November 28th, 2009


Patrick Stewart: the legacy of domestic violence

As a child I witnessed his repeated violence against my mother, and the terror and misery he caused was such that, if I felt I could have succeeded, I would have killed him. If my mother had attempted it, I would have held him down. For those who struggle to comprehend these feelings in a child, imagine living in an environment of emotional unpredictability, danger and humiliation week after week, year after year, from the age of seven. My childish instinct was to protect my mother, but the man hurting her was my father, whom I respected, admired and feared.

Me too, Patrick. Me too.

Patrick Stewart: the legacy of domestic violence | Society | The Guardian

"My Dear John Letter to NaNoWriMo"

Maggie says what I have been thinking in some nebulous and not-able-to-be-worded-by-me fashion. I was getting around to trying to put these thoughts into words but she has done that for me!

Words on Words by Maggie Stiefvater - My Dear John Letter to NaNoWriMo

My comment/reply:

In writing this you have expressed how I have come to feel about NaNoWriMo and even IndyWriMo in the last week. Then again, at least Indy says you can write fiction, non-fiction, more than one story/book/project within your 30k per month. Maybe if I try Indy again and don't try to only stick to one project/story, I will be able to make it work. I am contemplating doing it as weblit or crowdfunded LiveJournalling/blogging.

I am hoping that I can build some kind of natnowrimos format/structure that will work for me. Something pretty vague to account for the vagaries of health and other real-world interferences. Maybe something like;

"Write 1-x000 words per day be they on your main novel project, short stories, poetry, drabbles, haikus, fiction, non-fiction, LiveJournal posts or long emails. Include anything that you write in Scrivener, GMail, LiveJournal, your Moleskine, on a napkin - anywhere, just write."

Maybe then I can get back to where I was at university and before when there was always a notebook and pen to hand and I wrote pages and pages per day. I know that these days I actually find writing on a keyboard easier and faster - but even then too slow to keep up with my mind1 - than writing with a pen on paper. Sadly I have to work with the available tools and, if no keyboard is available and a plot-kitten pounces (or memoir-kitten, of course), then I should stop what I am doing (if feasible) and write it down. I know that I will not remember the kitten's pounce-reason within a few minutes. Write it down. Now.

Edited to add: I have found doing NaNo/Indy WriNo useful, though, because it has taught me a lot about how I write, how I don't write, why I write, why I don't write and other writing process truths about myself. I have also started to read more, both online and, for the first time in a few years, dead-tree books. I am glad that I started NaNo/Indy this year. Given my newly emerging Writing Mission Statement, above, I may even pick up my memoir that has been languishing since NaNo 2005 (another no-win).

What do you think?

1 I *need* someone to invent a thought dictation and transcription device. NOW!

/ 30,000 words for IndyWriMo
Chart of my Nov '09 IndyWriMo Progress

crossposted to natf and natnowrimos
mole-think, writing, write, mole-write

Writing quote

Coleridge was a drug addict. Poe was an alcoholic. Marlowe was killed by a man whom he was treacherously trying to stab. Pope took money to keep a woman's name out of a satire then wrote a piece so that she could still be recognized anyhow. Chatterton killed himself. Byron was accused of incest. Do you still want to a writer - and if so, why?
- Bennett Cerf