Sunday, October 31, 2010

Dear NaNovel


Dear NaNovel,

I sit here now, on the eve before NaNoWriMo.  The countdown on my blog states a mere 8 hours until midnight.  Even though I have Halloween plans, and projects galore, I cannot get you off of my mind.  It is because of this that I write you now.

For months now we have grown close.  First just a tiny speck of a thought in my mind, you grew.  Fueled by comments from friends, memories, and news, I watched with delight as you developed more each day into an almost respectable plot.  I would sit at the computer, fingers twitching to write you down.  Then the rules of NaNoWriMo would resound in my mind and I would resign to simply jotting the ideas of you into my little red book. 

My little red book that I got just for you.

Some friends have said that I am obsessed.  Some seem simply confused as to why I sit on pins and needles.  A small handful cheer me on.  And I have come to the realization that I do not care.  This is not for any of them.  This is for me. 

I have been to my regions Kick-Off party.  I relished in meeting the plots of the other daring writers that live around me.  Some truly peaked my reader interest.  But then my mind would trail back to you, and I would miss you. 

I cannot wait for these last few hours to pass.  Then, finally, with joy in my heart, I will be allowed by the WriMo Gods to create you.  I still have plot gaps.  I still lack character development, a climax, and most everything else.  But I have you.  And starting in just these few short hours, you will begin the finish of your growth from a simple thought to a 50,000 word novel.

We may have hard times.  No, I know we will.  I will hate you at times.  And you will not talk to me at other times.  I am hoping these times do not come too often.  But I am prepared, with amazing writing buddies, my notebook, and an unknown plot ninja. 

We will sprint, we will war, we write through the night.  And, my beloved NaNovel, we will come out victorious come November 30th. 

I long for the day to hold the first unedited draft of you in my carpal-tundrum doomed hands.  I long for the day that I will rejoice with the many other WriMos out there as we prove, to the world and to ourselves, that writing is still alive and well.

NaNovel, I love you.  A love only a crazy writer who has committed to writing a book in 30 days can truly feel.  I hope us the best.  Please be nice.

Until midnight,
Jenni

We all need our writing spots

When you sit down to write, where you are can have a huge effect on you.  And while cozy coffee shops are amazing to create in, we cannot always find time or money to go there.  So, you need a niche in your own home.  Everyone has a different place. And everyone requires a different "sight" to keep them going.

While I do have a netbook and will be writing on it at times, I tend to do the majority of my writing on my good old desktop computer.  Now, we live in a two bedroom apartment, leaving us no space for the needed office.  So my bookcases reside in our bedroom...and the computers live in the dining room.  I have to admit, being as we seem to move almost yearly, I have sorely neglected a good decorating of our home.  This -yay!- will be our second Christmas, for the first time in our marriage, in the same place.

I have wondered why I never seemed to write very well when sitting at my computer.  Finally one day I looked around the room and realized: This has got to be one of the most uninspiring rooms in existance.  (I was looking up images recently of North Korea and realized that their decorating sense coincided well with my old dining room.  Sad...)  So, with birthday money in hand, I gave myself a project:

Turn this bland dining room into a novel-inspiring Writing Den.

Even though there are still small details to finish in my newly revamped Den, I felt it was time to post the pics of what it has turned into.  I still have to finish stitching the table runner (its isn't quite turning out right, so I am thinking of maybe just finding an already done runner and calling it good...we will see!) and would love to get the comedy/tragedy masks to hang on either side of the window.  Along with other small things that I will probably notice as I sit here writing this month.

All that aside...I totally am in love with this room now!  It is quite a change...and now when I sit in it, I WANT to write.  Which is good, being as that is what my wall is telling me to do.  And being as NaNoWriMo is a mere few hours away...

(And by the way, I sporatically get cleaning spells where everything does look neat and tidy like these photos.  Then my writer-mind takes over and well...it all erupts.  So don't feel bad about your stacks of papers, soda cans, and candy wrappers.  I go there too...and stay for much too long!  Disorder is a sign of genius!)

So tell me, do you have a special place you must write?  Daring enough to post a photo of it on your blog, site, etc?  I dare you! 


  

  

And just a few other shots that I didn't take "before" pics for, but still wanted to show.




Two more images from the Party...


