Monday, November 22, 2010

Write It Anyway

Hey, all.  I'm writing today with a pretty specific purpose, for once.  As you know, because I mention it every time I start a new sentence here on Proof of Theft, I'm doing NaNoWriMo this year.  I'm doing pretty well, I'm about a day ahead of where I'm supposed to be, and I'm going to get done right on time, good for me, etc. etc.  One of my friends spoke to me the other day about how she saw an article blasting NaNoWriMo, the whole institution, because their motto is 'quantity over quality' and it gives the go ahead to writers who aren't very good thinking that they can write a novel in a month and call themselves 'novelists'.  I wrote a novel in a month, and I consider myself a novelist (see also my two other books), but I'm also writing my NaNo story with a very clear view of how I'm going to edit it later, make it better, maybe hope to get it published, so I can see where the article is coming from, and also where my friend is coming from.  I think it's a great way to get people to write, but I also think it cheapens the real writers who do this every month, all year, every year.  To be blunt, I think that many NaNo writers are hobbyists.  They write for one month out of the year and think that that's all it takes to be a writer.

I disagree with this.  It doesn't have to be that way, and I feel like we're cheapening the work of writers just to make a bunch of amateurs feel better about themselves.  If you want to be a writer, don't wait for an event.  Write.  I've been on the NaNoWriMo forums and keep seeing threads about how they can't make it, how life is getting in the way, how they don't like their stories anymore, but if you want to be a writer you must write.  You must write!  If you think your story is crap, write it anyway.  If you're discouraged with your progress, write anyway.  If you just 'don't feel' like writing, write anyway.  Write anyway!  I will not be nearly as upset at these people if they just stopped complaining.  I'm lazy, I'm unmotivated, I just can't do it or don't want to.  I think my story is crap, I don't know what my main characters are doing, and it makes me just want to scream.  Write anyway!  What, do you think that real novelists always feel like they're writing brilliant prose and flowery scenes?  No!  Of course not!  Writing is a deeply personal art, you're baring a little bit more of your soul with every sentence, and not all of it can be good, not all of it can work.  That's what drafts are for.  If you're upset with what you're writing, write it anyway!  If you're taking it in a different direction than you expected, run with it!  Write it anyway, and if it sucks when you go back later and read it, then you can change it.  Writing can always be changed!  Argh. 

If you're out there, comment, please.  If you read this, and it made you feel anything, comment.  I know that I'm not really a credible source for these kinds of things, but I've worked very hard for the privilege to call myself a writer, a novelist.  I write every day, I average over 10,000 words a week and that number doesn't include homework, blog posts, edits, or other writing.  I've been doing this for over a year, now, and I haven't slowed down, I haven't stopped.  I have at least six other books that need to be written just off the top of my head, lots of short stories, and believe you me when I say that I will write them.  I feel very strongly about this, about writing, and about being a writer.  If you're out there, and you feel strongly, too, stop and say something.  I hope everyone is having a great Monday, see you tomorrow!

Friday, November 19, 2010

The Tragic Story...

Of my internet.  Readers, I have a sad tale to tell.  A virus has infected my computer, and it's gotten so bad that I can't even use the internet.  Sad, sad times.  But also wonderfully productive...  Hmm.  Anyway, this is the reason for my ongoing odd posting hours and skipping days, for which I apologize.  I'm going to try harder to get a post out every weekday; that was one of my main goals for starting this blog in the first place.

I don't know what else I can say about writing today, except for a very important side effect that I have discovered that writers out there should watch out for - inactivity.  My lifestyle for the past few months has really been best described as 'sedentary'.  I write, a lot, I do homework, The only time I'm moving is when I'm at work, and even then I stand at a register for 4-6 hours.  I don't know if this is just me that has this problem, or if there are other, much smarter writers out there who figured this out way before I did, but I really miss getting my heart pumping, moving, feeling active.  I've also been missing out on a low of new places, new people, and fodder for my subconscious to process into story ideas and character outlines.  Today, for example, I went to a soccer game for my school, where two clubs were playing each other - the ISA, or International Student Association, and the Unification of Africa club.  As you can probably imagine, it was fantastic!  I was hearing languages I had never heard before, I was hearing stories of places and pasts from these people that I might have never associated myself with otherwise, and I was getting a pretty good (though light, I was one of three women and they put us all on defense) workout.  I even took some notes when I got subbed out for the second half.  I'm going hiking on Monday, and I'm really looking forward to that, maybe meeting some people (again) that are totally unlike me, that often wake up early in the morning in November and walk up mountains.

