- Attend graduate school
- Grow my business
- Read 10,000 pages of books I want to read
Thursday, December 30, 2010
Saturday, December 25, 2010
Monday, December 6, 2010
Sunday, November 28, 2010
Friday, November 5, 2010
Thursday, November 4, 2010
Wednesday, November 3, 2010
Tuesday, November 2, 2010
Current word count: 1919
I'm still counting this as day one, even though I'm half an hour late. I haven't gone to bed yet.
Soup and juice in arm, I walked home to nurse my ailing roomie back to health. The trek home had become trickier with each passing day as large autumn spiders built webs spanning the sidewalk and the city blocked off corners of each block for repaving. I would have marched fearlessly down the middle of the street if there weren’t so many careless drivers in the neighborhood. My heart stopped every time a car and a bicycle met at an intersection.
Walking afforded me the luxury of greeting the neighborhood cats. There were so many roaming the area. Some had collars; some did not. Some primarily stuck to one house or one corner; some roamed freely in a much wider perimeter. My favorite was a tubby Maine Coon with a gravelly meow whom Katie and I had nicknamed Don Gato. Don Gato spent his days on the stoop of a small brick house three blocks east of our apartment, but each time he was spotted roaming about, a black cat with one white paw flanked his side. Other cats diverted their gaze in response to his arrival. He had always been friendly to me, but he had a way of snarling hello that made it very clear to me that I was to pet him and give him attention or pay the price.
“Don Gato is the Catfather,” Katie had announced aftrt passing him one afternoon. “And that little black cat is his consigliere.”
That particular evening I was balancing the groceries precariously in one hand while simultaneously attempting to answer the phone with the other. I didn’t see Don Gato raise his head in acknowledgement. I didn’t hear Don Gato’s scratchy greeting. I was distracted by Katie’s incessant texts and trying not to be irritated with her since I knew she was genuinely ill. I didn’t see Don Gato hop down from his throne and amble toward the sidewalk.
I looked up just in time to witness Don Gato stepping in his own poop.
It is a rare occasion to see a cat step in poop. The look of shock on Don Gato’s face was unmistakable as he leapt backward with a shriek.
I laughed. I couldn’t help it. A macho cat stepped in poop and jumped two feet in the air and was clearly embarrassed by the whole situation, slinking off with his tail between his legs, and I laughed.
I tried to apologize, but Don Gato didn’t even turn around. He crawled into his furry little cat cave and was gone.
When I finished recounting the event to Katie, she was not laughing.
“You better watch your back,” she croaked. “Don Gato may put a hit out on you. You caught him in a moment of weakness.”
“It was hilarious! How many times have you seen a cat step in its own poop? Cats don’t do that! And he jumped back,” I demonstrated, including sound effects, before doubling over in giggles again.
“I’m serious. He and his minions will come after you.” She smiled at that. “He stepped in his own poop. Haha. It wouldn’t have been so bad if you’d seen it and just kept walking.”
I am a little irritated that I didn't update in time to get the count posted on the correct day for my stats page, but I'll catch up in the morning.
Off and running.
For those of you also participating in NaNo, I am offering a 10% discount on all journals in my shop through the month of November. Just convo me with "NaNo" in the subject line.
Thursday, October 28, 2010
Sunday, October 24, 2010
You can help!
This year my friends, family, and followers can sponsor my writing journey by clicking here and pledging a donation.
I pledge to write 50,000 words in 30 days. Help nurture young writers with your contributions!
Friday, October 22, 2010
Saturday, October 2, 2010
Sunday, September 26, 2010
I have a new goal this year. I am going to write my second draft of The PDX Project (which I am giving the new working title of The Misadventures of Alex Rose) during the month of October. November, I will tackle a first draft of a new book.
Isn't this what real writers do? They write a new book while they are finishing their previous book?
I'll be back in October to update my progress. Oh! That is only a few days away!
Saturday, September 18, 2010
I am SO excited for my book this year: Don Gato Steps in Poop
It may sound off-color, and maybe it will be, but this promises to be a very fun book to write.
Speaking of which, I need to get my butt in gear and finish the one I already started. Goal: Second Draft by November!
Wednesday, September 8, 2010
Tuesday, September 7, 2010
Thursday, September 2, 2010
I think I would be best served rewriting the book backwards. I'll rewrite the ending, then the chapter before that, and so on, until I get to the beginning.
I feel like a real writer: I am doing something crazy and calling it my "method."
I could lie and say that I was going to write this week but was too frustrated to sit at my computer. Truth be told, I've just been lazy.
I'll start slow today with some writing research, i.e. sitting outside in the sun and reading a book.
Friday, August 27, 2010
Thursday, August 26, 2010
I've been tossing around a few titles lately. The working title is The PDX Project. I have considered Curiouser and Curiouser, but that title is overdone, as appropriate as it may be. My top choice right now is my NaNoWriMo title from last November: Peanut Butter: A Tale of Unrequited Love. For now, I'm sticking with my working title, so I don't write myself into a corner.
I have several promising pieces to the tale at the moment, but no through plotline, so my next step in the process is to develop a vicious antagonist and draft a new outline. I'm toying with the idea of introducing The Devil, folk tale style. The magic is missing from the story. I'm going for a Big Fish or American Gods adventure, so I either need to introduce Death or The Devil.
I like concept of trying to outwit Death. Maybe that's where I should be going with this. Hmm...
Wednesday, August 25, 2010
Right at this very moment, I should be toiling over the outline for my novel. There it lies, open on the table, a stack of notecards neatly placed beside it in my work area. I have hours of time today!
