Saturday, December 10, 2011

Oh! Sing a Lament for the Life of a Blog! Or... Don't. Plus!: Old News!

I noticed the other day how much my Bloggy Goodness Output has dropped (oh so steadily) since 2006, and then especially dramatically since 2008, as indicated by my sidebar. I suppose 102 posts in 365 days is quite a bit (Possibly padded somewhat by pictures which counted as one post each...? Yes. Definitely.), and I'm not going to try to reach those heights again, but I don't want it to keep dropping at this rate, either.

Facebook is partly to blame. I think I'd like to do a lot more posts like the last one, which started life as a facebook status update, and then migrated. Only, in the future, I'll just let such things import to facebook, rather than starting them there. I will think about making them as status updates, but then I will stop myself: "Wait, no!" I will say. "A short blog post! That's what's needed here!" That's the plan. Aside from updates I don't actually want to keep public, or updates that are only a sentence long. (Ha! How often is that gonna happen?!)

To be fair to facebook (Why? That's no fun!), it's been good to the blog in other ways, ways that don't have to do with the sheer quantity of material. With the post importing feature, many people read random posts of mine they never would've read otherwise. So that's cool. But that can still happen if I make fewer status updates and more blog posts. And then I'll have more of my writing together in one place, and update the blog more often... yay. Good things.

Sort of kind of also along those lines, there's a blog post I started writing on April 30th this year which I never published, and it's been bugging me. Especially since it involved talking about writing goals that I met, and I'd like to start posting goals again, but then I'd rather not before I actually post what I've already written on that topic... It'd be like forcing you to come in in the middle of the conversation. Er, monologue. Only not really probably, probably it wouldn't even be noticeable. But... um, you get the idea?

The reason I never published it... well, for a clue, look to the original title: "Chapter 371: In Which the Blogger Writes of Writing Goals Met, and a Kind of a Win, and Megan Whalen Turner, and a Couple Cool Links, and the Results of The Alzheimer's Blogging Competition, and... Okay, That's It." Yeah.

Another part of it was that I wasn't sure how much to say about Megan Whalen Turner. I met her at the LA Festival of Books, but somewhere in the process of writing the post I looked her up online, noticed that she isn't very comfortable with having stuff about her up online (scroll down through the link), and began to wonder how much I should really say. Probably beyond the point of reason, as she seems to be talking more about bio type stuff, but... I'm not completely sure on that. And she's so explicit, with the "I'd rather that you didn't either," so I shall err on the side of quietness and cut what I was going to say. Because she's awesome, and it's well worth respecting her wishes. If you ask me in person, I'd be happy to talk about the event. Maybe someday I'll even write up a proposed post and send it to her for permission. Maybe. But not right now.

What I shall do now is give you the rest of what I did write on April 30th. I could try to finish writing and editing it just as I had originally intended it, as its own post without all this intro, but... that was taking forever. (Yes. More forever than this.) So I'll give you the incomplete version. Merry Christmas. You're welcome. (No, I'm not that arrogant. I'm quoting Raj! Clearly.)

"A lot of things to blog about today. Many of them deserve their own posts, and maybe one will get one later (though... good intentions or not, it's honestly a bit doubtful), but I might as well just post them all now. Better for each topic to have a post, shared with other topics, rather than to have no post at all, right?

Perhaps I'll go in the rather arbitrary order listed in the title. So. The writing goals set forth in "Chotto..." on Sunday were not completely met. But I did a lot more writing this week than in previous weeks, and I'm happy with that. It was a semi-decent pace. Even some of my slowing down was fruitful, a bit of time needed to stop and contemplate what might happen next, and whether or not I should really still keep it going in that direction, given one slightly unexpected development. I'm okay with a certain amount of sitting and staring out the window daydreaming, as long as I'm still doing enough writing that I am consistently daydreaming. Actual action is very helpful for keeping the story present in one's head, and not forgotten for most practical purposes...

So, I wrote that Healer scene, from Beth's perspective this time (which I apparently had started on before, but I didn't get very far, and I ended up writing it differently), and I wrote most of her journey home, I think. Including some general summary paragraphs, and one scene that I'm rather fond of at the moment. Though it may be too intense. Not sure yet. It's possible that I've put other characters of mine into situations just as or more traumatizing, but... well, Beth is the one I keep shaking my head at and saying, "Wow, I've traumatized her. Poor Beth." Yeah... That may just be because I haven't done as much writing for some of those other characters. They're more roughly sketched out, or they aren't as major characters for their books... The first person point of view makes it a bit tricky, too. I think it has to be in first person, but... aaeeh. I mean, I really like that scene I just did, despite the intensity. We'll see. Maybe... Well, I suppose I like reading that sort of thing myself. Maybe I'm not writing for people who don't like that. Sorry, this train of thought is highly influenced by the Megan Whalen Turner topic coming up, but I'm not there yet. Wait your turn, Mr. Topic, sir. Um.

I did not finish the journey completely, or start on the scenes at home. That part, not done.

In the course of writing that scene I liked and its aftermath, I accomplished something else unrelated to my goals, but a thing I find to be a kind of cool marker: I passed 50,000 words. And actually, unlike in NaNoWriMo, where you even count words you're going to delete later (by italicizing them, if you must), this is not counting those words. I sort of kept them, by using the Track Changes feature in Word, but that means the word counter doesn't count them. I'm pretty sure. In other words, I have more than won a NaNoWriMo event with this novel, finally!  Kind of sort of. I mean, it took a year and a half instead of a month... That's quite relevant. Technically, by the rules of NaNo, it's not a win. But something to be proud of?  Sure. It's way harder to keep slogging through, to write when there's no fun-month-thing hanging over your head, to just keep writing day in and day out, than it is to write in the excitement, when you know that next month you can just pick up the other pieces of your life, that IT'S ONLY A MONTH, AFTER ALL. In real life you have to find a balance, and sometimes discipline in one area translates to no discipline in another area (like writing), and man it's so much easier to curl up with someone else's good book, and I don't know what happens next anyway (okay, that can be a NaNo excuse, but the proliferation of other excuses in the non-NaNo times can make it feel stronger, more valid), and... well, so on.

It's still not up to the pace a career novelist would write at. Not by a long shot. But it's something. It's a heck of a lot better than the pace I was writing at before I ever did a NaNo.

And, let me remind myself:  50,000!!!  There. That's better. Heh. Makes it the longest of any of my works thus far... for now. That will change.

Today I went to the LA Festival of Books, and I saw Megan Whalen Turner at a panel I attended, and the signing after. It was awesome, and there's so much I could say about it, I'm not sure what to say. But I wore my "I'm blogging this." T-shirt, so I should say something. 'Course, I wore that shirt for the Patrick Rothfuss signing too, and I never did. Just posted a few pictures to facebook. Lame. I should totally write about that signing. But again, so much to say..."

Yeah, this is where I cut a couple things I was going to say. Ha! Consider yourself taunted!

"Next topic." Which... is all I had written after the Megan Whalen Turner part. I don't think I'm going to bother with the "Couple Cool Links" part of my original title. But I do want to finally write about the results of the Alzheimer's Blogging Competition, since I still haven't done that yet.

So here. Have a link to the results. I really liked and strongly recommend reading the winning post. And then... I'm listed second. Not explicitly or officially as second place, but... I'm going to think of it that way, anyway. ^_^  Because I can. (And because, if I ever mention it in a query letter, calling myself the "first runnerup listed, although not officially second place" is just... awkward.)

Yes. I could definitely use more of the short posts.

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