Car Conversations

Yesterday, I was in the car with two of my kids, when Jonah (boy, 7 years old), proclaimed he was going to be a writer. I smiled and told them I also have that dream since I was five.

Baukje (girl, 10 yrs old) was surprised and curious. So I reluctantly told them about stories I’ve written when I was their age (a never ending fairy tale about a magical flower and a series about a flying teabag. I know, I was a brilliant kid, haha).

I admitted it was still my dream and they were very interested in what I was writing now.

The conversation went something like this

Me: ‘It’s a story for teens about a girl that is half devil/half human. Her father is the devil (who’s retired for the time being) and her mother, well she’s a bit of a criminal. ‘

Jonah: ‘Cool’.

Me: (surprised they were still interested) ‘The girl protects the gate to hell which is in Paris and only has to do this for a couple of days, because she has done it for years. But then a terrorist starts bombing sites in the city.

Baukje: ‘Really?’ Does this really happen?”

Me: “No love, it’s just a story.’

Baukje: ‘Isn’t it too scary to write?’

Two things happened:

  1. Summarizing your story can do wonders for your understanding of it
  2. I realized children are the best. And I love them so much

 

bauk jo

(Jonah and Baukje being cute, standing on the Eiffel Tower).

 

North

I was going to name this post The Avocado Project part 2, but decided against it because nobody is interested in knowing how I killed my first attempt at growing an avocado plant by water depravation. Apparently they don’t last very long without it. And besides, I never got around posting part one, because I forgot (so part 2 is actually a stand alone and could be named part one, hmm..).

Since you’ve come this far, it probably means you are interested in my avocado project and I want to reassure you, there will be pictures if I succeed.

For those not interested in the avocado project : I’ll probably won’t.

For those who don’t like avocados: go away. I don’t like you. (kidding, please stay, pretty please)

Anyway, I was thinking about motivation, and how I can make myself do things. And by things I mean WRITING things.

It was triggered by this spot-on post by Alikay Wood. Like her I have the tendency to be lazy. In my defence: in previous lives I most definitely was a very fat cat.

How am I going to trick myself to do more of this writing thing. The first step is to pinpoint what has worked for me in the past. And I can think of one thing: grades. I like getting good grades. But I mostly like them when I didn’t work hard for them. You see?

I have a serious problem.

So what would help me achieve my I-want-to-write- for- a–living- dream ? It seems I need to be accountable and proclaim my goals to the world (or to anyone who wants to listen). Blogging also helps. It helps me focus on the path I want to take. It’s very super-easy to get distracted with life, but I have so much fun writing posts and reading those of others. It gets me in the mood for writing.

And that’s important. Because writing is my North.

Sometimes I’ll stray to the West or South on a different path, pursuing other life-things, but my inner compass always gets me back on track. Pointing in the direction I feel most comfortable and happy.

North, where the writing lives.

 

Sidenote: the word ‘very’ is like vermin but I’m on to it now. No more sneaking in between words. If you spot one I missed. YOU NEED TO TELL ME.

Crying. I Mean Editing. Sorry.

Pie (aka inner editor) and Kip (muse of some sort) are not on speaking terms these days. That’s because I’m editing draft zero into draft one.

Yesterday evening I was going to add A VERY HUGE number to my Draft That Must Not be Named.

Instead I watched 4 episodes of Once Upon A Time.

(And instead of writing and editing now, I’m writing this post 🙂 )

I don’t have writer’s block, if that’s what you’re wondering, but there’s something I need to overcome. Several somethings actually. A VERY HUGE number of clichés, adverbs, and a plague of the word ‘VERY’, are laughing at me from the pages of My Not to Be Named Novel.

Why they’re laughing you ask? Well, because I didn’t know I put them there when I was writing.

Some examples:

There’s a shape shifter in the story.

Definitely a no-go, because nowadays there’s one in every YA fantasy-like story.

So I have to kill that one. Which is easy because it’s a stupid character that can change into a spider and does nothing else.

There’s a taxi-driver (from India) who helps my main character getting places, but is thin as cardboard.

I DID NOT REALISE I STOLE THIS STRAIGHT FROM THE CONSTATINE MOVIE.

(What do you mean, Pie, when you say I watched that movie a zillion times?)

Also I’m embarrassed he’s from India. I have no idea why I did that, probably stole it somewhere too. It would have made more sense if I added an Indian chef because Indian is my all-time favourite food..

There Are More Strange People Than Normal People In The Story

No idea how to fix this, but I think I need to change some precious demons into humans.

There’s a Market

WTF! How did I get a Market in there. And to make matters worse IT IS A NIGHT MARKET.

Whahaha. I’m crying.

Everything is Very

Very scared. Very cool. Very far. Very strong. Very annoyed. VERY EVERYTHING.

Still crying.

And do you want to know the worst part?

