Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Tuesday Twofers – More Reading Than Writing

A scene west of town bordering the North Saskatchewan River. Not much to do with today's post other than the book I'm reading has mountains in it.

Writing has taken a bit of a hit since I started reading again. I’d like to think it’s only because we are limited to 24 hours in the day (stupid rotation cycle) and some of those hours need to be spent eating and sleeping. The real story, I suspect, is that I’ve got so much reading to catch up on that I must set aside the writing for a bit. I know better than to stop it all together. No writing makes weird things happen to me. And not the good, fun weird either.
So I’ve been careful to open up the occasional file and do a bit of work. It certainly doesn’t help that I’m editing instead exploding with raw creation. But writing is writing and at least I’ve got a hand in it still.
I was working on a section that was not working so I sent a bit to the remnants file and did a bit of raw creation. It was fun, but still not right. I finally had to admit the section I loved had no business being in the story. The whole chapter got sent to remnants. It’s not a total loss, though. I’ll be able to work bits in later.
Since then I’ve been honing my cut and paste skills on the manuscript. Once the dust settles and the bleeding stops I’ll be able to assess what I’ve done.
Until then, I’ll find every reason, excuse, and spare second of time to read.

On Sunday I picked up a Zane Grey that I’d started in July. I am sure I wrote about it earlier. The bad guy is “Dick Hardman” and Grey uses “ejaculate” in his dialogue tags. A lot. It’s hard not being 12 when I read it.

From Valley of Wild Horses, Zane Grey, (Pocket Books, 1973) where hero Panhandle Smith has just found his family and his true love, Lucy, who is forcibly engaged to his sworn enemy.

“ ‘Panhandle Smith!’ she whispered, gazing up into his face ‘I heard your story. It thrilled me. . . . But I never understood—till you faced Dick Hardman. . . . Oh, what have you done for me?... Oh, Pan, you have saved me from ruin.’ ”

I have done some work on The Legend of Shallal. I’m hoping now that the days are colder and greyer I’ll get even more done on it.
Here’s something from the past week:

“I haven’t been male in so long I wondered if I still knew how to use the body.” Shallal grinned. “You made me think the other day. I thought I ought to take it out and dust if off. In case I need it again.”

For more, or to find out how to participate, please see the Women of Mystery.
And thank you for stopping by. I appreciate it.


the Bag Lady said...

I'm 12, too.
Panhandle Smith and Dick Hardman????

Your lines are very intriguing, I must say!

Leah J. Utas said...

Good to know it's not just me, dfBag Lady.
Thanks for the kindness re: my words.

Barbara Martin said...

Character's names can be quite interesting. As for your lines, Leah, they are intriguing and I'd like to know just what Shallal's original body is.

Ann (bunnygirl) said...

I picked up some first edition Zane Greys last year for $2 apiece. They were in pristine condition, and I gave them to my parents for Christmas. I may have to try reading one sometime. LOL!

I'm in editing mode right now, too. There was something not quite right with the story and I didn't want to write the ending until I had a chance to clean it up and see if a different ending would be needed.

I miss the feeling of being on fire with a new idea, but writing is never all one thing - it's peaks and valleys. The important thing is to keep plugging away at it, regardless.

Good luck to you!

Leah J. Utas said...

Thank you, Barbara. Like the rest of his race, his original body is non sex specific.

Bunnygirl, that's a fine find. I enjoy his writing, but I am having a tough time with the dialogue tags. Ah, the joys of editing. I hope you got it sorted.
You're right about plugging away.
Good luck to you, too.

Clare2e said...

I feel in the minority- I HATE first drafts with a passion, and realize that for me the shape happens in revision. After the raw creative part, I'm left with approximately what a log looks like after a chainsaw attack. I can only get out the chisels in editing, but I envy you, I do.

Looking forward to more body switching fun!

Leah J. Utas said...

Clare, editing has its place and I suppose it can be fun. I've found I'm so jazzed when I'm getting the story down that nothing compares to it.
Good for you for enjoying the fine shaping.

And thanks.

messymimi said...

It would be interesting if all of us had to switch once in a while, just to see how the other half lives.

And whenever someone starts to lobby for a 36 hour day, I'll vote for it.

Reb said...

It's fun being 12! And then your lines just add to the fun. Dust it off!

Leah J. Utas said...

Messymimi, I wish we could. I think we'd have a much better society.
I wonder if 36 hours would be enough.

Reb, why thanks.

Nancy said...

Just catching up on the last couple of blogs, and it sounds like you get on "reading jags" in much the way that I do. It is all out, or nothing. I have three books going at once, or I only read internet news sources and blogs. I am currently in a preparation phase. I want to do some research on alternative lifestyles, and contine writing my book. So I'm putting together a reading list for winter. But blogging just calls me. I find myself only intending to read one or two, and a couple of hours later - I'm still reading. So many interesting writers out there - such as yourself!

Leah J. Utas said...

Why thank you, Nancy. This was my first "reading block." Glad you're writing a book.