wildflowersoul: (Default)
There is nothing like a lazy Sunday afternoon nap cozied up next to a snuggly little tyke. Especially when you can then wake up, deposit said snuggly tyke in the pack & play, and enjoy a bit of quiet afternoon.

In other news, NaNoWriMo is kicking my butt. As evidenced by the fact that I have been snoozing and am LJing rather than writing. I am just not feeling it this year. I have a story idea that I've been brainstorming out in my head, but the process of writing feels like pulling teeth.
wildflowersoul: (Default)
So in an effort to solve our dinner time struggles, I've been reading a couple of Ellyn Satter's books, and I have to say they are blowing my mind. One of her key points is that parents need to let go of their own baggage and control issues. We're not responsible for whether our kids turn out fat or not (I suppose that's within the reasonable parameters of not stuffing your kids with oreos and fried food). We're not responsible for our kids' happiness. I... kind of have a lot of baggage that needs to be unpacked. Type A, perfectionist, control freak? Yup. I need to settle the hell down. I'm not going to get an A in parenting. No one even hands out As in parenting. I think there's a lot of good that can come from some degree of mindfulness in parenting, but I also wonder if there's a limit, and if being too mindful just makes the entire experience a dreary slog of shoulds and shouldn'ts. I'd like to be more present in the moment, and I'd like to enjoy this experience more than I have been (not to say that it's been miserable, but I think I've been putting too much pressure on myself to be perfect).

Anyway. I am pretty seriously considering doing NaNoWriMo this year. Logged into my NaNo account today to get things ready to go. Thought of a potential novel idea. Kind of excited to see if I can do it. Besides, I guess I need a project I can channel my perfectionism into.
wildflowersoul: (Pam & Jim)
One 53,273 word novel first draft completed!

Talking to Drew about it last night has me convinced that I'll be demolishing most of it on rewrite. But huzzah! I wrote a novel in a month.
wildflowersoul: (Default)
NaNoWriMo update: Just hit 50K words! Yays! Not quite done the actual story, but I can stop wanking around to fill up word count and just get the rest done. The rewrite on this thing is going to be massive. Wow. I can't believe it only took 23 days, there is no way I can best this record next year.
wildflowersoul: (cullen)
Note to self: reading lots of literary agent blogs about query letters is a very bad idea when your first rough draft is not finished.

Am feeling a bit flaily because I'm at 36K words in NaNo, and while I do have a plot, and it is moving, I'm realizing that I'm pretty much totally lacking in actual grounded motivations for what everyone is doing in my story. Like, bad guys need reasons to be bad. Besides just twirling their luxurious mustaches. I am freaking out about the vague pointlessness to the entire thing. How can I have written 50 pages of story with no real point to it all? But that is what revisions are for, right? Right.

Sorry for all the NaNoWriMo updates, it's pretty much taking up all my brain space these days. The good news is that I'm on track to finish in about a week. Then maybe I'll have this thing shaped up to actually be useful in half a year.
wildflowersoul: (Geek!)
This day was exactly what I needed. Shutting ourselves up cozily inside to avoid the rain. Catching up on Thursday night comedy tv shows. And then totally ruling my NaNo story. I am cruising along at 31K words, have come up with a bit of a sketch of where I'm going with the next 5K or so words, and really enjoyed spending the day writing. Now taking an internet break and busting into some beer, but I'm hoping to get out another 1,000 words if I can, before giving my brain a rest for the night. I've got a laptop set up in our red room to face the windows, so I can look up and see the North River from my seat. I think I just really need to implement an output graph for all my writing projects, because I am obsessed with the graph on my NaNo stats page, it is the greatest motivational force ever.
wildflowersoul: (Jim & Pam laugh)
I won a free personal training session today at the gym. Score! I'd been thinking about buying a session, but have been too cheap to do so. I know this is their way of trying to hard sell you into more, but you can't hard sell someone who has no money! Or you can, but it is not going to work on the girl.

NaNoWriMo update- 22K words, last night I banged out almost 3K in a frenzy of trying to get to my plot. I am really enjoying the process again this year, I really like the structure of having to get something done every day. Though that is also a bit of a curse, because I find myself needlessly drawing out some scenes that are utterly useless because I worry that I'll run out of story before I get to the 50,000 word mark. So there will be a lot of editing to do eventually. But tonight I have to commence with the actual adventure! portion of the story and cease wanking on about music. In my imagination, Neutral Milk Hotel has gotten back together.

Also- I am giddy like a little girl for New Moon.
wildflowersoul: (Default)
NaNoWriMo: 1,000 words in. I think I found my voice, and I am expositioning like crazy, but I have a start! Yays. Still need at least 1,000 more words today, and I should do a bit more than that to build up a buffer. But I can take a break to do some dishes without feeling super guilty.
wildflowersoul: (I love lamp)
NaNoWriMo is coming up in less than a week! Argh. I have competing story ideas in my head and am totally not sure what I want to focus on. I need to make a list of all the things I like to think about and pick just one or two (for instance, I am only allowed two of the following elements: time travel, spies, historical mysteries, Nick Hornby-esque music ramblings, ghosts, capers, 90s nostalgia). Actually, seeing that written out like that, I'm thinking that I could definitely write 50,000 words involving the badassery of all those things.

