Holidays and Other Things

Here at the Slater household, we’re in full-gear prepping for the holidays. There are potatoes to mash, pie crust to refrigerate, and veggies to chop (though thankfully no turkey to bake–my illustrious father smoked us one! Woohoo!). But since it’s been such a dreadfully long time since I posted an update, I figured I should probably check in.

Lots of things have been inspiring me right now, not the least of which is the Men At Work album Cargo, which is currently what’s on our U-Turn turntable.

(My favorite song is actually “Overkill,” because my word have you ever heard a more appropriate ballad for those of us wrestling with anxiety?)

But in addition, as I’m knee deep in Christmas projects, I’ve been drooling over so many knitting projects and contemplating the additional skill-add of learning how to crochet. Oh, and Andy and I have been watching 1950’s era Sci-Fi movies lately (most recently Earth Vs. The Flying Saucers and The Blob), which has been a hoot. The Blob was actually a lot more fun than I expected. And I just finished my most recent journal, and started the new one this morning! Oh, and I’ve been really enjoying adding practice sketches to my daily bullet-ish journal. They’re not all good, but I enjoy flipping through them, and they’re a great way to fill up unused space on back pages. I’m trying to sketch daily, but so far, that’s been a bit elusive. Couple times a week, at least.

Of course, the one thing that is not inspiring me at the moment is my novel WIP, which after a great 35k start in September, I ended up scrapping for being way too stupidly complicated and overly long, went back to the drawing board and started over (several times–and about to try again starting probably after the holidays). Unfortunately, the pause in October–writing a new short story for an antho. call–let me get just enough distance from Attempt #1 of Draft 3 to recognize all its obvious weaknesses. I do think the decision to simplify will be better in the end, but I’m not going to lie–walking away from 35k (and my hopes for finishing the draft in 2018) was pretty painful. I did this 20k-scrap thing on Draft 1, too–(you may remember this, if you were following along)–and the draft that followed was much better. I may just have to accept that for right now, I totally suck at novel beginnings, and that’s okay. We’ll see if this new tweak brings me closer to a workable jumping point (Draft 3 is a major rewrite, with a different character POV, major alterations to the plot and character motivations).

So that’s been frustrating, but I’ll work through it–just means the end is a little further off than I’d hoped. But the October story turned out pretty good, I think, so I’m pleased with that. It was a story I’d had kicking around in my head for quite a while, but the anthology call gave me a bit of a conceptual focus for it, so that was great.

Otherwise it’s gross and icy here in New England, and I’ve got pie crust and gravy to make. I’m hoping to do a Poly-Reader Notes soon, so look for that in the coming week or so!

Happy Thanksgiving to those who celebrate it, and a happy End of November to everybody else! :D

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