The best sorts of creative outbursts

Or “How doing the dishes triggers the best kind of daydreaming, unless you daydream about doing the dishes.”

Tonight has turned out to be a fairly average Wednesday night, and I found myself washing the dishes I’ve ignored for far too long.  This is, of course, not my favorite activity, but there are only eight bowls in the house, four of which are only large enough for a small serving of cereal, and I can only justify pretending Tupperware is a solid alternative for so long.  I’m completely unashamed of the fact that I heated up soup in, and ate the aforementioned soup from, a microwave-safe container, by the way.

Veering back toward my point: I found myself listening to music on my trusty iPod, going through the robotic motions of washing the dishes, when a hint of an idea for something later in “Joshua’s Nightmares” popped up in the forefront of my thoughts.  I considered the revisions, then stored them away in their usual spot in my memory (which, by the way, probably looks something like the top of my dresser: riddled with notebooks, writing utensils, and a good deal of unused origami paper).

That’s when the idea exploded, becoming so much more (at least, as of now, to me) than it had been in its initial drafting.  It’s probably one of  my favorite parts of the writing process, because it’s something I have no control over.  The thrill of having an idea go from being a spark to an inferno is one I have yet to fully recreate elsewhere (except maybe on rollercoasters, and I think I’m mistaking the rush of creativity for the rush of blood to my brain).

The siren call of sleep

Or “I know I said I’m going to bed, and I totally am right after I write this entry.”

About now, I should be getting ready for bed.  Writing tonight’s journal entry, brushing my teeth, and so on and so on.  The cursor in Microsoft Word is blinking at me in a way that says “Why are you leaving me?  I have so many words you’ve not added to your story yet.”  That’s true, by the way.  I’ve reached that creative stride where I find myself writing almost effortlessly.  I’m sure the editing phases of this novel-to-be will be less smooth, but let’s not think about that now.

My bed, of course, is calling to me.  It’s saying how comfortable the comforter is (with emphasis on how those are practically the same word, obviously), how fluffy my pillow is, and how I will hate myself if I don’t get to sleep soon because I have a solid eight hours ahead of me at work tomorrow, and that’s a thought that makes my blood run cold these days.  And, really, any day because work is indeed work.  I’m not overly fond of work.  Mind you, I still can’t complain because it’s a great job that’s been a tremendous help.  It still isn’t writing for a living, but it helps enable the act of writing in my spare time and so I’ll take what I can get.

Now if I were to go back in time and tell myself I would have written over seven thousand new words worth of “Joshua’s Nightmares” over the course of a couple days, I would ask myself why I’m not putting time travel abilities to better use.  My moral compass points to get-rich quick schemes involving time travel.  That’s not actually the point, though.

I have made tremendous progress in terms of drafting “Joshua’s Nightmares”, which has in turn made me even more enthusiastic about working on it.  Being tired from my day-job becomes a non-issue when I get home and open Microsoft Word.  This is what I went to college for, and why I have continued to write; to recapture this feeling of happiness and accomplishment.  Okay, and maybe because I think I would just die if I stopped writing.  Nobody say that’s a good thing.  I know one or two of you are thinking it, and you are so on my shit-list.

Small confession, by the way: I wish I had some moderately decent artistic skills in terms of drawing or painting.  Down the road, I may have to pony up the money to get someone to draw a map of the Sleep State to go with “Joshua’s Nightmares”.  It would look so cool.  Trust me.  I’m probably not trying to be an unreliable narrator in this post.

The siren call of sleep has reached the point where I can’t ignore it any longer, and so I’m going to head to bed.  Wishing you all a good night, and plenty of highly productive days of creativity.  Oh, and don’t freeze tomorrow because apparently there’s more frigid fun on the way.

The excitement of a writing breakthrough

Short and simple post ahead, which is probably a nice change of pace from my usual, rambling entries (which are still amazing anyway).  I am very happy to say my bit of writing for the day ended up being a small, but strong, bit of work towards “Joshua’s Nightmares”.

As it stands now, I’ve reached a solid ending point for Chapter 1.  We’ll see how much I like it in the morning, of course, but any progress at this point is good progress as far as I’m concerned.  Now for a bit of nightly reading and relaxing.

Manufacturing landscapes

Let me start by saying this much: this is my second to last week at my first-ever job, and it has been quite busy.  I finished my second of three 3p.m. to 10p.m. shifts in a row, which is a lot more tiring than I’d expected, and so writing’s been minimal at best.  Really minimal at best.  There’s an idea, drifting about in my brain, for a short horror story.