We had a really great weekend, suckiness of the HarvestFest in Salem aside (the company of friends was fabulous, it was just the crowds and the lack of enough proper food that was the problem). Salem is totally awesome right now, and not just because of the booths set up to give me delicious fried foods and hot apple cider. We are also in the home stretch of trying to get ready for an epic Halloween party. Or at least, it better be epic given the lengths I am going to on themed foods.

Finally, a brief tangent into tv: White Collar on USA is totally adorable. It does feel a bit like a show that's trying very hard for our approval, but that works ok for me. Funny, endearing, and caper-ific. I'm watching Skins from Netflix, and it is superb. British teenagers with loads of angst. It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia has been striking out more than hitting these days, but I'm holding out hope they'll hit a mid-season stride.
wildflowersoul: (Little Mermaid)
There is a word I am trying to think of, and it's driving me crazy that I can't remember it. It's right on the tip of my tongue, and it's a word I use often enough that my inability to come up with it is giving me a serious case of the Mondays. If you can think of a word that starts with "p" and means something to the effect that information in a book (or website) can only be found there because it is information created by that publisher or author (think something like expensive Standard & Poors analyst reports and stuff like that)... I will give you a cookie.

In other news, we had a weekend, and it feels like it went by way too quickly. Friday night we went to Christopher's for a Metafilter meet-up. It was a huge group and the space was really cramped, but it was good people, good conversations, and lots of fun. Saturday we went up to Portland (The Lost Bear Bar, I think, which has a great beer selection) for a second meetup, which was also a ton of fun. I really like meeting new people. Yesterday turned out to be a gorgeous day to do some walking for [livejournal.com profile] incandes_flower's work with the arthritis foundation.

This week's goal: get srzs bizness about writing. I do not want to get to NaNo time and be exactly where I am right now. Theoretically, if I can get enough of current story done before then, I can try to open up a whole new project for NaNo. But I have to get this story out of my head first. Of course, distracting me from this goal is shiny new television that's starting up now. Though I think only Thursday nights are really affected by this, as I have a full 2 hour block of brain cell killing tv to watch on Thursdays. And really, only one hour of it will actively kill brain cells (Vampire Diaries, I am looking at you). Yes, I will be watching Joel McHale on Community.
wildflowersoul: (Grennie)
Happy new year everyone! It's been a while since I've updated, let's see... we did Christmas in Maryland, which involved a super awesome ghost tour of Annapolis. Ghost tours are the best! Saw Joel McHale on New Years Eve, then made it to a very fun party afterwards. The rest of this weekend so far has been extremely lazy, which is a good thing. I'm pushing through my first edit of my crap NaNo story, and incubating an idea for a new story which will hopefully not suck as bad. Drew got me a thingy that will plug into the computer and convert my old tapes and minidiscs to digital, so that will be a project that will take me a while to get through. Grendel is acting very weird, she wasn't eating for a good portion of the day yesterday, but is nibbling a bit today, though not with her usual gusto. She is being a sullen bunny.

2008 was... weird. But it did involve the best vacation ever, and successes in my hobbies, so hey, that's something. Here's to 2009!
wildflowersoul: (Jump!)
So, NaNoWriMo. I kind of can't believe I did it. 52,555 words, and I have a complete first draft manuscript, beginning to end, with actual plot and characters that are probably too Mary Sue, but they do stuff and say things, and it actually resembles a novel. Luckily for me, average word counts for young adult novels fall into the 40K-60K range. I think I have major problems with my tenses, a bunch of historical inaccuracies that need to be corrected, and some issues with pacing in the middle, but I'm going to let it rest for a few weeks, do some more historical research in the meantime, and then go back to it for a rewrite once I've had a break. After a rewrite I may tap a few people to read it for more editing help.

I grew to really enjoy the structure of writing every day, and I'd like to continue that habit somewhat, though I don't think I can sustain the every day thing without a concrete deadline forcing me to discipline myself. But it's a really nice feeling to know that with some determination, it's possible to pull this crazy thing off. I never got the "my characters talk to me in my head!" thing that real-life authors tend to say happens to them, but I did experience the magic of "just start writing and something will happen" a few times, and I have to say, that was a huge rush. There were also lots of moments of despair and boredom and feeling like I would never slog through to the end.
wildflowersoul: (cullen)
This blog makes me long for England. Shut up, I love British food. I want to go back!

Also, Stella is coming to Boston Dec. 11. Michael Ian Black! David Wain! That other guy! We have our tickets already.

Also, I am over 35K words on my NaNo story. Productivity! I suppose if I get to the end of my story and need to pad to get up to 50K I can always add more make-out scenes. Make-out scenes!

If you weren't aware, I am way, way too excited to see Twilight on Saturday. Sparkly vampires!

