Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Stalled Writing

I'm about 80% done with The Moonlight Cafe. There's one character that I'm trying to develop more, add more to his story. He's just not coming alive for me, though. I had an idea that I thought would help, but so far it's not panning out for me. I don't know what to do to make him real to me, to make me care about him. I'm stuck to the point where I'm contemplating cutting out the entire part of the book with him in it, and replacing it with something completely different. I'm not sure what to replace it with though. I'm going to do some freewriting on it to see if I can figure something out. If it weren't for this character's part of the book, I'd be done. I'd have to cut out 10 chapters or 43, and rewrite some others. A quarter of the book, gone, if I take him out. But maybe it would be for the best.

We had our monthly Saturday writing day a week and a half ago. I edited the chapters that are done, and tried to think of a way to make this character come alive. After that day, I decided to step away and let my subconscious work on it for a while. Still nothing, so I'm going to have to go back to my conscious mind to work this one out. It would help so much if I didn't have a day job. But that's not going anywhere anytime soon, so I've just got to work around it. Wish me luck.

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Comfort Books

I don't mean any in particular (though there are definitely books I have read countless times that bring me comfort.  A Wrinkle in Time comes to mind first and foremost.)  Right now I just mean that books are a comfort to me.  I've been feeling a bit vulnerable lately.  It's nothing bad, just changes in life setting me a bit off-kilter.  It hit me full force at work today, so I decided to get up from my desk and take a walk.  Border's is conveniently close to my office building, so I walked there to get a vanilla latte, one of my addictions.  While waiting in line I noticed that the 4th book in the Sisterhood of the Travelling Pants series was finally in paperback, so on a whim I purchased it.  I've been waiting for it a long time, but I've been trying to cut out unnecessary purchases, and books have found their way into that category.  There's always the library, right?  Not to mention the stack of books I already own yet haven't read, and the other stack my parents have lent me.  But that book called out to me, and I listened.  So now I will have some comfort reading.  Apparantly that book being right there by the cafe was the universe's way of telling me to sit back and relax for a while.  Will I be smart enough to listen?  Knowing me, probably not, but I'll try to go easy on myself.

Thursday, April 10, 2008

Mac Problems

After a rough couple of weeks, I finally felt light enough to get back to working on my novel. I worked on some editing on Saturday, then let my laptop go to sleep, as I always do. When I came back to it Sunday evening - nothing. I forced a shut down, restarted, nothing. So I packed it up, trekked to the Apple store, where they told me my hard drive was bad. They took it in, backed up as much of my data as they could (everything except my bookmarks - darn!), and replaced the hard drive. When I booted it up Tuesday night, I discovered that my network card was apparently missing, which meant I couldn't connect to the Internet to download any of the programs I use, including Scrivener, my writing program. Still no writing for me.

Let me pause to say I have my novel backed up, but because Scrivener is a Mac only program, I can't work on it on a Windows-based PC. Lesson learned - once a week I will not only back up the Scrivener files, but will also export the manuscript to a Word document.

On Wednesday, I took the Mac back to the Apple store. They had neglected to install the drivers for my network card. Fixed that, and everything appears to be working now. I decided to take this opportunity to upgrade to Leopard, finally, which took a couple of hours. So last night, still no writing. Hopefully tonight I will finally get everything back to the way it needs to be so I can get back to work.

In the meantime, I worked on an essay about my Grandma in my writing notebook. The first draft is done, and once I edit it and am happy with it I will put it up on my website (it's too long for a blog post.) So the past five days haven't been all wasted, writing-wise, just haven't made any headway on Moonlight Cafe.

And since my Mac is in upgrade limbo at the moment, I'm posting this from work on my lunch break. I've never felt so lost without technology as I have these past few days without my Mac. I have come to depend on that thing all too much all too quickly. It's wonderful when everything works, but when it doesn't, it's very frustrating.