Thursday, January 26, 2017

Word-Count Wednesdays

                                                          What am I working on?

     I keep a journal. Typically, that's the only writing I'm involved in from day to day. Besides journaling, I write essays for school and emails to my sister. I have a sizable stash of story scraps, and I would like to make progress on them, even if I only worked on an atom from a molecule of a particle of a chapter, but finishing a project is quite another thing from starting one.

                                                  How do I feel about the process?

     This is my one-word summary of how I feel about the writing process: paralyzed.

     I once spent somewhere around two hours thinking about background details for a scene that had played itself out in my head. The result of those two hours of pondering was two sentences penciled into a notebook that had laid open with a vengeance all the while I was thinking. This is why I say I feel paralyzed during the writing process. I suppose I get too concerned with the details. Often I start wandering into the realm of genealogy, wondering who the main characters parents are, who their parents' parents are, and so on and so forth (I even drew a pedigree chart) with no end in sight! It's not that I think that details like that are imperative to the story and has to be written out, it's just that I'm curious to know these things.
     Once I move past the paralysis stage and get started on a story, the main challenge for me is to see it through to the end. My tendency is to start writing a story and then leave it unfinished for long stretches of time. Sometimes I come back to an incomplete story and start working on it again, but what usually happens here is that I poke and prod it a bit before leaving it alone again, perhaps in the hopes that when I come back to it five years hence it will have developed itself into an entire series. Sadly, I have not finished a solitary story in years, that is, until January 17th of this year when I wrote a picture book called "Deep Within the Forest." It was immensely satisfying to have not only started, but finished writing something!
                                                        What am I reading now?

Pat of Silver Bush by L. M. Montgomery
The Two Towers by J. R. R. Tolkien

Total word count: 1,278
(Excluding the number of words from my journal entries).

Tuesday, January 17, 2017

Deep Within the Forest

As the dimming sun slips behind the tops of the trees, it gives off its last sparkles of golden glow and vanishes. The white moon rises and in every home, for miles around, little children are dreaming away. But deep within the forest, something begins to stir.

Deep, deep within the forest, something begins to stir.

Moonlight falls on a gossamer harp; the spider plays her song. She plucks the gleaming strands of her web with her tiny spidery legs.

Starlight shines on the shy passersby; the mice lift their whiskery noses. At the sound of the spider’s music, the mice let out small squeaks of delight.

Shadows prance on a great leafy drum; the deer and the doe happily play along. Their powerful hoofs bash through the undergrowth as they bound around and around. Deer and doe keep to the rhythm of the spider's harp. Silvery clouds fly by.

Fireflies twinkle over a fur-coated crowd; the squirrels chatter and cheer. Their fluffy red tails quiver and twitch as they listen, and watch, and thrill. 

Each creature looks up as the singers arrive; the songbirds’ musical voices swell from the fir boughs above. Their clear cries lend to the song of the woodland band and fill the chill dark air.

In come the raccoons; masks of midnight fitted over their glittering eyes. Black bears join the raccoons’ masquerade, and all begin to dance.

Cobwebby harp, hoof-beaten drum, waltzing paws and swishing tails. Starlit faces and eyes.
The bears pirouette and the raccoons glissade. The birds overhead chasse.

They skitter and scurry! They swoop and they leap!

And all is music,

And all is wonder,

Deep within the forest!

When softly is heard upon the night air a voice saying, "hushhhhhhh."

A quiet wind glides through the trees and sweeps the leaves on the ground. It swirls round the mice and brushes the squirrels. To each creature it whispers, "'tis nightfall. To home and to bed. Sleep tight."

They skitter and scurry. They swoop and they leap.

And all is silent,

And all is still,

Deep within the forest.