Saturday, October 31, 2009

The Dread

You know the feeling you get when you're watching a movie, and the "Wait Until Dark" kind of music starts playing.  Your stomach muscles tighten, and you wait for that something, that something you dread so much by the time it happens that your reaction is three times worse than it should have been.  Afterwards, the moment can seem anti-climatic, but right before the moment, the Dread has you firmly in it's unspeakable grip.  Wow.  Feel the grip.

NaNoWriMo starts tomorrow, and I have been Dreading it with a capital D.  You see, I finished a first draft earlier this year and have been working on my second.  I've found ways to almost banish the Dread from my writing routine entirely:

1.  Never let more than a day go by without working on my novel.  Writing poems and other stuff doesn't count.  The more time I let go by before I get back to it, the more I worry, the more power I impart to the Dread.  Once I'm writing, the Dread has very little power.  

2.  Arguing with my internal editor, who, I realized yesterday when I thought about it, is Ben's evil twin.  He and the Dread work hand in hand.  The incredibly awesome Natalie has great advice about dealing with the internal editor and first drafts in general.

3.  Reading.  This can seem counter-productive at times, but reading fiction and non-fiction actually helps me be more productive.  Reading great writing advice keeps me from staying stuck.  Stuck is bad.  It's like inviting the Dread over and feeding it cheesecake.  DO NOT FEED THE DREAD!  If you like Stephanie, you should read this too.  I love Steph.  I started reading her blog last year, when she was where I am now.  She wrote this great post, and I was hooked.

So NaNoWriMo, I'm still not sure if I want to go there.  I'm very tempted to put off the next first draft until January and then let it drag out over a few months.  After all, I have a system now.  Right?  RIGHT???  But I got so much done the only time I ever attempted NaNoWriMo.  It was amazing until I found lice in one of my children's hair and spent the rest of November dealing with that nightmare.  That could be one more reason why I'm dreading the whole thing.  Lice.  Shudder.  Dread.

Okay six hours and a talk with Ben later, I've decided I'm in.  I'm Night Writer over there too, if you want to be my "buddy."  I've even narrowed it down to the funny story and first person.  Finally.  Bring on the Dread.

Happy Halloween! 

Monday, October 26, 2009


I'm changing the name of my blog, but the URL is the same.  I usually write at night (when my kiddos are asleep), and  I always did intend for this to be a writing journal of sorts.  After all, most of the blogs I read are writer's blogs.  I started with Shannon Hale's wonderful squeetus. It was the only blog I read for quite a while.  Every now and then, I followed links to other blogs(Q, Squeaky Books, Miss Erin, ect.)  because I liked their comments.  Then Shannon included a link to Not for Robots, and I started reading Laini Taylor's blog.  I discovered Stephanie through Laini, and so on.

I really haven't posted anything on my writing.  I'm finding it just as hard to write about as it is for me to talk about.  Have any of you ever had one of those awkward conversations where you try to explain what or why you are writing?  I love this list of Shannon Hale's.  I could so relate.
But I am going to write about writing.  After all, it's not there are a ton of people reading this. My only follower doesn't seem like the kind of person who will laugh at me for being delusional.  

My wee tyrant just fell asleep.  I let her sleep in this morning because I had this really great scene pop into my head right after I sent the other two off to school.  I got most of it written before she woke up too.  Ben was teasing me about turning into a morning writer, and that's when Night Writer came to me.  The fact that it sounds like Night Rider is just a bonus.  I used to watch the show when I was a kid, but I haven't seen any of the newer adaptations.

Anywho, I'd better go find out what happens next in the hole I'm trying to fill.  I'm most of the way through the second draft of a supernatural YA fantasy.  No, there aren't any vampires.  And here I am, writing about writing, when I should be writing.

And speaking of change, my oldest has been 11 for almost 24 hours.  What a crazy, fun day!  

Sunday, October 25, 2009

Just in Time for Halloween

My nephews would thoroughly approve of my first blog award from Q.  

Thank You!

I would like to nominate:

Stephanie's blog just had a gorgeous make-over, and she always makes me laugh.
Natalie may not be a kung-fu master, but she is a ninja.
Maile, my friend, you are made of awesomeness.
Emily is way more addicted to blogging than I am.  Really.
The Story Queen, the good luck charm of writing bloggers, actually commented on my blog!

That's all for today!

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Poetry Workshop

I talked to second graders about poetry this morning.  They were polite and enthusiastic (smiling and raising their hands).  I started out by sharing a poem, I'd memorized when I was young because I thought it was funny.  

The Hat  

by Shel Silverstein

We talked about how I started writing poetry for publication.  I shared some of my poems, and they recited and read some poems they liked to me.  It was a lot of fun.  

There are very few times in my life I would want to live twice, but my memories of second grade are exceptional.  That was one of the best years of my life.

Sunday, October 18, 2009

I don't usually read memoirs, but this one is excellent.  I put off reading it because the author was dying of cancer when he wrote it, but he was so optimistic; his stories and advice are beautiful.  My favorite quote comes from when he's explaining why he wanted to be Captain Kirk when he was a boy.  He's talking about Kirk's cool toys, the Star Trek communicator device in particular, and he asks, "Who remembers that it was Kirk who introduced us to the cell phone?"  For some reason, that cracked me up.  

When I was about 13 or 14, I realized a book that made me laugh and cry was a book I would probably read again.  Over and over.  I borrowed The Last Lecture, by Randy Pausch, from a friend who said I had to read it.  I will be buying my own copy.  

The Last Lecture

by Randy Pausch with Jeffrey Zaslow

Click on the Audiobook to listen to an excerpt.

Buy This Book: | | | 


“We cannot change the cards we are dealt, just how we play the hand.” 
--Randy Pausch

A lot of professors give talks titled “The Last Lecture.” Professors are asked to consider their demise and to ruminate on what matters most to them. And while they speak, audiences can’t help but mull the same question: What wisdom would we impart to the world if we knew it was our last chance? If we had to vanish tomorrow, what would we want as our legacy?

If you do read it, let me know what you think.

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

A big thanks to Q and for helping me make my blog look so much more,well, like a blog.

My toe is feeling much better.  I haven't been able to stay off of it like I told myself I would.  I've tried to make an effort, but I'm not very good at being sick or injured.  I ended up applying for (and getting) a job yesterday.  I did tell my little guy "no" when he wanted to go hiking on Monday.

My three hiking enthusiasts

We hiked White Domes at the Valley of Fire last Monday with some friends.  

I love hiking the Valley of Fire.  Aside from being a beautiful place to hike, the names of the sites all sound like they could be the titles of interesting books:  Elephant Rock, The Seven Sisters, The Cabins, White Domes, Mouse's Tank, and so many more.  They have a marathon/half-marathon/10K (if any of you like to run) every year.   I'll just leave you with one more picture, though my pictures don't do the place justice.  

Saturday, October 10, 2009

I broke my toe on Wednesday playing soccer with Robyn.  We were both trying to get the ball, and I kicked her shin guard instead.  She doesn't even have a bruise.  You should see mine.

I'm taking advantage of my down time to start a blog.  I've been meaning to for a couple of years now, but I  always seem to have so many other things to do.  Like right now, I should really be sleeping or revising my novel.  

Hmm.  Sleep is good.