Thursday, December 30, 2010

New Year's Resolutions

For the last five years, my New Year's Resolution has been "Write a Book." Now, I have written one. I have written four, in fact, but most of what I have is glorified outlines and stream-of-consciousness drivel. My Resolution for 2011 is this: "Polish a Book." This year, I would like to take one that I have already "written," and work with it--rewrites, edits, more rewrites, critiques--with the intention of sending it to agents by next December.

There are other goals for this year:
  • Attend graduate school
  • Grow my business
  • Read 10,000 pages of books I want to read
Ambitious, but that's who I am: Miss Ambition.

Saturday, December 25, 2010

Merry Christmas, to All--

I bought myself a laptop this Christmas. I have been wanting one for years, but now I can justify the purchase by knowing that I can use it for my theater job. I have a baby laptop that is three years old. No disc drive, no programs, a reduced keyboard, and a bum internet connection. I love the little guy, but it's time for him to retire.

I absolutely adore this new computer. It's a Toshiba, and though I'm a Mac gal by nature, so far Dexter (yes, I name my computers) has held a battery charge and sat on my lap for extended periods of time without burning me.

I have these crazy dreams of sitting around working on my novel.

Has anyone used yWriter? I downloaded it, and I'm excited to load my Work-In-Progress into it.

Merry Christmas!

Monday, December 6, 2010

Returning to my July novel...

I found a catalyst.  I am writing a fictionalized memoir.  I won't call it a memoir, of course, because much of it will be made up, but I will take real events in my life and make them more extreme.  "What if I never broke up with my high school boyfriend?  In fact, what if I never left my hometown?"  Me, in that situation, would be very unhappy.  I imagine most of my real friends would have given up on me and skipped town.  What if I left to pursue my dreams and reconnect with my friends?  What if my naive self were to trust too much and go broke too soon?  What if I got stuck halfway across the country?  When did I become a cynic?  What caused that?  But can't love triumph over all in the end after all?

We shall see, my friends.  New working title: The Cheesecake Fund.

Sunday, November 28, 2010

It ain't over 'til it's over.

I am not giving up yet.  Sure, I have two days and nearly 40,000 words to write.  It could be worse.  I have had a funeral and a convention and a small business and work and sleep and lots of food to deal with this month, and I have felt very overwhelmed.  But I'm not giving up yet!

Tonight, I write 'til midnight!

Current word count: Somewhere around 11,000 words.

Friday, November 5, 2010

Day Four and Five

Alright, I'm behind.  But I did more writing yesterday and today.  And I'm getting into my story.  The key is to just KEEP WRITING.

I don't want to post a word count, because I haven't finished writing for the night yet.

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Day Three

I may write before bed, but right now my word count remains the same.  I spent most of the day procrastinating by working on my etsy shop and working with my plot.

Now I have a plot.  

Also, I decided to alternate between my protagonist and my villain for P.O.V.

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Day Two

My word count isn't pathetic: 2504

I'm still behind a bit, but I'm pooped.  Tuesday is the hardest day to accomplish anything, because it is essentially my Friday, and I just want to curl up in my room, drink a beer, and watch a movie.

I have discovered two things about my novel today:  The first is that I am writing the modern equivalent of a "penny dreadful"; the second is that everything comes easier when I imagine Humphrey Bogart narrating the story.

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Day One Revisited

Ok, I didn't go to sleep. I kept writing. Now I'm tired, and I need to remember to fill out my voter's ballot and take it to the drop box first thing in the morning.

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.”

     If only I hadn’t laughed.  

Day One

Ever so slightly behind. My current word count is 1,380 which is about 300 under goal, but I'm not concerned. I feel good about what I have written, and while it isn't perfect, it isn't as stream-of-consciousness and packed with filler as other years might have seen.

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

NaNoWriMo approaches.

Kick-off party on Saturday. The noveling begins Monday morning. I'm trying so hard to wait! My wall may be covered in post-it notes before the weekend is over!

