Thursday, April 12, 2012

News on the Writing Front!

I’ve been MIA from the internet the last couple of months.

Long story short, I was busy with a task that was important enough to warrant my full attention. You may be wondering what sort of thing that would be.

Drumroll, please...

Writing, of course!

I FINALLY finished my NaNo novel. Well, the first draft, at least. Next item on the to-do list is to edit the beast. We’ll see how that goes. I’m notorious for crumpling under the shame of poorly written manuscripts. The good news is that I’ve learned a lot this past year about editing and I'm happy to say I don’t fear it like I used to. I have a whole pack of red pens in my desk drawer to prove it.

After the whole debacle where my laptop ate a good chunk of my very first manuscript, and the other where my plot (and motivation) melted into a pile of goo about 60,000 words into my second manuscript, it feels pretty good to be able to say I’ve finally got a finished draft. Third time’s a charm, right?

And yes, I backed up my file this time.

Image Source

Tuesday, January 31, 2012

A Month of Letters Challenge

I just signed up for Mary Robinette Kowal’s A Month Of Letters Challenge where participants write a letter each day except Sundays and President’s Day for the month of February. The letter can be a postcard, fabric swatch, newspaper clipping, or whatever you want. You can even write a letter to the main character in Mary’s novel SHADES OF MILK AND HONEY and she will write back as Jane using a real quill and writing slope.

Personally, I’ll be sending out lots of postcards since I have more than I can count on my entire extended family’s fingers and toes. I also plan to send recipes to my mom on index cards so she can pop them right into her recipe box. It’s not like there’s any room left for more, but it can never hurt to have too many recipes.

I highly recommend joining in. It’s going to be a great way to practice penmanship, writing, etc. and get fun things in the mail.

Thursday, January 19, 2012

What I Learned About Editing

I don’t have much experience in the area of authoring, editing, and writing so I’m doing a post based on a bit of good advice I received once. (I’m probably the last person you’d want to pay attention to for advice on writing, but I’ve found this bit of info to be particularly useful.)

First, a fact about myself. I spend way too much time obsessing over details.

Who doesn’t, though? (If you don’t, put your hand down and play along.)

I’m not surprised I’ve had such a hard time breaking my habit of nitpicking through grammar and spelling issues. Extreme attention to detail is a huge aspect of graphic design so it makes sense that I’m naturally inclined to obsess.

At some point, somewhere between editing one draft and getting hung up on grammar errors halfway through another, and having a major case of stress-induced heart burn and gnashing of teeth, I realized my process wasn’t working. I pulled myself away from my work long enough to get some much-needed advice. After my graphic designer spent a few days having a small tantrum I came to terms with what needed to be done. It’s time to stop obsessing over details and MOVE on.

Write the book.

Then edit.

At least then I will have a finished manuscript.

Sunday, January 8, 2012

Dad Wrote A Story

My dad wrote a flash fiction piece inspired by the second challenge at Rachel Harrie’s Writer’s Campaign. He doesn’t have a blog so I told him I would post his story on mine.

It's actually quite good.

“Imago? Not Tonight!”

“No, dear brother. Not tonight, not today, not ever,” she said in "the voice" reserved for such times.

His response was spontaneous and predictable. “Why not? It’s in the dictionary, isn’t it?”

“It’s not in my dictionary, nor any dictionary,” was the reply. She knew what was coming next.

“But it is in Papa’s dictionary, and it is a good word,” he pleaded.

She well remembered the dictionary Papa had frequently referenced. Words like lacuna, synchronicity, miasma, and other obscure creations of his imagination. The dictionary they never got to actually see themselves which was stored on the top shelf, just out of reach.

The fire in the stove had burned down somewhat, but the room was uncomfortably warm. The kettle, once full of water, was beginning to make a low noise, a sign it would need to be refilled soon. Outside, the storm dragged on, a harbinger of many more winter nights to come.

The pair sat across the board from one another. Suddenly she grew tired, but staring down at her pieces, she felt the excitement. Starting with the "o" she slowly arranged her pieces downward.

“Oscitate. Double letter, triple word, and out. Just like Papa!” she exclaimed.