How have you all managed to stay active while doing all of your best work with your butt in a chair?  Or is it something, like me, that you're struggling with?  Let me know, leave me a comment!  I'd love to hear from you, and I'd really like tips on how to beat it, unless the best advice is 'willpower'.  Have a great night!

Thursday, November 18, 2010

The Editing Process

Oops.  I tried to do this from school earlier today, and here we are, with a two word headline and nothing underneath.  Sorry about that.

So, I just finished editing a short story last night!  It was also due last night, and it was only through the grace of my teacher that I got it submitted...  This is the big one, folks.  I'm writing for the big time, now, trying to get some actual money for doing this thing that I love doing and try to do every day.  GCC has a literary magazine, which is just awesome, and along with that is the district contest that I'm submitting the same piece to.  It was a hard piece to edit, mainly because of the word limit constraints - max 3000 words for this contest, and my second draft clocked in at a solid 2997.  Here's how I did it, and why I now think that this piece is publishable.  NOTE: I have not actually published anything.  I feel really, REALLY good about this one, but I haven't been published in anything more prestigious than Teen Ink magazine for my crappy high school poetry, so take pretty much anything I say, including advice, with as much salt as will make it palatable.    

First - write it.  I wrote mine in two sittings the same night, about three hours total.  My teacher had asked for a rough draft, so I gave her one, I didn't even look at it from the time I wrote it to when I handed it in.  She had individual conferences with us about our pieces, which were invaluable in helping me out, trying to figure out how to make the thing stronger.

I guess that's step two - have a great teacher, or someone who can read the rough draft and make general comments about how it could be generally improved as a story.

Three - Do a rewrite.  Take a break first, however long you think it needs to be before going back to it with an open mind as as a reader, not a writer, but once you do go back look at the story, read the entire thing first, and then go back and fix anything that doesn't quite match up, or isn't exactly the emotion you're trying to convey.  Basically a quick once over to make sure that everything makes sense, the same kind of thing you do with a novel, except so much quicker because your short story is probably not longer than 20 pages.  Mine was ten, and it still took some time to read it through like six times after every revision.

Four - Take another break.  If it doesn't feel 'done', take as many breaks as you need to.  If you don't have a deadline, who cares how long it takes you between breaks?  A week, two?  A month, if you're working on other projects?  The goal is that whenever you take another look at your story, you don't remember what you fixed the last time.  Don't read it as a writer, read it as a reader.

Five - Another edit.  This is different than the way I plan to edit my novel, where this step and the next one would be switched, but for a short story I really think that your edit should come before the final edit from someone else.  Look at it one more time, make sure that it's as good as you yourself can make it, and send it off to a friend for one, last look.

Six - For a short story I think that any final edits should be from someone else's eyes, since by now you've probably read your own story a half dozen times, and by the time you get close to being done there's no way you can put as much space between you and your work as is needed for a final, comprehensive edit.  My fiancĂ© edited my story right before I sent it off, and I only checked to make sure he wasn't deleting anything important, otherwise I didn't even want to know what he was doing.

I hope this helped!  Really, I feel really good about this.  We'll see how it goes, but not until next semester...  Oh well.  I'll keep writing other stories until then.  Have a great night, everybody!  See you tomorrow!

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

New Excuse

Wow, is it Wednesday already?  Fear not, I have a brand new reason why I haven't been updating my blog.  Crappy internet.  You heard it here first, folks.  The internet that I've been using has been really, incredibly unreliable, and I really haven't been using it at all, just to update my word counts on my NaNo page and sometimes, if I'm really lucky, to check my email, although I rarely have the chance to actually respond.  I'm on a school computer right now, which is really the only way I'm going to be able to update my blog until the internet problem at home gets fixed.  Luckily, it's still good for writing, but hey, I'm not even using it for that right now.  Nope, I'm using my brand spaking old HP Omnibook 900.  This baby's running Windows '98, people.  Back off, this thing is smoking

The book is still going well, I'm hitting a sweet spot where everything seems to be flowing very nicely.  I almost had a crisis last night where I wasn't sure if I wanted the strange energy field that they were seeing to be natural or technological in nature, which opened up a whole new can of worms about my antagonists, and asking questions about them that I'm sure I'm not going to address in the book.  But I guess it would be good to know anyway.  I'm also entering my school's literary magazine competition, where the short story is due tonight at midnight and I think I overedited, but it's been really hard...  The story is not to exceed 3000 words, and I started last night with a rough product that was 2980 words long.  Right now it's like 2996, or something.  What am I supposed to do with that?  There's also a nonfiction category, which isn't really my thing, and a poetry section.  Man, I haven't written poetry in years, and what I did write was bad. 

