It’s the biting comment you make after someone in a position of power over you says something mind-bendingly stupid, and yet those in the room fall for it.
When you roll your eyes and plaster a fake smile on your face, just so you can get through the conversation without screaming.
It’s the laugh you emit when people try to convince you they’re interested in what you have to say, even though you’ve been bought this way before, and it didn’t end well for you.
When you play nice and agree to work with something that clearly isn’t right, so you make every act elaborate and unnecessary to make sure everyone knows what position you’ve taken.
Forgot this part until about half an hour ago. 🙁
Handwriting the book 2 prequel short story. It’s either going to be longer than expected, or just the right length, with some changes I had no idea I’d have to make because what plays out in my head is different than how I planned it at the end of 2015. Go figure! Now, to choose which version to go with: the longer, or the more pre-planned…
It’s falling in line with the two of them, but in the “okay” sort of fashion: the one where you sit with popcorn in your lap, sneering at the lines of women who sign up for this show. But not just the fact that they signed up: the fact that they’re dressed in gaudy clothes, and three layers of makeup. The fact that they all look the same, sound the same, act the same, treat each other the same, but in different shades of cruelty.
It’s asking each other “but why would any self-respecting woman even begin to think she can actually find love on a TV show?”
It’s feeling like a bigger, better, smarter person for not falling for it, not signing up, not being one of those clone girls who says the same thing every other clone girl does when she gets interviewed in their one-on-one back rooms: I’m just so in love. I think I’m falling for him. He’s so hot. This is the most incredible experience.
It’s watching them get googly-eyed over a guy they’ve never met, and know nothing about, and rolling my own eyes. It’s listening to them get jealous and petty when other girls express the same interest, and scoffing at them for not remembering that all the girls who are on the show are on it for the same reason. It’s watching them cry and sob when they start interpreting the guy’s actions, or get booted off the show, and laughing to myself because “you didn’t really know him” and “you went on one date, how can you say you’re in love?”
It’s yelling, “This is what you signed up for!” at the screen when they all, inevitably, tear up about how they didn’t expect it to be like this, they didn’t expect it to be this hard, they didn’t expect to have to fight for someone’s attention.
What right do I have to judge? Hell, I thought of online dating as a last resort to finding anyone. Sure, the show is designed to be fake, with set-up drama, but the people involved, and their emotions, are very, very real.
I’m making progress! I think I’m almost at 30,000 typed words, but there’s a notebook on my desk with at least 5,000 in it. The notebook is probably the least rambling part of the whole story. On the computer, Swans 2 reads like my college diary: lots of speculative thoughts from a young woman who believes she’s in the throes of a real relationship, but has plenty of doubts and is still, at the core, dramatic.
Which is unlike the shero of Swans 2, who is still a teen, and is actually in a real relationship. Otherwise, the story and my diary are similar. I have a ton of revision to do, and a two tons of pacing to increase to actually, you know, get to the end by the end of this ROW80 session. We’ll see. The side plots are definitely pushed to the side in favor of the romance between the hero and shero, and I keep thinking “if you bring in those plots, you can both weave them into the story, and you can have them written up, all before you revise, so that you don’t have to go back and actually write the parts you’re avoiding.”
Except my brain is having too much fun throwing things at me when I’m not looking. It’s making this particular car very hard to steer in the direction I was aiming for. But all writing is rewriting, and just because this draft isn’t doing what I like, doesn’t mean I can’t rearrange it later.
It’s telling your best friend something private and secret about yourself, and then listening to her reprimand you for even having those thoughts at all.
It’s the hot-cold flush you feel afterwards, like the room is too big and too small all at once.
It’s the way you hold your hands in your lap, averting your eyes, trying to shrink until she forgets what you said, forgives what you said, so maybe you can, too.
It’s the gulf you feel growing in the space between you as you finish whatever it was you were doing — why are we even here? you ask yourself, watching the TV flicker and the evening light grow dim. oh yeah, you remember, shaking your head a little bit and not enough to attract her attention, thank god. we were hanging out. — and wondering how fast you can make the day end without seeming rude.
It’s the way the blood drains from your cheeks whenever she talks to you for the rest of the night. It’s the way your words stick to your throat as you try not to ask, are you still mad, any time she asks you a question and you have to find a way to come back to center, bring yourself back to the room, warm up to her again, act like nothing’s wrong.
It’s the way she won’t look at you for more than two seconds. It’s the wondering if she’s embarrassed, too, and then the voice in the back of your head hissing, of course she’s not, you idiot. what does she have to be embarrassed about?
It’s the wooden feeling you get when she hugs you goodbye at the end of the night. It’s the regret you feel watching her leave, the sadness you feel that there’s so much between you that’s now locked up and closed in and can never be let out again. It’s the gladness that she’s gone, and the fear, to:
Will she take what you said to the grave? Will she let it out? Is it really as bad as I think it is? How long do I have to lock it up for?
Right now, Swans is still going pretty strong, and I’m fairly confident that the real bones of the story are there. It’s going to need way more meat, though. Tons of reorganizing, too. But this is okay! Bare bones drafts are fine by me. I tend to need to add more later, anyway, because my ideas come too fast sometimes, so when characters start talking, all those surrounding nuances get lost.
I’m learning that I love first drafts for their sheer messiness. I love them for being the place where I can tell, not show, the story. And I love revision for being the slower, more methodical place where I can study what’s going on, make sense of it, and then recreate it so that you all can get the best of everything in the story.
Also, I’m working on a quick intro short story for my second book in the Almost Human series. Let me clarify: it’s a deleted scene that I deleted before I got to write it because it didn’t start close enough to book 2’s main story line to keep around. But now, I’m writing it up, and I’m not sure what exactly I’m going to do with it just yet, except that if you’re a news friend, you’ll be the first to read it when it’s done. <3
So I’m feeling particularly lazy this week and have decided to foray into Found Poetry. (This is a nod to both my writer friend JR Frontera, as well as my high school English teacher.) This was found using the titles of teen books.
the fifth wave,
is a legend novel of
a tragedy paper written
out of the easy
for just one day,
an unremembered paper valentine.
As of last Sunday, I’ve finished the rewrites of Dusk. I now have two books on my computer that are officially ready for editing and I’m quite excited about it! When I finally finished, I felt like I’d just said goodbye to a bunch of good friends and I spent the rest of the day wondering what to do with myself. It needs to sit, though. I can’t just rush into editing. I’m going to start up again in June and work on a short story for the rest of this month because being without a project is a strange feeling.
In addition to the poem story and book writing, I’ve also finished A Monster Calls by Patrick Ness and Siobhan Dowd. (Since it was inspired by her ideas, I feel it’s only fair to add her name to the mix.)
Once again, I am blown away by Ness’s work. He’s a master writer, storyteller, and purveyor of the written craft. He gets his point across with sparse details and actions that speak, as they say, louder than words. Ness also has a way of writing without making the reader feel like an idiot–even if you’re unsure of what he’s telling you that you understand where he’s going, Ness is aware of your understanding, and instead of making you feel dumb for second guessing yourself, he reassures you that yes, you’re right. You do know what he’s talking about. And you’ve known all along. You just needed proof.
He also likes to play with his readers’ heartstrings through brute honesty and situations that feel so real, they might as well be happening in your living room, as opposed to just the character’s.
A Monster Calls is a powerful book. I absolutely urge you to read it.