(no subject)

Okay, so things are not exactly flowing on this project. Or even on the other project.

Rather than listing my whinges, here are some things I think might help:

1. More exercise. This is incredibly closely tied to writing for me.

2. Less linearity. I keep getting stuck on "what happens next". Give it up and write the bits I have.

3. Don't pick things that aren't ripe. Tied to less linearity: it's foolhardy to insist on waiting for some piece to ripen on my schedule rather than writing the bits that are currently ripe. I'm just not skilled enough yet to be worrying about efficiency for efficiency's sake.

4. More gathering. Gathering, for me, is not research, nor intentionally going around finding things to write about. It's the process of experiencing life through a writer's lens, filing away the bits that stick to the flypaper. This post by Tea & Cookies is an example of what I mean by gathering.

5. Don't depend on pressure for propulsion. Sometimes I find that after a period of not writing, the ideas have built up steam and come pouring out. Sometimes not, so I need to not depend on it, and not panic if they don't.

I wish there were more gold star activities on this list -- things I can Do rather than Remember/Be. Maybe that will be the next post.

Update: Here We Go!

June 1: 808 words (on the wrong project, which is still so very shiny, sigh)
June 2: 0 words (oops)
June 3: 1186 words (on the right project, hoorah!)

1860 words on the right project

1186 words on the right project
808 words on the wrong project
1994 words written total

Challenges: new shiny wrong project, working on writing-intensive grant at the same time, got stuck fitting bits together into a logical plot structure

Solutions found: doubling words a different day works for me at this target wordcount (yay), added shiniest bit of wrong project to right project per 1crowdedhour's suggestion, which worked beautifully.

I'm considering this week a success overall, since I wrote more words than I required of myself and didn't need to use the weekend catching up.

Hope everyone else is doing well too!


Happy first day of YA novel writing, challengees! (Or should that be challengers?)

Today I have written:
808 words - yay!
Of a new project that's not the one I'd planned to work on for the challenge - oops.

I'm hoping I can put this new oops project on hold now for the next three months (while I write the one I meant to write), but we'll see. I find books in progress rather like cats.

The big question now is do I try to catch up tomorrow on the original project or not? I suppose we'll see.

New Project

For the next three months, I'll be using this blog to report my progress on the first draft of a middle grade novel, as I participate in Theodora Goss's YA Novel Challenge (see post 1 & post 2).

I'll be writing a middle grade novel (I'm estimating 40,000 words) rather than a YA novel, as that's what's next in line for me, but I'm keeping the same June 1st - August 31st time frame. Working title is CLEANUP GIRL; it's a magical academy story with some deconstruction and twists.

Here's the structure of my personal goals, with commentary:

  • 40,000 word draft by August 31st (subject to goal revision as the story develops)

  • 3,100 words per week (progress posted to this blog Sunday night)

  • 620 words per weekday (this works better for my schedule than every day, plus it allow me weekends to catch up when needed; I won't be posting wordcounts every day, only weekly, but need this level of breakdown to keep myself on target)

Ideally, I'd have done more prep and planning, but that's one of the tricks of an actual writing life: there's no outside prep time from some other life. So, here goes! Onward and upward, challenge writers!

(Sidenote: if you haven't yet read "The Mad Scientist's Daughter" by Theodora Goss, go check it out! I adored it.)

Congratulations, Carl Brandon Society Award Winners!

Many congratulations to the latest winners of the Carl Brandon Society's Parallax and Kindred Awards!!!

2009 Carl Brandon Society Parallax Award: Half World by Hiromi Goto
2009 Carl Brandon Society Kindred Award: Liar by Justine Larbalestier
2008 Carl Brandon Society Parallax Award: Distances by Vandana Singh
2008 Carl Brandon Society Kindred Award: "Ghost Summer" by Tananarive Due, from the anthology The Ancestors

In which my reality is informed by the Internet around me

Is it weird that I'm so disturbed that my Tea House Fox theme picture is stuck on the fox watering the duck in the birdbath? I feel like someone forgot to tell the apocalyptic fiction writers that this is an important sign of d00m at hand.

If anyone knows how to fix this, please let me know! It's been stuck in both Safari and FireFox for at least a week, and I think I have Internet jetlag...

Thrift Store as Slush Pile (or vice versa?)

It seems that I take the same approach to buying clothes at my favorite thrift stores (ops shops, I hear, in some other English-speaking countries -- is it short for options? operations?) that this agent takes to sifting through her slush pile.

Here's my version:

1. Eat before you shop. I lose my judgement when I'm hungry.
2. Get out before the acrylic multicolored ponchos start looking good. Kudos to those of you who carry off this look with panache -- but it will never be me.
3. Nothing goes home without being tried on. Some things just don't live up to my expectations.
4. The best get tried on more than once, and compared with the clothes I came in. This is why I try to wear clothes I love when going to buy other clothes I love.

That said, I love my thrift stores -- they suit my writer's budget, and everything there has at least one story, often many more. I like giving useful things new purpose.

Which reminds me: I need a thrift store in my someday-urban fantasy novel... Now, that will be fun to write!