Tuesday, February 23, 2010

A Day Off

"How much trouble can we get into on a Monday night?" I asked Emily. She was laying back on my bed while I dressed for dinner. She said nothing, narrowed her eyes. We thought we'd go to Garibaldi and sit in Roscoe's section because "It's going to have the best results for the least amount of money." So Emily thought.

Can't you hear the cava in my voice? I have no idea why I took this video.

Gruet at Circa and Sapphire at Bacchus inevitably followed. At one point, I slipped home to write an entirely useless paragraph "for the novel" and went back to the bar. I was laughing about all of this until about two today, when the hangover kicked in, leaving me incapable of most anything, much less finishing the first draft of my novel.

Not much more writing to do for the first draft!

I have roughly a week's worth of work to do. Today I have done NOTHING, thanks to this hangover but tomorrow I plan to fully resume. It's unlike me to take a day off. For every day I miss, it takes about three days to get back to where I was. right now, I'm writing some exciting stuff. Already thinking of making changes but I need to finish and wait and read and see. So excited.

(I had other stuff to write here, just a paragraph about a phone interview with an artist for a piece I'm writing, but Julip laid down beside my computer and erased it with his head on the delete key. This sort of sums up my day. Uhhh...)

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Preoccupied With An Unfinished Book

As I write LPT, it's difficult for me to read other novels. I like having my head fully focused on the story. I tend to get sucked into books; I'm a fast reader, and if I begin reading a book I won't stop until I'm finished.

For so long, the only novel I wanted to read was the one that I'm writing. I wanted a good book about an artist, the art world, and artistic experience. I composed a list of relevant books (I will post the list in the future) and began working my way through them. What I was curious about was where my work fit in.

I am now writing exactly the book I want to read. I was looking at the outline and looking at the calendar and--maybe it's the relief of having turned in my South Magazine documents but... I know I'll meet my deadline. I'll finish up the draft, have cupcakes and Krug for a very merry 25th birthday, celebrate St. Patrick's Day and work my ass off at the restaurant (we are entering the treacherous wedding season). My newly married, life long friend Ashley B. Tracy will visit at the end of the month with her mother--we're going to have a fantastic time together. And then, then I can read my own novel.

I absolutely cannot wait.

But reading a manuscript is not the same as reading a published novel. First of all, there will be mistakes in the copy, grammatical things, etc. al. in need of correction. It's work. But I look forward to reading the story and sorting through the text to see what I have. So much time is spent writing with one-sided knowledge of what is there. Reading lends an entirely new perspective.

Probably, I'll read a couple of those books off my list before I sit down to read the manuscript. But what am I talking about? I need to finish the rough draft.

27 days.

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Upcoming Good Stuff

Guess who's taking a break from her novel to check out some art?

Thursday night is the Collective show presented by The Co-Lab, a group of young and fashionable artists.

And on Friday, check out Desoto Row artists Matt Hebermehl, Kellie Walker and Rachel Raab, among others.

Added bonus: Bottles & Cans will be playing at Mercury Lounge beginning at 10 p.m., on both Thursday and Friday nights.

Sunday, February 14, 2010

Pragmatic and Cool

I am sitting up in bed now with kitties--Julip laying almost on my MacBook and Lady snoozing at the edge of the bed. I was hoping to work more on my article. Normally, I don't care very much about the quality of my freelance work. Oftentimes, when you write for a magazine, your voice is watered down to match that of publication... But this time, I happen to care a whole lot about what this artist thinks of my writing. He's an artist that I admire and besides the fact that he's adorable he's really very talented and has a huge sense of community. It's inspiring. I want this piece to be good but I have zero motivation to work on it. Whenever I open the document, I race through my work, incapable of composing an outline or staying on track with notes, thinking only hurry hurry hurry, as I'm running out of time--Draft 1 of my novel must be finished soon.

The truth is I really have a lot of writing to do in order to complete my book. Well, the first draft. And then the real work begins. It's beginning to bloom--through its faults, its strengths, I believe in this story more now than I ever have. There are some changes that must take place. I'm gambling on some of my larger techniques--the multi-character narratives, the third person writing that opens and closes the book. Its unusual and I wonder, will it work? It's not as if it's so avant garde or far fetched. It simply isn't practical, to lead the reader through third, through a variety of alternating firsts, and back again to third. But the transitions are really quite pleasant. I just want to know if it actually works.

