Wednesday, February 22, 2006

Not looking!

Class was cancelled tonight. I did get on a roll writing my story and managed to get a good chunk finished and turned in. I actually like it. I also think since class was cancelled that perhaps my deadline for workshop would be pushed back. Giving me even more time to push out a decent story to redeem myself for the crap I've been turning in. Of course if this is the case I can not wait until the last minute.

Here is a little crazy bit of information. When I was middle school I took typing class but I was in my newly rebellious stage where I wore old band t-shirts, wanted to be in a band and stopped caring about doing well in school. So I paid no attention in this class and the teacher never tested us to see if we didn't actually look at the keys. I talked with my friends about the latest rock music( I was obsessed) and just typed looking at the keys; it was quicker. Then through high school I barely touched a computer. My family didn't have one and I was too busy working to ever do homework anyway. Besides, whoever wrote songs of angst on a computer?
When I got out of high school and got serious about writing I finally bought my very own computer. The one I still use today, parts of it anyway. And I type slow and poorly. I look at the keys and often mix my letters up. I've thought of taking typing classes to help me get my thoughts out of my head faster but as with every thing else it just gets lower on the to do list.
Having no idea how to train myself on not looking at the keyboard I decided to work on mixing up letters. So now instead of noticing I misspelled something and figuring I'll fix it with spell check later, I now back up and fix it. As I was doing this on my paper today I noticed something.
I don't look at the keyboard. I don't know when it happened. Until this morning I thought I still did. I glance down occasionally but this whole entry I haven't looked. How wicked cool is that?
I know it's a common skill but I'm really excited I've accomplished something. And to think I could have paid money to learn to do it. It's so awesome!

Monday, February 20, 2006

Clue me in

Still don't have much time to squeeze in writing. Although I am considering dropping one of my classes because the teacher is nuts. I do all the reading and take extensive notes during her crazy lectures yet I get low test scores. Why? Because the questions on the test are not covered in the reading or the lectures. Of course I probably won't drop because it's a waste of money and it's just one more class I need to take to get my degree.

I'm trying to get my 5-7 pages that I alone need to have for my professor by tomorrow. This is part of my procrastination prevention plan that he has developed. Guess what? Haven't started. Nothing less is to be expected of me. I do think I'm going to write the vampire story I thought up a long while ago. I think I even promised to post it on this very blog if it didn't get published. For now I would just like to finish or start rather.
To "give me ideas" I started reading 'Salem's Lot by Stephen King. Ever since finishing his Gunslinger series this summer I have been meaning to start reading all the books connected to it. Those were most of the Stephen King books that I hadn't read. I know, it's horrible, I should be reading small, up and coming writers or those who didn't "sell out" but the reason all the well known authors are commonly read is because their stuff is good. Mostly.

I've been doing extensive research on marketing due to the fact that some companies ask for a marketing plan for your book. I'm confused. Do they mean I have to go to stores and ask them to carry the book or do they want me to suggest places I think would sell it? Does anything I'm asking about have to do with marketing? Is there anyone out there with a clue?

Saturday, February 18, 2006

Faaa-talllll Ammonia and Rejection. They both Suck!

One employee is on vacation for two months, another quit, then one goes into the hospital. Needless to say I was at work a bit more than expected this week.
Yesterday was my one day off from school and work this week. It was my day to do all my writing.
My dad asked me to go to the doctor with him. The rather dramatic physician, who kept saying
"this could be faaa-talllll", sent him to the emergency room. A few weeks ago he fell and hurt his ribs really bad and now that he couldn't breathe he decided to go to the hospital. After a long and rather unpleasant stay that included nine hours without being offered food, a bed in the hall and my mom threatening to use the stamp in her purse for an angry letter as she insisted my dad had "ammonia?", he was sent home. He's doing well.
The down side is that I got no writing done but I did do a lot of reading!
I still have to work on the start of my story to turn into my professor on Tuesday.
Not to mention I am really trying to make some kind of progress on the book my friend and I are working on. I would like it to be a co-project. She's incredibly busy and I feel like I'm sticking her with all the work. Although I did get research done on publishing companies to submit to.
Today I got another rejection notice for a short story. It wasn't as nice as the last one. In fact I couldn't really read the editor's writing but I think they were suggesting I buy their magazine to get a better feel for what to send as my next story. As if I write stories for the lone purpose of getting published in their magazine. Of course I could have their intentions wrong since I couldn't read the flipping note. Their letter head was pleasant though. It read "Rejection Sucks".

Tuesday, February 14, 2006

Another workshop over

Another workshop over.
The class didn't have anything particularly good to say but I expected and deserved a lot worse. I did get a chance to talk to my professor about my class worries. I explained that I feel rushed to create a story that is a certain length. I also put things off to the last minute. I don't find writing for the class particularly fun, mostly because I feel my work is forced. It all goes in circles really.
My professor had some good ideas to help me. He is also going to give me special deadlines and told me to stop worrying about writing for the class. I pushed my self through this story because everyone was wondering how the last one would end. I feel like I let people down. I think the talk was good and I'm no longer pondering the idea of dropping the class.

