This Mortal Veil of Fear

23 July 2014

breathe life into this feeble heart
lift this mortal veil of fear
take these crumbled hopes, etched with tears
we'll rise above these earthly cares
"dante's prayer," loreena mckennit

And thus we come to one of the best and most challenging aspects of blogging: accountability. A community waiting for an answer. My silence may have been some indication, but if it was not, you will know by the end of this post. I have not finished Anath's Song, and I will not be able to pick it up again until early August.

You can't know how tired I am of writing words like that. "It's going pretty well; I'm a little behind my goal"—and then, "I didn't finish," or worse, "I quit." Failure — because it feels so much like giving up — tastes bitter on my tongue. First Rifles, for which I have haphazardly researched, plotted, outlined, and written the better part of two years with little to show for it. Now this short project which should have been completed in two weeks still hangs on me unfinished. But good words come much more slowly than poor ones, and sometimes they have to be eked out with cups of tea and long bouts of still fingers and silent keys. And then sometimes other tasks simply must take priority, though I ignore that fact for as long as possible. An application for a college class that had to be sent in by a certain time. The business of shopping and packing for a two week trip also drains the hourglass. I'd like to say that life gets in the way of my writing goals, but life is the delays and the downtime and the dry months as well as the harvest.

Since I'll be out of town for the rest of July and unable to write, there's not much point in continuing to answer the questions for Actually Finishing Something [in] July after this week. Even though my word count is meager, I am so grateful for this opportunity to get a whole new project off the ground. And don't think for a minute that the story ends here. I had a mini breakthrough plot-wise just last week and the storybuilding will always continue. Reader, you have yet to hear the last of Anath's Song.

week three questions
actually finishing something [in] july

1. Were you able to meet your goal this week?

No, but I am satisfied with the current state of the novella and excited to get back to work when I return home again.

2. Where did you get the bulk of your writing accomplished? In the quiet of your room, outside on the patio, on the bus?

One evening when two of my siblings were out with friends and the rest were at the pool, I sat in our great room and carried on the wings of Pandora, typed away for two hours. It was blissful. As you can imagine, though, that doesn't happen often. The rest of the time I completed my writing in my room.

3. Share a couple of your favorite snippets!

Ha!” One eyebrow, visible in the slit between forehead and cheek, cocked in amusement. “You are nothing.”
“And yet, I am all I have to give.”
[anath's song]

Cassandra clenched her father’s hand until he cried out for her to release him. His hand burned, he said. Confused, she turned his palm upwards in her own. Long red burns, thin as spider webs, traced manic patterns over the surface of his skin. They singed her fingers and she flinched away in disgust. It was the last time she would touch her father.
[anath's song]

Young and naive, she had never guessed how her close, familiar life hung on a straining thread. One false step, and the fibers would snap altogether.
[anath's song]

4. Have you introduced a new character into your story? Tell us about his or her personality. 

Cassandra's father Titus has just recently entered the story and I've had an interesting time with his complexities. He was once a man of few words, strong, quiet, steady as the tide. One rash act later, and he is now entirely flat, washed of all identity save his own sins, which shine in brighter contrast. His daughter loved him once, but certain circumstances have changed that quickly enough.

5. List the favorite foods of your main characters.

Cassandra loves a rich roasted lamb, heavy with spices, the sort that she rarely tastes. Of her usual fare, she would not turn up her nose at plain bread and oil. Anath enjoys any sort of fruit he can find at the market that reminds him of his home city, specifically grapes and pomegranates.

6. Introduce us to the antagonist in your story and tell us about one of his or her quirks.

You've met Titus already, who plays a slightly antagonistic role in Anath's Song, so I'll give you Damon instead. Tall and swarthy, he's about as handsome and as proud as they come. He can't abide fish, women less than six inches shorter than him, and admitting defeat.

to all who are attempting to actually finish something this july, how are your projects coming along?

2 epistles:

  1. It's always a wonderful feeling to get some writing in... I hadn't heard about "Actually Finishing Something" this month, but if I had known ahead of time, I might of attempted to complete one of the many stories that are calling me from their current resting places on the computer. :)

    I enjoyed the snippets you shared from Anath's Song. You're a strong storyteller and know just how to twist the words around just right!

    ReplyDelete
  2. Don't worry, Elizabeth - you are not the only one who is struggling with failure of accomplishing desired word-count, writing goals, etc. I struggle with this constantly! The important thing is that you are satisfied with your successes - a start to the story, writing this scene or that , etc. I was at a writer's workshop with Davis Bunn last week and one thing thing he said that came home to me was what he said about success - he said to make sure you define your own success and reward yourself for any small breakthrough - one that may seem trivial to others but to you is truly a milestone. Don't let others define successes of writing for you nor let your ambitions do so either, but rather what you know you are capable of. That was really helpful advice (or should I say an encouraging tip) for me.

    So, have cheer, dear heart! I admire how you have even been able to find time to start the Five Enchanted Roses challenge. I wish to join but, oh, the time!!!

    P.s. enjoy your college trip with Bree - safe travels :)

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"Gracious words are like a honeycomb; sweetness to the soul and health to the body." —Proverbs 16:24

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