Day 144: May 23, 2017

Almost there! Funny how emotional it is to get to the end of the book. I’m picking up on themes that I didn’t quite know existed the firsts time through. Sione’s comments are reverberating in a major way as well. I’m working toward a slightly different ending that I was before. It’s a minor shift and something that I will address in subtle ways during the next revision.

Writing takes an emotional toll. It is difficult to describe in my case, because my bipolar is difficult to describe. I wrap so much into the stories I write, probably more than I should. Everything intertwines in my life, a mess of overgrown vines wrapped around a house that was once imposing. I try.

Daron and Aubrey are coming to the end of their journey. I am coming to the end of mine, at least for this cycle. I think a few more days, and it will be done.

Words written today: 312
Total for 2017: 52,487

KINGDOM
Revision today: 2 chapters
Revision total: 79 chapters
Total words for this manuscript: 123,719 (+14,867 since first draft)

Day 44: February 13, 2017

Progress!

I decided on my next project: THE LITTLE DRUMMER GIRL AND THE DOLLS. It’s a risk because it’s highly experimental. Oh well, it’s what I want to write.

It’s really two books intertwined together. The background is I’ve written about 10,000 words for each and have been pondering how, though they are so different, that they have the same crazy themes running throughout. So, I’m going to weave them together into a tapestry instead of do two separate books.

I am having a bout of bipolar issues right now too, so that is probably affecting my decision. And this project, like my life currently, will be some fucked up shit. In a nutshell, as a slug for the primary story, the book is about: a young, black, gay man named Lucky who goes back in time to make sure that Karen Carpenter becomes a world-changing jazz drummer. The other story, THE DOLLS, is about a guy who becomes a roadie for thirteen-year-old triplet girls who form a hardcore metal band called The Dolls. The intersection of those two stories gets a bit complicated.

Also, I did some revision on KINGDOM, about one and a half chapters. It was a productive day, though I stayed too late after work. I have to stop doing that and carve out other times to work on writing. My life is piling up with competing priorities.

Words written today: 900
Total for 2017: 32,140

KINGDOM
Revision today: 1 chapters
Revision total: 8 chapters
Total words for this manuscript: 108,163 (-103)

Day 42: February 11, 2017

I did a little revision today. Feeling down about the whole project. It’s the writer’s self-criticism thing. However, I did read through a passage that particularly struck me in its effectiveness. The scene is between two characters who later form a strong bond. The tentative nature of getting to know each other is, I think, touching.

The problem is the other scene in the chapter needs to be entirely rewritten. Maybe I’ll do some of that on my phone tomorrow in Google Keep.

Ugh. Maybe being a writer is a perfect match for being bipolar. The ups and downs of each go together like peas and carrots.

Words written today: 0
Total for 2017: 31,240

KINGDOM
Revision today: 1 chapters
Revision total: 7 chapters
Total words for this manuscript: 108,051 (-217)

Day 26: January 26, 2017

If you’ve ready any of my posts so far this year, you’ll likely notice frequent vacillation between despondency and bullheadedness. There’s a medical word for that kind of cycling of polar moods: bipolar. It is sometimes interesting, sometimes odd, and sometimes irritating to deal with on a day-to-day basis. There are days where the symptoms are as mild as feeling either a little down or strangely on top of the world; there are also days that grotesque exaggerations of those two things would be better descriptors.

With my writing, it is a constant battle. Like my more general mood, sometimes it is easy and sometimes hard. On “good” days, the words flow if not quite like water, something like honey from a very full jar. Other times that honey is caked and near solid in the bottom of a year-old, forgotten jar. This week I had a manic sort of writing session and posted about the near euphoric experience of it, how allowing the mind the freedom to take extreme tangents brought boundless opportunity. Mostly, I do believe that. In this case, when I read it the next day, I found truly awful expository writing and bizarre emotional leanings. My mood plummeted across the board, in both my life and in relation to this project.

But one thing you learn when you have a lifelong mental illness: if you grit your teeth and lower your head when you wake the next day, if not good, then at least productive things will happen. It did this week, specifically today. Though I am troubled over a couple of puzzling plot points/holes I will need to explain, my characters’ emotions are now front and center. My “through the looking glass” session did, in fact, develop some of that in a weird, tangential way, in my own head anyway. I discovered some underlying symbolism that I hadn’t realized before. I should have, those elements have been in the story the whole time. (It’s about time I learned what my own story was really about, right?)

So, including the slog yesterday plus today, I am getting very close. I got almost 1,500 words in a mostly exciting, fun session this afternoon. I finished chapter 43 and put the tiniest bit of work to chapter 44. My weekends are not the most productive, but I might get 1,000 words done by Monday. So very close. I can picture my final scene; can’t wait to actually write it.

Words written today: 1,436
Total for this manuscript: 100,483
Total for 2017: 20,304