Saturday, December 17, 2011

351 Days Ago

I started this blog. I was working 100% without a net. I knew I wanted to try my hand at writing, and I wanted to start 2011 out on the right foot. So I started a blog.

Blogging was infrequent, but theraputic. Writing was even more infrequent. That was less theraputic. But I'm ending 2011 with some things I didn't start it with.

A firm grasp on the publishing process.
An amazing group of fellow authors I am lucky enough to call my critique partners. (Go visit our blog. We're adorable.)

A 50,084 word shitty first draft, and a badge that says 'I won NanoWrimo 2011.' (And a gorgeous Kate Spade bag, my Nano present to myself).

A renewed sense of self.

A new goal, to complete, edit and pursue publication of my first novel.

And one last thing. A new blog!!

I wanted to buy myself something (aside from the purse) that says 'serious bsns in 2012.' So I bought myself a domain name. I have a website!! *dorky giggle*

I hope you'll come play with me over there. There will be cookies! I mean, they'll be virtual cookies, but I really would mail you all cookies, if I could.

So that's that. New year, new site, new purse (omg, I can't shut up about it, it's SO pretty!), new dreams. Well, same dreams, just far closer to the tips of my fingers than they used to be. And same old me.

Love and kisses and I can't wait for you all to come visit.

<3 Bec

Saturday, December 10, 2011

Fifty Thousand and Eighty Four Words

with two days to spare. I officially 'won' Nano on 11/28 at around 2:00 AM. I don't have words for what that felt like.

Something like that.

I'm not sure I'm ready to say that I wrote a novel, because due to numerous changes to the story while I was writing it, it's more a collections of scenes, and many of them will never see the light of my doc. But I wrote a something, that's for damn sure. Fifty Thousand and Eighty Four words of something.

180x180 NaNoWriMo Winner 2011

So I went back and looked at my 'plan' for Nano. And then I laughed at myself for twenty minutes. And then I cam here to write this post, still laughing a little.

So that you don't have to refer back, I'll give you the run down on my plan to bring the rain. I can tell you, with complete sincerity, that four of those five items were met with EPIC FAIL. Or maybe we can call each of them SemiEpic Fail? I'll explain.

1) To write, everyday, until it became a habit again. I most certainly did NOT write everyday. See, if I only had to write 1667 words a day, it would take me about and hour and a half. That would be too easy, right? So there were several days where I just couldn't find/face the words. BUT, I did write to the point where it felt normal to do so again, and that was really the ultimate goal.

2) To not edit as I wrote. Bwahahahaha. It's like I don't know myself at all. Of course I edited as I went. Not excessively, and I deleted nothing, but if there is something I know is wrong, it will nag at me until I right it. Going back and reading at 10K was a mistake, because it set off an 'I don't KNOW this story' fit. But I learned things about how I write, and what I need, and what works for me. That was another goal.

3) To not show anything that I had written to anyone until it was over. Please see #2. But it's not about hiding it all away and not showing it to anyone. It's about know who you're ready to show it to, and making sure that you and that person(s) have an understanding of what you're looking for in terms of feedback. So I learned how to ask for what I want, and how to look at feedback and use it to better my writing.

4) To have complete Twitter lockdown, stay off the internet and not read.

This is where I dissolved into a fit of giggles. I think my twitteroff lasted three days, I was ALL over the internet, and I read FOUR books in the month of November (Tahereh Mafi's AMAZING Shatter Me and The Hunger Games series). That is far more books than I read in a normal month, but I couldn't stop reading Katniss and Peeta until the damn books were done. I COULDN'T STOP. Why didn't you guys tell me??? Oh wait. You did.) But this was okay too. I always think that shutting down is what I need, but the reality is, it's the worst thing for me. If I don't allow myself time to just chill and say Hi and interact with people, I become the bad kind of crazy. As opposed to my normal kind of crazy :)

5) To have fun. This one I didn't really fail at. I did have fun. I also had angst and emo and tears and moments where I was ready to say to Hell with all of it. But I had fun. I got to be online with my girl Ang when she hit her 50K (in sixteen days, mind you. She's a rockstar). I got to write kissing. Quite a bit of kissing, actually! I pushed myself and it worked. I made changes that will make this a better story. And I got to feel like a writer again.

So whether I followed my own plan or not, Nano, and the entire experience, gets a big fat check in the Success column. And even though there were moments where I thought even attempting to write 50K in a month was the biggest mistake ever, I would do it again in a heartbeat.

Now, who is ready for some whiny posts about editing??

<3 Bec

Saturday, November 26, 2011

Can We Finish?