So this morning I brought a book of selected poems by T.S. Elliot, whom I have never read, and started researching.  Have you ever read his poetry?  I feel like I'm going insane while reading it.  He's just putting words and sounds together, and it's really, really good!  So, then I wrote my poetry, which isn't NEARLY as good, because I have no idea how to write poetry, and now I just feel depressed.  I wrote three, which I would love to post here but I think that counts as the poem being 'published' which I don't really want - one from just taking random phrases from my notebook, which I think had surprisingly successful imagery, one with a futuristic feel that I got from another note in my notebook, and a third about a real event that almost made me have an epiphany about human nature.  None of them are very good, but what the hey, why not enter anyway?  I have three of the four of last years winners in my creative writing class, and that's a little daunting, but this is my first semester here and I really think I can win.  Winning would be nice.  I've never really won any kind of literary competition, which scares me a little, because I would hate to learn that my work is just unpublishable.  But hey, happy thoughts, productive thoughts.  Just tired today, I think.  Stayed up way too late watching my fiance play video games, and now I have to go to class.

Thank you for stopping by, as always, it's a joy to see you here.  I hope all your writings are going well, if that's your thing, and I hope that all of your other aspects of life are going okay, if it's not.  Have a great day, I'll try really hard to post something tomorrow!

Saturday, November 13, 2010

Plains Derailed

So my post about explaining the title of my blog will have to wait, I'm afraid.  I have work in the morning and I'm just about donezo for the night.  I had a pretty good day today, though, did just over 2k words even with reading Dave Barry's new book and having a Lego night.  For those of you who haven't played Creationary and also love Legos - you're missing out.  It's really a lot of fun, and we were trying to find some way to make it into a drinking game, but didn't get alcohol.  Oh well, it was plenty fun without it, and it would have probably been even worse if we were drinking and trying to make electric eels and such out of Legos. 

So, for sure definitely going to cut back on word count in December, after finishing three novels.  I need to get some editing done, stat.  Maybe cut back to 5k words a week, edit ten pages?  Twenty?  I have no idea, I'm not even 100% sure what you do to edit a book.  But I'll work it out, as soon as this damned month is over.  Next semester I'm going to be a lot more careful with how I schedule my work and my school, so maybe somehow I can fit in some more free time.  Speaking of, it's way past time for me to head to sleep.  Have a great night, and I'll see you on Monday.  Peace.

Thursday, November 11, 2010


Barely ahead in my NaNo novel again.  Today I had the entire day off of school, and I was looking forward to getting an entire day of writing done, but instead I went to Tucson and didn't get anything done there that really needed to get done.  But I did spend time with family, and nothing, ultimately, is more important than that...  I got in my required writing anyway, and I'm sitting at just over 6k novel words and 6k 'other' words, which might just explain why I'm so tired and why I'm getting kind of sick of sitting down and depressing key after key after key and staring at black words in a glaringly white background.  Man, I have stuff to do.  I have people to email, my phone broke somehow yesterday and I need to get a new one or fix this one somehow, I have people that haven't heard from me in weeks and probably think I'm dead or worse, I'm constantly tired no matter how much sleep I get, I really need to see a doctor because my fingernails are pretty much falling off of my fingers, and that's all more information than you all really need. 

Anyway.  Writing a novel is much less fun under stress.  This feels, honestly, like work.  I have fun writing 10k words a week, I enjoy it, I make time some way or another, but my goal of 50k this month is hard.  I have so much homework and papers and tests this month too...  November is a really bad month for students.  I have a short story due that I haven't even started, I have other projects that I haven't had a chance to even think about, I have a novel that needs to be edited, and I totally meant to stop all of this needless bitching when I started a new paragraph.  I'm sorry.  This blog is supposed to be more than a place for me to just rant and tell the internet how my life sucks and blah blah stuff you don't care about.  But what else do you want me to say?  My readership tanked last week when I didn't update for a few days, so I don't even really know how many people are reading this.  Probably not many.  Want me to tell you how I'm writing my novel anyway?  How I'm still at goal, even though I have all this shit going on in real life?  Okay.  That sounds good, and maybe even a little more like a normal blog post.