I prefer to write in third. But I'm nearly at a point where I can't see the novel being any other way--this first person POV thing (that's not to say I won't make appropriate changes if need be--I most certainly will. What works for the novel works for me.) I love writing in Cameron's voice, and in Danny's and Dalton's and Ren's. It's strange and sometimes startling, the way some characters turn out. I never would have expected Ren to be so dry and indifferent. Certainly bitchy. And Cameron--Cameron I knew from the start. She is easy going and chill. The word "cool" best describes her--cool in the sense that she is pragmatic and casual, easy to accept. She is fearlessly dedicated to her medium.

Because I've been sitting down to work on freelance, and accidentally working on my novel, I've been writing random scenes from the outline. Not staying in order. This has something to do with the amount of research required to accurately write the scene I am supposed to be writing now. But there is a lecture on Tuesday at Desoto Row gallery that I'll be attending, in effort to learn more of the business side of things. I don't know if it will give me exactly what I need, but it sounds insightful.

Until then, I'm writing away at whatever strikes me: an image of Cameron standing on the sun struck sidewalk across the street from Forsyth Park, or in a waiting room, sketching a likeness of a woman beside her, frantic phone calls between characters made late at night, stretches of dialogue. It comforts me to know I'm making progress.

What I want more than anything is to lend myself entirely to the task. If I could write and write and not go to work or dinner or any other little errand that takes me away from my story... If I could just write and write...


Thursday, February 11, 2010


I have a lot of writing to do before March 15.

My birthday is March 16. What I want more than cupcakes and Krug is to have finished the first draft of this novel. God help me.

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Masterpiece Gallery/ Tuxedo Rental

This is the sort of thing you find if your venture south of DeRenne.

I just wanted to share this picture I snapped in the Oglethorpe Mall. Just last week, I discovered an art gallery that also offers tuxedo rentals. How did I miss this two months ago? Obviously, I would have included this fine art gallery in the South's Guide to Getting Around the Galleries if only I'd known. I should go to the mall more often.

Real post later when I have time (ie: after I write this article. God, freelance. Yesterday I sat down to write this feature and ended up only working on my novel. Oops. But the rough copy is due tomorrow so-oo seriously, no more fooling around/hanging out with Emily/blog). Peace.

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Something Screwy

What the hell is happening in this outline?

For draft 1, I spend the majority of my efforts meticulously composing the outline. The outline is the skeleton of the novel, the structure on which the organs of literary devices, the muscles of plot, the flesh of characters and the soul of its intentions cling.

What happened is this: When I began seriously writing this novel (roughly 5 months ago) I drafted an outline. Now, as I continue writing the first draft, I'm fine-tuning the outline to make sure all of these little details add up. In LPT, many of the characters are traveling different places and particular things must be perfectly aligned in order to drive the characters into action, through complications and of course, set up the climax.

Now all along I've got to discover who my characters are, determine what, specifically, they want, what they're willing to do to get it and what complications will stand in their way.

Of course I have some general-to-specific knowledge of how this is supposed to go. I do not begin writing a novel until I have watched the entire story from start to finish like a movie in my head. I know the first sentence, the last sentence. Everything else in the middle may tentatively shift until all the parts are perfectly in their place.

Nearly two weeks ago, I was zipping right through the index, checking off points, nearing the end. Then I discovered problems in my outline. Small problems, little things. Details. The order of events I was adhering to was off, but just by barely. Things weren't making sense. Fruitlessly I tried to reconstruct the story so that it was correct. I thought I had until I unearthed this list--this outline I wrote long ago when this novel first cracked open inside of me. Apparently, three years ago, I was a genius. There it was, this little list, a vague but significant index, directions that would help the final outline come to fruition.

So what's the problem? Perhaps you're wondering, Why blog about this?

I had to rewrite the outline, and consequently rewrite a fraction of the novel. What I ended up rewriting amounted to fifty fucking pages. Still, there's something screwy with this.

What's askew?

I've spent a few good hours today, scribbling away in my notebook, trying to justify my corrections and inspect, from every angel, each new idea. There exists a working outline. But I wonder--is it right?