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text 2018-11-14 11:30
Facts About Me: Pacing Myself

Before 2018, my quickest time for writing a full novel was one month. Then, this year, I managed a whopping 8 days! That was a full novel, of 100k word count, that needed very little editing, all in 8 days.

And I would never do it again.

As great as it was to get the words out of my head, because it was haunting every moment of my waking/sleeping life until I got it out my system, it also killed me. I was utterly exhausted by the time I finished. All creativity was gone. I was over-tired from very little sleep, and I felt as though I may never write again, I was so completely disinterested in writing another book.

I tried to make myself write the sequel after a week's break, but it was a no go. Then I gave myself a month off and tried again. I got a dozen chapters written, but even now – a few months later – I don't feel like they do the story justice.

It was only this month, October, that inspiration once again hit me like a lightning bolt. The story had already existed in 1-2 pages of notes, but the story was by far set or secure. In fact, it had a beginning concept, but no middle or end, and I had only the barest information about the characters or the general plot.

Within the first 3 days, I'd written about 10 pages of notes, including detailed character references, chapter headings, made a mock cover, designed a logo, and created promotional banners. In between all of that, I did a little writing. About a chapter, all in all.

Once all the design concepts were finished, that was when I really got a good crack at writing. Only, this time around, I knew that I needed to take a break, to procrastinate a little throughout the day, to make sure I didn't end up back where I started.

I still managed to write nearly 150k of "The Boys Who Didn't Love Me" in just 17 days.

Writing a complete novel in so short a time is great, especially when the story needs little editing afterwards, but when it interferes with your physical and mental health, then even as an author you have to take a step back and reevaluate what a completed story is really worth.


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text 2018-11-13 11:00
Teaser Tuesday: The Short Story Special


Source: smarturl.it/Decadent6.Special
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text 2018-11-12 04:32
I'm still entering gothics. . . . .

Dozens of them weren't in the BookLikes database, and I was too busy the past few weeks to enter them.  I'm making a concerted effort this week-end to finish them.


There's a reason for this: they're scattered all over in the workshop and I need to get some of these messes cleaned up!


This has been a week-end dedicated to the cleaning up of messes.  I'm not sure how much I've accomplished, but I've been busy.


The big major cleaning/organizing task I thought was finished in the studio last week turned out to be not quite finished.  I can put off the last of it for a while, however; none of it is urgent.  I did manage to clean enough out there that I actually have counter space in the studio kitchen cleared off so I have room to work.  This coming week I intend to expand on that.  This is the first time in over a year I've had functional space.


A smaller cleaning/organizing task in the studio has also been crossed off The Eternal To-Do List.  I had a substantial quantity of paper that needed to be cut to size for making my origami boxes, but it was scattered in a dozen different places.  I gathered it all into one spot Saturday, then sat down with the paper cutter this morning and chopped it all up.  Unfortunately, in the process I discovered that I have lots and lots and lots of the paper that's used for lids, and a lot less of the paper to make the bottoms.  I do NOT want to have to buy more paper, but it looks as though that is going to be a necessity before long.


Slowly, the chaos is being reduced. 


As each chore is crossed off the list, I have more time for the others.  Very few of the organizing projects are such that I can just start and work on them until they're finished.  Most require some prep, such as locating and gathering all the origami papers in one place.  It can be very discouraging to work all day on a project and not be able to mark it off the list! but that's the way it works.


With the gothics, it's a matter of looking them up to see which ones are already in the database, then scanning the covers and editing them to size, then actually entering the information.  I'm down to less than 20 of them -- I think -- so maybe that task will be completed tomorrow.  Right now it's too dark to make another trip to the workshop. 


In fact, it's late enough that I can call it a day and crawl into bed with The Tulip Tree.  Although that one little detail was enough to confirm that I had indeed read it before, I remember nothing else about it, so this will be almost like a first read.


G'night, all!

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text 2018-11-11 19:15
Not a formal status report, but . . . . .
The Tulip Tree - Howard Rigsby

I knew I wouldn't be able to stay up and read very long because I was really, really tired when I went to bed.  I did, however, want to start this book.


There's no question that this is a gothic romance.  The publisher put it right on the cover!  It's compared to Du Maurier's classic Rebecca. The artwork is almost typical gothic, with the spooky house and single lighted window.  The young woman, however, is in close-up portrait rather than full-length with windblown hair and gown.


And the author is male.


There are also quotes from a number of reviews published in real newspapers.  Hmmmmmm.  Gothic romances did not get reviewed in the Los Angeles Herald-Examiner in the 1960s.


I only read 12 pages, not quite the first whole chapter, before I just couldn't keep my eyes open any longer, but that was enough to confirm my suspicions that I had read this book before, decades ago.  One small incident ticked my memory, something I would not have consciously remembered but that came back to me the instant I read it. 


There were only two ways I could have read this book in the 1960s.  It was either condensed by Reader's Digest, or it was a Doubleday Book Club selection.  My parents subscribed to both for a number of years at that time.  I read the condensed version of The Year the Yankees Lost the Pennant by Douglas Wallop as well as his later novel, Ocean Front, though I don't know if that was book club or condensed.  I do remember the cover, however, so maybe it was a book club edition.  I also read two other book club offerings, The Daughter of the Pangaran and Summer Doctor.  I remember details of both those books, and they were published about the same time as The Tulip Tree, so I'm more comfortable guessing I read a book club edition.


So in 1963, a gothic romance written by a man would be published in hardcover by Doubleday and be reviewed numerous newspapers, be selected for their subscription book club, and later be republished in paperback.  No doubt Howard Rigsby earned a great deal more for his gothic romance novel than most of the women writing paperback gothics.

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review 2018-11-09 18:11
All the Happy Endings - and the power of popular culture
All the Happy Endings - Helen Papashvily All the Happy Endings - Helen Papashvily

If popular culture weren't so politically powerful, we wouldn't have so much of it.


I read All the Happy Endings as part of the research for my master's thesis, and it was one of those old books that I could never find a copy of for myself.  So I brazenly photocopied it.  Now that I'm scanning these photocopies into PDF format, I'm taking another look at some of my notes, too.


Papashvily focuses on the "domestic novels" of the 19th century, but also on the writers and the readers.  She sees enormous social and -- more important -- political impact from these seemingly harmless tales.  She claims they were in essence guidelines for domestic revolution.


If indeed they were, but if their influence only went as far as a revolution confined to the private space of hearth and home, did they encourage women to become independent, or did they instead reinforce the patriarchal status quo by making women believe in an illusion of domestic - and therefore matrimonial -- power?


There has been so much talk lately about why women -- and yes specifically white women -- so often vote against their own best interests.  It may in fact be that they aren't, because those women have a very different definition of their own best interests.  And that definition may lie in some -- but not necessarily all -- of those happy endings.


Shelved for a re-read.








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