Wednesday, May 27, 2015

SEVEN? I have to think of SEVEN things?

Blagger and Spinner have only
hours to find their
missing equipment,
solve a murder, and
still keep the guests
from realizing
there’s a problem.
Click here for more.
Kate Ressman -- the author of Sugar and Spice, a scifi novel that sounds like China Mieville's best stuff, recently tagged me on her blog Bitter Suites  for a meme in which writers tell their reader(s?) seven things about their writing.

Given that I am in the midst of a publicity tour for my newest, hottest, best-est book ever (CODES), and have been writing about other people's great books and about how other people write scifi stories, it's both a good idea to focus on my writing and finally lets me get back to talking about myself, which is of course my favorite subject.

I'm not sure what the guidelines if any for these meme are, and it doesn't really matter because I never follow the guidelines anyway, so I will simply say the first seven things about how and when and why and etc I write that pop into my head, beginning with

This, for example, inspired me to
lobby for a law prohibiting
anyone from becoming a
'jewelry designer.'
I get inspiration from the weirdest things.  I've mentioned before that I wrote Codes after being inspired by a comment from Andrew Leon, but beyond that, I have had stories inspired by a quote from The Brothers Karamazov , by something author Rusty Carl said he ate for lunch one day (fish tacos), by a review of a book that said it was about a dysfunctional family which caused me to write my own novel about a dysfunctional family, by another thing Rusty Carl said, and by our middle kid, The Boy, saying what if you wrote a story about an astronaut drifting towards... well, I won't say what, that would spoil the surprise but it became this book.

I have way more ideas than I have time to write them.  I have ideas for stories about a human cannonball, about a guy wandering a post-apocalyptic earth, about two women who became pirates in another universe, about an accident at a factory that destroyed a town and left people haunted for years... and those are just the ones I'm planning on working on.  I haven't gone back to finish editing my epic Lesbian Zombies Are Taking Over The World!, I abandoned my plan to update The Odyssey as a steampunk adventure because I got bored with it (even though it was really good, it just wasn't for me), I haven't yet finished the third book in my Nick & Other Sexy Cop series even though it's like 9/10 written... I spend 20-60 minutes a day on writing, and at the pace I am going I will have to live to be 600 to write everything I want to write as of this moment.

I listen to different music depending on what I'm writing.  I've got a whole playlist just for Codes, which I use as I start on the sequel.  It includes songs like Bobby's Spacesuit

As well as more rock-and-roll things like After Hours, by We Are Scientists

to get a good mixture of weird-and-scifi, keeping my mood in that range that fits for Codes. But I listen to spookier music for horror stuff, and I tend towards The New Pornographers for my more literary stuff.  I even have a whole list of 'upbeat' music for when I write lighthearted things.

I am four stories away from completing a project where I wrote a story a day for a year.  I've also mentioned a few times here and there that since a year ago I have been working on a project I call "66,795 words," in which I wrote a story a day for a year, each one with one less word than the one before it.  The first story was 365 words, and actually was published by Yellow Mama back in June, 2014. (It was called No Souls Will Burn In The Sky Tonight).  Tonight I wrote story 5, called, simply, What.  You'll have to wait for the book to be published, one way or the other, to read them all (as well as the interludes, which are a combination memoir/blog/treatise on life, writing, and people. It's truly a phenomenal book) but if you check out the tab at the top of this page on where to find my writing, many of the stories listed there are part of this collection.

My ultimate goal is to one day write a mystery, but not just any mystery: I want to write a mystery in which the detective is also the killer, but he doesn't know it -- and the trick is that he can't have suffered from amnesia, a split personality, or been under the influence of drugs/alcohol when he did the killing.

I love reading my own writing.  I write the kinds of things I like to read, and so I tend to be my own favorite author.  I like to go back and re-read things I wrote years ago, and rediscover how much I liked them.  I tend to write pantser-style, making it up as I go along and ultimately ending up someplace I hadn't usually imagined when I started out, and because I write only a little at a time and hop from project to project, my writing always feel fresh to me.

Almost everything I write is about something I don't really understand.

Back in college I took a creative writing class, and the teacher talked about various quotes from various authors who supposedly said various things.  The quote, as I remember it, is we write the things we will never understand.  I've tried looking up who said that quote, or something close to it, and can't find anything.  But I always liked it, and it really applies to my writing.  Whether it's scientific advances impacting what it means to be human, as in Codes, or what the afterlife might look like, or even more abstract stuff, almost all my writing tends to focus in on areas that I like to think about, but which I either have an imperfect understanding of, or which cannot be understood by us at all.

I think that's the most interesting way to write -- spinning out problem after problem, idea after idea, in an effort to make sense of it all.  I rarely do, in the end, understand it -- but at least I get a good story out of it.

I got this! It's
No wait, that's for dentists...
Now I'm supposed to tag someone for this, so I will tag two people and let them accept or decline it.  Andrew Leon, author of (most recently) What Time Is The Tea Kettle? a quirky short entry into a world where cats can talk and objects can come alive and terrible things can happen despite all the quirk.  Read it! It's good.  Andrew blogs at StrangePegs where he mentioned Star Wars today so expect he'll have about a jillion visitors.

And I'll tag Bryan and Brandon at A Beer For The Shower.  They've been answering reader questions, in a frustratingly slow way.  HEY GUYS I REALLY NEED MY QUESTION ANSWERED BECAUSE I CAN'T START MY CAR UNTIL YOU TELL ME WHERE I LEFT MY KEYS. Hopefully they'll answer 7 questions about their writing. I don't know -- like me, they're almost painfull shy when it comes to talking about themselves.

No comments: