Tuesday, October 28, 2008

NaNoWriMo is around the corner!

Okay, so I'm super excited about NaNoWriMo coming up in just about three days. I am itching to start my story but I'm resisting because no one wants to cheat. I'm just hoping that my creativity doesn't flounder before it begins.

Even though I've done this before, it's going to be really different. Last time I did it in July - there were shorter work days, more light outside and I didn't have a roommate. Now in November not only is there Thanksgiving but also Laura's birthday, the premiere of Twilight, and that necessity to create super awesome holiday gifts for everyone. Also I have a roommate who, I think, might take umbrage to me acting like a complete idiot/ lunatic just because I'm stuck and decided to eat rice cakes for a month straight.

But we'll worry about that later, shall we? My novel description, in case anyone is interested . . .

Let's Get Intuit
Delilah Connors is an Intuit - she just doesn't know it yet. She's a little bit witch (without the magic) and a little bit psychic (without the accuracy or understanding). What she can do is literally smell danger. It's not that hard really - trying to figure out what's danger and what's the Triple Chile Verde Burrito from Papa Taco is.
With a gypsy guide who's more in need of a nap than a neophyte, a headstrong vigilante crime fighter who doesn't understand that his mouth is writing checks that his muscles can't cash, and a dream man in the form of a doctor who'll think her homeopathic destiny is nothing more than deranged drivel, Delilah has a lot on her plate. Amidst all the upheaval in her life, it's no wonder Delilah ends up in the middle of a criminal caper and in need of saving. Is she confident enough to save herself, her friends, and her sanity all at once?

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

It's baaa-ack

To catch up those playing at home - I wrote a book, I want to find an agent, I'm stymied by the possibility of failure. And . . . GO.

In July 2005, after 9 months of gestation and one book as a guidebook, I did this little thing called NaNoWriMo. It's this insanely crazy idea that you can write a book in one month (175 pages, 50,000 words, 30 days). Me and my crazy college roommates from UC8 (HollA!) decided that this was the thing for us - National Novel Writing Month, there we went.

Now, somehow or other I ended up being the only one who finished AND I don't think I ever got to read the fruitful endeavors of my posse (seriously guys, I can't believe we didn't rectify that) but, it helped. Helped clear the writers block, helped work through the daunting task of creative output, helped get me on the road to Fishsticks. No, my glorious Fishsticks, the one I'm avoiding sending to agents because I've somehow come up with the idea that all eggs equal this basket, was not the product of NaNoWriMo - my other book was.

To tell you the truth, I've actually written 3 and 3/4ths novels: Reading, Interrupted (my zany senior project about the nature of books and reading from the inside), Question Heir (my NaNoWriMo debut about carnival villains, their crime syndicate and the brooding man that gets caught up in it), Fishsticks (if you're reading this, you should be already acquainted) and My First Novel (I know, inspiring title; this is the 3/4ths - I'm SO close to finishing I'm not sure why the tragically ghoulish Irish love story is still sitting there undone).

And while my poor Question Heir will never see the light of day, it served it's purpose grandly by pushing me past the daunting mechanics of writing a book and making me see that it's in there, I just have to reach for it.

So, to make a long story short (Ha, this is Valerie who's talking), I've decided to take up with this crazy NaNoWriMo idea again. I can see no other way to get past my own head unless I lock up that little critic in my ear and lose the key for the next month. Good thing that's exactly what's required.

So - I'm at it again. I just signed up on the website and I'm about to go off and tell the world so they can harangue me for the next month. One more time for all. GoooOOOOOOOO NaNoWriMo! (nanowrimo.org) ;)

Saturday, October 11, 2008

Epiphanies and Other Random Coincidences

Sometimes I feel like my consciousness is really a ping pong ball that bounces around my head making ace points against itself. I decide one thing, I decide another, I change my mind as quickly as the wind changes. Maybe it's not my mind that's changing though, maybe it's just how I feel about it all.