I want to go all Bob the Builder and say 'Yes, we can!' here. But I don't know.

Warning: There is self indulgent whining ahead. You may want to seek an alternate route/blog.

My Nanonovel has been checked into the ICU and the prognosis is not good.

Here are the notes on the chart:

Novel stands at 33023. No change for the last four days. Author suffering from lack of motivation, lack of inspiration, lack of confidence and a severe case of the 'fuck its'. Half-hearted attempts at pulling her shit together have been made, but thus far, met with little to no success. Keeping this novel on life support seems pointless, and possibly cruel to the writer.

Author notes:


So, there are five days left, including today. And today, in keeping with the last four, is busy. Busier than expected due to a flat tire. Which is yet another analogy for where I am right now. (Side note: I love a good analogy, and I use far too many of them, but that is another blog post).

Flat tire analogy: It was sort of acting wonky and feeling funny for a couple days, but I basically ignored it because reality has no place in the holiday season. Then, yesterday, I tried to drive (write). And it was, quite literally, as if all the air had leaked out. Flat. Stranded. Stuck.


I've got just under 17K words left to write in order to 'win' Nano. Did I say I didn't care if I 'won'? As long as I made writing a habit and got back in the game? Yeah, I lied. I am goal oriented on a good day, and obsessive compulsively competitive on a bad day. So, while I want to be one of the people that just does it for the experience, or the process, at the end of the day? Win is win. Everything else is lose.

And seeing that the most I've been able to write in one day is 5K, and that was one time, and hasn't repeated since.... *does math*.... we're looking squarely in the face of LOSE.

So yeah. That's the status update. 33K and I think the doctors are going to pull the plug and code this baby.

If you need me, I will be in mourning (which for these purposes, means shoving my face into a pie).

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

T-minus 6 days

...til Nano.

Bring. The. Rain.

That sounds uncharacteristically cocky of me, doesn't it? But, I've got this (mostly... I think).

So it's been a while since I blogged. But then again, it's always been awhile since I blogged, with the exception of right after I blog. But I assure you, these past couple months have been very full. Full of work, full of family stuff, full of whining and crying and self doubting and more crying and towel throwing and towel picking up and pouting and possibly, maybe even a little, foot stomping.

Wanna come over? I have cookies.

Kidding aside, it's been a tough time for me, especially where writing is concerned. I've had a lot of moments where I wondered if I was cut out to do this, or if I even wanted to anymore. Many emails were sent, several phone calls were placed, all full of flaily angst. I had my mouse hovering over the send button of an email titled 'You guys, I think I'm out' for more than a few days.

I took a break from the internet (this was actually not a bad thing) and when I did that, I was actually able to clear my head and remember some things.

A) I can't not write. It's part of who I am.
B) Feedback stops me dead in my tracks. (aka stop showing 500 words to everyone including the milkman because you are just going to get overwhelmed by other people's opinions).
C) No one else can write my story, so if I want to see it written, I'm going to have to (wo)man up.
D) It takes 21 days to make, or break, a habit.

That last one is important. I haven't written much of anything in almost a year. I write this blog. I sometimes blog with my White Blank Page girls. I write emails. But actually writing? It's been a damn long while. So when I start, it feels stilted and awkward and unfamiliar.


Coincidentally, November is more than 21 days long. So instead of focusing on the 50K to 'win' Nano, I'm focusing on making daily writing a habit again. I'm focusing on not editing as I go, and since no one is going to see it until I feel ready to hear someone else's thoughts, I think this will be easier. And I'm focusing on one other, little thing.

Having fun.

Is writing difficult? Yes. Are there moments where you want to pull your hair out? Yes. But should there also be moments when you get something down EXACTLY the way you want it and you get up and dance around the kitchen, pantsless (of course), while blasting Walking on Sunshine? YES.

So, if you need me for the next month, I'll be hard to find. No Twitter. No (gulp) Tumblr. No Goodreads. No READING (bwahahahaha. we'll see). Limited Email. Limited Internet.

But I'll be here. Writing. Making a habit. Having fun. Bringing the rain.

Thursday, August 4, 2011

I promise, I haven't been procrastinating


Some procrastinating? Sure. I'm still me. 

But I have actually been up to stuff! Let's see, at last check in, the kids had names. *sigh* That was a good day :) 

They still have names. They also have a fully formed plot, a title and half of a really in depth outline! And for a little while, they had some serious competition. In the midst of plotting out this first novel, I came up with the concept for a totally different novel. Why not? Novels are like cookies, one is great but two is better. Right? Yes? 

No. At least not simultaneously. 