I was wasting time last night.  Well, not wasting.  Pretty much trying to find distractions for the oh-so major urge to start writing my NaNovel.  So what did I do?  I took photos and edited them...of items related to my NaNoveling adventure.  Here are two more pics "from" the Kick-Off Party.  Ok.  They are handouts from the party.  But it still counts!

Be prepared, most likely, for more blog entries throughout the day as I anxiously await midnight...

 The totally awesome stickers our ML Kim aka Ariane got for us.
I already have the monkey one slapped onto my netbook.
 
My plot ninja.
I have no idea who wrote it, and no idea what is written inside.
But I have it, in case of that "what should I write next" emergency.

Saturday, October 30, 2010

Time to Minimize the Desktop

With NaNoWriMo just a bit over a day away, I decided it is time to really buckle down and get my writing stations put together.  I almost have my music put together.  Today's project:  Cleaning up that dang desktop.  Have you ever noticed that, try as you might, icons and files and who knows what else always seems to clutter up that screen space? 

I sat on down and decided that just wasn't going to do.  Distractions.  That's all those items were.  First I threw all the loose items into a folder and tucked it away.  Then came removing program shortcuts.  I left the vitals: Internet and Photo Editing (for my mental reprieves).  Time for a snazzy background that keeps me focused...check!  Then I saw back, smiled at the orderliness...and bit back the urge to open the word file and start to write!  Looks like it is working so far!

Now to slap it onto my netbook.  And...done!

And -drumroll- for your viewing pleasure: a screen shot.  Note the one extra thing that will need to change: No facebook being open on the taskbar!  Tsk tsk...



I am so ready for this...
(I hope)



-EDIT-
Some of you have been asking for the image I used for the desktop...here it is!  I will post the version with the arrows, and without.  I have some other awesome WriMo items I have found in my scouring of the nets that I will try to post tomorrow!  Enjoy!




Fun Times at the Kick-Off Party

(This is Stumpy, Portland's WriMo Mascot.  Ain't he cute?)

Today is Saturday.  Tomorrow is Halloween.  Then comes Monday, November 1st, and the start of NaNoWriMo!  Can you feel the excitement?  Can you?

This afternoon I was able to attend Portland's Kick-Off party.  My friend Kimmel was supposed to go with me, but due to a death in the family, wasn't able to make it.  To be honest, I almost backed out at that point.  But I figured: "Hey, I still need to get out and meet people...Stop being a wuss, dang it!"  Even with that, I was still scared to get out of the car when my hubby was dropping me off.  Pathetic, I know.  Once I saw others trickling in though, I finally said goodbye and joined the crew. 

I think roughly 90 other WriMos showed up.  They said this was the largest Portland Kick-Off party yet!  After chowing down on munchies we sat down and let the party commence.  What is a party like with 90 writers you ask?  Well...we sat around and talked about our plots of course!  It may sound geeky to you and...well...it was.  But it was awesome. Never be ashamed to be a geek my friends.  I loved hearing the other crazy plots (or, for some, the total lack of plot) from others, meeting them, and realizing that I am not alone in this craziness!  We wrapped up the party with writing and swapping plot ninjas (basically a prompt put in a sealed envelope and saved to be opened and used once you get stuck.  Mid-November, I am ready for you!)  Then we waved goodbye and slowly disappeared back into our hidden writing worlds.

I am really hoping I am able to make it to some of the planned write-ins this coming month.  Sitting down in a cozy coffee shop with fellow writers, with the simple plan to: Write.  What could be better?

Oh, and one of the -other- best parts of today?  As much as I loved the party...as I was standing out on 5th, waiting for my hubby to pick me up, a black guy, clad in awesome leather, was dancing down the sidewalk.  He saw me then suddenly called out: "My oh my! That is one mother-f***ing fine, hot white woman right there!" Then walked up to me, saying "Let me tell you..." Luckily, at that moment, my phone rang, and the man quickly danced off.  I couldn't stop laughing.  


Now then, my only problem is I cannot seem to remember the names of pretty much everyone I met.  And I wish I could.  Hopefully the write-ins may help that memory problem...there were some minds I wanted to tap into, but now I can't recall who they were at all.  Noooo..


HEY PORTLAND!  READY TO WRITE?


