Tuesday, November 09, 2010

Writing FAIL

Well.. I just couldn't get motivated to write tonight. 10 hours of work just fried my brain.

I am not going to beat myself up about it. I will just get up in the morning after a good night's sleep and make up the words. I am still well on track, and the book is shaping up nicely.

I posted this excerpt on the NaNo site:

Jace knew that he couldn’t keep running much longer.  His breath was tearing from his lungs with a deep rasping, the stitch in his side was constricting like an Edwardian corset and his eyes were tearing from the exertion, blurring his vision and making it hard to judge the landscape. If he didn’t find a way to shake the St James Boys soon he was a goner for sure.  He labored on, refusing to give in to the weakness of his body, determined to somehow outrun or outsmart the Mexicans.
The streets were eerily quiet.   Jace had never seen the Bronx this empty. There were no cars on the roads, no cruising police, no late night revelers taking advantage of the cool night air, no people coming in or out of the 24 hour diners, the news-stands, the shelters. There was no one to witness, interfere or contain the gang’s murderous intent.  Jace’s time was short. If he didn’t think of something soon he would become just another statistic on the police blotter, just one more Bronx boy who never got the chance to live up to his potential.
When the chance of escape did present itself, Jace didn’t recognize it at first. His brain looked past it, refusing to believe the evidence from his eyes. His disbelieving ears didn’t acknowledge the whickered greeting. His struggling lungs refused the essence of equine musk. There was no way that a big red NYPD mounted police horse was just standing in the middle of Fordham Road completely saddled, bridled and offering to race him out of his current troubles. Certain that the horse was a hallucination brought on by oxygen deprivation, Jace ran on – right past the very solid and warm imaginary beast.

Oh - I also learned that the video problem seems to only be on Google Chrome so I will start posting videos again tomorrow.


Sunday, November 07, 2010

Video FAIL

For some reason all my videos are broken.
I have written to Blogger about it.
I will be back on-line soon.
Sorry for any inconvenience.


PS: writing went great today! 12,000 words and counting!

PPS: For some reason the vids show up in a Reader - just not on the site. AAARRRGGGHHH

Why I like NaNo

There is certainly a lot of negative commentary on the National Novel Writing Month coming out in the blogosphere this month. Here is my rebuttal to all the negativity:

 I like NaNo for three reasons:

1) I am one of those writers that suffers from a particularly b!$chy inner editor. If I let her she will correct line-by-line. Every word must be poetry or it gets backspaced. The goals established by NaNo require me to push her away and accept a 'good-enough for now word' in order to get the story out. After NaNo, I take a one month break to enjoy the holidays and the feeling of accomplishment and then spend months re-writing and honing the work.

2) Because NaNo has a great public profile it is an easy excuse to get my family, circle of friends, and even strangers on board to enable the focus on writing. For the rest of the year I fight the 'you are at home - you must have time to do XYZ for me' misunderstanding. NaNo gives me a very public and therefore provable reason that I am not available to do that extra laundry, watch your cats or take the car to the shop. For this one month every year I am free to indulge in all the writing time I need without explanations or compromises.

For the record I never really get involved in the silliness - the forums, the monkeys vs octupi etc. I do attend a few local write-ins as you must get out of the house occasionally and I do print the certificates at the end to place with the completed draft of the novel.

3) My final reason why I think that NaNo is a good thing - the Young Writer's Program. There are numerous kids that get exposed to writing through NaNo and in my book, anything that encourages literacy (be it reading or writing) is worthy of support!

Saturday, November 06, 2010

Nano Day #6 - First 10,000 Achieved!

One fifth of the way done!

Interesting Web Based Plagiarism Event

I first read about it here, but as the article said - it has exploded into the internet equivalent of mob violence. Even Neil Gaiman got involved.

But here is the funniest response of all:

NaNo Day #5 - Remember, Remember the 5th of November!

Happy Guy Fawkes Day everyone!

Thursday, November 04, 2010

NaNo Day #4 - The Naysayers

There is a buzz today about a nasty little article that was written denigrating NaNo participants. You can read that here. As you might imagine it has people's dander up. One response was immediately posted here.

For my part I have only two statements:

1) The first draft of any writing is generally 'crap' in my opinion whether that is poety, prose or even music. These creative arts are not improv arts, but crafts. A true artist will 'sketch' his ideas and then craft them into something good. What NaNo teaches writers is the 'art' of sketching a novel. Whether that sketch ever becomes a true work of quality writing or not is up to the individual. I AM sure however that publishers and agents get 100s of poorly crafted manuscripts each year, whether the writer started with NaNo or not!

2) Ms Miller suggests you challenge yourself to Read More. REALLY?!?!? I already read an average of 6 books a month. Even while I am writing NaNo I continue reading - at least a chapter or 2 each night to switch gears before bed. How condescending of her to assume that I don't. What I do not do is seperate the act of writing from the act of reading - to me they are intertwined. The more I read, the more I wish to write. the more I write, the more I NEED to read.

And without further ado, today's video:

Wednesday, November 03, 2010

I had a Bad Bad Mood - I got over it!

Here is today's video - no music so that Stacia can hear. Actually - my task this weekend in the time I am not writing - learn to use my REAL movie editing software rather than the cheap seat version that came with the camera.

Reality vs Perception a Reminder for Writers

Last night there was a brief conversation in my house that reminded me of how often reality and perception do not coincide.

Chip came home from a long day at Uni and when he went to the bedroom to change into comfy clothes, he noticed the tripod set up where I had left it after recording the Facebook video. His first thought was not that I had been recording an innocuous 'talking-head' video, but rather a more steamy version of a bedroom video. His shocked "What have you been up too?" reaction caught me by surprise.

It shouldn't have.

People are always jumping to the wrong conclusion, making wrong assumptions and generally mis-reading reality. It is a hallmark of our species. All you have to do to verify this is to watch politics for awhile. There is an old saw about a husband who always buys his wife flowers when he messes up and then one day he spontaneously decides to buy her flowers just because he loves her. Of course, things don't go as he planned. Her first words are 'What did you do this time?"

For writers this can make for a rich and evocative plot point - mis-understandings are a great way to raise tension. We just need to remember to make them real so that we match with our reader's perceptions!

Tuesday, November 02, 2010

NaNo Day #2

Great day today. My horse spoke to me. Woot!

Monday, November 01, 2010

NaNo Has Officially Started

As previously stated, I am trying something new this year - Vlog posts of my daily progress. I will record each of them when I finish the day's writing.

Here is the first one - recorded at 2:30 am (writing officially began at midnight!). i think I look like a spaz and I am WAY too camera conscious - but part of the point of this exercise is to get more comfortable in front of a camera so - share my pain!

One down 30 more to go!

PS: I will get a word count widget uploaded later so that you can track my progress and deliver the swift kick when needed!