I look Like a Panda when I cry (or: a weird post about tears and nothing in particular)

Yesterday I watched the season’s finale of The Good Place, and ugly cried until I resembled a panda.

The mascara of days before was smudged over my face, my eyes turned puffy, and I hugged my black and white panda cat to make the SAD feeling go away. In case you’re wondering why I’m writing this on my blog here’s a spoiler alert: I don’t know.

So know you know I look like a panda when I cry. The obvious reason for this is that I need to clean my face more and better, so make-up residues won’t get mixed up with tears. You also know TV/movies make me cry. Sometimes I think my tears dwell on the surface, grabbing every opportunity to get out. Maybe I haven’t cried enough over the years.

Now I wonder if tears turn sour. I also think of Snape and his last tears and now I kind of want to write a story about a tear stealer.

A sneak peek into three seconds of how my mind works. Kind of want to change the title again, but won’t because otherwise chances are I’ll wake up Pie (inner-editor) and she’ll delete this whole post.

Bye.

Sitting, waiting, wishing (also known as: not writing)

I’m sitting here, at the dining room table, waiting for inspiration to strike me. Wishing I could muster up the willpower to plunge ahead in the world of words. Every writer has his own process, mine has much to do with this title.

Sit behind computer/notebook/phone, wait for inner editor to shut up (because she is yelling that this story is too complicated for me to put on paper), wishing writing felt more easy.

The thing is, I love to write. To lose myself in a story, surprise myself with strange twists and cunning characters, but I also find it the hardest thing to do. Maybe because I’m a perfectionist. Maybe because I’m lazy. Maybe because I’m scared the story won’t come out the way it’s intended. Maybe because all of the above. For me writing never gets easier, not really.

But since I’ve already typed over a hundred words, I might as well go ahead and write a new scene. My character is going to set something on fire and while she’s gathering highly flammable materials to set alight, she’s going to describe her favorite moment of all moments.

The second after striking a match.

writers in the mist

Sometimes I feel a story buzzing in my mind, chasing thoughts, filling dreams. The story clouded in mist, unwilling to settle form and reveal itself. And I, the writer, find myself grasping the unknown, hoping to find solid ground to stand on. Eyes wide open, ready to snap the idea between my hands.

In the meantime I just write about the swirling colors of the mist, the smell that reminds me of a long forgotten dinner, the sense of hope and doom. I write my way around the mist, into it, underneath it. I write to find the story hidden in it’s core.

I write because that’s what writers do.

 

No Clue

This writing thing is hard. Perfection mania lures around every corner, waiting to jump on the unsuspected writer (me) blinking in the same beat as the cursor on the white page. (crazy thing to do, and very tiring, I can tell you that).

I know from reading blogs, watching youtube, browsing twitter this is what writers go through. And in the last couple of years of me trying to become a (published) writer I’ve learned a couple of things about myself as well. Here goes:

  • I Hate what I write/love what I write/hate what I write. Continue until novel is finished.
  • I overthink everything. If you stare and ponder words long enough, they all sound wrong somehow. All of them.
  • I flinch at character charts because I don’t want to write about my characters, I just want to write them. Honestly I blackout when I write about them, because most of the time I don’t even know what they look like, until their comb gets stuck in their thick curls or they get sunburnt so bad, freckles are no longer visible. Sometimes they unknowingly change their names halfway through a story.
  • I am terrible at planning a story structure. I panic when I read things as: midpoint, where all is lost/nuggets of truth are discovered etcetera.
  • This does not mean my stories don’t have a structure of some sort.
  • The most funny one so far: I AM TERRIBLE. Why? Well considering the goal: become published, I need to put myself out there. I wrote over 5 novels and shelved them. Without querying. Because I think they aren’t good enough. I always think the next one will be better. (usually true).
  • I don’t have a linear brain, it goes back and forth, up and down.
  • I am a deadline addict. Without one I’m lost.

