Monday, November 30, 2009

Darkness with a Dash of New Moon

My apologies to all, I didn't expect to go so long before posting again. Real life, gets you every time.

However, I do hope everyone had a fantabulous Thanksgiving holiday and I am looking forward to a few weeks of semi-normalcy before we kick in to the big December holidays.

But I have to confess something upfront: Nanowrimo and I did not fair well. About halfway into the month, as I was getting ready to leave for a week-long conference for the day job and knew I was already a couple thousand words behind on my pacing, I was reminded that there are 11 other months of the year when I write fairly regularly. November's just not a good Nano month for me. Now March maybe would work. Oh, or August. Yeah, so, there you have it. Nano was a no-go.

So I've been writing and revising this weekend, with no committed daily word goals and no committed page counts. And it feels really good to not be so worried about the goal thing. It's too much stress, and life, especially during the holidays, is stressful enough without taking the fun out of writing.

... And I went to see New Moon. More on that later this week.

I know this was sort of a random post, mostly just me rambling. But hey, what's new, right? ;D

How was your holiday weekends? Oh, and did anyone hit up Black Friday and get some kickin' deals? ... I've decided I'm crowd-o-phobic, so not so much for me.

Sunday, November 29, 2009

Quote of the Week

"You must write for yourself, above all.
That is [your] only hope
of creating something beautiful."
- Gustave Flaubert

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

WiP Wednesday: Fuzzy Around the Edges

I'm in New Jersey right now and I'm writing this blog post before I go to bed after a REALLY late night (it's 1:21 AM as I speak--er, type). Anywho, forgive me if there are bits of this that may not make sense. My post thoughts came to me as I was sitting in the hotel bar shouting drink orders to the bartender while I monitored the tab that was getting charged to the boss's credit card.

Like a lot of people out there, I do enjoy a drink here or there, socializing with friends, with dinner or what not. But my favorite thing to do when I'm out at a bar (or a party where peeps are drinking) is to watch the people. Based on the number of drinks consumed, you can tell when someone has had a little too much. This would be the point (I speak from experience) where the world gets a little fuzzy around the edges.

That is the current state of my wip. I actually wrote the end of it already. And I'm really happy with it. I have a beginning I like too. And parts of a middle. It's all the inbetween bits that are making the big picture look fuzzy to me. I'm not yet sure how to smooth things out, flatten the edges, and tie them all up to make sense.

What do you do when you're wip gets a little fuzzy around the edges? Any tips you wanna share?

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Making Sense


The other night Phephe - the 4-yr-old kidlet - and I were watching The Neverending Story 2 and it got me thinking. While the movie is old and the special effects dated, there is a tremendous amount of world building in there. It was amazing how basic the plot of the entire movie was, but the world building involved was what got us sucked in.

My current wip is a paranormal YA - a first for me. And I've been fortunate enough to work with some great crit buddies who've asked me those questions about my fictional world. As this is my first foray into this genre, I never realized what was involved in making this story work. But when my buddies began to ask me the hows, whys and whats, it got me thinking about how much I needed to put in to make this new world of mine, make sense.

There's a lot of crazy things out there in the world, happening each and everyday, and sometimes we think to ourselves, "Man, that totally doesn't even make any sense!" But guess what? It doesn't have to. It's real life and it will work itself out. But whe you're writing fiction, you can't just let it fix itself. Because sometimes it won't. You need to know how to fix them.

A lot of you out there write paranormal and fantasy, I know. So have you made sure to ask yourselves the whos, whats, whys and hows as you've been going? Have you hit any weird hiccups along the way that maybe changed your perspective on how things work?

Monday, November 16, 2009

Quote of the Week

"The difference betweeen reality and fiction?
Fiction has to make sense."
- Tom Clancy

Friday, November 13, 2009

The One Ring

Husband likes to tell people about our venture into the world of Tolkien via the first Lord of the Rings movie. You see, we went to see it, on opening night. This was not actually a truly planned event, I think the conversation went something like this. . .

Me: you wanna go see a movie tonight?
Him: I guess. What do you wanna watch?
Me: I don't know. I just want movie theater buttered popcorn.
Him: I want Sour Patch Kids.
Me: Okay, let's go.

Then we just picked the movie that had the next soonest starting time. Little did we know we were walking into a cult phenomenon. (At the time, neither of us had read much Tolkien and had purged all experiences from high school.)

Moving on. Can you imagine if the One Ring was actually one of these and not something cast from the depths of Mount Doom or what not?

Evil Dark Lord could’ve just passed these nifty little color coded sheets and yanno, when he was having a bad day, people could just leave him alone.

Or bring him some Super Mario cupcakes or whatever. (Super Mario would've made Middle Earth way cooler.)
I know that’s a bit random for today, but it’s Friday. And although the sun looks like it may be breaking through the clouds outside, it’s supposed to flurry all day. Then SNOW tomorrow. And be frigidly cold.

And we found a leak in our roof last night. Yeah. Sweet, I know.

