Wednesday, October 31, 2012

This time next month, I'll have a novel completed

Whew! Between hurricanes, work, trick or treating and the regular business of life, I nearly forgot that tomorrow starts NaNoWriMo. I've got a good start to THE FUN IDEA mapped out in my head, but the middle is currently unrevealed to me. I assume that all will become clear as it progresses. Although 50,000 words is hardly a novel worth reading, I'll shoot for around 1600 words a day, which is doable if I cease all house cleaning and cooking (which actually happened long ago, but I didn't have a good excuse for it before). Some writers produce too much and have to pare down their work during revision, but I always write too little and have to insert and add and layer to get to the proper word count.

So dear friends, pens at the ready, now write!

Thursday, October 25, 2012

Currently reading

Fiction: High Fidelity by Nick Hornby (they got Rob and the music store characters just right in the film).

Non-fiction: Self-editing for fiction writers

Sunday, October 21, 2012

Outlining my ass off

NaNoWriMo--(I hate hitting the shift key so many times to type that)--is coming up in a few days and I have definitely decided to do the fun idea rather than work on something already half-completed. Since it will be difficult enough to try squeezing in 1,000-2,000 words per day in November, I won't have the luxury of staring at the screen to wait for inspiration to strike. I'm not a strong outliner because I can't see that far ahead in the stories, but I'm giving it a shot so I can just get down to business each day.

Writer's Digest has a good article on outlining for NaNoWriMo: How to Prepare for NaNoWriMo: To outline or not to outline?

Writing leads to suicide or suicidal people are writers?

From The Atlantic:

When the researchers looked specifically at authors, they found that they are overrepresented among people with schizophrenia, depression, bipolar disorder, anxiety syndrome, and substance abuse problems. Authors were also almost twice as likely to commit suicide as the general population.
I think the reason for this is obvious: healthy, happy people have things to do and people to see, but sad people are debilitated by their sadness and isolate themselves with their thoughts...which leads to writing. Not all writers are unhappy, but there seems to be a strong David Foster Wallace-ish strain to the occupation.


What is the purpose of spam sites visiting the blog and how does that even happen?

Sunday, October 14, 2012

Wearing Wellies and Having a Fag

This article is utter bollocks.

I don't see it as silly or pretentious that Americans are using more Britishisms. I'm sure Americanisms have likewise crept into Eliza Doolittle's daily vocabulary.

Perhaps this trend doesn't bother me because my grandparents, despite perfected American accents, were subjects of the Queen until their adult years. I love the British! Tea with milk was served in my family's house and NEVER coffee. When I made the switch to coffee in college, I was deemed a traitor to the Union Jack. I'm much poorer for it too, thank you very much Starbucks.The Beatles were my first and favorite band. I always make time for As Time Goes By. I own omnibuses of Orwell and Kipling and have actually read Churchill's A History of the English Speaking Peoples (abridged). I'm also that very rare American species: a Francophobe.

From Julie Andrews to Hugh Grant, Bridget Jones, Harry Potter, Craig Ferguson and any number of British shows, bands and celebrities, our ears have become accustomed to British English, as have our eyeballs: The Daily Mail bests American media hands down because where else would I be able to view a picture like this?

Let's face it, Britishisms are just fun. I've adopted the word "mental" into daily use after hearing Rupert Grint use it in Harry Potter. One British word which I love, but has not made it over the pond yet is "wanker." I'd like to popularize it, but would probably get slapped in the face.


Yesterday was the first Saturday in nearly a year that I did not choose to sit and write. It was a strange and untethered feeling. Although I had a nice day with the Munchkin getting some shopping and yard work done, always in the back of my mind I was composing sentences for a book I've  shoved in the drawer for the time being. I don't want to add one jot to the thing. It needs to rest--or should I say "I"?--before I can take another stab at it. Or just stab it. What a cruel and lovely feeling it would be to stab a book and see it bleed like Tom Riddle's journal. Goodbye figments of my imagination; may you never torment me again!

But now I'm undergoing another torment: what to write next? Nanowrimo starts in two weeks. Should I use that time to brain dump the fun idea  I had, or to really try to get a significant portion of one my previous attempts completed? Time is scarce and I've made enough mistakes in my life. Let's not add wrong novel choice to the list!

Sidenote: In this month's Writer's Digest, there is a profile of an agent who hates sentence fragments, but writes in sentence fragments himself. I'm all about the sentence fragments. All about. I like italics too.

Monday, October 8, 2012

Giving it a rest

I've hit a wall. At page 226 I can go no further. For the last several weeks I have stared at the screen and tinkered with scenes already written, but can't seem to finish the last scene or insert two scenes that need inclusion. So I'm giving it a rest. NaNoWriMo is coming up and I have a fun idea for that. Perhaps after focusing on something else for a while, I'll be able to come back in seven weeks, find a printer with actual ink and a working motor, print out the mass of pages and review it with fresh eyes. That will be the end of Draft One which will be sent out to a couple of people who have graciously agreed to read it. I want this practice novel done and out of my life!

Monday, October 1, 2012


I'm number 112 on the library waiting list for JK Rowling's newest release, The Casual Vacancy.

The New York Times has decimated it, but after all the countless hours of reading pleasure Ms. Rowling has provided me through her Harry Potter world, I owe it to her to give the new book a fair shot. It looks like a lot of other people are doing so also.