Wednesday, December 29, 2010
Ah guys, I've been a horrible blogger this month I know, and I'm sorry! I promise things will be better in the New Year.
Work has been crazy and I've also managed to catch the worse flu I've had in ages during the last 4 days. Yup... guess how I spent Christmas Day ;)
I'm a little dizzy now even as I write this (please excuse any typos), but I've missed my computer! And I've missed you guys!
I have lots of updates to share, but they will have to wait... until the New Year, when I will return bright and shiny and fresh :D.
I hope everyone is doing well, and enjoying the holidays, as well as a little down time. I'll be around in the next couple of days to visit you all.
See you soon, and Happy Holidays!
Monday, December 6, 2010
So today I wanted to share a little bit more of my journey to date with you, and briefly touch upon the ever present self-doubt.
Everyone is different. And although we share this common goal of writing, being published, and we go through a lot of similar situations, the experience is unique to each one of us.
I've been trying to write this novel for about 2 years now... yes, 2 years. You have no idea how much my outlook on things have changed since I started, and it's all for the better.
I honestly used to think I'd write the book in one month, send it out the next, and it would be published by the end of the year... yeah.. DOH... what rock was I living under, right?
I think there are a very, very lucky few of us who actually have a fairytale story of being being able to begin and end our journey in a matter of months because it just all worked out. And kudos to them :)
I started writing my novel back in November of 2008. Then I stopped. Scrapped it. Then started again in February of 2009, then scrapped it too and well... you get the picture.
The first time round I wrote 65k and it took me almost a year of blood and sweat, and then I scrapped it yet again.
Because I worried. And I kept doubting myself. I kept wondering if I was good enough. I'd read books and stories that seemed too similar to mine, and end up in full panic mode because I really loved my story and didn't want to have to change it.
The thing is... all this worry... all this self doubt, was just holding me back. And to be completely honest with you, I still have all these fears. I always will. I am human after all :)
The only thing that's changing (hasn't changed completely yet) is my attitude towards it all. And the fact that I'm allowing myself to move forward regardless.
Right now, I'm still writing that same story--it's changed quite a bit along the way, but it won't let me go.
So what if there's a story like yours?
So what if there are books out there better than yours?
There will always stories similar to yours and there will always be books out there better than yours... that doesn't mean you shouldn't try. It just means you should try harder, believe in yourself, and don't give up.
And remember, only you can write like you... regardless of what the story is.
So give that doubt a run for his money.
You've got it in you. It's your turn to shine :)
What do you guys do when you feel like doubt is threatening to take over? What's your journey been like so far? I'd love to hear your story :)
Friday, December 3, 2010
It's hard to believe we're in December already, isn't it? Where did the year go?
Thank you all for your comments regarding my NaNo inquiry a couple of weeks ago :).
I've decided that I won't officially post it on the site, even though I think it counts halfway (50k in 30 days, right?). But just to adhere to the rules and the spirit of NaNo, I'll just keep it here between us ;)
The fact of the matter is that I know I did it, and what's more, now I know I can do it.
I think that's what the driving factor was from the very start... overcoming that self-doubt and pushing myself to see if I could.
Because I didn't believe I could.
There's just too much going on in my life, it's almost impossible to balance and it's just so... hard. But I think this was just my excuse... something to make me feel better about tottering on the edge of the fence, afraid to see what might be on the other side.
I'm going to delve a bit more into the power of doubt and its inhibiting role on Monday, but today I wanted talk about pushing yourself to do things you never thought were possible.
50k... heck, even 20k is no small feat. It's a lot of work, and it takes a lot of commitment, perseverance and time--which is something we never seem to have enough of. And it's always more or less depending on what stage of life you're in.
But you can do it.
You just have to believe in yourself that much, and know that even if you don't get to it today, you will get to it. Just don't give up.
Because this is your dream. And you want it that badly.
We can't always follow our schedules... life, kids, families, work... don't always allow for things to be cookie cutter perfect, but that's okay. Don't beat yourself up over the small things. They'll always be there - we just have to learn to accept them.
My goal for this weekend is to finish the novel. I haven't touched it for two weeks. I'm about 4k away, but I know it will take a bit more than that to tie up the loose ends, but I am going to do it.
Because now I know I can.
And I hope you know you can too. At the end of the day, you can't stay on the fence forever--you need to pick a side, and the positive side is a heck of a lot nicer than the one filled with doubt.
And of course you know it's sharing time :)
Have you ever felt this way about your writing, or anything else? Did you ever accomplish something that you thought wasn't possible? How did you feel?
I hope you all have a wonderful, inspiring, and hopeful weekend!
Wednesday, December 1, 2010
I have a very special announcement for you all today!
Fabulous blogger and author Talli Roland's debut novel, The Hating Game is being released today as an e-book on Amazon!