It got to the point where I was feeling pretty schizophrenic about all of it, what with two books doing this for time and space in my head. 

Choices must be made. Things must get put into a 'someday' folder. But how? 

Hours of soul searching (i.e. looking at pictures on tumblr)? Research (more tumblr)? Flaily emails to friends? Sure, all of that. But in the end, it comes down to this. 

Every time I asked someone which one I should start with, a little place inside my heart hoped that the answer would be the first idea. That was how I knew that once I was done with all the pondering, the decision had really already made itself. 

So we're go live with 'title being kept under my hat for now'. Bring on the coffee, the late nights and the 'does she EVER talk about anything else' from my friends and family. 

Luckily, in addition to all the people in my life who are wonderful enough to let me bend their ear extensively, I have something new. I'm part of a new group blog, White Blank Page. I've got five other amazing writers who know right where I am (and how to talk me out of my own way). We're going to blog about writing our first novels, writing in general, reading in general, spazzing out in general (guess which one of us will be heading up spazz? Yeahhhhh, you know). So go check it out. Need more reasons? It's pretty!! 

So, while I was typing this blog? I was supposed to be working on my outline. Procrastination is alive and well, kids. I know you were worried ;) 


Saturday, June 11, 2011

Name that... character (a.k.a. my babies!)

Warning: If you don't want to see an aspiring author completely dork out, I suggest you look away. It won't be pretty. 

So after much procrastinating, musing, pondering, whining, self doubting and overthinking... I've actually started writing this book. *GULP* I get all flibberty and scared when I call it a book. Maybe I'll just call it 'the project'? Or 'that stomach churning endeavor'? 

Because really, what's in a name? 

Apparently, a lot. 

On a whim, I opened a doc this week and threw some words in there (512 to be exact). One small step for normal people, one giant, flying, flailing leap for me. And among those 512 words, there were two that turned out to be significant. 


These people that have hid and played peek-a-boo inside my head for months have names. And the simple act of naming them has made them real. 

They're people now. They're my babies. They're my imaginary friends and they like to TALK and they told me their plot and they refused to be quiet. I'm not complaining, I assure you, but I just didn't KNOW that by giving them this one little thing, this seemingly inconsequential part of them, that I would bring them to life. 

It was awesome. 

Also, and most people with kids will understand this, the fact that I didn't have to have any discussions or negotiations over these names, was also very awesome. There was no 'that was my creepy uncle's name' or 'we can't use that, it rhymes with our last name and the kid will get ridiculed'. It was just me. And them. 

I repeat, it was awesome. So totally awesome. (Refer to dork warning now). 

So now that they have names, it's time to give them voices. It's time to let them live this story that they are meant to have. It's time to write this... book. 


<3 Bec

End Note: They are currently asking for coffee, and one of them wants a bowl of Cheerios and a trip to the library. Darn kids. Hee. 

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

It's Snowing

That means it must still be Winter. Likely January. So I'm totally on track as far as blogging about the novel I'm writing, and, well, writing it.

*looks at calendar and makes face of mock surprise and actual horror*

It's March. The 23rd. It's March 23rd. It's mid-March. It's Spring.

*looks at open doc and sees no outline, no brainstorming, no character profiles and makes a face of mock surprise and actual horror*

For all my good intentions, I've got nothing. More accurately, I've done nothing. I got through the shiny and new phase of 'novel writing'... you know, the part that isn't actually writing at all... the 'set-up.' I talked about writing. A lot, actually. I had a long, detailed phone call with Holly, a fellow aspiring author, about our plans. I made plans. And then...


This is disappointing, but not really surprising. The road to hell has been paved and repaved with so many good intentions that it's actually an elevated highway now. I really planned to start on the novel right away.

So what happened?

Honestly... I'm petrified. I think I'm not supposed to admit that. I'm supposed to be brave, fearless, and have this 'I can do anything' attitude, right? But I'm scared. I'm afraid I don't know how to do this. I'm afraid I'm not a good enough writer. I'm afraid to pour this much of myself into something, to so completely bare my soul on pages, only to have someone (anyone, EVERYONE) say 'I've seen better.'

I'm a huge baby. Just ask the poor nurse who has to draw my blood. I cry. It's a little pathetic, and a lot funny. I've given birth... twice... but the idea of a needle? *shudder*

Okay. So. What's the plan? How do we move forward from the fear?

I have not a clue. But the fact that I even logged into this account today means I'm still here. I may be paralyzed in the corner, clutching my woobie and rocking, but I'm here.

Some days, all you can do is show up. So today... I did.

<3 Bec

End note: This is where you kick my ass and tell me to get off it and write something :)