Thoughts while staring into space, figuratively!

I can see how it is that a writer’s life can be a lonely one.  That’s why, I guess, so many writers have an animal as a pet, someone to talk to, or just feel as though you are not alone in this quest.

I’m often sitting in front of the computer screen, or in a large lounge chair with my trusty tablet computer, writing the words, or staring into space!

Sometimes the words don’t make any sense, sometimes the thoughts leading to those words don’t make any sense.

Sometimes the most sensible person in the room is the cat.

I’m sure his thoughts are not vague or scrambled, or wrestling with the ploys of several stories on the go, getting locations right, getting characters to think and do their thing with a fair degree of continuity.

The cat’s world is one of which chair to lie on, where is that elusive mouse be it real or otherwise, and is this fool going to feed me, and please, please, don’t let it be the lasagna.  I am not that cat!

Unlike other professions, there is no 9 to 5, no overtime, no point where you can switch off and move into leisure time.  Not while you are writing that next masterpiece.  It’s a steady sometimes frustrating slog where you can’t just walk away, have a great time, and come back and pick up where you left off.

Stories have to be written from beginning to end, not a bit here and a bit there.

It’s a bit like running a marathon.  You are in a zone, the first few miles are the hardest, the middle is just getting the rhythm and breathing under control, and then you hope you get to the end because it can seem that you’ve been going forever and the end is never in sight.

But, when you reach the end, oh, isn’t the feeling one of pure joy and relief.

And, yes, perhaps you’ve just created another masterpiece!

Thoughts while staring into space, figuratively!

I can see how it is that a writer’s life can be a lonely one.  That’s why, I guess, so many writers have an animal as a pet, someone to talk to, or just feel as though you are not alone in this quest.

I’m often sitting in front of the computer screen, or in a large lounge chair with my trusty tablet computer, writing the words, or staring into space!

Sometimes the words don’t make any sense, sometimes the thoughts leading to those words don’t make any sense.

Sometimes the most sensible person in the room is the cat.

I’m sure his thoughts are not vague or scrambled, or wrestling with the ploys of several stories on the go, getting locations right, getting characters to think and do their thing with a fair degree of continuity.

The cat’s world is one of which chair to lie on, where is that elusive mouse be it real or otherwise, and is this fool going to feed me, and please, please, don’t let it be the lasagna.  I am not that cat!

Unlike other professions, there is no 9 to 5, no overtime, no point where you can switch off and move into leisure time.  Not while you are writing that next masterpiece.  It’s a steady sometimes frustrating slog where you can’t just walk away, have a great time, and come back and pick up where you left off.

Stories have to be written from beginning to end, not a bit here and a bit there.

It’s a bit like running a marathon.  You are in a zone, the first few miles are the hardest, the middle is just getting the rhythm and breathing under control, and then you hope you get to the end because it can seem that you’ve been going forever and the end is never in sight.

But, when you reach the end, oh, isn’t the feeling one of pure joy and relief.

And, yes, perhaps you’ve just created another masterpiece!

Conversations with my cat

Reading to correct errors and grammar

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This is Chester, he helps with the proofreading.

It’s not his favorite job, and truth be told he’d rather be outside being chased by a dog.  But that’s why he’s not allowed outside.

He mistakenly wanders into my writing room ready to take up a spot on the seat near the window.

I watch him, and he’s pretending not to care if I’m watching him.  A wide yawn, and a dour look in my direction.  Yes, I can hear him now, “do your worst.”

For a moment while I read, trying to the right amount of inflection and accent into the voices of the various characters, I realize that some of the conversational pieces seem a little awkward.

I think, judging from the expression on Chester’s, face he agrees

Stilted, forced, or ‘mate, you’ve got a bloody awful accent, that sounded nothing like an Italian using English as a second language’.

OK, so I can’t write accents very well.  Note to self, find an Italian and spend some time talking to them.

The conversation needs a little rework, moving on.

The next part is a little descriptive, just to set the scene.

‘Flowery’ is the word Chester uses.  Flowery?  It isn’t describing a garden.  Oh, overly descriptive with too many comparisons.

What’s wrong with the sky is as blue as the ocean?

Have you seen the ocean?

Yes.

I doubt it.  The ocean is green.

How do you know?  This cat is starting to annoy me.

A gentle shrug, he gets up off the floor and heads towards the door.  A condescending look over his shoulder and he’s gone.

What’s the definition of madness?  Doing the same thing over and over and expecting a different result.

It’s official.  I’m mad!

Conversations with my cat

Character development

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This is Chester, he thinks he is an expert on people

He has meandered in checking out what I’m doing, or maybe he’s here because the room is cooler.

He gives me the ‘What are you doing’ look.

It doesn’t matter how many times I’m a writer, it’s like talking to a brick wall.

I say I’m working on developing a new character.

Name?

I’m thinking of John.

A shake of the head and the eyes roll.  Can you be a little more inventive, like, well, Chester?

Predictable.  How about Xavier?

Would you call your kid Xavier?  He’s going to have a very rough time of it at school.  Unless this character has a tortured soul.

Good point.  How about William?

Bill, that’s what you get in the mail.  Another shake of the head.  You’re not very good at this, are you?

Apparently not.  Haven’t you got some mice to catch?

He yawns, then curls up on the seat.  Wake me when you’ve got some better ideas.

Maybe not.  I’ve come up with a name, Daniel, and I don’t care what he thinks.

For now.

Conversations with my cat

There are good days and bad days

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This is Chester, a cat looking for trouble

 

Bad days, today, trying to make the bed and the cat decides to get under the sheet and chase imaginary mice.

Peel the sheet back, toss the cat off the bed, go to remake it, and, you guessed it.

OK, we’ll come back to that.

Good days, sometimes occurring, but not often, he’s off the bed and on the prowl, though what he’s looking for is a mystery.

Perhaps there’s a gecko somewhere.

Good news, he’s out of my hair and not sitting on the keyboard trying to make a statement.

Working on the new chapter, I hear the patter of cat paws on the steps down into my office.

I turn to give him the ‘go away’ icy stare.

He returns it, in equal measure, tentatively puts his paw on the ground, ready to run if need be.

I shrug.

He goes over to the rug and flops down.

Under the fan.

Yep, they are lazy days of summer for some of us.

Conversations with my cat

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This is Chester, the literary critic

 

How to get that all important first sentence right

 

‘It was a day like no other’

Yes, I know, says the all knowledgeable Chester looking down his nose at me, it’s been used before.

We are sitting in the writing room and as usual, Chester is trying to ignore me.

I’m trying to start a new novel, looking for that first line that’s going to hook the reader.

I read him a few lines.

He gives me a disdainful look, ‘Heard it all before old boy, try again’.

Once Upon a time?

‘You’ve been watching too much TV’.

It was a dark and stormy night.

He yawns widely, ‘As if you haven’t used that before’.

He’s right, damn him.

Why am I talking to this cat anyway?

He jumps up onto the desk and sits on the keyboard.

Ok, writing is over for the day.