Tuesday, October 31, 2006

Happy Halloween!

Oh blimey! Guess who managed to get her Internet shut off the day before the start of NaNoWriMo and NaBloPoMo? If you said me, you're right. The bright side is that this should leave me with less time procrastinating while on the Internet and more time to write my novel.

Speaking of writing novels, Jenni can you hear me? Are you out there somewhere?

I have managed to commandeer my sister's lap top which was once my old lap top. Not only does it have a horribly slow dial-up connection and a broken disc drive but it's missing several keys (the letters have been replaced with alt, ctrl and such) but it has been dropped on the ground no less than three times.
Hopefully, it will function well enough to get me through a few days of blog posts and NaNoWriMo page updates.
I'll just say sorry in advance that I will miss out on a lot of blog posting. I don't have enough time and patience for it to load every one's every day and I'm not sure that I know more than a few address without my favorites list. I'll do my best and hopefully this won't last long.

Before I go I'll mention that I can't wait for 12:00 to come. I have such an awesome plan for my novel in my head and I keep going over it. I've been thinking about my first line and I know I can't write it down yet but I feel I have so much built up that I could write the whole book in one sitting once that clock turns 12:00!

Hope everyone has a very fun and imagination filled night. Halloween is one of the best days. It encourages so much imagination and creativity. I just love it.

Saturday, October 28, 2006

Trick-or-treat alternative

In the comments for my last post I was encouraged by D.B.Echo to tell the world what it is that I give out for Halloween. At least that's what I got from the comment so if I'm wrong sorry. It actually has something to do with writing so I guess I will share it with everyone.

When kids come trick-or-treating to my door I give them candy but I also give them comic books. I spend a few days going around town finding cheap, kid friendly comic books and even steal a few from my personal collection. (If you are considering doing this tell the store why you want the books. They help you find kid appropriate ones and may give you a better deal. One store gave me a great deal if I let them put the store sticker in the front cover).

I do this for a few reasons. Everyone gives candy so I like to give a little something different. Also I love comic books and if someone would have given me one instead of candy I would have loved it.
The bigger reason I give out comic books is to promote reading and art appreciation. Maybe it's not the finest literature or art you are going to find but for kids it's a start. More and more kids and adults rely on T.V. and videos games. I love these things too but I worry that eventually few people will care about reading because they can just watch it. Then they will miss the beauty of things like the inner monologue, the suspense that fills you when you just can't read fast enough and how much more grand things are when imagined rather than shoved in your face. And I worry that few people will ever stop to appreciate the time and effort it takes to draw images that look like they could reach out and touch you and maybe no one will realize that if you take the time to think about it one beautifully detailed scene says so much more than a movie can.
I know that most people don't see comic books that deeply but they can be a start for children. Obviously not just comics either. If you can find children's books or give out Play-Doh or crayons, anything that encourages a child to think and imagine, then hand those out.
I don't think I need to explain why we should encourage children to create and appreciate. I just thought I'd mention it in case anyone was looking for an alternative to candy this Halloween.
I've done this for the past three years and the kids seem to love it.

BTW: I updated my sidebar with my NaNoWriMo page and this time it's my own page not just the home page for the site(Oops!). I also added my MySpace page although I don't spend much time there so it's not that exciting.

Friday, October 27, 2006

NaBloPoMo too?

I've pretty much decided that I am going to give NANOWRIMO a shot even though I have a ton of other stuff going on including the writing of Behind the Naugahyde.
While I was checking out another writer's blog I stumbled upon NaBloPoMo, which is National Blog Posting Month. It's suppose to be for those who are too busy to participate in NaNoWriMo. In this case you just blog every day during the month of November.
I'm actually thinking of doing this as well. I know that's a big challenge for the month of November but I think it's something I need to do.
These past months have been hectic and I've used that as an excuse not to write but it should be an excuse to write. A release of emotion and a break from the reality that is my life. So I'm going to set these goals for November and I'll push myself to do it.

I'm going to attempt to put links to my NaNoWriMo page for anyone that wants to keep track. Maybe I'll finally add my mySpace page too.

Monday, October 23, 2006

Novel or not?

