Moving the Writing Muscle

Well I guess this writing bug is not over for me. It’s been a month since the Shrapnel manuscript has been with the copy editor and I’ve been doing a lot more writing. I’m even onto something new and today I have finalized a story…for reals.

First I had to get an Artist’s book project out of the way, but even while I was doing that, I was still obsessively cleaning up my short story, Maybe Magic Things.

This story originally came from part of a chapter from Shrapnel. I wanted to turn it into a stand-alone short story, especially because I changed (cut) a lot of parts in the book that ended up staying in the story. Then, I wound up revising it so many times because I couldn’t read it objectively at all.  It was just hard to separate it in my head, from the book that is. If it was going to be a stand-alone piece, it needed areas of explanation, and/or many details removed that didn’t need to be there at all. Some of those details were confusing my readers. The whole time it’s been “out there,” I knew it wasn’t up to par.

I’ve also joined an online writer’s critique group under an anonymous name. It gives me a chance to get real feedback and critique that I can either take into consideration or throw into the dumpster. Some of it good and some of it is shit. Mainly, it’s helping me enormously with syntax and clarity. It’s also giving me the understanding of other people’s experience of my writing – something I really have no idea about.

I’ve also been going through a lot of the chapters that were jettisoned from the book. I think I mentioned that I was previously thinking about turning each of them short stories – and there are a couple I can definitely do that with. But there are about four of them that seem special. Like fodder for a new book. Yup, sorry.

I’ve been taking notes on these chapters and they all take place around the same time span – a good seven years – and there are a nice group of very interesting characters. I would like to take a stab at fictionalizing them. It will actually still be nonfiction, but I’m going to claim it as fiction. This stuff really did happen. I couldn’t make this up, but now I want some freedom to make as many embellishments as I see fit, especially with timelines and such, which was very difficult with my memoir and sew it together as a story at the same time.

So far, I’ve been making like synopsis’ about some of the characters. The main character, as you may have already guessed (well for now anyway – it could be interesting to change the whole perspective) is Darby Levison. I just liked that name for how I wanted to see my better self as a younger person.

I don’t have a title yet, but it will come to me, I’m sure. Like Shrapnel in the San Fernando Valley did. I really like that title, even though I have been told by quite a few people that it’s no good. But too bad. Me likey.

Okay. I have to keep working because I’m supposed to paint a new body of work beside all of this. I always like to do what I don’t “have to” do more. Doesn’t everybody?

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