Monday, September 05, 2005

Commando Robot Girl

So here I am, in the midst of writing the first book of my Vampire Underground trilogy for Berkley, when I totally lose steam. I see the light at the end of the tunnel--my deadline is October 15 and I only have a little over one hundred pages to go--but I'm like a runner whose eye is on the finish line in the near distance and...I trip and eat a mouthful of dirt.

Bam! Girl goes down. I can't move another muscle if it has to do with writing. In fact, I plan to watch TV for the next ten hours.

I know I'll get mentally better tomorrow, but I feel like I've played hookey today. But that's nuts. I wrote an entire chapter this morning, so why do I feel like it wasn't a full, 100% day? Crazy. Just, CRAZY.

Still, shouldn't I be editing right now?

I suppose I should tell you about my writing schedule. I go from totally goofing around while I'm in between projects (traveling, messing around with ideas, filling that creative well) to going ballistic. When I write a draft, I WRITE. I don't put that manuscript aside unless I have to. I go into what I call "Commando Robot Girl Mode." Ask my family, my friends. I'm pretty close to a disaster as a person when I'm in CRG Mode. I'm so one-track minded that you won't be surprised to hear this story:
The alarm goes off. I want to jump directly into my next chapter, so I turn on the "air conditioner" and get right to it. But...DANG, it's hot. Really, really hot. I'm sweating. Is it hotter than usual outside, and is the heat coming through my windows? Who cares. I'm in the middle of my chapter, and I'm *not* going to move from my spot on the bed. Nothing short of a fire creeping up my bedspread will get me out of laptop position, and I'm telling you--I'm pretty close to being on fire. Whoo-eee, it. Is. Hot. An hour later, after my shirt is literally soaked, I check the AC, and...oops. Yes, you guessed it. In my rush to get my pages started, I'd turned on the heater.
That's pathetic.

My writing schedule: Three days of chapter writing, one day off, three days on, etc. That's how it's supposed to go during CRG Mode, but that's not how it happens. On my "days off," I find myself editing, re-doing chapters, prepping material for my critique partners. And writing this first Vampire Underground book has been harder than most projects (except for my Bombshells) because the story is very complex, with rules within rules and mysteries within mysteries. Instead of the usual category page count of 280 - 350 pages (depending on which line I'm writing for: Special Editions, Blazes, or Bombshells), I'm shooting for 440 pages this time. Hey, no wonder I ate dirt today and totally lost it. I think my brain is telling me to take a break. Don't you?

Ah, blogs. Free therapy. I think this might be kinda fun.

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