Monday, May 2, 2011

NaPiBoWriWee 2011: Day 2

A sad schedule today made it a touch day. Got some great momentum and excitement for picture book 2 going this morning, then my alarm goes off telling me I have to stop and eat some lunch then go to work. I really didn’t wanna! …but I did. I figure I made it a little under 1/3 of the way through my intended story.

Work has become this never ending pondering of “I’m not in charge so why am I in charge?” — which also meant that my dinner break only got me through about 200 words because I was interrupted too much. Not according to plan at all. I need big headphones that scream, “go the frell away, I’m writing now.”

So when I got off (half an hour later than I was supposed to) I went to pick up my bro-in-law at his job. Spent the half hour as I waited in the parking lot with my laptop jammed in between me and the steering wheel, feverishly typing, and got to about the 2/3′s point. At which point it’s 10 after 11.

Home now at last. I’ll do some more writing tonight, but it’ll probably fall on the opposite side of midnight. Because I have job aps I need to do first, and if I get too tired, I can’t do them. Word count for the day hovering at 1800ish. Not my best, but not bad. The downer is just that the draft isn’t complete.

On the positive side, tomorrow is my day off! =) I can catch up!

Sunday, May 1, 2011

NaPiBoWriWee 2001: Day 1

Silly name aside, if you don't know what NaPiBoWriWee is, you definitely need to check out the blog of lovely Eureka writer and YA author, Paula Yoo.

But the bare bones basics?

Seven picture books in seven days.

You heard me, seven first draft, rough basic beginning points for picture books generated in seven days. Sound like fun??

I thought so too! I've been doing doodles and cartoons like the one on the right for a while now, and my big bro (brother-in-law-to-be, actually, but bleh, what a mouthful!) had been encouraging me to think about doing a children's book (something new and wildly different for me) when the first of Ms. Yoo's tweets about the event caught my attention.

Who am I to ignore the pokings and prodings of fate? ;)

Day 1 started with a bang, my midnight writing sprint running over when I forgot to stop and the first draft for the first book was finished before I went to bed. About 1100 words, and not all of them terrible. I've planned out (roughly) at least the next three, so we'll see how far I make it this week. I'll be getting back to work here in a little bit, hopefully making inroads into the next first draft. But today? Already a good day!

Monday, March 28, 2011

I Am A Priest!

Yesterday, a man I love and admire as the head of my congregation stood at the pulpit and said I could be a priest.

This was a little odd, you see, because I remember being eight years old and having announced with all the self importance of childhood, that when I grew up, I was going to be a priest. Since I was Roman-Catholic, it fell to my mom and our priest to explain to me that I couldn't actually be a priest because I was a girl. Because the pope said so. And I was heartbroken, because not only did a dream die, but because my Mom had no idea what to say when I reminded her, "But you said girls can do anything boys can."

Except for that it seemed.

So yesterday, when I heard Rev. Neil, the head pastor at my church, say that 'priest' and 'minister' meant in our faith that priesthood of all believers, that it included me, that those in service to God could call themselves 'priest' and 'minister', I started to cry. I had no idea that some part of me still needed to hear those words.

I could be a priest.

After service, I went to Rev. Neil, to thank him, to share what it had meant to me to hear that I could be a priest. And he gave me one of his little smiles, one that says I'm being quite silly not to see the whole picture, and said, "You already are."

I am a priest.

Somewhere, an eight year old version of myself is dancing around and singing the "I Told You So" song.

We now resume our regular (ha ha) posting schedule..

I really am laughably bad at keeping committed to this blog. Mostly because I'm really bad at journaling and talking about myself, neither of which suits one well for blogging. But I figured a general update would be nice, and I have a blog planned for later today talking about a great spiritual experience I had yesterday. Eureka will be back in July, and I intend to pick up my reviews again then.

I've continued to plug away on "Heights" which will be a major editing/rewriting project sometime this summer. I'm also working on the revamp of "The Devil's Wife" as a full length screenplay I've been working on.

