Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Yeah, but what will he write about now?

One of the harder parts of life is watching jerks do well and rise to the top. In the case of Tucker Max, however, I'm glad he rose to the top because it helped him realize what a jerk he was. If there's hope for him then there's hope for anyone. Read the fascinating interview!

Saturday, January 21, 2012

The Perfect Job

What is the perfect job for a writer-in-training--apart from being paid to write, obviously? I am very impressed by people like Tess Gerritsen who manage to excel in both a serious career and in writing. She was a doctor before she was a writer. It takes so much brain power and effort to be a doctor how could there be any energy left to produce a novel? Me, I want the most brainless, highly paid job out there so that I can be free to think about my stories, or, better yet, write stories. A job that simply requires my presence, but doesn't require me to actually do anything. Any thoughts on what that might be?

Friday, January 20, 2012

Currently Reading

Fiction: Child 44 by Tom Rob Smith

Non-Fiction: Confederates in the Attic; Dispatches from the Unfinished Civil War by Tony Horwitz

Monday, January 16, 2012

A Sweet Escape

I'll be honest, I'm not in a writing mood. I was at home all day with a discontented toddler and it was too cold to venture outside so there wasn't even the option of breaking up the day by taking a trip to the store. I feel sapped physically and mentally. Now that Hubby is home to watch Munchkin, I have a couple of hours to myself. Bliss! If I was smart, I'd take a nap. If I was diligent, I'd clean the house. I'm neither of those things. So even though I'm in no mood to write, I will sit in this Starbucks and pound out a 1,000 words, sitting next to college students who have no idea how lucky they are to be lounging in this little den of caffeinated luxury. Writing has become a reward and an escape.

Update: That was the worst 1,000 words I've ever written. At least it's there and maybe something decent can be made of it later.

Current count: 22,177 words and 71 pages.

Sunday, January 15, 2012

Practice Novel

A few weeks ago I finished a short story that I wasn't thrilled with. I decided that the 30 pages made a pretty good outline for a longer novel and have been trying to work it into such since then. I have a goal of getting a first draft written by March. This is a very short timeline, but I chose it because it seemed doable if I was dedicated and, because I'm not very invested in this story idea, if the first draft is putrid, it won't bother me very much.

I'd really like to complete a draft of an actual novel to get some practice and for confidence. It's worked a little bit so far. I used to struggle to write a 1,000 words and now I bust them out. I can do this writing thing! Anyhow, I thought the idea of a practice novel was original to myself (seriously, for about 5 minutes I thought I was a genius), but then I read in this month's Writer's Digest that Diana Gabaldon also wrote a practice novel that turned into a huge success! What an inspiration. Practice makes perfect!

Why no MFA?

Hi blog world! This is the premier post of Non MFA Writer. The title speaks for itself.

I was accepted to an MFA program in my big urban town and even had free tuition, but with a mortgage, daycare, and other bills to pay for, I couldn't leave my full-time job to pursue a degree that was really for my own gratification. When my husband finishes his technical degree in a few years, I have great hopes of getting into the Michener Center (three years to write with a STIPEND!), but until that hypothetical day occurs, I will be writing on Saturday mornings and occasional other stolen moments. This vocation is all about the writing and I fear that even if I had attended the MFA program, I would be doing a lot of time-consuming things that don't involve writing down the novels in my head. There would be literature classes and term papers (uh, excuse me? didn't I finish my last term paper ten years ago?), writing short stories I don't want to write and reading other people's short stories that I don't want to read. I don't have anything against short stories--I've written a few myself and may post them one day--but I don't really enjoy reading short stories in the same way I enjoy a novel....they're just not juicy enough.

Even as I type this short post, I've had to interrupt myself about fifty times in order to rescue my toddler from hurting himself or stop him from ripping pages out of books (already a fierce book critic!).

Whew! I just rescued him again. Time to go!