Saturday, January 26, 2013

Getting Down to Business

It's January 26 (I say this AFTER I've checked the date numerous times) and it's been over an entire month since I've last updated "A Writer's Knot." Call me unfaithful, call me a crook, just don't call me unproductive and Shirley (a little Airplane! allusion for you there). I can't give you an exact word count for this winter break, but I can truthfully say that I've written over 20,000 words since my last update and most importantly, I hit my 50k mark! I'm just over half way done with my first draft. Some one throw some confetti and bring me a cupcake cake. Red velvet preferably.

But is that a light I see at the end of the tunnel?

Possibly. Probably not, since I have a whole other epic, "One does not simply walks into Mordor" size journey of revisions to sludge through before even thinking of querying (I lied. I have thought and worked plenty enough on querying in between crippling self doubt and "I am the next Charles Dickens" syndrome). And let's not get started on the whole agent thing because, honestly, I don't want to be wriggling my hands over people's opinions on my brain child. Not yet, anyway.

If I didn't have to work a paying job, I decided I'd turn my writing into my "job." I wrote everyday. Sometimes thousands of words, others just over a hundred. What mattered was I wrote and treated it as my work. I acted as a writer should. Instead of treating it as a hobby, I treated it as a career choice. A very tasty and sometimes frustrating career choice.

But all good things must come to an end. No, I'm not talking about my writing. I'm talking about my days frolicking through the many bookshelves of Barnes and Noble and hours spent sipping coffee and huddled in a corner banging on a keyboard. I'm talking about school.

The shackles are back in place. I already feel the pressure (already I despise the Puritan's literature. Hiisssss). But again, like last semester, I hold the goal of writing what I can everyday. Even if it's simply outlining or revision. And I promise to continue to update this more frequently! Exclamation point!!

So, next time you'll hear from me, I'll either be up to here in PDF files or coffee. Maybe both.

P.S. Here's a picture of my cute kitten who is named Me-Mow because no one liked Nova. And my sister wouldn't stop called her the cat assassin's name from Adventure Time. And Indie. I would never forget my quirky beagle pup Indie (named after Indiana Jones obviously).

Okay, laters.

BUT LOOK AT THEM THEY'RE SO ADORABLE. I JUST WANT TO DIIIEEE.

Friday, December 21, 2012

So, it's December 21 and so far the world is still in one piece. Although, there is plenty of time for it to fall apart someway or another. But as interesting as the Mayan's calendar is, I'M WRITING AGAIN!!@2!1

Yesterday I wrote about 1k words, which, in my case, is wonderful since I haven't touched my draft in a month or two. Stared longingly at it? Yes, but worked on it? No. And what even is more amazing is that I spent two days dilly dallying on my laptop, playing video games, avoiding writing before I finally faced the music and wrote (shame on you, Caitlin. Shame. On. You).

It's hard. I haven't written for my draft in what feels like way too long and suddenly I'm suppose to just jump in and continue where I left off? If only. If only. But I pushed and shoved and was able to fit the routinely word amount in. I should be writing more (jobless college student on break here) but I lack the inspiration I need. So to fix that I ended up reading a book (The False Prince) in a matter of hours. Hours, I say. Started at 2 ended at 11pm. Haven't done something like that since I was in high school.

And it felt great.

Reading is my number one trigger for inspiration and reading a good book is even more inspiring.

But why am I telling you this? Well, I plan to write (and read) a lot this break and I needed to tell someone (or thing).

Thursday, December 13, 2012

HOWL


We spin in and out of control. The center cannot hold but we tease gravity in the dark and lean inward. Half on the ground half in the air, we dilly-dally and hold until we come crashing down falling forward against the restraints.

I rise and howl at what light is left with fists pressed against the sides. We are alive, alive, alive.

“Christ.”

I fall against the seat, shift into drive once more and grip the wheel.

“Again?”

“Again.”

Sunday, November 25, 2012

Meow. I got a Cat!

So these past few weeks have been quite the handful. Thanksgiving, school, Thanksgiving, school, Thanksgiving, TV, school, and cats.

That's right cats.

I got a cat (more like forced upon). Well, a kitten, but a pet. A cat. A feline thing. It's mine and it belongs to me. All mine, mine mine, mine.