Anyway, I’ve committed to turning my personal internal mood ring to be a nice shade of light blue and dang it, I’m trying.

Okay, have a great weekend everyone! Good luck to all who are Nano-ing or Reviso-ing or Delete-o-ing or maybe just Reading!

Thursday, November 12, 2009

I've Decided

Yesterday was mostly okay, and then I was suddenly feeling very overwhelmed (by real life) and had a bit of a meltdown. But, I'm okay now. I think.

After I got home from a family birthday party last night I got to thinking about how the suck part of my day had ruined all the earlier good parts of my day. And then I decided, you know, it is only really sucking because I'm letting it. I'm letting my mood take over again. Man! Those moods, they're sneaky buggers, aren't they?

Today I've decided my mood can do whatever it pleases, as I AM going to have a good day.

On to other news, since I missed yesterday and didn't post a wip update, just an FYI on the Nano front: I'm behind. Somewhere in the 12,000 range, I think. But I've also decided, guess what? That's totally OK. I'm still writing. That's the part that counts.

And after a hug from my 4-year old, things are good. Because I've decided that so long as the important stuff's taken care of, the rest will work itself out. I'm gonna take a break and go meditate now, feeling like I need a little more Zen in my life.

Have a great Thursday!

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

In the Mood

Eww, get your mind out of the gutter! I am so not going there!!

I've decided to try and keep with the theme of my Quotes of the Week posts and what a good week for me to decide this!

If it hasn't already been drilled into your brain, November = Nano. Nano = words. Lots of words. For me, that is a lot more words than I am normally accustomed to writing in any given amount of time.

I've discovered I'm a bit of a binge writer. (Or is it purge, because I'm trying to get it all out?) Once I have something in my head, I'll go and go and go until I'm running on empty. Then I just sort of hang out until something else wants to be written. For Nano, this would be such a no no.

I have to write. Or at least make the most valiant attempt I can to get in a few new words every day. I'm not as great at sticking with a set "time to write" because I have 2 small children and as most of you will agree, as a parent, you usually run on their schedule, at least until bed time. So by the time the kids are in bed and the house is cleaned up and I can write, I'm usually not in the mood.

For the last week, I've been trying to balance out my days and my word count hasn't been too bad, but now, after I saw the quote I posted yesterday, I am totally with Pearl S. Buck. I can't wait until I'm in the mood to write. I just have to do it. Sort of like everything else, right?

Seriously, are there people who think to themselves "I'm in the mood to clean the bathroom today?" or "I'm in the mood to vacuum the house with the hand attachments?" I think not.

So in the mood or not, we all have to do it.

With the minor exception of one of my children asking me "Mommy, please could you turn off the computer to come cuddle and sleep?" I am not letting my mood decide for me anymore.

 Though I wonder what helps get you past that moment. Any tips out there? What do you do to help you get in the mood to crank out a few more words? Or clean the bathroom? Or wash the windows?

Monday, November 9, 2009

Quote of the Week

"I don't wait for moods. You accomplish nothing if you do that.
Your mind must know it has got to get down to work."
- Pearl S. Buck

Thursday, November 5, 2009

Safety First

Okay, so the votes are in .... and it seems everyone's pretty supportive of, well, whatever vice I choose to have. Though I'm not sure how much it helped in my whole decision-making process I so appreciate that everyone took the time to weigh in! You guys all rock.

But before I took this morning to really decide if I was going to start the day with a cup of coffee or a cup of tea, the decision, for practicality reasons, was sorta made for me.

Last night, just as I was settling in to begin writing and critting, after the husband went off to work and the kidlets were tucked into bed, our carbon monoxide detector went off. And I don't mean it did it's weekly test, beeping a couple times obnoxiously and then saying "this was only a test" it WENT OFF. Needless to say, I panicked. I mean, my children! Save the children! Save the children!! Call 911!!

But then, it turned off. I had a pretty major What the ----?!?!? moment, seeing as the device had just awoken our 4-year-old on a school night, and had the 18 month old baby screaming with every beep. So I get the kids tucked back into bed. All is well.

False alarm. (You see, we have two other detectors in the house, and neither of them were panicked about anything.)

Then the blasted thing went off AGAIN! Just long enough to wake the kids and irritate the blazes out of me. Then it turned off. We just replaced the batteries. We test it every week. I couldn't figure out what was wrong with it.

Mind you, I realize that there is no really GOOD way to know without the detectors of CO2 as it is odorless, colorless, etc, etc.

With my children in tow, I went and grabbed one of the other detectors we had and put both units side by side. Nothing happened. NOTHING!

So just to be safe, I opened all the upstairs windows (had to shut off the heat) and grabbed both my kidlets to come sleep with me, because more people in the bed = warmer place to sleep, and then proceeded to wake up EVERY 30-45 minutes, just to make sure my kids were still breathing. I'm a mom, what can I say. No more beeping. Kids got to sleep. Life is much better.

