The Shorts and Longs Of It All

So I had a good night tonight, very productive, which means I feel better than yesterday, where I would have gladly died.  Headaches should not be allowed to travel in either packs or series’.  I started yesterday with a migraine and when I got that under control, I found out that a massive pressure headache was waiting for me behind that.  So unfair.  So I spent yesterday alternately passed out and trying to die, in spite of comments made around WordPress.  I was trying to distract myself from how wretched I felt.  I must say, terrible way to spend a Sunday, feeling that god-awful.

But in better news, as I said, better night tonight.  I didn’t work on the outline at all (yet, the night is still relatively young here on the west coast), but I wrote a short story.  I cried while I was writing it, which is entirely abnormal for me.  I’m normally much more dispassionate when I’m writing, but I couldn’t help it.  Let me say that again, I made myself cry, with my own writing, even though I knew exactly how things would turn out.  Is it sick that I feel good about that?  It’s certainly a major step for me.  The short is 3400 words approximately, and involves a couple of the supporting cast from the Mirrors Trilogy.  You’ll all meet Keari one day, when DM is out, but I wish I could give him his own book, especially after writing that short story tonight.

The funny part is that the idea for writing the short really only came this morning, as I arrived at work.  I jotted down a couple of notes, not nearly as much as I wanted to because I had to dive into work, and was promptly too busy to think about it all day.  I looked at my paltry notes when I sat down at home, nearly cried thinking it wouldn’t work, said what the hell, hauled out the netbook and opened my manuscript formatted template.  I didn’t stop.  I wrote the whole thing.  It was all there.  It was amazing, almost like when I wrote my first short story, when it felt like it had been waiting for me, but better, mostly because I think this is already better written on first draft than my first short was (I know more about writing now, and I’m more practiced).  It’s going in a drawer for a few more days before I read it again to see how it is, what it needs.  I’m of two minds about sending it to my test readers before they get DM, because it will spoil a bit of a reveal in that book, but again, not patient, and I love how this one feels. We’ll see how it holds up in a couple of days, and by then I should have reread DM itself.

On that subject, I’ve been thinking about DM (damn multi-tasking brain that can’t seem to leave well enough alone) and I think I know something that it will need work on before I send it to test readers.  It needs more description, but not on just everything.  I’ve been thinking about perception, how to use it as an author and where I need to accent the importance of certain things.  I think that is something I need to do more of, using the characters’ perceptions to show the important things, the details that either make the character who they are, or the things that make them stand out from run-of the-mill nobodies who, lets face it, are practically scenery in the real world.  I find that’s the way I tend to view the world, seeing the different, the important, though I do it with almost everyone I see, picking out something distinctive about them as I find and perceive them.  It’s an interesting tool to play with, as I’m thinking about it, and it’s making me ask myself some good questions.  That said, I don’t think it’ll take me that much work to do this, as I know I’ve done some of it naturally through the process of writing and editing the book already.  Mostly, I’m thinking about places where I need a little more, or some oomph to it.  That will likely be the task for next weekend, and part of me fears to think how much it will add to the book’s length, not that there isn’t room to add.  Besides, if the book needs it, then it needs it.

I’m feeling very happy and mellow right now.  I swear, the more time goes on, the more I think that writing is my version of Prozac.  Worse things could be said of me though, I’m fairly sure, probably have been in fact.

And, to top it all off, picture time.  This one came from the Musical Gardens in downtown Toronto, which I have visited a few times.  I’m already thinking about some summer trips I might take around downtown Vancouver, places I want to shoot, even if it will take some time away from writing.


About Julie

I'm a writer and photographer. I always have something with me to take notes for ideas or writing projects I'm thinking about or have on the go. I also like to go around with my camera and take pictures of anything that strikes me as beautiful or evocative. I'm perpetually working on one story or another, while waiting for enough distance to judge the last one (or more). I'm always working on several projects at once, developing the next book, even as I'm editing the last. Beyond that, there's always plenty of scraps and twists of ideas rolling around in my head, eventually turning themselves into full blown stories.
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18 Responses to The Shorts and Longs Of It All

  1. winsomebella says:

    Glad the headache is gone and the words are flowing so beautifully 🙂

    • Julie says:

      Thanks. It’s a good feeling to have, after wrestling with my writer self for years. That doesn’t mean I don’t still wrestle sometimes, but it’s not the same kind of battle about whether I should write or not. It’s more on the order of what should I write now.

