Saturday, January 10, 2009

Playing favorites with your "babies".

It’s no secret about me that I’m not interested in ever having human babies. However, that doesn’t mean that I don’t have my “babies”. All my cats aside, my novels are pretty much the closest things to babies I will ever have.

Following this metaphor, Nagnomei is now eight years old. It’s a stellar oldest child, if I do say so myself. It’s sophisticated, smart, and will kick your ass at chess. I’ve doted on it for years with the understanding that it would be the first to be published come hell or sunshine.

Then a year and a half ago CROSS// was conceived, only later to be given birth to in one NaNo November in 2007. It was a cute little baby. I shared it with everyone, it garbled for a while, and then took a long nap until the next November when it came back, a year older and suddenly able to walk. And walk it did. It went right over to its older sibling and kicked Nagnomei right in the shins.

I was so dang proud.

It’s a spectacular day when your youngest goes over to your oldest and just shows it who’s boss – even if it’s only temporary. You know, like cats. They constantly bicker over who gets to be boss, and it seems like who reigns supreme changes from day to day, week to week.

But enough about babies and cats. (Kittens?) When you’re a parent (…of anything) people warn you about playing favorites. Don’t wanna favor one over the other, right? One might get sad. And then the other just knows they’re awesome, and that’s dangerous.

That whole thing segues into what I’ve been thinking about lately. I’ve always accepted that Nagnomei would be the one I focused on the most, and whatever other series I developed would come in second. But then CROSS// grew balls. Suddenly it was all I wanted to work on, and Nagnomei just kinda hung out in the back, the final rewrite screaming “Mommy, pay attention to me!” (I’m pretty sure it will have to visit the school councilor soon.) Even though I had given myself a rather strict regimen in regards to working on Nagnomei, all I could focus my creative juices on was CROSS//, and after a while it just sort of took a toll on me. It bothered me to a point that I couldn’t really work on either series because I was either bored with the one or feeling guilty about the other. It was like I knew I had to take the oldest to soccer practice but the youngest was just…way too cute to not pay attention to. =(

Compounded with other factors in my life right now, and I was having quite the time this week figuring myself out. I finally realized the obvious: just work on what comes naturally.


Oh yeah, I should totally leave it there. And what? Kick myself later for writing the most trite thing of the evening? Oi Vey. Here’s an ending, inspirational line for you:

ReDeads suck. And other…things…not suitable for a PG setting.

Props if you get the reference. ;)

Thursday, January 8, 2009


“Why?” is a great question, whether you are living or writing. When we are living, “why” means “Why am I here? Why did I eat that? Why is that creepy guy starting at me?” “Why” is very existential. “Why” means something is happening to us. We don’t have to take responsibility for it. “Why” is the outside affecting us.

You know, when we’re living.

In writing, “why” is something totally different. “Why” is “Why did I just do that to my character? Why is my muse leaving me? Why am I procrastinating?”

Ah, procrastinating. Good job, Hildred. You may have noticed that it’s been over two months since I last wrote here. Because I’ve been procrastinating. That’s because I had homework out my wazzoo. Now time is all mine…but I still don’t want to write. Of course I want to write. It’s my passion. It’s how I work though my own problems, how I make sense of the world. But you know what, “why” in writing is your own fault. If something doesn’t get done, it’s because you didn’t do it. Or because your brain is whacking out. Or because you really are channeling some weird universe eons away and their history is being written while you channel.

Point being, I can’t cry about my novel(s) not getting done if I’m not…doing anything. “Why” is answered with “me”. Of course, if I’m dying in the hospital, I can’t be too sad about it. But what am I going to do come 12/12/12, when the world is ending and I haven’t even finished the final draft of my first novel? =( Oh, sad, sad day.

So what does this all mean? I suppose I’m nipping myself in the bud. Starting tonight I am shooting for 1600 words (Nano style, baby) in CROSS// and…well, how about a page in Nagnomei, since that one requires more thought since I have to sound t3h smartz.

Why? Because I have to do it and get it done. =)