What am I doing? Laundry. Sweeping. Putting sheets on my bed (long overdue).
I fully intend to write today. Just not right now.
I can give myself a pat on the back for being diligent enough to write an entry in my blog, as promised, and I can welcome procrastination with open arms, like so many before me.
Happy Hump Day!
Sunday, August 22, 2010
I have always considered writing a hobby of mine, but it is clearer to me now that my goal is to be a published author. I have no unrealistic expectations to make it big as a bestselling author overnight (or at all), and I realize that I am wandering down a path of hard work for minimal return, but this is what I want. I have rewritten my schedule to include regular writing sessions during my week.
Forgive me if I offend, but I have been attempting to read Bill Bryson's the lost continent, and I can't help but find it unforgivably boring. It seemed well-suited to my research--I'm writing a travel tale, and I generally enjoy Bill Bryson--but it's all description and no meat. Yes, I laugh at passages and appreciate the portrait of small-town America, but for what it is, I find it's too long for its own good. Having made the cross-country trek recently, I know that most of the trip is dead space, which is partly why I'm having so much trouble writing about it. No one cares how long it takes to get from Point A to Point B, how many toilets there are in a rest stop in Texas versus one in Arkansas, what we ate at the truck stop, etc. Bryson's book is serving as a cautionary tale to my novel: Don't write it like this, as tempting as it may be. No one wants to read an entire book of "You had to be there" stories.
My hope is to write in my blog every Monday, Wednesday, and Friday from here on out. You know, to prove I'm a serious writer, or something.
Sunday, August 8, 2010
Sunday, August 1, 2010
Thursday, July 29, 2010
The story, as it is, wouldn't make sense to anyone but me. I am trying to get all of the pieces into one document, all of my notes and ideas. I'll have to deconstruct to rewrite it, work out the outline and the character maps, making sure everything is consistent. I have passed the 50K mark, though, and I still have 3 days.
I need to write an ending that ties all the pieces up. That is my primary goal between now and Saturday night. I definitely have enough material to make it al work, though.
Monday, July 26, 2010
Sunday, July 25, 2010
For those of you keeping track at home, I should be at 41,675 by tonight. 6,000 words is not such an unreasonable goal for one day, even having to work at my job through the middle of it. I am going to set my goal at 12,000 words, and accept some achievement betwixt the two.
I shall return by midnight for the update.
Wednesday, July 21, 2010
I'm back on target, but I've come to a stopping point in my account. However, the idea came to me as I was working to take this book and my first and make them work together. Finally, I feel like I have strong characters and a lot of plot to work with. I'm taking a more fantastic spin on the story, but I'm loving it.
Ten days to go. Can I tie everything together?
Tuesday, July 20, 2010
I have been slacking and I fell behind, but now I have caught up. Not only have I caught up, but I think I have solved a few problems that I have been struggling with.
I don't think the original story is going to stretch another 20,000 words, but I plan to keep writing things out so I have enough material to work with when everything is said and done. Excellent.
Saturday, July 17, 2010
I need to pass 30K in the next few days. I'm still slumping a bit, but I'm forcing myself back on target. Perhaps my laundry can be a refreshing distraction? For the sake of my personal hygiene?
I'm still not entirely sure where I'm going with this story.
Thursday, July 15, 2010
I did have a bit of a slump this week, but I think I regained my footing last night. The more that I write, the clearer it is to me what a mess I'm making of the story, but at the same time, if I can get enough material out to rearrange and rewrite, a long mess is better than a perfect couple of pages.
The story is always evolving, shifting between a work of creative non-fiction and a work of pure imagination. The themes that are emerging excite me more than the plotline. One I merge the two, I may have something worth working with after all.
Sunday, July 11, 2010
It's been ten days now since I started writing. I am finally beginning to come into my voice, but the story is seeming much shorter than it needs to be. I'm right where I want to be, a third of the way through the trip, and a third of the way through the book, but it's becoming more difficult to envision the adventure filling the pages. I suppose this is my slump. Once I hit another 10,000 words, I'll feel better.
Thursday, July 8, 2010
I woke up at 5am this morning, but even more mysterious than that, I was out of bed and ready to roll at 5:30. I went for a long morning walk, greeting the sun and picking up my usual morning bagel and coffee, and then came home to hammer out 3,000 words for the book.
This book has potential. Third time's a charm, right? And assuming I get a rough draft together, this will indeed be my third book.
Tuesday, July 6, 2010
I'm ahead of schedule, but I don't want to get too excited about it. I have to keep the momentum going, and make sure that I write every day. Sometimes I get bored with the story, but there is enough of it (for once) to skip the boring parts and move on to something else. I feel good about the plot and timeline. It needs a little tweaking, but once I have a rough draft down, I think this book may actually be workable!
Don't get ahead of yourself...
Friday, July 2, 2010
It's JulNoWriMo, and I'm stymied temporarily on my main project, so I'm throwing all caution to the wind and writing a creative memoir. I did, after all, move across the country. I have some fun stories for that.
Wednesday, June 16, 2010
Sunday, June 13, 2010
I am armed with a frozen pizza, a case of beer, and a carton of ice cream. I have been reworking the plot, and I have completely recast my main character. Once bland, flat characters have reemerged as their quirky and exciting twins.
I am going in for the second draft of my novel. Maybe Portland has inspired me. Maybe I just need one more thing to worry about. Who knows? Chris Baty style, I am about to churn out a second draft in 30 days. Why? Because I need a deadline.