  2. Sorry to hear about the headaches! On a more positive note, it’s great you fell into “The Zone” this evening. It rarely happens to me these days, but when it does it’s awesome. When a story’s that desperate to get out, it’s worth holding onto!

    • Julie says:

      Thanks. I don’t know if I get in the zone that often, or I just pull myself back to the keyboard often, but the past 3.5 months have been the most writing I’ve done in, um, possibly my whole life to this point. And yet I feel exhilarated, rather than drained. I’m going to ride this one until it stops (which will hopefully be never).

      I’m actually looking forward to rereading this one in a few days, which I usually dread. Very happy right now, must say!

  3. My guess is headaches travel in packs cos they’re cowards!?

    Clearly you tossed it (them) the curb, well done you!

    • Julie says:

      Yeah, me and 6 ibuprofen by the end of the day kicked it to the curb. I hate taking that much meds, but it really was that awful. I love the idea of them being cowards though. That’s awesome 😀

  4. ottabelle says:

    I’ve made myself cry with my own short stories before, but for a different reason I may have mentioned before. They dealt with a few thoughts I felt I could never share with another soul because of how much heartache it would cause them however, I am a coward because it hurt me to the bone to have the thoughts and keep them hidden.

    Anyway, I’m glad you had that rush of emotion and creativity. 🙂 Those are always fun.

    • Julie says:

      It can be an incredibly cathartic experience to write down the thoughts and feelings that are hurting us, in my own experience. To fictionalize them, make them someone else’s, can allow us enough distance to really examine them and gain proper prospective. And being able to write about it, whether you show it to someone else or not, makes you exactly the opposite of a coward. That takes real courage, to do that.

  5. Pete Denton says:

    Oh, no. As a fellow migraine sufferer I feel your pain. Cluster migraines just keep screwing with you don’t they like one isn’t enough, it has to bring its friends.

    Love the quote about writing being your version of prozac, I think that is spot on. Well done for getting out the other side and getting some writing done.

    • Julie says:

      Thanks. I tend to allow myself few excuses. As it was, I still did some outlining (very little, but some) through the headaches on Sunday. I really need to learn to give myself a break occasionally, but then I wouldn’t be writing…

  6. Em says:

    It’s always good for an artist to work in more than one medium; keeps the creativity flowing (this is advice that I usually need to take myself!)

    I’m very sorry to hear about the headaches, but very proud of you about the short! I really want to read it. As you know I find short stories bloody impossible to write and, as such, I’m very fond of those that are done well. If you made yourself cry, I’m pretty sure it was done well.

    So, send it over, dammit. 😛

    • Julie says:

      Normally I have trouble with short stories too, but I’ve realized some important things lately, and I’m starting to see how they scale down for short stories. I have another one that started cooking in my brain an hour or two ago, but I don’t think I’ll be writing it tonight. I’m not as sure of it’s appropriate timeline arc in the over all story.

      As for sending you the one I just wrote, we’ll see when that happens, though I will promise you a read of it. I’m just a little torn about letting you see it before seeing book 1 (see fb thread with SJ). Both are probably going to get worked on some this weekend, in between working on stuff for monday morning training session. Ugh.

  7. Em says:

    PS LOVE that photo.

  8. klextin says:

    Nice to see more of your pics, I hope your doing well now.

    It sounds like you have accomplished a lot of work, good for you!

    • Julie says:

      Hey, long time no see. Hope things are well with you. I’m doing well, keeping busy as you can see, learning, writing, all that good stuff.

      And I’m enjoying sharing my store of photos with everyone. The response has been fairly good, which is nice. I’m not good at knowing whether I possess talent or delusion in these kinds of things 🙂

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