Error: Out of headspace (or creative memory?)

October 27, 2014

We’ll return to your regularly unscheduled Nanowrimo spotlight tomorrow, but today I wanted to share a small epiphany about my writing process. As many of my friends and followers may know, I set myself creative goals for each month, and I often like to switch between different books, stories, or other projects I’m working on at the same time. My October Goals list was pretty ambitious, and I’ve been scrambling a little to get ready for Nanowrimo (both in the personal writing sense and as a Hamilton ML,) and also cross as many things off that list as I can.

But Saturday evening, as I was going over the list, and sitting in a Codex chat room, something odd happened. I picked one thing on the list which was a leftover from my September list, finishing the revision outline for “Won’t somebody Think of the Children”, decided that darnit I was going to make some progress on that before I went to bed. So I started to look for the folder where I’d put the outline in progress…

And something inside my brain complained! It wasn’t anything that I could put into words right away, but as I sat there at the laptop, trying to figure out what was wrong, I got a good guess of what the problem was. Over the past few weeks, I’ve been working on developing plot bunnies for two different novel ideas I’m going to be tackling in November, as well as revising some of my short stories and going through a course on learning how to write good flash fiction. I think that at this point, trying to juggle three different novels, the two I’m going to be writing in about a week and the one that I was planning revisions for in September, is just too much for my brain to be holding and working with in the same timeframe.

I don’t want to force either “Never Found” or “Hypermappers” out of the creative side of my brain and then try to get back up to speed with them in a hurry, so the revision outline for “Children” is officially on hold until December at least. 😉

I’ve never really thought that much about how much story I can work with at a time, or run into the limit in quite this way before, but it makes some sense. In the Iron Druid books, the main character, Atticus, talks about building ‘headspaces’ that he can then use to perform Druidic bindings like taking many people across to another plane of existence at the same time. He builds up the headspaces by learning languages or memorizing great swathes of literature by productive people. His apprentice still has only one or two headspaces at this point in the series, so she’s more limited in what she can do.

So that’s about it. For now, I’m respecting my headspace limit and trying to minimize the creative stuff that I’m doing this week beyond prepping for Nano. Four days, four hours and counting!

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What’s Up Wednesday? Back from TNEO!

August 6, 2014

What’s Up Wednesday is a weekly blogfest to share the answers to a few simple questions… Join us!

TreeWhat I’m reading:

Well, more ‘Season 9’ Buffyverse graphic novels, Iron Druid ‘Shattered’, and Elizabeth Moon’s Command Decision.

I enjoyed a lot of Escape Artist stories on my way to Odyssey and back for the TNEO workshop, mostly PodCastle just because their episode numbers were lower, but some Escape Pod as well. It was really cool visiting all those fantastic worlds as I drove down the Mass turnpike and across New York State, with my little palm TX plugged into the AC outlet on my dash so that it didn’t run out of battery power. Once I was home, and recovering from the workshop and the driving, I devoured Bryan Lee O’Malley’s new graphic novel “Seconds” in one afternoon.

What I’m writing:

Finished my  Brain transplant story with the help of some workshop brainstorming. Haven’t really written or revised anything since I got home, because my brain’s still spinning with all the new stuff I learned and the revision possibilities for “Think of the Children.” Hopefully I’ll get back to the grind soon.

What inspires me right now:

All the character and plot stuff I learned in New Hampshire, and the fabulous writers I met! Also, once again, Bryan Lee O’Malley!

What else I’ve been up to:

Umm, let’s see. The workshop was amazing, really busy, full of critique circles and other small group activities and writers reading their stuff aloud and gathering over snacks to chat about internal editors, adversaries and allies, driving off in all directions to wander through bookstores (of the both dusty and clean variety.) Oh, and my lecture really went well, several people told me that they really enjoyed it and/or learned cool new stuff.

Since I got home, I’ve mostly been crashing and relaxing, getting back into the office routine, grocery shopping and that kinda stuff.

What about you? Click here to join the hop or check in with some other great writers.


