Friday, April 8, 2011

The Therapeutic Art of Fort Building AND a Synesthisis Excerpt

Friday Blog Post Part 1:

Yesterday, I was editing my novel and I started getting a bit down in the dumps. The editing was going great. I was using some fabulous advice from one of my beta readers and I was feeling so good about myself. And then...the doubt monster came. And I started thining about all of the segments I had deleted, and all of the work I had put in, and then asking that evil question, "Is this really as good as I think it is."

So I did the best thing I could think of to do on a cold, rainy, miserable day: I made a fort.

Now, you may be thinking "Sure, she can get away with that. She's a college student. She's *insert excuse here.*" I'm not buying it. Remember how fun it used to be to build a fort? Getting the chairs and blankets together? Creating your own secret hideaway, where the light filters in in all sorts of different colors from the blankets and sheets you've used?

Creating a fort is a great way to focus your energy on something else. Something creative that does not involve writing or artistic ability or even grace. (Which is fantastic, because I very much lack the last two items.) I built my fort and I took my stuffed animals and some cookies in with me, and I talked it out with with my fuzzy, cotton stuffed friends. I said, "Guys, this is what I think." I went on for a good fifteen minutes. I ate some crackers and relaxed, and the positve answers started flowing back to me. It felt amazing.

So seriously, borrow a few of your kids' stuffed animals if you don't have any and make a fort. Create an other worldly type magical space for yourself where your evil thoughts can't enter like they can in the outside world. It sounds silly, but that's what makes it so therapeutic. Plus, stuffed animals make extremely cheap therapists. :-)

Friday Blog Post Part 2
Here's a short and sweet excerpt from my manuscript, Synesthesis, to lift your mood.

"I honestly just don’t care anymore. That part of my life is over. I’ve moved on to better things.”

Peter pulled himself nearer to Jade, and felt her magnetic force reeling him in. “Better things like me?” he asked hopefully.
"No…Better things like this family, and saving your sorry asses from that fucking creepy president of yours.”

"Ah.” Peter leaned back and grinned.

“What?” Jade asked.

“Nothing. You just don’t curse often. It’s a nice sound to hear."

"You would have loved a me at thirteen then. I cursed like fucking sailor.” She laughed. “It’s kind of what happens when your parents go off and get themselves blown up in the war they’ve created."

“Oh, you want to make yourself special now, do you? And you said I was full of myself.” He shook his head. “You’re not the only one who went through that stage. You’d be surprised. I mean, what else can you do? Life’s all well and good and then all of a sudden, fuck, you have pimples and enemies and you’ve gotta hide your stupid grin and your overexcited penis from all the pretty girls."

Jade covered her face with her hand. “I’m pretty sure I never had to deal with those, uh, last two."

"See, there you go again, acting like you’re better than everyone else. God…you seemed so shocked about all this the other day, what’s going on with you?"

"Huh, well your mother nearly swallowing me whole earlier might have brought a bit of a different person out of me. As I said, I just don’t see the point in saying things are something other than they are. …Plus, after all that time on the outside, has to have added some sort of mystery too me. Though I gotta say," she laughed. "I can probably piss on a tree with better aim than you."

"Should I take that as a challenge?” Peter asked. Jade shook her head and rolled her eyes. “What? I’d love to see it.”

Have a great weekend everyone! Look for my next post on Sunday!

<3 Gina Blechman


  1. I hate those "what am I doing?! what's the point! what was so good about my story again...?!" moments. But thankfully they pass! :D

  2. I go back and read my early work and see how much I've changed... Besides, if I got down on the floor it would take a crane to get me back up...:-)

  3. I think I'm going to build my fort and take my giant army of stuffed animals with me. I don't have too much self doubt, but I just like the thought of being anywhere else but reality. :)

    And don't ever doubt yourself about Synesthisis. It's too awesome to be doubted.

  4. I ADORE the idea of building a fort! That was my VERY favorite game as a child (and the only one my cousins (all boys) and I could agree on. I built them on occasion with my kids, but my mom had sent formal 'fort stuff' (a blanket to use with a coffee table) so it wasn't the same... I remember the pillows to prop things in place... all of it. I will totally try this next time I'm stumped. it HAS to tap some of that youth creativity.

  5. What a cool segment of your novel! My sons build forts, so I get to still enjoy that feeling. Good luck with your revisions!