Monthly Archives: October 2015

NaNoWriMo 2015

Once again, I’m going to do National Novel Writing Month this November. I’ve been doing it off and on since 2005. I’ve only made it to the end and finished my novel once and that was 10 years ago. I’ve gotten frustrated and disappointed with myself when I haven’t finished, but this year, I’m going into it giving myself permission to not finish if I just can’t hack it. The attempt is more important than reaching the finish line. At the same time, I’m more determined than ever to finish. Here’s my plan for November:

  • Start with no words written. This is starting completely fresh.
  • This is a first draft. This is me telling myself a story, so don’t worry about what other people might think of it. Throw whatever’s in my head onto the page.
  • Don’t get attached to the writing. Don’t worry if the writing is kind of (or very) sucky. Don’t edit while writing. Just keep moving forward.
  • Don’t try to be original. Steal from anything and everything.
  • Don’t think bigger than the month. This isn’t the first part of a multi-book epic. This isn’t going to win multiple awards and turned into a major motion picture. This isn’t even going to get me a publishing deal. I’m just doing it to do it.
  • In the past, one of the big reasons why I’ve quit was because I was getting bored with the story. This year, if I start to get bored, just change the story to be less boring to me. Again, throw whatever’s in my head onto the page.

This also means this blog may be fairly (or completely) inactive during November. Which might be bad news for the 3 or 4 people who read it, but I’m sure they’ll cope.

Through the Looking-Glass, Diversely

There’s been a lot of talk lately about diversity in fiction (and if I were less lazy, I’d link to some articles and blog posts on the subject). This is something I’ve always been concerned about. For one thing, just because I’m a white man, it doesn’t mean I only like stories about white men. I’ve been inspired by stories about women, people of color, ¬†and so on. For another thing, I’ve always been aware that I’m not the only audience in the world and not every story is for me. While I’m inspired by different kinds of characters and stories, it’s also important to be able to see one’s self reflected in stories, to know that you’re not alone, to know that someone like you is worth telling stories about. And that leads me to another reason why I think diversity in fiction is crucial, a reason I’ve only recently fully recognized and accepted. (more…)

My Best Mistake

if only i could have slipped & fallen
into the pumpkin patch of your eyes
all so wonderful our hearts
beating together like frazier & ali

i’ve said it before & i’ll say it again

but of so only fallen into deadlier
& the eyes all too
secret slipped our smarter stone
not only hearts but the ruin if
oh so smarter in the patch
but in wonderful if could a tomb

the best mistake i ever made was
putting pen to paper & then
hoping against hope
i could break down that wall of slate
& use these words to escape the grave

i will make this mistake again & again
riding the lightning train into the last good night

i’ve said it before & i’ll say it again
what else can i do?

On a Curve

one coffee below & we’re taught to know
my good dream’s a grace news whole
i’m glad I like them & i’m really well
kissing away what grave touch to give
you see where your news doesn’t go to live

good cowardly yearning, still we’re learning
& I’m looking for my touch to burn
if a tortoise cup has you settle well
i’m glad to come, your mother may sleep
good to need your oceans deep
hip hip hooray!

we’re turning so I have to run away
a tangled drop into this hell
go run a little, my saving grace
are you a shell to screen my face?

deliver demons free but don’t be a guarantee
too hip to me won’t show what favorite you see
the world that tears flow deeply swells
you may be kneeling for what i’m feeling
where heavy hearts know love is stealing
hooray hooray hooray!

if you guess i’ll stab this headache
with a smashing cup of coffee
you’re so far ahead of the other witches in this class
hip hip hooray!
you get an a!

Some Random Thoughts on Writing

  • I’ve always thought of writing fiction as creative play (even when it’s difficult and feels like work), but it’s been too long since I thought of writing stories as an act of mischief, something to disrupt the thoughts and feelings and cultural programming of myself and others. Time to get back to that sense of mischief.
  • (Poetry, however, always feels like making mischief to me. I wonder why I haven’t felt the same way about fiction?)
  • As an adult, my tabletop role-playing game play has always been done in regular sessions (or semi-regular, thanks to the various adulty things that get in the way of fun). But in middle school, my friends and I played RPGs and did collaborative storytelling whenever we had some free time–at school, after school, on weekends. There was a driving excitement in suddenly jumping into imaginary worlds and playfully creating stories wherever, whenever, as often as possible. I want to get back into that mindset when it comes to writing fiction.
  • Diving into imaginary worlds and playing with imaginary characters with jetpack enthusiasm and mischievous¬†abandon–that’s what it’s all about, is what I’m saying.
  • Art is mischief. Mischief is magic. Magic is craft.