And you don't even need a Kindle to read it! You can just download the software, and off you go :D
See below for more information regarding The Hating Game, and Talli's amazing undertaking!
Help Talli Roland's debut novel THE HATING GAME hit the Kindle bestseller list at Amazon.com and Amazon.co.uk by spreading the word today. Even a few sales in a short period of time on Amazon helps push the book up the rankings, making it more visible to other readers.
Where you can find it:
No Kindle? Download a free app at Amazon for Mac, iPhone, PC, Android and more. Coming soon in paperback. Keep up with the latest at www.talliroland.com.
About THE HATING GAME:
No Kindle? Download a free app at Amazon for Mac, iPhone, PC, Android and more. Coming soon in paperback. Keep up with the latest at www.talliroland.com.
About THE HATING GAME:
When man-eater Mattie Johns agrees to star on a dating game show to save her ailing recruitment business, she's confident she'll sail through to the end without letting down the perma-guard she's perfected from years of her love 'em and leave 'em dating strategy. After all, what can go wrong with dating a few losers and hanging out long enough to pick up a juicy £200,000 prize? Plenty, Mattie discovers, when it's revealed that the contestants are four of her very unhappy exes. Can Mattie confront her past to get the prize money she so desperately needs, or will her exes finally wreak their long-awaited revenge? And what about the ambitious TV producer whose career depends on stopping her from making it to the end?
Okay, are you not excited for this? I know I am! Alright, stop wasting time here, and GO! :D
p.s. I apologize for my long absence - I'll be back to regular posting on Friday!
Monday, November 15, 2010
Err.. okay... guys, I THINK I've completed NaNo, but I don't think I played by the rules *hangs head in shame*
For starters, I guess I need to say I kind of began NaNo way earlier - as in on October 18th.
But I had to!
I was too scared that if I waited until November 1st, I would lose the drive to write, and if you caught my last post, you know the crazy spot I've been in.
From October 18th to November 14th... I've managed to write 50, 239 words.
I know the aim of the game is to write the novel during the 30 days of November, BUT since it's also to write 50k in 30 days.....
My question to you IS:
Since it still falls within 30 days, and 30 days is 30 days, does it count?
Please, please say it does! I hope it does, because my head is just swimming right now, and I'm still not ready to slow down.
It's honestly a crazy, hectic, fun, insane, TIRING place to be!
I hope everyone else is doing extremely well with their NaNo projects. If you have time, let me know!
Monday, November 8, 2010
I'm exhausted. And for some reason I really want to watch Dancing with the Stars, even though I told myself I don't like that show... but it's really growing on me! Just like American Idol did.
But I can't.
Because I need to write. I NEED to.
If I'm not writing, I'm thinking about writing, I'm thinking about my characters, I'm thinking about the plot.
Even right now... I'm taking a very short break before I get right back into it.
But I need to sleep too.
I don't know why I feel completely consumed by this story right now.
It's good though, right? I think it's good... I hope it's good.
I've been writing almost nonstop since October 18th (with the exception of a few glitches in between) - I wrote the date down because it's been like a fire spreading within me. It ignited and hasn't stopped raging.
I have exactly 16, 794 words left to finish my WiP. It may be less by the time you read this, because as soon as I post this, I'm going back to it.
Maybe that's why I'm feeling this burning need to not stop.
Whatever it is, I'm riding it out, and hoping for the best :)
Have you ever been bit by this bug? You know the one that glues you to your computer... makes your hands move of their own accord across the keyboard?
Friday, November 5, 2010
So... a strange phenomenon has been happening to me lately.
We've previously discussed whether or not we listen to music while we write, and I am one of those writers that needs complete silence (or rain) to concentrate, so I very rarely have any music or outside distractions going on.
Lately, while I've been in the car driving with the radio on, or walking by a store where they have songs playing, I've been getting these strange... visions.
Before you stop reading, allow me to explain ;)
They're random songs that have nothing to do with my book, yet I'm seeing my characters in a multitude of scenes in correlation with the songs.
"Mine" by Taylor Swift
"The Hardest Thing" by 98 Degrees (remember them?)
"Just a Dream" by Nelly
And the scenes have nothing to do with the songs, yet it's actual stuff that COULD happen in my book. Quite a bit of it has gone into my pages already.
It's not with every song I hear... it's quite literally at random. It's like a little switch clicks on in my brain.
Is that weird? Does this ever happen to you?
Hope everyone has a terrific weekend filled with lots of writing... and other fun things!
Wednesday, November 3, 2010
I have returned (in case you didn't know I was gone ;) ). I apologize for my absence sans explanation, but I have had the craziest week, and all involving my computer (which despite the trouble it has given me since last Friday, I refuse to speak ill of).
So, let's backtrack a tiny bit.
To make a very, VERY long story short, basically, my computer broke down last Friday, and I mean, it completely died.
This is why I haven't been able to get on to post or visit any of you.