That much out of the way?  Good.  Thank god.  I hate whiny, personal-blog-stuff me.

I built a very large chunk of the world in “Joshua’s Nightmares” tonight at work (in my trusty red Moleskine notebook, actually).  It’s evolving into this big, amazing, surreal thing that I’m slowly falling in love with, which is dangerous for a writer because there’s always the risk it’s actually not nearly as good as I think it is.  However, I do have the good fortune of getting universally positive feedback so far.

Building worlds, when my brain permits such activities, is one of my favorite bits of writing (the top favorite being writing villains, which may very well get an entire series of posts dedicated to it and by may very well I mean it actually just will).  Sometimes the environment takes a backseat, like with Death at Teatime.  The location was irrelevant in the grand scheme of things, so there were just little glimpses of it with the bigger focus on the characters.

There’s just a tremendous joy in building something massive out of what could’ve started as a tiny detail, one little point in a vast landscape, and just going from there.

The Sleep State of “Joshua’s Nightmares” is turning into this massive, and hopefully highly-varied, mix of different locations that I hope will encompass the vast, bizarre realm of dreaming quite well.  A taste, just to tease readers of my blog with: there’s an entire landscape that exists in the sky of this world, linked to dreams about flying and such.

At any rate, I hope to get some writing done should I survive the remainder of the week.  And by the remainder of the week I mean the insane sale that’s going on tomorrow and Friday.

Chapter 1, drafted!

I am very excited to say, especially with how today went so horribly at work, I have completed the first draft of Chapter 1 of “Joshua’s Nightmares”.  Despite feeling very-much drained after an exciting 7-to-3 drag at work, I found some inspiration in a good dinner, and a bottle of Pennsylvania Dutch Birch Beer (I suspect the secret ingredient is pure, undiluted happiness), and wrote away.

There are a few points I’m a little iffy on with the chapter already, but I’m letting it have at least one day of peace before I even consider doing major edits.

My biggest problem at this point is wanting to get to certain characters who aren’t quite important to the plot just yet, because I love me some good, ol’-fashioned, truly bad-to-the-bone villains.

This progress is especially nice as it follows the news of my final interview for the new job I’ve been working towards, and so this week will end with even more craziness for me.

What this means is more writing to happen soon, more energy towards this work, and hopefully some pieces I can share on here eventually, perhaps, as means of stealing further interest in this fledgling novel.

PS: I’m also happy to be back to posting under the Joshua’s Nightmare Updates category, even if it’s no longer accurate with the working title (but, really, I’m not about to split hairs; huzzah for progress!).

A tremendous night of writing

I’m pleased to say I finally feel like I’ve pushed past some big barriers in regards to writing/working on Joshua’s Nightmares.  And, for the first time, I was able to bring life to two characters who really needed written.

I know, I know.  That’s an awful lot of vague for one post.  I’ll share eventually. 

Oh, and this post was in no way an excuse for me to post from my phone.  Except it really was.

First day of actual writing.

I started work on Massive, Daunting, Unnamed Project today only to remind myself of the following things (which I suppose should have been obvious):

  • Moving from the planning stages to the actual writing stages is a giant pain when it comes to details
  • I’m *still* terrible at coming up with character names I like
  • Working retail really kicks my brain in its squishy grey-matter ass, so to speak.

Those things considered, I still managed to get a solid start going on this story (which, for the sake of brevity, will be referred to as “Joshua’s Nightmares” from now until a proper title happens into existence).  Not as much as I’d have liked to get written compared to the time I lost to the near-pneumonia nonsense of last week, but a start’s a start.

On another front, I’m starting to consider places to possibly submit “Death at Teatime” to.  I’ve spent the bulk of the summer working on it in some regard or another.  I really need to move past the whole fearing rejection bit, because it’s bound to happen again.  Doesn’t make it any easier, of course.

So tomorrow’s goal, writing-wise, is to at least get five more pages of work done on this.  Just really write and not worry about how it reads or looks.  That’s going to be after a lovely 7 to 3 shift, so we’ll see how that pans out.

And maybe a short-story to throw on here.  I definitely need to organize this thing a little better, so as to not post everything Uncategorized.

Ending this with a guilt-trip to myself: it’s time to sit down, focus, and get this thing going.