I know what this looks like.

Eons have passed—literal eons—since I last blogged.  It’s obvious what’s going on. 

I have been transmogrified into a mongrel and have been living on the streets of New York since my apartment building doesn’t allow pets. 

I hope I failed to deceive you:  truth is never black and white, and that sentence clearly was black on white.  Unlike the others on my page. 🙂

Nope, I have merely been writing.  Lord, have I been writing.

Lord:  Yes, Ruth, you have been.
Ruth:  It’s just a phrase, Lord.  I knew I’d been writing.  Although I appreciate your confirmation.
Lord:  Anytime.  It kind of sucks right now, you know.
Ruth:  Thanks again for your input. 
Lord:  If I removed you from this plane of existence right now, your journal would be basically incomprehensible to others, and your actual draft pretty much sucks.
Ruth:  I like how you usually don’t talk back. 
Lord:  [                                               ]
Ruth:  I can’t believe I’m actually feeling guilty right now!  This was an IMAGINARY conversation.
Lord:  [                                               ]
Ruth:  I’m never writing the Lord into any of my books.
Lord:  I heard that.
Ruth:  *happy dance* 

Anyway, if I may continue…  I have been writing like a dog.  A dog which writes.  (Where DO we get these expressions???)

I am finally realizing the difference between story and plot.  Story being the tale, and plot being the way the tale is told.  Realizing the difference, of course, doesn’t mean mastering the technique.  🙂  But it’s the first step to figuring it out, and that is the first step toward doing it well. 

So it’s not so much a matter of one step forward and two steps back, but more a matter of “oh, there’s a dance move involved?  On which planet is the dance floor?  I shall get there, somehow, starting now.”

And speaking of steps: I’m the kind of person who plays chess, at best, three moves ahead of the present.  In other words, I can hold six plays in my mind ahead of time, but even trying beyond that makes all cogent thought crumble.  Writing a book, however, requires more than six-plays-in-advance to be held in one’s mind.  This is…  I hesitate to say “problematic,” because you know me and my disinclination to refer to things as “problems.”

I shall refrain from categorizing this and shall sip some more coffee and get back to writing.  At this point, dear reader, I keep not only my draft in the computer and copious (but COPIOUS) notes in my journal, but also numerous sheets of paper full of charts, timelines and character directions.  DEAR GOD!

Dear God:  What now?
Ruth:  Gaaaaaah!  I’m sorry, please help someone who deserves your attention.
Dear God:  I must recommend counseling, Ruth.  *poof*

Now, one might THINK I was in the middle of nowhere, but ACTUALLY...

Alas, I seem unable to format my photo as desired, so I musts give away the location, which was to be revealed upon clicking.  (For to leave you bereft of this information would be dastardly, not to mention improper.)


But actually I’m smack-dab between Armenia and Turkey.  Or, to be precise, as smack-dab would actually put me in the water you see yon, I’m on the Turkish side of the Armenian/Turkish border.  Armenians from their shore can see Ani, their ancient capital, which stands now in ruins, with a Turkish flag flying above a fortress.  Really evocative place.  I managed to go when there were almost no tourists (as you can tell)…definitely worth it for the atmosphere…


About sputnitsa

Born in the US, I grew up in Africa and the West Indies, and returned stateside in my teens. After a decade in international development, democracy work, and inclusivity training for domestic NGOs, I joined Peace Corps, and after a year, experienced my first Russian invasion. I followed that up by volunteering with refugees and youth, and after some vacation time climbing minarets and mountains, I returned to New York City, where today I work on social justice with college students, produce short films, and write.
This entry was posted in fiction, finding your own way, first drafts, writing, writing update and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink.

8 Responses to I know what this looks like.

  1. ralfast says:

    Glad to have you back! 😉

  2. LilliCray says:

    Good thing I wasn’t drinking anything while reading this, because I probably would have killed the keyboard. ^.^

    Well, now I know why I suck at chess. I can hold one move in my head at a time. I have no power of forethought. >.< Maybe this is why I can't finish anything. *Conveniently forgets that finishing things involves writing them*

    At least you're writing a lot! I bet it's a lot better than you think.

    • sputnitsa says:

      Hahaha! You’re hilarious 🙂

      See, even though I can sometimes think six plays ahead, I have precisely zero grace while doing so. For some reason, chess-thinking requires me to frown grotesquely the entire game through. I suspect my post-chess headaches have less to do with my thoughts than with my long-held mental constipation expressions. 🙂

      But how’s your writing going? Man, does it require discipline!! 🙂

  3. And not only has Sputsie been working her butt off on her WIP, she has become frighteningly obsessive with learning German. 😉

    *private joke between the Sput and me*

    • sputnitsa says:

      Proving finally and for all that “a little knowledge is a dangerous thing,” I hereby inform you that based on my recent exposure to German grammar, I have increased my time studying Russian 100-fold. That’s right. 🙂 I’d have to be a titmouse to study German!

      🙂 🙂 🙂 (Sorry you had to witness that, y’all!) 😉 🙂

      Ah, and I think WIP (work in progress) should be changed forthwith to WhIP. Because that is what it is doing to me! 🙂

  4. Beth says:

    WhIP–brilliant. 🙂

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