I'm sorry! I've been like a fish out of water these past few days. You never realize how much you depend on something until you're FORCED to live without it!
It was absolutely horrible! And even though I KNOW to back my work up (I had another near mishap in the summer), I hadn't saved my MS since Monday. Now there was only a 10 page difference, so I wasn't too anxious, but still, I had no computer!
And this is what made me very nervous.
So my friend, who is a computer genius, instructed me on everything that could have gone wrong, and I ended up spending a ton of cash I didn't have to get parts (it may have been cheaper to just buy a new computer) He then took apart my entire computer, installed, and reinstalled, swapped hardware.... you name it, he did it.
And the thing STILL didn't work!
In the end, he told me to just take it into a professional. I agreed, extremely disappointed, wary and upset. Yeah, people.... I can't live without my computer!
I suggested that he put it back together in its original state, to which he complied, apologizing profusely for not being able to fix the problem
And guess what?
Yup... you guessed right.
The thing unexpectedly started working.
As of right now, it still is and I have NO idea what caused it to stop in the first place, how it started working again, and how long it's going to live for, but you can bet I've spent the last couple of days backing up ALL my stuff ;)
And yes, the additional happy ending? I was able to return everything for a full refund!!
So that's my Wednesday tale of woe... I'm sorry for not having a snazzy quote for you today.
But I am so happy to be back, it was like seeing sunlight after a month when I opened my blog :D
Yes, you're right... I probably do need more of a life.
Do you guys have any tales to share? I hope everyone's NaNo writing is going well!
Wednesday, October 27, 2010
"If writers stopped writing about what happened to them, then there would be a lot of empty pages" Elaine Liner
It's true. Most of our writing is derived from our experiences in real life. I think if we didn't have experiences that we thought were worth writing about, our lives would be pretty dull. The sad thing is, not everyone wants to write about them.
Setting, characters, motivation... they can come from anywhere--places we've visited, people we've met, things we've done.
We all have a story to tell.
Sometimes though, I think it's about the story you want to create.
A lot of my writing comes from my imagination, with a tiny bit of my experiences thrown in here and there for good measure. Depending on the day, and my mood, there may be more or less.
But a lot of it comes from things I wonder about, things that take up room in my brain, and give life to my imagination. It's the stuff that keeps me up at night, thinking, "now, wouldn't that be cool".
I guess at the end of the day, you need to do what feels comfortable for you - there's no right or wrong way.
Do you write mostly from your own experiences, or do you write based upon something you've created in your head?
Monday, October 25, 2010
Yup people, November, also known as Nation Novel Writing Month, also known as NaNoWriMo, is just around the corner!
Although I'm pretty certain everyone reading this post is already very familiar with exactly what NaNo is, if by any chance you're lost right now, go here to find out more and register!
Basically, it's the one month of the year that we all huddle down in the cave, and write our butts off in hopes of attaining the true honor of being able to say "I wrote 50K in one month!"
I signed up last year, and was able to report a very shameful 0 words (*hangs head in shame*)... yes 0 (don't look at me like that! ;) ).
I was all gung-ho and signed up for the first time ever, yet I didn't even go anywhere near my MS for the entire month.
Not this year--I've signed up again, and I will not be defeated!
I've estimated that I have approximately 40K left to finish this current MS. I know a lot of people tend to either start new projects for NaNo, or use the time to push forward with their current novels.
I'm not sure yet exactly what I want to do. I think I should continue with my current MS, since I've built up a really great momentum in the past week, and I'm scared that if I stop and take a break, I'll lose it.
At the same time, it seems like a great opportunity to start something new... pluck one of the ideas simmering on the back burner and bring them into the limelight.
I'll see how this week goes before I decide. I hope you'll join me next month though :)
How about you? Are you signing up for NaNo this year? Will you be starting a new project, or trying to get 50K in on your current one?
Friday, October 22, 2010
So as I mentioned last week, I have decided to stick with my current WiP, and boy am I glad I did. It was like as soon as I made up my mind and committed to it, the ideas just started flowing.
And it's weird, because it feels like they're coming out of no where. Next week, I will give you some examples of what I mean.
For today, I wanted to update you on my progress.
This week alone, I was able to write 10k... I don't know if that's a lot or a little bit by normal standards, but for me, it's huge. I haven't written that much since my break.
Along with the word count increase, I also went back and edited the first 50 pages that I knew needed to change.
So yes, it has been a VERY productive week.
I hope next week is just like this one, if not better :D
How are you guys all coming along with your current projects?
Hope everyone has a wonderful weekend! :)
Wednesday, October 20, 2010
Alrighty, so I've settled on "Words for Wednesdays"... I'm sure there are other wacky titles I could use, and when I think of them, you can be sure it's going to change ;)
"Writing is no trouble: you just jot down ideas as they occur to you. The jotting is simplicity itself - it is the occurring which is difficult" Stephen Leacock
I am always daydreaming.
