Month: December 2009

The Chocolate Story is Kicking My Ass, or How I’m Learning to Love Writer’s Block

Writer’s block.


I am currently experiencing a bad case of writer’s block over The Chocolate Story (working title), which I am writing to give as a Christmas present.  So no time crunch there or anything.

I had a plan.  I followed the plan for two perfect sections…and then, Part 3.

Part 3 did not go as planned and in fact went so far off the plan that the rest of the Parts aren’t going to go according to plan, either.  Except, as far as the big picture goes, what I wrote in Part 3 serves the same purpose as what I planned to write.

I just couldn’t write what I planned to write.

For example, I’d planned to write a scene where two female characters fail to get along so epically that they pushed the story where I wanted it to go.  Instead, they snipped a little at each other, and, both being pretty intelligent, let it go.

I could have rewritten the scene to force the story to follow the plan, but I kind of liked them that way.  And then, after I agreed they could get along, they didn’t; they had a flaming row that ended in tears and bewilderment.  But I liked that too; I’m a big fan of irony.

Had I forced myself through the block, I wouldn’t have written a scene that I like as much as I like this one.

Listen–wait–wait, you have to listen–

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New project: Chocolate Story

I started drafting a new project today, a novellette in eight parts that I’m calling “The Chocolate Story” as a working title. I’m making it so each part can be folded around a chocolate bar and wrapped, and I’m going to send them out for Christmas presents.

The chocolate is from Dagoba Chocolate,who make some of my favorite chocolate bars.

Here’s the lineup:

1.  Lavender Blueberry – The Ghost

2.  Chai – Traveling the Stars

3.  Conacado – On the Good Ship Conacado Revolucion

4.  Eclipse – Complications Ensue

5.  Prima Materia – The Primal Material

6. Roseberry – Falling in Love

7. Xocolatl – Sacrifice

8.  Hazelnut – That’s It, in a Nutshell

So far, it’s the story of Aoife (EE-fa), who has to choose between avenging the death of her cousin and pissing off her cousin’s scumbag widower, an interstellar chocolate smuggler.  Hanging in the balance is the chance to capture the Prima Materia, original building blocks of the universe, for her own research.

So far, so good.

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A Day of Cold Adventures

Ray and I had a day of adventures with Ann, Larry, Robin, and Robin’s daughter Ridley, who is (I think) five.

Started out with a production of The Hobbit by the Academy of Children’s Theater. The acting was pretty good (in the case of the actress who played the Golem, pure delight), the sets were fun, but the costumes were fantastic! The adaptation had its problems, most of which sent me into waves of giggles. Unfortunately, I forgot the camera in the car and got 0 pictures.

After lunch, we all went swimming at the Aquatics and Fitness Center, which, due to funding issues (@#$%^& cheapskate voters) is closing on December 12th. I talked to the guy at the desk, and he said that none of the swimming pools had received funding for next year, either, so we may not have any pools next year. At all. Those freakin’ liberal swimming pools, always trying to beat down the common man by taking all his money! I think we all had a lot of fun, but I had moments of sadness, floating and staring out the big windows at the snow-covered mountains, knowing it was the last time I’d be there. Ray had all her swimming lessons there. A good place.

Ray and I went downtown to find parking for the Parade of Lights, then wandered around, looking for (of all things) ice cream, finding it at Josh & John’s. Unfortunately, they didn’t have snake-ice cream coloring sheets out, so we didn’t get to color. We hung around the south tower on Tejon, waiting for the others to show up. The joys of not having a cell phone are sometimes offset by the worry of “Where the heck are the people I’m supposed to meet?” Not often, but there you go. It was cold. Not as cold as the day before, but cold. Ray and I lasted about forty minutes, then fled inside the building and warmed up, watching the rest of the parade through the entry doors. I got lots of pictures – but most of them are streaked with light. Pretty, if not terribly clear what you’re looking at.

We met Ann and Larry at Nosh – it turned out Ridley didn’t feel well enough to be out in the freezing cold for an hour, and Robin stayed at Ann’s place to take care of her. Ray was bored out of her mind and fell asleep on my lap. The rest of us ate a lot of little bits of really tasty food. Then Ray and I shivered our way home. Amen for seat-warmers in the Bug, but they made Ray fall asleep before we’d made it out of downtown.

Ray, with her typical Ray-ness, announced that it was the best day ever, several times. I’m more analytical, so it would probably take me a couple of hours to try to figure out which, exactly, was the best day ever, and start ranking all the contenders in order, which would be the waste of a good day, so I’ll skip it. There’s a light layer of snow on the ground. I’m going to start the chocolate story today, and there might be a walk to the library and some grocery shopping later. I’m not walking to the grocery store, so don’t even ask. That stuff’s heavy.

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