Monday, November 23, 2009

erin reel the lit coach

My first and only literary agent, Erin Reel, left agenting a while back to pursue other endeavors, and has created a dream career as a lit coach. It's a terrific niche market, in my humble opinion, and a perfect complement to the rapidly evolving, frenetic world of today's publishing marketplace.

With so many distractions and expectations for writers today, it's helpful to have an advocate and a guide, who's familiar with the way the publishing world works, offer a recipes for success.

Check out Erin's new blog frequently for tips on how to develop the virtues associated with literary success!

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

unwelcome information

My last couple of chapters of my NaNoWriMo novel have been difficult to push out. I find myself wandering around in a wasteland of confusion, annoyance and failure of spirit.

It's hard to write this way...really hard. My mind wanders, I check facebook, I move money around on my online bank accounts, and then, just for the hell of it, move it back again.

My character--and the book--is getting way more sexual than I'd intended. Yesterday, there was a surprising revelation with her, and I reacted the same way I would had I just found out about a friend's unsavory secret. Sort of tmi, sort of "I wish I didn't know that."


Because I'm writing blindly forward in this exercise of word-count-as-grail-object, I now must digest this information, and move ahead with it and see where it all leads. Never-the-less, I feel somewhat betrayed.

Friday, November 13, 2009

keeping the momentum up

Life is full. Adding a 50,000 words in one month project to a full life can be harrowing, if not detrimental, to the delicate balance of family, fitness, fun, or yeah, and work. And don't even get me started on sleep.

When I started grad school lo these many years ago, the then-director of the program, Eloise Klein Healey, cautioned that something would have to give. That we could not expect to add 20 hours of committed work a week to an already packed life and expect that the other things would simply shove their fat butts over to make room. Like 12 tits and 13 puppies, someone wasn't gonna get fed.

And so it goes with NaNoWriMo. Producing 1,667 words per day is only possible when I take three hours to do just that and only that. So far I've been able to steal those hours two days out of the twelve. If I'm going to benefit from this experiment, I have to do better than that. Today, I'm giving up working out. I'm going to paste my rear to the chair, and maybe do some tummy tightening, glut clenching, but I shan't take the foray into the gym and all that goes along with getting my stuff together, finding a place to park, fussing with my iPod earbuds, etc... Nope, today I'm sitting here until I do my word count!

Monday, November 09, 2009

another day, another less-than-stellar word count

I wrote less that 600 words today. That's the bad news. The good news is that I think I've found a certain comfort, here in chapter four, with my character's voice, and the characters with whom she interacts have begun to feel fleshy to me. Substantive, even.

So, with pounding head (I had major dental work today), and resolve, I'm heading back in before I sleep, see if I can knock out just a few more sentences.

Perhaps a glass of Clear Creek apple brandy might help? Medicinal, of course.

Saturday, November 07, 2009

r and r. sort of.

Yes, I'm getting into the word count frenzy. Just shoot me. I'm relaxing at the Oregon coast with my darling husband (who has grades due at school Monday--so also has a hunker-down deadline), and the weather cooperated magnificently with a full on thunder and lightning hail storm this morning.

I wrote about 2,000 words, then took a break. Kirk and I walked into town via the beach and it seriously looked like a ginormous bubble bath gone awry. Bubbles of foam had churned up and were rolling all over the sand like tumbleweeds.

Got my dopio macchiato at the Manzanita News & Espresso, and headed back to the beach house, totally getting caught in a second downpour on the way home.

Unfortunately, my afternoon of writing was fragmented by the need to watch a couple of college football games on FSN, and a rousing game of dirty word Scrabble with hubby. I lost, btw.

Tuesday, November 03, 2009

so you want to be a writer

My friend and business partner, Laura, sent me a reminder today. A reminder of what's at the core of my affliction and in so doing, helped me get over myself and into the spirit of revisionless writing.

It's worth passing along.

so you want to be a writer? by Charles Bukowski

if it doesn't come bursting out of you
in spite of everything,
don't do it.

unless it comes unasked out of your
heart and your mind and your mouth
and your gut,
don't do it.

if you have to sit for hours
staring at your computer screen
or hunched over your
searching for words,
don't do it.

if you're doing it for money or
don't do it.

if you're doing it because you want
women in your bed,
don't do it.

if you have to sit there and
rewrite it again and again,
don't do it.

if it's hard work just thinking about doing it,
don't do it.

if you're trying to write like somebody
forget about it.

if you have to wait for it to roar out of
then wait patiently.
if it never does roar out of you,
do something else.

if you first have to read it to your wife
or your girlfriend or your boyfriend
or your parents or to anybody at all,
you're not ready.
don't be like so many writers,
don't be like so many thousands of
people who call themselves writers,
don't be dull and boring and
pretentious, don't be consumed with self-

the libraries of the world have
yawned themselves to
over your kind.
don't add to that.
don't do it.

unless it comes out of
your soul like a rocket,
unless being still would
drive you to madness or
suicide or murder,
don't do it.

unless the sun inside you is
burning your gut,
don't do it.

when it is truly time,
and if you have been chosen,
it will do it by
itself and it will keep on doing it
until you die or it dies in you.

there is no other way.
and there never was.

Monday, November 02, 2009

the sun's out

...but I'm not in it, thanks to word count hell!

Yup, it's day 2 of NaNoWriMo, and I wish it would just bloody rain! Sun, rain, sleet, I'm determined to plow forward, regardless. The first page honeymoon is over, and now I must face wholesale invent--which vacillates between anticipation and excitement, and terror of flat prose.

I have two NaNoWriMo buddies--Patty Kinney and David Millstone, and I have to say--it's so much better to have company in this misery. (Ack! A silverfish pincher bug just crawled into bed with me. Yes, my laptop is in my bed too. Disgusting, I know.)

I suppose I should swap out my sidebar wordcount meter --still boasting the 100% done of my last effort, with this one--it's just freakin' scary to face the drop-in-the-bucketness of it all.


Sunday, November 01, 2009

NaNoWriMo day one

Okay, 1688 words done. The beginning has begun. Yikes. 29 more days of this. That's all I have the breath to say, at this point. Other than, writing without revising (a major "rule" of NaNoWriMo) is really, really hard for me. But then again, this is an experiment, right?