Monday, November 30, 2009

More Than Ever Before

There was no fanfare, just Matt pumping his fist into the air and saying something like ‘woo hoo, that’s so awesome!’

The characters decided to kind of write themselves; a lot like life I guess. They just did what they wanted and made me tell their story. Which I was happy to do, it was fun.

As I finished the last line at about eight o’clock last night I felt no relief or huge exhalation of greatness or anything. That is mostly due to the fact that I know that I now have to rewrite basically the entire book through editing. But this is the fun part.

This is also the part I have become intimately familiar with over the past quarter century that I have been writing so it should be a no brainer; sort of.

All of my early journals are filed with stories that have lines crossed out and written over the top of, or they include circled paragraphs at the very top of the page, written as small as the type on a bottle of medicine to ensure maximum capacity, that trail long wavy lines indicating they should be inserted in other places on the page. My internal editor is ready and willing to tackle the next challenge.

I already know there is quite a bit of content that is going to be crossed out, not to mention the thousands of words that will meet their demise through the delete button. It is okay though, I fully anticipated getting rid of them even when I was writing them. That’s what the ‘Save As’ feature is for. ‘Save As’ draft 2 - Ripple the Twine is going to be well underway starting tomorrow.

Funny thing is I felt like maybe there would be some kind of let down or sense of loss inside this morning. Instead I slept until ten. I can barely remember the last time I did that but it felt good to wake up completely refreshed, knowing the bulk of these characters were purged out of my brain. Plus I slept great knowing I didn’t kill off the character I considered killing off a long time ago, they made it to the final scene. For now.

Once I uploaded the manuscript last night and claimed my shiny new winner badge I decided to hit the forums for a few minutes to read about other people who had made it through the proverbial rain. Turns out there were quite a few. One of the most interesting things I read was a thread where the poster asked how everyone’s families reacted to their win.

So many people made mention that no one in their circle truly understood what it meant to “win”. I could relate to what they were saying. Parents, siblings and friends of these people were saying things like ‘well if you don’t actually win anything, what’s the point?’ and the Wrimos who won simply let it roll off their shoulders. Because that’s what writers do. We develop thick skins that allow us to be present for the war but never impaled by the jabs of other’s daggers.

Or something like that.

After I wrote my final line I went outside to get a little fresh air for what felt like the first time in a month and I too was greeted by a whole bunch of nothing. Barely a car went down the street, no paparazzi were standing outside my door, no one chased me down the street for an autograph. But you know something? I couldn’t have cared less because for the first time in my life I could truly call myself a novelist, something I had aspired to be for years, and that alone was the greatest personal achievement of my life to date.

So what’s next? Well I feel so strongly about my characters and the content of this story that I do plan to edit the hell out of it a few times, hand over a copy to some friends and relatives for genuine feedback, rewrite it again and then get cracking on learning how to write a kick ass query letter because this one is getting published.

Then one of my other life long dreams will be complete, I can actually refer to myself as a published Novelist.

Sunday, November 22, 2009

The End is Rapidly Approaching

It’s been a while, yes that’s true, and I wish there was some excuse other than I have mostly been writing the book like a complete fool junkie for Chick-lit but there isn’t so here I am now. I do have to admit, I miss my blog and miss reading blogs but in February when I have a well crafted publishable novel that I can start shopping (read: lots of down time while I get rejection letters in the mail) it will all have been worth it and I promise to get back with everyone before then.

To keep my mind semi off the book I have been continuing with drum lessons, which have been going really well and my instructor is branching me out of the instruction book and into more real time beat driven stuff that doesn’t involve me reading along with anything and keeping the beat in my head, not on the page. It’s awesome to escape for the hour and just not think while I bang out some real music; albeit very slow music.

Speaking of music… Something strange that has happened, and I didn’t at all expect, is that I have not been able to bring myself to listen to my favorite music this month. No Jason, no Melissa, no Foo Fighters and no Dave Matthews Band. Since I tend to sing along with every word most of the time I didn’t want them infiltrating my brain and clouding up my own words for the book. Weird, because I love to listen to music while I write most of the time and especially lyricists like those folks.

Speaking of Dave (and Jason)... Last night the band (including Tim which was so awesome!) was the musical guest on SNL. Lately I make it to the Weekend Update and that’s about it but last night I think there were only one or two skits that didn’t make me laugh out loud. I was impressed by Joseph-Gordon Levitt as a host, I haven’t seen this kid since he was in 3rd Rock From the Sun but he was awesome! Great monologue, no shame, never forgot a line & he stayed in character, no matter what the skit, all night.

The best skit ever came somewhere near the start of the show. Anyone who’s a fan of Dave, Jason, Jack Johnson or Ozzy Osbourne will enjoy this. Even if you’re not and just know the general personalities of any of those musicians you should get a kick out of it.

The Mellow Show with Jack Johnson

Still makes me laugh. Hysterical.

So I’m breathing down the door of 40,000 words and bloody well plan to be at 44-46 by the end of the day today. I plan to hit the 50k mark on the first day we’re allowed to upload the book to claim the certificate, that way the pressure is off and I can just finish the beast knowing, if nothing else, I let myself win this challenge.

In other awesome news…you may have noticed there is a stagnant post at the top of the blog. It is a story on local Nano writers and I was featured in the article. Woo hoo! Matt Reid from the Medford Transcript and Malden Observer contacted me to see if I’d be interested to share some info for the article and it went up this past week on line and into the print copy last Thursday. Not only was it a front page story it was the lead off headline! It is very exciting that locals will get a chance to learn about Nano and I was so happy to be a part of the piece! Thanks Matt!

So that’s about all the news to report in my life.

