It’s Been A Week

One I’d rather not repeat, though my wish is unlikely to be granted. For Wee-er Dave, the Dave of the she persuasion, has become two. Not in the chronological sense, which she passed some months back. No, my sunny, little delight, has run headlong — screaming, even — into the Twoness called Terrible. Last week, her dress was wrong. Same thing today (I’m writing this yesterday). Different dress, though. And breakfast was wrong. As was her hair (well, Child, should you cooperate, all of this can be resolved to both of our satisfaction). This resulted in forcible insertion into her car seat, sans shoes and socks, which was also wrong. So, so wrong.

But it all started with the dress. Nevermind that I told her when she got food on it, last night, that it would be unavailable for today. Nevermind that when I suggested she wear a bib to prevent such, and even installed said preventative, it was promptly removed. Nevermind all of that. The universe, as personified in Daddy, had conspired against her, and this was Bad and Wrong, and she would let the world know. Fortunately, she simmered to a mere sulk by the time of arrival at school, and once she saw there was painting (PAINTING, DADDY), she turned sunny, again.

What does that have to do with today’s topic? Not a blessed thing, except to note that life continues apace, and I’d like to push it over and put the boot in. Just a bit. Then go write. Fortunately, I have my soothing metal, and my coffee hideaway, and a few hours a day to breathe and maybe put words to page.

To that end, I’d like to exhort you to take a break every once in a while. I don’t mean stop writing, though it may include that. Yesterday (today, as I’m writing this (yay, for time-traveling!)) the esteemed Dr. Monkey wrote about noodling, about doing the mental prep work. Here’s my suggestion: do that somewhere else. If it’s a gorgeous day, grab a coffee and sit in a park. Go for a hike. Breathe some fresh air. I’m fortunate that the part of the PNW in which I reside has decentish weather pretty much all the time. And that I find it conducive to my existence. I get that a lot of people don’t live in places where that’s necessarily true. Taking a long walk in central Texas in August doesn’t sound delightful, and I understand parts of Dallas are dealing with obnoxious amounts of precipitation. Likewise places north of the Mason-Dixon and east of the Rockies after … the autumnal equinox, really. So about now.

What I’m really getting at is shaking up your environment a bit in order to help catalyze the shaking-up that happens when you start kicking around ideas. They will gel, but physical different-ness can help speed the process along, a bit. I say this as all my normal life routines get shaken up by the willful rage of one tiny, adorable creature. (Don’t worry: I got this. Don’t return anger with anger, provide snuggles when necessary, and expose them to logic early. Single parenting is kinda the suck, though, I’ll be honest. Y’all have my utmost respect.) I usually try to write these posts at home on Tuesday morning. I’m doing it today (yesterday) at my usual writing haunt, but in an unusual spot (highly non-ideal for fiction, but adequate for nonfic) and on Monday. And it’s working. More or less.

Okay: to business. How are those sample chapters coming? You thought I’d forgotten, didn’t you? HAH! I managed three chapters last week, including a tricky flashback that MC doesn’t know was a flashback, so it’s time for all y’all to pony up.


  1. OK, I got two chapters on the WIP done (now at 31.5K words), and I have a dreadful feeling that a Germanic/Norse myth is about to ambush me and demand a story. (My Muse, how I hate thee some days.) Which I might outline tomorrow while monitoring a student taking a make-up test.

    However, RealLife™ in the form of an accreditation visit at Day Job is throwing WritingLife™ aft agley. Preparing for that comes first and foremost, and writing anything else has to wait. Not as dramatic as Wee-er Dave’s move into the Terrible Twos (just wait for the Threenager phase), but a bit like a hurricane. You know it’s coming, you know when it will make land-fall more or less, you can prepare somewhat, but the final intensity and precise sort of storm remain unknown until it arrives.

      1. Yeah. I’m pecking at a couple chapters. I keep having Real Life intruding into my Writing Time. And I just start to get into the flow, when it’s time to pack up and go get the kiddos from school. I am annoy.

  2. RL is the usual round of poor time management choices and more pressing priorities than writing life.

  3. Tend to agree on the taking a walk thing.I always tend to think best when I’m on my feet and moving. Perhaps its the bloodflow.

    If I need inspiration on a nice day, a good stroll around the neighborhood is always welcome. If it’s not such a nice day…well, laps around the Walmart can work too sometimes.

  4. I, too, have my soothing metal. My knives, I sharpen, they are sharrrrrrrrrrrrrrrp, shiiiiiiiiiiiiny, and pointy, and I smiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiile all the time I sharpen. Keeps people well beyond close distance, which helps me smiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiile. (Won’t work on kids, though.)

  5. I think I may have finished The Discarded Shoe. Pretty nearly, just a little last things to tidy up.

    Colour me shocked.

  6. Is it just me, or does Dave’s description of Wee-er Dave’s behaviour remind others of SJW behaviour as well?

  7. “How are those sample chapters coming?”

    Sitting on my computer, until such time I have them revised as far as I can take them alone.

  8. Chapters? No . . . I picked up the old thing that I’d started rewriting-ish, some years (a baby?) ago, and dusted it off, and it’s coming together . . . but I have no idea where to put chapters so I’m just going to forget that for the foreseeable future and put ’em in later.

    And if you’ve got an old thing, and you know that while scenes work, much has to be rewritten (No, no three characters named “Charles/ie” even if two are named after the other) and that was a really bad way to do that and even your characters are not dumb enough to pull that out, and making the antagonistic POV the bad-guy’s spymaster is much better than the bad-guy, because spymaster is much more interesting and less petty, and he’s bored, not paranoid . . .

    Do you print out hundreds of pages to rewrite from? Do you have multiple files open on the screen (names changed, partially rewritten stuff from five years ago, original material, new rewrite) at the same time?

    Any best practices suggestions? Because I like these guys and their story a lot, now, actually. (But four Davids and three Charles? WHAT was I thinking? Nope. Nope. Nope. And, uh, thanks Pam, for showing me so well why confusing names are bad.)

    Also going to bed before two am is on the to-do list . . . but I think better when I don’t have to listen for what the kids are up to.

    1. Have a naming system for your files, make periodic backups, consider condensing the old material down to an outline.

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