The Home of Steven Barnes
Author, Teacher, Screenwriter

Friday, July 15, 2005

Great Sky Woman

the book that would not die.  It feels as if I've been working on this forever, and meanwhile, other contracts are piling up.  Frankly, I made some mistakes working on this book:
1) I tried writing without as complete an outline as I usually use, a more "organic" approach like that used by my wifie, Tananarive.  Oops.  Not on something THIS complicated!  I should have outlined it to the last twist and turn, to have a more direct road map.
2)  I originally experiemnted with changing tenses, to represent the different mental states of the different characters.  Ugh.  Didn't work at all.
3) I let myself get intimidated by the importance of the project.  Betsy Mitchell, my editor, really trusted me on this one, and I let that get mixed up with my own urge to do something right here.  This project is different from anything I've ever tried before, and that difference will be a very good thing--if I can hold my head together.
It's odd how stress can make you feel stupid if you don't balance it properly.  (Remember that it isn't stress that hurts's strain).  With EVERY SINGLE PROJECT I've ever written, I reach a point where it all feels like its turned into pureee of batshit, and that I've lost whatever small capacity I ever had.  this is why its important to break a task down into component parts. The larger and more complicated it is, the more vital this becomes.  overwhelm is an absolute bitch-kitty, and will drain your self-confidence and eat your mind.  One day at a time, friends.
So...what is my daily program right now?  I wake up,  and meditate for fifteen minutes until I get the white light moving inside me.  Up, make tea, check e-mail.  Then my golden hour.  This month I'm studying Argumentation, the study of effective reasoning.  Great Stuff.  Enormous fun listening to the various radio talk show hosts and specificaly deconstructing the b.s. arguments they use to sway their audiences. Tsk.  today, I'll be starting with Warrior Wellness (joint circles), and then Silat, then Kettlebells for 15-20 minutes. Then I'll play with some of Coach Sonnon's Prasara until I feel loose and connected (I know that sounds like a contradiction, but...)
Then I'll play with Jason some, and after that, get to work.  Work-time will start with reading the last scene of Troillus and Cressida (Jeeze! Achilles and his myrmidons just put a hurtin' on Hector!).  I read one scene of Shakespeare aloud every day--for many, many reasons.  When possible, I read it to Jason.
then into Great Sky Woman.  Right now, I'm correcting fifty pages a day.  When I've finished this run-through, one more read-through, and I'll actually have a book. Wow.  I can't believe it.
Then at some point I'll quit, maybe watch a movie (I Netflix'd "ffolkes" with Roger Moore, a guilty pleasure of mine, Anthony Perkins hamming it up like crazy...) and later tonight Tananarive and I will get together with physicist and Shotokan karate maven and Chili expert Keith Kato to see the play "Purlie."  Life is good. 
And by the way--it's cheat day.  That means I get to eat chocolate.  Yum. 

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