Recently I wrote about wanting to do NaNoWriMo but not wanting to start a new novel while Jenni and I are in the middle of one. Then I thought perhaps I would just set my own personal goal of writing 50,000 words of fiction whether it was part of the novel or a short story.
Well I know that while it is a good goal for myself it is not exactly the spirit of NaNoWriMo. I thought about just writing short stories but not an actual novel but if I don't think it's a novel, then according to NaNoWriMo it doesn't count.
Then I got this crazy idea. My idea for NaNoWriMo is to write a novel about a writer and what she's writing. That way I can still write my short stories and on my part of BTN but I will have to tie them together using the main character. I'll make a connecting story about where she's at, when she finds time, how she's inspired, breaking through writer's block.
I think it will be cool.
Maybe not everyone will consider it a novel but I will so that's what matters.
At least that's what I think I'll do, maybe not though. There's still a few more days to decided.
Can you believe I actually pushed my paranoia aside long enough to share an idea?

BTW: There is a new Nauga Note posted at www.behindthenaugahyde.com

Saturday, October 21, 2006

I actually want my rejection notice! Please!

Not to rant, but... you know what really annoys the hell out of me? When a magazine's submission guidelines say please include a SASE(self addressed stamped envelope) for a reply to your submission and then when you send one and the only reply you get is a subscription order form. No rejection letter at all, not even one little generic line of thanks but no thanks. I paid 39 cents for a subscription form for a magazine that I wouldn't buy now because that is just rude. I didn't send the stamped envelope for that I sent it for the rejection notice.
I don't care if you throw in a subscription slip, occasionally I buy an issue if I have the money, but please put in the rejection note. I love those (not as much as acceptance letters), I collect them, I have a huge folder full of them. They remind me that I am trying and that I need to work harder. That's why I pay the 39 cents.
I'm sorry my complaining probably sounds stupid but it really annoyed me.

Wednesday, October 18, 2006

Writer's Blogs

Lately, I've been reading a lot of fellow writer's blogs. I have added my blog to a few list of writer's blogs and I thought it was only fair to read other blogs in hopes that they read mine. I'm pretty sure that just about the only people that read writer's blogs are fellow writer's.

Anyway, it's become overwhelming. There are so many good ones that I want to bookmark. My list is getting huge and I'm not even through the A's. I try to read one a day and if I like it and it's been updated recently then I'll add it to my list.
It's already taking a while to read through my list. My non-writing friends who have blogs on avereage, they update around once a month maybe once a week. Writer's seem to update every day or every few days. I might have to figure out a rotating or elimination system.

The other part of reading all these blogs that is frustrating, at least for me, is commenting. I want them to know I'm reading since I appreciate it when people comment here. I assume that others would like to know that someone is paying attention. My biggest problem is that I never say the right thing as I mentioned in my last post. I'm afraid I might seem creepy or generic. Possibly even critical. I don't know. I just know that I hate commenting, critiquing or reviewing other peoples writing. But I'll do it if I have to.

Just watched: 30 Rock

Monday, October 16, 2006

I can never say the right thing.

Finally, I have ink, and stamps. I'm running a little low on big envelopes but I can get out a few submissions and some query letters for now. Although I must say trying to decipher all my submission charts is starting to give me a headache. Maybe I need to go back to my old way of hundreds of scribbles in the margin of my Writer's Market, which reminds me I need the 2007 edition.

The other day I ran into a friend that I hadn't talk to in a while thanks to an awkward situation. I had thought in my head a hundred times of what I would say to this person if I bumped into them. Of course they totally caught me off guard and I bumbled out a bunch of stuff that was not what I planned to say, made no sense and made the situation potentially more awkward. I'm pretty sure I ruined what was left of the friendship.
What's any of this go to do with writing? Well I hate talking to people. The above situation is why. I don't seem to have the ability to think before I speak. I can't plan it out and edit it, no matter how hard I try. I always seem to mess it up. That's why I like writing. I can think it through, I can fix things. Maybe a well written letter can get the friendship back on course. I don't know.

Wednesday, October 11, 2006

Frustration and anonymous poetry

Today I heard back from the magazine that had given me a list of things they didn't like about my story. They offered me the chance to change them and send it back. I changed nearly everything they had suggested because most things made sense. I did keep a few things that I thought made the story what it is.
I opened the letter and found another set of comment sheets signed by the same people as last time. What did they say? Good story but here's what we don't like about it. As I read further I imagined they would say something about the part I didn't change but I was wrong. They didn't even mention it. They just made a whole new list of things, none of which were in the last letter. And to be honest they were very vague things like "a few paragraphs don't flow well".
It's really great that they give feedback because most people don't. I just think that sending someone a list of comments and saying "fix these and we'll reconsider" and by reconsider we mean giving you lame excuses and more things we dislike, is a little confusing. If they had wrote back and said they didn't think I changed enough or had mentioned the part I didn't change I would be okay but don't say "this part sucks and I, as an editor, didn't notice it before". I guess mostly I just don't understand. Well, actually, I do. It's a crazy business but it is still frustrating.
My complaining probably sounds ungrateful and unreasonable, if it makes sense at all. I'm just annoyed.