Write it.  Write it, write it, write it.  I made a pretty big mistake when I decided to burn the ship and ruin any chance of further mystery, but I went with it, wrote it anyway.  I knew something would come of it.  Either a good idea, a good emotion, a good bridge, something to work with.  And I found what really needed to happen, to add that missing intrigue and future developments, but I found a couple of things when I was writing it the first time.  Just write it!  Even if the plot doesn't work and you know you're going to go back and scrap it, write it.  But I guess that's my advice for a lot of things.  To be perfectly honest with you, I don't know where I'm fitting these words in.  I got home from Tucson at ten thirty, I had my 1700 words for today by 11:45.  I just wrote them and I don't even really remember what they were.  They probably weren't good words, but gol'dang it they're written and just waiting for me to go back and realize how I can write them better.  I don't really agree with the whole NaNoWriMo conviction that quantity matters more than quality, and I suppose I would really rather write thirty thousand good words than 50k crappy ones, but I'm stuck, now.  I made this commitment, and maybe after this month is over I'll take some time to reevaluate this whole 10k words a week thing.  What I need more right now is to edit what I am writing, start rewriting my first two novels and start planning out the next ones, the second in the trilogy and the second in the series respectively, start a healthy weekly plan to get myself published and keep cranking out novels, but maybe at not such a fast pace as I'm trying to right now.  I need to convince myself that right now I just don't have the time.  Not with a full schedule of classes.  Not with this job, with the hours I'm working.  Maybe later, absolutely later, when I'm both graduated and unemployed, but not now.

Sorry that this post turned into, well, a rant, and maybe it's not the fact that I didn't update last week that drove away some of my readers...  Maybe it's me.  I'll try harder to give you some more pertinent information, more posts about writing and less about my personal life.  Maybe tomorrow I'll finally have the time and focus to write the post I've been waiting to write since the inception of the blog, and what one reader (my Dad) has already commented about - what's the deal with the whole 'proof of theft' thing, anyway?  Thanks for stopping by, and I hope you're all having a great night.  Happy Veteran's Day, and for all you actual vets out there, thanks for serving. 

Getting Old

I think I'm getting old, folks.  I don't like to be tired anymore.  I used to be able to stay up all night, get two hours of sleep a night for about a week straight, and hate myself every minute of it, but still be able to do it.  Now?  I get less than seven hours and I can't even get out of bed.  A couple of days ago I woke up several hours past when I had expected to, just because my fiance didn't wake me up after I sleep told him that I wasn't planning on getting up anytime soon.  Good for him.  What does this have to do with anything?  Tired right now.  And it's what, not even one?  I like nights, I love nights, but having to get up before, say, ten, is kicking my ass.  Getting a huge number of words this week, but very few of them novel related, I'm afraid.  Lots of papers, of homework assignments, of blog posts, not that many words.  By the end of today I should be back on track for NaNoWriMo, but until then I'm going to settle for being behind.  The nights I close I usually don't start writing until after midnight anyway, and by then according to some website I'm already behind my count for the day. 

Oh well.  So, still chugging along, but I was having some trouble getting past a certain point in my story...  I has figured that the morning that their ship was going to leave them behind to do a full circle of the island and pick them back up on the way back to Sien, their anchor line was going to be cut by some mysterious unseen hand and the ship was going to float away until some of the sailors went out in a rowboat to catch it.  I know, lame, right?  No real story, nothing that pops, nothing that's really particularly scary, so I decided to fix it - by lighting the ship on fire.  So before it was vaguely confusing, their ship floating away for no good reason, and then it was just way too much too fast for no good reason, until the wonderful man to whom I am affianced suggested that the line was cut, and they try to hail the runaway ship, and get nothing, so they set out in a rowboat to catch it and there is no one on board.  No bloodstains or anything like that, way too blunt for what I'm going for, and eventually I would like to bring those missing characters back, either living or dead, I'm not sure.  Exciting, either way.  That's the feeling I was going for.  Fire?  Why the hell did I decide that if I wasn't getting it exactly right that I should set it on fire?  I'm not usually a setting things on fire kind of person.  So then the sailors don't want to bring the ship back to shore because even otherworldly, futuristic sailors are superstitious, and they're stranded just like I wanted them to be.  Bwahahaha. 