Crazy little fact: I misspelled the word writing by switching the ng to gn (writign) and the only alternative the spell check came up with was 'artisan'. Pretty close, huh?

Monday, February 13, 2006

Mad writer

Okay, I'm putting off my homework once again. I have to have my half-finished story finished by tomorrow.
Once again I'm nervous about workshop. I really rushed and stressed to finish it so I wouldn't be the only one with a 4 page-incomplete story and sure enough the longest story of my fellow classmates is six pages. I'm not sure if they are finished since I've put off reading those as well. I don't know why I'm nervous about workshop. I've been through so many and no one has ever yelled "your work sucks, quit writing!" (although they should). Everyone usually has helpful and nice things to say. They are probably just as nervous as I am. If I ever have a successful writing project, and I have to face critiques and the fact that at least one person in the world isn't going to like it, I'll flip out. I need writer's therapy. Well I need some kind of help anyway.

Speaking of my mad writing skills, I'm taking mythology which counts as a humanities class, for my global views requirements. Today our professor gave us a mid-term and we had an essay question. We had to fill three pages and I had no idea what to write but I filled the pages by repeating this sentence in various forms. The model of a mythological hero is a child born with divine heritage, but is not a god themselves, who goes on an adventurous journey to perform heroic acts in hopes of becoming immortal. In other words I failed that portion of the test.

Today into the mail I got a rejection letter but it was very nice. The editor wrote a long reply, in hand writing I could barley read. It said that the story was good but not what they were looking for. Then the editor went into writing about things it made him think of about his life. He also gave me suggestions of where to send it and how to make it better. I actually liked getting a rejection letter for a change.

Our crazy book about selling shoes is underway. My partner (Jenni) in crime, writing the shoe story and in assistant managing a shoe store has been hard at work. I've been slacking off per usual. But we've got a good start and I think it's going to be a lot of fun.

Saturday, February 11, 2006

Memoirs of the Man Sandal

Once again I wrote my workshop story last minute. It wasn't even finished by five. It was late. And once I again I rushed it. It made no sense. The plot was weak and the title was stupid. I learned my lesson. I'm starting my next workshop story as soon as I get done with my assignment one story that is due Tuesday.

My friend and I have started working on a novel based on our shoe store experiences. Why would anyone want to read a stupid book about a shoe store? Because it's funny. We don't just say we sold a pair of shoes. We wait on rude customers who want you to open the store early or stay open late for them. Then there's the sales associate who steals shopping carts. Not to mention the joy of selling the men's leather dress sandal (The Man Sandal!). And we don't just sell shoes. We go "Office Space" on our broken vacuum in the parking lot and do dramatic reenactments of our bosses most stupid moments. This description is not doing it justice but I'm excited.

Tuesday, February 07, 2006

Due dates, and the true cost of submissions.

I'm not feeling so hot this week. Not that I'm ill. I just feel like all things writing are not great, but not bad either.
The first thing is I had creative writing again tonight. I have to finish my story I started for the last workshop. Plus make major edits from the revisions. I'm also up for workshop again next week which means another story by 5:00 p.m. Friday. The good news is I work better under pressure and it is practice for meeting deadlines. I think I can!
On Friday I got a sad letter saying I did not in fact place in the state finals of the LAND writing contest but "can be proud that my story was chosen to be one of two in my category to represent my school".
For brighter news I sent out a bunch of submission letters yesterday. The not so bright part of that news is directed at publications.
I get that you want people to buy your sample copies before submitting. It gets people to buy your stuff and hopefully gives you less junk submissions to look through when writers realize you're a children's magazine and they pen erotica. I also understand that each company is particular about submission guidelines such as margins, font, overly detailed or one line cover letters and so forth. Whatever makes it easy for you. What I don't understand is why they can't take e-mail submissions. Actually I do understand that it would probably flood their mail box and if their computer is anything like mine it would probably just stop working. It probably even makes some seem more professional and serious if they are willing to go through the whole mailing process. I just think it is such a waste of paper. I honestly feel guilty doing it and often struggle with sending out the things. Not to mention the ink, stamps, paper and other mailing materials get to be expensive for poor writers.

Wednesday, February 01, 2006

They didn't hate it(I think).

Okay I'm all right. My class didn't hate the story. They were all debating whether or not the character is crazy or has an incredibly cool power. They wanted me to tell them, but I'm not even sure yet. That's what happens when you don't finish a story. Maybe I can find some way to make it both or to leave it for the reader to interpret and debate. Either way the class not absolutely ripping the story apart was a bit reassuring. I was a little worried at first when the professor asked what people liked about it and no one said anything. Then someone yelled out that they needed time to switch from the last story to the current one. So there was no need for me to pass out. Generally it went well. Of course my professor is always looking for the deeper meaning of things and it's crazy but it's interesting. Sometimes I have no idea what he is talking about and I think he can tell that. Now all I have to do is finish it and edit what I already have.
The other thing is that there might soon be some news about my comic book. Don't worry it's not a huge deal but for me even small progress is exciting. I'm just that easy to please.