Wednesday, March 30, 2011

The Ritual of Writing

Writing is what I do. It’s what I’ve always done. When I don’t have a writing project, I’m a mess. This past week is proof.

You see, I’d finished my manuscript, and gone through the self-editing and beta readers comments and sent the story off to my agent.  YAY! Happy dance!  Now, I know those precious pages will come back to me with the flaws highlighted, and I will then work very hard to correct and refine the rough spots, and to rewrite whatever may be necessary.

But in the mean time…

I’ve had a week without a book to write. I know better than to dive in to the next one. This one’s coming back soon and I don’t want to be into the next one and still dealing with this one. So.

bored Day one was kind of cool. For the first few hours.

I checked email. Goofed off on Facebook. Played some spider solitaire(which I kick ass at). I played my guitar until the dogs decided I was too loud and walked out. Eventually, I decided to clean. I should’ve taken my temperature at that point, or headed directly for the emergency room. Wanting  to clean is a sure sign something is wrong….

I counseled myself that it was okay. It’s just Spring Cleaning. coffee

The next day, I tried to be cool. I tried to play it like normal, fix the java and chocolate and peppermint syrup concoction  that I call breakfast. (Yes, technically it’s a liquid candy bar, I know. Shut up. It’s muse juice. Those calories don’t count.) I tried to deny the craving to write, the shakiness of knowing I had no words to mess with. I told myself maybe decaf would be a good idea.

A week later, my house is in utter disarray. Nearly every wall is now sporting a fresh coat of paint. I’ve learned that Judas Priest is EXCELLENT painting music, and that all my DISTURBD songs are so bass-heavy that when on a ladder in the corner, the acoustics of the room are such that the bass line buzzes. 

The living/dining room (of which the “dining” portion is my office) has everything pushed into the center to make way for me and paint rollers. It was a slightly greenish khaki AKA: “It’ll sell if it’s neutral.” Four years later, I’m, finally painting over it. Red. DOZEN ROSES red. Really, really red. And adding a faux finish. New curtain rods. New curtains. (Fingers crossed that new floor and furniture will be next.)

Writing motivates me. It keeps me focused on a steady, even-paced and socially acceptable project behind a desk. In other words, writing keeps me from getting bored. Getting bored = me getting into trouble.  For now, as when I’m writing, I’m confined to my house. The bonus in painting is my arms are getting toned. (Just amuse me and go with me on that one, okay?) But imagine if I got the house painted and there was no manuscript to work on….

dr evil Without writing, I’m all over the place. Apparently, I don’t do well without a clear purpose. Writing a novel is a big a job. If I can paint the kitchen, entry, living/dining room, stairwell and upper hall, master bedroom and master bath in a two-week period, what would I do without a book to write? I don’t want to find out.

Perhaps writing a novel is the thing keeping me from taking over the world mad-scientist style.

Or, perhaps the paint fumes are starting to affect me…. :-P



  1. Jebus, and I thought I rocked for painting one room a week. I sit in awe of your paint-tastic-ness.

    Now, ~grabs pen~ exactly how much peppermint goes into the chocolaty coffee Muse Juice?

  2. KAK-- hee hee...I make 2 cups of coffee with flavored java (double chocolate or something similar). Use a tall latte mug. I'd say 2 tablespoons each of Hershey's syrup and Torani Peppermint, but be careful--if you vary the recipe just a little, you may go Dr. Jekell/Mr. Hyde. ;-)

  3. Wow, the chick in the JP video looks just like you only with a perm! Good blog post. Now when are you coming to help me repaint my house...I'll make lots of brownies :)

  4. Faux-freaking-tastic. I, on the other hand, needs must learn to paint ambidextrously. My. Arm. Hurts. ugh.
    And brushing one's teeth with the non-dominant arm is weird.
    So, when does the upstairs get done?? lol

  5. Nice vacation! And how much do I want to make that Muse Juice? Oh, so, much...

  6. Hell, I just want to know if Linda hires out! The all white walls of the house sitting gig are making me twitch.

  7. Spring Cleaning, huh? I think I need to do a Life Cleaning. >_<

    Painting would be fun, tho. I've been wanting to do it for a while.

  8. Michelle-- The chick with the snakes? I can hardly see her, she's only on there a second. But she's part of the freak show/side show folks :-D
    SLFranks-- LMAO. I'll trim the hall out today and see if the paint left over from the faux will work in the master bedroom or bath...sigh. Bought too much paint. *face palm*
    Jeffe-- This is no vacation--its work. Writing is the vacation! J/K. Writing is very much WORK, but its sedentary work. :-D
    Marcella-- I could hire out. I work for java, meals, chocolate, and margaritas--in no particular order. hahahahha
    Allison-- I've been here for four years and just now am really putting my fingerprints on the place. And wow...having to paint forces one to dust, which is, I guess very spring cleaning-ish but with dogs this looks like my life cleaning, the former home-owners life cleaning and maybe a little dust from the building of the house...sigh.

  9. I hate painting and I'm glad we painted the whole house last year so we won't have to do it for years to come.

    ps: just heard today I won Arcane Circle *does happy dance*
    And the Mc in McPig should tell you that I'm Scottish, not Irish! ;-)

  10. I have a wonderful image of you hopped up on chocojava, wild eyed, wielding a dripping paintbrush. Have you gotten back your manuscript yet?

  11. Congrats Sullivan! I just got the email about it too! Mc--ha ha, I did screw that up over at the Sara's blog, huh. My bad. :-D I'll send the book out tomorrow--hopefully. We just got several inches of snow this afternoon, but all should be dealt with by tomorrow.

    Faith-- my agent has not sent it back yet. I have the whole downstairs back in order now. Tomorrow I'll trim out what I painted in the upper hall/stairwell. Once that's done, it's on to the bedroom. On FB you said you'd never had much fun decorating. I usually don't, tho I enjoy painting. My best pal Shannon came over last night and we fauxed the living room til 3 am. SHE made it fun. We laughed so much! And she's totally a decorating genius!

  12. Linda - maybe you could consider renting out some of that energy at times you don't need it. I could certainly use an infusion.

  13. @Linda, I meant to say that it looked like you had lots of fun, and I never had THAT much fun decorating. Not just, "Meh, I've never had that much fun decorating." This is the problem with electronic communication.

  14. Kerry-- Sending you a mental infusion of energy! :-D

    Faith-- *grins* I agree. There needs to be a sarcastic font, a dead-serious font, etc. To help define the written words the way a voice and inflections do.