A Cornucopia of Strange References Here: Warning.

5 Nov

This morning, at 5:30am, I awoke with one thought:  what do you call those little metal things you stick into a hand-mixer?  You know, those detachable tools that do the actual mixing?  Turns out, the answer is pretty obvious – they’re called blades – but in the darkness and in my still-half-asleepedness, blades sounded too sharp and harsh.

It’s November 5th, and I’m a full day behind on my NaNo goals, despite my best intentions.  So, I woke up determined to spend as much as possible of this day playing the catch-up game (in other words, write at least 3200 words).  Hence, the thought about mixer blades, completely random though it is.  The image of the blades spinning in place, never colliding with each other, rotating in perfect harmony¹ – well, for some strange reason, I felt urged to pray for myself to have creativity and clear vision that work together as well as hand-mixer blades².  That’s the only way I’ll meet – and, hopefully, exceed – today’s goal.  Broken mixer blades equal chocolate cake batter that’s lumpy and uneven, and I have a feeling a clash of creativity and mental acuity leads to the same kind of writing.

So, now that we have that out of the way: my word count isn’t dreadful, but it will be if I miss another day.  

That said, I’m totally loving writing this book.  Interesting images and scenes keep popping up from nowhere, and I’m discovering a lot of new things about these characters.  Like I wrote the other day, I’m surprised to find I like them so much.  I want to describe how I feel, but I think J.C. Hart said it perfectly in her November 5 post:

I’m spending a lot of time not even consciously considering the next steps it will take. I’m sure that it’s all simmering below the surface, but it’s lovely that I don’t have to spend time deliberating over what will happen next. I’ve got complete faith in myself, and in the story.

Which is a really strange but beautiful place to be in. Maybe it means I’ve finally hit a point in my writing where I can trust myself enough to loosen the reins a little.

Yes.  This is exactly how I feel.  I know the direction the story is about to take, but right now I’m letting myself sink fully into each scene as it happens, not worrying too much about the specifics of what’s next.  It is nice to have some idea of what comes next, though, because it helps me write more layered scenes and dialogue.  J.C. is right, it is a strange and beautiful place to be.

I told my husband yesterday how much I’m enjoying my characters, right before I told him I felt sorry for them – they have no idea what’s about to happen to them, and their pretty little worlds are going to get completely obliterated by unfortunate circumstances.  It might get ugly, but I’m twiddling my fingers like the scheming puppeteer that I am³.

Happy writing today!  How are you doing with your goals this week?  …And I don’t just mean word-count-goals, I mean the substance of those words — how is your story shaping up?  Surprises, no surprises?  Obstacles?  Do share, even if you’re not partaking in the madness of November.

(PS: Wow.  After re-reading this post, I am curious to see what will come out in my novel today.  Just saying.  Not often you read about mixer blades, wedding singing, scheming puppeteers, and goatherds in the same post.)

NaNoMeter: 4920 down / 45,080 to go

¹Fun Side Note:  Writing perfect harmony brought back laughable flashbacks of singing in a wedding one time.  The florist for my wedding recruited my husband and me – two weeks before her wedding – to sing a duet in her wedding ceremony.  The song was full of horribly cheesetastic lyrics such as “He made the sun, he made the moon | to harmonize in perfect tune | one can’t move without the other, they just have to be together | And that is how I know it’s true – you’re for me, and I’m for you…”  Since we were engaged at the time, we kept getting asked if we were going to sing this song TO EACH OTHER in our wedding.  It was hard enough keeping a straight face while singing the thing, and near impossible to keep a straight face (and be polite) when answering, “No freakin’ way.  Ever.”

²Except at 5:30am it looked more like, “I pray for creativity and clear vision that work together as well as those little metal thingies that you stick in a hand mixer when you make chocolate cake.”  Eloquent, right?    

³When I use the term scheming puppeteer, do you also get images of Julie Andrews singing “High on a hill was a lonely goatherd” with the Von Trapp family?  No?  Oh.  That must just be me.  I’m soooooo menacing, with these instincts that lead me directly from scheming to yodeling in less than a heartbeat.  Oy.