I'll of course be at the Great American Pitchfest this June, because I adore Signe and Bob and will probably volunteer every year I live in this town, even in years like this one, where I don't really plan on pitching anything. Maybe "Heights" to the one or two book publishers who show, but we'll see. Not sure it's quite ready for that (or will be come June). But I encourage everyone to check out the event! I have a blast every year.

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

NaNoWriMo 2010: Day 30

Well, it's finally here. Day 30. The end is here.

Wasn't sure I'd make it. I just barely got to being on pace the day before Black Friday, when I worked at 4:30 in the morning with the crazy people. (Yay, retail).

Surprisingly, Black Friday didn't break me. I dragged what remained of my carcass after the shoppers were done with it down to my local Starbucks and cranked out 1700+ words before the urge to collapse beat me into submission.

Black Saturday, however, killed me dead. Or perhaps the urge to push so hard on Black Friday did it and Saturday just nailed the coffin closed. Either way, Saturday was a zero sum day.

Drew it down to the wire, but powered through almost 5K on the 29th day. Was looking good to finish, with only 508 words to go...

Of course, then I had to go back to the retail hell, and I sat at a measly 508 words for almost 24 hours! Talk about feeling ridiculous!


Oh, I've already given away what happened on day 30? My images?

Oh. Cutting to the chase then.

I WON!!!!

Seriously, though, it's been a great month. (Also, those 4K on the first abandoned NaNo project? Didn't count them. Felt like cheating.)

Now I just have to finish. Provide some answers. Resolve the story. ...get to the climax? Right, so... still have a ways to go.

But as of 4:30ish PST, I cleared 50K words (112 pages in all) and won NaNoWriMo. I think I'll take the rest of the day off (Except I'm stuck at Starbucks in WeHo for several more hours, so I won't. Bah.) I'll probably flit around Twitter for a bit and cheerlead for those still making the push. Because good encouragement can be all it takes to gets you through that last push!

Monday, November 22, 2010

NaNoWriMo 2010: Day 22

I spent days 18 and 19 over the moon, excited because I'd caught up to the "recommended" word count, felt like I was back on pace, and two of my characters had sort of opened up and decided on this amazing subplot that altered the ending and made everything lead toward a much more amazing conclusion than previously planned.

So naturally, days 20 and 21 played host to a migraine and it was all I could do to get through working my "real" job. Looking at a computer screen just wasn't on tap.

So now it's back to playing catch up. I think I prefer it, though, because it eliminates any sense of complacency or saying, "Well, I got out 1000 words today, I can hit more tomorrow."

No day but today.

And once more into the breach, dear friends. I have a web lies to untangle and a wedding to break up. And that's just the tip of the ice burg!

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

NaNoWriMo 2010: Day 16

Okay, so it's technically Day 17 now that we've gotten past midnight, but I don't have anything much to talk about since we're only an hour into the day.

Day 16 was a big work day, push hard to make significant progress in closing the gap between where I should be and where I am. Finished 5040 words today, bumping the total over 25K. Feels pretty good, and most importantly, I find myself arguing things out with characters and occasionally wondering who's in charge, me or them, which in my experience is a good thing. They get to that point and you're going to stick with them for a while, enjoy the ride, cuss the fights but later love them for tearing into you, and hopefully, come up with something on the page that isn't utter rubbish.

Of course, I was making the big push to break 25K total and 5K for the day which had me hyped and had me on a nice roll, good momentum, and after I cleared both those goals, I wanted to keep going. Got myself to mid-sentence and promptly stopped at point, so hopefully I can spin that into some great momentum for tomorrow. The downside is now that I got there and have stopped for till morning, I'm drained! Energy just died once I stopped.

Which I suppose makes it bedtime. Good night, all!

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

NaNoWriMo 2010: Day 09

An early post today, courtesy of the cracked out work schedule which has me going in at 5 (when everyone else gets off) and closing tonight. Still had to ride in to WeHo with my sister for her regular(ish) work day, so I've had quite a bit of time to work today (which is wicked sweet!)