I think at least fifteen times per day (sometimes more, sometimes less), I think to myself, "what if". It's usually based on something that transpires around me, or some random thought that meanders into my brain, but I'm constantly thinking, "hey, maybe that would be a great idea for a story".
The thing is - apart from that one liner, many of those ideas never come to fruition (that may actually be a good thing because otherwise I'd have a lot of half written stories lying around). If I remember however, I do jot them down, and hope that one day I'll return to them.
So while I don't exactly have trouble with ideas occurring or with jotting them down, sometimes, when I start panicking, or worrying, I do have trouble with expanding on them. One idea doesn't always lead to another, and some days or weeks, I can be stuck for hours, racking my brain, and wondering what the heck I was thinking. Sometimes what seems like a great idea at the time, is much more difficult to build upon from that one liner.
It's true though. Jotting down your great ideas is relatively simple. Keeping hold of the ever slippery muse? A whole other story ;)
What about you? Do you ever struggle with coming up with ideas? What part of writing is the easiest for you?
Tuesday, October 19, 2010
Alright everyone, like I said yesterday, we are interrupting our usual programming to bring you a very special announcement.
We've been counting down the days, and it's finally here!
As many of you may know, today is the official release date of our dear friend Alex's debut novel, CassaStar.
If you're new to the blog, please go visit Alex's site, and check out his virtual tour schedule. I promise you, you won't be disappointed!
Monday, October 18, 2010
In last Friday's post, I referred to the difference between good writing and good story telling.
A lot of people will say that an adverb riddled, dialog tag filled piece of work is bad writing. Now, while I know the rules, and do believe they should be followed to an extent, I can't say I completely agree with this statement.
If the story is compelling, the characters believable, the arguments strong enough, I find I'll overlook the "bad" writing, because the important thing--the story--is there.
I want to compare this to watching a movie. Sometimes you leave a movie feeling fulfilled and satisfied, having just watched an epic film that will stay with you for weeks. A good book should do the same. You would never leave a movie saying it wasn't well written, you would say that the "storyline" had potential, but they didn't fully develop it.
The difference with a movie is that you're watching the event play out in real time in front of you. In books, a good and well told story will play out in your mind in the same way, regardless of how it's written.
I think everyone can learn how to write well, but being able to create and tell a strong and masterful story... this is a gift. Some people are naturally born storytellers, but those people don't always turn out to be writers. This works in the opposite too.
In my honest opinion, it's all about balance, and that is something we can all learn. A good book should be able to move you, whether it's through the phenomenal writing, or the engaging storytelling, or best of all, a little bit of both. We all obviously have a story to tell, otherwise we wouldn't be writing.
I think in the end, we're all trying, and we're all learning, and this determination and perseverance will make each one of us winners.
What about you? What is the difference between good story telling and good writing? Is there a difference, or do they go hand in hand?
******AND please be sure to check back tomorrow, yes, TOMORROW, for an unscheduled posting and a very special announcement... and NO, I'm not telling you what it is... you'll just have to come back and see ;)******
Friday, October 15, 2010
I'm almost finished the 6th Harry Potter book.
I'm trying to read it as slowly as I can, just to savor it.
I don't want them to end! I think if I had managed to read them at some point before now, I would have re-read them about 20 times by now.
I've been going back and watching the movies as I've finished each book, and not only do so many spotty parts make sense now, but I'm beginning to wonder how I thought the movies were so good. They're well done, yes, but the story... oh my gosh.... there is SO much in those books that you couldn't even fit into a DAY long movie!
J.K. Rowling definitely has a gift. She is an amazing story teller. She hooked me right from the beginning with Book 1. I'm almost debating if to re-read the series right now when I've finished, but alas, The Hunger Games calls...
When I'm writing, I usually can't read books without being overly critical and analytical, because I move into full time editing mode.
But this one?
The story just pulled me right in, and I'm not even pausing to notice if there are any glaring flaws.
I think that's what good books are about... next week we'll delve a little bit further into the difference between good writing and good storytelling.
What books have you read recently (or in the past) that had a captivating story?
Hope everyone has a wonderful weekend!
Wednesday, October 13, 2010
Okay, I'm still wrestling with the Wednesday title for this feature, so until I figure, it will be the above :D
"When I was a little boy, they called me a liar, but now that I am grown up, they call me a writer." Isaac Bashevis Singer
Well, in my case, it was when I was little girl, and it wasn't a so much a liar as it was, "well, she has a vivid imagination", and "I have no idea how she comes up with these things". ;)
I've always loved to spin stories, especially ghost/mystery stories, vampire stories, always involving teens or preteens, though these days the scary elements have disappeared. I used to love to scare my cousins at our sleepovers with grim, haunting stories that used to keep us up at night, shivering under the covers at 3 a.m., positive we were hearing someone slowly creaking up the stairs towards us, or seeing something peering in the window with glowing red eyes.