What’s Up Wednesday? Odysseys on my mind…

July 16, 2014

What’s Up Wednesday is a weekly blogfest to share the answers to a few simple questions… Join us!

TreeWhat I’m reading:

Let’s see. I already finished the latest Iron Druid book I borrowed from the library, “Hunted”, and I’m on hold for the most recent one as soon as the library ebook is available. Loving those stories! I’m still reading stories off my Zinio copies of Analog, and I got back to the Elizabeth Moon Vatta’s war series recently.

And I’m still listening to podcasts a lot, but I did get to a nice PodCastle story in my playlist the other day: “Gazing into the Carnauba Wax Eyes of the Future”, by fellow Codexian Keffy R.M. Kehrli.

What I’m writing:

Finished the Neural Rewiring story, and started another idea from my April A-Z challenge: Brain transplants!

What inspires me right now:

Well, it just occurred to me today that this is the last week of Odyssey 2014, and I wonder how the new class of Odfellows are feeling at this point and what I’d say to them if I had the chance. I’m going to be leaving for “The Never-Ending Odyssey” workshop in a little over a week, and I’m really excited about that. Also, Storywonk podcasts, Star Trek Into Darkness, and the Vampire Diaries.

What else I’ve been up to:

Dealing with a scam on my credit card, (I’m on hold with the bank disputed charge hotline as I type this,) and hanging out with my family over the weekend. Also, exchanging critiques with my Team Ambitious buddies for the first time since April or so, whoo-hoo!

What about you? Click here to join the hop or check in with some other great writers.


What’s Up Wednesday? Convenient Subspace Highways…

July 9, 2014

What’s Up Wednesday is a weekly blogfest to share the answers to a few simple questions… Join us!

TreeWhat I’m reading:

Well, I finished “Skin Game” and “Trapped”, and today I started the next Iron Druid book in e-book format from the library, “Hunted.” Also reading a bunch of graphic novels; Buffy season 9 “Guarded”, and the entire run of “Scott Pilgrim!”

Haven’t been listening to any audiobooks since finishing Skin Game, as I’ve been catching up on podcasts like Storywonk, Quirks & Quarks, and Laugh Out Loud.

What I’m writing:

Still working on the Neural Rewiring story, that’s about it. Hopefully I’ll finish the draft around the weekend, if not sooner.

What inspires me right now:

Scott Pilgrim! I finally watched the movie a few weeks ago, really enjoyed it, but I think I like the graphic novels even more. As surreal and hilarious as either version of the franchise is, they share this kind of emotional honesty about finding yourself, learning how to be responsible, how to look for love and treat somebody in a relationship, that really spoke to me. And a really cool, self-deprecating Canadian sensibility, of course. It’s gotten me thinking about what I would want to say if I wrote something that gutsy and true to myself, and who the characters in that story would be.

Also Missy Higgins, “Where I stood”, and “The Nine Lives of Chloe King”, which I’ve just started watching the pilot for.

What else I’ve been up to:

I made it to the Toronto Browncoats screening this weekend, met some new really cool people, and made it to one of my Nanowrimo friends’ place for a potluck the other night. Still trying to prepare for my TNEO lecture, in fact I need to get a handout emailed off tonight, yikes!

What about you? Click here to join the hop or check in with some other great writers.


What’s Up Wednesday? Canada Day!

July 2, 2014

What’s Up Wednesday is a weekly blogfest to share the answers to a few simple questions… Join us!

TreeWhat I’m reading:

Still enjoying “Iron Druid: Trapped”, finished “I’ve got your number” and got it back to the library, and getting close to the end of “Skin Game.” Also read another Angel/Faith Season 9 Graphic Novel, “Daddy Issues”, and read another few stories from Analog on my tablet Zinio. Which is frustrating because the Zinio format of these magazines doesn’t seem to reflow as it resizes, you’ve just got a picture of the magazine page that you can zoom in or out on. But hey, it’s free from the library!