Finally, last night we were discussing the infinity of space and it blew my freakin' mind.
wildflowersoul: (Bunny!)
Alright, I am at 5,460 words for NaNoWriMo. Which is exactly where I'd aimed to be by the end of today, so I am pleased and proud. Yesterday it was easy, today it was a struggle. I spent most of today holed up in our back room at my little makeshift desk eeking out little bits, checking my word count, wondering how it took so long to just come up with a couple hundred words, repeating that process, wishing I didn't suck so hard. But I have decided that this is something that I really want to do, and when I really want something I usually find a way to make it happen. Being honest with myself about what I really want... that is sometimes a different story. Anyway. Sorry, I promise I won't be posting about the writing project that much this month, I'm sure it's not super interesting for everyone.

I'm reading a chick lit book right now, which I thought I'd never do because I do judge books by their covers, but I am surprised to report that I am completely loving it. It's written by a friend of a friend, or a cousin of a friend, I can't recall which, but it's set in Boston and it's about a librarian, and it involves romantic shenanigans. I am now going to reward my tired brain with last week's episode of Gossip Girl, finally, and then will try to not stay up too late to finish said chick lit book. Oh, and this weekend was awesome and tons of fun. I hope I won't have to become a total hermit for the rest of the month to get writing done.
wildflowersoul: (cullen- shut up edward)
So I am just brain dumping here about upcoming NaNoWriMo. At first I was all scoffing and wondering why everyone who signs up promptly freaks out. And now I am doing so. Fun!

I am still waffling between two ideas, one I’ve had for months and is a story I’d really like to write, but I keep getting hung up on details that feel like enormous road blocks (like: how does time travel work in my universe? So many logistical problems! It’s frickin’ time travel, it should just work the way I say it does). My other idea is not very well articulated in my own head, and what little I have of it feels way too Mary Sue to be a valid idea. Which brings me to:

Problem #2: Mary Sues. I am so worried about this that it’s really becoming an impediment to character development. And then I worry that I am so uncreative that the only thing I can think up for characters are thinly veiled versions of myself. Am I that solipsistic? I probably am. Look at all the “I”s in this paragraph!

Which is ridiculous in light of the fact that I actually really dislike opening up too much of myself to very many people, so I’m also wondering- how much of yourself should be in your writing? Too little feels like there’s no heart in it, too much and you end up with Twilight where the main character is you and every reader quickly identifies all of your neuroses and hang ups. Clearly, I am probably overthinking this.

So many writers that I’ve read about seem to get all their ideas from awesome flashes of musey inspiration, and their characters talk to them in their heads like they are real people. I don’t have working for me. Does every good writer have that? Is everyone that doesn’t doomed to failure?

I don’t know why I’m worrying so much about this, I know great writers and I am not so deluded that I think I’m among them. I just… would like to be able to put something out there that doesn’t suck, and I feel pretty insecure about the huge amount of suckiness I am about to unleash for a month. Blerg! I am going to try very hard to not be a quitter and actually follow through with this thing. Honestly, I think the biggest problem is that I hate the idea of doing something and not being good at it.
wildflowersoul: (Rats off to ya!)
John Hodgman last night was totally awesome. As a bonus nerd treat, we also got to hear Jonathan Coulton sing some songs. After the reading we stood in line for a very long time to get our books signed, but it was worth it. Had a brief conversation with Mr. Hodgman and got my book personalized. Now I have to actually take care of it, which means I can't lug it around in my bag where it will be prone to tears, water damage, and general destruction.

And the answer to my question of "what is the next awesome thing" is answered handily in the new book: mole men. I can get behind that.

I just signed up for NaNoWriMo. I will be productive in November!

Also, anyone in the Boston area in need of a last minute trip to the Garment District on Saturday? My costume... is not coming along so well. I may be ditching my original idea and moving on to something else.
wildflowersoul: (Little Mermaid)
Alright, I am not having the most productive day off, but I have been able to cross a few things off the to do list, such as "shower" and "feed the bunnies." I should have put "waste too much time snootling through old journals of crappy poetry and sad-sack introspection" on the list, because that's what I just did. What? It's research to get me back into gear for my writing project. Which has been pretty stalled in the water lately, but I really want to get a fresh start on it. I suspect that I may be avoiding it out of fear of failure, you can't fail if you don't really try, amirite? I did rediscover some tapes of old radio shows, and amazingly still have a tape player that works, and am now cleaning the apartment while listening to an old show. Oh, fall of 2000.
wildflowersoul: (Bunny!)
Ira Glass on not quitting:



I feel somewhat relieved to hear that. I don't know if I'll ever become good at writing, it often feels to me like if I were going to be good at it, I would be good already. But it's nice to have some encouragement that maybe I won't suck as much if I keep at it. It frustrates me because I've read so many books and have loved reading my whole life, but actually producing something from my own brain is an epic struggle. I'd like to at least take my current project from the one page and some vague ideas that it is now into a finished thing, even if it sucks. But the part of me that's used to being really good at things right away has a really hard time sticking to anything that I'm not immediately good at. That's my Friday morning musings.

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