Wednesday Writing Prompt

Another week, another writing prompt.

Take a stab at this:

  • Plot: a rescue romance
  • Character: a golem
  • Setting: a scavenger world
  • Wild card: burnt cookies

Heh!  I’d love to see what you guys come up with for this one !  Have it it 🙂

A plan of action

It’s been a tough few months around the Suri household.  Lots of stress, very little writing.  But, our lives are beginning (slooowly) to get back to normal, and I have devised a plan of action to get my writing back on track as well.

I’ve got two major novel-length projects in the works, revisions to a (hopefully) final draft of ABSENT, my archaeological time travel novel, and penning a first draft of my dark urban fantasy, Project Awesome.  In each case, I have planned and outlined what needs to be done, so all that really remains is revising and drafting.

For awhile I was trying to work on them side-by-side, revising ABSENT in the mornings and drafting Project Awesome in the afternoons.  The problem I encountered (aside from insufficient time) was shifting POV and voices.  The protagonists of each novel are wildly different, as is the tone of the two projects.  I’d be working on one character but thinking like the other.  Not good.

So, the new plan is as follows.  I’m going to take the month of October to revise ABSENT.  With luck and hard work, I think this should be doable.  Some sections need to be completely rewritten and others drafted from scratch, but a lot of the novel just needs light revision.  So, I think a month of nose-to-the-grindstone might just do it.

Then, in November, I’ll ride the NaNoWriMo train to the end of the first draft of Project Awesome.  I’ve written about 30K thus far, so another 50K (the NaNo “goal”) is about right to come close to a finished draft.

Focusing in on just one project at a time should, hopefully, keep me on task even if my writing time is interrupted by dealing with family stuff and day-jobbery.

That’s the plan, at least 😉

Tuesday Writing Prompt

I don’t know about you, but I haven’t written anything new in weeks.  Granted, it has been a very crazy couple of weeks around here, but still.  Bad on me!  So, time for a new writing prompt.  I’m going to do this one, and I hope you will too.

You know the drill.  Use the prompt.  Write it in one day.  Don’t agonize.

  • Plot: Rebirth
  • Setting A carnival
  • Character: a suicide bomber’s ghost
  • Wild card element: a lucky sock

Oh, boy.  *cracks knuckles*

Get to work!

An ode to the beautiful game

I never really understood sports culture.

Spending an entire afternoon watching a football inch its way across the field while eating the worst that American cuisine has to offer has always baffled me, and if football is slow and dull, then baseball is never-ending.  The relentless back-and-forth scoring of basketball, with its reliance on just one or two superstar players bores me.  Yet millions of Americans seem to extract an almost incandescent, spiritual joy from watching these sports.

It just seemed stupid to me.  Then I found soccer.

My relationship with soccer actually began 10 years ago when I met the man I would one day marry.  He was an avid soccer fan and, more to the point, a player.  To demonstrate my “awesome girlfriend” potential, I began attending his weekend games.  Standing on the sidelines, often alone, and all-too-frequently huddled in a winter parka against a bitter Philadelphia wind, I began (slooowly) to appreciate the game.

It is quick.  No time-outs, no replays, no reversals of the ref’s calls.  Just free-flowing sport.  It is strategic and depends on the coordination of the entire team — yes, a strong striker or goal-keeper can make a pivotal difference, but a team that lacks strategy and cohesion can’t win on the strengths of a few superstars alone.

So, from those chilly fall and winter games, I came to appreciate soccer intellectually.  I still did not understand why some called it the beautiful game, though.  That, for me, has only come recently.

A few years ago, my husband began playing fantasy Premier League soccer.  It consumed his nights and weekends.  He’d be on the phone with his buddy at 11pm on a Friday debating FOR HOURS about who they’d trade that week and who they’d buy.  I figured if soccer was all my husband was going to talk about, I’d better get in on this too.  So I started a fantasy team too.  It didn’t last long.  Gaining points based on the performance of players across many English teams took the fun out of watching the games, so I quit the fantasy league.

I did not, however, quit watching Premier League soccer.  I starting supporting Tottenham Hotspurs and spend most weekends, from early fall till late spring, glued to my laptop watching the games.  My husband grouses that I watch more soccer than he does these days.

For those of you who love a sport, you will understand why.

There is the thrill of seeing your team coalesce on the field, of the ball flowing rapidly from player to player and the team moving forward like a flock of birds in flight, the roar of the unruly crowd urging them on.

There’s the beauty of watching a series of flawless one-touch passes slip forward through the opposing defense and the moment the ball launches towards the goal, angling high and in the corner–unstoppable.

There’s the chest-tightening, gut-clenching anxiety as the opposing team picks apart your team’s defense, as they strike at the goal, and the primal satisfaction as your team’s keeper leaps for it – stretching himself longer than you knew the human body could go, his fingers just brushing the ball as he pushes it safely away.

There’s the other side too.  The times when you watch your team put in the most crap performance you could ever imagine.  When you see them do it week after week.  When you despair that they’ll never find themselves again.  There’s an odd joy in that too.  Joy in picking apart the bad coaching decisions, the managerial idiocy, the players’ loss of faith in themselves, and your own satisfied martyrdom in the knowledge that you will support them, come hell or high water, come good years or bad.  And, that one day they will rise again.

My team has started the season out poorly this year, to say the least.  They have a new manager who appears intent on not only destroying their chances at a league win but also sending them plummeting towards relegation.  They haven’t won a single game yet and are playing with a dismaying lack of confidence.  But that’s the great thing about the Premier League:  it’s NINE FREAKING MONTHS LONG.

There’s time.

Now, there’s a game about to start.  I gotta go 🙂

Blog? What blog?

Yes, it came as a surprise to me too.  Apparently, even though my life has turned topsy-turvy lately, I still have this here blog that needs updating.

So, updatery it is!

The semester has started, which for me is a check in the positive column.  I’ve got two classes – World Prehistory in the mornings and Aztecs, Maya, and Olmecs in the afternoon.  Between the two, there are about 120 students in my care for the next four months.  Bwahahahah!  The energy of teaching and interacting with students is a welcome infusion, as is the groundedness of a regular rhythm to my weekly schedule.

The aftermath of dealing with my father-in-law’s sudden passing continues to play a big role in our day to day lives and will, I suspect, for a long time to come.  Right now it’s tough because we’re dealing with emotional consequences as well as cold practicalities — up this weekend is a trip to Orlando to clean out the house my husband grew up in (which is full to the brim but has sat vacant for the last 2 1/2 years), pack the remainder up, and move everything to New Orleans.  So, it’ll probably be a bit quiet on the blog front for the next few days — though I will keep the writing prompts coming (someone should be getting writing done, after all).

Which brings me to…writing.  Writing?  What writing?  Actually, it’s not quite that bad.  I have a three hour block between my two classes (ostensibly my office hours) and that’s proved a great time for making short bursts of headway on writing projects.  Here’s where I’m at:

Project Awesome is inching toward the 1/3 mark at the glacial rate of about a chapter every two weeks 😦

Revisions to the third draft of ABSENT are stalled (double sad-face)

Short stories, though, are moving forward.  I’ve got two that I’m actively revising right now — a lighthearted space caper and a moody horror story.  I’m hopeful I can get these out to market in a week or so.

And that’s the run-down.

*takes a deep breath and dives back underwater*

See you next week.