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IWSG: My Blogging Blooper Reel

January 2, 2013

InsecureWritersSupportGroupWelcome to 2013, Insecure Writers! If you’re not already part of the Insecure Writer movement that is—thanks to the inimitable Alex J. Cavanaugh— taking the Internet by storm, click this linky to add your name to the list of some of the nicest writers on the web. The first Wednesday of each month is the day we post about our trials and traumas, supporting each other as we overcome our writing troubles.

A new year is always an opportunity to look back upon what was and what could have been. In my case, a lot of ‘could have been’ never gets past the gatekeeper of, “Would anybody really want to read this crap stuff?!” But then sometimes, I think maybe I should have given it a shot. Hence, fellow Insecure Writers, I present for your amusement: A glimpse of the posts that didn’t make the cut for the year 2012: My Blogging Blooper Reel

Take for instance the unfinished post: Building the Perfect Hero

He’s handsome, of course, but with scars.'Lucretious'

Okay, but describe handsome. Handsome starts with the eyes, deep-set, probing, intelligent, thoughtful. Not sharp, unkind, or darting about the room while I’m talking, but looking directly into mine without fear, with curiosity. They can be any color. Blue is overdone, but green will work, and in my hero’s case they’re brown with auburn highlights …

Another post was about how a trip to the E.R. ended up nudging the Muse to whisper the name of a main character in The Whole of the Moon. The post was tentatively titled Stranger than Fiction.

I had asked the Muse a week ago but had given up on getting an answer. The heroine’s father was in need of a name. And since he is a god, it needs to be a good one. I can see what he looks like, bushy white eyebrows, aquiline nose, and a stern, disapproving set to his mouth, weathered skin framed by a cloud of white hair. His frame is aging, but every bit as powerful as it was in his youth. A name worthy of such a man would not be an easy assignment.

Then, as the darkness of sleep crept upon me, I heard a name whispered inside my head.

Teragus Swansong.

I had a mind to post a character sketch for Danny DeVries- a minor character in The Tempest’s Serenade:

Christy ThompsonHi Danny. Got a minute? I know you’re busy tonight, but if you could just…okay, I’ll sit back with my margarita and speculate. Thanks for the drink, by the way. I know they are mostly for the tourists so I really appreciate you sending one my way even though I’m a regular.

So, I’m trying to get what you look like onto my page.

What? You hate your looks? Who doesn’t. Getting older stinks, especially in self-conscious, self-absorbed SoCal. There are a lot of nice people in Los Angeles though, you just have to be open to them …

There was a short post about a pivotal scene that came to me on a rainy afternoon: Caught in the Rain

A sudden shower, a dusty gem of a song, and a burst of inspiration written on the back of an airline ticket was all it took to give my story another nudge in the direction of the book I set out to write.

My mind’s eye saw a newspaper article announcing the tragic death of an emerging musician by drug overdose tacked on a bulletin board. Beside it were lyrics and some chord charts hastily Billy Alexanderscribbled in dark pencil.

My female lead, insisting, “Because I’m a ghost” when I am desperately trying to keep her from disappearing off the page. She has unfinished business she left behind. She haunts him.

I had some interviews with Rigel, the protagonist of Book Two of The Dragon’s Milk Chronicles:

He gets up early, like me, before the rest of the world wakes up. It gives him time to think, time to let his defenses down. I’m not even sure if I should bother him.

“You again.” He tries to appear angry, but I can tell that he is glad to see me.

“Just a few more visits. I have some things on my mind.”

“Okay, I suppose so,” he says, but I know that the word ‘okay’ might not even fit into my fantasy world, even though it is set in our world.

“Can you tell me more about the girl you loved?” I ask him.

“You want to know her name, don’t you?”

“I do.”

I had an interview with the love interest in The Tempest’s Serenade all cued up, before I backed out. It went something like this:

Chrissi Nerantzi“Libra?” I ask.

I try to be calm and soothing. She’s a nervous girl, and very shy. She looks around the room the way my cat would, always prepared with an escape route. I don’t describe her blue eyes, but choose instead the fragile bones beneath her cheeks. Her lips part in a tremulous smile.

“You don’t usually ask for me,” she says. “It’s always Nick.”

“Does that bother you?”

“A little.”

Nick was angry with me once:

“You know why it is taking so long on this revision, don’t you?”

I sigh, and keep typing. I know what is coming without even thinking about it too much. “You were meant for this,” he says, “Why do you always try to deny it?”

“I can’t bring myself to let it go.”

“You are hiding. Why?” His eyes are gentle, his anger gone. “Why?” he reiterates.

“Said bookism,” I accuse him weakly. Why is he beating on me, when I am so tired?

And then, I was going to post the scene when Nick got his guitar at twelve years old: Nick and the Black Strat

Image courtesy of 'RockNRollP' @ stock.xchngA long-haired dude saunters up to the two of them and addresses Nick’s father. “What can I do you for?”

