If you do what you have always done, you will get what you have always had.

Saturday, March 11, 2006


I think I've hit on something that works! I've been trying to figure out how to better prepare myself for writing. Usually, I just go in cold and write, but I get stuck easily and often.

I tried the notecard approach during NaNo, and that helped, but it didn't seem as flexible. I kept steering characters back into place. I was going to try it again, but when I sat down to make notecards I could only think of conflicts and ways to mess with my MC's life. I was also very curious about the details that got her to where she is when the story starts.

I decided to do conflict cards and start writing with the back story. When I get to a stuck point I'll pull a conflict card at random to act as a writing prompt. The back story gives me something to work with, but I won't have to edit it! Woohoo!

So far today I've done three pages. That's more than I've done in a while, and I forgot how good it feels to immerse myself in a story.

I hope this works as well as I think it's going to.

Wednesday, March 08, 2006

Shopping, part deux

Alex came home from school yesterday and asked if we could go to the music store in town. Since he's got his electric bass, he wanted a book to show him how to finger specific notes. (If you want to play middle C, it's this string and this fret.)

He finished homework in short order and talked me into taking his friend, too, but I added a rider: If we're going to the music store, we're going to the craft store too. (He conveniently forgot to tell his friend that part until we were a mile down the road.)

It was late in the afternoon when we got into town. I spent a while trying to help him find the right book and browsing their other selections, but I wanted to make sure I hit the craft store before it closed.

Enter Internal Mom Struggle, stage left.

-I really want to get to the craft store.
-They're taking their time.
-It might close before I get there.
-Oh, for Pete's sake, he's 15! It's a small town, and the stores are only two blocks apart!
-But he's my baby!
-He's 15!

"Hey, Alex, you have your cell phone, right? I'm going to run down to the craft store. Call me when you leave here, OK?"

Me (walking out of the music store and turning left on Main Street): 'He's 15. He's 15. He's 15.'

Of course, I didn't find any of what I was looking for in the craft store. When I came out, I looked the wrong way for the car. I thought I'd parked to the left of the door, but I'd parked to the right. First I saw the car, then I saw Friend, and then I saw Alex, running toward me in a most geeky fashion, arms flailing. The guy walking past me sped up to avoid a collision, and while I was glad that he was happy to see me, I hoped he'd catch me before he knocked me on my posterior. (He's three inches taller than me and weighs at least as much as I do, plus they've been weight lifting in gym class.)

He was kind and ran past me, giggling like a lunatic. I just smiled.

He's not a demonstrative boy. He hasn't done snuggles since his was, oh, about four. Kindergarten changed all that. If the only hugs I get now are because he's being silly, I'll take them. I'll take all the positive interactions and store them in my heart. For all the teen angst and growing pains (on both sides), I have to say he's growing into the man I dream he'll be.

I just have to keep reminding myself that he's 15.