inkyfingersinkymind

writing about thinking about writing

On Writing and Birthdays

It’s been such a long while, dear readers. A new year to remember to write down, a veritable gaggle of tissues paper flowers made for a bridal shower, a new series of Sherlock come and gone. My shoulder has developed quite the endurance from carrying around a massive book that is only occasionally read. My fictional king has remained in suspended sleeplessness halfway through a notebook. And I’ve just come off a rather gourmet week after many 25th birthday celebrations.

As far as writing the book goes, I have not been particularly productive of late, but this kind of distance at least always allows me a sense of perspective. How far I’ve come, how far there is still to go (I believe the phrase is “miles to go before I sleep”). This little break has also developed a sense of hunger that makes me itchy to pick up a pen and scribble away for days.

Maybe it’s turning a quarter of a century old that has made me so reflective, but I’ve made another rather startling realization. I started this book when I was 17, a high school student whose whole life experience could be contained in a house, a classroom, and a dance studio. I was writing a story about love and parenthood and loss and powerlessness. For how much has changed about my book since its first imagining, a lot has stayed the same. I’m now the adult age of my characters, and with every new incarnation of them that has developed over the years, I can’t help but notice changes that came about because of my own experience and growth. Having fictional characters as a measuring stick for your personal development has its own poignancy and weirdness.

Of course, this will be ongoing. I’ve hardly peaked in maturity, and already this year seems to have a lot of big changes in store. I imagine no amount of years will ever stop me from swinging between “this book is going to be amazing” and “this book is the most pointless thing that has ever happened.” For now, though, I particularly cherish my characters and what we’ve been through and how we’ve grown together. For all the changes life has brought, I’m still the girl who holds books as close to her heart as she does her family and friends.

I feel a bit like I’m coming up to the best kind of downhill run, the kind where you hold on and let the wind rush through your hair, and you laugh with the carelessness and joy of childhood the whole way down.

The Old Year’s Resolutions

Nothing like looking back at January’s resolutions and seeing just how I fared over the last twelve months. I’ll be honest: I’ve never lived particularly well by my New Year’s Resolutions, but that’s not to say I haven’t lived well through 2013. Let’s get the small disappointments out of the way first…

Resolutions 2013

Health

I had vowed to get back to swimming laps, which I managed! I even got an underwater mp3 player this year, because I am nothing if not a product of the 21st century. I had my eye on fencing as a new activity to try, but instead I enrolled in a Bollywood class over the summer. And in this my 24th year of existence, I finally achieved a skincare system that works for me. I tried Vichy, La Roche Posay, Clinique, and Philosophy without finding that perfect blend of things that worked for me. And then I tried a $6 bottle of Cetaphil and that appears to be my holy grail.

Reading

With 14 books to my reading credit this year, I managed to put a good dent in my “new reads” pile. One of my favourite reads of the year was one of my fresh new Christmas books, The Historian. I’m afraid my book-buying addiction did get the better of me after a year of no new books. My fiance, Chris, built my to-be-read pile into a structure he’s called a “book pagoda.”

Writing

I have been getting into a solid writing routine this last while. I didn’t write “the dreaded scene,” but it’s coming down the pipeline faster with every page I complete. A first draft of my novel was not completed, but I have finalized drafts of four chapters, which is the most I’ve ever accomplished (feel free to gloat now, NaNoWriMo-ers. You have me schooled in the art of fast writing.) On top of novel writing, I also managed an average of two blog posts a month, shuffling those two around here and there. I’ll admit I’ve fallen off the last little while, with neither readux posts nor writing posts – but only because I’ve been writing so much else!

Even though I’m clearly no dedicated follower of my own resolutions, I’ll make another list for 2014 by which to very loosely live my new year by.

Writingwritingwriting

I don’t have any post-NaNoWriMo knowledge to share with y’all. I’ve never participated, but every month is NoWriMo pour moi! For my long, silent November and into the insanity that is December, this is what I’ve had on the go. I’ll try to fit in a proper blog post before the holidays!

CHAPTER THREE

High speed foot chase! Magic! Sanctuary!

CHAPTER FOUR

Swordfights! Betrayal! Insanity!

CHAPTER TWO (AKA The Chapter that Will Never Release the Ninja Grip It Has on My Editor Soul)

Waking up…