Here are some photos I snapped.  Alas, I am in none, hence the hack of a self photo at the end.  And if any fellow Portlanders are looking at this, I apologize for the blurriness.  I wanted to keep the flash off, and so this is the best I got.  Also...I tried to get pics of the whole group.  But try as I might...I KNOW I missed people.  Sad face.










Friday, October 29, 2010

A Dystopian - In Case You Ever Wondered

 

I have noticed that, when talking to others and mentioning the genre "dystopia," I tend to receive confused looks and scratched heads.  Sad to say, many people have no idea what a dystopia is.  Now, this is a shock to me, since dystopian books are pretty much my favorite genre out there.  So now I feel the obligation to inform all of you readers (and non-readers) out there just what a dystopian be.

Handy-dandy Wikipedia says: "in literature, an often futuristic society that has degraded into a repressive and controlled state, often under the guise of being utopian. Dystopian literature has underlying cautionary tones, warning society that if we continue to live how we do, this will be the consequence. A dystopia, thus, is regarded as a sort of negative utopia and is often characterized by an authoritarian or totalitarian form of government. Dystopias usually feature different kinds of repressive social control systems, a lack or total absence of individual freedoms and expressions and constant states of warfare or violence. Dystopias often explore the concept of technology going "too far" and how humans individually and en masse use technology. A dystopian society is also often characterized by mass poverty for most of its inhabitants and a large military-like police force."

That's a lot of reading...in my words I like to simply say this: Dystopia is society gone wrong.  The proof that, because of mankind and who we are, utopias can never truly be achieved.   Dystopian books take an idea, let mankind try to make it better...then completely shatter it.  Sometimes the shattering is obvious, other times the citizens don't even realize that what they think is real is actually far far off.

Examples you ask?  Well, one of the most classic ones, and one that we all read in school (I hope they still read this book!  I would cry if they don't...) is The Giver by Lois Lowry.  Tell me you have read it.  In it, the small town sees everything, literally, in black and white and is secretly performing a horrid population control.  The trick for this book is...no one fully knows how it ends.  The way Lowry wraps it up leaves so much up for speculation that people still debate on what the actual end is.  And I love it.  One of the great things of a dystopian book is that it plays with your mind.  It leaves you wondering what is real, what may happen, and fearing for the future.

Other notable dystopians, in my point of view, are: 
Slow River by Nicola Griffith (Read this back in college.  I think I was one of the only students to actually love it...but I still think every one should read it.  Some of what the writer decides to have happen in the future...it is frighteningly to familiar...)
Jennifer Government by Max Barry (I am in the process of reading this one actually.  The idea that your job owns you...oh my!)
1984 by George Orwell (Big brother...ooo)
Uglies trilogy by Scott Westerfeld (oh what could be better than being pretty?  wait...what...brain surgery?)
Farenheit 451 by Ray Bradbury (ok this is just blasphemy!)
The Hunger Games trilogy by Suzanne Collins (Hey kids, time to go kill each other so we can keep some order here!  Wanna see a much more intense version of this idea?  Go watch the movie Battle Royale...oh my)
(And some movies, to name a few: Ultraviolet, Aeon Flux, Equilibrium, The Matrix...)

In all actuality, there are hundreds.  But it is nine in the morning and my brain is still waking up, so recalling all my books is proving to be a more difficult task that I thought it would be!

Why do I love dystopians...They question the path we are on in this life.  They show the possibilities of what may happen if we stay glued on that certain trail.  They are mankind destroying itself in the hope that it is some how fixing itself...I love it!

To note, many dystopians are intermixed with post-apocalyptic.  As awesome as this genre is too, you have to know the difference.  Dystopia is a society gone wrong.  Post-Apocalyptic is society, in one way or another, blew up and now is trying to gather the pieces (or not...)  Books such as The Road by Cormac McCarthy, The Great and Terrible series by Chris Stewart, The Children of Men by P.D. James, to name a few, are fine examples of it.  Again, amazing reads.  But in my personal taste...there are only a handful of ways you can keep blowing up the world.  Now, slowly destroying it with propoganda, genetic altering, controlled society...the possibilities are endless!

