Writing Update: What am I working on exactly…?

So in my quest to be more “literature-ly” accountable, I offer myself to the eyes before me and recount my writing deeds for this past week.

I’m tackling the revision of my Hunger & The Hanging Tree arc of my Grim Lore of Hollow Grove story. What do I mean by arc and what is this story I’ve been hinting at for the last, oh, two maybe three years?

First off, Grim & Hollow is very tentative title for the overall story. To make a very long story short, the main gist is that my man, Sebastian Calderon, in the alternative year of our Lord 185X, decides to take up a job in a small town called Hollow Grove where he meets interesting characters and learns about the darkness that haunts the place there. I’m taking more of a serial format for the story. I plan to have five arcs that tell their own interlocking story. The first has to do with Hunger and Hanging Trees.

I’ve been fortunate to be granted a three day weekend for my job due to New Years. Somehow between watching movies, compulsive cleaning, and experimenting with breakfast recipes, I made some headway with the revision. The best way I know to tackle this is to write the whole thing over again on a blank document and retyping past drafts. My main sticking point with this former draft is that it read really stale with my characters doing one thing then another until they have to do something else. I’m attempting to make my characters less agents of plot and more people with thoughts and feelings. It’s a bit tedious but it’s the only way I know how to tackle this project at the moment.

At this very moment which is Sunday at 3:24pm with Natalia Lafourcade singing in the background, I’ve written 2,474 words for the current draft. A most noticeable improvement from the 150-word presses I did maybe two or three times a week in week’s past.

In related news, I have managed to write some really rough drafts of short stories that I’ll be tackling when I can’t look at the former project anymore.

That’s all I have to report. Thanks for reading.

The Monday Review: History, Pride Month & A Little Steven Universe

Hey Friends! 

Monday is here again. I wish you all luck in this week’s endeavors. 

Last week I’ve been consumed in reading and digesting histories. The 1619 podcast, Code Switch, Planet Money, and the Youtube channel Overly Sarcastic Productions with their summaries of history and mythology. Due to that, my focus in writing has shifted in that direction. I’ve been journaling more and finding ways to engage in it here. 

To that end, I’ve dedicated Thursdays to historical topics that I’ve found of particular interest. Since June is Pride Month, I’ve steered towards icons and topics in LGBTQA+ history. Last week I researched ACT UP and their contributions to AIDs awareness. I’m now reading articles and watching documentaries on other possible topics like Marsha P. Johnson, Sylvia Rivera, Stormie DeLarverie, and the Mattachine Society. It’s been a ton of fun and I can’t wait to share what I learned on my research journey. 

In fiction news, I have penned a couple of short stories. I hope to share one of these by week’s end. I’m also trying to shift my focus back to my Grim project. After finishing its draft back in March/April, I set it down for a bit which ended up being two months longer than I meant. I just need to get my head right for the revision. 

That’s all I got for this Monday. 

I’ll sign off with a song that’s been my favorite for a few weeks now. I haven’t really divulged this here but I’m a huge fan of Steven Universe. Here’s one of my favorite songs from the 2019 movie. I hope it gives you a little smile:

The Right Brain with Our Writing Status

Oh, writing!

Hmm, funny you should mention that. I think I have someth–wait right here, I’ll definitely find something I’ve been working on. I’ll just… (very inconspicuously climbs out the window and runs into the sunset).

As you can see, the Right Brain has taken off. Ah well, it can’t be helped. She’s a fickle thing that one.

Hi, Left Brain, here.

I’m the rational one who will make no excuses. But like usual, I’m left to pick up the pieces. You see, right brain and I haven’t been on the same page as of late. These last two months, every time I bring her to the table and force a pen in her hands, she hems and haws and sometimes runs away screaming. Other times she babbles, thoughts and feelings going this way and that about the state of the world and writing and the dreadful summer heat that’s settling in.

Don’t judge the right brain too harshly. The fact that she made it here, however briefly, means we’re making a bit of progress.

Otherwise, the progress report is quite bleak, I’m afraid.

Given the state of things, we have nothing to report. Right Brain has been hung up watching cooking channels on Youtube and daydreaming about all the worlds she’s hoped to create.

Execution however…

Well, that’s been lacking these last few months. Heck, she even made us drop the ball with updates here. I can schedule and plan all I want but if there’s no coherent ideas, what good is that?

All this to say is that Right Brain with her other fickle cousin, motivation, is starting to come around.

In the Event of Distraction

In the event of distraction, we prescribe the following: First, barricade yourself in a quiet room. Then, turn off all music, hide your phone, put a pen in your hand and begin writing and pray something good comes out of that brain of yours.

Admittedly, this has been a week of distraction. My life and the life my mind invented has taken up a lot of attention. I work two jobs; both in books, both I love, and both physically and emotionally taxing. And I couldn’t help but let this and a whole bunch of life things suck up 90% of my energy. Writing included.

So what have I done this week? I’ve stared at blank docs and counted the number of times my cursor line blinks on the screen. Mid-week I was able to eke out some words, butcher some dialogue, and hate it passionately. But it was something so it’s a victory. Other times, I imagined what happened next and listened to music to make it more real. I pulled my computer closer, opened Word and then couldn’t summon the energy to act on inspiration. Like they say, the holy trinity of time, energy, and inspiration in art usually step in as a twosome.

Earlier this year, I promised myself that I wouldn’t beat myself up on weeks like these. I highlight the good. This week’s good is finishing one chapter and carving a small path into the other. No matter how I got there or how bad I think it is at the moment, I’ve done something and that’s enough.