What I’m writing:

Finished the first draft of “Magic Milkshake”, and started the Neural Rewiring story for Camp Nanowrimo’s July session!

What inspires me right now:

Well, I’m going to be coy about the spoiler, but there’s a moment in ‘Skin Game’ where a secret code is revealed that bears on a bunch of conversations from earlier in the story, giving them a second meaning. I’m really looking forward to reviewing all those moments and seeing what was really being said in the second layer.

What else I’ve been up to:

Hanging out with the family for Canada Day, trying to keep cool even though my kitchen air conditioner (the big one in the window) has been acting up a bit, and… I guess that’s it. For now. Oh, and more ‘Angry Birds Epic’, including my own systematic attempt to map out the island and figure out where I can earn coins the fastest!

What about you? Click here to join the hop or check in with some other great writers.


What’s Up Wednesday? Summer Solstice edition

June 25, 2014

What’s Up Wednesday is a weekly blogfest to share the answers to a few simple questions… Join us! I’m glad to be back after spending a few weeks away at the Young Gunns workshop in Kansas.

TreeWhat I’m reading:

Well, I finished “Dark Lord of Derkholm”, loved the ending, and I’ve been reading some Iron Druid, starting on “Trapped” and then going back to find “Two Ravens One Crow” because the author was referring to it and I wanted to follow what was going on. I’ve also read a cool story from a January 2013 edition of Analog, courtesy of my local library’s Zinio program, and finished off another Buffy season 9 graphic novel.

For audio books, I think I’m getting close to the end of “I’ve got your number,” and I’ve been able to listen to some more of “Skin Game.”

What I’m writing:

Still making some progress with the new draft for “Magic Milkshake”, and I finished a partial revision of “TimeBubble Blues:” it should be on its way out to the critters.org critiquers any minute now! I’ve also been working on giving critiques; I sent one in to critters.org yesterday because my ratio was slipping dangerously low, and I’ve got a lot of novel excerpts yet to critique for “The Never-Ending Odyssey” workshop.

What inspires me right now:

Stories with strong romantic and adventure plots, especially where the couple are able to work together to beat the bad guy or reach the prize, instead of getting bogged down in angst.

What else I’ve been up to:

Gearing up for Camp Nanowrimo in July! Looks like my local writers will be able to get together for some write-ins in July, and I’ve also got a pretty cool cabin on the Camp Nano website.

What about you? Click here to join the hop or check in with some other great writers.


What’s up Wednesday, mid-October version

October 16, 2013

Hey, everybody, I’m not sure how often I’m going to be participating in What’s Up Wednesday over the next month and a half; probably depends on how many more Nano spotlights I get. But I’m here this time.

ROCKETBORDERWhat I’m reading:

Finished “Tricked” from the library, loved the ending. Sometime soon I’m going to have to start Iron Druid #5; there was a teaser for “Trapped” at the end of “Tricked” and Granuale is finally finishing her druid studies!

Trying to catch up on Asimov’s magazine stories now, and listening to “Heechee Rendezvous” on my iPhone. Love me some Robinette Broadhead and Heechee alien adventure.

Still rereading one of the incomplete drafts that I’m going to be finishing in November: “A Witch of Arion” has been read, and I’m nearly at the awkward cliffhanger in “The Aurigae Express”

What I’m writing:

Steampunk Roswell 51 has been drafted and it’s out to the Team Ambitious critique group. I haven’t started writing anything else; it was a little draining, so I’m concentrating on reading the stories that I have to critique, tackling a few other items from my October to-do list, and getting ready for Nano.

What inspires me right now:

It’s less than half a month until November! I can feel the creative energy rising already.

What else I’ve been up to:

Still learning what I can do with the Nexus tablet. Spent a lot of time with family over the Thanksgiving long weekend. Organizing all my various book collections, including contacting Brilliance Audio to re-download “The Skies of Pern”, which I’d managed to lose my DRM-authorized copies of along the way. They were very helpful about that.

What about you? Click here to join the hop or check in with some other great writers.


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