Not much else going on.  I was registering for classes the other day (yesterday?  What day is today?) and found a very interesting class called 'revising your novel', something that I would very much like to take.  The only problem is its prerequisites, two other classes called 'planning your novel' and 'writing your novel', neither of which I feel like I need much help with right now.  Maybe later, when I start editing and realize that I've been doing it all wrong from the ground up, but until then, I think I've got both planning and writing pretty much figured out.  Not 100%, sure, but I'm learning enough on my own to say that I've got a decent grasp on it.  Editing, too, will probably be something that isn't too hard to figure out, once I find the time to do it.  I know chapter five just needs to be cut, and that will give me the room to expand just a little bit on every other chapter, give them the sensory details that I'm lacking in almost every scene, I know that the first four chapters need to be expanded to take up a much longer period of time, and that's about as far as I've thought through.  I need to read it again, I think, and make better notes this time.  By which I mean any notes.  Been eyeballing it so far.  See, a class might be nice, if even just to learn the structure, then I can figure out the rest by myself.  But since I don't care to take 'planning your novel' when I've already written two of them, I have to wait until the class starts to beg my way into a potentially full class.  Sigh.  Eh, I'll figure it out.  Even better will be if I learn on my own before then, then I don't have to pay anybody anything for the pleasure of teaching me.

Well, back to writing for reals.  I have to get 18k and change by the end of today, which means I need to write more, sleep more, and write some more.  And I'm going to Tucson tomorrow!  So, even though I have the day off, and planned to have a massive mental health day to dedicate to writing, that's really not the case.  But I get to see family instead, so I think that's an acceptable trade off.  Good night all, I hope things are going great, get plenty of sleep and see you tomorrow!

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Time, Time

For some reason I have much less time than I thought I would this semester.  I only work fifteen hours a week, I only have 14 credit hours, and yet, I have very little time.  Tuesdays and Wednesdays, are, like I've mentioned eight or ten times, are my busy days, and that's just too bad.  I wish I didn't have busy days at all.  Oh well, even with my days being full I'm still barely over word count with my NaNo novel, plus I'm getting all of my homework done and all my papers finished and all my tests studied for.  Go me. 

Today, I want to talk about a subject very dear to my heart.  Motivation.  What is motivation?  How do you get it, where does it come from?  I've talked a little bit about how I got here, to this point, working on my third novel when I only barely started working on my first one a year ago.  I had an idea, and the novel just started writing itself, really.  And I got the idea from being unemployed and working for a man at a Celtic Fair in downtown Phoenix.  He gave me his card, I looked up his website, and one of the pages had eight pendants that were supposed to enhance certain things - wealth and knowledge, was one.  Unexpected good fortune, another.  This is the first thing I wrote down in my first notebook - 'cliche fantasy characters - a 'party'?'  Then I wrote down attributes, names, both of characters and places, and then I wrote in three notebooks almost 100k words of story and over a hundred pages of notes.  That took me about none months.  It was fun, but I wasn't motivated, I was looking at it like work but not a job.  I missed my first self-imposed deadline, then my second, and then I told myself that I was going to write ten thousand words a week and finish it by the end of September.  And I did.  And I've been doing so ever since.  I bought myself a writing journal, and I told my fiance that I would write every day, that I would hold myself accountable.  He didn't really believe me, and I understand why - I hadn't been keeping up with any deadlines, or really holding myself accountable at all, so why would I do so just because I bought something?  But damn it I have written thousands upon thousands of words since that day, September 7th, and it's not looking like I'm going to stop anytime soon.  Why?  Why did I suddenly care enough to make it a job, to make myself write every single day until I feel uncomfortable if I don't?  I don't want to take any days off.  I don't want any day to be a zero word day.  That makes me feel like a failure as a writer. 

So what happened?  I have no idea.  All of a sudden it came to me that this is what I want to do every day for the rest of my life.  I want to be a writer, a novelist, I want to make a living out of this, all I need on this earth besides the man that I love is to be able to earn a living writing.  And I know that I'm going to get it.  I will not let it not happen.  I'm going to be published by this time next year, I can tell you that.  And I feel like I'm reprising a lot of what I've said already in earlier posts, but suck it up, I'm telling you again.  I don't really get a chance to say this out loud, so this is the best place for me to do it, to give myself those affirmations and keep myself on a positive road.  I've said it before, this is my year.  I've found my purpose in life, you know.  I know that this is what I'm supposed to be doing, so I won't let anything stop me.  I keep finding people that don't know, don't have any idea what they're supposed to be doing, they feel lost, they're having these existential crises, they're asking themselves why they're here and they're not getting any answers.  What do I say to those people?  How can I possibly tell them what happened to me when I don't know?  I always wanted to be a writer, always, but it was only very recently that I asked myself why I'm not trying harder, and when I did, things started happening so fast I'm still not quite caught up.  So how do I give any advice to anyone still floundering, not sure what they're going to do with their lives, people still wondering how to avoid feeling lost forever? 

