• But I’m A Nice Guy

    But I’m A Nice Guy from Scott Benson on Vimeo.

    Presented without comment.

  • You Need a Plan

    I’m a big fan of outlines. Which is a little strange, because I really love flying by the seat of my pants. And as I spoke about earlier, going off the plan is really easy for me. It’s sort of my default mode.

    Which is why I like outlines. They tell me where I am going and roughly where I hope to end up. If I get too far off track, all I have to do is look at my outline, point my compass in that direction, and usually it turns out okay. So far, I haven’t ended up being eaten by bears in the wilderness.

    But I’m not here to talk about outlines today. Whoops. Just sitting here, pulling the tablecloth out from all the dishes. Don’t mind me. Nope, I’m here to talk about plans. As in, career plans.

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  • The Miss Neo Pageant

    I had someone look me in the eye last night and scream “You are a horrible writer!” Luckily, it was Megan Mercier from the Neo-Futurists and it was part of a play. And my sister, who was sitting next to me, I’m pretty sure almost died from laughing at the abuses slung at me.

    I’ve written about the Neo-Futurists and a couple of their main stage shows before. While they’re most famous for Too Much Light Makes The Baby Go Blind, they do put on ‘regular old plays’ too. I say ‘regular old plays,’ but that’s not quite right. I just mean not TMLMTBGB.

    I’m still trying to digest The Miss Neo Pageant, the latest main stage. It was funny and brutal and cringe-inducing and eloquent and even, at moments, kind. I’ve seen plenty of men unabashedly naked on-stage before. Hell, I’ve seen women, too. But I’ve never seen a naked woman so unapologetic about her body and calling attention to its nakedness before. It was refreshing and genuine and exactly what was called for.

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  • Let’s Talk About ADHD and Writing

    It may come as a total surprise to you, but I have ADHD. Yes, that old bad hat Attention Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder. It’s a trendy little disorder to have, and having that diagnosis comes with amazing little pills that seem to make everyone smarter. Unfortunately, I actually do have the disorder and the prescription medicine you’ve never heard of that comes with it. And sadly, they don’t make me any smarter. They just help me function like a big fancy adult who does big fancy adult things like laundry. I know, you desperately want to live this glamorous life, too.

    I can’t say what it would be like to not have ADHD. It’s a problem with the brain chemistry and it’s just been that way my whole life. Which actually makes writing about ADHD hard, because I really don’t know how the regular-joe types function. How easy or hard different things are for them. All I can do is extrapolate what I see them doing. So I could be getting this wrong. Terribly wrong.

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  • Ladies and Gentlmen, The Novella is Drafted

    Some times you blink, and suddenly it’s May and it’s been, like, two weeks since you’ve posted in your blog. Sometimes you have good reasons, and sometimes you don’t. What I am not doing is letting the guilt prevent me from posting again.

    Since I last posted a lot of things have happened. The Russian’s sister came for a visit from Japan. May arrived. I started out with a new writing group. My sister came for a visit from Kenya. And I finished the first draft of my novella. Yes, you heard me. Three Days of Night is in the can. First draft, anyway.

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  • Finding Ways to be Kind to Myself

    It has recently come to my attention that I’m very good at projecting a version of myself that is intimidatingly confident. Which, in light of the stereoscopic version of Wren that I get in my brain, it is kind of hilarious.

    Yes, I revel in my weirdness at times. And yep, I definitely pretend at times that I am the most awesome person ever. Let me reassure you, this is to compensate for the giant sucking sound that is the black-hole of my actual self-esteem.

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  • In Which Wren Talks About Priorities and Choices

    Original photo by Tony Unruh

    There comes a time in everyone’s life when you realize you need to make priorities. This often comes with a certain amount if humiliation, because you generally have to admit that your priorities are all screwed up. At least that was true for me.

    I’ve mentioned the Year of No Habits and the Year of Shame before. I don’t think I’m quite ready to really talk about them in depth yet, but we’ll get there. We always do.

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  • Excerpts! Excerpts! Get Em While They’re Hot

    So I pulled out my editing chainsaw the other day. It’s not unusual for me to finish the beginning of a sci-fi story and then immediately edit it before going on with the rest. What can I say? I’m a believer in strong beginnings.

    Also, I promised excerpts. So I thought it’d be interesting to see my first two paragraphs of Draft 1 and Draft 1.1 side-by-side. I always find revisions and rewrites to be interesting beasts when the drafts belong to someone else. They give me a sense of who someone is and what their process looks like as a writer. Hopefully mine skews more towards ‘vaguely intelligent’ vs ‘complete and total idiot.’

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  • Burning Down the House

    original photo by Melinda Taber

    Everything I know about storytelling I learned from TV or from TV writers. That’s not really true, but it sounds good. That’s another lesson: lie your face off if it makes a good story.

    Thanks to Happy Days, we have the delightful “jumping the shark” in our lexicon. It’s a fun little phrase to break out when you want to sound cool. It’s also a prescription for what not to do with your story/franchise/reputation. I will note, however, that were I to ever encounter a real shark, I would jump that mofo without hesitation.

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  • What an Exhausting Week

    I am exhausted from the past week. Beyond the bombing news everyone has been following, my town flooded and I was head-butted in the face. Luckily I saw the latter coming and dodged out of the way, for the most part. Still got knocked in the chin pretty hard.

    The flood has been kind of a raw deal. My favorite local library was flooded out and will be closed until Tuesday. I’m glad my favorite places to write inside are all on the second floor. I feel like a jerk for being that concerned about the library considering everything that’s happened this week. I’m going to be selfish anyway.

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