I have no ending. Not really anyway. Something explodes, but it is VERY lame.

So it’s back to the drawing board. The upside is there are no blank pages staring back at me (I call it the BLANK VOID), the downside is that I feel a bit scared.

But first things first.

Lunch.

Whahaha (still crying).

I Like the Click

I mentioned in my New Year’s post that I’ve got two big goals for this year. Learning a bit of Russian and finish a  new shiny bright glimmering in the moonlight draft of Novel That Has A Name but Does Not Deserve it Yet.

I started Russian lessons two weeks ago and the language is really cool. I like the analogue part of having to think about writing the letters of the Cyrillic alphabet, and I feel all Indiana Jones-y deciphering words.

Здравствуйте

Just look at that word! It’s formal for ‘Hello’. HELLO.

So so pretty. I’m kind of a nerd when it comes to languages so you’ll have to forgive me.

Anyway. Besides the lesson once a week I try to spent 10 minutes of every day practising letters or learning new words. Yesterday something awesome happened.

I felt The Click.

I didn’t have to look up the letters anymore and could read a lot of words. It ‘s possible that my brain had enough input to provide me with a translation without me being consciously aware of it, but I know this feeling very well.

It also happens sometimes when writing. When chapters and pages seem like endless loose parts of colourful Lego blocks and then suddenly The Click happens and you’re able to see a clear image of what the building should end up like.

I like The Click.

It’s what I’m looking for in life. The feeling of being on the right track. The opposite feeling of The Click is stepping on a Lego block when NOT wearing shoes. Sorry for the metaphors, I also like Lego.

A story about cupcakes

 

The other day I was writing a story about a boy with diabetes.

He falls in love (because he’s seventeen) with the girl who works at the local bakery and he goes there almost every day to buy cupcakes. Just to see her smile. Except Mondays because she doesn’t work on Mondays.

He never eats the cupcakes. Even though they get prettier every week.

It’s probably going to turn out into a weird story, but it got me thinking about health. How big a deal is him having diabetes for the story? Does this boy considers himself healthy?

I believe health is not just the absence of sickness. It is possible to feel healthy even when you’re in a wheelchair or have some other difficult issue. Being healthy is to be able to face life’s challenges. And by that I don’t just mean the physical ones, but also the financial/social/mental challenges everyone has to face sooner or later.

If you’re not healthy all the other challenges are far more challenging.

This probably doesn’t make sense..

Anyway I decided that the only problem my diabetic boy has, is that he doesn’t know how to talk to a girl.

Other than that he feels perfectly healthy.

Blank Page

Once I realized December was there, it was nearly over. Christmas and other things got in the way of me actually doing stuff. Sounds vague, doesn’t it? Well that’s because it is.

I have no idea how it got to be 2018 so damn fast.

But it is. And I like a new year. It’s the queen of blank pages, all shiny and ready to be filled with expectations, memories, experiences and probably a lot of Netflix.

I’ve been browsing the Internet because I’m obsessed with other people’s resolutions. I found there’s one thing a lot of these resolutions have in common: the word more.

More sleep/ more drinking water/ more exercise/more travel/more writing/more happy/ more of more.

I’ve got two big goals to fill my 2018 blank page. And lots of smaller ones

When I think about goals and things I want to achieve myself the word more also plays an important role. So I’ve decided to scratch it.

Do more of what makes me happy. Do enough of what makes me happy 🙂

And

  1. Learn a bit of Russian

I’ve signed up for a Russian language course. The Cyrillic alphabet has always fascinated me and when I hear Russian (or any other Slavic language for that matter) I have absolutely no clue of what’s being said. And it’s sounds mysterious and amazing, enough reason to try and learn. (and also because I feel like I’m about the learn a secret code).

  1. Finish second draft of Novel

Kind of speaks for itself.

Happy New Year everyone! May it bring you enough of what you want.

Invisible Army

(The above title consists of the first words I wrote this November and I’m definitely adding them, and the rest of this post, to my NaNoWrimo total. Because I can).

A peculiar part of the World’s population is turning to blank pages armed with pens, fear of blinking cursors, or maybe even with fingers glued to an old fashioned typewriter. An army of writers pounding away time, word for word.

November is the month of novel writing, and I find it very strange that the idea of thousands of unknown people doing the same thing, is motivating. Why do I care that there are lots and lots of other people wanting to write a story? Why do I find solace in the idea I’m not the only one looking for the exact word to use, and the perfect name for a character?

It’s because it makes me feel less alone in this writing thing. And less crazy.

The idea of writing a 50.000 word story in one month is a big one, but for me it’s more about taking action. The rest of the year we can get back to overthinking and spending time waiting for circumstances to be different from what they are.

November is for action.

So thank you invisible army of international others! I salute you and wish you the best in your endeavours.

🙂