Archive | October, 2010

November Eve Eve

30 Oct

It’s that time of year again—November Eve Eve!

The day before the day before November starts, and crazy hopeful writers everywhere pick up their pens (oh, who am I kidding, they take to their keyboards) and write like mad for a month.

It’s the day before the day before the day outlines will be shelved in favor of that One Magnetic Idea, the Hugely Huge One that requires a ton of planning but who cares?! I can totally write a zillion-word (50K is for wimps, yo!) epic masterpiece trilogy in a month with no prior thought whatsoever—it’s November, and that means my brain and fingers and keyboard are infused with MAGIC!

It’s also the last day where sleep is an option, because Halloween?  Pretty much backs up to November.  Bubble-clad Lady GaGas, sparkly-sexy vampires, Princess Leias, Voldemorts, and Pippi Longstockings everywhere will flock from parties to coffee houses, bust out their laptops at midnight, and FALL ASLEEP IN THEIR BOTTOMLESS CUPS OF COFFEE WRITE!

So…am I doing NaNoWriMo?

Heck no.

I’m a NaNo cheerleader, which is every bit as important!  This is a PSA to everyone who’s tempted to think November is only for participants.  No, my friends!  The participants need cheerleaders!

Who else is going to remind them to eat?  Reassure them that it’s TOTALLY OKAY if they actually heed the Inner Editor (not to be confused with the Inner Critic) when she speaks her mind?  That doing the Halloween-party-to-coffee-shop thing at midnight, dressed in bubbles, is a bad idea in more ways than one?  That sacrificing quality for mere quantity only leads to editing misery?  To be their Harry Potters when they are Dumbledores in Voldemort’s horcrux cave (“Make me finish this no matter how much I protest!”)?

No, friends—November Eve Eve (and the rest of November, for that matter) is not the time to sit back.

November Eve Eve is the day to adopt a NaNo Participant, whip out your cute little cheerleading outfits, and prepare to ENCOURAGE!

Here are some suggested adoptees to get you started:

@melissaiswrite / @LizaKane / @KristenYard / @jamieharrington / @LauraJMoss / @Anna_Dawes / @betherann / @mercedesmy / @Simone7304 / @WeronikaJanczuk

Disclaimer: these extreme examples of crazy people in no way resemble the awesome participants listed here.  These ladies have good heads on their shoulders, and I have every confidence they’ll whip November into shape and wield it to their advantage (as opposed to, uh, getting whipped by November).  All the more reason you should cheer them on!  :)


Oh! And PS: I listed their Twitter handles because it’s easiest to follow that way.  If you prefer to follow blogs, not Tweets, click over anyway.  Links are included with their profile sections.

PPS: If any listed participants would rather be cheerleaderless, shoot me an email [olsonkayla (at) gmail (dot) com] or a comment and I’ll remove you from this post.  And, conversely, if you’re NOT on the list—and can’t face November without pompoms and pyramids—just let me know!

You Say You Want To Edit?

28 Oct

"You say you want to edit? Oh, human – what am I going to do with you? You'll have to get through me, first. And, PS: this is payback for all those hugs you give me. Only villains give hugs."

Scrivenerlicious.

25 Oct

Unless you have eyes like an…um…something that can see really well and is not a cliché, you might want to click on this to make it bigger.  The whole blog post is on that beautiful orange index card, yo.

PS: Special thanks to @bethrevis and @LizaKane who totally talked me into this software. (Not that I needed much convincing. Just a little nudge.)

PPS: You can check Scrivener out here.  Be warned: if you don’t have a Mac, you might be investing in one once you see this software. (UPDATE! Don’t despair or go broke just yet!  Check out the comments – the ever-awesome @melissaiswrite has provided a link for the soon-to-be-released version for PCs!)

Rain

23 Oct

Today is my favorite kind of day:

Latte + stormy weather + time + ideas to write + novels to read = AWESOME.

This has been a total I-want-to-do-everything-RIGHT-NOW sort of week, so it’s nice to have a day open where I can get some stuff done.  Still, though, merely having time doesn’t mean the decision of what to work on will be an easy one.

On one hand, I could buckle down with this fourth draft.  The mulling-things-over phase is coming to an end, and I’m on the brink of actually making changes.

On the other hand, I’m writing a first draft of something completely different.  I have a ton of ideas with where to take it, and today might be the perfect day to lay down a couple of chapters.  Rain tends to make me feel particularly inspired, which would work well for some shiny new words.

