Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Good Things, Part II

We finally had enough money saved up and we bought a 13" Macbook Air.

I have never had a laptop before, and being able to carry around this awesome tiny machine seems like magic to me.  How did we ever get along without this?  It's so light, I think it really is made mostly of air.

Being me, I am doing obsessive research about what kind of case to get to carry it around.  After looking at skins, covers, sleeves, bags and backpacks, I think I've decided that I'm just going to go with buying a quilted padded zippered cover on Etsy.  I like the idea of getting something handmade and supporting a creative person, instead of giving business to a big impersonal electronics store.  I just need to find one that has a fabric that isn't so girly my husband would be embarrassed to carry it around - I might really like the one covered with tiny lavender butterflies and pink flowers, but I don't think he'd appreciate it on quite the same level.

Adam Carolla calls his computer his "magic porn box" and similarly I now think of this laptop as my "magic writing box".  I've installed Scrivener (my writing program, see it here) on it, and it really does seem positively magical that I can carry around this tiny thing and not only have my novel and my novel in progress, but all my research and notes and everything right there in my little hand.

Speaking of writing, I completely stopped all writing a few months ago.  I was just getting into my second novel, and I was having an extremely difficult time.  I needed a get-some-perspective break.  I also needed to stop beating myself up.  I did some reading (including the Hunger Games books, which I seriously cannot recommend highly enough, very fun to read) and did some thinking.

And now I can see that I was going the wrong direction with my work-in-progress.  I still really like the characters and the overall plot arc, but I was trying to take it the wrong way.  It's funny, I felt like if I think something is a good idea, then it is, I'm the writer and therefore what happens within my writing is all up to me.  But I can see now that the severe events I had planned were wrong for the relatively gentle tone of the book, and I now have a better idea of what the theme is.  I am probably going to scrap what little writing I did actually do, and start over, with a much clearer plan.

But not yet.  I think that my first novel was written somewhat fearfully, in that I kept hearing critical voices in my head that, despite my attempts to ignore them, still steered me in the wrong direction about several things, including the personality of the main character.  I wrote Megan fairly ditzy, and sweet, and a little naive, and I see now that if I put more of my own personality into her, it would be a lot more interesting.  I think she should be funnier, more sarcastic, and a little darker.  And even though the novel mostly takes place in her office, I really shied away from having too many scenes there, especially with other characters that she works with.

So here I go with My First Novel: The Second Draft.  Yay!

I've already re-written the first scene, and I am positive that it is much better now.  I am tremendously excited to get going with the other changes, and I can confidently say that the joy is now back in my writing.

And therefore, back in my life.  And holy crapmuffins, I could use some joy right about now.  Work remains horrifying.