Year: 2013

On Endings

My favorite stories end without endings. They’re neither cliffhangers nor unresolved, but they’re bittersweet and very real. It is in these kinds of stories that I see who I am. I’ve spent my life looking for distraction, for approval, for anything to chase away the apathy. A sad story is like a punch to the gut. The pain jolts me awake, and for a moment, I remember how small and fragile I really am. I will never find this thing that everyone is supposed to have. Call it happiness or happyness, but it is in the pursuit of it that I lose sight of who I am. A life without happiness is a life without movement, and sad stories teach me how to be still. Sometimes, I need to be still. As the new year approaches, I hope for bigger and brighter things. I always hope for bigger and brighter things, because even if I’m bad at being a human being, I’ve gotten quite good at pretending to be one. 2013 has been difficult, but I wouldn’t want to change a …

On Secret Worlds

I’m sitting at the airport watching people come and go. My laptop’s plugged in, and I’m trying to write another hundred words before it’s time to board. I’m feeling my way through a new project at the moment. Not sure what will come of it, but I’m enjoying the story and the characters. That’s all I really need to keep going. There are so many different kinds of people around me. Family people. Alone people. People with pink suitcases and people with backpacks. Some are in a hurry. Others not so much. There are so many stories at an airport but not enough time to write them all. “Everybody has a secret world inside of them. I mean everybody. All of the people in the whole world, I mean everybody—no matter how dull and boring they are on the outside. Inside them they’ve all got unimaginable, magnificent, wonderful, stupid, amazing worlds…Not just one world. Hundreds of them. Thousands, maybe.”—Neil Gaiman in The Sandman, Vol. 5: A Game of You I want to write these worlds. All of them. …

I’m Supposed to Write a Manuscript Synopsis Now (and I have no idea what I’m doing)

Manuscript to freelance editor. Check! Two to three sentence pitch. Check! Query letter. Check! I’m writing the synopsis now. Query letters and back cover copy I know I can do, but the synopsis is a weird hybrid of sexy and “just the facts, ma’am.” After scouring the internet for tips and examples, I’ve been trying to cobble something together. It’s a neat exercise. Stripping my entire manuscript down to its bare bones means I get to really see what the core of the story is all about. No subplots. No side characters. I’ll wait until I get my notes back from the editor before polishing up the final version. (WHO KNOWS. I MAY END UP CHANGING HALF THE STORY AFTER HE TEARS IT APART. OH MY GOD.) Anyhoo, I’ve consolidated several helpful “how the hell do I write a motherfucking synopsis” links below: Synopsis Examples Learn by studying those who came before you, grasshopper. Chuck Sambuchino writes sample synopses for a bunch of movies. Back to Basic: Writing a Novel Synopsis The writer of the piece, …

On Being Left Behind (pangs of a childfree life)

I used to have an imaginary friend. I’d see her while riding in the back of my parent’s car. She rode a beautiful white horse that ran alongside my window, and no matter how far we drove, she was always there. I’d roll down the window to reach for her hand, or if we were on the freeway, I’d press my face up against the glass to be as close to her as possible. Sometimes, I’d pretend I was her. I’d cease to exist, and my body would flicker into dust in the wind. My friends are all growing up. They drive their own cars with their own children riding in the back seat. I look into their cars and see what my life might’ve been. Each car is a different story driving down a path I cannot follow. Other childfree women embrace their lives with flare, but I only feel broken. Seeing a destination I will never reach hurts me. “That pang is about feeling out of step with the stages of life more than of having …

November Update for Current WIP

Quick post before I head off to work. I’ve been furiously working on the last round of edits for my manuscript. November 11th marks the eighteenth month anniversary from when I first started writing it. The story has changed so much that the first draft is a completely different book. I hired a freelance (developmental) editor to start late November/early December. The few notes he’s sent me already tells me we’re going to get along. I’m excited to see what the NEXT draft will be like after he’s had a chance to pick things apart. I also keep hearing about this Save the Cat beat sheet thing screenwriters use to plot out their scripts. Hah! Wish I’d known about it eighteen months ago. Liz Writes Books created a nifty beat sheet spreadsheet for novels. Have you used it before? Did it help? I’m going to try using it to plan out my next manuscript, or maybe I’ll go back to see how my current one fits with all the different points on there. NaNoWriMo will have to …

Groupon Adventures: Acting Class (Part 3)

He’s a guy who’s worked as an engineer for most of his life. Next year, he’s quitting his job to become an actor. “I’ll give myself two years,” he says. “I’m going all out to pursue my dream. If I don’t make it by then, I’ll come back home.” No one knows he’s leaving. His coworkers think he’s moving. His family doesn’t approve, so he’s told them his work is transferring him to a new city. This guy has more heart than I’ll ever have.

Swan Song

I lie in bed listening to you play the piano. Your music flows through me, and I dance. I dance because your music moves me. It transforms me. It takes me back to a time and place when these limbs were graceful enough to embody song. And in my dance, I dream a dream where you and I shine brighter than all the spotlights on a stage. You hold my hand, and I am not alone. You wipe away my tears and give me strength to face the final curtain call. You kiss my lips as I wake in this dream of a dream. This dream where you know my name. This dream where you smile at me for all the days of our lives. Where there are no endings, no sickness, no death. Where the silence seeping into these limbs, this heart, this dance is forever chased away by the song of you and me. Let us dance. You and I. Just one more time in this dream of a dream. One last time. …