If you have any advice, either for me or for someone still in limbo, please post something here.  My path is set before me, I can see it.  All I have to do is follow it.  What would you say to someone who still hasn't found the path?  Thank you for stopping by, I hope you're all having a great night and thank you for dealing with my verbosity, those of you who didn't just skip to the bottom, or leave entirely.  See you tomorrow.

Monday, November 8, 2010

NaNo Lives On

And so do I!  Welcome back, everybody, to another exciting episode of Proof of Theft.  Last week was a mess, but this week I have no tests and I even have a day off for Veterans' Day, which is super exciting because I was contemplating taking a mental health day anyway sometime soon.  I've still been writing, I went to the Phoenix write up at Bookmans and got my 2k words for the day, so even with not writing at all a couple days last week I'm still barely ahead of schedule.  Whew.  Getting there, everybody.  Getting there. 

I want to make sure this posts on Monday, so I don't have a lot of time, but things are moving smoothly along in life and in writing.  Traiska and the rest of the research team have just been stranded on the island, which I didn't expect to happen, and the other ships won't know about their predicament until it's too late!  I don't know if this story is going to be more horror or more sci fi, I'm still trying to work on that.  Futuristic, but scary at the same time, and I've never written a long work of either genre.  But then again, I'd never written a long fantasy work either before I finished the first book in my trilogy, and now I'm writing science fiction and horror at the same time.  Crazy, isn't it?  I have this fear, I think, of only writing one thing, of being stereotyped, of sticking to only one genre when I'm thinking of so many kinds of stories.  Who says I have to be a fantasy author, or a science fiction author, or a woman author, when I just want to be an author? 

Out of time, thanks for stopping by and I promise I'll be writing more tomorrow!  Have a great night and be safe!

Sunday, November 7, 2010

Where'd My Time Go?

So.  Posting on a Sunday.  This blog is a lot of fun for me, I try to post very regularly, and it really gets to me when other things get in the way, like life.  This entire week has been a bust for me!  I haven't gotten anything done!  I mean, I guess I got my 10k words for the week, but it's not the 12500 that I need for NaNoWriMo.  I only posted twice!  I didn't write anything at all two days this week, and that hasn't happened in months.  Since September was the last day that I did not write a single word.  I hate it!  What a terrible feeling.  But, I am TCBing.  I had multiple tests, assignments, and miscellaneous due this week, and I got it all done.  I showed up for work all three days, on time and ready to do my job.  I was more social this week than I've been... in a while.  I was out of the house a lot, which is a rarity for me.  I guess Glendale CC has concerts on random Thursdays, and I got out of class and met a friend, and things just snowballed from there.  I also got new glasses this week and had a dentist's appointment, and I was at the midnight kickoff last Sunday night.  Very busy week.  I just need to find the time to go to a doctor and I'm set for like, six months. 

So, since there's been pretty much zero progress on anything writing related, I don't have too much to say.  Still working on Traiska, I haven't done anything with my first novel except read it, I'm thinking that either my dungeon crawl or Traiska would be a better book to offer as an e-book, but those are still a ways off.  I'll read the dungeon crawl in a couple of weeks, see how good/bad it is, maybe figure it out then.  I, myself, don't have the pull to self publish anything, but I'm pretty excited to think that my teacher might be able to help me out with that. 

Alright, I'm out.  I have other, more novel-y writing to do.  Thanks for reading, and as always, I hope everyone is safe and happy!  It's a beautiful day, enjoy it!