Got over 3K words written, breaking the 10K barrier about midway through those 3K words. Have tomorrow and Thursday off, so equally hopeful that I can hit this thing hard during my time off, maybe clear 3K on each of those days (I'll settle for making goal of 2K though, speaking practically!!)

Really glad I made the decision to switch stories. As usual, enjoying my villains the most- my out and out villainess who plays so many games she ought to be named Hasboro, started the first of her ploys today, which was a blast to write. I also got to write about Daniel, who is much more coherent while drunk and has the misfortune of currently having been forced into sobriety. I let him go on a little tangent today which actually ended up creating a great comic beat that resolved on a very serious and somewhat sad beat for him. Not bad for a 'eh, how bad can it be if I let the sober drunkard babble a bit' moment. Daniel's a bully and has the loyalty of the lowest snakes, but there's something tragic and likable about him, not to mention the fact that his rambling often proves amusing, so he's another enjoyable character. My main character (antihero) Hunter is interesting, but being an anti-hero, he doesn't get to have quite as much fun. But he is proving delicious to torture, and I have plenty more of that planned!

Next on my to-do list though, is looking into finding a public library or different coffee shop to work in near my workplace. Today at Starbucks has proven to be TEH DRAMA all day long! Not to mention dodgy internet connection! Suggestions welcome!

Thursday, November 4, 2010

NaNoWriMo 2010: Day 4

You may notice if you look back at the day 1 post with the counter widget that today my word count hasn't gone up much. That's not really accurate. The counter only reflects what I wrote TODAY.

Early in the October planning process, I was caught between two plots. Definitely something to be grateful for now, because I was struggling ridiculously with the one I chose, and sometimes fighting myself to get to work on it. Worse? It felt boring to me. I picked something outside my usual style, genre, and medium to be a challenge, but maybe going toward all three was a little much. Plus idea #2 has been nibbling away at me for DAYS. Unlike the first NaNo idea, it hasn't petered out this week. Fortunately it was still early, and after reading what I'd written so far, I decided to try switching ideas today.

What a difference that made! I wrote over 4K words today. I wrote more today than I've managed to squeeze out in the previous three days.

I'm going to have to push hard to make up the gap in words that restarting 4 days in has made, but it's definitely worth it. Sometimes taking a step back and looking at the options in front of you is a good idea. And in this case, it definitely is.

I feel rather flaky with this year's NaNo project, which is almost funny, because usually I'm the opposite. I get too attached to an idea or character, and it takes me longer to see it needs to be cut or changed. Hopefully coming from the opposite side in this project will help me find some good balance in future writing projects.

Tonight, featured the pep talk from Mercedes Lackey which is an amazing read and unlike many published authors, not disparaging of authors who aren't working on original projects. I have to agree with her, because I also feel fanfic makes excellent practice work. And my chosen field leaves very little room to talk, to be frank. TV writing has us break in by writing spec scripts, which when you boil it down, aren't all that much more than fanfic. Okay, granted, it's not the kind of fanfic featuring gratuitous sex and such, but it is formatted, gen, fic in a way.

I also decided to work today at Starbucks, because minimizing distractions is good. There was no, "I could just go clean this" or "Hmm, you know I haven't seen last week's Merlin" (I still haven't by the way, no spoilers!) just a nice green tea, my headphones, and air conditioning. Not usually essential, but it was over 90 degrees in LA today. Frak you, global warming.

Day four... let's just say it kicked my ass hard, so I started kicking ass back. Here's hoping the momentum remains through day five!

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

NaNoWriMo 2010: Day 3

Not much to report today, except for the reminder that when you schedule every moment of your waking day, your word count suffers. As mine did today...

Thank goodness I've got a day off tomorrow and I can double down to get back on track.

A secret from Ms. Meredith Lindsey, aka Merlin to her friends and fans, to tide you over: