albionidaho: (Default)
Today is brought to you by Winter Blend tea.

***


Recently I wrote an entry on being nice to people where I related an experience I had at a con where an author whose work I admired turned out to not be a particularly nice person.

After writing the entry, I decided to appreciate the author's work as independent of his personality. I've hit it. I can look at one of his stories and say, "This is a fine story." I still don't want to hang out with the author.

***


This is one of those boring posts where I tell you I'm almost done with my NaNoWriMo experience for 2011, that I'm getting over the second cold since the end of October, and that Thanksgiving was a success. There was salmon this year, and it was delicious. Sadly, I'm actually missing the turkey and the things you do with a post-Thanksgiving turkey. Go figure.
albionidaho: (Default)
At 51,780 words my NaNo novel is complete.

I also broke my record of the most words written in one day -- I wrote 14,639 words today. I have written 35,200 words since about 3:45 on Saturday afternoon.

And also, the novel is utter crap. There are pieces that may be salvageable, but it's absolutely horrid. Probably the worst thing I have ever written. Sincerely. But it's done. And it's good.
albionidaho: (Default)
50,000 words + complete -- now wrapping things up.
albionidaho: (Default)
Less than 1500 words until I'm done.
albionidaho: (Default)
These are the last 2,000 words.
albionidaho: (Default)
I have about 4,500 words left. See that? That's a short story.

Onward ho!
albionidaho: (Default)
I'm into the home stretch. Less than 7,000 words to write now.

And all I want to do is take a shower and curl up in a warm, cushy spot with some ginger tea and read a good book. Or watch really mind-numbing TV; my mind is already sufficiently numb, so I'd totally cope.
albionidaho: (Default)
10,653 words yesterday. I have thousands upon thousands to write today.

My Mountain Dew and brownie diet can't last. I ate a real breakfast today, which will certainly carry me through the day.

The house is under writing quarantine, and I'm here with my laptop, ready to produce.
albionidaho: (Default)
I'm kind of sick of sitting, but it's 11:51 p.m., and kind of late to take a walk. And chilly. (I do live in the mountains, after all.)

After this writing run, I'm going to have to sit on a pillow for the next six months, guaranteed.

By the way, I'm at 26,227 words, so I've written about 10,0001 words since I started about 3:45 p.m. this afternoon. That's pretty good, I think.

Notice however, that I didn't say any of it was good writing, but it most certainly is writing. I finished a novel with a two week road trip in the middle last year and completed that novel. I will not let normal life interfere with this one.

My fiction writing record is from my 2007 novel when I wrote 10,000 words in one day. I'm guaranteed to break that record this year.
albionidaho: (Default)
I am at fifty percent, and it feels good. I'm not worn out yet.

I took some breaks to sort music and bake1 and chat about books with [livejournal.com profile] chris_reynaga and listen to [livejournal.com profile] nihilistic_kid 's most recent composition hot off his grimy little keyboard (it's fabulously hilarious, by the way) and generally distract myself from this year's novel in ways I could and could not justify.

Posting in this journal is one example of that.

I thought about my kids a lot.

There's a lot more writing to be done tonight, but all else being equal, it looks like I may finish my novel by my November 30th midnight deadline.

I'm bound to gain ten pounds by the end of the 30th. I may have to take some walking breaks in the middle of writing. That's the healthy, sane thing to do, right? :)
albionidaho: (Default)
I started just under three hours ago at less than 30%, but I'm now at just over 40%. See that? My 20,000 word mark just whizzed by.

*pants*

Back to the laptop.

This may be a Mountain Dew and massive chocolate couple of days.

*notes not to forget to pay the rent*

*notes she had a fabulous time with the kids, and it's all worth it to have spent more time with them and other guests and to be writing now, as they fly back to Idaho*

nanowrimo

Nov. 28th, 2009 03:55 pm
albionidaho: (Default)
Between poor judgment about how much time I would have for the last half of the month, moving activities, unexpected Thanksgiving hosting responsibilities, etc., etc., I have not quite 35,000 words to write by midnight November 30th. Watch me soar.

writing

Nov. 10th, 2009 05:53 pm
albionidaho: (Default)
It may seem like a step back, but it's not, I assure you.

***


I've gotten a lot written over the past year, and over the past month. Today I finished two (awful) short stories, am in the middle of two more and am in the middle of two novels. I'm about to take a break on one of them in order to devote more time to the one I'm supposed to be writing for NaNoWriMo.