At the time, I didn't think of it as story telling, or even that I might want to be a writer someday (in fact, I was pretty sure I was going to be a lawyer). It was just natural to me. It was what I did, a part of who I was, and I thought everyone else did the same.
So when I was told that I had a vivid imagination, I wasn't sure if I was being insulted or not.
To this day, I guess I'm still telling myself these little made up tales, but it's good to know that the "vivid" imagination seems to be leading somewhere. "She's a writer" sounds much nicer than "she's a liar".
Now it's your turn. Were you the type to always tell yourself (and others) stories? Were you labelled as a "liar" (:D) or like me, told it was just an overactive imagination? Did you know you would one day be a writer?
Monday, October 11, 2010
I hope everyone had a great weekend!
I spent the weekend going over, and actually re-reading my current MS (yes, the one I mentioned shelving last week). I know, I know... before you start yelling about the dangers of doing this, hear me out :)
I needed to do this to see exactly where I was. I started writing it in July, so quite a bit of time has passed since I first put those words to paper. I wanted to see what drew me to writing them in the first place.
And surprisingly, I'm actually glad I did--because as you know--this usually has the opposite effect on me. I think with some minor tweaking at the beginning, and some major tweaking in the middle--which is where I am--this thing might be salvageable.
I'm loathed to let this one go too. Despite my misgivings, I really have become attached to these characters and the story. I just can't stop thinking about it, even when I wasn't writing it.
Sooooo.... on that note, many of you will be glad to hear that, as you had strongly advised, I have decided to continue with this MS.
If it works, it works, and that's great, but if at the end it doesn't, at least I can say I tried and I completed it, and learned something along the way, which in the long run, may help me more than abandoning it at this stage.
What about you? What factors make you either push on with a project that might seem hopeless despite the potential, or shelve it to start a new one?
p.s. Happy Thanksgiving to all my Canadian friends! :)
Friday, October 8, 2010
Happy Friday Everyone!
So as I mentioned earlier this week, I will be unveiling my new blogging schedule today.
Previously, I tried to post everyday. While I love doing this, it's unfortunately not leaving me much time to anything else... like write my book ;). This will also give me more time to visit all of you too. What can I say... I have a serious addiction, and I can't/won't kick the habit, so I needed to find a compromise.
Thus I've decided to post 3 days a week. Henceforth, I will be blogging on:
Thoughts for Thursdays will now be..umm.. something for Wednesdays (Words for Wednesdays?)
There may be the occasional, additional postings when fits of randomness strike (and you know they will).
I'll also do bi-weekly WiP updates on Fridays.
There we have it.
I hope everyone has a fantabulous weekend :D. What are your plans? Anything exciting in the works?
Thursday, October 7, 2010
I know I usually do a "Thoughts" post on Thursdays, but as I will be posting a new blogging schedule tomorrow, I decided that I will do something a little different today.
Since my return this week, with visiting everyone, and seeing your comments, I've started thinking about why I blog.
I began this journey just over a year now, and I was reading the first post I made in July of 2009. It seems so long ago, and things are very different now. I was a sporadic blogger for a while, mostly lurking, too shy and scared... worried that no one would want to read what I had to say. I decided to take the plunge however (because you never know until you put yourself out there) and I became fairly active this year.
I know people say blogging, twittering, facebooking, etc. are all great ways to build your platform. Especially if you want to be a writer - it's good to earn your audience now, to get your name out there. And while this is all true--I'm not sure it's why I started, or even why I continue.
I blog anonymously right now. I'm not quite ready to share myself with the world as yet (rest assured, as soon as I'm ready to reveal myself, you guys will be the first to know!).
Because of that, this was supposed to be an online journal, a way to share with the world what I was doing even though no one else (apart from my sister) knows. It was a way to get myself out there without really putting myself out there... if that makes sense.
Because you guys get it. You get what this is all about.
Because you do it too.
Writing is one of the most personal things you can do - you're letting people into your head... to see your innermost thoughts and feelings. It's a scary thing.
The thing is... blogging has become so much more than what I initially meant it to be. I've connected with so many wonderful people, in all different stages of this process, and I've learned so much from each and every one of you. You are all inspiring and positive, you let me vent and you "listen". I'm able to express myself freely without fear of the blank "look" or sense of confusion you can sometimes get from people when you tell them you want to be a "writer". I'm able to share with you and take part in all of your experiences and journeys too.
So for all that and more...thank you :)
This is why I blog.
Why do YOU blog?
Wednesday, October 6, 2010
Soo... I'm sure you've been wondering since my return... did she meet her lofty goal?
And the sad, sad answer, as you may have already deduced from the little wordometer in my sidebar, while I did make progress, I definitely did not finish - or even get half way :(.
I'm not too upset though, I got much further than I have all year. I have 25k, and just over 100 pages. Most of my word count was obtained during those first two weeks of my break--before things got too hectic.