This morning Husband stopped and picked up one of those hand held tester units at Home Depot on his way home and proceeded to wander around the entire house testing to make sure that when he went to sleep with the baby today, things were all good. -- Even the detector that is closest to our furnace & water heater (the only gas appliances in the house) had a reading of almost 0.

But I did learn 1 big lesson in all my rampant panicked mom research last night: If you start your car to warm it up before you leave in the morning / at night / whenever .... don't do it if it is parked in the garage, regardless of how much you have the door open.  Back it out first. That is the only thing we can figure out that would have caused the inflated levels of CO2. Our bedrooms are upstairs, above the garage, and husband had started his car to warm it up before leaving for his night shift. The CO2 can collect inside the enclosed space, even with the garage door open all the way.

Lesson learned.

So there is the long winded reason for what is in my cup today. I don't think I'd be able to keep my eyes open ... or function at all this morning without some concentrated form of caffeine... so, yeah. Here's to my first cup back on the wagon.

P.S. If you don't have a CO2 detector in your house - GET 1. Get several. You should have 1 everywhere you have a smoke detector. They sell really affordable combo-smoke detector/CO2 detectors now that you can put in place of existing units. Most new homes come with these, but you might want to double check.

And no, I'm not being commissioned by anyone to promote all this. I just want to make sure your families are safe too!

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

WiP Wednesday: Nano and Coffee?

It's been a few weeks since I've done a WiP Wednesday post, not that I haven't been working on anything, but, life, it sorta gets in the way sometimes!

I suppose the big news is NaNoWriMo. As many of you know, I've signed up this year to participate. So far, I'm a little behind, but I'm not too worried yet. I've been doing more writing in the past few days than I have for the last couple of months, so that in and of itself is an improvement. Plus, seeing all my Nano Buddies online and their progress, it's definitely motivating me to want to keep up.


If you're participating, and you haven't yet, buddy me! (windyaphayrath)

On to other news, I came to the realization yesterday that since I gave up coffee - about six months ago - I've been going to bed much earlier. Now I think this was really good when the husband was home and we finally went to sleep around the same time. (He's now working a graveyard shift, so that's a moot point.) But going to bed so early has made me realize, I am losing countless - COUNTLESS, I tell you - hours of writing time.

So because I can totally be swayed by peer pressure in this situation (and because I still oh-so-much enjoy the thought of basking in that first of the morning rich cup of sweet, sweet vanilla French Roast), I'm reaching out to you my fellow blog-o-spherians to help me decide if I should stick to my guns and stay off the stuff, there by eliminating about 3-5 hours of writing time each night, or if I should just succumb to the enticing aroma and have a big ol' cup a joe and hopefully regaining some much needed wordage hours. What say you?

In the meantime, here's a cup of tea to all of you doing #Nanowrimo, #Nononano, #Nanorevismo or, you know, just hanging out reading a good book or watching reality TV or whatever! Hope you're all doing well!

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

You're Amazing!

Me: I don't know what to blog about.
My Sister: Blog about me.
Me: What about you?
My Sister: How amazing I am.
Me: **choking on laughter*

The other night I watched Monsters vs. Aliens (**spoiler alert**) with our 4-year-old and there's a scene just after Susan (aka Ginormica) defeats the giant alien robot and proceeds to breakup with Derek (her weatherman fiance pre-ginormousness). It's a big turning point in the movie because it's when she discovers that she did that because she believed in herself to do it. And then she pointed out all the amazing things her monster cohorts have accomplished.

And after my conversation with my sister and her self-affirming amazing comment, I realized, guess what? I'm amazing too!

I've been going through a bit of a "phase," trying to figure things out when it comes to publishing, parenting and life in general. You know, when you don't know if anything's ever going to happen for you and you're not sure if you should do anything about anything. And you're trying to decide if there's any point to keep striving for a goal that, at times, seems unachievable. So today I've decided, it doesn't matter where everyone else is with their careers. It doesn't matter how long it takes.

I am having my Ginormica moment. And I'm sharing it with all of you. I am amazing.

And so are all of you! It doesn't matter if you're agented or not. It doesn't matter if you have kids or not. It doessn't matter if you root for the U or the -- er, sorry. Husband has advised this last one does matter, so I'll omit with a quick GO UTES! ...

Moving on. For everyone who is participating in NaNoWriMo - you're AMAZING! Just for wanting to put in the effort, commit yourself to the goal that we all know will only cause additional work, because we all know that whatever we come out with at the end of Novemer is not an agentable piece of work. It's going to require countless hours of rewriting, editing, revisions, crit groups, beta readers and so on. But you know what? It'll be worth every moment because:

You're amazing!

And sometimes, you just need someone to remind you! Thanks to Sister and Ginormica. Who would've thought you guys had so much in common!

Monday, November 2, 2009

Quote of the Week

"Imagination grows by exercise, and contrary to common belief, is more powerful in the mature than in the young."
--W. Somerset Maugham