Dreamsnake

Tonight we dine on memories
And expect
Time to relent to our desires
In darkness we find images
Moving pictures in unconsciousness
Masking the realities of our existence
Though at their center lies a message
A slice of clarity
Obscured in one dizzying mindscape after another
This meal of moments lasts
As long as your night persists
So ignore the soft groan of aged bedsprings
The whispered sigh of unclean sheets
Seek instead the cataractous vision of dreams
In which the eye cannot quite focus
And makes spectres out of sense
Revel in a figment of reality
Your clairvoyant soul shedding mundane wrappings
Making itself a snake.

Today’s entry in NaPoWriMo is inspired by the prompt, which bids us visit the Bibliomancy Oracle, receive our quote and use it as the basis of our poem somehow. I used one word from the quote in each line of the above poem.

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Twilight Garden Update

It is finished. No. It is done. It is far from finished. Done, not finished is what I always call my knitting projects before they’re blocked and have ends woven in and buttons sewn on, so that is what the novel is. Done, but not finished.

My word count is 64,334. That’s a lot of words, especially for me. I think all of my poetry over the last couple of years might in total be about twenty thousand, so writing over sixty thousand in the span of a couple of months is incredibly impressive to me. I suppose it’s impressive to anyone, really, though I know there are people who do this regularly. There are people who finish NaNoWriMo every year, there are novelists who write several books in a year, there are other writers whose word counts I feel certain far surpass my sixty-five thousand in one year.

But this is an accomplishment for me. It proves to myself that I can do it if I don’t allow myself to give up. That I have a lot more willpower than it sometimes appears (unless it involves going walking in sub-freezing temperatures – then I have none). That I can write a book, goddammit. And I think it’s a pretty good book. The one person I’ve let read it so far (don’t worry, there will be more, I just wanted to wait until it at least had an ending) says it’s pretty good.

There are things I do need to finish though. People and places need names. There are a few names at the beginning, but even in the beginning I didn’t bother naming places. It was too distracting to try and “get it right” so I left things named CoffeeShopName and BookshopName and CityName. Then there are characters who still need names, and characters whose names I’m not certain fit who they truly are in the story. Midway through the first twenty thousand words or so, several of the characters decided to be something other than I intended, so the names I chose for them probably should be changed to reflect that.

Because of that flip-flopping, I really need to edit. I had a hard time not editing as I went anyway, so I did do a little, but there’s a lot that needs to be filled out, not unlike an over-thin but otherwise healthy stray. There are most certainly plot holes you can at least drive a Mini Cooper through, if not a tank. There’s a lot of missing information. Scenes I think are important probably need to be expanded. There may even be some things I could condense where it’s not absolutely required for the plot. I think I skipped something entirely, now that I’m thinking about it.

So I know it needs editing. A lot of it. I’m putting it away for a little while though. At least a couple of months. In March, perhaps, I’ll bring it back out, give it a read. See what needs fixing, see how it reads if I do it straight through. I may even let Larissa read it, though doing so is a little unnerving. She’s published, and her first book (I haven’t had the privilege of reading the second yet) was amazing, and far more finely crafted than this effort of mine.

Dictation

I have a wonderful sister. I didn’t know this until I got older, but she really is very wonderful. She just recently had a baby, who is now four months old, and has managed to quit her job so that she can do photography full-time. She asked Jason and I this year what we would like for Christmas; actually she asked me what Jason might like and asked Jason what I might like. I gave her several ideas, and apparently he gave her several ideas as well. I didn’t think much about it until I received a box in the mail a couple of days ago.

My sister, who I tormented for much of her childhood, bought me Dragon NaturallySpeaking for Christmas. She got it for me so that I could dictate my writing instead of having to type it. It is probably one of the most thoughtful gifts I have ever received. I haven’t worked with it much, although I am typing this post using it at the moment, but already I am enjoying how it works. I’ve gotten a little used to voice recognition software because of the iPhone, so it’s not too hard to learn especially with the punctuation. I think what I’m most going to have to get used to is actually dictating what I’m writing. It feels a little weird to be saying what I mean to be typing. I’m sure that I’ll get used to it however and I’m confident that it will eventually be an excellent tool for my writing.