As you can guess, I'm not querying this year--which as many of you have told me, is okay. It's better to not rush through it and submit something of less quality than I'm capable of. This first novel is the only one you actually have all the time in the world for.
You want to hear the bad part?
I want to start over. AGAIN.
I must have some sort of strange complex. Even though I've been good with this one! I haven't been re-reading or revising throughout. But I'm watching the story in my head, and I don't like the way it's playing out, and I keep having visions of a different beginning, different dialogue, different plot overall...
I'm okay with starting it again... I'm just wondering how many times I'll keep doing this. I always say "there's a reason for everything", and I know there's a reason I need to keep working until I get this story to come out exactly the way I want it to.
Maybe I'm just trying to convince myself? Maybe I'm just crazy... ;)
How many of you suffer from this dilemma? How many times did you restart your WiP before you were able to finish it? If you have finished - when did you know it was right?
Tuesday, October 5, 2010
Warning: this post is almost entirely NOT about writing
This past little while has been absolutely crazy! Between two weddings and two sets of relatives visiting for an extended amount of time at alternate times, needless to say, my "time off" has been quite hectic.
Relatives took up the last bit of my summer, but it was great to have that mini reunion, as my family from New York hadn't visited since 2006. We usually visit them at least once or twice every year, but we haven't had a chance to this year. We're debating a visit in November.
I went to the zoo for the first time in eleven years around the end of summer. I don't think it's changed one bit, but I love it all the same! I can't believe it took me so long to go back. Random: has anyone ever seen an elephant pee before? Because let me tell you, it's not something you'll soon forget :|.
September was wedding month. Both my cousin and my best friend (separate people) got married (not to each other). My friend has actually moved away, and I've been really feeling that loss this week, as I used to meet her for lunch almost everyday!
I also started reading the Harry Potter series (for the FIRST time--yes, I know, gasp!), and I am currently on Book 6 - The Half Blood Prince (yes... apparently I'm so clever as to choose my writing break to undertake this task). Can I just ask you... was I living under a rock all this time? How have I not read these books before? They are AMAZING, and J.K. Rowling is fast becoming a favorite author :D. That woman can definitely tell a story. She was on Oprah the other day.
That was my break in a nutshell... I guess I lied... it was ENTIRELY not about writing, but don't worry - that's coming tomorrow ;).
What exciting things have YOU done in the last little while?
...And now for your viewing pleasure:
Bye for now!
Monday, October 4, 2010
That's right... after almost a month and a half, I am back!
I missed you guys so much! I've been trying to visit your blogs as much as I can, and if I haven't made it to yours, I'm sorry...but don't worry, I will!
As I sit here typing this, it's both foreign and familiar, kind of like coming home after being away for too long. I can't believe so much time has passed, yet at the same time, it's kind of like I never left? Does that make sense?
Soooo... what have I been up to for the last little while, you ask?
All this and more shall be revealed over the course of the upcoming week, as well as a new blogging schedule to be unveiled on Friday. Hmm... exciting, I know :D
Just wanted to let you all know I'm still alive and kicking.
Hope to see you all again soon! :)
Monday, August 16, 2010
Hi Everyone--I'm back, buuuuuut, not for long! :(
Due to being sick last week, I honestly didn't do very much (both with writing and life) and I feel like I've lost a lot of valuable time.
As a result, and with summer being so close to an end, I've decided to follow suit with many of you bloggers in the blogosphere and take a little time out. Not only do I have lots going on (family coming in to visit, birthdays, holidays), I also set a very lofty goal not too long ago, and I want to try to stick with it as much as I can.
I still want to try and finish the first draft of my manuscript by early September, so in order to try and adhere to this, I will be taking some time off from posting.
I will still be visiting all of you as much as I can though! I don't think I'll be able to cut myself off completely, and of course, I'll need to take breaks :)
So today will be my last post until around the middle of September. I will miss all of you and seeing your comments for the next little while, but hopefully it will be here before we know it!
Wish me luck--I hope I'll have good news to report back. :)
What are your goals or plans for the rest of the summer?
Thursday, August 12, 2010
Hi Everyone! I'm very sorry for my lack of posting, commenting and visiting your blogs this past week.
I've been down and out with a very nasty cold/flu, and haven't been on the computer much. I'll be doing catch up and making my rounds this weekend.
I'll be back to regular posting next week!
See you all soon :)
Friday, August 6, 2010
Happy Friday Everyone!
I hope I find some time to write this weekend, but there is a huge food festival taking place downtown and I plan to be there! Sigh. I love anything with food and festivals--put them together and I'm in heaven.
So I mentioned goal setting earlier this week, and I think I am finally ready to commit (scary, I know). I hope I'm not biting off more than I can chew, especially considering that we're in the last month of summer and every weekend from here on out is pretty much solidly booked with things to do/catch up on.
