Saturday, July 23, 2011

Going Out On A Ledge

Photo Credit: S. R. Karfelt

Employing my last steel ovary I finally worked up the courage to share some of my story, looking for only one thing.  Positive feedback.  Was that really asking for so much?  Apparently.  I have a relative, a brilliant young woman who has aspirations to become an editor.  I have no doubt she will realize this dream, it has been her agenda since childhood.  How many eight year olds when asked what they want to be when they grow up say, "I want to be an editor!"  She did.  She used to e-mail publishers of books she read with errors she found, spelling, grammar, time lines.  She had a real penchant for finding discrepancies in a series and tossing off an email (at age ten) explaining why certain events did not coincide with the other books in the series.  My favorite response she got was from a publisher who told her, and I quote.  "You do realize, I hope, that this is Fiction".  I was never so certain of her success in the industry as I was when I finally let her pry some of my precious (Gollum reference) work from my fingers.  While she heartlessly pointed out that I could not have so many pages of set up before commencing with dialogue, and that I needed to "paint the picture" more clearly in this area or that, and that this character needed to be grittier and another more flawed I realized just why she has always wanted to be an editor.  She likes to make writers cry. 

Photo Credit: S. R. Karfelt

Then, of course, I got over myself and looked at the work from her perspective and realized she was exactly correct, about most of it anyway - okay, maybe all of it, but I stand by my resolve to live in my own world when it suits me.  The critique made me realize that I needed to share my work to receive important feedback.  What had I been thinking?  It had to be clear, it had to be well written!  I hadn't even punctuated dialogue properly, a bad habit that continues to stick with me.  The most painful part was that nearly four years in and with a dozen documents containing, oh about 1,500 pages each, I had a bit of an editing Heck in front of me! 

Sunday, July 17, 2011

Some Background Info

Photo Credit: B&A
I was raised by wolves until stolen by a passing band of gypsies.  It was easy to adapt to the life of a nomad, campfires, caravans, music.  It firmly instilled in me a lifelong leisurely pace and wander lust; not to mention a penchant for those colorful swirly skirts that look terrible with wolfy, hairy legs.  After a few years on the road the gypsies left me with a Bohemian circus family in exchange for baked goods and a box of ducks.  At least that is how I remember the deal, it is equally possible that they forgot me and the circus family never noticed the new addition - it was quite a large clan.  Living with the Bohemians my days were spent with a pet alligator, an evil monkey and a slew of imaginary friends.  I credit the Bohemians for my ability to dart in and out of alternate universes at will and undetected.

Nowadays I live in Reykjavik, Iceland with an electric blanket named Russell.  I write, explore universes, invent philosophies and swim in volcanic ponds.  I enjoy jogging to angry screamo-music, yoga and mainlining dark chocolate.  I abhor paperwork and have devoted much of my life to ridding it from several string universes where I would be welcomed with parades and have statues erected in my honor, except no one will fill out the proper paperwork.  The Bohemian family never visits, flying makes them nervous, and in addition to their fear of air they are witchy and therefore adverse to water.  We exchange Christmas cards though.  I saw a few of my old gypsy friends in a club on Laugavegur once, but they didn't recognize me due to my extensive electrolysis.  I could almost do justice to those swishy skirts now, though the snow pants take away from the effect.  I did reunite briefly with my biological wolf pack and though they often invite me to come visit and take down a reindeer for old time's sake, my vegetarianism is a canyon forever between us.  They say they will never accept it.  It is good to know they are out there on cold winter nights, roaming the icy tundra...  Though according to Wikipedia there are no wolves in Iceland, so I strongly suspect they are really just arctic foxes.

Blissfully Unaware

Photo Credit: S. R. Karfelt
Looking back I'd say that the difference between freestyle writing and writing for publication is like the difference between writing in your diary and putting together a presentation for the board of directors - during cutbacks (and you just bought a new house - lost all your money in the stock market, your dog needs an operation and your husband was just laid off and started his own business).  A bit more pressure.  As I gave my story free reign I never paused to consider punctuation or grammar much - or worse still - my writing style (there is a reason I think of my brain as The Glitter Globe). I had my story firmly imprinted in my mind and ignorantly wrote away assuming it was magically taking form.  It is laughable as I look back, but I don't regret any of it; though I do hope that I can adopt a more readable first draft when my next project comes pouring out.  About two years in I did start rewrites, inspired by rereading a portion of the story and realizing it was border-line illegible.  One problem with my rewrites was that they simply ignited another tangent of freestyle writing, and another sequel to my original story-line.  Like the song that never ends (it just goes on and on my friends) I'm fairly certain I have enough raw material to fill about fifteen sequels.  It makes me ponder what happens to people who really, really enjoyed singing the song that never ends?  Some people started singing it not knowing what it was, and they'll continue singing it forever just because...

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Scared? So What.

My tandem skydive has absolutely nothing to do with writing other than I've decided to do things that scare me in order to expand The Glitter Globe.  Skydiving no longer frightens me, it was FUN.

Monday, July 4, 2011

Mine All Mine

Photo Credit: Pika Miklitsch
So yes, I did spend a few years unwilling to share, and very protective of what was coming out of The Glitter Globe.  As I wrote my story, it influenced me in about every way imaginable.  It affected what I ate and what I did and even the way I looked at the world.  In some ways I suppose I became part of that story I was writing.  Perhaps it is like getting in character for an actor, I wanted to feel what my characters were feeling, and when writing a story there is more than one character; so I tried on many differing characteristics, traveling far outside my comfort zone.  I also spent a lot of time doing research, I wanted this world I was creating to make sense.  One of my characters had a very limited diet which I adapted and it felt so good I have kept with it.  This story made me braver, I had to expand my horizons far beyond my comfort level to know what a person in my story would really feel in the circumstances I was creating.  I did not share, oh no I did not, not even with my husband or children.  I didn't want input that would affect what I was writing.  It was very fragile, this universe on paper, and I did my best to keep all outside influence away from it.
Photo Credit: B&A
The years spent working on this project were very busy ones for my entire family.  Maybe it sounds like I was sequestered, and focusing on only what was coming from The Glitter Globe - in some respects I was - but life went on around me, and it was crazy busy and full of change.  My husband has his own business and I work there (hah! lucky me, this is how I manage those flex hours) but only someone with first hand knowledge of running a business can begin to understand how many hours are required of small business owners.  Hubby was always swamped with work, and when I wasn't required to help I was happily typing away, and he was happy I was happy.  My children are old enough where less of Mom is definitely more.  It was a win-win situation for all!  The fact that I wouldn't share or discuss what I was working on did not bother my amazingly non-curious family whatsoever.