Nova don't play like that
The reason why "mine" is emphasized greatly is due to the fact that I've never taken on a pet before. Sure, I've shared responsibilities (more like I helped out while my dad or mom took on the major care), but never have I accepted such a challenge as raising an animal on my own (especially a cat. I've never been around cats before. This is a whole new experience for me honestly).

Anyway, I have a kitten to care for along with school. I almost decided to give her (Nova) away simply because these next three weeks of school are going to be hell, but after I'll have a month and a half to do whatever the hell I want including raising a kitty and write write write.

Which segues into-

WORD COUNT: 78

Two weeks. Less than a hundred words. If only you could see the shame as I lower my head and avert my eyes. Atlas, what is a college student suppose to do?

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

The End is Near

You (all four of you) probably shed a few tears when I failed to update my blog these past two weeks. I know you struggled without your weekly dose of Caitlin Writing Complaints.

Well, I apologize for my tiny hiatus, but I plan to come back strong as ever.

WORD COUNT: 608

Okay that was a joke on my part. This is not strong. For two weeks this is a bit sad. But before you shake your heads and walk away in dismay, I have plenty of excuses to toss around! Are they valid? Well...eh. Most of them are. ]

Stress mauled me with a baseball bat these past few weeks. When I'm stressed, well, nothing good happens. My eating, writing, reading, school, everything habits sort of collapse inward and I tend to go into denial: aka I try to stuff my head with TV, food, books, things that make would usually make me happy. In the end, they don't even fill the hole I've dug due to the immense guilt I feel for putting off things that I actually need to do. In the end I'm only causing myself more stress because I'm trying to smoother the stress.

What has me thrown off is my pacing. I've been changing things around (missing a class here, getting out early there) and change screws up my schedule, screws up my eating habits. My body is already messed up (when will this so called period show its ugly head because it's been over a month already gosh darn it) and it refuses to act the way I want it to.

Basically I feel out of control. My writing has been put on the back burner for obvious reasons. It's still here--the document is always open. I'm always thinking about it, playing with it, but progress is little or close to none. It's frustrating because I want to give it the time it deserves but only four weeks of school. Four. Weeks. As much as I'm excited for a break, I'm biting my nails at the idea that I have only four weeks to get my grades in the position I want them to be in.

Grades or writing?

Grades obviously wins.

But I vow the day I get out of school, I'll immediately go home, pick up my laptop and hightail it to Starbucks and type away. My goal is to finish my first draft before Spring Semester starts.

There! See? Setting goals is progress! Right?

Sunday, October 28, 2012

Literature: What is it?

Oh Mighty Google, show me what Literature is!

A year or two ago, one of my English professors on the first day of class asked a very interesting question: what is literature? Here we were, a bunch of English majors with quite a few English courses under our belts yet failed to give literature an adequate definition. Sure, you can look in the dictionary where you'll find three different meanings, each growing broader ("leaflets and other printed matter used to advertise products or give advice." Okay that is pretty much anything written for public consumption). Yet for something so slippery, we as society value this word. You are either a English major with emphasis in creative writing or in literature. When shopping at Barnes and Nobles you pass the Romance, Young Adult, Graphic Comic and the Literature section. If you're seen reading something by the Brontë sisters, Dickens, Fitzgerald, they assume you're reading something literary.

It's just, weird.

One thing I do know about literature is that literature isn't written, it's made. Readers and critics alike decide what falls under "literary" and what gets shelved under a more precise genre shelf (aka the cafeteria). Sometimes it's instantly. Others, it takes time. Harry Potter forever was under the children's section. It still is--but you can also find it with the literary fiction along with other classical stuff today. The Road which came out in 2006, was instantly in literary fiction, but more so because Cormac McCarthy already had made quite an impression in the Literary world and let's not forget that nice gold P sticker stamped on the front. "Collect 200 and pass GO" said the majority of the readers, and so that book when straight on the literary shelf.

So what the hell am I blabbering about? What is your point Caitlin!?!?

My point, dear reader, is I spend a lot of time reading what people qualify as literature and desiring what is not "literary."

Currently reading:
  • Great Expectations by Charles Dickens
  • The Portrait of an Artist as a Young Man by James Joyce
  • Ceremony by Leslie Marmon Silko
What I want to read but can't because I have literally no time:
  • Rebel Angels by Libba Bray.
What I feel like doing at the moment:

At least I got SOME writing done. But sadly, not as much as the previous week.

WORD COUNT: 892