14 Responses to “A Cornucopia of Strange References Here: Warning.”

  1. J.C Thursday / 5 November 09 at 2:07 pm #

    I hope the writing goes really well! Am touched that you think I said it so well, and excited that you’re in the same place!

    • owlandsparrow Monday / 9 November 09 at 5:27 pm #

      Thanks for your encouragement! Hope the writing is going well for you this week, too. 🙂

  2. islesam Thursday / 5 November 09 at 2:11 pm #

    I love all the random things you have thrown into any given post. It’s like a goody bag!

    • owlandsparrow Monday / 9 November 09 at 5:30 pm #

      Hahaha thanks, Melissa! Sometimes my mind makes the strangest connections. This is a very good thing, but on days like this one it ends up (like you said) a goody bag. My husband laughs at me (well, with me, rather) because my mind will take a hop, skip, and a jump to something seemingly unrelated in less than two seconds, and then I’ll tell him all the things that flashed through my mind to lead me there.

      Anyway…hope the weatherman is going well this week! 🙂 Looking forward to your next update!

  3. Merrilee Thursday / 5 November 09 at 5:58 pm #

    Sounds like you are in a great writing place. Enjoy it! I’m so pleased that the story is taking you new places, and that you are enjoying the ride 🙂

  4. cynthia Thursday / 5 November 09 at 9:00 pm #

    I agree with Islesam–I love the randomness of the blades, or beaters as I think of them, occurring to you in the early morning. Nice echo with the title of your blog.

    Good luck with your writing goals!

    • owlandsparrow Monday / 9 November 09 at 5:34 pm #

      Thanks, Cynthia! Ahhh, beaters – sounds much better than ‘blades.’ I could not for the life of me think of anything other than ‘little metal thingies!’ Thanks for the good luck, too. How’s your writing going these days?

      • cynthia Wednesday / 11 November 09 at 1:11 pm #

        The writing is going great at the moment! I hope it is for you as well.

  5. jenniferneri Friday / 6 November 09 at 10:48 am #

    Not so long ago, I saw the ending of my wip. It had changed from my initial view of the end, and it was ugly. At least I thought it was. It became harder to write, because of this feeling you mention, feeling sorry the for the characters. Perhasp, as writers, our empathy is elavated?
    I did not want such an ending to come. I have accustomed to it, and see how perfect the ending is, given the untidiness of human behavior. Now that I am fast approaching this ending, I am no longer scared of it.
    Good luck with your writing!

    • owlandsparrow Monday / 9 November 09 at 5:52 pm #

      Thanks for sharing, Jennifer. I think you’re right about the elevated empathy thing; I mean, in my head I know they’re not alive, not breathing, not really experiencing the things I write…but at the same time, writing lifelike characters feels like they’re living and breathing. I can’t help but care about them; I wouldn’t dangle my friends into fire, and likewise it’s hard to do that to characters. In real life, I tend to try to fix people’s problems so it feels weird to be the one creating the problems! 🙂

  6. Christi Craig Friday / 6 November 09 at 1:06 pm #

    Boy, I needed to read JC’s quote today. My NaNoWriMo word count is good, ahead of schedule, but my writing feels in and out of inspiration. I think, because I am lacking faith in myself and the story. Some surprise have come to mind (I haven’t had the chance to type them into the story just yet), but I am half-listening to my inner critique who keeps muttering, “rubbish, that’s just rubbish.”

    I hope today I can get back to a place of inspiration again. I’m counting on your post to help! Thanks!

    • owlandsparrow Monday / 9 November 09 at 5:55 pm #

      Hey, I’m glad (and I bet J.C. feels honored) that the quote inspired/helped you! I needed to hear it, too. It’s been a few days since this post – how’s your writing been going lately? I hope your inner critic is learning to keep her muttering to herself!! 🙂 hehe You can push through, I’m sure you can! Best of luck on today’s work!

      • J.C Monday / 9 November 09 at 7:35 pm #

        very honored to have helped! The blogosphere is a wonderful thing.

      • Christi Craig Monday / 9 November 09 at 9:47 pm #

        The writing is going a little better. I keep reading other Nano-er’s posts and taking bits and pieces of tips or inspiration. Today, I was actually excited to open the file again!

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