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I drive my son and another student to school in the morning, a commute which brings us through rush hour traffic complicated by a lot of road construction with varied speed limits. This morning, as I was accelerating out of a 55 MPH zone up to the now 65 MPH speed limit, a silver sedan cut sharply over from the right.


Now the driving behavior was obvious. She hadn’t expected me to accelerate, and there was a truck right in front of her going even slower, so she wanted to move into the faster lane ahead of me (still slow moving in her mind) rather than behind. No problem, though she cut it a little close.

(more…)

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Gak! I have been attacked, sneak attacked at that.

I've been pushing on so many things that my life has come to resemble a tornado, touching down on one project just long enough to leave disaster in its wake before bouncing off to find another victim. To counter this, and give me space to do what I need to do...like teach a class starting August 3rd that'll run for 6 weeks...I declared once I finish Molly, that's it. I'm not starting another novel (meaning writing, not prep work) until NaNo. This is a blessing because it means I won't be scrambling to finish a novel before November 1st, especially since after the class, I'm teaching another at Muse Online (remember registration closes on August 1st) and going down to World Fantasy 2009 in San Jose (meaning I won't even be here for the start of NaNo).

And those are just the big external things. I'm currently critting a novel with another in the queue, I let my Selkie edit fall to the wayside when I got overwhelmed, and I'm supposed to be editing and submitting short stories which means getting and receiving crits...and acting on them.

Do I sound frantic enough? And that's not even considering my computer work, my kids, my hubby, and plans to go on vacation a lot in the remaining days of summer.

The last thing I needed was an article on self-publishing and the concept of having to explain your life's story on a first date to cross my plate.

What do these two things have in common? Well, absolutely nothing to any reasonable person. But when have I ever claimed to be reasonable.

Enter Let Me Tell You All About Myself.

The idea crossed my mind early this morning. I wanted to pass it to a friend because it was funny, but she wasn't around. I figured I'd have forgotten it by the time she got back, and went about my business. Bad move.

That gave the story a hook into my memory because I wanted to tell it to someone. And with that hook, it wiggled its way through the barriers to that swamp I call my idea generator and started shuffling through the mud, stirring up an unholy mess.

No, this isn't an urban fantasy, science fiction, or even a romance. I can't even claim this as a crossover mainstream like Coma Wedding. Let Me Tell is a psychological mainstream novel about expectation and delusion. About building up an image that becomes so real that you start to question whether reality can compete. (Okay, I forgot about the article talking about a man whose girlfriend is a body pillow stamped with an anime character, which might have had a slight hand in this mess too.)

The closest genre to something I've completed before is a romance, but it's certainly not conforming to the genre requirements since we only meet her through her self-published autobiography. However, because of that, I'll need to come up with entries that are sweet, funny, endearing, and positively wonderful (oh and I don't do funny well :p). But mainly it's the story of a guy who finds his perfect mate between the covers of a book, and the struggle between wanting to find the reality and fearing it won't measure up.

And to make matters oh so much better (not :p), because the idea burst in upon me with such weight, it already has an almost complete initial synopsis and a handful of scene suggestions. This makes it worthless as my "work alongside" idea for the August workshop, which is From Ideas to Outline. I still have to find an idea for that...but maybe I shouldn't look too hard until the 1st has come and gone :p.
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"Thank you, everyone, for your kind welcome. I've struggled with this fact for several years now, and finally have to admit. I have a NaNo addiction."

*sighs*

"Yes. You're right. It does feel better getting it all out. I can give myself excuses, point to the benefits of getting an extra novel written each year, of practicing writing to a deadline, of darn well having fun, but none of that changes the facts.

Every year, right around this time, whether or not I've committed to doing NaNo--and often when I've adamantly said it's not in the cards--I suddenly drop everything to create or polish my outline. There's no other explanation for it than addiction. Rational thought comes into it only so far as to provide rationalizations. I am an addict."

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

This year's project is lovingly titled "Coma Marriage," even after I nixed the marriage from the synopsis this morning ;). It was inspired by an exercise one of my Muse Online Conference workshop participants completed. This novel has, in the course of two or three days, sprung into form through providing feedback to the participant, two on-the-edge-of-sleep moments, and discussing the thought with Valerie Comer. And up until yesterday morning, I was still kicking and screaming about actually writing this novel.

Oh, and it will be my first completed entry into the adult paranormal romance category (since Sorcery and the Perfect Dress (last year's NaNo) is a young adult paranormal romance).

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Margaret McGaffey Fisk

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