Saturday, July 28, 2007

Vacation, All I Ever Wanted...

A vacation is having nothing to do and all day to do it in. ~Robert Orben

First off, I need to let you know that there will be NO blog post from me tomorrow (Sunday). I know, it's shocking... but I'm actually going to be away most of the weekend and *gasp* without Internet access. I don't know if I'll be able to handle it. I'll be back here on Monday.


The other day, a friend (*waves to Michele*) asked me what was harder to write: short stories or full length novels. My answer? Both... or neither. But she really got me to thinking about it, since I do like to write both (and hate to write both) for different reasons.

I love writing novels. They give you time to build a world, to really get to know your characters inside and out... to give them time to really do things, to live, to change, to fall in love.

But they take a long time to write. And sometimes you hit a wall. And there are days you just can't face looking at those characters even one more time. There are times you're just sick of everything about it. Familiarity breeds contempt.

That's when I write short stuff. When I need a break. When I am desperate to write "the end" on something. And when I just want to have a little fun. But...

But it can be significantly harder to write a short story. You have less time to build your characters. Less time to set the stage. Less time to get your reader deeply involved, for them to care about what happens to your protagonist. You don't have time for in depth descriptions. This is the time you choose one or two things about your characters and let the rest fall by the wayside. I'm fairly certain, though I'd have to go back and double check, that I give little or no physical descriptions of any of my heroines in my short stories. For those of you who have read them -- did you notice? Did you care? Did you have your own picture of them in your mind?

I have to admit... I really enjoy them both. And I don't feel guilty for taking time off of my novel to write a short story. I think it can actually make the novel fresher in the long run.

Anyone else have any input into this?


"Miles From You" got four roses at Sensual Reads! It says, in part:

Miles From You is a very believable and touching story. Marianne Arkins has created an extraordinary story for all ages to read. Millie has the sweetest personally and Paul is the perfect gentleman. I wish everyone was still like this today.

We had two more casualties at Pillar Place: Monarch yesterday. Harry and Apollo died from unknown causes. Apollo's death was the strangest -- he was still in his resting position: head tucked under, body nice and straight. Just... dead. Very odd.

I'm happy to report, however, that the rest of the pillars are thriving. And, I've found FIVE butterbabies outside. I still feel guilty about leaving them there, but I did wipe all the milkweed aphids off their leaves and chase off a huge wolf spider (who had caught and killed a Japanese beetle... good spidey) onto another plant. EDITED TO ADD: I was incorrect in labeling the spider ... though we do have many wolf spiders here in the area, they are ground dwelling (and, Michele, they're good mama's... don't be afraid). The spider I chased off was a Garden Orb spider -- similar in look, but they spin webs and typically live on plants.

Still... I worry. Though it appears being taken inside is no guarantee of a long and healthy life, either.

I promise, I'll get pictures of Otto soon.


I am not happy with this outcome... but I won't cheat and retake the test. Who are you?

Find out your Harry Potter personality at LiquidGeneration!


See you on Monday!


Michele said...

Thanks for answering my question!!
**waves hi back**

Fascinating answers and exaclty what I was looking for.

I've never seen a wolf spider and I don't want to. ::shudder::
You are very brave.

Hooray for more Butterbabies!

anno said...

I enjoyed your response as well; it was interesting to get your perspective on writing in different forms.

Glad to hear about the butterbabies!

Gay said...

Hey, there, Maria--

I'm Hermione. I'll take that over Lockehart any day.

Have a good time and survive the "no Internet." See you when you get back.

Tori Lennox said...

My pokey dial-up ISP didn't like that quiz site, so I'll just have to pretend I'm somebody competent. *g*

Hope you have a great weekend! (Though how you could with no Internet....)

Dru said...

Enjoy your weekend!

tinylittlelibrarian said...

I was Lockhart, too. And then I took it again and got Neville Longbottom - I don't know which is worse! (Although Neville is doing very well in the last book, so I guess it's not too bad.)

Jen said...

You know, Marianne, I find the short stories harder. I used to just write stories. Now, I way prefer novels. Bigger canvas, I guess.

I was Harry Potter, followed by Dumbledore. That surprised me, but I'll take it. ;-)

Enjoy your time away!

groovyoldlady said...

I honestly don't think I have the stamina to write a novel.