NaNoWriMo Day 8 Update: How’s It Going Guys?

Hi Everyone! How’s NaNoWriMo going?

I haven’t got so much of a word count in, but I have been plugging away at 30 days of world building, which I found on this blog here.

Basically you spend each day working on the different aspects of creating your world. So far, I’ve created a climate, created a rough sketch of map, and selected what races will be in my world and how they will interact, etc.

The planning is so detailed and it’s been a lot of fun so far. Some of the stuff I’ve already come up on my own, but before I started doing the exercises I hadn’t even thought as far as climate and how weather (like a bad storm) could help drive a plot point.

Kind of neat! I think tonight I will do my world building exercise, (Economy and Politics!) and get down to some actual writing for once. I tend to not want to sit at my desk, because I sit at one for work all day long, so here I am propped up in bed and it is working so far.

How is everyone doing? How do you keep yourself motivated to keep writing?

Happy Writing Everyone!

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Poem Rerun: Library

I posted this once before, but I seem to be in the mood for reruns today. Do you guys ever do that? Maybe it’s a bit arrogant of a writer to share their stuff over, but dammit, sometimes you’re just proud of something, you know?!

Plus, I love libraries. I hope everyone is having a great Sunday! Happy Writing!

Library

stacks of books
quiet corners
and table nooks
The chairs are patterned
The carpet’s soft
Daylight beckons
Here’s where we start off:

Pick your destination
A rocket to space
Mars like universe
A romantic place
He’s on a pirate ship
She’s in the sky
Stomp through
castles and lakes
Watch dragons fly

Hiking through jungles
Searching for treasure
Double-secret-agent-lives
an island of pleasure

Here’s the adventure:
Giants and elves
Magic spells
Risking your life
One sunny afternoon
All on bookshelves

Poem: Library 

stacks of books
quiet corners
and table nooks
The chairs are patterned
The carpet’s soft
Daylight beckons
Here’s where we start off:
Pick your destination
A rocket to space
Mars like universe
A romantic place
He’s on a pirate ship
She’s in the sky
Stomp through
castles and lakes
Watch dragons fly

Hiking through jungles
Searching for treasure
Double-secret-agent-lives
Just for her pleasure

Here’s the adventure:
Giants and elves
Magic spells
Risking your life
One sunny afternoon
All on bookshelves

Reading Anything Good Lately?

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I always know it’s time to clean my bedroom, when the books start piling up next to the bed. And they do, regularly. Case in point: the picture above. (Apparently the book store clerk thought it was a crime that I haven’t read The Phantom Tollbooth yet. I know!)

But it got me thinking tonight, how much I love books. And I do read a lot.

Because every new book is new inspiration. Terry Prachett and Stephen Baxter’s book, The Long Earth, had me thinking about parallel universes today, and how cool it would be to write a book about a different earth in a different part of the universe.

Kristin Cashore’s, Graceling, reminds me that dialogue is fun. The banter between characters is supposed to be full of tension and then yet equally entertaining but with an end game in mind.

And this new book that I started reading last month, by Genevieve Cogman, The Invisible Library, reminds me that many, many people share a love for books and it is something that connects us in more ways than others. Sharing a good book with someone else is like sharing a gift sometimes. If that book brings joy, well then, yeah, it was definitely worth it.

Anyway, What are you reading? Anything good?! Got any recommendations?

Hope everyone is having a great night!

Cleaning; and Editing My Story

img_20161120_130352703_hdr.jpgObserve the picture at right…my stack of books piled next to my bed.

This happens every once in a while; the books pile up and it is time to do some cleaning. This goes along with the vacuuming, and laundry and yes, being an adult is waay over-rated sometimes.

Along with cleaning, though, I’ve been trying to edit one of my stories today and this becomes its own sort of cleaning…

You have to clean the sentences; trim down the wording until you have clear, precise language and what you are trying to say isn’t bogged down by excessive adjectives or adverbs.

Oh, beware of the too many adverbs! These are the ones that you have to watch out for.

What I’ve learned, though, is that I am terrible at editing my own work! I know that many authors have expressed that it is a major suck-fest to edit and I would have to agree.

It is fun sometimes when you can see the clear direction that a story is supposed to go on the page. Sometimes you know know how things are meant to be…and sometimes not.

This is when the frustration comes in.

I’ve gotten into the habit of jumping around and then going back to the point in a story that I find particularly irksome at a later date. This helps because then you come back to the page with a fresh mind and sometimes new ideas.

What about you guys? Got any great editing techniques out there?

Little Free Library – Which Book Would You Share?

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I am currently obsessed with this little free library in my new neighborhood. The idea is to take a book and share a book. I’ve already taken a book – Water For Elephants, by Sara Gruen and left one of my own in its place – Ember in the Ashes, by Sabaa Tahir.

I think it’s so neat and people definitely use it, because every time I walk by there is something new in there.

Lately, I’ve been plagued with the thought that there are so many great books out there in the world and not enough time in the world to read them! Does anyone else have this anxiety?

I guess what I’ve been thinking about the past few days: Which book would you share? And why?

Happy reading everyone! (And writing!)

Furiously Happy by Jenny Lawson: My Thoughts and Impressions

I just finished listening to Jenny Lawson’s Furiously Happy on audio today and I absolutely loved it.Furiously Happy is a memoir about Lawson’s life; specifically her struggles with mental illness which she explores with amusing essays featuring her blog, her family, and her life.

