Monday, November 29, 2010

Quotes - from C.S. Lewis

My dear Lucy,
       I wrote this story for you, but when I began it I had not realized that girls grow quicker than books. As a result you are already too old for fairy tales, and by the time it is printed and bound you will be older still. But some day you will be old enough to start reading fairy tales again. You can then take it down from some upper shelf, dust it, and tell me what you think of it. I shall probably be too deaf to hear, and too old to understand a word you say, but I shall still be, your affectionate Godfather, C. S. Lewis
This is the dedication page from the book:  Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe by C.S. Lewis. 

I have started to re-read the series for the first time since the age of 10. I finally understand what the words underlined above mean. Let me encourage all adults to pick up a fairy tale and read it. I think you will get more out of it.....

Happy reading and writing! 

Monday, November 22, 2010

Process - Pen and Paper - Moleskines and fountain pens

The photo to the left, is a story I drafted while on my lunch break. It is written on a combination of scarps of paper and my Moleskine (imagine in the far right background).

Initially, I began writing the story in my Moleskine. I used the shards of paper to organize my thoughts and play with the time line a bit. I am a visual thinker so it helps me to play with ideas on note cards, napkins or anything else I can find.

I just wanted to share a snapshot of my process with you all.  Also, I want to say that you can write anywhere, without your laptop or electronic device. Really. Next time your hanging at your favorite writing place, bring a pen and paper with you.  (My favorite writing combination is a  Moleskine and fountain pen.) Pen and paper? Sounds completely mad! Try it! :-) You might discover something about your process.

Sunday, November 14, 2010


Oaaalalalala! I just re-edited my previous post. There were some glaring errors, I apologize.

Saturday, November 13, 2010

Oh no, you didn't!?!?!

Oh no, you didn't?!?!?!
Yes, yes, I did. Well, not exactly.

Here's the story.....

Come hell, high water or lots of snow - I have been participating in National Novel Writing in a Month, right now, I am sitting at 14k word count, ideally, I should be at 22k. I am not too discouraged or upset about my 37% word deficit. I am writing. At this point it all that matters to me - writing.

With that being said....

In the midst of the stream of conscious writing, I had a children's story appear in my head. Attempting to stay focused on my current project, I pushed the story out of my conscious mind into the realm of sub-conscious.  What I did not fully understand the potential repercussions of my actions.  The story began haunting me in dreams. In fact, the protagonist (who happens to be a fairy) began chasing me in dream time. She kept on saying, "oh no, you didn't just say 'NO' to me!?" In my dreams, the protagonist enlisted children to dump fruit over my head until this story is written. Finally on my lunch break on Tuesday, I wrote the first draft of the story. The story is short, it is a children's story. I am excited to have finished a story. Looking forward to illustrating the pictures for the book. Although, that will have to wait until NaNoWriMo is over.

I happy to report my dreams are back to 'normal'. No more protagonist chasing me around for now.....

Friday, November 12, 2010

When Do You Tell?

"As for my next book, I am going to hold myself from writing it till I have it impending in me: grown heavy in my mind like a ripe pear; pendant, gravid, asking to be cut or it will fall." ~Virginia Woolf

"I think it's bad to talk about one's present work, for it spoils something at the root of the creative act. It discharges the tension." ~Norman Mailer

"Sleep on your writing; take a walk over it; scrutinize it of a morning; review it of an afternoon; digest it after a meal; let it sleep in your drawer a twelvemonth; never venture a whisper about it to your friend, if he be an author especially." ~A. Bronson Alcott

So, at what point do you talk about a project? I personally tend to agree with Norman Mailer that talking about a story too early in the process is a bad idea, simply because talking is so much easier than writing and if I can get a story out of my system simply by chatting about it I may lose my impetus to write it. The story goes flat like an opened bottle of ginger ale. Better to just let it stay shut-- or better yet, to shake it a little in my mind, so that when I do crack it open it has a little oomph. Plus, if I talk about a story too soon I run the risk of having someone accidentally squash it with a casual comment ("Oh, I read something just like that." "That sounds really complicated," etc.) Story ideas are fragile when they are new. Sometimes I start to describe a story to a friend, only to realize that it is still really just fragments, as hard to get a hold of as the memories of a dream. I get that Orpheus and Eurydice feeling: I have to get this thing out of the underworld of my subconscious before I can turn and look at it head-on. Expose it to the light too soon and it's gone.

And then, of course,there are times when I wouldn't share even if I could. It's a delicious feeling, having a new story idea-- warm and secret as a note from your crush tucked in the back pocket of your jeans. Sometimes I just want to savor it a little longer on my own.

But once a story has reached a critical mass of words on the page there comes a tipping point when I really want to talk about it, especially with other writers.
That's when I like my critique group the most. They come in like adoring aunts and pinch my story's little cheeks and never tell me that it looks like Winston Churchill and its diaper stinks. There's plenty of time for that later-- a whole critique process, in fact. But that's after I've gotten a little distance, when I'm ready to hear it.

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Quote for the Day

"For anyone who is: just keep writing. Keep reading. If you are meant to be a writer, a storyteller, it’ll work itself out. You just keep feeding it your energy, and giving it that crucial chance to work itself out. By reading and writing."--Robin McKinley

Saturday, November 6, 2010

Quote for the Day

"I have had a very thin time of it these days. My money ran out on Thursday and I have lived for four days on twenty-three cups of coffee."
--Vincent van Gogh

So, how's NaNoWriMo treating you? Caffeine intake up? :)

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

What am I doing?

What am I doing?????????

By the time I hit the 1714th word last night, I was ready to: scream, apologize to everyone and retract the commitment I made. As I have said in pervious posts, I am a slow writer. It takes me hours to write a single page. Days to pick out names for my characters. The fact I have output at least 1666 words per day to achieve 50k by the end of the month absolutely terrifies me. I do want to run and hide BUT I am committed. I am going to do this. NaNoRaMo is similar to running a marathon, you have pace yourself and work through the pain. Well, I am working through the pain.

For those playing along at home, here are my current stats:

Day(s): 1
Total words: 1714
Percent to Goal: .03% 

Quote for the Day

"You have to write the book that wants to be written. And if the book will be too difficult for grown-ups, then you write it for children." ---Madeline L'Engle

Monday, November 1, 2010

National Novel Writing Month

Hi Writers!

National Novel Writing Month has returned!!! Are you in????

If you ever wanted to write a novel and needed a deadline, here is your chance! I encourage anyone who is interested to sign up! Discover what you can do! Build self-confidence! Build community. Learn how to forgive yourself and try again!

I would let you all know my user name on NaNoWriMo but I am trying to recover it from a few years ago. Apparently, you can only have one user name per e-mail. NaNoWriMo's server is running slow (as it should be!) :-)

I am still writing! I will keep you all informed of my word count.

Happy writing!!!!!