I want to finish this novel by the end of August/early September, and start querying by the November timeframe--but before the holidays because I read that it's a bad time to reach out to agents.
Do you think it's too much in too little time? It will be sort of like a pseudo NaNoWriMo, (in August) especially seeing as how I need to get from 13k to 80k *shifty eyes*.
I just want to finish--even if it takes me longer to do revisions later and I end up needing more time to polish and don't end up querying this year, I think it will be okay, because at least I'll have something to work with, right? Right!
How about you guys? Do any of you have specific deadlines? Are you reaching the querying stage? And of course, do any of your weekend plans involve food? ;) If not, what you up to?
Thursday, August 5, 2010
"Plot springs from character...I've always sort of believed that these people inside me--these characters--know who they are and what they're about and what happens, and they need me to help get it down on paper because they don't type." Anne Lamott
I know this is nothing new. Almost every single writer will tell you the same thing - at some point or another, the characters start to run the show. Sometimes it's hard to distinguish just who's telling the story and who's controlling what.
You find that you start off with one idea, only to find that you've written something completely different down on the paper, and pointless "arguments" with a certain rebellious teenage boy ensue.
My characters take me for a spin all the time. They are constantly changing things on me, doing things I didn't expect, which in turn, lead to new plots and storylines.
This is probably why for me, I can't really plot out the novel until I start writing and get to know my characters better and their motivation. Even after I do--they surprise me.
And it's true, sometimes don't you wonder if maybe that's what you're supposed to do? Tell their story for them? Otherwise, how would they get it out? ;)
Please share your thoughts on this. Have your characters started to reveal themselves to you as yet? How do they influence your plot?
Wednesday, August 4, 2010
I haven't been doing a great job with my daily word count, but I have been making progress on the weekends. I got in about 4000 words this past weekend, including Monday/Tuesday.
You know that point you get to when writing a book where it starts to consume you? You know how you just live and breathe it, and it's all you think about?
That's the point I'm at right now. I go to bed thinking about the story, and wake up with it still on my mind. I'm writing scenes in my head while brushing my teeth. (Yeah, is this only me?)
But despite the fact that it's monopolizing my brain, the words are just flying onto the page, and I really hope things stay that way. The story is pretty much developing as I write.
I want to set another goal for when I hope to finish and start querying, but I'm not too sure as yet--hopefully I'll have a better idea within the next couple of weeks.
How about you? How are you all doing with your WiP's?
Friday, July 30, 2010
What's in a title? Would a book by any other name smell--er--read as sweet?
I don't want to go into whether a title draws your attention today - I'd like to discuss the magic that takes place waaaay before that.
More specifically, the title of your work, and when/how you arrive there.
Today I was thinking about what I would call my book, but nothing sounds right, and I think it's because for me, it's not finished.
I, for one, have never titled my work before I've started writing. I always wait until the end, and then give my story its name. (I even do that with my blog posts!) I don't know why it's like that--it's just always worked for me.
I know some authors can't write a single word until they've formulated their title, and that works too. To each his/her own :)
When I've finished writing, sometimes the name just comes to me, sometimes I play around with a few, but the one I like the best--when it's right, I just somehow know. (I know sometimes Agents/Publishers suggest different titles based on marketability, but we all have to start somewhere).
What do you do? Do you title your work before or after you start writing? What helps you to determine your title?
p.s. I hope everyone has a wonderful weekend!
Thursday, July 29, 2010
"Usually, when people get to the end of a chapter, they close the book and go to sleep. I deliberately write a book so when the reader gets to the end of the chapter, he or she must turn one more page. When people tell me I've kept them up all night, I feel like I've succeeded." Sidney Sheldon
I've heard many different perspectives on this. Some people enjoy reading a book that gives them time to catch their breath in between each chapter, while others enjoy the breakneck pace that leaves them breathless at each turn and dying to know what happens next.
I'm the type that loves moving at the breakneck pace, but I don't mind the breather now and again. When I'm forced to put down the book at a point when I need to know what happens next, it drives me crazy--this is when I appreciate a nice wrap up chapter.
With my own writing however, I try to do a bit of both.
What's your take on this? Do you love to read books where the end of each chapter forces you to turn to the next, or do you prefer some time to catch your breath? How about when it comes to your writing?
Wednesday, July 28, 2010
I was standing on the train platform yesterday, anxious for it to come so that I could get on and get back to my Harry Potter book, which I couldn't do beforehand because I was holding too many things that would make turning pages difficult--when something caught my eye.
The girl next to me had a fancy little contraption in a brown leather case, which she held with one hand, her purse slung over her shoulder and two additional bags resting comfortably on her other arm. Every now and again, she would click something with her thumb, but apart from that, there was no other movement.
Yes--as you may have already guessed--it was an e-reader.
