Friday, January 1, 2016

An In-Betweener

Now Playing: How to Destroy Angels - Ice Age

I've been writing this post for a few days now and had it ready to publish a while ago. Then I remembered the upcoming holiday and realized, hey, this is thematically appropriate. Wooot! I shall time it perfectly and then ramble about resolutions.

It started with usual writing-related rambles: I know I've always been terrible at endings. They're always too swift, too illogical, too detached, and often too empty. On the off-chance that I plot and outline a book ahead of time I never let myself see far enough into its future to know how everything will be resolved. I may know the beginning, I will know the middle, but I never know the end. I never know what I'm working towards.

I hate beginnings too. I always waste too much time on the set-up. I don't know anyone yet so the voices and the actions are all over the place. I over-explain sometimes through the most clunky of expositions, just because I don't know what's happening so I need to talk myself into the world, the situation, the conflict, the people.

When I have to revise, that's what hurts the most. Changing the beginning. Altering the ending. I fly through the middle, even as things are shifting beneath me. But not those other two. It's not difficult because I don't want to change anything. I'm not the kind of writer who's against that. It's difficult because I'm suddenly so much more aware of all the flaws. I see my writing at its lowest.

All I have to encourage me--all I have to really push on--is that middle portion. The middle where I know everyone. I know where they stand, what they want, how they're failing, how they might or might not rise. 

It takes 10k words or so to know if I'm in love with a story. Some don't make it that far because I figure it out early. Others get close, and then I realize whatever infatuation I had with them or with their world is slowly fizzling out. I never forget them. I think about returning to them often enough. But it just doesn't happen. New stories come to light. New people come into my thoughts. And I start a first draft once more.

It's a common plight for new writers to start things but never finish them. We all have ideas. A new one blooms every day. Some of us start, very few finish, even less are willing to stick around with the half-built plots and copious buckets filled with word-vomit.

I don't know if the writing process is ever a clear reflection of a writer's life, but I'm such a massive cliche, it's a perfect parallel in my case.

When I went to university, I thought very little of what it would take to get me started--to get me used to the homesickness, to missing my friends, to living with roommates. To being alone and away for the first time. I thought even less of life after graduation.

Whenever I got a job, I thought very little about that learning period, about meeting co-workers and hoping and praying they'd like me, about what it would take to take on responsibilities and be good enough to earn a paycheck. I never once thought about how and when and why I'd be leaving them.

When I meet new people, those first few meetings are a painful hurdle. I'm shy and introverted--two deadly combinations, especially when I get drained after a few hang-outs and need time to unwind and then worry people think I'm brushing them off because I don't like them. (No, bro, it isn't you, it really, really is me.) And of course, no one thinks about friendships ending. Now I reflect on them because people's lives are slowly shifting. There's a chance they'll shift in opposite directions.

I think I'm most nervous of 2016 because it's a lot more unclear than any other year.

When I look at my resolutions for 2015, it was all pretty mapped out:
  • Read 50 books 
  • Make the President's List for spring semester 
  • Graduate with a GPA above 3.9 
  • Get a job 
    • (it counts!)
  • Start paying back student loans 
  • . . .and saving for an apartment of my own 
  • Finish Vanguard's Exodus 
  • Polish up both Millennium Girl and Vanguard's Exodus. 
  • Do rewrites and some beta reading for MG 
  • Query literary agents 
  • Start planning new novel 

Now, this is all I have:
  • Read 60 books
    • I barely managed 50, but I like to think that's because I was still in school for Spring. So, here's hoping?
    • Read The Encyclopedia of Serial Killers cover to cover.
  • Never miss a week with the Monday Excerpt posts.

Yeahhhhh, I don't want to risk it. I'm going to play it safe.

I figure, whatever happens, it'll probably happen in the scorching days of summer (and end of spring and beginning of autumn because global warming + Miami climate). If Millennium Girl is ready this year, then, it'll be ready. If it isn't, I'm not going to kick myself for it any longer. It seems I don't work all that well under pressure. (LOLDEADLINES will kill me one day. Baaaah).

So here's hoping for a good year D: I figured, you know, if 2015 ended with uncertainty and confusion, then probability dictates 2016 will be better.

But who the hell knows? >_>

Oh. Maybe I'll figure out make-up? Either way, thank you Ren for a very Halloween-y New Years.

 

Bonus kitten tights pic:

Now, to celebrate, I have a bag of gummy bears to get through and an inevitable stomachache to endure.

Happy New Year!!!
~Becky

P.S: The pictures were aided by clever close-ups to disguise the hello kitty band-aid on my face. . .but I might as well show it:

It just goes so well together, don't you think?

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"Science and science fiction have done a kind of dance over the last century... The scientists make a finding. It inspires science fiction writers to write about it, and a host of young people read the science fiction and are excited, and inspired to become scientists...which they do, which then feeds again into another generation of science fiction and science..."
- Carl Sagan, in his message to future explorers of Mars.