Thursday, November 17, 2005

Writing Progress and Quirks

I haven't posted here in a while, but that's actually because I've been writing lately, rather than complaining about not being able to write. Last week was wildly productive -- I managed somewhere in the neighborhood of 3,000 words last week (this is only an estimate, since I didn't count exactly) and I started to wonder if I should've signed up for NaNoWriMo. But then, I'm writing a lot, and it's possible that imposing a deadline on myself might've sucked up any and all creative energy from me, so maybe it's better that I didn't.

Mostly I work on the incentive plan -- if I manage at least 500 words a day, I treat myself with something. Usually it's something mindless -- like watching a favorite DVD or relaxing with a favorite book. Of course, the inspiration's been flowing, and while I'm way over my "treat myself" quota, I haven't been treating myself, because I've been writing. Too busy to treat myself, I guess?

Either way, I'm up to chapter 9, and the scenes I've been looking forward to writing are finally coming up, and I'm finding out that I've been looking forward to writing these certain scenes for so long that I've managed to psych myself out. I fretted for most of the day yesterday, because I couldn't make the dialogue come on one of these scenes. Then I decided that I would just write, and even if what I wrote was blindingly craptacular, I'd still write, because then I'd have something to revise. As it turned out, I think the scene's dialogue was not "blindingly craptacular," and was marginally better than what I expected to produce, so it's all good (until I take my "every three chapters" break and do heavy editing/revising).

I've also been thinking about the "quirks" meme that Jason did over at Clarity of Night. He invited me to give it a whirl (without the pressure of "tagging" me to do it, thank goodness), and I've been trying to think of what things I do that may be considered "quirky." So here goes:

1. I must match. Must. Shoes, purse, and belt should all either be black leather or brown leather, or something that matches black or brown leather. I avoid buying "novelty" accessories for this very reason. I always, always, always match. Even when no one's looking, or when it's something no one will see -- like pajamas.

2. I hate confrontation, and as a means of gearing myself up for an unpleasant task, I have been known to "practice" (out loud) what I'm going to say. I try not to do this with anyone listening.

3. When presented with a plate of food, I work on one section at a time (ie, veggies first, then starch, then meat). This is seen mostly around the holidays -- Thanksgiving in particular. I tend to work around the plate in a clockwise direction, but I notice myself doing that less and less as I get older.

4. I'm a freak for personal hygiene. For instance, in the morning I'm nauseous until I've brushed my teeth, and the idea of not showering for a day makes my skin crawl. It's not that I feel dirty, or freak out over germs -- it's more that I just really enjoy being clean.

5. As an addendum to #4, I'm also a slave to... hmm, what would it be called? "Cosmetic maintenance," maybe? Come hell or high-water, I will see my hairdresser for a trim every 6 weeks, I keep my nails trimmed (meticulously), and I'm hyperaware of the general state of my hands, feet, eyebrows, etc. Basically I like for things to be smooth -- I hate the feel of split ends, dry hands, or uneven nails, and it drives me to distraction.

6. I bake to conquer writer's block.

7. I can NOT listen to two people at once, no matter how hard I try. If I'm on the phone with someone and my fiance starts talking to me, it's like the other voice turns into Charlie Brown's Teacher, and I can't concentrate. This drives him crazy, because he can listen to two people at once.

8. When I'm a passenger, long car rides put me to sleep inordinately fast. It's a struggle to stay awake during one, and usually I have to consume more caffeine than the driver to do so.

9. I can keep other people's secrets better than I can keep my own.

10. I have what has grown to be an irrational fear of fire. Not so much candles or fires in fireplaces, but the idea of fire, if that makes any sense -- like the idea of electric fires. I blame this on one particularly vivid nightmare I had as a child. We live in a fairly old house at the moment (about 30 yrs old), and I fret what feels like constantly about the wiring.

I'm not sure if some of these count as quirks, but it's all I could come up with. :)


Blogger jason evans said...

Then I decided that I would just write, and even if what I wrote was blindingly craptacular, I'd still write, because then I'd have something to revise.

That is so, so true. Revision is 1000% easier than the first draft.

Thanks for the quirks post! I had fun doing mine. I hear you on #2 (Weird for a lawyer, right? Probably why I'm a "deal maker not deal breaker" type attorney). #9 is intriguing. That may apply to me too.

November 17, 2005 11:20 AM  
Blogger Bunneh said...

Yes, revising is scads easier than producing. And even if something infinitely better hits me over the next few days, I can cut and paste it in rather than having to start from scratch. (However, I'm kind of a perfectionist with my writing, so getting into the mindset of "write anything" is sometimes difficult to manage!)

I thought of another quirk after I posted that little meme -- I have a hair-trigger temper when it comes to bad manners. If someone interrupts me when I'm talking, or talks with their mouth full, or bumps into me without saying "excuse me," I have to grit my teeth (hard) to keep myself from saying anything.

It IS a fun meme to do, though. It makes you take a long look at yourself and examine all those things you do that don't seem all that weird until you think about them.

November 17, 2005 12:08 PM  
Blogger Bernita said...

I can't listen to two people at once either.Both voices go into a dark brown fuzzz.
Thank you for backing me up on Miss Snark's blog about the poems.

November 28, 2005 1:00 PM  
Blogger Bunneh said...

Bernita -- hey, no problem backing you up! I guess it has to do with having been an English major, but when I look at poetry, I tend to read it with a very cynical eye. I learned that one can't automatically assume that the poet experienced everything he/she wrote about -- think about how many poems are about dying, or written from someone else's point of view, or about an event the poet was never AT.

I'm also a big one for questioning a narrator's reliability. ;)

*sits with Bernita in the Snarkling Cynics' Corner*

November 28, 2005 2:55 PM  

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