Like last week I woke up with a blog in mind (but I was too lazy to turn on my computer of course - bane of my existence this inert laziness to follow my laptop around the house) where I would say that my biggest problem at the moment is, of course, men. But I've changed my mind because what I thought was a problem was really me making things into a problem.

It's not like I'm heartsick over a specific guy and THAT was my problem - that there IS no guy. And that's been bothering me a lot lately since I've turned a year older, that there is no one. I tried to pretend there was (thanks Betsy) but my heart (and clearly his) was not in it.

And then I remembered something that lightened my heart . . . well two things actually. The last time I was in my writing cocoon - hoping to emerge a literary butterfly - I was worried about much this same thing. And one night, whether out of desperation or creativity or divine pity the Big One took on me, I had a moment of clarity. Suddenly I just knew (like sometimes you just know the right thing to do or the right way to go) that I wasn't going to meet someone or fall in love like I so desperately wanted until my book was published. That simple. And it made me feel better then.

But that was then and now, as I'm standing on that crazy scary writing ledge, I was trying insanely not to believe it. Because, as I tried to rationalize, that could mean that I might never fall in love since, man, this getting published thing is really hard, improbable. I can deal with the pressure of failing at my dream because that's what comes of dreaming this big but the pressure of that AND my love life, that I was just too freaking scared to risk.

But I was looking at it the wrong way I realized. Maybe what I know means not that I'm going to lose everything but that I'm going to get everything. That even though it's hard and improbable it could also be attainable and within reach. Or at the very least this feeling of lacking something just because I don't have it now (when, let's be honest, who even knows if I'm ready for it) seems totally unnecessary. A better attitude on its way.

And then today - one of the happy things that prompted me to actually turn on the computer and write this blog - I had another good thought. It was about my Grandmother. Right before she died my mom came across this report that someone at her care facility had written. My Grandma was interviewed and she came off as having a happy life, a complete life.

And I thought, my Grandma was a lot like me I think - and she lived a happy life even though it wasn't without pain and hardship. And she was almost four years older than I am right now when she got married and started on that content and happy path. Which means I have time, tons of time, since you could do a lot worse than my Grandma.

So I go forward from here hopeful, not trying to prove myself wrong, only trying to put it out of my mind and wait, patiently, until circumstances prove me right. Which, I guess, means I better get back to work on that little book thing . . .

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

Here's the deal . . .

So, here's the deal. I'm a writer (a pretty good one if I and the two friends I've ever let read my stuff have anything to say about it) and I've written a book. It's called Fishsticks and it's about a hapless, slightly hopeless girl who's in love with her brother's best friend. Her solution? Invent a fake fisherman boyfriend to make him jealous of course! It sounds like a trite romantic comedy set-up but really, it's anything but.

So I've got the supposed hard part down - I wrote the 25 chapters and edited the 25 chapters and polished my poor baby until it gleams. But I've just discovered the hard part really - the steal yourself for rejection, send out letters with pieces of your heart wrapped in paper, waiting on the edge of your seat for answers part. The finding an agent, getting published, seeing your dreams on the horizon yet so far out of reach part. In other words, the part I can't get myself to do.

Because, well, I'm nervous. I'm nervous and I'm scared and I'm worried as hell that the minute I start to choose this path it might lead me somewhere I'm afraid to go or, worse, somewhere I don't want to go. And, as I've been told before (and it really was news to me), I guess I'm kind of afraid of change. Afraid of change, a control freak, and a little indignant on the feasibility of such dreams.

I have another book I'm working on now you know. Well, really I have quite a few ideas rolling around inside my head but I picked one and I'm trying to stick to it but it isn't working out too well. So, this is my solution. See when I'm sitting down to write lately, I do EVERYTHING within my power it seems to avoid it. I have started writing long, lengthy emails to friends because, well, I have to write, what I write is negotiable. So I'm going to try and ramble here, a little pause, and then get myself back to work. I'm not sure if it will work but, well, I'm pretty sure it'll be entertaining.