But that's how we learn to write, isn't it? We read and read and read and we write and write and write and if we're lucky we crit and crit and crit. And then we write some more.

I wrote the two short stories today with no intention of selling them at all. Ever. One may have a chance after several rewrites. The second may have a chance at a girly market if I make it funny enough. Or at a spec-fic market if I set it in space. ;)

I wrote them to write them and to have fun. I also wrote them so that Shane Hoversten will write more stories for me to read when I get up in the morning. (But this is a story for another time.)

But I also wrote them to focus on one aspect, and one aspect only, of writing. For example, in the second one I focused on subtle character actions and behavior. The sort of elements of a story that aren't noticed unless they're done badly and come off cheesy. I hope I didn't come off cheesy. And I learned from it.

There was something about not having the added pressure of trying to get everything right right now, but just focusing on one thing I feel I need to improve on, a habit or potential habit I want to avoid. And it felt good.

I'll be doing more of this, certainly. These stories may never be salable, but these lessons are more valuable to me than any short story sale could be for me at this point.

WFC

Nov. 5th, 2009 07:20 pm
albionidaho: (angeles)
Today is brought to you by the Santa Cruz Mountains rain and no tea, strangely enough. I may have to remedy that: I have caught a cold. (Lemon ginger sounds good.)

2009 has been remarkably healthy for me, much more healthy than I've been in years past. But I still have this cold -- I suspect I had it coming.

I attended World Fantasy Convention 2009 in nearby San Jose this weekend, my first big con. I paid for the con by writing articles about how to adjust watches.

I attended no panels, I attended only Terry Bisson's reading. Mostly I met people I've corresponded with online for years, or authors and editors I admire, some of them absolute favorites of mine. I spent time with Clarion West cohorts, old friends, new friends and Paul Park, my Clarion West Week 1 instructor, and Connie Willis, who taught Week 4. I learned about writing and being a writer in the current publishing climate. It's scary, but when I step back and think about it, it's thrilling, too.

And I caught a cold.

But that's okay; it was certainly worth it.

One of my favorite moments of the con was when Margo Lanagan won the World Fantasy Award for best novel. (Along with Jeffrey Ford, which just rocked -- I adore Jeff Ford.)

Margo Lanagan's win was a personal thing for me, proving how powerful boundary busting YA can be, and that that's okay, and can be accepted and appreciated when it's done well, when there's a point to the transgressions. This is something I've struggled with for years, that I'm finally getting over. I've consistently censored myself and my stories because of fear, fear of what people would think, react, say. How it would affect my fiction writing career. How it would affect my life in Idaho, and my family's life.

Partially this was because I had written stories in the past that bothered people, stories that people took personal offense to. I hadn't intended to hurt anyone when I wrote what I did; I thought I was writing a story I was interested in writing.

It's a process, but I'm learning not to be afraid.

I think I'm going to write Margo Lanagan a letter. Do you all remember that? When I used to write people letters? (I think I once wrote something to the effect of, "Harlan Ellison sues people; I write people letters.") I need to start writing letters again. I used to be a decent correspondent; now I'm awful.

The best part of the whole experience, however, was that I felt I was back with my tribe, something I have missed since coming home from Clarion West.

Tonight I am chilled, but it's only because I'm sick. The writing is flooding across my screen, I am surrounded by people I love, and there are a plethora of wonderful books to be read.

It's not all perfect -- I'm still trying to work on getting a big person job, for example -- but it's really, really good. It's wonderful. And if everything was perfect, what else would there be to work for?

NaNo '08

Nov. 29th, 2008 08:36 pm
albionidaho: (bison)
I just uploaded the novel.  77,729 words. 

It's horrible, utter crap.  But I finished a novel post Clarion West.  And it feels good.

It feels very, very good.

Now back to the novel I was working on pre-NaNo.
albionidaho: (jellyfish)
Today is brought to you by Ginger Peach tea and Muse. 

The NaNo novel? It is done.  Can I upload it yet? Huh? Can I?
***
Back when I was a bio-medical anthropologist, some of my colleagues used to try to talk me into going into obstetrics.  Last night I dream  I had, in fact, done so and woke up with an intense headache that, lo, these many hours later still will not go away.  

I suspect that if I had gone into obstetrics that I would be waking up with a lot more headaches like this one. 
***
After I finally got back to sleep I dream about jellyfish.  I'd much rather dream about jellyfish.