My character, Sara, on the other hand... Well so far she has had to deal with the break up of one of her friend’s relationships (because she just got signed and is about to go on tour with her band), discuss the possibility that another might be having an affair with a much younger man in London, find out that another friend might be selling his bar and sandwich shop (which is her touchstone location) and she is trying to decide if its appropriate to sleep with a guy on their next date (because she isn’t really sure if its their second or fifth) and that guy is about to reveal the biggest secret that will affect all of them forever.


She is on a month long roller coaster here but I’m so glad to be able to be along for the ride. Luckily I have her to live vicariously through; my own life sometimes seems kind of boring in comparison. Of course that isn’t exactly a bad thing.

See you all again in December!

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Word Counting Down From My Favorite Number

Well I guess this is either really early for this Thursday or really late from last, but either way it seemed like it might be a nice time to write something other than my character for a little while. Something I can edit. Something that I care to make grammatically correct, spelled right and punctuated appropriately! (OK the exclamation point is probably a little aggressive here but there are just not too many chances to use them when writing a novel so I’m going over the top baby!!!!). It will also be really cool to not have to immediately check my word count after finishing this little post. But I probably will anyway.

Whew! Talk about a whirlwind! The funny thing is I am not freaking out like the powers that be indicated would likely happen, I also still feel like the idea is fresh and my MC still has boatloads more to say and do. I guess that is a good thing seeing as though I’m not quite halfway done yet. The good news is that by Thursday I will be, three full days ahead of schedule. Nice.

Halfway to the NaNo goal that is, I am personally aiming for 60,000 words and so far I’m pretty much on track to get there. I like to have more meat to work with later that way when I reread it and admit to the recoculously gratuitous dream sequence or the boring as hell dialogue I can simply remove it without fear of having to rewrite half the dang book so it can get published. I am really looking forward to having a chance to read again.

It’s been bumming me out that I haven’t had a chance to read everyone’s blogs either the past ten days. Some of you I get in email so I’ve been able to keep up that way, but this is actually the first time I’ve even logged onto blogger since the end of October.

By some miracle of chance, Theresa still seems to think that makes this little blog worthy of an award. Woo hoo! (Because I’m short on time, that’s the beautiful ‘Lovely Blog Award’ pictured above).

Theresa is a hilarious writer, I love her blog mostly because she has a rockin’ writing style -- slightly sarcastic and her subject matter is all over the map. Plus who can resist a blog titled An Officer and A Garbage Can.

Way to go Theresa *insert clapping* way to go!

If you don’t get that reference go to Netflix and add this movie right now. Girls should definitely pick up a box of Kleenex before sitting down to watch it. Come to think of it, some guys should too. It’s a good one.

Now I am supposed to link to blogs that I think everyone should read by passing the award on. Urgh, I hate this part of the award receiving. They don’t go and force Grammy Award winners to then pass on their award to five other people do they? Can’t I just accept this gracious gift with my humbling, and yet, touchingly honest acceptance speech; one glistening tear streaming down my cheek for the spotlights to pick up on? I mean I’m already linking to five other peeps at the end of this Broken Thought Process so can we just call it even? OK good. For a minute there I was feeling way too much pressure.

So anyway, I had to write today, its 11-10-09. All day yesterday I considered writing this and scheduling it to post at 08:07 this morning but I just didn’t have that kind of time so it will just have to post at like 08:32 or something. I like when countdowns start from eleven and not ten, eleven is my favorite number. Matt and I have decided that if we have a kid we are naming it Eleven. Of course I think it’s more appropriate for a girl instead of a boy so I guess we’ll have to wait and see what happens there.

What’s that you say? ‘Shut your pie hole and give us an excerpt’? Well alright if you must have a juicy bit to chew on, here is a little something.

Sara opened her email only to see one from her mother. She wondered what had taken her so long; usually there were at least ten inbox messages from her mom by this point in the day. Most of her messages were silly forwarded jokes that Sara already received two years before that but occasionally she snuck one in that was meant to make Sara cave in to the ‘get married and have babies’ pressure. She was really good at it and today’s was no different.

‘OK hunny so I’ve been thinking of having my friends Ted and Myrna over for dinner. You remember them right? Ted worked with your father back in the early nineties when he was on the road for those six months. Well anyway they are coming on Saturday and I knew you would want to see them too so I told them you would be happy to join us! They should be arriving around six and their son Paul will be here after he is done with the contractors working on his three story home in the South End. That will be about seven so feel free to get here anytime before that. And I will not have you saying no, it is time for you to find a man and finally fill that great big empty house of yours. Make sure you bring a really nice bottle of wine, and wear a loose fitting shirt dear.

Sara marveled at the way her mother could all at once extend a heartfelt invitation to spend time together and put the words in her head to make her feel like less of a woman. She wondered what year it was and how it was possible there were still women anywhere who felt that if a woman was single she must be ‘less than’ even if she had a wonderful group of friends, a fantastic job and a home to die for.

So I want to hear it, bring on the compliments, awards, publishing houses that are ready to give me a huge advance to complete it. Okay, I’ll take criticism too. Hopefully it will give you a basic idea of what the book is about, in 325 words that is.

Well I guess I should hit it now, besides the fact that I have five GLR posts and another 2,000 words to write today, I decided why not take on even more of a challenge so I accepted a writing gig doing SEO through my new favorite marketing company Social Lite. My fingers are in the best shape of their life!

Hope everyone has a chance to check out the ladies here…
Bree, Ginger and Bridgete.
PlusKC and Kate who are also Wrimo writing fools this month, so get over to their places and give them some high fives!!!! Or at the least some completely unnecessary exclamation points.

This post? Five shy of 1,200 btw.