The reason I am doing this post is because my NaNovel, Prison Nation, is a dystopian.  The government realizes that the one way to keep total control over its people is to keep the large majority of them incarcerated with harsh laws and no sympathy.  Sucks don't it?  As if we don't already fear the threat of the slammer now...

Here is my question to end the post.  Let me dive into your head a teensy bit.

As far as a dystopian goes:  What is it about that genre of story telling you LOVE.  The things that make you keep coming back for more.  And more so...what items do you wish the authors would just stop retelling or using?  There has to be some of both...let me in!

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

NaNoWriMo Prepping

Oh yes, five days until the writing can begin.  Am I antsy you ask?  I answer with one very huge, enthusiastic nod.  To be honest, I have been sitting on sharp pins and needles, counting down these days.  I really do want to start working on this novel idea of mine!  The more I sit around, thinking about it and creating blips and chunks, the more I just want to write already.

The other night I finally got to bed (which is a feat of its own with my little five-month-old who loves to be awake...) and what happens?  I lay in bed for a good hour or two, wide awake, thinking about my novel.  I practically wrote the first chapter in my head.  Which was cool and all...except I had forgotten to bring my notebook to bed, and my phone was charging...and I was just so warm and comfy.  So when I awoke in the morning, I tried in vain to remember everything so I could jot the allowed notes about it.  I think I got most of it, but I just have that nagging feeling that I have forgotten some.  Hopefully it will recreate itself come next week!

NEXT WEEK!

Oh, and another note.  I have started to even have dreams where my characters make appearances, even star in.  This is crazy, being as I haven't actually written any of the novel yet.  And I have never dreamed about other characters from other creations before.  Ya, think I am a bit into this one? 
The dream was cool:  In a quick quick summary, I had written a one act play (if you don't know, I grew up doing theatre...and love it!) and had to cast it, rehearse it, and perform it in a competition in like...one day.  Of course, all those lovely actors that you saw me post in my last update were the people I had cast.  And dear Eddie...he did not want to rehearse.  He was quite a lazy jerk about it too, just wanting to chill and have fun and assuming it would all pull together in the end.  I tried to sit down to talk to him about it...when he just...disappeared.  Now, you have no idea about these characters yet.  But that little blip about Eddie...it was so dead on, in so many ways.  I woke up and wanted to write about him soo bad.  But then the baby cried...and mommyhood took over.

Anyhoo, my prepping has now morphed into gathering the music I long to listen to as I plunk out the 50k.  So far my list is consisting of Dashboard Confessional, Secondhand Serenade, Tatu, Evanescense, Linkin Park, Within Temptation, Dave Matthews Band...and just now throwing in some good old David Lanz instrumental.  Oh yes...this will be epic.  For kicks and giggles, here is a video of an amazing song sung by Within Temptation.  Its not their usual sound...but I love it!  When I first heard it months ago, I knew it would be the theme song to this novel.  I get chills when I hear it...and my fingers long to type!  Enjoy! (The actual music video won't let me embed, so this will have to do.  If you get a chance, I highly recommend to go watch the video.  It is amazing too.)

Saturday, October 23, 2010

Pretend Casting Call

So, this is fun. 

You go through all of Hollywood's finest and "cast" your novel. 
I have found it can really help, especially if you manage to find someone who looks like the image living within your head.  If anything...it gives a great waste of time while you sit on your hands and wait for November 1st to get here.  Either way: Here is my casting, so far.  I still have to cast more of the minors, but the ones here are the ones you will get to know, hopefully, pretty well. 

We will see!

Millie 942B (protagonist)

Reed Taylor
 

 Carl GF4 (antagonist)

Eddie Coleman

Jude GF4

BeeBee 823C

 Rune Sato

Yuuki Sato

Thursday, October 21, 2010

1667



After perusing a few of my friends' blog updates, I decided this may be a fun exercise to try.  My friend Elizabeth decided to write exactly 1667 words, just to see what it looks like, get a feel for it...all that jazz.  So, Elizabeth...I am taking your idea!  SNIPE!  55 words...

I am actually using the online program Write or Die to do this.  It seems pretty nifty.  What you do is set your time and/or word count goal, then you write.  If you pause for too long, you get "punished."  Right now I am using the gentlest settings possible.  (Kids are awake and still demanding me to dash from the computer every so often to attend to their dire needs, such as more juice, Blues Clues, or a good cuddle.)  I have read about this program on many NaNoWriMo forum pages, so it is fun to actually try it out.