On the other hand I did something a little odd. I know several times I've mentioned poetry and how I don't get it. Mostly I don't understand the "techniques", but with all art I believe it is the message, not the skills and training, that matter more. And every now and then I have something to say that isn't a short story or comic book. I'm not sure what it is . I just write it and it kind of seems like poetry. Anyway, it's not my goal to get it published I just have something to say. So I joined one of those on-line poetry websites in hopes of getting some feedback. I'm not going to say my pen name or which site because I'm not brave enough to let people who know me read it. I know that sounds weird but that's me.
The only problem is that I feel to get feedback I should give some. I'm horrible at commenting and as I've mentioned many times before I don't know poetry. I guess I'll just have to comment on the message I get from the poetry. To me, that's the most important part anyway.

Just watched: 30 Rock (Tina Fey is one of my heroes!)

Tuesday, October 10, 2006

I need ink, stamps and to finish a story!

With all the madness that is my life, I haven't really been able to stay focused on writing anything. Last night I couldn't sleep so I decided to look up some agents for Behind the Naugahyde. I found three that accepted e-mail queries so I went ahead and sent them. (Sorry, I didn't ask first Jenni, but I didn't think you'd mind).
I just can't wait until I can afford new ink jets and stamps. I like doing submissions when I need something to do but I can't seem to focus or when I have writer's block.

With Friday the 13th and Halloween coming up its an excellent time to write a scary story. Perhaps finishing the vampire story that I continue to talk about but never finish. The mood is already set for it and the T.V. is just running non-stop with inspiration. Yet with everything that is going on with my family I can't seem to find the motivation for that story. I really have to try and push through that. If I can't finish something because crazy stuff is happening, then I'll never get anything finished.

One of my former professors came into the shoe store this weekend. And he said something like, "If I recall you did well in my class. You were a really good writer." I would have thought I heard him wrong but my co-worker mentioned that she heard him say it too. I'm sure he says that to all his former students he runs into but I'm just going to pretend I'm special. That will make me feel a little bit better.

Friday, October 06, 2006


With all the craziness this week I've been doing okay. On a restless night (or early morning, rather) I attempted to send out e-mail submissions (until I can afford new ink). Unfortunately I made some mistakes, like sending a cover letter mentioning one story, then sending a different story along with that letter, to a company that had already rejected the story that actually got sent. Other than that I haven't messed too much up.

I got an e-mail from NANOWRIMO, since the month of November is fast approaching. I had thought that I was set on not doing it. After all I didn't really want to start a new novel while Jenni and I are in the middle of writing Behind the Naugahyde. However, since NANOWRIMO is more about goals, I thought I could set a goal to write 50,000 fictional words in the month of November. It might motivate me to write on Behind the Naugahyde and some other short stories. I could keep track of it on NANOWRIMO and since you don't win anything for finishing, I'm not cheating. November is still a ways off so I've got time to decide.

tonight I sat down with the intention of writing some fiction but now I can barely keep my eyes open. Things won't get back to normal for a while but hopefully I'll have more time for writing

Wednesday, October 04, 2006

Hospital madness

My dad's having some trouble and it's got him stuck in the hospital for a few days. I've been spending most of my time at the hospital and haven't gotten much else done. Although I have filled the pages of my journal with the craziness that happens to and is, my family. In fact my emotional writing of the last few days has 12 entries that cover 38 pages.
Aside from that I've been reading rather than getting any work done. I wanted to print out some of my work to edit but due to my stupidity I have an empty ink jet. So until pay day I'm out of luck. I thought about starting something new but I have so much unfinished work and fairly often I have to stop for one reason or another so I don't really feel like I can put out quality material. I'm sure the material in my journal is interesting but right now it's still too new and personal for me to share.
For now I'll be at the hospital most of the time so it might be a while before I get anything done including blog post.