So considering the last line, I’m doing nano again. Spilling words on the page into a story that isn’t a story (yet), no editing. I am nowhere near the recommended daily word count but at least I’m giving myself permission to write awful descriptions, flat characters and hop from one scene to another. The best part of writing is when my brain subconsciously produces something on the paper. And I haven’t a clue how it got there.

(I am not even rereading this post whahahaha. Sorry. Yes I added that sorry on purpose just so I can count the words).

 

The End of Summer

Sounds melodramatic, doesn’t it? 🙂

I briefly hesitated between: ‘The End of Summer’ or ‘Summer is Dead/Gone/Stolen’ but settled on the first, because I like endings.

Why, you ask?

Endings mean new beginnings, and I like those even more!

Summer came, conquered my gloomy mood and was filled with nice drinks, gorgeous landscapes and lots of swimming with the kids.

If anyone is looking for a perfect European destination I’d highly recommend Slovenia! It has everything. Endless green forests, wild rocky rivers, creeks and waterfalls. Nice people, good food, driveable roads and beautiful cities.

For me September embodies going back to work, fitting myself and my kids into a manageable routine, and Autumn. Rainy days, candlelight, cosy movies, wholesome food, and of course Autumn writing, are among the things I love best.

I have a couple of things I want to focus on this September and thought if I proclaim it to the internet void, I probably feel more accountable, so without further ado, behold my September TO DO list. Fair warning: I talk to myself.

  • Work out, at least twice a week. (You are going to be thanking yourself next month, Irene. Just GO).
  • Start a new story! (Easy one. Already started).
  • Edit A PARADISE BELOW one more time. (One means one. Make it as query ready as you can).
  • Make an effort for at least one friend and one family member
  • Do something cool with partner
  • Use your bullet journal

Well, that’s it. And because I like lists, here are some Currently-s:

Currently Reading:

The boy on the bridge

 

Currently Listening:

Hilarious World of Depression

Hidden Brain

 

Currently Writing

A story about stealing the North Sea in jars

 

Currently (over) Editing

A Paradise Below

 

Anyone else has plans for this month?

Ciao!

Hello PitchWars

Here I come!

I was procrastinating my way out of rewriting the middle of my story when a writer friend mentioned Pitchwars. I’d seen this  swoosh by on twitter before but wasn’t sure exactly what it was.

Since I was procrastinating already it seemed like a very good idea to do some research on this phenomenon. And it sounds awesome, because Pitch wars might:

Find you a mentor who can help you make your story better than before.

Might even land you an agent.

You can make new writer friends!

But most important for me: IT HAS A SOLID DEADLINE

I like deadlines. I am an idiot. But now I am an idiot with a deadline. That’s way better 🙂

Bye!

*Rushes off to get Draft That Must not be Named ready for the end of August*

Eat Dessert First

I started writing my Draft That Must Not Be Named with this quote by Ernestine Ulmer in mind.

“Life’s uncertain …

eat dessert first.”

It hits the core of my story because:

  1. My MC has an uncertain life
  2. Her family has a restaurant that only serves desserts
  3. It tells me what I need to hear (over and over again)

I’ve always known I was a writer. I have been writing stories since I was four and never really stopped. I strayed away sometimes but always returned to putting words on paper.

So Irene (yes talking to myself here) why am I waiting to really pursue this goal?

To be honest: a part of me is afraid to fail. More honest: I’m trying to trick myself to not be me.

Which is stupid and crazy, but true. Maybe I’m trying to protect myself, or others, but I’ve come to the conclusion that I can’t outrun myself.

So where am I?

I’m at a point in my life where I can face myself and no longer pursue time-consuming things that prevent me from writing. I have a job I like, a job that gives me the freedom to balance my life. Writing is going well. Editing is going well, my draft is turning into a story, it’s fast paced, surprises me at times and is really NOT BAD.

I guess it’s time to stand still, examine my surroundings with a fresh eye and eat dessert.