Here are the punishments, from what I have gathered:
The softest one is when you stop writing for a certain amount of time (again, you get to choose if it is lenient, strict, or nazi) it will post a pop up window reminding you to write.  I would pause long enough to see what that window is like, but I am trying to see how long it takes to write all these words.  The next highest setting, from what I have read, emits a nasty noise that only ends when you begin to write again.  (Oh man, need to try that one when Shane is around...ha!) And the roughest punishment, the one I am very much so afraid of, starts to DELETE your words if you stop writing.  Hence, the "or die" part!  SCARY!  If you write and haven't checked this site out yet, you really should.  It seems like a fun way to make sure you bust out that word count, especially for all those Wrimos out there!  The url is writeordie.drwicked.com

340 words.  Phew!

Ok, this November is going to be intense!  To be utterly honest, I am getting pretty dang nervous about the whole affair.  I know I can write.  I have been writing since I was able to hold a pencil in hand and demand from my mom what an "a" looks like.  Of course, because I know I can write, I also doubt my writing.  Its that never ending issue that you assume your friends say your writing rocks just because they are your friends and don't want to hurt your feelings.  And your family is obligated to be kind because well...they are stuck with you.  But what does it take to actually convince yourself that not only is your writing decent, but it is actually, truly, totally worth reading?  Yeah, I am still working on that one.  Who cares that I have won writing contests...way back in the day.  Tell me people, blog followers, strangers...what do you think?

510 words.

Wow I am not even half way?  Ok, so the actual writing come NaNo will be different.  I will be creating a whole new world, and can use as many adjectives as word count needs.  Ha!  I just really really hope that I can accomplish this goal.  If you don't know, I am a stay at home mom.  With two awesome, but very hyper little boys.  I got married fresh out of high school and found that, over time, I have put much of my "dreams" aside in order to accomplish whatever it is my family is needing.  I know there are those of you out there who have had to do that much longer than I have (Celebrated our five year anniversary this year!  Yay!) but still, if its something that needs fixing, its never too early to fix.  And I love writing.  It has always been my dream to write and be published.  Which I have found to also be the dream of many many others out there.  But nevertheless, it is still my dream.  And we write for ourselves, right?

708 words.

I just had to take a break to get some snackage for my little man.  It gave me the chance to see what this program does.  Here you go:  The screen background gradually gets more and more red, then suddenly a little screen pops up declaring "You stopped writing.  Keep writing!" You have to click "ok" then...go go go!  I love it.  Methinks I will for sure download the desktop version of this and use it to at least procure my required 1667 daily count.  I don't think it is counting the numbers though.  Wait, it is.  Good to know.

Plans for November that have been set:
1.  I am SO going to the NaNoWriMo kick off party October 30th!  My friend Kimmel is also taking part in this awesomely crazy event, so we are going together.  I am pretty excited to meet the other NaNo peeps out there in my Portland area!
2.  I have set two fridays in November to meet with Keary online, starting at 10 pm, to write.  AKA to yell at each other if we are NOT writing.  I am really looking to these "all night" writing fiascos.  Can't wait!
3.  Along with that, I am meeting with Elizabeth Tuesday evenings online to keep tabs on each other.  Support system: GO!  Anyone else out there wanna meet up?  I need a constant fire under my feet, otherwise I will slack, give up, or just.....blah out.
4.  I keep hearing about this coffee place called Ava over here in Beaverton that is open 24 hours.  I NEED to check it out.  If I like it, I have a feeling that weekend nights will consist of me nestling down there, out of this humble abode of mine, and typing away.

Shane already knows, and states often, that come November "mommy is bye bye."  I love him.  I am really hoping we can time it all out nicely, so the kids super glue themselves to Daddy, allowing mommy to disappear into her novel land.  I have been working on redecorating my dining room.  Sadly, we live in a small apartment, so the dining room doubles as the computer room.  And man was it bland!  So, with my birthday moneys this year, I have been reforming it into my personal writing den.  I will post before and after photos soon...once it is done.  At the moment I am hand stitching the table runner.  I am not a seamstress by any means...so this is a feat of its own.  Along with that, I have my awesome yellow Writing Hat that I custom made on Zazzle.  I need to wear that more...where did my kiddo put it...

