find some Ninjas who were able to retrieve it all (yeah, my heroes!). Then I vowed that I would never put myself in that situation every again. Well, apparently I didn't learn my lesson. Sigh...
Oh, I started backing up my files but in an admittedly very half-assed manner. At 4 a.m., after writing on for 6 hours, battling blurry eyes and an exhausted mind and body - backing up my night's work was a spotty sometimes thing indeed. But in feeble defense, I did print my edits and new work immediately. Yesterday while changing loads I found my flash drive in the bottom of the washing machine. I had washed it - twice! I so didn't want to pay another $200 to my Ninjas without first trying to fix my fuck up myself - to the internets! I Googled my problem and found an unusual solution: immerse the wet flash drive in rice for 24 hours. I was desperate enough to try it - and it WORKED! Yay!! To answer your unspoken question: YESI've totally learned my lesson this time. I've thrice backed up every file - on my Mac, on a flash drive and on cd. In the meantime, I hope this unusual fix comes in handy for you if you need it.
Sorry I have not posted in such a long while. Mamma-hood and my fledgling career have been occupying almost all of my time. Still, I write every night and have recently joined forces with a mentor/ critique partner to help me finish this baby. The kids go back to school in two weeks, then I'll have a lot more breathing room - hallelulah!
"Bad boys ain't no good. Good boys ain't no fun...
Me and Mr. Wrong get along so good.
Even though he breaks my heart so bad,
I love my Mr. Wrong."
- Mary J. Blige
Love love love SCANDAL. Intrigue, secrets, espionage, murder, mayhem, betrayal, convoluted machinations, good guys, bad guys, 21st century Gladiators, sexual tension you cannot cut with the sharpest serrated edge. And sex. Lots of hot nasty sex - or at least as much hot and nasty sex as the FCC will allow (this show SO needs to go to cable - these people seriously need to get as sweaty and naked as they obviously wanna be). If you're not watching this show, you need to. Naughty inspiration abounds. I just found a fan created Scandal montage/homage set to a song by the musical queen of all things drama - Mary J. Blige, "Mr. Wrong." Perfect. Absolutely perfect.
"Outside a dog, a book is probably man's best friend,
and inside a dog, it's too dark to read."
- Groucho Marx
As you know I'm a Night Owl writer. My family safe is warm, snuggly and sleeping in their beds. I can focus 100% on my writing. But I have one companion who never leaves my side - my adorable Tiny Toy Poodle Coco. Every night when I sit down at my desk and open my laptop, that's Coco's cue to curl up on her princess pillow beneath my desk and commence snoozing and snoring; keeping company. She never complains or is impatient. She knows that just after the sun rises - a few hours before our home explodes with the activities and sounds of my fine ass man and our three amazing children getting ready for work and school - we'll take a walk along quiet tree lined streets before curling up in my bed. Our routine is always the same, except for tonight...
For the past few days I've been on a writer-bender. I'm so close to finishing my first wip, my muse has decided to go into overdrive (and I'm SO not complaining). But I've been putting in longer hours than usual, writing all day on top of my Night Owl gig. And when I do come up for air Mamma-hood takes precedence. Well tonight Coco decided enough was enough. She sat at my feet and cried until I picked her up. Of course I can't type or take notes with a poodle in my lap. But every time I put her down - crying. I finally grabbed a tiny blanket and made a nest for her on one corner of my desk. Coco was happy and I settled down to work. Every once in awhile I'll scratch her little furry head and she'll wuff a plot idea to me. I swear that she understands every word I say. Yeah, she's the best. Okay back to work. I've got a sunrise date with a poodle in a few hours ;-}
Hey! I know that I have not posted in about a month but I'm still here ;-} I've been wrestling my wip. Until now, I've been happily flying by the seat of my pants - 30,000 words' worth (yay). Then... crickets. Enrolled in a few RWA online workshops, a few lightbulbs and a bit of inspiration garnered another 4,000 then those damned crickets returned (Grrr). Plan B: return to my bread and butter - research. Deborah Dixon (G.M.C.) Angela Knight (Passionate Ink), Buckham & Love (Break Into Fiction). The ladies helped quite a bit, but they also filled my head with a cacophony (grimace). After yet another night, when squeezing out a sentence felt like passing a gallstone, I 'stepped' back and ruminated on the/my process. Let me tell you, it was not a pretty sight.
There I was, on the raggedy edge...
Solely 'pantsing' was obviously not working; but writing out intricate diagrams and charts for my nearly dozen characters (major, minor and walk-ons) SO did not work for my flow either. I thought that I had to be either a pantseror a plotter. I chose one and stubbornly clung to it. But, as this journey continued, and I struggled to fit my metaphorical red tipped feet into too small stilettos (ouch!), I realized that I became caught up in semantics. What if I'm not one or the other but a little bit of both - defined by my own particular spicy flow? Isn't that what a writer does: take the bits and pieces that fit and file away the rest for possible future use? Time to mix it up a little.
I grabbed my trusty notebook. I wrote major character templates before I wrote a single wip sentence. But they were never complete. Now I realize that's because I'm discovering new things about my characters as the plot develops and new conflicts get thrown into the mix. Cool, I can work with this. But I've started a 2nd notebook - all plotting to keep it clear. One short paragraph for the overall chapter's theme, one sentence for each scene within that chapter, then I get my pantser on and keep adding layers in no particular order. I'm finding that my 'Temple outline' keeps me focused and gives me clear direction (even if I make changes in the interim). Before I knew it I had pantser-plotted my way to the end - hallelujah!
I've given myself a tentative completed draft deadline - 1 June. And for the first time I think that I just might actually make it. Alright back to work. Send me some positive vibes. Allons-y!