Wednesday, February 9, 2011

I get by with a little help from my friends...

So, I've been agonizing over this cheer camp dilemma, and one of my best friends on the planet reminded me that universities will often have several different camps going on at once. She suggested having my main character attend band camp. I need to have my main character pushed into something her mom thinks will shoot her into instant popularity. Unless things have changed greatly in the five million years since I was in high school, I'm afraid band camp wouldn't be 'cool' enough.

This suggestion; however, did bring to mind the great idea of having her meet her band geek boyfriend/catalyst at camp. This way, the main character's love interest will have more of a role in the story. I'm not sure this will work, but this suggestion, from a fellow writer, and a person I love so dearly, shows once again how desperately we all need one another. Creation truly cannot happen in a vacuum.

Monday, February 7, 2011

A Wrench in the Works

I'm kind of stalled. I discovered that only people who've made the cheerleading team attend cheer camp. Hmmmm. Neither one of the characters that I want to send to camp have tried out for the team yet. And it's important, particularly for the mc, that they haven't tried out and made it prior to the story's ordinary life.

So I'm kind of stuck. I'm letting it all boil and simmer and settle and stew before I write it - the camp scenes. I don't like it when this happens...this waiting...and puzzling...confused. Yet I love it. I love the process of it. I'll get so frustrated and discouraged. And then I'll be doing something totally unrelated - like watching a show - and it will all hit me - completely and beautifully formed. And crystal clear. But in the meanwhile it kind of stinks. Such is the recipe of writing and, I suppose, of living.

Saturday, February 5, 2011

First Kisses

The thing I am saddest about in the Summer of Nancy Kate rewrite is that I have to throw away the whole Charm School bit. Instead, as I percolated on my character and her new journey, I discovered that her mom was forcing her to go to cheer camp.

As I followed her into Chapter Six, I didn't want to throw away her first party and her first kiss - even though it's an abysmal experience for our poor heroine.

Last night, as I sat at Miller Auditorium watching "Drumline", memories of band camp flooded over me. Howie Hair and Checkpoint Charlie. My first dance, my first kiss - barely before I turned sixteen.

God is good. Suddenly, I knew that I could keep the party, dance, kiss scene. Cheer Camp has dances, and boys, and first kisses. Cheer Camp (that still needs a name)...

Friday, February 4, 2011

You know you're a writer when...

Today I was back at work, and I felt a little twitchy. Everyone else had finished their lesson plans and grading. What did I do with my two days of freedom?

I WROTE FOUR CHAPTERS!!! And started this blog.

But I couldn't fight down the jealousy as the others talked about their free weekends and passed around high-fives for getting caught up. And it dawned on me that authors are more than passionate, driven people. We are also some of the bravest people I know.

We spend most of our time working alone on massive projects that may or may not ever receive any type of public acclaim. I tried sharing my snow day activities with some of my colleagues, but I got the same puzzled look I get when explaining variables to sixth graders. So, why do we continue on?

Better to ask: Why do we breathe?

Thursday, February 3, 2011

Snow Days

Snow days are miracles. So why do I feel so stressed when I have an entire 24 hours spread out in front of me? 24 hours that I can control, all on my own.

I fascilate between wants and needs. How do I justify working on my story from sun up to sun down when there are papers to grade, lesson plans to write, and curriculum to tweek? And don't forget about exercising, the office that needs organizing, the movies that need watching so they can be returned, and the banana muffins I've wanted to bake for over a month. Oh yeah, and there are the birthday and shower gifts to buy. How is it that I never learned know how to relax? Or give myself permission to be me?

So many stories, so little time. What will it take for me to add them to my list of essentials, my list of things that MUST be done? My 'honey-do's...
This blog is the beginning of that journey. It's time for me to start building my own castle.