His father looks him over, and tries not to judge him. The guy can probably play the pants off Eddie Van Halen. Erik used to listen to rock music himself, but now music makes it hard for him to think.

“It’s for my son.”

The long-haired dude looks down at Nick, who can’t disguise his fervent admiration for anyone who plays the instrument he loves so much.

Nick looks up at him and smiles. “Can you play Van Halen?”

The dude grins and rolls up the sleeves of his flannel shirt to reveal tattoos up his elbows. “‘Course I can play Eddie, and I can play Jimi and …Satriani. ” The young man plucks a guitar from the upper row, bright red with black hardware. Nick grins in anticipation, but it is all Erik could do to keep himself from rolling his eyes.

Most recently, there was the post about my story having a shape:

Alaa HamedSometimes writers talk about writing with intention. For me, it is the unintended, those moments where I discover what my subconscious is weaving into my words, that gives me a glimpse of my soul.

One of my favorite aspects of drafting a novel at the accelerated pace of NaNoWriMo is when a pattern begins to emerge in the tapestry of my story. Halfway through The Whole of the Moon I was struck by a theme that keeps popping up. My story has a shape. That shape is a circle …

There are more, but that’s enough for today, don’t you think?

How about you, Insecure Writers? Do you ever toss posts back into the bin because it’s just too scary to put them up there? Do you have a blogging blooper reel?

Images courtesy of Antony Ruggiero, Chrissi Nerantzi, ‘Lucretious’, ‘RockNRollP’, Billy Alexander, and Alaa Hamed, Christy Thompson @ stock.xchng
  1. January 2, 2013 5:43 am

    I love the last one ‘…a circle.’ Made me laugh. Keep up the good work. Even your unfinished work is great! Cheers!

    • January 2, 2013 6:23 am

      Thanks, Clayton!
      I’ve made progress in terms of insecurity, but as you can see, I still have a ways to go. 🙂
      Happy writing in 2013!

  2. January 2, 2013 7:40 am

    Oh, what a good idea for a post! I have a few still saved in “drafts” that I was too scared to post . . . maybe someday! I see you’re reading My Memories of A Future Life–how is it?

    • January 2, 2013 7:07 pm

      I’m about halfway into My Memories … and it’s awesome. The story is especially poignant for me because I play piano as a hobby, and would be devastated if I couldn’t play. The writing is taut, the paranormal elements seem plausible, and the characters jump off the page–it’s great read. 🙂
      I’ve loved the idea of a blogging blooper reel for a while now, but never had a chance to look back at how many of these I have. I was surprised!

  3. January 2, 2013 8:34 am

    I don’t have much of a blooper reel–just a few posts sitting there in Word documents until I decide whether to use them. I DO have a post ‘nursery,’ though. It’s a document I use to work on Grammar Police posts ahead of time so I can cut and paste later with ease. 😉

    I enjoyed yours. Glad you posted them.
    #137 until Alex culls the list again.

    • January 2, 2013 7:09 pm

      Cool idea having a post nursery!
      As you can see though, my haphazard posts either surge out onto the screen, or languish in obscurity.
      Until today, that is. 😉

  4. January 2, 2013 8:57 am

    This is what I love about blogging. Everyone’s ability to share. I love this post! Thank you 🙂

    • January 2, 2013 7:12 pm

      You are welcome, Rebecca!
      I agree. A blog is such a flexible medium–each blog becomes unique to the writer. Not only that, the writer can change it into something completely different on a whim!
      Very fun. 🙂

  5. January 2, 2013 10:24 am

    These are awesome. I always start posts that either change or get tossed completely. I’m glad I’m not the only one.

    • January 2, 2013 7:15 pm

      LOL. I knew I’d find a kindred shy blogger out there somewhere. 🙂 Sometimes I think the only reason anything gets posted at all is because out of the sheer volume of writing I do, something ends up being decent!

  6. January 2, 2013 2:50 pm

    I love the title first. You are very brave to put these out there. But, I enjoyed them. Every time I read an old post from early last year, I find something that makes me say, what the heck was I going for here. So funny to see how your writing evolves. Thanks for sharing.

    • January 2, 2013 7:17 pm

      Yeah, that’s funny. I almost thought about salvaging some of these, because I’m beginning to see how they could be better.
      It’s a sign! I’m learning! 🙂

  7. January 2, 2013 3:50 pm

    I love the idea of a blogger blooper reel! I wish I’d kept some of the posts that were left on the cutting room floor. I love the way your Muse works too. Teragus Swansong is an awesome name!

    Jamie Gibbs
    IWSG co-host
    Mithril Wisdom

    • January 2, 2013 7:21 pm

      Hi Jamie,
      Welcome to A Scenic Route!
      I admit it. I hoard my words. After all, what’s a few more blips on my hard drive?