Wednesday, November 3, 2010


Hey, really, really sorry about skipping yesterday.  I hate missing days, but Tuesdays and Wednesdays are always my busiest during the week, and on top of that I'm trying to write more words than I'm used to writing.  Dave - I saw your comment about my health, and I absolutely agree, but...  It's just kind of a whirlwind between Monday morning and Thursday afternoon anyway, and even if I wasn't trying to write 50 thousand words (I'm off to a good start - just over nine thousand as of this evening) I would still be tired and cranky and not have any time.  Three tests tomorrow, one scene due (I was thinking about cheating and giving her a scene from one of my novels, but that's not the point of the class) and since I haven't had any time yesterday or today, looks like tonight and tomorrow morning are going to be busy.  But I'm off work now, and in comfy PJs, and hopefully tomorrow I can start contacting all the friends, relatives, and others who have been left in the dark on my side of our communiques.  With any luck, I'll be able to shed this terrible aversion to having a line on my NaNoWriMo page that lists my number of unsuccessful days.  I mean, I'm already three days 'ahead' with nine thousand words, what more do I want?  Isn't my well being and communicating with other people more important that a contest where I don't really need to prove anything to myself?  I'm talking to you, Dad.  I've already written two novels this year.  There, done, mark this year off as a success.  NaNo should be fun, not a black hole where I can't let myself just write like I usually do.

Speaking of, and kind of on a tangent, I am firmly convinced that this year is my year.  Leading into next year, which will also be my year.  And probably also the one after that.  I'm in a wonderful writing class where I'm getting EXCELLENT one on one feedback from my instructor.  I'm entering this years' contest for the GCC literary magazine, where a girl in my class won first place last semester, and, if I don't place there, I'm also going to start submitting the piece to honest to goodness magazines.  I think I'm ready.  Finally, in all honesty to myself, I think I'm ready.  My writing has improved so drastically over the past year that I'm surprised when I go back and read it.  I'm used to reading my own writing and thinking, wow.  I can do better than that.  I'm ashamed that this piece of paper has my name on it.  What was I thinking?  Now, I'm writing things for class in the hour I have before I have to actually be there, and the writing is tighter, the ideas are cohesive, and (in my opinion) it's pretty amazingly structured for a rough, rough draft.  I am impressed with myself for the first time in my life, and it's SUCH an amazing feeling.  I highly recommend it. 

I'm also in a communications class where my teacher is asking for my assistance in editing his book, something I'm super excited to read and help out with.  He's offered me actual money for this, but the other day he offered me something even better.  He has a successful website/blog of his own, and he was considering self publishing because he has the resources available to make it worth his time.  He's offered me a chance to self publish my own book, and he will promote it on his site.  This is something I was considering, because, let's face it, I was and still am very interested in going the traditional publishing route, but since I'm going to have written three books by the end of the year, why not self publish one?  Why not try to get a fan base before I send off a novel to an agent or a publisher?  Especially if the tools are falling right into my lap?  None of my novels are edited, and only one has even been read - I have no idea how professional authors write and edit at the same time, this is something I'm trying to learn very quickly - and that, being the first book in a trilogy, is one that I would really like to publish traditionally.  Still wondering, still thinking, still unsure about what I'm going to do with this new information, but it's very tempting.  My teacher says that if you sell 5-10 thousand copies of an ebook, publishers come to you with book deals.  I have no doubt that that's true, but there's no way I can sell that many copies by myself.  As I've told you all, several times, I have no social marketing skills.  I only have this blog, on a very, very small corner of the internet.  Right now, where I am in the grand scheme of things with this, the dawn of my writing career, I'm happy.  Big things don't need to be happening yet.  But soon.  Very soon.

Thank you all, as always, for being here, for commenting, for even searching for me on Google to get here.  Your reward will be when I become rich and famous, and you'll come to a book signing and tell me, I came to your blog once, in the fall of 2010, before you made it big!  And then I will sign your book anonymously, so you can sell it more easily on Ebay.

I'm kidding.  Fame and fortune are not really my goals, here.  Making a living doing the thing I love most in the world is my goal.  But seriously, thank you, see you tomorrow!

Monday, November 1, 2010

NaNoWriMo Day One

5,156 words my first day!  Technically I wrote 2062 of those yesterday, by which I mean before I went to sleep, or else I would have had a record breaking writing day today.  But, y'know, I wrote all of them on Nov. 1st, so I don't know what to believe anymore.  But woohoo, either way I'm at least two days ahead of schedule.  Also, sleep deprived.  My story is going well on track, I just finished the first chapter, which ends significantly sooner than I had planned for plot-wise, but we'll get to it quickly.  They've just anchored just offshore of the island, and we'll see what happens next as they go to set up camp one.

