Where Ladybugs Roar

Confessions and Passions of a Compulsive Writer

Sunday, November 21, 2010

I am the gargoyle...

So, my friend who read the story "Secrets of Stone and Skin" told me something that stumped me. She said that what surprised her the most about the story is that the voice of one of the main characters sounded just like mine... and it wasn't the MC with OCD... it was the MC who is a gargoyle and male.

At first, it just baffled me. Then, I realized that it made sense. The gargoyle MC helps the chick with OCD cope. Looking back... I think that's what feels so psychologically intimate about the book is that it's how I feel as an adult when faced with my teenage psyche.

Weird, huh?

It turns out... I'm the gargoyle... and I'm not sure how I feel about that.

Friday, November 12, 2010

Naked and Bleeding

I ordered hardcopies for my beta friends around me that were curious how Mutants and Curse Me A Story had changed... at the same time, I ordered a copy of "Secrets of Stone and Skin" which is the gargoyle/OCD book. On Wednesday, all of the copies arrived and I left them with my friend Stephanie and, I suspect, she'll assume she can just pass them on to the other people that normally ask to beta for me. On the surface, it's a normal pattern and she probably assumes that I've got a thick skin for anything other than unfounded or harsh criticism. Actually, most non-writers probably assume something like that if they're asked to beta read.

I know that most writers compare their manuscripts to babies... and, in some ways, I can't disagree. On the other hand, I was reading "The Picture of Dorian Gray" a few months back and Oscar Wilde tackled the feeling I get when I'm passing on a manuscript to betas.

The artist that paints Dorian's picture says: "Every portrait that is painted with feeling is a portrait of the artist, not of the sitter. The sitter is merely the accident, the occasion. It is not he who is revealed by the painter; it is rather the painter who, on the coloured canvas, reveals himself. The reason I will not exhibit this picture is that I am afraid that I have shown in it the secret of my own soul."

Later, Basil recants this and says, "I cannot help feeling that it is a mistake to think that the passion one feels in creation is ever really shown in the work one creates. Art is always more abstract than we fancy. Form and colour tell us of form and colour--that is all. It often seems to me that art conceals the artist far more completely than it ever reveals him."

In both instances, it describes exactly how I feel about this particular manuscript. On the one hand, I feel naked just that it exists... that I wrote it. On the other, it involves gargoyles, among other things, so I should be able to distance myself from it and say, "It's a story not an autobiography." Even if it didn't involve either gargoyles or OCD, though, the reality is that I'd feel obvious and naked. It's a weird paradox involved in being a writer. You pour your soul into things and want to share them, but it makes you feel so completely vulnerable.

On a less awkward vein, my Nano novel is coming along well. I've reached nearly 16K despite yesterday being rather a wash due to it being a school holiday and T being so completely manic and out of control.

I'm about one month off my OCD meds now, I think. Getting off the meds involves nearly as many side effects as being on them. One particularly nasty side effects is a pins and needles sensation in my limbs and them constantly "falling asleep" if I'm not moving every minute or so. Several dozen times a day I have to deal with that painful paralysis that comes with that. This side effect can last up to a year, but I don't expect to be off my meds that long. My memory has drastically improved and I feel more like "me" now that I've been writing again. I was worried that I wouldn't be able to write without being on meds.

Speaking of which... I should really get to that or cleaning.

Le sigh.

I hate cleaning.

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

NanoWrimo is Upon US! Run for it!

So, November is national novel writing month and loads of crazy writers attempt to slap 50K down on the screens by the end of it. I've gotten a slow start as I have some majorly sick kids home with me... and I'm just now getting over the cold that never ends. (5 weeks... 5 weeks of hell) Anyway... I've got a nasty headache today which could be from lack of sleep because B had a bad bout of hurling from 2 a.m. to 5 a.m. or it might be this stomach flu which started out with a headache. Either way, my nano showing this year is pathetic. I'm at 700 words thus far. Yesterday, I did a heavy amount of revising on "Secrets of Skin and Stone" in order to fix my six day school week issue... so I did add 5K onto that ms, but that doesn't count. Le sigh.

Here is what I'm doing this year. I think it started out as a joke... or a dare between Di and me. We'll see if I can pull it off. I'm glad I have the study guide for the Odyssey so I can go back and forth between my Kindle and laptop while writing this. It's a YA paranormal:

Synopsis: The Unseen Kingdom

A modern day retelling of the Odyssey with a paranormal slant.

Ten years previous, Marcus's father was lost through a doorway into the unseen kingdom, the Spirit World, and his mother, a high level medium, is plagued day and night by the spirits of the dead. Marcus can't take his father's place to protect his mother as there are few unseen stalkers as highly advanced as Rex Odysseus. Marcus sets out to find out what happened to his father. He's aided by Thena, a fellow high school student and the Principal's daughter. His father's rival, Anthony, is plotting his failure so that he can marry Marcus's mother, the fair Penelope.