      And I’m so glad you like Teragus’s name! I would really hate to have to change it, since the Muse worked so hard to present it to me. 🙂

  8. January 2, 2013 4:19 pm

    I knew I wasn’t the only one who kept their bloopers. Mine wait patiently in draft-land for completion – someday. Their titles are always much better than their content. I save them partly for amusment, partly because I’m a firm believer in never deleting anything even vaguely creative. Thanks for the peek!

    • January 2, 2013 7:24 pm

      Aha! Another word hoarder!
      I firmly believe that no writing is ever wasted, if for no other reason than to prove I’m a little better at it than I was. And, yes, a great title in need of a post should never be tossed aside!

  9. T.F.Walsh permalink
    January 2, 2013 11:37 pm

    All great posts… I like them all:) I so have a blog blooper reel, and for some reason they’re still in draft format… can’t bring myself to delete them.

    • January 3, 2013 6:50 am

      Definitely keep them! You just never know when you might want to make a post out of them. Like scraps for a patchwork quilt or something. 🙂

  10. January 3, 2013 12:10 am

    Loved all of these! Very entertaining post, Kirsten. Thanks for this–very inspirational. 😀

    • January 3, 2013 6:52 am

      Thanks, Morgan 🙂
      I’m glad you liked it. I guess my bloopers are good for something after all!

  11. January 3, 2013 1:35 am

    Wow, you keep them. I write posts all the time and then just delete them lol

    Great idea Kirsten, but, they looked like good posts! 😉


    • January 3, 2013 6:54 am

      You might be surprised at what you find if you stash those rejected posts and look back at them. Glad you liked mine! Perhaps I’ll resurrect some of them into full-fledged posts …

  12. nancysthompson permalink
    January 3, 2013 1:43 am

    Bloopers? But they’re so wonderful!

    • January 3, 2013 6:56 am

      Thanks, Nancy
      Something about these made me keep them around. I’m glad you seem to agree!

  13. January 3, 2013 3:36 pm

    Good question, Kirsten. I do that a lot, throw words into the bin for fear that they’ll cause me pain. In fact, my post this first IWSG for 2013 was about that very thing. Bloopers? Mistakes? I don’t know, but I keep thinking there are no accidents.

    Great post! Great way to start off the New Year! Definitely keep those posts. I was intrigued and would love to hear more.

    • January 3, 2013 7:07 pm

      Hi Joylene,
      Welcome to A Scenic Route! The topic of your post intrigues me too–I might have to pop by and check it out.
      I’m glad you liked the snippets. It seems my self criticisms might be unwarranted. 🙂

      Oh, and happy writing in 2013!

  14. January 3, 2013 6:51 pm

    He can play Satriani. Now I’m envious!!!

    • January 3, 2013 7:09 pm

      It’s all about the practice, my friend! 🙂 He’s been playing a long time …

  15. January 3, 2013 11:12 pm

    I use to toss posts often, but now I tend to throw them out into the world.
    Happy 2013!

    • January 5, 2013 4:37 pm

      Hi Ciara,
      I’m starting to think I might put more of them out there too. 🙂

  16. January 7, 2013 4:26 pm

    Blog bloopers, love it. But these are good, and I’m glad they got their day. 🙂

    • January 9, 2013 6:40 pm

      Hi Nicki,
      Welcome to A Scenic Route!
      I’m glad you liked them. 🙂 Once I the title ‘blog blooper’ starting looping in my brain I knew I had to write a post about it!

  17. January 7, 2013 10:52 pm

    I’ve got a long draft list in my posts list too. One day… one day.

    • January 9, 2013 6:42 pm

      I always tell myself it is better to have half-written ideas than none at all, even if I never get to them. I might have to do the blooper reel more often!

  18. January 10, 2013 9:11 am

    I think I took two posts out before posting them last year, and it was because I ranted and then sort of found a solution after I posted. 😀

    • January 10, 2013 10:29 pm

      I’m surprised that I haven’t actually pulled a post yet. (I’ve edited a few though, and password protected a few more.) I deliberate a lot–way too much– before I finally put something up!
      Rants are great post material though!

  19. January 12, 2013 3:51 pm

    Some of these would have made great posts! I’m so glad to be on the “inside” of some these character talks. Love the one with Libra…it actually helps me (the reader) see her better too. Such a cool practice. I think I need to start doing this too.

    • January 14, 2013 7:01 pm

      Libra has been extremely reticent, and really only came out of her shell last spring. Once she did, wow, she turns out to be quite the wild child! Maybe I’ll dig through some of my notes on her and see if I can find something succinct enough for a post.
      It really helped when I found her song: Dancing Barefoot by Patti Smith
      I feel a blog post coming on! Stay tuned. 🙂

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