It is exactly as she described it: a funny book about horrible things, and for anyone who suffers from mental illness,  like depression or social anxiety, it is an easily relatable book and comforting when you learn how the author counters her illness.51Z3ZotTWfL__SX329_BO1,204,203,200_

Some of my impressions:

You can’t take yourself too seriously.

That much is obvious. You have a bad day, you embarrass yourself, you cry about it, but you move on. There are many things that happen in her life that I would be mortified about but she seems to have master the knack for laughing about it sometime down the road.

She relies on family and the comfort of friends.

Relying on the comfort of loved ones on those really down days is a good option. You feel so alone inside, but you don’t have to be physically alone. Loved ones are there to provide support when you need it.

She has mastered the art of pretending.

She is good friends with Neil Gaiman who gave her some great advice when she was having doubts about being able to read her own book on audio. She told him she wasn’t any good at it, and he told her (something along the lines of), “pretend that you are good at it.”

Take a deep breath and step forward.

It’s not always easy to move forward when your mind is telling you that you can’t possibly leave the house right now, because then you’ll have to talk to people and sometimes there are days when that is just exhausting. In that case…

Learn how to push yourself.

Even when it is very difficult;  because the rewards are worth it in the end.

And that’s it really.  I’ll probably end up listening to it again in a few days. I found it a great comfort and relief to know that I shouldn’t have to make excuses for myself on my bad days. Because those that also experience the same things that I do, completely understand.

What do you guys think? Have you read or listened to Furiosuly Happy? What were your thoughts on it?

 

Discipline and Writing

Been having a hard time sitting down and working on projects lately. Maybe its the warmer weather. Maybe it’s that good ol’ writers fear again; creeping in and telling me I’m not good enough, that I’ll never write anything worthy.

How horrible. How crippling.

I was thinking of something to write for a blog post this afternoon, and of course, I can’t think of it now. Figures.

dorymemeI thought a Dory meme was just perfect, considering that Finding Dory came out this weekend – which I really want to see!

I got to remember to just keep writing…to just keep at it. But how?

Discipline.

The mind kind of rebels at the thought of more rules, and such things as…discipline. We get enough of it at work. We get enough of it from society.

Always rules. Always things that we can’t do…or shouldn’t do. Always holding back, when really we want to shout at the top of our lungs: You are stupid. Enough, already!

(That last bit is mostly aimed at the political crap we’ve had to deal with, lately.)

But why do we have to have rules when it comes to writing, too?

Well, without discipline, I would never get anything done. I mean…I DON’T get anything done. And it takes a good deal of discipline to sit down at your desk even when there a million other things that you think you ought to be doing instead.

And I think at this point, it also comes down to your priorities. How does writing rank in your list of things that need to be done? Are you putting it off for other reasons? Writers fear? Self-doubt?

Sometimes I turn to other activities because I doubt myself, and approaching my desk is close to standing in front of a crowded room and delivering a speech. (Please excuse my wobbly knees.)

But enough already! I know I definitely need to work on setting a time for writing each day. No more Netflix for me. Maybe it means cutting out things in my life that I don’t exactly need. I know I scroll Facebook less and less now.

And especially…no more putting it off because of fear. Discipline, discipline, discipline!

What are your guys take on this? How do you get done what needs to be done?

A Year’s Worth of Books

Happy Memorial Day everyone!

Today is a quiet and lazy day. I am worn out from the last few days, and so I am relaxing in front of the fan in my office and thinking about what to write. I was able to have lunch today with a friend, and she gave me this little book where you can record the books you’ve read and what you think of them.

img_20160530_151420369.jpgIt reminded me of what I did last year around this time. In the post I listed all the books I was able to read in five months and what I thought of them. This time its been longer, though. This is really for my benefit, mostly, as I have a terrible memory.

What could I have possibly read in a year??

Here we go, and in no particular order…

Audio Books I’ve listened to:

American Sniper, by Chris Kyle

Call the Midwife, by Jennifer Worth

I Was Here, Gayle Forman

Matched, by Ally Condie

Beautiful Creatures, by Kami Garcia, Margaret Stohl

The Secrets of the Immortal Nicholas Flamel: The Alchemyst, The Magician, The Sorceress, The Necromancer, by Michael Scott

The Maze Runner, The Scorch Trials, by James Dashner

The Color Magic, by Terry Pratchett

The Long Earth, The Long War, The Long Mars, by Terry Pratchett & Stephen Baxter

The House of Hades, by Rick Riordan

The Ocean at the End of the Lane, by Neil Gaiman

The Wind in the Willows, by Kenneth Grahame

Big Magic: Creative Living Beyond Fear, by Elizabeth Gilbert

A Curious Mind: The Secret to a Bigger Life, by Brian Grazer

Whatever You Do, Don’t Run: True Tales of a Botswana Safari Guide, by Peter Allison

img_20160426_163707562_hdr.jpgAnd other books, not on audio:

The Raven King, by Maggie Stiefvater

The Iron Warrior, by Julie Kagawa

Winter, Fairest, by Marissa Meyer

Hmm…not a bad list, although its clear I need to read more books that aren’t on audio. I think its time to focus on reading some more adult fiction, non-fiction and science fiction and fantasy. And this doesn’t include the Harry Potter series that a listened to again this year on audio. (I think I have an obsession!)

What do you guys like to read? Read anything new recently?

Happy writing (and reading)!