1184 words.  Almost there!

That was the third time the screen has turned red on me and the pop up made its appearance.  It is a good thing I am not using the death option.  That is just something I have to deal with when writing while the kids are awake.  If all goes well though, I will be able to do most of my writing in the evenings when Shane is home.  I have been thinking about maybe waking up earlier to bust out some word count before the kids are going nuts for the day.  But that actually means being awake.  At least awake enough to plunk out semi sensible words.  And I am NOT a morning person.  So we will see if that ever happens.  (My desire for sleep is leaning to a "no," but it will be NaNoWriMo, where sleep and sanity hold no sway over these fingers, so we shall see!)

Ok.  Takes deep breath.  Blinks eyes a few times.  How come this feels like it is never ending?  Though the number at the bottom of this screen now reads 1380, I feel like the word count will never be finished!  I have written much more than this in one sitting before.  It is probably just because I am thinking about it non stop.  And watching the number grow.  And trying to find ways to ramble.  Creativity: GO!  Shakes arms out and wiggles fingers.

People seem stumped when I tell them about NaNoWriMo.  Have any of you noticed that?  Especially when I say its not a contest, there is no actual prize.  Its just...to do it.  They just hang their mouths, let some drool drip out, and slowly drawl out "Whyyy?"  Here's why:  To prove that I can.  I can write.  I can finish my novel.  I can accomplish a dream.  And know what?  You can too.  All it takes is some absurd goal and the nerve to tell everyone that you are going to do it.  Once you gloat, you have to follow through.

I am going to do it!

Well, the number draws closer to my goal.  And with it, I feel my mind turning to a strange mush.  Not the mush of "I need to sleep and never think again."  But more so "I have so many different thoughts and writing ideas going through my head that I cannot think about any of them and I am about to pass out in a writing coma."  I love it.  I can't wait for this November.  I hope you all follow me, join me, and cheer the craziness on.  Even just the occasional “Jenni, you are nuts.  Keep going!” will do.  Yes, I am nuts.  I am an artist.  Artists cannot be sane.  If they were sane, there would be no creation.  And in this amazing NaNoWriMo community that I have found, I finally am surrounded by my other loonies.  Thanks Shannon and Afton for mentioning this crazy month to me.

The number draws close.  It is almost here.  My son wonders if his mother has lost it…He is watching me as my fingers fly and my eyes don’t blink.  A few more words and we are done…

Here come the final words. Almost there…

Ready?  I'm DONE!

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Weekly Update

11 days until NaNoWriMo!  *does a happy, nervous dance*

It seems like it is taking forever to get here, but I know that once November 1st hits, I will be complaining that I am "just not ready yet."  Really though, how ready can one be for 30 days of intense, crazy, chaotic literary abandon?  Exactly.  So yes, I will continue my happy dance (And for those of you who may be wondering, I did have to pause and do an actual dance.  I couldn't resist it!) and count down the days for the start of hysteria!

Updates...Updates...
In my prep for NaNoWriMo, I have completely put In the Blood on a very cold back burner.  Occasionally I find myself wanting to work on it.  Then as I sit down, I find ideas for Prison Nation start to roll.  Being as I cannot actually write any of it, I end up jotting notes, then regress to check the NaNoWriMo forums (Portland forum, you are doing me in!), then it gets real bad and I hit that dang StumbleUpon button...and all hope is lost. 

Note to self: Come November 1st, disable that much-too-tempting button!

Last night I finally got my head to hit the pillow around 11pm.  Then I just lay there, not falling asleep.  I wondered why.  Then I realized: I was plotting, again.  Afraid I would lose the snippet of a scene I just created in my head for my NaNovel, I reached to my side table and lo and behold, my pen and notebook weren't there.  Call me lazy, but I had just gotten all snuggled and didn't feel like climbing out of bed to search the things down.  So instead, I whipped open my phone, pulled up a new note, and plucked out the rough idea of what I got.  Hopefully it will jog my memory come NaNo time!

