Friday, May 31, 2013

Thursday Picture: Anza-Borrego in Spring

You may have noticed it's been a little quiet around here. This is because I've been shifting my priorities.  Progress on Labyrinth of Flame must come first, before I do anything else internet or writing related.  Sounds like a no-brainer, right?  Writers should write. But I tell you, writing first drafts is like pulling teeth for me.  Painful, painful teeth.  It's so easy to stop after few scant paragraphs of new prose and think, Argh, I'm writing like crap tonight. Maybe the words would flow better if I took a break. Just a quick one. I'll send a few quick emails. Oh yeah, and I should write a blog post, that'll get the juices flowing. Oh, look, something interesting on twitter... and before you know it, my scant evening free time is over and I have to get some sleep before my son wakes up at 6am.

Want to know a professional author secret?  There's nothing like a deadline to stop that kind of screwing around. I didn't have this problem on Tainted City.  I forced myself to cough out that first draft, come hell or high water, because I simply couldn't afford not to.  Argh, I'm writing like crap, I'd think...and then look at the calendar, hyperventilate, and keep pounding out words, telling myself, Whatever, I'll fix it in revision!  (I LOVE revision. That is my favorite part of writing, by far.)  My problem with Tainted City was managing my through-the-roof stress levels. Now, my stress level is nice and low.  But progress is....also low.

So. Time to learn a new skill: how to make reasonable first-draft progress without a looming deadline.  It can be done, I know it! But I've got to put Labyrinth first. (Well, first after parenting, and marriage, and day job. But definitely over pleasure reading, hiking, blogging, guest posting, and general internet socializing.  Well, mostly first over hiking. I get really cranky and antsy if I don't spend SOME time in the mountains.)

I do still mean to post here. But posts will be a bit more short and sweet - Thursday Pictures instead of Thursday Adventures, quick news updates, that kind of thing.  At least until I catch up to where I want to be on Labyrinth.  So on that note, I leave you with a picture.  This one's a favorite of mine from many years ago, back when I was a student at Caltech.  One spring I took a weekend road trip to Anza-Borrego State Park, when the cactus were blooming.  The ocotillo were particularly beautiful, their long arms tipped with flame.  This picture doesn't do the view justice - it was taken with a little point and shoot 35mm camera, and scanning of course didn't help matters - but it hopefully gives a hint of the rugged beauty we experienced.

Anza-Borrego State Park, in spring



  1. I love revision, too. It's like you got to laboriously dig up all this clay and throw it together into something that looks like a bison taking a dump. And then you get to the fun stuff - carving away and moving parts and polishing it up until everyone can see it's a galloping mustang.

    Also, Maggie Stiefvater just posted on deadlines if you'd like to read how she can't work without them.

    Good luck!

    1. Thanks for pointing me to Maggie Stiefvater's post! Loved it. (I, too, am a procrastinator by nature. Except I think she does it with more style. :)