I'm excited, but I know that I'll have a lot of work to do once I'm done writing the book.  This is a very futuristic/ science fiction endeavor, my first one in novel form, and I didn't have the foresight to actually research any of the technology I'm making up.  Er, you know what I mean.  I'm sure a lot of the things that I'm 'creating' have research done on them right here on good old Earth, and I'd really like to know a lot of the science behind them.  I'm also trying very hard not to let the fact that I'm basing almost all of my setting on my recent cruise to Alaska earlier this year overpower the story.  I took a lot of very good notes while I was there, and the plot for this novel came from the question of what on earth I was going to do with them.  Still excited, still very happy about writing again.  I took a few days 'off' last week, because I finished my second novel early and didn't want to start a new project with NaNo looming so closely on the horizon, but I think I've made up for it.

Along with my 5k words for my NaNovel, I also wrote an additional 2k for another science fiction short piece that I've been working on.  I don't know if I've said much about it here, the story that details the first act of aggression between the Gansu Province Colony and the New Beijing Colony on opposite sides of the same moon?  I know a lot more about China, now, and I know I'm barely scratching the surface.  I don't even know if what I'm writing is incredibly offensive.  I hope not, now that I've mentioned it.  That's looking like it's going to be longer than I expected, maybe six thousand when all is said and done?  Probably more, dialogue is my crutch and I have more than one pretty good speeches planned.  I also have no idea when I'm going to find the time to work on it this month.  I have a couple of tests Thursday, I still have my first novel that needs to be edited now that the first read through is over with, and everything else needs to just hold on a second while I figure out what day it is.

I hope everyone is having a wonderful start to their weeks, and everyone out there doing NaNoWriMo (my page!), good luck and keep going!  Turn off that inner editor and just plow right through the damn thing.  No matter how bad you think it is, once you go back and reread it you'll find some gems.  Good night, see you tomorrow! 

Sunday, October 31, 2010

Second Thoughts

This was totally supposed to be posted yesterday, but when I logged on my computer today there it was, still in the 'create a new post' window.  Oops.

Sorry for not updating yesterday... got busy with headaches and birthdays, which after thought might've made a better blog title.  Oh well.  I watched the Rally to Restore Sanity and/or Fear this morning, and I was very happy with it, especially Stewart's speech at the end of the rally (here).  I went immediately from watching it on my couch to going out and canvassing neighborhoods with my fiance, who is a volunteer for Jon Hulbard for congress.  I feel like I've done my part for the day.  The rally was, I believe, a huge success, and I really hope that it just makes people think a bit more than they did yesterday, and realize that we are not, as Jon Stewart said, living in cable TV.  Cable television should not influence us as much as it does, and if ever we disagree with the opinions shown in myriad news networks, we can always simply change the channel.

About the book, today I finished reading the final 250 pages, and it gets so much better at the end!  Just... just so much better.  The plot, the story, the writing, everything about it, and I attribute that to when I started writing every day.  Practice, any practice, helps.  Writing blog posts helps me write novels.  Writing papers helps me write novels.  Writing novels especially helps me write novels.  If my writing improved so drastically over the course of one book, I'm very excited to read my dungeon crawl.  That's the most recent example of my writing, other than a scene I turned in for class, which when I reread it I was surprised at how tight and cohesive the writing was. 

One last thing, and then I'm out for tonight...  I met with some of my fellow Glendale NaNaWriMo writers last night at bookmans, and it was a lot of fun!  They had an exercise where you wrote your plot and everyone else wrote a twist on that plot, and that was the only thing that was a little less than fun...  I consider myself, at this point, a novelist, and I have a novel plotted out for NaNo.  I'm not one of those people that's going to be stuck wondering how ever will I come up with 50,000 words.  I already have my plot, my characters, my story.  It's the difference, and I hope no one takes this personally, between a professional and a hobbyist.  I get the idea that some of these NaNo writers only write for one month out of the year, and that's November.  I've been writing since last November, and I'll tell you what, I wrote a heck of a lot more than 50k words last month.  I'm not trying to diminish the efforts of anyone trying to write 50k words in one month.  It's a very heroic effort, especially if you don't write during the year other than that.  It just feels to me that I'm writing a novel - something that I can polish and send to publishers, while others are just looking to write anything that comes to mind, as long as it totals 50k words.  That, to me, is not a novel.

Disagree?  Please, leave a comment.  I welcome other opinions, and if I have erred in some way, I want at least the chance to fix it.  Thank you, as always, for stopping by my little corner of the internet, and I hope you're all having wonderful nights, and continue to do so tomorrow night on Halloween.  Be safe, and thank you!  See you Monday.