Friday, August 15, 2008

The Writing Meme

I was tagged for this meme way back in May by Leah Braemel. For anyone who tags me and thinks 'That Julia is never going to get around to my meme' - I love memes! Keep those tags coming.

Because of the way my blog schedule has evolved, I save memes to do on Fridays. Believe it or not, I actually have a file of Memes-to-Do in my Documents. If a migraine plagues me all week, by Friday I've definitely run out of juice, so I save the meme until I can concentrate properly. Especially for a meme like The Writing Meme.

1. List one of your writing goals for the upcoming month and how likely you are to accomplish it.

I'm deep into my current WIP, a dark fantasy romance with my lovely Scorpius, the Chamberlain of a medieval-style Keep. I'm absolutely head-over-heels in love with this character. Thinking about him and about his love, Lady Elinor, is a joy at this point. My goal for September is to get to the half-way point in my word count, which would be around 45,000 words.

The likelihood this will be accomplished is a massive Green for Go.

2. What genre or subject would you like to write about that you aren't currently?

Getting back into screenwriting would be heavenly. Keep in mind that the only scripts I've written have been for my own student films, fifteen years ago.

I did write narration for a TV documentary that aired on Vision TV in Canada a few years ago. That was my very first paid writing gig - Tales of a Psychic Medium.

3. What is your writing lifestyle, habits? How do you manage the interruptions with your writing? How do you stay positive? Believe in your writing success?

a) Writing lifestyle - I've really been writing consistently since I was a kid. I carry a notebook and pens with me everywhere I go. I'm not a techie in any way, and I really do my best writing longhand on paper. I have to retype it into the computer, which acts as a first clean-up. But I don't have as much rewriting to do with handwritten material as I do with the pages I type directly into the computer. I write on the bus, while waiting for the ferry, and sometimes while I'm covering reception at work. After I transfer the handwritten stuff onto the computer, I plow ahead on the keyboard.

I was a diary-keeper as a girl, teenager and young adult. Blogging today in my 40's is simply a continuation of that daily habit of chronicling my thoughts and feelings. I've found blogging has helped discipline me towards writing directly onto the computer. I'm so much happier writing with my pen, but that's not going to get my stories published, is it?

b) Interruptions - I don't get bothered by interruptions at all. The truth is I have a continuous, multi-channel broadcast of all my stories in my head that has accompanied me through life for as long as I can remember. I have grown accustomed to muting this channel so I can function in the non-writing world. Everything that is not my story is an interruption, so I roll with those punches and grab ten minutes to write here, an hour there, three hours over there.

c) How do I stay positive - Anyone who knows me can't help but pick up some of my super-positive vibe. I was born in the year of the Dragon, and I'm a very typical Dragon. Arrows of negativity bounce off my scales. I may even pick my teeth with one. My self-confidence is a given, and I'm a natural coach that encourages and buoys others as easily as breathing.

It's not completely impossible for me to get down about things. With my writing, though, I'm happy with my work and I love moving forward on the various stories I've got churning along. It's the revisions that make me want to tear my hair out. It's taken the past year - yes, an entire year - of torturously forcing myself to keep at it, in order to reach my current level of (dis)comfort with it.

d) Believe in my writing success - Posting excerpts here on my blog really helps me keep at it, sometimes. The revisions, that is. It's never hard to write new material. That's always a joy, even deliriously wonderful. It's when I'm bashing my head against the wall with revisions that sharing some of my stuff gives me the dust-off and back-on-my-feet thing.

4. Are you a pantser or plotter? - I'm a total and complete pantser. I just can't create to a pre-plotted structure. I know I have a nebulous gauge inside my head which watches over my story, and I have complete faith in that gauge.

5. Who are two of your favorite current authors and why? - Chelsea Quinn Yarbro and Jo Beverley are two of my favorite authors.

Yarbro's vampire, Le Comte de Saint-Germain, is one of the best characters I've ever come across. He's so charismatic, so smart, so charming, so caring, so handsome, so melancholy - oh, I can't resist him, that's just how it is. Yarbro's focus on the pratical problems that go with being an immortal, having to move along after awhile, set up a new household, not stir up suspicion in the local populace never fails to intrigue me.

Beverley's Beowulf Malloren, the Marquess of Rothgar is quite simply the sexiest, coolest hero ever written as far as my tastes are concerned. His sphere is the late 1700's in England, and his outward life is very Scarlet Pimpernel without the foppish cover, with secret-agent machinations in the name of the king. His inner life is very James Bond, where he keeps an iron-clad distance between himself and his heart.

6. How does your family feel about your writing? - My husband has every confidence that someday he will be a kept man. As for the rest of my family, I come from an artistic bunch and we are each other's biggest fans. My dad kept the Father's Day poem I wrote for him when I was in my 20's close at hand for years, reading and rereading it. To know my writing touched him so deeply is one of the best things in my whole life.

Now, a-tagging I will go, a-tagging I will go...



Anonymous said...

Oh fun! I'll do this next week - what fun that it's about writing. Of course, it's delicious to learn a bit more about you! :)

Lisa Andel said...

Oh man. Jill tagged me ages ago and I still haven't gotten around to doing here meme.

Hmmm. Ok. I'm game. I'll try to get both done over the next couple weeks.

Thanks for sharing the lurve. :-)

Akelamalu said...

That was an interesting meme Julia. :)

Thomma Lyn said...

I loved reading your meme! And your positive attitude comes glowing out through my screen when I visit your blog. :)

Anonymous said...

Interesting answers! I get very bummed out when I don't write my quota or more for the day. Feel like Im slacking.. feels depressing, really. :(

Amy Ruttan said...

Oooh I'll have to do that soon.

Annette Gallant said...

And yet again, I learned something new about you, Julia. Very cool about the Vision TV piece. Would love to hear more about it.

Ann said...

Cool meme, loved reading your answers. Amy posted hers, too, and I posted my answers today. Have a great week. :)

Unknown said...

Great meme, Julia! I loved reading your answers!

Toni said...

Arrows of negativity bounce off my scales. I may even pick my teeth with one
LOL! This made me giggle, even though I have no doubt it's completely TRUE! I think it's a wonderful gift and blessing that you are able to look at life through positive eyes, Julia. Life is so very short. Glass half full.
p.s. enjoyed learning more about you and your writing passion.

Leah Braemel said...

Great answers, Julia. Glad to see you're getting back into writing. I'm a Jo Beverly Fan too - I loved the Malloren series, especially Cyn's story, but Wulf's story was tied with Brand's story as my second favorite.

Kelly Boyce said...

That's a different meme than I've seen before. I really liked it!