On my third hand, there’s that lovely stack of novels on my bookshelf…beautiful, beautiful novels…taunting me…and it is raining, and I am in comfy pants…what better way to enjoy the rain than listening to it while I read?

*Sigh.*

Guess I’ll just have to do everything.

Out of the Machine

18 Oct

Over the weekend, I was helping a friend out with one of her creative writing assignments.  She was supposed to write a fable, but couldn’t come up with any ideas.

So, I asked, “What do you care about?  Writing is much more powerful when you care about your topic.”

Blank stare.  Crickets.  “I guess I don’t know what I care about,” she said.

Now, I know this girl, and know that there are a LOT of things she cares about.  I can tell by her actions, how she listens to people, how she spends her time.  What surprised me is that she’d never really thought about the reasons she does those things.  She didn’t know how to articulate them.

When I told my husband later, he wasn’t surprised at all.

“I bet there are a lot of people who just go through the motions of life without ever thinking about WHY they do what they do,” he said.  “They go to school, work, church, hang out with friends, because it’s what they think they’re supposed to be doing.”

Huh.

I guess that’s true.  When I think back to late high school and early college, I can even remember being that way.  A lot has changed over the past decade, though.

This got me thinking about writing.  About how amazing it is that so many people out there are writing novels.  About the fact that in order to write something effective — or, to write something at all — you have to jump out of that go-through-the-motions machine, look at it for what it is, and evaluate.

Is the go-through-the-motions machine taking you where you want to go?  Do you even KNOW where you want to go?  So many people are stuck in that machine and don’t even know it exists.

I don’t think many (if any) of you writer friends are stuck there, though.  There’s not a neat little place in that machine for writers.  We don’t fit.

At some point, you looked at life and thought, “Someone writes those (books/newspaper articles/screenplays/etc.) — why can’t I?” rather than sitting back and watching them like they just materialized out of nowhere.  At some point, you thought, “This needs to be said.  People need to know this.  I can say it, and I should.”  At some point, you denied yourself sleep or entertainment or time with friends because there is something you BELIEVE is worth your time.

Something you care deeply about.

Something only YOU can say.

Here’s to caring about things, taking initiative, and being inspired.  Here’s to having dreams, working toward them, and making them a reality.  And here’s to you, writer friends, for believing you have something worthwhile to say — because you absolutely do — and for being committed to sharing your words with the world.

Your words matter.  And so do you.

Across the Universe

14 Oct

I’m taking a brief break from all things reading and writing in order to jump on a bandwagon.

Yep.  You read that right.

This bandwagon is called the HECK-YEAH-I’m-excited-about-Beth-Revis’s-ACROSS-THE-UNIVERSE! bandwagon.  It comes complete with a theme song (uh, also known as the Beatles song by the same name…) and a GORGEOUS picture to ogle.  (See also: the gorgeous, ogle-worthy picture of her book’s cover right next to this very paragraph.  I know.  You’re probably ogling already.)

The book itself won’t be out until January, but you can get a sneak peak at the first chapter.  And trust me, if you haven’t already?  You totally want to.

You might be wondering why I’m blabbering on about this, so I’m going to direct you to four places right now.

ONE: Melissa’s blog post about how awesome this book looks, based on the first chapter and the cover.

TWO: The first chapter itself, which is online.  You can either click over from Melissa’s blog (which I would recommend, because her enthusiasm is both warranted and fun to read) or just click here.

THREE: This fantastic post about first chapters, written by Beth Revis herself.

and

FOUR: If you’ve checked out all the other links and find yourself looking for more ways to pass the months until January rolls around, feel free to click here for my You-Tube cover of “Across the Universe.”

Hope you enjoy the links!  What other books you guys are looking forward to reading?

It’s Time.

11 Oct

My don’t-touch-that-manuscript-lest-it-burn-you break is over.  It’s finally cool enough to handle.

This afternoon, at precisely 3:30pm, I will pick it up again.

There will be coffee, comfy sweatshirts and pants, note-taking devices of all sorts.  Fresh eyes.  Peace and quiet.

I will read.  Think.  Focus.  Evaluate.

Today, I am buzzing with quiet anticipation.  To finish a draft feels exhilarating, but to start the process of making it even better?  Well, that’s both exciting and scary.  Mostly exciting.

Deep breath.

It’s time.

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