As far as the rest of prep goes...well, it goes.  I don't want to prep too much.  I hate outlining, and if I think about it too much more, I will find myself plotting out a detailed timeline for the entire book, which will then result in strangling out my excitement by turning it into an already planned assignment.  No wonder why I struggled with some aspects of school...It drove me nuts how every teacher assumed you had to plan out every inch in order to write anything worth reading.  Come on people!  Creativity isn't planned, its created.

So, at this moment in time, including the few very minor characters that may not even be graced with the blessing of a name, I have about 18 creations.  Still struggling for some names for the more pivotal yet not main characters...I would like to have those before the onset, otherwise I will get lost in naming land and the hopeful 1667 words-a-day count will cry due to neglect.  (By the way, writing 1667 words every day will get you 50,000 in 30 days.  Sweet huh?  That sounds a tidbit more do-able...I think.)

Now as I await the permission to finally dig in, I find myself scanning celebrity faces, finding the ones who best represent the people living in my head.  Once I at least get the leading cast picked, I will post it up for you all to gander at. 

I will close with two questions, answers are obviously being drooled after.

1.  Please describe for me what you think a cliche female psychiatrist would look like, sound like, all that.
2.  How many of you out there want me to post snippets on here as I write them, flaws and all?  I still can't decide if I should or not...feed back: GO!

Thursday, October 14, 2010

The New Branded!

Hey Hey all!

This post isn't directly related to my personal writing.  It is more so about my friend Keary.  She too is a writer, no... AUTHOR, but has actually managed to print her book through Amazon and is growing an awesome fan base!  (I did a quick review on her book a while back on my other blog.  Click here to read it)  She is actually preparing to go on a blog tour very soon, which is just way too awesome!

Keary is in the process of editing book two to the Fall of Angels series (titled Forsaken), along with writing an awesome dystopian called Eden.  And who knows how many other projects she hasn't let me in on yet!  Well, recently she decided she wanted to redo her book cover for Branded, and asked me to help.  I dabble in photography and editing, and jumped at the chance to help her out!  Snagging my sis-in-law Nicole, I posed her, snapped, and hurried home to edit!  After much re-editing, waiting, and proofing...Keary has finally posted her final cover!  (She did all of the layout.)  And here it is!


To follow her, check out more about the new cover and read more about all of her awesome projects, just go to kearytaylor.blogspot.com

I can't wait to get my new copy of her revamped novel to add to my book collections!  And if you haven't read it yet, go do it!  It is available on Amazon in both paperback and Kindle.  Click here!

Monday, October 11, 2010

Weekly Update

In the Blood:
I worked on it a tiny little smidge this week.  And I mean tiny.  I think I wrote about 1500 words, that's it.  I don't fully know what has happened.  Call it a Jenni-rut I suppose.  Granted, I have done more plotting for it, and have some scenes thought up...that does count, doesn't it?  I keep reminding myself to not lose confidence in this.  I do love this story, and that's what matters.  I feel weird not forking it out to everyone I know and begging for feedback.  But in a sense, it is kind of liberating too.  I have about 2 friends who have actually read bits and pieces.  The rest have no idea what I am doing.  For all they know, its a masterpiece.  And I wanna keep it that way!  I will finish this novel.  I will finish this novel...but now its being on the back burner for......

NaNoWriMo:
Well, since I am not allowed to actually write the novel yet, all I can do is plot.  So far I have three characters slightly developed (Millie 942B - protagonist.  Reed Taylor - supporting.  Carl GF8 - antagonist)  Yes...Carl.  I couldn't find another name that struck me for him, so I chose a generic one.  How do you name a pushy, self-righteous, sleazy man who decides he must be the only one to get a certain woman?  Carl.

I downloaded this cool looking outline doodad from a forum on NaNo.  Thing is...I am horrible at outlining.  Like, literally.  Horrible.  I tend to get an idea, plot out a few things I will want to have happen...then just wing it. Remember back in school days, when the teacher would require your piece of writing, along with a web or outline?  I usually wrote my piece, then right before class hashed out a web based on what I wrote, just so I could get the credit.  The teachers never seemed to like the idea that I didn't outline... Thinking about everything in advance just makes my head ache...and nada happens.  So I am more so using the outline here and there, ok, mostly just playing around with it because it looks cool.  November is just around the corner...let's see what happens!