Sunday, October 24, 2010

NaNoWriMo--Giving Back

This year will be my fourth year of participation with NaNoWriMo. This year I am flat broke, but I would like to make a contribution to the Office of Letters and Light's programs.

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


NaNoWriMo is almost here!

I was walking to the Post Office today, and I passed by a van with at least five people living in it. They were blasting NPR. I believe that has a place in my book.

"I think I'll follow this bum."

Sunday, October 10, 2010

Saturday, October 2, 2010

NaNoWriMo is coming!

I'm so ready this year! It's gonna be awesome.

And I'm loving where my current novel is going.

Sunday, September 26, 2010

New Goals, New Working Titles

NaNoWriMo is a little over a month away. But I've done that, the whole novel draft in 30 days thing. What I haven't done is a complete second draft of anything.

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

Like I Don't Have Enough On My Plate...

NaNoWriMo is just around the corner! Ok, actually a few months off. Well, a month and change. The point is, "It is coming!"

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

Life throws a curve ball...

...and I match my swing.

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

A miniature post:

The devil's name is Darius. I'm sorry, all nice Dariuses, but that's just how it is (in the book).

Thursday, September 2, 2010

"You are going somewhere quickly."

So said the man walking past me on the sidewalk. Sir, you may have just solved the ending of my book.

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."

Frustration of the Week:

Monday, I believe it was, my gmail account was hacked, and I unknowingly sent spam mail to everyone in my address book. Subsequently, I was locked out of my account.

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

It's Friday.

Instead of going out on the town tonight, I'm mixing myself a rum and coke, turning on a ridiculous movie, and settling in with the outline for my book.

And I might do my nails.

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Anyone for Seconds? or Consider This a Pity Post

Yesterday I just wasn't feeling the novel. Probably because I had set aside a day to work on it. Today I need to be cleaning, and all I want to do is work on my book.

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

My 100th Post!

I feel an obligation to write something groundbreaking for this, my 100th post. It ain't happening.

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

It's time to start taking myself more seriously as a writer.

Sometimes the trick is to simply leave for a while.

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

I may have temporarily stopped writing...

...but only because I want to give my brain a brief break before delving into the hard part: editing. I will be back in September.

Sunday, August 1, 2010

JulNoWriMo: The Wrap-Up

Word count: 55,630

I finished my 50K, and I ended my novel. It's a mess, and it's 220 pages long, but it's workable, I think. Maybe I'll actually follow this one through, folks.

Thursday, July 29, 2010

Nearly there...

Word count: 53,877

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

Redeeming myself?

Word count: 36,688

I felt so guilty after my last post, that I sat down and wrote some. It's still technically quarter-of the end of the day here, so I'll count it.

...and, scene.

Did I write today?
No, I did not.

And whose fault is that?
That would be mine.

Does that mean I am giving up?
Hell, no.

Actually, I cleared my living space, and I cleared my head.

Sunday, July 25, 2010

Perhaps I'm a touch too ambitious...

Word count: 35,668

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

A New Take On An Old Theme

Word count: 34,007

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

Pulling from behind...

Word count: 32,113

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


Word count: 27,481

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

Entering Week 3...

Word count: 25,182

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

On we blindly stumble...

Word count: 21,348

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

Holding off the week two blues...

Word count: 17,088

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 doing rather well for July.

Word count: 12,328 words

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

What's the best way to procrastinate working on a novel?

Write another novel!

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

Hahahaha... oy.

Unrelated thought:

I just checked my bank account. I have 39 cents in my checking account. I get paid on Monday. Now I feel like a working artist.

Sunday, June 13, 2010

Yes, I just walked home with a frozen pizza under my arm--what of it?

Oh, novel, I have neglected you. I make excuses: "I moved." "I am working three jobs." "I have gone blind and my right hand was tragically amputated. Well, that's not exactly true, but it a metaphoric sense..."

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.

Bon Voyage.