Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Freethinking and Association

Thank you for your kind words on my pictures. They’re not half bad, I think, especially since I didn’t carry my huge camera around. My little point and shoot isn’t ideal, but it works.

I was thinking about pictures last night before I went to bed and how it relates to my writing. Taking a good picture isn’t about the equipment you have, or the editing software you use (for the record the only editing I did on those pictures was to add the border – I didn’t even crop them). It seems to me that everyone with a half decent camera hangs out a sign and calls themselves a professional photographer now days.

Much like writing. Have a computer? You’re a writer! No need to study your craft.

There are a lot of professional photographers on this island who I greatly admire. I subscribe to their blog feeds and friend them on Facebook. I study their pictures. For hours. Why did they take the picture that way? Why did they choose to edit that color in? Why did they crop it to look like that? What story are they trying to tell?

Because it’s an art and I want to be a master. In order to create like the masters, I need to understand the masters. Or at least the principles that they are displaying.

The thing I do know is, I could be standing with these same photographers, in the same spot, with the same type of camera – and our pictures would be vastly different.

The story I want to tell is always going to be different from theirs. I’m okay with that because it’s my story. And as long as I have a story to tell, a viewpoint with which to speak from, that’s all that matters.

I need to remind myself of this, often. Especially when I get depressed that my journey seems to be ridden with potholes and detours. It’s okay. As long as I’m constantly moving forward and improving, it will all work out.

In the meantime, I can create something beautiful.

Thursday, June 10, 2010

The Slow Build

My parents and one of my brothers arrive today! Yay! So excited. My parents have visited several times (they can't go too long without seeing the muchkins) so I don't feel any pressure as far as they're concerned. But it's my brother's first time in Japan, which means I feel some responsibility to show him around. At this point the plan is iffy. I had wanted to do water sports (his favorite) and, um... it's raining. It better clear up!

I posted on FB a few days ago, that though I was almost done with this edit, I decided to start over.

You know what? It's okay. I got a 'talking to' from Casey and everything she said made complete sense. And I don't think it was necessarily what she said about my manuscript that made something click in my brain, so much as we were talking about what I wanted this manuscript to be.

I kept saying: I want a Hunger Games.

She was confused by this because my book is nothing like HG. So I went on to explain all the emotions HG makes me feel. That it's unputdownable. That the world grabs you from page one, puts its clutches in you and won't let you go. That's what I want.

Yeah, I know. Tall order.

When we began to discuss HG, that's when it started clicking for me what I was doing wrong with my manuscript. Why I wasn't feeling satisfied with it.

Casey began to talk about "the slow build." How HG never presents a mystery. Everything is upfront from page one. The tension is in the layering. And the characters never react to anything (this was my ah-ha moment). Their actions aren't a series of X happened so I need to do Y to counteract.

It made perfect sense.

So I started over. And I'm so happy. This is why you need peeps to watch your back.

Saturday, June 5, 2010

I'm here, buried under the desk:

It's been a week since my last confession blog post. I'm ready for my penitence. :)

The truth is, I've been so focused on this edit that I've ignored my family, my life and even this blog.

I mean, I don't want to admit this, but today is my husband's birthday. Did I get him a card? No. A present? No (well, yes, two weeks ago and he already took it -- I plan ahead). What did I do for him? I made him asked him, kindly, to pick us up lunch so that I didn't have to stop working.

I did let him sleep in, though. I'm not a complete ogre. Oh, and I did tell him if he wanted to drink with the boys tonight - have fun. I shall stay home pulling my hair out working.

Today is the 5th. My parents get here on the 11th. Which means, I need to finish this edit PDQ so I can send it off to my critique partners and get it back in time! *stress* (self-imposed, but still)

I'll be back soon. Promise. Probably groggy with lack of sleep and sporting severe black circles under my eyes, but I WILL be back!

In the meantime:

Happy birthday, Steven. xoxoxoxo


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