I am trying to keep myself upbeat about it.  I will accomplish this.  I will I will.  But then I hear the kiddos screaming or demanding or see the apartment falling to shambles...and I wonder if I actually will.  Looks like my hubby will get a few more duties for a month.  Because...
I WILL.

Sunday, October 3, 2010

NaNovel - Cover time!

Alright, so we aren't "allowed" to actually write any of the NaNovel before November 1st.  But we are allowed to do any plotting, outlining, devoloping...and best yet: graphic designing

I was bored today (ok, never bored.  More like wasting time that I could have been spending at a number of other things) and threw together a rough cover for my NaNovel, Prison Nation.  Along with that, I made my banner that is posted after every forum post on the NaNoWriMo site...And here they are!  What do you think?

Banner:

Rough Cover:

Friday, October 1, 2010

My NaNovel Project

Here is the brief summary for what my project will be this year for NaNoWriMo.  I will most likely be changing it as I go...but I needed something, so here you go!

Prison Nation

"Millie 942B has spent her entire life behind bars. In fact, over 80 percent of what was once America is now kept incarcerated, the reformed government (now simply called the Nation) having found that the easiest way to control its citizens is to take away their very freedom. 

But at the age of eighteen, Millie is set free. Forced to leave behind prison, the only home she ever knew, she is thrown out into the world and left with one command: "Follow the law, or come back."

With almost every step tainted with something illegal, Millie will not only find herself fighting to stay free from the Nation's prisons, but will also find that she had been pulled into a fight much larger than herself."

I have some cool ideas for this book.  For one...I will be trying to write it in 1st person.  Yup!  I always write in 3rd, so I decided to try something new.  We will see how it works out.  It is, obviously, a dystopian.  I had to select a genre for it on the site, so chose "mainstream fiction" being as I wasn't too sure what else it would be...I will probably be changing that too.  So, how does the synopsis sound to you, my awesome reader?  Want to know more? 

Hark...NaNoWriMo draws near!

Today marks 30 days before the start of NaNoWriMo, and I can feel the excitement bubbling!

For those of you who have no idea what it is...
NaNoWriMo is short of National Novel Writing Month.  It began back in 1999, and since then has picked up majorly in popularity each year.  What it is, in essence, is 30 days of literary abandon.  The goal: To write a 50,000 word novel in merely 30 days (November 1-30th)  It is a completely free event, with no true prize other than bragging rights that you did it.  I tried last year, but joined halfway through, so never stood a chance.  This year though, I have been building the story in my head for months.  Thing is, the rules state that you can do all the brainstorming and plotting you want, but cannot actually write any of the novel until Day 1.  So...I have to wait a few more weeks before I get a chance to bust it out.  (I will post another post about my idea for this year...)

You just write, regardless of how crappy the product is.  Hey...that's what editing is for...LATER...

I just found out that you can also do a Write-a-thon.  Its practically the same idea as a good old walk-a-thon, where people pledge money and you accomplish the goal.  The money donated to NaNoWriMo will help fund their goals of providing creative writing classes all around the country for young adults and adults alike.  I have signed up this year to try to help with this...If any of you feel able to support me in this crazy endeaver, please do!  Just a small donation of $10 goes a long way!  If you have any questions...just post them and I will answer.

Here is the link to my donation page: Jenni's Write-A-Thon

I am REALLY looking forward to NaNoWriMo.  Aside from being a busy stay-at-home mommy, and assistant directing a play that performs midway through November...why not add on writing a novel too!  I can do it...I know I can.  I have my writing companion (No Plot? No problem! By Chris Baty...will post a review soon about it!), I am creating my writing den (again...must save this for another post.  Man, I am going to go post-al.  harhar...), and I am trying to gather my fellow writers to join me in this abandon.

THAT MEANS YOU!
Yes...YOU.

Go to www.nanowrimo.org and check it out.  It is completely free, and completely crazy.  And you know you want to do it.  Saying you don't have time is nonsense...just stop clicking stumble upon, checking your facebook, or watching random tv for one month and finally write that book that has been growing in your head for years.  I need my support group.  AKA, I need you.  Come on friends...let's do it!  Let me know WHEN you sign up, and I will let you know my user info so we can cheer each other on word per word.

Put an end to the "One Day" Novelist.

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