When the train arrived, I settled in and pulled out my book, which I had hastily shoved into my bag that morning and now had a nice crease on the right hand corner. The same girl sat down across from me just as I was thinking that would never happen with an e-reader.
I know this is nothing new, and this topic has probably been exhausted by now, but I guess I've been avoiding reality. The truth is, I like holding the books, I like the smell of them and the way they feel in your hands. I love walking into a bookstore and not knowing which aisle to go to first, and wondering which treasure I'll take home that day, and when I'll be able to come back for more.
And while I know they're better for the planet, more portable and economic, I just can't make myself convert. I can't imagine holding a screen in my hands and not being able to turn pages (even though they sometimes pose an inconvenience--it adds to the whole experience!).
It's inevitable, but I'm not ready to cross that bridge yet. It may burn, and I may still be standing on the other side, but that's another story for another day.
What's your take on this? Is this the future of books? Have you switched over to an e-reader as yet, or are you like me, and can't relinquish that indescribable bind you feel to real, tangible, old fashioned books?
Monday, July 26, 2010
I hope everyone had a great weekend!
My weekend was productive, although not as productive as I would have liked. I got through 6,136 words, although maybe it's closer to 7,000 because I went back and rewrote a section at the beginning that became irrelevant in Chapters 2 and 3, then deleted it. I just took the final word count. So 2k short, but it's still something though!
On Sunday evening, disaster struck. I was plugging away at the keyboard furiously, the scene practically writing itself, when what should happen?
The power went out. Yes. The power went OUT. I'm not kidding.
Now, I'm currently working on the desktop, so everything literally shut down. I proceeded to bite my nails for the next half an hour while I waited in vain for the darn electricity to come back on (amazing our dependency on technology). I'd been saving the document all along as I went, but for the life of me, I couldn't remember the last time I hit the button before everything went black.
Thankfully, that document recovery function in Word is working, and I didn't lose anything. It did sort of put a damper on the rest of the evening though, and needless to say, I didn't do much else after that. At least I still have it! Can you imagine losing the entire weekend's work (or the entire MS *shudders*)? I haven't made this much progress in a while.
How was your weekend? Did you make a dent in that MS? Have you ever experienced a computer mishap while working on your novel? Please--share your experience!
Friday, July 23, 2010
Happy Friday Everyone!
I'm sorry I haven't made it to many of your blogs in the last two days, but I promise I will be making my rounds today.
After that, I'm going into a writing frenzy in the cave - think I'm going to aim high for this weekend since I don't have much else planned.
I'm going to set the bar way at the top for me for two day's worth of writing - say 8000k (I wanted to say 10k, but come on, I've barely written 2k this entire week). I need to play some serious catch up with regards to my daily word count goal - updates on that to come next week.
I hope everyone has an awesome weekend, filled with productivity, fun and relaxation (if possible).
What are your plans for the weekend?
Anyone want to take a (hopefully not mildly ridiculous) word count challenge with me?? :D It doesn't have to be that exact number, just a commitment to make a serious dent in your MS!
Thursday, July 22, 2010
"We don't write what we know. We write what we wonder about." Richard Peck
I know the old adage is to "write what you know", but when I stumbled across this quote, I realized how true it was (for me anyways - I know it depends on what you're writing).
A lot of us create our books based on "what if" scenarios, and while writing what we know lends the foundation, the real story emerges based on an idea in your head, a burning question to which you are dying to know the answer - what if this happened? How would it work? How would so and so resolve this problem?
Say for example...ummm.. I don't know...What if a girl finds herself falling in love with a vampire who cannot resist the smell of her blood ;) OR What if a young boy, on his 11th birthday, discovers he is a wizard?
Obviously these are not the only cases (Stephen King says the majority of his stories start with this same question), but I guess what I'm trying to say is if we, as writers, didn't wonder about things and try to write them down and find resolutions for them, there may quite a few less books in the world... and wouldn't that make for a dreary place.
Do you agree or disagree? What do you write about - what you know or what you wonder about? Perhaps a little bit of both?
Wednesday, July 21, 2010
This may seem a little random (although by now I know you're probably used to it), but I promise, I have a point.
What is your zodiac sign?
I'm a Capricorn, and according to most sites, I'm pretty on point, with a hint of Sagittarius thrown in.
Now the whole reason I started thinking in depth about this is because I was trying to decide my MC's birthday. I wanted to make her birthday in June, but (of course) I got slightly distracted, and ended up doing some research, and I found out that her characteristics don't fit a Gemini or Cancer. Maybe a Taurus...
Truthfully, it doesn't make a difference--in the end I am going to make her what I want to make her, even if she does have all of the attributes of a bull in August, but I thought it was interesting. I'm not big on this stuff now, even though I was very into it when I was younger. I used to borrow books and books on Astrology and horoscopes from the library.
Do you believe in the Zodiac? Does it have any effect on your characters? Do you base them off of these signs?