I miss jellyfish.
 
 
 

albionidaho: (Default)
Today is brought to you by lemongrass tea and Bela Bartok.

This year's NaNo novel will be completed tomorrow. I've done a lot of writing this week. *ahem*

As [livejournal.com profile] chris_reynaga has noted, one of the biggest lessons we were taught at Clarion West was the importance of simply sitting down in one's seat and writing regularly.  Just do it, as Nike was so fond of saying.  

It became evident that so much of writing was about consistent, steady practice.  Mary Rosenblum encouraged me to make up a story on a regular basis, maybe even every morning, from an article in the newspaper or a magazine.  It wasn't necessary to write it down, but it was ideal to figure out the main characters and the external and internal plot.  (She focused on the external plot with me as that was where I was lacking.) I was amazed at how skilled she was at simply sitting down with an idea and forming a whole story around it.  She said it was because she'd done it over and over and over again, year after year. 

This is a lesson I try to teach Avadore.  People don't just run marathons, people don't just sit down one day and read Moby Dick at four-years-old. Though talent is lovely, in the end so much of what we do is about practice.  Perseverance. 

Writing is a skill: it's learned, it's developed, it's honed, it's maintained.  And it's one of those skills that people continue to learn, develop, hone, and maintain.  Everyday.

This is why I encourage people to do NaNoWriMo.  It gets one in the daily writing groove for one month to the point that it can, ideally, become habit.
***

I think about writing a lot -- while singing with the kids as we drive to the grocery store, while I shower, while I cook. 

I live about a quarter mile from the country and a half mile from the city.  The Idaho version of a city, that is.  Today the kids and I drove in the opposite direction as everyone else and went to the country.  Avadore took pictures of some absolutely gorgeous horses. We talked about the changing season, how the leaves have all fallen and everything looks dead, but how there's a beauty in the color of the trees and bushes and sagebrush, how there's a beauty in the muted light.  We talked about how the farm animals were snuggled together for warmth, why the quality of the sunlight had changed, how the days were getting shorter and shorter.  We talked about how people have lots of celebrations during this time and how it helps people make it through the dark, winter months.  We came home and read National Geographic.  The kids and I love National Geographic.  We're total NG whores at my house.  We reread the China issue from May, and talked about China and how beautiful it is there, and how different, and why that's so. 

And all this time the back of my head was musing over lessons learned this summer in Seattle.

This is what it's like to be a girl -- we can maintain several hamsters in our heads at once.


albionidaho: (Default)
Today is brought to you by Chai tea and Brandon Flowers.

Say it with me: God bless Brandon Flowers.

Except what is up with the new album? Really? It could grow on me, but it is certainly no Hot Fuss nor Sawdust, and it's particularly no Sam's Town. Or perhaps I'm becoming even more snobby and picky in my old age.

***


I am home after a long road/business trip. I missed Fox and Avadore very much, but I also knew that good things could come from this trip for me (and thus them) and so I carried on.

Yes, I took a long trip during NaNoWriMo. Though I am behind I am determined that I will finish my 50,000 words. This is my sixth year and some measly road trip will not hold me back.

***


The working highlight of my time on the road was most certainly my attendance at the first annual Bizarro Con, organized by the fine people at Eraserhead Press Rose O'OKeefe and company did a bang up job of organizing and conducting an amazing weekend. Held at the gorgeous Edgefield in Troutdale, Oregon, the con was productive, informative, inspiring, and insane amounts of fun, as one would expect from anything Bizarro.

Read more... )
I learned a great deal about marketing, how small presses work, and how community can come together with a unified passion to make their dreams come true.  Expect great things from the Bizarro community.

It was my particular pleasure to spend time with my dearest of dears [livejournal.com profile] pamrentz,who absolutely knows how to rock the tacos and cookies and dry out a girl's smalls, and with the ever-patient and enjoyable [livejournal.com profile] chris_reynaga, who continues to prove his ability to entertain a crowd. 

***
Currently, I'm brining a turkey. Who's surprised?

nano '08

Nov. 1st, 2008 09:01 pm
albionidaho: (Default)
A decent writing day today. I put together my submission for a workshop I'm taking from classmate Carlton Mellick III and wrote 1,816 words on this year's NaNoWriMo novel in less than an hour this evening. That's right -- they're some high quality words.

(See this? I'm rolling my eyes.)

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