Just a couple of writers on a road trip through life. Hop in, hold on, and don’t forget your rain boots.

Freaks Discuss

January 2, 2013

Dear Stephanie, 

Wow, I have really fallen behind on FD. But to answer your question-- YES. Overboard. Like, more than Goldie Hawn and Kurt Russell. I am so far overboard I am underwater. Obsessing. Trying really hard to stop over thinking everything. Writers are neurotic, right? It isn't just me? Well, of course not-- you just admitted you are totally crazy also. So we're both in the same boat... or overboard of the same boat. 

The good thing is that I feel like I can (finally) put that manuscript behind me and start on the next big writing project. It's finished as far as my part goes. Now I'm just in the nail-biting phase of waiting until my alpha readers give me some feedback... which is a hard process too. So I'm focusing on all the new stuff I can write and be neurotic about. It's awesome. But I have new resolve. Not resolutions. But a feeling that I can accomplish anything, now that the last chapter of that book is closed until further notice. The business side of writing comes next, and that makes me crazy. But it's all happening... slowly, surely. 

Stay FREAKY! I'm sure your holiday overboarded-ness went off without a hitch. And if not, let's just say it did. And anyway that was last year. Welcome to 2013. It's going to ROCK!


December 16, 2012

Dear Julie,
Have you ever gone overboard?  Sometimes in my writing I have a tendency to edit to death. I go overboard. Or I will talk about a certain object, describing it in vivid detail and then go too far. I risk losing my reader. I might like it, but the reader…not so much. And such is the case with many a thing in my life and it made me begin to wonder if going overboard is a writer thing, or if it’s just me?
For example, this Christmas Eve, I offered to host a crab feed for my sister’s family of 4 and my parents. Now? Well, it has turned into 18 to 22 adults and four children with a rockin’ awesome gift exchange.  Then, I decided it was a good idea to make all of my nieces and nephews a Christmas present, all the while trying to do a complete remodel of my house to get it ready for said party. While I am so excited, throwing the Christmas party of the century is a lot of work, especially when you spend every waking minute fixing up your house or trying to become an expert seamstress to make gifts for children. Here is where I should also mention that I am in finals week in school, but that is low on the list in comparison to everything else. But it begs the question: why do I do this? Why do I go so completely overboard? I’m not sure I have an answer other than my personality’s aim is to go big or go home. And by go home I do mean, fall-on-my-face-in-sheer-embarrassment-because-there-was-no-way-I-could-ever-pull-off-what-I-sought-to-do.
So the score for now? I have scrapped the idea of making gifts. It is only one thing off the list, but I still have the other major things to do. I need a lot of luck to pull this one off. Anyone have a shinny penny, a four leaf clover, a horseshoe or a rabbit’s foot? I could really use them right about now.

Sincerely and “Obviously” Freaky,


December 3, 2012

Dear Julie, 

I've been doing a lot of escape reading lately. I have two weeks of my final math class left to go and then I am done with the subject forever. What I am discovering though is that I have to balance out all these number problems with words, plot, and great characters just to keep me sane. Reading is cathartic for me. I can't live a life solely centered on numbers. It just isn't healthy and unless I am counting syllables for poetry and verse, when am I ever going to need to know how to solve a trinomial equation with radicals? Uh, yeah. Never. It's torture.

  So, to make up for it, I've been taking bubble baths and reading Gone Girl. I've been staying up late at night, reading The Forgotten on my Kindle. I've been hiding in coffee shops reading The Casual Vacancy. And you know what? It makes me feel normal again. I feel like I can breathe, which is more than I can say for my breathing difficulties while solving equations. Math usually ends with me throwing things. I also rapidly degenerate into a sailor. Oh, the filth that comes from my mouth! Yes math, I hate you and I wish I could say the feeling is mutual. But I think you are some sort of sadist because you take pleasure in my pain and misery. You stand over me, whipping my brain and ego until it is thoroughly bruised and then you threaten me with more. I just keep telling myself two more weeks.

Really, I am thankful for reading. It is such a great coping mechanism. It is my escape into another world where math is not mentioned and beautiful plot is woven like an intricate tapestry. I am thankful for it. And you know what? I am thankful to be able to share these feelings with others who know exactly how I feel, other fellow readers and writers just like you.


Stephanie D. Birch

PS - I think we should plot against math and tear it a new one using our own choice weapon: words. What do you think?

October 20

Dear Stephanie, 

Love it. I just wish the sad neglected spouse had a goatee. And I also wish there was more debauchery around here. It's really hard to be debauchery-ish while married. 
So my soccer team lost again, partially because they have no desire to chase the ball, and partly because they are highly unmotivated. They have no drive, because they've never actually scored a goal, except by accident in the first game. Wait-- that's not entirely true. One of them scored today, but it was on our own goal. So that doesn't really count. They need motivation, but they need to score so they'll be motivated. It's very chicken-eggy.

I use chocolate as a motivator for my writing. One chapter, one piece of Hershey's Special Dark. At this rate I may finish my book in record time, but my butt is going to get huge. Totally worth it though. I'm almost drowning in ideas for stories and short stories and novels and novellas. A lot of them are apocalyptic and post apocalyptic though. Maybe I should stop watching all the apocalypse stuff. There's just so much out there now. I think Avian flu is most likely, but everyone seems to really like the idea of a zombie apocalypse. The Marine and I argue about it a lot because he  really thinks zombies could happen and I don't. It doesn't make sense, medically, as a disease. But I think he really wants to shoot some zombies, that's his real reason behind his argument. And they say men are so logical. 

PS: On the subject of dreams-- I had a very nice dream about Damon Salvatore (not Ian Somerhalder, but actually Damon, he's my dude) and Chris Hemsworth in a ninja fight to the death for the honor of my hand. But then I fell in a vat of spaghetti and everyone who tried to rescue me turned into spaghetti. Probably not going to use it for a story though but at least I got to see Chris Hemsworth covered in pasta...

October 10

Dear Julie, 

Your post today reminded me of something I saw once and found it to be fitting, at least for me. Honestly, I laughed more than the others around me when I saw it. They weren't writers. I think you have to be a part of the Writer Freaks Club in order to really appreciate the humor in it. Here it is:
And I agree with you. Our brains like to kick in to overdrive with nightmares and dark subject matter when we are content, happily bobbing about our lives. But, you have to use it. Writing dark prose doesn't mean the writer is dark. It just means the writer can tap into those otherwise ignored and subconscious thoughts that most like to read and watch. When you ask people what their favorite TV show is, they say things like, Fringe, Law and Order, Vampire Diaries, True Blood, CSI, and Criminal Minds. All of that content comes from the writer, and chances are they are happy. Especially because they are doing what they love.
On the topic of nightmares and dreams though, I use them. I dream every night multiple times and I can usually remember them with keen accuracy. I use them in my writing. It is what inspired a scene in the current book I am writing.

So, dream on! And keep up the dark work. :-)
- Stephanie 

No comments:

Post a Comment