Yeesh, that’s a really good question. The short version: banging my head against the wall. And hating everything. And jumping when my Inner Slave Driver says so.
Lemme explain. Awhile ago, I got horribly, mercilessly, wacked-out-crazy stuck on Alpha Female. It was so bad that I’d open up the file and I’d go numb. Nothing would happen. I’d feel uncomfortable and slightly panicky. And then it would get so intolerable that I would have to close the file.
Imagine about a week of doing this, and then spending all my time away from the computer obcessing about it. How to fix it. What went wrong. Alternate ideas. Throwing lots of stuff on the wall. Seeing what stuck. Soul searching. Wondering if I really need to finish this draft now. That’s important, yanno.
So at the end of that hellish week, I finally — after brainstorming until my eyeballs damn near started bleeding — came up with something. The current direction? Wrong. The current ending? Wrong. It all needed to go from where I started rewriting it last. Ugh. That really friggin hurt, but I saved the file under different name, just in case it was The Crazies and not a Brillant Idea like I thought.
Soooo I start in on the new direction and it’s flowing for a day or two. I’m on friggin fire. I can’t type fast enough. It’s going, it’s going, and then..it went. Just…nothing. I went to start the next scene last night and ended up with this mess:
“Are you sure you’re up for this?” Derek asked as we walked quite a distance away from the Circle and through a copse of trees. The sunlight sent diffused light through the canopy of leaves, and I hugged myself, suddenly cold. The smell of saltwater reminded me of the time that Luke and I spent at the beach, and my heart clenched tight.
“No, I’m not,” I admitted. “But I have to do this.”
“It’s just down this path.” A dirt path lead to complete darkness. Disconcerted, I followed him, wondering how far into the darkness Luke was. I realized that I should have had my daggers. Some kind of protection. Who was to say that Derek wouldn’t just..kill me? They didn’t exactly owe me anything. Although, I was still the Alpha Female, and it had to count for something, right?
I tried to think positively.
I’m positive that I’m going to die.
I shook my head. This wasn’t going to work.
“Natasha?” Derek asked. “Are you okay?”
I blinked. “Wha – yes, I’m fine. Just a little worried.”
“I can imagine.” Derek stopped at a short nondescript building made of brick. It seemed to completely fill the area, but maybe it was my imagination. Luke was in there. Right now. I wasn’t sure if that scared me more or gave me comfort.
The sound of chains banging against each other broke into my thoughts. Derek was trying to unlock the chains.
Not even going to go into why this sucks, just that it does, okay?
So what’s going on? Well, my best guess? Some things have been weighing on my mind, and as usual, I’m putting too much pressure on myself (what else is new?). I would like to finish this draft of Alpha Female by the end of the year. What might be the reality is that I don’t, and that’s okay. But I have goals! Well, sometimes goals aren’t everything.
I’m not giving up on it, but I am going to lighten the load a bit on myself. It’s been difficult and I know I need to work through these things, but I have been working on Alpha Female since August. Three rewrites plus countless other scene rewrites. This has been one of the toughest books I’ve ever written. Why? I don’t know. I can’t say it was because I had a deadline, because that was shot to hell halfway through. It’s almost as if the book is fighting me. Why? I love Natasha and Luke, I love the Pirouette world, I love the story. So why am I so effed up about it?
I don’t know. That’s a bit of a mystery. But it’s really pissing me off.
I’ve also been thinking about Pirouette and where to go with it once I start the revision. Out of the gate, I’ll need to revise the first two scenes. That’s been simmering in the back of my head for awhile. And a new project — well, an old one that’s screaming for my attention — is Darkweaver. I have Ideas, baby, but can’t work on it. I need to finish Alpha Female and Pirouette before I can even start think about writing it. Because I could get involved in that for a year and meanwhile, Alpha Female and Pirouette suffer. Can’t do that.
And, lastly, is poetry chapbook #2, Without Wings. I have a preliminary file started with the poems in a possible order. They still need editing and the order needs to be studied. It’s due to the Turtleduck peeps on Feb. 1st. So that’s in the plan as well.
So, I’m taking it easy. Hopefully, I can get something going before the end of the year. I hope.